Ockham Publishing

After Life

After Life: Solving Science and Religion's Great Disagreement

Matthew O'Neil

What happens to us when we die? It’s a question that has been debated for centuries, moulded through time to fit our ever changing views.

Many religions teach that how we act in our life will determine where we will end up after life. If you follow religious teachings and adhere to their ethical standards, you will be rewarded and spend an eternity in heaven. If not, you will be punished and forced to spend forever in hell.

Modern science, however, will tell you a completely different story: fanciful, hopeful tales of an afterlife are both rationally explainable and lacking in evidence.

Theologian Matthew O’Neil demonstrates that the contemporary religious view of the afterlife is far from what our ancestors envisioned. Subjecting both original Scripture and contemporary faith to the rigours of modern science and rational philosophy, he seeks to answer one of humanities most famous puzzles: what happens After Life?


"What happens after life? Matthew O'Neil answers this question with learning, elegance, and grace. He reveals the surprisingly rich history of heaven and hell and many other religious ideas that believers assume have always existed in their present form but in fact evolved along with society and culture. There may be no scientific evidence for an afterlife but O'Neil demonstrates how this fact leads to a most uplifting conclusion. To discover it, and how to live a fulfilling life without an afterlife, read this beautiful book."
--Michael Shermer, Publisher Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist Scientific American, Presidential Fellow Chapman University, and author of The Moral Arc. 

"Matthew O'Neil's After Life makes a complicated issue, what happens after we die, very simple. The author analyzes the important topic of the potential for life after death from scientific, philosophical, and religious perspectives, but using terms nearly everyone can understand. Citing chapter and verse from popular religious texts, as well as scientific studies from the world's greatest thinkers, O'Neil takes you on a journey toward understanding what life is and whether or not it can continue after death."
--David G. McAfee, author of The Belief Book, Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist, and Disproving Christianity.

"Not only are there strong scientific reasons for rejecting the existence of an immortal soul capable of floating free from the body, but the original Biblical notion of the afterlife has evolved over time - and in fact it was originally borrowed from prior traditions. O'Neil's book offers a convincing case that the short duration of time between the cradle and the grave is all we have. Far from being a cause of despair, though, this should compel us to make the most of our sojourns here on Earth."
--Phil Torres, author of The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse. 

"Religion uses the afterlife as a tool to control the masses. They offer you eternal happiness or eternal damnation, and make you question your existence every single day. In After Life, Matthew O'Neil dissects these beliefs with great precision and examines these myths against the scientific truths of reality."
--Dan Arel, author of The Secular Activist and Parenting Without God.

"Matthew O'Neil touches on a subject that I've been fascinated with for much of my adult life. As I became an atheist, I struggled with what may exist beyond this beautiful life we're experiencing. In this book, O'Neil answers the questions I had as a new atheist, and I believe this book will help others on their journey towards enlightenment."
--J. D. Brucker, author of Reason over Faith: Antitheism & the Case Against Religion and Facing Oblivion: Essays on Life, Death and Grief from a Nonbeliever.

"Matthew O'Neil's After Life is a lovingly researched momento mori that takes us on a safari; not just through the fascinating evolution of Heaven and Hell, but of God and Satan themselves as well. He delves into the mechanics of the soul, mind and body to reveal how we die - and how we can live knowing that we will. A must-read for any living readers curious to learn what really happens when we die, and why life would suck without death."
--David Fitzgerald, Author of Nailed and The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion series