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Steve's ponderings

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by STEVEN LEVEE, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    While not intending to diminish the personal importance and significance of anyone's near-death experience, in themselves they do not directly provide evidence of post-death existence. (To save absurdly long debates about there 'being no such thing as death' I'm using the word in its customary sense - the death and disposal of a person's body - ie no chance of that body/person coming back to life.)
    However the so-called near death experience often leaves the experiencer with an outlook on life - and death - very different from the one (s)he had before the experience and may lead to their researching all they can to understand actual death and what follows.

    Not sure I understand what's implied in the last sentence but I'm going to say that my world isn't one of dreams and illusions. I expect I'm far from being alone.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    pandora97 likes this.
  2. Cute Bear

    Cute Bear Banned

    Dictionaries do not define individual expressions of a word.
  3. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

    Ok, thank you.
  4. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Naturally they don't. Dictionaries provide definitions reflecting society's general usage. Individual definitions - personal definitions - have what importance if they're not generally accepted or understood?
  5. Amore

    Amore Active Member

    Interesting for Steve might be the fact that many NDE experiencers who believed in God before their near death stated afterwards that there is no God, their beliefs turned 180 degrees.

    I personally don't and never have believed in a God. When I was a teenager I came to the realisation that there is Godliness everywhere, but no God. That's how I called it henceforth. I also call it "The Divine" or simply "Love". I don't like the term "Higher Power" because like with the word "God" it implies that there is an entity somehow "higher" or "better" than us, which I don't believe is the case. These terms also imply some sort of separation between us and that "Higher Power", "God", or whatever you want to call it, which again, I don't believe is the case. We are already godly, everyone and everything is. (Disclaimer: I do sometimes use the word God in general conversation, simply because it is a term that people are most familiar with.)

    So, Steven, I can totally understand your friend describing himself as an atheist. I could use that word for myself too, because I don't believe in a God, but I do believe in an afterlife and the spirit world. I don't think your friend is a hypocryte.
  6. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    You quoted a piece of one of my postings and I'm responding only to that....

    How many NDE experiencers is many? What is the source of your data? And what do those data show anyway?

    Near death experiences are not equivalent to death hence who knows what an 'NDEr' has experienced and learned - or failed to learn? Other than what some of them relate later. What does seem logical is that any impact on an experiencer is most relevant to that experiencer.

    Perhaps even more so than the experience of evidential mediumship by a sitter?
  7. Amore

    Amore Active Member

    Ok, "many" is not a good term I admit. I said "many" because I was surprised how often this 180 degree turn happens. I didn't expect it, so to my feeling there were "many". Sorry for being vague.

    I must have read 100s, maybe approaching 1000 NDEs on the nderf.org website. Of course I can't put a number on the instances where people "came back" describing themselves now as an atheist, but just guessing - probably 100 times.

    I think there must be statistics somewhere as these NDE accounts are used for research. Someone probably knows a more accurate percentage. If anyone knows, please share!

    I understand NDEs are not the same as death, but as you said in another thread, it's like someone visited London who can't claim he now knows the whole of UK - BUT they did see London and surely have had a taste of the beyond. The fact that some (another vague word!) then come back and turn from being believers (in God) to non-believers, is very interesting!
    Cute Bear likes this.
  8. Obiwan

    Obiwan New Member

    Hm. Perhaps it depends what a person means by "God". As far as my own reading is concerned I'd say many NDE experiencers, of those who comment on the subject, report a Higher Power if not God, and most who do, interpret that 'Higher Power' as God in some way. There are of course NDE experiencers who don't touch on the subject of a deity of any kind but that's different IMHO from saying there isn't one.

    I'd say almost, if not all ADC communications that I've read, that touch on the subject, mention a Higher Power or God of some kind. What they generally don't do (in ADCs anyway) is identify exactly what that "God" is. I remember Silver Birch who was mentioned in another thread commenting that God, or 'The Great Spirit' as he put it, is not 'personal' - which I took to mean 'not an old man with beard', or a single entity in the sense that a person is (as far as that's true).

    Personally, I think it is reasonable to accept that there is an afterlife and be an atheist - I don't see the connection. I'd describe myself as agnostic about it but someone who wouldn't be surprised to find there was some sort of "Higher Power".
    Amore likes this.
  9. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    All these data are interesting but they don't necessarily paint much of a picture....

    NDEs are quite definitely different from experiencing death but they do indeed appear to give a flavor of what life eternal may mean. But visiting whatever place it is that NDErs visit is not a resonable basis - I suggest - for concluding that there isn't, or indeed is, an entity we call God. Just as visiting London - or Disney - certainly gives a taste of foreign lands and lives drawing conclusions about the citizens of those lands would be unwise based only on what we experienced in London or in Disneyland.

    More information, relevant information, is needed.
  10. Amore

    Amore Active Member

    mac, maybe these reports don't paint much of a picture for you, and more information is needed to understand the afterlife, nevertheless, for these people I was referring to, the experience of an NDE was enough to turn their belief in God upside down. Which was the point I was making. And I find that very interesting.
  11. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    It would be interesting to hear precisely why their belief in God disappeared.
  12. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I think I understood the point you were making but you went on to other points too. I responded to several of the points you made, including the one about London which occasioned my response about their experience not painting much of a picture.

    It wasn't a matter of not being much of a picture for me because I don't have any need for such a picture - it was a general observation about the situation.

    As for an experience turning their personal belief in God upside down well that was just their personal belief.... I have no idea what formulated their belief for a god in the first place to later be reversed by the experience of an NDE. Mildly interesting for me but no more than that.

    For completeness I don't believe in God - I am certain it's the case there is one of some sort.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  13. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    It would be equally interesting, for comparison, to hear what led initially to their subsequently-lost belief in God. ;) religion presumably - hardly a sound basis for understanding
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  14. Amore

    Amore Active Member

    You would have to start reading those NDE reports, some of them explain in more detail what led to their change in belief.
  15. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member

  16. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    Searching for "lost faith in God" at nderf makes me think this must be pretty rare as a consequence of an NDE. I did find one woman who was mad at God since she survived.
  17. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Just for interest, how many 'lost faith' cases did you find?
  18. ravensgate

    ravensgate Active Member

    I think the woman who was mad at god because she survived might have felt that way because in her visit to her eternal home she felt acceptance, peace, love, freedom from the earthly burdens... why return to the (possible) trials and tribulations of her earthly journey?
    About the "lost faith", perhaps the experiencers meant they lost the faith they grew up with. For example, a Catholic or Baptist raised to believe in a judging god, in eternal damnation if you didn't follow the (man-made) rules, realizes that hell does not exist, that god is more a force than a singular entity, and not one who sits on a throne judging you and discarding you into the abyss.
    Of course, this simply is my own take on the woman's anger at god and the loss of faith of many NDEers :-/
  19. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Re your second paragraph, I consider that's fair and would be a persuasive argument were it to be the actual case. Losing your belief in a God the way it was taught by your religion might leave you feeling adrift from all you thought you knew and understood. Experiencing that loss as a direct consequence of a traumatic NDE must be life changing if not life threatening. And such a life-changing outcome might be a huge challenge for anyone. I don't know because I haven't lived through such events to know but it would make sense for me.
  20. Cute Bear

    Cute Bear Banned

    Cute Bear said:
    define "Atheist"

    Robert Flint, in his 1885 book Anti-Theistic Theories states: “Every man is an atheist who does not believe that there is a God.”

    Strong Atheism
    The strong atheist, also known as an explicit atheist or a positive atheist, denies the existence of God or any other deities. This person’s views are based solely on what can be found to be true using the scientific method. Since the existence of God cannot be proven using science, the strong atheist concludes that God doesn’t exist.

    Weak Atheism
    The second type of atheist is the weak atheist, also known as an implicit atheist or a negative atheist. This person does not deny the existence of God outright, but rather claims a religious relativism. That is, she would claim that anyone’s belief can be true for that person, but she doesn’t believe in God herself.


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