OCR A2 Philosophy Essay-Help Needed. Watch

Sem193
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I'm going to be sitting my A2 Philosophy exam in January, which is the first half of A2 Philosophy and Ethics, and I'm struggling a bit on how to format my essays in questions. I've written and essay but I really struggled on it. Any advice on how to improve it is very welcomed. I think it's a bit too long as well!



Evaluate the claim that there can be no disembodied existence after death.

Death is the end of the functions of one’s body, but is death the end? Dualists, who are those that believe the body and soul are separate entities, believe that there is life after death, however materialists and monists, those who believe human beings are made up of one entity: the body, believe that death is the cessation of life. Moreover, life after death may be disembodied (separate from the body) as Plato argued, leaving the body to corrupt on earth, or life continues in some bodily form for the dead. Is the claim that there can be no disembodied existence after death a valid one?
Firstly, Plato believed in disembodied existence after death as he claimed that the soul and body were separate and that the soul was in the realm of the Forms and then was incarnated in the body. He also said that in the future, the soul will be freed from the body and will be reincarnated into another body or eventually return to the realm of the forms. Furthermore, Lewis, Descartes and Swinburne are also dualists and they argued that we exist beyond death as well. H.D. Lewis argued that we detect mental processes quite distinct from physical ones, suggesting a non-physical self and Richard Swinburne argued that people could conceivably not be limited to using a chunk of matter for perception, knowledge and control. Moreover, Descartes argued that the body is divisible (eg parts can be severed), but the mind is not and hence argued that we conceive ourselves as separate from the body.

The views above can be seen as valid as there is evidence to support them. For example, the near death experience that was first documented by Dr. Ray Moody can support the possibility of disembodied existence. Moody studied various patients who had claimed to have outer body experiences during traumatic operations and he found a number of similarities between the cases, including some where detailed descriptions of things within the room were given that could not have been known by the unconscious patient. Also, H.H Price examined the claims of mediums and concluded that these are either evidence that disembodied persons continue to survive in another world and communicate with this world, or there is an unconscious part of the mind that can transmit and receive information telepathically. However, people may agree with the statement that there can be no disembodied existence after death because to accept the possibility of disembodied existence in dualism requires us to believe that the core of our identity is non-physical, and yet this contradicts much of science in Dawkins theory and is inconsistent with much of the findings in modern science. Also, Hume argued that there could be no existence after death (not even embodied existence) given the fragility of mind. He claimed that it is more likely to be destroyed by death rather than survive it. Also, belief after death could be viewed as saying more about our own wishful thinking than reality.
Moreover, Brian Davies disagrees with disembodied existence because he said to live means to participate in activities, which requires a body. Therefore some scholars have argued that there can be no disembodied existence after death but there can be embodied existence after death. Aristotle was not a dualist and claimed that body and soul were one, and hence believed in embodied life after death. Another important philosopher that believes in embodied life after death is John Hick. He created the replica theory that states that God can recreate an exact copy of us in the Afterlife. For example, if John Smith died today then Hick believes that it will be possible for God to create an exact replica of him in another world due to Him being omnipotent. The John Smith in the other world will have the same memories and look the same as the John Smith that once lived in our world.

Consequently, people would agree with the above arguments and thus would not believe in disembodied existence because Brian Davies makes a valid point when saying that to live means to participate in activities. Also, having a body may contribute to our identity and may constitute as being one’s identity. It is hard to imagine how we would still be ourselves without our bodies. Moreover, the strengths of John Hick’s replica theory is that allows for the belief in an afterlife and in this afterlife we have our memories and our bodies which could constitute as one’s identity. On the contrary, those supporting disembodied existence would argue against Brian Davies asking the question ‘does living mean to participate in activities?’ For example, people in comas are living but do they do not participate in any activities. Moreover, many philosophers have problems with John Hick’s replica theory as many replicas could be created and this does not seem logical as it would be hard to tell which one was the real ‘you’. Those supporting disembodied existence would say that by believing in disembodied existence one can know that the entity will be them as the soul is the main source of our identity.

In conclusion, I believe the claim that there can be no disembodied existence to be wrong as it seems that disembodied existence is more probable than embodied existence. It is hard to refute the claims of people who have experienced near death experiences and outer body experiences when they have given detailed descriptions of things within the room were given that could not have been known by the unconscious patient. Furthermore, the fact that mediums contact those who have died could suggest there is disembodied existence. Moreover, I believe the views of those believing in embodied existence, such as Hick, not to be convincing. Even though monists and materialists have criticized the belief in life after death, and hence disembodied existence, the arguments of dualists seem stronger.
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coodooloo
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(Original post by Sem193)
I'm going to be sitting my A2 Philosophy exam in January, which is the first half of A2 Philosophy and Ethics, and I'm struggling a bit on how to format my essays in questions. I've written and essay but I really struggled on it. Any advice on how to improve it is very welcomed. I think it's a bit too long as well!



Evaluate the claim that there can be no disembodied existence after death.

Death is the end of the functions of one’s body, but is death the end? Dualists, who are those that believe the body and soul are separate entities, believe that there is life after death, however materialists and monists, those who believe human beings are made up of one entity: the body, believe that death is the cessation of life. Moreover, life after death may be disembodied (separate from the body) as Plato argued, leaving the body to corrupt on earth, or life continues in some bodily form for the dead. Is the claim that there can be no disembodied existence after death a valid one?
Firstly, Plato believed in disembodied existence after death as he claimed that the soul and body were separate and that the soul was in the realm of the Forms and then was incarnated in the body. He also said that in the future, the soul will be freed from the body and will be reincarnated into another body or eventually return to the realm of the forms. Furthermore, Lewis, Descartes and Swinburne are also dualists and they argued that we exist beyond death as well. H.D. Lewis argued that we detect mental processes quite distinct from physical ones, suggesting a non-physical self and Richard Swinburne argued that people could conceivably not be limited to using a chunk of matter for perception, knowledge and control. Moreover, Descartes argued that the body is divisible (eg parts can be severed), but the mind is not and hence argued that we conceive ourselves as separate from the body.

The views above can be seen as valid as there is evidence to support them. For example, the near death experience that was first documented by Dr. Ray Moody can support the possibility of disembodied existence. Moody studied various patients who had claimed to have outer body experiences during traumatic operations and he found a number of similarities between the cases, including some where detailed descriptions of things within the room were given that could not have been known by the unconscious patient. Also, H.H Price examined the claims of mediums and concluded that these are either evidence that disembodied persons continue to survive in another world and communicate with this world, or there is an unconscious part of the mind that can transmit and receive information telepathically. However, people may agree with the statement that there can be no disembodied existence after death because to accept the possibility of disembodied existence in dualism requires us to believe that the core of our identity is non-physical, and yet this contradicts much of science in Dawkins theory and is inconsistent with much of the findings in modern science. Also, Hume argued that there could be no existence after death (not even embodied existence) given the fragility of mind. He claimed that it is more likely to be destroyed by death rather than survive it. Also, belief after death could be viewed as saying more about our own wishful thinking than reality.
Moreover, Brian Davies disagrees with disembodied existence because he said to live means to participate in activities, which requires a body. Therefore some scholars have argued that there can be no disembodied existence after death but there can be embodied existence after death. Aristotle was not a dualist and claimed that body and soul were one, and hence believed in embodied life after death. Another important philosopher that believes in embodied life after death is John Hick. He created the replica theory that states that God can recreate an exact copy of us in the Afterlife. For example, if John Smith died today then Hick believes that it will be possible for God to create an exact replica of him in another world due to Him being omnipotent. The John Smith in the other world will have the same memories and look the same as the John Smith that once lived in our world.

Consequently, people would agree with the above arguments and thus would not believe in disembodied existence because Brian Davies makes a valid point when saying that to live means to participate in activities. Also, having a body may contribute to our identity and may constitute as being one’s identity. It is hard to imagine how we would still be ourselves without our bodies. Moreover, the strengths of John Hick’s replica theory is that allows for the belief in an afterlife and in this afterlife we have our memories and our bodies which could constitute as one’s identity. On the contrary, those supporting disembodied existence would argue against Brian Davies asking the question ‘does living mean to participate in activities?’ For example, people in comas are living but do they do not participate in any activities. Moreover, many philosophers have problems with John Hick’s replica theory as many replicas could be created and this does not seem logical as it would be hard to tell which one was the real ‘you’. Those supporting disembodied existence would say that by believing in disembodied existence one can know that the entity will be them as the soul is the main source of our identity.

In conclusion, I believe the claim that there can be no disembodied existence to be wrong as it seems that disembodied existence is more probable than embodied existence. It is hard to refute the claims of people who have experienced near death experiences and outer body experiences when they have given detailed descriptions of things within the room were given that could not have been known by the unconscious patient. Furthermore, the fact that mediums contact those who have died could suggest there is disembodied existence. Moreover, I believe the views of those believing in embodied existence, such as Hick, not to be convincing. Even though monists and materialists have criticized the belief in life after death, and hence disembodied existence, the arguments of dualists seem stronger.
I know you've probably done your exam already but this is REALLY good, i'm not sure what you were worried about? Your knowledge and analysis is excellent, but the structure needed working, I think as you progressed you felt a little panicky. But I hope you did well in the Jan exam!
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michelaclarke
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you can't use hick in this, he is a materialist supporting physical christian resurrection with the body (i.e embodied)
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