Have You No Soul, Brothers And Sisters?
The concept of a soul tends to be one of those ideas shared across each and every culture, every society, every religion, nearly every philosophy, and from each and every historical period since recorded history began right up through and including modern 21st Century times. As such, it is a concept that one has to come to terms with as one could hardly call such a universal concept trivial.
However, it must be noted that cultures of any kind can be very, very wrong. For example, the ancient Egyptians thought that the heart was the be all and end all of what made you, you and thus was left inside their mummies. The heart was your soul. The brain (mind) on the other hand was a worthless structure regarding the afterlife and was pulled out of the deceased and discarded.
Then there are the old standbys, no longer credible, that the Sun went around the Earth, the centre of the cosmos; the Earth was flat; the Earth was created in 4004 BC; natural disasters 家庭輔導員 weren’t natural but supernatural; the atomic theory was nonsense; there were only four elements (air, earth, fire & water); racial and cultural superiority are obvious (if you were of that race or culture), and there are hundreds of other examples that proved really wrong that came from all possible walks of life.
Whether or not the concept of a soul proves to be another analogy to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow remains to be ‘seen’.
The generally accepted criteria part and parcel of the soul is: Only human beings have a soul. The soul is the essence of what makes you, you. The soul is alleged to be indestructible. The soul is separate and apart from the physical body (which has mass, takes up space and uses energy). The soul is immortal (starts at conception and goes on everlasting from that point) and according to some eternal (what would become your soul pre-existed your conception). There are many variations on the theme of the soul. Some say animals, even non-living things like mountains have a soul, but the above tends to be the norm. Some say you have more than one soul, a yin soul and a yang soul for example. The nice thing is that you can claim whatever you want to about the nature of your soul, or even the soul, and odds are nobody could contradict you with solid evidence.