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Deadworm

NDEs and ADCs: Their Apologetic Value for the Christian Faith

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Let me begin with this disclaimer: I am an evangelical Christian for whom Christ's atoning death and resurrection are the anchor of my faith. But at their best, the verifications inherent in ADCs (=After-Death Contacts) and NDEs (near-death experiences) seem more evidentially probative even than the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and, in my experience of evangelistic witnessing, are far more effective than any Bible-based apologetics. To demonstrate why I will share some of the most mind-blowing evidential NDEs and ADCs I have encountered, including some of the most convincing which have not been published.

But first, I will provide some biblical background for ADCs:
(1) Apart from Jesus' resurrection appearances, the most obvious NT example of an ADC is the return of Moses and Elijah to be present with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9 and parallels).

(2) "After His resurrection, they [deceased saints] came out of the tombs and came into the holy city and appeared to many (Matthew 27:53)."
Whether their bodies were actually resurrected or their spirits simply appeared to the living in Jerusalem, these paranormal appearances qualify as ADCs.

(3) Hebrews 12:1: "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely and run with perseverance the race that is set before us."
In part this image of "the cloud of witnesses" refers back to the list of OT saints discussed in chap. 11. But in Hebrews, the word "witnesses" (Greek: martyres) always refers to eyewitnesses and the witnesses in 12:1 do not precede the living spiritual athletes, but rather surround them. So "the cloud of witnesses" are alive and are currently monitoring the progress of the spiritual athletes competing in the arena below. Hebrews 12:1 is thus an important prooftext for the affirmation in the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in the communion of saints." We don't need to embrace the Catholic practice of praying to deceased saints to recognize this point.

(4) In the Catholic OT Judas Maccabaeus has a vision of 2 deceased saints, the high priest Onias III and the prophet Jeremiah, whose encouragement and prayer support spur them on to military victory in Israel's decisive battle with the Greeks (2 Maccabees 15:6-19). True, this book is absent from the Protestant canon. But this visionary appearance of Jeremiah inspires speculation that Jesus in fact represents Jeremiah's return from the grave (Matthew 16:14).

(5) NDEs are experienced as a form of OBE. Paul considers his visit to Paradise a possible OBE (2 Corinthians 12:1-5) and Ezekiel describes his visions like ADCs:
e. g.: "Then the Spirit lifted me up (Ezekiel 3:12)."

My next planned posts will document some of the most evidentially impressive ADCs and NDEs. Please share any ADCs or NDEs that you or your acquaintances have experienced and what you think of them.


 
 

 
 
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16 hours ago, Deadworm said:

My next planned posts will document some of the most evidentially impressive ADCs and NDEs. Please share any ADCs or NDEs that you or your acquaintances have experienced and what you think of them.

My fellow admin on my home forum had a NDE … never discussed the details but it was enough to make him lose his faith as an evangelical Christian. Go figure.

 

Interestingly I have read the NDEs that people experience reflect the culture they come from. 

Also ketamine can induce near death like experiences and apparently ketamine is released into the blood stream when people are near death. Could all be a coincidence.

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(1) NDE researchers like Dr. Raymond Moody are now writing books about shared NDEs, which are generally far more evidential than most conventional NDEs because the doctors, nurses, and family members witnessing the apparent deaths actually experience key elements of the NDEs, including the OBE, the encounter with deceased friends and relatives, the dying person's past life review, and the encounter with the Being of Light!

(1a) Watch this brief interview with Dr. Moody for a summary of this type of afterlife evidence:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...5FEC&FORM=VIRE

Elsewhere Dr. Moody describes his own shared NDE at his mother's deathbed. The shared nature of these NDEs is somewhat reminiscent of Jesus' resurrection appearances.

(1b) For a gripping personal account of a shared NDE, watch Dr. Scott Taylor's testimony:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E67B&FORM=VIRE

Such shared NDEs refute the claim of skeptics that NDEs are delusions caused by oxygen deprivation in a dying brain.

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

This is sad

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/21/boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-alex-malarkey

But not the point … Believing you have experienced the afterlife is not the same as the afterlife.

