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NDE: A skeptic neurosurgeon experienced this!

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Mr Walker

Humans have evolved a number of complex and inter connected  coping mechanisms to cope with the trauma and fear created by our self  aware consciousness of   death loss suffering, pain etc  and our need to explain the inexplicable, in order to,feel secure 

The following couple of paragraphs (specifically on conspiracy theory beliefs)  brings together some of these cognitive mechanisms which are also used  by us to construct beliefs. 

quote

Conspiracy Theories as Evolutionary By-Products

Evolutionary psychologists draw a distinction between adaptations and by-products as different results of evolutionary processes (Buss, Haselton, Shackleford, Bleske, & Wakefield, 1998). Adaptations are functional solutions to problems of survival and reproduction that evolved through natural selection because they provided better survival prospects than alternative solutions in ancestral environments. In contrast, by-products do not solve adaptive problems and have no functional properties but are carried along with other mechanisms that do have adaptive features. For instance, the umbilical cord evolved as a solution to the problem of providing nutrients from the mother to the fetus in her womb; the belly button is a by-product of this adaptation and carries no function in and of itself.

Likewise, it may be possible that conspiracy theories are merely by-product beliefs. A crude version of the by-product hypothesis suggests that conspiracy theories are epiphenomena, emerging from a large brain capable of thinking, reasoning, and gossiping. The more sophisticated version asserts that the mind consists of various psychological mechanisms that evolved for different purposes. Recall that conspiracy theories contain several key components, such as pattern recognition, agency detection, and threat management. When assessed separately, each of these mechanisms has broader functionality than conspiracy detection. Jointly, however, as by-products, they might cause humans to be susceptible to conspiracy theories. Here we review how these mechanisms are empirically related to belief in conspiracy theories.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238178/

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Liquid Gardens
9 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

I'm not sure why you are still misunderstanding that point. I am saying many materialist-skeptics would like there to be life after death but there is sometimes disinclination to embrace the belief to guard against 'getting ones hopes up' and later being proven wrong by science.

I understand your point, I just don't know why mention it.  Are you a psychologist?  How do you know that not wanting to get 'one's hopes up' counteracts some skeptics' desire for an afterlife?  Do you think that trying to avoid 'being proven wrong' is resulting in something irrational or biased in the evaluation of the case for NDEs by skeptics?  I assume not since you seem to understand why science is justifiably agnostic towards NDEs. Thus, yours is a weird assertion, you kinda sashay around the obvious explanation:  maybe skeptics think the case for NDEs is very weak because the evidence is so very weak.  How do we know the evidence is weak?  Because you agree that science is rationally agnostic towards the idea that the evidence argues for NDEs being indicative of an afterlife/soul/spirit.  Once some good evidence is provided and denied, then would seem to be the time to start questioning possible skeptical biases and the other psychological mumbo-jumbo in this thread.

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LightAngel
22 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

Yes, that is an old story but it is fascinating the research he has done since.  A lot on this forum will tell you he is unreliable but I suspect it is their fear talking.  Don't take any of the so called skeptics seriously, some of them are reasonable but most are just bored and think it is fun to denigrate people.   

 

Just keep your focus on reasonable people.

If people keep posting nonsense and childish name-calling, then it's all about themselves and their unsolved traumas - it has nothing to with the topic!

 

Because think about it - would you keep posting in topics you didn't believe in?! - you might post your thoughts a few times, but you wouldn't keep posting over and over again - no reasonable person would do that!

It's also very rude if you ask me!

 

Besides, in this part of the forum, it says: "Please always respect the beliefs of other members - the bashing of specific religions, countries, races or belief systems is strictly disallowed."

 

 

 

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Liquid Gardens
9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Humans are evolved to be afraid of the unknown and unpredictable.

That's not true in general.  Normal humans encounter numerous unpredictable situations on a daily basis without fear.  Humans also evolved the ability to be comforted by things that are not actually true.

9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

it is why many people seek shelter in a  construct of a  predictable materialist world with no uncertainties and no unknowns.

No it isn't, since no such 'predictable materialist world' even exists.  The 'non-materialist world' is just as if not more 'predictable':  based on millennia of past experience we can reliably predict that no one will ever have any evidence to provide for the 'unpredictable non-materialist world' they think they live in.

9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

His comment is valid when applied to those who review or critique such experiments  

Depends on which 'experiments' you are referring to.  Prejudices do factor into a lot of paranormal/woo topic 'experiments' because some paranormal scientists are desperate to find 'something'.  On the other hand, whether the Michelson-Morley experiments supports the existence of the luminiferous aether does not depend 'a lot' on your prejudices going in, it depends far more on whether someone understands science and experimentation or not.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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Liquid Gardens
22 minutes ago, LightAngel said:

It's also very rude if you ask me!

Ha!  Whereas suggesting that skeptics don't find a link to the comments of an author trying to sell his NDE books as very compelling because they are 'afraid' is sooo respectful...

29 minutes ago, LightAngel said:

Because think about it - would you keep posting in topics you didn't believe in?

Huh?  You don't post your disagreements on topics here?  I know that's not true.

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Desertrat56
25 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Ha!  Whereas suggesting that skeptics don't find a link to the comments of an author trying to sell his NDE books as very compelling because they are 'afraid' is sooo respectful...

Huh?  You don't post your disagreements on topics here?  I know that's not true.

There's a difference between conversation and discussion and flaming.  You seem to be taking what @LightAngel said personally.  Does it ring true for you?  When I think of the flame baiters you are not on my list but you must be sensitive and attached to changing someone else's mind or being right if you took what was said personally.  Maybe you need to step back.  Your opinion matters as much as everyone else's but there is no reason to think you can change anyone's mind about anything.

Edited by Desertrat56
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Liquid Gardens
11 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

You seem to be taking what @LightAngel said personally.  Does it ring true for you?  When I think of the flame baiters you are not on my list but you must be sensitive and attached to changing someone else's mind or being right if you took what was said personally.  Maybe you need to step back.

To be honest I think you need to step back and think about what you are asserting, which seems to be along the lines of "I have the ability from anonymous internet comments from people I've never met to nonetheless ascertain certain 'tones', without actually hearing their voice mind you, which allow me to semi-reliably determine their internal psychological thoughts and states ('sensitive', 'attached to changing someone else's mind')".  Where did you derive this ability, are you a psychologist?  Personally I think the only way you can have evidence of something as specific as the things you mention is either the person states it, or telepathy - neither of those apply here.  How you made the leap from 'someone disagrees with me' to 'thus they are sensitive/taking it personally' is definitely a mystery - how come when you disagree with things, which is not at all rare, it's not indicative of your over-sensitivity and is instead presumably you just disagreeing with a notion presented on a discussion forum?  Because that's what it seems to me that I'm doing.

22 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

but there is no reason to think you can change anyone's mind about anything.

You seem to be far more focused on why you think people are posting what they do instead of what they are posting.  I'll give you a heads-up that any 'why' there is has nothing to do with the above.

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Desertrat56
15 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

To be honest I think you need to step back and think about what you are asserting, which seems to be along the lines of "I have the ability from anonymous internet comments from people I've never met to nonetheless ascertain certain 'tones', without actually hearing their voice mind you, which allow me to semi-reliably determine their internal psychological thoughts and states ('sensitive', 'attached to changing someone else's mind')".  Where did you derive this ability, are you a psychologist?  Personally I think the only way you can have evidence of something as specific as the things you mention is either the person states it, or telepathy - neither of those apply here.  How you made the leap from 'someone disagrees with me' to 'thus they are sensitive/taking it personally' is definitely a mystery - how come when you disagree with things, which is not at all rare, it's not indicative of your over-sensitivity and is instead presumably you just disagreeing with a notion presented on a discussion forum?  Because that's what it seems to me that I'm doing.

You seem to be far more focused on why you think people are posting what they do instead of what they are posting.  I'll give you a heads-up that any 'why' there is has nothing to do with the above.

You are right.  I should have just asked "Why are you taking what @LightAngel said personally?"  And let you work out the rest.  So sorry to get into your head and trigger more crap.

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Liquid Gardens
8 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

You are right.  I should have just asked "Why are you taking what @LightAngel said personally?"  

Or you could discuss things.  Or ignore it, that's fine too, sorry that my questions make you so uncomfortable and defensive.  

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Desertrat56
Just now, Liquid Gardens said:

Or you could discuss things.  Or ignore it, that's fine too, sorry that my questions make you so uncomfortable and defensive.  

It was your defensiveness that I reacted to, not your questions.  And I made that clear.  

