Souls?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Cris, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,199
    Gustav,

    Why do we need a god for that. When we get our act together we can achieve that.

    Things that aren’t mystical crap are called science, and theology cannot use science.

    Well of course, when imagination and fantasy are the answers then anything can be explained. Like any Mickey Mouse cartoon, even after being squashed flat the character manages to survive. Simply presenting a fantasy explanation without recourse to facts, logic and reality is of no value, apart from creating perhaps an interesting fairy story.

    That the concept of a soul is a paradox and cannot exist. What more do you want?

    As opposed to an entire “mystical” supernatural realm populated by angels and demons – yeah right – guess who wins the battle for the mystical on this count?

    As opposed to your answer “magic happens here”, or the classic argument from ignorance “a god did it”.

    But then why are they satisfied with their far more extreme delusions and fantasies? That makes no sense, but then that is theology.

    Clearly the science that Boris quoted hasn’t been available until recently, and I don’t see anything from you, despite your claims of philosophical sophistication, that offers any credible explanation in support of dualism.
     
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned

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    my point here is the weak and fearful can conjure gods up from thin air. take away the omniscient god and they will create a lesser god. take that away and perhaps they will endow scrap metal with mystical properties. it is role of educators and scientists do away with superstition. you are all failing

    why? because the conventional materialist arguments are far from being anywhere near conclusive nor particularly logical . they are tired old cliches. the same old rant. just like dr boris's rap. what if i tell you that consciousness arises from vibrations?

    junk science? desperate and grasping at straws science?

    Consider a famous neurophysiological theory of P-consciousness offered by Francis Crick and Christof Koch: namely, that a synchronized35-75 hertz neural oscillation in the sensory areas of the cortex is at the heart of phenomenal consciousness.* Assuming for the moment that such neural oscillations are the neural basis of sensory consciousness, no one has produced the concepts that would allow us to explain why such oscillations are the neural basis of one phenomenally consciousness state rather than another or why the oscillations are the neural basis of a phenomenally conscious state rather than a phenomenally unconscious state.*

    break out the mystical crystals and bong yo!

    exactly. see above. the fundie tactic is to move the goal post. evolution? god created the illusion that things evolve...etc
    unsubstantiated statement (or i missed that particular gem of a theory)

    i like to back winners ie: science. do not get confused. i do not refute the probabilities nor the fact that the explanation will be entirely scientific and in accordance with physical laws (the quantum ones in particular)

    it is just that i think the current reductive approach offers up absolutely nothing that would satisfy my fancies. it seems like a dead end. lets employ a new and improved approach....quantum crap...its elegance just wows me

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    likewise chris old chap

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  5. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The fact that we've evolved to the point where we can destroy our own habitat is hardly evidence of a soul, or god, or anything supernatural.
    It may not "make sense" to you but then a spherical planet didn't "make sense" to most people thousands of years ago.
    It is perfectly sensible in terms of evolutionary biology - most other species aren't able to adapt fast enough to the increasingly fast changes in their environment. This is Darwinism at its most basic.
    Okay - so we humans are changing environments quicker than nature might have done if left to her own devices without us - but this doesn't supply any evidence for a "soul" or any other spirit or deity.

    So what if we are. This is just evidence of our complex neurological advancement over other species - not of the existence of a god / soul / spirit etc.

    One cannot prove non-existence.
    It is illogical to suggest you can.
    The argument of "God exists because you can't prove he doesn't" is a typical logical fallacy.
    I can't prove that an invisible pink monkey isn't sitting on my desk at the moment. Does that mean it is?


    I'm sure you meant that you must "unfortunately DISagree"?
    Anyhoo - facts are facts - there is no explanation for them. They are what they are.

    Your example is not the explanation of a fact - it is the explanation of a cause (continental evolution or plate tectonics) leading to the fact (the rock fabrics). The fact - the rock fabrics - were identical all the way through.

    It is a fact that I am right-handed.
    I could use this fact to explain many things - like deducing the hand in which I hold my pen, for example.
    I could later come along and actually state that the reason I hold my pen in my right hand is actually due to some neurological function in my brain.
    But it doesn't alter the fact that I am right handed.

    [This is a simple example - so please don't go to town on it if you think it wrong]

    What tells your cells to do what they do? - DNA, although I'm no biologist to know the precise workings.
    No-one tells a wolf it is a wolf other than it is what it is through its DNA. WE humans have developed a language and assigned this particular make-up of DNA the label "wolf" - although each language obviously has its own label.
    Protons don't "know" they are positive. We have assigned that property the label "positive" through our language. Protons just are. They do what they do.
    Likewise - atoms don't "know" how to stay together. They just do. They obey the few fundamental laws of this universe, like everything else. Everything else is just complexity.
    "Fundamental numbers which make the universe as it is"? What are they?
    The Universe is built on only a very few "rules" or "laws".
    The complexity that comes from this will be bound by numerical patterns - some easier to see than others.
    This is not mystical. It is not evidence of anything other than the wonder of mathematics. But it is entirely logical.
     
  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Lighteagle,

    Morality is entirely about survival. The stronger and healthier the community then the greater the chance of individual survival – this is rational morality.

    Neural networks more complex than other animals.

    There is nothing that says that evolutionary processes will always result in success. In terms of species duration the dinosaurs were far more successful than humans. The degree of intelligence between individuals is quite large and not all are capable of making appropriate positive moral decisions, e.g. Islamic suicide bombers, Christian intolerance. Until we can evolve greater intelligence through genetic manipulation and other technologies then we are indeed at risk of destroying ourselves.

    But only one is true.

    That is the universe – that is what it is? If you invent a creator to answer your question then you will have merely pushed the question out one stage since now you must ask the same questions about the creator. I.e. an infinite regression.

    Cris (note no H)
     
  9. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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    Lighteagle,

    Chris: "Morality is entirely about survival. The stronger and healthier the community then the greater the chance of individual survival – this is rational morality."

    If this is true, then how do you explain all the aid agencies, hospitals, etc. If we as homo sapiens live by the rule "survival of the fittist," then why do we try to save the "weak?" Why are we moved to action and compassion when a fellow human being is suffereing?

    Chris: "There is nothing that says that evolutionary processes will always result in success. In terms of species duration the dinosaurs were far more successful than humans. The degree of intelligence between individuals is quite large and not all are capable of making appropriate positive moral decisions, e.g. Islamic suicide bombers, Christian intolerance. Until we can evolve greater intelligence through genetic manipulation and other technologies then we are indeed at risk of destroying ourselves."

    I agree the dinosaurs were more successful in terms of linear time, but they did not build factories, motorcars, computers and they did not send themselves to the moon. Why, in such a short time, did we gain what the dinosaurs could not achieve in a time span of ~200 million years?

    Chris: "But only one is true."

    I'm not refuting the fact that facts are facts and that only one is true and only one explanation is the absolute truth regarding them. All I'm trying to point out is that although the fact is an undeniable fact, the explanation regarding the specific fact is relative to the observer and his subjectivities, whatever they are and wherever they came from. This is in part Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

    Chris: "That is the universe – that is what it is? If you invent a creator to answer your question then you will have merely pushed the question out one stage since now you must ask the same questions about the creator. I.e. an infinite regression."

    I'm not saying that by believing in a Creator I am denying my ability and need to ask questions. God is not to me "God of the gaps." Although I believe the earth is 4.6 billion years old and that it is not flat, I still believe in a transcendental reality which is inexplicable to us. Humans are too different to animals in general to negate some different "plan" for us. I may ask questions about Him and even direct my questions to Him, but there will always remain a sense of mystery.

    I must make a comment regarding Sarkus' comment on non-existence. I am not trying to prove the existence of something by saying that there is an abscence of facts to disprove it. In fact my argument is reciporcal to his. I am trying to point out that just because there are as yet nothing proving the existence of something, does not mean it does not exists.
     
  10. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    9,199
    Lighteagle,

    Because compassion and sociability have proven to aid survival. These are evolved traits.

    We evolved with larger brains.

    You are confusing speculations with explanations. There is only one true explanation for a specific fact; the other perceived explanations are false speculations. Heisenberg doesn't apply. Here the fact cannot be determined since only one half of the puzzle at a time can be resolved.

    Apart from larger brain power there are no differences between us and any other living organism – all organic life is based on DNA. Do you know anything different?

    That is true. But that is not the theist position. The theist asserts with certainty that this something does exist despite the absence of evidence – I find that position objectionable and unsupportable.
     
  11. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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    42
    Lighteagle,

    If this is true, then why do animals in nature, such as lions and hyenas, not show the same amount of compassion for fellow members of their species?

    Why? Why in the ~3 billion years of existence of life on this planet, have we been the only species to evolve larger brains and this in under a million years? It is known that Austalopeticus had larger brains and were physically stronger than Homo Sapiens. The argument is that our brains were more effective. This is the only place in the entire history of paleao-anthropology where this argument is used, beacuse of the refusal to infer a Divinely guided process. It is the only explanation thus far and there is no evidence for it other than we exist and they don't. Why is this explanation based on little to no evidence any better than that of a Supreme Creator?

    I agree that there is only one specific explanation for one specific fact and that the others are all false. My argument is that many so called explanations for specific facts in the past have been refuted by new evidence. Who says that what we know today will not be refuted in the future? In addition, many of these explanations of our physical universe is founded on indirect evidence, such as the wave properties of light, quantum mechanics, etc. Why then is the indirect evidence such as love and compassion for our fellow beings, our difference from other life forms inhabiting our planet, our need to worship something greater, the complexity of nature and its diversity not enough to infer the existence of a Supreme, benevolent Creator?

    I disagree. There are copious differences between us and the rest of the animal kingdom. We can rationalise, we can choose to love in spite of the fact that our partner might be (much) less than perfect (which directly contardicts Darmin's "survival of the fittest" - we do not choose mates solely on their lack of "defects"), we do not live for the sole purpouse of proliferating our genetic material, we hope, we dream. We infer determinism to explain the unexplained, but we do not live according to our inferrences. We still dream of a better tomorrow. We go on although we say there is no hope.

    I disagree with you assertion that there is no evidence. I have highlighted some of this evidence above.
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,685
    Because lions / hyenas etc do not have the abundance of food that we humans have - and must therefore protect what they have. If food was abundant in their lives then they would be far more amicable to each other - although it would take time for the aggressive instinct to be reduced.
    Their aggression is their means of survival above other families of their species.

    Evolving a larger brain is not the goal of evolution. Other species don't / haven't because they haven't needed to. Unfortunately this has meant that many of them have died out as they weren't able to adapt to changes in environment. Luckily for us, our DNA went mad with the brain-size evolution and it actually paid off.

    First off, brain size is not equitable to intelligence. So merely having a larger brain and being stronger doesn't necessarily mean much in evolution.

    Secondly - it is more rational to accept a theory based on A LITTLE evidence than to accept one based on NO evidence.
    If you're going to have a theory that says "God did it" then this holds as much water as "my invisible green pet Unicorn did it". There is no evidence for either.

    Debunking theories is good news to science - as it means that new knowledge is gained. Each new bit of evidence found it either fits current scientific explanations or it doesn't. If it does - all well and good - the explanations can stand. If it doesn't then the explanations are obviously flawed and need to be amended. This is SCIENCE.
    As soon as one piece of evidence for God is observed....
    ... but then there isn't any yet, is there.

    Love, compassion - in fact all your examples - are not indirect evidence of a Supreme Creator.
    They are direct evidence for many questions that we don't know the answer to yet.
    Love / compassion etc are the byproducts of the internal workings of the human brain. Remove the brain and you remove love.
    There is no OUR need to worship something greater. There is obviously YOUR need. If there is a Supreme Creator - and this "need to worship something greater" is evidence of it - then why do I not have this need?

    Difference from other life-forms and the complexity of nature can be explained through DNA and evolution, as well as the laws of physics and chemistry. Evolution is not a perfect theory by any means - and there are many gaps - but it is certainly not indirect evidence of GOD.

    "The world is so complex - there must be a God".
    "I do not understand nature - there must be a God".
    "I need to worship God - there must be a God".
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Lighteagle, please detail how your examples constitute evidence for the existence of a Supreme Being / God / Creator etc.
     
  14. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

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    i would be lying if i said i read all of that, so i say i have no comment exept souls could be real anything is possible.
     
  15. GodlessEvil God is dead Registered Senior Member

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    I want to know why anyone would want to live forever, even if souls exist i think we would be better off without what they may imply, by definition they are something that exists while living and dead.

    If you exist after death what do you do?
    it might be fun floating around the cosmos for the first million years but after billions and billions of years (in heaven or hell or whatever) i'd get pretty damn bored, you know you have been non living for billions of years with still eternity to go!
    jesus thats too damn long, i'm sorry i dont want one.
     
  16. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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    There are two poins of view which have been considered here. The first, that there is no God and that averything that exists in the universe is material and finite and that everything can (or will) be explained by a process of elimination of theories as new evidence is gained. The second is that a God does exist, that we therefore do have souls and that there is a transcendental reality which would imply that not everything in the universe can be explained and that we do not have the capacity to understand the so called spiritual realm. Each one of us is obviously free to decide which "path" works for him/her. It is my view, however, that one either worships a God, or one worships rationalism (science, oneself, etc.) . I BELIEVE there is a God, others BELIEVE there is not one. Either one is a belief. We as humans are different to other species in more ways than one. We do not only have larger intelligence, but we love, hope and have compassion for our fellow species. We do not simply discard our weak, but nuture them (even if only to a degree). We do not live by the rules of survival of the fittest. We are free to make our own choices. We are not controlled by our desires. Information cannot be explianed by only purely rational means. Some may argue that it someday will. Perhaps, but how does one quantify love, for example? It is these things that have in part convinced me of the existence of God. I have come to know a benevolent God which allows us to make our own choices. I have come to know a God much different from the one the church has proclaimed and I acknowledge His sacrifice and the darkness from which He has saved me. I am referring not to sin per sè, but to things I have gone through in my own life. This is my evidence.
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    You are incorrect. I do not have a BELIEF that there is a God. I also do not have a belief that there ISN'T a God. I merely choose not to have a belief either way - due to the lack of evidence for either.

    Imagine you are standing on one side of a wall.
    Someone tells you that on the other side, hidden from you (i.e. there is no evidence) that there is a man holding either a black card or a white card.
    You, for some reason, despite lack of evidence, have a BELIEF that this person is holding the WHITE CARD. This is analogous to having a belief that God Exists.
    Others, for some reason, despite lack of evidence, have a BELIEF that this person is holding the BLACK CARD - analogous to having a belief that God does NOT exist.

    I merely do not have a belief that there is a person behind the wall - as there is no evidence to support it. Therefore the idea of whether this supposed person is holding a Black or White card is meaningless.
    It's not that I believe he isn't there - I just don't have a belief that he is.



    This is all irrelevant to the question of God. All of your examples are explainable without the need for some unproven Being. Do not use lack of knowledge in the workings of nature as evidence of God - it just isn't there.

    Yes it can. Please give an example where information is not explainable by rational means.
    It may be that we haven't fully understood the workings - but that doesn't mean it is irrational - merely that we do not have a full understanding of the mechanisms.

    Quantify? Why would you want to quantify love?
    Love is nothing but a neurological process in the brain that generally triggers some form of chemical imbalance. The same with all emotions.

    Ah - then this "God" you have created is nothing but a figment of your imagination that you have developed to offer you mental succour and comfort. It is a crutch that you have built to help you through your life.
    It only resides within your brain - no more real than a child's imaginary friend.
    but if it helps you - so be it. I hope it continues to help you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2005
  18. KennyJC Registered Senior Member

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    2,936
    Huh? If God exists, so do souls? How did you come to that conclusion?

    This is something theists always say. That if you are a theist, atheist or agnostic, each one is a belief. It's just an attempt to flip the coin on it's head.

    Things which dogs can be said to show the same traits towards it's owner.
     
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

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    would you agree that the soul is merely a misnomer for consciousness with fantastical attributes tacked onto it?

    if not....why?

    i would like some definitions from you

    what causes consciousness (substance? process? combination of the two?)
    can consciousness be reduced to something more elementary? (ie: molecule > atom > particle)

    feel free to elaborate
     
  20. c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

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    Nobody could ever explain mind out of matter, out of neurons etc. (because mind is neither inside matter nor inside neurons. Neurons and matter ARE INSIDE MIND; they are sensations).
     
  21. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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    Consider the law of the conservation of energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely be transferred from one form to another. The Big Bang and all the energy released. Where did it all come from as something cannot be come from nothing, except by transcendental means?

    Consider the universe as a your system. According to thermodynamics a system must be defined by an environment. What is your environment? Why did the universe (or multiverse as some physisits would allude to) come into existence in the first place?

    Consider the diversity of nature. Mathematicians have calculated that the chance of life emerging as a product of random chemical reactions is 1:1e80000, i.e. no chance. Consider a protein molecule and its complexity and consider the the ingredients and energy one would need to bring this basic building block of life into existence.

    God is not merely a cruch. Evidence does exist for His existence. The choice of how to interpret the evidence is up to the individual.
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    1:1e80000 is NOT zero chance.
    1:infinity IS zero, but 1:1e80000 is NOT zero chance.
    Also, is this the chance per Universe? Chance per chemical interaction?

    If it is the chance per Universe then who is to say that there is not 1e80000000000 universes - of which 1e1000000 would therefore be expected to have life? And we just happen to be one of those. Hardly amazing and certainly not evidence of God.

    If it is the chance per chemical reaction - then I would guess that there are far more than 1e80000 per Universe within its lifetime - so one of those would be expected to generate life. Again, hardly amazing - and certainly not evidence of God.


    If 15 million people bought a lottery ticket, with odds of winning being 15 million to 1, would you say that "God exists" merely because 1 person happened to win the lottery??
    Certainly the winning person would think that God is smiling on them, and may even think that God has answered their prayers etc.
    But surely you can see that this is clearly NOT evidence of God - and is nothing more than life obeying the laws of probability?



    There is NO evidence for His / Her / Its existence.
    Again - please indicate where this evidence is - as nothing you have currently given is evidence of his existence.
     
  23. LightEagle Peace in small things Registered Senior Member

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    The fact of the matter is, the lottery does exist and the chances are 100% that someone will win the lottery. The odds are quite different for a universe to come into existence out of, in your opinion, nothing.


    There is lots of evidence for a creator, you are just choosing to ignore it or at least choose to find some alternartive explanation for the observed evidence.
     

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