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The Nine Point Five Theses

Deriving the existence of souls from an examination of human behavior, plus the fundamental physical reason why souls have to exist in the first place. These proofs rest on a foundation of coldly objective logic and reason. The reader is invited to use his/her own logic and reason to decide for himself/herself if they are correct and rigorous---or not. I guarantee you an interesting read.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Note added 04/05/2012: Happiness Boxes are finally under development. A Russian billionaire has started the ball rolling.
The Suicide of Man has begun.


by Jeffrey A. Corkern

Why are emotion drugs illegal?

Our society---in fact, all stable, functioning societies in the world---do NOT like emotion drugs for some strange reason. Drugs like pot, cocaine, heroin, LSD, meth, Ecstasy and so forth. They spend literally HUNDREDS of billions of dollars fighting emotion drugs. "War On Drugs" is not an over-exaggeration to describe this world-wide effort, not in the least. The expenditure easily matches what has been spent on fighting real shooting wars.

This world's societies are SERIOUS about this war. A lot of this world's societies will stand you up against a wall and SHOOT YOU DEAD if they catch you selling emotion drugs.

You wanna know the weirdest thing?

The world's societies can't really tell you WHY they're doing this.

They can't answer the question of why they're making this EXTREME effort against emotion drugs. They can't. Not one society in this world can give an answer to that question you can't shoot down with the greatest of ease. If they could give an entirely logical answer, an answer that could convince EVERYBODY emotion drugs really were intrinsically bad things, an argument everybody could understand, they wouldn't be having such a hard time keeping people away from emotion drugs. They wouldn't be having to spend so much money.

This extreme effort seems strange to a lot of people. So much so there are organizations---like NORML, the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws, for example, and many others---that are actively trying to make emotion drugs legal.

One sign of everyone's complete and total confusion is they haven't even correctly labeled these things as what they are. EMOTION drugs, that is. Drugs that make people feel good, that MAKE people feel a certain EMOTION they want to feel.

Let's run through a couple of these worthless arguments against emotion drugs and shoot them down, just to illustrate how completely and totally confused this anti-emotion-drug thing is.

The first objection you hear is that it's wrong to use to emotion drugs----because they're illegal.


This is so astoundingly illogical it takes your breath away. An example of circular logic at its finest. Because they're illegal? Easily cured, man. Just make the damn emotion drugs legal. Then it'll be right. Just make all emotion drugs legal and let corporations sell them just like soda pop. You'll save how many HUNDREDS of billions of dollars? How much drug crime will go away? How many prisons will be COMPLETELY emptied? How much money will you rake in on taxes? It'll be in the billions! You'll make every nickel back you spent on that futile War On Drugs! People will spend money on emotion drugs before they'll spend money on FOOD, man!

Which brings up the second objection.

Emotion drugs in general hurt their users. Letting people use emotion drugs will be allowing people to damage themselves, even kill themselves. Several of these emotion drugs will kill you deader than a hammer if you slip just one little inch.

First answer to that: There are quite a number of activities that people do in this world that are just as dangerous (or MORE!), that can kill you just as dead---and none of the world's societies forbid these activities. Things like sky-diving. High-speed auto racing. Airplane racing. Hang-gliding. Scuba diving. Mountain climbing. Slip just one little inch doing any of these activities or any of a thousand other risky activities---and you're DEAD, quicker than a heartbeat.

(You know, it's odd, but we can abstract a rule from this observed behavior. We can abstract a single, simple rule the world's societies are using to determine what is and is NOT allowed behavior to get happy.

You can do anything you want that doesn't hurt other people to get happy---except stimulate the happiness centers of your brain directly.

Anything else is allowed, even if you can get yourself killed doing it. Indirect stimulation of your brain's happiness centers is legal. Direct stimulation of your brain's happiness centers is NOT.)

Second answer to that: Okay, so what if we find a way of stimulating the brain's happiness centers that DOESN'T hurt the user? That have no side-effects. Not physically addicting and impossible to overdose on. The perfect drug or class of emotion drugs. Then we can make that one class of emotion drugs alone legal.

Impossible to make a single chemical that does that, you say? Chemicals ALWAYS have side-effects.

Well, actually, you're probably right---if you're talking about chemical substances.

Fortunately, science is marching on. The human race is no longer restricted to chemical substances when it comes to getting stoned---pardon me, happy. We can cut right to the chase these days, without having to use any kind of nasty chemicals with their nasty side effects.

Direct electrical brain stimulation.

We can run a little metal wire right to certain sections of your brain, trickle a few milliamps of current to it---and you will be in Nirvana INSTANTLY, man, higher than a kite. With NO side-effects.

The groundwork has already been laid. Neuroscientists have ALREADY discovered precisely what sections of brain to tickle, believe it or not.

So there we have it, the perfect happiness drug. Or machine, rather.

So now all objections to emotion drugs have been refuted.

So now we can make all emotion drugs and machines legal. Right? Right! There's not a single objection we can't shoot down. We can't find a single truly logical reason not to.

W-e-l-l, perhaps not. Perhaps there are one or two teeny-tiny little objections to making emotion drugs, or machines, legal.

Let us examine this question as precisely as possible. (Which is something, by the way, the world's societies have NEVER done. They have just been reacting instinctively, stumbling around blind in the dark, on this subject.)

First, let us define precisely what an emotion drug is.

An "emotion drug" is a substance that is capable of directly affecting the emotion centers of the user's brain and is employed by the user for the SOLE purpose of affecting the emotion centers of his brain, for directly altering his emotional state.

Note that this definition is totally a use definition, i.e. the user is the one who defines what an emotion drug is.

Let me illustrate what I mean. Smoking marijuana for the SOLE purpose of getting high defines marijuana as an emotion drug (and illegal). Smoking marijuana to, let us say, relieve the pain of menstrual cramps or to stimulate your appetite because anti-cancer drugs have suppressed your appetite defines marijuana as NOT an emotion drug (and legal).

It is the purpose the user has for the drug that primarily determines whether or not the drug is an emotion drug. To DIRECTLY affect his brain's emotion centers---it's an emotion drug. Anything else, it's not.

So now we have a working definition of "emotion drug." Which is also hereby defined to include, not just drugs, but also mechanical devices.

Now, what rational, logical objection can we find to making these things legal?

What do emotion drugs do.


They make people happy. Fundamentally, the rock-bottom, that's what they do. They make people feel good.

How in the world could that be a bad thing?

I mean, everything else people do has as its sole purpose to get happy. Why aren't emotion drugs just yet another pathway to this emotional state?

Perhaps we should pause here a minute and look at this getting-happy thing. There is something quite astonishing about this getting-happy thing.

You know why people do what they do?


You know what? You can describe ALL human action in terms of getting happy!

All of it, man! ALL OF IT! No matter how small, it’s ALL about being happy!

You race cars at high speed---because you enjoy it. You parachute out of perfectly good airplanes---because it's fun. You play video games---because it brings a smile to your face.

It goes deeper than that. A LOT deeper.

(You even BREATHE to stay happy. Right? How happy are you going to feel if you STOPPED breathing?)

You get married, because being with that special other person makes you happier than anything else in this world.

