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Paper Topic:

Religion and Philosophy

The inherent need or quest to find purpose , truth and meaning behind existence has long been an undeniably present aspect of humanity . Every individual is constantly in search of a tangible explanation and purpose behind being and actuality . Religion , for the most part , affords people a certain degree of safety and security by providing proverbial blueprints for individuals to live by , in terms of where people came from and where w 're supposed to go , or at least , should strive to return to . Human beings , however , are anything but one-dimensional , and the

human self is as dynamic , fluid , complex , changeable and varying in characteristic from one individual to the next . Despite how much we like to categorize and label people , or resort to the convenience afforded by stereotypes , our identities as human beings refuses to be confined in uniformity , which is why religions , faith , meanings and ideology exist in abundance , varying to suit the particular opinons , views and convictions of every individual

In aspects of religion , and where Buddhism is concerned , every human being is said to be composed distinctly and namely of form , feeling perceptions , mental formation , and consciousness (Bodhi . These five 'aggregates ' which constitute and contribute to people 's mental as well as physical experience are dynamic and are constantly changing . Buddha 's theory of five aggregates clings to the concept that the self is merely a construct or a product of the said aggregates and that essentially the universal reality of no-self ' is a concept which persists among the enlightened , and to people who are willing to acknowledge its reality . People who subscribe to the teachings of Buddha and the Buddhist worldview are supposed to reconcile mind and body to attain a sense of identity , purpose or higher being promised by their particular faith . An individual 's concept of self identity , or no-self ' exists as a matter of understanding and awareness of the body and mind 's ability to operate or expand

From a philosophical standpoint , the controversial brain in a vat theory , exists in a similar sphere as that of the Buddhist belief regarding the five aggregates in that both attempt to address the instance of existence and being . The premise of the said theory , in which the brain is supposedly capable of generating experiences , however fabricated , introduces a solipsistic , cynical , and maybe even frightening reality . A reality in which the mind is self sufficient and is capable of surviving , and generating thoughts and experiences by itself , without the body , or the need of any other human parts and functions to sustain it . It underlines the possibility that the things we appear to have perceived in the outside world ' are nothing but the product of chemicals , neurons and gray matter which make up our brains and in turn , essentially constitutes our entire being

Of course , humanity and individuals which compose it , as a matter of observation and reality are more than just the products of neurons , and chemicals which appear to animate us nor are we so simplistically defined , or confined to five ennumerable aggregates , however unchanging they may appear to be . More than soul , body and mind , humanity 's multi-faceted aspects and characteristics are composed of culture experiences , race , belief , emotions , sexual orientation and /or sexuality for that matter , gender , persuasions , and a myriad of components and occurences which are impossible to be encompassed in a single theory ideology , philosophy or religion

Perhaps the best anyone has come close to in articulating an approach or outlook on being and the human self , in terms of the search and quest for meaning exists in the lines of the Hungarian born American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz , who ultimately expresses the essence of humanity . How the intrinsic search for meaning and identity should not be the central question or concern which mankind and every individual needs to address , but instead , the fashioning and shaping of these meanings and identity , which are of greater concern and importance to being , actuality and humanity . The psychatrist articulates this sentiment and ideology , ever aptly , by pronouncing , People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself . But the self is not something one finds , it is something one creates (Szasz . References

Brain in a Vat ' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved 20 February 2008 from HYPERLINK "http /www .iep .utm .edu /b /brainvat .htm http /www .iep .utm .edu /b /brainvat .htm

Self Concept ' Retrieved 20 February 2008 from

HYPERLINK "http /www .clarityesd .com /self_concept .html http /www .clarityesd .com /self_concept .html

Bodhi , Bhikkhu . The Five Aggregates Of Clinging ' Retrieved 20 February 2008 from HYPERLINK "http /www .beyondthenet .net /dhamma /fiveAggregates .htm http /www .beyondthenet .net /dhamma /fiveAggregates .htm Philosophy of the Human Self PAGE 2 ...

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