The Table Podcast

J.P. Moreland

What Is The Soul and Is It Real?

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
October 28, 2012

J. P. Moreland argues for the existence of the soul, working from considerations at the intersection of the philosophy of mind, consciousness, and neuroscience.

Show Notes / Transcript

Evan Rosa: What is the soul and is it real? Biola University Center for Christian Thought is exploring neuroscience and the soul, our theme for the 2012-2013 academic year.

In this lecture J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, explores the intersection of neuroscience, the nature of consciousness, and the existence of the soul.

[applause]

Prof. J.P. Moreland: Thank you. I’d like to thank Biola Center for Christian Thought and the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton for sponsoring this public forum this evening. While many of the things that I share, I believe, would be agreed upon by most of my colleagues at the Biola Center, I do want to make it clear that I’m speaking for myself this evening.

I’m not speaking officially for the Biola Center for Christian Thought. That will be a disclaimer. Though it’s probably not needed, it’s always a good thing to say something like that.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: I want to talk this evening about the reality of consciousness and the soul, and give you a chance to interact with me. For 2,000 years, the vast majority of Christian scholars, pastors, and lay people have taken the Christian religion to be an immaterialist faith in the following sense.

The vast majority of Christians have believed for 2,000 years that God exists and He’s not physical, that angels and demons are real and they’re not physical, and the souls of men and beasts — as it used to be put by the church fathers — are real and they’re not physical.

The fundamental idea has been that human beings in particular — we’ll set aside animal souls for now — have a body and a soul. When you die, your soul leaves the body and enters a disembodied intermediate state, which is not a natural state. It’s not the best situation possible, but it awaits the resurrection of the body when it will be reunited with embodiment.

N. T. Wright, who’s a well-known new testament scholar — he’s been on “ABC News” and a number of other CNN and a number of other shows — and Prof. Cooper…By the way, if you can make that lecture, it would be well worth your time.

Prof. Cooper and Prof. Wright have argued persuasively that during Jesus’ day, the vast majority of the Jews were under the influence of the teaching of the Pharisees who control the synagogues. The Pharisees believed that, when you died, your soul left your body and existed in a disembodied intermediate state awaiting the resurrection of the dead.

In Matthew 22, Jesus appears clearly to side with the Pharisees over against the Sadducees who did not believe in life after death. In Matthew 22, it looks like Jesus affirms the reality of the soul. As a result of that, we look at texts like Jesus saying, “When he dies into your hands, I commit my spirit.”

Don’t fear him who can kill the body only, but fear him who can kill the body and cast the soul into hell.” When Jesus says to the thief on the cross, “Today, you’re gonna be with me in paradise,” where the word paradise probably means immediately in the intermediate state.

Again, in Acts 23, the apostle Paul is in a situation where the Sadducees and the Pharisees are in the crowd. Paul clearly sides with the Pharisees against the Sadducees that there is a soul that can leave the body at death and that’s different from the body.

Indeed, in II Corinthians 12, Paul says, “I know a man speaking of himself. Whether he was in his body or not, I really don’t know.” That would certainly seem to indicate that Paul thought that he was the sort of thing that can leave his body. If Paul can leave his body, then he wasn’t his body in his own mind. Apparently, Paul thought that he was a soul or something of that sort.

For 2,000 years, the vast majority of Christian thinkers — there are dissenters today and those who don’t agree with this view, but it’s safe to say that the majority of Christian thinkers and, I think, the majority of scholars today — would agree that the Bible teaches that there’s some kind of a soul that can survive the death of the body.

The problem is that this view has come under increasing assault in the public square among our friends. The idea here is that consciousness, according to neuroscience, has been proven to be nothing but certain kinds of electrical-chemical activities in the brain.

Not only is consciousness physical, but the bearer of consciousness, or the possessor of consciousness, is physical — namely the brain — so that you are a brain and your brain has neurological and electrochemical activity that goes on inside of it. That’s the final word about you.

For example, a few years ago “Time” magazine featured an article defending stem cell research on human embryos. The article said the following. “These embryos are microscopic groupings of a few differentiated cells. There’s nothing human about them except potential and, if you choose to believe in it, a soul.”

The implication of the article is that we know from scientific study — notice the word know, we know — that there are differentiated cells that make up the embryo. Is there a soul there? Some of my friends are for it, some are against it, and I like my friends. It’s a 50/50 proposition.

It certainly isn’t something that you could know one way or the other so that the topic of whether or not there’s a soul is likely to be an outdated religious idea that science has shown we don’t need to postulate. You don’t need to postulate a soul. The brain will do quite nicely. Not only is the soul now thought to be the brain, but consciousness is believed to be physical.

This weekend, I was watching a television commercial. I actually saw it twice in prime-time television, in three days, on different channels. It was promoting a certain chemical company. The television commercial said explicitly that love is a chemical reaction in the brain.

I saw that a few years ago in an article in “Newsweek,” where the author said, “We now know that what love is is a certain chemical change that occurs in a certain region of the brain.” On this television commercial, love is a physical activity that goes on in the brain. A few weeks ago this article came out in the “Orange County Register.” The title of it was, “Forget Forgetting.”

It was a study of people who have super memories. The article went on to say that the brains of people with super memories have at least nine regions that are activated that aren’t activated in people that don’t have super memories. Now, the impression that one gets from reading this is that memories are stored in the brain.

That memories are stored, in fact, not just anywhere in the brain, but in the specific regions of the brain that are activated among those people who have very, very strong memories. Not only are memories stored in the brain, but the impression is left that memories just are brain activations.

It’s going to be pretty tough to die, go to the intermediate state, and remember anything if your memories are six feet under if they’re in the brain. There’s a tension between this way of thinking and traditional ways of understanding biblical Christianity. My own view is that consciousness and the soul are both spiritual, they’re not physical.

The brain is a very interesting electrolyzed piece of meat that correlates with consciousness while we’re in the body. But, primarily the question of what the soul is and what consciousness is, in my own view, is not primarily a scientific question.

The fundamental issues involved in asking the question what is consciousness, and what is the soul, if there is such a thing, are fundamentally philosophical and theological questions, and the methods of science have very little to say about it.

Science is at its best when it’s attempting to show how the soul works in cooperation with the brain and the body, but it has very little to say, in my view, about whether there is such a thing as a soul and what the soul is. That would go for consciousness as well.

I’ve made a lot of assertions here, so I think what I’ll do in the rest of the time is to try to present in a brief form some arguments for what I’ve claimed. We’ll open it up for questions. If you wouldn’t mind taking a look at your notes, I’m going to follow four stages here. I’m going to give you a couple of introductory considerations that I hope you’ll find helpful.

