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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Visser 5
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Visser 5 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:55 pm

"Therefore I have little control over my own beliefs, which topples the Free Will thesis."
"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."

I don't know. That sounds like BS to me.
I think there is free will, we each have the power to chose, even if some of those choices aren't the best, they are still our choices.
Your calling him wrong cause he's talking about predestination, but if there is no free will, then isn't it all predestination?
From what I can tell you are both saying that my life is pre-determined.
It's just a question if I'm just a bunch of chemical reactions that got their start in the big bang, or some kind of god gave us some kind of job to do, and at least TM says that we can choise not to do that job.
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Current » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:01 pm

OK, free will is the power to choose. Choose what? Can I choose to ignore gravity? No. Then, the choice must be limited in some ways.

Can I choose to believe in God? No. Trust me, I've tried. So, besides not choosing natural laws, I cannot choose the state of my mind. That's another limit of free will (or the same, from my perspective, but let's not get into that right now)

Can I choose which actions I'll perform? To an extent, that seems to be the case. It certainly appears that I am right now choosing to write this post. But what lies behind that choice?

Imagine a search algorithm running on a computer. I make certain inputs, and the algorithm returns results that match them. Could you say the algorithm chooses which results to hand me? Certainly, there are other results for other inputs, but given the same input, can the algorithm give me different results? Does it have free will?

If you answered yes above, then I have nothing left to say, besides that our definitions of free will don't match. If you answered no, though: Do you think the way your brain works allows it to give you different outputs given the same inputs? Why or why not? And if not, do you still think you have free will?
What is not the answer to this question?

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Wild Cowboy » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:36 pm

<A search algorithm has set guidelines that it uses to know what results to show for any imput.>
<As I understand such things, the more people click on the results that come up, the more the site, such as Google or Yahoo, knows that that site matches the input you gave it.>
<Then if someone else puts in the same input then the search will know that that one result seemed to match and it might get put higher up the next time.>
<To some extent your brain does the same thing, if you think about something a lot it gets easyer to think about it. However no matter what happens the search your brain does will never be the same from one time to the next.>
<Your mood and slight changes in the input and even resent searches that your mind has done, all change what outputs your mind comes up with.>
<That's not even talking bout will power.>
<I got will power. This computer here in front of me don't.>
<That's a huge diffrence.>
<I can tell the computer to go to any website I please.>
<The computer ain't never going to say "no way. I don't feel like going there today.">
<If it did, well. I'll freak out and deal with that if it ever comes up.>
<Anyone who can't see that diffrence needs to take a real good look in the mirror.>
<You ain't no computer. Sure some people might say that your brain just a more complex computer made out of diffrent stuff, but I say that's just a load of hog wash.>
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 Current » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:51 pm

Wild Cowboy wrote:<A search algorithm has set guidelines that it uses to know what results to show for any imput.>
<As I understand such things, the more people click on the results that come up, the more the site, such as Google or Yahoo, knows that that site matches the input you gave it.>
Minor point, but I said search algorithm, not search engine. (Search engines use search algorithms, but the same can be said for lots of other things)
<Then if someone else puts in the same input then the search will know that that one result seemed to match and it might get put higher up the next time.>
Then, if the entire history of inputs was the same, would the algorithm return different results?
<To some extent your brain does the same thing, if you think about something a lot it gets easyer to think about it. However no matter what happens the search your brain does will never be the same from one time to the next.>
Emphasis mine.
Here's when you deviate from the point. Once you assume change from time to time, you're assuming different initial conditions. To clarify what I meant, given exactly the same initial conditions, can the brain get different results?
<I got will power. This computer here in front of me don't.>
How is saying "I have will power" any different from saying "I have free will"? You're begging the question.
<You ain't no computer. Sure some people might say that your brain just a more complex computer made out of diffrent stuff, but I say that's just a load of hog wash.>
Why? In what way is the brain fundamentally different from a complex computer?
What is not the answer to this question?

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Luna May » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:35 pm

I agree to everything Current said, but would like to add a question myself: Asuming there is some kind of individual life force unrelated to the physical body and yet tethered to it in some way (the mechanism irrelevant at the moment), how do we know if there's any difference between that of one person to another? Or to a sparrow? Or a clump of moss?
Or, since we can't prove anything by material (sensory/equipment data) means, a signpost? A single molecule? A thought?

EDIT: Another thing. What if there's no ultimate, perfect answer? As in, say, Free Will varies accrding to circumstances, but on average people can control, I don't know, 20% of their actions. That's definitley something.
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Visser 5 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:29 pm

"how do we know if there's any difference between that of one person to another? Or to a sparrow? Or a clump of moss?"

Well, diff people can be very diff from each other, so if the soul is real, then yours must be very diff then mine, or that of any other peson.
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Luna May » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:40 am

Why is that so? Does the term 'soul', when connotations are removed, imply anything other than 'life force'?
Or are you suggesting each individual possesses a predetermined personality which is kept somewhere unrelated to their biological makeup?
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Visser 5 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:53 am

"a predetermined personality"

Well I'm not sure how the human brain works or anything, but it sure seems to me that some people seem to be better at sports or music or whatever that has nothing to do with biology.
I know this one girl, everyone in her family is good at music, so DNA and how she was raised says that she should be good at music.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, she can't sing, play any kind of insterment, and she isn't good at sports. But there are other things that she is good at.
She writes poams and draws great pictors, but she has always had low self esteem, cuz her family tells her that those things aren't important.
If we were to look at these things from the point of view of someone who thinks there is a god, then wouldn't these things, things that didn't come from DNA or how they were raised, come from whatever god is out there?
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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Current » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:08 am

Or, perhaps, "DNA and how you were raised" need not have a linearly obvious impact on skills. DNA doesn't make an individual their parents' clone, rather a mix of their DNA (plus a few mutations), which can have unexpected effects, more so in complex traits like "musical skill" which isn't governed by one or two genes. Two people with brown eyes can have a child with blue eyes, the genetic mechanism for that is well understood.

Similarly, you might be raised in a music-heavy environment, but that doesn't account for people who, say, react to that kind of environment by rejecting music. The single greatest predictor for skill at anything, art/sports/academic subjects, is how much time you spend practising that skill. If everyone in your family likes music, but you for any reason feel a motivation to go against your family, then you're going to dislike music and thus spend less time practising it. Or any number of other reasons that don't invoke non-physical processes. Unobserved, undescribed non-physical processes that posit no mechanism of action and make no predictions.
What is not the answer to this question?

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Re: Is the soul real?

Post by Visser 5 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:42 am

I'm not the smartest person to ever live, so I don't have all the aswers, but here is what Albert Einstein had to say about god, religion and the soul:

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
This looks like he is saying that some kind of god is out there.

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
"I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
"God is subtle but he is not malicious."
"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
That sounds like he is talking about a 'soul' to me.

"God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
"Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
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%.