People generally believe that to kill a zombie is a perfectly reasonable action and even a moral imperative. The undead are a scourge that must be wiped off the earth. But has anyone sat down and wondered if the undead deserve a shot at unlife?

Many, if not all, religions believe in some form of afterlife. Be it one or many, physical rebirth or spiritual, most religions agree that there is more to life than this empirical realm.

In Christianity, the body is physically ressurected, which means that the body that you currently reside in will be the body that you inhabit in the afterlife. There is debate as to whether you will be at your prime, or at the age when you die, but the Bible is specific that it is your physical form that is ressurected. Is it possible that the physical ressurection prophesized in the Bible is none other than zombification? Zombies are considered one of the conceivable ends of the world, and the return of Christ is also the herald of the apocalypse. Could these two scenarios be one and the same? And if so, would depriving someone of their divine reward be considered ethical? I would argue that it is not. It is never understood the mindset of a zombie, but perhaps rending flesh from bone and devouring the innards of another human being creates divine ecstacy in these undead children of God. Who are we to deny God’s gift?

In Buddhism, there is are several stages of rebirth. Being born a human is the greatest, as it is only as a human that we are able to achieve Nirvana. Another stage is to be reborn as a Hungry Ghost. This is a creature that has a constant need to feed, and will never be satiated. Is it possible that Zombies are in fact the Hungry Ghosts incarnate? Creatures who are cursed to burn off their Karma as these demons. It is considered immoral to kill Beasts, another stage of rebirth, so would not killing a Hungry Ghost count as immoral as well?

The Jains are another Indian religion that believes in rebirth as well as Karma. Jainism celebrates almost excessive forms of non-harm; some of them going so far as to sweep the ground in front of them to avoid stepping on any bugs. We hear of extremist religious fanatics causing death and destruction, whereas an extremist Jain will, near the end of his life, retreat into the forest and wait to die, so as to avoid harming even the plants that he or she would need to continue living. As bizarre as this might seem to a Western audience, it could easily be argued that this is the most objectively moral lifestyle that a person could endeavour towards. In the context of a zombie apocalypse, I would argue that the equivalent of seclusion until death would be to willingly embrace being devoured alive by zombies.

So as we can see, religious belief in ressurection is possibly linked to a zombie uprising. All religions have their own unique views on the subject, but the one thing in common is the ressurection of the person in one form or another. Being that this is the case, it is quite possible that a zombie apocalypse is one unifying eschatology that even secular humanists can get behind. Considering the religious nature of ressurection however, and how it seems to be the ultimate form of humanity, I would say that it is immoral to kill a zombie, and were a zombie outbreak to occur, the only moral course of action would be to embrace it.