Monday, September 22, 2014

Peter Fendwick and the NDE

Peter Fenwick

From Peter Fendwick's Wikipedia page (my comments below):

Near-death research

Fenwick's interest in near-death experiences was piqued when he read Raymond Moody's book Life After Life. Initially skeptical of Moody's anecdotal evidence, Fenwick reassessed his opinion after a discussion with one of his own patients, who described a near-death experience very similar to that of Moody's subjects.[10] Since then, he has collected and analysed more than 300 examples of near-death experiences.[11]

He has been criticised by the medical community for claiming that human consciousness can survive bodily death.[12] Fenwick argues that human consciousness may be more than just a function of the brain.[8][13]
"The plain fact is that none of us understands these phenomena. As for the soul and life after death, they are still open ques­tions, though I myself suspect that NDEs are part of the same continu­um as mystical experiences."[14]
Fenwick and his wife are co-authors of The Art of Dying, a study of the spiritual needs of near-death patients. The Fenwicks argue that modern medical practices have devalued end-of-life experiences, and call for a more holistic approach to death and dying.[15] In 2003, Fenwick and Sam Parnia appeared in the BBC documentary "The Day I Died". In the documentary Parnia and Fenwick discussed their belief that research from near-death experiences indicates the mind is independent of the brain. According to Susan Blackmore the documentary misled viewers with beliefs that are rejected by the majority of scientists. Blackmore criticized the documentary for biased and "dishonest reporting".[16]

Fenwick and Parnia have claimed that research from NDEs may show the "mind is still there after the brain is dead". The neurologist Michael O'Brien has written "most people would not find it necessary to postulate such a separation between mind and brain to explain the events," and suggested that further research is likely to provide a physical explanation for near-death experiences.[17] Robert Todd Carroll has written that Fenwick has made metaphysical assumptions and dismissed possible psychological and physiological explanations for near-death experiences.[18]

My comments:
"He has been criticised by the medical community for claiming that human consciousness can survive bodily death."

What a terrible thing to claim!  That there may actually be some hope for the dying!  Doctors and scientists, it would seem, would prefer people bought into their own dogmatic view that there is no soul and that death of the body equals death of the consciousness!

Of course, there is plenty of evidence (but not the kind most scientists and believers in scientism are interested in) to support the contention that the human being is primarily non-physical and that they only take on a physical body for a short period of experiencing on Earth before returning to the spirit world.

Why so many scientists and so-called "skeptics" are emotionally attached to the idea that there is no non-physical element to the human being (or life in general) and that life can only be understood by appealing to what can be observed with the 5 senses I find strange to conceive.  What kind of happiness or comfort they derive from this belief, which doesn't correlate with the evidence, I do not know.  When somebody, particularly a scientist, makes the claim that many people's experience points to the existence of a "non-physical" aspect to the human they are rigorously attacked.  It will not do for a scientist to suggest that the prevailing materialist dogma may be incorrect!

For physical things there is physical proof and for spiritual things there is spiritual proof. And for the physically focused scientist this is usually seen as no proof at all! But for those who research widely, comparing human experiences, a worldview is built that is able to contain all of it. And that worldview, for many, includes the belief in a spiritual dimension, similar to this one, but just more subtle in character!

Sharka Todd

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