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Thread: What Does a Soul Do in Heaven?

  1. #1 What Does a Soul Do in Heaven? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I guess this could be reworded, what is the main purpose of a soul? Even if there are souls what main function do they serve?

    Do they accompany us through life, gaining knowledge(for whom?), influencing mortal decisions(if so, why?), develop from something(soul seed?) starting at birth? Whatever the soul is or whatever it takes from this worldly existence it may eventually end up in Heaven I assume. Once there does it still have a duty to perform?

    I see no real purpose for a soul other than to praise God. Why bother with all the Earthly stuff?


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  3. #2 Re: What Does a Soul Do in Heaven? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I guess this could be reworded, what is the main purpose of a soul? Even if there are souls what main function do they serve?

    Do they accompany us through life, gaining knowledge(for whom?), influencing mortal decisions(if so, why?), develop from something(soul seed?) starting at birth? Whatever the soul is or whatever it takes from this worldly existence it may eventually end up in Heaven I assume. Once there does it still have a duty to perform?

    I see no real purpose for a soul other than to praise God. Why bother with all the Earthly stuff?
    I believe that energy is the substance of all being, but that there is both physical energy, which is defined as being a part of the form of energy which is the physical universe, and spiritual energy which is not a part of that form. I believe that life arises from the design of the physical universe which allows extremely limited interaction between these two forms of energy.

    Therefore, we have a physical aspect to our existence which being only a small part of the physical universe is completely subject to the physical laws which govern its form (subject to decay and all that). The spiritual aspect, which is perhaps what you are calling the soul but which I prefer to call the spirit, is subject only to the laws or rules of it own form. The spirit of each living thing is created by the choices it makes in life, and it is these choices which determine the laws or rules of its own form. Thus you could say that your spirit is like a seperate universe of your own creation.

    I believe that God created life because it has infinite potential in its ability to recreate itself (learn and evolve creatively), and thus living things are something to which He can devote Himself without limit to raise to greater and higher realizations of that infinite potential. He did this because this is the most meaningful relationship which He can participate in.

    Since the spirit creates itself by its choices, it really defines its own purpose. That is free will. But does that make all things equal? Some choices are indeed equal for they only contribute to the uniqueness of the individual and the diversity of life. But in the eyes of God, choices which expand the potential of life are clearly better than those which limit and destroy the potential of life. The latter are what Christians refer to as sin.

    So I believe that the spirit not only accompanies us through life, but that the spirit is the self that we see as making our choices about what to do and think. All life has spirit but all life is not equal and the life and spirit of the human mind is (at least potentially) vastly greater than all other forms of life. I believe the human mind is created by an inheritance of ideas/information about what it means to be a person that is communicated from parent to child. Then as this mind makes choices of it own, it creates a human spirit. There is no point of time in which the human spirit comes into being, for it is a continuous process as life is a continuous process and includes both a seperation (or declaration of independence) from the life of the parent and from the life of the body (as the mind learns to control the body and makes its own decisions about its life).

    The spirit is its own universe as I have said. The question of heaven or hell is a matter of the nature of that universe which is determined by its own choices. It is not a matter of duty but of life. One of the things that it would be very good for the spirit to take from its life on earth is the structure and nature of life itself. But life does not exist in isolation but only in relationship to that which is outside of itself. Therefore every relationship it forges to others outside of itself are lifelines, and the best of all such lifelines would be one which connects to God.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I see no real purpose for a soul other than to praise God. Why bother with all the Earthly stuff?
    As I said, the purpose of the spirit is something it must determine for itself, but all this earthly stuff is essential to becoming a living spirit. After the death of the body and mind, the spirit has only the relationships it has already made a part of its own being by the choices it has made, but in earthly life, relationships are not a matter of choice, for they are largely forced upon us by the laws of time and space. This is our opportunity to embrace those relationships forced upon us and make them a part of ourselves before it is too late.

    This reality is harsher than you may glean from what I have said, for our flaws of self-deception are numerous. Therefore realizing this, Christians beg desperately for the intervention of God to aid us in achieving spiritual life.


