Soul Brother?

09/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

You know the old saying there is no such thing as "alternative medicine", only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't work. Here is a new one -- there is no such thing as "spirituality", just rational brain function and irrational brain function.

Where did that come from? Well I grow weary of being told by the religiously inclined that atheism is irrational because it doesn't take into account spirituality or the soul. Then they will sit back, satisfied smile briefly playing around their lips, content to have proved, yet again, that they are rational human beings. And that atheists are lunatics who should be at best excluded from all public office and at worst simply lined up against the wall and shot.

Problem is the proposition is simply a tautology signifying nothing. Why do we have religion? Because people have spiritual needs. How do we know they have spiritual needs? Because they have religion. So there. We have religion because we have religion.

There is no separate entity called a soul, nor a separate human attribute which can be labeled as spirituality. Both are just the sum total of all our mental processes and the inputs into them over the course of our lives. It is just another example of the old mind-body debate. What is the mind -- it is the brain, what else would it be, the liver? Once upon a time of course it was assumed that human essence was in the heart -- which retains its popular status as the seat of love. Does anyone seriously still believe that your love for someone is a function of heart activity?

And yet we go on, mindlessly claiming that there is some separate and invisible human organ called the soul which expresses something never measured called spirituality. And we use these invisible features to pretend that they prove that an equally invisible feature of the world called "god" also exists. God created humans with souls. How do we know that? Because we are spiritual beings. How do we know that? Because we follow religions that believe there is a god. Why do we do that? Because we have souls. Oh and by the way, when all the actual human organs have stopped functioning, the soul beats on. An invisible organ life in an invisible life after death.

Really you couldn't invent this stuff. Oh, they already did?

Only rational thought on The Watermelon Blog.