With the recent death of my dog I've been thinking about death more than usual and something occurred to me. I'd like to hear some argument on this. Earlier this week, I posted my thoughts on reincarnation and in that post I stated that all life starts with non-existence. None of us existed for billions of years before we were born. After that, we live then we die and in so doing, we return to non-existence. It's a perfect circle that ends where it began. It has always been my assumption that that was it. No one ever returns so reincarnation isn't a thing.
Here's what occurred to me
If existence can and does begin with non-existence as I outlined above then once we die and no longer exist again is it feasible that we can somehow be made to exist again through the same process that brought us about the first time?
Am I being clear? If we didn't exist, then we did, then we didn't, we're in the same place we were before we existed last time. Can the process simply repeat and some version of us be recycled into a new existence?
A lot of people like to throw around the Law of Conservation of Energy that states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed as a justification for reincarnation and what I'm speculating on is based on fact -- we didn't exist, then we did, the we don't so could we again via the same process since we're at the exact same starting point?
It would be a completely new life and a completely blank slate so you would have no memory or awareness of any previous life. Could this be a workable hypothesis for reincarnation?
Or am I just trying way too hard to somehow get my dog back?
Am I even making myself understood?
Our atoms and energy continue on after we die, becoming a part of many other living things. That is our continued existence. I don't see how the energy that came together to form the individual that I am could ever come together again in the exact same way to form another me. It would not only have to happen for me, but for all of my ancestors.
We don't know for sure about either of these but I tend to believe in both infinite time and infinite space. I also accept as a likely truth that anything that can happen given enough time, will happen. This then implies that you have, and will in the future, and are somewhere else right now, existed, will exist, are existing in infinite variety and infinite sameness.
Another way to think about it.
It is possible, that the flow of time is an illusion, what existed still exists and what will exist already exists.
Your dog is still there somewhere, just not here with you now.. I am sorry you lost a friend. I lost my bat-shit crazy little dog more than twenty five years ago and I still miss him. I still see him in my mind's eye running around the house jumping on the furniture and crashing into walls where the floor is slippery. Running just for the joy of running.
Who we are is determined by genetics and experiences. We are formed from atoms and to atoms we will return. If those atoms are reused to create another human, that won't be a duplicate of me because there is no way to recreate everything that has happened to become me. Yeah, it means you don't get your dog back, I'm sorry.
I understand what you're saying.
I miss my dog, too.
It still breaks my heart that she's gone.
Neither of them are ever coming back.
When we're dead, we're dead.
Think "Pet Semetary".
If anything were to "come back", it wouldn't be the same as
it was before.
Most of my life I was happy with "there's nothing out there." Mostly because I didn't think about it much. Now that I've gotten older, perhaps wiser, and questions like this come up and "it's all meaningless" just doesn't seem quite good enough any more. On the other hand, I now have a knee-jerk aversion to anything to do with "God," and religion, because every time I see it, it's associated with some truly abhorrent view or act.
This is actually freeing, because I find the cosmology of the mainline religions unbelievably childish and cruel, but also because that allowed me realize that it's not either or, religion or materialism. There are an infinite variety of other options out there. For instance, the empirical evidence for reincarnation and psi phenomena, and the transformative nature of near death experiences, all point to a reality that is much bigger that we've been allowed to believe, one that stands in stark contrast to what religions tell us.
My friend, you are free to believe whatever makes you happy. You don't need approval or some kind of certification that you haven't violated some atheist dogma or other. Anyone here that gives you a hard time about that is too concerned with being "right" to worry about. If it gives you comfort to think that maybe you will see your dog again, go with it, no one can prove you wrong. It makes the world a kinder place.
Ultimately no one knows what happens after death. Psychology shows that we have certain beliefs because of the benefit or comfort that comes with the belief. Complete annihilation at death is a pretty stark ending for most and is difficult to accept. So believe what feels right for you . For me, I like the analogy of a drop of water returning to the ocean. That drop of water no longer has a separate existence from the ocean, so the H2O molecules disperse and mix into the trillions and trillions of water molecules of the ocean. So if there is some kind of return to life cycle, what is reincarnated has nothing retained from any previous existence. But, that's just a thought in my head and I have no attachment to it. Since I am not communicating from the "other side" then this idea has no credibility whatsoever, as does any other idea about this LOL.
I live my life not knowing a lot. And that's ok. One thing I like to think about is what happens after this life. Reincarnation has always been an interesting concept to me. And you know... I like to think that maybe I'll live another life to reconcile this one. And does that hurt anyone? Does it really matter if I believe that? No, it does not. So if you want to believe that you'll be reunited in some way, then you have the right to. And I'll support you in that!
Aside from everything said. The loss of my dog. Well, over the years, dogs. has bee sometimes been harder on me than some people I've known that have passed. I've never had a more loving, and loyal friend, than, Gretchen, Willson, and Deuce. My BFF's for life.
We can never be at the exact same starting point. The first law of thermodynamics is the conservation of matter (can never be created or destroyed) but the second is that the sum of all entropy is always increasing. The order/ organizational state of the energy (aka life) cannnot be replicated. The things that have been, can never be again, which is what makes memories so cool... we can record stuff.
I understood. I'm very sorry you lost an important member of your family. Wishing you peace and comfort. I'm afraid it would take evidence of such in order for me to believe that death is anything more than total cessation of existing consciousness without hope of rejuvenation, reincarnation, or reanimation. Grief causes us to wish otherwise, which is why the idea of an afterlife is religion's most tenacious argument.
The answer is a bit more complex than that. The conservation of energy doesn't mean that you can't be recreated after death, it just means that the mass and energy that you were made of never ceases to exist. What must be considered is entropy- the ever increasing quantity by which all things become more disorganized and chaotic over time.
If you have every molecule of air in a room in one corner, you would expect the air to rush out to fill the room, because it is more likely that air is randomly distributed throughout the room than in one corner. You could harvest energy from this motion, in fact everything that produces or consumes energy isn't really making or using anything new, it is just sitting between a potential and it's ground state in such a way that it does what we want it to do. To push something into a higher state, you must provide more energy than was harvested from the motion to make up for system losses.
However there is a catch, there is nothing in physics that prevents everything from randomly reducing itself to a high potential. For example, the molecules of air in the room could spontaneously move bask into the corner, it's just incredibly unlikely that this will happen. In fact, given enough time it is guaranteed to happen.
So to answer your question, there is nothing in known physics explicitly preventing something that has already existed to exist again.
Okay, This is reminds me of an argument I haven't heard in over 30 years. Basically the argument is between science and theology.
The physist says all things are predictable because of physics and the priest disagrees, stating the point, free will changes everything.
Here is the best way I can think of to compare it to your situation. Visualize 10 jars. In each jar place the Big Bang. According to the physist all 10 jars will produce the same results, regardless of when the Big Bang occurred in each jar. So if the Big Bang happens a million years apart in each jar, it doesn't matter. In each jar, you are there at one point with your dog. (I am genuinely sorry for your loss by the way.)
The priest says, "no". The priest is probably right because of the Butterfly Effect. The universe is predictable until intelligence evolves.
To understand the priests perspective imagine a mouse like creature sitting at the base of a mountain 80 million years ago. While most of its decisions are based on instinct, thus most of it's decisions are based on physics, there comes a point, likely many times, where it chooses the direction it takes. In this example the mouse like creature went right instead of left. That option led it into the mouth of a T Rex. Poor mouse. But good thing for you and me. Because maybe, had the mouse gone left, you and I would have tails and your dog would have never existed.
Hope this helps and you get back on the road to fighting the evils of religion. Also, as a side note, I don't believe in the Big Bang, "Theory".
I'm a big fan of transhumanism, and "curing" death with technology. Among other things, when scientist manage to inject regenerating nanites or something into patients, religion won't have anything at all to offer. That's the beautiful future I work towards
I have no faith as an agnostic atheist. I know some people that are convinced of reincarnation and the recycling of life force makes sense to me on some levels, but would have no idea how to even begin to explain it.
Personally when I lose someone I grieve the fact that I’ll never see them again, but celebrate the time that we had. Eventually I learn to mainly remember them with fondness hopefully, although sometimes tears come unexpectedly.
In an almost limitless universe, nearly anything is possible, barring extreme statistics, but when I look at the world, I see a level of brutality, the cold hard facts, evolution, a universe where the greater part of it, by vast majority is hostile to life, and I find it difficult to convince myself of anything beyond. Counter to that is the small sliver of beauty you see in the universe, the goodness you find in people, and the whole mystery of life, which so far has proven to be unravelable by our science . . . . As an agnostic, I leave that door open, but it is nothing I would ever entertain as having any great possibilities without some real, tangible, forthcoming evidence.