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It’s hard to tell if we can exactly know if we have a soul or not, or if other people or animals have souls or not. Although there is a general belief that souls are the immortal part of human bodies, and they continue onto an afterlife, when analyzing the matter philosophically, this is hard to believe when there are philosophers who are even suspicious of their own existence, such as Rene Descartes. However, humans show consciousness, are aware of good and bad, and are capable of love, so these qualities might be evidence of a soul. In the case of animals, animals show sadness when they are forcibly separated from their children, such as when whales are separated from their small ones as they are being hunted. Animals are also capable of love, so there could be a desire to believe that all living things have a soul. But at the end of the day, there is no literal way of knowing or proving this.
While some religions believe in the afterlife through going to heaven, others believe in it by the means of reincarnation; while one claims that animals can’t have souls, the other claims that humans can be reincarnated into lesser beings such as animals. If there truly is a soul, which one is it? What is the essence of a soul? Yes, we can have faith in having a soul and believe that because we have consciousness we have a soul. But we are living in a technologic era which is a pathway to the next evolution stage of humans. The definition of what it means to be a human is changing. Once it was believed that if one can have reasonable thought, have consciousness, know between good and bad, and have a certain size brain, or whatever was the case, was a human. But today, people who have brain deficiencies are able to survive through life, people who have lost their limbs are attached mechanical and artificial limbs that help them in their day-to-day life. There is even discussion of people attempting to transfer their consciousness onto a computer system so that it continues on even after one’s death. The next stage of being a human seems to include the existence of artificial intelligence, and even the possibility of consciousness within an artificial intelligence. Does this mean that robots will have souls one day? There just doesn’t seem to be a way to know if we have a soul.
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