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TDB: Heaven is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife


AsburySkinsFan

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That's about right.

You make it sound like I invented skepticism.

Please understand that real knowledge is an extremely precious and valuable thing. It is both precious and valuable precisely because it has standards for evidence.

---------- Post added October-11th-2012 at 01:15 PM ----------

What should we accept as known?

Is it known that there is a repeatable natural world?

One's answer to the second question depends on one's answer to the first question. Please please please let us not restart this discussion. You will not succeed in erasing the distinction between reliable knowledge and unreliable stories.

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Why do you believe that one is better suited based on Occam's razor and requires fewer assumptions?

What assumptions does the first require that supercede the ones inherent in the 2nd?

Well I suppose they can both be boiled down to "there is stuff we don't know" depending on how someone wants to reduce it. However, the first involves an entire re-thinking of how the universe works that is in some ways contrary to how we experience it and have tested it; an completely new backdrop or tapestry that underlies everything but we can't, or haven't been able to, experience or test for it (at least at the moment).

The second possibility I mentioned is also a "we don't know (yet)" scenario, but it involves a much less grand re-imagining of our current knowledge about the brain and how it works. The first option has a huge number of moving parts and is incredibly complex by its very nature; that is why I invoked Occam's razor.

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You make it sound like I invented skepticism.

Please understand that real knowledge is an extremely precious and valuable thing. It is both precious and valuable precisely because it has standards for evidence.

No, I just make skepticism sound as absurd as it is, remember no one lives the way skepticism suggests we should, that makes us all dullards to the skeptics until it is pointed out that skeptics don't even live byntheir own skepticism, but just insist that everyone else should.

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The crucial part of the article, IMO:

"All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent."

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Let's just cut to the quick here. Science has, for YEARS now, been using the scientific method to disprove the existence of a higher being. Because you can't "prove" such a being exists using the scientific method. People that do this, then look down on anyone espousing religious beliefs (not all, but in generalities). Faith has been, for YEARS, trying to convince people to ignore science and accept a belief. For some of us, the scientific method is not the end all be all. Science needs to accept this. No matter how factually and coldly presented, science will not eradicate faith. For some of us, faith is not the end all be all. Faith needs to accept this. No matter how grandly and convincingly presented, faith will not eradicate science. Can we all agree on this?

Now to this thread: why do those who rely on science feel the need to "disprove" this mans book/article? Does it make you smarter? More accomplished? More respected? I'm gonna answer for you and say no to each of those. Then why enter the discussion? And why post /thread after your response, like you are THE authority on this matter?

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No, I just make skepticism sound as absurd as it is, remember no one lives the way skepticism suggests we should, that makes us all dullards to the skeptics until it is pointed out that skeptics don't even live byntheir own skepticism, but just insist that everyone else should.

How does skepticism suggest we should live?

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I need to adopt the practice of staying away from any religious based thread at ES going forward. It's sad that even a mild epiphany from an avowed skeptic that made him question his own personal beliefs because yet another tired debate of the validity of religious belief.

You all have my personal vow to respect your faith. lack of faith and anything and everything in between. You cannot have a wrong belief in my mind on this subject and I honor what you see as real in your personal life's perspective.

Wish more would do the same

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...

Now to this thread: why do those who rely on science feel the need to "disprove" this mans book/article? Does it make you smarter? More accomplished? More respected? I'm gonna answer for you and say no to each of those. Then why enter the discussion? And why post /thread after your response, like you are THE authority on this matter?

We are all in this together. We have to live together, work together, shape this world together. We are interdependent and interconnected.

When I see people believing without good reasons in things which I think are not true, I naturally feel compelled to discuss the situation. I could be making a mistake. You could be making a mistake. Let's talk about it. This is not about being smart or accomplished. This is about us trying to do the best that we can by putting our minds together.

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The crucial part of the article, IMO:

"All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these experiences are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. My near-death experience, however, took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the severity and duration of my meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent."

However, couldn't it be possible that he experienced those series of vivid images as his cortex was recovering and switching back on? Even if it were an extremely small window of time, he could have perceived it as occurring over a much longer time frame.

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Now to this thread: why do those who rely on science feel the need to "disprove" this mans book/article? Does it make you smarter? More accomplished? More respected? I'm gonna answer for you and say no to each of those. Then why enter the discussion? And why post /thread after your response, like you are THE authority on this matter?

This is silly. He posted the article on a message board. Is your position that people who question or wish to debate something that was posted online (and in a place that the OP knows perfectly well that it will draw certain responses or discussion) should just stay out and let everyone in there say "cool!"?

If so, then he should share it on his facebook with like minded individuals and leave it at that. However, I don't think ASF really wants that; he has always been fine with having discussions and debates about these things.

That being said, you're right about the "/thread" stuff. It really is irksome and arrogant.

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I hear lots of these stories about people who die and get a taste of the "afterlife" usually all positive stuff.

How about we hear a bit from the guy who dies and goes to hell for a while? That's the story im interested in!

Regardless of the reality of the afterlife, the human brain is the final frontier. Not space.

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This is silly. He posted the article on a message board. Is your position that people who question or wish to debate something that was posted online (and in a place that the OP knows perfectly well that it will draw certain responses or discussion) should just stay out and let everyone in there say "cool!"?

If so, then he should share it on his facebook with like minded individuals and leave it at that. However, I don't think ASF really wants that; he has always been fine with having discussions and debates about these things.

That being said, you're right about the "/thread" stuff. It really is irksome and arrogant.

I am all for debate. Debate isn't telling someone they are wrong. Over and over and over. And insulting them in the process. There are several posts in this thread that can be taken as veiled insults at anyone believing anything like what the professor wrote.

That isn't debate.

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Darn it!! Just when I was enjoying the prospect of having plenty of space up there because of the immoral and the increase of nonbelievers, this had to come out.

Then again the Godless and liberals might prefer pushing the B button on the elevator to get to the biggest Hot Tubparty ever :D

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And yet some people continue to question sacred things just because. Why is that?

Because beliefs matter, and we happen to co-dependently co-exist in reality.

Personally, I think that I would be much more relaxed about these things if we did not have as many problems with religious values being pushed into schools, politics, currency, pledges, etc.

I also happen to think that teaching children about hell being a real place where people get tortured is a form of child abuse.

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What exactly is the selection advantage to neurons behaving in a particular way at death? And in a way the produces a particularly pleasing, and remarkably consistent experience? NDEs are still very very rare, so Im not sure mathematically it makes sense to say the the genes that cause these NDE give a selection advantage to those who have them to such a degree that they are likely to go back and leave more descendants than those who dont. Maybe it does, I dunno, I havent studied genetics in a decade..

---------- Post added October-11th-2012 at 02:25 PM ----------

One of the more interesting things about his experience was the, "You can do no wrong" part. How will he reconcile that with his Christian faith? What if he chooses to disbelieve? What if he commits grave sins and does not ask for forgiveness? If he can do no wrong, than what was the point of sending him to this life in the first place? Why not just grant him immediate access to the heavens, if none of his actions are ever to be judged? O

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Personally, I think that I would be much more relaxed about these things if we did not have as many problems with religious values being pushed into schools, politics, currency, pledges, etc.

This is the real problem. I don't think any reasonable person should have a problem with another's religion or faith. But when it starts becoming public policy, that's when it's an issue. I personally have no problem with faith, and if "evidence" like this makes you feel better about beliefs which you largely gained from geography, so be it.

I admit that I find it funny that the article (and posters in this thread) seems to imply that this is evidence for Christianity when the experiences described could have been the afterlife of any religion. Not that it's surprising.

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One's answer to the second question depends on one's answer to the first question. Please please please let us not restart this discussion. You will not succeed in erasing the distinction between reliable knowledge and unreliable stories.

Don't infer or indicate that you know things that you don't know, and I won't keep pointing out that you are wrong.

What makes some knowledge more reliable than others?

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I admit that I find it funny that the article (and posters in this thread) seems to imply that this is evidence for Christianity when the experiences described could have been the afterlife of any religion. Not that it's surprising.

Or the fact that people of every religious belief at some point have spoken of such experiences. But of course, I don't think anyone will be posting the heavenly afterlife experience of a Hindu or Muslim, because that would mean that their own belief was wrong.

The only criteria for believing these things is personal bias.

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