To view the full Call for Projects, please click on the link to the right of this page. The topic of Untapped Capital provides a touchstone for alternative thinking about new methodologies, new solutions, and new goals. The Call for Projects is now closed. Works In Exhibition. Jordan B. Marcus Aurelius. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Jon Ronson.
From Nothingness Comes Somethingness…
Derren Brown. Skin in the Game. Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The Three Dimensions of Freedom.
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Billy Bragg. Shoukei Matsumoto. Socrates in Love. Armand D'Angour. Utopia for Realists. Rutger Bregman. Your review has been submitted successfully. Not registered? Existential death or absolute death on the other hand, is the definitive separation of the soul from the body. It is rooted in the very structure of human existence.
It is the end of being-in-the-world. It is rather a human experience that begins the very day that man is born, it is potency in wait for actualization; a necessary possibility that puts an end to all material possibilities to make way for an immaterial, indissoluble, incorruptible and immortal spirit.
Unah, 96 Sam Vaknin adds his voice here that, a classical point of departure in defining death seems to be life itself. Death he says, is perceived either as a cessation of life - or as a "transit area", on the way to a continuation of life by other means. While the former approach presents a disjunction, the latter is a continuum, death being nothing but a corridor into another plane of existence.
Vaknin, , It is understood as the cessation of the exercise of force over physical systems. It is the sudden absence of physical effects previously associated with the dead object, a singularity, a discontinuity. It is a terminal change in the state of the hardware. Death awareness must continuously regulate our lives; that, death is something we do not bargain for, something not negotiated for, but which must, in the final analysis, happen to us.
Death is a possibility which is already imprinted in our being which we cannot overcome no matter how we try. As we reflect soberly on death, we should not lose sight of what we do with our existential selves as we turn the wheel of life here on earth.
Our actions and inactions calls to question the fundamental principle of absolute justice the law of Karma which ensures that, happiness follows good and selfless deeds while sufferings results from evil and selfish deeds, it is above all, our great teacher in life, giving us many opportunities to learn. Understandably existential life is a voyage of discovery —the discovery of the true nature of things and the discovery of ourselves, first of all of our superficial nature, our failings and weakness, all derived from a sense of self, but then perhaps the downing discovery of, and approach to what is left when that self no longer is; that Oneness which is the SELF of all.
One undeniable fact about human life is that, death for Man is not only a possibility of his being; it is an automatic, mechanical and biological event. Man unlike other beings is not only aware of his death and the death of other beings, he is conscious of death, he can make it a subject of meditation, and pledge his life for death. It is a biological necessity that undertakes to purify the soul. It is the separation and release of the soul from the body.
The question of urgent human importance is whether this biological necessity that occurs in the separation of the body from the spirit marks the end of Man? In every death that occurs, we are led to ask ourselves: what is left of the being of those who die and what will become of us when we are struck by the same scourge? How can anyone discover what life means from which we can also understand what death entails? If death ends all, if we have either to hope for good to come or fear evil, we must ask ourselves what we are here for, and how in this circumstances we must conduct ourselves.
To be told so little—to such an end—and still, finally to be denied an explanation…? Mind-Body Rapport. Cynthia vii It thus seems therefore that, whatever mind variously called spirit, soul is, it is inextricably bound up with the body. The problem of mind-body relation is that of explaining how it is that mental phenomena and or types of phenomena mind can be such as to be related with phenomena or types of phenomena body whose nature are physical in terms of anatomy of the human person.
If indeed man is something in addition to his body, how do these entities relate and how do they ultimately end. The mind-body problem is clearly intriguing to which solution is offered from two opposing angles, namely that a human being is simply body and nothing else besides. This materialist theory advanced by Thomas Hobbes and supported by Nietzsche and Feuerbach and other behaviorist psychologists, maintain that what we call mental events or activities of mind or soul, are really like physical events only in various combinations of matter in motion.
The logic of this statement implies that, the physical movements that occur in the brain are what we call thoughts, and these are produced by other events in the material world, either outside our bodies, or inside, and in turn can produce further physical motions in ourselves or outside ourselves. When we say that we have a sensation of yellow, for example, this is explained as the result of certain light waves stimulating the optic nerve which in turn causes a certain pattern of motion in the brain.
