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Author Topic:   What is the soul?
PaulK
Member
Posts: 15083
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 46 of 165 (305753)
04-21-2006 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by robinrohan
04-21-2006 5:41 PM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
Many a true word was spoken in jest.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by robinrohan, posted 04-21-2006 5:41 PM robinrohan has responded

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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 165 (305755)
04-21-2006 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by robinrohan
04-21-2006 5:41 PM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
My answer wasn't "Philosophy of the Mind." It is the philosophical thought based in the Greek Philosopher Aristotle and the Midieval Philosopher Thomas Aquinas. This is the view currently held by many who study philosophy and metaphysics.
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 165 (305756)
04-21-2006 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by PaulK
04-21-2006 5:50 PM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
Many a true word was spoken in jest.

Good one, Paulk.


"A man with a good car doesn't have to be justified"---Flannery O'Connor
This message is a reply to:
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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 667
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 49 of 165 (305757)
04-21-2006 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2006 4:41 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
Fine then, what is a soul? Don't use any vague mumbo jumbo, touchy feely words, just give me the facts! What, there are no facts in reference to souls? Well how about that. Insert the word "angel", "god(s)", "ipu", "ghosts", etc in there and we are again left with no facts other than that we appear not to have any real data that any of these exist except as constructs in our minds.
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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 165 (305758)
04-21-2006 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by kjsimons
04-21-2006 6:15 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
I gave you facts of what the soul is. This is philosophy. What don't you understand? This is not vague wording, this is technical wording. What else do you need?

Further are we to so boldy assume that the physical material is the only existing substane? I say then, what created this mess? What caused this all to exist?

This message has been edited by smak_84, 04-21-2006 06:27 PM


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 165 (305788)
04-21-2006 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by kjsimons
04-21-2006 6:15 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
Insert the word "angel", "god(s)", "ipu", "ghosts", etc in there and we are again left with no facts other than that we appear not to have any real data that any of these exist except as constructs in our minds.

agreed.

Fine then, what is a soul?

http://www.dictionary.com

Don't use any vague mumbo jumbo, touchy feely words, just give me the facts! What, there are no facts in reference to souls? Well how about that.

Yup, there are no facts. People still agree on what the soul is though. And a lot of us think they exist. I guess we are all just crazy though.


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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 165 (305793)
04-21-2006 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2006 8:20 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
Look at my earlier post. I gave a philosophical dissertation on what the soul is. What else do you need?
This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 165 (305802)
04-21-2006 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by smak_84
04-21-2006 8:27 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
Look at my earlier post. I gave a philosophical dissertation on what the soul is. What else do you need?

Huh?

Not everyone is replying to you. Did you mean to reply to me?

I read your earlier post, I don't need anything else, thank you.


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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 165 (305808)
04-21-2006 9:16 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by New Cat's Eye
04-21-2006 9:02 PM


Re: "Soul" unnecessary
I apologize I thougt you post was concerning something I wrote. Valete my brother Catholic!
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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 165 (305844)
04-22-2006 2:45 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by smak_84
04-21-2006 5:41 PM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
smak_84

For starters the soul is the philosophical form of the human being.

In the context of this statement of yours, just what is meant by philosophical?

For starters the soul is the philosophical form of the human being. The soul is an immaterial thing which is the first and most basic organizing principle within each living being.

Really? SO how do you arrive at the conclusion that something is immaterial exactly? How does an immateial "thing" organize a living physical being?

Further the philisophical form is the determing element which enters into the basic physical makeup of all physical things.

Again, what makes you think this is the case? How does something immaterial {your words} have any effect upon your physical makeup since this is material?

It is that principle by which you live, move, and think (rationally).

Okay, now we have the soul being a principle ,which I assume,is what is meant by Philosophical form. This unfortunately does not clarify a thing. Perhaps you could shed some light on this?

The soul is essentially (as in it is part of what makes a human a human) united to the body.

So how did you arrive at this conclusion sir? In what way is it united ? Exactly how do you unite things which are mutually exclusive one of the other? This is like saying that black is united to white. This is a fallicious stance in that each is the opposing definition of the other.

. Further, the occurance called death is the separation of the soul from the body (observe that if we do not enbalm the body it will return to the base elements after it rots).

You have not made a case for the existence of a soul and thus to make further conjectures about the properties of something you have not shown to follow from a well constructed arguement is pointless and arrogant to boot. Also could you explain please what the latter staement about rotting of the body has to do with the former statement on death and the soul? I assume you placed this here as though there were an obvious connection of some sort.

So in a sense it is the "breath of life." It is that which makes us human beings alive.

You have a funny I dea of what constitutes sense in the context you have presented here. If you would be so kind ,perhaps you could make some actual logically consistent and properly evidenced presentation to allow us some insight into what you really mean to say.


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Bashier Ahmed
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 165 (305847)
04-22-2006 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by jar
04-21-2006 4:39 PM


Re: Existance or Non-existance could be proven
--> Well, neither of those are evidence of a soul. At best they might be unexplained events.

... I agree. We can make systematic efforts to explain that, doesn't it? Furhter, the scientists could either prove existance or non-existance of the soul. If it exists then same study like we have on time, energy etc. could be performed.

--> But that also misses the second question I asked. If we can test and measure 'soul' then is it not just another material object and not spiritual?

... Everything that exists have some properties. At the time if we don't have sufficient knowledge to directly observe it (ie. materialise it), we can atleast study its attributes & reach to the required entity (the soul in our case). It doesn't mean whether the entity is material or spiritual or even just a logical existance (like time-as per my perception).

This message has been edited by Bashier Ahmed, 04-22-2006 03:40 AM


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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 165 (305908)
04-22-2006 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by sidelined
04-22-2006 2:45 AM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
In the study of Philosophy by Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, et cetera, there is something referred to as the form. In order to understand this, your mind cannot be closed into the philosophy of gross materialism (meaning the full existence of the universe is physical in the sense of it being matter, electromagnetic waves, et cetera). There needs to be an open possibility of moderate dualism where there is not only material things (matter, electromganetic waves), but immaterial things as well - things that are not made of the same stuff as material things -- existing things not made of matter-energy that Einstein postulated with (things we would not be able to measure as we can only use material measuring devices thus far).

Further, a philosopical "form" is an immaterial thing (id est it is not physical material -- rather, it is approximated to what spirits would made of - which is best estimate that I can give to someone who hasn't read philosophy). The form then is the determining element (immaterial) which enters into the basic physical makeup of all finite beings (sorry I messed up what I was trying to say last time). It is what your mind abstracts from a sense impression that recognizes something for what it is.

For example: you see a tree. What is it about a tree that makes it a tree? Branches? Well, saplings don't have branches, but you can identify them as trees. Leaves? Well flowers have leaves as well (and pine trees don't have them - they have needles). There's something that your mind abstracts when looking at a tree that it can tell it's a tree. This is the mind's ability to recognize immaterial forms. It is that which makes a tree to be a tree (and not something else - and there must be something that causes this, because nothing cannot effect something). Ergo, there is an immaterial thing - a form that effects the physical matter, that your mind recognizes, and is particular to every tree (no matter if it is an oak tree, an elm tree, a cherry tree, or a pine tree). The form cannot be attributed to DNA, because DNA contains things not essential to being a tree, only that particular type of tree (id est some trees have needles, some have leaves, based on the particular differences in DNA nucleotide sequences). If you assert my proposition here to be false, please, tell me all thing properties that are necessary to make a tree that and not a bush, grass, or something else (I'll warn you, you'll have a difficult time).

Therefore, the human being has an analagous from called the soul. The human soul. The human soul, however is unique in the sense that it can exist independent of matter (as can angels and demons as they are fully immaterial beings, and have no corporeal bodies).

The soul is essentially united to the body as apposed to accidentially united (as in we are not souls running around in machines made of carbon, calcium, oxygen, et cetera).

Agree tenativly that the soul is the form of the corporeal (physical) substance we call the body. If the form is removed, there is no longer anything making the body to be that which it is. Therefore, why wouldn't it just fall apart (not necessarily immediatly)? If you take the support beams out of a house, what happens? It falls apart.

Therefore, the breath of life described in Genesis could be the infusion of an immortal human form - that immaterial principle which makes us human and not an ape or some other animal (id est the soul).

Read some Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Maimonidies, et cetera for a better understanding of Philosophical concepts like forms, accidents, essence, substances, essential unions, accidental unions and the like that modern science really has no way to assert or deny (as we're dealing with immaterial (not material) substances that devices made of material substances would have a hard time measuring).


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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3163 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 58 of 165 (306076)
04-23-2006 7:38 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by smak_84
04-22-2006 11:48 AM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
quote:
There's something that your mind abstracts when looking at a tree that it can tell it's a tree. This is the mind's ability to recognize immaterial forms.

I go along with the broad concept of a "form" (not an ideal term) so long as it stays within the realms of attempting to explain the manner in which humans digest and store the information that they receive. In other words, each human mind will create its own set of references for the world it observes. As for there being some kind of eternal "form" that is somehow passed across the universe from one soul to another - I just can't see the need for it, let alone any evidence. If someone had never seen a tree before, they wouldn't recogonize an "immaterial tree-form", they'd see a new combination of shape and colour and store that information.

Think of the first time you saw an Ipod. Did it convey its "form" to you, or were you told what it was and subsequently created your own idea of it (form, if you prefer) based on that information?

quote:
Therefore, the breath of life described in Genesis could be the infusion of an immortal human form - that immaterial principle which makes us human and not an ape or some other animal (id est the soul).

Can't agree with this either. I have little time for this kind of Anthropocentrism. Humans respond to environmental stimuli just like other animals, but with a greater degree of self-awareness.

Anyway, one philosopher who might be worth looking at for a more materialistic point of view would be Wittgenstein, who explores the impact of language on the way in which we communicate and understand concepts. Broadly speaking, for him language is the tool we use to convert environmental stimuli into our own "forms" or ideas.

This message has been edited by rjb, 04-23-2006 07:43 AM


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smak_84
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 165 (306137)
04-23-2006 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by RickJB
04-23-2006 7:38 AM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
they wouldn't recogonize an "immaterial tree-form", they'd see a new combination of shape and colour and store that information.

The would have an abstraction of something wouldn't they? They wouldn't necessarily be able to label it correctly.

Think of the first time you saw an Ipod. Did it convey its "form" to you, or were you told what it was and subsequently created your own idea of it (form, if you prefer) based on that information?

It didn't convey what it was called(that is a label - that is a human invention), but I was able to recognize others like it when I saw them.

quote:Therefore, the breath of life described in Genesis could be the infusion of an immortal human form - that immaterial principle which makes us human and not an ape or some other animal (id est the soul).

Can't agree with this either. I have little time for this kind of Anthropocentrism. Humans respond to environmental stimuli just like other animals, but with a greater degree of self-awareness.

I'm throwing in a philosophical discussion on the soul that includes me defending a position on philosophical form -- this doesn't imply Anthropocentrism.


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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3163 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 60 of 165 (306142)
04-23-2006 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by smak_84
04-23-2006 2:16 PM


Re: "Soul" is the best word I think
quote:
"The would have an abstraction of something wouldn't they?"

Agreed. I don't think we are too far apart on this. My objection centres around the idea that an eternal tree "form" is somehow extant outside the mind, and transferred between souls on some unidentified level. You seemed to be edging toward this territory.

As I mentioned, work of Wittgenstein is interesting since he claims the the role of language (a human intervention, as you call it) is central to the formation of ideas. My argument would be that humans create "forms" for their own use and are in no way "intervening" in some higher metaphysical process.

This message has been edited by rjb, 04-23-2006 03:00 PM


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