On July 6, 2012, the ABC program special on Heaven and Hell attempted to present the topic in an unbiased way, but I believe failed badly in that respect. The topic is quite deep, but it was presented shallowly, which made justice to the topic impossible. Granting the limitation of time and its consequent shallowness, the presentation was still biased on the side of atheism.
For example, on near death experiences, the presentation of a few experiencers limited their contribution to only their perception of the reality of their experiences of heaven. Then to counter that was the testimony of a purported brain researcher whose only contribution was to assert that she had explained these experiences in terms of the actions of a dying brain.
If Barbara Walters had probed her a little further, she would have no doubt found the usual false arguments based on implied false assumptions, which non-believers in the reality of these experiences always put forward. Not one, of the many counter opinions, based on credible research of near death experiences, and showing that they cannot be explained medically, was even mentioned.
The American Atheist president, Ellen Johnson, was only asked if there is a Heaven, or Hell, to which she obviously replied that there was not and that we were not alive before our birth and we will not live after our deaths. What else could we have expected! Similarly, the geneticist Dean Hammer talked about a “God gene” that proved nothing about Heaven or spirituality. In fact if anything, it raised important questions of how and why could such a gene be created by evolution. An obvious further question could be asked if the presence of such an unlikely gene might indicate our creator’s hand to push us to explore such topics.
The most common implied and false premise, in this and similar cases, is that correlation (or association) of brain activity with the attendant human experience implies its causation. Scientists know that they must avoid such a false premise in all their work, unfortunately many do not observe this caution when discussing subjective issues.
As one example of how such a premise can lead to serious error, Wikipedia quotes the initial false conclusion of a drug trial. (See:
A further false argument, often based on that premise, is that if by a magnetic or probing action of the brain we can induce some aspect of a near death experience, then that experience must not be real. As a simple example of how false such a premise is, consider the fact that all our experiences, whether real or imagined, are correlated with some action of our brains. Therefore if by probing the brain, whether magnetically or some other way, I cause a person to sense a presence behind them, or to see a light, I would be ridiculed if I concluded that therefore all such sensations, when not induced by brain probing, were not real.
I have not seen a credible argument by any atheists, which is not based on demolishing a straw man, that there is no reality outside of the physical world. On the contrary, in my Kindle book “A Scientist;s God” I have presented arguments that our experiences prove we are more than matter. I invite anyone who thinks they have a credible argument explaining NDEs, in physical terms only, to post their opinions here.