I would define the soul as the font of reason and will within a human, that thing which allows for reason beyond instinct, allows for free thought, and allows for one to make decisions.
To Laa, I didn't say that moving it to the soul fixes the issue, rather I was clarifying. As to how I got into the idea of other universes was by interpreting what you meant here "For in a gods [sic] reality, all those questions would be need answering yet again." If you are positing that a hypothetical god would have its own reality, why are you positing that such a reality would conform to the same physical laws as our own and that such questions would need answering?
Secondly, I'm not saying that my scenario is likely. In fact, I stated just the opposite. Why does its likelihood matter? Besides, a "Matrix like" scenario is impossible - there is no way that human bodies could generate more energy than it would take to fuel them (unless you're feeding them and housing them so that they can administrate a power plant). Now, if you mean that we are living in a computer/could some day live inside of a computer, that is all lovely, but it still does not address whence will comes.
Thirdly, I have no qualms with nihilism, but rather I'd contend that your nihilism does not go far enough. There is no morality or gods, sure, but I would say there is no thought, no consciousness, nothing besides matter/energy (which are essentially the same) and the fundamental forces of physics.
Mr. Tanner, we cannot demonstrate that because of increased activity in the brain that that is where thoughts or will come from. Think in this way, if I were to analyze the fight-or-flight response, I could look at the body. I could see an increase in breathing, an increase in blood flow, changes in digestion, changes in the way muscles move, and hormonal releases. So should I say that the fight or flight response comes from all of those places? Of course not, it comes from epinephrine. Measuring increased activity in the brain only tells us that there is increased activity in the brain, nothing more.
Further, your "evolutionary" description of will to survive seems that you would say that any living organism has will, since they all have a "will to survive." Is that right? Ah, but you say that plants don't have will because they don't have brains. So, how is the "will to survive" at all germane to the topic? Further, as anyone well versed in evolution will tell you, it is not the will to survive that propagates something, it is the will to breed prolifically and successfully - survival is tertiary, behind breeding and the breeding of one's progeny.
But I'm not making an argument that the brain doesn't work, the brain obviously does things. I'm arguing that the brain cannot ex nihil do something, that the body can only react. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not denying that those reactions are not complex nor that they are currently a mystery to us, but rather I'd argue that there is nothing else that it can do. I'm arguing that the brain, as we understand it (and as it likely is) is only a mechanism for complex reactions to stimuli (like a computer) but that (also like a computer) it cannot act or generate thought ex nihil. So, if we only react to stimuli (admittedly in a complex manner) then by what metric do we have consciousness or thought? What sort of reactions to stimuli are complex enough to be called thought? Is a bacterium dissolving a chemical complex enough? Is a plant bending towards the sun complex enough? Is a sponge filtering food complex enough? Is an ant harvesting leaves complex enough? Is a wolf hunting complex enough? Are all of those thought? Are none of them? Where and how does one draw the line? That is what I'm positing, not that we are ignorant of how thought works, but that it is impossible to draw a line between a human and an animal and a fungus and a plant and a eukaryote and a bacterium because all are doing the same process - reacting to external and internal stimuli. To call one thought and the other not seems arbitrary to me: even if one is vastly more complex, it is the ultimately the same thing. If you would like to argue why it is not arbitrary, please, go ahead.