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Thread: Immortal Soul

  1. #1 Immortal Soul 
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    Immortal Soul

    This is a religious topic I find hard to swallow. The concept of an immortal soul is just untenable. For example if you consider what a spirit without a physical body would actually be like. The shock of finding yourself consciously aware that you don't have a physical body would be overwhelming and probably drive you insane. However if you managed to keep your cool, you would start wanting to do something to alleviate boredom. I just can't imagine that a disembodied spirit would have to many options, but however many options there might be how long will it take before they are all just as boring as doing nothing? I call this the slow road to insanity.

    But wait what if reincarnation is true and you could came back as another life form. How would that be? Well since you would have to wait for a birth of some kind, it would depend on how many other spirits are waiting on that particular life form and how fast that life form lives and dies (turnover rate).

    From a spirits point of view all life everywhere in the universe would look like an amusement park for the sole purpose of alleviating boredom. Most likely the high intelligent life forms would be in more demand and command much longer wait times, so those that get bored easily will end up taking the lower life form rides more often. So remember that when you step on an already shot life.

    I am interested in what others think about the topic of an Immortal soul.


     

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    I find no good reason or evidence to accept such a thing is anything more than wishful thinking.


     

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    There is no reason to think any biological function is immortal. I don't expect my consciousness to continue after I die any more than I expect my digestive system to continue functioning after I die.
     

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    Yes I was trying to show the absurdity in such a belief in a humorous way and at the same time invite anyone who wished to argue in favor of such a belief.

    Looks like it will be a short thread.
     

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    I do, however, think that it will be possible one day to transfer a consciousness to an alternate memory storage system. Perhaps even for retrieval of memories or interactions with the rest of the world. After all, the more that's learned about "consciousness" the more we find that its comprised of electro-chemical reactions.

    I can imagine a world in which the wealthy are able to put their "minds" in a computer and, from their perspective, continue to exist as long as the electric bill is paid.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I do, however, think that it will be possible one day to transfer a consciousness to an alternate memory storage system. Perhaps even for retrieval of memories or interactions with the rest of the world. After all, the more that's learned about "consciousness" the more we find that its comprised of electro-chemical reactions.

    I can imagine a world in which the wealthy are able to put their "minds" in a computer and, from their perspective, continue to exist as long as the electric bill is paid.
    Computer sounds pretty boring. You sure we couldn't at least have a robot or android body to get around in? Preferentially one that looked very human and very hard to tell the difference.

    I'm already starting to look forward to my advanced features such as super vision, hearing, strength and speed and I especially like the idea of having a super fast mind that never forgets anything. Did I miss anything?
     

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    Did I miss anything?
    Just the naughty bits.
     

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    I once imagined a scenario where aliens that have been responsible for seeding the earth and guiding evolution in our favour, copying worthy consciousnesses just as we died to be incorporated into an idealistic cyberworld. Conversely though, only consciousnesses that did not show a penchant for the irrational were deemed worthy.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Did I miss anything?
    Just the naughty bits.
    Well yeah, the hood ornaments. Sorry they're just for show, no little robots running around this time around. To get those advanced features I mentioned and extended life you have to give up something. But hopefully you would have already gotten old enough before you were transferred to your new body that you already were past caring about that sort of thing.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I once imagined a scenario where aliens that have been responsible for seeding the earth and guiding evolution in our favour, copying worthy consciousnesses just as we died to be incorporated into an idealistic cyberworld. Conversely though, only consciousnesses that did not show a penchant for the irrational were deemed worthy.
    Damn that leaves me out. I don't suppose they could be bribed?
     

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    Mind transfer to a computer is a distant but possible technology. I think most experts agree at least with that. That would more or less assure immortality. Quite an interesting philosophical question

    If current trend of Moore's law continues as it did in the past, mind uploading will be possible within a few decades.
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/live-forev...than-you-think

    Perhaps we are closer to immortal soul than we think. Only, that science will provide that soul, not religion. :P
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Postovka
    Mind transfer to a computer is a distant but possible technology. I think most experts agree at least with that. That would more or less assure immortality. Quite an interesting philosophical question

    If current trend of Moore's law continues as it did in the past, mind uploading will be possible within a few decades.
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/live-forev...than-you-think

    Perhaps we are closer to immortal soul than we think. Only, that science will provide that soul, not religion. :P
    I'm not likely to live long enough to even have to worry about it, even if I could afford it, which seems very doubtful.

    Next, I wouldn't volunteer to be first to get a free ride. There was a movie based on this theme (can't remember what the title was), but I do remember it didn't work out well for the transferee.

    In any event I'd like to see some success stories before I put my mind anywhere it might not like. Would I be able to shut myself off if I wanted out?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    After all, the more that's learned about "consciousness" the more we find that its comprised of electro-chemical reactions.
    Nonsense. Consciousness is as mysterious as it ever was and further study makes it more and more certain that electrical impulses and chemical reactions alone can't explain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I can imagine a world in which the wealthy are able to put their "minds" in a computer and, from their perspective, continue to exist as long as the electric bill is paid.
    You underestimate the difficulty of such transfers. Not only you would have to copy the whole brain, you would need a perfect simulation of all processes. It is not clear how detailed it has to be, but it's likely that you would have to simulate it at least partially down to quantum mechanics and that is entirely impossible.

    The most likely way of avoiding death is advanced medicine that will be able to keep our bodies young forever. If anything like mind trasfer will ever be posible, it will use artifical or bioengineered brains, not a computer simulation.
     

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    I hope I didn't imply that I thought it possible in our lifetimes. And while I'm probably wholly ignorant of the complexities involved, I still see it as a distinct possibility for the not-too-distant future given the rate of technological advancement in the last couple of millennia.

    Nor is there any good reason to believe that electro-chemical reactions aren't the primary explanations for the illusion we have of consciousness.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Nor is there any good reason to believe that electro-chemical reactions aren't the primary explanations for the illusion we have of consciousness.
    It can't be explained as an illusion. If consciousness does not exist, what is being fooled by this illusion?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Did I miss anything?
    Just the naughty bits.
    Well yeah, the hood ornaments. Sorry they're just for show, no little robots running around this time around. To get those advanced features I mentioned and extended life you have to give up something. But hopefully you would have already gotten old enough before you were transferred to your new body that you already were past caring about that sort of thing.
    Bicentennial Man was still at it and he was 200 years old.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Bicentennial Man was still at it and he was 200 years old.
    All I can say is if your original body is still working, don't be in a big hurry to give it up for a few advanced features. But if you are ready to give it up, hopefully you've thought it through and you won't have any regrets.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twit of wit
    It can't be explained as an illusion. If consciousness does not exist, what is being fooled by this illusion?
    Consciousness as an illusion does not mean that consciousness does not exist - it depends precisley what is meant by illusion. In this context it seems to be used to refer to consiousness as an epiphenomena (a strong version) - correct me if i'm wrong.

    And saying consciousness is illusory far from explains the problem, but changes it drastically.

    While we're on the religion sub-forum, it might be worth noting that buddhism has a doctrine of anatta - no self; the belief in this 'I' or 'me' being the central cause of suffering to an individual.
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

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  20. #19  
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    Separating consciousness from the environment of a living body might not be possible. Everything that makes up consciousness is based on the thinking process that developed while receiving both internal and external stimuli of the body it developed in.

    I remember reading about what happened during sensory deprivation testing and I'm not sure you could call the end result consciousness.
     

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    Having said what I said in the previous post (and I will stand by it). I thought there might be some more insight into this topic by looking into near death experience (NDE). Well I have to say that turned out to be a can of worms better left alone (information overload of all descriptions). By that I mean there's something for everyone no matter how you believe.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Separating consciousness from the environment of a living body might not be possible. Everything that makes up consciousness is based on the thinking process that developed while receiving both internal and external stimuli of the body it developed in.

    I remember reading about what happened during sensory deprivation testing and I'm not sure you could call the end result consciousness.
    Helen Keller had limited sensory input, but would have been characterized as very "conscious." Sensory input may, indeed, be necessary for "consciousness" (it also might be unnecessary). But, if so, then that says nothing about the nature of that sensory input. It could be that more precise measurements of reality in wavelengths of sound and light that are unavailable to the human body, but readily available to computer augmented AI would have a more complete or efficient "consciousness."

    But this will also depend greatly on how one defines "consciousness."
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Separating consciousness from the environment of a living body might not be possible. Everything that makes up consciousness is based on the thinking process that developed while receiving both internal and external stimuli of the body it developed in.

    I remember reading about what happened during sensory deprivation testing and I'm not sure you could call the end result consciousness.
    Helen Keller had limited sensory input, but would have been characterized as very "conscious." Sensory input may, indeed, be necessary for "consciousness" (it also might be unnecessary). But, if so, then that says nothing about the nature of that sensory input. It could be that more precise measurements of reality in wavelengths of sound and light that are unavailable to the human body, but readily available to computer augmented AI would have a more complete or efficient "consciousness."

    But this will also depend greatly on how one defines "consciousness."
    The isolation tank, or Restricted Environmental Stimuli Therapy (REST) Tank, was invented by John Lilly in 1954 as a way to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Inside an isolation tank, a person floats in salt water that is the same temperature as the skin in order to deprive the skin of the feeling of hot or cold. The tank is usually without light, reducing the sense of sight, and is often soundproof as well. The sense of smell is frequently reduced in sensory deprivation tanks by eliminating the use of chemicals with odors, like chlorine, to treat the water.

    Many scientists debate whether sensory deprivation can relax a person to the point of achieving the same results as hypnosis. However, it is believed that long periods of sensory deprivation can result in depression, hallucinations, and severe anxiety. These effects are what constitute sensory deprivation as a form of torture, though not one condoned by any civilized government.

    I found this description of a Deprivation Tank. They didn't delve into the torture aspect of it, but I have heard that it can be down right nasty for some people. If I ever had the chance I'd like to try it to some point way short of being torture.

    I believe consciousness is a function of the brain and it does not leave the body in the form of a spirit or soul when the body dies.
     

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    Reading the part about transferring data from people to computers makes me remember reading about some nut job who transplanted brains between two monkeys.

    i'll have to find where i found it, but i remember that the monkeys lived for a short while but it was exactly what one might think would happen.

    pretty much switched bodies....

    why bring this up you might add??? well if perfected the rich could just pay for younger bodies and be transplanted in the young people for vast sums of money....

    why stop there imagine if you could clone your self, take that nice old brain you have and place that in a new younger body......
     

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    Whole idea of transfer consciousness reminded me of the story Fat Farm, a short story which appears in Omni many years ago. It was about a man who pays to transfer his consciousness from an aging obese body to a younger thin clone of himself. Unfortunately he finds out too late that rather than a transfer his consciousness was also cloned. He becomes a slave to the company that failed him even as his clone starts a new life of self destructive overeating with all his memories except the failed transfer.


    I too think immortality is wishful thinking enshrouded in a bunch of superstitious gobly gook.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colddraco
    Reading the part about transferring data from people to computers makes me remember reading about some nut job who transplanted brains between two monkeys.

    i'll have to find where i found it, but i remember that the monkeys lived for a short while but it was exactly what one might think would happen.

    pretty much switched bodies....

    why bring this up you might add??? well if perfected the rich could just pay for younger bodies and be transplanted in the young people for vast sums of money....

    why stop there imagine if you could clone your self, take that nice old brain you have and place that in a new younger body......
    That's a theme I've watched in several movies and read in a few books. Good SciFi but I don't think any human surgeons are up to the task. Even if you had a young clone of yourself and didn't have a rejection problem, it would still be to complex of a procedure at our current level of skill and knowledge.