You have the cynicism correct, but forgot to propose a method which would be a superior proof.

If you cannot propose a better method you should accept this as a valid interim hypothesis.  Poking holes in the work of others without adding anything positive just makes you a curmudgeon.

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The book, "Lighted Passage," was brought to the attention of an agnostic friend of mine by a colleague who worked with him at HUD and was a relative of the author, Dr. Howell Vincent. Dr. Vincent, a Presbyterian minister, wrote this book, about his daughter Rea and her death in a car accident on her honeymoon. His description of a shared ADC involving his late first wife Nellie and other family members is quoted from p. 25:

(2) "On at least 2 occasions this radiant mother had come to Rea in visible tangible form and talked with her...I was privileged to be present at one of these heavenly visits by Mother Nellie. Together with Rea I talked with Nellie, fully recognizing her face and form and voice. I saw her place her hand on Rea's head in blessing, and I saw her give Rea a flower, a calendula, which we pressed and kept. At that time 3 other members of our family were present, including Rea's second mother, Agnes, and they all saw Nellie and talked with her, as Rea and I did. We were all wide awake and walked around the room with Nellie."

From an evidential perspective this testimony rivals the Gospel resurrection stories and, for that very reason, lends them added credibility. Rev. Vincent's testimony certainly opened my agnostic HUD executive friend's heart to the Gospel and the possibility that Jesus really did rise from the dead. This ADC is similar to Jesus' resurrection appearances--e. g. Nellie's interaction with several family members, the experience of her blessing touch, and her provision of a supernaturally created keepsake.
 

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16 hours ago, Burl said:

You have the cynicism correct, but forgot to propose a method which would be a superior proof.

It's actually skepticism. The method is scientific study, this will provide a more accurate understanding of what is going on. Also by now I would have hoped when dealing with real world explanations we don't deal in proof but in evidence. It is a rookie mistake.

 

16 hours ago, Burl said:

If you cannot propose a better method you should accept this as a valid interim hypothesis.  Poking holes in the work of others without adding anything positive just makes you a curmudgeon.

I suggest you read up on ketamine and accept that as a more likely hypothesis. Maybe check your favourite book for:

as for being a curmudgeon, I take my lead from you Burl.  Ketamine2DCSD.svg

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3 hours ago, romansh said:

It's actually skepticism. The method is scientific study, this will provide a more accurate understanding of what is going on. Also by now I would have hoped when dealing with real world explanations we don't deal in proof but in evidence. It is a rookie mistake.

 

I suggest you read up on ketamine and accept that as a more likely hypothesis. Maybe check your favourite book for:

as for being a curmudgeon, I take my lead from you Burl.  Ketamine2DCSD.svg

I don't get it.  Ketamine was never mentioned, and there were several people present. 

The event seems to relate to the non-locality of consciousness.  More your field than mine, Rom.

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What I am yet to see provided by anybody whatsoever, is any scientific evidence, verifiable and peer reviewed, that supports the notion of an afterlife or even the validity of NDE's as a taste of such an afterlife.  It just doesn't ever seem to stack up scientifically, so I have a very hard time not being skeptical.

Personally, I've had a fair bit to do with death and dying, and am yet to come across anybody who could even remotely substantiate anything to do with a NDE other than a single individual who expressed their own experience as a feeling that it wasn't their time yet.  Which makes me suspect these claims have more to do with our minds than actual reality of visiting an awaiting afterlife.

Even 'group' experiences seem light on in any evident manner.  And their seems to be a lot of evidence and psychological study that better explains such group experiences as shared delusion for reasons we don't fully understand.  Maybe they are accurate depictions of seeing dead people, or maybe they are something we don't yet understand well enough about our brains to explain better scientifically?

Proper science, validated in peer-reviewed experiments and which provide evidence that can be considered, would go a long way to making any sort of convincing argument, yet there is scant in this regard (actually, none I would say).

Maybe when you share your most mind-blowing evidential NDEs and ADCs that you have encountered Deadworm, we can go from there.

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16 minutes ago, PaulS said:

What I am yet to see provided by anybody whatsoever, is any scientific evidence, verifiable and peer reviewed, that supports the notion of an afterlife or even the validity of NDE's as a taste of such an afterlife.  It just doesn't ever seem to stack up scientifically, so I have a very hard time not being skeptical.

Personally, I've had a fair bit to do with death and dying, and am yet to come across anybody who could even remotely substantiate anything to do with a NDE other than a single individual who expressed their own experience as a feeling that it wasn't their time yet.  Which makes me suspect these claims have more to do with our minds than actual reality of visiting an awaiting afterlife.

Even 'group' experiences seem light on in any evident manner.  And their seems to be a lot of evidence and psychological study that better explains such group experiences as shared delusion for reasons we don't fully understand.  Maybe they are accurate depictions of seeing dead people, or maybe they are something we don't yet understand well enough about our brains to explain better scientifically?

Proper science, validated in peer-reviewed experiments and which provide evidence that can be considered, would go a long way to making any sort of convincing argument, yet there is scant in this regard (actually, none I would say).

Maybe when you share your most mind-blowing evidential NDEs and ADCs that you have encountered Deadworm, we can go from there.

There were two specific videos posted.  Perhaps you can speak to those?

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54 minutes ago, Burl said:

There were two specific videos posted.  Perhaps you can speak to those?

Perhaps you can speak to them Burl, as to why you find their evidence compelling, if you in fact do? (I don't know if you do or don't).

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3 hours ago, PaulS said:

Perhaps you can speak to them Burl, as to why you find their evidence compelling, if you in fact do? (I don't know if you do or don't).

The first one by the physician was intriguing, but too general.  It was a teaser.  I feel I need to research deeper but the very idea of bystanders participating in the death experience is new to me.

The second testimony I felt was completely honest and believeable.  The man has no reason to lie about experience of these four entities, and no background to even imagine it.  It did seem like he was practiced in telling the story, but still authentic.

I'm going to look into this some more.  

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Burl said:

The first one by the physician was intriguing, but too general.  It was a teaser.  I feel I need to research deeper but the very idea of bystanders participating in the death experience is new to me.

The second testimony I felt was completely honest and believeable.  The man has no reason to lie about experience of these four entities, and no background to even imagine it.  It did seem like he was practiced in telling the story, but still authentic.

I'm going to look into this some more.  

I don't doubt the integrity of most of the people who believe they have experienced a NDE or an ADC, I am just skeptical that they actually experience such and it's not the mind simply performing some routine we don't better understand.  As credible and genuine as the man in the 2nd video is, it doesn't satisfy me that there isn't a better explanation.  Perhaps words were said prior to the passing of the child that triggered some to imagine the mother coming to collect the child and take him and others to visit the light?  The man and the deceased's wider family's experience would have been tremendously emotional, particularly as a group all there mourning and waiting together, and we all know the brain can react all sorts of ways under emotional duress.

As all death and near death experiences are highly emotional (either for the one dying and/or for the bystanders) I am not surprised that many people would be in a heightened state of emotional distress and perhaps subconsciously looking for peace or relief in some way to deal with the pain and the grief.  I imagine even seasoned medical personnel can also be affected emotionally at times, particularly if there is stuff going on in their private lives, which may trigger any involvement they have with a patient's NDE or ADC.  This may explain why NDE's always seem to have a cultural connotation of familiarity rather than some sort of experience total foreign to the individual but more aligned with completely different other cultures.

Also I do wonder if most or maybe all people who report these experiences don't already have some sort of precursor ready to prompt them in this situation, such as a religious background, or spiritual beliefs, of even just a positive belief that when they die it will all be good.  One of Australia's richest men, Kerry Packer, died temporarily in the 1990's at a racetrack.  He suffered a heart attack and was clinically dead for six minutes before being revived.  When being interviewed about his NDE experience he said "I’ve been to the other side and let me tell you, son, there’s f–king nothing there… There’s no one waiting there for you, there’s no one to judge you so you can do what you bloody well like.”  Clearly Packer wasn't a particularly religious man.

