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Rion




I found this article hard to ignore because of the clinically ratified total cessation of brain activity:
http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html



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Rexxy




unless someone told her about the details of the operation.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 4.0; on Windows XP
Rion




There is always that, yes. That, and the impossibility of explaining how a ghost can dive into a physical body and control it.






Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 4.0; on Windows Vista
Rexxy




where is there any mention of a ghost controllinga dead body?


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 4.0; on Windows XP
Rion




Not a dead body - a physical body. The woman tells of diving back into her body.

The whole concept of an afterlife hinges on the notion of the true self being a "ghost in the machine," the machine being the physical body. Take away the ghost and any afterlife becomes impossible, since all that remains are, well, the remains; I.e., the corpse. Aside from the fact that there is no hard evidence for the existence of the ghost, and probably never will be, there is also the difficulty of explaining the mechanism by which the ghost could interface with, and take control of, a biological nervous system. Plus there's Occam's Razor, the notion that the simplest explanation is almost always the best one, and modern neuroscience has made the simplest explanation for sapience a ghostless nervous system doing all the work through chemicals and electricity.

Against all of that, all the opposing viewpoint has going for it is the intuition many have, the feeling of being ghosts in machines, and of course the instinctive desire to continue forever. That intuition and that desire join forces to produce faith, or at least hope, in an afterlife. Anything else that is offered is always circumstancial evidence for which alternate explanations are always possible and often put forward. For example, the medium who knows things that shouldn't be knowable could be telepathic or clairvoyant, as opposed to being in contact with a ghost, or could be a fraud or just lucky.

Still, tales of NDE's tend to get my attention and make me wonder for the umpteenth time, because, of course, I feel like a ghost in a machine, and I want to continue forever.



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 4.0; on Windows Vista
Rion




Click on this for the Skeptic's Dictionary article relevant to our discussion:
http://www.skepdic.com/nde.html



Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 4.0; on Windows Vista
Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    I found this article hard to ignore because of the clinically ratified total cessation of brain activity:



    Quote:
    http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html


When I was about 4 on a night I was sleeping over at my grandparents house I had what I thought was an out of body experience when I had the croup and had to be rushed to the emergency room...I asked my grandparents about the things I remembered during this experience when I was a teenager and my details were apparently all wrong...I remembered riding in an ambulance but my grandmother says they drove me to the hospital, about being resuscitated (I had a high fever and was unconscious but I did not need to be resuscitated) etc

I certainly don't want to poop on anyone's religious beliefs but I don't buy the out of body experience stories when I hear them anymore than I do the UFO stories (my dad swears he saw one) or people seeing angels (my aunt swears she saw one). I think we all want to feel special...some of us go so far as to tell these stories in order to get that feeling of being special. Some of us even believe them...I think people think what they want to...if a logical conclusion isn't immediately available to them (or sometimes even if it is) people will go with what their heart wants to believe logic be damned.

To me science and logic explain everything. We may not be smart enough or have the tools available to solve every mystery the universe presents us with but that does not mean science as a problem solving method is flawed...our understanding of it may be flawed (and almost certainly is in some fields like the recent revelation that there is water on the moon). Maybe I'm not wired correctly because I can't accept things on fate or flights of fancy like out of body experiences or aliens. If there is a God I think he must have given us the ability to think and to reason so we might see his design for what it is and come to respect it. God wouldn't want blind mindless obedience...he want people who can think for themselves and find a way to express the gifts he gives them.

Reverend Meteor (I strayed too far from the topic didn't I? My apologies)


Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.16 on Windows Vista
Rion





    Quote:
    When I was about 4 on a night I was sleeping over at my grandparents house I had what I thought was an out of body experience when I had the croup and had to be rushed to the emergency room...I asked my grandparents about the things I remembered during this experience when I was a teenager and my details were apparently all wrong...I remembered riding in an ambulance but my grandmother says they drove me to the hospital, about being resuscitated (I had a high fever and was unconscious but I did not need to be resuscitated) etc


Interesting and very relevant. I love that you tested the hypothesis.


    Quote:
    I certainly don't want to poop on anyone's religious beliefs but I don't buy the out of body experience stories when I hear them anymore than I do the UFO stories (my dad swears he saw one) or people seeing angels (my aunt swears she saw one). I think we all want to feel special...some of us go so far as to tell these stories in order to get that feeling of being special. Some of us even believe them...I think people think what they want to...if a logical conclusion isn't immediately available to them (or sometimes even if it is) people will go with what their heart wants to believe logic be damned.


Yes. It may include a desire to feel special, but it also includes the fear of death, at least for me. I want to continue forever. Accepting empiricism means accepting materialism which means accepting the absence of any afterlife. That isn't the logical conclusion I wanted. But it's the one I must accept unless I reject materialism, which means rejecting empiricism, which I find I can't do, however much I may wish I could.


    Quote:
    To me science and logic explain everything. We may not be smart enough or have the tools available to solve every mystery the universe presents us with but that does not mean science as a problem solving method is flawed...our understanding of it may be flawed (and almost certainly is in some fields like the recent revelation that there is water on the moon). Maybe I'm not wired correctly because I can't accept things on fate or flights of fancy like out of body experiences or aliens. If there is a God I think he must have given us the ability to think and to reason so we might see his design for what it is and come to respect it. God wouldn't want blind mindless obedience...he want people who can think for themselves and find a way to express the gifts he gives them.


If I take a Deist perspective, which means I posit a God who created the universe with immutable laws and then left it to its own devices to evolve as it would, then I accept a God who is perfectly satisfied with Nature red in tooth and claw, and a humanity whose teeth and claws are the reddest by far of any mammal. I can go with that, but Occam's Razor leads me to posit the immutable laws without the God. What I can't go with is the notion of a God who has the sort of ideals many humans hold dear, because Nature doesn't display those ideals.


    Quote:
    Reverend Meteor (I strayed too far from the topic didn't I? My apologies)


No, you got to the heart of the matter. Thanks for doing that.



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Rexxy




I don't see how her describing diving back into her body can in any way be seen as a 'ghost' controlling her body. Nothing in there says her spirit did anything to affect her nevous system. All she mentions is that it felt like a pool of cold water.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 4.0; on Windows XP
Rion





    Quote:
    I don't see how her describing diving back into her body can in any way be seen as a 'ghost' controlling her body. Nothing in there says her spirit did anything to affect her nevous system. All she mentions is that it felt like a pool of cold water.


Which part do you question - that she was describing herself as a ghost, or that she controls her body? Or do you think she's only a ghost when she's out of her body? To me, if she's a ghost when she's out of her body, then she's a ghost when she's in it also, and if she controls her own body, then that means a ghost is controling her body.







Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 4.0; on Windows Vista
Reverend Meteor





    Quote:

      Quote:
      When I was about 4 on a night I was sleeping over at my grandparents house I had what I thought was an out of body experience when I had the croup and had to be rushed to the emergency room...I asked my grandparents about the things I remembered during this experience when I was a teenager and my details were apparently all wrong...I remembered riding in an ambulance but my grandmother says they drove me to the hospital, about being resuscitated (I had a high fever and was unconscious but I did not need to be resuscitated) etc



    Quote:
    Interesting and very relevant. I love that you tested the hypothesis.



    Quote:

      Quote:
      I certainly don't want to poop on anyone's religious beliefs but I don't buy the out of body experience stories when I hear them anymore than I do the UFO stories (my dad swears he saw one) or people seeing angels (my aunt swears she saw one). I think we all want to feel special...some of us go so far as to tell these stories in order to get that feeling of being special. Some of us even believe them...I think people think what they want to...if a logical conclusion isn't immediately available to them (or sometimes even if it is) people will go with what their heart wants to believe logic be damned.



    Quote:
    Yes. It may include a desire to feel special, but it also includes the fear of death, at least for me. I want to continue forever. Accepting empiricism means accepting materialism which means accepting the absence of any afterlife. That isn't the logical conclusion I wanted. But it's the one I must accept unless I reject materialism, which means rejecting empiricism, which I find I can't do, however much I may wish I could.


You know we had an interesting conversation about this sort of thing at work (I work in an IT department). My boss (an agnostic) mentioned (meaning this is second hand information so don't hold me to it) that he read somewhere that there is a scientist claiming that if we can hang on until around 2040 our understanding of genetic engineering will be far enough long that we can more or less prolong death indefinitely. A co-worker of mine (a god fearing christian) who is 70 years old had the perfect answer I thought: he said yeah but at the way the world is going I don't know if I want to live that long. That got me thinking that yeah we might think we want to live forever but do we really? I know I want to live to be able to do all the things I want to do but I don't want to live forever. Eventually it becomes more about just living longer than actually living out your life.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      To me science and logic explain everything. We may not be smart enough or have the tools available to solve every mystery the universe presents us with but that does not mean science as a problem solving method is flawed...our understanding of it may be flawed (and almost certainly is in some fields like the recent revelation that there is water on the moon). Maybe I'm not wired correctly because I can't accept things on fate or flights of fancy like out of body experiences or aliens. If there is a God I think he must have given us the ability to think and to reason so we might see his design for what it is and come to respect it. God wouldn't want blind mindless obedience...he want people who can think for themselves and find a way to express the gifts he gives them.



    Quote:
    If I take a Deist perspective, which means I posit a God who created the universe with immutable laws and then left it to its own devices to evolve as it would, then I accept a God who is perfectly satisfied with Nature red in tooth and claw, and a humanity whose teeth and claws are the reddest by far of any mammal. I can go with that, but Occam's Razor leads me to posit the immutable laws without the God. What I can't go with is the notion of a God who has the sort of ideals many humans hold dear, because Nature doesn't display those ideals.


I can understand that. I don't think my dad knows what a Deist really is but I think that's more or less what he is. He's an amateur astronomer and thinks there is some sort of blueprint involved when it comes to patterns and how the universe came together and how life sprang up on earth (I personally think we're just a happy coincidence) but like me he can't believe in a God who forces an ethical code on the universe's inhabitants. I think everyone believes what they want to believe and they go back and find ways to rationalize it later...we don't get convinced by logic...we just find ways to justify to others what we ourselves believe. I'm sure many Christians would see the idea of there not being a god as depressing. They sleep easy knowing the good things that happen in their life happen because they deserve them. I get depressed at the idea of a god who is capricious and vengeful. I sleep easier knowing that the bad things that happen in my life don't happen because God or fate or the universe conspires against me.

By the way nice talking to you. I thought this was an interesting subject matter to discuss.


    Quote:

      Quote:
      Reverend Meteor (I strayed too far from the topic didn't I? My apologies)



    Quote:
    No, you got to the heart of the matter. Thanks for doing that.





Posted with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.16 on Windows Vista
Rexxy




I thought you meant she was somehow controlling her body while it could be classified as 'dead' (during the procedure) I didn't see anything in the article to imply that. Everyone controls their own body (while not 'dead') - I don't see how anyone can seriously consider themselves a ghost in their own (not dead) body.


Posted with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 4.0; on Windows XP
Rion





    Quote:
    I thought you meant she was somehow controlling her body while it could be classified as 'dead' (during the procedure) I didn't see anything in the article to imply that. Everyone controls their own body (while not 'dead') - I don't see how anyone can seriously consider themselves a ghost in their own (not dead) body.


You've raised an interesting thought for me. Could the death of the body expel a ghost that didn't exist prior to its expulsion? I don't know if anyone has ever offered that precise hypothesis. Unfortunately it's untestable.




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