I am reminded of the B F Skinner experiment, which was suggested to be active on the island. He believed you could use psychological behavior modification techniques (primarily operant conditioning) in order to improve society.
"Skinner made two points in the book. The first was that the most efficient way to change humans given the technology of the day was to change the environment. The second point of the book was that freedom and free will in the common sense do not exist. Rather, freedom is a state where humans do not feel the controls that are being exerted over them and their behavior. He saw the perceived social problems (drug abuse, gambling, protests) of his day as due to mismanagement of the systems of control in society.
"I am also mindful that Dharma scientists, such as Waxman/Chang, believe in both science and faith. They have chosen symbols of eastern religion to represent their science labs and the name DHARMA, the path of the Bhudda, to disclose both faith and the basis of their experiments.Yet, we see subjects, like Locke and Jack, man of science and man of faith and issues of black vs white in endless conflict.
What if the grand experiment is to force these contrasting elements to face each other in order to resolve differences and come to common ground?
According to those eastern religions that believe in reincarnation, birth and death are cycles, destined to be repeated until enlightenment is attained and the cycle is broken.
Perhaps, on the Island we have the world in miniature and the cycle removed, where death is another gate back to the now, where all the characters before death are soon present again in rebirth. Huh? Well, what if everyone in this experiment, living or dead, are brought back to face again the conflicts yet to be resolved with the people who embody those personal conflicts. What if death's door was no longer the illusion of escape. What if you knew you would be reborn again and again to the island and that nothing could be resolved until you decide to make peace, resolve the black/white, face the faith/science conflict and become one? Perhaps in this experiment you have little choice but to transcend duality and find harmony.
Consider why the dead yet live. How is it that Charlie was destinied to undo a musical code in the Looking Glass? Was he the one that programmed it in another life? Why must the dead be returned to the island? Could it be to be reborn and re-Initiate the duality resolve experiment? Is this the true nature of the Dharma Initiative?
But why would Dharma undertake such a fantastic endeavor?
If you saw the future, knew for sure the endpoint of Man's extinction, wouldn't you try to find resolve, a way to ensure the harmony of Mankind and its continued existence, if only to allow them a chance at finding future resolve within themselves? If you can resolve what appears to be an unyielding conflict within the microcosm of the island, perhaps you could introduce those same harmonious elements back into mainstream society. I am reminded of the western koan, "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" Perhaps, if the force and the object had consciousness of the futility of their actions, they would find resolve. And perhaps the endless repetition of life/death within the island's confines could impart such consciousness.
Think about it; if you knew you were doomed to face the same consequence for a repeated action eternally, would there not be a point where you would say, "Enough. I will try something different"?
Doesn't it seem apparent that reincarnation is the purpose of all these dead hanging around?
This brings me to a new thought: Is Aaron the reincarnation of a former Island resident? Isn't that why he had to be born on the island? The significance of Aaron is that he was the first to be reborn. Like the Savior he led the way through death to rebirth.
But, who was the benefactor of Aaron's soul? Could it be Magnus? Maybe Horace?
Another thought. There has been an acknowledgment in the Swan hatch of the Egyptian Underworld. This is where souls go to wait for judgment. Gilgamesh also entered the underworld. Cerberus is the guardian of the underworld. All I am saying is that while the souls were figuratively waiting in the underworld, Dharma removed them and began restoring them to life in the bodies of others.
One last thing. Doesn't Hurley remind you a little of the Laughing Bhudda?
Theory by PsychedelicRelic