How Can You explain the Soul and the Spirit to a person who believes in only what is seen?

Hello All,
My question simply is that is their a way to explain the soul and the spirit? How can we as Christians prove to someone that we all have a soul? Thank you
Sincerely,
Akira

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Good question, @Akira!

On one level, I think that everyone intuitively knows that there’s a thinking, feeling part of themselves that makes choices, experiences guilt, appreciates beauty, understands calculus, remembers, loves, longs for, etc. - and that these inner experiences are not localized in any specific atoms. People have to be indoctrinated for a long time to convince themselves of things like, “The brain secretes thoughts like the gall bladder secretes bile.”

I think it’s interesting that strict materialists will often point out that the more formal education one has, the more likely they are to be strict materialists. They think it shows that smarter people are more inclined to be skeptical. I would have said that is shows how much more indoctrination is required to make skeptics of people.

So on a very elemental level, I think no one needs to be convinced that there’s an immaterial spirit inside them - I think they really do understand that, even as they try very hard to convince themselves otherwise.

But if you’re looking for something like a thought experiment to help bring them back to the simplicity of truth, then you might try something like this:

Compare the material difference between a person’s body lying on a bed the moment before their death with the moment after.

Materially, every atom that was inside them the moment before is still there. Materially, there’s no difference between before and after.

But since they’re now dead - since nothing is moving anymore - then there’s obviously a huge difference of some kind. It just isn’t a material difference. Whatever was previously animating the body is something immaterial.

And the Bible is way ahead on this one. James 2:26 says that the body without the spirit is dead.

Now, I cannot promise that anything you say will change your friend on the spot, but perhaps an idea like this will at least start the gears turning. I hope it helps you help your friend!

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Hi, @Akira👋

You had an excellent analogy from Bro. @jlyons. I could not have put it any better than he did.

Below is a link to my response about the trichotomy of man. Perhaps it could help to somehow differentiate the body, soul, and spirit in their functions.

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The Old Testament gives a description of the make up of humanity, Heart, mind and strength. Mind is our thinking, Strength is our physical being and heart deals with emotion, resolve, and will. The will is an intangible essence that directs the rest of the body. You lose your will and you lose the desire to live or accomplish goals, in extreme cases you die. I think the will is our expression of spirit and life ie. our soul. Self awareness is tied to the body and to our mind but is directed by the will. The scripture tells us that we are eternal though the body and related functions may die but we still exist. you will find psychologists recognize we have an intangible life force which are called by different names but still a life force. You cannot describe or comprehend an eternal soul apart from God and theology.

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