Philosophy, Psychology, And Religion Essay

823 Words Apr 11th, 2016 4 Pages
Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion has centered on the connection between religion and science, specifically focusing on the “soul.” The beginning chapters explored the historical philosophies surrounding the concept of the soul while later chapters have sought to reconcile recent discoveries in neuroscience with common theory. Within these chapters the authors presented a “physicalist” understanding of the soul, contrary to Descartes’ dualist view of the brain/soul. Though neuroscience research has not declaratively disproved the dualistic theory of brain/mind, chapter 8 explores the implications of alternative brain/soul views. Neuroscientists seem to be in agreement that the mind is an embodiment of the physical processes of the brain. For Christians who dearly cling to dualism, this view is troubling. Without proper understanding and an open mind, a non-dualistic view of the mind comes off as reductionist, assigning “simple” meanings to the most unique aspects of humanity. If humans are made “in the image of God” why does humanity share so many similarities with animals? Thus, the debate between dualism and embodiment revolves around what it means to be made in the image of God. The idea of dualism is not biblically based, but rather a construction of ancient philosophers like Plato and Descartes (Jeeves and Brown, 2009). In contrast to common understanding, Descartes, the developer of dualism, was a “physicalist.” He believed the body operated similar to animals…

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