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Author Topic: After Death..  (Read 33998 times)

another_someone

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After Death..
« Reply #25 on: 13/08/2007 20:55:10 »
Dunno, i always like to think it's in another dimension, somewhere beyond our universe and understanding of how things should work.

If it is 'another dimension' (i.e. a parallel universe), then from the point of view of our universe, it cannot exist (i.e. only that can be deemed to exist, in scientific terms, if it somehow interacts with what is here).

There is also a problem that if 'we' are leaking out to another universe, then what creates 'us'?  If there is a perpetual leakage of this kind, then somehow it must be draining what is here; or else, we must find some reverse flow from that other universe to us, both to prevent that other universe from becoming out of balance, and to prevent us from becoming drained of whatever it is that you think passes out from us to the other universe.

Once you start to look at a two way flow between the two universes, then they are no longer separate universes, because the two universes have an intimate bidirectional flow, and thus they form a single system, and thus a single universe.

With all this flow going on, we should have other physical effects that can be detected (and scientifically modelled) as a consequence of this flow.

Another problem with this notion of life after death (in whatever dimension it may be in), one has how one defines what 'we' are - what is the boundary between 'us' and not 'us'.  Insofar as we are talking about human beings (it is difficult to know how this theory is supposed to be applied to non-humans), we usually regard the boundary of a human being as being the animal body of that human being, but it is clear that the animal body of the human body perishes after death, so we must find a different definition of what is a human being.  If the parameters of what constitutes a human being is not limited by the human body, then why should there be any relationship between the human animal and your notion of a human being?  How can you show any correlation between the human animal and your construct of a human being which in other contexts you believe can exist outside of the body of the human animal?
 

Offline Simulated

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« Reply #26 on: 13/08/2007 21:40:21 »
Thanks for clearing that up George!
 

Offline francogrex

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« Reply #27 on: 15/08/2007 23:12:24 »
Another problem with this notion of life after death (in whatever dimension it may be in), one has how one defines what 'we' are - what is the boundary between 'us' and not 'us'.  Insofar as we are talking about human beings (it is difficult to know how this theory is supposed to be applied to non-humans), we usually regard the boundary of a human being as being the animal body of that human being, but it is clear that the animal body of the human body perishes after death, so we must find a different definition of what is a human being.  If the parameters of what constitutes a human being is not limited by the human body, then why should there be any relationship between the human animal and your notion of a human being?  How can you show any correlation between the human animal and your construct of a human being which in other contexts you believe can exist outside of the body of the human animal?

I think science can help us answer some questions which could slowly lead to unravel the truth about ourselves. In this context and as an indirect reply to the OP and to the post above I will ask the following questions:
1- Is self-consciousness the most salient feature that differentiate humans from other living beings?
2- Is this self-consciousness simply an activity of the brain? If so I predict that two twins who have the same genotype and phenotype, if they're put in exactly the same environment then they will have one and the same self-consciousness (logical or not?). Though this experiment has never been done, I intuitively doubt that they will have the same self-consciousness and hence this self-consciousness is not merely an activity of the brain.
3- Could this self-consciousness be a form of energy? If so were does it come from?
4- Why did we as humans develop self-consciousness? Does it have a survival advantage (does it help socialization), or is it merely a by-product of our intelligence?
5- Why do human beings develop mortality salience, which is fear of death. Wouldn't the animal instinct to avoid harm without consciously fearing death be enough for survival?
6- Most importantly and the most difficult to answer is WHY all this? Why life and all its processes from birth, reproduction and death... Is it all a haphazard process without any final aim and purpose?
 

another_someone

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« Reply #28 on: 16/08/2007 02:05:17 »
1- Is self-consciousness the most salient feature that differentiate humans from other living beings?

I would argue it is not even something that differentiates humans from other living beings.

There is good evidence that at least other apes are self concious.  Given out difficulty in assessing what other animals (or maybe collective group of animals) may be self concious, I doubt we can say for sure what other species are or are not self concious.