(You wanna know where this deep insight into human motivation first began to pop to the surface? To become consciously known?

In the eighteenth century!

In the eighteenth century, there was a great deal of philosophical inquiry into why people did what they did. And the answer they came up with was people did what they in order to get happy. This was NOT just some airy-fairy philosophical conclusion, either. This conclusion GOT USED AS A FOUNDATION RULE FOR ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST SUCCESSFUL SOCIETIES!

Guess which one.

The United States!

What does it say in the Declaration of Independence?

"life, liberty, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!"

The Founding Fathers were trying to lay the foundations for a successful society using this radical new discovery. And they did it, man, they did it. They absolutely NAILED it! Because ALL human action truly can be described as an effort to get happy!

Smart guys, our Founding Fathers.)

You have a family---because it makes you happy. You get up every morning, go out and work like a damn dog---because having a family, in the end, makes you happy, so happy you don't mind the extreme effort it takes.

Whatever you do, it's to feel happiness in one form or another. It's all about being happy, your own personal happiness, and everybody else's, in the end.

Unless, of course, you use emotion drugs to get happy.

Now you no longer need to do any of those other things. Now all you need is the emotion drug---a bag of pot, a line of coke, a wire to the brain. Now you don't need any of those other things to get happy anymore. Race cars, airplanes, video games, you don't need them---and something far more terrible you're not going to need.

You want to know what the most terrible thing is you're not going to need?

You're not going to need---other people.

You're not gonna need other people, man. You can see this already happening in society. This is a known psychological effect of emotion drugs. Look at the people you know who use dope. Look at them REAL HARD.

Are they not---ISOLATED? Fundamentally cut off from the rest of the world? In a kind of unchanging stasis? Not going anywhere?

They don't HAVE to change, you see. With people who don't use emotion drugs, if they are in pain somehow and not happy, they are FORCED to change something about themselves or their environment in order to be happy. They are FORCED TO GET SMARTER about the Universe, to strike the rock-bottom. This is NOT true for people who use emotion drugs. If they feel bad, they just go running to the dope, and PRESTO! They're happy! Without having to go through the effort of making all that nasty, wrenching, painful change! Of having to learn anything, of having to get smarter even the least little bit!

So they DON'T change or get smarter, and this is a known psychological effect of emotion drugs. If somebody started using emotion drugs at fifteen, you can examine him psychologically ten, twenty, thirty, forty years later---and he will STILL be fifteen years old on the inside. He (or she, of course) will know what he knew at fifteen---and NOTHING else.

(You can see this same isolating effect in drug-related violent crime, too. Crimes committed while under the influence of emotion drugs have a tendency to be more violent. The emotion drugs have cut the criminal's emotional connection to the rest of humanity, you see, and the result is he does more horrible things to his victims than he would have had he not been under the influence.)

Emotion drugs---cut you off from EVERYTHING. Period. WITHOUT emotion drugs, you must interact with the world in order to get happy. WITH emotion drugs, you DON'T. Right?

You know what the definition of society is?

People interacting with other people.

What do emotion drugs do?

Shut down that interaction with other people. With everything else, too, but primarily with other people.

So, if a society makes emotion drugs legal, what, inevitably, must legal emotion drugs do to that society in the end?



NOW we have a rational, logical reason for a society to make emotion drugs illegal. VIOLENTLY illegal, put-you-in-jail-for-twenty-years illegal, stand-you-up-against-a-wall-and-SHOOT-YOU-DEAD illegal.

(I'm not advocating these kinds of severe punishments, please understand. I'm saying I understand why a society would impose these kinds of severe punishments.)

Now, I know some people are NOT going to like this coldly logical conclusion, that emotion drugs really, truly are intrinsically bad things, because they use emotion drugs themselves on a regular basis, and they are going to whine about this and refuse to be convinced. Because they LIKE emotion drugs and don't want to give them up. So they'll DELIBERATELY stay dumb. They’d rather have dope than brains, man. They’ll squinch their eyes shut as tight as they can, put their hands over their ears and refuse to believe a single word they've read. Emotion drugs are their refuge from reality, their escape from pain.

So I'm going to hit this one more time, harder.

Let's look at this one more time, in more detail.

Let's theoretically make emotion drugs legal, and see what happens to society.

Okay. Emotion drugs are legal, and corporations start fighting each other to sell them.

What happens first?

Emotion drugs get CHEAP. Cocaine, fifty cents a pound. Crack, one dollar a pound. Marijuana, two dollars for twenty one-ounce cigarettes. Heroin, five bucks a pound.

Sure, millions of people will get addicted and eventually kill themselves. You'll be stepping over dead bodies in the streets every day. Every city will have to have a crew that does nothing but pick up dead bodies. But we knew that's what was going to happen when we made emotion drugs legal. Hell, it's just cleaning up the gene pool. Just evolution in action, right?

And, yeah, intellectual, moral, and scientific progress will slow way the hell down because society will be collectively choosing NOT to get smarter. The smart people, instead of doing all the stuff smart people do, like inventing cures for cancer and AIDs and things like that, will be drooling against their bedroom wall stoned out of their friggin’ minds.

What will happen along with this?

Well, if people can use emotion drugs to get happy---they will tend NOT to use any other method. So sales of high-speed race cars will go down. Along with parachutes. And airplanes. And video games. And whatever else you can name, because the only goal people really have, the ONLY reason they do whatever it is they do, every single action, no matter how small, is to get happy. As so fundamental a document as the Declaration of Independence recognizes.

When we made emotion drugs legal---we made that the CHEAPEST way to get happy.

So the VISIBLE start of the decline of society will be an economic crash, which will take a good while before it starts.(The INVISIBLE part will be the intellectual decline. This will start immediately and actually have MUCH more severe effects---but you will NEVER see it happening.) The only companies making money will be the emotion-drug companies.

What happens next?

The emotion drugs get BETTER.

Free-market competition, right? The first primitive generation of emotion drugs have an unfortunate tendency to damage and kill their users. This is like, you know, REAL bad from a profit standpoint. So the emotion-drug companies will engage in a research race to produce the best possible emotion drug, one that doesn't kill or damage their customers.

It is QUITE clear what the end of that research race will be.

Say hello to the Happiness Box.

The Happiness Box is the ultimate expression of the wire-to-the-brain thing, the ultimate emotion drug. It is a steel box designed to keep a human brain alive and happy. VERY happy. The way it's used is a living brain is removed from its body and placed in the box. Various wires and tubes are connected to the brain and the box is closed. Somebody punches the start button, and that brain goes into Nirvana---and STAYS there, forever.

For as long as the brain or the box lasts, anyway. With the appropriate technology, this could easily be hundreds of years, maybe even thousands.

Various ruffles and flourishes are possible. For example, the most advanced version of the Happiness Box could, instead of just keeping you stoned all the time, be programmed so that you lived an artificial life inside the box. Of course, after the knowledge you were in a Happiness Box was removed, so it would seem completely real to you.

Hmmph. It hits me the first primitive generation of Happiness Boxes are on the market RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Video games.

Right? The user gets into what's already being described as a "total immersive experience" and stays there in his own little world for hours and hours, completely isolated from the rest of reality. It's not unknown for people to play these things for days on end, without even sleeping. And to get addicted to them, too.

Yeah, Happiness Boxes are already headed our way. The Playstation 10,000, the ultimate XBox, SIMS become real, Azeroth forever and ever. Just drop your brain into it, close the lid, and press the Start button.

These things will sell like hot cakes, won't they, folks? Perfect happiness living your perfect life forever, and no side-effects! People will be jumping into Happiness Boxes by the millions.

And there will be a TREMENDOUS push for everybody to jump into his own personal Happiness Box. Because as more and more people disappear, society is going to go downhill FAST. It will be a race to the bottom like nothing ever seen in history.

And once the last person goes into the last Happiness Box, that will be the end of society. Society made emotion drugs legal---and the end result was the absolutely unavoidable, total destruction of society.

And the Suicide of Man.

Once again, oopsie.

(Guess what we just found.

We just found the mechanism by which sentient races go extinct. They reach the technological point where they can build Happiness Boxes, build them, jump into them, and disappear. When the last brain dies----as it must inevitably do---that race is extinct. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. Poof.)

In the meantime, I note that in the real world, while emotion drugs are illegal, HAPPINESS BOXES ARE NOT. The world's societies haven't looked very far down the road when it comes to emotion drugs. Which makes sense, when they can't even define what an emotion drug is.

So get ready, all you young people out there. The opportunity to buy your own Happiness Box and disappear into it is going to come within your lifetime. It's going to be entirely legal to do so.

Step right up and get'em while they're hot, folks.

One hell of a debate is coming to this world.


On the face of it, this seems a laughably absurd question. Of course, you should jump into a Happiness Box! Perfect happiness! Living a long time, maybe a thousand years! More! It's the SMART thing to do!

Sure, when the world's societies see what Happiness Boxes are doing to the world, they will try to make these Happiness Box thingies illegal, in order to stay in existence.

But does a society really have that right? To punish people for using emotion drugs, Happiness Boxes, even when it's a certain thing that society---the human race itself---will be destroyed in the end?

Does a society have the right to put its existence above the right of its members get happy anyway they want to? Does the human race have a right to put its existence above the rights of its members to get happy anyway they want to?

The answer to this question---doesn't matter. If enough people want it, and they will---Happiness Boxes WILL become legal. No matter what the answer is, no matter what it does to society, to the human race. The history of Prohibition teaches us that.

The world's societies are going to LOSE this War On Drugs, aren't they, folks? They don't have a snowball's chance in Hell, despite all the hundreds of billions they've spent. Society is going down, HARD. The clock is ticking, the fuse is lit, it's only a matter of time until the explosion. Happiness Boxes are going to come out, and it's going to be Game Over for the human race in less than fifty years.

And why does that even matter? Where in Nature does it say that human society HAS to exist? That the human race itself HAS to exist? Don't all species go extinct in the end anyway? It all seems just so inevitable and unavoidable.

So why not just let it happen? In fact, why not start funding research into creating Happiness Boxes for everybody in the world immediately?

Last one in is a rotten egg!

I mean, look at the real world. A world filled with horror. With death and dying, cancer and AIDS, with terrorists and suicide bombers and a million different painful ways of getting killed.


Compared to perfect bliss and perfect safety inside a Happiness Box. Is there anything in the world that could possibly offset that? That would make jumping into a Happiness Box a STUPID thing for an individual to do?

Because that's the one thing that would stop this from happening. If there were some EXTREMELY powerful reason for an individual NOT to jump into a Happiness Box.

Is there such a reason?

W-e-l-l, yes, there is, actually. There is ONE teeny little thing that could actually make it incredibly stupid for an individual to jump into a Happiness Box. So much so that he would look at this thing and then just walk away without so much as a backward glance at a lost Nirvana.

But I have got to warn you all first. It is a truly BIZARRE reason. Lean back and take a breath. Brace yourselves.

The reason is:


If people have souls. That one thing, AND THAT ONE THING ONLY, would make it stupid to jump into a Happiness Box.

Allow me to explain.

First, I must define precisely what I mean by "soul."

A "soul" is an eternally existing thinking and feeling structure that survives the death of the physical body. Souls can and do inhabit physical bodies, but don't require one.

In the simplest terms, a "soul" is you---without a body. Exactly the same---except without a body.

So how would having a soul make it stupid to jump into a Happiness Box?

Let's think about what would happen to you when you jumped into a Happiness Box and closed the lid.

Okay. Centuries and centuries and CENTURIES of unending pleasure and bliss. Then your brain dies, as it must do in the end.

And your soul pops loose. Is thrown back into harsh, cold reality from the artificial Nirvana it's been in.

What kind of psychological condition is your soul in? How well is it going to get along with all the other souls out there?

How strong is your soul going to be after centuries of bliss?

About as strong as wet cardboard, huh, folks. Whatever lessons your soul learned about getting along with reality and all the other souls out there have been wiped away by centuries of unending pleasure, haven't they? Just smoothed away and gone.

So all those painful lessons are going to have to be relearned. All over again. Painfully.

And the pain won't just be yours. For everybody else who has to deal with you, too.

The danger is greater than it might appear. For somebody who has been in the simplest kind of Happiness Box, one where his bliss centers were stimulated, the end result will be the creation of a child, an infant. This will be an unpleasant thing to deal with, but not too unpleasant.

But worse is possible. MUCH worse.

Consider somebody who has been in the most advanced type of Happiness Box, one where he has lived in an artificial reality designed to cater to his every whim. Centuries and centuries and CENTURIES of having his every desire fulfilled, of ALWAYS getting his own way.

What kind of psychological effect would that have on a soul?

It would turn that soul into a stone-raving sociopath, wouldn't it, folks. A true screaming psycho. Somebody who would never take anybody else's feelings into account. Who would stop short at nothing to get what he wants, not even murder.

This is a bad thing. To say the least. There's going to be a great deal of pain and agony involved for that soul to get right again, to relearn old lessons. For that soul and everybody else who has to deal with that soul.

So, in the end, when the pleasure that soul experienced unlearning those lessons is weighed against the pain that soul and everybody else experienced for that soul to relearn those lessons---the pain will be the greater amount. FAR greater.

Which makes jumping into a Happiness Box a STUPID thing to do in the first place.

If you DON'T have a soul, jumping into a Happiness Box is SMART.

If you DO have a soul, jumping into a Happiness Box is STUPID.

Note. Which one is the smart thing to do is entirely dependent on whether or not you have a soul---AND NOTHING ELSE.

So do you really, truly have a soul? That's the key thing you have to know when it comes time to make that decision.

(It's far from an impossible thing, you know. There isn't any DEFINITIVE scientific evidence one way or the other. In fact, there are at least three different scientific projects I know of going on this very minute that are trying to detect souls.)

We can get an indication of the answer to this question by examining it from a somewhat abstract viewpoint. Let's look at this question from a societal viewpoint, by examining what the impact of immortal souls would be on a society.

How would everybody having immortal souls affect a society's behavior?

(You can examine this question by examining individual human behavior too, and get the same answer, but we are talking about societies here, and so I restrict the argument here to societies.)

What kinds of rules and regulations would an immortal-soul society have to have?

One rule should be perfectly clear from all of the above.


In others words---emotion drugs HAVE to be ILLEGAL in an immortal-soul society, because, as we just saw, they create more pain than pleasure in the end. Any kind of emotion drugs. No Happiness Boxes. No coke. No crack. No heroin. And so on down the line, although the line starts getting fuzzy eventually, because there will be certain substances---like marijuana and wine---that will have uses other than getting stoned.

(But it won’t actually be necessary to pass laws making emotion drugs illegal. No SMART eternal being is going to touch these things. In a society of smart, self-aware eternal beings, a dope dealer will starve to death.)

I gotta tell you, man, I see something quite incredibly strange here.

You know that single, simple rule the world's stable societies are using regarding getting happy we abstracted up above? Compare it to the rule we just now derived about getting happy in an immortal-soul society.

Do you see it?


You can't get happy by using emotion drugs! Stable human societies are ALREADY acting like an immortal-soul society!

Like we all have souls!

When you try to find a good, solid reason why societies make emotion drugs illegal---the rock-bottom reason you eventually run into is the deep, deep assumption by all these stable societies that people really, truly are immortal souls!

Although nobody knows for a scientific fact souls exist---the world's stable societies ACT like they do. ALL of them. EVERY damn one!

Funny thing, that.

Y'all have a good one.



Monday, February 05, 2007


"What is Man, that Thou art mindful of him?"

I can answer that question.


by Jeffrey A. Corkern

Let’s build us a Universe. From Chaos.

What is Chaos? Let us define Chaos as a place where no fixed rules exist. There is no structure that isn’t malleable, no foundation that cannot be changed, no rule that cannot be broken. This means everything is insubstantial, shifting and formless. Space and time simply do not exist. Chaos.

So if we are going to build us a Universe from this Chaos, what this means in practical terms is we must define a set of laws that can NEVER be broken. If they can be broken, we're back in Chaos again.

So let's define a set of unbreakable physical laws and certain unchangeable constants. They will define and create our Universe.

Also, there's one peculiar capability in particular we want our Universe to have.

We want our Universe to have the capability of evolving sentient beings.

Because that's why we're going to all this trouble, to create sentients. More than anything else, that's what we want. We are building this Universe as a garden to grow sentient beings.

By "sentient" I mean thinking and feeling beings who have total free will, and who are able to discover and understand what the basic unbreakable, fundamental physical laws of our Universe are, and be able to use those laws to manipulate our Universe as their free will sees fit.

So let’s start picking laws. Since the Universe the human race is in is clearly capable of evolving sentients, let’s make every law in our Universe the same as the one the human race evolved in. We know that particular set of physical laws works for our purpose, and there’s no copyright on Universe laws we know of, and so, after looking carefully over our shoulder, let’s copy those. So gravity, electric charge, mass, energy, and so forth, are now all tied together in one neat little package guaranteed to possess that all-important ability to evolve sentients.

But there’s a problem here we need to consider, one truly enormous threat to our sentient-growing Universe.

The sentients themselves.

We are going to give them the ability to understand our Universe, and free will to do whatever they want with it. That much ability, that much power, is a very, very dangerous thing for the sentients in our Universe to have. Because if the sentient beings understand the structure of our Universe, there's one special thing they’re going to be able to do.

They're going to be able to destroy our Universe if they want.

They will know how to peer deep into our Universe's innermost workings and find its vulnerabilities, places where just the smallest change will utterly kill it, and with a twitch of their little fingers---or tentacles or whatever---bring it all crashing down. At the very least, they will be able to destroy our Universe's ability to evolve sentients, the reason we built it in the first place. And if they're really, really good, they might be able to find a way to smash it all the way back to the Chaos it came from.

When we allowed our sentients the ability to understand the fundamental physical laws of our Universe, it seems, we allowed them to have a power almost equal to our own, and possibly even equal.

So if we're going to allow sentients to evolve in our Universe, somehow we've got to also come up with some set of rules and conditions that inhibits them from destroying it. In the same sense in which we will have laws of physics that constrain the physical behavior of the matter in our Universe---like the specific law of gravity that will constrain the behavior of stars and planets, for example---we must also have specific laws of physics that constrain the behavior of the sentients.

WHAT? Laws of PHYSICS that govern the behavior of SENTIENTS?

Yes, we've got to have them. Our Universe is toast otherwise.

This is such a strange thing to realize it deserves further examination.

Consider. We've given our sentients almost-infinite power---and nothing to control how they use it. Remember, we’re GROWING sentients from scratch, and that means they’re not going to start out as mature beings, but rather as immature beings, children. As a real-world analogy, imagine letting six-year-old boys loose in a china shop stuffed floor-to-ceiling with fine crystal, and telling them they can do whatever they want.

How long would it be before the entire shop is reduced to a pile of fine white powder?

Our Universe is going to create trillions upon trillions of sentients. What are the chances at least one is going to try and destroy our Universe? We all know what sentients are like. One hundred per cent, beyond doubt. It won’t be just one, it will be billions upon billions that will at least conceive the idea.

Somehow, we’ve got to come up with a set of laws and conditions that will nip that idea in the bud. Let’s examine this problem in more abstract terms in hopes of finding a solution.

We have here a system where the output is completely uncontrolled, like a car without a brake, or a pressure cooker without a relief valve. It’s worse than that, because any destructive process will be self-accelerating. To use a grim example, it's more like a nuclear reactor without moderating rods. Theoretically, when one sentient turns violent and starts trying to destroy things, the rest will be forced to turn violent in self-defense, and this will accelerate the destruction of our Universe.

When the killing starts, it will generate more killing, which will generate more killing, feeding back upon itself and accelerating explosively like a runaway fission in a nuclear reactor, or a spark hitting gunpowder, and it won't stop until our Universe is destroyed. We've certainly seen this very process happen in our own history.

In abstract engineering terms, this self-accelerating process is what's known as a positive-feedback loop. Positive-feedback loops are violently unstable. They might run for a little while, but eventually they all run wild and destroy themselves.

So we've got to set up some kind of inhibitory mechanism. Again in abstract engineering terms, the solution is to replace the positive-feedback loop with a negative-feedback loop. When the system starts to run hot, we need something that will automatically kick in and cool things down.

We've got a problem, though, a constraint we have placed on ourselves regarding our sentients. We've granted our sentients completely free will, so they can do anything they want. We've said they're totally free, and yet simultaneously we've realized they've got to have constraints on their free will. But if we put any kind of constraints at all on their completely free will, then their completely free will is completely gone. We've got a paradox on our hands. How can we resolve this?

It seems an impossible thing. Let us set it aside for a moment and keep going.

What kind of rules are we going to need? What's it going to take to keep our Universe safe?

One way to absolutely guarantee the destruction of our Universe is for our sentients to be no more than mayflies, their personalities, their essences, blinking in and blinking out of existence like light bulbs. Under such circumstances, our sentients can do absolutely whatever they want to our Universe.

If they do something bad to our Universe, nothing bad happens to them, you see. No negative feedback.

And something bad they surely would do, because our sentients would certainly examine themselves as well as the rest of the Universe, and when they discovered they were no more than dust, a sense of utter futility and meaninglessness would set in, and our Universe would be blown to bits and gone in a cosmic heartbeat.

And there is a deeper reason. If our sentients are mayflies, we will have made destroying our Universe the MORAL thing for them to do. Because 99.9999% of our sentients will live lives mostly composed of PAIN. Upon examining their history, our sentients will conclude---quite rightly---that we constructed our Universe only to torture sentients. And as soon as they attain the technological capability of destroying our Universe, they will certainly do so. Without hesitation. In their eyes, the Universe would be, again quite rightly, an abomination.

Fortunately, the cure for this particular hazard is self-evident. If making their existence temporary destroys our Universe, then we make their existence permanent. We make them NOT mayflies, we grant every single sentient not just long existence, but ETERNAL existence.

It has to be eternal. A merely long existence won’t work. Seventy years, seventy thousand years, seventy billion years, seventy million years, seventy trillion years, none of these work in the long run, because when a sentient gets close to its end we’re right back in positive-feedback loop territory. It can do something bad to our Universe, and nothing bad happens to it in return. And there goes our stable Universe, up in smoke.

(Note the correlation. In a sentient-containing Universe, the existence span of the Universe is naturally the same as the existence span of its sentients.)

But existence without limit---eternal existence---solves this quite nicely. That's by far the best, the safest, thing to do. Eternal existence for every single sentient gives the strongest possible guarantee of stability to our Universe.

In order to make it more clear, consider another real-world analogy.

Would you let somebody burn down your house while you were still in it? You and your entire family? No, surely you would take steps to prevent that from happening. You and everybody else who lived in that house.

Giving sentients eternal existence FORCES them to protect our Universe ETERNALLY, from whatever might threaten it, including other sentients. It is now in their self-interest to keep our Universe safe.

So what we've come up with is that all of our sentients have to have--at the very least---an eternally existing thinking and feeling self-aware component.

Which we hereby define as a "soul."


NOW whatever happens to our Universe also happens to every single sentient, and, to repeat, EVERY single sentient has a vested interest in keeping our terribly vulnerable Universe in one piece ETERNALLY. This works VERY well. If one sentient or group of sentients tries to destroy it, another sentient or group of sentients will automatically try to put a stop to it. Natural as gravity.

Our Universe has to have eternal existence for its sentients---souls---simply as a matter of self-defense, if for no other reason. Waddya think?

One truly amazing thing emerges from this.

We have now discovered what the physical structure of our sentients MUST be.

OUR SENTIENTS WILL BE SOULS---NOT BODIES. So we're going to have to add a little something to our Universe laws that will allow for the creation and existence of eternally existing thinking and feeling self-aware structures.

Note the physical definition of sentients as eternal souls resolves our free will-constraint paradox as best as can be done. A sentient can perform whatever actions it wants----BUT IT CANNOT ESCAPE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE ACTIONS. If a sentient lights our Universe on fire, it’s gonna burn too, baby. Better than this we can't do without removing their free will, which would have the effect of removing the sentients totally.

(Also note the choice we've made. We've placed the sentients first. The free will of our sentients is more important than the stability of our Universe. But we made that choice in the beginning, when we said the purpose of our Universe was to grow sentients.)

But we're still not done yet. We can do more to protect our Universe. We need to find a way to keep our sentients from wanting to destroy our Universe in the first place. We start by asking a basic question.

Why would a sentient want to destroy our Universe?

Answer: Because it's unhappy.

(This is certainly another amazing result. In this Universe we’re constructing, everybody MATTERS, man, everybody's FEELINGS matter, they are quite literally of cosmic significance, right up there with galaxies exploding and superclusters colliding.)

Remember we have been forced to give our unhappy sentient eternal existence. Give it enough time, and it will, by sheer random chance if nothing else, one fine day find itself in a position to take out its unhappiness on our Universe by destroying it.

So if we want to keep our Universe safe, we have to make sure all the sentients are happy. On a practical level, we need to make sure that if one gets unhappy, all the sentients around it will automatically try to make it happy again.

The easiest way to do that is to make each and every sentient responsible for the happiness of every other sentient. In a weak way, they became responsible for each other’s happiness when they were granted eternal existence, because that PHYSICALLY interconnected them all one to the other on the emotional level. We need to reinforce that connection, make it as strong as possible. We need to come up with a rule that has the following emotional effect on our sentients:
"I'm not happy----unless all the other sentients around me are happy, too."

What will we call the desire to make other sentients feel happy?


We will define the desire to make other sentients happy as well as themselves as "love", and we will deliberately build this desire into our sentients. We will do it by making a rule, one single, simple rule. We won't put it into their bodies, because those are mere dust, temporary things. We will make this rule the rock-bottom of their immortal souls, every single one of them, which will have the effect of making our rule a rigid, unbreakable law of physics and affect every emotion they feel, every action they do.

We will build every single soul around the following rule, which we will call "the postulate of sentient existence" for our little Universe:


(Because we do. Don't we?)

(I know there are some people who are not going to like this statement of the postulate of sentient existence because it invokes the concept of God. Not a problem. The concept of God can be dropped if desired. The following statement of the postulate works just as well:


The observable effects on human behavior are the same.)

And now, at last, we're done. We've installed a necessary negative-feedback mechanism and set up the best possible system we can for our sentients to feel happy, all within the constraint of allowing them free will. We pat ourselves on the back because the rules we’ve come up with are quite neat. They reinforce each other just beautifully. We snap our fingers to start the Big Bang, sit back, relax, and watch the whole thing evolve.

And now, gentle reader, allow me to step back and address you directly.

Do these rules we’ve come up with for our theoretical Universe also present in the Universe we actually do live in? Is it possible these rules are present and real for humanity?

There are two ways to answer that question, one abstract and one direct.

The abstract way is to examine all of human behavior and see if "God loves everybody forever" (or "Everybody loves everybody else forever") is at the rock-bottom of it. I have addressed that question elsewhere and will not address it here. The gentle reader is encouraged to try the analysis for himself. Nothing is as convincing as finding the answer all by yourself.

The direct way is to detect the souls theory indicates must be there in the laboratory.

Direct soul-detection is what will jump into everyone's face and stomp around with golf shoes on, more than anything else. A soul-detector going "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" with dial needles swinging over, a reproducible experiment anybody can do if he wants.

The abstract way works but I know from painful experience will only seem like so much hot air to a lot of people. Direct detection of souls in a lab is what will drive the point home beyond all doubt, that the love of God is a fundamental law of physics, as real and as physical as gravity, electromagnetism, and all the other fundamental physical forces.

I can’t see any reason why souls should not be capable of laboratory detection. Every other physical entity is, and if souls are real, physical entities, it should be possible to build an instrument for detecting them.

One of these days, fairly soon in fact, some gutsy scientist is going to do precisely this, and when that happens the world will finally know something it should’ve known all along.

Y’all have a good one.





by Jeffrey A. Corkern

Why do people do what they do? Is it possible to come up with one single rule that encompasses all of human motivation?

Try this one.


Whatever it is they do may or may not succeed, thus the process is called the "pursuit of happiness." This "pursuit of happiness" may seem like a trivial thing. It isn't. There's a reason why the American Declaration of Independence mentions "the pursuit of happiness" as one of the three inalienable rights.

Because everything people do, everything, can be stated, in the end, in terms of being happy, of reaching this particular emotional state.

Consider. You work hard to get whatever it is you want---and you feel happy if you succeed, and unhappy if you don't. Food, shelter, jobs, love, sex, relationships, all fall under this. Start a war, end a war, paint a painting, raise a family, build a building, bomb a building, what do people feel when they've accomplished their goal, good or bad?


I can hear the gentle reader raising an objection to this. Surely, he is saying, we have all seen people doing things that even they knew would wind up making them unhappy. Yes, surely we all have, but even that particular case can be expressed like this:
"I’m not happy----unless I’m unhappy."

(Yes, it’s twisted, but hey, that’s people, baby. They can do whatever they want. Free will, you know.)

However, we can cover this case too by putting our original statement into more general terms. Let's also be a tad more specific about what it is that's feeling this happiness emotion. (Let us call the following the "happiness rule.")


We give people the choice of what emotional state they want their brains to be in---although this, too, can be expressed in terms of happiness, showing how very basic this happiness thing is. (Let us call the following the "happiness statement.")

"I'm not happy---unless I'm {insert desired emotional state here}."

I can hear the gentle reader raising another objection.

Okay, he is saying, people do what they do in order to put their brains into certain emotional states. Fine.

But what about when people deliberately do something that destroys their brains, their feeling organs, huh? Specifically, what about people who choose to die for some weird reason, like, to protect other people or democracy or global jihad? They're not happy, they're not anything, THEY'RE JUST PLAIN DEAD, dead and wiped out, man!

The gentle reader appears to be perfectly right. After all, in death the brain stops working and is without doubt no longer capable of feeling emotion. This one specific action does NOT fit into our happiness rule. All other human action fits that happiness rule---except the act of giving your life for something, wherein your emotion-feeling organ is destroyed.

This is a glaring problem. Let's look at this closer.

For a rational, intelligent, self-aware individual to give his life---his existence, to strike the rock-bottom---for anything, anything at all, makes ZERO sense. For an animal driven by instinct to propagate his gene line, such behavior is understandable. An animal isn't in total control of its actions the way a human being is. But for an intelligent, self-aware human being, it isn't. It is irrational in the extreme, so absolutely, totally stupid you really have to wonder why such behavior appeared and persisted in supposedly intelligent human beings in the first place.

Some scientists would argue it's because people are NOT truly intelligent, that they STILL ARE instinct-dominated animals, totally driven by certain subsets of their genes---CONTROLLED by certain subsets of their genes---to perform self-sacrificing behavior in order to propagate their gene line. This is known as the gene-controlled theory of human behavior.

I see a tremendous money-making opportunity here for some ambitious bio-technology company looking for new markets. If there really are some genes inside you that can FORCE you to sacrifice your life, then clearly the SMART thing to do is to CHANGE those genes, to turn those damn genes OFF!

Get in on the ground floor, folks. But hey, I notice something more than a little awkward.

If somebody can change his genes, are his genes controlling him, or is he controlling his genes?

There is a MAJOR problem with the gene-controlled theory of human behavior.

Hmmm. It strikes me there is an unconscious (COMPLETELY UNPROVEN!) assumption in the statement that somebody who dies for something is just plain DEAD.

That he's no longer feeling emotion. That the person who died is no longer feeling or thinking anything. That his personality, his essence, zeroed out, that he blinked out of existence when he died the way a light bulb blows out.

You know, there is ONE way you could fit the act of giving your life into our happiness rule, ONE way it could become rational for an intelligent, self-aware human being to die for something. A way that could make giving up your own life possibly correct and sensible, that would make ALL of human behavior fit into our happiness rule, ONE way such an act could survive and persist in human behavior.

If human beings can still think---and more importantly, feel---after dying.

If human beings survive death. If your life and your existence are NOT the same.

If human beings have souls. Self-aware thinking and feeling structures that survive the death of the physical body.

If souls are truly what human beings are, not physical bodies.

In such a case, the act of giving your life for some reason can actually be a thoroughly rational action, depending on the circumstances. (I don't mean to imply for a second that dying for some reason renders that reason right, or that people who die for something are automatically some kind of saint. Dying for something can be stupid just like any other human action.) If you have a soul and die for something, you've given up your life, all right---but NOT your existence.

This requires a slight modification to our happiness rule.


(Of course, this implies souls are the true feeling organ, the emotion organ, not the brain. The brain's emotion centers, at most, can only be a mirror, a reflection of a more fundamental physical structure.)

Finally, we have a single, simple rule for why people do what they do that encompasses ALL of human behavior, including dying for a cause. Now, it ALL fits.

Whether our final happiness rule is correct or not is another question, since it requires souls.

The modification we've had to make is quite stunning, to say the least. We don't know for a solid scientific fact if souls exist or not.

Let’s look a little closer at this particular problem, using this happiness rule we’ve come up with.


People have been arguing about whether or not souls exist for what? Three thousand years now? For so long the assumption has arisen it’s not possible to solve this problem by pure, objective reason and logic, and therefore it must be left to faith and religion.

As someone with physical-scientist training, I resist this assumption. If souls exist as real, physical entities or DON'T exist as real, physical entities, I maintain this existence or non-existence MUST be deducible by logical arguments. Simple logical arguments, too, arguments anyone can understand.

Allow me to take a stab at this, at trying to determine whether souls exist or not in a scientific manner, by pure, objective reason and logic alone. Whether or not I succeed I will leave to the gentle reader's judgment.

YOU, gentle reader, are specifically charged with making the final judgment for yourself, whether my attempt at pure, objective reason and logic is correct and rigorous, or isn't.

Off we go.

First, a definition of a "soul."

A "soul" is an eternally existing thinking and feeling structure that can exist with or without a physical body. They can and do inhabit physical bodies from time to time, but don't require one.

Now, what would this weird thing do to people? How would the existence of a soul, if somebody has one, affect his behavior?

Let us phrase this question in a scientific manner.

What would be the observable differences between with-soul and without-soul human behavior?

Or, the best way of stating the problem:

What is the smart, rational way for somebody to act if he has a soul? What is the smart, rational way for somebody to act if he doesn't?

This is the best way to state the problem because, with human beings, we must take into account the strong---and increasing by the second---influence of intelligence on behavior. As humanity continues to evolve, pure intelligence more and more is influencing human behavior, and in the end will be THE dominant force influencing human behavior. To state this in abstract theoretical terms, as evolution progresses, sentient behavior tends toward the rational (where "rational" is defined as "in conformity with physical law"). So what we must derive is the end state behavioral evolution is driving toward, if such an end state exists.

Hmmm. People do what they do in order to feel happy. And they want to get happy by the cheapest possible route, too, at minimum cost to them.

Okay, suppose you don't have a soul, and there's something you've decided you need in order to feel happy. What's the rational thing to do?

Answer: Just take it. Any method whatsoever of getting what you want is fine, up to and including killing as many people as necessary---just make SURE you can get away with it. Wipe out the entire human race if you have to. Killing is perfectly acceptable, as long as you make sure nobody's looking first, and be sure to shoot them in the back to be safe.

It's the rational, the SMART thing to do.



If you can make it to your own death without anybody finding out and making you pay, you've succeeded as much as it's possible to succeed. If there are no souls, the only variable you should consider when selecting a path to happiness is the cost to you, how it affects you personally. Other than that, all paths to happiness are physically equivalent. The only REAL, PHYSICAL difference is the cost to you. If killing people is the cheapest thing to do, get behind them, sight them up, and gun them down.

Worried about how everybody else might feel about this? Don't. It's not rational. Not in conformity with physical law.

Without a soul, you are a Universe Of One. You are fundamentally absolutely, completely alone. Any feeling of connection you might have to other people is strictly false and an illusion. As far as you personally are concerned, the Universe began when you were born and will end when you die. Nothing truly matters except what you want. Nobody's feelings matter in any real sense except yours.

From an abstract theoretical viewpoint, without souls---eternal existence, to strike the rock-bottom---your emotional state is NOT dependent on, NOT PHYSICALLY LINKED to, anyone else's emotional state.

Without a soul, there is NO PHYSICAL REASON for you to take anybody else's feelings into account, NO PHYSICAL REASON for you to act in accordance with anybody's desires other than your own.

This type of behavior is known to humanity. It is called sociopathic behavior.


Let us look at the societal implications of this, what the end state of this behavioral evolution would be.

Let's conduct a thought experiment. Theoretically, we convince everybody in the world souls don't exist. In practical terms, we will create a society of sociopaths, since sentient behavior tends toward the rational as evolution does its thing.

But the word "sociopath" means "one who hates society." A "society of sociopaths" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. It can't exist.

In practical terms, we convince people souls don't exist---and WHAM! Society is totally destroyed, just like that.

(Observation: If removing a certain assumption from society totally destroys society, that assumption is what was holding society up in the first place.

The deeper implication is that, without souls, the very concept of "society" itself cannot appear. Souls, it turns out, are critically necessary for the existence of society. No souls---no society, and that's it.)

Given scientists are currently trying to do exactly this---convince the entire world souls do not exist---the gentle reader should be feeling a cold wind on his back about now. The implications for the very survival of the human race on Earth are chilling.

However, the gentle reader can breathe a sigh of relief. There's an almost-zero-effort way for the modern rational sociopath to achieve happiness that doesn't involve a bullet in the back for the rest of us. The modern rational sociopath can put his brain into whatever emotional state he wants, and not risk anything. Not have to sweat a single drop, wait a single second, spend significant amounts of money, or, fortunately for the rest of us, shoot one single person in the back. We live in an age of technological wonder. If the ultimate aim is to feel happy by the cheapest possible route, it is now possible to buy happiness in chemical form.


Emotion drugs. Drugs that have as their sole purpose the inducement of emotional states in the brain. Pot, alcohol, meth, smack, cocaine, crack, LSD, Ecstasy (note the revealing name), crank, uppers, downers, the list goes on and on and gets longer on a daily basis.

Better living through chemistry, baby.

Some might object that all these drugs, since they are chemicals, are very likely to have negative side effects, i.e. will make their user unhappy in the long run. True enough, but side effects are strictly a technological problem, and therefore can be eliminated totally.

By direct stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centers with electrical wire, say. There’s already been considerable work done on that. No nasty chemicals, so no nasty chemical side effects to make the modern rational sociopath unhappy.

Technology marches on.

Soon, it will be easily possible to feel happy---or whatever you want to feel---all the time, without any side effects.

People do what they do in order to feel happy. If you believe you have no soul, drugs are the cheapest, the best, way to achieve this emotional state. (At least, until they perfect the neuro-electrical stimulation system.) So what is the only goal the modern rational sociopath should aspire to?


Seal himself up in an underground steel vault for maximum safety, stick a needle in his arm or a wire into his prefrontal lobes, shoot the juice to himself and STAY THAT WAY.

How strange. Right off the bat, you would think that somebody who thinks he has no soul would be much freer in his actions than somebody who thinks he does, but this turns out to be completely dead wrong. When artificial emotion stimulation---direct stimulation of the brain’s emotion centers---becomes possible, without-soul behavior becomes rationally restricted to only one thing.

If you meet somebody---a smart somebody---who thinks he has no soul, there's only one thing he should say to you.

"Hey, man, can you tell me where I can find some drugs?"

It is now clear what the end-state of a without-souls "society" would be.

One person, and only one, sealed deep underground in a steel vault with a wire running into his brain.

I say only one because that's the long-run absolute safest thing for the one person who survives, that every other human being be dead. By far the most dangerous threat to an individual human being is, and always has been, another human being. Without souls, that's all another human being is, a threat, and the rational thing to do to a threat is eliminate it.

(Note this demonstrates again convincing people souls don’t exist will have the long-term effect of destroying society.)

The gentle reader still has cause for alarm, alas. Given scientists are going around telling people souls don’t exist, the body-armor industry might be about to experience a sudden boom.

So we now know what without-soul behavior would be. Let's look at with-soul behavior.

Once again, we start from the basic observation that people do what they do in order to feel happy.

Okay, suppose you DO have a soul, and there's something you've decided you need in order to feel happy. What do you do?

Well, your actions are MUCH more restricted than in the previous case. The cost to you is now a function of many more variables, the emotions of other human beings. Start shooting people in the back, and the very same people are certainly going to search for you and find you and HURT you.

Remember, if you've got an immortal soul, SO DO THEY. You make them unhappy by shooting them in the back, one day, if it takes a million billion years (immortal, remember), they're going to show up breathing fire and brimstone and make YOU unhappy.

Immortality might be nice, but immortality has a price.


(Interesting. The very first effect of immortal souls is to PHYSICALLY interconnect everyone’s emotional state, although in an extremely crude, inefficient fashion.)

All right, you have a soul, and there's something you've decided you need in order to feel happy. So what's fundamentally different about your actions?

You're going to have to take everybody else's feelings into account before you act.

It is now the RATIONAL thing to do, in your self-interest, in total conformity with physical law.

In the previous case, everybody else's feelings didn't matter. But in this case, they do.

Oh, man, life just got REALLY complicated. As we all know, making EVERYBODY happy is just about impossible. You're going to spend more time worrying about other peoples feelings than your own. Your specific action to get what you want can’t be predicted, because it’s going to depend on the desires of the other people involved, on the infinite vagaries of human emotion.

What would be the societal end-state?

Well, it's clear by now the first effect would be to make society itself possible. Groups of interacting human beings would now be perfectly stable. The behaviors that would evolve as people---immortal souls, actually---interacted would be complex and numerous. As severely restricted in its behavior as a without-souls society would be, a with-souls society would be unrestricted. Though not completely unrestricted, mind, because immortality imposes its own restrictions.

Hmmm. We are looking for observable differences between with-soul and without-soul behavior. What would be really nice to find is some behavior where the difference would be as different as possible, a huge difference, a whacking great big whale of a difference, a Mount Everest of a difference, a difference that would resolve the problem beyond all doubt.

What is the overwhelming characteristic of without-soul behavior?

Sociopathy. Me-me-me above all. Absolute, uncaring selfishness.

What is the exact opposite of selfish?


This is correct but doesn't quite fit. Selfless means "no self" and this is exactly wrong for an immortal soul, an immortal self. We need a better-fitting term.

(The word "selfless" is actually a sign of confusion. It would arise in a situation where a sentient gave up its life for some reason, and it would appear to those who didn't know sentients possessed immortal souls as if the sentient had given up its existence.)


Yeah, sacrifice. That's it. To pin it down precisely, sociopathic behavior is where you make yourself happy with no thought given to the happiness of others, and sacrificial behavior is where you give up your own happiness so that others can be happy instead. But, remembering all actions can be stated in term of being happy, you're basically making the following happiness statement:

"I'm not happy---unless everybody else is happy, too."

(This statement is truly scary, because the best, strongest way to enforce this would be for all sentients' emotional states to be PHYSICALLY interconnected. Immortality does this, but the interconnection is weak at best. It is my gut feeling something MUCH stronger is required for stability, something like spiritual copper wires connecting everybody's souls, along which emotional "currents" would run.

In plain English, if somebody hurts, you have to be able to feel it, too. Their pain is yours, quite literally.

In precisely the same sense as all the stars are physically interconnected by gravity, all sentients' emotional states---every single sentient that exists in the Universe---may also be all physically interconnected.)

But, to be completely rigorous, it doesn't necessarily have to be for other people's happiness. More generally, it can be so some other goal can be accomplished. It might even be something like "the preservation of the Earth." The happiness statement would be:

"I'm not happy---unless I know the Earth is safe."

Would you see this kind of behavior in a with-souls society?

Oh, hell, yes, you'd see it.

Because, in a with-souls society, it's RATIONAL behavior. Supremely rational.

If you're surrounded by unhappy people, what are the odds you're going to be unhappy too?

One hundred per cent, and you know it.

And you can't shoot them in the back to make them go away, although you might wish you could. I mean, they're immortal souls, right? They ain't going anywhere, they're always going to be there. So what's the only possible course of action to take so you can be happy?

Make the unhappy people happy.

Yes, it's gonna be a MAJOR pain in the rear end, but it's the only thing you can do.

(This is the rock-bottom. However, depending on how strong the interconnection is between human beings' emotional states, it could easily be that it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for you to feel completely happy UNLESS everybody around you is completely happy, too.)

So you set your own feelings aside for a while and go to work.

So, stepping back, what would be observed in a with-souls society is people working like dogs and giving up lives of ease and comfort to, fundamentally, make other people happy. There would be many, many people who would apparently "die" for this single cause. The odds are there would be so many people willing to dedicate themselves to making other people happy they would form organizations. These organizations would be recognizable by very unique characteristics. They would transcend barriers of race(genes), money, politics, time, and space. This is because they would be the group expression of the wills of eternal beings.
People would also dedicate their lives to the study of what it takes to make people happy, and professions would appear where people specialized in helping unhappy people to get happy. Which is a sacrifice because dealing with unhappy people all the time is like wallowing in sewage for a living. There are much easier and more lucrative ways of making money.

Let’s put souls into our happiness statement:

"My soul is not happy---unless everybody else's soul is happy, too."

Now let’s add sacrifice to it:

"I'm willing for my soul to be unhappy, for a little while---so that everybody else's soul, including mine, will be happy in the end."

(Scientists have got this odd notion that self-sacrifice is impelled by genes, that people are controlled by their genes, so this is something I have to pause for a minute and address.

What would we observe in human behavior that would be different in the two cases, one where self-sacrifice is driven by the instinct to protect your gene line, and the other, where self-sacrifice is driven by the desire to keep everybody's soul happy, your own included?

Answer: For the gene-driven model, self-sacrificial behavior would be observed ONLY when the person or persons being sacrificed for is a close genetic relative. For the soul-driven model, self-sacrificing behavior would be observed for ALL people, even when the person or persons being sacrificed for is not a close genetic relative.

Also, for the gene-driven model, the fundamental reason for the sacrifice will be propagation of the gene line. For the soul-driven model, the fundamental reason for the sacrifice will be the happiness of the person or persons being sacrificed for.

There is one situation in particular where the difference in behavior would be stark.

Where parents have a child who is disabled, to the point of not being physically capable of reproducing, not capable of passing on the gene line.

For the gene-driven model, the rational behavior would be to toss the disabled kid out the front door and forget him. That's what should be observed.

For the soul-driven model, the rational behavior would be the same as the other children---to love the kid just as much as the others, maybe more. Because he's fundamentally the same as the other children. He's got a soul, too.

Which behavior is observed in the real world I leave to the gentle reader's judgment.)

Note that the addition of souls takes most of the sting out of sacrifice. Without souls, sacrifice means permanent loss. With souls, it means temporary loss. You're gonna be happy, too, it's just going to take a little longer. You can even argue that, all things considered, it's not really sacrifice at all, that it's something that MIGHT be called "enlightened self-interest."

(Some might accuse me of taking the romance out of sacrifice, or taking the mystery out of much of the world. They're right. I plead necessity. This has to be done. The insane technological killing power Man has created and is going to continue to create makes it absolutely necessary to prove, beyond all possible doubt, that justice cannot be escaped.)

There now, I've established sacrifice would be the main observable difference between a with-souls society and a without-soul society, excepting the existence of society itself.

Also, note a without-souls "society" (actually impossible) would be sociopathic and revolve around selfishness, and a with-souls society would revolve around everybody being happy.

Whether this is correct or not, as always, I leave to the gentle reader's judgment. (By the way, gentle reader, if you have ever in your life dropped so much as a penny in a Salvation Army bucket, you were making a sacrifice for the happiness of others and therefore acting like you had a soul---whether you knew it or not. Right?)

But that's not the only difference, just the biggest one. There are others. For example, in a with-souls society, as societal evolution progressed and sentient behavior tended toward the rational, this everybody-has-to-be-happy thing would begin to bubble towards consciousness and be expressed in their fundamental rules for society. Phrases like "the pursuit of happiness" would appear and be described as "inalienable rights" in the foundation documents of societies.

I invite the gentle reader to find others. Go for it.

But I haven't described the societal end-state yet.

But it's clear as glass, given all the preceding.

A society where EVERYBODY is happy.

Now, people being people---or, souls being souls---eternity might not be long enough to reach this particular goal, but that's the end-state.

One additional thing is certain from all the preceding. Right at the moment, nobody knows for a solid scientific fact if souls exist or not. As far as I know, there is NO credible scientific data for or against the existence of souls.

But it is stunningly clear human society is critically dependent on the existence on souls. When everybody is aware of this, how critically important these things are, there is no question what will happen next.

Scientists might not have gone looking for souls in a determined fashion yet---but they're going to. It's as inevitable as the sun rising in the morning.

I will make a flat statement. The experiment to detect souls will be the most important scientific experiment that has been done, or ever will be done, in the history of the human race. (And the name of the scientist who detects souls first will outshine all other scientists' names in human history, forever.)

In the meantime, until scientists get around to detecting souls, a bit of practical advice: If the smart, gentle reader meets somebody who says he doesn’t believe in souls, there’s one thing I HIGHLY recommend the smart, gentle reader avoid doing.

Don’t turn your back to him.

Y’all have a good one.