In my essay, I am going to argue for Descartes mind-body dualism against Darwin’s monism. I believe that the mind and body are two separate entities and that human life is not simply the result random mutations that took place throughout the past two billion years or so. I am not going to attempt to disprove science; I can’t do that. I am however, going to try to give specific examples on the origin of existence and the nature of reality.
René Descartes believed that the mind and body are separate; that the senses could not always be trusted, but that because we as humans are able to think about our existence, we possess some sort of entity separate than our fleshly body. I believe this separate entity to be a soul”an immaterial and eternal substance every human possesses.” Yet before I can talk about souls, I need to talk about God. I believe that, like Aquinas says, we were “put in motion” by a first mover; I believe this to be God, an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect, eternal, and loving (the list goes on . . .) being. I believe that He created man to have a soul that could be in perfect relation with Him. Many of you may say you don’t believe in God, but you have some sort of idea about what He might be like if He did exist. Yet, how could we imagine something greater than ourselves unless it exists in some form? How could we have created a thought about God if He wasn’t there in the first place? Descartes claims that he is a “thinking thing.” He also claims that thinking is a characteristic of the mind, or soul. We humans are thinking things. Like Descartes says, we “doub[t], understan[d], conveiv[e], affir[m], den[y], wil[l], refus[e]; [we] imagin[e]. . . and perceiv[e].” I think these characteristics of thought and our perception—our awareness—are the things that distinguish us from the rest of creation. Our minds do not follow the mechanism of pure biology- we have the ability to sense something and then interpret it in our own. We are...
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