Moreover, he shoots himself in the foot by stating "coma" and "inactivation of the cerebral cortex" or "higher-order brain functions offline" in the same breath. Does he not have any knowledge about brain function? LOL! Coma does not equate to inactivation of the cortex or higher-order functionality being totally "offline." Or such nonsense as "neurons of my cortex stunned into complete inactivity." Such statements describe the lethal condition of brain death (quite distinct from coma). I repeat, coma is not associated with the complete cessation of cortical activity in any case...
Alexander also asserts that the cessation of cortical activity was apparent from the severity and duration of his meningitis, and from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. But these do not determine neuronal activity. He would need to present functional data from fMRI, PET, or EEG (which he doesn't seem to realise would support his case). He makes no reference to any of these.
Another thing... his cortex is fully functional now so whatever structural damage appeared on CT could not have been "global." Otherwise he would not have written his book! Unless he is claiming that his entire cortex was destroyed and then grew back.
So yeah, my thoughts on the astral projection thing. I hope it's true, I REALLY do, but I haven't seen anything for myself to say that it is. I am the kinda person who says, "Anything could be possible." The known universe is infinite... can we even grasp that? INFINITE! There isn't even a relative scale to compare how insignificant we are as Earth to the rest of the known universe. So yeah, my point is.. what do we REALLY know? What can we really grasp as humans? We are nothing, zip, nada! So yes.. let's all get along with eachother as we are EXACTLY as insignificant as the rest! In my mind, if one person here doesn't like another than that's one extra conflict that will prevent us from all being able to come together and make a step further in the direction to learn what this lucid dreaming is really about. I am sure you guys may agree with me somewhat.
Summerlander wrote:He doesn't know any more than the rest of us but he claims to know...and claims to have proved it...without proof... and that's the problem!
I know. Have an opinion as a human who doesn't know better, but once you start making money off of it.... that's where it crosses the line.
That's why none of what we say here bothers me. As soon as someone claims to know the truth and starts selling something, that's when a red flag gets waved.
But we don't, so it's all good here.
But what does this mean? That because we don't know everything that there must be an astral plane, an afterlife, angels, and a magic man in the sky who watches over all of us?
Absolutely not. Us not knowing everything about reality just means that there is room to learn more and get to the bottom of how it all works.
Lack of knowledge does not warrant claims about the supernatural. Lack of knowledge just means there is more to learn. The gaps of uncertainty only get narrower and narrower with scientific discovery and so far, the piees of the puzzle have been solid and natural.
So why surmise that the remaining gaps are supernatural or even conveniently perpetuate certain current mysteries (example: "They will never solve consciousness")
There is no reason to believe in such fantasies when there is zilch evidence. One may be open to the possibility of an afterlife but does not have to believe it. And it is clear that, in Alexander's case, there is certainly no need to jump the gun. Quite the opposite. What he provides is terrible, unscientific and full of discrepancies.
What would be required for a strong case, or what would constitute as proof, has already been outlined. Alexander does not deliver and his ulterior motives as a Christian, besides the dosh he makes, are quite clear.
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I didn't think you were trying to prove astral projection or afterlife and you are certainly entitled to be open to such notions. But at the same time I would like to make clear that we don't just have opinions. In science there is a degree of knowledge and certainty that can be claimed from experimentation and discovery. Otherwise we would not have the tech that we do. Claiming knowledge about certain matters is not arrogant especially when it is accompanied by demonstration and fact. It is no crime to point out facts.
In this vein, scientists have every right to say: look, we found the Higgs boson but no sign of a soul or spiritual realm. And by the way, 150 years of neuroscience strongly suggest that the mind is a by-product of cerebral matter.
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I'll tell you where I come from. I think people's ideas and beliefs should be criticised, especially when there is no justification for them. Criticism is how people grow and learn.
And I'll tell you something else. I was once young and naive and believed in all sorts of fantasies. Until wiser people pointed out my blind faith and lack of substance to show for such beliefs. My interest for science at an early age also made me question myself. Today, I have a more balanced and fair approach.
You really think you will be able to see, hear, and touch deceased loved ones when you die when we know living people can lose all their mental faculties via brain damage or malfunction. For instance, damage to a particular brain region can cause prosopagnosia (can't recognise faces). How then can one see and recognise deceased relatives after death? You see what I mean?
