Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

“mother sea” of consciousness

Curiously, the doctrine of immortality is more a pagan legacy than a religious one. The notion that each of us is essentially an immortal soul goes back to Plato. Whereas the body is a compound thing that eventually falls apart, Plato argued, the soul is simple and therefore imperishable. Contrast this view with that of the Bible. In the Old Testament there is little mention of an afterlife; the rewards and punishments invoked by Moses were to take place in this world, not the next one. Only near the beginning of the Christian era did one Jewish sect, the Pharisees, take the afterlife seriously, in the form of the resurrection of the body. The idea that “the dead shall be raised” was then brought into Christianity by St. Paul.

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In his 1994 book, “The Physics of Immortality,” Frank J. Tipler, a specialist in relativity theory at Tulane University, showed how future beings might, in their drive for total knowledge, “resurrect” us in the form of computer simulations. (If this seems implausible to you, think how close we are right now to “resurrecting” extinct species through knowledge of their genomes.) John Leslie, a Canadian who ranks as one of the world’s leading philosophers of cosmology, draws on quantum physics in his painstakingly argued new book, “Immortality Defended.” Each of us, Leslie submits, is immortal because our life patterns are but an aspect of an “existentially unified” cosmos that will persist after our death.
Permalink too lazy for original thought 
July 29th, 2007 3:23pm
Building a sufficiently advanced computer to model our atoms & life choices -- far-fetched, but plausible.

Tipler specified a closed-end universe with a big crunch as the eschaton.  But now we think that the universe is open-ended, so his super-galactic computer may not be possible as heat-death would mean there (probably) wouldn't be enough energy to run it.

Not so sure what Leslie means by an existentially unified cosmos.  We are all one?
Permalink Send private email xampl 
July 29th, 2007 3:34pm
At least SoP makes the attempt to annotate.

Sigh.

Fine, since someone is trying to find interesting topics to discuss, I'll take the bait this time.

Resurrection and immortality are two very distinct things.  If someone is resurrected, what state do they get restored to?  A person's life is not just a physical state, as well, so simply restoring someone to their physical prime may leave them senile.  Immortality, on the other hand, would be a persistence of continuity that may not be the best answer, either.
Permalink Aaron 
July 29th, 2007 3:34pm
The notion that a human mind is like a radio that wears down and stops working, but for which the broadcast continues nevertheless .. is kinda interesting.
Permalink strawdog soubriquet 
July 29th, 2007 3:55pm
Yes, this is somewhat well known. Mosaic Judaism did not have the concept of an immortal soul. That was an influence that came in from exposure to Greek philosophy, and then afterwards was included as part of derivative religions.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 29th, 2007 3:57pm
-----"The notion that each of us is essentially an immortal soul goes back to Plato"------

It goes back a lot longer; Buddhism predated Plato, and the idea was common amongst Hindus before the Buddha's time.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
July 29th, 2007 4:04pm
That's correct, but the concept in considered to have entered Judaism via the Greeks.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 29th, 2007 4:08pm
> The notion that a human mind is like a radio that wears down and stops working, but for which the broadcast continues nevertheless .. is kinda interesting.

Looking at the anatomy of neurons, the way they are arranged in the cortex, one thing that comes to mind is an array of antennas. Add to that the way neurons function to select the signals to be passed on and how those are amplified and the similarity becomes, well, uncanny. Who knows where our thoughts originate?
Permalink  
July 29th, 2007 5:48pm
> That's correct, but the concept in considered to have entered Judaism via the Greeks.

BSer!
Permalink google is the way 
July 29th, 2007 7:14pm
BS? In what way? Would you like to clarify or make intelligent remarks rather than shout insults in ignorance? Come on, let's up the quality of debate. It is very disappointing to me how very poor in intellectual quality many of the responses on this board are.

The introduction of the concept of an immortal soul from the Greeks into Judaism is not BS, it is widely regarded as a simple known fact in both the academic and the jewish communities.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 29th, 2007 9:28pm
I argue that it came to the Greeks through the Indians.

The most likely influence on early Christianity would have been the Greek, though the Indian church was founded in AD52 by St. Thomas.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
July 29th, 2007 11:34pm

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