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Death and the Afterlife$
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Samuel Scheffler and Niko Kolodny

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982509.001.0001

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The Afterlife (Part II)

The Afterlife (Part II)

(p.51) Lecture 2: The Afterlife (Part II)
Death and the Afterlife

Samuel Scheffler

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the discussion of the afterlife conjecture and its implications. The conjecture is said to cast light on the limits of individualism and on the relation between value and temporality. This chapter also investigates the relation between the personal afterlife and the collective afterlife. This investigation reinforces the conclusion that the prospect of humanity’s imminent extinction poses a threat to the ability of those now living to lead good and fulfilling lives. This has implications for the way we think about the threats to humanity’s survival posed by climate change, nuclear proliferation, and other, similar problems. It means that we have compelling reasons to take the interests of future generations seriously, not merely because they are dependent on us and vulnerable to being harmed by what we do, but also, and less obviously, because we are dependent on them if we are to lead successful lives.

Keywords:   afterlife, individualism, value, temporality, human extinction, future generations, climate change, nuclear proliferation

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