Is death like a persistent vegetative state

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Is death like a persistent vegetative state

Postby Killerman on September 3rd, 2017, 2:09 pm 

Since the atheistic view of death states that consciousness ends permanently at death, I've been pondering what one would experience post-death. I assumed it would be infinite blackness, but I have been told that I am wrong since there is no "you" to experience anything, therefore, there really isn't anything after death, not even nothingness.

However, after reading about the persistent vegetative state (apallic syndrome), I've noticed that the two have some distinct similarities. Though the unresponsive person is "awake", they don't experience anything and are completely unaware of their environment. Death is exactly the same, the only difference is that there is no state of being awake for the dead person as they are decomposing.

This, in a sense, adds weight to my idea about death being a permanent blackness. The reason for this is that since dead people and those in a vegetative state have no experiences due to lack of a functioning cerebrum, both states of consciousness are the exact same thing. The big difference, apart from the wake/sleep cycle for the unresponsive person, is that one still retains some involuntary movements, while the other has absolutely nothing, no breath, no movement, just a stiff corpse with no eyes, and they cannot see without eyes, so they will see nothing (a black wall, just like what we see when we close our eyes).

A good way to look at this: picture death, not as permanent cessation of consciousness, but as an alternative version of the apallic state. In this instance, the person in the vegetative state is locked in a pitch black room forever. Of course, they won't be afraid because the person isn't there, but the body is there, thus that's all there is, a permanent blackness.

What do you guys think of this idea? Is there something that I am missing?
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Re: Is death like a persistent vegetative state

Postby Braininvat on September 3rd, 2017, 2:28 pm 

If there is a complete absence of consciousness, then I see no difference, phenomenologically speaking, between a corpse, a body in PVS, and a lump of coal. "Pitch black room" is a phenomenal description that is simply not relevant to anything that is devoid of sentience. As for nothingness, it's the same situation: in the absence of a mind that can formulate the abstraction of "nothingness," there is nothing to attach a meaning to anything, even the concept of nothing. Given the central role of consciousness in any epistemological scheme, there is really no way to imagine or even remotely grasp a state of pure unconsciousness. The Zen buddhists had a famous koan which tried to give a sense of such non-being with the question, "What was your face before you were conceived?" It seems likely to me that there was no "you," in any sense, and therefore no phenomenal state in which one might sense an "infinite blackness."
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Re: Is death like a persistent vegetative state

Postby Killerman on September 3rd, 2017, 5:39 pm 

Braininvat wrote:If there is a complete absence of consciousness, then I see no difference, phenomenologically speaking, between a corpse, a body in PVS, and a lump of coal. "Pitch black room" is a phenomenal description that is simply not relevant to anything that is devoid of sentience. As for nothingness, it's the same situation: in the absence of a mind that can formulate the abstraction of "nothingness," there is nothing to attach a meaning to anything, even the concept of nothing. Given the central role of consciousness in any epistemological scheme, there is really no way to imagine or even remotely grasp a state of pure unconsciousness. The Zen buddhists had a famous koan which tried to give a sense of such non-being with the question, "What was your face before you were conceived?" It seems likely to me that there was no "you," in any sense, and therefore no phenomenal state in which one might sense an "infinite blackness."


By "formulate the abstraction of nothingness", do you mean the thoughts about the void that is presented to the dead person or are you implying that there is no void because the dead brain cannot formulate an image of a void due to the fact that it is no longer operational.
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Re: Is death like a persistent vegetative state

Postby Watson on September 3rd, 2017, 9:02 pm 

If I may, any thoughts on the subject a purely subjective, and vary over time with the thoughts and ideas others may express on the subject. So, the question is, 'Does the consciousness reside strictly in ones brain matter?' or does the mind exist beyond the physical self? Some here say we are but a file system and at death, all files are lost. I think the Universe is far to complicated for that to be the case, and something of us carries on, if not anchored by a vegetative condition. So my answer is no, it is not.
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