Against Life After Death

Discussion in 'Extended Consciousness & Spirituality' started by TheRaven, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. TheRaven

    TheRaven Member

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  2. MaxUsernameLimit

    MaxUsernameLimit Member

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    Assuming that the individual mind = the individual brain is not so absurd. Yes, the human mind is a great mystery and yes there are many non-local psychic phenomena which point to the direction that the mind is not the physical brain. How could one receive clairvoyant impressions or how could I have premonitory dreams (which I have had tons of) if my mind was caused entirely by deterministic processes in my brain? However, it's also certain that if I somehow lost a part of my brain, I'd lose some functionality of my mind (like people who've had split-brain surgery for example) . So maybe, the individual mind is indeed caused by the individual brain, but the brain itself is not a deterministic machine, but has quantum non-local properties.
     
  3. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Can we play with the idea that mind/self/spirit and brain interact to create awareness of the physical world [bearing in mind that neurons are found elsewhere in the body and not just the head]. Materialists assume all the players in this interaction are entirely localized and dependent on the body. In a way they are right that this interaction is dependent on the body and it dissipates when the body is gone. The enduring self does not need the reflexes and instincts of an organic being. Organic being does not need an enduring consciousness beyond its capacity to function. My sense is that when enduring self/mind/spirit and organic being merge what is created is a temporary form of consciousness that enables self/mind/spirit to operate in the material world. I am not sure we can assert that it resides in the brain in the skull alone – on the evidence of heart/lung transplants and the claimed instance of a guy found to have a pretty well empty head while still able to function in an effective way in the world.

    I think that Julian Jaynes notion of the bicameral mind is an imperfect but useful argument against our skullcentric fixation. Our ancestors allowed other body parts to interact consciously with their reality – something we recall in our notions of gut feelings and a ‘heartfelt’ sentiment. The skullcentic passion leads us to assume consciousness is about rationality only and not also sentiment and intuition [mind/self/spirit], let alone instinct, fear, pain, sexual urges, hunger and so on [organic being – whole body]. The problem with materialistic science is that is presumes consciousness per se, rather than just an organic expression of it is an emergent property of the brain [alone]. And we do no better, often. We get sucked into arguing the materialist model – locating consciousness in the brain in the skull.
     
  4. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well it certainly is if you are trying to prove there is no afterlife - it just begs the question!
    Well the precognitive dreams etc are precisely why people doubt that the mind does equal brain. Surely you have read of the alternative hypothesis - that the brain acts as some sort of transmitter/receiver of consciousness. Sometimes an analogy is made with a TV - the voltages at various point will fluctuate in time with a dance (say) on the screen, but the TV set is not responsible for the dance.

    Also damage the TV set somewhat, and those dancers may become blurred and flickery - which is the analogy with damage to the physical brain.

    I am always amazed that split brain patients can manage their lives at all. Yet unless you go looking for it, they seem normal - which is why the operation is acceptable. It certainly suggests to me that their consciousness comes from elsewhere.

    I think can argue the question of the afterlife either way, but they have to follow some sort of logical rules. Embedding the assumption that mind=brain leaves you with no alternative!

    David
     
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