The Importance of a Good Ending: Some Reflections on Samuel Scheffler’s Death and the Afterlife

The Journal of Ethics 19 (2):185-195 (2015)

Abstract

In his recent book, Death and the Afterlife, Samuel Scheffler argues that it matters greatly to us that there be other human beings long after our own deaths. In support of this “Afterlife Thesis,” as I call it, he provides a thought experiment—the “doomsday scenario”—in which we learn that, although we ourselves will live a normal life span, 30 days after our death the earth will be completely destroyed. In this paper I question this “doomsday scenario” support for Scheffler’s Afterlife Thesis. In particular, I suggest that Scheffler has underestimated the importance of a good ending

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Jens Johansson
Uppsala University

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