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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Paranormal alternative explanations

 

3.1. Super-ESP (extrasensory perception) or Super-PSI, if psychokinesis is included

Hypothesis:

An extremely developed PSI-ability, hitherto not found in lab-tests, is ascribed to persons (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, retro cognition, psyschokinesis, or also combinations of these). In addition, it is assumed that they unconsciously identify with a deceased person as well as dramatize their alleged memories.

Counter-Arguments:

  • Skeptics and parapsychologists often one-sidedly attribute the wondrous spontaneous memories of children to an alleged super ESP of the subjects, although no mechanism is known, which would justify such one-sided thinking.

  • Assuming an unlimited capacity, a hypothesis like this is never refutable. Additional complicated assumptions will always "fork up a gear". A principally irrefutable hypothesis is unscientific.

  • If one accepts a limit to the power of Super-PSI, this becomes a reasonable alternative explanation. The existence of such a limit is very probable, because with increasing power or "sensitivity", this ability is expected to become increasingly interference prone to a rising amount of information. until errors prevail (technically named: crosstalk between channels), Until this limit is not known, Super-PSI must be taken into account as one out of several reasonable explanations, even though the hypothesis cannot be refuted so far. Presumably, the limit can only be determined when a "mechanism of action" or an accepted theory about the origin of Super-ESP or Super-PSI is found. Super PSI may be excluded as an explanation, if abilities are shown that are beyond the current limit of performance. To date, this has not been the case, i.e. because of the lack of clarity about the boundaries, all phenomena could be within the limits. Comparing phenomena with the "ability catalog" of Super-PSI, does not lead to any explanation for or against Super-PSI.

  • The same is true for the reincarnation hypothesis. Since no "mechanism of action" is known, which would indicate the limits of performance, it cannot, despite hefty evidence in its favor, be considered as proven. In particular, we do not understand how information from the deceased person can transfer to a living person.

  • One may ask however, whether there aren´t any - besides the stated limits of performance - principally known limits of super-ESP that are known today. With this in mind, questions have been compiled which intend to highlight when super-ESP, as an explanation for phenomena, is principally ‘overstretched’, i.e. when Super-ESP needs to be questioned. Everyone can check for him- or herself, which theory may answer these questions more convincingly:

  • Super-ESP principally has a problem to provide convincing replies to the following questions:

    • Among billions of deceased people whom/how does the child or the regressed person select as his/her previous person?

    • Why are events not perceived from the position of an ESP-talented uninvolved outsider, but rather seem to be perceived as an own, often dramatic, experience? With regards to the affected children, psychological research has shown that there are usually no motives or reasons behind such identifications. Why should it accordingly develop under ESP?

    • Why do children or people who undergo a past-life regression, of all things, identify with deceased persons?

    • If ESP-talented, why do children or hypnotized people not get in touch with people who are still alive?

    • Why do children not remember more than one previous person? If general ESP occurs, it is likely to hear more often about multiple alleged incarnations of one living person.

    • How can be explained by ESP that, almost exclusively, only young children spontaneously show memories of a past life. If ESP would be the reason, then even more adults than children would report about a past life, because generally there are more adults than children in this world and because mediumship is rather known with adults than with children.

    • If it is the mediumship of children which leads to cases, why does this ability usually end at the age of 6 to 8 years?

    • Why does the reported past life often not date back too far in the cases of children?

    • Why do people in regression barely remember previous persons who used to live at the same time?

    • Why do regressed people disproportionally recall unpleasant lives or unnatural deaths respectively, even though this is certainly not pleasant to remember for them? Are children with spontaneous memories or patients of reincarnation therapists all pessimists or masochists?

    • How come that unpleasant lives or unnatural deaths are specifically recalled by people who suffer from health problems and who seek healing with a past-life regression and not by people who do not have any health issues?

    • Why do children or those who undergo a past-life regression not show paranormal abilities which can be observed from people with PSI-abilities (e.g. Macro-PK in form of flying objects or other haunting)?

    • Why do children with spontaneous memories or people in regression report about their time after death from an afterlife world, rather than about clairvoyantly perceived surviving dependents?

    • Why should already long-existing and enduring behaviors (preferences, interests) of the living person which, of all things, match with those behaviors of the deceased person, be caused by Super-ESP?

    • How are long-existing abilities and capabilities with the living person, which match those of the deceased person, to come about by Super-ESP? According to common knowledge, the acquisition of such abilities requires practice. However, the person has never exercised such abilities.

    • Changes of people and place which have taken place since the death of the person result in identification difficulties for the reincarnated person. Why should ESP be limited here?

    • If two independent clients’ stories told through hypnosis and through different perspectives are confirmative, how can ESP coordinate these 2 stories?

    • How can a curing success through regression be explained by ESP? Academic medicine explains curing by the client´s dramatic performance, which is taken as a way for venting. In verified cases, how may ESP be able to coordination the real-seen past with the needs of the patient?

    • How can birthmarks be explained by ESP, without insinuating an extremely complex, multi-level chain of paranormal services?

    • If readily available sources disconfirm statements made by children or by clients in regression, but later "hidden" sources which confirm the statements as correct are found, how can ESP manage to distinguish the correct from the wrong sources?

 

3.2. Contact with souls of the dead (Spirit Calling)

Hypothesis:

Children with spontaneous memories or adults in regression behave similar to spiritual mediums. They get in contact with the soul of a deceased person and deeply identify themselves with it to an extent that they feel the spirit’s destiny as their own. The active, acting part is with the child or the one regressed respectively, while the deceased remains passive and only responds by revealing memories.

 

This hypothesis does not provide an answer to the following questions:

  • Who, out of billions of unknown deceased persons, is selected?

  • How or why does a child/a past-life regression client avoid contact with several deceased persons that have lived in overlapping lifetimes when multiple past lives are recalled?

  • Why should the called spirit play part in the ‘changing game’ and not draw attention to the fact the he/she is/used to be an independent person?

  • The influence of the alien soul must be known by the client, because the connection to the spirit arises out of the own initiative. The alleged identification with an alien soul can therefore not exist. Spiritual media do not confuse alien souls that are called with their own past.

  • If specific behaviors (such as preferences or interests) or talents, abilities and skills have long been matching between today´s person and the deceased one, this cannot be for the temporary contact with the deceased.

  • The same applies to matching birthmarks and physical similarities between the today´s person and the previous (deceased) one.

 

3.3. Possession/Circumsession

Hypothesis:

The soul of a deceased person (or of an alien) instills memories on its earlier, earthly life to a child or to the one who is being hypnotized und influences their behavior. The active, acting part is within the deceased person. The influence is effective, if the child utters memories on an earlier life or shows specific behavior or during a past-life regression and times of sickness.

 

This hypothesis does not provide an answer to the following questions:

  • Who, out of the billions of deceased persons, takes the initiative?

  • What would the motivation be of the soul of a deceased person to interfere in past-life regressions or in the soul of a small child? This has never been reported in cases of reincarnation – at best in the rarely occurring cases of possession.

  • How come that there is not a multitude of ghosts of deceased persons taking influence at the same time?

  • Why is the child or the past-life regression client not aware of any influence? They do no report about any conflicts with another soul, but rather think to be the same person today as in the past.

  • Why is there no change in personality with the coming and going of an influencing soul?

  • Susceptibility to influence for the Beyond is a mediumistic ability. Why does this ability not also become apparent in other areas?

  • Why does this ability end with the school entry age with children?

  • Do all souls of deceased persons look for any past-life regressions in this world just to find later confirmed cases of patients with problems (and possibly dreams and flashbacks) which fit the story of the deceased person?

  • If deceased persons (as the acting part) do not watch past life regressions (because they don´t have any motive to), how come that during later verified cases, patients often describe matching life circumstances?

  • If existing behaviors (preferences, interests) or talents, abilities and skills of the person today match with those of the deceased person, then this cannot be ascribed to an influence by something from the Beyond during the past-life regression.

  • The same applies to matching birthmarks and physical similarities between the today´s person and the previous (deceased) one.

 

 

3.4. Retrieval of knowledge fields (Akashic Records)

Hypothesis:

People under a past-life regression via ESP retrieve their memories from an invisible, intangible ´knowledge field´, which keeps the ‘knowledge of the world’. The knowledge field remains passive; it doesn´t have an own consciousness.

 

This hypothesis does not provide an answer to the following questions:

  • Which one, out of the billions of kept lives of deceased people, is being accessed by children or by clients during hypnosis?

  • How or why does a child or the past-life regression client avoid contact with temporally overlapping lives?

  • Why are events not being perceived from an outsider point of view, but rather from a subjective dramatic experience point of view?

  • If reincarnation doesn´t exist, why do clients and children report about intermediate life-times?

  • If existing behaviors (preferences, interests) or talents, abilities and skills of a person from today match with those of a deceased person since longer, then this cannot be explained by an inquiry of knowledge fields during the past-life regression.

  • The same applies to birthmarks and physical similarities between the person today and the deceased person.

 

 

3.5. Non-local after-death personality-field (NAP, thought bundles)

Hypothesis:

With the death, a non-local personality field develops which saves all experiences and characteristics of every deceased person in a non-tangible way. The information can be accessed from everywhere. The field remains passive, it doesn´t perceive anything from the materialistic world and does not produce own thoughts or takes own initiative. Accordingly, one may not speak about a living consciousness or from a soul. The field can attach itself to objects, locations or situations, as well as to those people undergoing a past-life regression or to a child, who receives the knowledge and the characteristic traits from the deceased person and ‘acts these out’. The hypothesis is similar to 3.4. Therefore, questions are repeated:

 

This hypothesis does not provide an answer to the following questions:

  • Which NPP, out of the billions of deceased people, is being accessed by children or by clients during hypnosis?

  • How or why does a child or the past-life regression client avoid contact with temporally overlapping NAPs?

  • Why are events not being perceived from an outsider point of view, but rather from a subjective dramatic experience point of view?

  • If reincarnation doesn´t exist, why do clients and children report about intermediate life-times?

  • If existing behaviors (preferences, interests) or talents, abilities and skills of a person from today match with those of a deceased person since longer, then this cannot be explained by an inquiry of a personal knowledge fields during the past-life regression.

  • The same applies to birthmarks and physical similarities between the person today and the deceased person.

 

 

3.6. Maternal Impressions

Hypothesis:

There are indications that birthmarks or defects in the fetus are caused when a pregnant woman suffers from a shock caused e.g. by seeing an injured, a crippled or maimed person. The hypothesis assumes that such kind of a shock, or even only the knowledge of the mother about injuries or physical characteristics of a deceased person, can explain all inexplicable matchings of birthmarks in the cases of children. Additionally, the mother is supposed to be able to exert influence on the main features of the embryo case.

 

Counter-Arguments:

  • Several of the reincarnation researchers report about cases in which mothers certainly did not know about any wounds of a deceased person. Stevenson names 25 of such solved cases. These cases can thus not be explained by this hypothesis.

  • A motivation of mothers to (successfully) impose an alien identity on their child could not be found.

  • The hypothesis does not explain the knowledge held by children on events which are not known to their own families.

 

 

3.7. Combination Hypothesis

Hypothesis:

All previously mentioned alternative explanations are sufficient to explain all kinds of cases of reincarnation; either through applying to one and the same case at the same time or through applying every case to another option.

 

Counter-Arguments:

  • If suggestions which only cover few of the cases and those which are not in question for sceptics and materialists are not considered anyway, then the following remain: Cryptomnesia, Paramnesia, genetics, imagination and Super-ESP / Super-PSI.

  • None of these alternatives can explain who, out of the deceased persons, is affected.

  • None of these alternatives can explain why only one deceased person is affected in the cases of children.

  • All remaining alternative explanations cannot satisfyingly explain behaviors, emotions, abilities and skills, recognitions and – except special cases by genetics – birthmarks.

  • No alternative can explain why children have more difficulties to recognize people or places if they had greatly changed after the death of the person.

 

3.8. Reincarnation Hypothesis (narrow type without Karma)

Hypothesis:

The assertion of children and those undergoing a past-life regression to have been reborn, is taken seriously because all observed phenomena can be explained by this. These correspond to the psychology of the normal, every-day way of life and memory.

 

Counter-Arguments:

  • Reincarnation is not considered in today’s valid, scientific worldview and it is unclear whether it could ever be integrated. One mechanism of action is known (mode-operandi problem).

  • Today’s monotheistic churches (Christian, Islamic and Jewish church, apart from individual representatives) largely reject the idea of reincarnation.

  • Indeed, there are also questions on the reincarnation hypothesis (in its more narrow version without the Karma), which are difficult to answer or which cannot be answered at all. One example is the frequently first asked question on the compatibility of the reincarnation hypothesis with the growth of population from a historical perspective. There is no clear answer, but several potential answers can be taken into account (though it is not known which one is true) (pool of souls, generation of souls, life on other planets).

  • No question is known to me which would claim the reincarnation hypothesis to be ‘ad absurdum’. There are meaningful replies on the reincarnation idea to the questions above.

  • One must recognize though that not all elements of the cases are empirically profound. Research is in its initial footsteps and it is yet inadequately supported.

  • One must also admit that not all questions on the self-image of mankind which move us can be replied to: Where do we go in between the lives? Why do only few people hold memories on their previous lives and why, if at all, are memories only existing during early childhood years? Are we all being reincarnated a.s.o.? However, the reincarnation hypothesis does not claim to be able to provide answers.

 

Based on this list, one may recognize that all alternative explanations are questionable in the original sense of the word. Because the reincarnation hypothesis does, comparably, only leave few questions open and because all features of verified cases can be explained, I give preference to the reincarnation hypothesis rather than to alternative explanations – without considering this, in any case, as a proof for its existence.

 

 

 

 

English: j.piechotta@web.de

German: dieter.hassler@gmx.de

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