OK, I do not believe a spirit transcends into heaven. I guess the best word is "life". When the spark leaves the eyes, when the body relaxes, when breathing stops, that is what I interpret as spirit. It's life ends. There is nothing more.
Joseph, did you have an unusual or unexpected feeling when you saw the end? I don't mean when you saw the end coming, but when his life ended and you recognized he was gone.
Death always arouses something in me, whether it is a human or another form of life. We were fishing one day, caught a sun fish, cut its heart out and used the rest for bait. The heart continued to beat for a good 15 minutes, laying there on a stump. I just sat there and watched it pump, wondering.
Joan, You are very sentimental. Sometimes, your sentimentality speaks, reason doesn't!
Madhukar, I agree, sentimentality is an important part of my thinking process. It is not instead of, but in addition to reasoning. For example, growing up in an abusive home, I learned to rationalize domestic violence. Growing into adulthood and realizing that domestic violence does not solve problems in the grown-up world, that I turned to feelings for wisdom. Those feeling led me to better outcomes.
Thank you for noticing!
While in college many years ago, a chemistry major told me how soap works. Bingo, it was no longer a mystery to me.
I tell believers I don't care what they believe but I won't let them require me to believe the same.
Many years before this experiment of weighinga dying persons body just before death and immediately after death. The average weight loss was found to be 21grams! This would costitute a mere 0.05% of an average weight of about 42 kgs of a dying and sick person. If you were weighing a body on a scale having a range of 100kg with an accuracy of 0.01%, the possible error would be 10 gms. So, if you have to be able to detect small variations like 21gms, you would need a weighing scale of better than 0.01% accuracy. Actually, the weighing scales that were used, were of much worse accuracy, as, in those days, weighing scales of better accuracy not made at all! and this difference therefore could have been caused by measurement error only.
Even if the mass of a body would change after death, this would not be proof for a "soul" anyway. One of the most classic mistakes in human reasoning is the tendency to fill a gap in our understanding or knowledge with something that needs to be explained in stead of doing the actual explanation.
We also have a tendency to see casual connections between actions that occur at roughly the same time. Nobody in their right mind would think that if I threw a ball against the wall of my house and at the same time the doorbell of the neighbor's house would ring that the two are causally related.
Ergo, this kind of wishful thinking can easily be explained by the human condition.
This old chestnut again? This is an Urban Legend of the worst sort; it keeps reappearing, but the experiment has been done and, no, just as you might expect, there is no sudden loss of weight. The body will gradually lose a little weight as saliva and moisture from the lungs and sweat evaporate over a period ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.
We already know that the conciousness is part of the brain rather than separate from it. Damage to the brain from injury or disease causes personality change, the brain IS the mind. There is no separate "driver" at the controls of your body. Dualism like that is common in children.
Here's a good ready on the subject by Massimo Pigliuchi at Rationally Speaking:
Aside from the pseudoscience involved in this claim, it really doesn't even make sense according to the internal logic of the most commonly held religious faiths, where heaven, the afterlife, souls, etc. are nearly always portrayed as explicitly non-physical phenomena.
Just another example of apologists looking to justify their unfounded faith with bunk science which is designed to confirm the answers they desire, rather than taking the genuine scientific approach of starting with questions and letting the evidence determine the answer.
maybe it's something to do with muscles relaxing, or the breath going out of the body?