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A comparison of two accounts of life after death and an evaluation of the strongest.

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Introduction

A comparison of two accounts of life after death and an evaluation of the strongest. Materialism is the view that the body and mind are inseparable, and for there to be life after death then the body must be resurrected, this is much like the Christian view of life after death. John Hick was a materialist and he argued that, in certain circumstances, it would be possible that the dead could exist as themselves after death, if an exact replica were to appear. Hick uses thought experiments to show the person who dies in this World is the same person who is resurrected in the next. He uses examples of using a character called John Smith. If John smith were to disappear from his home in the USA and then suddenly appear in India with exactly the same characteristics, there would be no doubt that this is the same John Smith. ...read more.

Middle

It is also believed that the soul is associated with higher realities such as truth, goodness, justice and contemplation, and if a man spends his life contemplating these realities then the soul can enter eternity after death. This view is supported by Aquinas. According to Aquinas the soul operates independently of the body, and only things that are divisible are open to decay. The Soul is not divisible, unlike the body and will therefore decay and die whilst the soul lives on. This view of the Soul been separate to the body was accepted by Descartes too. Descartes said that it was conceivable for us to survive without our bodies because our identity comes from our soul and it's ability to think and reason. He rejected the idea that we need our bodies to live an intellectually aware and active life. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also a slight problem with how people will appear when they have been recreated in Hick's theory. If they have died in an accident will they bear the wounds of that accident when they have been re-created, like Jesus still had the holes in his hands. This is not made clear in his theory. The strengths of Hick's theory are that it is supported by the Christian belief that the body and the soul can be resurrected, although Christians usually think of the soul rising to Heaven not the whole physical body. St Paul wrote, 'There are heavenly bodies and Earthly Bodies,' This gives more substance to Hicks belief that there is some kind of body present, not just the soul in the life after death. ...read more.

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