Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mario Beauregard on Near Death Experiences

Mario Beauregard's recent article on Near Death Experiences, Near death, explained discusses some cases of NDEs and discusses why skeptical explanations for the phenomena are wrong. He concludes NDEs are strong evidence for the afterlife.

The scientific NDE studies performed over the past decades indicate that heightened mental functions can be experienced independently of the body at a time when brain activity is greatly impaired or seemingly absent (such as during cardiac arrest). Some of these studies demonstrate that blind people can have veridical perceptions during OBEs associated with an NDE. Other investigations show that NDEs often result in deep psychological and spiritual changes.

These findings strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity. As we have seen, such a view fails to account for how NDErs can experience—while their hearts are stopped—vivid and complex thoughts and acquire veridical information about objects or events remote from their bodies.

NDE studies also suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness. Needless to say, this view is utterly incompatible with the belief of many materialists that the material world is the only reality.

His response to criticisms of the article are provided in a second article: Near-death, revisited

Corroborated veridical NDE perceptions during cardiac arrest (and several other phenomena discussed in “Brain Wars”) strongly suggest that so-called “scientific materialism” is not only limited, but wrong. In line with this, nearly a century ago, quantum mechanics (QM) dematerialized the classical universe by showing that it is not made of minuscule billiard balls, as drawings of atoms and molecules would lead us to believe. In other words, QM acknowledges that the physical world cannot be fully understood without making reference to mind and consciousness, that is, the physical world is no longer viewed as the primary or sole component of reality (this was well explained by Wolfgang Pauli, one of the founders of QM...)

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