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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on December 6, 2010
If I had just read the Forward by Rick Warren, punctuated with statements like: "If this life is all there is, there is no basis for any meaning," "The Bible teaches our time on earth is essentially preparation for eternity," and "The logical end of such a life is despair," I would not have bought the book. But on first glance, the Forward seemed to contradict D'Souza's reason for writing the book, which he states is to convince the "Seekers ... who genuinely want to know the truth but haven't found it," and the "Fence sitters ... those who are alienated from traditional religion ... but cannot brace outright atheism either" of the scientific case for life after death. By this logic I am the perfect audience, fitting the two criteria to a T.

Although I'm giving D'Souza's book only one star, because he failed to accomplish what he set out to do; i.e., convince me, his target audience, of life after death; I must say, I found his book an enjoyable read. There's nothing wrong with poking holes in what science can tell us; it would be unscientific not to do so. Although I might nitpick here and there, the depth and breadth of the intellectual and scientific thought that D'Souza draws on is refreshing, encouraging me to almost want to dust off some of my old copies of Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, etc. D'Souza's strongest argument is that there is mounting evidence that genetic code, contrary to Darwin's theory, is directional and inevitable. Although I believe there's much more he could have said on this subject, I don't think it makes his case for a hereafter. To his credit, I would give D'Souza high marks for writing clearly and the way in which he organized his argument. Quite frankly, I would hate to debate the guy.

But here's what didn't work for me: D'Souza begins his argument by effectively demonstrating that scientific truths are not infallible. He recalls how he successfully refuted a claim made by a student who invoked Hume's verification principle and gleefully demonstrated that Hume's principle itself could not be verified. He goes on to illustrate that even the speed of light is not an infallible truth, because we do not know what light might do in another galaxy; he states, "Even if you have measured the speed of light one million times on earth you cannot be even 1% certain that light travels at the same speed on a planet where you haven't measured it." Having completely demolished any pretense of scientific truth, and extolling the virtues of faith, he uses science to make his case. Does anyone have a problem with this line of reasoning? I sure do. So what are we to make of the rest of his argument?

I jump to his last chapter where he deals with the authenticity of Christ's death and resurrection. Without any reference to the historical accuracy of the Bible, he takes the Gospels and St. Paul at face value and within that context refutes any counter claims as to what might have happened 2,000 years ago. As a "fence sitter," I question why he doesn't take Bart Ehrman's challenge and demonstrate for us the historical authenticity of the Gospel accounts. From a scientific perspective, this would have been quite helpful. I've read that he debated Ehrman and loves "taking these people down with their own strength and forcing them to tap out." So why doesn't he take Ehrman on in this chapter?

His argument from morality refuses to admit of any other source than God. I find this astonishingly unscientific and naive. Certainly morality has evolved over time, often in direct conflict to the holy books. We generally don't consider it moral to stone an adulterer, or a blasphemer. The fourth commandment (honor thy father and mother...) is convenient for parents to keep their children in check, but where is the commandment that protects children from their abusive parents? Pope Benedict has approved condom use for prostitutes to prevent the spread of aids; but how many people had to die before this, with all due respect, rather obvious moral edict, could be granted? Without going into the multitude of historical atrocities that have been committed under the banner of God, to which D'Souza would simply counter with all the atrocities committed by the infidels, he fails to make the case that morality is transcendent and has a reality of its own.

Contrary to his stated objective of using science to make his argument, D'Souza easily slips from scientific arguments to theological ones. I suspect he does this for the benefit of the reader who's a believer. For example, in arguing that the big bang theory supports the Genesis account of creation, he states, "God made the universe out of nothing. Initially there was nothing and then there was the universe. The writers of the Bible didn't make this claim on the basis of scientific experiments. They basically said, `God told us.' And in essence, they were right." The skeptic in me wants to ask and were they also right about the six days or the talking snake? This is clearly not where you want to go if you wish to convince someone of the scientific merits of your argument.

It's getting late in the night and I realize I have a lot more problems with D'Souza arguments than I originally thought. So I would like to conclude by referring back to Rick Warren's claim, "If this life is all there is, there is no basis for any meaning." As a "fence sitter," and one who knows many other non-believers, this statement is simply counterfactual. In fact, many would find it easier to turn the statement around and live by the precept: "If this life is all there is, you better make it count." D'Souza's tells the story of a non-believing friend who he highly respects and who "insists that he has never given so much as a thought to whether he might survive beyond the grave .... Even if it was true, it would not affect my life in any way." His friend then goes on to explain what makes life meaningful to him." I ask, now what's wrong with that?
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on April 12, 2016
Some of the chapters might have been good introductions to evidence. No evidence was presented. Other chapters were nothing more than an effort to assign religion/God as the only reason to understand a life after death, which the author proposed to leave out of the discussion. In the end, the author proved nothing.
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on July 24, 2014
LOL. Are you serious? Another propaganda piece to get people into fearing that they might get eternal torment. Christianity has all the answers? Hmmm. Well, your arguments don't prove that, Dinesh.

Get this at the library. Do NOT pay anything for it.

Look, this book can be included in your research of the afterlife, but you need to understand this author's agenda. He is a highly-paid, over-hyped mouthpiece for the mainstream Christian machine. He has been brutalized and made a mockery of by greater minds, like Bart Ehrman and Christopher Hitchens. Just look up any of his debates on the tube of you. It's just sad.

If you are truly interested in the afterlife, make sure you take into account ALL accounts out there. Truth is somewhere in the middle, not in anyone's religion.

Check out some of these interesting books:
1) Raymond Moody books
2) Adventures in the Afterlife by Buhlman
3) Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin
4) Ghosts by Hans Holzer
5) Ghost: Investigating the Other Side by Katherine Ramsland
6) Journey of Souls by Newton

In fact, you might want to read up on the alien phenomenon, because it is being widely accepted that there is a interdimensional/supernatural element to MANY encounters.
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on July 12, 2015
Spoiler Alert: we all will have the same experience after death that we had before birth. We were not anything at all before we were born and regardless of the body's decompensation rate we will be nothing after we die.

And yes, i know that is cold comfort. We are likely the only species to have awareness that we will die. We all are at times deeply affected by death. And we all have that existential crisis that we will die.

So it is with great dismay that people like Dinesh trade on the very real suffering and struggles of people trying to cope with life by putting out claptrap such as this. And I know some people that have lost loved ones cling to the hope that they will be reunited with them so a book such as this is what they turn to. Other people cope by turning to alcohol, but if it is a cheap & poor excuse of a product then I'm giving that alcohol a 1star review, so same rules apply to this.

The only evidence we know of what waits for us after death is from the same experience we had before life. When i first realized that it truly shook me to the core of my belief system. Then I decided to hang on tight and shake the belief system even harder by letting go of the myths and embrace the reality. No belief is worth committing your life to if it cannot withstand the harshest of realities.

So, now i believe in only one thing; that there is life before death but only for all of us here now.
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on April 22, 2016
Uh, d'sousa seems to misunderstand the word EVIDENCE. Thats okay. DD is just in it for the fleecing of the rubes.
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on March 1, 2014
Like once of the reviewers said, he really presents no evidence just arguements. Then again, those who walk with Christ and have experienced the power of His love and grace need no evidence. I preliminarily skimmed this book and found it jibberish, circuitous and just a horrendous read. There are other excellent spiritual publications such as Matthew Kelly's books.
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on November 6, 2009
I really looked forward to this book and it is with great sorrow that I must now convey my utter disappointment having just finished reading it. The subtitle is deceptive: "The Evidence." Very little evidence of the afterlife is actually presented within the book. D'Souza's work is more a polemic against atheism than it is a scientific quest for post-mortem "evidence." Plus, in the last chapter the ace in the hole is finally revealed and that is Christ and his resurrection. Of course, reading the book jacket bio-brief on the author one would know he was a Christian having written a previous book entitled "What's So Great About Christianity" - and by its very title one could logically surmise its conclusions. Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, whatever - the most rational and likewise ultimately humane stance as to the existence of God is that of an agnostic. We simply cannot know one way or the other if there is a Supreme Creator. Our perceptions are vastly limited, even with all of our scientific tools. We can only see what we are capable of seeing and what we see is through a glass, darkly. Is there a God? Perhaps. Even probably. Should we love one another and follow the Golden Rule? Of course. All you truly do need in this short, short life is truly...Love. Do religions promote harmony? Yes - and, sadly, No. Believing in anything too strongly can lead to fanaticism and disagreement and ultimately, worst-case-scenario, violence and bloodshed. All of the world's religions are historically bathed in blood from the start of mankind unto the present day, blood mainly spilled because of disagreeing over, well, which end of the egg should be cracked!

Anyway, D'Souza begins his book with a very brief accounting of his wife, Dixie's, out-of-body experience during a car accident. Her experience - if real - should have been probed in much more detail by the author as, afterall, it is his beloved wife who experienced this extraordinary happenstance that, if true, goes far towards proving the ability of the "soul" to divorce itself from the body. But D'Souza breezes over Dixie's experience but goes on later in the book to rehash another well-known OBE experience - and that is the one written in every single book on the paranormal, the one involving a hospital patient seeing a sneaker on a ledge whilst undergoing surgery and later having her out-of-body experience corrabotated by an adventurous nurse. This story has been told over and over again: but has it ever been re-examined or re-researched? How do we know it isn't merely apocrophal or due to its constant retellings simply the stuff of myth - or even a hoax, a la Richard Henne's boy-in-a-balloon b.s.? Since that sneaker experience (and many others claiming to see themselves being operated on from a viewpoint near the ceiling) several hospitals have set-up their ORs with hidden cards and items placed way above the operating tables to see if there is any validity to the OBE claims. I heard this on a television special years ago. Now, if anything startling came of this experimental set-up, why is there no mention of it in this book? All we get is the same old sneaker-on-a-ledge story.

Be that as it may, on page 18 this author writes: "One clarification up front: there is no spooky stuff in this book - no ghosts, no levitations, no mediums, no conversation with the dead. I do not dismiss the paranormal out of hand, but I am dubious about it, and have chosen to exclude it altogether." My God, there goes the baby with the bath water! Death-bed visitations, ghostly apparitions, electronic voice phenomena, current orb photography - these are clues to a potential afterlife that way outweigh D'Souza's mostly philosophically shaky arguments for post-mortem existence. Yet with a stroke of he pen he dismisses it all! And why is he dubious about this vast field of "evidence"? These phenomema are no more dubious-prone than OBEs and NDEs or the existence of heaven and hell and Christ's resurrection - all of which D'Souza argues for in this book.

A vastly superior book covering ALL of the after-death phenomena in an impartial way and without a religious bias backing it is Carl B. Becker's excellent 1993 book PARANORMAL EXPERIENCE AND SURVIVAL OF DEATH. If it is evidence you want, you won't find much of it in D'Souza's weak book; but if you can find a copy of the just mentioned book, that is the one to read.

D'Souza also injects some very lame "jokes" into his writing, one particular jab at Bill Clinton that is totally out-of-place given the subject at hand and completely lame. In summation: LIFE AFTER DEATH: THE EVIDENCE is short on "evidence" and more about arguing against atheism. A "grave" disappointment - all pun intended - and a book that I will bury (or sell!) as soon as possible.
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on September 2, 2014
Oh it's well written, but a book with " evidence" in the title should countain actual evidence. All the author has proven is his incredible limitation to a monotheistic perspective, and his inability to admit to the emptyness of his "arguments", to which any rational person should give the same credibility they give to cartomancy.
An entire book that stands on the shaky legs that you can't prove there's no santa claus, at this point there's more grounds to believe that Huxley was a prophet.
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on August 13, 2010
I purchased the kindle version of this book and regret all the seventeen hundred pennies spent. I am perplexed as to whether Dinesh's real objective was to earn some dollars (after all, it is not hard to imagine why this topic sells), or whether he actually believes what he asserts in his horrible dross. I have read a couple of D'Souza's books - The End of Racism, What's So Great About America and What's So Great About Christianity, and respected him at least as a skilled narrator (while I cannot stand his oral and visual presentation, his books were surprisingly pleasant). I was skeptical when I was reaching for the Life After Death, but I honestly believed that Dinesh has a certain intellectual height, and which other author than him to choose on such suspicious topic. A moment ago, however, I finished reading the worst non-fiction book I have ever read. And I have read Deepak Chopra.

It would be pointless to list all the non-sequiturs and other reasoning fallacies included in this book, simply because these are joked about on the internet already and they do not deserve any more of my time.

Read this book only if you want to witness Dinesh at his lowest. Life After Death is full of catastrophic mistakes, impotent reasoning, emotional jabs at many brighter minds (mostly referred to as "atheists" in the book), good old "it's complicated, so there must be God behind it" arguments, and occasional kitschy folksiness that just does not work when served by him.

I would also recommend this book to students who are writing their thesis, as a textbook example of how not to lead an intellectual discourse.
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on July 19, 2015
Didn't like this book at all. Was very poorly written and was too religious and dogmatic.
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