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NDE's and OBE's

  1. Mar 30, 2005 #1
    Upon searching for information on Near Death Experiences and Out of Body Experiences I have found a plethora of information in favor of it, but no definitive works against it, save for the few articles addressing the phenomena on Infidels.org.

    I have seen these phenomena represented as powerful proof of the existence of an immaterial consciousness and the afterlife by Christians and New Agers, yet no atheists I have seen take the phenomena seriously, despite the lack of solid science available to counter the claims. To put it mildly, I have seen far too many skeptics unable to win an argument on this subject.

    Are there good reasons to reject the claims of NDE's and OBE's? What are they?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2005 #2
    Ur right, noone has been able to explain NDE's.

    A scientific study of NDE's has actually shown that consciousness can continue (out of the body), even when the heart stops and the brain no longer has any activity.
  4. Mar 30, 2005 #3


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    and you have a reference for that claim?
  5. Mar 30, 2005 #4
    There was an article written in Skeptical Inquirer about NDE's not too long ago. The conclusion by neurologists was that NDE's are nothing more than the effects of changing brain biochemistry during the dying process. It might be available online at www.csicop.org.

    I would also like to see references to this "scientific" study.
  6. Mar 30, 2005 #5
    There was a study done in The Netherlands over a period of 13 years, which was published in The Lancet in 2001.

    Here it is:


    The PDF file:


    Some quotes:

  7. Mar 30, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Another paper posted in the credible anomalies thread.
    http://www.datadiwan.de/SciMedNet/library/articlesN75+/N76Parnia_nde.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Apr 2, 2005 #7
    Here is another interesting paper/article(whatever its called) on NDEs:

    http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/abstracts/v12n3a3.php [Broken]


    PDF file:
    http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/articles/pdf/12.3_cook_greyson_stevenson.pdf [Broken]

    Some quotes from the PDF:

    There are many more interesting quotes.

    Also, 14 cases of people with NDE are discussed.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  9. Apr 2, 2005 #8
    Maybe ur talking about this article:

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-05/near-death-experience.html [Broken]

    In which they attempt to explain the 'bright light at the end of a tunnel'.

    Unfortunately, focussing on 1 aspect of NDEs and ignoring the other 10(or more?), is not a proper way to explain NDEs. Yet, this is their claim:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Apr 3, 2005 #9

    I have had seven OBE experiences.
    meditation - 1
    drugs - 1
    masturbation - 1
    intense concentration -2
    spontaneous - 2

    I have had one I am awake in the dream state experience. (spontaneous)

    I have had one I am awake in an intermediate state between dreams and actual waking experience. (spontaneous)

    All of the above were conscious and aware experiences and apart from normal waking consciousness.

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2005
  11. Apr 4, 2005 #10
    That is definitely interesting...
  12. Apr 4, 2005 #11


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    considering his age.. he really IS having an out of body experience :rofl:

    ok so maybe im not that funny.. :grumpy:
  13. Apr 5, 2005 #12
    OBE's and NDE's are best studied independent of claims of "immaterial existence" or "souls" or whatever. Those aren't provable and are meaningless anyways.

    The wonders of these experiences are far too great to reduce them to such double talk and spiritual/philosophical bickering.

    I have had several experiences that can be classified as "OBE's," - I had the distinct feeling of "exiting" my body and seeing things just as lucidly as had I been awake. There is no use in trying to prove whether these experiences happen outside or inside the body - just that they happen, that they can happen at will, and that they can and should be explored.

    I had already had "psychic" lucid dreams, but I use that word liberally because there was nothing especially conclusive. But in actuality, I have not actively pursued demonstrated trials of ESP (or whatever you want to call it) because, really, I am not prepared to adjust my world view to accept positive results, should they occur.

    My first "OBE" occurred after years of lucid dream study, and as it was happening I thought, "no, this isn't possible... only whackos believe this kind of stuff... but... I am doing it." I do not think I was "outside of my body," whatever that means, but I sure was doing something significant!

    Gradually, I am working up the courage to perform such controlled experiments, but justifying the effort is difficult. No matter how amazing my results would be, few would respect them. It's clear that the planet is flooded with fools on both sides of this issue.* No one appears to want to actually learn anything.

    [Edit: Otherwise, they would be exploring these experiences on their own. Aside from the social stigma (which can be quite intellectually numbing), it's really very easy. Just be diligent about keeping a dream journal and employ critical thinking into realizing when you are dreaming - and then experiment! There's more to the phenomena than either the new agers or the debunkers would have you think. Way more.]

    *(present company excluded, of course!)
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2005
  14. Apr 5, 2005 #13


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    My friend claimed to have frequent OBEs. He said that many mornings before he woke, he could spend a good 5 minutes hovering above himself and his bed, watching his body. He told me he didn't know if it was an OBE or a dream or what, so I devised a little experiment for him. I told him to take a number of pieces of paper, and on each one, write a number on it (say, 50 pieces of paper, reading 1-50.) Every night, as he goes to bed, he should take one sheet at random, and place it on his bedside table (preferably slightly obscured by something so he can't see it from where he lays). If he is able to correctly say the number as he wakes, before he leans over to check on regular basis, and he really has not looked (conciously or while sleeping) then it would be fairly safe to say he was having OBEs.

    He claimed it worked, and he was correct about the numbers. I'm still skeptical, but I don't fancy a proper controlled experiment, as hanging around in his room every night for a week or two as he sleeps isn't too appealing
  15. Apr 5, 2005 #14

    Sounds a bit like this experiment:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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