On December 13, 2012, the website Discovery News presented an article about a Ha

On December 13, 2012, the website Discovery News presented an article about a Harvard University neurosurgeon’s new book on life after death (Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven). In 2008, Eben Alexander, suffering from bacterial meningitis, was in a coma for seven days. During that time, Alexander “journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe, a dimension I’d never dreamed existed.” He found “big, puffy, pink-white clouds” and “shimmering beings” that were different from anything he had experienced in his life. He was accompanied by a guide, an attractive young woman who told him without speaking that he was loved and cherished, that there is “nothing you can do wrong.”
Newsweek magazine published a long article about the forthcoming book in October, 2012. The article centered on the question of whether Alexander’s experience did constitute proof of an afterlife. One reader wrote: “It sounds like he had nothing more than an intense lucid dream.” “A personal anecdote is not evidence or proof, as moving as it may be,” added another. Catholic Online website disagreed. “If there is evidence and proof of an afterlife, this is probably as good as it gets.” The debate about life after death is not academic: Millions of people the world over believe that part of themselves—their souls—lives on after death.
Now we have the opportunity to engage in this same debate. For your initial post, answer these two questions: Is there proof of life after death? If there is not, does this mean that we should not believe in life after death, or does lack of proof mean we are justified in believing whatever we want?
In answering these questions, consider whether it is rational to believe things you cannot prove. Whatever your own views, this question is really an exercise in critical thinking and goes to the issue of understanding what “belief” and “knowledge” mean, so be sure to clarify the distinctions between “belief” and “knowledge” in your initial discussion post.

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