The NY Times has an article about science and the existence of the soul. There’s not really any substance to it, just discussions of what it could mean for science to show that the soul probably doesn’t exist. Of course, science can’t really do that; at best it could say that it’s unnecessary, which is essentially the conclusion the article is discussing. I was interested in one paragraph with a quote by Ken Miller:
“Everything we know about the biological sciences says that life is a phenomenon of physics and chemistry, and therefore the notion of some sort of spirit to animate it and give the flesh a life really doesn’t fit with modern science,” said Dr. Miller, a Roman Catholic whose book, “Finding Darwin’s God” (Harper, 1999) explains his reconciliation of the theory of evolution with religious faith. “However, if you regard the soul as something else, as you might, say, the spiritual reflection of your individuality as a human being, then the theology of the soul it seems to me is on firm ground.”
I don’t understand this ability to completely redefine words that religion has. A soul has traditionally meant the immaterial essence of a person, as described by Miller in the first sentence. Yes, if we redefine it as some sort of reflection of who you are it’s not in conflict with science. But so what? It’s like saying murder isn’t so bad if you define it as riding a bike.