Author Topic: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?  (Read 17459 times)

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Offline generousgeorge

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #174 on: September 16, 2010, 10:08:39 AM »
Hmmmmmm............  seems like a bit of a "stretch" to me that violence has been implied.  :shrug

Offline Tealeaf

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #175 on: September 16, 2010, 03:33:37 PM »
Dominic, where do you live? Please tell me. I'd really love to meet you in a big open public place and 'debate' with you.

WTF? Are you implying you want to engage in violence or something? Not cool if you are. If I've misinterpreted my apologies.

No.... I am not. And that's another thing that really pisses me off about internet forums. Just as they allow Dominic to get away with his bullshit, they allow these sort of retarded soccer mom-esque accusations.

For fuck sakes I hate the pussy-whipped society we live in. Like where did I imply any violence at all? I even specifically stated 'big open place' to hopefully curb any moronic accusation of 'you're making threats!! wha! call the police!'

I would never incite violence upon someone just because of their stupidity. As I stated in the reply to the PM Dominic has sent me, meeting face-to-face is to take away the advantage internet forums give to his kind of bullshit. He can no longer run away, ignore obvious things, make shit up, etc. without being instantly accountable for it and having to get past it to satisfaction before he can continue.

Looks like it isn't going to happen though as he is in Australia and I am in Canada.

And for anyone else reading this.... For future reference: DO NOT fucking accuse people of making threats/whatever on internet forums just because you might want to interpret it that way. It's inredibly fucking lame and stupid. I hate having to watch closely what I say for fear of some pussy-whipped soccer mom (this analogy applies equally to all genders) getting their panties in a knot and thinking I'm, inciting violence. If I want to incite violence, then I will fucking incite violence directly with violent words in a serious manner. Which is pointless anyway because this is the god damn internet..and like I'd (not) give a shit enough to lower myself to the level of the morons I rant about.

Anyway..........

Offline Operator_018

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #176 on: September 16, 2010, 03:49:40 PM »
Tealeaf, Blue's post fully admits to possibly being wrong, and he included what I interpret as a sincere apology. His post falls well short of being an accusation.

Your sensitivities may need a little tweaking in the direction your post suggests for others. Be the change you want in others.

Edit: Mod_019 also credits you for an intention other than what was suggested by your word choice. "benefit of the doubt" is all you are getting. The opposite of overly sensitive individuals jumping to conclusions.

I am more concerned about your next action.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 04:41:02 AM by Moderator_018 »
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #177 on: September 16, 2010, 03:51:28 PM »

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


Yes. Next question?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Operator_019

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #178 on: September 16, 2010, 06:23:17 PM »
Quote from: Tealeaf
Like where did I imply any violence at all?
My confusion comes in when people use "  " around words.  It implies they aren't using the standard definition of the chosen word.  If you meant debate, then you shouldn't use the apostrophes/quotes around the word.

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Offline generousgeorge

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #179 on: September 17, 2010, 12:11:42 AM »
" " Still seems like a stretch to me.

TeaLeaf....I must say that you made a great leap downward toward the moron level you refer to with your last tirade.  :o

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #180 on: September 17, 2010, 08:09:35 AM »
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Offline jedweber

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #181 on: September 17, 2010, 09:41:18 AM »
Well, this was an interesting thread for 4 or 5 pages before it went off the rails...

Dominic, do you think it's possible that confirmation bias is playing a role in your assessment of NDEs? You keep mentioning various features these experiences supposedly share (OBEs, time slowing down, review of one's life, choice to return, etc.) and then later refer back to some of these details as if they were standard or at least very common. But I've heard of many NDE accounts that vary widely and contain as few as one of these features, but not any of the others. Has anyone tried to quantify just how many NDE's contain which specific features? Would you admit that there could be a lot of cherry-picking and selective application of evidence going on?

There are also a number of memory biases that could be coming into play over time as people report and recount these experiences to others. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_memory_biases) Someone mentioned the case of "alien abductions" earlier - it's been demonstrated that reports of an experience tend to conform more and more with others over time once a standard narrative has become established...


Offline Gimpy

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #182 on: September 17, 2010, 10:24:34 AM »
" " Still seems like a stretch to me.

TeaLeaf....I must say that you made a great leap downward toward the moron level you refer to with your last tirade.  :o

I don't agree at all.

TL definitely had a tirade, but getting ticked off and saying so doesn't necessarily classify one as a moron nor does it mean one has gone to a moron level.

But I completely understand her use of the " " around the word "debate," and not once did I infer it meant violence of any sort.

The "big open place" is a big clue to that.

However, the quotes around the word "debate," to me, implied that Dominic isn't capable of debating. So it would be a misnomer calling any such discussion a "debate."

