Properties of the soul?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    How could it?
    You gave a basic definition of the soul earlier, and it stated that the soul is immaterial. So how does it appear to be a ''little man sitting in the brain pulling the strings...''?

    Is your understanding based upon your experience, scientific understanding, or the dictionary definition which states simply that ''consciousness'' is ''awareness''?

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  3. birch Valued Senior Member


    What makes me question the idea of consciousness as being separate is how can one see themselves outside of their body? there have been numerous reports that people have seen their bodies laying on a hospital bed, for instance. if consciousness can only exist in relation to the physical brain, how can they see themselves?

    it seems my interest is to promote the idea of afterlife, souls etc because that is what I desire but I actually I don't, I am just not entirely convinced that there is no afterlife.
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    There is zero evidence that they have actually seen themselves while outside of their own body other than simply as a mental image, the way we might visualise anything else in our mind.
    I can certainly picture myself from a view from my ceiling.
    Unfortunately what my actual visual cortex sees is considerably more dominant than what I simply imagine in my mind.
    But when dreaming, for example, what we visualise in our minds can be quite convincing without ever actually being real.
    Being "not entirely convinced" of X is, for most people, not a good reason to say "therefore Y is correct".
    So what is that makes you think that the afterlife is correct?
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  7. birch Valued Senior Member

    the incongruence of consciousness as it evolves, seems to be a separative aspect not only from the physical but from nature/environment itself.

    we exist in a universe that offers no inherent safety/security yet we need and seek it, we are afraid of death, yet we exist in an organic existence that decays and dies, we can understand concepts as ethics yet we exist in a universe built on predation etc. this isn't just some slight variances, these are abject contradictions in many cases and not based on adaptation as in a drive toward conformity. it indicates a consciousness that is trying to survive in a hostile environment not conducive, contradictory and inhospitable to it's nature.

    this indicates or are 'clues' (imo) that consciousness is not only mutually exclusive to the brain/body but that consciousness itself is not necessarily dependent on or a product/derivative of the universe itself. seems to be a free agent or our consciousness may be derived from elsewhere.
  8. river

    Also the movie :

    The Ghost and the Darkness . Micheal Douglas

    It is a true story about two male lions , that were predatory , worked together in India .

    Recommend this movie .
  9. river

    And yet under hypnosis regressive past lives states , finds that the soul can and does have multiple lives .
  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I'm sure that this has relevance...
    Care to explain what that might be?
    And personally I thought the movie as dull as watching paint dry.
  11. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Amazing how many people have claimed to be Cleopatra in a past life, though.
    And please provide proof that the supposed "past life" is anything more than false memory.
  12. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I disagree that what you highlight as contradictions are anything of the sort, and thus disagree that they suggest any such thing.
    If anything they are not contradictions but simply the result of evolution within such a framework.
    Evolution requires a life/death cycle to pass on mutations, and so we have been born into a universe where we will die as a result of evolution.
    Fear of this is a natural response due to our survival instinct, also an evolutionary trait.
    Ethics possibly arose due to the social evolution of living in groups, again for survival, in a world where predation also exists - predation also being a result of evolution.

    And perhaps consciousness is simply a by-product of the ability to reason, and the more complex reasoning that one can do the quicker one can predict, adapt, avoid, evade, survive.
    All seem like good evolutionary traits to me.

    So i see no contradictions, just evolution at work.
    Not every reaction to a situation should be seen as a contradiction to that situation.
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

    I had a past life reading, not regression and was told that I was 'joan of arc' in a past life. LMAO. Strangely, when I would get upset or righteous about something, a past friend of mine did remark, 'were you joan of arc or something in a past life?' when I would get passionate about something. I thought it was a really strange thing to say to someone though.

    but her story always bothered me a great deal because that poor girl was used and betrayed big time. I thought it was very unfair how she was treated. very sinister and evil against her. it was a very dangerous time and sexist. I looked up her birthday and did a synastry and it showed one-hundred percent understanding between me and her according to astrology meaning 'soulmate.' I was not really happy with that result, at all. somehow, I already knew this before I did the comparison. I just got that feeling of a wave coming up and there it was. a one hundred percent compatibility is very rare even with astrology. when you meet someone where you have that type of 'peas in a pod' type compatibility, you will feel like you've known them before you met them. the only percent i have that with anyone i've ever known in this life is my son. most people you meet will have usually 20-60 percent compatibility; low or mediocre. when you have a 100 percent rating with another and it's not star-crossed, that's a soulmate. it just shows that you can sympathize and understand where someone is coming from. it's eerie though what your right brain can pick up or intuit/know before your left brain does and start analyzing.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Evidence; the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

    Are you certain there is zero evidence?

    Near-death experiences” (NDEs) was the term coined by Dr. Raymond Moody, a physician who wrote the first popular book on the phenomenon, Life After Life, in 1975. He studied cases of patients who were pronounced clinically dead, but claimed they could see and hear things that seemed impossible, according to the materialist understanding of reality.

    A 1982 Gallup poll revealed that one out of seven Americans had at least once been close to dying and 35% of these reported having the NDE. These experiences would seem fairly common, but were not generally reported by physicians, which is explained by the fact that only 32% of doctors at the time believed in an afterlife vs. 67% of the public.

    You think it's that simple? You're clinically dead, but you are able to picture yourself from the ceiling, so that you trick the doctors/scientists into thinking that there is an afterlife. For that to work convincingly, you have to memorize the staff, what they were wearing, and what the were saying while you were clinically dead. All in all, with that kind of superhuman ability, one could wonder why you just waste it on trying to convince certain people that there is life after death.

    Is it unfortunate for yourself, or are you asserting that this is the case for all human beings?
    If the latter, can you provide the evidence?

    It can be, but for the most part, we barely remember our dreams, so what we visualise becomes lost. Plus people who have these experiences, usually comment on the difference between a dream state, and their experience. That information seems to be consistent.

    He didn't say he/she thought it was correct, he/she said; "I am just not entirely convinced that there is no afterlife." Is it possible for you t o discuss along those lines?

  15. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I am certain that there is zero evidence that such has actually happened.
    There is certainly plenty of evidence that people have claimed it has actually happened.
    But that is as far as the evidence goes.
    Indeed, evidence of claims.
    But that is not the same of evidence that it has actually happened.
    I forgot.
    Since we don't know what goes on in the brain during the process of being deemed clinically dead to being revived, it is only rational to conclude that everything the person experiences is to be taken at face value.
    Yes, of course the the afterlife exists because those people say so, right?

    No, Jan.
    All they can provide is evidence of their subjective experience.
    That they might be able to recall things during that time that others think they shouldn't be able to is simply evidence that there is perhaps something going on that we don't fully understand.
    And given how little we know of how the brain operates it is no surprise that there might be such things that we don't understand yet still be within the ability of the brain to produce the results seen.
    But let us not kid ourselves that it is evidence that what they claim is actually the case, that it should be taken at face value, that it is the reality.
    That way irrationality lies.
    I am asserting it for everyone with properly functioning vision and who aren't suffering hallucinations.
    It should be considered axiomatic that one's actual vision is more dominant than what one simply imagines in one's mind.
    Do you think you have grounds to dispute it?
    If so, what are they, given that we don't see most people wandering around not sure where they are, struggling to focus on what is physically in front of them etc?
    And it would likely be different to the experience of a dream, because the brain is in a different state, it is not going through REM etc.
    My point was not that they would experience a dream state, only that it is possible for our brains to be in states where our normal vision is not dominant and for what we imagine to be utterly convincing.
    FFS, Jan.
    Stop this incessant desire to score points.
    It is as tedious as it is pathetic.
    If your desire to score points, however, supersedes your willingness to otherwise discuss civilly then please do us both the favour of not responding at all.

    Would it help if I exchanged the word "is" for "might be"?
    The purpose of the question remains the same, however: what arguments are there for considering that the existence of an afterlife is a more rational conclusion.
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

    Depending on your philosophy, there is a school of thought that your higher self (divine) is different from your human self. It may sympathize with human concerns but actually has a different mission or motive. Its trying to get you to realize a better purpose.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  17. river


    But what is that purpose ?
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    “That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been....Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”
    George Saunders
  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    That dark part of you which wants to take over all of you - your spirit if you will - is as black and dark as any that have ever been. Pile on everything which takes you closer to this dark secret place. Believe it exist, get to know it better, look after it, share its fruits it rewards you with


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  20. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    An interesting question.
    It is common knowledge that most old people have poor memories.
    We know that physical brain damage can affect memory sometimes and in extreme cases destroy all memories.
    This suggests that memories are (sort of) recorded in the brain (not in the soul) and when we die, all memories are erased.
    So in Heaven, we won't remember our dead relatives, which isn't necessarily a problem.
  21. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From my Post 1
    Response to the above by Jan Ardena Post 7
    The above assumes (at least implies) that our will & thoughts are somewhere external to our brain.

    The above concept seems absurd (or at least strange). If our will & thoughts are not memories/functions of our brain where do they exist?

    From Jan Ardena Post 19
    An interesting challenge. One wonders what constitutes evidence that consciousness is some emergent property of the brain. Consider the following

    First note that Houdini, Randi, & others have debunked every medium who claimed to be able to communicate with deceased people. This strongly implies that after death our consciousness is unable to communicate with living people.

    Second: One wonders where consciousness exists if not in the brain. It seems to me that a person who claims that consciousness is not due to some functions of the brain, has the burden of providing cogent arguments to support this belief.

    There are those who have claimed to have OBE (Out of Body Experiences). They have never been able to prove the occurrence of such experiences. The few who have tried to prove such experiences either declined or failed to provide proof under controlled conditions.​

    Houdini left information with either relatives or friends (perhaps with both) & promised to communicate if possible after he died. No so called medium ever provided the information he left. I do not remember any accounts of somebody who tried to provide the information. I am sure that if some body did come up with such information, it would have been widely publicized event.

    Houdini’s failure to communicate after death seems like strong evidence that it is not possible.
    BTW: My paternal grandmother was a Spiritualist, a Christian religion which held services similar to seances. She was quite wealthy & paid for publication of their literature as well as contributing to their church.

    Both Harry Houdini & Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes stories) corresponded with her.
    Houdini challenged her beliefs. She asked if he had something against her religion in particular or Christianity in general & promised to discuss the issue with him after he similarly challenged one of the more orthodox Christian churches, suggesting Catholicism & a few major Protestant faiths.

    Houdini did not pursue the issue. I do not know what his religious beliefs were.

    I assume that he was willing to challenge her seance-like services due to classifying her organization as equivalent to various mediums not associated with religious organizations, but decided otherwise after realizing that she was running a non-profit religious organization. I think he discovered that she was a wealthy person who was almost the exclusive supporter of Spiritualism.
    Conan Doyle had a son who died (in in action, I think) during WW2. He realized that he had been scammed by mediums who alleged to be able to provide communication with his deceased son. He turned to my grandmother's church, hoping they could help him.

    She neither promised results nor asked for payments/donations.
    My father did not believe in Spiritualism, but never argued with his mother. He never explicitly claimed to be an atheist, but seemed to be one. One comment I remember him making
    My father's family were Quakers (Society of Friends) who left Wales prior to 1700 due to religious prosecution.

    The Quakers are very behavior oriented.

    I was considered a member of our local meeting house even though known to be an atheist.

    My Catholic mother was accepted as a member without requiring any acceptance of dogma, which surprised her. She had been attending services with my father for quite a few years due to the absence of nearby Catholic churches.

  22. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Every night I lose consciousness for some time. When I faint I lose consciousness. When I am given anesthetics I lose consciousness. If I get a big bump on my head I lose consciousness. In all these examples, it is the change in condition of the brain that causes a loss of consciousness. It is obvious to me that when I die, my brain will be damaged and I will lose my consciousness.
  23. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

    Quite right. We don't understand consciousness, but we know that we can lose it in various ways. It isn't known for sure how anesthetics work, but they certainly work. All the studies show that the brain is affected by anesthetics. I don't see how chemicals could affect a spirit that is independent of the brain. When you fall asleep, is your soul asleep ?

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