Interesting article from ‘Big Think‘ regarding the question if humans (or animals) have a soul, based on the essay: “A Ghost in the Machine“. They try to present evidence that our personality traits and sense of self arise from neural circuitry in the brain and not a supernatural soul.
Proof presented are e.g. certain kinds of brain injuries which don’t just cause mental deficits, but changes in the content of consciousness. They can turn a cautious and meticulous person into an irresponsible and impulsive one (frontotemporal dementia), or give them a bizarre and inappropriate sense of humor that they never had before (stroke-induced euphoria), or split their consciousness into two halves that know and desire different things (callosal disconnection). They can cause a delusion that part of a person’s own body no longer belongs to them (somatoparaphrenia), or that a close friend or relative has been replaced by an impostor (Capgras syndrome). All these conditions are utterly inexplicable if we assume that the seat of the self, the part of the mind that processes sensory input, originates desires and makes decisions, is something immaterial that exists outside the body.
You could, of course, argue that your soul doesn’t store your memories, your personality traits, the desires that drive your behavior, or your sense of self – that all these things come from the brain, and that the “soul” is nothing but the substrate of consciousness, a blank white screen on which the brain’s activity plays out. But even if such a thing exists, why should I think of it as “me” or care about what happens to it? It contains none of the things that make me who I am, and its survival after the death of my brain ought to be of as much interest to me as the fate of my toenails.