AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

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AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:26 am

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OF THE ETERNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND PROBABLE NATURE AND OPERATION OF EXISTENCE

Given empirical knowledge of the apparent nature of existence (that it only appears in the form of a person and that which the person experiences), one can make an induction about the nature of the external world based on the nature of human consciousness. consciousness).

Human consciousness essentially consists of a single first-person subject of experiences and the experiences springing upon the subject at any given moment in time. The experiences that appear and disappear before and within the subject exist in seven distinct “modes” or modalities categorized by the anagram VAGOTET:

V=Visual Perception or Vision (Sense of Sight)

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A=Auditory Perception or Audition (Sense of Sound or Hearing)

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G=Gustatory Perception or Gustation (Sense of Taste)

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O=Olfactory Perception or Olfaction (Sense of Smell)

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T=Tactile Perception or Taction (Sense of Touch and/or Inward Biological Feel)

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E=Emotional Experience (in the modes of Positive, Negative, or Neutral)

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T=Thought (Mental perception in the form of visual and verbal thought in the form of memories and ideas, and dreams)

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At any given moment in time, human consciousness resides within a particular Frame of VAGOTET: a “moving picture frame” of a specific example of VAGOTET occurring to a person at a certain moment in time. Humans and other forms of consciousness do nothing but shift, moment by moment, from one frame of VAGOTET to the next.

(Note: Certain conscious beings do not possess the entire anagram. For example, a blind person exists as ongoing frames of -AGOTET while a deaf person exists as shifting frames of V-GOTET.)

The State of The External World In The Absence of Mind-Independent Doppelgangers of the Content of Visual Perception

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and (given the existence of consciousness as a hint as to what exists in the external world) the external world consists of nothing but conscious experience or the material used to make up conscious experience, the fact that persons exist implies the external world tends to produce persons (as it constantly cranks out persons).

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A person may be reductively explained as a temporary (or eternal) series of connected frames of VAGOTET.

Aside from persons, using the ever-changing or transitory nature of conscious experience as a guide, the external world may consist of a psychic substance or matter that is divided in quality and property into seven elements (the seven forms of consciousness or VAGOTET).

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The seven elements of the psychic substance existing in (or making up) the external world, using the complex organization of person-consciousness as a guide, most likely exist in the form of particles of the seven types of conscious experience: the seven types of PSYCHEONS that comprise every person that shall ever exist. Psycheons are the quantum of consciousness, particles of the seven elements of subjective experience, the modes of VAGOTET in miniaturized from (compare Chalmer’s panprotopsychism without the physical “candy shell”).

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Each Psycheon or particle of VAGOTET corresponds to each and every experience of every being that shall ever exist in the whole of eternity (infinite time) and infinity (infinite space). The existence of any person in this simplest explanation of the origin of consciousness vitally depends upon the chance existence of every Psycheon making up every frame of VAGOTET in the entire series of a person’s existence from birth to death, from birth to eternity, or from eternity to eternity.

There is probably no need to reduce Psycheons or psychic particles to “Planck size”, as this involves extra imaginary work in reducing particles of VAGOTET to a size wherein there is no lesser height, width, length, and sensation before imaginatively building these into the particles of VAGOTET making up every person that can exist (as the existence of a persons depends upon whether or not their particular particles of VAGOTET exist).

Either way, regardless of whether or not one begins with particles of VAGOTET, analogized as the “jigsaw puzzle pieces” of every experience a person shall have from birth to death, birth to eternity, or eternity to eternity (each fragment having an irreducible microscopic “size” that is the most minimal form of the subjective experience of the person that can be recognized as a fragment of that person—or further reduces microscopic experience to an unrecognizable minimum that cannot be recognized as any person but is entailed to aggregate into all persons) the existence of actual persons implies the external world probably contains Psycheons corresponding to each person that does, can, or shall exist.

The logic of the existence of Psycheons is comparable to the logic of the existence of physical sub-atomic particles or atoms of the Standard Model of Physics. It is a basic induction that objects, environments, and the bodies of persons are probably did not eternally exist as complete, indivisible wholes but are collectives of smaller entities that “Lego block” into macroscopic objects.

The reasoning starts out from the claim that such macroscopic objects as the earth, trees, people, mountains, and individual stars are first fully formed as such by causal processes from earlier, more primitive states. Thus such macro-objects each have their own respective beginnings in time in at least the following sense: For each of them, there is a time such that it did not exist in its final form before then, but did exist as of then or since. Incidentally, without additional theory, the correctness of this claim of temporal origin is by no means obvious in regard to all elementary particles, for example, some of which might conceivably have existed in their present form throughout all past time. But let us grant the claim for macro-objects.

-Adolf Grunbaum, The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology


If it is accepted that there are physical particles (some of which may have existed for eternity in their present form according to Grunbaum) that make up every mind-independent doppelganger of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that if mind-independence does not exist, the existence of consciousness and every person is probably explicable to psychical particles that, using the existence of actual conscious experience as evidence, are fragments of the particular subjective experiences of every person that can and shall exist.
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DEATH OF A PERSON AS ETERNAL INABILITY OF RE-INTEGRATION OF PSYCHIC PARTICLE OR REPLACEMENT OF PRE-DEATH PARTICLES WITH PARTICLES OF POST-DEATH PERSONHOOD


Studies at the Oak Ridge Atomic Research Center have revealed that about 98 percent of all the atoms in a human body are replaced every year. You get a new suit of skin every month and a new liver every six weeks. The lining of your stomach lasts only five days before it’s replaced. Even your bones are not the solid, stable, concrete-like things you might have thought them to be: They are undergoing constant change. The bones you have today are different from the bones you had a year ago. Experts in this area of research have concluded that there is a complete, 100 percent turnover of atoms in the body at least every five years. In other words, not one single atom present in your body today was there five years ago.

(Skeptics posit that there is no turnover of atoms in neural DNA and tooth enamel)

-Stack Exchange: Skeptics-Are All The Atoms In Our Bodies Replaced On A Regular Basis?



If it is believed that there are mind-independent turnover of atoms making up the human body (regardless of whether or not one accepts the percentage and rate of change in the quote above), in the absence of mind-independent atoms and doppelgangers of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that there may be turnover of the psychical particles making up a deceased person as opposed to magical cessation of existence of the person or a necessary irrevocable disintegration of psychic or mental particles.

THE TWO POSSIBLE FATES OF A PERSON AFTER DEATH

The binary code of man’s belief in what happens after death is a choice between eternal oblivion or continuance of personal consciousness in some form. One can take the “easy way out” and go with eternal oblivion, but must admit to quasi-religious faith that the external world and the mechanisms within it have ordained that to be the only fate of man, or there is the logical and metaphysical possibility that mechanisms in the external world are naturally compelled to re-form deceased consciousness. One can settle in the easy chair with the binary “0” of atheistic view of death or “take the hard path” of providing convincing argument for the logical possibility of the binary “1”: the re-formation of deceased consciousness into either the same person, a different version of the same person, an amalgamation of the deceased and another person (the Author proposes a God or other cosmic entity), or an entirely new person.

When considering what is probably the most logical imagination of what happens to a person after death, in light of the probable eternal existence of consciousness and non-existence of mind-independence, one is left with either Eternal Disintegration of consciousness or Reintegrated Consciousness.

I. ETERNAL DISINTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Atheistic view of death may be maintained in a universe or reality in which the physical does not exist. In a domain of Ernst Mach’s Phenomenalism, a person is a construction of sense-data (and mental data and emotion data) that is “jigsaw puzzle pieced” into a particular person and everything that person experiences from birth to death. Death, in Machian terms is just the disintegration of the psychical or mental particles making up the person or the reversion of a person from the reality of experience to Mach’s ‘permanent possibility of experience’.

If there is something about the particular particles making up a person and their experience that allowed integration in the first place, eternal disintegration of the person involves:

(i) Either brute, arbitrary essential change in each particle upon the death of the person or further decay of each person particle into fundamental or irreducible particles that undergo brute, arbitrary essential change such that the fundamental particles can no longer be considered the lowest possible disintegration of that person (both involve the “magic” of strong emergence in which something inexplicably transforms into an entirely different or new form of existence)

The plausibility of strong emergence is questioned by some as contravening our usual understanding of physics. Mark A. Bedau observes:

Although strong emergence is logically possible, it is uncomfortably like magic. How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? Such causal powers would be quite unlike anything within our scientific ken. This not only indicates how they will discomfort reasonable forms of materialism. Their mysteriousness will only heighten the traditional worry that emergence entails illegitimately getting something from nothing.

-Mark A. Bedau, Weak Emergence



(ii) There are forces between each particle formerly forming a particular person that continually push each particle apart (probably each person-particle is continually blocked by spatially intermittent particles that remain forever in their way, producing local forces that push each person-particle apart away, preventing re-integration (involves weak emergence in which the particles making up a particular person were always particles of that person for eternity before their aggregation into the person, and eternally remain particles of that person in eternal separation).

If consciousness cannot come into existence from previous non-existence or cease to exist and if consciousness when not in the form of persons and their experiences primarily exist in fragmented or particle form, if atheistic view of death is maintained by eternal separation of mental particles formerly making up a deceased person, an Afterlife is nothing more that re-integration of mental particles into a person.

II. RE-INTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

If an Afterlife ultimately entails re-integration of mental particles into persons following the death of persons (disintegration of person-particles), for the same person to persist following death certain particles of the previous person must re-integrate, even if combined with new psychical or mental particles that make up a new incarnation or psychic form of the deceased. If no particle making up the previous person re-integrates, there is no Afterlife but mere formation of new persons.

The necessity for preservation of the psychic particles of the deceased for the existence of an Afterlife is analogous to transhumanist philosopher Max More’s belief that for a deceased person to “resurrect” through the creation of a new brain, some aspect of the old brain must factor into the creation of the new, even if the aspect is informational continuity, in which information regarding the patterns of old neural interconnectivity and function were applied to the new brain despite destruction or discarding of the old brain:

Gervais' reason for proffering the neocortical criterion for death is clear enough: "destruction of the neocortex has been shown to produce permanent unconsciousness and to be an empirically verifiable pattern of brain destruction prior to the failure of the organism as a whole. Since human death is the death of the person, and the death of the person occurs with permanent loss of consciousness, neocortical death is an adequate criterion for declaring death" [150-51]. And, a few pages later: "[T]he individual's essence consists in the possession of a conscious, yet not necessarily continuous, mental life; if all mental life ceases, the person ceases to exist; when the person ceases to exist, the person has died.

[Criticism: We cannot experience or observe the consciousness of another person (if so, we would be that person and not ourselves), thus we cannot experience or observe that mental life ceases to exist: one only believes mental life ceases to exist. Permanent unconsciousness to the third person observer is merely permanent absence of the body’s unresponsiveness to external stimuli and other signs such as stiffness, coldness, and all the bodily characteristics of a body that has died (ceased functioning and exhibiting the characteristics of life).

The person, meanwhile, is not essentially the body of the person and the person’s existence following cessation of bodily behavior and characteristic of life is ultimately a matter of a third person observer’s imagination and belief in whether or not the person persists or ceases to exist following cessation of function of the brain and body. The body cannot tell us whether or not the mind survived; one can only believe the mind survived, believe it disintegrated into psychic particles that persist in a psychic rather than physical external world, or believe the mind magically winks out of existence.]

Upper brain death destroys all capacity for a conscious mental life, and it is therefore the death of the person." (pp.157-58.) I will agree that the neocortical criterion, when carefully stated, is an adequate criterion for present day conditions, but will argue that it will not serve as a universally valid criterion. To establish this, I need to show that persons can continue to exist despite being neocortically dead (in either sense). To this end I will distinguish different types of continuity and evaluate their relative importance for the continuation of the self.

Structural Continuity: Atoms or molecules may gradually be replaced, but the arrangement of the parts of the body or brain persists. That is, the physical structure is maintained even though there may be a gradual turnover in the material of which it is composed. Structural continuity is static when two temporal stages of the system are qualitatively identical, and dynamic when the later stage has resulted from the earlier stage by a sufficiently gradual process involving no spatiotemporal discontinuity.

Functional Continuity: (a) Bodily functional continuity: The body and (perhaps) the brain continue to function (either autonomously or with mechanical support). Functional continuity may be maintained despite a serious loss of structural continuity. Replacement of the heart with a mechanical heart may maintain the original function despite the two organs having entirely different structures. (b) Psychological functional continuity: Personality continues to operate and act; consciousness (or the capacity for consciousness) is maintained. This may occur despite a radical change in the structure of the physical organ making consciousness possible. Loss of functional continuity may be (i) reversible or irreversible by current means, or (ii) reversible or irreversible by any empirically possible future technology.

Informational Continuity: Physical structure may be destroyed, but all the information necessary potentially to allow reconstruction of the brain (or other consciousness-support structure) and thus restoration of its function persists.

-Max More, The Terminus of the Self


An Afterlife, therefore, requires an analog of More’s Structural Continuity, involving salvage and re-integration of the mental particles making up the “old” person. It is unknown if—analogous to the belief that there are an innumerable number of electrons, protons, and neutrons so that any one of them can go into the formation of any object— there are innumerable copies of every psychic particle making up a person that could substitute for original particles if the person is re-formed.

According to More, however, some aspect of the old person must go into re-formation of the person after death (at least in terms of informational reference to if not use of material from the deceased person in reconstruction of the person’s brain). I will grant the same for psychic particles making up a deceased person as requirement for an Afterlife.

[Author’s note: the most minimal aspect of the person that can or may be salvaged is the tabula rasa or basic, ground state first-person subjective experience of the formerly deceased. This, however, negates awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the formerly deceased of an afterlife situation as the consciousness of the person beyond the tabula rasa does not survive. Relevant or meaningful awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the Afterlife or an afterlife situation requires re-integration of (at least) the former identity if not former personality or memories of the deceased.

More to the point, what is identity after all but an idea of “who” a person is, with identity categorized and referred to by self and others in the form of a name? One may make the argument that subjective experience qua the fact or act of experiencing is homogenous across every being in existence, having the same quality and existential state regardless of whether it exists in the form of God, Satan, or any human. Identity, then, is an aspect of thought in the form of an idea the person has (manifest in the form of a mental rather than bodily or emotional sense) that it is a particular self, distinguished from every other person in existence.]

I. GODLESS AFTERLIFE

Godless Afterlife is logically possible in the form of accidental re-integrations of mental or psychic particles previously making up a deceased person, with the deceased “waking up” to an environment (consisting of Ernst Mach’s “pure data” in the seven forms of consciousness that are mental rather than physical or mind-independent external or distal objects) that may or may not resemble the environment the deceased perceived prior to first disintegration. There are no external persons or ‘gods’ having fortuitously existing causal power to sustain the idea of, decide upon, and ensure the re-integration and post-nature and fate of deceased persons: re-integrated persons are the result of accidental, unknowing ‘proto-consciousness’ in the form of fragmented particles of a person having fortuitous proximity and valence allowing cyclic repetition or temporary or eternal maintenance of the person’s consciousness.

Godless Afterlife may involve any number of re-incarnations of the deceased, ranging from mere second life (an arbitrary, random second life followed by eternal death) to an infinite number of re-integrations. Re-integrations may yield identical or slightly altered versions of pre-death experience or alien environments that differ in appearance and behavior with each re-integration.

II. THEONOMOUS AFTERLIFE

theonomous
: governed by God : subject to God's authority

-Merriam Webster Dictionary


Theonomous Afterlife, the most famous being Judeo-Christian Afterlife, entails re-integration of the consciousness of a deceased person by a separate being having knowledge of the deceased and a desire to grant the individual a second, perhaps eternal existence. Deceased persons are resurrected through arcane causation, telekinetic re-integration, or a third causal power introduced in Part 4 of this article.

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I. TRADITIONAL JUDEO-CHRISTIAN AFTERLIFE

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Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the most famous form of afterlife, is governed by the Judeo-Christian God, the most famous god in history (one may argue God was neither conceived nor known in far distant history, but he certainly rose to prominence and fame that will possibly last until the end of human existence).

Judeo-Christian Afterlife entails the sudden awakening of a deceased person to an alternate reality regulated by the Judeo-Christian God, who holds a court of judgment in which the deceased is karmically judged according to whether or not the person accepts the existence, life, miracles, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and lives by the Golden Rule. Depending upon the presence or absence of these qualities God sentences the person to an eternity in one of two realms.

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile
-Romans 2: 6-10


Cessation of biological consciousness, therefore, is immediately followed (to the subjective experience of the deceased, though centuries or perhaps eons have passed between death and afterlife) by resurrection and a gathering before the throne of God to face the most dreaded event in the history of existence: THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT. The White Throne Judgment is the culmination of human history, which ends in a court in which the transhistorical population of the dead--every human that has ever existed--is 'judged according to their works' and eternally rewarded with Heaven or eternally punished in Hell.

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During the Judgment, those to be sentenced to eternal bliss in Heaven find themselves standing to the right of God's Throne. Those sentenced to damnation in the fires of Hell find themselves standing to the left.

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[Author’s Note: An idle point of interest are the two figures circled in blue in the illustration above currently standing before the Throne of God. The taller figure is the presenting angel, who presents the saved or the damned before God for judgment. The smaller figure, we must presume, is the human currently facing judgment. From which camp do you think this guy or girl came—the right or the left? Judging from the person’s position relative to the angel, it seems more likely the person was selected from the group to the right of God’s throne. It seems as if God is about to congratulate the person for accepting Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, for living a good, non-sociopathic life, and is about to allow the person to enter the eternal bliss of Heaven. Good job, center person!]

The tale of Judeo-Christian afterlife is immensely frightening, as humans are irrevocably consigned to either eternal life in the ethereal pleasures of Heaven or never-ending, insufferable pain in the fires of Hell. Hell is populated by non-Christians ('the unbelieving', though there is question in in Fundamentalist circles of the justice of consigning non-Christians that have never heard the name of Jesus Christ to the fires of hell), the malicious (those who consciously and unapologetically violate the Golden Rule), suicides, thieves, the sexually perverse, and more.

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The material substance of Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the material substance of God, angels, demons, Satan, and spirits of the saved or the damned is generally assumed to be Ectoplasmic Spirit: a supernatural or “ghost” substance that is neither physical matter nor normative consciousness.

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God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

-John 4:24


The concept of God as Spirit, the Chief Spirit of Christianity and Magic, suggests that ‘spirit’ is a supernatural substance distinct from physical energy or normal consciousness. God is often conceived as an all-powerful ghost composed of non-physical/non-conscious supernatural substance. In classical Judeo-Christian thought, man is essentially a ghost residing in a physical, animal shell.

The ghostly spirit of man supplants and replaces brain-generated consciousness (if one believes that consciousness is generated by brains) upon death: the ghostly spirit of a person “records” the deeds, feelings, and thoughts of brain-generated consciousness before brain-generated consciousness ceases to exist at death, leaving the ghostly spirit to take over as the person’s consciousness and carry the person’s life-record and mentality into the Afterlife.

The ghost of the person has the ability to travel to alternate planes of existence, achieving the abode of Gods and angels or descending to the depths of Hell. The substance of Spirit—Spiritual Ectoplasm—is an everlasting, indestructible substance that nevertheless experiences pain or pleasure: the ghostly spirits of the damned are able to suffer the blistering pain of Hell while spirits of the saved enjoy the rapturous thrill of Heaven.

What spiritual ectoplasm may be beyond whatever is dreamt up by normal consciousness is inconceivable, as we consist of and experience only normal consciousness (which is generic subjective experience). One imagines that those believing in spiritual ectoplasm conceive of what normal consciousness might be like in the third person and construct the image of a ghostly spirit in the form of animal man when thinking of the soul of a human being or a ghostly humanoid or monstrous form when representing the supernatural beings on either side of the Judeo-Christian divide.

It is possible, however, that the ancients could not conceive of the words ‘consciousness’ or ‘mentality’, and could only come up with the terms ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ to refer to normal consciousness rather than ghostly, supernatural substance.

If one denies the existence of the supernatural at least in terms of ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ being extra-conscious ghostly substance, ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ is only the ancient term for normative consciousness that survives bodily death and is non-brain-generated consciousness (if one accepts the non-existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception). This non-brain-generated normative consciousness comprises God, angels, demons, insects, animals (if insects and animals are not philosopher’s zombies) and man.

God, therefore, is a Spirit ‘that must be worshipped in spirit and in truth’ in the sense that God consists not of ghostly ectoplasm but normal consciousness. Man is made in the image of God and therefore consists of normal consciousness. Arguably, the image in which God truly created man is not the animal primate form but a floating invisible, intangible first-person subjective experience without body or form. Man may essentially be a spirit (a non-embodied consciousness) that experiences a ‘simulated reality’ in which he seems to possess and reside in an animal body, experiencing the entire gamut of exteroceptive, proprioceptive, and sensory experiences that cause him to conclude that he possesses and exists within an external, objective body, but the experience of a body is an illusion granted by the ‘simulated reality’ that is the person’s particular form of consciousness appearing before the “eyes and mind” of the non-embodied spirit.

Ergo: man is created in the image of God, as God is a non-embodied mind or spirit. Man, therefore, is also a non-embodied spirit that experiences itself within a body, that in reality is an illusion of the ‘simulation’ that defines what the non-embodied spirit experiences.

One might say the difference between God (and Satan, angels, demons, and any other cosmic being) and man is that cosmic beings do not experience having or being ‘within’ a body (they are given “bodies” in terms of fanciful imagination of their appearance) and are naked, invisible and intangible consciousnesses (it is possible, given the hypothetical ability of Christ to mimic other humans and share in every negative experience of every human being that shall ever exist, for Christ (at least) to instantiate experience of the animal body of others (aside from the indigenous body he experienced for 33 years in the simulated reality of his experience as a human on “Earth”) though this is only an aspect of his ‘simulated reality’ of sharing the negative experience of every human being while dying on the cross. See “The Sacrifical Dream Hypothesis”).

[Note 1: Consciousness, particularly visual perception, is a simulated reality regardless of whether or not one believes there are mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception or that brains create consciousness. If consciousness can cease to exist while mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception remain in place unaffected by the disappearance of consciousness (as they are not created by brains and as such do not depend upon the brain in order to exist), consciousness is a brain-generated simulated reality.

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and brains do not create consciousness, consciousness is nevertheless a “simulated reality” in the form of an arbitrary, constructed world residing only within the mind of a non-embodied consciousness.]

[Note 2: It is conceivable that Satan mimics the consciousness of psychopathic humans, partaking in their experience.]

Aside from Christ (and possibly Satan), only man, animals, and insects (if animals and insects are not philosopher’s zombies) experience a simulated reality in which they have and exist ‘within’ organic bodies (with a particular evolving appearance) obeying the laws of biology.

Spiritual ectoplasm, the third-person imagination of souls, is a product of pagan myth and biblical interpretation that seemed to ignore the possibility that the ancients used the terms ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ to describe not an extra, supernatural substance that can be observed as ghostly “stuff” and persons but that which was right in front of them as a core aspect of their being and daily experience: subjective first-person experience.

III. THE PROBLEM OF HELL

In what respect, then, do his benevolence and mercy
resemble the benevolence and mercy of men?

DAVID HUME


There are hells of other religions, but the most famous hell is the hell of Judaeo-Christian theology. In response to the horrifying nature of Christian Hell, philosophers seek to reconcile the concept of 'good' as understood by human beings with the concept of the "righteousness" of allowance of eternal, never-ending pain. The lack of reconciliation of goodness with the willingness to allow certain beings to suffer eternally forces the conclusion that there is a problem with the concept of Hell. Eternal hell is seen to contradict the moral nature of God and presupposes an alien sense of morality and justice distinct from that comprehended by rational human beings.

God's nature is love (1 Jn. 4:8,16)..."agape" love which always seeks the best for others and never ceases until this objective is accomplished. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails (1 Cor.13:7,8). God, having perfect foreknowledge in creation, knew that all mankind would follow Adam into sin. Therefore God made provision for man's reconciliation before the foundation of the world (1Ptr.1:19,20). Statisticians tell us that over the past 6,000 years approximately 160 billion people have lived on the earth. The doctrine of "eternal punishment" declares that all who do not believe on Jesus Christ while in their mortal bodies spend eternity in an inescapable, unending hell. If 10% of the earth's people believed on Jesus Christ then the remaining 144 billion must consequently spend eternity being punished. This would mean that God's purpose in creation was eternal punishment for some 144 billion people! Apart from any knowledge of the grace and mercy of God we could hardly say this reflects a God of justice. Having a higher revelation of God's "agape" love, can we now accept this doctrine as being consistent with a God of love?

Yes, our holy and just God does require accountability of man to Himself and does punish man for his sin and rebellion. But, if the punishment is unending then what purpose does it serve? Such behavior by an earthly father would be considered sadism. Is our heavenly Father's love and punishment to be degraded to the level of such an earthly father? No, for though man may fail, God's love never fails. It did, He would deny Himself.

Church History

There is no documentation that the church councils of the first four centuries embraced the doctrine of "eternal punishment." The church councils at Nice in A.D. 325, at Constantinople in A.D.381, at Ephesus in A.D.431 and at Chalcedon in A.D.451 never embraced this doctrine. In contrast, there is documented evidence that many church leaders and teachers of the first centuries A.D. wrote acclaiming the doctrine of "universal salvation" or "ultimate reconciliation", none of whom were censored. It was not until 553 A.D. that the Roman Catholic Church denounced the teaching of ultimate reconciliation as heresy.

-Salisbury, Lee: Eternal Punishment—Is It Really Of God?


If man is made in the image of God and as such inherits God's moral reason, the benevolence and mercy of God should resemble the benevolence and mercy of men. If the benevolence and mercy of God resembles that of men, then the punishment of hell, even for the most deserving sinner, should be temporary rather than eternal in the interest of a future universe completely devoid of evil and pain. A future universe in which 'all the old things are passed away' (Revelations.?) should be a universe that does not eternally hold on to the existence of the wicked with a punishment that eternally belabours the point.

Indeed, the famous version of Hell (eternal torment in hellfire) did not exist until 533 A.A. according to Salisbury or before Augustine, according to Glenn Peoples in History of Hell: Hell before Augustine:

The Apostolic Fathers – Early Church Fathers on Hell

As already noted, while some Early Church Fathers revealed that they interpreted the biblical language to refer to eternal torment, the Apostolic Fathers nowhere did this. However, on at least a couple of occasions, the Apostolic Fathers gave us a glimpse into how they interpreted the teaching of Jesus and the writers of the New Testament. One good example is Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John. Ignatius wrote a letter to the Ephesians in which chapter 17, “Beware of false doctrines,” reads as follows:

"For this end did the Lord allow the ointment to be poured upon His head, that He might breathe immortality into his church. Be not anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let him not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you. And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognising the gift which the Lord has of a truth sent to us?"

Less than a century later Tatian wrote that the lost will be “immortal,” and those who affirm the doctrine of eternal torment have no trouble recognising what he was saying: That the lost would be alive forever, albeit in a terrible state. Ignatius here claimed, by contrast, that immortality is Christ’s gift to his church, and that to “perish” means to not receive the gift. If traditionalists interpret immortality to mean the same thing in both cases, they must conclude that while Tatian thought that the lost would live forever, Ignatius did not.

Ignatius confirms that this was his view in his letter to the Magnesians in chapter 10, exhorting them, “Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be.” It is impossible to reconcile the view that the lost will not receive immortality and the reward of sinful deeds is to cease to be on one hand with the view that the lost will be punished for their sin with eternal torment in hell on the other. Knowing that this teaching was alive and well among the Apostolic Fathers makes it all the more likely that the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas was making the same point in chapter 21:

"It is well, therefore, that he who has learned the judgments of the Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keeps these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooses other things shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection, on this account a retribution. I beseech you who are superiors, if you will receive any counsel of my good-will, have among yourselves those to whom you may show kindness: do not forsake them. For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]."

____________________________________________________________
IV. THE PROBLEM OF ARCANE CAUSATION

Image

It is generally taken for granted among those who believe in the Judeo-Christian God that when God creates something, he creates it ex nihilo—from nothing. The Bible is vague concerning the method by which God creates something as it simply pairs God and God’s will to create something (expressed through a statement) with the sudden appearance of an entity or state of affairs.

As Adolf Grünbaum has pointed out, many familiar causes are “transformative” in character. When a person makes something, he makes it out of something. He transforms a pre-existent material into something else (the effect). The carpenter cuts the wood and fits it together so as to make a house, the potter shapes and bakes his clay so as to make a pot, and so on.

Genesis 1 can be read as saying that God did something of this sort with the “formless void”—shaping it in a step-by-step process that led to sky and earth and sea. But according to the traditional Christian interpretation, this is not the whole story. If there was a First Stuff (a “formless void,” perhaps) out of which God made the universe, then he must have made that too. And inasmuch as it is the First Stuff, he did not make it out of any other stuff. He created it ex nihilo.

The traditional Christian doctrine of creation has often been stated in Aristotelian terms: God is the efficient cause of the universe. No doubt God had something definite in mind when he created (the formal cause), and no doubt he had his reasons for creating (the final cause)—but there was no material cause—no “stuff” that God worked with in the very first act of creation.

But we don’t need Aristotle’s Four Causes to explain what is meant by creation ex nihilo. For present purposes I shall adopt the following definition:

x is created ex nihilo by y if and only if i) y causes x to exist, and ii) y does not cause x to exist by transforming some other material stuff.

For convenience and stylistic variation, I shall continue to use the Aristotelian expression, “material cause,” to refer to whatever underlying material stuff is altered by a “transformative cause.”

Now suppose, for the sake of argument, that the universe was caused to exist by a very powerful person. Why isn’t this person a “transformative cause?” Why not suppose that there is a material cause? Why do Christians insist that God must have created the universe ex nihilo?

Although there is little scriptural support for this traditional doctrine, there are obvious theological motives. Philosophically minded Christians have long held God to be, not just the greatest being who happens to exist, but the Greatest Conceivable Being. A God who could not create without shaping a pre-existent material stuff would be limited by the nature of that stuff—he could create only what his stock of materials permits. Such a God would not be the Greatest Conceivable Being since one can consistently conceive of a God whose power is not limited in this way.

In recent years, however, some Christian philosophers have suggested that purely scientific and philosophical considerations show that the universe was not made out of anything. William Lane Craig, in particular, has argued that creation ex nihilo is strongly supported by the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. Craig gives at least two different arguments for this conclusion. The first depends on the supposed “infinite density” of the initial singularity, the second on the claim that there was no time prior to the initial singularity.

Grünbaum, on the other hand, has forcefully argued that creation ex nihilo does not follow from any reasonable interpretation of the claim that the universe has a cause. Causes of the sort that are acknowledged in everyday experience and in scientific explanations either do not involve conscious agency, or, if they do, they also involve the transformation of some pre-existing material. In neither case do we have the sort of cause envisaged by classical theism. So even if one were to grant the premise that everything (including the beginning of the universe) has a cause, it would not follow that the universe was created ex nihilo.

In the present paper, I shall show that neither of Craig’s “Big Bang” arguments is successful in refuting Grünbaum’s contention, or in establishing a link between the Big Bang theory and creation ex nihilo. Even if it is granted that the universe was created by a very powerful person, the Big Bang theory provides no support for the further claim that this person created the universe out of nothing. As far as the Big Bang theory is concerned, the creation of the universe might have consisted in the transformation of something else. And even if God is the cause of the Big Bang, his first creative act might have consisted in the shaping of something that he did not create.

-Wes Morriston, Creation Ex Nihilo And The Big Bang


God as the most powerful and wise in existence will not be influenced in his choices and decisions by any other being when it comes to his desire to create something (and the reason behind the creation). Anything God creates will first exist as an arbitrary figment of his imagination. Creation ex nihilo or as it shall be called here, arcane causation, is the traditional method by which God transmutes imagination into reality.

One may argue (alongside Morriston) that insistence upon arcane causation derives ultimately from a reticence to entertain, much less actively believe, the notion that there are things God did not create.

Interestingly, traditional Christianity implies there are two things God did not create: sin and free will. If sin and free will were not created by God, (though they were glimpsed by his precognitive foreknowledge as a property of his omniscience) there is still an ex nihilo story behind their origin: they are arcane emergences as opposed to arcane causations, things that previously did not exist that pop into existence independent of the action, will, or desire (if not foreknowledge) of an antecedent causal agent.

It is odd that free will randomly pops into existence with content that happens to reflect and choose things already in existence: things that come into existence should rationally have no frame of reference for things already in existence because things that come into existence did not exist in order to “know” that to which they should refer.

Sin is arcane causation in the form of “little fires” of human consciousness that by random chance God happens to hate and keep tally of to punish with eternal fire in the Last Judgment (according to Christian belief opposed to Annihilism or Universalism). Sin, like free will, is random to the human being, but known beforehand by God through omniscience. God’s omnipotence takes a back seat for some reason when it comes to undesired things he should have power—given his arcane influence over things that do not yet exist—to prevent from existing in the first place.

For example, if God himself is naturally without sin and there is nothing wrong with him being this way, upon reflection about the matter there is no good reason for him to be so intent upon free will (despite the fact he knows every will that pops into the mind of every person that shall ever exist prior to the existence of their will) that he allows sin and damnation to exist for the sake of allowing free will, which does more harm than good because it results in the existence of evil and eternal damnation. If God ‘wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4)—God could have created man with the inability to sin in the first place, rendering the entire game of sin, salvation, and Hell unnecessary. It is odd that God should consider the monolithic wave of human suffering necessary collateral damage for the sake of free will, as if free will is preferable to universal goodness.

The sinlessness of God (and presumably every angel save those who fell) is itself conceptual proof that sin need not exist in the first place. Free will mixed with the ability to sin and the necessity of God to create Hell and impose it as the consequence for sin seems a strange way to go about things when there are beings that exist without sin and this is “automatically okay”. Sinless humans created without the ability to sin should also, in light of the “okay-ness” of sinless beings being sinless “from the go” should also be “okay from the word go”.

A rational conclusion is that man’s ability to sin randomly popped into existence, and God not only had nothing to do with it, but had no power to prevent this ability from existing despite purportedly possessing omnipotence, as God could have made man as sinless as himself “from the jump”. If God cannot prevent the existence of something that he hates, then God is less than omnipotent and there are forces that can cause things that God cannot prevent (such as the existence of sin and free will).

Nevertheless, one can argue that arcane emergence divorced from arcane causation does not grant free will, as will and the content of a person’s will is at the mercy of whatever happens to pop into existence. A person has will and makes choices, but the nature of that will, the nature of that choice comes into existence on its own independent of the foreknowledge and will of the person. If a person chooses to conduct a thought experiment in which the person begins to “predict” future wills and choices prior to having those wills and choices, every act of “predictive” imagination is not chosen by the person, but comes into existence on its own in the form of the person’s thought of each item and the person’s idea that he or she is actively predicting what they shall or could will in the future. The imagination itself randomly pops into existence with whatever content it shall have without one having chosen the content: one may believe one has chosen the content, but the content, whatever it is, is the randomly existing winner of a number of alternate imaginary content that could have existed in its place.
_____________________________________________________________________

One is free to believe in arcane causation and/or arcane emergence, but it is a far less simple hypothesis than that nothing comes into or goes out of existence, such that the material substance of every choice, thought, and sensation has pre-existed for eternity before assuming the form of a certain conscious experience of a certain person at a certain moment in time. Everything is “already here” and was “always here from the beginning” without having to magically come into existence from non-existence. If the traditional Christian accepts that God did not create everything, given that the traditional Christian believes God did not create sin and free will, it is not damning to suppose that things exists in such a way that God does not create anything from non-existence but “creates” in the sense that he shapes and re-arranges a fundamental, indestructible, eternally existing substance according to his will.

