Proof of 'Life After Death'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 4, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Is there life after death? Can you prove it? Our next guest says he can. Dinesh D'Souza joins us. He is the author of a brand new book, "Life after Death: The Evidence." It's nice to see you.


VAN SUSTEREN: And I love the words "The Evidence," which is another word for proof. Is there life after death?

D'SOUZA: I think there is. And I've always believed on the basis of faith, but in this book I set that aside and I say let's look at empirical evidence, let's look at historical, philosophical, scientific evidence, and that is the good line, that when you look at modern science, at modern philosophy, there is surprising proof that there is life after death.

VAN SUSTEREN: Like what?

D'SOUZA: Shakespeare called death "the undiscovered country," and it's true that you can't go to the other side of the curtain. I do not claim to have interviewed dead people or any of that.

There are near-death experiences, and that is thousands of people who have been very close to death, they have been declared clinically dead or in some cases no brain function, and they report all over the world a surprisingly uniform experience.

They say "I feel like I am being pulled through a tunnel." "I see a bright light." "I feel in the presence of a celestial being." "And then I come across an impassible barrier, and I cannot go through it, and I am back on the operating table."

These near-death experiences, which are now the subject of quite detailed study -- the atheists are very worried about them and are trying to say no, it is like if you take hallucinogenic drugs or maybe the brain in the process of dying generates this kind of special effects. But those theories have their own problems.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know that it isn't that? I'm zeroing in on the whole issue of proof. I realize these people, these near-death- experiences, there are similarities, but where is your level of certainty?

D'SOUZA: Remember, this is only one part of the argument. I think the way you look at life after death is you are kind of like a detective and you come upon a crime scene. There is no eyewitness. We cannot talk to dead people.

But there is a lot of clues and a lot of evidence. Each single pieces by itself will not make a case, but then you put them together.

For example, take the atheists idea that this is just a dying brain. Many of us know people with Alzheimer's where the body and brain are breaking down, you know what that is like. You have faded recollections, you have a dimness of perception, you have disorientation.

And then you look at the near-death experience, and it is the opposite. It is extreme clarity and a sense of vividness.

Besides, if these are people whose brains are dying, what are they walking around? The people with near-death experiences are -- they have jobs, they have families. So their brain would have had to die and essentially come back to life which is a little hard to believe.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you believed this from faith before you started writing the book. You then did research and you look at it from a scientific point of view. Is that right?

D'SOUZA: The thing is we believe a lot of things on faith, but we are living in a secular culture. And so in some senses fate doesn't cut it when you are talking to somebody who doesn't share your faith. I think it's important to look at see what modern evidence has to show.

And so I look at physics, I look at biology, and most importantly the science of the brain, because there have been tremendous advances in neuroscience.

And in a sense what we are looking at here is the mind and the brain same thing? Because, if they are, then the brain dies, we don't deny that, so then the mind goes with it. But if the mind is not the same thing as the brain, then it opens up the possibility that the brain my die but the mind might live on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is mind synonymous with soul?

D'SOUZA: Soul is tricky term. Usually the religious tradition, the soul is the moral faculty, the ability to tell right from wrong. That's the soul.

The mind is the much wider repertoire of thoughts and feelings, emotions, ideas, the whole immaterial side of us.

Now, 2,500 years Socrates, of all people, made an argument for life after death, which I think is still relevant. He said we as human beings, we have a physical side, our bodies, and we have a mental side, our thoughts, our feeling, our ideas, and our bodies may die, but the immaterial part of us could live on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Great new book, "Life After Death: [The] Evidence" is the word. Thank you, nice to see you.

D'SOUZA: It's been a pleasure.

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