"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy." David Brooks, The Necessity of Atheism.I'm 36 next week and that feels old to me. Thirty-five was the middle of life from the perspective of the Bible's 'three score and ten', and now I'm feeling wrinkly. No grey hairs yet, but I've got frown lines and laugh lines on my face. I like Robbie William's lyric, "I don't wanna die, but I ain't keen on living either". I'm not sure I could take a whole lot more of this planet, fun as it is, I like it in 70 year spurts rather than eternal harp playing sessions. I'm not scared of death... I wouldn't mind another go at life though. Maybe if I get born again, again. Reincarnate again?
Reincarnation is a fun idea, but it's just so whacked on so many levels. There are a lot more souls on the planet now than there were a few thousand years ago. There's probably a reason they have to explain this though. Sigh, I'm fairly sure if it were true then I'm coming back as a cane toad, or was a cane toad. I read that before the Christian concept of Heaven and Hell developed there evolved a belief in "transmigration", the idea that after death the spirit would return in another body. It's just another way of 'hoping' we'll escape into a new life when this body wears out in our desperate desire to keep on living.
Christopher Hitchens: "what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence".There's some research that suggests that memories, along with personality traits and various behaviours are passed along in our DNA to our offspring, so it wouldn't surprise me if some dreams I have are actually ghost remnants from my father or his father etc. Perhaps that's why the sins of the father are passed on. These studies have also suggested that memories are not only stored in the brain, but are seeded in our genes. I've read some of the latest brain research presented by John Joseph. Stored consciousness... interesting.
What is a soul? I would have thought that life was just the response to stimuli as our brains developed in the womb and that personality was just a mixture of gene passing and environmental conditioning. When we take our last breath, the neutrons stop firing in much the same way a computer stops storing data on its ROM at shutdown. I wouldn't have thought consciousness to be a form of energy, so I wouldn't have been surprised at the idea of it simply stopping - I think that is the brain and mind. Soul and spirit on the other hand... I have to think in terms of... i dunno, it'd have to exist outside of physics and biology. I'm not entirely sure that anything does.