Is the soul real?

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Is the soul real?

Yes, and when we die GOD says if it goes to Heaven or Hell
5
36%
Yes, and when I die I will say if it goes to Heaven or Hell
0
No votes
Yes, and when we die its enegry becomes one with the universe
2
14%
No, when we die our body shuts down and we are just gone
7
50%
 
Total votes: 14

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:57 pm

From Forum games:
Re: Caption the avatar above you
by Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:51 am

I just can't get myself to believe there are souls. Or an afterlife, for that matter. I can accept life force, sure, but not as an autonimic force separated from the body. Besides there being no proof, what exactly would this power consist of, once deprived from sensory input, memory, feelings, and all other accomodations the body supplies?

From the other way round, if I accept souls in humans, there is no reason whatsoever to deny other mammals from the same right. And if they have it, why not birds? And then reptiles, amphibians, fish?


Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:55 pm
<Ok, lets talk about that for a moment. (Then move this to the religion area)>

<Not being GOD or having reached any significant level of enlightenment I can not tell you for sure how any of this stuff works, however I can do my best.>

<A 'life force' if I read this right is nothing more then the electro-chemical reactions that take place in the brain of a 'living' creature that make it different from a creature that is 'dead'.>

<Scientist say that matter/energy can not be created or destroyed.>
<If this is true then the 'soul' is like an organ made up of pure energy, when a living being that has a soul stops living, and becomes dead, that energy goes away from this Earth, possibly into an 'extra dimension' that exists beyond the 3 of space and one of time that most humans are familiar with.>

"Understanding the relationship between the brain and the mind is a challenging problem both philosophically and scientifically.[82] The most straightforward scientific evidence that there is a strong relationship between the physical brain matter and the mind is the impact physical alterations to the brain have on the mind, such as with traumatic brain injury and psychoactive drug use.[83]

The mind-body problem is one of the central issues in the history of philosophy,[84] which asks us to consider if the brain and the mind are identical, partially distinct, or related in some unknown way. There are three major schools of thought concerning the answer: dualism, materialism, and idealism. Dualism holds that the mind exists independently of the brain;[85] materialism holds that mental phenomena are identical to neuronal phenomena;[86] and idealism holds that only mental phenomena exist.[86]

In addition to the philosophical questions, the relationship between mind and brain involves a high number of scientific questions, including understanding the relationship between mental activity and brain activity, the exact mechanisms by which drugs influence cognition, and the neural correlates of consciousness.

Through most of history many philosophers found it inconceivable that cognition could be implemented by a physical substance such as brain tissue (that is neurons and synapses).[87] Philosophers such as Patricia Churchland posit that the drug-mind interaction is indicative of an intimate connection between the brain and the mind, not that the two are the same entity.[88] Descartes, who thought extensively about mind-brain relationships, found it possible to explain reflexes and other simple behaviors in mechanistic terms, although he did not believe that complex thought, and language in particular, could be explained by reference to the physical brain alone.[89]" -Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

<Perhaps the mind is nothing more then what happens when the brain and the soul interact?>

<It seems to me that ignoring all other input, belief in the soul would almost have to be linked to believe in some form of afterlife. Science has told us of many wonderful things, but most of these things can be broken down to the interactions between protons, electrons, and quarks, by way of gravity, electro-magnatisum and the strong and weak forces (the strong and weak forces only come into play when you are looking at things smaller then a hydrogen atom). To the best of our knowledge we know that none of these sub-atomic particals leave this world when a creature stops being 'alive', therefore there must be some other force or energy that makes up this soul if it is even real.>

<There is a belief that when a person dies they lose 21 grams.>
http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-ar ... 38373.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; says:
"Several years ago controversial studies were conducted that weighed people at the moment of death. Ruling out any known physical cause, it was found that people lost 21 grams of weight when they died. Evidence of the existence of a soul? Perhaps, but however one interprets the data from the studies, Scripture makes it clear that people are far more than flesh and bones
. It was of course Jesus who made the statement, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-ar" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... z0mFGK4Yen
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution"

<Now I do not know for sure if we lose 21 grams when we die, and if we do why that amount, and would that number be less for s smaller person?>

<What I can tell you is this: There are many people who believe in ghost. Some people say that ghosts are the souls of people who have passed on, others say they are demons (fallen angles) who are trying to hurt people, sometimes even by pretending to be the souls of the dead.>

<There is a question for you: If the soul is real, and if when you die you go to some kind of Heaven or some kind of Hell, then what greater way would there be for a demon to hurt you then to trick you into going to Hell when you think that you are going to Heaven?>

<I think it is safe to say that if angles, demons and the soul are all real, then they are all made out of the same stuff. Just as a bear, a crocodile and a Bald Eagle are made of the same stuff.>

Re: Caption the avatar above you

Postby Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:55 pm
Nice answer, TM. Which means you're getting bombarded by yet more questions. :P

<Scientist say that matter/energy can not be created or destroyed.>
<If this is true then the 'soul' is like an organ made up of pure energy, when a living being that has a soul stops living, and becomes dead, that energy goes away from this Earth, possibly into an 'extra dimension' that exists beyond the 3 of space and one of time that most humans are familiar with.>

I fail to see a connection between these two statements. Where is the evidence of another dimension at all?
I find it much more plausible that humans are afraid of death, so the looked for a way out to lessen their fear for their loved ones and themselves. 'Heaven\hell' concepts are relatively new when compared to the 'afterlife' concept, which we can see in Egyptian and Greek mythology, and is mostly neutral. I'm guessing that fear proved itself as a great stimulant, because religions were suing it all the time to get what they wanted. Hence 'Serve us and do what we say or be damned for all eternity', and all that.
Which reminds me of something: Say a person dies and goes to heaven. They were good and kind when alive, yes, but their goodness wasn't nothing outstanding. They chanced upon an opportunity to do something big that their religion deems 'good', and were rewarded with heaven. What does this mean?

And the Matrix question, of course: If the person stays the same when in heaven, their faith can detoriate and they an become 'evil'. If it is impossible to feel bad in heaven, then it is essentially an eternal 'Matrix reality' trapping souls for all of eternity, crossing out the concept of free will.
Maybe large parts of the stuff religons are made of is a decpption from God, who'se aiming for an ulterior motive. He's been known to lie before- right at the very beginning, in fact. In the introduction part of the story. "That fruit is mine, eat it and DIE!" *eats and doesn't die* "...How DARE you disobey me!" *munchmunchmunch* "Get out of my house *kick*"
Niiiiiice.

Another thing: Wouldn't this encourage mass suicide from believers, which would be ~bad~ for society and greedy people as one?

Re: Caption the avatar above you

Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:15 pm
"Say a person dies and goes to heaven. They were good and kind when alive, yes, but their goodness wasn't nothing outstanding. They chanced upon an opportunity to do something big that their religion deems 'good', and were rewarded with heaven. What does this mean?"

No soul is trapped in Heaven, everyone who goes to Heaven chose to go in the first place, so it is not like they are in prison, plus who would want to leave a place with no rent, no taxes, no sickness and no government officials

We do not stay the same when we get to Heaven, we are purified of all the sicknesses and problems.

Why would their faith deteriorate?
If every day you were given everything you could ever want, would not your faith in the one giving you these things increase?
This is why GOD gives us things on Earth, but only in small amounts, and then in slightly bigger amounts. Each time our faith gets bigger and bigger.

GOD did not lie when he said that we would die if we ate the forbidden fruit, GOD was talking about a spiritual death.

Re: Caption the avatar above you

Postby Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:37 pm
Surely people wouldn't want to move out of Heaven; I was thinking more in the direction of Eviction, i.e being kicked out because they were changing for the worse- being corrupted of sinful because of Heaven.

Aditionally, say there's a priest somewhere who was always very careful to evady the SDS (Seven Deadly Sins). Suddenly he's in Heaven, and he's allowed to do all that stuff. Wouldn't it have a serious impact on his character?
Oh, and why wouldn't people start sinning when they get to Heaven, seeing as their judgement period (lifetime) is over?

Re: Caption the avatar above you

Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:21 pm
Luke 19:1-27
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
The Parable of the Ten Minas
11While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a]'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'

14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'

15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'

17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'

19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'

20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'

22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'

24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'

25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'

26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Footnotes:

1. Luke 19:13 A mina was about three months' wages.

John 3:1-21
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]

Footnotes:

1. John 3:3 Or born from above; also in verse 7
2. John 3:6 Or but spirit
3. John 3:7 The Greek is plural.
4. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven
5. John 3:15 Or believes may have eternal life in him
6. John 3:16 Or his only begotten Son
7. John 3:18 Or God's only begotten Son
8. John 3:21 Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.

John 4:1-38
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."

17"I have no husband," she replied.

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"

28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."

