Life After Death: An Idle Wish or a Reasonable Hope?

Philosophy Research Archives 1:1-17 (1975)
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Abstract

I argue that life after death (understood as personal survival of one's death) is an appropriate object of one's hope, despite the fact that it may not be an appropriate object of one's belief. That is, the hope for life after death is a reasonable hope. Whereas the belief that there is a life after death may not be a justified belief.I begin by discussing and clarifying the phenomenon of hoping and developing a logical analysis of the concept of hope. Hoping is then distinguished from both wishing and believing. Next I discuss what must obtain before we consider a hope to be a reasonable one or to be justified. Finally I demonstrate that at least one form of life after death meets the conditions for justified hope.

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James Muyskens
CUNY Graduate Center

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