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Reasonable Faith Conference Day 2 / Session 23 min read

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Conference Day 2 / Session 2

JP Morland – The existence of the soul

A. Xianity is a spiritual religion
   1. It claims a religious realm, including god, angels, souls both animal and human

B. Preliminary Notions
   1. The law of identity…if a is identical to b, there are no differences
   2. Cause and effect ….A causes b does not mean a=b
   3. Functional dependence does not mean a=b

Q1  what is the self, not how does it function

Define consciousness (ostensively) : you must give examples to define, using first person
   1. Think of regaining consciousness after anesthesia or sleep

C. Consciousness … The 5 states of

   1. Sensations
      a. External  experiences of the senses
      b. Internal experiences like emotions
      c. Can not be true or false

   2. Thought
      a. Content that can be expressed in a declarative sentence or propositions
      b. Can be true or false
      c. Exist only while I think them

   3. Belief
      a. Mental content you take to be true with > 50% certainty
      b. Can be true or false
      c. Exist even while not thought of

   4. Desire
      a. A felt inclination towards or away from something

   5. Volition…an exercise of will
      a. An endeavoring … Choosing an action

D. What bears consciousness?

   1. Why these states are not merely physical

      a. Things true of mental states that are not true of physical states
           . Physical states can not be true or false
           . Some mental states are normative
           . Brain states have size and location, mental states do not
           . Mental states can be pleasurable, sensations can be pleasurable, but physical states don’t have this type of property

      b. The knowledge argument
            . Facts about consciousness are not the same as facts about material states
            . Imagine we could track the cause and effect of every physical particle…the experience and synthesis of facts, meta data, is above the physical facts

E.g. A mechanical bat v a real bat. What it feels like to be a bat is about consciousness, not physics. 

      c. Intentionality 

          . The ofness or aboutness of consciousness … Have objects of focus
          . Brain states don’t have objects, they are v. Are about

   2. Why you are a soul

Soul as per Aristotle : an immaterial object that contains consciousness and animates the body

      a. You are a simple, indivisible thing, but your  body is not. You can’t have 2/3 of a person. See dandy walker syndrome 

      b. You are possibly disembodiable

          . Even if no life after death, what of nde experiences?

      c. Free will … Libertarian

           . Determinism is false because we are self aware and responsible for action
           . You are the driver of the car, not the car (ucla brain chem guy)