For me, this is an ongoing journey, an exploration, a journalistic and personal foray into unchartered waters. However, the unusual phenomena described in the book actually do exist—their reality has been proved time and time again in published papers and through observation under controlled conditions. This is as far as our proof goes. We cannot explain what the causative forces are or what they mean—this is still up for debate, and needs further investigation. Can you explain the difference between materialists and survivalists, and why that distinction is so important?
Have Scientists REALLY Proven That Life After Death Exists?
The concept of survival after death, as presented in the book, does not refer to an impersonal merging into pure awareness or becoming one with universal consciousness as envisioned by many who meditate or are influenced by Eastern religions. If this were all that happened, our individuality would disappear. My investigation concerns personal survival—a postmortem existence in which distinct traits, memories, and emotions are sustained at least by some of us after the death of the body, for an unknown period of time.
It refers to a psychological continuity after death, which makes it possible for the disembodied personality to be recognizable by those left behind when communication is received. The survival hypothesis is proposing this kind of personal survival as an unproven but rational theory explaining much compelling data. In other words, without meaning anything religious, this represents survival of the individual essence, spirit, or soul. Survivalists believe that the hypothesis of personal survival provides the best explanation for the kind of evidence provided in my book.
The dogma of materialism states that matter is all that exists and that all phenomena, including consciousness, are reducible to physical processes. This approach dominates Western thinking at this time, but our reductionist scientific culture is almost alone in its unshakable belief in the finality of death. The materialist view has led us to abandon the concept of the transcendent, and to ignore phenomena that do not conform to this worldview. You tested several mediums by signing up for readings blind, and also worked with mediums who are certified by the The Windbridge Institute and Forever Family Foundation.
Were these experiences convincing for you? Did it feel psychic, or did it feel like you were, in fact, communicating with your friend and brother?
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Two readings which I describe in detail in the book were absolutely amazing—life changing for me. The mediums brought forward much accurate, private information that they could not possibly have known. The personalities of the two people close to me, who seemed to have been speaking through the medium, also were strikingly evident.
It did indeed feel like it was my friend and brother present, but the argument that all of it was generated from the highly developed telepathy and clairvoyance of the medium is a legitimate one, and ultimately there is no way to know. I gave her my first name and a fake last name, a new email address never used before, and provided absolutely no information she could use to identify me.
We never spoke before the reading. Yet she delivered stunningly accurate, personal information that seemed to come directly from my friend and brother. I list the statements in my book. These communicators demonstrated character traits that fit their very different personalities. How does one explain this? The approach of denying the very existence of psychic ability cannot be applied here. I cannot describe adequately how uncanny and exhilarating it is to sit with a total stranger who knows absolutely nothing about you but who delivers a stream of obscure information, personality traits, and meaningful messages that appear to be coming from someone once living.
I now understand how helpful this process could be for grieving people. The familiar individuality of these two opposite personalities whom I knew so well was easy for me to recognize. The readings suggest the possibility of survival past death with an in-your-face, joyful immediacy.
However, upon reflection, other valid interpretations must be considered, but in these two cases, fraud or cold reading were not options. Can you explain what you saw and felt? These are some examples of a range of physical manifestations. Many others have had the same experience.
Life After Death: The Evidence
No, it could not have been hoaxed, as I address in Surviving Death. This group has been sitting together for decades and these phenomena took Stewart and his supportive group a long time to develop. By the end of the sitting, I felt as if the room were filled with a palpable energy, almost like a substance filling the space. It is truly like entering another world—and one so wonderful it is beyond imagination. Polish medium Franek Kluski — was also a Warsaw banker, author, playwright, and poet—intelligent and well-educated.
Kluski remained completely still and was in a trance throughout the sittings, as if sound asleep. Under these conditions, fraud was physically impossible. Finally, it examines whether any recent near-death research has addressed previous methodological criticisms, concluding that such research has not in fact advanced.
Is There Life After Death? Death and Dying, Misc in Applied Ethics. Parapsychology and Consciousness in Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Reincarnation in Philosophy of Religion. The Soul in Philosophy of Religion.
The Near Death Experience as Evidence for Life After Death | Issue 59 | Philosophy Now
Edit this record. Mark as duplicate. Find it on Scholar. Request removal from index. Revision history. Configure custom resolver. Giving Up the Ghost to Psychology. Near-Death Experiences with Hallucinatory Features. Subjects report being drawn through a tunnel and seeing a bright light. They often experience their whole lives flash before them, what scholars terms the "life review. Frequently they are in a presence of a celestial being. When near-death experiences were first reported by Raymond Moody in the s, they were written off as anecdotal and unverifiable.
The Case for Life After Death
But now these experiences are so widespread from across cultures that they cannot be easily dismissed and there is a whole body of scholarship devoted to studying how they come about and what they mean. Alarmed by the obvious implication of near-death experiences, atheists have been laboring assiduously to explain them away. Today, the best atheist explanation is that near-death experiences are the result of a dying brain. When the brain irreversibly breaks down, psychologist Susan Blackmore contends, it generates special effects that closely track the near-death experience.
There are several problems with this theory but one fatal one is that many survivors of clinical death are now going to work, looking after their families, and functioning just fine. So much for an "irreversible" breakdown. In my research I also explored evidence from physics, biology, and brain science to see if life after death is consistent with or even corroborated by these fields of study. Consider the evidence from physics.
For the Christian conception of life after death to be viable, there have to be realms beyond the physical universe that are quite literally outside space and time. This is what the Christian concept of "eternity" means. God is eternal and heaven is His eternal realm. But in Newtonian physics these concepts made no sense, because time was presumed to extend indefinitely into the past and the future, and space was presumed to stretch unendingly in all directions.
Today, however, you just have to wander into an introductory college science class to see how 21st-century physics has greatly widened our horizons. Today scientists routinely speak of hidden dimensions, multiple realms, and even multiple universes. What do we know about multiple universes? Not a lot, but we know that if they do exist they would have laws radically different from those in our universe. One of the direct implications of the Big Bang is that not only did the physical universe have a beginning, but space and time also had a beginning.
Space and time are properties of our universe. This means that in realms beyond our universe, if such realms exist, there might be no space and no time. Suddenly the Christian idea of eternity is rendered intelligible. In considering the question of life after death, I moved from why it's possible to why it's probable to why we should embrace the idea. Since we are dealing with a future event, I acknowledge that we cannot have certainty.
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