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Does anyone know what a soul is?

  1. Jul 16, 2011 #1
    Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    What I mean to ask is, is there some science that states that humans have a soul or a conscious? Well actually I'm pretty sure there is no proof and there probably never will be. But I want to know why do we believe that humans are the only ones to have "souls"? Also I saw a youtube clip of Michio Kaku who didn't really give his opinion on afterlife, but to me it seemed like he hinted at a possibility of our "soul" to pass onto another dimension upon death based on the m-theory. Now he kind of said the soul of a human could be an energy that can only be perceived in the higher dimensions. Now I have another question, hypothetically if we were to have a soul that passed on to higher dimensions(not heaven or hell), when did humans obtain this characteristic, did we evolve somehow? Did the first cells to use oxygen have a soul?(sounds stupid) My opinion is that we really only have this lifetime, but that is my opinion and I am definitely open to change my views. I do know that I will probably never believe in a personal god, or a jesus type god.

    Thank You, I'm 18 and a whole life ahead of me, but these things bother me. My dad's 57 and I love him and I don't ever wanna see him leave.
     
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  3. Jul 16, 2011 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    This is not the place to discuss souls. Souls are a personal belief thing and science has nothing to say about it.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2011 #3

    Evo

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Welcome manny.

    Belief in a *soul* is a religious thing and nothing to do with science.

    People like Michio Kaku will say just about anything because he's a "pop culture" figure and not on tv to be purely scientific.

    It's not bad or wrong to want to believe in an afterlife, but there is no evidence to support such a notion.
     
  5. Jul 16, 2011 #4
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Thank you, but I guess I didn't mean soul but a conscious after death, if that is allowed?
     
  6. Jul 16, 2011 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    That is an oxymoron.

    (And no, my spacebar is not broken :smile:)

    If there is death, there is no consciousness.
    If there is consciousness, death has not come.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2011 #6
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Okay maybe I'm just confusing myself right now, I just wish that an afterlife exists, but deep down I know it doesn't. It seems too perfect of a world then, would you mind lending your opinion on the rest of my questions disregard the word soul and i guess assume that an afterlife exists? I'm looking for answers that don't exist because i'm scared.
     
  8. Jul 16, 2011 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    That is an honest response, but still, this is not the place for it.

    Even if this did become a thriving discussion, you might not get comforting answers, as most people here are likely atheistic, or at least, anti-afterlife.
     
  9. Jul 16, 2011 #8
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Okay well Thank you, I would say I am atheist too but that I have certain extravagant wishes, but I wouldn't mind hearing other people's opinions even if they mention the things I do not want to hear.
     
  10. Jul 16, 2011 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    I see it more as the human condition. We are built (for the most part) to want to take comfort in eternal life and a parental figure.

    Wanting things doesn't make them true. But things not being true doesn't necessarily take away the human desire for them.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Don't be scared. All humans die. It won't matter to you when you're dead because you will have no thoughts, no fears, no problems.

    If it makes you feel better to think that loved ones, pets, etc... are up there looking down on you, it's ok. The majority of humans on this planet believe that.

    You're too young to be worrying. The truth is that even though there is no evidence for an afterlife, there is no proof that there isn't one. You can be realistic and still find comfort in hope. You should do whatever makes you feel better.

    You can be "agnostic".
     
  12. Jul 16, 2011 #11
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Thank you to the both of you. I came to this forum, because I knew I wouldn't get religious loaded replies. Although I didn't get an answer to the question that no one will ever get an answer, you guys did comfort me and I like the part where you say:

    "The truth is that even though there is no evidence for an afterlife, there is no proof that there isn't one. You can be realistic and still find comfort in hope. You should do whatever makes you feel better."

    Thanks Guy and Gal? !!
     
  13. Jul 16, 2011 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Glad we are able to provide what little help we did.

    And Evo is most definitely a gal :smile:
     
  14. Jul 17, 2011 #13
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    You certainly don't know that. Neither do I.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2011 #14
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    My personal opinion is that there is no such thing as a soul, it's just made up by humans. I too would like there to be an afterlife, but I just don't think it's plausible. Humans just think that because their lives seem meaningful (compared to animals) and they have such complex thoughts, their lives shouldn't end at death. But really there are many other things that have life and some sort of thought (smart animals like dogs, dolphins etc) and if humans get an afterlife then there is no reason for other animals to not have an afterlife either. But because I don't think there is reason for ants or cats or mice to have afterlives, humans don't need afterlives either. Death is just a required thing, it comes hand in hand with life, a package deal. You shouldn't be scared for you or your dad. Once you pass, no more pain. It will be like what it was before you were born. You might be sad for a while when the time comes, but it will go away. One day you will have kids in your same position. And the cycle will continue for a long time.
     
  16. Jul 17, 2011 #15
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    Could the soul be the cognitive ability to ask questions and seek the answers? I dont think any other animal on this planet shares this trait other than humans and I think this is what fundamentally differentiates the human beings from the other animals.
     
  17. Jul 17, 2011 #16
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    I hate to suggest this-- because it can be a little hippy dippy-- but have you considered studying advanced mathematics and physics and throwing yourself into some philosophy classes--? They won't really assuage your emotional feelings about life and the afterlife or what have you, but having a better grip on the world around you and understanding energy and concepts like infinity and set theory might help you cope mentally. No matter what, in the end, you have to make up your mind about what you believe for yourself, and experience love without worry about whatever happens once we die.

    And hey, you are still really young. Ray Kurzweil might get his wish of a singularity and it will be all smooth sailing from that point. Maybe. :/

    Either way make sure that your Dad knows just how much you love him now and be grateful for him and don't take your time for granted. No matter what-- soul or no soul-- love counts for something.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2011 #17
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    The fact is nobody knows. Everyone are just posting out their imagination. You have equal right to believe there exist afterlife as other people have to believe it don't.
    However they say that if you practice meditation and other ancient eastern mind stunts, you may get the ultimate answer.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2011 #18
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    I_am_learning said it very well, nobody knows. If someday humans solve the consciousness you will have an answer. Until now, if you believe that the mind follows from the matter, you deny the soul, if you think otherwise, you embrace it.
     
  20. Jul 17, 2011 #19

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    We do not know there is not a teacup orbiting Jupiter. We d not know that Carl Sagan does not have an invisible dragon living in his garage.

    No, they're posting what the evidence is telling us.

    While it is true we cannot prove there is no consciousness after death, it would require some evidence and a plausible mechanism to occur for any rational person to simply assume it. There is neither.

    (By rational I mean as opposed to simply taking it on faith. As you point out, anyone can believe whatever they want.)
     
  21. Jul 17, 2011 #20
    Re: Does anyone know what a "soul" is?

    I don't get that. Don't we require 'anything' to assume there is "no consciousness" after death? Do you mean, if we can't prove that it exist, then its better to assume it don't exist.
     
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