<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Zimmerman (Dean) - Can We Survive Our Death? (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21051.htm">Can We Survive Our Death?</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/Z/Author_Zimmerman (Dean).htm">Zimmerman (Dean)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: YouTube; accessed August 2015. Interview at the Templeton Conference on Analytic Philosophy of Religion, Munich 2012.</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21051.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PapersToNotes_21051.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><ul type="disc"><li>This is a YouTube video, and not a paper as such. See <a name="W2602W"></a><A HREF = "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Ks8K5qVdM" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>. </li><li>As it is a quick way in to Zimmerman s views on the subject, this is a quick file-note <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21051_1">outlining</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21051_1"></A> what he says. </li><li>Obviously, given that he s a Christian, Zimmerman thinks there is <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_978.htm">life after death</A><SUP>2</SUP>; he also thinks there are no insuperable philosophical difficulties in getting us to the future life, though it may require a miracle. </li><li>Zimmerman is not a Christian <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1136.htm">Materialist</A><SUP>3</SUP>, but holds some form of the <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_908.htm">Soul</A><SUP>4</SUP> view. </li><li>In <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21051_5">Detail</A></U><SUB>5</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21051_5"></A>:- <ol type="1"> <li>The nature of ourselves is a deep mystery.</li><li>Amongst analytical philosophers working on the metaphysics of human beings  even those in no way religious  there s an incredible spectrum of views about the nature of persons: <ol type="a"><li>are we entirely material, </li><li>do we persist by having instantaneous temporal parts standing in for us one after the other? </ol></li><li><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21051_6">So</A></U><SUB>6</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21051_6"></A>, Zimmerman sees no reason to doubt the traditional Christian teaching that we are not made up entirely of matter, but that there s something else interacting with our brains; something that could in principle continue to exist (after our brains have ceased to be).</li><li>He sees no reason to say that the soul  to give it its traditional name  is naturally immortal.</li><li>The soul is a part of nature in the sense that it is the natural result of the very complicated human brain functioning as it s supposed to do.</li><li>Animals have souls as well. </li><li>But, he dislikes the expression  having a soul , as though I m a different thing to my soul. </li><li>If the soul is the subject of my thinking, and experiencing qualia, then it s me. </li><li>I m intimately related to my body, which I require to act  and to think  but I m the thinking thing. </li><li>If the thinking thing is immaterial, then I am immaterial. </li><li>So, could the soul survive death? </li><li>Well, if it s the sort of thing that s naturally generated by brains, its natural state is to be united with a living organism. </li><li>So, if it were to survive <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_69.htm">(disembodied)</A><SUP>7</SUP> it d have to be by a miracle as it has no natural staying power  so it would have to be unnaturally sustained by God in a  maimed state. </li><li>So the doctrine of the resurrection is essential and  if that s what souls are like  we may suppose that God will supply a body & and it s supposed to be <u>this</u> body.</li><li>What <u>that</u> means is hard to say, as this body is headed for disaster, so how can it be brought back again? </li><li>God could gather together the bits  entirely appropriate  and we d  naturally call it the same body  but he s no idea whether that s really what will happen; and the precise identity of the parts (eg. it we ve been nuked) isn t important as we gain and lose parts all the time. </li><li>There might be something more mysterious going on  for instance at the moment of death this living organism is given the ability to generate a successor to itself at some other place or time. </li><li>St. Paul makes fun of those who ask hard questions like that, so we can t expect to know much more than that it s possible. </li></ol></li><li>Some brief <b><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21051_8">comments</A></U><SUB>8</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21051_8"></A></b>:- <ol type="1"><li>Some Christian philosophers deny that it is the <u>Biblical</u> teaching  even if it is the traditional <u>Christian</u> teaching  that we  have souls  or are most fundamentally immaterial. See <a name="12"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_06/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_6335.htm">Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul</A>" in particular, especially Corcoran s wriggling when it comes to the creeds. </li><li>An interesting thing about <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_30.htm">animals</A><SUP>9</SUP> being ensouled. Presumably only those that think, or at least perceive. Maybe primitive animals have primitive souls?</li><li>Does Zimmerman really believe that  at the most fundamental level  we are immaterial thinking things? How does this compare  say  with Baker s view that we are individuated by our <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_22.htm">FPP</A><SUP>10</SUP>? </li><li>How is the  union with a living organism supposed to take place? This is a traditional problem for <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_124.htm">dualism</A><SUP>11</SUP>. </li><li>Also I wasn t sure how important the  <a name="8"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_113.htm">organism</A><SUP>12</SUP> (rather than  <a name="9"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_0/Notes_18.htm">body</A><SUP>13</SUP> ) is to be in Zimmerman s metaphysics. Are our resurrection bodies supposed to be  organisms ? </li><li>He s a little bit quick (and sanguine) on the reconstitution of  this body . Does he comment anywhere of Olson s <a name="10"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_19/Abstract_19915.htm">Olson (Eric) - Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave</A>"? </li><li>The  mysterious ending is his  falling elevator model, most recently expounded in <a name="11"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_19/Abstract_19031.htm">Zimmerman (Dean) - Bodily Resurrection: The Falling Elevator Model Revisited</A>". </li><li>I had thought that Zimmerman s metaphysics did not need something like the above transfer mechanism, but maybe he s now convinced that  this body is essential  either as being Christian doctrine, or to ensure identity of the person. </li></ol></li></ul><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P21051_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21051_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: Well,  detailing is more appropriate  though what he says is obviously just a brief outline of his thoughts on the topic. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21051_5"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21051_5"><B>Footnote 5</B></A></U>: This is a very full, and hopefully faithful, but not quite verbatim account. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21051_6"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21051_6"><B>Footnote 6</B></A></U>: This strikes me as methodologically unsound. Given that philosophers never agree on anything, this gives license to believe whatever you like on everything. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21051_8"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21051_8"><B>Footnote 8</B></A></U>: As this is a very brief self-exposition of Zimmerman s views, it s not worth saying much here, so I just add a few pointers for future reference. <BR><BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:31" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:31:05</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>