reply to post by jonnywhite
That doesn't mean we survive death. In fact, i don't think we do. But I think dying is not as bad as life can be! ... We will die in peace.
Without the stresses of this world attached to us.
So it sounds like you're basically in agreement with my original assessment, where I said, "Isn't it just as comforting from the atheistic position to
imagine that upon death there's nothing? And because nothing else exists therefore all pain, anguish, and responsibility ceases." This is an
expectation as much as it is an emotional motivation.
I think it's far simpler ...
Isn't it far simpler to imagine that life should have never came in to existence? Isn't it far simpler to imagine that nothing should exist rather
than something? Isn't it far simpler to imagine that life should be sustained by anything other than a flaming ball of plasma that we circle about on
a daily basis? What is "simpler
" is a value judgment based on familiarity
(unless of course it's merely cancellation in the presence of a tautology).
All of the evidence we have suggests that when things die, it's over.
This is a category mistake. You're outlining assumptions not evidence (i.e. Locke's "tabula rasa" implies upon death the return to nothingness). At
present, unfortunately, there is no known way to demonstrate whether this is also true of consciousness. Cognitive researchers like S. Blackmoore and
D. Dennett refer to this as the "original sin of cognitivism" or the "Cartesian Theatre." Both hold that mind should not
be viewed as a
dualistic object where consciousness is separate from the brain. This is their foundational assumption.
Depending on the belief system that you draw from determines whether or not this is accepted as a foundational truth. If you were Hindi and lived in
Delhi the default societal position would be reincarnation. Do we know whether or not this is factually true? Absolutely not. Do we know it's
factually true that when something passes on it's gone from not only physical existence but every other possible scenario? Nope, it's just a best
guess because the vast majority of people don't report any further contact. So that appears to be it.
Due to the ambiguity it's best to look at all data points (possibilianism
) and until we can say
something in a definitive manner, hold our tongue, and keep our hypotheses separate from our facts. What we can say for certain, is that the physical
body perishes and there appears to be little to no contact afterwards. Obviously, the acceptance of the idea of "contact" depends upon whether you can
buy the idea of nonphysical exploration
and shared experience
verified by identifying an initially unknown object
. Unless we can form a
testable hypothesis, extending the argument beyond this point is to engage in conjecture and supposition.
I think it's far simpler just to assume that the reason Atheists think the way they do is because they're basing what they think on current
Now that your assumptions have been stated, what evidence would you point to support your viewpoint? A theist derives from the idea of
out of body
and near death
that there's something more. An atheist sees the death of a loved one and concludes since there's no further contact everything
comes to an end. There's no data upon death (unless you go looking for it in odd places). So there's little to no evidence for either viewpoint. This
is why earlier I had said, "Each group has a rather inconclusive series of facts to support their argument."
If you think that's why atheists are the way they're then you have a warped understanding of what drives them. They're driven by pure rationale
Seeing as how I've been agnostic for most of my life (now omnitheistic
with a fairly low opinion of theists, I think you're speaking out of a sense being slighted. The vast majority of people who have a Western mindset
accept the idea of death as "final" due to philosophy that is grounded in physicality. This is perfectly reasonable. It's what we observe. So it seems
perfectly obvious that's as far as we should extend our argument.
However where this starts to break down is when we get to living sapient creatures (namely us). Humans primarily live a private life that's
"conceptual." What's out there in the real world is external, what's in the head is "ideation."
edit on 8-1-2012 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)