I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby seeker242 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:10 pm

gandy wrote:
seeker242 wrote:I don't see how this is proof of no afterlife as none of these people actually died! You can't prove there is no afterlife, it's impossible.


what can you prove?


All I can prove is that it is impossible to prove there is no afterlife. One can speculate until their face turns blue, but proof is an entirely different matter. :namaste:
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:06 pm

gandy wrote: this makes your body and the you in it (the guy that pays the bills and remembers stuff), is an open system which communicates with the world, therefore it's a part of it and is just a pattern on the sea of existence, if viewed from a larger perspective
but there's a rather huge jump from this fact to looking for enlightenment and the rebirth of something that doesn't really exist


Actually, it is precisely because the 'self' has no intrinsic reality, that rebirth occurs.
The "you" is an undeniable experience. but while the experience of "you" occurs,
an actual "you" does not, meaning that this experience has no intrinsic reality to it, only a composite reality.
The experience of a 'self' is composed only of rapidly changing events and conditions.
it is the ignorant mind that freeze-frames this stream of events into an imagined, continuous self.
And, it is a workable vision indeed. I mean, here we are, having a conversation.
No doubt about it, It is a very convincing experience.

That imagined self is not what experiences liberation.
liberation occurs when the self ceases to be imagined.


The "you" you refer to...
is that the same "you" that was just a baby once/?
because that baby is dead. Every part of it.
So, if you assert that this ' you ' exists continuously, that it is essentially the same " you " that is reading this now as it was when that " you " was a baby, and that baby is gone, then you are asserting that some link, or string of awareness, or consciousness, can continue even in the face of complete physiological change.

In other words, rebirth.

But you are saying that while it can occur under some circumstances, it cannot occur under other circumstances.
Otherwise, there is no reason to assume that the experience of a self cannot maintain from one lifetime (meaning the arising of a physiological body) to another, just as it does in "this life" from moment to moment.

What your argument asserts is that the hardware of the computer creates the user.

The fact that you regard life and death as happening only once, rather than constantly,
is merely your own way of looking at things.
But is it accurate?
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Seishin » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:10 pm

gandy wrote:according to most buddhist schools karma is not a theory

but neither is it buddhist it originates from the craddle of buddhism, hindu culture


There's not a lot of evidence that karma, or rebirth came from Brahmanism (not Hindu, as it didn't exist). It more likely came from the Shramana movement, which was separate to Brahmanism and even had conflicting beliefs. The evidence also suggests that rebirth was not a widely accepted concept before the Buddha used it in his teachings. The Buddha also redefined what rebirth was and how we can escape it. Using a pre-existing belief does not make said belief any less part of Buddhism, or any less real. You can see the effects of karma in you own life, you don't need to be reborn to see it's effects. Rebirth, of course, can't be empirically proved, but neither can it be empirically disproved.

So, you've presented an explanation for NDE and not rebirth, and now it seems you know little of pre-Buddhism culture. So far it's not going too well. :popcorn:

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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:38 pm

My problem is not with the existence of an afterlife life, but with the existence of a present life. I remember being told about a slogan scrawled on a wall in Northern Ireland that asked: Is their life before death?
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:19 pm

gandy wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:There is no empirical evidence for continuity of consciousness that i'm aware of, but there is also no empirical evidence for many, many things that are likely taken for granted in your worldview.


such as?



Uh, pick one, a large portion of scientific theory is inference. Seriously..not a controversial statement, sorry you don't get it.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby smcj » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:48 pm

gandy wrote:
smcj wrote:But in terms of disproving it, if they are able to start reviving people that have been cryogenicly frozen, that would be fairly persuasive evidence. But I'm a believer, so my understanding would simply have to adapt to accommodate the new data.

that's not going to happen anywhere soon in this century

Maybe, and maybe not. Who knows? My point is that, at some point, there may be a conflict with science in the future. I believe that such a thing would come from the life sciences rather than physics or cosmology. I mean, nobody is really attached to the idea of Mt. Meru being the center of the universe, except maybe the people in Tanzania that live right next to it. So for the time being there's not much conflict. It's apples and oranges.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:15 pm

Seishin wrote: Rebirth, of course, can't be empirically proved, but neither can it be empirically disproved.

