In many religions an integral part of the belief is the belief in a soul.
One that is influenced by worldly actions and either ends in a perceived heaven & hell, or is even reborn in a Buddhist style, forced to learn from it's mistakes on the path of improvement.
I know my username is watersoul, but I originally chose it more as a generic term for "one who loves the water".
I personally don't worry if anything continues to exist from me after death. Biological & chemical processes will certainly turn my shell into other forms of useable energy if I'm buried, but as to how the transference of energy takes place I don't really care. I simply concentrate on the "real" life I know now while leaving the worry of an afterlife for a bridge I may never have to cross.
I am interested in others views though so please feel free to share what you think and why.
I dont know what i belive, in all honesty the life i lead has depended on science and technology (my main intrests) my dad was a johovas witness, he died when i was 17 (im now 20)
I remeber he used to tell me stories from the bible, but he would spice them up and make them funny and cool (i was young) and somehow i think it gave me faith, but im not sure what i have faith in.
I belive somthing created this planet, but i dont neccerily call that somthing/someone god.
I lost my intrest in religion when dad died, but i still stop and listen to preachers of all faiths, i like knowing where their "soul" will lead them.
I tried finding the experiment I researched in elementary school, but I guess I googled the wrong keyword.
In a nutshell, they took a human before death and placed him on a scale, and weighed him. Then, immediately after he expired, a weight more than the oxygen in his lungs but less than anything that could be attributed to organs, urine, fecal matter, or any logical weight, was missing. They hypothesized that this weight was the human soul exiting the human body. In comparason, they performed the exersize on a canine, and no weight was missing, evidencing that this was something unique to the human race, as they also tested a house cat, a mouse, and various other animals, none of which lost any weight upon death - but the human did. So, they ran a second test, and the same thing happened - unexplained weight loss upon death.
Definitely curious, and I'm strongly drawn to wondering which human subjects were available to be weighed and in what circumstances, especially within a very short time before what I assume was an expected death. No weight loss through perspiration, food/fluid intake etc, that experiment would have to have very strict parameters, so I'd be quite interested in reading about it.
Yes, it did. They had an extremely precise weighing machine that could record even a hair falling off the head (mind you this was an experiment in the 80s I believe and its been years so my facts might be a little off) and no one could enter the room with the expirating volunteer.
You might find something about it if you try googling "The Human Soul Experiment" but it's all in books that you have to buy
Edit: I think they accepted volunteer cancer patients gone terminal or some such thing, people that didn't want to live.
Interesting thoughts, I shall do some light research and see what I can discover myself regarding these stated results. I'm pretty doubtful to be honest though as I cannot imagine what mass a "soul" could actually have, but either way it's intrigued me so I at least appreciate you sharing the story.
The idea of a soul is a mighty romantic one, and one that I've pondered fairly heavily through the years in my religious questing and study... but ultimately, I've come to the conclusion that it is just that; a romantic idea.
I've not seen any compelling evidence that the soul exists or of its supposed potential journeys... therefore I should not assume that it exists and I should focus on living well with the life that I know I have, and live it as its own reward, not hope for reward or retribution afterward. Personal responsibility is a wonderfully respectable quality.
I'm afraid not.
As with all such stories SNOPES is a good place to do some background. This one turns out to be based on the work of Duncan McDougall at the beginning of the 20th century. His methodology and experimental results were, to put it kindly, suspect.
Cheers Bikerman, saved me the effort
I believe in souls. And reincarnation. But I don't think our actions while on earth is going to land us on heaven or hell. If you do good karma, it'll come back to you in your present life.
Apart from what Bikerman posted, I'll link you to a rather long, but VERY informative essay:
Basically, it talks about many neuropsychological cases like brain damage, brain tumors etc. and how they affect our behaviour and how it all ties into theology.
If Bikerman's link didn't convince you, than I assure you, if you read the whole essay (it may take a couple of sitting to read it through, it is long) it'll at least give you lots to think about.
I prefer the reincarnation idea, at least as one possible outcome.
1- I think there is a soul, as in some spiritual element to the 'self'.
2- I don't think it is a consciousness entire unto itself, but I do think it interacts with the conciousness.
3- I think it probably continues to exist, at least for a time, after death.
4- Of all the theories of what might happen to it at that point, I think reincarnation has the strongest evidence... Although I suspect is is also possible for it to linger on its own for a while, with no body at all.
(And yes, my belief in reincarnation is somewhat wishful thinking, as it's the best outcome I could desire.)
I believe that there is a soul (maybe an immortal soul) and when we die our souls go for judgement. The outcome of that judgement depends on the type of life we live while on earth. I believe that something or someone is responsible for the creation of the world and everything that is in it and after some studies, I could find no other reasonable answer than the existence of a Supreme Being(God). So when we die, our souls go over to him for judgement.[/img]
Belief in God and the soul is something that can probably only have reality on a faith basis. I can't see how those who would need empircal evidence would ever be able to find that evidence. So a debate would probably not go very far on whether there is a soul or not.
The topic is more a question and a poll:
Whether a debate develops or not is a side issue to my intentions for posting the topic, maybe I didn't make it clear enough?
You could check the link that I provided. It investigates heavily into dualism or the view that we are made up of two components - the body and the soul and the essay gives much empirical evidence that suggests a body-soul duality doesn't exist.
It is an interesting link, cheers, I scan read it last night and throughout today. Quite well referenced, although I obviously haven't checked them all, but it's pretty much in agreement with where my thoughts were already. Nice one
Yes. Over history people have been wrong on just about everything.
You might as well say that because early hominids probably worshipped the sun then there must be something in it. It is fallacious reasoning - ad-populum fallacy.
2.1 billion people are Christians. 1.4 billion people are Muslims. Can 2.1 or 1.4 billion people possibly be wrong? The answer is no - 2.1 or 1.4 or 3.5 people ARE wrong.
The fact that nobody can be 100% certain is repeated as if it is some sort of trump card - the ultimate getout. If you want to pursue that line to its logical conclusion then go ahead but I'm not interested - done it too many times. You arrive at ultimate solipsism and the 'existential question' which leads into duality .. and so on.
The plain everyday facts are that the current scientific models we have work. Not sometimes, not most of the time. They just work. When we are able to measure new things or observe new phenomena then we might find our models don't work at some new extreme. We then normally end up with a paradigm shift and a unification of two or more 'separate' models into one larger model.
When people claim that the world is young, that evolution didn't happen or doesn't account for the species we see, that Noah built a 450ft Ark, that the universe was created in 6 days - and the rest of that junk - then I don't care where and how they get their 'knowledge'. It 'aint so.
When a creationist provides some evidence and a coherent theory then I'll be tempted to reconsider.
In terms of this specific debate then I cannot say that the soul does not exist 100% - for reasons to tedious to remember, let alone repeat. That's why I have never made such a statement. I don't even know how we could put any probabilities on the matter. I'd probably say its 99.9x percent probable that we don't have one (where the value of x would vary depending on how belligerent/argumentative I was feeling )
So... being 1% (potentially) right is worth mentioning?
Would a 1% chance of winning the lottery be worth buying a ticket for?
Yeah, those are really good lottery odds
That said, I don't buy lottery tickets.
If you were predicting the weather, and have 99% proof that there will be a tornado in any given territory, then the 1% would probably not be as significant, would it?
THE BIBLE WHICH CONTAINS THE TRUTH UPON WHICH OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH IS BASED MADE US TO UNDERSTAND THAT MAN HAS AN IMMORTAL SOUL THAT LIVES ON AFTER THE FLESH HAD PERISHED. HOWEVER THE TRUTH EQUALLY HAS IT THAT THERE IS SECOND DEATH WHICH IS THE REAL DEATH THAT AWAITS THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO COULD NOT MEET THE DEMANDS OF ETERNAL LIFE. SO IN PLACE OF ETERNAL LIFE THEY WILL HAVE ETERNAL DAMNATION.
Ouch, there, my ears are hurting from all that shouting uchejohn. Can I translate quietly what you said in my tongue?
Is this a reasonable a translation? (please let me return someday to answer the question presented here)
I guess I could add if you are not good boys and girls – burnt toast you are or another way to say that is forgetaboutit!
*thinks about just taking to the athiests now*
That's not quite how evidence works... but that's been explained in other threads, so I'll just let it go rather than typing up an explanation of proving positives rather than negatives.
I do think that there is no reasonable rationale to assume there is such thing as a soul. It's a neat concept, but, the evidence for existence is just not there. I see no reason to believe when a reason has not been presented.
I'm not entirely following these questions, could you restate them differently?
I agree actually...
It's just that I've seen reason -- both first-hand and from others -- to suppose such a thing.
Death is surely not the same as eternal damnation. If your 'soul' dies, then how can it experience anything, let alone eternal damnation?
ETERNAL DAMNATION means you can not listen to Ray Charles, James Brown or even Aretha Franklin while posting into the forum because your computer must have blown a fuse. It means your computer is down. It is done gone dead and what you will experience now and forever is a longing and frustration for not being able to come up and communicate with all your friends and foes online!
Until you fix the problem, your demise is to sit look out the window and wait patiently for the repairman’s arrival, eternally.
But if there is an 'I' who is wanting to use the computer then clearly the 'I' cannot be dead...?
There seem to be two distinct 'theologies' amongst Christians. Firstly we have the eternal damnation theology - the traditional picture of Hell. Then there is the more modern understanding that hell is being 'denied Heaven' - ie Hell is not a specific place or torment but is instead simply the absence of God....
I do believe in a 'soul' if that's what we're choosing to call it here, though I don't believe that we're judged for our sins, rather by them. In each incarnation we experience 'stuff' and some of that 'stuff' may be preordained so we can experience different aspects in matters where we've failed to gain a thorough understanding or appreciation (for that particular matter).
In matters such as this, where most of us would have to rely on faith, it can be difficult to give an example without going off-topic. The conventional depiction of heaven and hell doesn't fit with me, so to provide the post with some meaningful context, I'd have to refer to reincarnation as being the 'heaven/hell' on earth.
If an off-topic explanation helps then go for it. I started the thread to find out what others feel and why, so I certainly do not mind if the answers stray off target a little
Okay, I'll try and keep it simple for now as from the outside it looks pretty complicated. I could go very deep, but without wanting to patronize anyone, i'll start with an intro.
I do believe in what some would call Karma, but not in the basic tit for tat way that many seem to stipulate as a belief - more as a case of every cause creates a sequence of events (con-sequence). For as long as the cause is maintained, there will be a driving force for the sequences that follow - not so dissimilar to a domino effect if you like. Once we start taking note of what I'll loosely call the domino effect, we have an opportunity to make alterations to the cause and witness an altered domino effect. To use the phrase often quoted in saying that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we could start with something that looks a bit like bish results in bash and this as a beginner could continue for quite some time. Many people belief 'as you sow so shall you reap' to mean just this. (An eye for an eye and all that)
A farmer may have a different view of the same sowing and reaping scenario - sow certain seeds and get certain crops. Presuming that he doesn't reap the every single seed from the crop, some of the unharvested seeds will continue to create further crops in the following season(s). However, if the farmer finds a better seed and chooses to nurture the growth of the new seed in preference to the previous crop, he can change the nature of the field. Let's say he's changed from wheat to barley and later to potatoes
The field represents the experience of life and due to the previous sowing of seeds, the farmer has a field with potatoes (his currently chosen crop) and the naturally occurring wheat and barley (now possibly seen as weeds/annoyances). If he wants a field of pure potato crop, the weeds have to be rooted out and it's likely to take time and effort and possibly many seasons (lifetimes) to completely remove them from the field. We could say that the remainder of naturally occurring incidences represent those parts of life which are already written (in this case wheat and barley) and the remainder of life is made up of 3 aspects:
a) the effort we put into the creation of the new potato crops
b) the effort we put into the removal/eradication of the now unwanted crops (in this case wheat and barley)
c) the effort we put into reassessing the pros and cons of the current crop(s)
Presuming, as in this case, the farmer's view of perfection is an eternal diet of potatoes - he's cracked the code, though it's likely he'll decide on a new formula for perfection once he's achieved his goal (maybe even reintroducing a little wheat and barley to create a varied diet).
It's way oversimplified I know, because most of us have many things we'd see as worthwhile crops and bothersome weeds, though it starts to paint a picture.
Jeffryjon. The way you sketched it, isn't that causality? Cause and effect?
Yes causality - though each effect(s) is also a cause of the next - a chain reaction - though in the sense of karma - each effect carrying an essence of the cause to the next effect(s) - hence as you sow so shall you reap. The originating cause (within your personal uni-verse) being the 'exact' of your projections (in thought/word/deed). Then under the rule of 'like attracts like', you are 'in your own image'. (Taking into account the farmer depiction in the post I made above)
Now we add active consciousness into the equation and this is where the soul continuing from one incarnation to the next comes into effect. I think many of us are aware that there are far more htings we'd like to do/experience than we're likely to achieve in a single life. Some of this may be a yearning to be a superb piano player or sportsman (a want), others may be a wish to make amends for something we regretted in hindsight ('if only i could change the past' type things) and then there's the things we feel strongly that we shouldn't have as part of our lives (these are the 'not-wants').
The cause all works by the same mechanism creating an eternal life (of soul, jiva, atma), which brings about a new incarnation to give opportunity to fulfill the above (which are all actually types of wants). As an example I'll use something simple.
a) I always wanted to smoke but for whatever reason was prevented the opportunity. (reincarnation trigger)
b) I wanted to smoke but could only do so in less circumstances than I'd like as each cigarette only abated the want for a temporary period still leaving the overriding want in place. (another trigger)
c) I've now learned that smoking has harmed my life and the lives of people around me and have consciously stopped smoking, but the want is still there. (trigger)
d) I've now learned that smoking has harmed my life and the lives of people around me and have consciously stopped smoking and want to eradicate smoking from the face of the earth (a not-want - which is still a want - trigger).
e) New want(s) stemming from wishing to fix all the problems the smoking caused - a want to make amends. (Trigger possibly to become a doctor - anti-smoking counsellor etc)
f) I've reached a point in experience where I neither want to smoke or 'not-want' to smoke - I also accept that the problems caused by my previous actions can never be fixed so they'll just have to run their course until they eventually come to a halt (burning off the karma so to speak) I am now indifferent to it and am ready to move on (absence of want)
In consciousness, once we reach the state of 'absence of want', the 'seeds' of that particular crop have lost their fertilizer in our own personal uni-verse and the experience dies out because the image of ourselves in which we are made has changed.
There's 1000's of potential wants of course so the process can take many 100's of incarnations until we're free of all wants - fulfilled - contented - happiness no longer connected to circumstance.
We are not the same person after few years. So, even if the soul exists, it doesn't matter.
Although I believe that soul does not exits, but we continue our journey even after we die through the things we have done in our live and genetically through our children.
Very interesting thoughts Jeffryjon, I may not believe it myself but it's given me a good insight into how you conceptualise the 'soul'. Cheers fella, good posts.
Also striking similarities to some Buddhist teachings. I hypothesise (and this should be challenged) that it points to the possibility that Eastern religion shares a basic rejection of materialism as the 'correct path', whereas it can be argued that Western religion tends to embrace materialism - the 'Protestant work ethic', 'Catholic tastes' etc. It is true that Western religion has a monastic tradition comparable to Eastern ideas of simplicity and detachment from materialism, but this was not seen as the dominant theme for the masses.
This is a common misconception about Eastern teachings and very understandable because most people I've come across here in India seem to think this is the way the teachings should be interpreted (and also their reason for not being too religious beyond a social sense). It's about detachment from materialism as different to rejection of materialistic things. Detachment in the sense that you're not fastened or tied to something - equally in the opposite direction in that you're not holding onto or binding yourself to something. It's not about rejection - it's about allowing things to be as they are without any sense of being unfulfilled without it. I can only describe it as being equally happy/contented if an experience happens or doesn't happen. The happiness/contentment no longer needing an event to trigger it - it becomes the default position.
With regard to the materialistic/worldly side of things, in the East, there are even references to the right and left hand paths. The 'right hand' being distancing from something long enough for it to lose it's hold over you and focusing on some spiritual practice until the habit and its effects die off (chanting the name of God as one example), whilst the left hand path living to such excess of something that one loses all desire for it. Depending on the 'school' both paths are considered reliable ways to gain detachment (or better phrased to become untied from that thing -and eventually all things).
Yes detachment is a better word - I didn't actually mean rejection as such, more rejection of the notion of materialism as a way to happiness.
You're right on track there Deanhills. Detachment in the spiritual sense is a process rather than something that can be done suddenly. If an attachment is there (and most of us have far more than we're aware of until we put it to the test) trying to force the issue is likely to cause it to come back with a vengeance at some later point. We just need to look back a century or so to realize that many of the things people are attached to and convince themselves they 'need' is a self-created situation.
The living on the rays of the sun thing is also misrepresented, as it's more linked to living on prana (as the Indians call the invisible life force) which doesn't rely on the sun (of course the sun can be be a stage prop to assist as a reminder that humans apparently don't need physical food for survival). Even if the physical dependency on food is overcome, it quickly becomes apparent that other attachments can get in the way. It can cause a lot of other disturbances because it raises fears in almost everyone around you - so much of human life is based around food that people feel uncomfortable eating in front of you and it alienates you from having a social life / business life etc - frankly it freaks the hell out of most people when they realize it's being done for real - as such continuing to live that way, you'd end up as some kind of stereotypical 'yogi' - most real yogi's I know would probably go unnoticed by the majority, as they're no more shy of the worldly things than they are detached from them. Some of those I know are high-flyers in multi-nationals companies and don't go out of their way to make it obvious.
All that said, food tastes good, clothing helps you blend in more (and keeps you from getting arrested in many places), houses are pleasant and modern technology can make life much more convenient. More importantly, when an individual's mind is convinced (s)he will die or suffer greatly without something, then there's a pretty good chance (s)he will.
If you're working with a purpose (in some cases which can be an attachment in itself) it pays to conform to certain norms for the sake of efficiency.
I've always found the Theravada Buddhist philosophy very interesting while considering 'the soul', and a very good book I have is a 1973 publication of The Buddhist Outlook, by Francis Story
I have to say I don't subscribe to the beliefs myself, but if anyone is curious to read an excellent 'plain English' interpretation of this branch of Buddhist thought, I'd recommend this book as an interesting read.
@jeffryjon. Thanks for that excellent explanation. Can one also say we have an attachment to living? And that creates fear of dying? And perhaps that those very few who can develop a detachment from living, and be fearless of dying, are the only ones who are really and truly alive?
What does it mean to be "truly alive"? I've heard and seen this phrase tossed around a lot in various circles, but no one ever really has a good working definition of what they mean. Usually it centers on vibrancy, but not always... and one can be afraid of death and still lead a rather vibrant life...
Again, it brings the question of what is being "alive", which forms the basis of the possibility to be more or truly so.
Is living being spontaneous? Is living being utterly free? Is living only this moment? Is living simply collecting experiences?
I don't think spontaneity necessarily equals vibrancy, nor being more 'fully alive'.
Spontaneity is more of a symptom of being fully alive than a cause.
My personal theory on being 'fully alive' (which is part of the religion I'm still formulating):
1: The most important part is to find your purpose, your reason de etre... It's the thing in your life that you could never have too much of. (Accretion of material goods/greed, love of family, et cetera are good and (mostly) proper things, but they are NOT the purpose... Saying you live for your family or friends is endearing, but it does not lead to being 'fully alive'... It's not the purpose I'm talking about.) This purpose is different for different people (mine is horses). Once you've identified it, rearrange your life's priorities so that you can enjoy that purpose.
2: Although the purpose of your life takes precedence, enjoy the other enjoyable parts of it. Sort of a limited hedonism, where the hedonism takes a secondary role behind your primary purpose. Even in a mostly miserable situation, find the parts you can enjoy, and enjoy them to the fullest.
(As an example, my main purpose in life is horses, and most of my actions can be traced back to that in some way... But, I still do take time to enjoy other things, from the grandeur of hiking in mountain scenery, to the warmth of a soft blanket, to the intellectual enjoyment of posting here.)
Although doing these two things does make one 'more fully alive', that is not their primary purposes. Although the purpose of these two things actually is very relevant to this thread, I will avoid explaining it, for the sake of brevity, and because some aspects are still being formed.
I read somewhere that Jesus said something along the lines of "God is for the living and let the dead bury the dead". If death is seen as an absence of life, rather than an opposite of it, then I can clearly see the concept being applied to attitudes/situations/lifestyles just as much as the physical death. It has certainly being my experience that there are some people who are part of the 'walking dead' - not just pessimism (though that is a part), but also in the sense of someone who is the death of a party rather than the life and soul of it and/or carries a default attitude of the other path than what we've taken to achieve something is always right (those with the 'if only we'd'obsession).
Taking my own perspective on Ocalhoun's primary horse focus, yet enjoying other aspects of life, I see the quality of deciding to love everything. For example, if living in an enchanted castle is your focus then that can be the purpose for your life, though there's still going to be a toilet or two that need cleaning and taking the right attitude toward the 'toilet-cleaning' type things that come along with almost every situation gets them out of the way quickly, so we can enjoy the better aspects of the 'castle'. I suppose it depends on whether you choose to see the process as removing the s**t (burying the dead) or creating a bright shiny toilet bowl for the next time you need it.
The original question was do we as humans have a soul. My honest answer would be I don't know. As a child and for a good many years of my adult life I believed in god, spirituality, and an afterlife. These beliefs were based on my christian upbringing, and my later studies into spirituality in an attempt to make sense of some of the strange experiences I have had while dreaming and meditating, as well as some of the things I have seen others do, that have defied any sort of scientific explaination.
As time went on, and I bacame more educated, and studied and obtained a degree in science I began to doubt these experiences, and although I accept them as part of my life today, I have never really come to any sort of real explaination as to what they are, the fact that I could not control the experiences nor reproduce them later in life. I began to come to a more cynical belief about life.
That religions were created out of a need to control the people and keep an order to society. That if people knew the truth about life, death, and their soul they would go crazy and start murdering and pillaging and plundering looking to get any and everything they could by whatever means were available, because this life would be their only chance to gain those posessions. By giving people a list of right behavior, telling them that there are rewards for living by this code, and that a part of them will live on, when they die, and the reward for their good behavior comes in the after life, or the punishment for bad behavior comes then as well, they were able to introduce the greatest psychological control over the masses ever.
That's my take on it anyway!
If you want to know why I say this, the explaination could get very lengthy, but I will say that so much about the religious beliefs and who and what have souls and who doesn't set off so many alarms in my mind that I could not help but draw the above conclusion.
I would agree with your depiction Deanhills that attachment to life and certain freedoms and comforts we may (hopefully) get to enjoy could influence someone away from committing murder and other crimes - and as such, fear of losing one's life does not have to be a matter of believing/not believing in God.
As for defining the soul, or being truly alive, I would define that as being two sides of the same coin, but that's just my personal understanding as it being something other than just physical 'life'. Once we overcome the fear of death (metaphorically or physically), we have the freedom to act on a spontaneous idea. As only one example, in times when jobs are easy to come by or businesses easily flourish, more people feel able to spontaneously take time out to pursue other interests rather than live in the fear of the 'death' of work opportunities - though similarly it could be the difference between working with an attitude of joy and pleasure (regardless of the task in hand) and simply going through the motions of securing a wage. The first I would term as working for the soul. Most jobs involve some tasks we'd rather not do, though once we engage the 'soul' ('heart' or whatever), we can move the self-imagined 'mountain' more quickly.
This is what we "think" about the human "mind":
We think that neurons charged with electrical impulses stimulate a signal of neurotransmitters which shoot across the synaptic cleft towards the receptor sites of a separate neuron either handshaking or deflecting another electrical impulse to think (I think).
What you have here is a motion with no mover and no error checking protocol. Sounds a bit like Evolution doesn't it?
Of course it does. It's a scientific study of a non corporeal mechanism. It was arrived at by scientists by first obligatorily accepting and permitting two philosophical axioms: "I am." and "I can know." There's no problem with that; in theory but philosophically, it never really diverts from being just philosophical. Well how can you say that? What we have is philosophy masquerading as science, and there's no problem with that either, because in its initial conception, it is always required to. Philosophy + theory + evidence = science (respectively). Taking the conception of truth in its most fetal form we have philosophy and just as there are fundamental truths in philosophy which are unassailable to testing as they cannot be proven so the edifice of science is precariously built upon the foundation of fundamental truths which cannot be proven: extension, mass and time, this brings us back to square UNO. And it's nice here, come join us, skeptics. You did once. You never write, you never call...
The mind/intellect is a faculty of the human soul by which we know. The mind knows by producing ideas or thoughts, which though immaterial and non corporeal, are abstracted from the sensory input from the body. How does material being alone know what topic to trigger the brain to think about? Well its a good question. A better one is how does a chemical relay in a physical brain come up with a new, groundbreaking, creative or unique idea? How does it learn things. Like things, dislike things or file them due to personality? Or is there a material explanation for immaterial ideas being encrypted, preordained and released in some way in the physical material of brain cells? Because you know what? I don't think so.
Operation is the causality of being. An effect cannot be greater than its cause. A thing acts according to its attributes. If we find spiritual actions, then their source are of a spiritual being. Spirituality in humans permits us to abstract and know universal concepts (humanity, morals, guilt), concepts that are not limited by material things. We know for a fact that there are concepts of purely spiritual things (truth and justice, love and hate). We have communications and inner dialogue transcending the material (conventional, changeable, erratic and subject to perception unlike animals, many of which we evolved from, still the effect is greater than the cause). We can make spiritually dependent decisions (such as lettuce. Who the hell would want to eat lettuce?). Ultimately, there's a creative, personality of a spiritual intellect which isn't material nor subject to chemical process. It's called a soul. It parents the mind and intellect.
Somebody who was a lot better at this than I:
And if you're still in any doubt about the existence of a soul, you must be out of your mind! Or in it, as the child of the parental soul (like everyone else). Still think the sum total of you is a series of chemical reactions? You seriously underestimate yourself, my friend. How a bunch of atoms could ever be capable to really look at itself, as if apart from itself and recognize that it exists is hilarious. Aka: not remotely possible, by any stretch of the imagination.
But case in point: I can sometimes be somewhat of an a-hole. Look at the benevolent, endearing, magical soul Jeffryjon displays in his thoughts, imagination and insight if you need to see to believe things. He's all the faith that there is a soul you'll ever need, in my opinion. It's called "faith in action". I'm actually a bit jealous of jeffryjon's outlook from reading his posts. But I don't resent him, and nor do I agree with all of his religious beliefs yet I still respect and admire his words. That's how you know it's souls communicating, rather than minds. Because it speaks to the heart, like good music, rather than to the mind, like intelligence. Deanhills too: Amiable, genial, enthusiastic, intelligent, creative. Notice how all the people who believe in souls display one?
I do believe in the soul, yes. I believe I know that it is there. If we're still working with the "I am" axiom, it's just a fact. If it wasn't there, I'd probably have to use it to create one. So if it is an invention of man, he invented this philosophy both with it and for it. And therefore, he didn't need to bother. He could have just wasted his time saying that water is wet instead.
This is hilarious.
First you, correctly, note that science is based on two axioms. Then you produce the most axiom-laden, assertion rich prose imaginable to support the notion of a soul.
Let's examine the first part of this Aquinas 'proof' :
Descartes also did some studies of physiology and thought the soul was in the pineal gland
With what? Not what. With what? How are you doing this?
Thanks for the link. That's some pretty intense stuff. Here's my clearer understanding of it:
You are trying to argue a general from a specific, but since you ask:
It is entirely possible to conceive of an intellect in some material (silicon, for simplicity) that has no sensory input, no 'sense' of its own physicality, and yet is able to abstract and 'think'.
It is entirely possible for you to do it, is the point. Not the silicon, and not the silicon of you. Especially not the silicon, of you, of it. The attributes you used to "imagine" this scenario are evidence that you argue against. This is probably the one time that creativity didn't pay off.
That is not what aquinas said.
a) The silicon IS the intellect in the example I gave - or more correctly, the flow of signals through the silicon is the intellect.
b) In the example the intellect cannot know all corporeal things because it has no way to do so, lacking any sensory input.
If you want an easier and more concrete example, a deaf-blind child CANNOT know all corporeal things.
The fact that MY intellect can know SOME corporeal things is entirely irrelevant, since Aquinas is making a general statement, not a specific one.
Aquinas's 'proof' is completely circular nonsense and if you really don't see that then...wow!
A silicon has no soul. Aquinas didn't even attribute them to animals. A deaf and blind child can read books about their body in braille. Before they even learn braille, they can touch their body and just feel it out.
Ultimately there is no evidence to support such a thing. Just wishful thinking. Given our origins and what we know of the nature of life, there doesn't seem to be any room to include the concept of a soul in that. For instance the Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) interpretation would be that only humans have souls. Yet the human race has its origins in other species, so at what point would souls enter into the equation when we were far from being the most dominant and most intelligent species?
Aquinas says that 'Every intellect is that which can know all corporeal things.'. He is simply wrong.
There are a huge number of corporeal things than many intellects are incapable of 'knowing', and there are 'intellects' which are, at least, questionable in terms of whether the person actually perceives ANY of the corporeal things around them - I've worked with such children and adults, where one can spend a month designing exercises to simply get the student to respond to a red screen differently to a blue one, and demonstrate at least SOME level of discrimination, if not understanding.
As there is no suitable option to express my opinions on a soul:
I believe that we as humans are in fact spirits (the words soul and spirit mean the same thing in reference to humans, in my opinion).
I believe that every living thing, human, animal plant and so on has/is a soul/spirit. I also believe in reincarnation. Let's face it, there's too much in life to be experienced and learned in just one lifetime. And thus, I believe that God gave us the gift of reincarnation. I believe that there are many things that each one of us as spirits must learn and one lifetime isn't enough time to learn all we need to learn.
Then again, I also believe in the bible, and with that said, I believe we are not immortal spirits. I believe that our soul/spirit will die at some point in time, and that God has given us a hope of eternal existence.
I didn't always believe that we are spirits. I used to believe that "what you see is what you are" (you a human? That's all you are), and when you die, that's it, nothing more.
After doing some spiritual exploration and journeying, I concluded to what I believe now. That we ARE spirits, and do live on after bodily death. That there is something more.
These are just my opinions. Cheers!
Do not think I am attempting to persuade anyone to believe something I believe but I do state my beliefs. Yes, I have faith on things yet not beheld for this is what faith is. To say no, I need evidence for faith, is to say, I do not have faith.
Besides my answer is a resounding yes, on things I place my faith on. I do not buy the kind of rational, that evidence is required... on any subject. I really do not care if it is science, philosophy, religion or any kind of concept put forth. That is say, I do not accept everything presented as a truth, but that I am open to anything being possible, in the universe. I know the evidence required supports arguments in science and I am not suggesting that science is wrong or that people are wrong for requiring evidence, only that just because it works for science does not mean it must be applied to everything in the universe. I think this analytic argument is overused far too much and redundant, not open to any other idea. Even if you are talking specifically about science, you will always find disputes in science, in fact this is the exactly the point, to find things. The method used of required evidence is needed to put forth a reasonable theory but that does not change the fact that anything else is not possible. It is just waiting for evidence. But this becomes a circular argument that people use this way, “well presently with the knowledge we now have, this is not possible.” It means only that it is not possible as suggested by the best answer, but it is for now! This does not nor will ever discount possibility. Possibility will always exist in the future, even if only in the minds of explorers, explorers of these fields, science, philosophy, religion.
Hi Dan, welcome to the ongoing debate
Obviously I don't share your beliefs so I hope you don't mind if I ask some questions?
a) If every living thing has a soul then how do you justify eating? Are some souls 'less important' than others, or do you believe that some 'souls' are here specifically to provide protein and carbohydrates for other souls?
b) Do you believe that a plant can reincarnate as, say, a human? How does a plant 'learn'? We know that plants don't have anything analogous to the brain (ie a central 'processing' unit which contains neurones in sufficient number to process input in a way which allows experience to be both remembered and 'learned from').
Really?! We must talk more!
I certainly don't mind. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinions.
I don't believe that some souls are less important than others. And while I don't believe all earthbound spirits are here for the same reason (individually, we're here for different purposes, in other words), I don't believe that some souls are here exclusively to provide protein and carbohydrates for other souls.
Although I don't have all the answers, my current opinion is that a strawberry itself may not necessarily have a soul and yet the vine on which it grows does.
Take for example, a cigarette, an apple, the keyboard you use to write your posts, all the material elements within are borrowed. The elements are there for us to use. I believe that it's all shared, consider the food chain. Nutrients travels up from bacteria world to plant life to the animal kingdom (human included ). How could we survive without it?
"Earthlings" are called as such because they were designed to rely on the earth for sustenance.
My beliefs are this, consider this illustration: a person is like a peanut in it's shell. The physical body in which we see is the peanut shell and soul/spirit is the actual peanut inside the shell (the golden nugget ). The body dies/the shell is thrown away. The body is just a shell for the spirit. See where I'm going with this?
With that said, it's not the plant itself that reincarnates, rather the spirit itself that does so, from a plant to human (or a bunny, for example).
Consider, maybe in one lifetime someone went through their whole life being impatient for anything. Perhaps when they reincarnate, they would be a tree.
I'm no expert, but I think it takes a long time for a tree to grow to full size, and can live for a very long time. Thus the spirit must be patient throughout it's life as a tree.
So, it's not the plant that's learning or remembering, it's the spirit of the plant. Doesn't matter how many neurons and the like are needed for something alive to experience and remember. And besides, I think recent science studies are showing that memories aren't stored exclusively in the brain either, rather, other organs and body parts also.
Given that, I believe that plants are conscious (ergo, the spirit within the plant).
Consider this video I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntv4ZMvUSWI
Things seen are temporary (material bodies included). What has eternal existence? God. He has always been and always will be. He has given our spirits (the peanut in the shell ) a hope of having eternal existence with him. That touches base on the Adam and Eve story (which I also believe) that Adam sinned and brought death to all mankind.
Again, these are just my opinions, I'm not forcing them on anyone.
I hope I've created a compelling argument to your questions, Bikerman. I know I've made a massive post. I look forward to everyones thoughts on these, AND the video!!
a) Nobody has been able to replicate the results consistently. The mythbusters team had a shot, and though they got some apparently interesting results, further investigation proved negative
b) Baxter's experiments were fundamentally flawed - no use of control being one example. His work has been comprehensively refuted in the literature :Horowitz, Lewis, and Gasteiger (1975) and Kmetz (1977).
I'd rather think we consume vegetables rather than killing vegetables. If we consume the vegetables in their purest state, which is organic, fresh and raw, then eventually we will thrive as a result. The idea that eating vegetables is about killing them is something of an attitude that is made up by humans.
Exactly. We have killed and consumed the vegetable. We as feeble humans cannot kill and devour a soul. We otherwise would be some kind of demonic spirit monster, wouldn't we? We in this case ate the shell of the peanut, for in this case, the peanut is inedible and intangible. The vegetable is here for our benefit.
I agree with deanhills on this point.
HE did. Consider us for example: We CAN eat meat. But do you really think we were designed to? I don't.
Medical studies point out that eating more than 8-12 oz of meat daily is actually harmful to the body than beneficial.
What kind of problems do you see with the peanut shell theory? The way I see it, the world could be related to a giant world of avatars, one where the physical features of the avatar doesn't change with the click of a button. The avatar is like a physical body and the user could be seen as the spirit.
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." I believe were the words of Shakespeare.
The answers are pretty intriguing, I think anyway.
Flesh gives birth flesh, so too, wouldn't Spirit give birth to spirit? God created us, and our spirits, surely he could make new souls that would start their journeys in life too. I mean, if old souls died and new souls weren't created/born, wouldn't there be an ever decreasing number in the population of all life? Plants, animals and humans included?
It's true plants can't choose, it's next incarnation. Do you believe in Karma? It's, in other words the Bible's golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated" or "You reap what you sew". If someone is nice to others, they'll likely be nice back. If someone is a jerk, he probably won't get a lot people willing to be nice back. And, if he doesn't learn his lesson in this life, maybe he'll come back as a fly (your Karma helps determine what your next life will be), and he'll have to deal with poo. Then say, after a life of a fly, he comes back as a human and is given another chance at human life, is he going to horde poo in his house and eat and regurgitate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
So, would it really follow the same route as it did before?
Consider these: (they're about a minute each
Why do species that are considered the be sworn enemies behave this way? Especially if they didn't have spirits that cared about others.
You have animals, and then you have animals with seemingly unique personalities. Thus, there must be different kinds of souls, none of which are less important than another. I understand that's kind of going back on what I said earlier, this makes more sense to me though, having thought it through more.
For the notation on people gaining memories and personality traits from a transplant: It's something that's more experienced than be explained, but nonetheless.
A agree that concept that we're separated is a human idea. I do believe that we are all connected. With that said, I don't believe that we are all aspects of one spirit, or that we are eternal beings all on our own. I believe that spirits are born, learn/age and die (perhaps for thousands of years they live). I believe that we as spirits are all connected to one another, yet of unique minds/personalities. Different spirits, connected together, all part of the greater whole. And that because we die, God gives a hope of becoming eternal.
All of it sounds a beautiful concept, it's almost a pity that I'd need some pretty strong evidence to change my views from the OP.
Hmm... Looks like someone got upset.
What are your opinions?
...hasn't changed since I wrote that last November
That's interesting. Nice way to put it, on not worrying about what may or may not happen, rather focus on today and living it the best each day.
Cheers fella, it's the only way I can see to put it if I want to make sure I don't waste this life I know I'm living now!
I'm trying to visualize what happens when my spirit leaves my body as there will really be nothing of the physical that can go with it, no memory, no inviduality, and so for me I can only see it joining up with this one large whole in a way that I in my very limited physical design and earth based thinking just can't begin to contemplate. It could be like energy from electricy that stays energy in the end. But I may be wrong of course, as I don't really know. Fortunately the knowing part will probably cease the moment I give my last breath. No more thinking.I think some thought systems about reincarnation are of the opinion that life is a test so if we have done good in life (whatever "good" is supposed to be and mean) then we get to pass and go up a notch higher in spirituality, but I'm not so sure that makes sense to me either. That thinking to me comes from a mind that has been designed to deceive us and that is the cause of this separation of souls from one another.
