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Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Chris Carter

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31. Oktober 2012
* Examines 125 years of scientific research into reincarnation, apparitions and communication with the dead showing these phenomena are real * Reveals the existence of higher planes of consciousness where the souls of the dead can choose to advance or manifest once again on earth * Explains how these findings have been ignored and denied because they are incompatible with materialist doctrines * Carter's rigorous argument proves - beyond any reasonable doubt - not only that consciousness survives death and continues in the afterlife, but that it precedes birth as well. In this book, Chris Carter shows that evidence of life beyond death exists and has been around for millennia, predating any organised religion. Focusing on three key phenomena - reincarnation, apparitions and communications from the dead - Carter reveals 125 years of documented scientific studies by independent researchers and the British and American Societies for Psychical Research that rule out hoaxes, fraud and hallucinations and prove these afterlife phenomena are real. The author examines historic and modern accounts of detailed past-life memories, visits from the deceased and communications with the dead via medium and automatic writing as well as the scientific methods used to confirm these experiences. He explains how these findings on the afterlife have been ignored and denied because they are incompatible with the prevailing doctrine of materialism. Sharing messages from the dead themselves describing the afterlife, Carter reveals how consciousness exists outside the parameters of biological evolution and emerges through the medium of the brain to use the physical world as a springboard for growth. After death, souls can advance to higher planes of consciousness or manifest once again on Earth. Carter's rigorous argument proves-beyond any reasonable doubt-not only that consciousness survives death and continues in the afterlife, but that it precedes birth as well.

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Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness + Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics + Science and the Near-Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death
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"Those who think they already know the answers don't need to waste their time with this book. For the rest of us, it is a gem. We should drop the pretense that the question of survival is not worthy of the attention of really smart people. It is and always has been the key question of humans throughout history. Thank you, Chris Carter, for shedding light on this, the Greatest Question."

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Chris Carter received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Oxford. The author of Science and the Near-Death Experience and Science and Psychic Phenomena, he is originally from Canada and currently teaches internationally.

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82 von 88 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A STUNNING ADVANCE 12. September 2012
Von Larry Dossey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
One of the go-to talking points of materialists -- those who believe that consciousness is produced by the brain, like the liver makes bile, and will cease to exist with physical death -- has been that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." This argument is routinely used to dismiss any claim of the survival of consciousness without a hearing. Unless someone who has died re-appears and holds a press conference on the lawn of the White House, any evidence pointing to survival is summarily disregarded. But with the publication of Chris Carter's Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness, this bolthole of skeptics has been considerably closed.

Carter has emerged as one of the most careful analysts of a body of data that has gradually accumulated for most of the twentieth century. His previous books Parapsychology and the Skeptics and Science and the Near-Death Experience are nightmares for those who believe that the Great Questions -- the origin, nature, and fate of consciousness -- have long been answered. Carter has an intellectual embouchure that is elegant and precise. He has something else as well: a confidence based on an encyclopedic knowledge of the field, filtered through trenchant logic. Carter commands the philosophico-analytical high ground, with undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Oxford.

Carter's book is divided into four parts: Reincarnation, Apparitions, Messages from the Dead, and Conclusions. After providing provocative observational material, including the key characteristics of reincarnation and apparition-type experiences and messages from the dead, he provides alternative explanations for these ostensible phenomena. He meets head-on the criticisms of skeptics. His summary sections, "How the Case for Survival Stands Today" and "Is Survival a Fact," is not a winner-take-all conclusion. He proposes three categories for possible conclusions: (1) proof beyond all doubt, (2) proof beyond all reasonable doubt, and (3) preponderance of evidence. His final chapter, "What the Dead Say," offers the conclusion to those who, if survival is a fact, are most qualified to weigh in with an opinion. They've been there. We haven't. These sections are a tutorial on how the evidence in a controversial domain should be handled.

Anyone who has followed the debates about the origin and fate of consciousness in recent decades realizes our appalling ignorance about these great issues. The nature of consciousness remains a mystery -- not just its origin, but also its fate. As cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman of the University of California-Irvine, says, "The scientific study of consciousness is in the embarrassing position of having no scientific theory of consciousness" ["Consciousness and the Mind-body Problem." Mind & Matter. 2008; 6(1): 87-121]. As to how consciousness might arise from a physical system such as the brain, if indeed it does and for which there is no convincing evidence, Harvard University experimental psychologist Steven Pinker confesses, "Beats the heck out of me. I have some prejudices, but no idea of how to begin to look for a defensible answer. And neither does anyone else" [How the Mind Works. New York, NY: W. W. Norton; 1997: 146].
Recognizing our ignorance about the origin of consciousness, we might muster a bit of humility about its fate.
This is the gap Chris Carter is attempting to fill with Science and the Afterlife Experience. Those who think they already know the answers don't need to waste their time with this book. For the rest of us, it is a gem.
We should drop the pretense that the question of survival is not worthy of the attention of really smart people. It is and always has been the key question of humans throughout history. Thank you, Chris Carter, for shedding light on this, the Greatest Question.

