Evidence of soul

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Mind Over Matter, May 27, 2012.

  1. Mind Over Matter Registered Senior Member

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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member


    Do you think that humans have souls,
    or that they are souls?
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  5. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    All the suggestions in that link just show that when the brain begins to shut down, just like a computer that gets low voltage or bad power, it starts to fail in predictable and repeatable ways. That we can get similar results from other methods, like drugs, suggests that the "self" in that brain isn't going anywhere, but is creating a reality in its last moments. Those who are lucky enough to be revived may have memories of this, and attribute it to some actual phenomenon.
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    A person in a state of trauma, low blood volume, or some other altered state of mind would not to me constitute a reliable source for reporting experiences, any more than I think of myself waking from a dream and feeling like I "went somewhere".
  8. keith1 Guest

    --"Reporting" experiences is not the same brain function as "storing" experiences.

    --Initially-stored experiences:
    --pre-birth via bio-luminescent emission(s) supplied by mother.
    --early birth-to-three-year-old childhood subliminal and initial conscious memories

    ...are likely stored in other precursory locations than further memories made in the growing brain. Perhaps not so remote from those later memories. Perhaps small enough in "package size" to have survivable quantum integrity and immortality.

    Dreams are further bio-luminescent emissions (Phosphene) filtered, and further structured, with the ability to be stored in the memory for retrieval at a later time.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2012
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Uh.... you lost me on the fringy stuff

    ...but the person who comes out of a near death experience telling of something that was stored, as in the memory of a dream, has been through trauma. So all I'm saying is, whatever a traumatized person experiences, the stress of trauma is not likely to produce a reliable storage either.

    Think of all the times people have been tested to describe "perpetrators to a crime" and can't even get the color of shirt - or color of hair, or color of getaway car - correct. Fear shock, trauma, pain - these can wreck a person's mental constitution.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Depends on what a 'soul' is supposed to be.

    In ancient times, souls were imagined as the animating principles of living things, the power inside them that made them move, unlike inanimate objects like stones which lack souls.

    That idea often seems to be associated with kind of an implicit animism, since anything in nature that seems to move under its own power would seem to have to possess a soul.

    In some of the earlier versions it was associated with the breath. We read of gods "breathing life" into inanimate objects, and we still speak of "spirit", a Latin-derived word that originally meant something like 'vapor'. (Hence "spiritual".)

    But whether the animating principle was imagined as a "subtle vapor" like the breath, or as an entirely immaterial kind of thing, it was typically imagined as something that's separable from the physical body and capable of existing in disembodied form.

    (I think that Aristotle and some of his paripatetic followers argued against this tradition, attempting to define the soul as the "form" of the body (both its shape and its behavior) and hence inseparable from it. That's not really all that different than the modern physicalist view, given the different concepts that Aristotle had to work with.)

    Somewhere in the history of ideas, the physical animator idea of the soul was deemphasized, and the soul was kind of reconceptualized in a more psychological way, as the transcendental self, the inner witness, the unseen seer, the principle of personal subjectivity. In this version, the soul is the fundamental "me", a self that transcends name and form, and all the conditioned details of birth, luck and circumstance.

    And that one is still with us, often associated with idealistic and constructivist philosophies. Some philosophies still argue that nothing truly exists except souls and their experiences, and that the conditioned external world of matter is nothing more than an illusion.

    Soul = immaterial mind. Some of the controversies in the contemporary philosophy of mind probably need to be understood in this light, as battles for and against the existence of the human soul.

    Maybe the thing that ties the unseen-seer conception together with the animating-principle conception is the central idea of will. In both versions, the soul seems to be imagined as the source of the will, the actor, the agent. It's the thing to which moral praise and guilt sticks, the thing that in some religions is ultimately judged by whichever God they worship, while in others it is the bearer of karma.

    And if we start thinking about something that is supposed to be our deepest and truest self, something that can never appear to us as an object and hence can never be directly intuited, we seem to have an idea very much like and perhaps ancestral to psychology's fabulous "unconscious".

    Do I believe in any of this? No, not really. I certainly don't believe that human beings have (or are) souls.

    It's a fascinating topic to look at from a history of ideas standpoint though.
  11. keith1 Guest

    It's fringe to call any thoughts a live person is experiencing as "near-death". I was interjecting into this purported, "soul" OP, a lesser fringe perspective from the start of life. You can thank me later.

    "light at the end of the tunnel" is a typically cited, "near death experience", as well as it would be expected to be an imprinted prebirth phosphene memory.
    Trauma doesn't hinder the dying process, as subjects tend to die with or without it's presence, nor should it be expected to hinder the "visuals" of the last moments of that process.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2012

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