Author Topic: Questions for theists about souls  (Read 1995 times)

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Offline kaziglu bey

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Questions for theists about souls
« on: December 23, 2012, 08:26:03 PM »
1. Do you believe that you have a soul that survives death?
2. If you answered yes to #1, where is this soul currently located? (Be specific)
3. How is this soul affixed to the body while you are alive?
4. By what means does it become disconnected from the body at the point of death?
5. Do animals have souls? If no, why not?
6. By what means do we obtain this soul? Why is it not described in any scholarly work regarding the conception of human beings?
7. Where is our soul before we are conceived?Is it created out of "nothing"? What is it created out of?

I think that should do for now. I will be interested to see what answers we get.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Nick

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 11:22:09 PM »
What if you are a twin attached at birth?  What if you get a transplant?  What if you die and are brought back later on?  What if we develop artificial life?  Would I be a better dancer if I had soul?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline TheSadCat

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2012, 01:09:04 AM »
In my experience, this sort of conversation starts with the question, "Do we have souls?" Then someone mentions past lives, then the word "Dualism" is thrown around a couple of times, then everyone gets confused while those who do believe in souls continue on. Finally, some guy says "This is all well and good, but there is nothing that supports the existence of a soul." Then everyone leaves, sort of miffed that they wasted two hours of their lives.

I hope your approach is more entertaining.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2012, 03:56:25 AM »
#8.....Is there a difference between the soul and the intelligence/character of the human shell?

For example: if a person sustains severe brain damage that dramatically alters their character or intellect, does that mean:

a) The soul sustained equal damage to the brain and is changed in exactly the same way?
b) The soul was not damaged, but parts of it are thereafter "locked off" due to the physical damage?
c) Some other option?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Nick

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2012, 08:01:48 AM »
There must be a soul otherwise why would the devil want it so bad? Think people!!! ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2012, 08:50:46 AM »
Nick and Anfauglir, great questions! Those are indeed some of the more sticky problems that are faced with the whole "soul" thing. In order for it to be an explanation for ANYTHING, it first has to itself be explainable, and it must actually explain why something happens. The "soul" concept adds absolutely nothing to our understanding of the universe and is not useful in any way except to exploit people through fear and ignorance. Hardly seems like we need a divine author to write that story.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 08:53:00 AM »
SadCat, I hope so too. Rather than get into some tedious metaphyscial argument about souls, I would rather ask the kinds of questions that would be asked of any scientific explanation. Evidence? How does it work? What does it do? Where is it located? How is our understanding of the world furthered by this, and is there a better explanation? If someone KNOWS that they have a soul that survives after death, then they had better be prepared to demonstrate the veracity of that claim. Just like a scientist would.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline jetson

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 09:04:19 AM »
In my experience, this sort of conversation starts with the question, "Do we have souls?" Then someone mentions past lives, then the word "Dualism" is thrown around a couple of times, then everyone gets confused while those who do believe in souls continue on. Finally, some guy says "This is all well and good, but there is nothing that supports the existence of a soul." Then everyone leaves, sort of miffed that they wasted two hours of their lives.

I hope your approach is more entertaining.

Welcome to the forum! 

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 02:36:09 PM »
Good and evil must battle over something of yours that is timeless,why not a soul. Question,if Satan is rebelling against God what interest does he have in your soul? Why is God interested in it,if he has no interest in you unless you submit he is not unlike a dictator who murders descender's in his regime

 God does not even have an interest in Satan,why would he care about 2 billion Christians souls? Unless he wants to silence those who speak out against his dictatorship.
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Offline mhaberling

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 05:43:14 PM »
1. Do you believe that you have a soul that survives death?
2. If you answered yes to #1, where is this soul currently located? (Be specific)
3. How is this soul affixed to the body while you are alive?
4. By what means does it become disconnected from the body at the point of death?
5. Do animals have souls? If no, why not?
6. By what means do we obtain this soul? Why is it not described in any scholarly work regarding the conception of human beings?
7. Where is our soul before we are conceived?Is it created out of "nothing"? What is it created out of?

I think that should do for now. I will be interested to see what answers we get.

it is a very interesting question... first off i recognize that a soul may be an illusion created by the split uf consiousness and other brain functions... if a soul does exist it implies a metaphysical presence and is probably created at the moment consiousness is reached
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 10:41:59 PM »
it is a very interesting question...
That was 7 questions.
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first off i recognize that a soul may be an illusion created by the split uf consiousness and other brain functions...
If it may be that, then it is possible that there is a natural explanation of the phenomenon we describe as "soul". If there is a natural explanation, a supernatural one is not helpful or meaningful in any way.   
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if a soul does exist it implies a metaphysical presence and is probably created at the moment consiousness is reached
But you just got done saying that it's possible that the soul is simply an illusion created by our brains. Now you are saying that it implies "a metaphysical presence" by which I assume you mean some kind of spiritual, supernatural quality. Which one is it? And if a "soul" is created the moment consciousness is reached, isn't it then destroyed when consciousness ends?

Oh, and exactly which of these seven questions were you attempting to answer?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Dominic

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 12:49:45 AM »

Hi Kaziglu

Your questions assume a physical (material) paradigm - ie that physical objects are fundamental and any 'spirit' is either some subset of this physical world or is merely superstition.

Most religions however assume a spiritual paradigm - that spirit is the more fundemental reality and that physical reality is a subset of that spiritual existence.

I would add that the best way to understand spirit for the non religious is 'consciousness'.

Questions presented within one paradigm may not make sense in the other paradigm.  So for instance 'where is the soul' is a question that only makes sense in the physical paradigm.

In the spiritual paradigm, the question might become where is the physical world within consciousness ie the other way around ?  That question is not difficult for religions because 'where' in time and space loses its significance within a spiritual reality (ie within consciousness).

[By 'paradigm' I mean a worldview or underlying beliefs (about the nature of reality)]


Offline mhaberling

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2012, 01:32:30 AM »
That was 7 questions.
Thank you, your correction is helpful??

If it may be that, then it is possible that there is a natural explanation of the phenomenon we describe as "soul". If there is a natural explanation, a supernatural one is not helpful or meaningful in any way. 
Thats quite a bold statement you make there, Think about what you are saying... There are two unconfirmed explanations put in front of you and you immediately discredit one simply because of the existence of the other. Question for you, what implications of a soul make you reject it so quickly???

But you just got done saying that it's possible that the soul is simply an illusion created by our brains. Now you are saying that it implies "a metaphysical presence" by which I assume you mean some kind of spiritual, supernatural quality. Which one is it? And if a "soul" is created the moment consciousness is reached, isn't it then destroyed when consciousness ends?

Oh, and exactly which of these seven questions were you attempting to answer?

I attacked the idea from both sides... If a soul does exist then it implies a metaphysical presence. And on it being destroyed with consciousness, why would it imply that?

Oh and I'm pretty sure my first post answered 5, 6, and 7. 
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2012, 10:52:21 AM »
Thank you, your correction is helpful??
Glad to be of service.

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Thats quite a bold statement you make there, Think about what you are saying... There are two unconfirmed explanations put in front of you and you immediately discredit one simply because of the existence of the other.
What? How is that what you took out of what I said? If we have two possible explanations for a phenomena (say, lightning) and one method explains the phenomena in natural terms, and can be demonstrated to be an effective explanation (in other words, electrical discharge whereas the other method says "don't know, must be magic!" (Thor/Zeus/God controls the heavens and the storms) it's hardly a bold statement to go with the explanation that does not involve magic.
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Question for you, what implications of a soul make you reject it so quickly???
 
Not really even sure what is being asked here but I'll guess. First you started by saying that a soul could have a natural explanation, i.e. the manifestation of our consciousness/awareness resulting from a very complex series of chemical reactions and nerve firings. No magic required. But then you want me to reject the explanation that does not include magic, even though it is a useful, meaningful, observable explanation, in favor of an explanation that amounts to "It must be magic!" .  One of these explanations is parsimonious and passes the Occam's razor test.

Therefore I assert that the "soul" is merely the sum total of the more abstract functions of our brain activity. There is NO evidence to suggest otherwise. Believers desperately want to think that they have a soul, that is a part of their consciousness not dependent upon the physical body which can survive death. There is no evidence of this AT ALL. As Christopher Hitchens once said, "we don't have bodies, we are bodies." As far as rejection of the "soul" i don't reject that each person has a unique personality and their own thoughts, but I also don't take this to mean that I somehow exist in spite of myself.
 
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I attacked the idea from both sides... If a soul does exist then it implies a metaphysical presence. And on it being destroyed with consciousness, why would it imply that?
Dear god what a mess..... If a soul, such as the one you are talking about, exists, then it may indeed imply a metaphysical presence. But there is no evidence at all, not one teeny tiny infinitesimally miniscule shred of evidence to suggest that such a soul exists. Indeed, the very nature of the "soul" you describe would mean that it is, by definition, undetectable. If you disagree, then please show me on a human anatomy chart where the soul is located. Please explain to me what role this "soul" provides in our lives and our world. Please explain to me how there are animals that can live twice as long as us without one of these special souls. If your type of soul exists, could you explain to me how and why the universe operates exactly as it would if your hypothesis were not true?

And, you suggested that the soul is imparted on an individual at the moment it gains consciousness. Why WOULDN'T we conclude that this soul ceases to exists when consciousness ends? You can't tell me that having a bullet put through your head wouldn't affect at all your ability to function. Of course it would, because it would severely alter your state of consciousness. Similarly, powerful psychoactive drugs such as LSD or peyote can alter our state of consciousness, does that mean that our "soul" is actually experienced a pink elephant dinner theater? No. Our brains can be deceived, therefore our consciousness isn't even always right.
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Oh and I'm pretty sure my first post answered 5, 6, and 7.

You might be able to convince yourself that you somehow provided "an answer". However your "answers" have not added a single bit to my understanding of what a soul is and how it operates as pertains to the given questions. Just because you can string some words together into a semi coherent sentence does not mean that those words answer the actual question. It would be like if you asked me "What time is it?" and I said "Green" and you said "But you didn't answer my question!" and I said "Yes I did! I said the time is green". Your answers here are as good as telling me that the time is green, because I still don't know anything more about a soul than I did prior to your post.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2012, 04:56:22 PM »
OK,

I’ll be a theist; if a real one comes along, I’ll let them take over

1.   Do you believe that you have a soul that survives death?

Of course. This world is but a Vale of Tears and a preparation for the Life Eternal

 2. If you answered yes to #1, where is this soul currently located? (Be specific)
The same place as the mind and senses

3. How is this soul affixed to the body while you are alive?
The same way as the mind and senses

4. By what means does it become disconnected from the body at the point of death?
The same way as the mind and senses but in reverse – they die with you, the soul leaves the body.

5. Do animals have souls? If no, why not?
No, we eat them and it would be embarrassing to meet the cow you ate in heaven. Heaven does not need animals; we will be clothed in white raiment and be fed ambrosia or manna

6. By what means do we obtain this soul? Why is it not described in any scholarly work regarding the conception of human beings?
There is an infinite supply of souls in God’s care. There are many scholarly works about souls – the church is full of books about them.

7. Where is our soul before we are conceived? Is it created out of "nothing"? What is it created out of?
I just told you, can’t you read? Yes, it is created out of nothing – it has a very similar substance to the mind and senses.

I assume that, at this point, that you find the idea of a soul strange. You should not. How else is eternal life to be experienced? You imagine that there really are people floating on clouds with harps? Think of gravity and relative densities. Quite impossible.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 01:30:56 AM »

Kaziglu... I say you make a bold assumption because there is no discernible evidence for either side, and instead of magic I would prompt that a metaphysical would only ever assert that there is something you don't understand, not magic... Remember a couple hundred years ago a walkie talkie would have been "magic". Lack of understanding does not equate to not real... So I guess my question to use is what verifiable evidence to you have to assert that I should accept a lack of existence in souls.

On your last point, The bullet through your head point is based on the assumption that the soul has a physical presence or is dependent on the consciousness... Would you agree???
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2012, 01:58:39 AM »

Kaziglu... I say you make a bold assumption because there is no discernible evidence for either side.......

Rot.

Mhaberling, please define "soul".  Explain what - in your opinion - it is, and how it operates.  And then we can test for it.  I know you love the truth, so lets define what a soul is, and then run some falsifiable tests on that definition.  For example, look back at my question 8. 

Then I think we'll see where the evidence points us.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline mhaberling

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 02:07:38 AM »

Kaziglu... I say you make a bold assumption because there is no discernible evidence for either side.......

Rot.

Mhaberling, please define "soul".  Explain what - in your opinion - it is, and how it operates.  And then we can test for it.  I know you love the truth, so lets define what a soul is, and then run some falsifiable tests on that definition.  For example, look back at my question 8. 

Then I think we'll see where the evidence points us.
Ya i'm really not sure on the whole soul thing or I would have taken a harder stance... I can tell you what I think... I think there is a soul separate of neural consciousness... On you question number 8 since a soul is a metaphysical I don't think it can be damaged, I would say that a consciousness is able to interact with its soul but any damage to it would only affect its functioning... Does that help the discussion???? I kinda wish a theist with a harder more defined stance on this would enter the discussion...
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2012, 02:21:35 AM »

Kaziglu... I say you make a bold assumption because there is no discernible evidence for either side.......

Rot.

Mhaberling, please define "soul".  Explain what - in your opinion - it is, and how it operates.  And then we can test for it.  I know you love the truth, so lets define what a soul is, and then run some falsifiable tests on that definition.  For example, look back at my question 8. 

Then I think we'll see where the evidence points us.
Ya i'm really not sure on the whole soul thing or I would have taken a harder stance... I can tell you what I think... I think there is a soul separate of neural consciousness... On you question number 8 since a soul is a metaphysical I don't think it can be damaged, I would say that a consciousness is able to interact with its soul but any damage to it would only affect its functioning... Does that help the discussion????

Not in the least.  Still waiting for teh testable question that gives ANY credence to the "hey, maybe we have souls!" position.

Maybe we have gerumpahbah too!  That's.....a sort of invisible cat that follows us around.  I assert it exists, but I'm not going to define it in any way that we can test for it....therefore its existence is JUST as valid as its non-existance.


Gerumpahbah exist, mhaberling.  You agree with me, don't you?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2012, 09:00:37 AM »

Kaziglu... I say you make a bold assumption because there is no discernible evidence for either side,
OK suppose I accept this statement (I don't, but I'm being nice). Suppose you have two possible explanations for a phenomena, but neither one is supported yet by any evidence. One theory suggests that the phenomena can be explained using our knowledge of the natural world. The second theory suggests that this phenomena has an explanation outside of the natural order. Again, Occam's Razor suggests that we go with the explanation that makes the least assumptions. If your position is just that "Well there is no evidence for either of them, so I will go with the one that defies the natural order" is intellectually and scientifically bankrupt. But the real problem is that all of the evidence that we do have regarding human consciousness indicates that if we are not alive, we don't have consciousness.
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and instead of magic I would prompt that a metaphysical would only ever assert that there is something you don't understand, not magic...
And everything that we DO understand is because of science. Metaphysics is great for though exercise, but what you really seem to be implying by "metaphysical" is a spiritual, non corporeal consciousness that survives death, for which there simply is no evidence. Therefore your position is faith based since it assumes a non-natural explanation for a phenomena that already has a natural explanation.
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Remember a couple hundred years ago a walkie talkie would have been "magic".
And a couple hundred years ago most people believed that they possessed an immortal soul. A couple hundred years later, there is still NO evidence of this! Religion has had an AWFULLY long time to support even one if its claims, or to provide a meaningful and useful explanation for something, anything. It has never done this even once. Never has religion been able to provide a better explanation supported by evidence than science. Modern science, which really has only been around since Newton, so again a few hundred years, has done more in any given year to further our understanding of the universe than religion has done in millenia. Note that even someone as ridiculously mentally gifted as Newton still had his share of woo. Newton believed in alchemy, but do we remember him for his ability to turn lead into gold? No, because it didn't work, because it wasn't science based, it was wishful thinking based. Just like religion.
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Lack of understanding does not equate to not real...
But what you are offering me here is that when given a situation where we don't fully understand a phenomena is that a lack of understanding implies that it is real. And in spite of your confidence in this subject, you haven't provided any evidence to support it. Additionally, I realize that lack of understanding does not equate to not real. Do I "understand" quantum physics? Hell no. It's heavy stuff. But the thing is, the evidence to support quantum physics is out there and being discovered, such as the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. Now I personally am not gifted in the area of physics, but people who are work on this stuff, and the evidence is available to anyone who cares to look, and is subject to the scrutiny and criticism of the rest of the scientific community. The nice thing about science is that no one person has to be an expert on everything. Now there are those who would say that this position is "faith based" because I am trusting scientists to do their job right, and trusting that their explanations are in fact real. Here's the problem. If scientists are in fact doing their job properly, there will be evidence to support their claims. That evidence is again subjected to scrutiny and criticism, and others try to determine if the same evidence can be found. No one was persuaded that evolution is true simply because a dude with an awesome beard said so. People were persuaded by Darwin's theory because the evidence is there. Being persuaded of the truth of something BECAUSE of the evidence is the EXACT OPPOSITE of faith. Furthermore, if evidence comes along that does NOT support the theory, and the evidence is not accidental, i.e. due to a flaw in experimental procedure, data collection, etc. then the theory is rejected. Only if a scientist asserted a theory that contradicted the available evidence would their position be at all faith based, unless new evidence demonstrated that the theory is in fact true. If a scientist asserted that the reason we don't fall off of the earth is because there are invisible fairies that hold us down, that would be a faith based and NOT a science based, position. See the difference yet???
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So I guess my question to use is what verifiable evidence to you have to assert that I should accept a lack of existence in souls.
Do you understand how this works? The burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. It's not up to me to "prove" to the BFRO that there is no such thing as Bigfoot. It's up to THEM to provide the evidence that Bigfoot is real, because they assert that he is. Something that is not real, by definition, cannot leave evidence of its nonexistence. Yet you are trying to tell me that the very reason that your position is so convincing is because there is no evidence. WTF man? If that's the game you want to play, then fine. Prove to me that Santa is not real. You can't. The best that can be asserted is that there is yet no evidence to support this claim, and therefore no reason to accept its validity. Which is what I am saying about immortal "souls". I don't think that there is such a thing, because there is no evidence that there is such a thing.

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On your last point, The bullet through your head point is based on the assumption that the soul has a physical presence or is dependent on the consciousness... Would you agree???
I would of course agree that the soul is dependent on consciousness. That has been my position all along. In fact I go a little further than that and say that there is no reason to believe that what is commonly considered a "soul" is anything but the manifestation of our consciousness. There is nothing to suggest otherwise. A lot of people desperately WANT to have a soul that survives death, but it's rather obvious wishful thinking.

And did you forget that you posted this?
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first off i recognize that a soul may be an illusion created by the split uf consiousness and other brain functions...
In other words you admit that an entirely natural explanation of "soul" is possible and that it is a result of brain function. This is my position, and you admit it to be a plausible one right here, yet insist that I reject this plausible, natural explanation in favor of an implausible, supernatural one. No thanks. To do so is just silly.

You also said
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if a soul does exist it implies a metaphysical presence and is probably created at the moment consiousness is reached
  So I ask if what you describe as a soul does not exists until consciousness does, then what reason is there to believe that it would continue on after our consciousness has been terminated? I don't know of any, and you haven't presented any reasons to believe this, other than the fact that this can be conceived of an an explanation. I could easily say that the reason people no longer "appear" to have a soul after death is because their soul has been snatched up by the Valkyries and is currently feasting in Valhalla. From your point of view, this should be considered JUST AS VALID of an argument as any other.

EDIT: Edited for minor spelling/grammar/sentence structure issues. Not enough coffee yet.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 10:08:13 AM by kaziglu bey »
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 09:32:16 AM »

Hi Kaziglu

Your questions assume a physical (material) paradigm - ie that physical objects are fundamental and any 'spirit' is either some subset of this physical world or is merely superstition.
Yes, because there is no evidence at all to suggest otherwise.

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Most religions however assume a spiritual paradigm - that spirit is the more fundemental reality and that physical reality is a subset of that spiritual existence.
And they have yet to provide a single bit of evidence, or even a convincing hypothesis, for this assertion.

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I would add that the best way to understand spirit for the non religious is 'consciousness'.
And I agree. What religious people often think of as a "soul" is, as I have continually asserted, best explained by human consciousness and self awareness.

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Questions presented within one paradigm may not make sense in the other paradigm.  So for instance 'where is the soul' is a question that only makes sense in the physical paradigm.
I disagree to the extent that religious people assert that the spiritual version of the soul is present here, on this planet, is somehow connected to our consciousness, but it no dependent on it, even though this soul does not seem to exist prior to our consciousness. These are claims about what is happening in this world, the natural world. It is attempting to explain something by offering an explanation that doesn't actually EXPLAIN anything! If the spiritual paradigm and physical paradigm are contradictory, then why does the spiritual paradigm insist that this soul is somehow present within us? You can't say that something exists without providing evidence for it. And again, every usable, meaningful explanation we have of the universe we live in is BECAUSE of the investigation of the physical paradigm by science, and IN SPITE OF the conclusions reached by those who insist that the spiritual realms is the more fundamental version of reality, all while failing to even demonstrate that it is in fact real!

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In the spiritual paradigm, the question might become where is the physical world within consciousness ie the other way around ?  That question is not difficult for religions because 'where' in time and space loses its significance within a spiritual reality (ie within consciousness).
And the evidence for this is......??? Again, religion is allowed to make unsupported assertions, claim that they are objectively true, provide no evidence at all, and then tell thinking people like myself "Prove me wrong!" This is the exact opposite of intellectual discourse, and has never contributed anything meaningful to the human existence.

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[By 'paradigm' I mean a worldview or underlying beliefs (about the nature of reality)]
Yes, I know.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 10:23:31 AM »
Aside from the need for some sort of evidence for the claims that we have a soul, I wonder if the OP might

1. Confirm he thinks the soul is, in some sense, the 'I' in us? Is it what makes us who we are?

2. Confirm that the soul is that which carries the 'who we are' from the body to whatever other body we get after death

3. Explain how it is that we know damage to the brain, that physical thing in our heads, can change our personality - the 'us' if your like - without the need to mention anything like a soul? I mean, is damage to the brain changes the person, how come the soul, which is supposed to take the 'us' away after death, manage to make up for the brain damage us9ing its information to keep the person the same.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 10:39:11 AM »
Aside from the need for some sort of evidence for the claims that we have a soul, I wonder if the OP might
To clarify, I do NOT believe in the "soul" as it is traditionally considered, that is a supernatural part of us that survives death. I only believe in a "soul" to the extent that it means our individual awareness or consciousness. In other words, the result of brain activity, which is an entirely natural, and not at all supernatural, phenomenon. I am merely posing these questions to theists who do believe in the traditional model of the "soul". To me, I think the word should not be used at all, because it comes with implied supernatural connotations, and it is hard for people to mentally divorce themselves from that. I simply prefer "consciousness". But I have to engage theists in terms that are meaningful to them.

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1. Confirm he thinks the soul is, in some sense, the 'I' in us? Is it what makes us who we are?
If by that you mean our consciousness and self awareness, as well as awareness of the world around us, then I would agree. If you mean anything like a dualistic entity that is a reflection of ourselves that survives death or in any way transcends our own existence and consciousness, then no, I do not agree. I hope that clears it up, if not, could you be a little more specific?

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2. Confirm that the soul is that which carries the 'who we are' from the body to whatever other body we get after death
Not at all.We don't get a body after death. Death is the lack of a functional body. There's no restart button. We don't get a second body after death. We don't get anything after death. When we die, it's game over forever. There isn't a part of us that survives our own death.

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3. Explain how it is that we know damage to the brain, that physical thing in our heads, can change our personality - the 'us' if your like - without the need to mention anything like a soul? I mean, is damage to the brain changes the person, how come the soul, which is supposed to take the 'us' away after death, manage to make up for the brain damage us9ing its information to keep the person the same.
I totally agree with this. I think you may be mistakenly assuming that I am advancing a theistic perspective here. This is precisely my point, in that damage to a part of a brain can effect our consciousness in different ways, some disabling, some fatal, and yet even if we are utterly destroyed in the flesh, there are those who believe that somehow "we" survive. In the case of people vaporized/incinerated pretty much instantly in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there isn't even a physical trace of their bodies remaining, at all. Yet there are those who would tell us that somehow even these people survived their own death, in that the not-physical part of them has departed into some tedious afterlife. This is honestly an insult to those whose lives where snuffed out in this fashion, and has no evidence at all to support it. If the "soul" is simply consciousness, and consciousness is dependent upon being alive, then there is no reason to believe that consciousness continues after we cease to be alive.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 10:49:54 AM »
7. Where is our soul before we are conceived?Is it created out of "nothing"? What is it created out of?

Souls are created by God out of his love for us  :angel:  But His quality assurance process is up to sh1t so he has to test each soul in a human being to see if it is suitable for perpetual toe-sucking duties afterwards in heaven.
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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2012, 03:43:59 AM »
1. Do you believe that you have a soul that survives death?
    Yes (If by soul you mean living spirit)
2. If you answered yes to #1, where is this soul currently located? (Be specific)
    The soul is a combination of emotion and body (brain, mind, etc.) Located in the brain
    (don't remember the part of the brain that is associated with emotions) and spiritual (difficult to explain)

3. How is this soul affixed to the body while you are alive?
    As in question 2 the part of the brain associated with emotions.
4. By what means does it become disconnected from the body at the point of death?
    The brain part dies (disconnection) the spiritual part (difficult to explain)
5. Do animals have souls? If no, why not?
    Not sure but I would lean toward no. No free will that I am aware of.
6. By what means do we obtain this soul? Why is it not described in any scholarly work regarding the conception of human beings?
   My belief is that our creator is a being of perfect love and that the spirit part of the emotional connection
    is given to us at birth or just before. The scholars don't understand it.

7. Where is our soul before we are conceived?Is it created out of "nothing"? What is it created out of?
   As stated before I believe that the creator is a being of perfect love and we are created from that.
I think that should do for now. I will be interested to see what answers we get.

Very good questions thank you. Some of the questions you asked took me years to get answers and these answers may take quite a bit of discussion. Not as simple as one word answers or short descriptions.

Offline Dante

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2012, 09:25:44 AM »
My belief is that our creator is a being of perfect love and that the spirit part of the emotional connection is given to us at birth or just before. The scholars don't understand it

So where does this soul come from? And, more importantly, where does it go after bodily death, and for how long?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline wheels5894

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2012, 10:11:59 AM »
My belief is that our creator is a being of perfect love and that the spirit part of the emotional connection is given to us at birth or just before. The scholars don't understand it

So where does this soul come from? And, more importantly, where does it go after bodily death, and for how long?


...and, more importantly, how do you know this, Dante? I don't think the bible is very helpful in this regard for example.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline Dante

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2012, 10:21:30 AM »
...and, more importantly, how do you know this, Dante? I don't think the bible is very helpful in this regard for example.

I think in another thread, a3dtot claims to not really follow the teachings of the bible. a3dtot's all spag, all the time.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Questions for theists about souls
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2012, 12:34:24 PM »
I felt sure that, if anyone had an idea of what the soul is then the Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14153a.htm would have if not an answer, then an explanation of where thought is going.

I therefore read the article in the hopes of finding a conclusion - there is none. It is a wall of text that says nothing - each theory is diligently expounded and then criticised as an impractical solution.

Actually, it does say one thing of interest:

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If there be a life after death, clearly the agent or subject of our vital activities must be capable of an existence separate from the body.

Note that, "if there be..."

I honestly feel that the Catholics would just like the question of the soul to go away.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”