They all want to see dead people

Ivan Seeking

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Conversations with people in the hereafter is so very now — in movies, on television, in best-selling books and in personal appearances before live audiences across the continent.

The widespread urge to get in touch with the dearly departed is making the afterlife mainstream
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1062673329756&call_pageid=968867505381&col=969048872038
 

FZ+

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I dunno, but wasn't the afterlife always mainstream? A stint in paradise was always one of the the primary reward mechanisms of any religion.

At least we are noticing nowadays, and can think somewhat clearly about it.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by FZ+
I dunno, but wasn't the afterlife always mainstream? A stint in paradise was always one of the the primary reward mechanisms of any religion.

At least we are noticing nowadays, and can think somewhat clearly about it.
It just migrated from churches to TV?
 
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Seems as we go on we not only want to think about the afterlife, but attempt to communicate with people "already there". Mass Delusia is quite the grand thing. ;)
 

FZ+

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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
It just migrated from churches to TV?
Yep. It pays more this way...

I think the idea of the afterlife began when man encountered death for the first time, and refused to accept it.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by FZ+
Yep. It pays more this way...

I think the idea of the afterlife began when man encountered death for the first time, and refused to accept it.
I think afterlife debunking began when man encountered ghosts for the first time, and refused to accept it.

Really though, even the Neanderthals would bury the dead adorned with flowers. Does this imply that the belief in an afterlife may even predate our species? Do we observe behavior like this in other animals?
 

Zero

No sentient creature can truly comprehend its own end. This is why we believe in an afterlife, ultimately.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Zero
No sentient creature can truly comprehend its own end. This is why we believe in an afterlife, ultimately.
Why do you think so? I have known many people who believe they will not exist after death. For a time I also believed this. I don't really find nothingness such a hard concept...heavenly compared hell you might say.

In fact, sitting here thinking about this, I have noticed that as many people grow old, they also tend to grow more accepting of death; independent of their religious views. Of course this is just a personal observation - small in numbers.
 
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Zero

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Why do you think so? I have known many people who believe they will not exist after death. For a time I also believed this. I don't really find nothingness such a hard concept...heavenly compared hell you might say.
You know it intellectually...the same way you know intellectually that the sun may go nova. That doesn't mean that you can embrace the idea emotionally.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Zero
You know it intellectually...the same way you know intellectually that the sun may go nova. That doesn't mean that you can embrace the idea emotionally.
Please note the late edit to my last post.

How do we account for atheists who commit suicide? This seems show that at least some people can completely embrace the notion.

Are you afraid to die?
 

Zero

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
Please note the late edit to my last post.

How do we account for atheists who commit suicide? This seems show that at least some people can completely embrace the notion.

Are you afraid to die?
Suicide is a rather abnormal psychological position, isn't it? Not to divert the topic too far, but I think suicide is less a desire for death than a need for an ending...spliting hairs, maybe, but I think suicidal people don't want to die, they just want their pain to end.

And, of course, I have no fear of death. I'm lucky that way, in that I have almost completely conquered fear, by learning to let go of things I can't control. I'd prefer to live, but mostly out of the need to own this:

http://store6.yimg.com/I/guitarshopnet_1756_16571830
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Zero
Suicide is a rather abnormal psychological position, isn't it? Not to divert the topic too far, but I think suicide is less a desire for death than a need for an ending...spliting hairs, maybe, but I think suicidal people don't want to die, they just want their pain to end.

And, of course, I have no fear of death. I'm lucky that way, in that I have almost completely conquered fear, by learning to let go of things I can't control. I'd prefer to live, but mostly out of the need to own this:

http://store6.yimg.com/I/guitarshopnet_1756_16571830
If kills me to think that the first Les Paul was made out of a railroad tie.

As far as suicide, I wonder what the rate of suicide is for atheists compared to believers. Also, I have at least heard it said that most people consider suicide at some point in their life. The thing that gets me about your position is that many who espouse this belief claim no fear of death. It seems that you are a living antithesis to your argument. Most people seem to accept nothingness pretty easily. I don’t the see the evidence for your position.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
If kills me to think that the first Les Paul was made out of a railroad tie.

As far as suicide, I wonder what the rate of suicide is for atheists compared to believers. Also, I have at least heard it said that most people consider suicide at some point in their life. The thing that gets me about your position is that many who espouse this belief claim no fear of death. It seems that you are a living antithesis to your argument. Most people seem to accept nothingness pretty easily. I don’t the see the evidence for your position.
I would say that the position is supported by people's actions, not their words. Just think about teh amount of money spent on medicine...or better yet, think of terminally ill people who spend millions on quack remedies.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Zero
I would say that the position is supported by people's actions, not their words. Just think about teh amount of money spent on medicine...or better yet, think of terminally ill people who spend millions on quack remedies.
There is a difference between a fear of death, a will to live, a love of life, and even the fight to live. Even when way beyond their point of tolerance, some people might fight a cancer only for their children's sake...just as an example.

Edit: As another example, there was no doubt in anyones mind that my grandmother stayed alive to see my wedding - I was her first grandchild. She had been battling lung cancer for a couple of years and she was hanging on by a thread. She died during our honeymoon.
 
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FZ+

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Ivan: yep. There's statistical evidence for a dip in death rate during national holidays, and a rise afterwards, suggesting some sort of psychological effect in play.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by FZ+
Ivan: yep. There's statistical evidence for a dip in death rate during national holidays, and a rise afterwards, suggesting some sort of psychological effect in play.
I have also heard that the most likely time to die...I think of a heart attack... is 9AM, Monday morning.

[I am quite sure that this comes from a Deepak Chopra lecture]
 
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i wonder if that psychological effect could be exploited to grant immortality.

sometimes we take placebo pills and they cure us.

i wonder how often a placebo pill would grant someone immortality. maybe 0.0000000000000001% of the time or less...

i'm wondering why a believer wouldn't just commit suicide and go to heaven. they say that that's a sin but they also say that jesus will forgive your sins. therefore, why not just do it and go to heaven now? why wait?

cheers,
phoenix
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by FZ+
I dunno, but wasn't the afterlife always mainstream? A stint in paradise was always one of the the primary reward mechanisms of any religion.
Far beyond that, its one of the most fundamental questions in all of human existence. Far beyond "mainstream," its been a dominant force in human culture since humans diverged from apes.

In any case, the guy in the article is like John Edwards, he just takes a more direct and aggressive approach to his fraud.
 

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