What about severe cases of dementia where individuals barely know who they are, who their relatives are, where they've been, what they've done...like their lives never happened!
These things can be observed in our world. That's where I come from. 150 of neuroscience strongly suggests that the mind arises epiphenomenally from brain matter.
Like the unicorn, there is no reason for me to believe that ghosts, spirits or any such things exist. They are nowhere to be found.
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I've been reading all of your posts without interfering and, like Hagart said here, i'm just taking away from this what i want, or leave what i want and decide for myself. I thank all of the responses. We have here a scientific sides, spiritual sides, etc. Thanks, guys.
I am not much of a religious person. I mean, i was raised catholic, taught about heaven, God and whatnot, but as time went by i started to take a more scientific approach and making my own mind. Most of it i don't believe. I think some of the spiritual stories can be proven by scientific facts. And some of them has been proven. But i also question other things. I believe that some spiritual stories are true. I believe all of the sides have their theories and some of them are wrong too. Science is not 100% right. Science has been proving facts that later were wrong, they have contradicted themselves and all that. If, for example, you watch the "Through the wormhole" series, you'll see why 1 theory has different and proven approaches just in science alone. Science sometimes says things like: "It is proven that beer causes damage to your health". Years later: "Now we prove that after all, beer is good for the bones." Years later: "Well, we prove that beer is good preventing cancer." And then: "Well, after all, beer causes cancer." (I'm just improvising here, joking a little, but you get the point). I read stuff like that all the time.
I think this discussions are healthy. But i think we should respect one another and not acusing someone that believes in another thing.
Summerlander said: "Do you believe in a soul? My argument is, why believe in something you have absolutely no evidence for? Unless you would like it to be true and would rather not hear the truth if it turns out to be unpleasant..."
I believe something like this was said many many years (or even centuries) ago about lucid dreaming. "Lucid dreaming? Being conscious while unconscious? Being lucid in a dream? There's is no evidence for it. This doesn't exist." And then, someone prove it scientifically. How can anyone say that many years from now, someone will not prove scientifically that there is a soul?
This is just my opinion. I'm just an open-minded person. I believe in science and i believe in spirituality. If people read something was proven scientifically and believe it, why can't people read something was proven spiritualy and not believe it? I mean, all of the OBE stories, afterlife, reincarnation, all from centuries ago until now, the stories being similar and all... are ALL "bull"?
I believe open-mindness is the key to this forum, or at least, i guess it should be.
Let me emphasise here that I do not have a problem with your beliefs. You believe in what you want. What I dislike is when people are ill-informed and yet speak from certainty. I will also question people's beliefs in order to find out how they got to them, and, I'm sorry to say this, but, in your case, you have not given me any good reasons. All I got from this thread was: this guy wrote this book, I'd like this to be true, science has gone through paradigm shifts... None of this justifies belief in what has not been demonstrated to exist.
Science is about progress. Everything you have said only shows that it is not about holding on to dogmas or beliefs. Science is not contradicting itself as you say. Science is a method of enquiry. It follows evidence. People thought lucid dreaming was nonsense and lo and behold, science investigated it and established the phenomenon as a fact. That's it. But the same has not happened with souls or astral planes and by the looks of it, it never will. This is becoming quite apparent as the evidence is pointing to physicalism and giving it weight. Lucid dreaming isn't anything paranormal. It is quite natural and the result of a hybrid brain state that compounds REM sleep (mostly) and consciousness (wakefulness).
You say you believe in advance, without any proof, which, to me, is premature and self-delusional. Why do you readily believe? For comfort? Or because science once didn't have many answers which it now has today?
You might as well say: I believe in fairies, elves, and unicorns because they might exist and remain undiscovered by science. You see the fallacy here? You can't claim to know something exists on blind faith or from the argument of belief for comfort just because science doesn't have all the answers or there are still some unknowns. If you follow this fallacious reasoning, you can just about claim that everything exists and you believe.
Science has looked at the possibility of lucid dreaming and found it. Science has also looked at the possibility of souls as a life force and did not find it. What it found was quite the opposite: nothing.
One more question: If you don't believe in God, why do you believe in spirits? The improbability of both is about the same and I would also like to point out that the number of God believers trumps that of astral projection believers.
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