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Thread: Souls?

  1. #81
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul299
    If there is no "immaterial" soul/life then there can be no choice, and every thought and action and emotion is a product of the first milliseconds of the big bang and the beginning of our universe.
    Non-existence of a soul does not itself imply a deterministic universe. And, in fact, quantum indeterminacy provides for a non-deterministic universe all by itself.

    Why theists believe in a soul or being alive or the self -is that God has given us the ability to be greater than the mere sum of the atoms of our body - with out an "immaterial" component, then there is no possibility that anything as any effect to change what is - every thing is as it can only be.
    This is simply an argument from consequence and a logical fallacy. Whether you are displeased with the implications of an assertion or not has no bearing on its validity.

    ~Raithere

  2. #82
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    So, an indeterministic collection of atoms in the brain generates deterministic thought?

  3. #83
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellion
    if it is as boris states immaterial and it is as boris states presumed to interact with the brain, then the first place we should start is what the fuck is it if not material? why not know what it is we are talking about? how it exists and in what state?
    This is exactly what Boris was discussing. Try reading it again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Clearly, for a soul to have a meaningful connection to the body, it must be capable of interacting with matter. Yet, souls are defined as immaterial and not subject to the laws that govern matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Thus, were the soul to feed information back to the body, scientists ought to be able to find the spot where information from the soul enters the body for the first time. (Of course, despite centuries of searching no such spot has been found.) But this again contradicts the notion that the soul is not detectable through material means (of course, this contradiction arises out of the already contradictory notion that the soul interacts with the body.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Then there is the question of the very mechanisms through which the exchange between the soul and the body takes place. By definition, a soul is 100% immaterial. On the other hand, the body is 100% material. How do we build a bridge between the two? Does there exist a "something" that is both partly material, and partly immaterial? But anything like that would not make sense, since the idealist concepts of matter vs. essence are incompatible.
    ~Raithere

  4. #84
    Registered Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Boris
    Thus, were the soul to feed information back to the body, scientists ought to be able to find the spot where information from the soul enters the body for the first time. (Of course, despite centuries of searching no such spot has been found.) But this again contradicts the notion that the soul is not detectable through material means (of course, this contradiction arises out of the already contradictory notion that the soul interacts with the body.)

    Hmm.. Really- we know that thoughts do not start in one place in the brain but start in multiple
    places at the same time.

  5. #85
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul299
    So, an indeterministic collection of atoms in the brain generates deterministic thought?
    It's uncertain at this point. We'd need to know more about how thought is generated. If a quantum event can signal your choice then thought could be indeterministic and we would still have free will after a sense.

    ~Raithere

  6. #86
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Boris

    Clearly, for a soul to have a meaningful connection to the body, it must be capable of interacting with matter. Yet, souls are defined as immaterial and not subject to the laws that govern matter.
    Boris is just stating the obvious in the first sentence, and being short on infromation in the second.


    Originally Posted by Boris

    Thus, were the soul to feed information back to the body, scientists ought to be able to find the spot where information from the soul enters the body for the first time. (Of course, despite centuries of searching no such spot has been found.) But this again contradicts the notion that the soul is not detectable through material means (of course, this contradiction arises out of the already contradictory notion that the soul interacts with the body.)
    Boris acknowledges that;

    1) the soul is immaterial
    2) it is not subject to the laws that govern matter
    3) it is capable of interacting with matter

    Then he goes on to say;

    4) that there is a (material) spot where the soul enters the body
    5) that because the immaterial soul (whatever he defines the soul as) has not been detected by material mean, it contradicts the notion that the soul is not detectable by material means.
    6) he believes that the notion of a soul interacting with the body is a contradiction

    Boris is all over the place here. He needs to define what a soul is in order to refute its existence. He needs to give some kind of referreference for the source of his information.

    Originally Posted by Boris

    Then there is the question of the very mechanisms through which the exchange between the soul and the body takes place. By definition, a soul is 100% immaterial. On the other hand, the body is 100% material. How do we build a bridge between the two? Does there exist a "something" that is both partly material, and partly immaterial? But anything like that would not make sense, since the idealist concepts of matter vs. essence are incompatible.
    Again here, he assumes how the soul is supposed to work without giving any references, so far the only reference he gives which is agreed by scriptures is that the soul is not material. We need more than that to refute his points. He asks how we can build a bridge between the soul and the body.
    What makes him think the bridge has to be built?
    What does he think the soul is?
    Who are the idealists?
    And what does he mean by “matter vs. essence are incompatible?”

    These are just two or so paragraphs out of his long-ass post, and he has only offered one point which concurs with scriptural definitions of the soul.

    Can anybody describe what the soul is, according to Boris?

    Jan Ardena.

  7. #87
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    Can anybody describe what the soul is, according to Boris?
    More to the point, can anyone define what a soul is in such a way that it refers to something specific and is not just some nebulous reference to consciousness?

    Boris is simply working from a generalized theistic description. So why don't we put the question to the theists since they seem to be so hung up on his working definition:

    Q: What is a soul?

    Q: Is a soul material, immaterial, or something else?

    Q: What is it made of? (Note that "spirit", God's essence, or some other nonsense term will not suffice unless you proceed to define that term as well)?

    Q: Do souls interact with living, biological, organisms?

    Q: If so, how do souls interact with these beings? Please reference its point(s) of "contact" with a living, biological, organism.

    Q: Do souls interact with material things besides biological organisms?

    Q: If so, how do souls interact with material things?

    Q: Is there any evidence of souls?

    Q: Is there any evidence that souls persist beyond the life of the organism they are 'attached' to?

    ~Raithere

  8. #88
    Can anybody describe what the soul is, according to Boris?

    Yes! The soul is what Boris and his cronies deny to have!


    *I want a medal for this. Golden.*

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    More to the point, can anyone define what a soul is in such a way that it refers to something specific and is not just some nebulous reference to consciousness?
    Can anyone define anything, in such a way that it refers to something specific?

    c
    i
    r
    c
    u
    l
    a
    r
    i
    t
    y
    !

  10. #90
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Raithere,

    More to the point, can anyone define what a soul is in such a way that it refers to something specific and is not just some nebulous reference to consciousness?
    That is not the point, and I'm pretty certain you know it. Boris is presenting arguments for the non-existence of the soul. He has not defined what the soul is, but has given his arguments against it. That is a nonsense.

    Boris is simply working from a generalized theistic description. So why don't we put the question to the theists since they seem to be so hung up on his working definition:
    The only theistic points he has made, is that the soul is immaterial, and interacts with the body. He doesn't give the theistic explanation as to why and how.
    He has built up his argument purely on that. So before you can put questions to theists, you must present a proper definition of the soul, otherwise what exactly are we arguing about.

    Q: What is a soul?
    Boris has argued it doesn't exist, so he must know what it is that doesn't exist.

    Q: Is a soul material, immaterial, or something else?
    I didn't write the piece, Boris did. If I had written a piece on the existence of the soul, you would ask me to explain what it is. The same should be asked of Boris, or someone who knows what the hell he's talking about.

    Q: What is it made of? (Note that "spirit", God's essence, or some other nonsense term will not suffice unless you proceed to define that term as well)?
    Well you should ask Boris, he is the one who has argued that it cannot exist, so to come to that decision he must know what cannot exist. Otherwise he may as well fart Dixie.

    Q: Do souls interact with living, biological, organisms?
    This question is irrelivant until Boris (or someone) gives his definition of the soul. Just to say, it doesn't exist because I can't see it with my eyes, is blatant stupidity.

    Q: If so, how do souls interact with these beings? Please reference its point(s) of "contact" with a living, biological, organism.

    Q: Do souls interact with material things besides biological organisms?

    Q: If so, how do souls interact with material things?
    These questions should be directed at Boris as he is the one who has put the argument foreward. Once these points are known....argument ON.


    Q: Is there any evidence of souls?

    Q: Is there any evidence that souls persist beyond the life of the organism they are 'attached' to?
    Apparantly for Boris, there is no evidence, but for some reason no one know what there isn't any evidence of.

    Jan Ardena.

  11. #91
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    That is not the point, and I'm pretty certain you know it. Boris is presenting arguments for the non-existence of the soul. He has not defined what the soul is, but has given his arguments against it. That is a nonsense.
    Not at all.

    Although he could have outlined it a bit more clearly his argument is based upon the soul having certain properties. All that is required for the bulk of his argument is that the soul is something that interacts with a human nervous system (specifically the brain, but not even that is mandatory).

    Given this, most of his arguments apply no matter what other properties the soul might possess, which is why a complete definition is unnecessary.

    The only theistic points he has made, is that the soul is immaterial, and interacts with the body. He doesn't give the theistic explanation as to why and how.
    He has built up his argument purely on that. So before you can put questions to theists, you must present a proper definition of the soul, otherwise what exactly are we arguing about.
    No. You don’t. If the soul interacts with the brain we would be able to detect this interaction. Boris explains this at length.

    This question is irrelivant until Boris (or someone) gives his definition of the soul. Just to say, it doesn't exist because I can't see it with my eyes, is blatant stupidity.
    Boris is arguing against the assertion that the soul affects the behavior of a human. Souls may still exist, but if there is no interface between a soul and a human then who cares?

    ~Raithere

  12. #92
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Raithere

    Not at all.
    Although he could have outlined it a bit more clearly his argument is based upon the soul having certain properties. All that is required for the bulk of his argument is that the soul is something that interacts with a human nervous system (specifically the brain, but not even that is mandatory).
    But he cannot define what it is that interacts, or how it interacts, so his arguments are null and void.

    Given this, most of his arguments apply no matter what other properties the soul might possess, which is why a complete definition is unnecessary.
    He should find out what the general perception of the soul is, what is its source, and how it could possibly interact with nature. He has failed to do this, so his argument falls down on the basis of lack of information.
    What does he regard as "the soul?"
    Unless he says, his argument is based on nothing.

    No. You don’t. If the soul interacts with the brain we would be able to detect this interaction. Boris explains this at length.
    Boris has given no definition of the soul, so how does he know what to look for?

    Boris is arguing against the assertion that the soul affects the behavior of a human.
    Then he needs to read up and study, otherwise he's talking nonsense.

    Souls may still exist, but if there is no interface between a soul and a human then who cares?
    Give me a definition of the soul, its source, and how it interacts. If you cannot do this, like Boris, you talking poo-poo.

    Jan Ardena.

  13. #93
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    But he cannot define what it is that interacts, or how it interacts, so his arguments are null and void.
    Incorrect. We know what a soul is supposed to interact with therefore we can provide the conditions of how a soul (whatever it happens to be) may interact with it.

    Let’s use an analogy. William Hershel was measuring the temperature of different colors of light. He used a prism to make a spectrum and then put a thermometer in each color. To his surprise the thermometer showed the hottest temperature where there was no visible light. No one even suspected that infrared radiation existed at the time. But (and here’s the part the relates to the soul) something unknown was interacting with the physical world. Hershel knew how a thermometer works so he was able to know something about what was interacting with the thermometer.

    Similarly, since we know certain fundamentals about how a human body works we can define certain properties necessary for anything that is conjectured to interact with it.

    Unless you’re going to assert that a soul does not affect the body then there is really no way around this Jan, if the soul can affect the body then we can measure that effect whether we know anything else about the soul or not.

    Boris has given no definition of the soul, so how does he know what to look for?
    Boris did give a definition of the soul; something that interacts with the human brain.

    Give me a definition of the soul, its source, and how it interacts. If you cannot do this, like Boris, you talking poo-poo.
    Sure.

    The soul is considered by theists to be the animating force of life and/or the seat of consciousness of a human being. It is typically considered to be everlasting, immaterial, and not dependent upon the human body for existence. It’s source is either God, the eternal waters, or whatever “First Cause” is depicted by the believer as the source of existence. As far as I know, no one has been able to come up with a workable hypothesis as to how a soul could interact with a human body but there are many interesting conjectures.

    Now, if you have an alternative definition why don’t you stop avoiding my questions and tell me what you think a soul is and how it relates to a human organism because this is getting really annoying.

    ~Raithere

  14. #94
    pfft
    boris spouts bio 101
    the materialists then offer it up as the holy grail

  15. #95
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Now, if you have an alternative definition why don’t you stop avoiding my questions and tell me what you think a soul is and how it relates to a human organism because this is getting really annoying.

    I was pressing ellion into the same corner, and now he has conveniently vanished. Funny how no theists want to tackle this one.

    Perhaps they all agree with boris?
    Last edited by (Q); 09-08-05 at 09:31 AM.

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by tiassa
    What "could" a soul be? Well, the mind-uploaders might have an answer for that question someday. Perhaps it's a strictly bio-electrical phenomenon. I still hold to my conclusion that life is not a chance occurrence but a statistical necessity in the Universe, so it's not as if a soul must be mystical.

    If you trust the standard definition of the soul, then the argument freezes there. We doubt everything else about Christianity, for instance ... why not doubt the definition of the soul? Without hostility, sarcasm, or otherwise--for it might be possible to interpret it that way--the result of trusting the Christian definition of the soul in order to argue about it seems more a tool to beat down an idea rather than to explore its possibilities.

    Do you trust an ancient, possibly deluded people to define the terms of consideration you award a concept?

    What bugs me is when an atheist who has rejected the Christian god that he or she learned in the world applies that to all Gods, even those they may never have heard of. This is the height of arrogance and contradiction, as it makes the atheist religious.

    However, in this case, as I have pointed out above, you're letting people you don't trust set the considerations for the definitions.

    In other words: Should someone someday find a "soul", do you really expect that it will look like people have described in religious philosophy?

    But is there not a possibility that the limited linguistic scope of the past might stain the present considerations?

    Is there any one idea of a soul? No. There are many diverse ideas of what the soul is. If we limit ourselves to the characteristics of any one idea, we limit our scope of inquiry. However, we are also limiting our scope of inquiry if we accept at face value what is said.
    why thank you tiassa. i see you noticed that the topic post is nothing but the perennial posting of an irrelevant topic AKA red herring presented in order to divert attention from any serious debate on the nature of conciousness.

    that and to bash the "deluded people" over the head

  17. #97
    before

    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    Without, at least, a basic working definition we might as well be babbling incoherent syllables to each other.

    Even with a definition, however, meaning is not assured. The soul, to get back into the topic here, is usually defined in such a way that it remains meaningless. To define it as 'immaterial' or 'supernatural' says absolutely nothing about what a soul is it only tells us what it isn't.

    ~Raithere

    and after

    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    Sure.

    The soul is considered by theists to be the animating force of life and/or the seat of consciousness of a human being. It is typically considered to be everlasting, immaterial, and not dependent upon the human body for existence. It’s source is either God, the eternal waters, or whatever “First Cause” is depicted by the believer as the source of existence. As far as I know, no one has been able to come up with a workable hypothesis as to how a soul could interact with a human body but there are many interesting conjectures.

    Now, if you have an alternative definition why don’t you stop avoiding my questions and tell me what you think a soul is and how it relates to a human organism because this is getting really annoying.

    ~Raithere
    my my
    very annoying ja?

  18. #98
    plagued by infinities Raithere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustav
    my my
    very annoying ja?
    I presume you mean that it's very annoying that theists continue to avoid defining what it is they believe in, apparently for no other reason than to avoid having to analyze it. Or perhaps it is because they simply have given the matter no more than superficial consideration. Indeed, it is quite annoying.

    It was a nice little spin attempt, Gustav, but I daresay you missed have missed my point entirely.

    You'll note that in the first quote I state that one needs at least a "basic working definition". Boris has provided such. Granted it is minimal but it is sufficient upon which to base an argument, which he has.

    The contention supposedly is that there is something else to a soul (other than its interaction with a human being) which negates Boris's arguments. Yet despite repeated requests to clarify just what that something is, or what the argument itself would be the theists here can do nothing but dissemble and do nothing but state repeatedly "you haven't given a definition".

    This is, of course, exactly wrong. Once again, a working if incomplete definition has been given. One must either provide an alternative or give argument why adding something to the one given would alter the argument.

    We can use a simple example to illustrate: A star is an object that radiates light. This is an incomplete definition of a star, no? Yet it is enough to provide a fully formed and logically correct argument. I have an object in my hand, it radiates no light, and therefore the object in my hand is not a star.

    Personally, I can think of at least one or two counters to parts of Boris's argument. While I find them insufficient the theists refuse to even take another step. This refusal seems, to me, deliberately disingenuous.

    In the end, theists continue to do precisely what I accused them of and I am forced to conclude that even in the theists mind a "soul" is an essentially meaningless term that refers only generally to consciousness.

    ~Raithere

  19. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Raithere
    It was a nice little spin attempt, Gustav, but I daresay you missed have missed my point entirely.

    ~Raithere
    yeah i think i did miss it
    apologies

    *crawls off


  20. #100
    Magician & Exorcist (93) ellion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cris
    The issue of whether souls exist or not is an essential consideration for theism, since if souls do not exist then an afterlife does not exist. which is the domain for theism to reward or punish. I.e. without an afterlife who cares whether gods exist or not.
    this is simply a distorted a supposition form your distorted perception of god.



    Quote Originally Posted by boris
    Clearly, for a soul to have a meaningful connection to the body, it must be capable of interacting with matter. Yet, souls are defined as immaterial and not subject to the laws that govern matter.
    not subject to laws of matter!!
    Hence, the paradox arises:
    the paradox arises from the attempt to confine a non-material subject to physical laws. the subject is not material and therefore not beholden to physiocal laws.

    by its definition, a soul must be both capable of interacting with matter, and not capable of interacting with matter.
    by its definition the soul is capable of defying any must's/ should's /would's or will's that are given from our understanding of the physical realm.



    Matter affects matter through interactions. For example, you can push a desk, or bludgeon a man, or dig a river. It is because matter is so "interactive", that we can make measurements, conduct experiments, and observe phenomena associated with matter.
    matter is physical and obeys physical laws.

    The soul, on the other hand, is by definition immaterial.
    by definition not subject to any law/ rule/ regulation / observation / interpretation / restriction or misrepresentation.

    Hence, with our scientific instruments we cannot detect it.
    scientific instuments are restricted to the physical laws and to observing physical properties.


    If we could detect it, we could then determine its properties and structure and we would be able to materially interact with it, which would make the soul material.
    it is not restricted to the physical realm and therfore it defies such constraints, by definition.

    So it seems that material information must have a way to enter the soul, and material information must have a way of emanating from the soul and travelling to the body.
    it seems so when we consider this form the material perspective. but what seems is not always what is.

    The latter of these phenomena has a definite effect on the body, and hence must be indirectly detectable.
    no! no must's. it is by definition not subject to any must, should, will or would these are expectations from the material realm.


    This is because the body is indeed material, and any changes introduced within it are thus immediately detectable with proper instruments.
    proper instruments are detecting physical changes but what is used to detect the non physical changes in the non-material soul? we doint have non-material detection devices.


    Thus, were the soul to feed information back to the body, scientists ought to be able to find the spot where information from the soul enters the body for the first time.
    i should have included ought in my list of not applicable to a subject not confined to matter. this expectation is derives the physical laws of matter, no such laws apply to the non-material.

    (Of course, despite centuries of searching no such spot has been found.)
    this is why you are fucking genius boris!!

    this again contradicts the notion that the soul is not detectable through material means
    this does not contradict the notion it confirms the notion. tthis confirms the notion that the soul is not detectable by material means.

    By definition, a soul is 100% immaterial. On the other hand, the body is 100% material. How do we build a bridge between the two?
    a bridge is only necessary when you confine the subject to regulations that require a vehicle of expression. the immaterial soul has no restriction to this requirement for a vehicle of expression as by definition it has no properties that restrict it to such needs

    Does there exist a "something" that is both partly material, and partly immaterial?
    something that flashes in and out of existence maybe, hmm let me think!! can there be something that is and is not like a particle and a wave only not that because that is light and light is material? no! i cant think of anything material that constantly changes its structure to exist between two states! so it must be something that is not material then!

    Matter is temporary, while the soul is eternal. Matter is corrupt, while the soul is perfect. Matter possesses extension, density, mass, color, temperature, etc. -- while the soul has none of those properties.
    this is all equivalent to 'matter is physical the soul is not', but this is what your defintion is reliant on anyway.

    How can "something" exist that possesses a mix of these contradictory properties?
    by not being restricted to the laws from which these properties derive.

    How can something be corrupt and perfect at the same time? How can something be massive and massless, colorful and colorless, extended and shapeless?
    it does not need to be and it does not need to be not.

    So it seems there is no reasonable way that the gap between the immaterial and the material can be crossed so as to enable the communication between the soul and the body.
    it also seems that there is no reason why there should be a gap or why that gap must be crossed.




    thats all for now.

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