Brian Philosophy Paper

Brian Philosophy Paper - Brian Spillane Philosophy 102...

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Brian Spillane Philosophy 102 Final Paper Nonmaterial Beings in a Material World Are we as humans anything more than physical bodies in a physical world? It is a question as old as time itself. Our human nature leaves us wondering what will happen to us after death. Many different religions answer this in many different ways. The one thing almost all religions reach a commonality on is the existence in humans of something more than merely their physical body. Almost all religions believe in some sort of after-life and that a person’s soul, or mind, or ghost, or spirit will live on, in one way or another. While it is impossible to prove empirically which of these theories is correct, or what will happen after the loss of a human life, I think it is obvious that there is much more to a human being than a physical entity. Whether you want to call it your mind, soul, spirit, or anything else at all, something inside us exists that makes us more than a physical being. It is the thing inside of all of us that makes us who we are as a person, and not just what we are made of. In order to avoid confusion I will refer to this immaterial substance within each of as both the mind, and the soul, and I will hold them to be the same. This is a very controversial topic because quite frankly, it is largely based on personal opinions. A lot of different theories have been developed by a lot of famous philosophers, and while not everybody agrees, no single one of them has ever been proven simply correct or incorrect. No matter how convincing an argument might be telling us one thing, it is no more empirical than the most erroneous argument posed by the opposition. However, one can still apply some logic to this debate and come out of it
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with a thoroughly sound belief which makes more sense than any other options. Through a mountain of research and hypothesizing I have reached the conclusion that we, as humans, posses a nonphysical matter which defines our personal individuality amongst our physical commonalities. The most fundamental theory I will use in support of my thesis is Dualism. This philosophy is most notably credited to Descartes. In the most basic sense of his philosophy, Descartes claims that the mind is an immaterial substance. He says, “I am not present in my body merely as a pilot in a ship; I am most tightly bound to it” (The Mind-Body Problem 18). Upon evaluating this claim, it is noticeable that Descartes distinguishes himself as an individual from his human body, implying he is more than the physical body which he so happens to occupy. While that statement alone simply states Descartes’ belief without suggesting any logical to be considered, it is a thought that has been seriously entertained by almost all of those who dabble into philosophy. In fact, there are many different types of dualism which vary in philosophy but are all considered to be related to this same basic nature. A classic argument for dualism involves the concept of intellect.
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This note was uploaded on 07/02/2011 for the course PHIL 111 taught by Professor Everett during the Spring '08 term at South Carolina.

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Brian Philosophy Paper - Brian Spillane Philosophy 102...

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