If CDR is true, then there will be many people in the far future that will be resurrected. We can ask of each of these people, is he or she the same person who died? In asking this question we are not asking if they are qualitatively the same person. As we saw above, CDR claims that those that are resurrected will have very different bodies than they had before death.
Furthermore, this change is unproblematic. People can undergo a vast amount of qualitative change in their present life and still be the same person. For example, a person can be involved in a terrible accident that leaves him or her both physically and mentally very different. However, we would still consider that person to be the same person, numerically speaking, as the person who was in the accident, despite the change he or she endured.
So, when we ask whether or not the resurrected persons are the same persons who died, we are asking if they are numerically identical to someone who lived in the past. This question is problematic for the proponent of CDR. Suppose the answer is no, then it seems as if CDR is an empty hope for those who believe in it. For, the Christian does not merely believe that someone like her will be resurrected, but believes that she will be the one who is resurrected in the future.
Thus, CDR is committed to the claim that there must be some way for resurrection to occur that allows for numerical identity between a person before death and after resurrection. The dualist seems to have an easier time meeting this commitment. Under many dualist views, a person is identical to a soul or some sort of non-physical entity.
This is unproblematic because a person is not identical to the body but to the soul. The newly resurrected person is identical to someone who existed before because the soul is identical to a soul that existed before. It seems it is more difficult for a materialist to give an account of resurrection that accounts for the numerical identity of persons before and after death.
To see this, we will first look at a case involving the destruction and recreation of an everyday object and then apply that case to the materialist believer of CDR. The following case is taken from Peter van Inwagen p. Consider an everyday material object, such as a book or a manuscript. Suppose that at some point in the past this manuscript was burned. Now, what would you think if someone told you that he or she was currently in possession of the very same manuscript that was burned in the past?
Van Inwagen would find this incredible. He does not doubt that someone could possess an exact duplicate of the manuscript. He denies that anyone could possess a manuscript that was numerically identical to the one that was burned. Suppose the owner of the manuscript tried to convince van Inwagen that it was possible for it to be the same one by describing a scenario in which God rebuilds the manuscript using the same atoms or other bits of matter that used to compose the manuscript.
Van Inwagen claims that the manuscript God recreated is merely a duplicate. A duplicate is an object that is merely qualitatively identical to another object. Van Inwagen is not alone in thinking this. In it, a character of his argues that Kleenex boxes cannot be rebuilt after being completely destroyed. Underlying these intuitions is the view that mere rebuilding of an object even using the same parts is not enough to insure that the object after rebuilding is numerically identical to the object before rebuilding.
Applying this intuition to the materialist we can see why CDR seems to be in conflict with materialism. For, materialism holds that people are material objects like manuscripts and Kleenex boxes. Under this picture, the reassembly view of resurrection, God would resurrect people by assembling together all the bits of matter that used to be a part of their bodies and bringing them together again to form healthy bodies. Specification of these terms will vary depending on the proponent of the reassembly view, but typically the parts under consideration are the basic micro-physical parts that we are made of.
For example, it would be a poor reassembly view of resurrection that held that God resurrected people by gathering all the organs that composed people at a previous time. After all, our organs will decay and decompose in a similar way that our bodies will. The protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, superstrings, or whatever subatomic particle you choose will not decay in the same way, and presumably would survive into the future so that God might eventually gather them and reassemble them.
There are objections to the view of resurrection as assembly that go beyond the intuition that reassembly of a body is not enough to ensure that a reassembled person is numerically identical to someone in the past. First, it is not clear that all the parts that compose people now will exist later when the time for resurrection comes.
It seems possible, if not plausible, that God would not be able to resurrect some people if the reassembly view was true. The defender of CDR would not be comfortable with such an outcome. Second, parts of people can become parts of other people.
For example, when a cannibal bites into her latest victim, she digests and incorporates the parts of one person into her own person. God would not be able to rebuild everyone given the existence of cannibals and other mechanisms that allow parts of one person to become parts of another person after death. For the reasons above, philosophers have tended to reject reassembly views.
Some of the defenses of reassembly views by medieval apologists are entertaining if not persuasive.
We are left with our original problem, how can a material object be rebuilt? If materialism is true, then how is resurrection possible? The remaining sections of this article explain several different ways in which philosophers have attempted to answer this question. It should be noted that the argument against the materialist defender of CDR can be transformed slightly to apply to any defender of CDR. In the description of CDR the article left open the question of whether or not the resurrected body is numerically identical to the body pre-death.
Many Christians think that it is true that a numerically identical body is resurrected. In defense of his second point he points to 1 Corinthians 15 and the fact that Christ bore the scars of crucifixion. If Merricks is right, and numerical identity of the body is part of CDR, then a believer in CDR must defend the view that it is possible for God to resurrect a material object even if one is a dualist.
If Merricks is not right, then the dualist has an easier time coming up with an account of resurrection than the materialist. Peter van Inwagen has presented a model of resurrection that is compatible with materialism and the Christian doctrine of resurrection CDR. The key problem for the defender of CDR is that once we die our bodies begin to disintegrate and eventually are destroyed by natural processes. Once this happens, it seems that even God cannot bring back that body because it is a logically impossible thing to do, given the intuition discussed above.
Van Inwagen proposes solving this problem by giving an account of resurrection where our bodies do not in fact undergo decay. Later, at the time of the general resurrection, God will take the corpse that he has preserved and restore it to life. One objection that van Inwagen addresses in his article is that there is no reason for God to replace genuine corpses with simulacra.
If God does preserve our corpse, why does he not preserve it here on earth or remove the corpse from the earth without a replacement? Suppose someone put a torch to a corpse. If God were preserving that corpse, then no amount of effort would allow the natural process of cremation to take place. Van Inwagen goes on to say that there are good reasons for God to have a policy of not providing regular evidence of the supernatural though in the article above van Inwagen is not specific about what those reasons are.
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Another objection to the simulacrum view is that it makes God out to be a great deceiver. We tend to think of the corpses that we bury or cremate as genuine corpses. Further, we have every reason to suspect that this is the case. See Hudson, p. Finally, it can be objected that the simulacrum view is incredible. Even though it is coherent, it requires us to adopt radically different beliefs than we currently hold. Van Inwagen acknowledges this point and in a postscript to his original article writes:. He goes on to remark that while the theory itself might not be literally true, it is true in another way in that it shows us some important features about how God will accomplish the resurrection of the dead.
In the other sections of the article, we have assumed that a materialist is someone who holds the view that not only is a person a material object but that a person is identical to a material object, namely her body. Some materialists deny this. Instead, they hold that a person is constituted by her body and that this relation is not one of identity. By looking at a statue and the matter it is composed of we can better understand the constitution view.
Hunk, for example, can survive being carved into a different statue while Statue cannot. Statue cannot exist without an artworld, while Hunk can, etc. However, we can say that Statue is constituted by Hunk. Lynne Rudder Baker argues for this view in Persons and Bodies.
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Given the constitution view of persons, we can construct an account of resurrection that purports to solve the problems of the reassembly view we described earlier. The difference between this and the reassembly view is that what God is recreating is not Smith but merely a body that constitutes Smith. Thus, while we are inclined to agree with van Inwagen that we do not have numerically identical body here, Baker suggests that we should think we have the same person here.
One might raise several objections to this view. First, it seems that the constitutionalist has to concede that the body raised in glory is not the same one that is sown in weakness.
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One constitutionalist, Kevin Corcoran, shows that the constitutionalist can avoid this consequence by combining the view expressed above with the falling elevator account discussed in the following section. Second, one might object that this view is merely a replay of the reassembly view. After all, what makes this new person Smith and not some replica? Unlike inanimate objects, such as manuscripts, persons can survive by having a material object constitute a mental life that has the suitable characteristics.
One can follow up this reply by asking: What would happen if God were to reassemble several bodies, all of which are exactly like the body God created for Smith? It seems like Baker is committed to them all being identical to Smith, which is absurd. Finally, some would object that this view commits us to a controversial metaphysics, namely that of the constitutionalist ontology. Exploring in detail this objection would go well outside the scope of the present article. Rather, the reader should keep in mind that this model of resurrection does require one to adopt an ontology that many philosophers find disagreeable.
See Hudson for one metaphysician who has argued against constitutionalism. One serious problem with the simulacra view is its commitment to mass deception by God. Recall that under this view none of the corpses we see here on Earth are genuine corpses. They are bodies that have never been alive and were not even around until God placed them, like movie props, on the earth. According to the falling elevator model at the point just before death God enables a person to undergo fission. An object undergoes a case of fission when it splits, like an amoeba, into two objects, both of which bear a causal relationship to the original object.
One body resulting from this case of fission goes on to die and becomes a genuine corpse. The second body is transported by God into the far future where it goes on to be resurrected.
