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What Atheists Believe Happens When Life Comes to an End


Grim Reaper 6

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4 hours ago, Guyver said:

Everything you said about the body is true, but there’s a lot of people who believe in a thing called spirit which is separate from the body.

Believing  something doesn't make it true.  Regardless of how many people believe it.  

4 hours ago, Guyver said:

People have been contemplating about it, wondering about it, believing in it for a long time, and some of the great arguments have not been shown to be false.

What are the 'great arguments'?  People have been contemplating UFOs and Bigfoot for a long time.  

None of the arguments have been shown to be true.

4 hours ago, Guyver said:

For example, let’s say that the soul exists, and upon death it becomes some sort of invisible mist.  At the moment of death, as the soul leaves the body it transforms into something that science can’t measure or understand right now.  It’s like the energy of consciousness is existing in another dimension, very close to ours, so close in fact maybe there is some interaction?  Or maybe it is our own dimension, who knows?  Anyway, such a thing may exist and you may not be aware of it.

 Now you are just making stuff up like Will does.

An invisible mist?  Transforms into something that science can't measure? The energy of consciousness?   Another dimension?

Consciousness has no energy.  There is no 'invisible mist'.  The entirety of our immense knowledge of the universe comes from our measurements.  All you have done is show that belief is just so much an episode of The Twilight Zone.

 

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2 hours ago, Guyver said:

Fine.  But, the Beatles, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and many others heard and became influenced by a sound.  Blues musicians from America.  It inspired them, they copied it, spun it in their own way, sent it back, and it became Rock and Roll!  I’d say that is a pretty good example of proof that cultural exchange exists.  Maybe the soul exists too.  I’m not sure if I want it to or not…but if it does exist then I am powerless to change it.

Sound is a thing.  We know practically everything there is to know about sound.  Whoever argued that culture exchange doesn't exist?  

You are powerless to change anything in this universe...with the exception of one thing.  Your thoughts.  You are absolutely capable of changing your thoughts.  Logic and knowledge are not separate entities.  Belief is illogical.  You either know a thing or you don't.  You can never 'know' if a belief is true...one can only believe that their beliefs are true.  Which, in reality, is just belief on top of belief, until there is this huge mountain of belief.  The Mountain of Belief can never equal the Universe of Knowledge.  Knowledge is real.  Belief isn't.  Knowledge can be proved.  Belief cannot.  Many people belief Jesus walked on the surface of the water.  Knowledge says that never happened.

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1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

Can you truly measure a person's ethics, morality, or sense of humor?

Rough groupings might be done, but is that really measuring? Objectively asking questions can result in liars, or people misjudging themselves, or others. Bias is rampant. So... can we measure immaterial things such as these?

Yes, with an agreed universal benchmark as everyone of those things are subjective. 

Laughter starts with activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which produces endorphins. Measurement like that maybe?

 

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Beliefs also lead to shaping our perceptions and actions. We believe what is true and can believe what isn't. Both alter our subjective experiences. 

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9 minutes ago, joc said:

Sound is a thing.  We know practically everything there is to know about sound.  Whoever argued that culture exchange doesn't exist?  

You are powerless to change anything in this universe...with the exception of one thing.  Your thoughts.  You are absolutely capable of changing your thoughts.  Logic and knowledge are not separate entities.  Belief is illogical.  You either know a thing or you don't.  You can never 'know' if a belief is true...one can only believe that their beliefs are true.  Which, in reality, is just belief on top of belief, until there is this huge mountain of belief.  The Mountain of Belief can never equal the Universe of Knowledge.  Knowledge is real.  Belief isn't.  Knowledge can be proved.  Belief cannot.  Many people belief Jesus walked on the surface of the water.  Knowledge says that never happened.

The brain is truly fascinating. Our ability to isolate and scale objects is unique to my understanding. Because of our highly developed brain we can look at something like a pin, and then look at an elephant and scale the elephant in our heads to fit on the head of a pin.

