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The Soul and The Brain
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21 / M / The Void
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Posted 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:


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)


Hold on.

You say that you do not understand the point of trying to prove/disprove the existence of god, yet you make a thread about it?

That's a contradiction.

@Topic:
I am a tolerant person (or I at least try to be), if people want to believe in a higher power, that's great. I have no problems with that, I do however have problems when people knock on my door and preach me the bible. People can believe in what they want, I just want them to leave ME OUT OF IT.
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Posted 6/27/11

Lienu wrote:


Centrallia wrote:


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)


Hold on.

You say that you do not understand the point of trying to prove/disprove the existence of god, yet you make a thread about it?

That's a contradiction.

@Topic:
I am a tolerant person (or I at least try to be), if people want to believe in a higher power, that's great. I have no problems with that, I do however have problems when people knock on my door and preach me the bible. People can believe in what they want, I just want them to leave ME OUT OF IT.


I hate people who can't read.... Read the next sentence I wrote after the one you highlighted in red...

I'm not trying to disprove a "higher power" or a god since there are so many opinions that could be argued indefinitely. However, I am basically trying (and obiviously failing with your post as evidence) to say that the Christian view of the soul can't be right with the scientific discoveries(brain specifically) of today.

If you want to talk about contradictions just read the what you said at the end of your post. I don't have the effort in me to highlight it in red. I don't remember knocking on your door forcing you to read this or reply, you put yourself into the discussion I never forced you.
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Posted 6/27/11

AdamIdris101 wrote:

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.


I should have just said Christian view of the soul. I am not addressing what the soul may or may not be. I also don't care about a person's opinion of what the soul is.

However, concept of the soul is "clearly" defined in the bible and other religious sources pertaining to Christianity . The Bible is considered to be the Word of god and to dismiss it is to dismiss God Himself. This means that the christian view of the soul is fixed, it can't change and it can't evolve. I think that whether a person considers it to be true or false the Christian view of the soul is clearly defined and therefore not an inane postulation. The part of the thread that concerns the brain and memories (I believe) has enough information backing it to disprove the christian view of the soul. That's all.


P.S. I have no doubt in my mind that you are a sexy beast
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Posted 6/27/11

sabzki wrote:

Anyway what I'm trying to say is that it iss all just hubris, human arrogance at its finest.



I'll drink to that

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29 / M / In a field of leeks
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Posted 6/27/11

lce_Cubet25 wrote:

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 =.=




I respect your opinions and agree with some. All I am saying is that if the brain and memories are connected to the body then it dies when the body dies, but the soul will live on (if you apply the Christian view of the soul as well as scientific observation) That means that the Christian concept of sin, redemption and salvation doesn't make any sense.
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Posted 6/27/11 , edited 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:


Lienu wrote:


Centrallia wrote:


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)


Hold on.

You say that you do not understand the point of trying to prove/disprove the existence of god, yet you make a thread about it?

That's a contradiction.

@Topic:
I am a tolerant person (or I at least try to be), if people want to believe in a higher power, that's great. I have no problems with that, I do however have problems when people knock on my door and preach me the bible. People can believe in what they want, I just want them to leave ME OUT OF IT.


I hate people who can't read.... Read the next sentence I wrote after the one you highlighted in red...

I'm not trying to disprove a "higher power" or a god since there are so many opinions that could be argued indefinitely. However, I am basically trying (and obiviously failing with your post as evidence) to say that the Christian view of the soul can't be right with the scientific discoveries(brain specifically) of today.

If you want to talk about contradictions just read the what you said at the end of your post. I don't have the effort in me to highlight it in red. I don't remember knocking on your door forcing you to read this or reply, you put yourself into the discussion I never forced you.


Ooh, ok. But if you read what you wrote, you will see that those statements contradict as well. You didn't solve the problem, you only changed the variables.

See? You atheists are just as bad as the Christians. You think that you're saving people from falling behind, and the Christians believe that they're saving you from hell. You're both the same, you THINK you know, but you don't.

Wait, what? So you're saying you don't want anybody to read this topic? You clearly have intentions to influence people, because not only have you spent the time making this thread, but you also took the time to reply to every single doubter.

There's a nice way of getting your point across, insulting me is just going to make you look even more ignorant. So far your posts are like Starbursts; a pack of contradictions.
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28 / M / Colorado, USA
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Posted 6/27/11
A point I must note is that as I recall, if a person makes it into heaven, they will be in a state of perfection. That is, it's already known that you WILL personally change between when you were alive and when you make it into heaven. Such perfection would means absence of "desire" and the like, traits that have a part in defining personality and ambition.

Honestly perfection has always sounded pretty grim to me. If there's no problems to solve, there's no goals to pursue. A totally stagnant existence.
Posted 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:


lce_Cubet25 wrote:

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 =.=




I respect your opinions and agree with some. All I am saying is that if the brain and memories are connected to the body then it dies when the body dies, but the soul will live on (if you apply the Christian view of the soul as well as scientific observation) That means that the Christian concept of sin, redemption and salvation doesn't make any sense.


You usually see the idea of a soul living on in religion probably because , deal with it, ppl cant fathom its all over when theyre dead
scientists barely ever believe in religion at all
but then there have been researches and instances which proved that there IS a soul

but you see we are intertwined on earth with the body of ours, and despite the fact that u forget what u did
you've done it
its more like living for the moment

its only in religion that ull be held accountable for it

in science its more of a fascination----if the soul is you, then can we transfer ourselves---"soul wise"---into another body?
how do u do that? where do u begin? are u in ur brain?
y'see its complicated <.<
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29 / M / In a field of leeks
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Posted 6/27/11

Gustbabels wrote:

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.


Finally someone who seems intelligent

Even though neuroscientists haven't figured it out as far as mapping you can physically sever parts of the brain and observe loss in memory. It can be assumed that the memories are physical. Skim over this on Split Brain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-brain I hate using wikipedia, but it can't be helped. Basically this is the part that pertains to the memory and brain is this:

"A patient with a split brain, when shown an image in his or her left visual field (the left half of what both eyes take in, see optic tract), will be unable to vocally name what he or she has seen. This is because the speech-control center is in the left side of the brain in most people, and the image from the left visual field is sent only to the right side of the brain (those with the speech control center in the right side will experience similar symptoms when an image is presented in the right visual field). Since communication between the two sides of the brain is inhibited, the patient cannot name what the right side of the brain is seeing. The person can, however, pick up and show recognition of an object (one within the left overall visual field) with their left hand, since that hand is controlled by the right side of the brain."

What I'm trying to get at is you can physically alter active memories and therefore they can be destroyed. That means no matter how you look at it when you die you memories cease to exist since they are based in the physical world.

That said, the part where you begin talking about the Soul is Free Will to the end is interesting. I think it can be accounted for in the brain and if you reply I'll attempt to back that up but, I do that I want you to think about one thing. If you agree with the christian bible (maybe you do and maybe you don't I'm just assuming) which is the word of god then the Soul is eternal/immortal. What I'm saying is that memories are finite and they are connected to your brain and die when your brain dies. If the Soul eternal and memories are finite then they aren't connected. So if soul (which you say is free will) continues without memories then is there any point to the soul's salvation, damnation or redemption through praying and such to god? A key belief of Christians(If I understand correctly) is that the sinners are punished and the saints are saved but with just a soul (free will) with no memory of good and bad deeds then your punishing or saving a soul that doesn't know what it has done. If that is the case then it is just cruel to punish a soul (the free will of a person) which has no recollection of what it has done to deserve the punishment .

I would type more but I need to go. That is my long boring response to your post. I'm glad you posted.
Posted 6/27/11

Gustbabels wrote:

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.


Dude whered u get all this information from? D:
Posted 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:


sabzki wrote:

Anyway what I'm trying to say is that it iss all just hubris, human arrogance at its finest.



I'll drink to that



Cheers!
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Posted 6/27/11

lce_Cubet25 wrote:


Centrallia wrote:


lce_Cubet25 wrote:

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 =.=




I respect your opinions and agree with some. All I am saying is that if the brain and memories are connected to the body then it dies when the body dies, but the soul will live on (if you apply the Christian view of the soul as well as scientific observation) That means that the Christian concept of sin, redemption and salvation doesn't make any sense.


You usually see the idea of a soul living on in religion probably because , deal with it, ppl cant fathom its all over when theyre dead
scientists barely ever believe in religion at all
but then there have been researches and instances which proved that there IS a soul

but you see we are intertwined on earth with the body of ours, and despite the fact that u forget what u did
you've done it
its more like living for the moment

its only in religion that ull be held accountable for it

in science its more of a fascination----if the soul is you, then can we transfer ourselves---"soul wise"---into another body?
how do u do that? where do u begin? are u in ur brain?
y'see its complicated <.<


I skimmed over what you said and I agree with much of what you typed and understand it but I hope you realize I'm not Christian or have a religion that I believe in. I started the topic talking about soul in the Christian sense and why it doesn't make sense with what we know about the brain now. All the other things you said not relating to those point are getting kind of off topic.
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Posted 6/27/11

Centrallia wrote:


Gustbabels wrote:

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.


Finally someone who seems intelligent

Even though neuroscientists haven't figured it out as far as mapping you can physically sever parts of the brain and observe loss in memory. It can be assumed that the memories are physical. Skim over this on Split Brain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-brain I hate using wikipedia, but it can't be helped. Basically this is the part that pertains to the memory and brain is this:

"A patient with a split brain, when shown an image in his or her left visual field (the left half of what both eyes take in, see optic tract), will be unable to vocally name what he or she has seen. This is because the speech-control center is in the left side of the brain in most people, and the image from the left visual field is sent only to the right side of the brain (those with the speech control center in the right side will experience similar symptoms when an image is presented in the right visual field). Since communication between the two sides of the brain is inhibited, the patient cannot name what the right side of the brain is seeing. The person can, however, pick up and show recognition of an object (one within the left overall visual field) with their left hand, since that hand is controlled by the right side of the brain."

What I'm trying to get at is you can physically alter active memories and therefore they can be destroyed. That means no matter how you look at it when you die you memories cease to exist since they are based in the physical world.

That said, the part where you begin talking about the Soul is Free Will to the end is interesting. I think it can be accounted for in the brain and if you reply I'll attempt to back that up but, I do that I want you to think about one thing. If you agree with the christian bible (maybe you do and maybe you don't I'm just assuming) which is the word of god then the Soul is eternal/immortal. What I'm saying is that memories are finite and they are connected to your brain and die when your brain dies. If the Soul eternal and memories are finite then they aren't connected. So if soul (which you say is free will) continues without memories then is there any point to the soul's salvation, damnation or redemption through praying and such to god? A key belief of Christians(If I understand correctly) is that the sinners are punished and the saints are saved but with just a soul (free will) with no memory of good and bad deeds then your punishing or saving a soul that doesn't know what it has done. If that is the case then it is just cruel to punish a soul (the free will of a person) which has no recollection of what it has done to deserve the punishment .

I would type more but I need to go. That is my long boring response to your post. I'm glad you posted.


Well, I think you're right that memories are physical or, at the very least, they can be lost due to physical causes. I think the proof of that is the case of HM, an amnesiac who lost the ability to form long term memory due to brain damage. He could remember new things in the short term, and he could remember his past, but anything new that he learned was lost within about a minute. That said, many Christians believe in a physical resurrection- that God essentially 'puts back together' all humans that ever existed, so that they can receive final judgement. Of course, repairing brain damage is a lot easier than recreating all of humanity, and I think that would be included in a physical resurrection as well. I know you don't believe in God, but you probably agree that this would be possible for him if he existed. The God in question is theoretically capable of creating reality, so even if physical things (like memories) are physically destroyed, he should be capable of recreating them. I agree that souls being cast into hell without knowing what they did wrong would be cruel. It's true that Christianity is based upon avoiding eternal punishment. Long story short, I think that a physical resurrection would solve the problem of the soul not being directly connected to memories. It probably seems far-fetched (rebuilding every human body that ever existed?) but it's the best answer I have so far.
That's why I personally don't think that memories being physical is problematic to a Christian worldview. A more difficult issue (in my opinion) is the effects of brain chemistry on decisions- which puts the idea of free will as a spiritual element in some jeopardy. I would expound, but frankly I'm eager to hear about your chemically based explanation for free will. I'm enjoying this discussion.
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If you are talking about the soul mentioned in the bible, then it is neither immortal, nor free will. The soul mentioned in the bible is simply life, it is found in humans and animals. When a person dies they have no thoughts and are conscious of nothing, just as you would expect from a scientific viewpoint - dead is dead. An immortal soul was one of the many adoptions from "pagan religions" that were made by christian religions. There were a large number of "pagan" beliefs that were later included into christian religions in order to broaden the appeal. Hell in the bible wasn't a place of fiery torment, just the final resting place of man (ie. the grave).
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Posted 6/27/11
I may not be the greatest most intelligent person in the world, I may not have the right answers, but I felt compelled to post here - simply because this had intrigued me. This might not be in precise correlation, but I believe even if the body ceases to exist, as well as the memories, the soul will remain.

Where the soul goes when the body fades, I have no idea. Maybe it goes to the supposed heaven, or hell. But would we even know? Probably not, because if our memories had dissipated how would we know if our life we led was good or bad? That's right, we wouldn't. Where is the precious God's judgment now? Would something described as compassionate and loving, condemn us for a crime we don't remember committing? In fact recalling something I had read awhile ago,

"nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

And on that note, I end it. My apologies if I said something to insult someone. (Mer, I'm tired, sorry if I had repeated what someone else had said... - falls asleep-)
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