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Bigelow Institute unveils $1M life after death essay prize winners


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The $500,000 prize went to Jeffrey Mishlove, PhD for his essay entitled "Beyond the Brain: The Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death."

I actually skimmed this paper. Here
 
I will read this more when I have the time. I knew of Mishlove from the Near Death Experience discussion world. In this paper he gets into evidence not just of people who returned but from individuals who have permanent death (months and years after death).  Mishlove's thinking (like mine) is that there is an overwhelming  accumulation of evidence supporting life after death such that I can not see a rescue for the materialist model of consciousness.
 
 
 
Single facts can never be “proved” except by their coherence in a system. But, as all facts come singly, anyone who dismisses them one by one is destroying the conditions under which the conviction of new truth could arise in the mind.
 
F. C. S. Schiller Philosophy Professor Oxford University
Edited by papageorge1
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5 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:
Mishlove's thinking (like mine) is that there is an overwhelming  accumulation of evidence supporting life after death such that I can not see a rescue for the materialist model of consciousness.

What "evidence" are you speaking of? Anecdotes? Hearsay? It's nothing more than pie in the sky. The evidence we have available at our disposal suggests that consciousness very much is a product of our brain. There is no evidence to support the contrary, besides stories.

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Just now, Nuclear Wessel said:

What "evidence" are you speaking of? Anecdotes? Hearsay? It's nothing more than pie in the sky. The evidence we have available at our disposal suggests that consciousness very much is a product of our brain. There is no evidence to support the contrary, besides stories.

May I ask if you even skimmed through the paper being discussed?

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1 minute ago, papageorge1 said:

May I ask if you even skimmed through the paper being discussed?

I skimmed it. What evidence, again?

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Just now, Nuclear Wessel said:

I skimmed it. What evidence, again?

Single facts can never be “proved” except by their coherence in a system. But, as all facts come singly, anyone who dismisses them one by one is destroying the conditions under which the conviction of new truth could arise in the mind.
 
F. C. S. Schiller Philosophy Professor Oxford University
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41 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:
Single facts can never be “proved” except by their coherence in a system. But, as all facts come singly, anyone who dismisses them one by one is destroying the conditions under which the conviction of new truth could arise in the mind.
 
F. C. S. Schiller Philosophy Professor Oxford University

OK. But you said that there was an overwhelming amount of evidence to support consciousness persisting beyond death. All I am asking is for the evidence you’re alluding to. I can only assume it’s just stories, at this point… which does not actually act as evidence to support consciousness existing after death. 

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Just now, Nuclear Wessel said:

OK. But you said that there was an overwhelming amount of evidence to support consciousness persisting beyond death. All I am asking is for the evidence you’re alluding to. I can only assume it’s just stories, at this point… which does not actually act as evidence to support consciousness existing after death. 

The accumulation of stories is evidence in my consideration when they form a coherent view as that quote alluded to.

Detection of things beyond the physical by physical senses and instruments is not possible at this time. However there are those claiming insight through psychic sensing too which I consider.

If you are a follower of science only (scientism) then you can only remain neutral to these cases.

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33 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

The accumulation of stories is evidence in my consideration when they form a coherent view as that quote alluded to.

The accumulation of stories is just that--an accumulation of stories.

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Detection of things beyond the physical by physical senses and instruments is not possible at this time. However there are those claiming insight through psychic sensing too which I consider.

You're hiding behind the idea of "we might be able to someday prove the existence of the non-physical via physical means" to avoid having to confront reality. We could shift these goalposts ad infinitum. I will opine from my proverbial armchair with Ockham's Razor in that the most simple explanation is the most likely: consciousness is brain. Brain dies, consciousness dies. There is no persistence beyond death. If I am incorrect, **** it, I am incorrect. I have no reason to suspect otherwise, though--nada.

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If you are a follower of science only (scientism) then you can only remain neutral to these cases.

Considering we know that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain (which therefore is unsustainable upon brain death) I don't have to remain neutral on this topic.

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1 hour ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

OK. But you said that there was an overwhelming amount of evidence to support consciousness persisting beyond death. All I am asking is for the evidence you’re alluding to. I can only assume it’s just stories, at this point… which does not actually act as evidence to support consciousness existing after death. 

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence.  People dying on the operating table and coming back accurately repeating a conversation people were having in the waiting room, etc (many examples of this I've heard but not personally experienced).  What you're asking for I think is proof, not evidence, and my example here is not proof but there are plenty of similar pieces of "evidence".

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12 minutes ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

The accumulation of stories is just that--an accumulation of stories.

And an accumulation of stories considered for quantity. quality and consistency can affect my views. This is a normal human reasoning skill.

14 minutes ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

You're hiding behind the idea of "we might be able to someday prove the existence of the non-physical via physical means" to avoid having to confront reality. 

No true. If we are never able to prove this through the physical senses and instruments as is the case now, my views would still hold.

16 minutes ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

 I will opine from my proverbial armchair with Ockham's Razor in that the most simple explanation is the most likely: consciousness is brain. Brain dies, consciousness dies. There is no persistence beyond death. If I am incorrect, **** it, I am incorrect. I have no reason to suspect otherwise, though--nada.

With all those stories and even experimental studies suggesting things occurring with mediums that are unknown to science (shared before) you do not see a reason to even suspect other views. Hmmm......

20 minutes ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

Considering we know that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain (which therefore is unsustainable upon brain death) I don't have to remain neutral on this topic.

So, it's not really a case closed conclusion. It is a 'case not needed to be open' situation. Hmm....

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2 minutes ago, OverSword said:

People dying on the operating table and coming back accurately repeating a conversation people were having in the waiting room, etc (many examples of this I've heard but not personally experienced).

IMO, a distinction needs to be made here: are we talking about brain death, or are we talking about clinical death? Certainly people can experience cessation of breathing/circulation while their brain is still "active", which I believe aligns with what you're describing.

When I talk about death, I am talking about complete death--i.e. no brain function, respiratory and circulatory functions cease, bodily breakdown is heavily underway, etc.

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1 minute ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

IMO, a distinction needs to be made here: are we talking about brain death, or are we talking about clinical death? Certainly people can experience cessation of breathing/circulation while their brain is still "active", which I believe aligns with what you're describing.

When I talk about death, I am talking about complete death--i.e. no brain function, respiratory and circulatory functions cease, bodily breakdown is heavily underway, etc.

Only one way to find that out.  Be my guest :lol:

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3 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

With all those stories and even experimental studies suggesting things occurring with mediums that are unknown to science (shared before) you do not see a reason to even suspect other views. Hmmm......

 

Please share these studies..

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1 minute ago, OverSword said:

Only one way to find that out.  Be my guest :lol:

Lol, I'm good.

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1 minute ago, Nuclear Wessel said:
 

Please share these studies..

 

DISCARNATE READINGS BY CLAIMANT MEDIUMS: ASSESSING PHENOMENOLOGY AND ACCURACY UNDER BEYOND DOUBLE-BLIND CONDITIONS

ABSTRACT: Certain mediums are able to report accurate and specific information about the deceased loved ones (termed discarnates) of living people (termed sitters) even without any prior knowledge about the sitters or the discarnates and in the complete absence of any sensory feedback. This study aimed to investigate the phenomenology associated with, and accuracy of, readings for discarnates by claimant mediums under beyond double-blind conditions. At baseline, directly after a counterbalanced control condition, and after each of two identically formatted, scheduled phone readings for paired discarnates, 19 claimant mediums completed the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI). The two readings were then given global accuracy scores by the blinded sitters associated with the two discarnates. A significant anomalous information reception effect was demonstrated. However, this study did not identify any phenomenological variables that were correlates of mediums’ abilities. It would be prudent for future researchers to focus on the development of a quantitative measure specifically designed to investigate the phenomenology of mediumistic experience.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
50 minutes ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

Considering we know that consciousness is a byproduct of the brain (which therefore is unsustainable upon brain death) I don't have to remain neutral on this topic.

I would argue that we don't know that for sure - science has yet to truly understand what consciousness is or how it works.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I always approach this topic by considering the following:

If your conscious existence (or potential for conscious awareness) did not begin until you were born, then it means you spent the entire history of the universe (or possible infinite cycles of the universe, the multiverse or whatever), not existing.

Then, you suddenly popped into existence - because you are here now, when you weren't before.

When you die, you might return to a state of non-existence. But you survived non-existence before - because you previously didn't exist, and now you do.

So what's to stop that happening again ? If you don't exist, time has no meaning, the entire age of a million billion cycles of the universe would pass in a nanosecond. So whatever set of circumstances needed to happen for you (i.e. a conscious entity that you perceive as 'you') to exist now, will surely occur again - an infinite number of times throughout eternity.

We don't even understand what consciousness is to begin with, perhaps we are all simply facets of an infinite, conscious universe.

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34 minutes ago, Saru said:

So what's to stop that happening again ?

  Maybe it could be possible to return to another repeated form of a existence only through the process of a reincarnation?

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36 minutes ago, Saru said:

 

Then, you suddenly popped into existence - because you are here now, when you weren't before.

When you die, you might return to a state of non-existence. But you survived non-existence before - because you previously didn't exist, and now you do.

So what's to stop that happening again ? If you don't exist, time has no meaning, the entire age of a million billion cycles of the universe would pass in a nanosecond. So whatever set of circumstances needed to happen for you (i.e. a conscious entity that you perceive as 'you') to exist now, will surely occur again - an infinite number of times throughout eternity.

 

I'm not sure I ever really understood this line of thinking. What makes this new consciousness in a million billion cycles 'you' though?

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
Just now, papageorge1 said:

I'm not sure I ever really understood this line of thinking. What makes this new consciousness in a million billion cycles 'you' though?

What makes your current consciousness 'you' and not someone else ? 

If you are perceiving yourself as a living, conscious entity capable of asking such a question, then you are 'you'.

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43 minutes ago, Saru said:

an infinite number of times throughout eternity.

If we are infinitely doomed to repeat this existence, without memory of the past cycle. Wouldn't that make existence a prison. If consciousness pops into and out of existence, how are we to know that the 'You" now will be the 'you' next time? Perhaps our consciousness is like a particle that pops into then out of existence. 

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
12 minutes ago, jethrofloyd said:

  Maybe it could be possible to return to another repeated form of a existence only through the process of a reincarnation?

Reincarnation usually implies that you return over and over as literally the same person 'i.e. you' but in a new body, rather than existing again in a general sense.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
Just now, XenoFish said:

If we are infinitely doomed to repeat this existence, without memory of the past cycle. Wouldn't that make existence a prison.

What is existence, or even reality for that matter - is the physical world a construct of our minds ? We know so little about the nature of reality, how does anything exist ? How could it not ?

'Prison' is a human concept - you could just as easily suggest that you are a prisoner inside your own body, or that you are imprisoned in the universe.

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If consciousness pops into and out of existence, how are we to know that the 'You" now will be the 'you' next time? Perhaps our consciousness is like a particle that pops into then out of existence.

Same answer I gave to Papageorge above - what makes you 'you' and not someone else ? 

When you are born, you start to exist as a specific individual with the perception of that individual, how did that happen ?

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