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Old Sep 29, 2013, 07:15 PM   #701
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How would theists respond to this very thoughtful point?

(The video title is unnecessarily strident; the speaker's point is calm and well made)

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Old Sep 30, 2013, 08:48 AM   #702
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Originally Posted by localoid View Post
Are you saying that you believe the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics supports the concept of life after death? Or were you just mentioning two different, distinct subjects?

Apparently, Hugh Everett, III, the American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics, believed that his consciousness was "bound at each branching to follow whatever path does not lead to death —and so on ad infinitum." (source)

However, the concept that WMI implies immortality doesn't seem to have gained that much support in the scientific community.

The introduction of the Many-Worlds Interpretations Can Not Imply ‘Quantum Immortality’ (by Dr. Jacques Mallah) provides a good intro to the paper which then goes on to debunk the concept that WMI implies "immortality" (as most (lay) persons would think of immortality.)
Frankly I don't have a clue if they are related or not. But quantum physics seems to opens up a universe of possibilities with the potential to complicated the Atheist's simplified dust-to-dust, IT'S OVER view of our existence. Here is a case where science could provide us with a basis for what is viewed as spirituality.

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Originally Posted by firestarter View Post
How would theists respond to this very thoughtful point?

(The video title is unnecessarily strident; the speaker's point is calm and well made)

YouTube: video
What an outstanding reasoned chain of logic. I am not in Sam Harris's league, but I've said, how can you trust any faith based document from 2000 year old superstitious men, just because it's text printed on a page?
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Old Sep 30, 2013, 09:27 PM   #703
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
Frankly I don't have a clue if they are related or not. But quantum physics seems to opens up a universe of possibilities with the potential to complicated the Atheist's simplified dust-to-dust, IT'S OVER view of our existence. Here is a case where science could provide us with a basis for what is viewed as spirituality. ...
Some people seem to believe that mysticism and quantum physics make for "a good fit" but the vast majority of said opinions I've read seem to be based more on "quantum quackery" than they are on scientifically-based facts or theories.

Dr. Amit Goswami, who is theoretical nuclear physicist, is one of the few scientists I come across that have tried to use quantum physics to support belief in life-after-death, but then his views aren't exactly mainstream or conventional. For example, he seems to believe in "quantum medicine", i.e., humans have the ability to heal themselves by "using their minds"; no medicine/doctors/hospitals required, etc. Every time I hear Goswami speak, I can't help but be reminded of the movie, "The Men Who Stare at Goats".

Personally, I think The Scientific American article, "Physics and the Immortality of the Soul", covers the topic pretty well. A brief excerpt follows:

Quote:
Claims that some form of consciousness persists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face one huge, insuperable obstacle: the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and thereís no way within those laws to allow for the information stored in our brains to persist after we die. If you claim that some form of soul persists beyond death, what particles is that soul made of? What forces are holding it together? How does it interact with ordinary matter?

Everything we know about quantum field theory (QFT) says that there arenít any sensible answers to these questions. Of course, everything we know about quantum field theory could be wrong. Also, the Moon could be made of green cheese.

Among advocates for life after death, nobody even tries to sit down and do the hard work of explaining how the basic physics of atoms and electrons would have to be altered in order for this to be true. If we tried, the fundamental absurdity of the task would quickly become evident.

Even if you donít believe that human beings are "simply" collections of atoms evolving and interacting according to rules laid down in the Standard Model of particle physics, most people would grudgingly admit that atoms are part of who we are. If itís really nothing but atoms and the known forces, there is clearly no way for the soul to survive death. Believing in life after death, to put it mildly, requires physics beyond the Standard Model. Most importantly, we need some way for that "new physics" to interact with the atoms that we do have.

Very roughly speaking, when most people think about an immaterial soul that persists after death, they have in mind some sort of blob of spirit energy that takes up residence near our brain, and drives around our body like a soccer mom driving an SUV. The questions are these: what form does that spirit energy take, and how does it interact with our ordinary atoms? Not only is new physics required, but dramatically new physics. Within QFT, there canít be a new collection of "spirit particles" and "spirit forces" that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments. Ockhamís razor is not on your side here, since you have to posit a completely new realm of reality obeying very different rules than the ones we know.
Even if the universe is a hologram (see video below), I don't think that necessarily implies immorality or everlasting life...

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Old Oct 1, 2013, 03:33 AM   #704
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My view:

I don't believe in a god in the traditional sense of him being a guy with a white beard, with a son that came down to earth.

If you think about it logically, civilisations all over the world (who really didn't have any way of communicating) all witnessed a godlike creature descending from the heavens at some point. In all the stories, that person either came down on a chariot of fire, a bird of fire, a dragon of fire, etc.

This leads me to believe that it's a simple case of it being the same being (or group of beings) from another place. Especially since said person came down and always taught people how to do something, or helped them build something to protect them.

Back then they lacked words like 'alien', 'space ship', etc. So it was considered to be a godlike being.

A great example is the Cargo Cults. Groups of natives in the south pacific thought that the people in US airplanes were gods, as they had never seen an airplane before. If that can happen less than 50 years ago, then thousands of years ago its highly plausible that someone or something came from another planet to earth, and it was mistaken as a 'god'.

It sounds wild, but makes a heck of a lot more sense than a magician with the ability to walk on water.

As far as I'm concerned, its a physical impossibility for us to be the only ones in the universe, especially now that water on a planet as close as Mars has been confirmed. There are an infinite number of planets out there - meaning there are infinite civilisations.

This isnt even taking into account the possibility of more dimensions, more areas of reality that we can not see, etc. Space just does not end. That would make no sense...what would be on the other side of the walls of space?

I'm not a nutjob. Just a realist

With all this being said, I do understand (at least in many cases) why people choose a religion. However that doesn't mean I agree with it. In the last few thousand years, religious beliefs have been the primary cause of conflict, which makes no sense if those following the religion actually cared about their beliefs.

Personally I'd like to think we're occasionally watched over by a greater civilization who've clearly helped us in the past. I do not however believe there is some sort of puppet master who decides who lives, who dies, what events happen, etc.

Last edited by rmwebs; Oct 1, 2013 at 03:38 AM.
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 03:37 AM   #705
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I don't believe in god. I was brought up as a respectful and thoughtful person with good morals, all without the influence of religion. It has no place in my life or my children's. They can make their own choices based on the knowledge they gather. As long as they respect others and are polite, I have no problems. I think if I had to state a religion or belief, I would have to say I am closer to being a humanist than anything else. I don't practice anything however.

I respect those who have religion in their lives though. It would be a boring existence if we all had beliefs and did the same thing.
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 08:21 AM   #706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localoid View Post
Some people seem to believe that mysticism and quantum physics make for "a good fit" but the vast majority of said opinions I've read seem to be based more on "quantum quackery" than they are on scientifically-based facts or theories.

Dr. Amit Goswami, who is theoretical nuclear physicist, is one of the few scientists I come across that have tried to use quantum physics to support belief in life-after-death, but then his views aren't exactly mainstream or conventional. For example, he seems to believe in "quantum medicine", i.e., humans have the ability to heal themselves by "using their minds"; no medicine/doctors/hospitals required, etc. Every time I hear Goswami speak, I can't help but be reminded of the movie, "The Men Who Stare at Goats".

Personally, I think The Scientific American article, "Physics and the Immortality of the Soul", covers the topic pretty well. A brief excerpt follows:

Even if the universe is a hologram (see video below), I don't think that necessarily implies immorality or everlasting life...

YouTube: video
Don't confuse me with the facts, but interesting reading. For myself, (I imagine most humans) a spiritual existence is a possibility I'd like to have happen. If there is a phenomena that supports such a premise, it might ghosts. I believe things of a paranormal nature have been documented, but what exactly they are, is unproven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
My view:

I don't believe in a god in the traditional sense of him being a guy with a white beard, with a son that came down to earth.

If you think about it logically, civilisations all over the world (who really didn't have any way of communicating) all witnessed a godlike creature descending from the heavens at some point. In all the stories, that person either came down on a chariot of fire, a bird of fire, a dragon of fire, etc.

This leads me to believe that it's a simple case of it being the same being (or group of beings) from another place. Especially since said person came down and always taught people how to do something, or helped them build something to protect them.

