Does human soul exist?:  a brief deduction

For thousands of years of recorded human history man has grappled with the questions: “Who am I?” … “Where did I come from?” … “Why am I here?” … “Where do I go when I die?”

These ancient puzzles have persisted to this day and age and baffled both ancient and modern minds, partly because man’s capacity for asking questions has not always been matched by his ability to answer them.

Ancient and modern thinkers are generally divided into three views of man and the meaning and purpose of life, namely: spiritual, material and skeptical views.

The Spiritualists believe in the dual nature of man — physical body and divine spirit — and teach that life on earth is a mere transitory period in the evolution of the human soul.  Ancient Hindu and Jewish ascetics are the earliest recorded believers of this view.

The Materialists oppose this view and contend that man is nothing more than an evolved species of intelligent primates.  Men are born, they live, they die, and that is all there is in life.  Best known materialists include Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and the existentialist Jean Paul Sarte.

The Skeptics dismiss both views, especially the spiritual view, as futile and a waste of time.  What man could not know, he must not labor to explain.  All man knew was what he could see, hear, smell, feel, taste and measure, and he should be content with that.  This pessimistic view, however, contributes very little to the questions on hand.  Foremost ancient and modern skeptics include Aristotle, Rene Descartes, David Hume and Immanuel Kant.

The bone of contentions concerning the meaning and purpose of life, the key to the question of “Why am I here,” lies in the existence or non-existence of human soul

If man has no divine spirit then we are nothing more than advanced animals as the Darwinian evolutionists contend.  Life would be devoid of any higher meaning or divine purpose, a mere stroke of luck in the cosmic roll of dice.  We would in effect be nothing more than cultured animals and that is all.

So much for lofty ideals and pursuits — “eat, drink and be merry, for tommorow we shall die.”

But the word “cultured” begs for a closer examination.  Culture (from the Latin word “cultus” or cult as in religious cult) denotes not just the physical monuments and accomplishments of human civillizations, but more of the exultation and pursuit of intangible ideals and principles.

Culture speaks of man’s primordial impulse to embrace a moral code and uphold human rights and dignity.  It also reflects the appreciation and pursuit of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.  It is, on the whole, the collective expression of man’s will and reason, of his nobility and conscience.

Which of the animals can reason out or appreciate truth, beauty and goodness?  Which of the animals has conscience and concept of nobility and morality?

If we are simply an evolved species of intelligent primates, we should be exhibiting all the animal instincts and nothing of the lofty ideals and principles that surely have no meaning or intrinsic use to the base concerns of beastly existence.  Life would be reduced to the survival of the fittest and ruled entirely by brute strength and shrewdness.

There would be no reason or use for law and justice, morality and decency, goodness and nobility.  No need to build civilizations or lasting family ties.  No need for appreciation of beauty, of music and creative arts; no need for religion and the worship of the unseen.  And past cultures, wherever and whenever they originated from, have consistently left behind traces of history or tradition of man paying homage to a higher being.

Only the spark of the divine within the human breast can account for this culture of man and his impulse to worship the unseeen.  There is no other plausible explanation for the universal ascent of these phenomena, and the enduring influence they exert into the present state and affairs of mankind, except to embrace the existence of human soul — that spark of spirituality that compels man to distinguish himself from the animals. 

It is the divine breath of life that propels and sustains the phenomenal progress of man morally and culturally, making him a great deal higher than the animals and only a little below the angels.

If man has a soul, a spirit within a mortal body, then he must be of spiritual origin.  And if he originated from the spirit, then there must be an origin — a universal force, being or spirit.  There must be a God, for the originated requires an originator.

(To say that science has not proven the existence of human soul, or God, is like saying that science has, indeed, exhausted all the mysteries of life and the entire universe.)  

Author:  Rene “RC” Catacutan
Published 06 April 2012