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Switch to Forum Live View Evidence against an immortal soul
2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 5:47AM #21
Miguel_de_servet
Posts: 17,050

Kw


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.

However, whatever it is supposed to be one of the key features of a soul is that it is part of us, that it has a connection with our actions and our intentions.

[a] It seems to me that if such a thing as a soul existed, then it would continue to exist when we are asleep as our bodies do.  And yet when we sleep we are sometimes someone else entirely, or we have a sense of self and we engage in all sorts of actions we would not engage in during our waking states.

[b] Since in our experience of sleep we often entirely lose our sense of self that we have when we are awake, I propose this is strong evidence against the idea of an immortal soul and is evidence in favor of a brain-based  consciousness that operates on a purely material basis.


[a] Even the thoroughly atheistic Sigmund Freud (who would obviously not speak of "soul", because of its theological-metaphysical connotations,  but rather of "psyche" or "mind") would easily explain that to you: he would explain that the psyche is not simple, but "structured" in different "levels" (Unconscious, Pre-conscious, Conscious) and "instances" (Id, Ego and Superego).


Is any this objective and/or scientific?


Of course not! But there is little doubt, for anyone who has any capacity ofr observation and introspection, that the psyche/mind does NOT coincide with our consciousness.


[b] This is a gross non sequitur: see above.


sdp


Jul 16, 2012 -- 8:27PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:

Nanc[e]y Murphy, Christian philosopher and theologian, Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary has written a book, Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? where she argues for a physicalist account of the human, we don't have an immaterial soul. IOW, she would probably agree with you.


Buddha would somewhat agree. Buddha said we don't have a permanent identity, everything that exists is composed of impermanent composite stuff (called dependent origination). [c] However, according to Buddhism, there is a something that exists within us which accumulates karma, and incarnates from life to life. Upon each life, a new cultural identity is formed, which carries the burden of the accumulated karma. This continues until in a particular life one comes to recognize their Buddha-nature (which is not any sort of individual identity).


[d] I agree with you that if one cannot "survive" sleep, one should be concerned about surviving the death of the physical body.


I agree with MdS that Christianity has inherited a lot of Greek philosophy which might not be a perfect fit [LOL! understatement of the year!] with what the Bible actually teaches (concerning the soul). The minimum we can get from scripture is that God "implants" a spirit within a body and a living being (soul) results. Watchman Nee has defined soul as mind, will and emotions (which I think davelaw agrees with).


Christianity, today, generally teaches that we have an immortal soul. Christianity is just about where, and in what state that soul exists after the death of the physical body. I'm not sure that's accurate. Eternal damnation in hell seems a steep price for one life of error and separation from God. I'm of the opinion that if we do not unite our "soul" with God previous to death, our "soul" eventually disintegrates, dies (according to a spiritual law of entropy). This would be the second death spoken of in Revelation.


[e] So where does that leave us? Our identity, which we could call our soul, results from brain/body function, and exists as memory, an accumulation of information in the totality of our brain/body. We can trust God, under the appropriate conditions, to *take-care-of*, and save that information subsequent to the death of the physical body (or not, under other conditions).


[f] So, I essentially agree with Nancy Murphy, Kw, Buddha, and possibly MdS (?:-).


[g] In a sense, both atheists and Christians *win*. Atheists die, which they expect anyway, Christians are eternally saved :-).


[c] This is all part of Buddhism, in different degrees depending on the "denomination" (Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan, etc.). But it is almost certainly NOT part of Siddhartha Gautama's original thought. And it is at least dubious that the very notion of "reincarnation" is compatible with the fundamental notions of Buddhism (anicca, anattā, dukkha)


[d] See above, [a] and [b].


[e] This is only partly correct, from a Scriptural POV: the Scripture speaks of bodily resurrections for ALL humans, the elect as well and the reprobate:


28 “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and will come out – the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation.” (John 5:28-29; see also Dan 12:2, Matt 10:28, Acts 24:14-15)


[f] This "essential agreement" is rather stretched: what they all have in common is the denial of the metaphysical notion of "eternal (and immortal) soul".


[g] I only partially agree with this:


First, ALL will be resurrected, so the reprobates, including wilful atheists, will have the opportunity of becoming aware of how wrong they were, and how their choice is respected, anyway.


Second, Salvation will NOT be limited to Christians (in fact many "christians" will be condemned — especially those who think it is sufficient to wear the tag "christian" of their coat to be saved ...): God, in His Omnipotence and Boundless Mercy, will save ALL that He will judge fit for Life Everlasting.


MdS

Revelation is above, not against Reason

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms ...” (Deut 33:27)
“Do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9)
“By the Lord’s word [dabar] the heavens were made; and by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33:6)
“Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the arm of the Lord revealed through him?” (Isaiah 53:1)
“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38)
“For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”(Romans 13:8)
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 6:32AM #22
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277

Jul 17, 2012 -- 5:47AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:


[c] This is all part of Buddhism, in different degrees depending on the "denomination" (Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan, etc.). But it is almost certainly NOT part of Siddhartha Gautama's original thought. And it is at least dubious that the very notion of "reincarnation" is compatible with the fundamental notions of Buddhism (anicca, anattā, dukkha)


MdS




I only have a few minutes this morning (actually came on to make a brief comment).


However, I beg to differ with you here. If what you say were true, Buddha could have taught, hey people, if you can wait for death, you'll be free. But he believed in the chain of birth and death (and birth and death and birth and death) and taught a way to be free from it.


sdp

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 6:35AM #23
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277

Jul 16, 2012 -- 8:27PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


............/............


So where does that leave us? Our identity, which we could call our soul, results from brain/body function, and exists as memory, an accumulation of information in the totality of our brain/body. We can trust God, under the appropriate conditions, to *take-care-of*, and save that information subsequent to the death of the physical body (or not, under other conditions).


So, I essentially agree with Nancy Murphy, Kw, Buddha, and possibly MdS (?:-).


In a sense, both atheists and Christians *win*. Atheists die, which they expect anyway, Christians are eternally saved :-).


sdp    




Gives new meaning to the question: Have you been saved? .......... :-) ........


sdp

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 9:37AM #24
Miguel_de_servet
Posts: 17,050

sdp


Jul 17, 2012 -- 6:32AM, stardustpilgrim wrote:

Jul 17, 2012 -- 5:47AM, Miguel_de_servet wrote:

Jul 16, 2012 -- 8:27PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:

[c] ... according to Buddhism, there is a something that exists within us which accumulates karma, and incarnates from life to life. Upon each life, a new cultural identity is formed, which carries the burden of the accumulated karma. This continues until in a particular life one comes to recognize their Buddha-nature (which is not any sort of individual identity).


[c] This is all part of Buddhism, in different degrees depending on the "denomination" (Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Tibetan, etc.). But it is almost certainly NOT part of Siddhartha Gautama's original thought. And it is at least dubious that the very notion of "reincarnation" is compatible with the fundamental notions of Buddhism (anicca, anattā, dukkha)


... I beg to differ with you here. If what you say were true, Buddha could have taught, hey people, if you can wait for death, you'll be free. But he believed in the chain of birth and death (and birth and death and birth and death) and taught a way to be free from it.


The Buddha spoke frequently about rebirth (upupatti), but he never spoke about reincarnation.


Anyway, if you are so sure that what you says is true, why don't you provide direct evidence from texts attributed to Siddhartha Gautama Buddha himself? Smile


MdS

Revelation is above, not against Reason

“The everlasting God is a refuge, and underneath you are his eternal arms ...” (Deut 33:27)
“Do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:9)
“By the Lord’s word [dabar] the heavens were made; and by the breath [ruwach] of his mouth all their host.” (Psalm 33:6)
“Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the arm of the Lord revealed through him?” (Isaiah 53:1)
“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38)
“For not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”(Romans 13:8)
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 9:53AM #25
Kwinters
Posts: 18,079

Jul 16, 2012 -- 11:50AM, davelaw40 wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.
.



How so? you are familiar with our myths-
 that God breathed into man and man became life with life (a living soul)


most ancient cultures equated life with breath and heartbeat


so what if soul is the ancients groping toward the concept of the brain


the soul can be subdivided into mind , will , and emotions all of which seem to reside in the brain


can any part of consciousness exist outside the brain? all we have is anecdotal evidence: NDE's and out of body experiences in general-nothing that science has been able to measure or quantify





Again, there is no serious attempt to engage with the empirical evidence that the 'self' that should be stable if it were based upon a permanent 'soul' disappears, changes or is not experienced while the brain is in a dream state.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 9:55AM #26
Kwinters
Posts: 18,079

Jul 16, 2012 -- 11:58AM, Keyfer wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 11:19AM, Kwinters wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 11:02AM, Keyfer wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.


I think that most Christians could give an answer to how the soul came into being, when, and by whom. A clear definition of what a soul is is another matter. The only answer I have ever found is in the writings of E. Swedenborg. 



However, whatever it is supposed to be one of the key features of a soul is that it is part of us, that it has a connection with our actions and our intentions.


Agreed.



It seems to me that if such a thing as a soul existed, then it would continue to exist when we are asleep as our bodies do. 


 Agreed.


And yet when we sleep we are sometimes someone else entirely, or we have a sense of self and we engage in all sorts of actions we would not engage in during our waking states.



This describes my experiences also




Since in our experience of sleep we often entirely lose our sense of self that we have when we are awake, I propose this is strong evidence against the idea of an immortal soul and is evidence in favor of a brain-based  consciousness that operates on a purely material basis.



Personally, I do not see any strong evidence here against the existence of an immortal soul. I think that your conclusion is based on your choice to believe that there is no God and no life after the death of our physical bodies. You have weighed the evidence and have chosen your belief, this is your right. Others, such as myself, disagree, this is our right.




No, my conclusion is based on experience that contradict what the speculation offered proposes.


Yes, on “your” experience which is determined by what you have chosen as your belief and, imo, most (if not all) of what is offered on this site is speculation and opinion.


It is also based upon other evidence collected about the randomness and disassociative experience of the dream state.


If a soul is permanent feature of a being, then that feature should remain stable during dream states.


In your opinion.


After all, your body doesn't change when you dream, does it? Yet who you are, what you do, and decisions you make are not at all consistent in dreams.


If souls were permanent than we would remain the same 'soul' in or out of dream state.


Instead, the evidence shows that brain function produces myriad and temporary states of 'self' that disappear upon waking.


If we base our idea of how a soul should work on the speculation that it should behave like our brain and our body, i.e., more “stable” then I suppose that we would follow the above line of reasoning. However, if we allow that the soul may not be designed to function like the brain and the physical body, other possibilities can be considered. 


So I think you have a lot of work to do to refute this evidence based conclusion, and what you've thus posted doesn't even begin to address the physical or experiential evidence.


The “evidence” looks like speculation to me.








Then I can only conclude you are quite ill informed on the subject of dream states.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 10:06AM #27
Kwinters
Posts: 18,079

Jul 16, 2012 -- 1:42PM, williejhonlo wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.

However, whatever it is supposed to be one of the key features of a soul is that it is part of us, that it has a connection with our actions and our intentions.

It seems to me that if such a thing as a soul existed, then it would continue to exist when we are asleep as our bodies do.  And yet when we sleep we are sometimes someone else entirely, or we have a sense of self and we engage in all sorts of actions we would not engage in during our waking states.

Since in our experience of sleep we often entirely lose our sense of self that we have when we are awake, I propose this is strong evidence against the idea of an immortal soul and is evidence in favor of a brain-based  consciousness that operates on a purely material basis.


You could say the soul is the knower,enjoyer, entity. The waking state, dream state, and the state of deep sleep are just states known by a knower.





No, you couldn't because those words are just gobbledy gook based on nothing.


We know that brain activity is tied to our experience of dreams 'Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake.' wiki 


Brain function produces various images or even senses of self - selves that are ephemeral, disconnected and arbitrary.




Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 10:08AM #28
Kwinters
Posts: 18,079

Jul 16, 2012 -- 3:13PM, MMarcoe wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.


That's because there is no definition given. So much for the Bible having all the answers, as so many have claimed.

However, whatever it is supposed to be one of the key features of a soul is that it is part of us, that it has a connection with our actions and our intentions.


I disagree that it would be part of us. I would say that we are a part of it.

It seems to me that if such a thing as a soul existed, then it would continue to exist when we are asleep as our bodies do.  And yet when we sleep we are sometimes someone else entirely, or we have a sense of self and we engage in all sorts of actions we would not engage in during our waking states.


I think you are confusing the soul with the individual self. It's not the self.


Being pure consciousness, the soul does exist while we are asleep, but it isn't related to whether we become a different person during sleep.

Since in our experience of sleep we often entirely lose our sense of self that we have when we are awake, I propose this is strong evidence against the idea of an immortal soul and is evidence in favor of a brain-based  consciousness that operates on a purely material basis.


Not quite. If we lose our sense of self during sleep, that may mean that we are shifting from self to soul. When we awake, we shift back to self.








Consciousness does not have the same nature as the posited theological 'soul' which mirrors (drives?) personal preferences, beliefs, morals etc. The soul is posited as the essence of the individual, whereas consciousness is merely the mechanism that allows the soul to function.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 10:12AM #29
Kwinters
Posts: 18,079

Jul 16, 2012 -- 6:51PM, 57 wrote:


Jul 16, 2012 -- 7:07AM, Kwinters wrote:

It is notoriously difficult to get Christians to provide a clear definition of what a soul supposedly is, how it came into being, when, by whom, and how it interacts with our bodies and minds.


There are several theological opinions of what man is made up of.   


One question is, is man a soul...or is a soul part of what man is made up of?

However, whatever it is supposed to be one of the key features of a soul is that it is part of us, that it has a connection with our actions and our intentions.


Is a soul really part of us?  That is a claim you can't outright make...then base an opinion on. 

It seems to me that if such a thing as a soul existed, then it would continue to exist when we are asleep as our bodies do.  And yet when we sleep we are sometimes someone else entirely, or we have a sense of self and we engage in all sorts of actions we would not engage in during our waking states.


OK? So what?

Since in our experience of sleep we often entirely lose our sense of self that we have when we are awake, I propose this is strong evidence against the idea of an immortal soul and is evidence in favor of a brain-based  consciousness that operates on a purely material basis.


I don't think it can be considered as strong evidence...especially when you can't define what a soul is.  Your whole argument is based upon an opinion.









The problem is that Christians cannot define or agree upon what a soul is, what it consists of, how it exists, where it exists, when it exists, or how it is causally linked to material brain function.


Don't impute the failed opinions of your religion on my observations.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2012 - 10:13AM #30
lulu2
Posts: 454

How silly is this blog?? LOL how can you DISPROVE what you have YET TO PROVE FOR YOURSELF TO BE TRUE? Hearsay? Texts? Sad to say, for those who see no need to really prove it to themselves,...only personal experience will get you there! 

Without the Soul of Christ alive in us...we are nothing but empty shells...
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