Human Nature and Human Condition
- Soul - The spiritual/non-material part of a person
- Immortality - The idea the soul lives on after the death of the body
- Physicalism - The belief that the real world is nothing more than the physical one
- IMAGO DEI - Humans created in the image of God.
- Therefore have some God-like characteristics.
- We can be rational, morally and spiritually aware.
- We have free will (or believe we do)
- Therefore, these qualities make us different from other animals and are part of what it is to be human.
- However -
- We are 'fallen'.
- This means humans are inclined to sin.
St Augustine's View
- 2 parts - body and soul
- Both necessary to be human and both created by God.
- Soul = more rational and moral
- Body = more driven by instinct and physical drives
- THEREFORE, soul should guide the body (like a rider and a horse)
- Since 'The Fall', the body has become rebellious and sometimes refuses to obey soul. = CONCUPISCENCE
- When people sin, they go against their better judgement.
- Therefore, when people wrong, when they know it is wrong, = CONCUPISCENCE IN ACTION
Body, Soul and Spirit
- Physical part of a human.
- Gen 2, God creates Adam out of dust of the earth, out of physical 'stuff'
- 'Your body is the temple of the holy spirit' (Corinthians 6:19)
Soul and Spirit:
- Soul = life force
- Spirit = breath of God
- Essential to be human
- 'The body apart from the spirit is dead' (James 2:26)
Why do people believe in a soul?
- Some think NDEs prove consciousness doesn't come from brain, and argue consciousness survives death. Therefore must come from soul.
- Bible says everyone has a soul.
- Some think this is an explanation for moral conscience.
- Can argue that without a soul, there is no 'you' throughout your life. - Nothing physical remains same (cells replaced etc)
- Physicalism is the belief that only physical things exist.
- Reject belief in spiritual beings
- They say none of the 'evidence' for a soul is convincing.
- Might argue religious experiences can be explained by brains activity.
- No hard evidence for a soul.
- Evidence for soul is weak, as it is subjective and hard to repeat in controlled circumstances.
- Clear possible rational explanations for supposed evidence for soul (eg NDEs, numinous experiences etc)
- Belief in soul is likely to be wishful thinking.