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Tags consciousness , soul

View Poll Results: Please select the statements with which you would generally agree about yourself.
I exist 52 74.29%
I am distinct from my physical body alone. 6 8.57%
I have a soul that exists in reality. 3 4.29%
I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone, are not just fictional or legal concepts. 3 4.29%
I understand from my own experience that observing the world and one's body can lead a subject to think that he/she has existence distinguishable from his physical body. 24 34.29%
Object to the Statements/The statements are not clear enough/Planet X/None of the Above (Please explain) 22 31.43%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:31 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
Many other people have not had that experience and can reasonably think you are imagining that.

But the phenomenon of actually being a conscious subject in a body is something that I think everyone has experienced and might relate to. I am looking to see how close I can come to proving or showing the existence of the soul.
I will take a flyer on this - you won't find any such proof or existence.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:37 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
Dear Susan,

In case you don't agree with the statements, such as "I exist", and want to choose "No", for all of them, please select the last option, "None of the Above".

Would you like to say more what you mean by "the four letters forming a word soul are chosen by humans to talk about an aspect of ourselves"?
I don't think I can make it any clearer. What do you understand by the phrase 'aspect of ourselves'?

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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:39 PM   #83
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No. That was easy.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:44 PM   #84
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Once the soul is accepted, the search for the soul of the soul must begin; whirl without end.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 12:47 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
No. That was easy.
Except there is no such poll option in this thread. You'll need to visit a properly worded poll on the subject to be able to vote "No".
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:21 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
As a result, "I" am not real, only my physical body is real?

Indeed - if your body does not exist, then you certainly won't exist.

And also – your own title asked Does The Soul Exist? ... so why doesn't your poll just ask that same question with the options Yes or No? (or if you want to be more scientifically cautious then the options probably should have been (1)Yes, I think so ... (2)No, I don't think so ... (3) No firm opinion.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:21 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
Gday



I understand my tales are unlikely to convince anyone.

I spoke openly and honestly,
of course posters should respond in kind

It's just a perennially interesting subject.

Kapyong
Given the topic only our resident Believers (thus not skeptics) will respond positively. The rest of us may respond, but there is no way we can respond positively as there is NO supporting evidence (belief is not evidence) ( quoting other believers is not evidence) (writings making such claims are not evidence). That is the facts.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:27 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
The pattern of movements.


It proves that the two are distinguishable.


The dance stops when the dancer stops dancing, since the dancer is a necessary component of a dance. A temporary end to the dancing that is later resumed means that the dance itself is ended and then resumed.

Okay, those are reasonable enough answers.

Now let's shift the analogy back to the topic at hand. The dance is the pattern of neural activity (or thoughts, if you will) that generate a sense of self-awareness and conscious experience. The brain does other things as well (just as a dancer can do other things than dance, such as breathe and sing, whether or not he or she is also dancing at the time).

The brain is a necessary component of awareness. Awareness stops when the brain stops generating it. A temporary end to the awareness that is later resumed means that the awareness itself is ended and then resumed.

(Unlike the dance, but like the forum being run by the server in jrhowell's analogy, your brain has memory. So the resumed "dance" remembers its previous movements and might even regard those remembered movements and the present dance joined together as one continuous ongoing event even though it was interrupted.)

That you can view a process (dance) as separate from the actor (dancer) means that if I refer to the brain's generated sense of conscious awareness as a soul (not the usual usage but as good a definition as any), then I can agree with your second, third, and fourth poll options without necessarily agreeing with any of the following additional notions:

- The "soul" can leave the body.

- The "soul" can continue to exist after the brain no longer functions or no longer exists.

- The "soul" exists before birth and joins up with the brain or body at some point in conception, prenatal development, birth, or postnatal development.

- Each person's "soul" is individual and distinct from everyone else's; after all if the "soul" is a process then other brains can be performing the same process at the same or different times, just as multiple dancers can do the same dance.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:27 PM   #89
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Oops, forgot: being defined does not prove the existence of anything. Clearly being observed and verified by knowledgeable persons may do so for solid/identifiable things. Souls, meaningful "auras" and related do not prove anything as they have not/cannot be proven to have any function or usefulness or reality. If that ever changes, fine!!! Proof is really all we are looking for - but it has to be incontrovertible proof!!!!
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Old 2nd January 2018, 01:35 PM   #90
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rakovsky,

In your poll you use the term "I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone". This implies three entities "I', "my soul", "my physical body". Could you please describe the attributes of each of these entities so I can understand how you differentiate them.

