Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Last-Minute Afterlife for Atheists

Device disables dying patients sense of time and stimulates joy and pleasure.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

It's well-known that electrically stimulating certain areas of the brain results in feelings of well-being and pleasure, and it's a good bet that there's a specific area of the brain involved in sensing the passage of time as well. The proposed device manipulates both areas so that as far as a dying person is concerned, his/her 'last moments' are a joyful period that lasts for all eternity.
Dog Ed, Jun 28 2001

The Brain's Ohmmm http://www.brain.co...id=21106&cat_id=400
Come up with last-minute sobriety and others will convert to your faith. [reensure, Jun 28 2001]

"When is it best to take crack cocaine?" http://www.hedweb.com/cocaine/index.html
[Monkfish, Jun 28 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Maybe it could be tuned by some publically selected ethicist to varying degrees: from Total Pleasure to Excruciating Pain, depending on how good the atheist in question was during his life....
globaltourniquet, Jun 28 2001

       I think those drugs are illegal in the US
juan2003, Jun 28 2001

       This device would also be useful for Christians who are worried they might not be going to a good place. "I may be damned to eternal torment for poisoning those orphans [or whatever], but I'm going to have an eternity of bliss first!"
wiml, Jun 28 2001

       I like the notion. Might we consider, though, other specific areas that might be manipulated current-free by hands lesser-degreed?
The Military, Jul 04 2001

       Why just for Atheists? Why not for EVERYONE that's not of the 'right religion'? Bleh. It's this sort of thinking that convinced me to be an Atheist in the first place. Fishbone.
Corona688, Dec 21 2002

       It would be kind of fun to think that there really was such a thing as an afterlife - highly useful product. Did you know that some Atheists actually believe in an afterlife? They just don't buy into a supreme being. This would give you the benefits of being a believer without having to be one.
aredant, May 09 2003

       Even if you manipulated somebody's sense of time, I doubt you could prolong physical sensations for a seeming eternity. And since people would know about this technology, wouldn't they be aware that it wasn't a "real" afterlife? It would really suck to have a virtual eternity of pleasure and then a genuine one of pain and suffering.
dstillz, May 09 2003

       As a matter of fact, aredant, I find that the benefits of being a believer kick in well in advance of death. In fact, I find adherence to Christianity to be worthy of recommendation simply on the basis of the "earthly life" benefits alone.
beauxeault, May 09 2003

       Beauxeauilt - I believe that you do.
aredant, May 09 2003

       if you trick a brain into thinking that one moment is eternity, and then the brain dies, wouldn't eternity come to a rather sharp end? i think you've stumbled upon a very peculiar facet of relativity...
urbanmatador, May 09 2003

       Why just for Atheists? It seems like a good idea for anyone. I'll have to take away a Croissant for that! Maybe if you didn't say Atheist...
darkknight_152002, Jul 26 2003

       No, no section for WIBNIs. The notion of what is a WIBNI has evolved on this site over time. While not officially decreed the general practice is not to apply the criteria to older ideas retroactively. There are a couple in the top 10 that are probably WIBNI as well.
bristolz, Jul 26 2003

       Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and Psylocybin are well known to be able to distort the users sense of time, even creating so-called 'moments of eternity'. Sadly I can't seem to unearth any scientific explaination of this phenonemon on google, but the search continues...
spiritualized, Jun 21 2004

       [spiritualized] is right about the LSD and psilocybin. I would say that a large amount of acid would do quite nicely towards this goal. People who have been close to overdose have said they saw a door or whatnot to the afterlife, but chose not to take it. Whether or not there's anything to see on the other side of that door, the dying person will have a great "last moments."
evilmathgenius, Jun 21 2004

       But what if the person has a bad trip? In the book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule," a researcher gave about 30 subjects DMT, a very fast acting, strong, hallucinogen. In almost every one of the subjects, the intensity of the dissociation as the drug came on caused the subject to believe himself to be dead. It seems like this is the opposite of the effect that [Dog Ed] is looking for.   

       The only subjects who weren't terrified by the DMT experience were the ones who were comfortable with dissociation because of previous experience with drugs or meditation.   

       The environment in which the drug was administered had a big effect on the fear level of the subjects. The clinical surroundings made it worse.
robinism, Jun 21 2004

       For your consideration: the human brain, like its counterparts in the lower orders, responds behaviorally to stimulation. Given access to a means to gain its stimulation, the brain will order the body to repeatedly gain stimulation until exhausted, or for eternity if that comes later.
dpsyplc, Jun 22 2004

       I think it was Aldous Huxley who was injected with Acid - LSD - by his wife as he lay dying on his deathbed. The ailment he was dying of (I have forgotten for the moment, may have been throat cancer) usually causes a prolonged, agonising death for the sufferer.   

       Apparently he slipped away peacefully.
ChewTheBeef, Jun 22 2004

       Yeah, that is a great idea. Maybe dying patients could use a cocktail of ectasy, pot, LSD, and laughing gas to "lift their spirits" at the very end.
quantum_flux, Nov 20 2007

       Scarily close to my theory of Heaven. Something like this might naturally exist at the point of death.
simonj, Nov 20 2007

       has anyone seen "waking life"? This idea predates the movie, but it's along the same lines.
bleh, Nov 20 2007


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