(I'll shorten this, otherwise the postings will become too long).
We have the gift of free will. With that said, that make it easy for us to make mistakes, be misguided, engage in selfish activities and so on. Besides, if challenge wasn't an option, what would be the point in anything. Think of it more like, testing yourself, or in other words, proving to yourself.
Personally, I believe that all your memories and individuality leaves with your spirit, it becomes a part of your spirit. Now, with that said, the reason you don't remember any of your past lives from day one in this life, is because it wouldn't exactly be called new life, now would it? Your spirit still remembers everything that's happened to it in the past lives, but has a clean slate for the course of this life.
We can visualize ideas about what the spirit realm could look like, but we as puny humans will never truly know what the spirit realm looks like, because it's not a physical realm.
Here's an image that helps visualize exactly that:
It was done in quotation of "The place where earth and heaven meet" from Flammarion's Popular Meteorology, 1888.
I like it, I find it very intriguing. I've had images like this pop in my head before finding this image or any others like it. But the visualizations were of birds eye view, looking down onto the earth, and as deep in as looking into a room inside a house.
You didn't even mention my part on Shakespeare. That has more to do with this discussion than the point on animals and whether or not they eat meat.
How so? Your point was that there is a designer who put 'souls' into anything alive. My point is that it seems an odd sort of a design where the vessels of the soul, presumably supposed to give the soul some experiences to learn from, are designed in such a way that they must destroy each other. This seems a perverse sort of creation. Outside mankind, and our extelligence/civilisation - call it what you will - the world is a brutal and unfair arena in which the best fitted survives. The lesson from evolution is 'eat and don't be eaten'. It is mankind, with our ability to rise above that, that is 'different'. If we truly flit from creature to plant to human then that would be a terrible waste - thousands of years of human civilisation would be a terrible lesson for a tiger to carry forward - it would die very young.
I'd like to refute the absence of a soul (and in particular, refute the first option) by saying that it would be too unfair if we all had "just one chance". I would define the soul as the entity through which we know we exist, the entity through which we think, learn and experience, the entity through which we know ... A formless entity
Why invent another entity? The entity through which we know we exist is the mind. The mind is an emergent property of the brain. We know this because we can 'play' with the brain and watch the effects it has on the mind - from consciousness, to self-awareness, to reasoning, spatial awareness, ego etc etc.
To invent another entity without some justification seems profligate.
So who invented the mind then? Where does mind come from?
Already addressed, and a likely flawed question, as it makes some pretty strong assumptions.
Do you actually read the posting before responding? I was quite clear and unambiguous.
The mind is an emergent property of the brain.
The brain evolved, just like the rest of us. It wasn't 'invented' or 'made'.
I guess what you say makes sense. What I call the "soul" you call the "mind"; I agree it may have seemed that I invented a new entity whereas I actually just used a different word ...
Anyway, let me talk a bit about the concept of a soul in certain sects of Indian Philosophy (the theory of karma, rebirth, etc.)
If you believe that you have just one chance to enter this world, live and then die ... well, that's your belief! What the theory of karma says is that everything that happens to you is because of some past action of yours (whether in this life or in one of your previous lives); in turn, everything that you do will somehow come to affect your existence and situation sometime in the future. And where the soul fits in this theory is that ... your soul (/mind) is your true being of existence; it moves from body to body, from life to life ... it is the only thing you take with you even after death. A poet put it well in this words: that the soul is like your body and your body is like the clothes you're clad in; you keep changing your clothes everyday but your body remains the same. (Obviously, this is not the best analogy but it explains the concept of the soul well, I feel)
Now, you would ask : what is the point of such an entity after all (and moreover, of such an infinite karmic cycle, which surely seems to have no beginning nor an end?)
If you believe this karmic cycle (which I do, because I believe in a perfectly ordered universe), the next step is to start thinking how one can break this cycle (and even if it's possible).
Nonetheless, it's up to what you believe.
@_AVG_: I completely agree in the existence of a karmic cycle, and that it is ordered perfectly. I don't believe other parts of the universe is in perfect order at this time, otherwise, I don't think we would see all the violence and corruption in the world that we do today. In a perfect world, there would be no crime, corruption, murder and the like.
I also agree that the mind is in other words the soul. I really like that poet analogy that you mentioned, does a good job at illustrating it.
I think after our death we just end our journey. There is no evidence of 'soul'.
I used to believe the same thing. With that, I used to also consider that if that would be the case, then we existing and dying at about 80 years old is a LOT of wasted potential. So, I ask, what would be the point of existing in the first place?
To pass on some genetic material, experience as many different things as we can, help improve our world a little, and have some fun along the way maybe?
My lack of belief in any soul certainly does not lead me to think that existing is pointless.
In fact it does the opposite for me, and I want to use the only life I know I have as wisely and productively as possible.
My response/question to this is: why does there need to be a point?
I'm looking at my dog and wondering whether he has a 'point' to living. I doubt it. What we have here is a circular reasoning. God is the creator of the universe and therefore the 'point'. Atheists don't believe in God and therefore there is no 'point' to their lives. It is rather crass and very insulting.
One can play with this a little.
Firstly it is trivial to see that the 'point' varies depending on which religion (or even which sect) you belong to. The idea that there is one single 'point' is therefore refuted before we even get going.
Secondly it is equally trivial to see that most, or perhaps all, of these 'points' are false. If the point of living is to be reunited with Jesus in heaven, then clearly the point of living is not to achieve a state of nirvana by renouncing desire, or to be reunited with Jaweh as a member of the chosen race, or ...etc.
Thirdly, most religions don't actually offer a 'point' to living. The 'point' to life, as a Christian, is to die, for only then is one reunited with God in paradise. Life is just a temporary setback - an inconvenient stopover in a station with no buffet-bar. The 'point' is to get out of the station without loosing one's ticket. From a Christian perspective, the 'point' of life can be summarised very easily - getting ready for death.
Lol, I just looked at my cat and thought the same thing.
All my own points for living are from a selfish viewpoint and boil down to me simply enjoying being alive with a strong basic will to survive it as long as I can.
I don't need a spiritual crutch to make my life appear more worthwhile, or even present extra distractions away from the 'real' world with more hoops for me to jump through following unproven doctrine or belief systems.
...and the religious 'glory after death' thing has always made me shudder, why spoil my life worrying about what could happen after I die? Enjoy the life you know you've got now, it's just as unbelievable to imagine being reincarnated into the proverbial teapot in orbit around Mars.
But we are intruding here, I feel, and shouldn't sidetrack the thread....sorry about that chaps....sometimes I can't help myself....sort of typewriter tourrettes....
Nah, sorry isn't needed, I started the topic and to be fair my words are pretty clear...
...keep calm and carry on
Well, my view is, as one might expect, in accord with old ockam and the razor.
A soul is a complex and little-understood entity. It introduces a layer of complication into our understanding of physiology and biology. It must, therefore, pay for itself.
As far as I can see, the entity doesn't offer any new insights by existing. Everything that we can ascribe to a 'soul' we can equally well ascribe to the mind, and thus to the brain. Since the brain is a physical entity which, whilst not yet fully understood, seems capable of such understanding, it seems profligate to introduce another entity which offers no new insights, for which there is no evidence and which complicates the position needlessly....
@Ankhanu: There doesn't need to be a point/reason if one doesn't wish to consider there being one. My point being (pun intended), if someone says there's no reason to making a sand castle, then there's no reason for them to make a sand castle. Whereas someone would argue with them saying that the reason for making a sand castle can be fun.
To each their own, whether they consider a reason for something or not.
@watersoul: It's perfectly fine to believe that there's nothing to expect after death. If that's what you believe, then all the power to you.
I don't think someone should spend their days worrying about what's going to happen to them after death. One should definitely spend more time smelling the roses than worrying about after-death ideas.
Cheers for that, and I'm still interested in your answer to your question?
...imagine those 80 years of life lived in some wonderful way for example, just a lot of wasted potential because the particular individual never considered a soul as being real?
I would be interested in how one could reach that conclusion.
But this is not what was suggested. What was suggested in "what would be the point of existing in the first place, was that there is some objective, external point to existence, and we, as living things, are to achieve it... whether we actually care about it, or achieve it is another issue. It suggests purpose/point from the onset, not one that is developed within one's own life; there is a point, it exists whether you do or do not.
I have no problem with imposed ideas of purpose, each of us finds our own purpose, that which keeps us moving... but the idea that life itself or people as entities have some external purpose, well, I certainly question that.
@Watersoul: I actually considered that question for myself many years ago, I never found a positive answer. And therefore, considered my own life as wasted potential, in other words, wasted space.
Lately, however, I do think that each one of us (animals included) are here for a purpose/reason. And I believe we're here for different purposes/reasons to a person sitting next to you, as it were. That is where the real potential lays. They don't need to be aware of what that purpose is to be to be fulfilling it. And thus, fulfill their potential without believing the existence of a soul. On the same token, they may not be fulfilling it, and there would be the wasted potential.
To fulfill a purpose in life, whatever it may be, that is the point in existing.
@Ankhanu: Some may be on this earth to help others personally. Some may be here to make breakthrough achievements for mankind. The possibilities are endless. But why the earth and everything else exists in the first place, I would ask God on that one.
It all sounds pretty artificial... anthropogenic... to me.
That doesn't make it invalid, mind you... but still artificial.
To each his own.
Totally off topic Dean, how about starting your own thread to mourn the loss of absent users?
For the record, I like the debate here, and it's why I don't want a mutual self praise forum where everyone agrees with each other. If that happened to Frihost I would probably consider leaving it myself.
It would become boring to only read posts where people slap each other on the back, while they celebrate their various beliefs without any critical debate.
To be fair, topics like 'Satanic Atheism' and the rest were hardly ever going to get much agreement from non believers, and if the only argument someone can ever provide is "I know it's true" or "God told me", I don't consider the loss of such posts to be something I'll miss too much.
This topic is about belief or not in a soul though, not for making personal points about the quality/behaviour of other peoples posts elsewhere on the boards.
I think its acceptable here... Please Hijack this topic!
Do I have faith that there is soul? HELL, YES!
Here's the logical and self-evident proof (Don't take that seriously)
1. I can live forever like immortal.
2. If my parents die, I can still speak to them, but this time, I won't be worrying of any incoming sermon/lecture.
3. If I die, my love ones can speak to me, the sad part, I can't defend myself.
4. If I die, I can peek to beautiful naked women (I'm not a pervert so I'm not going to do that )
5. If I die, I can reminisce all the good memorable things I've done. When I'm done, I'll hang around with my soul buddies. Then when I get bored, I'll find two people doing it like porn. Then that's where I come in. But I'm so stupid that I'm going to end up with a BS life or getting cashed out from a woman's vagina like an ATM.
Disclaimer: If my faith of soul gets in my way in terms of my moral values and ethics or if it poses any danger to human lives, I will be willing to give up my faith. No Bikerman/Indi you can't pay me to give up my faith. Not even a million dollars .
See, It's not really hard to be rational and believe in fairy tales. Kids do that. So why can't we?
(Bluedoll R.I.P. . May your soul meet with your Father in heaven. If deanhills says goodbye, that would very sad too. If I were deanhill, I'll behave and pay respect to the elderly Most Reverend Devil. )
@Loremar, Cheers for the intellectual contribution and mature explanation of your beliefs regarding a soul
Well, to be serious. A soul is like an abstract representation of a mind. A mind that fears death; a mind that appreciates life; a mind that mourns for the lost ones; a mind that miss his love ones; a mind that has conscience and guilt. It's like man's mechanism to attain peace of mind. Some people is better off without it but some may need a piece of some of this concept. It wouldn't hurt if someone feels like he has a soul, right? Or am I wrong. That actually belief in soul is dangerous and harmful. I don't think it's completely irrational, it's just a behavior, I think.
Indeed many people appear to perceive some comfort from a strong belief in a soul, although I don't feel any need for this personally and I'm untroubled as to what happens after I die.
Of course, for any strong soul believers here, please feel to correct me if you have some evidence I'm unaware of?
Since starting this topic I've been of the belief that when I die that's it, and no one has mentioned anything yet which has drawn me to believing differently, but then I don't usually do blind faith so I guess it's unlikely anyone will.
Yes, it's irrational but not irrational irrational. Completely irrational just sounds like an insane person. But irrational like watching anime like they're real people but you know they're just piece of lines drawn in a set of papers or computer generated. It's like an illusion worthy of dreaming with.
It's good to know about the truth and be rational but sometimes it's nice to live with the abstracts(at least pretend you don't know) like kids who don't have any clue of what is truth. If pain and pleasure is just another ordinary scientific process, life wouldn't be fun, would it? If love doesn't have magic, wouldn't it be dull?
If I can't speak to my past love ones, then how would I express my yearning for them?
I think this 'irrational irrational' definition is just confusing. Irrational means not based on evidence and/or logical reasoning. Religious belief is, by definition, irrational. Any system of belief which requires supernatural events/entities is, by definition, irrational.
Whether holding irrational views makes one 'mad' is a sociological question rather than a biological/physiological one.
Imagine a scenario : a Christian missionary travels into the future a few centuries and is asked to explain his beliefs. He explains that:
a) There is a God who is 3 different persons all in the same person.
b) He sent one of his persons down to earth as a human to be a sacrifice to himself so that he could forgive the sins of humans against himself.
c) This person, called Jesus, was God at the same time as he was human and he was born of a virgin who was visited by another of the persons of God - the holy spirit.
d) If we believe in Jesus then when we die we will go to a nice place where we will carry on forever.
e) This 3 in 1 God is present everywhere, can do anything and knows everything.
I think it would be justified to classify this as a delusional state and therefore signs of a mental illness.
The fact that this tendency to believe in God(s) is fairly commonly found means that we don't define it as an abnormal condition, but don't try to define some difference between religious belief and 'madness', because you will quickly find that it is not so easy. If you take the basic Christian dogma and change a few things, most people would regard anyone professing to believe it as delusional.
What the hell is the deal with the inference that scientific understanding or views are without life, lack vividity, or other positive aspects of substance? I can't say I've met a higher proportion of scientists who's world views are dulled by their understanding of objective reality, than I've met dulled non-scientists. Quite the contrary, really, each new understanding sparks greater excitement and interest (and new questions) in reality and the implications of each new little discovery.
Sure, we're not all Neil de Grasse Tysons, but abstracts aren't really required for magic and fun.
(The scientifically minded are also quite willing to work with abstracts, as anyone remotely familiar with fields like quantum mechanics and the like would be quite familiar with. Abstraction is at the formation of just about any theory before it is actually tested; science is about expanding what is known, venturing into the unknown, it requires the ability to think flexibly, and abstractly.)
@Ankhanu. That is strawman argument. you are debating a man who said everyone would feel dull without the abstracts. I said some people needs abstracts to be happy in life.
@Bikerman. Hey cool down. Not that christian crap again. It kinda rings in my ear. Ok not 'irrational'. That is my poor english. But can it be at least imagination.
I can at least imagine but not believe, right? So can imagine myself talking to my loved ones even if they're dead? I can right?
But wait that's not what I want.... And this thread is about faith of soul....
You can believe whatever you like. If there is no evidence for that belief then we call it faith. I'm not sure if the 'imagination' distinction actually helps much - if you believe something it must be more than imagination.
Of course you can, and if it gives you some comfort then it's not necessarily a bad thing.
That is pretty much the way I see it as well.
I sometimes imagine 'what if' my late father could see what I'm doing or listen to my thoughts in some way. I do not believe he can though, and the best legacy of his life is the knowledge and values he taught me as I grew up.
The question of whether or not anything like a soul continues living on from my Dad is pretty irrelevant to me though, he lived, he gave me many memories, then he died.
I can think of him with love and fondness but I don't feel any need to cling onto a belief that he lives on elsewhere - it makes absolutely no practical difference to my life now.
Definition of soul - dictionary.com:
As for whether soul is a religious concept or not - that depends which definition of the word you take. If you want to define soul as "a person's feelings or moral nature as distinct from other faculties" then of course it is open to anyone to believe in such a thing. If, on the other hand, you define it as "the spirit or immaterial part of man, the seat of human personality, intellect, will, and emotions, regarded as an entity that survives the body after death" then that is a religious concept.
Quoting Socrates, Plato, Aristotle et al is fine - you could learn a lot from reading them properly - but it won't help with deciding whether a belief is rational or not, because evidence has moved a long way since then. It was reasonable/rational to believe many things in the time of the ancient Greeks that we have since discovered to be wrong.
Look guys, I have PROOF. Check this out.
What is a soul?
A soul is something that has consciousness and knowledge and is capable of continuing to exist after death. That means:
1. I can keep my memory even if I die.
2. I can have consciousness after I die.
3. I would still continue to exist after I die.
The "me" means my soul. So when my body is dead, I am still "me" if I have a soul.
It is scientifically proven that we actually have two consciousness right? The left brain and the right brain.
Let's say for example you separate my brain(my left brain and my right brain). If I am my right brain, I can't see what my left brain see. If I am my left brain, I can't see what my right brain see. So I am either my right brain or my left brain. If my right brain dies, I am my left brain, right?
What if I create another brain? Then I impart my knowledge in that brain. I then switch on that brain to build consciousness by activating sensors with it. It can also be only a portion of my knowledge. Since for example if I have amnesia. If I lost a portion of my memory, that would still be me, right?
The question is, how can that brain be me? Can I see what that brain sees? That would be telepathy( another woowoo(like what Bikerman would say))? But remember, I can be more than one consciousness. Like the right brain and the left brain, I don't necessarily have to see what that other me sees. I am either my right brain or my left brain. So if I create another brain that incorporates some of my knowledge and attach it to my head that would still be me. So if my right brain dies, I am either my left brain or the new brain.
That means I just extended my soul with an extra brain, a total of three sets of knowledge and consciousness.
I can start from here and introduce three possibilities.
1. I can impart my knowledge to an existent human brain. Say for example by describing to that person some of my experiences pixel by pixel and store it in his memory. So everytime he recalls that memory he creates a consciousness of me. I don't necessarily have to see what he sees, that would still be me.
2. I can impart my knowledge by genetic. My kids would be using some of my memories(instinct, morality, innate knowledge, personality). Therefore, they will be experiencing me.
3. I can encrypt my knowledge to a brain-like machine and attach sensors into it. You can't say that machine doesn't have consciousness, it works like our brain, it perceives through its sensors. Therefore it is experiencing a consciousness of me.
The consciousness and knowledge of my original brain is just a subset of my soul. Therefore when my body dies, the soul does not die.
"Ergo" - Therefore, I conclude that I can die RIP and still continue to exist. "I" or "me" meaning "soul".
That also means you can duplicate Einstein's brain and freeze it in a cryogenic 'something' something and later place it in another body. Much like saying "Einstein's soul have been preserved".
Evidence? Naaah... I can imagine people saying this is another scientific woo-woo. But if you notice I'm kinda desperate.
Deanhills is right. Soul has nothing to do with theism. My ancestors (before there was Christianity) place the dead in a boat-shaped coffin and believed that a person's soul travels across the ocean to the east where the sun rises to meet with other souls. That probably explains why I'm so stubborn when it comes to belief of soul.
You have now also committed the fallacy of begging the question. You are now going to base the argument to prove an eternal soul on the basis that we have an eternal soul....
That is AFFIRMING THE CONSEQUENT FALLACY.
That doesn't mean that you are your brain. It means that your brain generates YOU.
Prove to me that your mind is your brain or your brain is your mind THEN that makes YOU you're brain.
If you say that YOU are your brain and you have not proven that your mind is your brain THEN that means that YOU who is your brain is different from YOU who is your mind - DUALISM.
If I can prove that my mind can exist after the death of my body/brain then "I"(You are your Mind) have just continued to exist after death. All that I have to do is create or use another brain to generate ME.
Plug my knowledge into another brain and switch that brain ON to build consciousness. Hey, isn't that ME that is generated by that brain?
That's what I'm trying to point out - A SOUL is something that has knowledge and consciousness and can continue to exist after death.
What is the practical use of the SOUL?
If a person dies and I was able to plug his knowledge into another brain. Switch that brain on with Sensors(to make the brain conscious) then I'll be able to talk to that person even if his body is already dead. At that moment, I am talking to his SOUL. I am not talking to his brain.
So let's say for example, Einstein died. But before he was dead, I was able to plug his knowledge to another brain. Make that brain conscious then I'll be able to talk to Einstein's soul.
Everything we know tells us that the only way to generate consciousness is with a brain. There is nothing in the human body analogous to a brain - nowhere to process and store information. If a soul could replicate the brain's generation of consciousness and knowledge/memory then it would have to BE a brain or at least something capable of storing huge amounts of data - there is no structure in the body with anything like that level of complexity, other than the brain.
No, it's not a strawman, it's a personal pet peeve.
I wasn't entirely responding to you, but responding to the tendency for the statement about the cold, unimaginative, "soul" crushing scientific world view; that it destroys the sense of wonder, etc. It's patently false, and comes up far, far too often.
It annoys the hell out of me. I wasn't making an argument, so much as voicing my displeasure.
I find it annoying as well.
For example, I may understand some of the dynamic processes involved in the formation of a snowflake, but I still experience the same sense of wonder and excitement when it snows as I did as a child.
I am also aware of the release of endogenous opioids in our bodies, associated with exercise, laughter, excitement and orgasm, but does this awareness ever dull my experience? Of course not.
I really don't understand why some people appear to need some extra supernatural explanation to enjoy the same things we all share. To me, there is almost a greater sense of wonder to be found in the intricate physical, chemical & biological processes which rationally explain 'how stuff works'
I am not annoyed at all of the possibility that explanations of the processes of why things are just natural can make my experiences dull. In fact, it gives me the motivation to explore of new wonders that I can't explain through my knowledge. My fear of the possibility of 'dealing with the reality would diminish the fun of things' gives me the desire to appreciate more of the illusion that my lack of knowledge creates. It doesn't only give me comfort but it also gives me excitement and my undesire of spoiling the fun is I think a great thing. Some people finds it fun to discover but I find it more fun and comforting when the reality is cloaked by lack of knowledge. I can even go on circling and circling on explaining how I love things that I could not fathom or explain.
Of course, if it is dangerous it shouldn't be. Especially when that has something to do with judging right and wrong, good and evil. I am referring to religion and the hatred that comes along with its close-mindedness.
Believing in a soul is a different thing. Knowing the fact of a loved one decomposing in the earth and not be able to communicate anymore with that person is not comforting to me and covering that reality with the concept of a soul that I believe to exist in my mind gives me the motivation to express my feelings and affection for that person. I have no knowledge of a soul nor any knowledge to say that it does not exist and therefore I have no reason for me not to believe in it. For I find the concept of a soul much comforting in my mind.
I apologize to anyone who find my idea annoying for I do not mean to. Peace to you All.
Nothing at all annoying in that, it explains nicely where your thoughts are and why you're drawn to believing in a soul. Lots of people share similar views and although I do not share them myself, I have no issue with it at all.
Neither was I annoyed, but I'm not quite so sanguine about letting people believe what they want.
(And before anyone misinterprets THIS, then let me restate that I absolutely support freedom of expression, including belief, and would oppose any attempt to prohibit or censor belief, just as I would oppose any attempt to restrict free speech, outside those, few, restrictions we accept as necessary to a functioning state).
The reason I am not so sanguine is that I have a problem with children being indoctrinated into religion.
We see it at the most extreme in Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries that teach the young in religiously motivated and resourced schools called 'Madrasahs'.
We also see it in some parts of the 'civilised west' where religious fundamentalists (normally Christians) either educate their children at home, or try to drive the policies and curricula of the public schools.
I see a sort of smug complacency amongst many Christians when they look as Islamicist terrorism. I can almost imagine them telling themselves:
'Yes, true, Christianity used to be like this, and nobody is proud of the nasty stuff done centuries ago, but Christianity has grown up and is now a peaceful and positive influence'.
It is quite a comforting notion, though it is interesting that the Christian often refuses to follow their own logic and see that the reason that Christianity HAS grown-up is because it has been hemmed-in, challenged and weakened by secularism.
The trouble is that quite large numbers of Christians are not so civilised and peaceful. They are not in power, so they can't impose the policies they would like, but if they were then the US would be every bit as bad as Iran under the Mullahs. People say that Bush was an example of this in action - I say that Bush was nothing but a remote hint on the breeze of something unimaginably worse that *could* happen if secularists get complacent.
Ah, the indoctrinaton of children, yep, I share similar concerns.
Thats a totally different (yet related) issue though and more than likely deserves it's own topic.
Passing on unproven folklore to kids as fact is certainly questionable at best.
I used to believe in a soul, some sort of energy that animates the human body. As I have grown and educated myself I now believe that there is no such energy. There is so much to write about how I came to this conclusion that I could fill volumes. But to condense it down for you, the lack of scientific proof, combined with the horrific selfish, destructive, cruel, disgusting behavior of my fellow man, without so much as a second thought, or worse yet justifying their horrific actions as gods will or some other such nonsense I have come to conclusion that it is all a big lie, meant to control and disempower the people.
I left the christian church decades ago disgusted by the behavior of so called good christians. Recently here I dated a woman that was a devoted christian. She was a horror story on wheels, judging, criticizing, treating people horribly, and crying like a baby when she is treated the same. Insanity, and I have seen it more times than I care to.
If there is a god, or a soul, then one might conclude that the behavior of it's believers would be in line with it's creative energy, and that science could make some progress in proving that. Since many of the religious folks I met are contradictory in terms of behavior and belief, and since science can produce little in an effort to study a god or life energy, but seems to constantly uncover information that contradicts any claims of this nature (like the brain scan thread, about how most decisions are pre-made), I am forced to conclude that it is an untruth, a myth.
If you ever get a chance to study the psychology of fraud, and how to defraud people out of their money with a scam......the behavioral pattern is identical to the argument the church provides in terms of faith, it just has the GOD twist to it
@BigGeek: I went through much the same process, but did not consider it a complete package deal...
The truth of Christian teachings, the existence of God(s), the existence of souls, et cetera... these can all be different in terms of truth or falsehood.
My 'quest' to figure out what I believed led me to develop 'symphonism', which is too complicated to explain here, but basically I looked at many religions and philosophies, took the parts I believed, and rejected the parts I didn't.
Basically, my point is, 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water'... It doesn't all need to be discarded as one big package; take some time to look through it, see if there's anything worth keeping, and then throw out the garbage.
...none of which can be proven either way.
I struggle to see how a life lived with good moral values and motivation to make the best of the one shot at living which we know we've got now, is in any way affected if all the above is silly hocus pocus or not.
If that faith gives others extra confidence or whatever to get through real life, then it could be good for them, of course.
I think it's far more productive to focus on the bits of life where you absolutely know you can make a difference though.
That's yet another independent variable, which can be kept or discarded independent of other religious (and philosophical) matters.
I think I understand where you're coming from but I'm still puzzled by the bit I bolded:
Where's the baby?
If you throw out all the mystical bathwater from life, from Astrology to Zoroastrianism and everything in between, it must surely free up some more time for your thoughts and activities in the 'real' world. I don't see any loss in abandoning all of it? Sometimes quite obvious moral decisions are even badly influenced by religious or spiritual faith, so I can personally see a possible benefit for people throwing all of it out.
Even the good bits like caring for others are unaffected by the existence or not of anything mystical. I teach my son about kindness, compassion, honesty, reasonable force etc, because it's just the right thing to do for a cohesive society to work. I certainly don't see how belief in any gods/spirits/energies/souls/whatever could assist me any further, apart from the obvious 'You're soul will suffer in the next life' or 'X god will punish you' threats.
WOW, that was one of the most understanding replies I have ever gotten anywhere. Thanks Ocalhoun that is cool. I have been called the devil, told I was seduced by evil, and how awful and horrible I am for explaining my feelings and beliefs on the subject of God and a savior.
Bikerman has done a great job of adding to my understanding of the false beliefs with his posts and extensive knowledge of Catholic Dogma, and all he managed to do was fuel the already burning fire of my disbelief.
I guess at my age I grew up, you know when you are younger you believe in things that as you grow older we find that they are no longer true and they are products of a young uneducated mind. Life is like that, and why so many people believe that religion or belief in god is exempt from this evolution is beyond me.
Years ago before I even found frihost I thought as you did Ocalhoun and I had decided that the basic belief in some sort of life giving force or energy or "Holy Spirit" was one of the beliefs along with others that I could salvage from the wreckage of my religious beliefs. As I've grown older I have begun to see that as even a fairy tale idea found in movies and works of fiction, and in reality has no basis. Sad but true
I often point out to people that the only god worshiped by our society is the god of money, and economy, if those can even be considered as gods. Lets face it, we all must pay homage to money and the economy for our survival and well being.
As far a morality goes that is only something that is in each of our hearts for us to act on as we choose, because it is obvious that the more a person lies, cheats, steals, and murders, the more they are rewarded, while the rest of the population ignores, justifies, and even supports the immoral behavior. Anyone that would argue this idea needs only to look into the politicians, CEOs, and bankers of our world to realize that this is the only behavior that is rewarded. The whole idea of hard work, honesty, and frugality are crushed under the theft and hardships endured by us inflicted by our leaders. Honestly I worked my ass off my whole life, being honest and moral, only to have my retirement drained my pension stolen, and my property devalued. Did honesty and hard work pay off, all the while the people responsible for the theft of my savings, and devaluation of my property were rewarded, and given more than they could possibly ever spend.
Seriously, offer me up some crap ass explanation of how it is gods will, or we are tested to be made whole.......WTF? It all sounds like a belief system shoved down my throat to keep me docile and stupid while the folks in charge screw me over
I just can't buy into it anymore!
If everyone alive believes a lie, and there is no one left that knows the truth, a lie is still a lie and the truth is still the truth, even if no one knows it.
Plus no matter how many times you tell a lie, a lie is still a lie!
Makes you wonder about thou shalt not lie commandment doesn't it?
I'm convinced that many people are reading some version of the bible in which the commandments start with "thou shalt feel vaguely guilty if you..." rather than "thou shalt not..."
WOW I think the ones I know are reading the same book
Well, god is pretty much a garbage for me. I don't need a Creator, Tyrant, Judge, Punisher, Tormentor, or an invisible incommunicable source of knowledge who gives nothing but a headache, to get myself through with life. Science and Philosophy pretty much provides everything I need.
What about the soul? I think soul is a nice thing.
"Without the soul's existence, the universe has no meaning.
If energy is the ability to do work, soul is the ability to put meaning to some existence." -says me.
Well, if the pantheists can redefine God, why can't I? lol.
The soul exists and it exists in my mind.
Damn, You have some good points.
Maybe some people just don't have a soul, especially those who just embrace the absurdities of life. The universe and life means nothing to them.
It does. It motivates a person and allows interconnection with other people - which is what you call spirituality. It can even exist beyond a person's death and inspire other individuals.
Well, who says souls are not incorporeal? They are indeed spiritual.
Which big picture is that?
Perhaps I missed something over the years during my spiritual search of various faiths and concepts, which all required blind faith without evidence.
I'll say it again, If you throw out all the mystical bathwater from life, from Astrology to Zoroastrianism and everything in between, it must surely free up some more time for your thoughts and activities in the 'real' world.
I really cannot imagine anything that could be improved, or made more beneficial to my life by any particular unproven religious/spiritual belief, or the belief in the existence of a soul.
It all seems a bit of a distraction from the 'real' world to me, and a waste of time, energy or resources.
Which facts would you be referring to here?
The Buddhist version of a soul, the ideas found in Animism, or some other unproven views from the new age movement etc?
No facts that I can see there, or in any other belief system I've encountered in my life for that matter, just blind faith.
If you are aware of some strong evidence pointing towards the existence of a soul then please feel free to share it here.
-There are occasional anecdotes* of people retaining memories from past lives...
-It provides a mechanism to explain some of the 'paranormal' phenomenon I've done first hand.
-Upon introspection, I think I can (vaguely) identify my own soul.
-I find that it has appeal through the 'elegant solution' argument**
*Questionable, of course, but I find some of them convincing.
**I like to think of it as entropy (or the lack thereof) being conserved within a closed system the same way energy is -- with what some people call a 'soul' being the mechanism for it... Which I think creates a nice symmetry with conservation of energy, and is therefore a more elegant solution.
Now, granted, all this evidence is either questionable, subjective, or based on unprovable personal experience... But it's enough to convince me, personally, of the existence of what people call a soul.
(Though I don't think of it exactly the way most people think of souls... The main difference being that I think all physical objects have at least a rudimentary sort of 'soul', but that they grow more independent and more indelible with added layers of complexity.)
Not proof, certainly, and not even what most would consider 'strong evidence'... But it is evidence enough for me to consider the existence of 'souls' to be more likely than their non-existence.
The concept of soul isn't really that disposable just as much as multiple universe isn't. There are many things the mind can do that is quite impossible in the physical world. Can an object exist in the mind but not on the physical world? Could it be possible that you wake up in a different body once the original body is dead? If you split the brain into half and place them in two different bodies, which body are you going to control and which body does your consciousness go? And the one that confuses me so much is that if the mind is equal to the brain, then which part of the brain is consciousness? Certainly my consciousness depends on my brain. If you wrack my brain, then my consciousness gets dizzy. If your brain sleeps then your consciousness sleeps. But if mind is nothing but particles then plants have consciousness? rocks have consciousness? If the brain can respond to stimuli then the brain can do without my consciousness.
In other words, which part of the brain can sense existence?
And which part of the brain makes feelings come into existence? Certainly there are parts of the brain that is responsible for that. But why does it have a shape in my mind?
Surely, the soul violates the law of parsimony. But then there's a conflict between truth and usefulness. Can you give up human mechanism for a probable truth? Some atheists live life to its fullest because there's only one. But then we see kids dying at an early age. People losing their love ones in an unacceptable death or people meeting meaningless death. Unlike God, soul isn't really that disposable and certainly not irreplaceable. You have science and philosophy to replace God. Then what is to replace soul?
I think sometimes people ask for too much proof in order to believe something. Yes, you should always question everything and only accept that which sounds rational; claiming that something doesn't exist because it cannot be proved is incorrect, for we can only establish that something does not exist if its non-existence can be proven. Reflecting on the previous posts I made, I am saying that I believe a "soul" exists but its existence cannot be proven or disproven, because I'd like to modify my definition of the soul as a "spiritual entity", that's it. It is something that cannot be measured nor detected by sense perceptions (for sense perceptions can sense only material objects i.e. anything that can be classified as matter or energy). I'd say so for practical reasons i.e. I feel that the world has no meaning if we live and die and that's it ... I'll probably expand with a few philosophical and metaphysical clarifications later.
If you're interested in going deep into this stuff, I'd recommend reading Immanuel Kant's Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics; look up Kant's Transcendental Idealism.
I look on the soul as an invisible "missing" link that connects everything in the Universe. It connects us with ourselves in our physical bodies, with one another, with everyone, with the animal world, with plants, with everything. It can't be proven of course because we can't see it. I rarely talk about it though as I don't have evidence for it, but this is how I see it personally.
My point exactly!
I'm not saying there is or isn't a soul, I am questioning my own belief and faith in such a thing. My questioning has led to some serious doubts along spiritual lines of belief.
If there is a soul, it most certainly relates to human consciousness, or awareness. No doubt as human beings we are conscious and aware. The question of a soul certainly relates to these and the possibility of consciousness beyond the physical world we live in.
Like most people I have had many dreams, some of them incredibly vivid and real. I've had strange things seemingly beyond coincidence happen, and many other unexplainable events, typical explanation is that is some sort of higher power or being, and that I'm tied into it somehow, energetically not physically.
These events led me to practice meditation, shutting off the internal thoughts, which when I started was difficult, after 20 years it is easier, but still almost never do I get through a 20 to 30 minute mediation and stay completely internally quiet the whole time. It seems my thoughts have a mind of their own.
Some of the things I've experienced from this regular practice led me to believe in a soul and god, but the inability for this knowledge and practice to lead to anything else other than the same simply internal peace of mind, has led me to doubt my original conclusions.
Coming back around to the original point, that possibly some people have souls, and others don't!
I'll say this, meditation or practicing inner peace, has brought me to some pretty amazing experiences involving my own awareness, as far as the awareness and actions of others, I am puzzled, and have come to the conclusion that their actions definitely lack awareness, consciousness and compassion, if a soul exists and the products of a soul or evolution, is awareness and consciousness then the conclusion I would have to draw is that some people don't have souls.
I'm bothered by that realization, and if I would conclude that another human doesn't have a soul, then what makes me so sure I have one?
Actually who says that self awareness and consciousness means anyone has to have a soul?
And thus my position, I don't think I believe in them anymore
The way I see it is this. God is never going to be proven through a test tube, anemometer, nanometer, or any other scientific measuring device or method. It's subjective and interpersonal. Arguing or even talking about one ends talking nonsense and gibberish........kind of like the bible.......so the only way to prove it to myself is to have some sort of interpersonal relationship with it. The practices involved in faith, are prayer, meditation, visualization, and a host of other unproven human phenomenon. I mean if someone says to you that they are picturing a night on a white hoarse in their head, there is no way I know of to prove they are or are not, inner visualizations, dreams, thoughts and logical....or illogical...thinking is a product of each of our own personal inner lives.
You have to live with yourself
So practicing or not practicing any inner behavior such as prayer or meditation are not faith specific.
Out of the few spiritual practices that I have encountered, mediation seemed the most palatable, so I learned the various methods and techniques and worked at them....plus shutting up internally was a challenge.
Before you discount any of it, see for yourself, meditate everyday for at least 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour, and see what you think about it, work at it....see for yourself.
Maybe a soul is like knowledge and trust, they are earned not given
There are many different forms of meditation, and not all of them require 'blanking the mind'.
I have no problems with meditation - I do a bit myself occasionally - I use a simple technique of concentrating on the circularity of breathing until the mind is calm and then focussing on left toes, calf, thigh, and so on, covering the whole body. I find it extremely useful - it allows me to 'relax' various parts of the body - almost like when a leg or arm 'goes to sleep' because you lay on it - but without the unpleasant pins and needles that normally goes with that.
As Ocalhoun says, there are many types of meditation. I don't believe there is anything supernatural about the practice and I regard claims of yogic flying, out of body experiences, astral travel and the like as simply an altered state of consciousness in the brain produced by the meditation used - not as real measurable external phenomena
UH, Yeah.....your messing with me right? Maybe you could tell me how you think about the thoughtless state you achieved after you meditated.....
Yes you are supposed to attempt to quiet your mind, which as you work at it, becomes easier to stop talking to yourself with words....which we all do. But as you get better and better at stopping your internal vocabulary you begin to notice that you think in pictures, which is vastly different than talking to yourself!
This is correct and some of them teach you to hold problems or questions in silence, which is not blanking the mind.
Good point You are right on with the focusing on your breathing and focusing on your body and it's parts to relax, great experiences aren't they?
Another thing that I found that really helps quiet the internal words is to focus on listening to the sounds around you. Plus if you ever noticed it is so much easier to quiet the mind when you are holding the inhale, or holding the exhale points of your breath while doing the circular breathing. Well at least that's my experience.
And yes my point exactly...I've never had crazy flying experiences, nor astral projection experiences....well at least not while meditating.....but never the less I have had some pretty crazy visions, and exactly that, they are not measurable phenomena They are personal!
Plus they are my experiences, undoubtedly they could be merely brain phenomena, but again that illustrates my point, they are personal, and unique to each of us, and there is no way to scientifically measure that
Plus you have to trust me that these sort of things happened to me while meditating, because again there is no way for you to put a camera in my head and see what I see or to prove that I'm not lying
So when some monk or profit had these wild inner experiences, and rather than knowing what we know, that they quite possibly could be the ramblings of your brain, they might have thought that they were God
Thus my point, meditate until you have these sort of experiences and decide for yourself what it is
And yes, I doubt that they are the product of a supreme being, or a soul, and I am open to consider the possibility that they are merely my brain relaxing and letting go
This sort of 'spiritual advice' is perfectly fine by me. I would agree - people should, if they wish, try meditation and see if it offers them anything. If it does - great. If people then wish to attach supernatural agency to the experience/technique then I think that is a shame, but it isn't the end of the world. What you have here is empirical spirituality. It (meditation) can produce a real effect (at least a fairly consistent reported effect, if not an objectively measurable one) and this can then be judged by the individual as something they wish to pursue or not. That is MY sort of spirituality
Nice 'back on-topic' closing statement BG, I'm liking your honesty and mindset which refrains from vociferously stating beliefs as fact, or marketing a 'soul' idea without any evidence to back it up.
Meditation is sometimes personally useful to me as well by the way, I just don't ever claim it to be anything transcendental or along those lines, to be honest myself, I think thats where it all starts getting silly.
...I await the replies telling me that my meditation was clearly flawed in its application, or other such unsubstantiated lines like my 'ego' was in the way or it would have worked out differently
I'd imagine you must have had opportunities for meditation in the outdoors? Like when you are rock climbing, focusing on all of the hand and footholds have to be a meditation in its own right?
Nope. Not at all, really.
I usually only do meditation in the comfort of my home, and usually only when I need to take conscious control of an automatic body function.
That's the only time I do actual meditation. Nothing else I do could be called meditation except by the very loosest of definitions.
I appreciate your comment There are measurable effects from meditation, things like slower heart rate, lower blood pressure (a biggie for me), slower breathing rate, and physical effects like this, however, I don't see how that could relate to a supreme being or a soul!
This hit me as so funny and is so true, I was meditating with a group years ago, and had some wild visions during the session. One of the other members had a similar experience and the leader and other members claimed that it was our soul leaving our bodies....I didn't even get an impression that was what was happening, and it got so silly and crazy after that I just stood up and left
If the definition of meditation is to shut off the internal dialogue, and cease talking to yourself inside your head, then I can say that the more you meditate in the traditional sense, the more you find your internal dialogue ceasing during all sorts of activities that require a strong attention. I find myself in a meditative state while lifting weights, riding my bike, studying, hiking, rock climbing, and other activities.
By no means is it a true, proper, or traditional meditation, but from my experience the internal silence seems to spill over into other aspects of my life. So I would agree with what you have to say here.
Anyone that has had to study for classes, a degree, certifications or some other activity would be able to relate to how difficult that can be when your mind is going on about things in life and you have difficulty concentrating on your studies. Sitting down and consciously quieting your mind before studying is a great way to gain the focus you need to learn the material.
But again I have to say, this is a subjective experience, and isn't a measurable one, and still I cannot in honesty say that it could in anyway be used to prove or disprove the existence of a soul, or for that matter a supreme being.
And Bikerman, I love your sigline!
Good Ole' Mark Twain aka Samuel Clements, one of my other favorite quotes by his character 'Puddin Head Wilson' "The only way to keep you health is to eat what you don't like, drink what you don't want, and do what you'd rather not".
That's coming from the man that said that every time he got the urge to exercise he would lie down until it went away.....
Sorry for the late reply, got caught up in the silliness of the 'Religious Intolerance' topic/s and forgot about getting back here.
Some individuals with strong religious or spiritual beliefs can certainly cause a troubling influence to others at times.
I have very strong and definite anti-feelings against the above kind of remark.
I'd be interested to know which specific elements of my post would be troubling to others or attract 'strong and definite anti-feelings' from people?
I personally feel that the post in question was perfectly civil but if these or any other comments of mine (in this topic) cause similar 'strong and definite anti-feelings' from anyone else, please do feel free to share them here. Tolerance for differing faiths (or lack of faith) is the utopian dream in the Faith forum, but 'strong and definite anti-feelings' do not appear to fit comfortably within the definition of tolerance.
I agree with your attitude here. It is OK for a person with my opinions and beliefs to be labeled as the devil, an infidel, evil, ugly, or hateful, because I attempted to approach my inner experience with a detached honest view, and not to judge my experiences from any perspective but my own. Having done a lot of work in this area, and working quite diligently at the practice of meditation, I have come to my realizations through self honesty, and truthful observation.
If anyone finds that offensive, my suggestion is to sit down, learn to meditate and see what conclusions you come to. If they are different than mine so be it, the world is a beautiful place and there is room for more opinions and experiences than mine.
The moment you become angry and filled with hate, and justify your hatred of others through your belief in god, is the day you have stepped away from sanity.
When it comes to god nothing can be proven, and nothing can be stated as fact, they are merely opinions and thoughts about experiences. To take those and use them for justification of anything other than personal exploration is self defeating.
We all grow and evolve at our own rates, believe what you will, but allow others the space to believe what they will. When you can do this you will eventually find the meaning of inner peace. That inner peace can be achieved with or without a belief in god or a soul.
You are correct I have not seen anyone posting coming from a hateful place here as well. I guess my dialogue is off or out of line. I have experienced a lot of anger and hatred from others for my point of view, elsewhere off this site, and when someone such as yourself comes across as stating their anti-feelings, I assume (incorrectly) that they are coming from the same place as others that I have encountered. My wrong here, please accept my apology?
Am I perfect, NO do I have some great inner peace, no, I'm human, and experience human emotions just like everyone else, and yes I even judge people, sometimes very accurately. That's part of the human experience, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
You have your space to believe as you want, and to see things how you want, and if you have anti-feelings for my view or take on things then cool.
No one said that you have to believe there is not soul or not god, you can believe whatever you want. I have a question, what are your anti-feelings toward my take on my experiences, and why do you have those feelings about it?
Do you find it offensive or scary to believe there is no soul nor god?
I expressed a similar interest after Dean stated his "very strong and definite anti-feelings" about my original remark - "Some individuals with strong religious or spiritual beliefs can certainly cause a troubling influence to others at times."
It could just be that folk are sometimes either so insecure in their beliefs that they perceive an attack in every statement from those without faith, or they just enjoy picking arguments where there is clearly no reason to.
I'm still interested in knowing which part of my remark caused such emotion, but from previous experience I shall assume no reply is likely soon.
Pity really, as I thought it a little rude to object to a remark made by an opening poster in their own topic, but then refuse to enter any debate to explain the reasons for the objection. He missed or jumped past my comments and focussed on yours instead.
It could almost be argued that non soul believing folk are appearing more reasonable in this topic than some others frequented by those with passionately held faith - I can't say that surprises me though, I was recently called watersouless (insult unedited to include spelling error) in another topic, although it actually made me chuckle due to the obvious childish context, but also the accuracy of the label as far as my beliefs (or lack of) go
I started the topic, I've continued posting to replies here, then you posted a strong comment which I requested further information on, yet still it would appear you are ignoring this quite civil request.
If you are to continue posting in this topic it would be polite to address my concerns here - if only to follow the spirit of the more respectful guidelines and environment in the faith forum. Something I know is an important issue to many of us, including your good self.
I sent a PM to Dean requesting some clarification about his earlier negative comments.
His reply ignored the actual issue and he has chosen to refrain from explaining his 'strong and definite anti feelings' in public. As such, I can assume it was just another groundless whine and it is best for this thread to move back to the sensible discussion it was intended for.
As I stated in the OP, I'm interested in other peoples views about the soul concept, and with the recent new members to Frihost here, please feel free to contribute to the topic
Some of this fits nicely with my thoughts on those who readily believe in a "soul".
And yet Daniel Dennett still believes in a soul.
A materialist soul nonetheless.
A mind. You'll note that this "soul" (which I would argue he is likely using metaphor) is implied to perish along with us, as opposed to the general concept of an immortal (or transcendent) soul.
As a Catholic, I believe in the existence of the soul. The modern trend to atheism and others like it surprised me immensely, especially in Europe. This code of life, which is based on the old continent for over 1000 years. Write what you want, but when your hour strikes you will see where your thoughts will go then. I do not believe that something as wonderful as the universe and everything in it is created as a result of the case. Look at the stars at night, if anyone of you is able to grasp all this?
No problem, thanks for accepting my apology!
I offer my apologies again for being a derelict and not responding in a reasonable amount of time!
You know, I used to believe that there was a soul or god, and was offended when someone else didn't see it the way that I did. I started to question that belief and eventually came to question it so sincerely that it became a problem for me to reconcile a belief in god, and the way actions of my fellow man. The only way that I found to reconcile this, was to let go of my belief in god, at first it was scary, as time went on it became easier to understand life from this point of view. It was a painful process, and I don't think that many have the courage to go through it. And I can't fault them for that!
I apologize if I ever said that god is a murder, and if I did I offer up an apology. From my point of view god can't murder anyone if it doesn't exist.
Now I have made the statement that more people have died, either in war or persecution, in the name of god, than for any other reason. Which is far different than saying god murdered them, and a statement that I stand by. I believe that the estimated numbers of those lost in religious wars, cleansings, and inquisitions, demonstrates my point.
However it isn't god that is doing the killing, it is man doing it in gods name
The one thing that any psychiatrist will tell you is that people will justify anything to themselves for any number of reasons, including god, which is sad but true.
If there is a soul, the closest thing that I think each of us has to feeling it is our consciousness and it's ability to tell us what is right and wrong. People that innately know that helping others and promoting life and well being are able to recognize or have a soul. Contrasted with psychopaths, egomaniacs, and tyrants that feel murdering, war, greed, selfishness, and destruction are good while promoting, demanding and ordering these thing from others; they either can't feel their soul, or don't have one.
However that whole puzzle gets eliminated if you don't believe in a soul, thus my point
Thanks for a great post BigGeek. No apology necessary. I apologize too as I am probably not as good at communicating as you are.
I believe that man created religion primarily to answer difficult questions, e.g.:
1. Where do we come from?
2. What will happen after death?
3. Just in general: how to explain things which I don't understand?
4. How should we behave?
5. Can I please have some regular guidance / some authority?
6. I am poor / ill / otherwise miserable. Can I please get something to make me feel better?
7. Are we alone?
8. I need some inspiring place to relax and ponder. How should it look like?
9. We could create some common feeling among us by doing just the same thing every time we meet. What should we do?
10. We are so clever because we have the best answers to all those difficult questions. Should we convince, ignore or rather kill the rest of the world?
The soul concept is brilliant because it touches most of those questions in one go.
My personal religion is called "natural and social sciences", and in my religion souls don't exist. And boy, am I clever.
For example we have someone here who also had a thread about his new religion - Symphonism:
You don't really want me to open a thread about science, do you?
Now, who could that be?
No idea... but I hear he has a mean bro-hoof!
Although we are relying on science to figure this one up, there are plenty of hints from empirical sources confirming the existance of a soul, although, some people really lack one.
Okay, you take that question. I'll ask this one:
Aw, you guys didn't leave any question for me! Fine. But, I get some of the answer!
You guys are starving aren't you?
Aha! You were being sarcastic. Got it now. Took you seriously I'm afraid.
It is hard to say.
Medically Speaking after people die there is nothing left but the body.But, some people always say they
can see something (the soul ?) . The mediacien can not explan what is the phenomenon/
So I have to say I do not know/.
I believe soul are cleaned. [/i]
I agree with Bikerman....... Like?
To come here and offer up a comment like that will definitely get you called out, you need to provide some sort of information or article to back up a claim like that.
On other websites and in other discussion forums, parroting the ideas of some one else with no backing information might be acceptable, but here we do ask for at least a little back up in terms of supporting information.
If your only response is that it is my belief and you state it as your personal belief, then that is totally acceptable as well, because then you don't need to back up your personal beliefs, they are that, your personal beliefs
That's right every one has their own belief and it is alright. I believe there is a soul because I believe in God. I don't believe about the other theories. Also. where will the idea of a "soul" come from when nobody sees one? People with third-eye say that they actually see souls from dead people. I'm not saying that it is really true but when there are a lot of them, I somehow find myself believing it even though I didn't see it with own eyes.
There's always a problem with those who say they can 'see' souls. Either they have to broaden the meaning of the word see or then accept that the soul is a physical entity, both of which are problematic. This is so since such statements then require a follow up answer to the question: how does a non-physical entity produce light? If it doesn't produce light, how is it seen? I recently modified my beliefs regarding a soul due to this problem. So :
My beliefs are such that there is a soul but it cannot be 'seen', only experienced, since it is non-physical (in its pure form). I'll probably expand on this definition soon (when I can have some better words to phrase it).
I would disagree.
Non-physical means non-real.
I say souls* are physical. They just belong in a branch of physics that has yet to be scientifically discovered and studied.
*Though my definition of 'soul' is not quite the standard one, it is similar.
Okay, that's fine. But inevitably, your definition of 'physical' matters here. I consider matter-energy as physical. Is your definition the same? Or have you (like many scientists) expanded 'physical' to encompass all that exists? (Or are you implicitly/explicitly stating that matter-energy is all that exists?)
Matter-energy, but also leaving open the possibility of other things that don't fit in those two categories, which probably includes things like souls.
No, I haven't.
Love exists, but it is not matter or energy.
Logic exists, but is not matter or energy.
Freedom of speech exists, but it is not matter or energy.
Knowledge exists, but is not matter or energy.
However, that only draws attention away from the definition of 'physical' and to the definition of 'exists'.
You could say that they exist because you can describe them in terms of matter and energy.
But I'm not sure though, the Philosophy of Mind seems like a very deep subject.
Indeed the philosophy of mind is a very deep subject.
ocalhoun's post is interesting, and indeed, I agree that the definition of 'exists' matters in that case.
Let's go away from that for a moment, and consider the items he described. Nearly all of them, in my opinion, can be taken to be properties of the soul (under certain limitations):
-love (only insofar as it is unconditional; unconditional being defined as not expecting any material gain in return; it is still unconditional if you gain happiness by loving someone)
-logic (only insofar as it is used constructively : this depends on the axioms of the soul i.e. beliefs)
-knowledge (without any limitations, this is perhaps the core property of the soul)
-freedom of speech (this is problematic in my mind, but I'd say: only insofar as every soul has freedom of speech,opinion,etc.etc.)
I'm still thinking of a concise way to phrase my definition of the soul.
Interesting thoughts but I don't see the particular items adding any strength to the opinion that souls exist or not.
Love - it's an emotion, so, would any others such as sadness, excitement, lust, hate, etc, equally support the idea of a soul? And why the limitation/rule about unconditional love? Aside from my general love for fellow life on Earth, the only non-family people who I love are the ones who are nice to me.
If one of my friends started torturing my cat for example, my love for them would swiftly end, indicating to me that most forms of love are conditional in many different circumstances.
Logic - Do you mean reasoned thinking to consider what is valid or a fallacy in a given argument?
That is probably the biggest reason why I do not believe in any soul idea.
Knowledge - What definition? Do you mean information processed in my brain, gained through various physical senses during experience and education.
I have no knowledge of any evidence to support the soul idea for example, just unsubstantiated assertions, blind faith and anecdotes.
Freedom of speech - well, I guess that would depend on where you happen to live in the world. I don't quite follow how this human constructed concept is really relevant in considerations about souls existing or not though.
It's one of those issues where I myself find it very difficult to express my thoughts with words; coupled with the fact that all the words used are highly subjective (each knower has a different meaning/impression of words like "love", etc.). And what makes it even problematic is that if we try to define such terms, we'll have to use even more subjective terminology! Anyway, let me try and answer your questions and put forward my perspective as clearly as I can.
It is indeed true that all the things you described (love, hate, lust, etc.) are emotions. But my point wasn't that any of these emotions support/refute the idea of the soul. I merely claimed that unconditional love (yeah, unconditional probably needs a better definition than that in my previous post) is an emotion that comes directly from the soul whereas conditioned love comes partially from the soul. As you go along the continuum of emotions to lust, envy, hate, etc. these come less and less from the soul. Now we can argue whether the emotions form such a continuum or not (that's a different issue). [I take it as axiomatic here that the soul exists, I cannot offer any proof at this point]
First, I must say, I find any logical arguments for/against the soul interesting. What argument would you give against the idea of a soul you have?
Second, when I said 'axioms of the soul' in my earlier post, what I meant was that each soul (i.e. each "being") has a set of beliefs which it takes as axioms, and then derives logical implications based on them. My point was that logic is destructive if the axioms are destructive and constructive if they are constructive.
I'll come back to this later when I can concisely define the "soul" (which I still cannot do at this moment ); until then - I don't think your definition (which I think is just the dictionary definition) or any other definition of 'knowledge' (especially Plato's "true justified belief") is adequate.
That's cool if it's just something you believe without any evidence, although my own beliefs (or lack of) are formed in a mixed 'beyond reasonable doubt' and 'balance of probabilities' kind of way.
I don't believe in the soul idea because I'm unaware of any evidence to critically support the argument.
I do not argue that there is no such thing as a soul though. I leave the burden of proof to those who promote the idea, and I consider it no more or less likely than pixies, ghosts or other beliefs with effects which are unable to be repeatedly observed in experiments.
Again, more ideas which rely completely on blind faith without evidence.
Interesting, but as unsubstantiated as Indigo children, animal guides, tarot cards, horoscopes and the like.
I would absolutely defend your right to these beliefs though.
Dictionary/literal/my own, to describe the most useful knowledge I have to comfortably get through this only life I perceive at the moment. I imagine any deeper discussions regarding knowledge would be keenly welcomed in the Philosophy & Religion forum, but in this debate it would not assist in drawing me closer to a belief in any form of soul.
Well, I think I'm at a point where I can at least concisely define the soul and express my thoughts in words:
"The soul is transcendent, has no form, is different from physical matter and like matter is characterized by mass and energy, the soul is characterized by 4 main attributes: happiness/bliss, perception/consciousness, knowledge and will power."
As stated earlier, these are just ideas that basically put words to my intuitions, and indeed, I have been influenced by many philosophers - Kant, Plato, Einstein, among western thinkers, and Buddha, Mahavira among eastern thinkers. I have no evidence to offer.
I personally can't see any benefit from imagining anything mysterious like a soul, but if anyone feels this need and it harms nobody else, I will of course respect their right to believe whatever they like.
If somebody talks about soul or for things, there is no proof to offer. To ease, ourself, God sent Prophets from amongst people with proofs and signs and commands to follow. These are mentioned in the scriptures.
Before, God sent us to this world, he called all the souls (from Adam till the last man to come on this earth) and asked: "Who is your lord?", Every soul has affirmed, but due to the reason that people are injected with thoughts from their parents, falling into the same belief. If you ask someone, who happened to enjoy the freedom to discover the nature. Then, he would believe that there is a force(GOD), who has made it. This all cannot have come into existence by chance.
Soul is like a software and our body is like hardware .
You need power to activate the hardware. When, there is a power failure, hardware does not work anymore.
Purpose of life: The system of death and life is made to test us, who makes good deeds in this world. Matter belongs to this world and would leave here, but soul does not belong to this world and would be taken back to "Hell" or "Heaven", depending upon the result of this test. This test is to be taken by all the souls, which would come, starting from Adam till last man.
If you leave this concept of life, then, I ask about the feeling/satisfaction, you get, by helping someone, which one cannot buy/achieve by spending lot of money. This is the real satisfaction of heart. We search God outside, though, its inside our heart.
What is GOD?
Nobody can answer, but God himself. So, GOD is light amongst this universe. This light is not originated from fire, but its a comfirt to this universe. And, if someone(soul) is good, God's light lives in his/her heart. Most "Entertainment" touches only "Head", but not "Heart".
But, real satisfaction(by helping others) is the one, which belongs to heart and GOD has not made many religions, but people themselves. He sent every prophet from Adam/Noah/Ibrahim/..Moses/..Jesus/Muhammad(peace be upon on all of them) with the same message: There are no other gods(worldy gods), but one GOD/ALLAH and the Adam/Noah/Ibrahim/..Moses/..Jesus/Muhammad is his messanger.
Sorry to everybody in advance, if somebody got hurt, in advance.
Peace to all of you!
Apart from, you know, the spiritual free will to not find it compatible to one's own beautiful likelihood and preferential unique personality of choosing not to believe in it at all.
The majority of people who know, not reckon, but know they have/are a soul are ironically the last folks to lay awake all night devising the "controlled conditions" to record scientific findings for you. They are elsewhere, dreaming, painting, singing and falling in love. They have in them, a will also, but it's a satisfaction. It is the same kind of low-priority need for evidential documentation as proving you have a mind, ummm... to somebody who claims that they do not have one.
What we have here is somewhat of an oddity. Something which cannot be tested (corporeally because it has no physical body or material) being questioned of its presence because it has no physical body or material, ironically, again, with the mind, something else which cannot be tested and has no physical body or material. That is the response to the man of reason.
The response to the man who is being unreasonable is simply this: The soul may be an outward manifestation of actual good done. Say, the work of saint or humanitarian. So then you would have earthly evidence of what most regard as the highest of souls. But again, to the man of reason, the hungry person being fed doesn't really have an evidence that can be documented once they have eaten and respired and the excrement has decayed. The only empirical evidence would be after this point, is the person is alive. We could question the inherent choice to live and be happy (without ever considering why, or how or for what aim) at this point, but most sane men never do. They question why, how and what for, but not "if" they should. That's taken as read. Taken as truth. Like math. It doesn't require evidence.
Some things are self evident. Something are only self evident. I wouldn't put the soul in that category. To relate some popularised understanding, "The mowtown singer has soul that the white man doing black music doesn't seem to share." Of course, this isn't any evidence whatsoever, and seems quite fallacious. But it is an understanding that the public tend not to question (because the evidence is felt - and not just by black people - rather than weighed in on a scientific scale).
It does become a philosophical question to people who are interested in the soul, from a theological, dogmatic or personal bias standpoint, when a doctor of the Church, such as Thomas Aquinas, for example, proposes that the animal is without a soul, or has an inferior soul. Anybody who lost a dear, loyal or just character rich animal friend finds this difficult to stomach, or even find palatable. The bereaved owner may only utter something pallid like, "He was a good dog". Not really a naturalistic fallacy when considered that some dogs aren't. Some dogs are pains in the ass (literally, ask postmen).
So I would tell you, from extensive reading from Christian apologetics and diverse reading-with-the-enemy rationalist/materialistic philosophy that the soul (being Christian, as best attested to by the opposite of what abyss hurtling nihilists like Nietzsche wrote), is that the soul is most apparent when it is not being paraded. When it not showboating, proving itself, drawing up equations of itself, or questioning itself. It is to be found no more within the defensive rationalisation of Christians than it is in the existentialist postmodernists. It is not there. It cannot be found in this post I am typing. Which sort of paradoxically invites you see direct evidence of it.
If you say, "There is no soul" and I say, "There is" and you say, "Prove it" and I say, "No, You" then we go around in circles. Where one of gets off the circular ride is when one just says (without any evidence), "Nah, I'm not in agreement because I'm not feeling that this is correct" (This is where we started) A mere personality clash. A preference of love for/no love for. A man named dialogist rambling on about the existence of an unprovable, yet completely self-evident soul to a man named water soul.
Nah, I just say I don't believe there is a soul - this is quite different to anyone who states there is no soul.
Unprovable, yes of course. Self-evident is rather a bold statement to make though, I would suggest that this perception is based solely on your beliefs and nothing of any real substance.
As I said earlier, I respect the right of anyone to hold such beliefs, I just find it frustrating when they are presented as factual or self evident.
The self-evidence of the soul's existence is quite evidently false
So is the "heart" then.
That boxer showed a lot of heart.
I love you with all of my heart.
You really spoke to my heart.
Don't be discourgaged, take heart.
Whenever people attribute such passion to a particular human activity they always induct the "heart". The heart's primarily function is to pump blood around the body. They never say "take brain". "I love you from the bottom of my brain". They relocate these emotions elsewhere. They are a range of differing diverse and often contradictory emotions, but they are hardly cognitive, in the sense that, they are being attributed elsewhere, not by the cognitive faculties, which would tell a man, "these are explained by chemical reactions triggering neurons with sometimes a delay causing a deja vu illusion of blah blah which make you fall in love with lisa, punch ralph for insulting her, and then feel really bad that you overreacted... that's all." The emotional passionate response is to place this will elsewhere. Probably because it overrules the brain, and it is sometimes consulted before the brain. "I'm sorry I punched you, ralph, I... wasn't thinking."
We attribute this humanity to the "heart" because we "feel" it belongs elsewhere. Substitute "heart" for "soul" or keep both, "heart and soul" and there's your evidence.
Sorry if I can't provide soulless evidence of the soul. But I can't draw you a square circle either.
It's metaphor. Gotcha.
Or could it be just because people didn't know that it actually came from the brain? Just saying.
Heck, people even used to think that the heart is the seat of reason and intelligence. source:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_(symbol)
This belief has already been long rejected. Yet we still continue to use this as a symbol until now. Not because we feel it should belong somewhere else than the brain but people were already used to be accustomed to it and probably due to references in old literature.
Damn, I had to quote a full block of blabbering to comment in a few lines.
First, how can you pretend to know scientific models are better when you don't even know how a religious model works? Have you tried prayer? Have you experimented ascension? Redemption? Illumination? How can you say something works better because you were unable to use a thing that you say doesn't exist, aka soul, to access other kinds of models?
So you try to blame your frustration about other people's ability to use something more than just their mind (be it soul or not) on religion, accepting only evidences from this plane of existence because this is the only one you know.
Well that's just plain ignorance. It's just like a blind man not believing light exists because he can't see it and no one can make him see it.
My job here is done hehe
Without offending anybody's view:
Science is far behind yet to know many secrets yet about human.
The Creation Of The Universe:
Our whole body is full of God/Allah's miracle and spirit is also one of them. As, we need energy in our daily life to perform tasks(even, while writing in this forum ), therefore, Allah/God has gifted us this energy, even, in the stomach of mothers and throughought our lives, till this energy is taken back.
Just an example from a child:
You fill a baloon with air/halogeen gas, capable of flying and moving around(having movement on this earth) depending upon the force of gravity of this earth. If this baloon happen to blast, the air leaves baloon and the rest is fallen on this earth. The rest belongs to this earth and the air leaves baloon and goes, where it belongs to. Though, we cannot see air, but still, science helped us to understand air.
A Journey in the World of Miracles:
The one who made this universe, challenges everybody, look and find, whether you find any error in this universe. You would not find a single mistake. Though, we, as human being, hear and witness, errors, made by human made things. Software, though, made, with lot of Quality-Checks, still, produce errors
Again, my personal experience shows that the real satisfaction is gained, when you do good for others in your life, which is the objective of this life and death system. Just give it a try to weep, sitting alone in a room, imagining, that you see this light (Allah/God) or atleast, if you are not able, you are being watched, for the forgiveness of mistakes. It would help, if you bow your head on the ground(Sajda) and keep this position, till you are able to gain the relieve, which you are searching in this forum.
Ofcourse, those, having problem at some time, should try this method. Atleast, you would witness yourself, the existence of the creator of your spirit, which would be the biggest invention of your life.
I pray Allah/God to help everybody in this universe and especially those searching in this forum to get to the right path/guidance/truth to achieve the ultimate peace of heart/soul and the forgiveness of all the sins, made willingly or unwillingly to recognize it before, our soul is returned to HIM(ALLAH/GOD).
Strange, I read some quite reasonable points. I can only presume you consider it blabbering because you disagree.
Tried prayer many times over the years and it was a 100% failure. As far as the other 3 mystical suggestions go, I think an explanation would be helpful, but I assume they are just as unconvincing as the idea of a soul.
Poor analogy because anyone without health/disability challenges can see light. I am unaware of anyone who can or has seen a soul - I am of course discounting the folk who believe in such ideas without evidence.
This may be your belief, but one I do not share, as again, it shares a similar lack of evidence as the soul idea.
First and last phrase -> sarcasm.
I do not think one that has truly prayed can say it's 100% failure. It depends on how you pray, so I do not know if a prayer can be made without faith.
There is another way, which takes time though. Fill your heart with love. Respect life around you, help everyone, love everyone. That should make you able to feel spiritual stuff.
I use that analogy because I consider that people lacking spiritual awareness are disabled. Humans have in them the ability to feel/accept the presence of a spiritual world. If they don't use it/repress it, it's pretty sad.
Well please believe me, I truly used to pray, but I gave up when I realised that no god ever seems to help anyone.
I used to pray for people suffering famines in Africa - nothing miraculous happened, just millions of horrible deaths over the years.
I also imagine that every religious person suffering starvation has prayed to their god to feed their children yet many tens of thousands continue to die.
Would you tell a bereaved parent that their prayers success depended on how they prayed, or would you lamely return to the 'fits all sizes' answer 'God moves in mysterious ways' ?
I've always felt love for the world and respect for life around me etc - you do not have a monopoly on these qualities by believing in gods.
Your advice is also unlikely to help me feel 'spiritual stuff' after years searching such things in many ways without success.
Disabled?! Lol! I would consider myself more able, being strong willed enough to not require an imaginary emotional crutch to get through life. Another contrast is the possible mental health issues of people who say gods talk to them, but this topic is about belief in a soul so I won't go there
* When I started this topic my intention was to focus on soul belief, so if you would prefer to discuss my faith/spiritual opinions instead you are more than welcome to comment in another thread I started some time ago - My "Faith" is in myself
Ah, so you do accept metaphors? Interesting confirmation bias.
With all respect, I hardly think the natural instinctive dualism of the human spirit is hardly likely to favor shakespearean trends over the very thing that it is capable and inclined to use to 'invent' it. This is my point in a nutshell. It is being 'invented' because it is present.
The other point, asides from popularism is one that I find quite solid. A person is quite rationale to believe metaphysical truths about themselves. Whenever doing science it is a piori to accept those metaphysical truths otherwise a posteriori is impossible and no evidence of anything can be 'observed'. Empirical is an amusing word. It suggests an outside consciousness independent of cognitive bias, which we know (without the need for evidence) is quite absurd. We know it with metaphorical truths, such as, "there are other minds other than my own". These are metaphysical truths that can be observed and accepted but only by confirmation bias. The fact that you, nor I, have any evidence of even having a mind of one's own is irrelevant. It is still rational to accept and to "believe". When you put this into perspective (in your singular understanding) you get a truer reading of how much evidence you really have, scientifically, psuedoscientifically or otherwise (and I say "otherwise" because if both are dependent on thoughts and concepts then maybe we need a third option for not studying that which cannot be studied).
I wish it was that agnostic. I only wish all science was. When a person takes umbrage to not having a soul and find the idea despicable and repugnant because it either "appeals to the supernatural" or worse, suggests a divine agent, they exercise the same exact moral indignation when you call them a "soulless atheist", like all of a sudden it's offensive to agree with them. I don't understand this paradox at all. What I do understand, is that moral indignation (opposition to soul on "theistic" grounds) requires a moral authority. It requires a moral receptacle and a moral agent.
You are using your soul to insist you don't have one when you have no proof either way, yet proof that you do because you are using it to deny it. I struggle with this paradox too.
I didn't realise this alleged indignation was a common issue, and don't recall anyone in this topic reacting in the way you describe (I won't trawl through every reply to check though as the burden of proof would not be my concern)
Personally I wouldn't give a toss if I were called a soulless atheist, although I would be interested to know how one could be so sure to make such a statement, and/or if the label implies that the lack of a soul is connected to being atheist.
[Edit] My rushed after-work reply failed to tackle this little gem. I ignored it initially as just silly use of terms to sound convincing, but on reflection I feel drawn to further debate.
Science may demand some basic metaphysical belief such as "I think therefore I am" (in conjunction with a common sensory perception of 'reality' shared by other human beings), but this simply allows discussion.
Any more metaphysical belief is unhelpful at best, but certainly does not make posteriori knowledge impossible.
I am referring to the moral authority of God engraved within the hearts of all men (even Hitler who actually thought he was saving the world). It's not present in beasts. It is present in absolutely everything Mr Hitchens wrote. It is present in all of Dawkins' attempts at theology. The modern atheist looks to these preachers as a moral authority because they know they cannot turn to a God concept for moral authenticity. But any denunciation of a God requires a soul to 'feel' indignity from the very notion, from the words I'm writing now, from the "couldn't give a toss" passive aggressiveness attempting to conceal exactly 1 toss verbally/lexically given. Let's take a look at the moral indignation of an atheist and measure the knock-on effect which has you currently posturing towards it, and indeed science as some sort of orthodoxy which defends your postulations.
“God is a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic racist, an infanticidal, genocidal, phillicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
Again, this man feeds the modern atheism just as the old doctors of church still feed the modern theist and the knock-on effect is everyone who has read his book here, quoting, paraphrasing and reiterating him (and Hitchens) and that becoming the standard. This is why atheism is a religion and you are not allowed to (literally) believe your own eyes. You are a beast and nothing inside you is valuable. You have no soul, purpose, nor meaning. You are an accident and a ridiculously lucky mistake. You are a virus with shoes. You are dwindling down this mortal coil awaiting to die and be an anecdote. This is your religion. Except its false, because reading this, you did give 'a flying toss' - and if you didn't, I suggest you seek some kind of therapy. Reason being? Because we can study dung beetles with out being one. But we cannot know everything about dung beetles without being one. We are humans and we can study humans, but the knowledge we have (metaphysical truths - which I will get to, don't you worry) of being human is considerably more than what we know about dung beetles.
No, it's a fact that you make moral judgements and it's a fact that you cannot accept (and even wilfully denounce - another contradiction) the only rational explanation to how, with what and why. My personal belief does not come into it. If nothing makes you 'give a toss' I entirely disbelieve you. The fact that you are arguing this at all is evidence.
You do though.
The paradox is you are convinced that there's no evidence for it by using it to stress an argument that you just ain't having it said that you do. Which is just entirely ridiculous. The fact that you would be puzzled by it doesn't mean it is any more or less provable than the mind, which performs an entirely different role, which I have outlined and illustrated with examples of when the mind is overridden by emotion or passion.
I have a mind. You have a mind. Everyone has a mind. You can't do logic without these axioms. You can't do math without it, you can't do science without it, you can't do anything without metaphysical truths.
Indeed I am. It's you who postulates that you have no soul. Let's count to 2. 1, 2. That's two. The value of two, the number two. You accept the number. Except, one problem, it doesn't exist. It has no material form. It has no corporeal body, but it is true. There is no arithmetic to even prove it true, yet you accept it as true in your mind. You have no evidence of the mind either. Yet you are quite rational to count the number of times somebody is lying to you (say they do it twice) as them being a liar. You are neither using math nor the mind to judge them untrustworthy, you are using your soul. It's the same one you used to laugh at somebody singing to you as a baby without any prior experience of happiness. It's the same one you used to cry when something scared you.
If you actually honestly believe this then this does make discussion impossible. A crash course in causality wouldn't go amiss. If you don't exist you can't do anything. You can't conceive of anything to conclude anything. If you can't think, you can't do anything. If you were suspended in a conceptual vacuum with your brain in a vat then you'd still need to imagine what that would(n't) be like. The very fact that you can't because you need the axioms of general relativity and you need the axioms of math, logic and rationality and it still has you barking up trees asking God if his omnipotence is answerable to rock lifting logic, as an atheist. This is comical. And it's comical because you do have evidence of your soul. Any living, conscious, conscience having, free willing, sentient human being who claims other wise (in an ostentatious attempt to display his own habitual personality or preferences) is being disingenuously dishonest.
You are not a beast, I'm afraid. You are a human being. With a soul, as I have proved to you with my mind speaking to your mind which I 'imagine' is not all an elaborate fabrication of the imagination of myself, created five minutes ago with an appearance of age. There's no truths without metaphysical truths. Not even truth!
Hmm, strong statements again, but aside from your singularly and vociferous faith based argument for a moment, I will respond in detail to the obvious error regarding 1+2.
There certainly IS maths to prove that 2 = 1+1, it/they are the Peano postulates which start from 1 and define everything else.
We 'accept' a symbol to represent a properly deduced (deduced is important) quantity, 2, 3 etc etc. In other words, the labels refer to proven entities which follow from axioms in the postulates.
Now, what axioms lead one to a soul? None that are not at least partially circular.
