cuchulain

Does the human soul exist?

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43 minutes ago, mererdog said:

I have no idea. I do not even know where you would begin. I also don't have a strong desire to know, so I'm not real motivated to put much effort into finding out. I'm afraid if society relied on guys like me for scientific progress, there would be very little scientific progress.

 

I think it depends, at least partly, on classification.  If God is part of the Natural order, then yes.  Anything that is part of Nature can be understood.  If not now, then in the indeterminate future.  If God is Supernatural, then no.  Supernatural things can not be known, if they exist at all.

 

The same deal with souls.  

 

As an Agnostic -- capital A -- I hold that all real things are part of the Natural order.  If God exists, (big if) -- then God is part of the Natural order.  

 

Of course, neither God nor souls have been defined.  Looking for something that has no definition is not useful.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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14 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Of course, neither God nor souls have been defined.

They have been defined. There are simply multiple, conflicting definitions for each. It is not uncommon to have multiple, conflicting theories about how things work, prior to someone producing conclusive evidence. And where you have competing theories, you will usually have competing definitions for for at least some of the theoretical concepts involved.

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8 hours ago, mererdog said:

They have been defined. There are simply multiple, conflicting definitions for each. It is not uncommon to have multiple, conflicting theories about how things work, prior to someone producing conclusive evidence. And where you have competing theories, you will usually have competing definitions for for at least some of the theoretical concepts involved.

 

 

If I were to set out on a search for Big Foot, I would have to deal with some inconsistencies.  Size, weight, fur color, region, etc.  Still, I would have some vague notion -- at least -- of what I was looking for.

 

Seriously, God -- souls -- I've got nothing to go on.  Nothing.  Well, stories.  If I want to be generous, these stories count as mythology.  Otherwise, they are fantasy.  Badly written fantasy at that.

 

At least, if I say unicorn, we can agree on the basic characteristics, of the creature in question.  

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A soul is just a living being; "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). So in that sense (definition), the soul exist. The real question is whether or not a soul can be immortal. "And so it is written; The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (Christ), a life-giving spirit. " (1 Corinthians 15:45).

 

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11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Seriously, God -- souls -- I've got nothing to go on.  Nothing.  

Which means that you cannot prove a soul exists. It does not mean that no one can. To assert otherwise is to invoke the Argument From Ignorance. 

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The dictionary has no problem at all defining soul.  I don't know why the big hoopla?  Soul:  the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as being immortal.

Now with that as a working definition, and it's in the dictionary...I don't see a way to measure something immaterial.  But simply because I do not does not mean it is immeasurable, or unprovable.  I simply at this time don't believe in the soul because I haven't seen the evidence as yet. 

The dictionary has no problem defining God, either.  God:  (In Christianity and other monotheistic religions)  the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority;  the supreme being.  (in certain other religions)  a superhuman being worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes.

I cannot understand why some things are claimed as undefinable when I can google a definition within seconds.  I get that some religions alter those definitions to suit, but for purposes of study and scrutiny it makes sense to me to use the most common definitions available, hence the dictionary.  Am I mistaken?

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

The dictionary has no problem at all defining soul.  I don't know why the big hoopla?  Soul:  the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as being immortal.

Now with that as a working definition, and it's in the dictionary...I don't see a way to measure something immaterial.  But simply because I do not does not mean it is immeasurable, or unprovable.  I simply at this time don't believe in the soul because I haven't seen the evidence as yet. 

The dictionary has no problem defining God, either.  God:  (In Christianity and other monotheistic religions)  the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority;  the supreme being.  (in certain other religions)  a superhuman being worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes.

I cannot understand why some things are claimed as undefinable when I can google a definition within seconds.  I get that some religions alter those definitions to suit, but for purposes of study and scrutiny it makes sense to me to use the most common definitions available, hence the dictionary.  Am I mistaken?

 

No.  Not mistaken.  We can go a step further and stipulate the God of the Bible and Koran.  It does make things more simple.  Of course, that leaves out the Deists and Pantheists as well as the Eastern religions.  It also leaves out the people who have gods but not God.  But yes.  It is an easy approach.  

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

No.  Not mistaken.  We can go a step further and stipulate the God of the Bible and Koran.  It does make things more simple.  Of course, that leaves out the Deists and Pantheists as well as the Eastern religions.  It also leaves out the people who have gods but not God.  But yes.  It is an easy approach.  

 

3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

The dictionary has no problem at all defining soul.  I don't know why the big hoopla?  Soul:  the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as being immortal.

Now with that as a working definition, and it's in the dictionary...I don't see a way to measure something immaterial.  But simply because I do not does not mean it is immeasurable, or unprovable.  I simply at this time don't believe in the soul because I haven't seen the evidence as yet. 

The dictionary has no problem defining God, either.  God:  (In Christianity and other monotheistic religions)  the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority;  the supreme being.  (in certain other religions)  a superhuman being worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes.

I cannot understand why some things are claimed as undefinable when I can google a definition within seconds.  I get that some religions alter those definitions to suit, but for purposes of study and scrutiny it makes sense to me to use the most common definitions available, hence the dictionary.  Am I mistaken?

The definitions are rather vague, don't you think? Maybe Google and the other self proclaimed guardians of knowledge aren't as knowledgeable as they would have us believe? It is the attempt to understand the unfathomable, the desire to know the unknowable.  Their definition of God will suffice insofar as also knowing it is "the short answer", and cannot encompass a full description of what they do not know, and seemingly, they do not believe.

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If one was to say that G/god is unfathomable and unknowable, then G/god is indefinable. Guess that leaves out all those folks who claim to know G/god, doesn't it? Are these people fools or are they merely deluded? I would speculate that there are as many definitions for G/god as there are people who claim to believe in G/god.

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6 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I get that some religions alter those definitions to suit, but for purposes of study and scrutiny it makes sense to me to use the most common definitions available, hence the dictionary.  Am I mistaken?

Somewhat. Definitions are context specific. This means that the right definition to use depends on the context of the use. For the purposes of studying and scrutinizing someone else's work, it is important to (as much as possible) use the same definitions as they did. If I am using specialized jargon, dictionary definitions won't help you understand what I say, you know?

Scientific studies often rely on unusual and very specific definitions for terms commonly used with much broader definitions- but they normally tell you when they are doing so. Most people do the same, from time to time, but they rarely give you the heads up. So we often have to go through the trouble of sussing out their meaning by examining context clues or *shudder* asking them.

In terms of proving a claim, the person doing the proving should provide the definition for their terms. Others defining their terms for them (even by defining them as indefinable) becomes a quick case of building strawmen.

Edited by mererdog

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Then for simplicities sake, let's use the dictionary definition.  If someone would like to interject their own definition into the conversation they are welcome to do so, if they will kindly spell out what they mean by God or Soul. 

So far as unknowable...it's either hogwash or irrelevant.  If it truly is unknowable, then it is irrelevant to discuss anything concerning God or the soul, since by your very definition you cannot possibly know anything relating to it.  If it is not unknowable, then it's simple hogwash.  We can discuss and discern what the soul is, God is, and anything else if we put our minds to it and apply enough effort and time.  Just my thoughts about it.

So far as the definitions the dictionary gives, I do not believe in such a soul because nobody has provided any means of verifying or falsifying such a claim, nor evidence of such a claim.  I do not believe in God for the same reasons.  I am still open, of course, to new evidence.

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If God is unknowable, then Agnosticism makes sense.

 

Alright.  That's playing with words.  More to the point:  If God is unknowable, then God is irrelevant.  It doesn't matter what we believe or disbelieve.  It's all equally meaningless.  

 

:whist:

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On 7/30/2017 at 1:01 PM, cuchulain said:

I GREATLY fear the argument that humankind isn't capable of knowing...because if we aren't capable, what's the point of further exploring?  No...I reject this as an exploration killing argument.  I believe there is no bounds to what humans can learn, eventually.  I do not know whether the question will be solved in my lifetime, or another.

Can you imagine if this argument had been heeded by the earliest scientists, such people who discovered the world is round, the earth revolves around the sun, that bacteria cause illness?

But here is where the interesting part comes...what one person may understand, may not be what another does. Comprehension differs from one person to the next. This is why exploring continues, because someone still learns something.

So, while it's still true we can't understand everything, we still strive to try, because there is value in it for some people, and that may ultimately be a benefit for all. Look how technology has advanced so greatly, simply because a few made discoveries that enrich us all in some way.

Even as far as spiritual or religious experience can and has changed over the ages. Comprehension and perspective enlightens, but still not everyone gets it. You know what I mean?

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It is the nature of humankind to want to investigate, research, wonder, theorise and discover but always from a position of limited understanding.  Since Thales of Miletus walked the earth thousands of years ago astronomers have gazed at the heavens and wondered.  Today, their modern counterparts look through incredibly accurate telescopes and do exactly the same thing.  We stand amazed at what they tell us but should always receive their “discoveries” with caution.   In the nineteenth century Charles Darwin, after many years of detailed research, sat in his study at Down House and came up with the theory of evolution.  Today, and for many years prior to today, evolution has been disseminated as undisputed fact.  However, many scientists today have given up on that theory simply because it does not add up.  This well illustrates the problem inherent within human knowledge; humans, because they are human, are unable to penetrate beyond appearances and therefore are only capable of offering approximations which always remain open to correction.  And we see this happening all the time when textbooks have to be rewritten when fresh evidence comes along to render obsolete what had long been considered as fact.  It was Descartes who long ago warned about people (experts?) offering complicated arguments to state their case; such people, he said, often end up talking nonsense.  That’s good advice in my view.  It reminds me of Socrates who was probably the wisest man who ever lived.  Yet when it came to knowledge about anything all he was able to say was: all that I know is that I know nothing.  I hope someone finds concrete proof of the soul’s existence but if and when they do my advice is to heed those wise words of Descartes and Socrates.  But God has the answer so don’t worry.                       

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19 minutes ago, hesedlove said:

It is the nature of humankind to want to investigate, research, wonder, theorise and discover but always from a position of limited understanding.  Since Thales of Miletus walked the earth thousands of years ago astronomers have gazed at the heavens and wondered.  Today, their modern counterparts look through incredibly accurate telescopes and do exactly the same thing.  We stand amazed at what they tell us but should always receive their “discoveries” with caution.   In the nineteenth century Charles Darwin, after many years of detailed research, sat in his study at Down House and came up with the theory of evolution.  Today, and for many years prior to today, evolution has been disseminated as undisputed fact.  However, many scientists today have given up on that theory simply because it does not add up.  This well illustrates the problem inherent within human knowledge; humans, because they are human, are unable to penetrate beyond appearances and therefore are only capable of offering approximations which always remain open to correction.  And we see this happening all the time when textbooks have to be rewritten when fresh evidence comes along to render obsolete what had long been considered as fact.  It was Descartes who long ago warned about people (experts?) offering complicated arguments to state their case; such people, he said, often end up talking nonsense.  That’s good advice in my view.  It reminds me of Socrates who was probably the wisest man who ever lived.  Yet when it came to knowledge about anything all he was able to say was: all that I know is that I know nothing.  I hope someone finds concrete proof of the soul’s existence but if and when they do my advice is to heed those wise words of Descartes and Socrates.  But God has the answer so don’t worry.                       

 

 

 

Since when does evolution not add up?  That kind of flat statement needs something to back it up.  

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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There is plenty of evidence suggested in the works of scientists and philosophers who do not have a vested interest in perpetuating what they do not believe to be fact.  

I suggest you do a little research of your own.

Edited by hesedlove

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1 hour ago, hesedlove said:

There is plenty of evidence suggested in the works of scientists and philosophers who do not have a vested interest in perpetuating what they do not believe to be fact.  

I suggest you do a little research of your own.

 

Then you have nothing but an attitude?  

 

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I attened a very good lecture several years ago where an expert on this matter (who was also a university lecturer on mechnics), delivered a first-rate lecture destroying the theory of evolution.  According to him at the univeristy where he worked  some lecturers had also given up on the "theory" of evolution, (which it is) yet were still teaching it even though they no longer believed it.  That's not an atitude but a fact.  I have bought several books since then which confirmed this view among some scientists - but I didi not say all.  But it reminds me of what either David Hume or Kant said: just because a ball bounces the same way a hundred times out of a hundred doesn't mean it  will bounce that way the next time.  I take this to mean that while something appears to confirm something  it does not make it right.  The sun rose this morning but will it rise tomorrow?  Maybe but no-one can be sure.  I am not an expert but I have read widely and know what I believe. It is not for me to convince you one way or the other.  That's my last word on the subject.       

Edited by hesedlove

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then based on what you have learned,you don't believe in it.

based on what i have learned,the jury is still out.

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On 8/1/2017 at 0:35 AM, Dan56 said:

A soul is just a living being; "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). So in that sense (definition), the soul exist. The real question is whether or not a soul can be immortal. "And so it is written; The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (Christ), a life-giving spirit. " (1 Corinthians 15:45).

 

I do not believe the jump can be made that "...and man became a living soul" to saying that soul is just a living being. The living being contains the soul, but is not all that the soul is, nor is the soul all that the living vessel is: most major religions have a means to  describe this; for instance, the Buddhist and other religions' concept of reincarnation, etc.

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