Published DateTo the editor,
There is another doctor making the rounds of the TV talk shows — this one is a brain surgeon. His book "Proof of Heaven" has been on the New York Times best seller list for 10 weeks now. His name is Eben Alexander and you can buy his book on Amazon for $8.79 paperback. I began to wonder why a book such as this would be on a best seller list so I scrounged up a few stats. Without boring one with the percentages let's just say that most Americans do believe not only in heaven but to a lesser extent hell and angels. I too am a believer but my beliefs are earth centered — that is that we should all strive for "heaven on earth". As long as there is a supernatural element involved where is the incentive to make this world a better place?
Back to the "Proof". Sam Harris, an American author, philosopher, public intellectual, and neuroscientist as well as the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason has done a good job in eviscerating Alexander's book. "Let me suggest that whether or not heaven exists, Alexander sounds precisely how a scientist should 'not' sound when he doesn't know what he is talking about and his article (Newsweek Oct 12, 2012) is not the sort of thing that the editors of a once important magazine should publish if they hope to reclaim some measure of respect for their battered brand."
Anyone seen a copy of Newsweek in the stores lately? To claim that near death experiences are somehow strong evidence that the soul exists independently of the body and that there is an afterlife which coincidentally reflects the beliefs and wishes of the person who experiences them seems to me a bit premature.
Stay tuned. Universal Pictures has won the bidding war for the movie rights and if you can't wait that long, Amazon has free delivery on the paperback.