Response Paper #1
April 27, 2018
Dualism is a theory describing the relationship between the body and the conscious mind. It depicts an idea of separate physical and nonphysical entities, with the body acting as a harbor to the non-physical mind. Physicalism, on the other hand, describes the mind and body as one— a physical material object, the brain being the carrying case for your consciousness that only exists within the physical realm. As this theory implies, physicalists believe in the unity and dependency of the body and mind. Without one, the other cannot exist. In this paper, I will describe the relationship and indispensable nature between the body and mind. I will modesty explore the relationship between the two, aware of the limitations in my knowledge. As a dualist, I will provide critical evidence as to why dualism best aligns with my personal beliefs, in addition to why our consciousness and existence cannot be defined simply through the physical realm.
Dualism is the classical viewpoint depicted amongst most monotheistic religions. The idea that the soul is an intangible entity removed from your physical body is often emphasized in religions, including: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. From this perspective, the mind acts as an antenna that transmits data from the soul to the physical body. The soul is still in existence, despite an incident to the physical brain. The clear distinction between dualism and physicalism lies between consciousness as a state of physical substance vs. metaphysical.
The trajectory of physicalism seems to imply disbelief in a Higher Being. Tangibility is essential for physicalists, as the brain must be explained and attached to the physical world. I argue that this critical component of physicalism invalidates the attribution of faith to an intangible existence or Supreme Being. Faith is contingent upon the belief in an intangible entity. I find my viewpoint in Dualism to support my belief in God. Death is also treated differently in each theory. If physicalism is true, humans are nothing more than living bodies. Dualism, on the other hand, suggests that humans may continue to exist af...