What Happens After Death

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

  1. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Right here buddy.
    Debating what we believe in the afterlife makes more since then debating whether Kirk or Picard was a better captain (It's Picard of course). I'm rather curious what people think, as is the creator of this thread.
     
  2. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree. We have loads of information about Picard and Kirk and can evaluate the decisions they made in various situations and can even guesstimate how they would make decisions in other real life situations.
    We can even discuss their value as role models worth shaping our own lives after.
    To me that is infinitely more practical than arguing for a magical lala-land we "go" to after death that no one can know anything about IF it exists.
    Any guess we can make beyond "I don't know" is ridiculous.
     
  3. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Isn't that pretty much what I said?

    Except for the "most probably not an afterlife"?

    I'm not looking for an argument, just stating what I was thinking at the time. :/
     
  4. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    That's a fascinating article. What hit me the most, oddly, was the doctor's idea that death is actually a fairly "pleasant" experience for people. I hope that does turn out to be the case.
     
  5. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, not really. Your scenario unduly gives equal weight to either possibility, and off the back of that faulty logic opines we should just not think to much about it cause, hey who knows. A very lazy way of looking at it, if you don't mind me saying.

    His scenario suggests crazy stuff like examining the evidence, drawing logical conclusions. And then not worrying about it.
     
  6. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    That's really a matter of opinion. Debating the possibility of an afterlife only makes more sense if one is interested in that sort of thing. Neither debate has any practical meaning or benefit. Personally, I think debating Star Trek captains makes much more sense. Both debates are about fantasies, and I prefer the fantasy of Star Trek to the Fantasy of an afterlife.
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually NDEs are not easily explained. They baffle neuroscientists.

    This doesn’t mean that they’re supernatural in origin. It only means that we have yet to figure out a natural mechanism that explains them.

    Remember my “monoanthropic cycle” sig?

    Actually, conservation of information is a fundamental principle of physics as currently understood.

    This was a recent subject of scientific inquiry due to what was known as the Black Hole Information Paradox. Stephen Hawking argued that information that falls into a black hole is lost, while John Preskill argued that it can’t be. Preskill was ultimately proven right by... Hawking himself, who figured out what happens to the missing information.

    Amusingly, Hawking also uses the “burned book” metaphor. Although the information falling into the black hole influences the information coming out, it is jumbled so chaotically that it would be impossible to reconstruct the information that went in from the information that came out. Hawking and Preskill had a bet, the stakes of which were a baseball encyclopedia; on conceding the bet, Hawking quipped that he should have burned the encyclopedia and presented Preskill with the combustion products. Here’s your book; good luck finding those batting averages.

    Considering Hawking’s challenges in communicating, I wonder how much time and effort he must have devoted to telling that joke.


    Now for my opinion on the OP.

    We have learned so much in recent decades about how the brain controls things like memory, though, emotion, perception and personality. Brain damage can cause changes and malfunctions in those processes. It seems to follow that brain death, which is the ultimate brain damage, would end those processes entirely. If there is anything of you that survives death, it won’t be able to remember, think, feel, perceive or act like you. In what sense, then, can it still be you?
     
  8. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    NDE's are just random neurons firing after a trauma. As for what happens after death? Nothing. What's percieved during death? who knows, time being realtive after all.
     
  9. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can't just be a nice guy and let it go? :sigh:

    Well, I can.
     
  10. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I've always wondered why this is such a big issue. The very question has defined many different cultures over time. But why? Because what happens to people when they die has absolutely no relevance or effect on anyone else. The culmination of those lives, the where, when, and how they died, and the loss itself can have a huge impact, of course. But as far as why they do an where the go is completely meaningless. Any attempt to attribute anything tangible to a post-life existence is ultimately self-serving.
     
  11. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Since when? The 70s, maybe. NDEs aren't completely understood, sure, but neuroscientists are far from "baffled" by them. Every single neurological experience described in an NDE (tunnel, bright light, hyperrealism, out of body experience, and feeling one with god or the universe) can and has been reproduced either pharmacologically or with electrical stimulation or selective inhibition of parts of the brain. If you want to feel one with the universe, you shut down the part of the brain that is responsible for telling you where you ends and everything else begins, inhibition of certain brain functions results in hyper-real sensations and extremely vivid dreams, and so on.

    Other aspects of NDEs, such as when people describe actually going to heaven, meeting dead friends and relatives, floating in clouds, etc, are always culture-specific, and are obviously dreams or hallucinations that occurred before death or after the individual was revived; the glaring mistake people make is assuming that those experiences happened while they were brain-dead. There is absolutely no reason to believe that. When the brain is that traumatized three relevant things happen: sense of time is distorted, memories are poorly formed and corrupted, and recovery involves at the very least many hours (often days) of fluctuating states of consciousness. During this time of recovery the individual's brain will be very active, definitely dreaming, and depending on the type and extent of the damage, delusional and prone to hallucination.

    So, while the exact processes that lead to NDEs are not understood (there is some preliminary research suggesting that they are caused not by lack of oxygen, but by excess CO2, which could be part of the reason only 15% of patients have NDEs), they are very easily explained as a combination of neurological events, which are all understood individually, and vivid dreams.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  12. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's not. It supports the belief in an afterlife of some kind, which is something not everybody agrees on. Which is perfectly fine, but let's not pretend it's neutral when it's not.

    As others have said, so do I, but it has nothing to do with theology.


    Very interesting indeed. It really shows a problem of cultural perspective on death, and how scientific knowledge and medical practice can be hampered by long-held cultural attitudes.

    As TSQ already explained, not really.

    It's still debated. It's intuitively appealing and it has some theoretical support (the black hole information paradox you mention, and some interpretations of string theory), but it has not been exhaustively proven so far.
     
  13. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Personally, I don't think "near death experience" has anything to do with what comes when we leave this life.

    No one has ever actually died, been buried, and come back to tell us what happens after that.

    Unless you believe in JC, and He did that already. ;)
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Supposedly Jesus did... then again this "miracle" was witnessed only by his closest associates. ;)
     
  15. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's why they call it "faith."

    If you ain't got it, that's cool with the vast majority of believers in the world. It's the ones that have a problem with you that you have a problem with.
     
  16. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You asked the question :lol:

    Ridiculous, you embroil yourself in a theological debate and then start criticising people for engaging you on the subject you are discussing.
     
  17. stoneroses

    stoneroses Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  18. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been clinically dead twice for a few minutes and I am 100% with Auntie on this. These so-called near-death experiences are simply artifacts: malfunctions of an oxigen-deprived brain.
    You get exactly the same visions when your brain arteries clog (when you have a stroke), when your blood circulation fails (after a heart attack, severe shock or physical trauma) or when you hold your breath till you faint. All these different causes lead to the same result: lack of oxigen in your central nervous system (aka brain). And that leads invariably to tunnel vision, imagining bright lights etc and hallucinating. Exactly what you hallucinate depends on whether you are a religious person or not. Just like dreaming depends on your personal experiences and mindset.
     
  19. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I believe this is all some kind of Matrix-like simulated environment. When we die, we will experience our true lives, as they are, out of the Matrix, with the potential of entering another program later on. The program only takes seconds to run, but it's a lifetime of information, a la "Inner Light". All of you are either programs in the Matrix making "life" interesting for me, or other participants in a shared hub experiencing the same thing, remotely. I prefer the former - cause some of you are frankly just too weird to be real.

    And when I wake up from this life into the next, I'm going to find the asshole who programmed the Matrix...

    ...and kick him square in the nuts.

    I think I just had a Guy Gardener moment.

    On second thought, nah, my first sentence was too long.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  20. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And stupid politicians would be the bugs in that software? And the only real thing would be the TrekBBS' innumerable pop up ads?