The Existance of the Soul

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The existence of the soul has perplexed man for ages. Islamic philosopher Avicenna believed that he had proved the existence of the soul with his flying man thought experiment. He claims that the soul is a separate part of the human body that we don’t access. He claims that the flying man lacks knowledge of anything due to his predicament and through this can find the soul. This lack of knowledge makes it impossible for the flying man to actually create an understanding of his own existence and is reliant upon the soul. But the soul proposes an understanding that existence that is either through the body or inconsistent with Avicenna’s own explanation of modern existence. To truly understand the soul man must have full access to all possible knowledge and will inevitably realize that their conscience is immaterial.
The Flying man thought experiment proceeds as follows. An individual is freshly created in a void . Despite being just created this individual has full access to their cognitive abilities. In this void the person is unable actively use their sensory perceptions. They cannot feel, see, hear, smell, or taste the air in void or any part of their body. In other words the individual is completely isolated from everything external. Avicenna then believes that the despite having no contact with the outside that an individual can reassure themselves of their own existence. He states that if we were to think about it that we would be able to accept that we still exist since we can still have an immaterial part of the body. This is the soul. The soul is connected to the body, though not physically since it has no physical form, and has the role of allowing the body to perceive the world through the senses. Thus the flying ...

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...hat you don’t exist, by looking at you anyone could tell that you do exist. The problem is understanding the situation and explaining it. Just because you exist does not mean that you can explain it. For that you require words, which mean that you require knowledge. A baby exists but cannot express this existence. This is the goal of the experiment not to exist but be able to show that you exist. Without words you cannot properly express this view even if you did exist.
Avicenna believes that the flying man proves that humans possess an immaterial soul. This because the flying man is able to sense his soul which informs him of his existence. But the flying man could not be capable of such a feat since he is lacks knowledge and his senses which cause him to rely on his soul. His soul proposes a view that is contrary to Avicenna’s ideas and ruins the experiment.

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