Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)
Todman (Theo)
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsLink to Latest Write-Up Note


Write-up2 (as at 12/01/2022 23:58:34): Thesis - Chapter 11 (Resurrection)

  • If mind-body substance dualism is false, and we are identical to human animals, then the only possibility for post-mortem existence is some form of bodily resurrection.
  • Since the body is destroyed at death, it would seem that any resurrected individual could only be a copy of the original. It might think of itself as the resurrected pre-mortem individual, but it would be wrong.
  • Consideration of arguments by Peter Van Inwagen in this respect.
  • This chapter is likely to be controversial, so needs to be very carefully argued, and factually correct concerning what is actually believed by intellectually-aware Christians and Muslims (unlike what seems to be the case with most swipes against religion).
  • It also needs to cover other putative forms of post-mortem survival: I’m considering changing the title to “Life After Death”.

Research Methodology
  • Follow this Link3 for a generic statement of how I intend to pursue each Chapter.
  • The method is broken down into 16, possibly iterative, stages, some of which have sub-stages.
  • Follow this Link4 for my progress dashboard on these tasks.

Chapter Introduction
  1. While I wish in this chapter seriously to consider the religious hope of Resurrection5, I do not want to get side-tracked onto matters of Scriptural exegesis, or into evidential matters of whether particular resurrections – specifically of Jesus – happened or not. In this regard, I’m interested only in what believers in resurrection take it to be, and whether they provide any detailed metaphysical account of how it is supposed to work.
  2. As in the chapter on Thought Experiments6, this chapter is partly aimed at checking how (my version of) Animalism7 copes with the projected situations. As such, I may extend this to other posited versions of post-mortem survival, though most are ruled out by the essentially physical nature of the human person as proposed by Animalism.
  3. While not wanting to get too far off topic, especially at the end of the thesis, I want to consider some of the ethical consequences of adopting Animalism with – as I have argued – the lack of hope of post-mortem existence. The topic of “Death and Ethics” is already a bit tangential to my thesis, but there’s a set of questions in which I have an interest and on which I wonder whether my views on Personal Identity have anything to say. These two are the most important:-
    • Why is death bad (for the deceased)?, and
    • Can the dead be harmed (assuming they no longer exist)?
  4. So, we start off with a discussion of Death8, which – like Life9 (discussed in Chapter 610) – I take to be a biological event (or rather a Process11). We touched on Brain Death12 in Chapter 213. Despite its pragmatic utility (which I suspect is the main motivator for accepting it as a criterion of Death) this idea is rather confused on any Biological View14 of What We Are15.
  5. I will also discuss certain occasional events on the periphery of Death, namely Near Death Experiences16 and Out of Body Experiences17. Do these events have anything to say about “where we’re going”, in the first case, or what we are, in the second?
  6. Getting closer to Death, I need to discuss Persistent Vegetative States18. From an Animalist perspective, such persons are not dead – any more than the Brain-dead are Dead – but whether they should be kept alive is (I would claim) primarily a pragmatic issue to do with the use of resources, coupled with consideration of what life is like – if there is anything – for those in such a state.
  7. Then we get to the meat of the Chapter – discussion of Life after Death19. What is it supposed to involve, where is it enjoyed, and how do we get there? Clearly, there are many options. The question is are any of them possible – and, better – actual?
  8. The two options I consider are Resurrection20 and Reincarnation21. In both cases, the big question is what makes it the case that the individual Resurrected or Reincarnated the same individual as the one who died. I suspect ‘nothing’ in the absence of a Soul22, though much argumentation is required to reach this conclusion in the face of objections and various suggestions for possible mechanisms.
  9. We discussed Uploading to a Computer23 as a (bare) possibility for Life after Death24 in the Previous Chapter25.
  10. In this regard, we need to discuss the possible interim states between Death and putative post-mortem survival. I need to discuss Corpses26, which – in some of the easiest cases – are (supposed to be) the mediators of continuity of identity between Death27 and Resurrection28. Corpses also cause philosophical worries – on many physicalist accounts of Personal Identity – about where they “come from” and whether “we” end up as Corpses.
  11. We need to discuss the possibility of Disembodied Existence29 (which I imagine is the Interregnum30 for Reincarnation) together with a reconsideration of Intermediate Objects31 discussed in Chapter 532.
  12. Finally, we need to reflect on the consequences of Life after Death33, which is usually taken to be Immortality34 (though supporters of the ‘conditional immortality’ position in Christianity have Resurrection followed by destruction for those found unworthy of eternal life.
  13. Before doing so, I will reflect on the supposed difficulty – displayed by Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych35 of accepting the inevitability of our own deaths.
  14. But, is Immortality36 really something to be desired? Reflection on the Makropulos Case37 suggests that an infinite life would be unbearably tedious, even though at each possible terminus we might want to live on.

Links to Notes
  1. Death38
    1. Near Death Experiences39
    2. Out of Body Experiences40
    3. Persistent Vegetative State41
  2. Life After Death42
    1. Resurrection43
    2. Reincarnation44
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses45
    2. Disembodied Existence46
    3. Interregnum47
  4. Immortality48
    1. Ivan Ilych49
    2. Makropulos Case50

Main Text
  1. Death51
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Near Death Experiences52
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Out of Body Experiences53
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Persistent Vegetative State54
      1. Text to be supplied.
  2. Life After Death55
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Resurrection56
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Reincarnation57
      1. Text to be supplied.
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses58
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Disembodied Existence59
      1. Text to be supplied.
    3. Interregnum60
      1. Text to be supplied.
  4. Immortality61
    1. Text to be supplied.
    1. Ivan Ilych62
      1. Text to be supplied.
    2. Makropulos Case63
      1. Text to be supplied.

Concluding Remarks
  1. Having now discussed everything on our Agenda, we now in our next Chapter64 make our conclusions.
  2. This is work in progress65.

Links to Books / Papers to be Addressed66
  1. This section attempts to derive the readings lists automatically from those of the underlying Notes, but removing duplicated references. The list is divided into:-
  2. I have segregated those works on the core topic of Resurrection that are from a religio-philosophical perspective from those that are pure philosophy. In general, those written by professional philosophers are in the latter section, even if addressed to a religious audience.
  3. The motivation for some of the works is as follows:-
    • Gasser is the most important work I need to address.
    • Wright’s big book (hopefully) supplies all there is from the Christian side – even though the focus is on a specific – and theologically and metaphysically special – resurrection.
    • Bynum and Gillman provide background information from the Christian and Jewish perspectives, respectively.
    • Badham is a rather elementary Christian discussion, and may be rejected.
    • Corcoran is an important survey, already included in the reading for a couple of other Chapters.
    • Edwards, Flew and Penelhum are useful surveys of older material, which is useful just to read for the appropriate background. There is some considerable overlap in the selections.
    • I suppose I need to discuss death itself, hence Kagan, McMahan, Regan & Wyatt – though skipping the ethical bits.
    • Perrett and Tippler may be a little off-centre, and I may reject them on closer inspection.
    • The other individual papers – especially those by van Inwagen and Shoemaker – are probably important, but justification is to be supplied.
  4. Many aspects of these and other works will need to be either ignored or reserved for other chapters.

Works on this topic that I’ve actually read69, include the following:-
  1. Death
    1. Death70
    2. Near Death Experiences75
    3. Out of Body Experiences76
    4. Persistent Vegetative State78
  2. Life After Death
    1. Life After Death84
    2. Resurrection86
    3. Reincarnation89
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses90
    2. Disembodied Existence92
    3. Interregnum93
  4. Immortality
    1. Immortality94
    2. Ivan Ilych96
    3. Makropulos Case98

A further reading list might start with:-
  1. Death
    1. Death99
    2. Near Death Experiences104
    3. Out of Body Experiences106
    4. Persistent Vegetative State108
  2. Life After Death
    1. Life After Death109
    2. Resurrection112
    3. Reincarnation114
  3. Interim States
    1. Corpses115
    2. Disembodied Existence116
    3. Interregnum119
  4. Immortality
    1. Immortality120
    2. Ivan Ilych121
    3. Makropulos Case122

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2:
  • This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (12/01/2022 23:58:34).
  • Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
Footnote 66:
  • See the section on Research Methodology for what is to be done with these.
Footnote 72:
  • This is probably the best place to start, though it spends a lot of time discussing the problem of personal identity.
Footnote 73:
  • Was this book ever published?
  • This paper probably ought to be in the note on Brain Transplants.
Footnote 77:
  • This paper is about the author’s experience of sleep paralysis, but includes discussion of OBEs.
Footnote 80: Footnote 100:
  • While it looks like this paper should be studied under the head of Brain Death, and it could be, it really deals with the definition of “death”, so is best covered here.
Footnotes 101, 103:
  • One of the two main books on this topic.
Footnote 102: Footnote 107:
  • This book – though sceptical – is probably the best starting point.
Footnote 110:
  • Unlikely to have anything to do with resurrection, but I want an excuse for reading the book!
  • Maybe belongs to Chapter 8.
Footnote 111:
  • I’ve not noted individual papers from this volume, except where I’ve read them.
Footnote 113:
  • Hardly philosophy, but important to have read!
Footnote 117:
  • This is a long and controversial book, calling on us to face up to the fact that the mind isn’t disembodied.
  • I doubt I’ll have the time to read it!
Footnote 118: Footnote 123:
  • The discussion of Pascal’s Wager is a tangent on a tangent, but an interesting one nonetheless.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Jan 2022. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page