Sunday, April 23, 2006

Soul and Consciousness

I am reading a book by William H. Calvin called "How Brains Think: Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now" (It is part of a Science Masters series), and Calvin is talking about human consciousness. I am a Christian, and am firmly convinced about the idea that the soul is immortal. However, given this new data, I may have to change how I percieve the soul. I always thought of the soul as an other element. This is supported by C.S. Lewis's strong metaphysical construct of the difference between Nature and the Supernatural. This sort of thinking brings one to believe that the mind is like a radio for the soul... or perhaps a spiritual access point from which the soul can retrieve information, and through which it can interact with the external world.... but... What if the soul is like software. Software is not something separate or magical, but more a configuration of ordinary atoms into an idea that can then be transferred to another set of ordinary atoms unchanged, and still the same software. Then, perhaps when God says the soul is immortal, he means that he is taking an incremental backup of our soul's software, so that the data can then be transferred back into another body. There is the obvious problem that comes with software.. which is that it can be copied... but no sense confusing the issue... I think however, that we don't have to choose between the two. I think the will is more than mere matter, but the soul is not human unless it is in contact with a physical body. This brings up another interesting question... Is memory stored in the soul or in the body?

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