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Essay example - Nagasena: There is no self.

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Religion and Theology
Pages 6 (1506 words)
Nagasena philosophy is found in Buddhist scripture “The Questions of King Melinda” with various angles of understanding the concept of human existence. This scripture is made up of stimulating and exciting modern arguments that relate to personal identity…

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The discussion leads Nagasena to state that a person continuously changes going through life circumstances and despite the fact that certain features of the self are retained; one is not the same and therefore, does not endure with time. In this scenario, his teachings indicate that humans do not have a soul or self but instead they have unconscious perceptions. It is evident that Nagasena philosophy points towards the idea that human beings do not have an enduring soul, which relates to Buddhist theory concept while other arguments reject this concept (Davids 75). Through the chariot comparison, it is clear that Nagasena believes that a person is not only a part of the body, or even anything from outside of the body. Nagasena begins by explaining to Milnda that that there is no soul in the body. For instance, the name, “Nagasena” does not stand for the hair, eyes, nose, and neither the nails on his body. It does not even stand for his ideas, feelings, perceptions, or desires and not even a combination of all these. In other words, the name “Nagasena” does not stand for any apparent denotation and this puzzles the king (Davids 75). Nagasena then introduces the comparison or analogy of the chariot that King Milinda had been riding. He cites that one cannot understand precisely what the chariot is in reality by saying its name. ...
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