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Featured Consciousness

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Sleeppy, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    Argument: Consciousness is not solely an effect of the brain.



    When the brain is altered or damaged, a different consciousness results.

    When the brain is considered to be inactive, or dead--- consciousness is either:

    a) decaying/removed with the brain's cells (as evident with time, disease, damage, etc.),

    b) it is being retained to some degree, through transferal (e.g. consciousness is being transferred with social interaction, even now),

    c) or some combination.




    Argument 2: Consciousness is simply a description of energy transferal.
     
  2. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    The human brain is a biological receiver/transmitter. All of your memories are not stored in the brain. Your brain receives your personality and memory from your file in the sentient being program and transmits everything you experience to your file in the Sentient Being program. The sentient being program file is a part of God.

    If a certain part of the brain is damaged then certain personality traits cannot be expressed by the sentient being because certain areas are coded to receive/transmit certain specific traits.

    This allows you to remember who you are and the people you knew on the earth when your body dies and you begin your ascension to heaven.
     
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  3. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I'll go with we are interpenetrating physical, astral and mental bodies. Consciousness is fundamental and not created by brain activity but rather incarnates the interpenetrating bodies. Upon physical death, consciousness continues in the more subtle astral/mental bodies as reported in Near Death Experiences.
     
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  4. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    The notion that the brain is a "biological receiver/transmitter" seems to me more fanciful than true because it appears to be non-falsifiable.

    There's something touchingly human about our species' efforts to convince ourselves that some part of us survives death. The lengths we go to! It's as if there is no flight of fancy so improbable that we will not cling to it if it gives us even a shred of hope for an afterlife.

    In the end, the matter is at best quite obviously uncertain. And yet, we passionately convince ourselves we have proof of living beyond death.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I'm motivated to repeat something I posted in some other thread but tailored to this one. While it's true that using the tools of science we know about today, we can't prove mechanism, in these cases we can falsify at least part of the the claim of reincarnation because all of these cases can be checked carefully and the claim that some young children have memories of the traumatic death of someone else, but also have birth marks/defects corresponding to that death and that there is no way to explain this with current scientific knowledge.

    And the second point is that, as with string theory up to recently, there's no way of falsifying the theory currently but we should not dismiss it out of hand for that reason.

    So to me a reasonable scientific approach would be: there is some evidence for which survival of some part of us after death is an explanation. But we don't currently have a way of proving or disproving this.

    Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics?

    Stevenson’s magnum opus, published in 1997, was a 2,268-page, two-volume work called Reincarnation and Biology. Many of his subjects had unusual birthmarks and birth defects, such as finger deformities, underdeveloped ears, or being born without a lower leg. There were scar-like, hypopigmented birthmarks and port-wine stains, and some awfully strange-looking moles in areas where you almost never find moles, like on the soles of the feet. Reincarnation and Biology contained 225 case reports of children who remembered previous lives and who also had physical anomalies that matched those previous lives, details that could in some cases be confirmed by the dead person’s autopsy record and photos.
    ...
    First, he was convinced that there is only a brief window of time—between the ages of about two and five—in which some children retain these reminiscences of an earlier self. Importantly, their statements are, in principle at least, empirically falsifiable.


    Then as a second point, there are arguments that falsifyability can be taken too far: “I think falsifiability is not a perfect criterion, but it’s much less pernicious than what’s being served up by the ‘post-empirical’ faction,” says Frank Wilczek, a physicist at MIT. “Falsifiability is too impatient, in some sense,” putting immediate demands on theories that are not yet mature enough to meet them. “It’s an important discipline, but if it is applied too rigorously and too early, it can be stifling.”
     
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  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Thank you for an interesting, thoughtful, and informative post.

    If you closely read my comment, you should noticed I am attacking the notion that we have certain and assured proof that the brain is a transmitter/receiver of some sort, and of an afterlife, and not that the notions are impossible.

    My larger point is that our species seems to latch onto anything that gives it hope of transcending death, such is our fear of it, and inflate those things from being uncertain to being certain in our minds.

    To go a little further now, I think that's a reflection of our ego. That is, our ego appears to be a part of us that watches out for existential threats and that prompts us to defend against them, among many other things. What is a greater existential threat than death itself? The ego virtually goes bonkers trying to find some way out of it.
     
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  7. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    True. You did indeed make the statements as you said here.

    I was trying to address part of what you wrote - about falsifiability and couched my answer using a scientific frame-of-reference. I try to distinguish between scientific evidence on one hand and other kinds of knowing.

    And I do agree with you on how the ego works.

    But there are other kinds of knowing which might be called experiential. My father in law was with us as he was dying. He went through tremendous fear for quite some time. But on his last night he was very peaceful and his last words to us were "I'm ready now".

    On another occasion, I had a very strong dream that a friend who I did not know was sick came to me and said "I'm going to God" - I found out later she had died that night. Is this scientific evidence? Of course not. But these and a few other incidents were convincing to me.
     
