A thought on reincarnation

  • Thread starter solipsis
  • Start date
  • #1
14
0
If I had no consciousness before I was born, and I have consciousness now, does this imply that a state of consciousness can possibly arise from a state of unconsciousness?

If yes, does this mean that when we die (and lose consciousness) we can regain consciousness at some point in the future?

Sorry for the excessive use of the word "consciousness" :tongue:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
340
0
It depends who you ask. If there is nothing that remains after we die, then it is not possible to regain anything.

Until you do the experiment to die, you will not know if something remains. You may only believe that something remains.
 
  • #3
Doc Al
Mentor
44,986
1,258
If I had no consciousness before I was born, and I have consciousness now, does this imply that a state of consciousness can possibly arise from a state of unconsciousness?
I'd say so.

If yes, does this mean that when we die (and lose consciousness) we can regain consciousness at some point in the future?
What do you mean by 'we'?
 
  • #4
14
0
What I mean is that before a person is born (or conceived), they obviously do not exist in the same form they do during their life. However, they still exist, it's just that the atoms and molecules that will make up the person are "spread out" before they are born, and may even be the constituents of other objects, living or otherwise.

So what I'm asking, is that if it's possible for these atoms/molecules to assemble to make up a person and their consciousness (assuming that consciousness is a result of physical processes), is it possible that it could happen again, once the constituents of your body dissipates after you die?

By "reincarnation", I mean living living another life through the eyes of a completely different person. It's like you are alive, you are that new person - however there is no correlation between that person and your present self, and you will not remember a thing of your previous life - it will seem as though your new life is the only life you've had, if that makes any sense.
 
  • #5
14
0
Sorry for the double post, but by 'we' I mean humans...replace 'we' with 'I' if it makes more sense :tongue:
 
  • #6
Doc Al
Mentor
44,986
1,258
Sorry for the double post, but by 'we' I mean humans...replace 'we' with 'I' if it makes more sense :tongue:
That makes my point even more clearly. To think that an 'I' remains after 'you' disintegrate seems highly unlikely.
 
  • #7
340
0
Most of the atoms that are in your body were probably part of some other organism in the past. If you ask is it possible that the atoms of your body can assemble themselves in another body in the future, I'll say it is impossible. We have carbon dating for a reason. Part of the carbon atoms that you are made today will be no more carbon atoms shortly.
 
  • #8
Doc Al
Mentor
44,986
1,258
What I mean is that before a person is born (or conceived), they obviously do not exist in the same form they do during their life. However, they still exist, it's just that the atoms and molecules that will make up the person are "spread out" before they are born, and may even be the constituents of other objects, living or otherwise.
Sounds reasonable to me.
So what I'm asking, is that if it's possible for these atoms/molecules to assemble to make up a person and their consciousness (assuming that consciousness is a result of physical processes), is it possible that it could happen again, once the constituents of your body dissipates after you die?
Why not? Don't you think that you (your body and brain) are made of atoms/molecules that once were part of rocks and dirt and perhaps other people who died long ago?

By "reincarnation", I mean living living another life through the eyes of a completely different person. It's like you are alive, you are that new person - however there is no correlation between that person and your present self, and you will not remember a thing of your previous life - it will seem as though your new life is the only life you've had, if that makes any sense.
I wouldn't use the term 'reincarnation', as it seems to imply a lot more than what you said in your first two paragraph. I'd say that any previously conscious being, whose constituent atoms/molecules are now part of you, is long gone.
 
  • #9
14
0
That makes my point even more clearly. To think that an 'I' remains after 'you' disintegrate seems highly unlikely.
Ah yes, good point.

Though my idea is that your constituents may find themselves in another living organism or person, and if the latter is the case, could you "be" that person, somehow? Seems a bit...unlikely, but I guess the same can be said about our current existence
 
  • #10
340
0
Ah yes, good point.

Though my idea is that your constituents may find themselves in another living organism or person, and if the latter is the case, could you "be" that person, somehow? Seems a bit...unlikely, but I guess the same can be said about our current existence
Most of your constituents will find themselves in another organisms. They are already doing it, as the carbon dioxide you breathe out was part of the organic matter making your body. I think I've read somewhere that most of the atoms that make our body are replaced in about 12 years. So almost nothing of your constituents remained from what you were 12 years ago.

What we call "I" is not the constituents, but their arrangement and interactions.
 
  • #11
Doc Al
Mentor
44,986
1,258
Though my idea is that your constituents may find themselves in another living organism or person, and if the latter is the case, could you "be" that person, somehow?
Only in the most trivial of senses. You are composed of minerals that were once rocks. Are you a rock?

Take a building and smash it to bits. Use those bits and other things to build something totally different. Does the original building somehow still exist in that new thing?

I must admit that it is kind of cool to think that we are made of bits that were once part of Aristotle and Shakespeare. And stars!
 
  • #12
Doc Al
Mentor
44,986
1,258
What we call "I" is not the constituents, but their arrangement and interactions.
Exactly.
 
  • #13
14
0
Most of your constituents will find themselves in another organisms. They are already doing it, as the carbon dioxide you breathe out was part of the organic matter making your body. I think I've read somewhere that most of the atoms that make our body are replaced in about 12 years. So almost nothing of your constituents remained from what you were 12 years ago.

What we call "I" is not the constituents, but their arrangement and interactions.
That's true, I didn't think of that...I guess the only thing that we can conclude is that we still exist, just in a different form(s). What that experience would be like is the real question - or is an 'experience' exclusively human? I dunno...it's starting to hurt my brain :tongue:
 
  • #14
14
0
What we call "I" is not the constituents, but their arrangement and interactions.
So "I" am just the result of electromagnetism and the exchange of gluons :tongue:
 
  • #15
340
0
That's true, I didn't think of that...I guess the only thing that we can conclude is that we still exist, just in a different form(s). What that experience would be like is the real question - or is an 'experience' exclusively human? I dunno...it's starting to hurt my brain :tongue:
I don't think we still exist, if "we" means what I said it mean. Because after we die, the important interactions of our atoms cease to exists and then eventually the arrangement of the atoms also disappears.
 
  • #16
340
0
So "I" am just the result of electromagnetism and the exchange of gluons :tongue:
Well there are other emergent properties of matter studied by other sciences like chemistry, biophysical neurophysiology, etc. We probably don't have enough knowledge yet to study all aspects of our existence.
 
  • #17
14
0
I don't think we still exist, if "we" means what I said it mean. Because after we die, the important interactions of our atoms cease to exists and then eventually the arrangement of the atoms also disappears.
Sorry, forgot about that, I guess the real question then is what "ceasing to exist" actually is. Sounds pretty boring, actually...oh well, at least I may get to be a supernova one day
 
  • #18
340
0
Sorry, forgot about that, I guess the real question then is what "ceasing to exist" actually is. Sounds pretty boring, actually...oh well, at least I may get to be a supernova one day
Yeah, but only if you are extrovert. If you are introvert, you'll be a black hole...:biggrin:
 
  • #19
58
0
My most dismal thought is that when I die it will be the same as before I was born. I can't remember what it was like before so will I after?

Or if the universe is one great reciprocating pulse I will be the same thing again and again and do the same exact thing over and over - (no freewill - just an illusion of it!)- I am glad I do not remember the last time! Cause it would make it boring as hell!

I always enjoy the likely-fact that my atoms came from some supernovae. We are truly born from stars. Put that in your catholic pipe and.....

I like the Buddhist view of reincarnation myself - I will be satisfied if it turns to be true. If not I won't have any vehicle of consciousness to care about it!
 
  • #20
911
18
I have read a bit about research done by people like Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker on the topic of reincarnation. These people are academic psychiatrists and so probably it carries some weight. Now my question is, what if reincarnation is true. There seems to be some evidence in its favor according to these researchers. So, if reincarnation is true then what are the philosophical consequences of it. Also from physics point of view, do we need to postulate additional forces in nature to account for this phenomena.
If reincarnation ever is shown to be true, I am sure its impact would be as big as
Darwin's evolution theory. any opinions ?
 
  • #21
I have read a bit about research done by people like Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker on the topic of reincarnation. These people are academic psychiatrists and so probably it carries some weight. Now my question is, what if reincarnation is true. There seems to be some evidence in its favor according to these researchers. So, if reincarnation is true then what are the philosophical consequences of it. Also from physics point of view, do we need to postulate additional forces in nature to account for this phenomena.
If reincarnation ever is shown to be true, I am sure its impact would be as big as
Darwin's evolution theory. any opinions ?
I think an afterlife showing to be true would be the biggest event in human history and totally change the way humans behave/live. It would be much bigger than evolution. Much bigger than alien contact. Much bigger than anything I can think of besides similar topics like God revealing "himself".
 
  • #22
911
18
I think an afterlife showing to be true would be the biggest event in human history and totally change the way humans behave/live. It would be much bigger than evolution. Much bigger than alien contact. Much bigger than anything I can think of besides similar topics like God revealing "himself".
Yes, I would agree. But do you think humans will totally change the way they live. Right now, millions of people in India do believe in this and I don't see how they live differently.

What about physicists ? How would they see it ? Do they need to come up or discover new forces of nature to account for this ?
 
  • #23
289
0
Damn.! Humans have been here for more than a million years and still we don't have definitive answers for these questions. I hate my ancestors!! :-/
 
  • #24
6
0
What I mean is that before a person is born (or conceived), they obviously do not exist in the same form they do during their life. However, they still exist, it's just that the atoms and molecules that will make up the person are "spread out" before they are born, and may even be the constituents of other objects, living or otherwise.

So what I'm asking, is that if it's possible for these atoms/molecules to assemble to make up a person and their consciousness (assuming that consciousness is a result of physical processes), is it possible that it could happen again, once the constituents of your body dissipates after you die?

By "reincarnation", I mean living living another life through the eyes of a completely different person. It's like you are alive, you are that new person - however there is no correlation between that person and your present self, and you will not remember a thing of your previous life - it will seem as though your new life is the only life you've had, if that makes any sense.
while ur theory sounds plausible, i wld like to propose an alternate theory:
what if the living life force, or consciousness as u call it, was different or separate from the atoms and molecules that constitute the body.
in that case, the living life force can take up as many bodies, be it human or animal or plant, and live each life as a separate one, one after another. you will forget ur past lives, but it doesnt mean that it is lost from memory. its like a file u misplaced, existing, but its location unknown.

this thought leads to another idea, what if we found out the exact nature of our original life forms, without interference/influence from atomic structures?
is it possible to exist in our original life forms without taking up an atomic body?
i believe its possible, so in that case, why is it that we take up bodies in the first place?
 
  • #25
Evo
Mentor
23,153
2,796
is it possible to exist in our original life forms without taking up an atomic body?
i believe its possible, so in that case, why is it that we take up bodies in the first place?
Perhaps because we can only exist inside of a functioning brain.
 

Related Threads on A thought on reincarnation

  • Last Post
2
Replies
39
Views
5K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
83
Views
18K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
12K
Replies
9
Views
3K
Replies
35
Views
5K
Top