Yes we have evidence of the mind. Once we grant the Cartesian 'I think therefore I am' it follows that the 'I that is me' must reside somewhere. We know that it cannot reside in other parts of the body to the head because we know they can be damaged or amputated with no damage to the 'I that is me', therefore it can be theorised that the 'I that is me' is contained spatially in the skull and functionally in the brain. We can then get into inductive empiricism - ie we can test our hypothesis by fiddling with consciousness and observing unusual or damaged brains. This theory holds and therefore is both rational and extremely well supported.
Religion requires the same Cartesian starting point, but then where does it go? The only logical and empirical path has already been trod - that way lies empirical science.
Religion must therefore demand new axioms to allow it room to exist. These include the soul for which there is no empirical evidence and against which we have observation and measurement which reveal no possible space for anything that believers would call a soul. This in turn makes a designer axiomatic so it is not time to reach for Occams Razor.
The soul requires multiplication of entities and requires extra starting axioms. It offers no explanatory power (ie no testable predictions) in return for these extra requirements. It doesn't even match the predictive power of the non-soul model because that model DOES make predictions.
There is no non-material or material soul.
Prediction - no physical structure will be found that could house a soul.
Prediction - no physical change will occur which correlates to the potential contents of a soul.
Prediction - no radiation shielding or other interference with potential storage and transmission media, such as em waves, will be seen to produce any effect which could be considered analogous to stimulating or manipulating the soul and no internal measures of a similar nature will do so either.
Prediction - evolutionary biology accounts for our conscience which is seen as causally connected to, if not part of, a soul. Thus we predict that humans would have a basic morality not too far removed from higher primates - we do. (Higher primates would presumably be classed as the "beasts" you mentioned in your last reply)
Finally the notion of a soul requires suspension of current laws of science since there is no conceivable way in which the essence of a person could survive death without invoking paranormal or supernatural agents.
Can I hear the distant sharpening of a razor.....
In short, the soul hypothesis gives no new information, does not match the level of info that naturalistic models give, and also requires breaking or suspending physical law.
This doesn't even earn the right to be considered by the razor....it can only be discarded if we are proceeding logically.
...and speaking illogically:
...I've explained a few times in this topic that I do not believe there is such a thing as a soul. I do not state that there is no soul as I cannot absolutely prove it, for obvious reasons which would share a similarity to the position of Devon Pixies and the like. Your style of debate however is filled with assertions that there is a soul, when you have absolutely no evidence to support your claims.
I'm happy for you to believe whatever unlikely ideas you may wish to, although I shall continue to challenge any assertions in this topic if they are based solely on untestable belief, yet passed on as facts.
Sorry, deanhills, for not replying earlier to your questions.
In my mind one motivation for human beings to create religions was because back then they had no better answers to questions such as "Is there a soul?", "How was our world created?", "Who were the first human beings on earth?" or "Is my personal behaviour somehow linked to astronomical phenomenae such as solar eclipses?".
Over the last centuries scientists have managed to deliver some of those answers and I guess they will continue to do so, so that religions will ultimately become obsolete, at least in this aspect to provide answers to tricky questions.
On the other hand, I am aware this is only my personal belief, or - to use another word - my personal religion.
This is what i meant when I said that "my personal religion is called 'natural and social sciences'". Sorry if my wording has lead to any confusion.
Thanks kaysch, much appreciated. I can't imagine any one ever arriving at the soul by using science as a tool. Science as it is being used is focusing on 100% rational. If we had been 100% rational human beings, would we have been able to compose wonderful music and produce great art? I think there is something very deep in us that sets us completely apart yet at the same time binds us to one another. For me that is our spirit and our soul. It cannot be seen, measured, weighed or put in a test tube.
Dialogist, do not bother. Most atheists (ones that try to) never reach full understanding of the world until age 50 and after that either they don't care or they choose some science-religious thing. Best for people as them is praying for their souls. Atheists can't base their disbeliefs on rationality, only on lack of knowledge.
Ignorance is bliss.
Leonardo Da Vinci - Scientist & Artist
Albert Einstein - Scientist with a passion for playing the violin
Alexander Borodin - Chemist & Composer
Brian May - Guitarist, songwriter, and astrophysicist
...and there will be many more scientifically minded folk who are artistic in all sorts of ways - google should be able to help you out with that, but I don't see any direct link between being artistic and irrational.
Urm, this wild statement is based on what? ...just more personal belief as usual?
Just noticed this reply in an unrelated topic:
Aye, there are some fairly rational explanations of why we enjoy various things, like music and art, that have been emerging as of late. The fields of neurology and neuropsychology have made tremendous leaps forward in the past decade; we're building better understanding of our minds every day.
Is it fully understood? Of course not, but it's making headway.
But, seriously, don't confuse irrational and creative... they are different, though occasionally related.
... Do you not see the utter arrogance dripping here?
I would argue that neither atheists, nor theists ever reach a full understanding of the world... and anyone who claims otherwise is deluded, or exceptionally ignorant... maybe both.
Yes of course, as my information about any situation/idea changes, so can my opinion.
Although since starting this topic I have read nothing to draw me towards believing in a soul, just other peoples unlikely beliefs.
Maths is a concept. It doesn't exist in any physical or corporeal form. Not only does it not exist, it cannot prove that it, itself is true. It is effective, however, to multiply necessity. Haha. Ironic how you don't have a problem with that.
Add yourself up 200 big ones and go and cash it if you think I'm lying. Tell the bank manager, I started with 1. And I added 199. Now I want my 200 in cash. He won't quote Godel, infer theology, philosophy or mathematical axioms to examine your workings. He'll just ask you to leave.
You say "Deduced is important". The student loans people agree with you. They keep insisting that negative is a real number too. But you see when you ask questions like "What made God" you see the infinite regress of multiplying necessity and then you compare that with -infinity and x*infinity being the same figure. The student loans people base their maths on real money though just like you base your beliefs about mathematics on real myths (as we all do, quite rationally).
I can conceive of my soul, and attribute certain functions "to", and especially "from" it, therefore my soul exists. That's just in plain terms. In slightly more elaborate (and yet glaringly obvious) terms: Perfection cannot arise from what is imperfect. The beautiful likelihood is not an axiom but evidence of the soul. It's actually the evidence of the soul and the evidence of God. Moral objectivity is not an axiom but evidence of both.
And everything of value is not only circular, but entirely contradicts itself. As Syryus said, you'll reach this conclusion in your later years. Somewhat behind time, I might add. A little philosophy usually makes a man a sceptic. A lot of philosophy brings a man back to God. It's not until dementia that he returns to the childlike wonder and innocence and purity of mind, body and soul (enough) to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Not my belief, scripture. It's a shared belief, if you will. When subjectivity becomes objective in the sense that, no morality on earth would deny that a child or old senile man is innocent. But that's just a freebee according Matthew. I'm throwing that in for good measure. I shall now get back to showing you why your argument is flawed.
So this 'evidence' of the mind is in the mind, then? Is this what you're telling me? And that we know this, because we've died (near death experiences aside) and we've lost 'transmission' as it were? It's remarkable how you accept this as evidence on what Descartes said and cherry pick the argument to suit your needs.
He uses the exact same argument to prove the existence of a soul and of God:
But you know, you have to just keep on reading past the axioms about existing!
How are you climbing inside these brains and subjective consciousnesses to observe this empirical evidence? Honestly, let me know. I would like you to step inside here and take a look at my soul. Since you're content to see the cosmos, galaxies, aliens, multi-verses and infinity beyond yet can't seem to see as far as yourself.
No it doesn't require it. Some people convert to religion aged 70.
Umm, about it's life with purpose and meaning? Heaven, by any chance? See with all Pascal's wagering aside, no atheists in the trenches, blah blah, nobody - repeat nobody - has ever turned in his grave and said, "I told you so, I'm just wormfood!" And I think you'd even agree with that. So that's where religion goes, my friend. It, much like atheism, goes to where it trained itself to be.
Why do you think that if something doesn't meet with the specifications of logic and empirical science that it must be false? This belief alone means you believe in fairies. You must know that, and please take it on board. Please understand that the important things in life, like love, art, passion and faith, charity, morality and goodness CANNOT be measured by science. And I dare say, without the axioms of science (which you readily believe), without evolution you can't see happening (which you charitably believe to support the evidence) and without the faith of atheism (which you cannot prove but readily believe), you'd be a theist yourself. I love scientists, truth be told. Scientists are God's reverse engineers. I don't really like atheists, they are dull and annoying but they are sort of theistic. They talk about God all day long and they wouldn't exist without Christianity either so I guess they are God's reverse engineers too. The stuff you can't measure though, that's the valuable stuff. You have evidence of it. But you don't. See: "If it doesn't contradict itself..."
How does a concept of omnipotent God require or kowtow to anything? It demands nothing from fallibility. And wants nothing from it either. This isn't the science forum. This is the faith forum. If you want to act like religion answers to you, tell me who invented science. Tell me who science says invented the universe or finely tunes the cosmos or made the conditions for life admission possible. Science doesn't have a clue. Science talks about the "God of Gaps" Science is talking about the cause of the big bang, time and life beginning and the link between every living species on this planet. Those are some big ass gaps. In other words, you don't even have a model. Not even a paradigm. It's embarrassing how you think you know anything. What even more embarrassing is that it's you who thinks you're science. Science was theists. Nobody has done any meaningful science in the last 100 years. All theists, Newton, Kepler, et al. Einstein too, if we're including deism. In any case, he was a pantheist just like Darwin and all of you pagans who worship monkeys, dolphins, cows and bacteria.
Whoooah, whoah there. You said a) you can't find 'a space' for the soul so there's no designer? No soul would have been BRAVE but no designer is a ludicrous conclusion to that premise.
It does? What entities does it require? Maybe the lifesource is the soul itself? Maybe plants have souls. Maybe your appendix is expendable? Maybe you could make a faustian deal with Richard Dawkins to give up on this empirical science stuff and write children's books about their being no God to examine the absence of multiplied necessity? I doubt both a) it requires multiplication and b) any extra starting axiom or even any axiom whatsoever. You don't need to realise you have a soul to have one, as you so painfully illustrate.
No testable predictions. Did I not say that I couldn't draw you a square circle about 2 pages ago? What testable predictions can you do for your mind? What explanatory power could explanatory power itself be tested with? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
How can it if doesn't exist? And if that can exist, how could it make predictions without a soul and not make predictions with one? Since you've said repeated that you have no evidence that a soul does not exist? So in other words, they make the same predictions exactly, yet one has moral objectivity, passion, love, devotion, creativity, sorrow, meaning and purpose and the other is just a cow, right? The fairy stories you people believe in with your intelligent minds. It's mind boggling.
These are "predictions"? Hahaha. Who is the bookie? Is he RICH? You should put 10 to 1 on these bringing home the goods. Let me know if positive is a real number. These are not predications. These are "guesses".
He's a predication direct from my soul: You will see be here in two years arguing that's there no God. I will bet myself an unspecified real number on that prediction, and I will cash in. Why? Because your soul will keep you doing it. While those who recognise their own, pray for you. You need prayers, because you don't feel so passionately about not having any magic beans to climb jack's beanstalk. You don't ask for evidence of that. You disavow it. Which is rational. As do I. But I don't cry all day long about how there's no giant - because that would be insane.
There is no conceivable way a person could come into this world or even for there to be a world to come into without a supernatural agent, let alone leave it. So keep sharpening. You'll have a conceptual vacuum. Life, if anything in this universe still belongs to God. You can rip that egg apart, but like Humpty Dumpty, you can't put it back together again. Shame, but that's supernatural until you figure out some 'evolutionary' method for making it not supernatural. You know, like the transitional fossil stuff. Something supernatural like that. Talk about multiplying necessity. How many changes are required? Jeez. And evolution not supporting the soul is evidence that evolution is flawed. The very fact that we were not there to "be" in any of those stages means we know more of what we are now. And what we are now is greater than the sum of its parts. So yes, a) soul and b) evolution is flawed and c) moral objectivity requires a designer.
Or to paraphrase, it gives no deductive information to aid deductivism, in fact does the opposite proving it to be true and naturalists to be false and again, proves naturalistic explanations to be false because we can fall in love, write Beethoven symphonies and experience great joy and tremendous sorrow, discern between Nazi doctors and cancer researchers, and the difference between moral objectivity and conceive of an ontological creator, etc etc... and somehow, any of this abides by physical law. I've got news for you. None of it does. Even physical law doesn't abide by physical law. Namely: General relativity.
Fr William Occam's razor is not called to measure souls. Not even his own, which is clearly in tact. It is used for scientific treatment of round circles and square squares. It cannot tell you blindly obvious, in other words. All it can do is make your life a little easier. It is a law of parsimony which aids lack of abstraction, not studies it. You're clearly out of your depth here. I thought you were asking for serious evidence? I've given you many different examples of knowable SELF EVIDENT evidence and each time, you've used fallacious attempts to show that there is no scientific evidence of a non-coporeal, ethereal, spiritual concept - like you're telling me something I don't know. I, on the other hand, am telling you something you do already know - and that is irritating. And dishonest on your part.
It's no more my belief that a moral objectivity requires a moral authority than it is your belief that a court might find you guilty of a crime. That is not "my belief".
Pigheaded, dishonest and exteremely stubborn. That guy was right, you're a complete waste of time. You think you're a meaningless beast with no morals and here I am trying to argue with you. To what end? When you offer such convincing evidence? Nearly as convincing as mine!
Nobody is interested in what you believe. Explain moral objectivity or admit there is a soul and God. Or don't say anything at all because you are just the a- of a belief. The negation of it. Nothing has to be presented to you. You have present evidence why these "axioms" are false. Your claims are incredibly bold and I want to see you qualify them.
Again, you've got the shoe on the wrong foot here. The pixies (life without love, sorrow, creativity, moral objectivity, goodness) are your delusions. We know of these attributes. It's up to you to explain them. It's up to you to explain a lot of things because you have been given evidence of the soul and you have complained that it cannot be scientifically tested. We knew that already. That's why you have been given metaphysical truths and other 'supernatural' (ethereal, spiritual functions) to ponder (not ponder, but accept until you can disprove) and since you can't disprove love, faith, charity etc, you'd have to accept them and since you can't test them, then you'd have to accept that somethings can be accepted yet not tested and if so, you'd have to a) admit your naturalism is absolutely and utterly absurd, b) science is painfully limited in examining the human experience and c) if a soul is possible in any universe, a soul exists.
I agree. Not because I think they're stupid, but because I know they are stupid as everyone else, including me. I will pray for them. It's more than they will ever do for anything or anyone. Thanks for the advice.
Again, a mostly religious/faith based ramble trying to confirm belief in a soul as something factually correct, instead of being presented as something an individual just believes.
Some of the comments slightly entertain me though, so I'll quickly skim through the points I found most amusing.
I, as a person without faith, tend to keep my comments to relevent replies in Frihost topics I've posted in, especially when opposing beliefs are presented as fact - probably the main reason we are in discussion together now as I'd ignore it if you simply started your evangelising with "I believe..."
Atheists wouldn't exist without Christianity you say?! Have you forgotten about the other equally unlikely theistic religions in the world?
I also wonder why anyone would waste effort praying for me if they could predict the future
Does impossible exist, watersoul?
What do you think?
The answer to your question is not really my concern in this particular "Faith" topic while debating your previously raised points.
...there's already a poll for Frihosters to respond to here, perhaps your question could be a new topic you could look into creating
Flip-flopping that question is the wisest thing you've done in here so far.
I imagined it went a bit like this... "y...n...y...n..." FLIP FLOP. Because they are both theistic answers aren't they? The irony. You know what's more ironic? You demanding scientific (only) evidence of a soul in a thread you entitled "Do you have faith that a soul exists?", in the faith forum. And upon being furnished with metaphysical evidence of the soul, that one sees in himself and appeals to another to see in his self, one is being told that his arguments are "Faith based" and therefore seemingly invalid. What's more unnerving is that when one retorts with a quip like "Nobody is interested in what you believe", one is informed that this indeed a public forum and is reminded that this the faith forum. And to maybe adapt a sort of pseudo-dialogist pseudo Socratic method of attempting to illustrate a point (about the testability of actuality within the scientific testing limitations) with a question, such as:
"Does the impossible exist?"
I am once again reminded that this is the faith forum and my faith based science isn't wanted here.
I'll spoilt it for you.
If the impossible does exist, then the impossible is possible and if the impossible does not exist then the impossible is possible.
You called me an "evangelist" which was somewhat of a strawman-come-ad-hominem but that's fine, I'm partial to fallacies unintentionally myself. I am not though. I do not care for what you are or not. I am just trying to broaden your latitude. That is all. I think that this is a nice thing to do for somebody. It is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Lastly, about my comments about atheists which were also ad hominem. I'd just like to qualify those so you understand that it is not hate-speech or anything of that kind but rather concern for my brother:
This is similar to Don Quixote's "Tilting at windmills" (an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies). Hence the futile goal of aggressive (or even vocal) atheism, in my eyes - and surely (hopefully) theirs (eventually, one would hope). Maybe evidence of the soul is being at peace without one.
Excellent point Dialogist. Does not seem as though we are allowed to argue on basis of faith even when it is part of the topic title. We should probably first debate what faith is. And that may question the title of this Forum as well.
I thought about 'what if there is no soul' thing one night and realized if there is no soul, i'd rather be lying to myself that there is.
I want to die happy that i'm going to live on, in afterlife, rather than be afraid of death/be sad about all the things i never had the chance to do. I want to live knowing that, no matter how hard it is for me here or how awful my life is, if I live like a good man, in the afterlife i'll be happy. I don't want to think that this life is my only chance of experiencing happiness and when i get really ill or lose my ability to be happy, my life here is futile.
The truth doesn't matter here. The truth does you no good. So i won't argue about the truth, because i don't care. There's a soul, there's an afterlife and i'm gonna be a good man to be happy there. Maybe that'll bring me happiness here too.
That's all there is to it.
I am at peace with with my lack of belief in a soul - in itself that statement provides no evidence - as your own particular beliefs also provide no evidence to support the soul idea.
Personal beliefs, nothing more.
I help others in life because obviously it's the nice thing to do and if everyone did then the world would be a more beautiful place to live for all.
I do not need a perceived afterlife penalty for my soul to spur me into being loving and kind, but if that's the reason you're kind to others it seems rather insincere to me.
I think we should define what a soul is.
A soul in strictly religious terms means a conscious being that outlives it's physical/material embodiment. It's origin comes from burying the dead, a tradition that we do since thousands of years ago with the belief that the conscious being would still exist beyond the death of the person.
Religions today still adheres with this strict definition of the soul from this very very ancient tradition and in fact religious people do think that they still keep their consciousness beyond their death.
And so with this definition, you can't use the same logic/argument that you use with Math like what Dialogist is trying to do in his case. Mathematical values/expressions/equations do not possess consciousness. They don't have a mind of their own; They are not conscious beings. Hence you can't use the argument that Maths exist therefore souls exist.
Science does not agree with such concept. The mind-brain identity theory states that for every mental state there is an equivalent physical brain state. Furthermore, mental states are dependent with the brain states. Altering the brain will immediately alter the mind. So if you take away half of your brain, then you've taken away more or less half of your mind/personality or what you can be aware in your consciousness. If you take away the other half, you know what that means. This means afterlife is impossible according to this theory. The conscious being can not exist beyond death, particularly beyond the termination of the brain.
Of course everyone has the right/freedom to believe what he wants to believe. But based in the theory, there's probably 0.1% chance that you're right if you believe that souls exist.
EDIT: For those who are considering the belief in soul, I think you should look into arguments like in this article for example:
Note:The consensus among scientists believe in the mind-brain theory.
That's kinda the point, isn't it? Kindness for kindness' sake is a beautiful thing; honest and beautiful... kindness based on fear of punishment or throught towards reward, while still outwardly kind, is pocked by insincerity; blemished.
I don't need a soul to be kind, I need not worry about the fate of a soul to want to be selfless... I need only have a thought towards sociality and enriching experience; 'cause this is the only one I think any of us has, we may as well make it count!
1:1000 odds seem pretty high to me
You can't force me to write all the 0's.
...Nor round the numbers to the nearest nth. I already learned my lessons.
Hehe, no worries, just playin'
Moral objectivity is an observable problem which you continuously shy away from and this is still not getting you off the hook about the "faith based argument" thing, in a thread entitled "Do you have any faith that there is a soul", in the faith forum, a thread which you continually shoot-down the "faithful" because they lack scientific "empirical" evidence (which are you still holding to, which is an entirely absurd position to take in an argument about "faith" of a soul, in a thread you entitled "Do you have any faith that there is a soul", in the faith forum, a thread which you continually shoot-down the "faithful" because they lack scientific "empirical" evidence.
I've given you empirical (fully observable) evidence. I've given you self-evident evidence which you can (would have to) observe or you'd be dishonest. You've chosen to be dishonest then? I've given you philosophy (descartes) which you originally referred to as valid axioms, yet you cherry picked that to suit your needs and ignored the whole point of his argument which proves self-evidently that a) a man exists b) his soul exists and c) God exists. You'd have to call upon science at this point (making your entire argument and proposition invalid) because if you don't, you'd have to accept theism - which you are not in one million years prepared to do, whether I care or not. I don't care, I'm just tired of your atheistic attempts at de-evangelization (which is exactly what it is, in a thread entitled "Do you have any faith that there is a soul", in the faith forum, a thread which you continually shoot-down the "faithful" because they lack scientific "empirical" evidence). What are you even doing in here, if not to pollute? Aren't you in the wrong place if "faith" isn't of interest to you. Isn't this called "trolling"? I do believe it is.
And you accuse me of:
in a thread you entitled "Do you have any faith that there is a soul", in the faith forum, a thread which you continually shoot-down the "faithful" because they lack scientific "empirical" evidence. Which is not only a straw man (which I've already pointed out and yet you still do) it's also a hypocritical lie. I am doing nothing of the sort. I am presenting you with faithful evidence of the soul (as originally proposed by yourself). I am also presenting you with actual evidence of the soul, many different ones too, which you blindly shoot-down without any evidence (or even valid argument to do so). So... Time to either a) offer some evidence as to why Moral Objectivity isn't actual or b) go back to the "Philosophy and Religion" forum to play faust with believers there. Oh, that's right, you can't, because they are all in here (a forum made for them to have their fairy tales in in peace) if I remember correctly. Yet here you are because you need the theist to feed off. How peculiar. We don't want your science in here. This is the faith forum. We want either faithful proof why a soul does not exist or metaphysical axioms, truisms or evidence as to why a soul does not exist or otherwise you're just trolling and ruining the purpose of the forum and bothering the people who it was set up for. Of course, there's not a "No atheists" sign at the top. But one would have presumed after this forum was set up and the reasons why and the members it was intended to benefit that this kind of behaviour isn't suitable in here. Nor wanted or welcome.
Needless to say, I've offered you great evidence and you're still in demand of something that is either a) impossible or b) doesn't fit with atheism. Again, I think you've got the wrong thread, the wrong forum and the wrong understanding of what "faith" actually means. You've also got it wrong that you're in charge here and will be supported no matter how ridiculously you present yourself simply because the mods may or may not share your beliefs. You're living in fairy land if you think that's going to fly with me.
Sling your hook.
Wow, lots to deal with, unfortunately I'm busy getting ready for Monday morning now, but I'll save this quote so I know I'm dealing with the original unedited version when I do have time to reply.
*EDIT 19:52 Monday Eve
I am enjoying reading the various beliefs of other users in a topic where the OP states pretty clearly "I am interested in others views though so please feel free to share what you think and why."
I would consider any poster who continuously presents their views as facts, not just beliefs, as more suited to the troll label.
No, see, Watersoul, you still haven't explained metaphysical truths its attributes and you still haven't explained moral objectivity. You're still calling my opinions "emotional" in refuting the soul! haha. Again, this is indeed the faith forum. Somehow, we got to a mandate that requires scientific evidence. As I outlined in my first postings, this is not applicable. As I also outlined, you can't do science without the axioms of metaphysical truths. What this does is make the metaphysical truth the paradigm of scientific evidence. Science evidence, then, answers to the metaphysical truths. So then the metaphysical truth, while not only true, because it has to be, is also the only available authority over the corporeal evidence it later observes. If you can't exist, you can't do much science and if you can't think about it in your mind, you can't draw conclusions. I don't have to prove this to you (the amusing part is that I cannot) because it is an axiom and it is taken as read and there's nothing you can do to make it not so, which you couldn't and wouldn't because that makes science fallible (which it is).
So again, that's the first part. The second part is knowing whether the science is moral or amoral or even immoral. Which you can indeed do too, yet you cannot prove why or with what or how.
These are two extremely unshrinking points, I'm afraid. Two points that will not go away simply because you think my argument is "emotional" or "faith based". Neither are. Both points are truisms accepted as fact. They are facts. I am no more a theist for placing the metaphysical truth before the science and the science answerable to the morally objective yardstick than you are (I just admit it), so don't take it as offensive if I observe "dishonesty" in this argument. I am just using my moral objectivity to observe a man clinging on by the skin of his teeth in an argument he failed to meet the requirements of about pages ago. We can bicker back and forth but it won't change the facts:
You need to accept you exist to do science.
You need moral objectivity to know that the science is positively motivated (disease cure) or a negativity one motivated one (fascist eugenics).
Are these "emotional" arguments? Are they "faith based" (in the faith forum)? Am I attempting to evangelise you, others? Am I trolling, giving you axiomatic (a priori scientific) evidence of a soul in the faith forum? I have once appealed to "I believe it so there" like you constantly do?
The answer is "no" to all of the above.
You have no evidence whatsoever do you?
Apologies for the delay in my response but the non-digital world has kept me busy for the last week or so. That said, let's see what key points have been raised to support the soul idea.
For many people the argument basically assumes that a God is required for absolute morality - it is a flawed argument in my opinion, which relies on poor definition of terms. 'Absolute' means 'existing in its own right, independent of mind'. There is no evidence that Morality is absolute. There is plenty of evidence to support the notion that morality is an evolved phenomenon - ie it has no meaning outside the meaning WE give it. Are animals moral? Animals display what we would call moral actions - caring for the young for example - not because of some external concept of morality but because it makes evolutionary sense.
The notion that there is some external 'morality' based on divine command is self-refuting. Does God decree things to be moral because they ARE moral? In which case morality exists independently of God. Or does God decree certain things to be moral simply as a matter of diktat? In which case morality is nothing more than the whim of a God.
Then, of course, we can analyse what the Christian God believes IS moral - genocide, genital mutilation, blind obedience etc etc.....
We must also consider the great variation of morals in different cultures and societies where a species wide absolute or objective position is not at all clear - stoning of rape victims, permissible polygamy, various ages of sexual consent, illegality of homosexuality, cutting off the hands of thieves, capital punishment, views on abortion and more. All these evolving over time, and differently, depending on the social group we look at.
The argument does not however directly support the idea of a soul.
I accept that I exist and I perceive my existence in my mind, based on my own experiences - again, it offers no support to the soul idea.
Many scientists working on fascist eugenics would have believed what they were doing was perfectly moral - which kind of shoots the moral objectivity argument down pretty quickly.
Jacques Monod sums it all up quite nicely for me:
We use the moral authority of "God" flagrantly here, I feel. I use it and you use it. Without needing to elaborate upon why (both atheist and theist) we do that, which would perhaps be beneficial to my argument, let's just assume that you assume that this is the conclusion that I personally have already drawn and you are presently trying to refute that it is God who is the moral authority. That's fair enough with me.
Let's not use "God". Let's just concentrate on the absolute morality of all men for a second. That kind of morality is objective and absolute (dependent on sanity or lack of ulterior naturalistic beliefs based in Darwinism or pre-paganistic world-views). It has to be. Theism cannot appeal to insanity nor Darwinism for a get-out clause. Atheism can appeal to Materialism for one to do great evils (Nazi Final Solution, Stalin, Pol Pot etc).
What I would say is that murdering an entire race is abhorrent to most sane men but when moral absolutism is dissolved, it is entirely practical. We both see something uncomfortable about this statement, I trust. Dostoevsky said, "If God does not exist, everything is permitted" or something along those lines. This quote has been disputed back and fourth but it doesn't change the truth of the argument (he did actually say that but it's irrelevant, my dad could have said it). It is still true.
Back to not bothering with "God" and all the theistic/atheistic team colours which pollute the semiotics of this argument for a second: "Perfection (idealistic perfection) cannot arise from imperfection". Descartes said that. "You can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'". David Hume said that and he ironically didn't even 'believe' in causality.
Aside from philosophical truisms. We do have evidence that say (to bring the argument down to real basic terms) kicking a baby in the face should be found disgusting to all men, regardless of their belief, it should be found to be, not only wrong but also upsetting and deeply unsettling.
I've already covered that evolutionist's ideas of morality being a result of survival (whether adaption or speciation - the only kind of "evolution" - working with/rearranging existing information being the only kind of micro "evolution" that I see evidence of) is insufficient in explaining how we got any morality whatsoever, not to mention an absolute morality which is the basis for all ethics pre and post "enlightenment". You say there's no evidence of a moral absolute? I find that argument flawed on many different levels. The fact that is independent of mind (like mathematics, language, comprehension of the universe and all of these things coinciding to explain each other - as seen in Newtonian mechanics which he saw as 'unravelling the designer') is evidence of not only concepts which correlate in unison existing without any one individual's subjective perception of them, it's also evidence that a morality is true when is it found in all men and it's deviations are found abhorrent to all men (as I say, sans insanity or Naturalistic world views, which would suggest that both are missing something important).
Animals caring for their young is no more moral than the surival tag that you yourself have just pinned upon it. That's not moral. It's not immoral either but it's amoral. The species needs to continue, or else why mate? Plants and insects don't emit pheromones to warn and aid others out of the kindness of their hearts, they do it because that's the way they are 'rigged up'. You say accident, I say designer, but that's another debate. We don't see morality in the animal kingdom at all. What we have here is "an ought from an is" and much like all of macro-evolution theory, and indeed the beginning and creation of everything and all (Big Bang, ToE, Cosmic Soup etc) we have something from nothing (ex nihilo) once again, and apparently we are to invoke the supernatural to make this permissible, but not call it that, call it 'chemical chance' or '60 billion years' to make it sound scientific. Animals do not display morality. Animals eat their young. They kill what they eat and they eat what they kill. If they don't kill they get killed. They are choosing to be pacifists, they are weak and will be eliminated (like ten million jews). Morality in the animal kingdom is either patently false - as the very idea hinders evolutional theory. OR, the idea is actual and you believe in an absolute morality of all living creatures. I'm not sure which you'd prefer but they both don't do your arguments any favours.
The theological answer is actually really simple and understood (which is why I personally suspect it - because it's simple theology and that raises alarm bells). God's nature is what he created the world with. Morality is the methods and characteristics of his nature. God is Good. God saw that it (everything he did - cue Ricky Gervais) was/is Good. So morality is just God's nature - God is good. The absolute truth in morality tends to agree completely with this (and when it doesn't - in cases such as abortion - one group seeing it as unborn genocide and another raising the 4%, if that cases of rape and potential miscarriage then we see it for it is - you have one group understanding it and one trying to adapt it or weaken it for their own exaltion (godliness). Actually both groups try to get a consensus for morality to attempt to claim a status of "godliness" which is kind of the whole point. Morality is a direct pathway to God. Everyone wants that. Nobody wants to go the other way. Nobody (problem of evil notwithstanding) wants to hear that their argument is "bad", they smell "bad" or they are a "bad person" because of the object (not abject) of morality. Any naturalistic fallacy (ironic how it is called "Naturalistic") only underpins that "Good" is a fallacious way to exalt a position ie, "A good man once said..." and this proves the point. Good is good and bad is bad. We all have different ideas of what constitutes both, but let's not do the atypical atheistic argument of "living a good life" to be taken as "living a moral life" There's a distinction there. Of course atheists do live good and moral lives but "The good life" isn't it. That's what James Bond lives. I can judge that atheist can live a moral life - exactly by using the moral absolute as a yardstick to measure it that you say doesn't exist. How is he managing to be moral without God? Because he's using the Christian principals of the society he was raised in. And yes, the Good Samaritan did predate Jesus Christ, but you know what? Theology says God made him too. So if he's not following a "society evolved ethic for survival" - giving his money, time and reputation - "to survive", then he's following something else which predates the institution of Christianity. He's following moral objectivity. And brilliantly, I might add.
No, no, no, no. Why must this dismaying, anger fuelled morally indignated argument from the atheistic crowd always rear its ugly head to call God immoral in an argument about morality absolutes not existing? You guys really need to drop this argument, you know? I mean, a friendly tip: It absolutely sucks. It's so contradictory and hypocritical, it proves moral objectivity and it proves that it independent of the christian, the atheist and even the notion we all have of "God" itself. But it is not independent of "God" which is basically just a euphemism for the kind of moral "Good", "Right" and "Ought" you are appealing to. God is none of those Dawkinesque complaints. He did not commit genocide. He not mutilate anyone's testicals and do you know why? Because of the last complaint, he did not create blind subservient robots. He endowed man with morality and essentially "Free Will" (this is the entire problem of evil) and what's free will if it's not free? What's morality if everything is perfect? What's faith with God sat in your front room with his feet up? Similarily: What's atheism without theism? A: The standard. Mediocre, bland, pointless, meaningless, boring and unremarkable. An accident. A mistake, a pointless and frivolous existence. This is what you believe. This is not what I believe. But seriously, stop doing moral judgements if you want to be taken seriously on this one. Especially 'holier than thou' ones to God Himself. Academia actually had a field day with Dawkins over that same very mistake, fellow atheists too. Besides his "More complex than the thing he made" argument, that was the main comedically absurd argument in his whole book. I guess you're alluding to God's specific commands to men in the Old Testament to commit atrocities (yet you still view them as moral wrongs and not with a survival instinct as we are over-populated and could use less atheists who don't go about setting up and building hospitals and aid organisations?). I guess it's catch 22 scenario here. You're saved if you do and you're damned if you don't, atheists? Look, I'll be honest with you, I just don't understand the Old Testament at all. I read a lot of Biblical scholars (many atheists) who have a better grasp on it than me and many (not all) offer a more conclusive interpretation of what "God meant to say". Christians do it to. I do not. I am not that confident. I just know that if God exists, it's frightening. And if God doesn't exist, it's frightening. But God doesn't exist, everything is pointless. The "greater good" argument is often used by theologians (God had some of us do that so we'd learn from not doing that). Ridiculous right? That the Nazi mistakes will never ever be repeated? I don't know. As I say, I'm not a theologian. But causality is real. The problem of evil is real and the notion of the beautiful likelihood is real. These concepts exist independent of our subjective subconscious and we can stick our fingers in our ears and shut our eyes and go, "nur nur nur nur, I can't hear you!" and they will continue to judge you.
I accept adaption and speciation as everyone did before Charles Lyle even had a pen. Before everyone did before Darwin set sail with just two books, Lyle's book and the Bible, as a failed pastor looking to collect some bugs. I don't just accept them because they are Christian discovered scientific facts, much like he didn't refute them just because they were. I accept them because they can be observed. Similar to the ethics you speak of within Islam, Judaism and Christianity differing. Ethics. Not morality. Lord Sugar will give you his ethics and his are great survival tools, but they (and any business, workplace or job you join who have "ethics") doesn't mean they have morality. In fact, if Capitalism is unethical (in the most basic purest sense) then Ethics are immoral. But you're talking about physical punishment within religions (different from abstinence yet within the same 'sphere' which is why it is an interesting argument). I shall only defend Christianity and human weakness/inevitable stupidity though, being a "slave" to both). People make mistakes. People eternally use their God for evils and evils to exalt their God. They always have and always will, but that's not a rare trait of theism. That's a worldwide universal. People use evil to exalt their 'god' (lowercase) too. Whether it be the god of money, hedonism, pride, success, Darwinism, science or righteousness (everyone has this last one in common - especially the reverently godless). People are idiots. Morality nor objective isn't answerable nor proved none existent. In fact, well you know, again... it takes objective (absolute) morality for you to see that priest shouldn't have pictures of boys on his computer doesn't it? He's not harming anyone if he doesn't act on it. Survival won't be affected if he's just knocking one out to it, right? Wrong. It is inherently, despicably, disgustingly wrong. Right? Right.
Any case... Any case you point to the "moral" and say, "That's immoral" and "I can see this an atheist" or something along those lines, just proves that this argument is sound. Any case were you can see that something is morally wrong and it is independent of religious preference, it is independent of law of state (like a friend lying to you, aka: "Bearing false witness") and it is, indeed independent of "survival skills" (like him lying to you to spare your feelings, at no gain of his own - he is "bearing false witness" and sinning and taking that burden for your benefit, for example) is proof that morality is absolute. It exists independently of subjective conclusion.
Well see, according to Aquinas and Descartes it does. Especially Aquinas. He believes that the soul is the presence of this and the absence of it in the animal world. I think that's a fair conclusion. As long as we're understanding the "idea" of the soul then I don't see any problem. The soul would be the concept of how this truth of God (perfection, perfection conceived and envisaged from imperfection) is possible and available to human beings. A lot of people claim a geocentric egotism is responsible for this view, but they usually tend to be so selfless and meek to push other Übermensch agendas. One's I will never be so bold to subscribe to. I am content to think that God laid everything on just for my benefit - in lieu of thinking that we have laid everything on just for God's benefit and we're bored of kowtowing and we need to become him now because he's not that gifted anyway. Haha, that's never been a egotism of mine.
So Josef Mengele wasn't rational? I do believe he was. I believe that's how he earned his doctorates in anthropology from Munich University. I think he was incredibly rational. Do you know what I think that he was not? Moral. So why wasn't this moral absolution available to him then, I hear you ask? And quite rightly, why would it not occur to him that his grisly experiments on children was morally wrong? If indeed, the truth of all men would refuse to do engage in this kind of thing. Mein Kampf should answer that question. As should the Mendelian theories of August Weismann, Darwinism and Social Darwinism. The latter of the two you subscribe to. Yet, I would never put you in the same category as him, because you are a product of a western culture which raged war against these evils and won, and embarrassed them for eternity, and it Christendom that led that parade. But we don't talk about that. We don't take about Nazi's influence from the atheism of Nietzsche or direct influence from the atheism of Darwin. All we talk about is how Hitler was a Catholic and Bin Laden's book told him to kill people. Objectivity morality stands above all of these complaints, whether Christian, Atheist or agnostic. It judges them all of them (the worlds most evil despots) and all of us (the world's most crusading religion) as "shitheads" indiscriminately. How can you say that you don't believe in it? It is too awesome and actual to not believe in.
But you also know that you have moral objectivity independent of world view as you prove with the next statement:
They shared your world-view of Naturalism. They believed that all Good and Evil were products of survival instincts. They believed in no moral authority. This is what you believe.
Where is the line drawn by you, personally? Do you think they were also "evil"? But what is that anyway? Rubbish at surviving? Well, yes, I guess they were because the fittest (morally) would say enough's enough eventually, and they would be defeated, but they (the axis) never envisioned that they thought they were the strongest (and the most right). They didn't think what they were doing was "moral" because they didn't believe in morals. They had ethics, honour the fuhrer, respect the allies, etc, but those are all survival skills. So what was so evil about ridding the world of the "weakest" race in order to bring about the "strongest" one?
If you think you a) they thought that they were moral - which they didn't but that still wouldn't mean that they were moral
or b) you think you correctly illustrating that they were not moral and then incorrectly using that as argument against objective morality being invalid, then... I don't know what to tell you.
There's a lot of moral objectivity on display in this thread is all I'm saying, and it's not coming from Darwinian world view. Well it is, but you know, shouldn't be, but you know, I'm sort of glad it still is. But when it stops coming from atheists, then we have the horrors of above unfolding. You care, basically, and they didn't. That's the difference. You're morally objective, and they were not because they had convinced themselves that no moral authority existed and were extreme enough to take this whole "survival tools" thing to be literal. I mean, you can't do that obviously. Mostly because it inevitably does evil but mainly because it has no grounding in human reality, in human experience or consciousness, because to put it bluntly, naturalism and Darwinism is a big old, non-applicable 19th Century myth, lacking in evidence and wholly incompatible with Morality, as even Huxley (Darwin's Pitbull) conceded in front of a Bishop who promised he'd only talk about science (he offered this himself).
First he presupposes evolution is true. This is the scientific and current, modern understanding so I won't dwell on this too much because I think that would serve as a fool's errand but perhaps no more, or less than his entire argument hinges on: Macro-Evolution being true.
Then he says:
This, I agree with, under the heading: Adaption or speciation. People change to accept social norms such as homosexuality or abortion. This is really not an objective morality issue as the basis for the arguments for both is neither to my absolute convincing nor my concern in this debate. It basically means people develop new concerns, which we know already, and thank Christendom for in large humanitarian parts and equality parts (a religion which man "needs" to feel ethereal apparently).
This is interesting. First he says we created the caveman painting animals he hoped to catch on his wall, the sun rising and people falling instinctively to their knees. And then he does a bizarre thing, he calls "Science" a myth almost. He definitely says we created science in any reading. Did we? We created a lot of world views based on science (and religions based on science) but did we create the laws? See, this is problem, if we created the laws of motion (rather than just observed them) then we created the whole universe. Everything is man made yet nothing is, not even man who descended from a common ancestor.
This is just absurd. He's saying that because we can think, we aren't.
Like the majority of Christians living impoverished in the outer reaches of the third world with no pot to pee in and no window to throw it out of out yet everyone is concerned that Catholicism still holds to much power over their sexual decisions, which they in turn don't follow and get aids and the Bible should come with free condoms? Social structures like that? Social structures like ancient Greece or St Paul leading a one missionary through the unbeaten path turning everyone to Christianity who didn't expel, beat and eventually behead him without ever speaking one word of their respective languages? How did he do this? Memes?
Here he's saying that religious truisms don't evolve so they must be false. Rather than, they keep changing, so they must be false. This guy is a regular genius.
Not a great deal of people have had themselves crucified since that fateful day on Golgotha. I'm not sure Christianity (rebellion) and absolutism (refusing to recant) is the stuff most religions are woven with. I'm not seeing it as being an effective tool of surviving in any social structure whatsoever. We kill people like Bin Laden for a reason. We don't make them president. This man is talking absolute nonsense.
You know, anecdotally, when Dan Brown included this line of argumentation at the start of his movie The Da Vinci Code (which is along the same line of respectability these scholarly arguments should be shelved with), he was contacted by an old friend of his who (working in some academic discipline) informed him that nobody had been using arguments like this for the past 200 or 300 years, especially about Christianity. For the most part, because it's viewed as one of the worst arguments you can make about it because historicity and theology shows it to be the most unique, not just to other religions but all myths and folklore itself. Christianity has the son of God becoming man and enduring the entire human experience and ultimately being subjecting to the most brutal and painful death imaginable for that humanity and then rising again. The resurrection witnesses were not believed because it was the testimony of women. The apostles (Peter mainly) begrudgingly and embarrassingly conceded it was female testimony (the historicity of this event then became historically valid). He is born to a virgin and Joseph tries to divorce her when he found out his virgin wife is pregnant (as you do) again, this unlike anything we've seen before or after. This man needs to actually read a bible. Weight the inexplicable with the paradox, the contradiction with the consistently. The meaning with the semiotic. And ultimately he needs to not use it's own inerrancy to declare it's own errancy like so many of you do! That's terrible commentating. You see, if something is false, it can't be held reliable to say why it is itself. That's called cherry picking. It also can't be used to say why other themes appear in other traditions. My novice contention, and it's always been this, is that if a story is told all over the world, at different times, in different tongues, by different traditions with different values, it is probably the truth. Does that sound fickle? That's exactly how history works I'm afraid. Independent testimony.
Moral objectivity is independent testimony.
I'll avoid his spurious use of "primitive" and "Bedouin tribes" as some sort of anti-historicity authentic lack of authority, because not only that does that disingenuously refute most of the groundbreaking astronomy that Copernicus 'appropriated' from Islam, it also removes a lot of history we have come to depend upon. It's also, for want of a better term, "Borderline racist".
The man's argument doesn't really deal with morality or objective morality. It essentially just attempts to say that religion evolved from man's need to feel something other than human. I would say that it evolved from man being something other than human. I would say that his writings evolved from being mad at those who know and feel that they more than an arrangement of particles (with no irreducible complexity or signature cell DNA). Science is trying to make us unable to do science, for some bizarre counter intuitive reason? Answers on a postcard.
Thanks for the much more levelled and agreeable argumentation, Watersoul.
(First of all, my apologies to watersoul if I might contribute on derailing this thread but I feel I need to get this off my chest. If mods feel they need to delete my post, please do so but it'd be fair if a large part of Dialogist's preceding off-track post should be deleted as well.)
Your conclusion is not acceptable. It's a conclusion which can only be arrived by begging the question. God who is with a personal mind creates good and authorizes good. Utterly bullshit.
"Absolute Morality" is a useless phrase. It's like you're trying to make everything "binary" without even the need to ask why.
Helping people is good; Why?; because it's good!
Stabbing someone with a knife is bad; Why?; because it's bad!
Nope. This is not how rational people do it. Morality is not merely picking stones from the ground where you can easily say actions are absolutely good or bad regardless of any circumstances. We don't have brains for nothing, ya know.
So if God does not exist, you would allow you're entire race to be eliminated from the face of the Earth? Would you like to live in a world where everyone can just obliterate any race if they want to?
You don't need for a God to exist in order to understand that you want a world which is safe and peaceful. Countries don't make treaties out of a God's whim. Again we don't have brains for nothing.
Can you feel suffering Dialogist? Do you ought to avoid suffering? Would it make sense if everyone ought to cooperate on avoiding unnecessary suffering, which in the end is ought to provide you a safer world for you to live in? And would it make sense if we ought to punish or banish those who does not ought to cooperate? Would it make sense if we ought to help in achieving everyone's goals and individual happiness?
How is it hard to make an ought statement without God?
It's not surprising that this is the best you can make to explain why we shouldn't kick babies based on your "absolute morality". It's as if kicking babies is just a matter of taste and disgust. Actually a matter of God's taste and disgust.
Why would I even follow God's taste? How are we to know that God's taste is good without begging the question? Oh yeah right, we'll have to if we don't want to burn in hell. So that means we don't kick babies if we don't want to go to hell. How pathetic. You'd base your morality on a hypothetical place of suffering. It's not only selfish but totally irrational.
And why isn't survival a good reason for morality? We want to survive therefore we ought to do things to survive. If that means turning ourselves into social beings with the capability to feel empathy towards others then we do that. If we didn't want any survival then we wouldn't be here talking about morality ain't we?
But remember also that with the brains that we have, survival is not the only things we can do. We can also use our brains to achieve happiness and cooperating together thus achieve happiness more easier. And brains we have, evolving we did.
Is hurting/abusing kids or women abhorrent to all men? That's not true. Some people find pleasure doing those things. There is no absolute morality. But mind you, me and a large majority of people in the world find such act abhorrent. And it's not because it's something embedded into our mind by some higher powers of the unknown. We can't allow some people to just hurt anyone or particularly people we nurture or ought to be nurtured and become part of society. Such people have to be ostracized from society.
Aha! Aren't you making an 'ought to' statement there? Of course other animals can't make moral statements but we certainly can do. They need to survive therefore they need to do this and that. To arrive at a desirable outcome, there is a certain path to choose - it would be the moral action. This is assuming that animals desire to survive. But what if animals don't have the will to survive? What if they're just merely doing what they're nature does? Well, you can say it's an is statement but that won't be relevant to our discussion about morality now. We only talk about desirable outcomes. And if we talk about people, there are definitely desirable outcomes. One of them is the desire to survive.
But what if animals do actually have desires? What if what they do is desirable to them? What if they find pleasure in carrying they're young? Then isn't their life much simpler than ours? But of course this wouldn't eliminate the fact that such pleasures are nothing but the results of evolution.
Are you talking about Evolution vs Intelligent Design? One is a theory and the other is a hypothetical proposition. I think we know who's winning. Evolution has been tried and tested while Intelligent Design falls tragically behind. I hear Creationists want to abolish the scientific method for them to have a better chance in winning. But I wonder what kind of alternative we can use to replace the usual establishing of theories. Science has many many years already proven it's usefulness to us, a million times more significant than the useless mysticism approach by people in history. There is no such thing as alternative. Any rational person would choose science more than anything.
Am I suppose to insert the Ouroboros here sir?
Even if there was a God(presuming), and he said that he saw that his creation is good(also presuming), who says everyone has to agree with God's taste? There's definitely a lot of things in nature which is against my taste.
I can respect your taste so as long as you respect mine. Nobody should be authority. And if you think you're right, then I deserve an explanation. Nobody should assume absolutism here. But then again we're making assumptions that God exist and that God is good. I can't just blindly believe on such statements.
Living a good life IS the goal of moral life. duh.
But we have learned through evolution that cooperating together conveniently yields a much better outcome in achieving a good life. Thus the action of many Samaritans. People help one another to create a society that will prove beneficial not only to him but for everyone. And with the intelligence we have, which we acquire through evolution, we are capable of talking about morality and discussing how to improve it.
Unlike what you're saying that good is absolute like nothing else cause it because it is in fact absolute, we the ATHEISTS(excluding moral nihilists), have reasons why we do good things. In fact there's nothing absolute about good. What we think as good may actually be detrimental in some future. But as far as limited knowledge is concerned we don't do good things just for nothing, we try hard to determine what is good despite the fact that we might not be absolutely accurate in doing so but hopefully being rational would yield near accuracy. We don't do it for some God's favor but we do it for everyone including us as an individual.
Why can't we? Can't we be concerned of our fellows? Every person lost is a loss in society - the society which actually helps us survive and be happy. People who might committed evil but may have a fulfilling hope to change and contribute to society. Now if someone commits genocide whether it might be God or what, don't we have the right to judge? Aren't we be provided evidence that there is a better place after life if that is indeed the consequence of being a victim of mass genocide? Don't we deserve some explanation? The statement that God is the holiest has yet even to be proven. We can't allow answers begging the question and believe in them blindly.
We are merely just questioning the absolute moralities that which the Theists point out from there holy scriptures which is why we're questioning everything in the bible, or any other scriptures.
Merely asking - "Is this the thing you called absolute morality?"
Here you are assuming that atheists can't make moral judgments without proving that morality comes from God. I'm saying we have reasons why we make these judgments. And it has nothing to do with God. This is in contrast to you saying, we need to obey God. But obey God for what? Because you said so? I think this is absurd. A life who's purpose is to obey God is absurd. It serves no one but God. It's nihilistic in the sense that we fail/ignore to use our reasoning faculty to determine what's good for us or pursue happiness for us all. Now if truly there is happiness after life which deserves to pay attention to then present evidence for that first before you come insisting on us obeying God because you've vehemently assumed that God is good and insist that we should believe blindly in those words. Even yet, you have to prove that God exists. Until that is proven and everything you said is proven, then the atheist's moral values is for the good of everyone who is pursuing happiness including the atheist himself and those who are willing to cooperate on such objective, not for any god or anything, nor it's because absolute morals are embedded on us by some higher powers, Rather because we are capable of making rational thoughts and are capable of achieving goals, all of it granted to us via evolution.
Now if you want to make a case that our rationality is God-given rather than caused by evolution then you are free to do so. I doubt if it's convincing though.
Quite nicely put lorema, and as I'm in agreement with most of it I'll add no more myself
I didn't draw any conclusions. You seem mad about something. Surely it can't be agreeing not to be appealing to theology in exchange for Watersoul not appealing to mythology? I thought that was fair and charitable. We are discussing a metaphysical ethereal spirit. What we have here is a "God" Vs "Nature" argument, neither of which I wanted to waste much time on. The metaphysical truisms speak for themselves. They are not even being recognised! They are being denied, with, I might add, those metaphysical attributes themselves. This is the priority of my post, at the beginning of it. Appealing to the man of nature to accept his nature. "God" wasn't been pushed by any of those points, so that was merely not me saying, "Don't talk about this nature god" it was simply me saying, "I won't talk about this God god" - Umm, because I don't need to multiply necessity (at this point) to get the reality of an absolute truth of all men to be at least acknowledged.
Ironic, though, how you claim that I cannot talk about Moral Objectivity without inferring a God. Correct, too, in a pseudo-atheistic sort of fail.
Hilarity ensues when you use the fallacy fallacy itself to attempt to show that if a person uses a fallacy (which I didn't) that his argument must be false. I know that's a firm favourite around here but it doesn't work. It's actually fallacious! And since "You used a fallacy" is your only argument, then I see no problem in pointing that out.
How is absolute truth comparable to computer languages with checksums and error checking fallibility, which can often find itself in eternal loops and is dependent on an operating system? It's not even close to comparable. I guess I'll need to ask "why". Something else naturalism never does.
By whose reckoning? Helping people does not aid your survival. It is a waste of time. Stabbing somebody may be necessary if they are trying to waste your time. What's wrong with it? Oh, it's "bad" right? Says who? And what is this "good" and "bad" you speak of? There's only two options in naturalism: Beneficial and Hindering. Where are you drawing this "moral" basis from to say what it is "good" or "bad"?
"How rational people do it" is also a glaring Naturalistic fallacy for a naturalistic argument. Avoiding whether any your autonomous arguments are "rational" at all, being that you use a mind to devise whether it is rational or not, then I suggest you avoid fallacies to explain why you don't have anything better to refute it with.
I'm talking about objective morality. Distinct from "Morality" (which is often just "ethics" and more naturalistic fallacies about "good" and "bad" in disguise"). You can easily "observe" objective morality and absolute morality. You can't judge it. It judges your reading of it. Not the other way around.
And me with it, indeed, because what's the point? Who wants to "live" that life? I certainly don't. It's utterly meaningless. If there is no God, may he strike me down right now!
You need a God to get up in the morning. Otherwise, just die, forget about it, it's all pointless and peace can't exist anyway because there's no good or bad, just random coincidence and meaningless futility. You're just waiting to die so why put it off? Why do anything? Or, like it usually goes, why not do everything? Who aren't you going to answer to? Rob a bank, shoot your way out and enjoy wine, women and song and live three lifetimes in just a few years before they either catch or kill you. Isn't that the best recommendation for a fulfilling life? Why bother with peace? How rich, beneficial, furnished or spoiled rotten is that going to make you? Secular "peace loving" politics for the meaningless man of no moral authority, here, as you can see, is purely agnostic (and verifiably false).
Is a country making a treaty a moral thing to do? It is a survival tactic as you well know. A country invading and taking over is the purely atheistic naturalistic, Darwinian thing to do, as you well know. A country sending aid to country to help it with no gain of its own is a moral absolute. You'll probably find some Hitchenesque conspiracy theory herein, that proposes a slippery slope fallacy of 'keeping people poor' or some other such nonsense, and good luck to you. Not "good" as in "Good" but "good" as in "good". That's the distinction. It's one you seem to struggle with the most.
Yes, we all have survival skills, just like all animals (ethics). This isn't morality. This is "Well then I'll be all right then". This is not meant by "ought" either. I "ought" to do many things to survive from eating to catching a bus on time. This is not what is meant by "ought" in moral objectivity, clearly. This is meant what's meant by "ought" in survival. I "ought" to apologise could even be a survival skill. I ought to feed that hungry man is moral absolute. You gain nothing from it and nobody bats an eye lid if you pass a begging homeless. "He'll use it for drugs anyway", we tell ourselves - We "ought" not to fund his premature death! Moral absolute is not confused here. Only ethics is confused here. You keep saying "This is why we have a brain". To create arguments why morality is a contingency plan? Ok, then, I'll call your bluff, you go ahead and starve and see if you still think that I should feed you because the media will reward my ego for it. There's absolute morality and there's absolute nonsense too.
As you yourself have proved. It is impossible without semantics and invoking ethics and naturalistic fallacies to replace objective morality. Nice attempt at the trusty old 'bait and switch', but I'm not that stupid, I'm afraid.
I said I was dropping it down to base-level for the base. I caught one. Listen, if Darwinism is true, you are entitled to throw your babies off a mountain-side. Don't want them, abort them! It's ethical, because it is legal. Is it moral? It is not immoral? What would you know about either, really? You purport to be amoral and constantly show arguments of survival morality. I don't know whether to laugh or cry reading this stuff.
I place my morality on a place of eternal suffering? Haha. How did you figure that out? Did you not miss out (completely gloss-over/cherry pick) my whole reason for existence? You know, as opposed to yours - to dwell in eternal suffering with no end game whatsoever? I believe in a benevolent and good God. There's no other God I can conceive of. I see a direct pathway to his perfection (again, perfection, the beautiful likelihood) cannot arise from imperfection. I see God's goodness and I recognise that it cannot be generated from a imperfection such as myself. His moral absolute is his nature (not his "Tastes"). His whole being and nature. I have something to aspire to, unlike your 'peaceable' self. I have bigger fish to fry. I practice what I preach and preach his benevolence. Which I have personal experience of and as creator of this universe, I see the glory, enlightenment and wonderment of on a daily basis. This is my world-view. My scientific view is causality based and mathematical. My God benevolently creates, furnishes, enriches and fine tunes. He does this scientifically. My God is 100% benevolence. Even his permitted evils are problematically beautiful. Who's irrational? Me, who has accepted the truth? Or you, who has his head stuck in the cosmos looking for dark matter? Here's a hint: We'll both die. Only one of us will say "I told you so" (to himself), or neither of us will. Get on that, Mr "rationality".
In short, if my God fines tunes his creation, He is benevolent. If He is benevolent, He rewards. This isn't even theology anymore. It is cosmology. It's 100% pure science! Again, get on that, Mr "rationality". With your ex nihilo creation, ought from nothings. You want math, Mr "rationality"? x*0= 0.
Now stop calling yourself "rational", please.
Why isn't square pegs good for round holes? Because it is not morality. It's actually the inverse for the most part (survival of the fittest), and for the other parts, just amorality (naturalism). It's morality at all. Devoid of morality.
I've already told you that me considering my own value, meaning and purpose upon this earth is more valuable, meaningful and purposeful than me being on this earth. This earth is pointless without them. Hitchens made some comment about "If you ask the believer which life they'd prefer it would be this one, every time". How bold, from a non-believer? Survival is secondary to have a reason to me. It's like who constantly washes and maintains a car with no engine in it? What's the point? Just scrap it. So survival is nice and all, I'm glad you worship it, but having something to survive for is the whole purpose of having a purpose to survive for. And again, that's not morality. It is basic animalistic survival. You have the morals of rat? (g)ood for you. Of course I want to live a full and happy life. Of course I want to postpone a death am I afraid of. Of course my faith requires doubt to make it faith at all. But my faith is more important to me than my wordly status. It's more important than my intellectual status. It is more important than anything. The only thing, paradoxically, that is not more important than, is the life I lead to fulfil the premise of my faith making my life obsolete and redundant. If you don't understand this, or put it down to 'verbose' or whatever, or think I'm deliberately misleading you, as you have suggested in the past, read it again: I live to have faith and I have faith to place my living secondary. My theology is rich, deep and littered with paradoxes. I am Roman Catholic. I'm not of this world. The muslim too, the one thing we agree on: He is not of this world either. You are of this world and I don't expect you to understand our Good and thus know you can never truly understand our Evil. With all respect, I could have similar conversation about moral objectivity with my dog and expect no understanding either, from a creature beast-based, declaring amorality and not caring a fig to live or die for anything.
Removed footer section.
Please do NOT engage in back seat moderation and/or responding to an offensive posting rather than reporting it.
Since my attention was called by this, I've scanned the thread and can't find anything that I would normally consider moderating (except this small part) but please keep debate civil all round - that is at least part of the reason for this forum being created - to allow for a more relaxed and less formal talk.
Not of this world? Catholics & Muslims eh? It gets more surprising with each post
I'll leave you to relish unchallenged with that faith based little gem Dialogist, as I'm not particularly interested in reading tiresome blocks of text trying to convince me that I should believe another new sidetrack statement.
Hopefully if others feel the same way this topic may get back to faith (or not) in a soul without anyone trying to present their particular beliefs as fact
This is standard theology, man. You don't have to agree with it, nor do you have to accept it as evidence of a soul (which it was never offered as). You could perhaps best use your understanding of it, to understand the theist who holds these views, who in turn will present arguments to you, based upon his views or arguments which aren't based upon his views which support his views (which, as we know, is neither indicative of or unique to the theist, atheist or agnostic). Most people have their minds made up and they present flimsy arguments to feel better about them. We know this. Everyone does it.
Here's the theology for future reference (it might score you a point someday in your ever-quest for world-view inerrancy). I mean, if you completely disregard the whole question of, "What's the point?" as you continue to do.
That's the theology, just so you can see that I am aware of my world-view. No other reason. It's not being presented as anything other a cite of my world-view, which seems to surprise you (as it usually does, critics, who have never read one page of the Book that they don't believe in).
My evidence has already been presented. Moral objectivity. The moral absolute. You haven't presented any explanation of that. You haven't shown why it is not a fact or even a falsehood. You said you agreed with Loremar's naturalistic survival skills (which aren't even morally valid, let alone morally objective). Loremar has been chinned, you're up next.
Until you do, which you said you would, then I guess I'll just leave you to ponder it, on your own quiet time. Makes no difference to me, either way. I would like to see a good argument why moral objectivity is false, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm a seasoned theist and I have seen the best of the very best fail at this one (one even reduced to fiddling with his microphone to play for time). If you do manage to nail it, you'll be the first.
I've suggested it a few times here because I worry that anyone with a non-Dialogist/Catholic view might feel discouraged from letting others know about their own particular soul beliefs, especially after reading what I consider your sometimes almost beligerent posts.
This topic has been derailed long enough I think, and if anyone wants to explore moral objectivity in detail on the forums I believe it is the sensible and polite option to start a specific topic dedicated to the subject.
EDIT: I just deleted a lengthy reply. I'm deciding not to feed this troll. I don't even understand why I'm trying to put an effort understanding an extremely cryptic post.
By the way Dialogist. If you want to talk about Objective Morality, there's actually a live topic right now in Philosophy forum entitled "On Objective Morality". You might want to join the on-going discussion.
I would gladly accept your argument about kindness for humanity merely being enough, Ankhanu, and I would support and defend it till the death. I would allow you to lead the way with me following you, if of course, I believed for one second that you actually had it.
I'm well aware of what the topic is about, some 10 replies later, watersoul.
So you've read the Bible then?
If so, you'd know where the origin^ of this idea of moral objectivity comes from. It is important that this passage is cited as this has formed the worldview of the theist over the last two thousand years. It's important and relevant to this thread because you are indeed arguing with a theist who has presented Moral Objectivity to you as an argument for the existence of the soul. It's a fairly air tight argument, not just theologically (as has been cited) but dogmatically (as will be cited) and also theoretically, maybe even quasi-scientifically (as the "truth of all men" can be definitely observed and accounted for in all of the many examples I have listed above and before). I would even go so far as to say that it leaves the realms of phenomena and becomes social science or anthropology which can be tested by quantitative and qualitative predictions using multiple methodologies to arrive a suitable conclusive holism.
There is also a slew of writings philosophically by Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle who hold very similar, if not mirror-image copy views with this argument. While the soul is a predominantly Christian idea and staple of the Christian worldwide, philosophy, theology, doctrine and dogma, the relevance and critical dependence on its connection with or to the soul should never be in dispute. In fact, I would go so far as to say as it is a little bit embarrassing for me to have to spell this out. Being that the two are mutually exclusive and almost a perfect dichotomy which defines the soul's purpose, function and postulation entirely.
Or to put it very, very simply (to sum up our view and reason you've even heard the word "soul" in the first place in modern times):
This is the Christian view. According to your view, this thing doesn't exist. As it was modernly postulated by us (Christianity) all of this info is paramount to this debate.
You have still yet to draw up anything remotely convincing by way of argument. Or you know, even making an attempt, would be a grand and noble start. Otherwise, I'll just take the win, ok?
This all I ever got in the "Philosophy and Religion" forums too, for simply being a philosophic religious person. Not too dissimilar to what I'm getting here in the faith forum now, for arguing for faith.
Do me a favour, Loremar. Save the "troll" stuff for somebody who isn't grown up. I've seen more intellectual replies than that on YouTube below Justin Beiber videos (not that I was ever secretly watching those). A troll doesn't type with half the dextrous tautology I bless you with. A troll doesn't put the effort in. All they do, is just call you a "troll" and tell you where to go because they have no argument, only temper and frustration at their lack of argument and lack of ideas on the whole. This is where the ad hominems and "troll" straw mans come to the rescue. Good luck with that.
[/yawn] I find your continuous attempts to somehow prove my lack of belief in a soul as wrong rather tiresome now fella, hence my lack of willingness to engage in debate with you anymore.
If other Frihost users wish to share their views though, please feel free to do so, I remain interested at all times when posters share their views as beliefs instead of presented as fact.
No worries, I've said all I have to say on this topic, then. Have a good one.
Ok I understand Dialogist. It seems there's some little misunderstanding.
Your argument is that:
Objective Morality exist therefore Soul exist.
My contention to this is that we don't need to suggest a soul. We already have a naturalistic explanation to why we feel moral sentiments. We as social beings evolved to feel that cruelty is wrong. Our survival rests upon our social genes. With these evolved sentiments all throughout history of man, other moral values arise such as rape is wrong, stealing is wrong, lying is wrong, etc.
Available naturalistic explanation is definitely more preferred than the supernatural explanation, or metaphysical if you want to call it.
No i don't think that knowing that our moral sentiments is only evolutionary would mean that morality is really a useless concept for us or like we should say that it's probably ok to do bad things or just commit suicide because life is meaningless. In fact, we can use our intelligence to accept our nature and other people's nature and work on something better than just what's brought to us by evolution.
I wish this what apparently seems like the bashing between the two of us would stop because that's not really my intention. Although I really have some frustration with me finding it hard to read through your English. But maybe I can't blame you but perhaps rather on my incompetence.
That is no bad thing in my opinion. Blocks of aggresive ranting text presenting beliefs as fact deserves to be challenged in the Faith forum. I've said many times here that if it was presented as "I believe because..." I would never have a problem, but "Watersoul you are completely wrong to not believe because x or y philosopher said whatever" is tiresome, and opens the door to equally belligerent responses from others.
I'm OK with anyone tearing down my non-atheistic beliefs. For someone who grow up not taking criticisms very well(yeah, I have this little arrogant nature), I am pretty much doing well. I am happy that I'm honest enough to concede to anyone who's successful at convincing me. Learning is such a bliss, in my opinion. When words like silly, bullshit, stupid, comes out from the discussion, for someone who is searching for truth, those words exactly say what they mean. If you want something hurled back at you, you might want to cast the first stone first(not in a flaming way however - the last thing you want is an emotional response), which I rarely often do(I make sure that the person's not too sensitive). The goal is to make a discussion, but only for those who wants to discuss about it.
Nothing personal, just guys searching for truth Dean.
What I find entertaining is that some guys like Dialogist comes in and says "No you haven't been closer to the truth yet, you're just as stupid as everyone else." So here I am saying wow I like that. But when I throw the word bullshit, I'm being accused of getting personal with him. I think Bikerman edited that part as it seems. However I admit that I accused him of trolling afterwards because it seems he was persistent at being off-topic when watersoul already pleaded and I saw that there's some little misunderstanding so I apologized. I did not intend anything to go personal as I explained.
So far, the theists which I am responding to recently are the ones casting the first stone, some new users like Syryus, and some old users like Dialogist.
PS - when you look at the word bullshit, there's really nothing offensive about it unless you really intend to. Bullshit just means false, that's American version for Bollocks in UK version. Imagine me as Bikerman saying "Bollocks". So when I say "That's bullshit", it means "That's false".
Bollocks on the other hand literally means "testicles" and nothing about it sounds offensive. Bullshit on the other hand literally means "bull's shit", and it's nothing offensive as well. When both use to mean false, it should not be offensive.
The offensive use of the word bullshit I believe is when you insert it between words like "That b***** commercial. That b****** something, yada yada." Obviously those no longer mean what they're suppose to mean. The worst use would be "You're b*****" or "You b****** insert other words here". The use of the word bullshit in the right context should not misunderstood as flaming or inviting emotions. I don't believe that was my intention was. Yet unfortunately, it can't be helped that some people find some things offensive which sometimes I don't understand.
PSS - I'm hoping I'm not misunderstood. I could have said false but I don't want to sound like a robot - "false, true, affirmative, positive, etc." Well, the word bullshit sounds like emotionally expressive like expressing sarcasm or a "rolling eyes" expression. That's because I'm human but I don't believe I'm flaming. If I post a "rolling eyes" emoticon, does that mean I'm flaming?
PSSSSSS - Where I live, the word peste is also often misunderstood. Usually it's like the equivalent of the F word. But in the right context like describing a thing is as annoying as a pest, it's not profane or offensive at all.
Ok, so moving on to the topic. Is morality evidence of a soul? i'm just going to tackle what I can understand with Dialogist's post.
And how are you going to apply this metaphysical ethereal spirit in your morality? Whenever you feel wrong about something, of course you're going to assert that it came from the spirit but as has been demonstrated through science, such emotions are evolutionary based. It has been shown in fact that what's inside our mind is all inside our brain, that includes sentiments as well. It's all natural.
Do you have a way to identify what this absolute morality is? How do you know that this "absolute morality" tells you that rape is wrong other than using your emotions which is by the way natural?
We have evolved to feel wrong about cruelty. We can even use our brain to tell us whether our actions may cause harm to another person. We can emotionally tell that stabbing is bad but apart from that we can use reason to tell us that stabbing is indeed bad.
I wonder how you can easily observe it other than appeal to your emotions. Can people easily observe that abortion is right or wrong? Who's observation is right? Yours? because you said so? because you're the Christian and I'm the atheist? I think we need rationality to resolve these kinds of problems which is something that you won't agree with because you're fine with your "spirit based" morality which is actually just either an appeal to emotion or fallacious appeal to authority asserting that your religion is authority.
I'm certainly fine without God, I don't see why you can't.
That's your observation. I have certainly shown that that is not the case for me. I don't need to flatter anyone from my imagination just to get up in the morning.
Speak for yourself. I certainly find life worth living without a God. I can live without a need to answer to an imaginary person. I can also appreciate peace and I believe there's a lot of people out there who share the same sentiments. Your assertion that people without God can't live without a meaningful life is certainly ridiculous. Otherwise, what you're saying should have been seen in many atheists but that is not obviously the case as it seems.
Throwing babies off a mountain-side is certainly not the case for evolution. You sentiments about it is even evolutionary. Abortion is immoral? That's your observation. Of course, you would insist you're right because the "metaphysical ethereal spirit" said so. This obviously demonstrates that objective morality is not easily observed.
That's your belief. I can easily object in the same manner and say I don't believe in God. I don't believe in perfection and I don't believe that there is such thing as moral absolute. I say so because I can't find a reason to say otherwise. My morality is based on reasoning and sentiments that arise from my nature. If you want to say that not believing in God should better die, speak for yourself.
No, the former is arrogance. The latter is humility and honesty. I certainly find it rational if I do indeed care for the truth.
There's 99% chance neither of us will. Is that rational? I think so.
Intelligent design is only one of the many hypothesis of fine tuning. There's no evidence of rewarding character. Is a Universe almost uninhabitable for you rewarding? Your God is choking me, that's what I can say.
I am the opposite. It's important that I exist on the Earth for me to find meaning and purpose. Existence precedes Essence as they say.
So far just like watersoul has been saying, no evidence of a soul has been presented. Just an utter affirming the consequent. Evolution is still far the better choice to explain morality. Even so otherwise, that doesn't say anything about the existence of a soul.
PS - I'm not saying that what is natural is good and bad is not natural. I'm saying good and bad exist in nature not outside nature.
So please, save the naturalistic and moralistic fallacy somewhere else.
I honestly don't know what one could discuss here about faith when people are demanding scientific evidence for it, and the moment they do there is no more discussion possible other than those who do have faith in a soul are idiots. Since I don't relish the role of being treated as an idiot, I rather post elsewhere on the Board.
I did looked into Dialogist's first post in this thread and this is part of what he said:
So I think it is unfair to say that watersoul unjustly asked sufficient evidence of a soul from Dialogist.
Watersoul expressed his intentions about this thread that whoever wants to discuss about evidence of the soul, they can do so. I am however open to any doubts that watersoul might have unfairly asked evidence to those who never wanted to discuss about it's evidence. Mis-communication is common so treating people fairly is almost practically impossible.
I feel watersoul is cautious about it though because the last time I discussed about it's evidence, I thought it was futile and I eventually said my reasons why I have faith with it and he respected it.
I however appreciate watersoul's intention. I believe that the thread is just in the right place of forum. Those who want to express their faith of the soul can do so without being asked to discuss about it's philosophy. But for a person who is skeptical about the soul, anyone who wants to discuss about it's philosophy are free to discuss about it's evidence.
It might be suspected that watersoul made this thread as a bait but I don't think that's the case. The thread has already been made so long you couldn't tell what the original intention was.
I myself would want to find a very very strong evidence with regards to a soul which is why I am willing to continue discussing about Dialogist's arguments. My main intention is to find a solid evidence for a soul which I am capable of presenting to anyone. If I have to present myself in a trollish manner I would do so because anyways I would want to be prepared to anything right?
For the sake of truth, I am willing to make myself look like a d*ck. Is that ok Dean?
I'd like to just think of that as an ingredient of my argument, which I would like to think was much more extensive than that. My argument was more along the lines of the complexity we see in human emotion, free will, guilt, love, creativity and moral objectivity in that of a human being, compared with that of it's nearest, or current neighbour, as stipulated by Darwinian mechanisms. Insofar as, the similarities in biological form is far less than the similarities in biological nature, and we've gotten from primate to Stephen Hawking (who barely even has corporeal functionality) in less than 5 million years (which is an evolutionary eye-blink). Natural selection as we understand it discards that which is of little use and merely keeps and variates that which is useful (for survival). How are we getting all of these advanced attributes from nothing? How are we not just getting larger hands for poop throwing, and larger feet for tree climbling? And being the clumsy idiots we were, why haven't we gotten wings yet from the falling out of said trees? These are merely philosophical questions, but they come from a mind that can ask them. A mind that can envisage the ought-to as well as the could-have-beens.
This proposes a big problem which is still only a small part of my argument. The mind and conscience is incredibly more advanced and complex than anything we see in nature and it has evolved from previously unavailable attributes that couldn't have even co-opted anything. Punctuated equilibrium or rapid bursts of Darwinian mechanisms are still subject to chance, variation and natural selection. We're not just finding parts in our lego set that we've favoured or borrowed, we're finding parts that have boot-strapped themselves into existance - and if that wasn't anomalous enough, we're finding evidence of a "floor plan" (set of instructions) to place them, and we're finding that these so-called "parts" are not even corporeal. Morality is not only a case of intelligence (as has been argued by people using the incredible sciences we have formulated) but a case of vocation, intent and duty, too. The core goodness behind doing science is a search for truth itself. I'm not asking "why" like so many of my science-badgering comrades at this point. I'm asking "how?" which is a perfectly legitimate scientific inquiry.
We do not need to suggest "a soul" in object, by name or specific attribution but a rose by any other name is still the same ethereal property of facilitation. And the "mind" is still insufficient in explaining duty. The key lines in your own sentence there:
As opposed to why we "know" moral sentiments? I'm talking about love, devotion, guilt and morality here. Purpose and obligation. We do know however, that we feel them. We know that, for example, the obligation to do something detrimental to our pride is sometimes external to the logic basis for doing so (for the greater good). And there is semantics that can be read into the phrase "the greater good" but it is generally accepted within secular societies to invoke a higher standard of "right" without ever needing to infer a creator or moral absolute. This normally, would be music to your ears, right? That there's no need to postulate a supernatural entity? Maybe so, but you'd still be referring to an external moral absolute that is not an individual attribute of man's singular perspective. All you'd be doing is proving the existence of a moral objectivity. And then finding yourself with another problem: Namely, whose? And where from?
I fully accept this phenomenon. It's called social desirable bias. It is also evident in the Bradley Effect. The problem with it, as seen in the Bradley Effect, is that it is subject to, and limited to ad populum argumentation. Whatever the majority decides, in these cases, is the absolute. But that's not absolute is it? The statistic is only as meaningful as the question asked and the answer given. Social desirability bias, for example, could compile a questionnaire asking, "How often do you masturbate?" And the results would be flawed. We, by your argument for survival-generated-morality would have nobody masturbating, ever, because that's what the answers would yield. But survival instinct cannot tell you that this was a lie and why it's wrong to lie. Survival instinct merely just told you that lying would be beneficial. Moral objectivity, on the other hand, feels guilty about both the lying and the masturbating and analyses why the inclination to lie to conceal the masturbation is even prevalent at all. You have two wrongs making a right. This is survival based and it's immoral. How can I say that? I don't know, you tell me!
It's more preferred scientifically (by Neo-Darwinists) because it infers a Darwinian mechanism (which I'm sure Darwin himself would never have intended his theory to attempt to explain) and because it uses Darwinian principle (of the designed without a designer) then this allegedly becomes scientifically sound. It is however, based in mythology. Darwinism itself, for all that is does do, does a lot less. It explains variations very well. It doesn't explain half of the mutation it purports to and nor does it explain origin, but it did take a pretty convincing swing at it. What it never proposed to do, as proposed by Dawkins and his ilk, is explain anything other than natural selection within an already living, functioning cell. This is what science knows and "believes". But science is hardly the majority of what the world believes. You pick any man, from any discipline, science or otherwise, to man, woman and child, and tell him, "You have no soul" and see if he welcomes that. The "conscious" on here, will think about it, and come back with some New Atheistic pithy quip but the fact of the matter is, most people, on the whole, don't like to hear things like that and find them insulting. Maybe this is due to the survival based morality within society that we've all been indoctrinated into, or maybe it clearly isn't. On the whole, I accept science wants to explain morality, and I accept that any scientific explanation concerning empirical observation (whether it infers another one which also doesn't have any or not) will always be championed over metaphysical observation. I also know why and I have no quarrel with that. But I think it was Plato who said, "No science will reject its first premise" which is a shame really, because consistency doesn't allow them to be honest with us. The idea of a science lab testing for a soul is as ridiculous to me as it is to you. I don't want that but you see, the problem is, science does. Science thinks it can, because it can't! And then draws up a naturalistic theory. Science shouldn't consider itself capable of evaluating any theory about a soul whatsoever, let alone, propose one, let alone, attempt to regard itself an authority on the subject of metaphysical entities. And Science doesn't. It is Neo Darwinism that tries to. So maybe it's not science? In any case, Fish said it best:
And that's all I'm saying (in this post mainly). Evolutionary explanations are insufficient for attempting to explain things outside the realm of Darwinian mechanisms. And all the arguments I've heard that have attempted to do this have mirrored that. My contention is not do away with it, it is expand upon it, not by invoking the supernatural, but by inferring the best explanation (a Darwinian method of testing itself). You go where the data leads you (hopefully) if the science I know to be true and neutral and unbiased is indeed all of them things. Mainly, I would like it to not be consulted by society on things society has more freedom to explore and study. And society is bigger than science. It has more institutions that gear their expertise to the specific matter at hand, as Fish correctly demonstrates for us.
It's just social desirability bias again and I wouldn't worry to much about it. If this was a forum full of theists with one or two vocal atheists, I'm sure the herd mentality would still be prevalent (as it has been historically). I don't take it personal at all. I actually find ad hominem quite entertaining at times, as I've said before. But I just get a little bit frustrated when I find myself putting forth arguments I believe to be valid and only hearing nonsense (not abuse) but nonsense in return. And by nonsense I don't mean a poor argument. I love hearing those! I mean "shut up, you troll" type "arguments" (bickering). I don't devalue the atheist any more than he or she devalues the theist, truth be told. We need each other. I'm not blind to that fact. Everyone just agreeing with you without testing your hypothesis is what the majority of this post is campaigning against. That's not science and nor does it help the progression of thought.
The exact quote was,
Slightly different to what you paraphrased, but it's whatever. "Bullshit" is not offensive to me and I wouldn't take affirmative action if it was (I never report anything argument based and never will because that seems like a cowardly shady behind-the-scenes thing to do). It's the context in which we use words. The intent behind them. But the English language being what it is, perhaps the extensive and beautiful language in the world, there's some many different ways to say "bullshit" and mostly all of them are more preferable prosaically and also, it just makes you look more respectable if you don't have to use vulgarities. It's the difference, I guess, between attending an interview smartly dressed and arriving in a shell suit with pasta stains down your vest. The potential employer may see your wacky carefree side and appreciate your individuality but he'll give the job to the less qualified rent-a-suit who was in just before you.
Agressive ranting? Presenting beliefs as facts? Challenging Darwinian faiths? I'll give you the latter, but I'm not presenting "facts", I'm presenting self evident observations, scientific theory and I'm not being aggressive about it. Whether I'm ranting or not is dependent on word count? Survival skills tell me that's a good thing on Frihost. Morality tells me that it has to have meaningful (and humanity aiding) content.
Watersoul, (I believe) you are completely wrong about your explanations for a purely naturalistic worldview because it is a worldview that is formed to bolster a belief (faith) in what you see in the world around you. While neither of us know for sure the details of what manifests within the natural or metaphysical realms, some of present arguments to show how one affects the other. Others cannot. Others merely "think" and "feel" that there is only one realm (by use of the other realm). This was the start of my concerns. They then were met with appeals to scientific explanations by championed by Neo-Darwinists and New Atheists whose main purpose is self-admittedly to abolish faith and religion. These a philosophical worldviews that also bear no relation to fact and owe a startling debt to their own beliefs (and often mythologies). They are faith based arguments, which are welcomed in the faith forum but they are dressed as scientific arguments. I believe I have showed the insufficiency in those beliefs in explaining Moral Objectivity. I believe all you've shown me is rebuttals and false representation about what my arguments are. They are not personal beliefs (although that would be fine in here), they are observations of a moral intention to do Good (as opposed to adequate or self-serving tasks) in all men. And there is an objectivity behind the intent of doing so. This can't be explained by social necessity or punishment for not doing so. But I said, that argument goes undisputed, as does the will and capability to create beauty, and the passion one derives from doing so and witnessing it. As far as claims being made, we have always attributed these attributes to something ethereal since before the sciences. They have always been understood and even desirable to men and they have always been without an specific explanation required. If any claims are being made by science then these are the claims that require explanation. As science is not a religion, an orthodoxy, or worldview (so we are told). So science should have to explain its claim, which nobody questioned before, and which nobody other than science boasts the capability to do. This is the problem with inferring naturalism. You have to explain EVERYTHING, and show workings. And be able to test it. And recreate it. And don't forget to carry the 1. Quite an undertaking isn't it?
Theism doesn't have this problem. It is the stuff of fairies and children's folklore, as you see it. So why worry what the theist says about a soul? Could it be, you think something that doesn't exist needs explaining by science and the theist needs to hear it? Forget about it. It's all magic beans and friendly giants. It's not hard science so it should never threaten its inerrancy.
"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" - (Matthew 22:21)
I just think it's unfair that he constantly ignores it. Especially when he gets a new and more damning piece, from every possible perspective, and every possible world view every time he says there's none.
The soul is an incorporeal essence. It is a thing without a body. It is an essence. The very fact that we are talking about this "essence" is proof that it exists.
Saying that the soul doesn't exist is akin to saying, "This concept doesn't exist" or "this sentence I am typing now does not exist". It is a logical absurdity. It's almost like a scientist saying "Ghosts don't exist" and some paranormal buff replying, "Well, that's kind of the whole point, genius".
Being that the identity of self is an attribute of the mind, which in itself, has no corporeal body and it's safe to say that concepts of self, purpose, meaning and relationship to and with the world are a concept and a concept of a mind that exists, then it's safe to call that inclination existent too.
The Catechism of The Roman Catholic Church has the soul as:
To unpack this, it's basically the most valued part of a person. His/her essence, personality, habitual loves, likes, desires and passions. The Church has a natural institution of it's relationship with God but it doesn't deny that the secular person has a soul. In fact, you'll hear more about their souls than you will your own, as a Catholic. Haha.
I don't see anyone being offended by or having a problem with that definition. Essentially: Your essence is the most valuable part of you (we would like you do such and such with it for this reason).
Popular Culture has that the soul is the basic goodness of man. Usually in terms of honest creativity. People tend to get religious and theological whether an artist "sells out". Other uses of the word tend to relate to passion, courage or honesty. God isn't always inferred, but his nature and cause usually is. It is used a lot in music and it is always used positively. The Soul tends be the holy grail of a worldly god, or maybe a worldly person reaching the heights of an unworldly God. There is an undeniable instance of the concept of the soul throughout the populous regardless of faith and it usually mirrors or appropriates the Christian-Judeo belief or understanding of man's relationship with goodness and spirituality. His essence.
Steering well clear of "confirmation bias" for a second, and science breaking its own rules in regarding studying "the supernatural" - which it never shies away from if it thinks of something "natural" to replace what is actually natural for human beings to be and do, there is another contradiction here:
If it is "an object" of human belief than implies it is either corporeal (which it isn't) or it forms an "object" (which proves moral objectivity). Maybe this is why it is not an "entity"? I'm sorry, but under any possible way that this description could make any sense, would only benefit the Christian view of the soul as being both existent (which it is even in concept) but also "an object" (which has either a testable or theological implication, or both) and valid and necessary for the human experience. It also fails to make it "contingent" and leaves itself wide open for "argument from contingency" problems. The only thing in succeeds in doing, ironically, is proving that "the soul" exists. That is "a thing" that (by science's own volition) requires "explaining". I haven't seen their hypothesis on "explaining God" yet so I'll imagine that if a thing perhaps could not have existed (contingent) then it requires no explanation. Science can't attempt to explain something that does not exist, therefore science is saying that a "soul" definitely does exist. All science tries to do is say, "It's not that, it's this". I'm sorry... What's what?
There is no possible worldview in which the soul does not exist.
Therefore the soul exists.
Bumping the topic two days later?
Fishing for more replies, hm?
Hungry troll is hungry! ^.^
I assume you're referring to me when you say "troll" because I believe in God. Rather than Rainbow Brite? Each to his own. There's very little 'bumping' to be done in a topic that doesn't even need a sticky and still does the same job, though. I would like to think the stagnant dormancy of the thread is due to my deal-breaking unassailable arguments, whereby any reply thereafter not only pales in comparison next to my literary genius and poetic prose, but that any reply thereafter would also have to surmount the fort knox-esque edifice of the impenetrable truth. But that's delusional, isn't it? That's not what is really happening. What's really happening is that the forum is so inactive that trolls have to chase trolls for something to post at. The humanity of it all.
That may or may not be the case, but personally, I've lost interest in responding to your passionate insistence that there is a soul.
I've said it many times - I don't believe in this soul idea but at the same time I do not claim there is no soul - I don't know, but I have seen nothing to convince me, and that includes your rambling metaphysical 'evidence' as well.
I'm interested in anyone else's ideas on the soul argument, but Dialogist I'm afraid I have no interest in defending my lack of belief with you any more in this topic - I don't buy into your arguments and my lack of belief should not be offensive to anyone, including you.
I'm also happy for you to believe whatever you like if it helps you gain some kind of added strength or confidence to get through life... I myself have no need for imaginary concepts like a soul though.
No, you see, two fallacious arguments don't make a valid one. My belief in the soul is not due to consoling safety net or anything close to the naive comfort blanket that you quite make it out to be. It's also not just an imaginary concept.
The poster, Syryus, said earlier however, that he would still believe regardless, as the possibility of there being no providential creator is meaningless to him. I do agree with that. We live in a world were the intelligentsia of science believes this is all a miraculous and meaningless yet infinitely complex and beautiful mistake so if confirmation bias is anything to scoff at, we can all scoff at it, as rigour is the affirmation of world view. When in Rome, you come to see what you came to see.
I, to the contrary don't see my arguments as "faith based" in the slightest, which is another tried and tired argument that you seemingly can't loosen your failing grip on. You need to let go of your faith in that. It has already failed. I've shown you countless times why my argument is not at all faith based and is rooted in mathematical, chronological and causal logic. I've reiterated this something from nothing/'ought from an is' deal more times than I can bare to recount. And it's still not getting through. That's faith on your part. Faith to ignore the logic and faith to blindly keep chanting the mantra that my arguments are somehow 'faith based' (even after people pointing out that this is the faith forum). The point is, if any one is chanting the mantra of faith here, and is closed minded to any other possibility than the only one they've already arrived at - it is not I. Nor is it I who is blindly and desperately clinging on to such arguments as:
and reassuring repetition (seemingly trying to convince yourself):
But the fact of the matter is:
^You admit yourself that you "don't know". So this is a faith position that you hold. It really matters not who or what you place this faith in. All that matters is that you have faith that this is right. That your view (belief) is correct.
You seem to have plenty of time for imaginary concepts such as 'no soul' though, if you stand by what you claimed - that you simply don't know?
My contention with the 'safety blanket' red herring that non-believers always seem to level at believers is simply this: I wish my argument wasn't as logical as it was. I wish my faith was stronger. This is why I can only listen to Christian apologetics like William Lane Craig for only so long. His tour is called "Reasonable faith".
That's an oxymoron. And it's not one I've ever welcomed. I am (again) not trying to convert nor evangelise anyone. I simply want you to look at the stuff you don't know (and often have strong personal, metaphysical or singular individual ability to perceive or observe) and yet still decry and refute because science can't test it. I'm sure you'll find that is pure idiocy for any sentient human being. Furthermore, I don't really care which side of Eden you end up on, my work would be done here if you would just stop placing all of faith in scientific myth and ever changing theories and anecdotes which are basically amount to little more than catastrophist religions and fairy tale mythologies themselves. To recall Syryus for a second, he is better off believing in the theory that serves his and other's goodness and morality within his timeframe, as opposed to believing in the other theory which just diminishes his whole purpose, meaning, joy and inclinations. Being that, you know, they are both unprovable and one of them does even have a beginning or end.
Which is hardly a 'faith based' passionate argument. It's the argument you'd lead a more productive life by at least respecting. So in closing, my arguments are pretty sound. They are logical and they don't appeal to ignorance. They appeal to inference to the best explanation. Unlike some others, who don't even have arguments. Just deductive reasoning, chance and ludicrously generous serendipity.
Your evidence is simply not convincing. Your argument is no more different than "The world is so complex therefore there is God." So you're basically saying "The human mind is so complex therefore there is a soul." Both is just intellectually lazy. You're saying Science doesn't have a grasp of it. Then therefore whatever you're going to say is right? And you have evidence because you said so? This is where I should laugh. You're saying scientists don't have evidence but you have. Wow, how could those stupid scientists make all those decades of research and didn't see your evidence? And the answer to these questions is the soul, that thing that was invented by cavemen and that supposedly outlives the physical body and by doing silly rituals they can transport the soul to the land of milk and honey. Didn't know we've evolve this stupid. How could we question the enlightened cavemen?
I don't have a problem with you wanting scientific evidence for what you choose to believe in Loremar. That's your choice to make. That does not mean that all of us have to reason things out exactly the way you do. Some people have faith pure and simple. They don't question it, hence faith. I'm not speaking for Dialogist here but for myself. I can't see how you and I could ever find a place we agree on when I work from the position of faith, and you from reason and the scientific method only. I don't say you are wrong. Or that you are spiritually lazy. It's your choice to search for the truth your way. What I do ask is for the same consideration from you. Allow me to find the truth my way.
Funny you said that because I just had a fight with a schizophrenic person last night. He said a certain group called "The Policy" is on to him and has been making his life miserable. I asked what evidence you have that such people exist. He said he got evidence and then he started making gibberish nonsense. All I ask for him is to question his thoughts! What he believes is certainly isn't evidence. You think I should let him have his faith? Oh right this is definitely different since were talking about people who believes a certain being called God sends people to heaven or hell. Of course were not talking about schizophrenic people right? and I'm accusing everyone for massive delusion? So I'm just being overzealous over some small trivial stuffs.
My point is simple. If you think you have evidence for even scientists didn't have evidence for, there must be seriously wrong about that. This is what I'm trying to object. And I seriously think that people should question themselves. I mean look around, there are universities who are even teaching this nonsense.
Unfortunately, I look like a dick for saying all of this. No different from last night. I was a total dick. Everyone who thinks religion is delusion are just being silly of course. This is because religion has always been there and people has always been sane.
You might say I'm making wild claims of massive delusion. Massive delusion isn't really impossible. It was only just recently that some town here in Philippines had been hunting a monster. Everyone went out in spears to look after this monster in the night. The police even took part in it. I saw this people in TV running around in hysteria. There's this dog who got even hurt because they thought it was the monster in disguise. Everyone says how can it not be true. This people wouldn't be acting such if it wasn't true. This people aren't even schizophrenic.
I didn't said people with contradicting views to mine is schizophrenic. This person last night is because he is diagnosed so. I'm saying a person saying they have evidence when it's evident that scientists don't have evidence for it is delusional. Look up the definition for delusion.
I don't think claiming evidence when there's none is like humbleness in the face of a universe with infinite possibilities. More like arrogance to me. Me saying you obviously don't have evidence is arrogance? OK.
Your calling names like arrogant for people who believe that there are no soul. What do you think I'm doing to Dialogist for saying he has evidence for a soul? hm?
I most certainly did not say that people who did not believe in a soul were arrogant. That would have indeed been an arrogant statement to make. To the contrary, for me every person is entitled to their own way of getting to the truth.
What I said was obviously sarcasm. That it seems stupid for people to not believe in the cavemen's found truth like the soul. Notice the roll eyes emoticon?
Last night when I was listening to some YouTube videos of mine, the one by Neil deGrasse Tyson sprung out from nowhere. I think I've posted it before, but it does make sense to post it here again. He did say at one point in time that he was an agnostic, but then withdrew that label, as even with agnosticism, there is a stereotyped discussion of what he does not agree with. He doesn't like to be labeled any thing. As he says it puts limitations on the truth. Dr. Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.
If you have time on your hands, this is also an interesting video of a talk of his. It's a bit long, but I'm on leave to day, so found it quite fascinating:
Blind watchmakers can't make irreducibly complex self dependent biological mechanisms which need ludicrously intricate and sequenced, systematic information and data floor plan to even think about forming, and this goes for the basic of amino cells and I'm not appealing to ignorance here. I'm appealing to science. But ho hum, another 'creationist' who doesn't know anything about life, eh? That's not my argument, by the way. I do adhere to it, but it's not the one I am stressing here.
No, not at all. I'm saying the soul is simple, inert and inherent and has its own nature which is non-characteristic of survival instinct and derives from the objective good and truth of all man and whatever created them. It's distinctly different from that we observe in the animal world and complexity is only one of the factors of attributive nature. For example, computer x is faster and more proficient than computer y but computer x is a brute-force hacking server or a nuclear weapon control panel. Computer y is a heart monitor or life support machine. Computer x is perhaps more complex. That doesn't make them 'better' than computer y. We are talking about inclination, what, how and why.
Science doesn't have evidence of many things we take for granted and are still rational to believe. Would you like me to list them all? One of them is math and ironically, science itself. Haha. If we relied on only science as the accumulative sum of human knowledge we couldn't do science.
I'm not saying they don't have a grasp on it, I'm saying they are not allowed to have one, and rightfully so. It's like asking a performing arts teacher to help you with calculus or a painter to build you better mouse-trap. Wrong tool for the wrong job. The problem usually is an appeal to authority fallacy. We act like science can tell us anything about the 'supernatural' or 'paranormal'. It really can't. It doesn't want to mainly because it is out of it's depth even trying to explain the basic axioms of its own first principle. I'm not saying it is stupid or anything like that. I am saying it is insufficient and limited to own criteria for testing. Which is fine, most things are, but it should draw up a hypothesis for the probability of this being true and conclude that it might do well to just stay in its box.
If the cavemen were so stupid, who told them about this stuff? Did they read it in Popular Mechanics? Were they indoctrinated by a brainwashing church? Working with the basic logic assumption that something there had to be put there (as most scientific geniuses still struggle with): did the cavemen simply feel a rumble in their stomach and automatically plead to their creator that this sensation to go away via the promise of a hunting gift from above to make it go away? I think probably the latter. Thanks for proving yet again that the objective truth of all men is not intellect or education or society related. Appeasing God was perhaps a survival skill though. Haha. They got food because they gave some art back. That's why we are top of the food chain today, over Masterdons, Great whites and even mosquitoes. But yeah, those stupid fumbling idiots. If they were atheists we would have starved to death, too busy scribbling out everyone's murals.
The point, is simply science is limited and in areas such as this, it's not even invited.
This is just horrible logic. SCIENCE IS THE STUDY OF EVIDENCE and then postulating a hypothesis, then repeatedly testing this hypothesis etc. etc., it's called the SCIENTIFIC METHOD maybe you should study it sometime. Math is the study of sets and the equations that you can do with these said sets, you don't need evidence for that because a set of 6 is always a set of six, if not then the whole world wouldn't be working the way it is now (there's your damn evidence btw). The only thing that is without evidence is most probably logic because you cannot prove logic to be true without the use of logic, and btw just a quick fact, science deals with evidence not proofs. You cannot PROVE something with science, that would be maths job, hence trig, algebra, statistics etc. etc..
What is the first principle of doing science? I am and I can think. Prove it. Oh that's right. It's axiom. You can't! Science can't test itself. That's just the first principle. The second is hear-say and witness testimony. The third is confirmation bias. That's how science works. Human beings doing it. Maybe you should study it sometime?
Providing the axioms are correct and that math really exists as a tangible testable, observable, empirical piece of physical corporeal data.
You don't need evidence for a soul because whenever anyone refers to this concept in this debate, it is always "the soul", so being that it doesn't need to exist or have any evidence whatsoever (according to some) then it doesn't need any evidence because it's always a set of "soul" we are referring to. It's the axiom of "I think therefore I am". I can think of a soul therefore a soul is. You don't need evidence. Its conceptual nature has many sets, properties and functions. Again, neither math and science can be scientifically or mathematically tested and vice-versa and interchangeably and being that science is strongly dependant on both faculties (and arguably for some, a soul too, for perseverance, resilience, ambition, faith and creativity to achieve to absolute truth and greater good of a envisaged and pre-understood human standard of divine/unknown knowledge) then I guess you need a soul more than you need math to do science, but need no evidence of either, and even if you did, no evidence of either is available and only an idiot would request them or try to make either more tangible than the other.
Evidence of benevolent design! You are correct, btw. But if you are a mathematics enthusiast, you're probably a theist anyway. Most of them have done their sums and only arrived at one conceivable inference.
You can't do anything without first presupposing itself. That goes for everything. The fact of the matter is that you can prove logic (or logical values) to yourself without saying or proving anything, and sort of have to be able to (this is what I mean by confirmation bias, not what's commonly understood by the term). And in doing so, it must conform to particular personal ideal. For example, what I am saying to you right is perfectly logical to me, because it's my opinion and logic but to you.. it's nuts. That doesn't make me or you right and the inability to prove or disprove it doesn't come into it, because if there was a method for proving the existence of God (Cosmological or anthological) and I laid it out in perfect modal logic for you, even though it would be philosophically insuperable (like Plantinga's Kalam argument) that still doesn't mean you're going to accept it and find it logical, it just means I have a set of premises which you can't mess with logically. The answer is in your heart, according to your own personable likes and dislikes and characteristic desires and moral standards and being that the human heart is just an organ that pumps blood around your body, some other entity or allocation must be performing this mind-contradicting and often opposing passionate response. Maybe it's the number 6 x 3! Or maybe it's another ethereal concept that we still denying has any purpose.
Where is science's evidence of this? Where is maths proof of this? Do you have either handy? If not, then Bacon. Smokey bacon with tomatoes and mushrooms. Doesn't matter what you call it. Umbrella. Maths proofs and scientific evidence are evolutions of an presupposed axiom that is considered OK and essential to believe so any of it works. Just like the soul.
Sorry if this hurts, but it is the truth. Read about it.
Assuming there is a soul is different from assuming that a group of particles is "one" unit of entity.
Because in math, we can cross out some aspects that are irrelevant. Say I have a piece of orange and a piece of apple. Can I make 1 + 1 = 2? Yes, because I just wanted to add fruits. Doesn't matter what kind of fruit. This is not to prove that 1+1=2 is true. Because that is pointless. Is the Sun true? 1+1=2 is just a language. We assume that a particular entity is "one". There is another identical entity. That's called "two". "+" is just something we do when there is another entity considered aside from what already exist. Here, the word "assume" takes no ontological stance. Like, we assume that this particular animal is called a "dog". It's just language. Math is...
Assuming there is a soul is a different story. It would be silly to make the assumption when the whole nature of it is in question. Unless its nature is irrelevant, then we can't go into assuming things.
Just because the beautiful language of mathematics has a logic and pleasing acquiesce with itself, doesn't mean that it is, in corporeal substantial matter, any more of a "body" or 'actual existing thing' than a soul is. The language of theology has a self-serving logic too and it is just as congruent and pleasing (to itself). What you're aiming for is that math is more palatable or tangible. You don't need a preferential belief or viewpoint to see that it works, right? I agree with that. But "it" doesn't exist. "It" is a logical extrapolation of itself. This is a logical fallacy in many ways. The main one that springs to mind is circular reasoning (begging the question). Language is true but it doesn't exist. It was invented and developed and depends on its own conceptual nature to even have a nature. It's not something you could observe physically, nor test scientifically. For example, science couldn't tell you that Shakespeare was any more proficient than Eminem. But perhaps a soul can. The complexity of the 'nature' of the soul, that you suggest doesn't exist, could well root for Eminem. I guess it's where ever your passions lie.
The thing you did was reduce this ethereal concept down into a numerical value of ONE. And in terms of possession, I guess an individual would need to own "one". But like the Zen Buddhists asked us, "What is the sound of ONE hand clapping?" The answer is: Deafening (in my opinion) because they meant ONE hand collectivity. The entire human race. Maybe you can view the soul like that if indeed I am (and have) attributed moral objectivity to the soul's list of assets. And if we are to do that, the absolute truth of man doesn't belong to any one individual, does it?
Besides, putting a mathematical value on a conceptual unquantifiable isn't going to sprout fruit. Unfortunately we need to do this with math itself - which is exactly what I am saying. What is ZERO exactly? Is it the same as infinity? What is minus any value? What is x*0? We know what it is.. but we don't know what it is. Science is the same. What is force? Anyone know what force is? Newton didn't have a clue. He knew how to use it and how to apply it in his calculations, but did he know it's actual nature? Does anyone? You can't test force to find out what it is.
Similarly, in terms of theology, when considering concepts like these under a specific and definite mathematical rigour, is the Holy Trinity, 1+1+1=3 or 1+1+1=1? And if you try that "the whole nature of it is in question" get-out attempt, let me tell you something, in computer programming language, an array works in the exact same way. It opens a Parent, lists the Children and then closes the Parent. It is One and yet many and this is Maths you actually use the integers to call those children from the parent, mathematically. Similar to the dichotomy of men and women forming society or the human race. Two is ONE. But society and the collective sameness of human beings doesn't really exist either. If all but you die, you are still humanity. You don't even need plural. Mathematics is conceptual in nature and so is the soul.
It is so easy to get all crossed up over something as simple as a soul. Soul is interchangeable with spirit and God is Spirit. When God created man he breathed him into life or imparted spirit or gave him a soul which was an integral part of God. There was still a connection there as God would often visit his creation and they would chat together.
However, when this guy stuffed up God cut that spiritual bond between them. This left man with a soul that was now not connected to God and was naturally a bad soul. The soul is the man and his body is just a suitcase that he walks around in. All people born ever since are born with this bad, disconnected soul which means, because God is utterly holy, he can't get close to them anymore.
In fact, He sees them as so bad that when the body dies he has to sent their souls to hell or whatever you want to call it but it is a long way from God.
Of course, God being God knew this was going to happen so he arranged a little something to make it OK for him. He wanted some to talk to forever and ever so he selected a few of these souls that he would re-connect to His spirit when they were born.
Sometime in their life he arranged for them to get this hook up done so they were now connected back to Him and they would spent forever with him when their body died.
The Bible calls these the elect and the hook up it calls being born again.
Ah, the loneliness of omnipresence. He's omnipotent too. He can't not be omnipotent. Or can He? Well I'm glad you've got it all figured out, nickfyoung. But just out of curiosity, what does He do with the born again reincarnationists? Those guys are really milking the mortal coil aren't they?
I am only giving you what the bible teaches. No more, no less. That is the standard reformed biblical teaching. I know it is a bit different from the Catholic teaching and many of our modern church teachings today but that is how the Bible was understood originally.
And we do feel a bit 'privileged'. Why wouldn't we. We get to spend forever in a bit better state than the other lot. The other lot are allowed to be here longer so they can just rack up more excuse to be punished.
As the elect we don't get to experience the wrath side of God so when he shows that side to the other lot we get to see it from a distance, just so we know.
So when you, if you are part of the other lot, live a long and fruitful life, you are living it apart from God so racking up more points against you for him to use at the end.
I would not want to be part of that. That is why the original Baptist teaching was of fire and brimstone. Scare you into looking at the god option. That has changed now too. The teaching now is God is love and loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. That is not quite right either because if you are one of the reprobates God doesn't love you at all.
And it is not that we had a choice in all this either. That is another new teaching today, that man has a freewill and can decide whether he wants in or out.
God has given the job of explaining this stuff to those who are in and that is what he uses to give his elect a wake up call. It is called irresistible grace and when he calls you you can't say no. Who would want to anyway.
I'd say you were giving me a little more and a lot less, if I was being charitable. There's a few things in what you said that come from egocentric point of view that is maybe inferred in the Bible but I wouldn't say taught.
You speak about time like it is existent in the realm where God resides, the realm where He began time? If infinity exists it possibly exists in that realm as the standard. But nobody actually knows what infinite is because it is a conceptual proposition. Clearly, it cannot be temporally experienced? Like the expierence and conception of the notions that time has passed and time left to go are non-existent in infinity. I doubt it is something you can be in, behind or ahead of. The frightening thing is that time is merely a perception anyway, so the proposition of infinitely being without any conception of time shouldn't come as too much of a shock to anyone. Neither are real yet reality is impossible without both of them: One to gauge it by and the other to compare it to (Time to say what is "real" and no-time to say what isn't) in terms of human fantasy posing as logic, that is. Empirical, huh?
I guess I am part of the "elect" because I know that I'm part of "the other lot" (a sinner). Unfortunately, my knowledge of being in the "elect" due to my honesty and humility about being a sinner makes me sin again because this is the paradox of humility. Once you say you are, you're bragging. But hey, I'd rather risk disclusion from the elect this way than the obvious way: Of automatically assuming God only loves Christians and my going to church makes me anymore of a Christian than going in a library makes me a book.
Only a reprobate would speak on God's behalf. Who's to say some of the evil people who ever walked aren't in Heaven? The Churches don't like to preside over who is and who isn't. They even have baptisms of desire and suchlike to win entry for people they feel are deserving candidates, yet don't fit the theological requirements. There's very little wrote about Hell/Hades in the Bible and most of it is theological philosophy garnered from a few passing references. It's generally understood to be an absence of God.
What when Jesus returns, you might think it's the anti-Christ from John in Revelation 12:9 "he who deceives the whole world" because you're part of the "whole world", certain you've been instructed that you will be deceived so you second guess it trying to ensure salvation and say, "Nah, not for me" but it really is Jesus and you hurtle down to Hades and John cackles saying, "I told you you'd be deceived". I can actually see this happening to some of our beloved "elect".
If God goes to all the trouble of getting you chosen and then sends His Holy Spirit to bring you out of your sin state enough to see the cross and then sends Jesus to die for you so you can be saved, He is going to make sure you stick it out to the end.
Once you are born again you are part of the elect. Jesus did say that to be born again is the only way to get in and to be born again through him exclusively. I know the Catholic Church is not big on this teaching. It is the biggest church as far as members go but it is also the church with the lowest percentage of born again members. That may be because once many Catholics become born again they leave for a church that is a bit more Bible centered. My wife is one of those.
It doesn't matter if you are one of the elect or not as far as being a sinner. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all deserve to go to hell as sinners. Being born again is the only way out. Being born again does not exclude you from sin either. It is your Spirit that has been born again and you still have to live in your corrupt body till the end still sinning although one would hope a little less each day as you grow in sanctification. Jesus died for all our sins, past, present and future.
Not going to get into your time debate. Much too intellectual for me.
So you're saying in John 3:3 when Jesus says, "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" That Jesus is implying that you need to lapse and then take up the faith again? How do you expect anyone other the evangelical churches to believe this? Quite literally, Jesus does say you need to be "born again" but in what sense? In the sense that evangelical Christians were around in those times, and he was referring to the specific "Born-again", modern understanding of the term? I doubt that. I think he was speaking in general, reiterating Matthew 18:3, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven". That's like being "born again", isn't it? Baptism as we see in Jesus' time was an adult event. John the Baptist baptised Jesus when he was a grown man. Maybe that's what he is referring to? Maybe definitely?
Nicodemus then replied to Jesus:
"How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?" - John 3:4
And Jesus replied:
"I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." - John 3:5
In other words, unless a man is baptised he's not assured of Heaven. They all then went to see John The Baptist in John 3.22 and had a big ol' baptism. My reading of "born again" here is pretty clear. You are earthly-born and you're required to be spiritually-born (I presume the then age of the baptised is mature acknowledgement of your doings, we now have "Confirmation" for this).
I don't think the Bible is either, to be honest. The proposition of becoming something you weren't or having to fail so you can succeed seems a bit counterintuitive. It's clearly aimed at the then secular or otherwise engaged in other less rewarding religions. It's not a Biblical theme though, when you say:
The parable of the Prodigal Son teaches the exact opposite. The loyal son, who remained a staunch supporter of his father stood and watched his father laud graces and treats on his other turn-coat son who'd just returned from the world. He's stood there wondering why his brother is getting all the attention and the moral is when the father turns to the loyal son and says, "You were always with me and everything I have is yours." The parable is a metaphor for your relationship with God. Once the calf has been fattened and all the ribs lay nibbled down to the bone, there's not a chance in Hell you Johnny-Come-Latelys are going to be handpicked over the ones who never lost sight of their Father. I think "last in, last served", might be a more honest verdict.
I have nothing against evangelicals by the way, and anyone who finds God whenever and by whatever means (even if he calls him Allah or Buddha or Krishna) is not doing too shabbily at all - but the Roman Catholic Church is right about this one, and it also gives you the option of baptising your child early doors so he/she doesn't spend one day in the dark (which is the "born-again" understanding from John 3:3) and hence never need to become a "born again Christian". Just stay a proper one, imo. Not too difficult (and cheaper!)
Thank you for that version and your understanding of it all. It makes it a bit clearer for me to understand how you see it.
When God made Adam he breathed life into him creating a very soul or the Spirit of God in him. That was the connection that Adam and God enjoyed as they fellow shipped every afternoon in the garden.
When Adam blew it and had to be locked out of the garden that spiritual connection was broken and every one born since has inherited that disconnected soul.
All have sinned and fallen short of the kingdom of God. The father of the Catholic church, Augustine, called this total depravity, the state all are born into.
Because of this fallen state, man is unable to relate to God on the level that he requires hence the term born again. The actual translation is born from above.
God has to re-connect that severed spiritual connection to him. The only way he has made for that to happen is the cross. When we believe in Jesus, confess with our mouth, repent of our sins, there is a 'conversion' experience as our soul is connected back to God.
The many Christians who are sitting in churches, including the Catholic church, who have not had that experience are just not going to make it.
Augustine had a doctrine called "Original Sin" but "Total Depravity" is a Calvinistic derivative/interpretation of it, although I'm not entirely sure who came up with that term. "Total Depravity" in terms of absolute dissociation was never really intended to mean man is totally depraved (evil) and was never read that way by Lutherans, Arminians or Calvinists. It was intended to illustrate that even man's good is flawed which doesn't come as shock to anyone as nobody is perfect. When you say man is "unable to relate to God" due to this, that's not entirely true. A person can pray, have their prayers answered and feel the benevolent relationship with a loving and caring God. A poor-performing Christian, as well a non-religious person seeking help in times of a crisis can also experience this. It is possible to have a relationship with God while on Earth. Admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven is another matter.
So there's not really any specific requirement on becoming a Born-again Christian then is there? A connection with God could be anything from praying (especially for others) or doing a good deed. There's a certain amount of repentance required from practice of praying anyway, should you be mindful that you are speaking to an omniscient being who already knows you're not worthy to do so? The first breath is a 'taken as read' apology, and indeed, when most people pray (in times of helplessness for example), then humility and confession is automatically read by omniscience too?
The human free-will is man's enduring relationship with God and it keeps the gift as a spiritual bond between man and his Creator. It is taught that man was made in God's likeness so the connection isn't irreparable or anything close to what a car-garage may call a 'write-off'. As long as man has free-will, man is like God. You'll be judged on what you do with that free-will but we knew that anyway.
The paradox here would be that man cannot reconnect with God or receive the grace of God without God's intervention, in the sense that you need the grace of God for salvation. So you have the free-will to request it and God has the free-will to grant it. So if you're "totally depraved" and have no avenue of appeal, you're going to die ignorant to these matters. If you're not "totally depraved" you have an avenue of appeal in free-will which suggests you're not "totally depraved". The Church teaches that some effort must be made, but say, a child dying before baptism or a child dying in some illiterate third world tribe with no access to "God" stories, would be granted admission into Heaven by the Church under the "Baptism of Desire" 'workaround'. This implied that this is what the child 'desired' if it could desire something. I don't really have any problem with that. If it's the choice between Heaven and nothing (or worse, Hell) then I would desire that for the child, on the child's behalf. The question is whether the desire is coming from a sinner, a tainted, depraved, spoiled soul? I think not. I think it's coming from (or on behalf of) a pure God-like soul, incapable of knowing it sins, can sin or of Adam's sins. Here we have pure innocence. And the Church knows it or it wouldn't grant that soul a VIP pass into Heaven/salvation.
So you're born with original sin and then become perfect and pure until you're old enough to know better and then you need to reconnect? This presents a few problems doesn't it? It does if you hold to strict Augustinian reading of Original Sin like the Lutherans, Arminians or Calvinists do and even to some extent, the reading the Roman Catholic Church takes on it. I agree with Catholicism and I don't (as per usual with its paradoxical dogmas). I believe the free-will is the eternal bond between man and God (in opposition to Calvinism) - BUT - I believe that this very instance of "Free-Will" is a charitable gift as the options are GREAT or nothing and by the grace of a forgiving God, if you select nothing, then that's almost impossible. Meaning that you were not ever 100% depraved, not 75% depraved with an option as Calvinists teach, not 50-50 with an option like the Catholic Church teaches, but actually 75% good/God as I presume (from infancy and man's moral duty, propensity to to do good, generally feel comfortable amongst goodness and good people etc) and that man isn't "Totally Depraved" at all. Man is "Totally Privileged" - as much as any man with a winning lottery ticket in one hand and an used bus-ticket in the other is. And simply choosing isn't a ballanced/50-50 (could go either way) lottery due to the nature of the Loving God. The only thing that may weigh the other side of the scales back down against your liking, is if you're a complete bastard in life. But if you don't know what's wrong with doing that, you're probably too late to be making last minute Heaven reservations on your death bed anyway. I believe those who never acknowledge God are never ticked completely off the list. I believe the book is opened and you're faced with your crimes. You get the chance to amend them in Purgatory or not.
So yeah, I'm a little over to the left on this one.
If you are a little over to the left then I am a little over to the right. You are following Catholic teaching of course which is grounded in Arminianism. I believe that the Bible and the theology of Paul favors reformed theology or Calvinism if you like.
While I agree with most of Calvinism, there are some bits I leave out prefer to adhere to what is known as reformed theology. That is basically what the early reformers taught and Augustine and is believed to be what Paul taught.
Basically that mad is totally depraved , Paul said he was an enemy of God and that there was an enmity between him and God. A pretty big gap and no way possible for freewill to bridge it. Hence man has no freewill, a term or doctrine that you will not find in Scripture. It was dreamed up by various people over the years and finally made popular by Jacobus Arminius in around 1600. His followers presented his doctrine to the church and they sat at the council of Dorte to examine it. After more than a year of deliberation it was declared heresy. However, it has become popular again over the last 200 years by Wesley and is taught by most modern churches as well as the Catholic church.
Paul taught that God predestined those whom he would redeem from this total depravity before he started anything and does so using the born again experience.
No, Arminianism didn't come about until 1610. Arminius himself wasn't born until 1560. I follow Roman Catholicism. The benefit of that is that it can trace all of it's Popes back (head for head) directly to St. Peter and thus Christ himself. I follow Christ. Not some Johnny-Come-Lately faction opposition to Calvinism.
Paul didn't call himself an enemy of God. I know the verse you are referring to, however. It is in Colossians 1:21. Paul said in The Douay-Rheims account (which is the approved Roman Catholic Bible) "And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind in evil works" in other versions such as The King James (which is probably more familiar to you personally) "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled". Other accounts also include the "reconciled" part. Webster's and English Revised versions: "And you, that were formerly alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled". The Aramaic in Plain English version has: "Even you from the first were aliens and enemies in your minds because of your evil works, and now he has given you peace".
So I'm not sure that this verse is best suited to your needs in this argument. Especially since it was St. Paul who wrote in his Epistle to the Romans that "They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them." in Romans 2:15 (bringing this thread right back on topic because this is where the idea of "Moral Objectivity" a key attribute of "The Soul" comes from).
This is also another Godly relationship and bond between God and mankind that was given ("written on their hearts") for salvation. So you can't claim,
Theologically. If you are inferring the Bible, and especially what St. Paul wrote, the proof is in the pudding.
Apart from the one I've already posted? That was off the top of my head because you mentioned St. Paul. Would you like more?
"But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced" - Philemon 1:14
The overall premise is faulty because the Bible is full of free will. If you've read Paradise Lost by Milton (an Arminian) you'll see Milton talk about Lucifer's free will to revolt, Eve's free will to eat the apple and Adam's free will to pick it. Are these incidents the results of predestination? Predestination in terms of theology is tricky already, you have an Omniscient Creator and guider who already knows the outcome. He knows everything. Including what you'll do which you haven't decided upon yet, with your free will. How is Peter denying Christ 3 times not an exercise in Free-will. How is Christ himself refusing to deny his divinity 3 times not an exercise in Free-Will. How is Judas choosing to betray Jesus not free-will? Because it is favourable to the outcome so it must be predestination? Well what if Barabas was crucified instead and Jesus went and toured with Paul and Peter spreading the word of Christianity, eventually being martyred elsewhere?
The point is, you have the free-will to either accept or deny Christ. You have a choice. If you didn't, you'd be one the Thrones (Angels made purely for worship with no choice in the matter). But you do have a choice, and that is free-will. Adam, the problem-causer of all this was not born into sin. He had the free-will and he made his choice. Then we have the "Fall" but Mary Mother of God, was conceived without sin, Herself.
This isn't right at all. The Catholic understanding of Free-will comes from Augustine who was dead and buried by 430. Augustine taught about freedom of the will against the Manichaeians and insisted on the necessity of grace, as a foundation of merit, against the Semipelagians. Augustine also taught that God had the foreknowledge of those which the will of each human being would freely consent and this is how he dealt with predeterminism, but this was later developed extensively by Thomas Aquinas.
You said earlier that you didn't want to involve yourself in my argument about "time". That's fine but the reason I brought it up is because Thomas Aquinas suggested that predeterminism doesn't apply to God because God is outside time. And Timeless. Then applying some kind of chronology to "infinity" or "eternity" is a fool's errand. But Aquinas only really helped us understand the other level. Augustine had the free-will thing pretty much already fleshed-out before we even went into quadruple figures on the calendar. Some 10 hundred years before Arminius.
I think we've already covered what Scripture means by "Born again" (baptism) and why the Baptist Churches are so falsely hung up on this sacrament. St Paul did admittedly go on and on about predestination and did seem to have some kind of insurmountable obsession with it, like I said, he's the one who gave us Romans, free-will and moral objectivity too. Paul is the one God struck off his horse saying, "Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?" To which I can only imagine Paul thinking, "Because I was allowed to?"
Also for future refernce: The Catholic Church started everything, had been there, done that and had already developed it extensively by the time even a half of these forgettable incantations came along. You'll find that most of them are to the tune of: "Cool! But.. that one little thing?" They aren't even amendments. Most of them couldn't pass for a Chinese Whisper of Catholicism.
I was thinking more of Romans 8:7 and on where Paul makes it pretty clear that if you don't have the Spirit of God living in you then you are not Christians.
Have a look at your Bible version in Wiki and you will find that it was put together by the Catholic Church just to counter the reformation.
Man has no freewill in relation to God. The biblical teaching is that God
exercises constant and comprehensive control over all of man's thoughts and actions. The necessary conclusion is that man has no free will. He has zero freedom relative to God.
The Bible will tell you that you were once slaves to sin. No freewill there. Now you are slaves to righteousness. No freewill there either.
This born again thing is certainly a big difference. It is probably the main reason why there is a Protestant church. I suppose if one hasn't experienced it then one can't understand it.
"The Catholic Church started everything, had been there, done that and had already developed it extensively."
What is your understanding of the reformation in light of this statement.
Which is what we already knew? I would have thought it was obvious that a free-will is needed to be either of two options. Connected to God, or estranged from God, I mean, God doesn't remove the spirit from those who have asked for it, nor place it in those who haven't, right? Here's the verse you cited:
"The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so." - Romans 8:7
But whenever somebody gives you a short Biblical verse which evasively supports their point, I find it's wise to look before and after it.
"He mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. - Romans 8:6
A clear-cut choice. Free-will is needed for any choice.
"Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it." - Romans 8:12
An obligation, and a clear-cut option. Free-will. Or if you still disagree, you must be a robot, who has no choice in either: obligation to the flesh, or obligation to the spirit of God. You do have a choice. You do have free will.
Nah, you're clicking on the wrong links.
The Douay–Rheims Bible is a latter English translation of The Vulgate (4th Century) which was all in Latin. My own mother attended Latin masses until she was about 17. You see, when St. Peter landed in Rome, Catholicism began and it has continued to this day with Latin masses still available in many churches still to this day. Why The Douay–Rheims Bible came about, and is in English is basic politics. It was part of the counter-reformation (Council of Trent) and one of the efforts to keep the proper Bible available to British readers and yokels alike, and compete with Wycliffe and Tyndale's versions (which clearly weren't viewed as 'divinely authorised', hence: The fates those great men met). While the Douay–Rheims Bible is a 'different version', it is basically The Vulgate in English. Like if you clicked on "translate" on a webpage, it'd be still be the same webpage, just suffering some loss in translation and reference, although, still much preferred to the Protestant versions, which entirely different (purposefully) in parts, due to political, doctrinal and theological disagreements.
I think I've already showed that he has, Nick. And I'm no Biblical scholar or Church Father. It is not difficult to see that he has, as the premise of salvation or damnation falls flat without a choice.
The "necessary conclusion" is congruent with your free will because its your interpretation. The necessary conclusion of the Roman Catholic Church is thus:
It is as old as the hills, and it is too verbose to reiterate. However, I think you'll find I covered the key points of it in my last post.
Need I say more? Luther would have remained as a early Nazi-anti-Semitic pig farmer if some power-crazed, greed-lusting Autocrat didn't want to start his own religion. An English one, in English. After being excommunicated from the Catholic Church for his numerous bigamous-beheading ceremonies. Bigamy? How big of me!
And he is the author of the Seven Sacraments about as much as he is the composer of Greensleeves.
""He mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. - Romans 8:6
A clear-cut choice. Free-will is needed for any choice. "
I don't think we are given a choice so much there but Paul is just stating a fact.
""Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it." - Romans 8:12
An obligation, and a clear-cut option. Free-will. Or if you still disagree, you must be a robot, who has no choice in either: obligation to the flesh, or obligation to the spirit of God. You do have a choice. You do have free will."
Paul is talking to Christians there, already born again, so now their obligation is not to the flesh but to the Spirit.
"Man has no freewill in relation to God.
I think I've already showed that he has, Nick. And I'm no Biblical scholar or Church Father. It is not difficult to see that he has, as the premise of salvation or damnation falls flat without a choice."
Paul is quite clear that there is no choice for salvation or damnation as it is all predetermined by God.
An interesting take on Augustine's version of freewill here. http://www.vincentcheung.com/2005/05/09/augustine-and-compatibilism/
Pretty obvious that you are not a fan of Luther. Can't blame you for that.
We are back to the age old argument over Arminianism and Calvinism and over which I guess we will never agree. Or even Catholicism and Protestantism which we will never agree either.
I suppose that is what makes the world go round. We have a lady from the Catholic Church coming to one of our Bible study groups. Even I don't agree with the teaching because the stuff is from an Arminian.
Actually, I am the only Calvinist in our whole church which ,makes for fun sometimes.
Our church is a pentecostal one. What are your thoughts on those. Pentecostalism has been one of the growth movements within the Catholic Church.
I say once we die we still are living. I'm about to go to church right here. Now brothers and sisters once we go down we still are living by the will of the lord. He blessed us and he'll do it again and he will never stop loving us. No matter how good or bad we've been. We are still his children and he see's us all as equals in the end. So don't worry about your journey ending because it's just begin. Listen to that song "Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down" down by Johnny Cash. I think that'll explain everything to you. Our end is going to happen we can't stop it at all. But we'll keep on living. On your death bed smile because you have a new life waiting for you. With all that being said, Amen.
Yes, it is only our body that dies and our soul or spirit lives on fore ever. The question is where. Some live in heaven while some don't.
It's not a place.
St. Paul wasn't talking to Christians because they were hardly any in 51 AD. That what's the letter was for. They had a few churches being set up Rome but the Roman Christians were an underground Jewish minority. St. Paul's letter wasn't to any baptised confirmed Christians. It was to the Romans. The letter itself (along with Corinthians which followed), is said to be the greatest piece of literary evangelisation ever, and widely regarded as the birth of Christianity itself (however he'd already made some strides in Greece and Turkey). St Paul was sending the letter to explain the theology of his faith to the Romans and inquire about his safety as he was about to visit. Claudius had just exiled all the Jews from Rome just two years earlier and Jews and Jewish Christians were eaten by Lions. Given that the key tenets of the theology of Christianity were being outlined for the first time in these letters themselves, Paul was hardly preaching to the converted. And as we know, when he arrived there he was soon arrested and later beheaded.
But that's not true. St. Paul is clear to underline the moral code of man written on their hearts by God establishing and keeping the relationship of man with God. St. Paul was clear about free will in Philemon 1:14, when he said, "But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced". And Thomas Aquinas nailed it on the head when he taught us, how can a timeless God pre-determine anything? God is timeless. And given that God is omniscient (unavoidably already knows everything) then that too is only problematic if you think of God as being subject to spacetime. There is nothing you haven't done "yet" with this being because He does not exist within Time. He began time, outside of time. So chronology and causality don't involve nor limit Him either. It's easy (mandatory) for us to view and rationalise God with human, logic-tinted glasses, but the fact of the matter is, if this is indeed the same God that created everything (including time) at Creation, then we're doing it hopelessly wrong! I'm not sure you took much heed of this the first time I mentioned it which is why I'm repeating it. I believe it is vital to the debate: A God which is not answerable to Time cannot be answerable to "pre-determimation".
He was clearly intelligent, deep and definitely courageous, but I do feel that his enduring legacy is somewhat his being in the right place, at the right time. I mean, if you compare him to Augustine, Aquinas or St. Paul, who you probably prefer him to, as a theologian, there's really no contest.
I wouldn't worry too much about that. Catholics rarely agree with Catholics either. But this is the faith I chose, as it's so rich and deep in dialogue and interpretation. I guarantee you I'd find more fault in your Catholic friend than you do. Mainly because of the 'false phrophet' thing. I would much rather hear the wrong things from the (what I regard as) the wrong faith, than hear the wrong ones being purported from the right one - as it makes me and all my people look like simpletons too.
I don't like how they get their prophets out of a raffle. How they take any jackass in a suit and comb-over and make him into a divinely inspired messenger of God. Some of our monks, priests, and Bishops go through years of theology training, abstinence, holy orders, community work, vocation and sacrifice, humbly dedicating their lives to the calling and they never get half of that appraisal. I also don't like how they give the common man the gift of healing and often have large financial motivations. They seem to be big in backwards Southern states to me, by backwards, I mean uneducated or simple (not in a mean way). I often get the feeling manipulation plays its hand. There are some things that I do like about them that most call "fundamental" or "zealous" or "fanatical". They do know their stuff. I've never seen one who couldn't quote the Bible word perfect in reverse. Some people find this kind of obsession intimidating and worth avoiding, but in Christianity (especially with the Anglicans and Church of England) you have a large majority of "lip-service" Christians who appear to just be dutifully trodding along, without any passion or interest in the faith, theology or scripture at all. So if I had to make a choice between the fanatic and the pointlessly apathetic, I know which it will be. All in all, they are generally good people but they tend to be hung up on the end-times and hell and damnation a little too much. Perhaps too much to live an enjoyable, happy and careless at times, rewarding life. God didn't make robots, like I've already said.
"You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ...."
All Paul's letters were addressed to Christians, instructions to the new church.
Looks like we are at the old definition of Christian again and we have two different views on that definition. The term was first coined in New Testament times because the new converts were displaying a remarkable change of character. The new birth or the born again experience had made some definite and noticeable changes. The new converts, because they were born again, were said to have Christ living in them as per the renewed Spiritual bond with the father. So they were known as those with Christ in them or Christ in or Christian.
Remember the famous song, Amazing Grace. The guy that wrote that went from being a hard mean ship's captain to a soft gentle regenerated soul in Christ, hence the song.
Sorry, but by getting baptized as a baby and getting confirmed as an adult does not make one automatically a Christian. There is a little bit more involved than that.
If you looked at my last link you will see that Augustine and his views on freewill and the sovereignty of God are classified as compatibillism. That is an attempt to justify both believes but it doesn't quite fit with Scripture.
In terms of "preaching to the choir" (as the old saying goes), St. Paul was hardly addressing "Christians" in these letters. Letters themselves which go on to flesh-out the core beliefs of the Christian faith itself. These people (some of them) may well have been welcoming of Christianity as some were setting up churches. They may well have been convinced of a Jewish messiah (as prophesied and fulfilled) but they were still Jews. Roman Jews, and probably more receptive of a homeland religion which was unfavourable to Rome as Rome had just driven them all out. While St. Paul is laying down the building blocks of Christianity itself in these letters, it's hard to rationalise that he was sharing old war stories with old Christian buddies, well versed in a theology he was still 15% at odds with himself, that they hadn't read yet, which he hadn't even finished writing yet. It's hard to believe (theologically) that they were well versed in the demands, requirements or particulars of sacramental "born-again" salvation. And being that you're stipulating a condition that wasn't thought up until 10 hundred years and some 15-20 Catholic Popes later, the conditions of your version of the "true" Christian definition seem kinda moot, redundant and for want of a better word, "faddy", historically speaking. So maybe St. Paul was "preaching to the choir" but the choir couldn't sing yet, and what's more, they didn't even know the hymns.
It is possible to be a strong and true Christian without any theologic or dogmatic philosophical understanding whatsoever, as Jesus himself taught us, with his story of The Good Samaritan (an atheist) who predated Christianity. Jesus placed all his trust in the honest and true actions of relatively simple and humble naive human souls. He did this frequently with stories, parables and his actions and practical lessons to his disciples and accusers. So I would agree that Christ could be alive in these rudimentary early Christians St. Paul was writing to in Rome. In doing so, we'd both have to accept that Christ doesn't do a Bible quiz before entering your heart. He doesn't do an aptitude test. You're either welcoming of Christ - or you're not. It's called free will. That's all Christ seems to care about. "Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive." - Colossians 3:13. The whole premise of forgiveness (one of the largest and most prominent tenets of Christianity) means that sins are purified and a mends (repentance) is made. Your sins are not forgiven by a predeterminist God who holds them on lay-away for later. They are gone. Only a pure soul remains (for about 5 seconds). This clap-trap about man being depraved and doomed for eternity by will of God who offers no free will nor redemption for the Good Samaritan is not only nonsense, it's also entirely illogical and absurd. It just doesn't follow any kind of logic whatsoever. It proposes that a capricious God just made a bunch of evil humans for a laugh and put them in a mouse-maze with no exit and took away their free will to navigate it. That might be your god, but I thank mine that it's not mine.
So you can either say that the Good Samaritan doesn't qualify for salvation (and not an honourable Christian), that theological stipulations are vital for salvation (which they aren't), or that theological differences don't really matter much in the long-scheme of things (which they don't) and your argument, and indeed your choice of faith and your particular reasons for choosing it fall flat on its face too. It's up you. All I know is that the intrinsic GOOD in man is indeed written in heart, like St. Paul said. It's called Moral Objectivity and sometimes, Absolute Truth. It means Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims have found God too, they just call it something else. It means that Catholics and Baptists might end up at the same gates, arguing about who should go in first. It means that even people void of any faith (perhaps even with a strong revulsion of organised religion) can still be granted salvation based on the good deeds and human compassion they chose (through free will) to act out and furnish their fellow brethren with during their lifetime.
If I am right, and I do believe I am, as much as I believe in any fathomable goodness of God that I can possibly concieve: Then you are speaking absolute nonsense, merely attempting to exalt your flavour of "God" over mine, and damn good well-doing non-believers to eternal damnation. I've got news for you: If any god is intent on this as being his or its plan and this is in fact true, then I was blessed by a moral code from a greater GOD than that, as I can see and feel that this is IMMORAL.
Any god that can be judged as "immoral" by a sinful, fallible "totally depraved" human such as myself, is a porcelain god. A crappy god, that I personally wouldn't give house-room to (because I'm better and more loving than it). So either the God that I communicate with, feel and understand is better or different to yours (which I doubt) or maybe you just misunderstand total love, total goodness and absolute forgiveness? Maybe you don't understand that the GOOD in you is only a fragment of the force that put it there (benevolently, for the purpose of doing good, rather than questioning the motive and end game of the provider).
Either way, you're wrong.
Was just looking at Romans. Paul says in Romans 1:6, " You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ, dear friends in Rome."
Sounds like he was talking to Christians.
All quotes are from the New Living Translation.
Romans 9:16, "So receiving God's promise is not up to us. We can't get it by choosing it or working hard for it. God will show mercy to anyone he chooses."
This theme is expanded throughout Scripture. We can't earn salvation or work for it. It is a gift from God. Pure grace.
Paul was fully versed in theology. He was taught by Jesus himself starting on the Damascus road and the few years he spent after that before he started his ministry.
There are no demands, requirements or particulars of sacramental "born-again" salvation. Scripture says all that is required is to believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved.
All your sacramental requirements are additions by the church some 10 hundred years later as you put it.
Your sins are forgiven on the cross, past, present and future. No argument there. We could argue who's sins.
Your mate Augustine taught the depravity of man to counter Plagionism.
The good Samaritan's works do not qualify him for salvation. Paul said that it is by grace you are saved and not of works lest any should boast.
If Catholics and Baptists end up at the same gates it will be the gates of hell.
This god you talk of at the end is the god of this world, not the God of heaven. Sorry.[/quote]
"Noobs", as that's all there was for a movement that didn't have an ethos (that St Paul was presently writing) yet. But that's not the main reason why your argument fails. It fails because you are using the scripture to prove why you're correct, but it hadn't been written or recorded yet, so you're kinda begging the question. Inferring the antecedent, affirming the consequent etc. It doesn't work. If the inerrancy of the scripture is to be valued as valid source material, then you'd have to concede a void of understanding preceding it. As St. Paul was currently writing it (to those you presume where done-and--dusted, no-question "Christians") then they're either naive to a theology they didn't have access to (yet) or just willing to be Christians (you know, through free-will). Also, semantics aside, there's not really a "baptism" pre-requisite in terms of "being a good Christian". Saul of Tarsus wasn't a good Christian, but the Apostle Paul was, and indeed had to be, to even want to be baptised at all. Again, we see his free-will, and again, we have a rational, logical chronology of causality. A person has to do something: to do something. St Paul had to write the theological framework to those you claim were already "saved" and St. Paul had to choose to be saved before seeking baptism. If he died on his way to the baptism, he wouldn't be saved by his Lord? Is this your understanding? My posting about the Roman Catholic Church's "Baptism of Desire" shows that will, desire and intention (and uncontrollable inability) are all covered in terms of the salvation of the soul of those considered Christian, or receptive to Christ, in purity, innocence or just basic lack of 'depravity'. If a child is granted this sacrament pre-baptism (like they always are), then God doesn't make duds. The whole Adam/Original Sin thing has more loopholes than I personally am comfortable with, but there's no chance an innocent, naive soul who it never occurs to seek spiritual salvation should not be granted it, theologically or dogmatically, AND it's arguable that soul without knowing-sin (depravity) doesn't even need saving because it has not consciously committed any crime. That old saying, "A cat in hell's chance (of doing something)" springs to mind. Suggesting that a cat is unlikely to end up in Hell because a cat is not aware of morality (not too dissimilar to the new-jack Christians St. Paul was writing to in Rome - in terms of you fleshing out theological distinctions, which they were currently unaware of). I never thought I'd use this phrase to oppose a religious point of view, in the same thread I used it to oppose an atheistic one, but it is true right across the board: You can't get an ought from an is.
Thanks for clarifying that, Nick, as it is important and many never bother citing which version. It does matter. For example when Agrippa (Roman General and accuser) said to St. Paul in Acts 26:28:
"Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
In the King James Version (Definitely the most popular Bible in the English language), they got it horribly wrong and created a misleading story about Paul actually convincing a Roman General that Jesus was the messiah, Agrippa should convert to Christianity and Paul should be set free from his chains. That's not what Agrippa was saying at all. As we see in your version: Agrippa actually says: "Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?". Agrippa was sarcastically mocking St. Paul, not on the verge of conversion. This is translations/versions are important. In the verse you cited:
Doesn't really say anything about who they are, or whom they are among, other than that they have been "called to belong Jesus Christ". And? Who hasn't? Especially by St. Paul, writing an evangelist letter in an attempt to convince them? In the Douay-Rheims Bible we have:
"Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ:" - Romans 1:6 (note the trailing semi colon).
"To all that are at Rome, the beloved of God, called to be saints. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." - Romans 1:7
All that are at Rome are clearly not Christians, yet beloved of God and called to be saints. The whole purpose of the letter To The Romans (as we know and has been well documented) is St. Paul's attempt to evangelize Christianity's most ardent opposer. The Roman Empire itself. He soon went there and was killed, so he wasn't exactly mincing his words.
When Luther cherry-picked St. Paul for his Five solae preferences, he not proposed five extremely self-contradictory, self-defeatist statements:
1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
2 Sola fide ("by faith alone")
3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")
Which are all interchangeably incompatible and none work individually or even with any other one of the five, let alone all five of the five.
If he was so big on Sola Scriptura, he would have read and heeded to all of the scripture (at least all of St. Paul's scripture, which he has chosen to ignore in large parts). If he was so big on Sola fide, he'd realize that his faith in God seems to limit God, not only by human logical limitations (chronology, spacetime, causality, intention) but also by a moral goodness that he seems to regard himself uncomfortable with (I feel morally uncomfortable with his god too). Sola grata, telling man he is depraved, lost, has no free-will and his destiny is predetermined so you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, takes this catch 22 interpretation of "Grace" to a new level. His "grace" of God and "grace" of Christianity both seem horribly askew. Solus Christus ignores what Christ taught about Free-will, forgiveness, repentance and salvation, and also those who Christ favoured: The downtrodden, the sinners and the depraved. Soli Deo gloria denies Solus Christus on some 'there's no trinity' Arianistic Christian-redundant-pointlessness.
While this penned out in opposition to The Roman Catholic Church, it not only fails, it also actually strengthens the Roman Catholic Church's theology and dogma in the very sense that they are all compatible within the Roman Catholic teaching. Always have been and always will be: Once you remove that silly "Sola (alone)" word. Which is probably just indicative of their whole perspective on the malevolent, capricious, 'trickster' god they have the utmost faith in (feeling incapable of not) worshiping. Wow. Love and devotion and all that! Where do I sign up?
St. Paul hadn't ever met Jesus. Sola Deo, then? You see how they don't work and are incompatibly cherry-picked? This always happens when people cherry-pick the true source, mess around, chopping and changing it and still expect it to maintain the same integrity. It doesn't work. While "Sidewalk" is a better, more discriptive term than "Pavement", Americans still appreciate that they speak English, because the essential framework and rules, principals and standards are still required for it to work at all.
That's not synonymous with the Protestant teaching, with Baptist or Pentecostal teachings. You place a strong emphasis on the requirement of Baptism when you modestly (speaking on God's behalf) assert:
I've never been that confident. Maybe you presume yourself an authority on these matters now you've been Born-Again? I don't like to make assertions on God's behalf but I will make this one: You're over-confident. I also (in my personal opinion), strongly disagree about the salvation of the Good Samaritan. But I don't call the shots. I just understand the theology and don't kowtow to false gods who would banish such a do-gooder based on theological distinctions from a book he's not even had the opportunity to read. These are just my personal view, backed up by the Roman Catholic Church. A Church which has the Baptism of Desire for Good Samaritans and even dead babies who starved to death from famine in Africa, who seemingly wouldn't meet your requirements for salvation either. Like I said, I don't worship your god, as I don't worship any gods that I feel morally superior to.
Going to have to be a bit picky here as your posts are getting a bit long and confusing. I will try and take your points one at a time.
"you are using the scripture to prove why you're correct, but it hadn't been written or recorded yet,"
Not quite sure where you are going with this. We are talking about letters that were written to new churches mostly by Paul with encouragement or instruction. There were some 300 of these letters in circulation at the time and the church canonized the few that make up the new Testament
"they're either naive to a theology they didn't have access to (yet) ".
The theology was all laid out in the Old Testament and the Jewish converts understood it well. Paul was clarifying the relevance of it in relation to the new covenant.
"If he died on his way to the baptism, he wouldn't be saved by his Lord?"
Baptism has nothing to do with salvation. It is an optional extra that can happen sometime after the salvation if required. I know some denominations place greater emphasis on it as do the Catholics it appears but it is not necessary to being saved. You seem to misunderstand salvation itself as do the majority of Catholics. This is why Catholics are not considered Christians but Catholics. Not Christianity but Catholicism. Christianity hinges on salvation. It is a definite regenerative action by Jesus on your very soul. Without that act there is no Christianity. It was a redemptive process. Jesus was the second Adam restoring what the first Adam had lost. It is entirely necessary in the overall plan of God.
"The whole Adam/Original Sin thing has more loopholes than I personally am comfortable with,"
This the crux of your problem. This is the whole basis of salvation, to restore what Adam lost.
"but there's no chance an innocent, naive soul who it never occurs to seek spiritual salvation should not be granted it,"
That naive soul never seeks salvation because he doesn't want it.
"AND it's arguable that soul without knowing-sin (depravity) doesn't even need saving because it has not consciously committed any crime."
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
"All that are at Rome are clearly not Christians, yet beloved of God and called to be saints"
For God so loved the world, doesn't mean every one in the world just as Paul was addressing Christians at Rome
"it also actually strengthens the Roman Catholic Church's theology and dogma in the very sense that they are all compatible within the Roman Catholic teaching. Always have been and always will be:."
The Roman Catholic Church certainly has a strong teaching but it is contrary to Scripture and the theology of Paul and of Jesus.
"St. Paul hadn't ever met Jesus"
Who do you think he bumped into on the Damascus road.
"That's not synonymous with the Protestant teaching, with Baptist or Pentecostal teachings."
We have already covered that. Baptism is not an essential part of salvation. Even the Masonic Lodge have a form of baptism as part of their ceremony.
"Maybe you presume yourself an authority on these matters now you've been Born-Again?"
Your long post is full of holes. The more you write the more you reveal Catholic theology and the more you reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the salvation of Jesus, the redemptive work on the cross, and the basic plan of God revealed through Scripture from day one.
St. Paul was making it congenial to itself (as a whole). Make no mistake that St. Paul was indeed creating a "theology". While blue and green always made yellow, it's not yellow until some does it and goes, hey, that shall be named "yellow". St. Paul is also (for want of a better word) 'inventing' a few things, here. Issues and doctrines which were either previously not used or not understood. You speak of Compatiblism but don't seem to understand how it (as a concept) exists. You need framework to make any two computer applications work with each other. St. Paul pioneered this, and if you disagree, tell me how Luther was inspired by St. Paul specifically and not St. Matthew or St. Luke. Also tell me how you can have a:
The reason you were wrong to use St. Paul's writings from those letters to argue why the people he was sending them to were already saved is because they couldn't have been for the premise of salvation had not been laid out yet for them to adhere to. It's a simple question of - What came first: The rule-abider, or the rule?
"If he died on his way to the baptism, he wouldn't be saved by his Lord?"
No, I (and we, followers of Christ) do not. We understand the story of the Good Samaritan, the sinners either side of Jesus on the cross. We know that formal ritual is not required for salvation. We place no emphasis on Born-Again Christianity. You damned the Good Samaritan to hell. On what grounds exactly? Jesus used him as a good example of somebody who could teach apathetic believers. How do you oppose Jesus in this respect exactly? You speak of people who aren't 'meeting the requirements' of salvation. I think you should flesh this out for me because (while it seems like absolutely everyone), it also seems a bit befuddled.
By whom? Pentecostal reformants? Protestants? They don't get to make definitions. They exist in relatively new capacity, for the sole purpose of opposing the founder of the core basis of their whole entire belief system. They are a niggling dog around the ankles. And they going to make a new claim and branch off and call us not Christians, now? I highly doubt they have the credibility. And in terms of "Christianity" itself, obviously misunderstand Matthew 1:7: "Judge not, that ye be not judged". So maybe being a Christian is more important than following a specialist interpretation of Christ's vast, varying (and at times unintended) legacy. You know what the guy was about, what He said, what He did. Try to follow that as best you can? = Christian (Samaritan, Catholic, Protestant, Dead baby, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Hitler on his death bed, et al).
In terms of "Coming short of the glory of God" as you put it, I, unlike you, don't restrict the "overall plan of God" to a literal reading of the story of Adam from Genesis. Chronologically, with the genealogical timeline of ancestry laid out, Adam was Enoch's great great great great great grandfather. This means Adam is my 104th great grandfather (if I take Adam being the first man literally and chronologically). This, while honorable in terms of faith placed in the accuracy of ancient historicity is basically a head-count from word-of-mouth. This is all those early writers had access to. To hold to a Young Earth in 2012 is a willful ignorance to what we know about the world. And not through scientific innovation (as I am often a critic of its methods and motives myself), but through basic common sense and observation. Leonardo Da Vinci, pre-science took one look at the rock layer sediments and knew instantly that God was telling him, "Hey, the world is older than the Genesis geological timeline". He needed no instruments or devices to test the blatantly obvious. So in terms of:
"The whole Adam/Original Sin thing has more loopholes than I personally am comfortable with,"
They don't make me uncomfortable, no more than the grammatical sensibilities of "which or that" make me uncomfortable. They are a preference about a story with an overall truth which isn't black and white literal-set-in-stone play-by-play fact and the story was told for a reason, for a lesson and teaching and probably was never intended to carry the infallible inerrancy that has later been attributed to it by zealous people with a political arrogance and judgmental Unchristian approach to human compatibility. What do I take from it? God made everything. God made man too. I already knew this when I couldn't read (when I was innocent and pure and hadn't sinned). That's it. When, where, how and for what is for the theologians, historians, scientists and fundamental wingnuts. I (anyone) can determine by beauty alone, that He did so benevolently. My ability to cognate God proves this to me through endowed communicative conception. I wasn't made impure. I was made good - "and God saw that it was good", fundamentalists, and God doesn't make errors, God doesn't mistakes and God saw that we were good = Literal reading. Enter the theologians: "Yeah, but then what happened is..." Go away. Original sin is what it is. But free will is what it is. The Problem of Evil exists because (and thanks) to Adam's sins. It has to. If there was no sin, they'd be no goodness because it would be the standard default. This is how you understand free will. This is how you understand evil, and this how you understand salvation. You don't seem to understand any of it. You think Evil is the default. It's not. Worldly pollution is the evil and it doesn't take your soul until you consciously let it.
So why does it cry when it comes out of the womb?
Also your argument contradicts itself. If there's no desire then God made another pointless, soulless meat carcass that was just unlucky enough to never get the chance to know him. Why?
Please expand upon this, if nothing else, in your reply. I want you tell me how a new born baby sins. And please don't tell me it's burdening the sin of it's 104th great grandfather and this will damnate it to hell because I would really prefer an adult response.
That was God. God, part of the trinity of The Father, Son and The Holy Spirit, granted, but while we're referring to a Biblical account, and Jesus never actually saying he was God, and with it pre-dating the Council of Nicea, I will have to call the theological timeline in a chronological understanding again. While you're correct in modern times, when Jesus said, "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?") in Matthew 27:46, you'd have to tell me who Jesus was talking to. Himself? Or God? It's best to stipulate with Scripture because God existed before Jesus too, as the Jews will no doubt remind you every chance they get.
That's a silly argument. The freemasons take on baptism is hardly the same baptism. A "baptism of fire" in popular usage (being awakened in taking on a new challenge) is hardly the same baptism either. Baptism is essential, but it's not exhaustive or fatalistic. This is why we have the Baptism of Desire.
I think it's clear that you misunderstand the salvation of Jesus as you seem to keep damning good, innocent souls into hell, belittling the Catholic faith and laying out a framework of protestantism or nothing. Again, the protestants only exist in opposition to Catholicism and they stole their entire belief system from a Catholic venerated Saint (St. Paul), who stole his from Jesus (the man Himself - Capital "H"). So why should anyone take these disgruntled fan-boys seriously? They either love us or oppose us and yet try to do both? They want to be us and would love our authenticity (as unlike Genesis' account of Adam) we can trace our Ministry back directly to Jesus Christ (and thus GOD) in person. Beat that. Or you, know, just reform it, or something.
You'll finish up as a Catholic.
I just want to give you an idea of the reformed viewpoint on this,
"…sin entered the world through one man, and
death through sin, and in this way death came to all men…the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men…" (Romans 5:12, 1.
Paul seems to think that Adam was significant.
Christ was called another Adam, (1 Corinthians 15:45).
When Adan sinned all of humanity sinned and when Adam came under condemnation all humanity came under condemnation. (Romans 5:1
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother
conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)
Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are
wayward and speak lies. (Psalm 58:3)
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1Corinthians15:22)34
We also inherited our sinful nature from Adam.
"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child." Proverbs 22:15
"we were by nature objects of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3).
The Bible defines sin as the transgression of God's moral law: "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, "Raca," is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, "You fool!" will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-2.
"For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly" (Mark 7:21-22).
"all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23),
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in
us….If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives" (1 John 1:8, 10)
Everybody has inherited this sinful disposition from Adam which causes him to defy God in thought and action throughout his whole life.
We are all headed for damnation unless there is a way of salvation.
"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Genesis 6:5,
Paul says that to gratify "the cravings of our sinful nature" is to follow "its desires and thoughts" (Ephesians 2:3).
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:19).
We have all inherited this sinful mind.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. (Romans 8:5-7)
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds [as shown by] your evil behavior. (Colossians 1:21)
"Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives" (Ecclesiastes 9:3
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure" (Jeremiah 17:9).
There is no good in any man until he becomes a Christian.
Quote, Vincent Cheung,
"The non-Christian is spiritually dead, so that he is unable and unwilling to even cooperate with God when it comes to salvation. This means that unless God sovereignly regenerates the non-Christians – unless he decides to grant them spiritual resurrection – they will never perceive the truth of the gospel, and they will never believe in Jesus Christ. They will die in sin, and God will throw them into hell, where they will suffer extreme pain and agony forever."
There is the other argument where death came into the world through one man Adam. If we have been through millions of years of death, pain and suffering then we need to toss out half the Bible.
Can't have it both ways.
I am quite comfortable wearing your 'soulless meat carcass' label though as I don't believe any of it myself.
Again just more untestable Christian based assertions which offer nothing to support the soul idea (if we can remember the topic is primarily about that), lets hope a few Buddhist or Hindu members comment here as well then we can all wonder in amazement about which belief is true...as they can't all be...can they?
Christian theology teaches that it cry's when it comes out of the womb because it is disconnected from it's maker, a condition that all are born under. Babies don't cry for no reason. Or should I say babies don't cry at all unless they are trying to communicate something. That is their only means of communication. They are trying to say that they are hungry or uncomfortable or in pain. Of course, they very soon learn that they can make you jump when they cry so they use it to get attention eventually too, if you let them.
Babies are smarter than we give them credit for. They very soon have you all worked out and know how to take control of the family. They can be right evil little people.
They are born that way. They don't have to be taught their evil ways, but taught to be socially acceptable functioning humans.
Oh but I do toss out half of the Bible and I do so rationally and theologically as a true Christian who recognizes the true meaning, reason and purpose of God sending His only begotten son to save mankind from the...other half of the Bible (OT). I'm quite reasonable to disregard large parts of contextual and historical stage setting in this manner. It's actually, I dare say, compulsory that I do so - as a Christian. I'd also go so far as to say that a group of gentleman who weren't divine, immaculately conceived or the son or sons of God could get a few things wrong occasionally, namely St. Peter, "the rock" (not for his inerrant intellect, but for his consolidating strength of foundation), on which Christ chose to "Build" His "Church upon" who was constantly being corrected and forgiven by the Son of God for his intellectual shortcomings, faux pas and misunderstandings. While I believe that St. Paul was divinely inspired, and (and as) one of the most gifted and eloquent wordsmiths and writers that this world has ever known, his own dialogue (with himself and against himself) in Romans (which is the basis for the majority of this argument) is visible for all to see. St. Paul wasn't exactly sure of his conclusions and often uses a kind of Descartian "Must be" and "because x then y" and "therefore" modal logic. St. Paul was a tremendous theologian and inspired all who followed in some respect (even the enemies of what he was teaching - and those such as yourself, who view themselves as the only true Scotsman practitioners) proving only two things: St. Paul was a humble human (yes a Saint but not infallible nor inerrant) and much like a lot of his followers and true scotsman protestants, flawed, and misled in places, especially in areas where he has ventured off into personal endeavors that reach far beyond the available recorded data of what Jesus actually said. "I think what God meant to say..." is a whole other area of eternal damnation for the sanctimonious zealots who think "You are a sinner! You shall burn in Hell!" is in any way more acceptable to their God than:
Et tu? And what about St. Matthew? Will he be in danger of the fire of Hell for pointing this out to foolios? I doubt neither, personally. And I don't consider that blasphemous or irreligious to believe that the God Jesus Christ informed me about (in the half of the Bible I didn't toss out) is a God of Love. Funnily enough, if I'm right, I'm safe. If I'm wrong, I'm safe, because you can't offend anyone by calling them good. If you're right, you're risking the dangers of Hell for telling well-meaning people that they ain't shit and are no-good sinners. And if you're wrong, you're still going to Hell for underestimating, belittling and even vilifying God as some kind of celestial despot. So which it?
So why is it traumatic? Yeah, it can hardly write you an eloquently worded treatise about why it isn't exactly welcoming of the proposition being presented, and it does only have a few basic visemes at its disposal but that isn't the question. The question is: Why doesn't it like it?
You say they can only cry, which I would accept, but they can also laugh when something is agreeable to them. Reports suggest that they respond to classical music in the womb and some reports suggest they show later signs of progression having been exposed to these tests. I'm not really sure how scientific these claims are, and nor do I care as this point is merely about Baby: "Good" Vs Baby: "Bad" and the fact that the baby can distinguish between Baby: "Want!" and Baby: "Do not want!" And, the fact that it has methods of letting you know about it, notably at 5:30 am when you're just getting off to sleep after sitting up with it all night. So if the baby has inherent and habitual likes and dislikes (which of course it does, because "it" is a human being) then the baby has desires, and especially due to it's helplessness and vulnerability, possibly more in-tune with the concept of the desire for salvation than anyone else.
The "soulless meat carcass" wasn't directed at anyone there (although I do believe I made some similar comments to you about that a few pages back, as you presented this yourself, as your own naturalistic worldview), the "label" here was meant for the whole of the particular mankind that Nickfyoung was proposing - A world race without "free-will", you know, because they'd chosen to turn their back on God? Nickfyoung was claiming that there is no free-will, as a protestant to Catholicism, because, I presume that this is his theological preference. I proved him right by disagreeing with him, no.. wait...
Anyway, this world you both envisage, a world in which there isn't a benevolent God, has never really left the topic of "The Soul" (as I pointed out a few posts ago above). "Soul" has a keyword density of 9 for just page 11 alone, so I wouldn't say anyone had veered drastically off topic. We're dealing with free-will, salvation and the destination of the soul right now, but if you'd like to bring it back to evading the question of: Where does moral objectivity come from? Then I'm sure we could get another 3 pages out of that before you accuse me of using Christian based faith arguments in an ethically dissapointed, morally indignated manner again and decided not to deal with such a rich, deep and critical opposition to naturalism which shakes the Darwinian mechanism, one-size-fits-all quick-fix explanation you have for everything (apart from, you know bugs, and dogs, and you know, horses and stuff) to its very core. And as Darwin himself would tell you, if something can't account for something, then I guess something else will have to. This whole soul thing is a ethereal repository of the relationship between man and an envisaged attainment beyond the realms of instinct, necessity and survival. It is a term used to describe the life source which is inherent within man (the laughing baby, for example) and his propensity to conceive of goodness and beauty and ultimately do good and do the "right" thing, when doing so is not beneficial, and in most cases, directly opposes the key tenets of a natural selection "anti-reason for being" And I am strictly not talking about survival skills. I am talking the concept of natural selection not being remotely compatible with any possible conceivable genetic origin of the morality of man. The moral objectivity of man, takes it to a new level because that is a long history (as far back as we can record) of man doing good not to protect himself, his tribe or gain supremacy in any kind of hunter/gatherer role, but simply because he ̶f̶e̶l̶t̶ knew it was the right thing to do.
The right thing to do didn't come from natural selection. It's not even present in our closest ancestors or nearest neighbours. It's not present in the animal kingdom whatsoever. This "god complex" we have, as you will probably call it, isn't either. It's exclusive only to the hairless homosapien, who describes this moral and goodness aspiring vestibule as a "soul". So not to take any existentialist "That you can conceive of it, it is evidence of it alone" (which I could because you are using it to do, but I won't because I don't need to). I'll just say that these persistent feelings of doing what is morally right are inherent in only our species, are generally shared universally with little grey area concerning the major no-no's and there is no Darwinian mechanism that can account for how it got there, where it came from, what use it is, how it is beneficial and indeed, why wasn't it discarded millions of years ago by creatures who no longer have it because they've never had it to begin with! These are important questions concerning "the soul" because to reiterate: We have an ought from an is, and you can't get an ought from an is. And certainly with Darwinism, you can't get new attributes ex nihilo and if you could, which you can't, "love your neighbour", "forgive your enemies" and "trust in God" would have hit the survival trashcan quicker than webbed eyelids.
^A short recap of everything you've avoided answering. Not because you don't have the answers but because nobody at all does. Not scientists, not darwinists, not teachers, professors.. etc. The only people who present any placeholder whatsoever, are the religious, so of course, "that's a faith based argument" haha, it's not though. It's a rational argument. It only becomes faith based once you make it, because it doesn't fit into the only allowed sermonal blueprint of fantastical back-stories about why a finch's beak size oscillates and the reams of completely invented, evidence void, fantasized appeal-to-ignorance anecdotes that was propped up to support it. There's slightly more pressing concerns, though. Like why anyone should care? We're all dead soon so what does the truth matter? The truth is worthless. It's just another human-invented conceptual distraction from hunting and screwing. And if you agree that the truth is human invented, and we all concur on the logic for "proving" what it is, then I guess Absolute Truth exists and is exclusive to mankind too and this mountain just keeps getting steeper for the naturalist with every sentence I type, especially since he relies on all of these faculties to disagree with me. So eh, I'll just stop. It's obvious there's a soul. So evident that asking for evidence is like asking for a photograph of a photograph to prove photography. It's not Exhibit A that we cannot produce, heathen, it is the apparatus within you to clarify and confirm it.
It is widely accepted that Paul was writing to Christians in Romans.
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true.." 2 Timothy 4:16
What I am saying here is that if you throw out stuff like Genesis, then the theology of Paul no longer fits or makes sense.
We accept that the Bible is the word of God and can be interchanged with God says, with the Bible says. The Bible is God and God is the Bible and just as we can't take anything away from God, to take away parts of his word is to get completely lost.
It all goes together as a whole. Remove any part destroys the overall meaning and is one reason so many go wrong.
We don't believe that the church was built on Peter but the rock of Jesus.
One needs to get into the Greek to understand that.
and then this right after:
Don't have any place in the same argument, Nick. You can't appeal to the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible as the exact word of God and then appeal to loss in translation. The Bible has been translated into 7 different languages, 5 times before it even got to the most dignified version (Douay-Rheims Bible) . Your bible(s), as a Protestant, are four language translations worse-off than ours. And.. they used ours to translate it on initially, so if there's errors in the latin vulgate, there's even more in the german, olde english, modern english and anlgo-american versions that followed, especially since William Tyndale just made up a bunch of shit that he just 'liked the sound of'. German too (like French and especially Latin), have words with no equivalent in other languages. Needless to say, a cooked cake can't be cooked twice and expected to be cooked more accurately. Let alone 7 to 9 times (depending on your Church), using the same originally over-cooked cake as the ingredients. The Bible is not the exact word of God, Nick. It was sort of, once. Some of them are the best we can do. And others, like yours, are just political attempts to show that the exact word of God is open to interpretation. I discard whatever I feel is archaic or was once culturally relevant to now a defunct culture. I also discard whatever I feel was an inadequate attempt of man to unravel the mysteries of an unfathomable entity, and there's nothing wrong with recognizing the true meaning of:
Because it applies to the apostles too, and it definitely applies to Luther, Tyndale and Wycliffe.
The Douay Bible, 1610, was a re-translation from the Vulgate AD 400.
I like the NIV version which has bypassed all the re-translations and goes back to the early manuscripts with the added help from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This includes the Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Alexandrinus and the Codex Vaticanus.
If you look at the care and dedication taken in making copies of the various manuscripts you can see that we have accurate translations.
The way all prophesies line up and correlate between old and new testaments shows us we have an accurate translation.
All have sinned applies to everybody of course. We all deserve to go to hell because of Adam's inherited sin.
Anyway, I am not here to convince you of the accuracy of the Bible. The very fact that you don't accept it shows that we are wasting our time. The very first step in becoming a Christian is to accept that the Bible is the word of God.
Without that you have no hope and are only fooling yourself.
Lol at pentangelli, sorry, Dialogist (forgot), killing another discussion again but now with a totally believing Christian...and in the most posted 'faith' topic by an atheist, funny as!
Well, since there are many Christian groups, and a diversity of atheist points of view, people in the same general camp have been known to disagree with one another. I don't see that as ironic at all. More like a fact of life.
Nice troll post. Is this all you've been reduced (elevated) to? I was hoping for something a little bit more visceral. I've been away you see. You've had like two months or something. And this... This is your retort. Miserable.
You can only get an argument about Christianity from a Christian. An atheist cannot figure in spiritual matters by his/her own volition and thus, they carry absolutely no credibility nor authority on the topic whatsoever. It's like asking a blind man to help you wallpaper.
...so a Christian would presumably have no credibility or authority in any discussions about say Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam for that matter. If someone absolutely believes 'their' particular religion is the only truth then by default all the others have to be wrong.
I don't believe in any of them, but as I've said many times in this deliciously long and interesting thread, I don't actually declare them to be wrong, I just see the obvious position that they cannot all be right - as any reasonably intelligent person would see themselves...if they are not a religious zealot of course
Oh, and if I was ever forced to wear a religious badge it would be Therevada Buddhism, if only for the kindness to be found in the teachings...without the genocide and hatred found so easily in the Christian Bible.
Again though, the buddhist path shares a reliance on blind faith as all other religions, so I remain atheist whilst following a very similar moral path as theirs in life - I don't need any gods to do that, from any religious strand or denomination...and I don't need to believe in a soul to be kind to others.
"so a Christian would presumably have no credibility or authority in any discussions about say Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam"
True enough unless it is a learned knowledge but one can not really 'know' another religion because he is not in it so to speak.
Same goes for Christianity of course. If you are not in it you can't really 'know' it.
The relation a Christian has to all other religions is what he is taught from the Bible that states that Christianity is the only true religions and all others are false.
That is in the context of the afterlife. Christianity teaches it is the only religion that will get you to heaven.
I've always understood that to be the case, so it adds to my confusion whenever I see inter-faith services between religions during national tragedies or whatever - isn't it hypocritical to declare 'respect' for an opposing faith when one absolutely believes it to be false?
I also struggle to understand why a lack of any faith (such as my own) appears to inflame some religious types more so than if I just lied and picked a random 'other' faith. Maybe just believing in something is more acceptable to some than the chosen gods themselves.
I'm sure I can look forward to a silkily worded but factually lacking explanation from someone here
You are correct when you say it is hypocritical to respect any other religion just as it is hypocritical to respect the views of non Christians regardless how educated and knowledgeable they appear to be.
Lack of faith for a Christian just means you are ripe to be preached to. Or at least share the good news as it is called so that you have the opportunity to accept it and become a Christian. That is the belief of Christians, to share what they have with others as they have been instructed to do. The Bible teaches that that is how God calls his elect, by Christians sharing with them. It is not the job of the Christian to pick and choose but they are to tell all and God does the rest.
It's interesting how many scriptures are cherry picked when spreading the "good news" as it is called though.
I wonder who actually decides which passages are now out of date and/or were a mistake by the presumably faultless God? You know, all the killing and stoning and genocide stuff for anyone who doesn't follow the rules.
...on topic though, the Bible doesn't draw me any closer to believing in a 'soul' at all, but if it helps less reasoned minds to get through their real life then I suppose it does no harm...as long as the scriptures are cherry picked for sensible relevance in todays society of course
See, this is the fallacious nonsense you come out with. The acquisition of true faith requires and incredibly scrutinous, self-examining, consciousness in general, let alone, any particular strength of mind. I certainly wouldn't call wrestling with the mandatory doubt aspect, and emerging victorious any kind of weakness. The term "soul-searching" certainly does not imply any pie-in-the-sky, happy-go-lucky frivolity or ignorance either, as the people who tend to do the most searching for things, are generally sure the property exists! This is what I am saying about holding fourth on topics which are (self-admittedly) inaccessible to you. And why it probably isn't a wise thing to do.
I am not saying you are not worthy, not 'chosen' or anything Nickfyoung is saying because I do not agree with his views about the 'proprietary software' of salvation being Christian only, as I believe in an Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient God who is not restricted by location, creed, race, language nor preference. I believe God can be Chinese, if He indeed limited Himself to physical appearance to be beheld by the believer or even gender, when I foolishly and archaically place a capital letter on "He".
God to me is ethereal and is just as accessible to a good Hindu (with 8 arms if so desired) as God is to any Good (or perhaps even average, partially well-meaning, purgatory destined) individual, regardless of preference, name or language. I can't hold to God that says, "Yeah, I loved your work on Earth, but... Oh wait...you were born in Tibet? Tough break, there, fella". No sale on that. I also believe that, "Thou Shalt Hath No False Gods Before Me" is meant to mean idolatry in general. I don't see any righteous, good, helpful or altruistic deeds done on behalf of Allah as being idolatry. Just as don't see reading the Bible in Russian to be any kind of sacrilege. I believe God transcends all of these earthy labels and titles (as should anyone who can conceive of God as a creator) and in a lot of respects, wholly exceeds the immature and puerile understanding some of our best theologians (using sound 'logic', Dr Craig anyone?) use to define Him, His nature or His intent. To place such a being in such an idiotic context is an insult to God. I can only read a passage in respect to the confines of my language, so if I can only understand God to the best of my human, fallible capability, then I can't really do a lot more than that. But assuming that other faiths fail in succeeding in this, because of their cultural tradition, upbringing or stylistic choice of ritual, is nuts, bullshit and complete pap (in my humble, honest opinion, Nickfyoung).
This is the egotism of Christianity. It says in my book that your book is a load of rubbish. Well it says in my book that your book is too. Well it says in my book that your reading of my book is...and it goes on. Theology breaks down these walls once properly understood and ultimately felt through the phenomena of faith. You can come to know certain things through revelation about your God. You can come to know that He isn't the complete bastard that Nickfyoung seems to be rapture about painting Him as. You can, Nickfyoung, do this through listening (not audibly, but with a lot more sentience. You can hear and feel the goodness of your Creator in your wine, woman and song. It's there. God is simply and pure "Good", and the Rastafarians have access to the "good" concept too, even if they have to smoke it first. But an atheist, must themselves accept that they cannot access this 'celestial wireless' if they consider themselves deaf. That's not a problem with what I or even Nickfyoung believes. It's not even a problem with what the atheist believes (or "doesn't" believe - like there's any difference whatsoever) It is a problem with a certain kind of stubbornness which, having found itself disillusioned at some point with the whole premise of a God concept, they waste no time in wasting copious amounts of time decrying it. Time spent better elsewhere, me thinks. Trying to experience or observe the ghost first-hand, before vilifying those who claim to have seen one, may be a more 'rational' port of call. Failing that, just not passing judgement if you've got no eyes to see anything, because you poked them out yourself.
I'm not so sure, as I have trying to communicate above. There's a lot more in common than there are pole opposite. All worship and find themselves answerable to a higher power. All hold to "Karma" principal, a soul, morality and that Good and Evil exist and that Good is the one you want. If you carefully edited a hand typed document by all, removing, names, colloquialisms and language differences and the document was expressing the meaning of life and say, they all could only type two sentences... I think you'd find that that you wouldn't be able to determine who wrote what because they would all have the same essential sentiment as they would all say pretty much essentially the same thing.
So when you talk about "Reasoned minds" I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not. The "reasoned mind" has a reason, naturalist.
So while I'm not officially qualified to speak on the seven chakra and such like, nor the wonders of transcendental meditation, I can grasp some other 'ethereal' understanding of what they are 'essentially' driving at. I can sort of understand. Not through direct experience, but through similar experience and knowledge of metaphysical revelation. This is different from an atheist trying to do it. But might I add, all I tried to do in this thread is get an atheist to admit that he has some knowledge of these metaphysical truths and I just found that I was banging my head against a brick wall of stubbornness and pigheadedness every time, like, "I can't! Because...well... What ever would science say?!" Probably the same thing you have to say about FAITH. Nothing, because it doesn't have the access to the correct measuring apparatus for testing it. Why should a soul be any different? How can theology inform me that either or both are any different?
Because I know that
The Christian Bible doesn't prescribe wrapping yourself in barbed wire, setting yourself on fire and running into a crowded public shopping area and screaming "I am the light" - and critically, the Pope does not condone self-immolation. Like the Dali Llama does. This is what my knowledge of the nature of God teaches me about understanding the nature of benevolence. Some things are just not divine, and that is one of them.
I think you need a God for moral justification and the higher power of absolute right (which theoretically must be devoted to some kind of purity, negating impurity), so yeah, I guess you need a God/God(s) representing some idealistic 'unworldly' Good, that is beyond the reproach and control of human tinkering or control. If you believe in such a good, you'd have to hold to it being supernatural, as nothing in this universe is perfect. I agree that you don't need to bow and kneel and genuflect (literally) but I hold helping, providing, caring and feeding, nurturing and loving those in need in much higher regard, to be more spiritually and physically demanding and to be more honest and useful than some genuflect that you don't quite mean or even particularly know the purpose of. So while I do think showing respect for the sacraments is a noble way for a Christian to conduct themselves, and it is noble to respect all religion needs (in other faiths too), I wouldn't even pro-actively stop a humanitarian from feeding hungry mouths to tell him he forgot to go to church this morning.
If we accept that the Bible is the revealed word of God, we accept that God chose to use words to convey what we need to know about him, not pictures or any other medium, and then we accept that all he wants us to know about him or all we need to know about him to understand him is in those words.
Therefore we need nothing more to get a complete understanding of God.
Lol, is that the same all-knowing god who changed his/her mind between the Christian testaments and didn't feel the need to share the same message with different parts of Asia? Kind of seems he/she made it up as they went along, not a very good example of one who is supposedly omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient
Regardless, your statements bring me no closer to believing in a soul, and predictably rather unsurprisingly so.
At least you are laughing when you posted. Hope that is the case and you don't really believe that.
Nope, I absolutely believe that the blatant inconsistencies of the Christian scriptures show an omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient god of any kind is a ridiculous idea.
Those terms didn't come from anywhere else.
...but in reply to the delightfully interesting poster who quoted them in this thread my associated comments appear to be quite valid.
Below is a quote from Cheung's systematic theology. He teaches that God is knowable from Scripture, at least all we need to know about him in this life.
"The Bible indeed teaches the INCOMPREHENSIBILITY of God, but not in the sense
asserted by most theologians. Psalm 145:3 says that "no one can fathom" his greatness,
and the apostle Paul writes in Romans 11:33, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom
and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing
out!" It is noteworthy that the statement by Paul is made after he has clearly and
definitely answered every question he has raised about God, man, and the plan of
salvation to that point in the letter to the Romans. God is incomprehensible only in the
sense that there is always more to know, and not that we cannot know. Still more
ridiculous is the usual view that we cannot even know or understand that which he has
plainly revealed in the Bible." http://www.vincentcheung.com/books/theology2010.pdf
Which version of the book that has been translated and interpreted multiple times over the years do you mean?
And of said book, which bits do we accept as being true guidance for the world now? I refer you back to the stonings and genocide for people who don't follow the rules etc.
...again, none of the Christian ideas you preach bring me any closer to believing in the idea of a soul
It is a common fallacy to believe that the bible has changed since day one. Yes, there are many interpretations but the bible is unchanged and it is still there to interpret as you wish.
As you have made your interpretation, ie, stonings and genocide etc., naturally you wont find the idea of a soul as many have.
So we are back to the age old question, who's interpretation is correct.
Urm, do I really need to quote specific scriptures regarding stonings and genocide? If you've read the book you'll know what I'm talking about. The messages are quite clear.
I guess this is another example of cherry picking the verses while questions remain why an all knowing god would change the rules at a later stage in the development of society.
This Christian belief/non belief thing is off topic though and I'd prefer the thread to continue on a soul belief slant because other religions believe in souls as well.
The soul idea is not exclusively Christian and other mainstream religions have different slants which would equally disagree with your own, blowing any thoughts of the Bible being the ultimate word of God out of the water if you agree with them.
Who is right? You cannot all be surely?
The Christian believes in a soul because it is taught in Scripture.
"Man is not an essential unity but a dichotomy consisting of a corporeal part and an incorporeal part." http://www.vincentcheung.com/2011/02/18/we-walk-by-faith-not-by-sight/
If I said that I believed "man" was "omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient" then you might have a point, but I didn't, so you don't.
I also don't know of any "blatant inconsistencies" in Christian scripture that hasn't been explained and commented on adequately as far back as 700 years ago, but if you'd like to divulge further about any that seem stuck in your craw, I'd be glad to help you out with any relevant or widely accepted apologetic source material redeeming these concerns. I mean, I'm not just saying that we have (whatever) base already covered, I'm saying that there's actually different centuries, movements, progressions and argumentation within the faith itself that I can select from. And rather than "cherry picking", as you may be apt in calling it, I would like to call it resourceful. Because unlike the philosophy of atheism, it actually does have options.
That's all right. I'm not an evangelist. I'm hardly even a weekend apologist but I do give it a shot. It's good thing to try to do, whether I fail or not. I'm not really that bothered whether you admit that you entertain some kind of 'soul' idea. I mean you started the thread (this awesome long thread, with all this activity and replies you're so proud of) so I guess as a great philosopher once said, "stupid is as stupid does".
I'm not sure what to tell you about the failings and stupidity of God's Christian human following and interpreters that you don't already know, or that I don't demonstrate myself daily. I guess there must be something in it though, to get an awesome long thread, with all this activity and replies you're so proud of out of it. Maybe it's just another pseudoscience like psycho telekinesis though, right? Would you agree with that. That Faith and the Soul concept is on a par with Spoon Bending? Or would you concede that historically, there seems to be a bit more to it than that? Just interested on your thoughts on that, as you have no awesome long threads with all this activity about Poltergeists and Remote Viewing (which are essentially in the same scientific category, are they not? As recognizing an ethereal spirit and foreseeing into different dimensions?). Because it's not just awesome long threads like these, with all this activity, it's people like Aquinas, Augustine, Aristotle, Occam, Copernicus, Galello, Newton, Kepler etc who held to these principals, who basically invented science. Just wondering how that fits in with your "rationality"? See my take it on this: The atheist is the most irrational person on earth. The theist often doubts, he needs this for faith. The theist often asks God why He has forsaken him, as even Jesus Himself did. The agnostic can either believe they might be a God or might not be God. The atheist has absolutely no option. He is looking at 50/50 coin toss and being entirely irrational in his options. So "less reasoned" minds beg to differ.
If you subscribe to anything I've said, great. If you don't, I couldn't care less because it just simply informs me that you are an unreasonable buffoon.
PS: I know you believe in God.
I don't believe in spoon bending, telekinesis, poltergeists, remote viewing/astral projection, clairvoyance, spiritual healing, pixies, elves, dragons, astrology, indigo children, angels, crystal healing, palmistry, feng shui, magic, miracles, numerology, tarot cards, ouija boards and lots more, as well as the idea of souls and any of the multiple wildly differing gods or spirit ideas people believe around the world.
Oh, and ages ago I started a thread questioning the 'Indigo Children' thing which many people believe while I consider it fraudulent here>>"Indigo Children" just a book selling ploy?
...and I've shared my opinion in others in the Faith forum where I fail to hold the same beliefs in such things.
I guess the main reason this particular topic has been, as you put it awesome long, is because there have been a lack of dogs with a bone in the others, plus, spoon bending zealots do not appear to be ranting on the boards as much as religious soul believers so I felt no inclination to post
PS: Of course you don't, and I smile at the thought of how silly and unreasoned that comment appears to anyone who has read my posts here in this awesome long topic, as you nicely put it.
I think it's fair to say that you believe in quite a few myths, though. You have been spoon fed a lot of mythical stories, a lot of them completely lacking in evidence, obnoxiously bold in assertion and sorely lacking in all forms of analytical sufficiency. And you do so because a group you deem to be more reliable than another group has told you that their myths are more realistic. So no, don't act like these 'things' that you don't believe in don't all generate from one specific kind of group, because they do. They all generate from the unscientific crowd. Unlike the evolution, big bang, m-theory, erst heckle of the reputable credible solid sciences, I mean. You're inclined to decline to accept anything which science can't examine. Even if historicity does. Even if all sources (say the Bible, Torah, Qu'ran, Veda, etc) all concur on Angels. I mean we determine the historicity of the Magog (Rev 20:8 Vs Surat Al-Kahf 18:94) for example, as actual references to persons living (especially due to conflicting testimony concurring) and this is historical fact now because of this. But that's not good enough for you. People around at that time, writing first hand accounts of actual verifiable facts shared across continents of all peoples of differing (and even opposing) faiths. You want hard evidence. Like: "What we reckon is..." So don't talk nonsense. Also, for that pseudoscience pap that I personally disavow with the exact same irreverence: You're acting like you've at least read about Project Stargate. About Poltergeists actually being a 'force' rather than a "ghost" as satirized by Hollywood. About the large percentage of Chinese Medicine healing returns as opposed to the failings. About.. Numerology? Haha, you don't believe in ratio? Wow.
You believe in terrible lizards, just not dragons. That's you, in a nutshell. You place your credulity in the fact that nobody could have been around to see that it didn't exist. And you talk about faith...
Whether or not you believe in God, or don't believe in God and are desperately looking rationale either way in this thread is for the casual viewer to decide. All I know is that I've dated girls like you. Playing hard to get like any one even wants a piece.
I've proved to you right throughout this thread that there is verifiable evidence of a soul within men. I've done so in multiple different ways and referred to pretty much all of the world's most prominent and influential philosophers and even scientists to back up these claims. I've also demonstrated evidence for the soul in the physical, natural and metaphysical realm. I've given many examples of observable empirical inquiry within society, anthropology, morality and ethics. There's been nothing really.. well absolutely nothing at all, given as rebuttal. I feel that I have adequately proved that a soul exists.
That wasn't the requirement though was it? The title of the thread was, and still is "Do you have any faith that there is a 'soul'?" (although I know this topic masquerades as the usual atheistic attempt to get the backing of fellow atheists to shoot down something which you have no evidence of either way, and are in fact scared to death that you might have it wrong) but I think I've satisfied the quota. I've proved to you, in no uncertain terms that I have faith in the soul.
Actually went a few steps futher and proved a soul exists but you always get your money's worth here. All that's left is for you to admit that you have faith in a soul (faith is a belief based on preference rather than any supporting evidence) and, burden of proof notwithstanding for somebody who's never viewed a lack of proof as a burden, I guess I'd have to say that you've neither proved there's no soul, the inquiry was your own, not mine and you can't say exactly either way if there's a soul or not, but you still speak about "it" like its a thing. So I guess it is. By your own admission.
If you honestly feel that my use of the word 'soul' (as a label/tool of discussion) somehow actually makes the soul exist, well...people talk of Santa as an "it" or "him" so by your interesting reasoning I hope you've been a good boy this year and maybe you'll get some nice things.
Like I've said before, these bait and switches of Santa, Easter Bunnies, Fairies, Goblins, Spaghetti monsters, garage dwelling dragons, pixies, unicorns, teapots... ect are hopeless and fallacious comparisons, intended to belittle the critical relevance of a belief that millions have actually been martyred for. It's like comparing something that isn't actual to something that is actual. Or something.
The other "lack of belief" stuff, I won't bore you with. "That old chestnut" as you've referred to it. I'll just remind you that "lack of a belief" is a completely absurd oxymoronic combination of words to any sentient, intelligible, conscious individual, who while not needing to be especially privileged in the 'free-will' department, is absolutely incapable of not forming an opinion upon whatever, truth, fact or fiction that ever fires a neuron. Even a crazy, mentally deficient or otherwise alternatively minded individual would believe "fish" or something in response to a proposition. You can't not cognate things, and you can't not register them. You can't not think of 2 blue elephants and you can't not form a mental registry of the thing put to you. So save that "lack of belief" mantra for atheist church. As for the fact that the fact of the soul is neither demonstrably fact or fiction, and no adequate analysis can be conducted, rest assured - you have yourself a faith and a belief position that you will never, ever, call a "lack of a position", lest we forget you've chosen to be an atheist. The most affirmative and absolute of unfounded religious assertions.
So when I said,
I'd actually like to take that back in light of recent supernatural revelations garnered from the natural revelations you've supplied to this thread.
You are not scared to death that you might have it wrong. You're petrified that you might have it right. Keep arguing with yourself. It's your soul.
Oh dear...I lack a belief in any souls and I am unconvinced by your case defending the idea, ever thought of trying to start allowing other human beings to have differing opinions which harm no-one else?
I've stated multiple times here that I'm happy for you to believe whatever you like so I do hope this is not a case of spiritual and religious intolerance against a non-believer.
I've said nowhere "there is no soul" (check through this awesome long topic if you have the time), as I also could not say "there are no pixies", but if asked what I think most unlikely then the two share common ground to me.
I consider a large portion of your contributions to this topic as aggressively attempting to convince me that your beliefs are right, I'm sure other readers have as well. The question is why though? How does my failure to be convinced by your expressed faith produce such vociferous argument?
But then I wonder how could anyone who claims to have "proved a soul exists" feel it continues to be a position of faith? Surely it would then be knowledge? I await the worldwide media explosion of your discoveries.
...and for the record, I also lack any belief in Trolls...well, outside of the digital world of course
No, it's not a case of you not satisfying my requirements. It's a case of you not satisfying your own criteria, as usual with any psuedo-scientific conjecture about the presence or non-presence of a supernatural entity.
What you have is this 'null hypothesis' that you claim credulity in, but it's rubbish. It registers type I and type II errors. It asserts that if something if absent, it is a false hit (rationally) but in failing to assert what is present (as a totality of reductionist absolutism) and for somebody who has championed Fr Occam Razor's methodology in this discussion, this is the type I error.
The type II error comes in when 'if the dog doesn't bark there were no intruders' is the apparent unfounded 'conclusion' of a hypothesis that a) claimed it was null, b) flew in the face of multiplying necessity and c) arrived at some cockandbull priori about all things present existing, and all things unpresent not existing, which, for anyone has a rudimentary grasp on Newtonian Mechanics or Einstein's theory of General Relativity, is a highly unscientific approach to take.
To kick it all in, you're talking about humans. And you're left hurtling down the annals of the False Positive Paradox wondering why you'd expressed a desire to speak on the topic in the first place. As an atheist, you simply cannot have a reasonable, rational, credible or even laughable position on this. So this is why it eternally eludes me why anyone seeking to be seen as rational and analytic would ever adopt such a brew-hardy, puerile, juvenile view of the world. And it is a world view, just like all religions. It's just more fanatic.
Why am I aggressive, why has this been presumably anonymously peer reviewed, or why are you affirming the consequent? I can't answer your question because it was still-born. If P then Q. I am not meaning to be aggressive, and by my reckoning, I'm not being as aggressive as some regularly are but if I am being aggressive by your standards (standards being mutuality within a plurality of peoples - kind of like objective morality!) then I guess your standards are kind of 'selective' in which rose-coloured sunglasses they'd like to wear today. If my standards are derived from the same majority (which they unconsciously or consciously have to acknowledge in some respect around here) then by neither mine or your standards, am I being aggressive. I might be being 'a bit of a knob', but when in Rome, right?
I could show you a photograph of me shooting hoops with Jesus and it wouldn't change anything. You have no belief in anything that atheism (your friends on this forum mainly) haven't approved. Aliens, macro-mutants, giant lizards, and constant unchangeable serendipity have been approved, so you'll entertain those. You'll even forget for a minute that about 8 months ago, you used to refer to yourself as an "agnostic". Were you in two minds about that also? All of my arguments are vociferous because an argument that isn't is merely a musing. And I don't muse because there's little point. I have some things of actuality to share with you and I'd like them to be accepted sans ad hominem, which I always consider as a unspoken victory anyway. So if I seem 'rude' or something, it's only because a brick wall keeps telling me that it is a brick wall and that this is my fault. "Frustration" is the word you're grappling for.
You're correct on this one. It shows a lack of faith on my part, I agree. But I do lack faith enabling faith itself to have any value. This is the false positive paradox again, only on the other foot. I do have a framework of things which I can touch and feel which bolster my faith. I have shared them with you in attempt to show that faith can be both the a priori and a posteriori of an incident. As too can atheism, with everything from the soul, to ethics, to creation itself now being Darwinian before and after a study, which, renders nowhere near as many satisfying results (either empirically nor spiritually). So with every 'artifact' that I present, it comes mindful of the fact that it takes creativity, knowledge, logic and rationality to only ever hear "I don't believe that" (to a pro-belief/faith argument) in rebuttal. I believe creativity, knowledge, understanding and an universal divine ratio of phi can only come from an established relationship with a certain knowledge provider. But you pitch your lot and you pays your money. I consult all branches of study though. I will ask a Hindu about Puja. And I will listen and learn.
Hahaha. Good one!
As I said, I'm happy for you to believe whatever you like Dialogist [/yawn]
Apart from: what I'd "like to believe" is not merely what I "believe".
It's what I know.
You took on the task, first post to say why you have no faith that a soul exists. Doing so in a forum were people believe that they know it exists, and the assertion being yours (and no evidence exists either way) I would presume that the percentage isn't favorable to you. This is what I was saying about standards.
Faith forum, for Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc....
Dude comes in, lacks faith, decries faith, makes assertion challenging the norm...
Burden of proof lies where?
This proposition itself requires faith because you can't prove it doesn't. So we're waiting for evidence.
"I don't believe it exists!"
Welcome to the faith forum.
"I don't believe it doesn't exist!"
That's a faith based argument! Maybe we should make a new forum for these "Trolls". Let's call it "Pixieland!" And then, when that becomes more popular than ours we'll go and troll mercilessly through that one...again.
I'm sorry you lost this debate, and your atheist support team that you constantly kiss up to deserted you on this one. But if there was any rational argument from your side of the fence on this one, we'd have already heard it. Unfortunately, this "awesome long thread with all these replies and activity" is bottom-up and not top down. This thread has been crucified upside down, as not being worthy of being in here. Just like the satanism and other crap troll posts which aggressively and antagonistically litter this atheist-moderated joke of a forum. So since your "Awesome long topic with all these replies and activity" is hanging upside down and I can let go of its toes anytime I see fit, I mean let's face it, it's my thread... I think I will. It's the Christian thing to do. Ending your torment and inhumane painful laboring. Sort of like euthanasia, only dogmatically approved.
Nice one, close the door after you leave if you dont mind
*edit* Apologies, but the above was a rushed reply on my phone during a busy day at work.
So, on reflection, could you leave the door slightly ajar on your way out please, this thread could do with a bit of an airing, and anyone who has interesting alternate views they wish to share (in a non evangelical, I've proved it, tiresome style) will then see it's still open for friendly debate.
I shall continue to be interested in the beliefs of others here while openly stating if I share the same beliefs or not. I do however remain disinterested in reading long-winded vociferous assertions from others that my failure to believe the same thing as they do is wrong. It's of course ok to say you believe I'm wrong but the word 'zealot' comes to mind when anyone states my lack of faith in a soul is proven to be wrong.