Afterlife by Matthew O’Neil

After Life by Matthew O'Neil book review

Title: After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement
Author: Matthew O’Neil
Published: 
May 6th, 2016 by Ockham Publishing
Genre: Pop-Science
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

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?

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

Being a Sunday school teacher and an avid church-goer, I found the idea of this book to be quite interesting. Death is an interesting topic, one I’ve always thought heavily about and wondered about. I figured this would be a great read for me.

 

rp-writing-style

This book isn’t a novel, so I can’t really review its “plot” and “characters.” Therefore, this section will prove to be the main course.

I don’t know how else to explain this book other than it reminded me of a textbook. When I was reading this book, I felt as though I was back at school in some sort of religion course and this was an assigned reading material. I’ll admit, that feeling turned me off from the book a bit.

The prologue starts off explaining with how the author himself almost died when he was young. He had no memory of what happened to him when he was unconscious and simply wondered what happened to him in that time.

Each chapter talks about the various aspects of death and religion: Heaven, Hell, Resurrection, Soul, and then he gets into the science side of things. Using the Bible and textual evidence from science books and the like, the author explains his findings on what may happen to us when we die.

I felt as though there were more references to the Bible and such more than the author’s own words. He explained what those quotes meant to him and what he felt they truly meant, but I felt as though I was reading constant citations. Plus, there were footnotes. A lot of footnotes.

I’ll admit that when it comes to the science side of things, I don’t 100% understand it. I think that hindered my ability to get the full effect of this book and what it was trying to explain to me.

This book is meant to be informative, and it is, but because of the textbook-like mentality of it, I just couldn’t get as into it as I wanted to.

rp-overall

After Life is definitely educational and interesting. It’s a book I may come back to later to try to understand again. It’s a book I’ll recommend to my fellow church-goers. However, I just felt as though it wasn’t as entertaining and therefore, it had a hard time keeping my attention.

After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement by Matthew O’Neil gets…
3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It is with this that we start our journey in a comfortable spot–eternal paradise in Heaven and why the Bible says there is no such thing.” –Matthew O’Neil, After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement

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Three Squares

I finished another square for the Reading Bingo! I actually finished it over a week ago, but completely forgot about it until now.

I, Robot

I read I, Robot by Isaac Asimov for the square that says: “A book that became a movie.” I had to read this book for my science fiction & fantasy class this semester. Honestly, it’s not a book that I would pick off the shelf and read because I wanted to. I have seen the movie plenty of times and I like the movie, but I never thought about writing the book. Maybe it’s because Will Smith isn’t in the book…

Anyway, it was nothing like the movie. Or, the movie is nothing like the book, I should say. Then I realized this is a series, but I don’t think I’m going to continue reading it. The book was good, but it’s not something I would probably read again.

Right now I’m reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin for the Reading Bingo (and for school as well). You can keep track of my progress through my GoodReads profile if that’s what your heart desires.

On that note, I’ve been doing pretty well this month. I’ve been writing 1,000 words a day, but not on any novels. I’ve been doing prompts and such. I don’t want to start anything new with Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April. I’ve also been editing at least one chapter a day on Hunter.

Yes, just one chapter. It’s takes me a long time to get through five pages let along a 20-page chapter…editing bites, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Day Eighteen

Big News…

 

I know that I skipped the blog post yesterday, but yesterday was my dad’s birthday…and I may have played Pokemon for, oh I don’t know…five or six hours? However, I did write 1,260 words yesterday. It’s better than nothing, right? I wrote those words for Seeing Things.

Today was a better day. I wrote 3,504 words to Take Over. And guess what? Take Over is completed! You guys don’t realize how happy I am that I finished it. Now, as I continue for Camp NaNo for the rest of April, I can focus on just one novel. That novel being Seeing Things, even though it’s just “part” of a novel.

I have to say this: 2013 has been a pretty big year so far. I made a resolution to write a lot more and I have actually been keeping up with that. I finished the first part of a novel (Saving Each Other) in about two weeks. Saving Each Other, I just printed out the part today, is 119 double-spaced pages with 35,076 words. Seeing Things and the other three parts of that novel are going to be just as long. This novel is going to be a big book.

I finished Take Over in about five weeks. I estimate that because I started it at the beginning of March and stopped writing it for Camp NaNo. However, when I picked it back up again it only took me an extra four or five days to finish. Take Over is 219 double-spaced pages with 70,642 words. Now it’s onto the fun part…editing.

So I completed 1/5 of a novel and a whole novel in less than two months. Now I’m onto the second part of a novel I hope to get a good dent it in by the end of the month. I’m putting those words towards Camp NaNo. Which, by the way, from today’s word count and yesterday’s word count is up to 44,069.

I had planned on writing more today because that 3k was written in school this morning. However, I had to babysit (like I do every Thursday), but I ended up going to their house an hour earlier and leaving two hours later than I usually do. I’m not going to explain, but things are chaotic at their house at the moment.

Not to mention that I have a ton of homework. As I said before, it’s the end of the semester so all my teachers decide to give out everything now. I have three chapters worth of homework in math as well as a project, I have two science projects, and I have a essay for my student teaching class as well as write up a few lesson plans. Although, the lesson plans are optional so that’s the last thing on my mind. There’s three weeks left in the semester and all this stuff is due one right after the other. It’s a pain. I quit.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good writing day. I hoped to get to 50k today, but oh well. Maybe tomorrow. Or Saturday. The worst part is that I’m in a big mood to play Pokemon, so hopefully I can just use that as an incentive to get my homework and/or writing done. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I was very close to skipping my science class on Tuesday, but I told myself I would get myself Starbucks if I went to class. And I did. I was happy.

Okay, today exhausted the crap out of me so now I’m just kind of babbling on…I’ll see you all tomorrow!

 

2013: 125,848/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Day Sixteen

Back In Business…

 

So I am back for now! I have to admit that it was little tough not writing for a few days while I was away, but I had a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I were more than happy to have some alone time for a little while. It’s sometimes hard because his house is usually quiet, but I live with six other people so it’s a little difficult for privacy even just for myself.

Anyway, we got back Monday night and I did nothing but play the board game Clue with my mom and two sisters. We had a lot of fun. However, this morning I had to wake up and go back to school. I wrote an even 2,000 words for Seeing Things while at school today. I wanted to write Take Over, but I never saved it onto my flash drive or e-mailed it to myself. It’s on my laptop and Dropbox, but I can’t access those from the school computers, obviously. But it worked out because I came up with a couple of ideas for Seeing Things. I really want to finish Take Over by the end of the month, though.

I have a math project due next week, a science project due in two weeks, and another science project due in three weeks. This is the reason as to why I never wrote more than 2,000 words. I had planned on it, but it’s the end of the semester which means all the professors are freaking out that we haven’t learned everything we were supposed to get through. So they throw everything at us all at once. But I have a little over 10,000 more words to write for Camp NaNo (my count is 39,305 at the moment). Once I hit that 50k mark, I’ll do my homework, then shoot for 75k. I still have about half of the month left, so let’s see how much I can get done.

In other news, the lovely Briana from When I Became An Author wanted to include me in on an author interview program that she is doing. I was more than happy to participate. She e-mailed me some questions, I answered them, and bam! I am on her blog. You can read the post here, titled Author Interview Program #9. Thank you again, Briana!

Anyway, that’s all the news I have for right now. I plan on getting a good amount of writing done tomorrow! It’s still April vacation for me which means that I don’t have work this week. Yay!

 

2013: 121,084/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

3,740 Words

Take Over Is Coming Along…

 

Today I wrote 3,740 words of Take Over. That leaves me with 19,505 words total for the novel. I wanted to get up to at least 20K, but I had to stop. I was making typos and my brain was fried for ideas for the moment. I have plenty of ideas for the novel, but I just finished a big part and none of those ideas can be added into the story just yet. Also, I know a had about 500 more words to write, but again…I was making too many typos and my characters were getting a little annoyed. I kept calling Brad “Bead.”

Anyway, I wrote a good amount this morning. Now I have to get through a science test, babysitting, and fill out financial aid crap for when I transfer next semester. I don’t know if I’m going to have enough time to write anymore today. I hope so, because I don’t think I’m going to have any time to write tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see.

