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...
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