Since this is something that has been on my find for awhile, I wanted to get the thought-ball rolling. I have a couple of theories, but I want to see what other people think. Also, this is going to be a crazy in-depth description of "reincarnation" and why I think it's possible for the most part (so please bear with me).
So basic biology here: Humans are made of tissues (skin, muscle, bone etc) which are made up of cells (skin cells, hair cells, blood cells etc) which are made up of molecules (lipids, amino acids, proteins etc) which are also made up of even smaller particles known as atoms (electrons, protons, neutrons) which are also made up of even much smaller particles known as subatomic particles (quarks and it get’s even smaller in theory.) So this is the order you need to keep in mind. From largest to smallest.
The smallest known particles (atoms) are floating around in clouds of energy. They are never really touching one another. So apply this same principle to the larger scale. One would assume that since nothing’s really touching anything you could simply walk through a wall, but we know that’s impossible. There’s a barrier that separates all things from intersecting one another and turning into one hot mess of atoms. There’s barriers all around us at all times. It’s what keeps the atoms that make up the cells of our arms from colliding and merging with the atoms that make up the structure of the wall. Other wise we’d all just be transient beings, never being able to bind together. Think of a cloud of smoke that just wisps away and never stays in that big mass it once was. It dissipates into nothingness.
So what keeps us together? What prevents those from attracting and merging with some other atom? Sometimes nothing. The term free radical, refers to a lost particle that lost it’s connection with another particle and now it’s wandering about trying to find something to attract to. However, when it does find something to attract to, it often pushes something else out of the way.
This free radical causes a chain-reaction of breakdowns (basically chaos: the unbalance to balance, the disorder to order). This entropy (equalization/breakdown) doesn’t necessarily mean the destruction, but rather the rebuilding of something else, we'll say balance. That free radical is just going to keep going around bumping things out of order until it starts to form something else.
The first law of conservation of energy is that energy cannot be create or destroyed, but rather transformed. So when a person dies, what is really happening? Since our bodies are made of energy (see very first thing I explained) something has to come along (say a free-radical) that has to bounce everything out of order, in order to create something new. The energy itself is not destroyed but rather reformed. As a person dies, we see a deterioration of body tissues, wrinkly skin, loss of bodily function etc etc. Until we see a person die. But what is death? Does it involve a soul? What is a soul? Where will all those subatomic free-radical particles end up?
Look at all the little pictures to make one big picture. All the atoms that make up the molecules, that make up cells, that make up tissues, that make up a person. This large scale being is being de-constructed back into it’s small-scale parts. Everything is there, that was there before, but what happens to all those atoms?
So I pose the question: is it possible that reincarnation is actually the process of one person's (or objects) sub-atomic particles binding together to form another "physical" object and that we are all made from the same energy?
[Note: If you see an incorrect statement, or something inaccurate, please tell me! Apologizing now if I rambled. I'd like to hear what other Atheists have to say about this topic...]
Personal opinion here....
You shouldn't have bracketed the (ok period!). It should need no explaining in the modern world.
Can I assume you are from UK like myself?
End personal opinion...
I totally agree with you on this. Nice end to the post. Makes you think a bit...LOL
You've confused the process of aging with the process of entropy. Biological life forms do not, for the most part, die of entropy. The process that, to the untrained observer, may look much like entropy, termed 'dying of old age', is in fact operating at a super-atomic level, the level of DNA and cells. It's something called programmed cell death, a process which, like embryological development and puberty, seems to be rooted in our very DNA. The rate at which our bodies are decaying entropically is miniscule compared to the rate at which our cellular reproduction process becomes corrupted.
That was just the most glaring misunderstanding in your theory. On a more fundamental level, there is no reason to believe in any such thing as an immaterial soul, a 'ghost in the machine', or any other such socio-cognitive illusion. Read up on the research done by Michael Gazzaniga on split brain patients for some case studies that will shatter your illusions about the separation between mind and body. Read up on twin studies to disabuse yourself of the notion that we are completely independant of our biological makeup. And, of course, read up on your Four Horsemen of Atheism literature to dispell any other unfounded beliefs that may be lingering in your mind.
"Believe" me. I will be reading those books!
I don't get it. Where is the reincarnation?
Let's start with this: Reincarnation as typically understood is where, after death, the soul returns into another body. Where is the soul in your little theory?
Cloning might offer a form of reincarnation, but you'd have to clone the person into the exact form they were in when they died. Oh...but they died of cancer, so they will have cancer. Even if they died in an accident and got the exact same neural pathways, so they have the original person's personal history, memories, etc., there's no guarantee that the original person is "reborn" in any way. In other words, if you clone the consciousness, it probably isn't the old consciousness. The new body won't wake up and say, "I made it!" and even if they did, is a cloned consciousness which is the same as the original consciousness also the original consciousness?
I doubt it.
Haha. The soul would be the conscious/subconscious mind.
You're right, the clone would not wake up "aware" of his return, or existence. And if I may, what about birth? Do you think this clone would behave in similar fashion to that of a new born baby? And if that is case, maybe over a period of time the clone will eventually become aware of their existence. So by transferring parts of the original body and mind to the clone, one would be a part of reincarnation.
You could give the clone all the memories of the original, but the real question is would it be the same consciousness or a brand new one with false memories?
This is essentially the "Beam me up, Scotty" problem from Star Trek, where people are transported instantaneously across space by making exact copies of them at the destination based on a reading of the atoms of the persons at the starting point.
At least that's my understanding of how "beaming" works.
In case I wasn't clear, an exact copy would have the same neural circuitry, so it would have all the memories of the original. It would (falsely) think it had that being's past, and it would essentially continue on from that point. Of course, if this process were known by the being's friends and relatives that would inject an unknown into the situation. They might think "This is the same old Fred," but can one simply recreate a consciousness? And suppose you create the clone not in series, as it were, but in parallel, so that there are now two Freds? Can the same consciousness exist in two places? I think most of us would see that the clone's consciousness is a bogus copy, and I think that reveals the truth about the in series situation.
I appreciate the info! I wasn't completely sure about the process of cloning, but what you are saying makes sense.
In a parallel sense I think you might be on to something. Maybe it is possible to have a consciousness in two places at once, but the distance in between would seem infinite since it would be impossible for them to ever meet.
Being in two places at the same time (in the laundry room, climbing Mt. Everest) would be very confusing. I think the two consciousnesses would have to be discrete since they would be leading two different lives.
This is starting to sound like Back To The Future - haha
My eyebrow hurts from the raised position it was forced in while reading that dude. Fail.
well i believe that when you die your energy has to go somewhere because energy that started on earth stays on earth. But I myself do not know if reincarnation is possible