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  1. #21
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I'm not saying it's not a mental construct. I said it's not ITSELF - as in EXCLUSIVELY - a mental construct. I've described the co-dependency many times now. Also, I'm not using "abstract" as an adjective. I'm using it as a noun: "something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence."
    Thanks I'm not sure I see how the use of the word "abstract" adds something different than "mental construct".
    moving on though..
    So it's not exclusively a mental construct. (I thought I addressed that above). I didn't represent that relationship correctly when I said the following?

    Sure, it is based on the physical brain, and sure it is an attempt to mirror the physical world. However, at the end of the day, logic is something your brain made up to understand the world.
    What is untrue or incomplete in that?
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  2. #22
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    What is untrue or incomplete in that?
    What's incomplete is that the brain didn't just "make it up" as in "pull out of thin air for no reason at all". Ideas aren't "just" that at all. Brains create ideas because they are capable of conscious experience in the physical world, and they observe physical behaviors in the physical world. If one or the other isn't present, then the idea doesn't exist in any meaningful sense (just like undiscovered ideas on uninhabited, undiscovered planets don't exist in any meaningful sense).

    ---------- Post added at 08:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:44 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Thanks I'm not sure I see how the use of the word "abstract" adds something different than "mental construct".
    Well, when you say "mental construct" you're giving me a noun i.e. a "thing" i.e. "mental construct". But the definition of "abstract" you provided in your objection was the adjective usage, which is entirely different. Moreover, you forwarded the adjective usage as evidence that "abstracts" are immaterial. You can't conflate nouns and verbs as the same thing, because they aren't.

    For example, an "abstract idea" might be a tree that flies of its own accord. Such a thing is an idea that is "apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances" and is thus an "abstract" idea, where the word "abstract" describes what kind of idea we're talking about. The "idea" is "abstract". This also applies to your "married bachelor" example; such a thing is an abstract idea, but what makes it abstract is precisely the fact that such a thing doesn't align with our physical experience of the physical world - it exists as a physical idea in our physical brains based on our experience of the physical world.

    My usage is the noun usage, such as "logic" being "an abstract" i.e. "something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence."

    For example, when we study logic, mathematics, science, music, etc, we learn about their essential qualities; their components. In this sense, logic, mathematics, science, music, etc. are abstracts - domains of thought that encompass the essential qualities of something more extensive than their individual components. They are not "abstract things"; they are themselves abstracts.

    The difference can be expressed thusly: Consider the difference between a blue balloon and the color blue itself. In the case of the blue balloon, the word "blue" describes a characteristic of the balloon (it's an adjective). But the balloon is not the essential components of the color blue. That is to say, the color of the balloon doesn't give rise to what the color blue is. The color blue itself is a different thing (it is itself a noun). So, just as there's a difference between a blue balloon and the color blue, there's a difference between an "abstract idea" and an "abstract".

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  4. #23
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    What's incomplete is that the brain didn't just "make it up" as in "pull out of thin air for no reason at all". Ideas aren't "just" that at all. Brains create ideas because they are capable of conscious experience in the physical world, and they observe physical behaviors in the physical world. If one or the other isn't present, then the idea doesn't exist in any meaningful sense (just like undiscovered ideas on uninhabited, undiscovered planets don't exist in any meaningful sense).
    Right, there are two parts.
    So how does logic fulfill that definition? Do you observe logic and where? And how can you project it to where you don't observe?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    Well, when you say "mental construct" you're giving me a noun i.e. a "thing" i.e. "mental construct". But the definition of "abstract" you provided in your objection was the adjective usage, which is entirely different. Moreover, you forwarded the adjective usage as evidence that "abstracts" are immaterial. You can't conflate nouns and verbs as the same thing, because they aren't.
    Yes, but none of the usages of the world are talking about physical properties. IE touch, taste, smell, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    For example, an "abstract idea" might be a tree that flies of its own accord. Such a thing is an idea that is "apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances" and is thus an "abstract" idea, where the word "abstract" describes what kind of idea we're talking about. The "idea" is "abstract". This also applies to your "married bachelor" example; such a thing is an abstract idea, but what makes it abstract is precisely the fact that such a thing doesn't align with our physical experience of the physical world - it exists as a physical idea in our physical brains based on our experience of the physical world.

    My usage is the noun usage, such as "logic" being "an abstract" i.e. "something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence."

    For example, when we study logic, mathematics, science, music, etc, we learn about their essential qualities; their components. In this sense, logic, mathematics, science, music, etc. are abstracts - domains of thought that encompass the essential qualities of something more extensive than their individual components. They are not "abstract things"; they are themselves abstracts.

    The difference can be expressed thusly: Consider the difference between a blue balloon and the color blue itself. In the case of the blue balloon, the word "blue" describes a characteristic of the balloon (it's an adjective). But the balloon is not the essential components of the color blue. That is to say, the color of the balloon doesn't give rise to what the color blue is. The color blue itself is a different thing (it is itself a noun). So, just as there's a difference between a blue balloon and the color blue, there's a difference between an "abstract idea" and an "abstract".
    This seems to be a bit of question begging.
    I'm challenging you on logic, and your using logic as the example.
    I would likewise challenge mathematics as a "real" thing.

    It seems to me that you are introducing a circular argument, when you appeal to abstracts to support real, because it isn't obvious that the abstracts themselves fulfill your definition of real. With the temptation to address mathematics, I would rather just stick with logic.

    So this is the point. If the idea doesn't exist in the mind, and in corresponding reality, then it isn't "real". (That is a summary of what you are saying)
    So a married bachelor exists in the mind, but not in reality.
    My objection is that the second part is a prediction, and because it comes from a mental construct that COULD exist only in the mind, then it COULD exist in reality.

    Like you asked, how do we know if an idea is "real" or not. Well it has to have the two parts as you said. So if God exists, then he is real. But if God doesn't exist, then the idea of God in our mind, is not "real".
    Likewise, a married bachelor according to the mental construct of logic, would seem to be an impossibility, but Our mental constructs don't dictate reality, they are just attempts at reflecting it.
    so just because it doesn't make sense in a given mental construct, doesn't preclude it from existing in actuality.

    Do you see the objection I am raising. your begging the question when you assume that reality lines up with an idea (or mental construct) such as logic, and because logic doesn't exist apart from the mind as a transcendent idea, then it isn't dictating reality, reality is (possibly, because we could be wrong) dictating our mental construct. Which is just to say, that things are what they are, and there is nothing which precludes it from being illogical in nature.. thus logic is purely a mental construct, and doesn't reflect reality at all, at best it just reflects our current experience.
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  5. #24
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Right, there are two parts.
    So how does logic fulfill that definition? Do you observe logic and where? And how can you project it to where you don't observe?
    1) How does logic fulfill what definition? I didn't define anything in the portion you quoted.

    2) Certainly; you observe it literally everywhere. For example, when you observe a living thing, you recognize it as alive and you observe that it is not simultaneously dead (law of non-contradiction). When you see a cat, you observe that it is not also a phone or a car (law of identity). If you see a cat, you recognize that it is a mammal and not a reptile (Modus Ponens - If p then q; p; therefore q).

    3) The best you can do with things that are unobservable is infer. For example, imagine a sealed 2"x2"x2" box whose contents are completely unobservable by any means. The box is closed and sealed and you cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell what's inside it in any way. In such a case, you could never impose logic to determine what IS in the box; the very best you can do is say what ISN'T in the box (for example, you could say that YOU aren't in the box, nor is the Nile River, nor a married bachelor).

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    My objection is that the second part is a prediction, and because it comes from a mental construct that COULD exist only in the mind, then it COULD exist in reality.
    How on earth are you drawing that conclusion? Just because someone is capable of saying something illogical doesn't mean that the potential for the illogical thing to become real exists.

    Granted, some things we observe defy our intuition about the world. But, by and large, the way we process information and draw conclusions is indeed predicated on how we expect the world to behave given what we know about it though observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Do you see the objection I am raising. your begging the question when you assume that reality lines up with an idea (or mental construct) such as logic, and because logic doesn't exist apart from the mind as a transcendent idea, then it isn't dictating reality, reality is (possibly, because we could be wrong) dictating our mental construct. Which is just to say, that things are what they are, and there is nothing which precludes it from being illogical in nature.. thus logic is purely a mental construct, and doesn't reflect reality at all, at best it just reflects our current experience.
    I have no idea how you're leaping from "Our brains require experience of the world to manifest ideas" to "Because brains require experience to manifest ideas, brains cannot manifest ideas." If that's not at least something like what you're saying, then I have no idea what you are saying.

  6. #25
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    The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Math is an abstract developed by physical minds that maps on to physical characteristics of the physical world.
    I disagree. Physical minds do not *develop* math - they *discover* the existence of mathematical rules according to their own experiences. We *know* this because humans have ďdevelopedĒ different representations of the same underlying essence of math throughout history. They ALL do the same thing; namely count things and perform arithmetic, say, but they never *invented* the rules: only the representations of the rules.

    The physical world is simply information. An idea is simply processed information. Without anything physical there is literally no "thing" to do the processing, nor is there any information to process.
    Agreed but just because there is no processor, it doesnít mean that the information isnít there.

    As you point out, now we have other physical means of processing ideas such as computers and so on, but ideas themselves are literally nothing without a physical component.
    Thatís not true either: the ideas still exist - mathematical proofs are still there and they still exist and only remain to be discovered.

    In fact, it's nonsensical to say that an immaterial thing IS anything. Immaterial things are non-things. The point is that ideas aren't truly free-floating abstracts untethered in every way from any and all physical things (including their origins). They depend on the physical world for their emergence, and for their continued existence. Without anything to process the idea, it's literally nothing.
    I disagree - ideas arenít untethered - they are always related to another idea. Arithmetic would not exist without numbers for example. Once we discover numbers then Lo and Behold, arithmetic is just around the corner: it always existed and just because no one was there to appreciate it, the notions have always been around.

    Thatís why I think ideas like the soul and gods are just that: handy concepts to succinctly get a bunch of rowdy humans in line.

    Get a time machine and drop Isaac Newton's Principia off in prehistoric times around a bunch of velociraptors, and it's just a pile of materials. Sure, under the right information-processing-capable regime the book might be rightly said to contain ideas, but then so does that rock on the ground; so does that leaf; so does that pile of dinosaur droppings. Under such a regime, in what sense is Isaac Newton's Principia a set of actually-existing ideas? In what sense is it even a book?
    Well, here youíre conflating the rendering of an idea in a specific material form with the underlying math it is describing.

    If Principia were written in Latin, as I think it was, *I* wouldnít understand it either! How does that affect the truth of the laws of motion? It doesnít. They still hold.

    Further, we are constantly enshrining those laws in video games within a wholly virtual world, which only exists as a combination of sets of ones and zeros. So no minds
    are necessary to say whether something exists or not.

    ---------- Post added at 06:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:42 PM ----------

    Maybe another way to look at this is to consider the idea that God and the soul are just ideas and as we humans attempt to refine and make use of such ideas in order to modify behavior of other humans, we create stories and rules to govern such behavior and justify it in terms that appear to be plausible yet spectacular in the way that makes it attractive to believe.

    As these rules evolve into rituals and customs and then become full religions, the whole beast takes on a life of its own. Itís a self sustaining entity that consumes other humans in order to become more powerful. It evolves contemporaneously absorbing new knowledge and fitting it into itself such that it is always consistent and always current and always relevant.

    So do these ideas really exist in any physical manner? No, of course not but they have humans that believe it is and modify their actions accordingly in the defense of these ideas: even to the death!

    We see the same plan happen again and again throughout history: first with religions, then politics, then social movements, and now memes. Itís clear that these things are all immaterial but they also exist in very real physical ways because there are people to believe in those ideas and act accordingly.

    This I believe is the true essence of Souls and Gods. It is factually backed up again and again in the arena within and outside of the sphere of religion. Weíre just idea machines and weíre the ones to make ideas affect the world; weíre the ones that embody ideas and allow them physically interact with the universe.

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  8. #26
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    1) How does logic fulfill what definition? I didn't define anything in the portion you quoted.
    The definition of two parts.

    From the quoted section..
    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    Brains create ideas because they are capable of conscious experience in the physical world, and they observe physical behaviors in the physical world. If one or the other isn't present, then the idea doesn't exist in any meaningful sense
    I took that as a definition. IE If it doesn't have aspect B.. as you define it.. and aspect A as you define it.. THEN it isn't real.

    So I asked how logic fulfills that definition of being two parts. Which I think you address below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    2) Certainly; you observe it literally everywhere. For example, when you observe a living thing, you recognize it as alive and you observe that it is not simultaneously dead (law of non-contradiction). When you see a cat, you observe that it is not also a phone or a car (law of identity). If you see a cat, you recognize that it is a mammal and not a reptile (Modus Ponens - If p then q; p; therefore q).
    Right, but you don't observe that it NEVER or CAN'T be both. The law of non contradiction isn't forcefully true, because you are saying it is a reaction to reality, not something that transends reality and thus dictates reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    3) The best you can do with things that are unobservable is infer. For example, imagine a sealed 2"x2"x2" box whose contents are completely unobservable by any means. The box is closed and sealed and you cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell what's inside it in any way. In such a case, you could never impose logic to determine what IS in the box; the very best you can do is say what ISN'T in the box (for example, you could say that YOU aren't in the box, nor is the Nile River, nor a married bachelor).
    Incorrect. Once could not say that the nile is not in the box, because. if the nile were in the box. then it would be in the box, and you would simply be wrong.. even if you are really suprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    How on earth are you drawing that conclusion? Just because someone is capable of saying something illogical doesn't mean that the potential for the illogical thing to become real exists.
    Because, you are denying the transendant nature of logic, and saying it is a reaction to what reality just so happens to be. So just because you make up a construct in your mind that you think comports to reality, that doesn't have any forceful value on reality.
    As reality is whatever it is, and there is no logical law that exists in the either that dictates what reality can and can't be. Only your mental construct of how you currently attempt to make sense of, or how you just so happen to experience the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    Granted, some things we observe defy our intuition about the world. But, by and large, the way we process information and draw conclusions is indeed predicated on how we expect the world to behave given what we know about it though observation.
    Logic does not reason like an expectation.
    It is not to say, 1-1 thus we expect zero.

    But that is what you have reduced it to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    I have no idea how you're leaping from "Our brains require experience of the world to manifest ideas" to "Because brains require experience to manifest ideas, brains cannot manifest ideas." If that's not at least something like what you're saying, then I have no idea what you are saying.
    False, I'm responding to Ideas are a construct that is simply influenced by reality, and are only true in as much as they just so happen to reflect reality.
    Which robs logic of any causal powers, and lowers it to just a handy tool for describing what we experience.


    ----Summary response---
    If reality dictates logic, then any reality is possible.
    If logic dictates reality, then some realities are not possible.
    By saying logic is an invention/construct of the mind to describe reality, and is only as true as much as it reflects reality (even though it may be inspired by our perception of reality)
    Then, you are saying that reality dictates logic.
    Which means that we could simply be wrong about reality, and logical conclusions are only predictive on the level of expectations. So the nile in a box would surprise you, but it can't be said to be necessarily impossible. After all, in some world where logic is different.. then the nile could be in the box, and we simply can't be sure we don't actually live in that world.
    To serve man.

