How do you know that there is such a thing as a soul?

sparklehorse

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
704
Sparklehorse, your comments about hope reinforce my assumption that hope is a decision to choose to believe differently about what is to come, particularly in the face of evidence suggesting a likely unfavourable outcome.
I don't think it's a decision at all. Even if I am hoping (in my movie example), I never really believe that anything is going to change. I do not decide to hope, I just do. I don't think I have any control over it. Someone else (with a more pessimistic world view) might not hope for the better. This agrees with a deterministic world, where previous influences made me an optimistic person, making me feel hope.
 

Debbie

Banned
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
7,255
Emergence - a fancy way of saying there is coherent structure arising out of the interaction of reducable, constituent parts. Otherwise known as synergy. Systems theory, species-system, same line of thinking and from what I understand, essentially the same thing.

As for the question being probed here, whether consciousness is a (fortuitous?! /runs) outcome of multiple interacting parts....possibly. Can't be ruled out. Can certainly not be adequately put to the test yet either though.
 

Nanfeishen

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
7,289
I am returning to the original question re the soul.

The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self-aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. (Wiki)
The idea of the body containing a "soul", is inherently a religious idea, but to find out or discover the idea of Soul, we need to look at a variation, or a medly of different ideas.

Firstly lets look at East and West, in Ancient Greek the soul was referred to as the "Psyche", Aristotles works in latin tranlation use the word "Anima", which also tranlates to the word "breath".
The Latin word of the related word "spirit" like anima also means "breath".
The Biblical Hebrew word for soul is "Nepesh", meaning life or vital breath.
If we look at the Chinese idea of Qi energy, or working with Qi Energy, called "Qigong".
We take the tranlations of Qi , and we find meaning such as "life force" , "spiritual energy", "air" , "breath", or "vital breath".
The two are speaking of exactly the same thing/idea the "soul"

Secondly, we look at the body, and its energies, we have a biochemical energy that runs the bodies funtions, breaking down food into various chemical components which runs the body biologically, we also have a bioelectrical energy that works in conjuction, that sends electrical impulses to various parts of the body, governing heart rate, and brain activity, (EEG & EKG). Remove either of these energies, and the body ceases to function.

We are all built from these two components - biochemical matter and energy. The energy that animates the bodies of humans and animals is known as bioenergy – the energy of life. This force surrounds every cell like a miniature wire, providing a blueprint for the physical body and also serving as a medium for the flow of information throughout the body. Bioenergy also extends outside of the physical body, creating low frequency electromagnetic fields around us (as well as other subtle energy fields not yet recognized by science).
In a larger context, bioenergy(the soul) is an inseparable component of the Universal Energy(God, for want of a better word).
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
17,597
(as well as other subtle energy fields not yet recognized by science).
For example?

I'd say emergent behaviour is not a fancy term. It is nicely descriptive.

Unfortunately synergy is a word that has been heavily abused so it is best not mentioned in polite, even impolite, company :)

If consciousness is something else, outside, interacting with the physical, then there should come a time when this can be tested.
 
Last edited:

Iwojima

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
2,152
With all due respect any of you who argue no afterlife,... willing to take that chance and have a look?.. You can not loose anything can you?
So we should live in fear and only believe in something because we're afraid of some cosmic boogie monster?

I really have a problem with that type of logic. Even so many other religions have a theoretical afterlife...who is to say the Christian one is correct?
 

kilo39

Executive Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
5,425
How do you know I have a physical body. You might be talking to a computer program ;)
Sure, but in this reality, you and I do exist. Even if it is only according to our definition. We have a set of reliable and repeatable tests, that in our reality is usable and true. To us it is beautiful soup.
I'll tell you what I do know. There is a high probability that you are alive and human and that you can type on a computer and are capable of doing basic human functions. This can all be proven in various ways and most people will agree to this. I cannot however tell you anything reliable about your soul and neither can you or anyone else in our reality. In our reality there is no evidence for it. Which brings me back to my question. How do you know that there is such a thing as a soul?
If the electron state (and the state of the atom) is only ever set upon observation then that is true for all electrons, particles everywhere. If my concrete world is actually ethereal, existing only as a state of electromagnetism then, while we may have physical bodies (and the chances are good I'm not posting to a bot) then, while your repeatable test may be verifiable the fact of the matter is; it is agreed. The fact that it is agreed has nothing to do with electromagnetic forces, they live a life of their own so to speak. And you (and I) are part of that, no matter your verifiable tests.

As to the matter of the soul: the Universe is infinite(?) billions of galaxies; isn't it rather ego-centric to think we are all there is, or equally so, that we don't matter? Plain fact: if electromagnetic reality is the real reality then the physical body is just more of the same. If that reality is as far away from this (to the extent we don't experience it) then who is to preach on the reality of the soul?
 

Mr TB

Banned
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
5,776
So we should live in fear and only believe in something because we're afraid of some cosmic boogie monster?

I really have a problem with that type of logic. Even so many other religions have a theoretical afterlife...who is to say the Christian one is correct?
Why are you friends then asking for evidence if they are to afraid to go and have a look for themselves...

My logic tells me if you have fear in going to have a look... it is a proven thing :D
 

bwana

B MyBroadband
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
72,371
NB - some o/t dialogue has been removed.
 

dotVIBE

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
3,061
Why are you friends then asking for evidence if they are to afraid to go and have a look for themselves...

My logic tells me if you have fear in going to have a look... it is a proven thing :D
umm, please justify this remark for me. What was it in Iwo's post that lead you to the conclusion that he fears the afterlife? Maybe i'm stupid but try as I might, I just can't make the connection. Unless of course you are making a totally unfounded assumption? but why would you do that?
 

Debbie

Banned
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
7,255
I'd say emergent behaviour is not a fancy term. It is nicely descriptive.
Yes well, now that I've actually looked at your second link ('What is emergent behaviour') you are right, it is a better description. (The termite command is beautiful!)

Unfortunately synergy is a word that has been heavily abused so it is best not mentioned in polite, even impolite, company :)
Ok, since we are both aware of each other's framework, I'm sure you can understand why I use 'synergy' more freely, and why I wouldn't know this :)

If consciousness is something else, outside, interacting with the physical, then there should come a time when this can be tested.
Yes.
 
Last edited:

Debbie

Banned
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
7,255
Well, on the most fundamantal levels of physics, the experts in the field are having a great difficulty in actually measuring what's going on in the universe. The best they can do is to tell us what these individual subatomic particles will probably do - i.e. its all based on statistics. On the most basic level, scientists cannot actually be sure of what those particles are going to do next. They're inherently unpredictable, and in turn we can't really be sure that any of this is predestined because the 'rules' of cause and effect don't seem to apply.
Yes, but now what are you juxtaposing that with? :confused:
 

Nanfeishen

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
7,289
Nice story, can you back it up with evidence?
Lets see, we will look at two theories, Zero point Energy, and the Epr Paradox, i will not go into explaining them , you can read them yourselves, although this short 2 pager is a good introduction to the other two
Creative Energy article (easy Reading)
http://www.innerself.com/Creating_Realities/creative_energy.htm

Zero point Energy:
http://www.liberatapublishers.com/zeropointe.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_point_energy
EPR Paradox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox

The problem comes in, in the fact that humanity, wants something more , they want a romatic notion, a reason, a definative answer to life, so they dredge up an idea of a "heaven" or an "afterlife".
Humanity is not mature enough to deal with the truth, in that we are all interconnected, and that we all have the ability to change the world around us through our own energy. Not through work and labour, but through our thoughts and minds.
People want to feel that they, themselves, the me ,the I, the individual is important, they dont want to know that they the individual is not important, that what is important is the whole, the collective energy , the cosmic whole. People are afraid of a loss of individuality in the collective, it has been drummed into us through books, the media, our religions, our politics, that the idea of a collective whole is a bad idea, and leads to the loss of individuality.
In fact the opposite is actually more real, it places more responsibility on the individual, and the individual becomes more important to the whole , bringing its own uniqueness and characteristics into the nature of the whole, and the stronger the characteristics of the individual , the greater the benefit and effect on the whole.
Our physical existence is the place and time by which a part of the energy of the whole experiences a physical existence, and thereafter returns to the cosmic whole, taking its experiences with it and either affecting the whole, by becoming one with the whole, or is rejected by the whole and discarded due to its negative influence of the whole. (Mankinds Heaven, merging, Mankinds hell, rejection)
The concept of "God" creating man in his image, is correct if we consider that the physical body carries the energy of "the soul", and it is that soul, that is the "image", or energy of "God", or the cosmic whole.
So the "soul" evolves through its experiences in the physical, and returns to the cosmic whole, and the cosmic whole "learns" from the experiences of the "soul".
 

Mr TB

Banned
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
5,776
umm, please justify this remark for me. What was it in Iwo's post that lead you to the conclusion that he fears the afterlife? Maybe i'm stupid but try as I might, I just can't make the connection. Unless of course you are making a totally unfounded assumption? but why would you do that?
My honest believe is, always being in search for evidence quite clearly mean you distrust everyone else, not trust anyone else is clearly an indication of fear... any objection?

Why do you think drug smugglers in CALI stayed behind walls 25ft high, because they trust the next person?...
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
17,597
With all due respect any of you who argue no afterlife,... willing to take that chance and have a look?.. You can not loose anything can you?
That's just silly. Those who think there is an afterlife should have no trouble going to take a look. I'll wait here while you go look.
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
17,597
It seems often there are attempts to extrapolate the probability that governs things at the quantum level to things on the macro scale. It is true that various particle states each have a probability. But it is also true that some states are far more likely than others. It was, however, always emphasised to us that this did not apply to large objects consisting of many particles. For one thing the probabilities are summed so the more likely states eventually become nearly certain.
 

dotVIBE

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
3,061
My honest believe is, always being in search for evidence quite clearly mean you distrust everyone else, not trust anyone else is clearly an indication of fear... any objection?

Why do you think drug smugglers in CALI stayed behind walls 25ft high, because they trust the next person?...
I am always searching for the truth, or "evidence" as you call it. This certainly does not mean that I distrust everyone. There are lots of people I trust.

Drug smugglers are irrelevant to this debate. They live in fear because they know that death and pain is waiting for them in this life. The afterlife has nothing to do with it.
 

dotVIBE

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
3,061
back on topic.

@noxi

Please clarify that last statement of yours. Do you mean that that the inherent "probability state" of particles can equated to being the "soul" of the particle? Or is it that the likelihood of us as humans having souls is so high that it becomes near certain? Or what?:confused:
 
Last edited:

Mr TB

Banned
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
5,776
I am always searching for the truth, or "evidence" as you call it. This certainly does not mean that I distrust everyone. There are lots of people I trust.

Drug smugglers are irrelevant to this debate. They live in fear because they know that death and pain is waiting for them in this life. The afterlife has nothing to do with it.
Maybe you are confused, i did not say "TRUTH" is "EVIDENCE" or "EVIDENCE" is "TRUTH". I can speak the truth without providing evidence. The requirement by you of "EVIDENCE" is actually an insult because the requirement placed by you tells me you think i am a "LIAR".
 
Top