One more thing about rebirth/reincarnation: Typically, the endpoint for the round of births is not a given, not granted, not something that would eventually happen no matter what; instead, the idea is that one can bring the round of births to an end by one's own action. Simply killing the body is seen as an ineffective solution to the problem of continuous birth; if one kills this body, one will be born again, and then still face the task of finding a way out of the round. This is where the Eastern view so differs from the Western one. Enjoyment: in this lifetime, one has to act in such a manner that the next time around, one will not suffer, at least not too much and not unnecessarily, but will instead experience lots of pleasure. The book contains stories about the deaths of philosophers, and how they have handled the process of dying. Some had it quite ugly. Humans simply have a capacity for normative thinking. Precisely. Which requires a number of other beliefs, along with specific practices. Of course, if you'd be born in a traditional Eastern family, applying Occham's razor would give different results. It seems to me that materialists are aiming too low, though, having a low esteem for the human potential and the potential of the universe. Surely this big big complex universe has more to offer than the dog-eat-dog fight for the upper hand with only intoxicants and distractions to soothe one's scorched mind. Sure, that's a truism. Don't you think there is something perverse about deliberately using intoxicants to find some pelasure and peace of mind? But it's not like they are miserable in the present. Of course the practical applications prevent one, this seems rather obvious. Unless, of course, one has already reached the point where one is so spiritually advanced that they don't mind dying of hunger anymore. Well, we must clarify what we mean by "religious," as opposed to going with some implicit notions.