Flashcards in SURVIVAL AFTER DEATH Deck (19):

Define the term "personal survival"

Some part of the human body (which ever part is believed to define us as individuals) carries on after clinically dead.

E.g. person retains same body, same soul or same consciousness.


Give 3 biblical examples of bodily resurrection

1. Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene.
2. Corinthians: "This mortal body must put on immortality".
3. Philippians - "Will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body".


Explain St Paul's view on life after death.

Soft Materialist- believes that some elements pf the body are retained in after life.

Evidence for afterlife rests with the fact of Jesus' resurrection.

If Jesus were not resurrected then humans would not be resurrected- "For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised".

Spiritual body- mortal to immortal, perishable to imperishable and earthly to heavenly.


What did Augustine believe about life after death?

Bodies shall rise with imperfection.

We will be raised as bodies and not as spirits- but these heavenly bodies will not consist of flesh.

"Flesh and blood shall not inherit in the kingdom of God".


What are the strengths of dualistic approaches?

Explains human experience - a monistic view where there is no division between mind and body. Human experience is reduced to the interaction of cells in the brain - where as the dualistic view provides a way for that personal experience to be explained and preserved.

Gives hope- inevitability of death is terrifying for many people. Dualism through separation of the mind and body, allows for a person to survive death.

NDE's provide evidence for certain forms of life after death. Colton Burpo- saw Jesus, Vicki Umipeg- body was perfected and Pam Reynolds- on ceiling above her body and recognised her deceased grandma.

The sheer amount of people who believe in the after life through a dualistic approach e.g. Muslims who believe in bodily resurrection - Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.


What are the weaknesses of a dualistic approach?

Lack of proof- dualism has a lack of testable scientific proof.

Neither the world of the forms nor the Cartesian immaterial soul are mad of the same substances as our reality, therefore the same rules of measurement and detection do not apply. Without proof it is more likely the soul does not exist.

Issues of interaction- neither Plato nor Descartes is able to explain the exact relationship between the body and soul- Descartes pineal gland was disproven.


Why is bodily resurrection difficult to accept for survival of personal identity?

If all bodies are perfected then if someone with a disability is perfected then surely this would alter their personal identity in some way shape or form.

Bodies decay and are sometimes cremated- bodies don't just disappear.


Explain John Hick's replica theory.

A thought experiment- bodily resurrection.

We would be able to survive death if God created an identical replica- this is logically possible.

Replica appears after original disappears- after studying the replica you would conclude that it is intact the same person.

This is coherent with the teachings of St Paul- however not Augustine because if they had been perfected they would not be the same person.


Explain John Locke's theory of personal identity for continuation of consciousness. (DUALIST)

The memory alone is sufficient for continuation of personal identity.

"A thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself, itself, is the same thinking thing, in different times and places".

As long as the memory extends to any past action or thought, so far reaches the identity of the person; it is the same self now as it was then.

If after death the soul continues to remember a previous life then that soul is continuous with that life irrespective of the physical body.


What are the problems with immortality of the soul or continuation of consciousness; regarding personal survival?

Identity would only be memories and actions.

If we get a new body this would alter our behaviour- and therefore our personal identity.

Bernard Williams: Memories are unreliable. Self definition is created as a response to the physical body- beliefs such as "I am tall" rely on physicality.

The personality is constructed as a response to the physical world it lives in- even if there was a spiritual continuation of life after death, without the physical characteristics to reinforce the beliefs, what continues could not be considered the same person.

Memories and personality can be fabricated.

Substances- e.g. Cannabis can affect the body and personality and is therefore not reliable.


Explain Penrose and Hameroff's theory regarding the continuation of consciousness.

Consciousness is not a product of brain activity but occurs in tube like structures (microtubules).

The change and develop supporting brain activity.

When the body is under threat the information contained inside the microtubules leaves the body, in order for consciousness to continue...

But if death does not occur then the information will return and the person will have memories of being elsewhere (providing reasoning behind NDEs).


Which philosophers does Penrose and Hameroff's theory support?

Descartes- thinking gives us consciousness.

Plato- pre existence of some other part of your identity.


What are the criticisms of Penrose and Hameroff's theory?

Microtubules exist throughout the entire body- why is it only those in the mind store consciousness?

Not scientifically proven.

John Eckles found that consciousness comes from the mind not the material brain.


What type of existence after death does Penrose and Hameroff's theory support?

Disembodied existence.

Personal identity can exists through mental images.

We may communicate with telepathy.


What is the biggest issue for dualist beliefs?

The issue of proof is the biggest challenge for those who believe the body is distinct from the "soul". The Judaeo-Christian and Islamic traditions rely on faith to overcome this issue but even with that they struggle to explain how personal identity can exist externally without a physical body to give it meaning.


What do Hindu's believe about life beyond death?

When a person dies they are reincarnated into another life form- governed by the law of karma, which controls the outcome of the new life.

Good moral actions produce positive karma ensuring a positive rebirth whilst negative actions produce a negative rebirth.

The cycle of samsara continues eternally until the soul or Atman attains Moksha (liberation from Samsara).

The cycle of Samsara is a negative experience- a trap caused by attachment to material possessions and human relationships - when liberated the soul merges with Brahman and the self disappears.


What its meant by reincarnation?

"Put back into flesh"

The transmigration of the Atman.


What do Buddhists believe about life after death?

Believe that the desires of worldly possessions and desires of the minds holds a person to the cycle of Samsara. So after we die we return into the cycle of Samsara unless we accept ANATMAN or "no-self" so we can attain Moksha (liberation) and overcome samsara.

Through Moksha we achieve enlightenment - the desire is removed Anatman is achieved and the illusion of self dissolves.


How do we distinguish between Buddhism and Hinduism, in terms of beliefs in afterlife?

Buddhists believe the concept of reincarnation implies a continuous soul that lives after death- e.g. if you were to die and be reincarnated as a cat this would require an immortal soul that continues.

Rebirth- is more like a transferred flame- when the flame is transferred from one candle to the next- there is a connection between the two, but they are different.

Buddhist REBIRTH acknowledges the continuity between one life and the next but reinforces that the wow are distinct.