Descartes deliberately drew public attention to the success of his philosophy in demonstrating the separate substantiality of the human soul or mind. The idea argues that merely by the process of thought alone; we all agree that the mind must be separate from our body.
For example, if I am able to imagine my mind existing without my body, therefore then, these must be two separate things. So my mind must not be the same thing as my body. This is a dualist perspective.
Descartes was a material dualist and a product of the Renaissance. He was influenced by Aristotle and the Christian worldview. He believed that the body and soul were two different substances. This is not hard to disagree with.
My best friend Alan Gregory Cake tragically died in a motor vehicle accident on Sept. 6, 2014. Ironically, “Lucky” was his nickname. I remember having various arguments with him concerning what comes after death. Is this life as we know it just a stepping stone to our eternal life or do we cease to exist when we die? These topics were some of our main discussions while pondering life on our many drives in and around the City of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Lucky always believed you were put here on earth to work and die. His view was that the soul didn’t exist. In this conversation I will argue should we as human beings believe in the existence of a soul, and how do we prove the existence of something we cannot see. Furthermore, I will provide reasons why I believe in the soul and what I think its essence is. Is the soul separate from the human mind? As humans, sometimes we posit the existence of something to prove that there is an existence of something else.
Lucky’s view was that when you’re dead your gone, life ends and that’s it. Here one day and a distant memory the next. I, however, have a different viewpoint on the subject, mainly because I grew up in a religious home setting with a mother who is now an Anglican lay minister. I believe that your morals, values, and religious beliefs come from your upbringing. In other words, you are a product of your environment. Therefore; you believe the things you believe because that’s what was preached or taught to you as a child.
The nature of the human soul has been the subject of religious belief for eras. The Church teaches us Christians that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God. These values are installed into our mindsets at an especially young age. Having grown up in an exceptionally religious home, I can remember as a child my mother putting the fear of God into me so to speak. When I would commit sins, which were a regular occurrence, therefore these acts of rebellion would add a blemish to my soul I was told.
You can see how confusing this may be to a little boy who attends Sunday school, but, by spreading the word of the Lord through prayers and by repenting my sins of this blemish, or strike on my internal “sin clock” I would be forgiven by God. Ask for forgiveness and he shall receive, my mother would preach.
Sounds a bit out there, but because of this, I believe your soul, is the part of a person that is not physical. It is the part of every human being that lasts eternally after the body experiences death and if you followed the word of the lord and lived a good life you would ascend to heaven after death.
I believe this because this is what I was taught. Although there is no physical proof of a soul since the soul is immaterial. I still believe it exists, separate from the mind and body. It is something of the greater beyond. I agree that all things if generated must have an origin; I believe this basis of origin to be God. Although death is said to be the path from which no traveler returns to tell about, my faith in the Lord has encouraged me to act respectable so to speak just to have a chance for my soul to take the journey to heaven when my body dies. One who does not share my religious belief may have a different idea on the subject.
I think Christians need something to believe in. It is the sense of hope of not knowing what happens after death that compels us to live honest daily lives. I truly believe the soul is something created by scripture or the church to ease the human races natural fear of death.
What’s your opinion?