Monday, April 3, 2017

652: The Afterlife as a solution...

Today we’ll discuss a theme, of which some of you will know that it probably is not my most favorite subject.
   
However, in our search for the meaning of life we have looked in all places except one. We looked in past, future and heaven.
   
Where we have not yet looked is after this life. We can not ignore this, because a lot of people even believe,
   
that after our death we eventually will understand the  meaning of life, because of what we’ll encounter in our afterlife.
   
Others assume that our earthly life is in fact a preparatory stage of the real life, which we have to earn during this stage.
  
Apart from a belief we hardly have any evidence, that there exists something like an afterlife. It is at least peculiar, 
  
that though billions of people have died no one ever came back to tell us how life is in the afterlife. Yet, some people claim to have (had) contacted people at “the other side”.
  
But when we look at the numbers, we get very odd statistics and the evidence we find is very thin. So why this belief in an afterlife?
   
A general characteristic of this afterlife seems to be, that it is much better and desirable than this earthly life.
   
This might suggest, that the more dissatisfied people are with this life, the more that might be inclined to believe in an afterlife.
   
This could be related to the observation Peter Watson mentions in his book “The Age of Nothing”. There is a significant relation 
  
between existential uncertainty and poverty on the one hand and the inclination to be religious and a believer on the other hand.
   
Another characteristic of this afterlife is, that it eventually will show us the meaning of life, of which the view was obscured in this earthly life.
   
But what will it be? Take for instance these 72 virgins which a muslim martyr will find in his afterlife.
  
We’ll not question the situation that there also have been female suicide bomb terrorists. I have no idea what these women is offered in their afterlife.
   
But if the ultimate meaning of life is to reach this state, I assume that the martyr will finally deflower all 72 virgins. What then…? What is the meaning of the afterlife then for him?
   
One more problem with this idea of an afterlife is the question “What kind of life do you mean?” Based on contemporary insights
   
we must assume that the mind ceases to exist, when the brain stops functioning.  Then it is concluded that we are dead.
   
The solution of this problem was to assume, that we’ll live on in a disembodied state. Any idea, what the meaning of such life could be?

Would be pretty frustrating, when you are facing 72 eager virgins, I’d say.
   
So far we mainly have been looking for a source, which would generate the meaning of life: the past, evolution, future goals, the transcendental.
   
It left us empty handed. Never was there this moment of: YES! That is what we are living for. That gives meaning to my life.
   
The only place we have not yet looked for a meaning of life is the here and now, the life we actually live. Will that answer our question?
   
To be continued….thank you… ^_^


 The Discussion

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Who says the 72 virgins are woman?...they can be old man as well....
[13:17] herman Bergson: No Beertje...a virgin is a young woman, I'd say :-)
[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no, can be a man too
[13:18] CB Axel: Who says the virgins are eager? They could be 72 sexually frigid old biddies
[13:18] herman Bergson: By definition :-)
[13:18] herman Bergson: Then they still would be virgins indeed CB :-))
[13:18] herman Bergson: Poor Martyr...
[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:18] CB Axel: Serves him right! LOL
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:19] herman Bergson: yes :-)
[13:19] CB Axel: For a time I thought reincarnation was a cool idea. I'd like to come back as a spoiled rotten house cat. °͜°
[13:19] herman Bergson: I guess none of you believes in an afterlife?
[13:20] herman Bergson: Oh there is that story about reincarnation CB...:-)
[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh my CB:))))
[13:20] CB Axel: I've found more comfort in not believing in an afterlife than I ever found in believing.
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): depends on, however one thing i have thought about is why do i feel myself like me and not someone else and can it be that i have felt conciousness as someone else before
[13:20] herman Bergson: Old lady goes to some medium to contact her departed husband...
[13:20] herman Bergson: Medium makes contact and speaks...
[13:21] herman Bergson: She asks ..how is life over there John....
[13:21] herman Bergson: Oh terrific.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: in the morning we start with sex...
[13:21] herman Bergson: then a siesta...
[13:21] herman Bergson: in the afternoon sex again.....
[13:21] herman Bergson: and before going to sleep again
[13:22] herman Bergson: My goodness she says....never knew heaven is that good
[13:22] herman Bergson: Heaven he says....?
[13:22] herman Bergson: I am reincarnated in a rabbit in Australia
[13:22] CB Axel: LOL
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:22] CB Axel: Good one!
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): grins
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its tricky because since my brain did not existed before that i have now there is nothing there to remind
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a very complex story but its a bit in sence of reincarnation
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but well its a sort of reincarnation thought but its so complicated
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i can only be myself and not someone else
[13:22] herman Bergson: But reincarnation doesn’t solve the problem either....
[13:23] herman Bergson: for at a given moment it must end...and to what meaning?
[13:23] CB Axel: I was appalled to find out that my father believes in an afterlife just so evil people in this life will get punished in Hell.
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes...that is a common belief....
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the basic idea is, if i would die, could i then wake up as another person and feel like myself, cause i was basically created from nothing and what says the process is not repeatable
[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): If I think about an afterlife....how long is an afterlife ?
[13:24] herman Bergson: I`f you can not get them here..God will get the bad guys!
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a very dwindling thought makes my head spin when i think about it, hope you at least got something of my ida
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): idea
[13:24] herman Bergson: That is a problem indeed Beertje
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): there must be souls of a million years old
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): virgins?
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:25] herman Bergson: have to be because muslims are not older than  a 1600 years
[13:25] CB Axel: The actress Julia Sweeney did a one woman show about becoming an atheist. In it she mentions that a priest told her that heaven may only be an instant.
[13:26] CB Axel: When she told her mother that, her mother slapped her.
[13:27] herman Bergson smiles
[13:27] CB Axel: Julia decided that maybe she shouldn't have told a woman with 5 children to take care of in this life that the heaven she was looking forward to was only an instant of time.
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how did this priest know that?
[13:27] CB Axel: It's an excellent show and is available on YouTube.
[13:28] herman Bergson: ahhh....:-)
[13:28] CB Axel: He was just speculating, Beertje.
[13:28] herman Bergson: You think so CB? :-)))
[13:28] CB Axel: Just thinking it was possible.
[13:28] CB Axel: I don't believe in heaven. I don't believe in an afterlife.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Or did he pray with the words "Expertus loquor"?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Amen
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what does that mean Herman?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Which means... I speak as an expert :-)
[13:30] CB Axel: I'm pretty sure there are no experts on the afterlife alive today. °͜°
[13:30] herman Bergson: I must agree CB...an afterlife makes little sense to me either
[13:30] herman Bergson: You may be right CB :-)
[13:30] herman Bergson: Are you still with us Ciska?
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: I do ;)
[13:31] herman Bergson: Any ideas about an afterlife yourself?
[13:31] Ciska Riverstone: just a believer
[13:31] herman Bergson: I see
[13:31] herman Bergson: I have trouble with believing ...
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: but I do not have a concrete idea about how many virgins walk there ,)
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: well u believe in economy ;)
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: so
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: heheheh
[13:32] herman Bergson: no I do not....
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: I think a belief per se is not a wrong thing
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: the question is what u do with it
[13:32] herman Bergson: economy  and the idea of constant growth is a belief indeed....and a devastating belief even
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: it is
[13:33] herman Bergson: Well depends how you interpret a belief.....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: I do believe that a lot of people think they do not believe
[13:33] CB Axel: It was hard for me to accept that there is no afterlife, but once I did, it seemed like a good thing.
[13:33] herman Bergson: form a psychological point of view we all have beliefs which keep our lives on track...
[13:33] Ciska Riverstone: so I choose for myself to be aware of my beliefs vs reality
[13:34] herman Bergson: Everybody has beliefs
