GNU   davin.50webs.com/research
Bringing to you notes for the ages

       Main Menu          Research Projects         Photo Album            Curriculum Vitae      The Greatest Artists
    Email Address       Computer Games          Web Design          Java Training Wheels      The Fly (A Story)   
  Political Activism   Bob Dylan Quotes+       My Life Story          Smoking Cessation          Other Links      
Debugging Macros     String Class I     Linked List System I Java for C Programmers Naming Convention
    String Class II         How I use m4              Strings III                 Symmetrical I/O             Linked Lists II     
Run-Time Type Info   Virtual Methods      An Array System        Science & Religion            Submodes       
  Nested Packages      Memory Leaks    Garbage Collection      Internet & Poverty      What is Knowledge?
Limits of Evolution   Emacs Additions      Function Plotter           Romantic Love        The Next Big Thing
    Science Fiction     Faster Compilation Theory of Morality         Elisp Scoping               Elisp Advice      
  S.O.G.M. Pattern       Safe Properties         School Bullying          Charisma Control          Life and Death    
     Splitting Java          Multiple Ctors       Religious Beliefs         Conversation 1           Conversation 2    
   J.T.W. Language    Emacs Additions II      Build Counter             Relation Plotter          Lisp++ Language  
  Memory Leaks II   Super Constructors CRUD Implementation Order a Website Form There Is An Afterlife
More Occam's Razor C to Java Translator Theory of Morality II


Why there is no afterlife, NOT! New

Abstract

This article explains why the Christian concept of the human soul is not persistent, i.e. why it turns to nothing on death. Therefore there is no afterlife and no life after death. This document has five parts. The first is a caveat to the lack of persistence of the soul. The second part attempts to prove that dualism (that the mind is more than the contents of the brain, i.e. there is something non-physical in addition to the contents of the brain) is false. The third part shows why the soul is not persistent. The forth part explains why, in a limited sense, our souls are persistent. The fifth part is the conclusion. The postscript to this article is the contents of an email that invalidates my conclusion. This document was helped into existence via an email conversation with Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland of the University of Canterbury Department of Philosophy.

1. Caveat: The use of technology to vastly extend the human life span

The use of technology to extend the human life span provides a means for the human soul to live indefinitely into the future. Examples of such technology includes:

2. Why dualism is false

The human brain is a collection of approximately 1 billion neurons, electrically firing to each other. According to dualism, the mind is more than a collection of neurons firing to each other in particular there is something non-physical about the nature of thought. A key component of the human brain is memories of past events. Memories are just configurations of firing neurons. If dualism were true, memories would be something else in addition to a collection of firing neurons, something non-physical. According to Occam's razor, there is nothing non-physical in addition to collections of firing neurons to serve in the role of memories. This argument can be generalized to prove that all human thought is collections of firing neurons. By Occam's razor applied again, there is no non-physical component in human thought. Therefore the human mind is equal to the contents of the human brain and therefore dualism is false.

3. The lack of persistence of the soul

A plant’s soul: is nothing really to speak of. A plant barely even experiences pleasure and pain. It is easy to see that plants’ souls are not persistent.

A fish’s soul: pleasure and pain dictating the path of least resistance in the behaviour of the fish. A fish seeks out pleasure and avoids pain. Given the following unknown vector-valued function:

r"

Where r maps from a real value (time) to a finite p-dimensional vector space, the space of all possible values for the fish’s state. An example of a pleasure-pain function is the vector valued function F : R x Rp x Rp → Rp, where

F = - ∇ Φ

where larger values of Φ (as Φ → ∞) indicates pain and smaller values of Φ (as Φ → -∞) indicates pleasure. The vector-valued function f : R x Rp x Rp → Rp, the so-called ‘‘freedom function’’ is the zero function when the fish's evolution is purely dependent on minus the gradient of Φ. The function f determines the behaviour of the fish if there is no gradient function being applied to the fish. In particular the value of can be used to apply linear or nonlinear friction to the fish's movement. The vector-valued function g : Rp → Rp is equal to the identity function when the fish's evolution is purely dependent on minus the gradient of Φ. The function g can be used to clamp the gradient function within certain values, or set the value of g to zero when the value of the gradient function is small in magnitude. Using Newton's second law of motion:

Newton's Second Law of motion

This differential equation can be solved for r by rearranging the equation to:

Newton's Second Law rearranged

and then integrated numerically by making use of the following recurrence relation:

Numerical integration

where n takes the values 0,1,2,3, ..., Δt is a suitably small value for the time increment and and are given values for the initial state of the fish.

Examples of pleasure in a fish is the act of sexual reproduction and the eating of food. Examples on pain in a fish is the capturing of the fish by people and the fish being brought out of the water and onto the land where the fish is unable to breathe. It is easy to see that the fish is suffering when it has been caught by people. It is easy to see that a fish soul is not persistent after death.

A cat’s soul: is like fish souls with the addition of memories of earlier pain and pleasure, such as cruel treatment by people and kind treatment by people giving rise to memories of specific people who were kind or cruel to the cat. A cat is a predator so it has innate knowledge of physical laws that govern the movements of it's prey. A cat's soul therefore includes this capability much like human souls can predict the behaviour of living beings that people eat. It is easy to see that a cat’s soul is not persistent after death.

Person’s soul is like a cat’s soul with the addition of what philosopher Karl Popper calls the world of objective contents of thoughts or the ‘‘The world of the mind’’. The use of technology to create an artificially intelligent being would ultimately have a god like quality in being all present (omnipresent), all knowing (omniscient) and all powerful (omnipotent).

Such a being would pass the Turing Test for artificial intelligence and would therefore be a fascinating being to speak to by way of at least a computer keyboard or at least a one on one conversation with a being with an ability in all of the five human senses hearing (speech recognition), seeing (language recognition and object recognition), feeling, smelling and tasting.

Since dualism is false, when the brain dies, the collection of 1 billion neurons stops firing and therefore the mind dies too. A corollary of this is that the soul dies too. Therefore there is no afterlife and no life after death.

4. Limited persistency of the soul

The memories of people in other people's minds gives one way for the human soul to persist beyond the death of an individual, but this is not much in the way of persistency. Other ways that the soul can be persistent is in artifacts left behind by people after they die, such as works of art, letters, science, mathematics, philosophy and Websites.

5. Conclusion

The moral of the story is that you only have one life to live, and therefore you had better make the most of it! Older people should envy young people and as yet unborn people because these people are more likely to be around when technology raises the average life expectancy of people vastly beyond its present value. Also smart people like Robin Williams and Kurt Cobain should not have committed suicide as they are likely to be role models for dumb people and if smart people don't want to live, then dumb people won't want to live either! I once tried to kill myself over my love for a married Chinese woman, but I am now in a head-space that wants to live long into the future, so that I might see what amazing technology comes about in the future. Means to a long life include not smoking, getting regular exercise, eating sensibly, brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

6. Postscript

Here is the contents of an email from Jack Copeland which invalidates my conclusion:
‘‘Occam's razor cuts both ways. A universe containing only sense data is simpler than a universe containg both sense data and physical matter. Therefore by Occam's razor the universe contains only sense data.’’


Back to Research Projects
This page has the following hit count:
| Main Menu | Research Projects | Photo Album | Curriculum Vitae | The Greatest Artists |
| Email Address | Computer Games | Web Design | Java Training Wheels | The Fly (A Story) |
| Political Activism | Bob Dylan Quotes+ | My Life Story | Smoking Cessation | Other Links |
| Debugging Macros | String Class I | Linked List System I | Java for C Programmers | Naming Convention |
| String Class II | How I use m4 | Strings III | Symmetrical I/O | Linked Lists II |
| Run-Time Type Info | Virtual Methods | An Array System | Science & Religion | Submodes |
| Nested Packages | Memory Leaks | Garbage Collection | Internet & Poverty | What is Knowledge? |
| Limits of Evolution | Emacs Additions | Function Plotter | Romantic Love | The Next Big Thing |
| Science Fiction | Faster Compilation | Theory of Morality | Elisp Scoping | Elisp Advice |
| S.O.G.M. Pattern | Safe Properties | School Bullying | Charisma Control | Life and Death |
| Splitting Java | Multiple Ctors | Religious Beliefs | Conversation 1 | Conversation 2 |
| J.T.W. Language | Emacs Additions II | Build Counter | Relation Plotter | Lisp++ Language |
| Memory Leaks II | Super Constructors | CRUD Implementation | Order a Website Form | There Is An Afterlife |
| More Occam's Razor | C to Java Translator | Theory of Morality II
Last modified: Sun Sep 25 16:12:23 NZDT 2016
Best viewed at 800x600 or above resolution.
© Copyright 1999-2016 Davin Pearson.
Please report any broken links to