2- Is this self-consciousness simply an activity of the brain? If so I predict that two twins who have the same genotype and phenotype, if they're put in exactly the same environment then they will have one and the same self-consciousness (logical or not?). Though this experiment has never been done, I intuitively doubt that they will have the same self-consciousness and hence this self-consciousness is not merely an activity of the brain.

But they can never have the same environment, at very least, because each forms part of the environment of the other, and because each occupies a different space within their shared environment.

3- Could this self-consciousness be a form of energy? If so were does it come from?

What do you mean by 'energy'?

In a broad sense, energy is merely the power to create change in the environment.  In that sense, you might say that all information contains some energy, but information comes from other information, and so our conciousness comes from the information that already exists in the universe (including our genes, and the environmental influences surrounding us).

Ofcourse, a physicist will have a much narrower definition of energy, one that equates to mass.  In that sense, I know of no evidence that human conciousness (or the conciouysness of any other animal) can be translated to mass (i.e. it is not subject to E = mc2).

4- Why did we as humans develop self-consciousness? Does it have a survival advantage (does it help socialization), or is it merely a by-product of our intelligence?

I would have thought that knowing the difference between us and not us would inevitably have a survival advantage.  I would argue that all entities that compete for survival must seek to create benefit for themselves, and thus must in some way be able to identify themselves and have a notion of self separate from their environment.

Ofcourse, the term 'self-concious' has two parts, the notion of 'self' (which I think I have answered) and the notion of 'conciousness', and that another matter.  To my mind, conciousness is an artefact of complex language; but it may be that someone will be able to show an entity is capable of being concious without having language (although this may also depend upon what one defines as language).

5- Why do human beings develop mortality salience, which is fear of death. Wouldn't the animal instinct to avoid harm without consciously fearing death be enough for survival?

What makes you think the two are distinctly different.  Is not the concious fear of death no more than the instinctive avoidance of harm translated into the conciousness of the individual (in the same way as the concious pleasure of food, or of sex, are also instinctive behaviour mapped into the conciousness)?

6- Most importantly and the most difficult to answer is WHY all this? Why life and all its processes from birth, reproduction and death... Is it all a haphazard process without any final aim and purpose?

It may be reasonably argued that life is merely one part of the functioning of the whole universe, and the functioning of the universe is driven my the need to dissipate energy, and so the reason for life is to consume excess energy (the same reason as everything else happens).
 

Offline francogrex

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« Reply #29 on: 16/08/2007 10:27:05 »
5- Why do human beings develop mortality salience, which is fear of death. Wouldn't the animal instinct to avoid harm without consciously fearing death be enough for survival?

What makes you think the two are distinctly different.  Is not the concious fear of death no more than the instinctive avoidance of harm translated into the conciousness of the individual (in the same way as the concious pleasure of food, or of sex, are also instinctive behaviour mapped into the conciousness)?

I doubt that a other animals reflect consciously about death like we do. For the avoidance instinct you would need only reflexes and not higher brain functions. Also it's only higher order primates (not to say only humans) can overcome this instinctive fear (think of suicidal people, "martyrs" etc) again showing that there are higher brain functions at work more than just instincts.

6- Most importantly and the most difficult to answer is WHY all this? Why life and all its processes from birth, reproduction and death... Is it all a haphazard process without any final aim and purpose?

It may be reasonably argued that life is merely one part of the functioning of the whole universe, and the functioning of the universe is driven my the need to dissipate energy, and so the reason for life is to consume excess energy (the same reason as everything else happens).

I appreciate the point but it is very vague and doesn't answer me really, sorry: do you think life as it is now is the most efficient way to dissipate energy? I would argue differently: there would have been easier and more efficient ways to dissipate energy without having to go through the process of originating life. And if life is actually  the most efficient way to do so then it would be advantageous to have life everywhere on other planets and galaxies... And if life is actually only a haphazard process then we will have to think again all our theories of random processes and causality.
 

another_someone

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« Reply #30 on: 16/08/2007 12:42:50 »
5- Why do human beings develop mortality salience, which is fear of death. Wouldn't the animal instinct to avoid harm without consciously fearing death be enough for survival?

What makes you think the two are distinctly different.  Is not the concious fear of death no more than the instinctive avoidance of harm translated into the conciousness of the individual (in the same way as the concious pleasure of food, or of sex, are also instinctive behaviour mapped into the conciousness)?

I doubt that a other animals reflect consciously about death like we do. For the avoidance instinct you would need only reflexes and not higher brain functions. Also it's only higher order primates (not to say only humans) can overcome this instinctive fear (think of suicidal people, "martyrs" etc) again showing that there are higher brain functions at work more than just instincts.

Suicide and martyrdom are merely our way of looking at perfectly natural phenomena.

A mother will risk her own life for her child in many species.

An ant, or a bee, on guard in a colony will give its own life to protect a colony.

We can debate how much of the is 'concious', but the actual actions are no different to similar actions a human will undertake; it is merely that they human will seek to explain it with complex language, whereas an any or bee has no real language with which to explain it (I say 'no real language', but ofcourse most communication amongst ants, and substantially so amongst bees, is by use of pheromones, which we actually have no real way of listening in to).

6- Most importantly and the most difficult to answer is WHY all this? Why life and all its processes from birth, reproduction and death... Is it all a haphazard process without any final aim and purpose?

It may be reasonably argued that life is merely one part of the functioning of the whole universe, and the functioning of the universe is driven my the need to dissipate energy, and so the reason for life is to consume excess energy (the same reason as everything else happens).

I appreciate the point but it is very vague and doesn't answer me really, sorry: do you think life as it is now is the most efficient way to dissipate energy? I would argue differently: there would have been easier and more efficient ways to dissipate energy without having to go through the process of originating life. And if life is actually  the most efficient way to do so then it would be advantageous to have life everywhere on other planets and galaxies... And if life is actually only a haphazard process then we will have to think again all our theories of random processes and causality.

So what other means would you say that this energy could be dissipated by?

There is no doubt that life uses energy.  If the Earth had other ways of dissipating that energy, then would not life itself already have been starved of energy.  Does it not then follow that life must be able to dissipate energy that cannot be dissipated otherwise.  Clearly, this is not to say that life uses all energy that exist, because some of it does have other pathways through which it is dissipated, and so in unavailable to living organisms.

Humans, and this makes us exceptionally unique, have found access to ever more novel sources of energy to sate our ever increasing thirst for energy.  One example in nuclear fission.  Clearly, in the early history of the Earth, there were large sources of high concentrations of fissionable materials, but these would have quickly undergone fission, and are no longer available to us.  We have now found ways to mine the very low concentrations of residual fissionable material, too sparse to fission on their own, and the build up there concentrations to levels where they can undergo fission - something they clearly could no longer do in nature.  This may be an extreme example, but it is an indication how much of life is about seeking out residual energy sources that is unable to be dissipated in its natural forms, use complex physical and chemical processes (life, even in a single bacteria, is a very complex collection of chemical processes) to isolate and concentrate these residual resources to a form that may be used to extract the energy bound up in them.
 

Offline francogrex

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« Reply #31 on: 16/08/2007 15:35:51 »
Suicide and martyrdom are merely our way of looking at perfectly natural phenomena.
A mother will risk her own life for her child in many species
An ant, or a bee, on guard in a colony will give its own life to protect a colony.

That's not the same. A saint who dies to save his soul and earn a place in heaven is not the same as a bee who dies to protect the queen. Those two processes are very distinct, one is instinctive and the other involves a lot of meta-cognition. There is no proof that meta-cognition (self-conscious thought mediated by higher level of intelligent processes) exist in any other beings except humans (even in the apes and the dolphins it is quite dubious).

So what other means would you say that this energy could be dissipated by?
There is no doubt that life uses energy. 

I'm sorry but to explain the existance and origin of life merely as a way for the universe to dissipate energy is very simplistic.
A star formation is one very efficient way (triggered star formation by energy disspiated from a supernova for example). Life on earth would never be consuming more energy than that and here we are talking about one single phenomenon. There are much more efficient ways for the universe to dissipate its energy, if that's the purpose, and I'm not sure that's where the universe is heading: to dissipate its energy. The balance of mass-energy seems to be maintained (ex: supernovas<->stars formations). The "why" of life on earth is not explained away as simply as this.
« Last Edit: 16/08/2007 15:47:10 by francogrex »
 

another_someone

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« Reply #32 on: 16/08/2007 16:27:01 »
Suicide and martyrdom are merely our way of looking at perfectly natural phenomena.
A mother will risk her own life for her child in many species
An ant, or a bee, on guard in a colony will give its own life to protect a colony.

That's not the same. A saint who dies to save his soul and earn a place in heaven is not the same as a bee who dies to protect the queen. Those two processes are very distinct, one is instinctive and the other involves a lot of meta-cognition. There is no proof that meta-cognition (self-conscious thought mediated by higher level of intelligent processes) exist in any other beings except humans (even in the apes and the dolphins it is quite dubious).

There have been experiments that show that a chimpanzee can recognise its own image in a mirror.  We have been able to teach chimpanzees to use keyboards to express abstract ideas.  We know that dolphins have different sounds to recognise different individuals (i.e. the individuals have been given names).

As for there being no proof of the thought processes behind why dolphins give each other names - that is true of all things - I cannot read your mind any more than you can read the mind of a dolphin - all I can do is read your words and make guesses about the psychological processes behind those words.

As for seeking proof that a saint dies to earn a place in heaven - we have yet to prove anything concerning heaven - all we have that can be proven is a use of language that the supposed saint uses to express himself, but it is only language; and beneath that language, I would argue that the actions are no different to the actions of a bee or ant protecting its colony.

In fact, the difficulty in the weight one should give to the use of language to explain one's actions may well be shown by asking how much weight would you give to the notion that some people have the Muslim suicide bombers undertake their missions in order to take their place in heaven?  What kind of 'meta-cognition' are they using, and is that the real reason, or merely a linguistically convenient explanation for a far more complex social and psychological motivation?

So what other means would you say that this energy could be dissipated by?
There is no doubt that life uses energy. 

I'm sorry but to explain the existance and origin of life merely as a way for the universe to dissipate energy is very simplistic.
A star formation is one very efficient way (triggered star formation by energy disspiated from a supernova for example). Life on earth would never be consuming more energy than that and here we are talking about one single phenomenon. There are much more efficient ways for the universe to dissipate its energy, if that's the purpose, and I'm not sure that's where the universe is heading: to dissipate its energy. The balance of mass-energy seems to be maintained (ex: supernovas<->stars formations). The "why" of life on earth is not explained away as simply as this.

No, life on Earth would not (at least in the foreseeable future) be consuming more energy than that being consumed by a supernova, but I never claimed it did.  Quite the contrary, what I suggested was that life was efficient at utilising marginal sources of energy, not that it utilised large amounts of easily available energy.

The supernova is indeed a good example.  There is strong evidence that our solar system was born out of the remnants of a supernova.  Clearly, for that to be the case, although the supernova used a very large amount of energy, but clearly there was still enough energy left over after it had consumed all it could, enough energy to create a solar system, and within the solar system there formed planets, and at least on one of those planets there was enough energy left over to form life.

Life does not use massive amount of energy, but it feeds off the minute amounts of residual energy that other processes cannot access.  If other processes (e.g. a supernova explosion) could have used all that residual energy, it is clear the energy would not have remained available for life to use.

It is rather like the comparison between the amount of water an elephant might use, and the amount of water a mosquito might use.  If elephants could use every last drop of water in their habitat, then there would be none left for the mosquitoes, but it is clear that overall elephants are greater consumers of water than mosquitoes, but they are actually less efficient at using small amounts of water.  So too the comparison between the energy use of a supernova, and the energy use of a living organism.
 

Offline wheelchief

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« Reply #33 on: 17/08/2007 12:21:23 »
Why is it that people who claim to have been reincarnated where always something a little special in their previous lives? Why is john Smith farm labourer and alcholic father of six who died of a heart attack one morning while walking to work never reincarnated. Why is it always a slave girl to King X or something along those lines. I donīt get it. Why donīt normal people ever get reincarnated. Ahh of course being normal in a previous life wouldnīt impress anyone gullible enough to belive you would it. Dohh!
 

Offline francogrex

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« Reply #34 on: 17/08/2007 19:21:39 »
Why is it that people who claim to have been reincarnated where always something a little special in their previous lives? Why is john Smith farm labourer and alcholic father of six who died of a heart attack one morning while walking to work never reincarnated. Why is it always a slave girl to King X or something along those lines. I donīt get it. Why donīt normal people ever get reincarnated. Ahh of course being normal in a previous life wouldnīt impress anyone gullible enough to belive you would it. Dohh!

True I think. Anyway whether I accept or dismiss the concept of re-incarnation it's all the same for me. If you die and come back but have no recollection whatsoever of any previous life then you're dead, period. I would go even a step further, a person is dead if he has a complete memory loss... because now he is someone else and the "person" before who had the same body is gone. For me life is your awareness and cognition of yourself not just the body.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #35 on: 17/08/2007 19:59:20 »
Why is it that people who claim to have been reincarnated where always something a little special in their previous lives? Why is john Smith farm labourer and alcholic father of six who died of a heart attack one morning while walking to work never reincarnated. Why is it always a slave girl to King X or something along those lines. I donīt get it. Why donīt normal people ever get reincarnated. Ahh of course being normal in a previous life wouldnīt impress anyone gullible enough to belive you would it. Dohh!

True I think. Anyway whether I accept or dismiss the concept of re-incarnation it's all the same for me. If you die and come back but have no recollection whatsoever of any previous life then you're dead, period. I would go even a step further, a person is dead if he has a complete memory loss... because now he is someone else and the "person" before who had the same body is gone. For me life is your awareness and cognition of yourself not just the body.

I agree !!...Please forgive me as I have not read the entire thread but I also can't see the point of reincarnation if I can't can't back as 'me '....In fact..what exactly is being reincarnated then if one can't come back as oneself ?

...and I don't know if this has been mentioned already but I then always wonder as to where the extra people come from if we are all reincarnated !..How does one account for the rise in population ?
 

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« Reply #36 on: 17/08/2007 22:07:14 »
How does one account for the rise in population ?

Its like Rocks. Rocks change from form to form to form and none of it ever gets lost. (Rocks being all Living things, we kill off the animals for cities and roads and all and there is more of us. Look at all the extinxt species out there. They all came to be humans. HOW IDK, but it just makes sence to me.)
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #37 on: 17/08/2007 23:04:06 »
That's all ewe can think about is ROCK and roll isn't it ?.. ;)


I see...when an animal dies it may well come back as a human  !

I suppose I would then say to a sheep I've just eaten that has been reincarnated..."nice to meat ewe !!" ;)
 

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« Reply #38 on: 17/08/2007 23:27:09 »
That's all ewe can think about is ROCK and roll isn't it ?.. ;)


I see...when an animal dies it may well come back as a human  !

I suppose I would then say to a sheep I've just eaten that has been reincarnated..."nice to meat ewe !!" ;)

Yep ROCK & ROLL is all I can think! Execpt about my gf she beats that anyday.

And

HAHAHAHAHA
 

another_someone

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« Reply #39 on: 17/08/2007 23:40:57 »
Its like Rocks. Rocks change from form to form to form and none of it ever gets lost.

What is a rock?

If you cleave a rock into 2 (or into a million grains of sand), then is it still the same rock?

If you take a million grains of sand and press and heat them into a single rock, then how many rocks remain?  Are they still the same as the grains of sand that formed the rock?

Ofcourse, you could say that in all of this, all of the atoms (and therein, the electrons and protons and neutrons) are preserved, but an electron is not a rock - that same electron can form the smallest fractional part of a rock, and then become the smallest part of a plant, and then becoming the smallest part of a cow, and then become the smallest part of a human - but it is still only an electron.
 

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« Reply #40 on: 18/08/2007 13:29:50 »
Yes that is still a "Rock".

And I think I get the rest of that.
 

Offline nothingnobody

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« Reply #41 on: 28/08/2007 06:28:49 »
when u die, u disseapear....its like a drop dissolving in ocean
 

Offline BenV

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« Reply #42 on: 28/08/2007 10:41:24 »
This is really a philosophical question, so I will answer it with my own philosophy...

Reincarnation, much like creation stories or Aesop's fables, should not be taken literally.  The idea that "if you lead a good life you will return as a higher organism" does not mean that a well behaved worm will come back as a mole.  I think we should take it to mean that if, during your life, you make things better for others, spread a little happiness or endeavour to make the world a slightly better place, then the next generation will benefit from the life you led.  In this way, and by setting a good example, you 'return' to the world slightly improved.

I also think of life after death in much the same way; if you left an impact on people, then your ideas and 'soul' will continue on after you.  (I mean 'soul' as in the set of attitudes and opinions which drives you to behave in the way you do, not as any external entity.)  You, of course, being a product of organic matter, will simply be gone.

I think that people who honestly believe that they are reincarnated have accessed an area of their imagination, but taken it as truth.
 

Offline Quantumorigin7

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« Reply #43 on: 29/08/2007 17:17:38 »
It seems that on any site I go on, Reincarnation is accepted.

I'm alone on this, but an afterlife could exist, or we're just born again and knew nothing of our past lives, but it's not reincarnation. Your brain is just another brain, you're there in another life, but your past life is not your soul, it just happened.

Either that, or we're just a sloppy mess under the ground with no tomorrow.
 

Offline Nobody's Confidant

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« Reply #44 on: 31/08/2007 14:51:58 »
We go to the afterlife forever. Whether it be Hell or Heaven we stay forever. And the former is very untasteful.
 

Offline Simulated

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« Reply #45 on: 31/08/2007 16:21:54 »
I'd like to thank you all for your participation in this thread.
 

Offline Quantum_Vaccuum

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« Reply #46 on: 04/10/2007 05:23:16 »
Im a young tean as well, does that make me any smarter? LOL.

wel any way, my opinion is a very complecated solution, i belive that when you die, you go inside your dreams, and resulting in creation of your own world, were you remember everything in your past life, so every life just gets better and better, and dreaming is creating new lives constintaly. LIke it?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #47 on: 05/10/2007 11:21:17 »
Well, decomposition means just that, we are taken apart, or disassembled. We also know that energy does not vanish it is projected somewhere else. Therefore Energy can be directly traced back to atoms. For example if you move an object, it is ultimately your atoms that have ultimately moved the object. We also know the capacity for storing massive amounts of information in relatively microscopic components. Maybe even storing information at the atomic level, who knows?

So maybe when our atomic particles are reassembled in the building blocks of life it could be possible to be re-born again.

Some moulds can do this, not on the atomic level but as spores living separate lives like little slugs. They all join together and form a single union in the shape of a mushroom. This is from memory mind so a bit patchy, maybe someone else can relate to the spores.

So a quick recap. Way out Hypothesis but hey who knows? We die and decompose, some memory is stored at the atomic level and is reassembled as another unit, maybe even two units Hmmmm split personality springs to mind.

Who knows, maybe our atoms can be reassembled on another planet in another galaxy.
 

Offline Simulated

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« Reply #48 on: 19/10/2007 16:34:51 »
Ah..I see Andrew.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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« Reply #49 on: 22/10/2007 15:33:31 »
Ah..I see Andrew.

Glad you can because I'm finding it difficult to see myself. Damn just bumped my head walking to the computer in the dark, Ooo it's not dark ive got my eyes closed :P
 

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After Death..
« Reply #49 on: 22/10/2007 15:33:31 »

 

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