He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

-1 Timothy 6:16


Further, it is not out of the question that God himself is the first person consisting of this fundamental substance, that by the possibility of the nature of existence happened to be an eternal manifesting, with their being no furthest point in past time in which God first did not exist before being formed by the substance. One might say that God himself is the ground state, the “default” form of the substance behind all things, the only form the substance has always assumed without a first assumption, accompanied (necessarily) by surplus that goes into the formation of every other conscious being.

END PART THREE
J.Brewer
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby lordoflight » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:15 pm

VAGOTET. I like it already.

I'll give you a more serious reply later.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby lordoflight » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:59 pm

There is no logical or physical evidence of consciousness particles.

In your defense, I only read about the first third of it. My eyes got sore. Maybe there is some irrefutable proof way in the second half. But everybody knows a youtube video is turned off during the first portion if it cannot give a compelling reason for the video. So why wouldn't you start it off with a solid proof?
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:36 pm

There's no evidence of the existence of phyaical particles either, as anything that is "physical" is in actuality constructed of a person's consciousness. Particles of consciousness cannot be demonstrated but is an idea of what could possibly exist in the external world that could make up consciousness.
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:38 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:There's no evidence of the existence of phyaical particles either, as anything that is "physical" is in actuality constructed of a person's consciousness. Particles of consciousness cannot be demonstrated but is an idea of what could possibly exist in the external world that could make up consciousness.

And even if there are externally existent, not dependent on consciousness particles, the word physical means almost nothing. These particles, even in the realist naturalism of science, are actually also waves, both potential real, in one place and spread out, mostly nothing and that which is considered something is ephemeral.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:18 pm

And even if there are externally existent, not dependent on consciousness particles, the word physical means almost nothing. These particles, even in the realist naturalism of science, are actually also waves, both potential real, in one place and spread out, mostly nothing and that which is considered something is ephemeral.


With respect, the nature of physical particles as you have described them are imaginary, as they cannot be experienced as they are things not created by the brain (in belief that the brain creates consciousness). The entire game we all play is to imagine what exists in the external world and use make-believe to come up with their nature, despite the fact that that which is imagined may not actually exist. Following Kant, they can only be supported by quasi-religious faith.
J.Brewer
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:48 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
And even if there are externally existent, not dependent on consciousness particles, the word physical means almost nothing. These particles, even in the realist naturalism of science, are actually also waves, both potential real, in one place and spread out, mostly nothing and that which is considered something is ephemeral.


With respect, the nature of physical particles as you have described them are imaginary, as they cannot be experienced as they are things not created by the brain (in belief that the brain creates consciousness). The entire game we all play is to imagine what exists in the external world and use make-believe to come up with their nature, despite the fact that that which is imagined may not actually exist. Following Kant, they can only be supported by quasi-religious faith.
Well, 1) I said 'even if' 2) What the heck you talking about? Of course the particles do not exist. But then we can't be 'following Kant' that collection of particles never existed. There was no Kant, just you. 'Kant' is just an idea floating in your consciousness. Believing some guy lived back then is just a religous faith based hallucination. Even 'I' am just you flitting into your own consciousness. Or really just 'consciousness' not 'your own consciousness.'
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:21 am

With respect, the nature of physical particles as you have described them are imaginary, as they cannot be experienced as they are things not created by the brain (in belief that the brain creates consciousness). The entire game we all play is to imagine what exists in the external world and use make-believe to come up with their nature, despite the fact that that which is imagined may not actually exist. Following Kant, they can only be supported by quasi-religious faith.


Well, 1) I said 'even if' 2) What the heck you talking about? Of course the particles do not exist. But then we can't be 'following Kant' that collection of particles never existed. There was no Kant, just you. 'Kant' is just an idea floating in your consciousness. Believing some guy lived back then is just a religous faith based hallucination. Even 'I' am just you flitting into your own consciousness. Or really just 'consciousness' not 'your own consciousness.'


We can't know that there is no Kant, as one cannot know that only oneself exists. Granted, you are correct that the only thing that there is evidence for the existence for is 'consciousness'. It could be true that only 'my consciousness' exists (or just 'consciousness' that randomly and meaninglessly happened to take the form of 'me'), but it is psychologically improbable (which....has no impact whatsoever on the truth that only 'I' exist). Solipsism comes off as strange, but it is the most empirically true thing witnessed about the nature of existence and is the strongest form of logical positivism. There's no way to defeat it because it's patently obvious, as everything other than 'I' must be accepted merely on faith. The only thing one can say in response to a solipsism is: "okay, got it." I'm not solipsist, but "I got it."
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby felix dakat » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:00 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
With respect, the nature of physical particles as you have described them are imaginary, as they cannot be experienced as they are things not created by the brain (in belief that the brain creates consciousness). The entire game we all play is to imagine what exists in the external world and use make-believe to come up with their nature, despite the fact that that which is imagined may not actually exist. Following Kant, they can only be supported by quasi-religious faith.


Well, 1) I said 'even if' 2) What the heck you talking about? Of course the particles do not exist. But then we can't be 'following Kant' that collection of particles never existed. There was no Kant, just you. 'Kant' is just an idea floating in your consciousness. Believing some guy lived back then is just a religous faith based hallucination. Even 'I' am just you flitting into your own consciousness. Or really just 'consciousness' not 'your own consciousness.'


We can't know that there is no Kant, as one cannot know that only oneself exists. Granted, you are correct that the only thing that there is evidence for the existence for is 'consciousness'. It could be true that only 'my consciousness' exists (or just 'consciousness' that randomly and meaninglessly happened to take the form of 'me'), but it is psychologically improbable (which....has no impact whatsoever on the truth that only 'I' exist). Solipsism comes off as strange, but it is the most empirically true thing witnessed about the nature of existence and is the strongest form of logical positivism. There's no way to defeat it because it's patently obvious, as everything other than 'I' must be accepted merely on faith. The only thing one can say in response to a solipsism is: "okay, got it." I'm not solipsist, but "I got it."


You demonstrate that you do not believe in solipsism by trying to persuade other existents of it on this forum.

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:58 pm

You demonstrate that you do not believe in solipsism by trying to persuade other existents of it on this forum.


Well, well, well, if it isn't felix dekat! Long time no "see".

I've never, ever, tried to persuade the existence of solipsism as its sort of "hair-brained", imo. But hair-brained or not, it remains a metaphysical possibility and one should never leave out any metaphysical possibility one can think of in respect to argumentative honesty and completeness.

That being said, the structure of reality that tempts and even supports solipsism definitely exists: existence "shows up" only in the form of a single first-person subject of experience and that which the subject personally experiences (if not for this person, existence could not know it exists). Solipsists take this reality and move forward to posit that the experiencing subject is the only thing that exists. Other subjective experiences that experience their own existence know first-hand the solipsist is (probably) wrong, but cannot prove to the solipsist that he/she is wrong as the solipsist cannot experience the subjective experience of others.

In short, I only persuade existents of the structure of reality that tempts and supports solipsism, not solipsism itself.

But enough of that: how've you been?
J.Brewer
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby felix dakat » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:46 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
You demonstrate that you do not believe in solipsism by trying to persuade other existents of it on this forum.


Well, well, well, if it isn't felix dekat! Long time no "see".

I've never, ever, tried to persuade the existence of solipsism as its sort of "hair-brained", imo. But hair-brained or not, it remains a metaphysical possibility and one should never leave out any metaphysical possibility one can think of in respect to argumentative honesty and completeness.

That being said, the structure of reality that tempts and even supports solipsism definitely exists: existence "shows up" only in the form of a single first-person subject of experience and that which the subject personally experiences (if not for this person, existence could not know it exists). Solipsists take this reality and move forward to posit that the experiencing subject is the only thing that exists. Other subjective experiences that experience their own existence know first-hand the solipsist is (probably) wrong, but cannot prove to the solipsist that he/she is wrong as the solipsist cannot experience the subjective experience of others.

In short, I only persuade existents of the structure of reality that tempts and supports solipsism, not solipsism itself.

But enough of that: how've you been?


I've been growing older, and, hopefully, wiser. But, we'll see. How have you been?

From the proposition that the self is all that can be known to exist follows the inference of something outside of experience by which the self came to exist which cannot be known. Theists like Descartes call the unknowable "God". Others theorize about an evolutionary process outside of experience. Thus, experience tells us that experience isn't everything or sufficient in itself.

Now what I have considered thus far is epistemological solipsism. Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which asserts that nothing exists externally to this one mind, and since this mind is the whole of reality then the "external world" was never anything more than an idea. That proposition cannot explain how I as the existing one mind came to be without referring to something outside of myself.

I as the sole conscious existent did not experience my coming into being. There must be something outside my conscious self that brought me into being. Something exists external to this one mind. Thus, metaphysical solipsism defeats itself. Metaphysical solipsism is, therefore, not a real possibility.

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:11 am

From the proposition that the self is all that can be known to exist follows the inference of something outside of experience by which the self came to exist which cannot be known. Theists like Descartes call the unknowable "God". Others theorize about an evolutionary process outside of experience. Thus, experience tells us that experience isn't everything or sufficient in itself.

Now what I have considered thus far is epistemological solipsism. Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of idealism which asserts that nothing exists externally to this one mind, and since this mind is the whole of reality then the "external world" was never anything more than an idea. That proposition cannot explain how I as the existing one mind came to be without referring to something outside of myself.


One could posit the idea of randomly and meaninglessly popping into existence from previous non-existence (arcane causation), but I balk, hard, at the idea of things coming into and going out of existence so I defer to your statement. We seem to be finite beings with a definite beginning and end(?) so the more powerful induction to me is that we were accidentally or deliberately caused to come into being by something or someone (someones?) outside ourselves. We owing our existence to something or someone/someones outside follows from logical inference and common sense if not direct experience.

However, my central argument is that given that we are subjective experiences composed of subjective experience (the fact or act of experiencing), whatever created us logically must be composed of subjective experience, in order for it to be able to use itself to create us. If it uses something external to itself to create us, whatever it uses must also be composed of subjective experience. Anything other than this simplest deduction of the material qualification for our existence necessitates that:

1. something that is not subjective experience must magically cease to be something that is not subjective experience in order to turn itself into subjective experience in order to use itself or parts of itself to create us or:

2. something that is not subjective experience must magically conjure subjective experience into being from previous non-existence in order to use this magically occurring (rather than pre-existing, available, and eternal) subjective experience to form us.

I as the sole conscious existent did not experience my coming into being. There must be something outside my conscious self that brought me into being. Something exists external to this one mind. Thus, metaphysical solipsism defeats itself. Metaphysical solipsism is, therefore, not a real possibility.


I'm hesitant to rule metaphysical solipsism "not a real possibility" simply because one does not experience coming into being. Not experiencing coming into being doesn't look good for metaphysical solipsism, surely, but I would argue that not experiencing coming into being in and of itself doesn't necessarily render m.s. a "false possiblility" or "metaphysically impossible". No big deal, really. I could easily defer to your assessment as I don't believe in metaphysical solipsism and agree that we probably owe our existence to something or someone (someones?) in the external world that we can't experience but only have faith in their existence.

To wit:

It still remains a scandal to philosophy and to human reason in general
that the existence of things outside us (from which we derive the whole
material of knowledge, even for our inner sense) must be accepted merely
on faith,
and that if anyone thinks good to doubt their existence, we are
unable to counter his doubts by any satisfactory proof.

-Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason

And for the religious:

God...whom no one has seen nor can see.

1 Timothy 6:15, 16

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'm relatively okay these days. Lost my mother three years ago and my brother this May (this will be our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without him), going into philosophical overdrive in response to his death (as I did with hers) prompting "An Invincible Argument For The Afterlife".

Thanks for asking.

J.
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A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby felix dakat » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:46 pm

It seems to me that the idea that we were created by a subject is a possibility. But, it isn't certain and probability is difficult to discern in matters of ultimate reality. Thus, the hypothesis requires a leap to believe.

The view that subjectivity evolved from unconscious matter doesn't require the invocation of "magic". As in the case of the previous idea, one simply admits he doesn't know the mechanism by which it occurred.

I empathize with you in your losses of those you loved, and the death anxiety they evoked in you. In my experience, the attempt to erect a positive belief about that which I cannot know caused me even more anxiety. The recognition that the belief was motivated by anxiety put me in a panic spiral of infinite regression.

Likely we will never experience death itself though the anxiety about it's inevitability is always with us except in moments of self-forgetfulness. Epicurus was evidently right.

As far as eternal punishment is concerned, a good god wouldn't do such a thing. So, if one has a simple trust in ultimate goodness, that's as good as anything a more elaborate religion can muster.

The Bible which you have cited above is fascinating sometimes profound and not infrequently disturbing. But, it is manifestly human product and as such not inerrant. Therefore, what it says about the afterlife is questionable.

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:45 pm

It seems to me that the idea that we were created by a subject is a possibility. But, it isn't certain and probability is difficult to discern in matters of ultimate reality. Thus, the hypothesis requires a leap to believe.


True. Other things that are hypothesis requiring leap to believe are the existence of anything that is not subjective experience and external world doppelgangers of the content of visual perception.

The view that subjectivity evolved from unconscious matter doesn't require the invocation of "magic". As in the case of the previous idea, one simply admits he doesn't know the mechanism by which it occurred.


May have to politely disagree. It takes "magic" to make the leap from something that is not subjective experience producing or becoming subjective experience as an explanation for the origin of consciousness, as opposed to the non-magical simplicity of, say, having subjective experience eternally exist the whole time in some form, negating the need for something having to produce or transform into it.

I empathize with you in your losses of those you loved, and the death anxiety they evoked in you. In my experience, the attempt to erect a positive belief about that which I cannot know caused me even more anxiety. The recognition that the belief was motivated by anxiety put me in a panic spiral of infinite regression.


Thank you for your condolence. My belief is not actually motivated by anxiety, but careful observation of the nature of experienced reality and its subtle implications. I used this previous collection of inductions and hypotheses in time of grief to formulate a logical possibility regarding the fate of consciousness after death.

As far as eternal punishment is concerned, a good god wouldn't do such a thing. So, if one has a simple trust in ultimate goodness, that's as good as anything a more elaborate religion can muster.


I agree. A good God wouldn't eternally punish anyone except perhaps Satan. This is why the alternate doctrines of Universalism and Annihilationism challenge the notion of eternal punishment. I hope on my better days for Universalism but lately have been leaning closer to Annihilationism, in which humans are euthanized through eternal oblivion if they are not rendered immortal through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Bible which you have cited above is fascinating sometimes profound and not infrequently disturbing. But, it is manifestly human product and as such not inerrant. Therefore, what it says about the afterlife is questionable.


Everything that is a human product is questionable. The thing is, the Bible (or parts of it) may be absolutely correct about the nature of and persons in the external world despite our disbelief.
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Q: What lies beyond the "Matrix" that is consciousness?
A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby felix dakat » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:08 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
True. Other things that are hypothesis requiring leap to believe are the existence of anything that is not subjective experience and external world doppelgangers of the content of visual perception.


We all hold the view that there is a real world that exists independently of us, independently of our experiences, our thoughts, and our language prereflectively so that any departure from that view like yours requires a conscious effort and a convincing argument.

May have to politely disagree. It takes "magic" to make the leap from something that is not subjective experience producing or becoming subjective experience as an explanation for the origin of consciousness, as opposed to the non-magical simplicity of, say, having subjective experience eternally exist the whole time in some form, negating the need for something having to produce or transform into it.


It seems you're using magic pejoratively to imply impossibility whereas evolution of consciousness from unconscious matter is a possibility albeit unexplained. The hypothesis that "subjective experience eternally exist[ed]" requires an infinite leap. So, agnosticism appears to be the epistemological correct position with regard to this issue at this time.

Thank you for your condolence. My belief is not actually motivated by anxiety, but careful observation of the nature of experienced reality and its subtle implications. I used this previous collection of inductions and hypotheses in time of grief to formulate a logical possibility regarding the fate of consciousness after death.


That sounds like psychologically motivated denial to me. Why would anyone spend as much time, and energy on arguments for an afterlife as you have on this website over the years if it were not motivated by the anxiety about death?

I agree. A good God wouldn't eternally punish anyone except perhaps Satan. This is why the alternate doctrines of Universalism and Annihilationism challenge the notion of eternal punishment. I hope on my better days for Universalism but lately have been leaning closer to Annihilationism, in which humans are euthanized through eternal oblivion if they are not rendered immortal through faith in Jesus Christ.


It seems that you are approaching these issues from a traditional Christian reading of the Bible as the "inerrant Word of God" whereas the Bible is most probably a product of pre-scientific human culture. As such it makes sense to read it from the standpoint of historical probability asking how and why the writers arrived at the teachings they did. That doesn't negate the relevance of the texts to enduring existential concerns of our own. It does call into question the basis of the texts to speak with absolute authority about metaphysics and eschatology.

Everything that is a human product is questionable. The thing is, the Bible (or parts of it) may be absolutely correct about the nature of and persons in the external world despite our disbelief.


And hence your existential anxiety about it. The best we can do is live according to what seems to us as individuals to be the case with regard to ultimate realty. And what seems to be the case changes with experience over time.

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Bob » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:06 pm

felix dakat wrote:
I agree. A good God wouldn't eternally punish anyone except perhaps Satan. This is why the alternate doctrines of Universalism and Annihilationism challenge the notion of eternal punishment. I hope on my better days for Universalism but lately have been leaning closer to Annihilationism, in which humans are euthanized through eternal oblivion if they are not rendered immortal through faith in Jesus Christ.


It seems that you are approaching these issues from a traditional Christian reading of the Bible as the "inerrant Word of God" whereas the Bible is most probably a product of pre-scientific human culture. As such it makes sense to read it from the standpoint of historical probability asking how and why the writers arrived at the teachings they did. That doesn't negate the relevance of the texts to enduring existential concerns of our own. It does call into question the basis of the texts to speak with absolute authority about metaphysics and eschatology.

Everything that is a human product is questionable. The thing is, the Bible (or parts of it) may be absolutely correct about the nature of and persons in the external world despite our disbelief.


And hence your existential anxiety about it. The best we can do is live according to what seems to us as individuals to be the case with regard to ultimate realty. And what seems to be the case changes with experience over time.

Hi Guys,
after being directed to Jordan B. Peterson as someone who may better formulate those theories I have in the past tried myself to express, I come forth thankful for the experience. I believe that Peterson is indeed expressing those things better than I. Now I also feel able to formulate them better.

With regard to the questions above, it seems to me to be the prime problem of modern humanity, that we no longer know where we have the meaning we apply to life. We don’t accept the mythology of the past as valid, but still hold on to the values we obtained from it. Many people try to force a supposedly “objective” view on life whilst all the time they are using the same values.
The fact that we use mythological values suggests that we acknowledge the mystery and the fact that we don’t know so many things. Afterlife is a hypotheses that we have no valid “objective” proof of, but we have mythological hope.

I often think that this hope for things that are in one way rather dubious is indeed a leap of faith, whether brought on by the death of loved ones, or through philosophical debate. We find meaning in believing these things and try to find confirmation of their possibility, whilst acting as though we already have that confirmation. It gives us a direction for our own lives, and helps us act in accordance to how our departed ones would have expected of us. This seems to have been the motivator in Confucianism.

The “magic” of this all is in the fact that it is constructive in our lives, therefore it has meaning. I believe that this was enough for the ancients to have held mythology in high esteem, as divine. The attempt to reduce things down to the material world that we experience fails to do that. Enough people find a world, in which death is the end and the decay of the body conclusive, cold and clinical. There are too many closed doors and nowhere for the imagination to go. It doesn’t matter whether the world outside of my experience does or doesn’t exist, I only have my experience of the world, and the experiences shared with me by other people. Their stories and mine are what makes up our experience of life.

I believe that we have to grasp this potential and make the most out of it. That includes encouraging people to use their imaginations, to be creative and go beyond borders, so that, as in the past, some may become prophets of a world beyond our experience.

Does that make sense?
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby felix dakat » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:49 am

Bob wrote:Hi Guys,
after being directed to Jordan B. Peterson as someone who may better formulate those theories I have in the past tried myself to express, I come forth thankful for the experience. I believe that Peterson is indeed expressing those things better than I. Now I also feel able to formulate them better.


Peterson, you and I at least have in common that we are metaphysical skeptics. Not so, Phenomenal Graffiti.

With regard to the questions above, it seems to me to be the prime problem of modern humanity, that we no longer know where we have the meaning we apply to life. We don’t accept the mythology of the past as valid, but still hold on to the values we obtained from it. Many people try to force a supposedly “objective” view on life whilst all the time they are using the same values.
The fact that we use mythological values suggests that we acknowledge the mystery and the fact that we don’t know so many things. Afterlife is a hypotheses that we have no valid “objective” proof of, but we have mythological hope.


You may acknowledge the mystery, i.e. "the fact that we don’t know so many things" but the fundamentalist doesn't. And, also to the point in the context of this thread, neither does the metaphysician.

I often think that this hope for things that are in one way rather dubious is indeed a leap of faith, whether brought on by the death of loved ones, or through philosophical debate. We find meaning in believing these things and try to find confirmation of their possibility, whilst acting as though we already have that confirmation. It gives us a direction for our own lives, and helps us act in accordance to how our departed ones would have expected of us. This seems to have been the motivator in Confucianism.


Yes and if we do not venerate the ancestors,we feel bad. [-X

The “magic” of this all is in the fact that it is constructive in our lives, therefore it has meaning. [William J{ames?] I believe that this was enough for the ancients to have held mythology in high esteem, as divine. The attempt to reduce things down to the material world that we experience fails to do that.
{Physical determinism?]

Enough people find a world, in which death is the end and the decay of the body conclusive, cold and clinical.


A fallacious counterargument. "It is unpleasant therefore not true."

There are too many closed doors and nowhere for the imagination to go. It doesn’t matter whether the world outside of my experience does or doesn’t exist, I only have my experience of the world, and the experiences shared with me by other people. Their stories and mine are what makes up our experience of life.


Existence precedes essence. You go boy!

I believe that we have to grasp this potential and make the most out of it. That includes encouraging people to use their imaginations, to be creative and go beyond borders, so that, as in the past, some may become prophets of a world beyond our experience.


I like it. Phenomenal Graffiti spins a metaphysical world comparable to those of second century gnostic literature. "Creative" I'll grant him. Phenomenologically warranted? Not according to my POV.

Does that make sense?


There's a question I ask myself about "religion and spirituality" everyday." I am still in a dialogue with Christianity both internally and on the Web. I want to believe the gospel of liberal Christianity. The Sermon on the Mount speaks to me from the vantage point of my ideal self. I read it in terms of my inner experience of empathy and compassion. Those I have come to see as a natural mammalian feelings. But, they are ones that if developed, practiced and applied in daily life can draw us out of our selfish concerns into a vast world of souls human and animal. When I do that...when I reach beyond myself, I find a world in a state of ecological collapse. If you do too, we must answer the question" What shall we do? I have children and grandchildren who I suppose will outlive me if I'm lucky. They bring close to home the imperative that I must do what I can to save life on the planet. Does that make sense?

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby tentative » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:00 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Bob wrote:Hi Guys,
after being directed to Jordan B. Peterson as someone who may better formulate those theories I have in the past tried myself to express, I come forth thankful for the experience. I believe that Peterson is indeed expressing those things better than I. Now I also feel able to formulate them better.


Peterson, you and I at least have in common that we are metaphysical skeptics. Not so, Phenomenal Graffiti.

With regard to the questions above, it seems to me to be the prime problem of modern humanity, that we no longer know where we have the meaning we apply to life. We don’t accept the mythology of the past as valid, but still hold on to the values we obtained from it. Many people try to force a supposedly “objective” view on life whilst all the time they are using the same values.
The fact that we use mythological values suggests that we acknowledge the mystery and the fact that we don’t know so many things. Afterlife is a hypotheses that we have no valid “objective” proof of, but we have mythological hope.


You may acknowledge the mystery, i.e. "the fact that we don’t know so many things" but the fundamentalist doesn't. And, also to the point in the context of this thread, neither does the metaphysician.

I often think that this hope for things that are in one way rather dubious is indeed a leap of faith, whether brought on by the death of loved ones, or through philosophical debate. We find meaning in believing these things and try to find confirmation of their possibility, whilst acting as though we already have that confirmation. It gives us a direction for our own lives, and helps us act in accordance to how our departed ones would have expected of us. This seems to have been the motivator in Confucianism.


Yes and if we do not venerate the ancestors,we feel bad. [-X

The “magic” of this all is in the fact that it is constructive in our lives, therefore it has meaning. [William J{ames?] I believe that this was enough for the ancients to have held mythology in high esteem, as divine. The attempt to reduce things down to the material world that we experience fails to do that.
{Physical determinism?]

Enough people find a world, in which death is the end and the decay of the body conclusive, cold and clinical.


A fallacious counterargument. "It is unpleasant therefore not true."

There are too many closed doors and nowhere for the imagination to go. It doesn’t matter whether the world outside of my experience does or doesn’t exist, I only have my experience of the world, and the experiences shared with me by other people. Their stories and mine are what makes up our experience of life.


Existence precedes essence. You go boy!

I believe that we have to grasp this potential and make the most out of it. That includes encouraging people to use their imaginations, to be creative and go beyond borders, so that, as in the past, some may become prophets of a world beyond our experience.


I like it. Phenomenal Graffiti spins a metaphysical world comparable to those of second century gnostic literature. "Creative" I'll grant him. Phenomenologically warranted? Not according to my POV.

Does that make sense?


There's a question I ask myself about "religion and spirituality" everyday." I am still in a dialogue with Christianity both internally and on the Web. I want to believe the gospel of liberal Christianity. The Sermon on the Mount speaks to me from the vantage point of my ideal self. I read it in terms of my inner experience of empathy and compassion. Those I have come to see as a natural mammalian feelings. But, they are ones that if developed, practiced and applied in daily life can draw us out of our selfish concerns into a vast world of souls human and animal. When I do that...when I reach beyond myself, I find a world in a state of ecological collapse. If you do too, we must answer the question" What shall we do? I have children and grandchildren who I suppose will outlive me if I'm lucky. They bring close to home the imperative that I must do what I can to save life on the planet. Does that make sense?


I almost don't know where to start. First, I acknowledge PG's creativity, but that is simply to acknowledge the fact that it is a creation which in metaphysical terms, anything imagined is possible. It is supported by, and encouraged by the "fog of philosophy". It offers little in answering the question of "how shall I live?"

Felix, the sermon on the mount is an excellent distillation of all the collective wisdom of the ages. You can't do better than that. But even that is a human construct. Granted, it is the most valuable construct ever devised by humanity. Still I remain puzzled by our collective inability to accept the mystery and focus on creating the best personal reality of which we are able.

Just as many others do I see ecological collapse coming very close. What to do? Nothing but strive to meet your ideal self. The world your children and grandchildren will live in is theirs to live, just as you left mom and dad to create your own world. They will not, and cannot, live in your world. At best, carve the sermon on the mount in stone and hope that they read and understand.

An ugly possibility in the malstrom of endless possibilities is that the universe's experiment in human sentience is coming to an end. Great idea but a failure nonetheless. Perhaps, just perhaps, our extinction is part of the BIG plan? Oh wait.... Well, back to the mystery.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Jakob » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:37 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:Image

Image

OF THE ETERNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND PROBABLE NATURE AND OPERATION OF EXISTENCE

Given empirical knowledge of the apparent nature of existence (that it only appears in the form of a person and that which the person experiences), one can make an induction about the nature of the external world based on the nature of human consciousness. consciousness).

Human consciousness essentially consists of a single first-person subject of experiences and the experiences springing upon the subject at any given moment in time. The experiences that appear and disappear before and within the subject exist in seven distinct “modes” or modalities categorized by the anagram VAGOTET:

V=Visual Perception or Vision (Sense of Sight)

Image

A=Auditory Perception or Audition (Sense of Sound or Hearing)

Image

G=Gustatory Perception or Gustation (Sense of Taste)

Image

O=Olfactory Perception or Olfaction (Sense of Smell)

Image

T=Tactile Perception or Taction (Sense of Touch and/or Inward Biological Feel)

Image

E=Emotional Experience (in the modes of Positive, Negative, or Neutral)

Image

T=Thought (Mental perception in the form of visual and verbal thought in the form of memories and ideas, and dreams)

Image

At any given moment in time, human consciousness resides within a particular Frame of VAGOTET: a “moving picture frame” of a specific example of VAGOTET occurring to a person at a certain moment in time. Humans and other forms of consciousness do nothing but shift, moment by moment, from one frame of VAGOTET to the next.

(Note: Certain conscious beings do not possess the entire anagram. For example, a blind person exists as ongoing frames of -AGOTET while a deaf person exists as shifting frames of V-GOTET.)

The State of The External World In The Absence of Mind-Independent Doppelgangers of the Content of Visual Perception

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and (given the existence of consciousness as a hint as to what exists in the external world) the external world consists of nothing but conscious experience or the material used to make up conscious experience, the fact that persons exist implies the external world tends to produce persons (as it constantly cranks out persons).

Image

A person may be reductively explained as a temporary (or eternal) series of connected frames of VAGOTET.

Aside from persons, using the ever-changing or transitory nature of conscious experience as a guide, the external world may consist of a psychic substance or matter that is divided in quality and property into seven elements (the seven forms of consciousness or VAGOTET).

Image

The seven elements of the psychic substance existing in (or making up) the external world, using the complex organization of person-consciousness as a guide, most likely exist in the form of particles of the seven types of conscious experience: the seven types of PSYCHEONS that comprise every person that shall ever exist. Psycheons are the quantum of consciousness, particles of the seven elements of subjective experience, the modes of VAGOTET in miniaturized from (compare Chalmer’s panprotopsychism without the physical “candy shell”).

Image
Image
Image

Each Psycheon or particle of VAGOTET corresponds to each and every experience of every being that shall ever exist in the whole of eternity (infinite time) and infinity (infinite space). The existence of any person in this simplest explanation of the origin of consciousness vitally depends upon the chance existence of every Psycheon making up every frame of VAGOTET in the entire series of a person’s existence from birth to death, from birth to eternity, or from eternity to eternity.

There is probably no need to reduce Psycheons or psychic particles to “Planck size”, as this involves extra imaginary work in reducing particles of VAGOTET to a size wherein there is no lesser height, width, length, and sensation before imaginatively building these into the particles of VAGOTET making up every person that can exist (as the existence of a persons depends upon whether or not their particular particles of VAGOTET exist).

Either way, regardless of whether or not one begins with particles of VAGOTET, analogized as the “jigsaw puzzle pieces” of every experience a person shall have from birth to death, birth to eternity, or eternity to eternity (each fragment having an irreducible microscopic “size” that is the most minimal form of the subjective experience of the person that can be recognized as a fragment of that person—or further reduces microscopic experience to an unrecognizable minimum that cannot be recognized as any person but is entailed to aggregate into all persons) the existence of actual persons implies the external world probably contains Psycheons corresponding to each person that does, can, or shall exist.

The logic of the existence of Psycheons is comparable to the logic of the existence of physical sub-atomic particles or atoms of the Standard Model of Physics. It is a basic induction that objects, environments, and the bodies of persons are probably did not eternally exist as complete, indivisible wholes but are collectives of smaller entities that “Lego block” into macroscopic objects.

The reasoning starts out from the claim that such macroscopic objects as the earth, trees, people, mountains, and individual stars are first fully formed as such by causal processes from earlier, more primitive states. Thus such macro-objects each have their own respective beginnings in time in at least the following sense: For each of them, there is a time such that it did not exist in its final form before then, but did exist as of then or since. Incidentally, without additional theory, the correctness of this claim of temporal origin is by no means obvious in regard to all elementary particles, for example, some of which might conceivably have existed in their present form throughout all past time. But let us grant the claim for macro-objects.

-Adolf Grunbaum, The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology


If it is accepted that there are physical particles (some of which may have existed for eternity in their present form according to Grunbaum) that make up every mind-independent doppelganger of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that if mind-independence does not exist, the existence of consciousness and every person is probably explicable to psychical particles that, using the existence of actual conscious experience as evidence, are fragments of the particular subjective experiences of every person that can and shall exist.
___________________________________________________________________

DEATH OF A PERSON AS ETERNAL INABILITY OF RE-INTEGRATION OF PSYCHIC PARTICLE OR REPLACEMENT OF PRE-DEATH PARTICLES WITH PARTICLES OF POST-DEATH PERSONHOOD


Studies at the Oak Ridge Atomic Research Center have revealed that about 98 percent of all the atoms in a human body are replaced every year. You get a new suit of skin every month and a new liver every six weeks. The lining of your stomach lasts only five days before it’s replaced. Even your bones are not the solid, stable, concrete-like things you might have thought them to be: They are undergoing constant change. The bones you have today are different from the bones you had a year ago. Experts in this area of research have concluded that there is a complete, 100 percent turnover of atoms in the body at least every five years. In other words, not one single atom present in your body today was there five years ago.

(Skeptics posit that there is no turnover of atoms in neural DNA and tooth enamel)

-Stack Exchange: Skeptics-Are All The Atoms In Our Bodies Replaced On A Regular Basis?



If it is believed that there are mind-independent turnover of atoms making up the human body (regardless of whether or not one accepts the percentage and rate of change in the quote above), in the absence of mind-independent atoms and doppelgangers of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that there may be turnover of the psychical particles making up a deceased person as opposed to magical cessation of existence of the person or a necessary irrevocable disintegration of psychic or mental particles.

THE TWO POSSIBLE FATES OF A PERSON AFTER DEATH

The binary code of man’s belief in what happens after death is a choice between eternal oblivion or continuance of personal consciousness in some form. One can take the “easy way out” and go with eternal oblivion, but must admit to quasi-religious faith that the external world and the mechanisms within it have ordained that to be the only fate of man, or there is the logical and metaphysical possibility that mechanisms in the external world are naturally compelled to re-form deceased consciousness. One can settle in the easy chair with the binary “0” of atheistic view of death or “take the hard path” of providing convincing argument for the logical possibility of the binary “1”: the re-formation of deceased consciousness into either the same person, a different version of the same person, an amalgamation of the deceased and another person (the Author proposes a God or other cosmic entity), or an entirely new person.

When considering what is probably the most logical imagination of what happens to a person after death, in light of the probable eternal existence of consciousness and non-existence of mind-independence, one is left with either Eternal Disintegration of consciousness or Reintegrated Consciousness.

I. ETERNAL DISINTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Atheistic view of death may be maintained in a universe or reality in which the physical does not exist. In a domain of Ernst Mach’s Phenomenalism, a person is a construction of sense-data (and mental data and emotion data) that is “jigsaw puzzle pieced” into a particular person and everything that person experiences from birth to death. Death, in Machian terms is just the disintegration of the psychical or mental particles making up the person or the reversion of a person from the reality of experience to Mach’s ‘permanent possibility of experience’.

If there is something about the particular particles making up a person and their experience that allowed integration in the first place, eternal disintegration of the person involves:

(i) Either brute, arbitrary essential change in each particle upon the death of the person or further decay of each person particle into fundamental or irreducible particles that undergo brute, arbitrary essential change such that the fundamental particles can no longer be considered the lowest possible disintegration of that person (both involve the “magic” of strong emergence in which something inexplicably transforms into an entirely different or new form of existence)

The plausibility of strong emergence is questioned by some as contravening our usual understanding of physics. Mark A. Bedau observes:

Although strong emergence is logically possible, it is uncomfortably like magic. How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? Such causal powers would be quite unlike anything within our scientific ken. This not only indicates how they will discomfort reasonable forms of materialism. Their mysteriousness will only heighten the traditional worry that emergence entails illegitimately getting something from nothing.

-Mark A. Bedau, Weak Emergence



(ii) There are forces between each particle formerly forming a particular person that continually push each particle apart (probably each person-particle is continually blocked by spatially intermittent particles that remain forever in their way, producing local forces that push each person-particle apart away, preventing re-integration (involves weak emergence in which the particles making up a particular person were always particles of that person for eternity before their aggregation into the person, and eternally remain particles of that person in eternal separation).

If consciousness cannot come into existence from previous non-existence or cease to exist and if consciousness when not in the form of persons and their experiences primarily exist in fragmented or particle form, if atheistic view of death is maintained by eternal separation of mental particles formerly making up a deceased person, an Afterlife is nothing more that re-integration of mental particles into a person.

II. RE-INTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

If an Afterlife ultimately entails re-integration of mental particles into persons following the death of persons (disintegration of person-particles), for the same person to persist following death certain particles of the previous person must re-integrate, even if combined with new psychical or mental particles that make up a new incarnation or psychic form of the deceased. If no particle making up the previous person re-integrates, there is no Afterlife but mere formation of new persons.

The necessity for preservation of the psychic particles of the deceased for the existence of an Afterlife is analogous to transhumanist philosopher Max More’s belief that for a deceased person to “resurrect” through the creation of a new brain, some aspect of the old brain must factor into the creation of the new, even if the aspect is informational continuity, in which information regarding the patterns of old neural interconnectivity and function were applied to the new brain despite destruction or discarding of the old brain:

Gervais' reason for proffering the neocortical criterion for death is clear enough: "destruction of the neocortex has been shown to produce permanent unconsciousness and to be an empirically verifiable pattern of brain destruction prior to the failure of the organism as a whole. Since human death is the death of the person, and the death of the person occurs with permanent loss of consciousness, neocortical death is an adequate criterion for declaring death" [150-51]. And, a few pages later: "[T]he individual's essence consists in the possession of a conscious, yet not necessarily continuous, mental life; if all mental life ceases, the person ceases to exist; when the person ceases to exist, the person has died.

[Criticism: We cannot experience or observe the consciousness of another person (if so, we would be that person and not ourselves), thus we cannot experience or observe that mental life ceases to exist: one only believes mental life ceases to exist. Permanent unconsciousness to the third person observer is merely permanent absence of the body’s unresponsiveness to external stimuli and other signs such as stiffness, coldness, and all the bodily characteristics of a body that has died (ceased functioning and exhibiting the characteristics of life).

The person, meanwhile, is not essentially the body of the person and the person’s existence following cessation of bodily behavior and characteristic of life is ultimately a matter of a third person observer’s imagination and belief in whether or not the person persists or ceases to exist following cessation of function of the brain and body. The body cannot tell us whether or not the mind survived; one can only believe the mind survived, believe it disintegrated into psychic particles that persist in a psychic rather than physical external world, or believe the mind magically winks out of existence.]

Upper brain death destroys all capacity for a conscious mental life, and it is therefore the death of the person." (pp.157-58.) I will agree that the neocortical criterion, when carefully stated, is an adequate criterion for present day conditions, but will argue that it will not serve as a universally valid criterion. To establish this, I need to show that persons can continue to exist despite being neocortically dead (in either sense). To this end I will distinguish different types of continuity and evaluate their relative importance for the continuation of the self.

Structural Continuity: Atoms or molecules may gradually be replaced, but the arrangement of the parts of the body or brain persists. That is, the physical structure is maintained even though there may be a gradual turnover in the material of which it is composed. Structural continuity is static when two temporal stages of the system are qualitatively identical, and dynamic when the later stage has resulted from the earlier stage by a sufficiently gradual process involving no spatiotemporal discontinuity.

Functional Continuity: (a) Bodily functional continuity: The body and (perhaps) the brain continue to function (either autonomously or with mechanical support). Functional continuity may be maintained despite a serious loss of structural continuity. Replacement of the heart with a mechanical heart may maintain the original function despite the two organs having entirely different structures. (b) Psychological functional continuity: Personality continues to operate and act; consciousness (or the capacity for consciousness) is maintained. This may occur despite a radical change in the structure of the physical organ making consciousness possible. Loss of functional continuity may be (i) reversible or irreversible by current means, or (ii) reversible or irreversible by any empirically possible future technology.

Informational Continuity: Physical structure may be destroyed, but all the information necessary potentially to allow reconstruction of the brain (or other consciousness-support structure) and thus restoration of its function persists.

-Max More, The Terminus of the Self


An Afterlife, therefore, requires an analog of More’s Structural Continuity, involving salvage and re-integration of the mental particles making up the “old” person. It is unknown if—analogous to the belief that there are an innumerable number of electrons, protons, and neutrons so that any one of them can go into the formation of any object— there are innumerable copies of every psychic particle making up a person that could substitute for original particles if the person is re-formed.

According to More, however, some aspect of the old person must go into re-formation of the person after death (at least in terms of informational reference to if not use of material from the deceased person in reconstruction of the person’s brain). I will grant the same for psychic particles making up a deceased person as requirement for an Afterlife.

[Author’s note: the most minimal aspect of the person that can or may be salvaged is the tabula rasa or basic, ground state first-person subjective experience of the formerly deceased. This, however, negates awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the formerly deceased of an afterlife situation as the consciousness of the person beyond the tabula rasa does not survive. Relevant or meaningful awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the Afterlife or an afterlife situation requires re-integration of (at least) the former identity if not former personality or memories of the deceased.

More to the point, what is identity after all but an idea of “who” a person is, with identity categorized and referred to by self and others in the form of a name? One may make the argument that subjective experience qua the fact or act of experiencing is homogenous across every being in existence, having the same quality and existential state regardless of whether it exists in the form of God, Satan, or any human. Identity, then, is an aspect of thought in the form of an idea the person has (manifest in the form of a mental rather than bodily or emotional sense) that it is a particular self, distinguished from every other person in existence.]

I. GODLESS AFTERLIFE

Godless Afterlife is logically possible in the form of accidental re-integrations of mental or psychic particles previously making up a deceased person, with the deceased “waking up” to an environment (consisting of Ernst Mach’s “pure data” in the seven forms of consciousness that are mental rather than physical or mind-independent external or distal objects) that may or may not resemble the environment the deceased perceived prior to first disintegration. There are no external persons or ‘gods’ having fortuitously existing causal power to sustain the idea of, decide upon, and ensure the re-integration and post-nature and fate of deceased persons: re-integrated persons are the result of accidental, unknowing ‘proto-consciousness’ in the form of fragmented particles of a person having fortuitous proximity and valence allowing cyclic repetition or temporary or eternal maintenance of the person’s consciousness.

Godless Afterlife may involve any number of re-incarnations of the deceased, ranging from mere second life (an arbitrary, random second life followed by eternal death) to an infinite number of re-integrations. Re-integrations may yield identical or slightly altered versions of pre-death experience or alien environments that differ in appearance and behavior with each re-integration.

II. THEONOMOUS AFTERLIFE

theonomous
: governed by God : subject to God's authority

-Merriam Webster Dictionary


Theonomous Afterlife, the most famous being Judeo-Christian Afterlife, entails re-integration of the consciousness of a deceased person by a separate being having knowledge of the deceased and a desire to grant the individual a second, perhaps eternal existence. Deceased persons are resurrected through arcane causation, telekinetic re-integration, or a third causal power introduced in Part 4 of this article.

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I. TRADITIONAL JUDEO-CHRISTIAN AFTERLIFE

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Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the most famous form of afterlife, is governed by the Judeo-Christian God, the most famous god in history (one may argue God was neither conceived nor known in far distant history, but he certainly rose to prominence and fame that will possibly last until the end of human existence).

Judeo-Christian Afterlife entails the sudden awakening of a deceased person to an alternate reality regulated by the Judeo-Christian God, who holds a court of judgment in which the deceased is karmically judged according to whether or not the person accepts the existence, life, miracles, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and lives by the Golden Rule. Depending upon the presence or absence of these qualities God sentences the person to an eternity in one of two realms.

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile
-Romans 2: 6-10


Cessation of biological consciousness, therefore, is immediately followed (to the subjective experience of the deceased, though centuries or perhaps eons have passed between death and afterlife) by resurrection and a gathering before the throne of God to face the most dreaded event in the history of existence: THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT. The White Throne Judgment is the culmination of human history, which ends in a court in which the transhistorical population of the dead--every human that has ever existed--is 'judged according to their works' and eternally rewarded with Heaven or eternally punished in Hell.

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During the Judgment, those to be sentenced to eternal bliss in Heaven find themselves standing to the right of God's Throne. Those sentenced to damnation in the fires of Hell find themselves standing to the left.

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[Author’s Note: An idle point of interest are the two figures circled in blue in the illustration above currently standing before the Throne of God. The taller figure is the presenting angel, who presents the saved or the damned before God for judgment. The smaller figure, we must presume, is the human currently facing judgment. From which camp do you think this guy or girl came—the right or the left? Judging from the person’s position relative to the angel, it seems more likely the person was selected from the group to the right of God’s throne. It seems as if God is about to congratulate the person for accepting Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, for living a good, non-sociopathic life, and is about to allow the person to enter the eternal bliss of Heaven. Good job, center person!]

The tale of Judeo-Christian afterlife is immensely frightening, as humans are irrevocably consigned to either eternal life in the ethereal pleasures of Heaven or never-ending, insufferable pain in the fires of Hell. Hell is populated by non-Christians ('the unbelieving', though there is question in in Fundamentalist circles of the justice of consigning non-Christians that have never heard the name of Jesus Christ to the fires of hell), the malicious (those who consciously and unapologetically violate the Golden Rule), suicides, thieves, the sexually perverse, and more.

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The material substance of Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the material substance of God, angels, demons, Satan, and spirits of the saved or the damned is generally assumed to be Ectoplasmic Spirit: a supernatural or “ghost” substance that is neither physical matter nor normative consciousness.

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God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

-John 4:24


The concept of God as Spirit, the Chief Spirit of Christianity and Magic, suggests that ‘spirit’ is a supernatural substance distinct from physical energy or normal consciousness. God is often conceived as an all-powerful ghost composed of non-physical/non-conscious supernatural substance. In classical Judeo-Christian thought, man is essentially a ghost residing in a physical, animal shell.

The ghostly spirit of man supplants and replaces brain-generated consciousness (if one believes that consciousness is generated by brains) upon death: the ghostly spirit of a person “records” the deeds, feelings, and thoughts of brain-generated consciousness before brain-generated consciousness ceases to exist at death, leaving the ghostly spirit to take over as the person’s consciousness and carry the person’s life-record and mentality into the Afterlife.

The ghost of the person has the ability to travel to alternate planes of existence, achieving the abode of Gods and angels or descending to the depths of Hell. The substance of Spirit—Spiritual Ectoplasm—is an everlasting, indestructible substance that nevertheless experiences pain or pleasure: the ghostly spirits of the damned are able to suffer the blistering pain of Hell while spirits of the saved enjoy the rapturous thrill of Heaven.

What spiritual ectoplasm may be beyond whatever is dreamt up by normal consciousness is inconceivable, as we consist of and experience only normal consciousness (which is generic subjective experience). One imagines that those believing in spiritual ectoplasm conceive of what normal consciousness might be like in the third person and construct the image of a ghostly spirit in the form of animal man when thinking of the soul of a human being or a ghostly humanoid or monstrous form when representing the supernatural beings on either side of the Judeo-Christian divide.

It is possible, however, that the ancients could not conceive of the words ‘consciousness’ or ‘mentality’, and could only come up with the terms ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ to refer to normal consciousness rather than ghostly, supernatural substance.

If one denies the existence of the supernatural at least in terms of ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ being extra-conscious ghostly substance, ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ is only the ancient term for normative consciousness that survives bodily death and is non-brain-generated consciousness (if one accepts the non-existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception). This non-brain-generated normative consciousness comprises God, angels, demons, insects, animals (if insects and animals are not philosopher’s zombies) and man.

God, therefore, is a Spirit ‘that must be worshipped in spirit and in truth’ in the sense that God consists not of ghostly ectoplasm but normal consciousness. Man is made in the image of God and therefore consists of normal consciousness. Arguably, the image in which God truly created man is not the animal primate form but a floating invisible, intangible first-person subjective experience without body or form. Man may essentially be a spirit (a non-embodied consciousness) that experiences a ‘simulated reality’ in which he seems to possess and reside in an animal body, experiencing the entire gamut of exteroceptive, proprioceptive, and sensory experiences that cause him to conclude that he possesses and exists within an external, objective body, but the experience of a body is an illusion granted by the ‘simulated reality’ that is the person’s particular form of consciousness appearing before the “eyes and mind” of the non-embodied spirit.

Ergo: man is created in the image of God, as God is a non-embodied mind or spirit. Man, therefore, is also a non-embodied spirit that experiences itself within a body, that in reality is an illusion of the ‘simulation’ that defines what the non-embodied spirit experiences.

One might say the difference between God (and Satan, angels, demons, and any other cosmic being) and man is that cosmic beings do not experience having or being ‘within’ a body (they are given “bodies” in terms of fanciful imagination of their appearance) and are naked, invisible and intangible consciousnesses (it is possible, given the hypothetical ability of Christ to mimic other humans and share in every negative experience of every human being that shall ever exist, for Christ (at least) to instantiate experience of the animal body of others (aside from the indigenous body he experienced for 33 years in the simulated reality of his experience as a human on “Earth”) though this is only an aspect of his ‘simulated reality’ of sharing the negative experience of every human being while dying on the cross. See “The Sacrifical Dream Hypothesis”).

[Note 1: Consciousness, particularly visual perception, is a simulated reality regardless of whether or not one believes there are mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception or that brains create consciousness. If consciousness can cease to exist while mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception remain in place unaffected by the disappearance of consciousness (as they are not created by brains and as such do not depend upon the brain in order to exist), consciousness is a brain-generated simulated reality.

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and brains do not create consciousness, consciousness is nevertheless a “simulated reality” in the form of an arbitrary, constructed world residing only within the mind of a non-embodied consciousness.]

[Note 2: It is conceivable that Satan mimics the consciousness of psychopathic humans, partaking in their experience.]

Aside from Christ (and possibly Satan), only man, animals, and insects (if animals and insects are not philosopher’s zombies) experience a simulated reality in which they have and exist ‘within’ organic bodies (with a particular evolving appearance) obeying the laws of biology.

Spiritual ectoplasm, the third-person imagination of souls, is a product of pagan myth and biblical interpretation that seemed to ignore the possibility that the ancients used the terms ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ to describe not an extra, supernatural substance that can be observed as ghostly “stuff” and persons but that which was right in front of them as a core aspect of their being and daily experience: subjective first-person experience.

III. THE PROBLEM OF HELL

In what respect, then, do his benevolence and mercy
resemble the benevolence and mercy of men?

DAVID HUME


There are hells of other religions, but the most famous hell is the hell of Judaeo-Christian theology. In response to the horrifying nature of Christian Hell, philosophers seek to reconcile the concept of 'good' as understood by human beings with the concept of the "righteousness" of allowance of eternal, never-ending pain. The lack of reconciliation of goodness with the willingness to allow certain beings to suffer eternally forces the conclusion that there is a problem with the concept of Hell. Eternal hell is seen to contradict the moral nature of God and presupposes an alien sense of morality and justice distinct from that comprehended by rational human beings.

God's nature is love (1 Jn. 4:8,16)..."agape" love which always seeks the best for others and never ceases until this objective is accomplished. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails (1 Cor.13:7,8). God, having perfect foreknowledge in creation, knew that all mankind would follow Adam into sin. Therefore God made provision for man's reconciliation before the foundation of the world (1Ptr.1:19,20). Statisticians tell us that over the past 6,000 years approximately 160 billion people have lived on the earth. The doctrine of "eternal punishment" declares that all who do not believe on Jesus Christ while in their mortal bodies spend eternity in an inescapable, unending hell. If 10% of the earth's people believed on Jesus Christ then the remaining 144 billion must consequently spend eternity being punished. This would mean that God's purpose in creation was eternal punishment for some 144 billion people! Apart from any knowledge of the grace and mercy of God we could hardly say this reflects a God of justice. Having a higher revelation of God's "agape" love, can we now accept this doctrine as being consistent with a God of love?

Yes, our holy and just God does require accountability of man to Himself and does punish man for his sin and rebellion. But, if the punishment is unending then what purpose does it serve? Such behavior by an earthly father would be considered sadism. Is our heavenly Father's love and punishment to be degraded to the level of such an earthly father? No, for though man may fail, God's love never fails. It did, He would deny Himself.

Church History

There is no documentation that the church councils of the first four centuries embraced the doctrine of "eternal punishment." The church councils at Nice in A.D. 325, at Constantinople in A.D.381, at Ephesus in A.D.431 and at Chalcedon in A.D.451 never embraced this doctrine. In contrast, there is documented evidence that many church leaders and teachers of the first centuries A.D. wrote acclaiming the doctrine of "universal salvation" or "ultimate reconciliation", none of whom were censored. It was not until 553 A.D. that the Roman Catholic Church denounced the teaching of ultimate reconciliation as heresy.

-Salisbury, Lee: Eternal Punishment—Is It Really Of God?


If man is made in the image of God and as such inherits God's moral reason, the benevolence and mercy of God should resemble the benevolence and mercy of men. If the benevolence and mercy of God resembles that of men, then the punishment of hell, even for the most deserving sinner, should be temporary rather than eternal in the interest of a future universe completely devoid of evil and pain. A future universe in which 'all the old things are passed away' (Revelations.?) should be a universe that does not eternally hold on to the existence of the wicked with a punishment that eternally belabours the point.

