[extropy-chat] Angel Snot was Near Death Experiences: a scientific approach
neptune at superlink.net
Tue Feb 24 15:46:21 UTC 2004
On Tuesday, February 24, 2004 4:24 AM Tom's name Here
the_spoon_maker at hotmail.com wrote:
> According to this hypothesis of soul weight,
> the soul leaves the body when the person
> dies. So when does the person die? This
> may seem like a stupid question, but while
> the line between consciousness and
> unconsciousness is clear, the line between
> life and death is hazy, although still undoubtedly
Is the line between "consciousness and unconsciousness" really "clear"?
How do you know that? Do you mean cessation of electrical activity in
> There is not specific time or point of death.
> Death is more a transition, a gradient gray
> area. As a person dies, his brain cells
> starve for oxygen and die off one by one;
> they do not die in one orchestrated,
> Hollywood-friendly moment.
This appears to be the case.
> Since there is not a specific point death
> occurs, there cannot be a specific point
> at which the soul escapes.
Ah, but this assumes that the soul leaves according to these outward
appearances. Let's play Devil's Advocate. Let's say there is a soul
and it does leave the body. Now it could leave very quickly, perhaps
even instantaneously, or it could leave slowly, pulling out. If the
latter, then that death does not come immediately would not be evidence
against there being a soul. If the former, it could always be that the
soul leaves the body after it reaches a point of not return or after
it's all dead. I mean one could imagine the soul sticks around until
every last cell is gone. No of these seems to contradict logic in any
Now, matching this up to MacDougall's findings is another story. I
would first question his findings. After all, this was almost a century
ago and the sample size was very small.
Also, I would want to know what other evidence is there for a soul.
After all, during death, many changes happen to the body, some of which
release gases. They could account for differences in mass, if there are
any. One could also test this by sealing a dying person in a chamber,
so no appreciable mass is exchanged with the outside world. Of course,
one might argue that the soul needs to escape too, but we could just
take an inventory of all the matter in the chamber before and after
death, and after opening it, when, presumably, the soul would escape.
My bet is MacDougall would be proven wrong, but that's only a guess.
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