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Both of these bodies have an immanent-causal connection to the body just before death and it is this connection that supports the claim that the resurrected person is identical with the person who died and the claim that the corpse is a genuine corpse and not a simulacrum. The falling elevator model violates this principle because it allows for there to be cases of fission where at one time there are two persons that are both alive and have an immanent-causal connection to a previous person.
Joe and Fred are not numerically identical to one another, and the identity relationship is transitive. Thus, the proponent of the falling elevator model will have to insist that some other criteria, outside Joe, Fred, and Mark, be used to evaluate personal identity. For example, the proponent will likely say that an object x is numerically identical to a previous object y only if x is the closest continuer to y at that time. Thus, we have a violation of the only x and y principle.
According to the perdurantist, people are not wholly located at a particular time. Rather, they are spread out over time and are composed of temporal parts. In the case above, the perdurantist would not say that Joe and Fred are numerically identical to Mark. Instead, he would claim that the temporal parts of Joe and Fred are related to the temporal part of Mark in such a way that the object composed of Joe and Mark is a person and the object composed of Fred and Mark is a different person.
Granted, these two persons overlap for the entirety of the temporal part Mark, but that is not an incoherent outcome. Perdurantism is a controversial metaphysics. A full discussion of it falls outside the scope of this article. In order to understand the motivations for anti-criterialism, it will help if we look at a puzzle known as the Ship of Theseus. The Ship of Theseus is a story about a ship captain, named Theseus, who slowly replaces each one of the parts of his ship with a new part.
This change is gradual, and many are inclined to believe that at the end of the process the repaired ship call it ship A is numerically identical to the one he began with see the distinction between numerical and qualitative identity in section 2. Suppose that someone were to reassemble the parts that were replaced and form a new ship call it ship B.
Would ship B also be numerically identical to the original ship? Again, many think so. Since identity is a transitive relationship it cannot be that both ships A and B are identical to the original ship. This poses a puzzle for us, as we have the intuitions that ships can both survive a replacement of their parts and can be disassembled and reassembled. Faced with puzzles such as the Ship of Theseus, and the possibility of fission a case where one object divides into two, such as an amoeba splitting into two amoebas , philosophers have tended to adopt criterialism.
Criterialism is the claim that there are criteria for identity over time. One recent philosopher to deny this is Trenton Merricks. A criterion for identity over time is a criterion for a particular type of object that gives informative necessary and sufficient conditions for numerical identity over time. For example, if you possessed a criterion for identity over time for ships, then you would be able to say what it is about a ship at the present time that makes it identical to a ship that existed previously.
Some philosophers think that such criteria are useful because having them would allow us to solve puzzles that involve questions regarding an objects identity over time. For example, a criterion for ships would help us solve the Ship of Theseus paradox by allowing us to determine whether or not ship A or ship B is numerically identical to the original ship. Let us now look some models given for CDR.
Van Inwagen, for example, believes that the criterion of identity over time for persons is that a person at a given time must be part of the same life as a person at a previous time. Hudson argues for what he calls a psychological criterion of personal identity. Given these criteria, each philosopher attempts to construct a model of resurrection that does not violate his or her criterion for personal identity. It should be noted that Baker, a constitutionalist, does not think we can give a criterion of personal identity.
This seems to be because the criterion is mysterious, and not because there is no criterion. While her model of resurrection appears under a different section in this article, the reader is encouraged to think about how an adoption of anti-criterialism might be used to defend a constitutionalist account of resurrection. The main objection to CDR was that there was no coherent account of resurrection in which the persons or bodies resurrected were numerically identical to persons or bodies before death.
Note that there was very little argument behind this objection. Underlying this assumption was the belief that there is some criterion of personal identity and the intuition that no story about resurrection can accommodate this criterion. One might be able to shift the burden of proof away from the proponent of CDR by denying that there is any criterion of personal identity. Merricks does just this. He denies that there are any criteria of identity over time for any object. Further, he claims that he does not have an account of resurrection and that lacking such an account is no problem for the believer of CDR.
Since there are no criteria of personal identity, this task will prove difficult if not impossible. Of course, the anti-criterialist might wish, along with the rest of us, that we knew how God will resurrect us. But this lack of knowledge merely shows that we are ignorant of how resurrection occurs, not that resurrection is impossible. The main objection to this view of resurrection centers on the denial of criterialism. As in the case of constitutionalism and perdurantism, an account of the objections to this metaphysical thesis falls outside the scope of this article.
