In this video, J.P. Moreland discusses with Robert Lawrence Kuhn (producer and host of the Closer to Truth show on PBS) the movement among intellectuals away from belief in the existence of a soul:
I think a lot of it’s sociological. I think we live in a day where scientism is the default position by a lot of people—that’s the idea that science, and science alone, can give us answers to our questions about reality. And I think it’s a big mistake to advance that view….
I don’t think the issue is scientific. The fundamental questions about the nature of consciousness and whether there is a soul are just not scientific questions. They’re questions like, “What exactly is a thought?” “What is a semantic meaning?”… There hasn’t been a single discovery in neuroscience or any other branch of science that a dualist (that is, one who believes in the soul and consciousness) could not easily accommodate within his or her theory…. [See here for more on that.]
Moreland explains some of the issues behind his belief in dualism—the definition of consciousness, the interaction between the brain and the self, objections to substance dualism, etc.—and then sums up the conversation this way:
The bottom line is this: Consciousness just isn’t the same thing as physical states of the brain because there are things true of one that aren’t the other. And the self is not identical to the brain because the self is a simple substance that isn’t composed of parts. And these questions are not fundamentally scientific questions, they’re philosophical.