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Old 10-02-2007, 01:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Atheist = someone without (fixed) a belief in god. If one suddenly acquires a belief in god, does that somehow invalidate the sincerity of their earlier non-belief?
That was actually what I was attempting to argue. In other words, belief in God did not require step #1 of Sam Harris' 6 steps. That was the whole point of the NDE tangent. Same thing with the agnostic.
Originally Posted by Achilles
To show that I'm not unwilling to take my own medicine:
What a good sport.
Originally Posted by Achilles
But that itself would be irrational. The process would break down at this point (hence why I am not a supporter of anti-theism).
Impossible, since step 3 is illogical. Sorry, teekay.
You should have called this "6 steps for being a skeptic".
Maybe so, I wrote that in like 5 minutes.

Hey, is it just me or have you dodged just about every point raised in this thread? That isn't like you, man.
Oh you realized I was only half-heartedly debating this thread?

Let's see, I suppose you thought I dodged this...
Originally Posted by Achilles
The fact that someone nearly died and believed that they saw god is only evidence that that person nearly died and believed that they saw god (EDIT: See step #3). The experience itself says nothing definitive about the existence of god.
We're not trying to prove the existence of God with an NDE. We're talking about how an NDE can be the cause of belief in God without going through Sam Harris' 6 steps. Again, that was why I brought it up.

And to remedy my omission to this:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Indeed we might, but I think it's impossible to ignore the fact that the conclusion you appear to be supporting is being jumped to. Yes, if all human bodies/brains contain essentially the same structure and are made up of the same stuff, then I would expect that such experiences would yield similar results. What this doesn't tell us specifically is anything about the cause of the experience itself (EDIT: See step #1 and possibly #2).
That is true. It does not tell us what causes our conscious experience. But EKGs during an NDE tells us what does not cause the experience, namely brain activity. Plus there are numerous accounts of disembodied experiences of floating above operating rooms, watching doctors perform operations.

The standard assumption is that brain electro-chemical activity is responsible for consciousness. Such experiences do not fit easily into that explanation. And therefore your argument that it is a leap of faith to assume God exists based on what is experienced near death can also be applied towards the belief that consciousness is completely derivative of the body.

Hope I've redeemed my standing with you a little.
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