The Problems With NDE Claims – Comprehensive

Question from Miguel:
Often times, NDEs [near death experiences] sound quite compelling, and some OBEs [out of body experiences] sound very compelling. The thing is that they are anecdotes, and so far, no one has fully demonstrated that they are real. An objective measure would be to place targets in hospital rooms and see if patients during their OBEs can have them. People who believe in OBEs will always say, “well the brain was dead, it couldn’t have picked up information, and it sure as hell couldn’t have generated a whole classic realer than real NDE”. A few things that don’t make sense though about NDEs are:
1) How does a soul which is not supposed to be physical pick up light and sound, but also go through walls and ceilings? What would be the point of a creator giving us ears or eyes if we could see and hear with souls? There has also been an inconsistency in OBEs. For example, the vast majority of people say they float through objects, while Howard Storm (atheist who became a reverend after his NDE) claimed he was walking, and could feel the cold floor during his OBE, which is inconsistent.
2) NDEs can happen when a person is nowhere near death, there are cases of them occurring when someone jumped off of a bridge or when someone got into a near car accident.
3) Rarely, but sometimes, there are documented inconsistencies during the NDE. For example, very rarely, but once in a while, people will have NDEs with live relatives, or they will have NDEs telling them things about the future that don’t end up taking place.
4) Evidence of the brain when it gets damaged seems to suggest that souls don’t exist.

Now here is my question. In recent years and even months, many people who research NDEs will take cases like a person having an NDE when they aren’t anywhere near death and say “well, the fact that this person who jumped off a bridge had an NDE when they weren’t near death proves that hypoxia or lack of oxygen cannot be the cause for NDEs. Then they say that the recent rat experiment where a doctor took rats near death and saw their brain activity spike is not relevant because when someone who is not near death has these, their brain would not have these spikes, yet they have NDEs. They also interview NDErs who also tried ketamine and DMT and claim that the drugs are no where near as “real” as the near death experiences were. Then they claim there is no evidence that the brain releases DMT. Then finally, we have neurosurgeons like Eben Alexander and Peter Fenwick who criticize neurosurgeons against NDEs and will always use the “but the brain can’t create that kind of imagery in those situations” argument, and that studies show that most cardiac arrest patients who had NDEs didn’t in fact have less oxygen in their brains than normal. Would you say that even if it was true that the oxygen, hypoxia, anoxia, and ketamine/DMT explanations were not true, that it would mean NDEs are? It seems like they don’t make sense if you look at them on their own, but there doesn’t seem to be a sufficient scientific explanation for them at the moment. Would you still think they were not real, even if all the current science explanations failed?

Answer by SmartLX:
We’re talking about an argument from ignorance here, Miguel. Even the best case is still a logical fallacy.

The reason you’re supposed to accept these claims that peoples’ souls left their bodies and had independent experiences is that there is supposedly no other way that what happened could have happened. This is flatly contradicted as long there are other potential explanations, because there are other ways it could have happened. Even if all these other explanations are eliminated (and as you say, many try their hardest to do just this), the most they can honestly say is there there is no other known way it could have happened. This does not complete a proof by elimination because it leaves room for explanations that haven’t occurred to us yet.

To summarise all this very simply, there is a BIG difference between an event being unexplained and an event being proven supernatural.

18 thoughts on “The Problems With NDE Claims – Comprehensive”

  1. The question was: “Would you say that even if it was true that the oxygen, hypoxia, anoxia, and ketamine/DMT explanations were not true, that it would mean NDEs are?”

    Nope.

    If one explanation is not correct or true, that doesn’t make any of the other explanations more true, or even more likely. Each explanation has to stand on its own merit. In other words, each explanation has to be proven to be accurate on it’s own data and evidence.

    It is worth noting, by the way, that there are also people who have concluded the opposite of what folks like Alexander and Fenwick have stated. It is hardly a settled issue, and as you mentioned Miguel there needs to be more controlled testing in real environments (putting up targets during surgery for example) to help us determine what is really going on.

    1. As far as the Bible is concerned the soul is an actual living person. At death there is not a part of us that goes flying off to heaven or hell. That breath of life that God placed in Adam and later distributed to every being that followed, the Bible says goes back to God who gave it. “GOD’S WORD® Translation
      Then the dust [of mortals] goes back to the ground as it was before, and the breath of life goes back to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7. Some translations do translate this word breath using the word spirit. And because of this many have fallen for the lie invented by the Catholic Church that a person dies and goes to heaven or hell. But the Bible actually teaches that a person who dies goes to sleep and no where else until they are resurrected when Christ returns. Then the righteous dead are taken to heaven along with those who believed in Christ and were still living. And the wicked dead, all died when Christ came the second time, are resurrected after the 1000 years. But no there is no floating off of a part of a person. That is a lie.

