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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
    More: Interesting, scientific explanations  
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28073 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 12:39 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-08 09:05:14 AM  
Interesting article. Good find, subby
 
2012-10-08 09:20:29 AM  
FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.
 
2012-10-08 09:22:52 AM  

xanadian: So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.


Indeed. A fascinating crock of self-affirming sh*te.
 
2012-10-08 09:27:04 AM  
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.
 
2012-10-08 09:33:40 AM  

xanadian: The jury's still out.


Well, yeah. If one has "proof" of something or another, then one no long needs "faith" in order to believe in it.

The whole "life after death" obsession strikes me as silly and indicative of perpetual juvenility.

You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.
 
2012-10-08 09:36:21 AM  

Babwa Wawa: xanadian: The jury's still out.

Well, yeah. If one has "proof" of something or another, then one no long needs "faith" in order to believe in it.

The whole "life after death" obsession strikes me as silly and indicative of perpetual juvenility.

You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.


The thing that grabbed me was how everything in this "heaven" could be easily related to how we perceive things here (minus the whole insta-thought thing). Not until he described the void with nothing human or Earthly or "heaven-like" did it start to sound plausible. I can't believe that if there is an afterlife, that it would be ANYTHING like what we perceive now.
 
2012-10-08 09:42:02 AM  

xanadian: one doctor's anecdote does not constitute proof of anything

 
2012-10-08 09:42:23 AM  

Babwa Wawa: You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.


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?
 
2012-10-08 09:44:54 AM  
i1.kym-cdn.com

Jesus, Aliens, whatever. A lack of evidence or understanding is not evidence of magic.
 
2012-10-08 09:49:33 AM  
Sounds like it still is.
 
2012-10-08 10:00:14 AM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 10:06:33 AM  
the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness [...] now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it. [...] When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first.

So a whole theory is layed to waste by one persons anecdote? Does an anectdote undergo some alchemical transformation into objective data when it is experienced by a DOCTOR?

The enormity of the universe he describes is surpassed only by the enormity of the ego of a doctor.

And saying that no one wants to pay attention "at first"? As if the claim that there is an afterlife is brand new cutting edge fringe stuff?
 
2012-10-08 10:10:46 AM  

Kyro: [i1.kym-cdn.com image 200x200]

Jesus, Aliens, whatever. A lack of evidence or understanding is not evidence of magic.


It's an appeal to his own authority.

Personally, an answer to this, the greatest mystery, would just end up being something that diminishes what it means to be human.
 
2012-10-08 10:11:37 AM  
Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.
 
2012-10-08 10:13:48 AM  

Babwa Wawa: That is dangerous for society on a number of levels.


Bingo.

HakunaMatata: Does an anectdote undergo some alchemical transformation into objective data when it is experienced by a DOCTOR?


What the doctor's experience tells me is this: the doctor, being very knowledgeable about neuroscience, has found that his understanding about the brain and consciousness is incomplete.

Quick! Someone call Ric Romero!

I'm not saying what he experienced (if it's "real") isn't impossible. But, at the very least, it serves to underscore how little we know about our own freakin' brains.
 
2012-10-08 10:26:21 AM  

logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.


You didn't finish the sentence. I was so more in name than in actual belief. So according to the Bible, he wouldn't be in heaven, he'd be in Hell!

/how come no one has near death experiences of Hell, anyway?
 
2012-10-08 10:28:15 AM  
CSB: I had a non-religious friend who I respected to the utmost and had a "life after death" experience in Vietnam when for a few minutes he was critically brain dead. He would be driven to tears trying to explain it because a lot of it he didn't understand, but there were strange details like how he thought he smelled bread baking and there were relatives who died years ago there, but when he was given the chance to return he took it then woke up in the hospital again (though he wondered for years afterwards if it was worth it considering how much rehabilitating pain he had from his injuries).

Guy was, as I said earlier, not religious so he willingly acknowledged it could all just be his brain shutting down... but he could never quite believe it because then why would he be given the choice to return? Weird thing to put in a shut-down mode.

Friend died a few years ago in a heart attack, so I've always wondered a bit about that since as he's the only person I've known personally to have such an experience- and then not cloud it with Judeo-Christian overtones to boot. If nothing else though it's consolation to me to know that when it hit he recognized what was happening and wasn't afraid.
 
2012-10-08 10:32:15 AM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 10:44:55 AM  
Higher than the clouds-immeasurably higher-flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them. Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.


Streetlights?
 
2012-10-08 10:48:25 AM  
My experience was nothing like what he describes. For me it happened in a flash of awareness. No voices, no bright lights, no people, no clouds. Just an awareness that there was a very, VERY inviting and peaceful "place" I could've gone. In that instant (thinking of my children) my brain went - "No, they don't know how much I love them" and it was over.

I awoke 21 days later. During that time I had what I guess I'd now describe as dreams and/or hallucinations. There was/is a great difference between them and that moment of "awareness."

Yes, I was dead-dead. Resuscitated from flat-line six times in the first 26 hours.

Was it hypoxia? Maybe. Was it an afterlife? Dunno. Was it real? Yup. Do I hope that's what's waiting the next time my number is up? You betcha.

* - (Raised in the church, went occasionally as an adult, but wasn't necessarily a religious man. )

/not proselytizing
//just sayin'
 
2012-10-08 10:51:53 AM  

xanadian: The thing that grabbed me was how everything in this "heaven" could be easily related to how we perceive things here (minus the whole insta-thought thing). Not until he described the void with nothing human or Earthly or "heaven-like" did it start to sound plausible. I can't believe that if there is an afterlife, that it would be ANYTHING like what we perceive now.


Well fwiw the Buddhists explain this by saying it is our emotional attachment to terrestrial experience that shapes the way we perceive these phenomena. They call this illusion "Samsara" and it is one of the goals of Buddhism to break our attachment to Samsara so that when we die we can move beyond our limited human vision and evolve into the multi-dimensional beings we truly are.
 
2012-10-08 10:53:37 AM  
Although I considered myself a faithful Christian... I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

Uh...what?
 
2012-10-08 10:53:40 AM  

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.


Criticizing isn't "attacking."
 
2012-10-08 11:06:47 AM  

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.


Attitudes like yours are why more people don't share their experiences. If it hasn't happened to you or it's something you can't imagine or understand it isn't real, right?
 
2012-10-08 11:20:22 AM  

AbbeySomeone: 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.

Attitudes like yours are why more people don't share their experiences. If it hasn't happened to you or it's something you can't imagine or understand it isn't real, right?


Actually even if it has happened to me it doesn't mean it's real. The brain does weird things when it's shutting down. My personal experiences count for nothing in science.
 
2012-10-08 11:24:28 AM  

AbbeySomeone: Attitudes like yours are why more people don't share their experiences. If it hasn't happened to you or it's something you can't imagine or understand it isn't real, right?



And by "share" you mean charging $10 on Amazon, correct?
 
2012-10-08 11:30:37 AM  

AbbeySomeone: Attitudes like yours are why more people don't share their experiences. If it hasn't happened to you or it's something you can't imagine or understand it isn't real, right?


I have no issue with people sharing near death experiences - I think they are interesting. I'm almost perfectly certain of the reality of near death experiences. Given the number of documented near death experiences, I tend to doubt many people have problems sharing because of people like me.

I'm not skeptical about the experiences, rather the conclusions that people draw from them after the fact.

As for my issues with this clown, here they are: I have issue with people presenting unrelated qualifications (like MDs) to lend unwarranted weight to their own interpretation of their near death experience (like this clown).

But primarily I have issue with people presenting near death experience as supporting proof of their faith (like this clown).
 
2012-10-08 12:36:08 PM  
Technically I died four times on the table when I had my aortic aneurysm. Ascending aorta blew out like a bad seal, and it took half the valve attached with it. 26 and half hours of surgery, 267 units of blood and blood related products, and a LOT of folks worked on getting my fuzzy butt back.

I did have something of an experience. Call it hypoxia, loss of blood, or just plain near death--literally the surgeon had to massage my heart directly at one point to keep the blood flowing because the poor sucker was just beat down. My heart had to be restarted a total of four times while I was on the table.

The brain was certainly firing. I had to be put back down under a few times during this whole experience, 26 hours is a long time for anesthesia, especially when you are looking at keeping the heart continuing to roll.

Did I see a white light? Did I see vast hordes of loved ones in the Beyond? Not so much. I was faced with a choice, to give up and move on, or stay. It wasn't anything so dramatic as an angel, but then again, perhaps my view of a Divine is perhaps a lot less spectacular than most folks'. Call it an understanding of biofeedback and long practice with dualistic thought and meditation to separate bodily function and thought, call it a rationalization of parsing the many voices that were hammering at my ears, and understanding that I was jacked the Hells up, but in that place in my head, while this was all going on, I met myself, and I faced a choice to give up, or keep going. I loved my fiancee and I didn't want her to grieve, so I chose to stay. It wasn't an easy thing. There were a lot of paths to choose from, and few of them led back to her. I look on it as seeing possibilities opening, and not many of those possibilities led to a place where I was conscious. In one way, I can see it as consciousness seeking the proper path, with a myriad of possibilities and possible selves all crowding and seeking that same path, or another, that would lead to their "right" place. It was confusing, and can be easily chalked up to a LOT of drugs in my system, a lot of odd brain cells firing in the throes of the body fighting to keep going. As a Buddhist, it can be both spiritual and physical. We find meaning in things, because our brains are fantastic machines for making correlations. Even disparate and seemingly unrelated things. We create our own meaning from events.

My own experience was a near thing. Dead on the table four times, and I feel lucky to still be here. The post op experience was a long fight, and my fiancee was there, and she kept me focused--for a long while it was a fight to keep my heart rate up. I was glad to have had some training when I was younger with biofeedback, and I had to concentrate to keep going until I could heal up enough to not be so active in trying to stay alive. In some ways, I was lucky that the breathing machine was so damn uncomfortable and breathing wrong, because it kept me awake, even with the spinal block that kept me from moving too much. She was my focus though. Even while I couldn't speak, I did find enough control to move my fingers, and the stupid Squeeze Talk that we'd worked out when we were in college came through--one for Yes; two for No; three for I Love You; a long squeeze for I'm Going to Spell Now, followed by squeezes to the appropriate letter, with one for A, two for B, etc--because that let us communicate, even while I doped up and had the damn tube down my throat. 

In the end, I know I got lucky. If you put credence to the Many Worlds hypothesis, there were a LOT of Hubies out there who didn't make it. I can certainly see how my brain translated the experience into a lot of paths to choose from, and the effort to survive the mess as being as much luck of the draw, as a fight to remain and keep the damn heart going. At the same time, as a Buddhist, I see it as a choice to remain, a choice to not move on. As a Buddhist, it can be both, and in the end, I survived an event that kills 99.6% of folks within the first 20 minutes, and it was over 40 before I got to the right hospital. Aortic dissections are no joke, and I burned up a lot of luck, as well as a lot of Western Mass' blood supply 15 years ago. It is hard to not get a little contemplative after such a thing.

Whether the experience was "supernatural" doesn't really matter. It is the meaning that we attach to such things that matters. For me, I chose to stay, and I chose to stay for my wife to be. I don't regret that decision, even though the marriage didn't last, because we have a lovely daughter because of it. I don't use the experience to "prove" any afterlife, because even as a Buddhist, I'm not entirely certain there is one, but the experience did fire in me that things are a lot weirder than we might understand.
 
2012-10-08 12:43:30 PM  
Pics or it didn't happen
 
2012-10-08 12:44:01 PM  
Spent time in heaven....

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com


Spent time in hell...

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com


Didn't need a coma to see either.
 
2012-10-08 12:46:32 PM  

Mugato: logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.

You didn't finish the sentence. I was so more in name than in actual belief. So according to the Bible, he wouldn't be in heaven, he'd be in Hell!

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


My uncle did. It was not pretty... he ended up turning his life around after that though.
 
2012-10-08 12:46:54 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.


Where are the new souls coming from?
 
2012-10-08 12:48:09 PM  

logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.


This.

I once had a huge Thanksgiving day argument with an ex-Chemist who worked at Dow. He was up in everyone's face with the Religion and the Rapture and everything in between.

I left the discussion absolutely mind-blown over how someone with scientific training could at one hand, accomplish and do things with the Scientific Method and everything that requires you to work at Dow, and then BRAIN OFF and toss everything out the window in one derptacular stroke.
 
2012-10-08 12:48:24 PM  
Sorry, folks. The afterlife is an eternity waiting on a Cinnabon line at O'Hare during a snowstorm on the day before Thanksgiving.
 
2012-10-08 12:48:25 PM  
Newsweek: Just Throwing Some Shiat on a Wall and Seeing What Will Stick.
 
2012-10-08 12:49:01 PM  

xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.


Are you implying his white matter created the visions he describes?
 
2012-10-08 12:50:02 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Sorry, folks. The afterlife is an eternity waiting on a Cinnabon line at O'Hare during a snowstorm on the day before Thanksgiving.


Is there heterosexual farking? If so, we'll probably be able to cope.
 
2012-10-08 12:50:33 PM  

xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.


That struck me as interesting, too. The brain is a flexible organ. Granted, it's more flexible in childhood than adulthood, but even in adulthood it can learn, adapt, rewire itself, etc. Could it have adapted in interesting ways while the doctor was in a coma? The fact that he's a churchgoer means he already had some ingrained ideas about heaven and the afterlife that could easily have shaped his coma experiences.

Not judging, just questioning. The brain is a weird organ.
 
2012-10-08 12:50:42 PM  
I had the exact same experience where i realized that the whole universe was less than a speck. It happened in a second. I was tripping balls
 
2012-10-08 12:50:46 PM  
"the human part of my brain"

So, he's a cyborg?
 
2012-10-08 12:51:01 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: 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.

Where are the new souls coming from?


The goff is empty, hence, the end of the world.

/or whatever it was called
 
2012-10-08 12:53:05 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Sorry, folks. The afterlife is an eternity waiting on a Cinnabon line at O'Hare during a snowstorm on the day before Thanksgiving.


God closed that.

It's an Annie's Preztel's now I think.
 
2012-10-08 12:54:34 PM  
"...reports of NDEs, which are commonly cited as proof of the supernatural, really are just lucid dreams."

Link (pops)
 
2012-10-08 12:54:54 PM  
Has there ever been a neurosurgeon who said "We know absolutely everything about the brain"? Nice story and all but we don't know enough about the brain to know that you couldn't possibly have been dreaming of some sort.
 
2012-10-08 12:54:56 PM  
I remember heaven. She was a petite blonde with eyes the color of a spring morning. She had freckles on her nose and an infectious smile. She is the one I will always regret losing, the one that haunts my dreams and makes me melancholy even on the brightest day. I remember heaven.
 
2012-10-08 12:55:00 PM  

EyeballKid: Newsweek: Just Throwing Some Shiat on a Wall and Seeing What Will Stick.


Newsweek: Oh God Please Buy A Copy We're Starving Here. Jerry Mows Lawns on the Weekend Just To Get By. I Have 9 Credit Cards Maxed. We'll Talk About God, Sex, Football, American Idol, Whatever You Want
 
2012-10-08 12:55:07 PM  
Would you know the difference between a near-death experience and the false memory of a near-death experience?
 
2012-10-08 12:55:33 PM  
matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com
I've been to hell. That is Satan's V6 Mustang. He's the manager.
 
2012-10-08 12:55:44 PM  
Do they have the innerwebs in heaven? No? Then fark that shiat.
 
2012-10-08 12:55:48 PM  
Come to the light boy, come to the light!

i47.tinypic.com
 
2012-10-08 12:55:53 PM  
Oh Boy Time for Some Skeptoid.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4261 - Near Death Experiences

Link
A comparison of the effects of hypoxia to the reports of a brush with the afterlife.

tl;dr podcast link - http://skeptoid.com/audio/skeptoid-4261.mp3

Link

Penn and Teller Ouiji Board and Near Death Experiences

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc Full episode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc
 
2012-10-08 12:56:45 PM  
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.
 
2012-10-08 12:57:05 PM  
I know how pronouncements like mine sound to skeptics, so I will tell my story with the logic and language of the scientist I am.
[...]
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.
[...]
Higher than the clouds-immeasurably higher-flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them.
[...]
Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet ... or a butterfly's wing.


Yeah...thanks for that coherent and scientific account, doc.
 
2012-10-08 12:57:23 PM  
There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind-my conscious, inner self-was alive and well.

Obviously, then, it must be magic.
 
2012-10-08 12:57:58 PM  

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.


You've got my vote.
 
2012-10-08 12:58:10 PM  

Canton: That struck me as interesting, too. The brain is a flexible organ. Granted, it's more flexible in childhood than adulthood, but even in adulthood it can learn, adapt, rewire itself, etc. Could it have adapted in interesting ways while the doctor was in a coma? The fact that he's a churchgoer means he already had some ingrained ideas about heaven and the afterlife that could easily have shaped his coma experiences.

Not judging, just questioning. The brain is a weird organ.


NDE type things happen to some people when their brain is subjected to stress. Trauma is one cause but it has been replicated in blackout centrifuges as well. As the blood drains away from the brain some people just pass out, others have hallucinations like NDEs. You don't have to actually be near death.

Thus far I'm not aware of any explanation as to why only some people are affected (about 10%).
 
2012-10-08 12:58:37 PM  

xanadian: Quantum Apostrophe: 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.

Where are the new souls coming from?

The goff is empty, hence, the end of the world.

/or whatever it was called


Sounds like a bunch of guff to me.
 
kgf
2012-10-08 12:58:38 PM  
Hmmm, a megalomaniac brain surgeon? Impossible!!!

So this guy is now a prophet too. Bet that sells a lot of books.
 
2012-10-08 12:58:46 PM  
The brain tries to make sense of the data it receives. The result is always a subjective experience even while awake.
We are not souls observing a single universe through the windows of our eyes.
We are billions of brains developing billions of imperfect models from the incomplete reports of our senses.
 
2012-10-08 12:58:53 PM  
Toward the beginning of my adventure, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black skHigher than the clouds-immeasurably higher-flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamerlike lines behind them.

This is the most concerning part to me. Not only did he experience heaven, in his estimation, but he experienced the traditional description of heaven. He admits he was born and raised Christian, and remarkably his near-death experience happens to be exactly like everything he was (probably) told it would be like since he was a child. Angels? Check. Choirs? Check.

It makes me think about the rare times I actually take naps during the day. I'll sleep for maybe an hour or two, but I'll sometimes dream like I've been in school all day (high-school, sometimes, which is amusing since that's long-past), or at work all day. I know I couldn't possibly have dreamt a full 8-hour workday in the 90 minutes I was a sleep, but it sure feels like it. Why couldn't the same thing happened to him? 

Neat story regardless, just seems way too convenient.
 
2012-10-08 12:58:56 PM  

RanDomino: There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind-my conscious, inner self-was alive and well.

Obviously, then, it must be magic.


Magic, don't got to explain shiat!
 
2012-10-08 12:59:08 PM  
I had a similar experience. I saw a soft light, and a beautiful blue sky, and swirling entities. I heard wonderful chimes, and then i seemed to see words that gave me great comfort:

blog.politekniktelkom.ac.id
 
2012-10-08 12:59:26 PM  
So observable events like polar ice caps melting and rises in global temperature can be dismissed but some christian clown having a dream is PROOF that heaven exist?

Makes sense to me.
 
2012-10-08 01:00:02 PM  
I hope he's right. His afterlife seems pretty damn cool.
 
2012-10-08 01:01:02 PM  
I recall watching this Dr's experience on the TV show I Survived; Beyond & Back. I immediately thought the Dr was kind of coo coo but why on earth would anyone make this shiat up?

/Shrugs
 
2012-10-08 01:01:07 PM  
Hmm...man in Heaven while brain inactive? I've done that--it's called being in love with the wrong woman. When I woke up, I found myself in Hell.
/Now, I'm just in Purgatory.
 
2012-10-08 01:01:10 PM  
I hope he chokes on a cock and really dies this time.
 
2012-10-08 01:01:28 PM  
I wonder if he would have seen something different during that time if he was not a Christian.
 
Slu
2012-10-08 01:01:56 PM  
*cough*bullshiat*cough*
 
2012-10-08 01:02:11 PM  

RanDomino: There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind-my conscious, inner self-was alive and well.

Obviously, then, it must be magic.


Of course! Or those who say the mind is actually an electromagnetic field interfacing with the brain are on to something.
 
2012-10-08 01:02:21 PM  
i can only hope that my brother went to that place a year and a month ago.
i can only hope i get to see him there when i am done.
 
2012-10-08 01:02:32 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Where are the new souls coming from?


i have a theory for that. At the death of the human body, the soul splits into innumerable bits which go back into the "supply" and meld up with other bits of souls. This is why so many people can claim to be famous people. They all have a bit of that "soul"

disclaimer: this is "My" religious belief, ymmv.
 
2012-10-08 01:03:05 PM  
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.
 
2012-10-08 01:03:23 PM  

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.


images.sodahead.com
 
2012-10-08 01:03:53 PM  
also, i'm glad to see the "this guy is full of shiate and wants to sell his book" is covered.
 
2012-10-08 01:04:41 PM  
I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

You know how I know he isn't a scientist?


Hint: One personal subjective experience is NEVER a basis for science.
 
2012-10-08 01:05:25 PM  
Can we get someone who has had an out of body experience to take DMT and then tell me. If it's the same, because I would really like to know. I mean sure, I can take some DMT and get my own experience, but I'm not all into having a near death experience. No matter how controlled, they make scary movies about that kind of thing.
 
2012-10-08 01:05:37 PM  

cowsspinach: I recall watching this Dr's experience on the TV show I Survived; Beyond & Back. I immediately thought the Dr was kind of coo coo but why on earth would anyone make this shiat up?


To get on TV.
 
2012-10-08 01:05:50 PM  

Poppa Boner: So observable events like polar ice caps melting and rises in global temperature can be dismissed but some christian clown having a dream is PROOF that heaven exist?

Makes sense to me.


well played
 
2012-10-08 01:06:58 PM  

aelat: This is the most concerning part to me. Not only did he experience heaven, in his estimation, but he experienced the traditional description of heaven. He admits he was born and raised Christian, and remarkably his near-death experience happens to be exactly like everything he was (probably) told it would be like since he was a child. Angels? Check. Choirs? Check.

It makes me think about the rare times I actually take naps during the day. I'll sleep for maybe an hour or two, but I'll sometimes dream like I've been in school all day (high-school, sometimes, which is amusing since that's long-past), or at work all day. I know I couldn't possibly have dreamt a full 8-hour workday in the 90 minutes I was a sleep, but it sure feels like it. Why couldn't the same thing happened to him?

Neat story regardless, just seems way too convenient.



Exactly. Then he goes back to church and ADMITS the stained glass windows remind him of the "heaven" he just saw and the organ reminds him of the sounds he heard.
He seems like a smart enough guy...but not too logical.
 
2012-10-08 01:07:32 PM  
Pleasant story - I hope that is how it all goes down in the end.
 
2012-10-08 01:07:42 PM  
I remember my experience perfectly. I knew that I was in a calm, peaceful place, but nothing quite like what we think of calm and peaceful on Earth. I knew I was happy, but again, it wasn't like any happiness I had felt before. This happiness was on another level, a level that is indescribable until you feel it. I wandered around for what seemed like days taking in the beauty that surrounded me. Angelic beings carried me to these vast, gorgeous gardens. I could see music in the air. The greatest pieces ever composed were nothing compared to the richness of the melodies of the afterlife. And then a being came to me, instantly recognizable as "God" or whomever one chooses as their God. He looked at me with the most caring eyes, and spoke in a voice more soothing than anything I could humanly comprehend. He asked me if I was scared, and I said I wasn't. He asked me why I was here, and I could not answer. Then he asked me if I wanted to go back. How could anyone truthfully say yes? This place was more perfect than perfect could be. And yet, I had this inner turmoil inside me. Just one little fight inside myself, and my mind got scared, and I said, "I'll move in with my auntie and uncle in Bel Air."
 
2012-10-08 01:07:46 PM  

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.



2/10 I think the caps lock killed it.
 
2012-10-08 01:08:14 PM  

SpectroBoy: I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

You know how I know he isn't a scientist?


Hint: One personal subjective experience is NEVER a basis for science.


I assume that, as a scientist, he'll be replicating the conditions to confirm his observations.
 
2012-10-08 01:08:47 PM  

Keigh: Quantum Apostrophe: Where are the new souls coming from?

i have a theory for that. At the death of the human body, the soul splits into innumerable bits which go back into the "supply" and meld up with other bits of souls. This is why so many people can claim to be famous people. They all have a bit of that "soul"

disclaimer: this is "My" religious belief, ymmv.


Here's what I believe. You mix enough variety and quantity of atoms in a certain pattern and it can become self-referential and self-aware. As long as something like a star supplies energy to the system that allows such patterns to exist, there you are.

You are born, the processor gets more and more complex and can process more and of its own memories and you slowly become self-aware. Then you age and the systems that are designed to just keep you going to reproduction age fall apart and you slowly forget and get slower.

There was no you before, and there will be no you after. That's all.
 
2012-10-08 01:08:55 PM  
Things Newsweek could have put on the front cover:

New Revelations about the Benghazi Attack

The Presidential Debate

Israel and Iran at the UN and Nuclear Brinksmanship

Turkey vs Syria

Spain and the European Economic Crisis

Venezuela's Election


Newsweek is worthless fishwrap.
 
2012-10-08 01:09:08 PM  
This guys opinion is that a certain part of my brain was inoperable thus consciousness was impossible. Its probably not quite that black and white. Current scientific knowledge of the brain just isn't quite there yet.
 
2012-10-08 01:09:40 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.


uh - no, those people are called assholes.
 
2012-10-08 01:10:48 PM  
Newsweek needs to "Come to the Light"
 
2012-10-08 01:11:05 PM  
blah blah blah...

new book
cdn.thedailybeast.com
blah blah blah..
 
2012-10-08 01:11:51 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.


You don't have to die to shut down those transmissions. You should try it:

www.keeptalkinggreece.com
 
2012-10-08 01:12:54 PM  
Atheism is a Religion.
 
2012-10-08 01:13:27 PM  

Pathman: 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.

uh - no, those people are called assholes.


There's a difference?
 
2012-10-08 01:14:28 PM  
hmmmm... wonder if this guy read 'Heaven is for real'?

"Heaven Is for Real" was published in late 2010, became a word-of-mouth best seller and has spent 59 (nonconsecutive) weeks as the No. 1 nonfiction paperback on The New York Times's best-seller list. Recently the publisher, Thomas Nelson, spun off a children's picture book, now also a best seller, with illustrations verified by Colton. And sometime in 2014, courtesy of DeVon Franklin, vice president of production at Columbia Pictures, who considers his faith "a professional asset," a movie version should be released in theaters.
 
2012-10-08 01:14:32 PM  

Kyro: [i1.kym-cdn.com image 200x200]

Jesus, Aliens, whatever. A lack of evidence or understanding is not evidence of magic.


Dudes,
You don't get hair like that unless you believe in god...
\s'all I'm sayin'
 
2012-10-08 01:14:42 PM  

kombat_unit: "the human part of my brain"

So, he's a cyborg?


Doctors often refer to the more 'primitive" brain stem, the part which controls automatic functions such as heart rate and breathing, as the "lizard brain". So he's a lizard-cyborg. Mecha-Godzilla?
 
2012-10-08 01:14:56 PM  

bwilson27: I hope he chokes on a cock and really dies this time.


Watch out everyone, we've got a real badass here!
 
2012-10-08 01:15:12 PM  

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.


Lucid and logical counterpoint, presented politely and with civility. You've convinced me with your persuasiveness.

/assbag
 
2012-10-08 01:15:41 PM  

H31N0US: 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.

[images.sodahead.com image 350x233]


Of the few pictures on the internet that make me actually 'laugh out loud'... that is one of them.
 
2012-10-08 01:15:43 PM  
It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly.

Tits or get off my butterfly wing, biatch.
 
2012-10-08 01:16:42 PM  

freewill: Mr. Coffee Nerves: Sorry, folks. The afterlife is an eternity waiting on a Cinnabon line at O'Hare during a snowstorm on the day before Thanksgiving.

Is there heterosexual farking? If so, we'll probably be able to copeulate.


As long as you have your United Club card handy.
 
2012-10-08 01:19:05 PM  
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Neelix calls bullshiat.
 
2012-10-08 01:19:26 PM  
So your "higher" brain was "dead" but you make no mention of the hindbrain or the limbic system and those seem to be unaffected by your infection so one wonders if you left those facts out of your story on purpose because, politician jokes aside, they are billions of life forms on this planet that live very active lives with those primitive brains, so this story really seems to proves is that humans knowledge of how the brain really function is limited.

Still a neat story, religious fanatics can take this as proof there is heaven, and those in the neuroscience should not dismiss since clearly the seeds of human consciousness lie in places beyond the cortex.
 
2012-10-08 01:20:36 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.


If the faithful just kept their moronic beliefs to themselves and didn't try to control every facet of other people's lives maybe we wouldn't need to shout you down so much.
 
2012-10-08 01:20:47 PM  
Twaddle.
 
2012-10-08 01:22:32 PM  

xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.


There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.
 
2012-10-08 01:22:51 PM  

nmemkha: Pathman: 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.

uh - no, those people are called assholes.

There's a difference?


between someone who doesn't happen to believe what you believe and an asshole? i suppose that's a matter of opinion.
 
2012-10-08 01:23:29 PM  
...while his brain was completely inactive

I know people wandering around like this everyday. Not sure if they're in a coma or not.
 
2012-10-08 01:24:29 PM  

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
 
2012-10-08 01:24:43 PM  
I'm having a near death experience as I type this. I'll respond back with my findings once it's over. If you don't hear back from me within the next 2 weeks assume that this episode was more death than near.
 
2012-10-08 01:26:05 PM  
Let's see, we have a bunch of atheists who cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong, and therefore dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex, saying "we just don't know how the brain works", even though that's been a well established fact for some time now. The hilarious thing is that you people are so quick to throw out science and say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged.. You know who else throws out well established science when their world view is challenged? Yep, you people aren't any better than a young earth creationist. I'm not saying his testimony is irrefutable proof that there is an afterlife, but anyone who dismisses it based on this reasoning doesn't occupy higher ground than a creationist.
 
2012-10-08 01:26:28 PM  

Raharu: Oh Boy Time for Some Skeptoid.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4261 - Near Death Experiences
Link
A comparison of the effects of hypoxia to the reports of a brush with the afterlife.

tl;dr podcast link - http://skeptoid.com/audio/skeptoid-4261.mp3
Link

Penn and Teller Ouiji Board and Near Death Experiences

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc Full episode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLFV4DTPCPc


Supposedly the K-hole does the same thing as give you an NDE.

PirateKing: I had a similar experience. I saw a soft light, and a beautiful blue sky, and swirling entities. I heard wonderful chimes, and then i seemed to see words that gave me great comfort:

[blog.politekniktelkom.ac.id image 640x360]


I expect I'll probably blue screen.

:/

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.


SOMEBODY needs a hug...

Millennium: xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.

There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.


Like someone else said in this thread, the brain is a weird organ. A lot like my penis.

/I think with both, too
 
2012-10-08 01:26:47 PM  
So he's becoming a cult leader now?
 
2012-10-08 01:27:21 PM  
That's right, spin, spin for all you're worth! There is no such thing as sufficient evidence when it contradicts your preconceived notions. No reputable scientist disagrees with you, because anyone who disagrees with you is by definition not a reputable scientist. Anything that does not make sense TO YOU is objectively nonsense and can be safely dismissed.

Keep your self-esteem nice and buffered. Because that's what's important.
 
2012-10-08 01:27:35 PM  
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".

There's nothing in this article or any other similar account that is more compelling than a dream.
 
2012-10-08 01:27:44 PM  

L.D. Ablo: You don't have to die to shut down those transmissions. You should try it:

www.keeptalkinggreece.com


That cat looks REALLY happy.
 
2012-10-08 01:28:52 PM  
webspace.ship.edu
 
2012-10-08 01:30:22 PM  

Sofa King Smart: hmmmm... wonder if this guy read 'Heaven is for real'?

"Heaven Is for Real" was published in late 2010, became a word-of-mouth best seller and has spent 59 (nonconsecutive) weeks as the No. 1 nonfiction paperback on The New York Times's best-seller list. Recently the publisher, Thomas Nelson, spun off a children's picture book, now also a best seller, with illustrations verified by Colton. And sometime in 2014, courtesy of DeVon Franklin, vice president of production at Columbia Pictures, who considers his faith "a professional asset," a movie version should be released in theaters.

I've never had a reason to punch a child before, but that book made me wanna do it. His father needs a severe beating too.
 
2012-10-08 01:31:44 PM  
Not Impressed

www.freewebs.com
 
2012-10-08 01:31:50 PM  

czetie: There's nothing in this article or any other similar account that is more compelling than a dream.


Who says dreams can't be real?

I had a dream last night Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman were taking turns giving me massages.

/I want to believe
 
2012-10-08 01:32:36 PM  
I read somewhere that the brain produces a high amount of DMT-like chemicals while dying which could produce the "heaven" hallucinations a lot of people experience.

What would be really funny is if a Christian having a near-death experience ran into Vishnu or Mohammad.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:25 PM  

Millennium: xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.

There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.


It could also be that this experience happened as the "human" part of his brain woke back up, As in dreams they seem to take a long period of time but are really just very short. As blood was re-flowing and the brain was "rebooting" all kinds of strange things could have been happening to it.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:36 PM  

MisterLoki: Twaddle.

 

What do you mean? Religion has accomplished its goal, allowing us to interpret such neurological phenomenae as religious experience and not worthy of scientific understanding. It's self-selection bias and narcissism all in one convenient little package. Yay religion.
 
2012-10-08 01:33:55 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.


I've played with that idea before as well. I read a supposed quote by Tesla that suggested the same, but now I 'm wondering if it was an actual quote of his since I can't seem to find it anywhere else. Either way, if there is the possibility for the existence of a part of our makeup that comes from without the body, then it only stands to reason that there has to be some sort of communication between these parts. I get sillier still thinking that other part's separation from myself could possibly extend past space or even time.

It's all a load of unprovable wishful thinking and I accept it as it is. It doesn't help that I have had 1 NDEs and a couple OBEs in which I experienced a clear separation between what I felt was my body and myself. I don't recall anything of the first experience since I was 2. Apparently my mom found me collapsed on the kitchen floor. I wasn't breathing and she couldn't find my heartbeat. Apparently she was able to resuscitate me with CPR which means either I did have a very faint heartbeat or I was one of those rare cases where the chestpumps actually restarted a heart. As for the OBEs, those are very personal experiences of mine that no one here would gain from them. All I'll share about them is that this seems to be one of those things in which only your personal experiences will answer the questions you have and even then if you do find an answer even more questions will pop up.
 
2012-10-08 01:34:23 PM  
As after-death experience reports go, I give it a C-. I mean really--blue eyes and golden brown tresses? If he'd told me it was a short, fat, balding man of vaguely Mediterranean experience with a raspy voice and a goiter, it might have been a C. You give me axe-swinging Vikings and endless hallowed fields of ice and crystal, we're maybe talking B-. You tell me you had to stand in line at something like a DMV, and they told you that you had the wrong form--now I'm a believer.

But a lovely young woman with blue eyes and golden brown tresses? That booming sound you heard was the sound of a dozen laptops banging out the script for the inevitable TV series based on the bestseller book THIS FALL ON FOX. "America's Got Angels." "So You Think You Can Vegetate." "Angels Gone Wild."
 
2012-10-08 01:35:38 PM  
I died once. Hard death, during a heart attack. Was clinically dead for 15 minutes.

My consciousness continued during my "death".

I don't share details, because doing so would be pointless. If my experience was simply under-the-radar brain activity, the experience is moot. If it was an experience of existence beyond death, my observations are hearsay, and will convince no one of any "truths" I learned.

What did I see? Well... it certainly wouldn't classify as Christian, that's for sure. Not "hell" either. Very interesting, for certain.

Personally, I now believe my existence continues beyond death. Your mileage and experience may vary.

/ Glad to be alive
// Happy to know more about myself
 
2012-10-08 01:35:38 PM  
I'm waiting for the part where he was actually dead, so he can discuss whether or not there is an afterlife.
 
2012-10-08 01:36:27 PM  

SandMann: Things Newsweek could have put on the front cover:

New Revelations about the Benghazi Attack

The Presidential Debate

Israel and Iran at the UN and Nuclear Brinksmanship

Turkey vs Syria

Spain and the European Economic Crisis

Venezuela's Election

Newsweek is worthless fishwrap.


"They read Newsweek instead of nothing!"
 
2012-10-08 01:36:44 PM  

Babwa Wawa: xanadian: The jury's still out.

Well, yeah. If one has "proof" of something or another, then one no long needs "faith" in order to believe in it.

The whole "life after death" obsession strikes me as silly and indicative of perpetual juvenility.

You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.


Santa is REAL goddamn you!
 
2012-10-08 01:37:21 PM  

Poppa Boner: 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.

If the faithful just kept their moronic beliefs to themselves and didn't try to control every facet of other people's lives maybe we wouldn't need to shout you down so much.


Shout you down? I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate. So you adopt the same tactics that you claim to despise in Theists?
 
2012-10-08 01:37:22 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Let's see, we have a bunch of atheists who cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong, and therefore dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex, saying "we just don't know how the brain works", even though that's been a well established fact for some time now. The hilarious thing is that you people are so quick to throw out science and say "the jury's still out" when your world view is challenged.. You know who else throws out well established science when their world view is challenged? Yep, you people aren't any better than a young earth creationist. I'm not saying his testimony is irrefutable proof that there is an afterlife, but anyone who dismisses it based on this reasoning doesn't occupy higher ground than a creationist.


This is the problem with people like you ... you really have no concept of how science works.

"cannot even consider the possibility that they might be wrong" - From a scientific point of view the only thing we know is that we are always wrong to some degree or another.

"dismiss every confirmed fact known about the neocortex" - There is no such thing as "confirmed facts" when it comes to subjects of scientific research. There are things that we have extremely high confidence in that we treat as if they are facts - a necessary evil in science or we could never make any progress. When it comes to how the brain works our confidence isn't actually that high for most of it.

"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.

You desperately want this to be real so it justifies all the time and money you've wasted believing magic is real. Sadly this is not evidence ... so it cannot be the evidence you are desperately looking for. Have some faith it is real ... so far there is no evidence.

S
 
2012-10-08 01:38:27 PM  
I look forward to a multi-locational, double-blind experiment, with a significant number of subjects, to replicate these findings.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:37 PM  
Modern physics tells us that the universe is a unity-that it is undivided.

Ignorance truly is bliss, in this case. They don't call it quantum physics just because it sounds cool.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:47 PM  
One big thing separates the atheists from other sides in the ongoing religious debates: only atheists insist that their opponents do not think. Sometimes other sides will claim that the atheists' use of their minds is the whole problem -the Catholic Church was once infamous for that- but even in an argument like that, there's an implicit acknowledgement that the other side has functioning minds behind the faces.

There is a disturbing element of dehumanization in the argument that one's opponents do not think. It also the concept of debate useless: there is no point in a meeting of minds if one of those minds doesn't acknowledge the other. It's also one of the most fundamentally dishonest arguments a person can make about other people: we think. It's what we do. It is a pity, then, that this line of argument has become fashionable among the atheists of our time to use it, because it makes it so easy to ignore such people as the zealots they are. They damage their own side more than they realize.

Worse still is that the meme spread from there to political debate, where the consequences of halted dialogue are all too real. People suffer for this, all because one side insists on clinging to the notion that it is the only side that thinks, making debate pointless and resolution impossible.
 
2012-10-08 01:38:51 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.


You theory does not adequately explain the PROFOUND personality changes that can come with brain injuries.
 
2012-10-08 01:39:23 PM  

JuddyBuddy77: Can we get someone who has had an out of body experience to take DMT and then tell me. If it's the same, because I would really like to know. I mean sure, I can take some DMT and get my own experience, but I'm not all into having a near death experience. No matter how controlled, they make scary movies about that kind of thing.


yeah, reading his descriptions sounds quite similar to descriptions of DMT, right down to the beautiful lady guide.
 
2012-10-08 01:39:33 PM  
Yes, there is a between-life period. Its still part of "the illusion"
 
2012-10-08 01:40:23 PM  
"pottie
I remember heaven. She was a petite blonde with eyes the color of a spring morning. She had freckles on her nose and an infectious smile. She is the one I will always regret losing, the one that haunts my dreams and makes me melancholy even on the brightest day. I remember heaven."


The brain can create strange delusions all right... Her hair was red.
 
2012-10-08 01:40:49 PM  
Based on the teachings of Belinda Carlisle during my formative teenage years, I was led to believe that heaven is a place on earth. Now this?
 
2012-10-08 01:41:03 PM  
Here's a theory for you to disregard: We know that his neocortex was shut down for part of the period of his coma, based on the CT scan. He obviously wasn't being that carefully studied during the entire time, though, you can't do that. You also wouldn't be aware of an interruption of your stream of consciousness. I also find it highly doubtful that his neocortex went from completely on to completely off instantaneously, completely off for seven days, and then completely off to completely back on instantaneously. Could it be that his NDE occurred during the period his neocortex turning off or turning back on? I don't know enough about neuroscience to comment, but maybe someone with a better background could shed some light on this.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:28 PM  
Deman
As for the OBEs, those are very personal experiences of mine that no one here would gain from them. All I'll share about them is that this seems to be one of those things in which only your personal experiences will answer the questions you have and even then if you do find an answer even more questions will pop up.

Your sense of 'location' is a biological function of an organic gyroscope which can be messed with. I'm sure your local streetcorner pharmacist can help you replicate the experience chemically.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:46 PM  
How does he know that any of these thoughts/experiences occurred during the time he was mostly braindead? Haven't you ever had a dream that seemed to last all night only to discover you've woken up just an hour or two after falling asleep? Who's to say a huge jumble of thoughts weren't released when he was going into the coma or coming out of it and he just thought he was having experiences?

Stories like these make me more intrigued to understand our brains better rather than make me more likely to believe in any kind of religious afterlife.
 
2012-10-08 01:41:59 PM  
For those crowing about how atheists are close minded and lash out when their world views are in question because of "proof" such as this... there is NO proof here. None. Dude wants to tell his story fine. It is indeed interesting but don't claim it as proof of anything. You cannot change the definition of a word to suit your own selfish agenda.

Go be oppressed somewhere else.
 
2012-10-08 01:42:07 PM  
Perhaps this entire experience happened in the moments his brain was bouncing back to life, somewhat like how a dreamer may dream a whole day in the span of minutes.

/Devil's advocate
//Jungians would have a field-day with his experience
 
2012-10-08 01:43:19 PM  
Perfectly complements an issue of Newsweek.
 
2012-10-08 01:43:26 PM  
FTFA: There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind-my conscious, inner self-was alive and well.

There certainly is a scientific explanation. You just don't know what it is. As a scientist (so you claim) it's your responsibility to search for that explanation. Not throw your arms up and just claim, "God did it

I'm sure the guy is very knowledgeable on the topic of the human brain. Certainly he is more knowledgeable than I am. However, he makes a lot of claims in TFA about how this and that is impossible. Well, clearly it isn't.

How convenient... a version of what happened to you that doesn't require hard work and reasearch... GBTW!
 
2012-10-08 01:44:05 PM  

nmemkha: I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate


You called all atheists assholes. How very civil and rational of you. I'm sure Christ would be proud.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:06 PM  
THIS perfectly complements an issue of Newsweek, serve at room temperature.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:07 PM  

Markoff_Cheney: i can only hope that my brother went to that place a year and a month ago.
i can only hope i get to see him there when i am done.


also, this thread farking sucks.
i may be as science as they come and agnostic as all hell, but this thread farking sucks.
'i serve no god, no god has served me'.
i hope i am wrong.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:21 PM  

Mugato: logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.

You didn't finish the sentence. I was so more in name than in actual belief. So according to the Bible, he wouldn't be in heaven, he'd be in Hell!

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


A friend of mine tried to kill herself with a bowl full of pills and a fifth of vodak. After her 3 day coma ended, she told of demons ripping her skin from her body and other such funhouse terrors. Swore she was going to straighten her life out, get sober and stop trying to kill herself because her husband was leaving her.

She hung herself a few months later, so apparently the whole Hell experience wasn't real enough to deter her from trying her best to get back there.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:22 PM  

Son of Thunder: sufficient evidence


When did he supply any evidence at all other than a story? Seriously, I'd like to know because maybe I missed it in the article or something.
 
2012-10-08 01:44:55 PM  

xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.


Well, the neocortex IS the entire "mammalian" brain - without that, we have only the "reptilian brain" working (or so is my memory).
 
2012-10-08 01:45:10 PM  
www.thedailybeast.comimg245.imageshack.us
The doctor in question and his companion.

FTFA: For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face.  

I'm sorry, doctor, slashie fan-fiction doesn't really cut it as science. Unless it's C3P0/Chewie
 
2012-10-08 01:45:24 PM  
Millennium
There is a disturbing element of dehumanization in the argument that one's opponents do not think. It also the concept of debate useless: there is no point in a meeting of minds if one of those minds doesn't acknowledge the other. It's also one of the most fundamentally dishonest arguments a person can make about other people: we think. It's what we do. It is a pity, then, that this line of argument has become fashionable among the atheists of our time to use it, because it makes it so easy to ignore such people as the zealots they are. They damage their own side more than they realize.

Believing without doubting or requiring evidence is not thinking.
 
2012-10-08 01:46:08 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 01:46:31 PM  

Kibbler: You tell me you had to stand in line at something like a DMV, and they told you that you had the wrong form--now I'm a believer.


You've got to fill out a form first, then you wait in the line.
 
2012-10-08 01:47:21 PM  

Jack Kerouac: Perhaps this entire experience happened in the moments his brain was bouncing back to life, somewhat like how a dreamer may dream a whole day in the span of minutes.

/Devil's advocate
//Jungians would have a field-day with his experience


I beat you by about 20 seconds, but yours is phrased better
 
2012-10-08 01:47:33 PM  
letrole: Atheism is a Religion.

RanDomino:
"Religion" comes from the Latin root lig- or leg- which means 'bundle/together' as in "ligament" and "legion". The difference between spirituality and religion, for example, is that spirituality is individual whereas the key aspect of religion is that is a collective/social activity. There is no 'atheist church' or even a central atheist organization, so you are wrong and dumb.


Atheism is a Religion. A piss-poor Religion, but a Religion regardless.

The amusing part is where an almost endless supply of Schoolboy Atheists will launch into ever-decreasing circles of denial, and exercises of semantics worthy of any medieval theologian.
 
2012-10-08 01:47:55 PM  

poonesfarm: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian... I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

Uh...what?


He went through all the motions but didn't actually believe it. Go to a church/mosque/whatever sometime and participate in all the ceremony. You don't have to actually believe any of it to look like you do. I'm sure there are LOTS of people that were raised in those traditions and continue to practice simply because it's tradition. Their parents were Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/whatever so that's what they are.
 
2012-10-08 01:48:06 PM  
"Guy is religious. Guy has religious vision when he almost dies.If he had been completely non-religious, perhaps he would have had the neurons in his brain sending him on a different, non-religious journey.

Maybe to Wal-mart..."
 
2012-10-08 01:48:15 PM  

Kyro: [i1.kym-cdn.com image 200x200]

Jesus, Aliens, whatever. A lack of evidence or understanding is not evidence of magic.


"Faith" is what is seen sans evidence. We'll ALL know whether heaven/hell are real - unfortunately for most they'll have no say in where they go and too late to do anything about it!
 
2012-10-08 01:48:20 PM  

Millennium: One big thing separates the atheists from other sides in the ongoing religious debates: only atheists insist that their opponents do not think.


Citation needed.

I'm willing to bet there are plenty of religious sorts who'd make exactly that argument. Don't let that stop you from making generalizations based on your own prejudices, though, because what fun would that be?

/Jesus farking Christ, people.
//bbl, going to eat some babies.
 
2012-10-08 01:48:51 PM  

Richard Saunders: My experience was nothing like what he describes. For me it happened in a flash of awareness. No voices, no bright lights, no people, no clouds. Just an awareness that there was a very, VERY inviting and peaceful "place" I could've gone. In that instant (thinking of my children) my brain went - "No, they don't know how much I love them" and it was over.

I awoke 21 days later. During that time I had what I guess I'd now describe as dreams and/or hallucinations. There was/is a great difference between them and that moment of "awareness."

Yes, I was dead-dead. Resuscitated from flat-line six times in the first 26 hours.

Was it hypoxia? Maybe. Was it an afterlife? Dunno. Was it real? Yup. Do I hope that's what's waiting the next time my number is up? You betcha.

* - (Raised in the church, went occasionally as an adult, but wasn't necessarily a religious man. )

/not proselytizing
//just sayin'


interesting. what put you in the coma?
 
2012-10-08 01:49:19 PM  

susansto-helit: AbbeySomeone: 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.

Attitudes like yours are why more people don't share their experiences. If it hasn't happened to you or it's something you can't imagine or understand it isn't real, right?

Actually even if it has happened to me it doesn't mean it's real. The brain does weird things when it's shutting down. My personal experiences count for nothing in science.


I always found it entertaining to consider the opposite:

The universe is the culmination of MY experiences only.

Either way its fun to watch the argument.
 
2012-10-08 01:49:30 PM  
www.thedailybeast.com

I have a very simple rule of life, never believe anything said by anybody wearing a bow tie or a vest. If they're wearing both then get the hell out. I've heard much more impressive experiences from back in the good old days when the acid was really good. If he'd been Hindu he would have met Shiva, Kali and Ganesha and all the rest of that pantheon. I'm really not shocked he's making a quick buck from book sales instead of sharing this life altering information for free on the intratubes.
 
2012-10-08 01:50:04 PM  

grokca: Millennium: xanadian: FTFA: In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated

So...PART of the brain, not the WHOLE brain.

Got it.

There is some scientific interest here: the part of his brain that shut down is the part that, according to our current understanding, should have been responsible for experiences like this. That doesn't necessarily mean his interpretation of what happened is correct, of course. But it does mean that we've missed something: if what he saw was a dream (which I think it was), then something can give rise to dreams which we hadn't considered. That has implications for neuroscience.

It could also be that this experience happened as the "human" part of his brain woke back up, As in dreams they seem to take a long period of time but are really just very short. As blood was re-flowing and the brain was "rebooting" all kinds of strange things could have been happening to it.


O.K., someone else has that theory, so it's not completely out of left field. It may or may not be true, but it surprises me that the Doctor didn't even seem to consider it. Also, I wonder if his neocortex was truly "off," for very long. His evidence seems to be the CT scan, but a) a CT scan is a snapshot, doesn't tell you what was going on the entire 7 days, and b) IIRC, CT doesn't tell you about functioning, only about structure, you need a PET scan or fMRI to determine functioning. The fact that a neuroscientist didn't consider these possibilities tells me that they are incorrect, or that he has a severe case of "I want to believe."
 
2012-10-08 01:50:06 PM  
In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.

Temporarily leaving aside the discussions of "narrow-minded skepticism" and "profit motive," I'm kind of surprised that nobody has taken issue with this statement in and of itself. This neurosurgeon is claiming that his "experience" took place while his neocortex was "inactive," which is a claim that I see no reason to take at face value. The fact that he's alive and functional now means that his neocortex eventually "reactivated," and I can't imagine that the swelling in his brain dissipated instantaneously, or that his brain function actually came online all at once, (regardless of the way he describes simply "opening his eyes.")

The fact that his neocortex was "turned off" for some period during his hospital stay does not prove that his out-of-body experience occurred during the same time period. I did not see that addressed anywhere in the article. Details are important, people.
 
2012-10-08 01:50:40 PM  
I was bludgeoned into a NDE by an angry toddler with a family sized bottle of Pert Plus. This is what I done seen:

s16.postimage.org

So relax chilluns, it is all gravy.
 
2012-10-08 01:51:22 PM  
Good find, Subby. It's a nice, thought provoking article.

b>WARNING! Long dissertation.

I can already sense the detractors and scoffers assembling their forces of denial, many with hard, clear and comprehensive facts. However, I'm not sure if they get it. I don't think I got all of it.

I'm a bipolar depressive, which tends to make me see the bad things in life. I'm also rather intelligent, meaning I can make 'quantum leaps' of thought at times and see the 'Big Picture'. However, explaining what I grasped isn't always easy.

My own concept of God and religion has taken many turns since I was a kid in church. I no longer go to any church due to the hypocrisy which exists there, though I understand the human tendency which creates this. I Believe, but in a different way.

I no longer consider an religious tests to be fact and final, having discovered the frailties and faults of the humans who wrote them and seeing for myself first hand, the psychological condition of fanaticism, which ranged from people like Hitler to the Amish to Islam to Communism and even Democracy. I know of Jonestown and David Koresh and their followers. I've seen prophets come and go, the majority in it for power and cash, many just fanatics bordering on the psychotic and a rare, few True Believers.

Pretty much, if it can be f**ked up, humans will do it.

I recall the 'Black Shirts' from the Vietnam war. If you don't get the reference, look it up. They were trained by Communist China. I recall the Great Dream of Communism, which was promptly bastardized and warped by Lenin when he took power. Later, his compatriot in the Great Revolution, Stalin, killed him off to become a merciless, psychotic dictator.

I watched with annoyance and disgust as the 'Phone Psychic' craze swept the nation of presumably intelligent citizens, even though some of the 'psychics' themselves exposed it as a fraud.
People can be talked into believing anything. Just look at every political election.

I'm aware of the good and bad in all religions.

Having worked in medicine and psychiatry, I'm aware of the complexities of the human body right down to the molecular level and the still poorly understood complexities of being sentient, feeling and the somewhat confusing interplay of emotions.

One part of me feels that when we die, like a program in a computer, when the power shuts off, the 'consciousness' goes out like a light and is no more. Another part rails against that concept because the part of us which is sentient and human is unlike any computer program and may be made up of an energy we can't detect. (The soul?) So when the body dies, this 'you' goes on.

But, where?

The brain acts like a computer for when badly damaged, it will still function, but not correctly unless someone can repair the damaged 'circuits'. Yet sentience is on the molecular or energy level. The human body is just there to support it.

I like to believe that a higher power designed and enabled all of this. Call it Intelligent Design. I also like to believe that when we die, we can be born again as someone else. Reincarnation. I figure that over the billions of years we've existed, even Heaven would tend to get full with the trillions of souls streaming there.

So, you can 'recycle'. Another chance. Another learning experience. Another time. Maybe even into the past. Without all of the hang-ups you've spent a lifetime accumulating. Maybe with a ghostly memory of your previous life/personality. Maybe Heaven exists for those who NEED heaven no matter their belief. Maybe it's a resting place from which you can choose to move on and try again.

The concept is complex, involving many things from parents to spouses, even children and pets and societies.

I don't actually know, but I'd like to think I'm right.

There are many questions yet to answer, like is there actual evil or is it a form of mental illness or brain damage? Is there an actual end to the universe? My brain can't grasp the apparently unending vastness, and scientists who say there is don't have the equipment advanced enough to actually detect any 'edge'. Mostly, it's theory, based on the fact that everything we know of has an 'edge' or limit.

We're just now exploring the concept that any alien beings will NOT think like us but probably in ways we can't yet grasp and we can't be alone in the Universe.

Still, it would be nice, upon death, to waken in some area where all of your cares, fears and worries drop away and the beings you meet ACTUALLY care about you unconditionally, something few of us in life have ever actually experienced.

And then, after a rest, you can choose to go back as a different person and learn more for there is always much to learn.

But what happens when you've learned all there is to learn? That concept, aside from a few feeble suppositions, is beyond me.

I just hope we actually don't go out like a light upon death and that the energy which is us goes on.
 
2012-10-08 01:51:41 PM  

Poppa Boner: nmemkha: I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate

You called all atheists assholes. How very civil and rational of you. I'm sure Christ would be proud.


Please quote where I did this.
 
2012-10-08 01:51:44 PM  
I was okay with pretending that, okay, only part of the brain's dead but that's the important part...sure...I'm no brain surgeon...

BUT when I see this :"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind" and that's what he's basing this is a "spiritual" experience on, well, you just admitted you don't know if the brain was really dead or not...you don't know. So, to me, as a skeptic, this would tell me that there is more to the brain than we know already and there is more research needed.

I do NOT immediately think "sky fairies" when anything immediately unexplainable happens.
 
2012-10-08 01:51:52 PM  
Did a hot red-head cast a spell to cause him to sit up, and attack a bunch of vampires?
 
2012-10-08 01:52:13 PM  

grokca: It could also be that this experience happened as the "human" part of his brain woke back up, As in dreams they seem to take a long period of time but are really just very short. As blood was re-flowing and the brain was "rebooting" all kinds of strange things could have been happening to it.


Ah, already covered I see. I need to scan the thread a little better and hit refresh more.
 
2012-10-08 01:52:21 PM  
FTFA:
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.

Well, clearly the only logical conclusion that one could reach is the existence of actual out-of-body experiences, heaven, hell, unicorns...the whole works. A "scientist" such as yourself knows full well that doctors, especially, could never be wrong about something.

What a tool. I love the fact that this dude wrote this so that he can be laughed at until we nuke ourselves to extinction.
 
2012-10-08 01:53:07 PM  

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.


Hey, so...that's a pretty reasonable reaction huh?
 
2012-10-08 01:53:39 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.


23 Minutes in Hell
 
2012-10-08 01:54:39 PM  

nmemkha: Poppa Boner: nmemkha: I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate

You called all atheists assholes. How very civil and rational of you. I'm sure Christ would be proud.

Please quote where I did this.


Don't be coy.

nmemkha: Pathman: 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.

uh - no, those people are called assholes.

There's a difference?

 
2012-10-08 01:54:50 PM  

meta1hed: 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.

23 Minutes in Hell


So please...remember to give money to your church, or you're going to hell.
 
2012-10-08 01:55:52 PM  
look at you, poppa boner, lookin shiat up and provin people wrong. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU

;)
 
2012-10-08 01:56:26 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.


transitionculture.org
 
2012-10-08 01:56:31 PM  

RanDomino: Deman
As for the OBEs, those are very personal experiences of mine that no one here would gain from them. All I'll share about them is that this seems to be one of those things in which only your personal experiences will answer the questions you have and even then if you do find an answer even more questions will pop up.

Your sense of 'location' is a biological function of an organic gyroscope which can be messed with. I'm sure your local streetcorner pharmacist can help you replicate the experience chemically.


True, but then I get experiences like this that are strangely curious. Three friends are walking through a forest near our hometown. The first two pause for a moment to step over a barbed wire fence while the third just walks right through it. They freak out, thinking the guy is tangled up in a fence, but when they turn around they realize that the fence never existed. It was weird because it was completely fluid. The two that climbed over the hallucinatory fence both started at the same time, and nobody even made mention of it beforehand.

What does this prove? Absolutely nothing except that drugs can make you hallucinate and two people just happened to have the same hallucination at the same time. It's still enough to make me question how something like that could really happen but I'll never have proof of those fantastical imaginings.
 
2012-10-08 01:56:51 PM  
t1.gstatic.com

Rik01: ...I just hope we actually don't go out like a light upon death and that the energy which is us goes on.

 

Don't worry, there are plenty of mechanisms that ensure conservation of energy.
 
2012-10-08 01:57:44 PM  

Kibbler: As after-death experience reports go, I give it a C-. I mean really--blue eyes and golden brown tresses? If he'd told me it was a short, fat, balding man of vaguely Mediterranean experience with a raspy voice and a goiter, it might have been a C. You give me axe-swinging Vikings and endless hallowed fields of ice and crystal, we're maybe talking B-. You tell me you had to stand in line at something like a DMV, and they told you that you had the wrong form--now I'm a believer.

But a lovely young woman with blue eyes and golden brown tresses? That booming sound you heard was the sound of a dozen laptops banging out the script for the inevitable TV series based on the bestseller book THIS FALL ON FOX. "America's Got Angels." "So You Think You Can Vegetate." "Angels Gone Wild."


This.

I was waiting for him to go on about this lovely young woman and in particular how sharp her knees may or may not have been so profoundly experienced.

There was much talk of orbs and such, but no mention of any relevant to my interests.

If there are no tits in heaven I wouldn't want to get myself the fark in at any rate.
 
2012-10-08 01:58:05 PM  

xanadian: look at you, poppa boner, lookin shiat up and provin people wrong. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU

;)


I came out of retirement specifically for this arsewad of an article.

Cheers!
 
2012-10-08 01:58:18 PM  

Poppa Boner: nmemkha: Poppa Boner: nmemkha: I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate

You called all atheists assholes. How very civil and rational of you. I'm sure Christ would be proud.

Please quote where I did this.

Don't be coy.

nmemkha: Pathman: 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.

uh - no, those people are called assholes.

There's a difference?


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.
 
2012-10-08 01:59:20 PM  

HortusMatris: 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.

[transitionculture.org image 333x500]


Opinions can't be strawmen since they are subjective my nature. I did not couch my statement as fact, merely observation.
 
2012-10-08 01:59:58 PM  

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.


Cool back pedaling, bro.

BTW I'm not an atheist... it is possible I'm an asshole though.
 
2012-10-08 02:01:18 PM  

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
 
2012-10-08 02:01:55 PM  

nmemkha: My question was snarky


snark·y (snärk)
adj. snark·i·er, snark·i·est Slang
1. Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.

So, mocking and condescending, then?
 
2012-10-08 02:02:53 PM  

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!!!
 
2012-10-08 02:03:00 PM  

Epicedion: nmemkha: My question was snarky

snark·y (snärk)
adj. snark·i·er, snark·i·est Slang
1. Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.

So, mocking and condescending, then?


Yes, I am sorry. Do you forgive me?
 
2012-10-08 02:04:35 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:05:22 PM  

logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.


bingo! and shame on both the doctor and the magazine for writing and printing this biased shiat. this is a well educated man who is turning his back on the truth. someone should biatch slap this christian right upside his stitch filled head.
 
2012-10-08 02:05:23 PM  

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?
 
2012-10-08 02:05:37 PM  

Farking Canuck: This is the problem with people like you ... you really have no concept of how science works.


You really failed hard in hooked on phonics, didn't you? I said it wasn't scientific, but I also said that the reason for dismissal many people present here isn't scientific, only that they dismiss established science so they can find some gap where their preconceived notions can be coddled.

The rest of your argument is argumentum ad ignorantiam.
 
2012-10-08 02:05:38 PM  
I was always kind of scared at the thought of eternal afterlife. No matter what just take a moment to think of eternity. The idea of no end to whatever it is you're doing, no matter how amazing it is, is realistically out of our realm of comprehension .
 
2012-10-08 02:05:49 PM  

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".
 
2012-10-08 02:06:01 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.


I find religious nutbags interesting for the exact same reasons.
 
2012-10-08 02:06:58 PM  

nmemkha: HortusMatris: 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.

[transitionculture.org image 333x500]

Opinions can't be strawmen since they are subjective my nature. I did not couch my statement as fact, merely observation.


Oh, so you're just trolling then. My bad.
 
2012-10-08 02:07:30 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:08:05 PM  

HortusMatris: nmemkha: HortusMatris: 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.

[transitionculture.org image 333x500]

Opinions can't be strawmen since they are subjective my nature. I did not couch my statement as fact, merely observation.

Oh, so you're just trolling then. My bad.


If you consider the statement of views and opinions to be trolls then I guess I am.
 
2012-10-08 02:08:51 PM  

me texan: ...are you so afraid of something you cannot believe or so angry that you don't 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?


Simply put, because they expect to be able to legislate MY life according to their superstition. In extreme cases, they (Arab Muslims, Repub-wiccans) expect to be able to subjugate entire genders of individuals (women) according to their superstitions.

Now let me ask you a question: If your "ghod" is real, why would "he" hide "his" existence? Faith? Seems to me that having faith in "his" goodness and omnipotence would be even more of a test, were the question of "his" existence answered in the positive. According to the book that's bandied about here in the U.S, "he" is the penultimate negligent parent, leaving Adam and Eve alone with Satan (or one of his agents, according to which sub-set of christian you are,) and then blaming them for the results of their ignorance, coupled with the subterfuge of "his" enemy, and his own neglect. Not only punishing them, but all of humanity.

Some "ghod". Why worship a "deity" with such a problem with personal responsibility? What sentence in any gospel begins, "When Jesus' workday was ended..."?

If you god claims to be "The Truth", why hide? Do you not know what hiding the truth is called?

"Lying".

And there went your whole house of cards...
 
2012-10-08 02:09:01 PM  

pottie: I remember heaven. She was a petite blonde with eyes the color of a spring morning. She had freckles on her nose and an infectious smile. She is the one I will always regret losing, the one that haunts my dreams and makes me melancholy even on the brightest day. I remember heaven.


Dude, "Heaven" was just her stripper name.
 
2012-10-08 02:09:19 PM  
Here comes my completely unsolicited opinion,

Most religious people believe in spirituality because they have been taught it or claim to have experienced it. Most atheist/skeptics/agnostics/etc disbelieve in spirituality because they either haven't experienced it or they don't trust the motives of those who teach it. So it's either you lack the critical thinking ability to see through someone trying to get money out of you OR you think you're so smart that anything that exists outside the scope of your monkey brain can't possibly exist.

It's like we all live in a box without windows or doors or any significant evidence that there is anything outside the box. There are people in the box who make a nice living telling the other people about the wondrous things outside the box and there are other people who adamantly claim there is nothing outside the box because they personally can't see anything. Neither one has any effect over the true nature of whether there is anything outside the box or not.

In this particular case, I'm pretty skeptical. The author's view of the afterlife comes straight from culture and may as well have been painted in watercolor by someone's religious aunt in the Midwest. However, our understanding of the Universe and the way we perceive it is very limited. There is no reason to shut off any possibility of spirituality (which may be discovered as advanced science, or may be actual supernatural existence) just because we can't quantify it now.

Personally, I hope there is more to existence than the cold physical laws of the Universe. I'm not willing to kill anyone over it, but I try to keep an open mind.

Thus ends my completely unsolicited opinion.
 
2012-10-08 02:09:26 PM  

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


Considering you were acting like you described, it's rather hypocritical for you to complain so loudly.
 
2012-10-08 02:12:04 PM  

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.


You know what the other constant in all of those situations is? It's entirely possible that you bring up religion in such a confrontational manner that you get the reaction you seem to be expecting, and are probably aiming for.
 
2012-10-08 02:13:07 PM  

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

Considering you were acting like you described, it's rather hypocritical for you to complain so loudly.


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.
 
2012-10-08 02:13:36 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: You really failed hard in hooked on phonics, didn't you? I said it wasn't scientific, but I also said that the reason for dismissal many people present here isn't scientific, only that they dismiss established science so they can find some gap where their preconceived notions can be coddled.


I pointed out that, due to your complete ignorance of science, how your argument was a complete strawman.

You made claims about facts where there are none. You implied that we were denying evidence when we refused to consider this anecdote to be anything more than an anedote.

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.

Your arguments are made from emotion. You like to pretend that they are reasonable but they have no evidence to support them.
 
2012-10-08 02:14:32 PM  
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. Their (and our) understanding of the genuine experience just might be tainted by what they already know. Where are the near-death experiences from people who have never been to church, or never knew about Christianity? Where are the converted Muslims, Jews, or Zoroastrians who became Christians after their own NDE's? Good on this man who reaffirmed his faith as a result of his experience; I don't denigrate him for that -- although I have no reason to disbelieve NDE's, I do doubt anyone who uses these as examples of proof of one religion or another.
 
2012-10-08 02:15:01 PM  

miscreant: You know what the other constant in all of those situations is? It's entirely possible that you bring up religion in such a confrontational manner that you get the reaction you seem to be expecting, and are probably aiming for.


That's EXACTLY why I crawled up his ass and not others. I have no problem with religious people as long as they don't act like douches about it.
 
2012-10-08 02:15:23 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:16:45 PM  

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


At least you are finally admitting it. You have grown today.

Maybe next time you won't deny your own words.

We can work on your calling entire groups of people that you've never met "assholes" in the next thread.

"I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
- Mahatma Ghandi
 
2012-10-08 02:16:59 PM  
Maybe this has been covered...just skimmed the comments

My interpretation of the article is that he went into another dimension. Some may attach a religious aspect to it and call it heaven. Or there could be an explanation that fits into current physics theories.

Could it be that our existence on earth is just a manifestation in this dimension of an existence the spans multiple dimensions? Could his "life after death" experience be his soul/being/whatever being returning to another dimension so his experiences here could be merged with his experiences in other dimensions?

I have no answers, obviously.

/Not a physicist
//Yeah, I'm into pop physics
///Enough to make me think I know what I'm talking about
 
2012-10-08 02:17:05 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:17:27 PM  
The brain floods the body with dopamine and serotonin when it starts to die. Seems to me that he was hopped up on the body's natural goofballs. And how could he possibly know that any of this experience happened while his brain was "turned off"? It could've happened just before he slipped into a coma, or just as he came out of it.

Meh, either way, glad it gave him piece of mind.
 
2012-10-08 02:17:27 PM  

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


He even comments on that in TFA - he says he envies people the feeling of security they have that they're sure there is an afterlife and a God.

Except no one is 100% completely sure, anyone who says they are is full of shiat. When you're sure of something you don't worry about it. When you're sure of something it rarely crosses your mind. There are millions of people who will buy this crap if only to make a tiny bit of their worries go away.
 
2012-10-08 02:18:00 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:19:09 PM  

nmemkha: This is my original statement. Please explain how I am acting as I described.


You're making a blanket statement painting a sector of the population that you know is part of your audience as assholes. You're presenting it bluntly as if it's factual, and you're probably doing it explicitly to get a rise out of people. This pretty much makes you an asshole, on the same part of the spectrum as concern trolls.
 
2012-10-08 02:19:21 PM  

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

At least you are finally admitting it. You have grown today.

Maybe next time you won't deny your own words.

We can work on your calling entire groups of people that you've never met "assholes" in the next thread.

"I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
- Mahatma Ghandi


It was my original statement if you had bothered to read it. I never made an accusation, only a personal observation.
 
2012-10-08 02:19:54 PM  

me texan: Babwa Wawa: You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.

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?


thisbearsrepeating.jpg

and you said it nice too!
 
2012-10-08 02:20:05 PM  

Epicedion: nmemkha: This is my original statement. Please explain how I am acting as I described.

You're making a blanket statement painting a sector of the population that you know is part of your audience as assholes. You're presenting it bluntly as if it's factual, and you're probably doing it explicitly to get a rise out of people. This pretty much makes you an asshole, on the same part of the spectrum as concern trolls.


I never called anyone an asshole. I never made an generalized accusatory statement.
 
2012-10-08 02:20:44 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:21:12 PM  

nmemkha: I never called anyone an asshole. I never made an generalized accusatory statement.


You're lying, and you're doing it badly.
 
2012-10-08 02:21:18 PM  

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

At least you are finally admitting it. You have grown today.

Maybe next time you won't deny your own words.

We can work on your calling entire groups of people that you've never met "assholes" in the next thread.

"I like your Christ. I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
- Mahatma Ghandi

It was my original statement if you had bothered to read it. I never made an accusation, only a personal observation.


I may have been a bit premature when I said "You have grown today".

Maybe tomorrow.
 
2012-10-08 02:21:35 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:21:52 PM  

Magnanimous_J: Most atheist/skeptics/agnostics/etc disbelieve in spirituality because they either haven't experienced it or they don't trust the motives of those who teach it.


Contrarily, there are quite a number who have experienced it, and don't trust the motives of those who teach it as a result. I know a few who used to prophesy, speak in tongues, have visions, etc, who eventually stepped back and realized that all those experiences didn't actually mean what they previously thought they meant - but who fully understand how seductive that type of thinking is.
 
2012-10-08 02:22:58 PM  
Gist if the article from reading just the first few paragraphs:

"I am a Christian. More importantly I am also a scientist. Therefore, what I am about to say is true and should be taken as gospel because us scientists know stuff."
 
2012-10-08 02:23:19 PM  
Some doctors are just as nutty as non-docs. I worked in mental health with more than a few bi-polar docs.
 
2012-10-08 02:23:23 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.


Then your opinion is worthless to me, sorry.
 
2012-10-08 02:26:23 PM  
I had a client tell me about his death experience. He had a massive heart attack and was dead for about 5 mins before the defib restarted his heart. He said he knew what was happening but when he lost conciousness it was like someone turned off the lights. He said he didn't see anything on the other side and now that he had experienced death he wasn't afraid of it anymore.
 
2012-10-08 02:26:28 PM  
Tweet of God:
99.9999% of all near death experiences end in death.
 
2012-10-08 02:26:42 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:27:22 PM  

stilted: Could it be that our existence on earth is just a manifestation in this dimension of an existence the spans multiple dimensions? Could his "life after death" experience be his soul/being/whatever being returning to another dimension so his experiences here could be merged with his experiences in other dimensions?


Of course it could. There are an infinite number of "possible" unfalsifiable scenarios. As I typically mention in these threads, I tend to favor the idea that our universe is really a pornographic computer simulation made by superintelligent hyperdimensional cuttlefish with an endoskeleton fetish. No one has been able to prove me wrong so far.
 
2012-10-08 02:28:03 PM  
farking confirmation bias, how does it work?
 
2012-10-08 02:28:26 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: stilted: Could it be that our existence on earth is just a manifestation in this dimension of an existence the spans multiple dimensions? Could his "life after death" experience be his soul/being/whatever being returning to another dimension so his experiences here could be merged with his experiences in other dimensions?

Of course it could. There are an infinite number of "possible" unfalsifiable scenarios. As I typically mention in these threads, I tend to favor the idea that our universe is really a pornographic computer simulation made by superintelligent hyperdimensional cuttlefish with an endoskeleton fetish. No one has been able to prove me wrong so far.


Teach the controversy!!!
 
2012-10-08 02:29:37 PM  

nmemkha: 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.

Then your opinion is worthless to me, sorry.


I'm crushed but I suppose I'll have to find the will to go on with my life somehow...
 
2012-10-08 02:29:59 PM  

Kibbler: As after-death experience reports go, I give it a C-. I mean really--blue eyes and golden brown tresses?


And butterflies! Don't forget butterflies! Lots and lots of butterflies, in fact!
 
2012-10-08 02:30:11 PM  

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.


i think there's a bit of confirmation bias at play here mate.
 
2012-10-08 02:30:20 PM  

Urbn: nmemkha: 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.

Then your opinion is worthless to me, sorry.

I'm crushed but I suppose I'll have to find the will to go on with my life somehow...


I sure Atheismo will give you the strength you need ;)
 
2012-10-08 02:30:49 PM  

nmemkha: None I have met are willing to consider anything spiritual.


Maybe you shouldn't expect them to consider nonsense terms. "Spirituality" and "spiritual" are weasel-words that aren't consistently defined. They fit whatever container the speaker wants to put them in.
 
2012-10-08 02:31:51 PM  
FTFA: "When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface"

dettoldisney.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-10-08 02:32:07 PM  

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.
 
2012-10-08 02:32:18 PM  

Epicedion: nmemkha: None I have met are willing to consider anything spiritual.

Maybe you shouldn't expect them to consider nonsense terms. "Spirituality" and "spiritual" are weasel-words that aren't consistently defined. They fit whatever container the speaker wants to put them in.


Now who is the one being pedantic?
 
2012-10-08 02:32:19 PM  
It's a beautiful story. I hope it's true.

Reminds me of ye olde LSD trips of my youth.
 
2012-10-08 02:32:33 PM  

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


"Nancy Queer and His Hallucinatory Bullsiat" is the greatest idea for a band name ever.
I call dibs.
 
2012-10-08 02:34:37 PM  
What a crock of shiat. He may be a neurosurgeon, but he's no neuroscientist and he doesn't understand how the mind works. In a coma, the neocortex is not processing sensory input in any meaningful way, but it is not "inactivated." It is still functioning at a low level. It is also still communicating with the subconscious, which doesn't have language, but does have access to stimulate imagery and language in the neocortex. This is what dreams are all about.
 
2012-10-08 02:35:05 PM  
this man went to the higher dimensions in store for us all. you can get a glimpse if you smoke DMT. i have never smoked DMT, not have i almost died, and i have gone to these places, thanks to some nice inter-dimensional beings that thought i was special.

thanks for the read. happy ascension everyone, especially you hardcore fark skeptics.
 
2012-10-08 02:35:13 PM  
Smugly dismissing Atheists as condemned to burn in Hell is such a wonderfully Christian attitude. Jesus would approve.
 
2012-10-08 02:36:17 PM  

nmemkha: Now who is the one being pedantic?


No one. They're generally meaningless words. You could've said "blompablump" instead and made yourself approximately as clear. "Spirituality" seems to encompass everything from feeling good on a sunny day to communing with alien mind energy crystals.

It's becoming rather clear that you're just a moron. I'm sorry about this, but everything you write seems to have a slick layer of "not quite up to the level of discussion" smeared all over it, which considering the level of discussion is rather sad. Maybe you'll be reincarnated as something smarter in the future.
 
2012-10-08 02:38:39 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?


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.
 
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.
 
2012-10-08 03:20:55 PM  

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: he is writing a book and needs to publicize it. Correlation =/ causation, but still....


No need to think about correlation/causation. You nailed it. The man's a charlatan, who has decided to use his MD title to bilk born-againers out of a lot of money.
 
2012-10-08 03:20:58 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.


Finally a statement I would like to address.

"Spiritual"

I'm a non-theist. I believe in no "greater power" and that anything unexplainable has an explanation...just not yet. I also believe that if someone is helped by their "beliefs" then why stop that? Sure, help correct behavior, but belief? That's personal and is like telling a gay person to stop being gay. No argument will change what it is.

That being said, let's talk about "spiritual". We have recently been shown (well, to me) that there are 12 particles which exist. There is no denying it, it exists. They say also, that we know only three are required to create matter; the stuff we see, breathe, smell, taste, etc. on a daily basis.

My question is this: What do the other 9 do?

Maybe what we need to do is stop fighting over words that are not defined. Perhaps "god" exists as part of life; not a sentient being but more of a "fact of life"; an undefined set of scientific parameters which cause the triggering of specific actions in life.

And, when we can't define why we do something, we chalk it up to a "god" or "higher power" when, in fact, we are doing exactly what nature has set us to do.

I don't know. It's not even a good theory, but it's just as viable as there being a "god". Are you willing to admit that "god" could simply be the same thing scientists are looking for but may turn out to be a completely different ideal than the traditional religious person believes?

Every day we learn more and more. Spiritualists keep saying we're moving further and further away from god but what if we're not? What if we're finally starting to prove that god actually exists...just not in the way the religious think?

But my questions are rhetorical, of course. I would never want to take away your belief system as that is a part of makes you who you are.

But I'm willing to consider there is a "god" as long as we can agree on the definition together.
 
2012-10-08 03:21:14 PM  

zarberg: 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.


We have enough preachy Christians about. What we need are more willing to come to the table and rationally debate. Communication is the key to understanding and people on both sides need provocation to leave the comfort of their echo chambers.
 
2012-10-08 03:21:40 PM  
Heaven Is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife

Sounds like something a braindead person would say.
 
2012-10-08 03:22:30 PM  
My near death experience was a vision of Zeus and Bigfoot locked in a passionate embrace. Lots of heavy petting, and some Scottish dudes playing bagpipes behind them. I know you think I'm joking, but I'm not, these are my personal beliefs therefore you're not allowed to laugh at me.
 
2012-10-08 03:24:02 PM  

Hale-Bopp: 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.


I don't get that. If we evolved all of our traits as advantages to increase our odds of procreation, what evolutionary advantage does ease of dying provide? How could we evolve a trait that almost always immediately precedes the death of the person exhibiting it?
 
2012-10-08 03:26:55 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: 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.


Yay! More anecdotes!!!

Just after I posted my last response I figured out why you are so upset. It is because we are "attacking" this evidence.

This is standard practice in science. When evidence is presented (for anything) it is attacked, criticized, and judged to determine its worth. Theories are evaluated based on the "weight of evidence" that support them. So when any evidence is presented we must determine its weight ... how much does it contribute to supporting the theory.

This is the irony ... what you claim is us being dismissive is actually us considering what is presented. I am sorry that anecdotes traditionally carry very, very little weight ... especially when other explanations are present (like the near-death brain being flooded with chemicals).

Do you think that the recently presented evidence for the discovery of the Higgs Bosun isn't being attacked?? It is and many of the attackers are physicists who would love for the results to be true. But, in science, you do not accept evidence because it says what you want ... you accept it after it has survived attacks from anyone and everyone.

When the researchers claimed they found neutrinos traveling faster than light their evidence was immediately "attacked" (i.e. questioned, analysed, etc.) by others and themselves to see if it held up. And guess what ... last I heard, they had discovered other possible causes and a are planning new experiments to confirm which causes for the measurement are correct.

TLDR: You are upset that we are not considering your evidence because we are attacking it. But, if you understood science, you would realize that we actually are considering your evidence by attacking it. Sadly it does not hold up well because, in the end, it is still just an anecdote.
 
2012-10-08 03:30:09 PM  
Following a car accident, I spent a week in an induced coma. The coma is so deep that there is virtually no brain activity so you are put on life support. I don't remember a damn thing about it; no lights, no voices, nothing.
 
2012-10-08 03:31:06 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.


You fit your own mold... However I would choose words like "patronizing" and "bigoted" for you.
 
2012-10-08 03:32:58 PM  

nmemkha: Poppa Boner: 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.

If the faithful just kept their moronic beliefs to themselves and didn't try to control every facet of other people's lives maybe we wouldn't need to shout you down so much.

Shout you down? I'm sorry I thought rational people enjoy civil discourse and debate. So you adopt the same tactics that you claim to despise in Theists?


Bingo... I had papa boner on my favorites list for saying some really smart stuff in the past. He has just been removed for being an ass.
 
2012-10-08 03:34:10 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?


The internet is a safe forum for atheists to express the frustration that they don't get to express in everyday life. I've yet to hear an atheist be intentionally rude to a theist in real life. I don't doubt it happens, but I do seriously doubt it happens half as often as religious people telling unbelievers that they're going to burn in a lake of fire or something similar.

How many atheists have come to your door to tell you your worldview is completely wrong and you're going to be tortured for eternity if you don't change it? What's that? None? Shocking.

In our society, religion gets protection from criticism that few if any other topics get. Claiming religion allows people to express hate and bigotry that wouldn't be tolerated in pretty much any other form these days. So when you come to a place like fark, you get to see the frustration. Theists on the other hand have in the past and/or are now trying to pass legislation to do the following: prevent gay people from getting married, tell a woman what she can or can't do with her body, teach mythology as science, force their religion on others in the form of school prayer, and prevent the criticism of religion through blasphemy laws. I'd much rather if all I had to deal with was a couple rude or mocking theists on some internet message boards than have to worry about them trying to restrict my rights and force their religion on my hypothetical children.
 
2012-10-08 03:34:14 PM  

nmemkha: 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.


that was my point chief. not a strawman - an exact retelling of what you said
 
2012-10-08 03:34:19 PM  

Mugato: logistic: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian

Loses any trace of credibility at this precise point. Not arguing one way or another, but his opinion is nixed by this statement.

You didn't finish the sentence. I was so more in name than in actual belief. So according to the Bible, he wouldn't be in heaven, he'd be in Hell!

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


They do, in fact there's a whole book about it that another doctor wrote. I read it in the 90's.

Perhaps you have good Google Fu to find it. :)
 
2012-10-08 03:35:13 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.


Thank you. I have BNCW on ignore because of his long history of stupidity, so I didn't see that particularly stupid response. Since to this day we don't really understand how anesthesia works, and keeping a patient under is more art than science, and there are even studies that show that patients do better in recovery if the surgical team make positive comments while the patient is supposedly under... no shiat, people can sometimes recall what happened in the OR. It's not exactly mysterious. One very common recollection is "Doctor, the patient is awake". Now, if they could describe the surgery that was taking place simultaneously in the next theater over... then I'd be impressed.

Again: show me the verified instance where somebody having an out-of-body experience described what was unexpectedly on the top shelf and you have something more than the subjective experience of the brain messing around.

/Did you know that it's now possible to induce an OBE on demand with powerful magnetic fields?
 
2012-10-08 03:36:13 PM  

Farking Canuck: You are upset that we are not considering your evidence because we are attacking it.


Nope, just the manner in which you attack it, which is directly analogous to the reasoning presented by creationists.
 
2012-10-08 03:38:11 PM  

czetie: Again: show me the verified instance where somebody having an out-of-body experience described what was unexpectedly on the top shelf and you have something more than the subjective experience of the brain messing around.


Too bad he has me on ignore, I posted exactly this.
 
2012-10-08 03:39:16 PM  

Maul555: Bingo... I had papa boner on my favorites list for saying some really smart stuff in the past. He has just been removed for being an ass.


Why? Because I called out a condescending prick? Have you been reading what this guy is posting? Have you been reading what I've been posting? I'll repeat... I have no problem with people of faith. I have a problem with people who twist reality to suit their delusions and cram them down everyone's throats. I have an even BIGGER problem with those who act like they're being victimized when someone doesn't buy into their bullsh*t.

Are you one of those people? Because if you are I didn't want to be on your favorites list anyway.
 
2012-10-08 03:40:23 PM  

Gaius: Following a car accident, I spent a week in an induced coma. The coma is so deep that there is virtually no brain activity so you are put on life support. I don't remember a damn thing about it; no lights, no voices, nothing.


That's what makes these experiences of NDEs (and Out of Body experiences, especially when they have verified information) so interesting. To our understanding of science and neuroscience in particular, they absolutely should not happen. Period. When people are conscious during life-threatening situations or just after being resuscitated, they usually are distressed, jumbled, groggy, disorganized and unaware of events. The NDE experiences describe experiences that are completely coherent, aware, and more real than reality itself. When people go on DMT trips, they experience a distorted view of reality and are aware that it is distorted. NDE experiences describe something that feels realer than real and nothing that would be out of the ordinary (distorted body image, elongated limbs, etc.) aside from being dead. And while there are a few negative ones, most have certain basic similarities about knowledge of existence, universal love and acceptance, etc and although some do have eastern/western religious influence, not many are "Ok, here's Jesus taking me to see St. Peter in heaven" but of something that is basically a universal feeling of love and oneness. Or, at least that is what is reported.
 
2012-10-08 03:41:25 PM  
I think I saw this movie, actually.....

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-10-08 03:43:09 PM  
He wears a bow tie.
 
2012-10-08 03:44:07 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Farking Canuck: You are upset that we are not considering your evidence because we are attacking it.

Nope, just the manner in which you attack it, which is directly analogous to the reasoning presented by creationists.


Saying that over and over does not make it true.

Creationists do not consider evidence ... you are using an unethical argument technique called Association Fallacy.
 
2012-10-08 03:50:03 PM  

The Billdozer: more real than reality itself.


That phrase is more meaningless than meaninglessness itself.
 
2012-10-08 03:50:39 PM  

Farking Canuck: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Farking Canuck: You are upset that we are not considering your evidence because we are attacking it.

Nope, just the manner in which you attack it, which is directly analogous to the reasoning presented by creationists.

Saying that over and over does not make it true.

Creationists do not consider evidence ... you are using an unethical argument technique called Association Fallacy.


Actually, that's not how association fallacy works at all. Nice try though..
 
2012-10-08 03:51:48 PM  
Oh, well, if a doctor whose brain was being attacked by bacteria flew up to a "another, larger dimension of the universe" and telepathically communicated with a hot ass brunette I guess I believe in God now.

Although I like his message, 'There is nothing you can do wrong.' That works for me.
 
2012-10-08 03:52:34 PM  

royone: The Billdozer: more real than reality itself.

That phrase is more meaningless than meaninglessness itself.


I'm sorry if I'm just going by what people have reported. Hyper-real is a term used as well. The people who have these experiences say that words cant accurate describe it, so the terms are probably fitting for a soul-changing experience or one hell of an insight on how the brain/mind works.
 
2012-10-08 03:52:49 PM  

Pathman: nmemkha: 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.

that was my point chief. not a strawman - an exact retelling of what you said


I am sorry, but it is not. I suggest you reread my posts.
 
2012-10-08 03:53:24 PM  

HakunaMatata: the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness [...] now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it. [...] When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first.

So a whole theory is layed to waste by one persons anecdote? Does an anectdote undergo some alchemical transformation into objective data when it is experienced by a DOCTOR?

The enormity of the universe he describes is surpassed only by the enormity of the ego of a doctor.

And saying that no one wants to pay attention "at first"? As if the claim that there is an afterlife is brand new cutting edge fringe stuff?


If you said "no one can fly" and I come flying by while a bunch of physics experts and engineers are looking at me to make sure I'm not wearing a jetpack, it is disproven.
 
2012-10-08 03:55:11 PM  

browntimmy: My near death experience was a vision of Zeus and Bigfoot locked in a passionate embrace. Lots of heavy petting, and some Scottish dudes playing bagpipes behind them. I know you think I'm joking, but I'm not, these are my personal beliefs therefore you're not allowed to laugh at me.


If you founded a church based on that, I would subscribe to the newsletter.

/Permission to laugh with you?
 
2012-10-08 03:56:39 PM  

Deep Contact: He wears a bow tie.


Bow ties are cool.
 
2012-10-08 03:56:48 PM  
And I'd like to say the reason this angers me and why I bothered logging in is because this is being spun as PROOF. It is not proof and it is disingenuous, manipulative and outright dangerous to claim it is. 20 years ago this guy would have been flagged as a nutball for making such a wild claim but in today's political and social climate this kind of outright lying is considered an acceptable argument and is becoming more and more common to the detriment of logic and reason. If the guy had just told his story and said he now believes in a higher power or an afterlife I would have no problem. I wouldn't even doubt him. But for him to flaunt his scientific credentials (and remember he is a SURGEON... not a researcher) and use them to manipulate people is atrocious. To add to that the press, and not even fringe press (WTF Newsweek) to boldly back up his claim that this is PROOF is a very frightening state of affairs. To allow this kind of sh*t to go on and not say anything is a disservice to the advancement of mankind and threatens to plunge us into the next Dark Ages.

It is about as infuriating of debating issues like homosexuality or the age of the Earth with someone who's only science is the bible.

THE BIBLE ISN'T FREAKING SCIENCE AND NEITHER IS THIS GUY'S DREAM!
 
2012-10-08 03:58:05 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 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.


There, there. You're definitely not alone in this. However, you've got to keep it all in perspective. You have no memories of before you were born, because you didn't experience it. Your end will be a little more dramatic, if only for the fact that you will probably know it's coming, just as you do now.

*But*, you should take comfort in this fact. For who wants to continue on after the quality of your life has been reduced to dependency on others for all your needs. For an infant, that's fine. But for an adult who has previously achieved independence, I can think of no greater insult, than to watch your body slowly decay and wither. It would be nice to go in my sleep. As for whither you go, I take some small consolation that it's probably exactly "nowhere". For who wants to pay taxes in perpetuity, whether they be in hard-earned cash or endless, boring Hosannas?
 
2012-10-08 03:58:19 PM  

HakunaMatata: the theory that the brain, and in particular the cortex, generates consciousness [...] now lies broken at our feet. What happened to me destroyed it. [...] When the castle of an old scientific theory begins to show fault lines, no one wants to pay attention at first.

So a whole theory is layed to waste by one persons anecdote? Does an anectdote undergo some alchemical transformation into objective data when it is experienced by a DOCTOR?

The enormity of the universe he describes is surpassed only by the enormity of the ego of a doctor.

And saying that no one wants to pay attention "at first"? As if the claim that there is an afterlife is brand new cutting edge fringe stuff?


Saul/Paul was hunting down this group of people that were following some guy around who said he was the Messiah and became their biggest supporter in human history. Sometimes all it takes is the turnaround of one enemy to make an idea have flight.
 
2012-10-08 03:59:18 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: 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.


You must not understand much about how the brain works. Even under general anesthesia, patients can be capable of learning and retaining details, and many people with NDEs retain information about what was happening to them while their "souls" were allegedly off to heaven and back.

The article you linked is largely one long anecdote, and there seems to be little analysis of how often those with OBEs are getting the details they observed right or wrong. Instead, as with non-critical analysis of psychics, it's all about the amazing "hits," and no mention of the misses. Instead, I suggest you look up Penny Sartori and how all of her patients who experienced OBE during surgeries were unable to identify the playing cards she had placed on shelves around the OR (or even to notice that such cards existed). Our brain simply isn't a VCR/DVR recording the input from our eyes, ears, and other senses; our brain constructs our experiences from our senses and fills in the blanks with its own construction of what should be there.
 
2012-10-08 03:59:37 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 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


So, why don't you have any memory of before you were born?

/death is exactly like that, probably.
 
2012-10-08 03:59:41 PM  

miscreant: The internet is a safe forum for atheists to express the frustration that they don't get to express in everyday life. I've yet to hear an atheist be intentionally rude to a theist in real life. I don't doubt it happens, but I do seriously doubt it happens half as often as religious people telling unbelievers that they're going to burn in a lake of fire or something similar.


I know theists who use the same justifications for their bad behavior. I guess we are not that different after all ...
 
2012-10-08 04:00:27 PM  

Poppa Boner:
t1.gstatic.com
THE BIBLE ISN'T FREAKING SCIENCE AND NEITHER IS THIS GUY'S DREAM!


Dude.
 
2012-10-08 04:01:20 PM  

Babwa Wawa: xanadian: The jury's still out.

Well, yeah. If one has "proof" of something or another, then one no long needs "faith" in order to believe in it.

The whole "life after death" obsession strikes me as silly and indicative of perpetual juvenility.

You're not going to know jack sh*t until you are dead. Dead-dead, not "turned-off dead". Anyone claiming certainty on the matter is either delusional or a charlatan. When you've got a book deal like TFA, I'm banking on the latter.



Given the absoluteness of your statements, I wonder if you can sense the immense irony of them. I'm guessing not.
 
2012-10-08 04:02:28 PM  

Poppa Boner: And I'd like to say the reason this angers me and why I bothered logging in is because this is being spun as PROOF. It is not proof and it is disingenuous, manipulative and outright dangerous to claim it is. 20 years ago this guy would have been flagged as a nutball for making such a wild claim but in today's political and social climate this kind of outright lying is considered an acceptable argument and is becoming more and more common to the detriment of logic and reason. If the guy had just told his story and said he now believes in a higher power or an afterlife I would have no problem. I wouldn't even doubt him. But for him to flaunt his scientific credentials (and remember he is a SURGEON... not a researcher) and use them to manipulate people is atrocious. To add to that the press, and not even fringe press (WTF Newsweek) to boldly back up his claim that this is PROOF is a very frightening state of affairs. To allow this kind of sh*t to go on and not say anything is a disservice to the advancement of mankind and threatens to plunge us into the next Dark Ages.

It is about as infuriating of debating issues like homosexuality or the age of the Earth with someone who's only science is the bible.

THE BIBLE ISN'T FREAKING SCIENCE AND NEITHER IS THIS GUY'S DREAM!


I don't know you whatsoever, but this seems to be bothering you. Why not just write to a letter to the editor of find a journal to publish your dissatisfaction with this book or idea? People who have argued cases against the paranormal aspect of NDEs before on a site or amazon review (Worlee in the case of Pam Reynolds) have been published before or asked to speculate.
 
2012-10-08 04:03:59 PM  

Millennium: One big thing separates the atheists from other sides in the ongoing religious debates: only atheists insist that their opponents do not think. ...


Not true. We merely point out when you try to dismiss critical thinking and the scientific method. Farking Canuck said it best above.
 
2012-10-08 04:04:02 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?


Welcome to Fark. If you'd like to see the roles reversed, go to Free Republic or some other online conservative forum.

/+5 points for number of bites you've received, -several more for lack of style.
 
2012-10-08 04:04:33 PM  

browntimmy: My near death experience was a vision of Zeus and Bigfoot locked in a passionate embrace. Lots of heavy petting, and some Scottish dudes playing bagpipes behind them. I know you think I'm joking, but I'm not, these are my personal beliefs therefore you're not allowed to laugh at me.


I think we've all had that wet dream when we were 12. It is perfectly natural and a part of growing up.

Right?
 
2012-10-08 04:04:58 PM  

Queensowntalia: Millennium: One big thing separates the atheists from other sides in the ongoing religious debates: only atheists insist that their opponents do not think.

Citation needed.

I'm willing to bet there are plenty of religious sorts who'd make exactly that argument. Don't let that stop you from making generalizations based on your own prejudices, though, because what fun would that be?


That would be proving a negative. Your own logic puts the onus on you to counter my claim, which I've worded such that even a counter example -a single person not on the side of the atheists, making the claim that any other side in the debate doesn't think- would be sufficient. Can you truly find none?

I'll tell you this: I don't think you can. I certainly couldn't. You recognize that the accusation I'm making is, in fact, quite a serious one: do you really think I would make it if I had ever, even once, found a counterexample? So go ahead; I dare you to find one. I'd actually feel a whole lot better about humanity in general if you could. But you won't. This particular meme has gotten its claws into one side, and its nature prevents it from taking any kind of hold in any other.
 
2012-10-08 04:05:10 PM  
"Somebody is pimping a book" would have sufficed, submitter.

Really all we need to know.
 
2012-10-08 04:05:56 PM  

The Billdozer: Gaius: Following a car accident, I spent a week in an induced coma. The coma is so deep that there is virtually no brain activity so you are put on life support. I don't remember a damn thing about it; no lights, no voices, nothing.

That's what makes these experiences of NDEs (and Out of Body experiences, especially when they have verified information) so interesting. To our understanding of science and neuroscience in particular, they absolutely should not happen. Period. When people are conscious during life-threatening situations or just after being resuscitated, they usually are distressed, jumbled, groggy, disorganized and unaware of events. The NDE experiences describe experiences that are completely coherent, aware, and more real than reality itself. When people go on DMT trips, they experience a distorted view of reality and are aware that it is distorted. NDE experiences describe something that feels realer than real and nothing that would be out of the ordinary (distorted body image, elongated limbs, etc.) aside from being dead. And while there are a few negative ones, most have certain basic similarities about knowledge of existence, universal love and acceptance, etc and although some do have eastern/western religious influence, not many are "Ok, here's Jesus taking me to see St. Peter in heaven" but of something that is basically a universal feeling of love and oneness. Or, at least that is what is reported.


I had a religious upbringing, although I never truly believed. Studying philosophy in college further reinforced that feeling, and instilled in me an Epicurean view on death; that there is nothing after life. Perhaps my views on life and death influenced me on the most basic of subconscious levels, preventing a NDE.

Whatever the case, after reading this article I feel jipped.
 
2012-10-08 04:06:08 PM  

poonesfarm: Although I considered myself a faithful Christian... I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.

Uh...what?


It's a common misconception by those who cannot think in anything but binary concepts. Being a scientist and believing in God aren't and never have been mutually exclusive conditions. They only seem so to those lacking in experience in either but who like to believe they're enlightened, intelligent and educated.
 
2012-10-08 04:06:42 PM  

RanDomino: Millennium
There is a disturbing element of dehumanization in the argument that one's opponents do not think. It also the concept of debate useless: there is no point in a meeting of minds if one of those minds doesn't acknowledge the other. It's also one of the most fundamentally dishonest arguments a person can make about other people: we think. It's what we do. It is a pity, then, that this line of argument has become fashionable among the atheists of our time to use it, because it makes it so easy to ignore such people as the zealots they are. They damage their own side more than they realize.

Believing without doubting or requiring evidence is not thinking.


Not by your model, but your model excludes quite a lot. It has value in some particular fields of study, but is woefully incomplete as a guiding principle for life in general.
 
2012-10-08 04:07:41 PM  

czetie: 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.

Thank you. I have BNCW on ignore because of his long history of stupidity, so I didn't see that particularly stupid response. Since to this day we don't really understand how anesthesia works, and keeping a patient under is more art than science, and there are even studies that show that patients do better in recovery if the surgical team make positive comments while the patient is supposedly under... no shiat, people can sometimes recall what happened in the OR. It's not exactly mysterious. One very common recollection is "Doctor, the patient is awake". Now, if they could describe the surgery that was taking place simultaneously in the next theater over... then I'd be impressed.

Again: show me the verified instance where somebody having an out-of-body experience described what was unexpectedly on the top shelf and you have something more than the subjective experience of the brain messing around.

/Did you know that it's now possible to induce an OBE on demand with powerful magnetic fields?


Didn't realize who I was dealing with. I have now bumped another comment or two for your viewing displeasure.
 
2012-10-08 04:08:39 PM  

Son of Thunder: Deep Contact: He wears a bow tie.

Bow ties are cool.


www.shockya.com
 
2012-10-08 04:09:08 PM  
The view of unity and complete inter-connectivity of all things, as well as the beauty of the "garden" and massive underpininning of love have always been at the core of Buddhist and Hindu belief systems. Bravo Doc for tuning in and writing about it so well.
 
2012-10-08 04:09:17 PM  

OscarTamerz: I have a very simple rule of life, never believe anything said by anybody wearing a bow tie or a vest.


Ok, then. I'll just mark you down as "ignores science"
i141.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-08 04:09:37 PM  
aw. well, i should've known he was an idiot when he mentioned being a christian...
 
2012-10-08 04:09:45 PM  

Andromeda: CSB: I had a non-religious friend who I respected to the utmost and had a "life after death" experience in Vietnam when for a few minutes he was critically brain dead. He would be driven to tears trying to explain it because a lot of it he didn't understand, but there were strange details like how he thought he smelled bread baking and there were relatives who died years ago there, but when he was given the chance to return he took it then woke up in the hospital again (though he wondered for years afterwards if it was worth it considering how much rehabilitating pain he had from his injuries).

Guy was, as I said earlier, not religious so he willingly acknowledged it could all just be his brain shutting down... but he could never quite believe it because then why would he be given the choice to return? Weird thing to put in a shut-down mode.

Friend died a few years ago in a heart attack, so I've always wondered a bit about that since as he's the only person I've known personally to have such an experience- and then not cloud it with Judeo-Christian overtones to boot. If nothing else though it's consolation to me to know that when it hit he recognized what was happening and wasn't afraid.


The same thing happened to my father, an athiest, between strokes. I sat with him in the hospital while he tried to explain what he experienced. Tears just poured out of his eyes while he spoke of it and he didn't brush the tears away until he was done speaking and seemed to break out of this wonderful ecstasy he was recalling. This guy NEVER cried before. Of course, having strokes could explain him being extra emotional; his brain had been a bit scrambled. But he spoke with such conviction and was so SURE of what happened. The people he encountered. The landscape of where he visited. The beautiful sounds. Very similar to this doctor's experiences from the article.

He questioned his choice to leave the Catholic church as a young adult and questioned what happens after death. Was he right to turn his back on such amazing possibilities? He didn't bring it up again before he died (some 6 months later). It was almost as if he'd forgotten about it. I brought it up a couple of months before he died because I thought it was interesting and wanted to see if he remembered it, or if it was just some stroke-induced hallucination. When I brought it up, he stared at me and weeped. He said he remembered and asked that I not tell my siblings about it because they were too closed-minded to take him seriously. He didn't tell anyone else about it. It was a secret between us. I saw in his face that he'd be perfectly happy to go back to that place whenever he died. It was the only thing that comforted me when he did.

/Yes, I believe he believed what he experienced. There's no proof he did or didn't, but I hope there was something like that waiting for him when he died.
//He still died as an athiest, but when his plug was pulled, I allowed the nurse in the room to pray over his body. I think he would have been more offended by being on life support than a well meaning nurse praying for his protection in death. I think at that stage he would have welcomed it.
///farking dusty in here
 
2012-10-08 04:11:25 PM  

HortusMatris: 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?

Welcome to Fark. If you'd like to see the roles reversed, go to Free Republic or some other online conservative forum.

/+5 points for number of bites you've received, -several more for lack of style.


Fark is not an Atheist forum. Last I checked it was open to everyone.
 
2012-10-08 04:13:04 PM  
I passed out once and spent a whole day doing all kinds of crazy shiat with intense colors all around me like I was on acid. I was apparently out for about 10 seconds. As far as I know the whole thing played out in the seconds before he opened his eyes.
 
2012-10-08 04:13:34 PM  

HortusMatris: Welcome to Fark. If you'd like to see the roles reversed, go to Free Republic or some other online conservative forum.

/+5 points for number of bites you've received, -several more for lack of style.


Just because there are impassioned idiots on both sides doesn't mean we have to wallow in the mud with them. Am I right? Look to the thread to see who is spewing vitriol in ALL CAPS.
 
2012-10-08 04:15:06 PM  

Gaius: The Billdozer: Gaius: Following a car accident, I spent a week in an induced coma. The coma is so deep that there is virtually no brain activity so you are put on life support. I don't remember a damn thing about it; no lights, no voices, nothing.

That's what makes these experiences of NDEs (and Out of Body experiences, especially when they have verified information) so interesting. To our understanding of science and neuroscience in particular, they absolutely should not happen. Period. When people are conscious during life-threatening situations or just after being resuscitated, they usually are distressed, jumbled, groggy, disorganized and unaware of events. The NDE experiences describe experiences that are completely coherent, aware, and more real than reality itself. When people go on DMT trips, they experience a distorted view of reality and are aware that it is distorted. NDE experiences describe something that feels realer than real and nothing that would be out of the ordinary (distorted body image, elongated limbs, etc.) aside from being dead. And while there are a few negative ones, most have certain basic similarities about knowledge of existence, universal love and acceptance, etc and although some do have eastern/western religious influence, not many are "Ok, here's Jesus taking me to see St. Peter in heaven" but of something that is basically a universal feeling of love and oneness. Or, at least that is what is reported.