An Argument For the Existence Of The Soul

In an episode of “Closer to Truth”, Prof. Alvin Plantinga of Notre Dame gives a quick analytic argument for the existence of the soul that is sound and persuasive. Plantinga points out that even though it’s all the rage to be a materialist when it comes to human persons, he’s not convinced. Consider the following:

If Alvin was merely a material object then he would have to be his body or brain (for example, he couldn’t be a material object 100 miles away). Now the thing is that it’s perfectly conceivable that he could exist when his body doesn’t. For simplicity’s sake ‘my body’ will now be referred to as B. It seems that I could exist when B doesn’t for I can conceive of existing apart from B. And if it’s possible that I can exist when B doesn’t, then I’m not identical with B. If this is the case, then there’s something true of me that is not true of B. Therefore, I am not identical with my body.

The reason for this has to do with Leibniz’s law. Leibniz’s law states that what is true of A has to be true of B in order for A and B to be identical. All of A’s properties have to be shared with B in order for them to be the same thing. So, if it’s even possibly true that I could exist when B doesn’t, there’s something true of me that is not true of B. There are possibilities that are true for me that are not true for my body. But, in order for me to be the same thing as my body, every possibility for me must be shared with my body. Plantinga has shown this to be false.

Boom goes the dynamite.