Of course, not all Christians are materialists and in this section we will look briefly at two types of accounts of immaterialist resurrection. Aquinas, for example, is an immaterialist in this sense even though he did not think that we are identical to our soul or essentially an immaterial object. Most of the contemporary literature on resurrection focuses on material accounts because a many philosophers find the concept of an immaterial soul mysterious at best and b the most common objection to the Christian doctrine of resurrection CDR involves its incompatibility with materialism.
The reader should not take the current state of the literature to be a guide to the philosophical merits of either materialist or immaterialist accounts or the proportion of Christians who hold to each position. One of the most popular forms of dualism held by Christians has been a dualism inspired by Plato and Descartes in which 1 the soul and body are separate substances, 2 the soul is immaterial, and 3 the soul is identical to or strongly connected to the mind.
One of the early Christian adopters of this view was Augustine. Additionally, he argued that the soul must be immortal because it desires perfect happiness. The desire for perfect happiness includes a desire for immortality because no happiness would be perfect if one feared losing it at death. This desire is a natural desire, and thus, Augustine claimed, the soul must naturally be immortal. Bonaventure later takes up this argument when he argues for the immortality of the soul. See the Copleston reference for more details about Augustine, Bonaventure and Aquinas.
One contemporary philosopher who defends a dualism of mind and body in the Augustinian tradition is Richard Swinburne. Swinburne compares the soul to a light and the body to a light bulb. In his view, if our bodies are destroyed then the soul would naturally cease to function in the same way that a light would naturally go out when a light bulb is destroyed.
For example, God could by a miraculous divine act cause souls to function while disembodied. In any case, Swinburne emphasizes that the soul is not by nature immortal this goes against Augustine. Swinburne himself thinks that there is no intermediate state. Many contemporary Christian dualists are similar to Swinburne.
Disagreements among Cartesian dualist Christians tend to revolve around the origin of the soul and the way in which the soul interacts with the body. Aquinas held the hylomorphic view that persons are a composite substance of matter and form. The substantial form, that which makes someone a substance, is the rational soul.
Among those who held to a hylomorphic view, there was a debate about whether or not the soul could survive death, and, if it could, whether or not this ensures a personal resurrection. Unlike some hylomorphists perhaps Aristotle he argues that the human mind or soul can exist apart from the body.
The human mind is not dependent on the body because the way in which it knows depends upon its state. So, instead of ceasing to exist when becoming disembodied, the soul would merely come to know the world in a different way. Additionally, Aquinas argued that we can look forward to a personal resurrection. While the various human souls are nearly identical, we can individuate them in virtue of the bodies they did have on Earth and will have in the general resurrection.
A Christian belief that is related to the doctrine of resurrection is the belief in an intermediate state. Many Christians believe that between the time of death and the time of resurrection there is an intermediate state at which people will continue to exist. This section of the article will look at accounts of this intermediate state and examine an argument for dualism based on the intermediate state. It should be pointed out that Protestants and Catholics differ significantly on the nature of the intermediate state. Traditional Catholic thought holds that some people go to purgatory when they die, as opposed to ceasing to exist or immediately going to exist in the presence of God.
Purgatory is a place where souls go to be cleansed of sin before entrance to heaven. Believers are encouraged to pray for those souls that are in purgatory so that the souls might escape purgatory sooner. Catholics find support for the doctrine of purgatory in 2 Maccabees and in church tradition.
Protestants reject the doctrine of purgatory because they deny that 2 Maccabees is an authoritative source and because they claim the doctrine of purgatory contradicts scripture. Additionally, some Catholics have held to a belief in Limbus Patrum , a place where Old Testament saints went to await the death and resurrection of Christ, and Limbus Infantum , a place where unbaptized infants go after death.
In addition to the above controversies, Christians debate the fate of believers after death. Many think that believers retain consciousness and go into the presence of God. Proponents of the intermediate state point to passages in the New Testament in support of the view. For example, 2 Corinthians reads:. Therefore, being of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord…we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
When the resurrected Lord appeared to His Apostles, He helped them understand that He had a body of flesh and bones. The eternal glory we receive will depend on our faithfulness. Although all people will be resurrected, only those who have come unto Christ and partaken of the fulness of His gospel will inherit exaltation in the celestial kingdom. An understanding and testimony of the resurrection can give us hope and perspective as we experience the challenges, trials, and triumphs of life.
Atonement of Jesus Christ. Becoming Like God. Death, Physical. Eternal Life. Jesus Christ. Kingdoms of Glory. Mosiah — Alma Helaman — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, chapter Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, chapter