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ibnishaq

the soul

what do you atheists think about the soul? why do we think and feel and see and have emotions?

HOW were we created? who created the minerals to start the big bang?

and could science one day be able to control the way we think?
All_Brains

Re: the soul

ibnishaq wrote:
what do you atheists think about the soul? why do we think and feel and see and have emotions?

HOW were we created? who created the minerals to start the big bang?

and could science one day be able to control the way we think?


Wow, so many fundamental questions! Each idea here needs it's own thread.

Let's talk about the soul only here!

Now, you tell me your interpretation of the soul first!
ibnishaq

well i find it weird that we can think! i mean i just find that so amazing that we have feelings and emotions. i just do not know how evolution could do that!

at the same time though today i thought about something.. alzheimers. when people have this they loose most of what they originally knew. so i wonder if one became a muslim and then forgot what would happen to them!
Tvebak

Hi shaq

I will stick to the "soul"-thingy aswell.

The subject "soul" is in my opinion an idea our ancestors have developed to explain our conciousness. There have been different ideas on how this "soul" have manifested. Many thought it was in the heart, which have also come to influence on the bible and the quran, where the "mind" is somehow talked as being in the chest/heart. Later when scientist realised that the brain played a very important role in this field the "soul" was attached to the brain. The "heart"-analogy was very powerful and therefore it still dominates poetry, litterature etc. etc.

The neurological advances there's made these years a amazing. Thinking that you can have a part of your brain replaced by a protestese within relative (if not already) few years is in my opinon amazing. The heart as the home of the "soul" has been completely ruined, in my opinion, by the mere fact of heart-transplantations. The same might be the case for the brain.

But to the explanation of the conciousness, think of a little baby, think of the different persons around the world suffering from different abnormalties in the brain (autists, spastic and many more). These examples show, in my opinion, what conciousness is made of. And its made of the constant interaction of the many different small elements in our brain and the impulses we get through the different senses. Through times we get some impulses on how to behave and how to react on different things. This makes us have feelings and emotions.

And about the evolutionary element you would find that other animals are able to have empathy, meaning is able to have feelings and emotions in relation to others. And the thing would be explained that the animal who created these elements was/is somehow more able to survive in a specific environment.

Note though that I'm certainly no expert on the area. Just have a profound interest in it and a certainly willing to learn more about it.

Cheers and peace.
ibnishaq

so we basically think and have feelings because of neurons and such? and scientists can now be able to CONTROL the way we think if they wanted?!

that could really put a blow to religion which gives us what they call free will. because it someone were to control what we think then we have no free will like religion says!
All_Brains

Tvebak wrote:
Hi shaq

I will stick to the "soul"-thingy aswell.

The subject "soul" is in my opinion an idea our ancestors have developed to explain our conciousness. There have been different ideas on how this "soul" have manifested. Many thought it was in the heart, which have also come to influence on the bible and the quran, where the "mind" is somehow talked as being in the chest/heart. Later when scientist realised that the brain played a very important role in this field the "soul" was attached to the brain. The "heart"-analogy was very powerful and therefore it still dominates poetry, litterature etc. etc.

The neurological advances there's made these years a amazing. Thinking that you can have a part of your brain replaced by a protestese within relative (if not already) few years is in my opinon amazing. The heart as the home of the "soul" has been completely ruined, in my opinion, by the mere fact of heart-transplantations. The same might be the case for the brain.

But to the explanation of the conciousness, think of a little baby, think of the different persons around the world suffering from different abnormalties in the brain (autists, spastic and many more). These examples show, in my opinion, what conciousness is made of. And its made of the constant interaction of the many different small elements in our brain and the impulses we get through the different senses. Through times we get some impulses on how to behave and how to react on different things. This makes us have feelings and emotions.

And about the evolutionary element you would find that other animals are able to have empathy, meaning is able to have feelings and emotions in relation to others. And the thing would be explained that the animal who created these elements was/is somehow more able to survive in a specific environment.

Note though that I'm certainly no expert on the area. Just have a profound interest in it and a certainly willing to learn more about it.

Cheers and peace.


Good post! I agree.
Tvebak

ibnishaq wrote:
so we basically think and have feelings because of neurons and such? and scientists can now be able to CONTROL the way we think if they wanted?!

that could really put a blow to religion which gives us what they call free will. because it someone were to control what we think then we have no free will like religion says!


Hi Shaq

Yes my view is that "we basically think and have feelings because of neurons and such".

Quote:
and scientists can now be able to CONTROL the way we think if they wanted?!


Well this is a complicated subject. Have you ever heard of the case of lobotomi?
There could be different levels of "mind control". Complete"mind control" as far as I know is not, yet, the fact. It's still only in the science fictions genre, but many things imagined in these books have been achieved. But you have hypnotism, this is some sort of control of mind, it's though not applicable to all people. The person have to have some characterstic for being swayed to being hypnitized. Another way, is in the relationship with lobotomi, with medical or surgical procedures which slows/fasten, build/destroy some interactions in the brain (another example of stimulating, in one way or the other, the interaction in the brain is taking drugs of some kind).

About the prosthesis in the brain you can read a little about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_implant

I'm not sure wether these article is true (or is actually telling about scientific progress), but nevertheless its quite funny and perhaps very scaring indeed:
http://www.wireheading.com/roboroach/
http://www.wireheading.com/roborats/index.html

Cheers and peace
Mutley

The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?
Tvebak

Mutley wrote:
The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?


Hi Mutley

Well actually, in my opinon, it's a matter of us being able to do it "better" or as I would say it differently. Cause what is exactly better?
You have other animals working out systems of using tools to get food or to make something. This is a process of learning why with a cause/reason/purpose etc.
On another acount, you can say another animal abillity of hearing (specific tones), seeing in specific light or something else distinguish them from other animals.

But of course humans is different from other animals. Likewise are other animals different from other animals  (incl. humans). There's being invested great amount of time to study sociological behaviour in other animalgroups these years, of course mainly other animals which is close in relation to us humans. So we might get some new answers on the consciousness of our fellow-animals.

Cheers and peace
roshan

Quote:
what do you atheists think about the soul?


I am a Vedantic atheist, and I do accept the idea of a soul.

Quote:
But to the explanation of the conciousness, think of a little baby, think of the different persons around the world suffering from different abnormalties in the brain (autists, spastic and many more). These examples show, in my opinion, what conciousness is made of. And its made of the constant interaction of the many different small elements in our brain and the impulses we get through the different senses. Through times we get some impulses on how to behave and how to react on different things. This makes us have feelings and emotions.


This depends on ones definition of the soul/consciousness. Note that in the Hindu (vedantic) context, the soul is defined as being pure awareness. It has nothing to do with thoughts and emotions. While the Abrahamic concept of the soul is anthropomorphic, being responsible for thinking and feeling, the Vedantic one is not.

Quote:
And about the evolutionary element you would find that other animals are able to have empathy, meaning is able to have feelings and emotions in relation to others. And the thing would be explained that the animal who created these elements was/is somehow more able to survive in a specific environment.


Any creature with awareness would be defined by Vedanta as posessing a soul.
norwegian

Hi Roshan,

I thought this topic would be ideal in the Eastern Religions thread. Problem is, most Eastern beliefs are also atheistic. Smile

So anyway, I think there are similarities between Hindu and Buddhist philosophies but I was told there are also stark differences, like in the belief of a permanent soul and practices such as the caste system.

As I elaborated in the other thread, while we all have identities (the "I"), Buddhist believe that it is in constant change, meaning there is no permanent uniquely identifiable soul. This is observable in both the mundane level (like asking your spouse if you've changed) and the supramundane level (by observing the "I" during very deep meditation).

Now, some people like to say "I was so-and-so in my previous life" as in the case of child prodigies. On the surface this appears to support the popular notion of a premanent, preservable soul that transcends death.

I believe some elements of identity can transmigrate from existence to existence. However, depending on the state of energy at the time of transmigration, they may be dispersed to other energy concentrations within that fabric of "reality".

One observable example of this is how the memories of an individual who had passed on can reappear in more than one individual. Studies in Tibet showed cases where several child Lamas could remember the personal artifacts of a dead Lama that had never been made public, implying that part of the 'soul' had been reborn in several individuals. This led to chaos in succession planning.

Sorry, told you I didn't know if this belonged in Eastern religion or atheist section but it does present one view of the nature of the soul. Smile
roshan

Quote:
I thought this topic would be ideal in the Eastern Religions thread. Problem is, most Eastern beliefs are also atheistic.


Or at the very least, not dependant on theism. Smile

Quote:
So anyway, I think there are similarities between Hindu and Buddhist philosophies but I was told there are also stark differences, like in the belief of a permanent soul and practices such as the caste system.


On a superficial level, yes, there are differences. But upon studying the multitude of philosophies within each, the differences began to blur. As an example, the concept of Brahman(ultimate reality, identical to the soul) and Maya (relative reality) in Advaita (non dualist) Vedanta is identical to that of Nirvana/Buddha and Sunyata in some of the Mahayana sects (see the links I gave in the other thread). In fact, I think that in many ways, Mahayana Buddhism is basically a blend of Theravada and Vedanta (there are non philosophical influences as well - such as, for example, the use of Sanskrit as a liturgical language, breaking away from the use of Buddhist tradition of using Prakrits like Pali and Gandharan).

Note that caste in India was a medieval phenomenon - at the time Buddhism started, the caste system barely existed. By the time caste began to develop into its modern form, Buddhism was already on the decline, if not well on its way out.

Quote:
Now, some people like to say "I was so-and-so in my previous life" as in the case of child prodigies. On the surface this appears to support the popular notion of a premanent, preservable soul that transcends death.

I believe some elements of identity can transmigrate from existence to existence. However, depending on the state of energy at the time of transmigration, they may be dispersed to other energy concentrations within that fabric of "reality".

One observable example of this is how the memories of an individual who had passed on can reappear in more than one individual. Studies in Tibet showed cases where several child Lamas could remember the personal artifacts of a dead Lama that had never been made public, implying that part of the 'soul' had been reborn in several individuals. This led to chaos in succession planning.

Sorry, told you I didn't know if this belonged in Eastern religion or atheist section but it does present one view of the nature of the soul.


One way of thinking of the soul is the pure, uncontaminated, changeless "Buddha" that lies within you, which Hindus call the Atman. Obviously, this is the exact same thing that lies in everyone else, hence, the Atman is identical to Brahman (Nirvana), or the absolute reality upon which everything else is superimposed. Therefore, no one actually has a soul of their own, there is just "the" soul, which would explain that incident of branching reincarnation in Tibet.

Note that the existence of memories (even of previous lives) that can be relived indicates that experience is not merely just a series of snapshots, but that there is some sort of thread connecting it together. Therefore, in addition to the atman/brahman, Vedanta accepts the idea of a Jiva (illussionary individual soul) which is a composite entity, composed not only of the atman, but also of karmas from previous lives, memory imprints and possibly other things as well. Strangely enough, it seems that there were Buddhist sects who accepted ideas similar to the Jiva while at the same time rejecting the Atman, while other Buddhists sects accepted the Atman (but calling it different names) while rejecting the Jiva, showing the many different ways in which Anatta can be interpreted, and blurring the distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism just a little bit more.
norwegian

Hi Roshan,

I've moved our discussion to a new thread under Non-Abrahamic Religions:

http://freefaith.myfreeforum.org/sutra1240.php#1240

since we're starting to discuss ideas specific to Buddhism and Hinduism. See you in the other thread.
All_Brains

norwegian wrote:
Hi Roshan,

I've moved our discussion to a new thread under Non-Abrahamic Religions:

http://freefaith.myfreeforum.org/sutra1240.php#1240

since we're starting to discuss ideas specific to Buddhism and Hinduism. See you in the other thread.


Who needs MOD when we have mature and intelligent members like you guys! Very Happy

I am really impressed with the the attitude of the non-Abrahamic folks!
Tvebak

roshan wrote:

I am a Vedantic atheist, and I do accept the idea of a soul.

This depends on ones definition of the soul/consciousness. Note that in the Hindu (vedantic) context, the soul is defined as being pure awareness. It has nothing to do with thoughts and emotions. While the Abrahamic concept of the soul is anthropomorphic, being responsible for thinking and feeling, the Vedantic one is not.


Hi Roshan

Nice to meet you.

You say that the vedantic concept of soul is the one of "pure awareness". I must admit I have little knowledge of the vedantic philosophy, but I'm glad that you pressed me to finally having a look at my little booklet on vedantic philosophy and religion by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami. As I read his little indtroduction to the vedantic thougths and concepts I get an idea of several concepts of soul, but I guess that your concept either is the "atma" = "self" or "jiva" or both (or perhaps its the same)?

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EDIT: Had not seen that you already had discussed the two terms in your discussion with norwegian, as seen above, sorry. So my question would rather be what concept of soul from the vedantic philosophy is it you accept?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But nontheless regarding which concept or another one you are refering to my view is that its still part of the material, ie. the brain.
And as far as I understand considering the vedantic view I will continue to be reborn in eternity because I think myself of being a material.

Cheers and peace.

PS. If you rather want to answer in the other thread 'norwegian' put up that's fine with me.
roshan

The thing is, today there are various sects of Vedanta, and almost all of them are theistic, but to various extents. I can tell from the name of the booklets author that he is probably from one of the theistic and dualistic variants of Vedanta. On the other hand, I am an atheist and a monist. So you will find that his explanation and views of the soul, reality, god, scriptures and others will be very different from mine, in many cases, virtually the opposite.

Quote:
But nontheless regarding which concept or another one you are refering to my view is that its still part of the material, ie. the brain.


It is a bit difficult to explain the atma, as words such as consciousness are quite ambiguous. A decent explanation would be something that allows one to be aware of consciousness. I dont have anything against viewing the mind as being purely material though.

Quote:
And as far as I understand considering the vedantic view I will continue to be reborn in eternity because I think myself of being a material.


Not actually true. Anyone can achieve enlightenment - what matters is not belief, but the practice of spirituality.
norwegian

roshan wrote:
It is a bit difficult to explain the atma, as words such as consciousness are quite ambiguous. A decent explanation would be something that allows one to be aware of consciousness.


Here's a version of how consciousness arise:

Dependent on Ignorance arise Volitional Formations. Dependent on Volitional Formations arise Rebirth Consciousness. Dependent on Rebirth Consciousness arise Mind and Matter. Dependent on Mind and Matter arise the Sixfold Base. Dependent on the Sixfold Base arise Contact. Dependent on Contact arise Feeling. Dependent on Feeling arise Craving. Dependent on Craving arise Clinging. Dependent on Clinging arise Becoming. Dependent on Becoming arise Birth. Dependent on Birth arise Ageing and Death and sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. Thus there is the arising of this whole mass of suffering.

- Extracted from the principles from Dependent Origination (how things arise.)

If you notice, the first link of the chain is ignorance and the last link suffering. Ignorance is canceled out by enlightenment. If you break the chain at the very beginning, the rest will break away and cease to exist. This is the central philosophy of Buddhism.
Tvebak

roshan wrote:
The thing is, today there are various sects of Vedanta, and almost all of them are theistic, but to various extents. I can tell from the name of the booklets author that he is probably from one of the theistic and dualistic variants of Vedanta. On the other hand, I am an atheist and a monist. So you will find that his explanation and views of the soul, reality, god, scriptures and others will be very different from mine, in many cases, virtually the opposite.


