So what is the soul?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Greta
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Greta » December 28th, 2015, 1:50 am

Art Of Mentalism wrote:In what sense does something immaterial exist? And what it means for an immaterial thing to be or do something?I just can't wrap my mind around it.
(These are genuine questions)
Information - DNA, patterns, data and blueprints. Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. However, all of these immaterial things have physical containers. What could exist that doesn't have a physical container? One possible entirely non material thing would be the quantum foam from which our universe inflated, according to some cosmologists and string theorists.
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Belinda » December 28th, 2015, 7:05 am

Greta wrote:
Information - DNA, patterns, data and blueprints. Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. However, all of these immaterial things have physical containers. What could exist that doesn't have a physical container? One possible entirely non material thing would be the quantum foam from which our universe inflated, according to some cosmologists and string theorists.
But, Greta, you might as well have written this substituting 'mental' for physical, and 'material' for 'non material' .
Like you, I trust and admire scientific knowledge. Matter is inextricably entwined with mind so that neither mind nor matter is primal in time or meaning.
Science for all its technological applications including quantum bits and pieces and space technology is ultimately as much a mental construct as a wondrous factual reality.
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by The Beast » December 28th, 2015, 12:23 pm

The immaterial has a proposal of space and time (also immaterial). We are born with capacities. What is memory if not a capacity filled with immaterial data? One way to examine this data is to consider how the recording was achieved from the point of view of generosity vs selfishness. It is also an immaterial judgement the good or bad of any action. We have acquired capacities. I can look with my eyes and see a place far away and more or less (like a stag) know how long of my life moments will take to get there. It is in my DNA. We as humans have a place where we calculate good and bad; generous or selfish; justice or injustice all immaterial. A capacity filled with immaterial volumes in search of form. As they integrate in the bigger memory the immaterial directs the form. All we are is a memory directed by the immaterial. If the immaterial is in this capacity then we are more than the material memory of the Earth. We are now the immaterial directing our material memory.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Granth » January 4th, 2016, 9:45 am

Greta wrote:
Art Of Mentalism wrote:In what sense does something immaterial exist? And what it means for an immaterial thing to be or do something?I just can't wrap my mind around it.
(These are genuine questions)
Information - DNA, patterns, data and blueprints. Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. However, all of these immaterial things have physical containers. What could exist that doesn't have a physical container? One possible entirely non material thing would be the quantum foam from which our universe inflated, according to some cosmologists and string theorists.


All these are thought patterns, Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. They occupy space. As occupiers of space they are not non material. Under particular experimental conditions they can be seen as lighting up areas of the brain. It is only a case of having developed, and continue developing, finer more sensitive tools for capturing the imagery of this material stuff. An atom's nucleus or a cell would have once been regarded as non material or non existent prior to the development of finer tools for locating them as also occupiers of space. All material that occupies space are actions of motion - are activity. The membrane of an atom is the activity of protons, electrons and neutrons which because of their speed of action gives the sense of a material skin. It is the same for all material objects large or small. Just because the trace of a thought or emotion is smaller than a rock does not make them non material. A rock is also atoms with their various components which move so fast we cannot see it with our slow visible senses (as visible senses are not finer tools than what has been invented to 'see' such motion) and we see a rock because we think it.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Greta » January 4th, 2016, 5:48 pm

Granth wrote:All these are thought patterns, Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. They occupy space. As occupiers of space they are not non material. Under particular experimental conditions they can be seen as lighting up areas of the brain.
I take your point. The thread ideally will eliminate what are technically immaterial aspects of physical reality in looking for true dualism in reality - where a soul might reside.

There are a few models, arguably not taken as seriously as they should be, which place consciousness (or some analogue of consciousness) as a fundamental aspect of reality, which would probably have implications regarding the existence of souls - David Chalmers's natural dualism, Roger Penrose's "trialism" (as opposed to dualism - energy, consciousness, math), John Hagelin's unified superstring field and Robert Lanza's biocentrism.

I admit to not giving the material/immaterial divide much thought to date because I'd considered it a matter of labelling and possibly a distraction when considering the actual nature of reality. Whatever we label the phenomena, or wherever we draw lines and categorise, the reality is unchanged. The materiality or immateriality of any given entity is relative anyway. From the perspective of a neutron star, we would be gaseous beings. From a gaseous perspective we are as solid as rocks.
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Alec Smart » January 4th, 2016, 5:57 pm

Greta wrote: where a soul might reside.
For some reason, I always think of the soul as having no fixed abode.
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Granth » January 4th, 2016, 6:25 pm

Greta wrote:
Granth wrote:All these are thought patterns, Morality. Empathy. Humour. Emotions. They occupy space. As occupiers of space they are not non material. Under particular experimental conditions they can be seen as lighting up areas of the brain.
I take your point. The thread ideally will eliminate what are technically immaterial aspects of physical reality in looking for true dualism in reality - where a soul might reside.

There are a few models, arguably not taken as seriously as they should be, which place consciousness (or some analogue of consciousness) as a fundamental aspect of reality, which would probably have implications regarding the existence of souls - David Chalmers's natural dualism, Roger Penrose's "trialism" (as opposed to dualism - energy, consciousness, math), John Hagelin's unified superstring field and Robert Lanza's biocentrism.

I admit to not giving the material/immaterial divide much thought to date because I'd considered it a matter of labelling and possibly a distraction when considering the actual nature of reality. Whatever we label the phenomena, or wherever we draw lines and categorise, the reality is unchanged. The materiality or immateriality of any given entity is relative anyway. From the perspective of a neutron star, we would be gaseous beings. From a gaseous perspective we are as solid as rocks.
My suggestion is that is that a soul does not reside in among the stuff I mentioned previously, the thoughts, emotions, humor, etc, etc (all thought/memory/feelings essentially, effectively everything summed up to be a personality), but that the 'soul' IS that very stuff. Consequently in order to 'see' some image of it, which is really shadows, is, under such particular experimental conditions which I outlined before, areas of as lit up brain processes. However, what is more obvious to us is that we experience our 'soul' as feelings and the sounds of thoughts and interplay with other 'souls' everyday through sensory perception. My 'soul' is everywhere merely more for the obvious reason that everywhere I go......there I am. I find, therefore, nothing mysterious in terms of whether we can experience 'souls'. The mystery is the whole caboodle of existence, of experience period.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Greta » January 4th, 2016, 6:30 pm

Alec Smart wrote:
Greta wrote: where a soul might reside.
For some reason, I always think of the soul as having no fixed abode.
Fair point. We don't have the language to describe existence beyond space and time. I don't, anyway.

A related question, what are patterns? Where do they reside (if anywhere) when they aren't defining physical things?
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Granth » January 4th, 2016, 6:35 pm

Alec Smart wrote:
Greta wrote: where a soul might reside.
For some reason, I always think of the soul as having no fixed abode.
Sure. We as souls have no fixed abode. Particularly given that the universe is the obvious abode and that the experience of universe, therefore where it arises, is within these skulls. It is a paradox seemingly but quite well understood, in terms of function, by neuroscience experiments. Geography and astronomy, for locating an abode, is experienced in that very same skull.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Greta » January 4th, 2016, 6:45 pm

Granth wrote:My suggestion is that is that a soul does not reside in among the stuff I mentioned previously, the thoughts, emotions, humor, etc, etc (all thought/memory/feelings essentially, effectively everything summed up to be a personality), but that the 'soul' IS that very stuff.
Granth, could you elaborate on "the 'soul' IS that very stuff", please?
Granth wrote:However, what is more obvious to us is that we experience our 'soul' as feelings and the sounds of thoughts and interplay with other 'souls' everyday through sensory perception. My 'soul' is everywhere merely more for the obvious reason that everywhere I go......there I am. I find, therefore, nothing mysterious in terms of whether we can experience 'souls'. The mystery is the whole caboodle of existence, of experience period.
A materialist would argue that there's no need to add the soul conception to the narrative because it seemingly plays no role.

Which of the following would you most or least agree with? David Chalmers's natural dualism, Roger Penrose's "trialism" (as opposed to dualism - energy, consciousness and mathematics), John Hagelin's unified superstring field or Robert Lanza's biocentrism?
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Granth » January 4th, 2016, 6:57 pm

Greta wrote:
Granth wrote:My suggestion is that is that a soul does not reside in among the stuff I mentioned previously, the thoughts, emotions, humor, etc, etc (all thought/memory/feelings essentially, effectively everything summed up to be a personality), but that the 'soul' IS that very stuff.
Granth, could you elaborate on "the 'soul' IS that very stuff", please?
Everything (stuff) you experience is the 'soul' because YOU experience it. 'You' (or 'soul') cannot exist outside of the experience you experience. You are that experience.
Granth wrote:However, what is more obvious to us is that we experience our 'soul' as feelings and the sounds of thoughts and interplay with other 'souls' everyday through sensory perception. My 'soul' is everywhere merely more for the obvious reason that everywhere I go......there I am. I find, therefore, nothing mysterious in terms of whether we can experience 'souls'. The mystery is the whole caboodle of existence, of experience period.
Greta wrote:A materialist would argue that there's no need to add the soul conception to the narrative because it seemingly plays no role.
Greta wrote:Which of the following would you most or least agree with? David Chalmers's natural dualism, Roger Penrose's "trialism" (as opposed to dualism - energy, consciousness and mathematics), John Hagelin's unified superstring field or Robert Lanza's biocentrism?
Hard to know without having read any of them. Can you give me some years? They might bore me however. I suppose I could google some synopsis of each which will probably not do them any justice and I doubt they need me to do them so.

-- Updated January 5th, 2016, 12:00 pm to add the following --

"A materialist would argue that there's no need to add the soul conception to the narrative because it seemingly plays no role." I am tending to agree with this though. I don't need the 'soul' definition while I have the personality definition. Can the 'personality' be regarded as material?

-- Updated January 5th, 2016, 12:11 pm to add the following --

By the way, if they did bore me it would be due to my own inadequacy.....not theirs. This brain puts particular pictures together based on it's own limitations thereby requiring different, perhaps, or merely just other ways of describing.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Greta » January 4th, 2016, 10:28 pm

Everything (stuff) you experience is the 'soul' because YOU experience it. 'You' (or 'soul') cannot exist outside of the experience you experience. You are that experience.
That's roughly like my intuition, but I don't fully trust my intuition because I've mislead myself before.

Consider a fly. It has its own simple flavour of experience. Is it in essence a small fly soul?

If so, it would seem an unfortunate hand to be dealt in life for the poor little soul. No wonder the easterners thought of a reincarnation, where good performance in this life carries over to the next, resulting in what's basically a promotion. If nothing else it would give hope. I suppose a fly's performance in life would be moot so they'd have a system more akin to kindergarten - pick up the attendance cetrificate at the end of the year and, having paid their dues, move up a grade. Maybe be reborn as something a little smarter and in control like a bee, ant or snail :)

Re: the philosophers, I think these videos provides a fair summary of the kinds of views going around about consciousness.

Roger Penrose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Q6SWcTA9w

A debate including David Chalmers and other experts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXHgeq9Qg4Q. David C solo: ted.com/talks/david_chalmers_how_do_you ... anguage=en

Jaron Lanier, virtual reality expert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgfFFRFPvyw

A surprisingly brilliant interview with physicist, Michio Kaku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_VqoEov0Vc

Robert Lanza's biocentrism model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI_F4nOKDSM and John Hagelin's unified superstring field: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrcWntw9juM tend to be disregarded outright by mainstream scientists, but I think they are at least interesting angles. Maybe they're on to something intuitively but don't have the experimental evidence? Or maybe they've fallen into dead ends? Time may tell.

Likewise, Dan Dennett's denial of qualia is not widely accepted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo. He's smart and he is rigorous in some respects, but blinkered IMO in denying the existence of the hard problem.
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Granth » January 4th, 2016, 11:08 pm

Greta wrote:
Everything (stuff) you experience is the 'soul' because YOU experience it. 'You' (or 'soul') cannot exist outside of the experience you experience. You are that experience.
That's roughly like my intuition, but I don't fully trust my intuition because I've mislead myself before.

Consider a fly. It has its own simple flavour of experience. Is it in essence a small fly soul?

If so, it would seem an unfortunate hand to be dealt in life for the poor little soul. No wonder the easterners thought of a reincarnation, where good performance in this life carries over to the next, resulting in what's basically a promotion. If nothing else it would give hope. I suppose a fly's performance in life would be moot so they'd have a system more akin to kindergarten - pick up the attendance cetrificate at the end of the year and, having paid their dues, move up a grade. Maybe be reborn as something a little smarter and in control like a bee, ant or snail :)

Re: the philosophers, I think these videos provides a fair summary of the kinds of views going around about consciousness.

Roger Penrose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Q6SWcTA9w

A debate including David Chalmers and other experts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXHgeq9Qg4Q. David C solo: ted.com/talks/david_chalmers_how_do_you ... anguage=en

Jaron Lanier, virtual reality expert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgfFFRFPvyw

A surprisingly brilliant interview with physicist, Michio Kaku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_VqoEov0Vc

Robert Lanza's biocentrism model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI_F4nOKDSM and John Hagelin's unified superstring field: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrcWntw9juM tend to be disregarded outright by mainstream scientists, but I think they are at least interesting angles. Maybe they're on to something intuitively but don't have the experimental evidence? Or maybe they've fallen into dead ends? Time may tell.

Likewise, Dan Dennett's denial of qualia is not widely accepted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjbWr3ODbAo. He's smart and he is rigorous in some respects, but blinkered IMO in denying the existence of the hard problem.
A fly's existence is only unfortunate, I feel, from an anthropomorphic point of view which is unnecessary. Such a view will not give rise to understanding a fly's lot. As for a 'fly soul', it merely muddies the water to introduce soul concepts for either our experience or another creature and will only invite more anthropomorphic reasoning. A fly is a fly, Greta is a Greta.

Thank you for bringing the links to here. I do like a good witty and/or intelligent show on a screen by such performers. Initially I thought I would have to read large treatises.

-- Updated January 5th, 2016, 4:12 pm to add the following --

The community organisation and collectivism of bees and ants are astounding. They seem to leave us dead in that activity.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by The Beast » January 5th, 2016, 4:03 pm

The sun warms the planet with its rays. The rays are like thoughts; waves of different energies. If we are to measure the wave then the quantum is its representation. It also is an abstract mathematical equation. Magnetic fields change photons into bosons .A ball of energy of densities moving, stretching, wanting to be. Whatever it was is now: consciousness. A quantum ball that exists; it is transformation as the geometry of what is. The quantum shaped the seed and built a container. Consciousness lives inside the container with energies and waves of its own form. If the skull is our Universe then the soul is our seed. The abstract lives in the psychic energy. Resonance with the sacred geometry find the meaning we give to our lives. The meaning is a point defined in space moving in time. I know that belief has a higher psychic energy. The wave moves in the realm of the sacred geometry; its energy forms the soul. As the sun shaped consciousness then consciousness shapes the soul. We are the sun; we are consciousness; we are the soul. What do the soul wants? The psychic energy exist. The higher energy of belief is changed by the magnetic field of the sacred geometry; the low energies also exist as other less abstract geometries. Can the soul plant the seed in Heaven? As such we are quantum; we are consciousness; we are the soul; we are in Heaven.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Alec Smart » January 5th, 2016, 4:07 pm

The Beast wrote:As such we are quantum; we are consciousness; we are the soul; we are in Heaven.
We are stardust, we are golden.
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