My skepticism comes from the failure to adequately provide evidence, consistently, of the occurrence and manner in which they occur, other than personal testimony.  We can't generate or predict results like we can with all other scientific theory.  We don't accept such evidence alone for any of our other scientific fields, for good reason, so I have difficulty accepting such for a 'spiritual' matter such as this.

And my own personal experience includes having people die in my presence (heart attacks), people die who I have been trying to resuscitate, and often arriving on the scene of very recently departed people, yet not one such experience.  The same could be said for many of my police colleagues at the time.  I'm sure people could come up with all sorts of reasons why I didn't experience anything but I mainly wonder if it's simply because I wasn't particularly emotionally attached to the individuals involved and/or I was in a healthy emotional place at the time so emotion wasn't particularly triggered, subsequently no such NDE or ADC experiences for me.  Conversely, when I went through a period of extreme stress and duress in my life I experienced visions which seemed very, very real.  I don't think it's a coincidence that I experienced such in a heightened, emotional state.

I am sure through your psychological studies you will have seen evidence or conditions where people believe they see, hear or experience something which others would say is not credible.  Mass delusion is a condition that has been identified and studied.  These things do occur.  Some would probably call such a mental health issue but I think it's more that we don't understand what the brain is capable of and don't fully understand what impacts or triggers our emotions and thoughts.  So I don't like to say that any of the above are a mental health issue in the sense that a person is unwell, but rather it is a mental health issue in the sense that we don't understand the brain well enough yet to fully explain these experiences.

I expect science will eventually explain these little understood phenomenon, as it has done eventually so many times in the past for the explainable.  Until then we can only continue to read, observe and study I guess.  But I do believe those who say they have had these experiences are usually genuine in their beliefs.

 

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The NDE's of others is the only evidence we have. It seems to me there is nothing that cannot be explained away if one is so inclined to do so.  In my view, there is no need to form a conclusion for or against on the evidence which is the words of others except to be open and note it is a possible authentic experience.

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3 hours ago, JosephM said:

In my view, there is no need to form a conclusion for or against on the evidence which is the words of others except to be open and note it is a possible authentic experience.

Maybe not, but it'd make for a pretty bloody boring debate and dialogue thread, don't you think! :)

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7 hours ago, PaulS said:

Maybe not, but it'd make for a pretty bloody boring debate and dialogue thread, don't you think! :)

Yes,  boring debate but interesting stories, 🙂

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Scientific evidence will be provided in future posts, but in my view is not even remotely as convincing as the verifications provided by the anecdotal evidence that will be posted in this series of ADCs and NDEs.  I'm just grateful for such thoughtful engagement from the few who still post here.  I've been posting on very popular conservative Christian sites,  but despite the large number of post viewers there, few actually watch the videos or respond to the evidential details of the accounts.  Instead, they warn of the dangers of occult visions and cite irrelevant OT texts that warn of the dangers of necromancy and mediumship.  Very frustrating!

I used to pursue dialogue on NDEs and ADCs on New Age sites because some of those sites attract honest seekers.  10 years ago, I posted for a month or so on "Astral Pulse," a site devoted to methods for leaving the body at will and exploring astral territories.  That site has one section devoted to Religions; so I camped there for a while.   One OBE adept there gave the typical skeptics' vehemently cynical critiques for rejecting Christianity.  I  was deeply moved by my rereading of his threads.  Why?  Because in recent years, I encountered his scorn on another New Age site,, on which I posted ADC/ NDE discussions like I'm promoting here.  After a couple of years, he became a radiant evangelical Christian who now renounces his OBE explorations as spiritually dangerous and was quickly transformed from that site's darling to its pariah!  I wondered if my Christian witness contributed in some small way to that transformation.  But as we communicated more, I realized that the main factor was the witness of evangelical friends who enticed him to their church in Brazil.  

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For a while several members had an active faith in shared consciousness, 'oneness', and other such philosophical ideations.  Now that those general ideas are being supported by evidence and theism they seem to have lost faith in thir own ideas.

I never understood the whole consciousness drift, but testimony by a sober and sane individual is evidence in any court.  This sde/nde topic might be just what is needed to put legs on this philosophical noodling.

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6 hours ago, Burl said:

For a while several members had an active faith in shared consciousness, 'oneness', and other such philosophical ideations.  Now that those general ideas are being supported by evidence and theism they seem to have lost faith in thir own ideas.

Burl, you never disappoint.  Indeed you are blessed with an eagerness to make a snarky comment.  Whilst I never understood those who referred to 'oneness' as some sort of supernatural experience, I don't think a) you can claim that evidence or theism is supporting such or that b) they seem to have lost any faith in their ideas.  Would you care to post something constructive to demonstrate support for your claims?

Quote

I never understood the whole consciousness drift, but testimony by a sober and sane individual is evidence in any court.  This sde/nde topic might be just what is needed to put legs on this philosophical noodling.

Not understanding it still doesn't seemed to have restrained you from claiming evidence for it and other people's loss of faith, apparently. 

But to correct you, anything presented to a court can be called evidence, whether the person is sane or a raving lunatic.  It's whether that evidence is accepted by the jury or presiding authority which gives it any credibility.  But maybe such insight and discussion of the available evidence for this topic will provide some basis for a better understanding for all.

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6 hours ago, Deadworm said:

Scientific evidence will be provided in future posts, but in my view is not even remotely as convincing as the verifications provided by the anecdotal evidence that will be posted in this series of ADCs and NDEs.  I'm just grateful for such thoughtful engagement from the few who still post here.  I've been posting on very popular conservative Christian sites,  but despite the large number of post viewers there, few actually watch the videos or respond to the evidential details of the accounts.  Instead, they warn of the dangers of occult visions and cite irrelevant OT texts that warn of the dangers of necromancy and mediumship.  Very frustrating!

I used to pursue dialogue on NDEs and ADCs on New Age sites because some of those sites attract honest seekers.  10 years ago, I posted for a month or so on "Astral Pulse," a site devoted to methods for leaving the body at will and exploring astral territories.  That site has one section devoted to Religions; so I camped there for a while.   One OBE adept there gave the typical skeptics' vehemently cynical critiques for rejecting Christianity.  I  was deeply moved by my rereading of his threads.  Why?  Because in recent years, I encountered his scorn on another New Age site,, on which I posted ADC/ NDE discussions like I'm promoting here.  After a couple of years, he became a radiant evangelical Christian who now renounces his OBE explorations as spiritually dangerous and was quickly transformed from that site's darling to its pariah!  I wondered if my Christian witness contributed in some small way to that transformation.  But as we communicated more, I realized that the main factor was the witness of evangelical friends who enticed him to their church in Brazil.  

I think we all have a tendency to like our groups and often form views that make us feel comfortable with our tribe.  It can be a challenge for many to remain open minded about all manner of things and when it comes to religion and spirituality, the scale of sensibility seems to go off the Richter depending on which position one takes.  How can you argue (i.e. debate meaningfully) with somebody who is already convinced in their heart (and their head) that they are right?  

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(3) Rev.Albert Baldeo was a Canadian United Church minister.  He was a friend of my Dad's because Dad's brother-in-law had apparently played a role in Albert's conversion in Trinidad.  Albert, now deceased, was one of the most respected ministers in Kelowna, BC in Canada. He was respected enough to be given a weekly column in the city paper. One of his articles described his Dad's shared NDE and I confirmed the ensuing description of it by direct contact with Albert: Albert also wrote an article about this shared NDE in the Kelowna newspaper.

Albert was present at his Dad's death vigil in a nursing home. At 11:45 AM, his Dad sat up, looked ahead at an apparition, and exclaimed, "Hurry up, brother, hurry up!" Within a few seconds he passed away. Only later did Albert discover that his Dad's brother was simultaneously dying in another nursing home 10 miles away. That death vigil was also witnessed by family members. As death drew near, that brother suddenly sat up, gazed in the distance, and exclaimed, "Wait for me, brother, wait for me!" Seconds later, he died, and the family members present noted the time--11:45 AM! Two brothers were able to react to each other 10 physical miles apart and then their spirits were able to enter eternity simultaneously. Mind-blowing unique evidence for the reality of the soul!
 

