This Man’s Near Death Experience Has a Moving Turn at the End

From my vantage, people who have had near death experiences have a certain “street cred” when they claim that death is nothing to be frightened of. We believe human testimony in many other matters, and unless we are philosophically committed to strict materialism, there is nothing in our background knowledge that would necessarily exclude the idea that our minds don’t die (though, if true, it is surprising). And in this man’s testimony, he was given a word from the “light” for another person, and it happened as the “light” told him. This adds some additional credibility to his story, though it could also just be a coincidence. Here, have a listen: 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to This Man’s Near Death Experience Has a Moving Turn at the End

  1. ice gal says:

    Santi:
    My beliefs do not include the supernatural. Life is organic, and beyond here is nothing. You begin life with your first breath and end it with your last.
    This fellows near death experience is all in his head. It compares with taking LSD, and being able to look in, instead of out.
    This fellow Andy Thompson knows a lot about how our brain works…

  2. santitafarella says:

    Icegal:

    Andy Thompson is very smart and worth listening to. Thanks for the video. I’ve heard one of his other talks at YouTube before, and he is very good.

    I do think, however, that his critique of religion is a bit superficial, and the modular brain theory associated with Evolutionary Psychology is under pretty heavy pressure right now (meaning a lot of serious people don’t buy it). Still, he makes some good general observations, and we need to check our inclinations and biases whenever we are engaged in reasoning, and Thompson reminds us of where theists need to check theirs.

    But I would add that materialism could be given a reductive critique similar to the one offered here. For example, a clever reductionist could easily do a power point presentation noting that the human mind has a proclivity for simplifying explanations of complex phenomena, and therefore atheists should be careful about reducing religion to simplistic models of evolutionary psychology. And an important evolutionary trait is the ability to see through the mystifications of one’s tribal opponents, and of opponents from tribes not your own, and so atheists should be careful not to confuse their deconstructions of religion (and the emotional rewards they get in doing so), with the truths that may in fact be found in religion. Like eating a Big Mac, atheists reward themselves psychologically when they come up with a clever deconstruction of religion, and this may cloud their objectivity about religion. Also, it is to one’s evolutionary advantage for younger tribal members to kill off, in clever and Machiavellian ways, the elderly fathers of their tribes, and seize their power and resources, and so the atheist scientist’s hostility to religious power and institutions may be born of this impulse to power, which is strong in human beings, and therefore may be distorting his judgment and ability to reason clearly. The game that Thompson is playing, in other words, can be played both ways.

    Put another way: Once you press the observation that religious reasoning is historically contingent, you must then find yourself making the same observation concerning secular forms of reasoning. If religious beliefs are distorted by contingency and historical forces, and are not strictly rational perceptions, then atheist beliefs (logically) must also be distorted by exactly the same forces (for none of us is free of history or the arrows to which “flesh is heir to”). No one gets out of Andy Thompson’s form of “reasoning from contingency” argument unscathed, including Andy Thompson.

    —Santi

  3. Mark says:

    Until you actually have a NDE you are really not qualified to say they don’t exist.

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