Discussions about Afterlife Research, Survival Science, Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, Spirit Communication, Mediumship, Ghosts, Spirits, etc.
Personally, I have never seen evidence of the afterlife that I feel strong enough about to pass it on to someone else. There are all sorts of evidence if you want to research NDEs, reincarnations, etc., but again that's just evidence that's often based on a person's own perception of what happened. There are a few cases out there that are more complicated to explain, but unfortunately from my standpoint, I don't really know of any case that is without controversy which makes "proof" of the afterlife difficult.
If you'd like to research a case, please feel free to post a case and I think you might find you'll have more comments than if you're asking for us to provide you evidence.
I'm atheist so that pretty much rules out being able to give you evidence of an afterlife since I'm pretty well convinced there isn't one...
Go to the Afterlife section. Some evidence is posted in the threads there.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
"Proof" of an after life, it could be argued, is a matter of one's own perspective. While 90% of the world (it seems, at times) take such things on faith alone, there's likewise a huge percentage that believe that one must earn that "next life". While that sounds like reincarnation thinking it's not completely; moving into a new existence or state of being, including such things as Heaven (or hell) are akin to the famed caterpillar metamorphosis; on one level we have ceased existing and yet, we return in a newer "higher" form.
The big issue is what survives after physical death.
I've been reading a book by J. Allan Danelek entitled "The Case for Ghosts -- An Objective Look at the Paranormal" (I strongly recommend it for the skeptic & believer alike in that it comes so close to offering that "balanced" sense of things you hear me preach about so often ). The author presents some wonderful suppositions with the earlier chapters delving into this very question; what is it that survives death if anything? What is the "soul"?
Danelek brings out several points of consideration that few seem to contemplate. Of course, I don't believe everything he suggests but at the same time, I feel he's closer to being on the "right" track with his views than not (and so I'm looking forward to reading his books on Reincarnation, etc.)
There have been some interesting articles over the past few years in Psychology Today, UTNE Reader, and TIME in which this issue is being discussed from a variety of perspectives; frequently sitting the orthodox/religious ideologies to the side and dissecting the idea of life after death from the more analytic point of view.
I'm very much a reincarnationist in that it, alongside the law of Karma, seem the only logical course in things if some part of our "ego" survives physical death. I'm simply not able to accept the idea that we are born to ultimately become worm food and fertilizer. Granted, that is very much the reality behind our physical shell, but I can't believe such to be "the ultimate goal", so to speak.
And that is exactly why religion is so popular. People just can't seem to accept the notion that when you die, that's pretty much it. So, might as well enjoy life while you can!
I personally dont take NDE's or people "remembering" their past lives as evidence of an afterlife, but there are some things I can't explain away. Some people have meditated for years and say they open their 3rd eye, others say they can feel their chakras. Some people see "ghosts" and other see dead relatives. Some people have not normal ouija board experiences. All this is just anecdotes so I dont know what to make of it. I personally dont know if there's an afterlife. I've never seen anything paranormal or experienced anything supernatural.
In my opinion, no one in history has seen or experienced anything paranormal. If they did, it wouldn't be paranormal any more, it would just be normal! (My opinion only, and a lot of people disagree with me... )
As we all know, the mind is an amazing, amazing thing and with a little thought or concentration, you can make it perceive to be able to do and see just about anything.
You poor baby. You're missing out on some pretty interesting stuff here. You mean that you've never seen an unexplained, semi-translucent human shaped figure walk across a room and go out the wall? Heck, I used to see that all the time. So did just about every visitor to my old house.
The problems start with the definitions of words like "ghost" or "spirit" to describe this sort of thing. People tend to think of the Hollywood version or a religious version and it suddenly becomes fodder for a best seller or they totally freak out from fear. I don't know what is should be defined as other than "an unexplained, semi-translucent human shaped figure walk across a room and go out the wall" and I don't know what causes me or others to experience it. It happens and when it happens, it's real. I just don't know what it is.
In my opinion, no one in history has seen or experienced anything paranormal. If they did, it wouldn't be paranormal any more, it would just be normal! (My opinion only, and a lot of people disagree with me...
Hello Prof, this is my first post on the Forum.
Count me in as one who agrees with you about the above! The words "paranormal" and "supernatural" irritate me - any phenomenon (whether or not we currently understand the mechanism behind it, and whether or not it is currently accepted by the majority of scientists) is either normal and natural, or it's nonexistent!
May I, however, return to your earlier post where you said that your atheism pretty much rules out any acceptance of an afterlife.
I have always found this curious. Why should atheist beliefs rule out the possibility of an afterlife? Could not consciousness persist after the death of the body, if one accepts as a possibility the ideas of, amongst others, William James and Aldous Huxley, that the brain is a "reducing valve" and that consciousness is the fundamental basis of the universe?
(Also see Prof. Richard Henry's article, The Mental Universe, published in Nature July 2005: http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf)
If we suspend disbelief for a moment and allow that James, Huxley and Henry could be correct, then the persistence of consciousness after bodily death would be a simple fact of reality - part of the natural universe - and nothing per se to do with belief in an anthropomorphic God or in a dying-and-resurrecting Godman.
The possiblility of an afterlife is not necessarily linked to any type of conventional religious belief.
"Doubt A; then doubt B. Then doubt both A and B. Then doubt your ability to doubt enough."
Robert Anton Wilson
That's one darned EXCELLENT question. I'm pretty sure that whatever the response, it will have the word "science" in it. That's how these skeptic guys roll.
Thanks for coming up with an excellent question. I will now get some popcorn and wait to see how ProfWag wiggles his way through this one.
Hallelujah! Finally, the separation of church and the skeptic state has come to light.
that's how skeptics roll but not necessarily how atheists roll. There are plenty of atheists who believe in life after death - particularly in some buddhist camps.
There is no reason to believe that LAD necessarily entails a deity.
Or many deities?
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