An Atheist Explores the Philosophical Side of Resurrection

It’s easy to make up stories about what happens to you after you die — religions do it all the time. But what do we actually know about the afterlife? Does science have anything relevant to say about it, or is it silly to even ask?

Matthew O’Neil explores these questions and more in his new book After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement (Ockham Publishing, 2016).


In the excerpt below, O’Neil offers a philosophical take on the concept of resurrection:

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The Arabic Translation of The God Delusion Has Reportedly Been Downloaded 10 Million Times

I’m not sure about the legality, but if Richard Dawkins isn’t bothered by the copyright ramifications, then neither am I.

An unauthorized PDF translation of Dawkin’s The God Delusion, by Iraqi emigrant Bassam Al-Baghdadi, who lives in Sweden, has reportedly been dowloaded ten million times,

with 30 percent going to Saudi Arabia. Bassam said that there were over 1,000 downloads on the very first day after he uploaded it, and the numbers only climbed as the translation was picked up and shared on the blogs, websites and forums of prominent Arab atheists. The book has prompted unprecedented controversy and debate in the Arab and Islamic worlds.


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Reading Harry Potter Leads to Brain Damage, Says Principal With No Joy in His Life

Graeme Whiting, headmaster of the Acorn School in England, caused a stir over the weekend when he wrote on the school’s website that fantasy books can lead to brain damage for the kids who read them:

The only way you'll get brain damage from Harry Potter is running into Platform 9 3/4 at full speed.

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Scientology Leader David Miscavige is Threatening to Sue Publishers Over His Father’s Tell-All Book

The Church of Scientology is threatening to sue the publishers of a new book criticizing its leader. Which is to say, David Miscavige is essentially threatening to sue his own father.

The book is called Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me and it’s by Ron Miscavige, the Church leader’s father. He has plenty of reason to write a tell-all: According to the LA Times, detectives “eavesdropped, spied on his emails and planted a GPS unit on his car,” all at the behest of his son.


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Librarians Cull Outdated Books; These 11 Are Among the Most WTF Discards

Ideally, all books should remain available forever. In practice, libraries’ shelf space is limited, and patrons more readily gravitate to a new Carl Hiaasen novel or a recent biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin than they do to a 1954 tome on proper housekeeping. What are librarians supposed to do?

They weed. And what they weed is sometimes immortalized on a very entertaining website called Awful Library Books. It’s run by two Michigan librarians, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, who are the subject of a current New Yorker article.

I just spent an enjoyable hour looking at Kelly’s and Hibner’s digital collection of the doomed, especially at titles that reference religion. Here are 11 books that jumped out at me — scorching my retinas and making me headdesk till I bruised.

the rod1

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