Life after Death - Dualism & Materialism

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Key words

-Atman: the soul.

-Dualism: the belief that body and soul are seperate.

-Materialism: body and soul are combined or linked.

-Monism: one existence.

Does Death Matter?.

It could be argued that the concept of life after death was made up to ease the sadness of death of our loved ones.

Belief in life after death, has dated back to the cultures of ancient china, india and the middle east. For example, the mumification of the dead in Egypt, was where a person was cleansed, for their afterlife and un-needed physical organs were removed.

Islam, says it is the biggest sin to donate your organs, as on judgement day, you need your full body to go to heaven.

Dualists believe, that human beings consist of a body and a soul or spirtitual component, survival after death is possible, if the soul can survive death.

Plato - A dualist view.

The soul is distinct from the body, as the soul is immortal, and the body is mortal.

At the end of life, the soul is set free from the body. The human person, is a soul 'imprisioned' in a body.

For plato, the goal of the soul is the world of forms, which can only be seen indirectly in the physical world.

Real knowledge of the forms, comes from the soul and, when we learn new things we are simply recalling all the knowledge which our soul already had, before it was matched with our body.

*However this view causes many problems of what humans purpose on earth is.

Why bother to learn if we already subconsciously know it all?

Is there any point learning or going to school?

Is anyone a divine?

Should we have priests, if we all have the same innate knowledge?

In Plato's view the body is negative, as it distracts the soul from seeking knowledge (power) of the world of forms.

A quote from Plato:

'the body is the source of endless trouble' as it has the 'requirement for food and is liable also to fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies of all kinds...and takes away all power of thinking'

True philosophers aviod any distractions rom the body to concentrate all their energy on gaining knowledge from the forms.

Soul is like a chariot driver trying to direct two horses; one horse is the mind, the other is the body. The soul tries to direct them to work in harmony.

Plato's description of the soul.

The soul alone is simple and 'without parts', but in the body it is 'complex' like a diamond (it has amny aspects but is still a single diamond.)

There are 3 main parts of the soul: Reason, Spirit and Desire.

All three of these part have to work together equally in order to create harmony within a soul.

An example of this not happening is a young child (who has not yet reached the age of reasoning) is throwing a tantrum. This shows…


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