Dr. John Fischer, Another Philosopher Tries to Debunk NDEs |431|
10.22.2019 - By Skeptiko – Science at the Tipping Point
Dr. John Fischer thinks philosophy is the key to debunking near death experience science.
photo by: Skeptiko
Alex Tsakiris: [00:00:06] Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. I’m your host Alex Tsakiris and during the many years I’ve done this show I’ve never had someone ask to come on and straighten me out about something I got wrong on a previous interview with them, or in this case with their co-author, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do today.
Dr. John Martin Fischer, a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California Riverside, which is right up the road from me, is here to talk about a couple of books that he’s written, one that we featured in a previous episode of Skeptiko, Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife, and another one which is more recent, Death, Immortality and Meaning in Life.
John, welcome to Skeptiko, thanks so much for joining me.
Dr. John M. Fischer: [00:01:03] Thank you Alex, I appreciate the invitation. And let me just clarify that one reason I wanted to come on the show was that when you had tried to reach me before, I was actually ill and away from my office for some months and that’s why I did not get your messages. But it was entirely my fault and it seemed very rude, I’m sure, but I apologize and I’m happy to have the opportunity now.
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Click here for Dr. John Fischer’s Website
My first interview on this book (one of myfavs:))
Alex Tsakiris: [00:01:35] Well, I’m more than happy to give you that opportunity. And yeah, I did reach out to you initially, but I thought one way we could bring people up to speed is I did have a very good interview I thought, with your co-author, someone who was a research fellow working underneath you and Dr. Ben Mitchell-Yellin, and I thought one way to kind of Kick this thing off is to play a clip from that previous interview that we did. I’ll go ahead and play that clip for the audience right now.
Dr. John M. Fischer: [00:02:10] Okay.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:12] I mean, there isn’t a single credible near-death experience researcher, I can think of, that’s come to the conclusion that you do.
Well on what basis do you go against all of this published data by all of the top near-death experience researchers that suggest otherwise?
Ben Mitchell-Yellin: [00:02:28] Well, I mean that the first thing to say is you say, look, nobody else has come to the same conclusion as you and I guess the first thing I would want to say is that was the main reason we wanted to write the book.
It depends on what kind of research you’re talking about. We did not go out and gather the data, instead we looked at the arguments that people, other people have made on the basis of the data.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:54] And this one I do have to say Ben, did kind of tick me off. You said that we should be skeptical of those who ask us to dip into our wallet regarding NDE accounts among the blind.
Ben Mitchell Yellin: [00:03:06] Oh wait,