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Author Topic: One answered question before you died  (Read 30669 times)
Deozaan
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« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2008, 02:59:02 AM »

I had decided to ignore this thread because the idea behind it doesn't really go along with my personal beliefs. I also do not like how some people are trying to answer the questions. I think that the nature of the questions this topic is really about are questions that cannot be adequately explained by other people. Otherwise, why save them for your deathbed before asking?

My intent is not to make this into a religious thread, but I feel to answer the question requires a little background information about one's beliefs of what happens after death. After all, what's the point of having a questioned answered just prior to death if you believe death is the end? Or if you believe you'll be reincarnated with no memory of your previous lives? So I think the question is largely religious in nature. Without trying to impose my beliefs on others, here is a tiny, non-denominational, summary of my beliefs that will help you understand my answer better:

I believe that some questions will be answered in this life, but all questions will be answered in the next life. So, in my opinion, there's not really any point in asking "the greatest and most important question" to get an answer only seconds before dying, because I believe I'll have it answered relatively soon after dying.

Also, to reiterate: The question(s) I feel this thread is talking about are of such an importance that I don't think anybody would be qualified in answering them except God.

I also agree with App in regard to the following statements:

As I look over the list of everyone's questions, I am left wondering if I am the only one here whose biggest unanswered questions are of a more personal nature?

For whatever reason, the questions others want the answers to, don't seem to matter that much to me.

[. . .]

(I can not clarify what I mean by that on a public forum. It would be way too personal)

That is to say: The question posed in this thread is very serious and to me it seems like the intent was to get some profound insight into the most important, burning questions people are really wondering about. After all, isn't the deathbed the place we typically see past all the meaningless day-to-day fluff and consider what's truly important? I understand the humor in this thread, and it's all well and good, but it seems out of place considering the sober nature of the question.

So, on to my response. I am a person who believes that everything happens for a good reason. Throughout my life I have been able to reflect on my experiences and see that even if they were difficult and challenging, they served a purpose in teaching me and helping me become a better person. But I have had a deeply personal and complicated experience that I cannot explain because its significance would be lost and not understood by others. It happened several years ago and I still cannot figure out why it happened or what purpose it served.

Keeping in mind my personal opinion that all questions will eventually be (satisfactorily) answered and explained, I suppose the question I am most looking forward to having answered is: "What was I supposed to learn from that experience?"

Specifically, how was that experience supposed to help me become a better person? In what ways would it cause me to change and grow personally? What purpose did it serve to benefit me or to allow me to benefit others?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 03:13:48 AM by Deozaan » Logged

mahesh2k
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« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2008, 05:13:57 AM »

What is the most mysterious question of our universe ?

Why did SHE do that?



Isn't it obvious? It's only a mystery if you have testosterone (it clouds the judgement!)


ROFL...  cheesy Good One Carol  Thmbsup
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2008, 05:41:26 AM »

Quote
I suppose the question I am most looking forward to having answered is: "What was I supposed to learn from that experience?"
Specifically, how was that experience supposed to help me become a better person? In what ways would it cause me to change and grow personally? What purpose did it serve to benefit me or to allow me to benefit others?

I would love to answer your questions deo smiley,but after reading whole reply I think topic is getting serious here undecided  ( *** undecided to reply or not ***  Sad  ) 
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Veign
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« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2008, 08:15:48 AM »

I had decided to ignore this thread because the idea behind it doesn't really go along with my personal beliefs. I also do not like how some people are trying to answer the questions. I think that the nature of the questions this topic is really about are questions that cannot be adequately explained by other people. Otherwise, why save them for your deathbed before asking?

Way over thinking my point of this thread.  I only posted this because there are questions that most likely won't be answered in a person's lifetime - just not enough time to figure it out.  Therefore what would you like answered before you die simply means what questions would you like answered that probably won't be answered before you die.

I'm actually quite shocked at how some members turn an innocent questions into a question about god.

(maybe a moderator should lock this topic as its not anything like what I thought as has strayed into non-DC discussions - I just wanted simple, non-joking, questions which gives insight into what members are most curious about.  Deathbed had no profound meaning except to give each person a timeframe at which existing questions may or may not be answered.)...
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Darwin
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« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2008, 08:50:18 AM »

I'm actually quite shocked at how some members turn an innocent questions into a question about god.

No offense, Chris, but I think you're a bit naive - the nature of the question makes the topic having taken a religious turn inevitable.
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Veign
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« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2008, 08:56:36 AM »

How?  The asked question was only to post a question, not try and answer it.

