What we are seriously skeptical about, however, is the idea that the results of scientific work done with purely materialist assumptions will add up to a complete picture of the human mind, simply by accumulating the results of normal incremental science. In other words, we highly doubt that we will get a complete theory of the mind simply by doing more of what we already know how to do. Materialists may accuse us of being pessimists in this respect. (And indeed we all need to be optimists when looking for funding for our research, or when explaining ourselves to the media.) But there are some big problems, too, well-known in the relevant literatures. The successes of cognitive science and neuroscience come from solving little, localized, well-defined problems. These are typically problems that arise at the periphery of the human mind, concerning either input functions like visual perception and language, or output functions like motor planning. For larger scale problems at the center of the human mind—reason, will, conceptual thought, and so on—progress has been far more limited, and severe new questions about integration arise. Cognitive science so far has made essentially no discernible progress on many of these issues. The list of widely acknowledged outstanding problems includes the following. Continue reading
First, each human being is an ensouled body and an embodied soul; body and soul function as an organic whole; they are distinct, however, and even capable of temporary separation (e.g., during the intermediate state in heaven-between death and the final bodily resurrection).
— Paul Copan, from “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?”, kindle location 896
It just doesn’t seem possible that every characteristic of the brain (matter) can be a property of the mind (and vice versa). Consider: Continue reading
The fact that consciousness is affected by the brain and by other physical objects, such as the probe, in no way reduces consciousness to a physical property any more than a wooden oar that troubles water turns the water into wood.
— Douglas Groothuis, from Christian Apologetics, p. 396
Not only does your soul exist, but developing your soul now has eternal consequences.
— Greg Koukl, from “Evidence for the Soul”, article on str.org
In my view, the mind and spirit are faculties of the soul, and the soul is an immaterial substantial reality that contains a person’s various faculties of consciousness. The soul informs, diffuses, and animates the body and makes the body human. A person is identical to his or her soul and has a body that is intimately united to the soul. While personal identity can be sustained without a body, full human functioning is a holistic functioning of the soul together with the body. At the very least, a Christian ought to hold that a person can sustain personal identity in a disembodied intermediate state while awaiting the resurrection of the body.
— J. P. Moreland, from Restoring the Soul to Christianity, p. 2