General Question

eatmunky's avatar

What do you believe happens when a person dies?

Asked by eatmunky (358points) October 22nd, 2008

I’ve heard countless different ideas. Do you think it’s a total ceasing of consciousness? Do you believe in some sort of afterlife, or at least the mind living past the body in some way? I just read this article and I was wondering what the wise fluther collective thought.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

37 Answers

Mizuki's avatar

When one dies, the game is over. Nada, nothing, naught….

eatmunky's avatar

@Syz: aw man I tried searching for another thread with the same question before posting this, but couldn’t find it. Thanks, I’ll read through it. Sorry for double posting!

Judi's avatar

I really don’t care what happens when I die as long as the first thing I know and see is the face of Jesus. All this rapture stuff really wont matter at that point. My opinion won’t change what ever does happen.
OK all you atheist’s, go ahead and beat me up, but just remember who stood with you on all those political issues.

Hobbes's avatar

Just so long as you’re prepared for a short middle-eastern guy, about 5’1’’ and 110 lbs, who looked something like this, not the six foot tall, white, long haired dude in all the paintings.

bodyhead's avatar

Nope Judi, this is an opinion piece. We’re all entitled to our own beliefs.

Personally when I die, my body will rot in a box. The end.

robmandu's avatar

They stop fluthering.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I end up with loads of paperwork to fill in.

scamp's avatar

It depends on the person…..

Hobbes's avatar

“Mmm. Yes. Soul number 56,740,372,546. Take a slip and sit in one of those chairs over there. You’ll have to fill out the Heaven Entry Request Form in triplicate, and if you want Haunting privileges, you’ll have to fill out the Ghost Request form as well. Include a copy of your Death Certificate and a full description of the time and manner of your death. We’re all out of halos, and our shipment of harps hasn’t come in yet, but here’s a tuba. Just sit over there and someone should be with you within the next century or so. Next!”

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Whatever the afterlife brings I hope nothing is ever mentioned about the following:

The 6th Grade shoe box incident.
The 8th Grade fake Cheerleader fiasco.
The Freshman year Mr. Syrup-Pants-Principal debacle
The Junior year Battle of Bighorn Re-enactment disaster
The freshman-in-college Bra Roundup escapade
The….oh…geez…just forget it. I’m screwed.

jca's avatar

I don’t know but the one thing i do know is that i would like to die peacefully, not a scary death, like drowning or something where i’m terrified first. i would hope to be at peace with myself and my family and loved ones when i go. i hope to “feel the love” when it’s my time.

Adina1968's avatar

I don’t have to pay anymore bills.
No taxes.
I get to float on a fluffy cloud. :-)

robmandu's avatar

Their relatives are left holding the bag.

mea05key's avatar

the people around you will be sad .. maybe not

AstroChuck's avatar

Eternal nothingness. Just remember to bring a change of underwear.

flameboi's avatar

o.k. you lose 21 grams….

jvgr's avatar

I know the body turns to dust one way or another.
Other than that, I just don’t know.

syz's avatar

I’d recommend “Stiff” by Mary Roach. She investigates what literally happens to your corpse when you die. She also wrote “Spook”, in which she investigates various theories about the afterlife. Both are very good (although I didn’t enjoy the second as much, but, hey, go figure, I’m an atheist).

windex's avatar

You lose a 1UP

tinyfaery's avatar

Knot took my answer.

I imagine it like being under general anesthesia. Just nothingness, no sense of time or place, just…oblivion.

jeanm's avatar

I’ve always had the sneaky feeling that when you die you get to become the ultimate voyeur. After all the talking and doing, now you get to watch. Anywhere and everywhere. My question is, do you also get to intercede?

Judi's avatar

That’s not far off from my vision. I just hope I live my life in such a way that we will recognize each others hearts.

suse's avatar

Nothing. We’re done. Live as good and kind a life as you can, but dont really think we go anywhere, or get reincarnated. We live, we die. Same as everything else.

AstroChuck's avatar

Stick a fork in us.
Ouch! Not yet!

krose1223's avatar

I don’t know how I feel about death in the religious aspect…
But I think there is something after death. There has to be. It is silly to think otherwise. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Our energy has to go somewhere. I think we live on someway, whether we know it or not.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, krose, that’s true in the sense that our atoms don’t disappear when we die. They’re recycled and used in other configurations and patterns. But this is true of the atoms that make us up now – many of them spent some time in the heart of a star, or as bits of a dinosaur’s lungs. But, though the atoms that make the pattern which is “us” may continue, the patter won’t, and so our consciousness won’t. I suppose you could see it as a sort of “living on”, but it’s certainly not “life after death”.

Jeruba's avatar

Decomposition begins.

toyhyena's avatar

That’s a great link, thanks for sharing that eatmunky.
As for what I believe, I feel like I’ve read/seen enough NDE accounts and checked out enough studies, theories, and philosophies to rule out a thing here or there (some would say unrelated, but that’s because most people like to understand things piece-meal style shrug) to believe our consciousness does continue, and even teasing the idea that being a human might even be just a moment of our “existance”. But anything I present will just get shrugged off or railroaded by a (well-meaning and ever ready to please) skeptic, and honestly I feel it’s something you can’t really try understanding until you’ve looked into it for yourself (it’s not instant reasoning either, or according to some people, reasoning at all. Hey, if they are satisfied with believing it’s lights out when they’ve rotted away, I won’t stop them :D)

It’s interesting to see, when you do look into it, how many people seem to underestimate what consciousness is. Not that I claim to know anything of course (I’m willing to place a $100 with anyone on it. I think it’s a funny bet, ‘cause either way you don’t lose!)

Seeker767's avatar

I don’t believe anything. And by that I use the “not holding anything as true” as the definition for the ‘believe’ by which I am using. Why believe in anything? I don’t want to believe in anything that is not true, and there are a lot of potentially untrue things that can be believed in. So I choose to not hold anything as true. By doing that, I don’t have to live in a delusion that my mind creates for me. Who knows what happens. Maybe just go ask that one guy who knows everything. I find it interesting that when people have near-death experiences, most (from what I’ve heard) tend to come back and describe the event and how it corrosponds to their beliefs. For example, Christians think they see God, Buddhists think they almost go to a next life, etc… Also, researchers have recently talked about how they have discovered how they think the subconscious actually filters out the information that our conscious minds receive. So if our subconscious minds house our belief(s), then no wonder we perceive the world according to our beliefs, and how Near-death experiences fit up exactly with what we believe in. Of course I haven’t had a near-death experience, but it would be interesting to me if I would have. My good friend – who believes that there is no God – just had a NDE in a hospital claims how he experienced nothing, and then came back to experience something. I think he said ‘it was all dark…’

Sakata's avatar

If I’m not mistaken your bowels evacuate. Could be wrong though.

Zen's avatar

As the Irish toast goes: May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil finds out.


GrumpyGram's avatar

Well, first your “soul” or invisible remnant of you goes Up on The Ceiling (or hovers in the air) and looks down at your dead body and observes the activity surrounding the death. You then become aware you’re feeling no more pain. Then at some point you find yourself in a tunnel with a light at the end. By the time you get to the light you see people you knew who had died previously. You have a joy at that time that’s impossible to describe in human terms. After that…I don’t know. But I promise to keep you Posted!
do not question your elders, children! Gram knows of what she speaks.

Berserker's avatar

Worm food.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

You cease to exist. You do not “go” anywhere like hell.

mitochondrian's avatar

It is evident enough that when I die my body will decompose, but that isn’t exactly what’s being questioned here, as far as I can tell. “What happens to our conscious awareness when we die?” I think that is the heart of your question. I think that depends on what our conscious awareness is composed of.
If it is a physical thing then it will decompose with the rest of the body. I know that scenario sounds strange, but is logical. If our conscious awareness is made out of pure energy, then it will likely be absorbed back into the earth similar to how a light ray from the sun is absorbed into the ocean and creates some heat in the ocean. This is an example of heat absorption, in nature.
In short, our bodies are bound to the earth and will decompose, which is natural and expected. It is a logical idea, in my mind, that the conscious awareness is most likely subject to a natural process, such as heat absorption.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther