The Existence of Souls and Other Blatherings
Copyright 2012 by T.J. Seitz
Several weeks ago I decided to search the Internet for free online classes. During my inquiry I found two colleges that offered subjects I was actually interested in, MIT and Yale. Amongst the Yale courses I stumbled upon a session covering the topic of death that caught my eye. I began watching the lectures and reading the assigned material. The experience inspired me to write down some of my thoughts.
The first ten or so videos were about age old questions such as; “What happens when a person dies? Is there life after death? Is there such thing as a soul and if a soul exists, is it immortal?”
The instructor began by laying out a foundation for the discourse. The premise for life or consciousness was broadly defined using a bilateral argument between physical-ist and duel-ist points of view.
Physical-ists assume that a person’s mind and body are just two components of a single intricately functioning organism. Duel-ists believe that humans have both a material body and a separate soul which is ethereal in nature. To me, it sounded like one side is basically saying that life is a completely automated biological process while the opposing view feels that life or consciousness requires an intimate relationship between a body and a soul in the lines of how a car requires a driver to operate.