218. Steve Miller, Does Near-Death Experience Science Contradict Christian Doctrine?

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Interview examines whether or not near-death experience research conclusions contradict Christian doctrine of heaven and the afterlife.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Steve Miller author of, Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven.  During the interview Miller talks about his conclusions:

Alex Tsakiris:   This NDE science, doesn’t it contradict a Christian worldview? An idea that Jesus is the only way to heaven. An idea that there are these are these sacred books that tell us how about the afterlife? I mean, it contradicts that, right?

Steve Miller:  Well, I don’t say that. I think it’s commonly held that it does contradict and many people believe that it does. I think that certain niche NDEs would certainly contradict certain traditional teachings of Christianity, like having past lives or whatever. Some people will come back from an NDE saying, “I experienced something from a past life.”

Alex Tsakiris:   Let me interject there and pin that down. If you accept near-death experience science, I don’t know how you get past the reality of past lives. It’s all over the place. It’s not like these near-death experiencers are coming back and saying, “Oh, the idea of reincarnation has been falsified by my experience.” I’ve never read a single near-death experience account that says that. On the other hand, I’ve read scores and scores of them that either assume it or directly say that multiple lives, reincarnation, is a reality.

Steve Miller:  I would say that it’s rather a fringe experience just because of my research and I’ve not researched it comprehensively in this area, but looking at the account Dr. Long’s has collected, where people are sharing their near-death experiences. You have a tremendous amount of them there. I carefully went through about 100 experiences back-to-back. In other words, I wasn’t cherry-picking. I was just going one after another after another. Within 100 experiences, I don’t believe I saw any where a person referred to a past life.

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