Author Topic: Intro about myself  (Read 687 times)

manga

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Intro about myself
« on: April 27, 2017, 01:56:50 PM »
For those that have been wondering about me, here is my background:

Ok, I'm 15, my family is originally from Ukraine, but of Turkish origin. I think they moved from Turkey to Ukraine many generations ago, so they practice Christian faith now. I was brought up in North America, so I attended a Catholic school. I remember I totally believed in God, and Catholicism. I used to pray every night, and I used to go to Church every so often. In my eyes, God created the earth, the first people were Adam and Eve, if a person is good during their lives, he or she goes to heaven. If they are bad, they go to hell. I remember I used to fear hell, as any typical Catholic practicing Christian would. I think all throughout elementary school, I didn't give much thought into it. In my first year of high school (last year), I went to a science museum with a school class. I had learned about the concept of evolution, but had barely considered it. At the museum, we looked at the evolution of a sloth, and other animals. Then, we were told about the Earth being billions of years old, and how the first life likely appeared on earth, based on current science. I thought to myself, "wow, this makes a whole lot more sense than that idea that two people randomly ended up here, and so on". I remember, from that, I already realized that the bible had issues. I thought to myself, "If I can't trust the whole bible, why would I trust any of it?". At that point, I kind of didn't believe that there was a creator anymore. However, I was somewhat nervous to acknowledge this. I had a few unknowns still that I could not explain. I thought that the majority of evidence for religion was lacking, and being maybe a little rebellious at that age, I decided to try atheism. I would say I was 80% there, and I kind of just pushed the last 20%. At first I was completely scared, as I still felt I was being watched, and that I may be in trouble, but I thought, "those are just my fears", so I kind of ignored them. One day not too long ago, a religious friend sent me a video of Howard Storm, the atheist who apparently died, saw hell, was tortured, and then when he came back he became a minister, as Jesus told him to do so. This scared me. I didn't even know about NDEs. I thought that there was no evidence of afterlife, so I pretty much rejected it. Suddenly, this seemed like it could be true. I became religious again and prayed for forgiveness. That totally scared the living daylights out of me. However, I researched the topic more, and found many explanations for NDEs, including G force pilots having OBEs when they lose blood supply to the brain, and some have pretty realistic hallucinations. However, then, with further reading, I found Dr. Long's work, which claims all these amazing statistics, and now I slightly fear again that Howard Storm, as well as Ian Mccormack, Don Brubaker, and other former atheists who claim to see hell actually saw it. The part of NDEs that I find unexplainable is that so many people claim to see things so clearly and that everything feels "more real" than real life. There are reports of blind NDErs, and reports of people going to places far away from their accidents, and verifying what took place. One man was able to visit his next door neighbour, who had a crying baby. He claims he could talk to the baby, and found the baby had a broken arm. When he woke up, he told his neighbours the news, and it was in fact true. Other people have been able to retell exactly what doctors did and said. Penny Sartori did a test where she asked patients who were totally out during their close brushes with death to try and guess what happened during their operations, and she claims they all got everything completely wrong, yet these NDErs tend to get so many things right. There are even cases of people healing after these NDEs. There seems to be some scientific explanation, but I feel that there are still very many grey areas here, and I do not know if these NDEs and OBEs can be dismissed just like that. I guess I would take comfort in knowing these are fake, because there are quite a few where atheists and Christians who do not go to Church end up in hell, and I really fear that. I would be so happy if I knew for a fact that there was no life after death, then I could enjoy my life more again.

Recusant

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 03:24:34 PM »
Thank you very much for that post, manga. I'm willing to take it on face value; if you're playing me I really don't care that much, and I'd rather err on the side of generosity than allow my strong tendency toward cynicism to dictate my response to you.  :D

I suspect that there are some people here who will continue to doubt your sincerity, but then longtime members of this site and those who have wide experience of other more or less similar venues have seen plenty of examples of people adopting a pose that closely parallels the way you've posted here. It's a sort of evangelical activity akin to concern trolling, and most people who've been through it a few times have little patience for it.

