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Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Arjen
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Arjen » January 22nd, 2019, 6:18 pm

So, guys, I am new here and I am not sure what these 27 pages are all about, so forgive me if I am butting in improperly. I do think that I have something to say on the matter. It is a personal experience that convinced me, scientifically, that consciousness survives the body after death. The story that I am going to tell you is the truth as I know it, I swear it on my mother's grave and my father's ashes.

A few years ago, my mother passed away. Directly after a person dies, the body is kept in a cool place to prevent the worst decomposition to set in. In my mother's case, it was in a ward of an undertaker. The state requires a 2 or 3 day waiting period before allowing a burial, because there is such a thing as fake death: people sometimes wake up again. If that person was already buried, that sure is a fate worse than death. My mother had heart problems and what sometimes happens with heart problems after death are swellings of blood or moist in the blood. I think it is because heart problems create difficulty for the blood to move all the fluids through the body. Regardless of why, on the 2nd or 3rd night I woke up. I my sleep I had heard my mother's voice and even after I woke up, it was like, because it was more like a feeling (my ears didn't hear anything) she was calling to me saying she was so cold and it was dark. I couldn't shake the feeling that she needed me. So, in the middle of the night, I called the undertaker, that had a night watchman. And he asks me if he can call me back, because he needs to check on something. When he called me back, he said that there was one body that had suffered a swelling (in the face, it later turned out) and that he could hear something happening when I called. I feel as if she was making a last effort or something. She was reaching out because her body wasn't cooperating anymore and panicked. I see proof in the fact that her body was acting up just as I called. That is proof to me. I wake up, with a feeling of her needing help. I work up the nerve to call the undertaker and when I call, the body is actively doing something. The phone call was logged. The man will confess to it any time he said. It is verifiable.

In your responses to this, please show some respect to my dead mother. Other than that, you can question everything, including my sanity. I know I did.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 22nd, 2019, 8:10 pm

Surely, this one deserves another thread, but since we are here...
Consul wrote:For example, the question is: What is the referent of the name "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony"? Beethoven's handwritten original score and all printed copies or versions of it are concrete, physical things representing BNS, but none of them is called "BNS". All performances of BNS are concrete, physical events and manifestations of it, but none of them is called "BNS". For BNS as such is an abstract or "objectively ideal" (* object, and I think as such it is a fictional object. (* i.e. not "subjectively ideal" like a mental idea or image)
There are abstract and concrete objects. From concrete singular objects (concrete particulars) we produce abstract singular objects (abstract particulars), but also, from a set of concrete singular objects, of which we identify common attributes, we produce abstract universal objects (as general categories). These are the ones for which is made the distinction between type and its tokens, the abstract universal and its concrete instances. Now, regarding a musical work as Beethoven's Ninth, the question is whether it is an abstract universal or a concrete object. I think we should acknowledge that it is a singular concrete object, which exists as a composition, a design, a particular organization of sounds devised in a particular moment in time. It happens to require for its perception and realization as a discrete entity, the material representation of symbols (musical notation), that is, the graphical record that allows its reassembly in particular performances. The same happens with theatrical plays, but also with the design of a house or a car, which at one moment ceased to be only abstract objects in the creator's mind and became concrete designs, evidenced by precise blueprints. So, the Ninth is not an abstract universal; as a singular object it is not a type, and neither its performances are tokens. However, in relation to the "classical music" type, the Ninth could be its token.

Painting and sculpture, because of the materials used and the corresponding perception, do not require "instructions" for their realization, they come out as discrete entities right away, the moment of creation coincides with the moment of execution. I think that perhaps this is (or should be) behind Goodman's famous distinction between autographic and allographic art. Thus, the exact copy of a painting is a forgery, but the exact reproduction of Beethoven's Ninth is not.

None of this has to do with the nature of fictional entities, which can show up by means of representation in singular concrete objects, and can become abstract universals. The gargoyles in medieval churches represent mythical, fictional, imaginary entities, which don't really exist, but the stone figures are concrete particulars, of which common features could be abstracted to conform the abstract universal type "gargoyle", being each particular stone gargoyle its token.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 22nd, 2019, 9:38 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:53 pm
I said "conscious states are not social institutions" because you had compared consciousness with university and my contention is that that was not a useful comparison.
Not exactly. I didn't compare consciousness with an university, I compared the type of epistemology embedded in the notion that "cognitive processes are not consciousness" with that of a person that could not acknowledge the existence of a concrete entity on the basis that he could not recognize it in its essential constituent elements. It was you who jumped to say that the given example was not a concrete entity, but an "invisible myth". As it has been shown, that's not true.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 23rd, 2019, 7:33 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 9:38 pm
Belindi wrote:
January 21st, 2019, 7:53 pm
I said "conscious states are not social institutions" because you had compared consciousness with university and my contention is that that was not a useful comparison.
Not exactly. I didn't compare consciousness with an university, I compared the type of epistemology embedded in the notion that "cognitive processes are not consciousness" with that of a person that could not acknowledge the existence of a concrete entity on the basis that he could not recognize it in its essential constituent elements. It was you who jumped to say that the given example was not a concrete entity, but an "invisible myth". As it has been shown, that's not true.
Regarding "the type of epistemology"; how we can know that cognitive processes are not consciousness is by reason of scientific research and development of clinical methods to help people whose cognitive processes are not as well as they might be. One of the tenets of that scientific research and development is that 'consciousness' includes several separate brain states as objectively defined by preponderance of a specific brain chemical at any one time, and objectively defined by the feeling of being awake, or dreaming, and so on. If someone wants to claim that "Consciousness Survives Bodily Death" they need to name which variety of consciousness they are talking about.

Concrete entities may be variously approached as if they are physical things or as if they are mental things. We can do this and the physical and the mental approaches to knowing the entity are not mutually exclusive.

If "the given example" refers to a university then any specified university, say Oxford University , is referred to as buildings or social institution according to the sort of conversation that is going on. It's actually very usual to have a conversation about Oxford University as a social institution with no reference to the buildings of Oxford University.It's also common to have a conversation about the mythical quality of Oxford University. Indeed most people would agree that Oxford University would not be Oxford University without its fictional, mythical quality. I have used the word 'fiction' in this instance as a narrative which is socially interpreted without its relating to any materially existing entity.

Oxford University features in the 'His Dark Materials' fiction by Philip Pullman. In these stories the concrete reality of Oxford University buildings and geography is recognisable through the veil of altered names of things and functionaries for the purposes of the stories. In this fiction the mythical quality and social status of Oxford University remains much like it is in everyday reality. In the fictional stories as in everyday reality there would be no Oxford University but for the mythical status, that's to say the invisible social construct, of Oxford University.

Neither the stone buildings of Oxford University nor the myth of Oxford University can be experienced by dead people.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 23rd, 2019, 9:10 am

Arjen wrote:
January 22nd, 2019, 6:18 pm
So, guys, I am new here and I am not sure what these 27 pages are all about, so forgive me if I am butting in improperly. I do think that I have something to say on the matter. It is a personal experience that convinced me, scientifically, that consciousness survives the body after death. The story that I am going to tell you is the truth as I know it, I swear it on my mother's grave and my father's ashes.
I have no reason to believe that you didn't go through the experience you describe or that you're insane. It's pretty obvious that you're convinced of the interpretation that you give to the events and I wouldn't try to convince you otherwise. However, let it be noticed that it's not accurate to say that you were convinced by way of a scientific demonstration. It was not an experiment and variables were not controlled. You can also consider that whatever you think had happened, it should be common in corpses and many people would have noticed. Enough to make it a thoroughly studied phenomenon.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Arjen » January 23rd, 2019, 11:29 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 9:10 am
I have no reason to believe that you didn't go through the experience you describe or that you're insane. It's pretty obvious that you're convinced of the interpretation that you give to the events and I wouldn't try to convince you otherwise. However, let it be noticed that it's not accurate to say that you were convinced by way of a scientific demonstration. It was not an experiment and variables were not controlled. You can also consider that whatever you think had happened, it should be common in corpses and many people would have noticed. Enough to make it a thoroughly studied phenomenon.
Good points, but it is verifiable and I did manage to call at the moment that the corpse was acting up and behaving un-corpselike. I see no other explanation. can you come up with one?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 23rd, 2019, 12:03 pm

Arjen, with respect ,I think these events could have been coincidental rather than causally linked.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 23rd, 2019, 3:00 pm

