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NDE's are constituted as evidence for an afterlife

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,576 times Debate No: 30161
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
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Alrighty then, good luck on who ever steps up to debate with me. :-)


I accept.

Pro has the BoP. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1



A near-death experience (NDE) refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body; feelings of levitation; total serenity, security, or warmth; the experience of absolute dissolution; and the presence of a light.

Although, this maybe my first debate so, you might have to pardon me if my debating skills lack something. I shall address you the a couple of supporting factors that show NDE's aren't mere visions being produced from the dying brain. Furthermore, evidence.


(1) Realistic Out-of-Body Experiences: Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are one of the most common elements of NDEs. What NDErs see and hear of earthly events in the out-of-body state is almost always realistic. When the NDEr or others later seek to verify what was observed or heard during the NDE, the OBE observations are almost always confirmed as completely accurate. Even if the OBE observations during the NDE included events far from the physical body, and far from any possible sensory awareness of the NDEr, the OBE observations are still almost always confirmed as completely accurate. This fact alone rules out the possibility that near-death experiences are related to any known brain functioning or sensory awareness. This also refutes the possibility that NDEs are unrealistic fragments of memory from the brain. Also, I'll give you more supporting argument on why these things are true; There are at-least more than 30 cases of blind from birth individuals of whom had very realistic OBE's during their death. These including vivid details of the experience. One famous case about a visually impaired woman named Vicki Noratuk. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator, many years later, she had a life and death situation where in which she died for a few minutes and had an OBE during her time. She described everything in vivid detail, all of the shapes, colors and everything she never heard of were accurately described. Thus, it refutes the argument that the brain produces dream-like images, during an OBE.

Interestingly, there have in fact been Successful Experiments in actually testing Veridical NDEs...

Many doctors, nurses, medical staff, paramedics, and family members have been interviewed by NDE Researchers to obtain cross-referenced verifiable information between the stories of the patients concerning their Veridical NDEs and the cross-referenced experiences of the medical staff involved with them. Dr. Michael Sabom did a study on over 57 cardiac patients who had clinically died and were brought back, 32 of whom had experienced Veridical OBEs and had described in great detail their own resusitations during cardiac arrest, and 25 of whom had not experienced an OBE during their cardiac arrest. He had two groups, the experiencers who saw in their OBEs and the non-experiencers who did not, describe their resusitations. To his suprise, 80% of the non-experiencers made serious mistakes. On the other hand, all of the experiencers did not make a single mistake.

(2) NDErs report seing deceased relative that they reportedly didn't know were dead at the time. Some cases have multiple interviews and it seems to confirm the position of the patient as having no idea that the person in their visions was dead. (e.g. keeping secret from dying man about his friend's recent death).

(3) Children have awfully similar experiences related to adults. This may disprove the possibility the argument that NDE's happen prior to wishful thinking. Even little children who remembered being infants who had an NDE too and compared it with an adults. They were both similar, except for the life review thing. (For some obvious reason.)

(4) Also, there are more 64 scientific organizations who work on NDE's and most of them verify these things as "glimpses of an afterlife" Such as this study for an example:

Please pardon my last few arguments, I'm new to this place, and I know some of debating although they might sound irrelevant. So, good luck on this roung. ;)


(1) Realistic OBEs -

There are many recorded incidences of discrepancies between OBEs and reality. This source has examples, including, but not limitted to:
- a WW2 veteran's account of his NDE during which he had an OBE and appeared to be looking at his body from an above vantage point. Little did he know at the time, there were two people by his side who he failed to see.
- a woman who had an OBE during surgery and claimed to see a tray with a letter on it over the operating table.
- a child who saw her teacher in the hospital during and NDE, even though her teacher never visited her.
- a woman who had an OBE during a heart bypass operation and claimed to see her heart beating on the table next to her, but her heart was never removed from her body.

These discrepancies indicate that OBEs are dreamlike products of the brain under extreme stress.

As for blind people seeing: this source shows that blind people are capable of seeing visual hallucinations on LSD.

(2) Seeing deceased relative without knowledge of them being dead

You have no source for this case.

(3) Child NDEs similar to Adult NDEs.

There are cases that show that NDEs are affected by cultural expectation. One case includes a child's NDE during which she claimed to see Jesus, although in the appearance of Santa Claus.
Debate Round No. 2


"As for blind people seeing: this source shows that blind people are capable of seeing visual hallucinations on LSD."

In the link you gave me, it said, "Those blind from a very early age (younger than two years-old) did not report visual hallucinations, probably because they never had enough visual experience to shape a fully-functioning visual system when their brain was still developing." I gave you a case where a blind woman from BIRTH who had an NDE, she lost her sight from birth and still had a vivid NDE that's very similar to those who aren't visually impaired. Your argument is invalid. Only blind people who lost their sight a while ago can trip and see flickers.

For the discrepancy part, what if I told you this; there are millions of people who have an NDE and most of them come back with amazing reports that defy the hallucination theories, like the Viki Noratok case, the Pam Reynold's case and they come back with great information that couldn't be coincidentally made up. Ex. Viki, accurately described her surroundings which were later verified like, describing the doctor's clothes and how they looked like although she was dead for a period where she couldn't the doctors. As for the Pam Reynold's case, she accurately viewed a saw and described it well. It doesn't add up, how could it be a hallucination when there are things that defy the hallucination theory?

Children's NDE's

Without doubt the most interesting group of individuals to have reported a near death experience (NDE) are children. Some investigators and commentators have argued that adults might have imagined NDEs based upon their own personal cultural and religious views, but published studies show that children were often too young to have formed an opinion regarding the afterlife, or even death itself.


"Only blind people who lost their sight a while ago can trip and see flickers."

That is a completely unfounded statement. I have given evidence that a blind person seeing with their brain under certain conditions is possible. NDEs are different from LSD trips, and it is perfectly possible for someone with an occipital lobe to see under the stresses that NDEs entail. My argument isn't invalid; your claim that such phenomena during NDE's must be magical is.

"... how could it be a hallucination when there are things that defy the hallucination theory?"

That there are discrepancies is unexplained by your "theory". Dreams can be seemingly mystical and revealing, but in all likelihood these occurrences are coincidences. And my previous source also indicates that people having an NDE may very well receive sensory input that changes the "dream" of the NDE. How do you account for the provided discrepancies without simply shrugging them off?

"... published studies show that children were often too young to have formed an opinion regarding the afterlife, or even death itself."

This doesn't change the fact that the human brain reacts a certain way to the stresses of an NDE, and doesn't take into account the amount of cultural influence society can have on a child. Take this example from your source:

"This three year old boy described his near death experience when he was nine months old. Here's how he came to tell his parents about his experience. They took him, at age three, to a Christmas Pagent play, where someone played the part of Jesus. He started having a fit, screaming, "that's not my Jesus, that's not my Jesus". He then proceeded to tell his parents of meeting "Jesus" when he nearly died at nine months of age."

Despite the man in the video claiming "... this can't be due to cultural contamination," there is nothing to indicate that it isn't. The nine month old probably saw a father-like figure and connected what he saw at three to the original experience. Such an explaination is no less credible than "he went to heaven and saw Jesus." I mean, are you suggesting that NDEs are evidence of a Christian afterlife? What about all of the NDEs accounted for in my previous source that are specifically related to other religions?
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Cornelius 5 years ago
Well yes, I understand but, all I wanted to do is just be on the pro side of NDEs I never was trying to prove the afterlife, all I wanted is to show is that it can be evidence, even if it's weak.
Posted by toolpot462 5 years ago
If LSD can provoke the occipital lobe into activity, the stress of an NDE on the brain could very well cause lucid visions. There is very little evidence for either of our cases.

NDEs are not evidence of an afterlife because they don't necessarily indicate that there is one, any more than a dream indicates that there is a dream world.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
DMT is a natural chemical released in the brain at the time of death, so yes it is a viable explaination for all the weird stories, NDE'S claim to have.
Posted by Cornelius 5 years ago
Even if NDE's have been debunked, it doesn't necessarily imply that these things are false.... They still count as evidence no matter what, Just crap evidence. Yes I do know that you were against me but sadly, this was a poor debate, we literally filled out the first debate with nonsense and started debating on the second round which there wasn't enough room to debate on the last round. You were using close-minded assertions, like saying that LSD bunks the entire idea that blind people hallucinate. You still never explained how LSD provokes visions on blind people who were born that way. Instead, LSD causes weird tripy visions, and these people were having an organized lucid thinking through out their whole experience. johnlubba62, just because the DMT theory suits NDE's doesn't imply that these things are caused by DMT, it's just like saying the Japanese who caused the Pearl Harbor attack means they started 9/11. Yet, just because you see religious figures in DMT, doesn't mean it's true that these people trip during their experience, (although there is no use for DMT once you're dead.) Even users reported seeing Jesus riding a tarantula during their trip. I mean, it totally contradicts with blind NDE's and young children's NDE's.
Posted by toolpot462 5 years ago
Cornelius, get real. You started a debate and I was supposed to argue against you. That doesn't make me "close-minded" - and I don't rule out the possibility of an afterlife, but NDEs don't indicate that there is one. You can't call someone dead whose heart has stopped but whose brain is still alive.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
NDE'S Can be explained by the natural chemical DMT, Which is released in the brain at the time of death.
Posted by Phlogiston 5 years ago
I'm not voting FOR either. But since Corn mentioned fallacies, he might want to do more actual research.
The Pam Reynolds thing was completely debunked. She didn't demonstrate anything extraordinary. She wasn't dead, she wasn't even completely unconscious for the periods covered by her accounts. Unless you are insinuating that NDEs can just 'happen' because your ears are covered, but you are otherwise not even injured, then NDEs seem to be broadly encompassing.
The doctor that allegedly found NO errors in resuscitation procedures are (and I'm being generous) ludicrous. If I asked 10 people to describe the sequence of events from a TV show they watched 3 hours ago, you'd have errors. If he didn't have videos of the resuscitation efforts AND a full video of all interviews, with full patient names, then I'd not believe it.
The reason is -- because Sabom lied about the Pam Reynolds case.
So far, there have been numerous peer-reviewed studies -- and NONE have found evidence of actual oob NDEs, nor even anything considered supernatural.
Posted by Cornelius 5 years ago
You guys, just don't vote for Con, because sadly, I'm new to here and well, I started the debate first and Con is using so much fallacies. "That is a completely unfounded statement. I have given evidence that a blind person seeing with their brain under certain conditions is possible."
No you have not, you just given evidence that blind people who just became blind can trip on LSD but, it didn't explain how Viki Noratuk, she was blind from birth and still had a very vivid and extraodinary NDE.
It doesn't add up, how can you hallucinate an organized experience when dead and you're born blind? That's outrageous it should have put a nail on the coffin before skeptics started arguing. Hallucinations are dizzy, weird and non-moving, you should have got that in your heads in the first place. The three year old boy who had an NDE never even was effected by the dogmas of religion and yet, the story sounds fake. Most people who have an NDE don't see a biblical heaven, if it were real, I'm guessing the afterlife would've been in another dimension, not that it's magic. Most people see higher beings of consciousness, when they see angels, they describe them as beings of lights. I'm an atheist, and I don't associate the afterlife with a deity, it's so upsetting and cringing that there are too many close-minded people here that are against the afterlife even there's so much empirical and unbiased evidence, and you guys don't accept that because it doesn't fit your views. Atheists, have you ever thought that the afterlife doesn't have to include a God? Vote for me, this is rather unfair.
Posted by Cornelius 5 years ago
No votes have been placed for this debate.