Thoughts on survival

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In the effort of communication I thought I'd post about some doubts about survival I've had recently after reading some philosophy (mostly David Chalmers and some stuff about substance dualism). And I think you guys know me well enough to know this isn't some kind of doubt sowing, GOTCHA kinda post.

My doubts about survival tends to follow a kind of snowball I guess? Or a chain. Starting of course with, is physicalism false? I tend to be conservative about this, I think there's certainly enough evidence to reasonably doubt it is true but of course physicalism is very successful, and the evidence we have now tends to be a lot of "things physicalism can't explain" and we have to wait and see, rather than a smoking gun okay we have this definitive event this can't be explained physicalism is false.

Going on from there of course, survival itself. I don't tend to include super PSI since I don't view it as super valid. Certainly within the realm of possibility but to me unlikely. But yes, survival, how closely tied is it with the physical? What happens with reincarnation when everybody is dead? If we somehow survive in some information morphic resonance kind of way then what happens at the potential heat death of the universe, permanent constant hell or fading away? Or burning up because of entropy beforehand? Or an equally terrible fate before that in a big crunch, rip or slurp?

So survival, an afterlife, is not tied to the goings on of the physical world. In that case, then a whole other dimension would need to exist, some kind of spiritual world. But then what would that be like? What LAWS would it operare under? Or is there none? Do you remain forever, timeless, or do you fade into the godhead type situation? Is everyone there the millions from history who died? Do you move up dimensions? How, why, how does that work? What happens when the physical world ends does shit change cause humans are wiped out? 

Not to mention why does survival happen in the first place, especially if it's not religious related OR physical. We've found out a lot about the universe with there being no spiritual dimension. Did it exist before life? Why did it only exist after life if not? How does it exist? 

No small number of questions. When a skeptic hears about an afterlife you can imagine all of these running rhrough their mind and squashing any serious thought about the possibility. At the very least we have evidence, suggestive maybe but good and improving, saying that survival is a possibility. Does that mean some of these questions might be able to be answered with research? Maybe. Are some possibly unanswerable? Probably. They're not anything that keeps me awake at night, but do wrack my brain when I read skeptics and opposition to non physical things in philosophy.

What do you guys think, got anything that keeps you thinking too? Might as well be open about it, shouldn't feel scared to voice our doubts.
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  • Silence
(2021-02-19, 10:55 AM)Smaw Wrote: In the effort of communication I thought I'd post about some doubts about survival I've had recently after reading some philosophy (mostly David Chalmers and some stuff about substance dualism). And I think you guys know me well enough to know this isn't some kind of doubt sowing, GOTCHA kinda post.

My doubts about survival tends to follow a kind of snowball I guess? Or a chain. Starting of course with, is physicalism false? I tend to be conservative about this, I think there's certainly enough evidence to reasonably doubt it is true but of course physicalism is very successful, and the evidence we have now tends to be a lot of "things physicalism can't explain" and we have to wait and see, rather than a smoking gun okay we have this definitive event this can't be explained physicalism is false.

Going on from there of course, survival itself. I don't tend to include super PSI since I don't view it as super valid. Certainly within the realm of possibility but to me unlikely. But yes, survival, how closely tied is it with the physical? What happens with reincarnation when everybody is dead? If we somehow survive in some information morphic resonance kind of way then what happens at the potential heat death of the universe, permanent constant hell or fading away? Or burning up because of entropy beforehand? Or an equally terrible fate before that in a big crunch, rip or slurp?

So survival, an afterlife, is not tied to the goings on of the physical world. In that case, then a whole other dimension would need to exist, some kind of spiritual world. But then what would that be like? What LAWS would it operare under? Or is there none? Do you remain forever, timeless, or do you fade into the godhead type situation? Is everyone there the millions from history who died? Do you move up dimensions? How, why, how does that work? What happens when the physical world ends does shit change cause humans are wiped out? 

Not to mention why does survival happen in the first place, especially if it's not religious related OR physical. We've found out a lot about the universe with there being no spiritual dimension. Did it exist before life? Why did it only exist after life if not? How does it exist? 

