AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE

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AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:28 pm

AN ABSOLUTELY INVINCIBLE, UNDEFEATABLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE!

(Atheists, Run To Mama!)

By Jay M. Brewer

The non-existence of God
and gods is merely the non-existence of external world dwelling, non-brain-created persons responsible for the form, behavior, and fate of the natural world.

Godless myth, then, regarding the origin and nature of the universe holds there are no persons not requiring brains for consciousness and the external world (the realm that exists outside all human, animal, and insect consciousness) contains only mind-independent objects and events. Beyond the borders of Earth lie only the entities and operations of astronomy, formed in the early universe by aggregations of fundamental particles.
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For example, consider the calculation by astronomer Fred Hoyle, often referred to by creationists, that the odds against DNA assembling by chance are 1040,000 to one (Hoyle, 1981). This is true, but highly misleading. DNA did not assemble purely by chance. It assembled by a combination of chance and the laws of physics.

(Criticism: Stenger is splitting hairs. Surely Hoyle implied that physical laws factor in chance's formation of DNA. Hoyle's ultimate meaning is that prior to the existence of DNA the laws of physics, such as they are, guaranteed the possibility rather than inevitability of DNA. DNA might not have formed if things went another way: thus DNA assembled by chance)

Without the laws of physics as we know them, life on earth as we know it would not have evolved in the short span of six billion years. The nuclear force was needed to bind protons and neutrons in the nuclei of atoms; electromagnetism was needed to keep atoms and molecules together; and gravity was needed to keep the resulting ingredients for life stuck to the surface of the earth.

These forces must have been in operation within seconds of the start of the big bang, 10-15 billion years ago, to allow for the formation of protons and neutrons out of quarks and their storage in stable hydrogen and deuterium atoms. Free neutrons disintegrate in minutes. To be able to hang around for billions of years so that they could later join with protons in making chemical elements in stars, neutrons had to be bound in deuterons and other light nuclei where energetics prevented their decay.

Gravity was needed to gather atoms together into stars and to compress stellar cores, raising the core temperatures to tens of millions of degrees. These high temperatures made nuclear reactions possible, and over billions of years the elements of the chemical periodic table were synthesized as the by-product.

When the nuclear fuel in the more massive, faster-burning stars was spent, the laws of physics called for them to explode as supernovae, sending into space the elements manufactured in their cores. In space, gravity could gather these elements into planets circling the smaller, longer-lived stars. Finally, after about ten billion years, the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements on a small planet attached to a small, stable star could begin the process of evolution toward the complex structures we call life.

-Victor J. Stenger, Humans, Cockroaches, and the Laws of Physics

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That deaf, dumb and blind kid
sure plays a mean pinball…!

-Elton John, Pinball Wizard



The irony, however, is that Big Bang cosmogony, every fact of astronomy, geography, and biology, and every physical law observed in everyday experience or assumed to exist in the atomic and subatomic realm are figments of human imagination: manifestations of the percept.

The Percept And The Distal Object

Let's face it: a godless universe and the brain's ability to generate consciousness are upon observation only ideas within the human mind. Vital to any argument against a godless universe and the brain's ability to create consciousness, therefore, is acknowledgment that any entity other than consciousness itself is apparently fictional, as existence does not appear or manifest in any form save that of a person and that which the person experiences.

Given that consciousness is the only form of existence that "shows up", and does so only in the form of a person and that person's sensory perceptions, emotions, and ideas--any concept or entity entailed as something other than a person and that which the person experiences appears, within existence, as a figment of the person's imagination.

It happens, however, that the person believes in the independent, objective existence of the imaginary entity or state of affairs despite the fact they may not exist.

(They may not exist because the only thing for which there is direct evidence of existence is a person and that which the person privately experiences. Everything else may or may not exist, despite the fact one wholeheartedly believes in their existence.)

Crucial, then, to argument against a godless world and the ability of the brain to create consciousness is the existence of the percept--as opposed to the fiction of the distal object in the Process of Perception:

The process of perception begins with an object in the real world, termed the distal stimulus or distal object. By means of light, sound or another physical process, the object stimulates the body's sensory organs. These sensory organs transform the input energy into neural activity—a process called transduction. This raw pattern of neural activity is called the proximal stimulus. These neural signals are transmitted to the brain and processed. The resulting mental re-creation of the distal stimulus is the percept.

Image

An example would be a shoe. The shoe itself is the distal stimulus. When light from the shoe enters a person's eye and stimulates the retina, that stimulation is the proximal stimulus. The image of the shoe reconstructed by the brain of the person is the percept. Another example would be a telephone ringing. The ringing of the telephone is the distal stimulus. The sound stimulating a person's auditory receptors is the proximal stimulus, and the brain's interpretation of this as the ringing of a telephone is the percept. The different kinds of sensation such as warmth, sound, and taste are called sensory modalities.

-Wikipedia, Perception


Science scoffs at the seeming irrationality of religious belief due to science’s reliance upon sensory perception as opposed to religion’s reliance upon imagination supported by faith. The facts and discoveries of science are readily observed and lawfully reproducible: the existence of gravity is established by releasing a pencil, repeatedly, from the hand to invariably observe it fall to the floor. The laws of biology are observable upon demand, informing the processes and decisions of medical procedure.

Sensory experience, however, is believed to have external, invisible sources that themselves, rather than sensory perception, establish the objective truth of scientific knowledge. Sensory perception is merely the human side of knowledge. The facts and discoveries of biology, physiology, physics, geology, and so on mean nothing if they're only aspects of a non-embodied consciousness without an external, mind-independent foundation: science ultimately relies for its truth upon the existence of mind-independent objects and events in the external world, the distal objects of the Process of Perception.

That is, godless belief regarding the natural world vitally depends upon the existence of mind-independent, external world-dwelling doppelgangers of the content of visual perception, the substance of which purportedly existed for eternity prior to the existence of brains and exists for eternity following the extinction of consciousness.

It is the life support system of godless belief (unless an atheist wishes to breathe in philosphical space without aid in the manner of atheistic Phenomenalist Ernst Mach).

Without mind-independent, external world-dwelling doppelgangers of the content of visual perception and the brain’s ability to channel forces from these doppelgangers to produce a sensory replica of their shape, form, and behavior--a human being (as the most relevant example of conscious being) is in actuality either a construct of John Stuart Mill and Ernst Mach's Phenomenalism or a floating non-embodied mind.

Image

Unless one is a dualist of a very strong variety, beliefs must be reflected in the functioning of a system – perhaps not in behavior, but at least in some process.

If...change in cognitive contents were not mirrored in a change in functional organization (of the brain), cognition would float free of internal functioning like a disembodied mind.

-David J. Chalmers, Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia


This non-embodied mind, without distal objects in the external world to form the model or template that visual perception imitates or represents, experiences only a 'simulated' or invented reality in which the non-embodied consciousness visually, proprioceptively, and exteroceptively experiences itself as existing "within" a 'body' that obeys “laws of biology”. The non-embodied consciousness experiences itself surrounded by an environment that obeys “laws of physics”.

However, there are no laws of biology or physics in mind-independent form in the external world: “physical laws” and the “physical world” are only constructs protruding from the mind of the non-embodied mind or spirit, an invisible, intangible consciousness that is the true form of the human being.

Flip the philosophical coin, then, to stare at both sides.

There is Option B, in which humans are non-embodied minds experiencing an arbitrary, invented (albeit logically constructed and lawfully predictable) world that exists only in and as part of the person's mind. This is what exists if there are no distal objects or mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception.

Or there is Option A: that there are mind-independent objects and events in the external world that are represented and mimicked in brain-generated consciousness, and brain-generated consciousness comes into and goes out of existence.

The salient point is that there is no evidence of the existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception, as they are entailed as things outside persons and that which the persons experience, and a person can only experience itself and that which it experiences at the current moment.

Given the above, one may argue that dogged insistence upon the existence of distal objects arises not from evidence or proof of their existence (this is impossible, given that existence only appears and manifests in the form of percepts), but incredulity at the notion that only consciousness exists.

But in the end, despite the strongest arguments and protestations of the materialistic atheist, distal versions of the natural world, mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception are, like God, supported only by faith:

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


(Note: For anyone questioning the use of the term: ‘doppelganger’, the term describes objects and events in the external world that are, in godless myth, formed by atoms that do not depend upon the brain in order to exist, and that would happily continue to exist despite a hypothetical universal absence of consciousness.

Doppelgangers are the external sources of the shape, form, and behavior of visually perceived objects and events—the ‘things outside us from which we derive the whole material of knowledge, even for our inner sense’ [Kant].)
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The godless position is powerfully stated by secular philosopher Bertrand Russell in A Free Man’s Worship, 1903:

That Man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

That’s well and good, Mr. Russell, but the objective truth that:

(i) man is the product of causes that had no prevision; that his growth, hopes, fears, loves, and beliefs are but the accidental collocation of atoms;

(ii) no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve individual life beyond the grave;

(iii) we are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system

—vitally depends upon the existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of atoms, the solar system, and the absence of consciousness in the external world—things that leave no trace of existence in nature (as nature only appears in the form of a person and that which the person experiences), and whose existence is only supported by faith.
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To defeat godless mythology, then, one need only remember the most elementary fact about the nature of existence: that it appears only in the form of a person and that which the person experiences, and provide argument demonstrating the inherent implausibility in belief that:

1. The brain has the ability to create consciousness. External world-dwelling doppelgangers of brains are believed to somehow have the ability to bring consciousness into existence from non-existence by no other means than moving electrons from point A to B along the biological material of neurons.

2. Consciousness is the only thing in the whole of existence that can come into and go out of existence. All other things are eternal, as everything other than consciousness is made up of energy that, according to the First Law of Thermodynamics ‘is neither created nor destroyed but merely changes form’.

3. There are mind-independent, external world dwelling doppelgangers of the content of visual perception that transmit forces upon external world doppelgangers of the body and brain to induce the brain to produce visual representatives of the external objects and events.

4. Direct Realism exists. Direct Realism is the view that the objects and events of perception are direct observations into the external world.
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I. Defeat of Godless Mythology via Argument Against The Brain’s Ability To Create Consciousness

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“Those are synapses, electric impulses in the brain that carry all the messages. They determine everything a person says, does or thinks form the moment of birth...to the moment of death.”

-Dr. Edwin Jenner, The Walking Dead-Season 1 Episode 6: TS-19

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If nothing else remember this: consciousness cannot be mistaken for the brain. In spite of every complex definition of consciousness, consciousness is simply someone experiencing and that which someone experiences. This is something completely different from and cannot be confused for a baseball glove shaped clump of neurons in a skull. If neurons do not magically fade or wink out of existence in response to someone no longer experiencing a previous experience or no longer experiencing due to death (according to godless myth regarding the fate of consciousness at death) brains and experiences cannot be one and the same.

-Author

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Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it's such a strange magic
Gotta strange magic
Yeah I gotta strange magic

-Electric Light Orchestra, Strange Magic



Godless myth regarding the existence of consciousness holds that if there are no brain-independent persons, consciousness did not exist before brains, the only objects known to form consciousness.

...it seems equally counterintuitive that a mass of 10^{11} appropriately organized neurons should give rise to consciousness, and yet it happens.

-David J. Chalmers, Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia


If one wishes to contest the belief that brains create consciousness, one need only argue against the magic of Creation ex nihilo, Mind-Independent Externalism (that states that there are mind-independent objects and events in the external world that are the source of the nature of sensory perception and all material knowledge) and Direct Realism (that states that when one perceives objects and events, one directly observes objects and events as they appear in the External World).

The simplest thing to understand in regard to the belief that the physical brain is responsible for consciousness is that it is held that no consciousness can float free of the brain like a disembodied or non-embodied mind: every conscious experience a person shall have from birth to death must be accounted for as caused by some neural circuit in the brain.

David J. Chalmers simplifies the neural side of the equation:

What does it mean to be a neural correlate of consciousness? At first glance, the answer might seem to be so obvious that the question is hardly worth asking. An NCC is just a neural state that directly correlates with a conscious state, or which directly generates consciousness, or something like that. One has a simple image: when your NCC is active, perhaps, your consciousness turns on, and in a corresponding way. But a moment's reflection suggests that the idea is not completely straightforward, and that the concept needs some clarification.

As a first pass, we can use the definition of a neural correlate of consciousness given in the program of the ASSC conference. This says a neural correlate of consciousness is a "specific system in the brain whose activity correlates directly with states of conscious experience". This yields something like the following:

A neural system N is an NCC if the state of N correlates directly with states of consciousness.

The first option is that the states in question are just those of being conscious and of not being conscious. The corresponding notion of an NCC will be that of a neural system whose state directly correlates with whether a subject is conscious or not. If the NCC is in a particular state, the subject will be conscious. If the NCC is not in that state, the subject will not be conscious.

This is perhaps the idea that first comes to mind when we think about an NCC. We might think about it as the "neural correlate of creature consciousness", where creature consciousness is the property a creature has when it is conscious, and lacks when it is not conscious.

A related idea is that of the neural correlate of what we might call the background state of consciousness. A background state is an overall state of consciousness such as being awake, being asleep, dreaming, being under hypnosis, and so on. Exactly what counts as a background state is not entirely clear, as one can divide things up in a number of ways, and with coarser or finer grains, but presumably the class will include a range of normal and of "altered" states.

We can think of this as a slightly more fine-grained version of the previous idea. Creature consciousness is the most coarse-grained background state of consciousness: it is just the state of being conscious. Background states will usually be more fine-grained than this, but they still will not be defined in terms of specific contents or modalities.

