A rational belief in the afterlife

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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#221  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 14, 2012 9:03 am

DrParisetti wrote:It is interesting to be attacked and made fun of for claims that I never made.


Ah. Well. You who have pondered how a 'reasonable' person may 'believe' in 'afterlife'. The very first question one must ask oneself about the 'afterlife' is what comes 'after' the 'afterlife'. It's either that or deal with the absurdity of 'eternity'. Good. Let's proceed.

DrParisetti wrote:It is also interesting to note that previous post with arguments and references to evidence are happily ignored.


Anecdotes are evidence? Well, here's an anecdote, for you: I'm talking to you from my afterlife. You can tell them I said so. Just look at my avatar! I'm a fricking flash of corruscating light!

DrParisetti wrote:It is not even 12 hours ago that I repeated that I do not claim that NDE constitute "proof" of life after death. I also repeated that NDE contribute to a much larger body of evidence which support the only claim I ever made:

"based on the evidence, a rational person can believe in the afterlife"


Dr. Parisetti, I don't mean to be rude, but this is just a quibble about what how one is to qualify the term 'rational'. Until we get that sorted, all we see that you mean by 'rational' is 'being able to use rational and evidence in a single sentence.' This will never do.

DrParisetti wrote:Look at the previous post, and see how this has been completely ignored, transfigured into something which I never said and for which I am being crucified.


Imagine that! A 'rational' person about to be 'crucified'. When will the terrorism end?

DrParisetti wrote:Now, back to NDEs-

I claim that NDE are an established fact. They occur. I have provided references to peer reviewed publications.


For fuck's sake, Dr. Parisetti, don't claim that. Anecdotes of NDEs are an established fact. People tell stories, and people repeat stories that they have heard other people tell. The reasons for this are many and varied.

DrParisetti wrote:I claim that the explanations for the phenomenon which have been put forward in the past do not account for it. I have provided a synthesis of the arguments and pointed to further publications. This appears to have been completely ignored (see again the last post...).


Dr. Parisetti, please. The phenomenon you describe is 'storytelling'. You do not seriously expect me to believe the phenomenon of storytelling remains unexplained. Stories are told by people who are nowhere near death.

DrParisetti wrote:I claim that there is "evidence" ("observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions") strongly indicative that consciousness operates independently from a functioning brain.


You claim that anecdotes and storytelling about NDE are evidence that consciousness operates independently from a functioning brain. Yet all those anecdotes and stories are easily explained as the functioning of verbal centers in a functioning brain (if as dubiously-reliable memory of what the storyteller describes as NDE). The storyteller is able to get away with these anecdotes because physicians tell him after the fact that he was 'near death'.

DrParisetti wrote:This is where I knowingly touched the nerve of this community. I have dared challenging the holy grail, and for that I am immediately burnt at the stake, together with people immensely more qualified and authoritative than me.


Well, you won't get that kind of treatment from ME. I simply remind you that you are relaying the content of anecdotes to us and calling it 'evidence'. No stake. No piles of twigs set alight. No toothsome fragrance of barbeque.

DrParisetti wrote:I am burnt at the stake not for having claimed that I have "proof", but for simply entertaining the idea and for daring to say that I looked at the evidence and I find it "strongly indicative".


Why so serious? All you have claimed is that it rational to believe in the afterlife. And whatever comes after that, come what may. And then, after that. Perhaps there is a slight problem calling it the 'afterlife', and that you are only being 'crucified' for using an imprecise terminology to refer to an imprecise semantic quicksand.

DrParisetti wrote:- I have briefly described two experiments by Dr. Sabom. Not one single comment focussed on the substance, as far as I know this has been completely ignored in this discussion. I have pointed to a book with the details on the experimental procedure and the findings. This was thoroughly ignored, probably on grounds that "it's not peer reviewed and therefore it's automatically false". An extreme position which which I strongly disagree, and which DOES NOT APPLY HERE, since I DON'T FUCKING CLAIM THAT THIS IS "PROOF".

- I have referred to the PhD dissertation of Penny Sartori, which confirms the findings of the Atlanta study by Dr. Sabom, and provided references. Did I read ONE comment on the substance of it? No, I just heard what fuckwits me, Bruce Grayson and - implicitly - at least a couple more dozens others are.

- I have summarised the findings of the study by Janice Holden, which are perfectly consistent with the three studies above, and provided references. The comments I got were "I cannot read it because you have to pay for it". Not ONE comment on the substance.


Sorry, Dr. Parisetti: You are interpreting what you claim are research results. You are telling us anecdotes about methodology. And you imply that skepticism of those anecdotes is a function of bias. This is not how the research community functions, and if you were yourself a researcher, you would know that.

DrParisetti wrote:- I have not referred to three other peer-reviewed studies on the same subject, because the sample size is admittedly small. I should have, because for me as a rational person these contribute to my assessment that the evidence is "strongly indicative" of consciousness operating independently from and outside the physical body (which, I repeat for the fourth time in this thread, IS THE ONLY CLAIM I HAVE EVER MADE WITH REGARD TO NDEs).


NDEs are all reported anecdotally by subjects who are not dead at the time.

DrParisetti wrote:- I have not even dreamed of referring to the mass of purely anecdotal evidence about veridical out-of-body experiences during (but certainly not limited to) NDEs. This is what people who have had the experience say, and I know all too well that for this audience this is automatically false (fantasy, confabulations, "need to belief", chance, hallucinations, misreporting, selective memory, sensory clues, should I go on?). For me as a rational person, this kind of anecdotes are observations of a phenomenon and DO constitute an element of evidence. As rational person, I don't automatically "believe" them and do not use them to jump to conclusions. I observe that these accounts are perfectly consistent with research findings and this further adds to my assessment of the evidence being "strongly indicative".


The research findings do not report any observations made on the brains of cadavers. Or, tell me I'm wrong about this.

DrParisetti wrote:The few comments which have indirectly addressed the substance I have presented here do entertain the possibility that the reported experiences are real, but basically say

- they happened before or after "normal" consciousness shut down, and/or

- a highly structured conscious experience, strikingly consistent across a large number of variables, and the production of long-term memories are possible when cortex is out.


No matter how you slice it, anecdotes from subjects who were near death are not as good as anecdotes from cadavers as far as 'afterlife' is concerned. The anecdotes paired with neurological data are from subjects who clearly were in the before afterlife stage of life.

DrParisetti wrote:As to the first, this in inconsistent with the available experimental data and with the anecdotal evidence.

As to the second, I consider THIS is a completely preposterous claim. I would be grateful to anybody suggesting a mechanism which would explain it.


What, anecdotes paired with neurological data not taken on cadavers? What are we to make of it all?

DrParisetti wrote:So, can any of the trigger-easy persons who have insulted and ridiculed me (not important at all, just to say this hasn't gone unnoticed) explain to me what intellectual crime I have committed with my claim (MY FUCKING CLAIM, REPEATED SEVERAL TIMES, NOT WHAT YOU THINK I CLAIM).

When you will have explained to me why, based on what's written in this post, I am not rational, and therefore not even worth talking to, perhaps we can proceed and I can develop my argument further.


Far be it from me to try to convince you that you are rational or not. If you are uneasy that no one accepts your interpretation of what constitutes evidence for the afterlife, how is that a cause of concern for you?
Last edited by Cito di Pense on Sep 14, 2012 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#222  Postby chairman bill » Sep 14, 2012 9:12 am

DrParisetti, a couple of pages back (post 180) I asked some questions which you might want to look at, even offer an answer or two.

You might note that from the very beginning I accepted that a rational person could believe in an afterlife. I have throughout this thread, acknowledged the fact that there are interesting accounts associated with NDEs, and that they raise some equally intersting questions concerning consciousness. They are worthy of further enquiry. Where I have a problem is with your leap to asserting that these things point towards survival of death & a discarnate consciousness. I maintain that the jury must still be out on this, and that the data, such as it is, does not enable us to make any firm conclusions whatsoever. Further study & some carefully crafted experimentation is required. Something interesting is going on with human consciousness, and I for one would like to know what it is.

But your premature conclusions are problematic, and I've tried to raise some of the problematic issues with you, but you seem to avoid addressing the questions that arise.

I've copied the post (#180) below, to save you trawling back through the thread. I'd appreciate it if you could consider some of these questions, and maybe answer them.


chairman bill wrote:
DrParisetti wrote:... What may survive? - some keep asking. According to what we are told, “you”. Your personality, sense of self, identity, your memory, thoughts, likes, dislikes – all the “objects in consciousness” that build the fundamental perception of being alive and being you. (I use objects in consciousness as a technical term, and I will soon explain).


Did you see the earlier post of mine, where I asked about the survival of individual personalities? When you say that these things survive, does that mean someone with dementia goes into the afterlife in that state? Memories shot to bits, cognitive functions in a considerable mess ... and what about dead babies? Do still-born babies give up a foetal ghost? What about brain injuries? How do they impact on the surviving personality? I've seen patients who've undergone serious personality & other changes following brain injuries. If they then die, do they survive as the brain-injured version, or the previous version?

And when does the bit that survives death actually come into being? I mean, all those things you mention develop over time. So at some point, I presume a body develops this 'soul'. At what point does it come into being? Conception? Is it the joining of a sperm consciousness & an ovum consciousness? Where does it go after death? Lots of NDE cases report meeting other beings, some are religious figures, some aren't. Interestingly, the numbers who meet Jesus rise significantly amongst the religious. Non-religious people tend not to see him so much. Do you have any cross-cultural info? I imagine Wiccans might meet a goddess figure, or the Horned God, whereas Muslims probably meet Mo, or an angel or something. Should dead Hindus carry a spiritual currant bun & some peanuts, just in case they meet Ganesh? Or might the cultural specificity suggest hallucination rather than anything else?
“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” Terry Pratchett
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#223  Postby Made of Stars » Sep 14, 2012 9:13 am

One of the core problems here, is that there's a hope or wish that one can extrapolate from 'near-death' experiences, to 'after-death' experiences, without a single 'after death experience' to draw on. Unless we redefine 'after death' to mean 'really really close to but not quite dead', of course.

A more accurate thread title, IMO, might have been 'A rational belief in life after life', but there's a logical fail with that title that I can't quite put my finger on. :scratch:
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#224  Postby John P. M. » Sep 14, 2012 9:16 am

At best, you'd have "A rational belief that something is going on in very recently diseased brains".
For the 'afterlife' part, you'll need to include 'data' from the not very reputable 'mediumship' discipline.

So let's give that a crack.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#225  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 14, 2012 9:18 am

chairman bill wrote:discarnate consciousness


I think I hear some spoons rattling.

From Zaphod Beeblebrox IV: Life is wasted on the living.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#226  Postby GrahamH » Sep 14, 2012 9:21 am

Made of Stars wrote:One of the core problems here, is that there's a hope or wish that one can extrapolate from 'near-death' experiences, to 'after-death' experiences, without a single 'after death experience' to draw on. Unless we redefine 'after death' to mean 'really really close to but not quite dead', of course.

A more accurate thread title, IMO, might have been 'A rational belief in life after life', but there's a logical fail with that title that I can't quite put my finger on. :scratch:


This supposed mass of anecdotal evidence isn't just NDEs. There are "messages from beyond the grave" as well. Will we ever see any of this evidence here? I doubt it.

For the sake of discussion we can take "life after death" to be "consciousness continues through death". Death being some sort of transitional event between kinds of experience.
Why do you think that?
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#227  Postby xtraordinaryevidence » Sep 14, 2012 9:48 am

DrParisetti wrote:It is also interesting to note that previous post with arguments and references to evidence are happily ignored.


You object to being ignored (from my reading a few of your posts have been, but certainly not all), and yet here is the list of questions posed to you (up until your post #1468208) that you have yet to answer, after claiming in the OP that "I would warmly welcome a discussion...":

chairman bill wrote:Some of the questions that bother me though, are these: what purpose would it serve for that which is 'me' to have a corporeal existence? Where does this 'soul' or 'spiritual self' derive from? How did it come into being? What evolutionary process brought it into being (assuming it evolved from some simpler form)?

Further, what falsifiable theories do you have to account for the data you say you have?


Matthew Shute wrote:Firstly, when you talk about "survival" or an afterlife, do you actually mean some form of reincarnation?...

Secondly, what would you say is the most compelling evidence for "survival" or reincarnation? What form does this evidence take?


hackenslash wrote:One question though: Were any of the people you studied dead?


Bribase wrote:What kinds of evidence do you suppose we can gather in this life that would convince us of an afterlife? What standard of evidence is sufficient for "a rational person" to be convinced?

Secondly, what do you suppose makes the transition to the afterlife in the event of death?


Bribase wrote:How can we be sure that the personal experiences described in your book are the product of being close to death and not a product of the physiological condition that a subject is in at the time? How can we discern between the two?

Secondly, if we can demonstrate that these are physiological experiences as opposed to ND experiences. Would you accept that the physiological experience is the more parsimonious?


campermon wrote:Lets assume that the 'mind' survives death.

Where does this surviving mind reside and how does it process information?


Sovereign wrote:What is also being asked is how does the data look in light of new peer reviewed research which indicated that the consciousness of someone is not an independent function of the brain and it's structure but a dependent and emergent property?


Sovereign wrote:Quick question to DrParisetti, do you believe in UFOs, ghosts, ESP, telekinesis,that you're created by aliens who fused two of our chromosomes, and homeopathy? Do you understand why we're asking for peer review?


hackenslash wrote: Let me ask you, why is it that there were no tales of alien abduction until recently, and why those tales all follow a similar pattern?

Have you read The Demon-Haunted World?

Why have none of the researchers you cite attempted to win the prize offered by the Randi Foundation?


trubble76 wrote:I am interested in solid, peer-reviewed, repeatable, testable evidence, do you have any or is your position rather less convincing?


Nicko wrote:We are now four pages into this thread. In your OP, you alluded that you had an argument for the survival of ... something after bodily death. Could you please outline for us what that argument is?


chairman bill wrote: For how long after 'death' does a brain retain active processes? Do you know? Do you know what residual electrical activity might persist? And do you have any idea what happens to the brain once the person has been resuscitated?


trubble76 wrote:Cerebal anoxia is ruled out here because most subjects that were examined didn't have an NDE. Would the same logic not also rule out an afterlife as a cause of NDEs?

That raises an important question; what do you think would falsify your hypothesis? What would indicate an impossibility of the mind surving the death of the physical body?


Bribase wrote:Are you serious? You're telling me that the psychological changes you cited and I critiqued (are these the changes you are talking about?) are exclusive to NDErs? No one who has nearly died has ever shown an increased appreciation for life? No one, having been reminded of their mortality has embraced religion and a belief in a god?


Nicko wrote:Never mind the references at this stage. They can come later.

What. Is. Your. Argument?


Panderos wrote:Dr Parisetti do you think memory still works when the brain isn't working? Or is there some kind of big memory dump that occurs when the person comes back from the dead and all the memories of dead relatives are recorded in physical brain matter?


chairman bill wrote:During attempts at resuscitation, is a person dead or alive? If oxygenated blood is flowing (thanks CPR), including to the brain, should we really be surprised that some people might have some memory of the event, or hallucinations surrounding some awareness of the event?

...That brings me back to an earlier set of questions that the dear doctor has skirted around - where do these discarnate consciousnesses come from, where do they go, how do they get here (become incarnate), why do they become incarnate, do they persist after death, or do they eventually fade away as death becomes final (the sort of differences between Plato's & Aristotle's take on the soul/psyche)? I'd like to know what function they provide (they don't seem to be required for life), I'd like to know what they did before we had life, and I'd like to know whether they evolve or not. Further, what is this discarnate consciousness? How does it relate to the sense I have of 'me', given that any concept of 'me' is so tied up in the relationships I have with others, and particularly with my memories. What is this discarnate consciousness like when inhabiting a new-born, or a brain-injured patient, or someone with a dementia?


Xaihe wrote:I would like to question the idea that an inactive brain can't produce long term memories.

a) First off, what is an inactive brain? Are the laws of physics to be suspended, and if so, what causes this?
b) Are all chemical reactions in an inactive brain on hold, and if so, what causes this?
If (a) and (b), what causes brain damage in cases of cerebral hypoxia and cerebral anoxia? How do the molecules know when to resume activity (in the form of decomposition), so that near death becomes death?


Nicko wrote:And I would say again, how is it that you know these claimed memories of a conscious experience are produced whilst the brain is non-functional?


stijndeloose wrote:
DrParisetti wrote:This data also accounts for the fact that the NDE occurs WHEN the brain is not functioning, and not before or after.


How do you know this?


GrahamH wrote:Where do these gentlemen make these statements? Can we have the quotes in full, in context? (I note the ellipses)


GrahamH wrote:I'm just wondering, what proportion of NDEs occur with cardiac arrest? How many with severe head trauma or any case where the brain is hit first?


hackenslash wrote:And Bruce Grayson's experience with dead people is..?

You really do love your argumentum ad verecundiam, don't you?

Now, any chance of getting to the fucking evidence, or is it your intention to simply spam us with anecdotes from people who have no experience with dead people?


John P. M. wrote:Also, continuing on my last post, how much of an 'afterlife' would it be anyway, if this was meant to be wholly physical in nature? The brain we're talking about is dead, and unless the patient is resuscitated, that same brain will rot. Is it still giving 'hyper real sensations' after having rotted for a few weeks?


chairman bill wrote:How often do scientists measure brain activity when doctors are resuscitating someone from a cardiac arrest?


Sovereign wrote:I pointed out that if this trend is as strong as you claim it is, why hasn't it been submitted to a journal like Cognitive Neuroscience? If it's statistically significant, they can't turn the data down. My question is to why, you you position were so strong, has this not been adopted as science?


chairman bill wrote:Did you see the earlier post of mine, where I asked about the survival of individual personalities? When you say that these things survive, does that mean someone with dementia goes into the afterlife in that state? Memories shot to bits, cognitive functions in a considerable mess ... and what about dead babies? Do still-born babies give up a foetal ghost? What about brain injuries? How do they impact on the surviving personality? I've seen patients who've undergone serious personality & other changes following brain injuries. If they then die, do they survive as the brain-injured version, or the previous version?

And when does the bit that survives death actually come into being? I mean, all those things you mention develop over time. So at some point, I presume a body develops this 'soul'. At what point does it come into being? Conception? Is it the joining of a sperm consciousness & an ovum consciousness? Where does it go after death? Lots of NDE cases report meeting other beings, some are religious figures, some aren't. Interestingly, the numbers who meet Jesus rise significantly amongst the religious. Non-religious people tend not to see him so much. Do you have any cross-cultural info? I imagine Wiccans might meet a goddess figure, or the Horned God, whereas Muslims probably meet Mo, or an angel or something. Should dead Hindus carry a spiritual currant bun & some peanuts, just in case they meet Ganesh? Or might the cultural specificity suggest hallucination rather than anything else?


Shrunk wrote:You continue to evade the main issue: Even granting this finding as accurate (and since the journal is not accessible to non-subscribers, we're just going to have to take your word on that), has it been determined that the perceptions occurred when the brain was literally dead?


Shrunk wrote:So, again, can we see the evidence? Pretty please?


Bribase wrote:Did you not think to look up what the medical definitions of unconsciousness or clinical death actually are before you began making misguided claims about them?


LucidFlight wrote:So, do beings have to be sentient to qualify for an afterlife? At what stage of our evolution might such an ability have kicked in? Will we meet cavemen, dolphins and aliens when we pass to the other side?


hackenslash wrote:OK. How many of these detail the experiences of dead people? Do you actually have anything that remotely deals with the afterlife you claim it is rational to believe in, or is it jus the anecdotes of those who were still basically alive?

Are you not beginning to see a pattern formig here yet?


It would of course be unreasonable to expect you to answer all of them, but how about a couple at least?

(Sorry for the long post) :lol:
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#228  Postby Shrunk » Sep 14, 2012 10:43 am

It's too late. The thread has officially been moved to the "evidence free zone". We'll never see the evidence now. Full on spoon-bending, to coin a phrase, from here on in.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#229  Postby Fenrir » Sep 14, 2012 10:45 am

So ok, strange memories and experiences which are roughly consistent across a proportion of cases where people may have been exposed to brain anoxia are reported by people who have been resuscitated and recovered.

Therefore poltergeists.

Sorry if that causes outraged apoplexy but that is all I see so far in the reported accounts of anecdotes. Reasonable questions have so far been ignored or lamented as personal attack, why is this so often the case with people who hold to poorly supported positions?
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#230  Postby Nicko » Sep 14, 2012 10:52 am

Fenrir wrote:Reasonable questions have so far been ignored or lamented as personal attack, why is this so often the case with people who hold to poorly supported positions?


Ignoring questions or interpreting them as personal attacks is just how a person can manage to hold an unsupported position. You might as well ask why it is so often the case that things saturated with water tend to get wet.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#231  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 14, 2012 11:44 am

Oh no!

DrParisetti's already looking a little distressed, and I haven't even written my reply to the OP yet! :(

I'm going to feel like such a cunt!
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#232  Postby byofrcs » Sep 14, 2012 11:59 am

DrParisetti wrote:.....

6. We have indications that people are conscious at the moment when they are being resuscitated from a long series of well documented anecdotes. But we agreed that we will leave them aside. (Still, it would be interesting to understand why people would invent such elaborate stories, lie, and involve others in their well-orchestrated deception...). But then:

Recollections of death: A medical investigation (New York: Harper and Row, 1982). Cardiologist Michael Sabom reports on his careful and systematic work. The first part of the research consisted of collecting data: Sabom used detailed protocols to interview patients who reported visual experiences while undergoing cardiac surgery or in connection with cardiac arrests. He then went on to consult with members of the medical teams and other witnesses, and also examined the clinical records of these patients, in order to determine to what extent these perceptions could be verified. In most instances, Sabom was able to provide compelling evidence that these patients were reporting precise details concerning their operation, the equipment used, or characteristics of the medical personnel involved, which they could not have known about by normal means.

The second part of Dr. Sabom’s investigation consisted of a control procedure, devised to further test the reality of what the patients reported. He identified 25 chronic coronary care patients who had never been resuscitated, and asked them to imagine what the procedure would be like as if they were a spectator of their own resuscitation, much like the NDEers experience. The results from this control group were intriguing, to say the least. 22 of his 25 control respondents gave descriptions of their hypothetical resuscitation that were riddled with errors; their accounts were often vague, diffuse, and general. According to Sabom, the reports from patients who had actually been resuscitated were never marred by such errors and were considerably more detailed as well.

.....


As was pointed out here..

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post1466962.html?hilit=Sabom#p1466962

by shrunk who linked here - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1291546/?page=1 it appears that Cardiologist Michael Sabom is reporting NDE and that people are almost certainly aware whilst in these extreme, but clearly still alive, if unconscious, situations.

The irrational claim by you is the train of thought that extrapolates unconsciousness = no brain and thus there is a non-material afterlife. Heck for all we know the brain in your stomach is still collecting data whilst the one in your head has gone unconscious.

We do not know how anaesthetics actually work, we do not know how consciousness works, we do not know why coma victims recover... and now you want to claim when someone is unconscious in these circumstances they have no functioning brain whilst we do not actually know how it functions ?

It is stretching credulity to breaking point in that no one questions NDE probably happen (they do happen), but we rational and reasonable people question the cause being claimed to be a mind outside of the matter of the brain.

You see the problem is that you really need to give us evidence of NDE from actual recovered dead people and as far as I know this has never been done because the definition of what is dead is unclear. Recovering a clinically dead person e.g. a hypothermia victim, is simply proving the adage with hypothermia that you are not dead until you are warm and dead. What is dead is defined by the limits of our technology and not the senses of a medical team interpreting a legal definition.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#233  Postby jerome » Sep 14, 2012 12:08 pm

Actually, can anyone point me to a link for the old RD.net forum back up? I'm struggling to find it...

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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#234  Postby byofrcs » Sep 14, 2012 12:19 pm

Lets help out here; I want to see studies that use modern EEG and fMRI on victims who are by the limits of our technology, dead but then get recovered and report NDE. I see a catch-22. Our technology will be ever chasing the boundary between life and death in both the technology of detecting brain activity and the technology to perform re-animation.

