Thursday, September 18, 2008
Out of Body: Open Minds vs. Closed Systems
The Beeb is reporting today that doctors at 25 UK and US hospitals will study 1,500 survivors to see if people with no heartbeat or brain activity can have "out of body" experiences.
"If you can demonstrate that consciousness continues after the brain switches off, it allows for the possibility that the consciousness is a separate entity. It is unlikely that we will find many cases where this happens, but we have to be open-minded."
Well-said. A good scientific hypothesis. Open-minded. A novel scientific concept when it comes to the immaterial.
Richard Dawkins must be sputtering in his coffee. Consciousness is a huge problem for materialists, atheists, and darwinists. (Dawkins is all three). If the material universe is all that exists, how can immaterial consciousness exist as something other than matter; how can a mind exist as something other than a brain; how can "I" be something other than a bunch of molecules and chemical reactions?
Most of us recognize intuitively that we are something other than, and more than, our bodies. If you whack my body, it's true, you whack "me". But, if I shed some skin, cut my fingernails, lose some hair (purely an hypothetical!), or even lose an arm, "I" am not diminished; "I" am still "me". We intuitively grasp that our bodies are, in some sense, a container for "us", just as our brains are a container for our minds.
Christians have nothing to fear here. We understand that the spiritual, immaterial realm is as real as the material -- "more real", if that is possible. The Apostle Paul reported visions that may have been out-of-body. Christians reside, spiritually, in two places at once: earth, and heaven, "seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus". (Stop your sputtering. Now that scientists have identified quantum realities, residing in two places at once shouldn't pose as much of a problem for you. Prior to quantum, this idea would have been ridiculed as quaint, "unscientific" (as in, unreal), and superstitious).
Bring it on!
"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"