Bob is a carefree child. He doesn’t think much and gets into a lot of trouble. He isn’t really bad, but he always makes pranks. He doesn’t realise that everyone does not find them as funny as he does. Bob is hit by a car. The clerk at the pearly gates goes through his history of mischief and adds up the good, the bad, and the inconsiderate. Bob is lucky, he gets in.
As a teenager, Bob gets caught up with the wrong crowd. He becomes a hardened criminal, hurting many people. After shooting a store manager and assistant, the police gun him. Bob takes the express elevator down to hell.
Bob ends up in jail for an armed robbery that turned bad. His prison sentence makes him think. He gets counselling and reads a lot. He regrets his actions and sincerely apologizes to the families of his victims. When he gets out, he is a new man, a concerned citizen, he helps his community. When he dies, St Peter praises Bob’s atonement and greats him in heaven.
The soul is our essence, the intelligent agent puppeteering our body and mind. It is who we are, our identity, our memory, our character, our feelings. It is supposedly the immortal self, the connection with god.
Who we are changes with time and events. We are not the same person as we were as a kid. Life events change us, we grow and develop. Or we are victim of trauma and stumble and struggle. A brain tumour can change one’s personality, erase one’s memories. Our body is a strong part of our self image and an accident can change our outlook, if not our personality.
Which “us” is our soul? Do you want to live for all eternity with who you are today? The best favour someone could do to you is to kill you when you are the sanest, strongest, happiest, most innocent. Just as well choose the soul you will get to keep.