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Old September 17 2013, 01:54 AM   #196
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Re: What Happens After Death

I had a near-death experience when I was 3. It's my earliest memory.

I fell off a high, un railed porch and smashed my head open on a rock. Yay early-80s Tennessee building codes.

Anywho, I was knocked out. Woke up two days later. But I remember my mother running to me from next door (was at grandparents' neighbors) and hovering above my body.

Now, do I believe in something after this Earthly realm? No. I believe in things I can see and all those Ghosthunter shows on SyFy are uttershit. I'd be nice if I get to spend eternity with my Nanny and Papa and even my dear old cat Maggie, but that ain't happening. The most logical answer is that my brain was just going APESHIT after I got koncked. And it interpret what my tiny, terrified 3 year old brain wanted...which was my mom.

What will happen after I die? Well, a few minutes after my body gives out, my brain will be starved for oxygen and start to shut down. In this hallucinatory state all my endorphins are going to get released because...why not? It's going to make me very happy so I will again see all my loved ones and a bright light and I assume a thousand breasts.

Several hours after my last neuron fires off, I hit room temperature and the build up of carbon dioxide in my blood causes the acidity to make my cells burst. This is the beginning of the end for my corpse, as I've now started to rot. My wishes are to be cremated and spread over something majestic, but if I have just died in a field somewhere, my body is going to start digesting itself after the first 24-72 hours.

After a few days of that delightful image all those billions of bacteria that helped me digest food have turned against me. They've been eating me and expelling gas that has bloated what's left of me.

From there out it gets even worse. My hair, nails, and teeth will begin to fall out. After about two week of being living-impared, my skin would be able to just be pulled off...because I am simply meat.

That's of the dog hasn't gotten to me first.
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Old September 17 2013, 03:06 AM   #197
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Re: What Happens After Death

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
It's how the brain works. Religion is a form of superstition, and superstition is the result of pattern recognition and the fact that the brain does not get the whole picture. A lightning strikes just when you did something wrong. And suddenly there is the thought that someone watched you and caused that lighting strike. Because the brain badly WANTS to make sense of it. And the simplest explanation is that "someone did it".
Yes, I know that. It's all pareidolia. I'm sure I've mentioned an annoying amount of times that the quirks of imperfect perception (which include religion, superstition, and fallacious reasoning) are pretty much my favorite area of study.
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Old September 17 2013, 06:00 AM   #198
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Re: What Happens After Death

I've had an out of body experience during an acid trip. I floated away and felt no connection to my body. At one point, my body disappeared completely and I could barely describe myself as a being, I was an empty room.

Also at another point I wasn't sure if I were physically upstairs or downstairs. But my spirit was staring at the TV while Anchorman turned from live-action to a sort of cartoon.

The point is that the brain goes crazy from the slightest thing and we can find ourselves floating around and going to Heaven or looking up as the room dissolved into the Tardis interior.


Stay off drugs kids.
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Old September 17 2013, 06:00 AM   #199
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Re: What Happens After Death

I've had an out of body experience during an acid trip. I floated away and felt no connection to my body. At one point, my body disappeared completely and I could barely describe myself as a being, I was an empty room.

Also at another point I wasn't sure if I were physically upstairs or downstairs. But my spirit was staring at the TV while Anchorman turned from live-action to a sort of cartoon.

The point is that the brain goes crazy from the slightest thing and we can find ourselves floating around and going to Heaven or looking up as the room dissolved into the Tardis interior.


Stay off drugs kids.
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Old September 17 2013, 07:03 AM   #200
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Re: What Happens After Death

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
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I've always been fascinated with astronomy and cosmology.
If I had a Euro for every time I heard this, followed by some not-entirely accurate statement about space science, I'll be... well, not really a billionaire, but a comfortably wealthy man.
Please do enlighten me. I don't quite recall what Professor Kaku said on the science show, so I was paraphrasing.
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Old September 17 2013, 07:23 AM   #201
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Re: What Happens After Death

J. Allen wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I've always been fascinated with astronomy and cosmology. And to quote one of the scientists from How te Universe Works (or Through the Wormhole): "We are all stardust," born of supernovae that created the spark of life. So ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust ...
It was Sagan who famously said “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
Fear of what comes after. The fear of death can be a powerful motivator to believe that there is something beyond this life, that no, you don't have to end. That is the basis for many religions. The trappings were added later.
I would like to add that myths were conceived by ancient civilizations to make sense of the world and phenomena around them - life, death, birth, sunrise, sunset, light and darkness, etc. If early humans had the knowledge and understanding of everything that we do now, I doubt there would've been any use for religions at all. Yet the belief in a higher power is so ancient and is such a strong driving force that religion has become a way of life for many people all over the world. And I don't think it's going to disappear anytime soon, unless an asteroid suddenly happens to wipe humans off the face of the earth.
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Old September 17 2013, 07:37 AM   #202
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I've always been fascinated with astronomy and cosmology. And to quote one of the scientists from How the Universe Works (or Through the Wormhole): "We are all stardust," born of supernovae that created the spark of life. So ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust ...
It was Sagan who famously said “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
THIS. So much this. I think I was all off of seven or eight years old when I started going trough the science section in the school's library. I had already stopped believing in any kind of almighty God a year or so before, but I didn't really hit me why until I started going trough these books. It's because reality is more wondrous then the most beautiful fiction. Because the things we know already are so fantastic, how fantastic will not the things we are yet to discover be? What things might we not yet learn from the universe around us?

Look, I get that faith is something important to people. I agree that it is. But to me there's a stark difference between faith and religion. I have faith. Faith in my family, in myself at the best of days, and while it may sound naive ad optimistic, that there are good in many people. But the things that have been done and are being done in the name of religion frighten me.

Wow, that got real heavy. Conclusion: openness and discovery good, backward striving and hate bad. Oh and I should just get a tattoo of a "pale blue dot" and see how many get it.

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
I guess I sort of get that. I mean, I really wish there were an afterlife. But I wish I had great legs and a billion dollars too.
I kinda don't. I mean, yes, it's a fascinating thought and I would in all honesty want to the loved ones that are lost from me again. But that would somehow, to me, diminish this struggle that my current life is. Which sounds a bit fuzzy, I know, but that's how I feel.

Also, I never got to that when me met since you where so tired and didn't want to be all flirtatiously annoying, but honey, there ain't a thing wrong with your body
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Old September 17 2013, 08:23 AM   #203
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Re: What Happens After Death

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I've always been fascinated with astronomy and cosmology.
If I had a Euro for every time I heard this, followed by some not-entirely accurate statement about space science, I'll be... well, not really a billionaire, but a comfortably wealthy man.
Please do enlighten me. I don't quite recall what Professor Kaku said on the science show, so I was paraphrasing.
Well, I was mostly joking, but calling the synthesis of heavier elements in supernovae as "the spark of life" is sure poetical, but hardly accurate.
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Old September 17 2013, 08:44 AM   #204
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Re: What Happens After Death

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post

It was Sagan who famously said “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
Fear of what comes after. The fear of death can be a powerful motivator to believe that there is something beyond this life, that no, you don't have to end. That is the basis for many religions. The trappings were added later.
I would like to add that myths were conceived by ancient civilizations to make sense of the world and phenomena around them - life, death, birth, sunrise, sunset, light and darkness, etc. If early humans had the knowledge and understanding of everything that we do now, I doubt there would've been any use for religions at all. Yet the belief in a higher power is so ancient and is such a strong driving force that religion has become a way of life for many people all over the world. And I don't think it's going to disappear anytime soon, unless an asteroid suddenly happens to wipe humans off the face of the earth.
This is true. As someone who has grown up in a very fundamentalist family, I can verify that statement about religion being a way of life. Not believing is a completely foreign concept; it's the same as not breathing. I remember telling my mother that I was agnostic, and her response was "you still believe in Jesus, right?"

It's like that old joke, where a priest asks a man, "Are you Catholic or Protestant?" The man replies, "I'm an atheist."
A moment later the priest responds, "Okay, then, so are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?"

For many it seems to be a lifestyle, where every decision, every moment of life, centers around the concept of what a god or gods would want, and how their plan is supposed to play out for you.
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Old September 17 2013, 08:57 AM   #205
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
I, too, am speaking broadly and not to all religions and all believers: in my experience, those who cling to religion place a higher value on social standing and conformity than they do on understanding and discovery. To most people, the value of a concept is measured solely in terms of its utility to immediately serve people with a minimum of disruption. Frankly, I think most people are simply happier going with the flow and participating in what their families do and have always done than they would be facing the stark uncertainty that follows from what is actually known. Their goal is not understanding. Rather, it is stability.
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Old September 17 2013, 01:57 PM   #206
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Re: What Happens After Death

I was born Christian but after watching TNG as a kid I got into science. I started reading a lot and decided to read the bible (a good read from an mythological stand point) and found many contradictions. I went to my pastor, asked 'How would the bible explain dinosaur bones?', he replied 'The devil put them there to test your faith.', where I replied 'The devil has a TIME-MACHINE!?!', and my faith fell apart after that. As an agnostic, I looked into other religions, read a few other religious books, traced back the histories of religion (the Egyptian deity Horus debunked Jesus for me), and couldn't find anything that worked along with science. I'm not searching because of fear, in fact I don't fear death (and would rather see it coming), just curious to see if anyone is close to finding the equation for reality. I won't say their isn't a force out there keeping the universe in balance but even science can only go so far in explaining things.
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Old September 17 2013, 02:08 PM   #207
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Re: What Happens After Death

bbjeg wrote: View Post
I went to my pastor, asked 'How would the bible explain dinosaur bones?', he replied 'The devil put them there to test your faith.'
Your pastor was an idiot.
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Old September 17 2013, 02:13 PM   #208
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Re: What Happens After Death

^That's what I thought and I was young too, 12-14 years old.

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Old September 17 2013, 02:43 PM   #209
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I've always been fascinated with astronomy and cosmology. And to quote one of the scientists from How the Universe Works (or Through the Wormhole): "We are all stardust," born of supernovae that created the spark of life. So ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust ...
It was Sagan who famously said “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
My kids recently asked what everything is made of. They wanted to know what the actual "substance" of everything was. I explained that all the elements of which everything is built came from stars (except for hydrogen.) I had to explain it a couple times before they really got it, but once they did, they thought it was the coolest thing in the world. "You mean we're made out of stars?!"

"Not just you, but everything around you! We're all made of stars!"

"That's so cool!"
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Old September 17 2013, 05:32 PM   #210
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Re: What Happens After Death

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
If I had a Euro for every time I heard this, followed by some not-entirely accurate statement about space science, I'll be... well, not really a billionaire, but a comfortably wealthy man.
Please do enlighten me. I don't quite recall what Professor Kaku said on the science show, so I was paraphrasing.
Well, I was mostly joking, but calling the synthesis of heavier elements in supernovae as "the spark of life" is sure poetical, but hardly accurate.
You're right. I'm assuming what some scientists meant by the spark of life is that space debris from the explosion of a dying star could eventually lead to the formation of planets, such as Earth, that could sustain life. Meteors and asteroids are believed to carry building blocks of life, but that's just a theory.

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post

Fear of what comes after. The fear of death can be a powerful motivator to believe that there is something beyond this life, that no, you don't have to end. That is the basis for many religions. The trappings were added later.
I would like to add that myths were conceived by ancient civilizations to make sense of the world and phenomena around them - life, death, birth, sunrise, sunset, light and darkness, etc. If early humans had the knowledge and understanding of everything that we do now, I doubt there would've been any use for religions at all. Yet the belief in a higher power is so ancient and is such a strong driving force that religion has become a way of life for many people all over the world. And I don't think it's going to disappear anytime soon, unless an asteroid suddenly happens to wipe humans off the face of the earth.
This is true. As someone who has grown up in a very fundamentalist family, I can verify that statement about religion being a way of life. Not believing is a completely foreign concept; it's the same as not breathing. I remember telling my mother that I was agnostic, and her response was "you still believe in Jesus, right?"

It's like that old joke, where a priest asks a man, "Are you Catholic or Protestant?" The man replies, "I'm an atheist."
A moment later the priest responds, "Okay, then, so are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?"

For many it seems to be a lifestyle, where every decision, every moment of life, centers around the concept of what a god or gods would want, and how their plan is supposed to play out for you.
I grew up in a religious culture. I was born and raised in a predominantly Catholic country in southeastern Asia, where I still remember the amalgamated traditions and customs of a devout Christian society. Half of my family was Catholic; the other half, independent congregationalist.

And believe me, I've questioned my faith many, many times, but the belief in a higher power is often strongly embedded in the psyche; it's almost hardwired (at least for people who were brought up in religious homes).
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