LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories Materialism: Nothing survives. Death ends all. The natural accompaniment of atheism.
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories Paganism: A vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and goes to the place of the dead the underworld
LIFE AFTER DEATHSix Theories Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body
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
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.
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.
Four Objections Against Immortality Materialism Experience Human Person Identity
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.
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 motionsproduce the self and all its mental contents
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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””
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.
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!
Twenty-five Arguments for Life after death Arguments 1-3 from authorityRoadmap to the seaArguments from reason 4-15Driving theirArgument from experienceSwimming in the sea
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
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself Primitive Man’s 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!
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself Primitive Man’s 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
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself Plato’s 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
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself Plato’s 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 Plato’s 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 1:17) • and that human souls can die (spiritually in hell: Mt 10:28; Rev 2:11) Why is it important? It easily disproves materialism. It is a clue to higher things. We must learn to crawl before we can walk!
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
Arguments from ReasonContemplating Itself 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 Reason Contemplating ItselfPlato’s Argument from the soul’s 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfPlato’s Argument from the soul’s 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfPlato’s Argument from the soul’s survival of its diseases 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 ItselfThe soul’s 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfThe Soul’s 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 body’s mortality.
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfThe Soul’s 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.
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfThe Soul’s Ability to Objectify the Body A God who is pure subject, “I AM WHO AM,” could know everything as object.
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfBeing 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfBeing vs. Having C. S Lewis Reflecting on his dead wife’s 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”
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfTwo 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)
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfTwo 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfThe 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfGod’s 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
Arguments from Reason Contemplating ItselfGod’s 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