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Reply #44: Another problem: Sam Harris's speculation about an afterlife and the idea [View All]

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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-11-06 11:32 AM
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44. Another problem: Sam Harris's speculation about an afterlife and the idea
that consciousness doesn't necessary reside in the brain is very, very flawed. I see no reason to believe we continue to exist after our brains die. In fact, brain damage very clearly demonstrates a relationship between the brain and consciousness. Once the brain is damaged, consciousness changes. If consciousness were a separate entity, brain damage would not affect it.

I somehow get the idea that Harris is grasping at straws, that perhaps he has not come to terms with his own mortality or the fact that his ideas concerning "collateral damage" mean the end of life for those damaged fatally. Most of true morality is based on the idea that it is wrong to kill people or cause them to suffer. If there is an afterlife, the "sting" is taken out of death and morality becomes more fuzzy. Ironically, he is giving fodder to those who would kill based on religious notions.

After I came to the conclusion my consciousness would not survive the death of my body, I had to do a lot of grieving. I had to deal with a lot of fear. I'd been taught I would live forever and that death was but a passage into a new life. Coming to grips with the near certainty that this is a lie was very, very hard for me. I didn't want to believe I would cease to exist. Realistically, who wants to cease to exist? Who wouldn't wish for a paradise after this life? I've come to the conclusion that it is dangerous to believe something simply because you would like to believe it. It is far better to follow truth and face the fear. Once you've faced the fear, you are forced to deal with this life as it is: the only life you will ever live. Morality becomes more clear. It is oh so wrong to kill indiscriminately or cause suffering because the person who dies or suffers will never have a chance at a better life. He or she will have to deal with the suffering you inflicted in this life.

My 2 cents.
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  -Let's talk about Sam Harris's End of Faith. Ladyhawk  Apr-09-06 11:33 AM   #0 
  - All religious fundamentalists are bad  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 12:19 PM   #1 
  - Harris is wrong. Dead is dead. Fundies are fundies, no matter  Warpy   Apr-09-06 12:20 PM   #2 
  - Thanks Warpy  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 12:25 PM   #3 
  - I want to hear more from onager. Anyone wish to summon him?  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 01:47 PM   #5 
  - I don't know any "sane" Christians, except for a few on DU.  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 01:59 PM   #7 
     - But religious beliefs themselves are not insanity  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 02:08 PM   #8 
        - No, the beliefs themselves are not insanity.  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 09:14 PM   #15 
           - How do you beat that?  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 09:34 PM   #16 
              - I was heavily indoctrinated and managed to get out.  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 11:13 PM   #21 
                 - And that's the way it should be!  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 11:20 PM   #22 
  - My initial thoughts...  progressoid   Apr-09-06 12:52 PM   #4 
  - Harris contends that it may be impossible for Islam to grow up.  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 01:54 PM   #6 
     - The Hadith codifies all the tribal bullshit  Warpy   Apr-09-06 07:52 PM   #13 
        - Thanks for the information. I grew up in strict fundy Christianity,  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 10:41 PM   #17 
  - Well, I haven't read the book yet  TallahasseeGrannie   Apr-09-06 03:28 PM   #9 
  - TallahasseeGrannie...  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 03:38 PM   #10 
  - Somebody bless you!  TallahasseeGrannie   Apr-09-06 04:36 PM   #11 
  - Yeah, she's pretty brave to come in here. :)  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 11:06 PM   #20 
     - Brave? Nah  TallahasseeGrannie   Apr-10-06 07:37 AM   #26 
  - It could be ethnocentrism. Regardless, I've been a bit surprised by  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 11:05 PM   #19 
  - I agree  TallahasseeGrannie   Apr-10-06 07:41 AM   #27 
     - Right now the US is definitely the bully and that makes me ashamed.  Ladyhawk   Apr-11-06 02:14 AM   #37 
  - I think fundamentalist Islam, in its most extreme current forms, is  unschooler   Apr-10-06 05:11 AM   #25 
     - Elohim City  Warpy   Apr-10-06 09:59 AM   #29 
        - Fortunately, "Elohim City" is not a real city, state or nation.  unschooler   Apr-10-06 06:31 PM   #31 
           - Elohim City IS a real city  Warpy   Apr-11-06 01:42 PM   #48 
              - I know it's a white separatist loony compound. But a "city"?  unschooler   Apr-16-06 03:46 AM   #51 
  - Sam Harris is an anti-theist  toddaa   Apr-09-06 04:38 PM   #12 
  - I'm nearly an "anti-theist" myself, but I'm not agreeing with a lot of  Ladyhawk   Apr-09-06 10:52 PM   #18 
  - I forgot to mention earlier  salvorhardin   Apr-09-06 07:57 PM   #14 
  - I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book  BuffyTheFundieSlayer   Apr-10-06 12:29 AM   #23 
  - I was surprised too.  ozone_man   Apr-10-06 09:53 PM   #35 
  - Christianity did undergo moderation  BuffyTheFundieSlayer   Apr-11-06 12:19 AM   #36 
     - True there has been a backlash.  ozone_man   Apr-11-06 10:41 AM   #42 
  - Living under ANY theocratic fundmentalist regime would be a  unschooler   Apr-11-06 04:00 AM   #40 
     - He makes the distinction  ozone_man   Apr-11-06 10:13 AM   #41 
  - LH summoned me, and here I am!  onager   Apr-10-06 05:08 AM   #24 
  - Thanks, Onager, my experience has been equivalent  Warpy   Apr-10-06 10:16 AM   #30 
  - Harris and Dawkins both argue that moderate religionists are  unschooler   Apr-10-06 06:40 PM   #33 
  - I would rather them NOT take those sacred texts seriously.  Ladyhawk   Apr-11-06 11:42 AM   #45 
  - Thanks for the information, onager.  Ladyhawk   Apr-11-06 02:51 AM   #38 
     - Inner libido, you say?  onager   Apr-11-06 03:54 PM   #49 
  - There is a relatively recent example  Lurking_Argyle   Apr-10-06 08:33 AM   #28 
  - That's Sam Harris' point. The U.S. constitution prevents such  unschooler   Apr-10-06 06:33 PM   #32 
     - If the fundies took over, the constitution would be changed. n/t.  Random_Australian   Apr-10-06 08:12 PM   #34 
        - Certainly true.  unschooler   Apr-11-06 03:53 AM   #39 
  - Just off the top of my head...  GOPFighter   Apr-11-06 10:51 AM   #43 
  - Another problem: Sam Harris's speculation about an afterlife and the idea  Ladyhawk   Apr-11-06 11:32 AM   #44 
  - I didn't realize Harris was a mystic  salvorhardin   Apr-11-06 11:51 AM   #46 
  - Harris has a rather superficial understanding of Eastern mysticism  toddaa   Apr-16-06 08:43 AM   #53 
  - I don't think he's right about that  ozone_man   Apr-11-06 12:27 PM   #47 
  - Harris' premises are anti-monotheism and anti "book" religion.  unschooler   Apr-16-06 03:48 AM   #52 
  - I read the book and did not come away with many...  Finder   Apr-15-06 03:35 PM   #50 

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