SkepSun #120 (01_04_2015)

It’s the first Skeptical Sunday of 2015 and I had the idea to start the year with an upbeat show on happy subjects…but then I quickly reconsidered. Instead, the show is about death and how we seculars deal with it. Are we at a disadvantage compared to people who delude themselves that they and their pets are headed for an afterlife? On Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor speak with Greta Christina who tells us about her new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do About God. Then they talk with Barbara Mancini, who was arrested and prosecuted for handing her terminally ill 93-yr-old father prescribed medicine that he requested, a charge of “assisted suicide” that was religiously and politically motivated, and ultimately dismissed. Then on the Philosophy Bites podcast we hear from Samuel Sheffler, a professor of philosophy at New York University who discusses a version of the “afterlife” with host Nigel Warburton that we naturalists can’t object to. Sheffler points out that our capacity to find value in activities involves an implicit assumption that life will go on after we ourselves are gone. Then in hour two,  Bo Bennett interviews George Eighmey, officer and spokesperson for the Death with Dignity National Center on the Humanist Hour podcast. They discuss issues involved with Oregon’s Death with Dignity law and the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old suffering from a brain tumor who moved to Oregon to take advantage of the law and ended her life last November.

Brittany Maynard, 29-year-old brain cancer sufferer who decided to end her own life in November 2014

Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old who suffered from brain cancer. She ended her own life in November 2014, making use of Oregon’s Death with Dignity law.

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