There is No Life After Death, Sorry.

There is No Life After Death, Sorry.

That’s the title of a very interesting blog post written by Jayarava.
In it, Jayarava debunks the idea of life after death.

He takes off from an argument proposed by Sean Carroll, the famous physicist (cosmologist). You can read more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_M._Carroll .

Carroll’s argument against a surviving soul and/or a surviving consciousness begins with a series of four propositions:

1) The mind is the brain;

2) The brain is made of atoms;
3) We know how atoms work.

4) When you die there is no way for the information that was you to persist.

Jayarava also argues that this argument put forward by Sean Carroll effectively says – leads to the conclusion – that an afterlife would be a kind of miracle because it breaks the laws of physics.
And then we should remember the famous philosopher David Hume and his essay Of Miracles (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Miracles ).
In it, Hume gives us a useful criterion for assessing the testimony for miracles: “No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish.”

Jayarava doesn’t stop here. Instead he tries to describe the dynamic of afterlife beliefs. And he does it, meritoriously, like this:

i) The fact of universal death creates cognitive dissonance.

ii) According to testimony, certain experiences appear to demonstrate that consciousness is not tied to the body, but can exist independently.
iii) So the idea that something might survive the death of the body and continue to “live” seems plausible.
iv) Emotional weighting of facts (salience) makes this seem probable, and the finality of death improbable.
v) Since the finality of death causes intense cognitive dissonance, post-mortem survival seems preferable.
vi) We make the leap from probable/preferable to actually true; and it feels satisfying because we have resolved the dissonance created by the fact of death and been consistent with our other beliefs.
In the remainder of his well-written blog post Jayarava analyzes the four points of Sean Carroll’s argument and debunks his six own summarizing points of the dynamic of afterlife beliefs.
His conclusion can’t be other than: THERE IS NO LIFE (AND NO ETERNAL SOUL AND NO SURVIVING NONLOCAL CONSCIOUSNESS) AFTER DEATH. IT’S NOTHING BUT WISHFUL THINKING.
Read Jayarava’s blog post in extenso by clicking this link:  http://jayarava.blogspot.se/2015/01/there-is-no-life-after-death-sorry.html .
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8 Comments

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8 responses to “There is No Life After Death, Sorry.

  1. Awesome article. I like that author. Quoted him once regarding the Vedic grammarian, Yāska.

  2. Yes, Jayarava has written many blog posts worth reading if you are a God disbeliever (antitheist). On his blog there are a lot of posts tagged “Afterlife”. But the one I “reblogged” is absolutely one of his best.

    BTW, I hope you like the physicist Sean Carroll, too. He’s one of my special God debunker favorites.

    Here’s a blog post, written by Sean Carroll, that is so good that I wish it should be mandatory that all believers in magical & (pseudo)religious woo-bullshit thinking would have to read it: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2008/02/18/telekinesis-and-quantum-field-theory/#.Vm6tv_krLIU .

    In it, professor Carroll debunks, in a brilliant way, the possibilities of souls, or ghosts, or psi phenomena, concepts so popular among New Agers.

    He shows, and concludes, that IF psi effects, souls or ghosts were real, then we could not trust our GPS gadgets. But since we can trust those gadgets, the only reasonable conclusion must be that souls, nonlocal consciousness, ghosts and the well-known (but never proved, in scientific experiments) psi effects don’t – or rather can’t – exist.

  3. This is depressing. I just lost my mom. Was so hopeful that there was something after death.

  4. @finding myself:

    Yes, it is depressing to lose a loved one. I know.

    But is it a good solution to seek solace in religious fairy tales?

    According to me wishful thinking is seldom the best way to fight depression or sadness. Instead I think that in the long run it’s often better to face reality, to face the facts.

    Nevertheless, dear “finding myself”, at the same time I have to praise you for what you write on your own blog. To feel grief at a loss, for example by writing down one’s thoughts and feelings, is highly recommendable. It reduces emotional tensions.

    Maybe you should stop reading my blog for the time being. Perhaps this is not the best time for you to read a blog like mine. Bad timing so to speak.

  5. @finding myself:

    Hi again!

    I just read about a new scientific study that reveals atheists and those who hold very religious beliefs are least afraid of dying.

    I think the right conclusion to draw is that it can be quite comforting to be an atheist and kind of know there is no afterlife, neither Heaven nor Hell. Just a void, a nothingness. Nothing to fear. And nothing to invest wishful thinking in.

    If you believe in Heaven, it’s also logical to believe in a non-Heaven (often called Hell). How could that be comforting? Knowing/Believing that some people don’t end up in Heaven, even if you happen to belong to the lucky ones?

    Read more about the study here, http://neurosciencenews.com/death-fear-neuroscience-6290/ .

    BTW, one of my favorite bloggers, Valerie Tarico, has listed, in a post on her blog, how life in Heaven, according to the Holy Scripture, more looks like being in Hell: https://valerietarico.com/2015/01/29/10-reasons-popular-versions-of-christian-heaven-would-be-hell/ .

    But remember what I told you in my earlier comment here above, dear “finding myself”, maybe it’s bad timing for you to read these two articles right now. You decide.

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