Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death

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9780810886773: Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death
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Because every single one of us will die, most of us would like to know what if anything awaits us afterward, not to mention the fate of lost loved ones. Given the nearly universal vested interest we personally have in deciding this question in favor of an afterlife, it is no surprise the vast majority of books on the topic affirm the reality of life after death without a backward glance. But the evidence of our senses and the ever-gaining strength of scientific evidence strongly suggests otherwise. In The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death, Keith Augustine and Michael Martin collect a series of contributions that redress this imbalance in the literature by providing a strong, comprehensive, and up-to-date casebook of the chief arguments against an afterlife all in one place. Divided into four separate sections, this essay collection opens the volume with a broad overview of the issues, as contributors consider the strongest available evidence as to whether or not we survive death in particular the biological basis of all mental states and their grounding in brain activity that ceases to function at death. Next contributors consider a host of conceptual and empirical difficulties that confront the various ways of "surviving" death from bodiless minds to bodily resurrection to any form of posthumous survival. Next essayists turn to internal inconsistencies between traditional theological conceptions of an afterlife Heaven, Hell, karmic rebirth and widely held ethical principles central to the belief systems undergirding those notions. In the final section, authors offer critical evaluations of the main types of evidence for an afterlife. Fully interdisciplinary, The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death brings together a variety of fields of research to make that case, including cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, personal identity, philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, psychical research, and anomalistic psychology. As the definitive casebook of arguments against life after death, this collection is required reading for any instructor, researcher, and student in philosophy, religious studies, and theology. It is sure to raise provocative issues new to readers, regardless of background, from those who believe fervently the reality of an afterlife to those who do not or are undecided on the matter."

Über den Autor:

Michael Martin is professor of philosophy emeritus at Boston University. In addition to more than 150 articles and reviews, he is the author or editor of several books, including The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, Atheism, Morality, and Meaning, and Atheism: A Philosophical Justification. Keith Augustine is executive director and scholarly paper editor of Internet Infidels (, which hosts the popular SecularWeb. He is well known as a skeptic on the question of survival after death. He has published in Skeptic magazine and his work has been the object of discussion in multiple issues of the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

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