I’m a Christian, so I have faith that there is a soul–but I don’t know what that is. It seems to me that so many material things impair our consciousness and moral decision making ability that I don’t know if there is anything immaterial, separable from our chemical components, at all.
CS Lewis put it that Ramandu, the “star” in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader who appeared as a man, answered Eustace’ protest that “in our world, stars are great, flaming balls of gas,” “Even in your world, that is only what they are made of, not what they are.” (or something to that effect). The implication is that the identity is greater than the sum of its parts.
Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Seminary, said that we really only find ourselves when we run up against God’s law. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEcNSSpdLzU. I think @markd’ s impression is that we find our morality and God likeness in our relationship with others (which for many implies a moral relationship with a Lawgiver).
So does the soul constitute not just the chemicals of which we are made, but also how our sum total relates to the system around us, including our fellow creatures and God?
If that’s the case, like the Sadducees, I think from my perspective, even if I do not continue to exist beyond death, it’s enough to have existed with God and other creatures (my family and the rest of the world) giving definition. But the idea of God’s existence makes me think that there is an eternity available. And, I’m willing to believe that that exists beyond what I can analyze.
And there’s another angle to this–a life beyond the grave gives possibility to the finality of justice, which we never will get (or give) in this life.
Edit–I guess that makes this a possibly Aristotelian view, but with God in mind; so that kind of broadens it. Interesting!