10 Good Questions about Life and Death makes us think again about some of the most important issues we ever have to face.
- Addresses the fundamental questions that many of us ask about life and death.
- Written in an engaging and straightforward style, ideal for those with no formal background in philosophy.
- Focuses on commonly pondered issues, such as: Is life sacred? Is it bad to die? Is there life after death? Does life have meaning? And which life is best?
- Encourages readers to think about and respond to the human condition.
- Features case studies, thought-experiments, and references to literature, film, music, religion and myth.
About the Author
Christopher Belshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Staff Tutor (Arts) with the Open University. He is the author of Ideas (1998) and Environmental Philosophy (2001).
Table of Contents
1 Where Can I Find Answers? 1
2 Is Life Sacred? 15
3 Is It Bad to Die? 30
4 Which Deaths Are Worse? 44
5 Might I Live On? 59
6 Should I Take the Elixir of Life? 77
7 Who’s Who? 92
8 Is It All Meaningless? 109
9 Should There Be More, and Better, People? 129
10 Does Reality Matter? 145
Notes and Further Reading 161
Select Bibliography 169
Name Index 173
Subject Index 175
What People are Saying About This
“This fine book explores these most inescapable of questions with a concern for what can honestly and reasonably be believed. It is free of any untoward ambition to announce surprising discoveries, but neither is it anxious to reinforce easy pieties.” Gary Kemp, University of Glasgow
“A witty and engaging discussion of the main issues that arise when we ask searching questions about the human condition. It invites us to relish the deep questions rather than find shallow answers. Use it as a friendly and smart coach who can help students wrestle with high thoughts about the big questions while keeping their feet on the ground.” Edward Langerak, Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College
“This book is a must for all reflective people - philosophers and lay thinkers alike - whose minds naturally turn to questions of life and death.” Stephen Holland, Departments of Philosophy and Health Sciences, University of York.
“A very engaging, highly readable introduction to some of the great questions of life and death. Belshaw is a thoughtful and skilled philosopher who writes in a crisp and lively way. Allow me to "add" one more question: What's not to like?” John Fischer, University of California, Riverside
"These questions are more than just good - they take us to the heart of who we are and what life is for. Belshaw also shows that they have good answers, ones which can help us come to terms with our own mortality and that of others. This is not "pop philosophy" but real philosophy explained clearly and applied to the concerns of all thinking people. No one who reads this book could doubt that philosophy is still vitally relevant." Julian Baggini, The Philosophers' Magazine
"10 Good Questions About Life and Death is not only an excellent introduction to the philosophy of life and death for the general reader, but it is also a worthwhile read for the professional philosopher addressing these issues." Rejuvenation Research
"...Belshaw takes these concerns seriously. His style is popular, but does not lapse into philosophical journalese; and his clear-headed arguments are nearly always thought provoking. 10 Good Questions About Life and Death is definitely worth a read." Metapsychology