JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

View Poll Results: Are there such things as souls?
Yes. 16 10.19%
No. 129 82.17%
On Planet X, newbies post a Planet X option in order to fit in. 12 7.64%
Voters: 157. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
Old 24th April 2012, 12:38 PM   #41
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18,787
Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
Mine is preceeded with an 'R'.
.
LOL!
I see what you did there!
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th April 2012, 01:22 PM   #42
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,169
Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
Ftfy
You fixed nothing but tacking on a pointless escape clause onto a perfectly valid statement.

Quote:
There does not exist a definitive philosophy of mind.
True but we are getting closer day by day to a definitive science of it. We understand the workings of the brain many times better then we did only a few years ago.

There does not nor ever will exist a definite philosophy of anything. Which is why I put my stock in science rather then philosophy.

Quote:
There does not exist a definitive science of consciousness. There does not exist a definitive explanation for the existence of the universe. Not a single person who has dismissed this phenomenon (soul) can claim they understand their own condition…and yet somehow just about everyone has the ability to accurately adjudicate what is often described as the fundamental fact of human reality. Remarkable!
So there's evidence for this thing that you don't know what it is?

Well hell then soul is a nice ham and turkey club on rye toast, with light mayo and a dab of horseradish, pickle on the side and it absolutely exists. There's a deli near my house that makes a wonderful soul. Goes good with chips.

Quote:
What is a soul? Who knows?....but there is evidence to suggest that there is such a thing.
Utter and complete nonsense.

Quote:
Not necessarily the variety of evidence that can be adjudicated within the epistemology of science…but then again…most of us live the entirety of our lives engaged in activities that fall entirely outside the boundaries of such adjudication.
Oh I see... evidence outside the (chuckle) "adjudicated epistemology of science."

You mean... woo.

Quote:
Life, I think it’s called. How did Einstein put it…” Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I wonder why? Maybe something to do with this ‘soul’ thing.
"Metaphorical statement from famously intelligent person taken out of context" therefore woo. Got it.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.

Last edited by JoeBentley; 24th April 2012 at 01:40 PM.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th April 2012, 10:19 PM   #43
skepticalnotcynical
New Blood
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 20
Neither YES or NO

1. First, I think we should all agree on a specific definition for a soul.

2. Depending on the definition of soul, we should then find evidence to support the claim that souls exist (or even harder-that it doesn't).

3.Probably we don't yet have any evidence that proves the existence of souls.
-And since it's hard to prove a negative.
-Plus, the burden of proof lies with the person claiming that souls exist.
-Coupled with the psychological explanations for the tendency to believe in such a thing.

4. We could safely presume souls don't exist.

5. Still, I don't think we can be 100% sure that it doesn't exist since we aren't omniscient.

6. But with the weight of the argument presented, I'll go with it probably doesn't exist. (Although I'd like and want to believe that it does)
skepticalnotcynical is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th April 2012, 11:27 PM   #44
SusanB-M1
Incurable Optimist
 
SusanB-M1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Almost in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 3,139
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I believe theres one in S Korea and also a fish, so I answered "yes"
Not being a lateral thinker, I didn't think of that!!
****
In answer to the poll question, 'soul' is a word to describe an aspect of an integrated, whole person, so I answered 'no'.
__________________
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
SusanB-M1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th April 2012, 12:25 AM   #45
slingblade
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 23,642
Originally Posted by skepticalnotcynical View Post
1. First, I think we should all agree on a specific definition for a soul.

2. Depending on the definition of soul, we should then find evidence to support the claim that souls exist (or even harder-that it doesn't).

3.Probably we don't yet have any evidence that proves the existence of souls.
-And since it's hard to prove a negative.
-Plus, the burden of proof lies with the person claiming that souls exist.
-Coupled with the psychological explanations for the tendency to believe in such a thing.

4. We could safely presume souls don't exist.

5. Still, I don't think we can be 100% sure that it doesn't exist since we aren't omniscient.

6. But with the weight of the argument presented, I'll go with it probably doesn't exist. (Although I'd like and want to believe that it does)
I don't require 100% certainty. The certainty I have is enough.

This isn't a new idea. People have been looking for evidence of the soul (and spare me the tedious definitions--we all know exactly what's meant by the term, and anyone who says he doesn't is being disingenuous) for centuries. None has ever been found.

The soul does not exist.
slingblade is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th April 2012, 01:04 AM   #46
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 33,660
No, I don't think souls exist.

I don't think there's even such a thing as the self.

Our "self" is a bundle* of ever-changing memories, experiences and opinions, not a fixed and constant "pearl".

*Julian Baggini uses this term in his fascinating book, The Ego Trick.
__________________
Are you an ex-Truther? Please share your story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Australasian Skeptics Forum.
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th April 2012, 01:32 AM   #47
Eddie Dane
Philosopher
 
Eddie Dane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 5,023
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
No, I don't think souls exist.

I don't think there's even such a thing as the self.

Our "self" is a bundle* of ever-changing memories, experiences and opinions, not a fixed and constant "pearl".

*Julian Baggini uses this term in his fascinating book, The Ego Trick.
Looks interesting.

I've noticed that my own concept of self has changed quite radically in the last ten years.

try getting that into a teenagers thick skull: you are making long term decisions for a different version of you.
Eddie Dane is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th April 2012, 08:05 PM   #48
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,875
Originally Posted by skepticalnotcynical View Post
1. First, I think we should all agree on a specific definition for a soul.
This exactly, because - believe it or not - different people have differing definitions. And, depending upon how the discussion goes, those definitions become fluid and changeable (usually referred to as goalpost moving, punshhh).

Without a common starting point, this discussion will go nowhere fast.

Having said that, if by "soul" we mean the usual dualistic mind/body distinction from the Judeo-Christian-Platonic tradition, I would say, no we do not have either scientific (or philosophical) evidence for such a thing, beyond wishful thinking.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher

Last edited by MattusMaximus; 25th April 2012 at 08:08 PM.
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 07:35 AM   #49
tsig
a carbon based life-form
 
tsig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 33,484
Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
The soul is a fiction intended to scare the potential donater to the retirement funds of the tale-spinner.
"Lose your immortal soul"... unless you tithe a few times is a great scare tactic.
Religion, the ultimate con:

1) convince people there's "SOMETHING" out there.

2) persuade others you can communicate with that "something"

3) prophet.
tsig is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 09:38 AM   #50
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,169
"The Soul" is one of religion's many answers looking for a question.
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 09:52 AM   #51
Tormac
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 405
My cats assure me that humans have souls, and that they can steal them from us if we don’t buy the expensive brand of cat food. But they also claim that they fought off Zombies last night, and deserve extra cat treats for that too, so I’m not 100% sure I believe them.
__________________
Anything is possible when you don't know what you are talking about.
Tormac is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 09:53 AM   #52
Beerina
Sarcastic Conqueror of Notions
 
Beerina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: A floating island above the clouds
Posts: 24,275
Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
No definiton I've ever heard describes something that actually exists.
Not true. One such definition is consciousness, which definitely exists.

Mine anyhoo.


I often point out to the religious that if my soul is not my consciousness, why do I care what happens to it after I die?
__________________
"Great innovations should not be forced [by way of] slender majorities." - Thomas Jefferson

The government should nationalize it! Socialized, single-payer video game development and sales now! More, cheaper, better games, right? Right?
Beerina is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 11:39 AM   #53
stilicho
Trurl's Electronic Bard
 
stilicho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,751
Originally Posted by annnnoid View Post
....

How did Einstein put it…” Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I wonder why? Maybe something to do with this ‘soul’ thing.
Was Einstein debating the existence of the soul when he said that? If Einstein were alive today, he'd punch everyone in the face who misused his quotes.
__________________
"Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone will say, 'Plate' or 'Shrimp' or 'Plate of shrimp,' out of the blue... It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness." -- REPO MAN

LondonJohn: "I don't need to cite."
Rolfe: "I really hate lawyers."
stilicho is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 11:44 AM   #54
Piscivore
Smelling fishy
 
Piscivore's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home is wherever I'm with you
Posts: 27,176
Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Not true. One such definition is consciousness, which definitely exists.

Mine anyhoo.


I often point out to the religious that if my soul is not my consciousness, why do I care what happens to it after I die?
I wasn't counting post-hoc renaming of other concepts to preserve the word. Consciousness is not a "thing" that can exist separately from the meat, which is almost always a characteristic of a "soul".
__________________
Don't love someone to save yourself. Love someone to destroy who you used to be.

"...untrustworthy obnoxious twerp." - CFLarsen
Piscivore is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 11:57 AM   #55
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 3,169
That's the problem with concepts like soul. It gets ingrained into our culture before it's ever properly defined and therefore starts getting confused with other concepts and/or used as a shorthand, synonym, metaphor, etc for other more concrete concepts and then those concrete concepts are used as evidence for the existence of nothing.

Being forced to argue a negative is bad enough without the negative being defined as "Whatever the hell I want it to be."
__________________
- Opinions require evidence and no before you ask defining something as "Something doesn't require evidence" doesn't count.
- In extreme cases continuing to be wrong when you've been repeatedly proven to be wrong is a form of rudeness.
- Major in philosophy. That way you can also ask people "why" they would like fries with that.
JoeBentley is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th April 2012, 07:40 PM   #56
Brian-M
Daydreamer
 
Brian-M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Downunder
Posts: 6,300
Originally Posted by stilicho View Post
If Einstein were alive today, he'd punch everyone in the face who misused his quotes.
Given that he'd be 133 years old, I doubt he'd be much of a physical threat.
__________________
"That is just what you feel, that isn't reality." - hamelekim
Brian-M is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th April 2012, 09:07 AM   #57
Lord Emsworth
Je ne suis pas une de vos élèves
 
Lord Emsworth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Through the Cables and the Underground ...
Posts: 2,997
Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
Given that he'd be 133 years old, I doubt he'd be much of a physical threat.
Yes, but
Imagination > Knowledge

Lord Emsworth is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:07 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.