Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Hey I have an interesting question for atheists tell me what you think?

Ok since you dont believe in souls or anything like that all that youre concerned with would be the matter that makes up our bodies. There are trillions of cells in the human body, so one might say that we arent really one being at all, but millions of little cells that just happen to be working together and arent unified by a soul. Would you agree that when we die our body composition is basically the same as normal and that possibly the only difference is that we (our cells) have decided to stop working to maintaining the community we had made?

the matter that was working together to be "you" decided to stop working together. No matter was lost from the universe and no soul left your body when you "died", which you believe because you are atheists. Nothing changed except all the cells decided to stop working together and went off to do their own thing. Knowing all this what would you define death as exactly? the moment when all the cells making up you just stop working together? Also why would you be afraid of this as everything that made you up still exists in the universe? Is it just the human survival instinct? Also following all of this doesnt Buddhism seem much more likely, because the matter that made up your body is reused in other living beings and "reborn"?

I myself am a christian and I believe that our soul unifies the cells in our body to make us more than just a community of little cells, but assuming the opposite of that leads to interesting ideas.


They dont unify the cells into one being they just help them work together.

Update 2:

Its natural instinct to want to preserve the organized community of cells that makes up yourself. I can understand your point of view.

Update 3:

Well they dont exactly stampede but they stop working together. eventually none of them work together at all (finger nails stop growing) and then they have all gone their seperate ways so to speak.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That is almost exactly as I see my life. My only correction would be that I think we die when our cells cease to be able to work together, for whatever reason. Did you know that some human cells that had mutated a little to make them "decide" to live for themselves instead of for the group (cancer tumor cells) have been kept alive for far longer than any human lifetime? They live essentially as individual amoebas. Looking at one under a microscope, you would hardly guess that they contain almost every gene it takes to make a human.

    I also appreciate that even though two people reproduce by sexual reproduction, my entire body has been built by a process of asexual reproduction (cloning) of my original fertilized egg cell. So I am a colony of cooperating clones. The illusion of a single identity is an emergent property of the organization of those clones. When the cooperative organization breaks down because of age (my cells are programmed, genetically to last only so long) or disease, the illusion of my identity vanishes and I am effectively dead, regardless of whether some or even most of my cells survive for a while longer.



    John Popelish

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  • Ishtar
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It's not a matter of each cell "deciding" not to function with the others. If a major system (say, the kidneys) ceases functioning, its lack of function affects all other groups. Without kidneys, toxins build up in the blood stream and poison the other cells. If the kidneys have died outright, the cells that make them up start decomposing and other toxins and hormone signals are released. These cause other cells to die, and if the kidneys aren't removed and replaced in a hurry, all the cells in the body die. The same goes if any other system malfunctions, even something as seemingly minor as gangrene of the little toe. It's fastest if it's the heart, lungs or brain that goes first, but death of any group of cells can trigger the death of the rest.

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  • Umm, it's not that cells stop working together; it's that one of the main support mechanisms breaks down (for example, a heart attack; blood stops pumping, so oxygen stops getting to the brain, so the brain can't function and you die).

    I define death as the moment that the higher cognitive organisation breaks down irrevocably, ie when the neural impulses of the mind degrade to such a state that they no longer function and cannot 'reboot', if you'll pardon the computer term. And I fear that moment because my mind, everything that makes me who I am, will be gone. While the component parts of what I am will still be there, the overall organisation will be gone forever. It's like if you threw a bucket of turpentine at the Mona Lisa; all the molecules of the paint are still there (in solution, but still there), but the painting is definitely destroyed.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, fingernails don't grow after death; it's the skin around the nails that contracts, giving the appearance of growth. Pointless fact, but I like to spread knowledge. ^^

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  • 1 decade ago

    That's more or less it for me. At the point when the electrical activity in my brain fails I will die. Gradually the rest of my body will die too.

    But in essence, what I am; the atoms that make up my body will continue. They were born in the hearts of stars billennia ago and, as you say, will perhaps become part of other living things in time.

    Just as the water I drink today might have been swum in by dinosaurs, eventually I will exhale it or excrete it and in time it will again become clouds and rain and rivers.

    I'm happy with that small degree of 'immortality'.

    As for souls .. it seems to me that many live this life grudgingly; complaining of the imperfection of the world. Saying how much better it will be when they are dead and their souls are 'free'.

    I cannot see the point in that. Are we not all here amongst all this wonder and beauty? We may as well enjoy life and its riches and stop worrying about 'souls'. At least, that's my view anyway.


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  • You say "we arent really one being at all, but millions of little cells that just happen to be working together"

    The role of 'unifying the cells' that you think is performed by your soul is actually a complex set of chemical reactions and affinities caused by hormones, neurotransmitters, and other signaling compounds. It is a highly researched topic, but generally it is well understood. Start looking for proof of Jesus elsewhere, the evil scientists have this one covered.

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  • 1 decade ago

    So what then when you die you believe you melt or something?

    As an atheist, I always thought you died because all your systems shut down, not because your cells stampeded. Your hair and nails continue to grow after death.

    You can be brain-dead and kept"alive" artificially.

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  • Kc
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Cells specialize when young.

    They don't all decide to die...

    The heart is the life support system for your body, it pumps blood (which bathes cells with nutrients, water, etc.) to keep them alive. When the heart fails, organs and tissues are soon to follow.

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  • 4 years ago

    Blessings to all. Yes death is very interesting to all christians, we all want to spend Eternity with God . maybe atheists should consider seeking the Lord, know that He can be found, before it get to late. I don't think any one should lived they life , with out the grace of God.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I thought you said that you had an interesting question?

    All I see is wild speculation, based on ignorance of how the body functions.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    did he died?

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