This depends on how one defines rebirth.
As I mentioned before, the experience of mental continuity exists.
That is provable.
However, upon closer examination, one discovers that what is experienced as one continuous 'self' is really a series of rapidly occurring, separate events.

It is commonly accepted that as long as a group of cells continues reproducing together, that a body is alive. This continuous cycle of birth and death of the body is regarded by most people as a 'self' in the physical sense, and they maintain that an essentially individual single (cognitive) sense of "me" is connected with that collection of constantly replicating ("living") cells, despite the (provable) fact that they are constantly replicating collection, and not a continuous single organism.

Where people object to the idea of rebirth is at the point that all of those cells cease replicating (the physical body, including the brain) "dies" and they argue that no self or particular identity leaves off at this point and picks up somewhere else (rebirth/reincarnation), but again, all of this is based on the idea that the self is intrinsically existent, and, as I mentioned, Buddhism also does not support the idea of an intrinsically existent self island-hopping from body to body either.

Rather, it is the continuous echoing of conditions, the constant churning of cause and effect (karma) rooted in the activity of the mind, which repeatedly give way to new and strikingly similar experiences. Thus, while I still have some hair on my head, for example, the causes which once resulted in its being thick and dark are no longer there, but the causes for hair to grow on my head remain. The causes for that hair to be thin and grey now result in that very effect. Likewise, with the thoughts of the mind.

We do not experience one, long, continuous, rope-ike thought, not even one long continuous thought of "me". If we did, then we could argue that an intrinsically existent self existed. Then we could argue about what happens when that rope gets cut at the end of life. But that isn't what happens.

Instead, the causes of cognition arise from conditions when those conditions are there. When the physical body of this present life no longer provides the conditions for cognition to arise, this does not mean that the conditions for cognition do not arise elsewhere, resulting from the causes of the present. If I blow up a balloon, and throw it into the air, and die before it lands, it continues to float along with the air that i breathed into it, even though I am dead. If I was sick, then when that balloon pops, the air inside it may infect the people near it. Similarly, the actions of this life create causes which manifest later.

Buddhism doesn't say that you are going to die and maybe be reborn as a duck, maybe hatching out of the egg and thinking, 'how did I get all of these feathers...the last thing I recall is a big bus heading right for me?" No, "you" won't be that duck, or another person (unless, as some lamas are apt to do, you arrange your affairs differently) but the actions of your body, speech and mind are causes, and causes produce effects, and the effect is (according to Buddhist reasoning) another cognitive being, because a cognitive being is the nature of the causes being produced. So, within this lifetime, you don't suddenly change from being a person, into a chair, then into a clock or a river, and back into a person either. But of course, you know that.

Just as cream can get turned into butter, a dairy product undergoes changes but it still ends up turning into another a dairy product.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Seishin » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:28 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Seishin wrote: Rebirth, of course, can't be empirically proved, but neither can it be empirically disproved.

This depends on how one defines rebirth.
.


True, I should have said "post-mortem rebirth".

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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:09 pm

PadmaVonSambha wrote:However, upon closer examination, one discovers that what is experienced as one continuous 'self' is really a series of rapidly occurring, separate events.


The way I see it is that the self as agent and as doer of actions, is real on the level of conventional reality. I mean, there really are persons in the same sense that there are animals, trees, stars, and so on. Ultimately none of these have separate existence or 'own-being', but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. They might be, as you say, 'composite reality', but everything in existence is like that.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:54 pm

jeeprs wrote:
PadmaVonSambha wrote:However, upon closer examination, one discovers that what is experienced as one continuous 'self' is really a series of rapidly occurring, separate events.


The way I see it is that the self as agent and as doer of actions, is real on the level of conventional reality. I mean, there really are persons in the same sense that there are animals, trees, stars, and so on. Ultimately none of these have separate existence or 'own-being', but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. They might be, as you say, 'composite reality', but everything in existence is like that.


Well, saying that there are persons in the same sense as there are trees and stars, yes, these are all composites of temporarily occurring events. You could say, perhaps more accurately, that we are no more real than trees, animals and stars. Even a star is constantly changing, and as Carl Sagan pointed out, everything we are made of used to be part of a star. Or, as I like to say, every watermelon started out as a cloud in the sky. The experience of a doer is there, but if you try to find an actual doer, to find, for example, who is it that experiences some chemical in the brain as, 'fear' for example, you find that there is no such being, only the experience of a being.

But yes, the experience is as real as this sentence.

In cinema, there is a something known as persistence of vision. It is what causes us to see separate, still images flashing at 24 frames per second as motion, as moving pictures, as a continuous movement. This is in many ways similar to the experience of a continuous self. We experience the rapid succession of events and create from that the experience of a continuous "doer". It's not that things aren't getting done, but rather that there is not actually a continuous doer doing them.

When we become attached to the experience of a continuous doer, this is the source of samsara. All suffering we experience can be traced back to this attachment to the experience of a continuous 'me". I like what is happening to me or i don't like what is happening to me, purely because i am attached to the seeming reality of that experience.

So, getting back to the topic of an 'afterlife' , all I am saying is that the objection to such a theory is usually based on the premise that a continuous person suddenly dies and then starts up again in another form. But the continuous person does not really happen in the first place, so the basis for the objection is faulty.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:36 am

I see what you mean but it is a very difficult idea to grasp. That is similar to the point I was trying to get across in the other thread I started on the topic.

On this theme, though, I was given a copy of a book called Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife recently. It has been a huge seller. It was very vividly written, but I must admit, I couldn't finish it. It isn't that I don't believe such things could happen, more that I think curiosity and speculation about it is a little unseemly, really.

However I came to the view a long while ago, that one's life is part of the unfolding of a greater story than simply the episode that takes place between a particular birth and death. But I don't spend time debating it.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:29 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:My problem is not with the existence of an afterlife life, but with the existence of a present life. I remember being told about a slogan scrawled on a wall in Northern Ireland that asked: Is their life before death?


Psychiatrist Ronald D. Laing used the title Life Before Death in 1970's for a publication. R. D. Laing is famous for brilliant sayings. Here a few quotes from him to brighten up the day:
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/r_d_laing.html
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:39 am

I especially like this one:

'We live in a moment in history where change is so speeded up that we only begin to see the present only when it is already dissappearing.'


Now, where was I.......
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby undefineable » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:13 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:So, getting back to the topic of an 'afterlife' , all I am saying is that the objection to such a theory is usually based on the premise that a continuous person suddenly dies and then starts up again in another form. But the continuous person does not really happen in the first place, so the basis for the objection is faulty.
I don't know about that, but the synthesis of these two views would be a short stretch of discontinuity preceded and succeeded by continuities of nothing whatsoever, since no sentient being can escape the solipsistic conclusion that its mind is a self-contained reality of its own, atleast while it remains unenlightened. In itself, this continuous-discontinuous-continuous picture looks out of kilter with scientific and common-sense understandings of reality, and in any case, there's clearly less of a scientific basis for objecting to the continuity of 'something to do with' consciousness than there is of objecting to the continuity of unbroken consciousness - still less the continuity of a 'soul' or personality.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:18 pm

i havent read the conversation , but the afterlife for enlightened and unenlightened should be very different experience, basically the reason why you incarnate again randomly could be that you are clinging to independently existing self. you are clinging to i and me and mine so that is what you experience even after death.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby conebeckham » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:32 pm

If this isn't trolling, I don't know what is.
It's amusing fodder for discussion, though. Thus far, no one's "proven" anything, in any direction, except that some people are very attached to their views, and will go to some lengths to convince others. Meanwhile, the wheel keeps turning.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:44 pm

conebeckham wrote:If this isn't trolling, I don't know what is.
It's amusing fodder for discussion, though. Thus far, no one's "proven" anything, in any direction, except that some people are very attached to their views, and will go to some lengths to convince others. Meanwhile, the wheel keeps turning.