I understand. And yes he's quite theistic  Smile  but nontheless interesting to read.
But about you being a monist do you also accept reincarnation? - do you reject dualism?
What would you suggest to read if one is interested in learning more about it?
Sorry for all the question, I'm just curious.

roshan wrote:
It is a bit difficult to explain the atma, as words such as consciousness are quite ambiguous. A decent explanation would be something that allows one to be aware of consciousness. I dont have anything against viewing the mind as being purely material though.


Yes you said it was the "pure awareness". But how does this manifest itself? To me there seems to be some kind of dualism, considering "atma" and "material" or is those two of the same kind? So you don't accept the idea of "jiva", according to my book, being the thing which makes us want material things?

roshan wrote:

Not actually true. Anyone can achieve enlightenment - what matters is not belief, but the practice of spirituality.


Can you elaborate on what this means? I mean what is the "practice of spirituality"?

Cheers
roshan

Quote:
But about you being a monist do you also accept reincarnation? - do you reject dualism?
What would you suggest to read if one is interested in learning more about it?
Sorry for all the question, I'm just curious.


I accept reincarnation, and reject dualism.

What do you wish to learn about?

Quote:
Yes you said it was the "pure awareness". But how does this manifest itself? To me there seems to be some kind of dualism, considering "atma" and "material" or is those two of the same kind?


Well, the word used for this sort of philosophy is "advaita" which is translated into English as "non-duality" - it is called non dualism in the sense that it does not recognize that  there is anything dual to or existing independent of the absolute reality (Brahman). The material (which includes the individual soul, karma, and even god, of one exists) is regarded to be superimposed on Brahman - hence, only Brahman exists. The material (maya) arises out of Brahman naturally - sort of like sparks or flames emanating out of a fire, or how the theoretical god particle combines in multiple ways to produce all of physical existence. You could claim that this philosophy is dualistic because it does contrast reality in its absolute state (Brahman) with reality in its relative state (Maya) - but in the end, Brahman and Maya are not dual to each other since it is the same reality viewed from different perspectives, with Maya being illussory in comparision to Brahman - like a child thinking that a rope is a snake in the dark. Once one is enlightened, one realizes that the snake is just a rope.

In the end the reason for confusion is that dualism has multiple meanings in English. Although Advaita literally translates as non-dualism, the English word that most accurately captures what the philosophy is about is monism. Here is the definition of monism as per Encarta:

1.  theory of reality as single entity: the philosophical theory that reality is a unified whole and is grounded in a single basic substance or principle.

Quote:
So you don't accept the idea of "jiva", according to my book, being the thing which makes us want material things?


Hard to comment on this without reading your book. But in Advaita, desire for physical things has nothing to do with either the Jiva or the Atma - it is due entirely to the human ego/mind.
roshan

norwegian wrote:
roshan wrote:
It is a bit difficult to explain the atma, as words such as consciousness are quite ambiguous. A decent explanation would be something that allows one to be aware of consciousness.


Here's a version of how consciousness arise:

Dependent on Ignorance arise Volitional Formations. Dependent on Volitional Formations arise Rebirth Consciousness. Dependent on Rebirth Consciousness arise Mind and Matter. Dependent on Mind and Matter arise the Sixfold Base. Dependent on the Sixfold Base arise Contact. Dependent on Contact arise Feeling. Dependent on Feeling arise Craving. Dependent on Craving arise Clinging. Dependent on Clinging arise Becoming. Dependent on Becoming arise Birth. Dependent on Birth arise Ageing and Death and sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair. Thus there is the arising of this whole mass of suffering.

- Extracted from the principles from Dependent Origination (how things arise.)

If you notice, the first link of the chain is ignorance and the last link suffering. Ignorance is canceled out by enlightenment. If you break the chain at the very beginning, the rest will break away and cease to exist. This is the central philosophy of Buddhism.


Yes, Avidya (ignorance) is also regarded by Advaita Vedanta as being the root of it all.
roshan

Almost missed this bit:

Quote:
Can you elaborate on what this means? I mean what is the "practice of spirituality"?


Practice of spirituality is very varied. It includes trying to acquire knowledge about spiritual matters and understanding them (Jnana Yoga) and then trying to investigate it using practices such as various techniques of meditation and yoga (Raja Yoga), and using bhakti yoga (devotion, love) and dharma yoga (performance of ones duties and righteous action regardless of the rewards or penalties). Basically, practice of spirituality is anything that elevates your state of mind away from animal instincts, attachments and desires as well as improves your character, thereby calming your mind.

Here are the spiritual practices which form a part of the Raja Yoga system:

Yama. Conduct of life in relation to others- avoiding untruth, theft, injury to others, sensuality and greed.
Niyama. Conduct towards oneself-cleanliness, tranquillity, austerity, study and devotion.
Asana. Stretching, bending, balancing and sitting exercises. These exercises are nowadays collectively known as Hatha Yoga.
Pranayama. Breathing exercises that aim to control the mind.
Pratyahara. Withdrawing the attention from the body and the senses.
Dharana. Concentration of the mind.
Dhyana. Meditation.
Samadhi. Uninterrupted contemplation of Reality.

As you can see, practice of spirituality involves a variety of different activities. There are many other activies incorporated by other systems of spirituality. Spirituality has very little to do with belief - for example, even if you dont believe animals have souls, by abstaining from meat eating you are basically abstaining from a life that causes cruelty and pain to other living beings, as well as breaking away from the animal instinct of meat eating and therefore gaining self control. All of which will help your spiritual progress.
Tvebak

Hi Roshan

I will have to get back to you on a later account.

But thank you for putting the effort into explaining your view on the world in a sound way. I appreciate it.

Cheers
Tvebak

Hi Roshan

I've tried to study some more of the vedantic philosophy and it seems to me that your point of view is quite similar with of one Sankara. It seems that this person also have monistic view on the vedantic litteratures. And come think about the book I told you about, with a theistic view has some references to this person as being the

Haven't read this site, but I presume it's the same person that I've read about:
http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/sankara-life.html

Cheers
roshan

Tvebak wrote:
Hi Roshan

I've tried to study some more of the vedantic philosophy and it seems to me that your point of view is quite similar with of one Sankara. It seems that this person also have monistic view on the vedantic litteratures. And come think about the book I told you about, with a theistic view has some references to this person as being the

Haven't read this site, but I presume it's the same person that I've read about:
http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/sankara-life.html

Cheers


Yes, my views are very similar to Shankara. But Shankaracharya also accepts the idea of a pantheistic god (called saguna Brahman or Ishwar) alongside the monistic absolute reality (called nirguna Brahman).

BTW, "as being the"? It seems you didnt finish the sentence.
Tvebak

roshan wrote:
Tvebak wrote:
Hi Roshan

I've tried to study some more of the vedantic philosophy and it seems to me that your point of view is quite similar with of one Sankara. It seems that this person also have monistic view on the vedantic litteratures. And come think about the book I told you about, with a theistic view has some references to this person as being the

Haven't read this site, but I presume it's the same person that I've read about:
http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/sankara-life.html

Cheers


Yes, my views are very similar to Shankara. But Shankaracharya also accepts the idea of a pantheistic god (called saguna Brahman or Ishwar) alongside the monistic absolute reality (called nirguna Brahman).

BTW, "as being the"? It seems you didnt finish the sentence.


Hi Roshan

Yes I must have missed something there or perhaps I thought ahead of my comment and forgot to fill out that space. I don't remember what I should have written.

Quote:
Well, the word used for this sort of philosophy is "advaita" which is translated into English as "non-duality" - it is called non dualism in the sense that it does not recognize that  there is anything dual to or existing independent of the absolute reality (Brahman). The material (which includes the individual soul, karma, and even god, of one exists) is regarded to be superimposed on Brahman - hence, only Brahman exists. The material (maya) arises out of Brahman naturally - sort of like sparks or flames emanating out of a fire, or how the theoretical god particle combines in multiple ways to produce all of physical existence. You could claim that this philosophy is dualistic because it does contrast reality in its absolute state (Brahman) with reality in its relative state (Maya) - but in the end, Brahman and Maya are not dual to each other since it is the same reality viewed from different perspectives, with Maya being illussory in comparision to Brahman - like a child thinking that a rope is a snake in the dark. Once one is enlightened, one realizes that the snake is just a rope.


So how does it manifest itself in the way that we get to experience this illussory Maya? Why don't we just experience the true Brahman right away?

Cheers
Pazuzu bin Hanbi

I personally don’t believe in duality. After approaching things logically and rationally I cannot accept that something immaterial and yet eternal could somehow influence the material part of us. I don’t believe in a soul as such — at least not one separate to our body. I believe that everything about us goes to make up our soul, and it does perish upon death. I don’t believe it ‘floats away’ anywhere after we die.
Mutley

Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?


Hi Mutley

Well actually, in my opinon, it's a matter of us being able to do it "better" or as I would say it differently.


I don't even see where animals can do it differently. I see that animals can have emotions,  make decisions.... but they just don't do it in as complex a fashion as we do it. However, I don't see ANY ability for an animal to judge itself or observe it's actions as though it was observing someone else.

Tvebak wrote:

Cause what is exactly better?


It's not a matter of us doing it better because animals don't seem to do it at all.

Tvebak wrote:

You have other animals working out systems of using tools to get food or to make something. This is a process of learning why with a cause/reason/purpose etc.


I thought that I clearly said "why" as it pertains to "purpose", not how it pertains to figuring out a cause for something.


Tvebak wrote:

On another acount, you can say another animal abillity of hearing (specific tones), seeing in specific light or something else distinguish them from other animals.


You've completel6y missed the point. There is a difference between asking why as to discover the cause, and asking why as to try and discover the purpose.

Tvebak wrote:

But of course humans is different from other animals. Likewise are other animals different from other animals  (incl. humans). There's being invested great amount of time to study sociological behaviour in other animalgroups these years, of course mainly other animals which is close in relation to us humans. So we might get some new answers on the consciousness of our fellow-animals.

Cheers and peace


Nobody, except for us, appears to even remotetly ask the question "why" as it pertains to purpose. Not how it works, and therefore why it works, but what is the larger purpose that it is supposed to fill. This is a very unique question.

And again, I'll repeat that we are also able to observe and judge ourselves as if we were observing someone else. So who is the observer and who is the observed?
Mutley

norwegian wrote:
roshan wrote:
It is a bit difficult to explain the atma, as words such as consciousness are quite ambiguous. A decent explanation would be something that allows one to be aware of consciousness.


