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Afterword: God and the Soul

Afterword: God and the Soul

(p.237) Afterword: God and the Soul
Coming to Mind
Lenn E. GoodmanD. Gregory Caramenico
University of Chicago Press

t has not been our intention in this book to argue from some idea of God for the reality of the soul. We’ve built our case from the ground up, not least relying on the findings of brain science, psychology, and neuroscience. The conclusions we’ve drawn rest on the active and integrative work the brain does in making possible the emergence of the soul. The brain, we’ve argued, is not the soul’s explanatory rival but its chief organ and the chief organizing principle of the activities the soul directs throughout the body. Since we have not argued from theistic premises, our brief leaves room for one to argue without circularity that something as remarkable as the soul – not to mention its intimate, intricate nexus with the brain and the body as a whole – are worthy products of God’s creative, evolutionary handiwork in nature. Such arguments, from effect to cause, are never deductive. They lack the certitude of mathematics. But all arguments, we think, must take that exploratory form, if they aspire to existential conclusions. All of us stand with our feet on the ground, even if our heads are in the air, and our mental gaze soars higher.

Keywords:   philosophical theology, theism and the soul’s emergence

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