The afterlife and existence after death

#1
Hopefully this thread is correctly placed here. It got its connections to science, but its propably more like a spiritual thing, so, well.

Btw, i know that there are a few threads out there regarding that topic, but i never found a single thread regarding the topic "afterlife" in general. There are NDE-Threads out there, there are discussion-threads for it in the proponent-vs-sceptics-section - but that isnt exactly what i had in mind there.

I asked Don DeGracia in the Dr. Patricia Chruchland - Thread for his opinion on the "afterlife". Afterlife means for me personally not just that im living on as a human being; it basically includes for me personally any kind of existence after the death of our physical bodies where we have some sort of self-awareness and a basic ability to think about us (what is implied by the self-awareness anyways, but whatever). I will use the word afterlife for it all though; its just shorter. Its also interesting to talk about what happens to our self's when it comes to death.
Im also inviting everyone else out there to participate here. Im interested in any opinion on this subject. If it is based on "evidence" (i got a hard time calling something real evidence these days because nothing seems to be totally certain), thats great too.

To make that thing more complete here: This very question is the reason im on skeptiko . Im still a young human being. Already had my share of fear of death before though. I lived with some sort of panic attacks because of that for a few years until i decided to confront myself with that stuff. You cant get rid of fears that destroy your everyday-life if you dont tackle them, right? And thats pretty much how i got to this point. If i would have to explain my fear of it, well - its basically just that i cant imagine myself to be nothing at some point. I love life way too much for that. That sounds pretty selfish and it propably is, but sometimes you gotta have a selfish reason to do things.Therefore i started studying death and stuff related to it.

So, my personal take on this is basically that i do believe in some form of existence after death. I doubt that it is something like the catholic church is telling us (you know, a afterlife with a physical body). If there is a existence after death it isnt physical as we know it today. But after denying that, i got a hard time figuring out how an "afterlife" could be possible. I come from a very materialistic background(therefore i know of loads of neuroscientific and physical stuff that contradicts any notion of the afterlife if you interpret in in a materialistic way). As much as im interested in stuff like e.g. NDE's, im not considering it as much of a proof since there is a chance that this stuff could be created by the brain (allthough the question there would be then: Why would the brain do that? But thats a different topic). Therefore im mostly interested in scientific data that could be used to explain an afterlife. If there is a afterlife you can propably connect it to the current research from neuroscience and quantum physics(and evolutionary biology and all that other stuff out there), right? Im having a hard time to find those connections though.

What i also imagine to be possible right there is that its the wrong kind of way to try to connect current science with the afterlife. I would be totally on the wrong track there. Im not much a person of spirituality (i never had a spiritual event; or lets say, i never noticed one). But it could be that exactly this is needed to get anywhere on that topic (and well, NDE's could totally play a role in that then).

But, enough babbling. Im looking forward to your opinions on the topic.
 
#2
I have several articles on the subject on my blog and website, links are here:

On evidence of the afterlife:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-...-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_afterlife

On what it is like in the afterlife:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_like

My views are pretty much in accord with what NDErs report and communications from evidential mediums such as Leslie Flint

My views are also strongly influenced by my experiences taking classes in mediumship which I described here:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/psi_experience
and here:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-is-it-like-to-communicate-with.html

Some of the questions I have about the afterlife involve the differences in the way spirits perceive time and identity. I also have questions about how the civilization of incarnated biological people relates to the civilization of unembodied spirits. In what ways does the civilization of spirits depend on the civilization of incarnates?

Nobel Prize winners Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Brian Josephson, Sir John Eccles, Eugene Wigner, George Wald and other great scientists and philosophers such as John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, Wernher von Braun, Karl Popper, and Carl Jung believed consciousness is non-physical because of the evidence:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers

My opinion is that quantum mechanics gives strong support that consciousness is not produced by the brain. Double slit experiments show that a conscious observer is required for particles to arise from probability waves. Quantum entanglement shows that a conscious observer is needed for certain properties of particles to become determined. The quantum zeno effect shows that a conscious observer can prevent decay of unstable quantum states. All these things show that consciousness is something fundamentally different from matter and that consciousness is required first before matter can exist and therefore consciousness cannot be produced by matter.
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_quantum

I also think the opinions of specially qualified NDE experiencers such as neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, psychologist Carl Jung, and military remote viewer Joe McMoneagle make a strong case the NDEs represent evidence for the afterlife.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/notable-near-death-experiencers-prove.html

Regarding neuroscience... the hypothesis that the brain filters non-physical consciousness explains all the evidence explained by the hypothesis that the brain produces conscious, plus the filter model explain phenomena that the production model cannot explain:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_brain

Materialist attempts to explain NDE's do not explain the phenomenon:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html

Eighteen Anomalies of near-death experiences that materialists cannot explain:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html

If you are interested in the empirical evidence for the afterlife, you might find any of the books on the afterlife written by Chris Carter interesting.

I also recommend this facebook group on the afterlife:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/evidenceforafterlife/
 
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#3
As much as im interested in stuff like e.g. NDE's, im not considering it as much of a proof since there is a chance that this stuff could be created by the brain (allthough the question there would be then: Why would the brain do that? But thats a different topic). Therefore im mostly interested in scientific data that could be used to explain an afterlife.
There's a contradiction here. On the one hand, you are dismissing the scientific evidence which clearly shows that NDEs cannot be simply created by the brain. Yet on the other hand you say you want scientific data.

From my point of view this topic as a whole is about belief systems. Rather like Shermer's position, it ends up in his case with his being a fully paid-up member of his chosen club, and no amount of evidence will shift him from that position. To some extent we are all held in a similar way by our own beliefs. In my opinion, no amount of evidence or intellectual debate is sufficient on its own, to shift us from our perch.

The one thing which does change our outlook - again this is just my personal opinion - is our own individual experiences. Since we are all different, the form this experience takes will be different too. But it can be the interplay of life's ups and downs which shifts our outlook. In my own case I had a feeling as a young man that life was repeatedly lifting me up high, then dropping me suddenly from a height, to land with an enormous thud. Over and over again. I could liken myself to a tomato or even an egg being dropped from a height onto a hard surface. Sooner or later something had to give. That's the point at which my neutrality and uncertainty on these matters moved to what might rather understatedly be referred to as a 'belief' in an afterlife, and in some form of higher power which some may call God, but I'm not fussy about names or terminology.

So where does that get us here in this thread? I guess my point is that I suggest you need to look inward, to your own experiences, for the answers.
 
#4
Im interested in any opinion on this subject.
I believe in eternal life. My belief is due to survival related research, and my own experiences. I also find all skeptical explanations flawed. E.g. Robert Todd Carroll either knows nothing about research on reincarnation, or he is a liar.

The Division of Perceptual Studies (University of Virginia)
http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page

Erlendur Haraldsson's web page
https://notendur.hi.is/erlendur/english/
 
#5
There's a contradiction here. On the one hand, you are dismissing the scientific evidence which clearly shows that NDEs cannot be simply created by the brain. Yet on the other hand you say you want scientific data.

From my point of view this topic as a whole is about belief systems. Rather like Shermer's position, it ends up in his case with his being a fully paid-up member of his chosen club, and no amount of evidence will shift him from that position. To some extent we are all held in a similar way by our own beliefs. In my opinion, no amount of evidence or intellectual debate is sufficient on its own, to shift us from our perch.

The one thing which does change our outlook - again this is just my personal opinion - is our own individual experiences. Since we are all different, the form this experience takes will be different too. But it can be the interplay of life's ups and downs which shifts our outlook. In my own case I had a feeling as a young man that life was repeatedly lifting me up high, then dropping me suddenly from a height, to land with an enormous thud. Over and over again. I could liken myself to a tomato or even an egg being dropped from a height onto a hard surface. Sooner or later something had to give. That's the point at which my neutrality and uncertainty on these matters moved to what might rather understatedly be referred to as a 'belief' in an afterlife, and in some form of higher power which some may call God, but I'm not fussy about names or terminology.

So where does that get us here in this thread? I guess my point is that I suggest you need to look inward, to your own experiences, for the answers.
Now that you write it like that, there is a contradiction. Like i wrote, i know about NDE's. You cant get around reading that kind of stuff if you are investigating death. Propably still a bit stuck in a dogma here where nde-research isnt scientific.Got a bit of hard time too with the experiments where parts of nde's got triggered by stimulating the brain(thats not related to nde-research being scientific, just to nde's in general). I know that this stuff is up for interpretation, but ahm - how does something like that fit in? That you can trigger parts of nde's via stimulations (or drugs)? I kinda know what your answer could look like if i ask stuff like that, but im going to ask anyways.
 
#6
For me, two very well observed patterns ..in NDE and DBV's are crucial and have convinced me. If you examine the reports of patients undergoing OBE's (during cardiac arrest) the experience is absolutely convincing to them. It's not a dreamy experience or a hallucination, it's as real to them (or realer than) as their normal experience of observing reality. This is where the sceptics seem to have a blind spot. At that moment when the OBEr is observing his own body and surroundings and the movements and actions of the doctors and nurses (for instance) survival is self evident, there is no doubt from their perspective. No matter that the OBEr cannot be seen or detected, he/she knows his own experience.

Sceptics...." But there's nothing there floating around, nobody saw anyone disembodied or anything leave the body so it's just a trick of the mind "

If you now think about what the dying report, or those that are attending them, we can legitimately (in my opinion), accept that humans can and do see the disembodied what ever entity that is. They see dead relatives in their vicinity without a doubt, Peter Fenwick's excellent work has surely confirmed this but if you speak to any hospice nurse or carer of the dying they will tell you as much.

An ex of mine worked with the dying for years. It's an experience of going on a journey, leaving..... accompanied by a dead relative that they feel comfortable with, that they liked usually. "I'm not going with him, go and get so and so, I'll go with him "

There is no good reason why we can't think about death in a new way. Even if it is a fearful event for those watching, for the dying it isn't and even the sceptics will experience it,
 
#7
Now that you write it like that, there is a contradiction. Like i wrote, i know about NDE's. You cant get around reading that kind of stuff if you are investigating death. Propably still a bit stuck in a dogma here where nde-research isnt scientific.Got a bit of hard time too with the experiments where parts of nde's got triggered by stimulating the brain(thats not related to nde-research being scientific, just to nde's in general). I know that this stuff is up for interpretation, but ahm - how does something like that fit in? That you can trigger parts of nde's via stimulations (or drugs)? I kinda know what your answer could look like if i ask stuff like that, but im going to ask anyways.
"Got a bit of hard time too with the experiments where parts of nde's got triggered by stimulating the brain"

No one has ever had an NDE which was triggered by stimulating the brain. That's sceptical folklore.
 
#8
"Got a bit of hard time too with the experiments where parts of nde's got triggered by stimulating the brain"

No one has ever had an NDE which was triggered by stimulating the brain. That's sceptical folklore.
Im not talking about a whole NDE. Im talking about parts of it. Like the tunnel or the review of our life.
 
#10
Thanks. Can you point me to that experiment ?
Well yeah. Cant reference a experiment here. Just a source where stuff gets stated. Btw, i wont judge the credibility though. And like i wrote, that stuff is up for interpretation - doesnt have to be anything real. Could be fake. Just having a hard time to classify something like that.
If it did sound like iwould know it for "certain" from some sort of experiments, that certainly wasnt true. I'd apologise then.

In laboratory research, when people's temporal lobes are stimulated with electrodes, many subjects experience the reliving of memories, out of body experiences, and even the sensation of moving through a tunnel toward a light.
http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/444/Near-Death-Experience.html
 
#11
Well yeah. Cant reference a experiment here. Just a source where stuff gets stated. Btw, i wont judge the credibility though. And like i wrote, that stuff is up for interpretation - doesnt have to be anything real. Could be fake. Just having a hard time to classify something like that.
If it did sound like iwould know it for "certain" from some sort of experiments, that certainly wasnt true. I'd apologise then.



http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/444/Near-Death-Experience.html
Thanks, Das,

It's the Sue Blackmore stuff, her theories which have no basis nor is there evidence for them. We've been over this before many times so I won't repeat myself other than to say this is why the best research is now only carried out on cardiac arrest patients when the brain is not working.
 
#14
I have several articles on the subject on my blog and website, links are here:

On evidence of the afterlife:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-...-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_afterlife


On what it is like in the afterlife:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_like

My views are pretty much in accord with what NDErs report and communications from evidential mediums such as Leslie Flint

My views are also strongly influenced by my experiences taking classes in mediumship which I described here:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/psi_experience
and here:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-is-it-like-to-communicate-with.html

Some of the questions I have about the afterlife involve the differences in the way spirits perceive time and identity. I also have questions about how the civilization of incarnated biological people relates to the civilization of unembodied spirits. In what ways does the civilization of spirits depend on the civilization of incarnates?

Nobel Prize winners Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Brian Josephson, Sir John Eccles, Eugene Wigner, George Wald and other great scientists and philosophers such as John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, Wernher von Braun, Karl Popper, and Carl Jung believed consciousness is non-physical because of the evidence:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers

My opinion is that quantum mechanics gives strong support that consciousness is not produced by the brain. Double slit experiments show that a conscious observer is required for particles to arise from probability waves. Quantum entanglement shows that a conscious observer is needed for certain properties of particles to become determined. The quantum zeno effect shows that a conscious observer can prevent decay of unstable quantum states. All these things show that consciousness is something fundamentally different from matter and that consciousness is required first before matter can exist and therefore consciousness cannot be produced by matter.
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_quantum

I also think the opinions of specially qualified NDE experiencers such as neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, psychologist Carl Jung, and military remote viewer Joe McMoneagle make a strong case the NDEs represent evidence for the afterlife.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/notable-near-death-experiencers-prove.html

Regarding neuroscience... the hypothesis that the brain filters non-physical consciousness explains all the evidence explained by the hypothesis that the brain produces conscious, plus the filter model explain phenomena that the production model cannot explain:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_brain

Materialist attempts to explain NDE's do not explain the phenomenon:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html

Eighteen Anomalies of near-death experiences that materialists cannot explain:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/anomalous-characteristics-of-near-death.html

If you are interested in the empirical evidence for the afterlife, you might find any of the books on the afterlife written by Chris Carter interesting.

I also recommend this facebook group on the afterlife:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/evidenceforafterlife/
Ty for the Infos. I want to ask something related to Quantum mechanics though. Your sources state that there is a conscious observer needed. Im Not sure, but i might have read somewhere that The observer doesnt have To be conscious. Wouldnt that be a problem if you try to explain consciousness and the afterlife with quantum theory?
 
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#15
Ty for the Infos. I want to ask something related to Quantum mechanics though. Your sources state that there is a conscious observer needed. Im Not sure, but i might have read somewhere that The observer doesnt have To be conscious. Wouldnt that be a problem if you try to explain consciousness and the afterlife with quantum theory?
I'd suggest looking at the body of evidence as a whole.
 
#16
Quantum theories may have some part to play in the structure of the invisible "world" (to us at least) but I'm not persuaded by Hameroff's microtubules mechanism. That's not going to explain reincarnation adequately because microtubules are a physical property of cells.
 
#17
I'd suggest looking at the body of evidence as a whole.
No worries, i do that. I was just going through the stuff Jim posted. Quantum physics are a part of that.
And his sources say that there is a conscious observer needed to get the effect of e.g. the double slit experiment. As much as i know the observer doesnt have to be conscious. If its even possible to observe something without consciousness at some point (if its the observation of the reaction of the machine or a direct observation) is something that isnt clear.

Quantum theories may have some part to play in the structure of the invisible "world" (to us at least) but I'm not persuaded by Hameroff's microtubules mechanism. That's not going to explain reincarnation adequately because microtubules are a physical property of cells.
Im pretty sure that Hameroff wasnt taking reincarnation into account there. Even so, hes still deeming it possible (i mean, he believes in the quantum soul). Hes talking about it here:
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/intentchopra/2010/08/stuart-hameroff-md-on-reincarn.html

Interesting fact there is that hes saying that it is scientifically possible.
 
#18
No worries, i do that. I was just going through the stuff Jim posted. Quantum physics are a part of that.
And his sources say that there is a conscious observer needed to get the effect of e.g. the double slit experiment. As much as i know the observer doesnt have to be conscious. If its even possible to observe something without consciousness at some point (if its the observation of the reaction of the machine or a direct observation) is something that isnt clear.



Im pretty sure that Hameroff wasnt taking reincarnation into account there. Even so, hes still deeming it possible (i mean, he believes in the quantum soul). Hes talking about it here:
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/intentchopra/2010/08/stuart-hameroff-md-on-reincarn.html

Interesting fact there is that hes saying that it is scientifically possible.
Thanks for that, Das.

Yes, you're correct, I had it wrong. Hameroff is not postulating the actual microtubules as the mechanism then. It's the "energy around them". That's a great little video, cheers.
 
#19
No worries, i do that. I was just going through the stuff Jim posted. Quantum physics are a part of that.
And his sources say that there is a conscious observer needed to get the effect of e.g. the double slit experiment. As much as i know the observer doesnt have to be conscious. If its even possible to observe something without consciousness at some point (if its the observation of the reaction of the machine or a direct observation) is something that isnt clear.



Im pretty sure that Hameroff wasnt taking reincarnation into account there. Even so, hes still deeming it possible (i mean, he believes in the quantum soul). Hes talking about it here:
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/intentchopra/2010/08/stuart-hameroff-md-on-reincarn.html

Interesting fact there is that hes saying that it is scientifically possible.
Re QM, I think I would say that you just need an observer, and an observer could just be a machine etc... but I think I would expect the observer to be able to do something with the observation... ie use it to probabilistically predict future observations... and ultimately I would expect it to end up at a conscious observer.

...But that's not to say conscious observers can affect QM for other conscious observers in the external physical world. If they could do that, QM wouldn't be so incredibly accurate time after time after time, no matter who is doing the observation.
 
#20
Re QM, I think I would say that you just need an observer, and an observer could just be a machine etc... but I think I would expect the observer to be able to do something with the observation... ie use it to probabilistically predict future observations... and ultimately I would expect it to end up at a conscious observer.

...But that's not to say conscious observers can affect QM for other conscious observers in the external physical world. If they could do that, QM wouldn't be so incredibly accurate time after time after time, no matter who is doing the observation.
But is it necessary for QM that the observer can process his obsveration? I mean, i already read discussions about that in other forums and physicists seem to not agree on those parts. But im not educated enough to judge there.
The second part rises a question though: What's happening if two observers observe the same things? Is the same happening for both of them? Or can there be a seperate reaction?
(Thats not even related to consciousness or the topic of this thread anymore, but lets go there a bit further if we can)
 
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