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Nothingness after death - As uncertain as afterlife

I see some people saying that when you die, it's all over, and nothing remains, literally nothing. I find this as devoid of reason as saying there is heaven or other afterlife.

"Realistic" people may try to convince me that whe I die there will be "nothing", total destruction. But what is the base for that claim? Absolutely none. The person who feels smater than christians or other people for believing he is going to be totally vanished and nothing will exist after that is as deluded as anyone. Let's analyze:

1. Have they ever died? Then how come they know what it's like?

2. If they claim that it is because all brain activity will cease, then have they ever experienced this nothingness they talk about? If not, how can they claim that it exists? This is as speculative as assuming the existence of God. No one that I know of has ever experienced nothing. There is always something everywhere. It contradicts the laws of physics. So where the hell did they get this nothingness from?

3. If they say that they have actually experienced nothingness, and that it was the state before they were born, then how do they know how it was like then, if they were not even born yet? If they know what nothing feels like because they were not born, I can know what the big bang or the first human being making fire was like, because I was not born in that time too. Seems unrealistical? Then why the nothingness assumption seems realistical? Because they cannot remember what it was like before being born? I can not remember what is was like being 1 month old, or being in the uterus (and they say babies dream there). Does that mean there was nothingness there too? Why should the fact that there is no memory before we were born account for nothingness before and after life, if the fact that there is no memory of early stages of consciousness does not?

To resume: No one has ever seen this "nothing", it is a concept created by humans with as much evidence as any god or afterlife. Anyone that thinks they are smater for facing the terrible abyss of blackness that is death and not delude themselves with afterlife does so out of their imagination alone.

I

When the brain dies, it doesn't disappear. The mind is a field composed of various elements, a certain kind of organization; when the brain dies, all its elements remain in the Earth (physical universe) in a different disposition. We are lucky to be that field or disposition for an amount of time and call it "I".

Regardless the different complexities, it would be like worrying about the "death" of your operative system once your computer has been discarded.

It would be like worrying about the "death" of your operative system once your computer has been discarded.

Yes, but some people are just neurotic.

Is the question at all important? Does it have any implications for how we experience life?

It varies from person to person lolokay.

I see some people saying that when you die, it's all over, and nothing remains, literally nothing. I find this as devoid of reason as saying there is heaven or other afterlife.

"Realistic" people may try to convince me that whe I die there will be "nothing", total destruction. But what is the base for that claim? Absolutely none. The person who feels smater than christians or other people for believing he is going to be totally vanished and nothing will exist after that is as deluded as anyone. Let's analyze:

1. Have they ever died? Then how come they know what it's like?

2. If they claim that it is because all brain activity will cease, then have they ever experienced this nothingness they talk about? If not, how can they claim that it exists? This is as speculative as assuming the existence of God. No one that I know of has ever experienced nothing. There is always something everywhere. It contradicts the laws of physics. So where the hell did they get this nothingness from?

3. If they say that they have actually experienced nothingness, and that it was the state before they were born, then how do they know how it was like then, if they were not even born yet? If they know what nothing feels like because they were not born, I can know what the big bang or the first human being making fire was like, because I was not born in that time too. Seems unrealistical? Then why the nothingness assumption seems realistical? Because they cannot remember what it was like before being born? I can not remember what is was like being 1 month old, or being in the uterus (and they say babies dream there). Does that mean there was nothingness there too? Why should the fact that there is no memory before we were born account for nothingness before and after life, if the fact that there is no memory of early stages of consciousness does not?

To resume: No one has ever seen this "nothing", it is a concept created by humans with as much evidence as any god or afterlife. Anyone that thinks they are smater for facing the terrible abyss of blackness that is death and not delude themselves with afterlife does so out of their imagination alone.

I

Your second point is wrong. Just because I have never 'experienced' something, doesn't mean i can't have a pretty good reason for positing that it exists. I.e. an electron, proton, a number, a free-thinking christian, and so on.

It's called 'inference to the best explanation'. The need for certainty that only pure reason can deliver is usually paralysing, as in this case where you can't 'prove' either.

You are a complex organisation of 'physical' parts, the best of our knowledge. When this organisation breaks down, your 'self' is gone. What is the alternative? Could you spell it out clearly, and will it be another addition to the monotheism that pervades this *cough* nihilist forum?

It varies from person to person lolokay.

Why in your view is the question an important one?

I just assume that when I die, my cognitive processes will stop and the experience occuring will be decentralised - I will experience whatever it is that dead material experiences, which would have a correspondance to the physical structure of the material (I assume that everything that exists exists through its own experiences). The question has never really struck me as anything but a curiosity, but I know that to many others the question has a reality to it which makes it real to me via association with others. As death is the endpoint of life, it makes sense that action would be directed with the point of death in mind. Alternatively, the question of individual death may be replaced with the question of death of the community within which one exists, which is a similar question - now there is what there is, what will there be when there is not? how do our actions now effect this then? how then should we change our actions taking this into account?

It would be like worrying about the "death" of your operative system once your computer has been discarded.

Yes, but some people are just neurotic.

No, I'm not into that nu-atheist bandwagon of explaining the spiritual as psychological disorders aka God delusion. There's no enough statistical data to affirm such relationship. I only tried to refute the ontological nothingness of consciousness as it was proposed by the OP.

Your original supposition that absolute nothingness after death is impossible since there must always be something according to physical laws is correct, yet you wrongly fundamented it on assuming that we are able to "know" or "experience" something after the brain stops functioning. These two actions require a consciousness as its prior, and this presupposes a brain. Once we die, all knowing and experience ceases, because these are functions of our intellect.

We associate complete lack of consciousness with "nothingness", since "something" exists for us so long as we can perceive it. But in natural death all the other bodily functrions continue acting for a while after the brain stops functioning. Our matter dissolves, and exists in other shapes. Our will, as thing in itself, remains in the rest of nature. It can rightly be assumed that we continue to exist after death, however unconscious we are of it. We are no longer "I", the world vanishes for us, but we go on in a certain way.

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Your second point is wrong. Just because I have never 'experienced' something, doesn't mean i can't have a pretty good reason for positing that it exists. I.e. an electron, proton, a number, a free-thinking christian, and so on.

It's called 'inference to the best explanation'. The need for certainty that only pure reason can deliver is usually paralysing, as in this case where you can't 'prove' either.

You are a complex organisation of 'physical' parts, the best of our knowledge. When this organisation breaks down, your 'self' is gone. What is the alternative? Could you spell it out clearly, and will it be another addition to the monotheism that pervades this *cough* nihilist forum?

No alternative. I'm just proving, as you agreed, that the concept of nothingness, blackness or whatever (I'm talking specificaly about people who say death is the end, and then there is nothing.) has so much evidence for it as god and heaven. I don't know why total emptiness, blackness, non-existence or whatever would be a better explanation than afterlife. Ever heard of technically dead people that experienced visions, sometimes of what was going on in the hospital they were? This is just another side of the coin, I'm not arguing for any point.

So I cannot spell it out clearly, I have never died! Are you asking me to tell you what happens after death in a *nihilist* forum?


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Your original supposition that absolute nothingness after death is impossible since there must always be something according to physical laws is correct, yet you wrongly fundamented it on assuming that we are able to "know" or "experience" something after the brain stops functioning. These two actions require a consciousness as its prior, and this presupposes a brain. Once we die, all knowing and experience ceases, because these are functions of our intellect.

We associate complete lack of consciousness with "nothingness", since "something" exists for us so long as we can perceive it. But in natural death all the other bodily functrions continue acting for a while after the brain stops functioning. Our matter dissolves, and exists in other shapes. Our will, as thing in itself, remains in the rest of nature. It can rightly be assumed that we continue to exist after death, however unconscious we are of it. We are no longer "I", the world vanishes for us, but we go on in a certain way.

What we do not know is how this state of the "I" not existing is.

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Why in your view is the question an important one?

I just assume that when I die, my cognitive processes will stop and the experience occuring will be decentralised - I will experience whatever it is that dead material experiences, which would have a correspondance to the physical structure of the material (I assume that everything that exists exists through its own experiences). The question has never really struck me as anything but a curiosity, but I know that to many others the question has a reality to it which makes it real to me via association with others. As death is the endpoint of life, it makes sense that action would be directed with the point of death in mind. Alternatively, the question of individual death may be replaced with the question of death of the community within which one exists, which is a similar question - now there is what there is, what will there be when there is not? how do our actions now effect this then? how then should we change our actions taking this into account?

It's important because I'm curious about it, and because death is a constant thing in our minds and in the minds of all. I didn't understand much of what you said after being dead material (the community stuff).

Nimbostratus: OK.

It would be like worrying about the "death" of your operative system once your computer has been discarded.

Yes, but some people are just neurotic.

No, I'm not into that nu-atheist bandwagon of explaining the spiritual as psychological disorders aka God delusion. There's no enough statistical data to affirm such relationship. I only tried to refute the ontological nothingness of consciousness as it was proposed by the OP.


I was being glib... What bandwagon are you talking about?

Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, you know.

Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, you know.

I guess?
Though, I still find it neurotic to be so concerned with death when one is living. Death doesn't brush against the living, and vice versa.

Is the question at all important? Does it have any implications for how we experience life?
yes....
It has significant implications for philosophy, and all of life.
Why do you think some people say they "need" God?
I have talked to Christians who said that if there is only decomposition after death, if this is 100% proven without a doubt then they would kill themselves to get the hell out of this genetic rat race.

I have talked to Christians who said that if there is only decomposition after death, if this is 100% proven without a doubt then they would kill themselves to get the hell out of this genetic rat race.

Then they are fatalists, and it doesn't bother me in the least if they commit suicide. Society could do without fatalists; their apathy is cancerous.