In Eastern cultures generally, reincarnation is accepted as a fact
of life. But even in America and Europe, polls indicate a belief in
reincarnation among the general public at a significant 20% to 35%.
This means that well over 100 million Westerners now accept this
occult doctrine. Below we present a brief critique of the major
arguments in support of reincarnation in an argument/response/counter
response/final response format.1
ARGUMENT 1: Reincarnation is taught in the Bible.
RESPONSE 1: It can be demonstrated that no Scripture teaches
reincarnation. One reason is because the God who inspired Scripture
never contradicts Himself and the philosophical premises of
reincarnation are antithetical to major biblical teachings: e.g.,
self-perfection vs. salvation by grace apart from good works and
individual merit; self-atonement (paying off one’s own karma) vs.
Christ’s atonement for other’s sin. Indeed, if Christ paid the
divine penalty for all sin (Karma) no karma remains to be
worked off individually. Regardless, "man is destined to die once,
after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
COUNTER RESPONSE 1: Reincarnation was originally a
teaching in the Bible, but it was deleted by church authorities due to
FINAL RESPONSE 1: The Jewish authors of the Bible would never
originally have taught a pagan teaching that contradicted and
denied their own religious beliefs. This explains why no evidence
anywhere in church history supports the fanciful notion of biblical
Since more and more karma is increasingly worked
off along the path to perfection, reincarnation provides for an
inevitable moral and spiritual progress for all humanity.
RESPONSE 2: All evidence suggests otherwise (reincarnation
according to the law of karma is not working as it should).
COUNTER RESPONSE 2: Reincarnation provides the opportunity
for progress, not the inevitability.
FINAL RESPONSE 2: It is still not working; mankind is morally
unimproved historically. What suggests reincarnation will ever work,
given its (alleged) billions of years of impotence so far?
ARGUMENT 3: Reincarnation circumvents the nihilism of
RESPONSE 3: Each incarnation involves an entirely new person;
each person’s life is forever expunged at death, leading to the same
nihilism of materialism. Every individual person exists only
once in a meaningless personal life and is then extinguished
for eternity. This offers similar consequences to the nihilism of
COUNTER RESPONSE 3: But there is individual life in the soul
FINAL RESPONSE 3: It is still not the previous personality,
and, in the end, is absorbed into the final impersonal reality
regardless. In a universe where the individual person is a cipher and
the Impersonal Divine the only infinite reference point and absolute
reality, even the entire trajectory of the personal soul is
Reincarnation offers a credible explanation for
and resolution to the problem of evil.
RESPONSE 4: Not only does it not explain the origin of evil, in
theory, it encourages and perpetuates evil eternally.
COUNTER RESPONSE 4: Evil results from spiritual ignorance of
our own divinity; universal realization of our inherent Godhood will
lead to the elimination of evil.
FINAL RESPONSE 4: First, no evidence anywhere suggests man is
one essence with God or part of God. Second, the allegedly
God-realized have never proven themselves sinless. Characteristically,
they only redefine sin or evil as an illusion—which does nothing to
end evil but does tend to increase it. Third, reincarnation leads to
even greater inequities, e.g., callousness towards the suffering of
others, which must logically be interpreted as their karmic justice;
(the horrors of the caste system in India is illustrative); Fourth,
most religious monistic systems ultimately reject absolute morality
and imply the "illusion" of evil exists forever. In Hinduism the
trajectory of the soul is eternal: the final absorption of the soul in
one cycle is only one of an infinite number of similar cycles.
Practically speaking, evil, therefore, exists forever.
Because of the associated law of karma,
reincarnation provides perfect justice.
RESPONSE 5: You cease to exist at death; the person
punished in the next life is not you but a new entity entirely.
The fact that it is punished for your sins, is hardly
COUNTER RESPONSE 5: But my soul still lives on.
FINAL RESPONSE 5: Again, it is not your soul, since
you will not exist; nor does it remember "its" sins to help it
improve in the next life. Not only is this unjust, it is impractical.
One cannot strive to improve to a better standard without knowing the
previous standard one failed to attain.
Reincarnation is a universal belief found in all
RESPONSE 6: Many, but not all. It is usually found among pagan
and spiritually primitive cultures. They are pagan and primitive
largely from the spiritual and other consequences of their religious
philosophies, including reincarnation.
COUNTER RESPONSE 6: That’s just an opinion.
FINAL RESPONSE 6: Given absolute moral standards and biblical
teachings, such cultures are primitive morally and spiritually—by
theological fact, not opinion. For example, in India one sees the real
fruit of its spiritual philosophies.
Reincarnation allows for the time needed for
RESPONSE 7: Actual self-perfection is impossible for a fallen
COUNTER RESPONSE 7: Not over billions of years.
FINAL RESPONSE 7: Neither the extent of human sinfulness nor
the holiness of God is adequately comprehended. If the biblical view
of human nature is true, then in all eternity men could not perfect
Reincarnation engenders personal responsibility.
RESPONSE 8: As documented in occult writings and pagan history,
it rationalizes or engenders amoralism, selfishness, immorality, and
all sorts of sin, often "justifying" them by recourse to allegedly
spiritual principles and "truths."
COUNTER RESPONSE 8: People are held accountable for what they
FINAL RESPONSE 8: People are not held accountable. They
will never experience future judgment, either in the next life or any
"Past life" experiences and past-life therapy
has proved reincarnation true.
RESPONSE 9: "Past life" experiences, whether in therapy or
outside it, are psychological or occult delusions. Such experiences do
not help people, but harm them by seeming to justify a false and
destructive philosophy or providing a false diagnosis and solution to
COUNTER RESPONSE 9: Therapists claim it has cured thousands of
FINAL RESPONSE 9: Such therapists are violating "their" own
tenets in seeking to counter the "justice" of karma. People who suffer
from supposed past-life karma should be left to suffer. To seek to
counteract karmic justice is a moral violation of the canons of
reincarnation belief, and will only result in additional karma.
Presumably the therapist will also reap his or her karma for the sin
1 For a comparison of
reincarnation philosophy to the resurrection see John Snyder,
Resurrection vs. Reincarnation (Moody).