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Rion

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Rion

Subj: The Skeptic's Dictionary article...
Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 04:32:42 am EST (Viewed 979 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Article: "People Have NDEs while Brain Dead"
Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:31:36 pm EST (Viewed 926 times)

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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.


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



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