32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"

34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

Footnotes:

1. John 4:9 Or do not use dishes Samaritans have used
2. John 4:29 Or Messiah

<I can understand why you would think I might want to kill myself and get to this perfect place sooner, however if I did that then you would not be there. GOD loves people and he wants as many as possable to be with him in Heaven.>
<If I stay just a few more years on Earth then I may be able to convince you to come with me to Heaven, and that would be twice as good as me going without you.>
<What if I told you that there was going to be a party, and everything was going to be great, all the right food and music and everything, but only 3 people would be there.>
<Would you go to that one, or to a party with less food and music and lots of people.>
<GOD has all things ready, he is just asking me to hand out the invites before I go to the party myself.>

<The cupcake is not invisible, however it is inside a tupperwear container.>
True education, true science, true religion is the search for truth.
Matthew 28:16-20, John 3:14-20

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Visser 5 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:41 am

katie310117 wrote:None of these options really work for me.
I don't believe there is any sort of afterlife, but I don't think there's some 'energy' our soul goes to. I sort of believe in a soul, in that I don't believe a the corpse of, say my uncle is really him because the important thing that made him human is gone, you know?
So if the soul is real but there is no after life then what happens to the soul after the body stops working?
Vote for me! I will fix everything, giving everyone health care, food, a home with high speed internet and a good paying job, & kill everyone who makes more then $1 million per year &give their money to the poorest 10%.

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Blu » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:29 am

T_M, i don't think anyone has the time to answer that WHOLE post lol

could you be a bit more blunt, because i have a life to live here

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Luna May » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:32 am

I'm sure I already replied to this.
Shei'hiye. <- Whatever.
Tobias_Marco wrote:From Forum games:
Re: Caption the avatar above you
by Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:51 am

I just can't get myself to believe there are souls. Or an afterlife, for that matter. I can accept life force, sure, but not as an autonimic force separated from the body. Besides there being no proof, what exactly would this power consist of, once deprived from sensory input, memory, feelings, and all other accomodations the body supplies?

From the other way round, if I accept souls in humans, there is no reason whatsoever to deny other mammals from the same right. And if they have it, why not birds? And then reptiles, amphibians, fish?


Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:55 pm
<Ok, lets talk about that for a moment. (Then move this to the religion area)>

<Not being GOD or having reached any significant level of enlightenment I can not tell you for sure how any of this stuff works, however I can do my best.>

<A 'life force' if I read this right is nothing more then the electro-chemical reactions that take place in the brain of a 'living' creature that make it different from a creature that is 'dead'.> Yup.

<Scientist say that matter/energy can not be created or destroyed.> Indeed.
<If this is true then the 'soul' is like an organ made up of pure energy, What does that have to do with energy equilibrium? I thought you just said the soul isn't a single entity per se, but a bunch of bio/electro-chemical reactions.when a living being that has a soul stops living, and becomes dead, that energy goes away Let's humor this notion and see where it goes.from this Earth Okay, that may have been the shortest humoring in the history of time. Seriously, what?, possibly into an 'extra dimension' Nope, that'd stump the oh-so-celebrated 2nd rule of Thermodynamics. Closed system. Not to mention the energy equilibrium you mentioned yourself as the very basis of your argument/hypothesis/claim/notion.that exists beyond the 3 of space and one of time that most humans are familiar with And which purpose would that serve?.>
As Blu said, this is a really long post, possibly too long for one sitting, and I have my Bagruts tomorrow morning, meaning I have to get going soon (as opposed to leaving a few hours ago, or else leaving the computer shut down today, as I should have).
So let's start with this, and do the rest once the exams are behind me.
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Zophar » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:55 am

here's the thing, for me at least. Think about the guy who lives a good life, then gets in his car one night and is blind sided by a drunk driver. Is the culmination of his life the death in a car accident? Or is it the family he created and so thus no longer needs to live? Or is there a next level on which he will be judged for his actions and rewarded appropriately?

To wonder about the reality of the soul is to question the point of existence itself, an act which we know is futile because the only people who experience more than the life part of existence are dead and can't comment. (I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because if we accept what they say as fact than this conversation is moot and there actually is an afterlife; I'd rather entertain the notion that there isn't.)

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Dr Sario » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:35 am

Zophar wrote:here's the thing, for me at least. Think about the guy who lives a good life, then gets in his car one night and is blind sided by a drunk driver. Is the culmination of his life the death in a car accident? Or is it the family he created and so thus no longer needs to live? Or is there a next level on which he will be judged for his actions and rewarded appropriately?

To wonder about the reality of the soul is to question the point of existence itself, an act which we know is futile because the only people who experience more than the life part of existence are dead and can't comment. (I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because if we accept what they say as fact than this conversation is moot and there actually is an afterlife; I'd rather entertain the notion that there isn't.)
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Zophar » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:53 pm

Dr Sario wrote: The purpoise of life is to find a porpoise purpoise to your life.
Heavy man. Heavy.

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Luna May » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:00 am

I knew it was a good desicion to save a backup of this post. *great sigh of relief*

Well, I'm still waiting for TM to answer my questions, but in the meantime, I'll adress the rest of his post.

EDIT: Wow, nine Word.doc pages. This is going to be long.
2ND EDIT: Here we go.
"Understanding the relationship between the brain and the mind is a challenging problem both philosophically and scientifically.[82] The most straightforward scientific evidence that there is a strong relationship between the physical brain matter and the mind is the impact physical alterations to the brain have on the mind, such as with traumatic brain injury and psychoactive drug use.[83]

The mind-body problem is one of the central issues in the history of philosophy,[84] which asks us to consider if the brain and the mind are identical, partially distinct, or related in some unknown way. There are three major schools of thought concerning the answer: dualism, materialism, and idealism. Dualism holds that the mind exists independently of the brain;[85] materialism holds that mental phenomena are identical to neuronal phenomena;[86] and idealism holds that only mental phenomena exist.[86]

In addition to the philosophical questions, the relationship between mind and brain involves a high number of scientific questions, including understanding the relationship between mental activity and brain activity, the exact mechanisms by which drugs influence cognition, and the neural correlates of consciousness.

Through most of history many philosophers found it inconceivable that cognition could be implemented by a physical substance such as brain tissue (that is neurons and synapses).[87] Philosophers such as Patricia Churchland posit that the drug-mind interaction is indicative of an intimate connection between the brain and the mind, not that the two are the same entity.[88] Descartes, who thought extensively about mind-brain relationships, found it possible to explain reflexes and other simple behaviors in mechanistic terms, although he did not believe that complex thought, and language in particular, could be explained by reference to the physical brain alone.[89]" -Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Okay, this is Wikipedia's say on the matter. Now it's theory-spinning time, I presume.
<Perhaps the mind is nothing more then what happens when the brain and the soul interact?>
The main theme of this whole thread is to discuss the existence of the soul, not the mind. You can't base your assumptions on the conclusion; that's a circular argument.
<It seems to me that ignoring all other input, belief in the soul would almost have to be linked to believe in some form of afterlife.>
Why is that?
<Science has told us of many wonderful things, but most of these things can be broken down to the interactions between protons, electrons, and quarks, by way of gravity, electro-magnatisum and the strong and weak forces (the strong and weak forces only come into play when you are looking at things smaller then a hydrogen atom). To the best of our knowledge we know that none of these sub-atomic particals leave this world when a creature stops being 'alive', therefore there must be some other force or energy that makes up this soul if it is even real.>
How did you get to this conclusion? Science discovered these phenomenons, it didn't create them. Without going into quantum physics, the scientific method is based on the assumption that identical situations render identical results, and that ignoring something won't make it cease to exist. To (counter-)quote Wikipedia,
Wiki wrote:Science (from Latin: scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the world and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories.[1] As knowledge has increased, some methods have proved more reliable than others, and today the scientific method is the standard for science. It includes the use of careful observation, experimentation, measurement, mathematics, and replication — to be considered a science, a body of knowledge must stand up to repeated testing by independent observers. The use of the scientific method to make new discoveries is called scientific research, and the people who carry out this research are called scientists.[2][3] This article focuses on science in the more restricted sense, what is sometimes called experimental science. Applied science, or engineering, is the practical application of scientific knowledge.

A scientific hypothesis is an educated guess about the nature of the universe, a scientific theory is a hypothesis which has been confirmed by repeated observation and measurement. Scientific theories are usually given mathematical form, and are always subject to refutation if future experiments contradict them.

In the modern world, scientific research is a major activity in all developed nations, and scientists are expected to publish their discoveries in refereed journals, scientific periodicals where referees check the facts in an article before it is published. Even after publication, new scientific ideas are not generally accepted until the work has been replicated.

Scientific literacy is the ability of the general population to understand the basic concepts related to science.
<There is a belief that when a person dies they lose 21 grams.>
http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-ar" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... 38373.html says:
"Several years ago controversial studies were conducted that weighed people at the moment of death. Ruling out any known physical cause, it was found that people lost 21 grams of weight when they died. Evidence of the existence of a soul? Perhaps, but however one interprets the data from the studies, Scripture makes it clear that people are far more than flesh and bones.
I would like to see these studies. I seem to recall reading about this a few months ago, under the title of 'hoax'. Note that this is a somewhat self-contradictory claim, since I recall you saying that souls are immaterial, and threfore, unless logically proven otherwise, should not 'weight' at all.
While we're at it, you can't look for conclusions that support a pre-existing theory. In other words, you can't jiggle specifically chosen 'evidence' around untill it fits your mindset, while ignoring the rest. Not if you want scientific validity.
It was of course Jesus who made the statement, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
What does this have to do with the discussion? Unless you are claiming that sinners lose their souls, and therefore do not lose 21 grams at death (which would be an interesting way of explaining failure when repeat the experiment...), then this quote is pointless. I'm notmentioning the theological implications this'd have, because I'm pretty sure this experiment was invalid anyways.
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-ar" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... z0mFGK4Yen
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution"
The link is broken.
<Now I do not know for sure if we lose 21 grams when we die, and if we do why that amount, and would that number be less for s smaller person?>
I have no idea. Get me a few dying people, let me hook them up to monitoring equipment, stick weight-reading pads under their beds (while checking the weight of the bed, the machinery and their clothes beforehand, naturally), and allow me to ruin their last living moments in isolation, and I'll be sure to get back to you.
Oh, and you'd have to wrap them up as soon as they died to prevent body fluids from escaping, as they usually do when a person loses muscle tone.
I'm sure the families would be thrilled.
<What I can tell you is this: There are many people who believe in ghost. Some people say that ghosts are the souls of people who have passed on, others say they are demons (fallen angles) who are trying to hurt people, sometimes even by pretending to be the souls of the dead.>
Some people believe that Jews have horns and forked tails. Some people believe 9/11 was a CIA conspiracy. Some people believe in Nessie the Loch Ness monster. Some people believe crop circles were made by aliens. Your point?
<There is a question for you: If the soul is real, and if when you die you go to some kind of Heaven or some kind of Hell, then what greater way would there be for a demon to hurt you then to trick you into going to Hell when you think that you are going to Heaven?>
That's a big if, bearing in mind that we still haven't established the soul's existence at all, much less the validity of concepts such as 'Heaven' and 'Hell', and all that without stopping to question the origins of said myths (untill proven otherwise) and their implications on our culture, which in turn has a great impact on us as individuals. But that's a whole different discussion, which I'll be glad to adress elsewhere.
<I think it is safe to say that if angles, demons and the soul are all real, then they are all made out of the same stuff. Just as a bear, a crocodile and a Bald Eagle are made of the same stuff.>
...Huh?
Seriously, what the hell?
Re: Caption the avatar above you
Ooh, I remember that discussion. :lol:
TM wrote:
Luna wrote:
TM wrote:
Luna wrote:Postby Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:55 pm
Nice answer, TM. Which means you're getting bombarded by yet more questions. :P

<Scientist say that matter/energy can not be created or destroyed.>
<If this is true then the 'soul' is like an organ made up of pure energy, when a living being that has a soul stops living, and becomes dead, that energy goes away from this Earth, possibly into an 'extra dimension' that exists beyond the 3 of space and one of time that most humans are familiar with.>

I fail to see a connection between these two statements. Where is the evidence of another dimension at all?
I find it much more plausible that humans are afraid of death, so the looked for a way out to lessen their fear for their loved ones and themselves. 'Heaven\hell' concepts are relatively new when compared to the 'afterlife' concept, which we can see in Egyptian and Greek mythology, and is mostly neutral. I'm guessing that fear proved itself as a great stimulant, because religions were suing it all the time to get what they wanted. Hence 'Serve us and do what we say or be damned for all eternity', and all that.
Which reminds me of something: Say a person dies and goes to heaven. They were good and kind when alive, yes, but their goodness wasn't nothing outstanding. They chanced upon an opportunity to do something big that their religion deems 'good', and were rewarded with heaven. What does this mean?

And the Matrix question, of course: If the person stays the same when in heaven, their faith can detoriate and they an become 'evil'. If it is impossible to feel bad in heaven, then it is essentially an eternal 'Matrix reality' trapping souls for all of eternity, crossing out the concept of free will.
Maybe large parts of the stuff religons are made of is a decpption from God, who'se aiming for an ulterior motive. He's been known to lie before- right at the very beginning, in fact. In the introduction part of the story. "That fruit is mine, eat it and DIE!" *eats and doesn't die* "...How DARE you disobey me!" *munchmunchmunch* "Get out of my house *kick*"
Niiiiiice.

Another thing: Wouldn't this encourage mass suicide from believers, which would be ~bad~ for society and greedy people as one?
Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:15 pm
"Say a person dies and goes to heaven. They were good and kind when alive, yes, but their goodness wasn't nothing outstanding. They chanced upon an opportunity to do something big that their religion deems 'good', and were rewarded with heaven. What does this mean?"

No soul is trapped in Heaven, everyone who goes to Heaven chose to go in the first place, so it is not like they are in prison, plus who would want to leave a place with no rent, no taxes, no sickness and no government officials

We do not stay the same when we get to Heaven, we are purified of all the sicknesses and problems.

Why would their faith deteriorate?
If every day you were given everything you could ever want, would not your faith in the one giving you these things increase?
This is why GOD gives us things on Earth, but only in small amounts, and then in slightly bigger amounts. Each time our faith gets bigger and bigger.

GOD did not lie when he said that we would die if we ate the forbidden fruit, GOD was talking about a spiritual death.
Postby Luna May » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:37 pm
Surely people wouldn't want to move out of Heaven; I was thinking more in the direction of Eviction, i.e being kicked out because they were changing for the worse- being corrupted of sinful because of Heaven.

Aditionally, say there's a priest somewhere who was always very careful to evady the SDS (Seven Deadly Sins). Suddenly he's in Heaven, and he's allowed to do all that stuff. Wouldn't it have a serious impact on his character?
Oh, and why wouldn't people start sinning when they get to Heaven, seeing as their judgement period (lifetime) is over?
Postby Tobias_Marco » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:21 pm
Luke 19:1-27
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "

8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
The Parable of the Ten Minas
11While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a]'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'

14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'

15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'

17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'

19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'

20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'

22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'

24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'

25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'

26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Footnotes:

1. Luke 19:13 A mina was about three months' wages.

John 3:1-21
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]"

4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit [ b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]

Footnotes:

1. John 3:3 Or born from above; also in verse 7
2. John 3:6 Or but spirit
3. John 3:7 The Greek is plural.
4. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven
5. John 3:15 Or believes may have eternal life in him
6. John 3:16 Or his only begotten Son
7. John 3:18 Or God's only begotten Son
8. John 3:21 Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.

John 4:1-38
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."

17"I have no husband," she replied.

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"

28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ [ b]?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."

32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."

33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"

34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

Footnotes:

1. John 4:9 Or do not use dishes Samaritans have used
2. John 4:29 Or Messiah
I'm fairly sure I've made it quite clear that scriptures quotes don't hold water as far as evidence goes, as charming as they may be. I have no problem with you basing your opinions on them, but only as a basis, not as a seemingly complete argument. I'd appreciate it if you would explain what these old snippets of text mean to you, and how they support your side of the discussion. Throwing a few pages of archaic writing in front of me and expecting me to accept them as an answer is little more than avoiding answering yourself, and sadly much less efficient, since I don't value their credibility or meaningfulness anyways.

<I can understand why you would think I might want to kill myself and get to this perfect place sooner, however if I did that then you would not be there.>
Assuming the church's claims have alswys been pure and solely beneficial for the believers, and not, let's say, meant to prevent mass suicides and 'justified' murders. But let's humor this train of thought for the sake of the argument- why wouldn't I be there?
<GOD loves people and he wants as many as possible to be with him in Heaven.>
Then why not send them on a default track to Heaven and be done with it?
<If I stay just a few more years on Earth then I may be able to convince you to come with me to Heaven, and that would be twice as good as me going without you.>
And then again, you may not be able to convince me, which'd imply you lived in vain. So wait, the sole reason of your existence is to get others to worship in a deity they don't believe in, while having no proof that it is any more real than their own? If your deity is all-knowing, and it knows you will fail, then why bother? And while we're at it, why not implant belief in him into those it wants as its followers, if it matters so much to him? Why does believing in the deity make you better than a non-believer? Is a church-goer who commits a crime that is both legally and morally frowned upon, such as rape, any better than an Atheist who does the same? Why do infants die from SIDS (crib death)?
These are all just from the top of my head.

Oh damn, I made a list of this kind of questions for you a long time ago. Where are they?
I'll search for them over the weekend. You'll know if I find them.

<What if I told you that there was going to be a party, and everything was going to be great, all the right food and music and everything, but only 3 people would be there.>
Oh joy, the incomplete allegory, TM's well-meaning-yet-oh-so-infuriating signature move.
<Would you go to that one, or to a party with less food and music and lots of people.>
I'd ask you how come you knew there was going to be a party, who's party it was, why did said person who I don't know invite me, where it was, who the rest of the crowd were, the from-when-to-when, what the celebration was about, and why the hell the organizer doesn't invite me directly and fill me in on these obviously missing pieces of information him/herself. I'd also ask him/her how come their party was kept so secret and word-of-mouth-ish if they wanted the maximum amount of people to arrive. Seems suspicious to me. Do they have something to hide? Are they mute? Are they out of invitation leaflets or something?
<GOD has all things ready, he is just asking me to hand out the invites before I go to the party myself.>
Why not tell him to stop piggybacking you and hend out his damn invitations himself? He has the best party in the history of time going on at his place, and people still don't give a hoot. So much for an omnipotent deity of infinite wisdom. I guess not being able to convince people that you exist isn't that much of a head start as an ice-breaker.

<The cupcake is not invisible, however it is inside a tupperwear container.>
Well, that came right out of the blue. I understand the point you're trying to get across (a cupcake is delicious and desirable, a container hides it from those who crave it, phasing through the container will grant you the cupcake in all it's perfection and everlasting glory), but what does it have to do with anything? If you want people to get a cupcake, and you have every container in existence, why put it in an opaque one? As a matter of fact, if this cupcake is so perfect and unspoilable and faultless and whatnot, why cover it up at all? Even if people do believe in the cupcake, other cupcake-masters could very well tell them that it is hidden behind the teacup, or under the couch, and it would be just as credible. Heck, it may as well have been eaten by a badger. If you want people to have a cupcake, just give it to them, don't play hide and seek with it. And be sure to check they don't have wheat allergy.

I think that sums it up nicely.
Thanks for reading this far.
I have a little brother who has been waiting for the computer for a long time, and his patience has been used up long ago. That's my cue to get going.
Later. :D
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Wild Cowboy » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:26 am

Zophar wrote:here's the thing, for me at least. Think about the guy who lives a good life, then gets in his car one night and is blind sided by a drunk driver. Is the culmination of his life the death in a car accident? Or is it the family he created and so thus no longer needs to live? Or is there a next level on which he will be judged for his actions and rewarded appropriately?

To wonder about the reality of the soul is to question the point of existence itself, an act which we know is futile because the only people who experience more than the life part of existence are dead and can't comment. (I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because if we accept what they say as fact than this conversation is moot and there actually is an afterlife; I'd rather entertain the notion that there isn't.)
<So you are ignoring the only group of people who could say one way or the other.>
<Nice. Real nice.>
<That makes you the dumbest person alive.>
<I was thinking you were going to say "(I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because there aren't any alive to ask any more.)">
<I can understand why you would think I might want to kill myself and get to this perfect place sooner, however if I did that then you would not be there.>

Assuming the church's claims have alswys been pure and solely beneficial for the believers, and not, let's say, meant to prevent mass suicides and 'justified' murders. But let's humor this train of thought for the sake of the argument- why wouldn't I be there?

<GOD loves people and he wants as many as possible to be with him in Heaven.>

Then why not send them on a default track to Heaven and be done with it?

<If I stay just a few more years on Earth then I may be able to convince you to come with me to Heaven, and that would be twice as good as me going without you.>

And then again, you may not be able to convince me, which'd imply you lived in vain.
<Because by not believing what the New Testament says about Jesus you are turning your back on God and running away from him/her.>
<If God were to bring you to Heaven when you died it would be like taking away your free will.>
<Therefore Christians are called to stay on earth as long as we can so that we can teach others what God has to tell them.>
<None of this is in vain if I help the seed of God's word grow in the heart and mind of at least a few people.>
<Maybe you do not believe, but someone out there will. Then what we do here will matter.>
And while we're at it, why not implant belief in him into those it wants as its followers, if it matters so much to him? Why does believing in the deity make you better than a non-believer? Is a church-goer who commits a crime that is both legally and morally frowned upon, such as rape, any better than an Atheist who does the same? Why do infants die from SIDS (crib death)?
<I have always thought that most babies die from SIDS to spare them pain on earth.>
<As for implanting beliefs, do you really think that you would have free will if you HAD to believe in god?>
Oh joy, the incomplete allegory, TM's well-meaning-yet-oh-so-infuriating signature move.
<Well, at least we can always count on him for somethings.>
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Luna May » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:14 am

Wild Cowboy wrote:
Zophar wrote:here's the thing, for me at least. Think about the guy who lives a good life, then gets in his car one night and is blind sided by a drunk driver. Is the culmination of his life the death in a car accident? Or is it the family he created and so thus no longer needs to live? Or is there a next level on which he will be judged for his actions and rewarded appropriately?

To wonder about the reality of the soul is to question the point of existence itself, an act which we know is futile because the only people who experience more than the life part of existence are dead and can't comment. (I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because if we accept what they say as fact than this conversation is moot and there actually is an afterlife; I'd rather entertain the notion that there isn't.)
<So you are ignoring the only group of people who could say one way or the other.>
<Nice. Real nice.>
<That makes you the dumbest person alive.>
<I was thinking you were going to say "(I'm not counting those who have died and been resuscitated because there aren't any alive to ask any more.)">
I didn't quite understand Zophar's argument, so I'll reffrain from commenting about it.
<I can understand why you would think I might want to kill myself and get to this perfect place sooner, however if I did that then you would not be there.>

Assuming the church's claims have alswys been pure and solely beneficial for the believers, and not, let's say, meant to prevent mass suicides and 'justified' murders. But let's humor this train of thought for the sake of the argument- why wouldn't I be there?

<GOD loves people and he wants as many as possible to be with him in Heaven.>

Then why not send them on a default track to Heaven and be done with it?

<If I stay just a few more years on Earth then I may be able to convince you to come with me to Heaven, and that would be twice as good as me going without you.>

And then again, you may not be able to convince me, which'd imply you lived in vain.
<Because by not believing what the New Testament says about Jesus you are turning your back on God and running away from him/her.>
BS. I was born into another religion, and I didn't recieve the enviromental nurturing that leads to belief in the Christian faith. Therefore I have little control over my own beliefs, which topples the Free Will thesis.
<If God were to bring you to Heaven when you died it would be like taking away your free will.>
Oh please.
You made a parent/child analogy once, right? Well, I'm going to use it here. Say you have a little kid and they want to stick their finger into an electrical socket. Will grabbing them and stopping them from doing it count as a violation of their free will, or as acting for their own benefit in ways they just can't understand yet? Protecting them from the painful outcomes of their actions because they can't quite grasp them yet?Same deal. The funny thing is, I seem to recall this argument being made to explain why the Bible forbids people to do things that provide a feeling of well-being ranging from instant gratification to long-term joy.
Double standard much?
<Therefore Christians are called to stay on earth as long as we can so that we can teach others what God has to tell them.>
Oh, so your life doesn't even belong to you. You're saying you were dished out a goal before your own birth and now you have to achieve it. Predestination pwns free will.
Not to mention all those Christians who die before accomplishing anything of the sort. Kids die in car crashes every day. *shrug*
<None of this is in vain if I help the seed of God's word grow in the heart and mind of at least a few people.>
What're you, his gardener? It's His problem, why doesn't He do it?
<Maybe you do not believe, but someone out there will. Then what we do here will matter.>
What if it doesn't? Your claim doesn't hold water simply because it's extremely hard, if not virtually impossible to prove.
And while we're at it, why not implant belief in him into those it wants as its followers, if it matters so much to him? Why does believing in the deity make you better than a non-believer? Is a church-goer who commits a crime that is both legally and morally frowned upon, such as rape, any better than an Atheist who does the same? Why do infants die from SIDS (crib death)?
<I have always thought that most babies die from SIDS to spare them pain on earth.>
Aha, the same can apply to abortion. :roll2:
<As for implanting beliefs, do you really think that you would have free will if you HAD to believe in god?>
There IS no true free will anyways. And if it made my life better, then why would it MATTER? Surely believing in God is sopposed to be a good thing, and heresy is supposed to be bad, so...?

Oh, and please answer the other questions as well.
Oh joy, the incomplete allegory, TM's well-meaning-yet-oh-so-infuriating signature move.
<Well, at least we can always count on him for somethings.>
True, true. :D
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*hi fives Blu*

Isn't quite sure how I feel about anything at the moment.