Is-There Life After Death

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					Erin Peterson Group IV C 36-38, pp. 302 – 323

Is There Life After Death? Am I Immortal? I. PLATO: Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul A. Plato lived from 427-347 B.C. 1. He was the first to write systematically on philosophical subjects. 2. Plato lived in Athens and was Socrates disciple, (founder of the first school of philosophy). 3. He believed humans had a body and a soul (true self, which lives on after the body dies). B. From Alcibiades I: Socrates argues with Alcibiades about true self 1. The user, which is the soul, is indifferent from the body. 2. “Soc.: Come, now, I beseech you, tell me with whom you are conversing? – with whom but with me?” 3. “Al.: Yes.” 4. “Soc.: That is to say, I Socrates, am talking…and in talking I use words…and talking and using words are, as you would say, the same?” 5. “Al.: Very true.”

6. “Soc.: And the user is not the same as the thing which he uses?” 7. Socrates goes on to use the argument of the shoemaker and his tools to convince Alcibiades that the soul is separate from the body. 8. When one talks to another, they are communicating soul to soul. C. From Phaedo (Takes place in prison after Socrates is condemned to die). 1. Soc.: “Then when does the soul attain truth? -for in attempting to consider anything in company with the body she is obviously deceived.” 1. The “absolutes” are those we conceive in our minds during thought when all other senses are turned off, (speaking with Simmias and Cebes). 2. Our bodies keep us from searching the truth. 3. Knowledge is either attained after death or not at all. 4. The body obeys and serves, (Mortal). 5. The soul governs and rules, (divine/immortal). 6. Body dissoluble-soul indissoluble. II. PAUL EDWARDS: The Argument Against Survival: The Dependence of Consciousness on the Brain A. Paul Edwards was born in 1923

1. He’s a professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. 2. Author of many published articles and books including, The Logic of Moral Discourse. 3. He’s also the editor of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy. B. The Scope of the Argument 1. Hume argues a. Alterations of the body comparable to that of the mind. b. Last symptoms of the mind: disorder, weakness, insensibility, and stupidity. 2. J. J. C. Smart  rejects dualism; mental states are the same as brain states. 3. Neurological facts the mind is controlled by the brain. 4. Edwards assumes some form of dualism is true. 5. He also assumes, when we talk about personal identity, bodily continuity is not an essential part to what we are talking about. 6. The view that says bodily continuity is important is known as corporealism. (Edwards assumes this to be false. C. Alzheimer’s Disease and Comas 1. First stages: loss of memory, incoherent, decline in intellectual functions.

2. Advanced Alzheimer’s: confusion, violent behavior, inability to recognize relatives. 3. Mind can’t restore itself once the brain is destroyed. D. The Body as the Instrument of the Mind 1. The mind still exists after death, it just can’t communicate with those still alive 2. The body isn’t essential to a self.

E. Mill, Butler, Ewing- The Absence of Direct Negative Evidence 1. Mill a. The brain physiology doesn’t prove the mind can’t exist after death. b. Thoughts, volitions, and emotions may continue after death. 2. Butler a. We have no proof of the soul because we can’t trace it though death. b. Applies to animals as well as humans.

3. Ewing a. No logical connection from the bodily to the mental functions.


Left open for argument of survival based on ethics and religion.

F. The Mind and the Soul 1. Rejoinder: the mind (empirical self) and the nonphysical entity (soul) 2. Objections a. The way we speak; no reason to believe the soul exists. b. It’s not what they refer to as “I” or what they see as continual existence. III. JOHN HICK: In Defense of Immortality A. John Hick was born in 1922 1. He was a professor of theology for many years at the University of Birmingham, England. 2. He now is a professor of philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. B. The Immortality of the Soul 1. It was Plato who said, “one who questions external realities- in death his soul will rise to the unchanging realm.” 2. Only things to suffer destruction are those that are tangible 3. Psychology can’t provide basis for proof of immortality 4. Modern Philosophers


Intelligent, thoughtful, happy refer to empirical self


Man is mortal, psychophysical, not a soul in control of the body

C. Re-Creation of the Psychophysical Person 1. Jewish and Christian tradition: only God chooses if there is a life after death 2. Resurrection of the spiritual body not the physical one 3. Hell: Place for external torment Or- extension of purgatorial suffering D. Does Parapsychology Help? 1. Founded approximately in 1882 2. Two phenomena a. b. Psycho kinesis (no reference to life after death) Apparitions (questions of survival after death)

3. Telepathy- strange occurrences, which may seem coincidental a. b. It is not delayed/weakened with distance No organ in the brain that can be called the sending or receiving center c. d. Purely mental occurrence Takes place in the level of the unconscious mind

4. Case of “Direct Voice” medium, (the voice of the communicating spirit is heard speaking out). 5. There can be “meaningful hallucinations” 6. No real proof that parapsychology helps

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