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The Soul of an Amnesiac. (Thought Experiment)

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posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 12:34 AM

The Soul of an Amnesiac

This is a thought experiment.

Imagine yourself a person who awakes in a deep forest. You are without memory save for you remember you used to be able to talk and read. You remember you can read confidently and can grasp basic grammar but don’t quite remember all the words of your language.

Now imagine that all you have in your possession is the Oxford dictionary which you remember is a catalogue of words and their meanings. Out of curiosity you look through it to perhaps discover a word that may be of importance which still eludes the mind, and finally you come across one that piques your interest:

soul |sōl|
1 the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

You understood the definition yet wasn't quite sure what it pertained to. But of course the definition had such amazing implications that you just had to find out what your soul was.

What would you do to discover what your soul was?

What would be your conclusion?

edit on 15-12-2012 by NiNjABackflip because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 01:46 AM
If all you've got is the OED, then about the only thing you could do is follow the word "spiritual." I don't have a subscription for the OED, but I found a partial definition for "religion," which I suspect I would eventually come to.

Recognition on the part of man of some higher unseen power as having control of his destiny, and as being entitled to obedience, reverence, and worship; the general mental and moral attitude resulting from this belief, with reference to its effect upon the individual or the community; personal or general acceptance of this feeling as a standard of spiritual and practical life.
But really, what else can you do, except follow the definitions back, then build a religious philosophy which would include "soul?" Then I suppose you could take what you've learned and try prayer and self-examination.

But maybe I'm missing your point.

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:57 AM
reply to post by charles1952

Good answer. The point is I'm trying to figure out how someone can define a soul without the preconceived notions of what a soul is. How did the inventors of the soul find it? If we were to lose all knowledge, would we come up with the same definitions as they did?

Maybe the thought experiment is impossible, and therefore, so is the conception of the soul. I could be missing something though.

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 06:55 PM
reply to post by NiNjABackflip

Dear NiNjABackflip,

If you let me have a little more latitude, I have a rough idea of how our concept of "soul" came about.

For me the key would be "reason," a step by step chain of questions and conclusions. I'm a little too lazy (and ignorant) to describe it as it occurred, but I think the followers of most ancient and modern religions asked if God existed, if eternity existed, if God was just and rewarded good and punished evil, if, since good isn't always rewarded in this life was it rewarded later, what part of us would receive the reward, and so on, until the existence of a soul was shown on logical principles.

Could I have thought through that sitting in the woods, being eaten by mosquitoes? Not a chance, but I think that's what happened.

With respect,

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