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    The spirit of each living thing is created by the choices it makes in life,
    Tough to understand what you're saying here....the living thing by its choices creates the spirit energy?


    We are not born with a soul(energy) but we forge one thru life? This sounds like Ebeneezer Scrooge. You haven't been influenced by Dickens have you? That aside I see how one can form an opinion such as yours but no two people are physically or mentally equal. Choices for some are not easily made. Does God deliberately handicap some of us for some strange purpose? Does the level of intelligence come into play... is more required of a smarter person than someone dumber but each graded equally? Still doesn't answer what a soul or energy does in heaven.

    Since the spirit creates itself by its choices
    Now I am confused. The spirit is formed by ITS choices....what is ITS? Is it the spirit, did I misinterpret the previous quote? It sounds like we are born with a spirit but we refine it or it refines itself by the choices it, meaning the spirit, makes.

    you could say that your spirit is like a seperate universe of your own creation.
    Now I can't go on until this is clarified. Let's see if I have the proper sequence. God creates me. I am either born with or I develop a spirit some where along the way. My spirit either forms itself by its own choices or I form it by my choices. Where have I gone wrong? The spirit and living thing are the same or what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The spirit of each living thing is created by the choices it makes in life,
    Tough to understand what you're saying here....the living thing by its choices creates the spirit energy?
    One of the basic facts about physical energy is that it is neither created nor destroyed but only changes from one form to another. In this logical extention to the substance of all being including spiritual forms of energy, I would keep this characteristic of neither being created or destroyed, so I would say instead that living things give form and definition to spiritual energy which already exists and is available in an endless supply.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    We are not born with a soul(energy) but we forge one thru life?
    Of course we are born with a spirit, but the spirit is not static and unchanging but in a continual process of creation and just as our body is formed starting as a tiny seed from the biological material of our parents in a continuous process of growth and becoming independent of our parents so also is our spirit born in the same way. Spirit is tied to the life process. That is by far its strongest and surest link to the physical world.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    This sounds like Ebeneezer Scrooge. You haven't been influenced by Dickens have you?
    No I have not read "The Christmas Carol", but now you have intrigued me. I shall have to get a copy and read it.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    That aside I see how one can form an opinion such as yours but no two people are physically or mentally equal.
    Exactly! But we know why no two people are physically the same. Mental life exist by the same process of life in a different medium (the flow of information in the brain). It is the nature of life to be creative and diversify and the complexity and adaptability of advanced forms of life make it impossible for any two organisms to be exactly the same. But the uniqueness of the body and mind arises hand in hand with the uniqueness of the spirit. This is essential for free will to be a meaningful reality. We must be a product of our own choices and not determined ahead of time by some deity.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Choices for some are not easily made. Does God deliberately handicap some of us for some strange purpose?
    Since we are our own creation by our choices, in what way could God be handicapping anyone? If God participates in the process it is in the same way that we participate in the creation of living things as farmers, shepherds, parents and teachers. As living things we make our own choices, but choices are not made in a vacuum. Being alive is not just being able to make choices but also being wide open to the environment. Being alive is about being aware and responsive to everything around us. That is why, even though living things grow by themselves by their own nature, nevertheless our grocery stores are filled with produce, the products of living things, not primarily for their purpose but for ours. These living things respond to our will.

    God created life in order to play just such a role in our lives. Many if not most choices contribute only to our uniqueness and God has not reason to interfere in these, but only to enjoy the beauty that our diversity and uniqueness represents. But other choices are like a minefield with some leading to greater life and others to lesser life. In these choices, God always seeks to encourage the choices for greater life. But in mankind, God achieved a level of life that can only be described as children, and as many parents can tell you, children are the definition of rebellion. ...the greater the life,... the greater the potentiality,... the greater the freewill

    The first human beings, raised as children by God himself, rebelled in something that had consequences for all of their descendants. Then they refused responsibility for their own choice instead blaming everything on others. Such is the pattern of the seeds of evil in every human life and throughout human history. We chose not to hear the guidance of God. We chose to learn things the hard way by making our own choices in life. But worst of all we continue twist the facts to blame everyone and everything but ourselves. God responded to this sad state of affairs by taking whatever steps were necessary to keep our potentiality alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Does the level of intelligence come into play... is more required of a smarter person than someone dumber but each graded equally?
    Intellegence as judged in our society is just a particular constellation of abilities and aptitudes, some learned and some not. Intellegence so defined is purely environmental to a choice. That is intellegence does not choose, it only affects how we perceive the options that we choose from. It does not point out any "right way". Intellegent people just do "stupid" things in a "smarter" way for "smarter" reasons.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Still doesn't answer what a soul or energy does in heaven.
    Hmmmm... I thought I made that clear. If the spirit has life, then it lives, which is to say that it continues to grow to realize ever greater potentialities with the aid of God. In my limited understanding at this time I see our greatest realization as creators in our own right, for when I look at people around me I see creation everywhere in the stories, art, movies, games, devices, and software that we make. But we are also free to choose death, for instead of growth and creation we can also pursue things which degrade and destroy ourselves, but there will be no laws of time and space that force others to live in our proximity. As we are free to choose our own purpose for existence we are free to choose what we will do after we leave this world, but due to our own limitations in regards to what we habitually think is worth doing this may not be as free as I make its sound.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Since the spirit creates itself by its choices
    Now I am confused. The spirit is formed by ITS choices....what is ITS? Is it the spirit, did I misinterpret the previous quote? It sounds like we are born with a spirit but we refine it or it refines itself by the choices it, meaning the spirit, makes.
    It is an interactive process between the physical in time and space and the spiritual which is outside time and space. Some might call the merging of the two in the life process the "soul" and it is a process of mutual creation which does not follow the usual order of cause and effect that operates in time and space. The spirit influences the course of events in a physical process and by this determination of the course of physical events the spirit is given form. The spirit exists before the choice and yet it recreates itself in the process of choosing. And here is the weirdest part. The cause of the event which we call choosing is not exclusively the spirit before the choice but also the recreated spirit itself. There is a merging of cause and effect in this, which is far from conventional, and is not resolvable by our analytical methods of thought. These analytical methods can only full explain mechanical beings, but at the core of our being is that which is not mechanical at all, but spontaneous.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    you could say that your spirit is like a seperate universe of your own creation.
    Now I can't go on until this is clarified. Let's see if I have the proper sequence. God creates me. I am either born with or I develop a spirit some where along the way. My spirit either forms itself by its own choices or I form it by my choices.
    God does not create us in the same way that a painter paints a picture, for a painting is not a living thing. The creation of living things is neccessarily an interactive process - a participation in the life of the living thing. God is ultimately responsible for our existence but not for everthing that we are, for we are also the product of the choices of our ancestors and the product of our own choices. This is the way of living things. You are conceived with a spirit for all living things have spirit but it the spirit of a one celled organism, which is but seed of what your spirit eventually grows into. At birth your spirit takes an important step in separating itself from your mother, but at this point I do not believe the human mind has even begun to grow, and without that the spirit is still just a seed of what it will become.

    More than anything else you are your spirit, but its life comes from outside of itself in the experiences we have in this world. Your mind is your truest physical manifestation, and yet by tragedy (physical or psychological trauma) your mind can be damaged and yet you will be still you. Your body is also a part of you, for it supports and obeys your mind and acts as your interface to the world. And yet by tragedy (accident or disease) you can lose this control of your body and yet you are still you. The earth is also a part of you for without it you cannot live and your actions have an impact on its well being. And yet someday we may be able to leave this planet and live elsewhere. Perhaps it could be in an evironment of machines alone, but most likely it will be in symbiosis with other living things just as we have here on the earth.

    You decide what kind of spirit you are by your own choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Where have I gone wrong? The spirit and living thing are the same or what?
    What do mean "gone wrong"? You will have to explain that before I can answer it. Are you not simply trying to understand just as I am?

    In life the spirit and the living thing are very much one and the same thing. For on the one hand, a living organism is just eddy in the transformation and flow of energy from the the sun to radiation dissipating into the vacuum of space. On the other hand, the living organism is a universe unto itself, with identify and purpose, learning, growing and creating. I believe that these things are real in the spirit and not just emergent properties with no more substance than a mirage. As spirits ourselves we percieve through their action the spirit of a living thing behind the mere structured flow of energy and particles which is its physical manifestation.
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  6. #5 Re: What Does a Soul Do in Heaven? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I guess this could be reworded, what is the main purpose of a soul? Even if there are souls what main function do they serve?

    Do they accompany us through life, gaining knowledge(for whom?), influencing mortal decisions(if so, why?), develop from something(soul seed?) starting at birth? Whatever the soul is or whatever it takes from this worldly existence it may eventually end up in Heaven I assume. Once there does it still have a duty to perform?

    I see no real purpose for a soul other than to praise God. Why bother with all the Earthly stuff?
    Ever listen to any James Brown. Then you will know the purpose of soul. :P
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    It is an interactive process between the physical in time and space and the spiritual which is outside time and space. Some might call the merging of the two in the life process the "soul" and it is a process of mutual creation which does not follow the usual order of cause and effect that operates in time and space
    MM....A very eloquent post, I always feel like I'm reading from a book of poetry when you answer back. it eems customary these days to place heaven somewhere where our physical selves can't touch it. I've heard this before. Maybe not the exact words but the context is undeniably reminiscent of every argument I have heard regarding the existence of heavenly beings.

    Why is it Gods , angels, souls, devils, or whatever operate on a different plane of existence than the physical world? Usually its an outside of time and space incomprehensible world that cannot be explained by the normal laws of science. The existence of heaven and its beings is dependent on a contradiction of everything that is. Heaven and all its inhabitants will not be found in the physical world or universe even though it is all we know. The creation or existence of a universe so unlike ours seems to be an absolute necessity if one needs to explain the mysterious dwelling place of God, or God himself for that matter. It starts to sound like a Sci-fi script.

    In order to substantiate the belief in this other unworldly universe it is necessary to be able to connect it with the worldly. So since we are bound by the laws of physics to remain here forever, it requires a path be cut to ensure we can leave because to stay here means we remain a part of the known universe, we actually become dust. The soul seems the only thing we might possibly possess that can actually make this inter-dimensional trip. The fact heavenly beings exist in another universe so unlike ours adds to the heavenly uniqueness that we glorify them with.

    Can God and His/her/its ilk be explained any other way? Why can't heaven be a physical place in this universe(tongue in cheek)? Why does God and relations have to exist in a place outside our physical realm? Is the soul our invented connection to a God, is it something we created to ensure us a transitionary vehicle to traverse the path from Earth to bliss? Was the soul necessary to enable us to communicate with God in his dimension?
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  8. #7  
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    zinjanthropos wrote:
    Why can't heaven be a physical place in this universe(tongue in cheek)? Why does God and relations have to exist in a place outside our physical realm? Is the soul our invented connection to a God, is it something we created to ensure us a transitionary vehicle to traverse the path from Earth to bliss? Was the soul necessary to enable us to communicate with God in his dimension?
    They used to live in our physical space, until 200-300 years ago. If you were able to travel back in time 200 years ago and asked a christian at that time, he would say God is somewhere nearby, ready to help you or punish you whatever you deserve. Then Science grows stronger and stronger, and drive them out of physical space.
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    Does all this mysticism, philosophy and superstition belong in a science forum? Scientists have never been able to find a soul and test it to determine what it is if anything. "Death" is, by definition, the end of life.

    There were a south Sea people who believed that twins were birds. That is right, birds. They may not look like birds, talk like them are even be like them on the inside, but they were still believed to be birds.

    We treat death just as irrationally. People believe in something that cannot be seen, heard, felt, or tested!

    Can anyone here actually imagine what a "heaven" would be like. We would grow so sick of gold streets we would long for asphault. We would grow deathly tired of beautiful scenery. We would become fed up with gormey food. We would die for lack of challenges. Always having the same thing ahead, a no future future. We would have to feel proud for doing nothing.If we had a boat, we would want a plane. Some would want to hunt; could he? We cannot be happy in any other envidronment than we are living because we have evolved to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    MM....A very eloquent post, I always feel like I'm reading from a book of poetry when you answer back.
    Wow! That is quite a compiment, considering that that my skills in poetry have always been extremely limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Eventually it sounds like I've heard this before. Maybe not the exact words but the context is undeniably reminiscent of every argument I have heard regarding the existence of heavenly beings.
    We were talking about the soul or spirit as I remember. This is the first I have heard of heavenly beings in our discussion.

    In any case, I am a Christian, so it should ultimately look like it is heading in that general direction. At least I hope that is what you are trying to say and not just that you are bored, but more like "I was afraid that is where all this was leading" kind of reaction. There are rather a lot of Christians who would not see it that way for there is nothing conventional in my approach. Some Christians believe in sticking to what is in the Bible and nothing else or who like the hellfire intimidation approach. But I like the rational approach and the use of a little well reasoned speculation.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The creation or existence of a universe so unlike ours seems to be an absolute necessity if one needs to explain the mysterious dwelling place of God or God for that matter. It starts to sound like a Sci-fi script.

    Can God and His/her/its ilk be explained any other way?
    God is explained in many other ways. What you are getting from me is the inevitable explanation (with variations) that must come from someone who knows and embraces both science and Christianity, if they try to reconcile them in an explanation at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The existence of heaven and its beings is dependent on a contradiction of everything that is. Heaven and all its inhabitants will not be found in the physical world or universe even though it is all we know.
    It all comes down to whether or not you believe there is any aspect of reality which is not objectively observable. For if the objectively observable is all that there is, then all you get is science, and religion is just fantasy. But if there is an aspect of existence which is not objectively observable, that means that there is an aspect of reality that is completely beyond the ability of science to discover, and describing it rationally becomes very difficult indeed. That it sounds like sci-fi is no coincidence for sci-fi indulges in speculation about what is beyond the current limits of science and inevitably comes up with something that could never be science at all. Instead I think sci fi often instinctively reaches out to that other aspect of reality that we sense only subjectively and unclearly, asking many of the same questions about our existence, that religion does. Orson Scott card says, "science fiction is the last bastion of religious literature in America" in the introduction to his book Cruel Miraces.

    (P.S. Perhaps science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard has completed the bridge between sci fi and religion by creating his own religion: Scientology. Athough many consider this to be a poor immitation.)

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Why can't heaven be a physical place in this universe(tongue in cheek)?
    Well perhaps it is a physical place in some other religion or according to people who disregard the conclusions of science. But to tell the truth, for me, it is not about any place called heaven, but about the nature of reality. If you assumed the existence of heaven and "heavenly beings" then science would as prasit says "drive them out of physical space". But for me, it is simply inconceivable that reality consists of the objectively observable alone for that is completely inconsistent with my experience of reality. I am only concerned with understanding what make sense of this whole experience of being human, with its choices, responsibilities, aspirations and consequences. "Heaven" is a state of mind, for any mere place can be experienced as a heaven or hell depending on the person and how they think and respond to life, as charles brough expresses when he says

    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Can anyone here actually imagine what a "heaven" would be like. We would grow so sick of gold streets we would long for asphault. We would grow deathly tired of beautiful scenery. We would become fed up with gormey food. We would die for lack of challenges. Always having the same thing ahead, a no future future. We would have to feel proud for doing nothing.If we had a boat, we would want a plane. Some would want to hunt; could he? We cannot be happy in any other envidronment than we are living because we have evolved to it.
    By this inditement, are you (charles) not in effect clarifying what "heaven" must be like in order to be a "heaven". I believe that life has neverending horizons to explore, things (worlds, art, music) to create, and understandings to achieve. Blame the dull descriptions you have heard on the lack of imagination of average Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Why does God and relations have to exist in a place outside our physical realm?

    Why is it Gods , angels, souls, devils, or whatever operate on a different plane of existence than the physical world?

    Usually its an outside of time and space incomprehensible world that cannot be explained by the normal laws of science.
    Well who said that God does? But did God create the universe and time and space? And if reality is more than what is objectively observable then why should God be restricted to the portion of reality which is objectively observable? Are God and spiritual being objectively observable? Have you seen any?

    It may be just me but the idea of God and spiritual beings existing in the physical realm, really does sound like science fiction to me, because it is not consistent with our everyday experience of life. In fact you can check out Modesitt's alternate history starting with Of Tangible Ghosts.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    In order to substantiate the belief in this other unworldly universe it is necessary to be able to connect it with the worldly. So since we are bound by the laws of physics to remain here forever it requires a path be cut to ensure we can get out because to stay here means we remain a part of the known universe, we actually become dust.
    There is no way to substiate it objectively, if the only connection is in the subjective experience of life. From the objective point of view there is only the lack of causality (only randomness). You can choose to believe that there is no such thing as meaning and that everything are just eddies in the flow of energy from the sun to the emptiness of space. But most people that think that this is all that is real, still live their everyday lives in contradiction to this. This "illusory" world with people to talk to and meaning to share is simply more "real" to us than that objective abstraction. But once you accept the reality of that which is only subjective, you already believe in that which cannot be objectively substantiated, and you stand on the same ground as religious people and differ from them only by what you choose to believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The soul seems the only thing we possess that can actually make this inter-dimensional trip.
    There is no interdimensional trip. The universe is restricted to a mathematically deterministic structure within the limits of the uncertainty principle. Uncertainty in energy times interval of time equals 6.626x10^-34 Js. The mathematical laws of physics including the conservation of energy are not completely rigid for they are only adhered to in larger intervals of time and the result is that most of the time the events of the universe are determined by its own matematical structure. But there are non-linear processes (including living organisms) which amplify the infinitesmal to macroscopic effects and these events cannot ultimately be traced to any physical cause. So they are either random and meaningless or they represent an interaction with something outside the 11 dimensional space-time mathematical structure of the physical universe. I think which you choose to believe depends entirely on how seriously you take the subjective experience human existence. You may call me deluded but then I can say you are in denial - and round and round the merry-go-round goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The fact heavenly beings exist in another universe so unlike ours adds to the heavenly uniqueness that we glorify them with.
    What heavenly beings? The soul/spirit is us and therefore we are those heavenly beings and our universe of meaning and people is the one most of us are used to and live in everyday. It is the scientific abstraction of mathematical equations which is the strange universe so unlike our own. We live in the subjective and create by the process of mathematical abstraction this objective universe that you think so much of.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Is the soul our invented connection to a God, is it something we created to ensure us a transitionary vehicle to traverse the path from Earth to bliss?

    Was the soul necessary to enable us to communicate with God in his dimension?
    If our everyday subjective experience of reality is just an illusion then why not enrich that illusion with whatever fantasies that we think makes life interesting. But if our subjective experience is real then perhaps the experiences of religious people are evidence of their perception rather than madness.
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  11. #10  
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    If our everyday subjective experience of reality is just an illusion then why not enrich that illusion with whatever fantasies that we think makes life interesting. But if our subjective experience is real then perhaps the experiences of religious people are evidence of their perception rather than madness.
    I guess this is where faith comes in.... it manufactures a reality for theists and atheists alike. As long as there are alternatives , faith in one determines the reality of it. I hardly wish to base my life on this but it seems none of us have a choice. That was my segway.

    You said earlier that choices in life create the soul or the spirit. However sometimes there is no true choosing to be done. Circumstances may lead to no choice but one, how is the soul affected when confronted with this? Let's say a person who through no choice of their own is indoctrinated into a certain way of thinking which, lo and behold, affects how they choose their religion and beliefs.....this person may not ever make a true choice right from the beginning, so any choosing that follows is also influenced or are the choices in life made irrespective of outside influence? Shouldn't logic and reason be the most influential when making a decision? Personally I think this is an advantage an atheist may have over a theist when it comes to choosing, to analyze both sides by using judgement over faith.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I guess this is where faith comes in.... it manufactures a reality for theists and atheists alike. As long as there are alternatives , faith in one determines the reality of it. I hardly wish to base my life on this but it seems none of us have a choice. That was my segway.
    LOL, We have no choice but that we must choose. LOL. You could call this the "existential dilemna".

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    You said earlier that choices in life create the soul or the spirit. However sometimes there is no true choosing to be done. Circumstances may lead to no choice but one, how is the soul affected when confronted with this? Let's say a person who through no choice of their own is indoctrinated into a certain way of thinking which, lo and behold, affects how they choose their religion and beliefs.....this person may not ever make a true choice right from the beginning, so any choosing that follows is also influenced or are the choices in life made irrespective of outside influence?
    We always have choices. But we can only choose how to respond to the things we experience and over these events most of us have little choice. The events and influences in life provide the context of our choices but they do not determine the choices we make, for in making our choice we decide which influences to embrace and make our reason for action. It is the way of life that the choices of our ancestors are a part of who we are in the inheritance we receive from them and this is a greater part of the context over which we individually have little control.

    But no matter how inevitable some results in life may be, the most important choices are still ours to make. And it is only the choices we actually make (whether deliberative or passive) that define our spirit. But it is the Christian point of view that the situation of everyone is really hopeless and only the intervention of God can save us from a path of self-destruction. However, I think that relates to the objection that you are really getting at. If all the Christians you heard from are correct and it all depends on believing in Jesus, then the whole set up seems rather circumstantial. Many christians accept this as the cold hard facts and it spurs them to greater evangelistic zeal. Others like myself suspect that we Christians just do not know the whole story.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Shouldn't logic and reason be the most influential when making a decision? Personally I think this is an advantage an atheist may have over a theist when it comes to choosing, to analyze both sides by using judgement over faith.
    It is not that simple. For do not forget the religious who are also scientists and thus well trained in the use of reason. People balance faith and reason in many different ways and it is not a matter of atheist versus theist, for the theist may later become an atheist and the atheist may later become a theist. Clinical psychiatrist (and Christian) Scott Peck sees rough stages in a progression of spiritual growth from self-centered to institutional religion to skepticism and finally to mysticism. He developed this from observations of a correspondence between his progress with patients and decisions by some to leave religion and others to join a religion. The skeptic follows the dictates of reason, questioning everything, while the mystic sees the limitations of reason, and sees value in religion despite its flaws. Of course it may be Peck's bias as a Christian that he sees the progression stopping there.
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    No the soul does not live on after death. The bible states " the dead are concious of nothing at all."

    There is no torture in hell. The bible states that small group of jehovahs people will go to heaven. The rest will be resurected to the paradise earth after armageddon.

    Soul means life. When you lose youre soul you lose youre life. You only have a soul when you are alive.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth1010
    No the soul does not live on after death. The bible states " the dead are concious of nothing at all."

    There is no torture in hell. The bible states that small group of jehovahs people will go to heaven. The rest will be resurected to the paradise earth after armageddon.

    Soul means life. When you lose youre soul you lose youre life. You only have a soul when you are alive.
    Yes, and Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their own dead." So you see the dead are not those who are in ground but those who have no spiritual awareness, they are indeed "conscious of nothing at all". But even this is in a relative sense only for all living things are conscious to some degree but a human being can be incomparably (by factors greater than billions of trillions) more aware than the animals. But some human beings do not develop their awareness, and extending it no farther than the immediate satisfaction of their physical drives, their awareness extends no farther than the animals.

    People torture and torment themselves, creating the hell they live in, whether in this world or in any other.

    Yes that meaning of the word "soul" is a common one and acceptable but man also has an eternal spirit and the soul (the life) of a human being is a connection between the spiritual and the physical aspects of his existence. God is a spirit and it only because of our spiritual nature that we can relate to and communicate with God. Therefore Jesus said to let the (spiritually) dead bury the (physically) dead for those who were spiritually alive were needed for the more pressing work of God.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Lets try to guess what TRUTH1010 would do in Heaven if he ever got there. I assume he would eat a lot of food he really liked---that is, until he got so tired of it that he started eating other things as well because he tired of the old food. Also, he would soon tire of walking on gold streets and long for normal old concrete again. All the beautiful scenery would soon become dull and he would long for a view of slums, rail road yards and bleak deserts. He would have his whole family back and then soon tire of too much of their company. He would long for sexual intercourse, and it if is permitted there, he would be doing it all the time!

    Is this fair? It seems like this is the way it would be for everyone because this is plain human nature. We humans cannot be happy when everything is just right because we have to be able to compare the good with the bad.

    I get up in the morning with the temperature in the room in the 40s. I live in a space of about 80 sq ft (a motor home) or the size of a jail cell.
    I live alone, but I am happy because I am better off than most of the people I see in my travels. Heaven would be Hell to me.

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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    To sum up, it is a little embarrassing to see believers try to answer the questions about the "soul" when there is virtually nothing in their Sacred Scriptures that tell them anything about it. They are just speculating but trying to appear authoritative. The Bible neither asks such questions nor answers them.

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    charles brough...I have no idea what your last post was about. Avoid being personal in threads, its make it impossible to take you seriously.


    The bible states that the soul is life. You only have a soul when you are alive. When jesus soul left him he had died.

    "Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

    Clearly, the soul is not what a man has but what he is.

    What happens to the soul at death? Consider what happened to Adam at his death. When he sinned, God told him: "You will return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19) Think of what that means. Before God created him from the dust, Adam did not exist. After his death, Adam returned to the same state of nonexistence.

    Simply stated, the Bible teaches that death is the opposite of life. At Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, we read: "The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten. All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you are going."

    This means that the dead are unable to do or feel anything. They no longer have any thoughts, nor do they remember anything. The psalmist states: "Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish."—Psalm 146:3, 4.

    So basicly only god jehovah can bring people back to life in the paradise. Thats man ultimate hope.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    I don't know what it was about either because it hasn't come up. I see just your long personal opinion about "souls" and that is all there is here now.

    I may have stated that the Bible does not go into detail telling what the soul is, so all this speculation is just personal opinion and not much interest to me.

    Shall we look for a better topic?

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    Forum Freshman Lucid's Avatar
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    I just wanted to thank both zinjanthropos and mitchellmckain for conducting this thread as gentlemen. So many people come onto this forum with bone to pick, but you guys are really men after the truth. The fact that you came from opposite sides of the issue and were still able to work on some common ground made it thoroughly enjoyable, and I applaud you both.

    If anybody wants to continue on this thread, I think mitchellmckain brought up an interesting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But for me, it is simply inconceivable that reality consists of the objectively observable alone for that is completely inconsistent with my experience of reality.
    His comment alludes to the fact that there are two ways in which we gain experience as humans: through our senses, and within our own minds. It seems to me that to take only science as credible is to deny half of our human experience. If souls do exist, they belong to the part of human experience which is only known subjectively. This means that we can never prove that souls exist, but their reality can be known to each of us upon a little introspection. Any thoughts?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucid
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But for me, it is simply inconceivable that reality consists of the objectively observable alone for that is completely inconsistent with my experience of reality.
    His comment alludes to the fact that there are two ways in which we gain experience as humans: through our senses, and within our own minds.
    Yes and no. You see everyone probably thinks they know what you mean by that distinction but it is not as clear as it seems. You see in reality ALL experience comes within the mind (or at least in the brain) because as any psychologist can tell you perception is something that happens in the brain because experiments show that there is a preprocessing of the data berfore it reaches our awareness. In other words all sensory data is interpreted rather that raw. Furthermore people have hallucinations (or visions) which further muddies the water. These facts suggest that the distinction between something in the mind versus the senses is not a proper one at all.

    Ultimately, the way we distinguish between the halucination and what is "real" is by objective observation, which simply means that other people can see it. But people claim to see things which they believe are not hallucinations even though they are not objectively observed. Whereas, the scientific method has made it routine to filter out experiences which are not objective observations by requiring the observations to be repeatable by independent observers. Thus the question is raised whether there are aspects of reality which are not objectively observable, for otherwise we must interpret the claims previous mentioned either as an intentional misrepresentation or a failure to properly perceive reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucid
    It seems to me that to take only science as credible is to deny half of our human experience. If souls do exist, they belong to the part of human experience which is only known subjectively. This means that we can never prove that souls exist, but their reality can be known to each of us upon a little introspection.
    That is correct except for the last phrase "but their reality can be known to each of us upon a little introspection", which is problematic, because it practically calls the soul objectively observable.
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