[ExI] Weighing the Soul

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 23 20:15:55 UTC 2018

So which 'soul' do you prefer?  billk

I prefer any definition of soul that remains in the realm of religion,
where it belongs.  The most amazing thing about the history of human
thinking, to me, is the creation of a category of things that have no
physical existence, and nearly everyone buying into the concept.

bill w

On Sun, Sep 23, 2018 at 2:52 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 23 September 2018 at 17:32, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> > There is no information unless it is stored, right?  In our brains that
> > means physical changes occur when information is stored, and potentially
> it
> > can be studied scientifically.
> >
> > When a PC stores information it changes the positive/negative aspects of
> the
> > hard drive (tape, whatever), and so is a physical thing, able to be
> measured
> > and dealt with scientifically.
> >
> > Soul, you say, is nonphysical, in contradiction to Descartes and some
> others
> > and will never be measured or part of science.  So why don't we quit
> using
> > it?  If you can't define it, if you can't measure, it simply does not
> exist
> > to a physical monist like me, and so is just nonsense, like magic,
> > witchcraft and many others that have mostly passed into history.
> >
> > And it just feels wrong for atheists (naturalists) to talk about souls
> as if
> > they exist in some way.  The only way they exist is in the beliefs of
> some
> > people, and that is certainly no proof of the existence of anything.
> >
> Depends on what you mean by 'soul'.   :)
> Our Western philosophy started with Judaism in the Old Testament and
> continued in the Christian New Testament.
> This period had a more primitive philosophy where 'soul' just meant
> something that had the breath of life. This included animals as well
> as humans.
> Hebrew nephesh and Greek psyche. The Greek word psyche was used with
> the same meaning as the Hebrew nephesh.
> That 'soul' died when the body died.
> The term 'spirit' is also used in the Bible, Hebrew rûach and the
> Greek equivalent pneuma. These are used with a similar meaning,
> referring to the life force within a body. But this also died when the
> body died.
> From about Plato onwards, Greek dualism began to influence Western
> thought, where the 'mind' or 'soul' is considered like an immortal
> being from the spirit world temporarily inhabiting a human body. This
> is very different from the Biblical version, but has strongly
> influenced later Christian theology.
> To be clear, the concept of an immortal 'soul' surviving the body is
> not found in the Bible. That's why Christians need resurrection.  :)
> To quote Wikipedia:
> In Patristic thought, towards the end of the 2nd century, psūchê had
> begun to be understood in a more Greek than a Hebrew way, contrasted
> with the body. By the 3rd century, with the influence of Origen, the
> traditions of the inherent immortality of the soul and its divine
> nature were established. As the new Encyclopædia Britannica points
> out: “The early Christian philosophers adopted the Greek concept of
> the soul’s immortality and thought of the soul as being created by God
> and infused into the body at conception.
> So which 'soul' do you prefer?
> BillK
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