what about NDE's?

Question:: 
hi, i'm an atheist but recently i've been very troubled with a kind of epiphany i had. what if near death experiences are ways of leaving your body to visit other dimensions, heaven perhaps? what if religion is something that is not meant to be proven or disproven and that its about faith. on the other hand maybe people had NDEs in mind when they made the concept of heaven and hell. im just curious as to what your opinions are on the matter. thanks!
Atheist Answer: 

The thing to remember is that someone having a near death experience is, obviously, near death. The brain is in a panicked state. It hallucinates, or dreams, of happy or fantastical things to get away from reality and pain. Since the person knows on some level that death is nearby, thoughts are likely to turn to the afterlife and whatever concepts of it the person has been exposed to. Of course Heaven and Hell are going to figure heavily in these hallucinations. Contrary to what you suggest, I think people simply have Heaven and Hell in mind when they have their NDEs.

- SmartLX

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NDEs are natural.

.

Have you ever seen this

Have you ever seen this video?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uGZTvRobTYA&feature=related

I think NDEs are more than what you make of them. People who have them KNOW that they are nothing like dreaming, hallucinating, or even taking 10 hits of LSD. What if there were more to this universe than we all know? (which I, for one, have no problem believing) Its naive to think that the human mind can comprehend the ways of the universe. I understand that man-made gods probably have nothing to do with it though. I like to think of god as a metaphor for the universe.

Must they have happened durring the flatline?

I don't doubt that many people believe they've had NDEs, because if such brain activity is caused by pre-death trauma or oxygen deprivation then we may all get the chance to experience one at least once. Only those who revive can describe them, of course.

I doubt an NDE would seem like any dream, hallucination or trip the subject has had before. The subject's brain would be in a state you wouldn't reach during normal sleep, delirium or intoxication. It is DYING.

There are multiple claims in the YouTube link that some NDEs happen during periods of zero brain activity. How the heck do they know the NDEs happened then? People have a very warped sense of time during REM sleep, and absolutely NO sense of time during dreamless sleep. Between going under and waking up there is tons of time either side of the flatline to squeeze in an NDE dream which seems longer than it really is.

Remember also that many people have a vested interest in the veracity of NDE claims. They can be declared evidence in favour of the existence of an afterlife, ghosts, God, anything you like. People who think they've had one are made to feel special by the idea that they've gone beyond normal human experience. I'm not at all surprised to see the size of the community which believes in them and tries to convince others.

All of that said, I can't prove that every NDE is a product of a brain only. But NDEs are in a worse position than gods from an evidence standpoint: unlike gods which could prove themselves in any number of ways (and yet they haven't), there's no way to prove to the living that NDEs are genuine afterlife experiences because there's no solid basis for verification.

Thanks for the replies! You

Thanks for the replies! You seem very intelligible on the subject.

Ta.

Thanks, I try to make things as clear as they can be.

Re: what about NDE's?

33vai33, please keep questioning your atheism, because I know it is wrong, I hope you don't take offense to that thinking "Who does this guy think he is, he "knows"? I have experienced things, felt things, and heard things in my lifetime, and I know Jesus is the way, the truth and the life as he said. He is the only way to God the father. Please go to him before it is too late, if you want to discuss more we can do so here or ask me for my e-mail address.

Anyway Hi SmartLX,

"someone having a near death experience is, obviously, near death. The brain is in a panicked state. It hallucinates, or dreams, of happy or fantastical things to get away from reality and pain. Since the person knows on some level that death is nearby, thoughts are likely to turn to the afterlife and whatever concepts of it the person has been exposed to. Of course Heaven and Hell are going to figure heavily in these hallucinations. Contrary to what you suggest, I think people simply have Heaven and Hell in mind when they have their NDEs."

Regarding this and other brain arguments, please read the below:

(1) Dying Brain Theory

"PRO:
Because NDEs have many common core elements, this shows that they are not spiritual voyages outside of the body, but are a function of the dying brain. All brains die in the same way and that is why all NDEs have essential core elements which are the same. They are the result of neurotransmitters in the brain shutting down which creates lovely illusions. (Susan Blackmore)

CON:
Because NDEs have many common core elements, this suggests that they are spiritual voyages outside of the body. Also, if the dying brain creates NDE illusions, what is the purpose for doing it? If our brains are only a high-tech computer-like lump of tissue which produces our mind and personality, why does it bother to create illusions at the time of death? If everything, including the mind and personality, are about to disintegrate, why would the brain produce a last wonderful Grand Finale vision? Even if NDE elements can be reduced to only a series of brain reactions, this does not negate the idea that NDEs are more than a brain thing. Read this article on the errors of the pseudo-skeptics of NDEs."

"There are multiple claims in the YouTube link that some NDEs happen during periods of zero brain activity. How the heck do they know the NDEs happened then?"

They know with their spirit/soul. But there is the big debate eh? I don't think you believe in a spirit yet right?

"unlike gods which could prove themselves in any number of ways (and yet they haven't)"

God has done many things over the past 6000 years plus, including becoming one of us around 2 or 1 BC. He is still doing things in the lives of those who believe and trust in him. I am one of those people. Please come to the Lord Jesus now.

If you are ready to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, or just curious, please go to:
www.wayofthemaster.com (Please have flash installed to watch the opening movie)

Also if you have want (please do it) check out:

www.thestarofbethehemmovie.com
http://www.allaboutreligion.org/polycarp-video.htm
www.newlifetoday.com

Some great movies to watch if you would like to get them are:

1) The Privileged Planet
2) The Lazarus Phenomenon
3) The Perfect Stranger
4) Another Perfect Stranger

God bless you.

Maroun

NDEs for Maroun

There, Maroun, isn't it so much more efficient to witness to many people at once than put all your eggs in one basket? I'm happy for you to put some straight preaching into your posts like you've done if you maintain arguments as well, but keep in mind that many people are going to skim over anything which isn't directly relevant to the discussion, and others will treat it as fair game.

NDEs have many common core elements, but exactly how does this suggest anything spiritual as opposed to mechanical?

"If our brains are only a high-tech computer-like lump of tissue which produces our mind and personality," which is exactly what they are, then they produce visions for the same reasons that they produce regular dreams: partly as an involuntary reaction to their circumstances, and partly because they are attempting to process catastrophic information in ways we can understand. We know what it means to travel through a tunnel, or to step into bright light, or to see a father figure. So our brains present these things to us because in some oblique way it connects to the physical experience of dying.

You're absolutely right, Maroun: thinking one knows something with one's spirit/soul is not the kind of evidence you can use to prove anything to another person. But that's got nothing to do with belief or lack of belief in spirits or souls. Thinking that one knows something with one's brain isn't presentable evidence either, and I do believe in brains.

The simple fact is that thinking you know something does not mean you do know it, let alone that it is true. If people do not believe you, it takes logic and/or evidence to bring them around.

A last word of advice: if you want to maintain any credibility on a site run by the Rational Response Squad, don't bring up the Way of the Master. They're a running joke around here.

Re: what about NDE's?

If it is not the brain that is doing it, what is your explanation of it?

Even if you think it is the brain, and it does this by "partly as an involuntary reaction to their circumstances, and partly because they are attempting to process catastrophic information in ways we can understand."
Why do people who are undergoing torture, with all of its pain and stresses not helped by their brain in this way?

Here is an account of someone enduring torture, and a miracle in his life: http://www.secretsofsuccess.com/people/risner.html

Here is a story of a blind person who had an NDE:

http://www.neardeathsite.com/blind.php

Finally :O) a story of a former athiest (If you want you can watch his and other's stories on youtube.)

http://bibleprobe.com/descent2.htm

My heart is feeling love right now, and believe me when I say God loves you all so much. He wants you back, don't believe the devil and his lies, and his deception of "freedom" without God for you. God will really set you free, and when you do his will, MAN, what a feeling, it's awesome!

When I go to heaven, I would love to hear Jesus say to me:

"'Well done, good and(X) faithful servant."(Part of) Matthew 25:21

Forgot one thing

Forgot one thing.

"A last word of advice: if you want to maintain any credibility on a site run by the Rational Response Squad, don't bring up the Way of the Master. They're a running joke around here."

Again SmartLX, remember "11"Blessed are you when people (O)insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for (P)in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

Why is it that they are a running joke? Why don't the people who think they are a running joke confront them instead of talking about them on some website that they may never visit?

For those who have a problem with them, contact them and tell/ask them!

If you want I can try to get them to come and have a discussion with you on ther forums here.

Anyway, have a great day.

God bless you.

Maroun

NDE examples

Maroun, my explanation is that the brain is doing it.

People undergoing torture do sometimes hallucinate. More often, though, they simply pass out (if allowed) and have nightmares. The brain doesn't do anything nearly as extreme as an NDE, however, because it isn't dying. The requirement of most torture is to keep the victim alive and able to talk.

Brigadier General (ret.) Risner broke locks which by his own admission were in a state of extreme disrepair, and did not have an NDE.

Vicki Umipeg, like all blind people and in fact all people, does not require the use of her eyes to dream visually. Importantly, she did not return with any details of the medical staff she had "seen" which might have supported the idea that she really saw these people.

Howard Storm, the former atheist, apparently just had a particularly convincing dream of Hell culminating in a simple episode of euphoria.

I'm not insulting or persecuting Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of Way of the Master. I'm saying that most of this site's audience does not respect their apologetic because their arguments were debunked to their faces by the RRS themselves in a televised debate. If you refer to their arguments, I and others need only refer to existing counter-arguments on ATA, or the debate itself on YouTube. We do not confront them on their own site because unlike us, they do not publish responses.

You can invite them here if you want, but 1. they do have a history with the RRS and will likely decline and 2. if they do feel like coming, they will be met with enthusiasm by the entire RRS. By all means, though, ask them for help with your own responses. They're more likely to oblige with that.

Re:

Hi SmartLX

"Maroun, my explanation is that the brain is doing it."

My apologies as I was unclear with my question, my question which was "If it is not the brain that is doing it, what is your explanation of it?" was in response to:

"There are multiple claims in the YouTube link that some NDEs happen during periods of zero brain activity. How the heck do they know the NDEs happened then?"

Now I commented that I think it is the spirit, which is aware of what is happening/knows it, as my position on the subject is that people like Ian McCormack did actually experience what they said they did, and it was not just some act of the brain as you think.

Now, If you don't think it is the spirit during the periods of zero brain activity, what do you think it is?

"People undergoing torture do sometimes hallucinate. More often, though, they simply pass out (if allowed) and have nightmares. The brain doesn't do anything nearly as extreme as an NDE, however, because it isn't dying."

But why doesn't the brain act similarily all the time in two negative cases for the body? Why Nightmares instead of beautiful dreams?

"Brigadier General (ret.) Risner broke locks which by his own admission were in a state of extreme disrepair,"

Where in the world did you see that?? in the link was "He resisted, so they twisted his arms behind his back and handcuffed them. They also put his feet in stocks and chained them to his bunk."

Even if you saw that (would like a link) why didn't he say it here? Do you think they would have been stupid enough to
lock him up in handcuffs and stocks that are so worn, he was able to break them, especially one of which with a bump from his thumb?? - "Unable to use his fingers - which were now black and swollen like “big, black wieners,” as Risner puts it - he simply bumped the lock with his thumb and it fell loose."

I know this is not an nde, came across it and thought that it would be good, anyway ultimately we are arguing over whether God is real or not.

"Vicki Umipeg, like all blind people and in fact all people, does not require the use of her eyes to dream visually. Importantly, she did not return with any details of the medical staff she had "seen" which might have supported the idea that she really saw these people."

You know you could ask her. Interested in truth?

Howard Storm, the former atheist, apparently just had a particularly convincing dream of Hell culminating in a simple episode of euphoria.

Ok, not convincing enough for you. How about this from a woman named Susan:
"...
Soon I left my body. I didn't go through a tunnel. I just kind of floated around. Before I knew it, I was in heaven. I knew it was heaven because I had never smelled flowers like that before and had never seen so much beauty.

