What Makes Us Human, and Why It Is Not the Brain: A Creationist Defense of the Soul

What Makes Us Human, and Why It Is Not the Brain: A Creationist Defense of the Soul: Discussion


In Joubert’s paper (Joubert 2011), he successfully defends the core of his thesis, essentially, we are not our brains. Certainly there is more to humans than a physical and complex brain architecture from which a mind would seem to emerge (confounding the naturalist).

However, this reader has two difficulties:

  1. since the term soul is defined progressively throughout the paper, unsound implications arise when rereading earlier arguments once the full definition is in view, and
  2. Scriptures used to demonstrate souls are alive after death either do not imply this view or are explicitly teaching something different all together.

See Joubert’s reply to this paper.

After expanding these points, I will contend the biblical promise of resurrection strongly implies that not only are souls not alive after death but a body is necessary for a soul to interact within a realm (physical or spiritual).

The Definition of Soul

What follows is the definition of soul as it is defined progressively in Joubert (2011):

  • The soul is the person and enters a disembodied state upon death (Joubert 2011, p. 217).
  • Spirit and soul are interchangeable terms (Joubert 2011, p. 218).
  • The soul (which is the person) has a body (Joubert 2011, p. 220).
  • The soul is immaterial (Joubert 2011, p. 220).
  • The soul is eternal (Joubert 2011, p. 220).
  • The soul continues to exist, but more so is alive without a material body, after death (Joubert 2011, p. 221).
  • The soul is an agent and the body is an instrument (Joubert 2011, p. 221).
  • The soul does not change though the body does (Joubert 2011, p. 221).
  • The soul is a set of capacities, attributes, tendencies, and dispositions (Joubert 2011, p. 224).
  • The soul forms the body (Joubert 2011, p. 224) and when the soul comes into existence determines the body’s function (Joubert 2011, p. 226).
  • The soul is the bearer of its own life (Joubert 2011, p. 226).
  • The brain and the mind are not identical (Joubert 2011, p. 229).

With this summary view of soul, it seems while we may not be only our brains, we are only our souls. Based on this view, the following five problems and questions arise: