Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Passing of historian Tony Judt

Last March, I blogged about Terry Gross’ interview with historian Tony Judt. The New York Times reported today that Judt died on Friday, 8/6/10, from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I was inspired by his view of the afterlife and am quoting it again here.

“I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe in a single or multiple godhead. I respect people who do, but I don’t believe it myself. But there’s a big ‘but’ which enters in here. I am much more conscious than I ever was — for obvious reasons — on what it will mean to people left behind once I’m dead. It won’t mean anything for me. But it will mean a lot to them. It’s important to them — by which I mean my children or my wife or my very close friends — that some spirit of me is in a positive way present in their lives, in their heads, in their imaginations and so on. So [in] one curious way I’ve come to believe in the afterlife — as a place where I still have moral responsibilities, just as I do in this life — except that I can only exercise them before I get there. Once I get there, it will be too late. So, no God. No organized religion. But a developing sense that there’s something bigger than the world we live in, including after we die, and we have responsibilities in that world.”

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My original blog post on Tony Judt

August 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment