The Nonsense of NDE Claims.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Cris, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    I’ve seen a number of references to NDE in these forums and comments from posters that indicate they think such things might not be hallucinations, but that is just nonsense.

    If one could experience NDE (Near Death Experience) while fully conscious and were able to observe with intact abilities to reason and think logically then weight could be given to the claims of NDE, e.g. meeting Jesus, messages from God, seeing the other side, etc. But the reality is that NDE only occurs when the brain is undergoing immense stress and damage. Such remembered experiences under such conditions cannot be considered normal or rational.

    Consider your own memories of dreams. I assume you would not claim that your dreams reflect reality. The next stage beyond dreaming is hallucinations, clearly an abnormal condition. These can be drug induced or can arise from abnormalities in neurobiology. The next severe stage is NDE. At each stage the brain is undergoing increasing degrees of chaos.

    The progression of internal imagery is the result of low-level perturbations to neural networks extending to the death of entire neural networks. The results range from experiences of intact memories through to the manufacture of novel visions biased by stored pre-conceptions and beliefs of the individual.

    An NDE is no more than an intense hallucination that cannot be distinguished from reality. Pre-conceived conceptions and beliefs have been intertwined with reality and the brain is simply unable to distinguish the difference. The result is that you have little choice but to believe what your brain tells you, i.e. you think the hallucination represents reality.

    There are many claims and many books on NDE but they are all based on personal experiences. There are no independent and impartial observations of the experiences. This is to be expected since the experiences are all the result of abnormal brain activity.

    We can now understand why some NDE subjects change their lives after such an experience. If a subject had a particular belief system, say religious, and that was incorporated into the hallucinations, then the creation of a fantasy meeting with Jesus, for example, that couldn’t be distinguished from reality would naturally lead to an enforcement of the belief system.

    The similarity between NDE stories would also make sense when you consider that the structure of the brain and the way it functions at a basic level is the same for all of us. And also the nature of the trauma, severe stress resulting in near death. It should not be surprising that most brains are going to react in a similar manner. The only difference will be the fine details of the particular fantasies generated.

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  3. pragmathen 0001 1111 Registered Senior Member

    Tunnel-vision ...

    I would have to agree with <b>Cris</b> on this.

    It would seem feasible that the brain, when encountering severe chaos or trauma, would want to flush the system with endorphins in order to somehow counterbalance or alleviate whatever was going on in-system. I would think that the mind, when confronted with such an onslaught of a natural-high would seek to interpret those feelings the best it could--hence the reason why many attribute NDE's to an almost celestial encounter.

    As is evident with Cris and his posts on the survivability of humans, it would follow that those involved with NDE's are merely experiencing what their brains and minds are attempting--namely, survival. The brain would rather supply a surreal landscape with which to handle the incoming traffic of action potentials, instead of death- and hellscapes. The former would better enable the person to recuperate while allowing the mind to focus on fighting off the chaos. Besides, it would be a natural mentally visual reaction to an endorphin-high.

    In every one of the NDE, the person is "told" that they must return to Earth and continue onward, that there is still more to accomplish. Couldn't this just as easily be a way in which the mind interprets the incoming signals from the traumatized body and tries to persuade the body to not simply give up? The end result is survival, and the body must be persuaded at times to follow what the mind has in store for it.

    Just my thoughts on this. Thanks for posting this thread, Cris!

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