Do you feel positive that death is eternal nonexistence, forevermore?

BasilZero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,757
Omni
Nope

I believe in a afterlife.

I also believe it’s not something we should worry about because what matters the most is the here and now.
 

thewienke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,944
Sometimes I try to comfort myself by making the internal argument that everything is unknown. Perhaps time is a loop and I'm doomed to live this life, this exact moment repeatedly. Maybe I get to live this life repeatedly and alter my choices each time. Maybe my energy carries on and I'm reincarnated as another person, an animal, a plant, an ant, or even a microscopic organism. Who fucking knows.
Setting aside my personal beliefs, I think this thought process isn’t too far off the mark.

From a historical perspective, every generation believes that they generally have the whole thing figured out whether it’s taking a Greek pantheon as a fact of daily life up to the present of many assuming that nothingness after death is a fact of daily life. Collective certainty in something has, historically, been a poor indicator of objective truth. It’s entirely possible that our understanding of science and the universe is barely scratching the surface of true absolute knowledge.
 

demosthenes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,110
We're biological beings. We're tied to this fleshy blob. When that dies and our brain dies, there's nothing left. Your blip of existence in this 13.7 billion year old universe is over.

I doubt I'll have to revisit this in my life time as I don't think in my lifetime we'll get to successful 'transfers' of people to computers, but when that does happen it will create new questions about life.
 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,120
Yup, it's the truth. Anything else people come up with is a coping mechanism to deal with the truth imo.

It's like saying "what if there's something more????" When you spill water on your computer and fry it. Nope that's it, sorry.
 
OP
OP
MasterYoshi

MasterYoshi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,644
We're biological beings. We're tied to this fleshy blob. When that dies and our brain dies, there's nothing left. Your blip of existence in this 13.7 billion year old universe is over.

I doubt I'll have to revisit this in my life time as I don't think in my lifetime we'll get to successful 'transfers' of people to computers, but when that does happen it will create new questions about life.
Can you imagine what kind of hell would await if the YOU part of you were transferred to a digital state? I think the existential crisis would be multiplied tenfold.

Also, how could anyone be sure that it's not just a copy? Reminds me of the conversation about Kirk being energized between Badger and Skinny Pete.

 

Fatoy

Member
Mar 13, 2019
1,883
Talking about an afterlife is like talking about where the fire goes when the wood is consumed. It doesn't go anywhere. It existed as a function of the chemical breakdown of the wood, and now that reaction is finished, it doesn't exist any more.

I feel the same way about consciousness. It exists while our brains and the bodies that support them work, and when they don't it ceases to exist.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,910
50% that or 50% I come out of the darkness inhaling suddenly and pull my head out of a VR helmet/device as my memory comes back to me and my friend mocks me for the embarrassing points in my life and my lame death. Undecided.
 

Browser

Member
Apr 13, 2019
712
For me is like in the sopranos

in the end, you are looking at your daughter coming into a diner, and then black.

I am fine with that because I was fine with it in 1888, when I didnt exist yet.
 

Praetorpwj

Member
Nov 21, 2017
1,241
No pleasure can last indefinitely. The same cannot be said for suffering. Over the long run oblivion can only be preferable.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,562
Talking about an afterlife is like talking about where the fire goes when the wood is consumed. It doesn't go anywhere. It existed as a function of the chemical breakdown of the wood, and now that reaction is finished, it doesn't exist any more.

I feel the same way about consciousness. It exists while our brains and the bodies that support them work, and when they don't it ceases to exist.
This analogy is interesting because a lot of traditions would claim that the fire existed as a potentiality before it was actualized or ignited (a potential that is perhaps inherent in everything as possible fuel that fire can sustain itself on), and with the consumption of the fuel the fire reverts back from an actuality to being a mere potency again.

Buddhist philosophy actually uses this analogy to demonstrate its denial of both eternalism or annihilationism. What happens to the fire that has burnt out? We don’t really know, but we can perhaps claim it neither definitively dies, nor persists eternally, because it reduces itself back into a common base potentiality that inheres in broader or universal processes. Thanissaro wrote a really interesting essay on this topic called ‘Mind like fire unbound’ fwiw.
 

Weston

Member
Oct 29, 2017
193
I'm reasonably certain that, even if your consciousness survives death, the person you are in life ends at death.
 

Useyourfist

Member
Oct 13, 2019
30
Eternal nothingness on a conscious level, however will become part of the universe in any particles that remain after I'm burned and/donated.

Sometimes however it is odd to just consider consciousness and how random it is we are in the body we are - alive as it were - which makes me wonder just a bit if my lack of consideration for an afterlife existing is misplaced.
 

Fatoy

Member
Mar 13, 2019
1,883
This analogy is interesting because a lot of traditions would claim that the fire existed as a potentiality before it was actualized or ignited (a potential that is perhaps inherent in everything as possible fuel that fire can sustain itself on), and with the consumption of the fuel the fire reverts back from an actuality to being a mere potency again.

