Question about death to Atheists.
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09-02-2017, 07:13 PM
Question about death to Atheists.
Hi again.

On my last post about Near Death experiences, I received some interesting and insightful responses. I want to thank everyone who gave me an answer for that. The question I am about to ask may seem as though it is slightly biased. However, if you can, please slightly make an exception and look past the bias Tongue

So at my church, I recently talked to an older woman who told me that while she was in the hospital with her husband (who was terminally ill), she held his hand. She said that while he was lying in his hospital bed, that she saw some white looking entity leaving his body. She said it almost looked like his physical body was a shell, and out of the shell came this white, transparent 'spirit' form of him. She said that soon afterwards doctors had examined him, and reported that he was in fact dead. I could tell that this lady was being sincere in what she was telling me. Later that day I got home, and found a multitude of different stories which were similar to hers.

At first I thought, maybe it is just a coincidence, then I remembered something else:

My mom has repeatedly had this phenomenon where she will wake up one morning feeling "strange", she will say that she dreamed about a loved one, and that she knows something bad happened to this person. About 10-15 times, it has happened where she will get a call very soon in the next day or two saying that a person she knows (usually the person she dreamed about) has died.

Now, these two phenomenons that I touched on will likely be dismissed by most, but I want to know, how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death when there are so many unexplained things? Although some people may be lying to get attention, I am sure that the two examples I gave were not lies. Even if that means there is another explanation we do not know about. How would you atheists react to some of these things if you were to give the claimer the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not lying?
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09-02-2017, 07:22 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  .... how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death ....

This whole death business has got you a little upset it seems.

It's not that I know so much as hope and pray on everything that is holy that there's not. I don't care whether its heaven or hell they both would get interminably boring and tedious real quick like. Like Sisyphus boring and tedious. No just God would condemn anyone to an eternity of anything. Can't imagine a crueler fate.

#sigh
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09-02-2017, 07:34 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
Personal revelation, bereavement, coincidence, wishful thinking.

Next?

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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09-02-2017, 07:35 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2017 07:50 PM by Loom.)
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  Hi again.

On my last post about Near Death experiences, I received some interesting and insightful responses. I want to thank everyone who gave me an answer for that. The question I am about to ask may seem as though it is slightly biased. However, if you can, please slightly make an exception and look past the bias Tongue

So at my church, I recently talked to an older woman who told me that while she was in the hospital with her husband (who was terminally ill), she held his hand. She said that while he was lying in his hospital bed, that she saw some white looking entity leaving his body. She said it almost looked like his physical body was a shell, and out of the shell came this white, transparent 'spirit' form of him. She said that soon afterwards doctors had examined him, and reported that he was in fact dead. I could tell that this lady was being sincere in what she was telling me. Later that day I got home, and found a multitude of different stories which were similar to hers.

At first I thought, maybe it is just a coincidence, then I remembered something else:

My mom has repeatedly had this phenomenon where she will wake up one morning feeling "strange", she will say that she dreamed about a loved one, and that she knows something bad happened to this person. About 10-15 times, it has happened where she will get a call very soon in the next day or two saying that a person she knows (usually the person she dreamed about) has died.

Now, these two phenomenons that I touched on will likely be dismissed by most, but I want to know, how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death when there are so many unexplained things? Although some people may be lying to get attention, I am sure that the two examples I gave were not lies. Even if that means there is another explanation we do not know about. How would you atheists react to some of these things if you were to give the claimer the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not lying?

One does not have to lie to not tell the truth--even if they are sincere.

People frequently 'see' things. Especially if they already believe in such things. Eyes can be easily fooled, see flashes of non-existant shapes or lights from the side, etc.

If these were truly 'souls' and were observed at least as light then they should be detectable.

No 'soul' has ever been detected with instruments. They have only been observed with human senses, which are not infallible.

I don't find anecdotal 'evidence' to be very compelling.

As far as death goes, as far as we know, we are our brains. When the brain dies or is damaged enough, 'we' cease.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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09-02-2017, 07:35 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
There exists no mechanism for post-mortem survival. The brain dies. How would a being continue ?

99.99999999 % of people who witness a death see no "white anythings".
Explain that.

It's not just "atheists" who think there is nothing after death. The Hebrews who wrote the Bible did not believe in heaven and hell. They thought ALL "shades" went to Sheol, which is not where all the divine beings lived. It has nothing to do with atheism, really.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-02-2017, 07:54 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
Personal anecdote is not evidence.

It is normal for people to contemplate their mortality, to wish that it didn't end, to wish that they could live in a blissful state and somehow avoid the inevitable.

Religions have hijacked this normal apprehension of death and used it to manipulate people, to tell them stories to make people feel good.

This is no more than emotional abuse that religions foist on people, they can set up the carrot/stick scenario, decry how imperfect you are and how you deserve this ridiculous punishment for finite and questionable offenses. Then put you in the guilt/repentance cycle that locks you into the religion with fear.

