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Mon Aug 26, 2013, 11:44 PM

 

Reincarnation and the Multiverse Ė with no gods, souls, woo, or any of that crap

Last edited Mon Nov 18, 2013, 01:58 PM - Edit history (1)

Consciousness is only a biological process. Consciousness isn't a separate thing that is attached to neurons. When the body dies, consciousness dies. When someone suffers brain damage their consciousness diminishes or dies. There is no evidence for a separate soul.

Partly based on these facts, Iím inclined to believe that a form of reincarnation must exist. Many people, including most atheists, think itís impossible. Iím an atheist and I think we all have been reincarnated probably an infinite number of times in the past, and will in the future. I suppose with the influence of religion and the difficulties of understanding consciousness people make false assumptions about the nature of consciousness.

If it were possible to instantly replace every atom in your body with another identical atom, would you be the same person with the same conscious-self? I think yes. If you then instantly evaporate every atom in your body and then with a one second delay replace every atom, would you then be the same person? I think yes. How about doing the same thing except with an hour delay and then reconfigure the atoms in the house next door, would you then be the same person with the same conscious-self? I donít see why not. Consciousness isnít attached to any particular atoms and no separate soul disappears when consciousness shuts off.

When you die your consciousness shuts off. You return to the same state you were in before you were alive. The future potential for your consciousness to exist again after you die is the same as your future potential to exist had been before you were alive, since there is no metaphysical force or invisible sky ledger that keeps track of your past lives to prevent future lives. All that needs to happen for your consciousness to return after you die is a duplication of the same biological processes that had created your consciousness in your previous life. In other words, a form of reincarnation must be possible since consciousness is only a biological process and thereís nothing to prevent it. There will be no memories of past lives since memories are destroyed when the old brain dies.

Similarly, in gambling, when you roll dice each roll is independent from the last roll. When you havenít rolled a particular number combination for awhile you have a no greater chance of rolling that number combination in future rolls. Nothing in nature tracks your rolls to change the odds on future rolls. Nothing in nature tracks your past conscious-selves to prevent future conscious-selves. That would be magical thinking.

In this form of reincarnation, the new consciousness will be the same as the old one (it will have the same self); but it will be in a different brain with different memories, probably have a different personality, and probably will be in a different species on some planet other than earth. Since the conscious-self is the same in the new brain it is obvious why I use the word reincarnation. The particular process that produces the particular consciousness is sufficiently the same, so the consciousness will also be the same. It would require a dying soul or metaphysical force to prevent reincarnation. There is no soul that dies.

Some may claim that there are very long odds to have a new brain after you die with the same consciousness as before. Well, you are here now and the odds are the same for your current existence as your future existence in your next life.

Some claim that your consciousness is your memories. But consciousness is what experiences your memories, consciousness isnít memories. If you get amnesia and you lose your memories, the same conscious-self probably still exists. The memories are gone after death, but they are only what you are conscious of. Memories are not consciousness.


When I was young I thought it interesting that I was alive at that moment. With only one life the odds were greatly against my existence at that or any particular time, considering how old our Universe is. During most of the life of our Universe I hadnít existed (as far as I knew). I hadnít yet thought about reincarnation.

Letís say that our Universe is the only universe and time will soon end. With only our Universe and one life, someoneís chances of existing at a particular time (with a 75 year life span & our 13.8 billion year old Universe) are 1 in 13,800,000,000/75 = 1 in 184,000,000. Lotteries have much better odds than that.

But the odds get much worse. Our Universe will likely be around extremely far into the future, many times its current age Ė if not forever. Imagine an infinite time-line to the future representing all of time that will probably ever exist. Let's say that there is no reincarnation and we only get one life. What are the chances that I would be alive at a particular moment if I had only one life on the infinite time-line? It is zero, since (one life time)/(total time Universe will exist) = finite#/infinity = infinitely small number = zero, which would be the odds of me living right now with only one life and our Universe exiting forever into the future.

