Survival After Death and the Vindication of Belief

  • D. Z. Phillips
Part of the New Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (NSPR)


In the previous chapter we assumed that a belief in immortality entails some kind of survival after death. We examined various kinds of survival which might be involved, and found that they all involve serious logical and empirical difficulties. In many ways, we saw that the notion of bodily survival of a physical kind after death is central to the belief that the same person lives again after his death. On the other hand, this notion inherits as many difficulties as the notion of disembodied existence after death or the notion of non-material bodies surviving death. And, as Professor Geach admits, there is no philosophical reason to expect that at some future date the graves will yield their dead. Nevertheless, Geach says, this is the faith that Christians have :

That faith is not going to be shaken by inquiries about bodies burned to ashes or eaten by beasts ; those who might well suffer such death in martyrdom were those who were most confident of a glorious reward in the resurrection. One who shares that hope will hardly wish to take out an occultistic or philosophical insurance policy, to guarantee some sort of survival as an annuity, in case God’s promise of resurrection should fail. ([9] p. 29)


Moral Consideration Contingent Connection Godly Life Divine Providence Empirical Difficulty 
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Copyright information

© D. Z. Phillips 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Z. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.University College of SwanseaUK

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