Personal identity and the afterlife

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Personal identity and the afterlife

John Locke and Personal Identity: December 02, K. Forstrom, John Locke and Personal Identity: In general, I think the work will be of most interest to those looking for a brief expository survey of contrasting positions taken on the nature and immortality of the soul and how various theological commitments required for a theory of divine justice are met.

As is customary, I will summarize the chapters before I offer some critical remarks concerning the arguments presented to justify the core thesis of the book. The guiding question is what constitutes the individuation and diachronic identity of a person, given that a system of public and divine justice works only if we can be suitably concerned for a pleasant afterlife.

Receptivity to this concern, Forstrom suggests, may be one reason why Locke is concerned to show that whatever constitutes the diachronic identity of a person, it cannot be merely substance with no consciousness of its own thinking and acting Individuals are distinguished by the beginning of their existence, and they continue as the same thing as long as they satisfy the identity condition for the kind of thing they are.

In the case of persons, the identity condition is consciousness. If I am the same person today as yesterday, then I am the same person who did the actions of yesterday and so am responsible for those actions today In addition, Forstrom cites the ability to "appropriate or remember" an action as the criterion for being responsible for that action She says, "Consciousness is the focus, and the appropriation of past actions to itself.

If an action is appropriated then the punishment or reward is merited.

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If the action is not appropriated, then the punishment is not merited" Chapters address issues of immortality and bodily resurrection in Descartes, Hobbes, More, and Boyle.

Arguing that the soul is really distinct from the body is meant to establish the view that the soul can exist without the body, which, along with the assurance from revelation that God will not annihilate souls, philosophically bolsters the theological commitment to immortality.

Personal identity and the afterlife

Otherwise, there can be various scenarios in which souls and bodies come apart and reunite such that were the identity of the person located exclusively with the soul or the body we would be hard pressed to find an intuitively satisfactory account of moral responsibility that is sensitive to personal identity.

Forstrom suggests that, in contrast to Descartes, Locke is concerned to show that immortality "is the continued identity of a moral agent, a person who is rightly or wrongly punished for actions done" Therefore, an account of immortality that focuses only on issues of individuation and identity of the soul is insufficient The important consequence of this denial and its influence on Locke, Forstrom argues, is that bodily resurrection must be taken into account when we are thinking about issues of individuation and identity.

Forstrom continues that both Hobbes and Locke consider "persons" to be moral agents who are subject to bodily resurrection. Forstrom concludes that what Locke learned from Hobbes is that if a materialist theory of personal identity is going to be responsive to divine justice, then whatever persists must be able to remember what it did in this life.

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She concludes that "if a person were a material substance, then an individual would be held by God responsible for actions he could not remember" The challenge Hobbes sets for Locke is seen as how best to account for moral responsibility and divine justice given a commitment to materialism.

The fourth chapter moves to a discussion of the influence on Locke of Henry More and Cambridge Platonism generally. This influence is seen as mostly negative in that Locke wants to show that we can account for the identity of persons without resolving the question of the nature or immortality of the soul 76, Here, Forstrom argues that Locke is responding to both More and Hobbes by denying that the continued existence of either the soul or the body is the criterion for personal identity.

The reason is that Locke is agnostic about whether matter can be made to think, and he is clear that we need not have a philosophical proof of the immateriality of the soul to secure morality IV.

Here, we see again the themes of what can be said to survive death and the role of memory in personhood and moral responsibility.Afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is the concept that an essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues to manifest after the death of the physical body.

According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual.

In many religious traditions, Hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Hell is endless or eternal.

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Hell is often portrayed as populated with daemons, who torment the damned. Adventures in the Afterlife is a powerful journey of spiritual awakening; a bold quest for answers and enlightenment.

Personal identity and the afterlife

The old assumptions of heaven are confronted and an expansive new vision of our continuing life is presented. Sections on this Site: How to Keep Shabbat The Basics of Being Jewish Learning About Judaism Becoming Religious, and Your Family The Jewish Cycle of Life Frequently Asked Questions Who Is a Jew?

Breac // University of Notre Dame

Life, the Afterlife, and the Soul The Jewish G-d: What’s He Like? History of our Traditions The Unchanged Tradition of Judaism.

Fideisms Judaism is the Semitic monotheistic fideist religion based on the Old Testament's ( BCE) rules for the worship of Yahweh by his chosen people, the children of Abraham's son Isaac (c BCE).. Zoroastrianism is the Persian monotheistic fideist religion founded by Zarathustra (cc BCE) and which teaches that good must be chosen over evil in order to achieve salvation.

Jared White Don Wacome Philosophy and Christianity May 2, Personal Identity and the Afterlife Inquiring about personal identity will inevitably give birth to questions dealing with our being people, or, as many philosophers like to say, persons.

John Perry, "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality"