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Some people believe that a person lives on through the legacy they leave behind after their death.  A legacy may be something they have built or a piece of music or literature they have created for example.  However, once their creation is destroyed, the legacy is destroyed, also.  They have therefore stopped living on.

Some people believe that a person lives on in the memory of family or friends that knew them.  They will have photographs or possessions of the deceased to bring back recollections of the person.  However, when the people that knew them die, the memory also dies.

Some people believe that a person lives on through resurrection.  Resurrection is when a person is brought back from the dead, either in a physical or spiritual form as an immortal soul.


Most Christians believe that the spirit lives on in the afterlife without the body.  The spirit goes to either Heaven or Hell.  Some Christians believe in a physical resurrection of the body as well as the soul.


Most Jews believe in a spiritual resurrection.  The better life the person has led, the closer their spirit will be to God in the afterlife.  Jews do not believe in a Hell.  Some Jews believe in physical resurrection of the body as well as the soul.


All Muslims believe in a physical resurrection of the body and soul, and that a person's soul will be judged on Judgement Day by Allah when they die.  Allah will either send the person to Paradise or to Hell depending on how they have lived on Earth.

However, the existence of a physical resurrection seems unlikely in today's scientific age.  We know that bodies buried in the ground decay, and in cremation the body is completely destroyed.  A belief in a spiritual resurrection of the soul has no proof. Medicine has not found a part of the body which can be identified as a person's soul.

For some, humans achieve immortality through reincarnation.  This is the belief that a person's soul moves into a new body or form after death.  In each reincarnation, the soul lives a different life. The aim is that the soul will improve itself in each life, until it reaches perfection.  The soul will not be reborn when it is perfect and instead it will enter a state of bliss.

For Hindus, the soul or atman is eternal.  Their goal is to obtain Moksha, which is freedom from the cycle of life and death (Samsara) and to be united with the supreme reality, Brahman.  People who live moral lives and fulfil their religious duty achieve karma, which influences the form they exist in in their next life.  However, some believe that immortality cannot be achieved through reincarnation as you are a different person living a different life.  You are not the same…


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