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    Thread: I just can't get my head around nonexistence after death

    1. #176
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      I like your post Dallicon, but I have a few points I'd like to discuss. First is your idea that there can't be "nothing" after death. According to what appears to me as your own line of thinking, neither can something happen (you literally say all theories must be wrong because of this). When people say that nothing happens, they are saying that something does not happen, and all "somethings" cease. Hence, when there is nothing after death, one does not perceive what is nothing, rather perception itself ceases altogether. Anything you can define as making up the metaphysical you vanishes, and there is nothing left. You don't experience all black, all white, or a single color or something. You don't experience silence or anything; "you" is no longer there, and you didn't go anywhere so much as you disappeared altogether.

      In this way, death is theorized to be similar to what you would experience before being born. That is to say, you don't. You "don't" anything, because there is no you. If you are to apply your logic of all theories being wrong, this one I suppose could technically be, but it is the only logically sound one there is. So say otherwise means you believe something does happen after death. I think you are confusing the notion of a positive claim and a negative claim, which to your credit, the way people word things dictates whether something is positive or negative claim, even if the base claim they are making is indeed a negative one. It's like the difference between saying no gods exist, and saying you don't believe any gods exist. In the first case, you are given the burden of proof. The second is a denial of any positive claim that any god or gods exist, without actually asserting whether one conclusion is true or false. You simply choose not to believe, and may require those claiming a god or gods to exist to prove they one or many indeed do. In the same way, people who say nothing happens after you die are rather sloppily stating that they don't believe any of the conjecture about an afterlife of any kind. This is a neutral stance, and without evidence suggesting an afterlife may indeed exist, it is the most logically sound choice.

      I do understand what you are getting at about there being nothing in a sense though. I think it is the only source of real comfort a person can have over the idea of non-existence. You will not experience not experiencing. It isn't anything you have to worry about, it's something that just is... just as much as you being alive or anything else existing just "is". There is nothing inherently wrong with things being the way they are or how they have to be. The conflict here is all internal, even if you can't completely help it, it really should bring you some comfort that you don't have to feel the way you do about non-existence, it's an emotional gut reaction. Just like with any fear, it can be overcome with the determination to do so and proper exposure to the stimulus causing the fear. It's okay to die. I used to fear death greatly, especially the idea of no longer existing back when I was around 14. After some emotional turmoil caused by a concussion and several life experiences later, back when I was around 22 or 23 I decided the prospect of immortality (and being aware that I was, rather than say, my essence gets reborn into a body that has no idea it's going in an endless cycle or something) was more terrifying than the fact that I will one day, in fact, die.

      Dallicon, I do have to make a few more comments about what you said (don't think I'm trying to say you're wrong about stuff or pick on you, you just gave me ideas for points of discussion on this subject). First and foremost, there is nothing wrong with believing in heaven and hell or some other thing that gives you some comfort about death, but there is nothing wrong with examining your beliefs. In this case it may be fine, but the habit in itself can often be destructive. Then again, that's all based on one's priorities. I prioritize being closer to the truth, so no matter how grim or scary something may be in reality, I'd rather know than not know. Some people are okay with being ignorant, and that's a valid choice... but just like that, so are any other choices people decide to make on the matter. The truth can be traumatic, but it isn't something you can run away from forever; this, along with genuine curiosity is why I'd prefer to find out the truth. I know that when I lie dying (assuming I'm not vaporized or something), the the truth I had always believed in will most likely come crashing down. Even deeply held beliefs you are completely sure of are subject to change giving the right experience (usually traumatic, but not always). How utterly terrified would I feel to die realizing my life was one I intentionally misled myself in? Then again, as I've said, there's not anything terribly wrong with this, I'd just like to experience death in a way that I can cherish the moment, no matter how painful or shocking it is. I obviously won't remember it if we completely cease to exist, but that's fine.

      The last thing I want to say, Dallicon, is that I don't believe that before birth and after death count as paradoxes. There's nothing mysterious about them beyond what we project onto the phenomena, as far as we can tell. There is nothing about a phenomenon that apparently creates something for a period of time fades away and the phenomenon (in this case, that we call life) goes with it. We only hear a specific sound for a second, we only see a scene for an instant, we only hear a song from beginning to end (until we play a recording of it again), we only see a movie from it's starting and ending points. The information that coalesces to form patterns of behavior in physical matter allow for such displays to exist for the duration we consider that thing to exist. A song or a movie are a collaboration of things that we arbitrarily (that is to say, it is arbitrary outside human minds) assigned a beginning and an end to. In the end, nothing is how we experience it, but given the limitations of our experience things we categorize together can most definitely be said to exist only for a time before no longer existing. Is it really that crazy for the same to be true of us? A paradox requires a breaking of prescriptive rules (that is to say, laws that bind how things interact, rather than simply describe how something acts), and no such prescriptive rules are being broken here. They are definitely absolutely mind boggling phenomena because they are beyond our realm of experience in regards to ourselves, but they don't qualify as paradoxes. Then again, I'm probably just being a pedantic ass here and paying too much to the semantics of your message rather than the message itself.

    2. #177
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      Wow, this thread has been awaken from quite a long slumber. I find it interesting that before it went to sleep, I found more value in believing in a persistent soul, while now I enjoy the idea of definitive death (even though I don't perceive immortality as a boring hell).

    3. #178
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      I'll just update what I feel about "the idea of nonexistence after death." It's still really freakin' weird. Pretty much the same as 2 years ago xD This seems to undermine my view that I'm much smarter than 2 years ago...

      ^^^^ That was what I wrote a few minutes ago. But now that I think about it, maybe it seems a little bit less strange? A bit more comprehensible and straight-forward or normal to think that I will be simply gone. And the more I think about it or try to imagine it, the more normal and straight-forward it seems.
      Occipitalred likes this.

    4. #179
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      Right, Ginsan. To me, it's like I got desensitized with time. I finally came to feel quite comfortable with the thought. It even feels liberating at times. In the end, everything will cease to exist so there's no point to take ourselves to seriously, but in the meantime, this is real, and it's worth working to make the best out of it. And it's beautiful to think that consciousness and everything that exists in this world now has arose in a very natural way. And somehow, in this worldview which lacks a magical essence that connects everything together, comes a sense that everything is interconnected, because everything comes from the same origin and everything will go back to it.

      I still like the idea that I could have a persistent soul, but sometimes, all the flaws of the theory tarnish it. Just like time travel. I hope time travel doesn't exist, even though it may be entertaining in a story. It's just full of paradoxes and problems. It's just a mess.

      Death, I have come to love you, even in your less forgiving form, but really, there is no rush. I can wait for your embrace. And maybe I'm too much of a jealous partner, but you really better stay away from all those I know or I will be real mad! Don't cheat on me! Wait for me!

    5. #180
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      Well I'm definitely not comfortable with the idea that I will be dead some day.. It totally sucks! Only in extremely weird and special and extreme cases would I prefer death over existence, so I really don't want to die.

      And I do take myself seriously, sometimes I don't but then I try to make myself take myself more seriously, because my life is not just affecting myself, I can help other people too, and if I disregard my life, I disregard the people I could be helping. And you could say they they will die too so maybe nobody really matters, but that's not true, because the suffering or happiness is real, whether it and its memory eventually disappears or not.

      edit: I don't know what I'll be doing specifically to help who and how, because it is so far into the future, for now (apart from being good to people around me) I'm just thinking generally I'll make the world a better place in some way through research/direct work and donations.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 11-22-2016 at 06:02 AM.

    6. #181
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      Quote Originally Posted by Occipitalred View Post
      (even though I don't perceive immortality as a boring hell).
      I should clarify my own statements regarding being turned off of the idea of immortality; what I really mean is that if it were to be exactly the same as life as a human in general, I don't think I want to be immortal. I'm just fine with a limit to my life, although that isn't to say I necessarily want to die either. I am just comfortable with the idea of dying, more so than I am with living forever if it's basically a continuation of what's going on now (or my whole life for that matter). In a way it feels very right that everything has to come to an end (for me), because everything I've ever known always does. It's the nature of things, and I am a thing. That which makes "me" must fall apart just as the conditions for my creation came together. It's kinda cool in a way I guess. Maybe my personal way of handling the idea at this current point of time is just a "it has to be this way, so you might as well like it" kind of attitude. I don't see there being anything wrong with dying more than there is anything wrong with living, or any more than it is to feel emotions or anything else. Stuff just kinda is, so it all will do as it does.

      An added benefit of seeing things this way is changing how you view death for others' as well. There is probably a person or two I'd be torn up over dying, but pretty much everybody and everything else living... when it dies, I don't feel anything at all. Death happens. I've had several family members die now, and have never felt a thing whenever it happened. Nobody in my immediate family has died, but for whatever reason I can't see crying over them either (again, the thought of them dying elicits no emotional response). The only person I'd feel something for, I would be crying out of self-pity for what I'll be forever missing. Not that grieving is a selfish thing to do per se, just that given how I react to death, it would definitely be out of selfishness in my case. In terms of them, I wouldn't feel sorry for the fact they can't exist anymore, because it would've inevitably happened anyway. Maybe that's a little harsh, but to quote Kurt Vonnegut, "so it goes".

    7. #182
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      i think death is like that black part when your sleeping, your just connected to everything without being aware of anything, one of my favorite parts of sleep :-)

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