You also, in several posts, refer to someone as "having a soul". Do you mean that a soul is merely a possession of a more primary entity?

Your terminology is not clear.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 03:34 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
Now we have court decisions claiming that the corporation is a legal person. This is an example of the concept of a person being a legal fiction. A corporation is not actually a real person.
Not disputed. But, (1) Where and in what legal code is the soul defined as a legal entity, and (2) given that you've admitted that legal fictions are not necessarily true outside the context of the law, can you not see that this would have no value whatsoever in determining whether souls actually exist?

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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:09 PM   #92
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I choose exist because I do. Now I'm told that is proof that I believe in a soul? I wish to retract my answer. This sounds like a Jabba. "So you guys all agree with me on that point."
When of course nobody did.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:17 PM   #93
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Question

Gday MikeG,

Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
When there is some testable, falsifiable and repeatable "evidence"of re-incarnation, Kapyong, let us know. Until then, your beliefs on the matter are just that.
Sure,
you can start here :
https://www.near-death.com/reincarna...stevenson.html

It appears you have not studied the evidence at all,
will you do so now ?

Or have you made up your mind already, without studying the evidence ?


Kapyong
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:52 PM   #94
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Gday Thermal

Thanks for your polite questions.

Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Hi Kapyong:

I too have seen ghosts since I was a kid, and have had two out-of-body experiences. I attribute them to hallucinations/neural misfires/overactive imagination. What is it about your experiences that leads you to rule out these simpler explanations?
Well,
can you tell the difference between a dream/hallucination/imagination and physical reality ?
I can.

One of my experiences was confirmed objectively by a second person. Others have been confirmed by my studies and accounts of others.

But really, the answer amounts to : it happened to me, I was there.

My memory of seeing the latest thing in Paris 1894 or so is historically plausible (possibly a KinetamaScope.) One time Out-Of-Body I saw a black spot on the back of my physical body, so I saw the doctor who removed a benign tumour thingo. I've had a genuine future premonition ($24.75!), several peak experiences, the Cosmic Consciousness experience, astral travelled as far as Malaysia, been pressed all the way to the dark tunnel with that light at the end and fought my (our) way back, travelled a few metres in the etheric (or whatever) body, slid smoothly from a super-physical encounter back into the physical, being proportionally aware of both; and I have stood in the profoundly brilliant Christ Light from above, highlighting my human black spot, my thorn-in-my-side.

I am quite confident that had you had my experiences, you would almost certainly have come to a similar conclusion as I. Funny thing though, I am different to everyone else it seems - I have never met anyone like me, and everyone tells me they have never met anyone like me.

Of course it is entirely possible that I am simply insane / hallucinating / whatever. My sister would agree

Let me recap -
this is a discussion forum, and an interesting topic came up, so I added my opinions and experiences. I have no expectation of persuading anyone here, I understand my views are not mainstream.

Kapyong
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:56 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
No. That was easy.
Well, you would say that, wouldn't you ?
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Old 2nd January 2018, 05:28 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
...
I remember an event from a previous life,
so do many others.
...
I remember events from this current life - which never happened.
so do many others.

I have a relatively easy explanation for this. How about you?


(The weirdest trick my memory has played on me was this:
I used to have a favourite childhood memory. I used to tell of it often, over the course of many years. Until I told it my oldest sister. She was able to prove to me that the people (myself included), events and places in my memory could not possibly have ever come together in a single event as I was remembering it. And now comes the weird part: Having this memory disproven, it almost completely vanished! I have a vague sense that is was probably something on vacation in a country south of Germany, and involved at least one person from my family - for those are elements involved of the refutation, but I have not the slightest idea what the story was!
I remember scenes from books and movies, and also scenes I merely dreamt, or that came to me as inspiration from music; scenes that are all fictitious. Why should I not get a feeling occasionally that some such memory is of me in a previous life? Or even a supernatural life?)
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Old 2nd January 2018, 06:24 PM   #97
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Gday Oystein

Thanks for your story,

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I remember events from this current life - which never happened.
so do many others.
I have a relatively easy explanation for this. How about you?
Well, even human memories are suspect in many ways, as you pointed out.

Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
(The weirdest trick my memory has played on me was this:
I used to have a favourite childhood memory. I used to tell of it often, over the course of many years. Until I told it my oldest sister. She was able to prove to me that the people (myself included), events and places in my memory could not possibly have ever come together in a single event as I was remembering it. And now comes the weird part: Having this memory disproven, it almost completely vanished!
Yes, human memories are nothing a tape recording or a disk file. We re-create memories from various types of mental sources. It is quite common to remember something that never happened.

But that is not the same thing as having an experience, considering it, discussing it with others, making notes about it; and continuing to remember having the experience - is it ?

I have a very rich dream life, and during the day I often recall a certain event with someone - and then realise it was a dream event from last night, not a physical world one. I also frequently remember dream experiences from years ago.

The thing is - I can always tell which is a dream experience and which isn't - they are different states of consciousness, and quite distinct. Normal dreams have a certain emotional heaviness to them, have irrational events, they occur within a limited 'instance', with a hard height limit.

Astral travel is quite distinct - no emotional heaviness, the whole globe is (potentially) accessible and layed out below one like a Google Earth VR, with no hard height limit.

The etheric body experience was a strange one - I had a subtle body that was glowing translucent blueish-white, had no mass at all, and had very little thinking power. I needed water, floated to the bathroom tap and tried to turn it on, but the shock of realising my body was not made of physical matter snapped me back in to my physical body (which frankly is a nasty horrible piece of meat seen from the outside.)

There is a higher place which is entirely mental in nature - museums, libraries etc. Clean and beautiful. No stress, no emotions, no limits, no weeds in the lovely lawns with classical statues. Only been there once.

I have touched higher sources and been transported by wonder - divine joy, transcendant bliss, infinite love.

My experiences are best explained by the Neo-Platonics or ancient Hindus or Qabbalists etc. - there are multiple planes or dimensions which we can experience in different states of consciousness (and different subtle bodies too.)

Our current state of debate on these issues is pretty much where we were near the end of the Rome. We have progressed little since the time of about Philo to Porphyry and their discussions on the soul etc.

The Christians made a grave mistake in rejecting the pre-existence of souls. Their view of these matters is obviously worthless, and now they are reduced to admitting "we won't really know what happens when we die, until we die". WTF ? The claim to know that kept them on top for nearly two millenia !

Now, in the West - everyone knows re-incarnation is not true. Why ? Because everyone else knows it is not true. No need to actually study the evidence at all.
"The Pope has declared there are no moons around Jupiter, so there is no need to look through a new-fangled telescope to confirm he is right".

Kapyong
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Old 2nd January 2018, 08:07 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
Gday MikeG,



Sure,
you can start here :
https://www.near-death.com/reincarna...stevenson.html

It appears you have not studied the evidence at all,
will you do so now ?

Or have you made up your mind already, without studying the evidence ?


Kapyong
Let me try this again in English. There is NO evidence of anything that matches the claimed soul. It is a fictitious idea/claim from a fictitious book based on borrowed/stolen ideas/stories and pushed together for propaganda purposes. If you can prove otherwise in a manner that leaves no opening for error and can be easily tested and, thus, proven or disproven clearly and understandably by people applying real science to it and including measurements of the energy it absorbs or transmits and the media it can or cannot pass/move through. There is not even a suggestion in the world of reality that such occurs/is real.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:25 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Except there is no such poll option in this thread. You'll need to visit a properly worded poll on the subject to be able to vote "No".
Betteridge's law of headlines
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:55 AM   #100
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Kapyong, there is a big fat problem with your alleged immaterial experiences: photons interact with matter. It is through optical focussing through the lens of thry eye, photo-chemical interaction with our retinas, and subsequent neural processing, that the image of your surroundings enters your mind. If you make an experience where you see what's around you, you either have a material apparatus to image things, or the visuals are conjured up in your mind.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:20 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
I didn't start there when I first looked into the evidence for reincarnation, it's actually where I stopped. If someone who devoted the time and effort to the claims that Stevenson did still ended up with nothing that necessitated that explanation there was clearly no reason to take it seriously.

Here's a good summary of his work:

http://skepdic.com/stevenson.html
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:46 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
Gday MikeG,



Sure,
you can start here :
https://www.near-death.com/reincarna...stevenson.html

It appears you have not studied the evidence at all,
will you do so now ?.........
And it appears that you have no idea of the meaning of the words "testable", "falsifiable", "repeatable" or "evidence".

I've read the junk you linked to. I've read it previously, too. It's still junk. It's junk because it is no more than assertion and anecdote. Nothing testable, falsifiable, repeatable, and so nothing rising anywhere near the threshold of evidence. That you obviously find it compelling is a great example of confirmation bias, which, as I am sure you know, is where people who have already made up their mind hear what they want to hear, and disregard the rest, lie-le-lie, lie-le-lie-lie-lie-le-lie.....
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Old 3rd January 2018, 08:59 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Kapyong View Post
Gday Oystein

Thanks for your story,



Well, even human memories are suspect in many ways, as you pointed out.



Yes, human memories are nothing a tape recording or a disk file. We re-create memories from various types of mental sources. It is quite common to remember something that never happened.

But that is not the same thing as having an experience, considering it, discussing it with others, making notes about it; and continuing to remember having the experience - is it ?

I have a very rich dream life, and during the day I often recall a certain event with someone - and then realise it was a dream event from last night, not a physical world one. I also frequently remember dream experiences from years ago.

The thing is - I can always tell which is a dream experience and which isn't - they are different states of consciousness, and quite distinct. Normal dreams have a certain emotional heaviness to them, have irrational events, they occur within a limited 'instance', with a hard height limit.

Astral travel is quite distinct - no emotional heaviness, the whole globe is (potentially) accessible and layed out below one like a Google Earth VR, with no hard height limit.

The etheric body experience was a strange one - I had a subtle body that was glowing translucent blueish-white, had no mass at all, and had very little thinking power. I needed water, floated to the bathroom tap and tried to turn it on, but the shock of realising my body was not made of physical matter snapped me back in to my physical body (which frankly is a nasty horrible piece of meat seen from the outside.)

There is a higher place which is entirely mental in nature - museums, libraries etc. Clean and beautiful. No stress, no emotions, no limits, no weeds in the lovely lawns with classical statues. Only been there once.

I have touched higher sources and been transported by wonder - divine joy, transcendant bliss, infinite love.

My experiences are best explained by the Neo-Platonics or ancient Hindus or Qabbalists etc. - there are multiple planes or dimensions which we can experience in different states of consciousness (and different subtle bodies too.)

Our current state of debate on these issues is pretty much where we were near the end of the Rome. We have progressed little since the time of about Philo to Porphyry and their discussions on the soul etc.

The Christians made a grave mistake in rejecting the pre-existence of souls. Their view of these matters is obviously worthless, and now they are reduced to admitting "we won't really know what happens when we die, until we die". WTF ? The claim to know that kept them on top for nearly two millenia !

Now, in the West - everyone knows re-incarnation is not true. Why ? Because everyone else knows it is not true. No need to actually study the evidence at all.
"The Pope has declared there are no moons around Jupiter, so there is no need to look through a new-fangled telescope to confirm he is right".

Kapyong
Pathetic try on that - we know there is no reincarnation because none has ever proved true or even possibly plausible. The best known claims for same were found to be/proven to be actual frauds.
The views on anyone claiming souls is that they need real evidence/proof. NONE exists.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:21 AM   #104
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I have to say, "I exist" is the dumbest poll option I've ever seen. Are you trying to weed out the non-existent people who are voting?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:18 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
I have to say, "I exist" is the dumbest poll option I've ever seen. Are you trying to weed out the non-existent people who are voting?
It worked, didn't it?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:43 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
I have to say, "I exist" is the dumbest poll option I've ever seen. Are you trying to weed out the non-existent people who are voting?
There could be people who deny that the "Self" has a real existence, and that all that really exists is matter, and so they don't have an agreement with the statement "I exist".
Quote:
The words are put in the mouth of the anti-natalist Rustin Cohle...

We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, a secretion of sensory experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody’s nobody.

The main points made above are these:

1. The emergence of consciousness and self-consciousness in human animals is an accident, a fluke of evolution.

2. We are each under the illusion of having, or being, a self when in fact there are no selves.

3. We have been programmed by nature to suffer from this illusion.

Each of these theses is either extremely dubious or demonstrably incoherent...
Performative Inconsistency

Now 'There are no selves,' if asserted by a being who understands what he says and means what he says, is asserted by a conscious and self-conscious being. But that is just what a self is. A self is a conscious being capable of expressing explicit self-consciousness by the use of the first-person singular pronoun, 'I.' Therefore, a self that asserts that there are no selves falls into performative inconsistency. The very act or performance of asserting that there are no selves or that one is not a self falsifies the content of the assertion. For that performance is a performance of a self.
http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.c...ng-a-self.html
See also Peter Unger's essay:

Quote:
Prepared to pay this price, in this brief essay I mean to deny my own putative existence, a position which I take to be even more radical than Hume's. This is owing not to a desire to be more perverse than any of my predecessors, but, rather, to certain arguments which have occurred to me, and which seem quite far from any of their thoughts.

The challenging position is this: I do not exist and neither do you. The scientific perspective, especially as developed over the last few centuries, compels this result.

https://schickphil2101.files.wordpre...6/09/unger.pdf
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Old 3rd January 2018, 01:53 PM   #107
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Yeah, yeah, blather, blather, Rakovsky. You've skewed a poll and got caught. You've then cited a false trichotomy from some internet blogger to try and justify your ridiculous choices. Meanwhile, in a proper poll, almost three quarters of all respondents reject your starting position.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 02:19 PM   #108
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Where the question is "does the soul exist?" and the first option is "I exist", it seems to me as though the existence of a soul is being assumed, so despite being firmly convinced that I exist, I do not feel at all comfortable selecting this option.

Further, both those who believe in souls and those who don't could choose this option, so you won't learn anything from this answer.

Similarly, the final answer conflates several different points of view, some of which are mutually exclusive. "None of the above" is not at all the same as either believing in a soul or not believing in one, because some people's conception of what a soul might be may differ fundamentally from the options you provide.

"Object to the statements/The statements aren't clear enough" tells you nothing about belief in souls, for the same reason as above. However, it's not at all the same thing as choosing none of the above.

In short, the poll answers are fundamentally flawed and won't allow you to gauge how many people would reply yes or no to the poll question.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:10 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Not disputed. But, (1) Where and in what legal code is the soul defined as a legal entity, and (2) given that you've admitted that legal fictions are not necessarily true outside the context of the law, can you not see that this would have no value whatsoever in determining whether souls actually exist?

Dave
Yes, this is why I added:

I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone, are not just fictional or legal concepts.

Someone could say that they have a soul, but that they consider it a fiction, manner of speech, etc. (as do some of those forum users here who are saying "I got soul").
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:18 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
rakovsky,

In your poll you use the term "I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone". This implies three entities "I', "my soul", "my physical body". Could you please describe the attributes of each of these entities so I can understand how you differentiate them.

You also, in several posts, refer to someone as "having a soul". Do you mean that a soul is merely a possession of a more primary entity?

Your terminology is not clear.
I wrote:
"I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone, are not just fictional or legal concepts."

Some people consider themselves, their persons, to be a combination of soul and body. Maybe some Platonic thinkers would disagree and say that the Self is only a soul with a spirit, whereas the body is like a prison or house for the true Self.

"Do you mean that a soul is merely a possession of a more primary entity?"
I think people usually say that they "have" a soul, (or each is a person with a body and soul) rather than just that they "are" a soul. Maybe they mean that they each, as single person, have a soul and body, as a person is a being with both a soul and body.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:29 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Oops, forgot: being defined does not prove the existence of anything. Clearly being observed and verified by knowledgeable persons may do so for solid/identifiable things. Souls, meaningful "auras" and related do not prove anything as they have not/cannot be proven to have any function or usefulness or reality. If that ever changes, fine!!! Proof is really all we are looking for - but it has to be incontrovertible proof!!!!
Maybe the only proof is something that a person can have intuitively and directly themselves, and not something that they can objectively prove in material terms.

A subject can know that he/she exists, he/she can tell that he/she has a mind and a brain, and he/she can sense a difference between himself/herself and his/her physical brain. The Self, the sense of a self distinct from the physical body, along with senses like free will and creativity might not be scientifically detectable or provable in material terms. One might look at the neurons of a brain ready to fire and then firing under a brain scan, yet still not know which decision the subject will choose of its own free will to make.

Further, what it's like to experience the world in the first person does not seem to be something that I can describe objectively and prove that my description is right. It seems that the first person subjective state must be experienced in order to be known. It's a very different experience to be in a brain than to just hear or say that some other brain is having certain experiences.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:58 PM   #112
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I like your thoughtful reply, Myriad.
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Now let's shift the analogy back to the topic at hand. The dance is the pattern of neural activity (or thoughts, if you will) that generate a sense of self-awareness and conscious experience. The brain does other things as well (just as a dancer can do other things than dance, such as breathe and sing, whether or not he or she is also dancing at the time).

The brain is a necessary component of awareness. Awareness stops when the brain stops generating it. A temporary end to the awareness that is later resumed means that the awareness itself is ended and then resumed.

(Unlike the dance, but like the forum being run by the server in jrhowell's analogy, your brain has memory. So the resumed "dance" remembers its previous movements and might even regard those remembered movements and the present dance joined together as one continuous ongoing event even though it was interrupted.)

That you can view a process (dance) as separate from the actor (dancer) means that if I refer to the brain's generated sense of conscious awareness as a soul (not the usual usage but as good a definition as any), then I can agree with your second, third, and fourth poll options without necessarily agreeing with any of the following additional notions:

- The "soul" can leave the body.

- The "soul" can continue to exist after the brain no longer functions or no longer exists.

- The "soul" exists before birth and joins up with the brain or body at some point in conception, prenatal development, birth, or postnatal development.

- Each person's "soul" is individual and distinct from everyone else's; after all if the "soul" is a process then other brains can be performing the same process at the same or different times, just as multiple dancers can do the same dance.
A dance in reality consists of a physical body (dancer) moving through space. I suppose motion is a phenomenon or property, but it is not itself a physical real being. A dance as a pattern I think also has meaning, in the sense that the movements are put together in a person's mental perception as a pattern.

A subject might be conscious and aware of himself/herself when he thinks that he is thinking or detects himself. However, it feels like a subject is more than just his consciousness or his process of being aware of himself. It feels like the subject has a real existence, just like the dancer has a real existence. It feels like the subject exists even when he is not detecting himself or conscious of himself, but rather simply living. A dancer exists even when the dance is over, and it seems like a subject exists even when he is not recognizing himself. It seems then that a subject is not quite the same as his consciousness or self-awareness. A subject or self is not then quite the same thing as the process of a brain being aware of itself.

So while I can view a process (dance) as distinguishable from the actor (dancer) alone, it is hard for me to refer to the brain's generated sense of conscious awareness as a soul. The soul seems to be not the sense of conscious awareness, but the generator or receiver of the sense of conscious awareness. That is, an Observer receives/observes the sense of awareness, just as a dancer dances or an audience watches, and the soul feels like the entity receiving this sense or performing the action of observing.

This reminds me of the mind-body problem. It feels like I have a mind that is a real entity that has creative abilities and a real free will to make real decisions. I don't know how the mind is objectively provable as an entity, though, or how one scientifically proves creative abilities or free will, as opposed to all decisions being either random or the pre-determined result of material conditioning from the physical world.

"I" sense that I exist distinct from my physical body and that my experience is drastically different than simply some brain existing with the same exact physical qualities but lacking my subjective observation, which I have at this moment. And the difference is not in any physical elements or qualities, but purely in the question of "me" and my status in relation to that brain.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:10 PM   #113
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If my soul, my mind, my creative ability, my free will, and my independent decision-making powers are all illusions and fictions, and I am only a physical brain with predetermined decisions, then why am I also not an illusion or fiction? I sense all these things about myself and my experience in the world, so for them to be pure fiction, it would suggest to me that my experience of reality in the world could itself be a fiction. And then why do "I" not also become a fiction, that is, the whole mental construct of "myself" having a "self" or being?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:25 PM   #114
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:31 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
I wrote:
"I and my soul, as distinct from my physical body alone, are not just fictional or legal concepts."

Some people consider themselves, their persons, to be a combination of soul and body. Maybe some Platonic thinkers would disagree and say that the Self is only a soul with a spirit, whereas the body is like a prison or house for the true Self.

"Do you mean that a soul is merely a possession of a more primary entity?"
I think people usually say that they "have" a soul, (or each is a person with a body and soul) rather than just that they "are" a soul. Maybe they mean that they each, as single person, have a soul and body, as a person is a being with both a soul and body.
Apologies. I appears I was not clear. I was not asking what you thought other people may think. I was asking what you think.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:41 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
If my soul, my mind, my creative ability, my free will, and my independent decision-making powers are all illusions and fictions, and I am only a physical brain with predetermined decisions, then why am I also not an illusion or fiction? I sense all these things about myself and my experience in the world, so for them to be pure fiction, it would suggest to me that my experience of reality in the world could itself be a fiction. And then why do "I" not also become a fiction, that is, the whole mental construct of "myself" having a "self" or being?
Just your soul is a fiction. Don't get carried away here.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:14 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
A subject can know that he/she exists, he/she can tell that he/she has a mind and a brain, and he/she can sense a difference between himself/herself and his/her physical brain.
Can you describe what the difference in your feelings would be if you were the same as your physical brain vs. you being a soul separate from your brain?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 08:01 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by eerok View Post
Just your soul is a fiction. Don't get carried away here.
This ..^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^. It has been noted here (and in several related threads) previously
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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:14 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Can you describe what the difference in your feelings would be if you were the same as your physical brain vs. you being a soul separate from your brain?
In my experience, if there was no subjective soul distinct from the brain and everything was purely physical, the experience could be like I were dead or a robot. Rakovsky's physical brain would get electrochemical responses and reactions, but "I" would not observe them, there would be no subject, the phenomenon would be robot-like and soul-less. "I" would not have my sense of free will, creativity, responsibility, observing the world. I would not observe anything at all.

The self would not exist, only physical brain and chemical processes. The brain could receive stimuli, but there would be no one observing it. The brain could even robotically respond "I [the brain] get your message", but there would be no viewer in the first person experiencing the stimuli or choosing with free will to send a message back. "Choice" would only be an automatic series of reactions varying between randomness and programmed, pre-conditioned responses, with no decider with any independence of the physical world's set of factors.

So I have a sense of my Self looking out at the physical world and my body, thereby distinguishing this Self, the Observer, from the physical body, that which I, my Self, am observing. I, my Self, can direct view my physical body in its physical state, but can my physical body directly view my Self in a physical state?

If there was no distinction in any way between my Self and my physical body, then this whole discussion about the Self might not be possible. There would be a purely physical brain, but no observer in it experiencing the body in the first person, since an observer experiencing the brain presupposes a distinction between the observer and what is observed. The soul must be the entity that is observing and acting on the world through the brain in the first person.

Certainly, the brain could be an entity observing the brain, itself. However, the physical brain is not the same exact thing as the observing soul for another reason: the distinction between the physical body and soul shown at death. After death, the physical brain still exists, but the soul no longer is alive, I am no longer in existence, and I cannot experience the world anymore, unless theories of immortality or afterlife are true.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:01 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by rakovsky View Post
.........
A subject can know that he/she exists, he/she can tell that he/she has a mind and a brain, and he/she can sense a difference between himself/herself and his/her physical brain.
How are they going to do this in any sort of meaningful way?
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