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Featured A Scientifically Supported Heaven (and Hell)

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Bryon Ehlmann, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    I recently had an article published in the Journal of Mind and Behavior. It reveals, describes, and establishes that a natural, i.e., scientifically supported, heaven (and hell) actually exists. “Yeah, sure.” you may be thinking. But to check it out for yourself, just click on the article’s title given below. Be forewarned, however, the heaven that the article describes is likely not all of what you may have been envisioning. Though it can be an eternity of optimal real love and happiness in the presence of God, it’s spiritual, meaning you’re not there in body, and its timeless, meaning no events occur. Also, it’s psychological, meaning “it’s all in your mind.” As such, in Christian terms, it lends even more credence to Luke 17: 21, “… the Kingdom of God is within you.”

    A postprint copy of the article, “The Theory of a Natural Eternal Consciousness: The Psychological Basis for a Natural Afterlife,” is posted on ResearchGate. (Note that you can skip through some of the more technical parts of the article if you wish. Also posted is a shorter, overview article, “Your Natural Afterlife: the Non-Supernatural Alternative to Nothingness.”)

    I believe that, with an open mind, the natural afterlife can be viewed as compatible with most religions. But what do you think? I also believe that it forces everyone to answer the question: “What do I believe determines the content of my last experience and conscious moment in life: me, random chance, the causality of nature, or a God? Again, what do you think?
     
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  2. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    I have read the article and others in the past with similar arguments. The best that can come of this is subective claims of an afterlife or the soul. Nothing here offers any evidence about heaven and or hell.
     
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  3. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I looked at the paper. That it was accepted in any journal only says something about the quality of the editors of that journal.

    At best, it is pure speculation. At worst, it is gobbledegook. Nothing even approaching a 'scientific' theory is presented.
     
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  4. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    I don't particularly like the part where one's last conscious moment becomes their eternity. Why would that be so? Why not a collection of thoughts anyway?
     
  5. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    The least we could do discuss it before commenting as if it's already settled "gobbledegook".
     
  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    If science is invoked the prove some version of heaven and hell, a falsifiable and reproduced series of experiments has to be done. And such experiments has to prove that one version is true while other versions, such as the past life review in the astral plane needs to be tested and verified.
     
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  7. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    If expressed energy does not always create 'space-time', and could be said to exist without it, then "eternity" could become phenomenologically possible.
     
  8. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I see no falsifiable evidence, only conjecture.

    To say its scientifically supported is something of a stretch of the imagination.
     
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  9. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    This Wiki article may shed some light on the journal in question. Journal of Mind and Behavior - Wikipedia

    I note it eschews empirical work and focuses on philosophy and what it calls theories, though whether these can be theories in the full scientific sense must be open to question if no empirical corroboration is required.

    Psychology has always struck me as a funny discipline, spanning a spectrum from rigorous empirically supported science to fairly flaky speculations and storytelling. The storytelling may have therapeutic value, in that it can provide a framework for helping people make sense of their feelings and regain control of themselves, but objectively speaking, some of it would seem to be make-believe.
     
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  10. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    Why don't angels burn in hell with satan and the fallen ....
    forget....I'm spinning webs again, my bad !
     
  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    This current life experience could be your afterlife and you'd never know it.
     
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  12. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I come in with a Theosophical and Eastern (Hindu) perspective.

    My first thought is that it gives something right but misses something too. I believe consciousness is indeed eternal and non-material. However I think the position in the article tries to hold on to too much scientific materialism. In my worldview the material universe includes not only the physical level but astral, mental and causal levels. After death our eternal consciousness continues but still experiences time to a significant extent in our less dense astral form. These astral forms can then experience astral planes/places not so unlike heaven and hell of tradition.

    The theory in the article seems to come more from the angle that there is the physical and there is consciousness. It misses the great depths in-between.

    Edit: Upon reading further I am understanding this theory to be fully compatible with materialism. The body of so-called paranormal evidence has already left me convinced that materialism can not explain the afterlife experience. Afterlife Evidence for example.
     
    #12 George-ananda, Aug 25, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  13. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    The Journal of Mind and Behavior is a peer-reviewed academic journal in psychology published by the University of Maine Department of Psychology on behalf of The Institute of Mind and Behavior.

    The journal publishes theoretical articles and literature reviews on the philosophy of psychiatry, theories of consciousness, and treatises on the history of psychology, but not empirical work. In addition, the journal publishes critical notices and book reviews.

    Source
     
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  14. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Yeah, I don't even see it as particularly good philosophy. If this is what peer-review produces in psychology, then I can see why there is so much criticism of it. I am more accustomed to the process in math or physics, which is considerably more rigorous.
     
  15. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I think I have read this before, or at least something very similar? Didn't you invite a group of people here from the forum to discuss this topic some time ago?

    Anyway, Im pretty sure that I have the same issue with it this time as I had back then.
    You can’t tell. Relative to you, death is irrelevant and your NDE is essentially your NEE.
    It’s like watching an extremely exciting movie and not knowing that you’ve unexpectedly, with no perceived drowsiness, fallen asleep.


