Author Topic: What is the soul?  (Read 1856 times)

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Offline epidemic

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2014, 02:41:57 PM »

His "spirit" is not the reason he survived. It was purely medical. Why would he act differently, even from family and friends if his "soul" hasn't changed.

Because his brain was damaged. 

I "think" it was his spirit. 

Spirit healing is what integrative nursing is all about.  The oncologists around my town have spiritual counselors and highly recommend it when facing a cancer battle.  Yes I'm pretty sure this is becoming the normal around the country in medicine.  I just read an article the other day in a local magazine called Sophie.  They spoke to DR Laura Fleck, neurologist. http://sophiemagazine.com/healthy-living/the-meaning-in-medicine%E2%80%A9/

regardless of who you are if I destroy your frontal lobes like Phineas Gage you will experience simila changes to what he did.  We know that impulse control and other such things reside in the frontal lobes.  It is documented in both injury and medical experiment observation associated with intentional modification of the brain.  I.E. intentionally removing parts of the brain for medical reasons will result in specific changes in the basic who we are.

Your explaination that Phineas's Gage's spirit was somehow reacting to the trauma with anger that this happened to him does not make sense.  Everyones spirit will react the same to destruction of the brain in specific regions with very similar responses.   There does not appear to be a spirit that is sepate from physical grey matter.

Your cancer example is more an example of spirit, you can either take the punches and roll with them or you can grow angry, depressed, you might have even lost your will to live.  But the fundamental makeup of your brain did not change as a result of your cancer.  The training of your brain, your upbringing and how you are programmed decides whether you lose the will to live or express yourself badly when you get cancer.  At least that is how I see it.

The senator who was shot in the head did not change as Phineas did  because of the region of the brain that was damaged.  The bullet seems to have mostly damaged the speech center of the brain not completely destroyed the parts of the brain that control impulse control.   Phineas had a 2 inch across tamping rod ramed throught the skull at ballistic speed causing wide spread damage.  swelling caused more damage to surrounding areas.  Gabriel Giffords had the advantage of modern medicine, induced coma's ability to remove half of the skull and preserve it until the brain was able to return to normal size.  The bullet was 9 mm across and apparently did much less damage than the giant rod of steel in gauges case.  He was lucky to say the least to have recovered in his day and age as well as he did.    But none the less a good guy who had friends and family who loved him say that he was no longer tolerable says that he changed at the most basic levels of personality.  Who he was changed fundamentally because of an injury.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 02:44:10 PM by epidemic »

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2014, 02:45:41 PM »
...and how about the long, slow goodbye known as Alzheimer's?
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Offline epidemic

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2014, 03:01:37 PM »
...and how about the long, slow goodbye known as Alzheimer's?

Excellent example.

Alzheimer patients spirits are changed at a basic level.  My great aunt became an animal as she degraded.  in the end she was barely recognizable as a person.  It was an interesting thing to watch beyond the sad part.  Slowly she degenerated first to repeatitive stories  from her youth, then to not knowing the basic functions of daily objects.  One Thanksgiving she took her fork and used it to comb her hair and stuck her napkin in her drink .  Both could easily have been mistakes of a baby,  she saw the fork as looking like a comb which it basically does and she remembered that her napkin was used on liquids and her drink was a liquid.  Eventually she was so bad that she fell down a flight of stairs leaving a 3 inch gash on her forehead exposing bone she could not remember long enough to even remember the pain but she was bothered by her vision being obscurred by blood my uncle found her in the living room sitting on an end table watching the wall covered in blood.

She was not the great aunt I grew up knowing and loving.  She became a broken thing that was more a curiosity than a person IMO.  She was no longer frustrated by her problems she could not remember them long enough to be frustrated.  you could curse her out and her feelings would not be hurt, take away her food and she would not remember that she wanted it.

Life became a bunch of reactionary moments.

We are our memories, our reactions to stimuli, and our wants, dreams and desires.  The last year of her life I really do not know much about I was a kid and isolated from most of it.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 03:06:39 PM by epidemic »

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #61 on: May 13, 2014, 03:57:50 PM »
Shoot penfold I'm not sure either. :o  I don't think there is anything to compare the spirit to.  What does that mean?

I suppose the reason I ask is this.

If your spirit is simply a concept which you use to unite things then that is fine, there is no limit on how we can or should talk about the world. Similarly if someone speaks of their 'soul' as a concept which unifies all their disparate parts I am fine with that; in fact I think it is a useful way to talk. It is what I mean when I say something is 'good for my soul' etc... We don't ask if concepts exist or not, but rather whether they are useful (try for yourself - which is a better question "Does the concept of number exist?" vs "Is the concept of number useful?")

However if your spirit is a thing then the situation is different. If it is a thing then the question of existence is central. If you want to know whether something exists then you must seek objective evidence. Here I think those who believe in the soul/spirit as a thing, run into problems, because it seems to me that there is no objective evidence for their existence (hence my original question about the function of 'spirit').


I guess what I am saying is this; if by 'spirit' you just mean some concept then fair enough; but if by 'spirit' you mean a thing then you should be prepared to provide objective evidence for that claim.

I was going for concept.  To make sure I understand you I would chose question B)"Is the concept of number useful"

Since I can not prove it with objective evidence.

What if someone else can?  I know they're working on it from TTWormhole.   I only have subjective evidence for you.  The evidence I have for myself I believe is objective to only me, if that's possible.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #62 on: May 13, 2014, 04:03:37 PM »
...and how about the long, slow goodbye known as Alzheimer's?

I still think it is a physical change not a spiritual one.  "You can occupy my body; You can not occupy my soul".  It's what I believe.

 
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #63 on: May 13, 2014, 04:05:48 PM »
Ok, not to sound mean, then you must accept that this concept is solely existent in your mental processes.

That's it, it does not exist in reality.
"God is just and fair"
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We should feel guilty for this.

Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #64 on: May 13, 2014, 04:07:18 PM »
...and how about the long, slow goodbye known as Alzheimer's?

I still think it is a physical change not a spiritual one.  "You can occupy my body; You can not occupy my soul".  It's what I believe.
You fail to provide empirical evidence that a spirit exists. Therefore, what doesn't exist cannot change.
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #65 on: May 13, 2014, 04:08:20 PM »
"You can occupy my body; You can not occupy my soul".  It's what I believe.

Yes, well, Tammy, as we've all attempted to say in myriad ways, believing things - even things void of evidence - is easy.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #66 on: May 13, 2014, 04:11:11 PM »
...and how about the long, slow goodbye known as Alzheimer's?

Excellent example.

Alzheimer patients spirits are changed at a basic level.  My great aunt became an animal as she degraded.  in the end she was barely recognizable as a person.  It was an interesting thing to watch beyond the sad part.  Slowly she degenerated first to repeatitive stories  from her youth, then to not knowing the basic functions of daily objects.  One Thanksgiving she took her fork and used it to comb her hair and stuck her napkin in her drink .  Both could easily have been mistakes of a baby,  she saw the fork as looking like a comb which it basically does and she remembered that her napkin was used on liquids and her drink was a liquid.  Eventually she was so bad that she fell down a flight of stairs leaving a 3 inch gash on her forehead exposing bone she could not remember long enough to even remember the pain but she was bothered by her vision being obscurred by blood my uncle found her in the living room sitting on an end table watching the wall covered in blood.

She was not the great aunt I grew up knowing and loving.  She became a broken thing that was more a curiosity than a person IMO.  She was no longer frustrated by her problems she could not remember them long enough to be frustrated.  you could curse her out and her feelings would not be hurt, take away her food and she would not remember that she wanted it.

Life became a bunch of reactionary moments.

We are our memories, our reactions to stimuli, and our wants, dreams and desires.  The last year of her life I really do not know much about I was a kid and isolated from most of it.

I'm sorry about your great aunt epidemic.  It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.  To me that good spirit was not harmed by the disease only her body.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #67 on: May 13, 2014, 04:14:51 PM »
Ok, not to sound mean, then you must accept that this concept is solely existent in your mental processes.

That's it, it does not exist in reality.

My spirit does not exist in your reality.  It exists in mine.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2014, 04:15:56 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's. 
Do you mean "her character"? I'm not sure that a "soul" and a "character" are the same thing.
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2014, 04:16:53 PM »
Ok, not to sound mean, then you must accept that this concept is solely existent in your mental processes.

That's it, it does not exist in reality.

My spirit does not exist in your reality.  It exists in mine.
Just how my talking spaghetti pants only exist in my reality.

I think we call them "delusions" or "hallucinations".
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2014, 04:17:49 PM »
"You can occupy my body; You can not occupy my soul".  It's what I believe.

Yes, well, Tammy, as we've all attempted to say in myriad ways, believing things - even things void of evidence - is easy.

Actually no it's not.  It's a lot harder.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2014, 04:20:38 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's. 
Do you mean "her character"? I'm not sure that a "soul" and a "character" are the same thing.

You have a good point.  I don't mean her character though.  I mean her spirit.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.

Or could the simpler, more naturalistic explanation be that it is his brain's memory that is providing him with the memory of his aunt, and not some baseless, supernatural assertion?
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2014, 04:23:49 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.

Or could the simpler, more naturalistic explanation be that it is his brain's memory that is providing him with the memory of his aunt, and not some baseless, supernatural assertion?
Plus, how could something that exists only to yourself affect anyone else?
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2014, 04:28:09 PM »
Ok, not to sound mean, then you must accept that this concept is solely existent in your mental processes.

That's it, it does not exist in reality.

My spirit does not exist in your reality.  It exists in mine.
Just how my talking spaghetti pants only exist in my reality.

I think we call them "delusions" or "hallucinations".

I have never hallucinated a soul.  There is no such thing as spaghetti pants counseling at any medical facility I have heard of.  If they can help you maybe they can help me.  I need all the help I can get. ;)
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2014, 04:29:30 PM »
Lol, you're a hardcore believer without evidence, but hey, you're easy to like.


Sometimes.
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #76 on: May 13, 2014, 04:33:04 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.

Or could the simpler, more naturalistic explanation be that it is his brain's memory that is providing him with the memory of his aunt, and not some baseless, supernatural assertion?

If it is natural for us to have spirit it is not unnatural for the spirit to be remembered.  His brain did not make the memories.  His brain stores the memory.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2014, 04:34:31 PM »
Lol, you're a hardcore believer without evidence, but hey, you're easy to like.


Sometimes.

So are you Defiance.  Except the belief w/o evidence thing. ;)

I don't want you to think I don't like you for that.  It's not what I mean.  I mean you are likable too but not a believer of non evidenced things. :laugh:
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 04:36:53 PM by junebug72 »
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2014, 04:35:47 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.

Or could the simpler, more naturalistic explanation be that it is his brain's memory that is providing him with the memory of his aunt, and not some baseless, supernatural assertion?

If it is natural for us to have spirit it is not unnatural for the spirit to be remembered.  His brain did not make the memories.  His brain stores the memory.
ok seriously?
Please, study some psychology on hippocampus and the three steps of memory.
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2014, 04:37:52 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.

Or could the simpler, more naturalistic explanation be that it is his brain's memory that is providing him with the memory of his aunt, and not some baseless, supernatural assertion?

If it is natural for us to have spirit it is not unnatural for the spirit to be remembered.  His brain did not make the memories.  His brain stores the memory.
ok seriously?
Please, study some psychology on hippocampus and the three steps of memory.

Sure; got a link?
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Offline Defiance

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #80 on: May 13, 2014, 04:44:15 PM »
This might suffice. If not, the specific thins can all be found on Wikipedia ( I know because I used it for psychology class).

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/human-memory.htm
"God is just and fair"
*God kills 2.5 million of people he KNEW would turn out like this in the flood*
*Humanity turns bad again, when God knew it would*
We should feel guilty for this.

Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #81 on: May 13, 2014, 04:57:37 PM »
This might suffice. If not, the specific thins can all be found on Wikipedia ( I know because I used it for psychology class).

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/human-memory.htm

Thanks Defiance.  I'll check it out in the morning.  I got to go cook some dinner.  Have a good one. :)
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #82 on: May 13, 2014, 04:58:01 PM »
It was her spirit, to me, that allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.  To me that good spirit was not harmed by the disease only her body.
That makes no real sense to me.  It honestly sounds like you're using the idea of 'spirit' to symbolize something else, but it isn't really working because it depends on agreeing with your idea of what 'spirit' means.

Honestly, the confusion I have goes away if you replace the word 'spirit' with 'actions'.  As in, "her actions, to me, are what allows you to remember the woman she was before Alzheimer's.  To me, those good actions were not harmed by the disease."  That becomes an eminently true and understandable statement; because the idea of spirit is much more poorly defined and can have a different meaning depending on who you're talking to, talking about someone's 'spirit' is more likely to confuse the issue than anything.

Offline victorlarrak

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #83 on: May 13, 2014, 09:23:16 PM »
consciousness is in my opinion the closest thing to resemble the soul,it makes you what you are and when you die it's no more.

Offline penfold

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #84 on: May 14, 2014, 02:08:57 AM »


I was going for concept.  To make sure I understand you I would chose question B)"Is the concept of number useful"

Since I can not prove it with objective evidence.


Fair enough then...  :)
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Offline junebug72

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2014, 06:46:13 AM »
This might suffice. If not, the specific thins can all be found on Wikipedia ( I know because I used it for psychology class).

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/human-memory.htm

Good read D.  The brain is so magnificent but it can not make memories of grandma w/o grandma.  It can store them.  Lots and lots of them.  It can use those memories to develop perceptions.  At least now I know what a hippocampus is. ;)



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Offline epidemic

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Re: What is the soul?
« Reply #86 on: May 14, 2014, 06:51:51 AM »
Ok JB,

Can you re-explain what the soul/spirit is?

What is it's function?

How does it affect your physical body?

How does it affect you actions?

Is it the very basic essence of who you are?


I am epidemic's spirit, I am the guy who loves his kids, who is sad when old yeller dies, who on occasion helps little old ladies on his way to work when you see them struggling to clear their driveway (true story but sadly not frequent enough).  The guy who sees the female form and really really thinks it is hot.  The guy who hates people being victimized.  My spirit is the practical joker in me and the generally happy essence of me.

Is that my spirit or soul?

If I had no soul/spirit, how do you think I would be different?  Would I just be a practical logical biological machine.  Or Would I just be a self serving, sexual preditor, concerned with my own food drink and spreading my seed around?