Life after Death (OCR exam board)


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Life after Death (OCR exam board)

  1. 1. Embodied Existence after death •Resurrection •Replica Theory •Reincarnation •Plato: reborn with knowledge of Forms •Proof: Past Life stories
  2. 2. Resurrection • Resurrection is embodied existence after death. Existence after death is physical • The same body is used Christianity: • Jesus had a bodily resurrection • Jesus spoke of a physical life after death in which there would be reward and punishment for deeds done • “I believe in The Resurrection of the Body…And the Life everlasting” Book of Common Prayer (defining book of C of E) • But other religions too… evidence in burials/ grave goods – Egyptians (Research task: Who is Osiris?)
  3. 3. 1. Who are the people in the picture? 2. What had happened before this? 3. What is the deeper meaning behind the painting? 1. What is resurrection? 2. What are the main problems with the idea of resurrection?
  4. 4. John Hick How Resurrection could be logically possible.
  5. 5. John Hick’s ‘Death and Eternal Life’ (1976) • Defence of Christian belief in resurrection. • The replica theory explains how resurrection is logically possible not that it necessarily happens (Why is this good/bad?) • A person is a ‘psycho-physical unity’ (mind and matter) • Rejects Dualism (which is? – who supports dualism?) • Hick is materialist/ monist – only one substance, the mind is one with the body and are inseparable. • Unlike Materialism of Dawkins, Hick believes that the body can survive after death – as in resurrection - so life is physical.
  6. 6. Why did he create this theory? • Soul – expresses value of humans • SOS = Save Our Souls! We are not expecting a ghostly substance to be saved, but our whole character • “There is no ‘ghost in the machine.’ All that needs to be said about us can be explained by reference to our physical selves” • There is no mysterious ghostly figure! Gilbert Ryle criticised dualism for portraying this misconception
  7. 7. • Hick claims when a person dies a ‘replica’ is created somewhere else • ‘Different space’ • The replica is in all respects the same as you – exactly similar (problems?) • Replica is not the same as a copy • Replica = can only exist in one place at one time • Part of being human is being individual so cannot have multiple copies. He gave these examples to help clarify Replica Theory
  8. 8. Hick’s ‘thought experiment’ Consider your response to the following question: • 1. John Smith (a close friend of yours) suddenly disappears from his home in London, and a person exactly similar immediately reappears in New York • The person in New York is exactly similar in bodily and mental characteristics, memory, fingerprints, stomach contents, beliefs and habits. They believe themselves to be John Smith • Would it be reasonable to call this person the same person as the one who disappeared?
  9. 9. Hick’s ‘thought experiment’ • Hick argues that the person in New York and a dead person exists in London, it is easier to identify with the replica in New York as the person rather than a dead body. • 2. In this example, it is exactly the same, except John Smith dies in London and is recreated in New York • Would it be reasonable to call this person the same person as the one who died? • John Hick acknowledges that this incident would be very odd, but that it would be reasonable to regard the Replica as the same person who died • This is because you know the person with they quirks, characteristics , memories, beliefs, stomach contents rather than a ‘dead body.’
  10. 10. Hick’s ‘thought experiment’ - Conclusion • 3. The final case is exactly the same, except John Smith dies and reappears in a different world • The person would regard themselves as the same person as the one who had died • Like waking up from sleep in another place • Would it be reasonable to call this person the same person as the one who died?
  11. 11. Personal Identity • This first stage of his argument is an example to explain ‘personal identity’ in support of his final conclusion for resurrection. • ‘Personal Identity’ – what makes you the person you are. Your personhood. Your distinguishing features of a specific time in your life. If it is certain things that make you who you are can these be replicated and that person is still the original you? • That is why he suggests: fingerprints, stomach contents, memories and believing you are the same person – does that mean your personal identity has been continued in another place?
  12. 12. Weaknesses • A typical question: what stage in life is the replica of? • Hick suggests this is the main problem. One possibility might be that the healing of illness takes place in the new existence as a replica. But then is that the same person? Is your personal identity not scarred by disease or accident or death? • Hick replies to say there are replicas then a ‘replica’ which is unique and therefore only one. • Peter Vardy argues about multiple replicas? • Paul Davies argues that ‘exactly similar’ is no consolation . He argues that a replica would not be me.
  13. 13. Plato and Aristotle Views on Life after Death
  14. 14. Reincarnation • Reincarnation means that the soul moves from one physical body to a different physical body after death • The body changes the soul remains the same • This means that memories from past physical existences may be remembered as the soul brings the memory with them. • This is believed by Hindus • Samsara cycle • Atman: soul • Karma • Break free when reach enlightenment (Moksha): become one with God (Brahman) • Buddhist thought- numerous hell realms • Consequence of karmic actions
  15. 15. Plato’s Approach: Dualist: two separate entities (body/ soul separate) The soul is: • eternal, • perfect, • changeless, • immortal • part of Noeton/ experiences Forms (Truth) • Anamnesis (remembering Forms) Plato’s argument supports both disembodied (not in body) and an embodied ( in body) argument. • When the soul goes to the Noeton = disembodied • When the soul is reborn into a new body – reincarnation (metempsychosis) – it is embodied existence after death.
  16. 16. All three parts of the soul always in conflict Found in ‘Phaedrus’ • White horse • Spirited element • Virtues e.g. courage • Leads the rational/ soul to noeton • Black horse • Appetitive, Bodily needs • Dies with body • Charioteer • Rational element on the soul • Takes charge
  17. 17. Divisions of the soul: Rational- intellectual/ thinking – seeking truth Appetitive- body’s needs (e.g. greed) • Spirited- our will/ virtues (e.g. courage) Rational takes control of irrational parts to live a virtuous life
  18. 18. Soul wants to be free of empiricism and illusion/ ignorance (eikasia) and be free to experience the Forms and true knowledge • Body is a prison to our soul, just as cave was the prison in the analogy. diseases “The body is the source of endless trouble” – burden, hindrance requirement of food The Body: Horaton fills us with loves and lusts fears and endless foolery • “takes away from us all power of thinking at all.”
  19. 19. The Myth of Er • The Republic Book 10 • Eschatological legend • Man named Er dies in battle. • When the bodies of those who died in the battle are collected, ten days after his death, Er remains un- decomposed. • • Two days later he revives and tells of his journey in the afterlife, how the souls of dead are judged • In judgment moral people are rewarded and immoral people punished after death - reincarnation
  20. 20. Strengths • Major influence on Christian thought- immortality of soul • Noeton/ heaven? • Later ideas of reincarnation are similar to eastern religious notions of rebirth • Helps explain the individuality of people (links with Freud’s Id, Ego and Superego) Supporter: Descartes (Dualist: Mind/ body separate) • Soul is centre of identity • Body/ soul somehow joined together but experienced separately • “I think therefore I am.” • Cartesian dualism: immaterial mind and the material body (distinct substances) still interact. Mental events cause physical events, and vice-versa. Problem: How can an immaterial mind cause anything in a material body, and vice-versa? = "problem of interactionism."
  21. 21. Criticisms Problem arises because all 3 elements are seen as necessary • Appetitive and spirited elements seem to be connected to bodily life. • If the soul is free when the body dies what happens to the appetitive part which is connected with the body. • Is the soul no longer complete? • Issue of personal identity if only parts of the soul survive Peter Geach rejects Plato’s view. How can a disembodied soul see the Forms – this experience is linked to the body and senses
  22. 22. Disembodied Existence after Death Heaven/ Hell Kant Proof: NDE
  23. 23. Christianity: Heaven • Seeing God face to face = Beatific Vision • “fulfilment of the deepest human longings.” Catholic Church • Ultimate goal • Catholic/ Orthodox heaven is an achievement based on actions in life • Modern theologians argued that God's mercy demands all people are purified and forgiven : very similar to Irenaean theodicy (John Hick) • But Swinburne argues that universal salvation is not traditional belief
  24. 24. Hell Aquinas - Hell is separation and God’s “Divine justice is safeguarded.” • Augustine’s fiery furnace: influenced Christian thought for centuries • The dead are embodied and burn everlastingly • Nightmarish ideas rejected by some later Christians Atheist Sartre: “Hell is other people.” Doctrine of Divine Election - John Calvin: Some are destined for eternal life (God’s Elected) = predetermining existence after death Actions in life are a sign of whether you are an elect or not- Not a matter of human choice Don’t forget to re- read Dante’s Inferno!
  25. 25. Problems of identity • Identity of the self before death and self supposed to survive • A. G. Flew: If Joe is witnessing his own funeral, who is the ‘Joe’ observing and ‘Joe’ being buried? • Obvious solution is to say Joe observing is disembodied spirit • Problem is that we only have proven experience of our ‘selves’ as embodied selves
  26. 26. Kant • We all have a moral obligation/duty • Follow this to achieve the highest good – summon bonum • The summon bonum cannot be achieved in this life • Therefore because the universe is fair • And the summon bonum must be achievable • We can postulate there is an afterlife where God ensures the universe is fair. • X Niebuhr: what is the ‘relevance of an impossible ethical ideal?’
  27. 27. POE • Augustine (Heaven and Embodied Hell) and Irenaeus (Heaven and Hell), Irenaean Theodicy from John Hick (Heaven and purgatory). • Evil in this world because of freewill • God ultimately holds everyone to account and judges them according to their free actions • Catholic and Orthodox Churches no one is predestined for hell: God loves all • Hell is repeated wrong doing with no repentance: God always forgives those who repent • God does not wish people to go to hell but people choose through their wrong doing/ turning back on God (e.g. eating apple, disrupting perfect harmony) • Hartshorne: morality should not require ‘post terrestrial rewards or punishments’ since reward of being virtuous is virtue itself.
  28. 28. What if God does not judge? • If no judgment freewill would become a license to act without limits • Therefore Divine justice is meaningful with the just rewards/ punishment being dealt out • Problem: what happens if you do not believe in God/ judgment? People can be moral without believing in God e.g. Humanists have strict moral codes but no faith Richard Swinburne: people can choose to develop totally corrupt and bad characters but need this option or not totally free
  29. 29. Aristotle • Soul: - psyche Soul: • Not a substance – matter • Gives life to body • Gives body form (structure and shape) • Inseparable unity with the body Aristotle gives the examples of: • Eye: if the eye were a body its soul would be the capacity to see • Axe/ Cutting • Stamp/ Wax • In ‘De Anima’ does not focus on immortality of soul • Soul does not survive after death – not separate unity
  30. 30. Only God is eternal. Idea of ‘new birth’ found in Christianity, especially John’s Gospel- it is love, compassion and quality of relationships that are important in THIS life not an afterlife. • Charles Hartshorne ‘The Logic of Perfection’- what survives is simply a memory of the individual in the Mind of God DZ Philips agrees- timeless quality of moral excellence is what is eternal about us Kierkegaard humans can ‘live in the eternal’ in this life. Alternative idea of ‘eternal life’
  31. 31. Bertrand Russell: •Human wishful thinking •memories (what makes a person who they are) •Universe is indifferent to people •Would you really want ‘witch hunters’ to live forever? •World better understood without God or afterlife •Gilbert Ryle: •Talk of a soul is speaking about the ‘ghost in the machine’ but separate unity. Dawkins: •Only sense that Humans survive death is through the memories of them in other people’s minds •Or through genes passed on to offspring
  32. 32. Can life after death be verified? • However, it will be eschatologically verifiable- once in the afterlife its existence will be known. • John Hick illustrated this with his Parable of the Celestial City. • LAD may be verifiable in this life if we believe in certain experiences such as NDE’s, past life memories, déjà vu.
  33. 33. HTTPS://ITHINKTHEREFORE ITEACH.WORDPRESS.COM/ If you would like further information please follow the link below to my blog: