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How do you explain NDEs?
#1

How do you explain NDEs?
I was reading Lee Strobels' A Case for Heaven because of how infuriating it is. Most arguments there are stupid, but the part on NDEs is confusing. Is there a scientific theory for how NDEs work, and how patients can know what happens while they are unconscious?
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#2

How do you explain NDEs?
We already beaten this dead horse to death.

https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/sho...#pid398354
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#3

How do you explain NDEs?
The problem with NDE "theories" is they only nearly die, and never perish, in perfect (exasperating) accordance with their acronym  Tongue
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#4

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 07:17 AM)airportkid Wrote: The problem with NDE "theories" is they only nearly die, and never perish, in perfect (exasperating) accordance with their acronym  Tongue

Yeah, NDE is basically a way for religious fanatics to create an idea of "close to God". It never has any factual basis. But it satisfies their "suggestion" of evidence. Theists are pretty vague on "evidence". To most of them, "suggestion" is "proof".

It's the "well, it might be". Yeah, and there might be unicorns if we just looked at the right place at the right time.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#5

How do you explain NDEs?
The hooman thinking unit is a remarkably creative, imagination machine. It is exceptionally impressive at filling in the blanks.


Hooman intelligence has them convinced they are considerably significant, when the big bye-byes arrives, that fancy fabrication engine gets creates that final illusion confirming the aforementioned magnitude of their existence.
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#6

How do you explain NDEs?
Lee Strobel, american christian author, nuff said.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#7

How do you explain NDEs?
Everything you need to know about that wanker.

Charlatan
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#8

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 05:28 AM)Minimalist Wrote: We already beaten this dead horse to death.

https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/sho...#pid398354
I took a look at the other thread. It has people saying how oxygen affects the brain and causes it to hallucinate, but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious.
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#9

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 05:33 PM)Jarsa Wrote: It has people saying how oxygen affects the brain and causes it to hallucinate, but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious.
I don't believe that is an accurate description of the phenomenon. It is non-sense IMO. It always turns out they weren't dead when they said they were; and other details are often exaggerated; these kinds of things can never withstand a moments scrutiny.
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#10

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 05:33 PM)Jarsa Wrote: ... but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious ...

They're not actually unconscious.
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#11

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 05:33 PM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 05:28 AM)Minimalist Wrote: We already beaten this dead horse to death.

https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/sho...#pid398354

I took a look at the other thread. It has people saying how oxygen affects the brain and causes it to hallucinate, but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious.

I suggest you take a closer look. Specifically the point raised in post no 3, and many others.

Quote:(snip) If this 'report' is not accompanied by signed witness statements from all those present in the operating theater then it is not a report, it's a story.
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#12

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 05:33 PM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 05:28 AM)Minimalist Wrote: We already beaten this dead horse to death.

https://atheistdiscussion.org/forums/sho...#pid398354
I took a look at the other thread. It has people saying how oxygen affects the brain and causes it to hallucinate, but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious.

What NDE proponants don't take into considerations is the timeline of when the NDE takes place.  They're assuming it's happening during their unconscious state or when they've momentarly flatlined.  How do they know?  There is no clock in the brain telling the patient or the medical team the exact moment a NDE takes place.  They remember it later after they've come out of the crisis and just assume the NDE happened when there was little to no brain activity because that's what they want to believe.  In their minds it couldn't have happened at the moment they were going into the medical crisis or when they were coming out of it.  Noo0OO0ooo.....that couldn't possibly when it happened.   pfffft

The other thing, from what I understand is that todays advanced instruments can detect brain activity that was previously undetectable.  But still, WHEN the NDE takes place is the detail they can't pinpoint.
                                                         T4618
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#13

How do you explain NDEs?
I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#14

How do you explain NDEs?
How do I explain NDE's? Not my job. I think it's more telling how the faithful explain NDE's..which is not at all.
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#15

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 08:50 PM)Minimalist Wrote: I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?
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#16

How do you explain NDEs?
When waking from anesthesia, there is period of time where you aren’t awake, not are you unconscious…. You are just semi aware and time is still meaningless. Thing that happen during this period are easily interpreted as having happened while you were knocked out yet, you still somewhat process your surroundings and just place them in the wrong order. We also hear things, again not being able to place when you actually heard it.

As pointed out above, there is no way to know exactly when these NDEs happened and most likely, the person assumes it was while they were deadish. Most of those that have visions seem to always be whatever their beliefs about death entails…Christian’s see loved ones and Jesus, Muslims see Allah and Hindis see their gods. Ever hear a Christian say they say a many armed man with an elephant face? Me neither…expectations seem to color the NDE to a questioning degree.

Decreased oxygen to the brain triggers these visions and anesthesia distorts the time frame. They aren’t an experience of a spiritual layer of existence. They are just weird experiences.
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#17

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 08:50 PM)Minimalist Wrote: I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?
People aren't necessarily lying ... in fact generally they are describing their recollection of an experience that often has very high emotional impact, and the only lying that usually is going on is the human tendency to, er, embellish with each retelling.

As an atheist I don't believe NDEs are made up, they are real experiences. There are just better explanations of the mechanism than gods in general (or usually the Christian god in particular).

There was a study in the UK that attempted to look at NDEs empirically, but it is devilishly hard:

1) People having NDEs are usually in crisis, and attempts to monitor them usually gets in the way of lifesaving treatment. So for example there are precious few brainwave recordings of someone who then described an NDE. Like a guy who happened to be all hooked up to an EKG rig with the machine running for some unrelated matter and just happened to have a massive heart attack. Let's just say there's no statistically significant sample of such measurements.

2) Many people don't have NDEs, and some who do aren't willing to discuss them for various reasons. So as a researcher, you're reduced to waiting around hoping something happens so that you can collect ... a personal anecdote.

3) NDEs and their associated crises, or portions thereof, tend to happen in random locations, not necessarily in particular ER or operating rooms.

4) Yet the only way to try to gather some actual evidence is to do things like mount signs in locations that can only be seen from above a patient but not by the patient or medical personnel, in hopes a person having an out of body experience will notice, remember, and accurately describe the sign later. But it can take months or years for someone to have an NDE in one of these "prepped" locations who's willing to participate and answer questions and it is well-neigh impossible in practice to keep such preparations a secret. Sooner or later a janitor or repairman will climb up there and see the signs, or someone aware of the research methodology will mention it, and you can never be 100% sure this doesn't poison the evidential well.

So at the end of the day a very expensive UK study could draw no clear conclusions about NDEs.

This is what you're up against trying to be reasonably scientific and objective about what is essentially a personal subjective experience, not that different in character from all sorts of claims theists make about profound encounters with god, angels, visions, warnings, etc.

So ... a patient describes a conversation doctors were having while they were supposed to be unconscious ... but there are many kinds of unconscious states and even some people in comas later were able to relate conversations and events they could hear while in that state.

I don't think these people are lying but I don't think they had an OBE or died, either. I think the brain just makes intense, novel connections when in crises and various systems are unstable, and sometimes we remember them. And that brings us to a final problem: now that NDEs have been widely described and popularized for decades, the well is also poisoned in that way. NDEs are no longer novel but expected. They have some general characteristics. And when recalling some thoughts that happened in crises, there's a natural tendency to make sense of them as an NDE.

We know that even in normal states of consciousness, memory is surprisingly inexact and unreliable and sketchy, particularly with the passage of time ... we fill in details, make assumptions ... we reach for bits and pieces we may be in the process of forgetting ... and kind of glue it all back together into a narrative. A narrative we already know the general shape of ... an NDE.

Given all this uncertainty, I am personally quite comfortable not taking any one person's claims about NDEs seriously. Beyond that sometimes when various body systems are faltering, we have weird and often vivid and emotionally freighted experiences that touch the prodverbial "god spot" in the brain. Something typically involving a bring light, a sense of being untethered from the body, perhaps a rush of recollections of one's life, maybe in some vivid lucid dream state we meet a long-dead relative or have a vision of the pearly gates. Because it's not a normal dream state or a normal state of mind or a normal situation, it's bound to be impressively different ... but no more significant than the bazillion other tricks our minds play upon us.
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#18

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 08:50 PM)Minimalist Wrote: I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?

Okay - glad that's cleared up.

People say all sorts of weird stuff even when they are not undergoing a medical emergency.  Mord has given a very credible reply.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#19

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote: How could everyone be lying?
People can be wrong, without lying. I don't think everyone who experienced NDE, or who thought they saw a ghost or Bigfoot is lying; I think they are mistaken.
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#20

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 08:50 PM)Minimalist Wrote: I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?

The devil's in the details with these things.  Astronauts who used to train in those centrifuge machines which would spin them around at high speeds would have out of body experiences or OBE's  One astronaut told the story of spinning around in the machine and found himself in a grocery store talking to his dead mother.  He swore it was real.  It's possible the blood in the brain is pulled out of key areas of the brain causing trauma and hallucinations.  This may be what is happening during NDE's.  But no one is actually dead during NDE's.  That's why it's called a NEAR death experience.
                                                         T4618
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#21

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote: No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying?

Easily enough, they might just see road to fame opening before them. Also they might simply be mistaken, I mean if one believe in bullshit and repeats it then it's not a lie.

Quote:And what about atheists who turned theists?

What about them? It's standard modus operandi of christian trolls and if there are genuine cases then it proves nothing. It's not like atheists are some kind of super humans who can do no stupid thing, so some simply return to delusions they were (most probably) raised in.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#22

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-08-2023, 08:21 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 05:33 PM)Jarsa Wrote: I took a look at the other thread. It has people saying how oxygen affects the brain and causes it to hallucinate, but doesn't explain how people know what happens when they are unconscious.

What NDE proponants don't take into considerations is the timeline of when the NDE takes place.  They're assuming it's happening during their unconscious state or when they've momentarly flatlined.  How do they know?  There is no clock in the brain telling the patient or the medical team the exact moment a NDE takes place.  They remember it later after they've come out of the crisis and just assume the NDE happened when there was little to no brain activity because that's what they want to believe.  In their minds it couldn't have happened at the moment they were going into the medical crisis or when they were coming out of it.  Noo0OO0ooo.....that couldn't possibly when it happened.   pfffft

The other thing, from what I understand is that todays advanced instruments can detect brain activity that was previously undetectable.  But still, WHEN the NDE takes place is the detail they can't pinpoint.

Yes. When I dream, everything seems real even if absurd. And time does not pass logically. I've had dreams that involved days of time, yet happened (when I awake and observe my clock) was only 30 minutes at the most. And nothing makes much sense afterwards. I went back to college in the 90s and got a degree. I retired from work in 2006. Yet my dreams still involve college classes and being at work.

I think NDEs is something like that. You go to the operating room worried you will not awake, and you imagination takes over. Since you fear dying (as if 9you would know you were), your mind creates "possibilities".
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#23

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 02:22 AM)mordant Wrote:
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote: No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?
People aren't necessarily lying ... in fact generally they are describing their recollection of an experience that often has very high emotional impact, and the only lying that usually is going on is the human tendency to, er, embellish with each retelling.

As an atheist I don't believe NDEs are made up, they are real experiences. There are just better explanations of the mechanism than gods in general (or usually the Christian god in particular).

There was a study in the UK that attempted to look at NDEs empirically, but it is devilishly hard:

1) People having NDEs are usually in crisis, and attempts to monitor them usually gets in the way of lifesaving treatment. So for example there are precious few brainwave recordings of someone who then described an NDE. Like a guy who happened to be all hooked up to an EKG rig with the machine running for some unrelated matter and just happened to have a massive heart attack. Let's just say there's no statistically significant sample of such measurements.

2) Many people don't have NDEs, and some who do aren't willing to discuss them for various reasons. So as a researcher, you're reduced to waiting around hoping something happens so that you can collect ... a personal anecdote.

3) NDEs and their associated crises, or portions thereof, tend to happen in random locations, not necessarily in particular ER or operating rooms.

4) Yet the only way to try to gather some actual evidence is to do things like mount signs in locations that can only be seen from above a patient but not by the patient or medical personnel, in hopes a person having an out of body experience will notice, remember, and accurately describe the sign later. But it can take months or years for someone to have an NDE in one of these "prepped" locations who's willing to participate and answer questions and it is well-neigh impossible in practice to keep such preparations a secret. Sooner or later a janitor or repairman will climb up there and see the signs, or someone aware of the research methodology will mention it, and you can never be 100% sure this doesn't poison the evidential well.

So at the end of the day a very expensive UK study could draw no clear conclusions about NDEs.

This is what you're up against trying to be reasonably scientific and objective about what is essentially a personal subjective experience, not that different in character from all sorts of claims theists make about profound encounters with god, angels, visions, warnings, etc.

So ... a patient describes a conversation doctors were having while they were supposed to be unconscious ... but there are many kinds of unconscious states and even some people in comas later were able to relate conversations and events they could hear while in that state.

I don't think these people are lying but I don't think they had an OBE or died, either. I think the brain just makes intense, novel connections when in crises and various systems are unstable, and sometimes we remember them. And that brings us to a final problem: now that NDEs have been widely described and popularized for decades, the well is also poisoned in that way. NDEs are no longer novel but expected. They have some general characteristics. And when recalling some thoughts that happened in crises, there's a natural tendency to make sense of them as an NDE.

We know that even in normal states of consciousness, memory is surprisingly inexact and unreliable and sketchy, particularly with the passage of time ... we fill in details, make assumptions ... we reach for bits and pieces we may be in the process of forgetting ... and kind of glue it all back together into a narrative. A narrative we already know the general shape of ... an NDE.

Given all this uncertainty, I am personally quite comfortable not taking any one person's claims about NDEs seriously. Beyond that sometimes when various body systems are faltering, we have weird and often vivid and emotionally freighted experiences that touch the prodverbial "god spot" in the brain. Something typically involving a bring light, a sense of being untethered from the body, perhaps a rush of recollections of one's life, maybe in some vivid lucid dream state we meet a long-dead relative or have a vision of the pearly gates. Because it's not a normal dream state or a normal state of mind or a normal situation, it's bound to be impressively different ... but no more significant than the bazillion other tricks our minds play upon us.

On the one time I was under general anesthetics (for appendix removal at 18), I never had any thoughts related to NDE. Indeed, the nurse told me afterwards that they had to hold my head down because, (apparently) I wanted to watch the operation. I haven't the foggiest memory about that, but I must have been more curious than afraid.

The bad part is that I am resistant to most drugs and woke up in post-op before they expected me to. I didn't even have a call button. Yelling got some attention. LOL! But seriously, no hint of NDE. It may be that as an atheist by then, I didn't expect to have one.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#24

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 02:02 AM)pattylt Wrote: When waking from anesthesia, there is period of time where you aren’t awake, not are you unconscious…. You are just semi aware and time is still meaningless.  Thing that happen during this period are easily interpreted as having happened while you were knocked out yet, you still somewhat process your surroundings and just place them in the wrong order.  We also hear things, again not being able to place when you actually heard it.

As pointed out above, there is no way to know exactly when these NDEs happened and most likely, the person assumes it was while they were deadish.  Most of those that have visions seem to always be whatever their beliefs about death entails…Christian’s see loved ones and Jesus, Muslims see Allah and Hindis see their gods.  Ever hear a Christian say they say a many armed man with an elephant face?  Me neither…expectations seem to color the NDE to a questioning degree.

Decreased oxygen to the brain triggers these visions and anesthesia distorts the time frame.  They aren’t an experience of a spiritual layer of existence.  They are just weird experiences.

Then theirs the reports of seeing bright lights at the end of a tunnel. I wonder if these things could account for that:

[Image: g-series-cta.jpg?h=269&iar=0&w=538&hash=...25984CE1A2]

Direct Sunlight is ~100,000 Lux. A typical theater light is 120,000-160,000 Lux.

So yes, a lack of oxygen combined with all sorts of mind numbing drugs and you wake up staring at one of those things. It's not Jeebus the god of everlasting misery it's Lumen the god of light.
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#25

How do you explain NDEs?
(12-09-2023, 01:40 AM)Jarsa Wrote:
(12-08-2023, 08:50 PM)Minimalist Wrote: I suspect the OP wants to BELIEVE..... which is always dangerous.
No, I'm an atheist, and I don't want to believe. Just something that was bugging me. How could everyone be lying? And what about atheists who turned theists?

Wrong thread.
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