I went up to my Grandma who had been waiting for me. She looked to be about thirty years old even though she died when she was seventy-five. Then I saw my Grandpa. He died at the age of ninety-two.

He kept saying to me, "Look what I can do."

He was walking on his hands. I didn't understand this or why he was showing me that he could do that. Then Grandma asked me if I wanted to go and see Jesus. I literally screamed, "YES!!!"

The second I saw him I started to cry. I could feel his compassion for me. He comforted me as I told him how I had been done wronged by people on Earth because of my condition and how I had suffered with anorexia. He was so, so kind. He told me that he knew all of that and that it was going to be alright.

I asked him if he promised and he said, "Yes."

I told him something that maybe I shouldn't have. I said to him, "You are a very handsome man."

He just laughed. Then I laughed. It was such a great time.

I noted his appearance. He was about 5'9 and probably weighed about 150 pounds. He was slim, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. There were so many people around him; but, (and this is what touches me so much) I was able to go right to him and talk to him. It's not like it would be here. You can't just go up to someone that important and talk to them. But with Jesus you can.

He then told me to go back and tell everyone what I had seen. I said I would. Then he hugged me. It felt like a million volts of electricity going through my body I found that from his hug, I couldn't stand up because of the intense power I felt coming from him.

Then, I felt myself falling very, very fast. I was literally slammed back into my body on the bed. I was slammed so hard that I sat up, shocked. I was so disappointed that I was out of his presence and back where everyone was so cruel. And I was so sick. I could still feel the electrified feeling of his touch. But once again, I was very sick. Then I went to sleep.

The next morning when I woke up I felt hungry so I ate. For the first time in 11 years I ate a full meal, not having any of the anorexic feelings I always had from before. The same day was my doctor's appointment. When the doctor examined me and took some tests, he called a few days later wanting to see me. He told me that I had healthy kidney's. I was in shock. He said, "You do not have kidney failure anymore."

After this I only got better and better. The doctor still couldn't explain it. Nobody could. But I know why. Jesus touched me, my soul body, and healed me. The doctor just said there was no medical reason for my kidneys to be normal. The next time he saw me I had gained about fifteen pounds. Now, nine years later, I went from weighing 64 to 135 pounds. I have never had any kidney problems nor any other kind of health problems that anorexia can cause. I am fine. I am healthy. And I will NEVER forget seeing Jesus. Never. I can't even think of him today without crying. I feel so special to have been touched by him and being able to talk to him and the fact that he had so much compassion for me. I have not encountered anything like that here.

Now to end this, I will tell you why my Grandpa was walking on his hands. My mother never believed me when I told her of my experience. I have only recently told her. I know Jesus said to tell everyone but it took nine years for me to say anything. I told my mother that I saw Grandpa and how he was thrilled to show me that he could walk on his hands. Her face went white. I asked her what was wrong. She said that when he was a teenager, he used to do that to impress people. She said he was very good at it and enjoyed showing off. But she said I must have heard about it from someone. I told her that I have never heard about it from anyone in the family. Many of them didn't even know it when I questioned them later. My Grandma told my mother when she was a child and that is why she recalled it. Grandpa was very old when I was born and the older he got, the more trouble he had doing anything. I knew nothing about him when he was a child. Nobody ever told me anything about him. So she knows there's no way I could know that. But she still doesn't believe that I went to heaven, even though she can't explain how I knew that Grandpa once could walk on his hands. He was very proud of this in heaven just as he was here.

I forgot to mention that I had seen all the pets I had as a child in heaven. Dogs and even parakeets whom I really loved. They had a caretaker - a man who took care of all the animals. So if anyone ever asks me if animals survive death, I have to say, "Yes!"

That is my story and even though I've sinned many times over since then, I know I'm forgiven when I ask to be. I live my life in such a way that if I were to die, heaven would be my home and I'll be reunited with my family and with Jesus again. I have told other people on the internet about this, but they don't believe in God and think I'm a nut. But I don't care. I keep remembering that verse in the Bible that says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. This is so true."

"I'm not insulting or persecuting Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of Way of the Master. I'm saying that most of this site's audience does not respect their apologetic because their arguments were debunked to their faces by the RRS themselves in a televised debate. If you refer to their arguments, I and others need only refer to existing counter-arguments on ATA, or the debate itself on YouTube."

I'm not saying you in particular, but you yourself said "They're a running joke around here". Anyway as I told you I watched it and it's not like it was a one sided debate, there were parts that should have been answered that I was angry did not. For example: God is uncreated, do you think we as humans can really understand everything about the almighty God? It's like the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being One, we can't understand that right now, but I think we will. We use only about 7%-11% of our brains...(which I believe was 100% for Adam and Eve, but was lowered so much after the fall)

They think the universe is infinite? Isn't there position that everything is created? (I forgot) Also, like Ive told you before with hinduism, "They believe that the universe is eternal, modern astronomers have found that all the evidence point to the universe having a definite starting point however"

Regarding the murdering babies part, the people in the old testament whom God wanted this done to had obviously been guilty of something horrible (I forgot what, if you want I can look it up), the babies were not spared, but let me ask you something, were you there when this happened? I personally dont believe God let the babies feel any pain when they died, and even if he did, the next moment they were in heaven, who cares about that 1- to even 10 seconds of pain? But anyway, I don't think God let them feel pain.

You can do what you want and ask Jesus for forgiveness anytime?? Yes WHEN you are sincere in your heart toward God and wanting to do his will, and TRYING not to commit those sins again. Absolutely. God knows every single thought and intention of the heart. It's funny at one point in my Christian walk I had in my heart that I was going to be with God, but I was going to allow myself to have pre-marital sex with a young woman that I like. If I remember correctly I was feeling far from God, and I didnt have peace, something I knew was WRONG. God reveled that point to me, that that was the intention of my heart! I changed and thank God. Please read this:

"19"(P)Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20"So then, you will know them (Q)by their fruits.

21"(R)Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

22"(S)Many will say to Me on (T)that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; (U)DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" Matthew 7:19-23

There may be more, but I have to get up early and it's 3:05 AM, so I have to go to sleep. Please bring up any other points from the debate you want and we can discuss them.

And regarding getting Kirk and Ray to write on the site, it's if you and/so that you (people from ata) can tell them first hand why they are a running joke, etc. Regarding having the RRS here that would be great, as question/answer can be given without time constraints like on the debate. Let me know if you want to do it and I will try to get them.

Jesus loves you.

Maroun

NDe...

The idea, Maroun, is that the NDE happens during periods of brain activity before and/or after the periods of zero brain activity. During periods of zero brain activity, nothing happens at all.

Nightmares are usual because there is suffering but not actual danger to the brain. It is troubled, not threatened.

Read the bit where Risner actually prays and tries to move. That's where it bothers to mention that the lock was rusty. As for the rest of them, which is more likely: an old, rusting set of locks in a jungle prison in the 70s, or a miracle?

If Vicki had evidence, it would have been in the article. Why hold back?

Susan's claims are pretty extreme. Got a source, so I can check it out? A last name? A year? A doctor?

If God is uncreated, why can't the universe be? Why can't it be eternal? This allows everything to have a cause without an uncaused cause, by leaving time for infinite causes. I think WOTM talks about an infinite universe in terms of space, not time.

We use 100% of our brains. Regardless, declaring that something is impossible to understand gets you out of having to explain it, but it convinces nobody.

I don't have to have been there when the babies were murdered, apparently, because the Bible says it happened. Never mind murdered babies, though - what about the women God's armies kept for sex?

Comfort and Cameron making a personal appearance here would provide a nice boost in traffic and publicity, besides being an interesting exchange. If they're into it, go ahead. But like I said, they may not be eager. The running joke thing is quite simple, and really not that funny: we do not accept their arguments, and neither do some other apologists, and we occasionally find new ways to say so.

Don't let this stuff keep you up at night, mate.

Re: what about NDE's?

Hi SmartLX,

"The idea, Maroun, is that the NDE happens during periods of brain activity before and/or after the periods of zero brain activity. During periods of zero brain activity, nothing happens at all."

Please read: http://www.livescience.com/health/080912-near-death.html - "brain activity ceases"

"Nightmares are usual because there is suffering but not actual danger to the brain. It is troubled, not threatened."

I think we would need a large case of evidence for this argument, because my comment to you now is, how do you know part of the torture is not on the head/brain? When one is knocking someones head around like a volley ball I think that would classify as threatening...

"Read the bit where Risner actually prays and tries to move. That's where it bothers to mention that the lock was rusty. As for the rest of them, which is more likely: an old, rusting set of locks in a jungle prison in the 70s, or a miracle?"

First off from here - http://www.yotatech.com/f2/freeing-rusted-lock-56825/ and here http://ask.metafilter.com/74999/Do-I-really-have-to-cut-through-the-lock it would appear that if something is rusted, it would be much harder to open. Plus if they really were weak and messed up as you think, so messed up that he opened them with a bump from his thumb, I highly doubt they could have even gotten them on his feet. Even if they did, I think the simplest move before that miraculous moment should have opened them!

Second of all which is more likely regarding the handcuffs about which it does not say anything about rust anyway: That they are rusty which again would probably make them harder to open anyway, or that the Viet Cong were smart and handcuffed him with well working handcuffs, not ones that can be broken so easily?

"If Vicki had evidence, it would have been in the article. Why hold back?"

I really don't think she thought she had to prove anything. Anyway like I said, ask her if you want.

Regarding Susan - http://www.near-death.com/forum/nde/000/69.html

If God is uncreated, why can't the universe be? Why can't it be eternal? This allows everything to have a cause without an uncaused cause, by leaving time for infinite causes. I think WOTM talks about an infinite universe in terms of space, not time.

I don't understand your question...do you think the universe is eternal/uncreated? I already told you that all the evidence points to the universe having a definite starting point...do you think otherwise? Regarding infinite space I dont think that benifits/discredits either of our arguments, correct?

"We use 100% of our brains. Regardless, declaring that something is impossible to understand gets you out of having to explain it, but it convinces nobody."

Right, whatever it is 10% or 100%, we still cannot explain how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. I know you think this gets us "out" of having to explain it, but like I said, we can't understand that right now, all I know is that God can do anything.

"what about the women God's armies kept for sex?" Chapter/verse numbers please?

I have attempted to contact Ray and Kirk, hopefully it will work :O)

"Don't let this stuff keep you up at night, mate."

I know Jesus is real, and between reading your replies here and under the Great Big Arguments thread, the only thing which possibly could keep me awake is your skepticism...

Anyway, I am going to post what I posted about prayer here too for people to see who may not have seen it there, in case they would like to try it:

"Just keep an open mind to the possibility that there might be a God, and as a favor to me, pray to Jesus and just say with sincerity, "Lord Jesus, if you really are the Son of God, please show me, Amen." Please do it with sincerity/really wanting to find out the TRUTH in your heart."

God bless you.

Maroun

Nde

Brain activity does cease, I'm not disputing that. I'm saying that NDEs happen between the moment of unconsciousness and the moment activity ceases, and/or between the moment activity resumes and the moment consciousness returns.

Boxers get their heads knocked around like volleyballs all the time. Even harder, in fact. They don't have these experiences because it takes greater head trauma to endanger the brain than it takes to be knocked out. Torture on the head is one thing, but torture on the brain tends to actually destroy it. If NDEs do happen in the interim, we'd never find out about them.

Rust makes a lock stick only up to a certain point; then it makes it fall apart. Too bad Risner doesn't detail the locks themselves. You didn't answer my question, though. Do you think bad locks are more unlikely than a miracle? Because I don't.

Vicki Umipeg might not have had anything to prove, but the interviewers certainly did. They would have asked her for the evidence.

Regarding Susan, I asked for a last name, a year or a doctor. The site gives nothing besides what you quoted, and neither does the merchandise. You're asking an atheist to take this story completely on faith. Good luck.

I do think the universe is eternal. All signs point to the Big Bang, but that wasn't necessarily the starting point. It could either be the remnant of a previous incarnation of this universe, or supplied by another universe. Look up the idea of a cyclical universe if you're interested.

