No Hope in the Dark: Problems for four-dimensionalism

Authors

  • Jonathan J Loose School of Advanced Study, University of London; Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v11i3.2958

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

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.

Author Biography

Jonathan J Loose, School of Advanced Study, University of London; Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge

Ressearch Associate

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.

Published

2019-09-19

How to Cite

Loose, Jonathan J. 2019. “No Hope in the Dark: Problems for Four-Dimensionalism”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):31-47. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v11i3.2958.

Issue

Section

Special Issue - Philosophy, Religion and Hope