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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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Consul
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 26th, 2019, 12:18 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 25th, 2019, 10:10 am
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).
You're absolutely right. The folk-dualistic conception of ghosts or spirits or souls is essentially different from Descartes's substance dualism. Folk dualism is actually a materialistic dualism, according to which there are two different kinds of material objects/substances: ones made of some "coarse" or "thick" stuff, i.e. ordinary, readily perceptible solid bodies, and ones made of some "fine" or "thin" stuff, i.e. "subtle", "airy", or "ethereal" bodies.

See this older post of mine: viewtopic.php?p=284977#p284977

"The idea of an immaterial substance, as it is defined by metaphysicians, is intirely a modern thing, and is still unknown to the vulgar. The original, and still prevailing idea concerning a soul or a spirit, is that of a kind of attenuated aerial substance, of a more subtle nature than gross bodies, which have weight, and make a sensible resistance when they are pushed against, or struck at."

(Priestley, Joseph. Disquisitions Relating to Matter and Spirit. 2nd ed. London: J. Johnson, 1782. p. 72)

"We commonly think that we, as persons, have both a mental and a bodily dimension—or mental aspects and material aspects. Something like this dualism of personhood, I believe, is common lore shared across most cultures and religious traditions, although it is seldom articulated in the form of an explicit set of doctrines as in modern western philosophy and some developed theologies. It is often part of this 'folk dualism' that we are able to survive bodily deaths, as souls or spirits, and retain all or most of the mental aspects of ourselves, such as memory, the capacity for thought and volition, and traits of character and personality, long after our bodies have crumbled to dust.
Spirits and souls as conceived in popular lore seem not be entirely without physical properties, if only vestigially physical ones, and are not what Descartes and other philosophical dualists would call souls or minds—wholly immaterial and nonphysical substances with no physical properties whatever. For example, souls are commonly said to leave the body when a person dies and rise upward toward heaven, indicating that they are thought to have, and be able to change, locations in physical space. And they can be heard and seen, we are told, by people endowed with special powers and in an especially propitious frame of mind. Souls are sometimes pictured as balls of bright light, causing the air to stir as they glide through space and even emitting faint unearthly sounds. But souls and spirits depicted in stories and literature, and in films, are not the immaterial minds of the serious dualist. These latter souls are wholly immaterial and entirely outside physical space."


(Kim, Jaegwon. Physicalism or Something Near Enough. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. p. 73)
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Consul
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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 26th, 2019, 12:28 am

Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 12:18 am
You're absolutely right. The folk-dualistic conception of ghosts or spirits or souls is essentially different from Descartes's substance dualism.
A Cartesian soul or "spiritual substance" is an imperceptible immaterial object/substance which lacks both a spatial extension and a spatial location. A non-Cartesian soul could have a spatial location by being located at some point of space; but by being a zero-dimensional (0D) object, it couldn't be simultaneously present at more than one space-point. And that immaterial souls in the philosophical sense are zero-dimensional explains why they are invisible in principle, since a point lacks a surface that could reflect visible light.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 26th, 2019, 2:33 am

Belindi wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 7:33 am
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.
Essential to a social institution or organization are not only persons and a material apparatus, but also a normative constitution, i.e. a set of social roles und rules (laws) that prescribes its nature, function/purpose, and limits, and thereby guides the actions of those involved in it.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 26th, 2019, 5:46 am

Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 2:33 am
Belindi wrote:
January 23rd, 2019, 7:33 am
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.
Essential to a social institution or organization are not only persons and a material apparatus, but also a normative constitution, i.e. a set of social roles und rules (laws) that prescribes its nature, function/purpose, and limits, and thereby guides the actions of those involved in it.
I do appreciate what you write here about the normative constitution of institutions. Could you please now relate and compare 'myth' and 'normative constitution'?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 26th, 2019, 5:52 am

Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 12:28 am
Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 12:18 am
You're absolutely right. The folk-dualistic conception of ghosts or spirits or souls is essentially different from Descartes's substance dualism.
A Cartesian soul or "spiritual substance" is an imperceptible immaterial object/substance which lacks both a spatial extension and a spatial location. A non-Cartesian soul could have a spatial location by being located at some point of space; but by being a zero-dimensional (0D) object, it couldn't be simultaneously present at more than one space-point. And that immaterial souls in the philosophical sense are zero-dimensional explains why they are invisible in principle, since a point lacks a surface that could reflect visible light.
I accept that ghosts, and Cartesian souls, are different.

