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(Newsweek)   Many people have claimed near-death experiences, but few are as interesting or detailed as that of one neurosurgeon who describes seven days spent in Heaven while his brain was completely inactive   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 543
    More: Interesting, scientific explanations  
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28027 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 12:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-08 02:39:16 PM

Farking Canuck: You made claims about facts where there are none.


Maybe not in your head, but in papers on neuroscience, there's plenty of facts. Go read some.

Farking Canuck: You implied that we were denying evidence when we refused to consider this anecdote to be anything more than an anedote.


No, I said that by denying the story based on the fact that we don't know everything about the brain, you have no intellectual high ground over a young earth creationist.

Farking Canuck: You are attacking the fact that most of us (as I pointed out, we are not a group) use the scientific method to determine what claims we consider valid ... but you soundly demonstrate that you do not understand the scientific method.


You're making the assumption that science has failed to point to the source of complex thought and consciousness because it hasn't proven why this story is incorrect. Your assumption provides for the source of consciousness and complex thought residing in another part of the brain, and that alone, despite our working knowledge of the brain demonstrating that this is not how the brain works. You believe you're scientific, when in fact you're merely methodically perpetuating your own bias against consciousness's possible existence beyond the brain.

Farking Canuck: Your arguments are made from emotion. You like to pretend that they are reasonable but they have no evidence to support them.


I'm willing to consider the possibility that we don't know everything about consciousness, and where it resides, you on the other hand are not. Why is that? After all, you did just say this...

Farking Canuck: From a scientific point of view the only thing we know is that we are always wrong to some degree or another.


I guess the only thing science knows for certain is what beliefs you yourself cherish most deeply.
 
2012-10-08 02:39:34 PM

zarberg: Smugly dismissing Atheists as condemned to burn in Hell is such a wonderfully Christian attitude. Jesus would approve.


What I like about this comment is that it still works if I assume no sarcasm on your part at all.
 
2012-10-08 02:40:14 PM

sethen320: I didn't realize that the internet was such serious business.

Relax, back away from the keyboard, and go outside before your blood pressure gets too high.

I know, its difficult when someone, somewhere doesn't believe exactly what you do. I'm not sure arguing on the internet will fix that.


Thanks for the concern, broheim.
 
2012-10-08 02:40:39 PM

Poppa Boner: nmemkha: Poppa Boner: it is possible I'm an asshole though.

Well anyone who thinks "shouting down" others because they don't agree with their opinions is an asshole in my book.

/YMMV

After almost 2000 years of putting up with Christian bullsh*t and persecution people have a right to call you out on it. Believe whatever you want but keep it to yourself. Many religious people manage to do this quite easily. By your statements here it is apparent you are not one of those people... or you're a troll.

Either way you've just been smacked down by a guy who goes by Poppa Boner.

How does that make you feel?


"They must shout down and silence the believer!" vibe is strong in this one. He will make an excellent drone.
 
2012-10-08 02:41:08 PM
Peddlers be peddlin'!
 
2012-10-08 02:41:44 PM
mynamebackwards: "It could've happened just before he slipped into a coma,"

That'd be my guess. Anyone who's had a dream knows that dream-time doesn't conform to real time, so there's no reason he'd need 7 days of coma to experience 7 days of 'heaven'.
Similarly, anyone who's had a dream knows how difficult it is to recall them clearly (without using your conscious mind to fill gaps) as time passes. If this guy dictated seven days-worth of detailed diary entries immediately upon waking, he'd have a better claim. But by his own admission he took days and weeks to 'recall' what he experienced. Whereupon his conscious mind has plenty of time to 'come to terms with' (i.e. invent a narrative for) his descriptions of phenomena that sound to me like a supercut of drug trip descriptions.
 
2012-10-08 02:43:03 PM

nmemkha: "They must shout down and silence the believer!" vibe is strong in this one. He will make an excellent drone.


You haven't listened to anything I've said. Get the Jesus cocks outta your ears.
 
2012-10-08 02:43:11 PM
I would have been more apt to believe him if he would have found 72 virgins.
 
2012-10-08 02:43:12 PM

nmemkha: You miss my point. They dismiss anything that does not meet the current scientific definition of "truth". None I have met are willing to consider anything spiritual. Further, this very thread started off with comment mocking religion.


Maybe you'll define what's spiritual for us and explain which of the following should be considered and why they should be considered vs. the other items on the list:

Jesus as the son of God
Muhammad as God's one true prophet
Nirvana
The Greek gods used to live on Mt. Olympus
Leprechauns and fairies
There is a heaven where life is perfect, but good people who don't psychically tell God they love him are not allowed in.
There is a heaven where you get 72 virgins, but people who don't psychically tell Allah they love him don't get in.
There is no heaven, you just get reincarnated for eternity. Sometimes as alien beings on other planets.
Thetans are the reason for all human suffering.
The Earth and/or universe have consciousness and when you die, you are absorbed into it and become one with it.

I could go on. Explain what is "spiritual" as opposed to "anything I can imagine". Because if all you mean by spiritual is "any damn thing", then we all dismiss literally an infinite number of possibilities all the time. I'm completely willing to consider the "spiritual", but yes, you need to provide some proof that your specific ideas are more valid than the infinite number of other ideas.
 
2012-10-08 02:44:00 PM
This makes me think of that Dr. MacDougall and his measuring the weight of the dying back in 1907. Of the six tests he performed, four showed a drop in weight, one was interfered with by people opposed to his research and one patient died while he was still adjusting the scale. I wonder if such experiments could be repeated today, we have much more sensitive equipment now. People die all the time in hospitals of long term illness so it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who is both dying and willing to have their bed on a scale while they do it.

/I'd do it!
 
2012-10-08 02:44:26 PM

prekrasno: I doubt the human interpretations of experiences like these, mainly because every one I've ever heard was from a person who was already a Christian, or reared in church but "fell away" as an adult.


Way back up-thread, you can read about the experiences of our own Hubie Stubert, who is a reasonably intelligent and truthful Farker of good repute. His NDE story seems very different from the Christian variety... and it just so happens that he is a Buddhist.

Interestingly, his experience was expressed in terms of a choice between multiple possible paths of his life. Following a "path" is a very common and prominent metaphor in Buddhist theology.

Now, one could always argue that the 'universal mind' presents each individual with an initial vision of the afterlife that conforms most closely with his or her cultural/religious/intellectual expectations. But to me, it seems simpler and more direct to attribute this effect to people's tendency to project their own understandings and expectations onto what they are experiencing.
 
2012-10-08 02:44:44 PM

Cheeseburger: Farking Canuck: "say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged" - We are not a group. We do not have a collective "world view". An anecdote is not challenging anything because it is not real evidence of anything.

I disagree. Atheists do constitute a "group", just as theists form a group. Particular beliefs may be different within those groups, but they can still be categorized as "groups", because when it comes to belief/disbelief in God, those views are held in common. And to say that belief in God, or disbelief in God, isn't part of a worldview, imo, is just incorrect.


Yes we are a group but there is only one thing that binds us together: a lack of a belief in deities.

On all other things atheists span a wide variety of views.

- On why we are atheists: for some it is lack of evidence, for others it is the obvious contradictions inherent in all religions, some have never heard of religion, etc.

- On what we do believe: some do believe in ghosts, etc., others believe it is all crap. Some follow non-diety based spiritual paths while others stick with the "we are just animals on this world like all the rest. Nothing more." option.

- On the scientific method: Some find the logic and reason of the scientific method to be a core value while others have less understanding of it than the average religious person.

- On religion: For some religion is one of the purest forms of evil on this world and others couldn't care less (most wish they'd keep their shiat to themselves though).

We constantly get grouped into this extreme description of being anti-religion, science worshiping zealots which probably accurately describes none of us but definitely does not remotely describe all of us.

TLDR: Yes, we are officially a group based on one position on one topic. It does not make for a useful grouping when making arguments though due to the wide variance in our beliefs and opinions.
 
2012-10-08 02:47:24 PM

Jormungandr: This makes me think of that Dr. MacDougall and his measuring the weight of the dying back in 1907. Of the six tests he performed, four showed a drop in weight, one was interfered with by people opposed to his research and one patient died while he was still adjusting the scale. I wonder if such experiments could be repeated today, we have much more sensitive equipment now. People die all the time in hospitals of long term illness so it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who is both dying and willing to have their bed on a scale while they do it.

/I'd do it!


Maybe you could even capture these souls in jars and make them fight. Like Pokemon.
 
2012-10-08 02:48:02 PM

nmemkha: miscreant: nmemkha: nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.

This is my original statement. Please explain how I am acting as I described. I do not discount science one bit. Nor am I mocking for science. Nor do I mock Atheists for their views as they are completely rational. I believe they are missing the "big picture", but I don't bash anyone with my Bible here or anywhere else.

Besides painting with a nice broad brush, you're statement claims that atheists have dismissed religion "out of hand", or without much thought. So you're dismissing their soul searching on the topic and acting as if everyone who rejects religion does so without consideration. I guarantee you that most atheists have given more thought to religion than the majority of religious people out there, especially considering the number of places in the world where being atheist can get you ostracized, if not killed. The comment is both bullshiat and patronizing. But you already knew that.

You miss my point. They dismiss anything that does not meet the current scientific definition of "truth". None I have met are willing to consider anything spiritual. Further, this very thread started off with comment mocking religion.


You haven't met many atheists then, or more likely you're letting your biases get in the way of your view of them.

I've yet to meet one that outright dismisses the spiritual cannot exist. Not one is 100% certain of it. It's just that the evidence for the literal Biblical interpretation of God (which in my experience is typically what is being advocated by fundamentalists these days, you may or may not be one of them) is quite lacking in the face of the current level of scientific understanding. Fit him in the gaps if you must, but don't try to legislate him into those gaps or reopen ones long since closed.

I think we're potentially on the verge of another age of enlightenment and scientific renaissance, and that religious fundamentalists of multiple religions, in this country and others, are trying their hardest to make sure people stay in the dark.

I don't know with any certainty if there is anything after death besides my body being broken down by natural processes. It'd be nice if there is something better after this life, but which religion (and the innumerable permutations of those religions) is right? I'll continue to try to not be a jackass to people, I will try to treat them as I wish to be treated, and I will try to alleviate some of the suffering in my community.
 
2012-10-08 02:48:11 PM

Jormungandr: This makes me think of that Dr. MacDougall and his measuring the weight of the dying back in 1907. Of the six tests he performed, four showed a drop in weight, one was interfered with by people opposed to his research and one patient died while he was still adjusting the scale. I wonder if such experiments could be repeated today, we have much more sensitive equipment now. People die all the time in hospitals of long term illness so it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who is both dying and willing to have their bed on a scale while they do it.

/I'd do it!


You'd have to do it in a vacuum and account for the mass of EVERYTHING in the room because the weight variable could just be gas being released from the body.
 
2012-10-08 02:50:21 PM
Quite simply put, an Atheist is very, very similar to you. Almost *exactly* the same. He or she only disbelieves one more false god than you do.
 
2012-10-08 02:50:24 PM

Urbn: nmemkha: Urbn: nmemkha: Farking Canuck: nmemkha: Farking Canuck: nmemkha:

It was a question. All of the Atheists I have met act the way I describe (including you btw) and he countered those are "assholes". I have yet personally meet an Atheist who doesn't act in this manner so described so I asked if their was a difference. My question was snarky but also legitimate.

I guess you answered question.

LOL ... caught in a lie and still squirming eh?

Isn't that just like a religious person?

/It is just "a question" so don't you dare suggest that I am calling all religious people liars!!!

Lie? Not in this case and I try not to, but I lie all the time. We all do. Its part of the human condition. I do try not to.

I am not a "holier than thou" Christian. I'm a miserable sack like the rest of you.

Who likes to call all atheists assholes and then deny it by saying "it was just a question".

Like I said, I have never met one who does not act in the manner described.

I think that says more about you than it does about all of these atheists you've met. I'm not an athiest, and I'd probably be an asshole to you, too, just based on the way you're behaving here.

What exactly am I doing that you disagree with? Please be specific as I am willing to admit and correct my faults if you can articulate them to me.

It's not up to me to fix you. Your whining voice comes through even in black and white text on the internet. Maybe you need a hobby.


Likewise.
 
2012-10-08 02:50:25 PM

nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.


and theists dismiss...well you can finish the rest.
 
2012-10-08 02:54:25 PM

boyofd: BraveNewCheneyWorld: czetie: In the entire documented history of near death experiences, out-of-body experiences, visit-to-heaven experiences, etc., nobody has ever come back knowing some objective fact that they couldn't previously have known. Not even something as trivial as the fact that open-mined neurosurgeons have placed a piece of paper on top of one of the shelves in the operating theater that says "If you can read this, you are having a real out-of-body experience".

Except for the cases where people can describe their surgery and conversations the doctors had, yeah, there's absolutely none.