* * *

The thing is, there is no way for a thinking person with an open mind to be absolutely certain about things like this. Here's how I look at the question of what NDEs can tell us about the afterlife--

1. Dead people (as opposed to those who haven't really died) can never tell us about what they might have experienced after death, if anything.

2. One thing is certain: People who tell about what went through their minds while they were unconscious and near death are not telling us and can not tell us about what happens when a person actually dies. They can only describe their experiences while unconscious and near death.

3. These narratives are not evidence of an afterlife, because no matter how close to death the people were, they did not die.

Still, while those who do not believe in an afterlife may have very good and convincing reasons for their lack of belief, they cannot truly know that there is no such thing. It can be thought of as a matter of probabilities. If something is sufficiently improbable, there is little reason to consider it as real. For example, none of us knows beyond doubt what is inside the Sun. Science can tell us what the evidence shows, but it's remotely possible that the Sun is actually a ball of extremely powerful demons exerting themselves so strenuously that they produce a vast amount of heat, while some of them use powers beyond our understanding to simulate all the other signs and emanations of a huge long-term fusion reaction. This is sufficiently improbable that nobody that I'm aware of believes it, but I cannot rule it out absolutely. However, if hundreds, even thousands of people said that they had travelled to the Sun during out of body experiences and seen the demons at work, I wouldn't believe their stories.

In various threads here people have provided references to sources which present evidence that contradicts the NDE narrative of genuine visits to the supposed afterlife. I thought the "A Ghost in the Machine" set of essays that MariaEvri posted was particularly good, as were various posts by solidsquid. The scientific evidence shows that our minds are a function of our brains, while there is no scientific evidence whatsoever for the existence of a non-physical entity that is independent of our body (a soul) that will survive the death of the body. In my opinion, this is reason enough to consider the afterlife so improbable as to be roughly equivalent to the Sun being a ball of vastly powerful demons. Your mileage may vary. If you haven't read the essays linked above, please do so. When you've done that, let me know what you think.

Edited To Add: If you're not willing to read those essays, I will with alacrity join the discussion of shampoo.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 03:43:07 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Dragonia

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 04:32:32 AM »
Dear Manga, thank you for writing this intro. Knowing that you are 15 years old confirms a suspicion that I had.  You are young.  I love that you are asking questions at this age and trying to figure things out. I just wish for your sake that your questions weren't accompanied by, fueled by, and interpreted through the eyes of fear. I am very familiar with faith-fueled fear, and it can really hinder an open mind. I hope that you will keep reading and keep being curious and keep trying to find out the "truth", even if the truth ends up being WE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW.
Don't despair, there is freedom from fear, eventually, and that freedom isn't found in Catholicism or Christianity or the Bible or Jesus. It is found in putting those beliefs in their proper place on the shelf with all the other myths and religious systems of the world.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)

Davin

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 08:48:01 AM »
For those that have been wondering about me, here is my background:
Well that gives me a lot of questions. I guess I'll break it up into small parts.

Quote from: manga
Ok, I'm 15, my family is originally from Ukraine, but of Turkish origin. I think they moved from Turkey to Ukraine many generations ago, so they practice Christian faith now. I was brought up in North America, so I attended a Catholic school.
Like Canada?

Quote from: manga
I remember I totally believed in God, and Catholicism. I used to pray every night, and I used to go to Church every so often. In my eyes, God created the earth, the first people were Adam and Eve, if a person is good during their lives, he or she goes to heaven. If they are bad, they go to hell.
Aren't you missing the part about having to accept Jesus? In Catholicism, even if you're a good person, you're still bound for hell if you don't repent all your sins and accept Jesus.

Quote from: manga
I remember I used to fear hell, as any typical Catholic practicing Christian would. I think all throughout elementary school, I didn't give much thought into it.
You didn't give much thought into something that you feared?

Quote from: manga
In my first year of high school (last year), I went to a science museum with a school class. I had learned about the concept of evolution, but had barely considered it. At the museum, we looked at the evolution of a sloth, and other animals. Then, we were told about the Earth being billions of years old, and how the first life likely appeared on earth, based on current science. I thought to myself, "wow, this makes a whole lot more sense than that idea that two people randomly ended up here, and so on".
I find it odd that evolution wasn't taught to you before the class trip. I don't see how it can be taught in one museum tour.

Quote from: manga
I remember, from that, I already realized that the bible had issues. I thought to myself, "If I can't trust the whole bible, why would I trust any of it?".
A good question. So good that it should be attached to every belief that you hold. That is skepticism, not just questioning everything, but having solid reasons for your beliefs. You should question evolution... well, you should questions all the sciences including maths.

Quote from: manga
At that point, I kind of didn't believe that there was a creator anymore.
I lost be belief in god when I was around 15, but it was not exactly this path, it was more like I got tired of being wrong about things so I decided to only accept things that I can understand and reliably demonstrate. But the Catholic church accepts evolution and and old earth, so it seems odd that this is what made you lose your faith in a god.

Quote from: manga
However, I was somewhat nervous to acknowledge this. I had a few unknowns still that I could not explain. I thought that the majority of evidence for religion was lacking, and being maybe a little rebellious at that age, I decided to try atheism.
What, were they passing around atheism pills at school?

Quote from: manga
I would say I was 80% there, and I kind of just pushed the last 20%.
You were already there according to you a few sentences earlier where you said, "I kind of didn't believe that there was a creator anymore." That is what atheism is, lacking a belief in a god or gods.

Quote from: manga
At first I was completely scared, as I still felt I was being watched, and that I may be in trouble, but I thought, "those are just my fears", so I kind of ignored them. One day not too long ago, a religious friend sent me a video of Howard Storm, the atheist who apparently died, saw hell, was tortured, and then when he came back he became a minister, as Jesus told him to do so.
I don't believe that he was actually an atheist, his own words give me the impression that he was simply not actively religious, but still believed in a higher power like god.

Quote from: manga
This scared me. I didn't even know about NDEs. I thought that there was no evidence of afterlife, so I pretty much rejected it. Suddenly, this seemed like it could be true. I became religious again and prayed for forgiveness. That totally scared the living daylights out of me. However, I researched the topic more, and found many explanations for NDEs, including G force pilots having OBEs when they lose blood supply to the brain, and some have pretty realistic hallucinations.
They have the exact same experiences.

Quote from: manga
However, then, with further reading, I found Dr. Long's work, which claims all these amazing statistics, and now I slightly fear again that Howard Storm, as well as Ian Mccormack, Don Brubaker, and other former atheists who claim to see hell actually saw it.
Already talked about Storm, so McCromack then: Did you notice how his story changes as time goes by? Do you ever wonder how much of it is true? Also he doesn't seem to have actually been an atheist, he was raised Christian but he had some doubts.

Don Brubaker is about the same, not really and atheist, just not very active religiously.

I don't think you even need to ask why a person might lie about something like that when they're writing books about it and doing TV interviews (money and fame without much work).

Quote from: manga
The part of NDEs that I find unexplainable is that so many people claim to see things so clearly and that everything feels "more real" than real life. There are reports of blind NDErs, and reports of people going to places far away from their accidents, and verifying what took place.
Be careful about when you say things were "verified," because none have. Let's look at the following examples you gave for some instances:

Quote from: manga
One man was able to visit his next door neighbour, who had a crying baby. He claims he could talk to the baby, and found the baby had a broken arm. When he woke up, he told his neighbours the news, and it was in fact true.
:lol: People didn't know their baby had a broken arm? The very idea is incredulous. On face value from what you've presented, it seems that the person telling the story simply made it up or heavily embellished.

Quote from: manga
Other people have been able to retell exactly what doctors did and said.
Like things they've seen doctors say on TV? For the record, no once  who experienced NDEs or OBEs has ever been able to verify exactly what the doctors have said. The ones I've seen for an example, the patient says, "I heard the doctor say, 'we're going to lose him'", but the doctor actually said, "we're losing him." and on top of that, it's something TV doctors say all the time. If that amazes you, then you will be astounded by my powers of being able to tell you common phrases people use. Right now in fact, at your nearest Wallmar, an greater is saying, "Hello, how are you?" Am I experiencing an OBE right now?

Quote from: manga
Penny Sartori did a test where she asked patients who were totally out during their close brushes with death to try and guess what happened during their operations, and she claims they all got everything completely wrong, yet these NDErs tend to get so many things right.
That doesn't make sense at all. They always get everything wrong, unless it's vague things that they already knew go on inside operating rooms.

Quote from: manga
There are even cases of people healing after these NDEs.
Well I would hope so, I hope they went from near death to less near death...

Quote from: manga
There seems to be some scientific explanation, but I feel that there are still very many grey areas here, and I do not know if these NDEs and OBEs can be dismissed just like that.
There are scientific explanations, their brains are doing things that we know brains are prone to do. You're conflating testimony with reality.

Quote from: manga
I guess I would take comfort in knowing these are fake, because there are quite a few where atheists and Christians who do not go to Church end up in hell, and I really fear that.
They are not fake, but they are not accurate depictions of reality. Most of these people are not lying. That doesn't mean that they are not wrong.

Here's a quick video that demonstrates what I mean:

The people that accused the 5 innocent men, are not lying. They actually believe that those innocent men committed the crime that they saw right in front of their own eyes while they were wide awake. They are however, still wrong. Do you think that a dying person with little to no brain activity would be any more reliable than a room full of people witnessing the same event?

Quote from: manga
I would be so happy if I knew for a fact that there was no life after death, then I could enjoy my life more again.
Ask better questions about NDEs and OBEs and seek reliable answers. Don't accept them until they are reliably demonstrated. This is how you should be with everything.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 01:28:47 PM »
Thank you for the description of yourself and your explanation about where you are in terms of spiritualism.  That was a post that is better than most 15 year old persons might have done.  It is pleasing to learn that you are thinking beyond the conventional dogma with which we are so much surrounded.  Keep up the good work. 



manga

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 01:30:46 PM »
Thank you very much for that post, manga. I'm willing to take it on face value; if you're playing me I really don't care that much, and I'd rather err on the side of generosity than allow my strong tendency toward cynicism to dictate my response to you.  :D

I suspect that there are some people here who will continue to doubt your sincerity, but then longtime members of this site and those who have wide experience of other more or less similar venues have seen plenty of examples of people adopting a pose that closely parallels the way you've posted here. It's a sort of evangelical activity akin to concern trolling, and most people who've been through it a few times have little patience for it.

* * *

The thing is, there is no way for a thinking person with an open mind to be absolutely certain about things like this. Here's how I look at the question of what NDEs can tell us about the afterlife--

1. Dead people (as opposed to those who haven't really died) can never tell us about what they might have experienced after death, if anything.

2. One thing is certain: People who tell about what went through their minds while they were unconscious and near death are not telling us and can not tell us about what happens when a person actually dies. They can only describe their experiences while unconscious and near death.

3. These narratives are not evidence of an afterlife, because no matter how close to death the people were, they did not die.

Still, while those who do not believe in an afterlife may have very good and convincing reasons for their lack of belief, they cannot truly know that there is no such thing. It can be thought of as a matter of probabilities. If something is sufficiently improbable, there is little reason to consider it as real. For example, none of us knows beyond doubt what is inside the Sun. Science can tell us what the evidence shows, but it's remotely possible that the Sun is actually a ball of extremely powerful demons exerting themselves so strenuously that they produce a vast amount of heat, while some of them use powers beyond our understanding to simulate all the other signs and emanations of a huge long-term fusion reaction. This is sufficiently improbable that nobody that I'm aware of believes it, but I cannot rule it out absolutely. However, if hundreds, even thousands of people said that they had travelled to the Sun during out of body experiences and seen the demons at work, I wouldn't believe their stories.

