reply to post by Matrix Rising
Well, it really depends upon how you qualify life.
Is life the physical body, or is it the 'metaphysical' mind/character of a person? Perhaps more important is what the mind actually is in relation
to the body.
It would be errant to conclude the mind and body are separate. As much as we'd like to be able to prove this and extrapolate the possibility of an
afterlife, it's not so easy. Damaging the brain can easily damage a person's ability to think, reason, and perceive information - or, at least,
from our own visible perspective. In many subjective studies using chemical and electromagnetic stimulants, a person's mental experience is almost
directly influenced by the physical body.
Now - many people will tell you that they can sense 'something is not right' or that they were having difficulty doing what they really wanted to do
- but it is unclear where the sense of "what I want to do" comes from - if it has a physical neurological origin, an emergent neurological origin (a
sort of learned behavior or 'pattern' stored by your neurons), or if it has a 'mystical' origin from a 'soul.'
It's not completely unreasonable to suggest a number of functions related to conscious processes originate from outside of the known mind/body
relationship. Everything the body does would still have to be processed by the brain - and damage to the brain would therefor damage the interface
between any external factors and the body.
This also makes verifying the existence of such external factors very difficult, if not impossible via known methods. What is a 'soul' made out of?
What energy does it use? How might one detect it? Or - supposing there is one - is it dependent upon our minds/bodies - will it persist beyond
their function? How? What level of awareness would it have? Does it retain memories from a body it was connected to? Or is it merely a "key" - a
pattern of actions and reactions that guide our neurons as a sort of baseline?
While one could say there's no evidence to support a death of consciousness along with the cease of biological functions in our body - the body is
our only existing and reliable link to conscious processes and reasoning. Losing it pretty much places any consciousness that may survive on the
other side of a barrier that does not appear to be easily bridged.
I believe we have a soul - and I believe it persists after our 'material death' - but in what form, and to what ends, I am not entirely certain.
While I affiliate with Christianity - I'm not exactly intolerant of the concept of reincarnation (I'm also not so certain the existence of a body,
or lack thereof, has much bearing on a soul's 'location' - IE - heaven is a state of being for the soul, and not a destination for it).
However, I'm also not sure how to go about proving the existence of a soul. I suppose I could go find a bridge to jump off of - but I'm sure there
are others who have done that, and have thus been unsuccessful in communicating the results of their experiment - and there's not much point in an
experiment that doesn't allow for data to be collected.