The Soul — Responses to Clarence Mitchell's Letter | March 2003

FMBR Editorial: March, 2003

The Soul -- Responses to Clarence Mitchell's Letter

William C. Gough, Editor

The following excerpts are responses to Clarence Mitchell's Letter to the Editor on the existence of the soul published in the February 2003 Newsletter.

While he was responding to Bill Gough's review of one of my books, his comments bear no relation to what I have presented in that book, nor indeed to Bill Gough's review of same. While I applaud his questions and challenges, I also empathize with the life experiences that have left him, and I quote, "with doubts and no beliefs." ... I thank Clarence for this opportunity to dialogue and wish him well and thrills on his journey of discovery.
-- Ursula M. Anderson, M.D.

Amazing guy, this Mitchell: he has no beliefs but can rattle on extensively about them!
-- Jim Jardine

Clarence does not understand the Scientific Process of testing a theory. Clarence has no evidence that the Soul does not exist. He has demonstrated no Positive Proof that could be tested by Scientific Method. If Clarence demonstrated a Hypothesis to outline an Experimental Laboratory Test, one that would Negate the existence of the Soul Positively, then he would be using the Science as Process. However, his argument is that -- an argument.
-- Jodell Bumatay

Mr. Mitchell falls into the same pseudoscientific error of which he accuses others: substituting blind belief/disbelief for scientific methodology. ... Proof itself is seldom cut and dried. Ultimately proof is nothing more than a consensus among imperfect human beings as to the meaning of the evidence. Yesterday's "irrefutable proof" may be revealed as meaningless, trivial or downright wrong. ... Mr. Mitchell's letter is fairly brimming with preconceived notions, beliefs and questionable generalizations. This is all too typical of self-appointed guardians of the status quo. Perhaps a little honest self-examination might be in order here.
-- Daniel Drasin

As a biomedical scientist, once upon a time on the faculty at UCSF Medical School, I often questioned my hunches since I only trusted the scientific way. Then when you visit life and death, in real terms, you know there's a whole lot more stirring the energy of the universe, even if its only a belief in something greater than human mind.
-- Sondra Barrett, Ph.D.


I cannot count the scientists, mathematicians, physicists or philosophers who found God while they were only looking for another scientific or physical breakthrough. Maybe one day Mr. Mitchell will be so lucky, but only if he opens up what appears to be a very closed mind.
-- Clark Viehweg

If there is no such thing as a soul, how does Mitchell explain such things as near-death experience and out-of-body experience? How does he explain the survival of consciousness after death, which is gaining more proof every day? There are many terms for the essence of a human, be it called spirit, soul, or whatever the name. However, SOMETHING is there that is not dependent upon our physical bodies for its existence.
-- Pat Sahlin

Although it is highly doubtful we will ever have a scientific answer to the existence of the soul, I'll simply say that if there isn't one then "What is this mysterious Essence within my personality that appears to exist only to be constantly fed?"
-- Diana Cornelius

Soul is the medium through which information flows. Information can be emotional, physical, psychological, sensorial, psychical, intellectual, and so forth.
-- Adrienne Juliano

The tragedy of Clarence is that he understands religious believers to be operating on blind unreasoning faith. While that may be true in some circumstances, I have discovered many people, including myself, for whom faith is irrelevant and for whom blindness in not a consideration. I know what I know from observations. Some observations can be made as part of an enlightened community. Some observations are so personal that others can only accept or reject the observer's claimed experience.
-- Kenneth R. Cone, CPA

The full text plus Clarence Mitchell's reply to the Editor's comments appear on the FMBR web site at

William C. Gough, Editor, March 2003 

Click to see the original letter. 
Click to see the editorial response.