Immorality of the Soul
Is the human soul mortal or immortal? With death does one fall into nothingness or does one survive death, passing into another way of existing? This is a question that has agitated thought for ages. There is something within all human beings that lives on forever. Even when death is upon us, the soul of a human being never dies. Thus, we arrive at the statement that the human soul is immortal. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the human soul is immortal through analyzing various philosophies.
The soul is defined as the "vital principal" or the principle of life. It is the first source of life in a living being. It is the thing that makes a living thing live. It is the thing that separates living beings from non-living beings. (1) It is the first source of life in a living being. It is the thing that makes a living thing live. With this in mind, it is evident that all living things have a soul; this includes animals and even plants. However, just like there are different grades of life, there are different grades of soul. Unlike animals and plants, human beings have a rational life; therefore, they have a rational soul.
Immortality is a complex idea in society, even today. Immortality is the indefinite continuation of a person’s existence, even after death. (2) Immortality implies a never ending existence, regardless of whether or not the body dies. In order to understand the immortality of the human soul it is important to understand the difference between an individual’s body and soul. The body is the physical object of an individual, which lives until death, and then decomposes. On the other hand, people connect soul to an individual’s personality. The soul may also be associated to the mind. The soul is spiritual as opposed to physical. The soul continues to live independently even after an individual dies, thus making it immortal.
Ancient philosophy concepts of the soul varied considerably according to the particular era and philosophical school. Socrates argued that the soul is immortal and we must suppress our physical nature in order to gain true knowledge. Descartes argued that the body and soul are separate substances acting on the other. He believed that the soul was equivalent to the mind, and survived the death of the body. Aristotle argued against the immortality of the soul, though he did believe that the soul was a form inseparable from the body. St. Thomas Aquinas argued that the soul was the motivating principle of the body, independent but requiring...