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LIFE AFTER DEATH Six Theories

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Title: LIFE AFTER DEATH Six Theories


1
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Materialism
  • Nothing survives.
  • Death ends all.
  • The natural accompaniment of atheism.

2
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Paganism
  • A vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and
    goes to the place of the dead
  • the underworld

3
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Reincarnation
  • The individual soul survives and is reincarnated
    into another body

4
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Pantheism
  • Death changes nothing, for what survives is the
    same as what was real before death
  • only the one, changeless, eternal, perfect,
    divine, all-inclusive Reality, sometimes called
    by the name Brahman.
  • Karma is the notion that after a soul has
    fulfilled its destiny, and learned its lessons
    and become sufficiently enlightened it is
    reabsorbed into reality

5
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Immortality
  • The individual soul survives death but not the
    body.
  • The soul eventually reaches its eternal destiny
    of heaven or hell but through intermediate stages.

6
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories
  • Resurrection
  • At death the soul separates from the body and is
    reunited at the end of the world to its new
    immortal resurrected body by a divine miracle.

7
Four Objections Against Immortality
  • Materialism
  • Experience
  • Human Person
  • Identity

8
  • Objection from Materialism
  • If there is to be personal survival after death
    then a personal self must live beyond the
    destruction of the body.
  • But a surviving self has got to be in some way
    self-conscious and without a brain there can be
    no self-consciousness.
  • At death the brain ceases to function and in a
    very short time ceases to exist.
  • So there can be no survival after bodily death.

9
Objection from Materialism
  • The premise implies
  • either a causal relationship between the brain
    and the conscious self
  • or the two are in some way identical
  • This relationship can be of at least two kinds
  • The self might interact with the brain to bring
    about the activities and experiences of
    self-consciousness
  • The material brain might by its motions produce
    the self and all its mental contents

10
Objections from Materialism
  • Interaction does not eliminate the possibility
  • of survival after bodily death
  • It implies the brain is merely the instrument by
    which the self gains access to the material world
    and builds up experience
  • To work it must also assume materialism
  • Either
  • the self is identical with the material brain and
    its motions
  • or
  • the self is wholly produced by them

11
Materialism lacks the ability to deal with
abstract thought and intellect
  • Whatever is material is limited to this region of
    space and time
  • It is always here and now
  • It can never be in many places at the same time
    and can never come to be in one place without
    leaving another.
  • If thought is just a motion of matter
  • it must have temporal and spatial limits
  • But the content of thought is not limited in this
    way
  • Universal notions like equality and truth do not
    take up space and time
  • They come to be thought by many minds at once
  • They come to be thought by some minds without
    having to leave others
  • This means that whatever our thinking is it
    cannot be captured in terms proper to the
    description of material reality and therefore of
    the brain

12
Materialism lacks the ability to deal with
Self-consciousness
  • We are not a mere series of discrete thoughts
  • Self-consciousness unites these thoughts and
    makes them mine
  • There is an awareness of many things at once
  • If materialism is true
  • awareness of self becomes just one more motion
    among many other countless things going on. It
    could not then order my thoughts for it would
    just add to the clutter.
  • There is no self whose material brain this is,
    the self is just countless bits of matter called
    brain

13
Materialism depends on a closed system resulting
from a self-sufficient series of material causes
and effects
  • This excludes the possibility of rational
    argument
  • Materialism implies that
  • any question,
  • the discussion of the question, and
  • the judgement finally decided upon
  • are all the necessary results of the play of
    material forces
  • forces stretching back to the beginning of the
    universe itself.

14
Materialism Refuted
  • Thus the judgement that something is true, and
    the judgement that it is false are both the
    result of physical causes.
  • Both of them are equally real both equally
    necessary
  • The same holds for
  • the reflection preceding each decision,
  • the discussion following the reflection and
  • ultimately the decision itself
  • Materialism theorizes that the same holds true
    for all reflection, each discussion, every
    judgement

15
Materialism Refuted
  • But this means that the conditions for rational
    judgement have been eliminated!!
  • To judge means to be free to consider or weigh
    the merits of the thing we judge
  • If materialism is true there can be no freedom to
    weigh or to consider and therefore no real act of
    judgement.

16
  • Objection From Experience
  • The self gains access to the world of experience
    through the brain.
  • We use the brain for sensing
  • we also use it for thinking.
  • These are basic human experiences
  • By robbing us of the brain, death robs us of the
    means by which we experience
  • We are centers of experience if what survives
    death can not experience we do not survive

17
Experience Objection
  • Does this mean that what survives death can in no
    way have self-conscious experience?
  • The body gives us access to the world of human
    experience
  • We develop definite moral and intellectual
    qualities
  • We make choices and set our will towards good or
    away from it
  • What we have known, done and desired are part of
    what we are
  • Death robs us of the means for continuing to have
    such experiences but does not destroy the self
    consciousness developed or shaped by these
    experiences
  • The question also does not allow for the new
    experiences possible in a spiritual realm

18
Experience Objection
  • We as Christians believe in a special connection
    between ourselves and our bodies.
  • Without our bodies we are incomplete
  • We are made to live with God forever
  • not as disembodied souls but in glorified bodies
    raised in the resurrection on the last day
  • If God exists and God has destined us for eternal
    life God can solve the problem for the means of
    self-conscious experience

19
  • What we mean by human person involves embodiment.
  • So no person can survive bodily death.
  • This sense of human person does not exclude the
    possibility of life after death.
  • Christians perceive a different sort of
    embodiment that will occur again after a time
  • What we say allows for this possibility and
    cannot therefore be used as a reason to declare
    it impossible

Objection from Human Person
20
  • Identity Objection
  • If life after death is to have meaning, each
    disembodied soul must have its own identity.
  • We use bodily criteria to identify human persons,
    and these criteria cannot apply to a disembodied
    soul.
  • Therefore we have no means of distinguishing one
    disembodied soul from another.

21
Identity Objection
  • So What!
  • We can no longer identify disembodied souls the
    way we now identify living human beings
  • It does not follow that these souls cannot be
    identified or no longer have identities
  • Outward appearances can change drastically and it
    does not alter who you are.
  • We still recognize our identity even when looking
    in a mirror with make-up on
  • Self-consciousness retains our identity
    throughout bodily changes, which makes memory
    possible, which holds together the fabric of our
    existence.
  • It is the center of identity!

22
Arguments 1-3 from authorityRoadmap to the
seaArguments from reason 4-15Driving
theirArgument from experienceSwimming in the
sea
Twenty-five Arguments for Life after death
23
  • Arguments from Authority
  • The weakest kind of argument
  • Nine out of ten things we believe are because we
    trust the authority that assured us of their
    truth.
  • When the authority is only human and therefore
    fallible, the arguments can only amount to
    possibility

24
  • Consensus
  • The democracy of the dead
  • Nearly all cultures and the vast majority of all
    individuals have believed in faiths that voted
    for life after death
  • Children naturally and spontaneously believe it
    without need for conditioning
  • This places the onus of truth on the doubters

Arguments from Authority
25
Arguments from Authority
  • Consent Among Sages
  • Quality Rather Than Quantity
  • Those considered the wisest in history have
    believed.
  • What is the likelihood of this being an exception
    to their wisdom?

26
Arguments from Authority
  • Authority of Jesus
  • Pure quality
  • One Pre-eminent sage
  • Jesus a wise, great and reliable human teacher
    who held life after death as crucial and central
    to all his teaching.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven
  • is justification, reason and foundation for Jesus
    norms and counsels about how to live in the
    world.

27
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Nature
  • Arguments from reason are stronger than those
    from authority
  • Arguments of reason contemplating nature are the
    weakest of these because nature offers only clues
    and probabilities,
  • nor certainty,
  • about life or death

28
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Nature
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Physical energy is never observed to be created
    or destroyed
  • Matter is never destroyed, only transformed
  • It is more likely that Spirit is not destroyed
    than matter
  • Therefore it is likely that spirit is not
    destroyed
  • If matter in general is immortal
  • then why not spirit
  • The weakness is that the argument does not
    provide evidence for individual immortality only
    matter in general

