Demanding Scientific Proof for the Soul is Like Valuing a Sunset by Its Price Tag
by Lenny Esposito
I recently had a discussion with an atheist on where we debated the reality of the soul. During a Twitter exchange, I had mentioned the soul as a real entity. Here’s the first part of that exchange:
@comereason: Never discount the witness of the soul.
@chipsalonna: True. One should discount the soul itself until such time as its existence is proven.
@comereason: Just what do you mean when you say “proof”?
@chipsalonna: Actual evidence. Hard data. Good, peer-reviewed scientific efforts. That kind of thing. Not anecdotes. Not stories. Not feelings.
@comereason: So you want to only use materialistic tests to prove the existence of an immaterial object. And you think that’s rational
@chipsalonna: If you have verified procedures/tests for proving immaterial things exist, I’m all ears. If you don’t, why should I believe the soul exists?
As you can see, my interlocutor didn’t see the inherent problem with his criteria for proof of the soul. If the soul is an immaterial entity, asking for material proof helps you in no way at all. He wants “verified procedures/tests” as proof. But what does that mean? The phrase implies that he’s still looking for some kind of scientific way to prove the soul’s existence. But science is a discipline that only informs us about the material universe. It can never test for things like good and evil, whether someone is in love, what the experience of the color blue is, or whether immaterial entities exist.
One way to think about this is to…
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