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Examine Religious And Secular Perspectives On The Nature Of Human Life

1176 words - 5 pages

Human Nature is defined as ‘the innate and acquired behavioral patterns, motives, attitudes, ideas characteristic of human beings’. The religious views of human nature are commonly known that a human is a spiritual being, created in the image of God, it is written in Genesis “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’”, The likeness that we share with God does not necessarily have to mean a physical resemblance to him, there could be two interpretations to this similarity, it could be something that we are or possess, like the ability to make moral decisions and to think intelligently and rationally. Or it could be something that we do, for example creating an ...view middle of the document...

In order to do this we need to be completely free to make our own independent decisions. This comes to the existence of moral evil because we are capable of exercising our free will to harm others. The existed of natural evil is to give us a testing ground. From this we can conclude that evil arises because it is a necessary element required for our development and a consequence of the mistakes we make on the way to perfection. This was humans are more free beings and the appreciation of the value of good becomes much more apparent to us once we have struggled with the evils of life.
Another Christian conception of human nature is the relationship between the body and the ‘soul’. The soul often refers to the spiritual or eternal part of a living being, commonly held to be separable in existence from the body. It is often described as consisting of one’s consciousness and personality. Some Christians understand the soul as an ontological reality which is something that really exists distinct from, yet integrally connected with, the body. When people die, their souls will be judged by God and sentenced to eternity in heaven or hell. This allows for the idea of immortality and resurrection in the afterlife. This view is described as Substance Dualism by Descartes. Thomas Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that it was the soul which animated the body and gave it life, that which animates the body. The soul operates independently of the body, and it is not divisible therefore it is able to survive bodily death. When a body dies the soul retains the individual identity of the body to which it was attached.

The Christian views of the value of human life is that all life is sacred, and a gift from God. Human life is of intrinsic value as God ordered that we rule over all other creatures on Earth. Each human life is of equal value and humans represent the highest element in God’s creation however, humans are also equal in the face that everyone is deserving of hell. Human beings are valuable because they are made in God’s image but not in his likeness. Human life posses an intrinsic dignity and value because it is created by God in his own image for the distinctive destiny in sharing in God’s own life. This doesn’t mean that people look like God, instead they possess a unique...

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