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11 Zombies, Selves, and the Possibility of Afterlife

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Chapter Summary

The history of human beings is crowded with all kinds of strange, imagined beings, such as gods, ghosts, souls, witches, fairies, trolls, zombies, gnomes and so forth. Another important historic or even prehistoric conception, still prevalent in many religions, is the idea of afterlife. The basic idea is that the identity of an individual is preserved after death. One way to classify all the philosophical-theological attempts to demonstrate the existence of a non-physical reality is to see them as conceivability arguments, similar to zombie arguments in the philosophical literature. Zombies are historical-cultural creatures of imagination, which have their natural place in a religious context. The metaphysical possibility of afterlife is very important in many religions. Christianity and Islam are two cases where the conception of afterlife is strongly connected to the human self and the identity of the individual.

Keywords: afterlife; Christianity; conceivability arguments; non-physical reality; philosophical literature; zombies



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