in Mystical Experiences

Death Is Not Final, Scientists Debate

Rethink Your Point Of View, “Death Is Not Final

Watch and listen to both sides of the argument. Then you decide.

If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable visions and feelings of peace and joy, all while the physical body is close to death. To skeptics, there are more plausible, natural explanations, like oxygen deprivation. Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality?

Intelligence Squared Debate: The Motion is “Death is not final”.

For the Motion

Dr. Eben Alexander, Neurosurgeon & Author, Proof of Heaven

Dr. Raymond Moody, Medical Doctor & Author, Life After Life

Against the Motion

Sean Carroll, Physicist & Writer

Dr. Steven Novella, Academic Neurologist, Yale School of Medicine

via Intelligence Squared US: Death Is Not Final Debate Website

Question for readers: Which side gave the best argument for/against “Death is not final”? Leave your reply below.

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  1. I shocked colleagues this week when I told them that I have had several ghost experiences, but I don’t believe in ghosts.

    Likewise, I’ve experienced out-of-body soul travel and don’t believe in that either. I have no explanation. Sure, I could (with all my biology knowledge) give a mumbo-jumbo explanation, but I am OK with “I don’t know why it happened, but I still don’t believe it.” I don’t need a possible scientific explanation to dismiss it.

  2. @Sabio: What’s your speculation what your personal experiences of ghosts and soul travel are? Unless, you are admitting your experiences were imagination, dreams, self- or drug-induced, I don’t understand how you’d dismiss with absolutely no explanation. I’m not thinking that you’d have to believe they were real. But if we assume “perception IS conception”, I wonder what your concept is.

    I have had numerous “spiritual” phenomenal experiences, of varying intensities, over the years, of seeing light (the spiritual eye in the forehead or auras), hearing sounds (like the Om vibration or chakras), and feeling energy (pranayama kundalini). Nowadays, I can have the same experiences, I just don’t label them as supernatural. My perception of these experiences has a simple, naturalist “conception”.

    I no longer need answers to my experiences like these. Now I realize they are, in all likelihood subjective, internal feelings, and imaginations. Strip away the god and supernatural concepts that was overlaid (especially during my former meditating monk days) and these kinds of experiences become like goosebumps, hair standing on back of my neck, or an unexpected ringing in my ear. A random or emotionally induced sensation I no longer need to over-think or put on a pedestal to make me feel special or that I was personally touched by the divine.

    So, yes, in this sense, I agree with you. I also, no longer believe or need explanations for these experiences the I perceive.

    Thanks for leaving your reply.