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Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

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Eduk
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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 16th, 2018, 3:28 am

Why are you agnostic about death? I've seen lots of things die and they are unresponsive afterwards.
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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by chewybrian » October 16th, 2018, 7:04 am

Eduk wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:28 am
Why are you agnostic about death? I've seen lots of things die and they are unresponsive afterwards.
It's hard to think that anyone would seriously argue that the material form carries on after death. If you are devout in your materialism and determinism, then you would presumably be convinced that the agent is gone upon death. (Actually, it seems the truly devout would have said there never was any agent!). But, it is possible to be agnostic about materialism and/or determinism, and therefore to also be agnostic about existence beyond death in some form.

Free will seems to work in harmony with material things, yet in and of itself it can not be shown to be physical. Free will shares no properties with matter or energy that are known, and seems by its actions to be immune to the laws of cause and effect that apply to physical things. In this light, it is possible to speculate that free will may be a gift from God, and/or that it might carry on without the physical form. I will admit it seems a bit of a long shot, yet the possibility can remain due to the uncertainty about what makes a free will.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 16th, 2018, 7:18 am

(Actually, it seems the truly devout would have said there never was any agent!)
I see no problem with agency or materialism.
But, it is possible to be agnostic about materialism and/or determinism, and therefore to also be agnostic about existence beyond death in some form.
It is possible to ignore the material world in favour of magic. There are many examples where people have done this. They are all unreasonable though. I have tons of evidence in material things and no evidence of immaterial things.
Free will seems to work in harmony with material things, yet in and of itself it can not be shown to be physical.
I've never seen free will in a nonphysical thing. Also if I remove physical matter from your brain I can easily demonstrate that you lose agency.
Free will shares no properties with matter or energy that are known, and seems by its actions to be immune to the laws of cause and effect that apply to physical things. In this light, it is possible to speculate that free will may be a gift from God
Unknowns are never best explained with even bigger unknowns. It is unknown what consciousness is. Is it unknown what agency is. Unknown does not mean therefore it must be magic, there are countless examples through history of unknowns being given magical causes which become known and the magical causes all turned out to be wrong. If you have evidence for magic then you can reasonable posit that magic might be a reasonable explanation, but all the evidence so far points to there not being magic.
In this sense I am not agnostic because whilst there are lots of known unknowns and likely even more unknown unknowns all uses of magic have failed to offer any explanatory or predictive power, have never been tested positively and have never furthered knowledge.
Absolutes just aren't available to humans. I can't prove absolutely that I'm not in a computer simulation (or any other fanciful idea). But is the conclusion therefore that everything qualifies as agnostic? For me there is a point where I treat infinitesimal probability as being practically impossible so therefore I'm not agnostic about everything. I guess I just prefer to be practical.
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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by chewybrian » October 16th, 2018, 2:10 pm

Eduk wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:18 am
(Actually, it seems the truly devout would have said there never was any agent!)
I see no problem with agency or materialism.
If you define agency as action only, then I suppose you could say that. However, in my mind, if the action is forced by prior causes, then there is no agency, but only reaction, motion, etc. I would say a pure reflex action, like the rubber hammer on the knee, is not agency. Actions fully caused are essentially like a reflex. This is what I meant to imply, but did not spell out.
Eduk wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:18 am
Unknowns are never best explained with even bigger unknowns. It is unknown what consciousness is. Is it unknown what agency is. Unknown does not mean therefore it must be magic, there are countless examples through history of unknowns being given magical causes which become known and the magical causes all turned out to be wrong. If you have evidence for magic then you can reasonable posit that magic might be a reasonable explanation, but all the evidence so far points to there not being magic.
In this sense I am not agnostic because whilst there are lots of known unknowns and likely even more unknown unknowns all uses of magic have failed to offer any explanatory or predictive power, have never been tested positively and have never furthered knowledge.
Absolutes just aren't available to humans. I can't prove absolutely that I'm not in a computer simulation (or any other fanciful idea). But is the conclusion therefore that everything qualifies as agnostic? For me there is a point where I treat infinitesimal probability as being practically impossible so therefore I'm not agnostic about everything. I guess I just prefer to be practical.
I call foul on the use of the word 'magic', as it implies a victory already won without engaging in debate. I know you can do better than that.

