Reincarnation. Is this perspective survival friendly?
Reincarnation as a perspective has a fundamental problem of inconsistency to start with. The notion of reincarnation conflicts with the teachings on not self. If there is no permanent essence then does it make sense to talk about reincarnation? Who is it that would be reincarnated? Also what about assigning responsibility to a being, from one life to another?
Taking these problems aside, reincarnation is generally interpreted as a view which posits that same human mindor soul animates successively different bodies.
Satisfaction of the bodily criterion is not essential to preserve personal identity. Of essence is the soul which is reborn into another body.
If I show more content
My traits would presumably be that of a mouse. Therefore my former (human) self as an identity would seem to be lost and forgotten.
To answer this objection, once could say that it would be thru subsequent re- incarnations, presumably into higher and more evolved animals and eventually into a human being, one would somehow regain ones former personal identity. Still, in the interim bodies of animals in which the I resides, how could we know that it was me who got re-incarnated? How would my essential personal identity which was human to start with continue if I became an mouse, then a cat, then a dog? It seems that
Reincarnation faces quite a challenge with respect to satisfying the requirement of maintenance of personal identity.
Immortality posits that our dependence on bodies is not necessary or essential for survival. The immortal soul does not sustain the sorts of changes that a body would. The body disintegrates but the eternal soul lives forever, disembodied, in an immaterial world. The supporters of this doctrine argue that the satisfaction of bodily criteria is not essential for maintaining personal identity.
Critic might say that since consciousnessdepends on a functioning nervous show more content
Take a musician for example. Would a disembodied soul be able to fully express himself as an accomplished musician without a physical form? If not or not fully then you might argue that his personal identity has lost an essential part. If so, how does one retain exactly the same nature we had before death?
One possible answer is that mans true nature is wholly expressed by his soul.
Still there is an issue of what might it be like for a soul to exist on its own, disembodied. If you live as a soul you could be terribly lonely. Without a body, which before death acted as a medium of expression, it might not be possible for the soul to communicate with other souls. This is where the mid-body interaction re-appears as an issue.
Another objection to the concept of immortality is that once a person has died, and their body decomposed, in trying to identify the person we run into a problem. As we have no criteria of identity for souls how can one distinguish from one another?
In conclusion, it is very difficult to find coherent accounts of a person surviving their death. The views for survival discussed seem wanting in varied degrees and pose doubt as to their coherence. The least problematic and most coherent,
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