the christian soul...

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by cpt.scruffy, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    I disagree. Any sense of self would cause the animal to want to get rid of the offending substance. If the thing on them moves, then they try to wipe it off. Especially in animals like primates who are grooming fanatics. No, it proves quite a lot in fact.
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  3. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Give it time. Point being that your god-of-the-gaps approach is patently unsupportable.

    If I take a step in the dark, I have no basis to claim that my next step will not be off of something called a "cliff" (I have no experiences with cliffs or stepping to any degree after all). But if I've taken tens of thousands of steps in the dark with no ill effects, then you insisting to me that the next one will be off some mythical/mystical "cliff" thingy is just absurd. If you can show me some radar signitures, or infrared airial recon, or anything that I can check out and confirm that there is indeed a huge dropoff just beyond my next step, then fine. We could proceed from there.
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  5. nds1 Registered Senior Member

    I have a pet cat. I've had him for about 2 years now. Here are some things I've observed in him:

    1. He knows how to communicate to humans what he wants. My cat drinks out of the sink faucet. When he wants a drink, he will walk into my view, look directly at me, and meow. Then I get up and walk over towards him, and he leads me to the sink faucet. He'll jump up onto the counter and put his head near the faucet.

    When he wants to go outside, he will go to the door, look at me and then the doorknob, and then he will meow.

    2. He gets bored, and wants to do things. If I force my cat to stay inside (I don't like letting him out at night), he will continue to meow for about 10-15 minutes at the door until giving up.

    My cat likes to have fun. He likes being chased around the house and running around, climbing up trees. Also, he likes when I hide behind something and then jump out and suprise him (at which point he sprints away).

    So in a way you can compare him to a human todler.

    3. He can feel pride. My cat seems to love showing me how good he is at climbing up trees. Also, when he kills or injures a bird he brings it to the back door, as if showing me his accomplishment.

    The point is, I see many similarites between humans and animals in some aspects.

    Do Christians believe animals have souls?
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  7. KennyJC Registered Senior Member

    Only the ones that want to give concession to make their silly claim seem more reasonable.
  8. nds1 Registered Senior Member

    I can't see how one could say that humans have souls, but animals don't.

    "'make an exception when it comes to the brain, no the chemical processes are NOT forced... they don't move forward, inorexably you have some sort of immaterial control over them,' and that really sounds like a soul or spirit to me"

    If a Christian used this statement to argue for a soul, the same statement must be used to argue for a soul or spirit in animals as well (animals have brains too).
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2007
  9. SnakeLord Valued Senior Member

    To a christian it's quite obvious...

    god made animals simply for us to kill and eat. We on the other hand are truly special. We're the chosen, the wanted.. we're cool.
  10. nds1 Registered Senior Member

    Even Christians have to admit that animals can have spirits.

    Mark 5:12-13
    12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

    13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand) and were choked in the sea.
  11. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    The point im making is though you cant use one behavioural test to gauge whether there is a sense or not, all the test proves is whether an animal has our rather complex abstracted sense of self.
    All organisms have a sense of self by virtue of seeking to sustain themselves and demonstrating knowledge of self from non-self by making distinctions between what organisms are from their own species/community and what organisms are unrelated/nonsimilar to themselves.
  12. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    See my post above, the generally accepted interpetation of this behavioural test i believe is erroneous. I mearly think it demonstrates a complex abstracted form of self-awareness rather than self-awareness in itself
    Organisms can infact show self-awareness through their interactions through their environment and the continual distinctions they make between what constitutes themselves and what isnt themselves.
    Its really one test vs. a moutain of collected data that points in the other direction.
    For instance how might a fish or any other creature defend themselves or seek to ensure their own survival without a sense of self? the idea is completely absurd, i see no rational reason to entertain the idea for even a second.
    This is really a classic case of misunderstanding our sense of self and evolved form of consciousness being the ultimate measure by which to test other forms of consciousness, its pure dogma.
  13. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    It's good that you believe that. I'm happy for you.

    I still think you are confusing an innate knowledge (instinct) of what constitutes the boundary between "you" and the outside world, with the recognition that you are an autonomous individual that can reflect upon it's place in the world.

    As for animals requiring a "sense of self" (as I just described) to defend themselves, do animals require an understanding of the reproductive process to breed? I find that just as absurd. The mechanism is clearly instinctive. There are no higher faculties required to instinctlvely defend or feed or reproduce oneself.

    But clearly there is something not present in animals that cannot recognize themselves in a mirror. Imagine what it would be like to see a "creature" in a mirror that mimics you every move and never externalize the idea that this is "you". If that is not a complete lack of an external sense of self, I don't know what is.
  14. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Ok. we are having semantic difficulties. I agree with you from an instinctive aspect. What we are discussing (I thought) was the conscious recgonition that you are an individual. Which leads to the recognition of others as individuals with their own desires (called theory of mind) that leads to the complex social behaviors we see in humans, dolphins, chimps, etc.
  15. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Why would instinctal knowledge of the self and non-self not qualify as self-awareness purely on the basis of it being innate? that doesnt seem to make much sense.

    I think you misunderstand me, there doesnt need to be higher brain functioning with displays of complex abstractions for their to be awareness of the self. Thats central to my entire argument.
    Chalking up any instances of displayed self-awareness (outside of one limited behavioural test) to blind instinctual mechanisms is really a huge act of faith when you think about it, and im far from convinced.

    But youre using one demonstration of self-awareness (out of possibly 100s) to decide that anything outside of a handful of land mammals dont have self-awareness. Thats really quite a broad sweeping judgement to make based on one tiny scap of recent data.
  16. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    No, I think you misunderstand me.

    Your turn.
  17. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Yup our labeling systems are different, i dont class self-awareness as the process of self-abstraction.
    I believe this is a latter evolved aspect of self-awarness and doesnt represent the concept in its full entirely.
    I think this view better compliments the process of evolution as it views the system on a gradient of increasing complexity.
    Whereas the other labeling system offers two catagories that almost seem to allude to one set of organisms being genuinely alive while the other simply blind automatons.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    We were not talking about god, but since you bring it up, god's existence is not validated by empirical processes (if it was, god wouldn't be transcendental)

    You however are claiming that consciousness can be established as emergent from material combinations - now it becomes clear that you are saying this can be asserted not at the present but in the future.

    And you think god is gappy?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Do you think empiricism will one day in the future come to the end of knowledge or do you think it will eternally court ignorance to maintain a progressive outlook?
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Can't be arsed to go through your entire post - I think Superluminal did a good job - except this last point - which is probably just a matter of semantics.

    Consciousness is binary - in as much as you either have it or you don't.

    There are different types of consciousness, which we break down as per Superluminal's post (General Awareness, Self Awareness etc) but these are all consciousness.

    But because we do not fully understand it, because it is so complex, we can not provide a simple "unit" with which to measure it.
    So it remains a binary attribute - you either have it or you don't.
  20. Kron Maxwell's demon Registered Senior Member

    I don't think consciousness is binary. Its fuzziness seems pretty apparent to me. Look at a toddler, as it grows up, you can see it getting more conscious.
  21. KennyJC Registered Senior Member

    Yup... It seems that levels of consciousness correlates with complexity of the brain. Same with animals. I call that empirical proof of material consciousness.
  22. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    And then there's the Marines:

    "God has a hard-on for marines because we kill everything we see! He plays His games, we play ours! To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh souls!" ~~ Hartman
  23. nds1 Registered Senior Member

    According to Christians, God has no soul. I find this interesting.

    Note to Christians:

    The soul is the same thing as the brain, or the mind. The authors of the Bible just created the term soul to describe the physical brain, or mind.

    The same thing applies to the word "heart." The Bible frequently mentions the heart, and how people can have good hearts and bad hearts. All heart means is spirit.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007

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