Social Question

Christian95's avatar

What happens with the energy in you after you die?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) November 1st, 2009

The first law of thermodynamics says that energy can only be transformed it can’t be destroyed or created.So what happens with your inner energy after you die?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

jackm's avatar

It gets radiated as heat into the environment.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

gets eaten. not a nice idea but that’s what happens eventually.

Tink's avatar

Global warming.

ragingloli's avatar

it is the same what happens while you live plus some more.
Irradiated as heat into the environment, and being consumed by other organisms.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Energy flows through an ecosystem. When you die all of that energy (most, if not all in the chemical form) is consumed by other organisms. The thing about energy transfers is that they’re extremely inefficient, and so most is lost as heat anyway through respiration. A small bit would end up as chemical energy within other organisms.

Ahh.. The Circle of Life.. Where’s Elton John when you need him?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

It is exactly the same as when you are alive – the difference is that you are unable to eat or metabolise, so your energy stores are not replenished. Your body heat radiates into the environment, your stored energy decomposes along with your matter, and your energy of movement (if you are moving at the time of death) dissipates into sound and heat due to friction and pressure gradients.

drdoombot's avatar

It becomes part of God/Time/The Universe once again.

rooeytoo's avatar

Dan Brown tells you in Angels and Demons, you will have to read the book to find out.

Grisaille's avatar

You were born from starstuff, and to it you will return.

Your death is irrelevant on the cosmic scale.

faye's avatar

i believe the “spark” that is me is taken to another place to review my life, regret a bunch of the things i did, and find a family or situation to be born into where i can learn more on my journey or, perhaps, teach.

Samurai's avatar

You will become a tree, an apple tree.

shego's avatar

My opinion is that it is used to reincarnate you, back to the human world, or to the animal world.

judochop's avatar

It all automatically flies to a secret building where monsters convert it into nightmares and miracles.

Cartman's avatar

Is there an energy tax levied on your estate? Or is taken out of your 401K?

Alek2407's avatar

well most of it is in your ass fat even right now, its stored as lipids and fatty molecules, thatll get eaten by decomposers. Now some of it is traveling as ATP molecules through your cells, these molecules will disintegrate after a while (releasing some thermal energy) and will also be eaten. Everything else is just heat and will radiate away as your body goes cold.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@faye Is this what you believe because of a credible source, or is that just what you like to think might happen?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Where do you think worms get their energy from?

Damn energy stealing, grave-robbing worms!

Mat74UK's avatar

If you are cremated it is dissipated in heat and light form and if you are buried it is absorbed back into the earth giving back to the earth what you have taken.

HGl3ee's avatar

It returns to the Universal Energy and is used and reused in anything and everything.

LostInParadise's avatar

Some energy is recycled. Decomposers return some of it to the food web. The third law of thermodynamics says that although energy remains, entropy increases, making the energy less concentrated and more difficult to make use of. At each stage some of the energy is radiated as heat and is less usable.

Grisaille's avatar

Also; there is no energy in you. You are energy.

Bluefreedom's avatar

It gets absorbed by my spouse and then she distributes it to others as she sees fit. It’s part of our pre-nuptial agreement.

LeopardGecko's avatar

It is left for the decomposers to take.

engineeristerminatorisWOLV's avatar

Major portion of it gets liberated.That’s why bodies get cold after the death process.

LibbThims's avatar

I just happen to make a 55-min video, entitled Rip for Dummies, found on YouTube, and the answer is technically complicated. There are at least three points of view to follow in this mode of logic. The simplest of which is that you must view yourself as a larger molecule, which is what you are, synthesized in one location, flung through life like a particle in a particle accelerator, to eventually become annihilated via collision (or resistance) and thus stop reacting permanently, in another location.

