Life after death thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Gonzalez, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    I'll start it with an article (yes, I'm bored today and been reading much stuff in the internets), but don't feel limited to just discussing the article, feel free to share your own oppinions, you know, like philosophical existentialism and such.

    First hint of 'life after death' in biggest ever scientific study

    It does mention that brain activity stops after 30 seconds of the hearth stopping, and that the patiens are apparently conscious of actual stuff happening around them. So, if it's just hallucinations, how come they happen 30 seconds after brain activity should have stopped and they describe the what happened during this time?

    Also, I know, lots of controversy, but at least it's not political controversy. You know, to change subject every once in a while. ;)
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  2. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    Reads like science journalism usually does with a very provocative title to grab interest.
    What actually is being said is that people are aware despite being clinically dead. Which doesn't technically mean brain death.

    I also suspect this isn't really shocking news either. This is an old hat, just supposedly with a larger sample size.

    The human mind is absurdly powerful even when you're not half-dead or drugged. I've remembered hallucinations I've had coming out of half-sleep or cognitive biases my brain filled in out the corner of my eyes. To say nothing of stories I've heard of people coming off ketamine.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  3. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    They did say brain activity ceases after 30 seconds of clinical death, and that they show awareness of things way after that. And besides, why would actual scientists keep bothering researching the topic so much if it can be dismissed as simply and fast as you did just now, would they not have realized it was a waste of time if it was that obvious.

    It also says that the usual dismissals by other scientists, like the one you mentioned about hallucinations, are based on cases from 20 years ago and that there has been a lot more reaserch ever since.
  4. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    Which means what exactly? That it was believed to persist only up to 30 seconds but was found to be longer or that curiously, that only some parts of the brain shut down but subconscious awareness still operates?

    Honestly, if you're trying to drive at the notion of a soul, that I dismiss. If the claim is simply that the human brain/mind is more resilient than we thought, that I'll buy.

    And of course hallucinations can correspond to real events. But out of body experiences doesn't let people read writing on pieces of paper placed on top of cabinets and the like. That much has already been proven.

    Synesthesia can produce very high-functioning hallucinations. (Extremely high empathy. Hearing colors for the ideal pitch in music. Doing math with drawn shapes.) These things correspond to real things, they just aren't perceived normally.

    My brother's ketamine experience was him seeing the world in low-resolution pixellation and an extremely warped perception of time. But neither of us could decide whether that was some fundamental way his brain operated or if it was his subjective impression of his memories. Of course the things he saw corresponded to real events. That's a big "duh."

    The guy really reeks of bias and I don't trust pop journalism of this sort. Really odd, because in the age of the internet, you're not limited to writing newspaper articles anymore. You can directly link out to sources or host them on your site.

    Actually I quickly checked Sam Parnia, who was mentioned in the article.
    Evidently, he was that guy that did that experiment with the writing and out-of-body experiences.

    My opinion is that he's exploring the experience of clinical death but the article wants to shape the opinion to controversy where there is none. In other words, it's typical science reporting.

    I actually searched "controvers" as a word search on the article and guess who says it's controversial?
    The author. Fuck her with a jagged rebar. She's a biased party, quote-mining to her own convenience. Typical really. I'm not surprised.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  5. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    We can argue all day long about near death experiences, but what I will not accept is the notion that Wikipedia is "citing the source", and calling it more reliable than news articles when you can scroll down to verify that is Wikipedia that cites sources instead of being one and that much of that sources are news articles in media like Spiegel or Time.

    Seriously, since when Wikipedia became the source for ANYTHING, it's as biased as any media and even more if possible, and any serious article on it will cite the actual sources. I bet there is even a big disclaimer in the site if I remember correctly about Wikipedia not holding itself responsible for the veracity of it's articles because they are written by all sorts of collaborators and not everything can be checked.

    So what's with everyone citing Wikipedia as the end all be all source of human knowledge.

    That being said I posted the article more as catalyst to spark a discussion about the possibility of life after death, philosophical discussions encouraged, so if you are going to up front deny the posibility altogether it makes for a lame discussion on the subject.

    I have yet to find any evidence that even sugest the posibility of such thing, but then again how can there be any evidence if no one ever actually returned from death, at most they were close to die but didn't, as you very well explained. Yet I'm open to the posibility of it's existance, if anything because it's more interesting than just assuming that it's the end ad that's it, then we would have nothing to discuss.

    Also the fact that it's a mystery, no one can know, not for sure anyway, since no one has came back from it and can actually confirm or deny it either way. No one has to prove death is the end, it's self evident, what's more interesting is if it were otherwise.

    Also existencialism and philosophical discussion about death is interesting. Why is there anything, what is the necesity for anything to exist, just like death, wouldn't it just be more natural to assume there is nothing after it, wouldn't it be more logical nothing existed in the first place if it didn't had a purpose or a reason.

    But of course if you refuse to ask yourself these questions up front then, well, bummer. ;)
  6. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Ugh, I hate articles about scientific papers that DON'T FUCKING LINK THE PAPER OR EVEN GIVE THE NAME.
    An interesting study to say the least. I like their test on out-of-body experiences, which apparently showed that, well, there were none.
    They basically set up pictures out of sight of the patient, so the patient couldn't have seen them when he or she was awake, but could have seen them in an OOB experience. The results were negative on that one.
    I haven't read the whole paper (expensive...), but it seems that it certainly challenges the current definition of brain death and clinical death, or at least how and where we think the consciousness works in the brain.
    The set point for complete loss of brain functionality after 30 seconds of loss of oxygenation seems weird to me. There's certainly loss of consciousness, but I don't know how they really measured it. 30 seconds seems to be too short for functional MRI to measure properly, maybe EEG? But that might not detect brain functionality deeper within the brain, so personally I think there's the possibility that there's significant amount of subconscious (or rather, dream-like) brain activity still going on, much longer than usually anticipated.
    The study, as far as I can tell, show no evidence that there's any form of afterlife or even any element of the consciousness that's not strictly biological. That Telegraph-article is certainly sensationalist (from the Telegraph! I'm shocked!), but although the paper is interesting it's nothing that really impacts the world outside neuroscience in any way.

    As for why Wikipedia is used as a source, well, they do provide sources themselves that you can check out. Everyone has to find out themselves if they want to trust Wikipedia, but their articles are usually easy to fact-check.
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  7. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    The Telegraph has no sources at all.
    People like to dump on Wikipedia but it's usually better researched and sourced than 99% of the random clickbait garbage out there. Which is just sad.
    And as stated, you can just scroll to the bottom and click on links.

    And I made my contribution.
    I dismiss souls as an explanation because it has no evidence for it and it's an unnecessary explanation.

    I mean that's really all a lot of this sort of thing comes down to:
    Is it an ad hoc hypothesis or propped up by ad hoc?
    Can Occam's Razor be applied?
    Are a lot of people believing this thing because of wishful thinking?
    If you answer "yes" to all three questions, it's probably, if not necessarily, going to be bullshit.

    And until such burden of proof is met, I'm going to dismiss it with the same disregard I give to, I dunno, pixies and Roswell conspiracies.

    Okay, fine. I'll bite.

    Existentialism and teleology are far-gone opposites. Teleology looks for the purpose of objects or things or beings. (Essence precedes existence.)
    Existentialism says that purpose is subjective and doesn't inform the nature of anything. (Existence precedes essence.)

    Religion often adheres to teleology. (Humanity exists because God has a purpose for Man.)
    Existentialism says that you just exist and purpose is invented after. (God is the invention of Man.)

    A cat isn't a cat because it is a cat by design or because there is some high writ in some realm of ideal forms. That's just what we call the bulk animal after all the genes and cellular stuff gets done with. Fundamentally, it isn't biochemically different from humans. We assign the category and distinction from ourselves for convenience. That is a psychological idolatry we are projecting on the cat.

    And yeah, I subscribe to existentialism.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  8. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    I know people here have messed with OOB before, there was a post about it. What do you guys have to say?
  9. DVL

    DVL Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 19, 2015
    See above. It can't let you find targets or know about them. I can doodle a smiley face on a piece of paper and put it on top of a cabinet outside of your line of sight. You can't see it with OOB and tell me it's a smiley face.

    Hallucinations, can of course, correspond to real things. (Again, see above.)
    Your mind, technically speaking, is one giant hallucination that just follows the biological norm. Again see above about synesthesia. There's nothing objectively that makes color correspond to sight. It doesn't have to. You can very well program an organism to taste colors and have it be evolutionarily adaptable where it regards the ability to eat food. It just didn't shake out that way.

    I was once convinced I had something scurrying about under my clothes when I woke up, I panicked and started yelling, "get it off me, get it off me." But nothing was there. No animal at all. And no place it could have gone off to, especially given the size I believed it to be. No corpse at all from my swatting at it and killing it.
    That's how powerful your brain is. And mind, you that's just me being half-asleep.
    That seems dysfunctional, but your brain has to be that active and powerful for you to function at all. It's just maladaptable sometimes.
    You need to be able to imagine a predator rustling in the bushes. And your brain does, in fact, have a framerate and smooths out the images from different frames in motion. You just don't notice most the time. (I'll try to dig up a video that demonstrates this concept.)

    OOB are hallucinations. And for the most part, not even a very functional one.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  10. Ragemage

    Ragemage Wept for Zion

    Feb 20, 2016
    *shrug* I'm a practicing Catholic, raised Methodist and was Agnostic in my teen years until certain events happened in my life, so I believe life after death = Heaven. No complicated philisophical arguments/scientific debates for me, haha. I'm perfectly content with God and the idea of Heaven. I understand that's not compatible with a lot of peoples' thinking nowadays though, but hey, to each his own.
  11. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    I don't believe in life after death. You simply cease to exist. Whatever that means. I believe that our "self" is made up from the parts of our body, especially obviously the brain. Once the brain dies, it's game over for you & "you" cease to exist.

    As for OOB experiences, life flashing before your eyes, time slowing down/speeding up and other such experiences, the brain is very adept at filling in blanks and making assumptions. Dangerously so. A lot of what we see in our daily lives is conjecture by our brain. Memory is even worse and is easy to mold.
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  12. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    While not going to totally dismiss the idea of Life After Death, I find it kind of absurd to think that there would be a part of you that suddenly leaves your body as you die, as if death was something more than your heart/brain stopping.

    Reading through the article, it seems to cite near death experiences. While the OOB aspect seems kinda mysterious , I don't think we can use any other parts of the experience as evidence for anything supernatural, as the experience of an afterlife could just be a hallucination. Plus there has been a helmet designed to mimic forms of spiritual experience recently:
  13. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    I envy people who can "just believe" there is a heaven and all that, I could never do that, just assume it exists because I have been told by someone, etc. I'd like to know what motivates their belief or makes them assume those things exist or if they have had some sort of revelation or ephiphany about it.

    However the knowing of one's mortality and that death is the non existance of oneself leaves me with a bunch of philosophical problems. Why is there something instead of nothing? Someone said because of God, but that's cheating, I can't be satisfied with that, and I can't get over the fact there are no resons for anything to exist, not to mention there is no real way I can know anything I perceive exists beyond my mind.

    If we are going to get strict about death and say there is nothing after because there is no way of knowing, then it's the same for external reality, if you really want to be honest with yourself you have to admit there is the possibility that nothing exists outside your mind, for external reality to exist you have to "assume" it does, at least you have to if you want to be 100% sure, and since you have to assume it you can never be 100% sure of it.

    Also, why should I care about the future if there is nothing but an eternity of non existance after that, and why should I care for anyone around me or what is going to happen to me if they will stop existing along with me the moment I stop existing, since there is no way I will be able to percieve them beining dead. Sure, you can "assume" they'll keep existing after you are gone, but why does it matter when you won't be there to experience any of that, the whole universe may as well disappear after you are gone, makes no difference really.
  14. kraag

    kraag Stalwart Prick

    Dec 26, 2015
  15. Ragemage

    Ragemage Wept for Zion

    Feb 20, 2016
    For me, it isn't "just believing". There's lots of little things that point towards there being a God and eternal paradise hereafter. One of the most interesting things I find that helps me believe is, have you ever looked at an evolutionary chart of how the world formed? Like just a simplified chart that breaks everything down to the order it formed in. I thought it was very cool how this chart lined up with exactly how God made the world as recorded in Genesis. In the beginning there was nothing but empty space, then, in relation to us, the Sun formed, giving us light, followed by the seas and the sky, followed thereafter by land masses forming, followed by all living things, and last but not least, humanity. Plus there's the fact that, in the original Bible, "days" does not mean days as we percieve it, but rather "ages", as in, years. Lots of years. Not really sure why nowadays people see it as literally meaning 6 24 hour days when that isn't what the original Bible says. No, for all we know, ages can = millions of years as recorded by evolution. Don't buy into what the "evangelicals" say, try reading the original scripture before corrupted people started trying to alter it to fit their views. Things like that, science and the Bible matching each other, that really helps me believe every day.

    Plus there's all the different archeological discoveries that relate back to the Bible. Did you know that by finding what's believed to be the site of Abraham's origin, we also found the city of Ur, which was believed to be a myth/allegorical city beforehand? It's kinda like how those archeologists found the city of Troy a while back.

    I'm not saying anything's set in stone, the Bible could be true, it may not be true, but there's lots and lots of nuggets of truth in that old book if you're willing to look. I choose to believe. In the end who can say who's right or wrong? Either way we all die, so I choose the path that makes the most logical sense to me. I just can't look outside my window or look at all the beauty in the world, the stars, space, the ocean, etc and believe it simply came about by pure chance, 2 particles colliding together in space and just suddenly creating everything. I believe we're here for a reason, and that's how I view the world.
  16. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    Well, for me "choosing" to believe is kind like that scene in that Woody Allen film where the guy converts to several religions just to believe in something otherwise everything is meaningless. And like in that scene, in the end, there is no way we can know, all we have left is live our life while it lasts.

    So for me it's the ultimate mystery. And yes, I call it a mystery, because I don't find it as easy to just say: "after you die that's the end so there is no mystery, there, it's solved", precisely because of the philosophical questions that arises on itself, especially the forementioned "why is there something instead of nothing", because if everything is just an accident and there is no meaning or reason for anything to exist, shouldn't the natural state of thing be nothingness?

    I mean, I cannot even imagine nothingness. At first I thought it would be boring, because an eternity of nothingness sounds boring alrigth. But if there really is nothing how can you be bored, isn't boredness something?

    And then I think, is the concept of nothingness so dreadful that the dying brain creates these illusions of heaven and dead relatives just to help us not go insane while dying? I mean, nothingness is scary, but it sure beats hell, shouldn't that be more scary? And there is people in near death experiences that describe hell. It's like this brain imprint that across religions and cultures reasures the near dead that there is something wonderful on the other side and when they come back from that they are not afraid of death anymore because of what awaits them. You got to admit, that on itself is quite intriguing.
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  17. The Vault Dweller

    The Vault Dweller always looking for water.

    Aug 24, 2004
    Gonzalez great topic and a great way to give it a catalyst with that study (since normally this topic ends up being "either you believe or don't").

    As far as the study goes no one is sure at what point the brain stops being active separate from other organs (such as the heart) and as SuAside quite well pointed out the mind is great at filling in gaps with false "memories".

    I like the idea of an afterlife, because believing that everything a person experiences is wholly and immediately "lost" upon death is the saddest thing possible. Not much less bad than that is a persons actions and thoughts having to be preoccupied with worry about an inevitable fate.

    It's an especially notable topic for me since family/friends have been both heavily grounded in reality and deeply spiritual including more than a few scientists and religious professionals. I'd like to point out those aren't always mutually exclusive and when they are it's much more often a religious person refusing any logic or reason rather than someone realistic claiming there can't possibly be a soul.

    I've made a lot of sacrifices in my life for the sake of improving the world around me with the idea that a God has his pain lessened through my actions and looks favorably upon me and will compensate me somehow, but (I've thought this forever) I'll never know until I get to meet them and by then it would be too late if I'm wrong.
  18. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    There is life after death.

    When you die, you rot. Maggots eat your body, your remains. Your organic remains serve as nutrients to the maggots and serve as production basis for their reproductive cells. The maggots reproduce, their seed having originated from your rotten carcass. A new maggot is born, a great and foul beast, a...Worm.

    And then generations later your organic compounds serve to create a great sandworm. The circle of life is completed. Worm Ouroboros bites down on its body, and you are just the thread in its great cyclic nature. You are the toxic breath of Jormungandr. You are death, the destroyer of worlds.

    "...That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
    And its hero, the Conqueror Worm."
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  19. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2004
    Meat-world is useless and I couldn't care less about it. Mind is all I care, once my consciousness is gone, you, your children, everything you and everyone else ever were and meant, the entire universe and existance itself is going to be gone with it, the worm too. For I cannot experience the universe from anything else that is not me.

    Unless I can, but there is no satisfactory evidence of it for me to believe it.

    Hell, there is no actual evidence for me to believe meat-world even exists, and perhaps that's a good thing because death migth just be my imagination after all.

    What is reality?

    Perhaps this?

    Found this on the nets. Interesting. So there is a theory that everything we do in life, like career and such is just to deny the dread of existencialism. Postpone realizing we are all on death row ever since the day we are born. "Terror management theory, developed by Jeff Greenberg, Sheldon Solomon and Tom Pyszczynski in 1986, stands as the most widely researched existential theory in psychology. This theory of motivation posits that much of what people do, such as choosing mates and careers, can be viewed as attempts to suppress thoughts of mortality from conscious awareness and to quell existential anxiety. More than 300 experiments have provided support for this theory."

    I call your bluff dear atheists! You accuse believers of life after death to delude themselves in false imaginary things created by an hallucinating mind, but in turn you delude yourselves with symbolic immortality!

    None of those provide solstice to me, since I care for neither. When I'm gone little will I care about the rest of the universe after I'm gone, for I will not be there to experience it.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    The concept of an "after life" has always been a self told lie. Truth is, no matter how much you want to deny it, this Atom based world is what you get. Life is finite and it's up to you what you did with it. Some might find this "pessimistic" but I think waiting for death and thinking life as meaningless is far more depressing and fatalistic.