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Do you have a soul?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Anatta, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Anatta

    Anatta Other

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    It's not a yes/no question. Please tell us what you understand the word "soul" to mean. Be as specific and detailed as possible: where is it? what is it made of? where did it come from, and where is it going? If you do not believe in souls, state your objections.

    I myself understand the term soul to mean a non-material part of a person, which is permanent, and capable of transcending temporary physical reality. Personally, I don't believe that humans, or any other beings possess souls. This is because a person is not an individual thing, but a process - it is the process of one's senses aquiring information from the environment, and the mind attempting to structure this information and store it in some useful form which can be recalled later.

    The patterns of habit which emerge during a lifetime of this aquiring, storing, and recalling, is what we refer to as our personality. This personality is not finite, unique, and self-contained, but malleable and in constant flux. Because of this, I am no longer the person I was this morning, and by this evening, the person I am now will be gone and someone else will be temporarily inhabiting what I might (erroneously) refer to as "my body".

    If I am just a continuum of constant change, how can any permanent, defining characteristics ever emerge to make up a recognizable, discrete, individual soul?
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I have a soul, but it's not everlasting.
    It will die when me brain switches off.
     
  3. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    No

    I have imagination and i'm consious
     
  4. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Depends on who you ask. Some of my ex-girlfriends's will say not. :D
     
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  5. mycorrhiza

    mycorrhiza Well-Known Member

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    Can't say with absolute certainty that I don't, but I don't think I have one.

    I believe the soul to be a non-physical supernatural object and since I'm a materialist (metaphysics, not money and gadgets!) I don't believe that such a thing exists.
     
  6. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    The soul is a fragment of God, it is a type of energy that is unknown to humans. The soul is like an infant, aware of it's surroundings but without a language. Like a bug that is curious about the lightbulb the soul is free to float about the universe. It is shaped like an egg.

    There is something very necessary about connecting with a sentient biologic species that is unrevealed. Before the soul makes this connection it is not called a soul, it is an entity, only after the connection is made is it called a "soul".

    When the brains of sentient biological beings evolve enough for the connection to be made souls then make a connection. It is able to connect to us through a very complicated process that I will not go into. The soul watches you, it hears your thoughts.

    A soul's existence crosses many dimensions. The soul can connect to many sentient beings across all time, sometimes there is a bleed back, this is why some people have past life experiences. They did not live a past life, what they are experiencing is that exact moment as it happened then. The connection the soul has with a mind is impermanent until fusion happens. Fusion will not take place until you choose to become unselfish and dedicate yourself towards helping others and the universe.

    A soul is immortal but it can be destroyed if it fused with a mind that becomes selfish and harmful to the universe.
     
  7. lamplighter

    lamplighter Almighty Tallest

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    Pretty sure most people have constant characteristics they define the core of their personality. So while new information may change your perceptions, everyone is who they are that evening as they were that morning. As for my soul, well I sold that to the devil for a SNES back in '94. Oh, how I regret that, should of saved it for a new car instead.
     
  8. Anatta

    Anatta Other

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    We do have constant characteristics, but they are not uniquely ours because we got them from other people in our genetic and cultural pools. And we keep getting new ones, all the time.

    Some, like the genetic ones tend to stick around (although I hear that getting around this is a good business to be in), but there is not any single moment that you can pinpoint in a person's life and say "That's exactly how he was!" without inadvertantly ignoring some other way he was, after or before he was the way that you remember him being. And that's only because you never know anyone well enough and all the way through, and sometimes that even includes yourself.

    So especially when people talk about souls being unique (which I've heard is a lot of people), I don't really understand what that means. If we're just temporarily stuck together in this mixer, exchanging characteristics by chance, then who are we really and how does a god or whoever know? And I don't accept that he "just knows."
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    My ex-wife sucked out my soul, drained it dry, and fed it to jackals.
    My wife retrieved it, filled it with Mother's Milk, and keeps it safe for me.
     
  10. Sir Doom

    Sir Doom Cooler than most of you

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    As with any of these metaphysical ideas, I have two answers. A best case scenario and a worst case scenario. The answer is yes in either case, of course.

    The best case scenario is that my soul is actually god. It would be located wherever it wants to be located (currently inhabiting this particular form). What its made of would be... a human at the moment. I assume its physical make up is transient and determined by circumstance and desire. I can't say where it came from as I don't remember anything about my origins outside of this life. So, my mother's womb, I suppose is the best answer. I would assume that when this life is done with, it will go back to godhood although it could very likely occupy another form instead, since it clearly does that sort of thing. Godhood is always the best case scenario so far as I can tell.

    Worst case scenario is that my soul is just the guided electrical impulses ordered and ordering the neural pathways of my brain. It would be located in my nervous system. Its made of electricity from what I understand. It came from biological processes developed through millions of years of evolutionary progress. As for where its going, I assume its going to stay inside my brain until I kick off and then gets dispersed just like every other form of energy.

    So, I believe the real answer is somewhere between those two extremes. I haven't decided exactly where yet. I don't like the first answer because it pretty much makes the rest of you unimportant and I like to think that isn't the case. I definitely don't like the second option because it means that I'm unimportant and I REALLY don't like to think that is the case.
     
  11. Anatta

    Anatta Other

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    Oh, you're good... you're real good.
     
  12. Pegg

    Pegg Jehovah our God is One

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    if we had a soul we would be immortal

    but the bible says we are 'mortal' beings. So I would have to say no, i dont have a soul... rather i AM a soul.

    and when i die, my soul dies.

    SOS means 'save our souls' ...mankind are souls and they can die.
     
  13. LongGe123

    LongGe123 Active Member

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    I'm rather fond of...I think it was Aristotle's (although could be Plato's) analogy of the axe.

    The blade and handle of the axe represent the body, the physical properties that make us up. And the "soul" is represented by the sharpness of the blade. The thing that makes the axe an axe is the fact that it is sharp and can chop stuff. If the axe loses its sharpness then it ceases to be an axe and it just a lump of physical matter. I see the concept of the "soul" in this way. The "soul" is the thing that makes us uniquely human, and not just a lump of physical matter. After we die, the soul leaves the body and we become nothing more than said physical matter.

    Actually, this isn't literally what I believe in...it's just a theory that makes quite a lot of sense and I like it. I like that it has no religious connotations. My idea on the soul is somewhat to akin to my idea on "god" - something might exist but it's probably not what any religious denomination says it is. It's probably something we have yet to gain any real comprehension of and so currently attach over-simplified divine explanations to. A bit like when we had no idea why it was the sun came and went each day.
     
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  14. Sir Doom

    Sir Doom Cooler than most of you

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    If I can't be accurate, I might as well be honest. ;)
     
  15. Orias

    Orias Left Hand Path

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    I view the human soul to be much like the core of a star, some of em last, some of em don't.
     
    #15 Orias, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  16. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Do I have a soul? Does a tail have a dog?

    Does the soul have a body? Yes
     
  17. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    I define soul as ego I guess, so yeah. It's merely just a psychological perspective.
     
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  18. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Ok, I can do this :)

    I would deem the concept of a "soul" to be the essence of one's cognizant and functioning self.

    I do not see that "soul" as an "entity", "force", "life energy", or whatever other metaphysical mumbo jumbo some like to connote as incorporeal "essence",

    Physical death essentially "kills" the "soul" resident within.

    So does advanced Alzheimer's Disease.

    Is that sufficient, or do you seek enhancement?
     
  19. Orias

    Orias Left Hand Path

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    I like this. But I mind as well explain myself further.

    Not all stars go supernova, and even those that do sometimes leave behind an extremely dense metallic core (usually its the heavy, giant stars) that can out "live" the former life span it once had. Even then, some collapse in on themselves and create black holes, and others create nebulas.

    Most of them create small nurseries for other stars, but a lot also tend create neutron stars which is the remnants of the heaviest materials which composes of the star.
     
    #19 Orias, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  20. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Unanswerable.

    I don't even pretend to know.

    God.

    Back?

    To answer in a bit more detail, I believe that the soul is an aspect of the One. It is not the ego, not the body, not the mind, nor is it cognition or little-c consciousness -- but I see it as something beyond these things. Something immaterial. I can't really explain it, since I'm not that great with my words. I'll leave speculating on the soul (and explaining it) in any detail to the ṛṣis, yogis, svāmis, sādhus, gurus, sants, sages and fakirs.

    I'll continue chopping wood, and carrying water.
     
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