The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death

Rowman & Littlefield (2015)
Abstract
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 that 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 suggest otherwise. In The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life after Death, Michael Martin and Keith Augustine 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. Then 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 in the reality of an afterlife to those who do not or are undecided on the matter.
Keywords survival of bodily death  mortalism  extinction  annihilation  reincarnation  disembodiment  astral body  resurrection  personal identity  psychical research
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,719
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
Chapters BETA
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Afterlife.WIlliam Hasker - 2010 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Immortality.Gabriel Andrade - 2011 - In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - In Benjamin Matheson & Yujin Nagasawa (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook on the Afterlife. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 353-370.
Death, Nothingness, and Subjectivity.Thomas W. Clark - 1995 - In Daniel Kolak & R. Martin (eds.), The Experience of Philosophy. Wadsworth Publishing. pp. 15-20.
Death and Afterlife.Stephen T. Davis (ed.) - 1989 - St. Martin's Press.
An Unconstrained Mind: Explaining Belief in the Afterlife.Philip Robbins & Anthony I. Jack - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):484-484.
Added to PP index
2014-12-04

Total downloads
140 ( #35,373 of 2,197,286 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #298,964 of 2,197,286 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature