Life After Death Flashcards Preview

Rs > Life After Death > Flashcards

Flashcards in Life After Death Deck (32):

The nature of death

Our earthly life will end because physical things perish

Prospect of life after death is desirable because
We're scared
It's hard to accept that life is this short
It's a gift from god


Arguements against the concept of an afterlife

Death is biological function
Bertrand Russell 'when I die I shall rot'

We should be grateful for the life we've been given - Dawkins 'we may as easily in fact had not existed than existed'

Contradiction since life and death are two mutually exclusive states

Energy continues and can be experienced by those with the capability


The relationship between the body and mind/soul

The monistic view that the body and mind are linked as one entity

The dualistic view the body and mind are seperate entities

Seperate dualistic views
- mind and boy influence each other equally to be conscious
- body and mind are entities locked together in this world but the soul will escape at death


The monistic view

A person is made of a physical body which determines mental behaviour and characteristics

There is no soul/mind that is distinct from the body which survives death


The dualistic view

The body and soul are distinct entities
Ryle spoke of the 'ghost in the machine' the ghost of the mind and the machine of the body

Advocates philosophical behaviourism - all mental events are physical events interpreted in a mental way


Rene Descartes

Body is spatial but not conscious

Mind is non spatial and conscious

Body and mind interact by the brain


Near death experiences

Said to occur when someone dies usually in a Med op and is resuscitated before it's irreversible

Moody found a number of problems in nde
Experients could be dreaming, hallucinating due to lack of oxygen to the brain


The 'full syndrome' of nde

Peter fenwick

Feelings of peace
Out of body experience
Tunnel and light
Life review
Decision to return


Swinburne on nde

Principle of credulity might suggest we should take claims seriously

The issue with nde is that the reliability and verifiabilitity



The study of the spiritual realm

The deceased can be communicated with at seances

The spiritualist moment has suffered damage to its credibility due to hoaxers

Philosophers questioned the purpose of having a spirit world - what's the point



Transmigration of souls, rebirth into another body

Reincarnated can remember previous lives or show similar marks from their previous life. If that's the case does the soul affect the brain and give it information?

Karma is the principle of cause and effect in Hinduism and buddhism which asserts that all acts lead to influence their future transmigration


Reincarnation within Hinduism

Life and death are part of the cycle of existence
When they die the soul is reborn in another body
The soul travels until it achieves nirvana
The souls journey is governed by karma


The soul in hinduism

The soul regards itself as being enclosed in bodies - the gross body which is the physical body and the subtle body which is the mind and intellect

These are the aspects of a person that change and these charges are called samskaras

It is the subtle body which is reincarnated


Hindu scholars on reincarnation

Empirical evidence lies in the fact that explains many odd phenomena e.g. Our fear our death could stem from knowledge gained in previous lives

Hick was not convinced - due to 'exceptionally fortunate genetic combinations'


Philosophical issues with reincarnation

If we accept that personality is made up of a combination of physical body, memory and psychological pattern then

On reincarnation, bodily continuity is lost
If we cannot remember our previous lives then memory is lost too
Then only the psychological pattern remains


Evidence for reincarnation

Stevenson American psychiatrist
Birthmarks to back up claims, recognises people and possessions from past life

- all his cases come from society where reincarnation is accepted
- had to rely on interpreters which may have influenced bias

Hick ' general similarities would never by themselves lead or entitle us to identify the two as the same person'



Buddhist concept

The doctrine of Anatta 'no soul'
The Buddha taught that everything is composite and that all existence is therefore imperfect

Buddhism teaches that a person is made up on physical body and mental elements. When the physical body dies the Nama-Rupa is released and the character aspects are reborn into someone else


Rebirth raises many questions

Issue of verifiability

Rebirths in other worlds then how can life after death be proven

It is therefore questionable whether or not rebirth constitutes life after drag in the accepted sense, for so much lies outside earthly understanding


Karma and rebirth

Buddhists distinguish between actions carried out with no intention and actions carried out with an aim. Only volitional actions carry a moral consequence

Two factors determine whether an action is good or bad. The intention behind the action and the type of result it produces.


The karmic effect

Buddhists claim that karmic results affect us either mentally physically or both

Four types
1 maximum effect of an action
2 effect is similar to the cause
3 the conditioning effect
4 the proliferation effect

A karmic result might be immediate or may come in the medium term of the long term

Karma is not operated by god


Resurrection of the body

Central doctrine of Christianity
On judgement day god will restore the dead to eternal life in bodily form

It is not the resurrection of corpses but the recreation of the individual as a spiritual being
'He who believes in me, though he shall die, yet shall he live'

The resurrected person is not the same one as who died. They will have a spiritual body rather than flesh


Thomas Aquinas

Eternal life required a body and a soul
He believed that the soul animated the body and gave it life
He called the soul the anima


Questions surrounding bodily resurrection

Is the resurrected body us or just a copy of us? If we have truely died then by definition we cannot be brought back

Age and appearance, will we resurrect in perfect condition

Hick's replica theory - all powerful god will be able to create a replica of a dead person complete with their memories and characteristics


Problems with hicks replica theory

If god can make one replica then he can make multiple replicas which surely undermine personal identity

Furthermore the concept of a replica is questionable since replicas are not considered as valuable as the original


Eschatological verification

Life after death can't be verified now

Hick -> though we may not be able to verify post mortem existence at the end of time if there is life after death then we will know


Immortality of the soul

In monotheistic religious scholars have argues that the physical body cannot exist without the soul

The body in contingent and will decay but the soul continues to live


Plato on the immortality of the soul

Plato believed the body belongs to the psychical world and one day will cease to exist: the soul belongs to the higher realms with eternal truths

Two arguements for dualism
Our soul forgets it's heavenly knowledge in its descent to early and education is needed to remember
Body and mind are so different that it is impossible that the body could be made of our mind and mind out of body


Descartes on the immorality of the soul

Sceptical of the physical world rejected it as a source of certainty

Rather certainty was to be found in the thinking processes which led one to doubt the material world

Such a view leads to the view that the soul must be the only possible way of understanding an afterlife


Kant on immorality of the soul

The purpose of existence is to achieve the summum bonum (complete good)
Humans cannot achieve this one one lifetime so god was morally obliged to help by giving us eternal life's


Where does the soul go??






Unclear what it really is

Place of paradise

What actually happens here


Wittgenstein is

If the last judgement is a possible future event that we don't have evidence for it loses religious significance

It is only when the believe exits within the complex settle of religious practice that it has meaning

Another non realist approach sees death as a myth or symbol