It's just taken for granted, but it's actually quite an extraordinary ability. We just don't realise just how amazing that grey lump actually is. I think it's self diminishing to attribute all that incredible development to simply magic. We are capable of so much more. 

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2 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

Yes, with an agreed universal benchmark as everyone of those things are subjective. 

Laughter starts with activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which produces endorphins. Measurement like that maybe?

But what activates it (cortex), and by how much?

Youre pointing at a result, not a cause.

I'd agree we can measure results, but how do we measure the memories, and processing of the brain, that initiates the results?

Various imaging techniques might show brain activity, but unless we know exactly what a person is thinking, we are still guessing. Getting closer perhpas, but still a high degree of uncertainty.

If you show a person a picture of a clown and they laugh, and a brain scan is taken. Is the scan exactly the same if shown a slightly different clown? How could you define which clown would be funnier? Otherwise how would you map the response to a number?

And would it be consistent across multiple people? Unlikely...

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45 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

But what activates it (cortex), and by how much?

Youre pointing at a result, not a cause.

I'd agree we can measure results, but how do we measure the memories, and processing of the brain, that initiates the results?

Various imaging techniques might show brain activity, but unless we know exactly what a person is thinking, we are still guessing. Getting closer perhpas, but still a high degree of uncertainty.

If you show a person a picture of a clown and they laugh, and a brain scan is taken. Is the scan exactly the same if shown a slightly different clown? How could you define which clown would be funnier? Otherwise how would you map the response to a number?

And would it be consistent across multiple people? Unlikely...

Like I say, that's subjective.it would require cultural benchmarks. I doubt a universal one exists, or could exist. 

I would be surprised if there wasn't commonality between cultures. For instance, a picture of a man missing a hand may cause ire in middle east theocracies, local culture may paint him as a likely punished thief, whereas the same photo in a western world would likely initiate pity, thinking the hand was lost in an accident. The same regions of the brain react to the same emotions so that strikes me as at least detecting a region. We have also filmed a mouse chemically storing a memory. You're right that we are in an infancy stage of understanding, but what we do know is truly remarkable. And it is illustrating an amazing feat of evolution. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

Beliefs also lead to shaping our perceptions and actions. We believe what is true and can believe what isn't. Both alter our subjective experiences. 

:yes: 

Both knowledge (things we know to be true) and belief shape our actions.  Therefore, it is important to act on the things we know to be true, rather than acting on belief.  Belief tells us that, if one has enough faith, one can fly.   Knowledge of flight and aerodynamics tells us that, if we want to fly, we should seek out a reliable airplane pilot.

Changing our thoughts often just involves a logical thought when it comes to what we might believe.  Logical vs illogical.  Is what I think I might believe logical or not?  Is it logical to think that our thoughts continue after our body dies?  Or is it illogical?  Based purely on what we know of the brain and how it operates to create thoughts, logic dictates that when there are no more brain waves, there are no more thoughts, no more thoughts, no more perceptions or actions.  Logic also tells us that it is necessary to have a brain which creates thoughts in order to think.  Also, that if it is possible to think without a brain...then why do we have brains at all?  And what about our memory?  If an Alzheimer's patient dies...how would their memory or lack thereof affect consciousness after death?  What about the memory of a fetus?  Would they not then have the mentality of a fetus throughout eternity? 

Thought is everything.  How could an 'invisible mist' contain the memory of our brain?  And if it could, how would new thoughts and memories be generated?  Not Logical. 

Edited by joc
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I believe I can fly. I need to take the classes, pass the test and fly small planes.

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6 hours ago, Guyver said:

May I ask a question here?  If this notion about a person having a soul or spirit is such a bunch of BS, how is it that a person can have their chakras aligned, and why does acupuncture work?

Hi Guyver

Not sure what chakras are or if they exist any more than soul. Accupuncture deals with the body which can physically react so results can be measured but have no personal experience with it. Actually I don't even go to the doctor very often, usually if I need to get stitched up or a cast and can go for years without seeing one. To me spirit is about me interacting with life. 

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5 hours ago, Guyver said:

Isn’t experience how we learn things?  Maybe we humans learned that people have a soul that cannot be seen, and this belief has been shared with others who also believe in something like that.  It means that there could be and probably is something to it.  Where there is smoke there is fire brother.

Hi Guyver

For 10s of thousands of years man has watched man and at one time was grasping at ways to descibe things they had no answer for because they were at the begining of discoveries that eventually became understood through the develpoment of scientific method. Religious constructs are so ingrained that some think those constructs are exempt of criticism or real world explainations. Fog can seem like smoke but has no fire.

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8 hours ago, psyche101 said:

Hell no

We're brothers in strings dude :)

And we both like golf

And AC/DC.

 

 Bon Scott all the way. 🤘

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Guyver

For 10s of thousands of years man has watched man and at one time was grasping at ways to descibe things they had no answer for because they were at the begining of discoveries that eventually became understood through the develpoment of scientific method. Religious constructs are so ingrained that some think those constructs are exempt of criticism or real world explainations. Fog can seem like smoke but has no fire.

So, well said.

It's fascinating to consider the evolution of human thought and the progression from relying on religious constructs to the development of the scientific method for understanding the world around us. As you mentioned, for thousands of years, people sought to explain the unknown through various beliefs and mythologies until empirical evidence and rational inquiry began to shape our understanding of the natural world.

Critical thinking, these days is compulsory and I took it a few years back emphasized in a college philosophy course, philosophy is now required for most degrees and plays a crucial role in teaching us to evaluate our beliefs and assumptions these days. It encourages us to question, analyze, and challenge our perspectives, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world. Many of our beliefs are inherited or accepted without much scrutiny, if scrutinized at all and are often based on cultural, societal, or personal influences. This was the first assignment in this course to literally do an inventory of beliefs. Many of mine fell away after this it was uncanny how many were just accepted or questioned. 

Reflecting on beliefs and exploring why humans hold them can be a valuable exercise in self-awareness and intellectual growth. By questioning assumptions, we can develop more nuanced perspectives, navigate complex issues with greater clarity, and engage more thoughtfully with the world around us.

While religious constructs and faith-based beliefs have played significant roles in human history and continue to hold sway in some lives, the integration of critical thinking and scientific inquiry offers additional tools for understanding the universe and our place within it. Finding a balance between faith, reason, and skepticism is a viable integrated approach. 

Edited by Sherapy
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Posted (edited)
On 3/24/2024 at 4:11 PM, Grim Reaper 6 said:

 

Scientists say that energy cannot be created — or destroyed. Therefore, when one dies, a body’s energy must go somewhere else. Scientists say this energy is redistributed into other forms upon one’s death.  Some atheists believe their death brings about this transformation. Though they don’t believe in any afterlife, they believe their death simply transforms their energy into something else in the universe.

 

  

I never understood how this stuff about energy can't be destroyed has anything to do with the afterlife question. Atheist materialists do not believe in any general life force energy and the energy in the body is just the energy and matter of the constituent atoms, electrons and molecules and cells. So, the matter and energy is still there, but the processes to keep the brain cells functioning end so consciousness ends. There is nothing that experiences peace or anything.

Edited by papageorge1
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

So, well said.

It's fascinating to consider the evolution of human thought and the progression from relying on religious constructs to the development of the scientific method for understanding the world around us. As you mentioned, for thousands of years, people sought to explain the unknown through various beliefs and mythologies until empirical evidence and rational inquiry began to shape our understanding of the natural world.

Critical thinking, these days is compulsory and I took it a few years back emphasized in philosophy course, philosophy is now required for most degrees and plays a crucial role in teaching us to evaluate our beliefs and assumptions. It encourages us to question, analyze, and challenge our perspectives, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world. Many of our beliefs are inherited or accepted without much scrutiny, often based on cultural, societal, or personal influences. This was the first assignment to literally do an inventory of beliefs. Many of mine fell away after this it was uncanny how little I had questioned. 

Reflecting on beliefs and exploring why we hold them can be a valuable exercise in self-awareness and intellectual growth. By questioning our assumptions, we can develop more nuanced perspectives, navigate complex issues with greater clarity, and engage more thoughtfully with the world around us.

While religious constructs and faith-based beliefs have played significant roles in human history and continue to hold sway in some lives, the integration of critical thinking and scientific inquiry offers additional tools for understanding the universe and our place within it. Finding a balance between faith, reason, and skepticism is viable. 

Things simply believed require no real-world explanation by those who choose to believe. Everyone else can choose not to. The same applies to cargo cult science where conclusions are first reached and then data sets are given dubious interpretations to support those conclusions. The term "cargo cult science" was first coined by Dr, Richard Feynman.

More on the crisis in research: Feynman on 'cargo cult science' - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

Edited by Hammerclaw
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1 minute ago, Hammerclaw said:

Things simply believed require no real-world explanation by those who choose to believe. Everyone else can choose not to. The same applies to cargo cult science where conclusions are first reached and then data sets are given dubious interpretations to support those conclusions. The term "cargo cult science" was first coined by Dr, Richard Feynman.

More on the crisis in research: Feynman on 'cargo cult science' - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

Anything should be and can be questioned that is the viability of critical thinking. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

Anything should be and can be questioned that is the viability of critical thinking. 

Believers don't want any of that. That's the province of skeptics who can question to their heart's content. Believers seem to exist in their own separate reality. They're very uncritical.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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22 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

Believers don't want any of that. That's the province of skeptics who can question to their heart's content. Believers seem to exist in their own separate reality. They're very uncritical.

Indeed, navigating the interplay between belief and skepticism is a delicate dance that can lead to profound insights and personal growth. I get that  believers find solace and guidance in their faith traditions, and skeptics bring a critical lens that challenges assumptions and promotes evidence-based reasoning. We want to avoid extremes. 

 

Finding a balance between faith and skepticism allows for a more integrated understanding of the world, hi-lighting intellectual curiosity, empathy, and tolerance for each other. By remaining open to questioning, exploring diverse perspectives, and engaging in respectful dialogue, posters can cultivate a nuanced worldview that honors and respects both the comfort of belief and the rigors of critical inquiry. This blend of faith and skepticism can pave the way for intellectual growth, deeper understanding, and a richer engagement with the complexities of human beliefs and experiences. IMHO

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

Indeed, navigating the interplay between belief and skepticism is a delicate dance that can lead to profound insights and personal growth. I get that  believers find solace and guidance in their faith traditions, and skeptics bring a critical lens that challenges assumptions and promotes evidence-based reasoning. We want to avoid extremes. 

 

Finding a balance between faith and skepticism allows for a more integrated understanding of the world, hi-lighting intellectual curiosity, empathy, and tolerance for each other. By remaining open to questioning, exploring diverse perspectives, and engaging in respectful dialogue, posters can cultivate a nuanced worldview that honors and respects both the comfort of belief and the rigors of critical inquiry. This blend of faith and skepticism can pave the way for intellectual growth, deeper understanding, and a richer engagement with the complexities of human beliefs and experiences. IMHO

Different strokes for different folks. it's an untenable position when some believers lack the educational foundation to even begin to understand what a scholarly person, such as yourself, is even saying. When one chooses to believe, one chooses not to question. Not all minds strain sunward like a towering redwood. Some would rather dally in the shade.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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There's nothing wrong with having beliefs. It's only when they produce negative results that it becomes a problem.

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Can't we all just get along?

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16 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

Can't we all just get along?

I don't believe we can...

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12 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I don't believe we can...

In which case, a lack of belief has produced the negative result.

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9 minutes ago, Antigonos said:

In which case, a lack of belief has produced the negative result.

I don't believe so...

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