Several years ago, I searched youtube for vids on NDEs. Among the many I saw was one with a little kid sitting by his dad who was “hovering” over him on a couch during the interview. As I listened, I drew the conclusion that the kid had not had any NDE whatsoever, but that his dad had almost certainly coached him about what to say. Too bad the child went through this, but it’s great that the kid has now grown up and repudiates his former testimony. IMHO the kid underwent a form of child abuse.
Interesting. I was not aware of that aspect of the story, but I wouldn't be surprised.
As far as “afterlives” go . . . Randall, your argument by analogy is unconvincing. Your two examples are implausible comparisons that are far too superficial and unrelated to the question, and as such, the possibility of the survival of one’s conscious personality after biological death is not eliminated. Not by your argument.
Perhaps you are being a little quick to judge. Please allow me the opportunity to explain: The use of an analogy
to three sided squares is to illustrate what is meant by the concept of impossibility
in the context
of the argument.
In other words, it isn't saying that afterlives are
three sided squares. It is saying that afterlives are as impossible
as three sided squares.
This type of impossibility ( a logical impossibility ) is different from casual notions of impossibility e.g. "Me become a Republican? Impossible!" I felt it important to get that across at the start, and three sided squares seemed to me to be a simple way to do that. So the simplicity is intentional ( as any good analogy should be ) and the analogy itself is very relevant to the argument, because it sets out the conditions for the premise.
You may be convinced, but to convince others you need to show quite a bit more well-defined and broad-based evidence.
When one understands the argument, they also understand why no amount of additional evidence can change the outcome. I'm not sure at this point how to make it any more clear. It doesn't seem all that difficult to me. Other people I've relayed it to have gotten it just fine. Maybe you do too. I don't know for sure at this point. Perhaps it would help to simply ask if you understand why any afterlife version of a person as outlined by the premise, mus
t be a copy?
If you disagree, then please provide an example of a possibility you see as an alternative. So far I haven't found one. The closest I've come is to suppose that time itself is quantized so that each and every moment is a reconstruction, in which case we are all being constantly killed and recreated to fit the parameters of change required by whatever is responsible for our existence.
In that case, we're all copies all the time, like characters drawn in frames along a filmstrip. If that's the case, then there is still no continuity as outlined in the premise, but we would also need to ask some different questions in order to determine if that problem remains relevant.
I would like to suggest, Randall, that you work up a formal paper on your argument and submit it to Journal of Scientific Exploration
, which is the publication of Society for Scientific Exploration
(SSE) which looks into unconventional topics. They will peer-review your paper and help you tighten up your arguments.
Thanks for the suggestion. About the only way that I could tighten the argument up any further is to provide specific medical references to the biological components of personhood. However I believe that those components are common knowledge enough to get the point across to the average person. A bunch of citations that support the obvious wouldn't really improve the argument ( IMO ).
Having said that, I certainly grant that the inability to convincingly prove one side of the “afterlife case” does not necessarily mean that the other side of the case is therefore proved, i.e. that there is survival of conscious personality after biological death.
My argument may remain unconvincing to those who either reject it out of hand or simply don't grasp the concept I've attempted to convey. The former isn't something I can do anything about, but perhaps I can come up with a better way to convey the latter. Then again, maybe some people will never get the reasoning no matter how anyone conveys it. I don't know.
Nevertheless, as far as the so-called “materialist” view of the world goes, here are two PhD physicists who say that the “particles” that make up what we know as “material” are derived from the pre-existing fields that support those “particles”. In other words, expansive fields exist prior to any “particles” and the fields thus determine all the characteristics of the “particles” being expressed.
So, for all the “particles” that interact in the universe, including in biological entities, it is actually the pre-existing fields that determine how physical reality is expressed. All expansive and interpenetrating fields are more foundational to reality than the “particles” that are expressed in them. So then, what we each know as our “personal consciousness” may be far less established by the standard model “particles” of our physical biological bodies than as by these many and various fields, or even other fields yet to be discovered that interact with the ones we know about today. So, IMHO, there is a lot more to consider about these issues. Survival of personal consciousness after biological death is not conclusively disproved, or proven.
The thing is. once someone understands the argument, it makes no difference if fields or particles or vertices or what have you is responsible for the situation, the logic of the argument remains intact. After the fundamental situation is no longer the case, any other situation like it can only be a copy. That includes you and I. There will never be another you.
The person you are now is unique. No copy will suffice ( IMO ).
I for one do not find the evidence for reincarnation nearly as viable as Leslie Kean, and that evidence presented in her book could be explained in other ways. Such an explanation would still depend on discarnate conscious entities that can influence human beings.
I think we can all agree that something
strange is going on. It's not all hoaxes, false memories, and misperceptions. What this analysis does is explain why typical notions of afterlives must be a misinterpretation. That should move the whole quest for answers forward, and that is my only intent.
BTW: Good video selection