Is there evidence of life of death? What should we make of claims about near-death experiences, apparitions, and psychic encounters? For this episode of the show, I talk with Keith Augustine about these questions and more. Mr. Augustine is the Executive Director and Scholarly Paper Editor at Internet Infidels. He holds a Master’s in Philosophy from the University of Maryland, and recently co-edited a book with Michael Martin entitled The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case Against Life After Death. Keith has published articles in the Journal of Near Death Studies, Skeptic magazine, and at infidels.org.
Armchair Atheism is the official podcast of GodlessHaven.com, exploring subjects related to religion and non-belief through interview discussions with a variety of scholarly and thoughtful voices.
To download the episode, right-click the download link and select “Save As.”
Follow the Armchair Atheism podcast feed.
Keith’s page at the Secular Web: https://infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/keith-bio.html
Arguments against Life After Death: Books
Martin, M. & Augustine, K. (Eds.). (2015). The myth of an afterlife: The case against life after death. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Musolino, J. (2015). The soul fallacy: What science shows we gain from letting go of our soul beliefs. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Lamont, C. (1990). The illusion of immortality (5th ed.). New York, NY: Unger/Continuum. (Original work published 1935).
Woerlee, G. M. (2013). Illusory souls. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.
Critiques of Evidence for Survival: Con
Lester, D. (2005). Is there life after death? An examination of the empirical evidence. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Moore, B. N. (1981). The philosophical possibilities beyond death. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Sudduth, M. (2016). A philosophical critique of empirical arguments for postmortem survival. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dodds, E. R. (1934). Why I do not believe in survival. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 42, 147–172. Online at
Critiques of Evidence for Survival: Pro
Gauld, A. (1982). Mediumship and survival: A century of investigations. London: Heinemann. Online at
Braude, S. E. (2003). Immortal remains: The evidence for life after death. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Lund, D. H. (2009). Persons, souls and death: A philosophical investigation of an afterlife. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Near-Death Experience Critiques
“Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences”
Ebbern, H., Mulligan, S., & Beyerstein, B. (1996, July/August). Maria’s near-death experience: Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Skeptical Inquirer, 20(4), 27–33. Online: PDF
Physical Phenomena at Séances
Gauld, A. (1999). Comments on the Scole report. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 58, 404–424.
West, D. J, (1999). The Scole investigation: Commentary on strategy and outcome. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 58, 393–396.
Select excerpts of both in a comment on a blog post.
Direct Tests of Survival
Bering, J. (2013, November 13). My paranormal adventure in pursuit of life after death. Aeon. Online at
Stevenson, I., Oram, A.T., & Markwick, B. (1989). Two tests of survival after death: Report on negative results. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 55, 329–336. Online at
Gillogly, J. J., & Harnisch, L. (1996). Cryptograms from the crypt. Cryptologia, 20, 325–329. Online at http://archive.is/RwF2r
Oram, A. (1996). The original Thouless two-word code. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 61, 116–119.
Death, the Human Condition, and the Meaning of Life: Online
Keith Augustine, “Death and the Meaning of Life” (2000):
Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus” (c. 300 BCE):
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 50 BCE), Book III; select excerpts:
Michel de Montaigne, “That to Philosophize is to Learn to Die” (1580):
Philip Larkin, “Aubade” (1977):
Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship” (1903):
Death, the Human Condition, and the Meaning of Life: Books
Benatar, D. (Ed.). (2016). Life, death, and meaning: Key philosophical readings on the big questions (3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Kagan, S. (2012). Death. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
(And his YouTube lectures that are the basis for the book:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEA18FAF1AD9047B0) [*Highly recommended if you have time to kill and are wanting a new series to listen to. -Taylor]
Klemke, E. D., & Cahn, S. M. (Eds.). (2007). The meaning of life: A reader. 3rd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Heinegg, P. (2003). Mortalism: Readings on the meaning of life. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Choron, Jacques. Death and Western Thought. New York: Collier Books, 1973.