What do you think of stories about people dieing going to heaven and coming back to life?

Well today I was on amazon looking at the top 100 books and I found a book called Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.  Here is a snippet of what the book is about.

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.

Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.

Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.


OK so this story is kind of the child version of 90 Minutes in Heaven, another bestseller. Now I really don't believe that this kid went to Heaven, but was in a hallucinogenic state during his operation or some other scientific reason. It seems like there were not many arguments against the child's experience on Amazon reviews and it was the #1 New York Times Bestseller ; maybe because he was a child or it seems so true.  So my question is what do you think of these type of stories and how do you react to them?



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Delusional, religious parents just love brain-washing their kids to get their right-winged agenda accepted. People who have rational thinking skills (usually well-educated folk), laugh at this nonsense. Proof that god doesn't exist - open your eyes and look at this crazy world. I'll stick to my own religion of pastafarianism by worshipping my FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster). This way I can make fun of the xians without really hurting anyone. Mockery seems to be one weapon atheists can use among many!

I made a We Think Atheist video about it. Enjoy!


In response to this I direct you to our guru Christoher Hitches when, during a debate, was asked about near death experiences and he responds with his trademark Hithslap! Here's the link to the full debate which is worth watching but to skip to that question it start at minute 58:00.  http://www.jewishtvnetwork.com/?bcpid=533363107&bctid=802338105001 
Hey guys! Thanks for so many responses including the videos Mathhew and Robert! So to prove our theory even more I read the introduction of the book  on Amazon and found that the child did not tell his parents about his "experiences" until a year after the incident when the family went on a family trip and went past the hospital where the child was hospitalized. How weird is that?
His Dad wrote the book.  An explanation for its popularity?  As Barnun said, "There's one born every minute."

Just the other night I dreamed I was reacquainted with my grandfather who died 16 years ago. We embraced and it was the best feeling and I had so much joy and happiness at seeing him again, but it was just a dream (a very wonderful dream).


I used to love these stories people would tell about dying and going to heaven and coming back. They had such a ring of truth to them until I heard a few about people going to not such a nice place after they died and came back and then I thought ah hell, it's all about what I wanted to hear and not the truth of what really is happening when someone has that type of experience.


Even Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy said when he died on the operating table he saw his mother sitting there with animals he had previously owned that had passed on, sitting around her feet and he said he talked to her a little bit but I can't remember what they said. She told him it was not his time yet, or something like that.


An experience like that is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have (not the dying part - the seeing lost loved ones part). It's very powerful. I wonder why the brain does these things sometimes?


Like the dream I had about my grandfather. A beautiful dream like that is extremely rare for me.


The mind is so mysterious. People cannot resist the temptation to believe that this beauty awaits for them on a permanent basis at some point in the future - it is almost a natural psychological reflex (seems to me).


Do our bodies and minds hold this carrot of the idea of a future paradise out in front of us to help us to survive the difficult times in our lives? The implications of that being true just blows my mind. I can't process it. I'm working on it though.

There is no afterlife, and it is an insight you need to see for its incredible beauty!

You are not living your life or doing anything for later gratification. There is nothing and noone waiting for you. A mistake is just a mistake, not something you have to repent for life. The people you lose as you age you can realize you will never see again, and instead of mourning their loss, you can celebrate their lives.

Life is what you, as an atheist, are able to grab right now, leaving you able to live every moment to its fullest. The religious people are waiting to die before they can start theirs, wasting every moment wrapped up in their futile and silly delusion of things that does not matter, postponing pleasure until the infinity they will never find.

You don't have to.

These are the sorts of thoghts which made it easy to overcome the sorrow of realizing my mortality. I'm finite, and therefore I can enjoy every second of finity. (Bad English but sorta rhymes.)

To Flower, the idea that Seigfried and Roy could go to heaven proves it's a delusion.  Any heaven those two animal abusers can get into is no-where I would want to go!

What I find hilarious is:  these godoholics are so quick to believe this kid about going to heaven and meeting jesus.....yet they laugh off someone who claims to have been abducted by aliens.


People believe what they WANT to believe.


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