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Old 01-30-2012, 07:13 PM
 
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What does everyone think of the so-called "Near Death Experience." That's when someone claims to have a usually positive, but sometimes negative experience, after they come close to dying. Usually it takes place after a cardiac arrest when the heart stops beating for up to a few minutes. I know that most scientists are of course going to be skeptical of such experiences because they seem too fantastic and do not have any evidence to support them. But is there any evidence to debunk them? Also, the people that I know that have had cardiac arrests tended to have them; has anyone in here have had a cardiac arrest and nothing happened?

Anyway, my position on this is the only thing that I debunk is that they are always "culturally influenced" because I knew people who were not only secular, but did not believe in anything before having them. That said, I am open to it being some kind helusination when the mind shuts down. But is it always that simple?

Debate and Discuss.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
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I tend to agree with the majority of your post. Cardiac arrest seems to be the most popular anecdotal evidence but not the only evidence.

I've never had a NDE, i've known a couple of people who have. Frankly, they were both "textbook" experiences and i'm a little skeptical. That doesn't mean I don't believe that it happens.

I suppose the best way to know for sure is to have one. I'm not in any hurry though.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:05 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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I am disinclined to debate and discuss it because I don't have either the personal experience of NED's or the expertise in the brain to be able to look at the mental of physical possibilities.

There are a lot of hypotheses and some mechanisms for what happens being caused by physical effects on the brain. There are those who argue at the experimental effects differ from the others because of reports of objects seen that couldn't be unless there was a spirit body floating about, or a feeling of well - being or losing fear of death which those in experiments don't get, or so it is claimed.

Basically, I'd say it is the old problem. I'd say it is a problem.

Some start with the unsupported a priori assumption that (a) God is real. (b) therefore we all have the soul that God gave us, (c) therefore NED's prove a Soul, afterlife, heaven, angels, ect. QED. Any suggestions that this may not be what the experience suggests and may be nothing to do with 'God' anyway is resisted.

The other starting point is to recognize that the effect happens, just like the mystic experience. The logical position is not to make assumptions one way or the other but to try to find out what's doing it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:23 AM
 
Location: UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
What does everyone think of the so-called "Near Death Experience." That's when someone claims to have a usually positive, but sometimes negative experience, after they come close to dying. Usually it takes place after a cardiac arrest when the heart stops beating for up to a few minutes. I know that most scientists are of course going to be skeptical of such experiences because they seem too fantastic and do not have any evidence to support them.

But is there any evidence to debunk them? Also, the people that I know that have had cardiac arrests tended to have them; has anyone in here have had a cardiac arrest and nothing happened?


Debate and Discuss.
NDE may not be ethical or possible to simulate in a laboratory condition, but there are a few studies of similar nature where strange experiences were felt when an area of the brain is electrically stimulated, like out of body experience.

It may not be necessary to debunk those who have related their NDE as they did not seek fame nor fortune by their acts.

Thoughts are the last perception which can be experienced by dying persons when all other perceptions have ceased. Thoughts do not usually end when the brain is dead but continue to exist in one dimension or another. Cardiac arrest causes the heart to stop and blood flow to the brain also stopped causing ischaemia or lack of oxygenation to the brain cells; thus causing a rebound stimulation, which may be experienced as NDE.

Those who did not recover from momentary cardiac arrest could not relay their NDE as they never came back, but those who survived such attacks by life support measures can sometimes remember their NDE. It can only be experienced by a few as not everybody is fortunate enough to live after dying to tell their experience. I mean to LIVE a life that has perceptive portals; e.g. our five sensory organs.

To explain this further I will have to use some philosophy of a religious teaching and I will not do so if it isn't necessary and will try to be scientific as much as possible.

So, it is not surprising that not every case of recovery from a cardiac arrest has NDE, but if there is one it may indicate future existence of some nature. NDEs can sometimes be very descriptive and you may find these descriptions if you search the net for a book written by a paediatrician who has complied accounts described by children on their NDEs. In one case a theatre nurse tried to debunk or verify the description of a child who described seeing a tennis shoe outside the hospital wall when she had the experience and was surprised when it was found hiding from the view.

Sidney
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:42 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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I always wake up from my dreams that is why I remember them.

NDE's IMO are no different.

It is odd that all proof regarding gods and some hereafter is always in a dream like state whereas everything else is based on conscious reality.

This is nothing more than special pleading. Based on religious claims, the idea that god and angels interacted in the past, it is odd why when sanctioned to make an appearance, it/they never happens 100% of the time.

IMO the brain needs to associate memories with some visual or audio stimuli. If you choose to believe stuff, your brain will make an association and where none exists, it will fabricate it. This IMO is what dreams amount to. Sometime dream are mere garbage and the memories fade or do not stick.

A god who instapoofed the universe and everything into existence, should not be required to prove its existence by merely inhabiting our imaginations. He should be able to manifest physically and prove his godliness but all we are left with by religionists is that no one may look upon his face w/o being struck down dead. So in the end you have to pretend god exists and create him/it in your mind.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:48 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
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Sidneytinhut (1) "It may not be necessary to debunk those who have related their NDE as they did not seek fame nor fortune by their acts."

'Debunking' is not about suggesting that all those who experienced it were just trying to gain notoriety. It is about considering other possible explanations instead of just swallowing whole the preferred theory of those who see them as proof of God/soul/afterlife.

The same 'reverse strawman' was frequently employed by UFO apologists in arguing that those relating contactee experiences had nothing to gain and everything to lose by telling the story. Probably quite true; they were telling what they experienced. But that doesn't mean they were not mistaken or misinterpreted what they saw.

(1) love it....I imagine something like Mick Dundee's shack out in the Bush.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
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There are hundreds of articles online illustrating problems with NDE's and alternative explanations for them. But, I wanted to highlight a few, the first of which I always have the hardest time finding when I am looking for it and the information it contains is rather unique as far as I can tell:

You have to read this article: Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences
Quote:
Even if we disregard the overwhelming evidence for the dependence of consciousness on the brain, there remains strong evidence from reports of near-death experiences themselves that NDEs are not glimpses of an afterlife. This evidence includes:

(1) discrepancies between what is seen in the out-of-body component of an NDE and what's actually happening in the physical world;

(2) bodily sensations incorporated into the NDE, either as they are or experienced as NDE imagery;

(3) encountering living persons during NDEs;

(4) the greater variety of differences than similarities between different NDEs, where specific details of NDEs generally conform to cultural expectation;

(5) the typical randomness or insignificance of the memories retrieved during those few NDEs that include a life review;

(6) NDEs where the experiencer makes a decision not to return to life by crossing a barrier or threshold viewed as a 'point of no return,' but is restored to life anyway;

(7) hallucinatory imagery in NDEs, including encounters with mythological creatures and fictional characters; and

(8) the failure of predictions in those instances in which experiencers report seeing future events during NDEs or gaining psychic abilities after them.
And here are two more good articles:
Near Death Experiences & the Medical Literature by Mark Crislip

NDEs Redux Skeptics need to reclaim, redefine & embrace Near Death Experiences by Sebastian Dieguez

OK, one last article on Out of Body Experiences
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:01 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 5,654,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
What does everyone think of the so-called "Near Death Experience."
I think all you need to know is in the name. NEAR death experiences. By definition they did not die. The experiences they had while in that state however are not exactly miraculous. The brain under that much pressure, both from the issues causing the "near death" and the chemical and physical processes used by us to resuscitate them, is of course going to throw around all kinds of weird memories, visions and hallucinations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
But is there any evidence to debunk them?
The ease with which we can re-create them I would see as being evidence in at least the right direction yes. Many neroscientists like VS Ramachandran and the guy who created the "God chair" are able to stimulate areas of the brain and elicit all kinds of out of body, and other experiences that are essentially the same as those espoused by these NDE patients.

Many experiments are also done by hiding things in a room and asking reporters of NDE if they saw them. None of them ever do. People claiming NDEs are common but not one of them has ever come back saying "Oh and while I was up there floating around the room there was a large, red, bright, unmissable digital readout on top of the cupboard over there which said 76578".

So while you can not prove an unfalsifiable negative I think we have plenty of basis on which to not just dismiss the supernatural side of NDE claims, but also to explain what is happening in those people claiming to have had them.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:02 AM
 
Location: UK
121 posts, read 147,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Sidneytinhut (1) "It may not be necessary to debunk those who have related their NDE as they did not seek fame nor fortune by their acts."

'Debunking' is not about suggesting that all those who experienced it were just trying to gain notoriety. It is about considering other possible explanations instead of just swallowing whole the preferred theory of those who see them as proof of God/soul/afterlife.

.
Unfortunately I could not agree with you exactly as the Oxford Dictionary defines it as follows; moreover, if you want an alternative explanation try 'research'.

debunk (de¦bunk)

Pronunciation: /diːˈbʌŋk/
verb

[with object]
  • expose the falseness or hollowness of (an idea or belief): she debunks all the usual rubbish about acting
  • reduce the inflated reputation of (someone): comedy takes delight in debunking heroes
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:06 AM
 
Location: UK
121 posts, read 147,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
There are hundreds of articles online illustrating problems with NDE's and alternative explanations for them. But, I wanted to highlight a few, the first of which I always have the hardest time finding when I am looking for it and the information it contains is rather unique as far as I can tell:

You have to read this article: Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences


And here are two more good articles:
Near Death Experiences & the Medical Literature by Mark Crislip

NDEs Redux Skeptics need to reclaim, redefine & embrace Near Death Experiences by Sebastian Dieguez

OK, one last article on Out of Body Experiences
I suggest you try Wikepedia's NDE which may give you a balanced view rather than a biased one.
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