NDEs: The View From The Other Side

Question from Ruslana:

I just browsed some of the recent questions/answers, and I wanted to kind of post a rebuttal to the individuals who claim that folks like Tsakiris, Long, and others are potentially proving NDEs. I would also like to know if you, SmartLX, agree with me, or not.

I myself am not aware of all the protocols being put in place for the “studies” that apparently “debunk” the current scientific theories of NDEs put in place. However, like you, SmartLX, have said– there is a huge argument from ignorance here. Sure these men are able to win debates against scientists who do not study NDEs on a regular basis, they can pull these “facts” of oxygen theory, hypoxia theory being debunked out of their debate hats. Once these “facts” are laid out, the skeptics they are debating do not have the liberty to pull out their phones, and check whether or not these studies cited are credible. I guess that is the fault of the skeptics to some extent, as they should be ready for these kinds of rebuttals. However, even if it were true that NDEs occur at the strangest times, and the non-skeptic side is correct that skeptics have incorrect explanations for the causes of NDEs, so what? Let’s give our opponents the benefit of the doubt here and cross off every single theory that we think could cause NDEs. That would at best get them half way to being correct. However, at the end of the day, we still cannot say that the cause of these NDEs is what they interpret them to be– a spirit leaving the body, only to return. Remember, there are still a whole lot of unanswered questions the skeptics are entitled to ask as well such as:
– why do NDEs contradict each other with their underlying messages? Tsakiris debated McCormack on this very topic, comparing McCormack, a man who claims he visited hell, and the NDE of another individual, who claims he or she was told that hell does not exist during his/her NDE. It cannot be that both are right. Therefore, one of them is right, or both are wrong. How can we determine who is correct, assuming one of them is?
– why does the order of NDEs, and the content within change from person to person? One person may have an OBE, followed by meeting a bright light, while another may have no OBE, but see a bright light and have psychic visions. People who believe in NDEs may argue that each soul is unique, and therefore requires a different teaching, hence why different people see different things. However, that seems like a large assumption given what we know
– some NDEs do have living people in them
– not one OBE has been verified under strict protocols. I remember reading some of the OBEs found in popular literature have been enhanced, embellished, or made up completely. An example is a blind individual who claimed they could see their doctor wearing two different coloured socks.
– why do we need brains if we have these amazing souls that can see, hear, and think more clearly than our “lousy” brains?
– why is it possible to have NDEs when we are not even “close” to death?
– NDEs are just that as well- Near Death, regardless of what hopeful people say, the NDEr did not die!

I admit there are things we cannot explain, and I am not saying NDEs are not real, but when these NDErs and people advocating for a non-materialist universe think that supposedly “debunking” our current theories on the causes of NDEs is equivalent to proving that we have souls capable of leaving the body and returning with information, they need to have a reality check. The fact is that the concept of “souls” or an “afterlife” is not particularly high on the totem pole of importance for science right now. If these individuals are so confident, then I look forward to seeing studies which actually prove that Thomas was able to tell the future from his experience, or that Jenny was really able to travel halfway across the world, and report what was going on while she was really “dead”. This would still obviously hold some subjectivity to it, but it would be a start.
My current answer to the cause of NDEs is: I don’t know –
however, I am not going to start pulling answers out of my butt.

Answer by SmartLX:
Quite right on the whole.
– Eliminating all available natural explanations merely leaves NDEs unexplained, not proven to be any kind of supernatural or divine.
– The matter cannot be settled in any kind of debate, for the reason you give: all kinds of claims can be made, but not fully researched and responded to in the time allotted. (Creationists also take advantage of this, hence the name of the “Gish gallop” technique of spewing out a huge number of claims exactly when there’s no time to address them all.)
– NDEs vary because people vary, and the doctrines the stories are required to support also vary. One story is intended to instill fear of Hell, another to reassure against the idea of Hell.
– Of course OBEs have not been verified under strict conditions, or else they’d be an accepted phenomenon. That is literally all it would take. To be fair, to engineer an NDE or crisis-related OBE in suitably strict conditions would probably require unethical conduct by any medical personnel involved. Think Flatliners.

5 thoughts on “NDEs: The View From The Other Side”

  1. NDEs and OBEs are no different than any other phenomena that we study. Someone at some point has to show empirical data and evidence to support the claim. No one has done that. We always hear about people claiming they had one. Press them for details, like what hospital, who the doctor was, the date of the event, etc etc etc and you never get an answer. You are never given specific information.

    Those cultists that try to support their claims with “studies” never produce any details about those either.

    Until someone starts putting together repeatable evidence, or starts setting up controlled experiments, NBE and OBE claims should be treated the same as palm readers, mystics, people that claim to talk to the dead, and all the other fake magic con artists that no one takes seriously…

    1. yes, but that will never happen, because science says there is no god.
      the question of origin of matter, which is the only question unanswered by science yet…yes, the origin of matter is energy, but, then, what is the origin of energy, is actually as unanswerable as is the question of origin of god, because, the religious say nothing can become from nothing, but their ‘god’ can, this is their answer to the claim of science that energy and thus matter, has no origin, it IS the universe. the same claim is made by the religious about ‘go’, so we are claiming the same thing, the religious about no origin of god, and science with all the atheists, about no origin of matter, that is energy. they both are there forever in the ‘past’, but with the most significant difference between religion and science, that in religion ‘god’ has mind and intention, will, which is ridiculous, in science, energy and matter blindly follow the laws of physics, no intention or will in the beginning of the universe. of course not, only fools can believe that ‘god’ deliberately, with some goal in its mind, created disgusting, ugly living organisms like spiders and germs, and also destructive forces like earthquakes and volcanos’ eruptions. and death, in the presence of conscious mind of humans, which have the instinct of survival no matter what. this is blind ‘creation’ in action, no mindful ‘god’, because only a lunatic would create SUCH world PAIN and EVIL. if god exists, it is INSANE, CRAZY, MAD, A LUNATIC.

      1. as for NOTHING, the universe has never been a nothing in our way of thinking of it, the ARISTOTELIAN way. the universe is something and even when it goes back, if it does and when it does, then this nothing is not a real nothing, and will, or rather, can, come back to something.
        so, if all this is so, science says it is, then both matter, i.e. energy, and ‘god’ are possible to emerge from ‘nothing’, because the universe’s nothing is not nothing. it is something. so this way both ‘god’ and matter are possible to become from this ‘nothing’, but, again, with the major difference between ‘god’ having a will and goal, while nature and evolution are blind forces. they are consequences firstly, and only then become causes of their consequences further on, from the emergence of the first living cell that could and did multiply by division. ‘god’, hahaha !!!

  2. Without having read SmartLX’s answer, nor the above comment, I haven’t even looked who it is from, I am telling you, my dear Ruslana, and Stephen Hawking agreed with me,


    JUST T H I S O N E.


  3. ruslana, have in mind that i had written what i did above, before i read your post. this explains my tone to you, i merely presumed, judging by the title of your post, that you are one of ‘them’, and, frankly, i am quite sick of them.
    as for why scientists don’t discuss with ‘them’ the matter in question, i am sure they don’t because they despise them, and it is under the scientist to dialogue with such people, those with lack of both intellectual capabilities and adequate knowledge. only, the scientists would’t say it the way i just did, because they care about their faces, while i simply don’t. no, i do, but not when these creatures judge me.

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