2021 Abstracts Stage 2

The Soul Crisis of the 21st century: This paper aims to critically discuss whether it is possible to believe in the existence of the soul in the 21st century

Eleanor Lewis, 2021, Stage 2

This project investigates whether it is possible to believe in the soul and spiritual concepts in the 21st century, despite the rise in scientific research which aims to render them into fictitious elaborations.

AIM: With this investigation I aim to prove how it is entirely justifiable for individuals to hold a belief in the soul in contemporary society. I will reveal how the soul crisis today is purely a turning point in which science and spirituality can combine, introducing rational spirituality and examples neurological evidence in favour of the soul’s existence.

This project has taken me on a journey through the history of the human soul. I have looked at the ancient radical dualist philosophy of Plato and continental thought of Descartes, whilst analysing contemporary philosopher Tim Freke and his belief in ‘Emergent Spirituality’.
Scientific data and experiments for and against the soul have also been used to argue my conclusion in support of the soul’s existence.

This project came from a desire to be able to justify my own belief in the human soul, in a society where I have faced ridicule and criticism for holding such a belief. I began to question whether I was simply holding on to a deep desire for my life to be worth something, when actually in reality, I am a monkey who wears clothes, aimlessly wondering on a rock spinning to oblivion.
With the current pandemic I have never been faced with so much time in my own head to think about the existential questions that young people tend to brush over. Do I have a purpose? What happens when I die? Being faced with so much death and tragedy each day on the news, it forced me to think about the future of my existence. It forced me to want to prove that there is a place for those who believe in the purpose of humanity and spiritual concepts like the soul in the 21st century, and that science has not entirely eradicated the magic and mystery from my existence.

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