Indeed, the famous version of Hell (eternal torment in hellfire) did not exist until 533 A.A. according to Salisbury or before Augustine, according to Glenn Peoples in History of Hell: Hell before Augustine:

The Apostolic Fathers – Early Church Fathers on Hell

As already noted, while some Early Church Fathers revealed that they interpreted the biblical language to refer to eternal torment, the Apostolic Fathers nowhere did this. However, on at least a couple of occasions, the Apostolic Fathers gave us a glimpse into how they interpreted the teaching of Jesus and the writers of the New Testament. One good example is Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John. Ignatius wrote a letter to the Ephesians in which chapter 17, “Beware of false doctrines,” reads as follows:

"For this end did the Lord allow the ointment to be poured upon His head, that He might breathe immortality into his church. Be not anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let him not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you. And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognising the gift which the Lord has of a truth sent to us?"

Less than a century later Tatian wrote that the lost will be “immortal,” and those who affirm the doctrine of eternal torment have no trouble recognising what he was saying: That the lost would be alive forever, albeit in a terrible state. Ignatius here claimed, by contrast, that immortality is Christ’s gift to his church, and that to “perish” means to not receive the gift. If traditionalists interpret immortality to mean the same thing in both cases, they must conclude that while Tatian thought that the lost would live forever, Ignatius did not.

Ignatius confirms that this was his view in his letter to the Magnesians in chapter 10, exhorting them, “Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be.” It is impossible to reconcile the view that the lost will not receive immortality and the reward of sinful deeds is to cease to be on one hand with the view that the lost will be punished for their sin with eternal torment in hell on the other. Knowing that this teaching was alive and well among the Apostolic Fathers makes it all the more likely that the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas was making the same point in chapter 21:

"It is well, therefore, that he who has learned the judgments of the Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keeps these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooses other things shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection, on this account a retribution. I beseech you who are superiors, if you will receive any counsel of my good-will, have among yourselves those to whom you may show kindness: do not forsake them. For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]."

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IV. THE PROBLEM OF ARCANE CAUSATION

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It is generally taken for granted among those who believe in the Judeo-Christian God that when God creates something, he creates it ex nihilo—from nothing. The Bible is vague concerning the method by which God creates something as it simply pairs God and God’s will to create something (expressed through a statement) with the sudden appearance of an entity or state of affairs.

As Adolf Grünbaum has pointed out, many familiar causes are “transformative” in character. When a person makes something, he makes it out of something. He transforms a pre-existent material into something else (the effect). The carpenter cuts the wood and fits it together so as to make a house, the potter shapes and bakes his clay so as to make a pot, and so on.

Genesis 1 can be read as saying that God did something of this sort with the “formless void”—shaping it in a step-by-step process that led to sky and earth and sea. But according to the traditional Christian interpretation, this is not the whole story. If there was a First Stuff (a “formless void,” perhaps) out of which God made the universe, then he must have made that too. And inasmuch as it is the First Stuff, he did not make it out of any other stuff. He created it ex nihilo.

The traditional Christian doctrine of creation has often been stated in Aristotelian terms: God is the efficient cause of the universe. No doubt God had something definite in mind when he created (the formal cause), and no doubt he had his reasons for creating (the final cause)—but there was no material cause—no “stuff” that God worked with in the very first act of creation.

But we don’t need Aristotle’s Four Causes to explain what is meant by creation ex nihilo. For present purposes I shall adopt the following definition:

x is created ex nihilo by y if and only if i) y causes x to exist, and ii) y does not cause x to exist by transforming some other material stuff.

For convenience and stylistic variation, I shall continue to use the Aristotelian expression, “material cause,” to refer to whatever underlying material stuff is altered by a “transformative cause.”

Now suppose, for the sake of argument, that the universe was caused to exist by a very powerful person. Why isn’t this person a “transformative cause?” Why not suppose that there is a material cause? Why do Christians insist that God must have created the universe ex nihilo?

Although there is little scriptural support for this traditional doctrine, there are obvious theological motives. Philosophically minded Christians have long held God to be, not just the greatest being who happens to exist, but the Greatest Conceivable Being. A God who could not create without shaping a pre-existent material stuff would be limited by the nature of that stuff—he could create only what his stock of materials permits. Such a God would not be the Greatest Conceivable Being since one can consistently conceive of a God whose power is not limited in this way.

In recent years, however, some Christian philosophers have suggested that purely scientific and philosophical considerations show that the universe was not made out of anything. William Lane Craig, in particular, has argued that creation ex nihilo is strongly supported by the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. Craig gives at least two different arguments for this conclusion. The first depends on the supposed “infinite density” of the initial singularity, the second on the claim that there was no time prior to the initial singularity.

Grünbaum, on the other hand, has forcefully argued that creation ex nihilo does not follow from any reasonable interpretation of the claim that the universe has a cause. Causes of the sort that are acknowledged in everyday experience and in scientific explanations either do not involve conscious agency, or, if they do, they also involve the transformation of some pre-existing material. In neither case do we have the sort of cause envisaged by classical theism. So even if one were to grant the premise that everything (including the beginning of the universe) has a cause, it would not follow that the universe was created ex nihilo.

In the present paper, I shall show that neither of Craig’s “Big Bang” arguments is successful in refuting Grünbaum’s contention, or in establishing a link between the Big Bang theory and creation ex nihilo. Even if it is granted that the universe was created by a very powerful person, the Big Bang theory provides no support for the further claim that this person created the universe out of nothing. As far as the Big Bang theory is concerned, the creation of the universe might have consisted in the transformation of something else. And even if God is the cause of the Big Bang, his first creative act might have consisted in the shaping of something that he did not create.

-Wes Morriston, Creation Ex Nihilo And The Big Bang


God as the most powerful and wise in existence will not be influenced in his choices and decisions by any other being when it comes to his desire to create something (and the reason behind the creation). Anything God creates will first exist as an arbitrary figment of his imagination. Creation ex nihilo or as it shall be called here, arcane causation, is the traditional method by which God transmutes imagination into reality.

One may argue (alongside Morriston) that insistence upon arcane causation derives ultimately from a reticence to entertain, much less actively believe, the notion that there are things God did not create.

Interestingly, traditional Christianity implies there are two things God did not create: sin and free will. If sin and free will were not created by God, (though they were glimpsed by his precognitive foreknowledge as a property of his omniscience) there is still an ex nihilo story behind their origin: they are arcane emergences as opposed to arcane causations, things that previously did not exist that pop into existence independent of the action, will, or desire (if not foreknowledge) of an antecedent causal agent.

It is odd that free will randomly pops into existence with content that happens to reflect and choose things already in existence: things that come into existence should rationally have no frame of reference for things already in existence because things that come into existence did not exist in order to “know” that to which they should refer.

Sin is arcane causation in the form of “little fires” of human consciousness that by random chance God happens to hate and keep tally of to punish with eternal fire in the Last Judgment (according to Christian belief opposed to Annihilism or Universalism). Sin, like free will, is random to the human being, but known beforehand by God through omniscience. God’s omnipotence takes a back seat for some reason when it comes to undesired things he should have power—given his arcane influence over things that do not yet exist—to prevent from existing in the first place.

For example, if God himself is naturally without sin and there is nothing wrong with him being this way, upon reflection about the matter there is no good reason for him to be so intent upon free will (despite the fact he knows every will that pops into the mind of every person that shall ever exist prior to the existence of their will) that he allows sin and damnation to exist for the sake of allowing free will, which does more harm than good because it results in the existence of evil and eternal damnation. If God ‘wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4)—God could have created man with the inability to sin in the first place, rendering the entire game of sin, salvation, and Hell unnecessary. It is odd that God should consider the monolithic wave of human suffering necessary collateral damage for the sake of free will, as if free will is preferable to universal goodness.

The sinlessness of God (and presumably every angel save those who fell) is itself conceptual proof that sin need not exist in the first place. Free will mixed with the ability to sin and the necessity of God to create Hell and impose it as the consequence for sin seems a strange way to go about things when there are beings that exist without sin and this is “automatically okay”. Sinless humans created without the ability to sin should also, in light of the “okay-ness” of sinless beings being sinless “from the go” should also be “okay from the word go”.

A rational conclusion is that man’s ability to sin randomly popped into existence, and God not only had nothing to do with it, but had no power to prevent this ability from existing despite purportedly possessing omnipotence, as God could have made man as sinless as himself “from the jump”. If God cannot prevent the existence of something that he hates, then God is less than omnipotent and there are forces that can cause things that God cannot prevent (such as the existence of sin and free will).

Nevertheless, one can argue that arcane emergence divorced from arcane causation does not grant free will, as will and the content of a person’s will is at the mercy of whatever happens to pop into existence. A person has will and makes choices, but the nature of that will, the nature of that choice comes into existence on its own independent of the foreknowledge and will of the person. If a person chooses to conduct a thought experiment in which the person begins to “predict” future wills and choices prior to having those wills and choices, every act of “predictive” imagination is not chosen by the person, but comes into existence on its own in the form of the person’s thought of each item and the person’s idea that he or she is actively predicting what they shall or could will in the future. The imagination itself randomly pops into existence with whatever content it shall have without one having chosen the content: one may believe one has chosen the content, but the content, whatever it is, is the randomly existing winner of a number of alternate imaginary content that could have existed in its place.
_____________________________________________________________________

One is free to believe in arcane causation and/or arcane emergence, but it is a far less simple hypothesis than that nothing comes into or goes out of existence, such that the material substance of every choice, thought, and sensation has pre-existed for eternity before assuming the form of a certain conscious experience of a certain person at a certain moment in time. Everything is “already here” and was “always here from the beginning” without having to magically come into existence from non-existence. If the traditional Christian accepts that God did not create everything, given that the traditional Christian believes God did not create sin and free will, it is not damning to suppose that things exists in such a way that God does not create anything from non-existence but “creates” in the sense that he shapes and re-arranges a fundamental, indestructible, eternally existing substance according to his will.

He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

-1 Timothy 6:16


Further, it is not out of the question that God himself is the first person consisting of this fundamental substance, that by the possibility of the nature of existence happened to be an eternal manifesting, with their being no furthest point in past time in which God first did not exist before being formed by the substance. One might say that God himself is the ground state, the “default” form of the substance behind all things, the only form the substance has always assumed without a first assumption, accompanied (necessarily) by surplus that goes into the formation of every other conscious being.

END PART THREE


The void before God (Eheieh Asher Eheieh - I am that I am) goes to work is called Ein (no/nothing) and Ein Soph (no limit) -
In this boundless void God says "let there be light" and there is Ein Sophie aur; the boundless light.
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For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Jakob » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:39 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:Image

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OF THE ETERNITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND PROBABLE NATURE AND OPERATION OF EXISTENCE

Given empirical knowledge of the apparent nature of existence (that it only appears in the form of a person and that which the person experiences), one can make an induction about the nature of the external world based on the nature of human consciousness. consciousness).

Human consciousness essentially consists of a single first-person subject of experiences and the experiences springing upon the subject at any given moment in time. The experiences that appear and disappear before and within the subject exist in seven distinct “modes” or modalities categorized by the anagram VAGOTET:

V=Visual Perception or Vision (Sense of Sight)

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A=Auditory Perception or Audition (Sense of Sound or Hearing)

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G=Gustatory Perception or Gustation (Sense of Taste)

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O=Olfactory Perception or Olfaction (Sense of Smell)

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T=Tactile Perception or Taction (Sense of Touch and/or Inward Biological Feel)

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E=Emotional Experience (in the modes of Positive, Negative, or Neutral)

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T=Thought (Mental perception in the form of visual and verbal thought in the form of memories and ideas, and dreams)

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At any given moment in time, human consciousness resides within a particular Frame of VAGOTET: a “moving picture frame” of a specific example of VAGOTET occurring to a person at a certain moment in time. Humans and other forms of consciousness do nothing but shift, moment by moment, from one frame of VAGOTET to the next.

(Note: Certain conscious beings do not possess the entire anagram. For example, a blind person exists as ongoing frames of -AGOTET while a deaf person exists as shifting frames of V-GOTET.)

The State of The External World In The Absence of Mind-Independent Doppelgangers of the Content of Visual Perception

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and (given the existence of consciousness as a hint as to what exists in the external world) the external world consists of nothing but conscious experience or the material used to make up conscious experience, the fact that persons exist implies the external world tends to produce persons (as it constantly cranks out persons).

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A person may be reductively explained as a temporary (or eternal) series of connected frames of VAGOTET.

Aside from persons, using the ever-changing or transitory nature of conscious experience as a guide, the external world may consist of a psychic substance or matter that is divided in quality and property into seven elements (the seven forms of consciousness or VAGOTET).

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The seven elements of the psychic substance existing in (or making up) the external world, using the complex organization of person-consciousness as a guide, most likely exist in the form of particles of the seven types of conscious experience: the seven types of PSYCHEONS that comprise every person that shall ever exist. Psycheons are the quantum of consciousness, particles of the seven elements of subjective experience, the modes of VAGOTET in miniaturized from (compare Chalmer’s panprotopsychism without the physical “candy shell”).

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Each Psycheon or particle of VAGOTET corresponds to each and every experience of every being that shall ever exist in the whole of eternity (infinite time) and infinity (infinite space). The existence of any person in this simplest explanation of the origin of consciousness vitally depends upon the chance existence of every Psycheon making up every frame of VAGOTET in the entire series of a person’s existence from birth to death, from birth to eternity, or from eternity to eternity.

There is probably no need to reduce Psycheons or psychic particles to “Planck size”, as this involves extra imaginary work in reducing particles of VAGOTET to a size wherein there is no lesser height, width, length, and sensation before imaginatively building these into the particles of VAGOTET making up every person that can exist (as the existence of a persons depends upon whether or not their particular particles of VAGOTET exist).

Either way, regardless of whether or not one begins with particles of VAGOTET, analogized as the “jigsaw puzzle pieces” of every experience a person shall have from birth to death, birth to eternity, or eternity to eternity (each fragment having an irreducible microscopic “size” that is the most minimal form of the subjective experience of the person that can be recognized as a fragment of that person—or further reduces microscopic experience to an unrecognizable minimum that cannot be recognized as any person but is entailed to aggregate into all persons) the existence of actual persons implies the external world probably contains Psycheons corresponding to each person that does, can, or shall exist.

The logic of the existence of Psycheons is comparable to the logic of the existence of physical sub-atomic particles or atoms of the Standard Model of Physics. It is a basic induction that objects, environments, and the bodies of persons are probably did not eternally exist as complete, indivisible wholes but are collectives of smaller entities that “Lego block” into macroscopic objects.

The reasoning starts out from the claim that such macroscopic objects as the earth, trees, people, mountains, and individual stars are first fully formed as such by causal processes from earlier, more primitive states. Thus such macro-objects each have their own respective beginnings in time in at least the following sense: For each of them, there is a time such that it did not exist in its final form before then, but did exist as of then or since. Incidentally, without additional theory, the correctness of this claim of temporal origin is by no means obvious in regard to all elementary particles, for example, some of which might conceivably have existed in their present form throughout all past time. But let us grant the claim for macro-objects.

-Adolf Grunbaum, The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology


If it is accepted that there are physical particles (some of which may have existed for eternity in their present form according to Grunbaum) that make up every mind-independent doppelganger of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that if mind-independence does not exist, the existence of consciousness and every person is probably explicable to psychical particles that, using the existence of actual conscious experience as evidence, are fragments of the particular subjective experiences of every person that can and shall exist.
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DEATH OF A PERSON AS ETERNAL INABILITY OF RE-INTEGRATION OF PSYCHIC PARTICLE OR REPLACEMENT OF PRE-DEATH PARTICLES WITH PARTICLES OF POST-DEATH PERSONHOOD


Studies at the Oak Ridge Atomic Research Center have revealed that about 98 percent of all the atoms in a human body are replaced every year. You get a new suit of skin every month and a new liver every six weeks. The lining of your stomach lasts only five days before it’s replaced. Even your bones are not the solid, stable, concrete-like things you might have thought them to be: They are undergoing constant change. The bones you have today are different from the bones you had a year ago. Experts in this area of research have concluded that there is a complete, 100 percent turnover of atoms in the body at least every five years. In other words, not one single atom present in your body today was there five years ago.

(Skeptics posit that there is no turnover of atoms in neural DNA and tooth enamel)

-Stack Exchange: Skeptics-Are All The Atoms In Our Bodies Replaced On A Regular Basis?



If it is believed that there are mind-independent turnover of atoms making up the human body (regardless of whether or not one accepts the percentage and rate of change in the quote above), in the absence of mind-independent atoms and doppelgangers of the content of visual perception, it is not out of the question that there may be turnover of the psychical particles making up a deceased person as opposed to magical cessation of existence of the person or a necessary irrevocable disintegration of psychic or mental particles.

THE TWO POSSIBLE FATES OF A PERSON AFTER DEATH

The binary code of man’s belief in what happens after death is a choice between eternal oblivion or continuance of personal consciousness in some form. One can take the “easy way out” and go with eternal oblivion, but must admit to quasi-religious faith that the external world and the mechanisms within it have ordained that to be the only fate of man, or there is the logical and metaphysical possibility that mechanisms in the external world are naturally compelled to re-form deceased consciousness. One can settle in the easy chair with the binary “0” of atheistic view of death or “take the hard path” of providing convincing argument for the logical possibility of the binary “1”: the re-formation of deceased consciousness into either the same person, a different version of the same person, an amalgamation of the deceased and another person (the Author proposes a God or other cosmic entity), or an entirely new person.

When considering what is probably the most logical imagination of what happens to a person after death, in light of the probable eternal existence of consciousness and non-existence of mind-independence, one is left with either Eternal Disintegration of consciousness or Reintegrated Consciousness.

I. ETERNAL DISINTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Atheistic view of death may be maintained in a universe or reality in which the physical does not exist. In a domain of Ernst Mach’s Phenomenalism, a person is a construction of sense-data (and mental data and emotion data) that is “jigsaw puzzle pieced” into a particular person and everything that person experiences from birth to death. Death, in Machian terms is just the disintegration of the psychical or mental particles making up the person or the reversion of a person from the reality of experience to Mach’s ‘permanent possibility of experience’.

