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Old September 18 2013, 05:45 AM   #226
CorporalCaptain
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Re: What Happens After Death

Oh, if we are entertaining the notion of souls, I didn't realize that Occam's razor was going to be a serious consideration.
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Old September 18 2013, 02:23 PM   #227
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Re: What Happens After Death

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Oh, if we are entertaining the notion of souls, I didn't realize that Occam's razor was going to be a serious consideration.
Wait...why not? Occam's razor should always be a serious consideration!
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Old September 18 2013, 02:43 PM   #228
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
bbjeg wrote: View Post
^I believe in magic, though it's not the magic most people assume.

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
... We can test if a spirit leaves the body in the form of energy upon death (and we have, and it doesn't).


I'm with everything else you said but I think I never got behind that study because I never looked at it as the soul leaving the body. I looked at it more like the body being no longer able to produce a soul.
But do you think the soul survives? How can something survive when the thing that produces it can no longer produce it?
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Old September 18 2013, 03:26 PM   #229
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Oh, if we are entertaining the notion of souls, I didn't realize that Occam's razor was going to be a serious consideration.
Wait...why not? Occam's razor should always be a serious consideration!
Then why accept souls for consideration in the first place?

Or, to put it more clearly, exactly what is it that needs explaining, by assuming souls exist?
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Old September 18 2013, 03:51 PM   #230
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
How can something survive when the thing that produces it can no longer produce it?
That's where the conservation of energy and information comes into play for me.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:06 PM   #231
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Re: What Happens After Death

bbjeg wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
How can something survive when the thing that produces it can no longer produce it?
That's where the conservation of energy and information comes into play for me.
Can you explain what you mean by that? The energy in your brain is consumed by it. Once your body isn't producing any more, your brain doesn't work. Any information contained in it remains there, at least until the brain structurally degrades.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:35 PM   #232
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Re: What Happens After Death

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Oh, if we are entertaining the notion of souls, I didn't realize that Occam's razor was going to be a serious consideration.
Wait...why not? Occam's razor should always be a serious consideration!
Then why accept souls for consideration in the first place?

Or, to put it more clearly, exactly what is it that needs explaining, by assuming souls exist?
Well, I don't accept souls for consideration since I don't think they exist, but other people do. I do think souls exist in a metaphorical sense: soul therefore, is just another term for mind or consciousness, or maybe self. So, if we are attempting to explain the self, and therefore attempting to explain the soul, then we should apply Occam's razor. However, we must apply it in the true sense and not the colloquial understanding: The simplest explanation is the most likely to be true really means the explanation that makes the fewest new assumptions about nature is most likely to be true. So, let's examine the hypotheses:
1. The soul is an emergent property based in the physical construction of the brain, and it does not persist in any form after death.
2. The soul exists independently of the physical construction of the brain in some way -- either as a product of the brain/body that is capable of moving on upon death after reaching a level of maturity, or it is dualistic in nature, and occupies the body for a period of time, moving on upon death.

On the surface the former does appear to be the more complicated hypothesis. The question of how the brain generates the self is a difficult one to even think about, let alone try to answer. But when we apply the razor to the nature of the soul then we must conclude that first is true, because to assume that the soul is anything otherwise requires us to make too many new assumptions about reality: we'd basically have to conclude that everything we know about physics is pretty much wrong, and we have to invent an entirely other reality that either redefines our reality or exists along side it.

bbjeg wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
How can something survive when the thing that produces it can no longer produce it?
That's where the conservation of energy and information comes into play for me.
Except, as we covered earlier in the thread, conservation of energy is completely irrelevant to the notion of souls.
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Old September 18 2013, 04:42 PM   #233
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Re: What Happens After Death

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
bbjeg wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post
How can something survive when the thing that produces it can no longer produce it?
That's where the conservation of energy and information comes into play for me.
Can you explain what you mean by that? The energy in your brain is consumed by it. Once your body isn't producing any more, your brain doesn't work. Any information contained in it remains there, at least until the brain structurally degrades.
I explained it (kinda) before. I described it as; the energy and knowledge my body produces while alive is collectively stored elsewhere (dimensionally perhaps), with the circuit (soul) being completed upon death. This isn't a strong belief of mine, just another guess piled with the rest I discovered. I couldn't tell you how a plain of existence built on thought works, I imagine it'll be inconceivable for linear-time corporeal beings such as ourselves.

Last edited by bbjeg; September 18 2013 at 04:59 PM.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:04 PM   #234
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Re: What Happens After Death

^So, dualism, then?
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Old September 18 2013, 05:15 PM   #235
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Oh, if we are entertaining the notion of souls, I didn't realize that Occam's razor was going to be a serious consideration.
Wait...why not? Occam's razor should always be a serious consideration!
As should Occam's shaving brush & mirror.

(I hope Occam never gets seriously cut when applying that razor he loves so much... )
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Old September 18 2013, 05:19 PM   #236
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Re: What Happens After Death

That reminds me, maybe I should get an actual razor blade at some point...
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Old September 18 2013, 05:23 PM   #237
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Re: What Happens After Death

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
thestrangequark wrote: View Post

Wait...why not? Occam's razor should always be a serious consideration!
Then why accept souls for consideration in the first place?

Or, to put it more clearly, exactly what is it that needs explaining, by assuming souls exist?
Well, I don't accept souls for consideration since I don't think they exist, but other people do. I do think souls exist in a metaphorical sense: soul therefore, is just another term for mind or consciousness, or maybe self. So, if we are attempting to explain the self, and therefore attempting to explain the soul, then we should apply Occam's razor. However, we must apply it in the true sense and not the colloquial understanding: The simplest explanation is the most likely to be true really means the explanation that makes the fewest new assumptions about nature is most likely to be true. So, let's examine the hypotheses:
1. The soul is an emergent property based in the physical construction of the brain, and it does not persist in any form after death.
2. The soul exists independently of the physical construction of the brain in some way -- either as a product of the brain/body that is capable of moving on upon death after reaching a level of maturity, or it is dualistic in nature, and occupies the body for a period of time, moving on upon death.

On the surface the former does appear to be the more complicated hypothesis. The question of how the brain generates the self is a difficult one to even think about, let alone try to answer. But when we apply the razor to the nature of the soul then we must conclude that first is true, because to assume that the soul is anything otherwise requires us to make too many new assumptions about reality: we'd basically have to conclude that everything we know about physics is pretty much wrong, and we have to invent an entirely other reality that either redefines our reality or exists along side it.
Beautifully expressed, and my point exactly. But there is no need to be overly generous here and salvage a term that normally has an irrational meaning. In your #1, you're really redefining soul, so that the term can be used in a sensible manner that is backed by the evidence as it stands. There's no real need for that. Of course, one might also argue that the term, as it is normally used, really has no exact definition, and you're just providing one. But that's sort of disingenuous, because according to its normal usage in Western culture, souls persist after death.
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Old September 18 2013, 05:42 PM   #238
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Re: What Happens After Death

^I think those two hypotheses could be seen as the opposing definitions for soul, the first is the rational definition, and the second the irrational (and classic) definition.
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Old September 18 2013, 06:26 PM   #239
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Re: What Happens After Death

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^I think those two hypotheses could be seen as the opposing definitions for soul, the first is the rational definition, and the second the irrational (and classic) definition.
I think your #1 really more closely captures what we think of as "consciousness". "Soul" is such a loaded term that I'm loath to hijack or appropriate it for this context.

Consciousness doesn't capture all the nuances of the usage of the term soul, in particular in Christian theology (I can't really comment on how the term is used in other religions). For one thing, being immortal is an intrinsic property of a soul. For another, so is it being incorporeal.
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Old September 18 2013, 06:34 PM   #240
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Re: What Happens After Death

^And I think those nuances would be captured in the irrational definition. I think that the rational definition assumes that all things we think of as soul either exist as a product of the brain (self, morality, thoughts and feelings, etc), or don't exist at all (immortality, being incorporea, etc.l)..
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