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My opening thoughts
An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy).
belief-centric labels such as "astral projection", "soul travel", or "spirit walking".
OBEs can be induced by brain traumas, sensory deprivation, near-death experiences, dissociative and psychedelic drugs, dehydration, sleep, and electrical stimulation of certain parts the brain, among others.
For example, in high school I used electricity to make a dead frog move as if it were alive.
The angular gyrus is a region of the brain in the parietal lobe, that lies near the superior edge of the temporal lobe, and immediately posterior to the supramarginal gyrus; it is involved in a number of processes related to language, mathematics and cognition.
And while it may be tempting to invoke the supernatural when this body sense goes awry, he said the true explanation is a very natural one, the brain’s attempt to make sense of conflicting information.
What I am getting at is that, even if the scientific data has merit and is accurate, there are theories, many with supporting evidence, to suggest that science may have the pieces of the proverbial puzzle - but lack the knowledge, at this point, to put them together correctly.
How did I not only recognize him, but know exactly what he'd done for me? Unless I had somehow seen it.
Given history and the fact that science has often marginalized topics only, later, to embrace and explain them - Is it possible that OBE's and the existence of a separate, but connected "soul" energy are simply things that science has yet to understand, and therefore is yet to embrace?
Get ready to see yourself in a new light. Two papers released this week by the journal Science describe what seem to be the first lab-induced out-of-body experiences in healthy people.
Using goggles hooked up to video cameras, and sticks to poke and stroke, researchers subjected study participants to a variety of visual and physical cues to confuse their brain about their body's location.
Now, there are the current Science experiments: the first where volunteers have relocated their entire "selves" — their minds, as it were — outside of their bodies.
This was a difficult debate to judge. Both sides did a fantastic job of articulating their arguments and I commend them for that.
SonoftheSun excellently argued that the scientific exploration of the mind through experimentation and study has produced results duplicating the experience people have in an OBE. Through scientific achievement, we have taken steps to better understand the origins of an experience that would otherwise lie in the realm or paranormal. Very well written posts and brought a lot of new information to the table.
That being said, I have to give the debate to Hefficide. This quote sums it up best.
“But I was not creating life at all - merely exploiting neurological mechanisms already present in the decedent. In the inverse, it follows that we should be able to stimulate the soul, through physical stimuli and reproduce some of the functions it is capable of. But, in doing so, we only prove an ability to manipulate or trick the soul into a reaction - and not anything definitive beyond that.”
I think Hefficide made the case that science can "trick" the mind or soul to create the perception of an OBE., but science is only emulating (by physical means) the reality of an otherwise natural, un-manipulated experience. They create the simulacrum, but that does not explain the existence of or change the reality of the organic. More importantly, the emphasis on how science tends to play "catch-up" with accepted reality enforced the argument further.
This was a very close debate. Both opponents had solid stances, were very eloquent, and provided relevant information.
In round one, Hefficide opened strong, relating personal experience and years of research to lend value to his point. He nailed the aspect of science not being able to quantify such experiences.
SonoftheSun countered nicely, and started building his case for the debate immediately. He supplemented it with this pivotal quote: "OBEs can be induced by brain traumas, sensory deprivation, near-death experiences, dissociative and psychedelic drugs, dehydration, sleep, and electrical stimulation of certain parts the brain, among others." In my interpretation, he cleverly baited his opponent to refute every aspect of OBEs.
Round one was a tie. Both opponents opened very powerfully, and it was anyone's debate from there.
In round two, Hefficide further advances his point for a "seperate" soul, one not contained within the body, and advances the notion of a "superconciousness". Unfortunately, he failed to provide a source for his theory, which would have been interesting to read, and leaves his soft underbelly open for attack.
Which SonoftheSun takes complete advantage of, spearing him with the introduction of scientific facts, case studies, and the fact that OBEs can be reproduced in the lab. He's very solid in his attack, and presents his position from a standard of which all debates could follow as example. I was impressed with the tenacity and the thoroughness of his presentation, and for that round two goes to SonoftheSun.
In round three, Hefficide stumbles a bit by agreeing with his opponent, often the single most fatal flaw in a debate. He was baited, and fell for it. He presents his computer analogy well, helping to relate the average reader to his position, and finishes smoothly by disclosing this snippet: "the human mind, spirit, and nature - in general - continue to force science to reevaluate and rewrite its own rule book on nearly a daily basis". He remains poised to win the round at this point, simply by stating that science is not a definitive rule, but a guide by which we interpret reality, and in that, recovers nicely.
SonoftheSun is not to be denied his win. He counters back viciously, stating two recent studies in disparate countries, proving that science has attained the ability reproduce OBEs, with verifiable results, and by holding his best information for last, ensures his position is solid. A masterful move by a debate opponent, and thus, by sticking to facts and providing real evidence, SonoftheSun wins round three.
SonoftheSun wins two out of three rounds, and therefore the debate.