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Philosophers on Materialism and Dualism

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By mirilacey
Words 980
Pages 4
Gilbert Ryle in the ‘Concept of the Mind’ talks about the soul, which he refers to as the ‘ghost in the machine’. He claims that it is a ‘category mistake’ to talk about the soul. It is a mistake in the use of language, resulting in people speaking of the mind and body as different phenomena. Talk of the soul refers to the way in which a person acted and integrated with others in the world.

Dawkins argued that there is no pre-existent soul that is by nature divine. Scientific beliefs are supported by scientific evidence, and so are reliable, whereas religious beliefs, such as the concept of a soul, depend on myth or faith, thus lack empirical evidence. Dawkins believes that belief in the soul has resulted from the human inability to accept that evil and suffering have no purpose. Each individual is a product of evolution with no immortal soul which survives death. The purpose of life is DNA survival; humans are no more than DNA carriers that will ensure the survival of the species. Dawkins says that we are no more than the ‘robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes’. Our sense of individuality comes from our genes working together as a unit. Humans perceive themselves as a whole and this is necessary for our genes to survive. Through evolution, consciousness has developed in humans so that they are able to choose the behaviour that is more likely to lead to survival of their genes for the purpose of reproduction. He believes that human dignity is passed on to future generations through an individual’s genetic code. Humans should not worry about the meaning of their lives and their place in the universe as they are the universe. Human thinking has gone awry as people have tried to find meanings to life. If people reject notions of an afterlife and a God and learnt to reason as scientists, then they would...

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