I read it as a clear joke that anything he engages in could be called "debate."
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #183 on: September 17, 2010, 10:28:44 AM »
Well, this was an interesting thread for 4 or 5 pages before it went off the rails...

Dominic, do you think it's possible that confirmation bias is playing a role in your assessment of NDEs? You keep mentioning various features these experiences supposedly share (OBEs, time slowing down, review of one's life, choice to return, etc.) and then later refer back to some of these details as if they were standard or at least very common. But I've heard of many NDE accounts that vary widely and contain as few as one of these features, but not any of the others. Has anyone tried to quantify just how many NDE's contain which specific features? Would you admit that there could be a lot of cherry-picking and selective application of evidence going on?

There are also a number of memory biases that could be coming into play over time as people report and recount these experiences to others. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_memory_biases) Someone mentioned the case of "alien abductions" earlier - it's been demonstrated that reports of an experience tend to conform more and more with others over time once a standard narrative has become established...


Thanks Jed,

Yes, it did go off the rails a bit.

I know what you are saying and others have mentioned that also - re memory bias.  What I think is being missed is that many NDErs are describing their experiences as more real than their previous physical lives, many have no doubt that the experiences were not only real but a much truer expression of their natures than were their bodily lives.

I am not now talking about the experience of floating above their bodies.  That initial part of the overall experience is relatively insignificant compared to what they describe as coming next.  Of course some only experience the initial part of 'floating above' before finding themselves 'back in' their bodies.  I am talking about those who go much further and report phenomenon such as telepathy, powerfully loving beings, detailed and yet instantaneous life analysis, and something akin to perfect knowledge.

These people express that not only are they not dreaming but that physical life is not much more than a bad dream compared to this more true and full experience.  They have no doubt of what they have experienced.  No doubt whatsoever.  They no longer fear death.  They often change their lives to minimise previous activities now considered worthless.  

While skeptics can of course say they are liars or confused or their mind played tricks or under the influence of brain chemicals (like drug induced states), these people express absolute certainty about their experiences.  There are too many to ignore or to try and discount as somehow deluded.

To summarise, with full NDEs there is certainty of the genuine nature of the experience and the realisation that that experience is closer to our true nature than our everyday physical lives.  This is very consistently reported by those who had a full NDE (ie not just the floating above part).

This needs to be taken seriously - we are talking about certainty that is not found in physical bodily lives.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:45:23 AM by Dominic »

Offline Gimpy

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #184 on: September 17, 2010, 10:36:41 AM »
While skeptics can of course say they are liars or confused or their mind played tricks or under the influence of brain chemicals (like drug induced states), these people express absolute certainty about their experiences.  There are too many to ignore or to try and discount as somehow deluded.



No, it doesn't need to be taken any more "seriously" than my nephew's hallucinations.

My nephew is a classic schizophrenic, including the paranoid delusions. He doesn't take drugs to get him to this state, his body provides all the organic functions it needs to do it. He lives with this every day.

The "people" or "entities" that he "sees" and the voices that he hears, in fact the entire conversations that he has, ARE MORE REAL TO HIM THAN ACTUAL PHYSICAL REALITY. He can TOUCH me and know I'm "real," but when he sees visions -- to HIM -- they are more "real" than I am.

When people are in such a physical state where their bodies are creating these "visions" and "images" and sights and sounds, I can very much believe they are VERY REAL to them at that time. Their bodies and therefore the organic chemicals and compounds acting on the brain are very likely much like in those moments very much like what my nephew has to deal with on a daily basis.

He isn't lying. He isn't making things up. He has organic things going on, which is why he MUST take certain medications to keep that under control.

The sort of delusions he has is greatly different from the delusions that, say, theists have regarding an imaginary realm with god-beings.

It's organic, just like the types of delusions that people who experience NDEs have.

If we can get ANY benefit from "studying" those it should be in terms of the chemical reactions going on in the brain in hopes to find even better, more efficient drugs to help people like my nephew, NOT to try to shoe-horn in some imaginary god-being realm.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:47:32 AM by Gimpy »
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #185 on: September 17, 2010, 10:44:56 AM »
Yes, it did go off the rails a bit.

Right, because identifying the primary logical fallacy and constant error in your own assertions is.. going off the rails.

Btw.

Prediction: Dominic will not return for several days and will not respond to the issues brought up in the past few posts, dominic will instead address the one or two posts following our exchange as if nothing happened.

Exactly as I predicted.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #186 on: September 17, 2010, 10:53:07 AM »
What I think is being missed is that many NDErs are describing their experiences as more real than their previous physical lives

Special pleading, an experience is an experience.  You'd have to provide a logical qualification to distinguish between more or less real.  Also, the claim is without reference or evidence, consisting entirely of hearsay and anecdotal information.

Quote
I am talking about those...

Completely baseless assertion made without the burden of proof or even a relevant attempt to provide it.

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These people express ..

Special pleading, your introducing a special pleading qualifier in order to dismiss valid criticism of your own lack of reasonable assessment in your own claims.  You're not even reasonably responding to that criticism, beyond just making more shit up at random.

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While skeptics can of course say they are...

Strawman, not a single person has actively pursued an argument that these individuals are lying.  Jed didn't do it, I didn't do it, and the only persons who did simply listed the relevant possibilities.  You are categorically misrepresenting intellectual and logical criticism from others and pretending like it never occurred.

Why do you do this?


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To summarise, with full NDEs...


A coherent expectation of evidence please that is in regard to anything, please.  That is, before you begin making more assertions that you consistently lack any proper information for.

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This needs to be taken seriously - we are talking about certainty

Special pleading; you've provided no information to logically identify what a 'real' experience over any other experience would be.  You're simply introducing a pleading qualification, because you can't reasonable argue for what you want to believe rather then what you have any reasonable evidence for.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #187 on: September 17, 2010, 11:21:21 AM »
To summarise, with full NDEs there is certainty of the genuine nature of the experience and the realisation that that experience is closer to our true nature than our everyday physical lives.  This is very consistently reported by those who had a full NDE (ie not just the floating above part).

This needs to be taken seriously - we are talking about certainty that is not found in physical bodily lives.
Wow, way to go ignoring everyone's posts, Dom.  You just want to repeat more baseless claims in some evident delusion that this will make them real like clapping for Tinkerbell will make her live.  I have yet to see any "certainty" at all only wishful thinking, delusion and suggestibility combined with thing we know to happen to the human body. Yet more woo-woo claims with no evidence. 
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #188 on: September 17, 2010, 11:47:26 AM »
Omen, Velkyn and Emergence,

Do you accept any of anybody's subjective experiences as valid, real or true ?  Feelings, emotions, purposes, desires for example ?

Which ones do you choose to accept and which do you reject, since there is no scientific verifiability of subjective experience ?



Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #189 on: September 17, 2010, 11:49:41 AM »
Omen, Velkyn and Emergence,

Do you accept any of anybody's subjective experiences as valid, real or true ?  Feelings, emotions, purposes, desires for example ?

Straw man, no one said they don't experience emotions or that those experiences are true or false, only that anecdotal evidence and hearsay do not amount to logical validations of subject material as evidence for a claim.

Quote
Which ones do you choose to accept and which do you reject, since there is no scientific verifiability of subjective experience ?

Straw man, please respond to the actual criticisms being leveled against you not this ridiculous red herring.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #190 on: September 17, 2010, 11:58:00 AM »
Why can't you actually respond to a persons argument Dominic?

Why do you selectively ignore the criticisms directed towards you?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #191 on: September 17, 2010, 11:59:39 AM »
Omen, Velkyn and Emergence,
Do you accept any of anybody's subjective experiences as valid, real or true ?  Feelings, emotions, purposes, desires for example ?
Sigh, here we go again. As Omen has stated, you are despreately trying to create a strawman.  These people may have had *an* experience.  But there is NOTHING that shows that these experiences are what you are so desperately trying to claim they are.  You have yet to show any evidence that NDEs are what you want them to be and people here have shown that they are very likely not what you claim them to be.  You simply keep repeating your nonsense in an attempt to find anything that will stick, and it's all been poop.
Quote
Which ones do you choose to accept and which do you reject, since there is no scientific verifiability of subjective experience ?
Problem is, Dom, is that you want to claim that these experiences aren't subjective when it suits you, and that's simply sad.  And to answer the question, none without evidence.  People can claim what they want, but if it impacts me I will question it and demand evidence.

and I do see that solipsism on the horizon.  

EDIT: and it's pretty obvious that you will ask and ask and ask the same question if you don't like the anser, noting my responses to your questions back on page 5 of the thread.  sorry, Dom, my answers won't change no matter how much you pray.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 12:02:08 PM by velkyn »
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Offline Dominic

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #192 on: September 17, 2010, 12:27:17 PM »

Omen

You are a fake.

You demand evidence before belief and yet the vast majority of our experiences are subjective - thoughts, feelings, fears, emotions, desires.  The only evidence is what we express to each other.

If you honestly followed your own guidelines then you would have to disbelieve any experience that anyone ever describes to you.

Alternatively, you could pick and choose the ones you want to believe - which is one of the chief claims you level against theists.



Velkyn, Emergence and others

Are you all fakes as well ?



Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #193 on: September 17, 2010, 12:33:07 PM »

Omen

You are a fake.

And straw man.

I've never explicitly argued for what you're insinuating, not even in the terms you use nor do I accept any assertion you make about me or arguments I make unless you actually bother to quote what I actually say.  I don't have to respond to statements I've never made, positions I've never argued for, or an outright lie about me.

Again, why can't you actually respond to the arguments being leveled against your own assertions?

Why do you selectively ignore the criticisms presented by EVERYONE?

Prediction: Dominic will conclude that this is all part of a larger atheist conspiracy to make him look like a lying idiot.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 12:46:31 PM by Omen »
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Offline jedweber

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #194 on: September 17, 2010, 12:45:24 PM »
While skeptics can of course say they are liars or confused or their mind played tricks or under the influence of brain chemicals (like drug induced states), these people express absolute certainty about their experiences.  There are too many to ignore or to try and discount as somehow deluded.


I have to agree with the others that you're misrepresenting our position a bit here. I don't think any of us have denied that people genuinely have these types of experiences and feel certain about them. But I don't see how you can trivialize the role of brain function in an NDE. By definition, EVERY SINGLE true NDE involves extreme physical trauma and hypoxia of the brain. I don't think you've shown us how we can evaluate these phenomena apart from the proximate physical cause (or why we should). If you want us to consider them as independent phenomena of a supernatural or divine nature, we need some actual basis for that.  

Quote
To summarise, with full NDEs there is certainty of the genuine nature of the experience and the realisation that that experience is closer to our true nature than our everyday physical lives.  ...we are talking about certainty that is not found in physical bodily lives.

This is intangible and I'm not sure what it means, but in any case I don't see how it is incompatible with a natural explanation. We're not questioning the subjective "certainty" of the experience, but rather the precise nature of its cause.


Offline velkyn

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #195 on: September 17, 2010, 01:00:11 PM »
Velkyn, Emergence and others

Are you all fakes as well ?

nice personal attack. <applause>


Quote
You demand evidence before belief and yet the vast majority of our experiences are subjective - thoughts, feelings, fears, emotions, desires.  The only evidence is what we express to each other.
If you honestly followed your own guidelines then you would have to disbelieve any experience that anyone ever describes to you.
Nope, not at all.  I have evidence if a person is trustworthy, healthy, undelusional, etc.  Plenty of evidence.  There is nothing saying I would "have" to disbelieve anything if I thought I had enough evidence.


and what Jed said, ditto.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #196 on: September 17, 2010, 01:02:25 PM »
Dominic, no one is going to respond to such a blatant lie as if it were serious.
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Offline Emergence

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #197 on: September 17, 2010, 01:12:10 PM »
Dominic:

We're not questioning the subjective "certainty" of the experience, but rather the precise nature of its cause.

This. Think about it. And do a bit reading outside of your usual sources for crying out loud, e.g. the papers i linked much earlier in this thread.

You are the only fake here, as far as i can see, because it is you and only you who is saying that physical experience is irrelevant to reality and that you know it because of experiences within physical reality that can't be verified scientifically. That clearly shows who's fake here.

Remember earlier this year when i tried to bring you to some deeper knowledge about the functions of the brain? Perhaps you should pick that thought-thread up and try to follow where it leads you instead of playing the same mistune on your woowoozela over and over.  
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 01:14:01 PM by Emergence »
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Offline Gimpy

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #198 on: September 17, 2010, 02:09:34 PM »
Omen, Velkyn and Emergence,

Do you accept any of anybody's subjective experiences as valid, real or true ?  Feelings, emotions, purposes, desires for example ?

Which ones do you choose to accept and which do you reject, since there is no scientific verifiability of subjective experience ?





I didn't see anyone rejecting the subjective experiences -- only the conclusion that they resulted from come sort of supernatural genesis, especially when there is plenty of evidence that they are more likely due to a natural or organic cause.
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Offline pingnak

Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #199 on: September 17, 2010, 03:20:55 PM »
OK.  Has this degenerated into stonewalling and flaming?  I think it has.

Offline jedweber

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #200 on: September 17, 2010, 04:24:14 PM »
^ It doesn't have to, we were doing okay for a while...

Let's keep in mind that it's a lot harder for Dominic in here, he's facing off against everybody else at once.

Maybe we could cut him a little slack? (I think he's gonna need it with his last line of argument... :))

Offline Operator_011

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #201 on: September 17, 2010, 05:07:40 PM »
This thread is now in the Bottomless Pit.

If you guys wish to continue trying to get through to Dominic, be my guest. However, judging by the current state of affairs, it'll just be a case of head.. meet brick wall.


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Offline Omen

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Re: Is it possible to study NDEs and remain an atheist ?
« Reply #202 on: September 17, 2010, 05:57:17 PM »
^ It doesn't have to, we were doing okay for a while...

Let's keep in mind that it's a lot harder for Dominic in here, he's facing off against everybody else at once.

Maybe we could cut him a little slack? (I think he's gonna need it with his last line of argument... :))

Since when are we responsible for the dishonest actions of others?
"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