Reincarnation and Infinity

Discussions about the possibility of consciousness, free will, spirits, deities, religions and so on, and how these might interact with time travel, the Big Bang, many worlds and so on.

Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby Keiji » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:21 pm

Not being religious, I've often thought about the question "what happens when you die?" over the years.

After accepting that souls must exist (because we have conscience; without souls we would be mere robots) the question became two: "how is a soul created?" and "what happens when a soul is destroyed?"

I decided to avoid those two questions by proposing that souls cannot be created or destroyed. If souls can't be created, that already eliminates the possibility of the Christian "live on Earth and then go to heaven or hell" idea, and anything similar to it. And something that cannot be created or destroyed must always have existed and must forever continue to exist.

Here's where we get to what I realized today. Working on the above ideas - if a soul cannot be created, then there must be infinite souls. Otherwise we would run into the silly idea of having a maximum population in the universe.

However, if there are infinite souls, then there would be only a finite number living in the universe, whereas there would be an infinite number with no life at that time. This is also a rather silly situation. So, now I propose there are infinitely many universes, not one, which actually fixes the problem!

If there are infinitely many universes and infinitely many souls, then each universe can have as many or as few souls as necessary, while there will still be no souls left over. Every death can be paired with a birth, and every birth paired with a death, so there is never a shortage of souls for newborns and there is always a place for a soul of a deceased to go.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby anderscolingustafson » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:23 am

Well I have thought from time to time about how high the percent of ones atoms would be that end up in the brains of other organisms. I have also thought about the possibility that ones atoms ending up in the brain of another organism could somehow be like a form of reincarnation. I think it is possible that each atom could be basically a "soul". We must also keep in mind the fact that if we are alive once that it would be very unlikely that it would so happen to be now. I also wander if all of ones atoms would have to end up in the brain of another organism for a sort of reincarnation or just one.
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby Keiji » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:28 pm

I'm not talking about atoms here, I'm talking about souls :roll:
Atoms don't magically disappear when someone dies, that would violate conservation of matter
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby zero » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:49 am

The word "soul" seems rather vague and fuzzy; thus, because they are not clearly identified (in typical conversation), it is uncertain what people are really talking about. I tend to consider such discussions to be metaphorical or otherwise poetic in nature.

However, if we do attach the sometimes difficult notion of "personal identity" to the extremely common but indeterminate notion of a "soul," there are lots of possibilities. I rather enjoy the concept that alternate universes allow plenty of room for these speculative souls to travel about with ease.

Another option is solipsistic a-temporal reincarnation. I will describe it briefly.

I begin by sharing my motivation for this idea. Have you ever noticed that different people will at times both claim to have been the same (usually famous) individual in a "past life?" That can't be, can it? Of course not. But wait! Not if we have a temporally linear transmigration of souls always flowing (in a single universe) from past to future. But if we free each soul from the strictures of time, then after death, one may be reincarnated as any other person--past, present or future. So two "different" people could both have been the same famous (or forgettably boring) person, because they are both really the same person! This is where the solipsism comes in. If a soul can flit about at will to any point in time where others are being born, then it's not to difficult to imagine this soul eventually becoming everyone who ever was, is, or will be. Thus, you really are the only person who exists. Over, and over again, in a very temporally tangled way.

Sure gives new meaning to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby PWrong » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:06 am

because we have conscience; without souls we would be mere robots


Fairies exist because magic tricks exist; without fairies we wouldn't have any magic.

I decided to avoid those two questions by proposing that souls cannot be created or destroyed.


Couldn't you avoid the question by making something up?

Otherwise we would run into the silly idea of having a maximum population in the universe.


A testable prediction? How ridiculous.

Well I have thought from time to time about how high the percent of ones atoms would be that end up in the brains of other organisms.


Most if not all of the atoms in your brain now weren't there when you were born.
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby Meloxicam » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:46 pm

Our technology is far from good enough to prove the existence of life after death.But apart from seeing ghosts every night before going to sleep when i was less than a year old,i have also ever since believed that i am immortal.I have even gone as far as tattooing the Egyptian Ankh symbol of immortality (with a yin-yang inside the loop) on my arm.Immortal as a soul,not as a human being of course.
But then again,if we have souls that would have to mean that all living beings have souls.How small is the soul of an ant or a cell?Maybe a soul is just the amount of consciousness in a functioning living entity.Perhaps consciousness is the dark matter that our universe is full of,hard to say.I am just going to keep believing that death is only the beginning,and hopefully it is so.
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby Klitzing » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:35 pm

Shadab Kamal wrote:I'm not talking about atoms here, I'm talking about souls :roll:
Atoms don't magically disappear when someone dies, that would violate conservation of matter :roll: :evil: :P

There is no such thing like "conservation of matter"!
Never heard about Einstein's famous formula: E = mc²?
I.e. matter well can transition into pure energy, or vice versa.
E.g. added binding energy manifests itself in some mass defect...
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby wendy » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:23 pm

The life-after-death debate is interesting.

Enough antedotal evidence from people who have had near-death experiences to suggest that conciousness is drawn from the body in a way that is not mentioned in life. For example, many living people do not associate death as being drawn up a tube towards light, yet this is a recurring theme from near-death discussions.

In the model of the three bodies, the physical body is accompanied by two others: the ghost and the soul. The ghost is ever present in life, and is the system monitor to running the body. It is the sub-concious process that can be taught by rote and habit, but makes no decision as to what is right or wrong. It is normally consumed in death, but if the death is voilent, the ghost can be launched as a separate entity, which inhabits our own world. But being without a soul to guide it, the ghost is an empty echo of habit and rote, trying to fill a dying thought perchance.

The soul is the concious part that learns things, this part survives death in every instance, and is what heads down the tube towards the light.

So if the soul survives death, then what is life. In essence, we can quote the famous poem: 'ours is not to question why, but to do or die', or suppose that the meaning of life is not fully enclosed in one errand, but one needs many errands to fetch many things. Exactly what, or why, is for us to find out later on, but abandoning a trip, however arduous, may simply mean that we must make the same errand in less favourable conditions.

The religions that teach reincarnation also teach things like kharma. One should none the same not just treat it like a saved game, but rather like a quest for an unknown grail, where one gathers parts for some greater glory.

One might note a electron-like particle, with a mass of something like 4,000 volts, would make solid matter with chemistry etc, that is at a density of 1 gram per cubical metre, Such matter is as less dense as air as air is of regular matter.
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the dream we dream together is reality.
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Re: Reincarnation and Infinity

Postby Sphericality » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:22 am

One implication of Infinity, in its sense as infinite spacetime, and allowing for conservation of energy, is that all possible worlds with all possible creatures will be created an infinite amount of times. What this implies for the nature of the hypothetical 'soul' is unclear, and its implications for reincarnation are even less defined.

You are obviously one possible human in one possible universe. You believe you came into existence in the past, and apparently you believe you will cease to exist at some time in the future. Apparently you believe that you can have been in a different body, that you no longer remember and would probably not recognize as yourself, and yet it was still "you".

The concept of reincarnation in relation to infinity is useless until you define these things clearly, self, reincarnation, infinity. :mrgreen:
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