What happens when we die?
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18-01-2012, 04:13 AM
RE: What happens when we die?
I don't think that everyone shits and pisses themselves. I understand that all muscles loosen but people die all the time, I have never seen a person getting shot and instantly shitting themselves (yes I saw people getting shot for real...)

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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18-01-2012, 10:36 AM
RE: What happens when we die?
Although I asked people what they thought when we die... I wasn't expecting such vague responses. I figured that I'd get a lot of "that's it, we are done" comments, but I am greatly interested in the science behind death. As I said in my first post, I believe that the "afterlife" is actually a dream-state before the brain shuts down. That would explain why some people have such vivid near-death experiences, assumed astral projection, ect... What science is there to satisfy my confirmation bias? =p And, if it could be proven that people are dreaming in the moments before death, could that be a strike against the afterlife argument? Obviously it would be hard to get a brain scan of someone who is in the process of death, but since the baby boomers are getting up there, I'm sure that at least one of them would partake in a scientific study in their last moments or something. The better we know death, the better we can postpone it. And the longer we can postpone death, the less influence that religion will have on society. And if you can achieve an indefinite lifespan, then religion disappears completely.
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18-01-2012, 01:59 PM
RE: What happens when we die?
Coincidentally (I assume coincidence, but perhaps it's the Almighty trying to tell me something) I just had an invitation to an event about out-of-the-body experiences. The invitation included the following which may be of interest:
Recent evidence suggests that the complex neurocognitive processes underlying stable self-awareness and embodiment are not error-proof and can breakdown, leading to striking distortions in body-image and body-based hallucinations. One such hallucination is the Out-of-Body Experience (OBE). The current dominant view is that perspective-taking processes in the temporo-parietal junction regions may sub-serve the shift in perspective underlying the experiential content of the OBE. In this presentation, Dr Braithwaite will review the prior neurological evidence for these assertions and question some of the assumptions surrounding the behavioural tasks employed to investigate these claims. In addition, he will present the latest and most recent findings from his own laboratory showing that (i) previous tasks employed to assess spatial aspects of the OBE are unlikely to be perspective-taking tasks; (ii) non-clinical OBEers display elevated scores on measures of temporal-lobe dysfunction; (iii) OBEers do show specific biases in body-transformation processing – when methodological limitations are addressed; (iv) OBEers display an advantage for elevated perspective-taking tasks relative to controls; and (v) he will present evidence from a new task which has revealed increased levels of cortical hyperexcitabililiy in the OBE population.


Dr Jason Braithwaite is a lecturer in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre, University of Birmingham. His research interests are broad and span areas such as (i) the relationship between visual attention and awareness, (ii) underlying mechanisms of failures of visual awareness, (iii) perspective-taking mechanisms and hallucinations of the self, and (iv) hallucinations, delusions and instances of anomalous cognition in patient and non-clinical populations. He is currently heading projects investigating both neural and cognitive factors that may predispose certain individuals to report anomalous experiences of the self.
Make of it what you will. If you're interested in pursuing it, the talk may well be recorded and published on the web site of Goldsmiths, University of London.
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19-01-2012, 08:58 PM
RE: What happens when we die?
I hate to sound like as ass, but to answer your question, "you die"
That's what happens when you die. You just die.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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21-01-2012, 02:23 AM
RE: What happens when we die?
How poetic... I know that. You think I'm an idiot?

The point of the question, "What happens when we die?," was what happens to the brain as it is shutting down? How does the turning off process actually work? That is why I believe that the "afterlife" is just a dream-like state before the brain eventually becomes so far damaged that it ceases to function. You didn't even read the discussion did you? You just read the headline and jumped to adding your two-cents as a weak, "you die, that's it." Come on man... Religious people will pride themselves on ignorance. Don't let us end up doing it too. You also pointed out what I was trying to discover... "You just die..." How? What occurs during death? The more we understand death, the better chances we have to "curing" it.

Yeah, I know. Now I sound like an ass. =p
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21-01-2012, 03:23 AM
RE: What happens when we die?
So, the dreams would explain what I have been seeing all over the internet and hearing about everywhere I go: Heaven is For REAL.

I've always thought that too, that there is some vivid subconscious stuff going on.

When I was knocked out to get my wisdom teeth pulled (why do we have those anyway?? Wink ) I felt so much love and peace, like I was blanketed in it. I thought I had slipped into heaven while I was 'out'. Ha ha! When I woke up I told all the nurses I loved them and they were special.

I can totally see how people 'come back' with great stories. Drugs and things in the hospital would NEVER cause that. Sucks when people come to with a bad trip though, there are fire and brimstone witnesses too.

