Life after death is credible to a large extent, as there is a large of percentage of people who believe in it. A study carried out between October and November 2009 showed that out of 2,060 people, 53% believed in life after death, with 55% believing in heaven and 70% believing in the human soul in the UK. However, there are many problems with believing in life after death – not least the fact that there is no proof. As Hume might have said, ‘there aren’t enough witnesses’ and ‘testimony isn’t proof.
’ Some evidence put forward is parapsychological, such as near-death experience, mediums, and so on, though the data generated from such evidence is contested. While there may not be any hard evidence for rebirth, it provides advantages to those who believe in it, therefore attaining the label of credibility. For instance, there is an idea of moral value because if one is constantly reborn, one must constantly strive for good karmic effects. However, G. E Moore’s theory of ‘naturalistic fallacy’ might intervene because rebirth confuses moral ideas with factual information about how the world works.
There is no means of verifying the principle of karma, and it assumes a dark view of reality with the inevitability of suffering. On the other hand, there is some psychological truth in the ideas of anatta and anicca, since an individual continues to grow throughout their life. Resurrection also delivers benefits for those who believe in it, thus making it credible to a large extent. It has a basis in tradition and is supported by evidence from Sacred Scripture, while it is also fair and encourages morality.
However, many challenges to belief in resurrection have been centred on the fact that there is no available way to falsify claims concerning life after death. But, non-Christian sources agree that Jesus was executed by crucifixion and his disciples believe that he rose from dead. A Church persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, unexpectedly transformed into a believer after the resurrection. Verification is only possible in the weak sense of eschatological verification suggested by John Hick in his Celestial City analogy. John Hick is a materialist, who believes that the soul and the body are ‘psycho- physically’ unified.
Hick explains in his Replica Theory, where he discusses how God makes it possible for people to be ‘replicated’ on a parallel universe. Hick talks about how the instantaneousness replication would be different from simply being transported from London to New York, he says all the individuals would know their dead and would be on a world populated by deceased individuals. His theory could be seen as incoherent because there is no evidence in science to suggest there is a parallel universe, however if you accept God’s omnipotent existence, this theory is plausible and does not depend on dualism.
But, even Hick recognised the limits of his own theory and the fact that it is hypothetical in the extreme. It should be noted that this is an extending theory into the unknown and is purely hypothetical. To conclude, life after death is credible because believers avoid the limitations of rationality and focus on faith, rather than empirical evidence. While some philosophers like Bertrand Russell, argue that the hope of a better life in heaven relieves humans of responsibility for what happens on Earth and encourages a fatalist mentality, such beliefs may do the opposite and soothe fears of demise.