Over at Apologetics 315, Brian Auten has linked to this podcast from Dr. Gary Habermas. The lecture was delivered to the students and faculty at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2003.
Habermas goes through several examples of corroborative near-death experiences written up in peer-reviewed medical journals. This is scary! And if it’s true that we have non-physical minds that can exist outside the body, then materialism is false, and atheism is disproved again.
The MP3 podcast is here. (72 minutes)
There are two cases that you should really know about, and you can read about them in this London Times article.
There are thousands of reports of OBEs but the two most famous cases are Pam Reynolds and Maria’s Tennis Shoe. Reynolds, an American singer, watched and later reported on with remarkable accuracy the top of her own skull being removed by surgeons before she moved into a bright glowing realm. But it was Reynolds’s account of the surgical implements used and the words spoken in the theatre that make the case so intriguing.
Maria, meanwhile, underwent cardiac arrest in 1977. She floated out of her body, drifted round the hospital and noticed a tennis shoe on a window sill. It was later found to be exactly where she said it was. The shoe was said to be invisible from the ground and not in any location where Maria could have seen it. Such stories suggest that OBEs should be scientifically verifiable.
Sleep tight, atheists! I’m sure there’s nothing to these stories… nothing at all!
Mu hu ha ha haaaaa!
Note: I would not use this argument in a debate. But I do find it interesting and I am open-minded. I haven’t decided whether these are real or not, although I am a substance dualist and believe in a real non-material soul that survives the body. If anyone has a solid NDE story, send it to me.