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  1. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Prometheus; This probably sounds very reasonable to you and it is, as far as it goes, but I don't think that you understood the scope of what I was saying. When I state that consciousness is a vast subject, I am not exaggerating, in fact it is really an understatement. Consciousness is not the result of the communication, it is the communication. This communication does not just go on between cells, it also goes on within cells and applies to single cell life. I am not talking about just our bodies, I am talking about all multicell life on the planet -- animals, plants, fish, birds, insects, etc. This communication does not just occur within bodies, it also goes on between bodies of the same specie, and probably more. Is there evidence of this? Yes. The activity of a cell tells us that it is alive, that it senses, perceives, or whatever you want to call it, and that it will do whatever it can to survive by filling it's nutritional needs and reproducing. This sensing or perceiving is an awareness that it has needs and what it needs, so that is communication within the cell -- consciousness. The communication between cells of all multicellular life forms is directed and regulated by hormones, which also regulate the systems of the body causing homeostasis. It is interesting to note that some hormones can click on and off different aspects of DNA. Hormones can get very busy. The communication between life forms of the same specie is directed and regulated by pheromones, which are the only things that I know of that contribute to the self balancing of ecosystems. There may be other things that contribute to this, but for now the only thing that I know is that pheromones contribute to the balancing of an ecosystem much like hormones do in a body -- a kind of homeostasis. Many people think of pheromones as only related to sex, but this is not true. Pheromones can help to satisfy any survival instinct need that the species has that is also regulated by their hormones, such as ants tracking a trail to food. So if you think about an acre of woods and all the life forms and species within that woods, including insects and blades of grass, then the communication going on in there would be comparable to the communication going on in a brain. All of it chemically related. Then if you consider that all survival instincts, regulated by hormones or pheromones, are activated by or work through feeling and/or emotion, then you have your connection between physical chemistry and emotion, survival instincts, and the unconscious reactive instinctive mind. We don't know what the parameters of mind are. Are our minds individual? The rational aspect of mind certainly seems to be individual. Is the unconscious mind individual or connected as a specie, which would explain bonding and seem to correlate with Jung's collective consciousness. Is all of the unconscious mind connected, so that all life is part of this connection? It could certainly explain the self balancing of ecosystems. We don't know. I read an article where the author stated that it is more likely that we are in consciousness, than it is that consciousness is in us. I can't agree with him, but I can't dispute it either, because the evidence seems to support his thoughts. You can not know how many times over the years that I have had to readjust my beliefs, not just religious beliefs, but beliefs in my perspective of reality and how it works. It has been a long soul-searching type of study, so I do not expect you to change your mind and take the above on my word alone. I will request that there be no more "scab picking philosophy". If you think I am wrong about something, then look it up. If you find that I am wrong, then show me your evidence. The brain is a player in this game, as the brain digitalizes the communication or consciousness into thought, the rational aspect of mind, which is what most people consider their consciousness. The problem with NDE's is that they show signs of being a product of the unconscious aspect of mind, rather than the conscious aspect. This is why I am fairly sure they are not imagination as imagination is a product of the conscious mind. NDE's seem to be a product of emotion -- the unconscious mind. This is what Endercreeper01 said, "It is certainly evidence to any reasonable person. There is no denying that many people have had these experiences and that they mean something." This is what Beecee said, "Please explain to me how another person's delusions, illusions, dreams, imaginations, experiences are evidence for anything other then delusions, illusions, dreams, imaginations and experiences? Please explain to me how any personal experience that maybe unexplained, is evident of anything supernatural." When Endercreeper01 responded, was it to the question of the underlined delusions, illusion, dreams, imaginations, and experiences or was the response an explanation to Beecee's second statement? Unless you asked or have special powers, you can't know. I looked throughout the thread and Endercreeper01 did not mention the supernatural at any other time. Let's be honest here, if Endercreeper01 actually thinks that it is supernatural, so what? Everyone has a right to their opinion. That just means there is one more superstitious person in this thread. There is no reason to waste a whole page arguing it. This is another example of "scab picking philosophy". He very clearly stated before and after that time that it was only one indicator, and the most commonly used one for practical purposes. CharonY confirmed this in her post that it is used for practical purposes. Although I understand your frustration, there is very little you can tell me about this. My mother was a nurse, who worked until her mid 80's; my grandmother was a nurse, who worked until her 70's; many of my aunts and great aunts were nurses, and I have heard all of the stories. Let me tell you a story. When I was about 14 years old, I was reading a magazine article about heart disease. My mother and grandmother were sitting at the table having tea when I approached them and told them that I had learned that a huge number of people died from heart attacks. They looked at me, looked at each other, then started to laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Every time they seemed to get under control, they would look at each other and start up again until they had tears in their eyes. Finally, one of them gasped out, "What happens when you die?", then the other one answered just like a punch line, "Your heart stops." then they laughed some more. Once they got under control, they explained that often the Death Certificate reads that the cause of death was the heart, but it is not always true. The problem is that even if the doctor suspects another cause of death, he can't put it down without evidence, but he can always write that the heart stopped, so that is what is recorded. This would have been about the mid 60's, and taught me to wonder about statistical evidence. One has to wonder if we are conquering heart disease, or if we just have better diagnostic equipment. It would be nice if everyone could be evaluated as to "brain death", but there is not enough equipment nor enough necessity to have it trucked all over the country, at great expense, when it is not always needed. I'm just glad that we are not burying people alive anymore. He differentiates between clinical death and actual death, so I do not see the problem. He is trying to describe a unique situation, which is near death, so he has to find measures of death and what causes that unique situation. Cut him some slack. This is not cherry picking. Cherry picking is where you chose the information that you want and ignore the rest. He did not ignore the rest and even gave percentages of people who don't experience this or who experience it differently, and even gave explanations as to why he thought some people would not experience it. I found the stories very interesting and thought they seemed valid if one considers that these experiences may come from the unconscious reactive instinctive aspect of mind,, rather from the rational conscious aspect of mind. What I think is that you are mired in the details to such a degree that you do not understand what he is talking about. You seem very angry also, so I think that your biases about an "afterlife" or the "supernatural" may be affecting your judgment. As I stated in my first post, I don't see how an afterlife is possible, and I long ago dismissed the idea of the supernatural, so I don't have any biases that prevent me from looking at this idea. I have also experienced some things and know people who have experienced some things that make me think something is going on here. You are a detail person, which is going to drive me crazy; I am a general idea person, which is going to drive you crazy, but it should make for some interesting conversation. Gee
  2. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Prometheus; You were a nurse. Right? How many years did you have to train in order to be a nurse? Then how many years did you have to work and gain experience before you were a good nurse? Do you honestly believe that you could write a post to me that would enable me to understand the job of nursing? If that were the case, people would not have to train for that job. I can not give you an understanding of consciousness in this post. People have trained and worked for entire lifetimes and still do not have a complete understanding. I don't know what you think I could teach you, but if your request was sincere, I would think that you would have asked about what you should study. I can tell you this: Stop thinking of consciousness as the brain -- consciousness is essentially communication. Back in the day, people assumed that consciousness meant the brain or language, because that was how we communicated. We now know that every cell in our bodies, every cell in every body, communicates as long as it is still alive. It communicates, not through language, but through chemistry. Once you understand that, then you would have to learn about mind, the divisions of mind, how the rational conscious mind works, and how the unconscious instinctive mind works, and how Jung's collective consciousness works. Then if you did some serious studying on the concept of "self" and the mind-numbing considerations of how that works with emotion and bonding, you would be in a position to maybe work on the idea of NDE's in some kind of intelligent fashion. This would be a lot better than superstitious notions of afterlife or the supernatural. I did review it again, and again,, and again. It is time for you to review it again from the top of that page, but this time look for specific things. Did Endercreeper01 actually type the word, supernatural? If not, then who did? How did the word seem to come from Endercreeper01? What you will find is that it is inferred that Endocreeper01 stated something about the supernatural. In law, this is what we call "leading the witness". This is where you put something into the question that infers or implies an idea or fact that causes a misrepresentation of the answer. This is the reason why you get an attorney to come with you when you answer questions, so that no one uses this trick on you. I worked in law too long to be fooled by this kind of nonsense. Following are the specific quotes that irritated me: "And then he's quite disingenuous about how he describes the time of death of a patient: often the cessation of a heart beat. The reality is usually half an hour after the nurse has bleeped some lazy doctor for the 3rd time, but now i'm ranting." and "So yes, it appears this doctor is using the thin veneer of medical science to spout rubbish." Not only are the above statements untrue, they are also a slur on the character of the doctor. Now if you stated that this doctor's license was revoked, that might be evidence. Or if you stated that multiple people have sued him for malpractice, that might be evidence. Or if you could show that he had been repeatedly dismissed from various positions, that might be evidence. You did not provide any evidence and only used insult, innuendo, and gossip to rebut his statements. Gossip is not evidence, and if you can't tell the difference, then you are not talking Science or Philosophy. I doubt that it was