No small number of questions. When a skeptic hears about an afterlife you can imagine all of these running rhrough their mind and squashing any serious thought about the possibility. At the very least we have evidence, suggestive maybe but good and improving, saying that survival is a possibility. Does that mean some of these questions might be able to be answered with research? Maybe. Are some possibly unanswerable? Probably. They're not anything that keeps me awake at night, but do wrack my brain when I read skeptics and opposition to non physical things in philosophy.

What do you guys think, got anything that keeps you thinking too? Might as well be open about it, shouldn't feel scared to voice our doubts.

I imagine that we all have doubts. I have never claimed to be 100% certain of survival which is why I am still afraid of facing my own mortality. I tend to assess the evidence for survival in a couple of ways that a staunch materialist would probably not, however. I ask myself what is the most parsimonious explanation for the best evidence, whether that be NDE or verifiable communications from the “other side” or cases suggestive of reincarnation. There are so many accounts and the the strongest of them are very difficult to explain away by the usual sceptical arguments. The most parsimonious explanation is often simply that they are what they seem to be and that trying to deny them or force-fit them into a physicalist worldview just looks contrived and almost desperate. 

So early on I realised that I too needed a philosophical worldview which could allow me the freedom to look at this evidence and ask whether my philosophy would be challenged by it. I tended towards idealism because it can explain the physical as well as the spiritual. If we start from the premise that all is mind and that the physical is merely a manifestation of mind then a much bigger picture emerges with our life in the physical world just being one of many forms that mind can create and experience. I think that Chalmers might be edging towards an idealist worldview too. 

In my philosophy, the problem of what happens when all human life has ended doesn’t arise. The perceived separation between the living and the dead, between the physical and the spiritual is an illusion.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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  • Smaw
(2021-02-19, 10:55 AM)Smaw Wrote: In the effort of communication I thought I'd post about some doubts about survival I've had recently after reading some philosophy (mostly David Chalmers and some stuff about substance dualism). And I think you guys know me well enough to know this isn't some kind of doubt sowing, GOTCHA kinda post.

My doubts about survival tends to follow a kind of snowball I guess? Or a chain. Starting of course with, is physicalism false? I tend to be conservative about this, I think there's certainly enough evidence to reasonably doubt it is true but of course physicalism is very successful, and the evidence we have now tends to be a lot of "things physicalism can't explain" and we have to wait and see, rather than a smoking gun okay we have this definitive event this can't be explained physicalism is false.

Going on from there of course, survival itself. I don't tend to include super PSI since I don't view it as super valid. Certainly within the realm of possibility but to me unlikely. But yes, survival, how closely tied is it with the physical? What happens with reincarnation when everybody is dead? If we somehow survive in some information morphic resonance kind of way then what happens at the potential heat death of the universe, permanent constant hell or fading away? Or burning up because of entropy beforehand? Or an equally terrible fate before that in a big crunch, rip or slurp?

So survival, an afterlife, is not tied to the goings on of the physical world. In that case, then a whole other dimension would need to exist, some kind of spiritual world. But then what would that be like? What LAWS would it operare under? Or is there none? Do you remain forever, timeless, or do you fade into the godhead type situation? Is everyone there the millions from history who died? Do you move up dimensions? How, why, how does that work? What happens when the physical world ends does shit change cause humans are wiped out? 

Not to mention why does survival happen in the first place, especially if it's not religious related OR physical. We've found out a lot about the universe with there being no spiritual dimension. Did it exist before life? Why did it only exist after life if not? How does it exist? 

No small number of questions. When a skeptic hears about an afterlife you can imagine all of these running rhrough their mind and squashing any serious thought about the possibility. At the very least we have evidence, suggestive maybe but good and improving, saying that survival is a possibility. Does that mean some of these questions might be able to be answered with research? Maybe. Are some possibly unanswerable? Probably. They're not anything that keeps me awake at night, but do wrack my brain when I read skeptics and opposition to non physical things in philosophy.

What do you guys think, got anything that keeps you thinking too? Might as well be open about it, shouldn't feel scared to voice our doubts.
Out of all, Karmarling is the honest one. He wrote: "that's why I am still afraid of facing my own mortality". There's hardly a person that likes contemplating their mortality that's why typically more people look for loopholes. 

I've often seen expressed this notion there are two separate worlds the spiritual world and the physical world. I question why folks think they are separate?  Do physicists think quantum mechanics is separate from the classical world? No they do not. Each, they know, is a manifestation of the natural world.
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  • Mediochre
(2021-02-19, 03:02 PM)Steve001 Wrote: Out of all, Karmarling is the honest one.


He's the only honest one from a sample size of one?  C'mon man. Wink


(2021-02-19, 03:02 PM)Steve001 Wrote: He wrote: "that's why I am still afraid of facing my own mortality". There's hardly a person that likes contemplating their mortality that's why typically more people look for loopholes.


Source?  I'm certainly in the Kam camp, but I don't have any evidence that the other camp (i.e., those unafraid of facing their mortality) is some super small population.  Quite the contrary in my experience.


(2021-02-19, 03:02 PM)Steve001 Wrote: I've often seen expressed this notion there are two separate worlds the spiritual world and the physical world. I question why folks think they are separate?  Do physicists think quantum mechanics is separate from the classical world? No they do not. Each, they know, is a manifestation of the natural world.


Maybe expand on what you mean by separate exactly.  Otherwise, its hard to evaluate whether your comparison (QM to classical) is apt.
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
What does survival mean? The core observer "I" is the nucleus of existence. What am I in this life though? I would call that what the I observer is able to currently access in this now point (a growing number of reference frames in space time through my life in any current "now"). But upon death what will happen? I mean, I am not able to access reference frames in any other life, but it seems upon death, or NDE, that this may expand. So, in that sense, what I have experienced is preserved (it always has existed in some way, but I experienced it), but I, we may transcend this upon dying, our boundaries that define our self are broken. 

Where that leads, I'm not entirely sure, and I feel that as a result of our current lives, we imprint upon the observer nucleus, and that determines where we go "next".
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2021-02-19, 05:21 PM)Silence Wrote: He's the only honest one from a sample size of one?  C'mon man. Wink




Source?  I'm certainly in the Kam camp, but I don't have any evidence that the other camp (i.e., those unafraid of facing their mortality) is some super small population.  Quite the contrary in my experience.




Maybe expand on what you mean by separate exactly.  Otherwise, its hard to evaluate whether your comparison (QM to classical) is apt.
 Oh damn ... I typed in a reply but it disappeared when I hit post. I hate trying to type in replies on an iPad. I will try again when I go back to my PC.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(This post was last modified: 2021-02-19, 07:08 PM by Kamarling.)
(2021-02-19, 05:21 PM)Silence Wrote: He's the only honest one from a sample size of one?  C'mon man.

Source?  I'm certainly in the Kam camp, but I don't have any evidence that the other camp (i.e., those unafraid of facing their mortality) is some super small population.  Quite the contrary in my experience.

Maybe expand on what you mean by separate exactly.  Otherwise, its hard to evaluate whether your comparison (QM to classical) is apt.

Heh, Kam being honest is at least one more than the [many] skeptics who seem incapable of that virtue, given all their deceptions that I've recently put up threads about. I suspect they fear damnation, or are wretchedly bitter others can find comfort in the idea of an afterlife so need to ruin their peace/acceptance.

Probably a topic that deserves its own thread.

Personally I am not overly worried about Survival, if it doesn't happen then there's literally Nothing to do about it. But I do think it is the case, and not sure how to feel about that as I don't expect it's much like the NDE or classical idea of Heaven.

It's possibly better we don't know for sure, though perhaps the varied forces of cruelty would be less inclined to Evil if they thought they might have to pay a price.

To address some points made in the OP:

- Physicalism is a technically a philosophy albeit a very poor one, and as such has had no successes in science. A good many scientists such as Newton were [and are] theists, including the physicist Jeremy England - an Orthodox Jew - who is working on an explanation for how life results naturally from physics. Many also, at the least, weren't & aren't Physicalists. Historically it can and has been argued that without the idea that God had put down Laws in the Book of Nature we wouldn't have had the scientific advancements we've gotten.

- Reductionism as a strategy can be said to have a good deal of success, but it has led directly to quantum mechanics which has opened the door to potential ways to reconcile the atomic "physical" world with a wider reality wherein Survival takes place. 

