Can you sell your soul?

I saw this article today on and it started me thinking: has any religious denomination specifically addressed whether you can buy/sell/trade/loan/mortgage a soul? Or how your afterlife might play out should you acquire (or lose) one or more? Do any of the major religions that believe souls exist have any prohibitions in trading them in a free market?

Modern Catholic doctrine holds that your soul belongs to God. My conclusion would be that you can’t sell your soul, because it’s not your property to dispose of.

The Freakonomics podcast recently had an episode on this topic:

Who would buy it? Where are you going to sell it? There’s a policy about body parts on eBay. Also, do you have a value in mind, as in dollars and cents or would you take fair value in trade? There’s a lot to consider.

ETA: It’s probably not a bad idea to have an extra one on hand. In case the first one goes bad, or something

Are there any buyers?

What if you sell your soul and neglect to tell the buyer that you already sold your soul once in 1977 for Bee Gees tickets and then again in 1983 for half a mallomar?

The answer to this would depend on who is dictating the “can” or “can’t.”

The Catholic church would certainly forbid it. It isn’t yours to sell. I don’t know how Islam, Judaism, etc. feel about it but I would suspect their doctrine is similar.

The question, then, is whether such a transaction would be legal under US law. I think the direct transaction would be illegal, because the seller would be offering something that does not exist. It would be the same as if I tried to sell you a cage full of captured fairies–even if you believed the cage was, in fact, full of fairies, I would still be defrauding you.

A possible legitimate variation would be: “In return for valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I promise to surrender my soul and all rights to it, in the event that souls prove to exist and are transferable.” This is a promise-consideration contract that depends on a contingency; perfectly valid under the UCC. It’s not terribly different from buying/selling insurance. In fact, think of it as a reverse Pascal’s wager: I sell my soul to you for $10. I am gambling an eternity of torment (for trying to sell my soul) or nonexistence (for succeeding) in return for enough to pay for a decent lunch. Now, if I don’t believe in souls or the afterlife, I am getting a free lunch in return for taking an infinitesimal risk.

Caveat emptor. The buyer should ask for current title and registration.

Meh. EBay and their crazy rules. Years ago I was high bidder on an item and eBay came along and closed the auction. It was a beautiful leather bound bible in fantastic condition. Best of all, it was autographed, “Keep on Truckin, your pal, Jesus”. Now there’s a collector’s item!

A better arrangement, surely, would be to lease your soul for a limited, fixed period. Perhaps you could also sell time shares in it.

IMHO You can sell your soul as often as you can find buyers, it regenerates.:smiley:

First sell your soul a wholey owned LLC. Then let that entity handle the leasing.

There are those who would argue that the soul is the software that runs on the hardware that is the brain. In that case a license model, with an EULA, seems most relevant. Even if, as some have have claimed in this thread, all souls actually belong to God (cf. Microsoft), according to the recent ruling of the European court, in Europe, at least, it is legal to sell the license and thus the right to use the soul.

Google (“Do be evil!”) or Facebook (“Steal your face right off your head”) seem to be the most likely candidate buyers.

While parts of the OP will have factual answers, the opinions side causes me to move this from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, Moderator

Then sell shares of stock, retaining at least 51%. Privately, at first, but imagine the IPO down the pike…


Of course, if you know for a fact that you’re really sitting on a turkey of a soul, you can sell off the remaining 49% as many times as you want.

I never see that episode in reruns, it always seems like they show the last few seasons over and over.

Good luck investing in my soul, suckers. Ever hear of “vaporware”?

I wrote a bit on this.

I also bought souls as part of an art project in college. I found most people were willing to give me their souls for nothing.