And the axle keeps grinding.

I suggest that what one is talking about is a cognitive experience,
and that because, in the relative sense
"you" are here now, and that "you" were here a moment ago, or five minutes ago,
that this is proof of rebirth,
that it is a constantly recurring thing
keeping in mind all the while that the "you" being experienced as intrinsically real
is only a projection of mind to begin with
and that since this projection of mind, this illusion of continuity
persists as continuous even when the bodily support system for such an illusion
replaces itself which it does, constantly,
that we may deduce that awareness, which only manifests as mind when arising with conditions,
is not dependent on physiology whatsoever
thus rebirth in the gross sense (this body dies, another is born, and the causes set into motion in this life still produce results in the future) is a logical assumption,
and that it is not the theory of rebirth which is faulty,
but rather, the usual concept of birth and death
as only happening at the beginning and end of something we label as a "lifetime"
which is mistaken.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby undefineable » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:39 pm

futerko wrote:there does seem to be a lingering ideal of transcendence among secular humanism
Specifically, Humanism inherited both the Enlightenment idea that Truth is determined by scientific discovery and the (later) Romantic concept of the autonomous Individual. Since scientific discoveries generally seem to demonstrate the absence of autonomous Individuals (atleast for neuroscientists and other such specialists), there is an unacknowledged contradiction here that makes ideas like Rebirth at best confusing for self-described humanists.
Last edited by undefineable on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:41 pm

gandy, buddhism is quite in good relationship with quantum physics

and in physics it is proved that energy cannot disappear, energy is always there and you can not get rid of it. also in physics they are having studies and conversations that is everything just consciousness because without consciousness nothing can be experienced. or to say to exist. now consciousness and pure energy has to be in a interrelationship working together intertwined. and you could logically argue that you experience energy in your consciousness and others experience your energy in theyre consciousness. so that kinda proves that energy and consciousness are hand in hand.

now if you think that you are your body and your consciousness is a chemical component product of this body. you cant really prove that so thats an actually a belief that people take granted, and could be equally arguable subject as rebirth. if you examine with your consciousness you cant locate yourself anywhere in this body if you put it to pieces you will not even find a body, a mere label called body, fingers , that are actually atoms and smaller than that. then if you look outside and see a building on the other side of the road, but you are your body and thats it. how come your mind can be and see the building and be there. the physical process when you die and disintegrate your parts become a part of the whole again, but even the components of your body do not disappear they just transform. so if you view nakedly reality you cant find any boundary between the air and the start of your fingers, they are intertwined and intimately interconnected. so you can come to know from experience that ''you'' are not limited to this body only. reality is larger than you. so if you die and you die that doesnt mean that reality dies, or that energy and consciousness goes into non existence.

i think this comes down to the most common misconception. that we think we are existing independtly of everything else and that we are totally disconnected from everything else. that other human being is not a part of me. that world is not a part of me. i am existing independently. but its totally the other way around, we are existing interdependently and in relation to everything else. and i have come to a conclusion that even though we die, we die, its the end of our independent existence. that disappears. so if you believe in that you can argue that there is nothing after death. nothing at all because you were independently existing thing and if the independent part ceases to exist there is nothing left. but that again is the misunderstanding of how things exist. together, interconnected, intertwined and parts of the whole. and by this reasoning you could argue that the whole does not go into non existence and that the independent existence may cease to exist disappear go into non existence, but then again the independent existence was an idea that we made reality, but not the truth necessarily so then the true nature of everything comes into being in some way meaning that the part of the whole that died only transformed into something else.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: I have some proof here that there's no afterlife

Postby undefineable » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:59 pm

@KonchokZoepa: If every aspect of everything were completely interconnected, then how could there be any form of literal rebirth? Consciousness appears to itself to exist independently, and is said to experience rebirth as part of this delusion; a Buddha, on the other hand, rightly seeing things as fundamentally interconnected, has no need to be reborn :shrug: :thinking:
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