Espiritualidade e Sociedade

Michael Nahm

>    Climbing Mount Evidence

Artigos, teses e publicações

Michael Nahm
>    Climbing Mount Evidence - A Strategic Assessment of the Best Available Evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death






The question of whether human consciousness can survive permanent bodily death is one of the most tantalizing enigmas of our existence. Unfortunately, most scientists shy away from addressing this enigma. Many seem to think that there is not much to investigate because it has already been shown that consciousness is produced by brain chemistry, and will dissolve as soon as neuronal activity ceases. However, I am convinced that this notion is inappropriate for two reasons.

First, from a theoretical perspective, nothing in physics and chemistry predicts that protons, electrons, atoms, or molecules will produce something like consciousness. Therefore, trying to explain consciousness in physicochemical terms amounts to backward reasoning from the start. In fact, William James, the founder of American psychology, argued more than 100 years ago that it is principally impossible to prove that brain chemistry produces consciousness—all we can observe are “concomitant variations” of brain states and states of consciousness. Accordingly, many modern neuroscientists speak of “neuronal correlates” to states of consciousness in order to avoid fostering the unwarranted notion that consciousness is produced by neuronal activity. Indeed, there is not even a strict parallelism between brain states and states of consciousness.

Second, from a practical perspective, many scientists have already investigated phenomena at the frontiers of knowledge that question the physicochemical “production hypothesis” of consciousness. These phenomena have chiefly been studied in research disciplines known as psychical research or parapsychology. The phenomena themselves are usually referred to as telepathy (conveying knowledge or feelings from one individual to another without using the usual sensory channels), clairvoyance (perceiving information or events without using the usual sensory channels), precognition and retrocognition (perceiving future or past events), and psychokinesis (psychically affecting matter). These psi phenomena occur comparably rarely, but they do occur and they are perfectly natural. Millions of people have experienced them in everyday life.


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