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FireMadeFlesh

Why do people place importance on accounts of near death experiences?

Near death experiences are subject to a whole range of factors that are potentially hallucinogenic. and can create false memories. There hasn't been a great deal of research into the effects on the brain of various nearly fatal occurrences, but I think it should be apparent that brain function would not be anything like normal when death is imminent. Why then do people place such importance on accounts of various supernatural occurrences when death is near? Sure its a slight possibility, but the belief in this sort of thing seems awfully disproportionate as compared to other possibilities such as hallucination, false memories, dreams, simulated reality etc. Is there some fundamental need to believe that there is something? Is it so hard to believe that there is nothing after death?
Terror Ate My Freedom:

Hey Fire,
Not sure why people place so much importance on the accounts of near death experiences, It could be that we want to believe there is something more after death.
I myself have experienced a near death, when I was 7 I went to a caravan park with my parents for a holiday, my sister and I were told we could paddle in the water with our feet while our parents went to get fire wood, being children and not knowing that it had flooded the week before we arrived we decided we would go for a dip, not taking into account that neither of us could swim, so we paddled in, went a bit further and went down into a deep hole, we both were drowning going down for the third time, when two people who were sitting on the banks seen us and came and got us out, I can tell you the only thing I seen was blackness nothing else, no white light, no memories flashed by, nothing!
All I do know is, it obviously wasn't my time, I don't believe I had some reason for surviving, I don't believe I was meant to discover some cure for some disease, I just believe I wasn't meant to go then, so do I believe in life after death? Heaven? I'm not sure, I don't know if it is there or not, but it is a comfort to think there may be.

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Lisa. The difference between your experience and M's is quite profound, and tells me that there is something else too blame than the supernatural. Wouldn't something have happened to you both if it was supernatural? One story I found intriguing was Kerry Packer's. After he was revived people asked him what was on the 'other side', and he replied that there was nothing but blackness. Once he died, Alan Jones made reference to this and said "now we know that there is something out there, because Kerry's out there." I think you're right, it is a comfort to think there may be.

Heather:

some of us find it comforting just believing in believing. And are not life sucks then you die people

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Dude, good point.

Sequoia:

I know there is something amazing after death but I find it very comforting to hear about near death experiences! You may take it any way you perceive it, and I will find the truth that I will someday follow the light!

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Lisa. Why do you think these reports are credible when there are so many other valid explanations?

DoesDeathDefyDemons?:

We speak about near death because the dead can't really tell us what we want to know!

FireMadeFlesh:

Interesting, but is there any reason to hold them as credible witnesses?

DoesDeathDefyDemons?:

When you can't replicate the results of your experiment, or reverse the results, you have to theorize as to the action. Since you can't ask the dead what that's like, we ask the near dead. I thought this was rather self explanatory.

FireMadeFlesh:

I understood your answer perfectly, but I want to know why people assume that these people's explanation of their observations is correct. I have no doubt that they aren't lying about what they saw/heard/felt, but I do doubt why they saw/heard/felt that. Thank you all the same.

Jodi:

I don't know, I suppose it's this modern day psychology of being a part of a group. I saw a show on TV about ADHD and how wonderful it is to get the diagnosis and be a part of something... Sowed like a marketing slogan for a Pharmaceutical. Anyhow, I had one at 3 and remember it clearly and because of this my faith in God is unwavering and I know that life continues after the end of my body's lifetime... (:

Trumanyears:

What did you experience when you were 3?

Jodi:

Floating over my body when it was unconscious, watching my mother crying and running for help to a neighbor, watching the ambulance come and watching my parents in the hospital crying and worried and I remember such a calm and happiness and wondering what all the fuss was about. I was in a coma for 3 days and my parents were told by Docs it was a miracle I survived. I had never died!!!!

FireMadeFlesh:

Very interesting answer M, thanks. I guess there is that need to fit into a group, hence the majority of UFO hoaxes. I find your first hand account intriguing, but I hope you can understand that I am sceptical. As far as I can see there are numerous alternative explanations as to why you remember what you do. I would tend to think that your brain rendered a dream of what was likely happening from what you could hear (many people can repeat what was said to them when they come out of comas) and it jsut happened to be in the third person. I am glad you made it through, but I can't agree with your assessment, however real it may seem to have been.

Heather:

do you mean special as in short buss kind of special?

Jodi:

@FMF Oh, ye of little faith.... (: Believe as you will---as it should be.... I have found that by speaking honestly, I am assailed by other's ego defenses, but this is as humans work and I have accepted it.... I personally refuse to be an offering to the habits, opinions, defenses of others (ego needs) and will live my life in freedom from all these silly human fears... God bless and good luck in your search for meaning....

Heather:

oops skeptical sorry

Jodi:

Only so much a monkey brain can process... You too will evolve one day... (: Sorry, Dude, couldn't resist....

FireMadeFlesh:

Just my point of view M. I am grateful that you were open and spoke honestly, but I am not defending my ego. I am just investigating all possibilities. I'm glad you can live fearlessly (I too have no fears), that is a privilege not many people have.

Heather:

Lol funny m. Monkeys like to laugh to! throwing poop at M

Dragonfly:

According to scientists, that "white light" you see shortly after death is not a tunnel, but it is actually the last of your brain synapses firing off prior to thier death. Me, I gotta think there's something after an old caveman dies!!

FireMadeFlesh:

Why have you gotta think that? Is it comforting, or what you actually think is the most likely possibility? As you have duly noted, there are multiple possibilities, and I think there is an unusual tendency to believe the most unlikely one, being the immortal soul.

Michelle:

Everyone searches for true meaning of everything that happens in life. Often times we deceive ourselves in believing things that are not true, and near death experiences are a part of that deception. Some are realistic but some are made up stories to keep the tale alive. It's somewhat like folklore and many expect you to have some kind of unnatural, surreal experience during extreme circumstances that threaten your very life.
As a last statement to your last sentence, I would like to know one thing; if there is nothing after death, why do we all strive so hard to hang on to love, money and things of this world if we know good and well there's nothing after life? What's the point of having love, life, and all the good things of life if there's nothing beyond the fight we put up here?

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Michelle, I think there is a lot of truth to what you have said. I think there are a number of reasons that people hang on to things in life, the most obvious being natural selection. People that lose the will to live don't pass on their ideas as readily as those who love life with a passion. Other reasons include people being scared of being wrong and living a good life as a safety measure, and the belief that there is something after death. Although many people realise that there is nothing after death, people act the way they do to minimise their own suffering in life. People chase wealth and pleasure because it will minimise their suffering and maximise their enjoyment.

Valentin Alsina News:

it is very hard to believe there is nothing after death---you have to WORK at believing there is nothing after death---it is not a belief that just comes naturally. God placed in every person a measure of faith----what you do with it is up to you----but there is always this thing in you that will desire to know who God is------some let it get weak---some let it fall alseep----some work it---but it's there in everybody

FireMadeFlesh:

I respectfully disagree Chriscal. I find it the most logical conclusion that there is nothing after death, because apart from near death experiences (which in my question I gave numerous alternative explanations for) we have no evidence that there is something after death. Ideas of various transformations and one surviving their own death seem ludicrous to me. Thank you for your answer nonetheless.

W'd-U-Say:

Natural fear of one's own mortality, to put it simple.

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Rev. Do you fear your own mortality?

MAINFRAME:

I think people place importance on these supposed experiences because to them it reinforces what they want to believe. There is no evidence of life immediately after death, especially for those who believe the bible, because it clearly states that death is a state of unconscious sleep. That does not mean that there is NEVER anything after death, as the bible also clearly states that there will be a resurrection, and eternal life for those who are resurrected. There are, as you say, many possible explanations for these experiences, but getting to the gates of heaven is not one of them.

FireMadeFlesh:

Thanks Bruce. People have an awful tendency to believe what they wish were true, which rarely leads to a correct conclusion. I think that could well be the case here.

Radhesh:

I've had a couple of near-death experiences including when i almost drowned in a pool when i was 5, and when i was 19 i had Hodgkin's disease pretty bad. (Luckily i have been in remission for 4 1/2 years, hopefully it doesn't come back!)

FireMadeFlesh:

Glad you won! What do you think in terms of an afterlife?

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