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The Soul

Volkov
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4/13/2010 1:28:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I know this is a subject for which everyone has varying interpretations and views, but I'd like to know: what exactly is the soul?

In almost every religion, a core belief is one of the "soul," or "spirit." This amorphous entity is supposed to be what makes humans "special." We all have souls and when our body dies, the soul will usually travel into the afterlife (or, for some, will be reincarnated) and will live on indefinitely. That, more or less, is the concept.

But, really, what makes a soul a soul? What are the defining characteristics of the soul, and what part does it play in our mundane existence? Its one of the bits of religion that I've never understood, because even though everyone makes references to it, they rarely ever explain what it is.

And for atheists, humanists, and non-believers, what does the concept of the "soul" mean to us? Even though it may not have any supernatural connotations, could a "soul" not be the individuality which defines every human from another? Or is there no similar concept in our beliefs?
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 1:33:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:28:38 PM, Volkov wrote:
I know this is a subject for which everyone has varying interpretations and views, but I'd like to know: what exactly is the soul?

In almost every religion, a core belief is one of the "soul," or "spirit." This amorphous entity is supposed to be what makes humans "special." We all have souls and when our body dies, the soul will usually travel into the afterlife (or, for some, will be reincarnated) and will live on indefinitely. That, more or less, is the concept.

But, really, what makes a soul a soul? What are the defining characteristics of the soul, and what part does it play in our mundane existence? Its one of the bits of religion that I've never understood, because even though everyone makes references to it, they rarely ever explain what it is.

And for atheists, humanists, and non-believers, what does the concept of the "soul" mean to us? Even though it may not have any supernatural connotations, could a "soul" not be the individuality which defines every human from another? Or is there no similar concept in our beliefs?

I don't care what you call our "personality/individuality" (name is but the guest of reality, and all) but to call it a "soul" is just asking for confusion and mis-understanding.

"soul" is our supposed supernatural, "true" being...

in other words... religious brouhahah
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 1:35:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
is keeping "the soul" another part of your plan to undermine the draw of religion?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Vi_Veri
Posts: 4,487
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4/13/2010 1:37:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
A soul is the basic essence (the thinking, emotive, feeling part of you - the part of you that receives qualia [your senses]) of you that is outside of space and time and somehow magically controls your body, which is inside space and time. When the body it is connected to dies, it floats away somewhere unknown. And somehow, during conception apparently, your soul comes into existence into your just forming body. Souls are apparently eternal.

Two questions from the many I have always wondered about:

1. Is your soul reliant on your brain for thinking, emotion, and other senses? I ask this because you did not have any of the mental capacities you do now as you did when you were 1 (or a young fetus with no brain). So, was your soul not capable of thinking and feeling in a logical manner back then? So what does that mean for you when you die? Do you (the soul) become thoughtless and emotionless and senseless?

2. If I stabbed you in the heart, would I not technically be committing murder since I wouldn't be killing "you' per say but the shell you reside in? I mean... you would just float away, wouldn't you? I guess all I would be doing is destruction of property.
I could give a f about no haters as long as my ishes love me.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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4/13/2010 1:39:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:28:38 PM, Volkov wrote:

And for atheists, humanists, and non-believers, what does the concept of the "soul" mean to us? Even though it may not have any supernatural connotations, could a "soul" not be the individuality which defines every human from another? Or is there no similar concept in our beliefs?

I'd say no - it can't be our individuality, because that is dictated by our brain. Every single thing that makes us who we are is determined by our brain. Every thought, feeling, instinct, want, need, etc. is the result of our brain. No brain, no soul (or concept/inclination of a soul). Everything one can attribute to the soul could (should) just as easily be attributed to the brain and the going-ons that make the fantasy of a soul seem real.
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Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/13/2010 1:42:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:35:57 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
is keeping "the soul" another part of your plan to undermine the draw of religion?

Partly. But, the reality is that the idea of the "soul" seems to be rooted in the idea that each person here is an individual and somehow special. The religious decide to attribute this to the "soul," or to what is truly your being, your consciousness.

Now, look at that from an anthropological or biological perspective, and it does make sense. There is a sense that there is some sort of defining factor between each and every individual.

It seems obvious to me that the concept of the soul would fit that perfectly, however, you are right, as it is supernatural. But, must it be?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/13/2010 1:45:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Vi - I've asked those same questions as well, particularly the bottom one about whether killing the shell is really "murder."

Lwerd - I know that its all attributed to the brain, however, its the "fantasy" of the soul, of individuality and distinctness, that counts in human relations. Would it be wrong to say that the "soul" is not too far off a concept to call it?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 1:46:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
As a Buddhist, I don't accept the concept of a soul. I used to accept a soul, but it is taught that there is no soul because the self is impermanent.

Paradoxically though, I don't identify as the body. The word "person" simply means "mask." It is not our true identity. I'll leave it up to you to figure out the rest.

.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 1:46:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:42:40 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:35:57 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
is keeping "the soul" another part of your plan to undermine the draw of religion?

Partly. But, the reality is that the idea of the "soul" seems to be rooted in the idea that each person here is an individual and somehow special. The religious decide to attribute this to the "soul," or to what is truly your being, your consciousness.

Now, look at that from an anthropological or biological perspective, and it does make sense. There is a sense that there is some sort of defining factor between each and every individual.

It seems obvious to me that the concept of the soul would fit that perfectly, however, you are right, as it is supernatural. But, must it be?

It is at the moment.. you could redefine "soul" to mean a particular kind of lamp if you wanted to... but you might as well just come up with another less confusing word... like personality.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 1:47:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:46:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
As a Buddhist, I don't accept the concept of a soul. I used to accept a soul, but it is taught that there is no soul because the self is impermanent.

lol, but if everything is everything else, how is the self impermanent???
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:47:57 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:46:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
As a Buddhist, I don't accept the concept of a soul. I used to accept a soul, but it is taught that there is no soul because the self is impermanent.

lol, but if everything is everything else, how is the self impermanent???

The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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4/13/2010 1:55:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

So, your individuality is simply a delusion?
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 2:01:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:55:08 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

So, your individuality is simply a delusion?

My single, separate, isolated self is a delusion, yes. This entity that I call "myself" is simply a medium to experience this reality. Like when you go on the computer, that is the medium you use to experience the Internet. But you are not the computer.

As Carl Sagan put it: "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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4/13/2010 2:01:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:45:34 PM, Volkov wrote:
Vi - I've asked those same questions as well, particularly the bottom one about whether killing the shell is really "murder."

Lwerd - I know that its all attributed to the brain, however, its the "fantasy" of the soul, of individuality and distinctness, that counts in human relations. Would it be wrong to say that the "soul" is not too far off a concept to call it?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking, but as Vi said, people think that the 'soul' is derived at conception and lives on after death. So, to call it a "soul" instead of something like "consciousness" is misleading. How can anything attributable to being a soul exist without the brain? Since it can't, then I think to call it a soul (as something that can go on after death) is just silly. The idea that we have that 'little special person within' can probably be attributed not only to some psychological narcissistic tendencies where humans like to feel individualistic and important, but biological processes that the brain does to make us feel or think that way.
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Zetsubou
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4/13/2010 2:03:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:01:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:55:08 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

So, your individuality is simply a delusion?

My single, separate, isolated self is a delusion, yes. This entity that I call "myself" is simply a medium to experience this reality. Like when you go on the computer, that is the medium you use to experience the Internet. But you are not the computer.

As Carl Sagan put it: "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

What religous doctrine is this?
'sup DDO -- july 2013
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 2:08:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:03:56 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
At 4/13/2010 2:01:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

My single, separate, isolated self is a delusion, yes. This entity that I call "myself" is simply a medium to experience this reality. Like when you go on the computer, that is the medium you use to experience the Internet. But you are not the computer.

As Carl Sagan put it: "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

What religous doctrine is this?

It's actually a teaching of David Icke, but it's really just a different way of describing Buddhist philosophy.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:08:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:47:57 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:46:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
As a Buddhist, I don't accept the concept of a soul. I used to accept a soul, but it is taught that there is no soul because the self is impermanent.

lol, but if everything is everything else, how is the self impermanent???

The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

so what makes you posit that the "unified Universe" has an ego of it's own???

why do you suggest it is necessarily conscious??
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:13:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:55:08 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

So, your individuality is simply a delusion?

lol, do you disagree??

what is it that separates you from that keyboard in front of you???

Scientifically (the most objective concepts we have) it's the arrangement of matter, molecules, atoms...
and guess what: those arrangements tend to change.

so.. how are "you" truly distinct from other things.... You're not.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:16:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:13:43 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:55:08 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

So, your individuality is simply a delusion?

lol, do you disagree??

what is it that separates you from that keyboard in front of you???

Scientifically (the most objective concepts we have) it's the arrangement of matter, molecules, atoms...
and guess what: those arrangements tend to change.

so.. how are "you" truly distinct from other things.... You're not.

"you" are just (from what we can tell) a chance arrangement, a manifestation of the underlying nature of reality.

now our ability to Know that underlying nature(absolutely), is itself (I would claim, but apparently not Geo) quite non-existent.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 2:18:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:08:05 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:53:25 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

The "ego" self is a temporary delusion of the "unified Universe" (I wish there was a better term but that's the only way I can describe it.)

so what makes you posit that the "unified Universe" has an ego of it's own???

It doesn't have an ego. "Ego" is what makes things identify as separate. Without "ego" everything is all one.

why do you suggest it is necessarily conscious??

I have sort of abandoned that idea as well. The Universe is beyond the attributes of consciousness and non-consciousness. Though, when describing these concepts to others, I will still call it conscious.

I assert that it is conscious because the underlying particles that make up a "conscious human" are the same particles that make up a rock. It is all manifestations of something that is certainly not random and stupid.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:19:02 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
why do you suggest it is necessarily conscious??

I have sort of abandoned that idea as well. The Universe is beyond the attributes of consciousness and non-consciousness.

**High Five!**
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:20:56 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
It is all manifestations of something that is certainly not random and stupid.

what do you mean by random and stupid?

It is how it is.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/13/2010 2:25:20 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:47:57 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 1:46:07 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
As a Buddhist, I don't accept the concept of a soul. I used to accept a soul, but it is taught that there is no soul because the self is impermanent.

lol, but if everything is everything else, how is the self impermanent???

mmm "things" are not other "things".

they are the same in that there's no good reason to discriminate amongst them...
(except that we naturally do, and care to, lol)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2010 2:25:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 2:20:56 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2010 2:18:05 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
It is all manifestations of something that is certainly not random and stupid.

what do you mean by random and stupid?

It is how it is.

Correct, it is what it is, and blind randomness isn't it.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
the-good-teacher
Posts: 444
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8/17/2010 11:22:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/13/2010 1:28:38 PM, Volkov wrote:
I know this is a subject for which everyone has varying interpretations and views, but I'd like to know: what exactly is the soul?

In almost every religion, a core belief is one of the "soul," or "spirit." This amorphous entity is supposed to be what makes humans "special." We all have souls and when our body dies, the soul will usually travel into the afterlife (or, for some, will be reincarnated) and will live on indefinitely. That, more or less, is the concept.

But, really, what makes a soul a soul? What are the defining characteristics of the soul, and what part does it play in our mundane existence? Its one of the bits of religion that I've never understood, because even though everyone makes references to it, they rarely ever explain what it is.

And for atheists, humanists, and non-believers, what does the concept of the "soul" mean to us? Even though it may not have any supernatural connotations, could a "soul" not be the individuality which defines every human from another? Or is there no similar concept in our beliefs?

--------------

Adam was made a "living soul"...

Our soul allows us to taste smell feel, etc..

It's so closely linked to the spirit, or like the spirit, it, that they can be explained as a two sided coin,
By adding Jesus we we have the trinity, which consists of "spirit,soul,and body",

Genesis teaches "we are made in HIS image",- "Let us make man in OUR image, after our likeness"

"Our likeness" meaning "Perfect, and without sin",

----------------------------o O---^5---