For this school of thought, there are many good grounds for supposing that the mind or soul survives the shattering disintegration of the human body. Clearly, we have come to accept the fact that the human being possesses a mind and a body which both have causal connections. It is impossible to speak of a bare movement without thinking of the mass whose movement it is: and it is just as impossible to conceive a sensation existing without accompanying of that which has it or rather of that which feels it Popkin This thinking is anchored on the belief that, additional to the physical body of man is the indestructible substance.
This is referred to by the scholastics and Descartes as the substance theory according to which there is something in human beings over and above the body. Protagonists of this position contend that, the self soul, spirit which is thus given in every experience, is not only, simply and abiding the same name during the varying modes of consciousness, but is furthermore indestructible and therefore immortal. But as viewed elsewhere above, arguments built around the substance theory are said to be meaningless for the simple reason that there are no facts which warrant the inference to a permanent underlying spiritual substance.
Bertrand Russell, a close associate of this position avers that, all our experiences are accompanied by some marginal bodily sensations — of our breathing, our eye-ball movements, our stationary or moving limbs, or hunger or satiety, our bodily tension etc. In his bundle-theory, Russell comes out clearly thus: We think and feel and act, but there is not in addition to thoughts and feelings and actions, a bare entity, the mind or the soul, which does or suffers these occurrences.
The mental continuity of a person is a continuity of habit and memory The reasoned position here is that, spiritual substance is not like a mythical animal which we could recognize if we come across it but which as a matter of fact does not exist. The argued point here is not only that the vast majority of men are unable to perform the difficult feat of experiencing themselves as substances, it is rather that, such a feat is not conceivable.
There is nothing that would count as stumbling upon oneself as opposed to some particular perception. The mind and body they say are both attributes of the same entity and identical with the physical order of nature. But such a conclusion is not only untrue and unsound, it also conflicts with our knowledge of the human person who is believed to be something over and above his physical composition. Desecrates confirms this when he says, with the doubtful exceptions of idiots and infants in arms, every human beings has a body and a mind Edwards, The point at issue here is that the two co-exist though; they are distinct in state and activity as much as their end.
While human bodies are in space and are subject to the mechanical laws which govern all other bodies in space, minds are not in space nor are their operations subject to mechanical laws. It follows by simple logic that bodies disintegrate at death by the very fact of its constituent — pure matter. But minds which are not similarly constituted and subject to the same mechanical laws as bodies, survives the annihilation of the body.
An insight by Gilbert Ryle more forcefully supports the view that man, constitutive of body and mind has the capacity for self-transcendence. Thus far, man can be credited, with two interrelated entities; one consisting in the grosses movements of the parts and particles of our bodies. This entity of man is outward and material, and the other consisting of much more palpable ghostly and secret changes which are inward and spiritual.
Death as Discontinuity and Continuity Since the time of Plato five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the discussion of immortality has been conducted by the greatest minds upon the highest levels of human thought in the areas of theology, philosophy, science, psychology and poetry. While some have explored and uncovered the mystery that lies beyond and have thus looked upon the reality of survival after death, others have simply questioned the evidence upon which one is invited to believe in immortality. The evidence, when provided at all, concludes supporters of the myth of immortality theory, may be wholly insufficient for reasoning men, and so nothing but empty verbiage.
When Spinoza attempted a solution to the body-mind problem, saying that both are attributes of one and the same entity, he was most obviously alluding to the logic that for everything that happens in one realm, a corresponding event occurs in the other. For him, the logical order of mind soul was identical with the physical order, the body and vice versa. By the streak of this logic, it follows that, the argument in support of immortality is a myth.
But of course this is wrong thinking which amounts to poor analogy leading to what Gilbert Ryle calls category — mistake The human being is a composition of two substances; the body which is material in space and is subject to the mechanical laws which govern all bodies in space, and the mind which on the hand is not in space nor is its operations subject to mechanical laws. Unlike pure matter that disintegrates after death, mind which is pure form survives death and continues to exist and function.
