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After death what for atheists?

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Robert Nozick
Image via Wikipedia

Maybe this, which is the last paragraph in a NYT Magazine article by Jim Holt, a thinking contributor to the Mag:

If death is not extinction, what might it be like? That’s a question the Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick, who died five years ago, enjoyed pondering. One of the more rococo possibilities he considered was that the dying person’s organized energy might bubble into a new universe created in that person’s image. Although his reflections were inconclusive, Nozick hit on a seductive maxim: first, imagine what form of immortality would be best; then live your life right now as though it were true. And, who knows, it may be true. “Life is a great surprise,” Vladimir Nabokov once observed. “I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.”

Jim Holt is a contributing writer for the magazine.

I love most of Jim Holt’s contributions. His stuff in my mind is on a par with John Horgan and George Johnson, the thinking man’s science writer cum philosopher.

UPDATE in December 2008: Charles Blow of the NY Times today picked this up from the Pew Center for research about religion and culture, which seems to give credibility to a more wholesome outcome after death for even atheists and I guess agnostics, like me!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2007/07/30 at 04:16

One Response

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  1. Unfortunately the government of the world’s biggest economic power, military power, polluter, etc. is under strong influence from people who believe that Jesus will soon appear and take them away to a blissful state in the sky.

    So they don’t really feel a need to about pollution, debt, foreign policy and other long term concerns.

    Jan Karlsbjerg

    2007/09/06 at 02:11

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