Question about death to Atheists.
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10-02-2017, 12:22 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
I'm not sure there isn't anything after death. There's just no credible evidence to suggest that there is.

Anecdotes are of no use in determining the truth of anything above the mundane. We need scientific, testable hypotheses and hard data. There will be all sorts of psychological explanations for why someone might believe they saw this and that. Linking thoughts to events is also easily explainable by confirmation bias. No one remembers the millions of times their thoughts linked to nothing.

So to me, it's not a matter of assuming nothing is going on. It's a matter of reserving judgement until some proper evidence is available. Until such time, all the evidence seems to point towards death being final. Consciousness seems to be an emergent property of the brain, and once it stops functioning, it makes sense that the consciousness does also. Without any evidence, it's just fanciful to make any claims about the consciousness existing on its own.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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10-02-2017, 01:50 AM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2017 01:54 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  So at my church, I recently talked to an older woman who told me that while she was in the hospital with her husband (who was terminally ill), she held his hand. She said that while he was lying in his hospital bed, that she saw some white looking entity leaving his body. She said it almost looked like his physical body was a shell, and out of the shell came this white, transparent 'spirit' form of him. She said that soon afterwards doctors had examined him, and reported that he was in fact dead. I could tell that this lady was being sincere in what she was telling me. Later that day I got home, and found a multitude of different stories which were similar to hers.

She "saw" what she already believe. It's convenient, wouldn't you agree?

It's possible that she didn't lie to you, she wouldn't be first person to "see" something nonexistent. And considering that there is no evidence for existence of something called soul...

Quote:At first I thought, maybe it is just a coincidence, then I remembered something else:

My mom has repeatedly had this phenomenon where she will wake up one morning feeling "strange", she will say that she dreamed about a loved one, and that she knows something bad happened to this person. About 10-15 times, it has happened where she will get a call very soon in the next day or two saying that a person she knows (usually the person she dreamed about) has died.

And how many times nothing happened? How many misses you forgot to include here?

Quote:Now, these two phenomenons that I touched on will likely be dismissed by most, but I want to know, how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death when there are so many unexplained things?

Now, these two "phenomenons" are shit which appeal to those already convinced so dismissing them is right choice. I wan't to know however how some theists can be so sure that there is something after death when there is no evidence for it? Or how you can know that you wouldn't end in Duat if we for the sake of question agree on afterlife being something more than fairy tales?

Quote:Although some people may be lying to get attention, I am sure that the two examples I gave were not lies.

You may be sure but I'm not.

Quote:Even if that means there is another explanation we do not know about.

So god did it is your go to explanation?

Quote:How would you atheists react to some of these things if you were to give the claimer the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not lying?

Hallucinations and probability. Your stories aren't special and you're no different than umpteenth theists bringing some shitty story and ask what if god.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-02-2017, 03:14 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
We are all going to give our personal perspectives'. However, as an atheist I would start by asking questions! If I can I would like to start with your mum.
If she has had these dreams, then I would test it! I would want to know if she can tell someone has passed away! It will not tell us where they went but its a skill worth knowing about! I would think you should test it! Try to work out how to do it.
Find out for yourself! The next dream she has, take down all the details you can and go and find this person first! And do it with every dream she has! Also you may need to find out when this person died and if there was a chance your mum may have found out but knot registered that information until she went to sleep! And may be why she had this dream!
So ask questions work out if it is true and then work out how it may be fiction!

As for the older woman. Yes each culture has similar clams. And there experiences reflect there religious history! I know it can appear I am quick to dismiss her personal experiences. However, I am yet to see anyone who had this experience and it was of a different god or other faith.

I need testable information to change Now look at the information you have and test it! I hope all goes well with you!

K:

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11-02-2017, 07:14 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 07:19 AM by Rahn127.)
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There exists no mechanism for post-mortem survival. The brain dies. How would a being continue ?

99.99999999 % of people who witness a death see no "white anythings".
Explain that.

It's not just "atheists" who think there is nothing after death. The Hebrews who wrote the Bible did not believe in heaven and hell. They thought ALL "shades" went to Sheol, which is not where all the divine beings lived. It has nothing to do with atheism, really.

Bucky makes an excellent point about 99.99999999 % of people who witness a death see no "white anythings".

If you look at the accounts of every war ever fought, every person who has ever died with several witnesses, you won't find accounts of people observing souls rising up from bodies and that's because we are biological beings that are born, grow older and then die.

You might as well say that every cell in our body has a soul and tiny souls are constantly leaving our bodies as they die. But this of course isn't happening now is it.

As I'm driving home at night, I can see all kinds of things that don't really exist. I can observe shades of purple light on the highway way that mysteriously disappear as I focus my eyes a little better. I can see flashes of light out of the corner of my eye that appear to be "something" moving very close to me.

Our eyes observe light and that signal is sent to our visual centers in our brains. That signal in our nerves can change. It can be interrupted by other electrical signals in our brain or our brain can interpret those signals differently depending on our current state of mind.

Basically we can't always trust the weird stuff we see.
That's why it's important to verify things that are outside our normal day to day experience with additional evidence beyond our own personal experience, because that personal experience can be in error.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-02-2017, 11:11 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  So at my church, I recently talked to an older woman who told me that while she was in the hospital with her husband (who was terminally ill), she held his hand. She said that while he was lying in his hospital bed, that she saw some white looking entity leaving his body...

She was obviously suffering from a delusional state of mind during an intense period of emotional stress. Perfectly understandable, and not out of the ordinary.

Quote:My mom has repeatedly had this phenomenon where she will wake up one morning feeling "strange", she will say that she dreamed about a loved one, and that she knows something bad happened to this person. About 10-15 times, it has happened where she will get a call very soon in the next day or two saying that a person she knows (usually the person she dreamed about) has died.

Selective thinking. Coincidence. Hallucination. Confirmation bias. False memory. Confabulation. Perception deception... take your pick.

Quote:How would you atheists react to some of these things if you were to give the claimer the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not lying?

As a person who accepts the tenets of science absolutely, I wouldn't be prepared to give anybody the "benefit of the doubt" as to the actuality of what they think they dreamed, or think they saw. It's immaterial as to whether I think they're lying or telling the truth—as they perceived it.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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12-02-2017, 11:14 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:22 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It's not that I know so much as hope and pray on everything that is holy that there's not. I don't care whether its heaven or hell they both would get interminably boring and tedious real quick like. Like Sisyphus boring and tedious. No just God would condemn anyone to an eternity of anything. Can't imagine a crueler fate.
Yes, the way I always put it is, "any afterlife sooner or later becomes its own hell". Either that or you will be so changed that you wouldn't be the same person you are now. And not changed for the better, either.

One has only to read up on "hedonic tone" to understand this.

Also, eternal paradises are never described as meeting any human needs beyond the absence of want or pain, the assurance of immediate gratification in all things. It never addresses the need to sate curiosity, to continually grow, learn and innovate and have truly new / novel experiences in order to make new meaning.

No one has ever shown that being in a state of endless contentment is sustainable or even desirable. I stop WAY short of suggesting that suffering is ever ennobling, or that suffering is a necessary ingredient to the appreciation of pleasure. But on the other hand I do not at all believe in a complete absence of unscratched itches and unrequited desire or interest.

Afterlife concepts are just bright shiny distractions from the real business of living. They are excuses to deprecate and fail to enjoy the only life we actually have.
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12-02-2017, 11:22 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  ... how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death when there are so many unexplained things?
There are many unexplained things (far fewer than there used to be, but still alot). There are many fanciful claims. The human mind is also very sloppy and imperfect in its operation, rife with various biases and perceptual tics.

There also is no such thing as 100% certainty.

What empiricists are on about is not that we are CERTAIN there is "nothing after death", it is all about the preponderance of evidence and the LIKELIHOOD that there is nothing -- and that anything that might be there, probably bears zero resemblance to Christian campfire stories about it.

Specific legends / stories / claims are far easier to debunk then general ideas. If you want to hold out some POSSIBILITY of SOME KIND of continuation of your consciousness beyond death that you would NOT OBJECT to, that is far easier for me to understand than for you to give serious credence to specific, detailed, baroque claims about the afterlife which have NO substantiation WHATSOEVER (they are not just suffering from LITTLE, but from NO evidential support). Particularly when those claims differ from OTHER specific lurid and detailed claims from people of other religious persuasions.
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12-02-2017, 11:46 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
This (faithfully preserved for eternity (geddid? Rolleyes ) is still the best way I've seen it described. Take a bow, Girly. Heart

Eternal existence dilutes me to homeopathic levels.

Also, I'm always flabbergasted by people proudly and stupidly claiming that they want to live forever and that they will never get bored, not they, with their brilliant minds, no way, no how.

And I don't even think it's a question of boredom per se. It is way more than this. Whenever I would lie in bed, scared numb at the thought of going on eternally, it's wasn't a fear of boredom or anything like this. The sheer idea of going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... with no end in sight, ever, ever is by far the scariest thing my puny, finite mind could (and can) conceive of.

Now, a measly 70-80 is absolutely not enough and the desire for a longer life I absolutely understand. Hell, I want to see what happens next, how we grow and what new things we learn. I want to see NASA land a probe on Europa and the missions that haven't been conceived yet. Like I've said before here, I just want to know the things they'll know and see the things they'll see. Blush

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know.”


(NDE are beyond ludicrous (and how I first came across this place - after seeing Bucky get into it with someone on this same topic some place else Yes )

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12-02-2017, 11:52 AM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(12-02-2017 11:46 AM)Vera Wrote:  This (faithfully preserved for eternity (geddid? Rolleyes ) is still the best way I've seen it described. Take a bow, Girly. Heart

Eternal existence dilutes me to homeopathic levels.

Also, I'm always flabbergasted by people proudly and stupidly claiming that they want to live forever and that they will never get bored, not they, with their brilliant minds, no way, no how.

And I don't even think it's a question of boredom per se. It is way more than this. Whenever I would lie in bed, scared numb at the thought of going on eternally, it's wasn't a fear of boredom or anything like this. The sheer idea of going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... with no end in sight, ever, ever is by far the scariest thing my puny, finite mind could (and can) conceive of.

Now, a measly 70-80 is absolutely not enough and the desire for a longer life I absolutely understand. Hell, I want to see what happens next, how we grow and what new things we learn. I want to see NASA land a probe on Europa and the missions that haven't been conceived yet. Like I've said before here, I just want to know the things they'll know and see the things they'll see. Blush

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know.”


(NDE are beyond ludicrous (and how I first came across this place - after seeing Bucky get into it with someone on this same topic some place else Yes )

I agree, I wish I could live longer. I'd love to see where humans go Sad

Hopefully life extension technology will continue to improve enough in my lifetime xD

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12-02-2017, 01:03 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
One of the benefits and negatives of our (Homo sapiens) big brains is that we can contemplate death. We not only know we are going to die but some of us obsess about it and some of us are completely terrified of it.

For me personally the internal struggle of deconversion included accepting that there is no “after-life” and that once my loved ones died I would only have my memories of them, that I would never see them again. Contemplating my own death has held less emotional trauma.

I tell you this because our big brains can have painful difficulty in accepting the finality of life and it fights it with fervor. It does it by imagining a heaven, by “seeing” souls rising from the dearly departed like your mother did and so on.

Being a human has its benefits and drawbacks. When we love deeply and have a profound emotional attachment to our family and friends the reality of death can and does impact us in ways we don’t always comprehend.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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