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Exsistence and afterlife

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Tamminen
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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 19th, 2018, 10:45 am

The whole question is of what 'I' really denotes. I have a body. I have memories. But I am not my body or memories. If I were, I would not say I have them. The being of the 'I' is manifested in the person that I am. I can say that I am this person. But I can also ask why I am this person and not someone else. I can destroy the person I am. But I cannot destroy the subjectivity behind the person I am. I only happen to be the person I am, and if I were not this person, I would be another person somewhere else. Persons are mortal, but the subject is eternal. The non-being of the subjectivity that 'I' denotes is absurd if we think of it thoroughly. So I believe in my afterlife but not my personal afterlife.

'I am' is not the same as 'you are'. My “here and now” is not the same as your “here and now”. But you can say the same, with exactly the same words. So our relation to each other is symmetrical. But as I am speaking it is not symmetrical because you are not me as an individual subject. If there is a deeper connection between us, it is necessarily outside of language. Language lacks the ability to express these kinds of metaphysical deep structures if there are such structures. And I believe there are.

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Atreyu
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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Atreyu » March 19th, 2018, 4:53 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 3:57 pm
There are various space-time paradigms. We do not know which, if any of these models, adequately models reality. Physicists and philosophers will continue to argue about this for some time to come. Whether at some time in the future it is resolved is something we cannot now know.
Yes, but my point was simply that people are not taking current theory into account when considering existence after death. And they should.
If there is birth and death then there is an arrow of time. We do not grow younger. If life is cyclical and every moment of time exists eternally then how do we make sense of a cycle based on the premise of what was and will be? What prevents you from living a former life? Are you claiming that you are at every moment living all your lives?
Yes, but the "arrow of time" only applies to the living. Not to mention it's a subjective experience in the first place. It is generally accepted in philosophy and science that our cognition of time is quite subjective and needs corrected. Therefore, we should not assume that any perceived end is truly an end. We merely perceive such an end because we lose our psychic connection with someone when they die. And not being able to interact with them anymore, we assume absolute non-existence, rather than simply understanding a temporal non-existence.

A cyclical existence does not imply repetition. It merely implies that the "time of our lives" should be mapped as a circle, rather than as a fixed line segment, that's all. The exact path traveled need not be the same. It's just that the starting and ending points are the same.

So no, you cannot live multiple "lives" concurrently. You simply have to "go back home" so to speak periodically. And that period we call "our life".
Forgetting what? What happened? If every moment exists eternally then there is no past in which something happened, only what is happening.
Forgetting your previous life. The fact that Everything is really happening Now is irrelevant. That's not how we experience things. We can only experience one moment of time at a time, due to the limitations of our psychic apparatus. So the fact that all of our "cycles" concurrently exist is irrelevant to our personal experience of them. In practice, we can only experience one cycle at a time (obviously).
How can there be a next if every moment of time eternally exists. Next entails a future.
Same general idea as above. There is a "next" for us. But in the real world, everything happens concurrently.
It is well established that the human genome changes: www.nature.com/news/past-5-000-years-pr ... me-1.11912
Yes, but not that much over a single lifetime for a single individual. Mutations notwithstanding, your genetic code is essentially the same at death as it was at birth. Any significant change in your genome could only happen over many lifetimes due to the accumulation of many incidental little changes along the way.

So in the next "cycle", you will still be "you", in the sense that your basic inherent genetic makeup will be the same.

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Atreyu
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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Atreyu » March 19th, 2018, 4:56 pm

Greta wrote:
March 18th, 2018, 7:57 pm
Yes, but where did religion get the idea from? Seemingly because that's how things looks based on our evolved senses and unique (in nature) comprehension of time. The impression would be: "x person is here and then they have gone away. Where did they go?". It's a logical question to which "nowhere" is today's most broadly accepted answer amongst the educated, but there is still much that we don't know and perhaps there's another twist to be found?
Quite right, not to mention that there is no "Nowhere". Nowhere only exists in the mind of man....

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 19th, 2018, 6:17 pm

Atreyu wrote:
March 19th, 2018, 4:56 pm
...not to mention that there is no "Nowhere". Nowhere only exists in the mind of man....
Agreed. But even this does not seem to be obvious for everybody. For those who find it obvious it may be interesting to seek that "somewhere" in places not too far away. You and I have found different places, each near us. One of them may be the right one. But I am afraid we'll never know which one, not even after our death, because we are perhaps already dead, and we do not remember the way here.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Greta » March 19th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Eduk wrote:
March 19th, 2018, 4:28 am
Greta let's imagine that the universe is some kind (star trek reference) of calculator. It's designed for one calculation but the calculation is dependent on everything that went before it. In this sense each human would live on. Would that count as a win for those people who claim to know there are souls?
It's hard to imagine theists seeing it that way, Eduk. The idea appears to be to escape obliteration. Being aware that one inevitably plays some small role in the emerging fabric of the cosmos is probably cold comfort for those upset about losing life - the chance to be and do.

