• Sam26
    2.2k
    I've been continuing my studies of NDEs, in particular I've been listening to people from other cultures and their experiences. The following is one of those experiences.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl3OS7aA1gg
  • Joe0082
    19
    Forget NDE. What about waking in the night and seeing actual ghosts?
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Don't really know what to say about ghosts. I try to stick to things that I'm currently working on.
  • Joe0082
    19
    Like after-death ghosts
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    One of the ideas I've been working on, as some of you know, is the idea of presenting the argument in this thread so that it allows me to make the epistemological claim, that, "I know consciousness survives the death of the body." So, I brought everything I knew about logic and epistemology together with what I believe to be strong testimonial evidence and made the argument. However, the problem is that unless you've had the experience it's difficult to see these experiences as veridical (coinciding with reality). It's much easier, depending on your world view, to write them off as hallucinations, drug induced, lack of oxygen to the brain, or some other brain induced phenomena. Each of these objections must be analyzed to see if there is any credence to the objection. I'm more than satisfied with my investigations to make the claim that none of these objections hold up to scrutiny. However, I'm also well aware that it's easy to write NDEs off as, say, a hallucination because they are so different from what we might call "normal" conscious experiences. It doesn't take much work to write NDEs off as hallucinations or some other brain phenomena because it's an easy way to dismiss them. It takes more work to study the nature of hallucinations, and how the psychiatric community generally defines hallucinations, then compare them to NDEs.

    How do we determine whether a particular experience is veridical or not? Very basically it's done by agreement. Moreover, we also agree that other experiences have a nature quite distinct from our normal everyday experiences, such as dreams, hallucinations, delusions, etc. And, we use these words as a way to describe experiences that are not veridical, nonetheless real experiences. We tend to separate out these experiences because they are so subjective, i.e., we can't objectively verify these kinds of experiences. Whereas, if I say there is an apple tree in my backyard, there is a way for others to check the claim, viz., we can see it for ourselves. It can get more complicated, because what if I have a dream that there is an apple tree in my backyard, and there is really an apple tree in my backyard, does this mean the dream is veridical? Obviously not.

    So, part of the problem, as in many philosophical arguments is weeding through the semantics of the argument. In many ways it's related to some of things Wittgenstein worked on, viz., how we use words. What do we mean by "real," "dream," hallucination," "conscious," etc? Understanding the use of these words can help clarify the argument and get us closer to the truth.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    This is an interesting video discussing among other things some of the objections to NDEs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OGtxV0a6f8&t=860s
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Growing Evidence of Life After Death

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0AvstZQl1o
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    For those of you interested in the study of NDEs, and related subjects, I've been invited to do a podcast next year. After the podcast is complete it will be uploaded to Youtube, and I will provide a link. I will be providing more information in the coming months. I don't have a firm date yet, but I've been assured an upcoming spot.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    As some of you know, my study of NDEs is centered around what we can know, so it's an epistemological study of the testimonial evidence.

    Also, my conclusions are not coming from a religious point of view, especially since I'm not religious. I also don't believe that NDEs necessarily support the idea of a God, so I'm agnostic about that. It is true, however, that people who have had an NDE believe they've encountered religious beings (God, angels, Jesus, Muhammed, etc.), but I have found when comparing NDEs from around the world that one's culture affects how one interprets the beings they encounter. So, just as our everyday experiences are sifted through our worldview, the same is true of NDEs. I have found very little evidence that supports the idea of a particular religious God, which is not to say there isn't some supreme being, but only to point out that if there is, it's probably very different from how religion defines God. There does seem to be some source that we emanate from, i.e., some base consciousness.

    In this thread my argument has centered around the conclusion that consciousness survives the death of the body. This means that consciousness is not a biological function, no more than a radio or TV is the source of the programs that you hear or see. The brain, for lack of a better analogy, acts as a receiver, and when the receiver is destroyed in some way, it no longer picks up the signal. The source of the signal is still there, but the receiver (the brain) is no longer able to receive that signal.

    There are other conclusions that can be inferred based on the evidence, but I've tried to limit the scope of my conclusion to make it as simple as possible. Some of the other conclusion that can be inferred is that our loved ones have survived the death of the body (encountered deceased loved ones happens quite often in an NDE), that our home is not here, i.e., we originate from another place (metaphysical place), that there are specific reasons why we choose to experience this life, and that we choose many of our experiences prior to coming here. There is also the idea that we have experienced many lifetimes, but I don't like using the term reincarnation because of the religious baggage that comes with it. What seems clear to me is that if we do live out other lives there has to be a source that maintains the continuity of the self, otherwise it's difficult to make sense of the idea. I do believe there is a point from which the self operates, and from that point it can place itself into other realities. In a way, we do this already with games like WoW or Final Fantasy XIV, but in a very limited sense. I can play multiple characters in the game, but each character is still me, i.e., I can maintain the continuity of the self, even though I can act through different avatars.
  • sime
    799
    What seems clear to me is that if we do live out other lives, in order to do this, there has to be a source that maintains the continuity of the self, otherwise it's difficult to make sense of this idea.Sam26

