• Sam26
    1.3k
    and yet I still fail to see the relevance of NDEs in relation to the question of mortalitysime

    Because a large percentage of NDEs and pre-death or death-bed visions are interactions with the deceased. Therefore, one can conclude based not only on this, but given all the other points that have been made, that we are much more than simply this body (the brain, etc).
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    An important epistemological point is that one of the main ways we justify a belief is through testimony, i.e., we learn things from people who are in a position to know. How do we know that Mary was at the party? Because several of our friends, who were at the party, told us. How do we know that Mr. Smith robbed the bank? Because several witnesses saw him rob the bank. How do we know that quantum physics is a reality? Because scientists have told us that countless experiments have yielded the same results over-and-over again (e.g., the many 2-slit experiments). Most of us are not involved with these experiments, i.e., we take the word of others (testimony).

    The amount of information we learn from others is massive, and much of it is conveyed by testimony. Moreover, we don't doubt most of it, because if we did, we would be reduced to silence. Even our concepts and words are learned from others. Our culture would fall apart if we doubted the truthfulness of all such testimony.

    However, this doesn't mean that everything that is conveyed to us is true. Thus, the need to question testimonial evidence. For example, is the person in a position to know? Were they there? Second, is the person skilled in the area in question? Third, is the person trustworthy? Fourth, does the testimony harmonize with other known truths?
  • sime
    402
    Because a large percentage of NDEs and pre-death or death-bed visions are interactions with the deceased. Therefore, one can conclude based not only on this, but given all the other points that have been made, that we are much more than simply this body (the brain, etc).Sam26

    I don't follow. All that exists are verbal reports and their proximal neurological correlates that are roughly clustered, as is expected by the shared structure of human brains that learn and interact within a shared culture.

    These observations tend to reinforce the scientific usefulness of the Cartesian perspective, that mental states should be considered local, discrete and internal to each and every human brain.

    Certainly there are drawbacks and oversights of the standard Cartesian view, but I don't seem them as being intimately connected to the phenomena of NDEs.
  • 3017amen
    166


    In trying to revisit some theories relative to EM fields of consciousness :

    "My hypothesis is that consciousness is the experience of information, from the inside. There is a postulate in physics that information is neither created or destroyed – the conservation of information ‘law’. It is however just a postulate, nobody has ever proved it. But, if true, it would suggest that awareness (associated with that information) – in some form – might survive death." JJ McFadden

    There have been some new studies (2007) in physics that I'm looking at now, which I'll report back later on to see if there are some other clues... .

    In the meantime, we all know William James. He had this feeling that the brain filters our access to a vast consciousness that extends beyond the limits of neural activity.

    I guess in both instances, one could analogize to the computer 'cloud server' idea... .
  • Sam26
    1.3k
    In trying to revisit some theories relative to EM fields of consciousness :3017amen

    It's a very interesting topic, but this thread isn't about theories of consciousness. I don't think we have enough information to come up with a good theory. It's fun to speculate, and I do some of that when talking about NDEs. I don't consider my argument to be speculation, but there are some areas of NDEs where we can speculate because there isn't enough evidence to make a good inference.
  • 3017amen
    166


    No worries, I felt like there was another missing component to the discussion that could be helpful. Thus here was my reasoning below:

    -NDE's have been experienced by people
    -NDE's have been corroborated by third persons
    -NDE's themselves are conscious, subconscious and unconscious phenomena, that happens to people

    -people have consciousness
    - the nature of consciousness is largely unexplained
    -EM fields of consciousness is a concept that tries to explain some human phenomenon (and possibly NDE's)
    -the NDE phenomenon involves conscious states of Being outside the body
    -EM fields of consciousness partly involves theoretical storage of all consciousness states
    -physical theories posit that energy [one's conscious energy] storage include vector space, black holes, or some other unexplained space of possible storage

    So with that said, if the NDE individual has these out of body experiences, yet are presumed dead, how are they able to use their minds to think? Where does their stream of consciousness flow? (How or where does the conscious energy come from without blood supply?)
    Is it a supercomputer that has storage capability?

    These are Metaphysical questions that may not be answerable now, but biophysics/science is providing some new clues of analogous benefit.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    NDE tunnels of light and such can be explained by neurology, and OBE’s by a condition called sleep paralysis. They can also be induced, resulting in full blown episodes. Neither, then, are proof of a beyond, but of an altered brain state.

    It is also the case that people of different religions see different religious figures during NDE’s, an indication that the phenomenon occurs within the mind, not without.

    OBE’s are easily induced by drugs. The fact that there are receptor sites in the brain for such artificially produced chemicals means that there are naturally produced chemical in the brain that, under certain circumstances (the stress of an trauma or an accident, for example), can induce any or all of the experiences typically associated with an NDE or OBE. They are then nothing more than wild trips induced by the trauma of almost dying. Lack of oxygen also produces increased activity though disinhibition—mental modes that give rise to consciousness.

    What about the experience of a tunnel in an NDE? Well, the visual cortex is on the back of the brain where information from the retina is processed. Lack of oxygen, plus drugs generated, can interfere with the normal rate of firing by nerve cells in this area. When this occurs ‘stripes’ of neuronal activity move across the visual cortex, which is interpreted by the brain as concentric rings or spirals. These spirals may be ‘seen’ as a tunnel.

    We normally only see clearly only at about the size of a deck of cards held at arm’s length (Try looking just a little away and the clarity goes way down)—this is the center of the tunnel which is caused by neuronal stripes. I am not really dying to go down the tunnel…
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