Does an Afterlife Obviously Exist?

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Article from Psychology Today.
Posted April 29, 2022

Philosopher Jens Amberts argues that life after death is "empirically certain."

Does an Afterlife Obviously Exist?

Quote:Imagine a room completely sealed off from the outside world.

Quote:Most of us would agree that, if enough people went into this room and enough of them came out of it agreeing about what was inside, their joint testimony would justify the rest of us in believing that the room contained what they said it did, even in the absence of physical evidence. Now, it’s true that, if the contents of the room were quite strange—say, if its contents appeared to contradict the accepted laws of physics—we might need a particularly high number of testimonies from particularly well-qualified investigators to convince us that the room’s contents were indeed as strange as reported.
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(2022-05-16, 04:50 PM)Typoz Wrote: Article from Psychology Today.
Posted April 29, 2022

Philosopher Jens Amberts argues that life after death is "empirically certain."

Does an Afterlife Obviously Exist?

Excellent article. I would just complain that Amberts leaves out one entire category of evidence, that clearly and directly indicates that the experiences are really of leaving the body and traveling to a spiritual realm. This is the existence of many veridical features of many NDEs, where for instance the experiencer later reports that he experienced leaving his body and observing, from a location near the ceiling of the operating room or emergency room in a hospital, details of the doctors and their actions. All while the NDEer was totally incapacitated after trauma such as cardiac arrest. Information that is later confirmed by careful investigators. Another type of veridical experience - the NDEer travels to a spiritual realm where he meets deceased loved ones, where sometimes he was not aware that they had died. This area of empirical veridical evidence was documented in detail for 120 or so cases in the book The Self Does Not Die, by Rivas, Dirven and Smit.
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I totally agree with nbtruthman, we should all remember the sheer volume of evidence available to us now. I am sick of the alternative point of view. I am sure this piece will be followed by someone putting the standard point of view. First the author will throw out as much of the evidence as possible on the flimsiest of excuses. Then he will quote the idea that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. Then he will describe neuroscience as though it holds the key to solving the 'remaining' puzzles about the brain, etc etc.

This just one of a number of areas of 'established' science where the standard dogma is visibly crumbling.

Also we all know that if scientists spent some effort exploring the holes in their story, these would soon gape wide open. For example, presentiment seems ripe for some serious effort - they should put up a well explained alternative explanation for the presentiment phenomenon or concede that the brain is aware of the future in some way.
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Problem is, their accounts all differ considerably.  Makes hallucination a viable alternative.
(2022-05-17, 12:13 PM)Brian Wrote: Problem is, their accounts all differ considerably.  Makes hallucination a viable alternative.

I don't think that applies in the context of the veridical accounts pointed out above by @nbtruthman. In addition there is a clear distinction between the bizarre and incoherent hallucinatory state and the cool, clear-headed realer-than-real experiences frequently identified as a key characteristic of an NDE.

Actually, I was reflecting on something sort of related a few days ago. I'd had some fairly ordinary, quite pleasant dreams the previous night including a couple of instances of 'false awakening' where I woke up from a dream but was in fact still sleeping and now within another dream. When I finally did awaken into this reality I could clearly (I think!) tell that I was really awake. I could at that point tell that all of it was just ordinary dreaming.

But the thing which struck me was that on some occasions in the past I've had dreams which really have been as substantial and real as this waking life. So I have at least an inkling of what people mean when they say 'realer than real' since very occasionally I've had such experiences myself. Actually I'll add that I met a deceased relative during those 'dreams' but it was very different to ordinary dreaming.

This is where I'm in sympathy with the author of that article as he mentions the 'more real than everyday life' aspect of these reports. It isn't appropriate in my view to simply brush them aside as hallucinations, it would not do justice to what people have described.
(This post was last modified: 2022-05-17, 01:42 PM by Typoz. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2022-05-17, 12:13 PM)Brian Wrote: Problem is, their accounts all differ considerably.  Makes hallucination a viable alternative.

Chris Carter notes that multiple people can visit Africa and have vividly different descriptions. Yet the place is real, just incredibly large. Additionally, there are differences but also core similarities occurring across human history despite cultural separation. These similarities also make a kind of thread with reincarnation cases, apparitions, mediumship, and deathbed visions.

I would say some of the weirder experiences where one meets fictional characters or still living persons who seem to be dead might be greater cause for concern...perhaps also the best cases suggestive of "Super Psi". However this doesn't negate, IMO, the other recorded experiences of meeting those dead who one has never met or the experiencer didn't know was dead.

I think there will almost always be some degree of doubt if one doesn't have these experiences themselves but as the article notes the evidence is too strong for easy dismissal.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-05-17, 12:13 PM)Brian Wrote: Problem is, their accounts all differ considerably.  Makes hallucination a viable alternative.

Well it seems to me that most NDEs cluster around a standard message - so much so that reading yet another such report can seem a bit pointless - so we tend to focus on unusual NDEs - like that of Eben Alexander!

I think NDE's made me more aware that the afterlife is an extremely complicated place - which is just as well - I mean sitting on a cloud strumming a harp and praising God, would rapidly become unbearable!

David
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Actually, though this tends to not always go down well with everyone, there is another piece of information which can also be identified as common ground among NDE reports. The article highlights the idea of an afterlife, to which one might say, yeah, well so what - how does this affect me here and now, today? The second common thread in many NDEs is overwhelming love. That does affect us here and now, as it is often indicated that that is what we should be doing here in this life too. No need to wait. In other words, for many people, and society in general, it represents a shift in values. That part makes people deeply uncomfortable. But I'd argue it is the more important take-away message from NDEs: love.
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(2022-05-19, 09:50 AM)Typoz Wrote: Actually, though this tends to not always go down well with everyone, there is another piece of information which can also be identified as common ground among NDE reports. The article highlights the idea of an afterlife, to which one might say, yeah, well so what - how does this affect me here and now, today? The second common thread in many NDEs is overwhelming love. That does affect us here and now, as it is often indicated that that is what we should be doing here in this life too. No need to wait. In other words, for many people, and society in general, it represents a shift in values. That part makes people deeply uncomfortable. But I'd argue it is the more important take-away message from NDEs: love.

There are frightening experiences too... 

1) what is common to both types of experiences is that the person feels strongly... 2) and these feelings vary between attractive and repelling...

I argue that feelings, are the result of adding-up classical patterns, non-classically. That is... non-classical coherence... whether these feelings are repelling or attractive (or somewhere between them)... is a matter of individual perspective.

The stronger the feeling... the greater the number of matching patterns you're adding up non-classically.

And in between 'now and then'... 'here and there' is destructive coherence... called non-classical decoherence... which individuals resolve to the everyday classical world, of classical patterns...
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(This post was last modified: 2022-05-20, 05:05 AM by Max_B. Edited 1 time in total.)
That’s a very interesting article. Thank you.
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