  9. #27
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    We are agreed in the outcoeme but... I'll try to explain the notion further.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I disagree. Physical minds do not *develop* math - they *discover* the existence of mathematical rules according to their own experiences. We *know* this because humans have “developed” different representations of the same underlying essence of math throughout history. They ALL do the same thing; namely count things and perform arithmetic, say, but they never *invented* the rules: only the representations of the rules.
    Except in nature they are not rules or ideas, they are simply how things are. Rules and ideas are subjective constructs we use to make some sense of the world around us. But for the world around us, that is simply the way it exists. Our thoughts are approximations of the world based on our perceptions. Counting is an exercise in the arbitrary. Is a rock one thing or an agam of many things? Is the earth a multitude of rocks or one thing? It just is what it is, we make these distinctions in ways that are useful to us. All our ideas are just representational of what is. And they in truth are part of what is as well.

    That’s not true either: the ideas still exist - mathematical proofs are still there and they still exist and only remain to be discovered.
    But the idea is best understood as the abstraction of the reality it represents, not the other way around. Reality is a cause, ideas are an effect.

    I think part of the difficulty in these discussions is most of these terms were invented with a kind of dualistic world view in mind and adapting them to a materialist world view is challenging, but is what most materialists have ended up doing.

    ---------- Post added at 07:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post

    ----Summary response---
    If reality dictates logic, then any reality is possible.
    If logic dictates reality, then some realities are not possible.
    By saying logic is an invention/construct of the mind to describe reality, and is only as true as much as it reflects reality (even though it may be inspired by our perception of reality)
    Then, you are saying that reality dictates logic.
    Which means that we could simply be wrong about reality, and logical conclusions are only predictive on the level of expectations. So the nile in a box would surprise you, but it can't be said to be necessarily impossible. After all, in some world where logic is different.. then the nile could be in the box, and we simply can't be sure we don't actually live in that world.
    Materialism does not attempt to wrestle with realities we can't experience. So yes, a reality breaking event like the Nile river in a box would throw into question what rules we thought applied to the natural world. And indeed, the method of discovering natural rules would say that we would need to re-evaluate our understanding of the rules of the natural world. That's fine.

    It's not really a critique to say that a reality that is different than ours would throw into doubt our understanding of our reality. That's pretty well just an axiom.

    We don't know about other realities, how could we? We only know the reality we live in. And it appears to be a very material reality that gives rise to our sense of logic and reason.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  10. #28
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Except in nature they are not rules or ideas, they are simply how things are.
    Sure, but at the same time, nature isnít random => two hens entering cave wonít ever result in 34 leaving it. Counting is a fundamental concept no matter what the situation is; as is the notion that chickens donít randomly change color either.

    Rules and ideas are subjective constructs we use to make some sense of the world around us.
    In some cases thatís true - hence we have souls to explain what happens after death. But for most things that happen in nature, they do follow rules - itís true that our models are subjective in the sense that they have follow some kind of cultural affinity but the underlying math is very much isomorphic to the reality. So thereís *nothing* subjective about that. After all, if two chickens entered the coop, we should only be surprised if a different number came out.

    But for the world around us, that is simply the way it exists. Our thoughts are approximations of the world based on our perceptions.
    Again, I have to disagree - our thoughts arenít so much approximations but very specific descriptions with a margin of error. Well, at least science is.

    Counting is an exercise in the arbitrary. Is a rock one thing or an agam of many things?
    But we also have fractal geometry to describe the length of coastlines and such - weíre way beyond just simple counting now. We can understand complex events that arenít run like a clock: fluid dynamics, chaos theory, cohort analysis, big data problems: weíre developing new methodologies and methods all the time to understand the real complexity of our universe. Itís hard to say that itís arbitrary!

    Is the earth a multitude of rocks or one thing? It just is what it is, we make these distinctions in ways that are useful to us. All our ideas are just representational of what is. And they in truth are part of what is as well.
    Well, of course our ideas are a representation of what is; thatís kinda the point: theyíre a simplified model of reality that we can make precise decisions upon. Not only that but we have many, many interconnected, self-consistent models that allow us to fly to the moon and back. Itís a little churlish to call them ďjust representationalĒ when we theyíre really an amazing simplification of reality. Thatís no small achievement!

    But the idea is best understood as the abstraction of the reality it represents, not the other way around. Reality is a cause, ideas are an effect.
    I agree since without reality there would be no ideas.

    I think part of the difficulty in these discussions is most of these terms were invented with a kind of dualistic world view in mind and adapting them to a materialist world view is challenging, but is what most materialists have ended up doing.
    The material world is all there is: everything else is an idea that is either directly connected to reality or itís not connected at all. Quantum effects can be measured - the soul cannot. It shouldnít be rocket science to determine what is really speculation and what isnít.


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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Materialism does not attempt to wrestle with realities we can't experience. So yes, a reality breaking event like the Nile river in a box would throw into question what rules we thought applied to the natural world. And indeed, the method of discovering natural rules would say that we would need to re-evaluate our understanding of the rules of the natural world. That's fine.

    It's not really a critique to say that a reality that is different than ours would throw into doubt our understanding of our reality. That's pretty well just an axiom.

    We don't know about other realities, how could we? We only know the reality we live in. And it appears to be a very material reality that gives rise to our sense of logic and reason.
    Which isn't a problem, except for its self defeating nature. As long as your o.k. with completely falsified appeal to logic, then your all good.
    To serve man.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    1. If it is immaterial, it doesnít exist other than as an idea (or a wish). So therefore, I contend that a ďsoulĒ is basically a way for people to cope with death, the permanent destruction of a physical mind. The idea of the soul is compelling because it means that a loved one would really be in a better place, or an enemy in a worse one. But just because it is a appealing, that doesnít make it actual.
    Okay. But this does not support that the soul does not exist. Just contending something does not support it. And while it is true that wanting the soul to exist does mean it exists, it certainly does not provide evidence that the soul does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    2. The idea of a soul being eternal brings many problems, not least of which, where do they come from and where do they go after death and how could there possibly be enough room for everyone, forever. Of course, each religion has various ways to resolve the issue, from reincarnation to a supposedly ever expanding heaven/hell or simply being absorbed back into some deity. But none of these solve the space issue or resources or how souls will interact with each other.
    That does not support that the soul does not exist either.

    If you are going to support that the soul does not exist, you need to provide evidence that the soul does not exist. Noting that those who contend that the soul does exist hasn't fully explained how it all works does not support that it doesn't exist. You are basically shifting the burden with that argument.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    3. Itís clear that we are the sum of our brains and our bodies. Attempts to Ďmeasureí the weight of the soul at the time of death have usually failed at being convincing (see the 21gram experiment - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_grams_experiment) and all the stories about out of the body experiences have been equally inconclusive. So there is no proof of anything other than the physical brain providing the animating force.
    That is essentially an argument from ignorance fallacy.

    lack of evidence of the soul existing is not evidence that the soul does not exist. I mean hundreds of years ago science could not detect infrared light and yet it existed anyway.




    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    So itís hard to conclude that the idea of a soul is anything more than wishful thinking that requires an enormous amount of supporting ideas and concepts in order to make it a viable concept. That there is little evidence of the soul or for any of the supporting materials, one must conclude, based on all the facts at hand, that souls donít really exist beyond mere speculation and mainly for religious purposes.
    Not if one wants to avoid engaging in the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    The correct statement is it's hard to conclude anything at all about the soul and therefore we can't say if it exists or not.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Incorrect. Once could not say that the nile is not in the box, because. if the nile were in the box. then it would be in the box, and you would simply be wrong.. even if you are really suprised.
    If your contention really is that one cannot reasonably determine that a 4,100 mile river isn't inside a two-foot by two-foot by two foot sealed box, then I really can't continue this conversation.

    ---------- Post added at 11:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:15 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Agreed but just because there is no processor, it doesnít mean that the information isnít there.
    I think here's where we're getting sideways. An idea is processed information; information is just information. Without a means to process the information, it's just information. Matter, in its purest form, is simply information. As we probe the information, we discover all kinds of things; ideas are among those things. But if ideas are themselves truly immaterial, then they would have no relationship with the information (or matter) of which their composed.

  15. #32
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    The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    That is essentially an argument from ignorance fallacy.

    lack of evidence of the soul existing is not evidence that the soul does not exist. I mean hundreds of years ago science could not detect infrared light and yet it existed anyway.
    Sure but infrared light is consistent with our universe as we know it now. Thereís no magic savior theory to justify whether souls are a thing or not since we already know how brains work. Thereís little room for there to be any additional explanations, particularly one that smells made up and not even agreed upon.

    Souls are in the same category as miasma explaining diseases and has all the attributes of a poorly thought out idea to begin with: it doesnít even make any sense.

    Also, the burden is on those that claims souls to exist; itís not on me to prove they donít. And looking at the evidence put forward, even religions disagree so thereís little support even for the idea.

    The weight of all the evidence points to something made up. Just like dragons and gods. I will contend souls exist as a useful idea but beyond that, thereís too little support and too much controversy to take the idea seriously.

    The correct statement is it's hard to conclude anything at all about the soul and therefore we can't say if it exists or not.
    I disagree. Itís easy to conclude that everything we currently know is true points to the *likelihood* souls donít exist other than a unproven idea thatís being contested by everyone.

    I agree we canít be 100% sure, but I would hazard that weíre 99.999% sure. Itís certainly not a 50:50 split that you appear to be implying.
    Last edited by SharmaK; February 22nd, 2019 at 01:40 PM.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    If your contention really is that one cannot reasonably determine that a 4,100 mile river isn't inside a two-foot by two-foot by two foot sealed box, then I really can't continue this conversation.
    My contention is that you have significantly undermined logic, and any valid appeal to it. I think I have supported that.
    If for one reason or another you lack the desire to engage in that objection I totally understand. Your time is appreciated, and all I would ask to think on it..as I will ponder what you have said.
    Thanks for the exchange.
    To serve man.

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  18. #34
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    My contention is that you have significantly undermined logic, and any valid appeal to it. I think I have supported that.
    How? Where? As far as I can tell, your reasoning is something like:

    Because people depend on observation of the world to inform their logical intuitions, people cannot depend on observation of the world to inform their logical intuitions.

    Or

    Unless people are supernaturally endowed with logical intuition, people do not have logical intuition.

    I've watched you make this claim about accessing ideas for years, and to this day I have no idea what exactly the problem you're attempting to describe even remotely looks like.

    EDIT: I had a whole other response here, but I thought some more about it, and I think I might understand a little of what the difficulty is.

    I know that you're a subscriber to the idea that, unless God dictates morality, morality is completely subjective. It seems to me that your position on logic is, ultimately, more or less the same thing.

    Your position seems to be that unless God dictates the laws of logic, then logic is completely subjective.

    You spend a lot of time talking about how it's impossible for people to simply reach logical conclusions on their own, but those reasons are never very clear. You just say that there's some vague problem with people drawing conclusions through observation, but I've yet to see anyone even begin to understand your reasons why. It seems to me that the crux of our issue here is that I contend that being logical is simply a confluence of experiencing the world and thinking about it. Your contention seems to be that unless God commands access to logic in a person's mind somehow, then such access is impossible.

    I don't see a way past this problem, if this is your point of view.

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  20. #35
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Sure but infrared light is consistent with our universe as we know it now. There’s no magic savior theory to justify whether souls are a thing or not since we already know how brains work. There’s little room for there to be any additional explanations, particularly one that smells made up and not even agreed upon.
    If you are going to argue that science has determined what consciousness is well enough to conclusively say that its strictly a product of the physical brain, please support that. As far as I know, science has not answered that question conclusively.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Souls are in the same category as miasma explaining diseases and has all the attributes of a poorly thought out idea to begin with: it doesn’t even make any sense.
    I'd say you are shifting the burden here.

    If you are going to argue that the soul does not exist, then there is absolutely no reason to consider the arguments for the soul until you've provided support for your argument against it. So how flimsy the arguments are for the soul existing are irrelevant.

    I personally ignore those arguments and just ponder the issue of whether my consciousness will go on after I die. If it does go on, then I have a soul. If it doesn't, then I don't have a soul. And until someone can show me with solid logic or evidence that either proposition is correct, the issue remains unsettled.

    If all you have is just telling me that the "pro-soul" side don't have any good arguments or evidence, it doens't mean that the "no-soul" side is correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Also, the burden is on those that claims souls to exist; it’s not on me to prove they don’t.
    The burden of ANY argument is on the person who makes the claim. The very title of the thread is "The Soul does not exist" and the OP argues that. The burden is clearly on the position that the soul does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    And looking at the evidence put forward, even religions disagree so there’s little support even for the idea.
    Religions are pretty unanimous that there is life after death.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    The weight of all the evidence points to something made up. Just like dragons and gods. I will contend souls exist as a useful idea but beyond that, there’s too little support and too much controversy to take the idea seriously.
    Not bothering to take the notion seriously does not equate an argument against it existing.

    Again, I'm just looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death and have seen no solid evidence that it does or that it does not. And I have yet to see anything from you that would make me think that one side is more likely correct than the other.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I disagree. It’s easy to conclude that everything we currently know is true points to the *likelihood* souls don’t exist other than a unproven idea that’s being contested by everyone.
    I see nothing that leads to such a conclusion. I agree with you that no one has provided evidence that the soul exists but then I've seen no evidence that it hasn't either.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I agree we can’t be 100% sure, but I would hazard that we’re 99.999% sure. It’s certainly not a 50:50 split that you appear to be implying.
    Well, when neither side has any evidence, then they both have an equal amount of evidence.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    If something is immaterial, in what sense does it exist?
    Are you asking how energy or empty space, shapes, isomers or surfaces can exist? They are all immaterial.
    Last edited by eye4magic; February 22nd, 2019 at 05:15 PM.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.Ē --"The Mental UniverseĒ | Nature
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Are you asking how energy or empty space can exist?
    Energy exists.

    If by "empty" you mean "absolutely nothing" then the question is nonsensical. Because if "absolutely nothing" existed it would no longer be nothing would it?

    It is just like asking what is north of the north pole, by definition there is no where north of the north pole....

  23. #38
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    The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you are going to argue that science has determined what consciousness is well enough to conclusively say that its strictly a product of the physical brain, please support that. As far as I know, science has not answered that question conclusively.
    AFAIK, there has been no scientific proof that there are other explanations outside of the brain as far as consciousness is concerned; and most certainly NOTHING in the ballpark as a poorly defined one such as the soul. Outside of charlatans like Depak Chopra, I have no idea what you mean that science has explanations outside of the brain. If you have some proof of this doubt please forward it!

    I'd say you are shifting the burden here.

    If you are going to argue that the soul does not exist, then there is absolutely no reason to consider the arguments for the soul until you've provided support for your argument against it. So how flimsy the arguments are for the soul existing are irrelevant.

    I personally ignore those arguments and just ponder the issue of whether my consciousness will go on after I die. If it does go on, then I have a soul. If it doesn't, then I don't have a soul. And until someone can show me with solid logic or evidence that either proposition is correct, the issue remains unsettled.

    If all you have is just telling me that the "pro-soul" side don't have any good arguments or evidence, it doens't mean that the "no-soul" side is correct.
    It's not really my concept to prove, so it's not at all shifting the burden. What I *have* done is to point out that the idea doesn't make sense - your own description of what you think the soul is literally has no meaning: what do you even mean by "my consciousness will go on"? Where will it go on? How? What specifically is this "consciousness" that you're talking about anyway? And what happens to the current brain configuration that forms all your experiences? Where does it even go and how does it even get there? With the brain gone and the body dead and no energy, what else do you expect to happen other than your animated consciousness is gone!?

    So I'm telling you that the idea makes no sense and that any arguments trying to support it are flawed from the get-go. It is *much*, *much*, more likely that it's just an awful idea that doesn't pass basic muster.


    The burden of ANY argument is on the person who makes the claim. The very title of the thread is "The Soul does not exist" and the OP argues that. The burden is clearly on the position that the soul does not exist.
    Right, and I have laid out my arguments and all you have is an explanation of the soul that raises more questions than it answers, without even dealing with my original problems.

    My conclusion is wholly based on the soul being a terrible idea to begin with and that even the peddlars of the idea can't agree about it! Therefore, they have already failed the burden of plausibility, never mind proof.

    Religions are pretty unanimous that there is life after death.
    Not Buddhism as far as I know; and every other religion invents even more unsupported speculations and all different. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

    Not bothering to take the notion seriously does not equate an argument against it existing.
    I take is seriously as everyone else does. Even your own description doesn't really sound like anything more than just wishful thinking! If you're suggesting that a poorly thought out idea (see the OP, as well as your own description) isn't sufficient of an argument then I seriously don't know how low your bar is!

    Again, I'm just looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death and have seen no solid evidence that it does or that it does not. And I have yet to see anything from you that would make me think that one side is more likely correct than the other.
    This is just the same as saying whether the body survives death: we know it doesn't because the body has rotted. I have no idea how you expect an emergent property of something that is dead to continue existing. You're just not making much sense in your question. Please explain!

    I see nothing that leads to such a conclusion. I agree with you that no one has provided evidence that the soul exists but then I've seen no evidence that it hasn't either.
    My point is that you don't need to have evidence when the idea doesn't make much sense to begin with.

    Well, when neither side has any evidence, then they both have an equal amount of evidence.
    No, when one side makes no sense then they are in no way equal to the other which has more plausible explanations: i.e. a physical brain!
    Last edited by SharmaK; February 22nd, 2019 at 06:43 PM.

  24. #39
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus

    EDIT: I had a whole other response here, but I thought some more about it, and I think I might understand a little of what the difficulty is.

    I know that you're a subscriber to the idea that, unless God dictates morality, morality is completely subjective. It seems to me that your position on logic is, ultimately, more or less the same thing.

    Your position seems to be that unless God dictates the laws of logic, then logic is completely subjective.

    You spend a lot of time talking about how it's impossible for people to simply reach logical conclusions on their own, but those reasons are never very clear. You just say that there's some vague problem with people drawing conclusions through observation, but I've yet to see anyone even begin to understand your reasons why. It seems to me that the crux of our issue here is that I contend that being logical is simply a confluence of experiencing the world and thinking about it. Your contention seems to be that unless God commands access to logic in a person's mind somehow, then such access is impossible.

    I don't see a way past this problem, if this is your point of view.
    So the above is a pretty fair summary of an approach I have taken in other threads.
    My objection here is a little different though.
    My other threads are based on the wall between the abstract (as in immaterial) portion of ideas. akin to what semantics is to syntax in language. I posited that logic was transcendent in nature, and it takes a supernatural element to reach transcendent things.
    As opposed to here.
    Where I am taking your assertion that logic is not transcendent, but is a mental construct we create through observation of how the universe just so happens to be.
    Now, there has been a point of contention as to how to properly express that, but here my point is only to draw the distinction from my approach in other threads.
    this is not me arguing for how you ought to address logic, I am attempting to show a side effect of what your system is.

    A few things I am not saying.
    1) That we are not perceiving the universe correctly. That is to say, that if we observe that boxes don't contain the nile, we are not incorrect.
    2) That our mental construct of logic, doesn't explain how our universe generally works. IE that it is a good system of predicting and explaining.

    What I am doing is pointing out an inherent limit.
    That is, because it is a construct we are inventing about the universe, it is inherently NOT something that dictates how the universe must act.
    This is a direct contrast to logic being transcendent (IE immaterial laws that go beyond our observable universe).



    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    How? Where? As far as I can tell, your reasoning is something like:

    Because people depend on observation of the world to inform their logical intuitions, people cannot depend on observation of the world to inform their logical intuitions.

    Or

    Unless people are supernaturally endowed with logical intuition, people do not have logical intuition.

    I've watched you make this claim about accessing ideas for years, and to this day I have no idea what exactly the problem you're attempting to describe even remotely looks like.
    I hope the above clears this perception up.
    Think of this as a directional problem.
    Because logic is something that simply reflects our reality, it can not DICTATE what reality can and can't be to begin with.
    So, like the laws of gravity, we can correctly perceive them, we can correctly or generally apply it and predict with it. However because it is not transcendent property outside of ourselves and the universe, then it isn't necessary to be any specific way. the laws of gravity could have been different, and may very well be different than we perceive somewhere else in the universe.
    Same thing with logic.. only it has a more significant impact. I think I communicated what that impact is, and I hope here I have connected a few more dots.

    No doubt, i could misunderstand a basic element of what you have said. So I appreciate your patience.


    -------------------
    Story time, feel free to skip as it isn't relevant to the topic at hand
    ------------------

    When I was waiting tables, my co workers and I would discuss all sorts of things. Our conversations were thus broken up by the work, and I would often think a great deal. As I would work through the various problems, I would leave my co-worker on step one, then go and think of the topic out to steps 5,6, and 7. When we got back, i would pick up from point 7. Which means they generally didn't understand what I was saying unless they could connect the dots themselves. We do so many things without thinking about them, or realizing what we are doing. So as a young man it could be frustrating. One day, I did this to a particularly extreme degree, and one of my older and smarter co-works sort of just took a step back and asked a simple question. "How did you get there" or "How does that make sense?" Then I realized what I had been doing.. and what I still do.

    The point is, one of the things I have come to admire about you Dio, is your tendency to stop and ask "how does that make sense". Too often, and too easily we don't take the time to really try and get how other people got to where they are. Sure, it doesn't always make sense in the end, and it is as much an explanation of where they went wrong as how it logically follows. Yet, that ability to take a step back, and try to see the big picture is not common... even here on ODN. For that I am eternally grateful. Sprinkle in horrible grammar, and it is a monumental task indeed that you take up on a regular basis.

    /end story
    To serve man.

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  26. #40
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I posited that logic was transcendent in nature, and it takes a supernatural element to reach transcendent things.
    THIS is the crux. I sincerely appreciate you making that clear; all this time spent avoiding it has been incredibly frustrating for me in genuinely trying to understand what you're getting at, but now that it's out there, it's actually quite a relief. I've spent consideable time actually concerned that I'm simply not getting some important nuance in the conversation.

    First, you're making way more out of the term "abstract" than there is, and then supposing there's some important metaphysical barrier in there somewhere that requires divine intervention to breach. Second, you're also talking about something being "immaterial" in wildly loose terms and then weaponizing that to shore up appeals to the supernatural. *This is why I talked about the difference between your adjective usage of the term and my noun usage of the word "abstract". The difference matters quite a lot.

    You also talk about logic being "transcendent", as if it's something more than this world; I think you'd be hard-pressed to support that. For one thing, if the rules can change on the basis of someone's command - EVEN GOD'S - then the rules aren't transcendent - They are completely loose and fluid and subject to be whatever God says they are. Second, even if we had a complete and perfect book of every rule for every force that acts in our universe, that complete and perfect book STILL wouldn't transcend the universe in the sense that you mean; it would just describe it.

    Also, you say that if logic doesn't "dictate" the way the world is, then the world can be any kind of way. I don't understand how you're making this leap (except for your contention that God "commands" or "dictates" all things). It's as if you need to feel like these things are commanded in order for them to be authentic; they needed to be commanded so that the world could be as it is. I don't understand that at all (except for the caveat I just described). Applying a logical rule, or recognizing that a rule is true, isn't what MAKES the rule true; it is simply true. We might not know WHY it's true, but we do know that, as far as we can tell, it IS true. That's why in philosophy we call such things "brute" facts.

    There's nothing amazing about "abstracts". It's a collective term that refers to the names we give things in order to help us think about them; that's it. Just because some abstracts have broad applications doesn't mean there's some incredible supernatural component required to experience them or talk about them. "Height" and "weight" are "immaterial" in the way you use it, but there's nothing special about that. "Height" is an abstract we invented to think about how tall something is; "weight" is an abstract we invented to think about how heavy something is. I have height and weight, but that doesn't mean that I AM height and weight, nor does it mean that I need some supernatural component in order to experience height and weight; it's simply a fact of the universe that my body displaces space in certain ways, and a couple of the ways we can think about that is by talking about my "height" and my "weight".

    Look, as long as the argument boils down to "because God", this won't go anywhere; you know this as well as I do. As far as I can tell, your arguments are essentially something like:

    ~Logic is not a descriptor of the natural world, but rather, transcends nature "because God".
    ~We can't formulate abstracts on our own "because God".
    ~There's a wall between human understanding and logic "because God"

    It's all just another God argument.

    (Thanks for the story, by the way, and for the kind words. You're a good dude.)

    * Strangely, you objected to my explanation of adjectives/nouns as if I were making some kind of argument; I wasn't. I was telling you how nouns and adjectives work, and how it applies to our respective uses of the word "abstract". If you showed me how a doorknob works, I wouldn't say "You're begging the question!" because you're not making an argument. You're showing me how something works.

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