A neural correlate of the background state of consciousness, then, will be a neural system N such that the state of N directly correlates with whether a subject is awake, dreaming, under hypnosis, and so on. If N is in state 1, the subject is awake; if N is in state 2, the subject is dreaming; if N is in state 3, the subject is under hypnosis; and so on.
There is much more to consciousness than the mere state of being conscious, or the background state of consciousness. Arguably the most interesting states of consciousness are specific states of consciousness: the fine-grained states of subjective experience that one is in at any given time. Such states might include the experience of a particular visual image, of a particular sound pattern, of a detailed stream of conscious thought, and so on. A detailed visual experience, for example, might include the experience of certain shapes and colors in one's environment, of specific arrangements of objects, of various relative distances and depths, and so on.

-David J. Chalmers, What Is A Neural Correlate of Consciousness?


Imagine that! If every conscious experience a person shall have from birth to death requires the pre-existence and functional capacity an NCC, taking the logic to the extreme there is an NCC residing in the brain prepared, before the fact, to create a possible future involving the most outrageous, perverse, and traumatic experience.

At the beginning of a traumatic day, a person goes about it happy and at peace, unaware that blind, unknowing mind-independent objects in the external world and blind, unknowing NCCs accidentally wait in the wings to bring about a future state involving visceral rage, horror, and pain at the unexpected death of loved ones.

Amazingly, according to this logic, each neural circuit corresponding to each experience happens to possess or immediately gain in the nick of time the neural ability to successfully form each experience prior to the appearance of the experience. Just think: there is a neural circuit sleeping (inactive as of yet) in one’s brain prepared to form one’s experience of and reaction to one’s own death!

(Imagine the NCCs waiting silently in the brains of every person in the 9-11 attacks, as they rose in the morning, shaved, showered, ate breakfast, and strode suitcase in hand toward their plane or hopped in the car to drive toward the World Trade Center for another day's work.)

This ability of the brain to form future experiences and form experiential or mental representations (percepts) of states of the external world that have not yet occurred (Question: How are brains neurally wired that they “know”, before the external world itself, what the external world is about to form? The brain must have this ability in order to keep up with the real-time evolution of the external world: the brain can’t be allowed to say to the external world: “Sorry, that one got by me: you failed to grant me neural circuits capable of predicting and creating a sensory replica of what you’re doing now”) is here called: Neural Predeterminism.

Neural Predeterminism

Taking the logic that brains create consciousness and that an NCC is necessary for any conscious experience to exist, one can conclude that the brain has the power to predetermine every future event. Provided the brain does not encounter a future involving either non-fatal consciousness-incapacitating dysfunction (coma) or destruction (death), the brain possesses NCCs that by chance, happen to have the ability to form the experience of every possible future that could occur or be chosen from birth to death.

For example, suppose an individual instantiates the thought: "God does not exist!" on the individual's fortieth birthday, during a moment of reflective catharsis on a morning stroll on the beach.

Image

If the brain is responsible for consciousness, the relevant NCC responsible for the thought "God does not exist!" happened to reside in the individual's brain before the day, time, and event in question. The NCC was "ready to rock and roll" in this individual from birth, some time before, or in the nick of time before the act as neurons formed and set up connections and necessary chemical voltages for action potentials, etc. seconds before the fateful thought.

(Although the idea of NCCs forming "in the nick of time" seconds before an experience is included here for amusement, it is logically unlikely that neurons, neural connections, and intra-neural chemical capacity for action potentials can form [given the speed and immediacy of new experience] in seconds, minutes, or even hours prior to an experience.)

The salient point is that if brains create consciousness and every conscious experience from birth to death requires the pre-existence of a neural circuit that “just so happens” to have the ability to create that particular lifetime of experiences, persons are NEURALLY PREDETERMINED. One’s entire destiny in terms of the unknown experience that shall occur 5 minutes from now, 10 minutes from now, 20 years from now are neurally represented and symbolized in the brain before the fact. If neural circuits are not set before the fact to give rise to a possible future, no particular experience occurring in the future, even five minutes in the future, could exist.

Unfortunately, denial and “debunking” of Neural Predeterminism involves only use of the “Nuh-uh”: groundless, blanket denial of its existence. When one invokes the “Nuh-uh”, one is simply denying the existence of something without providing convincing argument for why it doesn’t or shouldn’t exist. For example, Russell’s statement in A Free Man’s Worship above is nothing but an eloquent “Nuh-uh”.

(Note: When it comes to the nature of things and the goings-on in the external world, denials of existence can only lie impotently upon the bed of the “Nuh-uh”. To disprove the existence of something, that something should appear to consensus reality in the form of public sensory perception of the object or person: if the thing does not appear to consensus reality and continually fails to do so, it may be logically inferred it does not exist.

When it comes to things and events in the external world, however, one cannot expect something in the external world to appear or manifest to sensory perception, particularly if the thing is entailed to be something that is not or does not consist of subjective experience like, say, mind-independent doppelgangers of the content of visual perception.)

To defeat Neural Predeterminism, one need only provide convincing argument against the general ability of the brain to create conscious experience, which effectively tosses NP through guilt by association alongside it into the falls of implausibility.

Argument Against The Ability Of The Brain To Create Consciousness

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For the person boldly and confidently insisting that consciousness can only exist if and when there are brains, when considering how neurons, which are specialized cells, could produce something that is neither a cell nor any biological material but ephemeral experience, one wonders if the person has truly thought things through. If one believes subjective experience did not exist prior to brains and ceases to exist at death, one is effectively saying that consciousness—subjective experience—is something that comes into and goes out of existence.

Following Chalmers (in a different context), if there is not some pre-existent material out of which to make conscious experience, the relationship between NCCs and the types of conscious experience that NCCs “just so happen” to be able to make operates ‘by the most arbitrary and capricious of rules’ as there is no logical or predictable relation between an electrified gathering of cells and the subjective experience of the city of London.

If consciousness comes into and goes out of existence and neurons create consciousness, it is a ‘no brainer’ that one confidently stating this can only mean that the brain is capable of the magic of causing something that does not exist to come into existence, without sacrificing or using any of the atoms making up the neural circuits purportedly responsible for the existence of consciousness.

Why are atoms making up every consciousness-creating neural circuit in the brain not used in the creation of consciousness?

Physical particles making up each neuron of the brain consists of an eternal substance called energy: consciousness, meanwhile, if it does not exist prior to the function of a neural circuit (if it existed prior to the function of its creative neural circuit it would be non-embodied consciousness) must be magically conjured from non-existence.

It seems to go a step beyond logic to suppose that something that exists can make contact with something that does not exist and induce the non-existent entity to come into existence. How can something that exists communicate with or exert a manipulating force against something that does not exist?

In the face of the inherently irremediable dynamical inscrutability of divine causation, the resort to God as creator, ontological observer of matter, or intevener in the course of nature is precisely a deus ex machine that lacks a vital feature of causal explanations in the sciences. The Book of Genesis tells us about the divine word-magic of creating photons by saying "Let there be light." But we aren't even told whether God said it in Hebrew or Aramaic. I, for one, draw a complete explanatory blank when I am told that God created photons.

This purported explanation contrasts sharply with, say, the story of the formation of two photons by conversion of the rest-mass of a colliding electron-positron pair. Thus, so far as divine causation goes, we are being told, to all intents and purposes, that an intrinsically elusive, mysterious agency X inscrutably produces the effect. And the appeal to the supposed divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience and omnibenevolence merely baptizes this cardinal explanatory lacuna.

Even for those cases of causation which involve conscious agents or fashioners, the premise does not assert that they ever create anything out of nothing; instead, conscious fashioners merely TRANSFORM PREVIOUSLY EXISTING MATERIALS FROM ONE STATE TO ANOTHER; the baker creates a cake out of flour, milk, butter, etc., and the parents who produce an offspring do so from a sperm, an ovum, and from the food supplied by the mother's body, which in turn comes from the soil, solar energy, etc. Similarly, when a person dies, he or she ceases to exist as a person. But the dead body does not lapse into nothingness, since the materials of the body continue in other forms of matter or energy. In other words, all sorts of organization wholes (e.g., biological organisms) do cease to exist only as such when they disintegrate and their parts are scattered. But their parts continue in some form.

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


It is interesting to note that Grunbaum states that in death one ‘ceases to exist as a person’ before going on to state that the body continues to exist eternally in some form. But why is consciousness unfairly exempt from being eternal in Grunbaum’s push to demonstrate the incoherence of creation ex nihilo? If in Grunbaum's objection to creation ex nihilo consciousness strangely remains the only thing that can come into and go out of existence, there is a double standard in which the brain, as opposed to God, is excused for its use of creation ex nihilo.
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Criticism of The Brain’s Ability to Create Consciousness Ex Nihilo

“There's something happenin’ here.
What it is ain't exactly clear…”

-Buffalo Springfield , For What It's Worth


It is generally taken for granted that the cerebral cortex, alone of every object in the universe, possesses the power to bring something that previously did not exist into existence without use or manipulation of pre-existent material substance.

When it comes to the notion of creation ex nihilo regardless of reference to God or the Brain, there is no meaning to the statement that something in existence caused something that did not exist to come into existence. Without the use of something already in existence to create something, we are simply being told that something that did not exist comes into existence in response—though it does not exist while responding--to an action or movement of something in existence. There is no molding of some material already in existence into a new shape or configuration.

Further, why should that which comes into existence be the particular entity that comes into existence, as opposed to any other entity that might have existed in its place? Why should the function of a neural circuit summon an inner conscious experience as opposed to Popeye the Sailor, Quezacoatl, or an interdimensional portal? What ensures that only consciousness as opposed to Popeye, Quezacoatl, or interdimensional portals pop into existence in response to neural firing? Given that neurons are entailed to magically conjure things that do not exist, the emergence of anything other than consciousness is equally likely.

At the end of the day, every criticism Grunbaum lobbies at God in terms of the latter's ability to create things ex nihilo applies equally to the Brain, the 'god' of consciousness. No one observes consciousness being created by the brain, there are only the correlations and co-variances between brain states and conscious states in medical and neuroscientific context:

Memory is one of our major mental activities. It is an established fact that long-term memory is a function of many parts of the cerebral cortex, especially of the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes. Findings made by Dr. Wilder Penfield, a noted Canadian neurosurgeon, first gave evidence of this in the 1920s. He electrically stimulated the temporal lobes of epileptic patients undergoing brain surgery. They responded, much to his surprise, by recalling in the most minute detail songs and events from their past.

-Thibodeau, Gary A.: Anatomy and Physiology (pg. 330); Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishing St. Louis-Toronto-Santa Clara 1987

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A paper published recently in the journal Nature (vol. 391, page 650, 1998) called “Electric Current Stimulates Laughter” has provided a bit more information about how the brain is involved with laughter. The paper discussed the case of a 16 yr. old girl named “A.K.” who was having surgery to control seizures due to epilepsy. During surgery, the doctors electrically stimulated A.K.’s cerebral cortex to map her brain. Mapping of the brain is done to determine the function of different brain areas and to make sure that brain tissue that will be removed does not have an important function.

The doctors found that A.K. always laughed when they stimulated a small 2cm by 2cm area on her left superior frontal gyrus (part of the frontal lobe of the brain). This brain area is part of the supplementary motor area. Unlike laughter that happens after brain damage, the laughter that was produced by electrical stimulation in A.K. also had a sense of “merriment or mirth”. Also, A.K. did NOT have the type of epilepsy with gelastic seizures. Each time her brain was stimulated, A.K. laughed and said that something was funny. The thing that she said caused her to laugh was different each time. A.K. laughed first, then made up a story that was funny to her. Most people first know what is funny, then they laugh.

The authors of the paper believe that the area of the brain that caused laughter in A.K. is part of a larger circuit involving several different brain areas.

-Neuroscience for Kids: Laughter And The Brain


The running joke or secret gag behind this seeming proof that the brain creates consciousness is that every electric manipulation of brain, every conscious response to that manipulation, every function of neural circuit and verbal report of experience in response to it consists only of the neuroscientist’s and patient’s subjective experience of them, as there is probably no mind-independent, external world dwelling doppelgangers of the neuroscientist, the brain, electrical manipulation of the brain, or the patient: these exist only as percepts.

That is the brain, the neuroscientist(s), the patient, manipulation of the brain, and the patient’s report of experience arising in response to neural manipulation are all subjective experiences. The subjective experience of a person is the only thing known with certainty to exist, as existence only appears or manifests in the form of a person and that which the person experiences.

The objective, non-experienced version of the brain, the neuroscientist, the patient, and brain manipulation may not exist as they are neither the consciousness of the neuroscientist or patient as they are believed to exist outside their consciousness. What existence is like when there is no consciousness is unknown, for existence only manifests in the form of consciousness.

The moral of the story?

Any hope for the objective truth of the belief that brains create consciousness depend entirely upon the objective existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of brains, brain function, and the content of sensory perception in the external world—things whose existence is supported only by faith and that, for all that can be known as we are composed only of subjective experience (something they are not) may not exist.

The upshot of this is that the only hope of godless belief (in terms of the objective truth of its commonly accepted mythology) is Mind-Independent Externalism and Direct Realism. If Mind-Independent Externalism and Direct Realism are false, everything is a product of a non-embodied mind.
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II. Defeat of Godless Mythology via Argument Against Mind-Independent Externalism

There is no logical impossibility in the supposition
that the whole of life is a dream, in which we ourselves
create all the objects that come before us. But although
this is not logically impossible, there is no reason
whatever to suppose that it is true;
and it is, in fact,
a less simple hypothesis, viewed as a means of accounting
for the facts of our own life, than the common-sense
hypothesis that there really are objects independent of
us, whose action on us causes our sensations."


-Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World


Mind-Independent Externalism

Russell's skepticism that 'the whole of life is a dream' and his conclusive assertion that 'there really are objects independent of us, whose action on us causes our sensations' seems to imply the objects are mind-independent.

The best way to argue against Mind-Independent Externalism in regard to the quasi-religious doggedness (steadfastly insisted upon with such strength that it garners it’s own “revelatory faith”) with which the belief in mind-independent objects and events in the external world and the idea that consciousness has only a brief history in the universe is held is to critically analyze a brief excerpt from Irem Steen’s paper regarding Bertrand Russell’s Our Knowledge Of The External World.
________________________________________________
Irem Steen, in his analysis of Bertrand Russell's Our Knowledge Of The External World, states through Russell that there are only two ways to know the existence of something: (1) through immediate acquaintance "which assures us of the existence of our thoughts, feelings, and sense-data", and: (2) principles "…according to which the existence of one thing can be inferred from that of another":

Matter is to be understood as that which physics is about. So matter must be such that the physicist can know its existence. In other words, what physical science is concerned with and makes discoveries about must be a function of the physicist’s sense-data. What could that function be? There are only two ways in which we can know the existence of something. “(1) immediate acquaintance, which assures us of the existence of our thoughts, feelings, and sense-data, and (2) general principles according to which the existence of one thing can be inferred from that of another.” (Russell 1912a, p. 80)

The bridge which relates the physicist’s sense-data to matter must correspond to one of these ways of knowing that something exists. If our knowledge of matter can be reduced to what we know by acquaintance, then matter should be understood as a logical construction out of sense-data. Otherwise, it must be by inference that we know the existence of matter. So, according to Russell, the bridge between sense-data and matter is either inference or logical construction. (Russell 1912a, pp. 84-85)

-Irem Kurstal Steen, Russell On Matter And Our Knowledge of the External World; Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World, 1912


According to (or implied by) Russell, ‘matter’ entails the existence of mind-independent objects (the entities of astronomy in bound or chaotic form prior to/following the existence of life) and events, things that are not consciousness or subjective experience that existed for an eternity before the late-arriving brain and its generation of conscious experience. Following Russell’s reasoning, matter can somehow be inferred to exist from something generated by the brain that in material substance or essence is something that is not that which constitutes matter or mind-independent substance.

The upshot of Russellian inference of the existence of matter or mind-independent objects in the external world is that it cannot work as one cannot use one’s consciousness to “infer” that which is not one’s consciousness. One is only perceiving one’s consciousness and simply stating this consciousness somehow “indicates” the existence of something other than consciousness, when one’s consciousness is the only thing in appearance and the inference itself is just another manifestation of subjective experience that is then irrationally stated to indicate something other than itself.

That’s pretty much it. Whenever one conceives of non-experience or mind-independent objects and events in the external world, one is only using one’s consciousness to imagine that which is not one’s consciousness, then in a fit of logical disconnect go on to doggedly insist that mind-independent objects exist. Consciousness is in the way and will forever be in the way: it will forever be a veil hiding the unknown. One can only come up with consciousness no matter the strength and fire of rumination, as one consists only of consciousness. As far as we are concerned, it’s the only thing that exists, as it’s the only thing that appears.

Anything else is, like God or the multiverse, only a matter of faith.

In his 2003 New York Times opinion piece, "A Brief History of the Multiverse", the author and cosmologist Paul Davies offered a variety of arguments that multiverse theories are non-scientific:

For a start, how is the existence of the other universes to be tested? To be sure, all cosmologists accept that there are some regions of the universe that lie beyond the reach of our telescopes, but somewhere on the slippery slope between that and the idea that there are an infinite number of universes, credibility reaches a limit. As one slips down that slope, more and more must be accepted on faith, and less and less is open to scientific verification. Extreme multiverse explanations are therefore reminiscent of theological discussions. Indeed, invoking an infinity of unseen universes to explain the unusual features of the one we do see is just as ad hoc as invoking an unseen Creator. The multiverse theory may be dressed up in scientific language, but in essence it requires the same leap of faith.

— Paul Davies, The New York Times, "A Brief History of the Multiverse"

-Wikipedia, Multiverse


Agreed, Mr. Davies, and your statement regarding the quasi-theological proposition of the existence of the multiverse applies equally to the existence of mind-independent doppelgangers of planets, stars, galaxies, nebulae, black holes, and the telescopes used to perceive them.

________________________________________________

Descartes…wrote a response to skepticism about the existence of the external world. He argues that sensory perceptions come to him involuntarily, and are not willed by him. They are external to his senses, and according to Descartes, this is evidence of the existence of something outside of his mind, and thus, an external world. Descartes goes on to show that the things in the external world are material by arguing that God would not deceive him as to the ideas that are being transmitted, and that God has given him the "propensity" to believe that such ideas are caused by material things.

-Wikipedia: Rene Descartes


But what kinds of ‘material things’?

Things made of non-subjective experience?

To correct Russell’s line of reasoning and support Descartes’ deduction that the external world exists and indeed does consist of something responsible for our senses, thoughts, and emotions— one need only reason that when inferring the existence of something in the external world following the slender thread leading to the external world that is the fact of one’s own existence, it is rational to assume that whatever exists in the external world, given that consciousness exists only in the form of a particular person and that which the person experiences, had to produce the person from a substance existing in the external world that independent of the magic of creation ex nihilo or magic of essential transmutation is necessarily the same substance making up persons and that which persons experience: subjective experience.

That is, subjective experience derived from the external world if it does not magically pop into and out of existence or does not magically emerge from something that previously was not subjective experience. If subjective experience cannot perform the aforementioned magic, it is obvious that subjective experience came from the external world. If subjective experience came from the external world, the external world necessarily contains subjective experience in some form.

The cause of human consciousness, then, rationally consists of the same material it puts into the effect, as whatever exists in the external world that is responsible for human consciousness can only rationally use pre-existent consciousness as the substance that forms human consciousness.

As Hume states:

But still I ask; Why take these attributes for granted, or why ascribe to the cause any qualities but what actually appear in the effect? Why torture your brain to justify the course of nature upon suppositions, which, for aught you know, may be entirely imaginary, and of which there are to be found no traces in the course of nature?

-David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding


In other words, diverting this statement from Hume’s argument against the existence and power of God in nature toward the supposition that non-experience has anything to do with the existence of experience, why ascribe to the cause of consciousness the existence of mind-independent objects and events, qualities other than that which ‘actually appear in the effect’ (subjective experience)?

Why not take the effect (consciousness) at face value, and logically infer that whatever the external world is or whatever exists within it, consciousness came from it, and if things do not magically come into existence from non-existence or one existence or substance does not magically transform into another, something in the external world is responsible for the existence of subjective experience and the various and sundry forms it assumes and it is more simple and transparent that this external cause, in order to rationally produce the effect, shares the nature of the effect.

There is no reason, therefore, to continue to beat the dead horse that is the existence of mind-independent objects or events or the ability of the brain, composed of mind-independent substance, to conjure consciousness, something that the brain essentially is not. Mind-Independent Externalism, following Hume, is an entirely arbitrary invention arising fundamentally from incredulity that consciousness is the only thing that does, and perhaps can, exist.

Rather than believe that subjective experience can come into and go out of existence or that something that is not subjective experience can cease being something that is not subjective experience as it magically transforms into someone experiencing and that which the person experiences, it is more logically coherent to follow the reasoning of Hume and Descartes and state that consciousness derives from the external world, but from an external world that logically contains pre-human consciousness in some form, from which humans derive…and return upon death.

END PART ONE
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 EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:37 pm

Okay, an invincible argument for the existence of the afterlife.

Now, please connect the dots between that and an invincible accumulation of facts able to demonstrate the actual phenomenal/material existence of the afterlife.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:46 pm

Now, please connect the dots between that and an invincible accumulation of facts able to demonstrate the actual phenomenal/material existence of the afterlife.


Consciousness itself is the material. The actual existence is, like everything else in the external world, a matter of faith. Thus the title: "Argument for..." as opposed to "proof of".
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:53 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
Now, please connect the dots between that and an invincible accumulation of facts able to demonstrate the actual phenomenal/material existence of the afterlife.


Consciousness itself is the material. The actual existence is, like everything else in the external world, a matter of faith. Thus the title: "Argument for..." as opposed to "proof of".



Okay, fine. I just wanted to point out what I construe to be a very, very important distinction for those who are now dangling over the abyss and wondering if toppling over into it precipitates the obliteration of "I" for all time to come.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:24 pm

Okay, fine. I just wanted to point out what I construe to be a very, very important distinction for those who are now dangling over the abyss and wondering if toppling over into it precipitates the obliteration of "I" for all time to come.


The obliteration of "I" for all time is itself a matter of faith. Now in terms of pre-death identity as opposed to the magical going out of existence of consciousness, the obliteration of "I" for all time is a possibility, although consciousness qua consciousness itself is probably eternal, for the reasons given in the article.
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A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God.


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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:41 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
Okay, fine. I just wanted to point out what I construe to be a very, very important distinction for those who are now dangling over the abyss and wondering if toppling over into it precipitates the obliteration of "I" for all time to come.


The obliteration of "I" for all time is itself a matter of faith.


But [in my view] the matter of faith itself is just another existential contraption embedded in a particular life. That's why so many different people have faith [or lack faith] in so many different things.

What else is there then but the extent to which they are able to demonstrate that what they believe is true "in their head" is in fact true for all rational human beings.

Otherwise [for all practical purposes] faith becomes an existential leap [re Kierkegaard and others] to whatever it is you have faith in.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Now in terms of pre-death identity as opposed to the magical going out of existence of consciousness, the obliteration of "I" for all time is a possibility, although consciousness qua consciousness itself is probably eternal, for the reasons given in the article.


Then we're stuck again. You believe that it is "probably eternal" and others believe that it is "probably not eternal".

And we even have those who insist that it is eternal or that it is not eternal.

Me, I'm someone who wants to believe that it is eternal. But "here and now" I have access to no arguments or material evidence able to convince me that it is.

And I suspect that those who think that they do, think that they do because when one does think this way it is considerably more comforting and consoling than to think about it the way that folks like I do.

But thanks for trying.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:22 pm

Imambiguous:

It's not so much a matter of faith about the existence of this or that with this or that being different for each person, it is a matter of faith regarding what exists other than you and your subjective experience as opposed to any other entity in existence.

When it comes to consciousness, you only have (until one dies) the "evidence" of what one believes has happened to another person's consciousness as their body rests on the slab or in the coffin. That is, one cannot experience being the person so one cannot experience the person mentally surviving the death of their body or ceasing to exist. One can do nothing save believe that either the former or latter occurred.

You're never going to have material evidence of anyone's consciousness except your own, so one cannot plausibly judge the eternity of consciousness from the "here and now" standpoint.

That being said, the eternity of consciousness is not necessarily false nor can be rendered false by belief that it isn't eternal: consciousness may be eternal despite everyone's belief it is not. We can't directly experience eternal consciousness, but that lack of experience cannot affect or alter its eternity, if true.

We basically engage in silly sword fights between beliefs occurring to consciousnesses that have no direct experience of the existence of anything save themselves (i.e. can we experience the consciousness of other people?). My estimation that consciousness is "probably" eternal is based on incredulity at the concept that things can come into existence or cease to exist. If physical energy is arbitrarily held to be eternal, there is no good reason consciousness "must" magically and randomly come into existence from previous nonexistence and vice versa....save from incredulity that consciousness is or could be eternal.

When one considers the explanatory magic required for nonexistent things to come into existence without use of the material of something already in existence, and something existing having the ability to wink out of existence, the idea of the eternity of consciousness springs more from common sense than consoling and comfort.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:14 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
It's not so much a matter of faith about the existence of this or that with this or that being different for each person, it is a matter of faith regarding what exists other than you and your subjective experience as opposed to any other entity in existence.


And how do we go about determining that? With regard to any particular individual's life [either on this side of the grave or on the other side of it] there is always going to be a gap between what they think they know about it and all that would need to be known in order to be certain.

We seem obligated to take a leap of faith in regard to the existence of existence itself. Dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse. Where does any particular "I" fit into all of that?!

You note:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:When it comes to consciousness, you only have (until one dies) the "evidence" of what one believes has happened to another person's consciousness as their body rests on the slab or in the coffin. That is, one cannot experience being the person so one cannot experience the person mentally surviving the death of their body or ceasing to exist. One can do nothing save believe that either the former or latter occurred.


True? Not true? True here but not there? In fact, we just don't know how the "human concontion" -- matter able to become conscious of itself as matter able to become conscious of itself as matter interacting with the conscious matter of others -- works. Neurologists and theologians [among others] continue to explore possible answers. Science and religious faith. And the philosophers.

Thus when you speculate that...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:You're never going to have material evidence of anyone's consciousness except your own, so one cannot plausibly judge the eternity of consciousness from the "here and now" standpoint.


How does one even begin to set up an actual demonstration of this? In what particular context? Relating to what particular behaviors? Such that it leads to the conclusion embedded in the OP.

Instead, from my point of view, your argument heads back up into the stratosphere of abstraction:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:That being said, the eternity of consciousness is not necessarily false nor can be rendered false by belief that it isn't eternal: consciousness may be eternal despite everyone's belief it is not. We can't directly experience eternal consciousness, but that lack of experience cannot affect or alter its eternity, if true.


What on earth does this mean? How can we intertwine it into the lives that we actually live? How do you?

Instead, all that most folks who speculate about an "afterlife" would seem to have at their disposal is either a leap of faith or a world of words.

Thus when you suggest that...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:We basically engage in silly sword fights between beliefs occurring to consciousnesses that have no direct experience of the existence of anything save themselves (i.e. can we experience the consciousness of other people?). My estimation that consciousness is "probably" eternal is based on incredulity at the concept that things can come into existence or cease to exist. If physical energy is arbitrarily held to be eternal, there is no good reason consciousness "must" magically and randomly come into existence from previous nonexistence and vice versa....save from incredulity that consciousness is or could be eternal.

When one considers the explanatory magic required for nonexistent things to come into existence without use of the material of something already in existence, and something existing having the ability to wink out of existence, the idea of the eternity of consciousness springs more from common sense than consoling and comfort.


There is nothing for me to really sink my teeth down into substantively; such that I can try to ascertain if this might be applicable to the manner in which I construe death as a tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion.

But of course I'm in the same boat here. Other than in a world of words predicated on certain assumptions, I have no capacity to convince others that they ought to think like I do too.

Also, in Truman's world, the folks on either side of the wall are still interacting on this side of the life/death continuum. What happens when they die?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:58 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:

It's not so much a matter of faith about the existence of this or that with this or that being different for each person, it is a matter of faith regarding what exists other than you and your subjective experience as opposed to any other entity in existence.


And how do we go about determining that? With regard to any particular individual's life [either on this side of the grave or on the other side of it] there is always going to be a gap between what they think they know about it and all that would need to be known in order to be certain.

We seem obligated to take a leap of faith in regard to the existence of existence itself. Dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse. Where does any particular "I" fit into all of that?!


There is no way to determine the existence of anything save oneself and that which one personally and privately experiences. It is the only thing that can be known for certain, as anything that is not a person and that which the person experiences exists only as a concept made up of the person's subjective experience of the concept accompanied (perhaps) by the person's faith that this concept has an objective existence external to the person and their experiences.

Thus dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse, the afterlife, God, etc. are all imaginary, made-up things the person believes has objective independent existence. How a person or particular "I" fits into all that is that these are concepts imagined by the person. The salient point is that there is no reason, unless one is solipsist, that these things cannot have independent existence regardless of one's belief in their existence or non-existence. It is just that they cannot be proven to exist to a person, because the only thing that exists before a person is the consciousness of the person and any sensory, emotional, or thought experience that randomly emerges from the person.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
When it comes to consciousness, you only have (until one dies) the "evidence" of what one believes has happened to another person's consciousness as their body rests on the slab or in the coffin. That is, one cannot experience being the person so one cannot experience the person mentally surviving the death of their body or ceasing to exist. One can do nothing save believe that either the former or latter occurred.


True? Not true? True here but not there? In fact, we just don't know how the "human concontion" -- matter able to become conscious of itself as matter able to become conscious of itself as matter interacting with the conscious matter of others -- works. Neurologists and theologians [among others] continue to explore possible answers. Science and religious faith. And the philosophers.


The only thing we can know with certainty is that consciousness merely exists. We will never be able to know why it is the way it is. And the idea that brains create consciousness is inherently incoherent, as we cannot know that mind-independent brains exist, or that things that exist can conjure into existence things that do not exist.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
You're never going to have material evidence of anyone's consciousness except your own, so one cannot plausibly judge the eternity of consciousness from the "here and now" standpoint.


How does one even begin to set up an actual demonstration of this? In what particular context? Relating to what particular behaviors? Such that it leads to the conclusion embedded in the OP.


My point is that you can't set up an actual demonstration of either another person's consciousness or the eternity of consciousness or lack thereof. You only have your consciousness, which currently exists. What happens to it after death is just a made up idea and belief one way or the other.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
That being said, the eternity of consciousness is not necessarily false nor can be rendered false by belief that it isn't eternal: consciousness may be eternal despite everyone's belief it is not. We can't directly experience eternal consciousness, but that lack of experience cannot affect or alter its eternity, if true.


What on earth does this mean?


It's self-explanatory. Just as multiverses or dark matter, for example are not rendered objectively false just because someone believes they don't exist, the eternity of consciousness is not necessarily false because one believes consciousness is not eternal. Anything in the external world can still exist "behind everyone's backs" even if everyone in the universe believed the thing does not exist.

How can we intertwine it into the lives that we actually live? How do you?


You can't intertwine eternal consciousness into the lives we actually live. Except in the form of an idea that could be objectively true despite one's belief in its' non-existence.

Instead, all that most folks who speculate about an "afterlife" would seem to have at their disposal is either a leap of faith or a world of words.


This includes those who don't believe in an "afterlife" as well.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
We basically engage in silly sword fights between beliefs occurring to consciousnesses that have no direct experience of the existence of anything save themselves (i.e. can we experience the consciousness of other people?). My estimation that consciousness is "probably" eternal is based on incredulity at the concept that things can come into existence or cease to exist. If physical energy is arbitrarily held to be eternal, there is no good reason consciousness "must" magically and randomly come into existence from previous nonexistence and vice versa....save from incredulity that consciousness is or could be eternal.

When one considers the explanatory magic required for nonexistent things to come into existence without use of the material of something already in existence, and something existing having the ability to wink out of existence, the idea of the eternity of consciousness springs more from common sense than consoling and comfort.


There is nothing for me to really sink my teeth down into substantively; such that I can try to ascertain if this might be applicable to the manner in which I construe death as a tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion.


Construing death as a tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion typically involves belief that consciousness can come into and go out of existence, which is a magic that, given that we readily accept that energy is 'neither created nor destroyed' is imaginary magic that exists purely from disbelief that consciousness may be eternal.

But of course I'm in the same boat here. Other than in a world of words predicated on certain assumptions, I have no capacity to convince others that they ought to think like I do too.


Indeed. The existence of everything, save a person and that which the person experiences in the "here and now", is "supported" only by a world of words and leap of faith.

Also, in Truman's world, the folks on either side of the wall are still interacting on this side of the life/death continuum. What happens when they die?


No one knows except the dying persons themselves, if there is no magical winking out of existence of consciousness or Ernst Mach's Phenomenalism (nice reference to the photo of my signature).
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:25 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:

We seem obligated to take a leap of faith in regard to the existence of existence itself. Dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse. Where does any particular "I" fit into all of that?!


There is no way to determine the existence of anything save oneself and that which one personally and privately experiences. It is the only thing that can be known for certain, as anything that is not a person and that which the person experiences exists only as a concept made up of the person's subjective experience of the concept accompanied (perhaps) by the person's faith that this concept has an objective existence external to the person and their experiences.


Exactly.

Well, more or less.

So, basically, in the absense of "hard evidence" all that is really left is an argument for the existence of an afterlife.

And, hey, I'm all for that. After all, who can really deny that an argument might prod someone into exploring the parts that do revolve around the evidence needed to bring us closer to settling it once and for all.

So, sure, keep the arguments coming.

On the other hand this...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Thus dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse, the afterlife, God, etc. are all imaginary, made-up things the person believes has objective independent existence.


...is just a subjective argument in turn. Or do you have the capacity to demonstrate that this is in fact true for all rational human beings? Is there a TOE able to be connected empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"?

In fact, maybe.

True? Not true? True here but not there? In fact, we just don't know how the "human concontion" -- matter able to become conscious of itself as matter able to become conscious of itself as matter interacting with the conscious matter of others -- works. Neurologists and theologians [among others] continue to explore possible answers. Science and religious faith. And the philosophers.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: The only thing we can know with certainty is that consciousness merely exists. We will never be able to know why it is the way it is. And the idea that brains create consciousness is inherently incoherent, as we cannot know that mind-independent brains exist, or that things that exist can conjure into existence things that do not exist.


But: You state this as though it is not just another argument embedded in that gap between "I" here and now and an explanation for why something exists rather than nothing, and why this something and not something else.

In the interim though this is what we live with now:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

On the other hand, we really don't know what science will be able to tell us about human consciousness 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now. We just know that in the absense of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will ever be around to marvel at it.

Still, from my frame of mind speculation of this sort will always revolve around "what we think we know and what we can demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to know in turn."

And not just regarding the afterlife.

When you assert that...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: You can't intertwine eternal consciousness into the lives we actually live. Except in the form of an idea that could be objectively true despite one's belief in its' non-existence.


...all I can ask you to do is to demonstrate to me why I should believe this is in fact true.

Which, to the extent that I understand what you are telling me here in this exchange, brings me back to this:

There is nothing for me to really sink my teeth down into substantively; such that I can try to ascertain if this might be applicable to the manner in which I construe death as a tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Construing death as a tumbling over into the abyss that is oblivion typically involves belief that consciousness can come into and go out of existence, which is a magic that, given that we readily accept that energy is 'neither created nor destroyed' is imaginary magic that exists purely from disbelief that consciousness may be eternal.


This is just more "sheer conjecture" to me. You define the meaning of the words that you use and then these words defend the meaning of still more words. The words themselves however don't really connect to anything concrete on either this side of the grave or on the other side of it.

Which you then basically come around to more or less agreeing with:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Indeed. The existence of everything, save a person and that which the person experiences in the "here and now", is "supported" only by a world of words and leap of faith.


Only I'm not even sure that I am able to agree with my own "sheer conjecture" here.

We. Just. Don't. Know.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:32 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
Thus dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse, the afterlife, God, etc. are all imaginary, made-up things the person believes has objective independent existence.


...is just a subjective argument in turn. Or do you have the capacity to demonstrate that this is in fact true for all rational human beings? Is there a TOE able to be connected empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"?

In fact, maybe.


I don't have the capacity to demonstrate (to anyone else) that my consciousness exists. No one can demonstrate the existence of anything except what they are experiencing and their first-person subject of experience, and this only to themselves.

A TOE that 'connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"'---if this TOE is something other than the person and that which the person experiences (that is, if it is something other than subjective experience itself), cannot connect empirically to an "I" until it first ceases to be something that is not or that is other than the person that is to perceive it and is transmuted into the subjective experience of the particular person experiencing it. As only subjective experience shows itself to exist, everything that is not subjective experience must first turn into subjective experience in order to be experienced or have empirical existence.

There are known knowns.


The only thing that can actually be known is that existence only appears in the form of a first-person subject experience and that which the subject is experiencing.

These are things we know that we know.


Whatever one thinks one knows, we don't know that there is something other than the first-person subjective of experience of a particular person and that which the person is experiencing.

A. In actuality the person only imagines something other than the person exists.

B. The person then randomly and arbitrarily forms a belief that this 'other' objectively exists outside the self and more, can survive the future non-existence of the self (as it is something other than the self, which ceases to exist when the brain ceases to function, in belief that brains create and maintain the existence of consciousness: the 'other' is not created by the person's brain, therefore it survives the non-existence of the self).

There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know.


Such as the objective existence of something other than an first-person subject of experience and that which the subject is experiencing.

But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

On the other hand, we really don't know what science will be able to tell us about human consciousness 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now.


We don't know what science (which itself is just the stuff coming from the mind of a first-person subject of experience and that which the person experiences) will be able to tell us about human consciousness 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now, but whatever these persons discover, it will only be ideas in the minds of these persons. The imaginary concepts will be composed of the subjective experience of the persons, as existence only manifests in the form of a first-person subjective experience and that which the person experiences.

Human consciousness or what will be known about human consciousness 100, 1,000, and 10,000 years from now will not be able to "see" anything more than that. A million years from now no one will know the objective existence of anything that exists outside of and that is conceived to be something other than or that is not a first-person subject of experience and that which the subject experiences.

We just know that in the absense of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will ever be around to marvel at it.


True. In the absence of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will be around to marvel at what science discovers 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now. But we cannot know that there will be an actual absence of an afterlife. One merely believes there will not be one.

Still, from my frame of mind speculation of this sort will always revolve around "what we think we know and what we can demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to know in turn."


We can only demonstrate, and that only to ourselves, that only a first-person subject of experience and that which this person is experiencing exists.

1. A person experiences visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile experiences that only that person, and not anyone else in the whole of infinity (if these exist) can feel, taste, touch, smell, hear and see.

2. A person experiences thoughts in sensory form (though composed of thought) of certain images, actions, speculations, beliefs, etc. that only that person, and not anyone in the whole of infinity (if these exist) is thinking at that moment.

3. A person experiences emotions (non-bodily feelings) that only that person and not anyone in the whole of infinity (if these exist) is feeling at that moment.

One can only demonstrate the existence of 1-3, and can demonstrate their existence only to oneself. The existence of anything that is not a particular person and that which the person is experiencing cannot be demonstrated even to the person, as the person only can only demonstrate the existence of his or her subjective experiences.

Since we can only demonstrate the existence of 1-3, and that only to ourselves, this is the only thing 'all rational men and women are obligated to know in turn'.

The above having been said, the first-person subject of experience can only arbitrarily and randomly form beliefs about the existence or non-existence of things other than itself, as it cannot demonstrate the existence of anything save itself (and that only to itself). Whatever the first-person subject of experience believes or doesn't believe, however, cannot indicate the truth or falsity of and can provide no evidence for or against the existence of that which it accepts or denies, as a person only has evidence of its own existence and can only demonstrate, and that only to itself, the existence of itself.

1. The afterlife, therefore, appears only in the form of an idea in the mind of this first-person subject of experience.

2. Since this first-person subject of experience can only experience itself and not anyone else in the whole of infinity (if these others even exist), this subject only has evidence of its own existence, and can only demonstrate the existence of itself to itself. This subject, therefore, cannot demonstrate the existence of the afterlife.

3. This inability to demonstrate the afterlife, however, is not indication or evidence of the non-existence of the afterlife.

A person believing in an afterlife, therefore, can do nothing but reveal to rational men and women an idea of the afterlife, while reminding them that the only thing that appears within existence is a single person and that which the person experiences, and that everything that is not a person and that which the person experiences can only appear within existence as an idea in the person's mind. The objective existence of the content of the idea, however, is not nor cannot be proven or disproven despite the person’s belief or disbelief in the objective existence of the content.

A person not believing in an afterlife, therefore, cannot provide argument for why an afterlife does not exist, as an afterlife is something that is not a first-person subject of experience and that which the subject experiences (now). Therefore, a person not believing in an afterlife cannot use examples of that which is experienced now to argue against the existence of the afterlife. Lack of belief in the afterlife, therefore, can only be a "Nuh-uh".

(To be fair, belief in the afterlife amounts to just an "Uh-huh".)

We. Just. Don't. Know.


True. But the fact we don't know does not indicate the non-existence of the afterlife.

I'm only presenting an idea of an afterlife that anyone is free to take or leave. My argument for it is grounded in the fact that there is no evidence for or against the existence of anything that is not a person and that which the person currently experiences (as this is what the afterlife is) and belief or disbelief in something that is not a person and that which the person currently experiences in itself has no effect upon the objective existence of this 'other' (if the 'other exists).
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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 EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:21 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
Thus dark energy, dark matter, the quantum world, the multiverse, the afterlife, God, etc. are all imaginary, made-up things the person believes has objective independent existence.


...is just a subjective argument in turn. Or do you have the capacity to demonstrate that this is in fact true for all rational human beings? Is there a TOE able to be connected empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"?

In fact, maybe.


I don't have the capacity to demonstrate (to anyone else) that my consciousness exists. No one can demonstrate the existence of anything except what they are experiencing and their first-person subject of experience, and this only to themselves.


Yeah, but here we can go way, way out on the metaphysical limb. How do we demonstrate that our interactions are not just part and parcel of a SIM world? How do we demonstrate that our interactions are not just characters in some entity's dream the way in which characters pop up in our own dreams? How do we demonstrate that our interactions are rooted in at least some measure of autonomy? How do we demonstrate that "reality" is not embodied in solipsism such that Berekley's God is the only thing that links everything together? How do we demonstrate that our conscious mind will continue on into the afterlife?

Again: We. Just. Don't. Know.

But most of us do think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds. Given that assumption then, what can be communicated objectively in the either/or world, and what seems to be embedded more subjectively/subjunctively in the is/ought world?

That's my own "thing" here with respect to "I" on either side of the living/dead line.

Now, in my view, what you note here...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: A TOE that 'connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"'---if this TOE is something other than the person and that which the person experiences (that is, if it is something other than subjective experience itself), cannot connect empirically to an "I" until it first ceases to be something that is not or that is other than the person that is to perceive it and is transmuted into the subjective experience of the particular person experiencing it. As only subjective experience shows itself to exist, everything that is not subjective experience must first turn into subjective experience in order to be experienced or have empirical existence.


...does not constitute much more than an intellectual contraption articulating a "world of words" that floats around "inside your head".

How would you perform experiments, or make predictions, or offer others a way to replicate your consclusions such that a more substantive demonstration might be possible?

Then you note a particular set of conjectures that seem to reconfigure [to me] into actual established facts:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
There are known knowns.


The only thing that can actually be known is that existence only appears in the form of a first-person subject experience and that which the subject is experiencing.

These are things we know that we know.


Whatever one thinks one knows, we don't know that there is something other than the first-person subjective of experience of a particular person and that which the person is experiencing.

A. In actuality the person only imagines something other than the person exists.

B. The person then randomly and arbitrarily forms a belief that this 'other' objectively exists outside the self and more, can survive the future non-existence of the self (as it is something other than the self, which ceases to exist when the brain ceases to function, in belief that brains create and maintain the existence of consciousness: the 'other' is not created by the person's brain, therefore it survives the non-existence of the self).

There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know.


Such as the objective existence of something other than an first-person subject of experience and that which the subject is experiencing.

But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

On the other hand, we really don't know what science will be able to tell us about human consciousness 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now.


We don't know what science (which itself is just the stuff coming from the mind of a first-person subject of experience and that which the person experiences) will be able to tell us about human consciousness 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now, but whatever these persons discover, it will only be ideas in the minds of these persons. The imaginary concepts will be composed of the subjective experience of the persons, as existence only manifests in the form of a first-person subjective experience and that which the person experiences.


What would interest me here is the extent to which you make conjectures of this sort relevant to the assertion that there is an invincible argument for the existence of an afterlife; such that you can in turn provide us with a methodology enabling folks like scientists and philosophers to actually demonstrate the existence of an afterlife. And, in particular, for those of us in the human species who wrap so much of what we call "reality" around "I" in the is/ought world.

Yet you seem to insist that even 10,000 years from now science will still be, what, constrained [ultimately] by the assumptions that you make here about conscious minds?

How on earth could you or anyone actually know -- definitively -- any of this? But, of course, 10,000 years from now in the absence of an afterlife I won't be around to tell you "I told you so".

So, we can predict just about anything at all about the future.

But why stop there...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: A million years from now no one will know the objective existence of anything that exists outside of and that is conceived to be something other than or that is not a first-person subject of experience and that which the subject experiences.


Here, in my view, you may as well be God.

We just know that in the absense of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will ever be around to marvel at it.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: True. In the absence of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will be around to marvel at what science discovers 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now. But we cannot know that there will be an actual absence of an afterlife. One merely believes there will not be one.


That's my point. The gap btween what we think we know about these things "in our head" "here and now", and all that would need to be known in order to be absolutely certain of it. And even the most sophisticated of neurologists/brain scientists are not excluded here.

It's just that science is looking for an afterlife re the "scientific method". Whereas many theologians, philosophers and new age gurus just more or less "will" it into existence out of a world of words.

Out of an "argument".

And, to me, that revolves more around human psychology -- defense mechanisms -- than science and philosophy.

Still, from my frame of mind speculation of this sort will always revolve around "what we think we know and what we can demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to know in turn."


Then, in my opinion, it's back up into "general description" clouds of the autodidact.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: We can only demonstrate, and that only to ourselves, that only a first-person subject of experience and that which this person is experiencing exists.

1. A person experiences visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile experiences that only that person, and not anyone else in the whole of infinity (if these exist) can feel, taste, touch, smell, hear and see.

2. A person experiences thoughts in sensory form (though composed of thought) of certain images, actions, speculations, beliefs, etc. that only that person, and not anyone in the whole of infinity (if these exist) is thinking at that moment.

3. A person experiences emotions (non-bodily feelings) that only that person and not anyone in the whole of infinity (if these exist) is feeling at that moment.


etc etc etc

Or so it seems to me.

Or this:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: A person believing in an afterlife, therefore, can do nothing but reveal to rational men and women an idea of the afterlife, while reminding them that the only thing that appears within existence is a single person and that which the person experiences, and that everything that is not a person and that which the person experiences can only appear within existence as an idea in the person's mind.


All I can imagine here are others listenting to you and then asking, "So, is there an afterlife or not?!" or "What will become of "I" after the brain and all the rest of me are dead and gone?"

You then note...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: The objective existence of the content of the idea, however, is not nor cannot be proven or disproven despite the person’s belief or disbelief in the objective existence of the content.


And, sure, some will buy it. But my conjecture here is that they will buy it more because emotionally and psychologically it is really, really, really soothing to believe it.

We. Just. Don't. Know.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: True. But the fact we don't know does not indicate the non-existence of the afterlife.


So, the bottom line here [mine] is that others will either believe your argument because it comforts and consoles them to believe it or they will take a Kierkegaardian leap of faith to it because as Pascal suggests what have they got to lose.

Either way, there is no actual hard evidence available to demonstrate that the argument is in fact true. Or at least none that I am familiar with.

Again, I'm all for speculation of this sort. And at least you are making an effort to grapple with it. But with so much at stake here on either side of the grave, it's just frustrating to come upon arguments alone.

Oh, and how on earth does this...

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


...factor into your own conscious frame of mind here?

A God, the God, my God? Or the "idea" of it?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:09 am

But most of us do think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds.


True. To believe otherwise is solipsism. My point was that from the "I" point of view, we do not experience other conscious minds, therefore despite the fact that we think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds, we can't demonstrate the existence of other conscious minds. There's only just the "I" that shows up and can be demonstrated, and that only to itself.

Now, in my view, what you note here...


phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
A TOE that 'connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"'---if this TOE is something other than the person and that which the person experiences (that is, if it is something other than subjective experience itself), cannot connect empirically to an "I" until it first ceases to be something that is not or that is other than the person that is to perceive it and is transmuted into the subjective experience of the particular person experiencing it. As only subjective experience shows itself to exist, everything that is not subjective experience must first turn into subjective experience in order to be experienced or have empirical existence.



...does not constitute much more than an intellectual contraption articulating a "world of words" that floats around "inside your head".


It is not so much a "world of words" that merely floats around inside my head but a reason based on the facts known about the existence of the "I", including facts you can discover easily about yourself by just observing your own consciousness.

By just looking at yourself and your own consciousness you will discover that the only thing that can be demonstrated to you to exist is you, and what you happen to be experiencing now. That's it. Everything that is not you and what you are experiencing now (and experincing the next second, and the next), is only an idea within your mind (just your experience in the form of your idea that pops into your head) that you separate into three factions: 1. Things you believe objectively exist despite the fact they aren't you and what you're experiencing (i.e. despite the fact they aren't things created by your brain, for those believing the brain creates consciousness) 2. Things you don't believe exist, but accept as ideas in your mind and those of others. 3. Things you choose to suspend judgment about, unwilling to settle the matter in regard to the question of their existence with either (1) or (2).

As far as a 'TOE that connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"': the 'world that we live in' is just an artificial reality created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). We can't know, given that we can only experience the brain-generated artificial reality, that there is an actual world existing outside the artificial "movie projection" produced by the "movie projector" of the brain. Much less can we know if this unknown world can have anything to do or communicate in any way with the artificial reality.

There are only two things to consider in the question of what exists and what does not:

1. The experiences created by your brain (the "I" is one of these artificial creations)---for those believing the brain creates consciousness.

2. The questionable existence of whatever your brain does not create.

You are only able to see and know what your brain generates. You can't see and know of anything your brain does not generate, and all your beliefs and ideas about things that are not generated by your brain are just more things generated by your brain (for those believing brains generate consciousness). These are not just a "world of words" that speak of nothing or are just an idea in one's head, you can see it for yourself. You are a subjective experience. In order for anything that is not you to be able to be experienced by you, that thing must be or must transmute into something that can be experienced by you, that is,into your subjective experience. If something is not your subjective experience, it cannot be experienced. This is a simple deduction anyone can make just looking at one's own existence.

What would interest me here is the extent to which you make conjectures of this sort relevant to the assertion that there is an invincible argument for the existence of an afterlife; such that you can in turn provide us with a methodology enabling folks like scientists and philosophers to actually demonstrate the existence of an afterlife. And, in particular, for those of us in the human species who wrap so much of what we call "reality" around "I" in the is/ought world.


The conjectures are not so much conjectures but facts about yourself that can be instantly observed. They are relevant to the assertion that there is an invincible argument for the existence of an afterlife in that they are support beams for the fact that while an afterlife cannot be demonstrated, given that one can only demonstrate the existence of the "I" and the artificial reality experienced by the "I", the existence of the afterlife is not absolutely and unquestionably false.

The is/ought world is an artificial reality generated by the brain (for those believing the brain creates or generates consciousness) and is not something that is not created by the brain. If it disappears or winks out upon cessation of function of the brain, it depends upon the brain for its existence and cannot exist without it. The is/ought world is, therefore, just a "movie projection" produced by the "movie projector" of the brain and not something that is not created by the brain that sticks around when your consciousness doesn't.

There is an 'invincible argument for the existence of the afterlife' in the argument in that despite the inability to demonstrate the afterlife or offer proof of it, it's existence cannot be demonstrated to be unquestionably and irrefutably false given the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is the "I".

Yet you seem to insist that even 10,000 years from now science will still be, what, constrained [ultimately] by the assumptions that you make here about conscious minds?

How on earth could you or anyone actually know -- definitively -- any of this? But, of course, 10,000 years from now in the absence of an afterlife I won't be around to tell you "I told you so".


What else will they be able to discover, since anything they discover is only part of the artificial reality created by their brains (for those believing the brain creates consciousness), and cannot be something not created by their brains?

Anything not created by your brain cannot be experienced, thus cannot be known, thus lies outside the reach of any scientific analysis, experiment, or discovery....which are actually just artificial realities created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness).

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
A million years from now no one will know the objective existence of anything that exists outside of and that is conceived to be something other than or that is not a first-person subject of experience and that which the subject experiences.


Here, in my view, you may as well be God.


Not God, just stating a truth. A million years from now, given that the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is the "I", no one even then will be able to experience anything other than their "I", and the artificial reality created by their brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). Unless... a million years from now people will be able to experience things not created by their brain? If so, how?

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
True. In the absence of an actual afterlife for "I", none of us here will be around to marvel at what science discovers 100, 1,000, 10,000 years from now. But we cannot know that there will be an actual absence of an afterlife. One merely believes there will not be one.


That's my point. The gap between what we think we know about these things "in our head" "here and now", and all that would need to be known in order to be absolutely certain of it. And even the most sophisticated of neurologists/brain scientists are not excluded here.


All that would need to be known in order to be absolutely certain of something "in our head" would be to actually experience it (have the brain create the subjective experience of it, for those believing the brain creates consciousness). That which is known is experienced as either something that appears to visual perception (relevantly) or it's just a thought in one's head. That's pretty much it.

This doesn't mean that because it is not created by one's brain (as the brain only creates tacticle, auditory, gustatory, olfactory experiences and visual artificial realities (the reality is artificial in that it completely disappears should the brain suddenly cease to function) it absolutely does not exist (as if anyone could really know that), it's just that it cannot be demonstrated. An argument for the afterlife, for example, can only be an argument that one cannot rule out its existence simply because one doesn't believe in it because the only thing one has is the artificial reality produced by the brain.

