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Bio's Soul Theory

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Bio's Soul Theory

Old 16th Jul 2001, 08:46
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Question Bio's Soul Theory

Bio's Soul Theory

Over the past while I've had some interesting discussions with my fellow ppruners in which I have tried to explain a half formulated theory that I have about the soul .... it's something I have been kicking round in my head for a while, it is of course just a string of hair-brained ideas and I've never tried to put into words before, so please be kind .... here goes

There is a part of you which makes you who you are, it is not diminished by removal of parts of your body or damage to your brain, it is not changed by age, maturity, experience, acquiring knowledge or mental degeneration by stroke or alzymers.
I'm aware that some of you think that we are just complex organic machines, breathing piles of meat and bone, controlled by electrical impulses in the neurological synapses of the brain .... but I bet even you have found yourself lying awake in bed and staring at the darkness in front of your face at 3am ~ wondering and believing even if it's only the once for 20 minutes.

For names sake I call this thing a persons soul (I'm sure most of you have some concept or vague feeling about this thingame and the name isn't important, different names don't change what it is.)

Because ones soul can not be reduced or lessened by amputation or injury or isolated in a test-tube, it stands to reason that this soul thingame either doesn't exist (which would make this thread pointless ... so we'll say for arguments sake it does. After all you can only prove something does exist, proving that something doesn't exist is much harder ... all you can really prove is that you can't find it right now.)
This soul thingames refusal to be isolated, measured or weighed probably indicates it is without mass or defined volume (after all a substance without mass cannot be held within a defined space.)
Then it also stands to reason the soul does not stay only within the person shaped container you call your body, that it spills or extends beyond ones somatic core; This would explain many psycic or supernatural goings on.

How far it extends outside you (nowhere and to the outer limits of the created universe at the same time, could be quite possible for something with no mass) and how it is attached to you (some sort of spiritual chewing gum, or bungy cord maybe? ) is something I'm still pondering

The massless nature of the soul also leads to some interesting concepts if we apply physics to the soul.

There are only 2 states of "stuff" that come to mind(my uni' physics papers were back 5 years ago so I am a tad rusty), Matter (including that whole anti matter concept) and Energy ... I'm sure Slash will remind me if I have forgotten a stuff form *bows head to elder more learned ppruner*.
So if we have something without mass (which by nature matter has) it must be a form of energy.
If the soul has no mass it is capable of traveling at or maybe faster than the speed of light (photons are considered to have no mass but attributed a relative mass in physics due to the idea that mass and energy are interchangable.)

Conservation of energy theory states that energy can't be created or destroyed (within time, obviously before matter etc existed, time didn't either) but can only change form, so we have this thingame which can't be destroyed but only have its form changed.... that would give you an 'eternal soul' in some form wouldn't it?

If an object has no mass it would also not subject to time (which is in effect the degeneration/change of matter/mass/atoms into other types of energy and or atoms which is how the whole carbon dating science works (the idea that a all living things which derive their carbon source from the CO2 which has a certain percentage of c14 with a certain half life.... ) therefore if the soul is not subject to time it exists in a state outside the boundaries of time. Which means your soul exists yesterday, now and tomorrow simultaneously and is unchanged by today now and tomorrow.

Can a soul 'know' things? If it is in itself outside time this means it is incapable of learning or changing doesn't it (to learn you must have a past present and a future)? Your soul must inherently know either everything or nothing, but there would be no progression between.
And yet I think that the soul occasionally carries knowledge ... we as human beings occasionally know things from the future which we couldn't possibly know ... you've all heard stories about people knowing somewhere deep inside that a plane will crash and changing their flights (pardoxically maybe the reason why they knew about this was because they had already survived in the future ... after all when you die all bets are off and your soul moves on) or other stories, maybe you have dreamed dreams that came true later... things like that. Some people seem to live closer to that side of things than others.

Now the next question I ponder is what exactly knowledge is, is there an ultimate concrete knowledge thingame or are there just perceptions of facts? Is knowledge matter or energy? both or neither? Is knowledge just biochemical impulses along neurons, words on paper, 0's and 1's in a computer? what exactly is it ..... (I read a theory once that knowledge was an energy form virus or pathogen displaying many of the same characteristics towards its host as typical bacterial or viral pathogens, it was an elegant theory but I don't know if I subscribe to it.)
Is knowledge subject to time?
*whimpers quietly & gets a need for caffeine or alcohol ~(Winston, Kermy see what you're doing to me?)*
Come to think of it whether knowledge is a form of matter or a form of energy doesn't really effect anything just as long as the idea that knowledge has a state of some sort external to the knoweee (is knowledge still knowlege if noone is there to know it?)
If knowledge has substance it stands to reason that maybe it can be carried or swept along with the soul thingame much like a leaf caught in a wind gust.

Now apply these ideas to psycic phenomenon people who foretell the future, people who dream dreams that come true, deja vu. Knowledge of the future carried inside a soul thingame which in itself defies time.

Righty ho I have decided to post what I have so far before it becomes a novel.

Remember folks the above theories are in no way a true indication of the authors internal workings but a mere fantasim of theories developed during to many hours of thinking while under the infuence of caffeine. And this is not the end but only the beginning!

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Old 16th Jul 2001, 09:07
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What a delight to hear a spiritual person musing without lecturing, asking for ideas instead of demanding we accept theirs. Bio, you go a long way towards redeeming the battered image of Christians.

95% of your argument is scientifically sound and logical in its reasoning, but it is fatally flawed from the very beginning by assuming the existence of the soul.... "There is a part of you that makes you who you are....". IS there?

From my experience thoughts that appear in the blackness of the early hours are rarely reliable or rational. In the end, the existence of the soul comes down to the same argument as the existence of God. Impossible to prove, impossible to disprove, so it reverts to a simple matter of faith or, if you like, opinion. Frustrating for those who feel strongly on both sides.

Personally I don't see that it matters. If you believe, and that faith does you good, then I wish you the very best with it, and it certainly shouldn't matter to you what anyone else's judgement of you is. You don't feel the need to insist that I share your beliefs, so you're OK by me.

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Old 16th Jul 2001, 10:07
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I think that you are right on babe, Its nice to see that there are others, like me, that believe that there is more to life. Nice work and i don't think that caffine had anything to do withit hun.



Don't stop believing

[ 16 July 2001: Message edited by: Copter Cody ]
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 12:24
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Sorry, Bio, but all you have done is a word-association exercise:

"Perhaps the soul is a form of energy..." (unsubstatiated) followed by an attempt to ascribe the properties of "energy" to the "soul".

Unfortunately your physics is all up the duff anyway. Energy most definitely has mass and cannot travel faster than the speed of light.

Conservation of energy can't be used to imply that the soul can persist for ever: in particular, energy is always being converted from one form to another - Nuclear energy in the sun becomes light travelling through space, is photosynthesised into plants which fossilise and the chemical energy is then burned in order to give flight to your aircraft etc...

So one could equally devise a re-incarnationinst point of view or indeed pretty much anything you wanted - all equally meaningless of course. This is the danger of argument by analogy.

There are many things in the Universe that do not consist of either energy or mass: Pythagoras' Theorem for example, or love. So, again, what's your point ?

Finally, a question: if you have ever had a major operation under general anaesthetic, you'll know the experience: total oblivion. It's the nearest thing to being dead: you experience _nothing_. So what's the soul doing while you're under ? Surely not affected by a few molecules of nitrous oxide ???
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 12:36
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Thanks guys
Radar hon as I said if we have no soul then my thread is pointless (and we had Feetys charming thread for pointless things) so I have to assume and write as if we do indeed have one to make it a pointed thread. *chuckles* At 3am I usually think about the important things.... like did I leave that expensive peice of equipment running at work when I left, if I did whose insurance will cover it? >hugs< for saying maybe I restore your faith that not all Christians are OCB you have no idea how much THAT means to me

Cody babe you have no idea how good for philosphy and deep thinking caffiene is

Ahh G' good lad!
Energy most definitely has mass and cannot travel faster than the speed of light.

**Now babe I'm sure you are wrong about that (or at least my first year physics text book is ... matter can have energy and be convereted into energy but they are two different things otherwise you'd manage to simplify physics to a piont that even I could totally master it, I loath physics incidently)

Conservation of energy can't be used to imply that the soul can persist for ever

***in some form yes it does as does all matter or energy

There are many things in the Universe that do not consist of either energy or mass: Pythagoras' Theorem for example, or love. So, again, what's your point ?

*** Yes indeed the third thigame which knowlede fits into and do you think that these things have a substance outside the human mind .... I only touched on my perplexing on that in here.

Finally, a question: if you have ever had a major operation under general anaesthetic, you'll know the experience: total oblivion. It's the nearest thing to being dead: you experience _nothing_. So what's the soul doing while you're under ? Surely not affected by a few molecules of nitrous oxide ???
*** as I said the soul knows nothing it merely exsists only if knowledge is carried along in it do we know anything, some people say they have experinced other than black when under nitrous so that doesn't blow my theory out of the water but sort of prooves it
Of course G' I'll admit I'm building sand castles in the air because there is no concrete proof for my initial suppositions. But this is an exercise in thought mainly and asking for theorys not a scientific paper.
Cheers - Bio

[ 16 July 2001: Message edited by: Bio Warrior ]
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 12:46
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There's substance (no pun intended) to this thread. All energy must go somewhere, right? So when you pass on, what happens to the thinking person you once were. It must go somewhere, and any attempt to explain this hugely mind-boggling topic must surely be as important and controversial as some of the theories of the great scientists of the last 200 years. Perhaps its human nature to try to understand this. I for one find it extrememly difficult to think about what its like for something to be alive and have a personality one moment, and the next a pile of bones and meat with no feeling or thought.

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Old 16th Jul 2001, 13:14
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To the worms, Kermie, and then as CO2 perhaps part of someone else before eventually we make our way onwards and upwards back to space and the stars we came from.

Who could ask for more than that ?
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 19:36
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so you finally did it... For the time being, there are just a few things I'd like to remark or ask:

- What you didn't make sufficiently clear is exactly how and when we are supposed to actually feel or notice the existence of our soul. Could you expound some more on that 3am-experience?

- My understanding of dreams is that they are simply "waste products" or merely "random scenes" being "played" to what little consciousness you still have while asleep, as a result of the brain regenerating itself and rearranging information in the process. In this mental "house-cleaning" we sometimes come across people or places we had almost totally forgot about. A "déjà-vu", in turn, is usually a "scene" in real life that, by coincidence, you've already experienced in a very similar form in one of your dreams.

- As you already know, I'm very skeptical about the existence of any "soul". I firmly believe that consciousness gradually increases with the initial growth of any living being and is more or less suddenly destroyed with death. End of the story. Finito.

- When I die, where does my soul go? Will it just continue to exist, or will it be assigned to the next physical lifeform being created at the moment? If not, does it receive unemployment benefits?

- What about animals? Do they have souls?

- For me it's not caffeine that's good for "deep thinking", but - don't laugh - illness! It may sound strange, but it was ususally at times when I had a severe cold or - even "better" - fever, that I found it easiest to delve into scientific theories and complicated calculations. Perhaps the increased body temperature makes the brain work quicker and more fluently... - Who knows, maybe that's the reason you finally got around to post it now. Nevertheless, I hope that you'll be well again soon!

- What is a "thingame"?

And, finally:

***If you are right about that the soul can't change, then how can your soul develop a relationship with Jesus? ( )
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 20:22
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Sounds like the Ancient Egyptian idea of the KA, much beloved of Dennis Wheatly, this entity wanders the astral plains as you kip.
Although I tend to agree with Mr Smith, dreams are just a screen saver your brain runs to keep you entertained as it carries out house keeping duties.
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 20:56
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Opposite of a "fatgame" of course
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Old 16th Jul 2001, 23:28
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Well, I'll let you guys worry about the soul...

I am off to glide through the air, feeling the thermals under my wings, flying as smoothly and cleanly as I can to climb steadily, looking out for fellow travellers in the big ocean of air, and looking down at the beautiful green expanses of Texas.

Quietly musing on solitude and beauty.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 09:20
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This will probably upset a few religious types, but wouldn't it be good if this somewhat seductive concept of 'soul' could be divorced from all the baggage of holy books and preachers looking to influence others?

I'm anti-organised religions because of all the seemingly superfluous 'controlling of the masses and taking their money' aspects to many of them, and I could also be classed as a skeptic when it comes to people (who after all are just ****-kickers like me) who make grand claims about their supernatural talents or personal connections to various gods and prophets.

However, the pure idea of my consciousness existing beyond me as perhaps part of a greater whole is something that I could certainly believe in.
After all, all the theories in the world can't explain the magic of life, so science isn't the be all and end all either.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 12:32
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But... the idea of a soul as you have just described is just a theory isn't it ?

Of course science doesn't have all the answers. Neither does it claim to.

But it takes a peculiar twist of inverse logic to claim that an idea must be correct precisely _because_ there is no evidence or explanation !

The idea of a soul is disappointing to me because the implication is that the whole cannot be greater than the sum of its parts: that the conciousness, life, self awareness etc. is something that has to be "added in" in from outside. The collection of atoms, molecules and electrical pattterns is not "alive" until someone sprinkles some magic dust on it.

What if it all comes from within ? That a collection of molecules and electrical impulses can become aware and ponder its existence, create, love, and all the other things. This is a kind of emergent behaviour that to me is much more of a wonderful and fascinating thing.

I think it is very sad that we have to rely on the supernatural and superstition when there is something much more amazing than that going on.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 12:48
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Arm out of the Window. You have encapsulated what I think on this matter.

I would like to think that the personality of the human being DOES continue and go on to other experiences after Death but I do not and cannot prove this either way. I have just experienced the death of my mother, an old lady of 85 who had been seriously ill. Now I would like to think that her pesonality still exists somewhere but I have my doubts. My father, a religious person, hopes and believes that he will meet up with her "on the other side" in a few years time. I have no such hope nor even desire. As far as I am concerned the person I knew as my mother no longer exists and is gone from me for ever. If she is now reincarnated as another being, either on Earth or somewhere unknown to us, I would be delighted, but as I cannot know this I content myself that she had a good life and in the memory of happy times with her as a child.

I do certainly agree that Thanatology should be divorced from Priests, Ministers, Mullahs, Shamen, and other pedlars of fear and supersitition. I attended my mother's funeral, ( a standard religious service), out of respect for her and support for my father. It did very little for me although it was conducted in a sympathetic manner and with dignity, and did absolutely nothing I am sure for my mother who was beyond all such things.

Finally, given a choice I would like to believe in Reincarnation but again although I have a gut feeling that this could be the case, and to me it is a lot more satisfactory than the conventional religions of "Death-Judgement- Heaven or Hell", I have no convincing proof.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 15:22
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I don't see any evolutionary or genetic advantage to having a soul, and if that is the case old mommy nature probably hasn't supplied you with one, she don't believe in wasted energy.
I can see some genetic benifit in reincarnation, if you could remember your previous lives, you may not make the same mistakes, you will have had prior experience in dealing with members of the opposite sex and that would be advantagous in passing on your genetic material,which is the prime directive to all life, everything else is subservient to this, but again there is no evidence for this so reincarnation looks like a none runner.
The soul,? survival after death?, wishful thinking I believe.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 15:30
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I couldn't have put it any better than Grainger did in all his posts on the previous page!

That's EXACTLY how I see it!

And he's even able satisfactorily to explain what a "thingame" is! Quite an outstanding feat! As a for the consequences of failure in similar circumstances, let me quote from 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy":

»[about Ford Prefect:] The other kids at school nicknamed him Ix, which in the language of Betelgeuse Five translates as "boy who is not able satisfactorily to explain what a Hrung is, nor why it should choose to collapse on Betelgeuse Seven".«
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 15:39
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I totally agree with Winston, Tony and Grainger...there is no soul.

Dreams are indeed a tidy-up of events in the mind which leads to the occasional feeling of deja-vu.

The thing that convinced me was going under for operations. Every time I have had anaesthetic I have experienced absolutely nothing...complete oblivion. One second the mask is going on with the gas and you start to count, the next you're being woken up after the operation. I have never felt anything, or dreamt anything, during these times - total oblivion. This is how I percieve death.
Old 17th Jul 2001, 16:06
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Bio as I told you in the PPRuNe Chat room, what is popularley known as the soul is in actual fact a matured cerebral cortex (the so-called gray matter). An imature cerebral cortex is the same throughout any human. Thus week old babys are exactly the same throughout the world. So you are YOU through environmental conditioning of your brain. Hereditary genes play a part of course but not as far as your "YOU" is concerned.

Also theres been no succesful experiment, nor any chemical or energy equation proving the existance of ectoplasm which is the stuff souls are supposed to be made of. Sorry babe but after much research and..um..soul-searching on the subject I conclude there isnt one.
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 17:24
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why did I never meet you in chat? You should come in there more often!

(But please don't expect me to swallow that "week old babys are exactly the same throughout the world". - And please check your spelling, mate; next time I'd like to see "exactley"... is that clear? )
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Old 17th Jul 2001, 21:56
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Impressive. For the first time on PPRuNe have I read a healthy discussion on existentialism, belief and evoloution without anyone trying to "pull the bible on you" (you know what I'm talking about).

Grainger, in my opinion you've hit the needle on the head, but as my english isn't as eloquant the rest of you guys, i'll just lean back and watch the rest of the discussion in silence.

Slasher, I think that babies get a lot of impressions from the environment already in their first week, and can thus not be equal.Had you said newborn babies, I might have agreed.

brgds FS
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