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McMaster University
Stephen Heathorn

Immortality Immortality v. personal immortality  Loose sense in immortality Physical: parents live on through our children because our DNA is being passed on some people say that we live through matter and energy that composed us in life Metaphysical: sometimes live through the memories of others live on in our works  we are considered dead but people are still talking about us  Personal Immortality: a person surviving the death of his or her body  Requires that the conscious self continues to exist: depends on what a person is in your opinion Homeric, Platonic, and Cartesian immortality  Homeric Immortality: before Plato immortality  Ancient Greek tradition: both the gods (Zeus, Athena, Hira etc) and the humans came into existence: only difference is that humans are mortal, and gods are immortal  There is a quasi-afterlife for humans: Hades (somewhat like hell) A phantom/ mere shadow of a us which once lives lives in Hades Libations- sacrifice of blood and wine for dead friends/heros/ancestors which will gain temporary consciousness in Hades  Platonic Immortality (later Greek tradition)  Plato thinks that humans are immortal  When a person dies, the body (mortal) breaks down, and you live- the spiritual reasoning and rational thing which thinks, remembers, imaginelives on  Soul is imprisoned in the body dying is a good thing because is a release  Cartesian Immortality  Descartes’s substance dualism: humans are made of 2 different substances soul-substance is not extended, indivisible, indestructible  Essence of the soul is consciousness 
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