Why the afterlife to me isn't just evolutionary wishful thinking

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A common argument for the human belief in an afterlife is "evolutionary mechanisms of wishful thinking and humans not being able to comprehend their own non-existence". My counter to this: I think from an cold, trait guided evolutionary standpoint it would've made more sense if we evolved to not believe in afterlife because it would allow us to be more focused on the tasks at hand and live in the moment and have more reality based thinking if our reality was just materialist. 

And a Nautilus article about NDEs which unfortunately made a lot of false claims, was saying it was "Evolution's way of peacefully leading us into the final goodnight.".....which makes no sense because how would that trait even get passed down if it's happening right before people die. 

Anyone else notice evolution being used for random unproven purposes like this?
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The academic world - especially in the West I think? -  has a very prominent Science vs Religion narrative, so there is a desperation to use evolution to explain (or explain away) NDEs, mysticism, moral values, etc. In general I find "just so" story making from evolutionary psychology to be suspect so I don't find these sort of attempts convincing.

To me it seems logically impossible for materialism to be true, so NDEs to me start off as quite plausible. And it also seems quite implausible to me that each NDEr is lying, along with people like Bruce Greyson who have borne witness to the OOBE of NDEs.

If a person is willing to study the subject in depth it seems to me the reasonable conclusion is there is an afterlife. The nature of this afterlife seems rather strange, and possibly even disordered/fractured, but nevertheless it seems to me that Survival is true.

But I guess we'll all find out in the end who was right.
'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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One problem with theories about afterlife being an evolutionary trait is that they don’t address the actual evidence of survival.
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https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/comment...-come-from

I also wanted to post this super interesting article on the origin of religions. It has a very agnostic hypothesis that both atheists and religious/spiritual people could accept.
AKA the "trance" hypothesis. I can imagine that early experiences with meditation, DMT, maybe a few super rare primitive NDEs, dreams, opened up people to seeing there's more to this existence. Super cool.
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(2023-10-28, 05:37 PM)Obiwan Wrote: One problem with theories about afterlife being an evolutionary trait is that they don’t address the actual evidence of survival.

That's very common because the authors of these ridiculous theories are usually typical card-carrying members of the messianic church of materialist scientism and therefore are totally closed-mindedly convinced that it is just obvious common sense and observation to believe that there is absolutely no real evidence for survival or an afterlife. It is just impossible to these people. This belief system is so utterly immovable and impregnable that they just make the blithe assumption and generate their worthless theories without even mentioning the issue. And this closed minded belief that all the supposed survival and afterlife evidence is worthlessly anecdotal or otherwise invalid is arrived at usually without examination of any of the evidence in detail - after all, that would be a waste of time as far as they are concerned. Confirmation bias to the extreme.
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-14, 08:08 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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This is a problem with researching any PSI related phenomena. Humans grow up with belief systems that they become set in, whether they be religious or atheist ones (without realizing). NDEs, mediumship, reincarnation, a consistent theme for all of them is that they don't apply to any method of explanation, whether it be religious or conventional physicalist. We have to build a new way of understanding from the ground up, using material which is incredibly difficult to study and doesn't provide solid answers. So it's all too easy to slap on the label of evolutionary trait or religious experience because the alternative, admitting we don't really know anything, is a lot more frightening to everyone involved.
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(2023-10-26, 11:34 PM)LotusFlower Wrote: A common argument for the human belief in an afterlife is "evolutionary mechanisms of wishful thinking and humans not being able to comprehend their own non-existence". My counter to this: I think from an cold, trait guided evolutionary standpoint it would've made more sense if we evolved to not believe in afterlife because it would allow us to be more focused on the tasks at hand and live in the moment and have more reality based thinking if our reality was just materialist. 

Anyone else notice evolution being used for random unproven purposes like this?

You are spot on - the idea that evolution evolved a calm exit for us at the end of life is crazy. I mean evolution by random mutation followed by natural selection (often referred to as RM+NS) applied to NDEs just makes no sense. The implication would be that a significant number of people would have an NDE - in the wild with no resuscitation gear to hand) and then recover enough to have some more babies, or at least continue to care for the babies they already have.

To be fair, I suppose it is possible to elaborate this daft idea into something that is vaguely sensible, if one assumes that other people would hear about NDE's and that would reinvigorate them to focus on rearing their families.

Actually I think there is a ton of evidence that evolution by natural selection can't work to any significant degree. That means life on Earth and our bodies in particular was designed! That doesn't make me a Christian, or belong to any other faith, but it certainly motivates me to post on this forum!

David
(This post was last modified: 2023-11-15, 11:01 AM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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