It's just that science is looking for an afterlife re the "scientific method". Whereas many theologians, philosophers and new age gurus just more or less "will" it into existence out of a world of words.


Only science can show the existence of the artificial reality the brain creates. That's it. You cannot look for the afterlife or anything not generated by the brain using the "scientific method".

Theologians, philosophers, etc. "will" the afterlife into existence only in the sense that they really, really believe it exists. But they are in the same boat as one not believing in an afterlife, because the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is the "I" and the artificial reality (that can disappear entirely if the brain should suddenly cease functioning) created by the brain (for those believing brains create conscious experience).

And, to me, that revolves more around human psychology -- defense mechanisms -- than science and philosophy.


Yes, It is a psychological defense mechanism against the terror of the possibility that consciousness can cease to exist and death is eternal dreamless sleep. But I argue that the defense mechanism in and of itself is not necessarily a delusion or a denial of reality (that death is just eternal dreamless sleep)...because we cannot know that death being just eternal dreamless sleep is a reality, as we cannot know that consciousness comes into and goes out of existence (content of consciousness transforms, sure, but we cannot know if consciousness qua consciousness altogether ceases to exist).

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
A person believing in an afterlife, therefore, can do nothing but reveal to rational men and women an idea of the afterlife, while reminding them that the only thing that appears within existence is a single person and that which the person experiences, and that everything that is not a person and that which the person experiences can only appear within existence as an idea in the person's mind.


All I can imagine here are others listenting to you and then asking, "So, is there an afterlife or not?!" or "What will become of "I" after the brain and all the rest of me are dead and gone?"


I can only respond: "Friends and neighbors....I know not, but there's nothing about or in the artificial realities created by our brains (for those believing brains create consciousness) that indicate or can indicate the afterlife absolutely, irrefutably does not exist."

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
The objective existence of the content of the idea, however, is not nor cannot be proven or disproven despite the person’s belief or disbelief in the objective existence of the content.

And, sure, some will buy it. But my conjecture here is that they will buy it more because emotionally and psychologically it is really, really, really soothing to believe it.


And it is soothing. It's great stuff, believing your dead friends and relatives still exist in another artificial reality free of the troubles, trials, and travails of the current brain-created one (for those believing brains create consciousness). Comforting stuff it is, a bastion of hope against the horror (to some) that death is eternal dreamless sleep and that consciousness is something that can come into and go out of existence. But we cannot know that an afterlife absolutely, irrefutably does not exist. Sure we can't demonstrate it exists, as it is not anyone's "living" artificial reality, but by the same token one cannot know it absolutely doesn't exist and that those believing in it are only deluding themselves.

So, the bottom line here [mine] is that others will either believe your argument because it comforts and consoles them to believe it or they will take a Kierkegaardian leap of faith to it because as Pascal suggests what have they got to lose.


Either way, it cannot be demonstrated that an afterlife absolutely does not exist and those comforting themselves or making a leap of faith are just fooling themselves.

Again, I'm all for speculation of this sort. And at least you are making an effort to grapple with it.


Thanks.

But with so much at stake here on either side of the grave, it's just frustrating to come upon arguments alone.


Oh there's nothing at stake. Either there's an afterlife or there isn't. Either you wake up to another artificial reality different from this one, maybe one created, controlled and regulated not by a brain but by this other person (or persons?) waiting to reward or punish you for the things done in the current "Matrix"....or there's eternal dreamless sleep. If the second option is true, as an atheist joked: "I don't mind, I like to sleep."

All you're going to have are arguments....as an afterlife cannot be demonstrated. Why? Because the only thing that can be known and experienced, the only thing that can be demonstrated, is the "I" and the artificial reality (the "holographic Princess Leia") the brain ("R2D2") cranks out (for those believing the brain creates consciousness).

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The artificial reality disappears when the brain stops working. So we know it's just a "hologram" produced by the "R2D2" of the brain. But what exists that isn't created by the brain? No one knows. The brain (since everything as far as we are concerned comes from the brain) does nothing in response to this question but produce the idea that one thinks one knows what is not created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness).

Oh, and how on earth does this...

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



...factor into your own conscious frame of mind here?

A God, the God, my God? Or the "idea" of it?


The objective guy himself, if he exists.
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Image
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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 EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:27 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
But most of us do think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds.


True. To believe otherwise is solipsism. My point was that from the "I" point of view, we do not experience other conscious minds, therefore despite the fact that we think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds, we can't demonstrate the existence of other conscious minds. There's only just the "I" that shows up and can be demonstrated, and that only to itself.


Probably true but more to the point [mine], you and I will go to the grave merely speculating about it all. Just as we will go to the grave merely speculating about what becomes of "I" after the body itself [including the brain] is dead, gone and on the sojourn back to star stuff..

Arguments are made. Arguments are believed or not believed. But what is actually demonstrated to be true here?

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: It is not so much a "world of words" that merely floats around inside my head but a reason based on the facts known about the existence of the "I", including facts you can discover easily about yourself by just observing your own consciousness.


What facts? As they actually pertain to the existence of an afterlife? Facts that would incline others to take the argument very, very seriously?

As for this...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Everything that is not you and what you are experiencing now (and experincing the next second, and the next), is only an idea within your mind (just your experience in the form of your idea that pops into your head) that you separate into three factions: 1. Things you believe objectively exist despite the fact they aren't you and what you're experiencing (i.e. despite the fact they aren't things created by your brain, for those believing the brain creates consciousness) 2. Things you don't believe exist, but accept as ideas in your mind and those of others. 3. Things you choose to suspend judgment about, unwilling to settle the matter in regard to the question of their existence with either (1) or (2).


...the fact is that I can confirm these ideas "in my head" by checking them out. I can ask others to confirm that what I think is in fact true by asking them what they in fact see/hear/experience. Beyond that is this: all that we do not know about the nature of "the human condition" in going all the way out on the metaphysical limb: sim world? dream world?, solipsism? determinism? God?

Yet [from my frame of mind] all you really have regarding assertions like this...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: As far as a 'TOE that connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"': the 'world that we live in' is just an artificial reality created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). We can't know, given that we can only experience the brain-generated artificial reality, that there is an actual world existing outside the artificial "movie projection" produced by the "movie projector" of the brain. Much less can we know if this unknown world can have anything to do or communicate in any way with the artificial reality.


is a "world of words" defining and defending each other. You claim to know what we can or cannot know as though the argument itself need be as far as you go. And, of course, with respect to your own particular "I" here, that is as far as it need go. You believe it. That settles it.

Backed up by more argument still:

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: There are only two things to consider in the question of what exists and what does not:

1. The experiences created by your brain (the "I" is one of these artificial creations)---for those believing the brain creates consciousness.

2. The questionable existence of whatever your brain does not create.

You are only able to see and know what your brain generates. You can't see and know of anything your brain does not generate, and all your beliefs and ideas about things that are not generated by your brain are just more things generated by your brain (for those believing brains generate consciousness). These are not just a "world of words" that speak of nothing or are just an idea in one's head, you can see it for yourself. You are a subjective experience. In order for anything that is not you to be able to be experienced by you, that thing must be or must transmute into something that can be experienced by you, that is,into your subjective experience. If something is not your subjective experience, it cannot be experienced. This is a simple deduction anyone can make just looking at one's own existence.


So, with respect to your interactions with others, how is all of this applicable, "for all practical purposes"? You argue for the existence of an afterlife, someone else argues that it does not exist. Then what?

This part:

What would interest me here is the extent to which you make conjectures of this sort relevant to the assertion that there is an invincible argument for the existence of an afterlife; such that you can in turn provide us with a methodology enabling folks like scientists and philosophers to actually demonstrate the existence of an afterlife. And, in particular, for those of us in the human species who wrap so much of what we call "reality" around "I" in the is/ought world.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: The conjectures are not so much conjectures but facts about yourself that can be instantly observed. They are relevant to the assertion that there is an invincible argument for the existence of an afterlife in that they are support beams for the fact that while an afterlife cannot be demonstrated, given that one can only demonstrate the existence of the "I" and the artificial reality experienced by the "I", the existence of the afterlife is not absolutely and unquestionably false.


Sure, this argument may well work to convince you that this is so, but it certainly does not convince me and others. The facts here are confined to a set of intellectual assumptions you make about human consiciousness sans all the unknown unknowns that almost surely exist between what you think you know about the afterlife here and now and all that can be known about it given an omnsicient point of view.

Instead, I speculate that you have managed to think yourself into believing this because psychologically it comforts and consoles you more so than those who have thought themselves into believing that we live in an essentially meaningless world that topples over into oblivion.

But here "I" am just as stuck as you: in the enigmatic gap between believing it and demonstrating it.

And while [to you] the "is/ought world is an artificial reality generated by the brain", there it is anyway: this or that? right or wrong? good or evil? reward or punishment? And then, for some, Heaven or Hell?

Then back up into what "I" construe to be the clouds of abstraction...

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: There is an 'invincible argument for the existence of the afterlife' in the argument in that despite the inability to demonstrate the afterlife or offer proof of it, it's existence cannot be demonstrated to be unquestionably and irrefutably false given the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is the "I".


In other words, "I can't actually demonstrate [empirically] the existence of the afterlife, but you can't actually demonstrate [empirically] that it doesn't exist."

Call it a tie.

"In your head" your argument is "stating a truth". Here and now. And then one day your embodied "I" will die. Then you will either have the proof of an afterlife or you won't. In the interim though, the arguments must suffice.

Just as with all the rest of us. If we believe that something might be true and others believe that something might not be true, that doesn't make it either true or false. Here and now. There and then however, well, we'll see...

And then the real kicker here is that this entire exchange that we are having may well be only what it ever could have been given the immutable laws of matter applicable to human consciousness as only another manifestation of matter.

What of the afterlife then?

All I can imagine here are others listenting to you and then asking, "So, is there an afterlife or not?!" or "What will become of "I" after the brain and all the rest of me are dead and gone?"


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: I can only respond: "Friends and neighbors....I know not, but there's nothing about or in the artificial realities created by our brains (for those believing brains create consciousness) that indicate or can indicate the afterlife absolutely, irrefutably does not exist."


But that is basically true of all that we don't know about whatever it is that brought into existence the existence of existence itself. And that includes mindless matter evolving over billions of years into actual living matter mindful of the fact that the embodied "I" dies and disintegrates into....what exactly? Though, sure, "I" cannot know irrefutably that there is not an afterlife awaiting it.

And if that is enough to comfort and console you here and now then that is all that matters: it works for you.

Just not for me. Here and now.

Though I will be the first to admit that substantively I don't really have a clue as to what does await "me" on the other side.

Then it all comes down to whether or not you can manage one or another rendition of Kierkegaard's leap or Pascal's wager.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: Either way, it cannot be demonstrated that an afterlife absolutely does not exist and those comforting themselves or making a leap of faith are just fooling themselves.


Just as it cannot be demonstrated that a God, the God, my God "absolutely does not exist". Only, unlike them, you are not "fooling yourself" about the existence of an afterlife.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:27 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:

But most of us do think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds.


True. To believe otherwise is solipsism. My point was that from the "I" point of view, we do not experience other conscious minds, therefore despite the fact that we think we know that our "I" has a consciousness able to communicate with other conscious minds, we can't demonstrate the existence of other conscious minds. There's only just the "I" that shows up and can be demonstrated, and that only to itself.


Probably true but more to the point [mine], you and I will go to the grave merely speculating about it all.


True.

Just as we will go to the grave merely speculating about what becomes of "I" after the body itself [including the brain] is dead, gone and on the sojourn back to star stuff..


Bodies, brains, and star stuff that are not part of the artificial reality created by the brain exist? If so, how do we know bodies, brains, and star stuff that survive the non-existence of one’s consciousness even exist, since they’re not one’s consciousness (how can they be, when they still exist when one’s consciousness does not), and the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is one’s own consciousness, and that only to oneself?

Arguments are made. Arguments are believed or not believed. But what is actually demonstrated to be true here?

Nothing is demonstrated to be true and nothing was ever meant to be demonstrated as true, as nothing can be demonstrated to be true save the existence of one’s “I”. Given that, there is no requirement to demonstrate anything. Therefore, there are only arguments that are believed or not believed. One can posit an argument out of thin air with the same freedom one chooses to ask another the time.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:It is not so much a "world of words" that merely floats around inside my head but a reason based on the facts known about the existence of the "I", including facts you can discover easily about yourself by just observing your own consciousness.


What facts? As they actually pertain to the existence of an afterlife? Facts that would incline others to take the argument very, very seriously?


Facts about oneself and consciousness. Given the facts about consciousness, one could play them into the concept of the afterlife....such that in the concept, if one were to leave the question open as to whether or not an afterlife exists and just define what an afterlife is or what consists an afterlife, since we only have subjective experience to show for in terms of what exists and what does not, afterlives are just conscious experiences themselves, and are just artificial realities in the way that the "here and now" itself an artificial reality (brain-created or not).

As for this...


phenomenal_graffiti wrote:Everything that is not you and what you are experiencing now (and experincing the next second, and the next), is only an idea within your mind (just your experience in the form of your idea that pops into your head) that you separate into three factions: 1. Things you believe objectively exist despite the fact they aren't you and what you're experiencing (i.e. despite the fact they aren't things created by your brain, for those believing the brain creates consciousness) 2. Things you don't believe exist, but accept as ideas in your mind and those of others. 3. Things you choose to suspend judgment about, unwilling to settle the matter in regard to the question of their existence with either (1) or (2).


...the fact is that I can confirm these ideas "in my head" by checking them out. I can ask others to confirm that what I think is in fact true by asking them what they in fact see/hear/experience.


But the only ideas you can confirm by checking them out is the artificial reality created by your brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). And others you consult can see/hear/experience only the artificial reality created by their brains. They cannot see/hear/experience anything not created by their brain.

Yet [from my frame of mind] all you really have regarding assertions like this...


phenomenal_graffiti wrote:As far as a 'TOE that connects empirically to the world that we live in able to be connected to "I"': the 'world that we live in' is just an artificial reality created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). We can't know, given that we can only experience the brain-generated artificial reality, that there is an actual world existing outside the artificial "movie projection" produced by the "movie projector" of the brain. Much less can we know if this unknown world can have anything to do or communicate in any way with the artificial reality.


…is a "world of words" defining and defending each other. You claim to know what we can or cannot know as though the argument itself need be as far as you go. And, of course, with respect to your own particular "I" here, that is as far as it need go. You believe it. That settles it.


But it’s not about I knowing what we can or cannot know, its about observing that, for those believing brains create consciousness, the only thing that can be known (re: demonstrated) to exist is the artificial reality created by the brain. That’s it. Whatever is not created by the brain cannot be demonstrated and may, for all we know, not exist. Indeed, the brain (the mind-independent one) may not exist.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:There are only two things to consider in the question of what exists and what does not:

1. The experiences created by your brain (the "I" is one of these artificial creations)---for those believing the brain creates consciousness.

2. The questionable existence of whatever your brain does not create.

You are only able to see and know what your brain generates. You can't see and know of anything your brain does not generate, and all your beliefs and ideas about things that are not generated by your brain are just more things generated by your brain (for those believing brains generate consciousness). These are not just a "world of words" that speak of nothing or are just an idea in one's head, you can see it for yourself. You are a subjective experience. In order for anything that is not you to be able to be experienced by you, that thing must be or must transmute into something that can be experienced by you, that is,into your subjective experience. If something is not your subjective experience, it cannot be experienced. This is a simple deduction anyone can make just looking at one's own existence.


So, with respect to your interactions with others, how is all of this applicable, "for all practical purposes"?


By having faith that others exist. This faith is the only thing preventing solipsism.

You argue for the existence of an afterlife, someone else argues that it does not exist. Then what?

Nothing, save the argument and whether or not it is believed.

Sure, this argument may well work to convince you that this is so, but it certainly does not convince me and others. The facts here are confined to a set of intellectual assumptions you make about human consiciousness sans all the unknown unknowns that almost surely exist between what you think you know about the afterlife here and now and all that can be known about it given an omnsicient point of view.

True.

Instead, I speculate that you have managed to think yourself into believing this because psychologically it comforts and consoles you more so than those who have thought themselves into believing that we live in an essentially meaningless world that topples over into oblivion.


True. It is comforting and consoling. My question to those that believe we live in a meaningless world that topples into oblivion is, why is consciousness necessarily “not eternal”, or how do we know it is not eternal? A ‘toppling over into oblivion’ implies the non-existence of subjective experience. Why should anything come into existence from a previous non-existence or cease to exist?

"In your head" your argument is "stating a truth". Here and now. And then one day your embodied "I" will die. Then you will either have the proof of an afterlife or you won't. In the interim though, the arguments must suffice.

Just as with all the rest of us. If we believe that something might be true and others believe that something might not be true, that doesn't make it either true or false. Here and now. There and then however, well, we'll see...


Agreed.

And then the real kicker here is that this entire exchange that we are having may well be only what it ever could have been given the immutable laws of matter applicable to human consciousness as only another manifestation of matter.

What of the afterlife then?


Couldn’t conscious matter, after having formed itself into the “here and now” afterwards contort itself into some sort of afterlife, perhaps a godless one, as still another manifestation of matter?
______________________________________________________________________________
phenomenal_graffiti wrote:I can only respond: "Friends and neighbors....I know not, but there's nothing about or in the artificial realities created by our brains (for those believing brains create consciousness) that indicate or can indicate the afterlife absolutely, irrefutably does not exist."


But that is basically true of all that we don't know about whatever it is that brought into existence the existence of existence itself.

Does existence have to be brought into existence? Could it not be eternal?

And that includes mindless matter evolving over billions of years into actual living matter mindful of the fact that the embodied "I" dies and disintegrates into....what exactly?


Matter that is something other than subjective experience exists? How do we know it exists, given we are only subjective experience and the idea of something that is not subjective experience is itself composed of subjective experience?

Can something that is not consciousness become consciousness by “evolving” into it? How does not-experiencing become experiencing in the first place, even given infinite time? At one point does it stop being ‘something that is not subjective experience (the fact or act of experiencing)’ to become ‘someone experiencing and that which that someone experiences’?

Does the “I” actually disintegrate? If so, how do we know it does? Couldn’t it just merely transform into another “I” or the old “I” remains but experiences another artificial reality, perhaps one that lasts forever? If not, why?
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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 EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:54 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
Just as we will go to the grave merely speculating about what becomes of "I" after the body itself [including the brain] is dead, gone and on the sojourn back to star stuff..


Bodies, brains, and star stuff that are not part of the artificial reality created by the brain exist? If so, how do we know bodies, brains, and star stuff that survive the non-existence of one’s consciousness even exist, since they’re not one’s consciousness (how can they be, when they still exist when one’s consciousness does not), and the only thing that can be demonstrated to exist is one’s own consciousness, and that only to oneself?

Nothing is demonstrated to be true and nothing was ever meant to be demonstrated as true, as nothing can be demonstrated to be true save the existence of one’s “I”. Given that, there is no requirement to demonstrate anything. Therefore, there are only arguments that are believed or not believed. One can posit an argument out of thin air with the same freedom one chooses to ask another the time.


More to the point [mine] what on earth does all of this mean? "Artifical reality"? With respect to the actual material interactions of two members of the human species out in a particular context, what can in fact be demonstrated to be genuine as opposed to artificial reality?

And then, "what if this? what if that?"

In my view, until you are able to reconfigure this "world of words" into a methodology that would more substantively illustrate the text, it's all just you assigning a definition and a meaning to a particular set of words put in a particular order.

Now, in fact, neuroscientists and others are attempting just such experiments. Putting words to actual processes going on in the brain -- "things" in the brain -- so as to connect the dots between consciousness and mind and brain and behaviors we choose.

I see none of that here with you.

Might I advise that you take your "facts" about consciousness to them in places like this: https://blog.feedspot.com/neuroscience_blogs/

See what they think of your conclusions. Then come back here and carry on.

...the fact is that I can confirm these ideas "in my head" by checking them out. I can ask others to confirm that what I think is in fact true by asking them what they in fact see/hear/experience.


phenomenal_graffiti wrote: But the only ideas you can confirm by checking them out is the artificial reality created by your brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). And others you consult can see/hear/experience only the artificial reality created by their brains. They cannot see/hear/experience anything not created by their brain.


Look, one can assume that we are having this exchange at ILP as part of an "artificial reality" or one can take a leap to the possibility that it is actually unfolding between two entities who possess what we have come to call a consciousness.

My point is that we just don't know how to close the gap between thinking this and believing this on the one hand, and explaining it going all the way back to whatever is "behind" the existence of existence itself.

What you do here in my view is to take a shortcut. You assume that what you think you know about all of this [artificially or not] need be as far as the rest of us go.

Nope, I'm not on board here. Though I sure as hell wouldn't advise others to be on board here with me.

Then back to this: We. Just. Don't. Know.

But: You are not a full-blown solipsist yourself because you still "have faith that others exist."

Yet how on earth would you really go about examining and then explaining the difference?

Empirically, for example.

And then morally and politically?

You admit that you embrace your frame of mind in part because it is comforting and consoling. But, in turn, you have still managed to think yourself into believing that it's not all that...or just that.

But [in my view] you have no way in which to actually demonstrate this other than in a world of words. A particular set of intellectual assumptions said to verify your conclusions about human consciousness.

Which others [like me] have no way in which to falsify.

Still, I applaud your attempts to grapple with this. And I truly do hope that you are able win me over over down the road. From my frame of mind, here and now, anything is better than thinking about all this stuff the way that "I" do.

You just don't get any more cynical or pessimistic or problematic.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby phenomenal_graffiti » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:18 pm

More to the point [mine] what on earth does all of this mean? "Artifical reality"? With respect to the actual material interactions of two members of the human species out in a particular context, what can in fact be demonstrated to be genuine as opposed to artificial reality?


The artificial reality is the human consciousness created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness).

Proof (or should I say "proof") that our consciousness is an artificial reality is the "fact" (for those believing the brain creates consciousness) that the artificial reality winks out when one sleeps (if one dreams, the brain is merely creating another artificial reality different from the one that purportedly reflects objects and events in the external world), or if something should destroy or seriously debilitate the brain.

For example, if one should go to the hospital for an operation that requires anesthesia, falling unconscious from the anesthesia and waking up a micro-second later with the doc talking to your POV saying everything turned out fine is an example of your particular artificial reality being temporarily "turned off" for the operation. While you were unconscious, everyone else's brain-generated artificial realities were in progress as they operated upon you, waited for news of your successful (or unsuccessful) procedure in the waiting room, etc.

That which is 'actual material' (if it even exists) is that which lies outside the artificial reality created by the brain or anything in existence that is not one's consciousness produced by one's brain.

Now, in fact, neuroscientists and others are attempting just such experiments. Putting words to actual processes going on in the brain -- "things" in the brain -- so as to connect the dots between consciousness and mind and brain and behaviors we choose.

I see none of that here with you.

Might I advise that you take your "facts" about consciousness to them in places like this: https://blog.feedspot.com/neuroscience_blogs/

See what they think of your conclusions. Then come back here and carry on.


Primarily (I've saved the blog for later reading: and I plan to interact with them if I can) I can say that whatever they have discovered and come up with will only be part of the artificial reality created by their brain, and will and can reveal nothing about the world not created by their brain.

Look, one can assume that we are having this exchange at ILP as part of an "artificial reality" or one can take a leap to the possibility that it is actually unfolding between two entities who possess what we have come to call a consciousness.


Well, we each have our own brain-generated artificial reality (for those believing the brain creates consciousness) that would suddenly "go black" if something were to suddenly and unexpectedly go wrong with our brains. We are in the brain-generated artificial reality and anything that appears before us or any idea and belief in our head is not from the outside, but just another thing created by the brain irrespective of what's outside the artificial reality.

We can only have faith that something outside influences the brain and thereby influences the artificial reality that is our particular conscious experience, and I must say that if brains create consciousness, this probably the case as its hard to imagine an empty infinity filled with nothing but floating bodies and brains having their own internal made up worlds and interactions.

You and I interacting involves just your 'illusion' of me in your artificial reality and my 'illusion' of you in mine. But the way that you appropriately respond to the things I "say" and vice versa tempts common sense that you most probably actually exist outside my artificial reality. The point being that I'm not solipsist as I don't deny your existence (although I can't prove it: the artificial reality that is my own consciousness could just be elaborately fooling me that someone is interacting with me) and I don't particularly mind that you exist.

The artificial reality itself is just not proof of others' existence, nor can it be, as others are not our consciousness.

My point is that we just don't know how to close the gap between thinking this and believing this on the one hand, and explaining it going all the way back to whatever is "behind" the existence of existence itself.


True. I don't think anyone can do that. All we have are made up ideas that (for theologians anyway) we believe were given to us by Someone "on the outside". For those that do not believe in gods, there are only made up ideas and beliefs the subjects of which are believed to exist outside and interact with the artificial reality.

What you do here in my view is to take a shortcut. You assume that what you think you know about all of this [artificially or not] need be as far as the rest of us go.


My argument is that it's as far as we can go. Why? Because all we have and all we're ever going to have is the artificial, manufactured reality created by one's brain. Everything is produced by the brain, and nothing outside the brain and the artificial reality it produces (for those believing brains create consciousness) can appear in the artificial reality, as this other is...well...not created by the brain so that it can appear.
Nope, I'm not on board here. Though I sure as hell wouldn't advise others to be on board here with me.


Fair enough. And thanks.

But: You are not a full-blown solipsist yourself because you still "have faith that others exist."

Yet how on earth would you really go about examining and then explaining the difference?

Empirically, for example.

And then morally and politically?


Solipsism, if true, only means everyone other than you is what is called a 'philosopher's zombie", or a being that appears to be a self-propelled body in your artificial reality that speaks and responds to you in a meaningful way, but that completely lacks consciousness. For example, it is probably never spoken aloud (or at least I've never heard or Googled it) but the people you see and interact with in your dreams are probably philosopher's zombies. If they had consciousness of their own independent of you although they appear not in waking reality but in your dreams would mean that there is such a thing as a "sub-dimensional consciousness" or "People living inside other people".

Morally, someone who believed other people were philosopher's zombies, if not having a moral compass that simply allows them to laughingly "pretend" others are consciousness and play as such, would probably behave like the most reprehensible psychopath. Or not.

Politically? Don't know.

You admit that you embrace your frame of mind in part because it is comforting and consoling. But, in turn, you have still managed to think yourself into believing that it's not all that...or just that.

I believe or have the suspicion that it's not all that. I believe that even if we can't prove the afterlife exists, we also can't prove it doesn't, or can't, exist. I happen to believe it does, while open (but adverse) to the fact it may not.

But [in my view] you have no way in which to actually demonstrate this other than in a world of words. A particular set of intellectual assumptions said to verify your conclusions about human consciousness.

Which others [like me] have no way in which to falsify.


There's no way to demonstrate it, just as there's no way to demonstrate that something not generated by one's brain exists (for those believing brains create consciousness). The assumptions about human consciousness are stated to show that given the existence of the "here and now" consciousness, it is possible that a sibling to the "here and now" consciousness (such as an afterlife) exists.

If consciousness exists, and consciousness is an artificial reality that depicts a certain random, absurd world (this one)--that is the only choice of world that happened to exist and be created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness). But it is not impossible that a sibling to this consciousness, such as an afterlife, secretly exists. It may be that this consciousness doesn't have any siblings to replace it once its done, but their existence cannot be proven or disproven using the current artificial reality: one can only choose to believe or not believe in post-death consciousness.

Still, I applaud your attempts to grapple with this. And I truly do hope that you are able win me over over down the road. From my frame of mind, here and now, anything is better than thinking about all this stuff the way that "I" do.

You just don't get any more cynical or pessimistic or problematic.


Believe me, anyone honest with oneself at some point considers the cynical and pessimistic road given the nature and state of the world.

And I admit godless death or eternal sleep is a hell of a lot better than Christian hell (I am a flagging Universalist ruefully dipping toward Annihilism--a view that states the Bible actually points to a "godless" death awaiting the wicked rather than eternal torment in flame--as God just wants to be done with the wicked and not have them sticking around even for the sake of constant, eternal punishment [which to Universalists and Annihilists is overkill]).

My whole point is to "invincibly argue" using facts (or assumptions) about consciousness to "demonstrate" that the afterlife cannot be ruled out of hand: consciousness exists, and possibly exists eternally (if, you know, things don't come into and go out of existence) and is molded into persons and what persons experience by an unknown process (or person or persons). That same process (or person or persons) could in principle produce another consciousness to replace the current one when the first wears out.

Or not.

Regardless, while an afterlife cannot be demonstrated (as one has only the "here and now" artificial reality), given that consciousness somehow managed to exist in the first place, the afterlife (as it's just a person's consciousness showing something other than what the person used to experience in the "here and now") is not impossible or even improbable.
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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 EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:51 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
More to the point [mine] what on earth does all of this mean? "Artifical reality"? With respect to the actual material interactions of two members of the human species out in a particular context, what can in fact be demonstrated to be genuine as opposed to artificial reality?


The artificial reality is the human consciousness created by the brain (for those believing the brain creates consciousness).

Proof (or should I say "proof") that our consciousness is an artificial reality is the "fact" (for those believing the brain creates consciousness) that the artificial reality winks out when one sleeps (if one dreams, the brain is merely creating another artificial reality different from the one that purportedly reflects objects and events in the external world), or if something should destroy or seriously debilitate the brain.

For example, if one should go to the hospital for an operation that requires anesthesia, falling unconscious from the anesthesia and waking up a micro-second later with the doc talking to your POV saying everything turned out fine is an example of your particular artificial reality being temporarily "turned off" for the operation. While you were unconscious, everyone else's brain-generated artificial realities were in progress as they operated upon you, waited for news of your successful (or unsuccessful) procedure in the waiting room, etc.


Yes, I understand that what any particular human consciousness construes to be reality at any particular point in time can be shaped and molded into any number of states through sleep or hypnosis or drugs or disease.

But in any particular context we are able to connect the dots between what we think is real "in our head" and what is in fact real "out in the world". Or we are not. This exchange that we are having using this technology involves any number of interactions able to be demonstrated as "for all practical purposes" real. Unless, of course, you argue for sim worlds or demonic dreams or solipsism.

Or determinism. In a wholly determined universe every single thing is only as it ever could have been. And how much more real than that can anything get?

In the act of subsisting from day to day, we all take our own leaps to particular assumptions about realities deemed to be considerably more solid than others.

On the other hand, the reality of an afterlife may well be nothing but an artificial intellectual contraption that we invent [and then sustain] in our head. Self-consciously.

Invented perhaps to create and then sustain a more comforting sense of reality "psychologically".

You admit that you embrace your frame of mind in part because it is comforting and consoling. But, in turn, you have still managed to think yourself into believing that it's not all that...or just that.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: I believe or have the suspicion that it's not all that. I believe that even if we can't prove the afterlife exists, we also can't prove it doesn't, or can't, exist. I happen to believe it does, while open (but adverse) to the fact it may not.


This would seem to be just another rendition of the God argument. Someone says she believes that God exists. I ask her to demonstrate it. She can't but then asks me to demonstrate that God does not exist. I can't.

For me, the only thing that matters is the extent to which those who argue either for God or for an afterlife, are able to provide me a reason to believe it myself. And that involves going beyond arguments themselves, into the realm of actual physical evidence.

Now, sure, this may well be just a further extension of the artifical reality in my head, but I either believe a demonstrable God/afterlife exists or I don't.

And then beyond what I am able to believe is true is what is fact true going all the way back to why anything exists at all and why it exists as it does and not some other way.

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: My whole point is to "invincibly argue" using facts (or assumptions) about consciousness to "demonstrate" that the afterlife cannot be ruled out of hand...


Okay, but from my frame of mind, "arguing invincibly" that an afterlife cannot be ruled out is a long, long, long way from demonstrating invincibly that it does.

And with the abyss looming larger and larger in my own life, arguments themselves barely put a dent in my own apprehension.

On the other hand, I recognize in turn that should the pain in my life ever become intolerable, I may well find myself begging to die.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby Meno_ » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:42 pm

Okay, but from my frame of mind, "arguing invincibly" that an afterlife cannot be ruled out is a long, long, long way from demonstrating invincibly that it does.



The idea that the 'I' has some remainder value, begs the question considered, as a structural residual
may not be am either/or exclusive nominal logic behind it, but the quality of reasoning has also risen with the conditions of arguability.

In this way, the process could be visualized as a continuous process of integration and disintegration in terms of changing conditional boundaries, which do, in fact vary within and without transpersonal, transfamiliar, trans-national, territorial and.cultural contexts.

Weather these do exist sans individual conscious or, sub archytipical manifestations, is no longer in doubt

Therefore, these patterns cam recur. and manifest similar and even indifferentiable formats. This is precisely what Leibnitz concurred with.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:51 pm

Meno_ wrote:
Okay, but from my frame of mind, "arguing invincibly" that an afterlife cannot be ruled out is a long, long, long way from demonstrating invincibly that it does.



The idea that the 'I' has some remainder value, begs the question considered, as a structural residual
may not be am either/or exclusive nominal logic behind it, but the quality of reasoning has also risen with the conditions of arguability.

In this way, the process could be visualized as a continuous process of integration and disintegration in terms of changing conditional boundaries, which do, in fact vary within and without transpersonal, transfamiliar, trans-national, territorial and.cultural contexts.

Weather these do exist sans individual conscious or, sub archytipical manifestations, is no longer in doubt

Therefore, these patterns cam recur. and manifest similar and even indifferentiable formats. This is precisely what Leibnitz concurred with.


Maybe.

But how much closer does this really come to narrowing the gap between an invincible argument that the afterlife exists and an invincible demonstration of?

You have a way of putting things at times that makes me unsure about the extent to which you are only communicating stuff like this tongue in cheek.

But: If you are being serious here, how might I go about calculating the extent to which this does in fact bring us closer to the harder stuff.

In the way of actual empirical evidence for example.

Personally, I want to believe there's an afterlife. Just more convincingly than what is contained in most arguments about it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby Meno_ » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Meno_ wrote:
Okay, but from my frame of mind, "arguing invincibly" that an afterlife cannot be ruled out is a long, long, long way from demonstrating invincibly that it does.



The idea that the 'I' has some remainder value, begs the question considered, as a structural residual
may not be am either/or exclusive nominal logic behind it, but the quality of reasoning has also risen with the conditions of arguability.

In this way, the process could be visualized as a continuous process of integration and disintegration in terms of changing conditional boundaries, which do, in fact vary within and without transpersonal, transfamiliar, trans-national, territorial and.cultural contexts.

Weather these do exist sans individual conscious or, sub archytipical manifestations, is no longer in doubt

Therefore, these patterns cam recur. and manifest similar and even indifferentiable formats. This is precisely what Leibnitz concurred with.


Maybe.

But how much closer does this really come to narrowing the gap between an invincible argument that the afterlife exists and an invincible demonstration of?

You have a way of putting things at times that makes me unsure about the extent to which you are only communicating stuff like this tongue in cheek.

But: If you are being serious here, how might I go about calculating the extent to which this does in fact bring us closer to the harder stuff.

In the way of actual empirical evidence for example.

Personally, I want to believe there's an afterlife. Just more convincingly than what is contained in most arguments about it.




The answer maybe is surprisingly simple as it would create the impression that its simplicity is only another logical or semantic trap.

To my mind, the answer is impinged in the very question, since the calculus if many variables proves how, the gap has narrowed before it being talked about. There is a correspondence here between the onto and ontic logic, whereas that proves the narrowing by a chronological preference of the former toward the latter, and without such transcendence, the question could not even begin to be posed.

That is not to say its pure logic or mathematics, but there seemed a ' leaning toward' to such an interpretation.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:10 pm

The OP is correct from a pessimism of strength but he can say it better. Still good work my friend. Life is heavy and it can never dissolve except by totally converting all the energy out of the mass, enlightenment... the guru Babaji from the Hymalayas says you can withstand the atom bomb in full summasamadhi.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:16 pm

Also the student of his student swallowed a whole bag of xtc in Goa and just burped and went on his lecture, he was already there you see.
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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:23 pm

Meno_ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But: If you are being serious here, how might I go about calculating the extent to which this does in fact bring us closer to the harder stuff.

In the way of actual empirical evidence for example.

Personally, I want to believe there's an afterlife. Just more convincingly than what is contained in most arguments about it.


The answer maybe is surprisingly simple as it would create the impression that its simplicity is only another logical or semantic trap.

To my mind, the answer is impinged in the very question, since the calculus if many variables proves how, the gap has narrowed before it being talked about. There is a correspondence here between the onto and ontic logic, whereas that proves the narrowing by a chronological preference of the former toward the latter, and without such transcendence, the question could not even begin to be posed.

That is not to say its pure logic or mathematics, but there seemed a ' leaning toward' to such an interpretation.


Instead [in my view] you just do it again. You provide us with this "world of words" scholastic argument that gets us absolutely no closer to an assessment backed up by the sort of empirical evidence that might make the argument itself more intriguing.

So: What then will be your imagined fate after your own "I" tumbles over into the abysss that may or may not be oblivion?

What "harder stuff" do you have in the way of material evidence to back it up?

That's why, from time to time, I can't help but speculate that arguments like yours here are really just exercises in irony.

Attempts to point out why "intellectual contraptions" of this sort are of very little practical use in the course of actually living our lives, dying and then what?

Either that or an "analytic assessment" meant mostly to provide one with a psychological cushion in a really, really scary world that may well end in the obliteration of "I".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE AFTERLIF

Postby Meno_ » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:46 pm

There is ancorrespondence between Your proposition of tangible proof, and the kind of entropy devolution of mathematical logic toward pure logic.

The correspondence is narrowing because the logical connections of identifiable synthetic but elements within and without meaning, (which are at the base of identity per se); of consistent and consisting of being able to recognize and identifiable self, Yourself and mine, parallels the development of more general to more specific recognizable groupings.This was sunstantionally Cantor's general framework within more definable identifiable sets of variables.

That this is at the bottom a scholastic endeavor, there is no doubt, but its more than that

There is in stricter , more general logic, a loss, of particular types of connections, and what this downward trend indicates is: that when the Great Doubt comes up as a limit, and I mean that of the Descartian limit of total immersion of the intellect as 'I', within the diminishing field or context it finds itself in-: the existential limit of Being into Nothingness, it has nowhere else to go.Doubt total becomes the nothingness of the value of existence,
and the underlying logic devolved totally into the nihilistic regression, unto the myth, the myth of this or that.
Now this is where Nietzsche started and ended, in circular pattern, or eternal recurring thema.

That this relates to Your actual query, there is no doubt in my mind. The individual consciousness developed out of a subconscious, and that may have an origin as wide as the propositional logic of Wittgenstein; that words by way of signs and signaling may not have come up to the field of existence if not for the development of intemtionality of cosmic proportion, overcoming the constraint of individual semantic blocks, as if harboring the will to power to overturn the Cogito Ergo Sum to Esse eat Percipii. Remember Einstein's notion that if consciousness were not am archytipical essential part of existence. then the world would / could not exist?

That proposition. Is scholastic, rather rests on scholastic foundations of the kind Enselm proved.

Without the faithful adherence of Saint Enselm, the religious could hardly fathom its post modern significance as a connecting element between the original sign-the word-and - signifying or signaling It's coming.

The personality is sinking from less individually apprehensive identity, apprehensive and apprehensible in the calculus of minimum traits that Leibnitz talked about.In his sense the gap is getting narrower as the road to the Absolute becomes more proximal.

Your question about what happens to identity is right on the money, and the above show general propositions that relate to before and after the fall, as in Descartes pointed it out.

As the personality or the individual conscious identity falls , toward the minimal identifiable differences or characteristic traits, eventually becoming fused with the Absolute in individual consciousness of the so called death, the phrase 'Life is but a dream' comes to mind, when the separatability between conscious and sub/unconscious states is reached. At that point the question. of what happens after death becomes mute.

I choose to believe by a perfectly lucid argument , and many also do. Steiner is very close to this interpretation.

I believe that this argument rests, on all levels of inquiry. The specific existential nihilism is basically anti intellectual and more of a contradictory vision to an Anthropomorphic denial to faith based on religious grounds. The God is dead idea generally is not an argument against a man - god, but an argument around the concept of perfection in the Greek sense. It is not i who am trying to use it as an irony, as did probably Nietzsche, and am not especially alarmed at the thought of the death of the - 'i' , because we are heading toward a new integration, which can be had here, now, and for ever.

The Kingdom is near, and you have to die now, to get to heaven.

Tell me if any of this sounds like a contraption, or if, has any possibility of being an existentially limited reality.
I don't choose and didn't chose to believe out of fear, but it kind of shaped and formed me.
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