What happens after we die?

Well this need only be done if you care whether others accept your beliefs. No one need adopt my own criteria for belief, it is for each person to decide what they believe, and why.

And as eve Cog cuts right to nub of it, if I want only to believe what is true, then how I should strive to set aside how I feel about beliefs and claims, for that honesty and rationality are necessary.

For anyone interested:

Integrated Information Theory (IIT) is sometimes considered panpsychic because it posits that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of reality. According to IIT, consciousness is an intrinsic property of any system that has a certain level of integrated information (Φ). This means that any system, regardless of its composition, can be conscious to some degree if it possesses the right structure and level of integration.

Panpsychism is the view that consciousness is a fundamental feature of all matter, not just of biological organisms with brains. Since IIT suggests that even simple systems, like a thermostat or a light sensor, can have a minuscule amount of consciousness due to their integrated information, it aligns with the panpsychic idea that consciousness is pervasive throughout the universe.

Thus, the panpsychic interpretation of IIT arises because IIT extends the notion of consciousness beyond human or animal brains to any system that meets its criteria for integrated information, implying that consciousness is not exclusive to complex biological systems but is a general property of many physical systems.

Yeah we had a theist (Quim I believe), championing panpsychism, I remain fairly dubious about it, but as I told Quim, even were anyone able to objectively evidence and fully understand panpsychism, it would not represent objective evidence that human consciousness can exist independently of, or survive the death of our brain.

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Panpsychism is the view that all things have a mind or a mind-like quality .

The first criticism I see: " it explains nothing and does not generate testable predictions .

Essentially it is a “Science of the Gaps Argument” Arthur Eddington: the proposal that consciousness is the intrinsic nature of matter, filling the unseemly
hole at the center of the scientific story (p.132). This is an elegant move, but being elegant does not mean being right, or being useful."

“Panpsychism explains
nothing, cannot be tested in itself, does not lead to testable predictions, and may actively discourage the generation of such predictions. It is a seductive easy-out to the hard problem, and there is no need for it.”

Anil K. Seth1,2
1Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
School of Engineering and Informatics
University of Sussex
Brighton, BN1 9QJ, UK
2Program for Brain, Mind, and Consciousness
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR),
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1M1, Canada

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I haven’t claimed that human consciousness is possible outside the human mind. I’ve claimed that consciousness in general is a principle not exclusive to human brains.

Not if the verification of the claim is made via perceptual means. You cannot verify the existence of an external object via your perceptions, so why would I have to abide by criteria that you can’t even acccout for?

We’re not having the same discussion here, Sheldon. I have indeed claimed elsewhere that the experience of existence survives death.

And that would entail some kind of form of consciousness existing outside the human brain.

That is not what I’m arguing here. I am not arguing that human consciousness (as it is experienced in the human form) can exist outside the confines of the brain. The brain is essential for our experience of consciousness.

Consciousness. Have you not said that consciousness is an emergent feature of the brain?

Again, you’re manifesting the argument to suit your needs. I’m not claiming that human experience is not contingent on a working human brain.

Exactly - for you to be aware of your surroundings, shouldn’t you have some certainty that they exist?

Have you ever read Sartre? Do you even realize that the definition of consciousness extends beyond an entry in a dictionary. Philosophers have written volumes of work on the topic.

Your subjective idealism is problematic. You don’t have to accept panpsychism, but you should at least be aware of the issues raised by your belief that consciousness does not extend beyond the brain.

Right. When we go unconscious between waking and the sleep state, consciousness does not disappear? Is that your assertion?

The bizarre claim is yours. That consciousness exists limited to the confines of the brain and yet to be aware of our surroundings is the nature of consciousness … those two definitions are in contradiction with each other.

To “perceive reality”? Not to “know that reality exists”?

Except thus according to any belief system which does not ascribe reality to our perceptions, all experience of reality is 1) internal 2) illusory and 3) subjective. Is that the kind of world you choose to live in? An illusory world where you can never be sure of anything?

Ah. You take it for granted. Question your assumptions, Sheldon. That’s all I’m saying.

Oh dear. My bandwidth has run out. As per usual, our discussion has devolved into a 1 hr response time per post. I have a job to do.

Before I go. One last thing. You don’t know shit about Buddhist religion and you don’t know shit about Buddhist philosophy. That’s not an ad hominem. Saying that your understanding is pitiful is just pointing to how woefully ignorant you are about the differences and similarities between the religious aspect and the philosophical aspect of the teachings.

Enter the scientific method. (NOT BUDDHISM).
A logical problem-solving approach is responsible for the exploration of the galaxy, the cure of disease, discoveries under the sea, and the exploration of the human mind to an extent that has never been accomplished before.

While the steps to the scientific method can vary the process remains the same. It is the most effective way humanity has ever found of perceiving reality and knowing what really exists.

First, we should have a question that is reduced to a clear, simple, and testable statement. This is a process known as ‘operationalization.’ Exactly what are you talking about? What are its parameters? What are you measuring? How will you measure it?

No, a hypothesis is never right or wrong. It is either supported or rejected by
the experimental data.

A detailed procedure is designed and carried out to test a hypothesis concerning what it is you are testing.

It should be as detailed as needed so other scientists can
duplicate the experiment exactly. (Independent verification)

The results of the experiment must necessarily be due to the variable being studied, and not some intervening variable. All care must be taken to isolate the dependent and independent variables.

Only through rigorous observation, experimentation, and independent verifications, do we arrive at anything approaching reality. That which we call real is that which comports with truth. Truth is that which is empirically supported by facts and evidence and can not be denied

What methodology do you have for finding ‘truth’ ‘knowledge’ ‘wisdom’ or ‘consciousness’ can come close to comparing itself with modern science? What you have is babbling bullshit espoused by thousands of years by old men hiding out in temples and convincing themselves they are achieving some glorious good in an afterlife. What you have is a delusion, just like any other religious belief.

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Thanks for that. I have a degree in science.

The Scientific Method … also responsible for atrocities against monkeys and rats (and no, that isnt a cute aside to reference your and my avatar - that is the fact that there are 115 million animals euthanized or destoryed every year by the experiments designed to bring about scientific knowledge)

Also responsible for technology like;

  • atomic bombs which have killed hundreds of thousands and potentially aim to destroy the entire planet
  • battery operated cars - the likes of which require cobalt mines in the Congo which give rise to virtual slave labour
  • the pharmaceutical industry and nice little pills like OxyContin - which was approved by the FDA and accounts for I don’t know how many ruined lives in the world.

White, nerdy men who, instead of getting laid, or playing sports, decided to tinker with the workings of something which wasn’t broken.

Science is GREAT. The “knowledge” is amazing. The people who bring about the knowledge are amazing. The people who CONTROL the knowledge are amazing.

Amazing things are done with this knowledge. It’s so reassuring that with the scientific method, humanity has raised itself above corruption, a desire to rule over others, a desire to subjugate others, a desire to rape the world of its resources, destroy the livability of the world at an exponential rate, and all the other beautiful things done in the name of scientific progress.

This is either a false equivalence fallacy as I said right at the start, or it is a glaring contradiction. Either is cannot exist outside the human brain, or it is not exclusive to human brains, it cannot be both, unless you’re making that false equivalence.

Yes, even then, since like everyone else, I get to decide what I believe and why, surely that much is clear by now? If all you have are the subjective claims you have offered, and the false equivalence noted above, then I cannot accept your claims.

Of course you can, you are again trying to champion entirely subjective beliefs, by suggesting there is no such thing as objective reality, even were this ludicrous assertion accepted, it wouldn;t validate your claims, just make all claims equally unevidenced and subjective. If I fire a gun into my brain the result will be the same as it would for everyone else, but your claims about meditation can and are used to believe in just about anything, pray to Jesus, Allah, and Yahweh, or meditate using Buddhism the results don’t vary if you want the belief to be true more than you want the truth to be objectively verifiable.

I know, and I don’t share that belief, cannot share it, as my criteria for belief requires a demonstration of sufficient objective evidence, and none has been demonstrated.

I’d have to say the objective evidence supports this, which is why I don’t think we can survive our own physical death in any meaningful way.

Yes, over and over, what I never claimed is not to believe human consciousness exists, so you’ve lost me utterly there. Look at your original question for context?

It would follow then that consciousness dies when our brain dies. Which is why I don’t believe we can survive our own physical deaths in any meaningful way.

And responsive to them, the word certain was used by you, not me, and you assigned it to me. Please don’t paraphrase me, just quote me. I believe what we call consciousness exists, as a property of the brain, yes. Don’t add or detract anything please. I do not accept that human consciousness is in any way separate from the brain, but that it is a property of it. Unless I see objective evidence to the contrary of course.

If you want to introduce a specific philosopher’s opinion then you need to be specific, you can’t use a word then decide later you meant something different to the commonly understood definition, how many times must that be pointed out, the result can inly be confusion, the fault can only lie with you for causing that confusion, by not making your meaning clear, and we are now many posts away from your original claim, meaning I would need to reread half a dozen posts to check your new meaning, if an d when you make that clear, against your original claim.

Human consciousness, which you have agreed, you are mixing two claims together, denying that human consciousness can exist without a brain, then simultaneously claiming consciousness is ubiquitous throughout the universe.

  1. You are describing two different things, so a false equivalence if you are using the latter to make assumptions about human consciousness.
  2. You are not making your position clear, by failing to offer the distinction, as you did here again.
  3. I would need objective evidence that consciousness in any way comparable to human consciousness, can exist anywhere, without a functioning human brain.

You said it did though?

Be aware of, is only half the definition, but that aside you have admitted what you are calling consciousness in plants ( as one example) is every different to that of humans, So your claim our (human) consciousness extends out and beyond us into the universe is simply bizarre, and of course not supported by any objective evidence, only this false equivalence I pointed out at the very start, and which you have ignored and are still using.

They’re not mutually exclusive. Though I fear you have focused on another irrelevant non-sequitur. You are asserting consciousness is ubiquitous throughout the universe, I don’t believe this as you have offered no objective evidence, your response was to cite something very different (your own admission) in plants, and call it consciousness to support that claim, without any clarification, and I have explained this is a false equivalence fallacy.

  1. So what?
  2. No, obviously.
  3. We can use methods to test our perceptions and remove subjectivity to produce objective evidence, again this is a scale going form an entirely subjective belief like the ones you are espousing here, to objective facts about reality, such as scientific facts, things science knows to be true, because the weight of objective evidence is overwhelming.

Straw man, I have never made any such claim, quite the opposite, again read above. This is the second or third time, in this exchange I have explained that your straw man is not my position, and clarified what II understand to be the limits of subjective perception, and how methods like science and logic can help us remove subjectivity if we choose to value objective truth. No one has to do this of course.

You do understand what we perceive can be false, have you never seen a “magic” show? OUr perceptions and senses can be deceived, easily. I have explained this innumerable times as well? Yet we have also created methods to help us remove as much subjectivity as is possible, and thus learn objective facts about reality, science for example. Do all scientific facts match our ancestors perception of reality? Of course not…

Take what for granted? What assumptions? That’s clearly not at all what you were saying there? You have failed to explain any of your claim I quoted, and just reeled of three new assertions?

Or Harry Potter spells, but I remain disbelieving of claims they make when they are unsupported by sufficient objective evidence, and for that same reason.

Well that’s not what you said of course, but attacking me rather what I had said is ad hominem. And FYI I don;t need to know anything about your religion, only address the claims you make, how much time have you spent studying all the other religions of the world you don’t believe?

I remain ignorant of those differences, and since I am addressing your posts on the subject, whose fault do you imagine that is? They are your claims, if someone came here and said the Koran evidenced a deity, but I had to have Arabic as my first language to know this, I would remain disbelieving, as I suspect would you, the person making the claim has the burden of proof, they don’t get to wave away ojections with claims to knowledge they cannot share because they are esoteric.

As I said and you ignored, all religions use that excuse, and you have not studied all the religions you don’t believe. So you are also setting a standard you yourself don’t adhere to.


Again I concur, and how does his method differ in any objective way from other subjective religious beliefs and ideologies?

Nope, if a man picks up a rock and beats you to death, the rock is not culpable, only the man. Similarly scientists are responsible for their actions, not science, which is just a collection of methods.

Only humans are responsible for how they use the knowledge science gives us, you have tried this false equivalency before, and your irrational error was explained before. A method designed to accrue objective understanding of reality, is not responsible for what humans do with that understanding or knowledge.

Sigh, false equivalence fallacy, same as last time you tried this misdirection. Cog’s post addressed the manifest successes of the methods of science, it made no comment on what people choose to do with that knowledge it successfully obtained.

This is very poor reasoning and argument, and that has been explained to you before as well, so doubly disappointing I have to say.

Science is designed to increase knowledge, the alternative to that is to remain ignorant.

And your only reply is a Tu quoque fallacy. Really?
You obviously have a complete understanding of the Buddhist wars in Thailand, Japan, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, here in Korea where the different sects kill each other, Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalism,

See also: Buddhism in Russia

In 2022, Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev, the head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia (BTSR), the largest Buddhist denomination in Russia, voiced support for the [Russian invasion of Ukraine]

The Buddhism you get and understand in the West is a whitewashed version of bullshit free of ethnic conflict, ancient prejudices, and the desire for domination. In short, you are fed bullshit, and you lap it up. Buddhism has been no different than any other religion on the planet.


I would add, that we can only address claims people make here as well, so if our understanding is a barrier to us believing claims anyone has made, that is their fault for not sufficiently and accurately explaining what their position is.

The idea one needs to be an expert on a religion, in order to decide to withhold belief is demonstrably false, and of course contradicted by the fact that like all other apologists, he is not an expert and likely has little if any knowledge of many religions he does not himself believe.