After life

Ever heard about people coming back from death where they saw a big light ?

Sometime when shuting off some electric tool I see a little light somekind of electric shortcut - maybe the big light they are talking about is only this little shortcut when their brain is about to be shut off.

Or maybe this big light is a big bang and each time one of us die - this is the start of a new univers - where we are god.

No one knows for sure. Physiology can not explain all. And life after death it is a difficult question.

Caveat: If you are a diehard atheist or big follower of Dawkins and Darwin, you may not want to read this:


Yes, of course I have heard of this many times. It is documented in medical literature. I have not seen it personally, but I have heard of two light or angel stories from people I know.

No, I don’t think we become gods.

“a diehard atheist” that’s funny :slight_smile:

all of us will understand but after death.

Shhh, don’t tell everyone, doo.

I mean dooo.

Ed, does anyone call you “dooo”?

No. I chose that handle to give me motivation.

after death has start a new life ,Eternal life without pain put before that u have be a good man cause gad will judge u and then determine will u get in heaven or hell

I think Pierre was thinking about the physiological experience first, then the metaphysical? I have a hard time even understanding the word metaphysical, so you won’t find me making comments about Zen or Taoism, or eastern religions.

A lot of Jewish people are atheists nowadays (especially in the West), but it would be interesting to know what practicing Jews think about the afterlife.

I understand that Muslims believe that there is some sort of balance to determine Heaven or Hell and this is in the hands of God, but this is not taught in Christianity. Christians believe basically that people who believe in Christ will go to Heaven. There is some dispute among denominations about certain aspects of “salvation”. Catholics used to believe in purgatory, but not any more, I understand. If I have any of this wrong, please correct me.

I think Pierre was referring to NDEs, or near death experiences. Some people go into cardiac arrest/death, return by way of cardioversion and later report fantastic things-light, visions of heaven, and even floating over the staff in the emergency dept. Then, if I understand correctly, Pierre likened the shock of electricity to what may happen with the "electricity " in the brain.

I don’t really understand the philosophy behind the comment about becoming “gods”. Maybe that is a page from a book on New Age Teaching. Any comments, Pierre?


You are right I was referring to NDE.

What I meant with electricity is not in relationship with electricity used for cardio restarting. I compare the big light people talk in nde with small light when there is a shortcut when logging on or off electricity cable or wire. If we think at the atomic level every biological move is electric and so death could be compare to log off electricity.

If the nde light is a big bang like the one starting our univers - then to see one mean to see the start of a new univers and only god or the creator or the origin of this big bang or of this new univers is able to see it

I know some scientists want to see our big bang but I do not understand how it would be possible to see an event from so far away in the past - more so since there is no point of observation in our univers at his starting point since we are a part of it.


scientists can study the “echo” of the big bang, also known as the cosmic background radiation. There is more evidence for the big bang such as the expansion of the universe. Scientists can learn a lot about the past by looking at the universe as we see it today.

I find your comparison of the big bang to near death experiences a bit far fetched. Don’t really know what you want to say there.

I don’t believe in life after death, what is supposed to be left of us once we are dead? After all we are just biochemical machines.



I can certainly understand why someone would be an atheist. What I can’t understand are atheists who want to write about it and convince other people. Take Dawkins. What’s the pared-down message? Isn’t it that people cannot “see” or prove there is a creator? If this life is so short and we are all biochemical machines, it makes no sense to me to waste time
pontificating about something that a three-year-old knows. Nobody can see God whether or not he or she has faith.

Doesn’t faith require belief in something that is not seen? Even atheists believe in things that are not seen. Yes, I’ll toss out the trival examples like “wind” and “pain”; it doesn’t require faith to believe in these things. Most people have experienced wind and pain. Why, then can’t atheists accept that some people may have experienced something of a spiritual nature?


I think I actually understand what you wrote initially. I just didn’t write very well in my long post because I was trying to address too many posters and steer the thread back to the idea of NDEs. There were several ideas in your initial post: Big Bang, electricity, and the mention (tongue-in-cheek?) of becoming gods after death.

Besides the brief mention of knowing some people with angel or light stories (all second and third-hand accounts), I’ve read about NDEs in detail. I don’t want to mock anything a patient says. However, not everyone who has NDEs has a pleasant “afterlife” experience. Some have experienced (from their pov (point of view)) a vision of Hell. This is not restricted to people from cultures with Abrahamic religions-. The concept of an unpleasant afterlife exists in other societies too (in Japan, for example).

I mention this because I don’t know if this would change anything about your socket experience or not. An electrical shock is usually brief, but people who tell stories about the afterlife (pleasant or not), often give detailed, dream-like descriptions. I would like to know how much time elapses in real life as compared with time in the person’s NDE.

In conclusion, there are many ways this thread could go.


Many atheists believe that humans could achieve more to improve the world we live in if we had less superstition and more knowledge.

How is that not something worth striving for?


Is it necessary to root out superstition in order to improve the world? I don’t think so.

Often, I think “superstition” is a code word for “religion”. There are many examples of scientists who have been people of faith, if I may use that term.

Intellectual curiosity and invention is not the exclusive property of atheists.

Concerning superstitions…
In case, you’re wondering, I don’t read my horoscope and I am angered by some of the things people do to children in the name of superstitious belief in some tribal groups. I’m not sure what atheists do to combat these types of superstition.


you make some excellent points there. However, I am an atheist and I think there are good reasons to “preach” about it. A good part of public opinion on a wide range of things is based on religious beliefs. Terrorism, sectarian strife, oppression of homosexuals and women are at least in part being fueled by religious beliefs. Some religious people reject some scientific findings because they don’t fit in with their own superstitious views of the world and the universe.

There are of course mountains of scientific evidence for the existence of wind and pain so these examples don’t really hold.



Perhaps we could look at a topic that has not been perfectly investigated.

Are we to take accounts of healing as merely anecdoctal and therefore invalid? At what point would you allow any scientific evidence of healing? Must a digit grow back before your eyes in order for you to believe? Would a scan showing a tumor and a scan showing no tumor be of interest to you?

I am a nurse, so I’m interested in these things. I want to talk to physicians and patients who have experienced healing. I struggle with the idea of faith. However, I think
that faith and hope are plusses for patients and their families. I don’t think religion needs to be cut out of society like a fast-spreading tumour. What is superstitition to you, may be hope to another person.

When you mention “religion” you cover many belief systems-some violent and oppresive and some that are not really that way. To me this is like firing a shotgun at all faiths and that is counterproductive. There are scientists and innovators in many groups.

If you take away religion, what will you give people in return, and will they be happy? I mean are you content with your world view, or is it a view in transition?


Sorry, I didn’t mean to take over your thread.
Perhaps, as a consolation, the thread is getting bumped up again and more people will consider the points in your original post.


thanks for your comments. I know that in your line of work the question at hand here is a very relevant one. If I were very sick beyond any cure, would I take comfort from religion? I cannot really say. But I can tell you that one can be a happy person, an ethical person, an optimistic person while being an atheist. I am living proof of that. In fact, losing my faith was a gradual process and almost felt liberating. My father is a minister and as a teen I was a very devout Christian, but I had so many questions and issues with this religion. At the same time I discovered the beauty of science and finally I lost my faith. I felt that religion puts a big burden of feelings of guilt on me, furthermore the contradictions and issues just mounted, such as the question why there is suffereing if there is a loving God and many other questions.

As to healings and other unexplained phenomena, I think we should take them seriously and investigate them using the scientific method. You are right, many people practice their religion in ways that are probably healthy to them. However, I think the only source of knowledge should be based on the scientific method, that is: the experiment.

In fact, this scientific approach is very much engrained in as all albeit unconsciously. If your car does not start, if the light does not go on in your house, what do we do? We gather evidence to explain what we see. We might even conduct “scientific experiments” to isolate the problem, like changing light bulbs in one room, trying to see how it works and so on. In Religion however we are supposed to not weigh evidence, not be critical, not ask control questions, because the only road to belief is, well, to believe.

Hope this makes sense

"What I can’t understand are atheists who want to write about it and convince other people. Take Dawkins. "

I’d say that thing with Dawkins is simply hat he thinks that some groups are too loud and should be fought using their own weapons. Or, on one example - while atheists mind their own business and don’t bother with stating the obvious, someone is putting creationism into schools and propagating the idea that it is a scientific ‘theory’. However, although I love Dawkins’ early work with the selfish gene hypothesis, I never read a ‘God delusion’ since it seams to me something like ‘arguing with a fool’ (where the observer is not able to tell the difference). And by fool I don’t mean every religious person but everyone ready to believe to the letter into things written in books or preached to them, without any wish to use their own brain. So I have kind of a mixed feelings about his approach. Sometimes, when I face certain problems caused by religion (or certain forms of human stupidity), I think that maybe someone has to do the dirty job of arguing with a fool. But many times I just don’t feel it as a right way.

In terms of a religion in general, I’m also not sure what exactly is my attitude. In my ideal world people wouldn’t have a need for a religion. But there are some indications that what makes us humans also makes us susceptible for religious ideas and maybe there will always be some need for it. As long as we find some way to stop killing and discriminating each other on the basis of religion, I wouldn’t mind it.

"Why, then can’t atheists accept that some people may have experienced something of a spiritual nature? "
You told Fridemann that he is “firing a shotgun at all faiths” but I think that here you are making the same mistake :). Being atheists doesn’t mean negating any kind of unexplained phenomenon, although sure, some atheists do that. I’m an atheists, from an atheistic family and many of my friends are, but both me and other people I know had some experiences that do not have explanation in today’s science. But that is how I see them - as phenomenon that we are today unable to explain, but tomorrow, who knows? I don’t rush to associate these experiences with some god that write books, tell people how to live, whom to kill and that women have to cover their head to show that they are ‘lower’ than men (all ‘nice’ examples from the Bible…).

For me, same goes for the healings. If I would fell terminally ill, I would have an immense hope into forces of my body and my immune system, hope greater than any scientific proof (despite being a scientist myself). We do not know everything about our bodies, so there is no reason not to hope.

"Intellectual curiosity and invention is not the exclusive property of atheists. "

very true, but - faith sometimes may prevent you from seeing the evidence. I have a very good science friend who is a Christian. She, of course, never denies evolution of the life on Earth because it is impossible to deny it if you understand the evidences. However, she refuses to believe that humans are product of organic evolution and believes that at some point god just created us, separately. Her way of dealing with the science of human evolution is simply to refuse to hear, read or work about/on any research that can touch the subject of human evolution. Darwin himself postponed the publishing of “On the Origin of the Species” for 10 years because he didn’t wan to hurt his wife’s religious feelings and also his own. It took a death of his beloved daughter that made him ‘agnostic-enough’ to finally print the book.

" I mean are you content with your world view, or is it a view in transition? "
I hope you don’t mind me answering, too :).
Yes, nothing more, nothing less. I am perfectly content with the fact that I am just one of the billions of living creatures who lived on this planet (in this universe) and that one day, sooner or later, I will completely cease to exist. And I am content because I find the phenomenon of life quite fascinating (and death is the intrinsic feature of life) - a matter that gradually became conscious of itself, a star material, reorganized, able to look back at the stars and say “That is the star.”, that is just…mindblowing, absolutely fascinating, even without any traces of religion. :slight_smile:

As for the NDE, I just think that they are a product of a dying brain. As complex as it is, I can only imagine how such structure would react to the shock of dying.