Friday, April 22, 2011

Eternal Life Because Energy Cannot Be Destroyed?

The idea that energy cannot be created or removed, it can be only transferred from one type to another, is often used to justify a poorly constructed argument. From reincarnation, eternal life, ghosts and proof that there is a soul. This idea is wrong on its own merits. It is incorrect logic that is applied to hopeful thinking. If it is used to justify the soul, then where was the soul before you existed?

Energy, specifically the energy in the human body (and brain, nervous systems, etc.) is obtained from chemical processes; the most of it comes from oxygen and the rest from nutrients. It is also radiated away as heat/infra-red light, and waste.

The idea that after we die, our energy force, our soul or consciousness, and whatever makes me, me and you, you, lives on since it is just transferred into another form is like saying that after my computer is turned off, the soul of the computer remains, that somehow all of its data and methods of processing or interpreting this data remains as a unique energy signal. While obviously there is information preserved after a computer is turned off, but in this analogy it is no different than my writings and people’s memories of me will still exist after I no longer do.

It is an argument made out of ignorance, and it shouldn’t deserve a response except that now more and more people take it on face value and don’t think to question it.

A little background, the first law of thermodynamics goes a little like this: The law expresses that energy can be transformed, i.e. changed from one form to another, but cannot be created nor destroyed. It is usually formulated by stating that the change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings. (By the way, we call this The First Law of Thermodynamics; however it is, like all accepted and proven scientific ideas, The First Theory of Thermodynamics.) Nevertheless this does not mean that your consciousness will live on after you die. Your consciousness is derived from your brain, and your brain consists of trillions of synapses through which neurons signal each other. How these are connected is what makes you, you and me, me. Just like the layout of transistors on a computer chip make that chip able to do fast floating point math or store memory. The difference here though is that most computer chips are identical copies, or as close to identical as we can make them.

Human brains are of course also similar too, that’s why we know where the pleasure center is located, or the area’s associated with vision, memories, etc. are located. When the brain is exposed to something new, more connections are formed and this is where each person’s brains start to differ. Nevertheless though, once you die, the chemical reactions stop as do all the electrical signals. This absolutely does not mean that your consciousness is stored in this energy which is, quickly after death, being dissipated as heat and chemical breakdown.  The connections in the brain are what you consider your consciousness, not the energy travelling through them. (I phrased it this way to show my point; obviously the connections are nothing if nothing travels through them.) So when you’re dead, your consciousness ceases to exist! If is not floating through the universe as infra-red radiation or anything else.

I hope this helps people understand that the first law of thermodynamics does not mean that you will live forever. Also as I asked in the beginning, what were you before you were you? There are a lot of people that say that they were another life because they are part of the ‘life force’. If you accept this answer, you need to decide if you think memories can somehow transfer between lives, i.e. did you learn from your previous life? If so what is the mechanism for this transfer of knowledge? If you do not, and are only part of this ‘life force’ then it is completely pointless! It is no different than saying that some of the atoms that I am currently made up of are the same atoms that were once part of the liver of a dinosaur. It is pointless, and in the idea of a ‘life force’ only creates more questions. It does not aid in answering anything. It is the same as saying God created the universe. Because saying something that is more complicated than what you are trying to understand, made the thing you’re trying to understand does not help you understand it in any way!


  1. Cool. Sitting round a campfire once, I had that same energy in universe thought and decided that the heat loss after we die just becomes part of the background. Part of the wind. Nothing more, no ghosts, no spirits, nothing. But that's cool. I just hope I live until I'm good and ready to die.

  2. Anonymous, Exactly! Have you heard people say that there must be an afterlife, because their consciousness is energy and it can never been destroyed, only transferred? I have heard this probably around 20 times in the last year or so. I have some on video, I'll probably post it, so people that haven't heard the saying, will see that I didn't make up such a stupid idea.


    1. you know if thats whut you beleive than thats just fine I dont care but,...but!,...thats just your beliefe no one attacks you for your beleife about the subject. It seams your iratated or annoyed by people saying that there singular-indestructable. I THINK your going through a bit of a life problem thinking onec your dead thats it for YOU and so you say thats the same for every one els kinda like the christian thinking pattern--THERE GOD IS THE ONLY AND THE RIGHT GOD.I think You just gave up on tryin to figure your self out, gave up on finding out who we are, who you are because you find the answers are not given to you on a FUCKING silver plate. I always say its so easy to let go of a rope when you cant help yourself up or if someone cant do it for you----easy JUST LET GO!! BUT! holding on is the REAL CHALLENGE its very much hard to hold on till help arrives or until you realiz you could have puled yourself up from the begining.