Souls??

Phoy
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Souls??

I was just wondering what arguments there are for being against the idea of a soul that contains your consciousness when you die. I have a rough idea of why one probably couldn’t exist as your consciousness is a manifestation of your brain process and without the brain there would be no consciousness and also we are able to effect the mind with drugs and such things.


So yea would be great if someone could explain other reasons for being against souls and maybe post links to other articles or even explain if what I have said it wrong.


Also I looked around for a search option but couldn’t see one just in case this type of question has come up before.


thormos
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Well what does the soul

Well what does the soul actually do?

We gradually learn more about how the brain works.

We know how or atleast that the brain takes care of our decission making, our memory, and even our feelings. we know witch part of the brain does what, and i think start to have an idea of how it does it. 

But if the brain does all that, what does the soul do?

As natural sience shrinks the domain of god, so does our knowledge of the brain shrink the domain of the soul.

Is there an argument for the soul of the gaps?

"Everyone knows that God drives a Plymouth: "And He drove Adam And Eve from the Garden of Eden in His Fury."
And that Moses liked British cars: "The roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the hills."
On the other hand, Jesus humbly drove a Honda but didn't brag about it, because in his own words: "I did not speak of my own Accord." "


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: I was just

Quote:

I was just wondering what arguments there are for being against the idea of a soul that contains your consciousness when you die. I have a rough idea of why one probably couldn’t exist as your consciousness is a manifestation of your brain process and without the brain there would be no consciousness and also we are able to effect the mind with drugs and such things.

So yea would be great if someone could explain other reasons for being against souls and maybe post links to other articles or even explain if what I have said it wrong.

Also I looked around for a search option but couldn’t see one just in case this type of question has come up before.

Get yourself ready for some heavy reading: http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/ghost.html

 

There should be no "soul of the gaps", because there's no "gaps" left.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Jacob Cordingley
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thormos wrote: Well what

thormos wrote:

Well what does the soul actually do?

We gradually learn more about how the brain works.

We know how or atleast that the brain takes care of our decission making, our memory, and even our feelings. we know witch part of the brain does what, and i think start to have an idea of how it does it. 

But if the brain does all that, what does the soul do?

As natural sience shrinks the domain of god, so does our knowledge of the brain shrink the domain of the soul.

Is there an argument for the soul of the gaps?

Thormos pretty much said it. Originally it was believed that the heart was the part of the body that did all of it, especially love. It was Greek scientists who realised the mind was in the brain. The heart as it happens is just a couple of muscles that pump blood round the body.


rpcarnell
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Let me mix the supernatural

Let me mix the supernatural with science fiction and come out with something crazier than everything I have said in these forums (but it may prove the soul better than anything else):

 

The brain may be a quantum computer. It may use every electron to store information and every connection between sypnases may also be used to store information.

 

Since quantum mechanics is a field where reality no longer applies (electrons vanishing, electrons passing through walls, Schrodinger's cat, and Heisenberg's uncertainty principles), then it is possible that the brain can violate time and space (big jump in logic, I know). For example, a person may be able to see the future before it happens because the quantum activities of the future somehow interacted with those of the past (and I am not doing LSD as I write this).

 

Likewise, it is possible that the brain can continue to exist even after death because the brain is still alive in the past.

 

The closest thing I have found to this insanity is Permutation City by Greg Egan. Here's the Amazon sypnosis:

 

The good news is that you have just awakened into Eternal Life. You are going to live forever. Immortality is a reality. A medical miracle? Not exactly.

The bad news is that you are a scrap of electronic code. The world you see around you, the you that is seeing it, has been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. You are a Copy that knows it is a copy.

The good news is that there is a way out. By law, every Copy has the option of terminating itself, and waking up to normal flesh-and-blood life again. The bail-out is on the utilities menu. You pull it down...

The bad news is that it doesn't work. Someone has blocked the bail-out option. And you know who did it. You did. The other you. The real you. The one that wants to keep you here forever.

 

 

  

 


Jacob Cordingley
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rpcarnell wrote: Let me

rpcarnell wrote:

Let me mix the supernatural with science fiction and come out with something crazier than everything I have said in these forums (but it may prove the soul better than anything else):

 

The brain may be a quantum computer. It may use every electron to store information and every connection between sypnases may also be used to store information.

 

Since quantum mechanics is a field where reality no longer applies (electrons vanishing, electrons passing through walls, Schrodinger's cat, and Heisenberg's uncertainty principles), then it is possible that the brain can violate time and space (big jump in logic, I know). For example, a person may be able to see the future before it happens because the quantum activities of the future somehow interacted with those of the past (and I am not doing LSD as I write this).

 

Likewise, it is possible that the brain can continue to exist even after death because the brain is still alive in the past.

 

The closest thing I have found to this insanity is Permutation City by Greg Egan. Here's the Amazon sypnosis:

 

The good news is that you have just awakened into Eternal Life. You are going to live forever. Immortality is a reality. A medical miracle? Not exactly.

The bad news is that you are a scrap of electronic code. The world you see around you, the you that is seeing it, has been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. You are a Copy that knows it is a copy.

The good news is that there is a way out. By law, every Copy has the option of terminating itself, and waking up to normal flesh-and-blood life again. The bail-out is on the utilities menu. You pull it down...

The bad news is that it doesn't work. Someone has blocked the bail-out option. And you know who did it. You did. The other you. The real you. The one that wants to keep you here forever.

 

 

  

 

Is the brain a quantum computer though? I have very little understanding of quantum mechanics. The human brain can barely understand it. "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics".

As far as I understand it, this statement seems utterly ridiculous. However, I'm not a physicist, nor do I pretend to be.


rpcarnell
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Well, if I understood

Well, if I understood quantum mechanics beyond college level, then maybe I wouldn't even be making such extraordinary claims. But the existence of the soul would be extraordinary, and therefore it'd require an extraordinary explanation. The fact that mine makes little sense tells you that once we die, we will return to the same place we were before we were born, and that's not pleasant at all.

 

I remember reading a theory about the brain operating like a quantum computer. This article doesn't come from a trustworthy site:

http://www.dontveter.com/qi/why.html

 

If you think I am crazy, read this:

 

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/

 

 

Does it make sense? Let's see:

 

This comes from Wikipedia:

Neurons communicate via chemical and electrical synapses, in a process known as synaptic transmission. The fundamental process that triggers synaptic transmission is the action potential, a propagating electrical signal that is generated by exploiting the electrically excitable membrane of the neuron. This is also known as a wave of depolarization.

 

The synapses form a network that connects millions of neurons. If we take this into consideration, the brain resembles a Computer Network more than it resembles a quantum computer that has yet to be discovered.

 

The idea behind a quantum computer is using each level of an atom as a digital gate. This is hard because you can't know the exact position of an electron or photon at any given time. Did nature develop quantum computers through millions of years of evolution? Even if it did, an electron can pass through a membrane (tunneling). Without this unusual property, there wouldn't be transistors. However that does not give a quantum computer or a brain the capacity to pass through a wall. This being said, the whole quantum brain idea being the basis for the soul and psychic powers is more suitable for fiction than reality.

 

 

 


aiia
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rpcarnell wrote: ... But

rpcarnell wrote:
...

But the existence of the soul would be extraordinary, and therefore it'd require an extraordinary explanation.

Wishful thinking.
Quote:
The fact that mine makes little sense tells you that once we die, we will return to the same place we were before we were born, and that's not pleasant at all.
Imaginary.

 

Lots of words in all caps = empty sensationalism.

 

Quote:
If you think I am crazy, read this:

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/

There is no scientific evidence. With out data it's pure fantasy.

Quote:
Does it make sense?
No
Quote:
...This being said, the whole quantum brain idea being the basis for the soul and psychic powers is more suitable for fiction than reality.
What soul? What psychic powers?

Its garbage

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


rpcarnell
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Speaking of physics, when I

Speaking of physics, when I used AOL, there was a Christian in a chatroom called "Prove God Exists".  He claimed Albert Einstein had proved the soul existed through his Theory of Relativity.  Of course I didn't believe him. But then  he told me the equation E= mc(2) proves the soul because all the energy inside the human body has to go somewhere.

 

That's someone who doens't understand why dead bodies are cold. I didn't bother with him, but his explanation for the soul was so stupid I needed to share it with someone. 

 

 


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: Speaking of

Quote:

Speaking of physics, when I used AOL, there was a Christian in a chatroom called "Prove God Exists".  He claimed Albert Einstein had proved the soul existed through his Theory of Relativity.  Of course I didn't believe him. But then  he told me the equation E= mc(2) proves the soul because all the energy inside the human body has to go somewhere.

 

That's someone who doens't understand why dead bodies are cold. I didn't bother with him, but his explanation for the soul was so stupid I needed to share it with someone. 

You sure got that last paragraph right! Smiling

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


stillmatic
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Phoy wrote: I was just

Phoy wrote:

I was just wondering what arguments there are for being against the idea of a soul that contains your consciousness when you die. I have a rough idea of why one probably couldn’t exist as your consciousness is a manifestation of your brain process and without the brain there would be no consciousness and also we are able to effect the mind with drugs and such things.


So yea would be great if someone could explain other reasons for being against souls and maybe post links to other articles or even explain if what I have said it wrong.


Also I looked around for a search option but couldn’t see one just in case this type of question has come up before.

Whenever I heard people bring this up the first argument I usually bring up is that behaviour is directly affected by physical and chemical effects on the brain.

Here is a a list of possible physical and cognitive symptoms which can arise from damage to specific areas of the brain from http://www.braininjury.com/symptoms.html

Frontal Lobe: Forehead

  • Loss of simple movement of various body parts (Paralysis).
  • Inability to plan a sequence of complex movements needed to complete multi-stepped tasks, such as making coffee (Sequencing).
  • Loss of spontaneity in interacting with others.
  • Loss of flexibility in thinking.
  • Persistence of a single thought (Perseveration).
  • Inability to focus on task (Attending).
  • Mood changes (Emotionally Labile).
  • Changes in social behavior.
  • Changes in personality.
  • Difficulty with problem solving.
  • Inability to express language (Broca's Aphasia).


Parietal Lobe: near the back and top of the head

  • Inability to attend to more than one object at a time.
  • Inability to name an object (Anomia).
  • Inability to locate the words for writing (Agraphia).
  • Problems with reading (Alexia).
  • Difficulty with drawing objects.
  • Difficulty in distinguishing left from right.
  • Difficulty with doing mathematics (Dyscalculia).
  • Lack of awareness of certain body parts and/or surrounding space (Apraxia) that leads to difficulties in self-care.
  • Inability to focus visual attention.
  • Difficulties with eye and hand coordination.


Occipital Lobes: most posterior, at the back of the head

  • Defects in vision (Visual Field Cuts).
  • Difficulty with locating objects in environment.
  • Difficulty with identifying colors (Color Agnosia).
  • Production of hallucinations.
  • Visual illusions - inaccurately seeing objects.
  • Word blindness - inability to recognize words.
  • Difficulty in recognizing drawn objects.
  • Inability to recognize the movement of object (Movement Agnosia).
  • Difficulties with reading and writing.


Temporal Lobes: side of head above ears

  • Difficulty in recognizing faces (Prosopagnosia).
  • Difficulty in understanding spoken words (Wernicke's Aphasia).
  • Disturbance with selective attention to what we see and hear.
  • Difficulty with identification of, and verbalization about objects.
  • Short term memory loss.
  • Interference with long term memory.
  • Increased and decreased interest in sexual behavior.
  • Inability to catagorize objects (Categorization).
  • Right lobe damage can cause persistent talking.
  • Increased aggressive behavior.


Brain Stem: deep within the brain

  • Decreased vital capacity in breathing, important for speech.
  • Swallowing food and water (Dysphagia).
  • Difficulty with organization/perception of the environment.
  • Problems with balance and movement.
  • Dizziness and nausea (Vertigo).
  • Sleeping difficulties (Insomnia, sleep apnea).


Cerebellum: base of the skull

  • Loss of ability to coordinate fine movements.
  • Loss of ability to walk.
  • Inability to reach out and grab objects.
  • Tremors.
  • Dizziness (Vertigo).
  • Slurred Speech (Scanning Speech).
  • Inability to make rapid movements.

When you start believing in a soul, you have to answer the question why the behaviour of your "soul" is directly affected by physical injury to your brain. Or to be a little less than PC, do developmentally disabled people have retarded souls?

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Well...  for the people who

Well...  for the people who say souls enter at conception...  embryos can split after conception forming two humans.  So there were already 2 souls at conception?  Or a new soul was created at the split?  And also, 2 embroys can fuse AFTER conception then growing into a normal person.  So 2 souls in one body?  Sam Harris explains this 'Mathematics of Souls' very well in some of his lectures you can find on youtube.


rpcarnell
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How does a soul-believer

How does a soul-believer explains alzheimer? Or amnesia?

George Carlin said it best: heaven is the place where you get all the stuff you lost  during your lifetime: balloons, girlfriends, pets, keys. Maybe you also get your memories back.  

 

 


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This shows a good example:

This shows a good example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DCSJdhy3-0

 To summarise it.

Patients that has had their brain cut in half has 2 personalities.

If you ask them do you believe in god one can answer yes and the other no.

If they die does the one half of brain go to hell and the other to heaven.

Does cutting the brain in half create 2 souls?

Its apparent that the concept of souls is very problematic.

"Everyone knows that God drives a Plymouth: "And He drove Adam And Eve from the Garden of Eden in His Fury."
And that Moses liked British cars: "The roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the hills."
On the other hand, Jesus humbly drove a Honda but didn't brag about it, because in his own words: "I did not speak of my own Accord." "


Jacob Cordingley
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I've heard about this! It's

I've heard about this! It's fascinating. I would really like to know more.


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: Patients that has

Quote:
Patients that has had their brain cut in half has 2 personalities.

It's called "callosal disconnection", can happen naturally, by accident or surgically (in cass of epillepsy that threatens life).

 

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran has quite some writing on the topic. In my first response on the thread, I gave a link to an article. That article is based on his writings, so if you need extra info, that would be the place to look.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


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Phoy wrote: Also I looked

Phoy wrote:


Also I looked around for a search option but couldn’t see one just in case this type of question has come up before.

Hi Phoy.  When you become a subscriber (see the home page), you will get access to a Search function.

 

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Avecrien
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If you're trying to prove

If you're trying to prove to christians that souls as ghost-things don't exist, just tell them to read Genesis 2:7 and accept the bible's terms Tongue out

Man is meat. Man is dust. Both sides are supposed to be saying the same thing.

Mike Gravel for president!


stillmatic
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Avecrien wrote: If you're

Avecrien wrote:

If you're trying to prove to christians that souls as ghost-things don't exist, just tell them to read Genesis 2:7 and accept the bible's terms Tongue out

Man is meat. Man is dust. Both sides are supposed to be saying the same thing.

You mind giving me the rundown on how people can get into heaven without something like a soul?

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien