Personal Identity and Death

From Body, Soul and Personal Identity

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  • Personal Identity and Death
    • Resurrection of the Body
      • Continuation of the whole body after death
      • Dead bodies usually decay or are cremated. Raises the question of how the body could be resurrected?
      • Have to be possible to recognise the resurrected person
      • Any other form would mean that the personal identity of the individual had not survived.
      • This led to replica theory
    • John Hick's Replica Theory
      • Hick = Materialist. Believes body and soul are one
      • Dead could exist after if an exact replica were to appear of them
      • The replica is the same person
        • Compatible with Christianity and what St Paul said
      • God is all-powerful so it is no problem for his to create a replica
      • It would be complete with the same memories and characteristic
      • Although death destroys us, God recreates us in another place
    • Problems of PI and a replica body
      • Replica is not the original and is therefore THE individual has not survived death
      • E.g like someone paying millions for a replica of The Mona Lisa
      • Many philosophers do not accept that a replica is the same 'I' that died
      • It is a question of which statement is accepted as correct...
        • 'First I existed in this world, then I died, and then I existed again in the next world OR
        • 'First I existed in this world, then I died, then God created someone else who is exactly similar to me
    • Hick's Response
      • He imagined a man called John Smith who lived in the U.S
      • One day he disappeared and a replica appeared in India. They are exactly the same.
      • He supposed John Smith died and God recreated him in the next world
      • Hick is relying on the existence of God which isn't proven

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