Belindi wrote:Regarding "the type of epistemology"; how we can know that cognitive processes are not consciousness is by reason of scientific research and development of clinical methods to help people whose cognitive processes are not as well as they might be. One of the tenets of that scientific research and development is that 'consciousness' includes several separate brain states as objectively defined by preponderance of a specific brain chemical at any one time, and objectively defined by the feeling of being awake, or dreaming, and so on. If someone wants to claim that "Consciousness Survives Bodily Death" they need to name which variety of consciousness they are talking about.
Again, you seem to be endorsing the claim that "cognitive processes are not consciousness", perhaps implying the same notion that constituent elements are not the entity itself, while not providing the proper arguments. Impaired cognition does not compel us to believe that cognition is not consciousness. Brain states, mental processes, are the same as cognition, and they definitely are essential constituents of consciousness. Maybe the concept is better understood if we reverse the proposition in the form of the question: can consciousness be without cognition?
Belindi wrote: It's actually very usual to have a conversation about Oxford University as a social institution with no reference to the buildings of Oxford University.It's also common to have a conversation about the mythical quality of Oxford University. Indeed most people would agree that Oxford University would not be Oxford University without its fictional, mythical quality. I have used the word 'fiction' in this instance as a narrative which is socially interpreted without its relating to any materially existing entity.
Nothing that Oxford does is possible without its ontological status as a concrete entity, without its nature of being. The point is that the physical support for the basic operations of Oxford as an educational organization includes its facilities, they are part of its nature of being. As such, it cannot be avoided by Oxford or anyone, just as you cannot manage without an eye to perform the visual function. Quite contrary to the case of any "mythical" connotations of Oxford's reception in society, which as important as one may think they are, still are accessory, not essential to its being. In any case, this kind of "myth" has nothing to do with fiction and seems to carry a common confusion in language between "myth" and "legend". While myth has no support in real events, the real actions of people or institutions can create over time a certain fame or reputation, a legendary quality that involves some basis in facts, usually distorted or embellished through generations.

https://www.diffen.com/difference/Legend_vs_Myth

A legend is presumed to have some basis in historical fact and tends to mention real people or events. Historical fact morphs into a legend when the truth has been exaggerated to the point that real people or events have taken on a romanticized, "larger than life" quality. In contrast, a myth is a type of symbolic storytelling that was never based on fact. Throughout time, myths have sought to explain difficult concepts (e.g., the origin of the universe) with the help of common story devices, such as personification and allegories.

These words are commonly used interchangeably to refer to the fictitious nature of something. Historically and academically, however, there is a difference.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Arjen » January 23rd, 2019, 4:24 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 12:03 pm
Arjen, with respect ,I think these events could have been coincidental rather than causally linked.
That is a mighty big coincidence, you coincidence theorist! :P
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 3:00 pm
Again, you seem to be endorsing the claim that "cognitive processes are not consciousness", perhaps implying the same notion that constituent elements are not the entity itself, while not providing the proper arguments. Impaired cognition does not compel us to believe that cognition is not consciousness. Brain states, mental processes, are the same as cognition, and they definitely are essential constituents of consciousness. Maybe the concept is better understood if we reverse the proposition in the form of the question: can consciousness be without cognition?
[\quote]
Pardon me for butting in again, but allow me to say the following:

1) Consciousness is that which can be acted upon. Perhaps an example of a membrane is good. Stretched to almost being a drum, anything that touches it makes it vibrate and form around it. In this way, we grasp what acts upon us.

2) I am not my thoughts. I am that which thinks.

I forgot where I got those.
Perhaps it helps.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » January 24th, 2019, 7:45 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 3:00 pm
Again, you seem to be endorsing the claim that "cognitive processes are not consciousness", perhaps implying the same notion that constituent elements are not the entity itself...
But we do not know if they are constituent elements. You are assuming, here, the conclusion. Consciousness is made of cognitive elements. We now have machines that engage in cognitive processes. Do these machines now have some kind of consciousness? Are they experiencing? What cognitive processes elicit experiencing in matter. IOW not simply responding in certain ways - responding as billiard balls respond to an impact, but in these cognitive processes, obviously, the effects are vastly more complicated - but experiencing. That there is a subjectivity. We assume that it is due to some specific complexity of impacts/effects, but we have no evidence of this. We assume that other people are experiencers, since they are like us. And this assumption first kept us - or at least scientists - from thinking animals had consciousness. They were consider machines past the second half of the previous century in science - though not elsewhere. And given that we experience cognitive processes, we can find similarities with other animals, when we find their cognitive processes. So we assume that cognition is conflatable with consciousness. I think that's a weak assumption and it certainly hasn't been demonstrated. Note, this is not me arguing that animals are not conscious, just that we have no idea what leads to experiencing. We do know what affects the experiences.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 24th, 2019, 10:22 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
Again, you seem to be endorsing the claim that "cognitive processes are not consciousness", perhaps implying the same notion that constituent elements are not the entity itself, while not providing the proper arguments. Impaired cognition does not compel us to believe that cognition is not consciousness. Brain states, mental processes, are the same as cognition, and they definitely are essential constituents of consciousness. Maybe the concept is better understood if we reverse the proposition in the form of the question: can consciousness be without cognition?
I do indeed imply that constituents are not the whole . There are comparative levels of cognition between one brain state and another. Dreams are cognate only insofar as the information source is memory, while waking states' information source is the external environment.I claim that between those two brain states the waking state involves access to more information. My claim relates to the question " Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?" in that it's not clear which variety of consciousness is referred to.

