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Meditation 845
What is this "soul?"

by: JT

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Daniel:

I’m sorry I won’t be publishing your comments. As an ad hominem argument, your rant does not really add anything; not even to the Talkback section of the site – and the idea that I am in league with Satan has been done at least twice before[1], both efforts remarkable as it may seem, better written than yours. But there is one issue you raise that I want to follow up on.

You wrote “… you’re SOUL is going 2 BURN in HELL fore ever…”

As I’ve written before, my disbelief is not just about God, but around the full range of supernatural claims. So I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, angels or demons, nor in ghosts, goblins or witches. Consequently a threat of burning in Hell for eternity is an empty threat. But it does raise a question in my mind: “What is this soul you refer to that is going to be burned forever?”

Now there are some nonbelievers who accept that they have a soul, but I cannot. I have looked into myself, but no matter how deeply I search all I can see is a one and only indivisible me. There’s no part of me that I can identify that is somehow different; that is sitting there inside me waiting for me to die so it can go off and receive its punishment or reward, or as some would have it, go off to inhabit a new body.

As best as I can determine, I have no soul. And if I had one, I’d think it would be in the soul’s interest to make itself known. After all, how I live my life supposedly determines its fate. Is the soul, perhaps, just an invisible parasite getting a free ride through life?

Of all the supernatural elements it would seem the soul would be the easiest one to prove true. After all, it is claimed every living human being has one. And if we cannot prove that there is a soul, then what hope is there of establishing any other supernatural entity with a lesser foothold in the real world.

Can you prove I have a soul? Or – a presumably easier task – can you prove you have one?[2]

Footnotes:

  1. Talk Back 26 & 68 along with the related A Miscellany 43 are examples.
  2. While waiting for a reply, I'll be listening to Arthur Conley.