What do you think of my views about the soul?

Gerard asked:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gerard and am originally from South Africa, currently residing in Belfast. I am really interested in philosophy, I thoroughly love the way the subject requires one to think very hard about what they are investigating or analysing. Alas I am an amateur, here goes my question:

Does the human body posses a soul?

I personally think that humans do not posses a soul and here are my amateur thoughts. If humans are borne with a soul then is that soul equally an infant? I would assume so and if so then as the human being grows and experiences the external world and thus memories then it follows so to does its soul. And if this continues to the end of life then the soul would know who it is, that is it/he or she would still have thier memories and thus thier ID. However how then do memories transfer from the biological human being, a state that is within science that is quantifiable, to the soul which is purportedly spiritual which is a non quantifiable state, a state that has no physical substance. The two states then are impossible to unite thus the transfer of memories which is fundamentally the manner of ones ID is impossible And if memories are not able to transfer to the soul then it follows that the soul would not know wht or who it is? I like to akin this to a ‘floating baloon’

Do send me your thoughts.

Answer by Jürgen Lawrenz

Your problem, Gerard, is too many unexamined presuppositions. For example you assume that one can ‘possess’ a soul, which is highly dubious. Further that ‘soul’ has one unequivocal meaning (which is incorrect). You also assume that memories are kinds of entities that can be re-located from Point X to Y (also incorrect). Which in turn implies that soul and memory have defined locations (in the brain, I suppose? But in any case untenable).

Accordingly your question is not really a question. It is a request for a short summary of the beliefs of every religion, of the whole plurality of competing scientific doctrines on the matter, as well as the various perspectives held by philosophers and theologians over the last 2500 years. It can also be understood as a combative position on the concept of soul, in which you don’t believe. But as mentioned, until you specify which concept of soul you have in mind, and what kind of entities you suppose memories to be, it is not possible (I’m sorry to say) to respond with any intelligible thoughts.


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