IS THE SOUL A POETIC IDEA?

Many skeptics claim the soul to merely be a poetic idea that is just a projection of the material brain.   A true Materialist denies the existence of human consciousness and asserts that its appearance of existence is due to the “evolutionary programming” of our computer-like brains.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BRAIN AND THE SOUL, OR ARE THEY ONE IN THE SAME?

When it comes to the idea of the brain and the soul being one in the same, let’s explore the third law of logic… know as the Law of Identity.  This law claims that all things are what they are and they are not what they are not, for example:

A = A
A ≠ non-A

7 = 7
7≠ non-7

A tree is a tree.
A tree is not a non-tree.

Although the third law of logic seems basic and understandable, some folks deny it to be true.  Yet, it is quite clear that identity is not only logically sound, but is undeniably true.

Now with the third law of logic in mind, let us compare the brain and the soul to see if they are indeed the same or if they are separate and different entities.

PERSON – 1st ≠ 3rd
When referencing the material human body, we say things like; “my brain, my head, my arms, and my legs,” yet when referencing the immaterial human essence… aka the soul, we say things like; “I feel, I think, I know, and I am.”

Intuitively, we speak differently about the material and immaterial aspects of our dualistic selves.  No one would claim to be less human nor less themselves if they had their tonsils, wisdom teeth, or appendix removed.  Self is outside of the material “my,” and completely defined within the immaterial “I.”  The spark within us is referenced in the first person and the material aspects of our bodies, including the brain, are reference in the third person.

The first person immaterial soul and the third person material brain have different identities and are not one in the same.

OBSERVATION – Public ≠ Private
When observing a monument or a natural phenomenon, we find ourselves in the company of others. For example, the Hoover Dam is visited by millions of people each year and each person witnesses a shared and public experience.

Yet, much like Farnsworth’s ideas that led him to inventing the cathode ray tube, Edison’s genius in inventing the light bulb, Franklin’s understanding of catching lighting in a bottle, or Doc Brown conceiving the flux capacitor; none was public. The witness of genius and the spark of invention is private.

Material observation is public, and conversely the immaterial observation of the mind’s eye is private.  The physical brain can be observed, but the immaterial essence of the mind is private showing the brain and the soul to not be one in the same.

EXISTENCE – Independent ≠ Dependent
The tree house built by your neighbors’ kids exists. Of course, now that the neighborhood hangout does exist; well, it depends on nothing in order for it to be.

Meanwhile, the perfect tree house of the future that in the dreams of those very same neighborhood children, does not materially exist… yet its immaterial existence depends upon the immaterial thoughts of children to perpetuate the perfect tree house’s immaterial existence.

The material existence of the brain is independent.  The brain is.  Yet, our immaterial thoughts exist, but only within the immaterial aspect of the human spark or soul.  Material and immaterial existence are not one in the same.

TOOLS – Measurable ≠ Immeasurable
My desk is a double desk and there are two chairs and two work spaces. It is six feet wide and two and a half feet deep. I could give you inches, meters, millimeters, and cubits. The tangible/material world is measurable.

My idea of love, justice, mercy, hope, and the latest idea for an upcoming YouTube video are immeasurable. No tool on planet Earth could accurately and/or definitely produce empirical data, nor measure the immaterial aspects of my thought life.

Quantifying and/or measuring the brain in contrast with the soul is vastly different and far from being one in the same.

IDENTITY – Part Dependent ≠ Not Part Dependent
I’m a dad and I love to give good things to my kids. If they ask for sushi, I give them raw fish. If they ask for a sandwich, I start by grabbing a loaf of bread.

Same is true when it comes to toys. Once, I bought them the same Lego set, but one was blue and the other was pink. In fact, they both had the ability to build the same set and the only difference was color.

Thankfully, none of us were color blind, and we completed the task at hand with much fun and laughing.

Yet, something interesting happened once we completed the sets. My son and daughter began to pull pieces off their sets and trade each other.

Before long, pink pieces were intermingled with blue pieces and nobody knew who’s set our pieces belonged to who.

This got me thinking. When did my son’s Lego set cease to be his and when did my daughter’s set cease to be her’s?

Each of my kids had a complete set while they were trading one piece at a time, but as an outsider I saw pink and blue intermingle until my daughter had a totally blue set and my son’s set was pink.

This is reminiscent of the old boat that is replaced one board at a time as it ages. When it returns to port, is it the same boat?

In a materialistic sense, no. The boat replaced, one board at a time… or the pink and blue Lego set exchanged one piece at a time is not the same entity.

Amazingly, we are the same even though all of our parts are replaced… well, almost.

Our cells are constantly aging out and being replaced with new cells. Some cells in our bodies, like the inside of our cheeks, are being replaced every couple of days; other cells take much longer. Yet, essentially, every cell is replaced and over the course of approximately seven years, we have completely different bodies. Implants and enamel are there only constants.

This raises an interesting question. Since thousands of fresh neurons are replacing old brain cells deep in the hippocampus and amygdala, how is it that our consciousness is unaffected? Why is it that, although our material parts change, yet or identity does not?

The data surrounding cellular rejuvenation shows that our human consciousness/self-awareness/identity/soul is not part dependent and is, in fact, immaterial.

CAUSALITY – Physical ≠ Agent
Cartoonist, Rube Goldberg popularized the idea of completing simple tasks with a highly intricate machine. He drew detailed schematics of various complicated steps that would, in series, initiate the following step in order to cause a simple task to be performed.

In the movie The Goonies, Chunk is told that if he wants to be granted entry through the front gate, he must do the “Truffle Shuffle.”  His friend’s yard can only be accessed by means of a real-life Rube Goldberg machine.  The machine is initiated by the pulling of a rope that releases a bowling ball, of which is the first step in a sequence that eventually leads to the opening of the front gate.

Each step is a reaction to the physical cause of the previous step, except the first cause.  The person who pulls the cord, releasing the bowling ball, is the first cause, but… not a physical cause.  A person choosing to do something requires an act of will and is therefore not physical causality, but agent causality.  A person’s will or agency is the first cause of the physical chain of events in a Rupe Goldberg machine, but is outside of the physical chain of events.  Similarly, a person’s will, agency, consciousness, immaterial essence, or soul is outside of the material matter of the brain; and science affirms this.

Neurosurgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield, is the other of a book titled The Mystery of the Mind, in which he describes one of his very interesting experiments.

Dr. Penfield developed a system of brain monitoring electrodes that he connected to volunteer patients.  They were told to do simple things like raising their arm.

When a patient would raise their arm, Dr. Penfield made note of the area of the brain that was activated and would ask the patient to describe what just happened.  The patient would respond by saying, “I raised my arm.”

When the same patient lowered their arm, Dr. Penfield made note of the same area of the brain going inactive.  Of course, Dr. Penfield would again ask the patient to describe what just happened.  The patient would respond by saying, “I lowered my arm.”

The second part of the experiment involved Dr. Penfield electrically stimulating the part of the brain that was active when the patient raised their arm.  Again, Dr. Penfield asked the patient to describe what just happened, and the patient responded; “I did not raise my arm, it rose up by itself.”

When Dr. Penfield deactivate the brain, the patience’s arm lowered and the patient stated, “My arm fell down; I did not bring it down.”

Dr. Penfiled’s experiment showed that when certain areas of the brain are are activated, certain bodily functions take place; like raising one’s arm.

Both experiments show the brain to be a point of transmitting intent to the physical body.  In the second part of the experiment, Dr. Penfield played the role of the external agent that artificially activated the brain, causing the arm to raise.  Yet, in the first part of the experiment, who played to roll of the external agent that activated the brain in the absence of artificial stimulation?

When Dr. Penfield began his research, he did not subscribe to the idea of an immaterial human essence, otherwise known as the soul.  In fact, he was on a quest to disprove the idea.  Yet, after forty years of experimentation, Dr. Penfield stated the following:

“The brain is a computer, but it is programmed by something outside of itself.”

The data surrounding the two types of causation shows that physical and agent causes are very different.  Our immaterial human essence seems to be the source of non-physical, agent causation… it is our immaterial consciousness that activates the material brain.

YES, THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN…

THE BRAIN & THE SOUL

The Law of Identity logically shows the brain and the soul to have different identities

A = A  (material = material)
A ≠ non-A  (material ≠ immaterial)

The brain = The brain
The brain ≠ The soul

The soul is immaterial.
The soul is not a material brain.

The third law of logic shows the brain and the soul to be different.  Although the idea of a soul feels POETIC and therefore seems to be false, the existence of an immaterial soul is true and well founded on logic and science.  I hope the acronym P. O. E. T. I. C. helps you remember these truths.

PERSON – 1st ≠ 3rd
OBSERVATION – Public ≠ Private
EXISTENCE – Independent ≠ Dependent
TOOLS – Measurable ≠ Immeasurable
IDENTITY – Part Dependent ≠ Not Part Dependent
CAUSALITY – Physical ≠ Agent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *