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Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

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Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 11 Jul 2013, 04:47

Hi all,
On "rival" :) Randi forum recently one topic was open,arguing that NDE is not evidence for life after death.
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=260906

The topic based on the 1984 book by psychologist Robert Kastenbaum 'Is there life after death". It is not hard to suppose that in the yes of the author the question is "No",at least,according to him,there is no evidence for that.The person who open the thread says that the author "debunks" all other evidence,like fake mediums,cross-correspondences,death-bed visions ets,NDE is only the part of the book.I think it is safe to conclude that the author at least is NOT expert in the NDE,though may have good knowledge on the subject.Now,to his points:


The case for the NDE experience of survival is weakened by a fact readily acknowledged by investigators and scholars. The mental state characteristic of the core NDE also occurs under other circumstances. One does not have to be on the verge of physical death to witness the blinding light, encounter spirit beings or have the sense of wandering away from one’s body. Such a state often occurs in the sacred literature of the both the East and the West and among individuals who have attained ‘mystical’ experiences independent of any religious belief. Furthermore, people have often sought and attained such a state through hallucinogenic drugs (as well as through fasting, withdrawing into the wilderness and other actions). Medical psychologist Ronald Siegal has shown that imagery similar if not identical to the NDE can be produced by commonly used anaesthetics in the operating room as well as by peyote and other established hallucinogens.


Who should be more likely to have an NDE the person who objectively is very close to death, or the person who is in less extreme jeopardy of his life? By definition and usage, the closer to death, the more impressive the NDE. A study has addressed this question specifically and found that survivors subjective sense of being close to death was not related to the depth of completeness of their NDEs. Furthermore people who objectively had been in less perilous situation were more likely to report NDEs in the first place! In effect this study distinguished between near and very near death experiences - and the results indicate that fewer memories are reported the closer the individual actually has been to death. The survival hypothesis of the NDE is certainly not strengthened by results which show that people who are very close to death have fewer experiences to report.


Ten thousand cases of vivid NDEs tell us nothing dependable about what experience, if any, a person has when death ‘lives up’ to its reputation for finality. Nowhere in all the available statistics on NDEs is there one scrap of evidence for similarity or identity between the experiences of those who return and those who do not. One cannot advise researchers to continue to waste their time in the hope that more cases; more numbers will change this situation. This is a fundamental flaw in NDE research – namely that we learn only from the returnees – and no viable alternative has been suggested.

We must remind ourselves that all the nearly-dead did, in fact, have viable physical bodies remaining to them. No authenticated reports have come from people whose bodies were absolutely destroyed by say, explosion, avalanche or fire. The expression of mind has invariably depended on a relatively intact, if jeopardized, body. Were the ‘spiritual body’ really as free as some believe, then this strict dependence on an intact physical body should not be necessary.


There is a problem which seems to have escaped all the researchers and advocates of NDEs as evidence of survival. No NDE study has pinned down precisely when the experience actually occurred. Most studies think they have – when what they have settled for is really only the period of time when the person’s life was in greatest jeopardy. This will not do. While what we actually know about the NDE is limited, it comes to us as a form of memory – and much is known about memory in its psychological and even its biological aspects.


He even makes further point:

How could we transform a brief experience 'in' death into an eternity after death? The state of survival, in other words, might be precisely what the NDE reveals - an exotic but short adventure. This is all, repeat, this is all, that the NDE can possibly demonstrate. Strange, isn't it, that this point of has eluded both the believers and the scientists who have slipped into acceptance of the NDE as proof of survival.


So,what You think of it? I don't know ,but to me it closely resemble pseudoskeptical fallacies at some(most points).

Moreover,author seems to be thinking of himself as the smartest one - all other who succumbed to accept NDE as evidence are simply stupids who overlooked some points...

Thoughts?
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby really? » 11 Jul 2013, 21:33

From what I've seen discussed on the Skeptiko forum the evidence people argue proving an afterlife remains as over reaching hopeful speculation. There are no facts for NDE's=afterlife. Ask yourself this. Where is the incontrovertible factual evidence NDE's are evidentiary of an afterlife?
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 13 Jul 2013, 02:10

It is long story shot,but at least I got e-mails from some well-known NDE researchers/authors sending them the quotes from above quotes.Not going about discussing about afterlife, at least I got the same points from those responses that his treatment of NDE grossly wrong on the major points, especially in the light of recent data.
As for NDE as evidence for an afterlife- there are interesting certain types of cases, that are difficult to explain.This I know from my own research.Especially "Peak in Darien" cases.
And no,there is something going on beyond the mere speculation.Also,see my another thread
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby really? » 13 Jul 2013, 03:37

Alexander1304 wrote:It is long story shot,but at least I got e-mails from some well-known NDE researchers/authors sending them the quotes from above quotes.Not going about discussing about afterlife, at least I got the same points from those responses that his treatment of NDE grossly wrong on the major points, especially in the light of recent data.
As for NDE as evidence for an afterlife- there are interesting certain types of cases, that are difficult to explain.This I know from my own research.Especially "Peak in Darien" cases.
And no,there is something going on beyond the mere speculation.Also,see my another thread


It isn't important what people think, their opinions that includes you and me. It's all speculation until multiple parties can present facts that NDE's support the opinions people have that are looking for proof of life after death.

So you know of cases you state are difficult to explain. What does that mean? And you state there is something going on besides mere speculation. I'm guessing conflation would be the other choice. If what you say is true, [which I have serious misgiving about], that means you think there are facts. What are the facts then?

I've been following the postings of Doomsayer and Kai. Both present valid points that should not be dismissed. Kai is actually doing a bang up job of pointing out the wrong assumption NDE = life after death. He's pointing out many other wrongful assumptions too.
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 13 Jul 2013, 04:34

We all present our arguments - pro and con. If You think that con arguments are stronger - that's also just Your opinion, other see more strength in pro arguments. Kai is not the only smart person out there.And sometimes plays simply as "denier". Ah,sorry Kai/Doomsayer are right only becase they are ultr-skeptics,right? There are other smart persons too, who have different take on things than him. Many simply ad hoc arguments.Anyway,putting aside "life after death",whatever is in my opening post. Well known researchers pointed out that his(Kastenbaum) take on NDE is simply wrong in most respects.Also,I see no reason why I should value Kai's opinion more that Bruce Greyson or Jeff Long,and take on mediumship.,say,of Stephen Braude.I know,You are ultra-skeptic,so,You naturally support Kai and Doomsayer.I take another point,based on my own research/experience.BTW,Doomsayer is banned.
Now,go ahead and explain "Peak in Darrien" NDE cases. But not with ad hoc/made up theories
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 14 Jul 2013, 11:25

really? wrote:From what I've seen discussed on the Skeptiko forum the evidence people argue proving an afterlife remains as over reaching hopeful speculation. There are no facts for NDE's=afterlife. Ask yourself this. Where is the incontrovertible factual evidence NDE's are evidentiary of an afterlife?

It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality, but it is hard to produce even barely controvertible factual evidence for this kind of phenomenon, unless you can 'bring something back' from the afterlife that the subject of the NDE could not have known beforehand but which is known by others to be true, for instance.

It is possible to find evidence for the afterlife from a myriad of other sources other than NDEs, fortunately. There are manifestations of an energetic afterlife all over the place on inspection, and it appears some people can communicate directly with dead people's spirits and provide information about an area's history or the person's past that the living person could not have conceivably or reasonably known beforehand. I've had direct encounters with the latter. For the former, I dunno, what are you prepared to accept as evidence? Something like this? If you don't happen to know anyone with 'second sight', it's possible to stake out haunted places with gadgets that measure EMF changes and so on.

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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 14 Jul 2013, 13:25

SydneyPSIder wrote:
really? wrote:From what I've seen discussed on the Skeptiko forum the evidence people argue proving an afterlife remains as over reaching hopeful speculation. There are no facts for NDE's=afterlife. Ask yourself this. Where is the incontrovertible factual evidence NDE's are evidentiary of an afterlife?

It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality, but it is hard to produce even barely controvertible factual evidence for this kind of phenomenon, unless you can 'bring something back' from the afterlife that the subject of the NDE could not have known beforehand but which is known by others to be true, for instance.

