•  413
    The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death (edited book)
    with Michael Martin
    Rowman & Littlefield. 2015.
    Because every single one of us will die, most of us would like to know what—if anything—awaits us afterward, not to mention the fate of lost loved ones. Given the nearly universal vested interest we personally have in deciding this question in favor of an afterlife, it is no surprise that the vast majority of books on the topic affirm the reality of life after death without a backward glance. But the evidence of our senses and the ever-gaining strength of scientific evidence strongly suggest oth…Read more
  •  108
    Does paranormal perception occur in near-death experiences?
    Journal of Near Death Studies 25 (4): 203-236. 2007.
    While most near-death researchers have disregarded reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) with hallucinatory features, many have sought cases of veridical paranormal perception during NDEs. But despite more than a quarter-century of near-death studies, no compelling evidence that NDErs can obtain information from remote locations during their NDEs has been forthcoming. This paper, Part I of a critique of survivalist interpretations of NDEs, reviews the quality of the evidence for veridical obs…Read more
  •  100
    A Defense of Naturalism
    Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park. 2001.
    The first part of this essay discusses what naturalism in the philosophy of religion should entail for one's ontology, considers various proposed criteria for categorizing something as natural, uses an analysis of these proposed criteria to develop theoretical criteria for both the natural and nonnatural, and develops a set of criteria for identifying a potentially supernatural event in practice. The second part of the essay presents a persuasive empirical case for naturalism based on the lack o…Read more
  •  88
    Near-death experiences with hallucinatory features
    Journal of Near Death Studies 26 (1): 3-31. 2007.
    Though little systematic attention has been given to near-death experiences (NDEs) with clear or suggestive hallucinatory features, reports of such experiences strongly imply that NDEs are not glimpses of an afterlife. This paper, Part II of a critique of survivalist interpretations of NDEs, surveys NDEs incorporating out-of-body discrepancies, bodily sensations, encounters with living persons and fictional characters, random or insignificant memories, returns from a point of no return, hallucin…Read more
  •  75
    Near-Death Experiences are Not Evidence for Either Atheism or Theism
    In Joseph W. Koterski & Graham Oppy (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy, Macmillan Reference Usa. pp. 594-596. 2019.
    The failure to secure replicable positive results in near-death experience (NDE) target-identification experiments does not establish the nonexistence of any spiritual realms, but it does serve to substantially challenge positive arguments in favor of the existence of spiritual realms from NDE reports. For if veridical paranormal perception occurs during out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or NDEs, why the failure to find it in all of the controlled experiments that have been undertaken to document i…Read more
  •  59
    This paper, Part III of a critique of survivalist interpretations of near-death experiences (NDEs), considers psychophysiological and cultural correlates of NDEs suggesting that such experiences are solely products of individuals' minds rather than windows into a transcendental realm. While current psychophysiological models do not fully explain out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and NDEs, several psychophysiological correlates offer promising clues about the mechanisms implicated in their productio…Read more
  •  30
    Near-Death Experiences are Hallucinations
    In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 529-569. 2015.
    Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) with suggestive or manifestly hallucinatory features strongly imply that NDEs are not glimpses of an afterlife, but rather internally generated fantasies. Such features include discrepancies between what is seen in the seemingly physical environment of “out-of-body” NDEs and what is actually happening in the physical world at the time, bodily sensations felt after near-death experiencers (NDErs) have ostensibly departed the physical world altogether and e…Read more
  •  30
    The Dualist’s Dilemma: The High Cost of Reconciling Neuroscience with a Soul
    with Yonatan I. Fishman
    In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 203-292. 2015.
    Tight correlations between mental states and brain states have been observed time and again within the ethology of biologically ingrained animal behaviors, the comparative psychology of animal minds, the evolutionary psychology of mental adaptations, the behavioral genetics of inherited mental traits, the developmental psychology of the maturing mind, the psychopharmacology of mind-altering substances, and cognitive neuroscience more generally. They imply that our mental lives are only made poss…Read more
  •  16
    Introduction
    In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 1-47. 2015.
    The Introduction provides a general overview of the issues discussed in The Myth of an Afterlife in more detail in the individual selections, structured according to the four parts of the volume, plus preceding introductory and subsequent concluding comments. 1. Preliminary Considerations -- 2. Empirical Arguments for Annihilation -- 3. Conceptual and Empirical Difficulties for Survival -- 4. Problematic Models of the Afterlife -- 5. Dubious Evidence for Survival -- 6. The Importance of Empirica…Read more
  •  16
    Evidence or Prejudice? A Reply to Matlock (review)
    Journal of Parapsychology 80 203-231. 2016.
    Before I respond to James G. Matlock’s comments on my coedited volume, The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death (MoA), I would like to thank him for taking the time to review such a large volume—and review it conscientiously—even if we ultimately disagree about its import. I would also like to extend my thanks to Journal of Parapsychology editor John Palmer for inviting this response, as it gives me an opportunity to clarify why many secondary issues (and some significant matt…Read more