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Soul, or no soul.

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posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 09:58 PM
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Is human consciousness limited to complex brain chemistry?.....Or do humans have an immaterial and immortal soul that lives on after death?
I don't know that there is any way to scientifically prove one claim over another, but each claim has its implication.


If humans have no eternal soul, then the simple fact is that all human life is WORTHLESS. It doesn't matter who you love, who loves you, or how you are remembered in the ages to come. Suffering is nothing more than a random consequence of existence, and there is no right or wrong. Bigotry, hatred, genocide, tyranny, these things are all just abstract expressions of neurochemistry. At some point life will end, and the human body will decay back into the earth, then the sun will explode and it will be over for humanity. What we are today will eventually be a memory that can no longer be called back to cognizance. Sic transit gloria mundi; Thus passes the glory of the world.

On the other hand, if we do have a soul, then Sic transit gloria mundi has a much deeper meaning. Our stay in this world is temporary. What we hold as worldly priorities are mere distractions from our true purpose: To prepare our souls for the Eternity.

So what is Eternity? Is it endless reincarnation from one earthen vessel into the next? In my eyes, this random 'time-loop' scenario would be as useless as not having a soul. Or, is Eternity the point at which we are finally reunified in the fellowship and presence of our Creator? This seems much more fulfilling to me.

Our temporal lives are mere vapor trails that will fade away as quickly as they were initiated. No one knows how long we have to live, so rather than over indulging in entertainment and mundane pass-times....instead, you should be asking your Creator what your path should be.

God forbid you enter Eternity unprepared. There is no guarantee of a second chance.

My Creator and savior is Jesus Christ. I believe He is the only way.

But more importantly, what do you believe? (rhetorical question)
edit on 26-4-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: Typos




posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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I think there probably is a soul - I don't know how anyone can be sure there isn't one.

I also think there are second chances because reincarnation makes sense to me.

I know there are a few vague lines from the bible that people use to support only one life but there are just as many vague ones that support reincarnation.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: Daughter2

Would you say reincarnation is an endless cycle? Or is there a final destination?



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

I would think there would be a final destination.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: Daughter2
a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

I would think there would be a final destination.


While I don't believe in reincarnation, that does make some sense to me. The question then becomes how many cycles of preparation are required before one is qualified to arrive at that Final Destination?

Are we never to know what exactly we are being prepared for? That's one of my objections.

These are all rhetorical questions that I'm sharing. I don't expect any answers for them.
edit on 26-4-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: grammar



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:22 PM
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a reply to: Daughter2

I also think there are second chances because reincarnation makes sense to me.

Makes sense, or satisfies your needs..? Big difference...

Not attacking you, or at least not trying to be a d!ck, but rather trying to push a conversation that should occur more often, as the topic deserves the attention: can humans separate critical thinking from belief?

I don't think so, but you may prove otherwise...




posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:29 PM
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originally posted by: BestinShow
a reply to: Daughter2

I also think there are second chances because reincarnation makes sense to me.

Makes sense, or satisfies your needs..? Big difference...

Not attacking you, or at least not trying to be a d!ck, but rather trying to push a conversation that should occur more often, as the topic deserves the attention: can humans separate critical thinking from belief?

I don't think so, but you may prove otherwise...



To take it a step further, the same standard applies to me and my faith. My faith is based on my own personal relationship and communication with God. I while I might be able to provide convincing arguments to support my belief, there is no way to prove that my beliefs are nothing or than a way to satisfy my needs. Though I will say that my spiritual needs are continuously fulfilled.
edit on 26-4-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: typos



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:41 PM
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That's no simple fact , that's just like your opinion man.

What if our bodies were immortal, what implications would that have. Would we be seeking death as opposed to eternal life. Suffering is a gift, for without it how could we polarize a greater will to live a much more meaningful life. The meaning of life is the meaning you put into it. Without a physical body you are just an observer, not a creator. Even if souls are real you forget everything upon reincarnation, perhaps to forget is the greatest gift. An immortal being will eventually come to know all that is and why it is so, sucking the wonder out of life.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:44 PM
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In the end, what you want to be true doesn't make it true. What seems like the most enjoyable outcome doesn't at all make that outcome viable. And aside from personal accounts, both reincarnation or life after death (via a soul or otherwise) have zero solid evidence (which means zero evidence).

From what we can observe in the universe, things die, never to return as they were. Individuals die. Species die. Stars die (so to speak). And yes, chemical reactions play a major role. If you want to call a regrouping of atoms reincarnation, have at it, but I'm going to guess that isn't what you are going for.

We, humans, have evolved to have consciousness. It helps us to survive. That is really all we know, that we seek to survive. That life seeks to survive. Having consciousness, recognizing that we are alive, and realizing that other people feel pain helps us to protect our own species, and other species as well through empathy (this being a very simplified statement). Consciousness exists in degrees in the animal kingdom as well. Some animals recognize that they exist and that they are alive as well... do they have what you'd call a soul? I'm not quite so narcissistic to think that the human consciousness is allowed to live on (as a 'soul') after death under some celestial dictatorship (which seems incredibly bold and specific to posit), while the consciousness that exists in other life forms just vanishes. If you don't believe that other conscious animals have souls then is it that much of a stretch to think that we don't either?

I understand the concern... the idea that it all means nothing, that in a few generations the work you've done, the connections you made, the love you've felt, it will not be remembered. It's humbling to admit that this is likely to be true. It was terribly tough for me to face up to at age 12 when I was with my grandfather when he died. But even if I won't even know I'm dead after I'm dead (just like before I was alive), I still have the drive to enjoy this life, to explore the world, to connect to other people and cultures, to share in love and depth, and to stand in awe of a universe that by any measure was not 'designed' for humans to live in.

Imagining a purpose into all of this also doesn't help the situation as then you are just searching to cherrypick those observations that confirm an already-made answer. Do I believe we/I have all the answers? Certainly notl. I can just admit what is most likely due to available evidence and refuse to inject a pre-fashioned outcome. In fact, I don't propose any end to all of this at all, there is no way to really know.
edit on 26-4-2016 by okrian because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-4-2016 by okrian because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:47 PM
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originally posted by: IntimateCat
That's no simple fact , that's just like your opinion man.

What if our bodies were immortal, what implications would that have. Would we be seeking death as opposed to eternal life. Suffering is a gift, for without it how could we polarize a greater will to live a much more meaningful life. The meaning of life is the meaning you put into it. Without a physical body you are just an observer, not a creator. Even if souls are real you forget everything upon reincarnation, perhaps to forget is the greatest gift. An immortal being will eventually come to know all that is and why it is so, sucking the wonder out of life.


Well if an immortal desired death, then he would simply be choosing another state of existence, unless you claim there is no soul.

What if its not reincarnation, but resurrection into immortality? And you don't for get what you learned, but instead you spend Eternity using your skills to guide those who learned less. In this case, Eternity would be a hierarchical system based on wisdom.

I don't think suffering is useless. Suffering reveals what true priorities should be.
edit on 26-4-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest


If humans have no eternal soul, then the simple fact is that all human life is WORTHLESS. It doesn't matter who you love, who loves you, or how you are remembered in the ages to come. Suffering is nothing more than a random consequence of existence, and there is no right or wrong. Bigotry, hatred, genocide, tyranny, these things are all just abstract expressions of neurochemistry. At some point life will end, and the human body will decay back into the earth, then the sun will explode and it will be over for humanity. What we are today will eventually be a memory that can no longer be called back to cognizance. Sic transit gloria mundi; Thus passes the glory of the world.

You would make a terrible atheist. Even those atheists who don't believe in spirituality, don't believe life is "WORTHLESS". Can you truly not see any value in your life whatsoever if there is no soul, no god, no religion? So if you found out tomorrow there was no god, you would go on a murderous rampage, because it would make no difference? You only value your life, and the lives of others because you believe god tells you to? That's really sad, priest. I value life as much or more now, than I did as a Christian.

Nevertheless, to answer your question. I don't know if we are a soul and/or spirit, or just a body. I suspect we continue on after the body expires, but I have no definitive evidence for that. It's just an intuition. Maybe our soul is simply our way of describing the essence of who we are in this life. Our personality, character, experiences, etc. I could get long-winded on this, but I won't. For me, the jury is still out on reincarnation. Too many variables, and other explanations.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:52 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

Honestly i would love to believe in the existence of souls but I just don't see any evidence of it. It would be nice to think there is more to life than this , it's comfortable to believe in reincartion or an afterlife. I think reincarnation makes more sense than one life and then judgement but neither of those theories have any solid evidence. Both camps have personal experiences to support each.

However I don't believe life is meaningless even if we don't have a soul. We still have this life. We still have the ability to make others lives better. We have this experience and every day we are given opportunities to make people smile if we choose.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

We are not physical bodies and brain chemistry we ARE soul not do we have a soul. I never understood why people call it 'having a soul'. You can't have what you are...it just IS your essence.

Also, some people remember their past lives. I remember many of mine which I have discussed in other threads on ATS. I don't have to guess. Past lives coupled with karma are what creates our opportunities and purpose in our current life. Taken as a whole life makes sense. It is our limited perspective that restricts our understanding.