No thanks, most of us here have experienced this emotional/mental tyranny and we now understand what it's for and how it keeps the cults of guilt and fear going.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-02-2017, 07:55 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2017 08:11 PM by jennybee.)
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
Like WH said, coincidence. Additionally, if these people were sick, older, living risky lifestyles, etc.--it would add to the possibility of their passing away due to age, medical issues, and so on. It would also add to the possibility of your mom thinking about them due to worry, concern and then, dreaming about them. Thereby, these two events coinciding. Additionally, your mom is counting the hits and not the misses. I'm sure there have been times there have been misses. If she has quite vivid dreams, she's dreaming about things and remembering them frequently. You sleep every night, day after day, year after year...so lots of opportunities for misses. Tongue

As far as the white spirit leaving a body--power of suggestion from societal upbringing and possibly lack of sleep and stress which can produce hallucinations. Changes in lighting and shadows can also have the same effect. And someone in a distraught state may think there is something more to it than that. The brain is set up via evolution to try and make sense of things and as such, sometimes fills in the blanks with its own information. Shadows and lighting become a spirit.
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09-02-2017, 08:00 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:13 PM)Mirek-Polska Wrote:  Hi again.

On my last post about Near Death experiences, I received some interesting and insightful responses. I want to thank everyone who gave me an answer for that. The question I am about to ask may seem as though it is slightly biased. However, if you can, please slightly make an exception and look past the bias Tongue

So at my church, I recently talked to an older woman who told me that while she was in the hospital with her husband (who was terminally ill), she held his hand. She said that while he was lying in his hospital bed, that she saw some white looking entity leaving his body. She said it almost looked like his physical body was a shell, and out of the shell came this white, transparent 'spirit' form of him. She said that soon afterwards doctors had examined him, and reported that he was in fact dead. I could tell that this lady was being sincere in what she was telling me. Later that day I got home, and found a multitude of different stories which were similar to hers.

At first I thought, maybe it is just a coincidence, then I remembered something else:

My mom has repeatedly had this phenomenon where she will wake up one morning feeling "strange", she will say that she dreamed about a loved one, and that she knows something bad happened to this person. About 10-15 times, it has happened where she will get a call very soon in the next day or two saying that a person she knows (usually the person she dreamed about) has died.

Now, these two phenomenons that I touched on will likely be dismissed by most, but I want to know, how can some atheists on here be so sure that there is nothing after death when there are so many unexplained things? Although some people may be lying to get attention, I am sure that the two examples I gave were not lies. Even if that means there is another explanation we do not know about. How would you atheists react to some of these things if you were to give the claimer the benefit of the doubt that he/she was not lying?

I say I know I what happens after death, I question those who do. So far, in 66 years, nothing sensible came as a reply.
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09-02-2017, 08:16 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
(09-02-2017 07:55 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Like WH said, coincidence. Additionally, if these people were sick, older, living risky lifestyles, etc.--it would add to the possibility of their passing away due to age, medical issues, and so on. It would also add to the possibility of your mom thinking about them due to worry, concern and then, dreaming about them. Thereby, these two events coinciding. Additionally, your mom is counting the hits and not the misses. I'm sure there have been times there have been misses. If she has quite vivid dreams, she's dreaming about things and remembering them frequently. You sleep every night, day after day, year after year...so lots of opportunities for misses. Tongue

As far as the white spirit leaving a body--power of suggestion from societal upbringing and possibly lack of sleep and stress which can produce hallucinations. Changes in lighting and shadows can also have the same effect. And someone in a distraught state may think there is something more to it than that. The brain is set up via evolution to try and make sense of things and as such, sometimes fills in the blanks with its own information. Shadows and lighting become a spirit.

I like both of your answers. Now, here is an interesting question for you: Suppose for a moment that my mom's phenomenon was proven not to be a coincidence but an actual ability (I know it is not but let's hypothetically suppose), would you then assume that it is supernatural, or would you still assume that there could be a natural explanation that we are not aware of?
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09-02-2017, 08:16 PM
RE: Question about death to Atheists.
After my father died, I spent just over a year volunteering in the hospice where he spent his last days. It was my way of "giving back" to the place that provided him, and us, comfort, security and a sense of community.

During my time there, I can honestly say that I never experienced anything like the OP describes. No white "entity", no rush of cold air, no otherworldly sensation in the room, nothing like that.

To be sure, there are unexplained things. Lots of them. And yet, in thousands of years of trying, nobody has ever been able to actually demonstrate or prove anything remotely resembling some sort of soul or similar presence, either in our bodies or external to it.

It's just not there.

I have no doubt that what the woman you described experienced is something that she truly believes. Extreme stress, an unfamiliar environment, all the rest, can cause our senses to give us all sorts of false inputs, or misinterpreted inputs, to which we ascribe meanings.

And who would blame her? Losing her husband is going to be traumatic. It's not surprising that perhaps she's wishing and hoping for some part of him to survive death so she can be assured that, someday, she will be reunited with him.

That's not spiritual or otherworldly. That's love.

The other part of the equation is confirmation bias; that is, we see what we expect to see and count "hits" but forget to count the "misses". That's not an insult, because we all do it.

By the way, before my father passed he had a near-death experience. When he was resuscitated and could speak again, he was convinced: no God, no afterlife, no heaven, no hell. Sadly, we never got to discuss it in detail as he didn't live long after that.
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