In various threads here people have provided references to sources which present evidence that contradicts the NDE narrative of genuine visits to the supposed afterlife. I thought the "A Ghost in the Machine" set of essays that MariaEvri posted was particularly good, as were various posts by solidsquid. The scientific evidence shows that our minds are a function of our brains, while there is no scientific evidence whatsoever for the existence of a non-physical entity that is independent of our body (a soul) that will survive the death of the body. In my opinion, this is reason enough to consider the afterlife so improbable as to be roughly equivalent to the Sun being a ball of vastly powerful demons. Your mileage may vary. If you haven't read the essays linked above, please do so. When you've done that, let me know what you think.

Edited To Add: If you're not willing to read those essays, I will with alacrity join the discussion of shampoo.
Thank you very much for your well thought out answer, and for giving me the benefit of the doubt, that was very kind of you. Honestly, I can't disagree with the idea that NDEs are NEAR DEATH. It is 100% true that they did not actually die. I guess I just tend to get wrapped up in fear, because many of these NDEs, especially in the Western world will contain content that has a Christian flavour to it. That is why many of them encompass Christian versions of heaven or hell. I will have to look into those essays. If I look at the whole NDE concept honestly and try to ignore my fears, I would honestly say that in my mind, science is currently able to explain about 75-80% of the phenomenon, and maybe there is about 20-25% that is still unknown about it. I think the only thing that is still kind of unknown is how people who are "brain dead" can pick up details with such accuracy. However, as many have said, I guess it would be wrong to attribute the last 20% of mystery to the supernatural, as just because we can't demonstrate it now doesn't mean that there isn't a natural explanation behind it.

manga

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 01:33:21 PM »
Dear Manga, thank you for writing this intro. Knowing that you are 15 years old confirms a suspicion that I had.  You are young.  I love that you are asking questions at this age and trying to figure things out. I just wish for your sake that your questions weren't accompanied by, fueled by, and interpreted through the eyes of fear. I am very familiar with faith-fueled fear, and it can really hinder an open mind. I hope that you will keep reading and keep being curious and keep trying to find out the "truth", even if the truth ends up being WE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW.
Don't despair, there is freedom from fear, eventually, and that freedom isn't found in Catholicism or Christianity or the Bible or Jesus. It is found in putting those beliefs in their proper place on the shelf with all the other myths and religious systems of the world.

Thank you for your reply. I must point out that I appreciate the fact that you have been very patient with me, and that you have answered all of my questions with logic and kindness. I agree about the idea of we don't know. I think that right now I should put my fears into that bucket rather than into the "fear" bucket.

manga

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 01:42:35 PM »
For those that have been wondering about me, here is my background:
Well that gives me a lot of questions. I guess I'll break it up into small parts.

Quote from: manga
Ok, I'm 15, my family is originally from Ukraine, but of Turkish origin. I think they moved from Turkey to Ukraine many generations ago, so they practice Christian faith now. I was brought up in North America, so I attended a Catholic school.
Like Canada?

yes

Quote from: manga
I remember I totally believed in God, and Catholicism. I used to pray every night, and I used to go to Church every so often. In my eyes, God created the earth, the first people were Adam and Eve, if a person is good during their lives, he or she goes to heaven. If they are bad, they go to hell.
Aren't you missing the part about having to accept Jesus? In Catholicism, even if you're a good person, you're still bound for hell if you don't repent all your sins and accept Jesus.

Yes, but the school that I attended did not focus much on that, it was more focused on believing, doing good, and praying.

Quote from: manga
I remember I used to fear hell, as any typical Catholic practicing Christian would. I think all throughout elementary school, I didn't give much thought into it.
You didn't give much thought into something that you feared?

I feared it, but I viewed it simply as fact, just as the sun comes up in the morning whether I like it or not kind of thing.

Quote from: manga
In my first year of high school (last year), I went to a science museum with a school class. I had learned about the concept of evolution, but had barely considered it. At the museum, we looked at the evolution of a sloth, and other animals. Then, we were told about the Earth being billions of years old, and how the first life likely appeared on earth, based on current science. I thought to myself, "wow, this makes a whole lot more sense than that idea that two people randomly ended up here, and so on".
I find it odd that evolution wasn't taught to you before the class trip. I don't see how it can be taught in one museum tour.

It was taught to be, I knew about the basic concepts of it, but I didn't think about it, and when I went to the museum, I actually saw models of it, which spoke volumes.

Quote from: manga
I remember, from that, I already realized that the bible had issues. I thought to myself, "If I can't trust the whole bible, why would I trust any of it?".
A good question. So good that it should be attached to every belief that you hold. That is skepticism, not just questioning everything, but having solid reasons for your beliefs. You should question evolution... well, you should questions all the sciences including maths.

Quote from: manga
At that point, I kind of didn't believe that there was a creator anymore.
I lost be belief in god when I was around 15, but it was not exactly this path, it was more like I got tired of being wrong about things so I decided to only accept things that I can understand and reliably demonstrate. But the Catholic church accepts evolution and and old earth, so it seems odd that this is what made you lose your faith in a god.

See, the thing is it's not that I couldn't have learned this stuff, it is just that I never even considered it, because I didn't think it mattered. To me, God created the earth in 6 days, Adam and Eve were the first people, etc. I just didn't even question it, because in Catholic schools, although science is taught, we barely learned about these concepts, especially in elementary school. Once I saw that this was true, I suddenly became skeptical of the validity of the bible, and I kind of thought, if I can't trust the bible, what is there to trust about Christianity?

Quote from: manga
However, I was somewhat nervous to acknowledge this. I had a few unknowns still that I could not explain. I thought that the majority of evidence for religion was lacking, and being maybe a little rebellious at that age, I decided to try atheism.
What, were they passing around atheism pills at school?

Quote from: manga
I would say I was 80% there, and I kind of just pushed the last 20%.
You were already there according to you a few sentences earlier where you said, "I kind of didn't believe that there was a creator anymore." That is what atheism is, lacking a belief in a god or gods.


Quote from: manga
At first I was completely scared, as I still felt I was being watched, and that I may be in trouble, but I thought, "those are just my fears", so I kind of ignored them. One day not too long ago, a religious friend sent me a video of Howard Storm, the atheist who apparently died, saw hell, was tortured, and then when he came back he became a minister, as Jesus told him to do so.
I don't believe that he was actually an atheist, his own words give me the impression that he was simply not actively religious, but still believed in a higher power like god.

Quote from: manga
This scared me. I didn't even know about NDEs. I thought that there was no evidence of afterlife, so I pretty much rejected it. Suddenly, this seemed like it could be true. I became religious again and prayed for forgiveness. That totally scared the living daylights out of me. However, I researched the topic more, and found many explanations for NDEs, including G force pilots having OBEs when they lose blood supply to the brain, and some have pretty realistic hallucinations.
They have the exact same experiences.

Quote from: manga
However, then, with further reading, I found Dr. Long's work, which claims all these amazing statistics, and now I slightly fear again that Howard Storm, as well as Ian Mccormack, Don Brubaker, and other former atheists who claim to see hell actually saw it.
Already talked about Storm, so McCromack then: Did you notice how his story changes as time goes by? Do you ever wonder how much of it is true? Also he doesn't seem to have actually been an atheist, he was raised Christian but he had some doubts.

Don Brubaker is about the same, not really and atheist, just not very active religiously.

I don't think you even need to ask why a person might lie about something like that when they're writing books about it and doing TV interviews (money and fame without much work).

Quote from: manga
The part of NDEs that I find unexplainable is that so many people claim to see things so clearly and that everything feels "more real" than real life. There are reports of blind NDErs, and reports of people going to places far away from their accidents, and verifying what took place.
Be careful about when you say things were "verified," because none have. Let's look at the following examples you gave for some instances:

Quote from: manga
One man was able to visit his next door neighbour, who had a crying baby. He claims he could talk to the baby, and found the baby had a broken arm. When he woke up, he told his neighbours the news, and it was in fact true.
:lol: People didn't know their baby had a broken arm? The very idea is incredulous. On face value from what you've presented, it seems that the person telling the story simply made it up or heavily embellished.