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Liquid Gardens
Just now, Desertrat56 said:

It was your defensiveness that I reacted to, not your questions.  And I made that clear.  

And I asked you to back up your accusation concerning how you differentiate between 'disagreement' and 'defensiveness', which you didn't.

Anyhoo, this is the 'friendly conversation' forum, not that I think that any of this is necessarily 'unfriendly' but there does seem to be conflation of that with just 'debate'.  Concerning the OP, there's a difference between the general 'being skeptical' about something, which everyone does, and being 'a skeptic' in the more specialized sense today, which is more along the lines of questioning claims based on evidence and scientific findings.  The neurologist author in the OP seems to be more of the former than the latter.

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Desertrat56
6 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

And I asked you to back up your accusation concerning how you differentiate between 'disagreement' and 'defensiveness', which you didn't.

Anyhoo, this is the 'friendly conversation' forum, not that I think that any of this is necessarily 'unfriendly' but there does seem to be conflation of that with just 'debate'.  Concerning the OP, there's a difference between the general 'being skeptical' about something, which everyone does, and being 'a skeptic' in the more specialized sense today, which is more along the lines of questioning claims based on evidence and scientific findings.  The neurologist author in the OP seems to be more of the former than the latter.

Defensiveness is reactionary, disagreement is stating one's opinion differing from another's opinion.  

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khol
5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Humans have evolved a number of complex and inter connected  coping mechanisms to cope with the trauma and fear created by our self  aware consciousness of   death loss suffering, pain

Thanks. And wouldnt you agree this is exactly what NDE's are. The mechanisms our brains employ to alleviate anxiety

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Liquid Gardens
2 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

Defensiveness is reactionary, disagreement is stating one's opinion differing from another's opinion.  

I'm more used to 'reactionary' in terms of political subjects.  Are you just using it here to mean 'resistant to any change'?

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Desertrat56
11 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

I'm more used to 'reactionary' in terms of political subjects.  Are you just using it here to mean 'resistant to any change'?

No, I feel that you reacted to another post as if it was addressed personally to you, which is reactionary.  Reactionary could be a whole spectrum of type of responses.

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papageorge1
2 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

  How do you know that not wanting to get 'one's hopes up' counteracts some skeptics' desire for an afterlife

That statement sounds like you are still not getting my point but it is not a central or important issue to an NDE discussion anyway. I won't belabor this with further discussion.

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Liquid Gardens
33 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

No, I feel that you reacted to another post as if it was addressed personally to you, which is reactionary.

Thanks for clarifying, I call what you are describing as 'taking things personally' not 'reactionary' so glad I checked.  If I only disagreed with some of the things said here and wasn't taking it personally, what would I have said differently?   If it's just the way you 'feel' that's fine, can't argue with feelings, duly noted I guess.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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onlookerofmayhem
11 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Agreed.  Lets :) It might stop them from anxiety attacks,  suiciding, mental breakdown, inconsolable grief, and emotional trauma

I do hope you see the dilemma in your position. 

You constantly assert that all of your posts are truthful, yet you fully advocate lying to someone if you think it will help them or make them feel better.

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Mr Walker
15 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

That's not true in general.  Normal humans encounter numerous unpredictable situations on a daily basis without fear.  Humans also evolved the ability to be comforted by things that are not actually true.

No it isn't, since no such 'predictable materialist world' even exists.  The 'non-materialist world' is just as if not more 'predictable':  based on millennia of past experience we can reliably predict that no one will ever have any evidence to provide for the 'unpredictable non-materialist world' they think they live in.

Depends on which 'experiments' you are referring to.  Prejudices do factor into a lot of paranormal/woo topic 'experiments' because some paranormal scientists are desperate to find 'something'.  On the other hand, whether the Michelson-Morley experiments supports the existence of the luminiferous aether does not depend 'a lot' on your prejudices going in, it depends far more on whether someone understands science and experimentation or not.

It is true At least science says its true 

its quite easily researchable so I wont go over  it all again.

Indeed humans also involved the abilty to be comforted by things which may not be true 

Again, that is a survival mechanism. Better to be safe than sorry. 

Mypoint was that the real  world is unpredictable Once you construct beliefs then they are a safe predictable place for your mind to be, because you built them and you control them  You are right on your last point BUT even in the best experiment in physics or chemistry, human preconception   and expectation may cause an experiment to offer different results  because it can alter the experiment itself as well as your understanding of the results.

  The safety net for science is repeatability 

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Mr Walker
7 hours ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

I do hope you see the dilemma in your position. 

You constantly assert that all of your posts are truthful, yet you fully advocate lying to someone if you think it will help them or make them feel better.

You have started with a false premise  ie that beliefs are lies.

No one knows what religious( or other )beliefs are true, otherwise the y would be facts, not beliefs Thus it is not lying to believe in something and  tell others you believe it tobe true 

However to answer in general 

The prime ethical position is to do as little harm as possible and as much good as possible

Thus i tell very few lies, even in the real world,  because lies lead to harm such as a lack of trust in you (luckily my wife   insists on truthfulness over tact and diplomacy  or I might have a problem ) :) 

Where lying  provides a clear benefit, with out harm, it can be logical (and ethical) to lie .

so if i came across someone  who appeared to be dying after a road accident iI would help them and reassure them.

i wouldn't say, "You are going to die." even if I thought it  likely    I would say, " I am no expert, but I think you will be alright ."

Because i haven't got enough medical knowledge to be certain, i can choose the most comforting belief  to give to them  

  Because,  as humans we don't have enough knowledge to be certain about what happens after death, we can choose the,most comforting belief for ourselves or others.  

i would not tell a young child the y would never see their dead parent again(coz i dont know if that is true or not)   I would explain some different beliefs to comfort the child. 

 

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Mr Walker
14 hours ago, khol said:

Thanks. And wouldnt you agree this is exactly what NDE's are. The mechanisms our brains employ to alleviate anxiety

I dont know, so i cant agree  It seems likely to me that while it might not be about alleviating anxiety, it is a biological construct of the body and mind when close to death, but accounts vary a lot, and you would have to investigate each individual  account to tell what it could have been   IMO thought /awareness is a product of brain activity  IMO Once the brain is dead, awareness ceases 

The trouble is defining "dead" 

I would be fascinated to hear from a person who had truly died and still came back to tell us what the experience was like  :)  

I had what you  might call a classic NDE during a major operation, where the surgeon later told me I was hanging on by a thread (his actual words)  for several hours 

I accept it was a natural  cognitive construct caused by the environment  and my body's/mind's responses 

However it was absolutely terrifying as i went through it, and very detailed and  realistic 

 

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Desertrat56
10 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

It is true At least science says its true

Really?  "Science says it is true"?  That sentence it the most obvious and most commonly used sentence to refute something without even knowing anything about the scientific method.  Just because a scientist hasn't proven it does not mean anything, and extrapolating something as true based on unproven is a deflection and weak argument.   Where is the scientific body of work that makes it true?  You aren't stupid but you act stupid quite often with your boasting and insisting that you know things you don't know.  Quit pretending like science is a person or as if it is irrefutable, as the conclusions based on science change every time we have a new set of scientists looking at something with fresh eyes and new understanding.  Humans are always biased and anytime "scientists prove" something it is based on current understanding.   Science does not say anything.

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TashaMarie
On 11/9/2020 at 6:05 PM, papageorge1 said:

Another thought Sees is that I consider the idea that skeptics like @Liquid Gardens above acknowledge the more positive life affirming aspects of a beautiful afterlife plane BUT they’re too guarded from disappointment to become believers.

I'm sorry I have read the above text several times and I'm not sure what you mean, could you please re-phrase or explain it to me?  

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papageorge1
3 minutes ago, TashaMarie said:

I'm sorry I have read the above text several times and I'm not sure what you mean, could you please re-phrase or explain it to me?  

If one believes in an afterlife from NDE evidence and finds later that it is not true afterlife evidence because of new scientific knowledge, then one may experience a depressing disappointment. So by holding no expectation one can not get disappointed. So even if there is good evidence it is better to still not believe.

This may be at a psychological level not even directly acknowledged.

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TashaMarie
1 minute ago, papageorge1 said:

If one believes in an afterlife from NDE evidence and finds later that it is not true afterlife evidence because of new scientific knowledge, then one may experience a depressing disappointment. So by holding no expectation one can not get disappointed. So even if there is good evidence it is better to still not believe.

This may be at a psychological level not even directly acknowledged.

Ah okay thank you.  I do not believe in an afterlife and have not for many years.  And if I am totally honest with you a became a happier person once I stopped believing.  I know to little about NDE to make any comments.

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