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Thread: Souls?

  1. #261
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCop
    I look thoroughly (google) if the experiments (from which the immaterial transfer of knowledge between the rats was suggested) were "debunked" and I have found none. There was't a single suggestion that the research was flawed. The scientists involved:
    Agar's study is 50 years old and was intended to disprove McDougall's research which was about Larmakian inheritance not to prove Morphogenetic Resonance. It did disprove McDougall's study as there was no difference in learning curve between rats whose parents learned the maze and rats whose parents were untrained. So yes, you're unlikely to find much in the way of current professional reviews on Agar's study particularly regarding something that it was never intended to test.

    To take such a study and claim that it proves something else entirely, as Sheldrake started doing in the 80's is simply foolish. He's been pushing his MR theory for some time now but even with a small group of scientists who feel there is some merit to his hypothesis they have not been able to build up any significant amount of data. Contrast this with the many thousands of learning experiments that have been done with rats and mazes alone in the past 50 years, if there was an anomaly in that needed explaining it surely would be impossible to ignore at this point.

    Finally, Sheldrake himself (at least as far as I have read) proposes no supernatural explanation but instead believes that MR is a physical effect, a resonant field that causes things that are alike to behave similarly. He even proposes that MR applies to inorganic substances. Would we then conclude that rock salt has a soul?

    Seeing that there is no discernable evidence for MR, and MR is explained as a physical force, I don't see where you'd draw the conclusion that this is evidence of a soul.

    ~Raithere

  2. #262
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellion
    what are you saying? if the brain is dead the body may remain alive, and this you think is a reason for there not to be a soul?
    but the soul does not depend on the brain. the soul does not depend on the body. both the body and the brain are a projection of the soul. on death the soul ceases its projection as physical incarnation
    How can the brain and the body be expressions of the soul? The brain and the body are created by physical processes that are very well known. Where, when, and how does the soul intercede to affect the development of a brain and a body from the gametes of the parents?

    ~Raithere

  3. #263
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris
    Raith, a computer "recognizes" nothing, EVER.

    It just operates.

    The "recognizer" something to which the results have meaning, as to a computer, they have none. You give it value, the computer cannot.
    A=B There is hardware and even software capable of perceiving relationships on their own, this is meaning. We're getting off topic here though,

    I'm asserting that a component, or aspect of the mind is non-physical.
    What component? And how do you bridge the gap between physical and non-physical?

    The main dispute here, is that you assert that abstracts are physical, where I assert that are physically based, but non-physical in and of themselves. I don't see how to get past this point of difference. To me, that there is a chemical signature (or whatever) that initiates it, doesn't mean that the chemical signature IS it. Hrmph.
    No, I wouldn't say that a chemical signature (or what you later call chemical descriptors) is "it" either. Although in the human brain it is embedded within the electro-chemical processes of the brain. But what we're talking about here is information... specifically a set of data and the relationships it represents. But unless you hypothesize how information can be transferred without its being embedded physically you're stuck in a physical process. What do you propose allows an escape from the physical?

    for the moment humor me and assume that a line has an x and y component. can you describe the line from only the x component?
    No. By definition you cannot. I don't see how this relates though.

    without him being alive to express a concept when you zap it with a voltage, you will never know what any particular juncture of synapses specifically represents. what do you think about that?
    I think it's like looking for data in RAM after you pull the plug on the computer and smash the chip. Memory isn't simply embedded chemically; neurons are bio-electric circuits. A concept doesn't just get written chemically in one portion of the brain but is integrated into its entire process.

    ~Raithere

  4. #264
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    A=B There is hardware and even software capable of perceiving relationships on their own, this is meaning. We're getting off topic here though,
    Post me a link then.

    What component? And how do you bridge the gap between physical and non-physical?
    The abstract component. There is no bridge, they are parts of the same thing, it's just that you can't touch the other part because it has no physicality as we know it.

    No, I wouldn't say that a chemical signature (or what you later call chemical descriptors) is "it" either. Although in the human brain it is embedded within the electro-chemical processes of the brain. But what we're talking about here is information... specifically a set of data and the relationships it represents.
    IMO, concepts don't fit any model of information that I've encountered. I cannot tell you everything I might associate with beauty for instance.

    But unless you hypothesize how information can be transferred without its being embedded physically you're stuck in a physical process. What do you propose allows an escape from the physical?
    What hawkings hypothesizes as "imaginary time", as a degree of freedom utilized somehow by the brain to "reflect" somehow. Actually I generally refer to it as 'the abstract degree of freedom', which can only be accessed subjectively (because of one's reference frame). Of course it isn't proved. but it's what I propose, something along those lines. However, it could be a holographic trick.

    No. By definition you cannot. I don't see how this relates though.
    Because to me in mind there is a physical and abstract component, one cannnot fully describe the other. Mind is the line, x and y are the components. I think I left that hanging though. It was a thought I had which I was going to try and take somewhere, and then I couldnt' figure out where to take it that was worth anything to anyone else.

  5. #265
    Quote Originally Posted by KennyJC
    Who is it that needs to smell the roses, I wonder...
    We may not have reached the stage of limitless knowledge, but saying it is going against the precepts of science not to give any credence to the existence of a 'soul', doesn't make sense.
    Then you thinking with a closed mind. Many things that didn't make sense at one time made sense after further advances in science. I gave the example of ultrasonics before.
    You are then asking us to become theists.
    Where did I say that? This is what I am referring to as making assumptions and as being dogmatic. Your assumptions are:
    1) If you don't rule out presence of a soul, you are automatically theist.
    2) Everybody who does not rule out the possiblility of a soul existing, is a theist.
    3) Everybody who does not rule out the possiblility of a soul existing, is not rational.
    4) Soul is essentially a theist concept, and cannot be something like a manifestation of energy. Also it is immaterial.
    5) There has to be a point of contact between material and immaterial and that should be detectable by existing means of science.
    We know more about life and the human body that perhaps anything... we found out that life came from interstellar dust that collapsed into itself via gravity...
    We did not find that. It is a hypothesis.
    Since the bible (which you people follow to the letter) was written, we found out...
    Bible...what? Don't get carried away and get fixed into frames. Think on this regardless of religion. I am not yet professing the existence of a soul. Do you agree we can't yet prove existence or non-existence, with the limited knowledge we have?
    What I see from people here is that they are arguing in favour of something that probably doesn't exist, but also that they WANT to believe it, because their faith tells them to believe it. Their faith has already been proved wrong many times before, but I don't understand why that bothers theists. It's not the dudes fault who wrote the bible, because human knowledge evolves, and if only theists evolved with it.
    If you arguing against (or for) the existence of a soul, then you are being unscientific and dogmatic. And no less than the theists who do the same. Agree?
    If a soul exists within this universe, it is likely science will find it, because science doesn't descriminate. It just doesn't often find things which live in the fanatical mind of a theist... because they might as well believe in the tooth fairy.
    Likely, at some stage (if soul exists). Until such time, you have no reason to rule out the possibility, unless you assume one way or the other and try to prove a point- like Boris did. It is unscientific to rule out existence of soul.
    Thanks.

    P.S.: Did you ever try a ouija board?

  6. #266
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    What makes you think I have "such a low opinion" of you?!
    I have a very good opinion of you.
    ...
    But you don't behave in accordance with that belief, when you value discussion so highly.
    I do value discussion and debate highly but not more so than people. It is in fact because I value people that I value discussion. I'm not just looking for new ideas; I could read books for that. What I appreciate in discussion is the human interaction. Affecting and being affected by differing opinions, beliefs, and points of view. Finding out how other people perceive things and testing those perceptions. This is what I value in discussion. Challenging others' ideas brings this out. Instead you seem to be painting me as some dogmatist, demanding that others bend to my point of view and inured to any counter-argument.

    ~Raithere

  7. #267
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    He defines the soul as soley immaterial, yet he argues the if the soul transmits information to the material body, scientists would be able to detect the source of this information from the moment the soul enters the body.
    No, what he said is that we should be able to detect the effect this has on the body, specifically the brain.

    What does he think the soul is, why it would need to transmit or receive material infromation?
    If no information gets transferred in either direction how would what happens to one affect the other? There would be no interaction and no reason to suppose they had anything to do with one another.

    [quote]Apart from immateriality, what is this phenomenon[quote]I've already given a further definition and was told that it was insufficient, so you tell me.

    what type of effect should/would it have on the body.
    If it affects human action it would have to have an effect upon the neurological functioning of the brain.

    A human is more than a body, otherwise we would stuff our loved ones after their death, and there would be no need of grief or bereavment.
    I see it as quite the reverse. If the essence of a loved one does not dissolve at the point of death but continues on eternally, what need for grief? However, if something essential is lost forever then there is indeed something to grieve. Indeed, I see this as the primary function of religious belief on a personal level, to assuage us our pain of loss, extreme uncertainty, and fear.

    Not quite sure what you mean by this, maybe you can elaborate.
    Boris already did, just read his post.

    ~Raithere

  8. #268
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Science lets us understand the environment, but not yet completely. So there is much more about the environment that is not yet known- and soul could be part of this.

    Ok, but what would lead theists to believe in a soul in the first place if no such entity was ever detected? The same reasoning could be applied to unicorns and dragons.

    I am for now saying Boris' assumptions are absolutely dumb, unless he has access to complete science that we do not know yet.

    Why dumb? He is simply stating that the soul is not material, if so, we would detect it, as we've detected other material objects. Quarks, for example, are the building material of particles. They can't be seen, but their effects can be detected.

    Converse to a theist's frame, you are in an atheist frame, that sounds more dogmatic.

    An theists frame would have me shed all rationale and reason, why would I do such a thing?

    That soul has to necessarily have a point of contact to the material self; and that this should be detectable with our existing means of science.

    That is the crux of the argument. Do you have another alternative?

    Of course not, but you should be open to facts unknown to science. e.g., can you sense ultrasonics that bats can? Until such time this was realized by science, no body had known that ultrasonics existed.

    First of all, that is a strawman argument. Secondly, you are talking about physical concepts, for which the soul is apparently not.

  9. #269
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    what is the point of having sensory information[/fullstop]? whether in the brain or in the soul the information is serving the same purpose.

    Nice deflection, but that doesn't fly. If the mind and body are the projection of the soul, and all information is already in the soul, as you claim, then for the mind and body to have senses is pointless, as we can rely on our soul for information, yet we have senses and we greatly rely on them. Why? No deflections please.

    i know when iam imagining and i know when iam identifying reality, i am not saying that i dont get confused misinterpret reailty or that i am perceiveing 100% accuratley, but there is a consistency of identification.

    Fair enough, but one must have some iota of information from reality in order to conceive of a soul, what exactly would that be? How can 0% perception of reality lead one to believe in a soul?

    so can you forgive my weak metaphorical selctions? please?

    Sure. But if you use an analogy, try one that fits instead, please?

    we can already detect the brain and the body.

    Sorry, misunderstanding on both parts. What I meant, and what boris' post alludes, is not the result of the projection, the mind and body, but the actually connectivity between the soul and the mind and body, the projection itself.

    If I may use an analogy, a projector throws up images on to a screen. The 'connectivity,' so to speak, would be the light travelling between the projector and the screen, while the end result is the image created by the light.

    In that analogy, you describe the image as the mind and body. I am asking about the light itself and how it produced the image. Is that clearer?

    theists cant agree what god is and cant agree what the soul is why would it be any different with a word for what the soul is doing when it incarnates a physical presence?

    Exactly! Thank you.

    there is much diversity, why should it be any different?

    This comes back to the belief in religion itself. How can each theist, who claims to know god, disagree so vehemently with one another?

    Isn't gods knowledge absolute? Shouldn't it then be sparkling crystal clear? But thats getting off topic.

    but dont let me lead you, i might not really take this position.

    Have you ever noticed anyone leading me?

    to elaborate with another poor analogy.

    A much better analogy, and relevant too. You've hit upon that which precludes the soul, the fact that we are not immortal, that we have no soul, and that the way we live on is in the minds and hearts of those who knew us, family and friends.

  10. #270
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Raithere,

    No, what he said is that we should be able to detect the effect this has on the body, specifically the brain.
    In light of his dodgy reasoning, I doubt very much whether it matters. Anyhow, what make him think the effect would be material, despite the immateriality of its source?

    What does he think the soul is, why it would need to transmit or receive material infromation?

    If no information gets transferred in either direction how would what happens to one affect the other? There would be no interaction and no reason to suppose they had anything to do with one another.
    What information?
    The definition of the soul is purely immaterial according to Boris, it would be nonsensical to use time and energy to collect information from something which by your own understanding cannot exist. Despite the nonsense, I don't think Boris is a stupid person, in fact I rather think he is quite intelligent, so what could his excuse be for wasting such time and energy?

    Apart from immateriality, what is this phenomenon
    I've already given a further definition and was told that it was insufficient, so you tell me.
    I did not say it was insufficient, I asked for the scriptoral source of your definitions. If you want to discuss the soul, then we discuss it from the correct sources.

    If it affects human action it would have to have an effect upon the neurological functioning of the brain.
    Okay lets try this; suppose the neurological functioning of the brain, is the effect of the soul.

    A human is more than a body, otherwise we would stuff our loved ones after their death, and there would be no need of grief or bereavment.

    I see it as quite the reverse. If the essence of a loved one does not dissolve at the point of death but continues on eternally, what need for grief?
    Both scenarios contain good points. The question is, is there a need for grief?

    Indeed, I see this as the primary function of religious belief on a personal level, to assuage us our pain of loss, extreme uncertainty, and fear.
    Maybe you can point this out to me with the use of religious texts, when you deliver the scriptoral source of your definitions of the soul.
    Look foreward to it.

    Boris already did, just read his post.
    I understood the first part, but i wasn't sure what your were pertaining to, in the second;

    ....there are a number of problems apparent with this scenario as it pertains to what is observed in abnormal psychology.
    Jan Ardena.

  11. #271
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesmorris
    The abstract component. There is no bridge, they are parts of the same thing, it's just that you can't touch the other part because it has no physicality as we know it.
    This still doesn't work for me. If they parts don't 'touch' how can they be related? Where and how does the interaction take place?

    IMO, concepts don't fit any model of information that I've encountered. I cannot tell you everything I might associate with beauty for instance.
    Because the set of associations you have are both unique and subtle. No two brains are identical and no two sets of experience from which we form these associations (which exist as both data and as physical, neural connections) are identical. They also exist within the broader range of associations that are, again, unique to you. This just strengthens my point IMO. If beauty were independent shouldn't it be the same for everyone?

    What hawkings hypothesizes as "imaginary time", as a degree of freedom utilized somehow by the brain to "reflect" somehow. Actually I generally refer to it as 'the abstract degree of freedom', which can only be accessed subjectively (because of one's reference frame).
    Imaginary time doesn't get you out of the physical universe. It's simply another physical dimension (presuming the hypothesis is correct).

    Because to me in mind there is a physical and abstract component, one cannnot fully describe the other. Mind is the line, x and y are the components. I think I left that hanging though. It was a thought I had which I was going to try and take somewhere, and then I couldnt' figure out where to take it that was worth anything to anyone else.
    I'm not sure where you're going with it either However, X and Y only define the line, they don't contain it. There are an infinite number of points on a line of which X and Y are only two. Indeed, they may be any two points out of this infinity. They're not separate but part of a continuum.

    ~Raithere

  12. #272
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Get up and smell the roses.

    Yes, water, roses exist in reality. Smell them.

  13. #273
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Get up and smell the roses.

    Yes, water, roses exist in reality. Smell them.
    Be nice and send me some.

  14. #274
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Send some reality? Ok, look out your window - there it is.

  15. #275
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Send some reality? Ok, look out your window - there it is.
    No, send me some roses, silly.

  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    Agar's study is 50 years old and was intended to disprove McDougall's research which was about Larmakian inheritance not to prove Morphogenetic Resonance. It did disprove McDougall's study as there was no difference in learning curve between rats whose parents learned the maze and rats whose parents were untrained. So yes, you're unlikely to find much in the way of current professional reviews on Agar's study particularly regarding something that it was never intended to test.

    To take such a study and claim that it proves something else entirely, as Sheldrake started doing in the 80's is simply foolish. He's been pushing his MR theory for some time now but even with a small group of scientists who feel there is some merit to his hypothesis they have not been able to build up any significant amount of data. Contrast this with the many thousands of learning experiments that have been done with rats and mazes alone in the past 50 years, if there was an anomaly in that needed explaining it surely would be impossible to ignore at this point.

    Finally, Sheldrake himself (at least as far as I have read) proposes no supernatural explanation but instead believes that MR is a physical effect, a resonant field that causes things that are alike to behave similarly. He even proposes that MR applies to inorganic substances. Would we then conclude that rock salt has a soul?

    Seeing that there is no discernable evidence for MR, and MR is explained as a physical force, I don't see where you'd draw the conclusion that this is evidence of a soul.

    ~Raithere
    Repeatedly (in this topic) number of posters eg. Sarkus
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkus
    ... No one has proved that "immaterial reality" exists - or that anything immaterial exists.....
    denied the existence of immateriele elements which would effect the brain by influencing it to alter the behaviour of the tested animal. The study I posted above, which was conducted by recognised scientists, established that such an "immaterial influence" exists (the rats behaved as if they had the experience which had been acquired by different (genetically or otherwise) unconnected groep of rats). In your argument: <i>if there was an anomaly in that needed explaining it surely would be impossible to ignore at this point</I>... you misunderstand the problem: science doesn't have any equipment to study immaterial phenomenon whatsoever. The experiment wasn't further studied because of science's incapacity to study it further - to ignore it was/is the only position the science could take concerning these findings.
    Last edited by ProCop; 09-12-05 at 11:44 AM.

  17. #277
    Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N wesmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    This still doesn't work for me. If they parts don't 'touch' how can they be related? Where and how does the interaction take place?
    First let me sidetrack: You said earlier "we're talking information" or something to that end. Information. Hmm. Let's consider what "information" actually entails. Consider for a telephone line with computers talking to each other over it. If there is no one there on either end to read the printout, is there any information transferred? Certainly there is electrical activity, but at what point does that activity become "information"? I believe the answer must be "upon cognition of it". Do you consider either computer to be "an observer"? I contend they are not. Until "observed", they are "part of the tao".

    I'm sorry I can only answer your question above witha question, but: Where does the interaction between length and width take place? It's the same type of relationship as far as I see it, except as I noted - this relationship could be simulated with holography. They are related because they are both part of the whole.

    Because the set of associations you have are both unique and subtle. No two brains are identical and no two sets of experience from which we form these associations (which exist as both data and as physical, neural connections) are identical. They also exist within the broader range of associations that are, again, unique to you. This just strengthens my point IMO. If beauty were independent shouldn't it be the same for everyone?
    and from my perspective, this "incompleteness" goes to my own point, in that any conceptual element isn't necessarily determinant or complete. Again, this was regarding "information" - which should be "complete" and "determinant" in and of itself. So again, concepts don't fit any "information" theory I've encountered, yet they are abundant in mind - so it's not necessarily just "information" as you asserted before.

    Imaginary time doesn't get you out of the physical universe. It's simply another physical dimension (presuming the hypothesis is correct).
    I understand that, which is why I said something like "as we know it" regarding physicality. I'd think also, one would have to accept that for instance in the context of string theory - there are 'physical dimensions' that humans cannot 'physically touch' as we know it. If the hypothesis is correct for instance, you still cannot "touch" imaginary time with your finger for instance.

    I'm not sure where you're going with it either However, X and Y only define the line, they don't contain it. There are an infinite number of points on a line of which X and Y are only two. Indeed, they may be any two points out of this infinity. They're not separate but part of a continuum.
    I meant the x and y components. Pardon.
    Last edited by wesmorris; 09-12-05 at 01:26 PM.

  18. #278
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    In light of his dodgy reasoning, I doubt very much whether it matters. Anyhow, what make him think the effect would be material, despite the immateriality of its source?
    You may question his premises but there's nothing dodgy in his reasoning... at least nothing anyone has been able to point out yet. The human body is material, thus we can detect changes in the body. If the soul can cause a change in the body we should be able to detect these changes.

    I did not say it was insufficient, I asked for the scriptoral source of your definitions. If you want to discuss the soul, then we discuss it from the correct sources.
    No. I'm not going to refer to scripture, too much room there for getting lost in semantic and interpretative games. But I'll reference various 'authorities' who take their positions from and give plenty of scriptural references.

    One will quickly note that definition of the soul is rather difficult, apparently even for people who know they have one. But there are certainly common themes here that easily support the basis for Boris's working definition:

    http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/...nanda/id/61969
    http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_d...5768-2800.html
    http://www.ibiblio.org/ram/art_0007.htm
    http://www.catholicdoors.com/know/godi.htm
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14153a.htm
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0310.htm
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15081.htm
    http://www.mahidol.ac.th/budsir/buddhism.htm
    http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/rhy.htm

    ~Raithere

  19. #279
    Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Sarkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProCop
    The study I posted above, which was conducted by recognised scientists, established that such an "immaterial influence" exists (the rats behaved as if they had the experience which had been acquired by different (genetically or otherwise) unconnected groep of rats). In your argument: <i>if there was an anomaly in that needed explaining it surely would be impossible to ignore at this point</I>... you misunderstand the problem: science doesn't have any equipment to study immaterial phenomenon whatsoever. The experiment wasn't further studied because of science's incapacity to study it further - to ignore it was/is the only position the science could take concerning these findings.
    Post links to this experiment please.

  20. #280
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    The link to the original post http://www.sciforums.com/showthread....5&page=9&pp=20

    it is on page 9 of this thread and was further discussed on the following pages. Links to the souces are provided in the posts.

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