- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Agio Publishing House (Jan. 19 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1897435290
- ISBN-13: 978-1897435298
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,800,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Atheist Afterlife: The odds of an afterlife - Reasonable. The odds of meeting God there - Nil. Paperback – Jan 19 2009
|New from||Used from|
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
David Staume (Australia) is an author and screenwriter. The information in his books comes from his personal observations of nature and his studies in the fields of philosophy, science and metaphysics.
To contact David or for additional information on his books and philosophy go to http: //www.modernphilosophy.com/
Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Most atheists outright deny the possibility of an afterlife of some kind, but I don't think a lack of a God or gods necessarily means there is a lack of an afterlife. This book provides an alternative view to the often dogmatic, materialist views of mainstream atheism, regarding that subject.
This conclusion, especially the insistence on cyclical reincarnation, never mind the rather arbitrary insistence on it being a 4 stage process, is entirely unsupported by the rest of the book, which lays out the speculative ground work for consciousness simply persisting after the death of the physical body. He just jumps right into it saying, "obviously, life after death means reincarnation". There's nothing obvious about it.
My second major objection comes earlier in the book, where Staume is first laying the groundwork for admitting the possibility of consciousness persisting after death by referring to the Law of Conservation of Energy, comparing consciousness to energy to say it never actually disappears, it just transitions to a different type. To me at least, this sounds more like an argument *against* posthumous consciousness rather than for. If consciousness is energy in a manner analogous to how kinetic force is energy, then the comparison demands that just as kinetic energy transforms into heat energy (namely, it is no longer kinetic), then cessation of consciousness as we know it would result in the "consciousness energy" would transition into energy that is no longer consciousness. This is the standard rebuttal to the "consciousness as energy" argument, and Staume makes no attempt to address it, treating the argument using the Law of Conservation of Energy as though it were a new one.
While there are other, smaller issues that I could nitpick, these two I considered to be the most glaring that prevent "The Atheist Afterlife" from being a genuinely thought providing text but rather a series of either previously rebutted or easily rebuttable arguments that conclude in a non-sequitur.
If you're an atheist like me, your standard answer will be something like "no - we just rot" or "it's just like it was before you were born."
And dualism - mind and brain separate? Puhlease...
So, I have to admit I was initially a touch skeptical about this book but decided to get it after reading Sam Harris (see below); and by the first chapter I was into it! The Atheist Afterlife is a great little read.
Some of the most profound experiences in your life happen when you are challenged on what seems to be a basic assumption. In this case, that if there (probably) are no gods, then the concept of afterlife is a fraud. Not possible. Hot buttered toast. But Not...So...Fast.
Sam Harris, in "The End of Faith"The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason says, "The idea that brains produce consciuosness is little more than an article of faith among scientists at the moment...(yet) nothing about a brain..declares it to be a bearer of the peculiar, interior dimension that each of us experiences as consciousness in his own case."
In the Atheist Afterlife (the odds of an afterlife:reasonable. The odds of meeting God there:Nil.), David Staume wedges his foot in the door Harris opens and gives us a glimpse of what might, just might, be out there after (and before) death.
The Atheiest Afterlife is a fun essay which gradually unweaves a plausible case for an afterlife which has absoltuely nothing whatsoever to do with the existence of gods.
Pleasingly, Staume never claims his theory as fact, or even claims that it's probable. And there are more than enough nods to science - Staume is like Dan Dennet, a philosopher who knows his bounds. By the end of the first half of the book, he has teased us with the possibility of having a testable theory of life after death.
By the end of the second half, your head spins a bit with the implications and what we might expect. This is where the Staume hits his stride and the read becomes great entertainment as well as stimulating.
This is a great read for anyone wondering what an afterlife might be like and how it might work. And for anyone who just wants a dose of assumption-shaking.
On the theory itself, I can't say I'm convinced quite yet (I'd like to know what Steven Pinker thinks)How the Mind Works But this great read has made me rethink my assumptions about what consciousness is, or might be - and without any need for supernatural sky-daddies or fairies.
All that said, I expect deists and theists would also find this a great read as it is not at all a "hardcore" atheist work as such and I have a feeling there would be some interesting threads that would connect back to anyone's personal theological views. There was an Anglican Bishop in town this week who doesn't believe in God - he should read this, for a start!
For the intellectual challenge and the fun read in one, I'll give this one 5 stars. I'll admit it might be 4 stars if you don't enjoy your philosophy delivered in a conversational, fun way but anywaty I'd recommend you give this book a go.
I'll be interested to see what other readers think as it sure ain't the usual weekend read!