I have a single, simple question for you. It may at first seem frivolous, but I assure you that I am dead serious and consider its implications profound and its answers revelatory of the Christian mindset.
If I believed in a compassionate, all-powerful God who answers prayers, I would pray every day for Him to eradicate all human disease.
My question is predicated on the a priori assumption that you do not do this.
My only question for you is: WHY NOT?
There is a difference between a flat EEG and the irreversible necrosis of the neurons, And yes you are right about cold water drowning, the low temperatures prevent the cells from dying, it is the same principle that applies to cryogenics. And in this state there is no brain activity, none, their EEG's are flat but the neurons can be coaxed back to life with a flow of oxygenated blood. The skin tone is not related to brain functions, any brain stem activity would be given away by a gag reflex, or pupil contraction as a response to light. The reviving of the patient follows the same principle in both the cold water drowning and cardiac arrest patient, it's just that the cold water patients can be revived far later, when normal cardiac arrest patients brain would be damaged beyond repair.
I'm impressed. This is the first I've heard anyone mention the work of Roger Penrose. I find it odd however, that you would not put much stock in it. I think it is the last best hope for a medical explanation of human consciousness that might be independent of the scientific method.
Penrose's work is not well understood by the lay public. But basically, there is a fundamental difference between what Penrose is talking about and the "usual" Quantum Mechanical behaviors observed in nature. Penrose is talking about what is called "Objective State Vector Reduction" which is an extraordinarily rare occurrence in the universe. It is the only process in nature that is truly non-deterministic and non-algorithmic. This means that it is inaccessible to the scientific method. This is precisely the kind of candidate one needs to speak of the "supernatural"; by definition.
If I were an apologist I would have latched onto this a long time ago but I've yet to see anyone pick it up. Despite how rare it is, it happens literally thousands or millions of times per second in layer 5 of the cerebral cortex of the human brain in what are called large pyramidal or "Betz" cells. This should be a red flag for further research. But no one seems to quite understand the significance of this.
As for being brain dead, I don't think that data will tell you anything. The Quantum Coherence that occurs in the water within microtubules "reduces" to a classical state whether the brain is alive or dead. Shifts in the density and location of water inside the microtubule as a result causes the microtubule to change shape. Changes in the shape of the microtubules cause changes in the growth of the cytoskeleton, which in turn shapes the direction of axonal and dendritic growth. This also occurs even after brain death.
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the location at which dendrites synapse with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons. This is ultiamately influenced by objective state vector reduction, which is a process inaccessible to the scientific method (one cannot predict the outcome of that system with a given, initial set of conditions). There is your "god".
btw, I think Penrose is also right in saying that "artifical intelligence" and other such schemes at mimicking human intelligence will fail because human consciousness is a fudamentally different animal. The human brain is not a computer and any computer that can "think" will be something of a kind and type we would not today call a computer. Penrose made this argument quite well also. The mystery of human consciousness is an extremely challenging one and not one that's going to be solved by software engineers.
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the location at which dendrites synapse with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons.
Should have read:
This is significant because the probability of a neuron firing depends partly on something called spatial and temporal summation; the relative time at which dendrites synapse (and fire) with neighboring neurons and the spatial distribution of those synapses on those neurons.
Oh, and, no offense to software engineers. Its no issue of brains, its an issue of specialty.
We now have the technology and scientific knowledge to begin exploring the ultimate question,” says Dr Sam Parnia,
I admire his confidence in science.
But I seriously doubt it.
If anything we are awash in hubris. We are a LONG, LONG way from understanding human consciousness, imo. I think we'll have viable fusion reactors before we have a complete understanding of human consciousness. In fact, I'd argue that the question of human consciousness is going to vex the scientific method and community more thoroughly and ruthlessly than anything we've ever encountered, in my little heterodox, wicked little opinion. ;-)
Finally, whew! that link you provided is awful. The author doesn't understand anything he's talking about, despite his great effort. What Roger Penrose was saying was what the eternal optimist of a scientist would say when faced with what he discovered:
Well, gee, the scientific method flat out fails completely to explain human consciousness, we already know that, its the only thing we know cannot be explained by the scientific method, so, maybe, quantum mechanics is just wrong and we'll figure it all out later.
Wrong. What objective state vector reduction tells us is that the laws of nature itself bar any investigation into this. Sorry, but its a fact. I'm a deconverter, why do you think I avoid this topic? ;-)
The lunacy of prayer can be illustrated quite well in the Middle East where you have differing religious factions praying fervently to Allah and Yahweh to smite their enemy: Jews and Palestinians, Sunnis and Shiites, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. On and on. Or the Tim Timbo's praying to their god for favoritism in a phreaking football game. Or winning a lottery. Rarely is there time to beseech their god for healing of the disease stricken or starving masses around the globe. And why should prayer even be necessary in the first place? If a being capable of creating the universe is aware of the trials, tribulations, and misfortunes of needy human beings on planet Earth why would you need to bring it to the god's attention. Is this some sort of sick game he/she/it plays with humans. Beg and I might, just might, answer your pleadings. It's ridiculous and preposterous.
If prayer actually worked I believe there would be a lot more callouses on the knees of theists.
well. i have prayed when i was a christian for god to heal the world and all that. nothing happened. so i stopped. (it was only years later i deconverted)
"well. i have prayed when i was a christian for god to heal the world and all that. nothing happened. so i stopped."
He sent His son, that sounds like an adequate answer to your prayer.
If you believe that this is all there is, then I can see how that wouldn't seem like it did anything, but if you hold reconciliation higher than life or health, then Christ's coming is an extravagant answer to the prayer for the world to be healed.
Should a man gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Would you value a limb over a relationship?
"He sent His son, that sounds like an adequate answer to your prayer.
If you believe that this is all there is, then I can see how that wouldn't seem like it did anything, but if you hold reconciliation higher than life or health, then Christ's coming is an extravagant answer to the prayer for the world to be healed. "
I was not always athiest you know. i used to be pentecostal dude. i have believed some of the same bull you do now. at the time i didnt believe that this is all there is. i believed in life after death. i believed that god would answer my prayers. i prayed. i had faith. i loved god. nothing happened.
your on an athiest website. im just saying. your just asking for it. why did you sign up to an athiest website? there are plenty of christian websites for yall out there?