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Memory, the brain, and the soul

Published: 17 April 2021 (GMT+10)
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Gary C. from the U.S. asks:

Will memories be lost when one dies (because memories are stored in brain cells)? If so, does this mean that materialism is right? I am a Christian and have been tormented by these questions for a long time. Could you please help me get them answered?

 

Keaton Halley of CMI–US responds:

Hi Gary,

I hope this reply will encourage you not to be so distressed, because if you keep this question in perspective you’ll see that this worry isn’t actually a big threat, and the available evidence strongly supports the biblical view. We have many reasons to affirm that the mind and the brain are not the same thing, and that human beings have an immaterial aspect to their being (a soul). We also have many additional reasons to reject materialism besides the specific evidence for the soul, so it certainly doesn’t all hang on this question about memories.

One important principle to keep in mind when contemplating the evidence for the existence of the soul is that mere correlations between mind and brain don’t prove they are actually the same thing. The soul and the brain can each affect how the other functions, just like a driver and a car can both affect one another. But if a car breaks and doesn’t allow the driver to go anywhere, this doesn’t prove that there is no driver.

We know that memories can sometimes be induced by electrical stimulation of certain regions of the brain, and we also know that damage to certain brain areas can prevent the formation of certain types of new memories. But if the soul uses the brain like a person drives a vehicle, then this is no surprise. While associated with the body, the soul needs the brain to think properly. If the brain is damaged, the soul may be inhibited. But to speculate and press the analogy further, once the driver exits the vehicle, he may have more freedom of movement. Similarly, once the soul leaves the body (at death), it may no longer need to rely on the brain to think. But, in any case, Christians believe that there will be a resurrection in which the souls of the dead will return to their bodies. So even if we were to lose our memories at death, the resurrection could provide a way for them to be restored.

Your question also presumes that memories are stored in the brain, but you don’t say what exactly you mean by that or why you believe it. I know of very informed philosophers and neuroscientists who would deny that memories are stored in brains, and believe instead that they reside in souls. I have no expertise in this area but, in my view, the claim is ambiguous, so let me try to clarify. A memory could refer to an experience of recalling some fact or event, or it could refer to the raw data that captures that fact or event. To illustrate, think of the way in which a vinyl record ‘stores’ music. You won’t find any actual music contained in the record itself, and the record doesn’t hear or appreciate any music. It only ‘stores’ the music in the sense that it contains a pattern of grooves that can reproduce the music when properly connected to a record player. Similarly, let’s assume that our brain does store the raw data of memories. To actually experience a memory would still require something beyond this storage medium—a soul that actually has the recollection experience.

Of course, memories are just one type of mental state, and there are many others that also require our minds to be distinct from our brains. We can have thoughts, beliefs, desires, sensations (experiences of color, sound, smell, taste, touch, pains, itches), emotions, and acts of will.

These mental states have a variety of features that physical states do not have. Briefly, these include the following, among others.

  1. Mental states are private and self-presenting. They are directly in the awareness of the person who has them, and not directly accessible by another party. For example, we might discern that someone is in pain because they wince, but we do not actually experience the other person’s feeling of pain. We alone feel our own pain. By contrast, physical states like brain states are not private or self-presenting. A scientist can probe another person’s brain and may have more knowledge about it than that person does.
  2. Mental states include an experience of ‘what it is like’. Physical states don’t have felt experiences, but subjects do. For example, even if, physically, the concept of ‘heat’ can be reduced to the fast motion of molecules, this does not fully capture the feeling of warmth that can be experienced. There is a feeling of what it is like to be warm, or to have a thought, or to purpose to do something. Artificially-intelligent computers can react to inputs based on their programming and become more proficient at certain tasks, but they themselves do not understand or have desires or feel accomplished.
  3. Many mental states have a feature philosophers call ‘intentionality’. This refers to the ‘of-ness’ or ‘about-ness’ of something. So, I can have a fear of spiders or a sensation of redness or a thought about something that doesn’t even exist, like a leprechaun. But physical states aren’t about anything else (at least, not in the sense meant here). A rainbow isn’t about anything unless an agent assigns it a meaning.

Now, some philosophers will concede, based on such arguments, that mental states go beyond the physical, but they still think they can avoid grounding the mind in a soul. This approach is called ‘property dualism’. It says that these mental states just emerge somehow from physical brain states, and that mental states are either epiphenomenal—they come along for the ride but have no causal power of their own—or they are a passive chain of events over which the person has no real control.

But there are further arguments which show that non-physical mental states must be grounded in a mental substance (the soul). This view is called ‘substance dualism’. Arguments include:

  1. The mind does have causal power to initiate. Psychologists encourage patients to deliberately change their thought patterns, which can restructure the brain. We also know the difference between voluntary and involuntary action. If stimulation from an electrical probe causes my arm to move, I know that this is not the same as me endeavoring to move my arm by an act of my own will. I can also reason and make decisions that are free. They are not mere passive happenings caused by the outworking of deterministic events in my brain. To say otherwise brings my moral responsibility into doubt.

  1. The soul grounds the unity of the self at any given time. As I pointed out in the article Monkey minds, those who deny the soul have a hard time explaining how the diverse array of processes going on in our brain are unified so that they belong to a single person. In fact, people like Daniel Dennett, Susan Blackmore, and Stephen Pinker deny that we really have this unity. But this is disastrous for the moral status of human persons. I am not just a bundle of experiences but the owner of my experiences, because my soul is the experiencer.
  2. The soul grounds the unity of the self over time. We commonly speak of physical objects as though they endure through time, but there are philosophical difficulties with this, as physical things change by losing parts or gaining new ones. Why am I still the same person as I was when I was 5 years old, despite all the changes I’ve undergone? The best answer seems to be that I am not reducible to my physical body. My essence includes an immaterial soul.

So that’s a brief introduction. If you want more along these lines, check out books by people like J.P. Moreland, Sharon Dirckx, and Angus Menuge, online articles by Michael Egnor, and the links below.

I hope this alleviates some of your concern and encourages you to put greater confidence in the Bible’s claims about reality, including the reality of the soul.

Blessings,

Keaton Halley

Helpful Resources

Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Guide to the Human Body
by Dr Randy Guliuzza
US $17.00
Hard Cover
Who am I?
by Thomas Fretwell
US $16.00
Soft Cover
Is Human Life Special?
by Gary Bates and Lita Cosner
US $3.50
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Nichola N.
I have a close friend who diced into shape water and broke his neck. He lay face down in the water feebly struggling to rise with his arms. I leapt in beside him and with the help of another friend we pulled him out.
Years later he spoke to me about that incidence. He had had an out of body experience where he saw his body from above. He was thinking that he had died. He saw me touch him and was immediately back in his body, thinking that I had retired him to life. (I assured him that I didn't have that power.)
If our thoughts and memories are restricted to our brains, this experience of his would not have been possible. He would not have seen what he looked like struggling face down in the water. He would not have seen me jump into the water beside him before I touched him. And he would not have thought that if that pleasant floating above his damaged body was death, then he wouldn't mind being dead. And finally he wouldn't have remembered that experience.
We are definitely fearfully and wonderfully made.
Paul F.
There are two problems with this common view of the soul.

Firstly, we shouldn't say "immortal soul", because only God [at present] has immortality. I've heard workarounds that say God has this characteristic intrinsically, whereas ours is given. I find that unimpressive. Saying we already have immortality takes away the glory of the end time event when God gives it.

Secondly, we should reject the notion of the soul being an entity that inhabits a body but can as easily live without it. Believers may not be aware of the Platonist influence on the early church, and this it seems was the source of the doctrine. I have no doubt that neither Jesus nor his apostles believed in the Platonist immortal soul concept. The deliverance from the grave comes via the resurrection of the body, and the more glorious we make the proposed disembodied state the more we take away from the magnitude of the resurrection. You'll search in vain in the apostles' preaching for notions of souls going to heaven. It's all about resurrection. A seamless transition from this life to the next means we don't die, contrary to what the Bible says.

Let's not forget: the inanimate carcase of Adam wasn't filled with a soul; in being animated, Adam _became_ a soul.

Non-reductive physicalism is a good balance between Platonist soul concepts and outright materialism. It proposes, for example, we need a brain to think, and the life within us is by virtue of the Holy Spirit. It has great explanatory power and does away with the need for convoluted exegesis.