I have nothing else to say…I just wanted to add this little update about Take Over. 🙂

 

2013: 34,644/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

School > Life…Again

Homework, Homework, Homework…

 

It’s day two of classes and I have a good amount of homework so far. And this is only two classes. My other class meets on Mondays, but I don’t think I’ll have too much homework for that class, anyway. Science is only seven assignments for the whole semester, so I could sit down and do those all that once if I really wanted to…and I just might. It will be one less thing that I will have to worry about this semester.

Anyway, I’m telling you this because I did not write at all yesterday. I was in class from 10:30-2 and then I had work at 2:30-5. I did really well. The first day of classes went good, work went good…but it was a long day. I was fine and then as soon as I stepped into work I immediately became drained…and I didn’t even do anything with the kids, yet. But that was alright because they all got picked up early, so I wasn’t complaining.

Today I had class 9-10:15. It was math, so it was boring and horrible. I have the same professor as last semester, so I know that I’m going to be suffering a lot in that class because she does not know how to teach. Anyway, I’m waiting for my friend to get out of class so we can go home and relax a bit before we have work.

But here’s the plan for today: I’m at school until 11:45, which is when my friend’s class ends, and then I have work 2-5ish again. Random ti-bit about my work: we close at 5:45, but all the kids we have this year get picked up really early. We leave when the last kid leaves, so I end up getting out of work between 4:30 and five. That’s why I tell people that I work until 5ish. But I still get paid until 5:45, which is nice.

Back on topic: I’m at school for another half hour or so and then I have work 2-5. I’m probably going to try to get some homework done in between that. After work I’m going to try to get some more homework done again, depending on what I don’t have done already. After all of that, I’m going to try to get an hour of writing in.

Tomorrow I have school and no work, but I’m going out to eat with the people I work with, so tomorrow is going to be hard trying to write, as well. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes…right now I’m just trying to focus on today.

So tomorrow I will either post again about not writing tonight/tomorrow or that I did write tonight/tomorrow! The suspense is going to kill you, I know.

 

2013: 15,139 Words Written
2013: 825 Pages Read

Day 19

28334/50000 Words

Well, it’s official. I am behind in NaNo. I have to say that I knew this day was going to come eventually. It was kind of too good to be true that I was doing so well in the beginning.
The thing is, there are four more weeks of school left. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this week is only three days, so technically there are only three full weeks left and then there’s finals. Naturally, because the end of the semester is within sight, all my professors decide to dump a load on us students. I have a project in science that is due December 3. Because of NaNo, I already started it and I have to say that it is really easy and it’s not time consuming at all. I just have to fix it up a bit and then put it all together on the poster. I have one more written assignment to do for that class and then I’m done with science (the project is my final). Math…I’m never going to be done with math, let’s be honest. However, I did do the homework that she assigned so I don’t have any math homework until Wednesday. Health, I have a training to do for a quiz grade, but the website won’t work. That’s going to be interesting to tell my teacher especially since she’s get mad pretty easily. Teaching, I just have one more paper to write and my online class…that class takes up no time at all.

So I explain all of this to you and it seems like I don’t have that much because I have most of it done or started already. However, it’s actually a lot more than it sounds, which is a sad thing. Anyway, I’m trying to get all of this done and out of the way so that I can finally start focusing on my NaNo again. I may just bring my laptop or something when I go away this weekend so that I can work on it bit by bit. There’s wi-fi there now, so I may be able to write and even update my NaNo stats.

I think my other problem is this: I never finished the outline in October. The last time I wrote my NaNo (nine days ago…wow) I had finished the outline. Now that I have nothing to follow, even though I still have ideas, I think I’m scaring myself away. I can freelance, but I know that it’s going to turn out terrible. Which isn’t a bad thing–it just means that I’m going to have a little extra editing to do later. But the fact that it’s going so well now, I’m afraid that I’m going to mess it all up.

