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Ex-atheist describes near-death experience

  1. Feb 2, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/01-04/01-31-04/c04rg223.htm [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2004 #2

    megashawn

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    Ok, I'm gonna come out of hiding for this one.

    First of all, what exactly was his ailment that supposedly caused his death?

    What in your stomach can cause you to die? Especially in a hospital?

    Based on this, I'd say the dude had a awesome, although fearsome trip from the pain medicine given to him for what I would guess, since there was no description of his illness, a bad pancreas, or maybe a hernia.

    Is there any medical documents verifying he was dead, or almost dead?

    Seems rather silly to me. Probably another one of these religous pushers who say "Hey, maybe if I say I used to be an atheist people will give me more credit."
     
  4. Feb 4, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was just posting FYI, but I will do a little homework and see if I can find out the specifics. It may take me a few days to get back to this though. If you can find an email address he may well respond. Usually these people are fairly accessible.

    He does tell a pretty terrifying story doesn't he?

    Thanks for coming out of hiding. Tsunami and I were just wondering about you.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2004 #4
    Looking forward to the rest of this one:smile:
     
  6. Feb 6, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Hey megashawn,
    I e-mailed your questions to Rev. Storm and invited him to reply to me by email; or even better to drop in and answer some questions directly. If he does make a showing please understand that he would do so as an invited guest; so be nice. :smile:

    Edit: Oh yes, his ailment was a "stomach perforation".
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2004
  7. Feb 6, 2004 #6

    Evo

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    Perforated ulcer? I saw (either on The Learning Channel or Discovery, what would we do without them :wink: ) a show about the REALLY BAD near death experiences where the person sees Hell, you know, people screaming in agony in a fiery lake, in unspeakable, never ending pain. :frown:

    Ivan, on the same show they mentioned another source that said that "the tunnel of light" and the "white, glowing entities" that some people see in most NDE's are actually evil and that if you follow them, you "will" end up in hell because they are "tricking you". It's driving me nuts because I can't remember exactly, I seem to remember they said it was some passage from the bible or other similar religious source.

    I remember thinking... oh great, now what do I do?
     
  8. Feb 6, 2004 #7
    I can't remember where but I remember reading about a scientific study that found some sort of chemical of the brain that is released upon death that causes euphoria and hallucinations, including a 'light at the end of a tunnel' type effect. Anyone else remember this or have any solid sources for it?
     
  9. Feb 6, 2004 #8

    megashawn

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    Seems like I've heard similar. Something about as a person is dieing, and the oxygen is leaving there brain, it can create a tunnel effect. I don't have any sources either, but seems I remember hearing it on a discovery channel show or something similar.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2004 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    No response yet from the good Reverend. In my experience, unless they happen to be out of town, people like this either respond immediately [within a day], or not at all...
     
  11. Feb 9, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    JCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJCJC...
     
  12. Feb 9, 2004 #11

    hypnagogue

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    That may well be the case, but that is not necessarily an indication that what is experienced does not correspond to some facet of reality.
     
  13. Feb 9, 2004 #12

    FZ+

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    Well, it provides an alternative hypothesis, with a good, perhaps better probability. And if the effect alone is sufficient to account for the phenomena as a result of sensory distortion, talking about facets of reality is, perhaps, cramming unneccessary fairies into an already very overcrowded Mini.

    I do not believe that many argue seriously, that the messed up world experienced when drunk is a hidden facet of reality?
     
  14. Feb 9, 2004 #13
    Depends on your definition of 'reality.' If reality is what you can touch, taste, smell, hear, or see, then you're right it's just as real as anything else. However, if you are more strict in terms of the source of that sense being your physical receptors responding to information that they receive, then no it would not be real. In other words, it wouldn't be proven that there isn't an afterlife, but that if there is one, it's inside your head. Who says God doesn't use science?

    On a more extreme note, I've considered the possibility that Heaven or Hell is actually a state where time continues to slow in your final moments of life as if it were approaching the event horizon of a black hole, and one's own understanding of whether his life was good or bad is what haunts them through that artificial eternity where they are completely powerless to do or change anything.

    P.S. - I also think this emphasizes the pointlessness (and genius) of the debate of whether or not there is a God. It's obvious that no amount of scientific knowledge (short of knowing everything and somehow being able to prove that you know everything) can disprove God. Therefore, assuming God never manifests himself in an observable and measurable fashion, it will never be proven that he does or does not exist. Concurrently, there is no method to determine what you should or should not do to please such a being in the hopes of being rewarded with a pleasant afterlife. Therefore, to alter your actions or beliefs over such a thing is trivial. What's important is not what you do, but why you do it.
     
  15. Feb 9, 2004 #14

    hypnagogue

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    If one says that the conscious experience of a human, under normal conditions, corresponds to some 'facet of reality,' then is one cramming unnecessary fairies into a loaded metaphysical hypothesis? In a sense, yes-- the most skeptical position would hold that one cannot ever be sure that reality actually is in any way as one sees it (deceiving demons and all that). Rather, we come to this conclusion that our perceptions are in fact veridical (corresponding to reality as it actually is) as a matter of convenience and pragmaticism. But there is no way to prove it.

    How can one accept the assumption of veridicality without second thought (as one does in everyday life), but then suddenly turn into a stern skeptic when it comes to NDEs and the like? It may appear more pragmatic to simply dismiss NDEs as completely non-veridical, but that does not make the dismissal valid.
     
  16. Feb 9, 2004 #15

    enigma

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    Oh come on.

    They've reproduced "near-death experiences" in laboratory centrifuges when the patient is subjected to enough 'g' forces to cause most of the oxygen to drain out of the brain.

    floating, stepping outside yourself, hallucinations, all are common experiences in approximately half of the people subjected to the tests, IIRC.

    Nothing like good-ol' fearmongering to bring the weak-minded back to the flock...
     
  17. Feb 10, 2004 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Alright enigma that settles it. When I die I'm coming back to haunt you.
     
  18. Feb 10, 2004 #17

    hypnagogue

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    I believe William James had something to say about all this.

    This argument is more fully fleshed out at https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9650
     
  19. Feb 10, 2004 #18

    russ_watters

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    Yeah. Fox Moulder's poster: "I want to believe."
    Some people do say it about drugs though. They really want to believe that they are unlocking another level of consciousness instead of the truth that they are just losing a portion of this one.
    I think because there is no way to prove the existence of other realities that it is easier (and more correct) for scientists to attempt to find explanations for phenomenon that fit with the reality we know exists and perfectly reasonable to assume that if an explanation fits it is true. Speculation about other realities is useless and meaningless unless there is evidence they actually exist.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2004
  20. Feb 10, 2004 #19

    hypnagogue

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    I think that is a reasonable approach, but in the end it is still just an educated guess. It appears as if at least one phenomenon of reality cannot be objectively observed (consciousness), so it could well be the case that other aspects of reality also cannot be detected objectively.
     
  21. Feb 13, 2004 #20
    Enigma, with the greatest respect, I honestly find this egoistic tendancy to belittle paranormal experience or spirituality in general very disconcerting. Granted all the paranormal experiences can be accounted for by the intricate bio-chemical reaction in our brain, can you say that science at current level is able to explain the mechanisam of matter inside out? "There is no phenomenon until it is observed".
     
  22. Feb 18, 2004 #21
    I don't see why people expect a brain, that is in the process of dying, to perceive reality accurately. When there's a brownout you don't get a good TV picture if you get one at all. When your car's engine is smoking and clanking you don't expect it to be getting good mileage, emissions, and making good horsepower. When the neurons aren't getting enough O2 they don't function as there're supposed to and your perceptions at the time are very questionable.
     
  23. Feb 18, 2004 #22

    Ivan Seeking

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    This classical, philosophical conundrum still haunts all technical arguments that I have heard or read. I listened to one neurology expert go to great lengths to describe how the mind is really an ensemble of separate entities that do not truly constitute a whole. She argued that the self is an illusion created by the interconnectedness of the brain's varying activities. Your point here about knocked me over as I listened to her speak. Who exactly is fooled by this alleged illusion?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2004
  24. Feb 19, 2004 #23
    Dear Sir,

    Could we not jump into the dichotomy of if it is not white then it must be black, or if the neurology expert is correct then I must be fooled?

    Any of us could be right in a given time, at a given place and with a given set of conditions. I have never claimed to know the truth, much like you I am seeking the truth, that's why I am here.

    What I find disagreeable though is the compulsive or reflexive dismissal of something what we know little about as hocus pocus. It is my personal view that the reason we react in such a way is because whenever someone is putting forward something we know very little about, our ego instaneously feel provoked and threatened, that this proposer must be trying negating all my worthiness and everything I believe in, and so I must snub him/her down to extinction.

    I like to think that we have had enough schooling to know how to help ourselves from dishing out compulsive emotional reaction. Having said so and upon reflection, I might have made the very same mistake that I have been talking about, so I do sincerely apologise if I have hurt anyone's feeings, including yours Sir. It was never my intention to do so and I will check that I do not do it again.

    Returning to your reply, I shall not flatter myself by entertaining the thought that I can tell you what to think or that I could verbalise some of my views any better than most of the contributors of the subject.

    But I would say the latest replies to one of the latest thread "What's the proof that god exists" very encouraging and I should definitively like to know more about the three mutually enfolding aspects of matter, energy and meaning. I remain

    Your buddist friend,
    Polly
     
  25. Feb 20, 2004 #24

    FZ+

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    Being open minded is own thing, but having your brain fall out of that open mind is quite another. While we can admit, hopefully, that we are not in contact with the truth, it is incorrect to presume all claims have the same validity. And in this case, I think it simply illogical to leap to the most improbable, unsupported and unhelpful of the alternatives. It is a sad fact that most self-proclaimed seekers of truth are only seeking any seemingly plausible idea that fits in with their own beliefs.

    Er... I think you are rushing to your defensive outposts a little too fast...

    Exactly. But read through Ivan Seeking's post again, and notice that he is not attacking you. He is in fact attacking the neurology expert, and invoking the hard question of consciousness - that the inter-reaction of matter does not deductively lead to the experience of that illusion. It is a valid point, and one that at present, in my opinion, can only be solved by a leap of faith in any one of a number of directions.

    No, science has not yet explained everything inside out. The great tragedy of education is in teaching science as a body of facts - which is what science has never been. Science is a process by which we learn more things, an attitude of wonder and skepticism with which we think. Science is about paring down the bushes of ideas to locate the right ones, the good ones.

    It is not egotisitical to attack these "paranormal experiences". It is egotistical to grant them immunity from attack, and so hide them from recognition if they are true. There is simply no such thing as a paranormal phenomena, only normal phenomena we do not yet know. If we leave them immune from attack, these phenomena die, or grow into vast fallacies and trees of redundancy, and any real understanding, any real truth is lost.

    A wise quote:
    "If you meet the Buddha, kill him."
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2004
  26. Feb 20, 2004 #25

    enigma

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    Did you read the link in the OP?

    This knucklehead is making money giving talks about how HE WENT TO HELL and came back. He doesn't have to work for a living anymore: he goes from town to town relaying what he thinks happened to him when his brain had oxygen deprived from it.

    Personal experiences are notoriously unreliable and for that reason are never accepted as valid scientific evidence. That includes personal experiences when the brain is operating in a full and functional manner... not just when the body is depriving it of what it needs to work.

    All I pointed out is that the phenomena has been simulated and observed in scientific trials. Unless you want to believe that the people who had similar experiences in centrifuges were taking 10 second tours of hell as well, you need to at least accept the possibility that this guy is full of it.

    Sorry. Just personal rules of mine: Never trust anyone who claims to have proof of what happens when you die, and never trust anyone who claims to know what God is thinking.
     
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