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Poll: Do you believe in the existence of the soul (as defined in the op)?

Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected.

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Thread: The Soul

  1. #1
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    The Soul

    I have not seen any debate on the existence of souls before. I feel that this is a very fundamental concept that underpins many religious doctrines, and it ought to get its airing.

    It is rather difficult to define the concept of the soul properly, and I shall endeavour to do as best as I can here. The soul is defined as the immaterial spiritual aspect of a person, the component that incorporates one's "inner essence", and that is separate from one's physical body and capable of surviving the the latter's destruction.

    So, some questions:

    1) Do you believe in the concept of the soul? Why?
    2) Who has souls? All humans? What about animals?
    3) What functions does the soul serve?
    4) When does the soul enter/develop in a living being (e.g. at conception, at birth, etc)?
    Trendem

  2. #2
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    Re: The Soul

    The question of soul is curious. I don't think there is any proof of a soul as defined in this thread. Until undeniable proof exists I have to lean toward what is observed from a scientific approach which is just organic matter.

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    Re: The Soul

    I answered no, however to be honest there is no proof for or against. Hence a soul as with a god I am un willing to make a decision on!

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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    The soul is defined as the immaterial spiritual aspect of a person, the component that incorporates one's "inner essence", and that is separate from one's physical body and capable of surviving the the latter's destruction.
    Not to be a dick, but I've got a problem with your definition. You define the soul as being immaterial, IE, non-physical. If it's non-physical, why the need to specify that it's spiritual (which is non-physical)? You then say it incorporates the inner essence. What's an inner essence?

    I would define it much more as: The non-physical aspect of man that can survive the destruction of the physical body.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    1) Do you believe in the concept of the soul? Why?
    Yes. Because I refuse to believe I'm just biological clockwork and chaos.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    2) Who has souls? All humans? What about animals?
    I generally assume every living thing has a soul.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    3) What functions does the soul serve?
    I assume it to serve as continuance of life after death (thus giving the universe a balance).
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    4) When does the soul enter/develop in a living being (e.g. at conception, at birth, etc)?
    No idea.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  5. #5
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Not to be a dick, but I've got a problem with your definition. You define the soul as being immaterial, IE, non-physical. If it's non-physical, why the need to specify that it's spiritual (which is non-physical)? You then say it incorporates the inner essence. What's an inner essence?
    Granted, immaterial and spiritual mean the same thing, but there's no harm in emphasising the intangibility of the soul IMO. As for inner essence, it generally refers to what you would term as your consciousness, your sentience or your unique identity. It's rather difficult to explain it any further, so I shall let the soul-adherents expand on what they mean when they refer to the soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I would define it much more as: The non-physical aspect of man that can survive the destruction of the physical body.
    I'm fine with this definition. I don't see much of a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Yes. Because I refuse to believe I'm just biological clockwork and chaos.
    Presumably, what you mean is that you refuse to believe that our actions are totally pre-determined by biological causation, or that they are dictated by random forces? So the question is, how does the soul function such that we are not "just biological clockwork and chaos"? What exactly is the middle ground it provides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I assume it to serve as continuance of life after death (thus giving the universe a balance).
    What do you mean by "giving the universe a balance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    No idea.
    This is a very important question for people who claim the existence of souls. Surely the soul must have entered or developed in our physical bodies at some point in time. If you can't give a coherent answer as to when the soul emerges, then the entire concept of us having souls becomes unintelligible.
    Trendem

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    Re: The Soul

    1) Do you believe in the concept of the soul? Why?
    Yes, the reason why is because I believe in reincarnation

    2) Who has souls? All humans? What about animals?
    All living things..

    3) What functions does the soul serve?
    To be reincarnated many times, each life encompassing a different set of lessons.


    4) When does the soul enter/develop in a living being (e.g. at conception, at birth, etc)?
    I'm not going to lie, I have no clue, if it is at conception, during pregnancy or at birth.. But I voted for at birth because it would seem to me thats when lifes lessons would begin.. But that is just a guess.
    Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist.~Jacob Halbrooks
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  7. #7
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    Re: The Soul

    The soul is the part of us that always existed and will continue to exist after we die. It is primal energy linked to god.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
    Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Soul

    EDIT: This response was posted BEFORE I read anything but the OP. I was very surprised to go back and read the responses from everyone else who has posted here. Trend: If you would like my thoughts on the questions you asked Hyde, just say so. It looks like Hyde and a few others all share some views here. It was interesting though, I thought, that Hyde and I use very similar approaches, including the dreaded debate killing, "I don't know."


    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    I have not seen any debate on the existence of souls before. I feel that this is a very fundamental concept that underpins many religious doctrines, and it ought to get its airing.
    Which is odd, considering you are not a believer. Are you interested in the concept, debating its presence, or what?

    It is rather difficult to define the concept of the soul properly, and I shall endeavour to do as best as I can here. The soul is defined as the immaterial spiritual aspect of a person, the component that incorporates one's "inner essence", and that is separate from one's physical body and capable of surviving the the latter's destruction.
    Ain't it though? People have been working on this one for a long time. Maybe you can do it better... I hope so, cause this could be a decent debate....

    So, some questions:

    1) Do you believe in the concept of the soul? Why?
    Yes. and I don't know. The concept of something other than being an organic process is appealing to me on some level. I enjoy the thought that jut maybe there is something to this world other than the things we see.

    I find the ideation of reincarnation to be particularly engaging as well.

    2) Who has souls? All humans? What about animals?
    I think the bible mentions something about all creatures having, "the breath of life" which I think equates to a soul. I'd go with that. Besides, you don't have to stare into a good dogs eyes long to understand that the beastie loves ya...

    I think animals and people have souls, yes.

    3) What functions does the soul serve?
    Good one. I think it's the cosmic tally sheet. The soul is the record of who you are and what you do.

    4) When does the soul enter/develop in a living being (e.g. at conception, at birth, etc)?
    I don't know. I've certainly seen some small children that I thought were soulless... (is that one or two "l"s???) Anywho...

    I honestly don't think it matters much. Until you are at the age of accountability, whatever that is, it's not like you have much control over what you do...

    Perhaps souls, like bodies, grow as the individual grows. Struggling to meet that karmic endzone of peace, love, and tranquility.

    Or maybe it's just a load of horseshit...

    Either way, I like the idea.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  9. #9
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Granted, immaterial and spiritual mean the same thing, but there's no harm in emphasising the intangibility of the soul IMO. As for inner essence, it generally refers to what you would term as your consciousness, your sentience or your unique identity. It's rather difficult to explain it any further, so I shall let the soul-adherents expand on what they mean when they refer to the soul.
    Fair enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    I'm fine with this definition. I don't see much of a difference.
    There's not much of a difference. It's just a more compact version of your definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Presumably, what you mean is that you refuse to believe that our actions are totally pre-determined by biological causation, or that they are dictated by random forces? So the question is, how does the soul function such that we are not "just biological clockwork and chaos"? What exactly is the middle ground it provides?
    What I mean, if we take a strictly "natural forces" stance, then we're biological machines guided by clockwork, except in the instances where Chaos theory applies where some irrational action results instead of the normative response.

