- In addition to ethical worries generated by the Constitution View, some think it is also ill equipped to deal with the afterlife2. The criticism is usually put like this. Bodies peter out and eventually cease to exist. And according to the Constitution View, one's body is necessary (though not sufficient) for one's existence. How can a body that peters out and ceases to exist somehow turn up in the new Jerusalem? Worse, if the deceased immediately join the Savior in heaven, how can that fact be squared with the apparent fact that the corpse is often right before our eyes? Dualists do not have such problems to embarrass them, since immaterial souls are not subject to the vagaries of bodily demise.
- In chapter 5 I argue that if the issue is simply one of postmortem survival then dualists do in fact have a much easier time accommodating such a doctrine. But if one is both a dualist and a Christian, then that person faces one of the same problems as a Christian materialist, namely, how to make sense of the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body. It is precisely that doctrine that needs to be addressed by Christians, dualists no less than materialists.
- Chapter 5 calls attention to the fact that none of the ecumenical creeds of the church confesses belief in a doctrine of soul survival. The Christian doctrine has been understood as the doctrine of bodily resurrection. Telling a story of how a body that apparently suffered a martyr's death can be numerically the same as a body that enjoys resurrection life, it turns out, is not the special preoccupation of twenty-first-century Christian materialists. This has been, at least until recently, a concern for dualists too.
- The chapter thus provides an account of the resurrection that is compatible with both a doctrine of intermediate, conscious existence between death and resurrection and the belief that at death we cease to exist and come back into existence at some time in the future. The account also has the virtue of being neutral with respect to dualist and materialist views of human nature and can thus be embraced by dualists as well as materialists.
Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: Introduction - What Kind of Things Are We?".
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)