My other problem, I think, is because I may be getting bored with it. I have noticed a pattern with myself: I start something and never finish it. I come up with ideas and ideas and ideas and I never do anything with them. Before NaNo even started, my sister and I were going to write together. I whipped out my list of novels and looked them over. I didn’t feel like writing anything. I wanted to come up with something new. But I really didn’t because I knew that I should start working on something on the list. Or, I should finish something that I had already started. I’m pretty sure I have at least ten novels that are already started. It’s a problem. They should have a support group for something like this.

Just the other day, I came up with a new idea, which is why I think I might be getting bored with Saving Each Other. I told my sister the other day that I haven’t written anything in a while and that it was really bumming me out. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I am determined to finish NaNo this year. I am determined to finish the entire novel. I am determined to actually edit it fairly soon so that I can maybe get something finally published. But with school and work and Thanksgiving around the corner (especially since I’m going away), it’s going to be tough. I have to admit that I am a little discouraged, but I am really hoping that I push past this feeling and just get the dumb novel done.

Please wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a good one and I hope all your NaNo novels are going much better than mine! 🙂

About One More Week

NaNo starts next Thursday. That gives me a little less than one week to finish my outline for Saving Each Other. I know that I started working on this outline around the beginning of October, but I have been busy with a lot of other things. For example, homework. Not to mention that I have a little more homework now because I skipped school this past Wednesday.

Yes, I am sick. Therefore, I have not been working on anything at all. No writing, no homework, no nothing. I haven’t even been able to go hang out with my friends. The only thing I have been doing is playing Pokemon Conquest and I have to say that I am getting very far in the game. Well, I also have been going to work, but that’s only because we’re short-staffed and I hate calling out of work in the first place.

I’m angry because I only have science class on Mondays and this upcoming Monday my science class was cancelled. No school for me! Which is a great thing because I’m sick so I can have an extra day of the weekend to sleep in. Well, I checked my e-mail last night and guess what? Math class is cancelled for today. Fantastic, yes? Not at all…we have to “make it up.” And guess when we have to make it up? Yes, on Monday. -_- So here I am in the library at school waiting around until 10:30 for my science class. I guess for today it’s good because having one class is better than two. But on Monday…one class is definitely not better than none.

Yes, I am at school waiting around for two hours for my class to start that I don’t even want to go to. I’m coughing up all my insides, wheezing, I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, and I’m a bit dizzy. Of course, I can’t miss this class because then this would be my third time skipping this class this semester and that would mean I would have to attend all of November…let’s face it, I am not going to attend all of November whether I’m sick or not. I’m going to go to class early and talk to my teacher about missing Wednesday and I’m really hoping that she’s like, “Oh, Rachel you look awful! You should go home and get some rest.” And then I’m home free. That could happen…right? No, probably not.

Here’s a funny story for you: yesterday I came to school for my Health class. On Thursdays Health is the only class that I have. My professor is very weird and awkward. She’s in her 50s (I think) and all she talks about is her boyfriend. His name is Steve. I shouldn’t know that. Anyway, she can be nice when she wants to be, but if she doesn’t like you, she makes it known. For example, she talks to me just fine and I could actually have a normal conversation with her if I wanted to, but all the other girls at my table…well, we can just say that my professor is very bitter towards them. If they’re talking while she’s talking, she’ll call them out on it. If anyone else in the class is talking while she’s talking, it’s as though she doesn’t notice.

But enough about that, I got to class at 8:45 yesterday when class starts at 9:00. It was just the two of us in the room and I was coughing:
Professor: “Rachel, is that you I hear coughing over there?”
Me: Well, there’s no one else in here, so I guess so… “Yeah, that’s me.”
Professor: “Do you have allergies or are you getting sick?”
Me: “I’m sick.”
Professor: “Oh, that’s too bad.”

And that was the end of that. Now here’s the real kicker; about…maybe five or six times during the course of the class she kept asking me if I was okay. Whether I was coughing or just sitting there paying attention to her talking about absolutely nothing, she would interrupt herself to ask if I was okay:
Professor: “Now what that means is–Rachel, are you okay?”
Me: *Completely confused* “Yeah?”
Professor: “Anyway, what that means…”
And again…
Professor: “If you work–Rachel, are you sure you’re okay?”
Me: Can you just leave me alone? “Yes.”

And then at the end of class she says to me: “You know, you really do look lousy.”

…Thanks. -_-

Anyway, I really hope no one says anything to me today because then I’m not going to be a happy camper. I already feel like crap from being sick. I have to get myself through this school day and then get myself through work…with ten children today. I have an extra one. Yipee…yesterday I was trying to talk to the kids and the more I talked the softer my voice got because I kept coughing so I was losing my voice. Eventually the kids turned around and walked away as if they were like, “We don’t know what you’re saying, so we’re just gonna go now…bye.”

Let’s hope that this is an easy day for me and that I don’t have to do much at all. Except I have to finish that outline and do some homework. Meh.

Stupid School

I have been trying to get my writing done. I really have. The fact is that school just keeps getting in the way. My anxiety at school has been coming back, which is making things a little bit difficult, I think I’m coming down with a cold, and I just have school, then work, then homework, and then on the weekends I have Sunday school and such. It’s too much. I’m getting stressed out, but I’m handling it. I have good grades in all my classes so far and I have been going to school despite my anxiety trying to kill me. However, when it comes to writing…that’s a whole other story.

I just decided all of this this morning. I made a huge list of all my homework that I need to get done. My Health class never has homework, so that’s not a big deal, but I made a list of all the math homework, science homework, and discover teaching homework I have for the rest of the semester. I didn’t list my multicultural communications homework only because my professor gives us the homework week by week and not for the whole semester. Anyway, I’m going to get a good chunk of it done because it honestly isn’t that much to tell the truth…it just looks like a lot. I am going to go home today (because I don’t have work today) and between today and Monday (October 8) I am going to try to get as much homework done as I possibly can. Hopefully I can get all my homework done for at least October, but we’ll see.

This way, with homework out of the way, I’ll be able to focus on writing instead of homework. It’ll be the same amount of stuff I have to worry about, except I’m replacing homework with writing. I think it should work out. The other thing that I thought of doing was going through my novel list and writing summaries and/or outlines for each novel. I was looking at the list earlier and realized that there are a couple of stories that I had no idea what the plot was supposed to be. So if I outline each novel then not only will I remember what it’s about when I start writing it, but I will also have an idea about what each chapter is supposed to be about and it’ll be easier and faster to write the novel.

Does this all sound good? Does it all make sense? Probably not because I know that I said I was going to work on a book full of short stories and such to be self-published and now I’m changing my mind…again. But I guess that’s fine because I have to coordinate everything with life. Unfortunately, life is a little important. Anyway, so when I get home today I’ll start working on all my homework…I can’t start now because I only have my books for the classes I have today…which of course has no homework.

This will also be good because if I get all the October homework done early, I can try to get my November homework done really soon. If that happens then I will be able to focus more on NaNoWriMo! Yay! I can write my NaNo novel while in school and after work and such things like that instead of doing homework. When I start outlining my novels, I’ll outline the novel I’m going to do for NaNo…whatever that may be, I don’t know yet.

Anyway, I’ll update about NaNo sooner rather than later since it’s already October and November will probably be here before we know it. I’ll also update about my homework and we’ll see how that goes. I have about 100 stories to outline…this is going to be interesting!

Have I Been Writing?

Uh, No…

 

I was doing so well for a while and then I just stopped. Why? Because of life. Man, I hate life. It tends to get in the way of everything that I want to do. I have been trying to get my homework done on Sundays so then I can write at school on Mondays and possibly other days of the week depending on what other homework that I have. However, this past weekend was very busy for me. I was out all day on Saturday and out all day on Sunday. I have been doing homework at school this entire week.
I still have a little bit of math homework to finish up right now. But I have to go to class soon, so I’m just going to wait until my two-hour break between classes to get it done. After that I just have science left. Of course, I’m not going to be working on that at school today because I did not bring my science book…I did that on purpose. I’ll get it done in school tomorrow or maybe tonight. We’ll see.

Anyway, let’s just hope that it doesn’t take me two hours to get my math homework done…then I could maybe write a little bit today because I’m not going to have any time tonight to do it. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this goes.
Even if I do get a chance to write, what am I going to write? Uh…I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it. It’s way too early in the morning right now and it’s freezing!