- In this thesis, I have argued that it is unreasonable to believe that the following propositions are true simultaneously:
- We are human organisms.
- For any organism O1 at a time, t1, and for any organism O2 at a time, t2, O1 and O2 are identical if and only if the simples that compose O1 and the simples that compose O2 are constituents of the same life.
- We will die.
- We will exist (after our deaths) on the Last Day.
- I argued for this thesis as follows.
- First, I demonstrated why, in the past, it has been argued that it is unreasonable to believe that (1)–(4) are true simultaneously. It has been argued that it is unreasonable to believe that (1)–(4) are true simultaneously because propositions (A) and (B) are, supposedly, true.
- Necessarily, the life of an organism, O1, at one time, t1, is identical with the life of an organism, O2, at another time, t2, if and only if, the simples that compose O1 and the simples that compose O2 are immanent-causally connected.
- Necessarily, when we die the simples that last composed us will cease to bear any immanent-causal connection to any organism.
- Second, however, I demonstrated that (A) and (B) are false. (A) and (B) are false, I have argued, because there are possible worlds at which not-(a) and not-(b) are true.
- Third, I argued that while (A) and (B) may be false their non-modal forms (a) and (b) are highly plausible. If one rejects (a) then one has to, for example, reject the ‘only x and y’ principle. If one rejects (b) then one has to, for example, deny an obvious truth: our remains will rot or will be burned.
- In the light of this, I argued that while it is not impossible (provided modal scepticism is false) for an organism that has died to exist again on the Last Day, it is still unreasonable to believe that an organism that has died can exist again on the Last Day.
- I then argued that it is the task of the Christian materialist to demonstrate that this is not the case. Indeed, van Inwagen’s argument, as it stands, will probably not satisfy either the atheist who argues that there is no actual resurrection (because materialism is true) or the Christian substance dualist who argues that materialism is actually false (because life after death is true). This is not because the atheist and the Christian are modal sceptics. Rather, it is because they have good reasons to doubt that van Inwagen’s suggestion may well be actual, and so have good reasons to doubt that the resurrection of material beings is a feat the almighty being may well achieve.
- Overall, I hope to have moved the argument concerning the possibility of life after death given animalism away from its early ‘logical’ stage on to the, much more interesting, ‘plausibility’ stage. I say the ‘much more interesting’ plausibility stage because, of course, this is the charge that Christian substance dualists will likely bring against the Christian materialist. Although it may be possible for an organism that has died to exist again on the Last Day it is still not reasonable to believe that an organism that has died can exist again on the Last Day.
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