It will always be the leap of faith though that whatever we report on NDE - it is irrational to say that means a non-material mind independent of the brain.

Hearts pump and Brains think. It is what that organ does. We have two centres of processing here - the CNS and the ENS - enteric nervous system. We also have neurons in the spinal column.

It is unreasonable to consider the CNS as a receiver or some kind of attractor to some non-physical mind whilst the CNS appears to be made up of cells like neurons which have roles and function that are explainable by chemistry and evolution.

If these minds do exist then what where they doing for the billion of years before we evolved ? What were they doing before there was any baryon or lepton matter in this universe ? What if humans never evolved ? What happens when humans get wiped out in so many millions of years when our Sun destroys this planet ?
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#235  Postby Bribase » Sep 14, 2012 12:35 pm

Yup. I don't think there is much more to see here.

The Doctor's arguments depend on him not being able to understand that death is a process and not a binary state. Multiple times, he has conflated the silly idea that clinical death is the same as brain death, that unconsciousness is to be posessing of a non functional brain, that our ability to detect neuronal activity actually ends at the cessation of neuronal activity, that if a subject experiences something during the transition from being alive to being near death the experience must have been while they were actually dead. From these (I'm beginning to think willful) misunderstandings he goes on to make the assertion that these are non-functional brains that are having the experience. This is a claim he has not only been unable to back up but has also demonstrated that he doesn't understand the meaning of the terms he is using.

He presents us with the conclusions he arrived at from his misunderstanding and plays the victim when his errors are pointed out. The reason we don't accept your conclusions, Doctor, is because we are unwilling to commit the same errors in logic and reasoning that you have.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#236  Postby theropod » Sep 14, 2012 12:55 pm

jerome wrote:Actually, can anyone point me to a link for the old RD.net forum back up? I'm struggling to find it...

j x


Jerome,

Be sure to thank Josh for that the next time you happen to cross paths. <wink>

I experience high levels of frustration in attempting to recover some of the oldies but goodies form back in the day. Sigh.

All,

Isn't the whole problem with extrapolating what is reported from those NEAR death experiences is the NEAR part? NEARLY dead isn't the same thing as actually BEING dead, and this simple point doesn't require a PhD in neuroscience to grasp. There is no empirical evidence of any sort of life after death, or transcendence of "self" to any other reality. None. You'll see none presented in this thread either. No personal insult implied. This is woo because it's based on what people report in a situation where they were not actually dead and gone. When I read of such evidence I'll change my tune, but I won't be altering my lifestyle in anticipation of my glorious "self" surviving into the ether.

Will the higher thoughts of other primates transcend death, and whales, and some birds and and and? Does all life combine into a great spiritual glob of life energy that makes up god? Why, or why not? Once one starts inventing possibilities isn't anything fair game?

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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#237  Postby Sovereign » Sep 14, 2012 1:42 pm

GrahamH wrote:DrParisetti's conduct here is almost as if designed to provoke objections. Will he go on to claim elsewhere that "Those lost souls, they just wouldn't listen!", or some such bollocks?

What is the agenda here? Why would anyone come to a forum claiming to have a significant body of evidence supporting a proposition yet not present any of it in detail for discussion?


He keeps using the book as his evidence. He also presented some studies, which were refuted by experts and those refutations have been posted in this thread.

Dr. Parisetti, we aren't being insulting. We're trying to have a discussion. If you had tried this at the Society of Neuroscience Conference coming up later this year, the emotional trauma would be much worse but I assume you knew that, which is why you haven't submitted an abstract to present there and instead are coming to a rational forum to argue your case. I was going to repeat my question from earlier but I see that it, and many others, have been repeated in a few posts before this one.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#238  Postby sennekuyl » Sep 14, 2012 2:00 pm

DrParisetti, I've just been back through the thread and really can't see where people are calling you an idiot. There is an inverted triangle in the top right corner of each post. If you click on it it will report those people for breaking the FUA in your opinion. You can specify what was the offending statements or phrases or just leave it blank.

I did see you repeating that NDE do actually occur. Very few people would say the patients are not experiencing an event. Just that what they experienced and perceived can't be verified to 1) have happened at the point when there was definitely no activity or 2) correctly interpreted stimuli received when the brain can be shown to be malfunctioning or working at reduced capacities. To re-iterate: Most of us (all?) are agreeing that NDEs occur --- it is when they are occurring that is disputed.*

So far I've understood your responses to the multitude of ways this has been stated is to appeal to some authority in their field. To me it is no different to claiming we should research alchemy because Isaac Newton was significantly invested in it. The response to such an appeal is that alchemy has not been shown to be effective, but please present evidence that alchemy actually does work.

A further question: Have you come across 'negative' NDEs?

* As I understand it NDEs are proposed by some to be the tipping point at which the brain is no longer interpreting the materialistic dimension and something unknown occurs that may or may not be indicative of an alternative perception. The rest of us think it is the brain coming in and the brain going out, never a miscommunication.


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Last edited by sennekuyl on Sep 14, 2012 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#239  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Sep 14, 2012 2:05 pm

Someone on here who has had a NDE should contact these researchers. When they ask if you saw anything while you were dead, say yes and make up some story that resembles a movie plot or something. Then wait and see if your testimony starts being used in all this "afterlife" research.

That way we can tell if they actually have standards for these "experiences" at the base of their claims.
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Re: A rational belief in the afterlife

#240  Postby jerome » Sep 14, 2012 2:17 pm

OK, so at lot of the criticisms would be answered if Dr Parisetti provided a study that suggests actual afterlife communication from people who were dead and went on to stay dead? He could defend the Robertson/Roy papers, or some of the Windbridge stuff. Robertson & Roy are more than happy to have their papers read by sceptics, and some forum members have read them and vk's critiques. Unfortunately they are not currently available online and I'm guessing very few posters here have heard of LEXSCIEN, let alone subscribe. However I think to make a case that is what you must do: put forward specific papers, so people can actually discus methodology, data and conclusions. A lot have been put forward by Dr Parisetti, but to most people on the forum they are just a reference they have no way of following up without substantial cash expenditure. I have a suggestion, even though as I keep saying I should keep my nose out of this -- Dr Parisetti has not commented on any of my posts after all. Still, here we go - if you look at my debate with Campermon you will see I try to make sure everyone can read the evidence and judge for themselves, and at least the person I am debating with has access to all relevant journals and critiques. Campermon, will you confirm I do try and do this?

So I have looked at the EJP, back issues of which are now in the public domain... http://ejp.wyrdwise.com/ has volumes 19-24 : there are papers here that everyone can access and discuss.

Jensen (no relation) & Cardena's paper in vol 24 reports as I recall a null result in terms of mediumship, but does have a wonderful bibliography and good section on testing mediums http://ejp.wyrdwise.com/EJP%20v24-1.pdf

It's worth reading.


Or as I'm reading Erlendur at the moment you could look at some of his papers

https://notendur.hi.is//~erlendur/engli ... ldsson.pdf

https://notendur.hi.is//~erlendur/engli ... ldsson.pdf

https://notendur.hi.is//~erlendur/engli ... /Runki.pdf

If you want a broad approach to the whole subject you can not do better (to best of my knowledge) than Alan Gauld. Full text of his book, which deals with many of the philosophical issues raised in this thread

http://www.esalenctr.org/display/books/mediumship/

For Matthew Shute, and anyone interested in mind-brain interaction I recommend the late John Beloff as always worthy of a read

http://www.newdualism.org/sites/moebius ... light.html
http://www.newdualism.org/sites/moebius ... dical.html

and from an opposed position Stephen E Braude
http://userpages.umbc.edu/~braude/ftp/p ... ticles.htm

Anthony Flew's philosophical work on the problems of survival and his argument it is inherently impossible is available as a free download on pdf or epub formats - I will dig out the reference if anyone interested.

However Dr {Parisetti mentioned the Windbridge Institute, and while i am not particularly familair with their work they have plenty of papers online which unlike Robertson?Roy everyone can access - http://www.windbridge.org/publications.htm#peer


It's not down to me to tell anyone how to run their discussion, or provide evidence (I did that in a formal debate on the old forum) but at least if one paper was put under the spotlight we could deal with what the evidence says, and have a reasonable discussion?

just an idea.
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