We might ask what motivates us to hold out on the existence of these things, given that the methods of science cannot produce reliable evidence of their existence.
In the case of life after death, it turns out there is a body of evidence. In contemporary times the word "life" is instead framed as "consciousness". So what is concentrated on in this thread is not so much the topic of life after death, but better described as consciousness After death. We might even replace "Afterlife" with "After-consciousness".
The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation
by Janice Miner Holden (Editor), Bruce Greyson (Editor), Debbie James (Editor)
You may notice something peculiar above. Namely, Holden , Greyson , and James are not listed as authors of this book. Instead they are all attributed as `editor.` A cursory glance at the book's contents will show you why this is the case. The book above is not a story meant to be consumed by Oprah Winfrey's book club. It is highly academic and heavily researched with citations.
The book was finished in 2010. By 2011, its contents were persuasive enough that a scientific investigation of NDEs and OBEs was undertaken by a cluster of neuroscientists and psychologists. That research tract was finally completed this year. A number of the scientists have been invited to share their conclusions on television and radio talkshows.
Those conversations always involve our newest and best understanding of death as a process that happens biologically to a person over several hours after losing consciousness. ("consciousness" here meaning the ambulance emergency definition of "not responsive to stimuli" and/or cardiac arrest.)
Then the conversations turn to consciousness -- in the philosophical sense ::. Religion and "And-then-I-met-Jesus-and-he-showed-me- flowers" (or what have you) are skipped over entirely. The discussions veer dangerously into territory that makes us re-evaluate what consciousness really is. Where we are forced to question whether it is even reasonable to attribute consciousness to, or identify it with the physical workings of the brain.
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