We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Immortality of The Soul and The Resurrection of the Body Essay Sample

essay
  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1,346
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: philosophy

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

There are many different ideas to what happens to the body after death, two of these ideas are the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body; both of these are valid ideas and there are different philosophers who agree with both of these perspectives. The idea of resurrection began to appear in the ancient world, but there were other theories which were arising such as in the 4th Century Plato was teaching that the soul would survive after death.

Resurrection (from the Latin resurrectus) is believed in by Muslims, Jews and Christians, the idea is that God will raise the dead back to life at the end of time and then they will be judged, the righteous and the good will form an eternal Kingdom of God (heaven in the Christian teachings) and then the sinners would be excluded. Therefore the idea of resurrection suggests that this life is the testing ground for the next life. Although Christianity, Islam and Judaism all believe in resurrection, they all have their different interpretations of the idea. Christians for example believe in heaven and that it is a place of God and that the souls wait until judgement day and then they will be resurrected. There is evidence of this idea in the bible in Daniel 2:23 and the resurrection of Lazarus and Christ. Jews on the other hand have a belief in the eventual resurrection of the dead; this is a fundamental belief of traditional Judaism. The belief of resurrection distinguished the Pharisees from the Sadducees; these people rejected the concept, because it is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, whereas the Pharisees found the concept of resurrection implied in certain verses of the Torah. The Jews also believe that the resurrection of the dead will occur in the messianic age, when this happens the righteous will be brought back to life and the wicked dead will not be resurrected.

The idea of the immortality of the soul, this is the belief that the soul is a distinct and immortal entity within the body and that it can survive the death of the body and then ascend to the afterlife. Plato was one of the first people to give and extended argument in favour of the immortality of the soul. In his dialogue Phaedo, he sets out a literary dialogue between Socrates and Plato and they are discussing the ideas of death and the immortality of the soul. Socrates gives a number of arguments in favour of the immortality of the soul, “the soul is that which renders the body living”. Therefore, there must be some immortal soul which enters the body at birth and then the soul leaves at death. Plato’s ideas on dualism were developed in Phaedo whereby he developed four arguments for the immortality of the soul. Firstly cyclical, this means everything comes into existence from its opposite and it sets up a cycle for birth and death.

Secondly, recollection, Plato believed that the knowledge we acquire

is not learnt, but it is remembered, he also believed that the soul existed in a realm before coming

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
into the body and then the knowledge is acquired. Thirdly Plato believed that the body has an affinity with the earth and that the soul has an affinity with the eternal realm of forms, this is because the body is a composite and then at death it is dispersed to the earth. Since the soul is simple it can not be dispersed at death and therefore it returns to the realm of forms where it had an affinity. Finally Plato suggests that since the soul is simple and it can not be destroyed then when death occurs it must be destroyed or retreat, the soul is unable to be destroyed and so it has to retreat and it goes into the realm of the forms. These four arguments which were suggested by Plato were created deductively and therefore they do not rely on empirical and this is the main weakness of the argument.

Ren? Descartes argues that the existence of the true self can be known through reason, in his book Mediations, he attempts to prove his existence through his argument “I think, therefore I am” (cogito ergo sum). Descartes believes that this is therefore proof of humans as thinking beings, he suggests that we are “thinking things” (res cognitans), this means that knowledge is separate from the body. Therefore we have souls and are not just physical beings, so Descartes separates the body and soul – dualism, this could be interpreted that the soul lives on even if the physical body dies.

Immanuel Kant argued that through the study of Ethics things can be learnt about God as well as human beings, and that the purpose of human beings is to achieve the highest good (Sumum Bonum). The idea of Summum Bonum is not necessarily realistic, because our lives are short and therefore God would surely allow humans the chance to realise this good which Kant is describing. Therefore Kant believes that the soul exists outside the body – dualism and that the soul is immortal, and this is when the high virtues are reached, after death.

These two different ideas about the afterlife show two views on life after death, however it is debated by many philosophers to which is more of a convincing argument. Firstly the idea of resurrection has a number of advantages, such as it has a basic tradition for example it is a major feature of the bible, the resurrection of Jesus is a teaching which is featured in all four gospels, Jesus is said to have risen from the dead, this gives hope to many Christians that there is life after death. Although the resurrection of Jesus is written in the bible, other biblical sources maybe questioned such as Ezekiel and the Valley of dry bones, when God shows Ezekiel a valley of dry bones and says that he is able to “make these live again”. Another advantage of resurrection is that it gives value to the physical body and the connection with the world, which is seen to be a positive thing, but it could be argued that it would be better to exist as a “pure” soul, because the body is subject to disease as well as desire.

The immortality of the soul could be seen as a more convincing argument, because the idea that the soul is united with God is a comforting idea, especially if someone has a terminal illness it would not just be comforting to the suffer, but also to the family if they believe that their soul is immortal. Also some religious experiences, such as near death experiences, people’s testimonies may support this concept. Some testimonies suggest that they look down on their body; therefore this is evidence that the soul is separate from the body. Although there are strengths to the immortality of the soul argument, it does suffer from some significant weaknesses; the idea that the body is separate from the soul could be seen as unnecessary and unscientific as Ryle pointed out. Also this idea lacks a basis in traditional religious teachings, therefore Jews and Christians should be seen to reject it, because resurrection is a key feature of the Christian traditions.

In conclusion, both the immortality of the soul and resurrection of the body are convincing positions, but to some extent, the immortality of the soul is more a convincing idea, this is because although resurrection does play a major role in the bible, Plato, Kant and Descartes all give convincing arguments to dualism. Also resurrection does have major weaknesses, because it is less verifiable than the immortality of the soul, there are many accounts of near death experiences and out of body experiences.

We can write a custom essay on

The Immortality of The Soul and The Resurrection o ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Philosophical View - Do Animals Have...

Should animals be harmed to benefit mankind? This pressing question has been around for at least the past two centuries. During the early nineteenth century, animal experiments emerged as an important method of science and, in fact, marked the birth of experimental physiology and neuroscience as we currently know it. There were, however, guidelines that existed even back then which restricted the conditions of experimentation. These early rules protected the animals, in the sense that all procedures performed were done so with as little pain as possible and solely to investigate new truths. Adopting the animals' perspectives, they would probably not agree that these types of regulations were much protection, considering the unwanted pain that they felt first followed by what would ultimately be their death. But, this is exactly the ethical issue at hand. For the most part, animal rights are debated in regards to two issues: 1) whether...

A Comparison of Classic and Contemporary Philosophers

Why is it so important that young children in our society receive a good education? The answer to that question is very simple; because they are our future. The old saying "the youth of today are the leaders off tomorrow" holds more truth than many people realize. By giving children a good start at an early age we are only helping ourselves as well as the children. A good example of this is can be seen in our society. By the time a teacher in our society retires from his or her position their students will have made it out into the real world and taken jobs. This new generation will be the ones to make the decisions about laws such as Social Security, and Medicaid. The students will be able to turn these programs around and make them more beneficial to their recipients. These teachers who are now retired...

The 5 Branches of Philosophy

Healthcare is considered one of the backbones of our society and is integrated into every aspect of our lives. When talking about different areas healthcare, we can use philosophy to better understand the basic principles involved in healthcare. Philosophy can be divided into five different branches; metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and esthetics. These five branches show the different perspectives of healthcare to better understand how the related to one another. Philosophy and healthcare can be related using the example of female circumcision. While female circumcision is a practice and ritual that is very common in many societies, it is viewed on the opposite spectrum here in the United States. The use of philosophy allows an individual to see female circumcision for what it is and from a more unbiased position. Metaphysics is the study of existence, and asks the question, "What is out there? " There are probably many people...

Popular Essays

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?