Infinite space, and infinite matter in a multiverse, helps my cause more than it does yours, because that means there's also infinite energy you don't need to maintain such a delicate balance to keep an eternal universe running. Even with finite matter, a balance of entropy still allows for it.

Rape in the Bible (including as spoils of war):
Judges 21:10-24
Numbers 31:7-18
Deuteronomy 20:10-14
Deuteronomy 21:10-14
2 Samuel 12:11-14
Judges 5:30
Exodus 21:7-11
Zechariah 14:1-2

Like I said in the other thread, I prayed again. Nothing. What's it going to take to convince you that I prayed right and still got nothing?

God is real

Hi SmartLX,

"Brain activity does cease, I'm not disputing that. I'm saying that NDEs happen between the moment of unconsciousness and the moment activity ceases, and/or between the moment activity resumes and the moment consciousness returns."

Taken from the link I gave you:

""During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present," Parnia said. "There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process.""

Specifically "What people experience during".

How do you explain that?

"Rust makes a lock stick only up to a certain point;"

If you are right about that, I don't think that certain point would be reached and broken when "he simply bumped the lock with his thumb and it fell loose."

"Do you think bad locks are more unlikely than a miracle?" Considering you probably don't believe in miracles why would you think bad locks are less likely to happen? Even ignoring this information he said that the padlock holding his feet was rusty, he never said the handcuffs used on him was rusty. (And even if it was, like I said, it would probably make it harder to open, but I doubt the viet cong would have used rusty handcuffs anyway).

To answer your questions I am so sure this was a miracle by the way he describes it, and the locks, and what happened. So yes, I think bad locks are more unlikely than a miracle, even though I dont think miracles are unlikely considering how many i've seen and heard about in my lifetime.

"Vicki Umipeg might not have had anything to prove, but the interviewers certainly did. They would have asked her for the evidence." I don't know if they were as skeptical as you :O), if you want more google "Blind People NDE"

"Regarding Susan, I asked for a last name, a year or a doctor. The site gives nothing besides what you quoted, and neither does the merchandise. You're asking an atheist to take this story completely on faith. Good luck." Like I said in the Great Big Arguments 4 Design part, it seems you do take alot on faith and belief...

Ive read a handful (sometimes parts) of NDE stories, but not that many, but if you want read more, I'm sure you can get another story with some "proof" for yourself.

So you're going against all of the evidence that says the universe has a definite starting point? I don't think it matter if you think it is this universe or the one 10 billion universes before this one in your thoughts...Why are you going against the evidence in this?

Regarding infinite space I bring you again to a quote from http://www.kwbc.org/biblescientificfacts:

"Psalm 104:2- Scientists now understand that the universe is expanding or stretching out. Nine times in Scripture we are told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain."

If the universe has infinite space, why is it expanding or stretching out? How can it? It would already be infinite.

Regarding Rape in the bible:

Judges 21:10-24 - Where does it say rape? They took the women as wives!

Numbers 31:7-18 - It does not say rape anywhere. "18"But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves." Numbers 31:18 - Do you think they meant by this "And you may go and rape them!"??? Give me a break how people take things. You need to read the bible with an open heart man. I assure you those women were most likely made wives or slaves.

Deuteronomy 20:10-14 - Again no rape. It's like putting words into someone's mouth!

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 - No rape - Husband/Wife...PLEASE read these for yourself!

2 Samuel 12:11-14 - No Rape - David sinned against God, and God gave his wives(concubines) over to Absalom. You have to remember this was I am sure a prediction, and with God saying:

"11"Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; (M)I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight." 2 Samuel 12:11

God does not force us to do anything, he does not mess with free will. I am sure he predicted what would happen with his son Absalom, including Absalom lying with David's concubines (concubine can mean a second wife in polygamous societies).

Judges 5:30 - No Rape

Exodus 21:7-11 - No Rape - Either talking of slavery/marriage/or both.

Zechariah 14:1-2 - Regarding this, there is at least one other Part of the bible which speaks of women being "ravished". Assuming this means raped, similar to what I stated above it is basically a prediction, I will also give you a quote from http://www.carm.org/diff/Isaiah13_15-16.htm which is about Isaiah 13:15-16.

"This is simply a prophecy about what will occur. It is a proclamation about the coming judgment of how Babylon will fall to the Medes. If someone comments about a coming war and then states that there will be children who will be destroyed, houses plundered, and wives raped, does it mean that the one who is saying it is as approving of it? It just means that the unfortunate reality of war and its horrible consequences are easily known and even predicted."

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of these or more from the bible. It is very important that you understand what the bible has to say correctly.

"Like I said in the other thread, I prayed again. Nothing. What's it going to take to convince you that I prayed right and still got nothing?"

Like I told you before:

"As long as you prayed, sincerely wanting the truth in your heart, then I am a happy man, because I know God is going to reveal himself to you."

Also want to put this here:

To finish off thought I would share this story my brothers pastor told. He was at a place where an invitation was given out for people to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Now when you are born again, many times the Holy Spirit lets you know things (kind of like with my Mom and Dad like I told you Smart), my pastor went up to this guy who had not gone up to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and my pastor told him (don't remember exactly, just telling you from memory) that if he did not give his life to Christ that night he was going to do something tragic. Make a long story short the guy did not give his life to Christ. Two weeks later he beat his father to death with a bat after an argument.

Jesus loves you all, please come to him now. www.newlifetoday.com

God bless you.

Maroun

Brain activity does not stop

Brain activity does not stop throughout the whole cardiac arrest. The brain would die if it did. Blood is pumped through ASAP by pulmonary resucitation. The LiveScience report elaborates by describing what "people who live through cardiac arrest report". That's their source for this: what people remember. How is anybody going to know that an experience specifically happened in the brief periods where blood was not passing through the brain?

I meant "a certain point" in time, not a certain amount of effort.

I'm not asking me, I'm asking you: which is more likely in a given situation, bad locks or a miracle? God is so sparing with His miracles...even if you believe in them, do you think every claimed miracle really is one? What is it about this one which makes you believe it? Does God tell you?

Googling "blind people NDE", I found several other stories, but they were only concerned with spiritual experiences. The only mention of evidence I found was actually a book which said there isn't any.

