Sunday, November 4, 2012

On souls

I posted the following comment on a post on Friendly Atheist about "the illogical concept of souls," and thought it was articulate enough to repost here:

As a Lutheran, I believed in souls. But I also realized that if I had a soul, my dogs certainly did too-- and in fact they stood a much better chance of making it into heaven, being far more worthy than I am (aside from a certain sinful habit of stealing food off the counters). They seemed clearly self-aware to me, if not as mentally advanced as humans, and so I would have declined to go to any heaven that wouldn't let my dogs in.

I no longer believe in souls. It was one of the hardest things about religion to give up, though. I liked the comfort of believing I'd see my husband again. But alas, what's comforting is not necessarily realistic. It seems obvious to me now that self-awareness is tied into the brain, and does not outlast it. In fact I find it difficult to understand why I ever thought differently. The things we can convince ourselves to believe...

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