Heaven is real
Debate Rounds (5)
Heaven is a place where God is suppose to dwell and where we will go after death assuming we match the criteria for going there (being saved, being a moral person, ect)
I shall use Oxford's definition
Heaven: a place regarded in various religions as the abode of God (or the gods) and the angels, and of the good after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky.
Pro's states there isn't any proof heaven is real outside the bible, he has yet to demonstrate the bible is true, so he it cannot be said that he has fulfilled his burden of proof. He states there isn't any proof God isn't real, however since Pro is making the claim the burden of proof is on him. Con need only Nonetheless, I will present an argument attacking the concept that there is a heaven.
I will attempt to demonstrate that once we are dead, we are dead. There is no other place anyone's minds or souls will go to. If this is true, then there is no heaven, as heaven is defined as a place where people's identities go after death. I will be extrapolating the argument from a previous debate of mine [http://www.debate.org...]
Why Heaven doesn't Exist.
When thinking about the requirements for a theory of personal identity which is compatible with an afterlife we come to two possible explanations. We either have something in common with the spiritual or something which can be recreated in the spiritual.
The first idea is that the content of our consciousness (memories, ect) is what makes us the same person over time and is reconstructed in heavenly material. This allows for physicalist ontologies of the mind (the view that the mind is physical) because the material of a person is irrelevant, only the content. The other is a dualist view, that we have something already in common with the spiritual because we posses a soul. The soul is what makes us "us" overtime and is simply transferred into heaven when we die.
Both of these are problematic.
Problems with Reconstructionism
Two people can have the same psychology. If for some reason the commander of the afterlife, like God messed up and created you now, it clearly wouldn’t be you. After all, two people cannot be identical to the same person.
Let’s say, I die and my psychology is reconstructed in the afterlife. But, at the same time my psychology is also reconstructed on a computer, what would’ve happened to me?
Psychology doesn’t need to be unique to individuals and therefore, a psychological constructionist view of the afterlife is false.
Problems with Dualism
Another view is dualism. When you go to the afterlife, your nonphysical identity goes to a nonphysical place. This is the conception that your soul “floats up” to the afterlife.
Since I’ve demonstrated identity doesn’t lay in facts about psychology, the question comes up how exactly does the soul preserve identity? What makes my soul and your soul different? It cannot be facts about psychology or facts about the physical. It asserts it preserves identity without explaining how.
What would happen if our souls switched? Nothing about our consciousness or bodies would change, but we would be different people. There doesn’t seem there would be any difference whatsoever. There could be constant soul switchings and we’d never know. As William James said
“A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.” [http://www.quoteyard.com...]
A dualist theory of identity cannot explain identity in the first place.
We cannot get to the afterlife by being reconstructed or by being “carried up”, but since an afterlife is a realm where individual's identity goes, then there cannot be an afterlife. As an individual's identity cannot go to any other realm.
Now to Pro.
Pro tries to state he can't give proof because belief is required. I don't see how. Before one learns about gravity or philosophy, he doesn't believe in the theory of gravity or platonism, but one still can come to to believe it from a philosophical or scientific argument. Why should the philosophical position of God and the afterlife be some in sort special position when other positions aren't?
It is said that my pride and confidence in intelligence hold me back, this is asserted without evidence. It is especially hard to believe because I have changed my mind in positions that I've held steadfast to and I'm sure a majority of readers have done the same. If Pro is correct, then how could that be possible? Furthermore, Pro is claiming I have these problems, but it seems arbitrary to claim this is the case with me and not with him. Would Pro be satisfied if I claimed that confidence and pride are holding him back from seeing the nonexistence of the afterlife?
Pro attacks the argument that God condemns people to hell, however I never made this argument so it is simply a red herring.
Pro then makes an argument from religious experience. A changed life, even if it was divine doesn't demonstrate the existence of an afterlife. But, he has yet to demonstrate his experience is divine at all. Many people's lives have been changed with varying outlooks sometimes using with the Christian religion and sometimes not [1. https://richarddawkins.net... 2.http://www.onislam.net... 3.https://www.reddit.com...]. Contradicting positions receiving changed lives show that this type of religious experience doesn't demonstrate anything other than the power of a different outlook.
Pro has yet to address my argument and hasn't made any argument in favor of the existence of heaven.
Back to Pro.
Holley Alexander is serving chicken curry, 14-year-old Bond is hungry after soccer and the dad, Dr. Eben Alexander, leads the family in prayer.
In this home, saying grace is different these days. This family has been touched by a medical miracle -- and maybe more.
"It was impossible after impossible after impossible that all these things happened," Alexander said in an interview with "Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran.
Alexander, a Harvard neurosurgeon, nearly died four years ago when a ferocious E. coli meningitis infection attacked his brain and plunged him deep into a week-long coma. Brain scans showed his entire cortex -- the parts of the brain that give us consciousness, thought, memory and understanding -- was not functioning. Doctors gave him little chance to live and told his family that if he did survive he'd probably be brain-damaged for the rest of his life.
"Nurses would come in, and they would pull his eyelids back, shine in the flashlight, and his eyes were just off and cocked," Holley Andersen said. "It's just like no one was there."
Against all odds, Alexander woke up a week after being stricken. But he believes Holley was right: He wasn't there.
Deep in coma, his brain infected so badly only the most primitive parts were working, Alexander claimed he experienced something extraordinary: a journey to Heaven.
"In every sense, of the word that's what my experience showed me," Alexander said.
"My first memories from when I was deep inside: I had no language, all my earthly memories were gone," he said. "I had no body awareness at all. I was just a speck of awareness in kind of a dark, murky environment, in roots or vessels or something. And I seemed to be there for a very long time -- I would say years.
"I was rescued by this beautiful, spinning, white light that had a melody, an incredibly beautiful melody with it that opened up into a bright valley," he added, "an extremely verdant valley with blossoming flowers and a just incredible, rich, ultra-real world of indescribable complexity."
Alexander said there was a young woman who soared across time and space with him on a butterfly wing and gave him a message to take back from Heaven.
"She looked at me, and this was with no words, but the concepts came straight into mind: You are love; you are cherished; there's nothing you have to fear; there's nothing you can do wrong," he said.
God was there as a vast presence of love, Alexander said, and Alexander understood God through an orb of brilliant light.
"It was all of eternity and all of conscious existence," he said. "But it was this brilliant orb of light that was almost as necessary as a translator to bring in that message from the divine and the incredible."
After he recovered, Alexander, who was adopted, was shown a picture by his biological family of a sister he had never met or seen before. He recognized the sister as the young woman from Heaven.
"I looked up at that picture on my dresser that I had just got and I knew who my guardian angel was on the butterfly wing," he said. "It is the most profound experience I've ever had in this life."
Of course, many would call Alexander's experience a hallucination -- but not him.
"I know this is not a hallucination, not a dream, not what we call a confabulation," Alexander said. "I know that it really occurred, and it occurred outside of my brain."
It was a near-death experience -- like those reported by thousands of others. But Alexander was determined to prove scientifically that it happened.
In his new book, "Proof of Heaven," he raises and then strikes down various hypotheses on how his journey could not happen.
Alexander said he is scientifically certain that his stricken brain could never have produced the images and ideas he experienced -- or remembered them.
"If you would have asked me before my coma, How much will someone who is in coma for a week with a severe bacterial meningitis -- so severe that the sugar level ... around my brain, normally around 60-80 and in a bad meningitis maybe down to 20; in my case it went down to 1 -- to me, that's just one piece of evidence of how severe this was. If you'd ask me how much would that patient remember, I'd say nothing," he said. "They wouldn't remember a single thing. ...The severity of the meningitis would have prevented dreams, hallucinations, confabulations, because those things all require a fairly coordinated amount of cortex."
Alexander isn't fazed at all by the skeptics. He was one, too.
Now he has "proof of Heaven," he said.
"For me, it's become clear that the best way to look at it is to turn it around and realize that consciousness exists in a much richer form, free and independent of the brain, which has everything to do with the eternity of our souls and the fact that our awareness, our consciousness, our soul, our spirit, does not depend on the existence of the brain in the physical universe. In fact, it's freed up to a much richer knowing when we're outside."
My opponent plagiarized his last round from an ABC news article. He also has dropped everything he has said in his last round and has still not touched upon my main argument.
Even if Alexander's account was true, my argument has yet to be refuted. Since my argument has to do with the nature of personal identity and since there is so much we don't know about the human brain, it is logical to assume that there is a natural explanation rather than a supernatural. My argument is a priori, not dependent on ever changing inductive evidence. Unlike Pro's, whose case depends on one man's knowledge of the neurosciences while he wasn't in a position to understand what was happening in his brain.
Alexander's account is far from being true. Alexander claims that he went into a coma because of E. coli meningitis, when the doctor that treated him stated it was a medically induced coma and that he was hallucinating. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk...][http://www.forbes.com...]
He also claims that his brain was shut off, but Neurologist Sam Harris explains that this couldn't have be established.
"Even in cases where the brain is alleged to have shut down, its activity must return if the subject is to survive and describe the experience. In such cases, there is generally no way to establish that the NDE occurred while the brain was offline."[http://www.samharris.org...]
Alexander's case is a poor one for the existence of an afterlife.
joyelizabeth forfeited this round.
joyelizabeth forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by jzonda415 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism and forfeiture.
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