David's Reviews > Life After Death: The Evidence

Life After Death by Dinesh D'Souza
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's review
Dec 24, 09

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

In two short days --we have been snowed in -- I read Dinesh D'Sousa's new book. I must admit it was a compelling read. The author asks many of the same questions as have I these many years.

I did not appreciate being labeled as "idiotic" (pg.210) due to my agnosticism, but I understand his take on metaphysical "risks". Not deciding without all the evidence is as risky as opting for Pascal's Wager, since, in essence, we will never have "complete" evidence until after we are dead. I get that.

What I found especially interesting were the author's thoughts about the mind and consciousness. He makes the stunning assertion that human evolution is the Universe's (God's?) method of creating a being which can comprehend both itself and The Universe. This IS the point of all evolution. He shows in fine detail how the material world has moved from disorganization and sterility (think Earth 3 billion years ago) to highly organized and fecund. He examines in detail empirical materialism, materialistic reductivism, and the latest findings of neuroanatomy. This last I understand due to my own independent reading of such texts as "The Spiritual Brain" and "My Stroke of Insight".

He makes a very good case for the independence (from the empirical world) of the mind, consciousness, and free will. It is in his extrapolation from what we can observe to that which we will NEVER be able to quantify where I have some argument with him. He contends that since all of science points to an afterlife (and he cites numerous sources and studies, including many philosophers as well), we are almost surely not finite, but immortal souls.

My biggest criticism is that he fails to explain why we are not conscious or aware of the "time" before our own birth. He notes plenty of arrows pointing forward toward heaven and hell, but the closest he comes to explaining the pre-existence of the immortal soul is the Eastern concept of reincarnation. This is a glaring deficiency, IMO.

Finally, in the end he gives the standard Evangelical Warning -- repent now or be prepared to spend eternity in Hell. He admits, of course, that the Church's ideas of heaven and hell are over-wrought (cherubs, harps, devils, fire) and that Hell is "where you get what you want, forever", and Heaven is (possibly) right here where we live now -- only better. He stresses that Jesus spent much of his time warning people of the ease with which MOST of humanity will slip off the metaphysical cliff, while "narrow is the gate" to the Kingdom of God. I do appreciate, however, how he emphasizes that this new world is available to all believers now, even before we give up our material form. In this regard he may have the key to our destiny.

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