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Materialsm Vs Dualism

Essay by   •  April 28, 2012  •  Essay  •  418 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,386 Views

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Humans have both physical properties and mental properties. People have the sort of properties attributed in the physical sciences. These physical properties include size, weight, shape, colour, motion through space and time. However, they also have mental properties, which we do not attribute to typical physical objects. These properties involve consciousness (including perceptual experience and emotional experience,), intentionality (including beliefs and desires), and they are possessed by a subject or a self. The mind-body problem concerns the relationship between these two sets of properties. I will further discuss the relationship between the human soul and body with the concept of Materialsm and Dualism.If dualism is not true, the mind is limited to the physical brain. We would not expect things like consciousness, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choice. Such a mind would behave in a deterministic way. We would not expect people with such a mind to be responsible for their behavior because everything they do is determined by the attributes of matter. We all know that is absurd. Also, we could not trust our minds since they are just a random collection of materials not produced by an intelligent mind.

The material form of a human is shaped by the propensities and personality of the soul. A human is a hybrid between the genetic material and the characteristics of the particular soul. When the soul is first created it is associated with the embryo. This young soul does not yet receive sensory data since the bodily sense organs do not yet exist. The soul modifies the physical appearance of the developing embryo. As the senses develop while in the womb the soul begins to experience the physical world and to collect memories of these sense perceptions.

Part of the soul's attachment to the body is that it recognizes that it has power over the material world through the body -- it can make the body move, it can grasp things. At death the soul must give up this power which it has come to enjoy -- a painful experience because of the attachments and habits it has developed while alive.

The soul is connected to the body for as long as the body lives. This is true even for those whose senses haved stopped working as designed (such as Terri Schaivo). But this bonding between soul and body provides experiences of the soul that it can remember after death. Thus, the soul knows that it is trapped in the body. But this is not an unnatural condition.

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