Author Topic: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?  (Read 1679 times)

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Offline Tate

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How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« on: January 11, 2009, 09:38:27 PM »
Some atheist may not admit it, but some can't say that there isn't afterlife somewhere.  They may assume there is not an afterlife, but they can't know until they die or believe?  Any thoughts?
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline Nick

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 09:53:22 PM »
There is no afterlife.  There would have to be a god for one to exist.  We are animals just like all other animals.  We live, reproduce, improve the bloodline, and go away.  I guess it is normal to want to go on and live somehow forever.  I guess your energy will live on in some form.  That's life...enjoy it and make it what you want it to be.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline none

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 09:54:46 PM »
damn.. second reply...anyways...
do you mean "afterlife", as in a place or condition?
the afterlife is called death, if afterlife means condition.
if afterlife means place then, if this place exists, we don't have to die to get there.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 09:55:11 PM »
An afterlife cannot be disproven, no.  But why give credence to the idea in the first place?
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Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 10:01:41 PM »
So you can't deny after life as in a place either?  I just want to see how you think.  Thats all.  Not necessarily trying prove anything.  Just curious.
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline Airyaman

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 10:05:52 PM »
There is an afterlife. Its called "death".
If you are following God why can I still see you?

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 10:07:33 PM »
No sir, we were discussing afterlife as a place.  Is that okay?  Sometimes you have to read a couple before you respond.  Thanks!
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline omniweasel

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 10:11:59 PM »
well, if "hell" were anything like "hell" in Grand cayman. sign me up for that one

Offline Azdgari

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 10:13:12 PM »
So you can't deny after life as in a place either?

In what sense is life a place?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 10:16:49 PM »
In a place where YOU might breathe,smell,hear,see and touch.  After you die?
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline none

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 10:19:47 PM »
if the portion of your brain that controls hearing or taste or smelling is non-functional you cease to have that ability.
if you kill the brain you cease to experience those things that you imply you would need to experience "the afterlife".

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 10:22:08 PM »
So that is it.  I believe you have a soul of course.  It works differently.  The other guy was saying something about energy in us?
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline none

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 10:25:24 PM »
yeah, I understand what you are saying.
but without your brain you don't have the ability to experience.
sure you might have a soul but what is it, and what good is it?
other than for somebody else to experience it (your soul) I don't know...

Offline Hermes

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 10:29:10 PM »
Great question Tate.  I've answered this one quite a few times before and there are no responses so far that have addressed the facts I've listed -- all just jump back to 'well, it could be ______'.  Well, I'm not speculating or fantasizing, so if you respond I expect that you to not speculate or make wild guesses either.  Facts only.  Does that work for you?

Here's what we know (corrections on known facts or additional facts are appreciated);

Please let me know if you see any gaps (I know of a couple plus the text needs to be polished a bit);

Claim: Based on what we know, not what we guess or speculate, the afterlife is a fabrication; there is no such place.

Why?  Think about what we know.  Think about what we do not need to speculate about -- on both life and death.

1. Death is not a clear line; on one side alive, on the other completely dead. 

Death happens in stages as individual cells no longer retain integrity for a variety of reasons, often because of oxygen starvation from organ failure or trauma that prevents the blood from circulating.  Parts of us are dying and new cells are being made all the time.

2. Organ transplants.  Even when 'we' cease to be, parts of us are still coherent, allowing organ transplants.  There is even a method of blood extraction from corpses that is used occasionally.

3. All of our thoughts while we are alive are contained in a structure of neurons.  This can be seen in a variety of well documented cases from Phineas Gage through to the impacts of severing the corpus colosum and the impacts of traumas such as strokes and alzheimers as well as the structures found that map nerves to a variety of tasks and thoughts.

4. When people start to die, the brain is frequently one of the last organs to be starved of oxygen.

5. The 'tunnel of light' is caused by the visual cortex loosing oxygen and the remaining parts of the brain attempting to deal with that.  The same 'tunnel' can be simulated.  Pilots experience this when they use a centrifuge under high G forces for training or to test new gear.  Both these are documented and can be duplicated with the proper equipment and/or circumstances.

6. People who live after being through this oxygen starvation tell stories based on their brain's attempt to deal with the stress.  They talk about 'flash backs', they talk about 'stepping outside' of themselves and seeing themselves.  The same thing the pilots in the centrifuges report.

7. The more time the brain or any organ is starved, the more damage.

8. People don't act any differently from more damage (that brings them closer to complete death and thus an 'afterlife') then other victims of brain damage.

9. When cell death is complete, there is nothing to store 'them'.

Speculation is usually asserted that if there were an after life, the dead person's essence would simply go there.  Yet, people report coming back from different after lives that match what the test pilots experience. 

Let's speculate even more.  Let's say that there is a qualitative difference between the test pilots and those who say they died.  There probably is some difference, so for this leg of the conversation I'm leaving what that qualitative difference is wide open.

Here's the question; Where would the person's essence go to in the after life, and where would they go to when they 'return'?
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 10:31:16 PM »
QFT;    ;D

There is an afterlife. Its called "death".
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline sortasuperb

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 10:32:08 PM »
Almost anything you can imagine is "possible".  Why give extra credence to an afterlife and not give the same consideration to the possibility that after death I will turn into a star or a mushroom or a bra.  That it is mentioned in the Bible is all well and good, but so too is slavery and nobody minds if I don't keep a little unpaid help around the house.

An afterlife is an inherent part of Christianity, and hence important to you.  Since we atheists don't believe in a God, we tend to dismiss any sort of afterlife, not only because the source is Biblical, but also because there is scientifically no evidence that such thing exists or is possible.  Our life appears to be cellular in nature, exclusively, and when the cells die that define our life, it would seem that everything ends.

If I were scared s**tless of dying I assume I could sell myself on the possiblity that things keep going, if for no other reason to reassure myself that I'm something akin to an immortal.  Lacking a reason to make up something that makes no sense, I'm stuck in the middle of reality, where I have to accept the bad along with the good.  And that's fine with me.

Yes, anything is possible.  But to dwell on fantasies and ignore more pressing issues that are unquestionably real sort of defeats the purpose of being alive. To live every breathing moment hoping the next part will be exactly as I am imaging it means I'll miss the life I have.  No thanks.

You mentioned your belief in the soul as I was typing this up.  The concept of a soul is a necessary component for an afterlife, because its pretty easy to see a dead body isn't enjoying much on its own.  "Gee, I survive after death, but my body doesn't.  There must be some part of me that survives, even though its not detectable.  I know, I'll call it my soul and say I believe in it and that will really help me to have faith in what happens after death."  That shouldn't make sense to anyone.  That it does is not flattering to the human race.
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Offline Omega

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 10:37:48 PM »
Some atheist may not admit it, but some can't say that there isn't afterlife somewhere.  They may assume there is not an afterlife, but they can't know until they die or believe?  Any thoughts?

that is simple. imagine that you got teleported into some unknown place with no relatives no friends, How do you know that you are still you, but not your clone or copy? how do you even know that you exist ant that is not a dream?

just separation from your friends, your life and relatives is basically death, and if you appear somewhere the it is rebirth. But continuity is broken and that is same as death.

so if you will reappear in some imaginary afterlife you wont even know if you exist, because that may be just your last hallucination.
human life has little value for itself, it is only valuable to other who are around and care about you.
why someone should ever care about his own life?
do you think you would notice if you just wont wake up in the morning?
of course not, but you value your life because you don't want to cause pain for people who are around and also you don't want to loose your future.

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 10:39:20 PM »
Of course me believing the bible might take this into the scripture a little.  But not looking at the bible,  I must say,  it would be hard for me seeing that the brain does all that it does(intentions,thoughts,dreams,figuring, on and on without another force behind it.
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline none

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 10:43:33 PM »
if you are getting into things that cannot be quanitified those things are called imaginary.

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 10:43:45 PM »
What would you say when the person on the death bed points out the "angels" in the room that are their to come and get them.  You cant see them.  But he dosent know why you cant?  He has so much peace about dying.
"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline none

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2009, 10:53:24 PM »
yeah, and some guy on the street corner, who doesn't appear to be dying, claims he is jesus.
what am I to do?

Offline Tate

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2009, 10:55:37 PM »
I though you would be a little more serious, Like try to explain the brain or something.  You dont have to knock Jesus if you dont like where this is going.  Thanks and good night.


"Men do not reject the Bible because they find faults in it, but because it finds faults in them".  -Paul Hovey

Offline Hermes

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2009, 11:19:40 PM »
I though you would be a little more serious, Like try to explain the brain or something.  You dont have to knock Jesus if you dont like where this is going.  Thanks and good night.

You want a serious answer to this ...

What would you say when the person on the death bed points out the "angels" in the room that are their to come and get them.  You cant see them.  But he dosent know why you cant?  He has so much peace about dying.

... here are two;

1. If you are saying those experiences are valid descriptions of actual Christian spirits, would similar descriptions with different non-Christian spirits be valid evidence of those non-Christian spirits?

2. A lack of pain or a reduced level of pain and a sense of peace is common in people when inflicted with taumatic bodily injuries.  You may have experienced this yourself when you were visibly injured, and it seemed to hurt others more to look at your injuries than it did to you as you experienced them.
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Offline omniweasel

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 12:53:42 AM »
I though you would be a little more serious, Like try to explain the brain or something.  You dont have to knock Jesus if you dont like where this is going.  Thanks and good night.

You want a serious answer to this ...

What would you say when the person on the death bed points out the "angels" in the room that are their to come and get them.  You cant see them.  But he dosent know why you cant?  He has so much peace about dying.

... here are two;

1. If you are saying those experiences are valid descriptions of actual Christian spirits, would similar descriptions with different non-Christian spirits be valid evidence of those non-Christian spirits?

2. A lack of pain or a reduced level of pain and a sense of peace is common in people when inflicted with taumatic bodily injuries.  You may have experienced this yourself when you were visibly injured, and it seemed to hurt others more to look at your injuries than it did to you as you experienced them.
plus now a days people on thier death bed are usually on some sort of opiate or having oxygen fed into them; either way they aren't exactly coherent. you might as well ask why a heroine junkie looks at peace after shooting up when he hasn't for two days.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2009, 04:58:34 AM »
We don't know that an afterlife exists or not. Not everyone sees reason to believe in the idea. Me, though I am an atheist (which means nothing really on this) I do believe in an after-life, all of the energy stored in your body, all of your matter will return to the earth and provide the nutrients for other life-forms.  Thus you re-become if you will...but not in the sense of there's a soul, sort of like reincarnation, but in a soul-less sort of way. After-all I don't believe in the soul.

It's not quite the conventional after-life, where things are better or worse.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2009, 09:02:34 AM »
So you can't deny after life as in a place either?
In what sense is life a place?

Was this meant to be a response to my question:
In a place where YOU might breathe,smell,hear,see and touch.  After you die?

...because it doesn't answer my question at all.  In what sense is life a place, as opposed to a state of being?
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2009, 10:54:29 AM »
Some atheist may not admit it, but some can't say that there isn't afterlife somewhere.  They may assume there is not an afterlife, but they can't know until they die or believe?  Any thoughts?

As always, the onus is on the proponent of a claim to establish it.

NDEs have been fairly well covered. They're evidence of nothing. Nada, zip, zilch, rien, nichts, nil.

What do we know about consciousness? To the best of our knowledge, it's utterly dependent on the brain. And the brain will shut down consciousness fairly readily, either when we require sleep or when we sustain a serious injury. Show me a single piece of reliable evidence supporting the notion of a disembodied consciousness, one that is not contingent upon a physical brain, and you might have a leg to stand on regarding this "afterlife" notion of yours. So yes, I deny it. It's not even a serious proposition. You've got nothing whatsoever of substance to support the idea.

And I'd thank you to think again before posting a new thread that amounts to no better than "you can't prove that fairies don't exist".
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Offline alwight

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Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2009, 01:46:04 PM »
I don’t know of anyone that claims to “know” that there is no afterlife. Personally I very much doubt any afterlife could be true especially those invented by religions.

Of course me believing the bible might take this into the scripture a little.  But not looking at the bible,  I must say,  it would be hard for me seeing that the brain does all that it does(intentions,thoughts,dreams,figuring, on and on without another force behind it.
When certain areas of the brain are damaged predictable loss of functionality occurs. Quite clearly the brain does handle everything since it can all be shut down or functionality altered through injury or drugs.
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Offline Count Iblis

Re: How Do You KNOW That There Is No Afterlife?
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2009, 01:47:36 PM »
Of course me believing the bible might take this into the scripture a little.  But not looking at the bible,  I must say,  it would be hard for me seeing that the brain does all that it does(intentions,thoughts,dreams,figuring, on and on without another force behind it.

I take it that you mean a soul. So what's the force behind the soul? And the force behind that? And so on. It seems to me that we either have to admit an infinite regress of astral bodies, or pick a stopping point. If we're going to pick a stopping point why is an invisible undetectable soul a better stopping point than a visible detectable body?
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