Richard Dawkins - Body and Soul

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  • Richard Dawkins
    • His view on life after death is that we are purely a product of genes
      • Individual humans cannot survive death
      • The role of the body is a survival machine
    • Dawkins view on the soul is probably as far removed from that of Plato
    • The idea of the 'soul' is a mythical concept which provides us with a convenient explanation for the mysteries of human personality and consciousness
      • Although Dawkins admits that consciousness is mysterious, he points to the advances in genetics where scientists are able to make statements about personality based on genetic codes
        • This was impossible at one time which allows Dawkin to predict that scientists will eventually unlock the mystery of consciousness and there will be no need to believe in a soul
    • Although Dawkins admits that consciousness is mysterious, he points to the advances in genetics where scientists are able to make statements about personality based on genetic codes
      • This was impossible at one time which allows Dawkin to predict that scientists will eventually unlock the mystery of consciousness and there will be no need to believe in a soul
    • Dawkins however does argue that genes are "potentially immortal" as they are the "base unit of natural selection" and have been passed on from previous generations
      • It is due to this we can call Dawkins a materialist, albeit an extreme one
    • Dawkins and other scientists have used the development of computers as an analogy to suggest possible explanation of the human brain and cosciousness
    • Soul 1 and Soul 2
      • There may be a place for talking about 'soul' in a metaphorical way but it depends on your definition
      • Soul 1 = traditional view that is a separate thing  and contains personality - Dawkins rejects this view
      • Soul 2 = The Oxford Dictionary refers to 'intellectual or spiritual power' and Dawkins argues that this is a meaningful way of describing ourselves and is not referred as a separate thing

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