Hume, Descartes, And Nietzsche's Views On Immortality

1290 words - 6 pages

Immortality is one of mankind’s major apprehensions, and even though it has been mainly restricted to religious customs. People have different opinions about immortality. Everybody defines immortality differently. For some people it is the survival of the astral body resembling the physical body, for others the immortality of the immaterial soul and lastly the resurrection of the body. Basic definition of immortality is the unknown continuation of a person’s existence, even after death. Immortality primarily referred to soul as it like it does not die when the human body dies, but since they both well connected together, when the body dies, soul dies too; therefore, immortality does not ...view middle of the document...

First, He argues about the point or purpose of punishment in a future state. He says in this life people already assume that punishment must not only be merited, it must also attain some applicable social end or value. When we are apart from this world these goals are taken away and punishment becomes meaninglessly vindictive. The consequence of this is that punishment without any further point or purpose is mere vengeance that lacks any accurate explanation. Second, Hume asks on what basis God determines the extent of our merit and demerit. Among human beings the standard of merit and demerit depends on our moral feelings and our sense of pleasure and pain. Third, the principle of eternal damnation clearly involves extreme punishment even for the worst of crimes. Lastly, he talks about split between Heaven and Hell. He states: “Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float between vice and virtue”(Hume, 93)
Lastly, for the physical ones he says: “Where any two objects are so closely connected, that all alterations, which we have ever seen in the one, are attended with proportionable alterations in the other; we ought to conclude, by all rules of analogy, that, when there are still greater alterations produced in the former, and it is totally dissolved, there follows a total dissolution of the latter.”(Hume, 95) With that he is saying that soul and body is very closely connected. For instance, he gives some examples related to the inseparability of body and soul. When we sleep, how our body and soul shuts off or when we get older how our body and soul gets so weak and sluggish.
In addition to Hume, Nietzsche also claims immortality does not exist. He claims that God does not exist. That is why he thinks that immortality cannot exist when there is no perfect creature on earth. He states “That everyone as an ‘immortal soul’ has equal rank with everyone else, that in the totality of living beings the ‘salvation’ of every single individual may claim eternal significance . . . Christianity owes its triumph to this miserable flattery of personal vanity: it was precisely all the failures, all the rebellious-minded, all the less-favored, the whole scum and refuse of humanity who were thus won over to it. The ‘salvation of the soul’—in plain language: ‘the world revolves around me.’” (Nietzsche, 224)
However, Descartes claims that immortality does exist. He says that: “Human soul does not die with the body, and that God exists, certainly no unbelievers seem capable of being persuaded of any religion or even of almost any moral virtue, until these two are first proven to them by natural reason.”(Descartes, 466) Descartes is...

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