The end of the near-death experience

(134 Posts)
Justshabbynochic Mon 26-Aug-13 06:55:24

I've always sat on the believer/non-believer fence.

One of my strongest beliefs in the after-life was the bafflement of scientists over near-death experiences. I would get into debates with athiests over this: "How could a person who is dead still have mental awareness to have these?!"

Well, scientific evidence has come out this week, here:
m.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23672150

I have to say, the article has really shaken me. I don't know why, because I'm sure it's not that surprising, but it's one of the things that have kept me on this side of believing in God, and now I'm feeling really confused and sad about it.

I'd like to hear from Believers (of any faith!), who can read that and tell me why it's inconsequential to them regarding their faith.

I have a fear of dying, so please be gentle if you're Athiest...reinforcing to me there is nothing after death will make me feel worse.

Thanks x

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 11:11:20

No worries Just. I was addressing the fear you have now when I explained about the brain etc. sorry for any misunderstanding.

Justshabbynochic Wed 28-Aug-13 11:36:55

It's a stupid thing to worry about, I know, especially if this truly is it.

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 11:47:49

It's thanks to our HUGE brains that we have the luxury of worrying about death and the meaning of life. Forget death though, wasps are where it's at if you want to taste fear. I totally ruined a picnic with friends yesterday with my relentless. 'OMFG get it OFF me, is it ON me???, is there something in my HAIR???, has it gone???'. Even the kids were looking at me like confused.

Pachacuti Wed 28-Aug-13 11:59:57

ivykaty44, no one having an out of body experience has ever been able to report back on something they would be able to see from their elevated "out of body" position but not from their actual "in body" position.

Under some circumstance the brain processing sensory inputs differently and producing a subjective "out of body" feeling -- yes, absolutely, plenty of evidence. An actual independent existence outside the body -- none at all.

bumbleymummy Wed 28-Aug-13 12:04:59

I've read a few accounts where people have seen things out of their bodies that they couldn't have seen otherwise.

Stripedmum Wed 28-Aug-13 13:09:05

Read up on Anita Moorjani for 'evidence'. Her story is fascinating.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 28-Aug-13 13:09:34

>"does consciousness exist after body death?".

At some point, I don't doubt science will explain how consciousness arises as a physical/chemical phenomenon. So effectively knocking dualism on the head - no 'ghost in the machine', just the 'machine'. Of course people may still choose to believe in consciousness after death, but without the machine how would that be possible?

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 13:14:44

pachacuti - thats interesting,

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 14:23:09

Head, you may not consider it a belief, but that's exactly what it is. The difference is while most people share your beliefs regarding dragons, when it comes to life after death, people (including you) believe many different things. You believe that nothing happens, others believe that something happens.

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 14:39:35

It's not a belief. It's a rejection of claims that have no evidence. As for more people believing LAD theories than dragons. It doesn't matter wether 1 or 1 million people believe something If it has no evidence. It's still groundless.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 28-Aug-13 14:41:21

Dione - yes, but its a belief of the orbiting teapot type.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 15:10:07

But that's the thing about beliefs, they don't need evidence. If there was evidence, they would be seen as facts, not beliefs. Also, when it comes to beliefs, one person's evidence may not be seen as such by others. For example there are psychic investigators out there looking into ghosts, evidence of reincarnation etc. They will tell you that they have evidence and some publish their findings. Essentially it will come down to the beliefs of the reader whether or not to accept the findings as "evidence".

Head, I may be mistaken here, but you approach such questions as the OP posted here, not with an open mind (it's possible but we don't know) but one that is influenced by your belief that there is no LAD.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 15:13:54

Grimma, I don't know anyone who has claimed experience of an orbiting teapot. I have encountered people who claim to have experienced, what for them, is evidence of LAD. Indeed history and literature is full of them.

Justshabbynochic Wed 28-Aug-13 15:20:23

Also, your fear of being stung by a wasp...it's because it might sting you. My fear trumps your fear cos there's no might to death. grin

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 15:33:51

I don't have a belief that there is no afterlife. I just don't accept the claims because there isn't any evidence for it. And by evidence I mean repeatable and testable yada yada. For me to believe something there needs to be evidence for it. I just find that works best for me and gives me confidence that I'm not believing stuff just because I want to, or because other people do or whatever.

If I say to myself 'ooh that persons recount of their experience is enough for me to think that xyz could really be true' then the floodgates open and I have no intellectual reason to reject anyone's personal testimony about anything at any time. And then it all gets a bit silly. So I like to have a system to work our what is likely and that system is hard evidence.

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 15:34:40

But wasps are really stingy! They're like flying scorpions. <quivers>

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 15:41:58

Head, what you seem to be saying is that you require scientific proof. You do know that you're probably not going to find it on a Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality board don't you?grin

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 15:43:31

So Dione your threshold for credibility is personal testimony. So you've got someone claiming to have had an NDE/OBE and another who says there is a half man/half moth type creature living in the woods behind his house and another claiming to have fairies in their garden. Would you feel all claims equally credible?

How would you determine plausibility? And remember numbers of testimony is nether here nor there, a thing doesn't become more true depending on numbers of believers and vice versa.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 28-Aug-13 15:45:11

Discussing the nature of evidence and scientific proof surely can fit under philosophy.

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 15:46:44

You never know, someone might point me in the direction of new evidence although I suspect it would be all over the news if there were a new discovery.

And besides, philosophy is about debating the nature of reality which is what we're doing.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 15:47:48

Also, I am not saying that you should believe anything that someone else tells you. We have reasoning and judgement and should use them. What I am saying is that you do not approach the questions with an open mind and then decide based on evidence and testimony given at the time. You approach it with your belief foremost in your mind.

JemimaPuddle Wed 28-Aug-13 16:11:19

I completely understand OP.
I have a fear of dying which only came about after having my DCs and losing my dad.
I do believe but worry about blackness & particularly those moments before you actually die. How terrifying sad

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 16:15:28

I can't say that there is no life after death. What I can say is that I don't have any reason to believe it at this point. Until I am presented with some testable evidence I am unable to change my position. I can't think of a better way to approach reality.

Justshabbynochic Wed 28-Aug-13 16:17:33

Jemima my first feelings like this came when my grandmother died when I was 16. I was actually put om anti-anxiety meds due to developing panic attacks over it.

I was then cured for years and came off the meds when I was 19 or 20, and didn't have any problems until recently. I have a 6 month old DD so I think, like you, having children is what's changed for me.

I don't panic over it but in the darkness of night when everyones asleep I sometimes get this overwhelming frightened feeling when it dawns on me that I will leave my kids some day.

headinhands Wed 28-Aug-13 16:27:54

Dione can you talk me through the reason and logic you use when you wish to determine the credibility of something which there is no evidence for?

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