15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 1998
Although "believers" in the spiritual interpretation of the NDE will not be convinced by Blackmore's dying-brain theory, this is by far the best book on the subject I've seen. Blackmore is not out to "debunk" the believers, but to show that her theory better explains the data in almost every respect. Her standard for what constitutes a good scientific theory is particularly valid in showing how alternate explanations (even non-spiritual) are not useful, if not outright mistaken.
It's interesting to note that even in his latest book Kenneth Ring still says the "unbelievers'" explanations claim that the NDE is pointless, or not meaningful, or that it belittles experiencers. Anyone who reads Blackmore's intelligent, compassionate book, which is even tinged by eastern philosophy (though from a neurological standpoint), know that Ring is fooling himself.
I call Blackmore's theory a "prototheory" because it is not comprehensive. But she admits outright that the evidence for this or that point would not yet excuse speculation; she doesn't cop out on issues, she simply says that neither she nor the believers can say one way or the other yet without further research. All in all, _Dying to Live_ is more of a foundation for future research and theorizing on the meaning of the NDE, but as such it is invaluable.
on 12 July 2015
This book has been blown out of the water many times by fresher research. The skeptiko podcast and forum is an excellent, careerism free, resource. Unfortunately, Susan Blackmore is here proving the meme idea to be correct. Live a virus, the meme spreads through the body of discourse and people start repeating the mean.
Dying to Live is mentioned everywhere like this old book is the ultimate revelation. It's sad really.
I was in a dentist waiting room and I happened upon the Focus Magazine. I went to the questions section where Blakemore resides, like a troll with her fingers in many a pie. An innocent asked Blackmore why do dreams feel so read. Blackmore claimed to know the answer and peddled her stupid dying brain model.
In Dying to Live, Susan Blackmore claims that we all dream from a floating vantage point and this explains the dream of the near death experience. This is how low the academy has sunk.