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Offline Dominic

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Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« on: August 29, 2010, 01:09:49 PM »

Is it possible for someone to investigate NDEs and still remain an atheist ?

I can't see how you could.

Below is one story.  There are hundreds of others at the same website -


http://www.nderf.org/mary_w's_nde.htm

MY NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE     Mary Beth Willi LPN

     The accident was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and it is also the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I will share this experience because it is the basis for what I learned and how I learned it.  The accident (my hug from God): 

     It was a gorgeous summer day, July 1994, in Cleveland, OH and traffic was heavy on the freeway.    I was driving our mini-van.  I was pretty stressed.  My husband and I had just returned from SC the night before with his mom, dad and their 3 dogs.  His dad had a stroke the week before and they were going to stay with us while he recovered.  (It ended up being a whole year.)  I should probably tell you we had 6 children living at home (between the ages of 17 thru 5) and a dog of our own at the time.  Life had thrown us all a curve but we were handling things as they came along.  We have always taught our children that family is important.   

     I had to pick up my paycheck so I could go food shopping before going to work at 3p.m.  I was on a tight but doable schedule. God had a different plan and a wonderful sense of humor…

       A car was in the median strip (on the left) with a flat tire and a group of Boy Scouts was sitting on the grass.   I had been going with the flow of traffic in the high-speed lane when the car in front of me slowed to go into the grassy median to help them.  As I put my foot on the brake to slow down I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the grille of a semi.  Not the semi …the grille of the semi.

     It was literally, my worst nightmare.  I was horrified and panicked.  I remember saying out loud “I cannot believe I’m going to die today!”  It was about 3 seconds from the time I saw him until I was hit but those 3 seconds changed my life and me completely.         

     Immediately time stopped …it became eternal.  I was alert, oriented and still driving throughout the entire process.  I was in my body but was taken out of Earths time frame.  There was no sound …all was quiet and calm.  I spoke out loud throughout the entire conversation while His replies were in the form of thoughts placed in my head.  With time stopping came a huge feeling of enormous love that just kept growing stronger and stronger.   The panic was replaced with love that gave me such a calm feeling and I was no longer afraid.  I was being hugged, big time!  I had never felt love like this before.  Instinctively, I knew this was God.  Think of someone who loves you dearly… now multiply that feeling by about a million and maybe you will come close to how loved I felt.  I could feel that there were also 2 others with me.  I can’t explain how I know this but one was my grandmother.  It took 7 years to figure out whom the other was.  I really wanted to cry but there was no time. 

      Most of us go through our lives being taught to believe in God.   I was brought up in a very strict Roman Catholic household by parents who taught us what they learned from their parents.  OK… I did believe, but I was very angry with him because of things that had happened to me in my childhood and life in general.  Now I had been given proof  (enough for me) that there really is a God.  A loving God… not a hell, fire and damnation God.  The next words out of my mouth were “Oh, shit!  I screwed this up!  There really is a God!”   I was mortified at my language and this knowledge.   I quickly said “Oh …sorry!”   His reply to me was even greater love and a feeling of “My child, calm down, everything is just fine.”  I actually felt like His child and it was a very safe and warm place.  He has very loving and gentle hands.   

     With that, placed in front of me to see and feel was a review of my life … in color.  I had to see and feel all the good I had done (and the good I didn’t even know I did).   I actually could feel the joy each person felt when I touched their life in a loving way.  I was getting “caught” doing something right for once in my life.  During the good He was telling me “I am so proud of you!”  I felt such joy for making Him so proud because I never realized what that felt like because I always felt like I couldn’t do anything right.  Reviewing my random acts of kindness gave me the most joy because I was able to feel the difference I made in someone’s life that I hadn’t realized at the time …and I didn’t even know them.  I was shown it is not the big things we do in life that make the difference.  It’s all the little things we do each day that make the difference.  Little acts of kindness mean so much to God.   

     Also, I had to see and feel all the hurtful things I had done (even the hurtful things I didn’t know I did).   I had to feel the persons’ hurt I caused. But… you know how we are taught that we will stand before God and be judged one day? …God was not judging me.  I was looking at my actions…with God at my side loving me while I was judging myself …and believe me, no one can judge me any harsher than I already judge myself.  It was like getting “caught” by my parents when doing something wrong, only worse.   During the hurtful review I was so ashamed and there was no hiding.  My immediate thought, and I said it out loud, was “I’m ready …I belong in Hell …I don’t deserve to go to Heaven!”   But it felt like He took hold of my arm as I was making my way to Hell and said “Wait a minute young lady you get back here!   You don’t understand and I’m going to explain this to you.”  He was asking me “What different choices could you have made?  What are you learning from this?”  Not yelling at me and saying “How could you do that!?” or, “You’re going to Hell!”  This was clearly not the punishing God I had been taught to believe in.  The hardest part of this was realizing He had already forgiven me …I was having a very hard time forgiving myself.  He showed me how I couldn’t let His love in without, first, forgiving myself.  Punishing myself didn’t make me better in His eyes, accepting His love was what He wanted from me.  Once I was able to accept that God only loved, it was easier for me to openly and honestly look at my life. I wanted to learn as much as I could… I had so many questions.  God loves me the way I love my children.  Even when they do something wrong I still love them.  I’m not happy with their actions but that doesn’t change my love for them.  I hurt for them and …I make them take responsibility for their actions.  There are no strings attached to God’s love.

      I had taken parenting classes and read all I could find so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes my parents did raising kids.  He showed me that even though I wasn’t physically abusing my kids, I was killing them with my words.  That is just as bad.  I could feel their pain.  I felt like such a failure.  I just kept repeating, “I’m so sorry” over and over again.  He just kept on loving me.     

      He let me ask him questions.  My only question was how could He give me the parents I had?  How could he forget all about me and leave me so alone to work my way through those years?  What was He thinking!?  I have to admit I was pretty angry.  He showed me why I had the parents, childhood and life I had experienced.  I asked Him for it!!!  I chose this life because I wanted to learn those lessons.  Everything was so clear to me …I had to go through it all to learn what I needed to learn and be able to continue my work here.  He never left me alone and I could see in hindsight that he was always with me.  I was making a lot of wrong choices because I wasn’t listening to or trusting myself.  I was spending too much time comparing myself to others.  I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing.  I felt like a little mouse in a maze trying to find my way but I wasn’t getting anywhere.    By what I was shown I understood that Earth is school and when we are done we have a “Life Review” and then we get to graduate and go back home.  The whole experience was amazing because I felt like my brain had been opened up to the whole universe.  Everything made so much sense.  The lesson was so simple …it’s all about love.  How much God loves us, and how well we learn to love others and ourselves during this life on Earth, despite what we have to go through in our lives. 

     When my Life Review was over He placed in front of me why we come to Earth.  I was so amazed.  I was floored at how important we all are to God …especially how important I was to God.  I didn’t think He knew I even existed.  All the years I was beating myself up and His question to me was “Why would I go through all the trouble to make you just the way you are if I wanted you to try and be like someone else?”  No one else could do the job I came here to do the way He wanted me to do it!  That is why it is so important that we not be so judgmental of each other.  Some of us are here to teach, some to learn and some to do both.  I had to learn to listen to my heart. 

     Then He asked me if wanted to stay on Earth or go with Him.   Wow, I get a choice?  It would have been much easier on me if He had not given me the choice but had made the choice for me.  I didn’t want to make the choice.

     Making this decision was an amazing process.  I understood that my children had known coming into this life that there was a possibility they could lose me at an early age.  I knew that my family would learn to overcome this lesson and God would take good care of them.  I knew He would take good care of me!  That was easy …I was going!  But He didn’t like my answer so He showed me what I still had left to do …the whole reason I came to Earth …the job I asked Him for!!!!  His question to me was “Can you do this?”  I remember saying so matter of fact “I can do that!”  His next question was “Do you want to do this?”  My answer was “That is so cool, I would really love to do that!”  I believe I was shown this to help me make a different decision because the next thing in front of me was, again:  “Do you want to stay or go?”   

       Even though my good far outweighed my bad (and I wanted to stay in His loving embrace) I desperately needed to fix the hurtful things if I had a chance to.  I didn’t want to leave so many things undone before I had to go.  My main reason for staying was because I didn’t want to let God down.  I wanted to finish the job I had come here to do.  I wanted to show Him that I’m not a quitter.  I also wanted to live on this Earth knowing God loved me.  I felt like I had no other choice than to stay.  I replied, almost in a whisper and very, very reluctantly, “I really want to go with you …but I have to stay.” 

      My only regret is that even though I really took my time to make this decision, it seemed like I said that statement so fast.  The moment I said I have to stay, the whole “movie” in front of me closed up and my conversation with God was over.  One second I was having a wonderful visit with God, my grandmother and a friend from the other side.  I could even picture me brewing a pot of coffee and all of us having a cup of coffee together during this conversation.  Only …my hands were gripped tightly on the steering wheel of the van, I was still driving and I was thinking, “I cannot believe this is happening to me!!!!”   I couldn’t believe how much I had learned in 3 seconds.   I had so many unanswered questions.  I wanted more time.  I wanted more love.  I didn’t want this to end.   I couldn’t believe all the things my brain could do at one time.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get to “go into the light” because I could feel the edges all around me …but I had made my choice.  Suddenly it was over.

      I was literally forced (pushed) back into reality ...Earths’ time.  Everything but His love, my grandmother and friend was gone.  “Gee whiz!”  In my head, the thought was placed, “Take your foot off the brake and floor the gas.”  I didn’t ask any questions and just did as I was told.  As I hit the car in front of me the semi hit me.  I clipped the car and sent it safely into the median.  The truck did not jackknife.  I drove about 100 feet more and went into the median and stopped because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and didn’t want to be in the middle of it.   

     The thing I want to stress here is that if I had said I wanted to go, I would have been gone before the accident even happened.  My family would have thought I died a horrible death by being run over by a semi.  The reality was that my body would have died a horrible death, not me.  At the point of impact I was still being hugged safely in my cocoon of God’s love.  I did not feel the accident at all.  There was no pain.  It was a different story a few hours later … I refused to go to the hospital because I felt fine.  NEVER make that stupid decision.  It is always a good idea to be checked out after an accident.

       I sat in my van with the back blown out of it and kept hugging myself because I didn’t want to lose the feeling of tremendous love I had been given by God because it was still with me.  I was also afraid to look back and see what had happened.  Being a nurse, I felt it was my duty to help with the injured but I just couldn’t handle one more thing.

     I have no idea how long it took for the police to get there but when the policeman opened the door of my van (I was still trying to breathe) I burst into tears.  The cocoon of love evaporated when he opened the door.  It took him awhile to figure out I was physically unhurt.  The feeling of God’s love was just a memory now and emotionally I fell apart.  His comment was “I don’t know how you did it, but you saved a lot of lives today because no one is hurt.”  I couldn’t tell him what happened.  It was hard for me to believe it myself.  For once in my life I was speechless and that doesn’t happen very often to me.  Just ask anyone who knows me.       

      Hours after the accident I started to hurt all over my body and I couldn’t move my neck.  My husband took me to the emergency room that night.  The doctor was surprised that I “only had whiplash”.  The staff was marveling at why I was still here.  I knew exactly why I was still here.  I chose it.  I didn’t say one word to anybody (not even my husband) because I knew if I told them what had happened to me they would admit me to the psychiatric floor!  I didn’t think anyone would believe me.

      Also, I said earlier that I was clearly shown my purpose here on Earth and the work I had left to do, during my Life Review.  When the accident was over I couldn’t remember why I chose to come here or what I had left to do.  It’s still, right on the tip of my tongue.  The knowledge was taken away as soon as I said I have to stay.  So I am back to a little mouse in a maze with everybody else trying to find my way. 

     When things get really tough I remember what I said that day so matter of fact “I can do that.”  It keeps me grounded and moving forward.  I know for a fact that God is really with me and I love to make him proud.   

      I keep a first grade picture of myself at my bedside to remind me every morning that I am a child of God.  When I am faced with a difficult situation or someone makes me mad I stop a second to decide what I am going to do. I know I’m going to have to do another Life Review and I do not want to review it in a hurtful way again.  I’m not perfect but I really try hard to do the right thing.  Besides that, I know He is watching me.   

     As a postscript you need to know that my husband totaled my car 7 days before this accident with me in the car.  We both walked away from that accident unhurt.  There was no Near Death Experience for either one of us that day.  I was still pretty upset with him about losing the car. It was my first car, the one I picked out and the registration had my name on it.  I loved that car.  Talk about screwed up priorities.  If he had not totaled my car… instead of driving an Astro Van I would have been driving a Mazda 323.  This is just more proof to me of why I believe everything happens for a reason.  There would have been no choices that day.  That semi would have gone right over the top of me.

      Before the accident, I had a hard time praying.  Now I talk to Him the same way I carry on a conversation with anybody else (anytime and anywhere).   In fact, after the first accident a week before the truck accident, I walked out to the middle of my front yard.  I screamed at the sky “I know they say that God doesn’t give us anything more than we can handle.  But you are blowing it, big time, right now.  So just come down here and tell me what you want me to do and I will do it so you can leave me the hell alone!”     My poor husband took me by the arm saying, “Come inside, the neighbors are watching.” I really had no idea He was listening to me so be careful what you ask for because I found out, very unexpectedly, just how much He cared about me.  I don’t need to scream at Him anymore.  I understand what he was trying to tell me now.  I received his answer loud and clear.   

      The whole year after my accident was probably one of the hardest years of my life and I often wondered why I was stupid enough to stay here and not leave when I had the chance.  I kept yelling at myself “What the heck were you thinking!?”  Now, looking back at what I learned and how blessed I am today, I am so glad I stayed.  When I see the rays of sun stream through the clouds (The Holy Spirit) sometimes I get really homesick.  To me, God is The Light.  That is Him reminding me to remember how much He loves me and I am never alone.  And one day I’ll get to go back to Him.  Until then I plan on having a good time.  I look at every obstacle as an adventure now and I’m always looking for the lesson.  It’s a wonderful game.  Life is so much easier this way. 

   Every time I doubt myself about what happened or question whether I am overstepping my bounds when I share this, or any, experience with a family or patient at work, something always happens to remind me that I am on the right track.





Offline jetson

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 01:13:20 PM »
Atheists are normal people.  We can do anything we want...with the added bonus of not having to worry about some magical sky character watching our every move!

About the only thing I avoid doing is harming others, or infringing on their rights in any way.  Oh, and I don't eat seafood.

Offline Positiveaob

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 01:19:33 PM »
Please explain to me what is supernatural about this?  Someone goes into a state of emotional shock when confronted by a close call in which she obviously blacked out unconscious and went into dream and imagined being visited by the god figure she had been brought up to believe.  Did she become privvy to any information she couldn't have found out elsewhere or something? Why is this anything more than her imagination?  You've been on this site for a while and you're still posting things like this.  Why do you think this would constituen compelling evidence?
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Offline Ashe

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 01:20:43 PM »
Yup. Investigating something does not contradict any principles of atheism. :)
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Offline Jim

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 01:22:57 PM »
To the OP: yes, absolutely.  Just because you study something, doesn't mean you have to buy into the woo that comes with it.  For instance, an atheist could study religion, or even make a study of apologetics.  That doesn't mean that the atheist believes it, or practices the spiritual traditions studied.

