The Soul and the BRain

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Biology 202

2006 First Web Paper

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The Soul and the Brain

Beatrice Johnson

What is the soul and what is its connection to the brain if there is any? This question has puzzled me most of my life. There is something in us that is separate from the brain, something we have no knowledge of, but we know it's there. The brain in contrast, we can see, we can touch and we can feel it. I have read about the soul. I have talked about the soul. Is it some unopenable box with all the answers inside?
Plato and Socrates say the soul is the essence of the person and that it is separate. It controls the way we act. (1) I say no to that, but I do agree that it is separate. Aristotle agreed with Plato that the soul is the essence of the person, but is not separate. (1) I place actions in the domain of the brain.
The Bible gives many instances where the soul is separate from the body. (1) The religious aspect leaves me a little baffled. It is clear that the soul leaves the body with death, but what is it doing while in the body, from a religious point of view. Does it play an active part in our living which we are not aware of?
The Islamic view is that soul gives life to the body, which is also true of the Christian faith. (1) But I'm still left with same question, what does the soul do while it is in the body?
I have talked to many people about the soul, some say the soul is the mind. What is the Mind? I yet have an answer to that question. Others don't believe we have a soul. It's all in the brain and when we die it is over. I refuse to believe that the brain is all, that is, when I know there is something more, something greater than the brain. The brain does well at what it does, but is physical and it controls what is physical. The brain has its limitations and the most obvious one is that it can't answer my question concerning the soul. Sure it can give me definitions of what the soul is through reasoning, but is that what the soul really is a definition, or does it have a meaning? I have tried to think it out but have grown tired.
I have come to the conclusion that the soul is beyond my realm, but yet it dwells within me. It is something I know of but know nothing about. I am allowed to think about it, ponder about it. The soul is there and is aware of me knows more of me, than I know of myself. But it will not let itself be known. Science says that in time through research and investigations it will provide some of the answers or even more questions that will help enlighten the mystery of the soul. (1)
Science has done much in unraveling the mysteries of the brain.
Is there an accepted answer of what the soul is? Plato, Socrates and Aristotle all agreed on certain aspects of "their" soul, but failed to come to full agreement. Religious faiths have similar beliefs about what the soul is but don't come into full agreement. Is there an answer that will satisfy and identify what the soul really is? .
For myself, I know it's there and I know it will continue to plague me. If there is not an answer why does it plague so? Is it that the brain is working overtime? Is it trying to make sense of something that has no sense? Is it going through its normal procedure of functioning? I don't know because it has not come up with an answer. I don't feel that bad after all. I am sure that I am not the only in this predicament. Afer all Plato, Socrates and Aristotle were plagued by this very same predicament.

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