Atheist Soul Explained

Atheist Soul

This is an article posted by Kevin Smith who is on the board of directors for the centre for Inquiry, Canada’s premier venue for humanists, sceptics and freethinkers in Ottawa and is in answer to the question “What is the nature of our soul?”

This is all about imagination. Picture yourself looking at a scan of your body. You’d see every organ, tissue and bone in a rainbow of greys. Every piece operating in unison, providing us with life. We could do a bit of soul-searching at the same time, but upon close examination, we wouldn’t see one.

Yet many faithful cannot seem to live without it. To them, the soul is not evident in an MRI as it is invisible, beyond time and space. It’s our immortal, supernatural organ, the essence of our self. For some religious groups, upon death, if deemed to be healthy, the soul will enter paradise. If judged to be sick, it will be tortured and burned.

For materialists, belief in the soul is waxing lyrical about our consciousness. It’s all in our mind. Energy exchanges between humans and our surroundings are caused by complex chemical reactions controlled by the brain. A primordial soup for the soul.

When we die, these processes turn off like an expired computer, but we live on in the memory neurons of those left behind. Cold words to some: the poetry of science to others.

The big-brained, cognitive scientist, Steven Pinker expounds, “The supposedly immaterial soul, we now know, can be bisected with a knife, altered by chemicals, started or stopped by electricity, and extinguished by a sharp blow or by insufficient oxygen.”

In our primitive past, we’d invent stories to explain the unknown. Wind, rain and thunder were created by various gods. Scientific discoveries replaced these supernatural beliefs with natural explanations. With dreams and death, the soul was born, yet with continuing research into consciousness, the theistic concept of the nature of the soul should cease to exist.

Atheist Soul Explained

Explain Soul

Return from Atheist Soul Explained to home page