- Hick1 attempts to convince us of the logical respectability of the Christian concept of the resurrection of the body by means of three examples. His ultimate goal is to demonstrate the logical viability of St. Paul's concept of the spiritual body (I Corinthians, 15), which Hick renames "resurrection body ", raised by God to live in a spiritual world ("resurrection world").
- His three examples are as follows:
- (1) A participant at a learned gathering in America suddenly disappears and, at the same moment, an exact replica appears in Australia.
- (2)The participant at the American gathering does not suddenly disappear but suddenly dies. At the moment he dies an exact replica, as he was just before he died, appears in Australia, while the corpse still resides in America.
- (3) The person dies in America and the replica (as a resurrection body) appears not in Australia but in a resurrection world that is not spatially related to our own world.
- Hick claims that in the first two examples we could accept that the person appearing in Australia was the same as the person who disappeared from, or who died in, America. And by stretching the point still further we should say the same of the person appearing in the resurrection world.
- We should have qualms even about his first example, where we might want to know why we should not regard the new person as only a replica of the old.
- His second example is even more puzzling. He commences his article by arguing that, in view of the current philosophical climate which eschews all talk of a disembodied2 mind surviving death, we should the more readily examine the resurrection theory. But this seems to throw the whole burden of the sameness of the person onto the sameness of the body. Yet it cannot be that the body in Australia is the same as that in America. The old, worn-out body in America exists at the same time as the new body in Australia.
- However, even if we allow Hick's first two examples, we should remain suspicious about the third.
Referenced in "Vardy (Peter) - Death and Eternal Life"
Footnote 1: In "Hick (John) - The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body Reconsidered".
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