“An Atheist Chaplain and a Death Row Inmate’s Final Hours”

Emma Goldberg writes for The New Yorker: The gray Oklahoma skies opened into a drizzle. Moss wondered what he had to offer Hancock in these final hours, when ordinary wisdom seemed to fail and prayers, in this case, were irrelevant. Heaven, hell, salvation: He had talked about it all with Hancock, but neither of them … Read more“An Atheist Chaplain and a Death Row Inmate’s Final Hours”

“The race to optimize grief”

Mihika Agarwal writes for Vox on the rise of AI-assisted grief processing: In the spring of 2023, Sunshine Henle texted her mother. She asked where she had gone, told her that she missed her, and soon received a response: “Honey, I wish I could give you a definite answer, but what I do know is … Read more“The race to optimize grief”

“What Justifies a Life? In Memory of Liam McCarty”

Jared Morningstar writes for Medium in memoriam of his friend Liam, and on the intrinsic value of life in relation to death: To be is also to experience, and the conscious experience of human life is something of both irreducible individuality and incomparable richness. In merely experiencing life as ourselves — in all its complexity … Read more“What Justifies a Life? In Memory of Liam McCarty”

“How Do I Make Sense of My Mother’s Decision to Die?”

Dr. Lindsay Ryan writes for The Atlantic: One doctor told us of a landscape architect who drank the fatal cocktail while exulting in her garden in full bloom. It sounded perfect—except that in all my years as a doctor, I’ve never seen a perfect death. Every time, there’s some flaw: physical discomfort, conversations left unfinished, … Read more“How Do I Make Sense of My Mother’s Decision to Die?”

“The Frontier Couple Who Chose Death Over Life Apart”

Click here to read Eva Holland’s excellent essay on the lives and intentional deaths of Alaskan artists Eric and Pam Bealer (note that the story is also available as a professionally-read audio-essay): Below their declaration was a passage attributed to Richard Bach, which said: “Why, instead of suffering and fighting it, don’t people reach a … Read more“The Frontier Couple Who Chose Death Over Life Apart”

“On ‘Choosing Suicide’: Documentary as Confrontation”

In the following article, originally published in the Summer 1980 edition of Television Quarterly, documentarian Richard Ellison describes the production of his highly controversial special “Choosing Suicide”. The documentary was produced at the request of its subject, Brooklyn-based artist and psychotherapist Jo Roman, who had decided to end her own life after receiving a terminal … Read more“On ‘Choosing Suicide’: Documentary as Confrontation”

“A New Paganism”

Ed Simon writes for Aeon on the subject of Paganism: Of course, humanity will be long extinct, our most enduring contribution to the geological record a precipitous rise in carbon dioxide and perhaps a narrow band of plastic threaded through the strata. Bertrand Russell, the great philosophical freethinker who forthrightly admitted to trembling at the thought … Read more“A New Paganism”

“Are coincidences real?”

English neuropsychologist-turned-freelance writer Paul Broksis writes for Aeon on the history, theory and perception of coincidence: I don’t believe the Universe contains supernatural forces, but I feel it might. This is because the human mind has fundamentally irrational elements. I’d go as far as to say that magical thinking forms the basis of selfhood. Our … Read more“Are coincidences real?”

“How to be a happy nihilist”

Wendy Syfret writes for Psyche on the positive nihilist perspective: Key points – How to be a happy nihilist The rise of meaningless meaning. The search for meaning used to be a noble pursuit, but it’s become commercialised and now inspires more angst than awe. Nihilism as a solution. This is the philosophy that says life is meaningless. Handled with … Read more“How to be a happy nihilist”