Reply To: Readers Ask: Consciousness, Brain, Annihilation & Eternity

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Psychedelicacy
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Perhaps an arrangement of particles & forces of nature holding the particles together is who/what is asking the question. Or you could say a network of neurons. Just the brain, wants to know who/what it is. And what it is is just brain function/brain activity. Consciousness maybe mistakenly appears like it’s something more, when in actuality it’s just brain function. That’s my answer (though I don’t buy into it fully). Am I an arrangement of particles? Maybe or maybe not.

So death happens to an experience, not to the presence in which the experience is happening. But why should sleeping/or coma/or syncope make you go unconscious? You might say, I wasn’t really unconscious, I was experiencing something – it just wasn’t remembered once I awoke from sleep/coma/syncope. But isn’t it more parsimonious to just say you simple weren’t there? Where are you then, when you’re in deep sleep/slow-wave sleep or passed out/fainted from your body overheating on a summer day of 95 degrees. And why shouldn’t you just stay in that state of being/experience once you enter deep sleep – whatever it is? What keeps you imprisoned to this body and mind, in that you always return to this same organism and mind? The egoic state where we experience body and mind never remembers what happens experientially during these supposed unconscious periods. Why can’t we have a memory of our real self state of timeless being, if that’s what is going on when we lose unconscious to other people/on the “outside.”

Anyway, I’ll present my atheistic arguments against existing after death (they have to be read slowly and carefully, because they’re condensed into few words, though heavy in neuroscientific content when you research this stuff):

1. When death happens the heart stops pumping oxygenated blood to the brain, all the neurons in the brain die without oxygen, the neurons can no longer interact to produce consciousness, so you don’t exist when your brain is dead.

2. Any part of the mind can be lost by damaging the brain and the entire brain is damaged upon death – this leaves nothing of you existent.

3. Since consciousness doesn’t exist in deep sleep, coma or when you faint, because of a lack of neuronal interaction, then it won’t exist when there’s absent neuronal interaction after the brain dies.

4. Consciousness doesn’t exist when you faint due to a decrease in oxygenated blood flow to the brain so it won’t exist after death when the heart has stopped pumping oxygenated blood to the brain forever.

5. Because you don’t exist if your reticular activating system or thalamus are damaged (certain areas in the brain), then you won’t exist when your entire brain is damaged at death.

6. Information-theoretic death shows that the information stored in your brain that makes you – you, is irretrievably scrambled by cremation or decomposition, so your consciousness in turn, is irretrievably scrambled (or in the subjective domain – erased).

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