29
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Nature
  • Evolution
  • Evolution reveals a natural design and purpose in
    the cosmos, the apex of which is the attainment
    of human consciousness
  • But natural designs and purposes are not in vain
  • Therefore human consciousness is not in vain
  • But if consciousness dies forever, it is in vain
  • Therefore consciousness must not die forever.
  • Death is not the last word
  • The weakness is that it is based on a theory
  • not a fact

30
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
  • Primitive Mans Argument from Dead Cow
  • Primitive man has two cows.
  • One dies
  • What is the difference between dead cow and live
    cow?
  • The difference is so great man needs two
    different words now to describe the cows
  • live and dead
  • Dead is what one cow is lacking to be alive
  • Cows still appear to be the same but something is
    missing
  • What is it? What is life?
  • COW BREATH!

31
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
  • Primitive Mans Argument from Dead Cow
  • Life is what makes Live cow breath
  • The word for life or soul is the same as
    breath in many ancient languages
  • SOUL
  • the principle or source of life for a living body
  • the principle of conscious ness
  • the principle of self-consciousness or personality

32
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
  • Platos argument in the Phaedo
  • Soul is not a material thing like an organ
  • It is the life of organs, the life of the body
  • It is not something that lives but something by
    which we live
  • If life is not something that lives, then it also
    can not die at least not as bodies die.
  • Bodies die by the removal of soul. Soul can not
    lose soul.
  • Soul does not have life, soul gives life, while
    body gets it

33
  • Platos argument in the Phaedo
  • Weaknesses
  • It proves
  • too much if every individual soul is immortal,
    for every animal has a soul in the first sense
  • too little if it is only souls in general that
    survive then there is no individual immortality
    only general immortality

Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
34
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
  • Platos argument in the Phaedo
  • Weaknesses
  • Even if the soul can not die as the body dies it
    can perhaps die in a different way.
  • The Biblical view--that God alone is immortal (1
    Tim 117)
  • and that human souls can die (spiritually in
    hell Mt 1028 Rev 211)
  • Why is it important?
  • It easily disproves materialism.
  • It is a clue to higher things.
  • We must learn to crawl before we can walk!

35
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
  • The Argument from Magic
  • The power of mind over matter
  • We can levitate
  • By sheer thought and will power we can defy the
    laws of gravity
  • We also have magic wands which can levitate other
    heavy objects
  • We can jump with our legs and lift with our arms
  • With no mind or will
  • we can do nothing
  • When I die my body reverts to obedience to merely
    physical laws

36
  • The Argument from Magic
  • We can do real magic that is defy the laws of
    physics and gravity by sheer power of the will
  • That which can do real magic is more than matter
  • What is more than matter is impervious to bodily
    death
  • Therefore something in us is impervious to bodily
    death

Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself
37
Arguments from Reason Contemplating
ItselfPlatos Argument from the souls survival
of its diseases
  • Nature of Evil
  • All that which destroys and corrupts
  • Proper, intrinsic or natural law of evil
  • Each things has its evil
  • The effects of evil
  • The natural evil of each thing, destroys it
  • And if a things evil does not destroy it
  • nothing else can

38
Arguments from Reason Contemplating
ItselfPlatos Argument from the souls survival
of its diseases
  • Then if we find something in existence
  • which has its own evil
  • but which can only do it harm
  • yet cannot
  • dissolve or destroy it,
  • we will know at once
  • there is no destruction
  • for such a nature.
  • THE SOUL

39
  • Weakness
  • The in-conclusiveness of its conclusion
  • even if the soul cannot be killed by bodily
    evils it may be killed by other things
  • It does show that it is unreasonable to think
    that the soul is destroyed by the evil of
    something other than or less than itself.

Arguments from Reason Contemplating
ItselfPlatos Argument from the souls survival
of its diseases
40
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfThe
souls simplicity
  • If souls die they must die either by
    decomposition or by annihilation
  • But what is not composed cannot decompose
  • And souls are not composed
  • And nothing is annihilated as a whole
  • Thus souls do not die either by decomposition or
    annihilation
  • Thus souls do not die

41
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself The
Souls Ability to Objectify the Body
  • If there is a power of the soul which cannot come
    from the body, this indicates that the soul is
    not a part or a function of the body.
  • That, in turn indicates that it is not subject to
    the laws of the body, including mortality.
  • Such a power of the soul exists which could not
    come from the body.
  • It is the power to objectify the body.
  • The body cannot objectify itself, be its own
    object of knowledge, or know itself.
  • Therefore the soul is not subject to the bodys
    mortality.

