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02 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)

TODAYS ANSWER WRITING CHALLENGE FROM PHILOSOPHY PAPER – 1 – PART B

 

Q1. Explain the arguments of Carvaka to reject transcendental entities. (2015/15/200 words)

 

Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Charvaka rejected the idea of transcendental entities like soul and God. He refutes the existence of eternal, unchangeable and immortal soul and stated that the so called soul is nothing but the body with consciousness. Here, consciousness is regarded as the byproduct of matter. It is produced when material elements are combined in a particular proportion. It is always found associated with the body and vanishes when the body disintegrates.
    Just as the combination of betel leaves, areca nut and lime produces the red colour, or just as fermented yeast produces the intoxicating quality in the wine, though the ingredients separately do not possess of either the red colour or the intoxicating quality, similarly a particular combination of the elements produces consciousness, though the elements separately do not possess it. This led to the doctrine of Dehatmavada. Charvaka gave following arguments in favour of Dehatmavada-
    1. As long as body is alive consciousness is present in it. This shows that consciousness is the attribute of living body.
    2. When our body is not alive, consciousness also becomes absent in it. Therefore, consciousness doesn’t exist independent of body.

    Being true Materialist, Charvaka also denies the existence of God because it is not perceived. He believes people believes in God three main reasons-
    1. God is creator of the world
    2. God as governor of law of karma
    3. God as intellectual regulator.
    But according to Charvaka, the world is not created by God. Therefore, there is no need for God as an efficient cause of this world. Charvaka believed in this-worldliness and hence disbeliever of the concept of law of karma, there we even cannot accept God by this logic.

  • Bubbly

    Being materialistic, Carvakas donot believe in the existence of soul. According to them soul is the byproduct of matter. It is the quality of body. The soul is simply the conscious living body. We donot perceive any soul; we perceive only the body in a conscious state. Just as liver secretes bile juice, four perceptible elements – earth,water, fire, air, combines together in a particular proportion to give rise to consciousness.

    Since soul cannot exist independent of body, all concepts like immortality of soul,rebirth, heaven, hell etc. becomes meaningless.

    This view of Carvaka regarding soul is known as ‘Dehatmavada or Bhutachaitanyavada.

    The Cârvâka philosophers forward some arguments in favour of Dehâtmâvâda –

    • When the body is nourished by foods, then the consciousness is also nourished.
    • intellectual capacity turns to be weak, when man grows old etc.

    But this view of Carvakas is not immune from criticism. Some of the critical points are as follows –

    • If consciousness is the specific quality of the body, it should exist even in deep sleep.
    • Recollection, etc, cannot be the function of the changeable body.
    • Consciousness or soul cannot be the quality of the body, because when a person dreams, consciousness remains active, although the body becomes inactive.
    • The fact that consciousness resides in the body does not necessarily make the former an attribute of the latter.

    Moreover, Carvakas infers the non-existence of soul from its non-perception which is contradictory to their philosophy.

  • Bubbly

    Explain the arguments of Carvaka to reject transcendental entities. (2015/15/200 words)

    Being materialistic, Carvakas donot believe in the existence of soul. According to them soul is the byproduct of matter. It is the quality of body. The soul is simply the conscious living body. We donot perceive any soul; we perceive only the body in a conscious state. Just as liver secretes bile juice, four perceptible elements – earth,water, fire, air, combines together in a particular proportion to give rise to consciousness.

    Since soul cannot exist independent of body, all concepts like immortality of soul,rebirth, heaven, hell etc. becomes meaningless.

    This view of Carvaka regarding soul is known as ‘Dehatmavada or Bhutachaitanyavada.

    The Cârvâka philosophers forward some arguments in favour of Dehâtmâvâda –

    • When the body is nourished by foods, then the consciousness is also nourished.
    • intellectual capacity turns to be weak, when man grows old etc.

    But this view of Carvakas is not immune from criticism. Some of the critical points are as follows –

    • If consciousness is the specific quality of the body, it should exist even in deep sleep.
    • Recollection, etc, cannot be the function of the changeable body.
    • Consciousness or soul cannot be the quality of the body, because when a person dreams, consciousness remains active, although the body becomes inactive.
    • The fact that consciousness resides in the body does not necessarily make the former an attribute of the latter.

    Moreover, Carvakas infers the non-existence of soul from its non-perception which is contradictory to their philosophy.