Properties of the soul?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    You confuse "assumption" with "conclusion".
    The conclusion is that consciousness comes from the brain, due to the fact that ther has been no evidence for the soul.
    In my case that conclusion is not one to beliieve in but merely the conclusion one reaches for practical purposes.
    Your response is mistaken through omission of what it logically implies.
    You fail to grasp, at least you respond in a manner that demonstrates a lack of grasping, that "not eating an apple" is not The same as "eating something that is not an apple".
    Until you learn to accommodate in your responses the position of those that are simply "not eating", and address them accordingly, you are arguing on a mistaken assumption about their view.
    To understand or even discuss the properties of something that is claimed to be real there must be some means of actually establishing those properties, so that they can be checked, verified etc.
    In the absence of that, any discussion about the properties of a soul are simply discussions about a literary device, no more meaningful than discussing the magic of Harry Potter.
    Thats because they are not claimed as existing, only as possibilities that seem to fit the evidence and the maths.
    Such discussions are usefully about what is possible to know about them given the reality in which we live.
    They also often drift into unsubstantiable wishful thinking.
    You mean other than where the OP asks for responses from those that believe the soul to exist?
    The OP sets the case that some people do make such claims.
    If you want to move the discussion away from being able to provide evidence, then we are simply discussing what has been written about the soul, and there should be nothing beyond that that implies actual existence.
    Are you able to do that?
    It was where the discussion had headed.
    We could, but the discussion had already moved on to matters of evidence.
    Maybe that is where you struggle, then, in over-thinking and missing the obvious.
    Where have I said that the soul "therefore doesn't exist"?
    This is simply your go-to claim about the agnostic position.
    As said, it is tedious when that is all you ever come up with.
    So you revert to semantics.
    Fair enough.
    For the rest of us, if someone claims belief in something religious then they are claiming the reality of that thing.
    So that we can be sure that any conclusion is truthful and meaningful, beyond simple opinion.
    In the absence of evidence, why believe anything as true.
    If you consider this to be non-thinking then your mindset truly is alien to me.
    Anything else requires similar justification, which has not been provided with regard the soul.

    And if in this matter you simply wish to discuss the magic of Harry Pottr, I'll leave you to it.
    Far too much for my non-thinking ways.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    There is no proof of a soulless body, end of story.

    The idea of a soulless life form is made up.

    What were the steps that led to what we now know as consciousness?

    Which is why the concept, obviously, makes absolutely no sense to you.
    Some people are more aware of stuff than others.

    I wish I was a little more ignorant on this subject. I believe I would enjoy this conversation for what it is.

    Erm no! Soul pertains to essence. A oven has no essence, neither does a car or an aeroplane. They are purely mechanical constructs, that serve a purpose. The essence comes from person, or people that thought about, and created it.

    That makes no sense.

    You appear to be an ardent materialist.
    That is not surprising at all.

    No sh#% Sherlock!
    I think we're all aware of that.

    So what you're saying is that once the brain stops working, the entity is, for all intent and purpose, dead, and the corpse loses the ability to use its dead brain.

    Your problem is, you are unable to hold a discussion on this subject matter. You're so far off, the only thing left, is light-hearted banter.

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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Original post

    The first paragraph is correct even though slight equivocation "seem to be" is not required

    Second paragraph says some people believe something exist after death and further more gives it the name of soul

    It then request the properties of said soul as in three questions

    Does the soul have have all of the memories of the living person?

    Is the soul capable of thinking?

    Are there any legitimate mediums who can communicate or channel the thoughts/memories of a deceased person?

    It would not make one scintilla of sense to request properties of something non existent

    Reconstructing the first paragraph to fit with such a stupid idea you would get a nonsensical

    Does the non existent soul have have all of the memories of the living person?

    What answer other than no can be given?

    So claiming when the thread asks what the properties of the soul are does not assume that the soul actually exists is such stupid response/conclusion

    Is it being said what are the properties of a non existent something (soul)?

    Good luck with answering that question with anything but "non existent anythings do not have any properties"

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  7. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    If you come to that conclusion, it is based on the assumption that consciousness is a product of the brain.
    So there is no confusion between ''assumption'' and ''conclusion.

    Baldeee, if you say ''I am not eating an apple'', then it means you are not eating an apple.
    Get over it, and move on.

    So can you now explain how your line of enquiry, in particular your demand of evidence for the existence of the soul, is relevant to this thread?

    Who has claimed the existence of the soul? Especially in this thread.
    Here is the opening post:

    All of my memories & thoughts seem to be due to processes of a brain, which ceases to function when a person dies.
    For those who believe in an after life in the form of something called a soul, could you provide answers to the following?

    Aside from that you have no belief in the soul, and more importantly no knowledge of whether or not a soul exists (as you would put it), or what consciousness is, or how it came about. So you're in no position to lecture anyone.

    Are you seriously saying that requests is a claim for the actual existence of a soul?

    Yes, it's true, people do claim to believe in the soul, and an afterlife, but can you answer the above question?

    Can you mind your own business, and don't concern yourself with subjects you clearly don't understand.

    You mean that's where you wanted it to go. So you barge in with this nonsense.

    No it hadn't. You and your atheist chum decided to come in and derail the thread. Anyone can see that.

    We all know that the body dies. We don't need you or your chum to inform us, or to try and make that into some kind of default position for whether or not the soul exists.

    You don't have to say it, for us to know that.

    The agnostic position is an intellectual one, not a practical one.
    You dress up the finality of a dead person as some kind of evidence that there is no evidence for the soul, and think we can't see it.
    You have no idea about this subject matter, all you know to do is defend your worldview by any means necessary. You have sunk really low with this one.

    No. I revert to reality in the hope you will stop this derailment.

    The subject matter of the soul, is not a religious matter.
    It's none of your business, if we believe the notion of a soul, to be real, unless we claim that it is real, and no one has done that here.

    Who is ''we''?
    As far as I know, the people discussing in this thread, also come under the banner of ''we''.
    Why should we care about the likes of people whose only intention is to disrupt, and derail, healthy discussions?

    Apply that to yourself, because it's all you can actually know.


    Whose Harry Pottr?

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  8. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And still you confuse the two.
    There are two assumptions: brain stopped thus consciousness has stopped; and no evidence of something called the soul actually existing.
    Note that within those assumptions there is no assumption that the brain causes consciousness.
    However, from those assumptions we might draw that conclusion.
    Then I expect you to acknowledge in your responses that not believing X is not the same as believing the opposite of X.
    Can you do that, please?
    Because if the soul is unable to be evidenced, how can anyone claim with authority that it has this property or that property?
    It thus helps from the overall relevance of the thread to reality.
    Do you consider it possible to believe in something without the complimentary implicit claim that the thing also exists?
    I am not lecturing anyone in those things.
    I am merely trying to ensure that those who make claims to knowledge of such things support those claims.
    While I appreciate that you and/or others would prefer free rein to make whatever unsubstantiated claims you want, I prefer a tad more rigour to any enquiry.
    No, it is a request for details of the properties of the soul.
    And the first thing that should be asked is for anyone who responds to support their assertions in that regard.
    And if all they have to go on are words in a book then it at least helps frame the overall relevance of the enquiry.
    I could certainly regurgitate other people's claims on the matter, certain religious views, and temper that with an answer from a biological point of view, yes, but the discussion had ventured to establishing whether the discussion is even about things that actually exist or not.
    Why do you have a problem with that?
    It was, after all, you that
    Why is a discussion about the soul not my business?
    And I'm sorry if you think I "clearly don't understand", but perhaps you might want to pick your arrogance up off the floor before someone trips up over it.
    No, I mean that is where it was.
    Even you in post #7, before I arrived on the scene, were questioning Dinosaur regarding the legitimacy of his view that the soul does not appear to exist.
    So if you want to look for why the thread is here, look no further than the end of your nose.
    They can certainly see that you began the line of enquiry, yes.
    It is the only bit of factual evidence that we have.
    It forms therefore the foundation from which our rational positions emerge, based on whatever assumptions, or lack of, you might which to base your rationality upon.
    Yet you claim to understand that when I say I am not eating an apple I am simply claiming that I am not eating an apple.
    Please try to be consistent.
    Belief is an intellectual position.
    Claims are intellectual.
    Discuss this subject on an intellectual level, if you can.
    Instead you point to what you see as the practical position as though it is the intellectual one.
    You are simply hallucinating, then, because there is nothing to see.
    And it is tedious that you can not remove yourself from this stricture.
    Dragged beneath the waters by you, as ever, Jan.
    what derailment?
    The one you started but no longer wish to go down?
    Then stop responding to me.
    It's that simple.
    One's view of what the soul is supposed to be is mostly given by the religion one adheres to, so in that regard it most certainly is a religious matter.
    True, philosophers have discussed the soul through the ages , from Socrates and Plato all the way through Kant and the philosophy of mind.
    But that discussion is still steeped in religion, even if there are secular notions within it.
    Yes they have, even if implicitly.
    If one has simply replied "yes" to one of the questions then one is claiming the soul to exist.
    However, a response qualified with "so it is said in X", or "according to Y" is merely a regurgitation of what is said about the soul with no such claim attached.
    Grow up, Jan.
    The use of "we" is clearly contextual.
    If you can't be bothered to work that out then go and irritate someone else with your banality.
    A pity you don't apply it, then.
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    Actually, i did once see what could be termed a soul. I was under heavy emotional stress at this time and meditating on releasing and when it left my solar plexus which i could feel the moment it did because i was literally focused on pushing it away, then opened my eyes, it looked wavy (about size of palm/hand) but clear distorting the objects behind it similar to how heat rises on tar and floated away and disappeared. One could call it energy but it did have some type of form for a moment. The strangest part was that i felt it was looking back at me or aware of me before it disappeared.

    Ive had many paranormal or strange experiences which is why im interested in these subjects as well as philosophy.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    You claim that it is a fact that there is no evidence for the soul, meaning consciousness must come from the brain. You reinforce it by stating that once the body/brain is dead, consciousness ceases to exist.

    Your view is based on the idea that it is a fact that the soul does not exist. Thus you determine what is the soul, which means you decide what is, or is not evidence.

    Ultimately we are not talking about the same thing.

    So while we understand where you are coming from, with regards your position, you aren't relating to what is regarded as the soul (based on the basic definition I provided earlier) .

    You do not know that the there is no evidence of the soul, you only know that there is no evidence of what you regard as a soul. Now you demand that, unless we adhere to your understanding of what is a soul, our discussion is on the same level as discussing the Harry Potter movies. All that does, is reveal where you're at.

    It doesn't matter what we believe, in order to have a discussion about the soul. If I claim that what you regard as the soul actually exists, then I can understand your enquiry. But no one, apart from Michael 345, and yourself, is.

    It hadn't. Until you and Michael 345 brought it up.
    We know what we're discussing, and no one is attempting to dominate with their own concept.
    That is because we comprehend the vastness of spirituality, and that we are nowhere near in possession of knowledge of it, but seek to learn more. In this case, through discussion.

    We're not discussing evidence. You are.
    And a dead body has nothing to do with whether or not the soul exists, anymore than a fit for demolition house has anything to do with the previous owner.

    It does, for you. That much you know.

    I also understand when people are wanting to have their cake, and eat it.

    We can. You can't.
    At least it seems that way.

    I'm trying bring you above the water, by showing you that you don't need to try and control everything, and everyone because they they don't fall into your little zone, or think like you.
    That the scope of everything is bigger than your mind set. But you keep hold of silly little dogmas which keep you submerged.

    That's your view of the soul.
    Notice no one here, aside from you two, feels the need to bring religion into the equation.

    No we haven't, Baldeee. Get over it, and move on. Because you would, doesn't mean we would.

  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Dinosaur asked people who believe souls to exist, to provide answers to the questions he provided.
    He mentioned that death of the body/brain seems to be the end of consciousness.
    My questions were aimed getting a deeper understanding of why he felt it seemed that way, as opposed to not having to see it that way.

    But trust you to March in with you big communist army type boots, attempting to kick dust over the fire. Are you frustrated because you can't comprehend what we mean?

  12. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    So we've reached the stage where you can no longer be bothered to argue against what the person writes, but instead only what you want to argue against.
    Is this a deliberate misrepresentation of my position you continue with, or is it simply a genuine lack of understanding on your part?

    So you didn't say, in post #31:
    "From my understanding of scriptures that explain what the soul is, the soul is spiritual by nature (as opposed to material), and it's symptom is consciousness."?

    For someone so keen to disown their involvement in the particular line of discussion they don't want to discuss, you're doing an awful lot of talking about it.

    Here's an idea: stop replying on the matter that you don't want to discuss.
  13. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And this opens the door, nay kicks the door in, to issues of evidence, to whether the soul actually exists or not.
    Now, you can continue to disown your introduction of the line on conversation, or you can own it but then avoid it in future by simply not discussing it when it is brought up.

    But you can't, can you.

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  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    You claim (albeit from another thread) that consciousness is naturally produced by the brain.
    The soul is regarded as pure consciousness.
    You said that it seems as though consciousness ceases to be, upon the death of the brain/body.
    You claim that it is a fact that there is no evidence for the soul.
    You say that just talking about the properties of a soul, implies that the soul actually exists.
    Yet you fail to realize the obvious implications couched in your responses.

    Yes I did. But why is that religious, or anything to do with religion?
    Do you know what religion is?

    A lot of talking about what? The Soul?
    Of course I am. The very subject of this thread is about the soul.
    Can you not distinguish between religious discussion, and discussion that have nothing to do with religion, why you assume religion is being discussed because scriptures are consulted?

    Here's a better one. Explain how you know consciousness is produced by the brain, and show the fact that determines there is no evidence of the soul.

  15. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    For someone so keen for people not to discuss this line within this thread, you're not exactly setting a good example, Jan.
    If you actually read what I wrote in that thread in context you would see that the comment was simply in relation to wellwisher stating that it was artificially created by the brain.
    My point, if you bothered to read the context, let alone understand it for anything other than trying to score points, was that the brain doesn't do things artificially.
    Thus a consciousness created by the brain would be natural.
    By who?
    By everyone?
    Or are you speaking speaking from a Hindu perspective, perhaps?
    The soul is considered by many to be not "pure consciousness" but the essence of the person, including consciousness but also including reason, character, memory etc.
    It can be and often is considered as such even in a secular monistic way, with the soul simply being those emergent properties from the brain and body's workings.
    It is a fact that I am not aware of any evidence for a soul other than of the secular monistic variety.
    No, I have not said that.
    We can talk about Harry Potter, can we not?
    The implications you see can only be achieved through fallacious reasoning.
    Scripture is only deemed as such by a religion.
    To refer to scripture is to refer to those religions that deem it such.
    No, Jan, the issue of whether the soul actually exists or not, the issue of evidence etc.
    So you are capable of holding a discussion on the soul without any recourse to religious teachings, notions or scriptures?
    Where do you think most views of the soul come from, Jan?
    And you do know this is the Religion sub-forum, right?
    Sure, there are secular views of the soul, but religion has the most to say about it.
    I don't claim to know.
    I simply claim that it is, to me, the most rational explanation given the evidence that I am aware of.
    If the evidence I become aware of changes then that view may well change along with it.
    I am not the one claiming the soul to exist.
    It is not for me to provide facts that there is no evidence.
    It is for those claiming something to exist to provide the support/evidence for it.
    You really should understand this by now.
  16. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    So you expelled your soul?
    Given Jan's view that it is "pure consciousness", how do you marry that view with you remaining conscious?
    Also, is it possible that there is a more mundane explanation to your experience?
    The image you saw, for example, could it be due to your eyes needing to adjust to the light from having been closed, or some such other mundane activity?
  17. birch Valued Senior Member

    Of course its possible but considering i clearly saw it, what can i say? I am not trying to convince you either. Its another one of those ancedotes.

    I was not expelling my soul either. It was like a feeling of a spiritual parasite being expelled. Whats interesting to me was that i could clearly feel the difference before and after.

    If you dont suspect souls, i think thats a good and fortunate indication for you. I liken it to that your boundaries are intact so there is nothing for you to compare. Like your skin is unbroken and bacteria doesnt enter.

    People who have been severely exploited understand the difference. And life experience will draw parasitic and predatorial people more often to you as they can 'sense' they can exploit. Its very instinctual/primal and i dont mean feed mentally but literally draining your life force. It is a living hell until you can heal/close that wound and build self love as well as sense of self back up and those invisible boundaries that are real. This is the only i can describe it.

    Consider your sense of self and wellness and then imagine someone taking a shovel and scraping out who you are or feeding and that innocent sense of self left for themselves because of an open wound/vulnerability because its an opportunity to steal. Worse, the exchange is their poison/ negativity/karma. You would not be okay.

    There are all kinds of bizarre and unethical/sneaky things people can do beneath the visible reality. Just be aware of it and be glad you havent experienced it.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Lets examine the proposition concessness is produced by the brain

    First are there any other body parts as candidates?

    Little toe? Hair? Any other part of the body, either inside or outside, of the body between little toe and hair?

    I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and nominate only the brain





    the state of being aware of and responsive to one's surroundings.

    "she failed to regain consciousness and died two days later"

    synonyms:awareness, wakefulness, alertness, responsiveness, sentience

    "she failed to regain consciousness"


    a person's awareness or perception of something.

    "her acute consciousness of Luke's presence"

    synonyms:awareness of, knowledge of the existence of, alertness to, sensitivity to, realization of, cognizance of, mindfulness of, perception of, apprehension of, recognition of

    "her acute consciousness of Luke's presence"


    Not really much help there





    the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.


    emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.

    "their interpretation lacked soul"

    synonyms:inspiration, feeling, emotion, passion, animation, intensity, fervour, ardour, enthusiasm, eagerness, warmth, energy, vitality, vivacity, spirit, spiritedness, commitment;

    Or there EXCEPT no mention of consciousness. What a surprise

    So what can I turn to but my 40 years General and Midwife nursing experience

    A reasonably amount of time was spent looking after seriously injured patients

    It does not take much observation to conclude patients can have massive damage all over the body and can remain conscious

    Not much damage to the brain is required to make a person unconscious

    And a general anaesthetic can make a person unconscious very easy

    To check if a patient has a chance of recovering from severe brain damage they will have a EEG or even a CAT scan (not often as a EEG detects activity no problem CAT scan more to access where damage located)

    A flat line EEG and time to turn off the machine

    And I might have mentioned this before but in all the doctors notes and nursing observations I have never ever ever seen the word soul written

    Perhaps because from the above definetion the soul is the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal which gives me 3 good reasons not to worry
    • Spiritual - Not mention in three years of training
    • Immaterial - Non existent
    • Immoral - Don't have to worry about killing it
    What a relief. Can't kill it because it doesn't exist and I never had to learn anything about it and pass exams about it

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  19. river

    Properties of the soul could be past lives.
  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Brain: an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.

    Hmm! Not much there regarding consciousness.

    "Coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity" sounds quite interesting.

    Coordinate: verb; 3rd person present:

    bring the different elements of (a complex activity or organization) into a harmonious or efficient relationship.

    Definition of brain for Students. 1 : the part of the nervous system that is inside the skull, consists of grayish nerve cells and whitish nerve fibers, and is the organ of thought and the central control point for the nervous system. 2 : the ability to think : intelligence. 3 : someone who is very smart.

    Organ: A part of an organism which is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function.

    Is the brain the actual ability to think, or possess intelligence? Or does the essential part (namely the spiritual soul) posses the actual ability?

    Ability: Possession of the means or skill to do something.

    ‘the manager had lost his ability to motivate the players’

    I guess the manager's brain didn't lose the ability. I'm guessing the manager HIM-SELF did.

    If the brain naturally possess ability, then to lose that would be akin to brain damage.

    All in all, you have no reason to suspect that consciousness is generated by the brain, unless you believe it does.

    Can the brain possess something?

    Have as belonging to one; own.

    ‘I do not possess a television set’

    I don't thinks so. In fact, the brain is possessed, not that the brain possess.

    Who (only a someone can possess) possesses your brain? If you were to ask yourself that question, you would answer "I do". So who and what is the "I" that is in possession of the brain?

    I: Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself.

    Self: A person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

    Are brains different in structure, the way human beings are? Could you identify your mum's brain, among many, the way you could identify you mum as a person?

    Despite vast differences in the genetic code across individuals and ethnicities, the human brain shows a "consistent molecular architecture," say researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The finding is from a pair of studies that have created databases revealing when and where genes turn on and off in multiple brain regions through development.

    It would appear that they are so similar, it would very difficult to identify one brain from the other. So ooooo...

    ... round we go, right back to the person's essential being.

    Essential: Fundamental or central to the nature of something or someone.

    Nature: The innate or essential qualities or character of a person or animal.
    ‘it's not in her nature to listen to advice’

    If the brain is the essential qualities and/or character, then the female in the example given, has brain damage.

    Brain: an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.

    Soul: the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

    Spiritual : From Wiki.

    The term spirit means "animating or vital principle [essential quality] in man and animals".

    The term "spiritual", matters "concerning the spirit"

    Can you see why don't really have any reason to think consciousness is generated by the brain?

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  21. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Don't forget your belief.

    Why would it. They deal with the physical aspect of a person's being.

    Well aren't you the lucky one?

  22. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From Jan Ardena Post
    if not by my brain, might it be generated in & by my big toe?

    Perhaps it floats disembodied some where close to my body.

    I consider my brain to be responsible for my memories & thought processes as well as for control of various other processes associated with my body.

    Consciousness does not to seem to be essential for the above. I am guessing it is a complex emergent property related to the functioning of my brain. I consider that guess to be one of my better unproevable notions.
  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Seeing as you admit that both those items belong to you, you might want to find out who you are.

    I know that you do. But ask yourself why you do.

    If you really did, I believe you would, or should instinctively call it "my consciousness", or "my brain's consciousness".
    But you don't, neither does anyone else.


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