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RS Dualism Essay

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Introduction

'We are all basically physical beings' This statement, "We are all basically physical beings" puts the point across that everybody has just a body and no non-physical aspect. This also shows that our body can be defined as the mass of matter whose weight is your weight. It has size, shape, mass, spatial and temporal position, but it has no non-physical spiritual aspect. The mind-body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship that exists between minds, or mental processes, and bodily states or processes. The main aim of philosophers working in this area is to determine the nature of the mind and mental states/processes, and whether the mind is part of the body, or the body is part of the mind? If they are distinct, then how do they interact? And which of the two is in charge? The non-material element is usually called the soul, spirit or mind It should also be stated that many argue for soul and mind being different, in that soul represents the spiritual aspect of man, whilst the mind is more linked to the brain and related to reasoning. There are many different opinions to this statement, for example believers of dualism will have a very different view on this statement than people who believe materialism. ...read more.

Middle

Thinking etc. is not the electrical impulse. The mental is 'above' those more fundamental processes of the brain. A popular analogy is that of a shadow to the person. The shadow cannot affect the person. The causation is one-way. Another account that dualist sometimes give of the relationship between mind and body is parallelism. Like occasionalism, this view denies that mind and body actually interact but focuses on the fact mental states and events are very highly and systematically correlated with physical ones. Since it is not interaction between minds and bodies it must be a cause common to them both, namely the will of God. Just as the chiming of my clock is not the cause of the arrival of my punctual student so the blue physical object in front of me is not the cause of my sensation of blue. The chiming and its correlated arrival are both caused by the fact that it is four o'clock. The fact that there is a blue object located just there is caused, like the fact that I have a sensation of blue just now, by the immensely complex pre-programming of God at creation. Both Richard Swinburne and Keith Ward defend the idea that human beings have souls which are distinct from physical bodies and which are capable of survival after death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Modern materialist views, such as those held by Richard Dawkins, assume that there is no part of a person that is non-physical. Following the traditions of Aristotle, materialists believe that the consciousness cannot be separated from the brain, because for the materialist, nothing exists except matter. Dawkins holds that the 'soul' is nothing more than a mythological concept, invented by primitive people, he has been quoted as saying that the concept of soul is nonsense for the weak-minded, and stifles creative endeavour. Rather than being enfleshed souls, Dawkins believes that there is simply no such thing as the soul. He talked about the difference between a living person and a dummy. He said that a living person responds to his or her environment, reproduces and forms a complex ever-changing entity, receiving nourishment and consuming energy. Rational beings also make choices, communicate, set about changing things in order to make life better, and perform a whole range of other physical and mental tasks. In conclusion, I would agree with the dualists when talking about the statement 'We are all basically physical beings', as I do not believe that nobody, has a mind, as I have had personal experiences of a mind such as feelings, thoughts and desires. This is the main reason why I do not agree with the belief of materialism, such as that statement, however I do agree with some of the points many of the materialistic philosophers argue. William Hazlehurst ...read more.

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