We'll rest in the grave, where our thoughts perish, until we're awakened by Jesus, who will give us new bodies and immortality too. That was Paul's hope and should be ours.
Keaton Halley
You are conflating a number of issues here. I agree that Jesus and the apostles were not Platonists, but neither am I. Unlike the platonic view, the New Testament writers believed in a resurrection of the physical body, and in this article I explicitly affirmed the resurrection as well. The disembodied state was considered to be less than ideal and less desirable than the resurrection (again unlike in Platonism), but still the disembodied state was more desirable (in some ways) than our current situation in which we are absent from the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 5:8 below). It's just completely mistaken that belief in an immaterial soul was borrowed from Platonism. That belief goes back much earlier in history and is taken for granted throughout the Bible. Your non-reductive physicalism will have a hard time making sense of explicit passages like the following:

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

2 Corinthians 5:8–9 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

The idea of souls going to heaven in an intermediate state is not in competition to the concept of resurrection. Both are affirmed by the New Testament, because our immaterial souls return to our material (though glorified) bodies in the resurrection.

You seem to assume that various terms can only have one meaning regardless of context. But terms like immortality, life, and death can take on different meanings in different contexts or when they are applied to different things like souls, bodies, and the entire person. So it's wrongheaded to say that positing a disembodied soul which is still conscious after death would mean "we don't die, contrary to what the Bible says." We die in one sense (our bodies cease to function and we are separated from them), and we don't in another (our souls persist). The Bible not only affirms the former, but the latter as well, such as in Matthew 10:28 above when Jesus distinguished between killing the body and the soul.

The term 'soul' itself, and the Hebrew term nephesh, likewise are used in a variety of ways. Yes, sometimes they refer to the whole person, like in the case of Adam in Genesis 2:7 that you mentioned. In some cases, this is because nephesh has a broad semantic domain and can mean 'life' and other things, depending on context. In other cases, passages use a literary convention called synecdoche, where the part stands for the whole. It's like when we say we are counting noses, and the nose stands in for the whole person. But there are also many texts which cannot be taken in these ways, and they clearly distinguish between the body and the immaterial part of human beings.
Neville L.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (KJV) or living being (NKJV)" (Genesis 2:7)
Philip U.
This is a fascinating topic. I have since a teenager wondered at the 'causality' of the soul, which for me defies the natural laws of motion and conservation of energy. The soul is in fact creative, in that it causes events to happen without any physical or natural input. In the analogy above, I 'think' about lifting my arm in the mental domain, and my arm responds in the natural domain. What is the connection between the two domains? There is no other cause for this action, other than that I desired it to be. With no mechanical association setting these events in train, it becomes purely an act of 'will'. Frankly it is miraculous and inexplicable.
A further problem for the denial of the soul is that it immediately encounters the philosophical problem of the one and the many, which is inherently fatal to materialism. Without the soul, what is a person? Can it remain an individual organic entity or is it just a part of a universal organism? If reduced to absolute individuality, then there can be no rational connectivity between organisms, and the laws of nature would be reduced to pure randomness. If they are a whole, then there are no particles for the laws of nature to act upon, and the laws become nothing.
Allen H.
I find that a reasonable (albeit oversimplified) analogy for body and soul is a Virtual Reality headset.

The person wears the headset to immerse themselves in a visual computer-generated world. The headset itself is very complex, and performs many autonomous functions - it responds to movement and other inputs, and even caches a fair amount of data in it's own digital memory. However, the headset merely provides the interface between the person and the computer-generated world - no-one would ever believe that the all the thoughts, experiences and memories of the user are contained in the headset. For example, the digital memory in the VR headset is completely different from the users own memories and experiences.

Similarly, the brain is the interface between soul and body that connects the one to the other. (Incidentally, it also performs the dual function of directly controlling the body to keep it alive as well). It probably has some equivalent of a local data cache needed to perform the normal functions of controlling the body, but it certainly does not contain all the thoughts, experiences, memories, will, and emotions of the person any more than a VR headset does.
Malachi H.
@Terry D P.
Wonderful quote! I'd even go further with that quote and remind Gary of what that quote is pointing out: God does not REMEMBER our sins anymore. Memory is as intrinsic to God as is our salvation. What could be a greater affirmation of memory then God's own memory...He does not hold physical form (though he can choose to do so), yet he has a memory.

