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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

The Significance of Doomsday

The Significance of Doomsday

(p.112) (p.113) The Significance of Doomsday
Death and the Afterlife

Susan Wolf

Oxford University Press

This commentary raises doubts about three of Scheffler’s claims. First, it questions whether reacting to the prospect of doomsday with apathy and despair shows that people are less egoistic than we tend to believe. Second, it questions whether people would tend to react so despairingly in the first place, rather than band together and try to help each other find meaning in the little bit of life that remains to them. Finally, it questions whether the difference between the prospect of humanity’s imminent extinction and the knowledge of humanity’s eventual extinction is or should be as significant as Scheffler takes it to be. Meaningfulness in life may depend on the existence of a community of valuers, but not necessarily on a community with a future.

Keywords:   afterlife, egoism, individualism, value, meaningfulness, community, human extinction

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