A revision page on the idea of monism as for OCR Philosophy of Religion, Life After Death. It includes the main theory, including the ideas of Darwin, as well as some criticisms and John Hick's replica Theory.

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  • Created on: 14-12-12 13:42
Preview of Materialism/Monism

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`Monist' refers to anyone who believes there is only one substance- matter- and therefore that
dualism in incorrect and there is no such thing as a soul. This is also known as
materialism. [Note a materialist could believe in bodily resurrection].
The person and their identity are linked solely to their physical body. When the body's
life ends, the person ends too. Everything about us - our thoughts, memories, emotions
- are all mental processes, chemical reactions in the brain.
Identity theory (the idea that all mental activities are centred in the brain) is supported
by scientific research. Mood, behaviour and character can be modified by drugs,
suggesting that mental activity is not to be linked to an immaterial soul or identity but
to our brain.
However, on-going research seems to show that mental activities such as thoughts are in principle
readable as they are caused by physical events in the brain. If this proves to be true it would support
monism and the idea that body and mind are not distinct.
John Hick's Replica Theory tries to make sense of how a bodily life after death can happen.
Humans are a `psycho-somatic unity', we consist of a unity between body and soul [Note Hick
is not a dualist]
Resurrection is a divine action in which an exact "replica" of ourselves is created in a different
Humans are individuals, so the replica cannot just be a copy. It has to be the real you.
For the replica to really be you it must have the same memories, appearance, character etc.
otherwise we could not recognise them.
When we die, the actual `you' is no longer on Earth, but...elsewhere.


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