Poll: The torment of existence or the horror of non-being
Existence
Non-being
[Show Results]
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
Better to not have been?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 1 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
28-10-2013, 04:50 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(27-10-2013 04:39 PM)Logisch Wrote:  A lot of interesting and good points here. I think some people enjoy the idea of an afterlife because it gives them comfort. Some people might want to see relatives and spend time after they are dead in an existence that is "better" than "this life"...

Although, as Chas has mentioned, wanting something or believing something because it sounds good adds nothing to whether or not it is actually true. There's been a lot of research done regarding stimulating parts of the brain that cause hallucinations, many of which think are the cause of "near death experiences" - Although, I'm still skeptical of some of the research and the work because so far nothing is super concrete, but it's at least good progress.

In other words, people go through traumatic things and report NDE and suddenly feel like there's something out there afterwards. It's interesting to me that people report vastly different interpretations and of course everyone believes their interpretation is correct which is why I think it's nothing more than a coping mechanism for the, "Oh shit this is gonna hurt and i'm going to die. Time to pass out and go into la la land so I don't have to deal with this shit!" moment. You wake up and, "Holy shit guys, there was this light, and all sorts of shit, aliens poked my rectum and my grandma was even there with cupcakes. Heaven is real folks!"

My dad claims to have had one. He had a heart attack. Coincidentally enough, he reported it during when they put the paddles on him. His explanation was the same old, "I just knew it wasn't my time." gag and I just sort of shrugged it off.

Anyway... I digress. The way I postulate "non-existence" is simply absence of consciousness. You have no way of knowing what it was like to be a sperm or an egg before you were born. No way of knowing what existence was like until you had the contrast of your senses and consciousness. I imagine exactly the same thing upon death. You have no way of knowing what it will like to be dead because once you're dead your brain shuts down and consciousness ceases. I think people want more than that though because it's terrifying to them to stop being.

There's nothing to "eternally contemplate" in terms of "an infinite state of not being" because you aren't you anymore. What you identify as your consciousness and "you", your experience in the world, your contrast of sense, it ends. Unless someone has verifiable evidence to support otherwise, I see no reason to worry, speculate, fret or be afraid of it. Enjoy what you can, while you can.

I also like to consider the following:

Regardless of whether you believe in a god, or don't... (obviously you do The_thinking_theist) I think we can both probably agree we came from the same stuff. Stardust, matter of the universe. Regardless of whether you believe there was a first cause or no first cause is irrelevant if you can agree on that point.

If you can understand that we came from that same stuff, and if you can understand that we are conscious, you can understand that in a funny way that the universe itself is conscious. That's because you're a part of it, you are that stuff, you came from that stuff. Everything we have a good understanding of in the world of science points to that very stuff.

So if someone is to ask me if I would rather bask in my existence be it suffering or not.... or if the alternative would be eternal nothingness forever, I would choose even a plain existence. That is because life in the universe is a rare thing (so rare, we're the only life we know of so far). To contemplate that even for a period of up to 100 years (if you are lucky enough) that you have a chance to be a conscious part of the universe, to appreciate it, learn about it, understand it... for even a short period of time you are the universe, looking upon itself. Even on a bad day, a terrible day, you're the most badass matter, atoms, and energy in the universe. I don't think I'd give that up, even for a moment. Even when you die, in some odd way the universe uses you over in other be it another organism or life, or someday when the sun collapses and the matter of the planets ends up being used again someday in dust clouds... another nebula, star nurseries... who knows, you name it, lots of possibilities. It'll still be you, us, it.

Ok well... black holes are cool too, but at least in terms of "badass matter" we can really understand, anyway.

Rockin' the Sagen I see. Take a like!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 05:37 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(28-10-2013 04:48 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  
(27-10-2013 11:44 PM)aurora Wrote:  I'm good with the whole death and non-existence thing although if I sit and think about it deeply enough it tends to freak me out a little so I don't go there often.
Smile

If you don't go there enough, you'll never find any meaningful truths about anything, but just the occasional pondering I advocate fully.

Thumbsup

Go there too often and you'll be hollering "On Belay!" and hoping for a "Belay On." response. Big Grin

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 05:42 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
Many things are existentially possible within boundless infinity and even earthly suffering could have an up side in that context.
Non existence, non knowing,gives us no choice, as we have to know something to make a choice.
The gods of religion such as Yahweh, Krisna, Zeus, Jesus, Brahma, Allah et al reflect ideas of higher Beings/Lives, and I believe are a mixed bag of worthy and unworthy considerations. At least they make us think and debate.
An existential hope...for 'whatever' may help the world's suffering in their grief.
This is not to say that in the secular world we need not address the issues of suffering as best we genuinely can.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-10-2013, 05:45 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(24-10-2013 07:58 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Hello.

Now that you're here, do you prefer the torment of existence or the horror of non-being? Coming into existence at all gives chances to become one with everything (AKA God) but also the chance to die, confused and angry, with no insight. This thread assumes that an afterlife could exist, but does not matter.


What say you?
I have not been once. It is not a bad feeling, just a bit weird. It's when you meditate so well, that your self-identity brain centers shut off. Then literally you cease to exist. There is no such thing as you anywhere in the room, nobody of the name written in the ID (I can not call it "your" ID because the word "you" does not make sense in that moment)

However, all the things remain there, all the brain cells and tissue and heartbeat and they preserve the experience and the memory when the moment of non-existence ends and there is again such a thing as "me". But for a moment, there was no person. It's very weird, we are so used to things happening either in our presence or seemingly not at all, and suddenly things happen when we are not there and yet they are known to happen - but known by mere cells of biology which preserve them mechanically, not known by a person.

My mom is better at meditation and she can spend lots of time in that state. Woah. I suppose I cling onto my consciousness too much. I always flinch back. The horror of non-existence indeed, but it is no horror. Western culture, philosophy and religion is really bad at introspection. We all think that our normal reason reflects reality, but it doesn't. Sometimes you have to do things empirically and change your own consciousness. But not by drugs, drugs don't count, that's cheating.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-10-2013, 06:06 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
(28-10-2013 05:45 PM)Luminon Wrote:  It's when you meditate so well, that your self-identity brain centers shut off.

There are no such thing as "self-identity brain centers". That's just something you invented to try and sound knowledgeable.

Quote:Then literally you cease to exist. There is no such thing as you anywhere in the room, nobody of the name written in the ID (I can not call it "your" ID because the word "you" does not make sense in that moment)

No. That doesn't occur in any of the possible senses. If you equate self-identity with an experiencing subject then that is always present except under general anaesthesia. It is nonsensical to at first claim that the subject ceases to exist and then to report the experience of the subject in not existing. If the subjective "I" ceased to exist you would have nothing to report back, it would be a block of time--equal to the length of time in which the subject ceased to exist--which you are unable to account for. That is the subjective experience of general anaesthesia.

Further, self-identity is also constituted by your physical person. When you are under general anasthesia and there is no subjective "I" your personhood persists in both a philosophical and legal sense.

Quote:However, all the things remain there, all the brain cells and tissue and heartbeat

How would they do otherwise? Where would your brain cells go?

Quote:and they preserve the experience and the memory when the moment of non-existence ends and there is again such a thing as "me".

If you are truly unconscious then there is no experience to preserve. If you can recall an experience then you aren't unconscious and the experiencing subjective "I" remains present.

Quote:But for a moment, there was no person. It's very weird, we are so used to things happening either in our presence or seemingly not at all, and suddenly things happen when we are not there and yet they are known to happen - but known by mere cells of biology which preserve them mechanically, not known by a person.


No. If the you are unconscious and not sleeping--as per general anaesthesia--there is no "very weird", there is nothing. If you are able to describe your subjectivity in any way then the subjective "I", the experiencing subject is obviously present.

What are "cells of biology"? Are there "cells of chemistry"? Are there "cells of physics"? You are trying to sound learned by needlessly qualifying nouns.

Also, individual neurons don't "know" anything they aren't homunculi.

Quote:My mom is better at meditation and she can spend lots of time in that state.

Self-delusion clearly runs in your family.

Quote:Woah. I suppose I cling onto my consciousness too much.

You can't "I cling onto my consciousness too much". The subjective "I" is your consciousness.

Quote:Western culture, philosophy and religion is really bad at introspection.

No it isn't. There is a strong tradition of phenomenology in Western philosophy starting with Husserl and continues by Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty. You just don't know what you are talking about as usual.

Quote:We all think that our normal reason reflects reality,

"[N]ormal reason" as opposed to "abnormal reason"? More redundant qualification of nouns to try and sound educated.

Quote:but it doesn't.

It does. If reason were completely dissociated from reality then we would be incompetent and we would have perished long, long ago. We are a very successful species and that is due largely to our capacity for reason.

Quote:Sometimes you have to do things empirically and change your own consciousness. But not by drugs, drugs don't count, that's cheating.

Empirically?
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chippy's post
31-10-2013, 04:05 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  There are no such thing as "self-identity brain centers". That's just something you invented to try and sound knowledgeable.
So I want to sound knowledgeable? Who am I trying to impress and why? What chances do you think I think I have? You seem to be such an expert on me.

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  No. That doesn't occur in any of the possible senses. If you equate self-identity with an experiencing subject then that is always present except under general anaesthesia. It is nonsensical to at first claim that the subject ceases to exist and then to report the experience of the subject in not existing. If the subjective "I" ceased to exist you would have nothing to report back, it would be a block of time--equal to the length of time in which the subject ceased to exist--which you are unable to account for. That is the subjective experience of general anaesthesia.

Further, self-identity is also constituted by your physical person. When you are under general anasthesia and there is no subjective "I" your personhood persists in both a philosophical and legal sense.
I don't equate self-identity with body or with perception. I equate it with that brain piece where my identity is stored, which lights up when I hear my name mentioned. Our self-identity is not regularly spread all across the body.

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  If you are truly unconscious then there is no experience to preserve. If you can recall an experience then you aren't unconscious and the experiencing subjective "I" remains present.
There was no me that might be conscious. Things sort of went along, brain cells were still working, but they did not seem to be rounded up under the general label of "me".

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  You can't "I cling onto my consciousness too much". The subjective "I" is your consciousness.
Under normal circumstances yes. I'm not interested in normal circumstances because they are known, sub-normal circumstances (as in disability or intoxication) are useless. I am interested in super-normal circumstances. Healthy, yet exotic.

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  No it isn't. There is a strong tradition of phenomenology in Western philosophy starting with Husserl and continues by Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty. You just don't know what you are talking about as usual.
You see I am remarkably calm. Everyone else here would be screaming bloody murder and ad hominem fallacy because of your trash talk. I've seen people like you get their attention so low, they weren't able to follow a basic point, because they thought there's no reason to keep any attention in presence of someone as stupid as me. A sorry sight indeed, but it's bystanders who worry me. Usually bystanders don't notice it either. One hint however, if you can't comprehend and reply to more than a half of my sentence at a time, you're running short on consciousness. It's time to take a break, breathe deeply, read what I wrote carefully, go for a walk and think about it.

So basically, these philosophers are just another example of people bad at introspection. They examined their consciousness, but it was a vanilla consciousness. It was a weak, unconcentrated consciousness, littered with thoughts. Western science gave up on it and tried to explore consciousness muddled by drugs or confused by sensory deprivation, or damaged by some kind of disability. Neither is really what I mean. What I mean is a method of overcoming sensory deprivation imaginings and achieving a state of thoughtlessness or at least a state where thoughts are slowed down. There is a corresponding great increase in awareness. This state is called meditation and it doesn't have much of a tradition in the West. However, it has a great tradition in the East. Our consciousness during meditation is like a laser, compared to a flashlight of normal consciousness. It really examines the consciousness inside out. And people who meditate well can agree, that the self is an illusion. A very convincing illusion, but not impenetrable.

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  It does. If reason were completely dissociated from reality then we would be incompetent and we would have perished long, long ago. We are a very successful species and that is due largely to our capacity for reason.
I don't claim any absolute opposite of what you say. Our survival is only a partial reflection of reality. Reason is reason, because it can expand even to areas which are not connected with our survival. But it takes work and we can do that work by concentrating our consciousness.

(29-10-2013 06:06 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Empirically?
Yes, it involves alteration of consciousness through concentration and meditation. Rationalistic work would be something else, a work with concepts that can be contacted with vanilla consciousness. One plus one equals two, and such. But changing the consciousness is something else. Mundane consciousness can contact mundane aspects of reality. But if you change your consciousness into a more exotic state, you can contact more exotic aspects of reality. We can not just think of seemingly impossible concepts, but also experience them.
The process itself is empirical, because our mind is not a principle, it's an instrument.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Luminon's post
01-11-2013, 12:14 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
Clearly being is preferable to non-being because then you have the choice of either.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Skippy538's post
01-11-2013, 12:28 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
Quote: Quote:
My mom is better at meditation and she can spend lots of time in that state.

Quote: Self-delusion clearly runs in your family.

Experiencing a state of thoughtlessness so profound that it feels like separateness from oneself during meditation is a delusion? Maybe so, but is a profound one.

Again Chippy - what's with the vitriol? Why do you hold people in such contempt?

