Soil is closely connected to the culture and civilization of an ethnic group living in a given place, including their religion, thoughts, livelihood and health. It is important for people to protect the soil, their agriculture and the environment because the collapse of soil leads to the collapse of human culture, civilization, livelihood and health. The links between the soil and culture, civilization, livelihood and health may result from the ethical attitudes people have about the soil and that they demonstrate through their interactions with it. However, soil resources have been overexploited in modern society and are currently on the verge of collapsing. In this review article, the etymology of words for soil, the place of soil in philosophy and religion, the relationships between soil and the soul, the soil and dialects, and cultural soil science are discussed. The powerful influences of soil on civilization and livelihood are discussed and the relationship between soil and human beings is also considered. Soil can be shown to be a living thing, and this review will present a brief history of the relationship between soil and human health, and will discuss the importance of adopting an ethical attitude towards soil.