Regarding Susan, you're really not listening to me. You're asking me to take Susan's story on faith, since even the source site gives no supporting evidence, and I'm not going to. You are the one who has faith in it.

Give me a piece of evidence that there was nothing and no time before the Big Bang, and we'll talk about going against it.

Space itself is stretching, not just the vacuum in it. Think of an infinite number of balloons blowing up in a bunch: infinite before, infinite after, but still growing. Mathematically, it's even simpler: two times infinity is infinity.

You're too focused on the absence of the word "rape". The women in these passages are kidnapped or "kept" after battles and such, and there's no mention of consent. Indeed in Deuteronomy 10, the woman is married "under compulsion" and only freed later. Here's my source.

Just what are you saying in your pastor's story? Accept Christ or become a murderer?

God is real

Hi SmartLX,

"Brain activity does not stop throughout the whole cardiac arrest. The brain would die if it did. Blood is pumped through ASAP by pulmonary resucitation. The LiveScience report elaborates by describing what "people who live through cardiac arrest report". That's their source for this: what people remember. How is anybody going to know that an experience specifically happened in the brief periods where blood was not passing through the brain?"

That's the point! It is not through the brain that they remember, but through the spirit! It says it right in the link:

""It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning — a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.""

It doesn't say anywhere brain activity starts again at stages during the cardiac arrest!

"I meant "a certain point" in time, not a certain amount of effort."

So when the viet cong was putting them on they were fine and strong, and then they just broke down in time for him to think it was a miracle? Along with the handcuffs that were not rusted according to the documentation?

"I'm not asking me, I'm asking you: which is more likely in a given situation, bad locks or a miracle?"

I already answered: "To answer your questions I am so sure this was a miracle by the way he describes it, and the locks, and what happened. So yes, I think bad locks are more unlikely than a miracle, even though I dont think miracles are unlikely considering how many i've seen and heard about in my lifetime."

"God is so sparing with His miracles...even if you believe in them, do you think every claimed miracle really is one?"
God is certainly generous with his miracled given my comment above. Do I think every claimed one is? I don't know I would have to hear each one to have an opinion. But for someone to claim something as a miracle, it has to be pretty big...

"What is it about this one which makes you believe it? Does God tell you?" I just ran across this one and thought it was very good and decided to share it with you. Read it with an open mind and heart, not trying to rebutt it because you don't currently believe in God, read it and ask yourself if the rebuttals you have made against it really make sense.

Yes after reading it I really think its a miracle.

"Googling "blind people NDE", I found several other stories, but they were only concerned with spiritual experiences. The only mention of evidence I found was actually a book which said there isn't any."

I just looked quickly and found the following:

"Dr. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper completed a two-year study into the NDEs of the blind. They published their findings in a book entitled "Mindsight" in which they documented the solid evidence of 31 cases in which blind people report visually accurate information obtained during an NDE. Perhaps the best example in his study is that of a forty-five year old blind woman by the name of Vicki Umipeg. Vicki was born blind, her optic nerve having been completely destroyed at birth because of an excess of oxygen she received in the incubator. Yet, she appears to have been able to see during her NDE. Her story is a particularly clear instance of how NDEs of the congenitally blind can unfold in precisely the same way as do those of sighted persons."

"Regarding Susan, you're really not listening to me. You're asking me to take Susan's story on faith, since even the source site gives no supporting evidence, and I'm not going to. You are the one who has faith in it."

Like I said, if you want read more, I'm sure you can get another story with some "proof" for yourself. Want the truth?

"Give me a piece of evidence that there was nothing and no time before the Big Bang, and we'll talk about going against it."

Google "The universe has a definite starting point" and have fun.

"Space itself is stretching, not just the vacuum in it. Think of an infinite number of balloons blowing up in a bunch: infinite before, infinite after, but still growing. Mathematically, it's even simpler: two times infinity is infinity."

I really don't get your point here, if something is growing it is not already infinitely large. Infinity does not need to grow because it is already infinite. If something is growing then it's end can be reached at least at the time during which it is still growing.

From the quote I've given you it is seen that the universe is expanding/stretching out. Something that is infinite does not need to/ and cannot stretch out, since it is already infinite/never ending. Again if it is still stretching out, you can reach its end, and it is not infinite.

"You're too focused on the absence of the word "rape". The women in these passages are kidnapped or "kept" after battles and such, and there's no mention of consent."

And there is no mention of the man's right arm. Does that mean that his right arm is not there? Yes what's you point about me being too focused on the absence of the word rape?? Shall I do what the person on that website is doing and put words in the bible that are not there?? Would you like it if I put words in your mouth??? Yes in times of war women, children, livestock and other plunder may be taken. Are all four of those things raped? Are they given a pet elephant? It doesn't say those things but it's probably true!

"Indeed in Deuteronomy 10, the woman is married "under compulsion" and only freed later. Here's my source."

You probably mean Deuteronomy 21:10-14 right? Not sure which version this person from this website is using, but taking the words it is using "under compulsion" it is not talking of sex, it is talking of being married.

How can the bible which punishes rape also condone it in its same pages?? Read the following:

25"But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.

26"But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.

27"When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

28"(O)If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,

29then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days. Deuteronomy 22:25-29

Anyway I like to use the New American Standard Bible because - http://www.lockman.org/nasb/

In this translation it says "14"It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have (D)humbled her." Deuteronomy 21:14

It does not say anything about being married under compulsion. Here is the link:
http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Deuteronomy+21%3A10-14&version1=49

If you have ANY other questions about the bible please e-mail me, it is very important its meaning is clear to you.

"Just what are you saying in your pastor's story? Accept Christ or become a murderer?"

I already put what I am saying, I am trying to tell you when you are born again many times the Holy Spirit lets you know things. That is what is shown in this story and what happened in this case.

I am going to paste what I put under http://asktheatheist.com/question/the_great_big_arguments_4_design:

"Have you ever imagined yourself in a fight with someone? They did something you didn't like for example, or they called you a name, or they made fun of you, whatever, and then you imagined yourself beating them? Well I have. If you hated that person you committed murder in your heart:
"Everyone who [Matt 5:21; John 8:44] hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that [Gal 5:20; Rev 21:8] no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." 1 John 3:15"

Will continue below.

Jesus loves you

SmartLX, 33vai33, and everyone who does not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, please read the below:

SmartLX I have most of the same things that I put in my final post under http://asktheatheist.com/question/the_great_big_arguments_4_design below so I will start with some new stuff here.

Although it would be great if you read the below stuff again. And please check out those links and watch those movies.

SmartLX, I just felt like I also wanted to tell you to stop rebutting and "defending" your stance, you will not be able to rebut God's TRUTHS when you are standing before him. Look for God. I felt like telling you something I heard when I was younger. The man who planned on being with God at the eleventh hour, died at 10:30. We don't know how long we have to live. Come to God now.

"6But(F) he gives more grace. Therefore it says,(G) "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 7Submit

yourselves therefore to God.(H) Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8(I) Draw near to God, and he will

draw near to you.(J) Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and(K) purify your hearts,(L) you double-minded." James 4:6-8

33vai33, If you are still an athiest, like I said keep questioning your athiesm because it is wrong, and please keep reading below. Jesus loves you so much. I felt like God wanted me to write that here for you before I posted this. God bless you.

For anyone who keeps trying to promote athiesm BE VERY CAREFUL. You will have to stand before God one day, and being someone that leads people away from God is not someone you want to be!

"1And he said to his disciples, (A) "Temptations to sin[a] are(B) sure to come, but(C) woe to the one through whom

they come! 2(D) It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea

than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.[b] 3Pay attention to yourselves!(E) If your brother

sins,(F) rebuke him, and if he repents,(G) forgive him, 4and if he sins against you(H) seven times in the day, and
turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."" Luke 17:1-4

That's another thing, it is very important to forgive people:
"14(AA) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15(AB) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15

But don't forget John 3, and also:

"8But what does it say? "(K)THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith
which we are preaching,

9that (L)if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and (M)believe in your heart that (N)God raised Him from
the dead, you will be saved;

10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting
in salvation." Romans 10:8-10

Below is also important

"8For (A)by grace you have been saved (B)through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is (C)the gift of God;

9(D)not as a result of works, so that (E)no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

SmartLX, I have debated with you for a short while now, and I must say that some of your answers/rebuttals to what I tell you really make me upset, such as your "explanations" for what happened to my father, and to my pastor and my brothers pastor. This will most likely be my last post here at ata.

I am most likely not going to look anymore/at all at the links you supplied me via our exchanges (e-mail and otherwise) because I believe the answer is quite simple.

I know that God is real, I know that Jesus is real, the miracles I've experienced, heard about, and read about all testify. I have felt God, and he is so loving...I have felt his love. He has explained things to me when I have asked him, and he has comforted me so many times.

He LOVES every single one of you, and he wants you to come to him.

(SmartLX, please WATCH the Star of Bethlehem movie)

The ultimate answer to knowing if God is real, is prayer.

SmartLX, regarding prayer you have written:

"Regarding prayer, good, that's that, except that now either God's hiding himself from me, or the truth is that He's not there."

and

"I am indeed open to the possibility of a God, but that doesn't stop me from thinking there aren't any."

You also wrote in one of your earlier posts (which I hope is not still your position):

"Regardless of what you think of my opinion, the fact remains that an atheist, by definition, cannot sincerely pray. I prayed as sincerely as I possibly could, but I could not simply forget that I was likely talking to nobody.

For me, and for any atheist, truly sincere prayer is self-deceit."

SmartLX, the thought keeps coming to me, and I don't know if it's from God or not, but I really think you are not getting an answer because you are thinking there is no God. Ask yourself something and seriously answer yourself.

Have you tried praying while sincerly and humbly admitting in your heart, that he is real? The intent of the heart is very important before God, if you are just praying thinking there is no God that is certainly not being humble before Him.

"5(A)You younger men, likewise, (B)be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with (C)humility
toward one another, for (D)GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 1 Peter 5:5

You certainly do not KNOW there is no God, and Ray comfort said something like(not exact), "if there is a one in a million chance that there is a God, you should look to see if it is true."

SmartLX you wrote earlier:

"Your argument is a positive claim that Earth is unique and therefore designed, so you do need to prove it. My argument is merely, "Not necessarily.""

I certainly hope you don't feel that way about the existence of God, because if you do you need to change your view.

"20For (AM)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been
clearly seen, (AN)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20."

Anyone, if you want to find Jesus, just pray sincerly and humbly before God, (not thinking he is not real/imagining you are talking to no one), and ask Jesus to reveal himself to you. And he will!

The you won't have to take anyone's word for it, you will know for yourself that God is real, and that Jesus is God.

Read John 3 in the bible.

"8But what does it say? "(K)THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith
which we are preaching,

9that (L)if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and (M)believe in your heart that (N)God raised Him from
the dead, you will be saved;

10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting
in salvation." Romans 10:8-10

Below is also important

"8For (A)by grace you have been saved (B)through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is (C)the gift of God;

9(D)not as a result of works, so that (E)no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Again, please pray with sincerity and humbleness of heart believing Jesus is real, and that he is God, and ask him to reveal himself to you, and he WILL!

God bless you all and if anyone of you needs anything (especially if you have a question about God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit and/or the bible), please e-mail me at apimounayar@hotmail.com

Below are links to some things that I think will help you alot.

www.newlifetoday.com
www.thestarofbethlehemmovie.com
www.wayofthemaster.com (need to have flash installed to watch opening movie on this one)
http://www.allaboutreligion.org/polycarp-video.htm
http://www.scribd.com/doc/7840913/Red-Sea-Crossing

Some great movies to watch if you would like to get them are:

1) The Privileged Planet
2) The Lazarus Phenomenon
3) The Perfect Stranger
4) Another Perfect Stranger
5) The Star of Bethlehem (shown through www.thestarofbethlehemmovie.com)

http://bibleprobe.com/300great.htm
http://bibleprobe.com/365messianicprophecies.htm
http://therefinersfire.org/recent_prophecy.htm
http://100prophecies.org/

Got the below from an e-mail about what/that Ben Stein wrote:

"Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us
alone?'"

God bless you.

Maroun

One thing

Just a single direct reply to a point in the first post: I accept that the blind can see with their inner eyes during an NDE, just as they can during a dream. This doesn't mean they're actually able to see the world outside their own heads, and that's the phenomenon lacking evidence.

As for the rest in that first post, all are welcome to point out important points I ought to address, but I don't see any. No point trying to answer for the benefit of Maroun anymore, he's checked out.

Happy trails Maroun

I knew you wouldn't accept that I prayed sincerely and got nothing.

The majority of this "farewell" post is Pascal's Wager extended. I know this sounds arrogant and dismissive, but look at it. You're trying to put the fear of God into me, and since I don't believe in any such thing you have to play with probabilities, using WOTM arguments I dismissed long ago. And then you cap it off by blaming secularism for Katrina.

I know I upset you with some of my responses. I didn't set out to do so, but I knew I would once you brought your own family and community into it. If you don't want their motives, intelligence and character to be questioned, don't use them in your arguments or they will be on the front line when I respond.

I have always thought that the devil you have heard before is in fact a part of you, trying to wake up the rest of you. If you hear him again, ask him. You might learn something.

P.S. I didn't think Comfort would respond, either.

I know this ended last year,

I know this ended last year, but I just read through and found it all pretty retarded (no offence. Also, lol'd at the "Anonymous Coward" thing, it's like trolling or something). But anyway, there has been new evidence since then. One important thing I'd like to point out is that, the brain can barely do ANYTHING when it's dying, as there is no brain activity, no thought, etc. And what it can do is only being limited more and more as it's dying. Point being, NDE's as people have described having them would show up on and EEG, but they don't. Also many scientists are now tossing around a theory that the brain simply isn't good enough to hold all of our memories, thoughts, etc that we have in a lifetime, but make of that what you will, I don't know quite what to think about it either, but it's interesting. And lastly, I'd say blind people being able to see during NDE's is quite strong evidence, especially when they've been blind from birth, as it seems it happens to all of them. The reason for this being strong evidence is simply that, obviously, they've never seen anything (if blind from birth), they've only been told. Blind people don't dream like you and I, either. They don't see anything, they have sensations, taste, touch, smell, but they don't see. Also NDE's are most likely not happening before or after zero brain activity, as people have been able to recall and describe what doctors and nurses have been doing at the time, even in other rooms, and even blind people have been able to describe doctors and such. If this happened outside of zero brain activity then it would be after, and if that were the case, how would you explain it? I suppose I'm an agnostic, and this all interests me greatly. I've been reading up on everything I can find about it for many months, and weighing the evidence. It's been interesting to read about scientists who believe or have evidence for the afterlife. I've come across many, many quotes of scientists saying something along the lines of "The more I research life after death, the more I believe that there is something after this life". Hell, even Stephen Hawking isn't an athiest. Lastly I'd like to remind you/anyone who reads this that no one, NO ONE, knows anything for sure. How can we? Anything's a possibility. Athiests usually have a straight "no" standing point..It'd be interesting if they met scientists who have actually researched life after death and have done experiments. We can't know anything for sure, but you definately can't no more than someone who's researched whatever subject for years and years, if you yourself haven't.

Back to NDEs

Yeah, this thread did get seriously off track. Thanks for getting back onto the main point. I'm going to take you up on much of what you've said though.

Death is ultimately defined as the permanent cessation of brain activity. That means that while one is still alive, there is brain activity. Also, as I tried several times to explain to Maroun, in most types of death or near-death there is a significant period between the beginning of unconsciousness and the eventual end of all brain activity.

This is the period in which the brain is free to use whatever faculties it has left to manufacture supposed NDEs. Since the unconscious have no sense of time, it is then very easy to think they happened later, in the absence of brain activity. Conversely, those who report NDEs have obviously recovered, so there's another period after brain activity restarts and before consciousness returns where the same thing can happen, and then be projected backwards into the brain-dead time. It's these two interim periods that need to be studied, and I don't think EEG scans of almost-dying people (if any) have focused on them.

You cite stories of patients telling doctors what they were doing during zero brain activity as evidence that the above is unlikely, but can you find a verifiable example of this? One where the patient is named, the doctors agree, the things described could not have been predicted or deduced, etc.? In my experience these are the kinds of stories which cannot be pinned down. Link one if you have it.

You want to be careful with phrases like "many scientists are now tossing around a theory that the brain simply isn't good enough to hold all of our memories". Name two. This is a dualist, anti-materialist talking-point, usually intended to argue that souls and therefore gods are necessary.

I've had a look around for brain capacity, and in technical terms the consensus is roughly 3-10 terabytes. That's well over a lifetime in terms of rough images and sound bites. I remember an estimate that one would have to live 400 years to fill one's memory completely, but sadly I can't pin this down online.

There's very little doubt that the blind can see in dreams if they went blind after the age of seven. Those who went blind before that, or were born blind, are a different matter, but the awkward fact is that one is suspicious of people who've never seen anything describing visual stimuli.

They've had a lifetime of people describing sights to them, so they know the vocabulary, but could they mistakenly apply it? Those few people who have gained sight after decades or a lifetime of blindness thanks to new techniques have initially been unable to process what they saw, having to close their eyes and feel objects to identify them. It's very odd that the blind people in these NDE stories apparently have an easier time of it.

How exactly does a scientist research "life after death" rather than "supposed life after death" without believing in it from the outset? Again, what scientists? Don't paraphrase, quote somebody. There are scientists who do believe in this stuff, but if they had evidence to support it there would be more.

Stephen Hawking mentions God a lot just as Einstein did, but like Einstein he takes the Spinozan view that if God is at all active in the universe it is through its physical laws, and He cannot break them. This is not compatible with any religion that thinks miracles happen. Hawking behaves, and conducts his research, as if no theistic gods exist. If that's not atheism, it's close.

Atheism is not a straight "no". I agree with you that gods, NDEs, souls and everything else are possible. There's just no available substantive evidence for them, so I do not believe in them. I can't be sure leprechauns don't exist either, but I can be very confident that they don't. It's the same with gods.