PhilRel - term paper gen

PhilRel - term paper gen - Does a person's conscious life...

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Does a person’s conscious life continue after s/he dies? For as long as I can remember, I have been a firm believer in scientific facts and evidence. So it has always been impossible for me to believe in something that there is no tangible evidence for. Because of this, I believe a person’s conscious life does not continue after death. This can best be supported by the brain, as with the rest of the body, dissolving at death. The argument I will be using is Bertrand Russell’s, The Finality of Death . His main argument is that our souls are comprised of our personalities and our memories. Our personalities and memories are derived in our brains. And our brains dissolve at death. A common objection to this argument is that the soul is separate from the body and mind. Some people believe that our soul is released from our body at death. A rebuttal to this objection is that our bodies and minds are, in fact, connected. The soul is not a material thing. And in order to object Russell’s argument, one must object to materialism, which is hard to do. Bertrand Russell’s argument, The Finality of Death , states exactly as the title implies. The finality of death. Our death is final, and therefore, the ultimate end for us. This means that a person’s conscious life does not continue after death. One of Russell’s main points in his argument is that our bodies are constantly changing. As he puts it, “The matter of the body is continually changing by processes of nutriment and wastage. Even if it were not, atoms in physics are no longer supposed to have continuous existence; there is no sense in saying: this is the same atom as the one that existed a few minutes ago.” Russell is emphasizing the fact that our bodies are constantly changing, which includes our minds. This means that our bodies are not definite substances. Although this may seem an obvious claim, there is more behind Russell’s words here. He says, “We think and feel and act, but there is not, in addition to thoughts and feelings and actions, a bare entity, the mind or the soul, which does or suffers these
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occurrences.” Because we are not definite substances, our minds or our souls are not definite
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2008 for the course PHIL 1600 taught by Professor Wesleymorriston during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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PhilRel - term paper gen - Does a person's conscious life...

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