A human body is more than the carbon and proteins and carbohydrates that compose it. The body is a form. A human body that resembled an apple would not be a human body in any real sense



Many people believe that the real you is a spiritual soul which can survive the death of the body. Some scholars call the soul the form of the body. 

Christians believe that we are body and soul. The soul lives on after the body dies. It is a spirit - it is not made of anything material.

A Catholic book of Christian Apologetics, Reasons for Hope, says that the soul is the form of the living thing.
Catholics teach that the bread of holy communion when validly consecrated by a priest literally becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It looks like bread and no experiment can prove it is not bread but the Church claims that it is really the body of Jesus. The Church says that the taste, appearance, weight and smell of the communion wafer do not prove that it is bread. What makes something bread is substance. Substance is like a partless soul for it can do without the things that appear to the senses. Substance has nothing to do with the appearances of bread, taste or smell or colour etc. The appearances can stay but the substance can change. Bread can become Jesus without changing anything that makes it seem to be bread. They say the substance of bread turns into the substance of Jesus by the power of the priest.
In a similar way, this book says the soul is the substance of the body, its form. But suppose the body was made up of parts then each part could have a different soul and the whole thing coming together makes up a person. The soul could be made up of many souls just as many cells can make up one brain. It takes many. If the souls separate as in death perhaps, the self ceases to exist. There is no proof that the soul in each person is one soul so the book is wrong to claim there is just the one (page 32). The rest of the arguments are largely nonsense you would expect from books like the awful Handbook of Christian Apologetics.
The book also argues that since the intellect can know the body like it was an outsider it must be independent of the body and will survive when the body dies (page 38). But the intellect is a sense. It senses out absurdity from non-absurdity. It is only consciousness that is the mystery. A sense can pick up something without being conscious. A computer can work out if there is a disk in its floppy drive. Is sight independent of the eye because it can see the eye in a reflection? The argument is totally stupid.

Page 41 dubiously argues that the soul cannot be put out of existence even by God for God made it to be immortal. Though he has the power, his morals forbid him to do so. But that presupposes that God promised the soul in the first place that he would never kill it. He had no need to promise that. But the book seems to think that by merely giving it the power to be immortal he promised it that and that is bad logic. With that logic, when he made babies with the power to grow up he did wrong by taking their lives.
Catholics say God knows all the circumstances and can do things we don't expect him to do. We don't see the full picture and he does. So how can they be so sure that God considered it right to make the soul immortal? What if my soul is immortal and yours is not?
If the soul is just the form of the body then the body is completely replaced with a new body every so many years so that the body you have now is not the one that existed ten years ago then you must have a new soul now. The Christians often say now that if the soul just survived death that is only part of the person surviving not the whole person which is why the resurrection is necessary for body and soul make up the person. The implications of this after what we have just read are silly indeed. It implies that since your body dies and is replaced by new cells when it is alive until you get a brand new body that you are not the same person as before.
The idea of the form is really reification. That is when an abstract idea is confused with a real thing. It is like mistaking the number 1 for a real thing. It only exists in our heads. And so does the soul - thankfully it does not exist in many atheist heads!

AFTER DEATH – WHAT? Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
ETERNAL LIFE, Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1984
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCHTOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH? Paul Kroll, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1988
MIND OUT OF TIME, Ian Wilson, Gollanez, London, 1981
LIFE AFTER DEATH THE WONDERFUL FACTS, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian, ALS, Birmingham
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
TEACH YOURSELF PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, Mel Thompson, Teach Yourself Books, London, 2003
THE AFTER DEATH EXPERIENCE, Ian Wilson, Corgi, London, 1987
THE DEVIL HIDES OUT, David Marshall, Autumn House, Grantham, 1991
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN? Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Publishers, Oregon, 1988

The Web
Case of Reincarnation Re-examined by Joe Nickell. This refutes the reincarnation claims of Jenny Cockell.

The Amplified Bible

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