Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism Neuroscience Philosophy

Is there no self without a soul?

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That’s the final view of Richard Swinburne, an Oxford philosopher:

For example, in an interview, he talks about the problem of locating the self as a physical thing:

“If the self is located in the body, Swinburne asks, where exactly can we find it? If it’s in a part of your brain, what happens if you transplant that bit? Or what if you enhance a part of your brain with technology? Do “you” then cease to exist? Swinburne argues that if there is such a thing as “you” it can’t be found in the purely physical. “I claim that it is plausible to suppose that there is a law of nature which brings it about that at a certain stage of its development each human foetus gives rise to a connected soul.” – Joe Humphreys, “How Do You Know You Actually Exist?” at Irish Times

News, “Without a soul, there is no self” at Mind Matters News

Materialist neuroscience creates big problems. And it is not as if materialists have a big solution that others are stubbornly refusing to acknowledge.


Reasonable discussions pertaining to the existence of the soul:

An Oxford neuroscientist explains mind vs. brain Sharon Dirckx explains the fallacies of materialism and the logical and scientific strengths of dualism

Neuroscientist Michael Graziano should meet the P-Zombie To understand consciousness, we need to establish what it is not before we create any more new theories

Theologian, battling depression, reaffirms the existence of the soul. J. P. Moreland reasons his way to the evidence and captures his discoveries in a book

and

Four researchers whose work sheds light on the reality of the mind The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot, says Michael Egnor. The intellect and will are metaphysically simple.

9 Replies to “Is there no self without a soul?

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    To paraphrase a Darwin contemporary: Self doesn’t “have” a soul. Self “is” a soul. Self has a body that has a brain.

    “Never tell a child,” said George Macdonald [1824-1905], ‘you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.’ As we learn to think of things always in this order, that the body is but the temporary clothing of the soul, our views of death and the unbefittingness of customary mourning will approximate to those of Friends of earlier generations.”

  2. 2
    SmartAZ says:

    Soul is a Hebrew concept, a synonym for a living breathing creature. When the creature stops breathing, the soul is dead. Anybody who uses the word in any other context either doesn’t know what they are talking about, or is trying to sell something you don’t need. Except musicians. Musicians are cool, and they know exactly what they mean by “soul”.

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    SmartAZ @2: “Soul is a Hebrew concept”. Um, are you saying the WORD is from Hebrew? Most humans around the world have believed that a “spirit” animates our physical body for more millennia than anyone can count. Surely for more than 50,000 years. Belief in an ever-living God and a personal animating spirit is the oldest piece of human culture, from the Kalahari to Tierra del Fuego and out across the Pacific to the Polynesians and the Aborigines. And of course most all of those people never learnt Hebrew.
    We’re coming up on All Hallows Eve, called Samhuin (sow-un) amongst the Celts. It is a VERY ancient Celtic festival whose primary importance is that on Samhuin, and ONLY on Samhuin, is it possible for ordinary folk (i.e., people who are not trained Druids) to visit “heaven” (the NOT Here-and-Now, the Elsewhere) AND RETURN WHOLE (i.e., their spirit will reunite with their mortal body at the end of the visit). Except for such special visits, ordinary folk DIE when their spirits leave their bodies and those spirits go to be with God for the rest of eternity.

  4. 4
    FourFaces says:

    “I claim that it is plausible to suppose that there is a law of nature which brings it about that at a certain stage of its development each human foetus gives rise to a connected soul.” – Joe Humphreys

    Interesting. I wouldn’t say that the fetus gives rise to a connected soul but rather, that an existing soul connects itself to parts of the fetus’ brain at a certain stage of its development. Souls, like all spiritual entities, can neither be created nor destroyed. They just are.

  5. 5
    SmartAZ says:

    Vmahuna, most people never learn the basics of what they believe. They have their religion, and that’s it. That was true of the pharisees in the bible and it’s true of many/most people today.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Personally, I prefer the concept of The Force and it has at least as much chance of being true as a soul or spirit.

    May The Force Be With You

  7. 7
    ET says:

    seversky:

    Personally, I prefer the concept of The Force and it has at least as much chance of being true as a soul or spirit.

    That means it has an infinitely better chance of being true than materialism and evolutionism.

  8. 8
    Axel says:

    These sound just the kind of people to solve what seems a fathomless imponderable that exercised the minds of all of us in my battery in the army, endlessly, namely : ‘How long is a piece of string ?’

    I suspect these lads may have come closest to solving the mysrery :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=KWodyapGNxI

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