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Is there an afterlife and what would be required for an afterlife - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Is there an afterlife and what would be required for an afterlife Personal identity is best looked on as “all that makes one who he or she is. (Baillie 1993).” In this case, it might be his/her body, mind, memories, personalities, or anything else…
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Is there an afterlife and what would be required for an afterlife
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Is there an afterlife and what would be required for an afterlife

Death has been considered the only certain thing in life. There is even consensus to the effect that a number of changes take place during the transition from life to death, which therefore follows that changes making up life are distinct from those making up survival. In distinguishing these two varying changes, we can give a number of personal identity criteria through time to explain death (Baillie, 1993). First, we can use a criterion that has been popularized by Hume, Plato and a multiplicity of world religions. According to this criterion, human beings are either immaterial souls or even pure egos (Hume, 1739). This can be construed to mean that human beings possess the physical bodies only on a contingent basis and therefore not a necessity as far as living (in this life and the afterlife) is concerned. This being the case therefore, it is proper to argue that human being continues to live even after death. If anything their bodies are contingent and not necessarily a must-have in their living and especially their afterlife (Ayer, 2006). The second criterion has to do with the claim that a human being has two distinct components namely a body and a mind. This criterion, the so-called Cartesian Dualism, named so in honor of Rene Descartes, claim that the two components namely, the material body and the immaterial mind are distinct and therefore can exist separately. In fact it goes on to claim that the immaterial mind can exist separately from the material body particularly when the material body dies. This idea has however failed to convince many people because of a number of obvious faults in the reasoning behind it. For instance, is it logical for an immaterial mind to effect any change in a material body? This is the main problem that this idea has been unable to address, a problem that has since assumed the name “the problem of interactionism” (Levine, 1989). The reasons that Hume advance in arguing that death is survivable are convincing in whichever one looks at them. For instance, I am convinced that there must be another component that leaves the body to rot, otherwise what happened when a human being is resurrected by a supernatural being. Does he/she resurrect with another body or the same body which at the time must have long decomposed. This clearly demonstrates just how probable a human being might possess a separate invisible component that is left behind after his/her fresh dies and subsequently decomposes (Jerome, 1966). In opposing the idea of an afterlife, Hume argues that every creature’s ability is always proportionate to the task ahead of it. This is best demonstrated in a Hare’s or an Antelope’s ability to out-run a fox or a Lion respectively. It is also the reason why a Hare have not been equipped with the ability to appreciate Operas, which would be superfluous to its life. Given that a match between abilities and tasks has been found to cut across all creatures, it is reasonable to assume that we are also matched to the tasks before us (Hume & Sayre-McCord 2006). Looked in the context of our ‘design flaws’ as far as having the ability to anticipate an afterlife is concerned, one can only conclude that there is no afterlife. Look at the way we are normally less concerned with doing good for a reward in our afterlife. Look a ... Read More
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