Life After Death

HideShow resource information


Main points - 

Dualist - the soul and body are separate things

The body is mortal and the soul is immortal 

Our knowledge of the forms comes from the soul - as it comes from the world of the forms. We recall information about the forms - don't learn

Body is useless as it distracts the soul from learning/recalling the world of the forms

The body and soul are 'complex' as there are different parts to it - like a house 'simple' on the outside but there are different rooms on the inside

There are three aspects to the soul -

Reason - the search for truth and roles of the soul 

Spirit - emotion, humour and aggressiveness

Desire for mercenary - desire for excess  

1 of 11

Plato - continued

Main points -

He believes in disharmony of the soul - you are not able to gain knowledge of the forms 

Injustice and crime come from disharmony - desires are not governed by reason thus destroying the harmony of the soul 

Strengths in his argument - 

Chariot analogy - soul = chariot driver, two horses = mind and body. The two horses want to go in opposite directions but the chariot driver has to make them act in harmony 

Argument from knowledge - The soul needs to recall knowledge from the forms. The rules of maths and science etc. are true even before we know they are

Argument from opposites - everything in the world has an opposite. Sleeping and waking, living and dead.Therefore the soul has to exist in order to ensure an after life and make this opposite true 

2 of 11

Plato - continued

Weaknesses in his argument -

Geach rejects Plato's view of the soul as he claims that the soul 'sees' the forms. 'Seeing' requires a physical body

Is learning a matter of remembering?

Is the argument of opposites a series of excuses to try and prove something that is intangible 

Plato's theories of the soul reply heavily on the forms - the forms are debatable so soul is debatable?

3 of 11


Main points - 

Monist - the soul and body aren't separate 

Definition of the 'soul' comes from the word 'psyche' which does not tally with the idea that the soul survives death 

The soul is the form and shape of the body ('form' is not to be confused with 'Form')

The soul is not a substance like matter; matter can be given any form 

What gives matter shape and function is its form 

There is a hierarchy to the soul - the soul is distinguished by intellect, giving humans leverage over animals because animals do not have rational souls 

Strengths - 

Does the soul survive death - ideas on the unity of form and matter in the body and the soul states that the soul and body are not two separate entities 

4 of 11

Aristotle - continued

Weaknesses -

Kenny - 'inconsistant thoughts' that ration and intellect are eternal this is not the same as a persons personality 

The idea that intellect survives death and not the soul conflicts with other views of Aristotle 

5 of 11


Main points - 

Monist (body and soul aren't separate) but provides evidence for afterlife

Humans are 'Psycho-somatic unity' - Humans are unity of the physical body and soul 

Replica theory in order to explain resurrection 

Resurrection happens right after death

Replica is not the same as a copy

He uses the word 'replica' because each person can only exist in one place at a time - the replica is the real you 

6 of 11

Hick - continued

Example 1 of replica theory - 

A person in London disappears and re-appears in NY

For the person in NY to be identified they would need to be seen by people in London that knew them

The person in NY is the same person as the person in London 

Example 2 of replica theory -

Imagine a person dying in London 

They are re-created in NY

The easier one to identify is the live body in NY because it is easier than just seeing the body 

7 of 11

Hick - continued

Weaknesses - 

This cannot work you cannot have two bodies in one place 

When someone dies their body does not completely disappear their corpse is still there 

Some philosophers believe that replica can mean copy 

Lack of personal knowledge 

8 of 11


Main Points - 

Materialist view - no life after death 

Individuals cannot surevive death but they can carry on after death through memories and genes passed to the next generation 

Genes do not have a sense of goal or direction 

Human conciousness has evolved because of the increase in likihood of survival 

The human brain is like a computer 

Strengths - 

Logical and scientific view

There has been evidence given about genes

9 of 11

Dawkins - continued

Weaknesses - 

Doesn't take into account human emotion

If we are only here to carry on DNA and protect it then what is the point in emotions like love, hatred, anger etc.

Surely the body would've evolved to get rid of emotions if we are just a carrying machine 

Gives a very pessimistic view on life 

10 of 11


Main points - 

Death is not the end of a persons life. There is an afterlife where the soul lives on

If they have been good they will go to heaven 

If they have been bad they will go to hell and repent for their sins

They hope that if they follow Jesus' teaching and accept him as their lord or saviour then (like Jesus' resurrection) they will have an afterlife

11 of 11


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Philosophy resources »