I now wonder how Christian doctrine explains souls. Does Christian doctrine explain souls as ghosts or alternatively as Cartesian souls? I read your post from 2017, Consul, and note that Aristotle combines the idea of the development of a living thing into its full flowering (I am putting this in my own words not copying from your 2017 post ) and then when the organism dies it it stops breathing, the breath of life ceases, it "gives up the ghost" as The Bible has it regarding the death of Christ. I think I've heard that Christian doctrine is Aristotelian in its metaphysics.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Count Lucanor » January 26th, 2019, 7:53 pm

Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 12:18 am
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 25th, 2019, 10:10 am
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).
You're absolutely right. The folk-dualistic conception of ghosts or spirits or souls is essentially different from Descartes's substance dualism. Folk dualism is actually a materialistic dualism, according to which there are two different kinds of material objects/substances: ones made of some "coarse" or "thick" stuff, i.e. ordinary, readily perceptible solid bodies, and ones made of some "fine" or "thin" stuff, i.e. "subtle", "airy", or "ethereal" bodies.

See this older post of mine: viewtopic.php?p=284977#p284977

"The idea of an immaterial substance, as it is defined by metaphysicians, is intirely a modern thing, and is still unknown to the vulgar. The original, and still prevailing idea concerning a soul or a spirit, is that of a kind of attenuated aerial substance, of a more subtle nature than gross bodies, which have weight, and make a sensible resistance when they are pushed against, or struck at."
That's an interesting side, considering that conventionally, materialism and dualism have been mutually exclusive, although there's a version of materialism which applies the dualistic notion to emergentism. In this latter case, however, it's not an actual contrasting dichotomy, but a matter of levels and relationships.

Even though the platonic idea of soul seems to have a well rooted presence in Blavasky's Theosophy, Spiritualism and Spiritism, there are some of their doctrines that may point in the direction that you describe. I couldn't tell, because I don't really know them well, but perhaps it only reflects the incoherent nature of these movements, where one nonsensical claim lives alongside its opposite.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Consul » January 26th, 2019, 10:48 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 7:53 pm
Consul wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 12:18 am
"The idea of an immaterial substance, as it is defined by metaphysicians, is intirely a modern thing, and is still unknown to the vulgar. The original, and still prevailing idea concerning a soul or a spirit, is that of a kind of attenuated aerial substance, of a more subtle nature than gross bodies, which have weight, and make a sensible resistance when they are pushed against, or struck at."
That's an interesting side, considering that conventionally, materialism and dualism have been mutually exclusive, although there's a version of materialism which applies the dualistic notion to emergentism. In this latter case, however, it's not an actual contrasting dichotomy, but a matter of levels and relationships.
I was referring to a non-emergentistic materialistic substance dualism.

"Epicurus is an atomist, and in accordance with his atomism he takes the soul, like everything else that there is except for the void, to be ultimately composed of atoms. Our sources are somewhat unclear as to exactly which kinds of materials he took to be involved in the composition of soul. It is very probable, though, that in addition to some relatively familiar materials — such as fire-like and wind-like stuffs, or rather the atoms making up such stuffs — the soul, on Epicurus' view, also includes, in fact as a key ingredient, atoms of a nameless kind of substance, which is responsible for sense-perception.
...
Stoic physics allows for three different kinds of pneuma (lit. ‘breath’), a breath-like material compound of two of the four Stoic elements, fire and air.
...
Like many (or indeed all) sixth and fifth century thinkers who expressed views on the nature or constitution of the soul, Heraclitus thought that the soul was bodily, but composed of an unusually fine or rare kind of matter, e.g. air or fire. (A possible exception is the Pythagorean Philolaus, who may have held that the soul is an 'attunement' of the body.) The prevalence of the idea that the soul is bodily explains the absence of problems about the relation between soul and body. Soul and body were not thought to be radically different in kind; their difference seemed just to consist in a difference in degree of properties such as fineness and mobility.
...
[T]he first thing that might strike us about the theories of soul adopted by the two dominant Hellenistic schools, Epicurus' Garden and the Stoa, is the doctrine, shared by both, that the soul is corporeal. A number of Stoic arguments for the claim that the soul is a body have come down to us."


Ancient Theories of Soul: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/
Count Lucanor wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 7:53 pm
Even though the platonic idea of soul seems to have a well rooted presence in Blavasky's Theosophy, Spiritualism and Spiritism, there are some of their doctrines that may point in the direction that you describe. I couldn't tell, because I don't really know them well, but perhaps it only reflects the incoherent nature of these movements, where one nonsensical claim lives alongside its opposite.
Occultist or spiritualist metaphysics such as theosophy is a dark swamp infested with illogicality and irrationality.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by The Beast » January 27th, 2019, 2:30 pm

It is understood that individual consciousness operates within an energetic environment. It is then a middle term of the syllogism. There are other energetic environments compatible with consciousness therefore consciousness survives outside as a transformation. Consciousness carries within its design the formula to survive the next event or the transition to a new energetic environment. The question of whole or parts is evolutionary as is the transformation of consciousness.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by BigBango » January 28th, 2019, 8:42 pm

Our consciousness exists as two different substances. The substance we study in cognitive science and neurology, cells, neurons, synapses or the nervous system as generally accepted as the infrastructure of "consciousness" and the possibility of the "mental" side of a dual aspect ontology.

I claim that the "mental" side of this ontology. the "subject" as conceived by Tamminen, has a physical nature that is beyond direct observation by sciences current prowess. Sciences current capabilities have only explicated the nature of 10% of the mass of this universe.

Why not, at least, entertain actual reasonable theories about the physical nature of that "mental/subject" if someone like myself is willing to offer them up for your scrutiny. Are you afraid that they might destroy your current attachment to the physical monism that you desperately believe? I would guess a more comfortable path for you is to imagine that the constitution of the "mental" aspect, that might survive death, is just some psychic wet dream that can be seen, "substance", yet can can go through walls. Of course that is nonsense.

Sorry, I am a little tired of having spent 15 years developing a deeper understanding of reality based on coherent, if not immediately provable theories, and have people ignore my theories while, at the same time, offer up their own theories that can conveniently be easily disproved.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 29th, 2019, 8:33 am

BigBango wrote:
Why not, at least, entertain actual reasonable theories about the physical nature of that "mental/subject" if someone like myself is willing to offer them up for your scrutiny. Are you afraid that they might destroy your current attachment to the physical monism that you desperately believe? I would guess a more comfortable path for you is to imagine that the constitution of the "mental" aspect, that might survive death, is just some psychic wet dream that can be seen, "substance", yet can can go through walls. Of course that is nonsense.
I do agree that metaphysical underpinnings should be reviewed.

Measuring is what modern people do a lot . Mental stuff can't be quantified. How then are we to picture it?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by BigBango » January 29th, 2019, 11:11 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 8:33 am

I do agree that metaphysical underpinnings should be reviewed.

Measuring is what modern people do a lot . Mental stuff can't be quantified. How then are we to picture it?
Thank you Belindi for asking. I will answer you.

Measuring with tools that are made of the stuff we are measuring leads to QM and its necessity to describe reality as both a particle and a wave, with a given probability function that can predict either where the particle is or what its momentum is but not both. Its testing methods require we assume that the matter we are testing interferes with our tools as would a wave structure that develops between our tools and the matter we are measuring. It is the measuring tools we use that force this conclusion.

We cannot measure dark matter, except to know that it accounts for 90% of the mass of the universe.

What you need to picture the whole world are theories that account for the existence of both electro dynamically visible matter and dark matter.

If you just picture a normal universe of galaxies existing before the Big Bang and then imagine that they are "old" and are existing near the end of their life as their black hole galactic centers are collapsing. Then see that the civilizations of those galaxies could see what was happening and fled its center of implosion. After the implosion (Big Crunch/Big Bang) they waited for their former universe to cool. These civilizations came back to the remnants of their former universe and began a program of harvesting its energy. Thus cells were born.

The reason for this transformation from pre-Big Bang civilizations to cells is that the new world, after the Big Bang, threw the former galactic centers into our molecules as quarks. That is, a physics evolved from the galactic centers that created a new fractal level of reality, in which pre Big Bang civilizations were then tiny compared to an atom in the new world. Note now we have tiny advanced galactic civilizations that are near the size of Planck volumes.

Before you laugh too hard realize that this account of the evolution of the universe does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics as does the QM vision of reality that burps order out of the nothingness of space.

I think we have had an evolution of a typical world of galaxies that evolved civilizations and then suffered a collapse that gave birth to our familiar world. These galactic civilizations have given birth to creatures in our familiar world through the clever construction of the cell. It has become the way they have gained some casual efficacy in a world whose physical size dwarfs them.

Therefore imagine things that are normal to the world we perceive but existed before the big Bang. It was an old world and we are a young world. We are big and the are tiny. They are our creators and our soul and I have no doubt that our physical death is just a moment of concern for them to detach from a building crumbling.

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » January 30th, 2019, 7:48 am

BigBango, I'm not laughing but feel a little sad that I understand almost nothing about your description of stuff that cannot be measured. I wish I could understand. Could you possibly provide a simple everyday analogy at least?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by BigBango » January 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 7:48 am
BigBango, I'm not laughing but feel a little sad that I understand almost nothing about your description of stuff that cannot be measured. I wish I could understand. Could you possibly provide a simple everyday analogy at least?
I do know why a lot of people have trouble understanding my thesis. I am not sure this is your problem but it might be. so I will address this problem first.

To first summarize the problem I would say that you might have a misconception about the very concept of "size". "Size" is a relative term that assumes you mean "compared to what". A pea is smaller than a grapefruit, but how "big" is a pea if nothing else, but the pea, exists? That is a silly question. On a grander scale, if the universe is "closed" how big is the universe? Again that is just a silly question because you need to ask "compared to what?" Could a pea be made of houses or watermelons? Mathematically the number of points in any line segment is infinite. Therefor it is possible that in a finer granularity of say tiny atoms along a line segment the size of the diameter of the pea there could be instantiated in the tiny atoms the forms of 500,000 watermelons.

I mean you might try to object and say that the closed universe is so many light years wide, for example. And that measures it with the distance that "light" travels per year in our familiar universe. But ask yourself how big is a say 100,000 light year wide universe? Again a silly question until you add compared to what? A tiny universe could exist in a pea and it might be 100,000 of its light years wide and yet tiny compared to the pea it is in.

Maybe you see where I am going with this?

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by BigBango » February 2nd, 2019, 8:33 pm

BigBango wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm
Belindi wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 7:48 am
BigBango, I'm not laughing but feel a little sad that I understand almost nothing about your description of stuff that cannot be measured. I wish I could understand. Could you possibly provide a simple everyday analogy at least?
I do know why a lot of people have trouble understanding my thesis. I am not sure this is your problem but it might be. so I will address this problem first.

To first summarize the problem I would say that you might have a misconception about the very concept of "size". "Size" is a relative term that assumes you mean "compared to what". A pea is smaller than a grapefruit, but how "big" is a pea if nothing else, but the pea, exists? That is a silly question. On a grander scale, if the universe is "closed" how big is the universe? Again that is just a silly question because you need to ask "compared to what?" Could a pea be made of houses or watermelons? Mathematically the number of points in any line segment is infinite. Therefor it is possible that in a finer granularity of say tiny atoms along a line segment the size of the diameter of the pea there could be instantiated in the tiny atoms the forms of 500,000 watermelons.

I mean you might try to object and say that the closed universe is so many light years wide, for example. And that measures it with the distance that "light" travels per year in our familiar universe. But ask yourself how big is a say 100,000 light year wide universe? Again a silly question until you add compared to what? A tiny universe could exist in a pea and it might be 100,000 of its light years wide and yet tiny compared to the pea it is in.

Maybe you see where I am going with this?
I have no idea what no response from Belindi means. For that reason, I will just continue with the my thesis as it develops from the thorough examination of "size" explicated above.

The next step is to imagine a universe of galaxies preceding the Big Crunch Big Bang. This is an imagined world that existed before our familiar world. If it was a closed world then its size is simply relative to objects that are smaller. If there is nothing bigger then to ask "How big is this world?" is senseless. It could be 100,000 of its light years wide, yet it could evolve into a new world of new galaxies that are formed out of the collapse of the pre world of galaxies. I am asserting that the only difference between this pre Big Crunch/Big Bang world is that it is older, in evolutionary terms, than the familiar world we are in and its stars were collapsing on one another before the Big Crunch Big Bang transformed it into the plasma and subsequent rebirth of particles that formed our familiar galaxies.

If you have questions or do not understand my initial thesis , please speak up!!!

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Re: Evidence that Consciousness Survives Bodily Death?

Post by Belindi » February 3rd, 2019, 5:35 am

My response,BigBango, which I did not post, was that you did not provide a simple analogy.

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