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What do you believe happens when we die

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,239 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Well, what is the definition of being dead? When you say that you were "technically dead", what exactly was going on (or not going on) that meant you were technically dead?
    I defer to the excellent, if technically dead, Terry Pratchett and suggest that being dead is the opposite of being alive, and vice versa.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,886 ✭✭✭✭ El_Duderino 09


    KungPao wrote: »
    ...

    But yeah, like every other animal on the planet, Death means lights out. Adios.

    The only reason we think there could be more is because we are so intelligent, so we invent stupid **** to make us feel better and pretend life goes on in some way after the curtains fall.

    Isn't it extraordinary that we ever dreamt up the idea of an afterlife? All the evidence says we are born and are alive, then we die and we're not alive anymore. But somehow we imagined a whole story about what happens after that when we have absolutely no evidence for it.

    The idea of an afterlife is just a trick our brains play on us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,303 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    without any definitive proof, there is nothing to say that anything happens after death. However the incidents of commonality of near-death experiences are unsettling in this regard. They are too numerous to be some sort of conspiracy theory.

    Bu then, who is to say that we're not all living in some sort of sophisticated virtual reality. If you could show modern life to someone 500 years ago, they'd think we are actually living in a sort of heavan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,566 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious


    One for moobs too?

    Yeah the consciousness discussions are total navel gazing. We call out experience 'consciousness' but in truth, all we know is that it's the result of our brains. I suppose my cat has consciousness in so far as her brain allows. Some people might consider cat-consciousness to be trivial. And an alien species could consider our level of consciousness to be trivial.

    I don't see any reason to see a distinction between mind and body. We have no evidence of minds existing without a body (brain specifically). So I just presume my consciousness ends when my brain dies. End of story - for me.

    I'd agree with this

    I have a physical presence based on my biological make up.
    I have a consciousness based on what my brain tells me, and what my life experience has been thus far.
    Once that brain dies that consciousness and all associated memories are gone, unable to return, just like they were never their prior to my conception.

    But who is to say I don't develop another consciousness from another brain, attached to another body in the future.

    Without any links back to my present self.

    I may have lived and died thousands of times over thousands of years, but completely independent of each other, without any reference between each.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 41,314 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    without any definitive proof, there is nothing to say that anything happens after death. However the incidents of commonality of near-death experiences are unsettling in this regard. They are too numerous to be some sort of conspiracy theory.
    or else just an artefact of brain chemistry involved?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,886 ✭✭✭✭ El_Duderino 09


    without any definitive proof, there is nothing to say that anything happens after death. However the incidents of commonality of near-death experiences are unsettling in this regard. They are too numerous to be some sort of conspiracy theory.

    ...

    What are near death experiences actually evidence for? When the brain is in the process of dying, people report broadly similar experiences. When the brain kid asleep people report broadly similar experiences and when on magic mushrooms people also experience broadly similar experiences.

    None of those things is evidence for the experience being real.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,676 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    Surely if you grow up hearing ND stories about a tunnel of light and seeing your parents etc, then when you are close to death your brain simply recalls what you've heard in your life.

    Doesn't make the experience real. But then again, maybe it is.

    Bottom line, you can't prove either side right or wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,886 ✭✭✭✭ El_Duderino 09


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Surely if you grow up hearing ND stories about a tunnel of light and seeing your parents etc, then when you are close to death your brain simply recalls what you've heard in your life.

    Doesn't make the experience real. But then again, maybe it is.

    Bottom line, you can't prove either side right or wrong.

    So the obvious conclusion is not to believe it unless or until there's evidence to believe it.

    We already know brains can show us things that aren't real so I'd be happy to put it in that category unless there's evidence for something else


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,009 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Well, what is the definition of being dead? When you say that you were "technically dead", what exactly was going on (or not going on) that meant you were technically dead?

    In my case I define it as were it not for the immediate and repeated application of jump leads - available as I was in an ambulance at the time - I would have within days been "rotting in the grave" i.e. I was technically dead but I got better.

    Other people may have different definitions but, in my situation, I tend to go with 'without timely medical intervention life would have remained extinct'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 318 ✭✭ nihicib2


    My best friend died just over two weeks ago, he was an atheist, as am I, he was cremated, as I also want to be. I think when you're gone you're gone, although (and I know its grief) I would love to think he's somewhere, somehow rocking on and at peace. The strangeness of covid times and the absence of a proper wake and funeral robbed many of how we Irish process grief, well those stages of it anyway.

    Anyway I'm rambling, like I said my belief is when you die, thats it, the idea that there's something else is there to soothe those who are on that journey and to comfort those who have lost a loved one, But I guess we'll never know one way or another.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 381 ✭✭ ToddDameron


    Your life repeats over and over for eternity, always the same.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,258 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    However the incidents of commonality of near-death experiences are unsettling in this regard. They are too numerous to be some sort of conspiracy theory.

    I view it exactly the opposite to you actually. It would be unsettling if there was no commonality but a general disparity in those experiences.

    Why? Well...

    We like to think about how individual we all are. And in many ways we are. But in reality we are all nearly identical. The machine that is our body works the same way for most of us.

    So if you starve a body the same thing tends to happen. If you put a certain drug into a body the same results generally happen. Because we are mostly, though not entirely, the same.

    So the fact that people having their brains and conscious awareness perturbed in similar ways around the world when near death (Generally we use the same procedures, drugs, machines to revive people who's heart has stopped for example) come out reporting similar experiences after the fact..... makes entire sense to me. If they were having entirely and completely individual experiences, that would be genuinely weird and would require some explaining.

    There is also the Spielberg effect, as I have heard it called.

    It is called this because after a certain movie from Spielberg, reports of UFO encounters suddenly started reporting aliens who were small, grey, and had big black eyes. Likely because AFTER THE FACT of having some kind of experience people started reporting it through the culture they knew well.

    Similarly people having Near Death Experiences in a predominantly Christian Culture tend to parse their experience through that narrative. So in the USA you get some loving figure in the light. While in India you get people experiencing what one paper on the matter called "a pantheon of Gods with ‘hierarchy’" with a "Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva". I would challange you to find many (actually one would surprise me, but lets set the bar a little high) one devout American Christian, or even American Atheisat, who came back from an NDE confirming a patheon led by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

    Terry Pratchett mentioned on the thread already had a trope he put in many of his books. Characters dying were told they would get the after life they expected to get. Whatever it might be. While a joke, that seems to be exactly true of NDE therefore. People during, or subsequently parsing, NDE seem to get EXACTLY the narrative in their NDE that their culture or beliefs would expect of them. Exception abound of course, but this generally seems to be the norm.

    All that said however I think the most important letter in NDE is the N. NEAR death experience. Ergo: The patient did not actually die. Therefore NDE is as much an experience of, or evidence for, an after life as walking up to a plane but then not actually boarding it is an experience of a sun holiday away in Spain. When people verifiably come back with an ADE rather than an NDE we would have something interesting. But alas seemingly the only known cases of that tend to come out of story books written and set in the age of a Bronze aged illiterate and relatively ignorant peasantry of Carpenter Fetishists.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    . . . ll that said however I think the most important letter in NDE is the N. NEAR death experience. Ergo: The patient did not actually die. Therefore NDE is as much an experience of, or evidence for, an after life as walking up to a plane but then not actually boarding it is an experience of a sun holiday away in Spain. When people verifiably come back with an ADE rather than an NDE we would have something interesting. But alas seemingly the only known cases of that tend to come out of story books written and set in the age of a Bronze aged illiterate and relatively ignorant peasantry of Carpenter Fetishists.
    Leaving aside the unhelpfully pejorative characterisation, the strking thing about that particular account is that it tells us precisely zero about the subject's experience of "being dead". Were there lights, tunnels, angels, a Hindu pantheon, reunion with family members who had already died? He doesn't say and nobody asks him. That's clearly not the point of the story. And later NT writings underline that there is no point in these speculations: "the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man. . . etc etc", which is an explicit affirmation of the pre-Christian tradition to the same effect as set out in the OT. Basically, you can't know anything about any afterlife; don't bother to ask. Preoccupation with imagining the details or characteristics of such an existence is a much later development.

    And I think Nozz is correct; if there is any kind of afterlife, however likely or unlikely you may think that, we have no reason at all to think that the sensations and perceptions we have in near-death experiences are any kind of pointer to what that afterlife might be, or might be like; they just point to what we have imagined or hoped for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭ guitarhappy


    I'm not afraid of dieing, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

    A friend in Texas told me if you've been good you go to heaven when you die. But if you've been really good you go to Willie Nelson's house.

    Nobody knows what happens when you die. You can make up anything you want. I pray it has something to do with a hot tub and Swedish twins named Olga and Helga.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,517 ✭✭✭ pappyodaniel


    In some cases you're found by a loved one so try and avoid autoerotic asphyxiation and make sure you've deleted your search history.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,210 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes


    We cease to exist. End of. Religions might think otherwise but it is not that sensible really.

    Animals can avail of euthanasia, and are put to sleep.

    We are all animals. But we cannot be PTS like our pets sadly


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    I'm not afraid of dieing, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

    A friend in Texas told me if you've been good you go to heaven when you die. But if you've been really good you go to Willie Nelson's house.

    Nobody knows what happens when you die. You can make up anything you want. I pray it has something to do with a hot tub and Swedish twins named Olga and Helga.
    You had better hope also that Olga and Helga are praying for an afterlife involving a hot tub and guitarhappy,


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,819 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    we cease to exist. but there is a short lived afterlife ( not for us )

    I think the confusion came from someone (possibly Jesus) trying to use metaphors to encourage us to be good people on earth. If you be good you will remain trouble free of mental anguish for what you did wrong and in heaven ( for your lifetime ) and you will remain a happy thought or a comforting voice in the memory of your loved ones ( the afterlife - different but still heaven ).

    The church took this simple teaching and built a commercial empire from it through many of the ploys any modern company might ( or maybe how any tyrannous dictator might )


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭ nthclare


    I believe we'll be remembered for our merit's in life, people will miss us hopefully I won't leave behind any resentments or debts.
    I love to be buried in the Burren, near a hawthorn tree, and a view of the ocean. So that whomever comes to give their respects or visit my limestone tomb will have a nice view of the country side...I'm going to go all out with a pagan sermony, and a party with friends and family music and entertainment from day until the evening...

    Wherever my consciousness will be, who knows as that's not worth discussing here, because you might as well be talking to the wall.

    It's interesting to see people who describe themselves as a rotting corpse when they pass, sounds like a metaphor for their lifestyle in general.
    Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity.

    Tunnel vision, dead = I'm rotting away...

    Open minded, hopefully I'll leave behind a good legacy and leave no resentments or debts, who knows what will happen.
    But hopefully it won't be painful for myself or others.
    And there will be a good party afterwards.

    Rotting away FFS sounds great :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 458 ✭✭ REXER


    nthclare wrote: »
    I believe we'll be remembered for our merit's in life, people will miss us hopefully I won't leave behind any resentments or debts.
    I love to be buried in the Burren, near a hawthorn tree, and a view of the ocean. So that whomever comes to give their respects or visit my limestone tomb will have a nice view of the country side...I'm going to go all out with a pagan sermony, and a party with friends and family music and entertainment from day until the evening...

    Wherever my consciousness will be, who knows as that's not worth discussing here, because you might as well be talking to the wall.

    It's interesting to see people who describe themselves as a rotting corpse when they pass, sounds like a metaphor for their lifestyle in general.
    Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity.

    Tunnel vision, dead = I'm rotting away...

    Open minded, hopefully I'll leave behind a good legacy and leave no resentments or debts, who knows what will happen.
    But hopefully it won't be painful for myself or others.
    And there will be a good party afterwards.

    Rotting away FFS sounds great :)

    I prefer slowly being recycled back to stardust! ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,258 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    So people who do not pretty up reality in a way that pleases you are negative, resentful empty shells who have a rotting lifestyle? And you think THEY are the narcissistic ones? Wow. Just Wow. Ikea have good prices on mirrors. Maybe get one.

    I see nothing negative about telling it like it is though. If accurate descriptions of what reality seems to be invoke negativity in you, then that is your issue not the speakers. There is no onus on them to sugar coat it for your palate.

    All that said however, I did find Neil DeGrasse Tyson's description of it quite pleasant. Rather than merely describing himself as rotting, he said he takes pleasure from the idea that once he is put in the ground then flora and fauna will in turn dine on him, just as he enjoyed his life dining on flora and fauna.

    I like that image because it looks back on a life well lived, but also forward to knowing you will by means of your own corpse be giving back what you yourself took.


  • Registered Users Posts: 349 ✭✭ Elwood_Blues


    I think I said this in another post but I never understood the point of this life if there is an afterlife. Why not cut out the middleman and go straight there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,806 ✭✭✭✭ Pherekydes


    nthclare wrote: »
    It's interesting to see people who describe themselves as a rotting corpse when they pass, sounds like a metaphor for their lifestyle in general.
    Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity.

    You never miss an opportunity, do you?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 333 ✭✭ Vieira82


    Rationally I am inclined to think we simply cease to exist and it's one of my pet fears not dying but the end itself. As in for belief, I find the budhist doctrine to be the most attractive and would be great that we would reincarnate in other beings. But again, that is just belief or how one old man once said "I don't know if it's true or not, but would be really amazing if it was true"


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,258 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    I think I said this in another post but I never understood the point of this life if there is an afterlife. Why not cut out the middleman and go straight there.

    I go one further on that. I think the idea of an after life cheapens the value of this life and anything of worth we do during it.

    If you flooded the market with a rare metal tomorrow it's value would instantly plummet. Similarly if we had some eternal after life, the value of this life seems worthless.

    I think the Christian Narrative rather insulting in that sense therefore. The idea that some god "gave" his only son to us. Given the concept of an eternal after life, at best this god "lent" us a son, who is now sitting in a state of eternal bliss and dominion by it's side. Hardly much of a sacrifice.

    The death of the Nazerene itself too is cheapened. He did not give his life for humanity. Rather he traded up. Not really the sacrifice it was made out to be.

    It is an insult to the people, or the parents of the people, who genuinely did give their life in the name of some person, place or ideal. Without recourse to an after life but in genuine expectation that they were giving up everything for their cause.

    I always thought the Christian Story would be better if the carpenter gave up his life but then in sacrifice for man, and to his fathers dismay, accepted the "True death" of oblivion rather than join the fathers side for eternal bliss and dominion.

    That would be a story worth telling.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,009 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe


    nthclare wrote: »
    It's interesting to see people who describe themselves as a rotting corpse when they pass, sounds like a metaphor for their lifestyle in general.
    Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity.

    Tunnel vision, dead = I'm rotting away...

    The reference to rotting corpses was first made by a poster who is a devout Christian so I think we can take it as a given they believe in an afterlife. The reference was made in relation to being technically dead and whether or not the term 'dead' can be used unless one is "rotting in the grave".
    I picked up on that and questioned that as a definition.
    I repeated it later on the same theme of being "technically dead" and clarified that by that term I mean that without immediate medical intervention I would have remained dead - and ended up "rotting in the grave"

    How exactly is any of that "Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity."??

    If someone had said "we are nothing more than rotting corpses" you may have had a point - but no one said that. Your need to "reinterpret" and spin what has actually been written in order to have a go at other posters is coming across as a bit empty shell, forever perpetuated in resentment, narcissism and negativity.

    The fact is that once life is extinct the corpse beings to rot - be they in the grave or not. This statement of fact makes no claims about life itself or the possibility of an afterlife. It is not a philosophical pondering - it is an observable fact. Dead bodies rot.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭ nthclare


    Bannasidhe wrote: »
    The reference to rotting corpses was first made by a poster who is a devout Christian so I think we can take it as a given they believe in an afterlife. The reference was made in relation to being technically dead and whether or not the term 'dead' can be used unless one is "rotting in the grave".
    I picked up on that and questioned that as a definition.
    I repeated it later on the same theme of being "technically dead" and clarified that by that term I mean that without immediate medical intervention I would have remained dead - and ended up "rotting in the grave"

    How exactly is any of that "Just empty shell's, forever perputatuated in resentment, narcisissim and negativity."??

    If someone had said "we are nothing more than rotting corpses" you may have had a point - but no one said that. Your need to "reinterpret" and spin what has actually been written in order to have a go at other posters is coming across as a bit empty shell, forever perpetuated in resentment, narcissism and negativity.

    The fact is that once life is extinct the corpse beings to rot - be they in the grave or not. This statement of fact makes no claims about life itself or the possibility of an afterlife. It is not a philosophical pondering - it is an observable fact. Dead bodies rot.

    I'm not interested in even responding to this to be honest.
    So we'll leave it there ok


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭ nthclare


    REXER wrote: »
    I prefer slowly being recycled back to stardust! ;)

    That sounds better than a rotten corpse to be honest.

    Stardust is beautiful, here's something I plagerised from the net.

    In billions of years when the Sun's life ends, long after we have died, the stardust that was once inside us will form part of a new nebula, from which a new star may form. You are literally made of stardust, and in the future, new stars will be made of you.

    So we'll go on and on... recycling for millions of years...


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,009 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Bannasidhe


    nthclare wrote: »
    I'm not interested in even responding to this to be honest.
    So we'll leave it there ok

    Firstly - that is a response. A petulant one granted but still a response.

    Secondly - this is a discussion forum. You made a statement in which you essentially made a judgement call about other posters based on a single factual phrase which made no reference to an afterlife (and the phrase you used to make your dig was used by only 2 posters - myself included). I, as one of the targets of your dig, am calling you out on it.

    Now, you can explain how you managed to figure that Statement A actually means X,Y,Z and we can discuss that or you can refuse to engage in an honest discussion on a statement you made in a discussion forum. Or you can skulk off having been called out.

    You like to play the victim and have claimed that the mods - myself in particular - are out to get you when as the post I called you out on clearly shows you can't help but having a go albeit by twisting what was written. You made the decision to have a go. No-one forced you. You wrote what you wrote and hit submit. A number of posters immediately called you on it.
    Now, I am not writing this as a mod. I am writing this as a poster who has been 'judged' and exercising my right to reply.
    If you are big enough to deal it out you should be big enough to accept when there is a push back.


    Edit - as a matter of fact I like the stardust analogy, and find it quite fitting given the make up of our bodies, and find the idea of a hawthorn tree in the Burren to be right up my alley - although I would prefer an oak in West Cork.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,325 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Bannasidhe wrote: »
    . . . find the idea of a hawthorn tree in the Burren to be right up my alley . . .
    That would be quite painful, surely?



    (I'll get my coat.)


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