Next time you're arguing against a skeptic, remember this is what your arguing against

#1

I was lol'ing the whole time. 95% of what he said is just ignorance or flat out lying. Only the bits about lack of hidden target verification, lack of testing of NDErs who claim watch malfunctioning/telepathy after their NDE, and people making money selling books, had some truth.

Now I'm agnostic about NDEs, the evidence isn't good enough for me yet (waiting for AWARE 2). But it's clear from my experience the vast majority of "skeptics" are blissfully unaware of the depth of NDE research, and cherry pick weak spots and insult proponents with derogatory comments. Just remember this the next time you plan to debate a skeptic, I gave up awhile ago.




P.S: I do wonder why there's no testing of NDErs who claim malfunctioning watches & telepathy & other abilities after their NDE? If anyone knows information about this, please lmk.
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#3
P.S: I do wonder why there's no testing of NDErs who claim malfunctioning watches & telepathy & other abilities after their NDE? If anyone knows information about this, please lmk.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/11/06/startling-effects-near-death-experience/
This strange and lasting physiological change is seen by the majority of those who experience NDE’s. Most commonly, those who experience electro-sensitivity after a NDE report ‘interference’ with potentially anything electronic in the external environment. Some examples are:
  • Lights flickering on and off when entering room, and especially so when there is a high intensity situation occuring
  • Computers and other electronics malfunctioning when near
  • Light bulbs exploding
  • Disruptions in recording equipment leading to unusual or distorted photos and videos
  • Wrist watch batteries die quickly, or watches stop for no reason at all
  • Feeling ‘drained’ when near anything electronic
  • Receiving television or radio channels that shouldn’t be picked up in that location
  • Feeling more ‘connected’ to electronics and being able to use them better than before the NDE
  • Extreme sensitivity to earth changes such as thunder storms, earthquakes, lightening, and tornados
 
#5
Thanks for the links. You know I've been thinking, maybe the "soul" is just the magnetic field? Like in panpsychism, the EM field has an intrinsic property that is the "consciousness" people have sort to explain for so long.

FMRI influences consciousness a lot, everyone knows that. And read one of the comments at the bottom of here http://skeptiko.com/michael-persinger-discovers-telepathic-link/ by Trumandouglas Db, he said a transformer exploded and he had super powers (I know he may well be some random liar/troll, but it fits into magnetic field = consciousness if he's not lying). Basically all current neuroscience research uses magnetic field to influence consciousness.

What if the immaterial soul people have been arguing for all this time is not immaterial at all, and is just the EM field? It would explain the universal connectedness NDErs report. Light is literally excitations in the EM field, and NDErs report bright lights all the time.
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#6
Thanks for the links. You know I've been thinking, maybe the "soul" is just the magnetic field? Like in panpsychism, the EM field has an intrinsic property that is the "consciousness" people have sort to explain for so long.

FMRI influences consciousness a lot, everyone knows that. And read one of the comments at the bottom of here http://skeptiko.com/michael-persinger-discovers-telepathic-link/ by Trumandouglas Db, he said a transformer exploded and he had super powers (I know he may well be some random liar/troll, but it fits into magnetic field = consciousness if he's not lying). Basically all current neuroscience research uses magnetic field to influence consciousness.

What if the immaterial soul people have been arguing for all this time is not immaterial at all, and is just the EM field? It would explain the universal connectedness NDErs report.
Maybe the universe is just one big eternal electromagnetic soul and we are only a part of it? Just a bit of philosophical speculation on my part ;)
 
#10
Soooo.... I was bored, and wrote up a quick refutation, but then I realized that YouTube won't allow such comment lengths so I figured I'd post it here instead. In the comment section, the creator of the video states:

thoroughly researched, fact-checked, and polished
Is this a joke? Let's list all the errors in the video, from beginning to end:

0:57 - People who go through CA are often pumped full with drugs, and even if they weren't, their memory circuits have taken a toll. It is fully possible that more, or even all people have NDEs during CA but forget them due to the damage or impairment to their memories. Or maybe they weren't meant to have an NDE during their CA, and the spirit world has it all under control? We simply don't know why only a few but not everyone has an NDE during CA, but it's not an argument against survivalism. You can turn it around just as easily and say that since people go through similar neurophysiological events (CA -> cerebral inactivity -> reboot), everyone should come back with an NDE. But they don't, and we can't find a single thing that will predict that someone will either have or don't have an NDE in advance, if they were to experience CA. The fact that only 9% of CA survivors have an NDE is in this sense evidence in favor of their reality, if you want to push it to the edge.

