Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore - Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness
Posted: 27 February 2012 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Joined  2009-06-02

Host: Indre Viskontas

One of the costs of being conscious is that, once in a while, we are forced to contemplate the fact that we are mortal. Ironically, a close brush with the grim reaper leaves many people more convinced than ever that our minds are not tethered to our bodies, and therefore can survive physical death. What can these near-death experiences tell us about how well we understand our own consciousness?

To explore this topic, we first talked to anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee, author of Mortal Minds: The Biology of NDEs to get a sense of what makes NDEs so compelling to people looking for evidence of an afterlife. Then, we sought the expertise of Susan Blackmore, psychologist and author, whose book Consciousness: An Introduction breaks down the complex theories of consciousness into digestible chunks. Dodging the sandtraps of dualism along the way, we speculate on implications of NDEs for meta-consciousness while keeping the mind strictly within the confines of the body.

Posted: 06 March 2012 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Joined  2010-08-10

Skeptic Keith Augustine, executive director of the Internet Infidels, authored a four-part article in the _Journal of Near-Death Studies_ which offered a comprehensive critique of NDE evidence.  A slightly different version of some of his arguments can be found in his paper on “Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences,” online at the Secular Web:

Keith has a book in the works, which I believe will be out later this year, which is a collection of papers from experts in relevant fields on the empirical evidence against survival of death.