Quote from: manga
Other people have been able to retell exactly what doctors did and said.
Like things they've seen doctors say on TV? For the record, no once  who experienced NDEs or OBEs has ever been able to verify exactly what the doctors have said. The ones I've seen for an example, the patient says, "I heard the doctor say, 'we're going to lose him'", but the doctor actually said, "we're losing him." and on top of that, it's something TV doctors say all the time. If that amazes you, then you will be astounded by my powers of being able to tell you common phrases people use. Right now in fact, at your nearest Wallmar, an greater is saying, "Hello, how are you?" Am I experiencing an OBE right now?

Quote from: manga
Penny Sartori did a test where she asked patients who were totally out during their close brushes with death to try and guess what happened during their operations, and she claims they all got everything completely wrong, yet these NDErs tend to get so many things right.
That doesn't make sense at all. They always get everything wrong, unless it's vague things that they already knew go on inside operating rooms.

Quote from: manga
There are even cases of people healing after these NDEs.
Well I would hope so, I hope they went from near death to less near death...

Quote from: manga
There seems to be some scientific explanation, but I feel that there are still very many grey areas here, and I do not know if these NDEs and OBEs can be dismissed just like that.
There are scientific explanations, their brains are doing things that we know brains are prone to do. You're conflating testimony with reality.

Quote from: manga
I guess I would take comfort in knowing these are fake, because there are quite a few where atheists and Christians who do not go to Church end up in hell, and I really fear that.
They are not fake, but they are not accurate depictions of reality. Most of these people are not lying. That doesn't mean that they are not wrong.

Here's a quick video that demonstrates what I mean:

The people that accused the 5 innocent men, are not lying. They actually believe that those innocent men committed the crime that they saw right in front of their own eyes while they were wide awake. They are however, still wrong. Do you think that a dying person with little to no brain activity would be any more reliable than a room full of people witnessing the same event?

Quote from: manga
I would be so happy if I knew for a fact that there was no life after death, then I could enjoy my life more again.
Ask better questions about NDEs and OBEs and seek reliable answers. Don't accept them until they are reliably demonstrated. This is how you should be with everything.

That makes sense and I can't argue with that. Thank you very much for your answer, it is very much appreciated. I think that I needed this breakdown of my question. By the way, I answered some of your questions, I just don't know how to make separate quotes, so it looks like my answers are what you wrote.

manga

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 01:45:34 PM »
Thank you for the description of yourself and your explanation about where you are in terms of spiritualism.  That was a post that is better than most 15 year old persons might have done.  It is pleasing to learn that you are thinking beyond the conventional dogma with which we are so much surrounded.  Keep up the good work.

Thanks, that is very kind of you :)

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 05:41:03 PM »
Thank you for your introduction Manga.

You know, we used to have a rule that is no longer in effect in which new members had to reach 50 posts restricted to the 'Getting to know you section' before being able to post in other sections of the forum. This rule is no longer in effect, but the rationale behind it was precisely to avoid what happened in your case, among other things. You started a series of threads on pretty much the same topic which some might consider a form of trolling or veiled preaching.

But, I now think this may have not been intentional on your part.

As for your fears of the afterlife, as was stated before there is no evidence that consciousness survives the physical body. We don't even know for sure how consciousness arises and where it's located in the brain and so there is a lot of philosophy fused with religious thought surrounding the topic. Religious thought/theology is known to be the less rigorous when it comes to evidence so it has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Learn to be more critical of the information you receive. And try not to be so afraid of the unknown. Fear-based thinking based is not thinking.   

The way I see it, the threat of hell is a fear tactic used by those who seek to control. If there is an infinitely wise and loving god then he/she/it will understand my reasons for not believing. One that casts 'deviant' souls into hellfire is not worthy of any respect in my opinion. Others might see things differently, but that's their problem.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


manga

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 09:48:29 PM »
Thank you very much for that post, manga. I'm willing to take it on face value; if you're playing me I really don't care that much, and I'd rather err on the side of generosity than allow my strong tendency toward cynicism to dictate my response to you.  :D

I suspect that there are some people here who will continue to doubt your sincerity, but then longtime members of this site and those who have wide experience of other more or less similar venues have seen plenty of examples of people adopting a pose that closely parallels the way you've posted here. It's a sort of evangelical activity akin to concern trolling, and most people who've been through it a few times have little patience for it.

* * *

The thing is, there is no way for a thinking person with an open mind to be absolutely certain about things like this. Here's how I look at the question of what NDEs can tell us about the afterlife--

1. Dead people (as opposed to those who haven't really died) can never tell us about what they might have experienced after death, if anything.

2. One thing is certain: People who tell about what went through their minds while they were unconscious and near death are not telling us and can not tell us about what happens when a person actually dies. They can only describe their experiences while unconscious and near death.

3. These narratives are not evidence of an afterlife, because no matter how close to death the people were, they did not die.

Still, while those who do not believe in an afterlife may have very good and convincing reasons for their lack of belief, they cannot truly know that there is no such thing. It can be thought of as a matter of probabilities. If something is sufficiently improbable, there is little reason to consider it as real. For example, none of us knows beyond doubt what is inside the Sun. Science can tell us what the evidence shows, but it's remotely possible that the Sun is actually a ball of extremely powerful demons exerting themselves so strenuously that they produce a vast amount of heat, while some of them use powers beyond our understanding to simulate all the other signs and emanations of a huge long-term fusion reaction. This is sufficiently improbable that nobody that I'm aware of believes it, but I cannot rule it out absolutely. However, if hundreds, even thousands of people said that they had travelled to the Sun during out of body experiences and seen the demons at work, I wouldn't believe their stories.

In various threads here people have provided references to sources which present evidence that contradicts the NDE narrative of genuine visits to the supposed afterlife. I thought the "A Ghost in the Machine" set of essays that MariaEvri posted was particularly good, as were various posts by solidsquid. The scientific evidence shows that our minds are a function of our brains, while there is no scientific evidence whatsoever for the existence of a non-physical entity that is independent of our body (a soul) that will survive the death of the body. In my opinion, this is reason enough to consider the afterlife so improbable as to be roughly equivalent to the Sun being a ball of vastly powerful demons. Your mileage may vary. If you haven't read the essays linked above, please do so. When you've done that, let me know what you think.

Edited To Add: If you're not willing to read those essays, I will with alacrity join the discussion of shampoo.

I read the essay. It was interesting. I was not aware that people with brain damage could in a way "take on" two personalities. This article seems to suggest that the right temporal lobe is responsible for religious feeling, which could also be part of an explanation for NDEs. The author's concluding remarks were especially intelligent, and on par with what many of the users on this site have alluded to: just because we can't exactly explain something, doesn't mean that it has a supernatural cause, The author brought up examples from the past such as earthquakes. It is understandable with a lack of knowledge that people long ago could have attributed earthquakes to gods causing them. Now we know that is not the case. I have even heard of cases of ESP which sound difficult to debunk. Although many people don't believe it, let's say for argument's sake that some people can tell the future of dream about the death of a person while it occurs: that simply means we cannot explain it, but it does not mean it has to be supernatural.

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 03:38:27 AM »
The case studies demonstrate rather clearly, I think, that the mind (call it soul if you will, since it seems that in a religious context, "soul" is a name for the mind, but with the idea that it's immortal tacked on) is beyond doubt a function of the brain. When the brain is physically changed, rather often that has some more or less drastic effect on the mind. If the mind/"soul" were something truly non-physical, it should be unaffected by physical changes in the brain.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Icarus

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Re: Intro about myself
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 03:37:07 PM »
Manga, we will tentatively believe that you are who and what you say you are. If you are on the level with us, you  will have fallen into a pot of jam. You would be our youngest member and will nevertheless be accorded  courtesies and friendship that is typical of the behavior of our older HAF members.

If you stay around long enough to get to know us, you will discover that there are many very well educated people here. For example, xSilverPhinx has responded above. She is a university level lady who is involved in research into the science of brain function.  We have another member who is a university level Psych person. There are a number of others with admirable credentials.  We even have at least two Christians that we hold in high esteem. One of them, who can not come here often, has a doctor of theology (PHD) degree. The other one has a doctorate in another discipline. You are in a rare atmosphere here, let us hope that you can and will profit by association.