An Atheistic Afterlife

I have a friend in college named Chris Tracy who is mildly deranged, though considers himself a genius. He's been having a few stabs at philosophising about various things he finds interesting, and today I think he may have hit upon something quite profound. Here it is:

An Atheistic Afterlife

"An atheist with an afterlife seems in many peoples eyes to be an oxymoron. Yet ruling out the god hypothesis doesn't necessarily mean that everything monotheists associate with their god must be ruled out also.

"Through a series of ingenious experiments, Albert Einstein demonstrated how time is relative to the observer as opposed to absolute, as was previously considered the case. Yet it was already known that coma patients were capable of living out entire lifetimes in the space of a few months or even weeks with the same phenomenon being associated to a lesser extent with dreams.

"Meanwhile, on another continent, Sigmund Freud wasa developing his 'psychodynamic theory' and explaining how unconscious defence mechanisms are capable of shielding people from painful events. One of the most painful, yet inevitable, events of all is seen by many as death itself. Would it not be logical to assume that just before the moment of death our unconscious would attempt to protect us from the horrible transition from living organism to meat? Some say that just before the moment of their supposed demise, their entire life flashed before their eyes in an instant. Is this even possible?

"Well, according to Einstein, yes, it is. Were our unconscious to force us into a coma-like state just before the end, then it is theoretically possible that we may live out every possible scenario that our brain can create before waking up involuntarily or having fully satisfied every desire imaginable; if waking at all. This naturally induced state could be the equivalent of a religious afterlife, yet doesn't require the belief in a supernatural presence."

Personally, I've always considered any possibility of an afterlife to be reliant on the ability of the mind to produce one; and because I'm a gambler, on the idea that the mind has some level of independence from the body. Like the argument against theism, that one can appropriate the 'supernatural', the 'miraculous' in any area that's not yet fully understood; I guess I put a lot of stock in the fact that there's so much about the brain & the mind that we don't understand. Maybe that's why Chris' theory appeals to me.

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