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Author Topic:   Atheist and agnostic views on reincarnation and consciousness
Member (Idle past 1794 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004

Message 1 of 2 (345943)
09-02-2006 1:50 AM

Archer Opterix's Belief-o-Matic thread got me thinking again about consciousness and reincarnation.

For those who are materialists and believe consciousness is a by-product of matter, I have a question:

The feeling of time passing only occurs when we are "conscious"; it seems to me to be the most salient feature of consciousness. When we die, if we lose consciousness, we will also lose our sense of time. Is it possible, then, that death is simply an instantaneous blip until we regain consciousness? We may lose our sense of "I" in the process, we may start again... but the only way time can pass is if we wake up again.

I guess my question is, is reincarnation a consequence of pure materialism?

A second question relates to the nature of the "I". Seems to me "I" is a basic memory function as well as a sensation. "I" is complete only with a memory of what "I" am, and the feeling that "I" have an identiy, that "I" am "I".

When we die, we lose our sense of time. Is it meaningful to say that we become another consciousness? "I" would be unaware that "I" was different; "I would naturally feel identity in a different body.

I can't make sense of it at the moment. I can't understand the materialist view of consciousness. If the "I" were so fleeting, was a product of sensory-motor experience, then the more similar we are, the more we share consciousness. Seems identical twins would share consciousness in a way that wouldn't make sense to me or you--would they be able to perceive things that didn't flow through the body containing their "I"?

What a rambling mess. I was shooting for Faith & Belief, but if this needs to be "thrown to the dogs", then toss it into the Coffee House. And if I need to focus this post more... so be it.

Edited by Ben, : Added "and consciousness" to the title.

Inactive Member

Message 2 of 2 (345983)
09-02-2006 8:38 AM

Thread copied to the Atheist and agnostic views on reincarnation and consciousness thread in the Coffee House forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.
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