View Poll Results: Death is... Oblivion 74 33.18% A Portal Mystery 7 3.14% A Chance to Roam the Earth 0 0% Another Chance at Reincarnation 4 1.79% My Ticket to Nirvana 2 0.90% A Gateway to Heaven or Hell 20 8.97% A Transition to Another Simulation 14 6.28% A Bridge to Another Realm 16 7.17% I Honestly Don't Know 59 26.46% I Don't Know and I Don't Care 27 12.11% Voters: 223. You may not vote on this poll

# Death is...

by alexsok
Tags: death
P: 858
 Quote by Werg22 I am a careful agnostic, so I will say that I do not know. Believing in the certainty anything is faith; atheism is faith.
The general definition of agnosticism is that one is sure that 'one can never find out anything about the reality of x'. That, if anything, requires faith. Of course you can label it as 'weak agnosticism' which is basically 'I don't know right now'.
P: 1,520
 Quote by Evo Atheism isn't faith. It's a term made up to label people that don't buy into religion or gods. For exmple, Joe believes invisible creatures roam the planet, I ignore Joe's belief, it doesn't take any faith to ignore something I don't care about.
But an atheist asserts that deities do not exist. The atheist takes a position, just like the believer.
P: 1,520
 Quote by Moridin The general definition of agnosticism is that one is sure that 'one can never find out anything about the reality of x'. That, if anything, requires faith. Of course you can label it as 'weak agnosticism' which is basically 'I don't know right now'.
I guess it's worth pointing out the nuance; I deem myself as one who dosen't know if any after-life exists nor if it is possible to know.
P: 858
 Quote by Werg22 But an atheist asserts that deities do not exist. The atheist takes a position, just like the believer.
Atheism is Not a Denial of 'God'

Atheism is the lack of faith in deities (or arbitrary thing x), not the denial of deities (or arbitrary thing x).

Just because I have a lack of taste in chocolate ice cream, does not mean that I embrace the taste of vanilla. I could have the lack of taste in both, I could say that I do not care about the flavor or that I like another flavor.
P: 1,330
 Quote by Werg22 But an atheist asserts that deities do not exist. The atheist takes a position, just like the believer.
Taking a position on something is not equivalent to having faith in it. Having faith in something generally refers to a belief either 'without evidence' or even 'in spite of evidence to the contrary'.

I don't believe in Odin, for lots of reasons. I find that the description of Odin, that is generally given, is so unlikely and so unsupportable, that I have no problem denying that he exits. Odin-belief is ridiculous. That doesn't take faith.... if its a matter of examining evidence and coming to a conclusion based on the evidence. This is an important distinction, because if new evidence was supplied to me, something so overwhelmingly in support of Odin's existense, then I would need to re-evaluate my position.

If I had faith in the non-existense of Odin, evidence, for or against, wouldn't matter even a bit.

Oh and death is... the last thing I ever want to do.
P: 1,520
 Quote by Moridin Atheism is Not a Denial of 'God' Atheism is the lack of faith in deities (or arbitrary thing x), not the denial of deities (or arbitrary thing x). Just because I have a lack of taste in chocolate ice cream, does not mean that I embrace the taste of vanilla. I could have the lack of taste in both, I could say that I do not care about the flavor or that I like another flavor.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, I am going along the correct definition.

 Quote by JoeDawg Taking a position on something is not equivalent to having faith in it. Having faith in something generally refers to a belief either 'without evidence' or even 'in spite of evidence to the contrary'. I don't believe in Odin, for lots of reasons. I find that the description of Odin, that is generally given, is so unlikely and so unsupportable, that I have no problem denying that he exits. Odin-belief is ridiculous. That doesn't take faith.... if its a matter of examining evidence and coming to a conclusion based on the evidence. This is an important distinction, because if new evidence was supplied to me, something so overwhelmingly in support of Odin's existense, then I would need to re-evaluate my position. If I had faith in the non-existense of Odin, evidence, for or against, wouldn't matter even a bit. Oh and death is... the last thing I ever want to do.
Disambiguation between faith and the taking of a position is not relevant here. What is relevant is that in many cases they are quite equivalent in terms of lack, or abundance thereof, support. For instance, if I were to invent a religion whose only assertion is God Exists, both acceptance and denial would be ultimately unjustifiable.
P: 1,330
 Quote by Werg22 Disambiguation between faith and the taking of a position is not relevant here. What is relevant is that in many cases they are quite equivalent in terms of lack, or abundance thereof, support. For instance, if I were to invent a religion whose only assertion is God Exists, both acceptance and denial would be ultimately unjustifiable.
Unless 'God exists' is a contradiction.

If all you say is that 'God exists', you are not really saying much of anything. What is a god? Which god? What makes him God? Where can you find this god? How do you know this is true?

I can say: "ewlfnavieiwfanfwelifwonwwfnaf exists". But to know if its true or not I would have to define it, and then, this is where you would need evidence, or faith.

If you said: "ewlfnavieiwfanfwelifwonwwfnaf exists", but refused to say more, or to justify your statement, its simply an unsubstantiated claim, with no worth, its either just sounds or scribbles.
P: 858
 According to the Oxford Dictionary, I am going along the correct definition.
According to a few other dictionaries and texts, I am going to correct your faulty definition:

ATheist Myth: Isn’t not believing in any gods the same as believing there are no gods?
Dictionary Definition of Atheism
Online Dictionary Definitions of Atheism
Reference Book Definitions of Atheism
Definition of Atheism for Early Freethinkers
Definition of Atheism for Modern Atheists

There is a huge difference between strong and weak atheism.

The word atheist is redundant. No one has ever needed to define themselves as non-astrologer, or non-voodoo priest.
P: 1,520
 Quote by JoeDawg Unless 'God exists' is a contradiction. If all you say is that 'God exists', you are not really saying much of anything. What is a god? Which god? What makes him God? Where can you find this god? How do you know this is true? I can say: "ewlfnavieiwfanfwelifwonwwfnaf exists". But to know if its true or not I would have to define it, and then, this is where you would need evidence, or faith. If you said: "ewlfnavieiwfanfwelifwonwwfnaf exists", but refused to say more, or to justify your statement, its simply an unsubstantiated claim, with no worth, its either just sounds or scribbles.
This is not my point; I could have defined God however I wanted to make the claim substantial with everything I said still applying.

 Quote by Moridin According to a few other dictionaries and texts, I am going to correct your faulty definition: ATheist Myth: Isn’t not believing in any gods the same as believing there are no gods? Dictionary Definition of Atheism Online Dictionary Definitions of Atheism Reference Book Definitions of Atheism Definition of Atheism for Early Freethinkers Definition of Atheism for Modern Atheists There is a huge difference between strong and weak atheism. The word atheist is redundant. No one has ever needed to define themselves as non-astrologer, or non-voodoo priest.
I understand.
P: 1,330
 Quote by Werg22 This is not my point; I could have defined God however I wanted to make the claim substantial with everything I said still applying.
Then do so. I guarantee your everything will not apply, because I will demand proof that what you attribute to your god is true.
P: 1,520
 Quote by JoeDawg Then do so. I guarantee your everything will not apply, because I will demand proof that what you attribute to your god is true.
Proof is in the eye of the beholder.
P: 1,330
 Quote by Werg22 Proof is in the eye of the beholder.
So go ahead, show me what you have. If you can supply a concept of god that is not self-contradicting, many philosophers have tried, and verifiable evidence to support your claim that such a god could and does exist, then your claim does not require faith, otherwise believing in it requires faith by definition - faith is defined as belief without evidence or in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Until you support your claim, it requires either faith in the claim or at the very least in your ability to discern the truth of the statement: God exists.

I personally have never encountered a God definition that wasn't self contradicting, vague to the point of uselessness, and completely without evidence.

So now I've stated my biases....
If you have such a conception of god, I'd love to hear it.
 P: n/a I honestly don't know, although I'd like to believe it's not oblivion. I think it might be something like reincarnation -- either you get reborn as another person/animal or in an entirely different world.
 P: 55 "I honestly don't know", however if time and/or space (multiverse?) is infinite, then anything with a probability above zero should happen an infinite number of times, including the exact circumstances that lead to my existence.
P: 858
 Quote by VikingF "I honestly don't know", however if time and/or space (multiverse?) is infinite, then anything with a probability above zero should happen an infinite number of times, including the exact circumstances that lead to my existence.
That is a big if. What makes you think that

i.) Multiverse idea is valid?
ii.) The existence of an afterlife is above 0?
P: 55
 Quote by Moridin What makes you think that i.) Multiverse idea is valid?
One thing is that it has explanatory power. The anthropic principle is a good example of this. It is easier to explain why the universe is as fine-tuned as it is if we accept the multiverse idea to be a possible solution. If our universe is only one of infinitely many, or atleast one amongst a vast amount of universes, and the probability of a universe like our to exist is nonzero, then it would appear somewhere sooner or later, and we would be bound to find ourselves in such a universe. It is also a respected idea which is included in many cosmological models, e.g. inflationary cosmology and LQC.

 Quote by Moridin ii.) The existence of an afterlife is above 0?
I never said that. The reason why you live today, is because the history of the universe happened the way it did from the beginning of it, and until the moment of your existence, right? And that history must have a nonzero probability of happening, since it actually did happen.
P: 1,330
 Quote by VikingF One thing is that it has explanatory power. The anthropic principle is a good example of this. It is easier to explain why the universe is as fine-tuned as it is if we accept the multiverse idea to be a possible solution. If our universe is only one of infinitely many, or atleast one amongst a vast amount of universes, and the probability of a universe like our to exist is nonzero, then it would appear somewhere sooner or later, and we would be bound to find ourselves in such a universe. It is also a respected idea which is included in many cosmological models, e.g. inflationary cosmology and LQC.
The problem with this idea is that cause/effect is something we observe in our universe, but as soon as you expand your ideas beyond 'our universe' to some kind of theoretical multiverse, talking about probabilities becomes meaningless, since we really have nothing to compare our universe to. All we can really say is that our universe exists and try and model a theory based on what we observe. As far as I can see the 'multiverse' isn't really any less of a 'cheat', at least with current understanding, than saying 'god did it'. Also note that time is a function of 'this' universe, so infinite time.... for our universe to happen... doesn't really make sense, unless time exists outside our universe, which we couldn't possibly know and really, it might have completely different properties even if it did.
P: 482
 Quote by JoeDawg The problem with this idea is that cause/effect is something we observe in our universe, but as soon as you expand your ideas beyond 'our universe' to some kind of theoretical multiverse, talking about probabilities becomes meaningless, since we really have nothing to compare our universe to. All we can really say is that our universe exists and try and model a theory based on what we observe. As far as I can see the 'multiverse' isn't really any less of a 'cheat', at least with current understanding, than saying 'god did it'. Also note that time is a function of 'this' universe, so infinite time.... for our universe to happen... doesn't really make sense, unless time exists outside our universe, which we couldn't possibly know and really, it might have completely different properties even if it did.

to deny the Multiverse would require some new and absurd physics which posits an omnicient demon that magically destroys the very computations and sub-computations that allow the observed universe to have consistant physics and exist itself-it would be rather like a magical computer which can factor any number by simply 'guessing' the correct factors the first time instead of searching the products of every combination until it finds the answer- this search process is a fundamental property of all causal systems-

The physical laws that we have discovered provide great means of data compression, since they make it sufficient to store the initial data at some time together with the equations and an integration routine... the initial data might be extremely simple: quantum field theory states such as the Hawking-Hartle wave function or the inflationary Bunch-Davies vacuum have very low algorithmic complexity (since they can be de-fined in quite brief physics papers), yet simulating their time evolution would simulate not merely one universe like ours, but a vast decohering ensemble corresponding to the [Quantum] multiverse.

Max Tegmark
from http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0646

All Universes are Cheaper Than Just One

In general, computing all evolutions of all universes is much cheaper in terms of information requirements than computing just one particular, arbitrarily chosen evolution. Why? Because the Great Programmer's algorithm that systematically enumerates and runs all universes (with all imaginable types of physical laws, wave functions, noise etc.) is very short (although it takes time). On the other hand, computing just one particular universe's evolution (with, say, one particular instance of noise), without computing the others, tends to be very expensive, because almost all individual universes are incompressible, as has been shown above. More is less!

Many worlds

Suppose there is true (incompressible) noise in state transitions of our particular world evolution. The noise conveys additional information besides the one for initial state and physical laws. But from the Great Programmer's point of view, almost no extra information (nor, equivalently, a random generator) is required. Instead of computing just one of the many possible evolutions of a probabilistic universe with fixed laws but random noise of a certain (e.g., Gaussian) type, the Great Programmer's simple program computes them all. An automatic by-product of the Great Programmer's set-up is the well-known many worlds hypothesis'', ©Everett III. According to it, whenever our universe's quantum mechanics allows for alternative next paths, all are taken and the world splits into separate universes. From the Great Programmer's view, however, there are no real splits -- there are just a bunch of different algorithms which yield identical results for some time, until they start computing different outputs corresponding to different noise in different universes.

From an esthetical point of view that favors simple explanations of everything, a set-up in which all possible universes are computed instead of just ours is more attractive. It is simpler.

Juergen Schmidhuber
from http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9904050

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