What Happens After Death

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Into Darkness, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Sounds almost like you are trying explain how people just got it wrong for all those thousands of years, it seems by claiming implicitly that what they thought was going on according to definition #2 was really going on according to definition #1. Just proving that would be at least someone's life work, right there. Part of my resistance is I don't want such an implicit claim to slide by; it really needs to be proven. Trouble is, I doubt it can be. Why not just stick to relatively less loaded and more neutral terms, such as "consciousness"?
     
  2. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I'm not being implicit at all. I absolutely contend that what people believed was going on in definition #2 was all along caused by definition #1, and I absolutely contend that people just got it wrong for thousands of years. And there is nothing surprising about the notion that people could have gotten something wrong about nature for thousands of years...there are innumerable examples of how getting it wrong is a definitive part of our own nature as humans. For thousands of years we thought illness was caused by imbalances of humors rather than pathogens. For thousands of years the Egyptians thought the mind was based in the heart and that the brain's job was regulating body temperature. For thousands of years we thought everything was composed of four elements. We thought fossils were inherent patterns of nature and not the remains of ancient organisms. We thought mental illness originated in the uterus. We thought the heavenly bodies were gods. If people are good at anything, it is getting it wrong for thousands of years. To believe that a claim has weight or value just because people have believed it to be true for thousands of years is a logical fallacy: the Appeal to Antiquity (a form of the Appeal to Popularity).

    As for proof; specifically because of Occam's razor, the burden of proof is not on me to disprove the claims of those who believe in paranormal souls, it is on them to prove. The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim that is contrary to, or most at odds with reality, and the more new assumptions about reality such a claim requires, the more evidence is required to support it. "Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence," and all.

    So while I cannot necessarily prove there is no paranormal soul (and this refers back to my earlier post about unfalsifiable claims), that doesn't really matter, because nature doesn't call for a soul to even exist. On the other hand, as I said before, if one wants to argue the existence of souls other than just another term for 'self' or 'consciousness', then one must create a whole new reality in order to fit them in. And again, just because something cannot be disproven, that's not a very good reason to believe in it.

    As for why I don't stick to the unloaded term...the conversation is about afterlife and souls, why would I use another word?
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry for the confusion, but I think you do have a burden of proof. To assert your claim that people got it wrong and your new definition is the right one, you have to slog through all the ancient and medieval philosophers' work, to be certain that your revised definition really captures what they were talking about, whatever misconceptions they had aside, and you have to be sure that there isn't something else that is valid, which their definition encompasses but yours does not.

    Otherwise, and this is the key point, you can't assert that your version of it is really a correction, as opposed to something similar but also something else entirely.

    Additionally, it's as if you wanted to redefine God as, say, the Big Bang. Doing that doesn't get you anywhere, and moreover things remain mired in the superstitious. It seems a bizarre and needless thing to do.

    I think there is some aspect in the irrational usage according to #2 that could be valid but which is not captured by your rationalization in #1, or I might not care as much. Ancient and medieval philosophers got a lot wrong, but they were still, by and large, just as intelligent as we are.
     
  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I was under the impression that the way it works is that, when we die, our souls remain in the body until the Rapture described in Revelation, when we all rise and are judged at the Second Coming. THEN we depart to our final destinations. ...As I recall the Scripture, anyway...
     
  5. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    The title of the thread is "What happens after death" ie what actually happens, your grown up fairy stories are your personal take on it, but not what the title asks for.
     
  6. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    And since nobody REALLY knows for certain, with irrefutable proof, anything goes!
     
  7. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    No, you're still using the Appeal to Antiquity as the foundation of your claim. There is no validity in a claim just because it has been believed by many people over a long period of time. As I demonstrated with the examples in my previous post, we have a habit of getting things wrong a lot more often and for a lot longer than getting things right. The burden of proof is still on those who are making new assumptions about reality.
    Except that my assertion is not made to correct previous beliefs, it just happens to do so. It is an observation based on scientific experimentation. My assertion makes no new assumptions about reality, it simply states what has thus far been observed (there are no souls, there is no afterlife).

    As an analogy, imagine that I did not know that the Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart was the center of the mind and the brain was a cooling system. Imagine I wanted to figure out which organ produced the mind, so I conducted a series of observations and experiments that showed me that stimulating, changing, or damaging the brain causes changes in thought and personality, but changes to the heart and other organs do not change thought and personality. From these experiments I concluded that the brain is where the mind is generated, and the heart is not. Would you say that this conclusion is wrong because for thousands of years many people believed the mind came from the heart? Bearing in ming that Hypothetical tsq has no knowledge of the Egyptian belief, would you consider her hypothesis as an attempt to correct that belief? If Hypothetical tsq were to meet an ancient Egyptian and he asserted that the heart is the organ of the mind, then would not the burden of proof is upon him?

    For another analogy, take Russell's Teapot. Russell said there is a magical teapot in orbit around the earth that is undetectable by any instrument or technique, and this teapot magically affects human activity. Russell added something to nature by claiming there was a teapot, and so the burden is upon him to prove the teapot. Likewise, by claiming there are souls, you are adding something to nature, and so the burden of proof is on you.
    You're begging the question, in other words, your conclusion is in your premis. I am not redefining the soul, I'm describing natural phenomena that have been mistakenly described as the soul. People used to believe that giraffs were the result of a camel mating with a leopard. Recognizing that the giraffe is a distinct species does not change the animal, it just improves our understanding of it.

    Again, the notions of gods and souls are unnecessary. We can explain things without them, and to accomodate them, we must add unnecessarily complicated new assumptions about reality.
    ETA: A better analogy might be Santa Claus. Imagine you have never heard of Christmas. You observe that treats left out overnight are eaten, and gifts appear under the tree in the morning. You have no knowledge of the myth of Santa, so next Christmas you conduct an observation, and watch as the parents eat the cookies and leave the gifts. Later you learn that the kids believe that a magical figure called Santa is responsible. You remember your observations and think "Oh, Santa, along with all his magical powers, was made up to explain phenomena the kids didn't understand." I look at souls and think, oh, there's the mythology people invented to explain what they didn't understand. Their mythology has no relevance to my observations.
    When have I claimed that they were less intelligent? One of my major points is that it is human nature to get things wrong. Fortunately, we developed a tool that works pretty darn well to counteract that nature: science.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, every Protestant denomination I'm aware of (mine included - I'm Lutheran) teaches that the soul goes immediately to its final destination upon death.
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, and that, in its entirety, is exactly all I said that you had a burden to prove, since you are making that claim. All the other stuff you've brought up, such as accusing me of appealing to tradition, evidently you've done so because you've utterly missed my point there. What I said was, to assert that claim which I've quoted, as a thesis, there is actually a lot to check, and doing so would occupy a diligent researcher for a lifetime. I'm certainly skeptical that your notion of soul encompasses all of what the ancients meant when they said soul, immortal and incorporeal aside.
     
  10. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    Hmmm... Perhaps I'm thinking of the Catholic dogma.
     
  11. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    No, you're still the one utterly missing the point. And please, do show me where I've made an Appeal to Antiquity or Appeal to Popularity. I'm afraid it is impossible, as I have not, where I have pointed out explicitly and obviously that your claim is rooted in the Appeal to Antiquity (and it continues to be even with this latest post). You still don't get that the outrageous claim is not that there is no soul, but that there is. I'm sorry, but this is fairly basic stuff -- I must be explaining it poorly. Maybe this will explain it better than I can:
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KayBys8gaJY[/yt]

    ETA: The debate discussed in the video is primarily about god, but it is applicable to debating souls.
     
  12. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    No, sorry, it's you who don't get what I'm saying.

    I never said that the claim that there is a soul is less outrageous than the claim that there is not one. That doesn't relate at all to what burden of proof I think you have.

    If you've been paying attention, I already said that I don't believe in the classical soul.

    One more time, again: The burden of proof is on you to show that your rational definition #1 is a reasonable substitute for classical conception #2, or else why hijack the term soul in the first place to denote #1, when a term like consciousness would probably do better.

    The burden is on you to show that, especially since you claimed, at least implicitly, that you are alluding to the same thing that classical philosophers were. It is that very claim, that you are alluding to the same thing, that I'm highly skeptical of, and which requires proof. Clear now?
     
  13. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    I have been paying attention, and I get what you're saying, it's just that your logic is completely wrong. That is what you're failing to see.

    ETA: I am not asserting that the soul is anything. I am observing that what people think is the soul can be explained as a product of the brain, just as sound is the product of using our vocal cords, and a rhythm is the product of a beating heart.
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Clearly, we're not going to agree, so let's just drop it and move on.
     
  15. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^If you want to...but I don't see why. We can't learn anything from each other if we give up. Winning isn't the sole point of debate, learning is a valid enough reason to pursue the activity.
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I've tried to explain my position multiple times, but you keep thinking that I'm saying something completely other than what I'm saying. Unless I get in a different frame of mind, all I can do right now is just repeat what I've already said, which would be totally pointless.

    Maybe if you ask specific (and probably in order to productive, better that they be narrow) questions about what I've said, maybe my position would become clearer.

    I'll get the ball rolling.

    Q: Am I saying that there is more of burden to assert that there is no classical soul, than there is to assert that there is?

    A: No.

    Q: Am I asserting that the classical notion of soul is in all ways tenable?

    A: No.

    Q: Am I asserting that certain aspects of the classical notion of soul might be in some ways tenable?

    A: Possibly.

    Q: Does the classical notion of soul equate to consciousness?

    A: Not exactly.
     
  17. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^I get all that, what I don't get is why you've tried to shift the burden of proof to me. I don't think the logic behind that shift is sound.
     
  18. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    ...stays after death.
     
  19. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, I believe in soul.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The "soul sleep" 137th Gebirg refers to is taught among some Protestants as well. The church I attend (ECC) has people with that belief who came from various denominations -- but that means I'm not sure which one(s) it's from.