Consider sleep. At some point each day we become so tired and disinterested that we no longer wish to be mentally engaged with our surrounds, preferring to disappear into oblivion. Failing premature death, it would seem life in general is like that, although it's theoretically possible that we exist within a larger consciousness, and (if we pile on the suppositions) maybe the sense of "me" shifts from the specific small to the generic large?

I'm also a sci fi fan :)

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Fooloso4 » March 19th, 2018, 8:21 pm

Atreyu:
Yes, but my point was simply that people are not taking current theory into account when considering existence after death. And they should.
There are all kinds of current theories. How is one to take them all into account when they make very different claims?
Yes, but the "arrow of time" only applies to the living. Not to mention it's a subjective experience in the first place.
It is not just a subjective theory and applies to all things from the Big Bang to the present, although in line with what I said above, not everyone agrees.
It is generally accepted in philosophy and science that our cognition of time is quite subjective and needs corrected.
Some do not see it as needing to correct subjective time but that any adequate theory must take it into account and be to be reconciled with it.
Therefore, we should not assume that any perceived end is truly an end.
It is not simply a matter of a theory of time, but of life and consciousness and identity.
A cyclical existence does not imply repetition. It merely implies that the "time of our lives" should be mapped as a circle, rather than as a fixed line segment, that's all. The exact path traveled need not be the same. It's just that the starting and ending points are the same.
It assumes that the circle from life to death repeats. That you do not live just once but again and again. But who is this ‘you’? What possible difference does it make for you or your experience in this life that preclude the experience of any other?
The fact that Everything is really happening Now is irrelevant. That's not how we experience things.
See above. How we experience things and what time is said to be must be reconciled.
In practice, we can only experience one cycle at a time (obviously).
Given what you have said you can only experience one cycle period. Other cycles would never be part of your experience.
But in the real world, everything happens concurrently.
The real world? That everything happens concurrently is only one contemporary theory.
Yes, but not that much over a single lifetime for a single individual.
That is correct, but not what is at issue. What you said is that your genetic code at birth will be virtually the exact same in the next 'cycle’'. You’ve amended that to say the change will be gradual but that is not always the case. Another problem is that your DNA is inherited roughly half from your mother and half from your father. So if it is exactly the same genetic code you would have to have the exact same parents.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Duckrabbit » March 20th, 2018, 12:04 am

Greta wrote:
March 18th, 2018, 7:57 pm
I am not a believer BTW, just exploring the idea, and also unsure if death is as it seems, having not yet died and undergone the subjective process.

However, your take on reincarnation lacks nuance. If there is any kind of reincarnation, strong tendencies will logically be expressed in each iteration. The old and new incarnation would not have very "different habits, interests, and personality". If they did, then that wouldn't be reincarnation, just someone else :) Also note that, if reincarnation was real and we had no memory of previous lives, the next incarnation might as well be someone else for all intents and purposes.
Duckrabbit wrote:Religion has played a strong role in convincing us that the world is made up of individual, mutually distinct, eternal souls. This has proven a very difficult idea to shake, even when it results in ambiguities, logical contradictions, and meaningless statements posing as something else.
Yes, but where did religion get the idea from? Seemingly because that's how things looks based on our evolved senses and unique (in nature) comprehension of time. The impression would be: "x person is here and then they have gone away. Where did they go?". It's a logical question to which "nowhere" is today's most broadly accepted answer amongst the educated, but there is still much that we don't know and perhaps there's another twist to be found?
My take on reincarnation deliberately lacked nuance as I wanted to show what the argument laid bare looked like. As I attempted to explain, I wished to deduct all the language that dilutes the theory of reincarnation into metaphysical murkiness. Perhaps no one who has been writing on this thread subscribes to it, but this is theory I am saying is logically and empirically meaningless:

1. I am a person with a soul/identity which exists in a world of billions of other different, separate, just as viable, mutually distinct souls, all inhabiting bodies of the species homosapien sapien; all bodies different, separate, mutually distinct from one another.

2. When my body dies and is burnt or gradually turns to compost, my soul does not die but passes into a new-born body, not (necessarily) into the same family, nationality, gender, physical shape, or any other physical aspect of my previous body (the one "I" am "inhabiting" now).

3. My soul, now inhabiting the new body, is the same one that inhabits my body now and is still only one among billions of different, separate, just as viable, mutually distinct souls all inhabiting bodies of the species homosapien sapien, all bodies different, separate, mutually distinct from one another.

4. I will have no memory of the life I am now living in this life in my new body.

5. I may have similar "tendencies" in this new life as I have now, but as they are just tendencies, many other people will have them too. [As it is possible for people to change habits, tendencies, and even personalities (think Alzheimers) during a lifetime, I think that this reiteration of tendencies is not a necessary component of this theory, Greta's insistence to the contrary].

This is the theory I was trying to show could not possibly be proved, or even made sense of. There is no way to show that one person has the same soul as someone who lived previously, which soul is different, separate, and mutually distinct from the billions of other equally viable souls that exist. Furthermore, we do not know what showing they are the same would look like. We don't know what a soul looks like or how to perceive it. If the new person does not remember the old they cannot be said to share an awareness, a subjectivity (if that has any meaning). I agree with Greta: " the next incarnation might as well be someone else for all intents and purposes." Once all intents and purposes are accounted for, what is left?

Probably right about religion. But the earth based and pagan beliefs considered resurrection in terms of the earth itself, the dying of the seed and the rebirth of plant and animal nature in the spring. This is the original Easter which Christianity accommodated along with the fertility symbols (rabbit, eggs). But Christianity turned resurrection and rebirth into a personal thing. It was now the personal God who is resurrected and the properly believing and behaving individual lives eternally.

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Greta
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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Greta » March 20th, 2018, 2:14 am

Duckrabbit wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 12:04 am
Greta wrote:
March 18th, 2018, 7:57 pm
I am not a believer BTW, just exploring the idea, and also unsure if death is as it seems, having not yet died and undergone the subjective process.

However, your take on reincarnation lacks nuance. If there is any kind of reincarnation, strong tendencies will logically be expressed in each iteration. The old and new incarnation would not have very "different habits, interests, and personality". If they did, then that wouldn't be reincarnation, just someone else :) Also note that, if reincarnation was real and we had no memory of previous lives, the next incarnation might as well be someone else for all intents and purposes.
...
Yes, but where did religion get the idea from? Seemingly because that's how things looks based on our evolved senses and unique (in nature) comprehension of time. The impression would be: "x person is here and then they have gone away. Where did they go?". It's a logical question to which "nowhere" is today's most broadly accepted answer amongst the educated, but there is still much that we don't know and perhaps there's another twist to be found?
My take on reincarnation deliberately lacked nuance as I wanted to show what the argument laid bare looked like. As I attempted to explain, I wished to deduct all the language that dilutes the theory of reincarnation into metaphysical murkiness. Perhaps no one who has been writing on this thread subscribes to it, but this is theory I am saying is logically and empirically meaningless:

1. I am a person with a soul/identity which exists in a world of billions of other different, separate, just as viable, mutually distinct souls, all inhabiting bodies of the species homosapien sapien; all bodies different, separate, mutually distinct from one another.

2. When my body dies and is burnt or gradually turns to compost, my soul does not die but passes into a new-born body, not (necessarily) into the same family, nationality, gender, physical shape, or any other physical aspect of my previous body (the one "I" am "inhabiting" now).

3. My soul, now inhabiting the new body, is the same one that inhabits my body now and is still only one among billions of different, separate, just as viable, mutually distinct souls all inhabiting bodies of the species homosapien sapien, all bodies different, separate, mutually distinct from one another.

4. I will have no memory of the life I am now living in this life in my new body.

5. I may have similar "tendencies" in this new life as I have now, but as they are just tendencies, many other people will have them too. [As it is possible for people to change habits, tendencies, and even personalities (think Alzheimers) during a lifetime, I think that this reiteration of tendencies is not a necessary component of this theory, Greta's insistence to the contrary].

This is the theory I was trying to show could not possibly be proved, or even made sense of. There is no way to show that one person has the same soul as someone who lived previously, which soul is different, separate, and mutually distinct from the billions of other equally viable souls that exist. Furthermore, we do not know what showing they are the same would look like. We don't know what a soul looks like or how to perceive it. If the new person does not remember the old they cannot be said to share an awareness, a subjectivity (if that has any meaning). I agree with Greta: " the next incarnation might as well be someone else for all intents and purposes." Once all intents and purposes are accounted for, what is left?

Probably right about religion. But the earth based and pagan beliefs considered resurrection in terms of the earth itself, the dying of the seed and the rebirth of plant and animal nature in the spring. This is the original Easter which Christianity accommodated along with the fertility symbols (rabbit, eggs). But Christianity turned resurrection and rebirth into a personal thing. It was now the personal God who is resurrected and the properly believing and behaving individual lives eternally.
I agree with you about the logical issues concerning soul migration. That's is why I "insisted" otherwise - that our tendencies are the very things that live on via new individuals. It's not individual "souls" that live on but the various types of person (or any species) that will always reiterate.

The attributes of personality are subtle enough to make categorisation difficult, although there's been some decent attempts such as the Big Five Personality Inventory or Meyer-Briggs - certainly more precise, if less poetic and evocative, than astrologers' categories.

