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Do you believe you have a soul? watch

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  • View Poll Results: Do you believe you have a a soul?
    yes
    55
    41.35%
    no
    61
    45.86%
    i don't know
    17
    12.78%

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    But then how would you explain dreams and thoughts? Couldn't a "soul" emerge in the same way? Saying chemical reactions is, to me, only part of it. It is what those reactions present, how they manifest themselves.
    But it does really does depend on how you think of a soul. Its going to be different for everyone as to how little or much they class as the "soul" of a person. To say that it is put there by God is one thing, but I still believe it is there in some shape or form. And I feel it goes beyond emotion. It is, as I said, the heart of us, the centre of us, beyond rationalisation.
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    (Original post by jennyallen03)
    But then how would you explain dreams and thoughts? Couldn't a "soul" emerge in the same way? Saying chemical reactions is, to me, only part of it. It is what those reactions present, how they manifest themselves.
    We've evolved thoughts and dreams because they serve an evolutionary purpose (although in the case of dreams we might not entirely know what that purpose is yet). The only way chemicals could manifest themselves as something like a soul is if doing so helped an individual to simply survive to reproduce, which would essentially make the soul as meaninglful or meaningless as any other part of any living thing.
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    (Original post by jennyallen03)
    But then how would you explain dreams and thoughts?
    Dreams, according to the activation-synthesis hypothesis, are the result of random neural activity in the brainstem and areas in the amygdala during the REM stage of sleep. This activity is then 'processed' by residual cortical and subcortical architecture attempts to construct coherent sense from it. More modern additions to the hypothesis include the concept of repetition of neural patterns that have frequently been activated during wakefulness.

    Underlying reasons for this activity appear to stem from learning, as a variety of experiments have shown consolidation of the lexicon occur only after sleep, for example. Similar findings have been found with motor learning.
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    So the soul can't have an evolutionary purpose that is as unexplained as dreams?
    See, the thing is, to me the soul does serve some purpose in evolution. If it is the essence of us then it is emitted through our actions and our likes/dislikes, our connections to other people (emotion or not... people speak of "chemical attaction" to someone else), it is our character, it is who we are as a person. That then strengthens the attraction to certain people, certain characteristics, to different beliefs. It allows us to be more strongly bonded than just the "you're a man, i'm a woman, lets have sex/produce offspring so we can continue our race and pass on our genes"...
    Ok, its not that simple. Maybe the soul doesn't need some "evolutionary purpose" to be carried on between individuals and between species, it is innate, there are a whole multitude of systems that come in to play in reproduction/evolution but the soul allows us to be who we are. It could play some role in our progression of thought, our ideas, what allows creativity, how we express ourselves to others...
    Maybe you can argue that that is not the soul's purpose and that that is something else.
    You may well be right, I'm only trying to describe what I feel and I don't think it can be accurately described, at least not by me. It might be nothing more than romanticised emotion but the "soul" I feel I have, that each of us has, goes much, much deeper than conscious emotion. It is who I am.
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    (Original post by jennyallen03)
    So the soul can't have an evolutionary purpose that is as unexplained as dreams?
    See, the thing is, to me the soul does serve some purpose in evolution. If it is the essence of us then it is emitted through our actions and our likes/dislikes, our connections to other people (emotion or not... people speak of "chemical attaction" to someone else), it is our character, it is who we are as a person. That then strengthens the attraction to certain people, certain characteristics, to different beliefs. It allows us to be more strongly bonded than just the "you're a man, i'm a woman, lets have sex/produce offspring so we can continue our race and pass on our genes"...
    Ok, its not that simple. Maybe the soul doesn't need some "evolutionary purpose" to be carried on between individuals and between species, it is innate, there are a whole multitude of systems that come in to play in reproduction/evolution but the soul allows us to be who we are. It could play some role in our progression of thought, our ideas, what allows creativity, how we express ourselves to others...
    Maybe you can argue that that is not the soul's purpose and that that is something else.
    You may well be right, I'm only trying to describe what I feel and I don't think it can be accurately described, at least not by me. It might be nothing more than romanticised emotion but the "soul" I feel I have, that each of us has, goes much, much deeper than conscious emotion. It is who I am.
    That all just sounds like new age nonsense to me. We are the product of 100 billion neurons, of which, each has on average 10,000 synapses. We're talking an average of half a billion synapses per cubic millimeter. That's a grand total of around 100 to 500 trillion synapses. This is not a static system, but one that is fluid, constantly changing and adapting through experience and learning. This can ultimately be broken down through physiological, cellular and molecular processes. This is a biological system that is capable of performing massively parallel computations. A system constructed over hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

    There is no soul. We are biological machines. Any 'feeling' or personal certainty over the existance of a soul is merely the by-product, an illusion, of one of the most complex systems in our known universe.

    You can put neurons under a microscope. You can test their electrophysiology and circuitry. You can apply the scientific method to it and build a database of empirical evidence concerning its form and function. All of this talk of a 'soul' is abstract, unconcrete and ultimately unscientific and primitive thinking.
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    I still think that it may well be an "illusion" but that doesn't make it any the less real in terms of its feelings and its manifestations, just the same as a dream can be the result of many chemical impulses but will display so vividly to you in your sleep and, in an instance, seem like reality.
    Just because it cannot be seen under the microscope does not mean that it cannot be there, and just because it is beyond scientific reasoning, however current and proven the techniques and ideas are, does not mean that it could not one day be described in a scientific manner, not that it really needs to be.
    Science is just as much about tried and tested theories and developments as it is about investigating into the unknown. You need to have somewhat of an open mind in order to be able to develop/expand upon your theories, analyse your results and consider possibilities.
    We're not going to agree. You can think what you like, and I'll continue the feel the way I do. It doesn't really make a difference to me other than that, if you think science has no place for this type of feeling/thinking, it'd be better for me to get out of this profession now because otherwise I might just implode from all the contradictions.
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    (Original post by jennyallen03)
    I still think that it may well be an "illusion" but that doesn't make it any the less real in terms of its feelings and its manifestations, just the same as a dream can be the result of many chemical impulses but will display so vividly to you in your sleep and, in an instance, seem like reality.


    Look at this illusion. To your eyes, it looks as though those inner lines are bending. Take away the background and you will see, pure and true, that they are not. It is an illusion. As you said, it does not make it any less real in terms of its feelings and manifestations. That does not make it ultimately true, however.

    Feeling with conviction is no foundation for truth. The same principal applies to your firm belief that there is a soul. It is an illusion, just as the bend in those lines is.

    The evidence suggests that we have a brain and nothing more. You are proposing one step further, that we have a brain and a soul. Not only is there zero evidence for the latter, Occam's razor dictates that we take the simplest theory and make as few assumptions as possible.

    You go on to say that scientific reasoning demands an 'open mind'. But as commonly said, it is good to have an open mind, but not so open as to have your brain fall out.
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    Yes. Of course we dono. 100% no on will change this opinion, ever
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    (Original post by slacker07906)
    Yes. Of course we dono. 100% no on will change this opinion, ever
    Why?
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    i definitly believe that we all have souls, and when we die our souls remain with the people we love. home is where the heart is after all.
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    cuz, its my belief and i believe that we do 100%. I have no doubt, that would be stupid
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    You say..

    (Original post by slacker07906)
    no on will change this opinion, ever
    Why is this?

    So if someone came and presented you with some sort of undisputable piece of evidence that the soul does not, and could never have existed, you would still remain convinced that there is a soul?

    Just, for the sake of hypothetics, that this happened, and the evidence presented before you was 100% airtight and scientifically sound, you would still hold that belief? This is what your post seems to imply. I would just like to clarify this.
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    In a cycle of 7 years all your body cells are completely renewed and are biologically not identical to the ones that were there 7 years ago. Doesn't that suggest that somehow personality, or at least a program is running. Imagine a computer (incl. all hardware) without any software. What would you suggest, assuming there is no soul, runs that machine, which we call body?
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    (Original post by mel3)
    In a cycle of 7 years all your body cells are completely renewed and are biologically not identical to the ones that were there 7 years ago. Doesn't that suggest that somehow personality, or at least a program is running. Imagine a computer (incl. all hardware) without any software. What would you suggest, assuming there is no soul, runs that machine, which we call body?
    1. Neurons are post-mitotic cells. They do not re-enter the mitotic cycle and are not 'renewed' (With an exception to a very small minority of areas). This (the brain) is where the personality is 'produced'. Your argument fails immediately.

    2. Cells follow local rules obeyed at a local scale pre-determined by the laws of chemistry. They do not need to be 'run' by an exogenous omnipotent force. A basic embryology textbook will be full of elaborate examples of this.

    To address your comment about the body 'not having a soul to run it, how does it run?'.. If a body IS run by a 'soul', what runs the soul? Does the soul have a soul? How does that work? I am proposing here that the brain does not need to be run, it does not need a captain at the helm. It is self-regulating based on a variety of feedback chains, learned algorithms, parallel distributed processing, error back-propogations etc etc etc. All of these features can be reproduced in computer models which are in turn capable of 'running' without a human telling it what to do.

    tl;dr - We do not need to resort to 'soul explanations'.
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    (Original post by mel3)
    In a cycle of 7 years all your body cells are completely renewed and are biologically not identical to the ones that were there 7 years ago.
    This is false information. Neurons do not undergo mitosis.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    You say..



    Why is this?

    So if someone came and presented you with some sort of undisputable piece of evidence that the soul does not, and could never have existed, you would still remain convinced that there is a soul?

    Just, for the sake of hypothetics, that this happened, and the evidence presented before you was 100% airtight and scientifically sound, you would still hold that belief? This is what your post seems to imply. I would just like to clarify this.
    Of course, that could easily be a piece of evidence determined by god in which he used to test my belief, and I would never give in to some research over God, not in a million years. And if it wasnt, I woul still believe
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    (Original post by slacker07906)
    Of course, that could easily be a piece of evidence determined by god in which he used to test my belief, and I would never give in to some research over God, not in a million years. And if it wasnt, I woul still believe
    Oh god. You're not one of those people who say things like 'the devil put fossils there to test your faith', are you?
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    No i believe that there used to be other amazing creatures, but God lt them pass to give way to us supperior humansin which he had planned.
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    I said "I don't know" because it depends what you mean by soul. If you mean a blue ghost that flies around when you die then no I don't believe that. But if you mean do we have a character, then of course- everyone is different so we must do.
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    Yes we all have souls... especially gingers and if you don' agree with me...my buddy below me here will make you see different.

 
 
 
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