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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 6, 2010

Evidence abounds about the afterlife


By Michael Tymn

EXPRESS YOURSELF

What are your thoughts on faith? Share your ideas and stories with Advertiser readers as an Expressions of Faith guest columnist. For additional information, contact Maureen O'Connell at 535-2475 or moconnell@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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The Secular Coalition for America recently met with White House officials to advance the cause of atheism. Other groups representing the non-belief in God, calling themselves humanists or atheists, are increasingly making attempts to be heard.

Their primary message, it seems, is to let the world know that one does not have to believe in a god or gods to be a responsible and caring member of the community. At the same time, they suggest that religious beliefs are detrimental to that objective, pointing to the wars and terrorist attacks carried out in the name of God.

Atheists say that there is no scientific evidence backing up belief in God and say that faith is tantamount to superstition designed to overcome man's fear of death. They say we should live in the present and not concern ourselves with death while making the world a better place for future generations.

They fail, though, to ask what future generations will concern themselves with once that better world is achieved. What is the point of it all if we are all marching toward extinction?

Atheists don't get it. The issue is not whether God whatever He, She, or It happens to be exists or not, but whether consciousness survives physical death. The two beliefs are not necessarily concomitants. One does not have to believe in God to believe that consciousness survives physical death. To put it another way, one can be an atheist and still believe in an afterlife, although that person probably recognizes some kind of cosmic consciousness a divine force that is beyond human comprehension.

There is an abundance of evidence suggesting that consciousness survives physical death. This has come to us in the areas of the near-death experience, credible mediumship including clairvoyance and induced after-death communication. It may not serve as absolute proof. But for those who have really studied it, there is at the very least a preponderance enough evidence to win a civil lawsuit on the matter. And many feel that the evidence meets the criminal law standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Dr. Jeffrey Long, a radiation oncologist, was a non-believer until he began studying thousands of near-death experiences. In his recent book, "Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences." Long wrote: "I have carefully considered the evidence NDEs present regarding the existence of an afterlife. I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is life after death."

Dozens of testimonials by distinguished scientists and scholars who have studied the evidence could easily be added here, if space permitted. Most atheists are not really familiar with the evidence and are inclined to accept cursory and prejudiced views.

Unfortunately, the theists those who believe in God don't get it, either.

They ignore the evidence because they fear it will conflict with established dogma and doctrine. They may write it off as the work of Satan. They say that faith is all that is necessary and that evidence is not required.

The end result is that both sides the scientific fundamentalists on one side and the religious fundamentalists on the other ignore the evidence tied to afterlife consciousness or discount it. And we keep going around in circles looking for God.