  2. As far as the Bible is concerned, it’s OK to have slaves. It’s OK to stone your children for disobedience. It’s OK to smite your maid, as long as they don’t die from it…

    I don’t think we need to use that collection of ancient writings as a legitimate source of information for anything…

  3. The Bible never once said that it is okay to have slaves. It talked about slaves. But Christ did say “when the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
    15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:15-18

  4. Really? Exodus 21 ring any bells? “When you buy a Hebrew slave”? Or, “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.”

    Your attempted rationalization is ridiculous, preacher Gerald. We all see you try to avoid the truth of your Bible, and then try to slide into some kind of “we are slaves to sin” sermon instead. We aren’t fooled so easily…

  5. There was no rationalization intended. I simply stated what was said in the Scripture. And I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me that God never said that slavery was wrong. He did point out that it was necessary to care for the slaves that an Israelite owned. And as I pointed out in my last post, Christ did tell His people that He wanted to set them free. And Paul reiterated the sentiments of Christ about slaves being treated well by the slave owners. He also told Paul to let us know that a slave is supposed to serve their master as best as he can. He said that we glorify God when we do all the best we can. But, and it is so strange that you don’t look deeper into what you are seeking to try to bring down. God. Did you know that every seven years the slave was set free. A slave most of the time became a slave because of debt owed. This was mainly for the Israelite nation. The other slaves were taken as usual. They were captured. But one thing you need to be told. Israel never attacked a nation that never try to eradicate the nation of Israel. Then and only then did God direct Israel to attack or when they were attack, He told them to defend themselves. And when slaves were taken by Israel they were not treated as they were by the surrounding nations. You’ve read how Rome treated their slaves. They were sent to the lions or worse. You read how Egypt treated their slaves. They were used as slave labor till they dropped dead. God did not allow this. So please stop getting only the part of what you want that will make you feel good. Go for all the truth. Just because God tells the story of how things actually were, doesn’t mean that He is saying it is ok. Or are you saying that because God gave the history of how Egypt, enslaved Israel that He was saying that what happened was ok? No. God told the history that happened without sugar coating it. The good and the bad. Even when it centered around His own people. Just like when David the friend of God. Please check out Acts 13:22. But when David committed adultery, and having the ladies husband killed on the battle by a letter to David’s General, delivered by the man that was to die, God nailed David to the cross. (so to speak). But God knew that David just lost his head due to sin. And that David would change and become His friend. So even though you and other Atheists are headed down the wrong path, there is still time for you. But you have to become a friend of God. But that is easy. Just accept Him as your friend. That’s all He is waiting on.

  6. “And I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me that God never said that slavery was wrong.”

    So you agree that slavery is considered OK in the Bible then, correct?

  7. Once again. The Bible is a record of what has happened in the past. It tells us what God did for His people when they followed and obeyed Him. And it shows what He did when they turned away from Him. Did He allow slavery, among His people, yes. But it was not the type of slavery that the other nations had accepted. For one thing, it was used to as a method for the Children of Israel to pay a debt owed to another Child of Israel. But it also made sure of a way that the person in debt would have a way to eat and have a place to stay. Because many times that person has had to rent out their land to fulfill other debt. Like I said slavery was more like indentured servitude. But for God’s people that person was set free on the year of Jubilee, or on every seventh year. And while in slavery, or in servitude, they were required to be treated by the person they worked for with love and respect. And this included even those who were not of the tribe of Israel. They were at least offered their freedom after a time.
    But once again, the Bible is a record of what happened during biblical days. If you want to know what God expected of His people, How He wanted them to live, then please pay attention to how He instructed His people to live through His 10 commandments. “Don’t lie”, Don’t commit adultery, don’t bear false witness, “Don’t want something of some one more than you want Me”, and especially don’t want it so much that you would do anything to obtain it.” And “Honor your father and mothers.” And the other things that broke down the meaning of those commandments. Like “love thy neighbor as thy self”, or “treat others as you would have them treat you”, or “how ever you treat others is the way you are treating me”. And even “let the little children come unto me”.
    You know, it strikes me strange that when ever someone who wants to bring down the Bible and God, always pull out the bad things that happened in God’s word, even if it was not God that did the bad things, and never talk about the good things that God spoke. Like the list that I mentioned above.

  8. Gerald writes: [Once again. The Bible is a record of what has happened in the past. It tells us what God did for His people when they followed and obeyed Him. And it shows what He did when they turned away from Him. Did He allow slavery, among His people, yes. But it was not the type of slavery that the other nations had accepted. For one thing, it was used to as a method for the Children of Israel to pay a debt owed to another Child of Israel.]

