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Is Atheism in compatible with a belief in the Afterlife?

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,353 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    King Mob wrote: »
    The mind being immortal and carrying on after the brain is not observed. There is zero evidence this happens or could happen.

    The metaphor I usually use is typing your life's work into an old computer without a hard disk or internet connection. Before saving it you inadvertently kick the plug and lose the document. But where has it gone? It is your life's work after all and you don't have a backup copy, so the document must be somewhere right? ;)


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,255 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Pherekydes wrote: »
    To use a horse racing analogy: Catholics believe there is one horse in the race and it is certain to win. Bet everything on it! In reality, there are 3000 horses in the race and none of them have a chance of even finishing. But go ahead, put everything you have on one horse...
    3000? An infinite number! But as you say, just back the one which threatens the most.


  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    Don't believe in the afterlife then ? - here's some food for thought !

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12118487.Former_pilot_tells_of_ghostly_meeting_with_dead_colleague/

    A FORMER fighter pilot claims he spoke to the ghost of a colleague at Glasgow Airport.
    Captain Bob Hambleton-Jones said yesterday that he had no idea that Robert Macleod, a friend and fellow pilot with Loganair, had died in an Edinburgh hospital four days earlier.

    The two men had known each other for nine years and Captain Hambleton-Jones, who lives in Paisley, said: ``I'm not some kind of crank. I know who I saw and who I spoke to.

    ``He came up to me and said, `How's it going, you old bastard?' It was great to see him. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then he said, `I must go now.'


    ``I picked up my bags and turned around but he wasn't there. He was gone.''

    It was the following day, last June 16, before a friend drew his attention to Mr Macleod's obituary in a newspaper, which confirmed he had died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on June 11.

    Captain Hambleton-Jones, who has recently retired from flying, said: ``I was stunned. I thought it must be a mistake or a sick joke.''

    Psychic research experts who investigated the claim say Captain Hambleton-Jones has had a paranormal experience which they call ``a post-mortem apparition''.

    Captain Hambleton-Jones, who insists that he is ``an agnostic, a real Doubting Thomas, and the original sceptic'', contacted Professor Archie Roy of Glasgow University. He is a professor of Mathematics and Astronomy and is Scottish Head of Psychic Research.

    Captain Hambleton-Jones, said: ``I told Professor Roy what had happened. He said that perhaps I had seen an actor or a lookalike.

    ``But Robert and I were captains in the same fleet for nine years and I know I spoke to him four days after he died.''

    Ms Tricia Robertson, of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research, said: ``A post-mortem apparition happens when someone dies unexpectedly. His spirit is going about as normal because he doesn't believe he is dead.

    ``Such events are not that unusual. They happen more often than you would think.''


    Mr Macleod, the son of retired Stornoway electrical contractor N D Macleod, died suddenly after a liver biopsy.

    Management at Glasgow Airport are concerned that news of the ghostly encounter may scare off passengers. Airport managers and the British Airports Authority refused to discuss it - and did not want the airport named.

    Captain Hambleton-Jones's experience will be featured in a 13-part Discovery Channel TV television documentary on the paranormal which the makers claim will be a sensible treatment of the subject


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    Near death experiences are another phenomenon ... that indicates that we may have an existence beyond this life:-

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309454.php

    http://iands.org/ndes/about-ndes/key-nde-facts21.html

    ... and NDEs happen to all kinds of people ... including Atheists



    ... and Agnostics:-





  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    smacl wrote: »
    The metaphor I usually use is typing your life's work into an old computer without a hard disk or internet connection. Before saving it you inadvertently kick the plug and lose the document. But where has it gone? It is your life's work after all and you don't have a backup copy, so the document must be somewhere right? ;)
    ... a more accurate analogy might be that when your computer is about to 'kick the bucket' ... it backs up all of its memory into the cloud !!!:):pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    Pherekydes wrote: »
    That's the same as betting on the Christian 'horse'.
    ... that's what Paschal's Wager is allright.
    ... and its a no-lose bet.


    Pherekydes wrote: »
    Tell me, when god was arranging for the slaughter of the innocents did he feel that they hadn't lived a good and wholesome life in this life?
    What 'slaughter of the innocents' are you referring to?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    King Mob wrote: »
    You believe torture is justified. That is a disgusting belief. Trying to hand wave and shift responsibility just makes you and your god look worse.
    When did I say that eternal torture was justified? ... it is chosen.

    Your assertion is like blaming me for the pain that masochists go through ... simply because I am liberal enough to accept that masochists have the right to be masochists (and associate with other masochists and even sadists) ... if that is what they want.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    J C wrote: »
    When did I say that eternal torture was justified? ... it is chosen.

    Your assertion is like blaming me for the pain that masochists go through ... simply because I am liberal enough to accept that masochists have the right to be masochists (and associate with other masochists and even sadists) ... if that is what they want.

    Yea, chosen cause the option is submit or be tortured. This is not a choice.

    And you believe that they deserve to be tortured for making that choice.
    I hold that no one deserves to be tortured for any reason, never mind for eternity for thoughtcrime.
    Not really my problem if you have trouble understanding this.
    Near death experiences are another phenomenon ... that indicates that we may have an existence beyond this life:-
    NDEs are entirely unscientific and without any evidence and are entirely consistent with the effects of oxygen deprivation to the brain.
    There is no reason to think they indicate life after death unless you accept them uncritically.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    railer201 wrote: »
    Don't believe in the afterlife then ? - here's some food for thought !

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12118487.Former_pilot_tells_of_ghostly_meeting_with_dead_colleague/

    A FORMER fighter pilot claims he spoke to the ghost of a colleague at Glasgow Airport.

    Why would this be convincing?
    Its an unsupported, unproveable anecdote that has a hundred and one explanations if we assume its in anyway genuine and accurately reported.

    Then we have the problem that its entirely incompatible with many types of afterlifes, including reincarnation and JCs brand. Neither of these allow for the possibility of ghosts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    King Mob wrote: »
    Why would this be convincing?
    Its an unsupported, unproveable anecdote that has a hundred and one explanations if we assume its in anyway genuine and accurately reported.

    Then we have the problem that its entirely incompatible with many types of afterlifes, including reincarnation and JCs brand. Neither of these allow for the possibility of ghosts.

    I've no mission to convince anyone - just food for thought.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    railer201 wrote: »
    I've no mission to convince anyone - just food for thought.
    But why did it convince you?

    Why would it be food for thought when even a cursory application of critical thinking allows you to dismiss it pretty much off hand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,832 ✭✭✭✭ Pherekydes


    J C wrote: »
    What 'slaughter of the innocents' are you referring to?

    Matthew 2:16, though the massacre of any innocent children would serve to illustrate the point.

    And these children would have gone to hell because they had no personal relationship with Jesus.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    Pherekydes wrote: »
    Matthew 2:16, though the massacre of any innocent children would serve to illustrate the point.

    The massacre was done by Herod ... and not God. Stop blaming God for Human evil.
    Pherekydes wrote: »
    And these children would have gone to hell because they had no personal relationship with Jesus.
    Why do you say this?

    In justice, these children will have been given the choice at death between God and Satan ... and I would think that nearly all (if not all) of them have been Saved.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    King Mob wrote: »
    Yea, chosen cause the option is submit or be tortured. This is not a choice.

    The choice is between submitting to Satan or being Saved by Jesus Christ.
    King Mob wrote: »
    And you believe that they deserve to be tortured for making that choice.
    I hold that no one deserves to be tortured for any reason, never mind for eternity for thoughtcrime.
    ... so do you believe that masochists don't have the right to suffer pain ... even when they want to suffer pain?

    King Mob wrote: »
    NDEs are entirely unscientific and without any evidence and are entirely consistent with the effects of oxygen deprivation to the brain.
    There is no reason to think they indicate life after death unless you accept them uncritically.
    How do you explain how some NDEs can describe things that happened in precise detail that they could only know if they were out of their bodies and fully conscious at the time ... even though they were clinically dead?


  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    King Mob wrote: »
    But why did it convince you?

    Why would it be food for thought when even a cursory application of critical thinking allows you to dismiss it pretty much off hand.

    I'm more curious of what posters in A&A think of it. I don't have much problems in accepting it as possible fact - having heard other similar testimonies, plus some personal experiences along the same lines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    J C wrote: »
    The choice is between submitting to Satan or being Saved by Jesus Christ.
    Yea, submit or torture. Totally fair.:rolleyes:
    J C wrote: »
    ... so do you believe that masochists don't have the right to suffer pain ... even when they want to suffer pain?
    So what if someone doesn:t want torture, but also doesn:t want to submit to your god? Tough **** for them?
    J C wrote: »
    How do you explain how some NDEs can describe things that happened in precise detail that they could only know if they were out of their bodies and fully conscious at the time ... even though they were clinically dead?
    I dont have to explain how it can happen because its never happened.

    Please provide a single instance of this happening in conditions that can verifiably exclude other other mundane explanations.

    Also, can you explain how NDEs fit with your version of the afterlife?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    King Mob wrote: »
    Why would it be food for thought when even a cursory application of critical thinking allows you to dismiss it pretty much off hand.
    I wouldn't be so dismissive ... hospice workers see and hear some pretty strange stuff with dying people



  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    railer201 wrote: »
    I'm more curious of what posters in A&A think of it. I don't have much problems in accepting it as possible fact - having heard other similar testimonies along the same lines, plus some personal experiences along the same lines.
    Then my opinion is that it:s complete nonsense. There:s zero reason to take this story, or other similar stories any way seriously.

    I dont understand why you would take then seriously either. Given how quick you are to avoid the questions I pose, I dont think you have a very good reason for taking them seriously either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    J C wrote: »
    I wouldn't be so dismissive ... hospice workers see and hear some pretty strange stuff with dying people
    So unverifiable, unsupported stories on youtube that for all you can show and can know are entirely fictional?

    Yes, I will be dismissive with these.

    Why do you accept these fictional stories as fact, but you would no doubt reject similar stories that "prove" the idea of reincarnation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    King Mob wrote: »
    Yea, submit or torture. Totally fair.:rolleyes:

    So what if someone doesn:t want torture, but also doesn:t want to submit to your god? Tough **** for them?
    The choice is between being tortured by Satan and his demons ... or being loved by God and His angels.

    King Mob wrote: »
    I dont have to explain how it can happen because its never happened.

    Please provide a single instance of this happening in conditions that can verifiably exclude other other mundane explanations.
    Here is a heart surgeon's account of an NDE in a patient who came back from the dead:-



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  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    King Mob wrote: »
    Then my opinion is that it:s complete nonsense. There:s zero reason to take this story, or other similar stories any way seriously.

    I dont understand why you would take then seriously either. Given how quick you are to avoid the questions I pose, I dont think you have a very good reason for taking them seriously either.

    Fair enough but brick batting doesn't interest me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,615 J C


    King Mob wrote: »
    So unverifiable, unsupported stories on youtube that for all you can show and can know are entirely fictional?

    Yes, I will be dismissive with these.
    Here is a Cardiologist who recorded the details of NDEs and looked at it from a scientific point of view

    People with flatline eeg with enhanced consciousness ... which proves that consciousness may not be localised and is outside time and space ... this is just as challenging for me as a Christian ... as it may be for an Atheist :-





  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    J C wrote: »
    The choice is between being tortured by Satan and his demons ... or being loved by God and His angels.
    Again, what if someone doesnt want to be tortured, but doesnt want to bow to your god?
    They are codemned to torture, correct?
    And you believe that they deserve said torture, correct?
    J C wrote: »
    Here is a heart surgeon's account of an NDE in a patient who came back from the dead:-
    J C wrote: »
    Here is a Cardiologist who recorded the details of NDEs and looked at it from a scientific point of view
    Great, what evidence do they provide? Just accounts?
    J C wrote: »
    People with flatline eeg with enhanced consciousness ... which proves that consciousness may not be localised and is outside time and space ... this is just as challenging for me as a Christian ... as it may be for an Atheist :-
    Ok, please provide evidence for this. A scientific research paper that confirms this point as well as verifies that the patient received new information under controlled conditions will do.

    Otherwise, all these youtube videos arent really worth the paper they:re printed on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,312 ✭✭✭✭ King Mob


    railer201 wrote: »
    Fair enough but brick batting doesn't interest me.
    So just wanted to post unsupported crap and don:t want to defend it in anyway. Gotcha.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,966 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    railer201 wrote: »
    I'm more curious of what posters in A&A think of it. I don't have much problems in accepting it as possible fact - having heard other similar testimonies, plus some personal experiences along the same lines.

    Possible fact? as opposed to impossible facts?

