There are many people who claim to believe in the human "soul", which is supposedly an entity that is our deeper self, something of us that survives after death somehow, even after our brains stop working all together. But with our increasing understanding of how the mind works and what consciousness is, can such a notion survive (and be taken seriously)? There seems to be a trend of referring to some ethereal, "nonmaterial" entity that is supposed to be the soul, but that trend can only be restricted as our knowledge grows deeper and deeper into the human mind. We used to consider mental phenomenon as its own thing, and so the notion of a soul was not in danger. But now we know that the mind is basically the activity of the brain, which is purely physical. Anybody trying to refer to "soul" as anything more than poetic license must now differentiate that from what is usually called mind, since we know we can alter the mind by altering the brain. Even personality is not totally stable, as can be seen from extreme cases of brain damage. What then is the soul, if anything? The notion gets pushed back and back, made less and less connected to the actual human being. Perhaps the soul is simply "consciousness". But what is that? If it is not mind, which changes as a person changes, and not personality, which also can change, then is it anything at all?
What do you believe about the idea of a "soul"? Does it exist? What is it? If you believe in it, how does it interact with the mind and with physical reality, and how do you reconcile that with the modern understanding of brain-based consciousness?