Were their brains and ears not in the room when the surgery took place? Holy cow, that's even more amazing than the OBE.


You don't know much about the monitoring they do during surgery, do you? Anyway, plenty of subjects saw the surgery. That's kind of difficult when you head is back and your eyes are shut. A few more examples for you to cover your eyes and ears.
 
2012-10-08 02:56:17 PM

miscreant: nmemkha: You miss my point. They dismiss anything that does not meet the current scientific definition of "truth". None I have met are willing to consider anything spiritual. Further, this very thread started off with comment mocking religion.

Maybe you'll define what's spiritual for us and explain which of the following should be considered and why they should be considered vs. the other items on the list:

Jesus as the son of God
Muhammad as God's one true prophet
Nirvana
The Greek gods used to live on Mt. Olympus
Leprechauns and fairies
There is a heaven where life is perfect, but good people who don't psychically tell God they love him are not allowed in.
There is a heaven where you get 72 virgins, but people who don't psychically tell Allah they love him don't get in.
There is no heaven, you just get reincarnated for eternity. Sometimes as alien beings on other planets.
Thetans are the reason for all human suffering.
The Earth and/or universe have consciousness and when you die, you are absorbed into it and become one with it.

I could go on. Explain what is "spiritual" as opposed to "anything I can imagine". Because if all you mean by spiritual is "any damn thing", then we all dismiss literally an infinite number of possibilities all the time. I'm completely willing to consider the "spiritual", but yes, you need to provide some proof that your specific ideas are more valid than the infinite number of other ideas.


You rational approach is commendable, but some people feel there more to the Universe than what is tangible. Some feel a "connection" to "beings" that transcend our existence. Not everyone has these "spiritual" yearnings, but those that do find it hard to discount them.
 
2012-10-08 02:56:28 PM

Langston: Interesting article. Good find, subby


Yes, interesting. However, the cynic in me notes that he is writing a book and needs to publicize it. Correlation =/ causation, but still....

cdn.thedailybeast.com 

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.
To be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc..
Copyright (c) 2012 by Eben Alexander III, M.D.
 
2012-10-08 02:57:01 PM

Bag of Hammers: Not Impressed

[www.freewebs.com image 700x990]


Robot Chicken?
 
2012-10-08 02:57:18 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Farking Canuck: From a scientific point of view the only thing we know is that we are always wrong to some degree or another.

I guess the only thing science knows for certain is what beliefs you yourself cherish most deeply.


I'll ignore the rest as it all boiled down to "Nuh uh ... you're a poopy pants".

Here you explicitly take my statement that a core concept in science is that we do not know anything for sure and twist it to suggest that we have beliefs that we "cherish most deeply".

Do you have a whole construction crew to help you build strawmen that big??

I will type real slowly for you here:

Nobody is claiming that your magic place isn't real. We are trying to explain that there is no evidence, including this man's anecdote, to support your claim that it is real.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that there is a magic, invisible world in the sky we go to when we die is extraordinary. The evidence is not only "not extraordinary" it is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent.

Refusing to accept an unsupported claim is reasonable and logical no matter what that claim is. If you want to have blind faith then go ahead ... just don't pretend it is anything else or you will get called on it.
 
2012-10-08 02:58:36 PM
I say, why not. Anything is better than all of the crud all of us have to deal with on a day to day basis. Why can't it be a reward?
 
2012-10-08 02:58:49 PM

Babwa Wawa: me texan: Just the fact that he didnt "Die Die" as you'd have it doesnt mean that just him surviving alone is a miraculous outcome. (notice, I didnt use the word "miracle"). As a fellow scientist by education, I found the article to be at the very least interesting and I have no reason to attack him or others for his change of belief based on his own individual observation.

You've posted twice in this discussion already - are you so afraid of something you cannot believe or so angry that you dont want to let people find calming words about their own death, even if it is misguided? What's the harm in letting others have their own beliefs, even you must acknowledge that after death it wont matter and wont change the outcome of their beliefs they hold while alive?

Don't get where you're getting "angry" and "afraid". When my mother died, she had faith in an afterlife - we had a priest at her side. I have zero issue with that. My issue with this particular instance is twofold:

1. When you have proof of something, it can be used to mandate behavior. If I have proof that fossil fuel use is linked to climate change, then I can use that knowledge to compel behavior. "Proof" of god, an afterlife, or any of that crap changes faith and belief into certainty. That is dangerous for society on a number of levels.

2. There's a very clear profit motive. This horsesh*t sells big.


1. You don't need proof of things to compel behavior. I think lack of proof of God has led to a WHOLE lot more oppression and violence than knowing for sure (at least we could stop fighting about whose right if there was proof)

2. What's wrong with profit? Just because you disagree with the guy doesn't mean he shouldn't be able to make a buck
 
2012-10-08 02:59:18 PM
I fear dying. Alot. I fear it no matter the outcome. If we simple shutdown and cease to be that sucks. I don't want to cease to be I like being. If we go to some type of heavenly place I still don't really like that resolution either. I can't imagine being for an eternity. Seriously take a few seconds, zone out, and imagine never ending. Yeah I know its terrifying in its own right. Save some version of reincarnation which still sort of falls in the second category of being forever, I can't imagine a worse thing than dying. I assume I'm not alone in this.

I think that stories like this alleviate some of that fear and hey that's fine. Making everyone's time here on Earth that much better before whatever terrible fate befalls us is ok by me. Choosing to not believe one man's story about an afterlife also seems totally rationale. The problem here is claiming that you know what will happen when you die (either way) if you think we just shut off... Maybe but you have no way of knowing that. If you cliam we go on and persist in some fashion... Maybe but you have no way of knowing that.

Either way expressing your oppion on the existance of an afterlife will probably lead to alot of red faces on Farkers' death beds. Cause you're going to die. You're gonna die sooner than you think. You're gonna die whether you want to or not. It's the one thing that is assured everyone will have to go through.

/People die all the time, just like that
//Why you could wake up dead tomorrow
//Well... goodnight
 
2012-10-08 03:00:28 PM

xanadian: Ya know, I had always thought of the brain as little more than our own personal radio. It picks up transmissions from what we call "our soul" and interprets them in such a way that it manifests as what we think of as reality. Just because the radio's switched off (or run over because you left it out on the driveway while washing your car, then never bothered to pick it up before running it over) doesn't mean the transmissions aren't still there, nor that the signal isn't stored in some other way for future retrieval.

However, one doctor's anecdote does not constitute proof of anything, really, either my POV or anyone else's. We also may find that the "human" part of our brain is NOT the seat of consciousness, but it rests elsewhere, or it's a synergistic effect of many different parts of the brain.

The jury's still out.


The problem is that ANY phenomena involving personal experience and belief are almost impossible to replicate, if only because the skeptical (or in the case of some double-blind experiments) the non-committal mind of the experimenter might somehow interfere with the processing of the test subjects.
 
2012-10-08 03:02:27 PM
Hmmm. A neurosurgeon who doesn't understand how the brain works.

Oh well, there are mechanics that believe in free energy engines too. Delusions abound.
 
2012-10-08 03:03:11 PM
I wish I could track down the very detailed experiences of a comedian (2 the Ranting Gryphon, if one is curious) as he went in for surgery, and "died" three times on the operating table (part of the procedure; they have to stop the heart).

What he saw and felt is probably the closest to what I imagine coming to death is like: as various parts of his brain began to wind down, it sounded like he began to experience synesthesia, with colors having shapes, and various random intertwined phenomena flitting about as what was left of his consciousness struggled to make sense of all the panicked, conflicting input.

It's a Captain Obvious statement, but it's true: death is a stressful experience, and near-death can safely be lumped in with it. When you hit that point when the brain is losing sections of its functionality, what's left is going to keep on processing till the last neuron dies. It's not a spiritual experience, but a fascinating example of how our entire being is scattered across all that gray and white matter.

As for the afterlife, well ... I believe Newton's Flaming Laser Sword comes into play.
 
2012-10-08 03:04:10 PM
It bugs me that a person (or soul) who isn't actually dead would be allowed into Heaven. It goes against my imaginary conception of Heaven to think that you could sneak in while in a coma, and then be let back out.

You'd think they'd have some policies in place around that situation.
 
2012-10-08 03:04:28 PM

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Langston: Interesting article. Good find, subby

Yes, interesting. However, the cynic in me notes that he is writing a book and needs to publicize it. Correlation =/ causation, but still....

[cdn.thedailybeast.com image 201x301] 

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.
To be published by Simon & Schuster, Inc..
Copyright (c) 2012 by Eben Alexander III, M.D.


If he can spread the word, and make a few bucks off of it, and get some fame, win-win, right?

No seriously. People are all physical beings who are interested in their own physical welfare. He could put up a free PDF but... getting an established publisher to put this in the primary marketplace means he can spread his observations, make money and get some fame.

On the other hand, if he just put a PDF on a website somewhere, it probably wouldn't get nearly the attention this route would.
 
2012-10-08 03:04:52 PM

Farking Canuck: I'll ignore the rest as it all boiled down to "Nuh uh ... you're a poopy pants".


Project much?

Farking Canuck: Here you explicitly take my statement that a core concept in science is that we do not know anything for sure and twist it to suggest that we have beliefs that we "cherish most deeply".


Which you do, based on your statements. FFS man you really flip flop from moment to moment depending on what aspect of your illogical conclusion is being challenged at the time.

Farking Canuck: We are trying to explain that there is no evidence, including this man's anecdote, to support your claim that it is real.


Did you forget what I said in my initial post? You did, didn't you? And we've come full circle with Mr Goldfish I see...

Btw, go look into the link I just posted, from there it can take you to hundreds of other doctor verified "anecdotes" for you to dismiss as such.
 
2012-10-08 03:05:16 PM

Farking Canuck: ELF Radio: RAAAARGH SHUT UP ALL YOU WEAK, SNIVELING BABIES WHO THINK LIFE HAS MEANING OR SOME GAY SHIAT LIKE THAT. WE ARE ANIMAL-MACHINES THAT SPRANG INEXPLICABLY FROM NOTHING AND WE EAT AND FARK AND DIE AND THAT IS ALL. NOTHING ELSE EXISTS AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHER WISE IS A LAME DICK WHO CANT DEAL WITH REALITY.

WHY DONT YOU FAIRIES GO BECOME REPUBLICANS AND VOTE FOR MITT ROMENY IF YOU BELIEVE THIS NANCY QUEER AND HIS HALLUCINATROY BULLSHIAT.

All CAPS strawman == weapon's grade stupidity == welcome to ignore


Please, display an example of this not happening in the thread. I mean, I'm all for ignoring the trolls, but take another look. This guy ain't trolling.

/When did 'scientist' become a codeword for 'psuedo-athiest evangelicist\asshole'?
//Because it's either that, or half of us got linked to an article where this guy was claiming everyone's beliefs should change instead of just 'holy crap this was epic, I want to tell everyone'...and damn, I'd like to see that article.
 
2012-10-08 03:05:34 PM

Mugato: nmemkha: I find Atheists interesting. They dismiss anything that does not fit their narrow worldview out-of-hand and are generally mocking and condescending to the views of others.

and theists dismiss...well you can finish the rest.


Give a human something and he will find a way to harm himself and others with it.

I do not discount the idiocy and atrocities committed in the name of the Christian God. Personally, I look solely to the words Christ. You know the "Love your enemies (even if its is tough love), be kind, be tolerant, be charitable" - all that hippy crap. I pilot a stinking psychotic chimp avatar like the rest of you, but I seek to rid myself of my chimp ways and strive to meet a higher standard. Do meet that standard? Hardly, but to me the journey is the destination.
 
2012-10-08 03:06:13 PM
I spent seven days in a hooker named Nevaeh.
 
2012-10-08 03:07:55 PM

meat0918: You haven't met many atheists then, or more likely you're letting your biases get in the way of your view of them.

I've yet to meet one that outright dismisses the spiritual cannot exist. Not one is 100% certain of it. It's just that the evidence for the literal Biblical interpretation of God (which in my experience is typically what is being advocated by fundamentalists these days, you may or may not be one of them) is quite lacking in the face of the current level of scientific understanding. Fit him in the gaps if you must, but don't try to legislate him into those gaps or reopen ones long since closed.

I think we're potentia ...


Fair enough. But, look at this thread. How many posts are snarky statement belittling religion and religious people. How many are theists doing the same?
 
2012-10-08 03:08:02 PM

lostcat: It bugs me that a person (or soul) who isn't actually dead would be allowed into Heaven. It goes against my imaginary conception of Heaven to think that you could sneak in while in a coma, and then be let back out.

You'd think they'd have some policies in place around that situation.


Or a TSA at the very least.
 
2012-10-08 03:09:48 PM

Pete_Penguin: I say, why not. Anything is better than all of the crud all of us have to deal with on a day to day basis. Why can't it be a reward?


Considering the amount of pain I live in and the arsef*ckery of a life I've been through I would LOVE to get a chance to live in a dimension where there is no pain. Where there is nothing but incomprehensible happiness and joy and everyone gets along. I don't deny the existence of such an afterlife and in fact hold hope that there is such a place. I won't however walk around this plain of existence beating others over the head in an arrogant attempt to quell my own fears, disappointments and insecurities... especially when I have ZERO proof of such a place.
 
2012-10-08 03:10:02 PM

Farking Canuck: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Farking Canuck: From a scientific point of view the only thing we know is that we are always wrong to some degree or another.

I guess the only thing science knows for certain is what beliefs you yourself cherish most deeply.

I'll ignore the rest as it all boiled down to "Nuh uh ... you're a poopy pants".

Here you explicitly take my statement that a core concept in science is that we do not know anything for sure and twist it to suggest that we have beliefs that we "cherish most deeply".

Do you have a whole construction crew to help you build strawmen that big??

I will type real slowly for you here:

Nobody is claiming that your magic place isn't real. We are trying to explain that there is no evidence, including this man's anecdote, to support your claim that it is real.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that there is a magic, invisible world in the sky we go to when we die is extraordinary. The evidence is not only "not extraordinary" it is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent.

Refusing to accept an unsupported claim is reasonable and logical no matter what that claim is. If you want to have blind faith then go ahead ... just don't pretend it is anything else or you will get called on it.


Heinlein said it better:

There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?
 
2012-10-08 03:10:31 PM

angry bunny: I fear dying. Alot. I fear it no matter the outcome. If we simple shutdown and cease to be that sucks. I don't want to cease to be


There was a time before you were born. Does it make you feel afraid to think about your own non-existence during that time period?

If not, how is that different from the time period after your death? Non-existence is non-existence, no?
 
2012-10-08 03:11:21 PM

nmemkha: meat0918: You haven't met many atheists then, or more likely you're letting your biases get in the way of your view of them.

I've yet to meet one that outright dismisses the spiritual cannot exist. Not one is 100% certain of it. It's just that the evidence for the literal Biblical interpretation of God (which in my experience is typically what is being advocated by fundamentalists these days, you may or may not be one of them) is quite lacking in the face of the current level of scientific understanding. Fit him in the gaps if you must, but don't try to legislate him into those gaps or reopen ones long since closed.

I think we're potentia ...

Fair enough. But, look at this thread. How many posts are snarky statement belittling religion and religious people. How many are theists doing the same?


The more vitriolic theists left Fark a long time ago, and the few that just love to poke at atheists wait to drop in after the thread is more or less dead and make it all about them.
 
2012-10-08 03:12:34 PM
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."

"You have nothing to fear."

"There is nothing you can do wrong."


Clearly no need to ask for her FARK handle; she's never posted here.

/CSB

I had a brief near-death experience after my heart stopped during a heart attack. Very cool. Nothing to far about death; it's the getting there that can be a terror.
 
2012-10-08 03:12:48 PM

nmemkha: Fair enough. But, look at this thread. How many posts are snarky statement belittling religion and religious people. How many are theists doing the same?


Well there's you.
 
2012-10-08 03:13:30 PM
Sounds like he may have likely experienced a large dose of DMT released by his brain in order to help him cope with the process of dying.
 
2012-10-08 03:13:37 PM

nmemkha: You rational approach is commendable, but some people feel there more to the Universe than what is tangible. Some feel a "connection" to "beings" that transcend our existence. Not everyone has these "spiritual" yearnings, but those that do find it hard to discount them.


and those that don't are, in your experience, assholes.
like i said - confirmation bias
 
2012-10-08 03:16:40 PM

xanadian: Mugato: /how come no one has near death experiences of Hell, anyway?

Because *that* is truly an invention of man, meant to keep us under the thumbs of the ruling elite.


Wrong... There are many people with reports of being sent to hell.
 
2012-10-08 03:16:54 PM

nmemkha: Fair enough. But, look at this thread. How many posts are snarky statement belittling religion and religious people. How many are theists doing the same?


I certainly don't claim to be an Atheist, but I can say that a lot of people taking religion as the high road in this thread might not be acting with love and compassion and a desire to spread the joy of believing in God.
 
2012-10-08 03:18:02 PM

angry bunny: I fear dying. Alot. I fear it no matter the outcome.


Look, here's a simple fact: We did not create ourselves. The machine did. By machine, I mean universe. It organized itself into the galaxies, stars, the planets. It organized itself into the earth. The ball of gas and dust came together. It organized itself into the magma, the rocks, the early atmosphere, the early lifeform, the dinosaurs, and finally us.

The basic principles of the underlying fabric of the universe have driven it to form into what it is today. And it's continuing to organize itself. Into what, who knows.

We're part of something much, much MUCH bigger. The basic fabric of the universe organized itself into us. Take gods, God out of it for a moment. This is what the science tells us.

The machine has organized itself into us, and everything we see around us.

Can an inanimate machine organize itself into something conscious and intelligent? I don't know. Is there some tendency towards evolution into consciousness in the universe? Something which drives the underlying fabric to form into consciousness? It certainly happened here. Patterns tend to repeat in the universe.
 
2012-10-08 03:18:07 PM

Pathman: nmemkha: You rational approach is commendable, but some people feel there more to the Universe than what is tangible. Some feel a "connection" to "beings" that transcend our existence. Not everyone has these "spiritual" yearnings, but those that do find it hard to discount them.

and those that don't are, in your experience, assholes.
like i said - confirmation bias


Now this is a strawman. Their beliefs do not make them "assholes". Its their behavior does.
 
2012-10-08 03:19:05 PM
From following this for the past few years, I'm actually surprised to see it in Newsweek. The next post may be a bit long but oh well.

1) Why would you even begin to lie about this? A profit motive for a book from a guy who has been published in neuroscience journals and has a respected career in his field? What's the point? Most of your peers would scoff at you if not outright think you are insane. You would also be taking a gamble of being considered a lunatic or a liar, considering how easy it is to gather information on individuals and everything else on the 'net. Besides, the guy has been working on the book for a couple of years and if he is of scientific worth, I would naturally assume he would wanting to do this for his own personal investigation on why this actually happened.

2) He his situation was unique since most NDEs seem to occur during cardiac arrest, drowning, or severe physical trauma. This is one of the first times it appears to have happened meningitis, which specifically attacks the spine and brain. And apparently it was a pretty rare form of it too. Of anything having to do with neuroscience, consciousness and the afterlife, this is an important incident.

3) NDEs are still one of the front-lines of filter/transmission theory of the mind (and in contract with the generally accepted materialistic reductionist view of mind = brain) and of survival after bodily death. For every explanation that comes, must are shot down pretty decidedly (but always leave room for debate/error) and the only one that has ever come remotely close is DMT, but even then there are vast differences (DMT experiences are usually perceived as being an experience that was caused by the DMT and an "illusion"/distorted reality, where NDEs are usually described as being "realer than real"/hyper-reality and stick with the one who experiences it as something that is more real than anything they ever have or will experience in their lives). They usually experience a higher quality of life, a universal acceptance of everyone, a sharply-reduced fear of death, and a increased curiosity of knowledge (The only main person I can think that experienced one who didn't think of it as a spiritual experience was Susan Blackmore).

4) In two of the interviews Alexander did with Skeptiko.com, he goes into detail about everything that happened. He also had some information on his site (that may be in the book, and you have to dig for it since it was on a Q/A) where he basically indicates that based on his condition and his + his colleges understanding of neuroscience, this absolutely shouldn't have happened. At all. And he goes how/where he was spiritually during that time (basically Christian in name only, but didn't really believe or care about it at all). What amazes me about the arguments on here are based because the guy said he was Christian-ish but barely but his NDE didn't include Jesus/Judeo-Christian God so why would that have anything to do with his experience? Howard Storm was pretty much a pre-Fark/Reddit atheist who had a negative NDE where he went to Hell. Was his invalidated as well? This negative banter is coming from people who if Pat Robertson took over for Hitchens as the fourth horsemen of Atheism, they would be dancing in the streets and who post pictures of Carl Sagan talking about anything and everything like the dude willed reality into existence himself.

5) If people are going to spout off about this stuff, please learn about it. I would suggest Skeptiko.com (a bit preachy and out in left field sometimes, but the forums are good sources of information) as a decent starting point. I don't believe everything about mediums and past lives and all of that, but this stuff is actually extremely interesting. I'll go on record about believing NDEs are real experiences as science hasn't shown me convincing, indisputable evidence on why they are just made up by the brain.
 
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