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John Hick
Learning Objective:
To learn about John Hick's view on the
body-soul debate and how this might be
applied to life after death…read more

Slide 2

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John Hick (1922 -)
Christian theologian
Leading theistic thinker
Robert Smid states that
Hick is regularly cited as
"one of the most ­ if not
simply the most ­
significant philosopher of
religion in the twentieth
century".…read more

Slide 3

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John Hick ­ Rejection of substance
Rejects traditional belief in body-soul dualism
Adopted a materialist position
Argues that this does not mean that there is
no life after death
Argues that the dualist view of body and soul
owes more to Plato than it does to Judeo-
Christian tradition…read more

Slide 4

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Talking about the soul ­ what do we
Mental characteristics or aspects
of our personality
What a person is or does
`Behavioural dispositions' ­ what
we are likely to do
Expressing the value of human
beings…read more

Slide 5

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Example: SOS distress calls
Literally means `save our souls'
Do not mean that some ghost-like
substance be saved (and their
body left to die)
A way of talking about the value of
our whole selves…read more

Slide 6

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`Ghost in the machine'
Also used Gilbert Ryle's phrase the `ghost in the
QUOTE: "There is no mysterious `ghost in the
machine'. All that needs to be said about us can be
explored by reference to our physical selves both in
terms of our genes and our upbringing. In Hick's own
words: `a package of genetic information
programmed the growth of a living organism in
continuous interaction with its environment' Hick,
Death and Eternal Life, 1976
Whose view do these thoughts sound similar to?
Sketch a quick cartoon with labels to show ideas
inherent in the `ghost in the machine' concept…read more

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