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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Belinda
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Belinda » January 6th, 2016, 7:29 am

Here's nice usage of 'soul':

The harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls,
As if that soul were fled. --
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts, that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.


The soul referred to is the feelings that were inspired by heroic sentiments as expressed in the old bardic tradition.
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Steve3007
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Steve3007 » October 16th, 2017, 3:01 am

In the UK the one pound coin was recently redesigned. The old one pound coins went out of circulation yesterday. They instantly went from being meaningful parts of the living economic system to being just dead metal discs. I had one of them left and I watched as its immortal economic soul left its corporeal body. Quite moving.

(Idea by Reverend Giles Fraser, "Thought for the Day", BBC Radio 4.)

Chili
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Chili » October 16th, 2017, 7:34 am

There is the strange and interesting "cosmology" of the "Riverworld" sci-fi book series.

*spoiler alert*

See Wikipedia > Riverworld > Purpose

Human souls are created and then stored by advanced alien technology. Human rebirth does not occur until after the end of Earth, when everyone is reborn at once on the artificially-created Riverworld.

Darshan
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Darshan » October 21st, 2017, 7:03 pm

Earthellism clearly defines a human soul and other souls. When my daughter was born and I held her 1 minute old I clearly sensed the presence of her soul which was much older than her physical body. I sensed her soul was hundreds of years old based on our first joyful interaction. Clearly every human being has a soul which is much older than their physical body. On death our soul leaves a lifeless body to return to heaven or stay on earthell. We sense our spouse's soul as soulmates and our children's soul as child-souls and parents as parent-souls and feel their presence at death and afterwards. Bacteria and ants do not have souls because they cannot sense love. Dogs and Cats have a soul because they can sense love and give love. Therefore any animal that can feel true love and give true love has a soul which survives the death of their body.

Parents help bring a baby into this world but only God can create a human soul which can live one human life or many human lives. When a child dies in infancy, its soul can have a second chance at human life. Reincarnation is too simplistic to explain the human soul which can chose with God returning to earthell to fulfill a life they never completed.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 22nd, 2017, 2:32 am

Darshan wrote:When my daughter was born and I held her 1 minute old I clearly sensed the presence of her soul which was much older than her physical body. I sensed her soul was hundreds of years old based on our first joyful interaction.
Well spotted, I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between a second hand soul and a new one.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Darshan » October 22nd, 2017, 11:17 am

Earthellism can help us define our soul and others. Children many times have less fear of death than 90 year old people. As a physician I see patients who are actively dying or near death and clearly can sense that some are at complete peace with dying and do not fear death. Others are very scared of death and fear it until the end. Young children with cancer which may be terminal exhibit tremendous courage because their soul has already experienced human death I believe. They do not fear death because they know it is not the end of their existence. One 90 year old patient who was actively dying behaved like a child who refused to go to sleep in that he greatly feared being dead. His soul was immature and much younger than a child's soul who had experienced death. In the end we may differ in our beliefs in God but need to be open to the concept of a human soul which help define our human existence here on earthell. Children can have old souls and elderly people can have young souls and how they face life and death is a clue on the age of their soul. I feel my soul is quite old in that I have no fear of death and absolutely know that my soul will leave my body on my human death and enter Heaven to experience an infinite love with God. A love so powerful that it will fully compensate me for any pain and suffering I have ever suffered on earthell.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Chili » October 22nd, 2017, 11:28 am

Earthellism appears to be obscure to an extent that I'm not finding much about it online. It was created by a Texas doctor?

Children have much less fear in general of abstractions or things they have not experienced. They have less self-awareness and will not fear death on that basis, certainly. If you interview children, you will find they don't know much, generally. There are intriguing cases suggestive of reincarnation, such as the recent book where the child is reported to recall having been Lou Gehrig. Animals have no fear of death. I don't know that the lack of a fear of death is indication of any particular enlightenment ?

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 22nd, 2017, 11:29 am

Darshan wrote:Earthellism can help us define our soul and others. Children many times have less fear of death than 90 year old people. As a physician I see patients who are actively dying or near death and clearly can sense that some are at complete peace with dying and do not fear death. Others are very scared of death and fear it until the end. Young children with cancer which may be terminal exhibit tremendous courage because their soul has already experienced human death I believe. They do not fear death because they know it is not the end of their existence. One 90 year old patient who was actively dying behaved like a child who refused to go to sleep in that he greatly feared being dead. His soul was immature and much younger than a child's soul who had experienced death. In the end we may differ in our beliefs in God but need to be open to the concept of a human soul which help define our human existence here on earthell. Children can have old souls and elderly people can have young souls and how they face life and death is a clue on the age of their soul. I feel my soul is quite old in that I have no fear of death and absolutely know that my soul will leave my body on my human death and enter Heaven to experience an infinite love with God. A love so powerful that it will fully compensate me for any pain and suffering I have ever suffered on earthell.
I suppose you can just sense all this, right?

-- Updated October 22nd, 2017, 4:38 pm to add the following --
Chili wrote:Earthellism appears to be obscure to an extent that I'm not finding much about it online.
That's strange, usually the crazier an idea is, the more stuff there is about it online.
It was created by a Texas doctor?
You'd think a doctor would have more sense, wouldn't you?

Steve3007
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Steve3007 » October 22nd, 2017, 11:46 am

Darshan:
Young children with cancer which may be terminal exhibit tremendous courage because their soul has already experienced human death I believe. They do not fear death because they know it is not the end of their existence.
I appreciate that you can see, with your own eyes, that some people who are close to death fear it and some other are more accepting of it. But presumably the above is purely your speculation? Have you asked these children about their feelings? Have they told you "I have no fear because I've already experienced death before"?

Wouldn't it be more likely that they don't show fear simply because they haven't yet experienced much life? My young son recently needed an injection. He was told by the doctor that it wouldn't hurt much. So he didn't fear it. It hurt a lot. He cried. Next time, he will fear it. He has learned. As we go through life, we learn. I don't think any of that had anything to do with past lives.

As a physician, do any of the beliefs that you're describing here cause you to treat patients differently than you would if you didn't hold these beliefs?

-- Updated Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:50 pm to add the following --

Chili:
Children have much less fear in general of abstractions or things they have not experienced. They have less self-awareness and will not fear death on that basis, certainly.
Yes, that is my experience with my own children. Up to a certain age, they have a matter-of-fact attitude towards life and death.
If you interview children, you will find they don't know much, generally.
Yes. I remember interviewing my son when he was a baby. He didn't even know who the Prime Minister is. What an idiot!

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SimpleGuy
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by SimpleGuy » October 22nd, 2017, 1:12 pm

The soul is a concept first mentioned by the bhagavad gita , a very old hindu book which is part of the world cultural heritage. In it it is claimed:

The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time nor does it come into beeing again when the body is created. The soul is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.

This is for me the bhagaved-Gita chapter 2, verse 20. An even older book than the bible. Which states that something imperishabel seems to be attached to the human body which has persistence.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 22nd, 2017, 1:20 pm

SimpleGuy wrote:Which states that something imperishabel seems to be attached to the human body which has persistence.
I wonder what they meant by "seems"? Normal observation would suggest that everything of the body is all too perishable.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Count Lucanor » October 22nd, 2017, 5:39 pm

Vijaydevani wrote:I was reading through the thread, "Arguments for the persistence of the human soul." As I was going through the various posts, I saw people either convinced that the soul existed and was eternal, and at the other end of the spectrum, those that were convinced that there is no soul. What I did not see, however, was a clear picture of what people think the soul is. So my question is, "what do you think is the soul?". I am just hoping to hear from people who believe in the soul, what they believe the soul is. I will not put up any argument or challenge the opinions given here. I just would like to know what each person thinks the soul is.

Let me clarify that when I did believe in the Soul, I thought of it as a representation of the all pervading Consciousness which inhabited my body and then left after my death to re-incarnate. I, however, do not believe in the concept of the soul anymore.

So this question is just out of curiosity. I hope you understand that at least from my stand point, there is no right or wrong answer.
Soul: another name given to mind. Not an immaterial substance. Not something independent of a body.

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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Chili » October 22nd, 2017, 5:58 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:Soul: another name given to mind. Not an immaterial substance. Not something independent of a body.
Mind - this you understand to be material and not independent of a body.

Do you have a way to detect it?

Does this term "mind" imply first person subjective experience?

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Count Lucanor
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Count Lucanor » October 22nd, 2017, 9:59 pm

Chili wrote:
Count Lucanor wrote:Soul: another name given to mind. Not an immaterial substance. Not something independent of a body.
Mind - this you understand to be material and not independent of a body.

Do you have a way to detect it?

Does this term "mind" imply first person subjective experience?
Mind is just what the brain does, just like motion is what a moving object does. And sure, there are ways to detect that a brain functions.

Chili
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Re: So what is the soul?

Post by Chili » October 22nd, 2017, 10:27 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
Chili wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Mind - this you understand to be material and not independent of a body.

Do you have a way to detect it?

Does this term "mind" imply first person subjective experience?
Mind is just what the brain does, just like motion is what a moving object does. And sure, there are ways to detect that a brain functions.
If I say that behavior is what the brain does, how is that different? Where is "mind" in that case?

I note that your answer did not address my question regarding subjective experience.

Is the idea that the brain "does" subjective experience an assumption or an experimental result?

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