Is it 'magic' that I can choose between pistachio and chocolate chip ice cream? Everything I learn about my world comes to me through sense perception or contemplation of information gathered through the senses. If I have the sensation that I can choose, then it is not irrational to come to the conclusion that I can. If I take chocolate chip, I am aware that I could have taken pistachio. Even if I hate pistachio, I can still choose it.

Even if you disagree with my assessment that I can choose, please play along with what follows for the sake of argument. If I can choose, then determinism is out, right?

For materialism to stand, we can say that our free will might still be physical, but our understanding of the laws of physics could be incorrect or incomplete (this seems like a live possibility).

Or, we can ditch materialism and decide that our understanding of the laws of physics is reasonably correct and complete, and therefore our free will must be something which is not physical. This position has added appeal in that we are unable to show that the free will has any physical attributes, or to predict its activity in the way we can predict the actions (reactions) of physical things.

I don't think your assessment of the probabilities is remotely fair ("infinitesimal probability"). The fact is that our knowledge is necessarily flawed and incomplete today, just as you would, presumably, judge the 'knowledge' of the past to have been, now that we know more. It seems reasonable to guess that future people will dismiss some of what we now take for fact. They had many 'laws' in the past which were proven incorrect, even though they made perfect sense at the time with what they were able to know. It was not irrational to assume that the sun revolved around the earth, for example.

It's clear that you've accepted the laws of cause and effect. If you are able to step outside this perspective, you could easily see that accepting free will for what it appears to be is not the most irrational choice that could be made. If this choice is taken, then it follows that there is an issue with the rules of cause and effect, or that the free will is not material. In the second case,there is even room for God. Declaring a stance of 'agnostic' in this area seems reasonable enough. Neither is it irrational to take your 'side' as a default stance. It does seem over the top to assert the level of certainty you seem to show, though.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 16th, 2018, 2:41 pm

If I can choose, then determinism is out, right?
No. That's what I was trying to say (poorly). I don't think determinism and choice are necessarily mutually exclusive. For example we really need to delve deep into exactly what choice or freedom are. For example can I choose not to be free?
For materialism to stand, we can say that our free will might still be physical, but our understanding of the laws of physics could be incorrect or incomplete (this seems like a live possibility).
Yes. Though much more likely to be incomplete. They are almost certainly correct for the ranges in which they are useful. For example Newton's laws are still useful to this day as they simply reach the same results as Einstein's when used in the right circumstances. It is simplistic to say Newton was wrong.
Or, we can ditch materialism and decide that our understanding of the laws of physics is reasonably correct and complete, and therefore our free will must be something which is not physical.
No. We can't do that. We have never discovered anything non-physical. You cannot use an unknown to explain an unknown. You can prove me by wrong easily by showing me an unknown which explains an unknown.
They had many 'laws' in the past which were proven incorrect,
Not really. There are some nuances to this. Firstly take medicine. Blood letting used to be called medicine. This is before medicine took a science based approach. Modern medicine didn't happen until around 1900. So there is a big big difference between a law which claims to be scientific and a law which is scientific. Regarding laws which are scientific see my comment about Newton for further nuance on that.
It was not irrational to assume that the sun revolved around the earth, for example.
Yes it was. If there is no reason to believe something then it is irrational to believe it.
It does seem over the top to assert the level of certainty you seem to show, though.
Yes it might seem that way. But as I said not knowing something is not knowing something and using something unknown to explain something unknown has a horrendous track record.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 16th, 2018, 4:35 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:18 am
Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm
As to post-mortem possibilities, I personally remain agnostic as I lack experience at being dead.
I'm not agnostic at all regarding death. The before and after of your in-between are equal to each other or put differently zero=zero since none of us, including the whole human race, were destined to be here in the first place. That being the case what condition should death encounter but the one which preceded life. Agnosticism may be valid in many cases, just not in those that pertain to absolutes.
That's one guess.
Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:18 am
Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm
I'll let you know what it's like when the time comes.
That's kind of you but I'll probably get there before you without knowing I was ever alive. That, of course, would preempt me from informing you first. Sorry about that. But what the hell, C'est la vie!
Knowing you, if your ghost came back to haunt us, it would do so to tell us that there is no afterlife :)

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 16th, 2018, 5:01 pm

Eduk wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:28 am
Why are you agnostic about death? I've seen lots of things die and they are unresponsive afterwards.
Your post brings zombies to mind, both the monsters and the philosophical kind.

Why am I agnostic about what happens after death?

1. We are not evolved to perceive reality, only that which promotes survival and fecundity.

2. No one yet understands the nature of time and the extent to which we perceive and experience it.

3. No one yet knows how big the universe is, or if it's part of something bigger.

4. No one yet knows how many different kinds of minds or consciousness can exist.

5. We live within containing dynamic systems that we cannot understand because we are on the inside.

6. It's possible with time dilation for a person to subjectively experience years with the last few minutes' supply of brain oxygen.

7. No one knows if other dimensions exist.

Thanks, I never thought to organise these thoughts before. Given the above critical shortfalls in understanding existence at this stage of human development, certainty in this area is necessarily political rather than a scientific or philosophical. At this point we simply do not have enough information to make an informed decision. We can have our hunches about it, but that's all they are.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by ThomasHobbes » October 16th, 2018, 6:05 pm

Heaven and Hell have no meaning, no fear, no anticipation for me.

Both ideas would be dreadful existence. Can't think of anything more boring that a eternity of bliss or pain.

I'm not agnostic about death. All the evidence points to nothingness, which for the most part can fill me with disappointment. Having had stage 4 cancer ten years ago has made the idea of my mortality more real. But I have filled my life with more stuff because of it.

And the prospect of death can be very empowering. Knowing that everyone I know will be dead in a 100 years, and that me, myself is unlikely to live more than 30 more years means that nothing I do is ultimately important giving me licence to act recklessly or frivolously: THAT is really empowering. You should try it come time.
And stop wasting your lives!!

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 16th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:18 am
I'm not agnostic at all regarding death. The before and after of your in-between are equal to each other or put differently zero=zero since none of us, including the whole human race, were destined to be here in the first place. That being the case what condition should death encounter but the one which preceded life. Agnosticism may be valid in many cases, just not in those that pertain to absolutes.
Greta wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 4:35 pm
That's one guess.
Based on your predisposition toward science, nature and logic, I’m surprised you would even consider that a guess.
Greta wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 4:35 pm
Knowing you, if your ghost came back to haunt us, it would do so to tell us that there is no afterlife :)
Name something that would make an afterlife possible even if vaguely. Is it god; is it nature or do WE somehow manage to do it ourselves by forcing our collective consciousness into some other realm? Or more probable, does the idea have currency only among the living not unlike money and capital to make life comfortable?

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 16th, 2018, 7:07 pm

1. Perceiving reality is of great help to survival.
2. I agree with the first part. Our perception of time seems pretty well defined though?
3. I agree.
4. I also agree.
5. Unknown.
6. Not sure where you get that from?
7. No reason to believe they do.
Still though Greta unknown is unknown. Why do you insist that this means you know nothing and that everything is equally probable? It is a false balance. On the one hand you have tons and tons of proof of material objects and cause and effect. Which has tons of explanatory power, has made tons of predictions and led to pretty much every single thing you might see looking about yourself. I mean are we doubting the progress? Would you like to go back two or three thousand years? On the other hand you have theories which say nothing and go nowhere. And have led to no advances. Again easy to prove me wrong, just point out some advance.
There is just no reason to believe in magic. If you find the term magic offensive then please carefully explain the difference between magically resurrecting and non magically resurrecting.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 16th, 2018, 7:45 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 6:19 pm
Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 3:18 am
I'm not agnostic at all regarding death. The before and after of your in-between are equal to each other or put differently zero=zero since none of us, including the whole human race, were destined to be here in the first place. That being the case what condition should death encounter but the one which preceded life. Agnosticism may be valid in many cases, just not in those that pertain to absolutes.
Based on your predisposition toward science, nature and logic, I’m surprised you would even consider that a guess.
That's why it's a guess. There's too many unknowns.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 16th, 2018, 8:03 pm

Greta wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:45 pm
Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Based on your predisposition toward science, nature and logic, I’m surprised you would even consider that a guess.
That's why it's a guess. There's too many unknowns.
Which makes such speculations useless since guesses can apply to anything one can imagine.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 16th, 2018, 8:27 pm

Eduk wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:07 pm
1. Perceiving reality is of great help to survival.
2. I agree with the first part. Our perception of time seems pretty well defined though?
3. I agree.
4. I also agree.
5. Unknown.
6. Not sure where you get that from?
7. No reason to believe they do.
Still though Greta unknown is unknown. Why do you insist that this means you know nothing and that everything is equally probable? It is a false balance. On the one hand you have tons and tons of proof of material objects and cause and effect. Which has tons of explanatory power, has made tons of predictions and led to pretty much every single thing you might see looking about yourself. I mean are we doubting the progress? Would you like to go back two or three thousand years? On the other hand you have theories which say nothing and go nowhere. And have led to no advances. Again easy to prove me wrong, just point out some advance.
There is just no reason to believe in magic. If you find the term magic offensive then please carefully explain the difference between magically resurrecting and non magically resurrecting.
1. Nope. Reality would be completely overwhelming so we filter most of it out and only perceive the tiniest sliver of what's actually happening. It's real, but massively limited.
2. We don't know how we sense time. Maybe the block universe is real and it really is a matter of perception as Einstein postulated? Maybe time has other features we don't know about?
6. From logic. NDEs being experienced as days during minutes.
7. There are no reasons to believe that other dimensions are not possible, especially given considerable mathematical support for the idea.

I can't answer to you claims about probabilities of possibilities, resurrections and my so-called "theories that go nowhere".

I have no "theories". I have speculated some possibilities without trying to assign probabilities. I'm also not much of a believer in resurrections, virgin births or the instant conversion of bakery products into fresh fish corpses.

Might you be confusing me with someone else?

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 16th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 8:03 pm
Greta wrote:
October 16th, 2018, 7:45 pm

That's why it's a guess. There's too many unknowns.
Which makes such speculations useless since guesses can apply to anything one can imagine.
Not at all because they are educated guesses. Notice that there was no items in the list including giant spirit men deeply focused on activities pertaining to a certain homind's reproduction?

I am always keen to instil doubt and uncertainty in all who claim to largely comprehend the ultimate makeup of reality. Many try to turn things around to make it look as if I'm the one doing the believing rather than them.

Why do you an Eduk need to believe and to eliminate all uncertainty in your mind about the ultimate nature of reality? You are just guessing, though. Also educated guesses, but still guesses.

You must be aware that you cannot possibly know these things for sure and that there are many more unanswered questions about the nature of reality than answered ones. There is so much that we don't yet understand. We keep devising models that largely explain how things work in part they lack the "fire" that makes everything work. For instance, abiogenesis. It appears that replicators emerged amongst molecules to balance the unattached hydrogen ions building up on the Earth's surface. Life was apparently the only way the imbalance could stabilise.

Yet we don't understand what thresholds apply to make it all work - to have that understanding of what life is. If we did, we could build living organisms from lab chemicals or silicon parts without having to add small pieces of biota to get the processes going.

That's just one gap out of many, and an important one. No need to insert myths in the gaps but they do exist and I think we are a lot more basic than we generally imagine.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 17th, 2018, 3:40 am

Greta
1. I think we more or less agree here. I'm just emphasising the sliver (as you put it).
2. We don't know what time is, granted. Again I think we mostly agree. I'm again just emphasising that if I say let's meet up at 3 then this is something we can both achieve due to a shared experience of time.
6. Sorry this sounds like pure fantasy. What does relativity have to do with NDEs? Also you with 1. You point out how fragile our grip on reality is but with 6 you ignore your neuropsychological humility.
7. Granted. Other dimensions make a certain amount of sense. They can be modelled mathmatically. Perhaps one day they will be testable. Obviously they aren't proven but they do seem possible based of off the evidence. I think it's reasonable to be agnostic about other dimensions.
By the way Greta I have no idea what the nature of reality is. And I never claimed to. I do have many ideas about what it isn't though. For example if I made something up right now to explain the nature of reality would you be agnostic?
Regarding death though why do we suppose this might be a special event? Don't you see the bias here? I have never experienced the next moment. Should I be agnostic about what to expect?
I think we are mostly arguing about the appropriate degree of agnosticism.
Unknown means unknown.

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