Does the Soul Exist?

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Is there a soul?

Humans have souls, but animals and other living things do not
1
6%
Both animals and humans have souls
6
38%
The soul does not exist
6
38%
Other
3
19%
 
Total votes: 16

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby deschainXIX » 20 Nov 2014 15:12

buildit wrote:Also I think you mean immortality? As for a purpose for consciousness, shall we also assume there is not purpose for life? And on that slippery slope if life were exterminated by a cataclysmic on Earth then no big deal? I am surprised at the belief that you put in the cosmic coincidences. Universal constant accurate to something like 10 X-11 decimal places (6.673×10−11), Goldilocks planet the right distance from sun which is just big enough not to cook us, where life just "happens" and then becomes sentient! If I was a gambling man those odds make the Power Ball look like a sure win.


Why would I mean "immortality"? :lol: You think that entire rant I just wrote was actually about immortality, not morality?

*sigh* Eye-rolling is not effective in debate, buildit. It only signifies immaturity, at least to me.

And, yes, of course life is meaningless! You haven't come to that realization yet? I suppose I can stomach you thinking that consciousness has meaning, but I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that you genuinely believe life has meaning. That is ... remarkable.
I obviously wish with all my heart for the perpetuation of humanity, for the perpetuation of thinking creatures in the universe, but to answer that question you posed: no, if mankind were wiped out, it would be no real big deal cosmically. We do not hold some divine significance--we did indeed arise by chance here, and perhaps it was a big chance, but coincidence does in fact happen. People do with the Power Ball.
Well said.

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buildit
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby buildit » 20 Nov 2014 15:12

deschainXIX wrote:That I cannot find a pragmatically philosophical reason behind morality.


Scientifically speaking it allows for conservation of energy on this planet. As life evolves the old versions are recycled back into the food web. Immortal life would clog up the system and result in a dead end for evolution. I hold to the scientific concept that life does seek and exploit all opportunities. Consciousness is one such opportunity life has come to exploit. Our brains were not originally set up to have consciousness so it is one example of "life" finding a way.
So how does this give evidence or create conditions for a soul?? Well, if consciousness is connected to a "soul" or some existence beyond the realm we can test currently, wouldn't life exploit that opportunity? Life seems to keep surprising us with the other avenues it takes to exploit for life to exist and survive.
Is Lucid Dreaming the brains preparation for the next step of human evolution when we can escape the corporeal bond of our bodies?

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby deschainXIX » 20 Nov 2014 15:13

Also, check out the polls. Most people have their eyes open! That's encouraging...
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby Summerlander » 20 Nov 2014 15:13

deschainXIX wrote:I'll get it for Christmas! :D


I hope you enjoy it. Susan Blackmore's "Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction" is a good read too. 8-)

deschainXIX wrote:In fact, I think the terms "good" and "evil" are pretty archaic and outdated--they don't really mean anything and make just as much sense as "original sin."


Indeed the universe does not give a toss. Morality is not something that exists objectively, but rather, a subjective concept that hinges on human welfare. It's intrinsic to us and it developed along with our evolution and intelligence. So, as we acknowledge this truth, the vernacular "good and evil" should be updated to "good and bad," but bearing in mind that this good and bad business is not at all an objective universal law, it is only applicable at the anthropic level: it is all about what we find to be good and bad for ourselves. (And science can help us to determine such things with great clarity and with more precision.)

deschainXIX wrote:The only "rulebook" I have discerned that might be wholesome to consult on moral issues can be found in dogmatically adhering to what our empathetic nature tells us--don't hurt others. But adhering to nature is problematic in and of itself. Nature is wild and insane and, above all, immoral (there is indiscriminate rape and murder everywhere in nature; its a cold horrorshow out there in the dark wild). I have not yet encountered a pragmatic reason to behave morally, none that is satisfactory, at least. When you get down to it, us realists are faced with ideals just as difficult and dangerous as the religious's delusions. Thinking can sometimes be just as dangerous as not thinking. :|


There is no law in the universe. (I'm not talking about the laws of physics and these are certainly impertinent to this discussion when we see that they are merely the glue that holds everything together as it were.) there is nothing in the universe which strives for justice for all sentient beings. So we had to invent law and rules of thumb mostly based on empathy. Golden rules reflect ecumenical human values which tend to be undergirded by a healthy balance of egoism and altruism. We are sufficiently intelligent to recognise that we had amoral beginnings ( and indeed we still possess the primordial, more animalistic brain which is cocooned by the more advanced encephalon). We can detect nature's flaws with more clarity and insight than ever. So now, we feel compelled to invent our ideal world, the anthropic utopia. But some people are yet to learn that we can do this without religion (and would be better of without). We need to learn to live without God as a whole. In fact, the idea of God is abject and very immoral. It also robs us of self-worth and honour. The goal is merely to work together as a species to survive and improve our lives.

The goal is to have peace and we can do this by respecting one another. This is good for us. It is naturally good not because some supernatural dictator says so but because it just so happens that naturally it will reduce our stress levels and the "happy" chemicals in our brains will help us to live longer and prosperous lives. It is good for us, the best path (we reckon) for us available in this mad universe full of dangerous paths. :shock:

deschainXIX wrote:In the end it falls back to "Is it better to be ignorant and sane or lucid and totally crazy?" In this case, neither cases are entirely realistic, because every viewpoint is at least a little flawed and dangerous. Philosophically-speaking, of course.


I think the best thing to do is be lucid, know as much as you can, and try to be pragmatic. The universe doesn't give a fuck so it is clearly not a role model or good example. Human beings need motive or motivation. The cosmos has none of these things because it is just mindless cause and effect without, pardon the pun, a care in the world. We observe and are in a position to make judgements. For instance, if an asteroid in headed for Earth, and we can tell that the collision will wipe us out, if I don't want to die and wish to see my children growing up, I'm in a position to say: "That's not good (for us/me)!"

Should we try to correct the madness we detect in the universe if it means that this madness will affect us? Absolutely! We should try to prevent the asteroid collision. The universe does not care but we do! We have a notion of positive and negative. The universe produces psychos haphazardly. Should we just fold our arms and do nothing about it? No. We should study genetics, psychology and sociology in order to get to the root of the problem and preclude the emergence of faulty human beings if possible.

We can already imagine a better universe (better for us) than the one that happens to surround us. If there was a God, He'd have to lack imagination and not be much of an engineer. Either that or He's a sadist. But rest assured that He does not exist. :D
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby deschainXIX » 20 Nov 2014 15:15

buildit wrote:Scientifically speaking it allows for conservation of energy on this planet. As life evolves the old versions are recycled back into the food web. Immortal life would clog up the system and result in a dead end for evolution. I hold to the scientific concept that life does seek and exploit all opportunities. Consciousness is one such opportunity life has come to exploit. Our brains were not originally set up to have consciousness so it is one example of "life" finding a way.
So how does this give evidence or create conditions for a soul?? Well, if consciousness is connected to a "soul" or some existence beyond the realm we can test currently, wouldn't life exploit that opportunity? Life seems to keep surprising us with the other avenues it takes to exploit for life to exist and survive.


:lol: :lol: Why do you think I'm talking about mortality and immortality? Perhaps we have found a menial, small-minded point upon which we agree: immortality is utterly absurd and it does not exist and it is impossible for organic machines such as ourselves. :D
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby Summerlander » 20 Nov 2014 15:18

buildit wrote:Universal constant accurate to something like 10 X-11 decimal places (6.673×10−11), Goldilocks planet the right distance from sun which is just big enough not to cook us, where life just "happens" and then becomes sentient! If I was a gambling man those odds make the Power Ball look like a sure win. :roll:


This argument is invalid and I think you are well aware of how many times I have refuted it. For those who want a proper explanation as to why this does not prove intelligent design, just check out Lawrence Krauss: A Universe From Nothing - this is a real scientist who talks about the universal constants! :D

The anthropic principle here applies...(Yoda impression) :mrgreen:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby deschainXIX » 20 Nov 2014 18:53

Maybe there is an inherent biological morality to the universe: If there was a sentient species that didn't hold the values of the golden rule and empathy close at heart, it wouldn't make it very far into the complexities of civilization and progression. It's not morality, it's just a consequence of reality.
Well said.

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buildit
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby buildit » 20 Nov 2014 22:37

Summerlander wrote:
buildit wrote:Universal constant accurate to something like 10 X-11 decimal places (6.673×10−11), Goldilocks planet the right distance from sun which is just big enough not to cook us, where life just "happens" and then becomes sentient! If I was a gambling man those odds make the Power Ball look like a sure win. :roll:


This argument is invalid and I think you are well aware of how many times I have refuted it. For those who want a proper explanation as to why this does not prove intelligent design, just check out Lawrence Krauss: A Universe From Nothing - this is a real scientist who talks about the universal constants! :D

The anthropic principle here applies...(Yoda impression) :mrgreen:

Well, we will not see eye to eye on the ability of science to neither anthropomorphize the universe nor randomize it to chaos. From my point of view if you are correct then we might as well blow up the earth and destroy all life. Without a purpose we are little more than an intelligent disease. :?
Is Lucid Dreaming the brains preparation for the next step of human evolution when we can escape the corporeal bond of our bodies?

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Summerlander
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby Summerlander » 21 Nov 2014 02:17

You have a solipsistic, egocentric way of thinking (like a great portion of mankind). You believe the universe was created with you in mind. (Never mind the billions of rogue planets out there that will never bear life, never mind those worlds that will never get past the microbial stage, never the ones that only bear plant-like or animal-like life before they are pulverised in cosmic catastrophes, never mind the rare ones that hold intelligence... what is the meaning of that?)

Cosmically speaking, and this is plain to see, we are insignificant. Life has no meaning at all. If you want meaning in your life, you have to invent it. To do this, you may want to conduct yourself based on your likes and dislikes. You may devote your life to making your loved ones happy. You may live by wallowing in war with your enemies. You may dedicate your life to finding scientific answers. It all boils down to purpose. To find purpose you must answer the following question to yourself because nobody else can do it for you: What do I do next?

There is no celestial father guiding you. No Almighty with divine plans for you. If you insist on this conviction, you are yet to convince me. The universe, you pointed out, happens to have the right cosmological equilibrium that permits the emergence of life and you hold this to be enough proof of intelligent design. But the fact of the matter is, from the Big Bang, the cosmic billiards could still have stumbled upon the present conditions by chance, without the aid of a god or deity. (And if you tell me it couldn't possibly happen without a higher power, you are not a real scientist.) People win the lottery but this doesn't not mean that they were chosen. The numbers they picked just happened to be right. Furthermore, despite permitting the existence of life and consciousness, the universe is mostly too hostile and chaotic for humans and other species. Even our home planet isn't exactly hospitable with all its natural catastrophes and dangerous predators. A particular type of extremophile is known to remarkably endure the conditions of space for some time but that is about it.

So consider your argument refuted for the third time. Finally, just because there is no God with a plan for you, and just because life has no real meaning, doesn't mean that we should just blow up the planet. On the contrary! We were born in an alien world full of wonderful things yet to be discovered. And we have also grown attached to things. Enjoy life and make the most of it because at least it's something. It's not all doom and gloom for many of us. We should feel privileged that we can experience a variety of things. Lucid dreaming is great! What about sex! That's reason enough to not want to kill yourself or die just yet. There you go. All the wonderful things that surround me, and my own mind, mean a lot to me. That's my meaning. :-D

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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nesgirl
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Re: Does the Soul Exist?

Postby nesgirl » 21 Nov 2014 04:02

A depressed Aromantic Asexual would not agree with you on that one. In fact they even have an entire game dedicated to an asexual person choosing to kill himself/herself rather than face marriage (you can pick the guy or the female): http://games.adultswim.com/five-minutes-to-kill-yourself-wedding-day-action-online-multiplayer-game.html
Goodbye forever...
I dare you Summer and Deschain, to find where I am hiding, and try to attack.


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