Is There Life After Death? A Review of the Supporting Evidence

In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 631-649 (2015)

Abstract
This paper reviews recent empirical research into the possibility of life after death. First, it focuses on inconsistencies in accounts of the afterlife from different sources of supposed evidence for survival. Next, it reviews problematic aspects of survival research on apparitions, near-death experiences, and reincarnation claims, among other things. Finally, it examines whether any recent near-death research has addressed previous methodological criticisms, concluding that such research has not in fact advanced. 1. Some General Problems in Research into Life After Death - 1.1 Logical Problems - 1.2 Why Are So Many of the Reports from Earlier Times? - 1.3 Evidence from Apparitions, Poltergeists, Ghosts, and Angels - 1.4 Rival Explanations -- 2. Is There Life After Death? - 2.1 Near-Death Experiences - 2.1.1 Does Anyone Do Good Research? - 2.1.2 Unresolved Questions - 2.1.3 Do NDEs Show that There is Life After Death? - 2.2 Reincarnation - 2.2.1 Problems with the Cases - 2.2.2 Alternative Explanations - 2.2.3 Logical Problems with Reincarnation - 2.2.4 Do Reincarnation Reports Provide Evidence for Life After Death? -- 3. Lester’s Requirements for Good Research on NDEs - 3.1 Cross-Cultural Cases - 3.2 Before and After “Moody” - 3.3 Disconfirming Evidence - 3.4 NDErs - 3.5 Alternative Explanations -- 4. Conclusion
Keywords apparitions  ghosts  out-of-body experiences  near-death experiences  anecdotal evidence  social contagion  cryptomnesia  paramnesia  xenoglossy  cultural diversity
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