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  • Brain vs Soul

    You often hear that we all have a soul or a spirit that makes us what we are, that give us our morals, that makes us act the way we do, and gives us our personality. There are people that go so far to say that when we die, our soul will not die with our body but will go on in some form or other and we will in a different shape continue as we are since thats defined in our soul.

    But this doesn’t really makes sense to me since when you think about it, eventually the brain defines who we are. People can be one person and by some mistake or damage in the brain change 190 degrees. Take people that have been in accidents and suffered brain damage. Their personalities can change completely. With my previous job I’ve seen a lot of mental patients and a lot of them were older people. They were getting dementia and their whole behaviour changed. Some that were always really nice, would become so very agressive on this old age and could even start to abuse their loved ones. Now if all this is so dependant on the brain I really dont think there can be something as a soul that makes us who we are. This would also rule out an afterlife for me (reincarnation or living on as a spirit) since if the brain dies, we die with it, all our thoughts, feelings, personality traits that makes us who we are. (On a sidenote its also a scary thought that we can all change that easily into something we arent today. That you might not stay the person you are now by some event in your life that will change you.)

    But..

    Then there must be something that makes us alive, the brain can be compared to a chip but still we are no machines. So maybe that part that give us life can live on in some way, or be recreated again in a new human being so that it makes you at least alive again, but then inside another body with a new personality. Still would that be really YOU or just your ‘energy source’?

    So Im always going back and forth between these thoughts that:
    - there must be something as a soul that is what makes us alive and can give us an afterlife
    or
    - that we cant live on in anyway after death since our brain defines us.



    I hope you can follow it since its such a confusing matter lol. Just my thoughts..now I want to hear yours 3;-)3
    AIM: watch dees81

    http://www.myspace.com/famousandflame

  • #2
    I watched this show on Discovery channel discussing afterlife. Some people who were on the show were clinically dead, and they said that they were going through this tunnel of light displaying their memories, from childhood and on. It almost felt like a movie. And they said that was our soul exiting the body. Bullshit or not, I tend to believe it. It's kind of scary to think when you die, that's it. But I get what you're saying.
    ..Still takin' my time to perfect the beat, and I still got love for the streets, it's the D-R-E...

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    • #3
      Thats really a nice thread!

      I also often think about that topic .... in my opinion a person gets his/her identity through the social process they go through. Its very important how u was raised, whats ur status in society, what school u visited and so on ... you go through different phases and u learn how to react in different situations. Its in my opinion a brain action cause u save the information there. All ur thinkin and behavin depends on what people are accepting from u in the end.

      I think the problem of mental diseases is that u get insecured by something in ur social surrounding. People dont know how to react no more and start changin their personality.

      I also think that there must be something else than the brain and the learn process, but its hard to understand what "soul" could be. In my opinion that are just the feelings u get when u are in different life situations. The brain saves the feelings like fear, sadness ..etc. and connects them with events. At least all that makes us humans. That we react on different situations with different feelings, which depends on what we learnt through our lifes.

      I dont really believe in an after life. Im more one of those who thinks rational and dont believes that the soul will leave the body. Maybe its cause I dont really can explain what soul could be and how it could work ...

      Wow that was a bit confusin ... hope anyone gets my thoughts lol
      FREEDOM IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE !
      Janis Joplin

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      • #4
        The brain is the filter of the soul.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tameracuja
          Thats really a nice thread!
          I also often think about that topic .... in my opinion a person gets his/her identity through the social process they go through. Its very important how u was raised, whats ur status in society, what school u visited and so on ... you go through different phases and u learn how to react in different situations.
          I don't agree on this... just cuz something tells me how I should act doesn't mean it's who I am when I act that way... the fact, that depending on the society I live in, I can change my behaviour shows it's not who I am... it's typical Freud's Id and Superego debate... ID is what we are and we want to be, superego is the force that makes us, well, behave like the others.. or in words of Goffman: virtual identity is what we want to be, actual identity is what we have to be.. or Mead's impulsive ME and reflective ME... I have a tendency not to think what social rules put me is who I am.... just cuz, like I said before, the fact I can easily change myself depending on the time I live in or society I live in


          When it comes to Linda's opening post... I don't think brain is the only thing that defines us, niether is some spiritual soul... it's a mixture of past experiences, physical conditions, emotions and hormons... when ti comes to afterlife.. I think it's a story that makes us feel better, cuz idea of nothing scares us... the idea we will be nothing one day... brrrrrrr
          /-\narchy.

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          • #6
            If the afterlife is just a story, how do people have OBE's, NDE's and can astral project on command? Surely if the soul can leave the body to do this, then it can do it after the body is gone?

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            • #7
              I dont care. Im atheist as fuck. hate chrisitnism. hate religion. is jus bullshit.

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              • #8
                There better be a fucking afterlife. It would be retarded if u just die and that's it.
                "We gotta have fun now, there's only minutes left..."

                R.I.P.

                BIG PROOF

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                • #9
                  It's always interesting to think about this. The brain defines physical death. When the brain becomes starved of oxygen and stops registering activity we die. It's hard to believe we are only a collection of neurons sparking off. Maybe when the brain dies the soul is released. I think the brain controls your thoughts while the soul controls your spirituality.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by watch dees
                    Then there must be something that makes us alive, the brain can be compared to a chip but still we are no machines.
                    When people say "we're not machines", they tend to be saying "we don't move about awkwardly like robots from a 1950s b-movie, screaming 'does not compute!' whenever we are placed in a strange or complex situation".

                    However, the fact that machines currently operate like that seems to be a contingent scientific fact, rather than a principled difference which makes us incomparable to machines.

                    Sure we don't seem much like machines now, but who says that will still be the case after another fifty-to-one-hundred years of scientific progression?

                    My point is, in principle, much like machines, people are a complex sum of parts.

                    Just as the complex combination of colours and shapes which currently appear on your computer screen somehow supervene on the physical state of your computer's processor, the complex combination of emotions and thoughts you are currently experiencing (i.e. your mind) supervenes on a physical brain state
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DJRainbowSplash
                      The brain is the filter of the soul.
                      I concur...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by watch dees
                        Then there must be something that makes us alive, the brain can be compared to a chip but still we are no machines. So maybe that part that give us life can live on in some way, or be recreated again in a new human being so that it makes you at least alive again, but then inside another body with a new personality. Still would that be really YOU or just your ‘energy source’?
                        We are almost surely, like Rondell said, an assemblage of a bunch of complex parts. Atoms come together to form molecules, molecules band together and form the cell structure, and so on until we reach tissues and organs and body systems and the human itself. There are a bunch of levels you can look things. You can pick apart all the organs, all the parts of the brain from a body and put them all in a box, and it'd seem true for you to say there's not a person in that box. We're more than 'just' put together from organs, we're put together in a special way that makes the organs reach a higher level which we call a person.

                        And I've been thinking about this question a lot lately also. I was thinking you know, if there were not other people, we'd never be able to call ourselves a person? There would be no reason to tell anyone we're a person, the animals wouldn't listen... the person would have no reason to think of himself as separate from the world unless there was a language to say it. If nobody had any language, all of these questions couldn't get asked. There wouldn't be a second thought of an afterlife, when someone died people couldn't ask 'where did he go' if they didn't have language...

                        But also, imagine people could talk but only in really simple language. Like one person shouted a command to someone else, but nobody could talk about themselves. It's not until people have a concept of 'I' or of the 'self' that they are even able to know they exist. A dog doesn't know he exists, he simply exists without ever thinking about it. Once we get the concept of I, we're able to think about a special you, some sort of soul that's different from other people in far more ways than you could even explain. But I don't really believe in a soul either. The soul is a concept... but if you think about souls and the afterlife with fear, it's not because it's scary if we don't have them, people feel scared because they were made to believe they might exist in the first place and THEN doubted it.

                        Once language gets good enough, people can talk about things that aren't in front of them. I'm able to talk about my brother to you even if he's not there. It's like I can give you information all of a sudden that's not first hand information. It's like a little bit of life from my brother has reached you. And without language we wouldn't have books... so we'd never have any chance to get a description of peoples lives 1000s of years ago. Even though now it's obscured, people when they put out words and ideas give a certain life to things. The concept of the soul makes some people feel alive. Hearing a story from a person 150 years ago can suddenly make you learn new things. And most importantly, language is shared by many many people. So when you die, there are still probably people that learned something indirectly from you. Say you teach someone how to use photoshop, and they make a bunch of pictures and people love them and they show a few more people, and more pictures are made, and are seen by tons of people to the point where they've changed ever so slightly the way some people see art and pass it onto their kids. It's like language is what creates that soul, and what makes you alive. Language, not by yourself, but with other people... spreadin the word. I think this is why Wittgenstein (whom i quote way too much but oh well) called language a 'life-form'

                        anyway great thread again... it's something i've thought a lot about and this is what I think now.

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                        • #13
                          to say that in a much shorter way... that thing that's recreated in people over and over again and passed down so it's still like you... that's language. you learn it, you contribute to it and talk to people who talk to people... the general society all has an idea what it's like to be a person, people all talk about the same kinds of feelings and the same kinds of problems... and the same fears and the same hopes. people talk about both the happy and sad, people talk about the HUMAN... you always understand the words you hear in relation to you, you always say them in relation to you. And whenever you contribute in a conversation, you're sharing those human experiences with each other. All this sharing is what gives us life in the first place. You have inner sensations and feelings of what it's like to be YOU, but you can never TRULY talk about them. Words always are learned from other people, how can you ever define yourself except by putting together strings of words you got from other people? You're made alive, and this aliveness lives on through the ages. People are still people even though they've advanced so much. We're part of the same progression people have always been in and part of the one that people will always be in as long as we can imagine. And when we contribute and change things, we get a sort of almost real immortality.

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                          • #14
                            There's all types of accounts from people who had "near death experiences" how they could still see while they were looking down at their bodies lying on the operating table or wherever... if we see with our eyes and all the signals are read in the brain that allows us to, than how come we can see without them? I used to be hardcore athiest and believe that you go into oblivion after death but than I started reading up on astral projection and actually induced it which changed my outlook on life forever... I believe our physical bodies are just vehicles to experience this physical reality; I believe we are infinite consciousness that never dies. The body is merely a placeholder for consciousness, which exists everywhere. People fail to realize that they are more than their physical bodies and get pulled into seeing themselves as insignificant -- and not to mention these thoughts and beliefs are manifesting their reality.

                            Everything is made up of atoms; so therefore everything is nothing but vibrating energy. We are living in a sea of energy. And not to mention less than 1% of identifiable matter can be seen by the physical senses. So basically our five senses can only access a very narrow frequency range and outside of the frequency range we can access is infinity. When people are astral projecting they are accessing a different frequency range because the energy is vibrating at a different level on the astral planes. I believe the physical plane that we live in is dark and dense, and manifestation takes longer to witness but as we move up the planes while projecting each one vibrates more smoothly than the last.
                            Last edited by Cryptic; 08-28-2005, 04:40 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I totally agree ^
                              I also thought death was the end of everything, but also, as you said, after reading up on astral projection and other things I have totally changed my mind.

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