Life after Death Handout.

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Life After Death.
Life after Death.
Kant on life after death.
Believed that everyone strived to achieve the "summum bonum"; this is the highest good. It is a state of
virtue where the good are rewarded with happiness. This state is something, in Kant's view that everyone
works towards.
He stated that we "ought" to strive to achieve the summum bonum and therefore it must be possible. This is
because "ought" implies "can".
However, goodness in this life is not always rewarded with happiness. Some people can live morally good
lives and devote themselves to helping others, but may themselves suffer with tragedies. Whereas some
selfish individuals may not. Therefore, Kant came to the conclusion that there must be both a God and an
afterlife in order to achieve justice. Without a God and an afterlife our sense to be good would be futile.
Evaluation: There is no reason to assume that there is any justice. We may believe that the good
should be rewarded and the wicked should be punished but this belief does not constitute to
evidence that it does happen. Therefore, our sense that we
ought to do good might very well be futile.
Three perspectives.
Dualism ­ the human person consists of two separate components
the soul and the body. The soul is immaterial whereas the body is
physical. E.g. Plato, Descartes.
Monism ­ human beings are a single unity of body and mind. The
mind's existence is dependent on the body. E.g. Aristotle.
Materialism ­ human beings are physical beings rather than consisting
of a physical body and immaterial soul. E.g. Richard Dawkins.
Plato and the soul.
Held a dualist belief that the body and soul were two separate
components. The soul was immortal whilst the body was moral.
The body can be seen as a negative instrument as it "traps" the soul by
imprisoning it and stopping it from interacting directly with the world of the Forms. Plato states that the
"body is the source of endless trouble to us...[as] it takes away all power of thinking".
The analogy of the chariot is used to describe the division between the soul's desires and the body's desires.
The soul is the chariot driver who attempts to direct the mind and the body in the correct direction as they
attempt to pull in different direction known as discord.
Harmony of the soul, in Plato's view, is a virtue as disharmony
suggests that the different components of the soul are not working
together making the soul separate further from the world of the Forms.
The soul is "simple" but becomes complex when attaches to the
There are three aspects to the soul: reason, spirit and desire.
Reason searches for the truth. Spirit holds aspects of ourselves that
require to be trained such as aggression. And desire withholds our
necessary needs such as food.
Argument from knowledge: Knowledge can be seen as the recall of knowledge gained from the world of the
Forms. When people come to understand something they recognise it to be true; science and mathematics
are true long before we learn they are true. Therefore the soul exists.
Argument from opposites: The world consists of opposites (light and dark). The opposite to life is death and
therefore for "death" to be something rather than "nothing" the soul must exist.

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Life After Death.
Evaluation: The theory does not do justice to the way in which humans perceive themselves as a
singular unity that consists of the mind and personality.
Evaluation: The world of the Forms may not exist and therefore if a person rejects this concept then
the whole argument can be rejected as it is solely based on the concept that we will one day return
to the realm of the Forms. If the concept is not true then the theory itself falls apart.…read more

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Life After Death.
Therefore the materialist believes that consciousness is no more than electro-chemical events within the
brain and therefore the individual person is incapable of surviving after brain death.
Evaluation: The relationship between consciousness and the brain is a mystery to science; some hold
the belief it is due to chemical compounds in the body while overs believe it is outside of our
comprehension. Therefore, we cannot underpin the neural processes which cause consciousness.
Christianity on the soul and resurrection.…read more

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Life After Death.
Evaluation: Hick rejects the doctrine of eternal hell because he believes it is
incompatible with the concept of a loving God. He believes that this concept was
developed to be a form of social control and a way of encouraging others to be fearful of
disobeying religious authority.
Heaven, Hell and the Problem of Evil.…read more

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Life After Death.
Evaluation: The Jewish scripture are not very clear on whether bodily resurrection actually occurs,
however, the fact that there are examples within scripture where it is referred suggests that it is a
belief held by the religion.
Evaluation: The idea that post-death experience involves some form of body implies that heaven is
in some form a physical place; this would mean that we may require some physical needs that our
bodies require now such as food or drink.…read more

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Life After Death.
makes innocent suffering worthwhile; therefore God would have been better to not have made the
world at all.
Richard Swinburne on the Soul.
Believes that the soul and body become are distinct; the soul is able to survive after death.
He argues that there must be some distinct part of us as there are vast significant aspects to ourselves that
cannot be explained purely in physical terms. These include our identity and are not found in our physical
bodies.…read more

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Life After Death.
Discussion Point: However, for both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs the concept of karma
works with perfect justice. It is a natural law, rather than being a form of reward or
punishment chosen by a God. It is irrelevant as to whether the person remembers the deeds
it is just that they receive some form of punishment.
Criticism's of the concept of Life After Death.…read more


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