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The Immortality of the Soul, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1071

Essay

According to the soul hypothesis, each human being has a soul. The soul is considered to be a nonphysical entity that is separate from the physical body. As a result of this belief, the concept of substance dualism exists. Substance dualism conveys that the soul is made up of an entirely different substance that the universe if made up of. The universe is made up of matter that takes up space, while the soul is made up of a non-material substance that has no mass and no direct location. I support the dualism view and believe that each person has a soul.

I believe that all mental activity takes place within the soul. The soul is the center of all the emotions we feel, it helps us to make decisions, and is even the foundations of the sensations we feel. I believe all of our memories and personality traits are dictated from the soul. Nevertheless, I do believe that the brain is a mechanism to help bring those actions from the abstract to the physical world.  Alfred & Holcombe added:

An individual soul can make its best progress, find its fullest expression and most complete development only through a physical life that is an adequate expression of its mental and spiritual development. All things must work together.” (pg. 20).

So, essentially when something happens to the brain, the soul has no way to communicate with the body. I don’t believe that the brain influences the soul, but is merely a vehicle of connection between the two entities. However, the brain and the body are mortal and can’t withstand damage that renders them incapable of functioning. The soul, on the other hand, is immortal and continues to exist without the brain and body. The brain and the body depend upon the soul for existence, but the soul does not need the brain and body to exist.

Plato argued that the existence of a Realm of Forms, which is a collection of abstract objects that along with physical objects, form the objects that humans recognize. He believed that each time a person learns something new, they are not actually learning, but recalling something from before birth while the person was living in the Realm of Forms. His logic is that if a person could exist without a body, than the existence of a soul is undeniable.

Descartes also supports substance dualism. He believed that the soul existed and presented three arguments showing that the body and the mind are separate entities. He boldly stated that the mind was actually the soul. Descartes hypothesis is very similar to the plot of the movie The Matrix. He believes that the body and the world are not absolute; they are just manifestations of what the mind believes. So, the physical world and the body cannot be trusted and true. He conceived a world where his mind could exist without a body. According to Alfred & Holcombe:

“Too few are aware of man’s three-part composition – soul, mind, and flesh body – or of the need to direct, balance and control his activities by use of his spiritual soul-force. There is a general widespread failure of man to understand that GOD the Father is a Spirit, and that the soul within him is actually an individualized portion of God’s Holy Spirit Energy. Souls incarnated in flesh man are caught up in an evolutionary process, even as flesh creatures have themselves evolved through many ages”(pg. 18).

In other words, in order to believe that the human has a soul, one must believe what God has said in his holy word.

Many argue that the soul does not exist. Those that believe in the soul believe that the soul is a separate entity from the brain and the body-that the soul controls the body and brain. With that being said, once the body dies, why can’t the soul continue to speak to the body and brain? Scientists have linked the dictation of bodily functions to the brain. For example, when a person has a stroke or other brain injury, they often loose bodily functions. Some lose their ability to speak or even to walk. In the late 1800s, a man named Phineas Gage was impelled by an iron rod while working on the railroad. The iron entered under his cheek and exited through his skull. Although Gage survived, his personality was drastically changed. Prior to the accident, Gage had been noted to be a gentleman and hard worker. However, after the accident he became and irresponsible worker and indecisive and rude to say the least. Even more astounding, women were told never to be alone with Gage because he might attempt to rape them. This example alone strengthens arguments against the existence of a soul. If the body is governed by the soul, how could one’s personality be altered by a brain injury?

Does brain damage actually affect a person’s mental capacity? Just because a person does not have the capacity to complete a task does not mean that the ability is not there. For example, people with Alzheimer’s seem to have a change in personality or that they have forgotten people that they once knew. Who is to say that those functions and memories are not still in that person’s brain, but are not functional due to the lack of function of the brain? So far science has not been able to eradicate these questions. However, as a Christian, I believe that we all have souls because God created us. Alfred and Holcombe summed it up best when they said, “Our bodies are simply a manner of expression. As we have time after time magnified selfish desires, we have lost sight of the original purpose of the soul – to glorify the Creator” (pg. 21). Throughout my upbringing, I was taught that when my life ended, my soul would continue to exist in a heavenly realm. In agreement with dualism, I know that my soul exists as a separate entity of the brain and body. I know that God is a purposeful God and that he created every part of the body with purpose. Because of this belief, I know that the soul communicates with us and those around us by using the body and the brain, but is not a part of them.

Works Cited

Alfred & Suzanne Holcombe. “Evolution of the Soul.” Journal of Spirituality & Paranormal Studies 30.1(2007): 15-24. Academic Search Premier. Web, 27 July 2015.

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