What Happens After Death

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

  1. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    No. When a brain dies, the electric signals die as well. No more oxygen, no more blood, no more electrical signal generation. The brain becomes defunct. The electrical processes and neurons that kept memory and basic brain function degrade, until there is nothing left but a husk. Regardless of how wonderfully complex, and amazing, the brain is, when it's gone, it's gone.

    Sorry.
     
  2. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Define “I.”
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsx2vdn7gpY[/yt]
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Then your hearing is seriously messed up, because that's not what I said at all.
     
  5. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not quite sure why you're apologetic, but look at it this way. If I turn on a lamp, put a glow-in-the-dark pad under it, and then brake the lamp so it couldn't generate light anymore, the pad will still glow (for a time), and not stop simply because the thing that generated it's energy ceases to be. Just because the lamp can no longer produce light, doesn't mean it didn't produce light in the past. Of course, if a brain is damaged, it may physically loose retained information, even perceive existence differently, but I don't think that means the energy produced by the brain yesterday ceases to exist.

    Is there anything in nature, energy-wise, that ceases to exist after existing? I looked into theories behind the 'conservation of information', but was only left with more questions.
     
  6. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    What they mean is the energy dissipates as thermal energy as the cells break down, simply warming the matter around it, be it the air, cuffin lining or soil, and from there simply moves on as any transmitted heat does.

    They don't mean it stops existing, but it breaks down into heat, minor static charges etc that dissipates.
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    In an infinite universe, it would be necessary for there to exist at some place and at some future time, an energy pattern exactly identical to the one that defines "you" right at this moment. One theory is that this could occur when matter is nearing infinite density just before the Big Crunch, for instance.

    Would such a pattern believe itself to "be" you? Even if it did, would the actual "you" have any awareness of it?
     
  8. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    When the electrical currents in your brain--the actions of which generate the brain waves we can measure--stop, you are brain dead. Your existence ceases. Your consciousness ends and your perceptions are null and void.

    Energy is indeed neither created nor destroyed, but simply changes form. Once your brain ceases functioning and the energy leaves, your conscious existence doesn't continue in some other form. It can't, because it only exists within the physical structure of your physical brain.
     
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Can I be said to be the same person as I was last week? Yesterday? A second ago? I remember some of the thoughts I had at those times, but what makes me suppose there is any real continuity? What if we exist only in the perpetual "now", constantly ceasing to exist and being replaced by a slightly different thought pattern, and continuity of consciousness is nothing more than an illusion?
     
  10. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Are you saying some alien has (or will have) my job, took the same steps I did throughout life, lives on a planet they call earth, has/will chat on a "What Happens After Death" thread with a poster named Lindley, and perceives existence "exactly" the same as I do?

    I understand that. After a brain stops functioning, it can no longer perceive, nor build new memories.
    That's where I'm lost. What happens to the energy my brain produced yesterday, not just heat, but if I burn my hand, the section of my brain's flaring in response to it, or the information my brain generated from it?
    I'm not saying after we die we go to heaven, hell, or something like it (if that's what you're taking from my post), I'm asking what happens to all that energy a brain produces in a lifetime after it's unable to produce more energy.
    I agree. No one is the same a second after being, each state will be unique (I'm not the guy I was a second ago, I existed a second longer).
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not even denying that when the brain stops working you are gone. It's just the idea of nothing that I personally can't comprehend.
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Why do you think you need to eat? Your brain uses something like 20% of all the energy your body requires. It's a very power-hungry organ. In the absence of adequate blood and oxygen, it can't even use that energy, and so it dies. The cells begin to die, electrical signals can't propagate, and eventually they're all gone. The energy is lost as heat leaving your body.

    When your brain responds to a stimulus, that's because a nerve impulse traveled from a nerve ending to your spinal column and then up into your brain, like electricity traveling along a wire. It activates a certain portion of your brain to respond to it. The excitement from that response quickly dies down as the energy goes elsewhere--to other parts of your brain, other nerve endings, and escaping your body as waste heat. Again, that's why your brain is so hungry for energy. It's always being dissipated.

    Your entire body is a chemical machine that requires constant inputs of energy (food) and other chemicals (water, vitamins, minerals) in order to stay functional. That's why "death" isn't a single moment in time: your cells are still doing all kinds of stuff in the hours and days after your brain stops working. When your brain stops getting enough blood and oxygen to facilitate its functions, it cannot generate the electrical signals that let it work. The brain doesn't produce energy, it just stops receiving any more, which keeps it from doing its job. What energy remains in your body is lost through heat radiation and chemical breakdowns that start once your blood is no longer flowing.
     
  13. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    ^I understand the physical process a body goes through. I think I may just be wording my statement wrong.

    I'll try asking it this way - How do people base post-existence on pre-existence when the variables that defines you as existing didn't exist prior to your existence?
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    I would say that they don't. Before you existed, you simply didn't exist, and you didn't know it. After you cease to exist, you simply don't exist, and you don't know it. It is oblivion and nothingness before and after.
     
  15. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    If we are nothing but the thought process, if there was a computer capable of handling all the processes of the brain, and it had a hard-drive capable of copying a brain, would it make whoever downloaded their brain into it immortal

    Orr is it death no matter what after the body dies, regardless of what information remains?
     
  16. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Possibly, though there is a philosophical debating point here, the continuity problem.

    I think you might like this awesome blog post on the subject (the author is a neurologist). Not sure if I agree with it all, but he has cool ideas and has obviously put a lot of thought into the subject: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-continuity-problem/
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  17. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    ^Nice post, as I too wouldn't teleport if I had the option not to (though near the end I got a "first steps in the Borg's existence" vibe). The question he poses "Are you the information that constitutes your consciousness or the physical substrate?" reminds me of the "conservation of information" theory. Where is the line drawn defining death; when you die, or when your brain doesn't function the same?

    ...Are we dying every second?
     
  18. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Heh, the continuity problem is why I find the prospect of Star Trek-style transporters horrifying.
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That question can never be answered. Nobody returns from the dead, and even if someone did, how do you prove that it's the same consciousness?

    Same goes for beaming. Someone gets beamed from A to B. How do you determine if his consciousness died and a new one was created?
     
  20. Leviathan

    Leviathan Captain Captain

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    In my case?

    My skull will remain on someones desk as a conversation piece and trophy. Those bastard hunters tend to do that as a sort of sick-ass joke.

    My consciousness will of course return to its state of perpetual annoyance until it can find a new host body.

    ...as for you human types, you go back to the same state as before you were born. Duh.