There are plenty of other scriptures in the Bible that point out that Memory is very important to God, Who created us in his Image. I would also leave Gary with the encouragement found in 1 Cor 1:19:

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”

Viewing God's creation through the lens of man will often produce suffering and fear. Instead, seek the answers from God first, as in psalms 119:34,89:

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart."
"Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven."
Cameron N.
I would like to say Doug L's response to the article really humbled me and made me view the Lord with reverence and awe.

What a God we serve to be so intimately intertwined with us that he regularly gives us access to the things immaterial and apart from the world in our mindscape.

Admittedly, I hated being a man full of ideas and beint able to come up with things that are not there, but you showed me that God can be the influence of such inspiration. The inspiration from seemingly nowhere. The soultion upon which prior experiences were not found. Hosanna in the highest to the Almighty and All Knowing God who can and does interact with us in such a way.


However, I also believe wicked inspirations can transpire as well. Influences beyond the physical and material that come from a degenerate soul or spirit. Maybe even wicked inspiration can come as well from an immaterial wicked being like Satan as well.

This is the importance of the Word of God and its ability to correct the mind or soul. For we weigh all things including inspiration to the truth of God and beat all of self, even the immaterial parts and inspiration, into complete and utter submission to our King of kings and creator.
Joseph B.
"I know of very informed philosophers and neuroscientists who would deny that memories are stored in brains, and believe instead that they reside in souls."
Could you please elaborate on this, (like what they used to come to this conclusion) the common belief is that brain forms connections which hold these memories (I know you expanded on it later but do you have any where I can read about the views of those people?).
Keaton Halley
J.P. Moreland is one who I've heard say that memories reside in souls (though I don't recall where), and he's pointed to neuroscientists who have also affirmed that. But, as I said, I myself am not clear on what they mean by that, and I haven't seen much elaboration beyond the bare claim. I'd like to investigate more as well.
Terry D P.
Re: “Will memories be lost when one dies (because memories are stored in brain cells)?”

Actually, I am glad that God promises not remember my sins:
«/ No longer need they teach one another to know the LORD; all of them, high and low alike, shall know
me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their wrongdoing and remember their sin no more. — Jr§31:34 /»
Tim K.
Another way to look at it, we are all called to be prepared to give an account of our lives before the judgment seat of Christ. How are we going to do that if we lose our memories at death? He certainly remembered after His resurrection.
Glenn P.
To explain spirit soul and body I use an analogy of the computer. The human spirit is the software which contains all the apps and memory. The soul is the biological computer the brain which processes the apps and facilitates memory. The body is the hardware. The five senses are the input and output terminals. ROM is in the spirit. RAM is in the brain. And so on.
Belinda G.
Most people think we’re just body and soul, or body and spirit and that’s why they struggle with this issue, but 1 Thess 5:23 says: “
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Body = self explanatory, soul = mind, emotions, personality etc, spirit = immortal part (the real you), the part of you that is born again. Remember “all things have passed away, all things are new”? Well when you look in the mirror you can see your body isn’t new, you know your feelings and emotions and thoughts aren’t new. That’s your soul....but that gets changed “by the renewal of your mind”. Your spirit is what is instantly brand new.
Heb 10:14 “he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”. Why if the Word says we’ve been made perfect, do we not appear perfect? “Perfect” is the immortal spirit part, “being made holy” is the soul part of us (personality, emotions, desires, etc). Your spirit-soul man is what goes to heaven, obtaining a glorified body.
Keaton Halley
In this article, I tried to stay away from the bipartite vs. tripartite debate. When I use the term "soul" in the article I'm including all immaterial aspects of the self. But whether the soul proper and spirit should be differentiated based on biblical distinctions is another thing to consider.
Doug L.
There is probably some nuance in the Bible which addresses the relation between soul, spirit, and brain but I have to confess right off the bat that I haven't discerned it (yet, anyway.) But there are a couple of crucially important points to consider and which we CAN understand without any extra help.

First, it's intuitively obvious that our thoughts are not due to some chemical processes in our brains! Rocks don't think, is the way I like to phrase it. If anything, it would be the other way around. Our thoughts CAUSE some physical/chemical events in the brain. Therefore the brain is a kind of transducer which forms a link between the spiritual and physical aspects of our being.

Second, obviously there are also things which are not a part of the physical universe: thoughts, ideas, and emotions. These aren't energy or mass, they have no weight and they don't take up any space. They're outside of the physical universe. Consider that frequently you will hear someone say something like "I was thinking about how to solve a problem and suddenly, the answer CAME to me." And that's exactly correct. It CAME to him. From where, then, did it come? If it came to you, then it wasn't a part of you to begin with. My answer is that it came to you from God. HE is the one, for example, who caused Einstein to ponder what a beam of light would look like if he could travel along next to it, and God is the one who led him to the answers. So thoughts/ideas are not from the brain.

So where are memories stored? Not in the brain, that's for sure. That's just sinful man's idea of how things work. The ability to access them may be impeded by problems in the brain since the brain is the bridge between our two aspects. They are stored in the immaterial aspect of our being.
Jeannette P.
Thank you for a very interesting discussion on a difficult subject.

The Bible does seem to indicate that we (unlike animals) are tripartite beings, consisting of body, soul and spirit (is that why it says we were made “In the image of God”?) Soul and spirit are not the same, but both continue to exist after physical death.

It is our spirit that is able to commune and have fellowship with our Creator. The soul is difficult to distinguish from the spirit but now and again there are hints. (as in 1 Corinthians 2:9 following?) In my work with people suffering from dementia I have several times seen very confused folk responding spiritually (including what seemed to be genuine conviction of sin) in a way that would be physically impossible for their damaged brains. Another, whose speech had become very garbled, suddenly burst out in fluent praise to God when rescued from a difficult situation he had got into!

But we were created to have bodies as well as souls and spirits And for those of us who are in Christ there is the wonderful hope of resurrection with new bodies that never get sick or old or die any more!
Neal P.
Keaton, your statements in the section, Mental states are private and self-presenting, brought to my MIND the Scripture in Proverbs 14:10: "The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy."

Thanks for your your good work!
Deon B.
Hi. I have long sort of worked it out by myself after reading an article on the subject. I am making it easy for myself. The brain is matter. While it is alive it processes everything we do - that is everything! Every single thing I ever experienced is on my hard drive, my soul which leaves my body at death. Because I do not belong to myself but to the GOD who created me, my soul is kept by Him[Heaven] until the resurrection when my soul will be reunited with my glorified body to be forever with GOD forever. This I believe as sure as Christ was resurrected and ascended into Heaven. We await His glorious return!
Chuck R.
In 1 Cor. 3:12-14, Paul talks of the Day when our work here on earth is judged, of what sort it is, and our possible reward, and also in Revelation 4:4, the elders with crowns they apparently had earned, all is revealed in Heaven, and the final judgment of those who were saved and unsaved during this time on earth, all indicate that there must be memories, recollections of our life that are carried with us into the next world.
God does obviously preserve our history of life on this earth and I also believe He uses this time to train us for His purpose in Heaven - Revelation 19:10 "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus."
William G.
I suggest that Wisdom attaches to the Soul, not the Brain.
Rick J.
The more science discovers, the more it points to God and our Christian worldview. A secular neuroscientist, Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD has written "The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force." His work recognizes the existence of something immaterial--which he calls the "mind" (the "brain" is the material). We call it the soul. Another good book, written by an avid atheist, is Thomas Nagel's Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Nagel is not a scientist, but a philosopher--and while he will not go so far as recognizing the existence of God--he does recognize the immaterial portion of who we are (he calls it consciousness--we call is our soul).
Paul R.
In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 Abraham tells him to remember his life. If the unbelieving can remember after death how much more the believer.
Paul says that to see the church of Thessalonica at Christ's coming will be for him a cause of rejoicing 1 Thess 2,19. He obviously expects to remember and recognise them.
Jacob C.
“Never tell a child,” said George Macdonald, ‘you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.” — interestingly, attributed to George Macdonald, not C.S. Lewis, in an 1892 British Quaker periodical.
Gert P.
Just some food for thought: A lot of assumptions are made in this article with absolutely no reference to any Bible verse as the basis for the argument. Instead fallible man's statements are presented. Which should be alarming to any truth seeking Christian.
Keaton Halley
I thought about this myself before publishing, but I don't see why it should be alarming. I didn't spend time making a biblical case for the soul since the questioner (like most Christians) seems to already accept that this is the teaching of Scripture. I thought it was appropriate to share the natural evidence which I'm arguing is supportive of Scripture, and felt the article was long enough without going into biblical proofs. This is the whole thrust of my argument—that the (widely acknowledged) biblical teachings are confirmed by the evidence, not that we should ignore Scripture and discern all truth from general revelation alone. In other writings, such as Does the soul violate physics?, I personally have discussed some of the relevant biblical texts, and so have other CMI authors. I don't see it as worrisome if the focus of one particular article does not cover all the bases, so I hope those considerations alleviate your concern.
Jeremiah G.
I think it’s so important to know the connection between the brain and the soul. They are both intricately intertwined, working in a way that can only be explained by an intelligent Creator! Now I just pray that we can use our minds to continue revealing God’s Word through His creation.

God bless,
Jeremiah G.
Johann L.
Wonderful response!
Colin H.
Jesus spoke a parable about a rich man, and a poor man named Lazarus, (Luke 16:19-31). This is the only "parable" where Jesus named a person, Lazarus, suggesting that what He spoke was an actual case, rather than a story for illustration. The rich man and Lazarus both died physically, but were living "out of the body," confirming that we are indeed living souls. Father Abraham said to the rich man, "Son, remember that in your lifetime..." indicating that the rich man could remember the experiences while he lived in the body.
The Scriptures regard the body as just the "tent" or "house" that we (our eternal spirit and soul) live in for a time. As Keaton pointed out, we have a blessed hope that this "mortal shall put on immortality" when the Lord speaks and raises us up in resurrection bodies. We may not be able to understand everything now, but we can trust the One who created us in His own image, and look forward to what He has promised. Colin H.
Steve H.
Thank you: Gary C for the question; Keaton for your reply and links; and Wanda G for your comment. I too am captivated by this but fail to find anything to aid my understanding. To me, it begs the following: how do we understand the terms “soul”, “mind”, spirit”, “self”, “consciousness”, and “life”? Many associate these with the brain. Notwithstanding, we associate emotions and love with the heart (Hos 7:6), and life with the blood and the breath (Lev 17:11; Gen 1:30). If these are these figurative, is association of soul, spirit, and mind with the brain also figurative?

Materialists deny the soul and spirit - concluding that consciousness (the sense of “self”) is a parameter of brain function, and because the brain is a physical, biological entity with limited life, then so too is our consciousness. However, recent surveys in Australia show that the majority still see themselves as “spiritual”, which puts them at odds with the “science” they’ve been taught at school and the materialist brainwashing they’ve received from the media. This then is an opportunity for the gospel where what people instinctively “know” is at odds with what they’ve been taught. But what is meant by “spiritual” if not the spirit? If philosophers, researchers of the brain and artificial intelligence seek to understand consciousness and “self” apart from the soul or the spirit, who will research the soul and the spirit but creation scientists?

There are 563 references to “spirit”, 95 references to “soul”, 163 references to “mind”, and 565 references to “life” in the NIV. It seems that God has much to tell us about these matters, yet they remain poorly taught and poorly understood, even amongst Christians. I would like to see more on this topic from CMI.
Don D.
What a great question and answer. I had a similar question come up in my Sunday School class last term and so we looked at the story Jesus told about Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31. Here, the rich man after dying went to Hades but he recognises Abraham and he remembers his family asking Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to his family so they may believe in God and not end up where he is. This does not appear to be a parable but something that actually happened as Jesus specifically mentions names which he doesn't do when speaking in parables. I hope this may also encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
Wanda G.
This problem has become really important to me, and, I think, so many others. I'm not an expert, but I do think that the explanations you've given are valid and sound. A lot of concepts regarding the mind-body problem can be really messed up because of the hard work it takes to clarify terms when they're so nuanced. With the help of sensationalism in popular entertainment, you have a lot of people misunderstanding what the brain is (likening it to a computer for example) and what the soul is or could be.

I hope to see more articles like this, as it is very important in these times and there are more materialists than not (more materialists do not make materialism any more valid, however).

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