A couple of nights ago I gave a talk about love and death at SMU's secular humanist club, with many in attendance from the Dallas Fellowship of Freethought. I'm posting the powerpoint here (HERE), but first, a quick rant. It ought to be possible to convert this to a You Tube video, retaining all the embedded video, sound, and animations, but you can't do that on a Mac. You can do it if you have Powerpoint for Windows (2010), according to the Powerpoint for Windows website. So. That's. Annoying.
My presentation starts with the song "Everlasting Everything," by Wilco, which succinctly captures a worry about death and impermanence you find in many philosophers -- over the centuries and today. Jeff Tweedy "solves" the problem with "everlasting love." I talk about other possible solutions--the God solution (Tolstoy) and the anti-Love solution (the Stoics), and about how the love solution is found not only in a Wilco song, but in philosophers, like Richard Taylor and Harry Frankfurt. How satisfying is it? How much does it console? I like the way the song hints at only partial consolation--the tone of it is tragic, brave, and beautiful, not cheerful or tranquil. At the talk I enjoyed the discussion afterwards about levels of consolation--what works, what doesn't, for whom and when, for what purposes, etc.
Just possibly on Monday I'll be able to convert the Powerpoint to the full glory of a You Tube video, with functioning embedded videos and sound. If so, it will be here.