Personhood Essay, Research Paper
What is a person? That sounds like a harmless question, but the answer can get very complicated. Is a person just a lump of skin, muscles, bones, and other materials? Is a person something immaterial like a mind or a soul? Or is a person a combination of these two things? Really there is no right answer, and it all depends on the point of view that you hold.
First of all, what is a body? Some say that a body is, like I said before, a lump of skin, muscles, bones, and other materials. Some say it is more than that. These people agree that the body is made up of skin, muscles, bones, etc., but they think the whole essence of personhood is in the body. They don’t believe in souls or minds, and they think that biological processes are the only processes that take place in a body. And when these processes cease to take place, death occurs, and since, to these people, a person is a body, life ends, and that is it. There is no after life, because there is nothing other than the body, and the body is gone. It is very true that biological things happen in your body, but are there other things that happen too?
That takes me to my next question: what is a soul? This question is a little harder to explain. To most people a soul is an essence, an invisible, immaterial entity. Most people associate a soul with the spiritual world. They say that a person is who they are because of their soul, not because of their body. If you agree with this view, then you believe that when the body dies, the person lives on in some immaterial, invisible form. Also, some people that agree with this view may not exactly believe that souls are the
immaterial force behind a person, some say a mind or psychological essence is what makes a person. A psychological essence is a cluster of psychological traits that make up someone’s personality. These can be things like shyness, sense of humor, and so on. A mind is harder to explain. It is the immaterial force behind your thinking processes. It is the invisible force that allows you to desire things, to hope, or to do any other kind of mental tasks. Some people say that these immaterial things are what make a person who he is. I tend to agree with them.
I believe that a person is their psychological essence and their soul. When you ask yourself what kind of a person someone is, what pops in your head? Probably personality traits like how friendly they are, what kind of a sense of humor they have, or how they interact with other people. None of these things have to do with the physical body. Most people when considering a person tend to consider their psychological traits. I believe that there is a good reason for this. A person simply is their personality traits. A body is simply a shell. It houses the soul and psychological essence until death when the soul departs from the body. I believe that the body can play an important role in developing the psychological side of a person though. I believe that, for example, if a person is overweight, he or she may turn out to be self-conscience or shy. This is a psychological trait, but it was affected by something physical. It would be ridiculous to say that a person is not affected by their surroundings, and a person’s body is definitely a surrounding. I don’t think that the body makes the person though. To me it doesn’t matter what a person looks like on the outside, it’s what’s inside that makes the person.
Some believe that a person is what they see, a body. Others believe that there is more there, and that a person is a soul or a mind to go along with the body. Others simply say that a person is only a soul, and that the body plays no role in personhood. It is simply a matter of opinion, but I believe that there is something beyond the body. I believe that a person is composed of material and immaterial things. These things are not easily explained, but who says we can even explain them? We don’t know everything, and some things may be beyond our grasp. Even if you don’t understand it, doesn’t it just make sense?