[div class=attrib]From Evolutionary Philosophy:[end-div]
One of the most confounding philosophical questions involves our understanding of who we really are. Are we intelligent matter – stuff that got smart – or are we incarnate spirit – smarts that grew stuff around it? This question is inherent in the very nature of our experience of being human. We have bodies and we have the experience of consciousness – mind and matter, body and soul. Which one is more us, which came first, and which is really running the show?
The great religious traditions of the west have tended towards the outlook that we are spiritual beings who became flesh. First there was God, pure spirit and from God came us. Our more recent scientific understanding of reality has lead many to believe that we are matter that evolved into life and intelligence. Now, of course, there are always those who land somewhere in between these extremes – probably most people reading this blog for instance – still this is the divide that has generally separated science from religion and idealists from materialists.
If, in fact, we are essentially spirit that has taken form it would mean that in some significant way human beings are separate from the universe. We have some source of intelligence and will that is free from the rest of nature, that acts in nature while maintaining a foothold in some transcendent outside reference point. In this view, the core of our being stands apart from and above the laws of nature and we are therefore uniquely autonomous and responsible as the source of our own action in the universe.
[div class=attrib]More from theSource here.[end-div]