Confounding Skeptics

(Explanations of Skeptics “Confounded”)

Believers in the reality of a human soul, claim the soul is the seat of consciousness, the seat of all facets of mind, and the repository of all memories, as well as being the origin and controller of every action, movement, deed, thought, and speech through the mechanisms of the body. The explanations put forward by believers to prove the reality of this belief system, and to confound the “unrealistic” beliefs of skeptics are well worth examining.

Psi or Paranormal perceptions

If the separated consciousness cannot see or hear during out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or near death experiences (NDEs), then perceiving physical speech and sight may be the result of paranormal perceptions as proposed in a book called “Irreducible Mind” edited by Kelly in 2007.

Nevertheless, the large numbers of claims of veridical OBEs [out-of-body experiences], both corroborated and uncorroborated, suggest the need for a response more robust than “quietly dropping” them.
An alternate explanation for these veridical cases might be, not that the person’s consciousness in some sense literally left the body and traveled to the distant location, but that the person learned about the event in question by some psi process such as telepathy or clairvoyance, and then incorporated that knowledge into the OBE, which was simply an added hallucination. The evidence for psi from both experimental and field studies is sufficient to make this a plausible theory for many, perhaps even most, of the veridical cases. (page 401 in Kelly 2007)

There is a simple response to this statement. The paranormal has been intensively investigated since the foundation of the British Society for Psychical Research in 1882, and the American Society for Psychical Research in 1884. More than 100 years of research has failed to yield definitive and replicable proof of paranormal abilities such as psychokinesis, clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, seeing a human aura, intercessory prayer, etc. Contrast this with the first successful transmission of radio waves by Heinrich Hertz in Karlsruhe during 1886 resulting in an explosion of knowledge, whereby the use of such radio waves is now an indispensable and vital part of all modern societies, e.g. radio, television, cell phones, satellite communications, remote control devices, radar, microwave ovens, etc. etc.. This means that such paranormal abilities either do not exist, or that paranormal abilities are very different to what has been conceived up to date, which means that researchers of the paranormal have been asking the wrong questions all this time. After all, weird stuff does happen, but the paranormal as investigated to date is not the explanation.

Occam’s Razor as explanation and “proof”

Occam’s razor — the simplest explanation is the most likely. Believers in the supernatural reality of NDEs claim that the reality of a soul and an afterlife, is a far simpler, and more realistic explanation, corresponding better with the experience itself, than complicated constructions using psychological, physiological and physical explanations. But just exanine the consequences of this so-called simpler explanation …

These few points mean that invoking Occam’s razor as “proof” is incredibly ingenuous reasoning using an inherantly complicated, but unproven belief system, against proven fact however complicated this may seem.

Alternative explanations and Brain scans

Modern brain scanning techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging reveal much about the functioning of the brain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging clearly reveals that each emotion, movement and action results in activation of various specific regions of the brain. I [the author] promptly received a very good lesson in logic when I claimed that these regions of the brain were the cause of these emotions, movements and actions!

Believers in the reality of a controlling human soul claim that increased activity in specific regions of the human brain is an “association”, and is absolutely no proof of “causation”. The putative human soul is immaterial, invisible and undetectable, and supposedly controls the body through the mechanisms of the body. Therefore, the fact these specific regions of the brain showed increased activity during emotions, movements and actions, only indicates that the controlling soul was exerting control over the human body through the appropriate mechanisms of the body during the period of scanning. This “alternative explanation” is impossible to refute, because the reality of a human soul is neither disproved or proved. Read about this more extensively in Chapter 5 of the free ebook “Anesthesia & the Soul” (Download button below).

So are these activated regions of the human brain only associated with, or the actual causation of the related specific emotions, movements, and actions? This was a salutary lesson in logic for me [the author]. It meant that brain scan studies of the human brain could only be regarded as providing material capable of alternative explanations. Alternative explanations can be applied to many other different aspects of the functioning of the body …

DEMISE of Alternative Explanations, Psi, and Occam

The only way to distinguish between the concepts of control by a soul, or that the body is the generator of all aspects of the conscious mind, is to examine internal functions of the soul. Believers in the reality of the human soul claim that memory is an internal function of the soul — they claim that the soul is not only the controller of the body, but also the repository of all memory. As proofs, they claim that the ability to remember veridical events observed during out-of-body experiences undergone during near-death experiences, or so-called “actual death experiences”, as well as the experience of “life-review” undergone during near-death experiences, prove that the soul of each living person retains its memories and personality after death.

However, the clear demonstration of the failure of memory formation during conscious sedation with drugs such as midazolam and propofol in Chapter 7 in the book “Anesthesia & the Soul” proves that memory formation is a function of the physical brain, and not of the extracorporeal soul. This proof is incapable of “alternative explanation” — and being incapable of alternative explanation, proof of absence of memory formation means failure of the ages-old belief in the reality of a human soul with the properties proposed by believers. Interested persons can download this free ebook in “PDF” format by pressing the download button below.

This is the power of systematic analysis of the functions of the soul — this is the methodology employed within “Anesthesia & the Soul”.

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