Can a Heart Transplant Change Your Identity?

When I was in graduate school for philosophy, I took a class with Derek Parfit who was known for his work on the relationship between personal identity and ethics. One of the thought experiments he asked us to consider (taken from his book Reasons and Persons) involved our brain's being transplanted into two separate bodies--half of... Continue Reading →

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Children Who Remember Heaven

A few years ago, philosopher Stephen E. Braude wrote an excellent book analyzing the evidence for life after death. His book, Immortal Remains, stands out from most other works in this field by virtue of its rigorous attention to detail and its careful consideration of alternative hypotheses for the evidence: notably, the super-psi hypothesis, which attributes apparent contact with the deceased... Continue Reading →

A World Ruled by Meaning

Those who know of my intense interest in near-death experiences and past-life memories might be surprised to discover that, not so long ago, I was an atheist. Four years ago, I didn't believe in a higher power and I didn't believe in life after death. I had given up all those "spiritual" beliefs around age twenty, when I... Continue Reading →

Why We Read

A few weeks ago, I read a blog post by someone who was upset by research that suggested people don't read in order to find information that could make their beliefs more accurate but primarily in order to confirm the beliefs they already have (a noted exception being the times we read work by authors we love to hate,... Continue Reading →

The Language of the Universe

"If a bird speaks to you, listen." Our cultural obsession with control, with intellect, with there being one right way to do things, has deafened us to many languages. The languages of the birds, for one. The languages of our bodies. Of the sky. Of rivers. Of plants. Of dreams. Of a baby's cries. We... Continue Reading →

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