After taking the Philosophy A level last week where an essay on reincarnation came up and whether it could be argued against but in course of this- I chose to look into how it is actually a good thing and possibly the most likely to occur, possibly.
To start it appears that when looking into the idea of reincarnation- even the idea of it puts people off. Many think of it mainly as a religious concept of some kind but in actual fact, it doesn’t necessarily have to be and can be a lot more exciting than what first appears before us. Take an idea of continually coming back to develop ourselves intuitively and each time we gain new virtues/ characteristics that make us even greater people. Until one day we develop enough to the point we reach this state of fulfilment that we then either die peacefully or go into some next happiness state where our intuitive side-whether this be a soul or our personality in a spiritual form is taken to a place of happiness. Either way, it results in a fulfilled state of mind that occurs after a development process through reincarnation.
As you move onto something perhaps more controversial is this idea of that to have reincarnation, we need a soul in some aspect and if you aren’t really a follower of religion, it’s a straight turn off but in reality, to have some form of reincarnation, there needs to be something that is reincarnated but this can’t be physical and therefore must be a spiritual side. This doesn’t need to be from a divine being of some description but just a spiritual side that lives on. Yet, as Dawkins pointed out- ‘science has entered the soul and found it empty’. In consideration of how complex the soul would technically be and the fact that science mainly operates on a physical and experimental value where it would surely not be possible to reach such a level of identifying a ‘soul’ and especially not ‘entering it’. Anyhow, whether there is a soul or not, something similar does need to be accepted for there to be reincarnation.
What else is necessary is the identification that physical continuity cannot continue to exist. There’s a theory by John Hick that looks at how a body can be replicated/ resurrected in another ‘replica realm’ but this is fairly hard to unpick in the fact that Hick looks at recollecting the physical self with the personality but the matter of this is where do they go? If it is a physical world, would they not be looking to find earth? Is it across the universe? If it was physical then how can it be any better than earth so the theory is comparable to reincarnation in that you seem to get another chance but what happens when you die in this replica realm? Is this then a lead to another replica realm in the universe. If so, surely we as humans would have found one of them? Or are they in a realm not accessible to us but still physical? Surely this would just lead to an unquestionable doubt in the theory for it appears Hick is stating that we get resurrected in an ‘alternate world’ but you might as well believe in reincarnation then.
Finally, it’s important to understand that with reincarnation, it’s easy to misconceive it but if you think about it, wouldn’t it be an awesome idea? Keep on living till we’re fulfilled as humans and develop our character then go and live in some happiness place that is either spiritual or perhaps in a dream. Perhaps you live on by becoming one with the universe in this state of fulfilment. Who knows? But anyhow, it’s a cool idea that is more intriguing to me than that of resurrection in another place or simply dying because however more realistic it may appear- it’s not very exciting.