Ep. 9 – Is There an Afterlife? with Keith Augustine

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.

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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.
https://www.amazon.com/Myth-Afterlife-against-After-Death/dp/0810886774

Musolino, J. (2015). The soul fallacy: What science shows we gain from letting go of our soul beliefs. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Fallacy-Science-Letting-Beliefs/dp/1616149620/

Lamont, C. (1990). The illusion of immortality (5th ed.). New York, NY: Unger/Continuum. (Original work published 1935).
https://www.amazon.com/Illusion-Immortality-Corliss-Lamont/dp/0804463778/

Woerlee, G. M. (2013). Illusory souls. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.
https://www.amazon.com/Illusory-Souls-G-M-Woerlee/dp/149617352X/

Critiques of Evidence for Survival: Con

Lester, D. (2005). Is there life after death? An examination of the empirical evidence. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
https://www.amazon.com/There-After-Examination-Empirical-Evidence/dp/0786421169/

Moore, B. N. (1981). The philosophical possibilities beyond death. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
https://www.amazon.com/philosophical-possibilities-beyond-death/dp/0398044597/

Sudduth, M. (2016). A philosophical critique of empirical arguments for postmortem survival. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
https://www.amazon.com/Philosophical-Empirical-Arguments-Postmortem-Philosophy/dp/1137440937/

Dodds, E. R. (1934). Why I do not believe in survival. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 42, 147–172. Online at
https://archive.org/stream/proceedingsofsoc42soci#page/146/mode/2up

Critiques of Evidence for Survival: Pro

Gauld, A. (1982). Mediumship and survival: A century of investigations. London: Heinemann. Online at
http://www.esalen.org/ctr-archive/mediumship.html

Braude, S. E. (2003). Immortal remains: The evidence for life after death. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
https://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Remains-Evidence-After-Death/dp/0742514722

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”
https://infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html

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
https://aeon.co/essays/my-paranormal-adventure-in-pursuit-of-life-after-death

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
https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/267/2015/11/STE32.pdf

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):
https://infidels.org/kiosk/article/death-and-the-meaning-of-life-55.html

Epicurus, “Letter to Menoeceus” (c. 300 BCE):
http://www.epicurus.net/en/menoeceus.html

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 50 BCE), Book III; select excerpts:
http://www.humanistictexts.org/lucretius.htm#_Toc483369281

Michel de Montaigne, “That to Philosophize is to Learn to Die” (1580):
http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/107#lf0963-01_head_024

Philip Larkin, “Aubade” (1977):
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48422

Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship” (1903):
https://users.drew.edu/~jlenz/br-free-mans-worship.html

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.
https://www.amazon.com/Life-Death-Meaning-Philosophical-Questions/dp/1442258330/

Kagan, S. (2012). Death. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
https://www.amazon.com/Death-Open-Courses-Shelly-Kagan/dp/0300180845

(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.
https://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Life-E-D-Klemke/dp/0195327306/

Heinegg, P. (2003). Mortalism: Readings on the meaning of life. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
https://www.amazon.com/Mortalism-Readings-Meaning-Peter-Heinegg/dp/1591020425/

Choron, Jacques. Death and Western Thought. New York: Collier Books, 1973.
https://www.amazon.com/Death-Western-Thought-Jacques-Choron/dp/0020647107/

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