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  1. #41
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    I don't want to intrude into your interesting dialog with Dio too much and waited for his reply before responding to you here. I think he's identified the crux of theistic thinking vs non-theisitic thinking well and I wait with baited breath to see your next points.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Because logic is something that simply reflects our reality, it can not DICTATE what reality can and can't be to begin with.
    The "because God" type of reasoning makes sense (of sorts) when it comes from morality since morality is always subjective anyway; but I have to draw the line with logic since logic (and math) transcends everything, including God. After all, it doesn't make sense for God to make a stone he cannot lift, right? And he can't make 1 + 1 = 3, right?

    So logic doesn't reflect our reality: logic *IS* our reality - it absolutely dictates what is possible or not possible otherwise we'd be seeing blue square oranges.

    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.
    A science Law, such as the "Laws of Gravity" hold everywhere in the entire universe (or at least the observable one). It's a law because the it has never been seen to be broken across millions of observations and tests and actually sending stuff into space, out of our solar system. It doesn't behave differently anywhere in the universe! In fact, if we see odd behavior (such as in dark matter/energy), rather than changing the laws, we try and understand what new laws we need. Such is the import of calling something a Law in the first place.

    I have to echo Dio's point that you're unnecessarily adding the supernatural and ultimately God, when none of that is needed to fully understand the situation; but to take it a step further and make it a *requirement* and shift the hierarchy around has to be justified. Looking forward to see what you have to say!

  2. #42
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    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.
    Sorry, I wasn't intentionally hiding that primes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    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.
    I am struggling with this point a bit. Not as to understanding it, but as to seeing how it is being applied.
    .. so just a confession not a counter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    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.
    A few points.
    First, I do not subscribe that logic is dictated by God, so as to be dependent on his command.
    Second, I'm not making that case here. I'm pointing out what I believe is an apparent side effect.

    So, while I appreciate that there may be some challenges to my own system. There is no sense in saying "yea but you have the same problem" unless we first establish my objection as valid with your system. There still seems to be a bit of hit and miss as to what my objection is and how it applies to your own system. I would be very interested in exploring issues with a system of logic as it finds its roots in God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    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.
    That really just side steps my objection all together.
    I mean, we can say that gravity is what it is.. is just a "brute fact". Even if this is the only universe. On naturalism.. it would just be what it is. No explanation needed for why gravity doesn't have some other value.
    An appeal to brute fact does not actually counter my objection.

    Maybe think about it in terms of a "possible worlds" construct.
    I'm pointing out that you are expanding the realm of "possible world", because all would be possible by appeal to "brute fact".
    so if the nile is in a 2x2 box in some world.. it is as a brute fact,
    thus we can not exclude from our own world that as a valid possibility as a brute fact that we have yet to discover.

    You may find flaws in theists appeal to God, but at least it eliminates the nile in a box as a real possibility.
    The system you have set up, only makes it surprising maybe even mind blowing, but not actually impossible.

    If we are both appealing to logic, and your system allows for possible worlds that My system necessarily excludes.. then we have a fundamental problem for argumentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    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.
    So, while I appreciate that we may be at an inherent impasse with you claiming "brute fact" and me on the side of "because God".
    My concern is that your not really seeing the objection I have raised.
    Because if we appeal to the same kind of answer a kind of "god of the gaps" sort of thing. I can't criticize you for doing the same thing I am doing.. and vice versa.
    However, they must be sufficient to justify our appeals.

    I am arguing that your justification actually nullifies a valid appeal to logic. That is significant.
    I am not here arguing for an alternative, so I don't have the burden to defend "because God" here.
    There are some inaccuracies in your statements of my position that you are referencing.. but I don't think it is relevant here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus
    * 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.
    Well, I was responding to the validity of the distinction you were making. Noun Verb, adj.
    If it doesn't bring in a valid distinction, specifically one that brings the term into the realm of the physical and thus "real".
    then your objection wouldn't stand.
    To serve man.

  3. #43
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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!
    Shifting the burden. If you are arguing that science has conclusively determined that the soul does not exist (as in our consciousness does not continue to exist after the body dies), then please forward that proof.

    Otherwise, you have no supported argument that science has conclusively determined that the soul does not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    It's not really my concept to prove, so it's not at all shifting the burden.
    What??? You defined the concept of the soul in your OP. You said:

    1. An immaterial ďessenceĒ
    2. Immortal
    3. Provides the animating force behind a personís actions.

    THAT, for the purpose of the debate is what the "soul" is. And your argument, as directly stated in the OP, is that what you CLEARLY defined 1,2,3. does not exist. That is your argument you do indeed have the burden to support your argument that it does not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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!?
    That's just a bunch of red-herrings. I'm not arguing that the soul exists or that it is anything beyond what YOU described in the OP so asking me a bunch of questions about the soul IF it exists doesn't add up to anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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.
    The concept makes enough sense to you that you were able to accurately describe the soul in the OP. What you described pretty much corresponds to what people who believe in the soul thinks the soul is. And whether the idea "makes sense" to you is irrelevant. Your opinion on what does or does not make sense does not equate support for anything. Or if you are arguing that it objectively does not make sense, you will need to support that.

    And unless we are shifting the burden, the quality of the arguments FOR the soul existing are irrelevant.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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!
    Actually, pretty much everyone who believes in a soul agrees that it's pretty much that it's what you defined in the OP.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Not Buddhism as far as I know; and every other religion invents even more unsupported speculations and all different. Hardly a ringing endorsement.
    But again, they all agree that what is described in the OP exists.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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, shifting the burden.

    And it's also forwarding the argument from ignorance fallacy. How poor people's arguments are regarding the soul existing means nothing if they have no burden to support that the soul exists.. Either the soul exists or it does not. If someone makes a bad argument that the soul exists, then that just means that they have failed to support the notion that it exists and therefore there is no support that it exists. And a million people making bad arguments just equates the same thing - no support that the soul exists.

    But lack of support that the soul exists is NOT support that it doesn't exist. So to argue that people failing to support the soul existence is somehow evidence that it does not is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    This is just the same as saying whether the body survives death: we know it doesn't because the body has rotted.
    No, it's not the same. We KNOW the body rots and eventually decays to nothing (not literally nothing but you get the idea) because such a thing has been observed. There has been no such observation of a consciousness rotting away to nothing.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    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!
    What I'm referring to the thing you described in the OP continuing to exist after the body dies. A majority of the earth's population thinks that it does (and to be clear, I am not arguing that that means that they are correct). If you can't comprehend this concept, it's not my burden to help you understand it. And if you can't or won't understand it, you can't use that as a basis of support that the soul does not exist.

    You not understanding something does not mean that it doesn't exist.

  4. #44
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Shifting the burden. If you are arguing that science has conclusively determined that the soul does not exist (as in our consciousness does not continue to exist after the body dies), then please forward that proof.

    Otherwise, you have no supported argument that science has conclusively determined that the soul does not exist.
    Um, no - you can only determine truth based on knowledge we both know - you're basing your opinion on unproven speculations that you can't explain clearly, which is my original point!


    What??? You defined the concept of the soul in your OP. You said:

    1. An immaterial ďessenceĒ
    2. Immortal
    3. Provides the animating force behind a personís actions.

    THAT, for the purpose of the debate is what the "soul" is. And your argument, as directly stated in the OP, is that what you CLEARLY defined 1,2,3. does not exist. That is your argument you do indeed have the burden to support your argument that it does not exist.
    Um - no worming out of what you said. You're the one who decided to restate the problem. Now you explain it!

    That's just a bunch of red-herrings. I'm not arguing that the soul exists or that it is anything beyond what YOU described in the OP so asking me a bunch of questions about the soul IF it exists doesn't add up to anything.
    No it isn't. You said "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 exactly the path my OP was taking. The definition of the soul has problems and your own statements have problems. You're the one that's saying that you're "looking at the notion ..." so you have to explain your own position! If you can't even explain what you're arguing about then you're just proving my point that it's a nonsensical idea to begin with.


    The concept makes enough sense to you that you were able to accurately describe the soul in the OP. What you described pretty much corresponds to what people who believe in the soul thinks the soul is. And whether the idea "makes sense" to you is irrelevant. Your opinion on what does or does not make sense does not equate support for anything. Or if you are arguing that it objectively does not make sense, you will need to support that.

    And unless we are shifting the burden, the quality of the arguments FOR the soul existing are irrelevant.
    Stop trying to worm out of your own words. I have already addressed the problems with the definition in the OP. You added an additional statement as to why you engaged; again, you said you wanted to know whether "consciousness survives death". I am simply asking what do you even mean by that!

    Actually, pretty much everyone who believes in a soul agrees that it's pretty much that it's what you defined in the OP.
    I know and along with that is the idea that "consciousness survives death", which you stated is why you have engaged. So please answer the quest

    And it's also forwarding the argument from ignorance fallacy. How poor people's arguments are regarding the soul existing means nothing if they have no burden to support that the soul exists.. Either the soul exists or it does not. If someone makes a bad argument that the soul exists, then that just means that they have failed to support the notion that it exists and therefore there is no support that it exists. And a million people making bad arguments just equates the same thing - no support that the soul exists.

    But lack of support that the soul exists is NOT support that it doesn't exist. So to argue that people failing to support the soul existence is somehow evidence that it does not is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.
    Hold your horses, mate! We're not even ready to talk about evidence yet! We're still trying to agree on definitions of what the soul even is is. And you need to explain what you meant when you stated TWICE that the soul is "consciousness after death" since that is your stated reason why you engaged.



    No, it's not the same. We KNOW the body rots and eventually decays to nothing (not literally nothing but you get the idea) because such a thing has been observed. There has been no such observation of a consciousness rotting away to nothing.
    I don't understand the difference! We describe inanimate people has having "LOST" their consciousness - which is exactly what happens at death. It's literally been observed millions of times every time someone dies. What do you mean by the "a consciousness rotting away to nothing"? Please explain.

    What I'm referring to the thing you described in the OP continuing to exist after the body dies. A majority of the earth's population thinks that it does (and to be clear, I am not arguing that that means that they are correct). If you can't comprehend this concept, it's not my burden to help you understand it. And if you can't or won't understand it, you can't use that as a basis of support that the soul does not exist.

    You not understanding something does not mean that it doesn't exist.
    My point is that the idea doesn't make sense due to the flaws I've already stated. You appear to understand it very well and literally engaged in the thread to answer the question as to whether "consciousness survives death." Yet *you* haven't been able to explain what *you* mean by any of it: what do you mean that "consciousness" *survives death"? it's a pretty simple question, I don't understand why you keep avoiding it!

  5. #45
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    No it isn't. You said "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 exactly the path my OP was taking. The definition of the soul has problems and your own statements have problems. You're the one that's saying that you're "looking at the notion ..." so you have to explain your own position! If you can't even explain what you're arguing about then you're just proving my point that it's a nonsensical idea to begin with.
    Well, pretty much EVERYONE knows what "consciousness surviving death" means. You are the ONLY person I've ever encountered who seems to not know what it means.

    So your argument, as far as I can tell, is that you personally have a problem understanding what a commonly-understood concept means and therefore you personally find the notion to be nonsensical. I'm not inclined to explain it further because it's something that pretty much everyone (besides you I guess) understands which means either that you:

    1. Have some kind of deficiency that prevents you from comprehending something that pretty much everyone else understands

    or

    2. Setting some artificial bar of "adequately explained" as a debate tactic.

    Since you clearly are not stupid and was able to provide a pretty definition of "soul" in the OP, I'd say it's #2. And it's also shifting the burden to me - giving me a burden to meet in order to refute your argument that the notion is nonsensical. So I'm not going to let you shift the burden. And to help clear this up, I will retract any and all definitions of the soul that I provided in this debate and exclusively use the one provided in the OP. Which is:

    1. An immaterial “essence”
    2. Immortal
    3. Provides the animating force behind a person’s actions.

    So if you want to argue that the OP's definition is nonsensical, you may. But I am forwarding no other definitions of the soul at this time and therefore have no need to explain what I meant by an earlier description. What I said pretty much corresponds with what you posted in the OP so really, THAT'S what I meant (with "immortal" as the basis for "surviving death" for anything immortal would survive death).

    So can you support that what YOU described in the OP does not exist? IF so, please do. If not, then you argument that the soul does not exist fails for lack of support.

    And if you are going to argue that the definition that you provided is nonsensical, please provide a consistent and clear bar for when a concept is not nonsensical (for if no bar is set, then you can claim something is nonsensical no matter how well it's explained to you).



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I don't understand the difference! We describe inanimate people has having "LOST" their consciousness - which is exactly what happens at death. It's literally been observed millions of times every time someone dies. What do you mean by the "a consciousness rotting away to nothing"? Please explain.
    You equated the body with the consciousness. One we can observe rotting and the other we can't observe rotting. Since we can't observe the consciousness rotting in the same manner that we observe the body rotting, the argument that the same happens to both of them is not supported.
    Last edited by mican333; February 23rd, 2019 at 06:44 PM.

  6. #46
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Well, pretty much EVERYONE knows what "consciousness surviving death" means. You are the ONLY person I've ever encountered who seems to not know what it means.
    Actually, everyone has a different idea as to what it means. Since your own stated goal is to determine whether that happens then you must be able to explain it. What I think it means shows the idea is nonsense per my own OP.

    However, you stated a DIFFERENT conception of the soul from my OP - that of CONSCIOUSNESS, which isn't my word. It's yours. So explain!

    You equated the body with the consciousness. One we can observe rotting and the other we can't observe rotting. Since we can't observe the consciousness rotting in the same manner that we observe the body rotting, the argument that the same happens to both of them is not supported.
    Yes, because the brain is where consciousness resides, as is the body. When both are dead then there is no longer any consciousness. You're basically saying that the beating of a heart exists after death. What you're saying makes no sense. So you have to explain it.


    Also, this is not a debate "tactic" - you're the one that restated the OP as one where you are wondering if consciousness survives after death. So clearly you must have some conception of what that means to YOU, since it means different things depending on one's particular beliefs. For example, do you believe that animals have souls? Plants?

    The point in my OP is that the idea of the soul doesn't stand up to scrutiny and all you're doing is proving my point by not being able to clearly explain what you mean. Not only are you able to explain what is the after-death state, but you haven't said what consciousness even is. And when challenged with the reality of the brain body carrying the consciousness, you flee from the most obvious explanation towards something which you cannot explain!

    And since we're discussing debate tactics: surely it would be better for you to disprove my point that the soul doesn't make sense by explaining it!

  7. #47
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Actually, everyone has a different idea as to what it means. Since your own stated goal is to determine whether that happens then you must be able to explain it. What I think it means shows the idea is nonsense per my own OP.

    However, you stated a DIFFERENT conception of the soul from my OP - that of CONSCIOUSNESS, which isn't my word. It's yours. So explain!
    No, I did not state a different concept than what the OP says. The OP directly refers to an IMMORTAL (point 2) Animating Force (point 3). Consciousness is the "animating force" and since it's survives death it is "immortal".

    If my restatement of the OP's concept of the soul is at all different than what the OP says, you may take what the OP says over what I said. I am referring to the OP and any notion that I was referring to something different was a misunderstanding on your part which has now been explained.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Yes, because the brain is where consciousness resides, as is the body. When both are dead then there is no longer any consciousness.
    Please support that assertion.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    You're basically saying that the beating of a heart exists after death. What you're saying makes no sense. So you have to explain it.
    No, I did not say that a beating heart exists after death. Please explain how my argument says that.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Also, this is not a debate "tactic" - you're the one that restated the OP as one where you are wondering if consciousness survives after death. So clearly you must have some conception of what that means to YOU, since it means different things depending on one's particular beliefs. For example, do you believe that animals have souls? Plants?
    But everyone who believes in and conceives of a soul abides by what you wrote in the OP. And I forward no alternative definition nor have I stated a personal belief in the soul and therefore have no beliefs to offer regarding other possible aspects of the soul (such as whether animals or plants have them).



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    The point in my OP is that the idea of the soul doesn't stand up to scrutiny and all you're doing is proving my point by not being able to clearly explain what you mean.Not only are you able to explain what is the after-death state, but you haven't said what consciousness even is.
    I see you are conflating unable with unwilling. I made it very clear that I consider the demand that I explain the soul better to be shifting the burden tactic and I still believe that. So THAT is the reason why I am UNWILLING to "explain further" and therefore your position that I am unable to adequately explain the soul just because I haven't done it yet is not supported and therefore can't be used as evidence that people generally can't explain what the soul is to the point where it's no longer nonsensical.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    And when challenged with the reality of the brain body carrying the consciousness, you flee from the most obvious explanation towards something which you cannot explain!
    I'm not fleeing anywhere. The truth is you don't know my personal position on the issue. For the record, I CONSISTENTLY argue from the agnostic position and challenge theist and atheists alike when they make unsupported arguments. And I generally refuse to state my actual beliefs on these threads to discourage ad him arguments against me.

    So quite simply, all that is evident is that I'm challenging a particular argument that you are making because I fell that it's not supported. If you had made the opposite argument (the soul does indeed exist) with the same logical basis, I would likely have challenged that as well.

    The notion that I actually favor the concept that the soul exists over the concept that the soul does not exist is without merit. I guarantee if you read every word on this thread, you will not see a single argument from me that attempts to support that the soul exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    And since we're discussing debate tactics: surely it would be better for you to disprove my point that the soul doesn't make sense by explaining it!
    Or I could just refuse to let you shift the burden to me.

    If you want to argue that the concept of the soul is nonsensical, then the burden is yours to show that it's nonsensical. Saying "it's nonsensical so show me how makes sense" is CLASSIC shifting the burden.

    And besides that, even if I were to attempt to do it, you could continuously say I've not explained it well enough no matter how well I explain it. So it's not only shifting the burden but the burden has no clear bar of success.

    So my tactic is to just point out that you are shifting the burden. If you want to argue that it's nonsensical, then it's your burden to show that it is. If you can't or won't do that, then your argument fails. If you ask me to support that opposite conclusion before you've supported your argument, then I will refuse and instead point out that you are shifting the burden.
    Last edited by mican333; February 23rd, 2019 at 07:45 PM.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, I did not state a different concept than what the OP says. The OP directly refers to an IMMORTAL (point 2) Animating Force (point 3). Consciousness is the "animating force" and since it's survives death it is "immortal".

    If my restatement of the OP's concept of the soul is at all different than what the OP says, you may take what the OP says over what I said. I am referring to the OP and any notion that I was referring to something different was a misunderstanding on your part which has now been explained.
    I'm fine with going with a common understanding between us so let's stick with consciousness, since we must both agree what that is. Now, you need to explain how do you expect consciousness, which we know requires a brain, since without a brain there is no consciousness; how do you expect consciousness to exist without said brain. I don't think this is a difficult question for you to answer, depending on your religious tradition, if any; and if you don't have one then what are you arguing for!


    Please support that assertion.
    In the same way a dead body doesn't have a beating heart, neither does it have a functioning brain. What else is there?


    No, I did not say that a beating heart exists after death.

    I am saying that your argument that the body and consciousness are the same in terms of death is not supported. If you are going to say they are the same in all relevant manners, please support that assertion.
    I didn't say you did. But you did equally claim that a dead brain still has consciousness. There is NOTHING else for consciousness to exhibit itself in so the question of it surviving the body's death is nonsensical. If you're forwarding somewhere that said consciousness could go then go ahead!


    But the burden is not mine. It's yours. You are indeed engaging in the tactic of shifting the burden.

    Let me put it this way. If I made any argument that indicates that the soul exists or even what the soul is, I retract it. My ONLY argument is that you have not supported that the soul, as YOU defined it in the OP, does not exist.

    Asking me questions about what I think and so on does not forward the debate.
    I accept that your concession from the debate! And as I pointed out earlier, your lack of explanation, which CANNOT be erased, only withdrawn, shows that the idea is nonsense to you too!


    I see you are confusing unable with unwilling. As I said, I believe your tactic to demand that I explain the concept to you to be a shifting the burden tactic with an unspecified artificial bar of when it's adequately explained. Since I choose to not engage in your burden shifting tactic, I refuse to explain the concept.

    So your claim that I am unable to explain it is false and therefore proves nothing about my ability to explain the concept of a soul.
    Well, if you're unwilling to explain your own stated reason as to why you're agnostic, then I would have to retort that you're deliberately debating dishonestly. You have just made mockery of yourself if you can't even explain why you're agnostic to the idea!


    I'm not fleeing anywhere.

    At no point in this debate have I favored the concept that the soul exists instead of the concept that the soul does not exist. And if instead of the OP, you wrote, you instead argued that the soul does exist, I would challenge that argument (since it's likewise unsupported).
    You are fleeing from your own reasons - you said so yourself. Look back at what you wrote!


    Or I could just refuse to let you shift the burden to me.
    Of course the burden to explain your position is on YOU! Who else said TWICE that they're agnostic because they aren't swayed either way as to whether "consciousness survives death"! If that is your position then you have to explain it! And in doing so prove my point that the idea of the soul is nonsense.

    So are you now withdrawing that you're not swayed either way as well?

    If you want to argue that the concept of the soul is nonsensical, then the burden is yours to show that it's nonsensical. Saying "it's nonsensical so show me how makes sense" is CLASSIC shifting the burden.
    That's not what I am doing though! I'm not asking you how it makes sense. I am asking you to explain your OWN stance on the matter of "CONSCIOUSNESS SURVIVING DEATH", since it is YOU who stated being UNSWAYED either way about it!

    I'm NOT asking you to prove my point - I am asking you to explain your own position. It just happens that in doing so you prove my point, and you're constant dodging proves it!

    And besides that, even if I were to attempt to do it, you could continuously say I've not explained it well enough no matter how well I explain it. So it's not only shifting the burden but the burden has no clear bar of success.
    If that's the case then it's clear that you haven't thought through the topic deeply enough. Then I would suggest you disengage rather than pretending to be neutral about it!

    So my tactic is to just point out that you are shifting the burden. If you want to argue that it's nonsensical, then it's your burden to show that it is. If you can't or won't do that, then your argument fails. If you ask me to support that opposite conclusion before you've supported your argument, then I will refuse and instead point out that you are shifting the burden.
    All this meta-debating and second guessing doesn't do your case any good. It's baffling how quickly your own statements about your own agnosticism has collapsed upon itself! I would suggest you debate with truth and honesty and see where it leads.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    A few points.
    First, I do not subscribe that logic is dictated by God, so as to be dependent on his command.
    Second, I'm not making that case here.
    Ok, so you DON'T believe that logic is dictated by God, nor are you arguing that it is. Got it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I'm pointing out what I believe is an apparent side effect.
    ...

    An apparent side effect of what?

    Dude, you have to be more explicit than this.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So, while I appreciate that there may be some challenges to my own system. There is no sense in saying "yea but you have the same problem" unless we first establish my objection as valid with your system. There still seems to be a bit of hit and miss as to what my objection is and how it applies to your own system. I would be very interested in exploring issues with a system of logic as it finds its roots in God.
    Who on earth is claiming anything remotely like "Yea but you have the same problem"?

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That really just side steps my objection all together.
    I mean, we can say that gravity is what it is.. is just a "brute fact". Even if this is the only universe. On naturalism.. it would just be what it is. No explanation needed for why gravity doesn't have some other value.
    An appeal to brute fact does not actually counter my objection.
    WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTION?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Maybe think about it in terms of a "possible worlds" construct.
    I'm pointing out that you are expanding the realm of "possible world", because all would be possible by appeal to "brute fact".
    How does the act of pointing out a fact make all other things possible? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    so if the nile is in a 2x2 box in some world.. it is as a brute fact,
    thus we can not exclude from our own world that as a valid possibility as a brute fact that we have yet to discover.
    How does the act of pointing out a fact make all other things possible? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You may find flaws in theists appeal to God, but at least it eliminates the nile in a box as a real possibility.
    The system you have set up, only makes it surprising maybe even mind blowing, but not actually impossible.
    How does the act of pointing out a fact make all other things possible? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    If we are both appealing to logic, and your system allows for possible worlds that My system necessarily excludes.. then we have a fundamental problem for argumentation.
    How does the act of pointing out a fact make all other things possible? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So, while I appreciate that we may be at an inherent impasse with you claiming "brute fact" and me on the side of "because God".
    My concern is that your not really seeing the objection I have raised.
    WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTION? How does the act of pointing out a fact make all other things possible? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    I had to stop there because I don't have a clue what your objection is. I have no idea what you're talking about at this point.

  10. #50
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I'm fine with going with a common understanding between us so let's stick with consciousness, since we must both agree what that is. Now, you need to explain how do you expect consciousness, which we know requires a brain, since without a brain there is no consciousness; how do you expect consciousness to exist without said brain. I don't think this is a difficult question for you to answer, depending on your religious tradition, if any; and if you don't have one then what are you arguing for!
    My argument is that you have not supported that the soul does not exist.

    I argue as an agnostic, not a theist. At no point in this debate have I attempted to argue that the soul does indeed exist. I find both the positive and negative arguments for the soul to be unsupported and have said as much earlier in this debate.

    And please support that consciousness requires a brain.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    In the same way a dead body doesn't have a beating heart, neither does it have a functioning brain. What else is there?
    Possibly a consciousness that survives the death of the body and the brain. If you are arguing that consciousness does not survive that, please support that assertion.




    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I didn't say you did. But you did equally claim that a dead brain still has consciousness.
    I didn't claim that the death brain has consciousness. I promise you will find no such claim from me in any post on this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    There is NOTHING else for consciousness to exhibit itself in so the question of it surviving the body's death is nonsensical.
    That's not proven at all. There are plenty of alleged incidents of the consciousness "exhibiting itself" after the death of the body. Again, alleged.

    As possible examples:
    1. People claim to have been contacted by dead loved ones in spirit form
    2. People who have died and then were resuscitated claimed to have left their body and have had experiences.
    3. Young children have "remembered" past lives that, if the experiences were considered to be genuine, show that souls that have survived death in the past and were reborn.

    Again, I am not arguing FOR the soul existing after death and therefore am not arguing that any of these mentioned experiences are genuine. But I do forward that maybe they are (or maybe not) and until it is proven one way or another, we can't say for sure whether souls continue to "do things" after the body dies.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I accept that your concession from the debate! And as I pointed out earlier, your lack of explanation, which CANNOT be erased, only withdrawn, shows that the idea is nonsense to you too!
    But I made it clear that I am not refusing to explain due to an inability to explain but because I view the request as an attempt to shift the burden. So you can't reasonably consider it a concession.




    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Of course the burden to explain your position is on YOU! Who else said TWICE that they're agnostic because they aren't swayed either way as to whether "consciousness survives death"! If that is your position then you have to explain it! And in doing so prove my point that the idea of the soul is nonsense.

    So are you now withdrawing that you're not swayed either way as well?
    No. Nor do I need to. I don't need to explain why I'm an agnostic in order to hold that position than you need to explain why you are an atheist in order to take the atheist position.

    What position we take is the position we choose to take. No explanation required.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    That's not what I am doing though! I'm not asking you how it makes sense. I am asking you to explain your OWN stance on the matter of "CONSCIOUSNESS SURVIVING DEATH", since it is YOU who stated being UNSWAYED either way about it!

    I'm NOT asking you to prove my point - I am asking you to explain your own position. It just happens that in doing so you prove my point, and you're constant dodging proves it!
    No, you WERE asking me to explain what I believed "consciousness survives death" means and forwarded that if I can't, then that's evidence that the concept makes no sense.

    I have no need to explain why I hold a certain position in order to maintain it. Again, I haven't asked you why you are holding an atheist position.

    This issue just looks like a red herring.


    And the rest of your comments are impolite personal comments that will not responded to. Please be respectful in your debating.
    Last edited by mican333; February 23rd, 2019 at 09:31 PM.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Stealing from Dio's last technique here. It appears you cannot explain yourself and you're losing track of where we are in the debate. I'm not SHOUTING when in CAPS, I'm just emphasizing where you should focus your next responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    My argument is that you have not supported that the soul does not exist.

    I argue as an agnostic, not a theist. At no point in this debate have I attempted to argue that the soul does indeed exist. I find both the positive and negative arguments for the soul to be unsupported and have said as much earlier in this debate.
    Right, and you SAID:

    "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."

    "Again, I'm just looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death "

    EXPLAIN THOSE STATEMENTS OR CONCEDE THE DEBATE. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HOLD A NEUTRAL POSITION!?

    Possibly a consciousness that survives the death of the body and the brain. If you are arguing that consciousness does not survive that, please support that assertion.

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT: *a*
    CONSCIOUSNESS, which we know is of PROPERTY a LIVING brain, that "survives the death of the body and the brain"? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE if there is no life!? You're contradicting yourself. Are you disagreeing that the brain is where the memory lives, and where thoughts come from?

    I didn't claim that the death brain has consciousness. I promise you will find no such claim from me in any post on this thread.

    AGAIN: EXPLAIN YOURSELF: If the dead brain HAS NO CONSCIOUSNESS, THEN WHERE IS IT!?

    That's not proven at all. There are plenty of alleged incidents of the consciousness "exhibiting itself" after the death of the body. Again, alleged.

    As possible examples:
    1. People claim to have been contacted by dead loved ones in spirit form
    2. People who have died and then were resuscitated claimed to have left their body and have had experiences.
    3. Young children have "remembered" past lives that, if the experiences were considered to be genuine, show that souls that have survived death in the past and were reborn.

    Again, I am not arguing FOR the soul existing after death and therefore am not arguing that any of these mentioned experiences are genuine. But I do forward that maybe they are (or maybe not) and until it is proven one way or another, we can't say for sure whether souls continue to "do things" after the body dies.

    I AM NOT LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE! WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR PROOF OF THE SOUL, much less other people's. I AM LOOKING FOR AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT YOU MEAN BY "CONSCIOUSNESS SURVIVES DEATH":

    1. WHAT SURVIVES? A PERSON'S MEMORY? THEIR OPINIONS? THEIR EXPERIENCES? WHAT?
    2. DO ANIMALS HAVE SOULS?
    3. DO PLANTS?
    4. IF YOU CONCEDE THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS PART OF THE BODY, WHERE DOES IT ***GO*** WHEN THE BODY DIES?
    5. DO SOULS INTERACT AFTER DEATH?

    These are simple questions I have been asking for a while now in order to understand what you even mean by consciousness, and what do you even mean by survive after death.

    Every comment after this seems to be more focused on personal attacks and does not forward the debate and responding might send things spiraling in an unproductive and contentious direction so I choose to not respond to the rest of it. Please keep the debate

    Err - you're the one that are being evasive about your positions, and withdrawing statements as soon as your blunder is announced. And then you ad-hom *me* for getting you to clarify yourself as a debate tactic! YOU STOP IT FIRST!

  12. #52
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Right, and you SAID:

    "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."

    "Again, I'm just looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death "

    EXPLAIN THOSE STATEMENTS OR CONCEDE THE DEBATE. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HOLD A NEUTRAL POSITION!?
    What position I hold is kind of irrelevant to my argument. Here is MY ARGUMENT. I have said other things but I have ONLY ONE argument. And that argument is:

    PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM THAT THE SOUL DOES NOT EXIST.

    Whether I hold a pro-soul, anti-soul, or neutral position is completely irrelevant to the content of my argument. So trying to focus on such issue is basically a red herring and does not effect the actual content of the debate. Attacking my position on my personal characteristics (like whether I know what I'm talking about) is essentially engaging in an ad hom argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT: *a* [/FONT][/COLOR]CONSCIOUSNESS, which we know is of PROPERTY a LIVING brain, that "survives the death of the body and the brain"? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE if there is no life!? You're contradicting yourself. Are you disagreeing that the brain is where the memory lives, and where thoughts come from?


    I disagree that we do "know that" so...

    SUPPORT OR RETRACT that consciousness is the product of the living brain.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    [/COLOR][/FONT]
    AGAIN: EXPLAIN YOURSELF: If the dead brain HAS NO CONSCIOUSNESS, THEN WHERE IS IT!?
    I asked that you support that consciousness does not survive death. Asking me where the consciousness goes if it does survive death does not equate support. So again, please support that it does not survive death.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    [FONT=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif][COLOR=#4d5153]
    I AM NOT LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE! WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR PROOF OF THE SOUL, much less other people's. I AM LOOKING FOR AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT YOU MEAN BY "CONSCIOUSNESS SURVIVES DEATH":

    1. WHAT SURVIVES? A PERSON'S MEMORY? THEIR OPINIONS? THEIR EXPERIENCES? WHAT?
    2. DO ANIMALS HAVE SOULS?
    3. DO PLANTS?
    4. IF YOU CONCEDE THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS PART OF THE BODY, WHERE DOES IT ***GO*** WHEN THE BODY DIES?
    5. DO SOULS INTERACT AFTER DEATH?

    These are simple questions I have been asking for a while now in order to understand what you even mean by consciousness, and what do you even mean by survive after death.
    I could have sworn that we cleared this issue up. I am strictly abiding by the definition of "soul" provided in the OP (and that was what I was referring to when I referred to consciousness surviving death) so THAT'S what I mean. I mean what's in the OP. If the OP's definition of "soul" doesn't answer those questions, then I have no answer to the questions.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    It seems to me that the only reason the question of the soul is taken seriously by anyone is because some people believe in the supernatural (and whatever that's supposed to mean). By all accounts, consciousness is a function of the brain. People tend to associate consciousness with the "soul", so if the idea is that the "soul" is the continued consciousness of a person after their brain dies, then of course there's no such thing. Consciousness doesn't go on in a dead brain any more than metabolizing food goes on in a dead digestive tract. Dead eyes don't see; dead lungs don't breathe; dead tongues don't speak; dead brains don't think.

    Of course, if someone decides to add a "spirit" element to any of these, suddenly and inextricably, we are thrown into the world of disproving a negative ('How do KNOW there's not an immaterial/immortal digestive tract that metabolizes spirit-food after you die? Hmmmm??') and thus left with nothing more powerful than an agnostic stance. No, we CAN'T say for sure that the spirit-world isn't overflowing with spirit-guts metabolizing ethereal spirit-food for our spirit-consciousness when we die.

    But is there any reason to take such questions seriously, given what we DO know about alive things as compared to dead things? When we ask "Is there such thing as a soul?", are we even asking the right question?

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    What position I hold is kind of irrelevant to my argument. Here is MY ARGUMENT. I have said other things but I have ONLY ONE argument.
    Not so fast, are you now retracting what you earlier claimed TWICE that youíre looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death?



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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    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.
    It is not self-defeating. I make no appeal to logic. Logic is simply something we use to describe reality. We see how the universe is, and we say, ah, well one thing cannot be another thing because obviously, it isn't. Logic appeals to reality, not the other way around.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Not so fast, are you now retracting what you earlier claimed TWICE that you’re looking at the notion of whether consciousness survives death?
    No, I'm not.

    Now let's get back to my ACTUAL argument.

    SUPPORT OR RETRACT YOUR CLAIM THAT THE SOUL DOES NOT EXIST.

    ---------- Post added at 10:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:27 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    It seems to me that the only reason the question of the soul is taken seriously by anyone is because some people believe in the supernatural (and whatever that's supposed to mean).
    Or people wonder what happens to their consciousness after they die. If one holds that they honestly don't know if the consciousness continues instead of winks out of existence, then they have to consider that the soul (the part that goes on) exists.

    As far as "supernatural" goes I agree with your comment "whatever that's suppose to mean". The word is somewhat meaningless in the terms of this debate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    By all accounts, consciousness is a function of the brain.
    As far as I know, that is an open question. I have yet to find a theory that consciousness is restricted to the material brain as something that is generally accepted by science. I imagine that many scientists may think that's the case but it's not an accepted scientific fact as far as I know.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    People tend to associate consciousness with the "soul", so if the idea is that the "soul" is the continued consciousness of a person after their brain dies, then of course there's no such thing. Consciousness doesn't go on in a dead brain any more than metabolizing food goes on in a dead digestive tract. Dead eyes don't see; dead lungs don't breathe; dead tongues don't speak; dead brains don't think.

    Of course, if someone decides to add a "spirit" element to any of these, suddenly and inextricably, we are thrown into the world of disproving a negative ('How do KNOW there's not an immaterial/immortal digestive tract that metabolizes spirit-food after you die? Hmmmm??') and thus left with nothing more powerful than an agnostic stance. No, we CAN'T say for sure that the spirit-world isn't overflowing with spirit-guts metabolizing ethereal spirit-food for our spirit-consciousness when we die.
    But then I argue that the agnostic stance is what we SHOULD take and the OP's position that the soul does not exist does not hold up.

    And I trust science's ability to eventually get to the truth of EVERYTHING so if it's a fact that there is no soul, if science advances far enough, we will eventually discover that that is true. We will know exactly what consciousness is and if it doesn't survive the body's death, we will know that as well. So in that situation you would indeed have an answer to the question "How do you know that the soul doesn't go on?" If we have the known facts, we can prove a negative. We can answer, for example, "how do you know the Earth isn't flat". We don't have to be agnostic on the shape of the earth because we have the facts to show that it's round and not flat.

    So science can, one day, answer the question of whether the soul exists. It just hasn't answered that question yet.




    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    But is there any reason to take such questions seriously, given what we DO know about alive things as compared to dead things? When we ask "Is there such thing as a soul?", are we even asking the right question?
    I suppose perhaps a better question (although it's essentially asking the same thing) is what happens to our consciousness when we die.

    And "I don't know" seems a fair answer.

    And if we factor in such things as the near death experience where some people who have died and been resuscitated have described experiences of leaving their body and traveling to towards a light and/or visiting previously dead loved ones and such, I don't think one is being unreasonable to consider this as a reason to think that perhaps the soul does leave the body upon death. That's not to say that this is hard evidence (since it's all ultimately anecdotal) but if someone is seriously looking at the issue, it's not unreasonable to factor this phenomena in.

    If you personally want to discard it, fair enough. But if others want to factor it in, I don't see why they should not and therefore give the notion some level credibility.

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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, I'm not.
    Then please explain your words! Since you have CHOSEN to reveal your OWN goal then you should explain what you mean by them.

    My OP states my problems with the idea of the soul not making sense and you are proving that by being unwilling to explain what your own stated goal is by suggesting that CONSCIOUSNESS, your word, SURVIVES *DEATH*, even though we ALL AGREE that a DEAD body is inanimate.

    So explain what you mean by SOMETHING that REQUIRES an animate body to EXPRESS ITSELF, SURVIVING without said body!



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    ---------- Post added at 09:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As far as I know, that is an open question. I have yet to find a theory that consciousness is restricted to the material brain as something that is generally accepted by science. I imagine that many scientists may think that's the case but it's not an accepted scientific fact as far as I know.
    This is arguing from ignorance. It is absolutely an accepted scientific fact that the brain is where consciousness resides. Since I have challenged you on this earlier: [c]SUPPORT OR RETRACT THAT THERE ARE THEORIES SAYING THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS OUTSIDE OF THE BRAIN[/c]

    And if we factor in such things as the near death experience where some people who have died and been resuscitated have described experiences of leaving their body and traveling to towards a light and/or visiting previously dead loved ones and such, I don't think one is being unreasonable to consider this as a reason to think that perhaps the soul does leave the body upon death. That's not to say that this is hard evidence (since it's all ultimately anecdotal) but if someone is seriously looking at the issue, it's not unreasonable to factor this phenomena in.
    Oh Jeez. Seriously!?




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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Or people wonder what happens to their consciousness after they die. If one holds that they honestly don't know if the consciousness continues instead of winks out of existence, then they have to consider that the soul (the part that goes on) exists.
    Right, but that goes for pretty much any attribute once someone assigns a possible supernatural element to it. Consciousness is the only emotionally powerful experience people have, and it's still insulated by a remaining gap in understanding; some people need to feel like their consciousness must be something more than the sum of its parts. But there are other tools the body uses that inform our experience, yet you don't see scientific institutions twisting themselves in knots over the question of whether, for example, eyes continue to see after death; if ears continue to hear after death. Our senses inform our experience more than anything, yet people gravitate to the one remaining element of human biology not quite yet understood well enough to definitively rule out a vaguely defined vestige of spooky metaphysics. I can't help but think that that's not a coincidence. But then, that's just my opinion, which doesn't matter all that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    As far as I know, that is an open question. I have yet to find a theory that consciousness is restricted to the material brain as something that is generally accepted by science. I imagine that many scientists may think that's the case but it's not an accepted scientific fact as far as I know.
    That's a completely fair observation; I retract the part of my statement that says "By all accounts" - that's too sweeping. That said, it certainly doesn't appear that the trajectory of cognitive science is leading towards consciousness that continues after death.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But then I argue that the agnostic stance is what we SHOULD take and the OP's position that the soul does not exist does not hold up.
    Oh, I agree there. My contention is that this is trivially true, however, because the only reason people take such questions seriously is because someone decided to make it a supernatural question. To my eye, no one gives a crap about questions about what human characteristics persist after death until someone attaches a supernatural component to them. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe there's some movement out there that concerns itself with whether some people remain spiritually lactose intolerant after death, but I can't say I've ever heard of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I suppose perhaps a better question (although it's essentially asking the same thing) is what happens to our consciousness when we die.

    And "I don't know" seems a fair answer.
    It IS fair; we're in agreement here.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And if we factor in such things as the near death experience where some people who have died and been resuscitated have described experiences of leaving their body and traveling to towards a light and/or visiting previously dead loved ones and such, I don't think one is being unreasonable to consider this as a reason to think that perhaps the soul does leave the body upon death. That's not to say that this is hard evidence (since it's all ultimately anecdotal) but if someone is seriously looking at the issue, it's not unreasonable to factor this phenomena in.

    If you personally want to discard it, fair enough. But if others want to factor it in, I don't see why they should not and therefore give the notion some level credibility.
    Well, lots of people have claimed to have seen Elvis and Howard Hughes, too. Lots of people have claimed God personally told them to do horrific things. I agree that, for someone investigating these things, it's perfectly reasonable to factor these things in. And, it's also fair for someone investigating these things to give the notions some credibility. But it's not unreasonable for anyone NOT investigating these things to NOT take such things seriously. I'm not opposed to people taking such things seriously; have at it.

  19. #59
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    Re: The soul does not exist

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Then please explain your words! Since you have CHOSEN to reveal your OWN goal then you should explain what you mean by them.[

    My OP states my problems with the idea of the soul not making sense and you are proving that by being unwilling to explain what your own stated goal is by suggesting that CONSCIOUSNESS, your word, SURVIVES *DEATH*, even though we ALL AGREE that a DEAD body is inanimate.

    So explain what you mean by SOMETHING that REQUIRES an animate body to EXPRESS ITSELF, SURVIVING without said body!
    First off, I never claimed that the soul requires an animate body to express itself.

    But when it comes to what a soul is, I am referring to what the OP says -

    1. An immaterial “essence”
    2. Immortal
    3. Provides the animating force behind a person’s actions.

    Point 2, you may note, is "immortal" which means that it survives no matter what so of course if the body dies, it still survives. And also note that there is nothing in the OPs definition about requiring an animate body to express itself.

    My position regarding what a soul is that it is no more and no less than what is defined in the OP. If you believe that I have defined the soul differently in other portions of the debate, I hold that you misunderstood what I was saying and now that I have pointed out that I meant what the OP says, this is now cleared up. You now know what I mean.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    This is arguing from ignorance. It is absolutely an accepted scientific fact that the brain is where consciousness resides.
    I didn't say otherwise. I said "I have yet to find a theory that consciousness is restricted to the material brain as something that is generally accepted by science."

    That is not the same thing as saying that consciousness resides in the brain while a person is alive. I don't challenge that notion at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Since I have challenged you on this earlier: [c]SUPPORT OR RETRACT THAT THERE ARE THEORIES SAYING THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS OUTSIDE OF THE BRAIN[/c]
    I didn't say there was. As far as I know, there is no accepted scientific theory that says that consciousness is restricted to the material mind nor is there one that says that consciousness does exist outside of the material mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Oh Jeez. Seriously!?
    Sure. Like I said, it's not hard evidence but it's not unreasonable for someone to take it seriously enough to factor into their beliefs. If you don't, fair enough. If you are saying that no one else should, I see no reason to agree with you.

  20. #60
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    The soul does not exist

    First of all. Sorry for the tone of the last couple of posts but you really have to stick to what you said. To not do so makes dialog difficult and if your whole point is to dishonestly retract true statements about your own position then letís stop.

    The reason I am pursuing you is NOT to have you do the work for me but to force you to understand my point that the idea is nonsensical. The universe of possibilities arenít really massive so we will quickly get to the point where the idea of the soul has no meaning beyond wishful thinking supported by fantasy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I am referring to what the OP says -

    1. An immaterial ďessenceĒ
    2. Immortal
    3. Provides the animating force behind a personís actions.

    Point 2, you may note, is "immortal" which means that it survives no matter what so of course if the body dies, it still survives.
    The thing is I donít know what immortal means - thatís my point! Immortality is a nonsensical term that has no meaning since the universe isnít even infinitely old: so how can anyone even make such a statement!

    To your point though, if the soul is embued into the body at birth, there still has to be the question as to what happens to it after death: where does it go? What does it carry with it - memories and experiences and reflexes from the brain? Do animals have souls too? Or plants and other living things? These have to be answered when claiming that said soul is supposed to be taken seriously, and depending on your religious viewpoint, youíd have an opinion on the matter. So what is your religious tradition?

    My position regarding what a soul is that it is no more and no less than what is defined in the OP. If you believe that I have defined the soul differently in other portions of the debate, I hold that you misunderstood what I was saying and now that I have pointed out that I meant what the OP says, this is now cleared up. You now know what I mean.
    I didnít mistake anything - I hate that you appear to be holding a neutral position on something which youíre not willing to explain, in which case, there can be no dialog. It is through dialog that the idea of the soul is exposed as fantastical and poorly thought out. If you have no thoughts on it then you cannot have a position, for, against or neutral!

    I didn't say otherwise. I said "I have yet to find a theory that consciousness is restricted to the material brain as something that is generally accepted by science."

    That is not the same thing as saying that consciousness resides in the brain while a person is alive. I don't challenge that notion at all.
    Iím glad we agree that consciousness resides in the brain. So where does it go when the brain is no longer there? As Dio hilariously pointed out, why canít there be the equivalent of digestive tracts processing imaginary food after death? The idea of a heartbeat surviving death equally makes no sense.

    And it all makes no sense because the ONLY manifestation of consciousness, digestion and blood flow is within a physical living body. Without the body, if youíre speculating that such activity can operate outside of the body, you are bound to explain what and how - otherwise, youíre not providing basic support to what youíre purporting to be agnostic to!


    I didn't say there was. As far as I know, there is no accepted scientific theory that says that consciousness is restricted to the material mind nor is there one that says that consciousness does exist outside of the material mind.
    Other than arguing from ignorance here - the only scientific theories are restricted to the material mind: thereís nothing else that has been shown to exist so youíre appealing to theories that literally donít even exist. If thatís all you have then you have failed to support your position of agnosticism.

    Youíre weighing the potential for some magical scientific theory to appear versus the magical poorly thought out ideas from the worldís religions. How about sticking with what we know to hold a position rather than holding out for something that is unlikely to materialize!

    Sure. Like I said, it's not hard evidence but it's not unreasonable for someone to take it seriously enough to factor into their beliefs. If you don't, fair enough. If you are saying that no one else should, I see no reason to agree with you.
    You donít have evidence though! Youíre literally ignoring the actual evidence of the material mind and holding out for some pretend evidence that you cannot even explain! Thatís worse than the magical thinking of religions: at least theyíve thought out their positions over thousands of years.

    Youíre deliberately skewing your thinking by pretending to be scientific and assuming that at some point some WHOLE universe of existence that will be rigorously proven. Is it really rocket science to see that youíre engaging in a massive fantasy that has zero chance of happening?



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