    Why not just deny the possibility of eternal oblivion by denying the existence of a continuous self, even within a single lifetime? That way you circumvent the need for evidence of reincarnation, and avoid all of the scepticism that the begging of evidence entails.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Why not just deny the possibility of eternal oblivion by denying the existence of a continuous self, even within a single lifetime? That way you circumvent the need for evidence of reincarnation, and avoid all of the scepticism that the begging of evidence entails.sime

    Well, I go where the testimonial evidence leads even if I don't understand how or why certain experiences happen. There is much about these experiences that are mysterious, but if these are veridical experiences, which I believe they are, then if would obviously follow that we lack understanding of the mechanisms involved. It would be like trying to figure out a civilization that is thousands or millions of years ahead of us, much of what would be described would seem contradictory or impossible.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    This is one of the best NDEs I've heard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCOpzLBYeto
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    I came across something that at least suggests that consciousness is probably more than just a brain function. A man in France who lives a relatively normal healthy life with damage to 90% of his brain. Obviously this isn't conclusive evidence, but it's getting people to think that consciousness isn't just a brain function. I already believe there is strong evidence to support the conclusion that consciousness isn't just a biological function based on NDEs.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-who-lives-without-90-of-his-brain-is-challenging-our-understanding-of-consciousness
  • Sunlight
    9

    The little note at the end is the most important part of the article which betrays the notion that the person lost neurons at all (..or at least the amount proposed). In fact when the article became popular on other corners of the internet, many people were already saying the same thing. Impressive that his brain withstood that much pressure, for sure, but I'm not sure how this particular story helps your idea.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    I definitely would rely on something like this to support the conclusion that consciousness is not a brain function, there are better arguments.
  • hope
    216
    Evidence of Consciousness Surviving the BodySam26

    The body does not survive consciousness.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    You're right, the body doesn't survive consciousness. I think you have your words switched around. Don't you mean to say, consciousness doesn't survive the body? If that's your argument you've definitely convinced me. Of course you're in good company, because most of the arguments I get are of the same quality, or not much better.
  • hope
    216
    I think you have your words switched around. Don't you mean to say, consciousness doesn't survive the body?Sam26

    No I didn't
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Then I have no idea what you're talking about.
  • hope
    216
    Then I have no idea what you're talking about.Sam26

    The body does not survive consciousness.

    Is what I said and what I meant.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Well, my argument is that when the body dies, consciousness goes on, so obviously the body doesn't survive consciousness. Your wording is a bit confusing.
  • hope
    216
    Your wording is a bit confusing.Sam26

    Is consciousness in the body?

    Or is the body in consciousness?
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Well, some believe that consciousness is a biological function of the brain, so in this case consciousness is in the body, so to speak. I've never heard anyone refer to our bodies being in consciousness. I believe the source of consciousness is outside the body. The brain is like a receiver that transmits consciousness through the body. Like a radio picking up sound waves and transmitting the sounds through its components.
  • hope
    216
    Like a radio picking up sound waves and transmitting the sounds through its components.Sam26

    Radio doesn't pick up sound waves. It picks up patterns of electromagnetic radiation and converts them into sound waves. Neither of which are conscious.

    The ears pick up sound waves and convert them to electronic impulses in the brain. Again neither of which are conscious. And neither of which contain any music.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Ya, obviously it's not sound waves (I went brain dead.), we'd be waiting much longer for these signals to reach us if it wasn't electromagnetic radiation. However, my point is that the wave doesn't originate in the radio, the radio picks it up via the receiver.

    Obviously the waves are not conscious, who would think that? It's just an analogy to show that the brain is in some way like the radio. Like most analogies it has its limitations in terms of likeness.
  • hope
    216
    the brain is in some way like the radioSam26

    The brain is a temporary aspect of consciousness,

    it appear and disappears in consciousness,

    and therefore cannot be receiving it
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    You're giving me an opinion. Moreover, I don't think that most people who study consciousness believe (even if they are materialists) that the brain is a temporary aspect of consciousness. Most seem to believe that consciousness resides in the brain, i.e., that it can be explained through biological processes.

    Your making statements without giving an argument in support of your conclusions or beliefs. How do you arrive at these beliefs? What's your supporting data?
  • hope
    216
    Most seem to believe that consciousness resides in the brainSam26

    That's the problem. People are too busy believing to look at the evidence.

    I don't claim any belief, I just describe the evidence as it actually is. Look for yourself.
  • hope
    216
    denying the existence of a continuous selfsime

    We don't need to disprove/deny a negative(something with no evidence).

    It's impossible to prove to someone their consciousness is not eternal.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    More and more is the study of NDEs leading me to the conclusion that consciousness is fundamental. Some of the early theories of consciousness that are being developed may have problems, but I think they are headed in the right direction. The following documentary is an interesting look at where some of these ideas are going. If I was young again I would pursue these ideas and studies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYjnZCy_ZK4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynTqCFBhRmw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv25EcaUQBo
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