Here again we are confronted with the problem of rational evidence. Belief in immortality goes with it reason for believing.
But people who believe in the immortality of the soul are hesitant to question, seek, and to find credible rational evidence for their belief. According to Durrow, they do not ask because they know that only silence comes out of the eternal darkness of endless space.
Objectively, every thinking person knows that faith can only come through belief which in itself implies a condition of mind that accepts a certain idea. This condition can be brought about only by evidence. The cherished expectation here is that, believers should be just as willing to jettison their beliefs in response to superior evidence. Another reason for discountenancing belief in immortality is said to be the beginning of life and its end.
Such argument as to continuation of life soul after death is primitive and for primitive man who like the rest of the animals had no conception of life as having a beginning and an end. Today, they say, every one of the ordinary intelligence knows how life begins, and to examine the beginning of life leads to inevitable conclusions about the way life ends.
If a man has a soul, it must creep in somewhere during the period of gradation and growth. After being fertilized by union with another cell, it follows similarly that, at death, such activities as memory, consciousness which portends life, or the soul terminate. Here again Durrow argues that, it is wishful thinking to fathom an idea of immortality. As he put it, no such idea as belief in immortality of the germ cells, fertilized under right conditions, could satisfy the yearnings of the individual for a survival of life after death.
It is not easily imagined as it once was. How does the soul make its journey? What does immortal man find when he gets there, and how will he live after he reaches the end of endless space? Ibid It may be argued here that the conception of life having a beginning and an end may not be enough a factor to argue against belief in immortality. It is now feasible to develop human life from adult tissues usually through asexual means and the offspring will be highly identical like identical twins human beings in every material and spiritual way see New Week: Vol.
So, inquisitive minds like Durrow, will be preoccupied with such issues as to whether human life developed through asexual means can and should marry, eat, and or laugh etc. Besides, questions of metaphysical nature as those of life beyond this world need not necessarily find answers to qualify them as true or false. Indeed, to insist on rational evidence in matters of faith and religion is not a strong enough reason for disbelieve in life after death.
As very ably shown in a debate between Carl Sagan and Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, evidence for most religious issues does not necessarily count as supporting reality. And he said, of course I do; he was very much in love with his wife, and I said, can you prove love exist? In our human experience, there is many an idea which we accept for good. But antagonist of the immortality theory view such belief as mere wishful thought which ignores facts and enthrones blind faith, wild dreams, hopeless hopes and cowardly fears of the human mind.
The most feasible thesis according to the antagonist of the immortality theory is to discountenance the modern scientific doctrine of the indestructibility of matter and force as pure sophistry. They argued that while it is probably true that no matter or force has ever being or even can be destroyed, it is likewise true that there is no connection whatever between the notion that personal consciousness and memory persist after death and the scientific theory that matter and force are indestructible.
Giving an analogy of a lump of coal which disintegrates in burning, Durrow argues that the process of change in the human being takes the forms of growth, disease, senility, death and decay. In old age, the tearing down process has already gained the ascendancy and when intervenes, the equilibrium is finally upset by the complete stoppage of the building process, so that nothing remains but complete disintegration Durrow, The argument here is that all that remains of the debris is irrevocably dispersed and any idea of survival of any apart of the human being exists only in the primitive conceptions of undeveloped minds.
Whatever was covertly or overtly referred to as soul, mind or spirit is destroyed, dispersed, disintegrated beyond repair by what we call death. Accordingly, belief in immortality of the soul is a form of escapism which is unnecessary and undesirable. What is paramount to the human being is not the emotion, demanding a future life, but things that really affect the happiness of the individual here on earth, such as companionship of friends, debts, poverty and disease, food and shelter etc. But this view of man is too simplistic. If this life is all, what need has man for all these mental faculties, moral aspirations, spiritual ideals which move him to be distinctly a man as contrasted with the animal?
This most probably explains why St. By extension, man is incomplete without the feeling or idea of immortality. There is a feeling of emptiness or desire of a life after death which yearns for satisfaction.