Volume 25, December 2020
Kisor Kumar Chakrabarti, Tommi Lethonen
The Self, Karma and Rebirth
The paper has two main parts. The first part is devoted to the traditional Hindu viewpoint on the existence and permanence of the self as an immaterial substance. Various arguments offered by Hindu philosophers against the materialist view that the body is the self as well as arguments against the Buddhist view of the self as a stream of constantly changing states are discussed critically with reference to recent philosophical perspectives. The second part is devoted to the doctrine of karma and rebirth. A number of traditional arguments for the doctrine are studied analytically and critically as well as relevance of the doctrine for addressing the problem of evil that for many is a serious issue facing the creationist position. Finally, the major arguments of Plato who also held that the self is eternal and goes through reincarnation are critiqued from a comparative standpoint.