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The Meaning Of The Mind And Soul

1059 words - 4 pages

Death and immortality
Since the times of Plato and before, humans have pondered the existence of a soul and the afterlife. I am going to present my argument for the existence of a soul and the potential for surviving one's physical death. For the purpose of my argument I will define that the meaning of the mind and soul are one and the same. The two main accepted views of the human condition are that of the physicalist and that of the dualist. The physicalist views the human condition in a purely physical state. That is to say that the human mind and consciousness is confined to the human body, and thus when the body dies so does the mind. The dualist view holds that the human condition is made up of two parts. The first part being the physical body and the second the soul or the non-physical mind. I present my argument in this form; (1) Physical objects such as the human body have to obey physical laws; (2) Non-physical objects such as the human mind/soul do not have to obey physical laws; (3) Humans present both physical and non-physical properties; (4) Therefore the mind/soul does not die with the physical body.
To begin my argument I will define my concept of the human soul and the physical body which is akin to that of Descartes. Descartes made the distinction that the mind and the body are two separate things. The mind being a thinking non-extended thing and the body being a non-thinking extended thing. In which he concludes that the mind can exist without the body (Skirry). The words, mind, and soul in this case are interchangeable and demonstrate two distinct parts that make up an individual person.
Now to explain the interactions of the mind and the body. Since the mind and the body make up a person as a whole, it is natural to say that they can have an influence on one another. The mind can will the body to walk, just as the body can conversely give the mind the sensory input required to make these decisions. Since there is definitely some close interactions between the body and mind, why do we need to make the distinction between the two as being separate from one another?
The answer to this lies in the very nature of the human mind and its ability to think and reflect on issues that are not required for the body to exist. The body is supplied with everything it needs to survive. We have hands and feet that allow us to gather and eat food, eyes that allow us to see, and the physical need to reproduce to continue the species. These are all attributes that are common among all living things and thus, the only attributes needed to survive, but the mind requires much more than just the basis of survival. We crave things which are not necessary to our survival, such as knowledge, passion, and the ability to question our very existence. This is by definition the duality of our nature and therefore is why we can identify two distinct parts.
We can also look at the properties that make up a human being in two distinct ways. We...

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