Rationale Behind the Hypothesis
So while we wait for the illusive AWARE results, I will briefly state the rationale behind my hypothesis:
“Even if the AWARE study only has one or two verified OBEs, then this will prove the existence of the soul.”
Firstly, let me qualify that statement as there is an element of hyperbole in the use of the word prove (I’m a writer, it’s in my nature). It’s an extreme position out of a spectrum of possible positions to take if the results of the AWARE study do indeed produce these results. The other extreme is “These patients were clearly told by a nurse or other attending healthcare professional (HCP) what the objects were.” Both are subjective based on personal bias. One comes from complete trust in the data and a pre-existing belief in the existence of the soul (my position). The other comes from complete distrust in the data and a pre-existing belief that there is no spiritual dimension to existence (the Atheist or materialist position).
So why do I have this pre-existing belief?
- Personal experience: I have had various experiences over the years that have led me to be convinced that man has a soul, and that this part of our being exists beyond the end of physical life
- Countless millions of others have also had similar experiences
- Virtually every culture that has come into existence has also believed this (of course, since we all come from the same source, it is possible that our ancestors all inherited a false understanding from the original meme creator)
- However, the most compelling piece of pre-existing data is the thousands of accounts from credible witnesses (patients and HCPs alike) who have reported NDEs with OBEs, many of these verified verbally by doctors who claim that there is no way the patient could have seen what they did unless they were actually outside of themselves.
From this wealth of pre-existing data about NDEs and the existence of the soul, and due to issues with the design of the original AWARE study, I am of the opinion that only one or two validated OBEs are needed to become the final piece of the jigsaw that proves the existence of the soul. In isolation, no, it would not be enough, but when combined with everything else, it is enough.
Of course there will be plenty who disagree.
Thanks for a thoughtful post on a fascinating subject!
I prefer to speak of “evidence” rather than “proof.” No matter what evidence is brought forward, the mechanism you speak of will be in operation: Those who wish to believe it will believe it, and those who wish to reject it will reject it.
This is part of the free will in spiritual matters that God has placed deeply in our soul: we will not be forced to believe in God or spirit; it must be a freely made choice on our part.
For those who want to believe, there is plenty of evidence. For those who do not want to believe, even mountains of evidence of the reality of the afterlife (evidence that we already have) will not be convincing. For every new piece of evidence, they will simply find new ways to explain it away.
You may be interested in one of my own posts in this area:
“Near-Death Experiences and the Doctors“
All excellent points, and I will insure to visit your posts. I do point out that the word “prove” is hyperbole on my part…an extreme position taken from a spectrum of positions. I agree entirely that there will always be people who won’t believe in the afterlife or the existence of God even if he came up and slapped them in the face with a wet kipper. As Jesus points out, there are people with ears who cannot hear and with eyes who cannot see, they are the spiritually blind, something I talk about in more detail in “Aware Of aware”.