PadmaVonSamba wrote:There is nothing that suggests the existence of a soul, except as something people conjured up in their imaginations a long time ago, which still persists as a hypothetical concept, no different from a mythological creature.
Buddhism argues that a permanent soul thing is impossible, because if it "exists" in relation to changing conditions, the nature of it's existence is thus also conditional (relative) and not finite (ultimate) in which case there is nothing about it which can be called 'permanent"
and if it does not "exist' in relation to conditions, then it has no existence in the context of anything we can experience. It would be nothing we could ever have any contact with. Thus, any definition of it's "existing' is moot.
To a natural human way of thinking, our existence suggests some kind of 'soul' on first reflection, but science has effectively weighed in behind Buddhism in demonstrating (through similar means of both logic and discovery) that -as far as we can safely assume- the 'soul' concept is incompatible with reality. Unless we're either fully enlightened or (perhaps) a walking encyclopedia of ultimate future scientific knowledge (eeurgh), we can't know that 'soul' is a myth, as we have to surmise and take on faith respectively that our own faculties and the more-developed among those of others are able between them to tune in to enough reality to rule it out. 'Soul' is of course also a concept with no exact definition (at a stretch, some might give that name to awareness), and given that reality obviously appears to look and feel different to an enlightened person, it's easy to see how the concept could legitimately be used as upaya in some circumstances.