For this study we will deploy the OCR Philosophy of Religion for AS and A2, Matthew Taylor, Editor Jon Mayled, Routledge, Oxon, New York, 2007.
What is the link between soul and body or mind and body?
There are two basic answers.
One is that the soul and body or mind and body are separate. The soul or mind controls the body but is separate from it and so can survive the death of the body. This view is called dualism. The soul can go on to take another body. Reincarnation is possible. With dualism there can be only one me at the one time.
Two is that the mind or soul cannot be separated from the body. Body and soul are the one thing. This view is called monism. Some monists believe that when you die you cease to exist but your mind comes back in another body. The new body isn't a problem at all for they say my body now is not the same body I had years ago for it rebuilds itself.
We conclude from this that no idea of body and soul necessarily excludes reincarnation.
Monism is credible because sensors developed by NASA can detect and identify words you say silently to yourself without speaking audibly. A scanner was used in 2005 which could picture what people were merely thinking (page 273). These experiments strongly show that thoughts happen in the brain - they have a physical not supernatural cause. If we survive death by resurrection or reincarnation and monist theory is true, it follows then that I could be copied for with resurrection and reincarnation what is happening is the creation of what is more or less a replica of me. Believers in this theory say that a replica is not the same as a copy. But this isn't believable. If a replica of me is made, then how do I prove that this replica is not a copy? How do I know a copy is not a replica? You can make several copies or replicas of a person so which one is the person? All of them?
Against this it is said that there can only be one me for part of being human or person is being an individual. The reply to that is that if there were two copies made at the same time then which one is me and which one is the copy? Why aren't both me? Why aren't both copies? Both have had the same experience that makes me me so it suggests that BOTH are me.
Another reply is that if I die and there are two me's created after my death one will still be as much of a person as the other. To say there being more than one me is a problem is nonsense. It's confusing for people yes but you never say that the argument is proven wrong by being confusing and doing away with the way we think of people as individuals.
Some philosophers are saying the replica is not me but a copy because there is no physical continuity. If I die and my body rises again three days later the result is a new person who thinks he is me and remembers my experiences but who is not me. But my body as it is now living has been made from entirely new substances and the body I had ten years ago has literally gone down the toilet gradually. The physical link isn't important. There could still be a supernatural link. Perhaps the mind is able to link through time and space when it dies to the new body. Perhaps there is something incomprehensible happening that is the solution. After all, we cannot comprehend or explain how thoughts happen. Christians cannot deal with these problems and yet they have the nerve to talk as if the resurrection of Jesus is believable. Any evidence for the resurrection is wrong if philosophy disproves it so philosophy should be sorted out first. Even when you are looking for evidence you are doing philosophy so they pay homage to philosophy by looking for evidence and then they trample on it.
Peter Geach (page 279) contends that if you survive death as a spirit then there are problems identifying you so you need your body back. He held that the only way to make sense of life after death was to contend that people die and rise again. Resurrection was his solution.
Geach rejects reincarnation for he says that a link between the new life and the life of the person who died cannot be established. Richard Swinburne rejects reincarnation because there is no physical continuation between the brain of the person that died and the baby that is born after and supposed to be her reincarnation (page 294).
This was an incredible thing for a believer in God to argue across. Why? Because if we survive death as spirits or at least are spirits until we rise again God could take care of the identity thing. The Bible speaks of formless beings being given appearances by God and being able to speak audibly. The forms may be like visions that God uses to let other people know who you are and that you are there.
Also, how do we identify God if God has no body? Geach should say God is not a spirit at all but a material being if he wants to be consistent. Geach speaks of incomprehensible mysteries in his faith and has the nerve to say that just because he thinks there are problems with reincarnation he is entitled to reject it. There might be an incomprehensible solution for we are talking big mystery in relation to reincarnation.
Resurrection is a less probable hypothesis than reincarnation.
Page 294, says that the central idea of reincarnation is that the soul is eternal that is without beginning or end. I would correct this to say that it is the central idea of many systems based on reincarnation. But why can't a soul be made and have a beginning but no end?
The reasons for preferring belief in reincarnation to resurrection are as follows. More people in the world testify to reincarnation than to resurrection.

Reincarnation asks us to make a good world for when we and our families will return. Resurrection doesn't care about this at all for it says you are out of the world forever when you die. Reincarnation respects the body as it is while resurrection seeks a better body that is ghostlike and magical and immortal.

Reincarnation is more comforting and realistic than a nebulous belief in a resurrection that we don't understand. Reincarnation faces less rational problems than belief in resurrection. For example with resurrection what body is raised? The one I had when I was ten? The one I had when I died at 105? The body is not a thing but a process of rebuilding and changing. Reincarnation does not speak of super-miracles. Resurrection does for it has every person who ever lived coming out of their graves. Resurrection is based on the dubious claims of Jesus Christ who promised to rise again as a sign that he was from God and when he finally did it nobody was around to see it so some sign!



AFTER DEATH – WHAT? Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
ETERNAL LIFE, Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1984
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCHTOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH? Paul Kroll, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1988
MIND OUT OF TIME, Ian Wilson, Gollanez, London, 1981
OCR Philosophy of Religion for AS and A2, Matthew Taylor, Editor Jon Mayled, Routledge, Oxon, New York, 2007 
LIFE AFTER DEATH THE WONDERFUL FACTS, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian, ALS, Birmingham
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
TEACH YOURSELF PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, Mel Thompson, Teach Yourself Books, London, 2003
THE AFTER DEATH EXPERIENCE, Ian Wilson, Corgi, London, 1987
THE DEVIL HIDES OUT, David Marshall, Autumn House, Grantham, 1991
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN? Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Publishers, Oregon, 1988

The Web
Case of Reincarnation Re-examined by Joe Nickell. This refutes the reincarnation claims of Jenny Cockell.



No Copyright