So it would be impossible for me to be conscious right now if I only got one life and time is infinite. Since my consciousness existing right now is very important for my consciousness, my existence right now is the equivalent of me winning the lottery with zero odds of winning. So it seems with infinite time I must be reincarnated an infinite number of times for it to be possible for me to exist right now.


Non-existence of everything (total nothingness), including before our Universe, is impossible since everything arrived through an existing physics. The existing physics is something (not nothing); and since some always existing physics was able to produce our Universe, itís likely that it has produced infinite universes through infinite time. At least the always existing physics is able to create infinite universes that have time, so there has always been time in these created universes. This means there is infinite time from the past to the future, and possibly an infinite or huge number of universes at any given time.

With only one universe the odds of having a seemingly designed universe with conditions suitable for life are extremely small. This apparent design of our Universe can easily be explained by the Multiverse (more than one universe) theory. Astronomer Martin Reese covers this in his book ďJust Six NumbersĒ. If any number were minutely changed, our Universe would have been completely different.

For example: if the amount of matter in our Universe would have been a tiny fraction different, our Universe would have quickly collapsed or quickly flown apart and no life could have arisen. Some have proposed a many universes theory to explain this (each universe with its own conditions). This greatly increases the odds of there being a universe suitable for life.

Hereís astronomer Martin Reeseís reasoning for the existence of the Multiverse at 11:10 to 26:40 in video Ė ignore the rest:


The Multiverse brings up the possibility of there being a huge (or infinite) number of universes, and also the possibility of there being a huge number (or infinite number) of universes with life. With so many universes there will inevitably be universes with properties that can evolve life. The Multiverse eliminates the need for some miraculous explanation for our existence Ė including gods.

The reason that our Universe appears fine tuned is the same reason that our Earth appears fine tuned: there are many planets and most canít evolve life, but only on those planets that can evolve life will there be a consciousness to contemplate its own existence. This fools the consciousness into thinking the planet is fine-tuned just for it. The same logic holds for our Universe: there are a huge number of universes with many different properties, but only on a very small percentage will life ever evolve. Inevitably we are in such a universe.

The Multiverse allows for the possibility of there being many universes with life and for there being infinite time from the past to the future with life evolving universes. This gives a huge number of opportunities for a consciousness to be reincarnated to planets and universes beyond Earth, and it greatly increases the odds that our conscious-selves can and must be reincarnated.

The possible, given infinite opportunities (or a huge number), is guaranteed to happen an infinite number (or possibly a huge number) of times. By our very own existence our conscious-selves are shown to be possible. Since there is no separate soul that dies or invisible sky ledger that keeps track of whether a particular consciousness has yet existed, reincarnation can happen. And with an infinite Multiverse reincarnation must happen.

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Reply Reincarnation and the Multiverse Ė with no gods, souls, woo, or any of that crap (Original post)
cpwm17 Aug 2013 OP
Agnosticsherbet Aug 2013 #1
cpwm17 Aug 2013 #2
Why Syzygy Sep 2013 #4
Jeffersons Ghost Jan 2019 #8
snagglepuss Sep 2013 #3
cpwm17 Sep 2013 #5
Worry guy Jan 2017 #6
Nasonnelson618 May 2017 #7
danb017 Feb 2019 #9

Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 06:24 PM

1. Roger Penrose's work has fascinated me for a while.


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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 05:36 PM

2. I think it's impossible to really know how the brain makes consciousness

 

though I think it's chemistry and biology rather than some hard to understand physics like quantum mechanics, as Roger Penrose believes. We may sometime in the very distant future figure out how to make consciousness in the lab through a biological process, but we'd still not know how it happens. That's partly why some, like Roger Penrose, are looking outside the box for answers. I guess I'm doing the same.

I think, since consciousness has to influence how our brains operate, which work through biology, consciousness must work through biology also. Evolution evolved consciousness over hundreds of millions of years by evolving our brains, which allows complex animated creatures to exist.

In my view, consciousness is what is capable of experiencing sensations, feelings, and thoughts. We're conscious to experience positive and negative feelings which force our brains to think, do, remember, and learn. The strongest feeling at the moment gets the attention which further drives the brain. Our brains attach (associate) our feelings to (with) our thoughts and sensual experiences in the conscious mind, which allow our feelings to further drive our thoughts and actions. This is mostly a very subtle and automatic process that we're barely aware of, but we must be conscious for it to work and it must work in the biological brain. So I'd say that consciousness is biology.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 12, 2013, 02:21 AM

4. Consciousness

is formed from the same thing as the rest of known energy .. it's a vibrational frequency. Vibrations never die.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2019, 01:17 AM

8. With our massive readership in this Forum, for different reasons, I just gave a 5th K&R

Last edited Fri Jan 25, 2019, 01:58 AM - Edit history (1)

Your Opening Post was written on Mon Aug 26, 2013.
Here is a link to a Freeper-tRump-Troll trap, which I invented, while stoned.
Guess what? On 1/24/18 TV News in Albuquerque reported that he New Mexico State legislature recently began working on passing a law to legalize recreational marijuana. And previous sources confirm that our newly elected Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) [BLUE WAVE] already promised that she would sign it into law, which will create a new, popular taxable commodity to fund education, while building international tourism. Hell, nuclear bombs were created in the ONLY state with an historic Space Alien reputation. Plus, we have ski and casino resort hotels. Now, old, rich, Texas hippies don't need to drive through, while only stopping for fuel, to Colorado and straight back, with a risky nap, somewhere...

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:07 PM

3. Very interesting post. I don't think it's getting the attention it deserves here in the Dungeon.

Why not post it in the science forum?

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 12, 2013, 01:21 PM

5. Thanks for the reply

 

I've thought about posting this elsewhere, including the science group. Perhaps I'll do that.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Thu Jan 5, 2017, 09:30 AM

6. This has worried me

I am not sure if I completely understand this, but can you maybe explain it for me.

Do you mean that when the universe repeats you will actually be you or will it just be another version of you? The way I see it if the matter that made you is broken down into energy and then at some point reforms into another you, that's not actually you is it?

Its just a mock up. Please tell me its a mock up. I am scared at the idea of having to live out my life again. I had an extremely abusive childhood, and a troubled teenage years. I couldn't bare the thought of living that out again. I am scared of death, but eternal nothingness is preferrable to living out those years again.

Also I had a couple of close calls too. I'd hate in the next life to be killed by the people abusing me before I can enjoy the later parts of my life.

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Response to Worry guy (Reply #6)

Sat May 20, 2017, 02:04 PM

7. Don't worry

Hey Worry Guy! Interestingly, I think you would never know you relived it multiple times, so even if we did repeat over and over, as far as your concerned it only happened once. So, while you would relive everything technically, you also already passed that point as of now and therefore would not experience it again. In short, you survived, and now can live your life, and if the abuse you suffered was necessary for your existence, so is you surviving and redefining your life now! Which hopefully puts you a bit more at ease.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2019, 06:57 PM

9. No worries

I disagree that a clone of you constructed from identical atoms is necessarily you. In this thought experiment, let's say you and I construct identical clones of you out of identical particles. These clones will all be individual, different people, and none of them will be you because you already exist. We can construct as many as we want, provided we have the materials.

If we first disperse your atoms, then replace you with a clone, that clone might be you, but it could be any of an infinite number of individuals appearing in our first experiment.

This is why perhaps, once we don't exist, any combination of atoms that produces consciousness has a non-zero chance to be us. So we may find ourselves on another planet as some exotic alien of a different species.

This also means that we don't have to worry about an eternal recurrence, repeatedly living out the same life, since who a consciousness is does not depend on the special arrangement of atoms.

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