Near death experience - did he really mean that?

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In another forum a poster brought my attention to an older NDE from a time there was less public awareness about the phenomena. Here's the link:

A. J. Ayer – ‘What I Saw When I Was Dead’ | Dr Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes (philosopher.eu)

I was quite puzzled about the final paragraph:

Quote:.. My recent experiences have slightly weakened my conviction that my genuine death, which is due fairly soon, will be the end of me, though I continue to hope that it will be. They have not weakened my conviction that there is no god. ..

How do you native english speakers understand the bolded line. Does he really hope for his own annihalation? Or does he mean he hope death will not be the end of him?
(2023-11-20, 03:33 PM)sbu Wrote: How do you native english speakers understand the bolded line. Does he really hope for his own annihalation? Or does he mean he hope death will not be the end of him?

Yes, he did hope for annihilation, absolutely ! He was an empiricist and responsible for bringing the philosophy of logical positivism to the west. I think I read somewhere that he even visited his friend Somerset Maugham on his death bed to reassure him that there was no life after death. Don't you worry, Somerset, all those silly stories that that d*ck head (tim) posts on psience quest are all rubbish !! (well it could have happened in theory Smile
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-20, 04:18 PM by tim. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2023-11-20, 04:16 PM)tim Wrote: Yes, he did hope for annihilation, absolutely ! He was an empiricist and responsible for bringing the philosophy of logical positivism to the west. I think I read somewhere that he even visited his friend Somerset Maugham on his death bed to reassure him that there was no life after death. Don't you worry, Somerset, all those silly stories that that d*ck head (tim) posts on psience quest are all rubbish !! (well it could have happened in theory Smile

He just might have wished for his personal annihilation at physical death to atone for making the terrible mistake that he discovered he made in having long promoted total materialism and absence of an afterlife, this mistake having been just discovered by him through having his his NDE-like experience. This suggestion is probably a joke.
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-20, 04:33 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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Thanks for acknowledging my understanding. I just never before read about someone non-suicidal hoping for annihilation. I find it disturbing to be honest.
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(2023-11-20, 04:39 PM)sbu Wrote: Thanks for acknowledging my understanding. I just never before read about someone non-suicidal hoping for annihilation. I find it disturbing to be honest.

Oh I think many of our Materialist friends simply fear the possibility of going to Hell, and so also claim to be fine with Oblivion as if it's the courageous choice...
'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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(2023-11-20, 04:39 PM)sbu Wrote: Thanks for acknowledging my understanding. I just never before read about someone non-suicidal hoping for annihilation. I find it disturbing to be honest.

Just to add, sbu, he wasn't hoping for annihilation before his natural death. He wanted to live in this world as long as he could. He just didn't fancy sitting on a cloud and playing the harp for eternity, which I can understand.

Edit. Just to add, he writes (in that post mortem addendum) that reincarnation would be plausible if it could be shown that many persons had memories of past lives which they had no possibility of knowing. Well, that's been met now.
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-20, 05:08 PM by tim. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-11-20, 04:51 PM)tim Wrote: Just to add, sbu, he wasn't hoping for annihilation before his natural death. He wanted to live in this world as long as he could. He just didn't fancy sitting on a cloud and playing the harp for eternity, which I can understand.

Edit. Just to add, he writes (in that post mortem addendum) that reincarnation would be plausible if it could be shown that many persons had memories of past lives which they had no possibility of knowing. Well, that's been met now.

I completely had missed that “ mortem addendum”. It seems to clarify things.
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I've had this conversation with someone very close to me - a confirmed atheist/materialist. His genuine expectation - and, yes, hope - is for annihilation. He reasons that there was nothing before he was born and there will be nothing after he dies. This motivates him to make as much of his time here as he can. To enjoy his life and make the lives of his family better so that his children can also enjoy the time they have here. I do NOT believe he is afraid of going to hell nor having to face some vengeful God and account for his lack of faith. He believes that his position is one of reason and rationality and is supported by those he admires - the majority of rationalists in the sciences and academia.

Yet his adherence to this worldview is absolute. When I try to offer some evidence of another worldview, that evidence is rejected without consideration. Such evidence falls within the same category as religious belief, superstition and wishful thinking. It can be rejected because the evidence from science, which he does believe, is contrary to anything I can offer. It matters not that there is actual scientific evidence suggesting another probability - his view is that of the consensus and that happens to be the materialist view.

Another, more personal, fear among those who hope for annihilation is the fear of eternity. The thought that there is no end - that a billion years from now we will still be looking forward into eternity. It is something that has frightened me deeply over the years too. I deal with it by reminding myself that linear time is probably a human invention and only applies during life on earth. According to spiritual evidence, such as that brought to us through channelled and NDE reports, we do not experience time in the afterlife so eternity is a moot concept.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-20, 08:41 PM by Kamarling. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-11-20, 08:39 PM)Kamarling Wrote: His genuine expectation - and, yes, hope - is for annihilation.

Curious.  As I read the rest of your post, I did not see anything that might explain the bold above.  I understand his intellectual position but are you suggesting there's an emotional/'spiritual' element to your friend that "hopes" for annihilation?

(2023-11-20, 08:39 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Another, more personal, fear among those who hope for annihilation is the fear of eternity. The thought that there is no end - that a billion years from now we will still be looking forward into eternity. It is something that has frightened me deeply over the years too. I deal with it by reminding myself that linear time is probably a human invention and only applies during life on earth. According to spiritual evidence, such as that brought to us through channelled and NDE reports, we do not experience time in the afterlife so eternity is a moot concept.

I've come to the same conclusion.  That if, indeed, there is 'more' it won't be in the same structure/construct as what we've experienced as mortal humans on planet Earth.
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(2023-11-20, 08:39 PM)Kamarling Wrote: Another, more personal, fear among those who hope for annihilation is the fear of eternity. The thought that there is no end - that a billion years from now we will still be looking forward into eternity. It is something that has frightened me deeply over the years too. I deal with it by reminding myself that linear time is probably a human invention and only applies during life on earth. According to spiritual evidence, such as that brought to us through channelled and NDE reports, we do not experience time in the afterlife so eternity is a moot concept.

I don't fear the afterlife because according to most NDE reports, it was so wonderful and full of love and pure bliss that they didn't wanna go back to the regular world and they wanted to stay in the afterlife.
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