Outline theories on the immortality of the soul and ressurection of the body

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Jack Bull

  1. Compare and contrast the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body.

The concept of the immortality of the soul is a dualist one, meaning that the body and soul are two separate entities. Whereas resurrection of the body is the opposite believing that one cannot necessarily live without the other. People that accept the idea of immortality of the soul believe that the soul is separate from the body and that when we die the soul will live on making it immortal. Resurrection of the body however differs because the body and soul are together and when you die both will be resurrected.

Plate is a dualist and he believes the soul is not of this world but another where there are perfect forms of everything on earth. He uses the allegory of to demonstrate this idea. Prisoners are bound in a cave and cannot look out the mouth of the cave. Behind them is a fire casting shadows onto the wall they are facing. They believe these shadows to be reality. One then is released and he is blinded by the real world. He sees the perfection of the world and realises his previous thoughts were wrong. When he tells the prisoners in the cave about what he has seen the do not believe him, because they have not yet experienced it. This is like our souls. They want to be realised into the higher world of perfection because they desire greater things.

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René Descartes is also a dualist. Cartesian dualism, as his views are now known, centre around the famous statement, “I think therefore I am.” Our body is just a case for the machine and it is only because our soul is conscious that our body is alive. Gilbert Rile compares this to a “ghost in the machine”, implying that our body is just a machine and our body makes us aware. Saint Thomas Aquinas shares a similar view referring to the soul as “anima.” This means animation, believing that the soul animates the body and gives us our characteristics and ...

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