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Is there any reason to suppose that I will survive my death?

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Introduction

Is there any reason to suppose that I will survive my death? "The undiscover'd country from whose bourn and no traveller returns" (Hamlet) No matter how complex the philosophical issues involving the relationship between what is normally called mind and body, what we normally consider death is when one's body is no longer able to show that he/she is or can be associated with any kinds of mental states. Death is the cessation of or the event of dying/departure from life. It is, therefore, irreversible. The survival of death is therefore dependent on some sort of existence after death - a life after death. The belief in life after death can be divided into different groups. The traditional views of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are known as Reanimation where at the end of time, a divine act will raise the dead and they will live on in a new life. Another, more modern view is of the souls liberation from its earthly body and its journey to a spiritual body, representative of the individuals personality, in another realm. A view held by Hindu's and Buddhists is the view of reincarnation where the soul migrates to another body and begins a new life. There are philosophical arguments to support belief in survival of or life after death. Plato first argued on the nature of the soul. ...read more.

Middle

Upon reaching the light there is a feeling of being enveloped by it and then knowing the presence of a religious figure or deceased relatives, with whom the individual communicates with telepathically. At this phase, there is frequently an instantaneous life review followed by some sort of barrier where the individual is told or decides to return to his/her earthly life. There are a number of astonishing traits of NDEs that might be taken as evidence of life after death. First of all, reports exhibit surprising unanimity despite extremely differing cultural and medical experiences. Secondly, reports often include features that are not expected by the individual. Thirdly, and perhaps most inexplicably, many individuals can describe the scene they'd seen during the out-of-body experience, and sometimes remember specific details. Such patients have made true claims about objects they could not have seen from their position in the room, and about the activities of doctors while the patient had no heartbeat or breathing. What's more, in some cases the individual has reported communicating telepathically with friends they could not of known (until that point) were dead. In the same way, children who have experienced NDEs have met deceased relatives that they didn't know existed. The experience as a whole does appear surprisingly painless and vivid, given that the body is undergoing immeasurable pain and trauma. These traits do point towards the view that, at death, the self leaves the body and survives death. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, these are unexplained as many patients have no evidence of having fits upon death. The features also appear more forced and anxiety ridden compared to the innate serenity of NDEs. An explanation of the hypnotic regressional/spontaneous recall phenomena explains the phenomena as wishful thinking or suggestability of the child, as many of the cases occur in areas of the world where belief in reincarnation is strong. However, this theory is not accountable for those who do not live in these areas or those whose experiences are veridical. Indeed, whilst many see the phenomena as part of a normal childhood fantasy and play-acting, what about those whose stories prove true? The argument that all cases are purely fraud does not make sense as there is often no point to it or any financial incentive. In conclusion, there is strong religious, philosophical, and a posteriori evidence throughout history and around, more than ever, today which suggests there is reason to suppose that one's life will continue spiritually on in an after life. Consequentially, the self may well survive death. For every opposing scientific or logical argument, there are always a number of cases which defy rationality, always an element of unexplainable mystery which surrounds the question. Until proved categorically wrong, there is always reason, therefore, to believe in the survival of my death. As Decartes agreed ...since we cannot see any other causes to destroy the soul, we are naturally led to conclude that it is immortal. Sam Ewens 1 ...read more.

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