I am fascinated by NDEs.  There are underlying physical processes that should be understood, and those physical processes are reflected in the experiences that people have seem to have cultural as well as personal bias.  As well, those who go through an NDE seem to be profoundly affected afterwards, and for many years.  There is ample opportunity to research both the physical as well as behavioral aspects of the dying body. 

But, it does not mean that the researcher must buy into the fact that a person's soul has actually gone to meet God, then come back to tell the story.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 01:24:37 PM »
Yes. It's commonly referred to as having an education. One learns how such stories develop in human populations and how such experiences occur. Of course, there is nothing wrong with believing ridiculous things, we can't all understand everything about sciences such as neuroscience, psychology, biology, genetics, anthropology, chemistry, geology ...etc that shed light on the world's apparent mysteries. Some people can lead very happy lives while blissfully ignorant of being suckered by decievers and the decieved.

Of course, that's fallen on deaf ears. You've arrived at the one real truth simply by virtue of being literate haven't you? :) You're not alone, sweetheart.
  
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Nick

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2010, 01:29:08 PM »
Chemical reactions going on in the brain when the body sees itself dying.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline Str82Hell

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 05:38:14 PM »
Why don't you think Yr, and its gods, don't exist? Deborah Blau had endless conversations with its gods and it is well documented (I never promised you a rose garden by Joanne Greenberg) and there's no doubt the story is honest.
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 06:04:17 PM »
What an odd question, and what an odd site to use as backup for the conclusion you posited.

Just curious, is that the extent of your "study" into NDEs?

Not all those who wander are lost; some are buried in my backyard. . .

Offline Demophon

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 06:21:20 PM »
If she was clinically dead for a week and came back and told this 'story', maybe then we could talk.

Until such time she and others like her are either lying or mentally traumatized from being on the edge of death.

Either way, personal testimony or NDE experience is not proof.

Offline Gimpy

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 06:26:54 PM »
Either way, personal testimony or NDE experience is not proof.

Not even remotely "proof" so that's why I do not understand the OP's question.

It's like asking it is possible to "study" or watch the TV show "Ghost Hunters" (or Chariots of the Gods) and remain unbelieving in ghosts or aliens.

Not all those who wander are lost; some are buried in my backyard. . .

Offline spiritualatheist

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 06:29:37 PM »
Atheists are normal people.  We can do anything we want...with the added bonus of not having to worry about some magical sky character watching our every move!

About the only thing I avoid doing is harming others, or infringing on their rights in any way.  Oh, and I don't eat seafood.
Precisely. One of the conclusions of the Whywon'tgodhealamputees book says, "There is no such thing as atheists" which is true. I almost find it insulting and condensing whenever people call me any atheist lol unless people extend the definition of atheism to not believing in fictional characters in general.
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Offline Kodanshi

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 06:38:47 PM »
I simply consider atheism naturalism recast in opposition to theism.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2010, 07:00:28 PM »
If she was clinically dead for a week and came back and told this 'story', maybe then we could talk.

Until such time she and others like her are either lying or mentally traumatized from being on the edge of death.

Either way, personal testimony or NDE experience is not proof.

QFT. 

Here is a Muslim NDE from http://www.near-death.com/muslim.html

Quote
As she headed for shore, she realized that she was too far out to make it back. She began to struggle and swallow water. Finally she slipped beneath the waves. I went under for the fourth time, and my body went limp and I wasn't aware of it anymore. It was at this point that I saw a beautiful white light. It was so bright and yet it had such a calming effect that the more I looked at it, the calmer I felt. To this day I can't really say what that light was. In my religion (Muslim) there are beings called angels who are made out of pure white light. Maybe that is what I saw.

Anyway, while I was underwater, I heard a voice say, "You are not to die like this." Suddenly I felt this energy shoot through me from my feet to my head, and at the same time I seemed to be propelled out of the water. It was as if someone was physically bringing me out of the water, but I can swear that there was no physical being there.

She saw Muslim angels. 

How about this website with 11 NDE's from Thailand. http://www.shaktitechnology.com/bkknde.htm

Go look at it.  Almost all of them mention Yamatoots, which are servants of Yama, Lord of the Dead.  This is just more evidence that NDE's are completely based off of the culture of the individual. 

Here is a Native American one.  http://www.near-death.com/elk.html 

Quote
When Black Elk was a boy of nine, he collapsed with a severe, painful swelling of his legs, arms and face. He lost consciousness and lay in his tipi dying. He was called by two men coming from the clouds, saying, "Hurry up, your grandfather is calling you." He was raised up out of his tipi into the clouds, feeling sorry to leave his parents. He was shown an elaborate vision oriented around a classic Native American mandala: the circular hoop, the four directions, and the center of the world on an axis stretching from sky to Earth, numerous neighing, dancing horses, surrounded by lightning and thunder, filled the sky at each direction.
 
He was told to behold this, then to follow a bay horse, which led him to a rainbow door. Inside, sitting on clouds, were six grandfathers, "older than men can ever be - old like hills, old like stars." The oldest grandfather welcomed the boy and said: "Your Grandfathers all over the world are having a council, and they have called you here to teach you."

His voice was very kind, but the boy shook all over with fear now, for he knew that these were not old men, but the Powers of the World.

Each Grandfather gave Black Elk a power. The first Grandfather gave him the power to heal. The second Grandfather then gave the boy the power of cleansing.  The third Grandfather gave the boy the power of awakening and its peace. From the fourth Grandfather the boy was given the power of growth.  The fifth Grandfather, the Spirit of the Sky, gave the power of transcendent vision. The sixth Grandfather, a very old man, incredibly grew backwards into youth until he became the boy, Black Elk.

There is more, but you get the point...

I am not saying NDE's don't happen.  But to say they are evidence of the afterlife is pretty foolish, given the fact that the people are not actually dead when they happen.  The only thing NDE's show is that we don't fully understand how the brain works when it is placed under extreme duress.  We know the body can do amazing things when under severe stress (lifting cars off children, etc).  And that's all natural.  Why can't the brain do the same thing? 

It's all cultural.  If all NDE's were the same, regardless of culture and beliefs, then you might have more evidence on your side.  But a few Christian woo experiences doesn't lead to the belief in the Christian God, any more than 11 Thai experiences makes me believe in Yamatoots.   
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2010, 07:05:02 PM »
Nice of you to try JeffPT. It's your time to waste I guess.



You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline spiritualatheist

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2010, 07:40:04 PM »
Man what's wrong with just dealing with the fact when you die it is the end of your consciousness? :shrug :shrug :shrug It ain't that scary really. What's scary is either an eternity of paradise (so boring) and punishment (which your get use to eventually and is also very boring). Thankfully that's bullshit.  ;D
Religion is to superstition as chocolate is to coco beans.
You can call me an atheist or agnostic with pantheistic beliefs but I ain't believing in your imaginary omnipotent friend bullshit.

Offline MockTurtle

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2010, 07:54:28 PM »
@JeffPT Thanks for looking those up.

NDEs are one of a long list of unusual experiences where the interpretation is cultural.  People used to interpret hypnagogic hallucinations as visits from angels or demons, these days they are more likely to report alien visitation/abduction or seeing "shadow people".

If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. — Paul Dirac

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2010, 08:51:16 PM »
Nice of you to try JeffPT. It's your time to waste I guess.

Yamatoot is a word I didn't know previously.  So at least I got something out of it. 

Time spent learning is never time wasted.  Although, time spent trying to educate often is. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline OnePerson

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2010, 09:35:15 PM »
For starters, you can still believe in ghosts and not believe in God.

Offline kindred

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 09:52:35 PM »
Can you experience medicine and still believe in god? Medicine uses naturalistic principles that point towards no gods and has been shown to cure people.
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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2010, 01:25:37 AM »
Dominic: I sure hope that your idea of "investigation" does not only consist of uncritically reading first person experience accounts. What else did you do in order to investigate NDEs?
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2010, 01:48:10 AM »
Is it possible for someone to investigate NDEs and still remain an atheist ?

Seems it would be self evident, given the most basic logical explanation.

The question is, why can't you grasp the most simple logical concepts?

Quote
I can't see how you could.

Of course you wouldn't, but then again you've consistently engaged in dismissive argumentation with atheist without any concern for any kind of rational debate.  As soon as you're called on your antics, you play dumb.

1. Hearsay is not objective evidence.

2. Even if given the benefit of the doubt; the shear number of random occurrences guarantees it to be indistinguishable from simple abstract constructions of brain chemistry.  We would no more be able to decide which NDE is the 'correct one' or that they occur with enough significant statistical probability to warrant anyone over another.

3. We already have a significant understanding of the processes in the brain during death; including those processes that would induce similar experiences as claimed in supernatural NDEs'.

Now, why don't you possess the most basic level of logical reasoning to understand the obvious?
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline pingnak

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2010, 02:02:11 AM »
These 'NDE's are also triggered by acceleration (i.e. centrifuge chairs).  Are we to believe that the gods who snatch up souls are fooled by spinning people around a bit?

http://www.skepdic.com/nde.html
http://www.google.com/search?q=NDE+centrifuge

Or perhaps it's just that a hypoxic brain that's misfiring produces all kinds of effects and side-effects on an 'altered consciousness' mind, which are great fodder for hallucinations in suggestible people. 

Offline pingnak

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2010, 02:06:28 AM »

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvxFXkv7L24[/youtube]

Offline pingnak

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2010, 02:08:39 AM »
The Real Question: Is it possible to be so utterly gullible, as to believe NDEs are 'supernatural' after all of these years of research, study, experimentation, etc. that shows it's all in your brain?

Offline ksm

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2010, 06:19:00 AM »
Is it possible for someone to investigate NDEs and still remain an atheist ?

It is possible to investigate anything, and still remain an atheist.

I can't see how you could.

Your lack of imagination is not our problem, and has no bearing on the nature of reality.

Below is one story.  There are hundreds of others at the same website -

A story! Oh gee, that could never have been faked, or misinterpreted, or made up, or just a pack of lies...

NDE's are pornography for people who scared of their mortality.

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2010, 07:25:51 AM »
I don't see how you can investigate NDEs and remain a theist.

Lets assume NDEs are real. So, we're being asked to believe that the perfect omnipotent god has set up a system to 'capture' souls of people who die. But sometimes god goofs up and captures a soul who's body isn't quite dead yet and then he needs to stuff the soul back into the body.

Ok, we can argue about when exactly a body is truely dead and ok, we can and do make mistakes, burying people who wake up.

But this is the omnipotent god we're talking about. An omnipotent god making mistakes???
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2010, 07:40:57 AM »
What about reincarnation stories, Dominic? There are plenty of those out there as well, and when it comes to evidence, at least there's something concrete about those. Not to say that they couldn't also be faked, made up, or hallucinated, but at least for some of them, there are details which can be validated, and cases where it's very hard to figure out how the person involved could have known some of those details. I'm not saying I necessarily believe them, but there are some pretty convincing ones out there.

Now, if you want to believe in general woo, there's no particular contradiction you can't wrangle into some sort of personal vision of alternate afterlives, but clearly when it comes to Christianity the reincarnation stories don't "fit".

To go along with your original question, can you study reincarnation stories and remain a Christian? And if you find them less compelling than NDE's, and can wave them off with an explanation of their being faked or delusional, why can the same not be said for NDE's?

edited for a typo

Offline Kodanshi

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2010, 12:57:57 AM »
Nice of you to try JeffPT. It's your time to waste I guess.

Waste? Nah. That showed me neatly that something happens, though as yet we know not. Humans of all types, however, interpret things through the prism of what they understand, hence all the culturally and religiously different meanings attached to NDEs.

Great post, JeffPT, thanks for that!