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Examine at least 2 reasons for believing in life after death

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Introduction

Examine at least 2 reasons for believing in life after death (12) There is one thing on which all philosophers agree: " our earthly life in our current physical form will end"(Jordan). According to Collins English dictionary death is "the perminent end of all functions of life in an organism." Many people accept death as the end of any form of existence. Others would argue that death is not the end of life, and that we continue in some form after death. However, there are various reasons for believing in live after death, all of which differ in nature. Some believe the existence of an afterlife is necessary on, moral grounds. Immanuel Kant taught that when we look about the world we see many injustices that seemingly go unpunished. Kant based his argument on a similar question: why do some people who lead an almost sinless life end up being killed at an early age or die of rape, and some who sin all through their life die rich and happy? The fact that many injustices go unpunished in the world, led to Kant (and Hick) to adopt a belief in an afterlife as a "necessary postulate." In other words, people believe and see life after death as a place where unjust and just will be finally dealt with. ...read more.

Middle

Many mediums have passed on messages from departed spirits that contain accurate information, which was previously unknown to the medium. These messages give comfort to the bereaved, as they suggest that their loved one is still 'alive' in another dimension, and that at some future they will be able to join them. However while some see it as good evidence for life after death use this as a base for their belief in afterlife, many simply see it as fraud and therefore it cannot be viewed as evidence. Although nearly all 'spirit experiences' are argued to be false and therefore are not seen as evidence of afterlife, however, as the principle of credulity states: in the absence of special circumstances, what we preserve to be the case, is probably the case. Why might these reasons be problematic? "Whether we are to live in the future state, as it is the most important question which can possibly be asked, so it is the most intelligible question which can be asked." The confident opening of Bishop Butler' dissertation "Of Personal Identity" asserts that the immortality of a person is a coherent doctrine and asks whether it is true. Flew however stated that it is impossible to be immortal, after death, as he claimed that it is simply not possible to be both "dead" and a "survivor;" likewise he argues that "surviving death" is self contradictory and therefore meaningless. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ryle called the idea of a soul "a ghost in the machine," because our body's functions are simply physical: emotions, thoughts, dreams, are the result of brain's activity, just like our movements are the results of muscle contractions. This in result means that there is once again no need for a soul and therefore no possibility of afterlife. According to logical positivism, claims of experiences which point out to afterlife, such as talking to spirits of the ones that died etc, are impossible due to the fact that they cannot be verified via empirical evidence. Ayer claimed that a proposition is meaningful if it is known how to prove true or false, and if such verification cannot take place, then a proposition is meaningless. This means that there is no life after death, because there is no evidence that could prove this. In result we can therefore see that although the idea of afterlife might sound appealing to men, and therefore has tendency to be convincing, in fact it seems that there is no empirical evidence to suggest the existence of afterlife. More over it is questionable whether we need or have the soul, which can carry on living. This leads us to conclude that the argument of afterlife is seen to be a weak one. ...read more.

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