How many atheists here, though not believing in God, Satan, heaven or hell, still believe in some kind of conscious existence after death ? Anyone ? I, for one, do not believe in any kind of conscious existence after death. Death is the end.

Tags: Consciousness, Continuation, Death, Life

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I'm with you Tony!  The. End.

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.

RAmen. 

-Aaron Freeman

[Bold-mine. /NL]

Nerdlass, if anyone eulogizes me that way I'll hurl a few thunderbolts for disturbing my entropy.

Very, very frightening!

Jeez, I don't know if you intended to be funny, but I am ROFL. I especially like, "not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly." 

(You just have to leave out that whole heat death of the universe, later on, you see.)

Nerdlass, I have had a great time imagining my celebration-of-life-gathering with all my family and friends to hear the usual "Jesus is the way, truth, and light" sermon and hear, instead, a physicist, an astrophysicist, a quantum physicist and bioastroquantumphysicist talk about what it means to be alive and dead, what happens to our atoms, and the meaning of immortality.

"Where are the smelling salts?"

They hear energy has not died, that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed, all my energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was me remains amid energies of the cosmos, I gave as good as I got.

That works! Oh! I feel better already. 

We're not even the length of a sneeze, in the long term of things... I think it boils down to... enjoy the time you have here... try to be considerate to those who share this rock and will come after... that sort of thing. I also seem to recall Dawkins talking about the odds of you being you or being someone else and taking that into consideration. We've won the lottery to be who we are and not someone else... Sorry that I don't have an exact quote handy.

Nerdlass, your

We're not even the length of a sneeze, in the long term of things... I think it boils down to... enjoy the time you have here... try to be considerate to those who share this rock and will come after....

easily makes more sense than the ten commandments.

Dawkins' words intrigue me. I recently heard a Teaching Company course on consciousness and decided that the lecturer was trying to get to the market before a crowd of lecturers gets there.

Dawkins isn't trying to beat a crowd to the market, and you don't need an exact quote, but I'm wondering what he means with winning a lottery to be who we are and not someone else?

In using the word "lottery", I doubt that he was referring to the race-to-the-egg.

If either of my parents been someone else or parented me differently, I wouldn't be.

Are his words those of a man who still has the neuronal activity for "miracle" in his head?

Tain't easy to wipe that part of the slate clean.

Some people I know want to quiz me about atheism. I could do worse than take with me your words on a card.

Here's the Dawkins quote that I remember:  “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?” 
― Richard DawkinsUnweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

Idaho, Mr. Dawkins' gibberish might fill a book.

I'll keep my gibberish short. He can talk about his ordinariness all he likes; he will kindly leave mine alone.

I have always imagined creating a stable diet on which people could eat...by portions described on the bag.  Human Chow...like the Purina brand of dog food.  I feel there is a need for such a product.  Something that would take all the guess work out of nutrition...reduce the whole decision to a single choice of servings. Two cups a day, if you want to have the minimum requirement for the sustanence of an adult and active person...more or less depending on your age or if you want to lose weight.  

But I was always stymied by whether or not I could get the copyright for the name I would want to use:

Solyent Green.

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