View Poll Results: Does man have a soul?

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  • Atheist/Agnostic and yes, he does

    3 5.00%
  • Atheist/Agnostic and no, he does not

    27 45.00%
  • Other belief system and yes he does

    14 23.33%
  • Other belief system and no, he does not

    2 3.33%
  • BTSOOM/FIIK (beats the **** out of me/fvck if I know)

    10 16.67%
  • Cake or death?

    4 6.67%
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Thread: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

  1. #11
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    "the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments."

    I believe in that definition, but not the others.
    If you expect people to be rational, you aren't being rational.

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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    Even as a little kid immersed in a religious upbringing, this and also the notion that humans would go to heaven were major hangups for roughly the same reasons. I distinctly remember wondering that if humans had a soul, then so too must other animals, every little ant, my hamsters, and my pet dog all should have so souls too, it seemed silly that somehow we were so different to the rest of the animals on the planet just because.
    Welcome to Pantheism.

    There is a religion that believes that all life is merely the spark of a divine that was shattered during an epic battle with supernatural evil. And that when a life "dies" that spark returns to the whole. In essence, that spark is a organism's "soul."
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

  3. #13
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Proof that man has soul...

    "I condemn the ideology of White Supremacy and Nazism. They are thugs, criminals, and repugnant, and are against what I believe to be "The American Way" "
    Thus my obligatory condemnation of White supremacy will now be in every post, lest I be accused of supporting it because I didn't mention it specifically every time I post.

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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Human consciousness is the product of chemistry.

    Chemicals don't boogey, and they don't have any soul.

  5. #15
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    No I don't. I don't think there is any evidence to indicate the existence of some immaterial entity. The complexity of the human brain is sufficient to explain our behaviors, just as the complexity of a cat's brain is sufficient to explain a cat's behavior, the complexity of an insect's brain is sufficient to explain an insect's behavior, and the complexity of a CPU is sufficient to explain a computer's behavior. I'm a fan of Ockham's Razor, which basically says don't assume anything you don't have to assume. Since we already know the biological driver of our thoughts and actions (i.e. the brain), I don't see any reason to assume the existence of something beyond that. For any gaps in our understanding of why we think and behave as we do, I'm much more likely to attribute them to flaws or limitations in our understanding of the brain, rather than the existence of a soul.
    The part in bold is certainly inaccurate. Absent any software, the CPU will not cause the computer to behave in any manner at all.

    Software is not a tangible object that you can touch. Software is a pattern. A particular sequence of ones and zeros. It is, as you say, an immaterial entity.

    Were one to design software sufficiently complex that it could engage in sentient thought given the hardware necessary to do so, then the identity of said entity would be independent of whatever CPU it was using at the time. You could download this sentient program into another computer and it would still be the same program.

    It seems to me that the human brain functions very much like a computer, and as such requires software in order to function. A pattern of choices defining a distinct personality. I believe this software is called a soul.

  6. #16
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Panache View Post
    The part in bold is certainly inaccurate. Absent any software, the CPU will not cause the computer to behave in any manner at all.

    Software is not a tangible object that you can touch. Software is a pattern. A particular sequence of ones and zeros. It is, as you say, an immaterial entity.

    Were one to design software sufficiently complex that it could engage in sentient thought given the hardware necessary to do so, then the identity of said entity would be independent of whatever CPU it was using at the time. You could download this sentient program into another computer and it would still be the same program.

    It seems to me that the human brain functions very much like a computer, and as such requires software in order to function. A pattern of choices defining a distinct personality. I believe this software is called a soul.
    Your brain is your hardware. Your particular pattern of neurons are your software. No need for a metaphysical explanation.

    Similarly, just because a computer's software is a pattern of ones and zeroes doesn't make it any less real. Do you believe that computers have souls (i.e. some metaphysical trait that makes them run)? Why or why not?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-04-10 at 07:11 PM.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Your brain is your hardware. Your particular pattern of neurons are your software.
    No, the neurons themselves are more like an integrated circuit in a CPU. The pattern in which integrated circuits are arranged in the CPU has no bearing on the pattern in which they are used. Different software can use the same circuits to accomplish entirely different things.

    Similarly, just because a computer's software is a pattern of ones and zeroes doesn't make it any less real.
    And just because a soul is a pattern of choices does not make it any less real.

    Do you believe that computers have souls (i.e. some metaphysical trait that makes them run)?
    Yes.

    Why or why not?
    A pattern of ones and zeros is an immaterial concept. The software isn't the computer, or the CPU or even the disk on which the software is stored. It is not some physical object that you can touch. It is in fact beyond the physical, which makes it a metaphysical trait.

    Our software is much more complex, similarly metaphysical, and nonetheless real for it.

  8. #18
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Panache View Post
    No, the neurons themselves are more like an integrated circuit in a CPU. The pattern in which integrated circuits are arranged in the CPU has no bearing on the pattern in which they are used. Different software can use the same circuits to accomplish entirely different things.

    And just because a soul is a pattern of choices does not make it any less real.



    Yes.



    A pattern of ones and zeros is an immaterial concept. The software isn't the computer, or the CPU or even the disk on which the software is stored. It is not some physical object that you can touch. It is in fact beyond the physical, which makes it a metaphysical trait.

    Our software is much more complex, similarly metaphysical, and nonetheless real for it.
    Just because computer software is immaterial doesn't make it metaphysical. You can easily conduct experiments to detect its presence or absence. If the software exists on my machine, then I should be able to pinpoint its location by deleting certain parts of my hard drive and seeing if it still runs. If the software exists on the cloud (perhaps a better analogy for the concept of a soul), then I can confirm this fact by disconnecting from the internet and seeing if I can still run the program.

    There is no comparable experiment that can be run to detect the presence or absence of a human soul, which makes it a fundamentally different concept IMO.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Just because computer software is immaterial doesn't make it metaphysical.
    Being immaterial does in fact make it metaphysical. Meta from the Greek μετά meaning beyond and physical from the Greek φυσικά referring to Aristotle's contemplations of the material. I looked it up.

    You can easily conduct experiments to detect its presence or absence. If the software exists on my machine, then I should be able to pinpoint its location by deleting certain parts of my hard drive and seeing if it still runs. If the software exists on the cloud (perhaps a better analogy for the concept of a soul), then I can confirm this fact by disconnecting from the internet and seeing if I can still run the program.

    There is no comparable experiment that can be run to detect the presence or absence of a human soul, which makes it a fundamentally different concept IMO.
    What do you mean? Deleting certain parts of your brain won't similarly cause the program to stop running? I don't get what you are trying to say here.

  10. #20
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    Re: Atheists/Agnostics/Other: Does man have a soul

    Quote Originally Posted by Panache View Post
    Being immaterial does in fact make it metaphysical. Meta from the Greek μετά meaning beyond and physical from the Greek φυσικά referring to Aristotle's contemplations of the material. I looked it up.
    What I meant is something that exists independently of any scientific observation. The concept of a soul would qualify; a computer program would not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panache
    What do you mean? Deleting certain parts of your brain won't similarly cause the program to stop running? I don't get what you are trying to say here.
    My point is that your computer's soul/software exists either within its hardware, or in the cloud. And in either case, we can test for its presence. There's no comparable way to test for the presence of a human soul.
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