You see, I was brought up to believe that a person shouldn't try to talk over people but write in plain English so that everyone from children to the uneducated can grasp what you are saying. And yet, I get blank stares when I try to explain why there is a human need for afterlife. Not just a theistic need but a human need.
I suppose it would boil down to this:
From Invention of Lying
In a world where nobody else can lie, he discovers the ability, which he uses initially to get perks, then to romance his girlfriend, but he quickly tells a more important lie to spare the feelings of his loved one. You see, whether an afterlife is true or not does not matter. In a very real sense, it needs to be true because the bleakness of the soul fading into nothing is a horrifying thought.
For the record, this long string of college-level words (I went to college too, but we studied literature not writing, the emphasis on the books themselves not on the words) seems to be saying because human minds are a holarchy (a connection between holons, where a holon is both a part and a whole) that when it shuts down, that's it. It has no outside framework to send it to, so there can't be an afterlife. That the general size of things?
But that's an opinion, not a fact. And even as an opinion, it's not true. There is no subsystem structure to human existence. We are not our brains. If we were mere machines, we would need to be recharged, calibrated, and there would need to be an interface system to get us to react to codes. All machines are reliant on programming, that is, a toaster requires a plug and to be popped down. Yet living things do not operate in this way. They have agency, a will of their own that is not present in even the best computer. All AI that we can think of, while it can beat a grandmaster in chess, it utterly fails at the basic requirement of being human. We once bought a PC game of Sorry (this was the 90s when everything was on a CD-rom), and the game was clearly programmed to always have the computer win. So one day my sister cornered the machine, so it was sent back, and she was about to win. The copy of the game was not programmed to deal with a loss, so it crashed. Human beings on the other hand can learn from misfortune either through denial, vulnerability, or some other mechanism. These systems are not like AI code, they are RI or real intelligence. And no, firing of neurons isn't enough to explain all of this. We can't know that this framework is inside our bodies at all, and not the world itself. In fact given our non-similarity to machines, and how we as humans are capable even of responding to non-stimulus (sitting in my room by myself, I could come up with some entirely new philosophy), that seems unlikely.
Deepak Chopra, before he got heavy into supernatural stuff? He was a medic. He saw patients during time where there was no brain activity (no neurons firing, the mind was gone), brought back to consciousness tell about their near death experience. But during this time, they weren't dreaming, they weren't anything. This is mind activity absent from the brain activity. So no, we can't know the above quote is the case.
Here's what we actually do know. Human existence is a gestalt. That word, I did learn about (mainly from an anime I watched by this name).
A gestalt, for the uninitiated, is an object where the parts do not make up the whole.
ge·stalt | \ gə-ˈstält
, -ˈshtält, -ˈstȯlt, -ˈshtȯlt
plural gestalts also gestalten\ gə-ˈstäl-tᵊn
, -ˈshtäl- , -ˈstȯl- , -ˈshtȯl- \
Something that is made of many parts and yet is somehow more than or different from the combination of its parts
For instance, if I built a tower of blocks, and the tower suddenly did a Transformers deal on me and walked around, that would be a gestalt. I'd also get myself committed if nobody else saw that.
Likewise, a human is made of numerous body parts. But if we were to chop off an arm, after bleeding profusely, there would be phantom pain. Sometimes you can reattach limbs, and it's gonna be okay. This phantom pain is typically tried to be removed by doctors and scientists, by getting the body to numb it out. They do this because they don't like the implications, that all of these parts are more or less just meat. You can eat calf brains (just as you can eat heart, kidney, or liver) and it doesn't make you think more like a cow. There is something different about all of these parts together. I imagine that when the person has a prosthetic rather than a missing limb, the phantom limb recedes into the background, that as long as the person sees the arm as "theirs", whether it is made of wood, plastic, metal, porcelain, etc they don't have the pain they would experience from a phantom arm being missing. That is, whether made of meat or synthetic materials, the real body is spiritual. Let's consider the other extreme. The body is fully whole and healthy after drowning except for bloat. The water is pumped out but the person is still dead. So... what exactly is a corpse? Is it the body parts? After drain, all are intact, but the body is beginning to rapidly decompose. Chemically, biologically, atomically, all is in proper configuration but they can't make it live. Not one abiogenesis experiment has ever worked (and by definition, all of them required active effort on the part of scientists, making it by definition not abiogenesis).
Yeah, sorry Frankenstein, simply applying electricity to a bunch of found and sewed together dead organs does not an artificial life make. However, I imagine if you started with a fully alive group of people, and sewed organs cut from their body together, you could make a lifeform, at least until organ rejection set in. Life maintains life, death cannot create life, because death is an absence of life, a condition where life has left the body. So the only way to make a Frankenstein's monster is to work with living people.
We need to test this. Who will be my experiments to depraved science?