Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

No Hope in the Dark: Problems for four-dimensionalism

Jonathan J Loose

Abstract

Whether or not it is coherent to place hope in a future life beyond the grave has become a central question in the larger debate about whether a materialist view of human persons can accommodate Christian belief.  Hud Hudson defends a four-dimensional account of resurrection in order to avoid persistent difficulties experienced by three-dimensionalist animalism.  I present two difficulties unique to Hudson’s view.  The first problem of counterpart hope is a manifestation of a general weakness of four-dimensional views to accommodate adequately prudential concern about one’s future self.  More significantly, the second problem of quasi hope demonstrates that even if a temporal parts view can accommodate the possibility of future resurrection it necessarily leaves human beings in the dark about their individual futures and thus incapable of hope.  I conclude that whatever its merits in demonstrating the possibility of resurrection, four-dimensionalist materialism cannot accommodate veridical Christian hope.

Keywords

Four-dimensionalism; Temporal parts; Personal Identity; Resurrection; Metaphysics; Materialism; Physicalism; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Religion; Hud Hudson; David Lewis; Hope; Analytic Theology; van Inwagen; Life after death; Persistence; Survival

Full Text:

PDF

References

Baker, Lynne R. 2018. “Constitutionalism: Alternative to Substance Dualism”. In The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan J. Loose, Angus J.L. Menuge and J.P. Moreland, 351–67. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Bering, Jesse M. 2006. “The Folk Psychology of souls”. The Behavioral and brain sciences 29, no. 5: 453–98. doi:10.1017/S0140525X06009101.

Bloom, Paul. 2009. “Religious Belief as an Evolutionary Accident”. In The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Reflections on the Origin of Religion, edited by Michael J. Murray. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Cooper, John W. 2000. Body, Soul and the Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Everts, J. M. 1993. “Hope”. In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, edited by Ralph P. Martin, G. F. Hawthorne and Daniel G. Reid, 415–17. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

Gavrilyuk, Paul L. 2018. “The Incorporeality of the Soul in Patristic Thought”. In Christian Physicalism: Philosophical Theological Criticisms, edited by R. K. Loftin and Joshua R. Farris, 1–26. London: Lexington.

Gibbard, Allan. 1975. “Contingent Identity”. Journal of Philosophical Logic 4, no. 2: 187–221. doi:10.1007/BF00693273.

Habermas, Gary R. 2018. “Evidential Near-Death Experiences”. In The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan J. Loose, Angus J.L. Menuge and J.P. Moreland, 227–46. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Hasker, William. 2011. “Materialism and the Resurrection: Are the Prospects Improving?”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3, no. 1: 83–103.

Hudson, Hud. 2001. A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

—. 2010. “Multiple Location and Single Location Resurrection”. In Personal Identity and Resurrection: How Do We Survive Our Death?, edited by Georg Gasser, 87–101. Farnham: Ashgate.

—. 2017. “The Resurrection and Hypertime”. In Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays About Heaven, edited by T. R. Byerly and Eric J. Silverman, 263–73. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Lewis, David. 1983. “Survival and Identity and Postscripts”. In Philosophical Papers Vol. 1, 55–77. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

—. 1986. The Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.

Loftin, R. K., and Joshua R. Farris, eds. 2018. Christian Physicalism: Philosophical Theological Criticisms. London: Lexington.

Loftin, R. K., and R.T. Mullins. 2018. “Physicalism, Divine Eternality, and Life Everlasting”. In Christian Physicalism: Philosophical Theological Criticisms, edited by R. K. Loftin and Joshua R. Farris, 99–116. London: Lexington.

Loose, Jonathan J. 2018. “Hope for Christian Materialism? Problems of Too Many Thinkers”. In Christian Physicalism: Philosophical Theological Criticisms, edited by R. K. Loftin and Joshua R. Farris, 257–69. London: Lexington.

—. 2018. “Materialism Most Miserable: The Prospects for Dualist and Physicalist Accounts of Resurrection”. In The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan J. Loose, Angus J.L. Menuge and J.P. Moreland, 470–87. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Loose, Jonathan J., Angus J.L. Menuge, and J.P. Moreland, eds. 2018. The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Marsh, Michael N. 2018. “The Phenomenology of Near-Death Experiences”. In The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan J. Loose, Angus J.L. Menuge and J.P. Moreland, 247–66. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Merricks, Trenton. 1998. “There Are No Criteria of Identity Over Time”. Noûs 32, no. 1: 106–24.

Noonan, Harold W. 2003. Personal Identity. Abingdon: Routledge.

Olson, Eric T. 2007. What Are We? A Study in Personal Ontology. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Parfit, Derek. 1975. “Personal Identity”. In Personal Identity, edited by John Perry, 199–223. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press.

van Inwagen, Peter. 1995. “Dualism and Materialism: Athens and Jerusalem?”. Faith and Philosophy 12, no. 4: 475–88.

—. 2009. “The Possibility of Resurrection”. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, Volume 2, edited by Michael C. Rea, 321–27. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Wiggins, David. 1968. “On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time”. The Philosophical Review 77, no. 1: 90–95. doi:10.2307/2183184.

Wright, N. T. 2003. The Resurrection of the Son of God. London: SPCK.

—. 1998. “Criteria of Identity and the ‘Identity Mystics’”. Erkenntnis 48, no. 2/3: 281–301. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20012846.

Zimmerman, Dean. 1999. “The Compatibility of Materialism and Survival: The ‘Falling Elevator’ Model”. Faith and Philosophy 16, no. 2: 194–212. doi:10.5840/faithphil199916220.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.