Dr. Jeffrey Long’s, God and the Afterlife, Science & Spirituality Have Collided |327|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    Dr. Jeffrey Long’s, God and the Afterlife, Science & Spirituality Have Collided |327|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Sep 21 | Consciousness Science, Near-Death Experience

    New Near-Death Experience research from Dr. Jeffrey Long challenges science’s understanding of the afterlife.
    [​IMG]

    photo by: Skeptiko
    We’ve covered a lot of Near-Death experience science over the years, but I can’t think of a more important book than Dr. Jeff Long’s, God and the Afterlife. Jeff is not only a medical doctor, but a meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to follow the near-death experience data wherever it leads:

    Alex Tsakiris: Dr. Long, you’ve written this second book, God and the Afterlife. We’ve covered a lot of your background, and your long-time experience studying near-death experience science … and that you’re a physician, and that you’re careful about your research, but with that title, a lot of people are going to assume, this is a religious book. Did you have a religious agenda with this book?

    Dr. Jeff Long: Absolutely not. My only thought was I was developing the research behind the God and the Afterlife. I just wanted to know the truth. I set out with a commitment that whatever I was going to find, I was going to publish. Wherever that path would go. Somewhat to my astonishment, as I kept digging into near-death experiences, I encountered God. And I was amazed once again at the consistency at what was being described. I have two hundred seventy-seven near-death experiences that either were aware of or encountered God. It’s not a small study. So I just really wanted to publish what I found. There’s no religious agenda at all with this. In fact, if you talk to people that encountered God in their near-death experiences, it really seems to be, while it’s God, it doesn’t seem to be related to their prior religious beliefs. Whatever religious belief they had doesn’t seem to affect the probability of them encountering God or what will happen when they do encounter God in their near-death experience. So God seems to be in near-death experiences very independent from religion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  2. K9!

    K9! New

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,596
    I have to say that the very questions he asked in his study would be off-putting to those NDErs who do not believe in, or are agnostic about the idea of a god. I've taken part in quite a few NDE studies, but this is one I would have not have bothered with. I suspect others who don't really subscribe to the god idea and who don't want to offend those with religious beliefs, just steer clear of this kind of "research".
     
    Bucky, Raimo, Sciborg_S_Patel and 2 others like this.
  3. Steve

    Steve Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    Are there many NDErs that don't ?

    Reading the NDE reports in NDERF the vast majority of NDErs report a belief in God after the event. (There is a specific question about this)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
    Enrique Vargas likes this.
  4. sbu

    sbu Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    50
    This research is not going to earn the Nobel. I just did a read-up of a study of Japanese NDE accounts. No-one reported meeting any heavenly being in their NDE. This best explanation for this is the different role of the deities in western culture (Christianity) and the deities in traditional Japanese religion which do not play the role of the personal savior.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel, Trancestate and K9! like this.
  5. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    756
    If you encounter a being of light and love as described in so many NDEs, and if you are from a culture which would describe such a being as God or Jesus, then of course you are more likely to identify the being as such. Should we all be expected to change our concepts back to a biblical characterisation of God? Surely not. I'm reminded of the scene in "What Dreams May Come" where the guide (Cuba Gooding Jr) changes his appearance for the Robin Williams character to show that he can appear in any guise that might be helpful or believable.

    The sad fact is that if books have such religious overtones they tend to sell well to a certain demographic in the USA. That's why, in my opinion, they put God, Jesus and Heaven in the titles of so many. I haven't listened to the interview with Dr. Long but does he concede that the telling of these encounters might use convenient terms rather than literal?
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    I've since listened to the podcast. Think this is possibly the most important and relevant topic that Alex looks at, I really enjoyed this episode.

    I'm with Dr Long in one way with the God thing, but what I found amazing was that Dr Long made no attempt to describe what he means by the word 'God'. Maybe this was deliberate? I have a feeling that this would be a perfect time to interview Tom Campbell again, and to publish it this time.;) That's not to say I believe everything he says, but I think he can provide some kind of clarity to the situation.

    The time of the 'old' idea of God is past imo, it's time for us to evolve the idea somewhat, even though that new vision will be temporary too. The time has come where we have to see past the idea of 'heaven or hell' as our eternal destiny, even though they may appear in NDEs. The problem with NDEs, as I see it, is that people will latch onto a part or the whole experience when they return, and are convinced about one thing or another. Being convinced about anything isn't good!

    Maybe it's all in hand and we should go to the beach, stop with the furrowed brows. :) Who knows?

    Oh yeah. Idealism, I don't see a problem with it. Doesn't mean I can explain things though.

    By the way, maybe the reason 'researchers' who don't speak to NDErs, subconsciously are worried about what they might feel if they do. :eek: They know the 'truth', but are afraid to look.
     
    Ian Gordon, K9! and Sciborg_S_Patel like this.
  7. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    I would suspect it depends on how God is defined. I've read or heard many NDE accounts where they talk about an undefined Source of everything, or of "God" being the totality of souls, consciousness, All That Is, without encountering a God-like being as such.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    Yeah, that's a big part of what I'm trying to get across in my latest post. It just makes more sense than other ideas. But the question in the NDERF survey doesn't define what the word God might mean to individual NDErs.
     
  9. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    I've not yet listened to the podcast, and I've got the book and plan to read it - eventually. However my first reaction is he studied the parallels of people in his study having mentioned encountering God - but could there a problem here if many NDErs wouldn't say they have encountered God, but in another way felt the light was All That Is, or received a download that all of souls together are god, etc. etc. But I won't say more about this before listening to the podcast, and I definitely will read the book.
     
    K9!, Steve and Trancestate like this.
  10. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    explain?
     
  11. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    what makes you think this?
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,489
    The question I'm talking about is: Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience?

    I copied/pasted from the nderf site.
     
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.
  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,451
    Can you elaborate on that - I'd really like to know how this varies between cultures - both the God question, and the importance of love.

    David
     
  14. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    I think you're referring to this: https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual...7/2015/11/NDE76-Japanese-and-western-JNDS.pdf

    I think you've misinterpreted these findings:
    upload_2016-9-21_8-25-3.jpeg
     
    Enrique Vargas likes this.
  15. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    I searched the NDERF survey and found 2 questions (out of the 64) that used the word God. I don't understand the objections. anecdotal evidence suggests that this supreme being thing is a core part of the experience for most... we can't avoid it (like most NDE researchers do) just because we're afraid where it leads.

    33. During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist (***experience only)?

    --- how else were they supposed to ask this question?

    43.
    Before my experience I believed:
    At the current time I believe:
    God definitely exists
    God definitely exists
    God probably exists
    God probably exists
    I was uncertain if God exists
    I am uncertain if God exists
    God probably does not exist
    God probably does not exist
    God does not exist
    God does not exist
    Unknown
    Unknown

    -- you may object to this question, but given that we already know this is a core part of the epxerience for most I think you gotta ask it
     
    Enrique Vargas likes this.
  16. K9!

    K9! New

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,596
    For instance, one study I went to participate in (it was being done by a grad study for a PhD thesis) asked a question along the lines of "did your NDE confirm this biblical passage?". They didn't provide the biblical passage and I'm not familiar with the bible, so I asked the researcher for more information about whatever it was they meant by that question. Apparently, if you have to ask you shouldn't have signed up for the study. They didn't want just ANY NDEr participating. So, still confused about what the question was asking, I declined to participate from that point onward.

    There are all of these factions out there looking to co-opt NDEs to justify their own belief systems. I try to stay clear of them. I think Long has an agenda here. While I can sympathize with being anti-atheist, or at least anti-JREF/Dawkins/pseudoskeptic type Atheists, I don't really think his work is valid here.

    There are NDErs who aren't from a religious background and who don't use the word "god" to describe their experiences. So if you are going to use the word "god" in your study, you'll have to define it for us. If you haven't done that, how can we possibly participate in such a study? Or maybe we weren't really the kind of NDErs that the researchers were looking for in the first place.

    In my experience, everything seemed conscious and aware. I can understand why someone from a culture steeped in the idea of there being a god might use that word to describe it. But I think there are other interpretations.
     
  17. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    wait. full stop. this is the point! why do NDEs from all different cultures overwhelmingly experience a "being of light and love"???

    we've buried NDE research in a sea of intellectual bullshit in an effort to avoid the spiritual.

    forget about Christianity and other religious nonsense for a minute... let's make sure we don't bury the lead.

    --- Jehovah's blasphemy was to believe he was God. Christianity's blasphemy is to believe God is G/god.
     
    hypermagda, Enrique Vargas and EthanT like this.
  18. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    756
    I'm certainly not dismissing the spiritual. I'd call the whole experience spiritual. But that doesn't mean that I subscribe to the kind of spirituality demanded by religious orthodoxy. My concept of God moved away from religion way back in my teens but I still believe in spiritual love even if I don't talk about angels and being saved by Jesus. If that's intellectual bullshit, then I'm full of it. :)
     
  19. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    I don't see evidence for that. I see someone asking the obvious questions others seem to sidestep.
     
    Enrique Vargas likes this.
  20. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,607
    right... I agree... I repeat --- Jehovah's blasphemy was to believe he was God. Christianity's blasphemy is to believe God is G/god. this ain't about "Jesus who died on the cross for our sins."
     
    hypermagda and Enrique Vargas like this.

Share This Page