    The soul takes the place of strange, or just outright bizarre events. Such as the instance where the lions rescued that girl and watched over her. When people showed up to retrieve the girl, the lions simply walked away. THis goes against all natural instincts of the lion which should have eaten her. Or the man who died in the Tornado trying to rescue his son when instincts geared towards survival would point to him abandoning the child. Does that make sense?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    What do you mean by "giving the universe a balance"?
    It's not an entirely honest statement on my part, I'll admit. It comes from an old belief I had (taken from the idea that the universe is balanced...a Buddhist thing) that basically there can't rationally be a universal balance if life is temporary and death is permanent. So both life and death have to be temporary in order for there to be a balance, in which case the soul is only present to escape the wheel. But I don't hold the position in any manner serious enough to consider debating it, so I'll concede that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    This is a very important question for people who claim the existence of souls. Surely the soul must have entered or developed in our physical bodies at some point in time. If you can't give a coherent answer as to when the soul emerges, then the entire concept of us having souls becomes unintelligible.
    Unintelligible? Or unknown? We can't detect dark matter or even state a particular origin to dark matter itself, but the position that it exists isn't untenale or unintelligible. The soul seems the same. Granted, while you would naturally say it's unevidenced (I would too), it could still be argued as one could merely be arguing over the same subject with different titles.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  10. #10
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipnish View Post
    Which is odd, considering you are not a believer. Are you interested in the concept, debating its presence, or what?
    I'm interesting in debating its presence, of course. I feel that the concept of the soul is rather illogical. I asked those questions in the op to see if anyone here can construct a logically sound argument for the existence of souls. But it doesn't seem many people have given it much thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipnish View Post
    Yes. and I don't know. The concept of something other than being an organic process is appealing to me on some level. I enjoy the thought that jut maybe there is something to this world other than the things we see.
    It does seem like all the people who have posted in this thread who believe in souls believe it because they like the idea or they dislike the alternative, rather than because of any rational reasons. If so, then the concept of the soul is just wishful thinking IMO.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    What I mean, if we take a strictly "natural forces" stance, then we're biological machines guided by clockwork, except in the instances where Chaos theory applies where some irrational action results instead of the normative response.
    When does "chaos theory" apply in our behaviour?

    Also, why is it the case that being purely biological matter equates to running on clockwork?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    The soul takes the place of strange, or just outright bizarre events. Such as the instance where the lions rescued that girl and watched over her. When people showed up to retrieve the girl, the lions simply walked away. THis goes against all natural instincts of the lion which should have eaten her. Or the man who died in the Tornado trying to rescue his son when instincts geared towards survival would point to him abandoning the child. Does that make sense?
    I see what you mean, but I disagree that the above examples demonstrate the existence of a soul. You are assuming things about the natural instincts of people/animals without really knowing much about it. For example, lions do not necessarily feel the urge to eat everything that walks. And humans most assuredly are imbued with the natural instinct to protect their children.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Unintelligible? Or unknown? We can't detect dark matter or even state a particular origin to dark matter itself, but the position that it exists isn't untenale or unintelligible. The soul seems the same. Granted, while you would naturally say it's unevidenced (I would too), it could still be argued as one could merely be arguing over the same subject with different titles.
    Dark matter is different from souls because its existence is logically inferred from other observations. And that's exactly what I hope soul-adherents could do in this thread - make a case for why the soul exists and how it come about, rather than just appeal to the consequences of the belief.
    Last edited by Trendem; June 30th, 2007 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Trendem

  11. #11
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    Re: The Soul

    Good topic, Trendem. I was thinking about this today and happened to come on ODN, only to see that - voilà - there was a thread about it.

    I do not believe in the soul because I have yet to see any evidence for one. Yet, I refrained from voting from the fourth option given that I do not know that humans do not have "souls" in the spiritual, religious sense, I just haven't seen such a claim substantiated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde
    Yes. Because I refuse to believe I'm just biological clockwork and chaos.
    Shouldn't believing the truth be more important than following our emotional inclinations and accepting what we want to believe?
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

  12. #12
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    When does "chaos theory" apply in our behaviour?
    Because if we operate purely biologically, then our responses are essentially mathematically predictable. THe instances where the responses don't equal the result of the potential equation is essentially chaos. I'll explain more below (or try).
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Also, why is it the case that being purely biological matter equates to running on clockwork?
    Happens like this. Say I pick up a glass and take a drink of water because I'm thirsty. Seems like an act of free will. But if we take the stance that we're JUST biological machines guided by the things that govern our framework, then there's both an explanation, and a prediction, possible. The explanation being, my body uses water (kidneys filtering waste out of the body, etc) and I need to replenish that supply, so my body sends a signal to my brain, which sends a chemical response down my arm, causing my muscles to react, whereby I pick up the glass and drink some water.

    If guided PURELY by biological functions (not a stance I assume many to take knowingly*), then you could essentially write out a formula based on human need, energy spend-rate, etc, and be able to predict what someone will do next. Since I reached down and picked up the glass, energy was used, naturally, I'll need nutrients to replinish that, so I'll need food. Chaos, in the situation, be a man who, despite hunger, fasts for days on end. He's not using those functions to guide him, but rather acting irrationally. Free will is basically Chaos in action.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    I see what you mean, but I disagree that the above examples demonstrate the existence of a soul. You are assuming things about the natural instincts of people/animals without really knowing much about it. For example, lions do not necessarily feel the urge to eat everything that walks. And humans most assuredly are imbued with the natural instinct to protect their children.
    Sure lions aren't roaming eaters, but they must've gotten hungry at some point. For the lions NEVER to pose any kind of a threat to the child is a bit odd. The man, sure we're imbued with the instinct to protect our young, but we're also imbued with the instinct to survive. There was conflict in the instincts. Either a soul, a more chaos, or something else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Dark matter is different from souls because its existence is logically inferred from other observations. And that's exactly what I hope soul-adherents could do in this thread - make a case for why the soul exists and how it come about, rather than just appeal to the consequences of the belief.
    But that's what we have to do with dark matter. We can't observe it, so we have to infer its existence based on appeals to the consequences of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    Shouldn't believing the truth be more important than following our emotional inclinations and accepting what we want to believe?
    Sure. However I don't deny that my belief in this issue is emotively founded.

    *What I mean by this is: Without the soul, Free Will is essentially Chaos in an otherwise orderly system. There's little room for an alternate explanation. If we have a soul, free will can be explained as a function of it. However, what provides us with the nature of free will WITHOUT a soul, IE, the brain, falls short since the brain is just a processing center for chemical and electrical reactions in the brain.

    Hell, the brain's not even reliable. There was a medical study where this guy was poked in the finger, and his brain was monitored for a response. We'll say it took .01 seconds for the brain to register the sensation (beacuse I don't remember the exact time). They then poked the brain to get the SAME response, and the brain sent a signal to the finger (.01 sec), which returned the signal to the brain (.01 sec) telling the brain it, the finger, got poked .01 seconds ago, when in fact, it never got poked at that time. It's memory manipulation in a pretty straight forward sense. But completely irrelevant outside showing the brain's unreliability.

    In any case, without an external force within the body to act as an appropriate agent for Free Will, then Free Will can't rationally be explained since, without it, we're just chemicals and electrons mashed together. THings governed by laws of nature, pushed by them. Largely predictable, and what isn't predictable is just a variable in the equation to govern the probability of any number of options we have to act at any given time. Hence, we're just biological clockwork and chaos, if the soul doesn't exist.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  13. #13
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Happens like this. Say I pick up a glass and take a drink of water because I'm thirsty. Seems like an act of free will. But if we take the stance that we're JUST biological machines guided by the things that govern our framework, then there's both an explanation, and a prediction, possible. The explanation being, my body uses water (kidneys filtering waste out of the body, etc) and I need to replenish that supply, so my body sends a signal to my brain, which sends a chemical response down my arm, causing my muscles to react, whereby I pick up the glass and drink some water.
    Actually, it is true that people, when thirsty, do drink water (if it's available). So, your example seems to confirm that humans are in fact governed by their biological needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    If guided PURELY by biological functions (not a stance I assume many to take knowingly*), then you could essentially write out a formula based on human need, energy spend-rate, etc, and be able to predict what someone will do next. Since I reached down and picked up the glass, energy was used, naturally, I'll need nutrients to replinish that, so I'll need food. Chaos, in the situation, be a man who, despite hunger, fasts for days on end. He's not using those functions to guide him, but rather acting irrationally. Free will is basically Chaos in action.
    Again, you are making some assumptions about our instincts and needs. For example, you are assuming that there are no other needs that would override our biological need for food. It could very well be the case that the complexity of our brains has resulted in the need for spiritual satisfaction, and people would fast to achieve this "enlightenment". In this case, the spiritual need is more compelling than the need for food, and the person acts accordingly to satisfy his needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Sure lions aren't roaming eaters, but they must've gotten hungry at some point. For the lions NEVER to pose any kind of a threat to the child is a bit odd.
    The lions could have, for some unknown reason, seen the child as a non-eatable (e.g. as one of their own kind). As I've said, we don't know enough of the lion's psyche to conclude that their protection of the child is their soul in action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    The man, sure we're imbued with the instinct to protect our young, but we're also imbued with the instinct to survive. There was conflict in the instincts. Either a soul, a more chaos, or something else.
    It could be that the instinct to protect our young and perpetuate our genes is stronger and overrides the instinct for survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    But that's what we have to do with dark matter. We can't observe it, so we have to infer its existence based on appeals to the consequences of it.
    You misunderstand the phrase "appeal to the consequences of a belief". I am actually referring to a logical fallacy.
    The Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief is a fallacy that comes in the following patterns:

    1. X is true because if people did not accept X as being true then there would be negative consequences.

    2. X is false because if people did not accept X as being false, then there would be negative consequences.

    3. X is true because accepting that X is true has positive consequences.

    4. X is false because accepting that X is false has positive consequences.

    5. I wish that X were true, therefore X is true. This is known as Wishful Thinking.

    6. I wish that X were false, therefore X is false. This is known as Wishful Thinking.

    This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because the consequences of a belief have no bearing on whether the belief is true or false. For example, if someone were to say "If sixteen-headed purple unicorns don't exist, then I would be miserable, so they must exist" it would be clear that this would not be a good line of reasoning. It is important to note that the consequences in question are the consequences that stem from the belief. It is important to distinguish between a rational reason to believe (RRB) (evidence) and a prudential reason to believe (PRB) (motivation). A RRB is evidence that objectively and logically supports the claim. A PRB is a reason to accept the belief because of some external factor (such as fear, a threat, or a benefit or harm that may stem from the belief) that is relevant to what a person values but is not relevant to the truth or falsity of the claim.
    Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

    Scientists infer that dark matter exists from their observations of other phenomena, such as unaccounted-for mass in the universe. An analogy would be someone throwing a solid object into a dark room and hearing it bounce off something that gives out a metallic sound, and thus inferring that there is a metallic object in the room.

    Appealing to the consequences of a belief, on the other hand, is someone who holds a belief because he likes the consequences of the belief (or dislikes the consequences of not having that belief). Examples include people who insist God exists because "otherwise the world would have no meaning".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    *What I mean by this is: Without the soul, Free Will is essentially Chaos in an otherwise orderly system. There's little room for an alternate explanation.
    Yes, "chaos", or rather random fluctuations on the quantum level, could be the cause of what we term as "free will". For example, our actions could actually be dictated by quantum level fluctuations in the brain, which the brain then "packages" and "disguises" into a "free choice", thus making us think that we consciously came to that decision on our own.

    The other explanation would be that there all our choices actually have a biological causation. It is just that the human brain and body is still too complicated for us to pinpoint exactly what causes some people to do some things that are ostensibly spontaneous.

    My question is, why are these explanations so unpalatable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    If we have a soul, free will can be explained as a function of it. However, what provides us with the nature of free will WITHOUT a soul, IE, the brain, falls short since the brain is just a processing center for chemical and electrical reactions in the brain.

    Hell, the brain's not even reliable. There was a medical study where this guy was poked in the finger, and his brain was monitored for a response. We'll say it took .01 seconds for the brain to register the sensation (beacuse I don't remember the exact time). They then poked the brain to get the SAME response, and the brain sent a signal to the finger (.01 sec), which returned the signal to the brain (.01 sec) telling the brain it, the finger, got poked .01 seconds ago, when in fact, it never got poked at that time. It's memory manipulation in a pretty straight forward sense. But completely irrelevant outside showing the brain's unreliability.
    Actually, there have been many similar experiments on brains that imply that free will doesn't exist. Take this for example:
    In the 1970s, Benjamin Libet, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, wired up the brains of volunteers to an electroencephalogram and told the volunteers to make random motions, like pressing a button or flicking a finger, while he noted the time on a clock.

    Dr. Libet found that brain signals associated with these actions occurred half a second before the subject was conscious of deciding to make them.

    The order of brain activities seemed to be perception of motion, and then decision, rather than the other way around.

    In short, the conscious brain was only playing catch-up to what the unconscious brain was already doing. The decision to act was an illusion, the monkey making up a story about what the tiger had already done.

    Dr. Libetís results have been reproduced again and again over the years, along with other experiments that suggest that people can be easily fooled when it comes to assuming ownership of their actions. Patients with tics or certain diseases, like chorea, cannot say whether their movements are voluntary or involuntary, Dr. Hallett said.
    Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Donít - New York Times
    Trendem

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    Re: The Soul

    One small point for those that believe a Soul enters the body upon conception if this is the case, than Buddhists and other religious expressions that believe in endless reincarnation are in fact correct. How else could the soul exist outside the body unless it is merely a reincarnated version (kind of a 2.0) of a previous human?

    Again however I dont really believe this I am however providing a talking point.

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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaextreme View Post
    One small point for those that believe a Soul enters the body upon conception if this is the case, than Buddhists and other religious expressions that believe in endless reincarnation are in fact correct. How else could the soul exist outside the body unless it is merely a reincarnated version (kind of a 2.0) of a previous human?

    Again however I dont really believe this I am however providing a talking point.
    Just for arguements sake. I'm not sure if the soul enters the body upon conception, pregnancy, or birth. Right now I am leaning more towards birth, but if I had to decide on pregnancy or conception, I would be pregnany.
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaextreme View Post
    One small point for those that believe a Soul enters the body upon conception if this is the case, than Buddhists and other religious expressions that believe in endless reincarnation are in fact correct. How else could the soul exist outside the body unless it is merely a reincarnated version (kind of a 2.0) of a previous human?

    Again however I dont really believe this I am however providing a talking point.
    Because ad reducto, how did the first souls come to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Actually, it is true that people, when thirsty, do drink water (if it's available). So, your example seems to confirm that humans are in fact governed by their biological needs.
    I'm not trying to argue that we aren't governed, at least to a degree, by our needs. Only that we aren't solely guided by biological factors or even our environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Again, you are making some assumptions about our instincts and needs. For example, you are assuming that there are no other needs that would override our biological need for food. It could very well be the case that the complexity of our brains has resulted in the need for spiritual satisfaction, and people would fast to achieve this "enlightenment". In this case, the spiritual need is more compelling than the need for food, and the person acts accordingly to satisfy his needs.
    You're likewise making a flawed assumption that our bodies may have a need for spiritual satisfaction (something I wholly disagree with). Or even that it may have come about naturally. Biologically speaking, what purpose does it serve to have a spiritual side? If it's an evolutionary trait, it's basically like the appendix. It serves no genuine purpose to aid in our survival.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    The lions could have, for some unknown reason, seen the child as a non-eatable (e.g. as one of their own kind). As I've said, we don't know enough of the lion's psyche to conclude that their protection of the child is their soul in action.
    And this would make sense, but we've likewise got stories of the lions of Savo(sp?) in Africa that preyed quite selectively on humans. Granted, these are two polar opposite cases that I've yet to see repeated, but both warrant some second looks at the LEAST.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Scientists infer that dark matter exists from their observations of other phenomena, such as unaccounted-for mass in the universe. An analogy would be someone throwing a solid object into a dark room and hearing it bounce off something that gives out a metallic sound, and thus inferring that there is a metallic object in the room.
    Point conceded. However, surely you admit that the spiritual origins of man, the how and the why, deserve a closer look if for no other reason than investigating WHAT, if some external purpose, it serves (IE, possibility of a soul). Generally speaking, if there's nothing more to us that we can detect and observe in the physical sense, then there's nothing beneficial to spirituality with concerns to survival, which becomes the only real purpose in existing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Appealing to the consequences of a belief, on the other hand, is someone who holds a belief because he likes the consequences of the belief (or dislikes the consequences of not having that belief). Examples include people who insist God exists because "otherwise the world would have no meaning".
    I'll concede that it was a fallacy. I never said my position was wholly rational or even one that came from thought rather than emotion. But if you're asking for hard facts, then I'm pressed to say there just aren't any. There's no credible (or even ANY) scientific data to state we have souls or anything resembling a soul. My belief comes not from the mind, but from the heart.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Yes, "chaos", or rather random fluctuations on the quantum level, could be the cause of what we term as "free will". For example, our actions could actually be dictated by quantum level fluctuations in the brain, which the brain then "packages" and "disguises" into a "free choice", thus making us think that we consciously came to that decision on our own.
    So everything we do, and everything we are, could very well be the subject of chemicals randomly swerving at some point in time? A man goes from normal to completely psychotic, and it's not because he let the stress build, but because some subatomic particle went left instead of right? In practical senses the idea fails, even if in the theoretical it may be accurate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    The other explanation would be that there all our choices actually have a biological causation. It is just that the human brain and body is still too complicated for us to pinpoint exactly what causes some people to do some things that are ostensibly spontaneous.
    And that could very well be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    My question is, why are these explanations so unpalatable?
    The former is only unpalatable in that, if taken seriously, alleviates all responsibility from anything and everything we do. I didn't do it because I WANTED to rub on strangers on the bus, the quark in my brain swerved at the wrong time!
    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Actually, there have been many similar experiments on brains that imply that free will doesn't exist. Take this for example:
    In the 1970s, Benjamin Libet, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, wired up the brains of volunteers to an electroencephalogram and told the volunteers to make random motions, like pressing a button or flicking a finger, while he noted the time on a clock.

    Dr. Libet found that brain signals associated with these actions occurred half a second before the subject was conscious of deciding to make them.

    The order of brain activities seemed to be perception of motion, and then decision, rather than the other way around.

    In short, the conscious brain was only playing catch-up to what the unconscious brain was already doing. The decision to act was an illusion, the monkey making up a story about what the tiger had already done.

    Dr. Libetís results have been reproduced again and again over the years, along with other experiments that suggest that people can be easily fooled when it comes to assuming ownership of their actions. Patients with tics or certain diseases, like chorea, cannot say whether their movements are voluntary or involuntary, Dr. Hallett said.
    Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Donít - New York Times
    And that doesn't seem to me to be so much that we don't have free will, but rather that the choice is made somewhere we don't entirely understand.
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Because ad reducto, how did the first souls come to be?

    No idea and really dont care. I also outlined my position on souls.

    However for the sake of debate I would say it has always been a circular pattern. Always existed always will.

    Kind of like your magical god. lol !

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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Generally speaking, if there's nothing more to us that we can detect and observe in the physical sense, then there's nothing beneficial to spirituality with concerns to survival, which becomes the only real purpose in existing.
    Survival is not the only purpose in existing. What about all the spiecies that didn't survive - didn't they have a reason for existing?

    The soul doesn't reley on survival to exist - there has to be another reason for existing.
    Last edited by Snoop; July 1st, 2007 at 06:04 PM.
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    Re: The Soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyde
    Generally speaking, if there's nothing more to us that we can detect and observe in the physical sense, then there's nothing beneficial to spirituality with concerns to survival, which becomes the only real purpose in existing.
    First, let's break down spirituality into the two things it actually means: superstitions and a feeling of connection (presumably to the group / pack / etc.)

    In a Darwinian context, there is an advantage in feeling connected to the group because it promotes harmony. The better a group of humans works together, the better its chances for survival.

    As for superstition? While having no Darwinian advantage it exists as a byproduct of something that does have an advantage for us; The ability of children to soak up information during childhood. Kids are very smart and absorb information from adults with little concern for how rational it is. They care primarily for whether or not the information makes sense and is "fair". So, in a hunter / gatherer community, the kid who hears...

    This is the proper way to make a spear.
    Don't swim in that lake because it angers the lake god.
    These berries are good. Those berries kill you.

    ... may want additional information, but if he hears about the lake god he's likely not going to challenge the adult with "How do you know there's a lake god?" If he does, he'll probably accept any semi-logical answer (or even a fallacious one). "The chief saw it once and we don't question the chief."

    Getting back on-topic, there is no such thing as a soul nor any way for theists to argue for its existence. It is completely devoid of evidence and too silly to be taken seriously. Honestly, how man imaginary body parts do you think we have?

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    Re: The Soul

    The soul doesn't enter the body. Humans are created at conception, body and soul. But the soul is not inside the body. That is simply a mistake of purely physical thinking. It has no location.

 

 
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