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Ask an atheist Want to know atheists' viewpoints on things? Want to better understand the atheist worldview?
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  #31  
Old 15th February 2017, 10:09 PM
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Strato Strato is offline
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

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Xermes said View Post
Please remember, I'm not trying to sell any of this.
The human is a political animal. Whether we are merely sharing and imparting or forcefully promulgating, the intention is to induce the other to agree.

We need to make sure we're at least on the right track. We shouldn't go believing everything we think. Education is essential for clear, informed and critical thinking. We are too easily fooled.

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It's a vague theory that sits comfortably in the background of my mind.
Why do you want to believe this?

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The only evidence any of us can draw on is our own life experience.
No way that one can slip through to the keeper. I will leave it to you to rethink that statement. Otherwise I will remind you.

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I came into this forum because of an active disdain for religion, not because I think I have any special knowledge.
Well I wouldn't lay claim to having a soul.

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Its a funny thing..as I'm writing this I have the TV on SBS and it has gone from some radical terrorist calling very loudly for some grisly holy murder...to a local cryogenic facility for people to have their bodies preserved for future revival.
Is there a connection there? A cosmic connection?

I respectfully recommend The Magic of Reality, Richard Dawkins. I ended up buying it twice and they didn't come back to me.

This is brilliant. Sean Carroll, Purpose and the Universe which Stub King linked to.

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  #32  
Old 16th February 2017, 11:59 AM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

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Xermes said View Post
Here's my theory......

When I say 'soul', I am referring to my consciousness.

Not to be be confused with an incorporeal essence of indeterminate purpose... like some shiny blob at the mercy of a non-existent deity.

My definition of my 'soul' is my consciousness, me, currently being hosted by this body.
Firstly welcome! Iím a newb too donít worry 
When I became an atheist I would still cling to a sense that there was something beyond this universe that we were unable to understand or interact with. The Ďsoulí was part of this remnant belief.
But when I challenged my own most dearly held belief in this Ďsoulí, there was nothing there. Nothing except my own fears and desires.
What Iíd like you to consider is that if what you consider to be your soul is your consciousness, why not just call it consciousness? Are you able to prescribe any other characteristics to it that do not include what consciousness already is known by. If not, why call it something else, doesnít that just confuse matters?

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Xermes said View Post
It seems to me that everything in this amazingly intricate and meticulous Universe has a purpose. Anything you can think of....animal migration, magnetic attraction, eyelashes, dung beetles. So I have to conclude that I have a purpose and as far as I can judge, my purpose is to learn. It's the one thing that every living thing has in common..we learn (and to breed more hosts for other 'souls'. (Remember the definition). What can I be learning about but the Universe? I believe that the Universe must be scientifically quantifiable, but while I'm in this body, my understanding is restricted to my experience within this host.

It would seem pointless for me to learn as much as I will in this body, only to cease to be when my body dies....and as nothing in the universe seems to be pointless, it isn't logical that I would cease to be.

Just putting it out there.
Iíd also like you to consider if there is a Purpose, who created that purpose?
And lastly, how would consciousness even be possible without the physical matter of interconnecting neurons or computer chips or some other physical matter. How does consciousness exist independently of matter?
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  #33  
Old 16th February 2017, 12:00 PM
Athe1st Athe1st is offline
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Smile Re: Soul of an atheist

Quote:
Xermes said View Post
Here's my theory......

When I say 'soul', I am referring to my consciousness.

Not to be be confused with an incorporeal essence of indeterminate purpose... like some shiny blob at the mercy of a non-existent deity.

My definition of my 'soul' is my consciousness, me, currently being hosted by this body.
Firstly welcome! Iím a newb too donít worry
When I became an atheist I would still cling to a sense that there was something beyond this universe that we were unable to understand or interact with. The Ďsoulí was part of this remnant belief.
But when I challenged my own most dearly held belief in this Ďsoulí, there was nothing there. Nothing except my own fears and desires.
What Iíd like you to consider is that if what you consider to be your soul is your consciousness, why not just call it consciousness? Are you able to prescribe any other characteristics to it that do not include what consciousness already is known by. If not, why call it something else, doesnít that just confuse matters?

Quote:
Xermes said View Post
It seems to me that everything in this amazingly intricate and meticulous Universe has a purpose. Anything you can think of....animal migration, magnetic attraction, eyelashes, dung beetles. So I have to conclude that I have a purpose and as far as I can judge, my purpose is to learn. It's the one thing that every living thing has in common..we learn (and to breed more hosts for other 'souls'. (Remember the definition). What can I be learning about but the Universe? I believe that the Universe must be scientifically quantifiable, but while I'm in this body, my understanding is restricted to my experience within this host.

It would seem pointless for me to learn as much as I will in this body, only to cease to be when my body dies....and as nothing in the universe seems to be pointless, it isn't logical that I would cease to be.

Just putting it out there.
Iíd also like you to consider if there is a Purpose, who created that purpose?
And lastly, how would consciousness even be possible without the physical matter of interconnecting neurons or computer chips or some other physical matter. How does consciousness exist independently of matter?

Last edited by Athe1st; 16th February 2017 at 12:01 PM. Reason: tidiness
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  #34  
Old 22nd March 2017, 12:44 PM
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Old Existentialist Old Existentialist is offline
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

What happens to that property of "soul" after death, well I honestly don't know, and not knowing does not disturb me one little bit. A lot of religious people may take a wild guess and make that wild guess their dogma, but they are just kidding themselves. They may even conjure up something far worse than just nothingness such as Hell and eternal damnation, in which case people feel compelled to believe in a God just out of fear. They often preach death is a punishment for our disobedience or rebelling against their God, which is a complete nonsense IMHO. But I do treat death as a very important function for the evolution of life and keeping in check the balance of nature. If death was not invented by nature, the Earth would be choked up by a biosphere of immortal microbes and there would be no room for you.
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  #35  
Old 24th March 2017, 09:28 PM
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Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

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Old Existentialist said View Post
What happens to that property of "soul" after death, well I honestly don't know, and not knowing does not disturb me one little bit. A lot of religious people may take a wild guess and make that wild guess their dogma, but they are just kidding themselves. They may even conjure up something far worse than just nothingness such as Hell and eternal damnation, in which case people feel compelled to believe in a God just out of fear. They often preach death is a punishment for our disobedience or rebelling against their God, which is a complete nonsense IMHO. But I do treat death as a very important function for the evolution of life and keeping in check the balance of nature. If death was not invented by nature, the Earth would be choked up by a biosphere of immortal microbes and there would be no room for you.
The biosphere is choked up with microbes. They are kept in check by death by misadventure, not programmed death. [eg they get, eaten desiccated, crushed, etc, etc.

Only Eukaryota have programmed death. [death by misadventure still happens to the gametes-damn, did I come second in the race to the ovum agains!

Programmed cell death happens in the somatic line, and it is an essential feature in forming tissues and organs. [And also in preventing disease, etc]. Faulty cells are supposed to self-destruct, or rather obey the instruction to self-destruct. But some faulty cells either don't get the signal, or can't act on it, and so become potential sources of cancers.

Kinda neat the way it worked out, because most selection occurs in the gametes lines, rather than the somatic lines. That is how the complex origami of development works, and sadly, sometimes does not work. But that is natural selection for you.......
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  #36  
Old 31st March 2017, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post

Kinda neat the way it worked out, because most selection occurs in the gametes lines, rather than the somatic lines.
Yeah, I felt the same while at death's door on cancer wards for years.

It's kind of bad, but also interesting.
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  #37  
Old 3rd May 2017, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Soul of an atheist

Our consciousness (self-awareness/sentience), I firmly believe, is simply an emergent property of our brains...and we will undoubtedly replicate this in our machines.

A machine, organic or not, with sufficient complexity to be self-aware, has no intrinsic purpose other than to exist as long as energy is fed into the matrix composing the mind. It may or may not have a desire to survive, and may or may not have issues in dealing with its own mortality.

In the case of the human machine, the inability to deal with mortality gave rise to fanciful constructs of supernatural realms in which they will continue to exist in some form. They, in their delusions, protest that something as meaningful as themselves could not possibly simply cease to exist on death...and I would posit that the universe cares not one whit whether the whole of humanity exists or not...we are nothing but an interesting rust on the surface of an otherwise unspectacular planet. Our entire galaxy could blink out of existence, and the universe wouldn't notice.

We give purpose and meaning to our lives, without any need to appeal to some magical realm. This is the best we can do...and we are fortunate indeed to have the chance to do so. We are fresh from the trees and it shows. Luckily, some of us...like the members of this community, are rising above the superstitions of our turd hurling ancestors.
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