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Answer To A Deist About Death


R. S. Martin
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Yes, when I die it will be as if I had never been here but it will be that way only to a certain segment of society--those who are already dead or have never been born. Does that idea bother you?

 

For those who remain on the earth after we are dead it will NOT be as though we had never existed. They will remember the things we did, the things we said, and they will continue to read the books we wrote, and they will pass on to their children and grandchildren the things they remember about us. This might be good or bad.

 

I think I have a responsibility to live this life as best I know how. Why? Because that makes me a happy and fulfilled person, a pleasant person for those around me. Hopefully, my lived example of a happy and fulfilled person will help those around me live happy and fulfilled lives, too.

 

Via the ripple effect, this should eventually make this world a better place for whoever is alive by then. I think that is a noble and very meaningful ambition, don't you?

 

And if you want to discuss Pascal's Wager, well, if there is a god then he will let me into heaven. How do I know this? Because living this kind of life is what Jesus (as reported in the New Testament) preached and taught by word, deed, and example.

 

If god does not exist, then it is imperative to accept this life as real, not just an illusion. You don't have to but it will sure make you a happier and more responsible person. If you choose not to live this life as best you know how because it's just an illusion, that is your choice. It's sad, though, that you waste it in the hope of a better life after death.

 

Why do you have such a pervasive need to exist beyond death?

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Very nice, and I really enjoyed reading that. :)

 

I might personally be tempted to go for something in a different mode, a little more "in your face" ... but that's just me. Something like this ...

 

(Warning: Don't read the following just before eating or while eating. You've been warned. :crazy: )

 

Dear Xtian,

 

Yes, when I die, I will no longer perceive what will happen around me and to me. You seem to think that because my conviction that there is no afterlife means that I have no hope of having any meaning after my death. However, does the event of my death mean I can no longer be useful or cannot contribute anymore? Hardly!

 

For all my life, the bacteria in my intestines have existed in a symbiotic relationship with me, aiding me in my digestion. As with any symbiosis, the relationship both aids and places limits on both sides, and these bacteria have only been permitted to live within certain limits, regulated by my living metabolism. However, with my death, they will immediately be free to flourish and will begin digesting first my intestines, then my internal organs. In this process, they will be aided by two things -- first, the enzymes already present in my gastrointestinal tract, which will eat away at my bodily tissues; and second, at the cellular level, the release of enzymes within my individual cells as they die. Protected from the external environment by my body mass, and with most of that mass available as food, the bacteria will positively flourish as they feed on me! :D

 

Since the bacteria present at this stage will by mostly anaerobic, their digestion will release various gases including hydrogen sulfide and methane. Although these gases, which respectively smell like rotten eggs and farts, are repulsive to humans, they are attractive to insects. Since the normal defenses I had while I was alive are no longer a factor, flies will be able to lay their eggs around my natural body openings like my eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and anus. I suppose that might tickle or itch, if I were alive. But I won't mind -- I'll be dead. Soon, maggots will chow down on my decaying flesh. Yum! :grin:

 

As the maggots plow through my putrefying body in a squirming, warm, communal mass, they will spread more bacteria, secrete even more digestive enzymes, and tear apart tissues with their sharp mouth parts. My decomposition will accelerate, and the distinctive aroma of decay will be strong. My body will be blackened and bloated with trapped gases and bodily fluids. But sooner or later I will rupture, and my bodily fluids will ooze into the surrounding soil. By this time, the maggots will have been joined by mites, beetles, parasitic wasps, and all sorts of other insects -- it'll be an ongoing, all-you-can-eat insect party! But they're not the only ones that will benefit. The organic compounds in the fluids that seep into the soil will help nourish whatever plants are present -- perhaps the corn, carrots, peas, and so on your children will eat one day in a restaurant when they order some nice, tasty vegetable soup! :HaHa:

 

As my remaining flesh is eaten away, my body will dry out and will take on a somewhat cheesy smell. The maggots and other insects that feasted on me while my rotting flesh was warm and juicy will depart for greener pastures, and will be replaced by beetles with chewing mouthparts which are better able to cope with my now leathery tissues. Eventually, there will be little left but hair and bone, and then even the hair will disappear, consumed by bacteria and moths. Last, my bones will disappear ...

 

And when you die ... the same things will happen to you! :D

 

Pretty cool, huh?

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Ah Roy, I think you are so romantic.

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And then, the Fundie exclaims, "But what about your soul?"

 

I think I'd tell the fundie something like this.

 

"I'll make a bet with you. Let's go to an MRI center. I'll get a full-body scan. Then we'll put it in front of a bunch of doctors -- maybe three to five of them. And we have to agree on the members of the panel.

 

My stipulation is this; they must all be licensed, currently practicing physicians in good standing, none can ever have suffered a disciplinary action before a medical licensing board or similar organization, none can ever have suffered a judgment against them for malpractice or negligence, and all must be willing to publicly attest to whatever statements they make; that is, if one says 'the MRI results show an old fracture of your left tibia, well healed,' then s/he must agree to place an ad in the major newspaper in the city in which s/he practices, saying 'Roy Watson's MRI shows ...' etc., if I request it.

 

I'll make this concession to you. All the members of this panel can be Christians.

 

Now, here's the bet. If the members of this panel are all able to point to something specific, shown on the MRI and say, 'that is the soul,' I'll require each of them to make these statements public -- something like this newspaper ad ...

 

'On June 11, I performed a full-body MRI scan on Roy Watson, a healthy 44 year old male. His eternal soul was clearly present, discernable, and was located 2.5 cm anterior, 1.5 cm left-lateral, and 1.7 cm superior to the pituitary gland. The physical dimensions of his eternal soul were 4 mm X 6 mm X 2.8 mm. His soul differs from the immediately surrounding tissue in that it has a higher proportion of 'white matter' and less 'gray matter,' typical of and consistent with a normal human soul. I believe this to be true, and that my determination and the way that determination was made are consistent with generally accepted medical practice. I will assert the truth of all these statements under oath upon request. Signed, Pat Jones, M.D.'

 

Well, fundie, that's the bet. If the doctors do that, I'll pay for the MRI and for the newspaper ads. Otherwise, you pay for the MRI." (A full body scan would cost several thousand dollars.)

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And then, the Fundie exclaims, "But what about your soul?"

 

I think I'd tell the fundie something like this.

 

"I'll make a bet with you. Let's go to an MRI center. I'll get a full-body scan. Then we'll put it in front of a bunch of doctors -- maybe three to five of them. And we have to agree on the members of the panel.

 

My stipulation is this; they must all be licensed, currently practicing physicians in good standing, none can ever have suffered a disciplinary action before a medical licensing board or similar organization, none can ever have suffered a judgment against them for malpractice or negligence, and all must be willing to publicly attest to whatever statements they make; that is, if one says 'the MRI results show an old fracture of your left tibia, well healed,' then s/he must agree to place an ad in the major newspaper in the city in which s/he practices, saying 'Roy Watson's MRI shows ...' etc., if I request it.

 

I'll make this concession to you. All the members of this panel can be Christians.

 

Now, here's the bet. If the members of this panel are all able to point to something specific, shown on the MRI and say, 'that is the soul,' I'll require each of them to make these statements public -- something like this newspaper ad ...

 

'On June 11, I performed a full-body MRI scan on Roy Watson, a healthy 44 year old male. His eternal soul was clearly present, discernable, and was located 2.5 cm anterior, 1.5 cm left-lateral, and 1.7 cm superior to the pituitary gland. The physical dimensions of his eternal soul were 4 mm X 6 mm X 2.8 mm. His soul differs from the immediately surrounding tissue in that it has a higher proportion of 'white matter' and less 'gray matter,' typical of and consistent with a normal human soul. I believe this to be true, and that my determination and the way that determination was made are consistent with generally accepted medical practice. I will assert the truth of all these statements under oath upon request. Signed, Pat Jones, M.D.'

 

Well, fundie, that's the bet. If the doctors do that, I'll pay for the MRI and for the newspaper ads. Otherwise, you pay for the MRI." (A full body scan would cost several thousand dollars.)

And I would counter with a bet that you'll get no takers. But you might get some silly Babble-quote, like "That which is flesh is flesh, that which is spirit is spirit."...or something like that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My only question is why this is titled Answer to a Deist about death? We Deists are much like you Agnostics and Atheists in our outlook on an Afterlife. This OP seems to lump us in with the Christ Cultists yearning for eternal life. This is a false assumption, we have no dogma advocating a paradise that we all go to after dying (in fact we have no dogma at all), nor do we believe in a hot place for those of us how live an immoral life (incidentally we believe morality is not a religious thing but rather a societal thing). We are freethinkers, just as you are and allies in the struggle against the stupidity and evilness of organized revealed religions, so why ar we being insulted? - Heimdall :yellow:

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Roy,

 

from that description you're either leaving your body to a body farm, or expecting to be the victim of a serial killer, based on your composting down description... You're just showing off...

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Like Hemi, I am also a deist. I do not believe in a "life after death". When my heart and brain stops functioning that is it. I die. That being said, I read in the most recent Discover Magazine an article on near death experiences. I was only able to take a glance through it, but it was talking about a subatomic feature of our brains that they believe exists and never dies. It contues. What happens to it? Reincarnation? Here ihttp://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/soul-searchs the link;

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