Buddhist philosophy actually uses this analogy to demonstrate its denial of both eternalism or annihilationism. What happens to the fire that has burnt out? We don’t really know, but we can perhaps claim it neither definitively dies, nor persists eternally, because it reduces itself back into a common base potentiality that inheres in broader or universal processes. Thanissaro wrote a really interesting essay on this topic called ‘Mind like fire unbound’ fwiw.
This is definitely interesting, and I'll be sure to check out that essay, but at first blush I feel as though subscribing to the idea of potentiality and actualisation has some sort of universal / cosmic perspective as an axiom - and I think that does a disservice to just how complex, unlikely, and unique human consciousness is. Being at one with the universe sounds comforting, but I think I see more value in us as exceptions.
 

WillJoe

Member
Nov 14, 2018
1,670
UK
i think when we die then that's it. game over. nothing happens. we don't go to heaven or hell. i believe heaven/hell is what we make of life. if we live a cheerful, kind, good, positive life then that's our heaven. if we live our life in anger, hatred, negativity then that's hell. we live in heaven/hell here on earth because there's nothing anywhere else for us.

all i believe in after death is that we settle back into the universe. either under the ground in dirt/soil or in ashes/smoke/vapor. i like the idea of my ashes being scattered amongst the wind, grass, or water so i want to be cremated. i don't want to be buried.

i'm not scared of death. i used to be terrified of it but i think i'm at peace with the thought of dying. what scares me is not living my life. again, i believe we only have whatever time we get on earth so it's best we should make the most of it. when i die if i feel i can look back with a story to tell and feel peaceful then i will be happy and welcome death.
 

Citizencope

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,341
Yeah OP I’m really struggling with this lately.
I just lost my dad last week and he was an atheist like myself. This is the first person in my life that I’ve lost that didn’t believe there was something after this life. It has crushed me.
I kinda dig consciousness and don’t want it to end. To think someone I loved is in eternal nothingness(yes I know they wouldn’t be aware of it) sucks!
I was a happier person when I believed in something after this existence. Not kidding when I say I might go back to tricking myself into thinking that way again.
 

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,032
Nope

I believe in a afterlife.

I also believe it’s not something we should worry about because what matters the most is the here and now.
but does it not cause you some stress abuthw you will be judged even if you do good? I still believe in after life but as someone being vulnerable and alone with my convictions, I feel in the minority because most people don't..So I am confused, even though I saw my mother telling me she wasn't dead after her death.
 
Mar 30, 2019
1,645
I'm reasonably certain that, even if your consciousness survives death, the person you are in life ends at death.
This is interesting. Going metaphysical now.

The concept of the soul I was introduced to was this immutable unchanging thing, an ethereal homunculus in a meat Gundam. It was never in those exact words of course but the idea was still there. I never liked that idea because it is disconnecting and makes me feel separate from reality. A chilling loneliness.

However, if the soul was changing from one form to another, it would be more in line with how nature works. Also, you are right, who you were wouldn't be the same.
 
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Cats

Member
Oct 27, 2017
815
I mean, to be fair the argument about "before you were born" is nonsense. You can give a human the worst torment imaginable and then wipe their memories and to that person it is as though the torment never existed. So you very much might go through 50 trillion years of unimaginable pain and torment before heat death, just like you did already for 6 billion years before birth. You just don't remember that torment as you had no faculty to retain memories.

Or probably not. Hard to say. One thought experiment is that if our planet's numerous forms of life, different makeups of particles and such that can experience the universe in some fashion, why can't there be other forms of particles that can experience the universe as a collective? That's what we are right? We are just a collection of mechanisms that enable experiencing sensory input.

For example, maybe the sensation of sensory input of our common cellular organism is so strong that it blocks out the sensation of a broader cosmic existence, and when you as an organism fails at sustaining those sensory inputs (death), you can now sense the cosmic ones, or whatever other version there is and we might be a part of. Maybe the universe is a brain itself, or a cell, or something.

There are lots of valid cosmic horror situations if you really wanna look for them. I suggest you do not and enjoy some toast while watching YouTube, aka just appreciate being alive.
 
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Deception

Member
Nov 15, 2017
6,961
My worst fear is death being a constant feeling of nothingness. Couldn't imagine that for all of eternity.
 

John Rabbit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,046
I realized not long ago that what actually scares me is dying, not being dead. Whenever I get in my head about it, the fear always comes from the speculation of what dying feels like, not what being dead feels like. I guess I mostly just don't want my final moments to be spent in terror/fear. After that it's going to be complete nothing and that's fine with me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,313
Mount Airy, MD
I believe there's an afterlife. Makes me feel better. And if there isn't, I won't know. So I get to feel better while I'm still alive.
You say that like you're making a conscious choice to believe, but that isn't how our brains work. You believe it because your brain decided it's true based on whatever information it thinks it has about all this. You didn't decide to believe it because it feels better.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
10,472
I mean, good luck surviving without a brain.

