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Thread: Where is the soul?

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Where is the soul?

    From a religious point of view, where do you think the soul fits in?

    Say that I am a car. The body is like a vehicle. There are automatic functions and there are functions that are under manual control. There are symptoms that can be traced to problems, and the problems fixed if the garage has the skills and the tools.

    The mind would be the driver. We can measure brain activity and connect it to bodily functions, we can see the driver operate certain controls and get physical results.

    Where's the soul?

    Is it like the voice on the radio? Something I may or may not hear, depending on my location. Something that may be loud or soft, or just static.

    Is it like my GPS? Trying to guide me down the highway, but not actually in control. So sometimes it will try to tell me 'turn right to avoid committing a felony in the downtown area,' then a few minutes later, "Recalculating" as it tries to guide me into doing the right thing to resolve the consequences.

    Is it like the stuffed dinosaur crouching fearfully on the dashboard? A witness to my actions, but without input to those actions, and thrown clear during any event that demolishes the car or the driver.
    There may be no meaning to this world, but that does not mean that what I do is meaningless.
    -Mark Lawrence

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    From a religious point of view, where do you think the soul fits in?

    Say that I am a car. The body is like a vehicle. There are automatic functions and there are functions that are under manual control. There are symptoms that can be traced to problems, and the problems fixed if the garage has the skills and the tools.

    The mind would be the driver. We can measure brain activity and connect it to bodily functions, we can see the driver operate certain controls and get physical results.

    Where's the soul?

    Is it like the voice on the radio? Something I may or may not hear, depending on my location. Something that may be loud or soft, or just static.

    Is it like my GPS? Trying to guide me down the highway, but not actually in control. So sometimes it will try to tell me 'turn right to avoid committing a felony in the downtown area,' then a few minutes later, "Recalculating" as it tries to guide me into doing the right thing to resolve the consequences.

    Is it like the stuffed dinosaur crouching fearfully on the dashboard? A witness to my actions, but without input to those actions, and thrown clear during any event that demolishes the car or the driver.
    The soul is more like the concept of the car, the organizing principke that makes a "car" a functional idea.

    This is how I think of it. There is no "religious concept of thd soul". Not all religious traditions believe in a soul, nor do those that do conform in any sense on the connection between soul and body. The West has been split for centuries between Greek trinary models and Persian dualism, resulting in regular paradoxes and inconsistencies familiar to any student of Abrahamic faiths.

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    Member couch_sloth's Avatar
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    Keith, do you believe in ghosts?

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    I think the soul is the logical conclusion of pre-materialist people when it appears to them that living things have a spiritual essence. We're more than a sum of our parts, kind of thing.

    Even to the post-materialist, logically we know we're all just atoms, and yet we genuinely care and feel affection for each other as if we were something more than just a bag of cells. You could still write an R&B song about someone's soul, even if you don't think it's a tangible, physical thing.

    Obviously, it actually existing has implications for religious beliefs, but I don't mind the idea as a concept.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    There is no "religious concept of thd soul". Not all religious traditions believe in a soul, nor do those that do conform in any sense on the connection between soul and body.
    by that qualifier, i hoped to avoid the discussion derailing into secular criticism of the concept.
    But a number of believers insist that the soul has influence, at least, in how i lives my life. Or that it is the source of thought (or emotion, or memory, or will, or poetry, or whstever) because they insist the three pounds of pink jello behind my eyes cannot possibly acvount for fill-in-the-blank. But then they cannot explain why the incorporeal force that grants me the power to, for example, make moral decisions, allows mevto pollute my bloodstream to the point where i decide to call my ex at 0334 and cry about why we never kissed upside down like Spider-man.

    Just wondering how various people here viewed it.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by couch_sloth View Post
    Keith, do you believe in ghosts?
    Yes.
    There may be no meaning to this world, but that does not mean that what I do is meaningless.
    -Mark Lawrence

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I think the soul is the logical conclusion of pre-materialist people...
    ::sigh::

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    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Your soul is an implant. It's what guarantees your otherworldly arrival via abduction upon death. Beware your alien afterlife for you are not of this pithy realm.

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