Intelligent Design Logic and First Principles of right reason Philosophy

Can logic or evidence help you decide if you are not the only human who has ever existed?

Spread the love

Surprisingly, says Michael Egnor, no. You must make a decision to believe logic or evidence:

“I think therefore I am” is not the most fundamental claim we can make about the nature of knowledge (an epistemological claim). Why not? “I think therefore I am” depends critically on “therefore”—that is, it depends on logic, specifically on the law of non-contradiction.

The law of non-contradiction says that two contradictory positions cannot both be true in the same way at the same time. I cannot exist (in order to assert my existence) and simultaneously not exist. And of course we all accept that law. But notice—we believe in the law of non-contradiction; we don’t know it. And we can’t logically claim that we absolutely know it, because any claim to the truth of the law of non-contradiction depends on… the law of non-contradiction. To claim that the law of non-contradiction is certain is to reason in a circle.

But note what follows: Because we can’t prove that logic is true, we could “think” but not “exist”! Thus we can’t even claim to know with certainty that we exist. To do so is to invoke a law of logic that, however obvious it seems, we must take on faith.

Our most fundamental knowledge is of logic—specifically, the law of non-contradiction—and even that we must take on faith.

Michael Egnor, “How do you know you are not the only human who ever existed?” at Mind Matters News

We must believe that the universe is a certain sort of universe for logic to make sense to us.

See also:

Physicist rejects free will — and thus fails logic. If we accepted his argument for materialism, we would have to stop believing in it—a curious, self-refuting result.

and

Interview with a woman (or women) formerly called Susan Blackmore. A professor of psychology argues that there is no continuity between our present selves and our past selves.

44 Replies to “Can logic or evidence help you decide if you are not the only human who has ever existed?

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    I’ve never found solipsism to be tenable because whatever really exists I am not in control of it. It seems to me that if I was the only conscious being who exists or who ever existed that I should have more control over the circumstance in my life. I don’t, so I don’t believe solipsism is true. Is it logically impossible? I can’t say that it is but it doesn’t follow from that that it’s believable– even though there apparently are some people who are at least sincere if not honest to goodness solipsists. My reaction to that is, really?

  2. 2
    Truthfreedom says:

    Logic is the starter toolkit. 🙂
    Even to claim you are a “solipsist”, you need logic because you’re claiming that “one sole existence” and “more of one sole existence” at the same time are an impossibility (due to the LNC).

  3. 3
    Truthfreedom says:

    And we know that we didn’t create ourselves, nor the logic we appeal to to navigate the world.
    And a stupid process of “molecules in motion” (atheistic evolution) could not create logic because that would be an ex-nihilo creation: “magic”.
    (Naturalists appeal to “magic” all the time because their doctrine is irrational and childish, an aberration to the intellect ).

    NS can not “check” if we are following proper logic rules to help us survive because NS doesn’t know logic at all.

    There’s obviously a Mind out there.

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    John: I’ve never found solipsism to be tenable because whatever really exists I am not in control of it. It seems to me that if I was the only conscious being who exists or who ever existed that I should have more control over the circumstance in my life. I don’t, so I don’t believe solipsism is true.

    You could have set it up to confuse yourself on purpose, deliberately making yourself think exactly what you’re thinking right now. Just for fun. All by yourself. So that’s not an argument. And this is true of any possible viewpoint.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As to

    Can Logic Or Evidence Help You Decide If You Are Not The Only Human Who Has Ever Existed?

    If logic or evidence can’t help you decide, perhaps your father, who is paying for your high priced college education in philosophy, can help you decide that you are NOT the only person who has ever existed in the world when you come home on college break and try to tell him that you believe, via your high priced college education that he is paying for, that you are the only person who exists?

    🙂

    As J. Budziszewski put it,

    “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.”
    – J. Budziszewski

    In regards to solipsism, Alvin Plantinga often tells these stories to his audiences,

    1. British philosopher Bertrand Russell was a solipsist for a time (why does that not surprise me?), and he once received a letter from a woman who found his arguments very convincing. Well, I suppose it’s not so hard to convince a figment of you imagination that your arguments are brilliant. Anyway, the woman commented in her letter that his description of solipsism made a lot of sense and that, “I’m surprised there are not more of us.”

    2. Plantinga also told of an accomplished academic who was a well-known solipsist (I forget the guys name). And Plantinga though it would be fun to meet a real life solipsist, so he went to visit him. He was treated fairly well considering he was only figment. I mean, it’s not a given that a solipsist would feel the need to be polite to his imaginary friends. After a brief conversation, Plantinga left and on the way out one of the man’s assistants said, “We take good care of the professor because when he goes we all go.”
    http://solavirtus.com/solipsism-alvin-plantinga/

    As well, In 1967, Alvin Plantinga wrote a fairly influential philosophical book which was entitled ‘God and Other Minds”.

    In his book Plantinga ends up concluding that, “belief in other minds and belief in God are in the same epistemological boat; hence if either is rational, so is the other. But obviously the former is rational; so, therefore, is the latter.”

    God and Other Minds
    by Alvin Plantinga
    ,,,”In his (Plantinga’s) brilliantly reasoned conclusion, the author holds that “belief in other minds and belief in God are in the same epistemological boat; hence if either is rational, so is the other. But obviously the former is rational; so, therefore, is the latter.”
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/496861.God_and_Other_Minds

    The entire issue of solipsism vs belief in other minds arises from the fact that we can only know our own inner subjective conscious experience and that we do have direct access to the inner subjective conscious experience of others.

    Our inner subjective conscious experience is known as ‘qualia’:

    Qualia
    Excerpt: Examples of qualia include the perceived sensation of pain of a headache, the taste of wine, as well as the redness of an evening sky.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

    In debates with Darwinian materialists, it is often pointed out to Darwinists that the reductive materialism of Darwinism cannot possibly cannot possibly explain qualia and that the specific mental attribute of qualia is forever beyond the scope of any possible materialistic explanation and/or any possible physical examination.

    As Frank Jackson made clear in his philosophical argument ‘Mary’s Room’, no amount of scientific and physical examination on Mary’s part will ever reveal to Mary exactly what the inner subjective conscious experience, i.e. qualia, of the color blue actually is until Mary actually experiences what the color blue is for herself.

    11.2.1 Qualia – Perception (“The Hard Problem” )
    Philosopher of the mind Frank Jackson imagined a thought experiment —Mary’s Room— to explain qualia and why it is such an intractable problem for science. The problem identified is referred to as the knowledge argument. Here is the description of the thought experiment:
    “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like ‘red’, ‘blue’, and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence ‘The sky is blue’. (…) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?”
    Jackson believed that Mary did learn something new: she learned what it was like to experience color.
    “It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then is it inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism [materialism] is false.”
    https://www.urantia.org/study/seminar-presentations/is-there-design-in-nature#Emergence

    Likewise, no amount of us knowing exactly what state a material brain may be in, whether it be by MRI brain scans or whatever, will ever be able to reveal to us exactly how something may feel or look like to someone else personally.

    Kept in Mind – Juan Uriagereka – March 2019
    Review of: Language in Our Brain: The Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity
    by Angela Friederici
    Excerpt: Which part of our brain carries information forward in time? No one knows. For that matter, no one knows what a symbol is, or where symbolic interactions take place. The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study.2,,,
    No one has distinguished one thought from another by dissecting brains. Neuroimaging tells us only when some areas of the brain light up selectively. Brain wave frequencies may suggest that different kinds of thinking are occurring, but a suggestion is not an inference—even if there is a connection between certain areas of the brain and seeing, hearing, or processing words. Connections of this sort are not nothing, of course, but neither are they very much.,,,
    Some considerable distance remains between the observation that the brain is doing something and the claim that it is manipulating various linguistic representations. Friederici notes the lapse. “How information content is encoded and decoded,” she remarks, “in the sending and receiving brain areas is still an open issue—not only with respect to language, but also with respect to the neurophysiology of information processing in general.”5,,,
    Cognitive scientists cannot say how the mass or energy of the brain is related to the information it carries. Everyone expects that more activity in a given area means more information processing. No one has a clue whether it is more information or more articulated information, or more interconnected information, or whether, for that matter, the increased neuro-connectivity signifies something else entirely.,,,
    ,,, present-day observational technology does not seem capable of teasing apart these different components of syntax at work,,,,
    https://inference-review.com/article/kept-in-mind
    Juan Uriagereka is a linguist at the University of Maryland.

    As David Chalmers, (whom I believe originally coined the term ‘The Hard Problem of Consciousness’), has pointed out with the philosophical zombie argument, for all we know, the person we are talking to, or even the person that we are examining with all our scientific instruments, could hypothetically be a philosophical zombie who has no inner subjective conscious experience whatsoever and that the philosophical zombie we are examining may just robotically be giving us correct answers that seem appropriate to any situation that we may be asking the philosophical zombie about.

    David Chalmers on Consciousness (Descartes, Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem of Consciousness) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

    Atheists and/or Darwinian materialists simply have no answer to the hard problem of consciousness. i.e. They have no clue how anything material can generate a inner subjective conscious experience.

    As Professor of Psychology David Barash honestly admitted in the following article, an article which happens to be entitled “the hardest problem in science?”, “But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.”

    The Hardest Problem in Science? October 28, 2011
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    – David Barash – Professor of Psychology emeritus at the University of Washington.
    https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/the-hardest-problem-in-science/40845

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, the hard problem of consciousness is such a hard problem for reductive materialists to try to explain that many leading materialistic/atheistic scientists (and philosophers), often end up claiming that consciousness itself is just an illusion and that it does not really even exist at all.

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.
    (…)
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    There Is No Such Thing as Conscious Thought
    Philosopher Peter Carruthers insists that conscious thought, judgment and volition are illusions. They arise from processes of which we are forever unaware
    By Steve Ayan on December 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Peter Carruthers, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, is an expert on the philosophy of mind,,,
    ,,, in 2017, he published a paper with the astonishing title of “The Illusion of Conscious Thought.”,,,
    Carruthers explains,,,, “I believe that the whole idea of conscious thought is an error. I came to this conclusion by following out the implications of the two of the main theories of consciousness.”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/there-is-no-such-thing-as-conscious-thought/

    Atheist Philosopher Thinks “We Never Have Direct Access To Our Thoughts”
    Michael Egnor – July 20, 2016
    Excerpt: Materialist theories of the mind border on the insane. If a man walks into a doctor’s office and says “I never have direct access to my thoughts and I have no first person point of view,” the man will be referred to a psychiatrist and may be involuntarily hospitalized until it is established that he is not a danger to himself or others.
    If the same guy walks into the philosophy department at Duke University, he gets tenure.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/07/atheist_philoso/

    If you telling your father, via your high priced college education in philosophy, that you are the only person who really exists in the universe, is enough for your father to formally ‘educate you’ on exactly who is paying for your high priced college education, then subsequently telling your father, via your high priced college education, that you don’t really even exist at all and that you are just an illusion would probably be more than enough for your father to take you behind the woodshed and remind you, via a lot of pain, just how real you really are.

    🙂

    Let’s just say, where logic and evidence presented by professors may fail to convince a son who is in college that he is not the only person in the world and/or that he is not an illusion, a father will have far more success in convincing him otherwise! 🙂

    “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.”
    – J. Budziszewski

    Verses:

    Romans 1:22 and 25
    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, ,,,
    25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    The Hard Problem of consciousness is still hard and religious belief does not make it any easier. We do not observe consciousness that is not intimately correlated with the physical substrate of a brain and we do observe that when the brain is destroyed the associated consciousness disappears irretrievably as far as we can tell. That alone is significant evidence for the physical basis of consciousness.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, you really need to preface your statements with the qualifier of ‘there is no evidence that I will personally accept’ of consciousness existing apart from the material brain.’

    As to there being evidence, millions of Near Death Experiences testify against your personal belief that consciousness can not exist apart from the material brain.

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test
    Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species, which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2012/10/near_death_expe_1/

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/8

    Seversky, you really need to preface your statements with the qualifier of ‘there is no evidence that I will personally accept’ of consciousness existing apart from the material brain.’

    Why should I? It’s not a true statement of my position

    As to there being evidence, millions of Near Death Experiences testify against your personal belief that consciousness can not exist apart from the material brain.

    Millions of people have dreamed of flying. That does not mean they flew unaided at any time in objective reality. NDE’s may be no more than an internal experience like a dream. They are real to the person experiencing them but they do not correspond to any events in objective reality. What reasons are there to think they may be anything else?

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/6

    If you telling your father, via your high priced college education in philosophy, that you are the only person who really exists in the universe, is enough for your father to formally ‘educate you’ on exactly who is paying for your high priced college education, then subsequently telling your father, via your high priced college education, that you don’t really even exist at all and that you are just an illusion would probably be more than enough for your father to take you behind the woodshed and remind you, via a lot of pain, just how real you really are.

    So physical violence is a proper answer to beliefs you disagree with?

    Is that what the father should do if a student comes back from a high-priced college education in physics with the belief that nothing exists unless you are looking at it?

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states, “Why should I? It’s not a true statement of my position”

    Au contraire. You simply refuse to accept the testimony of millions of Near Death Experiences. Whether you admit it or not, that is prima facie evidence for consciousness existing apart from the material brain that you simply refuse to personally accept.

    As to your (oft repeated) claim that the experiences are just a dream and or hallucination of the material brain. Brain surgeon Dr. Eben Alexander commented,

    Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten – 10/24/2013
    Excerpt: To take the approach of, “Oh it had to be a hallucination of the brain” is just crazy. The simplistic idea that NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are a trick of a dying brain is similar to taking a piece of cardboard out of a pizza delivery box, rolling it down a hill and then claiming that it’s an identical event as rolling a beautiful Ferrari down a hill. They are not the same at all. The problem is the pure materialist scientists can be so closed-minded about it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....51093.html

    Moreover, your hypothesis that the experiences are just a drean= m and/or hallucination has be tested and has been found wanting.

    In the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely ‘false memories’ by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
    Simply put, they did not expect the results they got: To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    My question for you Seversky is this, exactly how is it remotely possible for something to become even ‘more real than real’ for a person having an NDE unless the infinite Mind of God truly is the basis for all reality, and this material reality we presently live in, and as is claimed in Christianity, is really just a shadow of the heavenly paradise that awaits us after death?

