2) Objection: the soul isn’t immortal

2)OBJECTION: THE SOUL ISN’T IMMORTAL

Unamuno (mentioned above) says: “…there is no way to rationally prove the soul’s immortality. Instead, there are ways to rationally prove its mortality” “…everything brings us to rationally suppose that death causes the loss of consciousness. The same way we don’t  remember anything from before we were born when we were not,   after dying, we shall not be. That’s the rational conclusion”.

Probably, Unamuno intends to say that, according to our senses, we have no data to assert that the person, his soul, lives after dying. Is that true? Not always. For instance, during the apparitions in Garabandal (apparitions not yet accepted by the Church), the Jesuit Luis Maria Andreu died suddenly (8thor 9thof August 1961) after having an extraordinary experience in the village of Garabandal, where the Blessed Virgin appeared to some little girls:

The Blessed Virgin communicated later to the girls that P. Luis Maria was in heaven with her, and the girls were able to speak with the already deceased person, so that they learned things about him that were corroborated by his brother as true, although the girls couldn’t know about them by usual human ways. The extraordinary events of Garabandal and the short age of the girls give us two more reasons to believe that the girls were talking with the deceased P Luis Maria Andreu.

Is this an isolated event? In the hagiographies of Christian saint’s, we find similar events; besides, the fact that there are apparitions of Our Lord, who died, and of the Blessed Virgin, who doesn’t live anymore on earth, demonstrates that they are alive, i.e. that there is another life after the present one.

Lets mention the tradition around Saint Francis of Asissi abridged on “Little Flowers”. Saint Francis saw several times Our Lord Jesus Christ. In “Little Flowers” several monks tell us how Saint Francis appeared and spoke to them after dying. It is also explained how some souls go directly to heaven and how other ones raise from purgatory to heaven. In the autobiographical report of a big saint such as St. Therese of Jesus (The Book of my Life), she tell us how she saw a soul going directly to heaven, another to purgatory and of another person that, after dying, was under the power of devils.

In the apparitions in Fatima, the child seers heard how the Blessed Virgin said that some friends of them were in heaven, others in purgatory. They also saw hell with the souls of the damned.

F. Pio de Pietralcina (already canonized), who died the 23rd September 1968, had on his body the sores of Our Lord and healed and miraculously converted several people. He was given the gift to know if some dead people were in heaven, in purgatory or in hell.

In more recent times, regarding the apparitions in Medjugorje (the Church seems to look upon such apparitions with sympathy, but it has not yet given a verdict) the 7thMay 1985, one of the seers, Ivanka Ivankovic, was talking with her dead mother, who appeared to her from heaven. Ivanka relates it as follows: “The Blessed Virgin was more beautiful than ever and was followed by two angels. She asked me if I wanted anything. I asked her if I could see my mother, The Blessed Virgin smiled and agreed wit a nod of Her head. My mother appeared instantly. She was smiling. The Blessed Virgin told me to get up. Then my mother kissed me, saying: “ My child, I’m very proud of you…” She kissed me again and she disappeared.”

The six young seers of Medjugorje have seen heaven and purgatory and four of them hell. There are souls which go directly to heaven, others to purgatory and others to hell. (These apparitions of the Blessed Virgin in Medjugorje have not finished).

As for other present apparitions, in El Escorial (the Church has not yet given a verdict), i.e., according to the seer, some young girls who had died  some days before in an accident and who some days before their death had said they didn’t believe in hell, appeared to her. From these young girls who spoke after their death to Amparo Cuevas (the seer in El Escorial), one was in hell; another one repented during the interval between the accident and her death and she spoke to her from purgatory, asking for prayers in order to raise to heaven soon.

That is to say that, if we check the trustworthiness of such testimonies of saints and of the Blessed Virgin’s apparitions, which are happening even today and are backed by prodigious events on the sky (remember that the prodigy of the sun in Fatima, which was seen by about 79.000 persons and by people who were many kilometres away from the crowd around the seeing shepherds), by miraculous conversions and healings and by other wonders, as well as by the holy words given in them and, let’s repeat, if we check the trustworthiness of such testimonies, by seeing God’s hand on them, we’ll be able to certify that there is another life and that the soul is immortal and will go to heaven, to purgatory or to hell, depending on our behaviour during our time on earth.

Furthermore, the fact that we cannot state with our senses that a person goes on living after his death because the soul remains alive is not reason enough to conclude that there isn’t any life beyond this one. We also cannot perceive with our senses the existence of God, but we know, through our reason, our conscience and our heart that God exists ( see “Does God exist?”, first question of the present book).

Just because God exists and is good, it would be hideous and inconceivable that we, who aspire to total happiness an to live for ever, feelings that God has put on our heart, would end up in the void and nothingness. We see that every general aspiration existing in Nature has a corresponding reality, so if on one hand we are thirsty, on the other hand, there exists water to quench this thirst with; if we are hungry, there exists the food to be satiated; the newborn strives after the mother’s milk with his mouth and the mother’s nipple exists in order to fulfil his wish. Thus, if we long for a perfect happiness and for an everlasting life must we conclude that they don’t exist at all?

It is rationalto think that God, who is the only Goodness, will give us what our heart longs for. It is rational to think that the soul, that part of our being that cannot be reduced to matter, will live forward after our body has died.