The debate "Is there a reasonable piece of evidence that could prove the afterlife" was started by
March 27, 2017, 11:44 pm.
By the way, PsychDave is disagreeing with this statement.
9 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 13 people are on the disagree side.
People are starting to choose their side.
It looks like most people are against to this statement.
PsychDave posted 3 arguments, TheExistentialist posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
Challenger, thereal, EthanTReilly, LucyTheDebatorQueen and 5 visitors agree.
PsychDave, TheExistentialist, Thepanther, ProfDoke, makson and 8 visitors disagree.
How can you prove it? All you can do is uncover evidence that suggests something. Prove to me Shakespeare existed. I cannot prove to you that Jesus was a historical figure, but I can give you evidence that strongly suggests he was.
Also, what conflicting accounts? There are no conflicting accounts in the New Testament. Please give examples
Alright, the gospels were written in a style called historical narrative, correct? They were written to record events so that we could read them. Existentialist, please tell me your methods for determining the trustworthiness of a historical document.
just because a portion of a book is correct doesn't mean all of it is. So just because "The Martian" had credible science in it doesn't mean a man survived on Mars.
The scriptures are also suspect (as a reliable source) due to the conflicting accounts given within them and due to they way they were assembled. you can't deny that the new testament was put together to perform a political function.
"you cannot prove that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated"
sure we can. we can dig up his remains, we can match his physical skeleton to historical descriptions and photographs; we can further match his DNA to his corpse. we can then look at the injury pattern and measure the trajectory and distance from which he was shot and conclude with a relatively high degree of certainty that the skeleton we have belongs to Abraham Lincoln and that the injuries he's sustained just before his death match that of an assassination, coupled with the eye witness accounts.
none of this is the case in the Bible. in fact, only one Gospel claims to be written by someone who witnessed the accounts of Jesus (John). Scholars however, even doubt this claim. Most scholars believe that the gospel of John was written by at least 3 different authors and was stitched together over the course of about 30 years. It's also the most fantastical in many ways, thus making it very hard to think of it as historical. to add to this dilemma, it creates fictitious characters that we know for a fact never existed.
the other Gospels were written so long after the death of Jesus that they couldn't have been eye witness accounts.
So the Bible, is not evidence, it's a story. You have to find evidence from independent sources (censuses, birth records, tax records, court records, etc...). none exist that would confirm the story of Jesus.
experiments usually go in the "gather data" section. but even then research is first done on all historical pursuits of anything related to that question.
are you confusing scientific method with experiment?
experiments are tools to control variables and environments. they are but one way to gather data. they are not even applicable to every venture. you want a detailed scientific methodology for this situation?
1. hypothesis. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
2. gather data. every article, report, census, speech, eye witness accounts, and foreign data (he was a national leader) on events surrounding his life and death.
3. analyze data.
4. develop conclusion.
5. publish conclusion for peer review. where thousands or millions redo your study and try to rip your conclusion apart.
I hope I didn't miss a step. this is off the top of my head.
Also, the New Testament references historical figures such as Pontius Pilate and Caesar. Also, letters found after the writings of the new testament reference the death of Jesus. If you took all the references from all the letters we have, You'd be able to rebuild the whole new testament, only missing one verse. Outside sources besides the New Testament say that Jesus had died
What is the scientific method?
the Romans were excellent record keepers. it's old testament events that are difficult to authenticate.
what about people and things that happened during Jesus's time since most was oral then?
yes you can. there are numerous reliable sources for his life all around the country and abroad. that is reliable evidence. therefore Abraham Lincoln existed.
his assassination was also headline news world wide.
1. amount of records
2. consistency of records
3. sources of records (hearsay or official records)
You must apply your methods to other areas of work, including your own. What are your methods of judging the claims of a historical document?
You cannot scientifically prove that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated
Can you verify Abraham Lincoln existed?
XD lol it was a joke
No, Jesus is the reason you believe in an afterlife. However, your belief is not based on, nor does constitute, evidence. What you have is hearsay which you choose to take at face value, nothing more. You have to be really honest about separating that which you know from that which you believe; that which you want to be true from that which is true; that for which you have evidence from that which you have been told.
Evidence (in so far as it is useful in the proving of something) must necessarily be independently verifiable and falsifiable. I doubt you have devised a method of independently verifying any claims Jesus has made....if you did, then congratulations, you're about to be the most famous person in the world.
Jesus is my evidence ;)
we haven't. We've never explored an area as ill-defined as the afterlife with science.
we have explored some pretty esoterical subjects in science, but the definitions have always been clear.
When we look at morality for example, we can define "good" actions and "bad" actions by some standard. We can then look at which part of the brain is involved in this kind of decision making and see how it reacts to certain scenarios. we can then extract conclusions from this data like damage to "x" part of the brain causes "y" effect in decision making, or "z" biochemical deficiency affects moral decision making in "q" way.
that's how we figured out impulse control being regulated (in part) by the frontal lobe and how lobotomies came to be. It's also how we came to produce anti-depressants like SSRI's.
however, if you can't even define what the afterlife is, then how could you possibly design an experiment to falsify the claim? It's like looking for an answer without ever asking the question. How could you possibly know if the solution you came up with even addresses the question if you don't know what it is?
how have we overcome these obstacles before?
the problem with devising a method to study the concept of the afterlife is that we can't even define what that actually means.
is the afterlife a physical place? is it reincarnation? is it some metaphysical realm in which something akin to the soul "lives"? is it consciousness in another dimension? etc....
until we can actually define the afterlife we can't figure out a methodology for testing "it". The more abstract and ethereal the concept becomes, the less testable it becomes. So we may be limited to testing concepts like a "soul". This then also needs to be defined so it can be studied. Essentially, the only aspects of the afterlife we can study, are concepts we have defined clearly.
so really, the problem isn't that we can't generate evidence (for or against) the afterlife, it's that we can't define our parameters of what the afterlife is or how it's achieved, and thus we cannot know what constitutes evidence in this line of inquiry.
maybe what little we know of consciousness.
it may or may not be true cause we dont have evidence.
That has no connection to the topic.
That's true. We can never predict what technologies will come.
Is there anything with current technology that you would consider definitive proof of the afterlife, or anything current technology could provide?
Yes. Otherwise men wouldn't be able to hide their identities until they eventually die somewhere.
maybe. we might develop technology that will be able to help later in life. who truly knows though?
I ask this opposite to how I expect many people would assume.
Theists are, rightly or wrongly, often accused of having unrealistic requirements for proof. The demand for the missing link is often pointed out as an intellectually dishonest argument. Are atheists guilty of similar dishonesty with regards to the afterlife?
Atheists demand proof of the supernatural. But any proof is likely to be up to interpretation. Near death experiences are explained as hallucinations due to oxygen deprivation.
Is there a realistic way to make a testable claim about what happens when you die that is not similarly disingenuous?