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How do you deal with your existence?

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    That article DirtyDirtyVagrant just posted is interesting, but I'm skeptical of the author's claim that a person's consciousness would resume if the brain's physical form was replicated. Sure, I can accept that duplicating a brain could create a consciousness identical to the original and that the duplicate would believe itself to be the same as the original, but I don't accept the idea that a discontinued consciousness could be resumed. The duplicate consciousness may believe itself to have existed uninterrupted, but the original consciousness would not wake up to new experiences; it would be replaced by a usurper.

    It seems more probable to me that our consciousness is constantly in the process of death and rebirth. Our consciousness is a succession of duplicates from an initial consciousness that is altered over time as the physical properties of our brains are modified. We have all the same memories, but we are not the exact same consciousness any more; we just don't perceive it because the transition between mind states is a continuous, gradual process.

    To illustrate my point, my consciousness has "died" and been "reborn" countless times since I began typing this post. I cannot perceive any transition, but my mind state has been subtly altered at every point in time since I began writing. The me who clicks "Submit Reply" once I am finished typing will not be the same me who inputs the period at the end of this sentence. It will be a usurper to countless previous mind states that have been continually organized and disorganized ever since my initial mind state formed and faded away nearly 23 years ago.

    This may be a bit off-topic, but I've wondered in the past what a "pure" human mind would be like. By that, I mean a human mind that is completely free from biological factors that can affect behavior. For example, what would my mind be like if it were free from the influence of behavioral hormones?

    Hexmage-PA on
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    Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If something is out of my control, as in entirely out of my control, I don't see any need to fuss about it.

    How do I deal with my own mortality? I strive to do as much good as I can. I try to help as much as I can. Dying is simply when I'll stop doing that.

    Ethan Smith on
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    kdrudykdrudy Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I realize everything around us and all the universe is amazing and enjoy it

    kdrudy on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Epicurus wrote:
    Therefore that most frightful of evils, death, is nothing to us, seeing that when we exist death is not present, and when death is present we do not exist. Thus it is nothing to either the living or the dead, seeing that the former do not have it, and the latter no longer exist.
    Lucretius wrote:
    Nor do we, or can we, by prolonging life subtract anything from the time of death, so as perhaps to shorten our period of extinction! Hence you may live to see out as many centuries as you like: no less will everlasting death await you. No shorter will be the period of nonexistence for one who has ended his life from today than for one who perished many months or years ago.
    Lucretius wrote:
    Just as in the past we had no sensation of discomfort when the Carthaginians were converging to attack […] so too, when we will no longer exist […] you can take it that nothing at all will be able to affect us and to stir our sensation – not if the earth collapses into sea, and sea into sky.
    Lucretius wrote:
    'No more for you the welcome of a joyful home and a good wife. No more will your children run to snatch the first kiss, and move your heart with unspoken delight. No more will you be able to protect the success of your affairs and your dependents. Unhappy man,' they say, 'unhappily robbed by a single hateful day of all those rewards of life." What they fail to add is: 'Nor does any yearning for those things remain in you.' If they properly saw this with their mind, and followed it up in their words, they would unshackle themselves of great anguish and fear.

    MrMister on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    This may be a bit off-topic, but I've wondered in the past what a "pure" human mind would be like. By that, I mean a human mind that is completely free from biological factors that can affect behavior. For example, what would my mind be like if it were free from the influence of behavioral hormones?

    I suspect we'd find that there would be other types of "emotion" systems happening or that developed. Purely mathematical systems act in chaotic ways when "pushed" in a certain direction. You could end up with emotional states are systems of harmonics between a bunch of simulated neurons for example, that decay out over time.

    I mean, this is part of the appeal of developing digital sentience anyway - so we could study this type of behavior in a much more investigatable system.

    electricitylikesme on
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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thinking about non existence sucks and is depressing, because ultimately existence (in all forms) is completely and utterly meaningless, the universe doesn't care, it will blink and your planet will have long since been destroyed by the passage of time.

    Man threads like this make me miss being a Christian, sometimes delusion is most conducive to happiness

    override367 on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thinking about non existence sucks and is depressing, because ultimately existence (in all forms) is completely and utterly meaningless, the universe doesn't care, it will blink and your planet will have long since been destroyed by the passage of time.

    Man threads like this make me miss being a Christian, sometimes delusion is most conducive to happiness

    Look on the plus side though: maybe Ray Kurzweil isn't crazy, and you're living in the first generation that will cyberize itself and live to the vanishing point of eternity.

    Just don't get involved in anything stupid like wars over planetary resources.

    electricitylikesme on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thinking about non existence sucks and is depressing, because ultimately existence (in all forms) is completely and utterly meaningless, the universe doesn't care, it will blink and your planet will have long since been destroyed by the passage of time.

    This does not follow. It may be true that our current lives will not impact a sufficiently removed future date, but that does not mean that they are without meaning. In fact, we can tell precisely from the fact that our lives do have meaning that meaning must not be the sort of thing which is inconsistent with lacking impact on a sufficiently removed future date.

    Perhaps by tomorrow it will no longer matter that earlier today I enjoyed a particular moment lying in the sun. But that does not mean that it does not matter today. If all and only those things that matter tomorrow could be such as to matter today, then when do we get to start counting? After all, something that matters tomorrow might not matter in tomorrow's tomorrow, but certainly we do not need to wait until the end of time before we can ever look back and say that I had a good moment in the sun.

    MrMister on
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    DacDac Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I chill.

    And think.

    And try to learn what I can about the universe.

    Recognizing that its true origins and the origin of existence itself is so far beyond my ken that I'll probably never really know what's going on.

    Dac on
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    Origin: ShogunGunshow
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    MrMister wrote: »
    Thinking about non existence sucks and is depressing, because ultimately existence (in all forms) is completely and utterly meaningless, the universe doesn't care, it will blink and your planet will have long since been destroyed by the passage of time.

    This does not follow. It may be true that our current lives will not impact a sufficiently removed future date, but that does not mean that they are without meaning. In fact, we can tell precisely from the fact that our lives do have meaning that meaning must not be the sort of thing which is inconsistent with lacking impact on a sufficiently removed future date.

    Perhaps by tomorrow it will no longer matter that earlier today I enjoyed a particular moment lying in the sun. But that does not mean that it does not matter today. If all and only those things that matter tomorrow could be such as to matter today, then when do we get to start counting? After all, something that matters tomorrow might not matter in tomorrow's tomorrow, but certainly we do not need to wait until the end of time before we can ever look back and say that I had a good moment in the sun.
    It kinda does, nothing matters welcome to nihilism. I mean you can say it matters today, but ultimately it serves no purpose other than making you happy, and you serve no purpose since nothing serves a purpose so...?

    taliosfalcon on
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    PwnanObrienPwnanObrien He's right, life sucks. Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    PwnanObrien on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It kinda does, nothing matters welcome to nihilism.

    Not Actually An Argument.

    MrMister on
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    Fallout2manFallout2man Vault Dweller Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I constantly parse and re-parse my existence. I'm still trying to fit myself into the overall world somehow. I have a lot of clever mental tricks though that have somehow allowed me to survive. I did go through enough dark times though to know that for better or worse I'm not going to kill myself so therefore I must find a way to live and be happy with it.

    That said, the idea of a true, eternal death scares the ever loving bejesus out of me. I once tried to actually get an emotional grip on the finality of that and it terrified me far more than anything in my life. So that may be why I'm not so cavalier about wanting it anytime soon. In the interim I'm still mulling about definitions of integrity, strength and purpose in the world.

    I actually spend an inordinate amount of time philosophizing about it. Right now I'm trying to re-learn a sense of deeper self-rooted inner-confidence to fuel me to achieve my goals. So I exist right now for that, which in turn is a means to an end of accomplishing other goals which require a more firmly planted heart/mind.

    Fallout2man on
    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    MrMister wrote: »
    It kinda does, nothing matters welcome to nihilism.

    Not Actually An Argument.

    I would have though what came after clarified it, If there's no permanent existence and everything ends everything you work toward ultimately results in nothing so there's no point in trying to be remembered and since you'll cease to exist as well it really doesn't matter if you enjoy the feeling of the sun today, tomorrow or ever. Meaning is an individual concept, since individuals cease to exist nothing has meaning. Ceasing to exist is effectively the same as never existing at all.

    taliosfalcon on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2011

    (not having watched the video, just going by the title) I don't get this position. So I'm made of [some kind of material]. Why should that be significant to the topic being discussed? Am I to revere and find solace in the history and probable future of the material that I am comprised of? Why?

    What if we ever come upon beings that aren't made of "star stuff", but something else that's more aesthetically boring? Whoops, now you're racist.

    Loren Michael on
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    doug_grammardoug_grammar Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It worries me. I can't lie about this. When the thought comes up, I get a bit sick in the stomach, my head wonders off, and my eyes begin to zone out. It's fear.

    Everything I do in life is a bit lackadaisical though, so whenever thoughts of my morality come into my mentality it ends up just giving me the encouragement needed to achieve. The fear brings out the desire in me to fight back. A yearning to do the best that I can do to win. It feels like going from a light jog to being chased by a pack of hyenas at my heels at a moment's notice in my mind.

    I admit, it's because I'm the type of person who requires healthy doses of ambition on a daily basis, so having an life time prescription at the ready allows me to essentially handle the problems of my existence itself along with many other obstacles by embracing the challenge they set no matter how futile my attempts are at overcoming them.

    doug_grammar on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Thinking about non existence sucks and is depressing, because ultimately existence (in all forms) is completely and utterly meaningless, the universe doesn't care, it will blink and your planet will have long since been destroyed by the passage of time.

    Man threads like this make me miss being a Christian, sometimes delusion is most conducive to happiness

    My disagreement, by way of analogy:

    LEGO bricks are meaningless. We add meaning to them, by building them up in ways that are interesting to us. We could also simply buy and build the sets from the boxes and follow the directions. There's no way to win at LEGO bricks, there's no objective. We can have fun with them, or not. We can build with them, or not. If we build with them, we can build something we or others find beautiful or interesting, or not.

    I find LEGO bricks incredibly fascinating and fun, but there's no meaning in them. They fit together in ways that I find interesting, and I add meaning to them by creating things with them and finding new interactions between the pieces.

    I would add that assuming a purpose to LEGO bricks may in fact make them less enjoyable. If I was supposed to do something particular with them, "playing" with LEGO bricks might seem like a lot of work. Upon completing the objective, I think I might find it unsatisfying.

    Loren Michael on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    MrMister wrote: »
    It kinda does, nothing matters welcome to nihilism.

    Not Actually An Argument.

    I would have though what came after clarified it, If there's no permanent existence and everything ends everything you work toward ultimately results in nothing so there's no point in trying to be remembered and since you'll cease to exist as well it really doesn't matter if you enjoy the feeling of the sun today, tomorrow or ever. Meaning is an individual concept, since individuals cease to exist nothing has meaning. Ceasing to exist is effectively the same as never existing at all.

    I dunno how you reach that point, or if you're arguing something that you actually believe. If I were to take this all at face value, that everything is meaningless because in the future what mattered today no longer matters, then what's left? Nothing? If nothing, why even bother to debate the meaning of existence? Why type on a message board? Why eat? Why breathe? Why live a meaningless existence.

    And it occurs to me that I don't know how you'd live a meaningless existence. Like, trying to imagine a person living in a system where they have recognized everything to be meaningless comes out blank to me because I can't imagine a person actually continuing to be something that can be called a person in that system. Maybe as an automaton in a greater scheme? Where the automaton's presumptions of meaning are just a function of its greater role in the machine? Where said cog is limited to its role in a system that it is a part of so intrinsically that the question of willing/ not willing isn't applicable?

    Sorry if this doesn't make much sense. I'm just trying to understand where the above comes from and leads to.

    Alchemist449 on
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    ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If something is out of my control, as in entirely out of my control, I don't see any need to fuss about it.

    How do I deal with my own mortality? I strive to do as much good as I can. I try to help as much as I can. Dying is simply when I'll stop doing that.

    What if it isn't out of your control?
    What if you can possibly extend your life by supporting various life-extension endeavours?
    By doing your part to move the public's opinion in favour of research of immortality?

    That's kinda the problem. We currently live in a time where it's certainly possible that we might be able to extend our existence bit by bit and in essence making it unending.

    Those poor shlobs born 50, 500 or 5000 years ago on the other hand had simply no say in the matter and to them mortality was an inevitable fact of life.

    Shanadeus on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Podly wrote: »
    DFW clearly loved pop culture and entertainment. But I think he saw it as a historical element of the timeperiod he found himself existentially thrust into. His problem is that you have to be very intelligent to recognize that. If you aren't, you just entertain yourself to death. If you do recognize, most of your options, unless you are existentially stout and resolute, are to just sit by the side and watch everyone else entertain themselves to death.

    i don't think there really are many alternatives, if any, to entertainment. we seem built to produce technology that is, at its root, either a generator of pleasure or a support structure for maximizing pleasure.

    Where does my enjoyment of reading non-fiction (typically related to economics, psychology, or history) fit in that assessment? Is it pleasure technology at its root, a support structure for maximizing pleasure? If it's the former, I guess I don't see the problem Podly's assessment of DFW's views points to.

    Loren Michael on
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    ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I direct you to The Hedonistic Imperative:

    [SIZE=-1][SIZE=+2]A[/SIZE]BSTRACT[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]INTRODUCTION[/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 0.1 The Naturalisation of Heaven
    * 0.2 Saving Vehicles With Bad Drivers
    * 0.3 Humans Are Not Rats
    * 0.4 Life In Dopaminergic Overdrive [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1][/SIZE][SIZE=-1]HOW?[/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 1.0 Sabotage At The Mill
    * 1.1 The Biological Program
    * 1.2 Pumping Up The Volume
    * 1.3 The Civilising Neurotransmitter
    * 1.4 The Cardinal Importance Of Delayed Gratification
    * 1.5 The Molecular Genetics Of Paradise
    * 1.6 The Re-encephalisation Of Emotion
    * 1.7 How Could Anything Be So Good?
    * 1.8 All We Need Is Love?
    * 1.9 The Taste Of Depravity
    * 1.10 On The Misguided Romanticisation Of Feline Psychopaths
    * 1.11 The Last Twisted Molecule On Earth?
    * 1.12 The Persistence Of Hard-Core Porn
    * 1.13 The Growing Pleasures Of Homunculi
    * 1.14 Post-Perceptual Consciousness? [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1]
    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]WHY?[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 2.0 The Psychology Of Armchair Hedonism
    * 2.1 How To Contemplate An Introspective Void
    * 2.2 The Importance Of Banality
    * 2.3 Vacuous Desires
    * 2.4 A Dirty Window On The Soul
    * 2.5 Let's Get Rational
    * 2.6 The Morality Of Happiness
    * 2.7 Why Be Negative?
    * 2.8 The Moral Panacea
    * 2.9 The Significance Of An Empirical Correlation
    * 2.10 A Tough-Minded Scientist Replies
    * 2.11 The Selection Of Mysterious Reds
    * 2.12 The Formal Successes Of Scientific Triumphalism
    * 2.13 The Naturalisation Of Value
    * 2.14 Four Deadly Objections?
    * 2.15 Alone Amongst The Zombies
    * 2.16 The Perils Of Idle Scepticism
    * 2.17 The Price Of Inner Demons
    * 2.18 Can We All Be Really Good?
    * 2.19 Equivocal Values
    * 2.20 Good Vibrations: The Value Of String [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1]
    [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1]WHEN?[/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 3.0 Our Emotional Future
    * 3.1 Hedonism After The War
    * 3.2 On Why We Need Better Drug Pushers
    * 3.3 Good Code Gets Better
    * 3.4 The Death-Spasms Of Peripheralism
    * 3.5 And Yet It Still Grinds
    * 3.6 The Technology Of Shop-Soiled Utopias
    * 3.7 Living In The Real World [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1] [/SIZE][SIZE=-1] OBJECTIONS[/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 4.0 ...impossible because happiness depends on contrast with sadness...
    * 4.1 ...brain too complex...negative feedback mechanisms...
    * 4.2 ...we'd just die out...gruesome fate of intra-cranially self-stimulating rats...
    * 4.3 ...manifesto flawed by reductionist approach to the human soul...
    * 4.4 ...unanticipated side-effects...thalidomide...
    * 4.5 ...would need widespread animal-testing...inconsistent with the manifesto's animal welfarism...
    * 4.6 ...unnatural...
    * 4.7 ...perpetual happiness is boring...need for variety...
    * 4.8 ...happiness should be rationally justifiable...
    * 4.9 ...to be forced into chemically-driven happiness is wrong...false happiness...freedom to be unhappy is important...
    * 4.10 ...would turn us into junkies...
    * 4.11 ...one can sometimes like being sad...too precious to lose...
    * 4.12 ...would eliminate personal development...lead to stasis...
    * 4.13 ...why not just get high...?
    * 4.14 ...no more Newtons, Picassos, Beethovens...end of mankind's intellectual progress...
    * 4.15 ...makes mockery of current values and life-projects...too absurd to warrant serious debate...
    * 4.16 ...would leave us helpless... manipulable by ruling elites...
    * 4.17 ...sheer escapism...the importance of staying in touch with reality...
    * 4.18 ...wouldn't be me...one is defined by one's sorrows as much as joys...
    * 4.19 ...selfish distraction from what matters...helping the poor in the Third World comes first...
    * 4.20 ...affront to human dignity...
    * 4.21 ...track-record of utopianism is disastrous...terrible crimes committed on assumption the end justifies the means...
    * 4.22 ...would undermine the basis of all human relationships...
    * 4.23 ...might lead to (post-)humanity getting irreversibly stuck...
    * 4.24 ... emphasis on mood-lifting drugs is disproportionate...easy to misinterpret...
    * 4.25 ...abolitionist project presupposes a utilitarian ethic...HI collapses if utilitarianism is rejected...
    * 4.26 ...will never be a Post-Darwinian Transition... there will always be selection pressure...
    * 4.27 ...paradise-engineering is impossible...not evolutionarily stable...
    * 4.28 ...contradiction...abolitionism can't be reconciled with an absence of compulsion...
    * 4.29 ...why invoke nanotechnology; isn't genetic engineering enough...?
    * 4.30 ..."pushy" parents will choose genotypes for children destined to be smart, driven and successful rather than happy...
    * 4.31 ...persistence of "natural" reproducers with Darwinian genotypes means that suffering won't be abolished...
    * 4.32 ...cosmic HI? Some pitfalls...
    * 4.33 ...why stress gradients of well-being? Wouldn't permanent maximum bliss be ethically better...?
    * 4.34 ...why the headlong rush? Let's wait until we have the wisdom to understand the implications of what we're doing...
    * 4.35 ...the Simulation Argument suggests suffering can never be abolished... [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=-1][/SIZE][SIZE=-1]CONCLUSION[/SIZE]

    * [SIZE=-1]
    * 5.0 Puppet-Masters Without Strings
    * 5.1 Could Life Really Have A Happy Ending? [/SIZE]

    Shanadeus on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    This manifesto combines far-fetched utopian advocacy with cold-headed scientific prediction. The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how nanotechnology and genetic engineering will eliminate aversive experience from the living world. Over the next thousand years or so, the biological substrates of suffering will be eradicated completely. "Physical" and "mental" pain alike are destined to disappear into evolutionary history. The biochemistry of everyday discontents will be genetically phased out too. Malaise will be replaced by the biochemistry of bliss. Matter and energy will be sculpted into life-loving super-beings animated by gradients of well-being. The states of mind of our descendants are likely to be incomprehensibly diverse by comparison with today. Yet all will share at least one common feature: a sublime and all-pervasive happiness.

    That's from the first section of that. And uh...I don't know that a group of people that are all perfectly happy and content would be different. If I were to put you somewhere where everything that needs achieving is achieved, then what would encourage you to achieve above teh necessary? A drive originates from some sort of biological need or desire, but in this system what would be desirable if we are reduced to hedonistic beings whose every urge is pre-placated?

    Also, I'm no scientist, but that all seems...impossible.

    Alchemist449 on
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    MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    So... this is just my experience.

    In college I ODed at a party. All I know is I woke up in a hospital bed. It was just like being asleep and I have no memory of what happened. Afterward I was depressed and unsure of myself and eventually it occurred to me:

    The world went on without me. Individual people may or may not care whether you live or die but no matter what happens to you, the world will go on. The universe doesn't stop just because you die.

    This was perhaps even more depressing to me for awhile. Now, years down the line, I've learned that the fact that the universe keeps going is important for the simple fact that it means what you do isn't important to the world at large. That in itself is important because it means you can stop worrying and live your life as you choose to.

    Let me put it this way:
    If nothing that we do matters, then the only thing that matters is what we do.

    Mblackwell on
    Music: The Rejected Applications | Nintendo Network ID: Mblackwell

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    WMain00WMain00 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Evermourn wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    I suppose throwing in the idea of cyclical existence, afterlife and/or reincarnation as other forms of life wouldn't sit well with you atheists?
    No? Nevermind then.

    Link some evidence of any of it, and I assure you all the atheists will be right on board.

    Link some evidence of any of the assertions of oblivion.

    The same arguments could be counter turned upon atheism.

    WMain00 on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    MrMister wrote: »
    Epicurus wrote:
    Therefore that most frightful of evils, death, is nothing to us, seeing that when we exist death is not present, and when death is present we do not exist. Thus it is nothing to either the living or the dead, seeing that the former do not have it, and the latter no longer exist.
    Lucretius wrote:
    Nor do we, or can we, by prolonging life subtract anything from the time of death, so as perhaps to shorten our period of extinction! Hence you may live to see out as many centuries as you like: no less will everlasting death await you. No shorter will be the period of nonexistence for one who has ended his life from today than for one who perished many months or years ago.
    Lucretius wrote:
    Just as in the past we had no sensation of discomfort when the Carthaginians were converging to attack […] so too, when we will no longer exist […] you can take it that nothing at all will be able to affect us and to stir our sensation – not if the earth collapses into sea, and sea into sky.
    Lucretius wrote:
    'No more for you the welcome of a joyful home and a good wife. No more will your children run to snatch the first kiss, and move your heart with unspoken delight. No more will you be able to protect the success of your affairs and your dependents. Unhappy man,' they say, 'unhappily robbed by a single hateful day of all those rewards of life." What they fail to add is: 'Nor does any yearning for those things remain in you.' If they properly saw this with their mind, and followed it up in their words, they would unshackle themselves of great anguish and fear.

    Dammit, Lucretius always knows when to say the right things!

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
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    MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Evermourn wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    I suppose throwing in the idea of cyclical existence, afterlife and/or reincarnation as other forms of life wouldn't sit well with you atheists?
    No? Nevermind then.

    Link some evidence of any of it, and I assure you all the atheists will be right on board.

    Link some evidence of any of the assertions of oblivion.

    The same arguments could be counter turned upon atheism.

    Erm... oblivion implies something happens. As far as anyone knows, nothing at all happens. Everything just shuts off. The brain doesn't operate anymore. Atheists don't really talk about what "happens after that" because as far as anyone knows the answer is, "nothing". If someone can show definitively otherwise then they'll be right on board.

    Because that's how science works.

    Mblackwell on
    Music: The Rejected Applications | Nintendo Network ID: Mblackwell

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    WMain00WMain00 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Evermourn wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    I suppose throwing in the idea of cyclical existence, afterlife and/or reincarnation as other forms of life wouldn't sit well with you atheists?
    No? Nevermind then.

    Link some evidence of any of it, and I assure you all the atheists will be right on board.

    Link some evidence of any of the assertions of oblivion.

    The same arguments could be counter turned upon atheism.

    Erm... oblivion implies something happens. As far as anyone knows, nothing at all happens. Everything just shuts off. The brain doesn't operate anymore. Atheists don't really talk about what "happens after that" because as far as anyone knows the answer is, "nothing". If someone can show definitively otherwise then they'll be right on board.

