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A non-viable account of death

The UK's Independent has run an account by a man who was clinically dead for two minutes.

Nothing new about that, of course. But the interesting thing is that he says that death is nothingness- just a blank lack of consciousness. The Independent even cites the example of a second man who gave a similar account.

Now, I'm not even going to get into the obvious point that many, many people have returned from clinical death with very elaborate descriptions of an afterlife- descriptions scientists and others quite rightly take with several shakers full of salt. The experiences clearly could be artifacts of a dying brain. But I'd like to know in what possible sense the experience these guys report is any more credible, or any more definitive?

Even more, I'd like to know how, if death is a lack of consciousness and awareness, they can report what it's like. Certainly they could report a lack of memory. But in the absence of consciousness or awareness, how does one perceive a lack of consciousness or awareness?

The answer seems to be that in their case there was simply time they couldn't account for. They "blacked out." But plenty of people do that without dying. And their lack of specific memory for the interval hardly seems very convincing evidence of what it's like to be dead.

Sorry, Independent. Not only is this not news, but it's not even very interesting. It's certainly not very informative.

It's not just that it doesn't prove anything. It really doesn't even suggest anything.

HT: Drudge


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