On the topic of death
A lot of people see death as bad or sad. But death is part of life and if you love life, you have to love death. Now *how* you die..., that can be very sad.
Also, people see death as being nothing. But there are 2 arguments against that.
1. Why would the elements in the periodic table assemble themselves (not only to create life but) to create life that is able to think? And how can a bunch of atoms come together to experience life and contemplate death? You can think of the universe as a single body. And we are part of that body just as your cells are part of your body. When a cell dies, it is reabsorbed by the body and becomes something else.
2. Mass and Energy are different sides of the same coin. You can think of matter as frozen energy. And neither one, matter and energy, can be created nor can they be destroyed. So that person that is you just becomes something else. But that should not be scary because you are already different than when you were a baby (for example). You can't even remember being a baby. So that person you were as a baby is the person you are now (which is something/someone else).
Babies seem eager to become older and be able to walk and talk. They want to become something/someone else. Some children/teens are eager to become adults. It doesn't matter whether you are eager or not, it will happen. And when it does, you realize that the transformation was not that bad.
So..., to recap..., you cannot be destroyed. You don't become nothing. You simply become something else. A different state of being.
Now..., do you retain your memories? Maybe. But it doesn't matter. You don't remember being a baby and you're not bothered by that. If you are a teen, you only remember a fraction of your childhood. Maybe you retain none of your memories, maybe you retain some. Scientists say that memories are stored in the brain. But maybe they're wrong. Maybe there is such a thing as a soul that stores memories and can retain those memories after death. Or maybe the memories are also transformed into something else so that you can retain them. For example, you can store data on a CD, DVD, or thumb drive.
All I know is..., we'll find out some day ;)
Well..., I do like to push the envelope ;)
BTW, you may also like this:
You aren't turning religious on us are you Joe? Getting a little closer to death, and maybe starting to get a little scared?
I once mentioned to you that I immortality lay in having children, because then your DNA would live on, as well as some of your ideas, etc., and you responded by saying that that wasn't very satisfactory to you. You said that that, to most people, immortality meant having the mind live on. With that in mind, all of your talk of your atoms being re-absorbed by the universe somehow is also not very satisfactory. I think we both have our way of coming to terms with our impending doom, and they're both pretty similar, and equally unsatisfactory, but they're all we've got.
Now, your talk about your memories possibly living on would bring a degree of satisfaction, if there was any reason to believe it. You're holding onto a 'maybe', but without any evidence of it, the odds of it being true are pretty slim. Maybe there are fairies and leprechauns too...
Did you know R. has started to turn religious? Right now I think you're the only atheist friend I have. I'd hate to think you were turning to the dark side as well. :(
I've always considered myself agnostic..., but if you see me differently..., that's OK too.
BTW, there are a few sci-fi books that talk about a person's memory stored in the genes and that those genes/memory can be passed on to your children. Sort of like instinct. I only wish I could consciously select which memories to store. I have a few choice ones ;)
I don't think sci fi books count, unless they present a plausible mechanism through which the memories are stored. I do agree that instincts can be stored in the genes and passed from one generation to the next, but those instincts originated in the genes and are presumably only successful in being passed on when they confer some kind of competitive advantage, or at least don't confer a disadvantage. I don't think memories of events in your life can work their way back into the genome.
Our genome is to short, that's why we are growing up so long, why we have to learn to crawl and walk ...because in the genome are only basic definition of our brain initial configuration.
Also that's why freshly born spiders walks instantaneously and now everything what spider needs to know. Their brain is simple they don't have to learn anything they have "hardwired" knowledge in their genome.
I often think about those who have lived before us, generation after generation, people living their lives, day after day, concerned about what they're concerned about, thinking that they're going to live forever in their youth, and then eventually coming to the hard conclusion that someday they're going to leave this world, until one day they're gone.
I never get much beyond that. I don't think there's much of a lesson here or anything; it's just something to think about.
Anyway, have a nice day everyone. :)