    Way to go there on setting the bar as low as you possibly could.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,832 ✭✭✭✭ Pherekydes


    J C wrote: »
    The massacre was done by Herod ... and not God. Stop blaming God for Human evil.

    God sent an angel to warn Joseph. But he didn't bother warning the parents of the other children. A sin by omission.
    Why do you say this?

    Jesus: No one can reach the father except through me.
    In justice, these children will have been given the choice at death between God and Satan ... and I would think that nearly all (if not all) of them have been Saved.

    Children under the age of two given a choice at the moment of their slaughter? Are you serious? :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    King Mob wrote: »
    So just wanted to post unsupported crap and don:t want to defend it in anyway. Gotcha.

    The story is self-contained - however your opinion is very clear. I put it up as evidence of an afterlife, that's all. One either believes in an afterlife or not and I'm not interested in brick batting on the issue - it's crap to you - end of.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,275 ✭✭✭ nozzferrahhtoo


    railer201 wrote: »
    Don't believe in the afterlife then ? - here's some food for thought !

    Is it though? People claiming to hear, or converse, with people or voices that are not there is quite common. Just like people claiming to get kidnapped and probed (anally, it is always anally) by aliens is common on every continent.

    I am not sure what level of thought you require we put into that though, or in what form.

    What could be food for thought is the tiny piece of the text you chose to BOLD for consideration. I can only assume you think that someone claiming to be some form of skeptic somehow lends credibility to their claims. You might want to engage in some level of introspection as to why that is.
    J C wrote: »
    Near death experiences are another phenomenon ... that indicates that we may have an existence beyond this life

    Except it is an indication of no such thing. The clue is in the name to help you out even. NEAR Death Experience. The patient did not die. They experienced what it is like to NEARLY die.

    Near Death Experience is no more an experience of the after life than me walking up to, and then away from, a plane in Dublin Airport is an experience of a week long holiday in Morocco.
    J C wrote: »
    and NDEs happen to all kinds of people ... including Atheists

    And people need to drink water, including atheists. Atheists are not some magical other species that different things happen to biologically. NDE is a real world phenomenon caused by a brain under extreme duress. There is no reason to expect it to function any differently for atheists than for theists.

    Now if ONLY Theists were having near death experiences, and atheists never did........ THAT would be interesting data. There would genuinely be something to explain of interest there in that case.

    But there is no reason, or at least none anyone like you has moved to make me aware of, to consider NDE an indication of there being any kind of after life.
    J C wrote: »
    When did I say that eternal torture was justified? ... it is chosen.

    If at any highly unlikely point in my life I turn into a mugger, I have always intended to frame my mugging in similar language to that peddled by you god-botherer types.

    I could say things like "I am not threatening you with this knife, I am just saying that if you do not give me all your money and jewelry you are CHOOSING to accept my knife between your ribs".

    I am sure the moral distinction is one they will be highly appreciative of in the moment and afterwards.
    J C wrote: »
    Here is a heart surgeon's account of an NDE in a patient who came back from the dead

    Except he did no such thing. But you are usefully demonstrating a very common lay man misunderstanding of the difference between "death" and "clinical death". The two are massively different things in many ways, but the lay public such as yourself as entirely unaware of the differences.

    Of course as medical and biological scientists WE are partially to blame for this. It is our job to educate a lay public on the differences. I also think we could pick better words for many things. Using the word "death" there when it is not actually "death" is, at best, misleading.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 18,611 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Brian?


    Using near death experiences as proof of an afterlife is like using an people hearing voices as proof of the existence of god. Easy to claim and even easier to dismiss.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




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  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭ railer201


    Is it though? People claiming to hear, or converse, with people or voices that are not there is quite common. Just like people claiming to get kidnapped and probed (anally, it is always anally) by aliens is common on every continent.

    I am not sure what level of thought you require we put into that though, or in what form.

    What could be food for thought is the tiny piece of the text you chose to BOLD for consideration. I can only assume you think that someone claiming to be some form of skeptic somehow lends credibility to their claims. You might want to engage in some level of introspection as to why that is.

    So I gather the possibility that this is a true story and the pilot was actually talking to the spirit of his deceased friend is not an option you would consider.

    I bolded that part because I thought that the pilot, being a non-believe,r was in keeping with the thread title.


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