posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 11:37 AM
reply to post by DestroyDestroyDestroy
I'm glad you brought this up because it is one of the most common, and probably compelling arguments, against NDEs being proof of an afterlife.
I'll try to tread lightly since I don't want to violate any of the ATS rules.
My best understanding of good counterarguments against this idea is is that...
(1) Hallucinations are usually disorderly or hazy events, whereas NDEs are clear (clearer than usual) events with order.
(2) NDEs leave people profoundly changed, almost every single time. Their world view changes, everything changes in a very clear and major way.
Hallucinations don't generally have the same effect.
(3) Verifiable information can be obtained in an NDE that would not be possible to obtain with a hallucination. There are many examples of this.
Here are a couple of them:
That NDEs are not hallucinations is also evident from the factually accurate information given by many NDE subjects, information that could never have
been obtained through hallucinations. Dr Michael Sabom, an American cardiologist who started his NDE research in the late 1970s as a skeptic, gives
many such cases that dissolved his skepticism in his books like Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation. Here are two of them:
A retired Air Force pilot who had suffered a massive heart attack recounted the resuscitation procedure in rich detail. He even described the motions
of the two needles of the defibrillator, which is an electronic device used to administer electric shock to attempt to restore the normal functioning
of the heart. How could a person who was (1) in the middle of a cardiac arrest (2) about to be jolted by an electric shock (3) while being almost
certainly unconscious (4) not in a physical position to observe the defibrillator meter (5) methodically observe the motion of the needles on its
A woman provided a medically accurate and detailed description of her lumbar disk surgery which was performed with the patient in supine position. She
reported that her surgery had been performed, to her surprise, not by her surgeon but by the chief resident in neurosurgery, a detail that was correct
but had not been divulged to her.
ETA: Murgatroid gave beautiful, and much better, examples of this above.
Here are some more arguments against this idea, with some cited studies:
Are there any medical or emotional explanations for NDE, such as lack of oxygen to the brain or images produced from fear chemicals of a dying brain?
The van Lommel study cited in the Lancet, can be cited for major NDE scientific findings, the largest being that NDEs are not medically explicable.
pg. 2039. Van Lommel proved under rigid methodology that the occurrence of the NDE was not associated with “duration of cardiac arrest or
unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death prior to the cardiac arrest.” Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective
Study in the Netherlands, Pim van Lommel, et al, THE LANCET • Vol 358 • December 15, 2001.
Given the similarity in physiological make-up of the sample population, one would expect that most of the 344 patients should experience an NDE. pg.
2039 This would take into account the skeptic argument of cerebral anoxia (dying brain cells). However, that is not the case. The findings were
that 18% of the 344 cardiac arrest patients had an NDE, with 12% of the 18% reporting a “core experience.” Id. Therefore, NDE is not correlated
with physiological causes of death. However, the study did find that age might play a factor in the occurrence of NDEs in that younger experiencers
were more likely to have an NDE and more likely to have a core experience. Id. at 2043. Near Death Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A
Prospective Study in the Netherlands, Pim van Lommel, et al, THE LANCET • Vol 358 • December 15, 2001.
The same argument pertaining to physiological make-up could be made for those in the sample population who were psychologically afraid of death
right before the cardiac arrest. However, there was no difference between those who were afraid and reported an NDE as opposed to those who were
afraid and did not report an NDE. Id. at 2039. Therefore, NDE doesn’t appear to be caused by emotional make-up such as fear. Near Death
Experience In Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, Pim van Lommel, et al, THE LANCET • Vol 358 • December 15,
edit on 22-4-2013 by VegHead because: (no reason given)