Friday, November 21, 2014

Scheffler's Afterlife, naturalized

Samuel Scheffler, mentioned in David's CoPhi presentation yesterday, wrote a short piece for the Times philosophy blog.
I believe in life after death.
No, I don’t think that I will live on as a conscious being after my earthly demise. I’m firmly convinced that death marks the unqualified and irreversible end of our lives.
My belief in life after death is more mundane. What I believe is that other people will continue to live after I myself have died. You probably make the same assumption in your own case. Although we know that humanity won’t exist forever, most of us take it for granted that the human race will survive, at least for a while, after we ourselves are gone.
Because we take this belief for granted, we don’t think much about its significance. Yet I think that this belief plays an extremely important role in our lives, quietly but critically shaping our values, commitments and sense of what is worth doing. Astonishing though it may seem, there are ways in which the continuing existence of other people after our deaths — even that of complete strangers — matters more to us than does our own survival and that of our loved ones. (Continues here)
Scheffler's book, echoing John Dewey's "continuous human community," is Death and the Afterlife. I'm considering it for the next offering of PHIL 3310, Atheism & Philosophy. Here's Scheffler's Philosophy Bites podcast interview.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marx for dogs

The Marx we're not reading for class said:

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” 

(You could look it up on the Internet.) Accelerating Intelligence News