Surely by now we've outgrown the soul?

November 08, 2011

Reductionism in science isn't about denying complexity, but about looking for the simple rules that underpin it. Unlike the clear-cut (and, dare I say, reductionist) notion of a ‘soul' for which no more explanation is possible, a scientific approach acknowledges the complexity apparent at every level of brain function and begins the difficult task of understanding it. [...]

Thinking, feeling meat is not so comforting. In accepting our soulless, embodied selves, we will have to face up to genuinely hard questions about what it means to be human, and why that might matter. It won't necessarily be easy, but it IS necessary. It's impossible to build a coherent morality or understanding of the world without first ensuring intellectual honesty.

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