Augustine And Descartes Duality Between Good And Evil

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Human beings have a great capacity to love, to hate, to do good, and to do evil. We are constantly caught in a binary system of having to choose one or the other, and in some cases both or neither. This duality to choose or not to choose can be viewed in every philosophical way of thought, and often is the starting point of the process. For example, Saint Augustine of Hippo theorized that since man was made in the image of God he (and she) has the intrinsic will to choose to be good or to be evil. Augustine illustrated the duality between good and evil through a story from a childhood story about stealing fruit. In Augustine’s view, “I did evil for nothing, with no reason for the wrongdoing except the wrongdoing itself. . . . I loved the sin, …show more content…
Rene Descartes examined the duality of the material and the immaterial of human beings. Descartes said, “I knew that I was a substance [a thing] the whole essence or nature of which is to think and that for its existence there is no need of any place, nor does it depend on any material thing; so that this “me,” that is to say, the soul by which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from the body, and is even more easy to know than is the latter; and even if the body did not exist, the soul would not cease to be what it is.” (Velasquez, 83). Descartes point is that we can think of the self without a body but we can not think of the self without thinking. By that way of thought, the self must be a thinking, immaterial mind with material body. This concept is simple and usually a “no duh” kind of concept but it has generated quite a lot of controversy. Thomas Hobbes believed that the self could be reduced to the physical actions and needs of a material body. While Descartes approaches the mind and body as two separate beings that work in harmony and Hobbes approaches the mind as a means to sustain the body, J. J. C. Smart claims that all of our conscious experiences are just physical processes that are produced by millions of brain neurons. Similar to Hobbes and Smart, Gilbert Ryle says that mental activities and states of the brain, not the self, can be explained through …show more content…
And not just death, but also the journey to death. The journey of death and death itself provoke a lot of thoughts and questions because we have no clue what happens after you close your eyes for the last time. Does the self endure through your life and does it continue after life in death? To answer that, you first have to ask yourself if you believe in the enduring self, or soul. If you’re anything like me than you believe in the enduring self but not the continuation of self after death. I believe that we humans remain relatively the same person throughout life. With that being said, I do believe that a person can become someone completely different due to exceptional life events, but those events are usually few and far apart. In my own opinion, I have had only one exceptional life event, or as I call it, one monumental moment. I was eight years old when I experienced my monumental moment; I realized that I was an existentialist. I lacked the vocabulary to articulate this back then but I knew that I didn’t match the rest of the bible-thumping, God-fearing, liberal-hating Greensboro. I came to the conclusion after reading about nuclear fission and how one day the sun will exploded and expand consuming the earth and everything on it. Now this won’t happen for a couple more billion years but nonetheless, it was quite the eye opener for eight year old Alicia. It was the

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