It's so weird how people delude themselves about the nature of consciousness. We're just meat. We've known this for a while.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,631
O-H-I-O
I am guessing it's just nothing which used to scare me, but now I just accept that is what it is. My only hope is that I go before my children.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,562
This is definitely interesting, and I'll be sure to check out that essay, but at first blush I feel as though subscribing to the idea of potentiality and actualisation has some sort of universal / cosmic perspective as an axiom - and I think that does a disservice to just how complex, unlikely, and unique human consciousness is. Being at one with the universe sounds comforting, but I think I see more value in us as exceptions.
Yeah the potency/actuality thing is abstract metaphysical language that goes back to the time of Aristotle, which is to say that like a lot of Aristotle’s ideas there’s a good chance it’s really intuitive or sensible while still somehow being wrong or naive. I think it’s just interesting and commonly overlooked that we can posit a ‘both/neither’ conclusion for the question of whether existence is finite or eternal, etc.

I think our consciousness is probably special (or ‘more specialized’) in that we seem able to do things that most other beings can’t. We don’t, for instance, just have cognition, but in fact have capacities for actively influencing our recognition (‘re-cognition’, or cognition feeding back on itself, cognition about the self, etc) but that isn’t necessarily contradicting anything, human consciousness could just be a particular species of consciousness or a particular fortuitous organization within border ‘consciousness’ or something to that effect.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,436
To touch again on just how much of a personal burden the fear of not contributing significantly to society before I die (rather than dying itself) is for me:

For example, it worries me greatly that there won't be a sustainable paradigm shift in the energy economy, which is the foundational basis of essentially every other aspect of our modern-day economy.

Basically, if we don't shift our energy infrastructure to advanced nuclear MSRs (base load) + renewables (peak) + smart grid + grid storage for centralized electricity and industrial steam/heat generation and to rechargeable battery units, fuel cells, synthesis gas, and biofuels as energy stores for local powerplants (e.g., to power motors/engines in transportation vehicles), then civilization will essentially fail due to global warming, and we will go Mad Max, likely with billions perishing in the process (or worse...all human life will cease to exist).

I feel that in order to be complete I must somehow have a hand in pushing us to a sustainable energy infrastructure and economy. I feel like everything (my children and society's collective legacy) depends on this most important and elevated of causes.

And I feel that the lack of understanding of the gravity of how this particular issue is literally more important than any other human issue that exists... that it's somehow lost on people...is devastating to me.

It is my personal existential crisis.
 

thewienke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,944
I'm reasonably certain that, even if your consciousness survives death, the person you are in life ends at death.
To some extent, even Christianity insists this will be the case depending on your definition of “you”. The complete elimination of all sinful temptation and thought processes would almost certainly fundamentally change oneself. It would potentially be more radical than the change of “you” from yourself as a child to the “you” of today. Same person but an almost completely different mind.

Are there any major religions that preach an afterlife will be one where “you” are the exact you of right now?
 

Sumio Mondo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,892
United Kingdom
I reckon we continue to exist in some form or another. We return to the source (that being the Universe itself, or "god" if you will).

Either that or we transport ourselves to another parallel universe and awake there one day.

I don't actually think we disappear entirely (nor does any creature or living being in this infinite and beautiful universe).

Our time here is already so limited but we have so much to explore and see and things to do. It's because death itself may be infinite that you should appreciate what you have and those you have around you more.
 

Bknbear

Member
Nov 8, 2017
327
as intriguing as the answer would be, the question itself is the answer. the only reason we ask, is because its the only thing we will never know. the answer is irrelevant.

however, the truth is there is no reason to think there is an after life other than humanities fragile ego and self preservation.

if the existential crisis is what, then, is the point, I would say that the ultimate reality is the one we are in, and the only thing that matters is how we exist in it. if there is no after life we can only be judged by what we do while we're here, which is profoundly more moving to me than waiting it out or chasing a carrot on a stick, never really living our truth.

it's never not going to be fun to speculate about an afterlife, but when you remove the electricity the computer just turns off. thats all.
 

Bknbear

Member
Nov 8, 2017
327
honestly, not to sound like a dork, the chances of us uploading our consciousness to a server is more likely than an afterlife.
 

Th3BranMan

Member
Nov 8, 2017
156
When death occurs, you are no longer able to perceive time; just how you did not feel 13 billions years pass before your birth, you will not feel the billions of years to follow.

Knowing this, you will in effect, experience the end of time, instantaneously upon your total death.

I believe that our conscious minds are bound to this time by the order of the universe. Assuming the universe is cyclical, or reaches some kind of end, reason would lead us to believe that the universe would begin again, an infinite number of times, until you are inevitably birthed again, in the same time, bound to the same life, to be repeated for all eternity.

Whatcha think about that??
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,511
I don't understand how anyone could think anything else. (Obviously they do think that; I just don't understand how.)