Let's take it that the question refers to waking consciousness of someone who has adult cognition and is not demented. To answer the question in the positive it's necessary to presuppose the possibility of separable bodiless ontic substance which is commonly referred to as mind.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 24th, 2019, 9:43 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 7:45 am
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 3:00 pm
Again, you seem to be endorsing the claim that "cognitive processes are not consciousness", perhaps implying the same notion that constituent elements are not the entity itself...
But we do not know if they are constituent elements. You are assuming, here, the conclusion. Consciousness is made of cognitive elements.
You seem to be contradicting yourself here, please clarify. If consciousness is made of cognitive elements, then they are its constituent elements.
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 7:45 am
We now have machines that engage in cognitive processes. Do these machines now have some kind of consciousness? Are they experiencing?
Only in science fiction do machines engage in cognition. Cognition as computation is an outdated theory of mind.
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 7:45 am
What cognitive processes elicit experiencing in matter. IOW not simply responding in certain ways - responding as billiard balls respond to an impact, but in these cognitive processes, obviously, the effects are vastly more complicated - but experiencing. That there is a subjectivity. We assume that it is due to some specific complexity of impacts/effects, but we have no evidence of this. We assume that other people are experiencers, since they are like us. And this assumption first kept us - or at least scientists - from thinking animals had consciousness. They were consider machines past the second half of the previous century in science - though not elsewhere. And given that we experience cognitive processes, we can find similarities with other animals, when we find their cognitive processes. So we assume that cognition is conflatable with consciousness. I think that's a weak assumption and it certainly hasn't been demonstrated. Note, this is not me arguing that animals are not conscious, just that we have no idea what leads to experiencing. We do know what affects the experiences.
There's a lot we don't understand yet about consciousness, but we do understand that it is embodied, that it is intricately linked to mental processes and other bodily functions, that those processes conform the subject's experience of the world and the self, and that all of this is related to physical properties of matter, not having any other alternative substance to assign such properties.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 24th, 2019, 10:14 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 10:22 am

I do indeed imply that constituents are not the whole.
The constituents and their relationships make the whole. In any case, you can't do without the constituents to appropriate the whole.
Belindi wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 10:22 am
There are comparative levels of cognition between one brain state and another. Dreams are cognate only insofar as the information source is memory, while waking states' information source is the external environment.I claim that between those two brain states the waking state involves access to more information.
That looks like a computational theory of mind. I'd rather replace "information" with stimuli and acknowledge that they can come from different bodily operations of an organism and be centralized in the brain, but it is the whole organism that has experiences, not the brain alone. Then, by "external" it can only mean "outside the organism", not "outside the mind (brain)".
Belindi wrote:
January 24th, 2019, 10:22 am
Let's take it that the question refers to waking consciousness of someone who has adult cognition and is not demented. To answer the question in the positive it's necessary to presuppose the possibility of separable bodiless ontic substance which is commonly referred to as mind.
Erroneously and commonly referred to as mind. Mind is mostly what the brain does, and the brain is a physical organ in a physical organism in a physical world. We can't presuppose the possibility of "bodiless ontic substances", of which there are no intelligible handles to grasp, but even worst, there can't be, since they would have to be appropriated by physical bodies. How can it be posited a relationship between known material substances and unknown incorporeal substances without the material substance being fundamentally affected in its behavior?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 25th, 2019, 8:09 am

Count, I find nothing contentious in your last posting. Neither am I persuaded by substance dualism. It's more probable that ghosts are hallucinations than that they are real mind entities. In this regard it's interesting that most ghosts appear around death and bereavement which is when the appearance of a dead person can be beneficial to the recently bereaved.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 25th, 2019, 10:10 am

Belindi wrote:
January 25th, 2019, 8:09 am
Count, I find nothing contentious in your last posting. Neither am I persuaded by substance dualism. It's more probable that ghosts are hallucinations than that they are real mind entities. In this regard it's interesting that most ghosts appear around death and bereavement which is when the appearance of a dead person can be beneficial to the recently bereaved.
People who believe in ghosts don't invest much time in thinking about their ontology. These entities are supposedly seen and heard, perceived as moving things and generating noises. A basic analysis of these perceptions indicates that they're only possible under material conditions of being and respond to physical laws. To "see" a ghost implies that light hits its body and bounces as reflection that hits our eyes. Same for hearing them. And for moving things the transmission of a physical force is required. Despite this behavior as physical objects, it is claimed that they can go through the walls. Note that these claims are almost of the same nature as those found in NDE reports, especially in so called OBE (out of body experiences).

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