Life after death Jan 2010 question and mark scheme

Evaluate the claim that there can be no disembodied existence after death. [35]
Candidates may begin by approaching this question either from the issue of what we mean by existence after death or from the question of what we would mean by disembodied existence. An explanation of both these concepts is necessary for a full answer to this question.
Some may, for example, explore the issues surrounding the question of mind body identity and its effect on a belief in disembodied existence. Candidates need to be careful how they use the work of various scholars in this area. For example candidates may recognise that Richard Dawkins could be used to explain why any for of life after death is unlikely embodies or disembodied.
However John Hick cannot be used as he is specifically arguing for an embodied existence post mortem. He is in fact trying to support the Christian creed which expressly holds the view that human being will have a bodily resurrection.
To fully answer the question they would have to look at scholars who have argued for a spiritual/soul survival of death without the need for a body. They may for example explore the work of any of several dualists from Plato onwards.
Having laid out the problems involved in this question and some of the writers who may be consulted, answers will depend on the area candidates argue is most relevant to this question, from their own studies.
Some may for example focus much of their assessment on the thorny issue of identity and what would ‘I’ need to be in order to have some kind of existence after death where I have no body but could still be recognised at least to myself as me.
Others, who have spent more time on the issue of whether or not there can be any kind of life after death may approach their evaluation from the point of view of Dawkins or Hume assessing the legitimacy of drawing conclusions based entirely on empirical evidence.

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