What Happens When We Die?

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(Feb 3, 2017 04:17 PM)Ben the Donkey Wrote: I actually like Stryder's post. Some interesting stuff in there.

In the spirit of going beyond the customary rut of limited conceptions, as exemplified by that book David Eagleman put out a few years ago.

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Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives [...] is a work of speculative fiction by the neuroscientist David Eagleman. [...] The author has stated that none of the stories is meant to be taken as serious theological proposals but, instead, that the message of the book is the importance of exploring new ideas beyond the ones that have been traditionally passed down.... --Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

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David Eagleman [...] told us that he had become so absorbed in thinking about the afterlife that over a period of seven years he sketched out more than 70 different versions of it, publishing a collection of the best of them [...] Eagleman opened the event with a reading of the title story:

"In the afterlife you will relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together. You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on the toilet..."

and so on, until you realise that it was the fragmentation of your earthly life that made it so much more blissful:

"a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand."

Eagleman himself has this fictional child's joy of jumping from one possibility to another, so much so that he's elevated it to a guiding principle for life and given it a name: possibilianism. It's in the nature of science, he said.
--Brain scientist vs novelist: what use is an afterlife?

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These are by no means all pleasant. Eagleman's mission is to unnerve.

There is the afterlife where "you discover that your creator is a species of small, dim-witted, obtuse creatures" who keep asking you "do you have answer?"

Or there is the afterlife in which we discover our true essences: that we are, in fact, enormous, nine-dimensional beings charged with the maintenance of the cosmos; when we are exhausted by the work, we are reincarnated as humans, and abandon our huge responsibilities. "We care only about a meeting of the eyes, a glimpse of bare flesh, the caressing tones of a loved voice, joy, love, light, the orientation of a house plant, the shade of a paint stroke, the arrangement of hair."

There is the afterlife where you get to choose to be whatever you want to be in the next life. Eagleman proposes an individual who, in search of a simpler life, decides to become a horse, but, during his metamorphosis, realises that "the slide down the intelligence ladder is irreversible ... you forget what it was like to be a human wondering what it was like to be a horse".

Among the most poignant is the afterlife populated only by people you remember. After a while you begin to notice that there is no opportunity of meeting strangers, and the world is actually empty. "You begin to complain about all the people you could be meeting. But no one listens or sympathises with you, because this is precisely what you chose when you were alive."

They are skits on the conundrums of creation itself; God, variously imagined as male, female, non-existent or concerned only with microbes (we are an accidental and irrelevant by-product), is as often as not in despair at how imperfect everything is, how the best intentions can go awry.

You get the picture: these are stories that tell us how to live our lives now, to appreciate, indeed treasure, our sublunar existence...
--Life after life explained
Zinjanthropos Offline
Why are NDE visions regarded as glimpses of an afterlife? Does only merely dead mean as much as quite sincerely dead (I hear Munchkins)?
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(Feb 3, 2017 08:23 AM)stryder Wrote: Such technology/mechanism couldn't work like say "taking a photo", literally just capturing someone at death would not contain their whole sum, instead that person would have to be captured from the point of birth up until death.

An afterlife would seem to contribute to endurantism not really holding water in terms of identity. In respect to an afterlife needing to acquire or reflect all the temporal parts of a person, rather than just salvaging the potential vegetable or senile stage of them immediately prior to dying.

Also, in the cases of individuals with very short lives (those deceasing hours after birth, etc)... Versions of them selected from the parts of a multiverse where they instead lasted the maximum possibility of years would apparently need to be selected (or where they had the most optimum life). If reality is a technological simulation nested in a higher-order world, then the simulation would embrace a processing model sort of mimicking key characteristics of a multiverse, Julian Barbour's Platonia, etc. From a person's subjective standpoint, it would be the parallel timeline, alternative route, etc, that sports the most optimum life available which one personally experiences. As opposed to experiencing a short-lived version of one's history that someone else encounters. Which wouldn't be saying much for the range of options open to many of us (especially the nonagenarian who spent most of their 93 years homeless or being a political prisoner).

(Feb 6, 2017 04:31 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Why are NDE visions regarded as glimpses of an afterlife? Does only merely dead mean as much as quite sincerely dead (I hear Munchkins)?

If a non-corporeal spirit literally left the body and returned, there's the question of how the inactive and "left behind" brain would have the memories to report later of what transpired during the OBE or NDE. In contrast to such being the hallucinations of a quasi-dying brain in its final, dwindling moments prior to heart revival (or whatever).

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