CYNIC -- Good evening – and are you awake or dreaming?
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- Wide awake!
CYNIC --Then why are you wasting your time searching for proof of an afterlife? Can’t you see? – it’s against the interests of humanity.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- Against the interests of humanity? To prove that death is not the end? That the universe is open for adventure? That the miserable majority on earth may hope for a second chance? Is hope bad? More life bad? A chance to perfect what we start here elsewhere -- can that be bad?
CYNIC -- I’ll tell you what I think is bad. You’re helping to rationalize acts of terrorism! You justify every religion-inspired murder of innocents. You make it easy for fanatics to blow themselves up in the hope that heavenly rewards await them postmortem.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- Psychopaths use religion to justify their criminal behavior. And you’re blaming me? How can I influence these moral monsters?
CYNIC -- I’ll tell you how. It’s your duty to preach annihilation after death. Those prepared to give their all for the faith must see that nothing awaits them after death but extinction. They must learn to see that their religion is a cruel deception that ends in pointless suffering, followed by nothingness. Hammer home the liberating idea of afterdeath extinction. It will cure them of their religious psychosis.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- I prefer to hammer home the alternate but liberating idea of infinite consciousness. Don’t you know, you old Cynic, it’s bad for your health to be so narrow-minded!
CYNIC Sorry, I agree with Spinoza. He said a wise person should meditate on life, not death.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- Spinoza was right. The research is on life after death, not death after life. The soul, if it’s not already dead, craves life, more life, infinite life. And by the way, your objection is misguided. Fanatics won’t be influenced by reason and evidence, in any case. Survival research could do nobody harm. It could, however, be helpful. I’ll meet you again on this corner some time and we’ll discuss it further.
CYNIC -- Possibly.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- In the meantime, we can agree to disagree.
AFTERLIFE RESEARCHER -- See ya, you grim old Cynic
CYNIC -- I doubt it, you fond old dreamer.