What is a soul?

Atheistextremist
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What is a soul?

 

Theists argue furiously about the presence of a soul but what the hell are they talking about? I just read a definition that described a soul as the spiritual part of a personality. To me that's just out of the frying pan and into the fire. And an even stupider definition of soul I dug up was "the engine of life" or the "spark of life".

Here are some biblical definitions of soul I lifted from the net:

 

"The Biblical definition of a soul is simply a breathing body.

Notice that the text does not say that man was given a soul, but rather he became a soul. A soul is not something a person has, it is the person. Souls have blood (Jeremiah 2:34). Not only are people souls, but so are fish and animals (Revelation 16:3).

The Hebrew word for soul, nephesh, is variously translated "person" (Genesis 14:21), "self" (Leviticus 11:43), "life" (Psalm 31:13), "me" (Judges 16:30), "creature" (Genesis 1:21), "beast" (Leviticus 24:18), "man" (2 Kings 12:4), "thing" (Ezekiel 47:9), and "fish" (Isaiah 19:10). When translated "body" the nephesh is usually dead (Leviticus 21:11).

The Greek word for soul, psuche, has the same meaning. In Matthew 16:25 Jesus commends anyone who will lose his soul (psuche) for Christ’s sake. It is often translated simply as "life" (Matthew 2:20). It means "person" (Acts 7:14). "My soul" and "your soul" are idiomatic expressions meaning "I" and "you" (Matthew 12:18; 2 Corinthians 12:15, margin)."

 

Despite these bible definitions your typical fundy christian does not believe a soul is just a life. What are the godly talking about with their immortal souls?

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Marquis
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As is the case with so many

As is the case with so many of these Middle-Eastern religions; they stole their concepts from Egypt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_soul

It is of course a very valid metaphysical problem what exactly constitutes the "person".

We seem to exist on so many different but paralell planes all at once...

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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...

Certain dualists don't understand that DNA explains life, and that there is no élan vital.  Instead of looking for natural explanations, they assume that consciousness is too tough to explain naturally, so they put a label on it called "soul".  Scientists and materialist philosophers use labels, like consciousness, but at least they put forth an explanation.  The dualist offers no explanation of how a causal relationship would work between an immaterial soul and the brain. 

I've gotten answers like, "The laws of physics work differently for souls," or "After we die, our souls go on to the spirit world, which is another dimension where the laws of physics are different."  Unfortunately for the dualist, there is no scientific evidence for alternate dimensions or parallel universes.  And, if even there were, there would still have to be an explanation of the apparent causal relationship between an immaterial soul and the brain.


Atheistextremist
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Soul/brain interface

Philosophicus wrote:

The dualist offers no explanation of how a causal relationship would work between an immaterial soul and the brain. 

I never considered the interface that would have to exist between the soul and the brain/body. Very good point. It can't be RS-232, in any case.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Adventfred
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Philosophicus wrote:

The dualist offers no explanation of how a causal relationship would work between an immaterial soul and the brain. 

I never considered the interface that would have to exist between the soul and the brain/body. Very good point. It can't be RS-232, in any case.

 

 

 

 

apperently the link is some quark anti opposite matter anti matter 

 


Luminon
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Marquis wrote:As is the case

Marquis wrote:

As is the case with so many of these Middle-Eastern religions; they stole their concepts from Egypt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_soul

It is of course a very valid metaphysical problem what exactly constitutes the "person".

We seem to exist on so many different but paralell planes all at once...

This is not a metaphysical problem... Three lowest planes, associated with physical, emotional and mental activities belong to personality. Thwo higher planes above that are inhabited by the soul itself, buddhi and atman.


Above that is Monad, the true self. Monad wants to explore lower layers of reality, so it creates the soul. Soul can store the experiences of living in material world, so it creates the personality and lets it be born. Personality gets born, dies, gets back to soul and gives the life experience. Based on the life experience, the soul sends the less or more altered personality into a less or more specific time and place on Earth, to get more experiences. Such is a cycle of incarnations (less or more), before the soul completely understands physical reality and takes a control over it. Then monad, soul and personality become one synchronized being with divine powers, which usually leaves the planet for even greater experiences. The real evolution just begun.
Pretty simple, eh?

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The Doomed Soul
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Luminon wrote:Pretty simple,

Luminon wrote:

Pretty simple, eh?

 

By Khorne! I think i understood that!

Still doesnt solve Doomy's "K problem" though

What Would Kharn Do?


Abu Lahab
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Easy!