Life after Death

Rs, Edexcel, 2010, Life after death

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Immortality of the Soul: Reincarnation

Dualist theory- Soul and body are seperate

  • Plato- Body belongs to physical realm. Sould belongs to realm of ideals (forms) to live eternity in conteplation of truth.
  • Descarte- "i think, therefore I am."
  • Hinduism- Soul (atman) is reborn into different body. Quality of next life is determined by Karma.
  • Socrates- No need for body after death.

Evidence for Reincarnation:

  • Body changes over the years, the soul does not.
  • Past Life Regression- see past life which is confirmed by historical records. BUT may be information gained in childhood.
  • Have experiences separate from the body- Like scratching an itch, body not soul.
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Philosophical Problems:

  • McGee- Human is one entity not 2.
  • Ryle- "Ghost in the machine." Should not be separate body and soul
  • Williams- Memory, Personality and Physical characteristics is Personal identify
  • Aquinas- soul needs body to be naturally individual

But wheh we think of someone, Like Shakspear, we see their work and their mind not their body.

H. Price- Disembodied Soul theory. Souls live in dream like world seperate from our own

Hick- These bodies create the world through mental images.

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Ressurection of the Body:

Monistic- Body and soul are not separate.

Resurrection of Jesus- when his body reappeard he said "touch my hand. A ghost does not have flesh and bone like i have." Jesus seemed to appear in locked rooms and be unrecognizable to some people.

Solution?- St. Paul said that the identification of a dead body has been resurrected is, due to spiritual nature, different to physical body.

Alternative Reasons- Are biblical events more symbolic than fact? Reports of the resurrection were written after Jesus ascended to heaven (Mark's version written 40 yrs later). But authors claim it is historical and unbiased. Jesus was unconscious and not dead. But how could he move giant stone door?

Value of the theory- avoids complexity of soul and body being different, it supports the bible and gives the body more value.

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Philosophical Problems:

May answer the problem of identity that dualism created BUT it does not solve continuity.

  • Is the person resurrected really the same if the body is still in he ground? Must have a copy body but is that still the same? a copy of a painting would be of less value, so does this apply to the copy of out bodies?
  • Is the appearance the same? At times Jesus was unrecognizable, is it the same for us? Does the copy body have the same disabilities or scares as us?

Solution- Hicks' Replica Theory-

  • When someone dies and appears in the new world with the same memories and physical features as it was previously, it is meaningful to call the replica the same as it was before.
  • As God is Omnipotent (all powerful) then he is capable of creating a perfect replica body for you in heaven with the same personal identity and physical features as it was before.
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