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Life after death has long fascinated humanity and has become a centre point of several world religions, including Christianity. The apparent resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Bible personifies the idea that life can be transformed from a physical sense to spirit, as described by Paul and the Gospels. As always the case with religion, the story is shrouded in controversy, as non-believers demand physical evidence in modern society.
However, one scientist believes he has answered their calls.
Robert Lawrence Kuhn spoke to Stephen Braude, professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland, during his 2014 Amazon Prime series “Closer to Truth”.
Responding to Mr Kuhn’s question if an afterlife is realistic, Dr Braude said: “Yeah, I think it’s realistic because there are a number of compelling types of evidence.
“Whether it’s evidence suggesting reincarnation, or whether it’s evidence from people who apparently provide communications from deceased friends and relatives.
Stephen Braude thinks life after death is possible
Robert Lawrence Kuhn asked the questions during his show
There is plenty of evidence that suggests it
“There’s also some intriguing new evidence from heart and lung transplant cases where recipients take on personality characteristics of the donors of whom they knew nothing.”
Dr Kuhn then went on to reveal how he vets through the evidence to separate truth from fiction.
He added: “As far as I’m concerned, we have a certain range of options when looking at the evidence.
“There are cases where young children apparently act as if they are reincarnated.
“There are very intriguing cases where mediums provide very personal bits of information allegedly transmitted by the deceased through them that is later verified by investigators.
Stephen Braude is a professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland
“The cases are much more interesting than what you see on TV and to appreciate that there is no substitute to actually looking at the evidence.
“When you’re looking at this apparent body of evidence, we can, first of all, deal with fraud, misperception, hidden memories, its easy to rule out.”
Dr Kuhn went on to conclude his opinion on the matter.
He continued: “Then we have what would appeal to unusual or abnormal processes, like disassociation – as in multiple personality and hypnosis along with the release of various kinds of latent abilities.
“One more option is what I would call super-Psi, that is the evidence suggesting survival of bodily death would be explained in terms of psychic functioning among the living.
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“My personal feeling is there is plenty of evidence that suggests it and on my good days and my bad days, depending on how you look at it, I’m inclined to think that the evidence is more compelling than not.”
However, Professor Gurch Randhawa, an organ donation specialist and director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire thinks the personality change can be explained.
He argued in 2015: “What does happen is the fact that transplantation is obviously a life-transforming and life-saving procedure.
“Clearly when people need a transplant their health and wellbeing is deteriorating.
“Physically, psychologically and emotionally they are becoming drained.
“So a lot of patients who then receive a transplant will feel energised.
“When you are requiring a heart, you are physically and emotionally lower than low but then you are given what is, quite literally, this new lease of life.”
Despite this, other scientists have said it is too soon to say why transplant recipients change personalities.
Professor Peter Friend, then Head of Transplantation at Oxford University said in 2015: “These are very difficult things to investigate on a formulaic scientific basis.
“But that is not assuming there is nothing in it.
Transplant donors have experienced strange personality changes
“My personal gut feeling is we have no scientific rationale to support this, but we should also be open-minded about things we can’t explain.”
Professor Anthony Warrens, then Dean for Education at Barts and the London School of Medicine, also added: “There is no scientific basis for explaining how such a thing could happen.
“But that is not to be dismissive.
“I’ve been involved in thousands of transplants in my career and I’ve never seen this occurring in any one of my patients.