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Why is life after death really not possible?


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#1 seriously disabled

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:45 PM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?


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#2 DrP

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:56 PM

When they say that the universe in infinite I think it means the spatial dimensions just go on for ever in all directions. I don't think it means that there are an infinite number of atoms. In fact I would have thought that there would be a finite number of atoms in our infinite universe.....  I don't see what it has to do with an after life though.


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#3 Strange

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:08 PM

When they say that the universe in infinite I think it means the spatial dimensions just go on for ever in all directions. I don't think it means that there are an infinite number of atoms. In fact I would have thought that there would be a finite number of atoms in our infinite universe.....  I don't see what it has to do with an after life though.

 

 

I'm not sure it is possible to have a finite amount of matter in an infinite universe - given that (in current models) the us inverse , and always has been, completely full of matter.


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#4 seriously disabled

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:08 PM

Thanks for the answer DrP.

By the way, I think you guys are pretty smart and I really do mean it.


Edited by seriously disabled, 15 June 2017 - 03:12 PM.

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#5 dimreepr

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:09 PM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?

 

It is possible, just not at a conscious level; all of our atoms are part of a finite closed system and will probably, given enough time, go on to be part of another human  sentient being.


Edited by dimreepr, 15 June 2017 - 03:10 PM.

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#6 Strange

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 03:13 PM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?

 

This idea comes up pretty regularly on the forum. I suppose that there could be a duplicate of you somewhere (or there was a little while ago, or will be in the near future). But I don't see how that could be called an "afterlife". Doppelgänger might be a better word. But as it is an unfalsifiable idea, it doesn't seem to have any value or interest, rather like solipsism or Last Thursday-ism.

 

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Solipsism

http://rationalwiki....ast_Thursdayism


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#7 KipIngram

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 04:05 PM

Do you mean because somewhere, in that infinite sea of atoms, would be another configuration of atoms just like you?  I don't see that that matters - if you're a set of atoms and is consciousness arises from that, then great - you're conscious.  But if somewhere across the universe was another set of atoms just like your set, then it would be conscious but those would be two different consciousnesses, right?  So if one of them dies now the other is still around, but the consciousness associated with the atoms that died is gone now.


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#8 Phi for All

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:16 PM

I've only heard arguments about consciousness living on after the body dies, finally being free of the limitations put upon it by an earthly body. The argument assumes consciousness is separate from the mind and is capable of changing from the use of electrochemical energy to some other energy not requiring a body.

 

I suppose the Christian afterlife is close to what you're talking about, since they seem to be able to walk the streets of gold and play harps and wear crowns and all, in addition to leaving their old bodies down here in the ground. You'd need a couple vials of omnipotence to do the whole exact molecular match maneuver, unless you don't think that matters much.

 

I think it would. Who you are now is based on everything that's happened before. Get that wrong and you'd have a different person, right? If a couple has two kids (Amy & Matt) within a year of each other, they aren't the same kids. If the same couple waits a year to have their first child, will it be Amy or Matt (or someone completely different)? I think each person would be different, and I think you'd be different too if your "consciousness" was living without a body. So would it be YOUR life after death?

 

The big question is why, if you get another identical body after death, hasn't anyone come back to tell us all about it?


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#9 swansont

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 06:35 PM

!

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As this is posted in biology, let's limit this discussion to literal (i.e. biological) life, rather than spiritual.


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#10 nec209

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:30 AM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?

 

I'm not sure what infinite number of atoms have to do with afterlife here.

 

If you mean soul or spirit that has unfortunately not been detected by science. If there no soul or spirit how can person go on living if every thing else in body dies and rots away.

 

If you mean there some life force energy that leaves the body with death? Again unfortunately that not been detected by science.

 

So all these is nothing more but a belief systems be it old religion or new religion. 

 

With out soul, spirit or life force energy how can person live after death?  And where does this soul, spirit or life force energy go heaven, other dimension or new body? None of these hypothesis have been detected by science.

 

So this nothing more but belief system be it old religion or new religion.


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#11 KipIngram

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:46 PM

I feel sure he's referring to emergent consciousness - that's what makes the "infinite number of atoms" significant here, since if you have an infinite number of atoms and you have some pattern of them "here" we'll call X (say it's me), then somewhere you'll have an identical pattern X' (which would be a copy of 'me').  Under the premise of emergent consciousness both of those patterns would be conscious, and would have the same memories, and so on.  It's hard to see how the two copies could wind up with exactly the same memories when one of them is "here" and one of them is "there," but I guess you could invoke the "identical patterns of atoms" on a larger scale (the environments of X and X') such that they'd have identical memories.

 

Anyway, I don't think the consciousness of X is the same as the consciousness of X'.  I think that's two identical but entirely separate conscious entities.  So the continued existence of X' doesn't give X "life after death."


Seems like you'd run into a boundary problem here.  In order for X and X' to have identical memories, then a huge environment around them would have to be identical as well (both X and X' would have to see the constellation Orion, for example, and every other thing of that sort).  Both would have memories of the same Presidents, the same coworkers, etc. etc. etc.  If the environments are that identical, how do you wind up having one of X or X' die without the other one dying too?  You've more or less got two copies of our universe, so you'd expect them to behave the same, wouldn't you?


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#12 swansont

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 12:55 PM

soul or spirit
soul or spirit 
old religion or new religion. 
old religion or new religion.

 

 

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I don't know how to be clearer. We are not discussing this, which means don't bring it up.

 

Any further posts that do will be hidden, regardless of whatever other discussion they might contain


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#13 Itoero

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:37 PM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?

Infinity makes everything possible. There are imo many paradoxes and logical impossibilities
which make infinity impossible.
Afterlife is about the consciousness which continues to exist after the death of the body.
This concerns a concept which is often part of a religion, it doesn't concern infinity.
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#14 KipIngram

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:13 PM

Infinity makes everything possible. There are imo many paradoxes and logical impossibilities
which make infinity impossible.
Afterlife is about the consciousness which continues to exist after the death of the body.
This concerns a concept which is often part of a religion, it doesn't concern infinity.

 

Yeah, I think swansont has made it very clear we are not discussing any sort of consciousness other than that which potentially emerges from physical structure.  Destroy the structure - you've destroyed the consciousness.  And in that context if you argue for the existent of duplicate structures, I don't think there's any way to claim that the two (separate) structures house the same consciousness.  You'd be talking about two consciousnesses that behaved in very similar ways, but they'd still be distinct.


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#15 ydoaPs

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

If our bodies are made of atoms and there is an infinite number of atoms in the universe because the Universe is infinite, then shouldn't an afterlife be theoretically possible?


Why would that imply life after death? Walk us through your thought process.
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#16 Bender

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:46 PM

The cells in our body die all the time. In a couple of years, nearly all cells in your body will be death, but new cells come to life to replace them. Yet in this cycle of cellular death and birth, our identity remains. So in a way, we are living our own afterlife, all the time.


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#17 Itoero

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:31 PM

Yeah, I think swansont has made it very clear we are not discussing any sort of consciousness other than that which potentially emerges from physical structure.  Destroy the structure - you've destroyed the consciousness.  And in that context if you argue for the existent of duplicate structures, I don't think there's any way to claim that the two (separate) structures house the same consciousness.  You'd be talking about two consciousnesses that behaved in very similar ways, but they'd still be distinct.

Consciousness is imo something that arises from our stored knowledge/experience and the way it interacts.
If you somehow can create the exact copy of someone in let's say 110 years and 2 months then he or she would have a different conscousness since consciousness is something that arises from our stored knowledge/experience.
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#18 Bender

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:51 PM

Consciousness is imo something that arises from our stored knowledge/experience and the way it interacts.
If you somehow can create the exact copy of someone in let's say 110 years and 2 months then he or she would have a different conscousness since consciousness is something that arises from our stored knowledge/experience.

Not if you made an exact copy, including all memories (although Heisenberg might make that theoretically impossible).


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#19 Strange

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 08:26 PM

Infinity makes everything possible. 

 

 

Nope. Things that are impossible still can't happen in an infinite universe.


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#20 John Cuthber

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:48 PM

Imagine building a model house out of lego bricks.

The take it apart and look at all the bricks.

Where did the "house" go?

"house" isn't a property of the bricks, but of their arrangement and interactions.

"Life" isn't a property of the atoms, but of their arrangement and interaction.

 

So, yes, afterlife is theoretically possible- but unimaginably unlikely.


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