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  1. #1
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    What is a soul, and do we have one?

    I think we do.

    The soul would be defined as that part of the self that exists outside of this universe - or, that part of the self that continues after death. Either definition would work, although they are not necessarily the same.

    I base my belief upon evidence from Near Death Experiences. There is also a way you can see your own etheric body, which I am guessing is part of the soul. The technique involved is very simple, but is not actually proof - at least not yet. I suppose I will let you poor Earthlings know how to see your souls when I feel in the mood for sharing such priviledged information.

    Of course, if you all start chanting...

    "We adore you, guru Jonathan, we kiss thine feet - yea, verily, we even lick the smelly cheesy stuff from between thine divine toes."

    Then I might deign to share my spiritual secrets much sooner.

    Where do the rest of you stand on this issue - do we have souls?
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  2. #2
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    I believe we do (of course).

    But do you believe the soul is eternal? It would seem so since you mentioned that it exists after death. If so, what happens to it (you) after death...assuming we are merely a soul (and not physical)?
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  3. #3
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    Well - I think we hang out in the outer world for while, doing whatever we like to do. I think I'd prolly want to do a stint as a guardian angel, if that were an option. Then, after a while, when we feel we are ready to go to school again, we enter another lifetime.

    Sort of like entering a VR video game, but where we temporarily lose our memories. (although it would be more complex than that - I have really thought through how the soul and brain would interface - but I'll save that for later)

    I don't know if the soul is eternal - perhaps after we get tired of existence we merge back with the creator - who knows!

    Is the concept of a soul supported by the Bible? I know that some Christians interpret the Bible to mean that there is a bodily ressurection, and not a soul.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  4. #4
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    Yes, the Bible teaches we have a soul (spirit).

    Does your idea of what happens to the soul (or as we are in our "soul-state") have any evidence to support it? Or is it what you want to happen? Is it a best guess?

    Also, is there a significance to this thread being in the "science and technology" forum? It seems more appropriate in the Philosophy or Religion forums.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  5. #5
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    Does your idea of what happens to the soul (or as we are in our "soul-state") have any evidence to support it? Or is it what you want to happen? Is it a best guess?
    It is based on the reports of people who have near death experiences. I am not sure I could really call it a belief. I guess it is a belief because it sounds great, and it is the only concept that has any evidence to support it. It is just what makes the most sense - unfortunately the NDEs do not provide adequate proof, in my opinion.


    Also, is there a significance to this thread being in the "science and technology" forum? It seems more appropriate in the Philosophy or Religion forums.
    Yes - someone who is a skeptic is going to ask how we could possibly have a soul - where would it be, why would it be that brain damage affects our memory and personalities, how does the soul interface with the brain, and lots of other similar questions. I have speculative answers to such questions.

    There is other evidence to support the existence of a soul in addition to NDEs - having to do with unusual events in neuroscience.

    Since I am intending to steer this conversation towards the evidence of a soul, and what sort of hypothetical cosmological framework would have room for soul, it seemed more science than philosophy - more a matter of physics than anything else.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  6. #6
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    So...

    Nobody ever replies to what I think are the most interesting topics. I will try to make this one more interesting, just to see if I can get any to care about it...

    I have a particular method for enabling a person to see (very very faintly) their etheric body - something I imagine would be a part of the soul. Now, before anyone calls me looney, I will say from the start that it could be a method of self induced hallucination. I have had some minor success in seeing my wife's etheric body as well - but not reliably enough that I can prove it and win the Amazing Randi's million dollar prize for proof of the paranormal.

    So... Does anyone want to know how to see their souls?
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist
    So...

    Nobody ever replies to what I think are the most interesting topics. I will try to make this one more interesting, just to see if I can get any to care about it...

    I have a particular method for enabling a person to see (very very faintly) their etheric body - something I imagine would be a part of the soul. Now, before anyone calls me looney, I will say from the start that it could be a method of self induced hallucination. I have had some minor success in seeing my wife's etheric body as well - but not reliably enough that I can prove it and win the Amazing Randi's million dollar prize for proof of the paranormal.

    So... Does anyone want to know how to see their souls?
    The soul is the conscious mind, which is distinctly separate from the unconscious mind. The interesting question is, if you can survive on instinct (unconscious mind) alone, why do we have a conscious mind?
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  8. #8
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    Hmmm...

    I would say the soul is that part of the self that survives beyond death. I would, in fact, guess that the data processing and storage aspect of the soul is far more complex than that of the brain.

    I would say there are reasonable areas of speculation as to how the soul sends information to the brain - however, I cannot find any reasonable way to speculate as to the physics of the other side. What is etheric substance? Just as this universe has a space-time fabric, does the outer reality also have one?

    I feel like a fish in a fish bowl composed of one-way mirrors.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyshhed
    The soul is the conscious mind, which is distinctly separate from the unconscious mind. The interesting question is, if you can survive on instinct (unconscious mind) alone, why do we have a conscious mind?
    I'd have to agree completely with this. But a conscious mind is more of a efficiency promoter, of sorts. Let me explain. In the unconscious mind, there is no invention, discussion, etc. Almost, reactionary . It is much like a Hive-mind of types, in a society of humans. Now let's take Joe Caveman. He only has instinct, much like an animal. Now Joe likes to hunt deer. But Joe knows only to throw rocks or swing large sticks at it. Very ineffictive. Because of the humans limited communication, a large portion of the Caveman tribe starves. Okay, let's take the Cavedwellers. John Cavedweller has a conscious mind as well an unconscious one. From his teenage years, he knew only to throw rocks or swing large sticks to kill deer. He didn't kill many. But his father, an elder, wise man, tells him to sharpen his sticks, and then throw them! Revolutionary! Now John kills many deers. A few weeks later, at a meal, a few of the men are discussing hunting, and one tells of a very sharp rock that cut him deeply. John gets the idea of attaching a sharpened rock to the end of the stick. A javilin! John's tribe gets so much meat they can barely eat it all. And on top of that, John's tribe donates some extra meat to the Cavemen, out of pity.

    Reasons we have a conscious mind:
    1.)Humans aren't very good hunters with just their hands. They need tools! Above all they need to invent tools!
    2.)Humans are social animals. The more the talk and discuss, the more their society grows.
    3.)Basic emotions aren't enough. Humans need pity, humans need mercy. Without a conscious mind, Joe's meat is his and his family's. Mike Caveman has to hunt for his entire family. But John Cavedweller is an excellent hunter, and gets so much food that he shares it with his whole tribe. He even teaches others his skill so that they may learn the ways.

    Sorry to stray off of topic a tad, , maybe a split would be good.
    "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent." 1984, By George Orwell. Part 2: Chapter 9.

  10. #10
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    So... Does anyone want to know how to see their souls?
    Sure. I'll play the guinea pig.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  11. #11
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    Awesome!

    Here is what you do. You get a pair of dark swimming goggles, and cover them up with black electrical tape. Be very thorough - it is important to block out all light.

    Then, you go into a darkened room - because some light might still seep in.

    Then, you open your eyes while wearing the goggles. It is important that your eyes be open. When they are closed, it seems to shut down the visual processing components of your brain.

    So, with your eyes open, and staring through the goggles - slowly wave your hand and arm past your face, about a foot or so in front of your eyes. At first, it will be really hard to see. What you need to look for is a little ripple that crosses your visual field at the same time you wave your arm in front of your face.

    With practice you will be able to make out the shape of your arm and hands - but, at least for me, it is always very faint. My older daughter says she sees it fairly clearly sometimes.

    Now, this sounds like a form of self-induced hallucination. However, on a few occasions when this vision has been more clear than usual, I have been able to see and follow my wife's arm.

    Specifically, I would have her hold it in front of me, and then when I was able to make it out, tell her to move it. Then she would move it, with me not knowing ahead of time where she was moving it, and I was able to follow it, and reach out and grab it in its new location.

    Not exactly sufficient proof of the paranormal to win the amazing Randi's million dollar prize - I know - but still quite interesting.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  12. #12
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    Wow, I have experience in that, sometimes when I get bored at night (INSOMNIAC OVER HERE), and theres no light. I swing my arms around my eyes just to see if I can see something when its completely dark, and I do. Kind of reminds me when the baby in look whos talking waves his arms around while hes still in his mothers womb and he sees his arms doing some freaky stuff.

    Thats interesting.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist
    Awesome!

    Here is what you do. You get a pair of dark swimming goggles, and cover them up with black electrical tape. Be very thorough - it is important to block out all light.

    Then, you go into a darkened room - because some light might still seep in.

    Then, you open your eyes while wearing the goggles. It is important that your eyes be open. When they are closed, it seems to shut down the visual processing components of your brain.

    So, with your eyes open, and staring through the goggles - slowly wave your hand and arm past your face, about a foot or so in front of your eyes. At first, it will be really hard to see. What you need to look for is a little ripple that crosses your visual field at the same time you wave your arm in front of your face.

    With practice you will be able to make out the shape of your arm and hands - but, at least for me, it is always very faint. My older daughter says she sees it fairly clearly sometimes.

    Now, this sounds like a form of self-induced hallucination. However, on a few occasions when this vision has been more clear than usual, I have been able to see and follow my wife's arm.

    Specifically, I would have her hold it in front of me, and then when I was able to make it out, tell her to move it. Then she would move it, with me not knowing ahead of time where she was moving it, and I was able to follow it, and reach out and grab it in its new location.

    Not exactly sufficient proof of the paranormal to win the amazing Randi's million dollar prize - I know - but still quite interesting.
    hmmmm. maybe this is just your brain tells your eyes where your hands are and then your eyes take that as seeing them, maybe. but that wouldnt work with seeing your wife. does it work with any type of tape, like i could use duct tape?

  14. #14
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    does it work with any type of tape, like i could use duct tape?
    I am sure it would - the point is to have your eyes completely blocked from all light - and yet still open. Duct tape is more translucent, so you might have to use more. For my goggles, I actually use black caulking, covered by electrical tape. They work sufficiently well so that even with lights on in a room, no light (that I can see) gets to my eyes.

    Nearly everyone I have shown this to has been able to see the ripple. A couple (both children) were able to see the shapes of their hands and arms right away.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  15. #15
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    Apparently, I look really funny wearing them, too.
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  16. #16
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    AntiMarterialist: How can we be sure we are not just "knowing" where are arms are and our mind filling in the rest? One way to find out would be to cut off one's arm without him knowing and trying the trick. I guess he might notice the lack of feeling in his arm though. :p
    "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent." 1984, By George Orwell. Part 2: Chapter 9.

  17. #17
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    AntiMarterialist: How can we be sure we are not just "knowing" where are arms are and our mind filling in the rest?
    I think you would have to get good enough at it to be able to see objects, like other people. Then, have someone hold the object in front of you, and you say what the object is.
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  18. #18
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    AM-How is the world did you come up with this?

    Im very intrigued but skeptical as well...

  19. #19
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    Talk about getting off topic!.....*L*



    As a young man I had an out of body experience. I was 20 years old and now at 50 it still feels as real as if it had just happened.

    It is one of only two things in my life that lead me to believe there may be more to our lives on earth than we can see and explain.

    I could give specifics, but they would not clarify the event too much. Basically though, after not eating or sleeping almost at all for five full days I collapsed on a couch.

    A sudden "electrical current" took over my body and my eyes shot wide open. I remember I began to feel absolutely horrified and wanting to make the feeling go away. I couldn't even close my eyes or move any body parts.
    Suddenly it was as if I were standing above me looking at me lying frightened on the couch. I COULD SEE ME!
    Then, just as suddenly as it had come over me the feeling washed away, I no longer viewed myself but rather I recall having a warm easy feeling pass through my body as the electric-like current left my body. I sat up, stunned by what I figured was a drug-sleep deprived halucination. But as that day went by, and as I aged, that experience, imagined or real, caused me to look at life in entirely different ways, to consider that there may be some existence we may have besides the one we all know.

    I never share this story with anyone because I know they would think I needed a tin foil hat or something, but every word is true so far as I can recall it. As I said, though it was 30 years ago, it still "feels" as real as it did when it happened, whatever "it" was.............:O)

  20. #20
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    AM-How is the world did you come up with this?
    I was sitting around thinking about auras. I had just recently taught myself to see them, but was (and still am) entirely skeptical that any useful information can be derived from seeing an aura. I am, in fact, skeptical that the viewer does not in fact create at least part of the aura he thinks he is seeing.

    Anyway, I was trying to figure out how it would be possible to see something that video cameras cannot see (and please, no one mention kirlian photography - it is not the same thing).

    Having had a number of out-of-body experiences myself, I thought about the possibility of the visual system of the soul interacting with the visual system of the brain. I have sense reasoned that the conveyance of information from the soul to the brain might take place by very small interactions in which some small component of the soul causes changes in the electron state of atoms within the body - especially neurons and RNA.

    So - If auras were a bit of the soul extending out past the body (as new age types claim) and we are seeing them because the etheric visual system is taking in information and then transferring that data either to the visual cortex or to the optic nerve, then the use of our physical eyes should not be necessary. However, with my eyes shut I just felt like my visual processing system was shutting down - so I tried using blindfolds, and then convex eye patches, and finally goggles, and staring through them.

    At the time I was having to take fairly large amounts of an NMDA receptor antagonist called dextromethorphan to control pretty serious neuropathic pain. This made my etheric vision much more sensitive, and I was able to see all sorts of stuff - I could even sort of walk around the house and navigate around objects. Once I was able to reduce the amount of dxm I was taking, my ability to see through the goggles dropped off considerably. I had to take less of the medication though - it's pretty nasty stuff take in high doses over a long period of time.

    I have noticed a few peculiar traits about etheric vision:

    1) I think there is a chance it is real, because of previously mentioned experiments in tracking the motion of my wife's arm.
    2) It doesn't seem to require, or have anything to do with light.
    3) The visibility of an object seems to be related to its density.
    4) Depth perception makes no sense at all. I don't know how else to explain it - depth perception with etheric vision just doesn't work right.
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

 

 
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