• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An embodied life in heaven is entirely possible. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

c "An embodied life in heaven in entirely possible. Discuss." Introduction Death can be defined as "the cessation of all vital phenomena without capability of resuscitation, either in plants or animals, the termination of life.1" The majority of philosophers would agree with the first part of this definition; however there is altercation over exactly what "the termination of life" means. There are many different religious and philosophical life after death belief systems regarding what happens to the body and the soul after we die. Theories concerning the afterlife and the place of deceased humans are many and varied. However we can usually categorize them under four main headings: Reincarnation - A belief associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism who teach contradistinctive versions of this. This is the conception that the soul of each person is reborn into another body after death. Rebirth is connected with karma by balancing the good and bad conduct a person has completed in their former lives and how spiritually enlightened they are. Mystical Union - This is the belief that after death the soul becomes one with the Divine (or incorporated into it). In Hinduism this idea finds expression in Vedantic philosophy (non-dualism). In Buddhism it is called nirvana. Mystics of all faiths/beliefs are likely to teach the doctrine of Mystical Union. Resurrection - The belief that after death the soul goes to a place where it waits for the resurrection day. ...read more.

Middle

When the soul is placed in the human body it loses memory of the forms. The aim of the soul is to break free from the physical body and abscond to the realm of ideas or "forms". Plato believed that the real identity of a person lies with the soul, as it can grasp the realm of ideas or the "forms", through philosophy. The thinking being can continue to exist without the body and survives death, as, for Plato the soul is the "essence" and the real identity of the person. Aristotle considered the soul to be the part of the body that gave it life, and turned the physical form into an animated structure. For Aristotle, the body and soul are inseparable and work together in the manner that the soul develops the person's characteristics but cannot survive death. When the body dies, the soul ceases to exist. Given this theory of the soul, including its implications for the nature of the mind, Aristotle's views cannot be incorporated into the seemingly strict category between materialism and dualism that often characterizes debates about philosophy of mind. Aristotle cannot be a dualist because he clearly rejects the idea of the soul as something ontologically distinct from the body. He cannot be a materialist, for such an interpretation would make his basic contrast between soul as the form of the living organism and body as the matter incoherent. ...read more.

Conclusion

He believed that an individual is nothing more than the sum of his or her DNA, and is a product of evolution and not the soul. Dawkins was a believer in the Evolution theory and therefore believed that human survival is through their DNA. Gilbert Ryle was a material, which in his work "The concept of the mind" argued that the idea of the soul was a "category mistake ", in the use of language, which resulted in people speaking of the mind and body as different entities. Ryle argued that the soul was not something separate. To describe someone as smart or happy does not require the existence of a separate entity. In the same way, if there is a soul, this does not indicate that there is the existence of a separate thing called the soul. It would seem that whilst many religious believers point towards resurrection of the body as an essential part of religious doctrine that it is not easy to justify at a philosophical level. Arguments from philosophers such as Hick and Ryle try to establish a logical argument for embodied existence after death, but both theories are open to criticism. In contrast theories of the soul are also open to similar criticism making it difficult to assert anything, which can be considered categorically true. In conclusion it would seem that embodied life after death cannot be justified logically or coherently using any philosophical dialogue, leaving it simply as a matter of faith. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare, contrast and evaluate Plato and Mill on the relationship between individual and society

    Mill encouraged the equal rights for women on the basis of utility. He argued that we could not criticise women for being less skilled than men if we did not give them equal opportunity to try. He also said that society could not be at its best when half the population could contribute nothing to society outside of the home.

  2. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    However, one could counter this by saying that the recognition of each other is irrelevant as it is more the manner within which we recognise ourselves that is important. Furthermore, Williams speaks of recognition on an entirely materialistic level as it is merely the physical person they are identifying.

  1. Compare and contrast the contributions of Descartes and Humes on the issue of the ...

    For example if eveybody in the world except for one saw all the stars fall out of the sky, it would be a hreater miracle for evryone to be lying to the one person who didn't see then for the miracle to be false.

  2. Evaluate Descartes Method of Doubt

    to write the Meditations at all, because this requires the abilities of reasoning, articulation and memory, none of which Descartes doubts he possesses in his apparently exhaustive quest for axioms. This in my view successfully takes away the possibility that Descartes could be considered a global sceptic, however it is

  1. Arguments For Property Dualism

    A second argument that seeks to show that property dualism is superior to other arguments is the Grain Theory: The point of this argument is that pain or any other sensory states have different "grain" or constituent structure than brain states.

  2. Body soul destinction

    Within the book and analogy explains how if you were to look in the brain you would be able to locate an area that is stimulated and that thoughts must be generated in this area.

  1. The Concept of Life After Death is Incoherent - Discuss.

    Catholics believe that most souls go to purgatory where they can either be punished or purified to prepare them for the Beatific vision (the vision of god in heaven), this is when they are ready to be resurrected with a body.

  2. Give an account of the teachings of materialism and dualism with regard to life ...

    Hick combined this with his theistic beliefs by stating that it God who brings about this replication. If you accept God?s omnipotent existence, this theory is plausible. The important thing to remember about John Hick?s ?Replica? theory is the distinction he makes between logical possibility and factual possibility.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work