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

Burl, you never disappoint.  Indeed you are blessed with an eagerness to make a snarky comment.  Whilst I never understood those who referred to 'oneness' as some sort of supernatural experience, I don't think a) you can claim that evidence or theism is supporting such or that b) they seem to have lost any faith in their ideas.  Would you care to post something constructive to demonstrate support for your claims?

Not understanding it still doesn't seemed to have restrained you from claiming evidence for it and other people's loss of faith, apparently. 

But to correct you, anything presented to a court can be called evidence, whether the person is sane or a raving lunatic.  It's whether that evidence is accepted by the jury or presiding authority which gives it any credibility.  But maybe such insight and discussion of the available evidence for this topic will provide some basis for a better understanding for all.

Shared/group consciousness is completely relevant in this discussion of shared death experience.  These experiences seem to indicate a connection of individual consciousness but disaffirm a group consciousness and also dissafirm the idea that consciousness does not survive death. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just a note,

In my view,  eyewitness or personal testimony while not always accurate  is still evidence. Sometimes scientific evidence is not plausible, possible or even practical. If i were traveling on an unknown road i had not traveled before, and a number of people told me that were coming my way,  said they encountered a bridge out and no other way around so they returned, i would not refute that testimony unless i knew differently for a fact. Why refute NDE's or claim they are just imaginings unless one knows for certain.

This topic would probably have been better posted in Personal Stories and Journeys which is a safer place to share from the sharks :).

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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5 hours ago, Burl said:

Shared/group consciousness is completely relevant in this discussion of shared death experience.  These experiences seem to indicate a connection of individual consciousness but disaffirm a group consciousness and also dissafirm the idea that consciousness does not survive death. 

 

I agree shared/group consciousness is relevant in this discussion and I never said it wasn't, but I don't feel as strongly as you do that it should be accepted on face value as 'evidence' of the facts.  There can be other interpretations and perhaps a better understanding to come when we as humans, better understand the workings of the mind.  I am simply skeptical because these events don't seem to be able to be replicated under any sort of controlled or scientifically observed circumstances and at best, they seem to rely on people's own feelings and experiences, even in a group situation.  Gravity I could demonstrate to you whenever you asked - NDE or OBE seem to be much more difficult to replicate.

I don't agree that these experiences dis-affirm group consciousness at all and nor do they dis-affirm the idea that consciousness does not survive death, but of course you are entitled to your opinion, whether valid or not.

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5 hours ago, JosephM said:

Just a note,

In my view,  eyewitness or personal testimony while not always accurate  is still evidence. Sometimes scientific evidence is not plausible, possible or even practical. If i were traveling on an unknown road i had not traveled before, and a number of people told me that were coming my way,  said they encountered a bridge out and no other way around so they returned, i would not refute that testimony unless i knew differently for a fact. Why refute NDE's or claim they are just imaginings unless one knows for certain.

This topic would probably have been better posted in Personal Stories and Journeys which is a safer place to share from the sharks :).

Joseph

It is evidence in the sense that it has the right to be put forward as a claim of truth and it can be representative of the facts, but conversely it can also often be a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the facts.  Hence why courts very rarely convict people on one person's 'word' against another.  Typically courts will require corroboration and verification of any evidence to establish its view.  I am not saying personal testimony cannot be considered as evidence, but rather I am saying that just because a person seems sober and sane and even well intentioned in their testimony, that this is not necessarily evidence of the facts (and indeed is not readily accepted by any court as evidence of the facts on its own merits).

So if you happen to be directing your comment to me when you say "Why refute NDE's or claim they are just imaginings unless one knows for certain", let me say that I am not refuting them, I am just highly skeptical that they actually occur and that they are perhaps explainable by other mechanics of the brain that we don't fully understand as yet.  Scientifically, mass delusion has been established as something that occurs, so just maybe there is some other scientific explanation to NDE's and OBE's?  

But if all that is sought here is storytelling and reaffirmation that NDEs are real, I'm more than happy to leave those to it who want to enjoy that experience.

 

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