People look at a tiny length of thread and can't see the tapestry that it came from. One life is insignificant. It is the totality of our experience that is important.
edit on 2016/4/26 by Metallicus because: eta



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

Well its been awhile friend. I was just revisiting this topic the other day. J.P. Moreland has some really good talks on youtube addressing this point.

Here is an excerpt from one of his writings that I think is beautifully thought out.




It may be that brain events cause mental events or vice versa (e.g., having certain electrical activity in the brain may cause me to experience a pain; having an intention to raise my arm may cause bodily events). It may be that certain mental functions depend on brain functions before they can take place, and vice versa. It may be that for every mental activity, a neurophysiologist can find a physical activity in the brain with which it is correlated. But just because A causes B (fire causes smoke), or A cannot function without B functioning, or A and B are constantly correlated with each other, that does not mean that A is identical to B. Something is trilateral if and only if it is triangular.But trilaterality (the property of having three sides) is not identical to triangularity (the property of having three angles), even though they are constantly conjoined. It is not enough to establish physicalism that mental states and brain states are causally related or constantly conjoined with each other in an embodied person. Physicalism needs identity to make its case, and if something is true, or possibly true of a mental substance, property, or event that is not true, or possibly true of a physical substance, property, or event, physicalism is false.


I believe those that take the position that we have no soul are stuck with the idea that the mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire. The brain is the cause of certain mental states as fire is the cause of smoke. If this were the case I would find it hard to justify trusting anything that is produced by the mind including the thought that the mind is caused by brain.

I also think these thought tie in nicely with the Moral Argument. Without the soul there is nothing about a human being that is intrinsically valuable they are simply complex bags of flesh chemically fizzing to the make up of their DNA. There would be no reason that increasing the flourishing of humans would be objectively better than killing all humans. Good post.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

That is very true. We don't have souls, as we ARE souls. But I believe I am a Soul which possesses a Spirit.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:13 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

I would be interested in hearing what you remember and why you think it is real. I would also agree that the word essence as defined in philosophy is close to what a soul is but I don't think they necessarily go hand in hand. Somethings essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make that thing fundamentally what it is, and without those things it wouldn't be what it is.

So if part of my essence was to be a soulless bag of flesh then by nature I could have an essence but no soul. Hopefully that makes sense.
edit on 26-4-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:17 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

Well its been awhile friend. I was just revisiting this topic the other day. J.P. Moreland has some really good talks on youtube addressing this point.

Here is an excerpt from one of his writings that I think is beautifully thought out.


I believe those that take the position that we have no soul are stuck with the idea that the mind is to the brain as smoke is to fire. The brain is the cause of certain mental states as fire is the cause of smoke. If this were the case I would find it hard to justify trusting anything that is produced by the mind including the thought that the mind is caused by brain.

I also think these thought tie in nicely with the Moral Argument. Without the soul there is nothing about a human being that is intrinsically valuable they are simply complex bags of flesh chemically fizzing to the make up of their DNA. There would be no reason that increasing the flourishing of humans would be objectively better than killing all humans. Good post.


On top of that, if there is no soul, then there is no free will. Our decisions would be dependent on an intricate set of environmental circumstances.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Joecanada11




However I don't believe life is meaningless even if we don't have a soul. We still have this life. We still have the ability to make others lives better. We have this experience and every day we are given opportunities to make people smile if we choose.


I believe the OP was talking about some form of ultimate purpose not a subjective one. Of course you can give the illusion of purpose but there is no way to define what ones purpose ought to be. Ought I strive to be Jack the Ripper or Mother Teresa ? In a souless world whatever I path I chose to live neither would be more meaningful than the other. I don't think that is the reality you perceive if we do indeed share an experience of an external world. In our world we find that in our moral experience moral obligations and duties impose themselves on us . They manifest as objective realities in this world.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest




On top of that, if there is no soul, then there is no free will. Our decisions would be dependent on an intricate set of environmental circumstances.


Completely agreed.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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a reply to: Klassified




You would make a terrible atheist. Even those atheists who don't believe in spirituality, don't believe life is "WORTHLESS". Can you truly not see any value in your life whatsoever if there is no soul, no god, no religion? So if you found out tomorrow there was no god, you would go on a murderous rampage, because it would make no difference? You only value your life, and the lives of others because you believe god tells you to? That's really sad, priest. I value life as much or more now, than I did as a Christian.


If I found out there was no God, then I would likely try to retain my same moral outlook.

However, I would still be convinced that I am a soul. If the absolute truth were that I am pure biochemistry (down to the last dying thought), then it would not matter what I did as my actions would be the result of my surrounding and internal biological environment.


edit on 26-4-2016 by BELIEVERpriest because: typos




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