This momentum of you and your reactionary internal energy is quantified by the movement of your thermodynamic system, delineated by your thermodynamic boundary or 90 percent probability region of average yearly movement, within which is found your system’s internal energy, described in 1865 as the sum or your vis viva (or living force) plus your ergal (or work energy potential), which is conserved according to the first law of thermodynamics, at the point of termination or annihilation, albeit conserved in such a way that a transformation ensues, whereby the body, composed of 26 elements, recycles, but where the chemical bond energy of attachments to existing relationships, becoming residual at the termination point, remains in trajectory, becoming what psychologists call “continuing bonds”, that the bereaved hold on to, as time progresses, which thus transform them, constructively or destructively (depending on the moral value or virtuousness of that terminated bond energy), as they continue to react. This, however, is better explained using equations. See video.

mhunne's avatar

if the mind is at least part of our enrgy, then he/she meets their maker. Recent studies have shown that the mind is not reducible to brain activity. The mind would be the essence of who we are. A prior guestion has not been addressed: what is your starting point in answering the above question? do you start from yourself(speculation) or do you start with the infinte personal God who is really there and has not remained silent(revelation) speculation vs revelation. the former presupposition leads logically to a horror of the nihil-expressed by j morrison in the The End. The latter to leds to a basis for human dignity,purpose,ethics and continuity of personal existence after death. natural laws like thermodynamics were created by a reasonable God who created us so that by our reason we might discover them.that is why oppenheimer and an whitehead(neither christians) said that modern science had to have its origin in a christian milleau

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mhunne “Recent studies have shown that the mind is not reducible to brain activity.”

Can you please state your sources? I know of no such study, or in fact any evidence supporting a dualistic interpretation of the mind.

mhunne's avatar

phyisicist and atheist steve weinberg said scientists may have to ‘bypass the problem of human consciousness altogether because it may be just too hard for us.’ quoted by larry witham in ‘by design’ in other words, it is not giving them the answers they need or want. please see jp moreland’the evidence of consciousness’ in lee strobel’s ‘the case for a creator’.we are more than just the sum total of a physical brain and body parts. i AM a soul, and i have a body.philosopher robert augros and physicist george stanciu explored this mind/body issue deeply and concluded’“physcics, neuroscience,and humanistic psychology all converge on the same principle:mind is not redicible to matter…the vain expectation that matter might someday account for mind, is like the alchemists dream of producing gold from lead.’” at end of morelands chapter is a list of seven authors or books to follow this up from my perspective.hope that gives more substance. you mention dualistic inter. but remember to avoid the reductioinistic fallacy.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@mhunne Thanks for the information. However I would be hesitant to take a physicists’ word on consciousness, as opposed to neuroscientists, philosophers, AI researchers and psychologists who largely work on a physicalist theory of the mind. I would also be reluctant to accept the work of pastors on consciousness, since they start out with preconceived ideas.

mhunne's avatar

Thank you for response. i gently but firmly ask:did you read it,....carefully? you did not meaningfully interact w/ any content-other than to question physicsit role in debate,when he is paired w. philosopher.please don’t be so dismissive. you contradict yourself in same sentence by saying ‘all’ and ‘largely’.as for pastors,i am one and you show dismissive tendencies again.Epistemologically, we ALL have presuppositions-or preconcieved ideas,as you put it,although for most people they are unconscious. The question is:with physicalist presupposition, how can you account for the existence of consciousness?If the world is only physical in nature,then consciouness or mind is rising above its source.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

No, I have not read the links. The above post was a formative comment for you to think about until I got around to reading them and responding properly. I never contradicted myself either. The word ‘all’ is not in my post – it is AI, which is short for Artificial Intelligence. I never inappropriately use capitals in the middle of a sentence.

“With physicalist presupposition, how can you account for the existence of consciousness?”
Consciousness is a physical phenomenon. There is a particular species of sea squid that is born with a brain, and uses it to find a permanent place to live. When it has found a place, it attaches itself to a rock or other object, and proceeds to dissolve its brain. Other simple animals have nerve fibres that allow for simple reflexes. More complex creatures use brains to direct them to good hunting sites, and to avoid heat/cold. Humans have a myriad of these simple networks, have found additional uses for them, and have made minor modifications to them. Consciousness is the net result of the networks that exist in lower order animals coexisting. This can be demonstrated with people who suffer from OCD. You and I are able to choose (in a manner of speaking) how we arrange things, but these people feel a compulsion to do things a particular way. It is not under their conscious control.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to those sources at the moment, and am far to busy to buy and read them cover to cover. Do you have some links I could look at instead?

mhunne's avatar

The Argument from Consciousness
Moreland is a philosopher conversant with data. Hope you find it useful.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Thanks for the link, but I find it decidedly underwhelming. It seems as if he just threw up his hands and said “naturalism can’t explain it, so only God can.”

The problem is, he didn’t properly explore naturalistic explanations. For example:
’ “How can mere matter originate consciousness? How did evolution convert the water of biological tissue into the wine of consciousness? Consciousness seems like a radical novelty in the universe, not prefigured by the after-effects of the Big Bang; so how did it contrive to spring into being from what preceded it?” ’
He asks, via this quote, how consciousness can be explained by physical means, but doesn’t wait for the answers!

He then goes on to say:
“If we limit our options to theism and naturalism, it is hard to see how finite consciousness could result from the rearrangement of brute matter; it is easier to see how a Conscious Being could produce finite consciousness since, according to theism, the Basic Being is Himself conscious. Thus, the theist has no need to explain how consciousness can come from materials bereft of it.”
Just because something is hard to see does not mean it is not there to be seen, and just because something is easy to see does not mean it is correct. Some of the most successful scientific theories and observations are counter-intuitive, so the bias of the individual being able to accept one hypothesis over the other more easily is totally irrelevant.

I think the biggest problem here is that the author assumes an organism is either conscious or not. However different animals show different levels of awareness, and hence consciousness. For example, a chimpanzee is capable of self-awareness and simple critique of their actions to aid learning. Many animals can solve simple problems, such as which lever to press to get food from a chute. In my work with the disabled, it is readily obvious that some are more conscious and self-aware than others. Consciousness is not a state that you either have or you don’t.

I also find his five points of why mental states cannot be physical misleading.
(a) there is a raw qualitative feel or a “what it is like” to have a mental state such as a pain;
There is a raw qualitative feel, or a “what it is like” to use a Windows based or an Apple based computer. The qualitative feel of a system is a human approximation used to handle large amounts of data, but on the simplest level it is still a physical process. A computer program is encoded in binary data, and consciousness is encoded in neuron discharges. A qualitative feel tells us nothing about the fundamentals that compose the phenomenon in question.
(b) at least many mental states have intentionality—ofness [not sure what that was meant to say] or aboutness–directed towards an object;
Humans have always attributed intention to physical processes. Thunder used to be thought of as angry gods before we discovered the physical process behind it.
(c) mental states are inner, private and immediate to the subject having them;
How does this imply a non-physical interpretation? If you sprain your ankle no one else feels the pain, but no one argues that the tendon and the nerve endings are non-physical entities. Besides, fMRI and rtfMRI scans are able to tell researchers low level thoughts of patients. Researchers can tell which of a series of images a person is looking at purely from the physical response in the brain and the emotions we know are associated with those responses.
(d) they require a subjective ontology—namely, mental states are necessarily owned by the first person sentient subjects who have them;
Back to the computer example. If I run a program, my computer is necessarily the one on which the program runs, but that by no means implies that the program is running anywhere but on the hardware.
(e) mental states fail to have crucial features (e.g., spatial extension, location) that characterize physical states and, in general, cannot be described using physical language.
This point is demonstrably false. Mental states such as love, anger, phobias, moral reasoning, and even analysis of other peoples’ thoughts have been localised to specific brain regions, and as such can be described as either how it feels to the subject or how it appears to the researcher. A phobia can be seen as either a strong aversion to object X, or as a strong activation of the amygdala when the visual cortex identifies object X.

A lack of complete physical explanations does not mean that physical explanations cannot exist, and it is no reason to appeal to the supernatural to fill in the gaps in our understanding. Thanks for the link all the same.

Moegitto's avatar

You need to watch south park. When you die, your body relaxes, and all your crud pretty much slides out. Your body itself becomes what it is right now, just more of an easy target to predators, including parasites. Then the decomposition begins,and you literally feed the bugs. Sorry to say it in a crud way, but I haven’t finished college yet, so i have to talk in sophomore language.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Moegitto Please tell me your knowledge of natural processes doesn’t come from cartoons..

Moegitto's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh: It comes from drifting in and out while in class, hearing important things while missing the words that lead to it. I have a horrible attention span…

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Moegitto I understand. One of the things I love about tertiary education is that I can skip half my classes, learn the information I need from textbooks and databases at my own pace, and not be penalised. Maybe you should try to learn things from other sources – classes only address one learning style for one type of student.

Victor75's avatar

In quantum physics; the theory is that a human body is made up atoms, that those atoms that make up the human body possess the ability to exist in more then one place simultaneously, such as into parallel universes. My theory is that after death we move closer to the next verse never dieing but evolving.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther