Eternal Consciousness and Eternal Unconsiousness

Throughout my few years of existence, I've pondered about which is worse: eternal unconsciousness or eternal consciousness. A Christian (or any other person that believes in an eternal afterlife) would say that eternal unconsciousness (what most atheists have accepted) is far, far worse.

But is it really?

Consider this- imagine existing for an eternity. Eventually, you would have experienced and/or thought about everything possible, and impossible. Eventually, it would become very monotonous, perhaps even torturous. You might even want to kill yourself. But you can't! In this strange universe you are trapped in, death does not exist. You exist eternally tormented by the impossibility of death.

In the "eternal unconsiousness" boat, it's ZAP, you're born, then ZAP, it's over.

The thought of either of them, to me, at least, are bone chilling. Both of them are just as bad, so I chose to board the more logical "eternal unconsciousness" boat, AKA atheism, rather than the goofier "eternal consciousness" boat, AKA theism.

Sorry for opening the valve on my mind all the way on the first post, I had to let it out.

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Comment by CJoe on July 31, 2009 at 6:40pm
I'm not MISSING anything, Jeremy. All I'm saying is that perhaps everyone's imagination is a bit limited. Let's not get too literal here, as it is ALL hypothetical to begin with. I realize I can't fathom eternity, but what everyone else is "missing" is that they could witness (in their immortality) planets being populated with creatures likely very different from what we're accustomed to. In an article I recently read, if the Pikia (the first known vertebrae, whom they originally misdiagnosed as a worm) hadn't survived, there would be NO vertebra whatsoever (which includes fish, sharks, primates, etc etc etc) and life would look totally different than it happens to now. Would not the variations be interesting to witness? It has taken BILLIONS of years for us to have evolved into what we are now; would it not be fascinating to watch the drama unfold?

This isn't an argument.
Comment by Reggie on August 1, 2009 at 12:26pm
This isn't an argument.

I disagree! ;)

If I could switch between human time perception and the geological time perception you speak of, I would definitely be interested. I guess I wouldn't want to live that long if I experience time the way I do now. But since this is purely speculative fun, I think I might change my answer about living millions of years or even billions if I could adapt to those large time scales.
Comment by Jeremy Roney on August 2, 2009 at 5:55am
I suppose I might be able to agree with Reggie, but even then such an existence would only be favorable in my opinion if one could choose to end that existence. Even a geological time scale is infinitely smaller than eternity, so even a being adjusted to such a time scale would conceivably eventually experience the same effects a normal human mind would.

The only way I can see around this problem is if you somehow adjust to an infinite timescale, which would seem to require either no sense of time whatsoever (which kinda seems to take the point out of being immortal), or infinite patience when it comes to seeing the same infinite number of things happen an infinite number of times. The latter may be possible, but certianly not for any human mind.


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