However, many of those characteristics change during life over the years. That leaves us with the incredibly difficult task of pinpointing what makes you "you" - from cradle to now and probably into the future. What have been the consistent characteristics?

Re: religion, maybe this is the intersection of the survival instinct with the idea of rebirth and regeneration?

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 20th, 2018, 5:37 am

Duckrabbit:

I agree with your reasoning. But my nonexistence is impossible, as I have "proved" elsewhere and which can be seen in a phenomenological intuition. Only the I that does not vanish is not a soul or identity, it is just me, the pure I, without any other characteristics. It is not me as a person. And it is the same I as your I. But the connection between us needs further understanding, for instance of the relation between subjective time and physical time. So this is a combination of intuition and speculation, a metaphysical hypothesis that tries to answer our critical existential questions, and despite being seemingly paradoxical in some respects it is logically consistent and indeed answers those questions.

The concept of the metaphysical subject a´la Wittgenstein or the transcendental subject as I understand it seems to be the key point and difficult to understand. And it is also difficult to explain if one does not have an insight of what it means.

To sum up, my hypothesis is based on these premises:

1. My nonexistence is impossible.
2. There are no foreign experiences.

And the whole story can be found in my other posts.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 20th, 2018, 8:05 am

'I' denotes the present abstracted from its content. Subjective time means that the present always has a content and a next content.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Vivek7 » March 20th, 2018, 10:14 am

This is really an interesting topic to discuss and when we put forth our own opinions and listen to what others have to say that broaden our perspectives and understandings of the world and our lives. Existence is a mystery also a philosophical problem. At times it is unpleasant to think life ends at death. From time immemorial men are contemplating over existence , its meaning and purpose of life, and yet we have not found answers. Science has a certain domain of understanding life and it is however limited to the biology of life, and the spiritual aspect to is something different and unverifiable. Though we are not answered but the joy of looking for a meaning or a purpose is something we cannot dispense with.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Greta » March 20th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Tamminen wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 5:37 am
Only the I that does not vanish is not a soul or identity, it is just me, the pure I, without any other characteristics. It is not me as a person. And it is the same I as your I.
Seemingly what happens when you die is that your little piece of the big "I" goes away. As Sgt Major Hartman from Full Metal Jacket said - Marine die, but the Corps lives on" :)

Not sure what happens to the "I", though, if a rogue black hole swallowed the Earth ... does it immediately switch to life on the nearest planet? Wouldn't suddenly getting all that "extra I" from a demolished Earth metaphysically impact on the inhabitants of the planet receiving the Earth's I? You'd imagine they'd have to feel something if that were true.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 21st, 2018, 5:22 am

Greta wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 7:42 pm
Tamminen wrote:
March 20th, 2018, 5:37 am
Only the I that does not vanish is not a soul or identity, it is just me, the pure I, without any other characteristics. It is not me as a person. And it is the same I as your I.
Seemingly what happens when you die is that your little piece of the big "I" goes away. As Sgt Major Hartman from Full Metal Jacket said - Marine die, but the Corps lives on" :)

Not sure what happens to the "I", though, if a rogue black hole swallowed the Earth ... does it immediately switch to life on the nearest planet? Wouldn't suddenly getting all that "extra I" from a demolished Earth metaphysically impact on the inhabitants of the planet receiving the Earth's I? You'd imagine they'd have to feel something if that were true.
Everything is as it is. Nothing changes when we die. It is only a question of the way we see reality in a logically consistent way. It is the same as in the case of physics and cosmology. We have the standard model and general relativity and we seek a unified theory that would "explain" everything. We seek it because there are logical inconsistencies in our present theories.

The same is needed for philosophical theories about our existence. We have paradoxes like death and foreign minds and we cannot understand their meaning. So we seek "existential symmetries" that would make our situation more understandable, in the same way as pysicists seek symmetries that explain material events.

In every physical symmetry there is something that does not change when the situation changes. In the existential symmetry I am suggesting the present is always there, only its content changes. And the being of the present needs no explanation.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Greta » March 21st, 2018, 5:11 pm

Tamminen wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 5:22 am
In every physical symmetry there is something that does not change when the situation changes. In the existential symmetry I am suggesting the present is always there, only its content changes. And the being of the present needs no explanation.
Yet during deep sleep the sense of being is gone; the present is not perceived at all. Presumably, it's the same situation with death.

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Re: Exsistence and afterlife

Post by Tamminen » March 21st, 2018, 5:30 pm

Greta wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 5:11 pm
Tamminen wrote:
March 21st, 2018, 5:22 am
In every physical symmetry there is something that does not change when the situation changes. In the existential symmetry I am suggesting the present is always there, only its content changes. And the being of the present needs no explanation.
Yet during deep sleep the sense of being is gone; the present is not perceived at all. Presumably, it's the same situation with death.
By the present I mean the present experience. Physical time is another thing. What is not experienced does not belong to subjective time.

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