Here's a version of how consciousness arise:

Dependent on Ignorance arise Volitional Formations. Dependent on Volitional Formations arise Rebirth Consciousness. Dependent on Rebirth Consciousness arise Mind and Matter.


How does cloning fit into this?
Tvebak

Mutley wrote:
Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?


Hi Mutley

Well actually, in my opinon, it's a matter of us being able to do it "better" or as I would say it differently.


I don't even see where animals can do it differently. I see that animals can have emotions,  make decisions.... but they just don't do it in as complex a fashion as we do it. However, I don't see ANY ability for an animal to judge itself or observe it's actions as though it was observing someone else.


Well it's like other animals have some abillities we don't have aswell, as I said last. Some hear better, some see better and by that using some part of the brain in another complex way as we use our brain in that field. Just like that we use our brain in a more complex way at this specific field.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

Cause what is exactly better?


It's not a matter of us doing it better because animals don't seem to do it at all.


I don't agree. I think it's a matter of degree.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

You have other animals working out systems of using tools to get food or to make something. This is a process of learning why with a cause/reason/purpose etc.


I thought that I clearly said "why" as it pertains to "purpose", not how it pertains to figuring out a cause for something.


Alright and this is in the region of degree. The question of "why" pertaning to different elements, hence we are doing it differently, maybe better.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

On another acount, you can say another animal abillity of hearing (specific tones), seeing in specific light or something else distinguish them from other animals.


You've completel6y missed the point. There is a difference between asking why as to discover the cause, and asking why as to try and discover the purpose.


I don't think I missed, maybe I was not clear on what I mean. At least I thought the things you are talking about now was what I was giving some thoughts on.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

But of course humans is different from other animals. Likewise are other animals different from other animals  (incl. humans). There's being invested great amount of time to study sociological behaviour in other animalgroups these years, of course mainly other animals which is close in relation to us humans. So we might get some new answers on the consciousness of our fellow-animals.

Cheers and peace


Nobody, except for us, appears to even remotetly ask the question "why" as it pertains to purpose. Not how it works, and therefore why it works, but what is the larger purpose that it is supposed to fill. This is a very unique question.

And again, I'll repeat that we are also able to observe and judge ourselves as if we were observing someone else. So who is the observer and who is the observed?


I agree that the specific "question" seems to be unique, but I will still argue that it in a matter of degree compared to other animals. As to your other question I have said that plenty of other animal-groups have the abillity of feeling empathy, ie. putting itself in anothers position. As to other aspect of socialogical behaviour, observing, I said that there's is being comprehended a vast amount of interest in researching how different animals behave. Especially of those close relation we have, different variantians of chimps, gorillas etc.

As to your question you are the observer and you are being observed. I don't think there's a huge philosophical question in horizont there, but maybe you could give us your thoughts.

Cheers
Mutley

Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?


Hi Mutley

Well actually, in my opinon, it's a matter of us being able to do it "better" or as I would say it differently.


I don't even see where animals can do it differently. I see that animals can have emotions,  make decisions.... but they just don't do it in as complex a fashion as we do it. However, I don't see ANY ability for an animal to judge itself or observe it's actions as though it was observing someone else.


Well it's like other animals have some abillities we don't have aswell, as I said last. Some hear better, some see better and by that using some part of the brain in another complex way as we use our brain in that field. Just like that we use our brain in a more complex way at this specific field.


But we do hear and smell, they just do it better. But animals don't judge themselves nor observe themselves at all. It';s not like we do it better, they don't judge at all. This appears to be a uniquely human thing. I'll repeat. Not something that humans do better than animals, and vice versa that animals do certain things better than humans, this is something that animals don't do at all. They don't do it worse than us, they don't do it at all. This is the distinction that I have thus far been unsuccesslful in explaining. We hear things and animals hear things, but animals might have a better range of hearing, but we do at least hear. But animals don't practice self observation and judgement at all. They don't do it worse than us, they don't do it at all.

Tvebak wrote:

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

Cause what is exactly better?


It's not a matter of us doing it better because animals don't seem to do it at all.


I don't agree. I think it's a matter of degree.


To what degree do animals observe themselves and judge themselves?

Tvebak wrote:

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

You have other animals working out systems of using tools to get food or to make something. This is a process of learning why with a cause/reason/purpose etc.


I thought that I clearly said "why" as it pertains to "purpose", not how it pertains to figuring out a cause for something.


Alright and this is in the region of degree. The question of "why" pertaning to different elements, hence we are doing it differently, maybe better.


We are asking a completely unique question. Not why, as in "why does it work" as in "let's see if we can replicate our success", but rather "why" as in, "what is the larger purpose for it anyway". Not how and why it works, but it's reason for existence in the first place. As far as I can tell, animals do not ask why they exist in more primitive ways than we do, they don't even ask at all. This seems to be a very unique trait that is not automatically tied to intelligence, in terms of perception and problem solving. It's a much deeper and stranger question.

Tvebak wrote:

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

On another acount, you can say another animal abillity of hearing (specific tones), seeing in specific light or something else distinguish them from other animals.


You've completel6y missed the point. There is a difference between asking why as to discover the cause, and asking why as to try and discover the purpose.


I don't think I missed, maybe I was not clear on what I mean. At least I thought the things you are talking about now was what I was giving some thoughts on.


You didn't mention purpose at all. You mentioned how something works, and understanding of this "how" tells us why it works, but it doesn't tell us the larger purpose of it, and that question appears to be uniquely human.

[quote="Tvebak"]
Quote:
[quote="Tvebak"]
But of course humans is different from other animals. Likewise are other animals different from other animals  (incl. humans). There's being invested great amount of time to study sociological behaviour in other animalgroups these years, of course mainly other animals which is close in relation to us humans. So we might get some new answers on the consciousness of our fellow-animals.

Cheers and peace


Tvebak wrote:
Quote:

Nobody, except for us, appears to even remotely ask the question "why" as it pertains to purpose. Not how it works, and therefore why it works, but what is the larger purpose that it is supposed to fill. This is a very unique question.

And again, I'll repeat that we are also able to observe and judge ourselves as if we were observing someone else. So who is the observer and who is the observed?


I agree that the specific "question" seems to be unique, but I will still argue that it in a matter of degree compared to other animals.


How can there be a degree in other animals when it appears as though this doesn't exist at all in other animals? Not to a lesser extent, but to zero extent.

Tvebak wrote:

As to your other question I have said that plenty of other animal-groups have the abillity of feeling empathy, ie. putting itself in anothers position.


Yes, but that wasn't what I cited as unique.

Tvebak wrote:

As to other aspect of socialogical behaviour, observing, I said that there's is being comprehended a vast amount of interest in researching how different animals behave. Especially of those close relation we have, different variantians of chimps, gorillas etc.

As to your question you are the observer and you are being observed. I don't think there's a huge philosophical question in horizont there, but maybe you could give us your thoughts.

Cheers


I did give you my thoughts, but you keep misunderstanding them. Here's where I get some of my ideas from. Maybe he says it better

http://users.bigpond.net.au/manisall/stripping.html
Mutley

roshan wrote:

Yes, my views are very similar to Shankara. But Shankaracharya also accepts the idea of a pantheistic god (called saguna Brahman or Ishwar) alongside the monistic absolute reality (called nirguna Brahman).


Is human suffering or the "problem with evil" why you prefer a pantheistic explanation?
kafir forever

Re: the soul

ibnishaq wrote:
what do you atheists think about the soul?


A figment of man's imagination designed to placate our feelings of aloneness in the face of death.

Quote:
why do we think and feel and see and have emotions?


That is how our brain functions.

Quote:
HOW were we created?


By evolutionary processes.

Quote:
who created the minerals to start the big bang?


There were no minerals to start the big bang, and nobody created them.

Quote:
and could science one day be able to control the way we think?


Maybe
Tvebak

Mutley wrote:
Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
Tvebak wrote:
Mutley wrote:
The weirdest part about humans is that they can ask the question "why" as it pertains to cause or reason or purpose of something happening. This is the one clear separation between us and animals, as far as we know. It's not a matter of us being able to do it better as is the case with other intelligent things we do. It's a matter of animals not even beijng able to do it at all. Another bizarre element of humans is that they can judge themselves and observe themselves as if it were somebody else. Again, animals simply can't do this at all, as far as we can tell. So who is this observer/judge?


Hi Mutley

Well actually, in my opinon, it's a matter of us being able to do it "better" or as I would say it differently.


I don't even see where animals can do it differently. I see that animals can have emotions,  make decisions.... but they just don't do it in as complex a fashion as we do it. However, I don't see ANY ability for an animal to judge itself or observe it's actions as though it was observing someone else.


Well it's like other animals have some abillities we don't have aswell, as I said last. Some hear better, some see better and by that using some part of the brain in another complex way as we use our brain in that field. Just like that we use our brain in a more complex way at this specific field.


But we do hear and smell, they just do it better. But animals don't judge themselves nor observe themselves at all. It';s not like we do it better, they don't judge at all. This appears to be a uniquely human thing. I'll repeat. Not something that humans do better than animals, and vice versa that animals do certain things better than humans, this is something that animals don't do at all. They don't do it worse than us, they don't do it at all. This is the distinction that I have thus far been unsuccesslful in explaining. We hear things and animals hear things, but animals might have a better range of hearing, but we do at least hear. But animals don't practice self observation and judgement at all. They don't do it worse than us, they don't do it at all.


What I mean is that the biological/neurological process which makes us have these thoughts is more complex than in other animals, but all the other animals are not on the same "level" as eachother. It's a matter of degree of how complex the biological/neurological process is. So as to how we different animals concieve the environment and think about it there's a level of degree in how we do that. It's the same matter of degree as with the different levels of abillity to smell, see, hear etc. Some animals smells in a way that we don't do at all, some animal sees in a way that we don't do at all. It does not mean that we don't see or smell things. It don't mean there's nothing going on of processes in the brain, trying to concieve what we see or smell. We are evolutionary "underachiever" in this matter. But we differentiate from most other animals in other aspects. As for instans the complexity of thoughts, remembrance, which makes us think why as pertaining to purpose. It does not mean that other animals don't think; don't have questions. The complexity of the specific components of the brain which makes us have the abillity we have, seems to be a evolutionary "accomplish".

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

You have other animals working out systems of using tools to get food or to make something. This is a process of learning why with a cause/reason/purpose etc.


I thought that I clearly said "why" as it pertains to "purpose", not how it pertains to figuring out a cause for something.


Alright and this is in the region of degree. The question of "why" pertaning to different elements, hence we are doing it differently, maybe better.


We are asking a completely unique question. Not why, as in "why does it work" as in "let's see if we can replicate our success", but rather "why" as in, "what is the larger purpose for it anyway". Not how and why it works, but it's reason for existence in the first place. As far as I can tell, animals do not ask why they exist in more primitive ways than we do, they don't even ask at all. This seems to be a very unique trait that is not automatically tied to intelligence, in terms of perception and problem solving. It's a much deeper and stranger question.


It's seems to be a unique question yes, but I disagree that it should be "much deeper and stranger question". It's a more complex version of the "why"-question. In my opinion.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

On another acount, you can say another animal abillity of hearing (specific tones), seeing in specific light or something else distinguish them from other animals.


You've completel6y missed the point. There is a difference between asking why as to discover the cause, and asking why as to try and discover the purpose.


I don't think I missed, maybe I was not clear on what I mean. At least I thought the things you are talking about now was what I was giving some thoughts on.


You didn't mention purpose at all. You mentioned how something works, and understanding of this "how" tells us why it works, but it doesn't tell us the larger purpose of it, and that question appears to be uniquely human.


I refer to what I've written above.


Quote:
Quote:
[quote="Tvebak"]
But of course humans is different from other animals. Likewise are other animals different from other animals  (incl. humans). There's being invested great amount of time to study sociological behaviour in other animalgroups these years, of course mainly other animals which is close in relation to us humans. So we might get some new answers on the consciousness of our fellow-animals.

Cheers and peace


Tvebak wrote:
Quote:

Nobody, except for us, appears to even remotely ask the question "why" as it pertains to purpose. Not how it works, and therefore why it works, but what is the larger purpose that it is supposed to fill. This is a very unique question.

And again, I'll repeat that we are also able to observe and judge ourselves as if we were observing someone else. So who is the observer and who is the observed?


I agree that the specific "question" seems to be unique, but I will still argue that it in a matter of degree compared to other animals.


How can there be a degree in other animals when it appears as though this doesn't exist at all in other animals? Not to a lesser extent, but to zero extent.


Again I refer to the above.

Quote:
Tvebak wrote:

As to other aspect of socialogical behaviour, observing, I said that there's is being comprehended a vast amount of interest in researching how different animals behave. Especially of those close relation we have, different variantians of chimps, gorillas etc.

As to your question you are the observer and you are being observed. I don't think there's a huge philosophical question in horizont there, but maybe you could give us your thoughts.

Cheers


I did give you my thoughts, but you keep misunderstanding them. Here's where I get some of my ideas from. Maybe he says it better

http://users.bigpond.net.au/manisall/stripping.html


He seems to conclude that there must be something special about the constructed "I". I say constructed becuase it's some a result of some thoughts he have done. I don't see there's something special. I agree that with his long discussion about the labels. It's an interesting philosophical debate, but to the matter of the "I" I have to reject his notion of dismissing the biological (that about dying cells, and hence they get substituted). Information can change "hands".

Cheers
Mutley

Tvebak wrote:

He seems to conclude that there must be something special about the constructed "I". I say constructed becuase it's some a result of some thoughts he have done. I don't see there's something special. I agree that with his long discussion about the labels. It's an interesting philosophical debate, but to the matter of the "I" I have to reject his notion of dismissing the biological (that about dying cells, and hence they get substituted). Information can change "hands".

Cheers


It's not just a matter of information changing hands, it's a matter of one thing, "the I", always existing as the same thing while the "me" is what constantly changes. You have the same title for Niagara Falls, but Niagara Falls is constantly changing. These are thoughts of the mystic, and they are something much different than scientific thought. But if you are trapped in scientific thought, you'll never see what it's really referring to. When he said that this concept of us observing ourselves, and judging ourselves has caused wonder to psychologists and philosophers, I think he was correct, that it is very odd and wonderous. And if you disagree with the psychologists and philosophers that see the wonder in it, then perhaps you are missing something.
Tvebak

Mutley wrote:
Tvebak wrote:

He seems to conclude that there must be something special about the constructed "I". I say constructed becuase it's some a result of some thoughts he have done. I don't see there's something special. I agree that with his long discussion about the labels. It's an interesting philosophical debate, but to the matter of the "I" I have to reject his notion of dismissing the biological (that about dying cells, and hence they get substituted). Information can change "hands".

Cheers


It's not just a matter of information changing hands, it's a matter of one thing, "the I", always existing as the same thing while the "me" is what constantly changes. You have the same title for Niagara Falls, but Niagara Falls is constantly changing. These are thoughts of the mystic, and they are something much different than scientific thought. But if you are trapped in scientific thought, you'll never see what it's really referring to. When he said that this concept of us observing ourselves, and judging ourselves has caused wonder to psychologists and philosophers, I think he was correct, that it is very odd and wonderous. And if you disagree with the psychologists and philosophers that see the wonder in it, then perhaps you are missing something.


Hmm I migth be missing something. But really to me it seems to be to be no more than an intellectual game of words. But enlighten me. What are the essential element of the "I"?
My take on what DeMellos understanding of the "I" is, that the "I" is somehow a state of "awareness". This is in my opinion no more than the electrochemical incidents in our brain. You can blame it on "trapped in scientific thought", but I see no need for any extra explanation.

Cheers.

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