Death can be a beautiful thing. It can be a freedom. Worse than death is pain. I have felt excruciating pain in my life. That is the only thing I really fear, I guess, since I know how unbearable pain can be at times. I am concerned about how painful it'll initially be before death and nothing. Hope I'm one of the lucky ones!
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21-01-2012, 01:22 PM
RE: What happens when we die?
(21-01-2012 03:23 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  When I was knocked out to get my wisdom teeth pulled (why do we have those anyway?? Wink ) I felt so much love and peace, like I was blanketed in it. I thought I had slipped into heaven while I was 'out'. Ha ha! When I woke up I told all the nurses I loved them and they were special.

Same thing happened to me when I had my colonoscopy. Then I asked them if I could have some of that shit to take home with me.

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.
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22-01-2012, 12:52 AM
RE: What happens when we die?
About exactly 1 year ago, a little shy. I for some reason had this really bad panic attack about death. I had already been an atheist at this point and had thought of this many times and the quotes like Mark Twain's "I do not fear death. I have been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and I have not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it" and Epicurus' "Death does not concern us because when we are alive, we are not dead, and when we are dead, we are not alive to contemplate that we are dead" (I have just butchered these quotes btw, but they give the message). These quotes....they always comforted me, but for some reason about a year ago... I thought I was losing my sanity.

Things that brought on the panic attack (i think):

I'm 22 now, 21 at the time, and someone my own age at a small private college of about 1000 that I attended had died. I did not know this person as a friend and I never really talked to him, but we did have a few classes together. His death alone however did not cause the panic attack. A while later I was watching this documentary on Netflix about these mountaineers. These guys were attempting this really hard mountain w/glaciers and it had those....uhh I don't know the name of them...the cracks in the ice that just go really deep down into the earth (something in which if you fall in...you're not getting out). Well one of these climbers fell into one of these. The guy began talking about what he was feeling at the time (they both survived this incident btw) and he mentioned that he was an atheist and he said that he thought he was going to die down there and that was it and he just started to cry and cry. At this moment in the documentary I intensely started to think about death and the "nothingness" of it all and at that moment the panic attack began. Again, I'm not sure why, its not like he said anything that I personally didn't already think was going to happen and I had at this point thought about all this stuff before.

For the next week I had this overwhelmingly anxiety from the panic attack. The only thing I could think about was death. I felt depressed that week. Later that week I went out with a friend to eat lunch, who is also an atheist, and he asked me what was wrong because he mentioned that I wasn't acting like my normal self. I told him what had happened after spending a while talking he was able to lift my "spirit" (hehe) a bit and help me feel better.

It's a year later now and I'm feeling back to my old self again, but I always think about this week. I know this isn't exactly examining "what happens after we die?", but its in the same category and wanted to share my story and possibly see if anyone else has had anything similar?

My second story comes from a surgery that I had in high school. So I was at the hospital lying in a bed in a prep room where they had all these cubicles in each cubicle was a different patient being preped for surgery...or some type of procedure. I remember lying there, my mom and dad were there with my and talking. Later my older sister arrived and began talking with our parents. This goes on for a little while and then all of a sudden...I am waking up. I mean instantaneously. If you've ever watched movies or tv shows where they show someone going into a trance and then coming back to consciousness hours later by just "cutting" the scene in the background and the person that was in the trance didn't realize any time had passed, this is exactly what happened to me. I have memory of lying in a bed being preped for surgery and then instantly as if no time had passed at all, I remember waking up and the nurse saying that the surgery was over (or something I don't remember exactly what she said). During this time I don't recall having any dreams...I don't even remember a nurse or doctor coming into my cubicle to give me anything that would have knocked me out.

This experience got me thinking about a "what if" scenario for death. What if when we die, it isn't actually forever and in fact, one day FAR FAR FAR into the future, we all "wake up" and live again (don't ask how, this is just a fictional/for fun scenario). I guess from the perspective of the person that had died, they must have been in the year 2011, died, but from the perspective instantly woke up in the year 40,000,000. We haven't experienced any dead people coming back yet, because humans haven't been around long enough to see it happen yet. So, if we did instantly wake up in the future (again, just from the dead persons perspective) it's like we never really died at all. Feel free to spread this as fact...

I dunno, I think about weird scenarios sometimes.

Also, the last thing I wanted to add was to bring up the centrifuges that fighter pilots test in. They mention very similar experiences to people that have claimed to see the light of heaven. I think most everyone here is going to agree that it is just visions the brain is giving to see these things.

So one last thing (I swear) I was trying to look up that recent story about that kid/teen boy that seen his death or boasted about it or something apparently. I was going to read that article and say something about that, but instead I came across an article about a girl murdered because some friends dared this guy to kill her, in exchange for a free breakfast. I bring this up because I almost wish that there was a way (and maybe this sounds bad, but after my experience I think it would make people properly understand the value of human life) to induce panic attacks about death in people. Since my experience last year I have never felt as much as I do now how valuable a human life is. Maybe one day when I start my own country I'll figure out a way to do that and make it a pre-req for joining.
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22-01-2012, 03:19 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2012 08:16 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What happens when we die?
(17-01-2012 08:38 AM)89ace Wrote:  Little is actually known by what happens during the process of death. It is probably why religion can be such a toxic force in modern life. What we do know [scientifically] is that the brain doesn't die along with the rest of the body. It is actually one of the last organs to shut down.

1. Wrong. A great deal IS known about what happens during the process of death. Obviously you have no clinical experience, or studied physiology.

2. The "toxic force" of religion arises from many sources. The fear of death MAY be one of those, however most religionists SAY they believe in heaven, (and hell), so that may or may not be true. You're guessing.

3. The third statement, (about "scientifically" knowing) that the brain "doesn't die along with the rest of the body" if false. ("Scientific" citation please).
What happens ? Cerebral hypoxia happens. Before actual death, it happens in varrying degrees. People stroke, and have brain injuries, of varrying severity, all the time. Eventually total brain anoxia/hypoxia happens. The process of oxygen desaturation procedes in ALL bodily organs the instant that the circulatory system is compromised. In some cases it can be reversed, (CPR, ventillator). Brains require 0-2 and glucose to "work", (among other things).

4. "but by then we'd have no control over the process".....exactly when do you ever "have control" over "the process" ?

5. As BuddyChrist pointed out, your statement "and we would just cease to exist at that point", has, as an underlying assumption, that there IS a "we" (or I, or you), somehow separate from oxygenated, or patially oxygenated, and otherwise nourished brain cells. Obviously there is no pain if the "nervous" system is not intact.


Oct. 6, 2009 -- A study of seven terminally ill patients found identical surges in brain activity moments before death, providing what may be physiological evidence of "out of body" experiences reported by people who survive near-death ordeals (http://science.howstuffworks.com/near-de...nce.htm)).

Doctors at George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates recorded brain activity (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/02...aves.html) of people dying from critical illnesses, such as cancer or heart attacks.
Moments before death (http://health.howstuffworks.com/dying.htm/printable), the patients experienced a burst in brain wave activity, with the spikes occurring at the same time before death and at comparable intensity and duration.
Writing in the October issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine, the doctors theorize that the brain surges may be tied to widely reported near-death experiences which typically involve spiritual or religious attributes.

At first, doctors thought the electrical surges picked up by electroencephalographs were caused by other machines or cell phones in the rooms of dying patients, lead author Lakhmir Chawla told Discovery News.
The EECs were being used to monitor patients' level of consciousness as doctors and families wrestle with end-of-life issues.

"We did it when patients want to withdraw life support, to make sure patients are comfortable, as we withdraw care," Chawla said.
The medical staff kept seeing spikes in patients' brain waves just before death.
"We thought 'Hey, that was odd. What was that?'" Chawla said. "We thought there was a cell phone or a machine on in the room that created this anomaly. But then we started removing things, turning off cell phones and machines, and we saw it was still happening."
The doctors believe they are seeing the brain's neurons (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/15...head.html) discharge as they lose oxygen from lack of blood pressure.

"All the neurons are connected together and when they lose oxygen, their ability to maintain electrical potential goes away," Chawla said. "I think when people lose all their blood flow, their neurons all fire in very close proximity and you get a big domino effect. We think this could explain the spike."
It's possible a cutoff of oxygen would trigger a similar but recoverable event that becomes seared into memory.

"Not everyone reports this light sort of business. What you hear most often reported (in near-death experiences) is just a vivid memory," Chawla said.
Brain researcher Kevin Nelson at the University of Kentucky, who studies near-death experiences, said it's well known that when the brain is abruptly deprived of blood flow it gives off a burst of high voltage energy.

"It's unlikely with conventional brain wave recordings during death that they're going to see something that hasn't been seen already," Nelson said.
Chawla and colleagues would like to follow up their case study with a larger pool of patients outfitted with more sophisticated brain activity sensors."

Source (http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/10/06...brain.html )

See also :


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22-01-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: What happens when we die?
you start to decompose and that's about it. I will get torched and I couldn't care less what they do with my ashes. If fact I don't care if they want to use my body for science. They can give my body to a bunch of necrophiliacs to have their way with me. I will be dead and it wont matter. I seen the funeral for the singer for the meatmen. They abused that body so much. It was the times!! I didn't get involved but I did see it. I was a roadie for them for awhile.
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