I’m going to talk about the nature of consciousness. I’m going to talk about the nature of the soul. Then I’m going to give you some final thoughts that I hope you’ll find helpful. Introduction, the nature of consciousness, the nature of the soul, and some final reflections.

Let’s begin with some introductory remarks. You know things can be in a solid, in a liquid, and a gaseous state. We could study the solid state, and we could learn how it differs from the liquid state. We could learn how the liquid state differs from the gaseous state.

Once we knew the differences between solid, liquid, and gas, we would still have a question left to answer. That question would be, what is it that has these states? Is it water? Is it gasoline? Is it alcohol?

It could, for example, be a beaker full of water. We could take that beaker full of water and turn it into the solid state, or the liquid state, or the gaseous state. We could take a beaker full of gasoline or alcohol, and we could do the same thing to them. Turn them into solid, liquid, or gas.

We see that there’s a distinction between a state of a thing — solid, liquid, or gas — and what it is that has that state. Is it H2O? Is it alcohol? Is it gasoline?

Now, we’re going to find out the same thing’s true with consciousness. We can ask ourselves the question, “What are the different states of consciousness, and what are they?” Once we talk about that, that’s not going to solve the question of, “What is it that has these states?” That will be a separate question.

We’ll deal with the question of states when we look at consciousness. We’ll deal with the possessor of the states when we look at the question of the soul. Now, another preliminary. Besides keeping distinct a state and a thing that has the state, we want to keep those separate. This is the law of identity. It’s a very fundamental for what follows.

The law of identity basically says, “If A is the same thing as B, if the lecture that you’re hearing this evening is Hope Moreland’s husband, so that A is the same thing as B, how many things do we have? Two or one? One.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true of A is true of B, and conversely. If the lecturer that you’re hearing this evening is identical to Hope Moreland’s husband, then if the lecturer is five, eight, Hope Moreland’s husband had better be five, eight and vice versa.

Consider another example. If the color of the sky is my wife’s favorite color, then whatever is true of the color of the sky, it’s darker than yellow had better be true my wife’s favorite color and vice versa because we’re not talking about two colors.

We’re talking about one color using different words to talk about it. If I could find one thing true with the color of the sky that’s not true of my wife’s favorite color, what would that show? They’re not the same thing. That would violate the law of…?

Man 1: Identity.

Prof. Moreland: Identity. That’s right. Very, very good. Now, remember that identity is not the same thing as cause and effect. Just because fire causes smoke it doesn’t follow that fire is the same thing as smoke. Just because my engine depends on my starter working before the engine will come on, that doesn’t prove my engine is the same thing as my starter, now, does it?

When a scientist can demonstrate that a certain region of the brain can cause a conscious event to happen — for example in certain epileptic patients — certain neuroscientists have been able to touch on electoral to a certain region of the brain. That causes the person to have a memory of their grandmother cooking fried chicken.

Take that brain event that happened when that probe touched that part of the brain. You had a brain event take place. Call that B. Then we had a memory event, call that M. Just because the brain event B causes the memory event of your grandmother cooking chicken, M, that doesn’t prove that B is the same thing as M. That’s a different question, is it not?

You’re going to have to humor me and, at least — even if you disagree with me — give me a little bit of a body language. All right, thank you very much. I appreciate it. I get insecure up here.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: Thank God for Xanax and for responsive audiences.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: The law of identity is absolutely fundamental, and it’s different than cause and effect. Just because in Alzheimer’s the mind depends on the brain to work, that doesn’t prove the mind is the same thing as the brain any more than the engine depending on the starter to work proves that the engine is the same thing as the starter. That’s important to keep in mind.

What is consciousness? Wow, what a question. For our purposes, I think the best way to define consciousness is to give examples of it. It’s just to start with examples. Sometimes the best way to define something is what philosophers call, ostensibly, by just pointing to cases or examples.

Let me give you an example of consciousness. Suppose we have a fellow named Joe that’s just been in surgery, and they put him out. He had his knee worked on, and now he’s in the waiting room. All of a sudden, he begins to feel a slight throb in his knee. A thought occurs to him. “I don’t think I’m at home.” He has a belief, and it’s the belief that, “I believe I just had surgery.”

All of a sudden, he has a desire. The desire is a desire for something to drink. He freely chooses, by an act of will, to shout out to anybody who can hear him, “Would somebody please bring me something to drink.”

What has happened to Joe? He’s regaining consciousness. Consciousness turns out to be states like that. Consciousness is this interesting thing that, if something had never been conscious, you couldn’t explain what it was to them.

Consciousness is primarily known from the first person perspective. We don’t know consciousness from the outside in by studying it as an object. We primarily know what consciousness is from the first person. When you introspect and you pay attention to what’s going on inside of you, what you’re confronting is your own consciousness.

Consciousness is primarily known from the first person perspective. There are five states of consciousness, at least. There are more, but there are at least five states of consciousness. California does not count as one of them.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: But, that’s a whole different topic ladies and gentlemen.

The first state of consciousness would be a sensation. A sensation. A sensation is a pure state of awareness. It’s just a pure state of sentience or awareness.

An example of a sensation would be when you have experienced the taste of a lemon or, if you’re looking at a red sheet of paper, your experience of red would be a sensation or, if you’re having a pain or an itch, those would count as sensations.

Sensations cannot be true or false. They can be accurate or inaccurate. For example, if I’m looking at an orange and, because of the lighting, it looks yellow to me, I would be being appeared to yellowy or I would be having a yellowish experience of something that was actually orange in color.

It wouldn’t make any sense to say your sensation is false, but it would make sense to say that your sensation is inaccurate. It doesn’t match up with the surface of the orange. Those are sensations.

The next kind of mental state is a thought. A thought. What is a thought? A thought is basically a mental content that can be expressed in an indicative sentence and that can be true or false. A thought is a mental content that can be expressed in a sentence, and usually an indicative sentence, and it can be either true or false.

Take the statement rather [inaudible] and the statement snow is white. Those are two sentences that express the same thought. A thought is a mental content that can be expressed in a sentence. A thought is not the same thing as a sensation, because thoughts can be true or false but sensations can’t, so they’re different kinds of mental states. Make sense to you?

Are we bonding yet?

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: Are we feeling love? Very good. The third kind of mental state is a belief. A belief is a mental content I take to be true between 51 and 100 percent certainty. A belief is a mental content I take to be true somewhere between 51 and 100 percent certainty. I have some beliefs I’m 55/45 on.

Before the season started, I had the belief the Chiefs were going to make playoffs.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: I held it about 55/45. Now it’s not a belief, actually, any longer, but those things do [laughs] happen.

Some beliefs I hold 80/20, things of that sort. A belief is not a thought. Why is that? I have thoughts I don’t believe, and I have beliefs I’m not thinking about.

Beliefs aren’t the same thing as thoughts and they’re not the same thing as sensations, because beliefs can be true or false, but sensations can’t. We have sensations, thoughts, and beliefs. Those are like solid, liquid, and gas. They’re different states of consciousness. They’re different states of consciousness.

The fourth state of consciousness would be a desire. A desire is a felt inclination towards or away from something. It’s an experienced or felt inclination towards or away from something. I might have a desire for ice cream and a desire to avoid the dentist. That would be a conflict of desire, which we often have. A desire is not the same thing as a thought, or a belief, or a sensation.

The final kind of mental state is an act of will, or a free action. I have a certain view on this I’ll share. My view of a free act is that, when I act freely, I endeavor to do something. I try to do something. I try to make something happen and I’m usually successful. Let me give you an example of this.

Suppose a mad scientist came into my room in the middle of the night and injected both of my arms with Novocain or some kind of an injection so that my arms were paralyzed, but I don’t know it. I wake up in the morning. It’s dark out. I walk over to my wall. My arms are still paralyzed, unknown to me.

I stand by the light switch and my body doesn’t move, but I do perform a conscious action. The conscious action I perform is I endeavor to raise my arm to turn the light on. I exercise my power of freedom, but my body won’t cooperate. That is a free action.

You might want to think of your conscious life then, from the time you get up in the morning, until the time you go to bed, with the possible exception for my students of when you’re in class. Then, consciousness has a tendency to do all kinds of interesting things.

From the time you get up, and perhaps while you’re dreaming — but let’s not worry about that — you might want to think of your conscious life as a flow of states. You’re in one state and then you’re in another state. You’re thinking about such-and-such. Then you’re experiencing your desire for thus-and-so. A belief occurs to you. Then you have a sensation in your foot or whatever.

You’re hearing a sound. Then you freely act to go call somebody. Whatever it might be. You undergo a series of states that are conscious states.

While you’re having conscious states, there is neurological activity going on in your brain. This will be a series of brain states. You understand that?

We have conscious states going on and brain states going on. The question is, are these the same? Are they identical to one another, or are they different, but just correlated with each other like Siamese twins? They’re not the same, but they go together, as it were. Is a pain identical to a certain neuronic event in the brain, or are they different?

Are they cause and effect so that their neuronic event causes the pain but isn’t the same thing as the pain? Do you understand the question before us? Let me give you some reasons for thinking that conscious states aren’t physical states of the brain but, instead, they’re genuinely immaterial or nonphysical.

My first reason for thinking that is just to call your attention to the fact that there are things true of my conscious states that aren’t true of my brain states. If that’s the case, they can’t be the same thing.

For example, suppose that you’re thinking about the World Series and the fact that Detroit, before tonight, was down three games to none, and you’re pondering the state of play in the World Series. While you’re having the thought about the World Series, there is an event that’s going on in your brain that can actually be measured.

In fact, certain activations can go on in, probably, your left hemisphere with certain increased oxygen flow to the blood that can be projected on a computer screen and observed while you’re thinking about the World Series. The event that’s going on in your brain while you’re thinking about the World Series has a location.

It’s closer to your left ear than your right ear. It has a size, and it has a shape to it. You could actually make the general size and shape of the region of the brain that’s activated fairly clear. However, the thought about the World Series doesn’t have size, shape, and location. In fact, it doesn’t seem to me to make any sense to say, “How big was that thought? How heavy was the thought?”

Philosophers don’t wear neck braces because they have heavy thoughts. That’s a different kind of heavy, hopefully. What was the size and location of that thought? Your thoughts don’t have spatial geometrical properties, but your brain states do, so it seems like they can’t be the same thing. Again, some of your mental states can be true or false.

If you have a certain belief, that belief can have the property of being true, but the state of the brain that’s going on while you’re having the belief doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing where you can say that brain state right there is false. Brain states just exist. They don’t seem to be about anything.

They don’t seem to be capable of being true or false, but the state of your consciousness — namely the thought that you’re having — could be true or false. Again, with your conscious life, at least much of it, there is a what it’s like to be in that state. Let me clarify.

There’s a what it’s like to be in pain. There’s a what it’s like to be angry. There’s a what it’s like to taste strawberry ice cream.

Those have different what it’s like. What it’s like is an experiential state of content. The difference between a pain and a feeling of joy is they have different what it’s likes. There’s a different experiential content to a pain. Pains hurt. Experiences of joy are different experiences. It doesn’t seem like anything physical has a what it’s like to it.

Take an electron. It doesn’t seem to make sense to say that there’s a what it’s like to be an electron. It doesn’t seem to make any sense to say there’s a what it’s like to be negatively charged. There doesn’t seem to be any what it’s like to be a neuron or to be the sodium, potassium, and calcium ions that run down part of the neuron.

There’s no what it’s like to be an axon, or a dendroid, or a neuron. It doesn’t seem to be that there’s any what it’s like to be a brain. That’s because matter is the kind of thing that can be described in the language of chemistry and physics. There is no what it’s like to a chunk of matter or a physical property. That’s the first argument, is they seem to be different.

There are things true of consciousness states that don’t seem to be true of physical states, so they seem to be different. Here’s a second argument. This is called the knowledge argument. It’s a thought experiment. Suppose we lived in the distant future where neuroscientists now knew everything there was to know about matter, and about the brain, and the central nervous system.

Supposed Mary is the leading neuroscientist in the world, and she has a complete knowledge of all the physical facts about the brain, and about sound waves, and eardrums, and all that. She has mastered the physical theory of hearing. She knows all the physical facts there are to know about hearing, but there’s one thing about Mary. She was born deaf.

Suppose one day, miracle of miracles, for the first time in her life she gains the ability to hear. I want to submit to you that I believe what would happen to Mary is that she would now gain knowledge of a whole new realm of new facts. Those facts would involve what it’s like to hear.

If she knew all the physical facts before she gained her hearing, and after she gained hearing she gained knowledge about new facts, those facts can’t be physical facts. They’ve got to be facts about consciousness. Let me give you another illustration. This is in a famous article written several years ago by a philosopher named Thomas Nagel.

The article was, “What It’s Like to Be a Bat.” Not a baseball bat. I assume there is no what it’s like to be a baseball bat.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: Hopefully, or we’re guilty of abuse when we play baseball. In any case, Nagel said — I’m going to paraphrase this argument — suppose we had a mechanized bat that was completely made out of matter and we knew everything there was to know about this bat. We knew all of its computer chips. We knew its mass. We knew how much it weighed. We knew its size and shape, all of the ways that the computer chips were arranged.

All of its electrical circuitry, and we could predict with 100 percent what the bat would do if we released it into the atmosphere. “I submit,” says Nagel, “that we would know everything there is to know about that bat, that computer. There’d be nothing left out, and I would agree with him. Now compare that with a real bat.

Suppose we knew everything there was to know about the bat’s brain and its nervous system, about its organs and its circulation system, about all of the cells in the bat. We knew we could predict with 100 percent accuracy what the bat would do when we released it into the atmosphere. There is still something we would have no idea of what it was, and that’s what it’s like to be a bat.

Why would we not have knowledge of that? Because knowledge of what it’s like to be a bat is only available from the bat’s first person perspective. Think of it like this. When people are having rapid eye movement, what’s going on? They’re dreaming. How do we know that? We had to wake them up and ask them. Why did we have to do that?

Because we only had access to what was happening in the person’s brain. We did not have access to what was happening in their consciousness, because they had private access to their consciousness. Indeed, it seems to me the part of the very nature of consciousness. Part of what makes consciousness what it is is that we have private access to our own conscious life.

I have private access to mine. The scientist can only measure what was going on in the patient’s brain. The scientist had to wake the person up and say, “What’s happening in your conscious life right now, if anything?” These are some of the reasons that I’ve become convinced. There are counter arguments to this and responses.

For this evening it will do, I think, just to say that I think arguments of this sort can be defended much more rigorously and are plausible in suggesting that the states of consciousness — sensations, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and acts of will — are not physical states. There’s another very simple way to put this. Angels and God have these states.

God has conscious. God has sensations, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and he acts freely. Angels have these states, but they are not material. If these were physical states, it would be hard to see how God could have them. In any case, that’s my reason for thinking that consciousness is not physical.

Just like I could say, “I think we’re dealing with the solid state here, because we’re not dealing with the liquid state or the gaseous state,” but that would still leave open the question, “Well, what is it that’s solid? What has the solid state?” I might say, “It’s alcohol, it’s not water.”

I’ve argued that the five states of consciousness aren’t physical, but that raises the question of what is it that possesses the states of consciousness. Is it the brain, or the body, or is it the eye, or the soul, or the self? Let me give a simple definition of a soul if you’re interested in this. There’s a fairly readable book called “A Brief History of the Soul” by two authors.

I’ll give you one of them, Stewart Goetz, G-O-E-T-Z, the second author’s name’s a little hard to spell. If you Google Stewart Goetz, A Brief History of the Soul, that book, you could get the book and it would give you a history of how the soul has been thought of for the last 3,000 years. Basically, here would be a simple definition of a soul there would be held by many in that history.

It’s an immaterial thing that contains consciousness and animates the body. It’s an immaterial thing that contains consciousness and animates the body. That will do for human and animal souls. A dog’s soul would be an immaterial thing that contains the dog’s consciousness and animates the dog’s body such that if the dog’s soul isn’t there anymore, the body becomes a corpse.

It’s not a body any longer. The human soul would be the only soul that’s made in the image of God, obviously, and it may be the only soul that can survive the death of the body. I don’t know about that, about what to do with the animal soul. They may cease to exist when they die. I don’t know, I’m 50-50 on that, I’m open.

I just don’t know what to do with that. In any case, a soul is a spiritual thing, it’s an immaterial thing. Philosophers call it a substance. It’s an immaterial thing that contains consciousness and animates the body. I want to give you four arguments for the idea that I’m a soul and I’m not a brain and a body.

Let’s assume that those are the major views. There are a few others, but I think we can set them aside for this evening. Let’s assume that either I’m an immaterial thing like a soul, or a mind, or something of that sort, or I’m my brain so that either my brain is conscious or my soul is conscious, one of the two.

Let me give you four reasons, very briefly, for thinking that I’m a soul, I’m not a brain and a body. Here’s number one. My brain and body are divisible but I am not, so I’m not my brain and body. Let me just state the argument again. My brain and my body are divisible, but I am not divisible. Another way to put that is to say that I’m simple, therefore I’m not my brain and body.

Let’s just think about this for a minute. See this podium here. If I were to take 70 percent of the podium and destroy it, and throw it away, and burn it, would I have a whole podium here? I would have 30 percent of a podium. If I had my legs and arms amputated, would I be a whole body? I’d be what? 60 percent of the body, let’s say.

In some operations, there have been people who’ve had 55 percent of their brain removed. In a certain syndrome called Dandy-Walker syndrome, some people with Dandy-Walker syndrome have about 10 percent of a brain, but they’re about 60 to 70 percent functional. The point is that persons don’t come in percentages.

Doesn’t make any sense to say there’s two-thirds of a person, or there’s 70 percent of a person. Persons are all or nothing kinds of things. A person is either wholly there or not there. They’re functioning can come in percentages. I don’t function as well as I used to, I will assure you, ladies and gentlemen.

I’m seeing some gray hairs out there that are agreeing, and it crept up on us quickly. My mental functioning and other kinds of functioning… [laughs] It’s none of your business what I’m talking about.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: It isn’t what it used to be. Functioning can come in percentages, but I can’t. I am not a divisible kind of thing, I’m simple. I’m either fully present or I’m not present, but my body and brain are divisible, so I can’t be my brain and body. That’s argument number one. Argument number two. Suppose I had salt and marble, and we couldn’t tell which was which.

I had powdered marble from a statue and I had salt. They both looked alike and we couldn’t tell the difference, but suppose that you knew that, even though neither one had been put into water, one of them was possibly dissolvable and the other one wasn’t even possibly dissolvable.

Even though neither one had been dissolved actually, but you knew that one of them at least could dissolve and the other one couldn’t. Wouldn’t that be enough to show that they weren’t the same thing? OK. Now, there’s something true of us that isn’t true of my brain and body. That is, I am possibly disembodiable, but my brain and body are not possibly disembodiable.

Notice my argument is not based on the fact that I will ever be disembodied. I think I will, but that isn’t what I’m assuming. I’m not assuming that life after death is real. I’m merely assuming it’s possibly real. It’s possibly real. You’ve heard of near death experiences. I actually believe that there is a tremendous amount of data that these experiences are real.

Let’s suppose every one of them is false. Would you at least agree with me that they might be true? What’s interesting is this last spring I and a couple of other Christian philosophers had a debate with three atheists that lasted six hours. It was Friday evening and a good part of the day Saturday, and it was over life after death.

One of the arguments that we advanced in favor of life after death was the fact that near death experiences are real. Not a single atheist argued against us on the grounds that they couldn’t be real because we’re our brains and bodies. They all argued against near death experiences by fussing at the evidence for them. But you see the point.

If I’m my brain and body, not only is disembodied existence not true for me, it’s not even possibly true for me, because I know one thing about my brain and body that I know for sure. My brain and body aren’t possibly disembodiable.

If I am possibly disembodiable — even if I never will be disembodied, even if the salt never will be dissolved if it’s possibly dissolvable and the marble isn’t, they’re not the same — but my brain and body aren’t, then we’re not the same. Here’s a third argument. I’m going through these rather briefly, but I want to save room for some Q&A time.

Free will, the issue of free will. If we have a common sense notion of freedom, that means that our freedom is not consistent with us being completely determined in what we’re going to do by forces outside of us. If we’re really free, then I’m free to raise my hand and vote, or to refrain from raising my hand to vote. Whichever I do is up to me.

The problem is, if I were just a brain in a central nervous system, it seems to me that my actions would be determined by the laws of chemistry and physics because I would be a material object. I believe, though I can’t argue it here this evening, that even if I were a brain with conscious properties, I would still be controlled by the laws of chemistry and physics and I wouldn’t have freedom.

By the way, I happen to know that we lost the Vietnam War, in part, because the Pentagon developed its war strategy based on B. F. Skinner’s determinism regarding human beings. The idea was we could operatively condition the Viet Cong by shocking them and coming back, and shocking them and coming back, striking and coming back, striking, coming back.

We would eventually be able to determine their behavior because there’s no freedom. It didn’t work because they had the power of free choice to choose to stay in there above the conditioning.

The point is, then, that if I am my brain and my body I think the best view of me and the view that the vast majority of materialists would hold — there are a few exceptions — is that my actions are determined, or at least the probabilities of me acting are fixed by my brain states, and there’s no such thing as real common sense freedom.

I’m going to skip the fourth one just for time and we’ll just leave that here. Are you guys doing OK?

How many of you want me to do four? OK. I’ll do it.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: That was terrible. [laughs] It seems Professor [inaudible] , I don’t think, agrees with me on this. He may be right but, at least to me, I’ll give you my view on it. I think that a material object like this podium, if you take its parts away and replace it with new parts, it’s not the same podium.

If I began to take these parts, put them on the floor, and put some new parts on it, we wouldn’t have the same original podium any longer, because it would have new parts. To illustrate this, if I began to take parts down, and replaced it with frozen green Jell-O instead of with the plastic that’s here, and I replaced say this much to the podium.

If I asked the question, “Is the entire original podium here?” The answer would be no. It’s not the same podium if you’re talking about the whole object, because it’s got new parts. The problem, then, is that material objects can’t really be the same if they gain parts and lose parts. They literally become new objects if they gain parts and lose parts.

My body and my brain are constantly gaining parts and losing parts. If I were my body and brain, I would not be the same self from one day to the next. I’m not making this up. I can show you philosophers who’ve argued that if that were true, I shouldn’t fear going to the dentist because it won’t be I that will go to the dentist, it will be someone with my memories.

I shouldn’t get punished for what I did in the past because it wasn’t I that committed the crime. It was someone that shares a lot of continuity with me, but I’m not literally the same thing. That’s not a caricature, that’s really a widely held view. I submit to you that we all know that we’re the same from one moment to the next. I think that’s just a basic piece of information that we have.

The problem is, if I were my brain and body, my brain and body are constantly undergoing part replacement. If I were my brain and body I wouldn’t literally be the same self from one moment to the next. That’s a reason why I think I can’t be my brain and body. I have to be something else, and I would suggest that I’m an immaterial I, or an ego, or a soul, or something like that.

What have I done so far, besides embarrass myself?

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: I’ve given you an introduction where we’ve talked about states and the things that have them. We’ve talked about the law of identity, and I’ve argued that that’s different than cause and effect. We talked about consciousness with Joe waking up and gaining five states of consciousness — sensations, thoughts, beliefs, desires, and acts of will.

I gave you two reasons for thinking that they’re not physical states of the brain, because they’re things true of thoughts. They don’t have location, size, and shape, but they can be true or false. That isn’t true of a brain state. There’s a what it’s like to a conscious state, but there is no what it’s like to a purely material state.

I also used the argument about what it’s like to be a bat and the scientist argument. Then I defined the soul as an immaterial thing or substance that contains consciousness and animates the body. I gave four reasons for thinking that I’m a soul and not a brain and a body. I’m simple and not divisible, but my brain and body are.

I could possibly survive without my body, but my brain and body can’t. I have the power of common sense freedom, but if I were my brain and body I would probably be determined in my actions. I can survive part replacement, but my brain and body doesn’t stay the same, literally, as it undergoes part change.

Let me just give you some final thoughts before we go to a little time of Q&A. What about the soul and the mind/brain dependency?

After all, as I said, “If a person has Alzheimer’s, it affects their ability to recover their memory.” The functioning of the soul or the mind depends deeply on the functioning of the brain and the brain works. Think of it like this. This is an analogy that may be helpful.

Suppose I were in a car, and I was seat-belted in the driver’s seat. It was locked so that I can’t get out of the driver’s seat and the doors were locked. My ability to drive around town would be dependent on whether the car worked. As long as the car worked, I can still get around town.

But, if something happened to the steering wheel, let’s say, so that it would only turn right and it wouldn’t turn left, that would limit my motion. But, that wouldn’t prove I was the car. It’s consistent with my dependency on the car to function before I can function, that I am the driver that uses the car to do things.

If I could get out of the car somehow — if I could get the lock and unlock the seat-belt and undo the doors — the fact that the car was broken down would no longer affect me. I could get around town just fine. By way of analogy — it’s not a perfect analogy — when I’m in the body I depend on my body working.

I believe that my eyeballs don’t see anything. I believe my soul sees in virtue of my eyes but, if my eyes are put out, my soul won’t work. I won’t be able to see anything while I’m still in my body. You understand that? I have a student whose grandfather died during an operation, he left his body, and he watched a younger and an older doctor try to revive him.

The younger doctor said to his granddad, “Let’s let him go, we’ve tried to bring him back. He’s had a good life, let’s let him go.” The older doctor said, “No. I’ve got to try 5 or 10 more minutes. I can’t do that.” The old guy, grandpa, was watching all this and came back into his body and the first thing he did was to cuss out the younger doctor.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: I just report the facts, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t evaluate them.

[laughter]

Prof. Moreland: The point is that that grandfather could see without eyeballs. When he’s in the body, if the eyeballs don’t work, he doesn’t see. Does that make sense to you? But when he’s out of the body, he can still see. Similarly, when I’m in my body and my brain doesn’t work, I can’t remember things.

But, when I’m out of my body, the fact that my brain is limiting my ability to remember doesn’t affect me. That would be an analogy of how I’d do it.

Let me give you another analogy, and then we’ll move on to point B, here. Take a CD. I don’t literally believe that there are sounds stored in that CD. Instead, there are digitalized configurations of magnetized stuff. [laughs] It’s plastic. I don’t know actually what it is, but it’s plastic.

It’s arranged in a certain way, but there are no sounds. I’ve held it up to my ear and I can’t hear anything. I don’t think there are any sounds in there. What are in there are grooves that, if they are put in the right retrieval system, can cause a sound to occur, music. The CD doesn’t store the sounds themselves. It stores something that can allow us to retrieve the sounds. Are you with me?

In the same way, I don’t believe memories are stored in the brain. I, for one, have trouble even knowing what that means, to be honest with you. I believe that what’s stored in the brain are neural networks or neural firings or pathways that we could call brain grooves that the soul uses to access memory.

When you’re in the body, if something happens to the CD or the access system, you can’t get the memory back, because you need to use the brain grooves to re-access your memories. Why that’s true, I have no idea.

If I could get out of my brain and body, I might have other ways of accessing my memories more directly that would bypass having to use my brain like that grandfather who was able to remember who he was and what was happening to him. Even though when he was in his body, his brain deprivations limited his ability to remember things.

That’s the soul and brain mind dependencies. What about a map of the soul? I’ll give you my view really quickly on this. Think of the soul as a chest of drawers and think of each drawer in the chest of drawers has different things in it. Here’s the sock drawer, the t-shirt drawer, underwear drawer, sweater drawer, and so on.

Let’s call each drawer in the chest of drawers a faculty. There is a sock faculty, a t-shirt faculty, an underwear faculty, and a sweater faculty. We’re using the word faculty for each drawer in the chest of drawers. Are you with me?

The soul may be thought of as a chest of drawers with different drawers or faculties in it. For example, one of the drawers, at least in the human soul and certain higher animal souls, has a mind. When you open the sock drawer, you find socks in it.

When you open the faculty of the mind, what you find in there are thoughts, beliefs, and the power to reason. Thoughts are stored in the mind, beliefs are stored in the mind, and the power to reason is stored in the mind.

You open up another faculty or drawer and what’s stored in there is our emotions. You open up another drawer and that’s the faculty of will. You open up another drawer, and in my view, that’s the faculty of spirit.

For me the faculty of spirit is the ability to be directly aware of God, angels, and demons in the unseen world. I have had experiences of demons and I could tell you about that. It’s the ability sometimes cultivated with the gift of discernment to be aware of God in the unseen world.

Do I think the spirit is the same as the soul? No. I might be wrong about this. I’m just giving you my view on it. It could be wrong. Are they two different things? No, there aren’t two chests of drawers. It’s only one chest of drawers, the soul. The spirit is a compartment of the soul. It’s a faculty. It’s a drawer in the human soul.

How do animal souls differ from human souls? Let me give you a handful of ways. Then, you may want to throw things at me. I did reserve this for the last, so I can get out of here if I need to.

Number one, I don’t believe animals are capable of having complicated, second-order thoughts or second-order beliefs or second-order desires.

That was really helpful, wasn’t it? What do I mean by a second order thought? That’s a thought about a thought. Dogs and other animals don’t give any evidence. They do give evidence they can think but they don’t seem to give evidence they’re capable of thinking about their thinking. At least not in any sophisticated short of way. Whereas we do.

In fact, that’s part of our problem. We spend too much time thinking about our thinking. I can sit down and say, “I wonder which of my thoughts are true and which ones are false.” I can also say, “I wonder what percentage of my thoughts that I gave to that audience tonight are true.” Let’s hope that there’s a reasonable number of those that are up in that category.

A dog can think but he doesn’t have thoughts…I never have evidence that an animal is pondering his range of thoughts. Animals can have beliefs, but they don’t have beliefs about their beliefs. At least not generally speaking.

Animals have desires for food and so on but at least they don’t seem to give evidence of having complicated desires about their desires. I can have very complicated desires about my desires.

In fact, I try once a year to get away and work on my desires. I plan for the next year, there’s certain desires I’d like to get rid of, and others I’d like to cultivate. The only way you can do that is if you can have complicated desires for your desires.

One area that the animal soul differs from the human soul is that it’s not capable of complicated second-order states, thoughts, beliefs, and desires towards its first-order thoughts.

The second one is, I don’t think the animal soul has the compartment of spirit. I think the human soul has a faculty of spirit, but the animal soul doesn’t.

The third difference is, I think it’s reasonable to believe that animals don’t have the power of free choice. They’re determined in their behavior, or by their conditioning in their brain states and their environmental inputs. I could be wrong about this, but I’ve got reasons for holding this anyway, and I do think humans do have free will.

Finally, I don’t think animals are capable of moral action. An animal can’t distinguish between what he ought to desire the most from what he does desire the most. If you can’t distinguish between what you do desire the most and what you ought to desire the most, you’re not capable of moral action.

I believe in summary, then, this may have been helpful to you, I hope. I do believe it’s important for us to be aware of the fact that our culture is increasingly trying to present a picture of the human person according to which we are nothing but our brains and central nervous systems, and that consciousness is nothing but certain neurological activities that go on in the brain.

I thank God for the brain. I won’t need it when I die for a while, but it’s a wonderful thing while I’m in the car, I’m glad it works fairly well. But in my view, the brain studies are absolutely crucial for helping us understand how consciousness and the soul work together with the brain.

But insofar as the question is what is consciousness and what is the self, I personally find the philosophical and theological issues to be more important to that discussion. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

[applause]

Woman: I was reading, I think it was “Scientific American.” I had never seen the magazine before, it was in the doctor’s office, picked it up, and I was reading an article cannot even remember what the article was about.

However, the person and then it’s not a Christian Periodical, and the guy was not a Christian, but he talked about a study. In this study, they had hooked up a person so they could theory-intricately determine heartbeat.

What they found was…At the end of the study, they were surprised because they weren’t even going this direction but this is what they found. That the heart would send the brain the signal for fear, or for love, or for jealousy, and that the heart would feel it first. It just made me think of those verses about “from the heart proceeds…” and those kind of verses.

Prof. Moreland: This is a very important point and I’ve actually written something about this in “The Kingdom Triangle.” Because what scientist have discovered is that there are neurons in the heart, and the heart does, in fact, send signals to the brain.

The heart, in my view, is an organ that the soul uses to perceive reality effectively. In other words, my view is that we actually perceive through this region of the body emotionally and ethically. It’s called the chest area. The ancients called it the chest.

CS Lewis wrote an article about “Men Without Chest,” that we don’t believe in the chest these days. Where there at the heart area we actually become aware of danger, or goodness, or fear, whatever.

In fact, there is a way of controlling obsessive thoughts when you’re fearful and you’re obsessing on something over and over again, by going to your heart area and learning to meditate from this area right here instead of the mind.

I’ve been accused of being a New Age guy online because I’ve advocated this. I’ve been accused of a lot of things. This is not a New Age recommendation. It is a medical recommendation called the heart math solution.

Medical doctors use this in their counseling with patients who are obsessing and can’t get off of something and it’s driving them nuts, to go into the heart area and meditate in the heart because of what you’re saying is right on the money.

That was a great point. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Whoever comes next is got a…

[crosstalk]

Moderator: I’m walking back over here because I saw a hand over here. By the way, please don’t take this in the wrong way. I forgot to lay out a couple of ground rules. The first one is this. As we ask questions, it’s always great to try to be concise with the question and not give like 5 to 10 minutes background and certainly not an opportunity just to emote and whatever. Let’s keep the questions precise and short so that we can give J.P. as much time as he can to answer. Andrew.

Andrew: What constitutes a human being and is the body included in that?

Prof. Moreland: My view is no, the body is not. The reason is because I can exist without a body. If by constitute you mean something that’s necessary for a thing to exist, like water is constituted by H2O. You couldn’t have real water without H2O. You could false water that look like water but not real water without H2O.

I believe that I’m the sort of thing that could exist without a body. I don’t think that’s natural, I don’t think it’s ideal but, I am of the view that I am identical to my soul, but my soul has the power to form a body and is naturally suited for embodiment so that my ideal state is to be embodied but I don’t need a body to exist. Go ahead.

Andrew: When in Genesis it says we were made in His image, is it talking about the body and the soul or just a soul?

Prof. Moreland: That’s a tough question and I’m not an expert on it. My two cents worth, and these are worth about two cents, is that I take what’s called an ontological view of the image of God. I don’t functionalize it or relationalize it.

It’s saying something about what we are, and I take it to be the powers that we need to represent God on the earth and relate to one another as Genesis 1 says. It’s all the powers that we need to be God’s representatives on earth and to stand relationally with Him and in one another.

Those powers are, in my view, soulless but they are realized in the body. In other words, if the body isn’t working, like I said, with the brain, I will not be able to actualize those abilities because my brain is something I desperately need to be able to think. Just like I need my ears to work to hear, and so on.

The body is absolutely crucial for the image of God to function properly, but I still think when I die and I’m awaiting a resurrected body, I still bear the image of God. That would be my view.

Moderator: Let me take David in the back over there. Then I’ll work my way over to the left of my left. David.

Prof. Moreland: Feel free, by the way, to leave, if you need to.

David: This might be brief but are you using soul and consciousness anonymously?

Prof. Moreland: Good question. Consciousness would be a state of the soul, and the soul would be the thing that had the state of consciousness. What would be like the three states of water would be the states, but water would be the thing that had the states.

The soul is the possessor of consciousness, and consciousness is a series of states that occur in the soul, would be how I’m using it. Thank you.

Moderator: Let me walk down. I see Byron’s hand right here. Gosh, I know everybody’s [inaudible] .

Byron: You said there are two reasons why conscious states are not physical states or aren’t same thing as them. One was that there are things that are true of conscious state that are not true of brain states.

The second one was a Nagel argument, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” I’m curious what the best argument that you’ve heard against that is and why you think it fails.

Prof. Moreland: It’s hard to explain but I think the best argument against it is actually an attempt to provide an alternative to it. That’s to try what’s called functionalized consciousness.

What we do is we treat consciousness like software. Software is not something a computer has. It’s something the computer does. What we might say is, the computer runs the software and consciousness is just a set of states inside the brain that stands between inputs and outputs.

Consciousness isn’t this thing that you’re aware of from the first-person perspective. It’s better understood by functionalizing and in treating it as a brain state that plays a role on your behavior.

The reason that I don’t agree with that is that, I want to say, that a pain, for example, is not what the pain does, namely, it causes me to shout ouch when I’m stuck with a pin. A pain is not essentially what it does. A pain is essentially what it is.

What makes a pain a pain is that it hurts, not that it causes me to shout ouch. That would be an argument against functionalization.

The argument against the Mary — What’s It Like to Be a Bat? — is there’s a lot of them. There’s a whole book arguing against the argument. I think the most plausible one is to say that Mary doesn’t learn any new facts when she gains the ability to hear. Instead, she gains a new way of knowing her old facts.

She doesn’t learn new facts, she learns the old facts in a new way. I think she gains new facts and I’ve got other things I can say but that’s a good question.

Moderator: I’m walking to the front because I’ve passed you a couple of times.

Man 2: I was wondering where the soul is, and if you believe, like a [inaudible] transcendent world, do you believe that there’s a instant signal sent from the soul to the body or how that works?

Prof. Moreland: Well, I prefer a view of the soul called [inaudible] . It’s a $1.98 word, I get paid big bucks to use those words. It’s basically the idea that God is the space, as the soul is to the body. Namely, that the soul is fully present in every point throughout the body.

Just like God on this view, there are different ways of understanding God’s omnipresence, but one way is to say that God is fully present at each point. We wouldn’t want to think of God as an extended object, so that half of Him is in the Atlantic and the other half of Him is over the Pacific, so that He would shrink if the universe shrank.

God is fully present everywhere. Similarly, I would want to say that my soul is fully present all throughout my body, and that’s why when I lose an arm, I don’t lose part of my soul, because my soul is not an extended object.

It’s located fully present throughout each point of my body, so it’s fully here and fully here. It could be in more than one place at the same time then. It is to my body, as God is to space. Dallas Willard says, the best way to think of it, is to say the soul occupies the body and God occupies space, and just to leave it at that. That’s my view.

How does the soul do what it does? I don’t have any idea and I don’t think that there ever will be an answer to that question.

Here’s why, because I think the connection between soul and matter is basic. What we can do is learn how the connections are made, so that we could study the brain and learn more and more about how brain’s states affect depression, or affect memory, or worry, or whatever.

That’s all good, but in terms of how the mind can move the body and how the body can move the mind, is the same question, as to how God could part the Red Sea. It just does and I don’t know that there’s any how to the answer. That would be my answer.

Again, I could be wrong in that, but that’s where I’m at, at this point. It’s a good question.

Man 3: Going back to the color…

Prof. Moreland: The what?

Man 3: the hearing scientist one, Mary the hearing scientist. The argument I’ve heard about against that a lot is Mary the hearing robot, who not only can know everything about it. She can see the simulations that are going on in someone else’s brain, and then she can replicate those in her own brain.

Through that gaining the knowledge of hearing, doesn’t change anything, because she’s already experienced those things inside of her own body.

Prof. Moreland: I would say that if she’d already experienced them then she’d had sensations or consciousness.

Man 3: When that go to say that the experiences inside of the brain are the same thing as the experiences that exist outside the body?

Prof. Moreland: Apparently, I didn’t understand your argument. Given that…

Man 3: Outside of the body…

Prof. Moreland: Try it one more time.

Man 3: I’ve always known as Mary the color scientist. Sorry, if I slipped on that.

Prof. Moreland: No, that’s OK. Go ahead.

Man 3: Never seeing red growing up, but can see another person, or another robot seeing red, and seeing the brain patterns that happen in the robot?

Prof. Moreland: But if all she could see were the brain patterns when the robot was seeing red, she would have no knowledge of what it’s like to see red. She would only have knowledge of the brain patterns that go along with seeing red.

Man 3: Even if she was able to simulate them in her own mind?

Prof. Moreland: If she could simulate the brain patterns in her own mind, then she would have knowledge of the brain patterns.

Man 3: OK.

Prof. Moreland: She would have no knowledge of the sensation itself. That would be my view on that.

Moderator: Let me work my way over here. I saw a couple of guys over here.

Prof. Moreland: May I just say a word, while he’s working. Just to encourage you about something, because at this point of the evening it can start getting a little boring and you can start thinking, “I don’t know what’s going on and this is getting a little dead.”

Let me just remind you…I say this as a brother, that it’s a good thing to be a part of this once in a while. Even if you’re getting about 10 percent of what’s going on, it’s still good to be a part of the Christian community having these kinds of conversations. If you’re [snoring] be of good cheer.

We’ll have a handful of more questions. I think this is a good thing to do, even if you might not be following all of the questions. Just a word of encouragement there for you. Yes, sir.

Man 4: What do you think of Nancy Murphy’s work and if you guys had chances to talk about stuff?

Prof. Moreland: Nancy is…I haven’t had the chance to talk to her. I’ve talked to some of her students, just finished the paper critiquing her work. She teaches at Fuller Seminary. She doesn’t believe in the soul, she believes in your brain, and that when you die, you ceased to exist, but God will recreate you at the resurrection, so that there’s no intermediate state.

She’s doing the best she can. I don’t mean that paternalistically. In other words, she’s committed to a materialist view of the world and she’s trying to work that out. I’m profoundly unconvinced that it works. Jesus Christ believed in the soul as far as I can tell.

See Nancy’s worried that science is shown this is not very plausible. The more I study the science of it and I’ve got a long way to go on this, but I was talking to one of our fellows, Tom Crisp, the more we learn about neurons and things going on in the brain, and the more I know about conscious, the more it just looks like they’re just not the same thing. They’re just different.

You wanted to follow up again, yeah.

Man 4: Just quickly about Penrose and Hameroff, have you looked at their work?

Prof. Moreland: Yeah, Penrose I have.

Man 4: Quantum brain theory…?

Prof. Moreland: No, I haven’t with that, in terms of its impact on freewill and that sort of thing?

Man 4: Yeah.

Prof. Moreland: Yeah, part of it. No, I’m not familiar with it.

Moderator: J.P., how about two more questions?

Prof. Moreland: Two more.

MOderator: OK.

Prof. Moreland: How about some people in the…OK, you’re…

Moderator: They now work back…

Man 5: My question is, do you believe that more than one soul can possess a single body?

Prof. Moreland: Yeah, absolutely.

Man 5: How would you rectify multiple personalities, schizophrenia, and demon possession?

Prof. Moreland: More than one soul can possess a body, but not more than one soul can animate a body. If I have a demon attached to me, that demon it possesses my body, but it doesn’t animate my body. There’s a difference between the way I relate to my body. I’m my body’s animator. The demon doesn’t animate the body. There can be more than one soul that could possess a body, if that was your question.

If you mean, can more than one soul animate the body let’s say, no, I don’t think so. I would deal with multiple personality cases by saying that there is one unified soul but it splitted its functioning.

There are pockets of self-deception or due to perhaps a number of reasons — trauma and other things — where a person can shift into one role, and literally be isolated, and not know anything about another role, but it’s the same person. The goal of therapy is to unify these back under one integrated self.

I would deal with multiple personality cases as being a fracturing and functioning, but there’s still oneself there. One more.

Man 6: I didn’t realize that at the beginning that when you were referring to soul that your nomenclature system differentiate soul and spirit. Where in the scripture would you say that that’s an example when the scripture says is treated as soul?

Where in the scripture would you say that the scripture is referring to the spirit of a human person and not the soul?

Prof. Moreland: The words…You have to be careful, I think, because the anthropological terms in the Bible, like heart, mind, soul, and spirit, are loosey-goosey, and they’re all over the map. Sometimes soul can be used for the back of your throat. Sometimes the word soul can stand for dead corpse.

It’s like the word red. Red can stand for a color, or embarrassment, communism. It can mean a lot of things. Soul and spirit are loosey-goosey and many times they’re used interchangeably. They just mean the same thing.

I find a text in first Thessalonians and the text in Hebrews where it talks about dividing the soul and the spirit to make a distinction among the three. That seems telling to me…I don’t have the chapters in front of me, 1 Thess 5, I think it is, but I’m not sure. I don’t recall.

There are two texts in the New Testament that seemed to differentiate between the soul and the spirit, and that’s basically on the strength of those texts, is why. Again, that’s an issue that I’m not going to go to the wall for. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.

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