reply to post by ascension211
Thanks. As I said, I believe in a form of panpsychism and as such I feel I am obligated to believe in some form of reincarnation. Here is an
explanation of panpsychism:
Standford Encyclopedia Article on Panspychism
In short, panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental part or feature of the physical universe, or rather, that mind is existence which is
part and parcel to physical existence and visa versa - the two can really never be separated.
There are less bold versions of panpsychism for those not quite willing to attribute consciousness to a rock, which is called panexperientialism.
Some famous panpsychists include the psychologist, physician, philosopher, and Harvard professor William James (who also founded the philosophical
school of pragmatism), the rationalist philosopher Baruch Spinoza, the German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, the experimental
psychologist Gustav Fechner, the German educator and philosopher Friedrich Paulsen, the biologist, naturalist, physician, philosopher and professor of
comparative anatomy Ernst Haeckel, and the mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead who supervised the doctoral dissertations of both
Bertrand Russell and William Van Orman Quine - both analytic philosophers.
Also, many of Carl Jung's statements could be interpreted as a belief in a form of panpychism.
The analytic philosopher Galen Strawson said, "realistic physicalism entails panpsychism", and I concur.
Panpsychism is really not that easy to explain in a brief post. I would suggest that if you have an interest in learning about it that you at least
read the encyclopedia entry I linked to in order to get an idea of what it is about. As I said in brief, it is really a theory, founded in logical
and rational thought, with a very long tradition in western philosophy, which states that (in rough layman's terms) everything in the universe,
organic or inorganic, has some degree of consciousness.
It is my personal conclusion that if one holds to panpsychism, then they are basically obligated to hold to a belief in some form of reincarnation,
since if the physical does not merely vanish, but is transformed, then the conscious self cannot merely vanish either, but must also transform.
Why panpsychism, you ask? The answer is the "hard problem of consciousness", "ex nihilo nihilo fit
" (from nothing, nothing comes), or the
impossibility that the mental reality (which we all know exists) can emerge from a physical world which does not contain consciousness within it from
its beginning. In other words, the universe cannot spit out a fish unless the universe already contains all the fundamental properties of a fish
within it from which the fish may be formed. Likewise, the universe cannot spit out consciousness unless it already had consciousness as one of its
From there... reincarnation is practically a given.