Aside from a few exceptional possibilities, I have big issues with reincarnation. In fact, Paul Davies summarized my issues nicely (https://books.google.ca/books?id=1V2...ge&q&f=false):
Originally Posted by Paul Davies from 'God and the New Physics'It is thus largely through memory that we achieve a sense of personal identity, and recognize ourselves as the same individual from day to day. Throughout life, we inhabit one body, but the body can undergo considerable changes. Its atoms are systematically replaced as a result of metabolic activity; it grows, matures, ages and eventually dies. Our personalities also undergo major changes. Yet through this continuous metamorphosis, we believe that we are one and the same person. If we had no memory of earlier phases of our life, how could the concept 'same person' have any meaning, save in the sense of bodily continuity?
Suppose a man claimed to be a reincarnation of Napoleon. If he did not look like Napoleon the only criterion by which you could judge his claim would be that of memory. What was Napoleon's favourite colour? How did he feel before the battle of Waterloo? You would expect him to relate some specific (and preferably verifiable) information about Napoleon before taking the claim seriously. Suppose, however, that the man declared that he had lost all memory of his previous life, save only that he was Napoleon, what should you make of it? What would it mean for him to say 'I was Napoleon'?
'What I mean,' he would perhaps counter, 'is that, although my body and my memory, and indeed my entire personality, are now those of John Smith, the soul of John Smith is none other than that of the late Napoleon Bonaparte. I was Napoleon, now I am Smith, but it is the same me. Only my characteristics have changed.' But is this not jibberish? For what is to identify one person's mind for another other than their personality or their memory? To claim that there is some sort of transferable label - the soul - which is otherwise quite devoid of properties save to display some mystical registration mark, is a totally meaningless conjecture. What would we say to someone who denied its existence? Could we not invent souls for everything in this way - for plants and clouds, rocks and airplanes? 'This looks like an ordinary diesel locomotive,' one might declare, 'but in fact it contains the essence, the soul, of Stevenson's original Rocket! The design is different, the materials are different, the performance bears no resemblance to the Rocket, but it is actually the same locomotive with a totally new structure, appearnce and design.' What isthe use of such an empty assertion?