Originally Posted by SonoranBob
Agreed. The human capacity for self-deception appears nearly unlimited. We often believe what we want to believe, and pay attention to what is comfortable or comforting, beyond all evidence of senses or all absence of evidence.
There is another kind of self-deception.
It is when we like to believe that we are "scientific" or "rational" or "logical", and then we proceed to believe things which we think are things that a "scientific" or "rational" or "logical" person ought to believe. In addition we proceed to reject things which we think are things that a "scientific" or "rational" or "logical" person ought not to believe.
For example, I know many people who would consider themselves "scientific" or "rational" or "logical", and who think that it must follow that they should dismiss the possibility of an afterlife ... and therefore they do.
In truth, they have never really explored or studied the possibility of an afterlife, and therefore their dismissal of that possibility is in fact unscientific, irrational and illogical
In contrast, I do not know anyone who has actually bothered to seriously consider, let's say, the available scientific literature on near-death experiences, and still come away fully convinced that an afterlife cannot possibly exist.
Sample links: Peter Fenwick Lecture Google Answers: Emergency Room test of patients reporting out-of-body, near-death experiences?