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Examine the argument that 'I' will survive death in some form

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Katie Barfoot 12/11/2002 Examine the argument that 'I' will survive death in some form There are three main types of afterlife in which the religious may believe: the survival of the 'soul,' a notion adhered to by many philosophers and theologians; the 'resurrection of the body,' and finally, reincarnation. The latter is an idea supported by both Hinduism and Sikhism, but rejected by Christianity. It is debatable as to which type, if any, exists. John Locke tells the story of a cobbler and a prince, who woke up one day in each others bodies, to illustrate the problems associated with belief in continued 'personal' existence after death. He describes how, whilst the prince demanded to be returned to the palace, the cobbler was eager to explain that he did not know how he had come to be in the prince's home. However, considering that each man had the appearance of the other, people did not understand their concerns. This example focuses on the problem as to what constitutes a person; does the body or the mind give a person their identity? ...read more.


This account is more plausible to the theist than that of Flew, in that it accepts the notion of eternal life, thus appears to fit, at least initially, with the teaching of the Bible. However, it clearly does not cohere with the doctrine of the Resurrection. Christians who hold that Jesus' resurrection was literal may reject the dualist theory as invalid. This is assuming, of course, that Jesus was truly human, for we must realise that God and Jesus are one and in any case, it is important to reiterate the fact that the Bible emphasises God's omnipotence and the reality of miracles. Many arguments have been presented in opposition to the literality of the Resurrection. In fact, the ex - Bishop of Durham - David Jenkins - claimed that Jesus' resurrection is meant to be interpreted as a symbol of myth. Firstly, it has been asserted that Jesus did not die on the Cross, hence the reality being an act of resuscitation, not resurrection. It is highly unlikely, however, that such is the case, if accounts of Jesus' beating are accurate; he was beaten thirty - nine times before being placed on the Cross, the maximum possible under Roman law. ...read more.


Nevertheless, if people truly believed that He was the son of God, then the prospect does not seem wholly unlikely. The final case cited in opposition to the Resurrection asserts that Jesus and the disciples' intention were to deceive, with the motive of fulfilling a prophecy. The theory is improbable, because Jesus' actions would have contradicted his teaching. In light of the disciples' persecution, it seems safe to assume that they truly believed in Jesus' resurrection - or is it? It may be that the disciples considered Jesus' message to be important enough to preach a lie, regardless of consequences. St. Paul states that to say that 'there is no resurrection of the dead' is to render the gospel 'null and void,' whilst in the Apostle's Creed Christians profess belief in 'the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.' John Hick's theory complies with the Christian doctrine, for he attempts to demonstrate that the resurrection of the body is logically possible. Since God is by definition omnipotent, Hick maintains that it would be feasible for God to create an exact replica of a human being, complete with memories and characteristics, which could be identified as the same person as he who had died. This theory clearly contradicts that of Flew. ...read more.

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