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Reviving People from the Dead & How it Effects the Soul

  1. Apr 29, 2006 #1
    I'm curious as to when people think the soul leaves the body. I think most people's first reaction would be, "at death." This was my belief as well (if there is a soul). However, how can one define death? The idea was never a problem until I factored in new scientific technology called cryonic suspension. Basically, you freeze the body, in hopes that one day a person can be brought back to life. Now, the technology isn't proven to work, but scientists figure in the future they'll figure out how to suspend a person & revive them later. In a sense, that'd make the body just like a machine, if you turn it back on at a later time, the mind would have to work & it would be "you." This causes a dilemma, what about people that believe in reincarnation? How can you be reincarnated & yet be in this other body? The same would go for people who believe they'll end up in heaven or hell, can you pull someone out of those places?

    Here's another one for everyone. Considering that time is relative let's do a thought experiement. Picture the following. You are a member of an advanced civilization & you died on say planet X. The people of the civilization quickly put you on spaceship traveling at near the speed of light. We'll say the ship is going so fast that 1,000 years pass on the planet but only 10mins on the spaceship (yeah I know you'd have to be traveling at like 99.99999 on to infinity % of light). The spaceship brings you back to the planet a thousand years later & revives you. Will your soul wait or because time is relative would it not matter because really only 10 minutes has passed for "the body?"
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  3. Apr 29, 2006 #2
    A related question of interest to me is "when does soul first enter the body" ? Is the soul preformed within gametes ? If not, at what moment of time does it enter fertilized ovum--or at more advanced stage of development ? How could this event be subjected to scientific experimentation ? I think before we worry about soul and death, we need to understand soul and life--then death questions should follow logically.
  4. Apr 29, 2006 #3
    Like many people I have a tendancy to accept some of the traditional religious views on this. The Bible mentions the "breath of life" and "the life is in the blood" so we can assume it means the soul is related to oxygen carried by the blood and which enters the body at the first breath. It would be nice to think that it also departs with the last gasp (who wants to linger while they dispose of the body).
    Some experiments seem to indicate this is possible, I read of some Russian experiments where terminal patients were placed on beds which incorporated scales. At the moment of death it was claimed that a body lost 21 grams in weight. (@ E=MC2 the energy of a soul must be pretty awesome)
  5. Apr 29, 2006 #4


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    Wherever is it stated that the premise of the existence of a "soul" is a valid one? :confused:
  6. Apr 29, 2006 #5
    Have you thought of the possibility it never really entered it in the first place?

    I think the soul is never in the body. The body is a physical object that occupies space. The soul has no size, no material existence; it cannot be inside or outside anything.

    Death is a process, not an event. There is no particular moment before which the body is alive, after which the body is dead. At any moment the body is both dead and alive, until it completely ceases to exist (decomposes) and can be neither alive nor dead.

    There is an equivalent to this, it's called coma.

    I think reincarnation would say that you don't get reincarnated until you finish your attachment to your body. Even if it takes 1,000 years. But I personally don't believe in reincarnation, I think there is no evidence for it whatsoever.

    (before any cynic drops in, I'd point out that the evidence for the existence of the soul is inside ourselves; it may not be much or anything at all, but it's certainly stronger than the evidence for reincarnation)

    The imagery of a soul entering heaven through golden gates is merely symbolic, a naive explanation of a more complex idea. If there is a heaven, then the soul never left it.

    The answer should be obvious. If time depends on movement, then time is physical, therefore the soul does not experience it at all. That is consistent with the claim that there is no time in heaven.

    You really have to get rid of preconceived notions if you try to understand the concept of a soul. You cannot think of it as a light body existing inside our heavy physical body; that is nonsense and it raises the skeptics' heads. The notion is far more subtle, far more complex than that.
  7. Apr 29, 2006 #6


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    Perhaps we can explore these issue to see if the concept of a separable soul is a coherent one.

    Some input from one tradition:
    Roman Catholic theology currently holds that the zygote is ensouled. This is the single cell with the genes of the individual from both parents that is formed from the sperm and ovum. But RC theology appears to be silent or divided on separability. Does the soul leave the body at death and "go somewhere"? Or does the body/soul "sleep" until the raising at the eschaton? You can find biblical warrant for both views.
  8. Apr 30, 2006 #7
    Does the theology make any statements about "pre-zygote" stage, e.g., the gametes ? If soul is not within gametes, but emerges in zygote, then clearly we have potential for experimental model to search for soul energy during transitional stage (gametes ---> zygote) and beyond using scientific method. If I may, it is my hypothesis that soul "may" exist as a quantum entity in the form of a spherical harmonic wavefunction. Thus I suggest a hypothesis open to falsification, such wavefunction will be present in zygote, but not in either gametes. Why spherical harmonics ? Take a look at page 91 of book by Nick Herbert "Quantum Reality" (1985). What you see is near identical to stages of development from embryology. Thus, potential exists for soul as spherical harmonic wavefunction to track stages of embryology in such a way that each cell in the process of development (2, 4, 8, 16, 32.... 100' million) to contain soul. Thus, to previous post about soul being in blood cells--yes, of course, in fact it may be within each and every cell if my spherical harmonic wavefunction hypothesis holds true. Crazy idea--sure--this is after all a philosophy thread about possibility of soul.
  9. Apr 30, 2006 #8
    The soul is within all. The soul is not limited to one person. The soul is one whole that encompasses all of the universe and its existence. It never leaves us. We leave it, and we are born into it. The soul is one. The soul is of "God". When we take form in being, we seperate the soul into fragmented thought. Many different brains... yet only one soul... Oneness my friends. Naturalness. Accept all that is... to be... and you will truly understand. The soul does not leave the body, the body leaves the soul. The soul always is.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006
  10. May 9, 2006 #9
    Souls are just markers for churches to collect.
    There is nothing that leaves the body upon death, except whatever abstract ideas you place upon it.
  11. May 15, 2006 #10
    I feel the soul is subjective; one person's soul maybe another's heart, not the muscle--in essence, what we're really dealing with hear is semantics, yes, yes that ugly word. I feel the definition of "soul" serves as an almost a division of opinions, rather than a unification; but nonetheless, when I read this thread's title, I knew exactly what the author of this thread meant, or at least what he/she was inferring. As for the soul in the physical world: I feel the attempt to measure this "metaphysical" entity is folly; however, my opinion is, well...just an opinion, and could be just as foolish as my claim. Nevertheless, I feel soul was always presented as concept, even in biblical references--possibly to avoid physical observation, which could ensue refutation, or for sheer lucidity from its audience. What we must take into account is what this soul does for us, or the belief in this entity; can you ascribe any talents to soul, do you feel something beautiful inside when you see a sunset, listen to a great song, read, etc...would it be crackpot to imply soul has its hand in emotions. Now for sake of reprising, to the my aforementioned statement of soul being subjective: one's soul is another's heart. My concept of attributing soul to emotions could be correlated with a psychologists belief in emotions being interpreted by the limbic section of our brains, but semantically we're equivalent--we feel!

    Excuse the typos,
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