You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

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

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Science & Skepticism » Atheists and Agnostics Group Donate to DU
Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-11-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
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.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Science & Skepticism » Atheists and Agnostics Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC