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    Samad 1   Muhammad Ahmed Abdus Samad 22110097 SS 100 Syed Javed Nazir 22 nd  October 2018 In the article “The  Importance of Afterlife. Seriously”  for New York Times, the writer Samuel Scheffler presents a philosophical analysis about how important the “afterlife”  is for each and every one of us. This article was written in late 2013, just before the publication of Scheffler’s  very well-known book “Death  and the afterlife”  which is on the similar context. The article appeared in “The   Stone”  which is a forum of NYT for philosophers and other thinkers. The implicit purpose behind this article seemingly indicates the promotion of his forthcoming  book (that was published some months after the article) and introduces people with his  philosophy about afterlife. Deep analysis of the article shows the Scheffler’s  new way of thinking about why “overcoming  threats to human survival”  was important. Scheffler starts the article by clarifying his belief about the afterlife and goes on to make a point about the importance of the upcoming generations. He presents a hypothetical scenario and asks the audience some rhetorical questions. With support of relatable examples and consequences of ‘infertility  of human generation’  or ‘asteroid  collision ’  he builds on his thesis that the consequences that our loved ones would have to face after us is not what actually    Samad 2   matters, what actually concerns us is the idea that no new people would be there after us. Later in the article, Scheffler logically relates the phenomenon with egoism and individualism, making a claim that all our purpose of life is dependent on our descendants. Eventually, Scheffler switches to the other side of the argument that is, if the humanity was to survive, and how near was the end of humanity. He concluded his article by commenting on the obligations we have on our descendants i.e. saving the world. He well rounds his analysis by explaining that it’s  not only the descendants who would be benefitted by our effort to save the worlds, but also our purpose of life which is benefitted the most. In the course of the article the writer used many of the oratory tools and rhetoric devices depicting his professional writing skills. He uses the set of assumptions, imagery and logical examples to pursue the audience and introduce them to a new interpretation of the phenomenon. He constructs on his thesis and later relates the idea to the social issue of “preserving  the environment”.  In doing this, Scheffler challenges some normal believes and scientific facts, that were not explained in this text. Apart, the text is highly based on philosophical idea and misses on much of the factual or research-based explanation, which is an interest driver for many readers. In the early part of the article the writer forces the assumption that “Humanity   won’t  exist forever”.  The writer assumes that readers are contained with the belief that humanity will ultimately end. However, much of the modern Science and Biological researches nowadays  prove the flip side. In the article END OF DEATH by Sean Martin, for express.co, he mentions the factual data about how human lifespan has increased over the years and people have started    Samad 3   living longer (Martin 1). Moreover, he talks about how the technological progress have caused many diseases to wipeout over the time, increasing humans’  life span. In another article on NBC news “How  Humans Might outlive the earth. ”,  Corey Powell talks about the latest scientific advancements and continuous revolution of species. He infers that the pace at which technology is improving, the ideas of multiplant era, Star-Hopping era and gravitational era makes much of the larger sense. He refers to the Paul Steinhardt’s  (of Princeton University) research on how humans would survive the Big Bang by leapfrogging to the next cosmic cycle. Such theories reject the idea “ the end of humanity ” . Sheffler contradicts the idea that “  personal afterlife ”  gives purpose to life. This may offend readers who are possessed with the firm belief in the Hereafter: prominent religions on earth including Christianity and Islam lay great emphasis on the Hereafter. Many of the actions of humans are refined and effected by the judgement they will face in the Hereafter. “ Personal afterlife ”  is the source of hope for many of the people around. The outrageous rejection and generalizing of author’s  own idea over the way humans think may offend some of the Scheffler’s  audience. One such example is given in “Do  Psychological beliefs effect Psychological Adjustment to late-life and spousal loss”  by Deborah Carr and Shane Sharp: she discusses about how the concept of meeting their loved ones in after life gives a widowed woman’s  life a  purpose. Hence, generalizing the idea that the survival of other humans is more important in giving purpose to one’s  life is what was not needed from Scheffler to make a point. However, such generalization is not preferred when the audience is diverse. (shift to for in intro) One of the very strong rhetoric devices used by Scheffler’s  that dominates throughout is the use of imagery. He takes help of rhetorical questions and logical    Samad 4   examples to guide the thoughts of the audience towards his point. He mentions a hypothetical scenario of asteroid collision and then asks the audience “ how would you react ” . This makes the audience imagine and think over the topic. Hence, engaging the audience in the topic helps Scheffler grab their interest. Contructing towards the main point, he mentions various related examples that can easily be imagined by the audience keeping themselves in such a place. Such information attaches the audience emotionally to the topic, as they imagine a collapsing world. Moreover, this also appeal to logic as many of the movies and real-life examples can be related to it. Amidst the article the writer presents another hypothetical scenario creating a picture in the mind of audience and makes them imagine the consequences if the human race got infertile. This example can be related by the audience as well as the author, to one of the top grossing movie of 2006 “Children  of men”.  The movie displays the same depression, anxiety and despair Scheffler talks about in the article. This example logically and emotionally conveys Scheffler  ’ s perception that it is not only a person’s loved ones whose survival matters, but also the survival of entire humanity. Another quality of the Scheffler’s  article is its cohernce. The flow of thoughts, questions, explanation and then building a strong conclusion is a beautiful aspect of writing and is mostly admired. A review on Scheffler s book “Death  and The Afterlife”  on Amazon.com describes his way of writing as “   meticulously argued and demanding in exactly the right way”  and it has “agreeable  lightness and fluency”.(  John Cottingham,  Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews ). As in article Sheffler first explains his belief, then stirs it with imagery and dilutes his philosophy with logical examples.

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