1:09 - There aren't thousands, it is estimated to be in the millions or in the tens of millions. You are three to four powers of magnitude wrong here.

1:29 - These aren't anecdotes, they are testimonies. You know, the kind that does have evidential value in a lot of scientific research? Medicine, neurology, psychology, sociology, etc. If a scientist stimulates a part of a patient's brain and they report how their cognition changes due to this, that's a testimony too. But according to your logic, that's an anecdote and hence of zero scientific value. But with that criteria for evidence, you can't have neuroscience. You can look at the cells and structures of the brain, and its electrochemical interactions, but you can't ever link them to cognition that people report. And so you can't have your cake and eat it too - either NDEs have evidential value, or all of neuroscience goes out of the window and we know literally nothing about cognition or how the brain generates thoughts. Which is it going to be?

2:09 - Who said that the NDE has to be interpreted with an already existing religion? Can't we look at the NDE data for what it is and reason our way from there to what the afterlife is like?

2:15 - If there is an infinitely vast, evolved and unlimited afterlife, wouldn't you expect that they would be masters of empathy and catering to the emotional maturity and/or need of the individual experiencing the NDE? Why is it that so many who are skeptical of the "rainbows and variance" of the NDE think that the afterlife has to be ultra-sterile and homogeneous in every single way? As Chris Carter points out (and making this video and especially the aforementioned claim before familiarizing yourself with what he has written is a complete joke by the way), if three different people went to Africa and someone saw deserts, someone saw rain forests, and someone saw big cities, would it be reasonable to say that they couldn't all have gone to Africa, since they saw three so completely different environments? Why do you expect the afterlife to be even less varied than that? Additionally, as researchers have already pointed out, people often interpret these religious figures into the NDE since that's their only frame of reference. When pressed, they often say that they saw a being of light of some kind and couldn't identify it. I honestly doubt that the spirits in the afterlife wear name tags, and thus what we're left dealing with is the interpretation of the subjects who are suffering from very limited reference points to explain what they saw. It is in that sense very easy to empathize with the simpleness for the NDE subject of just saying you saw your culture's main spiritual entities.

2:47 - Outright false. No serious researcher takes "Maria's shoe" seriously, and certainly not since Keith Augustine's 2007 entry into the JNDS on the subject.

3:36 - Outright false. The best veridical cases of NDEs are Pam Reynolds, the denture case in the 2001 van Lommel study and the clean hit in the AWARE study that you completely ignored. Why don't you show, factually, how these are lacking in evidential quality?

3:52 - As mentioned earlier, the plural of testimony is data. An anecdote is more in the league of an urban legend, but this is not what we're dealing with here.

4:04 - Mentioning the Randi price is an instant disqualifier from any serious discussion. You haven't read Carter's refutation of it, you haven't listened to Rupert Sheldrake's refutation of it, and you certainly haven't read the first article after googling "The Myth of the Million Dollar Challenge".

4:11 - Even proponents question whether Dannion Brinkley had an NDE as described. There are liars and exaggerators in the general population, so why don't you expect that to happen to NDErs as well with a cohort of millions of people?

4:36 - Someone who hadn't had an NDE lied about having had an NDE, and made money off of it. How is this in any way an argument against NDEs? Yes, you can lie about having one, and yes, you can make money doing so. That's an argument against capitalism, not NDEs. Or are you making the argument that everyone who has ever sold a book about an NDE has lied about their story to make money? Why is it that when people sell books about NDEs, they're trying to extract easy money from gullible idiots, but when Richard Dawkins has a net worth of $135 million, he's just sharing the truth as he sees it?

5:03 - Again, outright false. You have veridical NDEs, you have NDEs in the blind, you have stereotypical NDEs in children (who haven't yet been told what to expect or believe), you have people meeting people who just died before anyone knew they had died, you have NDEs during anesthesia, you have no identifying cause for the NDE (other than the correlation with the perceived nearness of death), etc. And last but not least, you have the infinite lucidity of the NDE itself, when the brain is at least severely impaired if not completely shut down. Have you listened to what they say about the life review? Total playback of your entire life, with access to every single memory you've ever had. Every dream you've had, every mosquito you've ever seen, every long forgotten childhood memory, etc. And you also have access to how everyone else felt during your entire life, as well as a perfect "omniscient" or third person perspective of your whole life. How do you explain that, neurologically? Any serious neuroscientist will tell you that they are clueless in terms of explaining this. For instance, our memories of our childhood can't even be stored until 1.5 years of age under the current models, and yet here they all are. There are so many more things, but I'll stop here.