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Skippy538's post
01-11-2013, 01:29 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
(01-11-2013 12:28 AM)Skippy538 Wrote:  Again Chippy - what's with the vitriol? Why do you hold people in such contempt?

The correct form of the question is:

Why do you hold some people in such contempt?

And the answer to that is because they deserve to be held in contempt and I have bags of contempt to share.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-11-2013, 01:54 AM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2013 05:22 AM by Chippy.)
RE: Better to not have been?
(31-10-2013 04:05 PM)Luminon Wrote:  So I want to sound knowledgeable?

Yes. You have nothing and you have decorated it with ersatz intellectualism. You are a bullshit artist in the truest sense of the phrase.

Quote:Who am I trying to impress[?]

Your hapless readers.

Quote: and why?

Because you are a charlatan.

Quote:What chances do you think I think I have?

<<0.5

Quote:You seem to be such an expert on me.

I have much experience in dealing with dickheads.

Quote:I don't equate self-identity with body or with perception. I equate it with that brain piece where my identity is stored, which lights up when I hear my name mentioned. Our self-identity is not regularly spread all across the body.

Your identity is also constitued by your physical person. You are an embodied mind.

Quote:There was no me that might be conscious. Things sort of went along, brain cells were still working, but they did not seem to be rounded up under the general label of "me".

That you are relaying the experience to me means that your subjective "I" had an experience.

Quote:Under normal circumstances yes. I'm not interested in normal circumstances because they are known, sub-normal circumstances (as in disability or intoxication) are useless. I am interested in super-normal circumstances. Healthy, yet exotic.

No, under all circumstances other than general anaesthesia and brain trauma.

Quote:You see I am remarkably calm. Everyone else here would be screaming bloody murder and ad hominem fallacy because of your trash talk.

So what? How is that germane?

Quote:I've seen people like you get their attention so low, they weren't able to follow a basic point, because they thought there's no reason to keep any attention in presence of someone as stupid as me.

I've seen people like you write things on a wall using their faeces.

Quote:A sorry sight indeed,

Indeed.

Quote:but it's bystanders who worry me.

Perhaps you are paranoid.

Quote:Usually bystanders don't notice it either.

What is "it"? Your smell? Your penis? Your halitosis?

Quote:One hint however, if you can't comprehend and reply to more than a half of my sentence at a time, you're running short on consciousness.

I can comprehend and reply to 150% percent of your sentence.

Quote:It's time to take a break, breathe deeply, read what I wrote carefully, go for a walk and think about it.

Or I could print what you wrote out on recycled paper, wipe my ass with it and flush it down the toilet.

Quote:So basically, these philosophers are just another example of people bad at introspection.

No, they are clearly better at introspection than you are beacuse they have preserved the distinction between subject and object. They know they are only exploring subjectivity, you don't so that makes them better than you are at it.

Quote:They examined their consciousness,

...and retained the idea that they examined their consciousness.

Quote:Western science gave up on it and tried to explore consciousness muddled by drugs or confused by sensory deprivation, or damaged by some kind of disability.

No it didn't. Neuroscience is a burgeoning field.

Quote:Neither is really what I mean.

Who cares?

Quote:What I mean is a method of overcoming sensory deprivation imaginings and achieving a state of thoughtlessness or at least a state where thoughts are slowed down. There is a corresponding great increase in awareness. This state is called meditation and it doesn't have much of a tradition in the West. However, it has a great tradition in the East. Our consciousness during meditation is like a laser, compared to a flashlight of normal consciousness. It really examines the consciousness inside out. And people who meditate well can agree, that the self is an illusion. A very convincing illusion, but not impenetrable.

Your knowledge is an illusion. In your meditations have you ever had the realisation that you are full of shit. That would be a profound and genuine insght.

Quote:Reason is reason, because it can expand even to areas which are not connected with our survival.

Profound stuff.

Quote:Yes, it involves alteration of consciousness through concentration and meditation.

Go on...

Quote:Rationalistic work would be something else, a work with concepts that can be contacted with vanilla consciousness.

Awesome.

Quote:One plus one equals two,

This might be the first true thing that you have posted.

Quote:But changing the consciousness is something else. Mundane consciousness can contact mundane aspects of reality. But if you change your consciousness into a more exotic state, you can contact more exotic aspects of reality. We can not just think of seemingly impossible concepts, but also experience them.

For you, truth would be such an impossible concept. One day you may experience it.

Quote:The process itself is empirical, because our mind is not a principle, it's an instrument.

And you are abusing your instrument.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: