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New review: The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, by Martin Gardner


We come now to the most scandalous, most shocking, chapter of my confessions. I, who am widely regarded as a skeptic and an atheist, who am an unabashed disbeliever in ESP, PK, precognition, and all things paranormal, am actually going to defend the hope and belief in a life after death! Let it not be said that this signals senility. I have believed in an afterlife since my boyhood, when I first began to believe in God.


This is the opening paragraph of a chapter with the title "Immortality: Why I Am Not Resigned". Martin Gardner, who died in 2010 at the age of 95, was a popular mathematics and science writer who was prominent in the skepticism movement, where his belief in God was something of an embarrassment for some of its members. In this book he presents his views on a number of philosophical questions, many though not all concerned with religion. More

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