    After all, in any model of reality that we may put forth, consciousness, (and certainly NOT material particles), is the primary prerequisite of all possible prerequisites.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    – Max Planck (1858–1947), one of the primary founders of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931“

    Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    Thus the Christian readily understands how Near Death Experiences can be ‘more real than real’. Whereas, on the other hand, not only do Darwinian materialists not have a clue how such a ‘more real than real’ finding is possible, when. push comes to shove, and as mentioned previously in. post 6, Darwinian materialists, in response to ‘the hard problem of consciousness’ end up (insanely) claiming that consciousness itself is an illusion.

    Here are a few ‘more real than real’ quotes,

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    – per nbc chicago

    Medical Miracles – Dr. Mary Neal’s Near Death Experience – video (More real than real quote at 37:49 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/WCNjmWP2JjU?t=2269

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

    “I was in the spiritual dimension. And this spiritual dimension, this spiritual world, that’s the real world. And this spiritual man that I was seeing and perceiving, that was the real me. And I instantly knew it. The colors are brighter. The thoughts are more intense. The feelings have greater depth. They’re more real. In the spirit world instantly I knew that this is the real world.,,,”
    – The Near Death Experience of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/voak1RM-pXo?t=1655

    Verse

    John 3:12
    If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 10, I suggest you take it up with the father(s) who shelled out tens of thousands of dollars of his hard earned money for his son to be ‘properly educated’ that he doesn’t really exist as a real person but is merely an illusion.

    🙂

    I’m sure the father might like to talk to you behind the woodshed as well.

    Don’t forget to tell him that, under Darwinism, morality is illusory as well, before you go to the back of the woodshed with him.

    He might find that piece of information, (i.e. morality doesn’t really exist), useful before he begins his little ‘lesson plan’ for you behind the woodshed.

    🙂

  13. 13
    mike1962 says:

    Seversky: We do not observe consciousness that is not intimately correlated with the physical substrate of a brain

    Um, no, you don’t observe consciousness at all… except for your own. It’s the primary fact of your existence. (Assuming you are conscious at all- I have no way of knowing that.)

    Which makes this so fun.

  14. 14
    doubter says:

    Seversky,

    Your closed-minded materialist position is a good example of what could charitably be termed delusional thinking, or deliberate ignorance of the data.

    Just to start with, there are so many elements and characteristics of NDEs that make it preposterous to suggest that they are illusionary or dreams or hallucinations, that it is hard to see how a rational person can seriously consider this hypothesis. This is so much the case that I think it would be more interesting to examine what sort of twisted mindset could generate such a belief. This would apparently start with an immovable conviction or compulsion that the mind must be the brain and that a soul and an afterlife are fantasy.

    A good example of the research data on NDEs is the book The Self Does Not Die by Rivas, Driven and Smit, which contains numerous well-investigated veridical NDEs, divided into several categories, such as extrasensory veridical perception of the immediate environment, extrasensory veridical perception of events beyond the reach of the physical senses, awareness and extrasensory veridical perception during cardiac arrest and other conditions during which the brain is dysfunctional, telepathy, after-death communication with strangers, and after-death communication with familiar people. There are also a number of other additional categories of paranormal veridical phenomena accompanying some NDEs. Overall, more than 100 investigated veridical paranormal NDE cases are documented.

    In these cases, orthodox physicalist explanations could not possibly account for the remembered veridical perceptions many of which are visual later reported by the patients in their accounts of the experiences.

    The power of numbers also operates here, in that even if some few of the cases actually have ordinary medical of other explanations, this can’t possibly account for all of the cases. Even one truly anomalous paranormal veridical case constitutes strong prima facie empirical evidence for separation of consciousness from the physical body during the reported NDE. There are cumulatively countless numbers of cases.

    Also, looking at the big picture, parapsychology and psychical investigation over the last 130 years have accumulated a very large body of other types of empirical verified evidence for separation of the mind from the physical body (or in some cases veridical perceptions while conscious in the body that imply independence of consciousness from the physical brain). Furthermore, a number of very strong philosophical arguments in the discipline of philosophy of mind have been developed that very logically establish the untenability of physicalism in general and specifically in philosophy of mind. Again, the power of numbers operates. Even if ultimately some of this empirical data and some of these philosophical arguments are somehow invalid, all it takes is one valid one to establish the case against physicalism.

    Further still, concerning the numerous neuroscience studies researching neural phenomena such as revealed by FMRI scans and the like: they are ultimately interpretable as just as likely to be mere correlations of neural activity with consciousness, as they are interpretable as evidence that mind = brain.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/11

    You simply refuse to accept the testimony of millions of Near Death Experiences. Whether you admit it or not, that is prima facie evidence for consciousness existing apart from the material brain that you simply refuse to personally accept.

    I accept the existence of a large number of accounts of what are called Near Death Experiences. I doubt that they are anything other than subjective experiences like dreams but perhaps the results of the AWARE II study will shed light on the question.

    In the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely ‘false memories’ by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
    Simply put, they did not expect the results they got: To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    The researchers found that the NDEs were associated with more vivid experiences of both real and imaginary events, which sounds like they have some similarities to experiences induced by hallucinogenic drugs.

    University of Liège researchers have demonstrated that the physiological mechanisms triggered during NDE lead to a more vivid perception not only of imagined events in the history of an individual but also of real events which have taken place in their lives!

    They don’t claim that they are experiences of some sort of afterlife.

    NDEs feel “even more real than real,” Laureys said. It’s this sparkling clarity and living color of the experience, which many have when they lose consciousness, that he and his team have researched.

    But he doesn’t think it comes from a spirit world. Laureys is a scientist, he emphasizes. He prefers not to mix that with religion.

    His hypothesis is that near-death experiences originate in human physiology. “It is this dysfunctional brain that produces these phenomena,” he said.

    My question for you Seversky is this, exactly how is it remotely possible for something to become even ‘more real than real’ for a person having an NDE unless the infinite Mind of God truly is the basis for all reality, and this material reality we presently live in, and as is claimed in Christianity, is really just a shadow of the heavenly paradise that awaits us after death?

    My questions to you would be, first what does “more real than real” mean other than something like “more vivid” and, second, given that drugs can also induce vivid experiences, why should we leap to the conclusion that they are experiences of an afterlife?

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    Mike1962/13

    Um, no, you don’t observe consciousness at all… except for your own. It’s the primary fact of your existence. (Assuming you are conscious at all- I have no way of knowing that.)

    Okay, we do not experience the consciousness of others – assuming they exist at all – but we do observe behavior in others which is indicative they are experiencing consciousness much as we do.

    And for all those who can argue that this Universe could be a figment of their imagination I doubt there are any who would be willing to step in front of a speeding truck just to prove the point.

  17. 17
    mike1962 says:

    Seversky: Okay, we do not experience the consciousness of others – assuming they exist at all – but we do observe behavior in others which is indicative they are experiencing consciousness much as we do.

    A.I. could conceivably do the behaviors. So it’s not evidence for consciousness. Just evidence of intelligence.

  18. 18
    Truthfreedom says:

    7 Seversky

    The Hard Problem of consciousness is still hard

    Not under the hylemorphic view of the human being.
    Materialism’s Failures: Hylemorphism’s Vindication. (Aristotle is back).

  19. 19
    BobRyan says:

    When one understands how consciousness is define, it is not particularly difficult to grasp.

    Merriam-Websters defines consciousness as:

    1a : the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself
    b : the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact
    c : awareness especially : concern for some social or political cause The organization aims to raise the political consciousness of teenagers.
    2 : the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought : mind
    3 : the totality of conscious states of an individual
    4 : the normal state of conscious life regained consciousness
    5 : the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consciousness

    We can go through each of the 5 definitions to prove consciousness.
    1. Being aware of an external object. Any time you don’t bump into a wall or stop to open a door proves this to be true. Even blind people use the aid of a cane to help detect external objects, since they are aware of the their presence.
    2. Any time you are aware of your thoughts, which happens whenever you type a response in UD, or anywhere else, proves an awareness of thought. Without awareness of thought, the letters would be nothing more than a bunch of letters with no meaning.
    3. The totality of the individual. This is understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual through trial and error. Just because someone wants to do something, doesn’t mean they have the ability to do it.
    4. The normal state of conscious life, meaning being aware of your surroundings. When someone passes out, they lose consciousness. When they come to, they regain consciousness.
    5. Being aware of something that happens on the subconscious level. A heart beating is evidence of being aware of something happening on the subconscious level.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Doubter’ at 14 is simply devastating to Seversky’s position.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 15 states,

    “I doubt that they are anything other than subjective experiences like dreams”

    Yet, the ‘more real than real’ aspect of NDE’s that I cited refutes your ‘they are just dreams’ hypothesis.

    In regards to the study I cited, you state, “They don’t claim that they are experiences of some sort of afterlife.”

    So what? I did not claim that they did claim that. I claimed that they had a bias against NDEs being real,

    materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely ‘false memories’ by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
    Simply put, they did not expect the results they got: To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    As the article I cited stated,

    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.

    The fact they they got results that were completely contradictory to their original hypothesis is strong evidence against their original hypothesis being true.

    You cited that a researcher still, “doesn’t think it comes from a spirit world”.

    Yet, that a researcher refused to believe his own results of his own experiment, i.e. “he doesn’t think it comes from a spirit world”, does not take away from the fact that his own results directly contradicted his original hypothesis.

    That he refused to believe his own results only testifies to the fact of how badly personal biases can blind someone and prevent them from seeing what is right before their very own eyes.

    In short, science itself, and his own results, could care less about his own personal bias that led him to deny the validity of his own results.

    Moreover, the fact that dreams and hallucinations are extremely varied in their content, whereas NDE’s all have the same basic structure to their content also refutes your hypothesis that they are just dreams and/or hallucinations (see Raymond Moody).

    Moreover, several key aspects of Near Death Experiences, (the sense of timelessness, moving through a tunnel at a extremely high rate of speed, and the feeling of being in a ‘higher’ dimension), all match what we would expect to be true beforehand from what we now know to be true from special relativity, (which happens to be one of the most accurately verified theories ever in the history of science).

    Specifically, the evidence from Special Relativity, (which is currently one of our most powerful theories in science), strongly supports the physical reality of a timeless eternity and of a heavenly dimension that exists above this temporal dimension.

    As to a timeless eternity, we now know from special relativity, that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop for a hypothetical observer travelling at the speed of light.

    To grasp the whole concept of time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the very same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into special relativity. Here is a short clip from a video that gives us a look into Einstein’s breakthrough insight.

    Einstein: Einstein’s Miracle Year (‘Insight into Eternity’ – Thought Experiment 55 second mark) – video
    http://www.history.com/topics/.....racle-year

    That time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, and yet light moves from point A to point B in our universe, and thus light is obviously not ‘frozen within time, has some fairly profound implications as to verifying the reality of eternal, i.e. timeless, dimension.

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Dr. Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 11

    The only way it is possible for time not to pass for light, and yet for light to move from point A to point B in our universe, is if light is of a higher dimensional nature of time than the temporal time that we are currently living in. If this were not the case, then light would simply be ‘frozen within time’ to our temporal frame of reference.

    And indeed that is exactly what we find. “Hermann Minkowski- one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space.”

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

    One way for us to more easily understand this higher dimensional framework for time that light exist in is for us to visualize what would happen if a hypothetical observer approached the speed of light.
    In the following video clip, at around the 2:40 minute mark, (a video which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors), we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video – full relativistic effects featured at around the 2:40 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/JQnHTKZBTI4?t=161

    Interestingly, as was visualized at the 3:00 minute mark of the preceding video, (i.e. all of the light concentrating into the direction of travel, i.e. the light visualized at the ‘end of the tunnel’ in the video), is termed to be the ‘headlight effect’

    Relativistic aberration
    Relativistic aberration is the relativistic version of aberration of light, including relativistic corrections that become significant for observers who move with velocities close to the speed of light. It is described by Einstein’s special theory of relativity.,,,
    One consequence of this is that a forward observer should normally be expected to intercept a greater proportion of the object’s light than a rearward one; this concentration of light in the object’s forward direction is referred to as the “searchlight effect” (or headlight effect).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_aberration

    Now that we have outlined the basics of what we know to be physically true from special relativity, It is very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in heavenly Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know to be physically true about Special Relativity.

    For instance, many times people who have had a Near Death Experience mention that their perception of time was radically altered. In the following video clip, Mickey Robinson gives his Near Death testimony of what it felt like for him to experience a ‘timeless eternity’.

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voak1RM-pXo

    And here are a few more quotes from people who have experienced Near Death, that speak of how their perception of time was radically altered as they were outside of their material body during their NDEs.

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – Near Death Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    As well, Near Death Experiencers also frequently mention going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension:

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, (besides being able to ‘miraculously” see for the first time during in her life during her Near Death Experience), Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel at a ‘horrifically’ rapid rate of speed:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, the two Near Death Experiencers both testify that they firmly believed that they were in a higher heavenly dimension that is above this three-dimensional world, and that the reason that they have a very difficult time explaining what their Near Death Experiences actually felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    Mary C. Neal, MD – To Heaven And Back pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    John Burke – Imagine Heaven pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    That what we now know to be true from special relativity, (namely that it outlines a ‘timeless’, i.e. eternal, dimension that exists above this temporal dimension), would fit hand and glove with the personal testimonies of people who have had a deep heavenly NDEs is, needless to say, powerful evidence that their testimonies are, in fact, true and that they are accurately describing the ‘reality’ of a higher heavenly dimension, that they experienced first hand, and that they say exists above this temporal dimension.

    I would even go so far as to say that such corroboration from ‘non-physicists’, who, in all likelihood, know nothing about the intricacies of special relativity, is a complete scientific verification of the overall validity of their personal NDE testimonies.

    Verse:

    Matthew 6:33
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the main debate between ID advocates and Darwinists also supports the reality of a immaterial soul that is capable of living past the death of our material bodies.

    Namely, the main debate between Darwinists and ID advocates has to do with the sheer inability of the unguided material processes of Darwinian evolution to account for the immaterial information that is now found to be ubiquitous within life.

    Indeed, immaterial information is now known to ‘run the show’ in biology.

    Yet, it is the immaterial nature of information itself that forever prevents Darwinists from ever giving a adequate explanation for its origin in biological systems and which is also what happens to support the reality of a immaterial soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies..

    As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in this following video, information is immaterial in its fundamental nature and therefore, by its very nature, is beyond the scope of any possible materialistic explanation.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    – Stephen Meyer – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    Moreover, in addition to this immaterial ‘classical’ information that Dr. Meyer was referring to, there is also now known to be immaterial ‘quantum’ information that is also found to be ubiquitous within life. (of technical note: as far as physics is concerned, ‘classical’ sequential information is to be considered a subset of non-local ‘quantum’ information)

    “What happens is this classical information (of DNA) is embedded, sandwiched, into the quantum information (of DNA). And most likely this classical information is never accessed because it is inside all the quantum information. You can only access the quantum information or the electron clouds and the protons. So mathematically you can describe that as a quantum/classical state.”
    Elisabeth Rieper – Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information resides along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    The interesting thing about quantum information is that it is non-local, i.e. beyond space and time, and also that it is also conserved, i.e. it cannot be created nor destroyed.

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    The obvious implication of finding ‘non-local’, (beyond space and time), and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created nor destroyed), quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule of our material bodies, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence directly implying that we do indeed have an immaterial, and ‘eternal,, soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.
    As Stuart Hameroff states ‘it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09QM86XBVKM

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Thus, as far as the science itself is concerned, (from numerous angles of science I might add), the science itself overwhelmingly supports the validity of NDEs.

    Whereas atheists in general, and Seversky in particular, are forced, (in the face of all this scientific evidence that is in direct contradiction to their position), to try to maintain that NDEs are merely dreams and/or hallucinations of the material brain.

    What is REALLY ironic about Atheists trying to claim that NDEs themselves are merely imaginary is that, (for the atheist who is committed to the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution), EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, becomes imaginary and/or illusory in his worldview.

    (Especially with the fairly resent falsification of ”realism” by Leggett’s inequality),,, there is simply nothing that can be said to be truly ‘real’ in the Darwinists reductive materialistic worldview.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Darwinian Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism vs. Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaksmYceRXM

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    One final note, perhaps Instead of me trying to prove that NDEs are real to Seversky, perhaps it would have been a much better tactic for me to make Seversky try to prove to me that he is real and that he is not merely a figment of my imagination?

    Besides being a better debating tactic, it would have also been a far more humorous debate with Seversky as well (that is if Seversky really exists as a real person and is not merely a figment of my imagination).

    🙂

  23. 23
    ET says:

    Yes, there is a physical BASIS for the consciousness of PHYSICAL beings. So what? That doesn’t mean consciousness is reducible to the physical.

  24. 24

    God and the Afterlife: Latest Findings from the Largest NDE Study Ever Reported
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfiwd2PzXvw
    He actually talks very little about “God,” and only in clinical terms about what NDEr’s report. There is an incredible amount of evidence in addition to NDE research that make it clear that we continue to exist after the death of the body.

  25. 25
    Truthfreedom says:

    7 Seversky

    That alone is significant evidence for the physical basis of consciousness.

    Hylemorphism agrees. We need a “physical” brain. But there’s a but:

    Only Partially Dependent on Brain Activity
    “While sense experience is
    dependent
    upon sense organs for its actualization, it is not physically identical to those bodily organs or to the neural activity taking place in them. If brain or end organ activity ceases or is damaged, sense experience ceases or is impaired, which shows some form of dependence of sense experience on brain activity.” Aristotle (and the soul) are back.

  26. 26
    doubter says:

    Seversky,

    I’m still anxiously awaiting your response to my Post #14. The crickets are chirping. What doesn’t count is a response like “Go away – I won’t look at this data – it’s all suspect. (argument by dogmatic assertion and faith in materialism).

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    New Clues Found in Understanding Near-Death Experiences

    Research finds parallels to certain psychoactive drugs

    Not surprisingly, many have seized on NDEs as evidence of life after death, heaven and the existence of god. The descriptions of leaving the body and blissful unity with the universal seem almost scripted from religious beliefs about souls leaving the body at death and ascending toward heavenly bliss. But these experiences are shared across a broad range of cultures and religions so it’s not likely that they are all reflections of specific religious expectations. Instead, that commonality suggests that NDEs might arise from something more fundamental than religious or cultural expectations. Perhaps NDEs reflect changes in how the brain functions as we approach death.

    This new study compared the stories of 625 individuals who reported NDEs with the stories of more than 15,000 individuals who had taken one of 165 different psychoactive drugs. When those stories were linguistically analyzed, similarities were found between recollections of near-death and drug experiences for those who had taken a specific class of drug. One drug in particular, ketamine, led to experiences very similar to NDE. This may mean that the near-death experience may reflect changes in the same chemical system in the brain that is targeted by drugs like ketamine.

    Other drugs that cause similar experiences to NDEs include LSD and N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The famous hallucinogen LSD was as similar as ketamine to NDEs when the near-death event was caused by cardiac arrest. DMT is a hallucinogen found in South American plants and used in shamanistic rituals. It caused experiences like NDEs and is also made in the brain, leading to speculation that endogenous DMT may explain NDEs. It is not known, however, whether levels of DMT change in a meaningful way in the human brain near death, so its role in the phenomenon remain controversial.

  28. 28
    Truthfreedom says:

    27 Seversky
    Might, perhaps, and “it’s not known” and “controversial.” (From the article).
    Come back when you have something conclusive , not purely speculative.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky is getting obliterated by the overwhelming evidence for the validity of NDEs, and he apparently is getting desperate. Desperate to come up with evidence. ANY evidence.. So he reaches for his ketamine/psychedelic drug rip cord. Yet the ketamine/psychedelic drug rip cord breaks off in his hand as he is pulling it.,,,

    Near-Death Experiences and DMT – Steve Taylor Ph.D. – Oct 12, 2018
    A neurological explanation of NDEs remains elusive.
    Excerpt: Another theory is that NDEs are related to psychedelic chemicals that are naturally produced by the brain. This theory was apparently boosted recently with the release of a paper called “DMT Models the Near-Death Experience” by a team of UK researchers associated with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London. (In case you don’t know, DMT – short for dimethyltryptamine – is a hallucinogenic, similar to LSD and magic mushrooms.) Aiming to study the apparent similarities between the psychedelic substance and NDEs, the researchers gave both DMT and a placebo to 13 participants, then asked them to complete a scale of the characteristics of NDEs.
    The results were reported as showing significant overlap between the two types of experience. As the researchers concluded, “Results revealed significant increases in phenomenological features associated with the NDE, following DMT administration compared to placebo.” This appears to be true, but on closer inspection, the findings of the paper still fall far short of establishing any strong connection between DMT and NDEs.
    Of the 16 items in the NDE scale used in the study, nine items showed a high degree of crossover. These included an ‘unearthly environment,’ a sense of peace, heightened senses, harmony/unity, altered time perception, feelings of joy, bright light, and so on. However, all nine of these characteristics are generally associated with spiritual or mystical experiences, rather than just NDEs. It is well known that NDEs have a strong spiritual or mystical element to them, which is partly why they have such a powerful life-changing effect. But NDEs are not just spiritual experiences. And significantly, the seven items in this study with the least crossover between NDEs and DMT were those which differentiate NDEs from standard spiritual experiences. For example, three of the most salient characteristics of NDEs are a feeling of reaching a ‘border/point of no return,’ ‘encountering deceased/religious spirits,’ and a life review. In this study, these were amongst the least reported in DMT experiences.
    In other words, what this study seems to indicate is a relationship between DMT experiences and spiritual or mystical experiences. Since we already know that NDEs contain some of the same elements of spiritual experiences, it is not surprising that there is some relationship between NDEs and DMT experiences.
    In view of this, there is no reason to jump to the conclusion that NDEs are associated with DMT. Other researchers—such as Rick Strassman—have suggested that NDEs may be caused by the release of DMT when a person is close to death or in the process of dying. However, there is no evidence that large amounts of DMT are released close to death. It is not even certain that DMT is produced in the human body (although it has been found in the pineal gland of rats).
    The After-Effects of NDEs
    But perhaps one of the strongest arguments against any connection between NDEs and DMT is their after-effects. As I describe in my new book, Spiritual Science, in the great majority of cases, NDEs are powerfully transformative experiences. After them, a person’s values and attitude toward life are completely transformed. People often become less materialistic and more altruistic, less self-oriented and more compassionate. They often feel a new sense of purpose, and their relationships become more authentic and intimate. They report becoming more sensitive to beauty and more appreciative of everyday things. They also typically report a loss of the fear of death.
    It’s remarkable that one single experience can have such a profound, long-lasting, transformational effect. This is illustrated by research showing that people who have near-death experiences following suicide attempts very rarely attempt suicide again. This is in stark contrast to the normal pattern—in fact, a previous suicide attempt is usually the strongest predictor of actual suicide.
    This is one of the strongest arguments against the idea that NDEs are a brain-generated hallucination. Dreams and hallucinations do not generally have transformational after-effects. They are usually quickly forgotten, with a clear sense that they were delusional experiences, less authentic and reliable than ordinary consciousness. (In contrast, with NDEs there is a clear sense that the experience is more real and authentic than normal consciousness.)

    And this applies to DMT experiences, too. There is no doubt that psychedelic experiences such as DMT can sometimes be transformative to some degree. For some, they provide a glimpse of a more expansive and intense reality which makes them realize that their normal view of the world is limited. They may lead to a new interest in spirituality. However, DMT experiences are certainly not transformational to anything like the same degree as NDEs. In a 2012 paper in the Journal of Near-Death Studies, Dr. Michael Potts examined the similarities between NDEs and DMT and also concluded that salient features of NDEs are absent (such as traveling through a tunnel into a transcendent realm or the subsequent reporting of events witnessed during the experience). But most notably, in Potts’ view, DMT lacked the powerful transformative after-effects of NDEs. He concluded that in NDEs permanent change is the rule rather than the exception, whereas it is the exception rather than the rule with DMT.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201810/near-death-experiences-and-dmt
    Steve Taylor, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK.

    Maybe if Seversky started flapping his arms real hard he might find some evidence. ANY evidence, to save himself from getting obliterated by the overwhelming evidence for the validity of NDEs??? 🙂

    And please note the hypocrisy in how Seversky evaluates the evidence for the validity of NDEs compared to how he evaluates the (non)evidence for Darwinian evolution,

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.

    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

  30. 30
    Truthfreedom says:

    29 Bornagain77

    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded.

    Dr. Egnor is an intelligent man. 🙂

  31. 31
    doubter says:

    Seversky@27

    As has been pointed out, DMT experiences lack most of the fundamental features of NDEs, indicating that the two experiences are almost certainly of fundamentally different natures. Just for this reason, DMT is a poor hypothesis for materialist skeptics to base their hopes on.

    But this issue is missing the main point.

    Neither DMT or any other hallucinogen or psychoactive drug can even in principle through its effects on the physical brain enable consciousness to continue while the brain is dysfunctional due to cardiac arrest, for instance. And neither DMT or any other hallucinogen or psychoactive drug can through its effects on the physical brain enable consciousness to observe the emergency or operating room from above, remembering details not observable from the table or discussed by the doctors. Aside from the fact that in this situation the NDEer’s brain is usually dysfunctional, prohibiting any physical observations at all. And so on for all the other veridical paranormal evidence of a separation occurring between the mind and the brain, obtained from the NDEers’ accounts that I referred to that are documented in just that one book I cited.

    This is the key point that blows the DMT theory out of the water. You have simply totally failed to engage with the points of evidence and other factors that I cited.

    The materialist scientists that push such theories to explain away NDEs always conveniently ignore all the veridical evidence, assuming in their arrogant superiority that it doesn’t exist because it can’t exist according to their ideology. And of course they also ignore the DMT experience’s failure to exhibit the most important and transcendental features of NDEs.

  32. 32
    Truthfreedom says:

    Seversky is shedding bitter tears.

  33. 33
    mike1962 says:

    Seversky, maybe you’re right, and maybe you’re wrong, but you’re concerned about the question.

    Aren’t chya?

    Hehe. Hehehehe.

    P.S. Hehehehehehehehehe

  34. 34
    Seversky says:

    Doubter/14

    Your closed-minded materialist position is a good example of what could charitably be termed delusional thinking, or deliberate ignorance of the data.

    The other side of that coin is that the credulous are far too easily swayed by flimsy data just because they think it says what they desperately want to hear.

    Just to start with, there are so many elements and characteristics of NDEs that make it preposterous to suggest that they are illusionary or dreams or hallucinations, that it is hard to see how a rational person can seriously consider this hypothesis.

    If I told you I had died briefly, been drawn down a ‘tunnel’ towards a blinding light, gone to heaven and then returned to this life, would you believe me or not? Either way, how would you decide? Because that is all you have as evidence just multiplied by hundreds of thousands. Did we all experience an afterlife or were we ‘tripping out’ on some distortion of the biochemistry of the brain?

    A good example of the research data on NDEs is the book The Self Does Not Die by Rivas, Driven and Smit, which contains numerous well-investigated veridical NDEs, divided into several categories, such as extrasensory veridical perception of the immediate environment, extrasensory veridical perception of events beyond the reach of the physical senses, awareness and extrasensory veridical perception during cardiac arrest and other conditions during which the brain is dysfunctional, telepathy, after-death communication with strangers, and after-death communication with familiar people.

    I haven’t read that book so I can’t comment on it specifically but I have read about NDE’s and when you actually look critically at the alleged verifying evidence, while there are a few instances which are certainly difficult to explain, a lot of it does not stand up to close scrutiny.

    In these cases, orthodox physicalist explanations could not possibly account for the remembered veridical perceptions many of which are visual later reported by the patients in their accounts of the experiences.

    And in other cases, patients reported procedures that did not happen as described and the wrong equipment present. A scientific evaluation has to take all of that data into account.

    Also, looking at the big picture, parapsychology and psychical investigation over the last 130 years have accumulated a very large body of other types of empirical verified evidence for separation of the mind from the physical body (or in some cases veridical perceptions while conscious in the body that imply independence of consciousness from the physical brain).

    And yet, in spite of all that effort, none of the alleged paranormal phenomena under investigation have been established to exist. Compare that with the case of the neutrino in physics which went from being a purely hypothetical particle proposed in 1930 to being confirmed by experiment just 25 years later.

    The Hard Problem of consciousness, trying to explain how the mind could arise from the physical brain, is still hard. But the hard evidence, that when the brain is destroyed the associated consciousness disappears for good, is also hard to ignore.

  35. 35
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/29

    Seversky is getting obliterated by the overwhelming evidence for the validity of NDEs, and he apparently is getting desperate. Desperate to come up with evidence. ANY evidence.. So he reaches for his ketamine/psychedelic drug rip cord. Yet the ketamine/psychedelic drug rip cord breaks off in his hand as he is pulling it.,,,

    What overwhelming evidence? You have a set of data comprised of a large number of anecdotal accounts of subjective experiences which have some characteristics in common. That’s all. That data could be evidence for a theory of life after death if you can find other evidence for an afterlife existing at all. Otherwise it is not a theory, just speculation. The experiences could also be something like dreams or hallucinations. For this explanation we can at least cite examples of similar – although not exactly the same – vivid experiences produced by hallucinogens or psychoactive drugs. Both explanations are still speculative but with the evidence in favor of the biochemical explanation being slightly stronger.

  36. 36
    Truthfreedom says:

    35 Seversky

    The other side of that coin is that the credulous are far too easily swayed by flimsy data just because they think it says what they desperately want to hear.

    This coming from the guy who offers as “proof” to support his materialist side a pseudo-scientific paper filled with the words: might, perhaps, it’s not known and controversial.
    Very flimsy and desperate indeed.

  37. 37
    Truthfreedom says:

    35 Seversky

    The Hard Problem of consciousness, trying to explain how the mind could arise from the physical brain, is still hard.

    The HP is only “hard” for the materialist side, that has failed strepitously as a worldview and is trying to resist its impending doom with all its might.

    But the hard evidence, that when the brain is destroyed the associated consciousness disappears for good, is also hard to ignore.

    Yes, hylemorphism agrees that we need a brain. The problem for your failed materialist paradigm is that there’s more to it than just the brain. That’s why your side is stuck and we are forced to hear the most glaring non-sense coming out of the mouths of atheist “philosophers”.
    Materialism is over. Get over it. Mind reigns supreme.

    Materialism’s Failures: Hylemorphism’s Vindication. (Aristotle is back).

  38. 38
    Truthfreedom says:

    35 Seversky

    Both explanations are still speculative but with the evidence in favor of the biochemical explanation being slightly stronger.

    In your kindergarten dreams only.
    There is zero proof that the brain “generates” the mind.
    And no amount of “promissory materialism” will help you.
    The physicalist side has failed.
    Aristotle (and the soul) are back.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, (as a Darwinist with no real time experimental evidence to support your claims), the hypocrisy is literally dripping off every word when you write,

    The other side of that coin is that the credulous are far too easily swayed by flimsy data just because they think it says what they desperately want to hear.

    To repeat Egnor:

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a protein/gene, or of a molecular machine), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.

    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    Moreover (as was pointed out in post 21 and 22, and as you apparently ignored), besides tens of millions of such profoundly life changing experiences (that you ‘yawn’ at), special relativity, one of our most powerful theories in science, and the immaterial nature of information itself, specifically, the immaterial nature of biological information (which Darwinian materialism has no hope of ever providing a coherent explanation of), both those lines of ‘scientific evidence’ offer strong corroborating evidence for the validity of those 1ens of millions of NDE testimonies (which you ‘yawn’ at).
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/can-logic-or-evidence-help-you-decide-if-you-are-not-the-only-human-who-has-ever-existed/#comment-712849

    Seversky, In terms of someone having personal biases that unfairly skew how they weigh the evidence for or against something, I would not be so quick to accuse others of having personal biases if I were you.

    I have seen you personally write vehement diatribes against God that are on par with what Richard Dawkins wrote in ‘The God Delusion’.

    Dawkins gives a unsolicited recital of his diatribe for Ben Stein in the following interview,,,

    Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

    ,,, Since you apparently agree wholeheartedly with Dawkins, then, as should be needless to say, that is a clear indication that you certainly ARE NOT a neutral arbiter of evidence for anything having to do with God and/or with the afterlife.

    Seversky, although (after all these years of debating you), I have scant hope that you will ever be fair with the evidence for God and/or the afterlife, perhaps if you made a conscious effort to set aside your irrational hostility towards God , and then tried to take a fresh look at the evidence, then that would be a big help for you in you weighing the evidence much more fairly than you are currently doing?

    Proverbs 11:1
    A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

  40. 40
    doubter says:

    Seversky,

    As I expected, you refuse to look at the data and simply without substantiation claim it’s “flimsy”, despite many multiply witnessed and verified accounts of paranormal extrasensory perception during NDEs. Please give a physicalist explanation for the following case, documented in the book I cited:

    Summary of the case of a (then) 35-year-old American singer-songwriter, Pamela (Pam) Reynolds (1956–2010).

    In 1991, Reynolds had been diagnosed with a large saccular aneurysm—a sac-like bulge in the wall of a brain artery that is prone to rupture—at the base of her skull under her brain stem. If such an aneurysm does rupture, it leads to hemorrhaging that can affect the adjacent brain stem and result in death. The size and location of the aneurysm made it impossible to remove the bulge by means of a routine neurological intervention. For this reason, Reynolds was sent to neurosurgeon Robert Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Spetzler is a pioneer of the method known as hypothermic cardiac arrest, nicknamed the standstill operation. In such an operation, someone’s body temperature is dropped to between 59° and 63° F (15° to 17° C). Both heart rate and breathing are stopped, and the blood is drained from the head. In this way, normal physiological processes that could cause serious complications are avoided during operations on the brain, the major arteries, or the heart. From a biological viewpoint, the patient comes very close to death in this procedure, with the understanding that he or she will be roused back to life at the end of the operation.

    Once Reynolds was brought into the operating room, she received anesthetics, pain killers, and muscle relaxants, after which she was completely unconscious. Reynolds was hooked up to a machine that took over her breathing. Earbuds equipped with two little loudspeakers were inserted into her ears. The loudspeakers emitted 11 clicks per second at 95–100 decibels in one ear and loud white noise in the other; periodically, the clicking sound was switched to the opposite ear to avoid hearing damage. The earbuds were molded to completely fill her ear canals and then covered with gauze to keep them in place so that all other sound was blocked out. An anesthetist monitored her closely, including keeping track of her EEG to measure her brain activity and, particularly, possible reactions of her brain to the clicking sounds. Such reactions can indicate that the brain is inadvertently still active, even if there is an otherwise flat EEG. Her eyes were taped shut, her head was clamped in place, and the rest of her body was covered with sterile drapes.

    After this, neurosurgeon Spetzler began the actual operation on the aneurysm. At the same time, cardiac surgeon Camilla Mican monitored a bypass machine connected to Reynolds’s groin artery, a standard technique that is part of the total standstill operation. Her blood was pumped out of her body, cooled, and pumped back in. In this way, the entire body was cooled down. The heart function was taken over by the machine as well. Finally, the bypass machine was turned off and the aneurysm was removed without any complications. Then the machine was turned back on and used to pump blood back into the body and raise body temperature back to normal. Normal heart function was restored, tubes that had been inserted were removed, and the wounds were stitched up.

    Early in Spetzler’s part of the procedure, just before the cooling down part began, he used a surgical saw to open Reynolds’s skull. She later reported that this was when her NDE began. While Spetzler operated the saw, Reynolds perceived a sound that she identified as a musical note (a high natural D). She felt that she popped out of her body and floated above the operating table. The further she left her body behind, the clearer the tone became. Then she observed the doctors working on her body. Her vantage point was just over Spetzler’s shoulder. She saw him holding a tool that looked like an electric toothbrush. The thing made a sound that Reynolds found unpleasant, and she observed that it had a groove on top where it appeared to go into the handle. She thought the tool looked like a drill. It had interchangeable blades that resembled bits, and these bits were kept in a small case nearby that looked to her like a socket wrench case. She heard the sound of the saw grow louder. She did not see exactly where the saw bit in, but she did hear something being sawed into.

    Reynolds then heard someone say that the arteries in her right groin were too small, and somebody else answered that they should try the other side (her left groin). She thought the fuss around her lower body was strange because this was a brain operation, and she did not understand the need for an incision in the groin to connect her to the bypass machine in preparation to cool, then later warm, her blood. Sabom tried to determine to what extent Reynolds’s description of the beginning stage of the operation corresponded with the facts. He contacted Spetzler and was able to see the surgeon’s report of the operation. The correspondences were so major that even Spetzler himself could not offer any normal explanation for them. For instance, Reynolds accurately presented the exchange about her arteries. This perception was physically impossible because the exchange, even if she had been normally conscious, would at the very least have been distorted due to the ear buds.

    Note: On top of everything else, Reynolds accurately described (for a layman) the specialized Midas Rex bone saw used by Spetzler. She never had any opportunity to observe it.

    (From Rivas, Titus. The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena from Near-Death Experiences (pp.95-103). International Association for Near-Death Studies.)

  41. 41
    Truthfreedom says:

    39 Bornagain77

    Seversky, (as a Darwinist with no real time experimental evidence to support your claims), the hypocrisy is literally dripping off every word when you write,

    Seversky, Darwinism and hypocrisy are the atheist Holy Trinity. Indivisible.
    Look at how this guy, whose worldview could not be more amoral, tries to lecture us about “our sins” (not his of course, because pure as a lamb this creature is).
    I believe Seversky’s surname is Hypocrite.
    Makes sense.
    First name: Seversky
    Surname: Hypocrite.

  42. 42
    ET says:

    You gotta love the losers who say paranormal activity doesn’t exist and then refuse to actually go to the places where paranormal activity exists.

    And seeing that biochemical processes cannot account for the existence of the brain it is obvious they don’t account for the existence of the mind.

  43. 43
    john_a_designer says:

    Some time ago on another thread I argued,

    that to make a logically valid argument you need to begin with premises and propositions that are either (1) self-evidently true, (2) provably true or (3) at least probably true, otherwise your conclusion does not follow. (That’s deductive logic 101.) Unfortunately, TRUTH is not served to us on a silver platter so we seldom have the advantage of beginning with #1 or #2. Of course, the problem with #3 is: do arguments based on probabilities ever give us certainty? The answer is no. Nevertheless, that is what we are left with– there is no such thing, in most cases, with absolute proof or certainty. However, that doesn’t justify that one can throw up one’s hands and say “I believe in X therefore X is true” or “I don’t believe in Y therefore Y is not true.” Fideism and nihilism are really just two sides of the same coin. Arguments need to be about the Truth not about beliefs. The pursuit of truth requires both intellectual and ethical honesty and some degree of humility. But how can one have either intellectual or ethical honesty if one doesn’t believe in truth to begin with?

    On the other hand, deductive arguments work very well in mathematics. For example, starting with just a few self-evident definitions and postulates Euclidean geometry we are able to prove (as were the ancient Greeks) that that there are– indeed, there only can be– five regular polyhedral or Platonic solids in three dimensional space.

    Descartes no doubt was attracted to the power of that kind of logic when he tried to used cogito ergo sum as an ontological and epistemic presupposition for his philosophy. However, we don’t find the same logically conclusive stepping stones in metaphysics that we do in the axioms and postulates of mathematics. I don’t think any metaphysical system can really avoid that.

    However, I am not suggesting that using deductive and inductive logic (as well as abductive logic) are useless in determining whether or a philosophical belief is true or false. Quite to the contrary logic is the only tool really all we really have in such discussions.

    What is totally useless, on the other hand, are ungrounded personal beliefs and opinions. Doubling down on the same ungrounded personal beliefs and opinions is not advancing an argument, rather it’s being argumentative. That’s all we are getting from most of our interlocutors most of the time. Basically their argument is as follows:

    The existence of Mind and consciousness are evidence of (A) design or (B) some kind of mindless “natural” process.

    I believe in B.

    Therefore B is true.

    For example, the proposition, “to propose that mathematics was used by the designer to create the universe is beyond preposterous,” is not something that is self-evidently true. So it is an ungrounded assertion– just an opinion or belief. Stand-alone opinions and beliefs are not arguments. Doubling down on opinions and beliefs is a waste of everyone’s time.

    Nevertheless, I think starting with the fact of one’s own conscious experience of one’s own existence is a logical place to begin logically, ontologically and philosophically.

  44. 44
    doubter says:

    Seversky@34,

    “… none of the alleged paranormal phenomena under investigation have been established to exist.”

    Your claim that parapsychological phenomena including psi have not been demonstrated to be real after more than a century of investigation is totally false. A case in point is a recent survey article in American Psychologist by parapsychologist Etzel Cardena. This was an umbrella review of meta-analyses of the experimental evidence for parapsychological (psi) phenomena accumulated over many decades – “The experimental evidence for parapsychological phenomena: A review (https://doi.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Famp0000236 (Abstract, rest behind paywall).

    The article exhaustively examined the experimental evidence and concluded that the evidence across time and research paradigms is comparable to that for accepted phenomena in psychology, medicine, and other disciplines.

    The best skeptical materialists could do in their responses was in the Skeptical Enquirer by Reber and Alcock, and was remarkably weak. They knew they would lose on the grounds of the data, so it was an appeal to David Hume’s Impossibility Argument, that psi, esp and paranormal phenomena in general are impossible according to physics theory (appearing to violate four fundamental principles of physics) and therefore they were justified in simply ignoring and refusing to look at the empirical evidence. Impossible is impossible, so it is OK to ignore as irrelevant very strong empirical experimental data and evidence.

    Wow, case closed. What an excellent argument.

    Of course wrong on several counts, starting with the claim relative to physics. This ignored quantum mechanics, and ignored the fact that with time current physics theory will undoubtedly be replaced. From Cardena’s rebuttal in the Journal of Scientific Exploration (at https://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/volume-33-issue-4-2019 ): “1) Reber and Alcock’s disregard for the data goes against a core tenet of science, 2) eminent physicists have not considered psi phenomena to be incompatible with their discipline and some have even proposed theories to explain it, so no definitive conclusion can be advanced with regard to the possibility or impossibility of psi phenomena based on physics, and 3) Reber and Alcock misrepresent the history and current status of psi research.”

    Rather than being based on any kind of substantial evidence, Reber and Alcock’s criticisms are instead based on a combination of narrow personal opinion, unfounded assumption, and superficial rhetoric, leaving their claims totally unsound. It occurs to me also, that following this line of argument, the existence of consciousness itself could be ruled out, since it can’t be located among any of the standard model laws of physics. Do the researchers on realising this then disappear?

    It should be noted that your criticism here has (if it were possible) even less substance.

Leave a Reply