[13:34] herman Bergson: Simple....
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: yes - thats what I mean - beliefs are unescapable
[13:34] herman Bergson: at school youlearn that the earth is round....
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: the problem for me are not the believers but those who think they do not believe
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: because they think their beliefs are truths
[13:34] herman Bergson: they told you  that...and you BELIEVE it....
[13:34] Ciska Riverstone: or facts
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: and thats what makes life difficult for all of us
[13:35] herman Bergson: unless you go check it  yourself by spaceship
[13:35] CB Axel: True.
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we can't check the afterlife
[13:35] herman Bergson: yes.... when is a belief a truth.....
[13:35] CB Axel: None of us knows for certain what happens after death. It's all just our beliefs.
[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje.....
[13:35] Ciska Riverstone: most debates we have are about beliefs where one party thinks its not a belief but a  fact while discussing a belief
[13:36] CB Axel: Exactly.
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: if u discuss a belief as a belief they just stand side by side
[13:36] Ciska Riverstone: and non is exactly right or wrong - they are just beliefs
[13:36] herman Bergson: I disagree with you CB.....
[13:36] CB Axel: Oh?
[13:37] herman Bergson: After death the remains of the organism disintegrate and return to basic molecules
[13:37] herman Bergson: you can be ashes or in the stomachs of worms...
[13:37] CB Axel: OK. I guess what I mean is, what happens to our consciousness. Our spirit. Whatever you want to call it.
[13:38] CB Axel: I believe that it just ceases to exist.
[13:38] herman Bergson: To know what happens after death suggest that there MIGHT be some observer there
[13:38] CB Axel: But that's just a belief. I have no proof that there is no heaven it goes to or that it enters another body to be reincarnated.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Well....consciousness just stops to exist, I;d say
[13:39] CB Axel: That's what I believe, but I have no proof.
[13:39] herman Bergson: unless you suggest that consciousness is something else than the product of my functioning organism
[13:39] CB Axel: That's what people who believe in an afterlife must think.
[13:40] herman Bergson: we can proof that a dead person doesn’t show the signs of a living conscious person....these signs are gone
[13:40] herman Bergson: If we couldn’t we never could declare someone dead
[13:41] CB Axel: There are people who claim to know how much the soul weighs. They say that's proof of a soul.
[13:41] herman Bergson: I know about that....
[13:41] CB Axel: They weigh a person just before death and then weight them just after. They say they get lighter.
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello Joseph
[13:41] Joseph Bard (science24): Hi there :)
[13:42] herman Bergson: They base it on the difference in weight between the living and then dead body
[13:42] CB Axel: Hi, Joseph.
[13:42] CB Axel: Right.
[13:42] herman Bergson: Hello Joseph
[13:42] Joseph Bard (science24): Hi :)
[13:42] herman Bergson: But that is  nonsense of course :-)
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Joseph
[13:42] herman Bergson: doesnt proof a thing....
[13:42] Joseph Bard (science24): :)
[13:43] herman Bergson: there can be  a dozen explanations for the slight loss of weight
[13:44] herman Bergson: which explanation to pick based on what arguments? :-)
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: maybe we will learn about that in the future when quatum physics becomes more clearly
[13:44] herman Bergson: and suppose it also happens with mice...?
[13:44] Ciska Riverstone: so far we can only belief
[13:45] Ciska Riverstone: belief is the blackbox till we know.
[13:45] herman Bergson: I think there always will be things, facts we have to accept and assume without proof Ciska
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): guess
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so
[13:46] herman Bergson: Every time we find a better explanation for whatever it will be based on basic assumptions....
[13:46] Ciska Riverstone: mh - physics did not proof over time that this isn't so?
[13:47] herman Bergson: we just have to assume that reality is mathematical for instance...
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: your theory would lead to the idea that we always must be believers of some sort- no other way - right?
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: (assumptions)
[13:47] herman Bergson: the only argument we have for it is, that it works
[13:48] herman Bergson: yes Ciska
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hi Jeanne
[13:48] herman Bergson: Hi Jeanne
[13:48] CB Axel: Hello, Jeanne.
[13:48] Jeanne Valois (jeannevalois): hello ty :)
[13:48] herman Bergson: In that sense I think the Pragmatists were right....
[13:49] herman Bergson: Eventually the only argument we have is.....IT WORKS
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Jeanne
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: until it does not .
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes..and then we try to find another answer...
[13:49] CB Axel: Or until we find something that works even better.
[13:49] Ciska Riverstone: yes
[13:49] herman Bergson: that is how science makes progress
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: well what we perceive as progress
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: sometimes might be een a backlash ;)
[13:50] herman Bergson: I mean with progress the increase of the ability to explain phenomena....
[13:50] Ciska Riverstone: but thats of course mostly the case with "hardly science"
[13:51] herman Bergson: I mean the growth of knowledge here
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: well right now we increase for example via genomic alteration food plant outcome
[13:51] Ciska Riverstone: that does not nesscessarily say something about the quality of that outcome
[13:52] herman Bergson: the quality is not in the growth of knowledge but by how it is applied
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: and therefor not necessarily tells us about the diseases which may or may not come along with it
[13:52] herman Bergson: no..
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: so on the long run this progress might not necessarily be one
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: but we simply don't know
[13:52] Ciska Riverstone: so we belief
[13:53] herman Bergson: this process is driven by the BELIEF that the more we know the more we can do with reality, indeed
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:53] herman Bergson: But to what purpose????
[13:53] herman Bergson: again here is the question about the meaning of life
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): HAVE FUN!
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and feel good
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the easy way
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:54] herman Bergson: I must disappoint you Bejiita.....
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its not that easy i guess
[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or i know that
[13:55] herman Bergson: Because....what when YOUR fun is not MY FUN....on the contrary for instance...it is my pain????
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some people don't care about that Herman
[13:55] herman Bergson: What justifies YOUR FUN?
[13:56] herman Bergson: that doesnt matter philosophically Beertje :-)
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): you mean like having fun by making others sad, like bullying?
[13:56] herman Bergson: because when it matters we'll ask such people to care!
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats not the way to have fun
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): have fin WITH others is the thing
[13:57] herman Bergson: For instance, bejiita...
[13:57] herman Bergson: or even your fun may be sadistic torturing of people....
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well its not my way of having fun for sure, but some people find it amusing, thats pur evil however
[13:58] herman Bergson: YEs ,,the point is....what means the concept of FUN.....
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed having fun for some sadly includes things like this, not me however
[13:58] CB Axel: It doesn't even have to be that obvious. Maybe my fun is getting drunk and driving recklessly through a crowded city. I could harm a lot of people with my fun.
[13:59] herman Bergson: I understand what you personally feel about it Bejiita....
[13:59] herman Bergson: but when you put it in a philosophical context, you runinto these questions
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, reckless driving is very common, they think they are in control but they are not
[13:59] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or even maybe do it on purpose in worst case
[14:00] herman Bergson: good example.....their fun may be the death of others
[14:00] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[14:00] herman Bergson: As you see...we all want to have fun in life...:-)
[14:00] herman Bergson: I agree with that....
[14:01] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but its indeed important to have fun in the RIGHT way
[14:01] herman Bergson: but when asked a philosopher....seems it is the end of fun :-)
[14:01] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is the right way Bejiita?
[14:01] herman Bergson: that is the point...how to decide what is "RIGHT" fun :-)
[14:01] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): make others have fun with you and cause no harm
[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and dont be evil
[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): be good
[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the right way
[14:02] herman Bergson: Very good Bejiita....here we are closing in on a meaning of life...
[14:02] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): these dance battles i attend to and challenge others is a great way of having fun and make friends from all the world
[14:02] herman Bergson: As you see there is a relation between fun and ethics for instance :-)
[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or relaxing in here or with my game creathon projects
[14:03] Joseph Bard (science24): are we living just to have fun ?
[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or that softball thing i did before if you know what it is, swedish invention
[14:03] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but the Swedish name translates as indoor bandy
[14:03] herman Bergson: Good question Joseph
[14:04] herman Bergson: And a typical one too
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): floorball, not softball
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floorball
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this I dod before
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): did
[14:04] herman Bergson: This inclination  of homo sapiens to think there must be more than just eating, sleeping, working, eating , sleeping and so on
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and Futsal on that too wich is the corresponding way to play football
[14:04] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same rules but indoors basically
[14:05] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): the meaning of life can't always be fun
[14:05] Joseph Bard (science24): exactly
[14:06] herman Bergson: No Beertje...the moment you loose a beloved one who dies at a young age....a child for instance the question is wide open again....WHY he/she?
[14:06] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaw yes
[14:07] herman Bergson: Again you are confronted with the question of meaning
[14:07] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are we here not for ourselves but for others?
[14:07] herman Bergson: Although we have not yet found the meaning of life, I guess you notice that there still are a lot of questions  to be answered :-)
[14:08] herman Bergson: Will be the subject of the next lecture Beertje ^_^
[14:08] herman Bergson: How did you know? :-)
[14:08] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :) intuitie
[14:08] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[14:09] herman Bergson: The we'll follow your intuition Beertje....^_^
[14:09] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): good:)))
[14:09] herman Bergson: May I thank you all again for your brilliant participation?!
[14:09] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[14:09] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[14:09] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[14:09] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman, it was a very nice evening
[14:09] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok cu next time then
[14:09] Ciska Riverstone: thanx herman - thanx  all
[14:09] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[14:09] Jeanne Valois (jeannevalois): thank you, applauses
[14:09] Ciska Riverstone: take care bejiita
[14:10] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[14:10] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[14:10] CB Axel: See you Thursday. °͜°
[14:10] CB Axel: I'm going to go tiptoe through the tulips. °͜°
[14:10] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[14:10] herman Bergson: Thursday it is CB :-)
[14:10] Ciska Riverstone: u have the gestur`?
[14:10] herman Bergson: Pick a bunch CB
[14:11] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight all
[14:11] herman Bergson: Bye Beertje :-)
[14:11] Joseph Bard (science24): bye everyone , take care :)
[14:11] herman Bergson: Bye Joseph :-)
[14:11] Ciska Riverstone: take carejoseph
[14:11] Joseph Bard (science24): :)
[14:12] Ciska Riverstone: cannot find the tulips

[14:12] herman Bergson: they are outside Ciska :-) 

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