42
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself The
Souls Ability to Objectify the Body
  • In order to perceive the reality of something
  • I must be more than the reality.
  • I can remember my past only because
  • I am more than my past,
  • I am a present knower.
  • My senses can know the world,
  • my mind can know my senses,
  • but only Another can know
  • my mind, my soul, my I, my self, my subject
  • --as His object.

43
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself The
Souls Ability to Objectify the Body
  • A God who is pure subject,
  • I AM WHO AM,
  • could know everything as object.

44
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Being
vs. Having
  • I have possessions, acquaintances, etc.
  • But I am myself
  • There is a distinction between haver and had,
    possessor and possession
  • and my body is had as a possession
  • thus my body cannot be un-had or lost in death.
  • But not my soul, my self
  • There is no death spot in me, no place for
    death to insert itself between me and my soul as
    there is between me and my body
  • Tao Te Ching

45
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Being
vs. Having
  • C. S Lewis
  • Reflecting on his dead wifes immortality
  • If she is not now, then she never was.
  • I mistook a cloud of atoms for a person.
  • If I am not immortal, I am not an I
  • if I am an I, I am immortal.
  • I is the one non-objectifiable word,
  • for my I is not your I but your you
  • I is mysterious because it is the image of God,
    whose self-revealed name and essence is I AM

46
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Two
Immaterial Operations
  • If I perform operations in which the body plays
    no intrinsic or essential role,
  • operations which are not operations of the body,
  • then I am more than my body,
  • I am also an immaterial soul
  • (which need not die when the body dies)

47
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Two
Immaterial Operations
  • Thinking as distinct from external sensing or
    internal sensing (imagining)
  • We can know by introspection that our thought is
    not limited to images but can also understand
    abstract, immaterial, universal principles and
    essences
  • Our understanding transcends our imagining
  • Deliberate, rational, responsible willing as
    distinct from instinctive liking, desiring or
    feeling
  • If will is only instinct then none of us are in
    control of our will
  • If all instinct and no will the strongest
    instinct always wins
  • I am an immaterial and immortal soul

48
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself The
Anti-materialist Self-Contradiction
  • A computer is not reliable if programmed by
    chance rather than rational design
  • The human brain and nervous system are more than
    computer
  • Materialism states the brain is programmed by
    mere chance
  • Materialism is wrong so there must be an
    immaterial reality
  • An immaterial reality is not necessarily subject
    to the same laws as a material reality

49
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Gods
Justice
  • Because of what God is I am immortal
  • God is just
  • His dealings with us must reflect that attribute
  • There is great injustice in this life
  • Therefore here can not be all there is
  • There must be justice after death
  • For this to be true there must be life after death

50
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Gods
Creativity
  • If even human creators want their creations
    to last,
  • how much more must God?
  • Human works and humans do not last because they
    lack the power to implement their will
  • God has the power to implement his will
  • Therefore some work of God must last

51
Arguments from Reason Contemplating Itself Gods
Love
  • If you love someone you do not kill them
  • God is love
  • Therefore
  • God does not kill us but gives us life

52
Arguments from Experience Ultimate Justice
  • Human moral instinct demands justice
  • Ultimately in the long run justice will prevail
  • There must therefore be a long run a life after
    death for justice often does not occur in this
    lifetime
  • Otherwise our desire for moral meaning and
    absolute justice is merely a subjective quirk of
    the human psyche
  • In which case there is no foundation in reality
    for our deepest moral instincts, no justification
    or validity for justice
  • Few people believe there is no objective
    justification for justice

53
The Meaning of LifeArguments from Experience
  • We all experience the instinct and absolute
    demand that human life must have adequate
    meaning, purpose, point, goal, good or end.
  • Two qualifications
  • The purpose must be objectively true and real not
    just subjective fantasy
  • It must be an end worth striving for for its own
    sake, not just for the sake of some other end
    beyond it

54
The Meaning of Life Arguments from Experience
  • If life ends in nothing,
  • then life does not have an end worth living for
  • Life must have and end worth living for
  • Therefore life does not end in nothing

55
Sehnsucht (Longing) C. S. Lewis Arguments from
Experience
  • Every natural innate desire in us
  • --as distinct from artificial and conditioned
    desires
  • corresponds to a real object which can satisfy
    that desire.
  • (eg hunger/food, thirst/drink, eros/sex,
    curiosity/knowledge, loneliness/society)

56
Sehnsucht (Longing) C. S. Lewis
  • There exists in us one desire that nothing in
    this life can satisfy,
  • a mysterious longing that differs from all others
    in two ways
  • its object is undefinable and unattainable in
    this life
  • the mere presence of this desire in the soul is
    felt to be more precious and joyful than any
    other satisfaction
  • Augustine,
  • Our lives are restless until we find our rest in
    thee
  • Eternal Life Exists

57
Presence Arguments from Experience
  • Only persons are present
  • Persons are here things are there
  • Persons are present to other persons

58
Presence
  • Presence is not merely physical
  • If I knock you bodily in a crowd without
    recognizing you, we are not present to each other
  • nor is it merely mental
  • the idea in our mind of a friend who is absent is
    not the same as his real presence
  • nor is presence both physical and mental together
  • If I,m thinking of you and knock you down in a
    crowd but dont recognize your presence we are
    still not present to each other.

The presence of a person is not the mere presence
of an object
59
Presence
  • Since the presence of a person to a person,
  • I to Thou,
  • is not identical with the presence of an object
    to a subject,
  • therefore
  • that presence need not be removed when the
    presence of the objective physical body is
    removed by death.
  • The I detects the presence of a Thou not subject
    to the death of It

60
Presence
  • If the presence of a subject
  • transcends that of an object,
  • the subject is not doomed to death when the
    object is removed
  • The presence of a subject does transcend that of
    an object
  • Therefore
  • The subject is not doomed to death

61
LoveGabriel Marcel
  • Love here means agape,
  • not eros
  • gift-love not need-love
  • love of the other not love of enjoyment
  • This love is not blind it has eyes.
  • The heart has its reasons.
  • The one who loves us best, understands us best
  • What love sees is the intrinsic value of the
    beloved.
  • Love sees its object as indispensable

62
LoveGabriel Marcel
  • It is morally intolerable that the indispensable
    can be dispensed with.
  • The creator, the ultimate, universal,cosmic
    reality then would do to all persons in the end
    what is morally intolerable
  • Therefore
  • Either moral values are groundless
  • or
  • Persons are not dispensed with but live forever.

63
Postmortem Presence
  • People experience the presence of the dead
  • 40 of the living have had some experience of the
    real presence of the dead
  • The experience is usually physical either seen or
    heard
  • It is not a and image of a person but rather the
    real presence of the person
  • The presence is always sudden and unexpected and
    usually in a specific limited place and time
  • Even skeptics once they experience it rarely
    doubt the experience

64
Near-Death Experiences
  • The experience usually occurs while the subjects
    are free from drugs
  • The frequent report of things seen while out of
    the body when later checked prove true
  • There is a remarkable unanimity of experience for
    all different kinds of people involved
  • Subjects do not experience what they expected
  • Certainty about life after death and the
    eradication of the fear of death is final after
    the patients return to ordinary consciousness

65
Mystical Experience
  • True mystical experiences are rare proper to only
    certain kinds of people, namely mystics, saints,
    contemplatives, and the morally and mentally
    pure.
  • Because of trustworthiness and the quality of the
    person they are hard to dismiss
  • The clarity, detail and certainty of their
    experiences usually exceeds that of near death or
    out of body patients
  • All mystics claim the part of them that has these
    experiences does not die when the body dies

66
Christs ResurrectionWe have a very good friend
who has!
  • A dead man did rise and appear to many on earth
  • (Lk 16 esp. v31)
  • The risen Christ was seen and touched
  • (1 Jn 11-3)
  • Christians are assured of life after death not
    through argument but through witness
  • Apostolic succession guarantees first of all that
    chain of testimony
  • The church is the body of witnesses
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