Arguments for the existence of the soul ~

Physicalism vs. Dualism

In the following, Shelly dives into exactly what it means to be a physicalist as a opposed to a dualist as it corresponds to the idea that a soul exists; whether it be dissolved at the time of death or continue to exist even after death.

Watch Shelly Kagan’s Death Education for death philosophies below:

Shelly describes the physicalist view as being quite similar to what an inanimate object would be like (car, a piece of chaulk, or a chair) except that the body is “P” functioning which means that it’s able to think and act by being controlled with the mind.  Most physicalists will agree that there should be nothing to0 mysterious about a death.  The body is either broken or damaged by outside sources until it can no longer function, and thus shuts down, or it lives out it’s longevity and starts breaking down on it’s own.

One of the biggest questions in the lecture: “Should we believe in the existence of the soul?”  or in other words.  Is there a good reason for us to believe in the existence of the soul?

Dualists would say yes, orfcourse.

The dualist view will argue its existence based on the fact that there are no proven theories to show otherwise.  We have developed pretty decent theories in other realms, and yet, a theory about the existence of the soul has not yet been developed.  (He gives the example of how we believe in atoms, because of the Atomic Theory.)  Another main reason for a dualist view is the belief in free will, and how humans must have something outside of ourselves controlling the body, because we as human beings do think, feel and act in ways no other material can.

Do you feel like you can prove, or disprove that we have a soul?  How would one start putting a theory in place to argue for it’s existence?