Are we purely material beings or do we have souls?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite sure what people mean by expressions like "material beings", either. (I.e., it can similarly be an impediment with respect to proceeding any further.) I suspect "material beings" may fall out of naïve realism, but that's purely based on 99% of us using such words probably being commonsense realists either knowingly or unknowingly (tacit, implicit). Is "material beings" reference to mere representations or instead bold proclamations about non-mediated existence?

    Corporeal objects -- those things which not only materialize in perceptions but thereby also have that appearance of existing outside themselves -- are representations associated with cognitive processes. Rather than those phenomenal entities literally being how "whatever is supposedly *outside* of consciousness" exists substantively slash in itself or exists independent of organism representations.

    Materialist metaphysics, while just prescriptive speculation and dogma itself, would nevertheless usually seem to hold that what follows death or the termination of consciousness is not even nothingness (since "nothingness" would still be a background presentation of blankness, silence, empty feeling, etc). A return to what its matter is normally like -- i.e., it doesn't manifest and compare, period -- there is no "like".

    Which is to say, going against that consequence of materialism, as commonsense or naïve realism apparently does in contending that there is an environment outside the head showing, discriminating, and conceptualizing itself just as in the head -- would actually be a tacit form of panpsychism, mentalism, monistic idealism, or whatever ontological claims along that line. The metaphysical version of "matter" ironically does not materialize as anything as it exists in itself or exists independent of cognitive products. That is, if its goal is to not be contaminated by mental (qualia and the generalizations, descriptions and symbolism of intellect / reasoning).

    Arguably there alternatively is "materialism" as a systematic mapping and measuring of structural, functional, mechanistic or causal relationships that's abstracted (often with the aid of experiments) from the corporeal world manifestations of our experiences. But it is just that. A type of complex representing that's deliberately outputted by intelligence as opposed to the native and automatic operations of the senses. Not a metaphysical claim at all but just a humble epistemic tool or approach for predicting and manipulating the exhibited world.

    Its version of matter revolves around quantitative properties rather than phenomenal slash aphenomenal characteristics. Such symbol-based description and ordinary technical language is yielded by mental processes and abides in its materializations (like other corporeal objects). David Hume's retrospectively labeled "pan-phenomenalism" at least tried to proclaim that impressions and overall "stuff that shows itself" was prior in rank to the arising or bundling of those manifestations as mind (thus dodging "mind" metaphysics). Products of intelligence certainly can't be non-artificial, but again this type of "materialism" isn't haughty metaphysical materialism. It's not making claims about lacking cognitive origins or being independent of such (identity-wise it would be in the same slot as para-religious materialism, if it was).

    I mean seriously -- excluding cosmopsychism or Berkeley's god observing everything from all points-of-view (micro & macro levels) as the ultimate type of existence... The planet Mars could not exist in itself as a varying corporeal appearance from outside itself for a whole horde of reasons (especially including it lacking experiential capacities). And it certainly doesn't exist abstractly as various kinds of technical description according to whichever discipline. Those "rational objects" (as opposed to sense objects) typically touted as objective existence since ancient Greek days.
     
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    We [humans and life in general] are simply a process of the evolution of the universe/space/time.
    The universe does not give a damn about us, we are simply another aspect of what can evolve when conditions are suitable.
    Life from non life, or Abiogenesis, while we as yet are unable to understand or create the exact mechanism, it is the only scientific explantion....[1] The BB...spacetime, matter, energy: [2] Stars, planets: [3] Abiogenesis from star stuff on at least one of those planets: [4] Evolution: [5] Back to star stuff.
     
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  5. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

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    That is a false statement. There is no such positive evidence of such.

    Considering the dearth of evidence to the contrary, the prevalence of the belief and personal experiences would seem to suffice.

    Who said there was material evidence?

    You don't get to dictate what a vast majority of people in the world believe. There are ways to possibly falsify the soul, but none have been accomplished to even a minimum of scientific methodology.

    But if we're playing your game, you don't get to have your meat bag by default. It's not enough to say "You can't disprove I'm nothing more than a meat bag, therefore I must only be a meat bag."
     
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  7. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    I believe we are Universal Consciousness looking back at ourselves, and that you and I are having a monologue. Regardless of what happens when we die, I know that that consciousness will survive in the living when we are gone.
     
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The whole package implied by "mind" is not deeply explained, anyway. There's no non-controversial set of underlying principles and proposed "added attributes" for explaining what prior existing properties of matter conscious experiences could arise from. It's simply left appearing as conjuring performed by procedural processes, like witches performing the proper spell-like dance to summon a demon.

    Whereas in contrast even a bent clothes hanger can exemplify an object storing rudimentary "memory". And intelligence related abilities (an integration of various specialized functions) are simply more "actions" which transpire in general in the universe. Intelligence can thereby fall out of a complex configuration of interacting components in a substrate viable for producing that outcome (biological, electronic, etc).

    But "proper dynamic form" doesn't explain where the materializations of mind come from with respect to matter that has pre-conditionally had such secondary properties eliminated from it since at least the days of Galileo. The manifestations of the various senses and our personal thoughts are not "actions" with respect to transpiring in the publicly accessible space that science studies and conducts experiments in. Actions also do not float on their own -- entities perform them -- whether macroscopic gears or microscopic agents. Qualia certainly aren't part of the accepted furniture of physics entities, and who cares what "brute emergence" nonsense biologists spout on occasion if they become oblivious to how dependent life is on the affairs that preceded it, compose it, and make it possible.

    Brain tissue is not "special exotic stuff" constituted of particles and forces alien to this universe, the latter apparently blessed with a magical capacity to conjure something as radically novel as phenomenal experiences. Arranging matter into an active network structure doesn't explain how materialization can emerge from form alone when the "material" being utilized has had such attributes stripped from it for centuries. It's not a situation that is going to change anytime soon because most scientists detest any explanation for the hard problem of consciousness that can be construed or misconstrued as a species of panpsychism or even panprotopsychism. (Despite "intelligence" being an aspect of mind that does have common primitive precursors throughout the cosmos for yielding it!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  9. river

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    Life though once it knows the periodic table and more ........ Throughly . Then Manipulates the elements .
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Totally and unmitigated unscientific bullshit
     
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  11. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Think it is positive if there is no brain there is no thinking (mind)
    Arrr the ol' you can't prove it (soul) doesn't exist ploy. Thought James ruled that out
    Well I think material evidence would be nice, but sure anyone would be forgiven on production of evidence of any flavour
    Don't think anyone is even trying in this thread
    Arrr the ol'don't like the question (define the soul) change the question (define the body)

    Try to stick with the program

    If you don't have a description it's fine and perfectly OK to say "I don't have a description"

    Don't be a Jan. One of those per thread or even the whole forum is more than enough

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  12. river

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    To you pad .

    Not to me . And others hopefully .
     
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Now has two votes

    Any advance on two?

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  14. river

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    Are we " purely material beings " , no , we think .

    Because life exists in this Universe , obviously .
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Not in the least...the mind obviously stems from the brain according to the evidence we have.
    Wrong again...We have no evidence for anything supernatural or paranormal for that matter, and both are unscientific concepts to boot.
    Right none...therefor it doesn't exist.
    It appears its you who is dictating and this as a science forum, means that any crap you, river or Jan, or any combination thereof, needs to push, also needs scientific scrutiny, which leaves you all coming up well short.

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    And therein lies the reason you are banned from the sciences...utter stupidity, unsupported anti science fanaticism, and deliberate trolling.
     
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  16. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

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    So when you lose the signal during a phone call that means the other person must be dead too, huh? No? That's because, if a soul exists, the brain is only a switchboard. Losing the signal tells you nothing about the person on the other end.

    Straw man. I never said the soul existed because no one could prove it didn't. But since there's no positive evidence either way, whatever we have must suffice. On that balance, science is moot and anecdotal personal experience is plentiful. If you don't like it, that's on you.

    See the aforementioned anecdotal and personal experience of a vast majority of the world. After all, you did just say "any" flavor.

    Check the OP again. He didn't ask for a description, nor even a definition. He asked for why people believe or any evidence. Nor did I even come close to your straw man of "define the body". I've plainly said that there's no material evidence, which is why science is moot on the subject. Haven't gotten around to saying why I believe souls exist. Sorry to try your short patience.
     
  17. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

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    No, the only evidence of that, Libet-type experiments, has been debunked as using flawed methodology/assumptions.

    Who said otherwise?

    So your love for your family doesn't exist? Where's the material evidence, and couldn't we explain any in some other, more tangible way?

    The OP is the one asking people what they believe. Take it up with him. If he wanted to limit the discussion to material evidence, he should have said so. And I wouldn't have bothered with such a thread, that was naive enough to presume everything is explainable by the scientific method. But do carry on with your scientism.
     
  18. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Dont have to vote to make it bullshit but make that three.

    Alex
     
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Nonsense.

    Minds are clearly associated with bodies. We never find minds separate from bodies. When a body dies, there is no longer evidence of the mind (consciousness).

    So, we are faced with two options:
    1. The mind (consciousness) is a product of physical processes that happen in bodies.
    2. The mind (consciousness) is a mysterious entity that somehow interacts with bodies via a process hitherto unknown to science.

    Occam's razor suggests that the former explanation is the one we should prefer, unless there is evidence to support the other explanation.

    Nobody has a personal experience of a soul that survives the death of the brain. When the brain dies, personal experiences stop. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, of course. Occam's razor.

    Beliefs, as you know, can be wrong, even if they are held by millions of people.

    No material evidence? Okay. What else have you got?

    Indeed.

    Interesting. What ways are you thinking of?

    Occam's razor. I just want the meat bag. You want the meat bag and an invisible, immaterial soul. The meat bag alone is the default. Besides, we already know the meat bag exists.

    Phone switchboards have visible wires, or else radio gear that can be traced as the connection method.

    By what process does your soul connect to your body?

    That's more or less your argument, as far as I can tell. If not, then tell me the other reasons you believe it exists.

    There's lots of evidence for brains and bodies. We know that the brain processes information and controls bodily functions. I'd call that positive evidence, wouldn't you?

    Now, what is the positive evidence for the soul?

    I don't understand what personal experiences you are referring to. Do you have a personal experience of a soul, separate from your body? Or somebody else's soul?

    Why not? This is what I invited you to share in my opening post.

    Are you afraid to tell us?
     
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Explain the connection please
    Yet to be established soul exist
    The problem is

    anecdotal and personal experience

    has no, and is itself zero flavour

    Ready to follow thread

    Are we purely material beings or do we have souls?

    and

    ?

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  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    That's what you believe, but you haven't answered the questions I asked.

    I asked why you believe that, and I asked what evidence you have for that belief.

    Are you afraid to answer, like Vociferous? Why are you religious types so coy all of a sudden?

    How do you know that?
     
  22. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

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    How do I know you and I are conscious beings?

    Uh, it seemed straight forward. What are you missing?
     
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The connection is totally valid and logical despite your unsupported opposition.
    You....or perhaps you need to be less cryptic.
    What the hell has love for my family got to do with any mythical God entity? You seem confused.
    No one said everything is explained by the scientific method, and where it does fail with giving us answers, that is what is it is..."we don't as yet know"
    And of course if you are unable to stand the heat [scientific scrutiny] then stay out of the kitchen.
     

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