The Instigator
Cornelius
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rienafairefr
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

NDE's are evidence for an afterlife

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
rienafairefr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,031 times Debate No: 30126
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Cornelius

Pro

I am going to take a stance supporting NDE's and favoring them for evidence of an afterlife.

FYI, this is my first debate and hope I'll do well.
rienafairefr

Con

I'll take your offer.

There are significant hurdles to overcome, let's hope you're prepared. This is also my first debate. Good luck
Debate Round No. 1
Cornelius

Pro

NDES
Definition: 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.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I will present my purporting evidence to show that NDE's are evidence of life after to my opponent.
EVIDENCES
(1)People born blind can see during an NDE.

[Dr. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper completed a two-year study into the NDEs of the blind. They published their findings in a book entitled "Mindsight" in which they documented the solid evidence of 31 cases in which blind people report visually accurate information obtained during an NDE. Perhaps the best example in his study is that of a forty-five year old blind woman by the name of Vicki Umipeg. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons.]

(2) Out-of-body perception during NDEs have been verified.

First and most importantly, there are many well documented cases where the NDEer while out of body were able to see specific details and hear conversations in other rooms and far away places that they couldn"t have known about beforehand, and yet upon returning to the body find that what they saw or heard was in fact verified to be accurate and true. This is a phenomena that skeptics and materialists still haven"t been able to explain away no matter how hard they try. Blackmore herself knows about these cases and even mentions them in her book, but she dismisses it simply by stating that she doesn"t believe them. This of course reflects the closed mental model of skeptics who dismiss facts and data that don"t fit into their hypotheses. If NDE"s and OBE"s were just dreams or hallucinations, then these perceptions at a distance wouldn"t turn out to be accurate. The separation of spirit from body or the mind"s ability to remote view are the best hypotheses that fit this well documented data. The most famous OBE case was from Pam Reynolds.

(3) Children Have NDEs Similar To Adults

Yup. That's the final nail to close all of this skeptical thought onto this. Young adolescenes who haven't yet been indoctrinated to religion nor heard anything about religious figures (such as Jesus) see them a lot in the "Afterlife." And they are very close and similar to adults. So much for wishful thinking.
http://iands.org...
http://www.near-death.com...
http://www.pamkircher.com...
http://www.horizonresearch.org...

(4) This is evidence that supports consciousness is telepathic. (Also it proves that our minds may seperate prior to death)

Although, it has nothing to do with NDE's but, the God helmet was originally designed to disprove any supernatural but, instead the inventor of the helmet saw it the other way around.
http://www.skeptiko.com...

(5) There are theories supporting how consciousness may leave the body prior to death or the cause behind an NDE.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
rienafairefr

Con

If Pro could refrain from the childish "us vs them" behavior, let's keep it civil, no need to use skeptics as a pejorative.

(1)
I'm a bit surprised that anyone would present the cases presented in Mindsight as "solid evidence" : Vicki Umipeg, recounting 20 years after the NDE.... Brad Barrows, recounting 25 YEARS after the NDE. Marsha, not blind, plus no evidence that she was near death at all. And these are the STRONGEST cases, they're the only one presented in details in Mindsight... This is not strong evidence.
One thing that shocked me upon reading Mindsight myself is the way e.g. Vicki was interviewed, and it's clear the interviewer was leading the questions and getting the answer he wanted, instead of letting Vicki describing the experience by herself. Excerpt:
"Interviewer:"What could you see around you"
Vicki:"I saw lights"
Interviewer:"Lights of the city?"
Vicki:"Yes"" This, right there, is putting words in her mouth. Even if she agrees, she has been lead to it, and if her experience weren't that of lights of the city but orbs around her, we will never know thanks to the poor interview.
What's also interesting about this study is the way the cases were collected. They were collected via an advertisement in a near-death studies newsletter.. Hardly an unbiased selection.. One other thing to add, only 14 of the 31 cases in Mindsight were blind from birth, the other were perfectly aware of what seeing was, their brain could make hallucination of seeing without it being extraordinary.
Furthermore, blind people seeing is not an extraordinary occurrence: There exists a condition where blind people experience vivid visual hallucinations, the Charles Bonnet Syndrome, and it's not linked to "near death" at all.
Read Mindsight for yourself: http://books.google.ch...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
As always, extraordinary claim require extraordinary evidence. A few unreliable anecdotes is not proof that the blind can see.

(2)
No sources provided, nothing. Anything that is put forth without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

(3)
As I've shown in the blind studies, the way the testimony is gathered is very important. In the brain, any recollection of an event is not different from recreating the memory of that event. The more a story is told, the more details change. And if at any point during the time between the NDE and the gathering of data (which should be neutral, i.e. no leading questions from a NDE-enthusiast researcher) the child is in contact with an adult that suggests things, the testimony is not a reliable snapshot of what the child really experienced. And to say that children don't pick up any cultural references whatsoever, even when they don't express them directly, is laughably naive. In the links provided there is no strong evidence (cases) of children who saw things during an NDE that can't be explained by non-paranormal means.

(4)(5)
Are not relevant to the subject of NDEs, at all.

My own arguments:
Let's start with an hypothesis and see where it leads: "NDEs are a result of damaged/panicked brain function and/or faulty memory recollection". What would the consequences if that hypothesis is true ?
- NDEs wouldn't be universal, because each "near death" is unique in the way the brain is or is not deprived, which areas, etc. That's what we see: 80% of "near death" (recovering from cardiac arrest, this sort of things) never experienced any NDEs. http://pimvanlommel.nl...
- NDEs would be tied to the person/brain that has it. That's what we see: NDEers see the religious figures of their religion, they see loved ones, as they think they should based on the pop culture that surrounds them. http://www.infidels.org...
- NDEs wouldn't be tied to death but to the fear of death. That's what we see. Panicked people who think they will die, even when they are not medically in danger, will experience NDEs that are no different to the ones of people who were in real danger of imminent death. http://www.lancet.com...
- NDEs wouldn't be tied to near death at , but specific phenomenon characteristic of them would be found in other areas. That's what we see: feelings of disembodiment of leaving your own body, of feeling as one with the universe, of timelessness, whatever, all of these can be found in one way or another even when death is not close at all. Source: Clinical studies of artifically provoked NDE-like hallucinations are abounding.
Debate Round No. 2
Cornelius

Pro

"If Pro could refrain from the childish "us vs them" behavior, let's keep it civil, no need to use skeptics as a pejorative."

My apologies but what? That's not what I'm trying to do at all. I'm a huge skeptic of most of the paranormal but not those close-minded ones that reject things that don't fit their view and skeptic Blackmore is one of them. Though skeptics claim Susan Blackmore is an unbiased researcher, in the preface to her book, she makes her prejudices known as she assumes the viewpoint of the biased skeptic. Literally, most of her work has been torn apart by emminent researchers and scientists. She's just a silly psychologist, not a scientist nor a neurologist. She never done tests nor experimented on NDE's but just claimed to have an induced OBE while being on psychedelic drugs and she blatantly is in accord that NDE's are tricks of the mind.

Interestingly, when the blind have NDE"s they report exactly the same phenomena. They see both this world and the next. When people who are born blind recover their sight through a natural process, such as a medical procedure, they report an initial period of disorientation because it takes their minds sometime to learn how to interpret the new visual input. This is exactly what the blind report during an NDE. Those who were blind from birth report having difficulty relating to what they are seeing, whereas those who lost sight later in life immediately recognize the return of vision.
Blind NDE's
This research is reported among other sources in the Summer 1997 issue of "The Anomalist". Given the rather amazing result the authors try to come up with a naturalistic explanation for this phenomenon. They are able to eliminate certain explanations such as fantasy by independently verifying details through corroborating evidence. For example those who died in surgery were asked to describe the surgery room, the hospital and other environmental factors, which a blind person could not know, were there. This sometimes included such observations as relatives in the waiting room that they had no way of knowing were there at the time. Dr. Ring and his co-researcher Sharon Cooper were also able to eliminate a host of other natural explanations for why the blind can see at death, such as dream based explanations, sensory-cueing, skin based sight and a host of others. Also, what if I were to tell you that Vicki told her account to doctors before going on the show? I mean she was born visually impaired and there is no way that she could have hallucinated all of that; whilst, she never saw how the world looks, nor colors, nor shapes nor anything at all. Her NDE was very vivid, had so much detail during her OBE and she described the doctor's clothes very accurately. Again, I will use my argument for OBE's. 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. Let's talk about the Charles Bonnet Syndrome. When vitctims have this syndrome, it nothing like NDE's nor close to it at all. For example; The most common hallucination is of faces or cartoons. Sufferers understand that the hallucinations are not real, and the hallucinations are only visual, that is, they do not occur in any other senses, e.g. hearing, smell or taste. During an NDE, the blind have ALL of the senses during the experience and just because the syndrome is a vivid hallucination, doesn't mean it destroys NDE's. You are way far from it.

"As always, extraordinary claim require extraordinary evidence. A few unreliable anecdotes is not proof that the blind can see."

That is false. Most of science were built and founded on anecdotal evidence. Practically all of the NDE components are anecdotal but, that doesn't mean we have to reject it. Often times they bring back accurate information just like Vicki's and are recorded, and investigated. Anecdotes can be reliable.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...

"- NDEs wouldn't be universal, because each "near death" is unique in the way the brain is or is not deprived, which areas, etc. That's what we see: 80% of "near death" (recovering from cardiac arrest, this sort of things) never experienced any NDEs."

False. MOST NDE accounts are similar actually, it's only seeing religious figures are different. Most of the NDE'ers see the universe or go through a portal of time and space or some strange field. Well, my apologies and poorly saying the argument above me but, I will refute your argument about expecting what you want to see. There has been hardcore atheists and agnostics who still have an NDE similar to a theist's. Also, if it were wishful thinking, then why do some NDE'ers have hellish experiences? Obviously nobody would want to think about that place during an NDE.
http://www.near-death.com...
http://www.near-death.com...
http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com...

Please, I would like you to present your arguments supporting that NDE's are hallucinations so I'll gladly debunk it. :-)
rienafairefr

Con

"My apologies but what? That's not what I'm trying to do at all. I'm a huge skeptic of most of the paranormal but not those close-minded ones that reject things that don't fit their view and skeptic Blackmore is one of them.[...] she blatantly is in accord that NDE's are tricks of the mind."
I don't understand that fixation on a single person. Even if Mrs BlackMore was a complete idiot, that wouldn't strengthen your position that NDEs are proof of the afterlife, AT ALL. This is not an argument.

"Interestingly, when the blind have NDE"s they report exactly the same phenomena. They see both this world and the next."
You say that as if you had such a certainty. Experiences that are 20 years old from the interview, that's hardly proof. Do you have any interview done just after the near death ? Who interviewed, how ? All important questions. Without that answers, you're running on a wild goose chase without knowing if there really is a goose.

"When people who are born blind recover their sight through a natural process, such as a medical procedure, they report an initial period of disorientation because it takes their minds sometime to learn how to interpret the new visual input. This is exactly what the blind report during an NDE. Those who were blind from birth report having difficulty relating to what they are seeing, whereas those who lost sight later in life immediately recognize the return of vision."
Funnily, the opposite is reported in Mindsight. Vicki doesn't have any trouble "getting" what seeing is during her NDE, she claims. She couldn't fathom the mere concept of light before. Any sources for blind people having trouble adjusting to newfound vision in NDEs ? Otherwise your argument is unsourced and dismissed.

"This research is reported among other sources in the Summer 1997 issue of "The Anomalist". Given the rather amazing result the authors try to come up with a naturalistic explanation for this phenomenon. They are able to eliminate certain explanations such as fantasy by independently verifying details through corroborating evidence. For example those who died in surgery were asked to describe the surgery room, the hospital and other environmental factors, which a blind person could not know, were there. This sometimes included such observations as relatives in the waiting room that they had no way of knowing were there at the time. Dr. Ring and his co-researcher Sharon Cooper were also able to eliminate a host of other natural explanations for why the blind can see at death, such as dream based explanations, sensory-cueing, skin based sight and a host of others."
This is plagiarism, http://www.idscience.org...

"Also, what if I were to tell you that Vicki told her account to doctors before going on the show? I mean she was born visually impaired and there is no way that she could have hallucinated all of that; whilst, [...] or taste. During an NDE, the blind have ALL of the senses during the experience and just because the syndrome is a vivid hallucination, doesn't mean it destroys NDE's. You are way far from it."
Put forth without source or evidence, dismissed without source or evidence.

"That is false. Most of science were built and founded on anecdotal evidence."
THAT is false. There's a difference between anecdotal evidence the accuracy of which can be assessed (e.g. single experiments, which are the basics of all sciences) and anecdotal evidence which are impossible to verify (testimonies) and are not evidence of a phenomenon, mereley evidence of the conviction of someone to have experienced that phenomenon.

"Practically all of the NDE components are anecdotal but, that doesn't mean we have to reject it. Often times they bring back accurate information just like Vicki's and are recorded, and investigated. Anecdotes can be reliable.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org...;
Anecdotes are starting points for scientific inquiry. NDE inquiry starts and ends with anecdotes, there's nothing more. What's written in the link you posted ? Did you read ? "The first [factor ed.] is that anecdotes should be documented as carefully as possible." NDEs are NOT documented carefully. "they should be thought of as preliminary only". NDEs anecdotes are the paramount of NDE research, there's literally nothing coming out of it. "Any findings or conclusions suggested by anecdotal case reports need to be later verified by controlled prospective clinical studies". Have ANY NDE researcher even tried to do a prospective study ? Nope. The few ones who did, got results that invalidated the NDE-afterlife hypothesis (see previous sources)

""- NDEs wouldn't be universal, because each "near death" is unique in the way the brain is or is not deprived, which areas, etc. That's what we see: 80% of "near death" (recovering from cardiac arrest, this sort of things) never experienced any NDEs."
False. MOST NDE accounts are similar actually,"
It's not my point. I'm saying NDEs are not universal as in not everyone who is near death has them. As in, near death is not enough to have a near death experience. If NDEs were a universal spiritual "passage" that is abruptly ended, it should be experienced by everyone in the same condition of near death that is ended by resuscitation. But 80% of people near death and are resuscitated don't have NDEs, at all.

"it's only seeing religious figures are different. Most of the NDE'ers see the universe or go through a portal of time and space or some strange field. Well, my apologies and poorly saying the argument above me but, I will refute your argument about expecting what you want to see. "
The similarities between NDEs can't be assessed clearly: When we rely on anecdotes and poorly done interviews, how are we sure that the experience of two people match ? We don't. Have you counted the similarities in all the reported cases, as well as the dissimilarities ? No, you haven't. You just take this "NDEs are similar between each person" on faith. And common causes for brain dysfunction would reasonably do similar experiences, so similarities are not proof of the afterlife...

"There has been hardcore atheists and agnostics who still have an NDE similar to a theist's."
So what ? It's entirely consistent with the hypothesis that they are dysfunction of the brain: atheists' and theists' brains are not different. No surprise they'd see the same rough things.

"Also, if it were wishful thinking, then why do some NDE'ers have hellish experiences? Obviously nobody would want to think about that place during an NDE."
Why not ? You live your life in fear of going to hell, you think it's real, why not hallucinating you going there if subconciously you think you deserve it ?

"Please, I would like you to present your arguments supporting that NDE's are hallucinations so I'll gladly debunk it. :-)"
This is the last round. No progress has been made by you. You continued stating arguments without any sources. You plagiarized a whole paragraph. You have made no attempt to even start to present strong examples of NDEs. Your interventions are just wishful thinking "I wish it was true" and taking things said by people without critical thinking.

Vote CON
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by safebug 4 years ago
safebug
Good job, both of you on your first debates. Pro, you made some grammar mistakes. Con had strong points and good sources. I would vote con, but I have yet to compleate three debates. Good job!!!
Posted by rienafairefr 4 years ago
rienafairefr
Here you go. No need to be impatient ^^
Posted by rienafairefr 4 years ago
rienafairefr
I'm probably not the same timezone as you. I'm working right now, will post my round in about 10 hours. Sorry about that.
Posted by Cornelius 4 years ago
Cornelius
Well, I guess my opponent doesn't want to debate.....
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 4 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
CorneliusrienafairefrTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con because of Pro's plagiarism. Arguments to Con because he pointed out how people of different religions see the corresponding religious figures in their NDEs. Sources to Con because he was the only one who cited a book.
Vote Placed by induced 4 years ago
induced
CorneliusrienafairefrTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro claimed that it is evidence, not proof, but Con demanded proof in order for it to be considered evidence. i dont believe in an afterlife, but even weak evidence is evidence