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  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I just call such evidence "subjectively verified" evidence, and call "scientific evidence" "intersubjectively verifed" evidence. I loves me my terms! :D

    Indeed, such things can be quite convincing. It is a pity that they are not usually found by others to be as compelling, because these mysteries are among the most fascinating mysteries in life.
     
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  9. idav

    idav Being
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    Emotions are highly physical things so it's true that through monitor screens we are pushing and pulling real karma.
     
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  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Consciousness is related to time. Assume the past is untouchable in a reverse direction, so changing the past never happens. As a result it is impossible to know the future beyond a guess (since knowing the future equals being able to change the past). So there is the consciousness in the past which you cannot now change, and there is the consciousness in the future which you can change but cannot know. Which one is the real consciousness?
     
  11. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    Does knowing the future equate to being able to change the past?--
     
  12. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    Just because something is beyond our current ability to test doesn't make it untrue.

    And, it's only a matter of time before science reveals it.
     
  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Agreed.

    You have no way of being certain about that.
     
  14. idav

    idav Being
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    I like what your throwing out there, about whether there is proof, or even evidence that the brain and human body are completely and utterly physical objects that have no "brain contact" with the physical outside the body. What the ego tries so hard to protect, its identity. With as much as I see in science I think it's a possibility we just know everything that anyone has done in the "afterlife", because quantum physics shows evidence, not just that things can be entangled across space and time but within everything we already are. The ego part that tries so hard to create identity certainly doesn't like that.
     
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  15. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    It depends upon whether you can know the future. If you cannot know the future, then yes. If you can know the future then no. I'm just observing that my consciousness does not know what is coming except for some guessing, and using present knowledge cannot go back to change the past.
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Human consciousness is clearly an interactive and collective phenomena. So there is no doubt that aspects of any one individual's consciousness will survive on in the consciousness of many others of us after the individual mind dies. What probably does not survive, however, is the individualized arrangement of consciousness within a single mind. Which is what so many are afraid of losing.

    I, personally, am not particularly bothered by the idea that my individualized consciousness will be lost, forever. Because I don't see it is as such an important thing in the first place. Being one individual among the many billions of individuals that have lived, are living now, and will come to life after me doesn't make my individuality all that big a deal. Not even to me.

    Don't get me wrong, I like my individualized consciousness very much. And I have spent my life as an artist trying to express and share my individualized experience and understanding of being, with others. But when I am gone, there will be many more like me, after me, as there were before me, to do the same. My passing just makes room for them, and gives them their 'moment to shine', so to speak, just as the passing of those before me made room for me. And much of who I am will be there along with them, and even in them, as a part of the collective human consciousness, by means of the commonality of the human condition.
     
    #16 PureX, Sep 9, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  17. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Is the notion that consciousness and the ability of the individual to choose among available options are somehow an effect of something happening in the brain falsifiable?

    In any case, falsifiable or not, there is no rational reason to cling to a belief about that doesn't account for the evidence. The belief about consciousness being manufacturerd in brains doesn't account for the evidence.
     
  18. Nous

    Nous Well-Known Member
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    Interesting and informative. Until recently I've always dismissed the cases of past-life memories. That was easy to do because I didn't think that reincarnation or remembering someone else's life made much sense. I had read a little by and about Stevenson and his cases. But it didn't impress me. I wasn't sure that he used the most rigorous method.

    But recently I came across some of the work of UV Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences Jim Tucker. There are 2 recent and astounding cases he has investigated that have grabbed my attention. One is the fairly well-known case of James Leininger. https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual...ucker-James-LeiningerPIIS1550830716000331.pdf

    There is actually only way to account for the statements attributed to James such as in Table 1. One cannot account for these reported statements of James by alleging that his parents did something inexplicable and seeming immoral by spending years somehow researching this obscure WWII pilot and his death, the name of the ship he was on, the model of the plane he flew, how Corsairs bounced when landing resulting in flat tires, and a number of other facts, and spent years feeding James this information so that he would eventually repeat it. That isn't a possible explanation because “James had made all of the documented statements by the time he was four years old, so he could not have read about them. Regardless, no published materials about James Huston are known to exist. No television programs focusing on Natoma Bay or James Huston appear to have been made either.”

    The only explanation that accounts for the facts is that his parents did not engage in a years-long fraud, and that James actually made those statements that clearly depict the life and fiery death of WWII pilot James Huston.
     
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  19. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    Oh, so you know so much about how the universe really works that you pretend to know what I can and can't know?

    Just because you have climbed inside a small box to protect you from things you can't handle knowing does not mean the rest of us have.

    There is a plan, certain things are inevitable, they will happen, exactly when they happen is the only unknown.
     
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  20. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    First, you accuse me of being a know it all, then you profess you yourself know almost everything.

    You have no need to improve on your stand-up comedy material. You've perfected it.
     
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