Back then they lacked words like 'alien', 'space ship', etc. So it was considered to be a godlike being.

A great example is the Cargo Cults. Groups of natives in the south pacific thought that the people in US airplanes were gods, as they had never seen an airplane before. If that can happen less than 50 years ago, then thousands of years ago its highly plausible that someone or something came from another planet to earth, and it was mistaken as a 'god'.

It sounds wild, but makes a heck of a lot more sense than a magician with the ability to walk on water.

As far as I'm concerned, its a physical impossibility for us to be the only ones in the universe, especially now that water on a planet as close as Mars has been confirmed. There are an infinite number of planets out there - meaning there are infinite civilisations.

This isnt even taking into account the possibility of more dimensions, more areas of reality that we can not see, etc. Space just does not end. That would make no sense...what would be on the other side of the walls of space?

I'm not a nutjob. Just a realist

With all this being said, I do understand (at least in many cases) why people choose a religion. However that doesn't mean I agree with it. In the last few thousand years, religious beliefs have been the primary cause of conflict, which makes no sense if those following the religion actually cared about their beliefs.

Personally I'd like to think we're occasionally watched over by a greater civilization who've clearly helped us in the past. I do not however believe there is some sort of puppet master who decides who lives, who dies, what events happen, etc.
How do you feel about spirituality? For myself, although I don't believe in the traditional Christian view of and relationship with God, I can't discount the possibility of something greater than ourselves. Our brains are fantastic at its best making us feel wonderful, with a sense of well being, like there is purpose to existence. Sure it could be all imagined, but then again we don't really know and maybe it is narcissistic. Maybe that's why I classify myself as Agnostic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Real-Deal82 View Post
I don't believe in god. I was brought up as a respectful and thoughtful person with good morals, all without the influence of religion. It has no place in my life or my children's. They can make their own choices based on the knowledge they gather. As long as they respect others and are polite, I have no problems. I think if I had to state a religion or belief, I would have to say I am closer to being a humanist than anything else. I don't practice anything however.

I respect those who have religion in their lives though. It would be a boring existence if we all had beliefs and did the same thing.
How do you feel about the possibility of spirituality?
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 09:34 AM   #707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
How do you feel about spirituality? For myself, although I don't believe in the traditional Christian view of and relationship with God, I can't discount the possibility of something greater than ourselves. Our brains are fantastic at its best making us feel wonderful, with a sense of well being, like there is purpose to existence. Sure it could be all imagined, but then again we don't really know and maybe it is narcissistic. Maybe that's why I classify myself as Agnostic.
I'm not really a spiritual person. Never have been. Agnostic is probably the correct word to describe how I feel. I *think* something is there, but I dont think its a "God" in the religious sense.

I know a lot of people take comfort in religion and their god(s), and thats great. The problem is we don't know. We dont know who we are, why we exist, why we ever existed, etc. Thus the natural conclusion to come to would be that we're put here for some sort of purpose.

You could go pretty deep into it. Why are we here? Whats the point in life? Etc, but that's when your head will start to hurt.

One possible theory is that the story of a god was created to prevent us going crazy. If nobody had a purpose in life, nobody would follow rules. It all comes down to being scared to do something because of possible consequences. I.E People don't want to be evil as they think they will be punished for it in some way or another.

My head hurts. Time for a coffee
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 09:54 AM   #708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
I'm not really a spiritual person. Never have been. Agnostic is probably the correct word to describe how I feel. I *think* something is there, but I dont think its a "God" in the religious sense.

I know a lot of people take comfort in religion and their god(s), and thats great. The problem is we don't know. We dont know who we are, why we exist, why we ever existed, etc. Thus the natural conclusion to come to would be that we're put here for some sort of purpose.

You could go pretty deep into it. Why are we here? Whats the point in life? Etc, but that's when your head will start to hurt.

One possible theory is that the story of a god was created to prevent us going crazy. If nobody had a purpose in life, nobody would follow rules. It all comes down to being scared to do something because of possible consequences. I.E People don't want to be evil as they think they will be punished for it in some way or another.

My head hurts. Time for a coffee
Just got mine. I think your in a better place if your head is hurting instead of just falling into the theist hammock.
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