How the Human Acts as a Living Being Essay

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How the Human acts as a Living Being
“I think; therefore I am.” ~Rene Descartes A big topic of discussion that Philosophy looks at is describing what the soul is and how it relates to life. The reality of the situation is that having a soul is the same thing as having a life. If something is alive or has life then it has a soul. An example of this would be for humans, but this also holds true for objects, like trees. A tree is alive which then means that it has a soul and vice versa. Throughout life we often wonder why things happen, but to first understand things like that we must understand what is the cause. The cause is simply the explanation of the event that occurred. The first type of cause is the formal cause. The formal cause answers the question of “what is this?” After the formal cause is the material cause, this asks the question of “what is it made of?” Next comes the efficient cause that talks about “who made it?” Justly the last cause is the final cause that asks, “What is the purpose?” or “what is it for”? When talking about the final cause we often look at what the goal of the object is. We see that we are able to use these effectively when looking at a piece of art. We are able to say that the formal cause is a statue, its material cause is stone, its efficient cause is an artist, and its final cause is as a decoration. Now that we have a basic understanding of the cause, we can look at more complicated items of humans, such as the debate between soul and body. When looking at the main ideals of how the soul and body interact there are only a few beliefs that stand out. A mechanist is a materialist who understands the human body as something using material. This type of person is able to analyze the entire body but yet cannot answer the question of “what makes a person alive?” The opposite side of a mechanist is vitalism. Vitalism believes in the spiritual side of the human being, or the soul. The soul focuses more on the mind and idea that enables them to believe in the epiphenomenon. The vitalist is able to believe in the final cause, unlike the mechanist. The mechanist is not able to accept the formal and final cause in their explanation of life. The mechanist is not able to explain death because death is not a purely physical thing. The mechanist is able to say that the heart has stopped pumping blood to the rest of the body, but cannot say why that means death. Vitalism is able to admit the final cause of life due to their belief in the spiritual part of life. This spiritual aspect of life gives hope/idea of some type of after-life. A problem that can arise by trying to differentiate between the two groups are the similarities between an exaggerated vitalist and a moderate dualist. Both of these types of people are able to experience both…