It is possible to find evidence for the afterlife from a myriad of other sources other than NDEs, fortunately. There are manifestations of an energetic afterlife all over the place on inspection, and it appears some people can communicate directly with dead people's spirits and provide information about an area's history or the person's past that the living person could not have conceivably or reasonably known beforehand. I've had direct encounters with the latter. For the former, I dunno, what are you prepared to accept as evidence? Something like this? If you don't happen to know anyone with 'second sight', it's possible to stake out haunted places with gadgets that measure EMF changes and so on.



I, personally, wouldn't quickly dismiss one interesting moment. Don't claim to prove by that something(as this ultra-skeptic/denier claims),but wouldn't dismiss either.Vast majority of NDE survivors tend to have no doubts about existence afterlife,regardless of who they are: scientists, laymen...Even ardent atheist/positivist A.J.Ayer after his NDE admitted: "My recent experiences, have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death ... will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be".Moreover,before having NDE themselves ,many of them have exactly that dismissive attitude as ultra-skeptics/deniers. Again, not proof, but the fact is interesting.All this talk about "anecdotal" and all theories explaining that away are of interest o them,merely academic exercise.They got their evidence
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Arouet » 14 Jul 2013, 21:49

SydneyPSIder wrote:It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality


This is an aside for this thread but I just wanted to say that I agree with this.

Skepticism demands reliable evidence and sufficiently probative evidence but I don't think it demands incontrovertible evidence - that is too high a standard and might not even be possible.

We're not looking for 100% proof of these things - we're looking for a high level of confidence.
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby really? » 14 Jul 2013, 23:11

SydneyPSIder wrote:It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality

I would have to disagree. Applied physics [technology] alone suggests otherwise.

Arouet wrote:This is an aside for this thread but I just wanted to say that I agree with this.

Skepticism demands reliable evidence and sufficiently probative evidence but I don't think it demands incontrovertible evidence - that is too high a standard and might not even be possible.

We're not looking for 100% proof of these things - we're looking for a high level of confidence.


Since it is greatly disputable NDE's= afterlife it's an error to say NDE's = afterlife as some people would argue. We all know what incontrovertible evidence means but there's none as far I can see, so one should not claim on feelings and subjective experience there's a high level of evidentairy evidence. To put it another way; where's reliable evidence and sufficiently probative evidence for a high level of confidence?
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 15 Jul 2013, 00:50

What "incontrovetial evidence" is relevant to NDE? It is spontaneous phenomenon, experienced on the personal level. As for some people claim NDE=afterlife,first sometimes is it gross exaggeration.Some(many) researchers simply claim that for certain features of NDE afterlife hypothesis is the most straightforward. I also don't see the reason how the concept of "incontrovercial evidence" in any lessens the real experience of NDE survivors.They experienced it,they survived it, and all this talsk about "incontrovetial evidence" is just academic exercise for them - and rightly so.
So, again, "really?" ,you are in your style - even here you try to impose what "should" or awhat "shouldn't" matter,while in reality it is up to individual.
I just don't get - if you are so dogmatic,so closed,so intolerant to the ideas of paranormal/afterlife - stay aside,read and laugh.But no - you are going to enter discussion,to promote your dogmatism,to impose your view on what "hould/shouldn't" matter.what are you looking here for?
UPDATE:One famous NDE survivor(Rene Jorgensen) movet to the town I live,suggested to meet personally.Would be interesting
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby really? » 15 Jul 2013, 07:08

Alexander1304 wrote:What "incontrovetial evidence" is relevant to NDE? It is spontaneous phenomenon, experienced on the personal level. As for some people claim NDE=afterlife,first sometimes is it gross exaggeration.Some(many) researchers simply claim that for certain features of NDE afterlife hypothesis is the most straightforward. I also don't see the reason how the concept of "incontrovercial evidence" in any lessens the real experience of NDE survivors.They experienced it,they survived it, and all this talsk about "incontrovetial evidence" is just academic exercise for them - and rightly so.
So, again, "really?" ,you are in your style - even here you try to impose what "should" or awhat "shouldn't" matter,while in reality it is up to individual.
I just don't get - if you are so dogmatic,so closed,so intolerant to the ideas of paranormal/afterlife - stay aside,read and laugh.But no - you are going to enter discussion,to promote your dogmatism,to impose your view on what "hould/shouldn't" matter.what are you looking here for?
UPDATE:One famous NDE survivor(Rene Jorgensen) movet to the town I live,suggested to meet personally.Would be interesting


As I've said before you are just like those two aforementioned persons on the JREF. You don't listen.
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby Alexander1304 » 15 Jul 2013, 12:25

really? wrote:
Alexander1304 wrote:What "incontrovetial evidence" is relevant to NDE? It is spontaneous phenomenon, experienced on the personal level. As for some people claim NDE=afterlife,first sometimes is it gross exaggeration.Some(many) researchers simply claim that for certain features of NDE afterlife hypothesis is the most straightforward. I also don't see the reason how the concept of "incontrovercial evidence" in any lessens the real experience of NDE survivors.They experienced it,they survived it, and all this talsk about "incontrovetial evidence" is just academic exercise for them - and rightly so.
So, again, "really?" ,you are in your style - even here you try to impose what "should" or awhat "shouldn't" matter,while in reality it is up to individual.
I just don't get - if you are so dogmatic,so closed,so intolerant to the ideas of paranormal/afterlife - stay aside,read and laugh.But no - you are going to enter discussion,to promote your dogmatism,to impose your view on what "hould/shouldn't" matter.what are you looking here for?
UPDATE:One famous NDE survivor(Rene Jorgensen) movet to the town I live,suggested to meet personally.Would be interesting


As I've said before you are just like those two aforementioned persons on the JREF. You don't listen.

As I've said before You seem to choose the wrong forum. It just seems you can't relax, can you? I care neither who these persons on JREF are, nor what you think of me. Being there, done that - I've seen plenty of closed-minded. Take care
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 29 Jul 2013, 11:39

really? wrote:
SydneyPSIder wrote:It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality

I would have to disagree. Applied physics [technology] alone suggests otherwise.


yeah, go ahead -- 'prove' something 'incontrovertibly' to me. you will find they are slightly wispy concepts in the end -- 'proof' is just a social act of communication. while we assume and believe there is a 'fixed reality' of some sort out there, there is also the theorising of the phenomenalists etc in philosophy that point out you may be imagining everything you see. I'm just pointing out that gaining proof and scientific investigation is a social act as much as anything. we 'believe' the earth goes around the sun and it's a gaseous orb with a few billion years of fuel left, etc, but how do you go about 'proving' this to someone????

Of course, it seems that Intel chips are made a certain way and work reliably the same way every time etc, so we would have to all agree that this perceived reality really is 'reality' for all intents and purposes as a baseline.
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Re: Near Death as NON evidence for survival?

Postby really? » 30 Jul 2013, 02:41

SydneyPSIder wrote:
really? wrote:
SydneyPSIder wrote:It's difficult to 'prove' in this fashion. There is very little 'incontrovertible factual evidence' of anything much in reality

I would have to disagree. Applied physics [technology] alone suggests otherwise.


yeah, go ahead -- 'prove' something 'incontrovertibly' to me. you will find they are slightly wispy concepts in the end -- 'proof' is just a social act of communication. while we assume and believe there is a 'fixed reality' of some sort out there, there is also the theorising of the phenomenalists etc in philosophy that point out you may be imagining everything you see. I'm just pointing out that gaining proof and scientific investigation is a social act as much as anything. we 'believe' the earth goes around the sun and it's a gaseous orb with a few billion years of fuel left, etc, but how do you go about 'proving' this to someone????


The point I am making against alex's arguement and similar pronouncements from other people is that, he, they, always argue that what they cite as evidence has no other explanation other than what they desire to be true. They argue until red in the face never once realizing they are expressing their opinion over fact.

Relegating science to stature of a social act does not diminish it's power of discovery and understanding.

Frankly, I couldn't care less what questions philosophers have to say. All they have is questions.

As for your Sun question, here's how. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/questi ... number=389

P.S. If you want to catch up with more of Alex, you can on the Skeptiko forum
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