What Happens After Death

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

  1. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    And here we get to one of the biggest questions in the philosophy of artificial intelligence: if something behaves in a way that is indistinguishable from consciousness, is it then conscious?

    As for the demarkation line for death, that is another controversy altogether.

    I don't think anyone is saying that it can be answered with complete certainty. Nor is anyone arguing with complete certainty that there is no afterlife. The evidence points towards there being none, but the question can be framed as a non-falsifiable claim, and therefore beyond the realm of science. This doesn't make the existence of an afterlife any more likely, though. It's like Carl Sagan's invisible, silent, heatless dragon in the garage: you can propose the existence of a thing that cannot ever be proved, but that's not a very good reason to believe in that thing.
     
  2. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I'm simply saying the matter and energy in your body can exist in a finite number of patterns. In an infinite universe, sooner or later the exact pattern you exist in now must occur again somewhere else.
     
  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not only that, in a truly infinite universe a finite pattern occurs infinite times.
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Though the evidence and consensus at the moment say that the universe is finite, do they not?
     
  5. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    The observable universe is certainly finite. Beyond that I'm not sure.
     
  6. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    General feeling is that it's finite but boundless. But don't quote me on that.
     
  7. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    There is no way to prove it's not boundless, but what if it wasn't? What would happen when a universe bumps into another?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  8. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Since there is no evidence of "other" universes except as a very tentative theoretical explanation for some weird quirks of cosmology, I'm rather certain the answer is "fuck me if we know".
     
  9. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Big Bang, according to one theory.

    We can't currently prove that the universe is boundless, but someday we might. In fact, according to an episode of Through the Wormhole, at least one scientist believes he has found such proof. I'm not sure of the details, but something to do with patterns in the Cosmic Background Radiation that look the same in opposite directions, suggesting not only that the universe is finite and boundless, but also that it's not much larger (about 20% larger) than the observable universe.
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That wouldn't bother me so much, especially if I could make copies of myself at the other end. I would die if I could know that there would be, say, one of me in every field of research. A version of me who studied different kinds of music--a "me" for every task.

    At the end of life, a library of me would be downloaded. All this for the price of instant vaporization.

    I would walk to my end in a booth in a moment, and not hesitate, knowing my worldview would go on, my interests, my whimsey.

    It beats it winding down due to the age and poverty which afflict me now.

    Irrelevance is worse than death.
     
  11. A Shiny Kaylee Christmas

    A Shiny Kaylee Christmas Have An Awesome Possum Holiday! Moderator

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    It would be like just closing your eyes and then opening then again from the point of view of the copy.

    When you think about it maybe that's what happens when you go to sleep. The "current you" is only you for a few hours, then a copy of you restored when you wake up.
     
  12. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Except there's not continuity problem when it comes to sleep, because the brain is active the entire time.
     
  13. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But consciousness is not.
     
  14. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can we prove that there is no awareness during sleep? Maybe we just don't remember it. There is certainly a form of awareness when dreaming, and it is mostly forgotten by the time we wake. Is it possible that there is also a forgotten awareness when not dreaming?
     
  15. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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  16. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    So? Your state of consciousness varies widely throughout the entire day, whether you are awake or asleep. The continuous narrative of consciousness that we presume is largely an illusion. The brain is intact, active, and functioning at different levels of consciousness while you sleep. It learns, it remembers, it thinks, it has ideas, it comprehends the passage of time. Ultimately, you are less conscious than you think you are while you are awake, and more conscious than you think you are while you are asleep. There really aren't that many major differences between sleeping and waking brains, and there certainly isn't a continuity problem.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember getting wisdom teeth extracted, and it was as if I just didn't exist. I have never had such a null feeling. I don't know if you can really tell if you are sleeping, but it isn't the same as dead. And even when under, I somehow was guided to my feet to a waiting room to wake up--even though I don't remember it.

    There have been times where I felt as if I were going to sleep too fast, and would wake up, and drift to sleep more slowly.
     
  18. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Exactly. Anesthesia is a much better analogy to the continuity problem than sleep. It is a very different experience to sleeping. It's still not a perfect comparison, though, because the physical brain never ceases to exist.
     
  19. Jolly Old Krampus

    Jolly Old Krampus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This! :)
     
  20. bbjegglebells

    bbjegglebells Admiral Admiral

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    ^Pooling ideas are fine but I think that's the overall message that's being said.