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Discussion 6 to Talk Back 64
We have no evidence for a soul

Philip van Bergen

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In a moment of ennui, I've been thinking about this post again.

The writer starts by positing that the soul exists and then extrapolating that consciousness is somehow dependent on, or an attribute of, the soul.

We have no evidence for a soul - the only intangible we have evidence for is the mind. Mind is fact and is an attribute of the brain; soul is pure conjecture. Search as we may for the soul, we cannot find it or even define it properly.

www.dictionary.com defines soul as follows:

  1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.
  2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.
  3. The disembodied spirit of a dead human.

The first definition above is undoubtedly "mind" and not soul. The second and third are probably close to what we consider as the soul - but we have not a shred of evidence to support its existence.

The fact that we can't yet fully explain exactly how the mind works should not make us rush into supernaturalistic explanations and promote "evidence" based on supposition. At one time we didn't know how the sun worked, and deduced there was a sun god who made it work. Ancient man heard thunderclaps and used this as "evidence" of a thunder god. The more we investigate the unexplained, the more we come to realise that there are no supernatural agencies at work and that there are rational and materialistic explanations.