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Thread: Souls?

  1. #181
    Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Sarkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris
    I submit that the OP evades the central issue of what one might term a "soul" with the following "To sum up, two distinct points are raised here: first, the definition of the soul and its relationship with the body are contradictory, and second, there is no satisfactory explanation of how the soul can exchange information with the body."

    If a "soul" is the abstract component of mind (itself having no physicality, but is the abstraction of that physicality) - allowed via the basis of the "geometry" of mind specifically and developed over time in terms of the advancment of that geometry (for instance as nueronal interconnections change over time), then there there is no contradiction as specified, and the explanation of how it can "exchange information with the body" can be hypothesized.
    The OP merely postulates that if one's definition of the soul includes the property of "immateriality" then... etc.
    He needs to make no further assessment of what the "soul" might be, what it might be defined as, what it's purpose is.

    He might well have not said "soul" but called it "X" where X is anything that includes a property of "immateriality".

  2. #182
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkus
    The OP merely postulates that if one's definition of the soul includes the property of "immateriality" then... etc.
    He needs to make no further assessment of what the "soul" might be, what it might be defined as, what it's purpose is.

    He might well have not said "soul" but called it "X" where X is anything that includes a property of "immateriality".
    Would you assert that there is no "immaterial" property of mind?

  3. #183
    by peace he shall destroy many Nisus's Avatar
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    The soul is the spirit embodied. I.E. the union of spirit and the body. The body is given to spirits, so that the effects of spirit can resonate in a physical world. And that the spirit would have a greater interaction with the elements. A greater sensation of life...through emotions feelings etc.

    All these things are magnified and solidified in the eternal worlds but during mortality they are only for the purpose of proving the spirit, what it would do with a great responsibility... The gift of a body.

    There are spirits who have yet to be embodied.
    There are spirits, us, who are embodied and are "probationary" souls.
    There are spirits that have been disembodied upon death, that are no longer "probationary" but await the final union of spirit and body to become an eternal soul.

    Interesting how someone would go into great efforts, and lengths to refute something they don't believe exists...if something doesn't exist, why do you need to be convinced that it doesn't exist? Why do you need to convince others it doesn't exist? Why would you write pages upon pages of reasoning aimed to condition someone not to believe that they are a soul? No identity... and no significance outside of life that you deem insignificant...Truely this would be the definition of no soul. No person to call your own. No thoughts to claim as your own.

  4. #184
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    People don't engage into activities they have no need for; often though, needs are satified via compensations and redirections, so it isn't always clear which need a person is trying to satisfy.
    How presumptuous of you. Of course I am fulfilling a need.

    Why do you persist then? Insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.
    Uh... because people are not automatons. Or are you suggesting that people always respond to something in exactly the same way? That attempting to clarify and communicate with someone when there appears to be a misunderstanding is insane?

    Besides, the people I was referring to aren't the only people I'm taking to. I'm talking to you for instance.

    Stop trying to play psychologist water; you're just no good at it.

    For two, I don't think all things can be meaningfully discussed -- but this is a general problem of language and cognition, and a problem of axioms.
    Something that cannot be meaningfully discussed at all is simply nonsense.

    To me, it is an axiom that the soul exists ... and I don't go into discussing this.
    So you are here to berate atheists for discussing a topic that you refuse to discuss? Pray-tell why should we adopt your taboo?

    I could start explaining to you what "verb mood" is in grammar, for example, and the discussion would be neverending, unless you simply accepted that verb mood exists.
    Nonsense. Verb mood is a term with a definition. You can present examples and discuss what it is and how it works. Now if I was to argue that the imperative mood is not identical in form to the second person indicative but refuse to give you reason or back up my argument, what would you think?

    Many atheists like to argue that there is no soul, while they have no working definition of a soul. This is the whole problem of their position.
    How can one say something doesn't exist, when one doesn't even know what it is that one is talking about?!

    So no wonder that theists ask them to provide their definition of a soul -- but then atheists fire back that providing the definition of the soul is the theist's job. No. It was the atheists who started the argument. They should know what they are talking about.
    Boris does have a working definition. He explained it in his argument. Several of us have tried to make it clearer for those of you who did not see it. Theists have replied that this is incorrect, specifically that it is incomplete. Fine. Now then, how and why is it incorrect? Is there a correct definition? What should be changed for us to have a correct definition?
    Instead of answering we're being asked to provide a different definition. So what exactly are we supposed to do, start making shit up and submitting it for your approval until we accidentally define the term in such a way to make is acceptable?

    A discussion is like a ladder: once you've climbed it, you don't need it anymore. Or like a bridge: once you've crossed it, you don't need it anymore.
    So you're telling me that you've never discussed a subject more than once? That's just funny.

    Thinking is not the aim. Thinking is just a means to an end.
    Perhaps for you. Personally, I enjoy thinking... often towards no end at all.

    According to you, people should embrace and devote themselves to things they don't like? Your argument is tired and bogus.
    Where the hell did I suggest that?

    ~Raithere

  5. #185
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    He hasn't presented an argument because he cannot specify what it is he believes does/can not exist. He as merely attributed the word "soul" to something/anything that is "immaterial, then claim it does not exist.
    No. Once again it is defined for the purposes of his argument as something that is immaterial and affects a human brain. If it meets these two criteria his arguments can be applied. If not, please tell us why.

    Here is a synopsis of Boris's main argument:

    Souls are defined as immaterial and not subject to the laws that govern matter.

    The soul is supposed to interact with the body.

    So material information must have a way to enter the soul, and material information must have a way of emanating from the soul and traveling to the body.

    This phenomenon has a definite effect on the body, and hence must be indirectly detectable.

    The brain is not only the defining part of what it is to be human -- it is also the part that actually controls the body

    So, if the soul is to interact with the body, it is clear that the soul must interact with the brain.

    Not only can we not detect anything having such an affect on the brain there are a number of problems apparent with this scenario as it pertains to what is observed in abnormal psychology.

    ~Raithere

  6. #186
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCop
    If personality is physically bounded to some bodily functions how come that some part of it (concerning the memory) is (scientifically proven) disconnected to this physicallity?
    What are you suggesting is non-physical about reproduction and inheritance?

    ~Raithere

  7. #187
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris
    If a "soul" is the abstract component of mind (itself having no physicality, but is the abstraction of that physicality) - allowed via the basis of the "geometry" of mind specifically and developed over time in terms of the advancment of that geometry (for instance as nueronal interconnections change over time), then there there is no contradiction as specified, and the explanation of how it can "exchange information with the body" can be hypothesized.
    You still haven't bridged from the physical world to a non-physical realm. An abstraction (idea, concept, model, emotion, etc) exists as a pattern either embedded in matter or encoded in energy. At no point here have you escaped physicality, all you're really saying is that the soul is physical.

    ~Raithere

  8. #188
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisus
    The soul is the spirit embodied. I.E. the union of spirit and the body. The body is given to spirits, so that the effects of spirit can resonate in a physical world. And that the spirit would have a greater interaction with the elements. A greater sensation of life...through emotions feelings etc.
    You haven't explained anything here, you're merely exchanging terms. Soul for spirit.

    ~Raithere

  9. #189
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    What are you suggesting is non-physical about reproduction and inheritance?

    ~Raithere


    Well if a rat in the US acquires some skills level at one experiment and then the experiment is continued 20 years later in Australia with a completely different rat which is in no way (eg. family-bond/genetics) related to the first rat) and this (second) rat continues (starts) at the level which the US rat achieved when the US experiment ended then it is difficult to connect the level of the "knovledge" at the beginning of the second rat's training to any physical elements (there was no physical/genetic contact/connection with/to the first rat). Jung tried to explain this as due to collective consciousness...Shandrake came with the theory of morphogenetic fields ("waves" of stored information of the species)...Anyway the Australian rat had the knowledge of the long dead US rat while there was no physical connection between the two. The transfer of this knowlede must have happened on an immaterial level. If there is an immaterial level in biology then why not call it a soul?

  10. #190
    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    Lawdog,

    You are confusing abstract concepts with supernatural immaterial objects. "Personality" is an emergent property of a set of physical (material) conditions. “Justice” is a similar abstract concept that is routed in material activities.
    This assumes that good/evil are abstractions of material activity. However, all confess that this is not so. "Conscience" , another immaterial reality, is confessed and experience by all humans save those who are ill or mal-formed.

    .
    In terms of this thread “personality” is a result of material phenomena, whereas a “soul” would be considered a source. The two concepts are significantly different and should not be confused.

    We can reasonably conclude that personality is a result since we observe changes in personality when the brain incurs injury or is altered by drugs. I.e. “personality” is wholly dependent on material brain function.
    This assumes that just because material reality effects personality, has some influence on it, or can change it, that personality is therefore material. Yet we know that material reality can effect immaterial reality, for material reality is not unimportant, but it is very important. Yet to say that material reality is the only important reality reveals deficiency of understanding physics/metaphysics. Immaterial reality is effected by material events and states, but not in all cases governed by such, however in some cases immaterial reality is controlled by material. Nevetheless, all immaterial reality has its source in the supernatural ground of the non-void. If it is a living immaterial reality, (rather than say a mere cosmic law like "gravity"), then it is spiritual.

  11. #191
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCop
    The transfer of this knowlede must have happened on an immaterial level.
    You mean if there has been a transfer of knowledge. As far as I'm aware it's a hypothesis without any evidence.

    I remember reading something about this regarding monkeys in Japan, they called it the 100th monkey phenomenon. It was fake, a misrepresentation of real research.

    http://www.csicop.org/si/9605/monkey.html

    ~Raithere

  12. #192
    Quote Originally Posted by ProCop
    Well if a rat in the US acquires some skills level at one experiment and then the experiment is continued 20 years later in Australia with a completely different rat which is in no way (eg. family-bond/genetics) related to the first rat) and this (second) rat continues (starts) at the level which the US rat achieved when the US experiment ended then it is difficult to connect the level of the "knovledge" at the beginning of the second rat's training to any physical elements (there was no physical/genetic contact/connection with/to the first rat). Jung tried to explain this as due to collective consciousness...Shandrake came with the theory of morphogenetic fields ("waves" of stored information of the species)...Anyway the Australian rat had the knowledge of the long dead US rat while there was no physical connection between the two. The transfer of this knowlede must have happened on an immaterial level. If there is an immaterial level in biology then why not call it a soul?
    Can the vague actions of two rats be scientific evidence of a soul? I think I will need more evidence on that one.

    I wish you were right because I would've been able to inherit some of Jimi Hendrix's skill, but it hasn't happened.

  13. #193
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    You still haven't bridged from the physical world to a non-physical realm. An abstraction (idea, concept, model, emotion, etc) exists as a pattern either embedded in matter or encoded in energy. At no point here have you escaped physicality, all you're really saying is that the soul is physical.

    ~Raithere
    So you're asserting that abstracts are physical?

    Then why do we call them abstracts?

    Please show me the physicality of "beauty", in its most abstract sense.

  14. #194
    raith

    could you give a brief description of the immediate events that led up to your response to procop's post?
    string em out on a timeline
    perhaps we can characterize these "events" as having either mental (thought) or physical (bio) properties?

    call me nosey

  15. #195
    Defining SOUL; Although one might say that such as this defies explanation, we must have a working definition order to have constructive dialogue: Here is an attempt from things which I have picked up over the years:

    SOUL; The seat of BEING and life in a living creature. Also, emanates the FORM of the creature and is linked to the idea in the divine mind. That power which recieves living actuality. Because of its existance it is good in all cases.
    1) It is possibly material in animals and destroyed at the death of the creature. Or it is immaterial and returns to the life source. The purpose of the animal soul is to focus existance and maintain the creature, and this is pleasing to GOD.
    2) SOUL is immaterial and eternal in humans, indestructable since it is made of absolutely no parts, sourced in the GOODNESS and ONENESS of the Creator. It is also the vessel of the faculties of INTELLECT and WILL. According to Aristotle It contains three areas of function: VEGITATIVE (GROWTH/MAinTANENCE), SENSITIVE (sensory equiptment which interfaces with the next highest level): RATIONAL. The purpose of the eternal human soul is union with GOD.

    a "spirit" is a kind of supernatural being which the ancients likened to wind or breathe. God is the truly divine uncreated spirit, and all divine things come from God. God gives eternal souls divine powers. Angels also are created spirits said to have eternal souls, though more commonly they are called eternal spirits, for they are "able to go back and forth" from eternity to time.

    On an ontological level all created beings are good, even demons, but on a moral level demons are evil.

    The phrase "spiritual soul" refers to a type of person with a certain disposition toward spiritual things.

    The phrase "spiritual life" refers to the whole life of a person, not only the soul, but their physical life as it relates tospiritual things. Indeed, we do not say that body and soul are separate, but that they are one, and the body should be treated as a sacred thing.

    The soul is also understood as that which recieves GOD. Indeed, we understand the body as not housing the soul, but the body as within the soul.
    Last edited by Lawdog; 09-09-05 at 06:06 PM.

  16. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    Where the hell did I suggest that?
    You said:
    "This forum has generated some of the best discussions regarding religion I have ever come across. But people need to be willing to commit to the discussion and not go off wailing or plugging their ears and yelling, "wrong, wrong, wrong" when they come across something they don't like."

    Why should people be willing to do that?
    Why should people embrace what they dislike?

    * * *


    "The one who thinks himself equal or inferior or superior to others is, by that very reason, involved in argument. But such thoughts as equal, inferior, and superior are not there in the one who is not moved by such measurements.
    Why should a wise person argue with another, saying, "This is the truth" and "This is a lie"? If such a one never entertains a thought about equal, inferior or superior, with whom is he going to argue?
    The sage who has freed himself from dependence on others and from dependence on words and is no longer attached to knowledge does not risk the smothering of truth by engaging in disputes with people."


    From the Sutta Nipata

  17. #197
    Quote Originally Posted by Cris
    From your earlier posts you revealed you were significantly confused by the role of religion and how you should interact with it.
    Hm? Eh. It's either your way, or the highway ...


    So far we have not seen how a soul can exist or what it does. At this point the soul concept appears to have zero credibility.
    Go bang your head against a brick wall. Then your action will at least be in accordance with your beliefs.

  18. #198
    I submit that the soul is invisible strings yanking at all of our thoughts, memories and emotions. This is a goodness so great that it cannot be understood by science - and anyway, my religious beliefs make me ignorant to basic scientific concepts (unless of course I can use it and twist it to support my unfounded beliefs).

    The only real question is who is pulling these invisible strings (the soul if you will). I permit that it is the Flying Spaghetti Monster as there is already undeniable scientific proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, therefor he is responsible for our souls.

    I cannot believe the ignorance of you atheists. All you do is go on with your life coming up with "scientific facts" that go against all of the Flying Spaghetti Monsters will. And all this without worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster who is responsible for all of your thoughts and emotions. The brain? LOL! It's a myth that it is the most complicated object in the known universe - Without the soul, it's nothing but a 3 pound pile of jello.

  19. #199
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris
    So you're asserting that abstracts are physical?
    Yes.

    Then why do we call them abstracts? Please show me the physicality of "beauty", in its most abstract sense.
    An abstract is simply a quality that is perceived to be shared across things. Some have therefore concluded that it is independent of the thing itself, some essential property, an "is-ness" that exists both within and apart from the thing itself. But they are really only generalizations, models or patterns that exist in the mind.

    Beauty is not an independent quality, but a set of relationships by which we measure the appearance of a thing. This can be identified in the properties beautiful things share (symmetry, balance, efficiency of form, efficiency of function, color harmonies, etc, depending upon what it is that is being perceived).

    But you can't have beauty independent of the mind (or to be more precise, the brain) that perceives it. It's a pattern that exists in the brain, a template by which we measure what we perceive.

    ~Raithere

  20. #200
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    "This forum has generated some of the best discussions regarding religion I have ever come across. But people need to be willing to commit to the discussion and not go off wailing or plugging their ears and yelling, "wrong, wrong, wrong" when they come across something they don't like."
    Why should people be willing to do that?
    Why should people embrace what they dislike?
    Again, where did I say that one has to embrace what one dislikes? Committing to a discussion does not mean that one has to accept or embrace someone else's ideas.

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

    "The one who thinks himself equal or inferior or superior to others is, by that very reason, involved in argument. But such thoughts as equal, inferior, and superior are not there in the one who is not moved by such measurements.

    Why should a wise person argue with another, saying, "This is the truth" and "This is a lie"? If such a one never entertains a thought about equal, inferior or superior, with whom is he going to argue?

    The sage who has freed himself from dependence on others and from dependence on words and is no longer attached to knowledge does not risk the smothering of truth by engaging in disputes with people."
    On the contrary, one learns much by contesting ideas. Challenge and riposte, whether internally or with another allows one to explore the strengths and weaknesses of ideas. Often the most rewarding are those contests with multiple participants offering different knowledge and perspectives that an individual might not come up with on their own. But the contest is that of ideas not of people. To set such a discussion as a way of asserting one's value over another is, I agree, quite silly.

    ~Raithere

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