    But I suppose you are talking sometime in the future when it might be possible. I would have to say that by the time we have that kind of knowledge, we'll be able to prolong life in less controversial way.

    But I wouldn't want to place any bets that a rich person wouldn't consider doing that if it was a viable option.

    I like this idea better, you take your mind and transfer it through time back into your younger self, so you can relive your life and not make the same mistakes the second time around.
     

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    Robert White transplants the brain of one monkey into another after Vladimir Demikhov released his hoax oh a two dog.....
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    ...
    I like this idea better, you take your mind and transfer it through time back into your younger self, so you can relive your life and not make the same mistakes the second time around.
    I think you should explore further the possibility of having an immortal soul. I think the idea has sort of suggested itself to you at this time. You recognize immediately that artificial solutions are not the solution for you.
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Unfortunately he finds out too late that rather than a transfer his consciousness was also cloned.
    Of course. All mind transfers would work like that.
     

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    A good discussion on the immortality of the soul is found from page 36 of Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, and proves the concept of that the soul was at least of Egyptian origin. If the sun could die and rise again from the dead next day, and the moon likewise between old and new, then so could man. That's almost certainly where the idea of the soul was born.

    Reference: Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought by James Bonwick (1878):-
    http://www.archive.org/stream/egypti...e/n48/mode/1up

    This book is a real gem!
     

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    'Soul' does not exist, but by definition it would have an unperceptive immortality, boring indeed; so some people further invent that it duplicates the brain; however, none of these people wished to donate their real (and apparently unneeded) brain to charity.

    This kind of outside help would have been useful to me way back when I had a tough Chemistry exam in college.
     

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    Whoever can tell what’s inside the shell of the soul and the brain, each not of the other’s reign… which, pray tell, does what?

    We know that consciousness is but of the brain because we can introduce molecules into brain areas, by anesthesia, and, thus, turn off consciousness completely; so, consciousness has no independent existence.

    Ask where is the soul and no one knows, for it is invisible.

    What does it do that the brain doesn’t? No one knows.

    How does it attach to a person? No one knows.

    When does it attach? No one knows.

    Does it have eternal life? Many certainly wish for it.

    How does it operate? No one knows.

    What sent it? They say that they know.

    How? Ho one knows.

    How can it interface back and forth with the material brain without being of the material and speaking that same language? No one knows.

    Why is it there? The reasons are made up.

    The extraordinary claim of the soul has no evidence at all, while the extraordinary claims of the brain’s doings and its being the same as the mind have extraordinary evidence.


    We bless the ‘needed’ soul with the holy kiss of life, being this of which to replace us with; for what did natural selection ever do, in vain, spending so extravagantly on the higher brain?

    Well, I declare, I see hearts that pump the blood, and all of the chemistry born of that great flood, as well as cells all about for everything human, but where from of the same is thought’s acumen?

    Because I make of this a mystery, as those before, I’ll suppose the answer here, that and nothing more, and say that an invisible soul infuses us, running us, so that we can know all of that not here before us.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    ...
    I like this idea better, you take your mind and transfer it through time back into your younger self, so you can relive your life and not make the same mistakes the second time around.
    I think you should explore further the possibility of having an immortal soul. I think the idea has sort of suggested itself to you at this time. You recognize immediately that artificial solutions are not the solution for you.
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    When you've read and watched as much science fiction as I have, there's not to many themes I haven't seen or heard of. One theme that's almost universal when dealing with primitive races and societies is a belief in a personal God and the promise of an after life. But the more advanced races and societies tend not to have those superstitions and irrational beliefs to base their real lives on. Why do you think all those themes are the way they are?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    I agree but I'd also submit it's of little value if it rejects reason in the process and leads you to a conclusion of what you'd like to happen, that we'll be immortal, rather than the only conclusion supported by the evidence there's nothing beyond our death.
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    Now and Zen…

    Everything that is part of us—our cells, tissues, organs and organ systems—has come about over billions of years because it proved successful in the great survival stakes during our perilous evolutionary descent (ascent) with modification.

    The brain, being no exception, evolved, in part, to allow a creature to learn from what happens in its life, to retain key elements that could influence future actions. We are geared for self-preservation. We will do anything to avoid facing the possibility that who we are now cannot continue. We ourselves are mainly the cause that we are interested in. The self is preoccupied with staying alive, which is why our species is still around today. It is a prime biological function to be afraid of death, and, so, the self, as thus contrived, is able to fully play its crucial survival role.

    We want to equip our brain with a soul that offers us an escape when the brain dies since the self cannot come to terms with its own extinction. From a subjective standpoint, we are all born equal and undifferentiated (before that, ‘we’ were dead), but, as mature selves we make a distinction between the individual and the surroundings.

    Still, the brain keeps changing throughout life, in a pattern of the shifting flux of its neurons; we gain and lose memories and feelings, essentially creating a new person over and over again. The self is thus not so rock solid as it seems. These moment-to-moment changes differ from death only in degree. In essence, they are identical, although at the opposite ends of the spectrum. So, we are not static things. Other neural networks will come to be in other, future people, albeit with an “amnesia” of what went on before in the brains of the previous others.

    Why should we be happy about this?


    We never can be, because the ‘I’ cannot operate outside of its own boundaries. The only viable alternative is to think of a way in which it is possible to ever continue on.

    What will it be like to be a part of someone else after we die, with our own particular narrative of life cast aside?

    That is the ‘zen’ of now and then and when.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    ...
    I like this idea better, you take your mind and transfer it through time back into your younger self, so you can relive your life and not make the same mistakes the second time around.
    I think you should explore further the possibility of having an immortal soul. I think the idea has sort of suggested itself to you at this time. You recognize immediately that artificial solutions are not the solution for you.
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    When you've read and watched as much science fiction as I have, there's not to many themes I haven't seen or heard of. One theme that's almost universal when dealing with primitive races and societies is a belief in a personal God and the promise of an after life. But the more advanced races and societies tend not to have those superstitions and irrational beliefs to base their real lives on. Why do you think all those themes are the way they are?
    Why do I think all primitive peoples, (and all people were primitive once I suppose), believe in an afterlife? Because we were created creatures and it would not make sense to create creatures for the afterlife if you were not also going to give them ways and means of knowing this. You might say, if there were no creator or afterlife then the idea would never have occurred to every primitive race on earth. These races are only called primitive merely because they they did not know the true nature of their origins but they knew their origins were something different, something out of the ordinary. The knowledge, or rather, the sense and feeling which draws all people to speculate about their final end, their mortality, or maybe their desire for more life while even at the same time feeling they don't exactly want more and more of this life - it is something unexplainable that hovers about a persons life; when even with enough there is still no rest - the hound of heaven does not rest nor does He give up for He said 'you will not rest until you rest in Me'.
    I'd always advise and encourage anyone to explore these things when they are attracted to them.
     

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    What really happens after we die?

    We die ‘little deaths’ all the time. Our atoms change, some of our memories go away and some new ones reappear, although I realize that it is the core of memories that defines us as us. It’s just that we are hardly the same person now as when we were much younger. We had ‘death’ before birth, too, and now there is life after birth.

    Is there life only during life? If one had amnesia and began learning the world anew, then one might say that one as the previous person was ‘dead’ and that it is our new life that counts, one not even missing the old one.

    And, while the ‘big death’ is much more than any of these ‘little deaths’, it is that our atoms then go on to reside in a new person eventually. It’s not like there is any continuity of memory, but more like that any narrative will do. This is a relief and so then we can go about our life, with the ultimate freedom to be, unbound and unchained.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    I agree but I'd also submit it's of little value if it rejects reason in the process and leads you to a conclusion of what you'd like to happen, that we'll be immortal, rather than the only conclusion supported by the evidence there's nothing beyond our death.
    Why would you need to reject reason. If I took in my hands the smallest particle known to nature I would find that it is not there, there is nothing there except an irrational seeming absence of material. The tiniest particle turns out to be nothing more than a 'real dream' or a fabric made from abstract directions. The fact that reality exists at all and that it further exists in the forms it does is an amazement, a wonder - it is like a three-dimensional transformation of heaven. Its no wonder that humans marvel at it and think and wonder what it all means. But measuring it and weighing this wonder does'nt approach the real question directly - what is the 'reason' for it, the reason behind it, thats what everyone wants to know and as sure as anything what is behind the reason in this world must be reason itself.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Now and Zen…

    Everything that is part of us—our cells, tissues, organs and organ systems—has come about over billions of years because it proved successful in the great survival stakes during our perilous evolutionary descent (ascent) with modification.

    The brain, being no exception, evolved, in part, to allow a creature to learn from what happens in its life, to retain key elements that could influence future actions. We are geared for self-preservation. We will do anything to avoid facing the possibility that who we are now cannot continue. We ourselves are mainly the cause that we are interested in. The self is preoccupied with staying alive, which is why our species is still around today. It is a prime biological function to be afraid of death, and, so, the self, as thus contrived, is able to fully play its crucial survival role.

    We want to equip our brain with a soul that offers us an escape when the brain dies since the self cannot come to terms with its own extinction. From a subjective standpoint, we are all born equal and undifferentiated (before that, ‘we’ were dead), but, as mature selves we make a distinction between the individual and the surroundings.

    Still, the brain keeps changing throughout life, in a pattern of the shifting flux of its neurons; we gain and lose memories and feelings, essentially creating a new person over and over again. The self is thus not so rock solid as it seems. These moment-to-moment changes differ from death only in degree. In essence, they are identical, although at the opposite ends of the spectrum. So, we are not static things. Other neural networks will come to be in other, future people, albeit with an “amnesia” of what went on before in the brains of the previous others.

    Why should we be happy about this?


    We never can be, because the ‘I’ cannot operate outside of its own boundaries. The only viable alternative is to think of a way in which it is possible to ever continue on.

    What will it be like to be a part of someone else after we die, with our own particular narrative of life cast aside?

    That is the ‘zen’ of now and then and when.
    You'll never change, questor, I'm sure of that.
     

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    There is no need to change that which is informed by science; whereas, introspection only comes up with wishes. We are as organic as anything else in nature.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    If I took in my hands the smallest particle known to nature I would find that it is not there, there is nothing there except an irrational seeming absence of material. The tiniest particle turns out to be nothing more than a 'real dream' or a fabric made from abstract directions.
    Now you're almost getting close, Mise, except that all is as real as real can be, and so it it not all a dream, but the 'nothing' idea may have something to it, for there is not anything else to make stuff of…


    The Elemental Genesis of it All

    If the crucial basis came from somewhere, nothing is the only possible lair, for there are no ‘wheres’ at all remaining of the causeless to be its sustaining. If the basis is eternal—it must be—regresses can’t go eternally—then it is composed of this new nothing because nothing can have no beginning.

    Now, it is not that nothing ever was, for it cannot be and it never does, but that nonexistence ever fluctuates, both into and out of its many states. Of some of these waverings of its form the opposite particle pairs are born, for this is all of the natural norm, as must be concluded by AustinTorn.

    Swift as existence hastening to its task of positive/negative, substance sprang forth, rejoicing in its splendour, and the mask of darkness fell from the awakened ‘verse. On earth the crystal of the mountain snows melted above crimson clouds, and with the glows of flame, the ocean's horizon arose, with flowers in fields or forests which unclose their growing vision to the kiss of day, swinging their censers in the element—of eastern incense lit by the new ray, burned slow and inconsummably, and sent their odorous scents up to the willing air; and, in succession due, did continent, island, sea, and all things that in them wear the face and complexion of mortal flair, rise as the sun their father rose, of old, in portions of the soil, which he did mold, and as his own, and then imposed, untold: all their thoughts that must ever now unfold.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    ... we were created creatures and it would not make sense to create creatures for the afterlife if you were not also going to give them ways and means of knowing this.
    This is a science forum. Please leave irrational and superstition at the door and discuss what is empirical or can be tested rather than that which is hoped for and untestable.

    You might say, if there were no creator or afterlife then the idea would never have occurred to every primitive race on earth.
    Or you might say that Homo sapiens are neurologically wired to be superstitious, to think abstractly and create, through imagination, explanations that have no real basis in reality just to satisfy their fears and fill voids of ignorance. Being aware of our awareness is a unique state of cognition within the animal kingdom, but with this cognitive advance comes the knowledge that your time is finite and it introduces the paradox of what happens to my awareness after death. What most probably happens, of course, is that you are just as you were prior to being born: not aware and not alive.

    So it is just like H. sapiens to invent an afterlife in the same way we invented ghosts, goblins, fairies, unicorns, magic spells, sorcerers, witches, ESP, telekinesis, remote viewing, space alien abductions, and the Loch Ness Monster.

    There is plenty of evidence that H. sapiens are more than capable of inventing complete and utter nonsense which gets peddled as fact and believed with zealous fervor. The superstition of an afterlife is no different.

    I'd always advise and encourage anyone to explore these things when they are attracted to them.
    Please do that preaching outside of TSF.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    I agree but I'd also submit it's of little value if it rejects reason in the process and leads you to a conclusion of what you'd like to happen, that we'll be immortal, rather than the only conclusion supported by the evidence there's nothing beyond our death.
    Why would you need to reject reason. If I took in my hands the smallest particle known to nature I would find that it is not there, there is nothing there except an irrational seeming absence of material.
    You need to reject reason to believe there's anything beyond because there IS absolutely NO EVIDENCE of anything beyond despite our ability to measure the tiniest particles outside of the first few micro seconds of the universe and perhaps inside the most violent astronomical events.

    The only evidence we have at all points to the unequivocal conclusion that you, I and everyone on this board will end up the same as my pet dog who was run over by a speeding car as shattered a quite Sunday morning when I was age six-as a dead and decaying body and encodes as memories in the living brains of those that remain alive.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quite often we should listen to ourselves and not be afraid to explore more deeply those things which seem to attract us like everlasting life and the possibility of having an immortal soul.
    I agree but I'd also submit it's of little value if it rejects reason in the process and leads you to a conclusion of what you'd like to happen, that we'll be immortal, rather than the only conclusion supported by the evidence there's nothing beyond our death.
    Why would you need to reject reason. If I took in my hands the smallest particle known to nature I would find that it is not there, there is nothing there except an irrational seeming absence of material.
    You need to reject reason to believe there's anything beyond because there IS absolutely NO EVIDENCE of anything beyond despite our ability to measure the tiniest particles outside of the first few micro seconds of the universe and perhaps inside the most violent astronomical events.

    The only evidence we have at all points to the unequivocal conclusion that you, I and everyone on this board will end up the same as my pet dog who was run over by a speeding car as shattered a quite Sunday morning when I was age six-as a dead and decaying body and encodes as memories in the living brains of those that remain alive.
    Part of the problem of just relying on measuring things alone is that you lose sight of the fact that you are within the system. You use one piece of matter to measure another piece of matter. But before the BB there was no matter. There was a Time Before Matter. The bb was the start-point of the formation of matter. And the time before the BB is the very very real time in scientific thought when you could not ever actually measure anything. Yet despite this absence of anything we could physically use, there was something else, some form of something else, something which was not material but was yet very very real. Simply because we cannot sense something with our physical senses does not mean that the non-physical cannot exist also - as we already believe it had to exist at least at one point in our history.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    ... we were created creatures and it would not make sense to create creatures for the afterlife if you were not also going to give them ways and means of knowing this.
    This is a science forum. Please leave irrational and superstition at the door and discuss what is empirical or can be tested rather than that which is hoped for and untestable.
    If your brain is rational and empirical then you can use it to test for the 'untestable' afterlife; whether to believe the results of your rational and empirical brain must be the business of each individual.

    You might say, if there were no creator or afterlife then the idea would never have occurred to every primitive race on earth.
    Or you might say that Homo sapiens are neurologically wired to be superstitious, to think abstractly and create, through imagination, explanations that have no real basis in reality just to satisfy their fears and fill voids of ignorance. Being aware of our awareness is a unique state of cognition within the animal kingdom, but with this cognitive advance comes the knowledge that your time is finite and it introduces the paradox of what happens to my awareness after death. What most probably happens, of course, is that you are just as you were prior to being born: not aware and not alive.

    So it is just like H. sapiens to invent an afterlife in the same way we invented ghosts, goblins, fairies, unicorns, magic spells, sorcerers, witches, ESP, telekinesis, remote viewing, space alien abductions, and the Loch Ness Monster.

    There is plenty of evidence that H. sapiens are more than capable of inventing complete and utter nonsense which gets peddled as fact and believed with zealous fervor. The superstition of an afterlife is no different.
    Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Would our primitive neoapemate really have time to mate with the idiot over there always thinking about the afterlife, or faeries; and who jumps at shadows and squeals in fright at his own new unusable brain power.

    I'd always advise and encourage anyone to explore these things when they are attracted to them.
    Please do that preaching outside of TSF.
    I might say that this is like an engineering problem; when my computer returns an error 404 page I get onto my engineer to find the solution. When someone asks about the possibility of them having an immortal soul, their mind is similarly returning to them the metaphorical 404 error page. Whether you like error pages or not and whether you agree with them does little to change the error page. And just as the real 404 error page can be addressed so too can the metaphorical error page be addressed.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    If your brain is rational and empirical then you can use it to test for the 'untestable' afterlife; whether to believe the results of your rational and empirical brain must be the business of each individual.
    So far, all tests produce negative results. Yet it remains untestable since proponents claim it to be supernatural, but I'm with you: if it exists, then it's natural. And therefore at least potentially testable. Thus far, no claims of any "afterlife" have been substantiated with evidence. Because of this, there is no good reason to believe in an "afterlife" -being an extraordinary claim without even ordinary evidence, we can dismiss it from the discussion.

    Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Just because you haven't thought of an evolutionary advantage, doesn't mean it didn't evolve. There are many things that exist biologically that are not advantageous to the organism. This is an argument from ignorance as well.

    I might say that this is like an engineering problem....
    You might say it's anything you want, but if you preach here your account will be terminated. We're not that kind of forum.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    If your brain is rational and empirical then you can use it to test for the 'untestable' afterlife; whether to believe the results of your rational and empirical brain must be the business of each individual.
    So far, all tests produce negative results. Yet it remains untestable since proponents claim it to be supernatural, but I'm with you: if it exists, then it's natural. And therefore at least potentially testable. Thus far, no claims of any "afterlife" have been substantiated with evidence. Because of this, there is no good reason to believe in an "afterlife" -being an extraordinary claim without even ordinary evidence, we can dismiss it from the discussion.
    What evidence would convince you? And what tests have you carried out to find this evidence?

    quote]Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Just because you haven't thought of an evolutionary advantage, doesn't mean it didn't evolve. There are many things that exist biologically that are not advantageous to the organism. This is an argument from ignorance as well.
    You do not evolve five legs because that would be unbalanced and a hindrance in your life; equally one does not evolve mental impairment, spiritual distress, or anything detrimental to the creature. Ideas such as we discuss only exist because they are made possible to the creature to think about and they also by implication draw the creature towards some advantage.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Quite the contrary. Self awareness seems closely linked to social interaction and learning, both of which are clearly of great value to our survival. Unless there's some sort of clinical depression or some such there seems to be no great hindrance at all and those cased are relatively uncommon except perhaps for the terminally ill.

    Your mumbo jumbo about deep thinking, use of the popularity logical fallacy and assertions that we can't measure everything don't change the fact that there's absolutely no objective evidence of anything related to our consciousness beyond our biological lifespans and therefore it can be rejected out of hand for now.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    From a Christian point of view the immortal soul only has two choices, heaven or hell. How you arrive at one of those choices depends on which flavor of Christianity you subscribe to. Example: If you are catholic, you need to repent your sins before you die to make it into heaven. If you are born again you just need to accept Jesus as your savor.

    But what if Hitler accepted Jesus before he died? What if an innocent child was murdered before having a chance to know God? And what about all those God worshipers of other religions?

    Looks like a lot of good people going to hell and some very bad people getting into heaven to me.

    I don't want any part of it. At least not without some really good evidence showing me the way and I'm not holding my breath.
     

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    Soul jumping brought to a conclusion…

    There is a clear and powerful motive for us to want to believe in a soul beyond dust to dust. The soul is a potential lifeline to forever being, a way to avoid the finality of death’s knell ringing. What a great thing if there were a part of ‘I’ that could not die—a reward of pie in the sky! So, we have a vested interest in soul theory—and this fact alone is sufficient to account for the belief in souls and an after-whence in spite of a conspicuous lack of evidence. Nor is the mind distinct from the living brain, upon which our memories and thoughts rain and surface upon, a select few at a time, that neurologists can observe deep within our hat.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Soul jumping brought to a conclusion…

    There is a clear and powerful motive for us to want to believe in a soul beyond dust to dust. The soul is a potential lifeline to forever being, a way to avoid the finality of death’s knell ringing. What a great thing if there were a part of ‘I’ that could not die—a reward of pie in the sky! So, we have a vested interest in soul theory—and this fact alone is sufficient to account for the belief in souls and an after-whence in spite of a conspicuous lack of evidence. Nor is the mind distinct from the living brain, upon which our memories and thoughts rain and surface upon, a select few at a time, that neurologists can observe deep within our hat.
    I'm not sure about any conclusions being arrived at, but I do sort of think your on the right track. But when you say “soul theory” I think you are giving the concept of a soul to much credit. By that I mean 'theory' does imply some amount of evidence does it not?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    From a Christian point of view the immortal soul only has two choices, heaven or hell. How you arrive at one of those choices depends on which flavor of Christianity you subscribe to. Example: If you are catholic, you need to repent your sins before you die to make it into heaven. If you are born again you just need to accept Jesus as your savor.
    You're quite right and like many religious things it skips the entire crux of the question, and presumes something even exist in this case a soul...a huge assumption.

    But what if Hitler accepted Jesus before he died?
    He never stopped believing in Jesus, one of the sources of his anti-Semitic beliefs and why he was able to harness the hatred of the most Christian nation of the planet--but that's a whole no'ther inflammatory discussion.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    From a Christian point of view the immortal soul only has two choices, heaven or hell. How you arrive at one of those choices depends on which flavor of Christianity you subscribe to. Example: If you are catholic, you need to repent your sins before you die to make it into heaven. If you are born again you just need to accept Jesus as your savor.
    And presumes it even exist...a huge assumption.

    But what if Hitler accepted Jesus before he died?
    He never stopped believing in Jesus, one of the sources of his anti-Semitic beliefs and why he was able to harness the hatred of the most Christian nation of the planet--but that's a whole no'ther inflamatory discussion.
    How about this for another topic:

    Is Hitler in heaven waiting for other believers to join him?
     

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    A few actual Nazis are left, being about 94 years old, but they are still being hunted down and terminated. That's all I can say.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Quite the contrary. Self awareness seems closely linked to social interaction and learning, both of which are clearly of great value to our survival. Unless there's some sort of clinical depression or some such there seems to be no great hindrance at all and those cased are relatively uncommon except perhaps for the terminally ill.

    irony... you must follow the conversation
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Your mumbo jumbo about deep thinking, use of the popularity logical fallacy and assertions that we can't measure everything don't change the fact that there's absolutely no objective evidence of anything related to our consciousness beyond our biological lifespans and therefore it can be rejected out of hand for now.
    If I said here is a million dollars tax-free, you would give me the same type of response; it is strange that when we are offered something good freely, or even just the possibility, that we have such strong negative reactions. It is in a way a type of proof in the power of the words offering Life Eternal. As one Texas political type said once, that she had to leave some political conference or other as, at the opening, the man stood up and said the Our Father, a prayer. She had to get out of there, she said, as it made her feel physically sick. She was an atheist, she said.
    I'm trying to think now when I last heard any spoken word that made me feel physically sick and to be honest I cannot think of any time.
     

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    Our Father, Art, in heaven, Harold be thy name on earth, hollow be thy fame. Our will is done, so, someday, you can blow us to kingdom come! But, first, give us this day our daily news, e-mail, texts, ups, and fed-ex, and our PMs and posts, and, please, forgive us our trespasses, for the only thing we cannot resist is temptation; however, do not soon forgive those tele-marketers, creationists, and door-knockers who solicit and trespass against all of us, but do deliver us all unto the pleasant ‘evils’: whether a-men, a woman, or whatever the preference…
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    From a Christian point of view the immortal soul only has two choices, heaven or hell. How you arrive at one of those choices depends on which flavor of Christianity you subscribe to. Example: If you are catholic, you need to repent your sins before you die to make it into heaven. If you are born again you just need to accept Jesus as your savor.

    But what if Hitler accepted Jesus before he died? What if an innocent child was murdered before having a chance to know God? And what about all those God worshipers of other religions?

    Looks like a lot of good people going to hell and some very bad people getting into heaven to me.

    I don't want any part of it. At least not without some really good evidence showing me the way and I'm not holding my breath.
    This is'nt magic, it has nothing to do with a magic incantation - like abracadabra - and the gates of heaven wonderfully open. Characterizing Christianity to your own mind like this is doing yourself no favours, as that is not Christianity.
    The answer you are looking for is that 'not everyone who calls Lord, Lord, will be saved - but only those who do the will of the Lord'.
    For hitler to get into heaven it would be very difficult for him to do that, in the last moment of his life he would have to be somehow be perfectly sorry for every evil deed, and that is probably not something he might have been used to thinking during his life. So perfect repentance for hitler was going to be very difficult.

    As I was saying, this is not about a magic word. There are no tricks. The Law is the Law of Love, those who love Love and strive to live Love even if they don't yet know the name of that Love must be doing the will of God, an innocent child, if Justice is perfect, must be given the same opportunity as everyone else gets who is alive. After all, at the Lords death He did descend into hades to preach to all the souls waiting there since the days of Noe. Even the dead of all ages past had to have the same opportunity you have or the dead innocent child in your example would have. The same opportunity to hear.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Our Father, Art, in heaven, Harold be thy name on earth, hollow be thy fame. Our will is done, so, someday, you can blow us to kingdom come! But, first, give us this day our daily news, e-mail, texts, ups, and fed-ex, and our PMs and posts, and, please, forgive us our trespasses, for the only thing we cannot resist is temptation; however, do not soon forgive those tele-marketers, creationists, and door-knockers who solicit and trespass against all of us, but do deliver us all unto the pleasant ‘evils’: whether a-men, a woman, or whatever the preference…
    Have you read about The Blastoderm in Kiplings The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin...
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    I don't want any part of it. At least not without some really good evidence showing me the way and I'm not holding my breath.
    What evidence do you want, specifically?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Have you read about The Blastoderm in Kiplings The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin...
    He was struck by lightning.
     

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    The 30 Commandments From the 3 Tablets

    1. Thou shalt have no strange gods or singing idols before Me, for I will be jealous of them.

    2. Thou shalt not ever take the surname of thy Lord thy God [Dammit] in vain.

    3. Remember thou to keep holy the Sabbath Day, and thus not even lift up a finger or do wholly the laundry.

    4. Humor thy father and thy mother — never tell them where you’ve been!

    5. Thou shalt not kill, except outlaws and in-laws.

    6. Thou shalt not admit adultery.

    7. Thou shalt not steal, except for office supplies and sundries from restaurants.

    8. Thou shalt not bare falsies.

    9. Covet Heavenly bodies and make love to thy neighbor.

    10. Ever covet thy own ass — tie it to a tree.

    11. Do one to others before they can do one to you.

    12. I work in mysterious (crazy and insane) ways.

    13. Don’t try to walk on water except during a very cold winter.

    14. Fun is sin’s evil twin outside of the Sin-a-God.

    15. You can have free will, but only if it matches My will.

    16. Do not lie in court — let your lawyer do it for you!

    17. Thou shalt only one spouse—this is called monotony! More than one spouse is called spice.

    18. You are ever at fault for the sins of your ancestors.

    19. Tell Me how darn great I am — or be tortured and burned in Hell forever.

    20. I think I goofed — I made you in My own image!

    21. Heaven is a wild place — you can do whatever you want!

    22. You may commit horrible sins if you repent them.

    23. I fully expect children not to touch something when I tell them not to.

    24. I shall murder all mankind again anytime that I choose, but, not by flood, for I’ve promised not to, but by earthquake!

    25. Preferential treatment is given to those who beg, grovel, and ask for favors to get ahead of others.

    26. I use My higher level intelligence to throw tantrums and have emotional outbursts!

    27. We have had the last supper — no more free meals.

    28. I crap on the just and the unjust alike.

    29. If someone kisses your ass, then turn the other cheek.

    30. I am in your heart — in your mind — and in your end.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    I don't want any part of it. At least not without some really good evidence showing me the way and I'm not holding my breath.
    What evidence do you want, specifically?
    How about something that could be used in a court of law, but is not circumstantial or hearsay.
     

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    God on Trial

    “Jehovah’s” trial for crimes against humanity begins thusly, but ends well, being mostly just humorous:

    “Do you, God, swearest to tellest us the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so helpest you God?”

    “Which scriptures of what Bible should I swear on? there are so many.”

    “Oh; here’s a Mormon bible with a whole extra section that was transcribed from the golden plates you sent.”

    “I didn’t send those plates.”

    “Ok, let’s not worry about that now; we’ll come back to it later. You are truthful, are you not?”

    “I can do no evil, and that includes not lying.”

    “Finally, a believable defendant. What is your full name?”

    “‘God Damnit’ is what I am usually called.”

    “Ha-ha, but what is your real and proper name?”

    “None. I am what I am.”

    “Um, any aliases, like Lord, Jehovah, Almighty, or such?”

    “No.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes, those are just some names that people call me, plus even the very bad names.”

    “But you do exist as you are?”

    “Depends on what the meaning of ‘exists’ is.”

    “You know, like ‘to be’, being one that is.”

    “Depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

    “Is that your lawyer, Bill Clinton, sitting over there?”

    “Yes, for he can get out of anything.”

    “But is he going to talk endlessly in your defense?”

    “No, he has been going to ‘on and on anon’.”

    “Good, now how come we can hear you but we can’t see you?”

    “I am invisible, plus, you are schizophrenics.”

    “Hey, no name calling, order in the court!”

    “I’ll have a cheeseburger, no pickles, no onions.”

    “That’s more like it. So you mean we are just hearing voices?”

    “Yes—do you remember the study that showed that 17% percent of priests are schizophrenic, but only 1-2% of the general population is?”

    “Oh, yeah, but you’re not getting off that easily.”

    “I am innocent.”

    “What did you do before you created everything?”

    “I was being made myself by myself.”

    “How did you do that?”

    “Recursively.”

    “Ok, anyway, did you have intercourse with a teen-age virgin?”

    “Hell, no, she was underage; I only date 30 billion year old women.”

    “Still single?”

    “Yes, for as Mr. Always Right I could just never find Miss Perfect.”

    “So, Jesus was not your son then?”

    “No, but he was a really good guy—a human telling stories that everyone expected to hear.”

    “But, anyway, you are a ‘he’?”

    “So they usually say.”

    “Don’t you know?”

    “No, for humans created me in their own image and with their own traits, so I am male.”

    “Jealous of any of their other imaginary Gods?”

    “I am above all that lowly human-type emotion stuff. I am perfectly good and absolutely totally full of love.”

    “Love is a human emotion.”

    “That is the only emotion I have, for it is the ultimate one.”

    “So, you never do evil?”

    “Depends on what ‘evil’ is.”

    “Well, as in things like harming others, except in self defense, stifling the growth of mind, and creating false ways of living, arbitrarily, through use of imagination of what the concept of good ‘should be’.”

    “I am not capable of evil. I detest evil. I would hate myself if I did evil. It is unthinkable. Then I would be in the category of a Devil.”

    “Is there a Devil?”

    “No, I would not tolerate any such thing, for then it would sway humans to sin.”

    “You appear to be without fault, but we still have to continue this trial.”

    “Thank you, but I have no-fault insurance.”

    “Did you murder almost everyone on earth with a Great Flood?”

    “Heck no, human nature is exactly the way it is supposed it to be, as is. What do you think! God not a big fat goof, that is, if he was involved. He doesn’t make mistakes.”

    “Some say that you invented the rainbow to proclaim that you made a mistake, claiming that you would never do it again.”

    “Preposterous. Rainbows are an optical effect.”

    “Do you ever do anything wrong?”

    “I can’t. I am all love.”

    “Did you give too much love, perhaps?”

    “Yes, I give near infinite amounts, but there’s nothing wrong with that.”

    “What was the purpose of having dinosaurs around for 650 million years, then extincting them via asteroids?”

    “Just playing around; actually, I had nothing to do with it.”

    “What was the intelligent design in this?”

    “There wasn’t any, for God dos not exist. Can I go now?”

    “No, we know that nonexistence trick. Whose side are you on in football games?”

    “I don’t take sides or play favorites.”

    “Then where do humans get all these ideas about you?”

    “You know humans—they just make things up.”

    “Is there a Hell, like maybe in the heart of the sun?”

    “No, there is no hell. I wouldn’t torture my beloved creatures if I were God. Would you torture a kitten?”

    “Some would, but, hey, it is you that is on trial here, not us. We only have our human nature that you may have given us and it can often go astray.”

    “True, plus I am a nice guy, the nicest ever. I would not fill your cup to the brim with temptations and then expect you not to spill it; I’m a giver, not a taker. Pure love is all giving; there are no strings attached.”

    “Thanks. Does our free will have to match your will”?

    “Heavens no, for that wouldn’t be free will, would it?”

    “So, there’s not even a Purgatory, like somewhere on Venus?”

    “Negative.”

    “How do humans come up with all these things? They make you out to be some kind of strict enforcer father figure type.”

    “That’s it; they modeled the family experience.”

    “Is there a Heaven?”

    “Yes.”

    “Ah-ha, where is it?”

    “On Earth. What more could human beings want?”

    “Oh, well they want everything and even think they are special and above all else, some even above their own kind.”

    “Nope, humans are as organic as anything in nature. Anyone can see that.”

    “Well, we have imagination.”

    “Yes, a gift of nature, but that’s all it is.”

    “Did you publish a book?”

    “Yes, but no, for ghost writers wrote one.”

    “Any movies coming out?”

    “No, it would be hard to beat ‘The Dark Knight’.”

    “Were commandments were ever issued?”

    “Love does not command; it frees.”

    “That’s true. So you are innocent of all charges and plead not guilty?”

    “How many times do I have to tell you. I am absolute good.”

    “Ever tell a white lie?”

    “No way, jose. I am the truth.”

    “Ever peek at a naked person.”

    “Of course, people are made that way. If he didn’t want it that way, they’d be born with clothes or fur. Some fools even put fig leaves over eden’s artwork.”

    “I must confess to you, God, that I sometimes think of people naked.”

    “No sweat, plus that’s also a way to make public speaking easier. I am naked myself. It’s OK.”

    “Ever stick gum somewhere when no one was looking?”

    “No, for I was looking.”

    “You are a saint!”

    “Higher than that. I am perfect, at least before I got conceited about it.”

    “Ah-ha.”

    “Just joking.”

    “Did you make cosmic jokes, like, in sexual human anatomy, putting a toxic waste dump near a recreation area?”

    “God does have a sense of humor.”

    “How come you didn’t give humans everything?”

    “If I gave them everything, they’d have no place to put it all.”

    “A dictionary has ‘everything’.”

    “In a way, plus wikipedia is good, too.”

    “How come birth certificates have expiration dates, some even sooner than later?”

    “They must, otherwise, evolution wouldn’t work.”

    “Did some monkey types descend from the trees?”

    “Yes, for your DNA matches theirs 98%.”

    “So, evolution is true, but not you as a creator?”

    “I keep telling you, leaving signs all over the earth, you fossil to be.”

    “You don’t rule or lord yourself over anyone?”

    “Love serves; love does not rule.”

    “We have witnesses to some of your crimes.”

    “No one can witness me, besides, they made all that up.”

    “Likely story. Did you choose a tribe and tell moses to crush some other tribes?”

    “Those are just ancient Jewish legends.”

    “How come moses didn’t ask for directions when he was lost for 40 years in the desert.”

    “He’s a man; they never ask.”

    “Ever let someone just make it through a developing traffic accident?”

    “What! and let some other poor sap get hurt or die instead? you don’t know me very well.”

    “So, you don’t write scripts for our human soap operas.”

    “No, for truth is stranger than fiction.”

    “Why are you invisible?”

    “I am a figment. Have faith.”

    “What’s faith?”

    “Belief in the invisible unseen unknown.”

    “You can’t get off the hook that easily. We can still try you in absentia.”

    “I’m being very cooperative.”

    “Thanks. Now, Mr. God, sir, did you send a plague of locusts to harm the welfare of humankind?”

    “I wouldn’t think of it; harmful options don’t even surface in my mind for consideration.”

    “No lightning bolts?”

    “That was Mother Nature, not me.”

    “Well, as you are a self-made man, then what stuff did you use to make yourself out of, plus all that is?”

    “I didn’t make all that is; I only made myself out of the fundament stuff available; then I accidentally made humankind from the same stuff, some debris that I threw out.”

    “So, you are not at all responsible for mother nature’s doings?”

    “No, nor did I make the universe, for I am made of it.”

    “You are not fundamental and absolute?”

    “No, for a system of mind and emotion like mine or yours requires moving parts. I am perfect, however.”

    “That’s still a lofty position.”

    “I am just fortunate to be as I am; I never look down on anyone less; my talent is a given; I can’t even really take any credit. I am just further along in evolution than you are. Cats, too, have reached a kind of perfection for their form.”

    “You evolved beyond the material plane?”

    “Yes, I am pure waves and fields and thus not seeable. You all will get there someday, too. I just helped you all along the path, with only your best interests at heart.”

    “We will all evolve to become Gods, eventually?”

    “Certainly.”

    “You don’t interfere in our world on Earth?”

    “No, for then you would miss all the fun. Knowing everything is not really that great.”

    “There would be no surprises.”

    “Exactly.”

    “Do you overrule all or part of reality in any way?”

    “No, I’m not bossy.”

    “Do you underlie all or part of reality in any way?”

    “Nope, as I said, I am in this universe and therefore of this universe; I am just higher up the food chain.”

    “So, in our terms, you are just a very powerful but loving alien.”

    “That I am. And if any hostile ones approach me, I will defend myself.”

    “Thanks, for that may help us, too.”

    “True, but you are all completely free to be and do.”

    “How come you allow/give this to us?”

    “It’s the greatest gift that love can give.”

    “Thanks, again. You seem a good guy, but we still have a few more questions, plus, you know, we can’t really consider any gifts that you gave to us when we make our ruling; I hope you understand, for we are often approached with bribes.”

    “Money talks.”

    “For me it just usually says ‘goodbye’.”

    “But when it returns you might say, ‘Hey, glad to see you; I’ve missed you; where have you been all my life?”

    “You’re a fun guy. So, what is all this holy-holy admiration stuff that humans do in and for your name?”

    “I don’t know; it’s really weird, isn’t it?”

    “I thought you knew everything.”

    “Well, by staying out of the way, I chose not to know.”

    “What made the stuff that we and you are made of?”

    “I’m not sure; I only know everything from me onwards; that stuff could have appeared in the universe from somewhere else, or have been here forever, or appeared via some kind of possibility; it is not marked as holy or unholy.”

    “Well, that’s immaterial, anyway. Back to our probe.”

    “I ain’t never did anything terrible nohow!”

    “Ever do anything wrong at all?”

    “I threw some litter into space because there was no where else to put it.”

    “What litter?”

    “An excess atoms that then made your world.”

    “Well, no harm done.”

    “Thanks.”

    “Do angels exist, having wings and all that?”

    “No, not as humans have defined them. Wings are useless in space; there is no air. There are more ETs than me, however.”

    “We thought so. Is there a bigfoot?”

    “Ha, ha. Those are just hoaxes put forth by some hicks in the southern US.”

    “Isn’t ‘hick’ a bad name?”

    “No, I am just describing an actual fact, for which the word ‘hick’ is perfectly descriptive. I have to use words that you can understand.”

    “So, you’ve never been seen, and just about everything bad that was said about you by humans is false; so, what’s left?”

    “Not much, just me as not ‘God’.”

    “But you created us; you helped us along.”

    “Well, in a way, but that was quite inadvertent. You would have formed somewhere sometime anyway. Some of my ‘trash’ formed your solar system; then you evolved. Your population was down to less than a thousand once, and I guess some of my good vibrations rubbed off on them as I passed by on my way to pick up some rare elements on pluto. I was building a new house that can withstand all eternity. The weather in space is always bad; it’s full of radiation of all sorts.”

    “Strange weather all over the earth, too.”

    “There are many hurricanes that began from a hint of a wisp of a breeze.”

    “Mr. ET, is there way to tell the future of the weather?”

    “The 2010 farmer’s almanac just came out.”

    “So, how do we speed up evolution?”

    “Takes time, but you could enhance your own chemistry, as I did.”

    “Sounds dangerous.”

    “It is; I was a Jeckyl and Hyde for a while.”

    “Ah-ha, that’s when you committed crimes against humanity!”

    “No, I was far away, plus that was 35 billion years ago.”

    “Oh, but do you have an alibi?”

    “No, I was all there was then, but I have pictures.”

    “Let’s see.”

    “I don’t have then with me, but they are very similar to those taken by the Hubble telescope.”

    “You were there among those trillions of stars and galaxies?”

    “Yes, but I was already semitransparent by then.”

    “It would be like one of those ‘Where’s Waldo’ puzzles.”

    “You’ll just have to take my word if you cannot prove otherwise.”

    “What is the purpose of life?”

    “To live.”

    “What is life?”

    “You are life.”

    “Is life and all really just a bunch of atomic spinning things of various compositions?”

    “That’s it.”

    “Nothing more?”

    “There can be no more, for that is all there is.”

    “Why do we keep hoping for more?”

    “Greed and having no gratitude, but, still, you are a sparkling billion year product, and quite amazing.”

    “We are pretty cool when you think about it.”

    “That’s all it takes to appreciate life.”

    “Any other universes?”

    “Sure, but many did not amount to anything. However, I am going on vacation to a good one next week.”

    “Be sure to send a postcard saying ‘wish you were here’, that is, if there is oxygen there.”

    “Will do. Lucky for you here that bacteria and plants came about and made oxygen. Thenceforth you began as you.”

    “Yes, a lucky break; oxygen was a mere waste product from photosynthesis.”

    “See, all is as it seems. No need to invent any supernatural intent to blame or thank for anything.”

    “All is as it did?”

    “Yes, that’s why it took so long.”

    “Indeed, a true God type creator could have done it instantly, not even needing 6 days, or getting tired on the 7th.”

    “Yes, but the all is an origin, not a creator. The ground-state was always around, and so there was no creation, and no creator.”

    “Yikes, then what should we do?”

    “Just be.”

    “Ok, good advice, but, if we ever find that there was a culprit creator who committed some of the very crimes that his commandments spoke against, like murder, destruction, or hatred, then he is really going to be toast.”

    “As he should be, for those acts would have been unconscionable, especially for someone of that high stature.”

    “Thanks for your testimony. We’ll call it the third testament. Your judgment day is near at hand. I’m calling a one hour recess.” …

    “All please rise.”

    “The court finds you not guilty on all counts, due to lack of evidence, plus your good nature.”

    “Evidence for those like me is not even conceivable.”

    “True. Thank you everyone. Please bring in the next case.”

    Questor walks in. “Did you leave the toilet seat up in a household where there were females present?”

    “Well, maybe, yes I did, but…”

    “100 years of hard labor in Siberia.”
     

  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    If I said here is a million dollars tax-free, you would give me the same type of response...
    I would unless you showed me the money--something tangible that we could both measure--which is very different than the irrational crap your trying to preach to us about.

    ; it is strange that when we are offered something good freely, or even just the possibility, that we have such strong negative reactions. It is in a way a type of proof in the power of the words offering Life Eternal.
    Yawn...more preaching. Seriously keep it in another forum that doesn't have to do with science.

    I'm trying to think now when I last heard any spoken word that made me feel physically sick and to be honest I cannot think of any time.
    I find that hard to believe. I can recount at least several times when power of the word evoked an emotional response that made me sick. Part of how we learn.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
     

  65. #64  
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    @ questor

    God on Trial
    Guess I walked into that one.
     

  66. #65  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    What evidence would convince you? And what tests have you carried out to find this evidence?
    With regard to the former question, you tell me; with regard to the latter, the claim is not mine as I see no good reason to make it. The burden of test is on those that claim it true. From there, my only burden would be to either accept the claim or demonstrate why the test and/or the results are flawed.

    quote]Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Just because you haven't thought of an evolutionary advantage, doesn't mean it didn't evolve. There are many things that exist biologically that are not advantageous to the organism. This is an argument from ignorance as well.
    You do not evolve five legs because that would be unbalanced and a hindrance in your life; equally one does not evolve mental impairment, spiritual distress, or anything detrimental to the creature. Ideas such as we discuss only exist because they are made possible to the creature to think about and they also by implication draw the creature towards some advantage.
    First, you're creating a straw man since I'm neither arguing for or against an evolutionary advantage (or disadvantage) for superstition. I'm merely pointing out that it is a clear and indisputable fallacy to argue that there must be an afterlife because people believe it.

    The premises, as you've implied, are:

    Evolution provides only advantageous mutations.
    Belief is a neurological effect, thus it evolved.
    People believe, cross-culturally, in various forms of afterlife.
    Therefore humans have immortal souls, which go to an afterlife.

    You could counter that you don't think belief is a neurological effect, but that would imply that the propensity to believe doesn't exist within H. sapiens. This is contrary to existing evidence, which shows that humans readily believe in all sorts of strange ideas in all sorts of cultures (UFOs, gods, fairies, witches, magic, ESP, spoon-bending, etc.). Interestingly enough, witches and magic are two examples of cross-cultural beliefs which religionists often discount as "not real," even though their own prayers, rosaries, "laying of hands," signing the cross, kissing crosses, communion, baptism, etc. are all various forms of incantation magic, sympathetic magic, etc.

    You could also counter that evolution provides deleterious mutations and that religion cannot be a deleterious adaptation since so many people are successful because of religion. And yet so many people are also oppressed or unsuccessful -or even killed- because of religion. The net effect could be either way or neutral. My guess is that the net effect is relative through time and space.

    There has been much written on the possible evolutionary advantages of belief and superstition. Some of it I agree with. Some of it is thought provoking. Some of it is simply unsupported.

    But of the premises above, the only one that is correct is that belief is a neurological effect. This is indisputable since not a single organism that hasn't a brain has been shown to have a sense of belief. Superstition and belief can be turned down, turned off, or even turned up with physical stimulation of the individual's brain. These experiments have been done.

    The human propensity to believe in the supernatural and to entertain superstition may very well be an evolutionary spandrel. That is to say, the characteristic of belief might be a by-product of some other adaptation that was and evolutionary advantage -such as the ability to think abstractly.

    At about 32,000 years ago, the earliest evidence of abstract thought was abandoned by one or more Homo sapiens in what is modern day Germany. This small, hand-held figure, called the Löwenmensch by archaeologists that found it, had the head of a lion and the body of a man. Clearly the artist that carved this figurine understood ontological concepts: one of the characteristics and qualities of a human being; one of the characteristics and qualities of a lion. That artist also held one additional, but completely abstract and fictional concept that was created by mixing the other two. The Löwenmensch didn't exist in reality, but the artist was able to conceptualize what such a being might look like.

    This sort of abstract cognition might, at the time, have been very the thing that gave H. sapiens the advantage over the soon-to-be-extinct H. neanderthalis. No Neanderthal assemblages have thus far yielded any evidence of their own artistic ability (though there is some evidence that Neanderthals may have obtained, through trade or theft, single items like jewelry and there seems to be evidence that they copied the existing lithic technology of H. sapiens in one or two regions.

    There is no evidence to support the notion of an immortal "soul" (whatever a "soul" is) or an "afterlife." But there is ample evidence that there exists among humans a propensity to believe in superstitions, the supernatural, and the paranormal, without regard to good reason or evidence to do so.
     

  67. #66  
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    There are no psychic powers…

    One good example of how we know is the Million Dollar Challenge. The James Randi Educational Foundation will award anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal or supernatural power under controlled observing conditions one million dollars. So far no one has made it past the preliminary test.

    You’d expect that if anyone actually had these powers that they’d manage to demonstrate something in order to win the money. Well, they try, but nothing happens. Some wish to bring their own fake spoons to bend, but that’s cheating.
     

  68. #67  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    There are no psychic powers…
    I knew you were going to say that.

    And I sense you are or were on Vic's List.... I'm getting a vision of atoms in a void...


    meh... I dunno. Sometimes it comes and goes.

    :-)
     

  69. #68  
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    I am on the Atoms and the Void List, but I hardly ever contribute much any more because it's so full of political discussions, which is really odd for a science list. I do like Stenger's books and his list of the ways in which only the natural is found, and never the supernatural, which I have a s summary of, somewhere.

    If, say, we can pick up brain waves or such, then science will demonstrate how, so I should really say that there are no magic psychic powers.
     

  70. #69  
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    I think it was quite obvious, even to our ancestors, that one's physical body wasn't going to get you to heaven. I don't think continuation of the mind or consciousness was the primary reason for the invention of the soul. It is simply a shadowy representation of one's self, a wispy ethereal carbon copy of the physical you that provides a means to escape Earthly bounds in order to join up with the creator. A perfectly natural afterthought once God was conceived.
     

  71. #70  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    I am on the Atoms and the Void List, but I hardly ever contribute much any more because it's so full of political discussions, which is really odd for a science list. I do like Stenger's books and his list of the ways in which only the natural is found, and never the supernatural, which I have a s summary of, somewhere.
    Yep.... I'm on that list. I recognized your writing style. And I agree with you about the political discussions.... sheesh. Bob's a nut with it!

    Still, there are some gems from time to time. Norm Levitt was on the list too until he passed. It's really strange.. we conversed briefly about his chapter in Garrett Fagan's Archaeological Fantasies then it was announced that he passed away.
     

  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    What evidence would convince you? And what tests have you carried out to find this evidence?
    With regard to the former question, you tell me; with regard to the latter, the claim is not mine as I see no good reason to make it. The burden of test is on those that claim it true. From there, my only burden would be to either accept the claim or demonstrate why the test and/or the results are flawed.

    quote]Being aware of my awareness then seems to serve no practical purpose; an evolutionary deadend and very likely a great hinderance to a happy and successful life.
    Just because you haven't thought of an evolutionary advantage, doesn't mean it didn't evolve. There are many things that exist biologically that are not advantageous to the organism. This is an argument from ignorance as well.
    You do not evolve five legs because that would be unbalanced and a hindrance in your life; equally one does not evolve mental impairment, spiritual distress, or anything detrimental to the creature. Ideas such as we discuss only exist because they are made possible to the creature to think about and they also by implication draw the creature towards some advantage.
    First, you're creating a straw man since I'm neither arguing for or against an evolutionary advantage (or disadvantage) for superstition. I'm merely pointing out that it is a clear and indisputable fallacy to argue that there must be an afterlife because people believe it.

    The premises, as you've implied, are:

    Evolution provides only advantageous mutations.
    Belief is a neurological effect, thus it evolved.
    People believe, cross-culturally, in various forms of afterlife.
    Therefore humans have immortal souls, which go to an afterlife.

    You could counter that you don't think belief is a neurological effect, but that would imply that the propensity to believe doesn't exist within H. sapiens. This is contrary to existing evidence, which shows that humans readily believe in all sorts of strange ideas in all sorts of cultures (UFOs, gods, fairies, witches, magic, ESP, spoon-bending, etc.). Interestingly enough, witches and magic are two examples of cross-cultural beliefs which religionists often discount as "not real," even though their own prayers, rosaries, "laying of hands," signing the cross, kissing crosses, communion, baptism, etc. are all various forms of incantation magic, sympathetic magic, etc.

    You could also counter that evolution provides deleterious mutations and that religion cannot be a deleterious adaptation since so many people are successful because of religion. And yet so many people are also oppressed or unsuccessful -or even killed- because of religion. The net effect could be either way or neutral. My guess is that the net effect is relative through time and space.

    There has been much written on the possible evolutionary advantages of belief and superstition. Some of it I agree with. Some of it is thought provoking. Some of it is simply unsupported.

    But of the premises above, the only one that is correct is that belief is a neurological effect. This is indisputable since not a single organism that hasn't a brain has been shown to have a sense of belief. Superstition and belief can be turned down, turned off, or even turned up with physical stimulation of the individual's brain. These experiments have been done.

    The human propensity to believe in the supernatural and to entertain superstition may very well be an evolutionary spandrel. That is to say, the characteristic of belief might be a by-product of some other adaptation that was and evolutionary advantage -such as the ability to think abstractly.

    At about 32,000 years ago, the earliest evidence of abstract thought was abandoned by one or more Homo sapiens in what is modern day Germany. This small, hand-held figure, called the Löwenmensch by archaeologists that found it, had the head of a lion and the body of a man. Clearly the artist that carved this figurine understood ontological concepts: one of the characteristics and qualities of a human being; one of the characteristics and qualities of a lion. That artist also held one additional, but completely abstract and fictional concept that was created by mixing the other two. The Löwenmensch didn't exist in reality, but the artist was able to conceptualize what such a being might look like.

    This sort of abstract cognition might, at the time, have been very the thing that gave H. sapiens the advantage over the soon-to-be-extinct H. neanderthalis. No Neanderthal assemblages have thus far yielded any evidence of their own artistic ability (though there is some evidence that Neanderthals may have obtained, through trade or theft, single items like jewelry and there seems to be evidence that they copied the existing lithic technology of H. sapiens in one or two regions.

    There is no evidence to support the notion of an immortal "soul" (whatever a "soul" is) or an "afterlife." But there is ample evidence that there exists among humans a propensity to believe in superstitions, the supernatural, and the paranormal, without regard to good reason or evidence to do so.
    Most of this planet believes in an afterlife all through the ages, that is, hundreds of billions of human beings, and you see no good reason to test whether it is true or not. If I saw a coliform bacteria returned from a water sample I would not call it a fallacy I would test every lake, river and stream for a hundred miles.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    I don't want any part of it. At least not without some really good evidence showing me the way and I'm not holding my breath.
    What evidence do you want, specifically?
    How about something that could be used in a court of law, but is not circumstantial or hearsay.
    Don't lawyers get criminals off. But you did not specify what evidence you want to see.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    If I said here is a million dollars tax-free, you would give me the same type of response...
    I would unless you showed me the money--something tangible that we could both measure--which is very different than the irrational crap your trying to preach to us about.
    I'll offer you the money before the Big Bang.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I think it was quite obvious, even to our ancestors, that one's physical body wasn't going to get you to heaven. I don't think continuation of the mind or consciousness was the primary reason for the invention of the soul. It is simply a shadowy representation of one's self, a wispy ethereal carbon copy of the physical you that provides a means to escape Earthly bounds in order to join up with the creator. A perfectly natural afterthought once God was conceived.
    There you go! The soul is what animates the body, it is that which makes the difference between a small pile of dust and ashes and a living conscious creature. Humans have a soul because each human has a unique identity all of their own. That is the human soul, it is neither a material thing nor a mortal thing as you cannot kill the soul but leave the body still alive.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Don't lawyers get criminals off. But you did not specify what evidence you want to see.
    How about any good solid evidence of existence. I might even settle for a little personal attention from God his self. By personal attention, I mean something that I would not have any doubts about. Any reasonable God shouldn't have a problem with that. If there is a real God, why am I left in doubt? Why am I forced to take the word of another human being? Humans are liars, cheats and schemers and those believers that are good people were raised from birth to be believers, so they are not credible.

    By the way, you didn't ever say why you are a believer?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Most of this planet believes in an afterlife all through the ages, that is, hundreds of billions of human beings, and you see no good reason to test whether it is true or not. If I saw a coliform bacteria returned from a water sample I would not call it a fallacy I would test every lake, river and stream for a hundred miles.
    Witchcraft is probably a belief that is just a prevalent. Do you suggest that this, too, should be tested? That there exists good reason to believe that the hundreds of extant and thousands of extinct cultures that believe in some form of witchcraft are on to something?

    A band wagon argument doesn't demonstrate a good reason to test... it demonstrates a fallacious one.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Most of this planet believes in an afterlife all through the ages, that is, hundreds of billions of human beings, and you see no good reason to test whether it is true or not. If I saw a coliform bacteria returned from a water sample I would not call it a fallacy I would test every lake, river and stream for a hundred miles.
    Witchcraft is probably a belief that is just a prevalent. Do you suggest that this, too, should be tested? That there exists good reason to believe that the hundreds of extant and thousands of extinct cultures that believe in some form of witchcraft are on to something?

    A band wagon argument doesn't demonstrate a good reason to test... it demonstrates a fallacious one.
    Not so. Ill will is never wasted as far as demons are concerned.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Don't lawyers get criminals off. But you did not specify what evidence you want to see.
    How about any good solid evidence of existence. I might even settle for a little personal attention from God his self. By personal attention, I mean something that I would not have any doubts about. Any reasonable God shouldn't have a problem with that. If there is a real God, why am I left in doubt? Why am I forced to take the word of another human being? Humans are liars, cheats and schemers and those believers that are good people were raised from birth to be believers, so they are not credible.

    By the way, you didn't ever say why you are a believer?
    Why I am is because why I asked you...
     

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    There you go! The soul is what animates the body, it is that which makes the difference between a small pile of dust and ashes and a living conscious creature. Humans have a soul because each human has a unique identity all of their own. That is the human soul, it is neither a material thing nor a mortal thing as you cannot kill the soul but leave the body still alive.
    Mise, you have to realise why we see this as vacuous claims. HOW DO YOU KNOW?

    Skinwalker makes a big post providing some perfectly natural explanations for consciousness and you counter with an appeal to popularity fallacy. Don't you see the complete uselessness of such a position? Can't you address the points head-on instead of making empty proclamations and expecting it to be good enough?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
     

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    Mise, in order to go forward in debate, you first have to undo all of the many excellent points made in posts here by these fine gentlemen who put much golden ore into their posts, and then you must also prove your own points. It doesn't serve to just restate wishes as if they are fact. (This non-response is called 'neglect', a common ploy. It might even be a subconscious attempt to avoid thinking about contrary ideas.)

    I know that Churches do the same preaching of wishes, not even stating that it is just a hope, but it's really a large deception to present non facts as truths to unsuspecting children (and to adults, too).

    The universe has been tested right and life, in and out, and up and down for anything supernatural, and it just hasn't been found. Even one counterexample would have sufficed.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Mise, in order to go forward in debate, you first have to undo all of the many excellent points made in posts here by these fine gentlemen who put much golden ore into their posts, and then you must also prove your own points. It doesn't serve to just restate wishes as if they are fact. (This non-response is called 'neglect', a common ploy. It might even be a subconscious attempt to avoid thinking about contrary ideas.)

    I know that Churches do the same preaching of wishes, not even stating that it is just a hope, but it's really a large deception to present non facts as truths to unsuspecting children (and to adults, too).

    The universe has been tested right and life, in and out, and up and down for anything supernatural, and it just hasn't been found. Even one counterexample would have sufficed.
    And here it is - you have not tested for it. The very nature of Super - nature means that ordinary calculators cannot be used, how could they be, they are 'nature'.
    If you wish for this evidence you really must get back to basics and consider what tools exactly do you have in your armory for testing 'Super' nature.

    The realization that it is possible to think about this 'super' at all is a significant step forward and is also, in my opinion, a big fat clue.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There you go! The soul is what animates the body, it is that which makes the difference between a small pile of dust and ashes and a living conscious creature. Humans have a soul because each human has a unique identity all of their own. That is the human soul, it is neither a material thing nor a mortal thing as you cannot kill the soul but leave the body still alive.
    Mise, you have to realise why we see this as vacuous claims. HOW DO YOU KNOW?

    Skinwalker makes a big post providing some perfectly natural explanations for consciousness and you counter with an appeal to popularity fallacy. Don't you see the complete uselessness of such a position? Can't you address the points head-on instead of making empty proclamations and expecting it to be good enough?
    Oh.. There are no such things as perfectly natural explanations. You sound so blase about reality. As if it should exist. Everything is a wonder here in life. I would not attempt to cheapen it by attempting an explanation that begins; '...Once I was a bacteria...' ...
     

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    Shakespeare had the general idea:

    Such tricks hath strong imagination, that if it would but apprehend some joy, it comprehends some bringer of that joy; or in the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear!


    It’s possible to imagine just about anything.

    There’s no harm done in imagining a moving bush in the night being a bear (or a spirit), for it is a good precaution and costs one practically nothing if one is wrong; whereas, not doing so could cost one’s life. As such, as belief in nature spirits began.


    It’s not that we need to directly measure, so much, per say, to note the supernatural, but only if there are no natural explanations possible for an event. We have looked everywhere—for a Theity who is even supposed to be everywhere, doing everything.


    Just making pronouncements still doesn't cut it at all.
     

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    In conclusion, mise argues that the supernatural exists simply because he (and others) believe it to.

    Clearly he has won the debate. In his own mind at least, where superstition and magic reside as delusions indistinguishable from reality.
     

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    Indeed, SkinWalker made an excellent post, as always, full of fine detail, Mise, and, yes, we began as bacteria.

    You, after your conception even, were even a 'fish', and more, as the embryo goes through several pre-human stages, for example, your kidney even being done over in the womb, going from 'animal' to human form, you also having much fur all over, but it fading to just hair, etc.

    One cannot just make things up as they go along, but must be informed by science.
     

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    What would it be like to be another kind of creature? Do I-thoughts of self-consciousness emerge from their integration of experiences?

    Who knows about the ‘I’, but, in a sense, we already know about being other creatures, for we already have been during our development: The growth of a human parallels and recapitulates, at a vastly accelerated rate, the evolution of life. We start out as a single-celled organism, much like an amoeba or a bacterium. Then we progress through the phase of a blastula, a simple, undifferentiated multicellular stage, to become an embryo barely distinguishable from those of many other animals, even including those of reptiles and amphibians.

    For these first few weeks after conception, we are truly a lower form of life ourselves, bathing, as long ago, in the warm amniotic sea. So, how did it feel to you? Can you recall? No, for ‘you’ were not around at the time; there was no developed conscious sense of self. But, now we do feel like someone, having inner depth, our activity and actuality being one and the same.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Shakespeare had the general idea:

    Such tricks hath strong imagination, that if it would but apprehend some joy, it comprehends some bringer of that joy; or in the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear!


    It’s possible to imagine just about anything.

    There’s no harm done in imagining a moving bush in the night being a bear (or a spirit), for it is a good precaution and costs one practically nothing if one is wrong; whereas, not doing so could cost one’s life. As such, as belief in nature spirits began.


    It’s not that we need to directly measure, so much, per say, to note the supernatural, but only if there are no natural explanations possible for an event. We have looked everywhere—for a Theity who is even supposed to be everywhere, doing everything.


    Just making pronouncements still doesn't cut it at all.
    You have just admitted that you have not tested for it, but yet you say you are correct - in the same breath!


    Here is a quote;

    Descend, bold traveler, into the crater of Snæfellsjökull, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the Kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of
    the earth; which I have done. Arne Saknussemm
     

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    Beliefs in the unknown are ungrounded beliefs upheld. A belief is that construct that states that we consider something as true. But considering and knowing are two different words. One implies holding something up as true, while the other stands on the ground as being true. Indeed, that is the ‘hold up’, for a belief hangs in the air, because it is upheld by the owner of the belief. It is made up.


    The eternal uncaused mover

    It could not be a mind, for it would be an already defined and very complex composite system. Thus, no God.


    (It has been tested, Mise.):


    The Summary of Victor Stenger’s Disproofs of God

    Where shall we find, or not, the supernatural—God? We would find it doing super things that are beyond the natural. If we look everywhere and only find the natural, then the disproof of God lives.


    Why is there something rather than nothing?

    Now what is it that is as simple as it gets? Well, nothing, [but that cannot be. A near ‘nothing’ ground-state, then.] Therefore, we cannot expect it to be very stable. Something is the more natural state of affairs and is thus much more likely than nothing; so, God is not needed to create anything.


    Mass and matter are created from energy!

    The universe appeared from a state of zero energy, this being, of course, within the unavoidable and tiny quantum uncertainty; so, no miracle occurred.


    There is no time-zero imprint of the very hand of God!

    An expanding universe could have started in total chaos and still formed some localized order consistent with the 2nd law. At the Planck time, the disorder was complete; it was maximal. Thus the universe began with no structure. None. In fact it was chaos! There was no initial design built in to the universe at its beginning! there was no imprint left by a creator.


    Biblical revelation is unrevealing.

    Biblical prophecy is either vague, wrong, coincidence, a matter of ordinary prediction, or it can be more-simply explained as written after the fact. Humankind’s holy books are what one would expect if they were but products of human culture.


    In the ‘beginning’… there was no cause!

    Physical events at the atomic and subatomic level are observed to have no evident cause. Every time we try to measure what an atom does, we get a different answer this then is the answer: that realm is causeless.


    Quantum consciousness.

    Einstein did away with the aether, shattering the doctrine that we all move about inside a universal, cosmic fluid whose excitations connect us simultaneously to one another and to the rest of the universe. Second, Einstein and other physicists proved that matter and light were composed of particles, wiping away the notion of universal continuity.


    Enlightenment deism.

    In 1982 a definitive series of EOR experiments with this configuration was carried out by Alain Aspect. The results agreed perfectly with conventional quantum mechanics and thus ruled out any subquantum theory with local hidden variables.


    The laws of the universe are natural.

    A principle of point-of-view invariance is equivalent to the principle of covariance when applied to space-time. These laws automatically appear in any model that does not single out a special moment in time, position in space, and direction in space. Back at the Planck time of the big bang, the universe had no distinguishable place, direction, or time: it had no structure; thus, the conservation laws apply.


    Our values/laws/morals do not come from God and/or religion.

    There are common ideals that arose during the gradual evolution of human societies, who, as they become more civilized, developed rational thinking processes, and discovered how to live together in greater harmony. Human and societal behaviors look just as they can be expected to look if there is no God.


    There was no fine-tuning of the universe.

    For fine-tuning, only ‘dimensionless’ numbers that do not depend on the system of units are meaningful. The fine structure ‘constant, ‘a’, is not even a constant. There can still be long-lived stars if we vary the parameters and certainly the universe is not fine-tuned for this characteristic. The 7.65 million electron-volts needed for carbon to form actually hinges on the radioactive state of a carbon nucleus formed out of three helium nuclei, which has over a 20% range to work with without being too high. The vacuum energy of the universe is not fine-tuned, for the large value of N1 is simply an artifact of the use of small masses in making the comparison. The expansion rate of the universe is not fine-tuned since the universe appeared from an earlier state of zero energy; thus, energy conservation would require the exact expansion rate that is observed. Same for the mass density of the universe. Looks just the same as if there were no God.


    The vile argument from evil

    becomes that we rely on our own human instincts, these taking precedence over confusing divine commands, for these commands offend both our common sense and our reason. Observations of human and animal suffering look just as they can be expected to look if there is no God.


    [All in all, we have found only the natural. There is no fingerprint of the supernatural. None at all. ‘God’ is dead. We have 0 proofs of the supernatural; many disproofs of the supernatural; and 0 disproofs of the natural. QED]
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    You have just admitted that you have not tested for it, but yet you say you are correct - in the same breath!
    The claim(s) is(are) yours. What good reason is there to believe that your god and an immortal soul exist? What evidence supports your claim(s)?
     

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    Just because something is untestable does not therefore mean it exists.

    I say when you die whatever you believe will happen to you will be what actually happens (actually Terry Pratchett made that one up). Clearly bollocks, but untestable, so it must be true?

    I couldn't be bothered to trawl through this fruitless thread, so i'm sure someone already made this point, but it's good enough to repeat.
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

    Fancy a game of chess?
    http://www.itsyourturn.com/
    Challenge me, Delphi, and join the Pythian games.
     

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    OK, Mise, we are all converted now…


    The New Laws and Proofs of God


    Force of gravity = …*[(mass1*mass2)/radius squared]

    (law of gravitation) (+ motion added)

    This law, discovered by Newton under a tree that is still bearing falling fruit, along with some other law of his or someone’s about a body in motion staying in motion and a body at rest staying at rest, each of their own accord, was thought to cause planets to circle a star (sun), although they did so as an ellipse, for which there is also some kind of wonderful formula, and so it is that if a planet had no sun then it would just go in a line, not ellipsing, and, if it had a sun and it were at rest it would plunge straight into the heart of its sun; but, since being in motion and having a sun the planet then takes the in-between path, as it literally falls around the sun, but, who cares, for none of this is true anymore. In actuality, God guides the planets safely around the sun through their orbits, so…

    GM (gravity and motion) = GGH (God’s guiding hand)

    Many textbooks will have to be changed to show this new truth. Perhaps we could refer to it as Isaac: Revelations II.


    H2O (chemical formula for water)

    This is the most often used formula. It is thought that having such a small molecule of hydrogen attached to such a large molecule as oxygen causes the sliding around that makes water molecules so very slippery. However, it is really that God micromanages every single atom and also even what is inside of them. Besides, God’s son showed that water could be transmuted, so…

    H2O => wine.

    Jesus thought of opening a brewery, but then had another calling.


    E=MCC (Einstein’s conversion of mass to energy)

    A little mass makes for a gigantic energy such as that of a nuclear bomb, but, really, although bombs work, pay no attention to Einstein, for, actually, it is that God’s very powerful energy makes our energy. There is no need to worry about where God’s tremendous energy comes from, for God is actually a semi-unified twin-genii split into good and evil, positive and negative, and so he is zero on balance at the end of the day. The same for good and bad angels.

    Zero = good + evil to the infinite power.


    A squared + b squared = c squared (Pythagorean theorem for a right triangle)

    No one cares about this any more, nor even any geometry, for God can make a square circle. From now on this formula refers only to the Holy Trinity. God = 3 = Do Anything


    Very complicated formula (radioactive decay of uranium)

    This has been replaced by God’s power of alchemy, for that’s what it really was anyway.


    Some kind of -b+- some square root thing over 2a, etc. (solution of quadratic)

    By memorizing this great formula that I have now totally forgotten, I was able to do very well in advanced algebra. This formula will be of no use to us in advanced theology, which, as in all of my seminary courses, will just say that ‘God Did It’.


    The shortest course on ‘whodunit’ theory

    I took a really short course called God 101: it only lasted about 3 minutes, and there was no continuation of 102, 103, etc. The instruction consisted of but one statement: ‘God did it.’ Note that this statement not only puts the answer before the inquiry but that it also halts all inquiry; thus, the case is closed before it can open.

    Really, God is hardly even a theory, but I didn’t let on, answering ‘God did it’ on the 1-question test of ‘What is the answer to anything?’, thereby passing the test, the course and the college. The metronome graduates never said ‘God is a just theory’, but ever produced a regulated aural pulse of a steady tempo, in saying: ‘God Did It.’ The mind makes funny shortcuts for what it cannot know; but, I am not one of those minds.


    A—T, C—G (4 building blocks of DNA with their matchings)

    It has been found that these letters spell ‘God’ in old Hebrew, so, that is the story of that one.


    A bunch of functions that I hate (the fundamental theorem of calculus)

    I never liked figuring out all of these unholy moving things, but now I am unmoved by all things holy.


    V=RI (Ohm’s law)

    Ohm has been found to be ooommmm, the focus of meditation—on God or of a sleeping dreaming Brahman.


    PM = PO(some crap) (compound interest)

    An accountant will redo this one, but it has to do with accumulating treasure in heaven.


    TOE

    This equals the Ground-of-determination. Note that the acronym for this is God.


    Soul (invisible appendage replacing the brain)

    It stands for: spirit-of-unconditional-love.


    Quark

    A marking was found on this material: Holy stuff: made by God


    Evolution

    Explained by anagrams:

    Outlive on, olive unto, ovule into, vile no out, vile on out, live no out, ovule it on, love I unto, love in out.


    1 = 1

    No words can describe this equation, for it is what it is.


    Mythology

    The lion lies as the way the Sphinx thinks. Aion is the evolutionary ancestor. Our ‘knowing’ is the greatest that never was, since, to say, it just does what nature does.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Just because something is untestable does not therefore mean it exists.

    I say when you die whatever you believe will happen to you will be what actually happens (actually Terry Pratchett made that one up). Clearly bollocks, but untestable, so it must be true?

    I couldn't be bothered to trawl through this fruitless thread, so i'm sure someone already made this point, but it's good enough to repeat.
    Well if I hadn't started it, I'm not sure I could be bothered reading through it either. But I can say I don't remember anybody else making the point you just did. However I can see a big problem with testing for a soul. First you need to have a definition that everybody can agree to. I think the best we can do is just get close on this subject. Also, it's hard to attract subjects if they have to die in the process of testing.

    Wikipedia:
    A soul, in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans are souls; some attribute souls to all living things and even to inanimate objects (such as rivers); this belief is commonly called animism. The soul is often believed to exit the body and live on after a person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls. The soul has often been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and soul sometimes functions as a synonym for spirit, mind or self. The soul's function is sufficiently different from both the spirit and the psyche that the terms should not be treated interchangeably
    Catholic Encyclopedia:
    The question of the reality of the soul and its distinction from the body is among the most important problems of philosophy, for with it is bound up the doctrine of a future life. Various theories as to the nature of the soul have claimed to be reconcilable with the tenet of immortality, but it is a sure instinct that leads us to suspect every attack on the substantiality or spirituality of the soul as an assault on the belief in existence after death. The soul may be defined as the ultimate internal principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are animated. The term "mind" usually denotes this principle as the subject of our conscious states, while "soul" denotes the source of our vegetative activities as well. That our vital activities proceed from a principle capable of subsisting in itself, is the thesis of the substantiality of the soul: that this principle is not itself composite, extended, corporeal, or essentially and intrinsically dependent on the body, is the doctrine of spirituality. If there be a life after death, clearly the agent or subject of our vital activities must be capable of an existence separate from the body. The belief in an animating principle in some sense distinct from the body is an almost inevitable inference from the observed facts of life. Even uncivilized peoples arrive at the concept of the soul almost without reflection, certainly without any severe mental effort. The mysteries of birth and death, the lapse of conscious life during sleep and in swooning, even the commonest operations of imagination and memory, which abstract a man from his bodily presence even while awake—all such facts invincibly suggest the existence of something besides the visible organism, internal to it, but to a large extent independent of it, and leading a life of its own. In the rude psychology of the primitive nations, the soul is often represented as actually migrating to and fro during dreams and trances, and after death haunting the neighbourhood of its body. Nearly always it is figured as something extremely volatile, a perfume or a breath. Often, as among the Fijians, it is represented as a miniature replica of the body, so small as to be invisible. The Samoans have a name for the soul which means "that which comes and goes". Many peoples, such as the Dyaks and Sumatrans, bind various parts of the body with cords during sickness to prevent the escape of the soul. In short, all the evidence goes to show that Dualism, however uncritical and inconsistent, is the instinctive creed of "primitive man" (see ANIMISM).
     

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    Souling Around

    The free-floating soul lacked of experience and love having nothing with which to think of; for no memories of sensations could it pave, nor any new associations could it save. All was non-sense, such as in meditation, when there are no thoughts or perception.

    “This nothing is such boring bliss, so I’ll see what it is to exist!”

    So the souls looked for babies born and latched thereupon their horn.
     

  95. #94  
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    What is Man (and Wo-man) but Sapiens Supreme

    Oh man! What a piece of work, the mind; what noble deeds done and undone in kind. What Rube Goldberg inventions heaped upon—in the layers of brains the mind is made upon. What is this sapiens mammal animal, but of some slime and of brutish law. Let us ‘neglect’ this state of affairing on the grounds that it is unappealing. So, then…

    We are spun of the eternal golden braid, those windings of truth, love, and beauty made from the goodness of purity immortal—the theory of everything’s singular portal.

    What is man but the special chosen species for which all the plants grow and the waters reach, for which the Earth turns ‘round, and orbits a nuclear furnace spreading love’s energy, enabling us to thrive above any and all creation. What is man but the only bloom for which all the 13.7 billions years of evolution and love have occurred in a predetermined random yeast to form and flower such a vainglorious beast.

    It’s ever on forever’s edge that we meet our destiny, that in our temporary parentheses of eternity we would flourish for just a moment, bidden as the blossoms of perfection’s flower garden. A hundred trillion stars and countless shores were built to light our universal nights explored; forty million other lower species, too, the All-Might placed about our world, merely for our delight.

    Our name is writ large on the heaven’s marquee, in the supernovae stardust showered from thee. From nothing not you came, but, of a naught our own universe was made and ever wrought. A starring role we play in this reality show, every atom spinning fine just for us to know, our ancestors rising/falling for us to stand upon, oh man! They lived and died for our lone promise!

    Every shaft of light shines with us in mind; thus, it beams forth our beginning and our end—in and of god’s hidden and heavenly shrine. Oh life! we cherish being, that of yours and mine. We do so much deserve reward beyond this role—and so it is that one’s immortal spirit-soul, that angelic vapour that drives a living being, shall go forth to glory on behind the scene. We are not merely some mammally organic luck, but purposely evolved on this planet, near a star, in that intended long and winding mindless ‘birth’ of slowly drifting time, dust, and selection by death that ever sifted the best from the rest: Sapiens Supreme!

    (Now why is the soul so ‘true’ and so far with it faith goes? It is only because one so much wishes it to be what knows.)
     

  96. #95  
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    @ questor

    Where are you getting all this junk? Have you been saving it up just looking for a place to dump it?

    Mise made me do it is as good a reason as any. But he's buried, give him a headstone and be done with it.
     

  97. #96  
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    Yeah, time to move on. I make some of the 'junk' as I go along, and some I have from back when I made it.

     

  98. #97  
    Forum Professor arKane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    Yeah, time to move on. I make some of the 'junk' as I go along, and some I have from back when I made it.

    Somehow I just knew you were going to have a headstone.
     

  99. #98  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    There you go! The soul is what animates the body, it is that which makes the difference between a small pile of dust and ashes and a living conscious creature. Humans have a soul because each human has a unique identity all of their own. That is the human soul, it is neither a material thing nor a mortal thing as you cannot kill the soul but leave the body still alive.
    You're no different than the first human to create a god. This ancient science, prescribing entities to explain unknown phenomena, also has a hand in the soul's creation. The soul in your case is an explanation for LIFE as you know it, the driver for animation and consciousness, otherwise we're just a "pile of dust". It's an ignorant POV, a total disregard for the genius of your fellow man.
     

  100. #99  
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    Mise went underground.
     

  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    There you go! The soul is what animates the body, it is that which makes the difference between a small pile of dust and ashes and a living conscious creature. Humans have a soul because each human has a unique identity all of their own. That is the human soul, it is neither a material thing nor a mortal thing as you cannot kill the soul but leave the body still alive.
    You're no different than the first human to create a god. This ancient science, prescribing entities to explain unknown phenomena, also has a hand in the soul's creation. The soul in your case is an explanation for LIFE as you know it, the driver for animation and consciousness, otherwise we're just a "pile of dust". It's an ignorant POV, a total disregard for the genius of your fellow man.
    It was the genius of our fellow men which recognized the soul in themselves and in their fellow men. The reality of the soul requires a 'home' for it. An immaterial and immortal human soul must have an eternal 'home'. Its home is with its creator, the creator of all things. The Creator of the human soul and of all the goodness and kindness seen in humans can only be the source and perfection of all of these things.
     

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