(also , no offense taken)
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2008, 09:07:52 AM »

Come on, Veign  Sad

we enjoyed answeres as well the depth of some serious questions, i think we have both mixture of seriousness & humour here,  thumbs up

So it shouldn't be locked or ignored by members, i think we're taking things way too serious here, as this topic is having so many personal questions or so people here are started to relate with personal life so it looks off-topic as you think(i agree with u on that one)...

Ok enough of seriousness ask some questions now guys
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Veign
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« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2008, 09:11:51 AM »

moving on...
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mouser
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« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2008, 09:29:34 AM »

This was a fun thread i thought.. people who believe in god are bound to have a different take on it than those of us who don't -- as long as no one tries to tell the others what questions to ask (or what answer we would be likely to get) i don't see the harm.
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Darwin
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« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2008, 11:23:31 AM »

How?  The asked question was only to post a question, not try and answer it.

Ah... OK, good point. I managed to miss that one in my first reading of your post  embarassed
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zridling
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« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2008, 01:24:43 PM »

Quote
[zaine]: What are the winning lotto numbers for 2009?
[jgpaiva]: I fail to understand what use would those number be to you.. Or are you assuming riencarnation? Still, how'd you be speaking the winning lotto numbers after 1 year of life?

Dude, I'd forward them to mouser to fund more coders!
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40hz
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« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2008, 06:54:46 PM »

I'm actually quite shocked at how some members turn an innocent questions into a question about god.

No offense, Chris, but I think you're a bit naive - the nature of the question makes the topic having taken a religious turn inevitable.

Interesting...

Because from my perspective, the nature of the question makes the topic having taken a humorous turn inevitable.


After all, what's the point of having a questioned answered just prior to death if you believe death is the end? Or if you believe you'll be reincarnated with no memory of your previous lives? So I think the question is largely religious in nature. Without trying to impose my beliefs on others, here is a tiny, non-denominational, summary of my beliefs that will help you understand my answer better:

I believe that some questions will be answered in this life, but all questions will be answered in the next life. So, in my opinion, there's not really any point in asking "the greatest and most important question" to get an answer only seconds before dying, because I believe I'll have it answered relatively soon after dying.

Also, to reiterate: The question(s) I feel this thread is talking about are of such an importance that I don't think anybody would be qualified in answering them except God.

I also agree with App in regard to the following statements:

As I look over the list of everyone's questions, I am left wondering if I am the only one here whose biggest unanswered questions are of a more personal nature?

For whatever reason, the questions others want the answers to, don't seem to matter that much to me.

[. . .]

(I can not clarify what I mean by that on a public forum. It would be way too personal)

That is to say: The question posed in this thread is very serious and to me it seems like the intent was to get some profound insight into the most important, burning questions people are really wondering about. After all, isn't the deathbed the place we typically see past all the meaningless day-to-day fluff and consider what's truly important? I understand the humor in this thread, and it's all well and good, but it seems out of place considering the sober nature of the question.

I'm not sure that is true in all cases. Most great spiritual leaders were known for the playful way they tackled deep subjects. And most were pretty good jokers, if the contemporary accounts that have come down about them are true.

To the best of my knowledge, humans are the only sentients on this planet that tell jokes. I think that may be one of the only things that makes us uniquely "human." (Writing is the other, in case you're wondering.)

A sense of humor is also a higher thought process, in that you need to do a quantum leap in thinking to see the humor in a joke. It requires a split awareness and an appreciation of paradox that borders on what is traditionally thought of as metaphysical insight. Literal -minded and otherwise 'serious people' seem to lack that capability.


You can't really perceive the nature of the 'human condition' unless it makes you cry - but you don't really understand it unless it makes you laugh. Ignore the humor in The Cosmic at your own peril.

Take a look at all those statues of Buddha. (And look at some photos of Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela while you're at it.)



Then ask yourself : "Why are these people usually smiling?" 

Now THAT's a serious question. smiley


« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 06:58:34 PM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2008, 07:06:43 PM »

Isn't it obvious? It's only a mystery if you have testosterone (it clouds the judgement!)

No it doesn't!

Now please excuse me, I need stick my finger in this light socket to see if the fuse has blown... Grin

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2008, 07:45:21 PM »

To the best of my knowledge, humans are the only sentients on this planet that tell jokes. I think that may be one of the only things that makes us uniquely "human." (Writing is the other, in case you're wondering.)

