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

"Reincarnation is a more plausible account of life after death than disembodied existence"

Extracts from this document...


"Reincarnation is a more plausible account of life after death than disembodied existence". Discuss. Death is the cessation of life and the failure to survive. Life after death (LAD) is the belief that at least something of person's "ego"/ conscious self survives the physical death of the body. Beliefs in LAD can be divided into 5 broad groups- Reanimation, Otherworldly embodiment, Disembodied existence (DE), reincarnation and mystical union. In this essay I am going to focus on the plausibility of reincarnation and DE, in relation to LAD. Reincarnation is the claim that the soul migrates after death to another body and DE is the view that the soul survives death without either the earthly body or a new body. Reincarnation is presented by Hindus, Buddhists and also by Plato in the Myth of Er. Thinkers which are associated with DE are Plato, Lewis and Price. I disagree with this statement and believe DE is a more plausible account of LAD than reincarnation. Some people such as Hindus may agree with this statement and state that reincarnation is a more plausible account of LAD than DE. Hindus believe in an indestructible soul, which is incarnated in a series of bodies. The soul also has many layers to it. A memory- bearing layer, which collects memories from the many lives that the soul leads. ...read more.


Therefore DE is more plausible. Buddhists do not believe in the existence of an immaterial soul, but they do believe that the sense of self as a radically separate and distinct individual is illusory. Distinguishing between individuals can occur by the uniqueness of a combination of activities, thoughts, likes and relationships. Reincarnation ends when the person achieves the realisation that the individual self is illusory. This is through enlightenment. For Buddhists the criteria for preserving personal identity is memory. So for some people the Buddhist view may influence them to believe reincarnation is a more plausible account of LAD than DE because there is no need for immaterial substances and it avoids the problem of interaction. However, since Buddhists do not believe in a soul then there does not seem to be any "psychic substance" which could store and transmit this mental "pattern". Also they appeal to the law of karma, lives are causally connected through karma and those of the same person. But how can a person's previous life affect this one now if there are no immaterial substances? Also from Plato's argument for the cycle of opposites we see DE is a more appealing account of LAD because it offers an argument for the soul's existence. Something is what it is because of it's opposite, this is definition by negation. ...read more.


So therefore as we see from this example, DE is a more conceivable account for LAD than reincarnation because we have evidence that DE can occur. Although some people may say there is evidence of reincarnation, I disagree because naturalistic explanations could be offered for this. For example, the claim of reincarnation may not be genuine or it could be fraud. So therefore DE is a more plausible account of LAD than reincarnation because we have proof of it occurring and the patient was under medical supervision, so the claim could not be false. Some people may believe in reincarnation because the idea that a finite number of "souls" have existed for all time might be considered as plausible as the idea that a new soul is created for every physical body and will exist forever. However this is not persuasive for an atheist or even a Christian to prefer the doctrine of reincarnation. DE is a more plausible account of LAD than reincarnation in my opinion because we have scientific evidence for DE in the form of near death experiences, but we have no evidence for reincarnation. Also in my view, there is no argument for reincarnation, unlike for DE where we have Plato's argument from knowledge and the cycle of opposites. Reincarnation is simply a view of LAD expressed by Hindus and Buddhists. So therefore DE is a more plausible account of LAD than reincarnation. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sehrish Saleemi ...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 and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    what you are thinking, they will never be 100% accurate, nor will they ever be able to think with the perceptions, cognitions and interpretations which you do. Another argument put forward by Descartes to uphold dualism is his statement: "I know I exist".

  2. Plato & The Soul

    Contemporary analysis of Plato's views on the soul produces many criticisms; there is a clear chronological confusion as his work progresses; with the soul starting as an unintelligible and non-tangible item, yet progressing to where the soul becomes a complex tripartite entity that is trapped in the material body, yet still longing to enter the world of the forms.

  1. Outline and Illustrate Aristotle(TM)s account of voluntary action and responsibility

    The chief good for man is a life following or implying a rational principle and to use that reason together with certain virtues. A problem with Aristotle's belief is his claim that each of a man's bodily organs have a function and so therefore man must have a function.

  2. The concept of disembodied existence is coherent - Discuss

    Susan Blackmore employs a "divide-and-conquer" approach, assigning different medical causes to different aspects of the experience, but her conclusions are speculative and appear to outrun the data The idea of disembodied survival, even if not logically incoherent, is one we have don't have a sufficient grasp of to allow it to count as a real possibility.

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

    The question of what life after death was attempted to be answered by H.H. Price. Price argued that it was possible that our mind could survive the death of our body and exist in a mental world.

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

    He himself claims that his theory is not factually possible. We could consider certain illnesses as proof of materialism, such as genetic psychological conditions or brain injuries. In these circumstances the physical body effects the mind and vice versa, suggesting that they are not as separate as dualism would suggest.

  1. Examine the key concepts associated with two of the following: Immortality of the ...

    As Hume might have said, ?there aren?t enough witnesses? and ?testimony isn?t proof.? Some evidence put forward is parapsychological, such as near-death experience, mediums, and so on, though the data generated from such evidence is contested. While there may not be any hard evidence for rebirth, it provides advantages to

  2. discuss the claim that any belief in life after death is a theodicy in ...

    This would mean that the inequalities of this life would not be resolved in the next life and the whole idea of life after death as a theodicy would be under threat. In response, Christians claim that God has been healing and repairing people from the beginning of time until

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