What is a Soul?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Tue May 07, 2019 2:49 pm

Original Trek is pretty good, Next Gen is commie garbage, DS9 is the best of all ('cept for the last season which was rushed), Voyager stinks, Enterprise shoulda never happend.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Tue May 07, 2019 5:13 pm

Harbal wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:36 am
While I might not have fully answered the original question, ‘what is a soul’, it seems that I can at least say that it isn’t the conscious me; so why should I give a toss about what happens to it after it has left its mortal coil?
I would have thought it's rather easy to understand the genesis of our notion of soul in terms of what seems permanent in the people we know best, i.e. the personality. It is personality which we see as endowed with free will and therefore as burdened with moral responsibilities. We see the body getting degraded by old age but we cannot let go of the "person", and when the body dies, we miss the person. We all do it, and apparently some mammals like the elephants and the whales seem similarly afflicted. So, sure, some may come to believe that something of the person still continues after the body dies because there is indeed something that continues anyway which is the mourning. So, in all likelihood, the soul of the dead is our grieving. And when we die, our grieving goes with us. Still, there's no harm hoping against all odds. Maybe what looks like water at the horizon is not a mirage. How do you prove that an imaginary being doesn't exist? And while I'm alive, I can console my soul watching unicorns galloping in the moonlight.
EB

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Greta
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Greta » Fri May 10, 2019 7:05 am

Harbal wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 6:19 am
Greta wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 3:17 am
Hi Harbs, LTNS.
Hello, Greta.

The word "soul" seems to mean different things to different people but I was thinking about how mainstream Western religion thinks of it.
When you think about it, there was nothing special about the Middle East 2,000 years ago aside from its extreme sense of entitlement and self-absorption. I mean, why follow the Arabs of 2k years ago? What about the Chinese? Or the Chinese 1,000 years ago? Why not follow the Japanese of 500 years ago or the Africans of 3,000 years ago? Or ... this is a bit wild ... we could follow the ideas of scientists today!

So I am simply dismissive of the Abrahamic models. They don't deserve to be taken seriously, although it seems that increasingly we will have to do so at gunpoint.

If there is any kind of continuously aware soul that persists after death it could only be possible via, pardon the technical jargon, weird dimensional-y shit that we know bugger all about.

Maybe the block universe really is a subjective reality rather than just a model? Maybe some of those string theory dimensions exist and do unexpected things? Maybe all information is ultimately preserved at the Planck scale, ready for re-seeding when conditions allow? Or, to really push it, maybe this is not the first universe and a previous species evolved into godlike beings capable of surviving beyond their own universe and are still here as godlike entities?

Or maybe there really is a man-spirit out there who only cares about the sex lives of one species of hominid on one planet in one galaxy at exactly this time in the last 13 billion years? Seriously, the Christian ideology as presented today is fetishistic and perverted, their perverted gods begetting the very high percentage of perverts in religions as compared with the slightly less sex-obsessed secular world.

But yes, Harb, I agree, the future of the "I" does not look to be long term. However, probability tells us that the future of the "approximate I" is extremely likely. When you think about it, we are all an "approximate I" of the previous "approximate I" because we change constantly in life. I suspect the hard division between self and not-self is less distinct than our evolved sensibilities would have us believe, and that opens up other possibilities that are pretty hard to describe in words.

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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Age » Sat May 11, 2019 12:48 am

The soul, like the spirit, are both sometimes considered the invisible parts of "us". To me, the soul is the individual self, the individual person, or the individual one, which is made up solely of the invisible thoughts and feelings, within an individual human body.

The 'spirit' being different word has a different definition. The spirit is the collective of

The soul is the individual 'i' or the one that has a beginning as it is born/comes to be the person within a human body, but this invisible one survives/lives on after the body dies, or stops breathing and stops pumping blood. This one person lives on and survives in two ways:

1. As the memories, in "other" individual ones. For example, that one labeled "Jesus", is how that individual is still alive today, with "us". The memories of one's mom and dad or grandparents are other examples of how the 'soul' keeps living, long after a human body stops. As long as there is a memory of an individual person, then it could be said they are still alive. However,

2. Each individual 'soul' also lives on and survives forever more, in another sense. The impact, impressions, or legacy of what they have said and/or done will have made an effect ( or affect) which in some way will be everlasting, as what they have said or done will have caused some thing which then effected some thing which caused some thing else next, which hitherto has, for example, created 'you', the way 'you' are now, which what you say or do, now, will CAUSE some thing which will EFFECT some thing forever more.

The Spirit, however, is the individual 'I', of which there is only One. Whereas the 'soul' is the individual invisible different thoughts and feelings within an individual different human body, the 'Spirit' is the One invisible unified (Truly OPEN) Mind, which is within EVERY body equally. This One is without beginning nor end.

'Consciuosness' comes from the Mind as this One is able to observe and SEE ALL from a Truly objective perspective. Thinking and feelinging come from the brain. Thinking can NOT be conscious (aware) of itself, BUT some thing CAN. This ABILITY to observe, see, know, or be Conscious of things come the Mind. The brain can only think, and feel.

There is so much more that could be said that would explain, in much more detail, ALL of this FULLY.


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Greta
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waste of time

Post by Greta » Sat May 11, 2019 11:17 pm


Dubious
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Dubious » Sat May 11, 2019 11:33 pm

A disposable concept, which consists of nothing, contains nothing and means nothing. If one had to dispose all of the human souls in the world the landfill would be empty. If it implies anything at all it's only that we're trying to make ourselves special.

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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Dontaskme » Sun May 12, 2019 8:09 am

Image

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Dontaskme
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Dontaskme » Sun May 12, 2019 10:02 am

Dubious wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:33 pm
A disposable concept, which consists of nothing, contains nothing and means nothing. If one had to dispose all of the human souls in the world the landfill would be empty. If it implies anything at all it's only that we're trying to make ourselves special.
That the word ''special'' can be uttered and known at all is what's special.

Out of the emptiness of consciousness comes everything, special because it's functioning right now, here now, nowhere, and no thing knows why or how. Just THIS ever present mystery conceptually known.

.

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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Sun May 12, 2019 12:12 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:02 am
That the word ''special'' can be uttered and known at all is what's special. Out of the emptiness of consciousness comes everything, special because it's functioning right now, here now, nowhere, and no thing knows why or how. Just THIS ever present mystery conceptually known.
How is that special at all?
What you say can be said of reality as a whole: Reality is special because it's functioning right now, here now, nowhere, and no thing knows why or how. Just THIS ever present mystery conceptually known.
Right. The profound mystery of reality.
There's nothing mysterious about consciousness that's in any way more mysterious than the mysteriousness of reality itself.
Well, unless you could explain reality?
But you can't.
EB

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Speakpigeon
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Sun May 12, 2019 12:20 pm

Dubious wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:33 pm
A disposable concept, which consists of nothing, contains nothing and means nothing. If one had to dispose all of the human souls in the world the landfill would be empty. If it implies anything at all it's only that we're trying to make ourselves special.
The notion of soul definitely means something.
You may be confusing meaningfulness with whether the notion refers to something that exists or not.
And then, how would you know there's no such a thing as a soul? Unicorns? Leprechauns?
Why not admit you don't know? You coud still point out you haven't seen any of these things and that people whose judgement you trust haven't seen any either. Why do prefer to commit the fallacy of assertion... expecting we accept that what you say is true because... you assert it?
EB

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Dontaskme
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Dontaskme » Sun May 12, 2019 12:53 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:12 pm
Dontaskme wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:02 am
That the word ''special'' can be uttered and known at all is what's special. Out of the emptiness of consciousness comes everything, special because it's functioning right now, here now, nowhere, and no thing knows why or how. Just THIS ever present mystery conceptually known.
How is that special at all?
What you say can be said of reality as a whole: Reality is special because it's functioning right now, here now, nowhere, and no thing knows why or how. Just THIS ever present mystery conceptually known.
Right. The profound mystery of reality.
There's nothing mysterious about consciousness that's in any way more mysterious than the mysteriousness of reality itself.
Well, unless you could explain reality?
But you can't.
EB
The world 'exists' as meaning/idea only... ever unchanged.

Don't ask 'me' (any 'me') to explain what 'meaning' is. It cannot be explained.

As forms/meaning are the objects of knowing, so this is known. The subject of this knowing is unknowable, for it is knowing itself.

Science tells only of the relation of one form image to another form image.

Neither it, nor I nor anyone can ever explain the reality of consciousness, nor of the power by which the senses and meaning arise in perfect concord to create the appearance of the world.

Such is as it appears here now. NOWHERE

.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Sun May 12, 2019 4:55 pm

Dontaskme wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:53 pm
The world 'exists' as meaning/idea only
Except you don't know that's true at all.
EB

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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Dubious » Sun May 12, 2019 8:03 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:20 pm
Dubious wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:33 pm
A disposable concept, which consists of nothing, contains nothing and means nothing. If one had to dispose all of the human souls in the world the landfill would be empty. If it implies anything at all it's only that we're trying to make ourselves special.
The notion of soul definitely means something.

Why not admit you don't know?
Ultimately I don't know and can't know since logic itself can't resolve it having nothing to work with. However what I do know is that a soul was never discovered among humans by humans and worse still we cannot even properly supply a valid reason as to why it should exist. Not one!

The "notion of soul" does indeed mean something but those meanings are described and contained in metaphor as something consciousness created for itself. Aside from that there's nada. Whatever people want, they'll create even if it's only an empty concept to justify a desire.

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Gary Childress
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Re: What is a Soul?

Post by Gary Childress » Mon May 13, 2019 6:46 am

Harbal wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:36 am
It cannot be seen or measured and there are no scientific instruments that can observe it. So how do we know we have a soul? Well we’ve been told so, that’s how. But is there anything about the soul that we can work out for ourselves?

Well a soul can’t be the same thing as consciousness because our consciousness can undergo changes that a soul cannot; or at least I presume it cannot. Is a soul susceptible to dementia, or the same kind of changes that the consciousness might face after a brain injury? If so, it seems a depressing thought that the soul could spend eternity in that state. Although I can’t say it with certainty, I’m going to conclude that the soul is not the same thing as consciousness.

Is it safe to assume that consciousness ceases to be after death? Consciousness certainly seems to be very dependent on brain function so it probably is safe to assume that it vanishes when the brain stops functioning. Consciousness, then, must be purely a mortal phenomenon; while the soul, it is said, is immortal. Can we now then say that only the soul is subject to anything that might happen after physical death, and that consciousness will not be involved?

So what is the connection between consciousness and soul? Well we know that the soul will be held responsible for the choices we consciously make, so our soul must be constantly influencing us, even though we don’t seem to have any insight into its process of doing so. It would seem as though we are merely vehicles being driven by our souls.

When I think about what the entity me actually is, obviously my physical body plays a part in my concept of self identity, but primarily I am thinking of my attitudes and opinions, my likes and dislikes, my emotions and what gives rise them, my memories, my personality and character. Are all these things mirrored in my soul? If so, I can’t imagine what the reason for this duplication might be. In the light of the conclusions I have already come to, I can’t seem to avoid the further conclusion that my soul and I are two separate entities that have an intimate coexistence but will, at some point, go our separate ways. This controlling thing I call the soul may well be accountable for its actions once we have parted company, but, during our coexistence, it seems to consider itself completely unanswerable to me.

While I might not have fully answered the original question, ‘what is a soul’, it seems that I can at least say that it isn’t the conscious me; so why should I give a toss about what happens to it after it has left its mortal coil?
It seems to me that the notion of a 'soul' is generally tied to the belief that something in consciousness survives the death of the body. At least that's the context I most often hear the term used in. I'm not aware of any evidence which any mere mortal possesses that indicates to us that such is the case. Obviously absence of evidence does not necessarily equate to evidence of absence, however, it does sort of make me wonder how the belief originated to begin with if there is no evidence. Although we humans seem to be good at perpetuating myths and legend as though they were established fact (and some will outright lie about it for whatever reason). I mean, NORAD goes on TV every December 24th to track Santa Claus. So I guess that makes it official that the US Government believes there are flying reindeer out there somewhere too.

It's kind of a running joke for us adults, however, I'm sure the belief is that there's no harm to children in it. Sometimes I kind of imagine that somewhere behind closed doors the Pope and the clergy sit down and talk candidly with each other about how necessary it is to perpetuate notions of a 'soul', if for no other reason than in order to keep the flock or laity hopeful and in a good mood or something. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(BTW, welcome back Harbal, haven't seen you in a while. :D )

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