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The Soul and The Brain
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29 / M / In a field of leeks
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Posted 6/25/11

I know there are a lot of people out there who believe that souls exist. To be more exact that humans have an eternal/immortal soul. The "fact" that the human soul can be saved or damned is at the very heart of christian teachings and is quite possibly more important than god is when concerning the successful spread of christianity. Here is some more info on the eternal soul http://www.gotquestions.org/human-soul-mortal-immortal.html Although I'm just going into slight detail about the christian belief of what the soul is many other successful religions have the concept of being saved and being immortal/eternal in some way.


Now onto the Question:


If the soul is immortal/eternal then why can the physical condition of the human brain erase or alter the essence of who an individual is?

I'm sure that we have all seen this in some way, whether it be in a book or movie, a relative with a degenerative condition(such as alzheimer's), or more unfortunately experienced it first hand (such as severe head trauma, brain surgery, and other horrible things). So if a living brain can experience injury in some way shape or form and effect the memories and essence of a person even erasing who that person was then isn't it safe to assume that when the brain dies the memories and essence die with it? And if the memories and essence of who someone is can be seperated and lost before death then they are seperate from the soul and not eternal. Therefore, what is the point of believing in a god if you won't be you anymore when you die?

I don't believe god exists or a "higher power" exists and I don't understand the point of trying to prove or disprove god. I do however believe there is some fun in disproving keystones of a religion since there is evidence that you and your soul (if you believe in such a thing) aren't connected what is the point when that is a key principle of what your religion is based upon? (if you are a member of the christian faith)
Posted 6/25/11
Well as far as im concern Cristians even thou they believe in eternal essence they dont really c any use to it unlike the Indian believes.....since u are going to heaven or hell then u basically shouldn't require so much memories anyways is only a matter of the laws of a God functioning whats all about...idk......
Posted 6/25/11
I think this thread should be posted in the "Extended Discussion" forum section

But I'd have to agree with you from your stand point. Being a scientist through and through, I don't believe there is such a thing as a soul in the sense most religions put it, as there is no scientific evidence that points to this conclusion. My belief is if it can't be proved, then it is either questionable or it doesn't exist, and it is at least not a definite fact until it is proved
I view the soul as more the collective idea of a person's memories, experiences, genes etc. which create the person's personality. I think that is a more logical and modern view of the soul
Posted 6/25/11 , edited 6/25/11
supposedly your soul should be the blueprint of your unique identity... so probably the problem here is actually that we expect way more of our shitty evolution than we have develop yet....there is so much creation ahead that nobody know what could we be capable in the future probably is only a matter of time for us to solve our illnesses issues and the like.....nobody is sayin God is strictly a religious term right?
Now if u want to experience spiritual stuff personalty you can go and try some drugs wit shamans from peyote to salvia divinorum u should be hitting somethin reveling by then LOL
Posted 6/25/11
All of our consciousness, memory, and cognizance is because of our physical brains. The soul is merely an idea.
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29 / M / In a field of leeks
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Posted 6/25/11

The_Roy_42 wrote:

I think this thread should be posted in the "Extended Discussion" forum section



Whoops. I agree, I didn't even realize that section existed since there was some other religious thread in this section
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Posted 6/25/11
Correct me if I am wrong but the OP's question implies that the soul, for Christians, is static. Unless I misunderstand their concepts of sin, grace, and redemption, I have to say that their concept of the soul is dynamic. And if the soul is dynamic why would it changing (assuming that it actually is changed) because of brain trauma, Alzheimer's, or surgery be an issue?
Posted 6/26/11
Your soul is attached to your body, like a vessel
Ppl with alziehmers cant remember much---why? cuz the body has problems.
People on life support are totally fine but sometimes they never wake up--why? because your soul isnt there
your soul is you & you have a will that at LEAST manages the voluntary muscles in ur body

or something like that D:

and technically you can live without memories ;D haw hawww
like my grandpa ;D
we had to introduce ourselves every morning=P
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29 / M / In a field of leeks
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Posted 6/26/11

Kid_Gloves wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong but the OP's question implies that the soul, for Christians, is static. Unless I misunderstand their concepts of sin, grace, and redemption, I have to say that their concept of the soul is dynamic. And if the soul is dynamic why would it changing (assuming that it actually is changed) because of brain trauma, Alzheimer's, or surgery be an issue?


I think you are missing the point. Lets say just for the sake of argument the Christian concept of the soul is eternal and "dynamic." Then if you take and kill part of the brain and the soul changes because it is "dynamic" and eternal then you can and will lose who you are when you die (since the brain dies) and if you lose memories of your sins and such it sort of defeats the purpose of a soul being saved or damned.

Anyways the Christian concept of the soul isn't dynamic in the fact that it is said to be immortal/eternal with a beginning and no end then it needs to be separate from the memories and sense of self which are finite. So if you have a bunch of souls with no memory of what they did to be damned then how can christianity make any sense? The whole point of sin, grace, and redemption is you do things that you remember and can reflect upon and feel a variety of positve and negative emotions about a ideally learn and repent from your sins.


lce_Cubet25 wrote:

and technically you can live without memories ;D haw hawww


I'm not going to respond in any depth to the first part of what you said. I'll just address a key misunderstanding in the quote I selected above.

You can't live without memories, since every fraction of second that passes is in fact a memory. With alzheimer's you can still retain basic functions and certain memories and continue to survive. If your going to respond and say something such as " well the body and mind can continue it's basic functions without memories " don't, because if you think about it there is really no point in arguing about that.
Posted 6/26/11

Centrallia wrote:


Kid_Gloves wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong but the OP's question implies that the soul, for Christians, is static. Unless I misunderstand their concepts of sin, grace, and redemption, I have to say that their concept of the soul is dynamic. And if the soul is dynamic why would it changing (assuming that it actually is changed) because of brain trauma, Alzheimer's, or surgery be an issue?


I think you are missing the point. Lets say just for the sake of argument the Christian concept of the soul is eternal and "dynamic." Then if you take and kill part of the brain and the soul changes because it is "dynamic" and eternal then you can and will lose who you are when you die (since the brain dies) and if you lose memories of your sins and such it sort of defeats the purpose of a soul being saved or damned.

Anyways the Christian concept of the soul isn't dynamic in the fact that it is said to be immortal/eternal with a beginning and no end then it needs to be separate from the memories and sense of self which are finite. So if you have a bunch of souls with no memory of what they did to be damned then how can christianity make any sense? The whole point of sin, grace, and redemption is you do things that you remember and can reflect upon and feel a variety of positve and negative emotions about a ideally learn and repent from your sins.


lce_Cubet25 wrote:

and technically you can live without memories ;D haw hawww


I'm not going to respond in any depth to the first part of what you said. I'll just address a key misunderstanding in the quote I selected above.

You can't live without memories, since every fraction of second that passes is in fact a memory. With alzheimer's you can still retain basic functions and certain memories and continue to survive. If your going to respond and say something such as " well the body and mind can continue it's basic functions without memories " don't, because if you think about it there is really no point in arguing about that.


Well there wont be any reason arguing because its true.
Like I said a body is just a body----and second if its not retaining any sort of memory its seriously messed up =.=
but anyways the soul is basically supposed to be YOU,
and with ur body u experience stuff and that helps you grow and evovle
but if ur body is defected duh its gonna effect ur growth and stuff
like i probably know what its like to jump on a trampoline
but someone with polio doesnt

Thats how ur body affects who u are =.=


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Posted 6/26/11
I think the conversation about memories is a bit besides the point. Neuroscientists don't really know yet how memory is physically manifested in the brain. On the subject of 'the soul', it's a bit silly to talk about given how amorphous our definition of the term seems to be. I, as a Christian (although I don't claim to know all the 'christian' answers) would say that the soul may be best defined as the foundation and basis of our free will. Brain damage doesn't interfere with free will (It couldn't possibly- free will can't be accounted for in the brain, which is essentially a complex mass of chemicals). Although memories can affect our decisions, the memories that we do or do not have don't change whether we have a free will or not. The capacity to process sensuous information- the brain. Memories- probably the brain. Thought- likely the brain again. Free will- the soul. If souls don't exist, we're all just buckets of chemicals. I'm not trying to disparage that position- after all, if we're just chemicals then we don't really have any responsibilities or rules or any reason for life to worry about. Free will, feelings, memories, and selves would simply be illusions caused by complex chemical reactions. If we do have souls, the stakes are a lot higher. So that's my long boring post. Frankly, I'm just glad to find people intelligent and honest enough to bring up the subject. Even at church it's never been talked about besides when I've brought it up.
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Posted 6/26/11
If soul doesn't exist...Then we're dead! Because if the soul leaves the body, It's better to say "Hello" for afterlife home...The grave~ :3
Posted 6/26/11 , edited 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:

I do however believe there is some fun in disproving keystones of a religion


I enjoy that too.

To answer the question I always found the notion that only humans have souls not animals pretty egotistical. It sure does sell the ideology that 'man is made in gods image', or is it the other way round A trend popularized with Greek mythology which departed from using animal figureheads or deities with animal like features. A pity really cause it made it all far less interesting.
But I veer off point. I'm neither religious, spiritual or superstitious ergo I don't believe in a soul.
I believe we are capable of higher thinking which gives us our notion of individuality and ability to question everything leading to some real philosophical stuff like 'Whats the meaning of life' . However just cause we are evolved to be self aware and can question our own mortality doesn't mean we are all superior and need to be further distinguished by gifting ourselves an eternal soul. Though its a comforting idea isn't it.
Anyway what I'm trying to say is that it iss all just hubris, human arrogance at its finest.

Posted 6/26/11
I think what you think.
Posted 6/27/11 , edited 6/27/11
The soul is so not understood by scientific means and blah blah. Even religions don't know much about it. This thread is based on sheer inane postulations.

What is it exactly? I certainly can't begin to define it. I just know I am here so are you and that I'm a sexy beast.
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