Existe evidencias de vida apos a morte? Melhor lista de evidencias


Is There Evidence of Life After Death?


To listen to skeptics, only the gullible masses believe in an afterlife, desperate to be reunited with loved ones.

As we have shown, however, skeptics are so convinced of their intellectual superiority that they are incapable of examining evidence objectively that contradicts their strongly-held viewpoints.

Unlike the cases for ESP and UFOs, however, the evidence for survival after death is by its nature less measurable and more subtle and complicated.

Militant skeptics would have everyone believe that this is merely anecdotal and easily explained away by the biochemistry of the dying brain, pumped up by morphine and stress, with the particular hallucinations the result of a combination of wishful thinking and religious preconception. But as we shall see, this view ignores some inconvenient facts.

While looking at several types of relevant experiences, I will only focus on the issue of immediate survival after death, not theological assertions about what happens beyond that, such as whether there is a heaven or hell or reincarnation. Nor will we try to resolve here exactly what it is that may survive death.

One way to think about the larger picture of reality that the so-called supernatural presents is like the difference between the world of ordinary objects we interact with daily and the invisible quantum world that underlies everything. It is difficult for our minds to get around the fact that what seems like solid reality is mostly empty space. Skeptics are invited to imagine that the paranormal world is something like the theorized other dimensions of the “multiverse.”

Death-Bed Visions

Let us begin with something that should be a perfect test for the skeptical case about hallucinations of the dying: death-bed visions. It is not uncommon for people who are about to die to imagine that the heavens open up and relatives appear to welcome them to the other side.

In What They Saw at the House of Death: A New Look at Evidence for Life After Death by Karlis Osis, a noted physics professor, and Erlendur Haraldsson, a clinical psychologist. Between them, they had carefully examined 5,000 cases of death-bed visions for nearly two decades starting in 1959. These were culled from observations by 17,000 physicians and nurses. Most were medical personnel in the U.S., but some came in from a separate study about patients in India, to check to what extent cultural and religious beliefs influenced the experiences.

Investigative journalist Michael Schmicker, in Best Evidence, summarized the remarkable conclusions:

Biological-Pharmaceutical Factors

*Patients who were given painkilling drugs were not more likely to have such visions than those who were not.

*Brain malfunctions were more likely to reduce such visions.

*A history of using psychoactive drugs did not increase the likelihood of these visions.

*There was no evidence that a lack of oxygen induced the visions.

Psychological Factors

*Stress played no role in predicting which patients would see “the dead.”

*Whether the patient believed in an afterlife did not matter.

*In some cases, the death-bed visions came to people who did not know they were dying.

Cultural Factors

*The visions often did not fit with the religious preconceptions of the individuals. Christians saw no evidence of hell; Hindus had no visions that confirmed they would be reborn.

*There were 11 aspects to these visions that were shared by both American and Indian cases, so they are likely common to many cultures.

Schmicker cited a compelling example. In 1919, Horace Traubel, a friend and biographer of the poet Walt Whitman, was dying in Bon Echo, Ontario, Canada. With him was Lt. Col. L. Moore Cosgrave. Cosgrave reported that at 3 a.m., Traubel stared at a point in the room three feet above the bed.

“A light haze eventually resolved itself into the form of Whitman…wearing an old tweed jacket, an old felt hat, and had his right hand in his pocket,” which Cosgrave could see. The apparition nodded twice to Traubel, who said, “There is Walt.” As the ghost brushed by him, Cosgrave felt a slight electric shock.

Near-death Experiences

“Near-death experiences” (NDEs) was the term coined by Dr. Raymond Moody, a physician who wrote the first popular book on the phenomenon, Life After Life, in 1975. He studied cases of patients who were pronounced clinically dead, but claimed they could see and hear things that seemed impossible, according to the materialist understanding of reality.

A 1982 Gallup poll revealed that one out of seven Americans had at least once been close to dying and 35% of these reported having the NDE. These experiences would seem fairly common, but were not generally reported by physicians, which is explained by the fact that only 32% of doctors at the time believed in an afterlife vs. 67% of the public.

While the specific details of the experience would be interpreted by the person who was supposedly dead, based on his or her cultural and religious background, the most common stages occurred in this order:

*A sense of dying as a release from cares and pain.

*The patient feels he or she is rising from the body and able to look down on it and the attending medical personnel.

*This self or spirit is compelled to pass through a dark tunnel with light at the end.

*Beings of light greet the spirit at the end of the tunnel—often these are deceased family or friends and sometimes a person understood as a founder or leader of their religious tradition (atheists reported an abstract figure of light).

*As many as 29% recalled having their life’s events flash through their memories, as if reviewing them before judgment.

*Many wanted to stay in this disembodied state, but were told they needed to return.

*Consciousness returns to the body, startling medical personnel, who had pronounced the patient dead.

Moody’s initial report has been confirmed in thousands of cases investigated by others. The International Association for Near-Death Studies www.iands.org was founded in 1978 to encourage the serious study of the phenomenon.

Skeptics are quick to argue that all of these things can be explained by incorrect judgments about clinical death and by the combined effects of a sick brain and the drugs administered at the time.

Among the most notable books to take a more systematic scientific approach to anecdotal evidence were by medical doctors Kenneth Ring, in Life at Death, and Michael Sabom, in Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation.

Sabom in particular was skeptical. He accepted the critics’ theory that NDEs were hallucinations due to heightened brain activity and was surprised to realize that they occurred most commonly in patients who had been unconscious for at least 30 minutes, when neuroactivity was reduced.

He believed that claims that these “dead” patients had accurately described what was happening around them were easily explained by hearing medical personnel discussing them or that they were educated guesses.

Sabom set up a control group of cardiac patients who had not reported having NDEs. He found the NDEers’ accounts very accurate, while the guesses of cardiac patients were way off, and he was able to rule out the possibility in many cases of the “dead” picking up the information by hearing it.

Doctors at Southampton General Hospital studied 3,500 patients and concluded that cases of NDEs being reported involved “well-structured, lucid thought processes with reasoning and memory formation at a time when their brains were shown not to function,” contradicting the materialistic view of how the brain works.


Dr. Eben Alexander’s NDE

The most famous of modern NDEs was recounted in the 2012 bestseller by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, in Heaven is Real: A Doctor’s Experience with the Afterlife (a good example if skeptics’ inability to state the facts in their rebuttals can be found in a response to an article in Esquire: http://iands.org/news/news/…. He went into a seven-day coma after suffering from microbial meningitis in 2008 and had an experience that ran counter to his expectations. He recalled:

I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences…I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God and I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better.

When I entered the emergency room, my chances of survival in anything beyond a vegetative state were already low, but they soon sank to near nonexistent. For seven days I lay in a deep coma, my body was unresponsive, my higher-order brain functions totally offline.

All the chief arguments against near-death experiences suggest that these are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex. But mine took place not while my cortex was malfunctioning, but while it was simply off. This is clear from the global cortical involvement documented by CT scans and neurological examinations. According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent.


A 2001 study reported in the British medical journal The Lancet reported that the NDEs could not be explained by reactions to medications, a lack of oxygen to the brain, or fear of death.

Perhaps most convincing is that patients are able to report events outside the room where their bodies were. For example, some claimed that their spirits went into the waiting room and heard conversations between family members, which they recalled accurately. Given the skeptics’ position on ESP, this should be impossible.

In 1990, Seattle pediatrician Melvin Morse’s Closer to the Light examined the cases of 120 children who had NDEs. In most cases, they would have been too young to have absorbed a well-grounded religious expectation of what might happen. He made a point-by-point refutation of the skeptics’ arguments about the biochemistry of death and hallucination, compelling enough to have persuaded some skeptics to take a more open-minded position.

In Beyond: On Life After Death, Fred Frohock attempted to weigh the evidence objectively and concluded:

The problem with the materialist explanation that NDEs are a purely neurological reaction to the stress of death is that we would have to stretch the powers of the brain to new and unproven levels of achievement. The weight of the likelihood, of possibilities, seems to be in favor of transcendent experiences, although NDEs could be both transcendent and part of the physical world.

The brain may be the instrument that guides the self into a realm of existence as real and empirical as the dimension we currently occupy. All we have to do is move the perimeters of physical reality out to more comprehensive dimensions. Death is as ordinary as birth, and may be the same kind of portal to another empirical stage of life. Physicists tell us there must be more dimensions to reality to explain the reality we sense and know.

In Dr. Andrew Newberg’s Teaching Co. course The Spiritual Brain, he cites the impact these experiences have on those who go through them: “People come away from a near-death experience with a radically altered set of beliefs about themselves, the meaning of life, relationships—everything. They no longer fear death and are more spiritual and less religious. Many say things like, ‘I don’t think there is a God; I know there is a God.’ One said that the experience was ‘bigger’ than religion, which was not sufficient to help encapsulate the NDE.”

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