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Old 05-24-06   #1
Elphie1992
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Question Soul?

A soul, some have defined to me as conciousness, do we really have one, I mean all of us? What a lot of people call conciousness to me is instinct, the movement in the gut towards; food, shelter, and life in general. The simple will to survive. A bird will feed and raise it's offspring not thinking about how all the lives must die, all that is will wither. (sob sob) We, in truth, are forgetable as a microscopic dot on the globe, or as a single leaf on the most green tree. So my question really is, what do you all believe is a soul, and what are your arguements, with or against, my thought?
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Old 05-25-06   #2
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I think that a soul is your personality. Its in everything you do, say, or think. I have a friend who thinks that the soul is her subconsious, and another that thinks she doesn't have a subconscience and that she runs on instinct. I can understand all of those views.
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Old 05-25-06   #3
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Humans dont have instincts(but thats another discussion).

To elphie, many would say there is no such thing as soul, so what is the point of defining it as something else like personality or, if u must, instinct. Soul is soul.

I could say that it is what goes to heaven after death therefore being you personality and everything that makes one who they are.
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Old 05-26-06   #4
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***THIS IS GONNA BE LONG...BUT SMOKE A CIG, DRINK A BEER, AND READ IT ANYWAY***

Awe yes, the soul.

There are many views concerning the "soul."

In short: the religious view, the philosophical view, the scientific view (for all you metaphysicists out there), and the theological view.

Let's break them down in order shall we?

RELIGIOUS VIEW

The word "soul" is used most frequently here...obviously. More or less, it's a very basic idea to understand, and yet most people don't fully grasp what it means. For those who follow the religious path, the "mind" or "consciousness/subconciousness" as has been declared, isn't really the key idea when one thinks of the "soul." Nor is it "personality" or the "essence" of one's being. Roughly put, it is that which is part of a higher-being. Thus all those theories of: you are God, God is in you, and yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

Personally, I find that view quite ignorant...not to say that they shouldn't believe in it or that I don't respect it (which I do only slightly), but I think it is void of reason...specifically when you look at the theological concepts (which I'll get to).


SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Science, for the most part, specifically physical sciences, don't really concern themselves with the soul. And if they have, I've never encountered it. But there is that branch of metaphysicists, and those of the physical sciences which declare and accept that there is an "existence" beyond the physical boundary, which are concerned with ideas of the soul. Or rather, to not sound too religious, the "metaphysical reality." Or, if you like, phenomena. What is ESP? What are ghosts? What is gravity?

To explain briefly, the metaphysical is a part of existence that isn't really physical. For example: gravity. We know it's there (or at least we think we do), we can comprehend what it does, we know where it exists (on physical bodies...such as planets, stars, etc.) and yet, we can't actually see it or truly locate IT per se. Yet, it does exist. Now, physical sciences say it's the earth spinning, the suns gravitational pull, magnetic fields, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Yet, metaphysicists don't necessarily buy that concept on its own. That's not to say they don't adhere to it, but they think outside the box. They think that gravity has a quality outside most physical objects. Like ghosts, it's almost something more. A ghost may be a collection of atoms or some other physical phenomena, but there still exists this phenomenal aspect of it outside physical reason. And that, ladies and germs, is the metaphysical plane.

Now, there are some metaphysicists (granted, mostly philosophers) who theorize that all of existence, as we know it, is truly nothing more than metaphysical. That cup doesn't exist! Only the apparition of it! We are all but a dream!

Fooey!


PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW

This is my area of expertise. Roughly put, the "soul"...take your pick! Countless philosophies have been questioning the soul. Pre-Socratic, Classic, Eastern, Medieval (theology), Modern, etc. etc. etc. I'm not going to cover them all, but I will give you the key players.

Rene Descartes, that french philosopher, who conjured up "cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am) is the founding father of modern philosopher. That one little phrase is what summed it all up. As you had stated Elphie, "consciousness" or "subconsciousness" is what is defined as the soul. It was Descartes view that the soul is nothing more than the mind. And for that matter, being that the soul and mind are metaphysical aspects, it is that which can only be granted existence by sentient thought. Picture this: a mermaid. Does it exist? Of course it does. Maybe not physically, but it nonetheless exists. But where? In your mind. Is the mind physical?

Sciences like to declare the mind as synapses firing, electric thinga-ma-jiggers going on in your brain. And yet, what is the mind? Why can't we really find it? Is the mind really the brain? Or is it more? From all those questions, there came about hundreds of theories. Dualism: the idea that the mind and body both exist, but are seperate (Descartes view). Substantial Dualism: the idea that the mind and body both exist, but are connected in some way. Epiphenomenalism: the idea that the mind exists, but only in as much as the body exists; and that it is more or less dependent on the other's existience, and possibly worthless...like, take for example, a shadow: a shadow only exists in as much as a physical object exists as well as a source of light; without said things, a shadow isn't possible; therefore, is the shadow really worthwhile of consideration? Behaviorism: a pyschological concept indeed, but has its roots in philosophy, which roughly declares that the mind is nothing more than physical inputs and yaddah, yaddah, yaddah...a flawed theory as well, which is why it was abandoned in both philosophy and pyschology. Metaphysicism: like stated earlier, a concept that declares only the "mind" exists and all things else are more or less like a movie, which we can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear. And the list goes on and on and on and on.

All in all, the idea of the "mind" being the "soul" is fairly justified, if even a crackpot theory; and it has been argued by philosophers over and over and over. Which is the right answer, who knows? But, as was Descartes' view: if I think, therefore I exist, then whatever I think, surely it too exists. Like the mermaid. I think of a mermaid, it exists! He used this argument to prove God's existence as well. I think of God, therefore God exists. A rather controversial argument, but in Descartes' defense, he used this argument to avoid crucifixtion. But the arguement still surfaces from time to time. Like in absurdism: the idea that all things have equal say, even things moot. For example: a Snappybonwalla exists because *POOF* I declared it so, and I can think of what a Snappybonwalla is! COUNTER-ARGUMENT: what really is a Snappybonwalla? Is it even worthwhile of consideration?

Other philosophical notions pertaining to the soul are much easier to grasp, and more sound in there theories. Eastern views consider the soul to be the "essence" of things, and quite possibly things-as-a-whole. This concept appears again and again in philosophy. You have "The Veil of Appearance" which was an idea of Hume's (a modern, Scottish philosopher). A rather intriguing concept. If I were to ask: "what is the moon?" what would you tell me? You could tell me all these physical facts about the moon: it has a mass of this and that, it's this big, located here, made of these elements, and yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. But you still haven't really told me what the moon is. What I want to know is: "what IS the moon?" Well, we don't know. For, to state it blantantly, we are not the moon. (Or, if you like a better example, "who are you Elphie?"...of everything you can tell me, I still don't truly know who you are...not like you do...because I am not you!) So, you have this aspect that there is a certain enigma about everything. Something beyond our empirical observations. Things that require a priori justifications. (TERMS: empiricism - data input through the five senses; a posteriori - knowledge input through empiricism; a priori - knowledge input through our own inner logic and reasoning.) So, what is the moon? We don't know, but through a priori reasoning, we can have a concept. We can almost grasp the moon's essence...almost, in as much as we can comprehend the moon has an essence.

And it is that philosophical view that still comes up. I'm a personal fan of German philospher Martin Heidegger (even if he was a nazi). He was obsessed with "Being" and the "Thing." He adhered to the concept of the veil of appearance, but he took it a step further. He wanted to know when a thing was a thing! And so, if I were to ask you, what is pen...and more specifically, when is a pen a pen, you'll find that Heidegger must have smoked a lot of ganja in his day!

WHEN IS A PEN A PEN?

Form 1. the pen in it's natural form; the pen being plastic, ink, metal, and all the other components in their natural form, unaltered by man.

Form 2. the pen as the concept; the pen as the pen-maker (or the corporation BIC) have thought of it. The pen in its metaphysical aspect.

Form 3. the pen in it's physical aspect. The pen as it has been created. A pen, amongst many pens, in a box.

Form 4. the pen doing what the pen does. The pen being used to write with.

So, when is a pen a pen?! The misconceived answer is Form 3. But the correct answer is Form 4. For, if I were to use a pen to stab something, then the pen never really met the criteria for its existence. The "essence" of the pen goes beyond its physical aspect. A pen used as a weapon doesn't fulfill the expectation, the "essence," of what it is to be a pen. And on that note, neither does it fulfill the expectation, the "essence," of what it is to be a weapon! The pen, sadly, is just a thing that exists, contrary to its essence. And yet, there is an essence that still exists! For, if you were to pick up a pen right now, it's truly its own thing! That pen, with many others identical to it, is still its own thing! That pen is that pen, while this pen is this pen, and that pen over there is that pen over there! All identical, yet all independent, and they are there own thing!

God I love that shit!


THEOLOGICAL VIEW

Theology is more or less a combination of philosophy and religion. It has its roots in medieval philosophy. And it's all over place. I'm really only knowledgable on St. Aquianas (specifically his "Questions on the Soul") and some of St. Augustine. But, I'll stick with St. Aquinas, because it's some rather trippy shit!

St. Aquinas was obsessed with physical sciences, their metaphysical relations, and of course religious ideals. And he came up with some interesting theories. Take the eye for example.

THE EYE: it's a physical object located on the human body, generally in the facial region, inside the eye socket, and is composed of an iris and a pupil and yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. The eye allows for sight. And yet, it is possible to have an eye and not have sight! So, what is sight?

SIGHT: it is that which allows for sense data, an input through the act of seeing, granted by the physical object known as the eye. And yet, sight isn't necessarily the eye! It is the "soul" of the eye! It is the transcendental aspect of the eye! Sight transcends the physical onject known as the eye! It is its metaphysical relation! Sight is the soul of the eye! So, what is the soul?

To be alive means to have a soul! To have a working eye requires the soul of it! Therefore, to be alive requires a soul. But where is it? It's obviously not in any specific body part, yet it's there! What is it? It's the transcendental aspect of the physical object known as the human body! Yet, does it differ? If this man has all working body parts, and that man doesn't, do their souls differ?

Aquianas doesn't really answer these questions in as much as he asks them. And they're intriguing questions. But, on a side note, Aquianas had a rather controversial view pertaining to the soul and the after-life. He, like Augustine, didn't really like the idea of "Heaven" or "Hell." Aquinas reasoned that when dead, there's no possible way to have sense data. Sight doesn't really work if there's no eye! So how can one have sight without an eye? It was Aquinas' view that the after-life must really suck! There's no way of knowing you're dead! No way of having any sense data, any a posteriori knowledge! WHAT KIND OF GOD WOULD DO THAT?! And how in the hell did Aquians earn the rank of Saint?! Go figure...



Anywho, there you have it. A rough sketch of many theories pertaining to the soul...and by no means are they the only ones. But, they are key players. I more or less agree with the philosophical views (obviously), but I also grant theology its reasoning and validity. I, more or less, think the "soul" is the "essence" of objects.
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Old 05-26-06   #5
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Wow, i had time to start reading it, answer a phone call, talk on the phone and read at the same time, finish my conversation and still not be done.. Haha.

Anyway, i think the word soul can have its own meaning, set apart from commonalities with other words that describe the human being, only in religion. The philosophical and theological definitions seem to branch from "soul" just existing and being an "easy way out explanation" that is seemingly backed by logic. Why does this happen the way it does? Well the soul, silly. But what is the soul? Well its the reason this happens, duh. Im not implying that some semblance of a soul exists in these two views but religiously it has more of its own definition. So, all in all, is a soul, just a soul that is there?

Yay for circular logic?
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Old 05-26-06   #6
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Well, the soul does exist in those two views...well, depending on your stance. I think you missed the point. The point is that most people, despite their perception, believe in an idea of the soul. But certain views don't like the connotation the word "soul" brings with it...for example, God and all that. How does one prove the soul without worrying about ideas pertaining to God? Well, interchange the word "soul" with "essence" or "mind" or any other metaphysical aspect of one's being.
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Old 05-26-06   #7
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Ok i guess i did miss the point, i see what your saying.

Elphie you there?
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Old 05-29-06   #8
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I know it's been a long time since I posted on this thread of mine. But I really just wanted to see some views, allowing my own to be seen. I've been thinking about it for a while, but I'm still very young, so I have more time to delve deeper within the thought. I see what you two are saying. And sixxx(sic)six your first one was so long my eyes must have cramped up reading it.
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Old 05-29-06   #9
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Or you're just lazy...
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Old 05-30-06   #10
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I'm not lazy. Thinking things completely and utterly through isn't usually what a 13 year old does.
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Old 05-30-06   #11
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You ask a question concerning a subject I'm thouroughly experienced in, then tell me "Well, I didn't bother reading your reply because it was long! And I'm young!"

Why ask questions if you don't want answers?
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Old 05-30-06   #12
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She didn't mean it like that...I know. She simply meant yours was a bit long. But she read it all. She's a bit young and just wanted some views don't get after her for saying that.
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Old 05-31-06   #13
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I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to Elphie. And if you thought I was "getting after her" with my reply, my oh my, welcome to DF. I'm one of the nice ones.

Besides, this person, who I'm assuming is your friend, can speak her own mind if she wishes. You don't have to defend her. And I'm not trying to "scare her away" or anything, I'm merely trying to have her involved in the discussion. She asked a question, I gave her a reply. Just waiting for her response...

She's young, and I'm assuming you're young as well, and I was once young too (still am relatively speaking). I understand that at that age, recognizing who you are in this world is a big factor in your life. You want to ask questions that not many will not answer appropriately. Well, this is a good place to ask those questions. Specifically in the philosophy section. Think about this, why is it philosophy isn't taught in highschools? Much easier to control someone when they can't think freely, now isn't it?

So by all means, don't let me deter you or scare you away...that is not my aim. I welcome all to the philosophy section because it's my personal little playground here, and philosophy is something I'm very well knowledgable in and a passion in my life.

So, welcomes and all that. Have anything to add to this discussion?
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Old 05-31-06   #14
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Sorry about the whole defending thing...and yes I am young. So thanks for any advice or such you give me anywhere...I'll take it.
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Old 06-01-06   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silentmessanger
Sorry about the whole defending thing...and yes I am young. So thanks for any advice or such you give me anywhere...I'll take it.
Here is some advice for you consider (Think about) very carefully any advice you are given. That consideration will 1. protect you and 2. perhaps allow you to think on your own.
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Old 06-01-06   #16
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lol

Spoken like a sage...
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Old 08-28-06   #17
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[quote=Faid;1531583]Humans dont have instincts(but thats another discussion).
quote]

yes...humans DO have instincts...your instincts tell you, " hey, I'm out late at night and a creepy car is pulling over, I should run!"
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Old 08-30-06   #18
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Sometimes when submerged in thoughts concerning the soul, I like to imagine an operating room, where a doctor demands scalpels, and scissors, and forceps, in an attempt to extract the human soul. The patient while undergoing the surgery, dies. The doctor undaunted, demands a new patient, who after the same procedure dies as well. After many failed attempts the doctor concludes that the soul only exists in children whom have retained some sort of innocent purity, beleiving the soul dies and rots into nothingness, after commiting it's first sin.
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Old 09-07-06   #19
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the soul?

for me the soul is an idea that represents the sum of the everything i am, have experienced, and feel inside. without my soul, i would be an animal, a piece of meat still capable of living but without feeling. note that i don't attribute thought or logic to the soul. thought and logic happen in the brain. sensory feeling happens in the brain. conscious, subconscious and irrational thought go on in the brain. no, what i'm talking about is the feeling you get when you are really in love, the feeling you get when you really hate someone, the feeling you get when you watch your child grow into a good person or into a loser who kills himself, the feelings you get from watching things that don't concern you, which someone without a soul would see and feel unmoved in any way. i know this is a pretty bad attempt at trying to give my idea of what a soul might be, but i think it is a real idea and is definitely something we all have
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Old 09-08-06   #20
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Thought happens in the brain eh?

Prove it...
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