5:24 - "Several other studies"? No, there were four extremely tiny studies that never got to the sufficient amount of NDEs to be relevant prior to the AWARE study, so they are irrelevant in all other senses other than to demonstrate that you need to make large studies on this stuff to get anywhere.

5:37 - Again, false or at least misleading. Very few people have had clean OBEs during these 5 studies, and none of them have reported being where the cards even where, so in that sense all of these studies are irrelevant to that end. You can, by definition, not see what you're not looking at. This highlights design flaws, limited sample sizes and that they need to go larger in scope when designing these studies.

5:47 - Outright false again. You can't replicate the being of light, you can't replicate the panoramic life review, you can't replicate the infinitely wise, loving and reality-maximized light, you can't replicate the profound aftereffects the NDE has on a person, etc. And here's how simple it is to demonstrate this point: If the NDE could be recreated in a lab, then every billionaire or even millionaire who wanted to enjoy life would be in that lab right now, since every NDEr come back with essentially the same message: "If I lived a billion years more, in my body or yours, there's not a single experience on Earth that could ever be as good as being dead. Nothing." You would think that if that kind of pleasure was available in a lab or in a pill, it would surely sell better than anything else. Or am I missing something?

5:53 - This was refuted decades ago. These experiences are nothing like NDEs, even though they share some alike-sounding terminology with the NDE. But "tunnel vision" and "seeing a tunnel", for instance, are two completely different things.

6:12 - Ketamine experiences are nothing like NDEs either, and Chris Carter for instance goes out of his way to explicitly refute the central point of this argument. I point this out to emphasize to anyone who is caught up in your rhetoric that you're just restating old hypotheses that has been refuted and proven incompatible with the data for decades by now (a common underlying theme in basically all popular science magazine articles on NDEs, by the way).

6:45 - Neither the work of Olof Blanke nor the work of Michael Persinger is really all that relevant to NDE research. First of all, the OBE is a very wide term, almost on the level of an umbrella term, and apply to many phenomenologically different experiences. But the OBE during an NDE, for instance, is extremely different than the OBE of "seeing yourself from behind" that can be easily had with virtual goggles on and a camera behind yourself feeding it, or the OBE of someone who's brain is being stimulated by electrodes, or drugs for that matter. For instance, people have OBEs during astral projection all the time, but they never come back with information that can be verified, or when it attempts to do so it is often false. Not so with NDEs, where it's the complete opposite.

7:37 - Millions of people have already taken drugs that provide interesting experiences that sometimes share terminology with NDEs. Does that mean that they are the same type of experiences? Why don't we ask people who have actually experienced both? "I would like to mention something else that isn't talked about much and that's hallucinogens. Hoping to recreate the experience, I've tried several drugs, including LSD, mushrooms, and ecstasy. These experiences were all wonderful, interesting, intriguing, fascinating, but there is a big difference. Yes, you get to explore other levels of consciousness but there is often a feeling of loss of control and fear that does not occur during an NDE. With the drugs, there is a surreal feeling, but with the NDE it feels more real than this life. With drugs, it's more an experience is happening to you. With the NDE, you're the experience, the experience is of yourself, your consciousness. A good thing about hallucinogens though is that they give people (who haven't had an NDE) a glimpse into altered states of consciousness and an awareness that there is more to us than we've been led to believe." So why aren't they using the God Helmet on people who have actually had NDEs, and let them compare? That's the only way forward. Saying they have some kind of experience during their experience with the helmet, or with the electrodes, does not mean that they are in any way related to NDEs just because there is some overlap in the terminology some of the time.

7:45 - Actually, people do die during at least some NDEs. You would know this if you had actually listened to Sam Parnia (a world-leading resuscitation expert). Death is a process that begins when the heart stopts beating, and it goes on indefinitely from there. It can be potentially reversed during the initial stages, but during CA you're definitely dead. Don't like that definition of death? You can invent your own definition all day long, but that's the official definition of death that all doctors share and operate by.

8:26 - There is no doubt that the evidence could be better than it actually is, but that doesn't mean that it's non-existent. If 100% of people who flat-lined had an ultra-deep NDE, then yeah, the world would be different and it would be beyond obvious that there's an afterlife... to most. Some people would still be skeptical for demonstrably irrational reasons, just like they are in this world right now. It's just that there would be less of them in that world. As for the details of your statements: You ignore potential memory limitations that might inhibit NDE recall and other spiritual reasons for this number, you ignore the fact that people DO come back with information they couldn't possibly know (nurses haven't been known to faint when listening to an NDE for no reason), people basically do report the same vision of heaven already if you cut out all the interpretations clouded by an irrational culture. Then you go on again by equating lab experiences with NDEs, and restating falsehoods you've already stated. As one astronomer once noted, if you ignore all the evidence that disproves your theory, the rest of the evidence fits it quite nicely.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
More and more I wonder if the path is an endless battle against materialist/skeptical fundamentalists who will never bend or a dialogue with everyone - including many atheists IME - who do see the world as more than insensate matter/energy/forces (whatever those are).

Parapsychologists have this insecurity complex, always treating skeptics as appointed guardians to scientific respectability even as the public seems to, for better or worse, care less & less about scientist's thoughts.

Thankfully, however, we're seeing some pull away with things like Science & Nonduality conferences as well as Dean Radin looking to engage the Magick community (as well as his engagement with Eastern spirituality in the past).

You don't know if you'll have insurance or even if you do if anyone will tell you honestly when some corporation gives you cancer. Who knows what birth defects are awaiting your future children in your local grocery store? Will a robot or AI be taking your job, or the job you thought your child might be able to get?

The Rosicrucian Museum talks about why Egyptians practiced magic - in order to try and apply some order (aka Psi and/or Invocation) to life rather than just sit and accept chaos/misfortune. If more people practice direct engagement with the Other it seems to me you'll have at least a small percentage increase in the number of experiences with the "Other".

Get people to play the odds - I don't think it's that hard given the incoming likely futures are largely abyssmal for the Average Joe - that maybe the "useless" prayers and rituals do something, than "worthless" homeopathy might have something to it. If the possibilities are "It does nothing" or "It does maybe something" why not engage when there's no risk?

The immaterial will be more acceptable if it's seen as a risk management strategy rather than one where someone just ignores all modern medicine. A good example was when Alex did everything from Energy Healing to employing the best docs he could find.
 
#16
Thanks for the links. You know I've been thinking, maybe the "soul" is just the magnetic field? Like in panpsychism, the EM field has an intrinsic property that is the "consciousness" people have sort to explain for so long.

FMRI influences consciousness a lot, everyone knows that. And read one of the comments at the bottom of here http://skeptiko.com/michael-persinger-discovers-telepathic-link/ by Trumandouglas Db, he said a transformer exploded and he had super powers (I know he may well be some random liar/troll, but it fits into magnetic field = consciousness if he's not lying). Basically all current neuroscience research uses magnetic field to influence consciousness.

What if the immaterial soul people have been arguing for all this time is not immaterial at all, and is just the EM field? It would explain the universal connectedness NDErs report. Light is literally excitations in the EM field, and NDErs report bright lights all the time.
I feel very cautious about explaining ψ phenomena in terms of anything physical, including the magnetic field. The basic problem is that magnetic fields obey equations, and to me, equations are rather like clockwork - there really isn't any room for a soul.

Now if Seth is to be believed, electromagnetic fields somehow have an extension into the non-physical realm - but Seth always seems to be studiedly vague - so I don't know. A lot of people say that we 'make' our reality in some way, but are normally unaware of this. If that is true, perhaps becoming a little more aware of this can cause glitches in this process........

David
 
#19
I don't think this is true. Rivas, Dirven & Smit include it (with reference to the 2007 discussions) in The Self Does Not Die.
My bad, thank you for correcting me!

By the way, I just looked the book up on Amazon, and it looks intriguing. For those of you who have read it, what are your thoughts about it? Has it been discussed on this forum already?
 
#20
My bad, thank you for correcting me!

By the way, I just looked the book up on Amazon, and it looks intriguing. For those of you who have read it, what are your thoughts about it? Has it been discussed on this forum already?
Yes, it was discussed - on two threads: on a long thread initiated by Enrique Vargas and a much shorter thread started by me. My thread appeared earlier than the one by Enrique, however; so, he got more attention and I was faster. So we're even here, I suppose. ;)
 
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