The Duel Between Body and Soul

“What people think about many of the big issues that will be discussed in the next two months – like gay marriage, stem-cell research and the role of religion in public life – is intimately related to their views on human nature. And while there may be differences between Republicans and Democrats, one fundamental assumption is accepted by almost everyone. This would be reassuring – if science didn’t tell us that this assumption is mistaken.

People see bodies and souls as separate; we are common-sense dualists. The President’s Council on Bioethics expressed this belief system with considerable eloquence in its December 2003 report ‘Being Human’: ‘We have both corporeal and noncorporeal aspects. We are embodied spirits and inspirited bodies (or, if you will, embodied minds and minded bodies).'”

More here in an editorial by Paul Bloom in the New York Times.