Interesting - haven't there been examples of chimps writing and dolphins communicating through symbols. As for humour have you ever seen two dogs playing together - OK it isn't a standup routine in a nightclub but it can be pretty close to slapstick ... and dogs seem to see it that way too.

Some human cultures haven't developed the skills or need for writing and when they do learn it is more often than not because western missionaries have taught them so they can read the bible. Writing is actually relatively recent in human history (even cave painting, which is probably one of the oldest forms of 'writing' only dates back 10s of thousands of years). Would you argue that our ancestors prior to cave painting were not human beings or sentient?
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Darwin
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« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2008, 09:09:05 PM »

Because from my perspective, the nature of the question makes the topic having taken a humorous turn inevitable.

No argument there! I just focused on the religious aspect of Chris' comments...
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« Reply #90 on: October 11, 2008, 11:41:43 AM »

Maybe the last question should be "Why are humans so arrogant as to think they have any greater importance in the universe than anything else?"

I love you.


But seriously, I once had an Ultimate Question. Being an Adopted child, it was who is my Mother? Due to the power of the internet that question was answered...and I am truly better for it.
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40hz
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« Reply #91 on: October 11, 2008, 01:51:01 PM »

To the best of my knowledge, humans are the only sentients on this planet that tell jokes. I think that may be one of the only things that makes us uniquely "human." (Writing is the other, in case you're wondering.)

Interesting - haven't there been examples of chimps writing and dolphins communicating through symbols. As for humour have you ever seen two dogs playing together - OK it isn't a standup routine in a nightclub but it can be pretty close to slapstick ... and dogs seem to see it that way too.

Some human cultures haven't developed the skills or need for writing and when they do learn it is more often than not because western missionaries have taught them so they can read the bible. Writing is actually relatively recent in human history (even cave painting, which is probably one of the oldest forms of 'writing' only dates back 10s of thousands of years). Would you argue that our ancestors prior to cave painting were not human beings or sentient?

(Oooo Carol! Thank you for making us think. Thmbsup)

I would differentiate the notion of writing from using coding mechanisms or symbol sets. By writing (which I did call handwriting, hence the possible confusion) I meant the act of recording gained knowledge and experience, or thoughts and dreams, in such a manner that they could be preserved and transmitted to different ages and cultures. In doing so humanity has established a collective experience and knowledgebase that basically allows us to transcend time and geographic space.

We can open a book and read what someone had to say about the human experience a few thousand years ago. And since we can do that, is the consciousness and mind that wrote those words (or had them recorded for it) really gone? To a certain extent, writing grants us a form of immortality. And what we know of most cultures, both living and dead, we have come to understand through their literature.

Many seismic changes in human culture (especially religious movements) came about as the result of something being written down: The Code of Hammurabi; The Ten Commandments; The Bible; The Koran; Luther's 95 Theses; The Magna Carta;  Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.; The Origin of Species; The Communist Manifesto; Mein Kampf...and so on. The written word has the power to propel a society into a new era of enlightenment, or a bloodbath of intolerance and cruelty. And written words can take many years (or a change in venue) before their impact is fully felt. Much like a virus, the written word can produce effects independent of the person, society, or era that originally spawned it. A powerful thing indeed is the written word.

Now it is true that dolphins and chimps may use symbolic systems (given them by us) to communicate with us. But it is our tool rather than theirs. Left to their own devices, they don't use writing systems, nor have they (AFAIK) developed such systems on their own. Rather interesting when you consider the number of species on this planet that have been around a lot longer than humans.

I'm also not saying that writing is a prerequisite for being considered sentient, intelligent, or even being human. What I meant was it was something humans uniquely do. If someone can loan me a copy of something a dolphin philosopher wrote 150 years ago I'll concede the point.

Momentary aside:
Truth be told, sod the philosophical treatise. I'd even settle for a bit of contemporary doggerel - or a dirty limerick! Because I'd dearly love to hear a dolphin's take on what it means to be a dolphin. But I don't think I'll be sitting up nights waiting for it to happen.
And oh how I'd love to be proven wrong on this point! Wink


To the issue of whether or not I would call a preliterate society "not human" I would have to reply "that's a loaded question." My answer would be that a society does not need to employ written language to be considered sentient or human. But I would challenge somebody to show me a single piece of writing that is provably not the work of human hands. Perhaps I should have said "Humans uniquely make writing." rather than "Writing makes us uniquely human."

Re Humor: To my mind, humor is rooted in an awareness of incongruity. Dogs and horses do joke. (Spend some time around a New Forest Pony if you don't believe it.) But their joking seems to be based more on cause and effect: "If I push his buttons I can get this being to do something it doesn't want to do, or maybe scare it a little. Ha-ha!" I have never personally detected a sense of irony, or an appreciation of absurdity, in any animal I have ever known. From my experience with animals, absurd situations only seem to annoy or frighten them. So I would argue that what passes for 'humor' in animals is an altogether different mental process. Not less valid or amusing - just not the same thing as humor. There are funny animal videos - and then there's Oscar Wilde. Defining the difference would probably take a book, but I think most people would concede there is a significant difference between the two that is more than just a matter of degree.

Carol? Anybody? Your thoughts?
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f0dder
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« Reply #92 on: October 11, 2008, 01:59:10 PM »

* f0dder tries to make up something witty that includes "so long, and thanks for all the fish".
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« Reply #93 on: October 11, 2008, 03:07:20 PM »

one thing that does make me "wonder" sometimes:

what is the internal experience of other animals, i.e. what the hell is it like to be a spider let alone something like a dog

that is something i would genuinely like to know.
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Darwin
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« Reply #94 on: October 11, 2008, 03:25:25 PM »

one thing that does make me "wonder" sometimes:

what is the internal experience of other animals, i.e. what the hell is it like to be a spider let alone something like a dog

that is something i would genuinely like to know.

I hear you... I often wonder if my perception of reality is the same as, or at least similar to, that of my wife/child/friend/neighbour/a pig farmer in PNG...

I'm not happy with my choice of "perception of reality", but I can't think of a better way of putting it at the moment (experience of the world? Sensory feedback - is red to me red to them?).
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nudone
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« Reply #95 on: October 12, 2008, 03:25:22 AM »

i'd expect it to be the same, or very, very similar, simply because of the mechanical aspect of the mind/brain, i.e. you'd expect to get the same sensory outcome from the same type of neurons, etc.

you could say that the last link in the chain of 'perception' is not physical so things could become different at that point, but i think it would be more noticeable in society if we weren't all perceiving things in the same way. at some point, i think you'd start to notice the discrepancies similar to how colour blindness is detectable (or other abnormalities).

things could be 'informationally' consistent within each individuals perception i suppose. so we perceive the same sensory information even though our sensory experience was different. i think it's stretching things a bit far though, as i'd still expect a machine like the brain to produce things consistently throughout a species (ignoring abnormalities, of course).
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f0dder
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« Reply #96 on: October 12, 2008, 04:18:13 AM »

I'm not happy with my choice of "perception of reality", but I can't think of a better way of putting it at the moment (experience of the world? Sensory feedback - is red to me red to them?).
I've had that conversation with a friend. Obviously we all see "red" as "red" - but that makes me think along the lines that "OK, so we use the same palette index, but do we see the same RGB colors for that index?" smiley
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« Reply #97 on: October 12, 2008, 06:12:29 AM »

might be worth looking at if you are curious about 'perceiving' colours differently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverted_spectrum

not sure if this is what you (Darwin and f0dder) implied, but if the colour index/palette differs between individuals it would have to be something more than merely swapping around the colour swatches - or reversing the spectrum as mentioned in the wiki article above - as this would not provide the same sensory information, i.e. the information we gain by seeing the spectrum in particular different groupings of frequencies.

for colour perception to be different within individuals and still provide the same information across the visible spectrum we'd have to experience colour 'creation' in the mind as something completely unique. i.e. the colours i experience in my colour spectrum are completely unlike the colours in your spectrum, that is, my experience of red is nothing like the experience of ANY colour that you experience.

i guess that's possible, but again, what would influence the generation of completely different experiences to colour? if the brain creates colour experiences differently throughout a species how is it doing so - what part of the brains construction differs enough to create perception differences at that most basic level.

it seems too far fetched to me to think that we are experiencing different realities on that fundamental scale.
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Darwin
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« Reply #98 on: October 12, 2008, 10:05:33 AM »

Thanks for the responses, guys! I'm aware of what science says about this, but was trying to think more metaphysically, because we can't "get into" the head of another person or organism to experience their reality (even if we can be pretty confident about what we'd find if we could).
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 10:07:20 AM by Darwin » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #99 on: October 12, 2008, 11:46:10 AM »

because we can't "get into" the head of another person or organism to experience their reality

Here's a puzzle: How do we know that?


What is it that informs us that each individual's perception of reality is, in fact, an individual experience not directly sharable? I've often heard that point being asserted, but I've never never heard an explanation as to why that assertion should be so.

Has anybody heard (or read or pondered) anything on that one?

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