deliberate on your part. For myself, I am probably too damned demanding. In the study of consciousness, it is just too easy to mistake what is true, as it is a very elusive study fraught with biases, assumptions, speculations, and a huge history of misrepresentation, whether religious or otherwise. Because I have studied this for so long, I have developed a rather sinister view of anything that misrepresents truth. I apologize. I am sure she will survive it. If you look 5 or 6 years back in the forum history, you will find that some branches of Science were better represented in this forum years ago than they are now. I personally know of two scientists, who used to be members here, but are now moderators in other Science forums. There are probably more, and I do not want to lose any more scientists -- especially the really good ones. CharonY does not agree with my interpretation of consciousness, but she has too much professional integrity to try to manipulate the data in order to try to prove me wrong. I have a very high respect for a scientist with professional integrity. You are still talking about the brain. Gee Strange; This is a fine example of "scab picking philosophy" where you ask a question that has no real relevance to NDE's, then I try to answer the question, then you dispute that, and so on, and so on, until no one can remember the topic. Do you see how this works? Well, Strange, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe something else activates DNA, hormones, and pheromones. Please provide information on the other things that activate DNA, hormones, and pheromones. Gee Dimreepr; If you look at the second emoticon, it comes up as "unsure" when I hover my mouse over it. When someone says they are "unsure" of something, that often means that they would like more information. If I interpreted that incorrectly, I apologize. It was not my intent to be condescending, it was my intent to be clear in my explanation. Please remember that although the post was to you, many other people may read it, so I tried to make it clear to anyone, who might read it no matter their level of training or experience. Gee Strange; No. A belief in "God" is not supernatural. You could review the first post in my thread, Understanding the "God" Concept, for more information, but consider that what most people call the supernatural is actually just natural phenomenon mixed with the unconscious aspect of mind. Nothing to worry about. Gee
  3. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Prometheus; I was half way through a very long post to you when I lost it. My apologies. Since the trees in the backyard decided to break into my sewer pipes, and tomorrow's election has some proposals that I would like to review again, I will not be able to respond to your post for a few days. Again, my apologies. Gee
  4. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Beecee; In order to say that Endercreeper01 mentioned "the supernatural", Endercreeper01 would actually have to type the words "the supernatural" in a post in this thread. Facts are facts. That did not happen. I checked. You are the one who inferred it through your interpretation of Endercreeper01's comment. The fact that it was not disputed does not prove anything, as I often do not bother to dispute some rather idiotic things that other people state. To do so would take the thread way off topic, and wouldn't change anyone's mind anyway. The "supernatural" does not exist. There is no such thing; there is natural and there is man made, that is all. When people use the word, supernatural, they are just talking about something that is still unknown and not understood, but they are also attaching some kind of mystical quality to it. This means that they are superstitious. A person who uses the word, supernatural, is superstitious in my opinion. Gee
  5. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Prometheus; No one has argued against this because there is nothing to argue. If you actually listened to the videos in the OP and you read the citation that you provided, you will find that they are mostly in agreement as to the facts. There might be some disagreement in the opinions, but it is only slight. Nothing has been "deconstructed". The only thing "wanting" is a better understanding of consciousness, which you clearly do not possess. While reviewing this thread, I noted that you and Strange both made arguments against the idea of an afterlife to Endercreeper01. The problem is that Endercreeper01 did not make any claims about an afterlife anywhere in this thread. I think it was Beecee, who argued with Endercreeper01 about the supernatural. Again, Endercreeper01 did not make any claims about the supernatural. I am not sure if I have ever seen so much armchair philosophy, as you seem to be making up false arguments, blaming them on others, then disputing them. And the "click it squad" just loves this, and even gave you and mistermack up votes for your false information regarding the time of death. I got down voted for trying to explain something that is very complex, and CharonY got ignored by the "click it squad" for giving valid information regarding death. If there was ever a good reason to rename the "click it squad" the "idiot squad", this is it. I am going to put an up vote on CharonY's post, so maybe we won't lose another scientist to a different forum where they are given respect. I also put an up vote on Endercreeper01's post to reverse the down vote, because there was nothing wrong with it. Gee
  6. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Dimreepr; You get a +1 for questioning this instead of just assuming the answer. I am going to try to explain this in a way that anyone should be able to understand. Reductionism is where you reduce the idea of something to something else that is more understandable, like saying that consciousness is the "soul" or the "brain" or even "God", which is not a sufficient explanation. If you are correct, it is not a problem, but if you are not correct, it becomes a huge problem. Imagine that we took an automobile to a primitive place where no one had ever seen an automobile. While examining it, one person notes that the tires do not feel like the other parts of the auto. You explain that tires are rubber, so they are different. The people there associate "tire" with "rubber", or they reduce the idea of rubber to a tire. Later, I am trying to explain this really cool new material called elastic. I explain that it is made of rubber and you attach it to the waistband of your pants to keep them from falling down. The people there look at me like I am crazy because no one in their right mind would attach a tire to their pants and wear it around their waist. This is how Reductionism can fail. If I talked about the eraser on a pencil or a rubber tree or even the rubber soles of shoes, I am going to look like an idiot because the people there will visualize a tire, as that is all they know about rubber, so I will make no sense. Tires are only products of rubber; they are not rubber. The soul and the brain are products of consciousness. The soul is a product of consciousness through religious interpretation; the brain is a product of consciousness through the evolution of conscious life. Neither are consciousness. A thousand years ago when the Monism v Dualism debates started raging, many theories of consciousness erupted from these debates mostly centering around soul, the brain, or illusion. The problem is that when you reduce consciousness to either "soul" or "brain", you have to exclude other life from consciousness, or you have to prove that all life has a "soul" or all life has a "brain". As far as I know, neither daffodils nor crabgrass has a "soul" or a "brain". You can decide that other life is not conscious (which Science has been systematically proving wrong), or you have to go with the illusion ideas, which turn Science into a joke. If you look on page 2, Part 2, of my thread, Understanding the "God" Concept, you can read about what I think of that nonsense. In Philosophy, your premise, the original truth that you base your thoughts on must be valid. If it is not valid, then all your work (thoughts) will be corrupted and you will produce garbage instead of Philosophy. Think of it like a laboratory where you are trying to research biology. If your lab is not clean and sterile, then the other materials will corrupt your work and you will produce garbage instead of Science. Same principle. For my premises, I look to Science, because I trust Science. Science states that life has DNA. You can think of DNA like a computer chip, which contains memory and knowledge that tells a life form how to grow. All multicellular life has hormones, and all life that has hormones also has pheromones. Hormones guide and dictate survival instincts. All survival instincts work through or are activated by feeling/emotion. DNA, hormones, and pheromones when put in a vial do absolutely nothing, because they need to be in a life form in order to activate. They activate through awareness. So life has memory, knowledge, feeling/emotion, and awareness. That is consciousness. The only component of consciousness that all life does not seem to possess is thought. Science is pretty secure in the knowledge that thought is digitalized by a brain and thinking is processed by a brain, so a brain is required for actual thinking. In a thread like this, you can not reduce consciousness to the "brain" or the "soul". The brain dies well before all of the body loses consciousness. "God" does not drop in a soul for instantaneous life, and does not suck out the soul for instantaneous death. That is a religious belief, not Science. Gee
  7. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Jfoldbar; This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially in a thread like this. At least you have done some studying on the subject. I had not seen Parnia's videos before so this was new material for me, although I have studied other things that are related. The biggest problem that I have with Dr. Parnia is that he is a medical doctor, and studies the body; he does not appear to be a Philosopher or Psychologist, so I am not sure what he understands about mind and consciousness. Medical doctors tend to view consciousness in levels that relate to the state of the brain, such as conscious, semi-conscious, unconscious, asleep, and varying levels of coma, etc. Psychology breaks mind into the rational self-directed conscious mind and the unconscious reactive instinctive mind. This is an important difference as this subject is more about mind than it is about the brain. NDE's are also more about mind than they are about the brain. We actually do not know how mind and brain connect. We know a lot, we know that they are clearly interrelated and connected in some way, but we do not yet understand that connection. I suspect that understanding the connection would help to explain this time variance that occurs in some NDE's. Well, I'm not too sure how relevant that six minutes is. If you watch the video again, you may note that he states it takes hours for all of the body to shut down. This is the same information that I got from our resident Biology expert, CharonY. So do we die when we stop breathing and our heart stops beating? Or do we die when the brain loses oxygen six minutes later, and the brain dies? Or do we die when the last organ and cell in our bodies gives up the ghost hours later and quits trying to survive? Or like you stated at the beginning of this post, we are nothing but chemistry, so do we die when the chemistry breaks down? We don't really know when death happens. What we do know is that chemistry (hormones) affects awareness within the body. We also know that chemistry (pheromones) affects awareness between bodies. And we know that the brain is swimming in a bath of chemistry. So IF chemistry is what connects brain to mind, then it is entirely possible that the Religions are correct in the sense that we might exist longer than we suspect -- but not indefinitely. It is interesting to note that Religions that believe in the afterlife tend to want to preserve the body -- to hold consciousness together? And Religions/Philosophies that tend to accept reincarnation don't necessarily want to preserve the body -- to free consciousness? For myself, I am starting to like the idea of cremation a lot. I haven't been good. (chuckle) Gee
  8. Hey!

    Cladking; It's been a long time. I missed you. I am sorry that you had to deal with this, but it is common on many forums and supported by some administrators. I think they try to be fair here. The only real complaint I have is with the "click it squad" that I have been thinking of renaming the "idiot squad", but I am not sure if that is acceptable. (chuckle) And there are not enough philosophers here. You and I study different things, but I will look forward to reading your thoughts. I certainly won't object. Don't worry about Strange, as he seems to have some anger issues of late, but will probably work them out. I will object if you disappear again without giving me a way to contact you. Send me a PM and let me know how you have been. Gee
  9. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Dimreepr; No. This is not rational; it is not even Rationalism -- it is Reductionism. The only thing that "soul" and "brain" have in common is consciousness, and you are trying to reduce consciousness to one or the other, which is what Monism v Dualism has been trying to do for a thousand years. It can not be done. The brain is a big-time player in consciousness and can not be removed from it, as the brain is what processes consciousness and magnifies it, amplifies it, absorbs incoming information, and even causes a reflection or mirroring of consciousness, which is (I suspect) what causes self awareness. The "soul" is what Religion interprets as the "self". When Philosophy or Science discusses this aspect of consciousness, they use the term "self" rather than the term "soul". We are talking semantics here. If you use the proper term, self v brain, you will find that it takes a lot of the heat out of the argument and makes it much more rational. Are you your self or are you your brain? I suspect you are both. I also suspect that self is a property of awareness. Since awareness does not seem to be possible without matter, then that would also make self a property of the brain. For anyone who has trouble following this, it means that the "soul" would also be a property of the body/brain. Gee Strange; All you are doing here is moving the goal posts. In all truth, if you do not know the difference between dreams, hallucinations, illusions, and awareness, then maybe you should look them up, or stop posting in these kinds of threads. If you are silly enough to think that Parnia does not know the difference just because you do not know the difference, you are deluding yourself. I never thought I would find a 'science guy' spouting illusion theories, as they tend to dismiss Science as irrelevant. I never denied that the brain is inside the head. Do you remember the cell phone metaphor? Did I at any time state that the message came from anywhere except the cell phone? No. I did not. You are practicing what I call "scab picking philosophy", which is where you scan the post for any flaw that you might find, whether real or imagined, then respond without trying to understand what I actually stated. Try reading my posts for understanding, ignore what you imagine I mean, and focus on what I actually state. Then think about it a while and respond with something that is worth reading. Here you are using sarcasm. Do you know that sarcasm is just veiled anger? It is also a taunt, which is one step away from bullying. If you actually read what I stated, you know that I warned against coming to "some very bad and invalid conclusions". If you do not understand how people can do this, then just look up five or six different theories of consciousness, where people have come to conclusions that are only valid in some ways to some degree, but are not a comprehensive theory of consciousness. Some are religious, some are not, but all are lacking in being a comprehensive explanation. I avoid coming to conclusions, and only work on finding simple truths that can lead to understanding. I also noted toward the bottom of that post: "There are still too many questions that do not have answers." Without those answers, an intelligent person will know that valid conclusions are not going to be possible. You would dismiss any evidence just like you dismissed the citations that were included in the OP, so it would be a ridiculous act for me to try to provide them. It amazes me that you can use the word, rational, at the same time that you explain that you don't know exactly what it is, are not sure that it exists, but you know where it comes from. Very funny, Strange. OK I'll bite. Consciousness comes from the brain, so since spiders, flies, and mosquitos all have brains, that means they are conscious. Right? I can't wait for your "rational" answer. Gee
  10. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Itoero; At least you have the sense to realize that this is about life -- not just about humans. +1 That is encouraging as many members do not seem able to comprehend the idea that all life is conscious, or aware, of some things and to some degree. But I think you have asked the wrong question. The first question should be can some form of consciousness exist without the benefit of a physical body? If so, what form would that consciousness take? How could it maintain itself? How long could it exist without a body before it breaks down? There are "theories" that there is a mental reality that mirrors physical reality (Dualism) and this is what people refer to as the "afterlife", but I don't see how it is possible, how it would work, how it would maintain itself, much less how it would adapt, evolve, grow, etc. My studies of consciousness indicate that awareness can not happen without space and time, and that awareness needs matter to focus consciousness. So I don't see how an afterlife that is devoid of matter is possible. Of course, I could be wrong. Gee Dimreepr; You don't know what consciousness is, but you know where it comes from? Does that seem rational to you? Because to me it seems a lot like the thousand year old debate of Monism v Dualism where no one knew what consciousness was, but everyone wanted to argue about where it came from. Irrational. If you look at my answer to Strange, it might answer some of your questions. Gee Strange; Do you know what perceive means? It means aware. If you perceive your body from anything but a first-person perspective, then your awareness, your consciousness, is outside of and separate from your body. This is a difficult subject to comprehend without coming to some very bad and invalid conclusions. There was a time when it took a mind like Plato's in order to absorb and understand this concept, but with the help of technology, I think I can explain it in a way that most people can understand. Consider that consciousness is essentially communication -- whether it is internal or external, it is all communication. So think of your cell phone as the body/brain and think of the telephone call as consciousness. Your voice leaves you, goes into the phone, then bounces off of satellites and multiple connections until it arrives in my phone, where it seems that you are inside my phone. Although the connection from your phone to mine seems almost instantaneous, there is actually a time when your voice is bouncing around in various places outside of the two phones. Most people would name this interim "bouncing around" time as spirituality and any recognition of it would be called a spirit, ghost, out-of-body experience, etc. So if your phone breaks, or the body/brain dies, then the communication (consciousness) would stop. But this does not explain how the communication (consciousness) moves outside of the phones, it does not explain what that communication essentially is or how it works outside of the phones, it does not explain "spirituality", and it does not give a time frame for how long it takes for the communication to break down and no longer exist in a usable or recognizable form. There are still too many questions that do not have answers. Although this comparison works for understanding, please note that I have no idea of how cell phones work, how their communication moves from one phone to another, or what it actually is. I know that consciousness works through chemistry, emotion, and bonding. It is also interesting to note that most reports of spirits, ghosts, etc., are made by people who deal with death on a first hand basis, like EMS people, surgeons, Hospice workers, or the immediate family of the deceased. And most of these claims are close to the time of death. This does not prove an afterlife, what it does do is show that the breakdown of consciousness is not instantaneous. Death scares the hell out of most of us, and turns many of us into idiots when it is discussed. So although there is a lot more to this very complex topic, I doubt the idiots and the 'click-it squad' will let me discuss it, so I will stop here. Don't make this request again. You know perfectly well that Religions would state that death does not stop consciousness, and you know that Science would deny that. You would want a "citation" from Science, and since Science does not actually study death or consciousness, that is a rather foolish request. Gee Mistermack; So you think his definition of death is "pure bollocks"? Why is that? Do you have some special medical knowledge that I am unaware of, as I saw nothing in your profile that suggested you are expert or even trained in this subject. Gee
  11. Near death experiences ,proof of afterlife ?

    Cornel; I am not even sure if you are still at the forum, as you have not signed in for more than a month, but I have been thinking about your post and realize that no one else is going to give you any real rational information. There are some other members, who have brought up this subject, or something similar, so I am going to try to answer questions -- the 'click-it squad' be damned. No, for a few reasons. First, as Strange noted, there is still a body. We tend to view death as an on/off thing that happens instantaneously, but this is not often the case. If you have seen someone very old, or maybe someone dying of cancer, you know that it is sometimes a long slow process to die. Then, as noted in the video, once clinical death occurs, there is the gradual shutting down of the body that can take hours more. Birth takes nine months of physical preparation, then another few years before we have something that Psychology agrees is human consciousness. Neither birth nor death are instantaneous processes. Second, what the hell is afterlife? Is that where you marry, have children, and continue life? Without bodies, I don't think that you could call any consciousness that may or may not exist afterlife. There is no life to it. What NDE's do prove is that our conscious awareness can be separate from our bodies -- but this is not news. People have been talking about having controllable out-of-body experiences for a long time that have nothing to do with death. Psychology gives us different examples; such as, Multiple Personality Disorders. Some of the personalities are always aware of the body, some are not aware for years, then snap into the body and are bewildered at their own age -- so where were these personalities in the interim? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can snap your awareness out of time and space to a distant time, and you may have no awareness of your body or what it is doing. Emotional shock can permanently remove your awareness from a fully functional body, and you will die. There are probably other examples that I just can't think of right now, but the point is that consciousness and the body are not necessarily permanently joined. Can consciousness, in some form, continue after the body has broken down? Religion says yes, but I don't see how consciousness can continue indefinitely. There is some evidence that it can continue past the destruction of the body -- but not indefinitely. imo I agree with most of this and also consider that "pills" or chemicals could affect the outcome. It is clear from the above regarding Psychology, that emotion can seriously affect awareness, pulling it out of time and space. Emotion can also affect chemistry in our bodies, and chemistry can affect emotion -- they are circular -- so they can both be players in this game. Did you notice the caveat in the first video? While describing the pleasant feelings of love and wholeness that are experienced by people, who have NDE's, he explicitly stated that this did not include "suicides". I have read reports of people who experienced NDE's because of suicide, and their experiences are more nightmarish than anything else. Religion would no doubt equate this to suicide being wrong or bad, but my personal thoughts are that the emotional stability and well-being of the person is very pertinent to the experience. Consider that the people that Parnia was dealing with, were people who were trying to get better. They were having procedures that would continue or improve their lives, so there was hope. They would also have been in a position where medication would relieve any pain, so they would not have had the emotional stress of pain, or of the hopelessness that causes suicide. This is probably the best argument for Religion, as it is my opinion that a person's emotional state at death, and beliefs, are going to greatly influence what happens to them. This does not mean that if you have no religious beliefs you will be fine, because you will still have emotion and will still be bound to other people. It is unavoidable. He would have to be in order to bring this subject up. I have talked to Emergency Medical Service people, who state that they could tell stories that would "curl your hair", but they only talk to each other for fear of losing their jobs. I have talked to Hospice workers, who only give information on a need to know basis, because it would threaten their jobs. The only ones that are scientists and also talk are the ones that are powerful enough to take the heat and be able continue to their work. Gee
  12. Understanding the "God" Concept

    Itoero; I am not sure what you are asking for in a response. I agree that many people think and believe these things. I can not and will not try to dispute what they think/believe, but I also can not and will not try to prove what they think/believe. All of the sides of this argument have some value to my way of thinking. I do wonder how you decided that the interaction, praying, serving, and/or talking to "God", is what causes human properties in "God". My thought is that these properties are caused by the unconscious aspect of mind as I explained earlier in this thread. Gee
  13. Cats in Ancient Egypt

    Parrthurax; You have drawn some conclusions above that are based more on suppositions. A few tidbits of information might help you to understand why cats were so valued by Ancient Egyptians and why they seem to be so "godlike". As Sensei noted, cats reduce rodent problems and protect food, but they do this all over the world and are sometimes valued for it and sometimes not. If you looked at the link provided by DrP, you may note that cats also protect against snakes and scorpions. I don't know much about cats and snakes, but after my brother moved to Arizona, we learned a little about cats and scorpions. My brother's cat had chased a scorpion behind the water heater and got stung, so my brother called the veterinarian to see what could be done to save the cat. The veterinarian almost laughed at him and ask if he was new to the dessert, because cats are immune to a scorpion's venom. All a sting would do is irritate the cat. So to the Ancient Egyptians, cats would not only be great protectors of food stuffs and people, they would also have an almost "godlike" ability to cheat certain death. In a different situation, I asked my veterinarian why my cat seemed to like attacking "thick pieces of air", which is what we called it when the cat got a little crazy and jumped at, or stalked, nothing. The vet grinned and said, "Hormones". He said that cats are loaded with hormones and basically spend most of their lives stoned out of their little minds. I know that women, when pregnant and loaded with hormones, are known to have more psychic experiences, so could the Ancient Egyptians have interpreted this attacking or staring at "thick pieces of air" as a sign of psychic abilities? Or maybe the ability to see spirits? If so, then that would make cats great protectors of food and life, it would give them some power over death, and would enable them to possibly communicate with spirits. It would not be surprising to find that the Ancient Egyptians saw cats as guardians of death's gates -- and all of this would actually be due to chemistry. Gee
  14. Understanding the "God" Concept

    Jajrussel; My apologies for taking so long to respond. Thank you for your patience. Your above statement is in response to my post: "So I see consciousness as a game that has fixed rules, flexible self-balancing rules, and players (life). imo" I am not sure why you find the above puzzling. My statement was a response to Studiot's "scrabble theory" in a prior post. Unless I mistook Studiot very badly, the "theory" was in reference to the board game, Scrabble. If you are not aware, Scrabble is a game where you have tiles with letters on them and you use them to form words that have to connect to previously made words until all the tiles are used up. In theory, if you greatly expanded the game tiles and the board, you could end up with a very complex building up of something that compares to reality with everything related and interconnected. Much like evolution built life and consciousness from small unrelated chemicals? tiles? whatever. Like most theories, if you exclude life and/or "God", the scrabble theory has one unavoidable problem in that it has nothing to empower it. I have a Scrabble game, and do you know what it does? It sits in my closet and gathers dust, because without the players (life) it has no power, it does nothing. It is not even a game -- just cardboard, paper, ink, and wood. The rules of the game do NOT cause the activity of the game and can only somewhat direct that activity. That was my point. Maybe. I can agree that life is our only evidence of consciousness, but can not state in all honesty that I know there is no consciousness that is separate from or prior to life. I don't know that, and it depends upon what you think consciousness is. We have set parameters regarding what life is, but there are no such parameters on consciousness. Because survival is required of all conscious life. We call it survival instincts, but the truth is that all life is required by consciousness to continue, which means that it must adapt or evolve and do everything possible to survive. No, it does not always succeed, but it is always necessary to try to survive. The fact that humans can adjust or even deny their survival instincts is evidence of free will, as is suicide. This looks too political or religious for me to comment. But my keyboard keeps insisting on typing Trump, Trump, Trump. Well, I suppose that many of us do try, but you should understand that it is the unconscious aspect of mind that "creates" "God". It is not a product of the rational aspect of mind or even imagination, so not really a choice, and not necessarily rational. Do you mean that we may go the way of the dinosaurs? Possibly. I hope I answered your questions and will welcome additional thoughts. Gee
  15. StringJunky; You surprised me with this. How could you possibly know what I do or do not know? You are usually more reasonable and could have simply asked what I think I know. (Have a bad day?) Maybe I look like one of those insufferable know-it-alls? I assure you that I do not know it all, and whole encyclopedias of knowledge could be written about things that I don't know -- actually I think they did that already. (chuckle) But when it comes to consciousness,, I know a lot more than most, and intelligence is a small part of the study of consciousness. I see two problems with understanding intelligence, the first is that IF we do not know what it is, we mix it with other things -- like being smart, successful, educated, memory issues, motivations like ambition, etc. Every scientist knows that mixing things together that are related, but not the same thing, is a very good way to ensure that you never find out what it actually is. So first remove all of the extras and consider what intelligence actually is -- it is awareness. Period. This in my opinion removes most of the "fuzzy and vague". The second problem is that we think of intelligence as being more valued on an ascending scale, like if I had a 300 IQ, I could take over the world. This is nonsense. A 300 IQ, if possible, would more likely get me a permanent residence in a padded cell, or maybe a cartoon called, Pinky and the Brain. Regarding the first problem, once it is realized that intelligence is awareness, one must consider how awareness works. Awareness works through focus, so it is impossible to be aware of everything. We must have a perspective and can only be aware of things that we can focus on from that perspective, so consider that IQ testing is really a way to measure our focus. For some reason, and I don't know why, people who can access, or be aware of, information faster, also have a more abstract mind. Does this mean they know more? Not necessarily. Think of it the way you would binoculars, when you adjust the focus to something farther away, you lose the focus on things that are closer -- you can not focus on everything. This brings us to the second problem of an ascending scale regarding intelligence. The higher anyone gets on the IQ scale, the more abstract the thinking and the less able they are to relate to other people, fit in, and/or get things accomplished. As CharonY noted, the people in the average category are the ones more likely to be considered smart, successful, and productive, as they have a more balanced focus and awareness. The people in the simpler category are better people persons, better manipulators, maybe better salesmen, but can have problems with ideas. The people in the complex category are idea people and their ideas are often not popular, as they are often original, new and not well accepted, so they do not serve the persons well like in the cases of Socrates, Jesus, Galileo, Freud, Jung, etc. (all people who were ridiculed or persecuted because of their ideas) So if you have a child that is too bright, protect them, give them good schools, maybe mentors, and very good manners, and try to help them find a way to fit in. Normally I avoid topics like this as people have no idea of what intelligence is, but they love to argue about it. Whatever maggot in my brain caused me to respond in this thread, I don't know, but I would like to finish it up. Gee