If there is something about the particular particles making up a person and their experience that allowed integration in the first place, eternal disintegration of the person involves:

(i) Either brute, arbitrary essential change in each particle upon the death of the person or further decay of each person particle into fundamental or irreducible particles that undergo brute, arbitrary essential change such that the fundamental particles can no longer be considered the lowest possible disintegration of that person (both involve the “magic” of strong emergence in which something inexplicably transforms into an entirely different or new form of existence)

The plausibility of strong emergence is questioned by some as contravening our usual understanding of physics. Mark A. Bedau observes:

Although strong emergence is logically possible, it is uncomfortably like magic. How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? Such causal powers would be quite unlike anything within our scientific ken. This not only indicates how they will discomfort reasonable forms of materialism. Their mysteriousness will only heighten the traditional worry that emergence entails illegitimately getting something from nothing.

-Mark A. Bedau, Weak Emergence



(ii) There are forces between each particle formerly forming a particular person that continually push each particle apart (probably each person-particle is continually blocked by spatially intermittent particles that remain forever in their way, producing local forces that push each person-particle apart away, preventing re-integration (involves weak emergence in which the particles making up a particular person were always particles of that person for eternity before their aggregation into the person, and eternally remain particles of that person in eternal separation).

If consciousness cannot come into existence from previous non-existence or cease to exist and if consciousness when not in the form of persons and their experiences primarily exist in fragmented or particle form, if atheistic view of death is maintained by eternal separation of mental particles formerly making up a deceased person, an Afterlife is nothing more that re-integration of mental particles into a person.

II. RE-INTEGRATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

If an Afterlife ultimately entails re-integration of mental particles into persons following the death of persons (disintegration of person-particles), for the same person to persist following death certain particles of the previous person must re-integrate, even if combined with new psychical or mental particles that make up a new incarnation or psychic form of the deceased. If no particle making up the previous person re-integrates, there is no Afterlife but mere formation of new persons.

The necessity for preservation of the psychic particles of the deceased for the existence of an Afterlife is analogous to transhumanist philosopher Max More’s belief that for a deceased person to “resurrect” through the creation of a new brain, some aspect of the old brain must factor into the creation of the new, even if the aspect is informational continuity, in which information regarding the patterns of old neural interconnectivity and function were applied to the new brain despite destruction or discarding of the old brain:

Gervais' reason for proffering the neocortical criterion for death is clear enough: "destruction of the neocortex has been shown to produce permanent unconsciousness and to be an empirically verifiable pattern of brain destruction prior to the failure of the organism as a whole. Since human death is the death of the person, and the death of the person occurs with permanent loss of consciousness, neocortical death is an adequate criterion for declaring death" [150-51]. And, a few pages later: "[T]he individual's essence consists in the possession of a conscious, yet not necessarily continuous, mental life; if all mental life ceases, the person ceases to exist; when the person ceases to exist, the person has died.

[Criticism: We cannot experience or observe the consciousness of another person (if so, we would be that person and not ourselves), thus we cannot experience or observe that mental life ceases to exist: one only believes mental life ceases to exist. Permanent unconsciousness to the third person observer is merely permanent absence of the body’s unresponsiveness to external stimuli and other signs such as stiffness, coldness, and all the bodily characteristics of a body that has died (ceased functioning and exhibiting the characteristics of life).

The person, meanwhile, is not essentially the body of the person and the person’s existence following cessation of bodily behavior and characteristic of life is ultimately a matter of a third person observer’s imagination and belief in whether or not the person persists or ceases to exist following cessation of function of the brain and body. The body cannot tell us whether or not the mind survived; one can only believe the mind survived, believe it disintegrated into psychic particles that persist in a psychic rather than physical external world, or believe the mind magically winks out of existence.]

Upper brain death destroys all capacity for a conscious mental life, and it is therefore the death of the person." (pp.157-58.) I will agree that the neocortical criterion, when carefully stated, is an adequate criterion for present day conditions, but will argue that it will not serve as a universally valid criterion. To establish this, I need to show that persons can continue to exist despite being neocortically dead (in either sense). To this end I will distinguish different types of continuity and evaluate their relative importance for the continuation of the self.

Structural Continuity: Atoms or molecules may gradually be replaced, but the arrangement of the parts of the body or brain persists. That is, the physical structure is maintained even though there may be a gradual turnover in the material of which it is composed. Structural continuity is static when two temporal stages of the system are qualitatively identical, and dynamic when the later stage has resulted from the earlier stage by a sufficiently gradual process involving no spatiotemporal discontinuity.

Functional Continuity: (a) Bodily functional continuity: The body and (perhaps) the brain continue to function (either autonomously or with mechanical support). Functional continuity may be maintained despite a serious loss of structural continuity. Replacement of the heart with a mechanical heart may maintain the original function despite the two organs having entirely different structures. (b) Psychological functional continuity: Personality continues to operate and act; consciousness (or the capacity for consciousness) is maintained. This may occur despite a radical change in the structure of the physical organ making consciousness possible. Loss of functional continuity may be (i) reversible or irreversible by current means, or (ii) reversible or irreversible by any empirically possible future technology.

Informational Continuity: Physical structure may be destroyed, but all the information necessary potentially to allow reconstruction of the brain (or other consciousness-support structure) and thus restoration of its function persists.

-Max More, The Terminus of the Self


An Afterlife, therefore, requires an analog of More’s Structural Continuity, involving salvage and re-integration of the mental particles making up the “old” person. It is unknown if—analogous to the belief that there are an innumerable number of electrons, protons, and neutrons so that any one of them can go into the formation of any object— there are innumerable copies of every psychic particle making up a person that could substitute for original particles if the person is re-formed.

According to More, however, some aspect of the old person must go into re-formation of the person after death (at least in terms of informational reference to if not use of material from the deceased person in reconstruction of the person’s brain). I will grant the same for psychic particles making up a deceased person as requirement for an Afterlife.

[Author’s note: the most minimal aspect of the person that can or may be salvaged is the tabula rasa or basic, ground state first-person subjective experience of the formerly deceased. This, however, negates awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the formerly deceased of an afterlife situation as the consciousness of the person beyond the tabula rasa does not survive. Relevant or meaningful awareness and appreciation (or abhorrence) of the Afterlife or an afterlife situation requires re-integration of (at least) the former identity if not former personality or memories of the deceased.

More to the point, what is identity after all but an idea of “who” a person is, with identity categorized and referred to by self and others in the form of a name? One may make the argument that subjective experience qua the fact or act of experiencing is homogenous across every being in existence, having the same quality and existential state regardless of whether it exists in the form of God, Satan, or any human. Identity, then, is an aspect of thought in the form of an idea the person has (manifest in the form of a mental rather than bodily or emotional sense) that it is a particular self, distinguished from every other person in existence.]

I. GODLESS AFTERLIFE

Godless Afterlife is logically possible in the form of accidental re-integrations of mental or psychic particles previously making up a deceased person, with the deceased “waking up” to an environment (consisting of Ernst Mach’s “pure data” in the seven forms of consciousness that are mental rather than physical or mind-independent external or distal objects) that may or may not resemble the environment the deceased perceived prior to first disintegration. There are no external persons or ‘gods’ having fortuitously existing causal power to sustain the idea of, decide upon, and ensure the re-integration and post-nature and fate of deceased persons: re-integrated persons are the result of accidental, unknowing ‘proto-consciousness’ in the form of fragmented particles of a person having fortuitous proximity and valence allowing cyclic repetition or temporary or eternal maintenance of the person’s consciousness.

Godless Afterlife may involve any number of re-incarnations of the deceased, ranging from mere second life (an arbitrary, random second life followed by eternal death) to an infinite number of re-integrations. Re-integrations may yield identical or slightly altered versions of pre-death experience or alien environments that differ in appearance and behavior with each re-integration.

II. THEONOMOUS AFTERLIFE

theonomous
: governed by God : subject to God's authority

-Merriam Webster Dictionary


Theonomous Afterlife, the most famous being Judeo-Christian Afterlife, entails re-integration of the consciousness of a deceased person by a separate being having knowledge of the deceased and a desire to grant the individual a second, perhaps eternal existence. Deceased persons are resurrected through arcane causation, telekinetic re-integration, or a third causal power introduced in Part 4 of this article.

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I. TRADITIONAL JUDEO-CHRISTIAN AFTERLIFE

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Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the most famous form of afterlife, is governed by the Judeo-Christian God, the most famous god in history (one may argue God was neither conceived nor known in far distant history, but he certainly rose to prominence and fame that will possibly last until the end of human existence).

Judeo-Christian Afterlife entails the sudden awakening of a deceased person to an alternate reality regulated by the Judeo-Christian God, who holds a court of judgment in which the deceased is karmically judged according to whether or not the person accepts the existence, life, miracles, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and lives by the Golden Rule. Depending upon the presence or absence of these qualities God sentences the person to an eternity in one of two realms.

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile
-Romans 2: 6-10


Cessation of biological consciousness, therefore, is immediately followed (to the subjective experience of the deceased, though centuries or perhaps eons have passed between death and afterlife) by resurrection and a gathering before the throne of God to face the most dreaded event in the history of existence: THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT. The White Throne Judgment is the culmination of human history, which ends in a court in which the transhistorical population of the dead--every human that has ever existed--is 'judged according to their works' and eternally rewarded with Heaven or eternally punished in Hell.

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During the Judgment, those to be sentenced to eternal bliss in Heaven find themselves standing to the right of God's Throne. Those sentenced to damnation in the fires of Hell find themselves standing to the left.

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[Author’s Note: An idle point of interest are the two figures circled in blue in the illustration above currently standing before the Throne of God. The taller figure is the presenting angel, who presents the saved or the damned before God for judgment. The smaller figure, we must presume, is the human currently facing judgment. From which camp do you think this guy or girl came—the right or the left? Judging from the person’s position relative to the angel, it seems more likely the person was selected from the group to the right of God’s throne. It seems as if God is about to congratulate the person for accepting Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, for living a good, non-sociopathic life, and is about to allow the person to enter the eternal bliss of Heaven. Good job, center person!]

The tale of Judeo-Christian afterlife is immensely frightening, as humans are irrevocably consigned to either eternal life in the ethereal pleasures of Heaven or never-ending, insufferable pain in the fires of Hell. Hell is populated by non-Christians ('the unbelieving', though there is question in in Fundamentalist circles of the justice of consigning non-Christians that have never heard the name of Jesus Christ to the fires of hell), the malicious (those who consciously and unapologetically violate the Golden Rule), suicides, thieves, the sexually perverse, and more.

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The material substance of Judeo-Christian Afterlife, the material substance of God, angels, demons, Satan, and spirits of the saved or the damned is generally assumed to be Ectoplasmic Spirit: a supernatural or “ghost” substance that is neither physical matter nor normative consciousness.

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God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

-John 4:24


The concept of God as Spirit, the Chief Spirit of Christianity and Magic, suggests that ‘spirit’ is a supernatural substance distinct from physical energy or normal consciousness. God is often conceived as an all-powerful ghost composed of non-physical/non-conscious supernatural substance. In classical Judeo-Christian thought, man is essentially a ghost residing in a physical, animal shell.

The ghostly spirit of man supplants and replaces brain-generated consciousness (if one believes that consciousness is generated by brains) upon death: the ghostly spirit of a person “records” the deeds, feelings, and thoughts of brain-generated consciousness before brain-generated consciousness ceases to exist at death, leaving the ghostly spirit to take over as the person’s consciousness and carry the person’s life-record and mentality into the Afterlife.

The ghost of the person has the ability to travel to alternate planes of existence, achieving the abode of Gods and angels or descending to the depths of Hell. The substance of Spirit—Spiritual Ectoplasm—is an everlasting, indestructible substance that nevertheless experiences pain or pleasure: the ghostly spirits of the damned are able to suffer the blistering pain of Hell while spirits of the saved enjoy the rapturous thrill of Heaven.

What spiritual ectoplasm may be beyond whatever is dreamt up by normal consciousness is inconceivable, as we consist of and experience only normal consciousness (which is generic subjective experience). One imagines that those believing in spiritual ectoplasm conceive of what normal consciousness might be like in the third person and construct the image of a ghostly spirit in the form of animal man when thinking of the soul of a human being or a ghostly humanoid or monstrous form when representing the supernatural beings on either side of the Judeo-Christian divide.

It is possible, however, that the ancients could not conceive of the words ‘consciousness’ or ‘mentality’, and could only come up with the terms ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ to refer to normal consciousness rather than ghostly, supernatural substance.

If one denies the existence of the supernatural at least in terms of ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ being extra-conscious ghostly substance, ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ is only the ancient term for normative consciousness that survives bodily death and is non-brain-generated consciousness (if one accepts the non-existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception). This non-brain-generated normative consciousness comprises God, angels, demons, insects, animals (if insects and animals are not philosopher’s zombies) and man.

God, therefore, is a Spirit ‘that must be worshipped in spirit and in truth’ in the sense that God consists not of ghostly ectoplasm but normal consciousness. Man is made in the image of God and therefore consists of normal consciousness. Arguably, the image in which God truly created man is not the animal primate form but a floating invisible, intangible first-person subjective experience without body or form. Man may essentially be a spirit (a non-embodied consciousness) that experiences a ‘simulated reality’ in which he seems to possess and reside in an animal body, experiencing the entire gamut of exteroceptive, proprioceptive, and sensory experiences that cause him to conclude that he possesses and exists within an external, objective body, but the experience of a body is an illusion granted by the ‘simulated reality’ that is the person’s particular form of consciousness appearing before the “eyes and mind” of the non-embodied spirit.

Ergo: man is created in the image of God, as God is a non-embodied mind or spirit. Man, therefore, is also a non-embodied spirit that experiences itself within a body, that in reality is an illusion of the ‘simulation’ that defines what the non-embodied spirit experiences.

One might say the difference between God (and Satan, angels, demons, and any other cosmic being) and man is that cosmic beings do not experience having or being ‘within’ a body (they are given “bodies” in terms of fanciful imagination of their appearance) and are naked, invisible and intangible consciousnesses (it is possible, given the hypothetical ability of Christ to mimic other humans and share in every negative experience of every human being that shall ever exist, for Christ (at least) to instantiate experience of the animal body of others (aside from the indigenous body he experienced for 33 years in the simulated reality of his experience as a human on “Earth”) though this is only an aspect of his ‘simulated reality’ of sharing the negative experience of every human being while dying on the cross. See “The Sacrifical Dream Hypothesis”).

[Note 1: Consciousness, particularly visual perception, is a simulated reality regardless of whether or not one believes there are mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception or that brains create consciousness. If consciousness can cease to exist while mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception remain in place unaffected by the disappearance of consciousness (as they are not created by brains and as such do not depend upon the brain in order to exist), consciousness is a brain-generated simulated reality.

If there are no mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and brains do not create consciousness, consciousness is nevertheless a “simulated reality” in the form of an arbitrary, constructed world residing only within the mind of a non-embodied consciousness.]

[Note 2: It is conceivable that Satan mimics the consciousness of psychopathic humans, partaking in their experience.]

Aside from Christ (and possibly Satan), only man, animals, and insects (if animals and insects are not philosopher’s zombies) experience a simulated reality in which they have and exist ‘within’ organic bodies (with a particular evolving appearance) obeying the laws of biology.

Spiritual ectoplasm, the third-person imagination of souls, is a product of pagan myth and biblical interpretation that seemed to ignore the possibility that the ancients used the terms ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ to describe not an extra, supernatural substance that can be observed as ghostly “stuff” and persons but that which was right in front of them as a core aspect of their being and daily experience: subjective first-person experience.

III. THE PROBLEM OF HELL

In what respect, then, do his benevolence and mercy
resemble the benevolence and mercy of men?

DAVID HUME


There are hells of other religions, but the most famous hell is the hell of Judaeo-Christian theology. In response to the horrifying nature of Christian Hell, philosophers seek to reconcile the concept of 'good' as understood by human beings with the concept of the "righteousness" of allowance of eternal, never-ending pain. The lack of reconciliation of goodness with the willingness to allow certain beings to suffer eternally forces the conclusion that there is a problem with the concept of Hell. Eternal hell is seen to contradict the moral nature of God and presupposes an alien sense of morality and justice distinct from that comprehended by rational human beings.

God's nature is love (1 Jn. 4:8,16)..."agape" love which always seeks the best for others and never ceases until this objective is accomplished. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and never fails (1 Cor.13:7,8). God, having perfect foreknowledge in creation, knew that all mankind would follow Adam into sin. Therefore God made provision for man's reconciliation before the foundation of the world (1Ptr.1:19,20). Statisticians tell us that over the past 6,000 years approximately 160 billion people have lived on the earth. The doctrine of "eternal punishment" declares that all who do not believe on Jesus Christ while in their mortal bodies spend eternity in an inescapable, unending hell. If 10% of the earth's people believed on Jesus Christ then the remaining 144 billion must consequently spend eternity being punished. This would mean that God's purpose in creation was eternal punishment for some 144 billion people! Apart from any knowledge of the grace and mercy of God we could hardly say this reflects a God of justice. Having a higher revelation of God's "agape" love, can we now accept this doctrine as being consistent with a God of love?

Yes, our holy and just God does require accountability of man to Himself and does punish man for his sin and rebellion. But, if the punishment is unending then what purpose does it serve? Such behavior by an earthly father would be considered sadism. Is our heavenly Father's love and punishment to be degraded to the level of such an earthly father? No, for though man may fail, God's love never fails. It did, He would deny Himself.

Church History

There is no documentation that the church councils of the first four centuries embraced the doctrine of "eternal punishment." The church councils at Nice in A.D. 325, at Constantinople in A.D.381, at Ephesus in A.D.431 and at Chalcedon in A.D.451 never embraced this doctrine. In contrast, there is documented evidence that many church leaders and teachers of the first centuries A.D. wrote acclaiming the doctrine of "universal salvation" or "ultimate reconciliation", none of whom were censored. It was not until 553 A.D. that the Roman Catholic Church denounced the teaching of ultimate reconciliation as heresy.

-Salisbury, Lee: Eternal Punishment—Is It Really Of God?


If man is made in the image of God and as such inherits God's moral reason, the benevolence and mercy of God should resemble the benevolence and mercy of men. If the benevolence and mercy of God resembles that of men, then the punishment of hell, even for the most deserving sinner, should be temporary rather than eternal in the interest of a future universe completely devoid of evil and pain. A future universe in which 'all the old things are passed away' (Revelations.?) should be a universe that does not eternally hold on to the existence of the wicked with a punishment that eternally belabours the point.

Indeed, the famous version of Hell (eternal torment in hellfire) did not exist until 533 A.A. according to Salisbury or before Augustine, according to Glenn Peoples in History of Hell: Hell before Augustine:

The Apostolic Fathers – Early Church Fathers on Hell

As already noted, while some Early Church Fathers revealed that they interpreted the biblical language to refer to eternal torment, the Apostolic Fathers nowhere did this. However, on at least a couple of occasions, the Apostolic Fathers gave us a glimpse into how they interpreted the teaching of Jesus and the writers of the New Testament. One good example is Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John. Ignatius wrote a letter to the Ephesians in which chapter 17, “Beware of false doctrines,” reads as follows:

"For this end did the Lord allow the ointment to be poured upon His head, that He might breathe immortality into his church. Be not anointed with the bad odour of the doctrine of the prince of this world; let him not lead you away captive from the life which is set before you. And why are we not all prudent, since we have received the knowledge of God, which is Jesus Christ? Why do we foolishly perish, not recognising the gift which the Lord has of a truth sent to us?"

Less than a century later Tatian wrote that the lost will be “immortal,” and those who affirm the doctrine of eternal torment have no trouble recognising what he was saying: That the lost would be alive forever, albeit in a terrible state. Ignatius here claimed, by contrast, that immortality is Christ’s gift to his church, and that to “perish” means to not receive the gift. If traditionalists interpret immortality to mean the same thing in both cases, they must conclude that while Tatian thought that the lost would live forever, Ignatius did not.

Ignatius confirms that this was his view in his letter to the Magnesians in chapter 10, exhorting them, “Let us not, therefore, be insensible to His kindness. For were He to reward us according to our works, we should cease to be.” It is impossible to reconcile the view that the lost will not receive immortality and the reward of sinful deeds is to cease to be on one hand with the view that the lost will be punished for their sin with eternal torment in hell on the other. Knowing that this teaching was alive and well among the Apostolic Fathers makes it all the more likely that the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas was making the same point in chapter 21:

"It is well, therefore, that he who has learned the judgments of the Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keeps these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooses other things shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection, on this account a retribution. I beseech you who are superiors, if you will receive any counsel of my good-will, have among yourselves those to whom you may show kindness: do not forsake them. For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]."

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IV. THE PROBLEM OF ARCANE CAUSATION

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It is generally taken for granted among those who believe in the Judeo-Christian God that when God creates something, he creates it ex nihilo—from nothing. The Bible is vague concerning the method by which God creates something as it simply pairs God and God’s will to create something (expressed through a statement) with the sudden appearance of an entity or state of affairs.

As Adolf Grünbaum has pointed out, many familiar causes are “transformative” in character. When a person makes something, he makes it out of something. He transforms a pre-existent material into something else (the effect). The carpenter cuts the wood and fits it together so as to make a house, the potter shapes and bakes his clay so as to make a pot, and so on.

Genesis 1 can be read as saying that God did something of this sort with the “formless void”—shaping it in a step-by-step process that led to sky and earth and sea. But according to the traditional Christian interpretation, this is not the whole story. If there was a First Stuff (a “formless void,” perhaps) out of which God made the universe, then he must have made that too. And inasmuch as it is the First Stuff, he did not make it out of any other stuff. He created it ex nihilo.

The traditional Christian doctrine of creation has often been stated in Aristotelian terms: God is the efficient cause of the universe. No doubt God had something definite in mind when he created (the formal cause), and no doubt he had his reasons for creating (the final cause)—but there was no material cause—no “stuff” that God worked with in the very first act of creation.

But we don’t need Aristotle’s Four Causes to explain what is meant by creation ex nihilo. For present purposes I shall adopt the following definition:

x is created ex nihilo by y if and only if i) y causes x to exist, and ii) y does not cause x to exist by transforming some other material stuff.

For convenience and stylistic variation, I shall continue to use the Aristotelian expression, “material cause,” to refer to whatever underlying material stuff is altered by a “transformative cause.”

Now suppose, for the sake of argument, that the universe was caused to exist by a very powerful person. Why isn’t this person a “transformative cause?” Why not suppose that there is a material cause? Why do Christians insist that God must have created the universe ex nihilo?

Although there is little scriptural support for this traditional doctrine, there are obvious theological motives. Philosophically minded Christians have long held God to be, not just the greatest being who happens to exist, but the Greatest Conceivable Being. A God who could not create without shaping a pre-existent material stuff would be limited by the nature of that stuff—he could create only what his stock of materials permits. Such a God would not be the Greatest Conceivable Being since one can consistently conceive of a God whose power is not limited in this way.

In recent years, however, some Christian philosophers have suggested that purely scientific and philosophical considerations show that the universe was not made out of anything. William Lane Craig, in particular, has argued that creation ex nihilo is strongly supported by the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. Craig gives at least two different arguments for this conclusion. The first depends on the supposed “infinite density” of the initial singularity, the second on the claim that there was no time prior to the initial singularity.

Grünbaum, on the other hand, has forcefully argued that creation ex nihilo does not follow from any reasonable interpretation of the claim that the universe has a cause. Causes of the sort that are acknowledged in everyday experience and in scientific explanations either do not involve conscious agency, or, if they do, they also involve the transformation of some pre-existing material. In neither case do we have the sort of cause envisaged by classical theism. So even if one were to grant the premise that everything (including the beginning of the universe) has a cause, it would not follow that the universe was created ex nihilo.

In the present paper, I shall show that neither of Craig’s “Big Bang” arguments is successful in refuting Grünbaum’s contention, or in establishing a link between the Big Bang theory and creation ex nihilo. Even if it is granted that the universe was created by a very powerful person, the Big Bang theory provides no support for the further claim that this person created the universe out of nothing. As far as the Big Bang theory is concerned, the creation of the universe might have consisted in the transformation of something else. And even if God is the cause of the Big Bang, his first creative act might have consisted in the shaping of something that he did not create.

-Wes Morriston, Creation Ex Nihilo And The Big Bang


God as the most powerful and wise in existence will not be influenced in his choices and decisions by any other being when it comes to his desire to create something (and the reason behind the creation). Anything God creates will first exist as an arbitrary figment of his imagination. Creation ex nihilo or as it shall be called here, arcane causation, is the traditional method by which God transmutes imagination into reality.

One may argue (alongside Morriston) that insistence upon arcane causation derives ultimately from a reticence to entertain, much less actively believe, the notion that there are things God did not create.

Interestingly, traditional Christianity implies there are two things God did not create: sin and free will. If sin and free will were not created by God, (though they were glimpsed by his precognitive foreknowledge as a property of his omniscience) there is still an ex nihilo story behind their origin: they are arcane emergences as opposed to arcane causations, things that previously did not exist that pop into existence independent of the action, will, or desire (if not foreknowledge) of an antecedent causal agent.

It is odd that free will randomly pops into existence with content that happens to reflect and choose things already in existence: things that come into existence should rationally have no frame of reference for things already in existence because things that come into existence did not exist in order to “know” that to which they should refer.

Sin is arcane causation in the form of “little fires” of human consciousness that by random chance God happens to hate and keep tally of to punish with eternal fire in the Last Judgment (according to Christian belief opposed to Annihilism or Universalism). Sin, like free will, is random to the human being, but known beforehand by God through omniscience. God’s omnipotence takes a back seat for some reason when it comes to undesired things he should have power—given his arcane influence over things that do not yet exist—to prevent from existing in the first place.

For example, if God himself is naturally without sin and there is nothing wrong with him being this way, upon reflection about the matter there is no good reason for him to be so intent upon free will (despite the fact he knows every will that pops into the mind of every person that shall ever exist prior to the existence of their will) that he allows sin and damnation to exist for the sake of allowing free will, which does more harm than good because it results in the existence of evil and eternal damnation. If God ‘wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4)—God could have created man with the inability to sin in the first place, rendering the entire game of sin, salvation, and Hell unnecessary. It is odd that God should consider the monolithic wave of human suffering necessary collateral damage for the sake of free will, as if free will is preferable to universal goodness.

The sinlessness of God (and presumably every angel save those who fell) is itself conceptual proof that sin need not exist in the first place. Free will mixed with the ability to sin and the necessity of God to create Hell and impose it as the consequence for sin seems a strange way to go about things when there are beings that exist without sin and this is “automatically okay”. Sinless humans created without the ability to sin should also, in light of the “okay-ness” of sinless beings being sinless “from the go” should also be “okay from the word go”.

A rational conclusion is that man’s ability to sin randomly popped into existence, and God not only had nothing to do with it, but had no power to prevent this ability from existing despite purportedly possessing omnipotence, as God could have made man as sinless as himself “from the jump”. If God cannot prevent the existence of something that he hates, then God is less than omnipotent and there are forces that can cause things that God cannot prevent (such as the existence of sin and free will).

Nevertheless, one can argue that arcane emergence divorced from arcane causation does not grant free will, as will and the content of a person’s will is at the mercy of whatever happens to pop into existence. A person has will and makes choices, but the nature of that will, the nature of that choice comes into existence on its own independent of the foreknowledge and will of the person. If a person chooses to conduct a thought experiment in which the person begins to “predict” future wills and choices prior to having those wills and choices, every act of “predictive” imagination is not chosen by the person, but comes into existence on its own in the form of the person’s thought of each item and the person’s idea that he or she is actively predicting what they shall or could will in the future. The imagination itself randomly pops into existence with whatever content it shall have without one having chosen the content: one may believe one has chosen the content, but the content, whatever it is, is the randomly existing winner of a number of alternate imaginary content that could have existed in its place.
_____________________________________________________________________

One is free to believe in arcane causation and/or arcane emergence, but it is a far less simple hypothesis than that nothing comes into or goes out of existence, such that the material substance of every choice, thought, and sensation has pre-existed for eternity before assuming the form of a certain conscious experience of a certain person at a certain moment in time. Everything is “already here” and was “always here from the beginning” without having to magically come into existence from non-existence. If the traditional Christian accepts that God did not create everything, given that the traditional Christian believes God did not create sin and free will, it is not damning to suppose that things exists in such a way that God does not create anything from non-existence but “creates” in the sense that he shapes and re-arranges a fundamental, indestructible, eternally existing substance according to his will.

He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

-1 Timothy 6:16


Further, it is not out of the question that God himself is the first person consisting of this fundamental substance, that by the possibility of the nature of existence happened to be an eternal manifesting, with their being no furthest point in past time in which God first did not exist before being formed by the substance. One might say that God himself is the ground state, the “default” form of the substance behind all things, the only form the substance has always assumed without a first assumption, accompanied (necessarily) by surplus that goes into the formation of every other conscious being.

END PART THREE


The void before God (Eheieh Asher Eheieh - I am that I am) goes to work is called Ein (no/nothing) and Ein Soph (no limit) -
In this boundless void God says "let there be light" and there is Ein Soph Aur; the boundless light.
Below this, the separation of light and dark occurs with the first Manifest Point (eg the Big Bang metaphor); Kether, the Crown.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:56 pm

Sorry for the late reply, I was in Frankfurt for two days and preoccupied.
felix dakat wrote:Peterson, you and I at least have in common that we are metaphysical skeptics. Not so, Phenomenal Graffiti.

I think the skepticism is more in the question of whether words can in any way fit the mystery. If you follow Dao de Ching, then obviously not, but I follow Peterson in as much as the experience tells me something intuitively that I cannot describe, but in attempting to describe I gain a deeper understanding, albeit not being the full experience. It is always a working model, becoming something but not yet “it”.
You may acknowledge the mystery, i.e. "the fact that we don’t know so many things" but the fundamentalist doesn't. And, also to the point in the context of this thread, neither does the metaphysician.

Acknowledged. In fact, the Unknown is eternal, whereas my knowledge is so very minuscule and will always be that way. Isn’t “God” very much the Unknown, rather than the multitude of symbols and metaphors used in this thread? I think that is what disturbs me.

A fallacious counterargument. "It is unpleasant therefore not true."

Agreed, the attempt to remain within the comfort zone is very much alive in many Christians today, and a tendency to turn “hope” into “wish”, specifying the wish instead of having an unspecified hope that the end result will be “moral” in the broadest sense. I have spoken to many people who have specific expectancies regarding heaven, whereas I have asked whether their expectancies could be wildly wrong. The fact that I leave the future to be what it will be, and live the present something like an explorer going places no-one has ever been, doesn’t satisfy many Christians. They want the Bible to be true to its word.

I like it. Phenomenal Graffiti spins a metaphysical world comparable to those of second century gnostic literature. "Creative" I'll grant him. Phenomenologically warranted? Not according to my POV.

Yes. It reminds me of Grimm's Fairytales that are so very dated and conserved that they seem like very old tins of beans that have gone off. It is orientated on the imaginations of the past rather than using the symbolism in an updated fashion. The Archetypes will always be there, but I think we all have many different dreams and pointers for life in our time.

There's a question I ask myself about "religion and spirituality" everyday." I am still in a dialogue with Christianity both internally and on the Web. I want to believe the gospel of liberal Christianity. The Sermon on the Mount speaks to me from the vantage point of my ideal self. I read it in terms of my inner experience of empathy and compassion. Those I have come to see as a natural mammalian feelings. But, they are ones that if developed, practiced and applied in daily life can draw us out of our selfish concerns into a vast world of souls human and animal. When I do that...when I reach beyond myself, I find a world in a state of ecological collapse. If you do too, we must answer the question" What shall we do? I have children and grandchildren who I suppose will outlive me if I'm lucky. They bring close to home the imperative that I must do what I can to save life on the planet. Does that make sense?

I think we have a lot in common. I have been off at a tangent and wading into psychology and Freud, CG Jung and others. The pointer you gave me to Peterson connected there and revealed a lot that I had failed to understand in the past. The phenomenon “spiritual experience” showed itself to be my unconscious mind making itself felt. I was being shaken out of my imagination and brought back to the natural mystery that surrounds us. I was shown what my introverted personality had been overtaxing itself, and that my mind was about to explode. I was struggling with a high degree of empathy which at the same time caused bewilderment amongst my peers. I was almost shouting out “we need compassion”, distraught that people couldn’t feel or see that which I saw. I felt very much alone, at times cursing the ignorance that I was experiencing, which in turn was causing so much suffering. At the same time, I could see that people couldn’t do otherwise, because they were blind to the big picture.

It was then that I realised, with the help of Peterson, that western society has lost its stories - the ones that moral behaviour is grounded in. They don't tell them to their children, or re-enact them, sing its songs or incorporate them into their lives. At best they watch others do it, pre-occupied with "entertainment", instead of being part of their cultural heritage. The stories they are told are repeats of banality, just killing time, instead of using the time to enrich our lives.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE (PART THREE)

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:27 pm

tentative wrote:I almost don't know where to start. First, I acknowledge PG's creativity, but that is simply to acknowledge the fact that it is a creation which in metaphysical terms, anything imagined is possible. It is supported by, and encouraged by the "fog of philosophy". It offers little in answering the question of "how shall I live?"

I think the second half of that statement is true, it is his imagination that is impressive, but I fail to seen creativity in it all, because it doesn’t go anywhere really.

Felix, the sermon on the mount is an excellent distillation of all the collective wisdom of the ages. You can't do better than that. But even that is a human construct. Granted, it is the most valuable construct ever devised by humanity. Still I remain puzzled by our collective inability to accept the mystery and focus on creating the best personal reality of which we are able.

I don’t believe that we have anything but “human constructs”, except the ancient wisdom of the collective. However, I believe that it would be enough, if we could concentrate. People have difficulty in going ten minutes without their mobiles, let alone sit down in silence for a half hour. Silence is threatening, they’d rather let their imagination go wild and lose themselves in it. To come close to thinking about the mystery of existence is so threatening, that people develop all sorts of physical and mental disturbances to avoid it.

I was speaking to a woman who contradictorily told me she knew I was speaking about something important, but couldn’t listen. Her body was putting her to sleep, alternatively she became hyperactive so that she couldn’t sit still. It was so obvious that even her husband asked her what was up. Another time, I held a talk that went by so quickly because the group was interacting with me, that when we all reached the conclusion, they were amazed. In fact, I think they were cared stiff at realising that they had all come to the conclusion that, amongst other things, they should seek solitude and silence more, and agreed that it would do them good.

Just as many others do I see ecological collapse coming very close. What to do? Nothing but strive to meet your ideal self. The world your children and grandchildren will live in is theirs to live, just as you left mom and dad to create your own world. They will not, and cannot, live in your world. At best, carve the sermon on the mount in stone and hope that they read and understand.

An ugly possibility in the malstrom of endless possibilities is that the universe's experiment in human sentience is coming to an end. Great idea but a failure nonetheless. Perhaps, just perhaps, our extinction is part of the BIG plan? Oh wait.... Well, back to the mystery.

I think that you are right inasmuch as we are all in the time-frame that is ours, and overlap with our parents and with our children. It is seldom the same time, even if it moves parallel to that of other generations. We are on our own path and weave in and out of the lives of others, but in the end we live our lives under the circumstances we find, and they do to.

I’m not sure that sentience is coming to an end, but I do fear the fact that a catastrophe is approaching that may be all the worst for us being sentient. We know almost physically that we’re on the wrong path, but we avoid thinking about it. Our soul exhorts its warning, but our mind chooses to ignore it.
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