Nature of life

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  • Created by: Zoe
  • Created on: 15-05-15 21:28

Nature of life

Nature = the sum of qualities and traits shared by all human beings.

Humans are purely physical beings/have a soul

  • NATURALISTS
    • Humans are half genetics and half environment
    • Completely physical, material creatures; complex, highly organised collection of atoms, mplecules, cells, neurons, muscles bon etc.
    • No self, no soul, all unique
    • PRODUCED BY EVOLUTION
  • HUMANISTS (Richard Norman)
    • Humans are relational and therefore share a developed sense of humanity.
    • There is more to a human being than just physical
    • e.g. humans can act compassionately -> recognise humanity
  • SUSAN BLACKMORE
    • Nothing non-physical about us
    • Consciousness is a product of the brain
    • 'All the jobs that were given to the soul are being done by the brain.'
  • TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE PART OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
  • PHYSICAL COMPOSITION OF A HUMAN
    • 75-85% water
    • 99% oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, phosporous
  • DAWKINS
    • The nature of human life can be understood by evolution.
    • 'Life is just bytes and bytes of digital information'
    • Fully physical beings with nothing special about us
  • CHRISTIANS - IMAGO DEI
    • Ken Ham = literally created in the image of God
    • Hick = created in God's image and grow in His likeness
    • Modern Christians = symbolic

Humans have a self

  • HUMANITY IS MONISTIC IN NATURE
    • People do not have a 'transcendental kernel' which could exist apart from their body or even after death.
    • Our sense of 'self' is purely product of the brain (BLACKMORE)
      • TWO IMPLICATIONS: 1) We do not possess a soul. 2) No permanent 'self', as bran which generates awareness is always changing.
  • ROMAN CATHOLICS
    • Humans are dualistic creatures
    • Possess a physical body and an eternal soul (continue to exist beyond)
    • 'Life after death death' may be spiritual
  • PROTESTANTS
    • Humans are monisitic beings
    • Soul = symbolic - cannot exist apart from our bodies
  • ANATTA (no self)
    • An individual's ego is a delusion
    • No permanence to human existence
    • Consciousness is a flowing river of emotions rather than a fixed object
    • Nagasena - We have a name, but it is only a title.

Human nature is to suffer

  • DUKKHA (suffering)
    • 3 Forms:
      • Plain, ordinary suffering
      • Frustration of desires
      • Watching suffering of others
    • Everything in life is suffering - all humans are born into suffering.
    • Suffering is caused by craving, which is caused by impermanence
    • Tanha - craving - suffering = our own craving/selfish desires = our own ignorance
    • Annicca - impermanence - everything is changing

Free will

  • EXISTENTIALISTS (Sartre)
    • No 'divinely decreed' essence of human nature, no soul or spirit
    • SARTRE: Man is unique - he first appears upon the scene (in absence of divine authority) and only after defines himself
    • No God, so we are free
  • LIBERATARIANISM
    • Free and morally responsible for our actions
    • Humans believe they have self-determination or freedom
    • AQUINAS: 'Man chooses not of necessity, but freely'
  • SOFT DETERMINISM
    • Some acts are determinned but we

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