Neuroethics: Implications for the Existence and Care of Human Souls

This paper examines recent applications of functional neuroimaging and how these techniques have been employed to assess moral-theological aspects of human persons. Specific attention is given to exploring published functional magnetic resonance imaging research that has purportedly challenged the longstanding belief that humans require an immaterial aspect to their being. The results of this study suggest that functional neuroimaging techniques are hardly as precise or compelling as frequently portrayed, and that the implications drawn from such research are often overreaching. This study concludes that neuroimaging research has failed to yield any compelling evidence to call into question the “soulishness” of human persons, and that the testimony of Scripture provides at least inferential evidence for the existence of a non-material entity (variously described as “spirit” and/or “soul”) that both directs and interacts with the human physical body. On this view, theoretical and investigative implications for Christian theologians, philosophers, and ethicists, along with practical “clinical” recommendations for pastors, Christian counselors, and Christian mental health professionals, are provided.

3 thoughts on “Neuroethics: Implications for the Existence and Care of Human Souls”

  1. Comment on “Neuroethics…”
    Very well-written abstract. Excellent fit either for bioethics section or for a general session. Would pair nicely with “Can Virtue be Taught…?

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