Nature of life
Nature = the sum of qualities and traits shared by all human beings.
Humans are purely physical beings/have a soul
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 3 Forms:
- 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
- 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…