- Given the increasing acceptance that our understanding of Space and Time are incomplete, and that there's no good explanation - even in Idealism or Dualism - of how one gets to 1st Person PoVs at our level, seems like it's a reasonable assumption that our personalities continue given the evidence.

- Since Physical Laws don't make things happen I don't think that's a barrier at all to Survival.

Of course there's always going to be doubts for most of us, and even on the other side people probably argue whether it's a Simulation, whether there's a Second Death, who's *really* got the right religion, etc...

"Your time has come - So tell us truthfully before you go, what sort of paradise do you expect to discover when you have passed through the veil?"

"In Paradise, the words worship and argument mean the same thing - The Almighty is not a tyrant. In the House of God all voices are free to speak as they choose, and that is the form of their devotion."


 -Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-02-19, 09:01 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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  • nbtruthman
OK, I will try again now that I have a proper keyboard and mouse.

On the question of belief being determined by need for comfort - as suggested by Steve001 - I am sure that I have addressed this many times here but I'll give it another try.

Firstly it is not a question of belief. I don't have a belief, I have a reasoned worldview which is informed by evidence and philosophy. As I said in my earlier post, my philosophy tends towards idealism which, for me, is able to account for both the physical and the spiritual. 

Secondly, my fears of death do drive me in many ways. We are all driven by our hopes and fears to some extent and the stronger those hopes or fears, the stronger the drive. However, there are some who are driven towards irrational beliefs, some driven to faith based beliefs and some driven to examine evidence which might provide answers to their own big questions. Resolution for their nagging doubts. Justification for their odyssey. I see just as much faith-based belief in physicalism and atheism as I do in religion and (therefore) I am neither religious nor atheist.

For me, the evidence needs to be as unimpeachable as possible. I know that we are dealing with a subject that does not lend itself to scientific study but that does not prevent scientific methods and controls being employed. The stories need to be scrutinised and scepticism is required from the outset. But scepticism and denial are not synonymous. Dismissing something because it doesn't fit with your chosen ideological dogma is just as bad as believing something only because it brings comfort for your fears.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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(2021-02-19, 03:02 PM)Steve001 Wrote: Out of all, Karmarling is the honest one. He wrote: "that's why I am still afraid of facing my own mortality". There's hardly a person that likes contemplating their mortality that's why typically more people look for loopholes. 

I've often seen expressed this notion there are two separate worlds the spiritual world and the physical world. I question why folks think they are separate?  Do physicists think quantum mechanics is separate from the classical world? No they do not. Each, they know, is a manifestation of the natural world.

I don't know if you're saying that people only believe in survival because they're afraid of dying....
I like to think I've done my hard mile. I had my whole bunch of years where I was the atheist materialist debunker, I went through the struggle of dealing with my mortality then like everyone does. Then I came across NDEs when I was trying to disprove them and here we are. Certainly I wouldn't mind for there to be an afterlife but I'm only around while there's evidence, if we have to fall back on just religion then I'm still an atheist so I'm off the boat.

And a spiritual world could be deeply intertwined with the natural world, but then of course it comes in with how connected are they. Is the spiritual world physical? If it's nonphysical but deeply intertwined what happens when big events occur in the universe?
(2021-02-19, 08:20 PM)Kamarling Wrote: I don't have a belief, I have a reasoned worldview which is informed by evidence and philosophy.

I think nothing in science precludes Survival, and on the flip side much of philosophy is suggestive of it. Physicists - even atheism advocates like Neil Degrasse Tyson - who believe we're in a Simulation obviously give a way to have an afterlife. [Idealist physicists provide an interpretation that is quite similar just the "hardware" running the Simulation is a Cosmic Mind or somesuch.]

But there are also the theories of reality beyond this universe, beyond our normal ideas of space and time, that provide a place for the spiritual realms. [For example the idea that universes "bubble up" from a quantum "sea".]

Likely the only argument against Survival that carries weight is experiential - basically our awareness of the discontinuity gained from attending funerals.

If people died but then the body turned into a figure of light that flew into the sky then this experience plus the existing Survival cases would end the debate for most people.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-02-19, 11:21 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)

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