    Because that's how science works.

    Except there's no more proof of that than the assertion of "something happening" Those bastards who have experienced death are keeping it to themselves!

    WMain00 on
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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Found it.

    Spoilered for long
    [**Don't believe in Death Essay**]

    That was... errr

    80% banal, 20% crazypants.

    Apothe0sis on
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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    This thread REALLY needs to read "The Absurd" by Thomas Nagel.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/10375640/The-Absurd-Thomas-Nagel

    It's only short. It is an effective answer to both nihilism and charges of the necessity of nihilism without religion.

    Apothe0sis on
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    ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Evermourn wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »
    I suppose throwing in the idea of cyclical existence, afterlife and/or reincarnation as other forms of life wouldn't sit well with you atheists?
    No? Nevermind then.

    Link some evidence of any of it, and I assure you all the atheists will be right on board.

    Link some evidence of any of the assertions of oblivion.

    The same arguments could be counter turned upon atheism.

    Erm... oblivion implies something happens. As far as anyone knows, nothing at all happens. Everything just shuts off. The brain doesn't operate anymore. Atheists don't really talk about what "happens after that" because as far as anyone knows the answer is, "nothing". If someone can show definitively otherwise then they'll be right on board.

    Because that's how science works.

    Except there's no more proof of that than the assertion of "something happening" Those bastards who have experienced death are keeping it to themselves!

    You cannot really experience "death" if you define death as the cessation of your brain activity.
    In order to experience things you need to have a living brain - and that's really what that whole argument is about.

    Whether or not our consciousnesses are a product of and dependant on the brain or something that do not require a brain in order to exist. As far as I know, we cannot test the latter and the way our consciousness is altered when we alter the brain give credence to the first model.

    Shanadeus on
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    AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think the idea that every single moment I am alive is a unique thing that will never happen again is p cool

    also that it applies to everything, including the universe

    I like that things end

    it bring a certain beauty to things

    Abdhyius on
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    AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    also, the idea of death has never really been an issue for me

    dying might very well be unpleasant but being dead isn't because you are sort of beyond unpleasantness at that point

    Abdhyius on
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    WMain00WMain00 Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think things end, by the way, but I also think things are cyclical. To put it simply, if things didn't end we'd go fucking batshit crazy. Iain M Banks put it quite well in his recent Culture novel, in which it was explained that although Culture citizens could live for hundreds of years, most accepted a form of finality. This was due to early experiments that resulted in people who had lived for an extreme amount of time generally going "padded walls" crazy, or unbelievably bored.

    So yeah, there's bound to be an end, but I don't think that's it. I think everything, including the very Universe, is recycled and used again. Not so much a form of reincarnation, but simply an atomical reusage of everything again and again, forever.

    WMain00 on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Shanadeus wrote: »
    Whether or not our consciousnesses are a product of and dependant on the brain or something that do not require a brain in order to exist. As far as I know, we cannot test the latter and the way our consciousness is altered when we alter the brain give credence to the first model.

    My roommate and I once discussed this. He stated that he believed consciousness is independent of the physical world. I was drinking a beer at the time, so I replied that the fact that my behavior is altered by ingesting alcohol was proof that consciousness is entirely dependent on the state of the brain.

    He argued against my claim by proposing that consciousness requires a physical medium (the brain) to interact with the physical world, and that the brain is an imperfect medium. By drinking alcohol, I was impairing the brain and decreasing its capability to serve as an effective receiver for my consciousness.

    Though his idea is interesting from a hypothetical standpoint, I see no reason to propose a supernatural element to the mind when it can be explained in terms of the physical world.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    WMain00 wrote: »
    So yeah, there's bound to be an end, but I don't think that's it. I think everything, including the very Universe, is recycled and used again. Not so much a form of reincarnation, but simply an atomical reusage of everything again and again, forever.

    The cyclic cosmological model both appeals to me and frightens me in a way that death does not.

    The form that appeals to me is that the universe continually collapses and reforms in such a way that every possible variant for the universe to play out is realized an infinite amount of times. Though every variant will be realized an infinite amount of times, some of those variants could be much more pleasant than our own universe. For example, there could exist a universe where the human race achieves all the benefits of modern civilization without any of the negative consequences (such as a world where pollution never became a problem). Of course, there could also exist iterations of the universe that are absolutely hellish, but such unpleasant universes are given no more weight than ideal universes.

    The form that frightens me is the possibility that there is only one way that the universe can ever play out (the universe that we inhabit currently), and that everything that has or will happen in our universe is the only possibility that will ever be realized. In the previous form it is certain that iterations of the universe superior to our own will come into being; in this form there is no hope for a better universe. All the mistakes that are made in this universe will be repeated ad infinitum.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Nothing is forever; you will someday die, the building you occupy will someday be rubble, and the country you live in will someday cease to exist. The only moment we ever have is right now, so get your head out of the past and future and start living mindfully.

    Existence is suffering. The people I know who spend the most energy on avoiding discomfort seem to be the least happy.

    TL DR on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Nothing is forever; you will someday die, the building you occupy will someday be rubble, and the country you live in will someday cease to exist. The only moment we ever have is right now, so get your head out of the past and future and start living mindfully.

    Existence is suffering. The people I know who spend the most energy on avoiding discomfort seem to be the least happy.

    So where does living a healthy lifestyle come in play here? Do you just abandon trying to insure your continued good health into the future seeing as you'll just die anyway eventually? Is living a healthy lifestyle only worth it if you don't mind giving up pleasurable-yet-self-destructive habits?

    Hexmage-PA on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Nothing is forever; you will someday die, the building you occupy will someday be rubble, and the country you live in will someday cease to exist. The only moment we ever have is right now, so get your head out of the past and future and start living mindfully.

    Existence is suffering. The people I know who spend the most energy on avoiding discomfort seem to be the least happy.

    So where does living a healthy lifestyle come in play here? Do you just abandon trying to insure your continued good health into the future seeing as you'll just die anyway eventually? Is living a healthy lifestyle only worth it if you don't mind giving up pleasurable-yet-self-destructive habits?

    I try to think of my body as an instrument. Keeping up with what it needs as far as diet and exercise is concerned makes you more able to achieve your goals, more able to embrace happiness, etc

    TL DR on
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    ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Shanadeus wrote: »
    Whether or not our consciousnesses are a product of and dependant on the brain or something that do not require a brain in order to exist. As far as I know, we cannot test the latter and the way our consciousness is altered when we alter the brain give credence to the first model.

    My roommate and I once discussed this. He stated that he believed consciousness is independent of the physical world. I was drinking a beer at the time, so I replied that the fact that my behavior is altered by ingesting alcohol was proof that consciousness is entirely dependent on the state of the brain.

    He argued against my claim by proposing that consciousness requires a physical medium (the brain) to interact with the physical world, and that the brain is an imperfect medium. By drinking alcohol, I was impairing the brain and decreasing its capability to serve as an effective receiver for my consciousness.

    Though his idea is interesting from a hypothetical standpoint, I see no reason to propose a supernatural element to the mind when it can be explained in terms of the physical world.

    Pretty much.
    If you can explain a phenomena using natural explanations and workings then I see no reason you should abandon this explanation for a hypothetical alternative explanation for which there is no support for.

    To me, dying is simply what it looks like - the end of your brain and thus your consciousness.
    Sure, I could hope for some continued existence (reincarnation would be the same as death if you lose your consciousness along the ride so that wouldn't matter to me) but that's all it'd amount to - hope with no basis in reality.

    Shanadeus on
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    MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Existence is suffering. The people I know who spend the most energy on avoiding discomfort seem to be the least happy.

    I'd counter that in fact most of life is positive or neutral and you just don't notice it because it's normality. On the other hand it's fairly easy to notice bad/negative things because they are a change from the norm.

    On the other hand those bad things make you notice again when life is good, and appreciate more what you have/had. Without pain we'd never know when we were truly happy.

    Mblackwell on
    Music: The Rejected Applications | Nintendo Network ID: Mblackwell

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