Life After Death - Dualism, Monism and Materialism Essay

836 Words Apr 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Many of us have some view or idea of the afterlife – whether it is some kind of utopia or even if there is one at all. Research conducted by Douglas Davies found that around 29% of us believe that nothing happens after death, 8% think that our bodies awaits resurrection and 12% believe that we will come back as someone else. Of course there are some more religious people, 22%, who just think that we should trust in God, the remaining 34% of us believe that our souls passes on to another world. These views can all be classed into the traditional divide used when discussing the soul and life after death. There is the Monist view – the idea that the body and the soul exists as a single unity, the souls existence is dependent on the body, …show more content…
This implies that there must be a life after death where the soul goes and comes from. If we are to be able to recollect things from the world of the forms then our souls must have come from there and that is where we are going after death. Plato states that ‘the body is the source of endless trouble’ as it prevents us from seeking and obtaining the knowledge of the world of the forms. Descartes states that the ‘body is spatial not conscious, the mind is conscious not spatial’, he means that the body and soul re two separate things.
The next view, presented by Plato’s student Aristotle, is monism. He claims that the soul is the centre of a person’s identity and is present after death. Aristotle uses the example of a marble statue to explain: the marble is the physical matter that is the body and the image of the statue is the soul. The soul is what gives matter its form. Both are united as one, the soul cannot exist without the body. The soul is not a substance like matter because matter can take a form. Aristotle refers to the soul as ‘immortal and eternal’ and is involved in human thought.
The last view is materialism. This is the view that there is only the body and after death nothing will happen. The first strand of view is the Identity Theory – all mental activities are centred in the brain. When physical life ends, a mental activity ceases. There is research supporting

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