Home Discussion Forum Atheists: How do you explain 'past life' regression?

Atheists: How do you explain 'past life' regression?

I’m an Atheist and thought I had everything covered as just ‘make believe’, but how do you explain ‘past lives’? Hmmm, I wonder.
Lots of good answers. Thanks.


  1. I’ve read a lot about it and when they’ve tried to compare facts with what the individual claimed they can very seldom find any concrete evidence to support it.

  2. These “past lives” are nothing more than narratives created by the subconscious mind using imagination, forgotten information and suggestions from the therapist.

  3. I think it’s wishful thinking. years ago I went to a workshop, and everyone there but me said they saw something. I admit I was disappointed, so it wasn’t like I was a dis believer at the time.
    The lady running the workshop was NOT happy with me.

  4. HAve you ever noticed in past lives everyone is always some famous? they always claim they were Queen this or that. I think that explains a lot right there.

  5. Well I’m not an atheist, but I would like to answer this:
    The regression is hypnosis, almost like a dream state, and the person is subject to whoever hypnotized them. It’s kind of like when I was younger, and my little brother fell asleep and started talking in his sleep. Me and my other brother started talking back to him and making stuff up just to mess around with him, and we had him talking back to us and his mind was coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff that he would describe to us. The next morning he didn’t remember any of it, or the dreams we were causing him to have. The brain is a very powerful thing.

  6. Atheists just deny the existence of god. They do not have to explain everything else that happens or does not happen.

  7. Depends on the situation. I’m likely to consider it bunk, a fluke of the brain and a wanting of the individual. Or maybe it is something we have more to learn about and find to be true.
    Even if we were capable of living, physically, more than once… that still doesn’t prove deities exist and certainly doesn’t make any of the thousands of deities worshiped by man more realistic than any other. Which means, I can carry on being an atheist whether it’s bunk or not.

  8. Well being an Atheist really means you don’t believe in a god, doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t believe in other things. Past lives don’t require a god to occur. Also past life regression could really just be regression of crazy dreams or just events that were made up in your head.

  9. I guess I don’t know much about it. I would need some evidence that it might be real at all before I would think it might be real at all. People imagine and dream lots of weird things, and past lives certainly fit that category. Do you know of any compelling case studies?

  10. Police used to use professional hypnosis to get people to remember events of a crime that have been blocked out from their memory. What they found is that the people “recalling” the events were prone to making things up, as though they were having a dream and were conscious enough to tell what they were seeing.
    Past-life regression is just as equally BS.

  11. There’s no need to “explain” something for which there is no credible evidence.
    And past life regression certainly falls into that category.
    Remember the big to-do a few years ago about hynotically recovered memories of child abuse, the stuff that had sons and daughters going after their fathers for abuse that never happened because of memories that were supposedly “recovered” under hypnosis? Remember how the whole thing was discredited and ruled inadmissable in court trials after it was conclusively demonstrated that the memories were false, either implanted by the hypnotists or imagined by the supposed victim? Remember how that whole “movement” slunk away in disgrace?
    There you go. Same kinda thing for past-life regression.
    Now, if a 2-year old just able to talk, and that had been raised in controlled conditions and had never been taught anything about history suddenly started recounting historically accurate events from the life of a long-dead person, then I’d have to start considering that it might be real. As no such thing (or even close) has ever happened, we’re on solid ground saying it’s nonsense.

  12. What exactly do you mean by past life regression? If you are talking about the claims of private knowledge, just how private is it? If you can verify it, the person could find it out themselves. Or they could make reasonable guesses. Or the statements are vague enough to cover multiple possibilities.
    People believe all kinds of crazy stuff. If someone is claiming that the personality and memory from one person has been transferred to another, they have a very high burden of evidence. Making vague statements does not meet that.
    The person may actually believe it. I do not claim they are intentionally lying. But believing it does not make it true.

  13. They do that in Scientology as well. Tory Christman tells a brilliant story about it. She’s in a center, and she meets this person who says “I had the most amazing session this morning. It turns out I was Julius Caesar!” So Tory’s all excited, thinking “wow! I’m having coffee with Julius Caesar!”
    However, later that day she meets someone else who informs her that in a previous life he was Julius Caesar. So she thinks “well that can’t be, I just met him this morning”, but doesn’t say anything because that would invalidate the other person’s breakthrough…
    Yeah. As Ani DiFranco sang “everyone’s a f*cking Napoleon”

  14. From what I have seen people claim about their past lives, pretty much everybody claimed to be somebody famous. Have you noticed that? Everybody was a Ceasar, Kleopatra, King this or that, Robin Hood and what’s not. Somehow nobody (or pretty much nobody) seem to claim to be a starving peasant or maid or something like that.
    Somehow that alone makes me not to want to believe into that.

  15. In response to welltravelledprog, there was just such a 2-year-old featured on YouTube. I found it by googling “reincarnation evidence”, and besides finding such people as the convinced e -atheist Dr Michael Newton, there was the story of the boy James Leininger, with his spontaneous memories starting at age 2, of being a WW2 fighter pilot.
    Just because it is easy for an armchair critic to dismiss something as nonsense doesn’t mean it actually is nonsense.

  16. Do these critics think that they know more about hypnotism than the professional hypnotists do? The false memory syndrome lasted less than a decade, and came to an end because it produced no verifiable information. Past-life hypnosis has been going on for many decades and has produced many volumes of verifiable information, statements made under hypnosis about details of past lives, that turned out to be accurate.
    Hypnotic regression cannot so lightly be dismissed, as the critics on this web page try to do, as mere fantasy, or just crazy stuff. Fantasy and crazy stuff do not produce verifiable information.


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