    The idea that the brain somehow just continues on in a NEE doesn't really seem to be supported by what we know about how the brain works. You compare it to that of falling asleep without knowing. But that is not really how sleep works.

    If I should explain my experience of falling asleep it would be like this.... I get more and more tired, at some point i fall asleep... in some cases I will be in a stage where I can remember and explore my dreams, meaning sort of experience the dream, which is absolutely amazing and wish I could do it on command. However if that is not the case, I have absolutely no experience of time or that anything is happening during the time I sleep. Its like closing my eyes, falling asleep, opening my eyes and it's the next morning.

    But even looking at how sleep works and all different stages in it, it requires a living brain:

    The function of sleep has mystified scientists for thousands of years, but modern research is providing new clues about what it does for both the mind and body. Sleep serves to reenergize the body's cells, clear waste from the brain, and support learning and memory. It even plays vital roles in regulating mood, appetite and libido.

    Sleeping is an integral part of our life, and as research shows, it is incredibly complex. The brain generates two distinct types of sleep—slow-wave sleep (SWS), known as deep sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM), also called dreaming sleep. Most of the sleeping we do is of the SWS variety, characterized by large, slow brain waves, relaxed muscles and slow, deep breathing, which may help the brain and body to recuperate after a long day.

    When we fall asleep, the brain does not merely go offline, as implied by the common phrase “out like a light.” Instead a series of highly orchestrated events puts the brain to sleep in stages. Technically sleep starts in the brain areas that produce SWS. Scientists now have concrete evidence that two groups of cells—the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus in the hypothalamus and the parafacial zone in the brain stem—are involved in prompting SWS. When these cells switch on, it triggers a loss of consciousness.

    After SWS, REM sleep begins. This mode is bizarre: a dreamer's brain becomes highly active while the body's muscles are paralyzed, and breathing and heart rate become erratic. The purpose of REM sleep remains a biological mystery, despite our growing understanding of its biochemistry and neurobiology.

    We do know that a small group of cells in the brain stem, called the subcoeruleus nucleus, controls REM sleep. When these cells become injured or diseased, people do not experience the muscle paralysis associated with REM sleep, which can lead to REM sleep behavior disorder—a serious condition in which the afflicted violently act out their dreams.


    So for your theory to work, at least as I see it, you would have to demonstrate that any form of NEE is possible with a dead brain. And personally I don't really see how one could do that.
     
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  16. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Hi, @Bryon Ehlmann, thank you for an interesting OP! I haven't had a chance to read your paper yet, but I do not offhand find your ideas implausible. In fact, there is a rapidly growing body of research in the neurosciences that would seem to support them, at least in part. If you are not familiar with the literature, James Kingsland's book, Siddhartha's Brain, should help orient you to it, along with any of several books written by Andrew Newberg. How God Changes Your Brain might be a good place to start. But perhaps I'm telling you things you already know. These are popular, introductory books to the subject of the physiological basis for such things as enlightenment, nirvana, and heaven, rather than written for an academic audience.
     
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  17. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    How does a "natural afterlife" (at death, I assume) agree with the Bible's revelation that there's "going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous"??

    A future resurrection, vs. life immediately after death....
    They are conflicting beliefs.
    I'll stick with the one that is Biblical.
    C.f. Ecclesiastes 9:5 , Psalms 146:3-4 & John 11:11-14.
    • (Lazarus only came back to life, after Jesus resurrected him.)
     
  18. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    When and if they present an actual scientific theory, I will be glad to debate the evidence. They have nothing close to that. They have a vague speculation that would be (at most) fun dinner conversation.
     
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  19. Bryon Ehlmann

    Bryon Ehlmann Contemplating Life

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    I'm not interested in debating the reality of the natural afterlife. I've already "been there, done that" often enough. Moreover, hundreds of psychology and philosophy scholars have now reviewed the journal article I reference and have yet to find any flaws in the NEC theory--i.e., in its logical deduction or the psychological principles upon which this deduction is based--which are what need be specifically addressed if one wishes to denigrate the theory, e.g., call it "pure speculation," or denigrate its publishing journal. They also need to address the given testing scenario.

    One must understand that the natural afterlife is an illusion that only occurs with death. I believe the article does the best job I can do in explaining this illusion, but it needs to be read closely with an open mind. (Many replies here indicate a lack of understanding of the essence of the natural afterlife, likely because the article was just "looked at.") Admittedly, the natural afterlife's timeless and relativistic aspects make it hard to grasp and appreciate. Think about getting someone to accept the existence of another illusion, a rainbow, and to appreciate it if they've never experienced this phenomenon.

    While others can respond to those who want to question the theory (or rather what they believe to be the theory) and/or who perhaps want to cling to Orthodoxy 1 (as defined in the article), I will only respond here to those who are willing to discuss the potential impact of the natural afterlife on religion and society, i.e., discuss the questions I pose.
     
  20. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    If the theory makes no predictions of what observations can be expected, to enable it to be tested, then it is not science.

    If theories in psychology can be accepted in spite of not being science, then that tells us something about the discipline of psychology.
     
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