Explain the fundamental ideas of resurrection and immortality of the soul. (18)

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(a) (i) Explain the fundamental ideas of resurrection and Immorality of the soul. (18)

One fundamental idea is the relationship between the mind and body and the criteria of self which affects the immorality of the soul and resurrection theory. Other fundamental ideas for resurrection include how we receive this new body and Hick’s Replica theory which provides the framework to show why resurrection is logically possible. Immorality of the soul is defined as the idea that the soul lives on after death of the body, whereas resurrection is the belief that after death, the body will rise again in bodily form or in a spiritual body that resembles the former individual.

The mind and body problem is the debate of whether the mind and body are the same thing or can they be separated. The criteria for self effects fundamental ideas of the afterlife. Descartes for instance believes in dualism, the concept that the body and soul are two distinctive substances. He asserts the idea that the res cogitans is thinking and unextended whereas the res extensa is unthinking and extended; therefore as he states in Mediation 6 ‘my mind (…) is entirely and truly distinct from my body and may exist without it.” This is because since the body is extended and unthinking it is divisible as if you were to remove parts of it such as an arm or destroy it, the res cogitans would remain unaffected, whereas the mind cannot be divided because it’s non-physical. This shows how the mind and body are separate and therefore how it’s possible that when the body dies the mind can live on in the afterlife and is thus immortal.

Aquinas agrees with Descartes concept of dualism; however he argues that the soul doesn’t go into the afterlife but rather it goes into a new body which becomes resurrected. For something to be immortal is cannot be broken down thus it can’t be made up of parts. If you were to break a body down you can break it down into body parts, cells and eventually nothing. However the mind cannot be broken down since its chief parts are ‘understanding and willing’ and these are only ideas; they do not exist materially and therefore cannot be divided. Consequently the mind cannot be divided and is separate. However, the soul requires the body to be able to develop, without the body it would have no senses and couldn’t grow, therefore the soul is the ‘anima’ of the body as it needs to be joined to it, therefore when the body dies the soul is reunited with another. This symbolises how the relationship between the mind and body is a fundamental principle because it dictates what happens in the afterlife whether the soul goes to heaven like Descartes believes or goes on to be reunited with another body and is resurrected as believed by Aquinas.
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Another fundamental idea of resurrection is how we receive the resurrected body. St Paul in 1 Corinthians claims that we have a physical and spiritual body. The physical body cannot inherit the kingdom of God as it is sinful, perishable and not eternal therefore when this body dies god gives us a spiritual one to go to heaven. Richard Carrier argues that ‘God gives it a body as he has determined’ therefore God provides us with a body based on our morality. However other scholars such as Jake O’Connell argue that the physical body will become the spiritual ...

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