    Uh, Deuteronomy 20: 10-11? “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.”

    Pretty obvious they were allowed to take their enemies as “forced labor” aka slaves. Later on it says you can take the women and children “as plunder for yourselves”. Chapter 31 in Numbers allows virgin women to be kept as plunder (after killing off “every male among the little ones” naturally)…

    Nice try, preacher Gerald, but your god was quite the bastard when it came to the treatment of non-combatants during a war, and it heartily endorsed slavery of all types.

  9. Forced labor, does not have to mean what you are thinking it means. I already pointed out that God had a special way for His people to act. And that way was for all who they came into contact with. God had His people permit others to live with them and learn of God. They had the opportunity to live as God has told His people to live. With out these teachings the other people were worshiping false god’s and sacrificing their children to those gods. And as pointed out, many of those nations has become so evil,(like Sodom and Gomorrah), that to have association with them would put those who associated with them in danger of being lost. We do the same thing when we send individuals to the death penalty. You can harp all you want about how God did this but, you fail to see that He had a world to save. And once again, you love to place only one side of God in front, and then not stating all the facts. But God has proven His love to this world, before His death for man and when He died. His story has been told. Accept what you want. But all He want’s for you is to live. That is what has happened when Christianity has gone into other countries. Providing schools, hospitals, and churches that take others out of religions that enslave them to ignorance and to those who take advantage of their ignorance. These are facts. Too bad you permit yourself to be fooled.

    1. Dear readers,

      Did you see what preacher Gerald did there? In a conversation about slavery and what it says in the Bible, he posts a reply devoid of biblical support and doesn’t talk about slavery! He avoids the topic completely, and instead takes rule #1 out of the sermon playbook and tells us how great his god is and how people are to blame for everything.

      This is standard Christian diversion technique. When faced with insurmountable facts, start preaching. Justify how others are treated by claiming they were “permitted” to live with “his people” even though this god supposedly loves all yet has a chosen people. This god loved all and so newborns had to drown in a world wide flood…

      It’s that kind of mind-numbing contradictory nonsense that gets spouted when indefensible passages from the divinely inspired word of a god are brought to the attention of adherents like preacher Gerald. Which is why you didn’t see a continuation of the conversation we were having. Instead you were treated to empty baseless claims of a supposedly loving god who never acted loving.

      We see what you did there Gerald, and we aren’t impressed.

  10. Interesting. How you fail to see what is and what isn’t true. Tim. Just what did I spout that was not backed up biblically? I already stated that God allowed Israel to take slaves but those slaves were treated with respect. Not put into the arena. They were treated as a creation of God. Or God so desired. Did some people take advantage, more than likely. But God gave instructions on how to treat them. It is only that God is dealing with imperfect humanity. He permitted things that later He would deal with more completely. There were things that had to be dealt with immediately, and there were things that, although bad, did not warrant immediate action. All you have to do is read the whole Bible through and see the depth of God’s love for His creation, and you will see, that God does not want anyone in slavery. Especially spiritual slavery. And as people came closer and closer to Christ, He taught them of the better way to live. Attack all you want. But people would rather read all of God’s word and allow Him to reveal what He really wanted for man. And who He really is.

  11. Gerald writes: [Interesting. How you fail to see what is and what isn’t true. Tim. Just what did I spout that was not backed up biblically? I already stated that God allowed Israel to take slaves but those slaves were treated with respect. Not put into the arena. They were treated as a creation of God. Or God so desired.]

    The “treated with respect” part, Gerald, is not backed up biblically. As I already showed in specific Biblical quotes, people were forced to become slaves, were allowed to be beaten as long as they didn’t die from the treatment, and if you were a male or not a virgin you’d be killed and not even taken as a slave. This is treated with respect? Are you really that desperate to defend your dogma that you’d try to rationalize away slavery and abuse as being treated with respect? At some point stretching the truth that much just becomes an outright lie, preacher, and you’ve crossed that line on this topic.

    [But God gave instructions on how to treat them.]

    Sure did. Beat them, but don’t kill them. Take slaves, except kill all the little males and the young women who weren’t virgins first. Leviticus 25 tells us: “Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever”. Own them forever. What great instructions.

    Gerald writes: [All you have to do is read the whole Bible through and see the depth of God’s love for His creation, and you will see, that God does not want anyone in slavery.]

    Oh your god doesn’t want anyone in slavery, eh? Apparently Leviticus 25 fell out of your copy of the Bible and you weren’t aware of it…

    [Especially spiritual slavery.]

    And here you go trying to slide from physical slavery to spiritual slavery again, deflecting from the main point of the discussion. Ignore what your Bible says about slavery, and start preaching at the end how wonderful your god is and how much it loves us.

    With that kind of love who needs hate, eh?

    1. “And here you go trying to slide from physical slavery to spiritual slavery again, deflecting from the main point of the discussion. Ignore what your Bible says about slavery, and start preaching at the end how wonderful your god is and how much it loves us.” You see you think that you are free. You think you have three choices. You don’t There are only two. God or satan. And neither can be overlapped. You either chose God or you chose satan. To chose one means you are making that same choice easier the next time. And choosing the other becomes harder. God does not do slavery. He asks you to chose to be His. Satan takes over when you do not chose God. Even today without having accepted God. You are still a slave. To you job, to your mortgage company. To Uncle Sam or Uncle Tom. These demand that you be a slave. God does not. He calls you to Him so that He can protect you from the others. You know, or at least you would know, if you had children, that parents need to pick their fights. If you try to fight every battle with you children, then you get worn out and your children get pushed away. So you pick the ones that are the most important at the time, and come back to the others when a more solid foundation has been laid. For you to attack God for doing the same thing for us is indeed, again, poor reasoning on your part. And once again, you want to choose a small part of a larger picture that has been made. God has shown many a time His love for His creation. And He has proven without a doubt that His love is all encompassing. And undying. Look at the whole Bible and tell the whole story. Not just the part that you feel supports your devilish scheming.

      1. Gerald preaches: [You see you think that you are free. You think you have three choices. You don’t There are only two. God or satan. And neither can be overlapped. You either chose God or you chose satan. To chose one means you are making that same choice easier the next time. And choosing the other becomes harder. God does not do slavery. He asks you to chose to be His. Satan takes over when you do not chose God. Even today without having accepted God. You are still a slave.]

        Dear readers, Gerald did it again. He avoids the actual word of his actual god that talks about owning slaves forever, and beating but not killing them, and murdering young male prisoners instead of making them slaves. Instead, he preaches. Gerald desperately wants to avoid the bad stuff. He abhors the specifics that show his god to be an evil, jealous, histrionic attention craver, and tries to gloss over the garbage by telling us how wonderful his god is. Take a look for yourself.

        I quote him Leviticus 25: “Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever.”

        We get from preacher Gerald: “And He has proven without a doubt that His love is all encompassing. And undying.”

        Can you, dear readers, believe that anyone is so myopic about their god that they continue making claims that can’t possibly be true given the words and actions of that very same god!

        Please continue to deny the reality of your god, Gerald in your posts. You do far more to point out the unchristian nature of Christianity far more than I ever could.

  12. I don’t get how you can ignore the simple fact that God may not have wanted the practice but allowed it. He was more concerned in preparing a way for this world to get to know the truth about him. And He was preparing His people to be able to do this. All you need to do and you can ascertain God’s real intention for this world. All of God’s creation that He created are meant to be His people. He said that
    “Galatians 3:28New International Version (NIV)

    28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
    Slavery was part of that days practice. And God saw fit not to try to push too hard in getting His people to where He would eventually get us.
    Why not refer to Exodus 21. Or how about any of the texts where God has promised to be with us. To protect us. You want to, trying to prove what you believe use only the part which you think is supporting your view, but you fail to show the whole picture. This is the same thing that the atheists do when teaching evolution. They teach what they is true as true, but refuse to teach the holes in the theory of evolution

    1. WHHHEEEEE!!! Who wants to take a ride on the rationalization roller coaster? Step on up, Gerald is your conductor for today’s rides.

      Gerald preaches: [I don’t get how you can ignore the simple fact that God may not have wanted the practice but allowed it. He was more concerned in preparing a way for this world to get to know the truth about him.]

      Oh, the all powerful, all loving, all knowing god allowed it to happen because he was too busy doing other things? That is absolutely fascinating lunacy there, Gerald. The god can create the universe in six days, but it can’t multi task knocking up a virgin girl and keeping people from being slaves.

      That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.

      Let’s not forget, you wrote in another post that: “And He has proven without a doubt that His love is all encompassing. And undying.” Unless, I guess, he has to multi task, is that it? So this god creature has an all encompassing love, but allows slavery. I seriously cannot believe you write such rationalizations without your intellect shutting down from the obvious contradictions of such thoughts.

      Gerald preaches: [Slavery was part of that days practice. And God saw fit not to try to push too hard in getting His people to where He would eventually get us.]

      He didn’t push too hard? He killed newborns in a world wide flood, because everyone who wasn’t on Noah’s boat was “evil”. He drowned all the animals that didn’t get on the boat too. He killed the first born male in every household in Egypt. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Your god was never one for subtlety. But, let’s not forget, “He has proven without a doubt that His love is all encompassing. And undying.” Thank you for highlighting the inane rationalizations that you must possess in order to reconcile the huge list of contradictions that your inspired word contains. An all loving god that didn’t push too hard to get rid of slavery, and in fact directed people to take slaves and own them forever (if they weren’t killed for being young males in the first place)…unbelievable irrationality there.

      Gerald preaches: [but you fail to show the whole picture.]

      Uh, Gerald, the whole picture STILL includes your god telling people slavery is OK. That doesn’t go away just because you add in nice stuff like the golden rule. In fact that only further highlights the contradictory and schizophrenic nature that your god creature apparently possesses.

      Avoid the topic all you want, but your god is a jealous slavery loving being…

  13. “Oh, the all powerful, all loving, all knowing god allowed it to happen because he was too busy doing other things?” Come on Tim. You are not. taking into account as many a parent. There are some things that need to be dealt with immediately and there are things that can be put off. God has generations to deal with and the ones He has to deal with are needing to be caught up with and when a Shepard is dealing with his sheep, he has to lead them at the pace of the slowest of his fold. As I said before, Why is it that you have no problems trying to emphasize the worst and fail to list right along side the good. You are saying that God is and only issue what you want as evidence but fail to recognize the positive. God is also having to deal with other nations that have declared themselves as the enemy of Israel. They first attacked them after Israel first announced their intentions to pass through their lands. And God had to defend His people. And when some among those nations that were still open to being able to be taught, they may have been used as slaves. But that was not how God wanted it in the beginning. He has made it known that all men were His creation. And all were to be saved. But there were some who did not yield and even their children were so vent on doing wrong that God could not trust His people to mix with them. So they were wiped out as an extension of the punishment that would happen to them at the end of time. And for those who were brought in as slaves, they still had a chance to accept God and learn to be part of His people. That was always open. And God has always declared His love for mankind. That is why He died to save us. But sin is sin and it needs to be dealt with. So if there is sin in any part of our lives, then it must be dealt with, by giving it to God, or else in the end we will be identified as that sin and we will be as those who were destroyed by God through His people.
    Oh, and please give me the Bible text that supports your statement that follows. “Uh, Gerald, the whole picture STILL includes your god telling people slavery is OK.” I can show you text after text where God has told us that He wanted to set us free from slavery. He delivered Israel from slavery more than once from different nations. He tells us that He doesn’t want us to be slaves of this world or to sin. So God does not care for slavery. He may have condoned it. And tried to make the best of it, but He hates anything that subjects His people to anything that prevents them from being all the He created the to be. And although Paul the apostle declared himself to be a slave, it was to his calling of delivering God’s people from the slavery all sinners find themselves before they end up accepting freedom from sin and to the world. So don’t just be able to show your side of an argument at least give both sides of the coin. And God did not kill anyone in the flood. Noah preached for 120 years. He preached because God told Noah what was about to happen. And the “antediluvian’s” had as much of a possibility to escape destruction as the inhabitants of the city of Nineveh did when God sent Jonah to warn them of destruction. The only difference was the inhabitants humbled themselves and repented of their sins. And God held back from the destruction. And Jonah was so mad that God had shown such mercy to them that he went off to sulk because the destruction was averted. God has done the same to His own people, placing them into slavery to other nations that were allowed to conquer them because God’s people failed to remember that they were supposed to live as God had told them to live and love and worship only the true God. So there was many a time that God held back on complete destruction of His own people. But this is to show you that God’s love although limitless, will also be the reason why God will not allow sin to last forever. God will only us to suffer in our sins, for so long. And then He will put an end to sin and to all those who refused to be cleansed from their sins. And so He will cleanse their sins, which have become so much a part of the sinner, that there will be nothing left after He has finished cleansing this world of sin. But God did not want the people to die. He told them through Noah, what was going to happen. They had time to even Get on the ark. To save themselves and their children. But the Bible says they made fun of Noah. And they lost their lives, because they refused to heed God’s warning through Noah. And Tim, God is warning you and me and everyone else. That we need to accept Christ as our Savior. If we fail to heed His warning we to will be subject to eternal death and destruction. And although destruction by water will not be what God uses this next time, fire will be even worse. Please turn your heart to Him. Listen to the Holy Spirit. And take to heart what God is trying to tell you. As long as there is breath in your lungs, you still have time. And it doesn’t how much satan has been allowed to lead and fool you. All you need to do is think and God will. So please listen to His voice.

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