• Sam26
    2.6k
    Could millions be liars and or delusional and or themselves persuaded before its first conversion into data? Maybe, but assume not. Could you say (and I haven't looked into this) the same about those who claim to be born again, saved by the holy spirit (speaking in tongues, muscle spasms, new outlook etc) or those who claim Satori etc? Or visitations/alien viewings?ENOAH

    Of course it's not just the numbers, as I've said, it's all the criteria that make a strong inductive argument. So, the numbers are impressive, but numbers don't give us the truth or the facts. You have to look at the testimonial evidence as a whole which leads to a strong conclusion.

    I don't put much stock in religious belief, there is some overlap, but overall, the evidence for an afterlife based on NDEs is overwhelming. The evidence for some religious belief is very subjective and flimsy. NDEs give a much better picture of the afterlife than any religious view and with stronger testimonial evidence.

    What if there might be other explanations for the consistencies besides that the claims are factual?ENOAH

    I never said that NDEs are consistent because they are factual. I said that the fact that NDEs are generally consistent gives support to the truth of the testimonials.

    I take the testimonials at face value unless there are good reasons not to. I would suggest re-reading that post so that you fully understand the logic.

    Thanks for the compliment, and the reply.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    How can I know that the experience that I'm having (or remember having) is a near death experience?jkop

    If you had an NDE it wouldn't be something that easily forgotten. Moreover, you would know based on what others have reported and comparing your experience with theirs.

    Just listen to this NDE, it may answer your questions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZfaPCwjguk
  • Philosophim
    2.5k

    Your one major problem is that in every case of "life after death" experience, the patient has never been fully brain dead. Meaning these are living experiences, not after death experiences. Sorry, there is no evidence of life after death. Conclusively.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    I'm not sure what you mean by fully brain-dead. People have had these experiences when there is no measurable brain activity. They have also been reported with the blood completely drained from their brain. Besides what matters are their reports while claiming to be outside their bodies, and that these reports have been corroborated thousands and thousands of times which adds an objective component to the testimonials.

    I never referred to these experiences as after-death experiences, those are your words, not mine.

    To say that "...there is no evidence of life after death" is just an expression of an opinion. I've given a well-structured inductive argument that supports my conclusion.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    ↪Philosophim I'm not sure what you mean by fully brain-dead. People have had these experiences when there is no measurable brain activity.Sam26

    Incorrect. Cite me a case in which a person had complete brain death and I'll recant.

    They have also been reported with the blood completely drained from their brains.Sam26

    This is again, impossible. To completely drain the blood from a brain you would have to completely drain the blood from the body. Again, cite this case please.

    Besides what matters are their reports while claiming to be outside their bodies, and that these reports have been corroborated thousands and thousands of times which adds an objective component to the testimonials.Sam26

    And what about the thousands and thousands of cases in which there was no testimonial? In which a person was simply completely unconscious and nothing more? My Aunt had a near death experience and she said she was being stabbed and tortured. She was a good person. Are we going to simply brush that under the rug? Cherry picking what you're looking for and saying you have a lot of similar cases is not a viable argument.

    I never referred to these experiences as after-death experiences, those are your words, not mine.

    To say that "...there is no evidence of life after death" is just an expression of an opinion.
    Sam26

    No. It is a cold and unerring fact. First, we can cite the complete lack of objective evidence. There has never been any signs of life after something has died. Second, we can cite the objective evidence of how the brain functions, and how it ties to people's personalities and ability to function in the world. Years of drug studies and brain surgery have demonstrated that you are your brain. There is no other alternative.

    You will die. I will die. We all, will die. Don't waste what precious life and purpose you have on thinking that fantasy and fiction are real. Go and enjoy every precious second. You'll never get any of them back.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Incorrect. Cite me a case in which a person had complete brain death and I'll recant.Philosophim

    I'll ask you one more time, what do you mean by complete brain death? I never use any such terms. When I speak of death, I mean clinical death, i.e., no measurable brain activity, no heartbeat, and no breathing. Are you disputing that there are any NDEs that occur when a person is pronounced clinically dead? If you want an e.g. of someone who had an NDE when there was no measurable brain activity then I would give the example of Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA

    They have also been reported with the blood completely drained from their brains.
    — Sam26

    This is again, impossible. To completely drain the blood from a brain you would have to completely drain the blood from the body. Again, cite this case please.
    Philosophim

    This is a well documented case, here is one of many videos on this NDE.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    No. It is a cold and unerring fact. First, we can cite the complete lack of objective evidence. There has never been any signs of life after something has died. Second, we can cite the objective evidence of how the brain functions, and how it ties to people's personalities and ability to function in the world. Years of drug studies and brain surgery have demonstrated that you are your brain. There is no other alternative.Philosophim

    First, what you're claiming is not an unerring fact. Just because someone claims something is factual doesn't make it so. And your claim that there is no objective evidence shows just how little you know of the subject. Many thousands of NDE testimonials have been corroborated by doctors, nurses, friends, and family. If someone claims to see something at T1 and others corroborate that claim, then it's objective testimonial evidence, period.

    Years of drug studies and brain surgery have demonstrated that you are your brain. There is no other alternative.Philosophim

    There is no other alternative, what a silly statement, and an arrogant one too. Many scientists dispute this. In any case, my argument stands.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    I'll ask you one more time, what do you mean by complete brain death?Sam26

    Here is a scientific article on the matter Sam26. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0787/5/2/18 I encourage you to read that.

    This is a well documented case, here is one of many videos on this NDE.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k
    Sam26

    I know you're well meaning, but a 'for tv' story is not a factual analysis. Here's an analysis of why Pam Reynolds NDE does not note anything remarkable. https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461684/m1/1/

    First, what you're claiming is not an unerring fact. Just because someone claims something is factual doesn't make it so.Sam26

    Correct. But we have all the proof we need. If I say, "Its a fact unicorn's don't exist," you're not going to question me on it right? There is no measurement of anything that leaves the brain or body after death. If you have brain damage, you will change. You are part of this universe, not separate from it. I get that your intelligence and sense of self-preservation make you want to give the proverbial middle finger to the rest of the universe, but you are not special. You are made up of the same stuff everything else is.

    But we are not special. It is hubris to think we are. Check out some neuroscience. Check out psychotherapy. Get drunk for a while and see how much you change. There is nothing special about you beyond your physical make up.

    Many thousands of NDE testimonials have been corroborated by doctors, nurses, friends, and family. If someone claims to see something at T1 and others corroborate that claim, then it's objective testimonial evidence, period.Sam26

    I am not disputing that people have these experiences. But I am disputing that they are any evidence in any serious discussion of life after death. All the facts are on my side, while all you have are inductive arguments, and a strong desire for it to be true.

    There is no other alternative, what a silly statement, and an arrogant one too. Many scientists dispute thisSam26

    Its not arrogant, its a fact. If its arrogant, give me a counter fact. To not give me a counter fact is a person who is angry at a point, but nothing else. I don't want you to be angry, hopeful, passionate, or anything emotional. I want you to look at the facts. Don't tell me, "Many scientists," show me a scientist who has a peer reviewed study that cites a factual argument for life after death. There are none. Because there is no life after death. It is purely an emotional desire people want to believe in.
  • Relativist
    2.3k
    When I speak of death, I mean clinical death, i.e., no measurable brain activity, no heartbeat, and no breathing.Sam26
    You make too much of the definition. People who have had NDEs have not experienced brain decomposition (clearly a point of no return), and the absence of measurable brain activity does not imply there is NO brain activity.
  • ENOAH
    731
    Because there is no life after death. It is purely an emotional desire people want to believe in.Philosophim

    Yes, like out of body experiences, spiritual enlightenment/"salvation", ghost and alien summoning/sightings; all of which have similarly consistent reports.
  • jkop
    724
    How can I know that the experience that I'm having (or remember having) is a near death experience?
    — jkop

    If you had an NDE it wouldn't be something that easily forgotten. Moreover, you would know based on what others have reported and comparing your experience with theirs.

    Just listen to this NDE, it may answer your questions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZfaPCwjguk
    Sam26

    It's reasonable to believe that her report is sincere. Most reports of NDEs probably are. Nevertheless, there is ambiguity in how perceptual verbs such as 'experience' are used

    In one sense 'experience' means the conscious state that arises from brain activity. In another sense it means the objects and states of affairs that the conscious state is about.

    By using these two senses ambiguously you can produce intriguingly absurd results. For example, experiences without brain activity, or a world where all objects and states of affairs are made of brain activity. Fallacies of ambiguity.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    :100:

    from p.28 of this thread ...
    Resuscitation is not resurrection. "NDE" presupposes resurrection and yet none of the claimants, in fact, have been resurrected.180 Proof
  • night912
    4
    I'll ask you one more time, what do you mean by complete brain death? I never use any such terms. When I speak of death, I mean clinical death, i.e., no measurable brain activity, no heartbeat, and no breathing. Are you disputing that there are any NDEs that occur when a person is pronounced clinically dead? If you want an e.g. of someone who had an NDE when there was no measurable brain activity then I would give the example of Pam's NDE out of Atlanta, GA

    -

    There are two issues with this. First, what's in bold is key. It's not the same as no brain activity at all. Different types of medical machines detect brain activity differently. A machine that is designed to specifically concentrate on brain activity is more accurate than one that just monitor the life status of a patient. "Clinical death" is actually misleading because it's not the same as being dead. Death is a process. Whereas dead is a state. It's more accurate to describe it using the word, "dying."

    The second one is important. When it comes to "clinical death," there are two types, involuntary and voluntary. When it comes to the case of Pam, she fell under voluntary clinical death. This occurs during sleep brain surgery. This means that instead of the continuously deteriorating brain activity, it's a control one, in that it's deteriorating in pulses. Machines are technically preventing the brain becoming dead by constantly sending electrical pulses to the brain.

    Also, the video that you linked is poor source for accessing her case. It's a documentary video and not an examination video. Put aside the notion that it's a video about NDE, it's a demonstration of an explanation for the layman, not a scientific explanation. The narrator presents a simple explanation of what is going on. This goes for the medical representative as well. An example is when the narrator state that the her brain was drained of fluid. What's not mentioned is that during a surgery, the brain is not entirely drained of its fluids. What's actually going on is that the fluid is slowly but constantly being drained. This is to prevent there being any fluidic pressure so not to interfere with what the surgeon is doing. Once the surgeon is done, the process is reversed. Fluid is slowly added back into the brain along with electrical pulses to bring the brain activity back to normal condition.

    --‐‐------

    Here's a scientific explanation for her case.

    - According to the psychologist Chris French:

    Woerlee, an anesthesiologist with many years of clinical experience, has considered this case in detail and remains unconvinced of the need for a paranormal explanation... [He] draws attention to the fact that Reynolds could only give a report of her experience some time after she recovered from the anesthetic as she was still intubated when she regained consciousness. This would provide some opportunity for her to associate and elaborate upon the sensations she had experienced during the operation with her existing knowledge and expectations. The fact that she described the small pneumatic saw used in the operation also does not impress Woerlee. As he points out, the saw sounds like and, to some extent, looks like the pneumatic drills used by dentists.[2] -

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pam_Reynolds_case
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    Because there is no life after deathPhilosophim

    Maybe. Does this entail or imply that there is nothing after death? Consciousness can and does transcend the limits of individual physical entities. You yourself are an aggregate of individual entities (cells) whose mutual "communication" is integral to what you experience as consciousness. But your cells constantly die. So if you cannot reductively explain consciousness with reference to the finite lifespan of individual entities (i.e. consciousness can transcend the destruction of finite living things) then you cannot conclusively eliminate it based on the termination of a finite life-form either.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Maybe. Does this entail or imply that there is nothing after death?Pantagruel

    Entail. Its easy to make the mistake that just because we can imagine something, and it seems reasonable to us, we think it has the possibility of being real. It does not. For what is imagined to be real, there must be evidence of it being real somehow. There is zero evidence.

    ou yourself are an aggregate of individual entities (cells) whose mutual "communication" is integral to what you experience as consciousness. But your cells constantly die. So if you cannot reductively explain consciousness with reference to the finite lifespan of individual entitiesPantagruel

    But this applies to every cellular structure. So does my skin transcend physical limits because muscle cells constantly die and are replaced? But lets go further. Does this also apply to society? Isn't a society a set of communicating individuals that constantly die? Does this mean societies transcend their physical application and live on in some other dimension after they die?

    The problem is your argument just doesn't apply to brains specifically, but to every single thing that lives and communicates on the planet. And of course you think its absurd that there is a consciousness of society that still lives on in heaven when the society dies. The personal desire for eternal life overrides your ability to apply the argument broadly and consistently. As a rational argument divest of any emotion, bias, or self-interest, it is completely illogical by everything we know to think that a person's consciousness lives on after they die.
  • jkop
    724


    Entail.[/quote]

    I recall seeing a documentary where biologist dehydrates all the cells of a tardigrade, including its metabolic organ, nerve system etc.. Since it becomes a completely dry thing without functioning parts it seems fairly reasonable to call it dead. Later, however, when it is rehydrated, the cells, organs, nerve system etc. start functioning again.

    If tardigrades have experiences, then near death experiences are possible. :cool:

    tardigrade.jpg
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    If tardigrades have experiences, then near death experiences are possible. :cool:jkop

    I never said people didn't have these experiences. I've just noted they are not evidence of experiences after death, or that there is a survival of consciousness beyond brain death.
  • jkop
    724
    I agree. Constituent parts and functions, such as biochemical events, a nerve system etc. are necessary for conscious experience.

    The tardigrade goes into a state of cryptobiosis in which its metabolic and other systems shut down. So, after all, it's probably not so reasonable to call it dead.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    For what is imagined to be real, there must be evidence of it being real somehow. There is zero evidence.Philosophim

    Sure. Democritus imagined atoms were real. And there was evidence. It just wasn't available to him at the time that he imagined it. But his imaginings formed part of the overall inquiry that eventually led to the discovery of that evidence. Which in itself is yet more evidence that consciousness transcends that of the individual....
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Sure. Democritus imagined atoms were real. And there was evidence. It just wasn't available to him at the time that he imagined it. But his imaginings formed part of the overall inquiry that eventually led to the discovery of that evidence. Which in itself is yet more evidence that consciousness transcends that of the individual....Pantagruel

    Induction is a valuable form of thinking, but we must be very careful in how we use it, and what we can conclude from it. People also imagined that spontaneous creation was real. If you left meat out overnight, flies would spontaneously create themselves. This is because they didn't understand that flies laid eggs.

    Induction, depending on how its formed, is a reasonable state of inquiry, NOT assertion. Its a mistake people make all the time. Let me give you some examples.

    Probability - The coin in most cases has an approximately 50% chance of landing on one side. This is a calculated set of limited outcomes concluded by reason and the known physical realities of the universe. But we still need to flip the coin to see a side.

    Possibility - Its possible the coin could land on heads or tails. Its because we've observed it happening before. If its been known to happen once, it could happen again. But we need to flip that coin to see what comes up.

    Plausibility - The coin could change its material essence due to an unknown law of physics, and on flipping, become so light that it escapes Earth's orbit and never comes down. We can imagine it, it, the construction of our statements make it feel (not actually be) reasonable, so we think its possible. We still must have someone die, and find some evidence that they survive after death. But its not possible because it hasn't happened yet. Its plausible, or an imagined scenario that has never come to pass.

    Its plausible that we survive after death. But its also plausible that your ceiling is actually a sentient alien that likes watching humans. Plausibility has zero fact behind it, it is just what we can imagine that has not happened even once. Plausibility is not in the realm of facts. Probability is based on the logical limitations that come from known facts. Possibility is based on the fact it has happened at least once. Plausibility is purely the realm of imagination.

    Plausible thoughts are absolutely essential for discovery. They are what compel us to explore and find new things. They are the source of creativity. But they are NOT facts. They are feelings that should never be confused as being real until we have confirmed that they are in fact real.

    So, no. Being able to think that its plausible we live on after we die is no evidence of any fact that we live on after we die. In fact, every fact that we do know of shows that the probability of our consciousness living on after death is 0%. We know that its not possible to live on after we die. And since probability and possibility are at least based on some facts, they are more cogent, and take precedence in logical thinking over plausibilities.

    Therefore it is a deduced fact that we do not live on after death. And if we are to enter into the realm of induction, the more reasonable inductions are that it is both improbable, and impossible that we live on after death. It doesn't mean we can't keep looking for plausibilities we like to be true. But we can never reasonably assert that because we can hold a plausibility, that it is any evidence that it is true.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    Its plausible that we survive after death.Philosophim

    I agree.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Its plausible that we survive after death.
    — Philosophim

    I agree.
    Pantagruel

    Which is fine. You can agree with any plausibility. Its plausible that green men live on the moon. Or plausible that anything you can imagine could be. Agreeing with it is irrelevant to any claim of truth or fact.

    More importantly, do you agree by the definitions above that it is impossible for life to continue after death? And I don't mean your feelings, I mean rationally?
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    More importantly, do you agree by the definitions above that it is impossible for life to continue after death? And I don't mean your feelings, I mean rationally?Philosophim

    Life? Sure. Consciousness? No. They are not necessarily equivalent. Perhaps Consciousness is emergent from Life.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Life? Sure. Consciousness? No. They are not necessarily equivalent. Perhaps Consciousness is emergent from Life.Pantagruel

    True, they aren't equivalent. But we have not seen any evidence of life nor consciousness continue after death. Therefore there is 0 probability, and thus it is impossible for us to say consciousness continues after death as well.

    Is it plausible that consciousness continues after death? Just as plausible that everything we know in physics will be found wrong in the future. But these plausibilities are not facts, likelihoods, or an assertion of anything more than imagined speculation. We may speculate and imagine all we want, but rationally we need to make decisions regarding what we know today.

    You of course can believe in pluasibilities, there's nothing stopping you. The question is whether the belief is rational or not. In the case of consciousness after death, it is an irrational belief. All evidence of the brain and mind points to the end of consciousness after death, while there has never been any viable evidence that points to its opposite. It is, with our current understanding, only justified by the fact we want consciousness to exist after death, and nothing more.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    Just as plausible that everything we know in physics will be found wrong in the futurePhilosophim

    Like the JWST crisis in cosmology?

    I have a pretty good grasp of what's scientific and what's not. I'm not aware of any science that contradicts the fact that consciousness appears to transcend materialism in significant ways. What you are claiming might be true in a reductionist reality. But reductionism is no longer, what is your word, plausible.
  • Philosophim
    2.5k
    Just as plausible that everything we know in physics will be found wrong in the future
    — Philosophim

    Like the JWST crisis in cosmology?
    Pantagruel

    Exactly. All knowledge is an assertion of what we know today. We know its possible to learn new things and change what we know over time. What I'm stating here applies to all rational claims, not just the afterlife. I don't have anything personal against the afterlife, there's just no evidence for it. It doesn't mean we didn't know what physics was prior to the new discovery. Its that we knew physics as what it was prior to the new discovery. That knowledge is based on what can be rationally concluded with the information we have at the time.

    I have a pretty good grasp of what's scientific and what's not. I'm not aware of any science that contradicts the fact that consciousness appears to transcend materialism in significant ways.Pantagruel

    The significant science and medical conclusions over the years can be summarized here:

    Advances in neuroscience: Being able to predict what people are going to say before they say it. Prodding the brain to elicit responses. Brain mapping which entails areas that are catered to different functions of the body and sense interpretation. Cutting the corpus callosum and seeing how people are different afterward. Brain injuries that alter people's personalities, or ability to perceive senses despite the sense organs being perfectly healthy.

    Psychotherapy: Depression and psychiatric treatment of extreme mental disorders such as schizophrenia and other forms of psychopathy. Alcohols slow deterioration of the brain in alcoholics and how it directly affects their motor skills and capability to reason.

    No measurable energy outside of what would chemically be predicted upon brain death emerges or is found emanating from the body. No indicator of being able to communicate with a dead consciousness.

    Everything points to your consciousness forming from your brain, and without your brain, you have no consciousness. If consciousness could exist separately from the body, but it needed a physical brain to 'live', then the disentanglement of consciousness should be physically detectable. But there is no evidence.

    The study of insect and mammalian brains. Do you think they're consciousness exists after death? There is no evidence of this either.

    So I see tons of points that lead us to rationally conclude consciousness does not extend on after death. There is no how, where, what, or why. There is only a personal belief in the desire that it be true.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    So I see tons of points that lead us to rationally conclude consciousness does not extend on after death. There is no how, where, what, or why. There is only a personal belief in the desire that it be true.Philosophim

    Perhaps the possibility is a function the belief itself.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    My view of epistemology is that there are several ways of acquiring knowledge that aren’t dependent on a scientific approach (experimentation, data collection, and peer-reviewed papers). This isn’t to say that there isn’t scientific research into the subject of NDEs, or that the scientific approach isn’t helpful. My idea is to keep this argument as simple as possible and still maintain a strong inductive argument that most people can follow. The three epistemological elements of my argument include logic, sensory experience, and testimonial evidence. These three ways of acquiring knowledge are sufficient in themselves to make a reasonable conclusion that consciousness survives death. Moreover, this epistemological point of view is the same view that most of us take in our everyday lives, and it’s quite reliable apart from science. Again, I believe that the everyday person who isn’t familiar with a lot of scientific jargon or even philosophical jargon can make the reasonable inference that we survive death. By reasonable, I mean that the evidence is strong enough to claim that one knows the conclusion is true and justified.

    I’m not claiming that our knowledge in this case is known with absolute certainty, just as most of our knowledge isn’t known with absolute certainty. I’m claiming that the evidence is known with a high degree of certainty. I understand that most of you know this, but some think that a belief/conclusion is only knowledge if it follows necessarily. This is false.

    I have already given the inductive argument so there is no need to give it again. Here is the link https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/912262 . This is the logic behind the argument.

    Testimonial evidence can be quite weak, but in certain cases, it can be quite strong. I’m claiming that the testimonial evidence is very strong based on the variety of sources from around the world, the relative consistency of the sources, and the corroborative evidence that adds an objective component to the testimonial evidence. This objective component also dispels the notion that the experience is a hallucination, delusion, dream, lack of oxygen, etc.

    Whether a person is defined as dead or not doesn’t diminish the strength of the argument. Why? Because it’s the out-of-body experience and the sensory experiences that people have that suggest that consciousness is not confined to the brain. And to think that someone can point to some brain activity to show that it’s the brain that creates consciousness is similar to pointing to a component in a radio to show that what you’re listening to is confined to the radio. It doesn't follow.

    The experiences of NDErs seeing deceased relatives and people that they didn’t know were dead lends credence to the conclusion that consciousness survives death. This doesn’t even include deathbed visions where people see their loved ones come to them just before death. I don’t include these in my argument because they are so subjective, but when combined with NDEs they seem to support the idea that consciousness continues far beyond this life.

    Another important point is that many of the people who have NDEs report that their experience is not diminished, which is what you might expect with a brain that isn’t getting enough oxygen or blood, in fact, it is heightened. By heightened I mean their sensory experiences are much sharper, they see colors that they haven’t seen before, and their vision is reported to be expanded (360-degree vision) in many cases. This reality seems dreamlike by comparison to what they see when out of their body. In many cases, people claim that this reality is a dumbed-down version of that reality. You would think that dying brains would have less sensory acuity than a normal brain, not more.

    Finally, I want to add that I don't think that any religion fully captures the idea of life after death, so this isn't about any religious idea or doctrine. I'm certainly not religious, i.e., I don't subscribe to any religious ideology. However, there is some overlap.
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