Skeptical Argument: NDEs Should Be Demonstrated Empirically

The human brain. By Kevin Williams

SKEPTIC'S QUESTION:  "Can we deny that something is going on, given the countless reports of near-death experiences, that some transpersonal reality exists? The NDE appears to happen in the Sylvian Fissure. If people really are out of their bodies and traveling remotely, why can't this be demonstrated empirically? The answer, if autoscopy is actually happening, is that it can empirically be demonstrated."

DR. KENNETH RING:  "There have been many attempts - none of them conclusive - to demonstrate that there is a literal out-of-the body experience, that something actually separates from the physical body. Much of this research is found in the literature in parapsychology, particularly in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (some of the research of Karlis Osis). Good summaries of these studies can, however, be found in books dealing with out-of-body experiences, such as Janet Mitchell's Out-of-Body Experiences (McFarland, 1981). Of course, as you know, a good many such reports from the NDE literature are summarized in my own book, Lessons from the Light, Chapter 2 (Moment Point Press)." (Kenneth Ring

DR. ROBERT JORDAN:  "If a person believes in the traditional dualistic and religious notion that the soul is separate and distinct from the physical body, then out-of-body experiences can be explained by a non-physical reality that does not lend itself to scientific experimentation of explanation. Such a phenomenon could not be investigated scientifically because science measures physical phenomena. Of course, it is possible that there is some kind of physical manifestation of the out-of-body soul that either has not been yet measured because the appropriate scientific measures have not been applied to measuring it. (Has any scientist actually used existing scientific instruments to measure physical signs of the soul departing the body?) Alternately, from a scientist's perspective perhaps we don't yet even know of some physical forms of energy that correspond to the soul. Given the present astounding state of flux of the science of physics, I think that the second alternative is certainly possible. 

"If the soul's travel beyond the body is purely nonphysical, and it may well be true that it is, then we cannot decide such issues with scientific research. Even if many of the sensory phenomena associated with NDEs can be correlated with or explained by physical phenomena, the possibility that they occur in a dimension of nonphysical phenomena cannot be ruled out." (Robert Jordan

DR. P.M.H. ATWATER:  "You need only refer to The Complete Idiot's Guide to NDEs, or my Brain Shift/Spirit Shift Model PDF icon. , for material that will prove helpful. The Sylvan Fissure, temporal lobes, limbic system, and other unique sections of the brain are highly charged during near-death states. There is no research at present, though, that links any of them to causal factors. Nor do any such claims address the entire phenomenon - only parts of it. In fact, there is no one explanation given by any scientist or researcher that explains near-death states. There already have been verified cases highly suggestive of out-of body states, some which simply cannot be denied. However, the type of repeatable scientific proof you refer to will not occur until researchers devise a test that applies to the subject. For instance, the digital single line board currently in use that has a nonsense message flitting across it is a waste of electricity. If you study near-death cases you will see why. Experiencers only pay attention to objects in the emotional field around them or whatever appeals to them emotionally. As long as you try to intellectualize experiencer response, you will miss the proof you want." (P.M.H. Atwater

DR. SUSAN BLACKMORE (NDE Skeptic):  "We cannot deny that something is going on. Undoubtedly people all over the world and for many millennia have had similar experiences. This does not, however, allow us to conclude that there is some transpersonal reality. We need to approach the experiences with an open mind and try to find out just what causes them to be similar. Maybe it is because all our brains are similar in structure and organization. Maybe it is because there really is some other world to which people go. This is what the research is all about." (Susan Blackmore)


"Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world. All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it." - Albert Einstein

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