Update: There is a newer series of articles, which more or less replace this particular blog. Please see: Resurrection! Part 1: Earthly
I’m not a huge fan of science-fiction, but I do enjoy it when it’s done well. Two movies that come to mind here are Multiplicity and Blade Runner. One a comedy, and one an action drama.
In Multiplicity, an overworked man (Doug) clones himself. The clone (dubbed “Two”) turns out to be an exact replica adult (!) Two has all the memories of Doug, and initially mistakes Doug for the clone. Naturally; he thinks he’s Doug. However, there is no doubt in Doug’s mind that Two is not him.
In Blade Runner, an android is given the memories of a young woman. The android believes the memories are of her own past and does not know that she is an android. However, the woman whose memories were implanted in the android knows that the android is not her.
Why do I bring up these movies when the topic is resurrection? Because of the way the Watchtower describes the process of resurrection. Let me explain.
The Watchtower holds that there is no immaterial, immortal “soul” that is the “real you”. No; the word “soul” refers to a physical human body which has God’s impersonal “life force” animating it. They also hold that God creates a new body for resurrected ones.
Finally, everyone who dies before Armageddon (both righteous and unrighteous) will be resurrected in the Millennium that follows (well, not us apostates, but all the rest of humankind.)
That’s all well and good, however (as usual) there are problems with these Watchtower beliefs. Let’s assume the worst: you die prior to Armageddon. Death involves God withdrawing his life-force from you. After which your body rots, or is cremated — it doesn’t matter because God will create a new body for you in the resurrection. (Unlike what’s depicted in Luca Signorelli’s medieval Resurrection of the Flesh shown above.)
Okay, but what does God “put into” this perfect new body to make it you? Remember: there is no immaterial “soul” such as most other Christian religions have which can be neatly inserted into the body. No; while you were dead there was no conscious “you” floating around anywhere. In fact, there wasn’t even an unconscious “you”; you had ceased to exist entirely.
“Ceased to exist entirely,” that is, except for God’s memory of you! Here is the saving grace. The Watchtower asserts that God has kept all of your memories in his divine data-bank. Then, at resurrection time he stuffs these memories of yours into a new perfect body, and there you have it: A perfect new you resurrected into a perfect new world!
Except it won’t be you.
It will be a new being with your memories. It will be just like “Two” in Multiplicity and just like the android in Blade Runner. Oh yes, this new being on this new Earth will think that they’re you. But is that any consolation? Can you take comfort in knowing that you will have an impostor (with your name) sincerely posing as you on a different planet (with the name “Earth”) for eternity?
It’s not you that will be resurrected.
You will still be dead–forever.
See also: The Post Armageddon Blues.