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W7 Therapeutic Effects of NDEs in Hospital and...

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Therapeutic Effects of NDEs in Hospital and End-of-Life Contexts
Carl Becker, Ph.D.

This presentation makes a bold proposal. Putting it very simply, there are two possibilities: that human consciousness continues to exist in some form after bodily death, or that it does not. Every major religion maintains that people do continue to live in some form after death, and that the ways we live here now will affect the ways we live after death. People who have had NDEs strongly echo that viewpoint. This presentation proposes that we scholars, counselors, and doctors try to find a middle ground between the "materialists" and the "believers," to provide genuine hope to dying people without imposing particular views upon them. This middle ground includes the ideas that: (1) invisible energies or forces not yet discovered by human sciences affect our lives, and (2) there may be another dimension in which the conscious core of human personality continues to exist after leaving the physical body in death, as is suggested by many NDE reports. This position is in danger of being rejected by both materialists and sectarian religious people, because it rejects some portion of each side. On the other hand, it offers the strongest and fairest hope for a genuine religious response to the crisis of terminal patients, with what William James called "healthy-minded religious optimism."

Carl Becker received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 1981. He has researched NDEs in Japanese hospitals and literature for 30 years. Mr. Becker has published numerous books on bioethics, death and dying, and NDEs in both Japan and the United States Currently, Mr. Becker is a Professor of Bioethics and Comparative Religion at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.






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