« Attention isn't what meditation is all about | Main | Jesus without Christianity makes a lot of sense »

December 21, 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields.
Tell me, what else should I have done?

Should have done.....

the proper way to live....


being a good person.......

repent...... meditate..... pray......

religions come to save the day..... and answer the SHOULD......

and the answer seems reasonable to the one who has a should.

When the "should" drops, the answer is not needed

Then you are free to play with your dog, or dance,
or partake in pointless Q&A at haynes.

Whatever tickles your fancy

I used to have a purpose - a ready made answer to the should......
until Sach Khand got demolished and Sat Purush got buried under the rubble

Death's imminence is frightening regardless of one's beliefs or disbeliefs, but accepting unknowing can be a source of relief. Whereas I once attempted to please gurus and gods, I'm now at a point where I don't even care much to please people in my life because I just don't know what's gonna happen and it would be stupid to think I can know. Not knowing is great.

Questions of "should" rarely make it to the forefront of my mind unless it's something like "should I read this, read that, or maybe daydream?" Sometimes between sessions of wasting time in my favorite ways, my wife will walk by and look at me. I will glance back and think to myself "should I go and talk to her about something???" After a few moments I remember that I don't care and I continue doing what I want. One day, she will likely leave me, or I'll leave her, and then I'll be in the "should have" mode. But it won't last long and I'll go back to doing whatever... until I die. Because that's what we all do- we do stuff until we die.

All this stupid talk about gurus and oneness and whatever else is just a hobby, or an escape from boredom. It's something to do until you die.

Brian, while I respect your point of view on life after death, you are ignoring overwhelming and compelling evidence assembled over a lifetime of research by Dr. Ian Stevenson. Dr. Stevenson spent most of his academic career at the University of Virginia investigating reincarnation using rigorous scientific methods. He is the author of "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" and numerous other works. His work is still being carried on in the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. In addition to his work, there is the work of Raymond Moody and others on life after death. The most recent contribution to this work is the contribution of Eben Alexander, M.D. If you are still open to other evidence you might find these works interesting.

Norm, the so-called "research" of Ian Stevenson and Eben Alexander doesn't hold up. Here's links to two convincing debunkings of their life after death claims. If such were true, that we humans live on after we die, one would think there would be convincing evidence of this. But there isn't. Sorry to burst your bubble, but truth is much more important than fantasy. See:



Here's some excerpts. The first is my commentary on an Esquire article:
Well, it turns out that my skepticism about Eben Alexander's so-called "proof of heaven" (title of the book he wrote) was well-founded.

An investigation by Esquire magazine found all kinds of problems with Alexander's tale, including his credibility. The resulting article, The Prophet, costs $1.99 to read if you're not an Esquire subscriber.

I paid up. After reading the well-written piece, I feel like I got my money's worth.

The four "don't believe him!" posts I've written about Alexander, here, here, here, and here, now are shown to have been valid, while Alexander's claims are either deusional or worse -- a con job aimed at making money from gullible people who want desperately for heaven to be real.
Now we can’t simply say that Stevenson is wrong because we haven’t yet had evidence of reincarnation, and so it can’t occur. Some of his more intriguing cases should have been—and apparently were—examined by others, and refuted. The prior probability of Stevenson being right was low, and now seems even lower, but you wouldn’t know that from reading Bering’s piece. People love this stuff, of course, because it confirms their wish that something of us lives on after death, but we have to guard against this kind of confirmation bias. As Richard Feynman said about doing science, “. . . . you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” Despite Bering’s dubious claim that Stevenson was a hard-nosed skeptic, Stevenson apparently fooled himself and Bering as well.

Hi Brian

Even the skeptics on the Anti-theist blog you link who have attempted to discredit Stephenson's work rely upon a critic who acknowledges 23 cases have independent verification which cannot be explained by non-paranormal means.

And out of 3,000 cases that's statistically significant.

So, yes, evidence does exist. And yes it is statistically significant.


And no, Stephenson's work has not been discredited.

In field work you must gather hundreds of cases in order to find a handful where the results can be confirmed as independent.

With 23 cases acknowledged as such even by Stephenson's worst critics on an anti-theist blog, out of 3,000 case studies, you have statistical significance.

All the rest of the comments on that Anti-theist blog reveal only their ignorance of the normal problems encountered in field research. And their ignorance of research statistics.

And since then the University of Virginia's Department Of Perceptual Studies, founded by Stephenson, has gathered even more compelling accounts which have met the rigorous demands for scientific independence and verification. Yes, the percentages are tiny for truly verifiable results. But any scientist looking at those totals sees the statistical significance of that proportion.
If only one out of 1000 narratives could be proven you would have a level of significance statistically. Drugs are pulled off the market with that proportion of unexplained deaths among test subjects.

Here you have about 8 per 1,000. That's 8x.

You yourself refused to review some of those cases, demonstrating the problem of apriori dogma.

As for supporting a pure bias to Anti-theism, the blog you cite does this. The reviewers have no idea of the normal variances of field research.

And this research isn't actually proof of life after death. It is only proof that some children, and some adults who have undergone near death experiences, can report information they have experienced that cannot yet be explained by conventional means.

And if you actually examine Stephenson's work and that of DOPS you will also find that their work actually discredits Karma theory.

But you would have to be willing to read some of it before making summary judgment. Like a real scientist. Which, most of the time you are...

A true Atheist denies human definitions of God. But they do so in favor of scientific study of the great mysteries. Not in favor of yet another dogma.

Simplified statistics for a lay audience.

Let's say someone returns from a near death experience and gives you one piece of information that could not be known through non - paranormal means. Independent information. Independent of any other source. And you can verify there is no physical way they could have gotten that informatiion.

Let's say that even generously you said there is a one in ten chance they could have guessed their uncle zeke, whom they have never met personally, just died five minutes ago and they met him in a dream, where he asked the person to say goodbye to everyone.

The probability by chance for this to happen, just by people inventing stuff and being right by sheer coinkidink is 1/10th, or 10%.

Now let's say in your near death visit with uncle Zeke he tells you there is money hidden under his house beside the back door.

Again, what are the odds that is just a wild guess that turns out to be true?

Let's be generous and say 1 chance in ten.

So now if both statements, obtained in a verified independent way, turn out to be true, that's 0.1 X 0.1 or. 001, or 1 time in 100 likelihood that such a thing could happen by sheer chance.

That alone exceeds statistical probability for the requirements of scientific fact that this event happened due to a cause for which there is no physical explanation, and for which chance is now ruled out.

Let's say this happens for two near death experiences.

That's. 001 x. 001, or 1 in one thousand chance that this happened just by pure chance and guess.

Now use that for 23 people each with at least five points of independent information.

The statistical significance is staggering.

And this linear approach is wildly generous, unscientifically generous to the probability to assigned to chance.

You have your proof, to a staggering level of significance.

Let's fight ignorance with science.

@ Brian - I came across a book called unexplained. Can’t remember the title but I would like if you could read. Will get back to you.

@ Jesse - I am kinda at where you are (I can’t be bothered with people in my life). It’s christmas and I have no joy - it’s not depression I really can’t be asked after seeing the depths of pain humans can inflict on each other

Sick of chasing Gurus who as my ex commander stated: “ he hasn’t done you much good has he? This master of yours”

Have a good one and keep the training up

Hi Arjuna
I'm always surprised when people look to others for their purpose in life.

Let's create a purpose.

@ Spencer - I tried and failed.

I don’t look at others for purpose - I just see no hope in a future where much of it is based on lies and more lies.

Perhaps Brian was right but not in the re-incarnation debate (and that has nothing to do with rssb). Can’t be asked arguing on that one as it’s christmas - the season of goodwill to all.

Ps not feeling sorry for my self - just stating things as there are. You

Good will is a life's work.
Building good will within our own heart is like climbing everest.
Gravity is working against you.
Falls are common.
Bruises are common.
Rocks fall on you.
But persistence pays off.
And then, the goodwill effects others positively.
And the view with each effort to respond with higher altitude to each negative pull...
The view is amazing. It's wealth.
And while much of that good will disappears into the universe....
The effects are there.
You are placing diamonds in your own bank account.
So climb...
And keep climbing...
Take breaks
And start again.

"Let's say someone returns from a near death experience and gives you one piece of information that could not be known through non - paranormal means. Independent information. Independent of any other source. And you can verify there is no physical way they could have gotten that information."

Spemcer, I don't care enough about reincarnation to go read all the studies, but the few things I did read long ago always consisted of someone knowing what they supposedly couldn't have known unless ghost apparitions in their dreams told them via miracle. I could always think of 50 ways the person could have gathered the knowledge without the intervention of ghosts or having lived multiple lives, but the authors assured me that it was impossible. Some of them used concrete solid reasoning such as "SHE WAS A CHILD! CHILDREN DON'T KNOW STUFF!!!" which failed to convince me.

If you're doing stats, you're gonna have to come up with a way to define the probability of there existing at all this sort of impossible to know information. Or just ask Manjit, since he's read all the right studies using the right methodologies. Holy shit, he's so smart. People are impressed by him.

On the question
"What to do with life"
I would suggest

without hurting !


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.