Larry Dossey, MD
53 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's all about Consciousness! 8. September 2012
Von Eben Alexander III - Veröffentlicht auf
Science was well along the pathway of supporting the afterlife until the dawn of the twentieth century, and the resultant successes of materialist science that resulted from Albert Einstein's annus mirabile (1905, in which he wrote papers on atomic theory, special relativity, and the photoelectron effect, which ushered in quantum mechanics). In the darkest recesses of that materialist rally, consciousness and "the mind" were relegated to the ignominious fate of non-existence by behaviorist and functionalist branches of psychology.

With the rising acknowledgment of the profound nature of the hard problem of consciousness, and the contributing role of the enigma of quantum physics, serious scientific assessment of the deep nature of consciousness, including its extension beyond time and space and any dependence on the necessity of the physically intact brain, is coming back into fashion. Chris Carter's trilogy addressing the scientific aspects of the prospects for the afterlife concludes with Science and the Afterlife Experience, a very thorough analysis of the data, its interpretation, and any significant alternative explanations.

Addiction to the materialistic paradigm has wreaked immense havoc upon the world over the last few centuries. Many believe it has brought us to the brink of an apocalypse. Chris Carter opens this marvelous book with a statement of concurrence with philosopher David Griffen on the current dire predicament wrought by this addiction, and how it has reached a crucial juncture. Coming to know that our souls do not die with our bodies, but have a much grander role on the stage of eternity, offers a glorious reprieve from this ignominious fate that is the inevitable result of limited materialistic beliefs. The rapidly growing community of near-death experiencers resulting from the rise in survivors of cardiac arrest and others rescued by the tools of modern medicine over the last five decades comprise the tip of the spear poised to slay the blind and pedestrian materialistic world view.

Carter's first book in this trilogy Science and Psychic Phenomena offered a rigorous examination of phenomena such as telepathy, indicating the overwhelming evidence of the existence of such phenomena. He also attacked the towering edifice of denial surrounding the conventional scientific camp even in the face of irrefutable ocean of evidence. His second book Science and the Near-Death Experience was a landmark work supporting the survival hypothesis -- that some aspect of our personal awareness survives bodily death. The current book, which completes the trilogy, pursues additional lines of inquiry concerning reincarnation (notably children remembering previous lives), communications through mediums and apparitions. Those who deny the reality of these phenomena because they cannot explain them from their limited simplistic materialistic world view are willfully ignorant. Just do the homework!

As Carter points out in the current work, the scientific assessment of the survival question is addressed first and foremost through a knowledge of modern physics, although deep knowledge of the science of consciousness, philosophy of mind and psychology also contribute to its resolution. In fact, the enigmatic results of experiments in quantum physics invoke the non-locality of extended phenomena of consciousness, and the existence of consciousness independently of the brain.

The current volume proceeds through a detailed review of reincarnation, apparitions and messages from the dead. In my opinion, he establishes the existence of the afterlife "beyond a reasonable doubt." I congratulate him on such a solid synthesis of the relevant data and arguments, both for and against.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding! 28. September 2012
Von Sauropod - Veröffentlicht auf
Science and the Afterlife Experience is the concluding volume in a trilogy by Oxford-trained philosopher Chris Carter. Together, the books meticulously build a case for the proposition that materialism is fatally flawed because it cannot deal with a raft of evidence for paranormal phenomena and postmortem survival. All three books are outstanding, but Science and the Afterlife Experience trumps the other two and brings Carter's argument to a dramatic conclusion.

In this book Carter deals with children's past-life recollections, apparitions, and mental mediumship. He selects his examples carefully, and weaves further examples into his rebuttals of skeptical arguments, covering a considerable amount of ground with economy and skill. The result is a book that can be read quickly, but which will also reward rereading and detailed study.

In his coverage of mediumship, Carter provides clear and persuasive accounts of the investigations into Leonora Piper and Gladys Osborn Leonard, stressing the seriousness of the investigators, their gradual evolution from skepticism to "super-ESP" explanations and finally (in some instances) to complete acceptance of life after death. He addresses the super-ESP position in depth, demolishing its claim to be simpler and more parsimonious than the afterlife hypothesis, and supplying a wealth of cases that strain super-ESP past the breaking point.

Perhaps the most impressive of all this evidence are the cross correspondences. Carter devotes three chapters to the subject, expertly summarizing several cases and making it abundantly clear that no non-survival hypothesis other than willful fraud on the part of all the mediums and researchers can explain them. He also takes pains to point out that mere logical possibilities unsupported by any empirical evidence (for instance, the notion of a massive fraudulent conspiracy) simply have no weight, and should not be confused with reasonable possibilities grounded in evidence.

Having concluded that postmortem survival is a proven fact -- a fact established beyond reasonable doubt -- Carter boldly explores the messages that come through mediums to paint a picture of the dying process and the next stage of existence.

Science and the Afterlife Experience is perhaps the best book I've read on evidence for life after death, and I've read quite a few. I recommend it highly.

- Michael Prescott, author of Grave of Angels and other bestselling suspense novels
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Examining the Best Evidence 9. September 2012
Von Michael E. Tymn - Veröffentlicht auf
Although the fundamentalists of both science and religion reject or resist it, the evidence that consciousness survives bodily death is overwhelming for those with open minds. At the very least, it meets the preponderance standard of civil law and many would agree that it meets the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard of criminal courts.

Chris Carter presented some of the best evidence offered by the near-death experience in an earlier book. In this one, he astutely examines impressive and irrefutable evidence coming to us from the study of reincarnation, apparitions, and mediumship. He explains why fraud and Super-ESP are not logical possibilities and even goes beyond the evidence to look at some messages from the dead as to the nature of the afterlife condition.

"...the deniers and debunkers tend to be militant atheists who are motivated by allegiance to an obsolete worldview, by ignorance of the implications of the new physics, and by hatred of religion and superstition," Carter offers. "If they admitted to the reality of psychic abilities such as telepathy, and of near-death experiences as involving a genuine separation of mind from body, then the materialistic foundation of their worldview would crumble."

While providing some very interesting cases suggesting reincarnation, Carter addresses the alternative explanations, including fraud and cultural fantasy, then discusses the objections of philosopher Paul Edwards. "Reincarnation provides a rational and coherent explanation for the data from past life memory cases," Carter concludes. "At this point in time, it would also appear that reincarnation provides the best explanation of the data."

Carter goes on to discuss the two categories of apparitions - those considered purely psychic entities and those considered physical entities. While some fit the psychic model more closely, others seem to have a physical reality to them. Whatever they are, Carter concludes, they are vehicles for the consciousness of the person they appear to represent.

In Part III, Carter examines a number of "messages from the dead," including the famous cross-correspondences, where fragmentary messages coming through several mediums were joined together to make a coherent statement. Here again, he looks at the alternative explanations.

Carter has now touched all bases in thoroughly examining the best evidence for survival.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Fine Conclusion 8. September 2012
Von L. Brennan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This final part of a trilogy of books by Carter (originally intended as one massive volume) is the largest and most enjoyably readable of the three, in that it is far more rich in accounts and anecdotes than the previous volumes and less densely packed with scientific and philosophical argument.

These are not flaws, but its worth pointing out - despite Carter's justified insistence that its not necessary to have read the preceding volumes, and his summary of their content in the first chapter - that the pure science arguments that some "anecdote-resistant" skeptics may demand have been fully covered by the author already. There is an underlying assumption that the matter is settled - he has to his own satisfaction, and that of most of his existing readers, established that the evidence for the separation of mind from brain is scientifically and philosophically sound, the evidence for psi plentiful and the arguments for dualism in no way contrary to existing scientific knowledge. So with this third volume he deals with the evidence for actual survival.

His second book ended with accounts and studies of Near Death Experiences and Death Bed Visions...both of which implied survival from the perspective of those still living. This book looks into what evidence there is for that survival purportedly or seemingly from those who are indisputably dead. Namely childhood recollections of past lives, apparitions (ie ghosts), and alleged contacts through mediums. How can these subjects be tested or argued scientifically?

Well under each category Carter draws together the best case evidence, with statistics where appropriate, and underlines the consistency of reports across time and geographical barriers, and their inconsistency with alternative explanations. Having dealt with the "it can't be" arguments regarding the survival of consciousness previously, in this book his principle target for debate is the idea that seemingly impossible to obtain information revealed by apparitions. "reincarnated" children, and messages via medium, might or indeed must be down to some form of extraordinary ESP, whereby knowledge of the dead is obtained from the minds of the living or from the ether somehow. Carter shows repeatedly how and why this alternative-to-survival explanation does not stack up against the actual facts of the cases in question.

Survival, to his mind, is the only explanation that covers all the known facts. The case of the Cross-Correspondences (of which I'd heard or read a number of times in the past but until now had never fully got the gist of) is extraordinary enough on its own to convince this reader that he's probably right.

Probably? We all need to keep some doubt and though the consistency of the "dead'a" reports of their own experience of passing over is startling and convincing, the purported descriptions of the next life itself, as described by the deceased, raise as many questions as they answer, and seem too close to new age fancy and too outside the reach of scientific reasoning to take at face value. This is not a fault in the author or book, of course, as most people once convinced the dead have been speaking to us would want to know what they say, and it would be remiss to omit the answers from this (collectively) complete, insightful and masterfully argued exploration of the subject of survival.
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