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Religious And Secular Perspectives Essay

2321 words - 10 pages

Examine religious and secular perspective on the nature and value of human life.

The value of human life is different to all people throughout the world, some putting more emphasis on it than others. An example of a difference in thought between humans is that some believe the value of human life is much more than that of animals due to the intelligence humans holds. 21st society contains thoughts from all backgrounds due to all mixes and ethnic groups within the world, based upon ideas around the existence of the soul, an omnipotent God and free will.
Christianity explores throughout the bible the idea of the human soul creating value for life. This belief of a soul affects both the ...view middle of the document...

The Buddhist religion, however, contradicts the religious views that Christians believe and reject the idea of a soul completely. Buddhism foucuses more of the perspective that the nature of human life is based upon living in Anicca and keeping the world in a constant state of flux. Buddhism follows the belief that everything is constantly changing and in this life no permanent state exists alone and therefore the nature of life is temporary and soul-less as nothing continues after you die. A Buddhist may argue that this creates more value for human life due to their impermanence and limited time on earth and therefore a human will make more of life. Nevertheless it can then be argued by a dualist that without a soul, a human may act immorally as there are no consequences for bad acts.

Islam is another religion from the Abrahamic that follows Christianity in a dualist belief of the soul and value of human life. Just like Christianity Islam follows the belief that a person is judged accordingly to how their life on Earth is lived and therefore this grants a ‘place’ for their soul after death in either Heaven where eternal paradise is lived or Hell where eternal punishment is offered. The Quran reads that "no soul can die but with Allah's permission — the term is fixed" (3:145). This implies that the life term of every human being is fixed and written down and changing the nature of life and idea of free will. Within Islam it is believed that the purpose and therefore the nature of life is to worship the creator Allah by abiding by the Divine guidelines revealed in the Qur'an and the Tradition of the Prophet. Earthly life is merely a test, determining one's afterlife, either in Paradise or Hell. The Qur'an describes the purpose of creation and value of life as "Blessed be he in whose hand is the kingdom, he is powerful over all things, who created death and life that he might examine which of you is best in deeds, and he is the almighty, the forgiving" (Qur'an 67:1–2) and "And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should be obedient (to Allah)." (Qur'an 51:56). Obedience testifies to the oneness of Allah in His lordship, His names, and His attributes.

Different groups of Atheists provide secular and dualist arguments both for and against the existence of the soul. Like Buddhism, naturalism disbelieves in the soul. Naturalists, such as Tom Clark, suggest that there is nothing you or above you that makes you do things. Humans are simply physical beings that have evolved over time, like scientific theories suggest. “The more we learn about how we evolved, and how our brains work, the more certain we are becoming that there is no such extra ingredient [no soul]. We are each made of mindless robots and nothing else, no non-physical, non-robotic ingredients at all” Daniel Dennett. Despite this, Naturalists do believe that humans are moral as they are conscious of their actions. This adds value...

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