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Is it conceivable that you might survive the death of your body?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Identifying people according to their looks.
  3. The case of life after death.
  4. Can we really detach ourselves from our bodies?
  5. Two identical persons living at the same time.
  6. How can someone live without Their body?
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

If somebody thinks thoroughly about life, he will naturally come across the thought of death. We see death as a natural consequence of life. Everyone is not agreeing on the meaning of death though. Some see it as the end of everything, a total annihilation; others see it as the start of a new phase. Each individual has his own way of dealing with death that corresponds to its religious (or absence of) beliefs. In this essay, I will try to answer: ?Is it conceivable that you might survive the death of your body?' That question asks us if ?you? could still be ?you? without your body or at least without your initial body. To answer that question, we must determine what that ?you? is made of. Do you need to have the same body to be able to claim that you are the same person or would a certain set of memories be enough? I will use some examples to show the difficulty in identifying what is the constituent part of a person and then I will see how that can be translated in after death experiences. In everyday life we tend to identify people according to their outward look. If a person looks very much alike another person that we saw some time before, we are just going to assume that it is the same person. However, that is only true when we know that there are no factors that could mislead us that as the person having an identical twin. But then, if the two images that the person reflects are not totally the same, we might not say for that reason that it is not the same person.

[...] Body continuity is required, hence life after death could only occur through resurrection but even then body continuity is broken and the person would have to go through a disembodied stage which rules out that the person survives its death. Therefore, although there might be something after death, to me the person will not survive the change. Bibliography Davies, Brian. An introduction to the philosophy of religion. 3rd ed. Oxford University press, New York chapter 13, p. 289-318. Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons, Oxford [Oxfordshire] : Clarendon Press chapter 10-11, p. [...]

[...] In the case of life after death however, the body no longer exists or at least it is not functioning anymore, hence you cannot recognise the person on that ground. Therefore, can you say that a person survive her death? Possibly yes. To think that way implies that the person's essence does not pertain to the person's body. That is to say that the person's essence, let us call it her soul, is different from her body and thus, by definition, incorporeal. [...]

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