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Dead and existence?

  1. Apr 2, 2004 #1
    If someone is dead, do they still exist?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2004 #2
    I believe the consciousness/soul exists after the body is dead. Perhaps consciousness transcends 3-dimensional space, which would place our souls in one or more of the higher dimensions. I also believe you prepare your consciousness in this life with your beliefs and experiences. If you're convinced there is nothing after death, then there probably will be. But if you are capable of believing in something you can't experience with the senses of the body, then your soul can live on after death.
  4. Apr 2, 2004 #3


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    On what do you base this belief, Phi?
  5. Apr 3, 2004 #4
    That presupposes that consciousness is not a quality of the nervous system. Correct?
    The soul implies a seperate entity exists within the body...a distinction between the mind and the brain. But, the mind and the brain are one and the same, it is just an illusion that they are seperate. But before I go on, would you do the honors of informing me if I understood your aforementioned (in quotes) statement correctly?

    Just for the record, have you ever heard of M-theory?

    You prepare your consciousness for what?

    So if I believe there is something after death, then there probably won't be?

    How do you know this? On what basis did you arrive at this conclusion?

    if it is impossible for any living thing (in a physical body) to be incapable to experience something, they are therefore not conscious of what it is, correct? If they are not consicous of it, they don't know what it is. If they don't know what it is, they cannot believe in it. They can extrapolate on a possible sensation they cannot imagine and know of but even then their extrapolated sensation would still be based on what they have experienced before or what they know they can expreince.
    If I am flawed here, please do the honors of correcting me.
  6. Apr 3, 2004 #5
    Since consciousness either does or doesn't continue after the body dies & both possibilities are equally unproveable, I choose the more hopeful approach. Most religions ask us to take the existence of a higher power & an afterlife on faith. I noticed that quantum physics asks the same thing of us concerning wave state. When matter in wave state is observed it collapses to the particle state, forcing us to take it on faith that wave state exists. Take away the body at death & you remove the senses we observe matter with, making wave state possible. Imagine your consciousness/self outside your body after death. You can't see, hear, smell, taste or touch anything. Without an unshakeable belief that there is an existence beyond the body & it's limited senses, you'd be alone in your self for eternity (truly hell). This makes ALL religions right. If they don't get bogged down in detail they fundamentally prepare you to accept that which can't be sensed or proven. To me, the higher dimensions are the logical place to situate the afterlife, or heaven. Consciousness has no spatial attributes, so an infinite number of them should fit in a compacted higher dimension.
  7. Apr 3, 2004 #6
    I should have said, if you're convinced there is nothing after death then there probably will be nothing after death for you. If you're convinced there is existence without a body after death, then you have better prepared your consciousness for infinite possibilities. I will take a look at M theory, Salamander. I am new to theoretical physics and have no math. It took me a month to read Dr. Kaku's Hyperspace because I reread each page until I understood it at least conceptually. I know I'm out of my league after reading some of your's and other's postings, but I feel there is a bridge between spirituality & science and I'm grateful for this forum to explore that bridge.
  8. Apr 3, 2004 #7
    The wave/particle duality fact insists that the wave and particle states are simoltaneous. Therefore one cannot collapse into the other, they are one.
    It is not on faith that we know the wave/particle duality exists; it by logical deduction (i.e., mathematics) based on experimental data.
    The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene is also a very enlightening book that concerns quantum theory, GR & SR and M-theory.

    If you cannot sense anything, then you are not conscious. There is no consciousness where there is nothing being sensed.

    Interesting idea...in yourself? How do you exist in yourself?

    What do you mean?

    You mean polytheistic religions will easily be compatible with monotheistic religoins? There will be no contradiction on the most basic (not the details) prospects or religion?
    I am inclined to disagree for obvious reasons (for my questions are rhetorical here).

    Spatial demensions are all demensions except the temporal (time) demension. Therefore, consciousness MUST be spacial. It occurs through electrical impulses reacting to the environment.

    Seriously, it is imperative that you learn about Calibi-Yau space. I will do the honors of directing you this site:
  9. Apr 3, 2004 #8
    So then whatever it is you believe is what the truth is. The truth cannot be molded to each person's liking you know.

    Possibilities one doesn't understand or know about? the spirit realm is not of this world, therefore we cannot imagine outside our box. The idea of thinking outside the box isn't neccesarily true.

    I'm just learning too. I'm not a physicist or anything; it's just my hobby to be curious.
    This is a great topic. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas.
  10. Apr 3, 2004 #9
    Thanks again for the tip. I briefly checked out M-theory and it seems my Superstring education is out of date.
  11. Apr 3, 2004 #10
    I obviously posted that last one incorrectly (newbie!). You'll have to tell me how you can quote and comment multiple times in a single post.

    I didn't mean to imply that the truth be molded to suit the individuals liking. Your original question was whether or not a person exists after death. I think a consciousness that spent it's corporeal existence convinced there was nothing after death will not attempt to find anything when death occurs. It is more a matter of effort than truth. The person who has faith in a creator and an afterlife will be looking for them after death. If those things do exist, the person with faith stands a better chance of finding them.

    You mentioned the spirit realm. Are these spirits corporeal? Do they have consciousness? Can they access all dimensions or just the lower four? And I didn't get what you meant by the idea of thinking outside the box not necessarily being true. Please elaborate (this is a great topic).
  12. Apr 5, 2004 #11
    M-theory predicts 12 demensions in all. So I do have a belief that there are other demenosions.
    Do believe to understand each demenension, we need to have new senses that we never knew could even be possible (because in our 4D environment, we have no conception of anything above 4D)?

    We can detect and observe the wave state.
    There are people who have no external feeling, are blind, deaf and have no voice. But they still have emotion. That is the ultimate thing...but the emotion is somewhat retarded when compared to that of a normal human being with all the standard senses intact and working.

    Do you mean to say that there are different ways of attaining faith in something?

    We can detect and observe the wave state.
    There are people who have no external feeling, are blind, deaf and have no voice. But they still have emotion. That is the ultimate thing...but the emotion is somewhat retarded when compared to that of a normal human being with all the standard senses intact and working.

    I was wondering, would you say a spirit is alive or dead?
  13. Apr 5, 2004 #12
    Okay, to quote a post in seperate sections:
    1.) Place the portion you wish to quote in the following manner:
  14. Apr 6, 2004 #13
    [Because they'll know what to look for? But if whatever it is that happens after death (WITHAD) exists whether or not someone believes in its existence, then WITHAD should occur for everyone.]

    People like yourself, who have an open curiosity about life and afterlife, are probably more capable of staying sane for the time it would take to develope your 'extra-senses' after WITHAD. People with closed minds (I know you've met a few!) would stay in their looped, fear-filled, made up minds until any hope of developing these senses was lost. Perhaps this is the sad spirit you hear late at night, who has the extra-senses available to him but is incapable of imagining they even exist.
  15. Apr 7, 2004 #14
    yikes! okay, here are the instructions again:
    put quote in [] and at the end of what it is you wish to quote, put quote after the / in [/].
  16. Apr 22, 2004 #15
    I do believe this. It would seem that sight and sound wouldn't do us much good if there is nothing to see or hear. What I'm not sure of is the possibility of accessing those extra-senses while still in this biological body. Are we so rigid in our thoughts and our knowledge based solely on personal experience that we can't imagine beyond the five senses we have?

    It was my understanding, limited though it may be, that we can detect the wave state, but direct observation was impossible. Experiments can show where particles have existed in wave state (much like spreading flour on the floor to detect cockroaches--you don't directly observe them, but you see their tracks in the flour), but direct observation collapses the wave state to the particle state. Therefore we can infer there is a wave state, but not state it as a fact. This would seem to be a judgement based on faith. We KNOW it exists, but we can't prove it directly. Am I wrong in this?
    Emotion would seem to be one of the few things not necessarily biologically based that would continue in our consciousness and therefore define our existence after death.

    I mean to say that faith in what we cannot observe directly does not need a specific set of rites or rituals in order to be valid. Just the fact that we are willing to think outside of empirical judgements might make us more receptive to an experience for which we can't have any frame of reference.
  17. Apr 22, 2004 #16


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    By the way guys, the other dimensions are said to be lower dimensions, not higher.
  18. Apr 22, 2004 #17
    Is it just a terminology distinction, or is it due to their being smaller, or is it due to the perceived superiority of the dimensions we're familiar with?
  19. Apr 22, 2004 #18


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    Hi people,

    I'm new to the forum, joined out of curiosity, and thought it would be useful to warn everybody that I'm not a physics/neurology/philosophy expert. I'm however a biologist.

    I would like to submit to your consideration a couple of thougths about death. It seems to me that the big question in the hard problem is to know if conciousness is a property of highly organized matter (the brain) or a property of the universe (i.e. time, space, matter/energy) accesed to by the brain. In the first case conciousness is a unique phenomenon, or event, in the history of Universe, and thus, it cannot be repeated. In the second, there is a possibility that a given conciousness is re-accessed by another "brain" (or a system with the analogous properties) and thus there may be a continuity. It seems however not plausible that memories are kept, as they are engraved in the brain. Thus, even in the event of continuity, a new persona is built...
  20. Apr 22, 2004 #19
    Hello, Al! I salute a brave biologist who is looking to expand his sphere of knowledgeable topics.
    I think when it comes to the subject of consciousness or soul, there have got to be more than two choices of properties!
    Do you mean that if it is a property of the brain and your brain stays here when you're dead, consciousness can't reappear where the brain isn't? I can definitely see your point there.
    This makes sense as well. Another possibility is that the brain or any system wth the analogous properties actually restrains our consciousness from its full potential. The body, including the brain, is known to have deleterious effects on the cognitive process. I like to think that Alzheimer's victims are freed from their confusion when they are freed from the need of a biological body. Could the lack of a body be the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to a consciousness?
    I'm glad you're a biologist, Al, so you can explain to me why memories are engraved in biological matter and not in our more ethereal consciousness. Don't get too technical on me; I'm not a physicist, mathemetician, biologist or anything like that. I'm a believer in pushing the pieces of the puzzle a little closer together every day.
  21. Apr 23, 2004 #20
    Actually, there are 8 extra demensions predicted by M-theory which are higher demensions.
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