COUNTER-ARGUMENTS 

against  REINCARNATION

 

Around 80% of the Western population (i.e. proponents of modern science or of one of the monotheistic religions, but generally also infidels) considers the idea of the existence of rebirth, as nonsense. Any evidence for the contrary is being ignored due to prejudices. Despite critical attitudes, few people are still unbiased and are looking for a plausible explanation for paranormal phenomena which point to an existence of rebirth cancel. For those, general objections and alternative explanations are summarized here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Normal Explanations

 

2.1. Fraud, self-delusion, unconscious influences

These can be imputed to investigators of cases of spontaneous memories of young children, their parents and their children. In some cases this may have occurred. For the vast majority of cases that have been examined by experienced university people though, such explanations are unsubstantiated.  The same applies to past-life regressions.

 

2.2. Cryptomnesia (source - amnesia)

Hypothesis:

The child with reincarnation memories or the client who underwent a past-life regression had access to information about the deceased person or about his/her family. The received information was well processed, however, both the source of information as well as the fact that information was processed are not considered. The absorbed information is perceived as own experience.

Counter-Arguments:

  • The (unnoticed) access to information by children has always been taken into account as a possible explanation by researchers.

  • In about 37 cases of past-life regression, this possibility is considered as very unlikely.

  • Strictly private or very intimate information which has never been made public could have not reached children or the person who underwent a past-life regression (secrets, hide-outs, unsolved murders).

  • Cryptomnesia does not explain behavioral traits, emotions, skills, spontaneous recognitions, dreams or birthmarks of people.

 

2.3. Paramnesia (false memory)

Hypothesis:

Parents are naive and ask leading questions to the child. The child wants to please the parents and "plays along" by showcasing according emotions. A seemingly matching former family is found who, in their grief, confirms false statements. Likewise, the person who went through a past-life regression can, either by asking leading questions or by just wanting to please the past-life regression therapist, make false assertions. The therapist is not aware of assertions being false.

Counter-Arguments:

  • The most important researcher of children's cases is Stevenson, a psychiatrist. Due to his profession he can recognize those cases and indeed has also come across some – though these are only very few.

  • If parents apply certain measures to suppress the memories of their children (in between 41% to 80% of the cases) or if parents themselves do not believe in reincarnation, the hypothesis is not applicable.

  • In cases with written records made before the meeting of the families concerned (in about 1% out of 3000 cases), false memories by the child and subsequent refinements by the witnesses (paramnesia) can be excluded until the families meet.

  • Birthmarks, skills and abilities cannot appear just by being spoken about.

  • Spontaneous behaviors, recognitions and emotions of the child (sometimes out of the ordinary) would need to be trained which would not be feasible. Where from would parents get according knowledge about it?

  • Distorted memories would need to be the same with several witnesses of the children’s cases.

  • A hypnotic suggestion by the past-life regression therapist of a later verified story can be excluded, because the therapist doesn´t have any knowledge on the story. Most authors report to have asked open, non-conductive questions.

  • Strikingly, there is hardly been talked about inconsistencies or failures of treatments of past-life regressions. One must suspect an embellishment of the real situation, which is a form of paramnesia.

 

2.4. Culturally-determined imaginations

Hyothesis:

Statements made by children or by those who underwent a past-life regression represent imaginations or hallucinations, which are enriched according to popular beliefs.

Counter-Arguments:

  • Successful verifications (affirmations) of cases stand in contrast with mere imagination as a main explanation.

  • There is no known case in which a child or a person who underwent a past-life regression incorrectly named people alive for people who have passed away.

  • Emotions, characteristic traits and skills, birth features matching the traits of the previous person, as well as recognitions of people, places and things, cannot be explained by imaginations.

  • Private, intimate knowledge about the previous family which cannot be known by the family of the subject (child) remain inexplicable as ‘culturally biased imaginations’.

  • Imagination commonly fills gaps in memory. Yet, one may expect a similar share of imaginations to fill these gaps as in the every-day life of a person.

 

 

2.5. Genetic Memory (instinctive behavior)

Hypothesis:

Memories arise from experiences of ancestors induced by genetics, similar to instinctive remembrance of animals.

Counter-Arguments:

  • In the majority of cases, the previous person (who passed away) and the one living today (the subject or somebody who underwent a past-life regression) do not share the same lineage. Accordingly, inheritance can be ruled out as an explanation.

  • Memories on the death are principally not inheritable, though these play a central role in many of the cases.

  • Scientifically, it is not proven that memories on experiences can be genetically inherited.

  • According to current science, personal behaviors, emotions, skills and recognitions cannot be inherited.

 

2.6. Coincidence

Hypothesis:

Conformances found in solved cases are random in nature.

 

Counter Arguments:

  • For a (hypothetical) case in which two birthmarks, a mentioning of a first or last name and of a location are matching, a fluke is extremely unlikely: in order to find such a case with a decent certainty (63%), one would need to search among a 1000 times as many people as there have been living when the case evolved (around 5 billion people)

  • In good cases, even more features can be provided than those mentioned in the above example, adding up to an even more impressive number of affirmed facts which disprove coincidence as an explanation.

  • However, how can it be possible, that, in spite of such improbability of coincidence, a poor Asian family still locates the correct previous family in 2/3 of the cases? - The answer is: The given details of the children are so specific that a search is possible. In addition, reincarnation largely occurs in the more or less closer geographic area of the subject that reports a reincarnation.

2.7. Schizophrenia or multiple personalities disorder

Hypothesis:

Because children or those who underwent a past-life regression identify with another person, they have a split personality and are therefore mentally ill (schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder).

Counter-Arguments:

  • Such kind of diseases cannot explain inside knowledge on families who, in quite a number of cases, live far away

  • Such kind of diseases cannot explain similarities in behavior, characteristic traits, emotions, skills, abilities, dreams and birthmarks of the previous person with the currently living person

  • Personalities of children or of those who underwent a past-life regression are not split, but their personality structure rather forms one unit with their memories

  • Examiners are, or often used to be, psychologists or psychiatrists. They have considered the hypothesis, but have not found any indications for schizophrenia or MPD with the children concerned

 

2.8. Savant syndrome (Savantism)

Hypothesis:

Children or people who underwent a past-life regression are, in fact, ´savants´, because they show a rare and inexplicable talent, i.e. to know about the past life of a deceased person, to identify with this life and to relive this life (through a dramatized performance).

Counter-Arguments:

  • Children or people who underwent a past-life regression to not show any of the typical ´savant´ features (such as autism, brain damage, low IQ)

  • This hypothesis cannot explain what deceased person is selected.

  • The hypothesis cannot explain why children only select one particular deceased person.

  • The hypothesis cannot explain birthmarks.

  • One would have to ascribe savants paranormal abilities in order to explain knowledge about sometimes very private issues of the deceased person in order to also match emotions, behavioral traits and skills, as well as to be able to recognize people and to dramatize specific events etc. One may not speak of classic ESP (extrasensory perception) capabilities of savants.

  • Those professors (psychologists) who have examined cases of children would have recognized the Savant Syndrome.

 

 

 

 

English: j.piechotta@web.de

German: dieter.hassler@gmx.de

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