Sandra and I were discussing the difference between the physical and the spiritual. And the religious (or perhaps philosphical) idea under discussion was that something purely spiritual can not be physical in any way. The discussion had been inspired by her reading Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of faith.
Sandra then asked me if an atom was physical. (Note: Sandra wants me to emphasize that this was not asked “seriously” and that this was a rhetorical question on her part; as, of course, she knows that an atom is physical.)
I said of course it was.
Sandra said but if you cannot see it or touch it then how can it be physical?
I said if it is possible to touch it then it is physical; and since theoretically one could make a stick that at the end of was exactly one atom wide then therefore it was theoretically possible to touch an atom. (At the time of the conversation the fact that the atom had already been split did not come to mind….) I guess it was because I was arguing the principle of if you could touch something (even if only theoretically) then it was physical.
Sandra thought for a while, and then said the person who creates a device that can touch a soul will be chased off the planet.
Why? I asked.
Because so many religions depend on the soul being spiritual and not physical.
Hmmm I said.
I thought for a while and then asked Sandra what such a device would be called.
A Soulometer she supposed.