There are a lot of debates and arguments about religions without mentioning the possibility of the 'survival of one's mind and personality'. Wouldn't it be great if there were more debates about whether an after-life is 'real' or not?

Please point me towards existing discussions in books/articles or in general philosophers that discuss the 'survival of the mind and personality..

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    If souls are proven to exist as incorporeal beings, then it follows that they are eternal and subsist beyond the physical realm after death.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 1:10
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    @infatuated: how does incorporeality entail eternality? Is that just an assumed property of the incorporeal? Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 0:14
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    It's been discussed to death!!
    – user4894
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 2:45
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    I disagee. The question about whether the Judeo-Christian concept of God has been discussed to death. The question of whether other Deities from Hinduism or Buddhism or Mormons etc., exist or not has not been debated much. The question about whether an after-life exist is not common..
    – user128932
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 2:57
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    I think you probably have a useful question in there. As it's asked though, there are a few different related but different questions and a few statements of personal opinion. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Plato/Socrates discusses the afterlife (and the prelife) in the Phaedo. Note that this both distinctly part of both occidental and non-Abrahamic traditions. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/phaedo.html


Stuart Hameroff has been theorising about quantum consciousness and proto-consciousness existing generally in space. These quantum states are collapsed into moments of experience by (microtubules in) the physical brain. This means due to its quantum field nature, consciousness could re-coalesce elsewhere.

Stuart Hameroff on Singularity 1 on 1: Consciousness is More than Computation!

It's an interesting theory, but it seems very un-Zen to 'desire' afterlife :-

There are three attachments that are especially deep-seated in the minds of all: greed, anger and infatuation, which are based on lust, fear and pride. Back of these lies discrimination and desire which is procreative and is accompanied with excitement and avariciousness and love of comfort and desire for eternal life; and, following, is a succession of rebirths on the five paths of existence and a continuation of attachments. But if these attachments are broken off, no signs of attachment nor of detachment will remain because they are based on things that are non-existent; when this truth is clearly understood the net of attachment is cleared away.

A Buddhist Bible: Self-Realisation, page 112

  • N.B. It is not in fact clear at all whether any instrumental connection exists between consciousness and quantum mechanics. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 0:16
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    That quotation is by Hammeroff and Penrose themselves. It would be interesting to hear some of the criticisms to which they "respond robustly". There's also the weirdness associated with Hammeroff claiming that microtubules carry memory: are they all located in the hippocampus? And what is the relationship of microtubules to our physical senses, with which we tend to associate experience? Finally, by what mechanism do these waves yield consciousness? It's none of it clear. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 10:10
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    My question was , why are most debates about the After-life focused on whether God exists or not and not if the 'mind' and persona can exist after death in some 'form'?? Isn't this a clear question?
    – user128932
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 6:47
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    Christianity Heaven and Hell are predicated on the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition ; the God mentioned in the Bible. The concept of the After-life applies to MANY religions. I know Buddhism and reincarnation religions 'want' to break free of the 'wheel' of life, Samsara I think it's called.
    – user128932
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 6:16
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    I know some acedemics disrespect the idea of getting any useful ideas from Science-Fiction. Although in the philosophy of 'mind' others have used thought experiments about the 'mind' using Sci-Fi ideas, like 'philosophical Zombies and the 'duplicate Earth' thought experiment etc. So regarding the holographic 'supercomplicated' set of programs 'called' the Doctor on the 'Star Trek episode of 'Voyager' ; when he got his 'mobile emiter' he could walk around anywhere. A self-controlling 'energy' being similar to an immaterial being one could call the human mind.
    – user128932
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 22:49

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