Wednesday, May 5. 2010
For a quick review, look here: Shifting Gears #4: The Dark Night of the Soul
+ If we have souls, where are they? What’s the relationship of the soul to the physical form? Do you believe they’re joined, interactive, or related in some other what?
+ What constitutes a human being? Is the Monist or Dualist school closer to what you believe? Do you subscribe to a subset (Materialist, Idealist, Interactionist, etc.)? Which sounds most logical? Which do you believe? (Are they the same?) Why do you believe what you believe?
+ Can my soul be “bruised”? Can it suffer injuries through interactions with the physical world? Can it be altered by what we do or experience?
+ If the soul can be altered, how can we construct identities? (For that matter, if it can be changed, how do you go about changing it?) If the soul can’t be altered, do we ever have true freedom?
+ Are we more than what can be sensed? Is what goes on in my head – my consciousness and thoughts – different from my soul?
+ If we’re just programmed by cells and chemistry, are our “infinite possibilities” actually limited – at a sub-molecular level?
+ Are we more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of what we’re born with?
This post is due at 11:59pm on Friday, May 7th.
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Human beings promote goodness through the acts they do. The goodness is received from birth. We are born with the ability to experience, and therefore the ability for good is received and practiced through morality. The birth of all humans marked their capability for all the good they will do in their life. There is no distinctive line between this goodness in life and goodness in existence, but they are not the same either. Its more like...we are born with more goodness than we will ever need to use, but we will never be able to do good without experience of it, so in that sense we have more good used in the experience but more potential good in birth. You know, the works.
A soul changes as we do because it is the parallel intangible existent entity that drives our inner self. Identity will change if a soul changes because a soul changes with our identities. We do not change it ourselves in the sense that we control it. The physical form of humans is the body that houses the soul. We are driven by the soul like the key to our ignition, but what we do with ourselves is up to us. To summarize, a soul is like a carefully coded generator. It gives our physical bodies life and reasoning and morals and judgment, but what it does not do is tell us how we use it for ourselves. Without it life is not just meaningless, but gone. Soul is there even when we as humans are not. It is nonexistent and existent at once because it does not exist to us, but it still exists no matter what. Where we once were the soul was. When we die our soul remains, but as far as we are concerned its existence matters about as much as if it did not exist. You know, the works.
I agree with you regarding about how our body is a house for our soul and how our soul is the driving force for us. I am still uncertain about the idea that our soul changes with our identity and our actions. I mean, it does make sense. To me, I feel that souls contains our morals.
I agree that there is no distinctive line between goodness at birth. When you are a child, you do anything without putting any thought into it. We merely act on selfish desire. We develop morals when we grow up, which ultimately define who we are.
I like your idea of having a surplus of goodness that people can choose to use or not. It's a really interesting concept!
i agree the soul gives us life, because the soul is a part of us as a whole.
Your take on goodness is really interesting. I never looked it from your point of view, especially when you say 'we are born with more goodness than we will ever need to use, but we will never be able to do good without experience of it'. I find that really interesting!
I can really understand your intake and positive light upon the nature of human beings. Although I think some of it is just wistful thinking, the premise and notion that you propose through your writing is really interesting to read.
I like the way you portray the soul which you describe the soul as a "carefully coded generator". It gives me clear idea of how you describe the souls.
It is interesting in which you think that goodness is recieved during birth. I also find it hard to believe but yet seemingly possible in which people are born with goodness but will never have the chance to show or use all of it.
I kind of disagree with you on our souls being good from when we are born. I think that we learn goodness through our experiences.
I agree with the way you think that the soul is what gives us life.
A soul is a very interesting subject, because many people believe we have a soul. Even if some people are not truly religious or completely unreligious, many still instinctively believe that human beings contain souls. It's very intriguing that this is a common shared belief among humans. From my view, I think that we do have a soul, or at least something of that nature. I don’t really know why because it seems completely illogical. But perhaps the soul and the body (physical being) are joined, and that maybe the soul and the body are one. For example, I am a soul; however, I am also a body. I am both. Perhaps, the soul and body aren’t two separate entities, but one whole entity; what you do with one is directly done to the other.
Human goodness is a characteristic which humans are born with. I believe all humans are born with the instinct to be good and protect those they care about. In my opinion, experiences simply reinforce that goodness. The question then leads to: Why do we have so many “bad” people in society then? I think that the “bad” seeds of society are due to experiences corrupting their goodness. Jennifer mentioned in class a while ago about how we are all trees and we branch out from our main trunk. I believe something similar to that as well. I think the roots and the trunk (the soul and body) are born good. Experiences then cause the tree to grow branches. The branches greatly influence how the original tree (with no branches) looks. Experiences can corrupt the branches, causing the person to turn malicious. That concept could be why society functions as it is today, or maybe it could be completely off the wrong track! Who knows?
Good job. I like how you discussed your thought about why you believe that soul and the body are united. If the body is affected, then the soul will also be. The soul will continue to live on eventhough our body decay. Nice insight about how goodness is in everyone.
hmm I never really thought about it that way. I liked how you used the tree as an example. Good job
Although I disagree with your statement regarding how humans are born with goodness, it fascinated me how you relate the concept of goodness with trees. I like how you conceptualize all the "bad people" with branches that encountered bad experiences.
Interesting how you noted the soul seems to permeate across cultures. That can be a supporting factor for the existence of a soul, and I like the idea you presented about the it being one with the body. But because you can't see the soul with the naked eye (or current technology for that matter), I can't agree to the idea of a soul as one with the body.
I really like the analogy you used with the tree. It makes me think...
I have a tree in the backyard that used to be a peach tree. But my grandpa put a slit on the branch, and inserted in it a branch of a plum tree. A year later, the tree stopped growing peaches altogether, and solely plums. Is it possible for the experiences (branches from a foreign tree) to affect the trunk and the roots (our society)?
I never thought of the human body and soul as one entity and found it quite interesting to look at it from that perspective.
Just for the pure sake of arguing though, you stated in your second paragraph that human goodness is something were born with. Couldn't it be the other way around- bad soul with positive influence and therefore it just being a bad soul in disguise?
But awww, John! You referenced me! I feel so flattered!
Haha, yes. I suppose it could be starting out as 'bad.'
But, I like optimism.
Good point in referencing the tree/branch analogy that was brought up in class. While I listened to this analogy in class, I couldn't help but be convinced by the idea and simplicity of it.
People are coming up with some really good metaphors to relate the soul to, which is making understanding their point of view a lot easier. Your tree example was good, I never thought of it that way!
You are soul smart. The outlook in your messages is like poetree to me.
are our souls still in our bodies when we die? if not...why is only the body still existing..
Every human must have a soul to survive It is the thing that keeps us living, keeps us moving and breathing. When a person gets hurt his or her body feels the pain but his or her soul is not actually physically hurt. I think that when a baby is born, the first breath it takes takes in its soul and that is when the baby comes into existence. As a baby, the person knows nothing because he or she just came into existence but I believe the soul has information it is just locked in a room. As the baby grows and learns, the door of that room slowly opens causing the baby to give off its true nature. As children, they don’t know anything so they do whatever comes naturally showing their true nature and personality.
The soul is the baby, is the child, and is the adult. Basically the soul is the person. It gives the person his or her initial personality but as he or she grows, the person’s (and so the soul’s) opinions and personality change as he or she battles through different problems and experiences different situations.
When the person dies, I believe that the last exhale he or she gives is the release of their soul. And as the soul leaves the body causing a permanent halt of the barely beating heart, we conclude the person as dead. When the soul leaves the body I believe that we live another life. It goes into another body whether that’d be another human, a dog, a bird, or even a lion but wherever it goes, the past life is left behind. However, how the soul chooses (if it gets to choose) its next body I never thought about. The soul is a fascinating subject and I don’t think that we can ever truly understand its complexity.
I agree that the soul is very complicated. I do not think we will ever be able to figure out the mystery of the soul. It is not a matter of science, but rather a belief.
Your statement about souls being more of a belief made me want to go and find a scientific statement proving their existence. (Haha) Instead i found this quote:
"Einstein denies the existence of an immortal soul, but believes in a life force that everyone holds. There is no eternity to it because it is an energy all the same as light or heat "
It makes me wonder where humans really first got the idea of souls then. Was it religious?
I don't think I necessarily agree the soul is what gives people life. To me, what keeps a person going is their beating heart, their intake of oxygen and the chemical reactions that are happening at a microscopic level within their bodies. I find the soul a very abstract concept and like Edwin said, it's more of a belief and some people find it easier to go on faith than others. I'm more of the latter.
The idea of having a soul is very vague and complex.
Maybe in the end, the idea is extremely flawed.
I agree the soul cannot be defined in several words, i believe that there can be a book about a persons thoughts about the soul.
But if the baby's soul has information locked into a room that it slowly releases over time, are you saying that there's some information that were predestined to have? After death, how does the soul change it's box of information from the old person to the new if each person has a different identity?
Well, not necessary. I don't have a soul, or I don't believe I have a soul, and I still live and breathe pretty well. How can you prove that a soul exits if there is no soul that shows up in front of the world and prove its existence?
It is insteresting to see the way you interpret the soul. I personally believe in people having souls, but sometimes, I think that people believe in the existense of the souls because they use the idea as the motivation of doing good things.
My belief is that the soul is where our physical bodies connect with our consciousness in another dimension. Not dimension like a parallel world with everything being just a little bit different, but rather a dimension akin to height width and depth. (I will apologize for writing like a nerd in advanced) if we use x, y, and z for width, height, and depth respectively, we also can use t for time, therefore we interact and can observe dimensions x, y, z, and t. But now let’s add in dimension s for soul. Scientists have had significant difficulty pinning down consciousness within the human physical-chemical-electrical brain, what if the brain is actually a bridge that spans the fifth dimension, s. In order to help illustrate this idea we need to firs remove one of our more familiar dimensions. If our physical world was only using dimensions x, y, and t, then we can replace z with s, so in the x, y, t world there is no concept of depth, so if a person were in x, y, and t then their brain would use z, to expand outside of the dimensions that they are able to be aware of.
If this is the case then rather than be a disconnected puppeteer, our souls would be completely linked to our bodies. However we don’t know weather the brain needs nourishment to act as a receiver/sender node or if the brain needs nourishment in order to fuel the consciousness. Either way the experiences of the body are able to affect the soul. If the soul is able to be changed it could only occur with great effort, and/or the proper tools. I believe that changing a soul is similar to changing a building. If your soul is to be changed it not only takes considerable time but also significant willpower, over time the soul experiences wear and tear so one must maintain their soul, and at times an extremely impacting event will have a significant impact on ones soul. If someone were to try to change their soul they would often try to use certain tools, such as a counselor or religion, such tools aid in the construction or tearing down of ones soul.
Scott, I really enjoy your writing style in the second part of your response. I especially like how you use "disconnected puppeteer" and your comparison of changing a soul to changing a building. You're not a nerd
I really like your writing style too! Especially in the first paragraph how you relate units of measure and the soul in variables! It's not nerdy at all and its much easier for me to understand things when people relay their information similar to mathematical/scientific methods as you did.
Wow, the way in which you described the different dimensions really helped me understand an otherwise complex concept. What I liked was how you explained how a soul could be altered. The building analogy was great.
lol at (I will apologize for writing like a nerd in advanced)
I agree with you that the soul is like a building and that it needs great effort to change it but what bothers me is if our soul is like a building, who built it?
I agree that as we change and grow up, the souls within ourselves does the same thing. We could not stay forever in the child form. There are times that the soul has to follow accordingly to the outside appearance.
I am uncertain if human beings have a soul within themselves. Most of the time I would think of it as supernatural and hypothetical spirit that exists of a sort of mysterious way. However, it is true that I would believe that the soul shows its true nature of one's personality as it controls the body, connected to the mind. The soul would have two sides, light and dark, while distincting themselves opposite from another as good and evil. I would think that human beings are supposed to be constituted by the laws, but some humans show opposition, and so they become constituting themselves. If the dark side of the soul triumphs over the light side, then that would surely make the outside appearance of a human do terrible deeds. A soul can change when something like spark into a human's mind and let out its true identity, hidden for a long period of time. The mind, or the brain, is like what controls our body as we do things, and it keeps us alive, along with the heart. Humans can do anything they want to change their souls, if they want to be good or bad. The soul can suffer alot from depression or sadness; it can even suffer from guiltiness or hatred after you done something evil. If they cannot be changed, it all depends if the person is good, then he/she will live out a happy life. But if the person is bad, then that is a different story.
We can never be to sure with other people around us, whether one is good or evil. Because we physically see what we always see (i.e., the outside appearance of the person's body), but we may not be able to know that the inside of the body is different from the outside. I personally stay away as much as from other people, having the sense like I can see into every person's inner self. I know not all people will have a good soul, because I know that appearance can be deceiving. And, even if people stay as long enough to have goodness, they can still destroy it by betraying the goodness they have, to letting their evil side be over their weak (light) side. We all can experience goodness just by doing good things, but at the same time our souls must show no signs of like thinking about evil things. I doubt if cells and chemistry program us; I surely think of the brain as the main control of a person's identity, but I am not sure if that is chemistry.
I like your idea about how our souls contain two different sides: good and evil. So are you stating that both of them come to us naturally as we were born?
Does this mean that you can't be mostly good person? It would be more like a person who's starting to become evil?
Where is our soul? I believe that our soul is inside of us. It is in a shapeless form inside our minds. Soul is our inspirer that is regarded in its moral feature. It is the fire; the spirit that is dwells in us and drives us to move forward. It can be said that this contains our morals and principals that tells us what is right and wrong. I believe this is the definition of soul. Even though it is interconnected with our body, the soul cannot die or simply disappear.
I believe that we are capable of goodness through our morals and the experiences we face every single day. But I do not agree that goodness deals with anything with what we are born with. We are surrounded by goodness at birth, considering our parents there to comfort us. We obtain goodness by putting our effort in making positive feelings to others. There was a saying from Frances Shand Kydd that read, "You need to know bruises to know blessings and I have known both." I feel like this somewhat connects to the definition of goodness. We will appreciate people’s goodness and kindness when we experience loneliness and hatefulness. All these derive from our experiences.
I like how you said "we are surround by goodness at birth" because it shows that people are not born with goodness but they learn what it is from the people around them. i e. parents
Jennifer, I agree with your definition of soul,I think the soul is connected to our minds,but also our appearances.Even when we die, our soul would not be disappeared.
I totally agree with you. We are good because we want others to treat us kindly. We learn goodness from our experiences.
I also agreed with your definition of soul. I really enjoyed reading your description of it. It was pure poetry.
I agree that our soul is inside of us and not just an aura that can't be seen with the human eye.
I also believe that the soul is inside of a person there is no way to extract it from a human being until they leave this world.
I agree on your line "you need to know bruises to know blessings." You need to feel pain sometimes in order to be more grateful. Like the saying goes. You don't know what you have till its gone. I feel it also applies in rest of the aspects such as the soul concept.
Humans are not born with the capabilities of goodness. First of all, goodness can be defined in many different ways, depending on the surrounding, the people, and the culture. What one group defines goodness can clash with another group equipped with different customs. People are not born with the knowledge of what goodness is; therefore, experiences that people encounter when they were little easily influenced what the definition goodness is in the society they live in. The characteristic of goodness is developed during the process of growing up. Parents teach their children what “good” is by being their role model and setting examples. Parents in a sense “conditioned” their children to be “good” when they were little by giving punishments for bad behaviors or actions.
Like how people bruise when they fall or bump into something hard, the soul can easily bruise when someone commits a bad deed. I believe the soul cannot be physically damaged but altered by the choices we make and the experiences we face. From when we were little, we learned to differentiate good and bad in the society we live in. People are cognizant when they have committed a sin because guilt would permeate in the soul. When the soul is bruised, people will know because that feeling of guilt, both painful and unpleasant, overpowers the soul. With such an uncomfortable feeling inside us, we try to find a “band-aid”. With that, we desperately search for a way to stop the ache by naturally trying to resolve the problem.
I am on the same side with you when you state this:
"What one group defines goodness can clash with another group equipped with different customs."
Goodness, after all, is relative...
i agree with you on your idea that we are not born with goodness. We experience goodness through learning. This sentence "People are not born with the knowledge of what goodness is; therefore, experiences that people encounter when they were little easily influenced what the definition goodness is in the society they live in" is what defines my idea on goodness as well.
I agree with you about how you think the soul is bruised by suffering, but I also think it naturally grows and deteriorates with age.
I do agree with you, but I think it is not only based off of parenting. Instead it is by everything and anything that has effected an individual.
Yes! The term "goodness" is defined by the people around you. Remember, slavery, an extremely evil thing, was considered "ethical and good" in the past.
I agree that parents shape our goodness, but i think we are born with some goodness in our hearts first and not completely empty of it.
Although I do not believe in souls, if they do exist, I believe that it can not be changed. There is simply no way of changing it. How can you change something that you can not see or feel? Even though we can not alter our souls, I believe we still have freedom. We have the ability to make choices and choose our own path. Sometimes these choices lead to the construction of our identities; sometimes our identities are the cause of these decisions. We can not compare if we have freedom or not because we can not prove that there is a soul. Therefore, if we can not prove it exist or do not believe in it, the freedom we enjoy now is our “true” freedom.
I think we are who we are according to how we think and what we do. There are no different ideas in thoughts and souls. They are pretty much related and one defines another. Sometimes there are hidden thoughts in our minds that we do not discover. However, I do not believe that is enough to alter our souls. In fact, the way we think should match with our soul; it is our character and personality.
The question of whether or not human beings have a has haunted me for many years. Blame all the fantasy books I used to (and still do) read; there's always some mention of the soul and afterlife in them. As a result, my interest in death got piqued, and I began to wonder about the soul.
I like the idea of having a soul. First and foremost, it sounds cool. When you die, the soul supposedly is freed and can wander wherever it goes. Furthermore, some souls can even affect the material world...to some point at least (yay for ghost stories!). Secondly, having a soul seems to imply (to me) an ability to travel between worlds; you're no longer earthbound by flesh. A dead person who has a soul can go to Heaven and/or Hell (wherever they are, if they even exist).
But none of that can be scientifically proven to be true. There is no real Heaven, there is no real Hell, there is no evidence that a human soul exists. At the same time, one can argue that there is no evidence that a human soul does not exist, and by then, everything starts to go in circles and people get dizzy-eyed and lose track of the conversation. What I'm really trying to say is that I would like to believe a soul exists but I can't make myself whole-heartedly believe that. For me, it's hard to place a belief in something that is baseless. The most that I'm able to do is toy with the concept of a soul and think in hypotheticals.
So now, hypothetically speaking, if a soul does have substance of some sort, then what would it be made of? I always thought of this in terms of the stereotypical image that we have of souls: white, transparent, weightless. But who's to say the soul is really like the prototypes that human society has conjured up through traditions? A soul could be quite solid, for all we know, could be a blob of nothingness, or take on an actual shape. When I entertain this notion, the possibilities open up unrestrained and the unlimited amount of scenarios are frightening.
The fantasy books that influenced me were rather...comic books..er manga. It did the same thing though.
It's nice how you incorporated your science studies into your opinion. But since we cannot prove or disprove existence of souls, we can let our imaginations run wild. C:
I like how you related the discussion of souls to stories that have been told over the ages. Very creative.
Our souls are indeed different from our physical flesh. True, that our emotions are regulated by the changes in our body through the endocrine system – hormones that these endocrine organs secrete let us feel these moods. However, our individuality is not based on our whole physical-self; it exists as a part of the traits that our parents have – sometimes, it just came to us without any warning. Persistence is not born from the body, but instead, from our soul. Persistence does not come from our body, for the system in our brain always tells our body via nerve impulse to perceive and avoid dangers in our surroundings.
We are more capable of goodness because of our experiences. A person is always born like a piece of white, plain canvas that is waiting to be painted. The paints represent each struggle that we have to cope with throughout the process of finishing the masterpiece on the canvas – on ourselves. Goodness does not come right away from within one’s self; goodness progresses through time. We couldn’t possibly be born with goodness because as a baby, we cannot do anything but to yell and cry for food and our mothers’ caresses. We barely even know what goodness is at that time. We would never know what goodness is if we, as kids or adults, have not experienced it ourselves or never taught about it by others. Overall, goodness can only be attained if we are willing to create more rewarding experiences because it is the only way we can feel goodness in its fullest.
I believe you that we all have different souls and it is nice of you to use the scientific knowledge you have about changing emotions.
I love how you get all technical with the hormones thing. Very interesting to read indeed!
I love your quote, "A person is always born like a piece of white, plain canvas that is waiting to be painted."
Taking from what you said, I imagined white, plain canvases for each and every one of us, but from what we initially have in the beginning such as parent's wealth or poverty, our canvases can be either shaped differently or be thin or thick!
I agree with you about how you think we are more capable of goodness because of our goodness.
I totally agree with you on our goodness being obtained through experiences rather than from birth.
+ If the soul can be altered, how can we construct identities? (For that matter, if it can be changed, how do you go about changing it?) If the soul can’t be altered, do we ever have true freedom?
This brings up the point that Mr. Feraco mentioned in class. If we cannot change the fundamental status of our soul, what is the point of religion? I do believe that we can alter our souls, but I don’t believe that we are all born into this world on an equal playing field. I think that some people are more likely to commit crimes, or more likely to be altruistic, but I don’t think that there is anything that the human soul cannot overcome if it truly has enough motivation. I doubt that a soul is something that can be sold or lost, but I do believe that people do actions that conflict with what their supposed identity is. Then again, the idea of a flexible soul conflicts with the idea of a nonflexible identity I suppose.
+ Are we more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of what we’re born with?
Our experiences teach us to be good or bad. Although there is a nature vs. nurture argument, I think this only applies to basic instincts such as reproduction and survival (food, etc.). Orwell’s work in 1984 (and most of Brave New World as well) seemed to point to the idea that humans can be conditioned to do anything, including not enjoy sex (1984). Although someone might behave altruistically, if they were conditioned NOT to do so, they would probably avoid helping (maybe even being afraid of it). If our parents/ guardians taught us that helping others is good, we will be significantly more likely to help others than if it was discouraged in our childhood. Although I believe that our experiences shape us for the most part, we also might be more prone to be nicer or meaner due to biological factors. However, they haven’t found a “nice gene”, so I am still pondering this idea.
Gabe, just like you, I also believe that we are strongly influenced by our surroundings and our upbringing.
I love how you were able to incorporate Brave New World and 1984 into your blog with the basic instincts. I also loved how you used a scientific approach in the end with biological factors and genes.
I believe that we are more capable of goodness based on our their own experiences more than with what we’re born with. To finally realize what goodness truly is we must experience goodness with our own eyes. By experiencing something by ourselves and thinking about it without other influences we become a believer or we learn about what was originally unknown to be true or false. Like for example if we feel that goodness after doing good for someone then we find out what goodness is and that we want to be good after the rewarding feeling it gives us. The unknown about goodness becomes alive in us and we experience what is good and what is bad. The counterargument with my viewpoint is that people, who are surrounded by goodness are more capable with goodness. However that is not the case.
There are many people who are born into a Christian background or have parents that show goodness towards others and to their kids. Yet the kids do not always follow their parent’s guidance because they haven’t experiences goodness on their own. Just because there are influential factors doesn’t mean they’ll succumb them. Their own experiences of showing goodness will bring the best of their capabilities.
The soul can be bruised figuratively because our soul is a part of us. If we can hurt our physical flesh then it should be possible to hurt our soul. It can be injured from the physical world, like for example the soul can be hurt by our loved ones, who are part of the physical world. Their interactions with us can influence our soul, because the ones we love are a part of us, which means they can also be part of our souls. It can be altered by what we experienced because what we experience happens to us as whole, mind, body and soul.
Just like you, I also believe that goodness comes from experience.
I agree that it is necessary to experience goodness by our own.
I believe that goodness comes from of our experiences. ‘Goodness’ as we define it requires morality. We derive our morals from what we experience. Nobody is born with goodness. If everyone were born with it, then why are there criminals in this world? Then of course, there is the almighty question of whether or not we are more capable of goodness as a result of our experiences. I say yes… sort of. As I stated above, we derive goodness from everyday life. These daily experiences help us mold what we believe is good and what is wrong. Therefore it does not make us more capable of goodness more than it helps us defend our beliefs on the topic of goodness.
Now onto the topic of souls. Souls cannot be bruised. How could something non-physical ever be bruised? Souls can never suffer injuries through interactions with the physical world. When people say that they feel bad or guilty, it is not their soul that is pained. In actuality, I believe that it is people’s personification of pain. It all comes back to goodness and experiences. When what we see contradicts what we believe, we feel pained. Not our soul, but our body. Just as you feel pain when you cut yourself, emotional pain also hurts the body. Yet, the soul can never be pained.
I have the same idea as you. I think people are not born with goodness. We need to learn it from our surroundings and experiences.
I agree with you on your view regarding goodness. On the other hand though, I think that the soul can be bruised. Although it is non-physical and cannot be physically bruised it can be mentally, somewhat like heartbreak.
When I was a child, I use to think about some very morbid thoughts. I would contemplate about life after death, or even if there was life after death. I came to the conclusion that there was no life after death. There is no heaven nor is there hell or anything in between. Instead I liked to think that our bodies simply rot and eventually turn into dust.
However, although I thought about death, I never really thought about life. I never even contemplated the idea of the "soul". Therefore, I never believed in one before the in class lecture. There is no soul. The reason why I am the person I am is through my experiences and memories. The reason why I think the way I do is because society shaped my ideals. From there my brain gave me emotions and the ability to think that allows me to decide and choose the way I want to live my life.
If I did believe in a soul, it would be attached to my body. It IS me. It is in every cell of my body and is born when I am born and dies when I die. It grows with me and deteriorates with me. It changes as I change. The day I die is when my soul also dies. Even if my body is not completely gone, rotting away, or being burned in a crematorium my soul will still be gone.
Your views are quite different from mine, so your explanation is very interesting to me. I believe in life after death and that humans have souls, but sometimes I hope that we simply don't exist after we die. I think that being completely nonexistent after life won't do us any harm and perhaps even benefit us from having to remember painful memories (we just forget everything). But one of the reasons why I choose to believe in the soul and afterlife is because my mind cannot comprehend a future where I don't exist.
Sadly, I'd have to agree with you on the idea of life after death. Truly I hope that after death we would have a place to go rather than just rot. However, deep down, I have a feeling that it would just be the end of everything. The only thing that makes us who we are is our brain, and without it, EVERYTHING wouldn't be real anymore.
I believe that our experiences affect our capability for good more than predestination because I like to think that people are in charge of their decisions, and not are not born good or bad. Our experiences help shape us as people, and I think the influence of our experiences is more powerful and believable than the idea that we are born with it. The power of choosing is better than believing that someone created you evil and there is nothing you can do to change it. Some people unfortunately are born into bad situations but I don’t believe that it classifies them as a bad person. Someone who grows up with misfortune and unlucky events, is more likely to recognize and appreciate when good things do happen in life and is more capable of goodness. On the other hand, someone who grows up with everything handed to them doesn’t really get to appreciate the good things that come in life and a more likely to try to take the easy way of things. Doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person, but because of the life experiences they’ve held, they are less capable of goodness.
I think our souls are seen in our actions, thoughts, everything, because I think our souls fill our entire body and influence what we do. I think the soul is connected most with the mind because of its individuality and uniqueness, and I would say the relationship is sort of like a between a person and God. People look to God for guidance just like people look within themselves for truth. I think the soul is connected to the body and helps keep it alive in some way. When someone dies, their soul leaves their body, or when someone experiences a traumatic event, it affects their soul and through that affects their body. However, I also believe that the soul has a similar connection to the body as a radio does to the car, like we discussed in class. When the car is on, the radio is on. Even though the car is off, the radio is still broadcasting the station. This said, when we die, doesn’t mean our souls die too, but they just leave the body.
I really like your thoughts about the human soul. I would say that my perception is very similar to yours. I also think that the soul is most associated with the mind and that when we die, our souls live on.
I like how you compared the soul to the radio. It's a great example. Makes me understand your meaning better!
Good job! I too also want to believe that we as people have the power to make our own decisions.
I really like reading our posts ! I think the soul does basically define everything we do.
Human are not born with goodness or evilness. We are only born with instincts. Some of our instincts, such as compassion and love, will lead us to goodness but others, like jealousy and hate, will cause us to do bad things. We do things that are beneficial to us. Without any influences or guidance, we will only act like savages. We will still be good to one another, but the action is based on our own needs for benefits.
If we are left alone without any laws or restrictions, we start to follow what we want. Our desires are usually selfish. We will still help others since we long for the same help from others; we love others and care for them since we desire for those things from others as well. However, once we stop receiving what we want from others, we stop giving. When we are threatened by others, we will dislike or harm others. If we are just acting on our own instincts, we will base our actions on our own moods and behalves.
Without moral codes and and rules to restrict us, it'll be hard to stay civilized. The novel Lord of the Flies is one of the examples that demonstrate that men are naturally savages. When our surroundings allow us to behave the ways we desire, we turn into someone that is uncivilized. Our instincts will over power our conscious when we don't have any guide.
Our actions, thoughts, and personal traits are influenced by the environment we live in. We can not be born with goodness because when we are first born we do not know anything. If no one teaches us that stealing and killing are bad, how would we know we shouldn't do those things. We are taught what is good and what is bad as we grow up. Through kids stories and movies, we see that bad people always end up with bad consequences and good people are always rewarded. As a result, we desire to be good since we always want to be rewarded.
We treat others nice due to the same reason; we want others to treat us the same way. We find it easier to make more friends when we are nice. Moreover, we feel better about ourselves when we are good. For example, after volunteering in distributing goods for the misfortunes, I felt good about myself. I felt that I actually made a difference in others lives. On the contrary, I feel guilty for doing something bad to others.
We choose to be good because we enjoy the good results of being kind. We are not born good; we learn goodness from our surroundings and experiences.
A human soul, not unlike a piece of fruit, is capable of being bruised. Fruits that grow on trees can be bruised when they plummet into the ground from the top of a tree. The enormous impact damages the fruit, and can leave it scarred and aching for the rest of its life. The soul like fruit, can only sustain a certain amount of pressure before it is altered or even worse, destroyed. Any stressful event, such as a divorce or a death of a close family member, can change the complexion of the fruit/soul. A nasty divorce transformed my mother's soul. Before, she was power-hungry, money-driven perfectionist. The divorce, in effect, made her into a more giving and loving mother. She is now more willing to make time for me and my brother, because her old soul was changed.
I believe that the human soul can be changed for the better. Much like fruit, the soul can become more ripe and fulfilled. It is capable of improving itself given the right conditions; i.e. more carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, etc.. Change is possible, so long as a series of coincidental or lucky events come about. My mother proved it could be done, why not you and me?
I like your example of comparing soul with fruits!
I agree with what Carolyn says. Its very interesting that you compare the fruits with that. Its very simple and interesting.
I thought your comparison of the soul to fruit was interesting too! It actually kind of changed my opinion. Before I didn't think the soul could become bruised, I only thought it could be maintained, or lost.
The soul can also be changed for the worst if a person has too many bad experiences
In humans goodness is something we earn from our experiences. I believe that humans are not born good or bad they are born neutral. People are not labeled as good or bad until they can define what is good and bad. As a human, we cannot be good naturally because human nature is to survive and not to be good. With only instincts of survival, we only earn goodness, when we have experienced it. Whether we experience actual goodness, or the exact opposite, is also important. It is because of these significant experiences, that goodness comes out of us. For some, they are good because, that is the only way they have ever been treated, it is their way of life. For others, they experience the opposite, they live a hard life with little goodness, and because of the wrongness of their life, they change to experience the better, the good.
Goodness is shaped by our surroundings. It is shaped by what is around us, because the definition of goodness, is shaped by those around us and ourselves. What is good id not a set definition. Instead, many have almost identical definitions, but all have some variation. To some goodness is being able to see their family everyday, for others, it is being able to have time to themselves. Simple differences like these are what define our goodness and its differences with others. Because we as individuals define what is goodness. Therefore, we cannot be born with it, because then that would mean all good was the same.
I think it is interesting how you define goodness the same way as how I would define happiness. Different things make different people happy just as how people differ on what they think is good.
When we were born we didn’t know anything especially to judge right from wrong and many other things. I believe that we learned how to be good by our experiences with our parents when they were teaching us stuff as we grew. We also learn from good friends that we grow up with throughout middle school and high school; we are basically influenced by everyone around us good or bad. The people around us probably can change the way we act but not who we are in our soul, I believe that our soul is our original personality. It shows people who we really are and it helps people understand us even better. If the soul had to be linked with a body part I would put it with the heart, because we all know the smart ideas come from the brain. But it’s the ideas filled with compassion for the other people around us, which comes from the heart and soul.
I don’t believe that a soul can be damaged by other people and their influence it can be change for a certain amount of time, but not bruised. I believe it can be hurt but it won’t affect it as much because like our body when it gets a cut it heals. I don’t think it will be altered by what we do or who influences us to do something. I believe that there is more out there that we can sense, yet I have a feel that the soul can sense more than our brain can. If a soul can be altered than there would be a thousand people alike. Yet the identities of those people are different because of their names and physical features. We still have freedom but not mentally because we always think someone is copying someone else.
Souls are just the solid word to describe our inner “self,” the emotions, morals, and thoughts formed into one word. What we see on the media is just a physical representation that catches our eye as we see something rather than nothing. I do not have any particular belief of a soul being attached to the body and that sort of thing because of different points that different sides use to support their reason. I would hope however, that the soul would still exist even without our physical form someday when we longer can last anymore. That being said, the soul exists in our mind, the feeling we have inside our chests, the stomach full of butterflies, and the tingling sensation we feel from our bodies. The soul then can be “bruised” due to mentality and how we force ourselves into making them bruised and damaged. With every bruise however, comes with a way to repair, and that can lead to what we do or experience. Even a simple laughter from a child or the moment of joy we experience with our friends could possibly heal one’s bruise.
With the versatility of our souls to form into any way possible according to our interactions with the physical world, no one can make an exact blueprint as to how they would want to form their identity. It just comes with the flow of life and the law of nature. This would include to not being in relevance to freedom considering how we experience freedom only we feel we are restrictions. We are capable of goodness through our experiences and not as to what we are born with. What we are born with can be lost anytime, but experiences tend to stay with us even when we do not remember them. The actions and thoughts we participate during an event will form our identity naturally without us knowing it. From what we are born with, comes with a materialistic view: family, wealth, etc. Talents are formed through our experiences, because no one can be skilled as doing something without a similar experience or knowledge that they could do something in the first place. If they do succeed in an activity, then the average people could also, too, unless it’s relating to physical capabilities like how flexible you are due to your bone structure. Therefore, experiences comes through in mind to shape almost everything in mind.
Haha, wow you put exactly what I wanted to write into words. I liked how you described the soul, it is almost the same as what I think the soul is.
I also think our souls can be bruised due to mentality. Sadness and depressing emotions damage our souls. So we should keep ourselves happy everyday.
Although I am uncertain about what a soul is, I believe that we all have a soul. Our soul is what makes us LIVE rather than just SURVIVE. If what the monist believe is true, then people can be compared to computers because both “think” with electrical impulses. But humans are not the same as computers; we are not just robots. Our soul is what makes us strive to be better and happier. Rather than being satisfied with simply surviving, humans are motivated to search for something more. That is why people keep creating inventions and technology that makes life easier.
I think that souls are like hope, it physically does not exist but yet the soul is still there. Although we cannot see or even image what and where our soul is, it exists just like hope does. And similar to hope, it can be “bruised” and affected by our actions and experiences. I think that our souls are hard to change but something really traumatic can alter our souls. Something like losing someone close to us can change our souls. Mostly, our souls are hurt and bruised short term by the little things that happen to us. Long term changes happened when we experience something serious (good or bad). The only way I can explain what I believe is the soul is that it is similar to hope. Both keeps humans striving for a better life and can be affected by our actions and experiences.
I agree with you Cherry. Our soul is what makes us live rather than just survive. I liked how you emphasized the words live and survive. I also wrote that our soul is like hope. It is like my hope for the LA Lakers. I know you have hope for them too. I wrote soul is our heart, emotion, and spirit. It keeps us motivated in life and keeps us striving for a better life.
I think that that's a good point. The soul can't be described, and people should stop arguing so much over it. Hopefully it just exists. It's a pretty interesting fact that we can live rather than survive. We are always searching for more, and I think using the concept of a soul to justify that is a great start for an interesting conversation as to why humans are so ambitious.
Christians believe that the soul is a spiritual substance united to the body, but it does not have a physical existence. It is made of an immortal spiritual substance. This is not the Greek dualism of body and soul. The precise nature of the joining is a mystery created by God.
Our soul is made up of our consciousness, memory, decisions, freedom, and activities. Each soul must be examined for its capability of sin and redemption. When we recognize our own sinful natures, we may achieve grace and clean our soul from sin.
Christians have both Dualist and Monist beliefs. The Dualism exists in the fact that there is a gap between what is (the sinning man) and what ought to be, God-like in his striving for salvation by his own free will. They prefer to emphasize the union of the soul to the body. They are Monist in their occasional emphasis of the of the spiritual over the body—St. Paul’s views on marriage, for example, although in 1 Thess. 5, 23 he seems to set up a “trichotomy” of body, soul, and spirit. At other times, Christians are anxious to reject the sharp division between various modes of being. They think the division and /or union of body and soul reflects the unity/division of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Souls can be bruised by sin; in fact, they are always bruised by sin. But sins can receive healing through the work of God. Physically they cannot be damaged; the physical nature of the environment may affect our spirit. For example, the physical world may offer temptations that may increase the sinfulness of our souls.
The soul can only be altered through the work of God on us. We should not seek to create our own identities. We may find it more helpful that we should pray to ask God to shape our identities. We should pray for God to make us walk in His ways a little more each day. The desire for freedom from God is the same sin that Satan and his fallen angels fought for. I think this is what Paradise Lost by Milton is about. Submission to God will give us a greater freedom.
The extreme implications of a materialist viewpoint—that we are nothing but chemicals—is rejected by the Christian. The Christian accepts God’s role in creating him and praises him.
As far as ability to achieve goodness, I think we should not try to point at our own experiences or birthright to explain this. From there it is just a short step for us to use those factors to explain our evil. Free will requires that we point the finger of blame or praise at our own selves—not at our circumstances.
Playing as a student who's writing merely about his point of view, I would disagree that people already have an identity initially, in which when people do some actions they are conflicting them. Relating to your experience response, someone can be conformed to do something, growing up thinking that whatever action they are doing is right or wrong. But the problem is, there is no established right or wrong in our world. What makes our morals so right compared to others? Those who are more likely to commit crimes or act in altruism would be based off their experiences in my opinion. No one starts as understanding their society's morals and ethics right when they're born. I have no facts to support myself but hey... I just left a long response
If only I could edit my previous post or delete it.. for some reason it just posted off from an intended reply to Gabriel.. xD
I believe our souls are like the seeds of our essence or in other words, what were given at birth to work with as we physically and mentally grow. It’s not something that’s visible for its more of a characteristic buried within us. Metaphorically, just because the seed is no longer seen once it sprouts, doesn’t mean that it’s no longer an importance as without it, there would be no tree. How the tree then develops depends on its own strength and adaptability just as how we turn out is determined by the way we react and adjust to our surroundings and experiences. We change as we grow, sprouting new branches, breaking apart from other limbs, yet it was the seed that provided us with life and will always lie somewhere within us. However, because a soul is not a tangible substance, it cannot be bruised or harmed. We aren’t directly joined to it and neither are we conscious of its existence, but it acts as our core life source, flickering in our struggles and shining when we overcome them.
Souls can’t be alterable for we only have one that our identity originates from. However, within that one identity, we have the freewill to choose the paths we take, whether they’re good or bad. From this, one can conclude that whether or not our souls were originally evil or good doesn’t really affect the outcome. Sure, the tree may bud crinkly and even may be a bit mutated, yet with the right nutrients and pulled efforts from the tree itself, it can still grow up big and strong. The freewill entitles you the options to change and reshape who you are; you are the only one in charge of your own life and in blame for your wrongdoings, regardless of the seeds dysfunctions. There may be helpful “farmers” that will aid in your growth, yet there will also be “lumberers” that will attempt to cut you down. Ultimately, it’ll be your own that determines your outcome, not your “predestined soul’s”.
I like the farmer and lumberjack references. There's still a lot of time for all us trees to flourish and I hope our branches grow the way we want it to.
I believe we create our own version of “goodness”, being that everyone has a different mindset of what is “goodness”, and throughout our lifetime and experiences, we pile onto this mentality bit by bit as we advance through our lives. I don’t believe that we are born instinctively as “good”, but instead from the moment we are born, we are creating pieces of our very self whether “bad” or “good”, usually being the latter that we expose to the general public in the society, and as we grow up to be adults, the pieces ends up being a completed wholesome article. Our surrounding and environment influences our modifications of the complete piece of our “goodness” or “badness”, and the behavior of people around us may condition us to behave in an expected sort of way, compounding and grinding into our very mind the “good” or “right” way to act, just like memorizing formulas in mathematics. But like memorization of formulas in mathematics, we are prone to forgetting these formulas constantly after we learn them unless we are exposed to it repetitively to make it into almost an unconscious mindset. Although we are trained to be accustomed to a certain degree of behavior from youth, our mind and our self ultimately decides which direction to move upon, which explains the existence of “bad” people in this world.
I believe that if such a thing as a soul exists, then the soul is attached to the mind of our selves, and not the body which explains why in the view that if a soul exists, the soul always stays tangible regardless of the state of the body except in death. I think the soul is not based upon our physical alterations, but instead on our mental alterations, and the soul develops into a full-grown mature version as the mind of the person expands and advances. If a soul exists, I believe that it is very much like “goodness” in the grounds I explained, that there is no permanent starting outline of it, and that it is created, modified, and shaped as we live through our lifetime. But in whole, I find it difficult that such an intangible thing such a soul exists, and that instead it is just an object imagined and created by humans that wish to find a permanent embodiment of their existence during life and after death. After all, without us visualizing and believing in the characterization of a soul, the term “soul” will cease to exist; the term “soul” cannot exist without our minds, as it is not a permanent tangible thing such as an arm that everyone can undeniably acknowledge.
Definitely a good point and I agree! Surroundings are very important in shaping the human personality, and the soul, in a sense, is the same as well.
nice point on how the soul is connected with the mind rather than the body
I think that we are more capable of goodness because of our experience. I believe that no person is born to be good or bad. People often change after experiencing something bad. Some people are forced to be bad in order to survive. For example, a kid may have to turn bad so that he is not isolated from his friends. On the other side, someone may need to experience something that is very significant to stay being good. The environment that people grow up with really depends how their personality is. The different experience that people have and the different people that people meet can change how one looks and does at life. On the other side, our goodness comes from the experience. The experiences have huge influence to who we are and how they do.
I believe that my consciousness and thoughts are not different from my soul. I think that they are somehow related because the souls that we are having now affect the thoughts. The souls lie inside our hearts and they make up the biggest part of our life. Without souls, our life are incomplete and things would become meaningless. I do not think that the souls are joined with the physical form. Souls are like likely the mental than the physical form. The soul is something that tells us what to do or makes us to do something that we do not even know. I think it is interesting to learn about the soul and to go beyond it.
Emma, I agree with you, my thought is basically same as yours: surrounding is so important for a person to grow up,it will change his/her life from time to time because it influences his/her thought and mind.
I totally agree with you. We are more capable of goodness because of our experience. We are not born to be good or bad. If we were born to be good then why are there still criminals in the United States? A good example would be the man who attempted to bomb the Times Square. We learn all or should learn from our mistakes. Our mistakes are like our experience. As we get older, we will have more.
I agree with what Carolyn says. Its very interesting that you compare the fruits with that. Its very simple and interesting.
If we have souls, I believe they may be resided somewhere inside our body. The soul is an integral part of a living being. It cannot exist on its own; it would be gone with a living being. It directly relates to our consciousness, thought and mind. It would influence our thinking and behaviors. Sometimes it would stop us from doing the bad things; but, sometimes it encourages us to do so. As I don’t think they can exist on their own, I believe they cannot be joined, interactive and related with each other.
I don’t believe we are born with capable of goodness. Our capable of goodness, if any, is purely learned from experiences with our parents, people we met and the surroundings. When we were babies, we learned how to care about people sincerely from our parents as they all treated us tenderly and unselfishly. People who have been grown up from good and educated families usually can have very positive and good characters. They would be polite, considerate and caring about friends. They would not do anything bad to or even hurt their friends as they know it’s wrong to do it from their experiences. On the other hand, people who grow up from a poor family without education, they don’t know how to communicate with others well. It shows the environment of living is so important for us.
I agree with you and we have similar thoughts! YES! We are not born with capable of goodness but experience. Good job! I am surprised to see someone who wrote something very similar to what i wrote.
I've always believed that everyone has a soul (probably because my family is somewhat religious), but I never really delved further into the questions that the topic of "the human soul" brings about. I suppose it was just something I accepted and went on with my life. Now that this blog has brought up the subject, I am beginning to realize that I have many unanswered questions about the soul that were probably always lurking in my subconscious. For instance: if a soul is supposedly some entity within or a part of your physical body, and is present after death, how does it get there in the first place? Does God insert a soul into every newborn baby? Or is everyone simply entitled to a soul right from the get go, even if they don't believe in the afterlife/God?
Then there is the whole different matter the soul in relation to a person's morals, and the choice between good and evil. The only way I can describe this clearly is through a hypothetical situation....Often times, highly dangerous criminals, such as mass-murderers, are portrayed as soulless. The term is used in the context of "lacking sensitivity or feeling", which would drive the person to commit the crime in the first place. But in this case, is the murderer really lacking a soul? Did they have one at some point?
I know we're supposed to be answering questions here Mr. Feraco, and not making up our own (unanswered) ones, but your questions only left me with more questions and no answers...
I'd say that they did have souls at one point, but as Michael says in the post below yours, they were shaped by their experiences. People's souls became so tortured and twisted that their actions became tortured and twisted.
If you believe the worst criminals and murderers still have souls, then I guess you would have to believe that people with souls can be "bad". But can someone who is soulless be "good"?
Sorry, I just had to respond with another question.
A soul lies within each and every one of us. It is very similar, if not, identical to our identity. Our actions and beliefs all come from who we are on the inside. Because our surroundings shape our identity, a soul is easily subjected to change as well. A soul is not something I tend to think about on a daily basis; rather I know it’s there because it holds my personality. It is who I am.
Our actions are solely based on past experiences and knowledge. Therefore whether we are good or bad really depends on what we’ve experienced. For me, I’ve always had my grandmother teaching me the morals and punishing me for any rude or insulting remarks. From her yelling and praising, I’ve formed my own sense of morals. Her guidance was a stepping stone towards my own belief. Without the attention or guidance, children tend to do whatever they want without knowing any boundaries. Therefore, goodness comes from proper guidance. We cannot be good unless we taught the difference.
All in all, our soul is the basis of everything. It is our identity, personality, thoughts and etc. Everything combined creates a soul that is unique to everyone.
Michael, I totally agree with you. I like how you said "Her guidance was a stepping stone towards my own belief". In this sense, we can think of everybody and every experience as a stepping stone that helps form our identity.
We are more capable of goodness because of our experiences. According to dictionary.com, goodness is defined as moral excellence and kindness. We are not born with it; someone can be born to be good or bad. We will know what is right and wrong through our experiences in life. When I was young, I use to take pencils from school. I did not know that it was wrong to do that until my teacher told me. I also got lectured from my parents. I hate it when people tell me that I made a mistake. I am stubborn and I do not like the feeling of being wrong but now I know that only the people yell at me because they care about me. They want me to change and be a good role model for others. Now I am almost eighteen and I have a lot of experience. I learn from my mistakes. Everyone should learn from there mistakes. Therefore, we are most capable of goodness because of our experiences, not because we are born with it.
Our souls are our heart, emotion, spirit, life, and action. The relationship of the soul to the physical form is like the relationship of the cells to our bones. My soul shapes who I am today like the bones shapes my body structure. Our soul can change and so can our physical form. My soul is what makes me different than others. Some people may love the Cleveland Cavaliers but I love the Lakers. Every time they win, my hope rises. I start to have more confidence that they will repeat and win again. Go Lakers! We are all human beings but our souls are what make us different.
I really agree with you when you say goodness defined by experiences. The point you also made about the pencils is very true, we always learn from our mistakes.
I think if we have souls, they should be stay within our bodies somewhere like head. Our body is like the carrier, until the soul use up all the power (in other word the body is dead), they will be released. Once the soul is getting released, we will be sent to either another person’s body or the hell depends on what they do when they are alive. There is a long term relationship between souls and the bodies which souls need bodies to live, and bodies need souls to carry out the meaningful actions. While people are still alive, souls will shape people’s action, and all the actions will change our souls. Every action will lead to the change of the souls, and every action is based on our souls. In this weird way, people slowly change their perspective over time, and souls will never be back to the same soul it started out with.
Even though, in my opinion, the soul is always changing, there is always something about the soul that remains the same. People might make different choices about different things, because there is always a bottom line for different people. In this case, the bottom line is the constant that always guide people to make their decisions. We can identify ourselves as who we are based on that bottom line of making choices. Because the souls are alterable, we are defined by both our souls and the choices we make. If the souls can’t be altered, we still have certain degrees of freedoms. There are infinite amount of choices out there; we can only take the ones that agrees with the souls. In other words, we still have freedoms, but it is limited.
I think your theory of how souls stay in our head with our body like a carrier is extremely interesting. It almost sounds like a ghost inhabiting people's bodies going from person to person.
I posit that we are able to see the world through the sum of our experiences. Plato describes this idea in his allegory of the cave, and just like the cave-dwellers, we cannot see past our bondage if it is all we have ever known. It is difficult to be truly original or innovative because that requires that one come close to transcending one's experiences. And while those who master that difficult ability are great, I don't think it is possible for humans to actually be more than the sum of their parts. However, I think that close to surpassing the pieces is enough. By living out experiences that teach us to be open-minded, creative, and honest, we can progress without moving past experiences. The only way to ensure that we can all reach this potential is for a strong education system that instils these core principles of critical thinking.
Our possibilities are endless only if our experiences prepare us for limitless opportunities. Therefore we can only be good if our experiences teach us how to assess "good." I don't think we have any innate goodness other than what is convenient. In a state of nature (according to John Locke), it is convenient not to murder, steal, or do other things that cause a state of war. However, if it was convenient to do those things humans would. By ensuring uniform morals that don't change society into a dystopia, (morals like tolerance, something I think is incorruptible as evidenced by the fact that neither Oceania or the World State promote it) we can set up a framework in which individuals can operate freely while assessing what is "good." Ultimately, we can do nothing but what we are taught, so we should be taught that anything is possible, and anything comes in many different forms.
I think it is true that "transcending one's experiences" would be difficult because humans are crafted by those experiences. our goodness lies within us. We just need to learn how to use it.
Although I say we can't transcend our pieces, I agree in that I'm definitely still a sap for utilizing the powers we have within. Like finding Justice in the dark.
I definitely agree with your ideas, but I think "convenience" oversimplifies the main motivation behind people's actions. Not only does something have to be convenient, it has to have some sort of benefit as well, if for no other reason than simply making one "feel good". I think innate goodness does exist, but only in those who actually "feel good" from doing acts considered to be good by society.
In your example about murder and stealing, I agree that we do not do those things because they would be inconvenient, but that surely cannot be the only reason why. I think we do not do those things because normally we would not stand to benefit from them, they would make us "feel bad", or the potential consequences would outweigh the act. But in our society there do exist people who kill and people who steal. They don't do it just because for some reason it is convenient for them to do so. I think they do it because they believe what they stand to gain from it (money, revenge, or just "feeling good") would outweigh the inconvenience of actually doing it.
There is no such thing as a “soul” in the world. We humans are organisms just like every other creature in the world: we live and die, and we just happen to have a bigger cerebrum than other organisms. We have bigger brains because our jaw bones are smaller than that of apes: the jaw bone and muscles pressure the brain and limit brain growth. Because we have a bigger brain, we have this so-called consciousness. After we realized that we are smaller than others, arrogant arrives. We believe that we are special: the reason of our consciousness is our souls, yet no one can prove that it exists. Why do people from different cultures believe that the soul will live forever? Because we are just simply afraid of the truth: there is nothing after death. We consider ourselves as the supreme species in the universe, and we don’t want our lives to end like other organisms. We want to believe that there is something beyond the end of our lives, refusing to accept the fact that there is an end to our lives.
We are limited species that are limited to our physical features. We are not like the overlords who can read, memorize, and interpret a page of article in a second. In fact, we are still going through revolution. The human race is not a perfect species, and it has limitations. Our physical make up restricts us from achieving greatness. If we had a bigger brain, we could probably be ten times advanced as now. Humans, like other organisms, must obey the laws of nature. For example, there is no way that we can overcome death. We have limited power on controlling natural disasters. Every natural disaster reminds us of how weak an small we are compare to mother nature. We only have a limited amount of life to live, and that greatly limits our possibilities. If Einstein had lived longer, our society could be more technology advanced. If Shakespeare had lived longer, we could have more classical plays. If Bach had lived longer, we could have more beautiful music pieces. We are limited by our physical features, and our possibilities our limited.
I believe the body and soul join together to create the identity of a person much like how the canvas and paint that create a painting. Ideally, both the canvas--the body, and the paint--the soul, are in good condition. Unfortunately, life does not work that way. Sometimes, the canvas is badly constructed or broken. The brittle wood frame cracks and the warped linen rips even before the paint is applied. There are always unfortunate individuals who are born with or have accidents that cripple the body. Other times, the paint is of bad quality, much like the crummy “Blickrylic” brand acrylics the art department buys. Almost devoid of pigment, it barely makes a mark on the canvas. Likewise the quality of a person’s soul is formed from a mixture of factors: the environment, family, culture, and social expectations. Not all have the privilege to live in such a supportive communities like Arcadia that allow their residents to leave a larger mark in the world. Except for a few blessed individuals, most have to wrestle with the imperfections of the body or soul, or even both.
However, the soul and the body can be reconstructed to a certain extent. With persistence, an artist can overcome flaws in the equipment laid before her. For instance, with glue for the frame, and gesso for the linen, the canvas can be fixed just enough for paint to be applied to it. A person with a crippled body can make accommodations and still continue living a purposeful life. “Blickrylic” paints lacks pigment. One needs to apply the paint, wait for it to dry, then repeat the process multiple times in order to attain colors as vibrant as the high quality Liquitex brand paints. Nonetheless, it is entirely possible to create masterpieces with school-quality paint. Like mentioned before, it just takes time. Be patient, be determined, be persistent, and beautiful murals can be created by the most colorless and translucent of paints. Similarly, the soul inevitably contains some impurities: unacceptable desires, selfish needs, bestial aggression. Even though these feelings exist, the person can still find ways to express them in socially tolerable methods. The best works of art -- the identity of an individual -- are created by artists who dare to confront and triumph over their weaknesses.
Goodness gracious your post paints a beautiful picture of your meaning with such colorful extended analogy! I really enjoyed reading this, and I can definitely tell you are a master of both the arts of brush and of pen.
Although our opinions on the soul might differ, I really respect the creative analogy you made with the Blick paints. The point you made was not only interesting to read, but enlightening.
My soul can be bruised but over time, the bruise goes away. It could be altered by experience because there are times when you are at the wrong place at the wrong time and you witness a life changing experience. You will see something that would make you feel paranoid about everything around you. You start to feel detached from the world and everything seems to go by in a blur. I think those are the times that bruise the soul but once a series of events goes by, the bruise starts to heal. The things that happen around you and to you cover up the bad experience and soon the bruise will go away. Although it seems to go away, it is still there and can be brought back when something triggers your memory.
I think people are born with goodness. However some people become good from their own experiences.
I don’t think the soul can be altered but there are ways to trick yourself into believing that you have changed it. Some people do things to make themselves feel good and to give people a good impression about them. A person has freedom even if their souls cannot be altered because whatever they decide to do is already having that king a freedom. Everyone has the freedom to make their own choices but sometimes they listen to the people around them and change their minds. When you are taking the advice of others, you really don’t have complete freedom. But then again, you are choosing to take their advice.
I personally believe that the soul and the body are connected, just like how the body and mind are connected. We cannot survive without one or the other. The soul resides within us since our births, and it is the reason why we are not merely mechanical parts of this natural world. Some may argue that the soul does not exist, and that it is only a myth, a necessary belief, for religions. But I disagree with that. Humans have religions because we need to believe in something, to be faithful to the element of worship. Hence, religions help humans get on with life, and correspond with our daily activities. In a sense, we believe in religions because we need them, and religions exist because they have been created. If there are no souls, then why do so many people around the globe believe in the soul, believe in their religion?
Yet, according to religious laws, such as Christianity, the soul can be bruised and be condemned through the interactions of our physical world. Our souls are bruised by the bad deeds that we do in life. If left unhealed, that is, if we continue on with life without even bothering to try to live a more morally accustomed life, our souls will be bruised, will not be forgiven by God.
We can heal our souls after damages are done, and construct identities based on what we are taught. We are taught to be morally good in order to achieve salvation of the soul, and we are taught that hell is for the condemned souls. We alter our ways of life based on what we have been told about good versus evil. How we perceive and use that knowledge define our own individual identities.
I agree with you about how you think that soul and the body are joined
I think that the concept of a soul should be explored more because like you said, the soul has stood the test of time. People have believed in souls for millennia. which can give some validity to it. It is still just as important to us today than it was centuries ago.
Our soul is like an inner fire we have within us. Our soul can’t be measured. It just grows bigger as we strengthen and take care of our bodies. Grows weaker when we do harm to it, as in take drugs, drink, and bad decisions. Our soul compares to our physical form as just something we tap in to. When we need a little bit extra luck or push a little bit in a race, we tap in to a power that is beyond our human comprehension. it’s a fire burning within us, allowing us to go father and do things we never thought we could do. I do strongly believe hat our soul is connected to our body. Our soul is like our blueprints, except with blue prints our plans are already laid out. With our soul its not so much. We are writing our blueprints, as I said before our fire; or soul, grows bigger.
Could it be said that we are born as empty shells? Do we live briefly as soulless creatures without any potential until we finally encounter another person that is just as naked as we are?
Born with as little as a heart and an instinct to live, we develop our true selves through the experiences we encounter. Our capabilities to achieve goodness are bred and cultured by the existing environments around us, but are not nonexistent, just dormant. We are born with the innate ability to be good, but that goodness can only reach it’s full potential when it has fully conversed with the different occurrences in our lives.
Goodness can be molded, shaped and developed. The more experiences we encounter the more our goodness matures. The world is the gardener and our souls are the seeds. The seeds themselves have almost everything they need to grow, and the gardener is only there to lead the way.
Within the fleshy soil and earth, our souls sit planted and ready to sprout. We only need a little water, a little sun, and a little fertilizer to get the process started. Soon enough the fruits of our labor will show, and sweet goodness will pour forth onto others with every bite.
If the water drowns us, we will learn to swim. If the sun burned us, we will find the shade. If the world stops caring for us, we will still have what is in our hearts to guide us through the arid, cracked dirt.
Wow! A very engaging way in saying we more capable of goodness because of our experiences. I loved your comparison between the gardner, seed with the world and us. Other then the fact that this post makes mine looks like complete garbage, great job once again!
Loving the imagery. I couldn't help but think of your graphic design snake tree thing. I think I still think though that we don't really have innate goodness, but instead a palette perfectly set up for goodness (like Tiffany H. said in #36).
In many religions and parts of philosophy, the soul is the immaterial part of a person. It is usually thought to consist of one's thoughts and personality, and can be synonymous with the spirit, mind or self. In theology, the soul is often believed to live on after the person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls. In some cultures, non-human living things, and sometimes inanimate objects are said to have souls, a belief known as animism. I believe that soul is can not be bruised due to our continuing human culture. Soul is part of our live, and it may become apart when we die.
When we're born, the soul we're given is split apart and half of it is given to someone else. Throughout our lives, we search for the person with the other half of our soul. Soulmate is the best definition for relationships between the people and their half soul. Soul existed in everywhere around us, and separated with our bodies. When we die, the soul may still alive because body is only like a container of soul. The mystery of soul is continued, and it is better to believe that soul can not be bruised because we can still commemorate the soul of dead people.
"Where is the soul?" This question does not really have any real significance to me because the concept of the soul is not physical or scientific by any means. To say it exists in our hearts or our minds is denying the very nature of what a soul is supposed to be. Personally I do not believe in the soul, but at the same time I do not think that it should matter in how we live our lives. I don't think I need a soul to be capable of goodness because I think humans are naturally capable of it. But, like I said before, whether we have souls, don't have souls, or are nothing but souls, the fact is that there is a reality, whatever it is, and we cannot change it simply based on what we believe. As a believer in science, I have always tried to believe in only what can be proven or observed, and to remain at best skeptical of everything else.
The quote, "I think, therefore I am", takes on a whole new meaning in this context. We could be programmed by cells and chemistry, we could be nothing more than electrical impulses, or we could actually be the physical representation of the soul. However, no matter what we are made of, we know that we are "real". We are aware of our own existence because we can "think", but we will never be able to know the exact nature of that existence. For that reason, I believe the battle between the monists and the dualists, the materialists and the idealists, is essentially worthless. Convincing someone of your version of the truth does not change the truth. Reality is not majority rules. Reality is reality, even if nobody believes in it.
To take the red pill and understand our exact nature would not change us in terms of our identity. If one side or the other were right, would it really mean anything? We feel emotions-happiness and sadness, love and hate-because those feelings come naturally for us as human beings. Whether they are created by electrical impulses, if they are simply imagined, or if they are created within the soul, the feeling of these emotions do not change. Happiness is happiness no matter why we feel it. In that sense, whether or not we have a soul doesn't matter. To me, as long as we know we exist, life is just as meaningful.
I believe that our soul is pure and is something that can not be affected by outside influence. It is something that can not be tainted by the negatives things that exist in the world. The soul we have when we are born is the same when we go to our graves. Thoughts are definitely different from the soul because not all thought is pure. Our thoughts are swayed by the environment we live in and the events that occur. For example, if something bad were to happen we would think negative thoughts which would not reflect our soul. These thoughts from the conscious usually oppose the thoughts of the soul.
We are definitely capable of goodness because of what we are born with. Our experiences can teach us a variety of things which include anger and how to hate. It is not necessarily something good every time. I believe people are born good because they have that righteous conscience and morals. However, the world and our experiences can change that and teach us otherwise. It can teach us the cruelties of life which will give us a different outlook. It is because of what we are given at birth that we are able to be good.
People are not born with goodness because they have not been taught as to what is good or as to what it bad. With this said, it is clear that goodness can only come from experiences in life. At first, I believed that goodness can only come from experiences in which a desirable outcome was the result of such experience. However, I now believe that we are capable of goodness because of the negative experiences we have faced. For me, if I have experienced a painful or troubling experience, I believe that I can use my experience to help other people who have experienced the same thing. As I stated before any experiences good or bad all contribute in making us more capable for goodness. Because the more experiences we have in life, the more experiences we can relate to and help other people with.
Every one of us has or will go through emotionally troubling times. Whether it is a death of a family member or a break up in a relationship, we feel sorrow and pain in our bodies. This however is the fact of life that confuses me. I don’t know about other people, but when I am sad or in pain emotional, the area in which this pain is felt is at the heart. But was the heart made to feel emotions and pain? Unless my knowledge on science and anatomy is wrong, I don’t believe the heart can feel pain and emotions. All the organ does is pump blood through veins. With this stated, I believe that it is our soul that feels the emotions both from the mental and physical standpoint. Since our emotional pains are felt at the location of our heart, I also believe that the place in which the soul is located.
I've never thought about feeling pain in my heart during emotional pain, but that's really interesting! I will keep that in mind next time when I'm sad and try to pay attention to if my heart hurts or not. I like how you had concrete observations to support your idea that the soul lies at the heart area.
I’m a lover of both science and spirituality. I strongly believe in science; our cells and chemistry limit us, and we are composed of elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and the like. When we die, we decompose and become just a part of earth as any ant or fruitfly, no creature being more divine than another. We cannot transcend our DNA (we have evolved so that it is our DNA and not some supernatural gift that allows us to build advanced technology.) Although I believe all of the above is true because of my belief in science, I also choose to allow spirituality to affect the way I live.
Although I know that I cannot prove it scientifically, I choose to believe that something greater and more powerful does exist beyond Earth and the physical world of atoms and cells. These beliefs are just part of my imagination; I like to make up stories sometimes to explain things that I don’t have the answers to. We do have souls, but they do not reside anywhere within us. We live like in the movie, “The Matrix”. Everything on Earth, all the science that exists, is just subject to a greater force that is natural in a spiritual way (such as the belief that the nature of the universe will cause bad deeds to come to you if you commit bad deeds). A soul is like an invisible solution of karma and character traits rests within a vial somewhere in the world greater than Earth (which is like the “real world” in the movie, The Matrix). Although this is a spiritual approach to looking at our bodies and souls, in a way it is in fact a scientific approach to that spirituality. The natural order (the scientific aspect of this idea) of karma and the universe controls whether we are born into Earth or any other realm (the spiritual aspect of this idea), much like entropy or gravity (natural forces on Earth) control the physics of what could happen on Earth.
The only problem I have with stating where the soul exists in relation to our bodies is that I am not completely sure I believe that I have one. I do believe, however, that there are moments in life where you can almost escape reality, which invented the concept of the soul.
What I feel is that when people believe in something truly or passionately in a large group, the belief turns into a kind of reality. The energy and thoughts and beliefs that the people have can manifest in the "real world", causing the line between reality and fiction to waver. If there is a soul, I would say it is connected to the mind. The part of the mind that feels passionate emotions.
For instance, I can easily cry when I hear music that I love. Even when I was a baby, my mother told me that I would be moved to tears when she sang me lullabies. The modern equivalent is listening to Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion singing The Prayer. When I cry, it is not my body crying, because I have nothing to be sad about. I don't whimper and whine. The tears flow down my face as I listen to the perfectly tuned harmonies and passionate voices. The part of me that triggers this reaction can be described as my soul. The part of me that has no explanation.
This leads me to believe that we are in fact more than what we can sense. There is some part of us that people sense about us at a sub-conscious level. Any time you feel someone watching you, any time you feel a strong attraction to an unlikely prospect, there is something about us that links us together with more than actions, friendships, and yes - more than words. It is true that chemical reactions and nerve impulses control our outward behavior and reactions to external stimuli, the "soul" portion of our mind amplifies life and makes every feeling resonate within your brain. There is a reason why the mind is considered separate from the brain, and why the definition for the term "heart" is used completely differently in the worlds of the scientists and the poets.
Thomas, I really enjoyed reading this post of yours. It was profound and beautifully written. Good job!
I like how you defined a soul as a portion of our minds related to "passionate emotions". It's a different perspective on the soul than I've heard so far, because usually people (including me at first) think of the soul as like the essential part of our minds that encompasses all of our emotions, not just the passionate part. However, I like thinking about the soul from your perspective.
Our souls are within us. I don’t quite believe that it is attached to any part of our physical form. I believe that it is more like a person’s consciousness or thoughts. I also imagine the soul like a ghostly figure that rests in a person’s body and takes control over it (the body acts as the host for the soul). However, if I had to locate the soul to a specific body part, I would say that it is most likely to be connected to the mind because it is the main control power for our bodies.
The soul is what separates us from nonliving objects like a chair. It is the thing that animates us. The body is just the vessel for the soul, so when the body dies, the soul breaks free. Therefore, I don’t really see a connection between the body and the soul. The body rots, but the soul lives on.
Although, our souls are who we are, it doesn’t mean we can’t change. We see changes everywhere, whether it is in people or in the weather. It is natural. It is how people learn. So, I believe that people are capable of goodness because of our experiences.
The whole moral of Buddhism is to become a better person until you reach enlightenment. That’s why people are reborn, and life repeats in a cycle. It is the God’s way to give people a chance to change through each experience they live through. It is said that if you lived a good moral life, you will be reborn as a man. If you lived decently, you will be born as a woman. And if you live inhumanly, you will be born as animals. Since Buddhist believed that souls can live in different hosts depending on their goodness, then people are capable of change through the experience they encounter each lifetime.
I for one believe that we humans all have souls. I was raised as a Christian and still continue to go to church and it is here that I am taught about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We all have souls that the spirits or that God can see. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that the soul is what will replace our physical bodies once we pass on. In other words, once we are dead, then our souls will continue to live on in the spiritual world. So basically, while we are alive, our souls are within us; the soul is us. Then when we die, the soul separates from our physical bodies and moves on. It is attached to our body but it moves on, not to another body, but into Paradise and then eventually we will go to Heaven. So I believe that the soul and body is basically the same thing; it’s just that our physical bodies can only go so far. Our souls can last forever.
Now I did mention that the soul is just like the body, however I don’t think that it cannot feel physical pain. The soul is a spiritual form of our bodies but it has our minds. That’s just my take on it. I’m not entirely sure, I am just guessing. But I think that the soul cannot feel physical pain, however it does feel emotional pain from other souls or spirits. I don’t think anything in the physical world can punch and hurt our soul. But things in the physical world can do actions that our souls would not like and thus hurt our souls indirectly and not physically, but emotionally.
I think we’re capable of good through our experiences. These experiences can basically be anything. When we are young, we are taught by our elders like our parents and teachers to not steal or hurt others. That is part of our experience; it is a lesson that we have learned. We are not born with these thoughts. We gain them from our surroundings.
the side of a religious person is good because the soul is important and believing of something more in religion is necessary.
I honestly believe that we as humans don’t have a soul, generally because it can’t be proven. Some people say that a soul is a sort of spiritual energy that resides deep within our bodies and actually does have a relationship to our physical self. Some people have stated that a soul plays a role in ones emotions, or moral aspect but science contradicts that. The idea of our souls being in charge of the emotional part of human nature isn’t plausible for me because of science and solid research. It is proven that things such as hormones are the key role in our feelings, and generally the nurture of upbringing of a person shapes their moral aspect. I am a artsy kid, and I love to believe in creativity and the idea of a soul but id rather trust hard facts. As humans, we are just highly developed and intellectual organisms; nothing more. If a human can “have” a soul, than how come we never heard of people talking about the souls of animals…I mean their organisms also. Until a soul can be proven, I will have to say a soul doesn’t exist.
As for the concept of goodness, I believe that people are born in a neutral attitude and shaped by the experiences around them. The concept of goodness was a heavily debated topic when I took Psychology last year, and I am going to have to go with the nurture or experience over nature which is what we are born with. I believe it has to due with experience, because we already know what we can do and push with through human behavior. Some people might not be aware of this, but our behaviors have constantly been changed and modified as we grew up. Behavior modification is a very common thing in parenting; we all know of punishments and rewards. Let’s say that a child was born under two kind and caring parents that the town admired for their goodness. If somehow something happened to the parents and the kid was moved to a city like Compton so to say, how will he turn out? I’m pretty sure that the environment around him and his experiences can and will change him. Although he was born under two morally good parents, his behavior can be overridden through a harsh upbringing. It’s hard to imagine this kid capable of doing goodness when the odds are not stacked in his favor. This is why I believe we are more capable of goodness through our experiences.
+ If we have souls, where are they? What’s the relationship of the soul to the physical form? Do you believe they’re joined, interactive, or related in some other what?
Although souls are not detectable or visible to any modern scientific device, I do believe that all the living organisms have souls. Souls are what makes organism alive; the body is just a mean of transportation for souls. Souls contain what we call character traits and moral, which makes us different from each other. Every human being follows their character trait and their moral to make any kind of decision whether it’s small or big. Soul is what makes us feel, think, and do almost anything, which are not relating to animal instinct such as eating and hunter. Soul is what makes us human beings, which makes us different from animals. Soul makes us civilized and cultured. Without souls, we are nothing else but animals placed on this planet to wonder around aimlessly. Therefore, I believe that the souls are what makes us and the human body is just an outside casing for the soul.
+ Are we more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of what we’re born with?
I believe that all human beings are created equally and naturally good from birth. I never saw a baby kill a human being yet in my life right after birth. However, as people grow up, the environment and experiences reshapes their souls and moralities. For example, people under extreme poverty often have to live under poor condition. Obviously, they suffer through hunger and poor sanitary system daily. People who live under inhumane condition often lose their goodness by stealing food and other necessities just because they need it for survival. Yet, they are still born with goodness, but their brutal reality forces them into robbery, which will be the ultimate lost of their goodness. I believe that if they could meet basic needs, the majority of them would stay “goodness”. Not only has the poor condition that affects people’s goodness, but the experiences also impacted their goodness.
Babies can kill their mothers in a way, if she was sick then the baby might make her weaker or there could be death by childbirth
Goodness is portrayed through our thoughts and actions; it comes from our soul. As human beings, we are all capable of goodness from the moment of birth; however, as we experience more of life's harsh realities, the outlook of our world changes. These experiences change our morals and consciences. When our inner voice is more capable of goodness, we act more favorably towards society, but when we encounter life struggles, it often leads us in the opposite direction. Overcoming the obstacles we stumble upon in our lives strengthens the belief in our morals. Depending on how we are brought up our capability of goodness wavers. My mother having grown up in poverty realized the importance of working hard in order to provide a source of income for her family. Her dedication and love for her siblings resulted in obtaining the ability to understand, sympathize, and expand her capability of goodness. Just as we are born with a soul, goodness comes from within, but it may just as easily be strengthened or weakened by our experiences.
Souls exist as spirits within us, unable to be seen, touched, or breathed. The soul is our conscience, the voice of the Self that prods us towards the right direction when we are involved in moral dilemmas. Connected to the physical form spiritually, I believe they are joined, interactive, and related, working together to direct our everyday thoughts and actions. Our inner voices use morality as a rule-book in which to judge right from wrong and it ultimately influences our physical form because the body follows after the mind. The body cannot survive without the mind. Similar to personalities, souls may also be altered. Although it is incredibly difficult to accomplish, if the soul has been "bruised" and battered enough from interactions with the physical world, it may slowly begin to change it's outlook upon morality which in turn changes the conscience itself. If from birth, a child was taught to steal and that it was the correct way to live by punishing the undeserving, then they would never deem theft as morally improper, resulting in no remarks from their inner voice.
Dualism in my opinion best describes a complete composition of a human being, not due to any logical basis or fact, but rather my refusal to believe everyone is soulless. On the factual side, I cannot see how “biological sacks” are able to build human civilization. Nor can I see how differently we act from any ordinary animal while our physiology is derived from the same components (although the similarities in how we act make me subscribe to interactionism). There has to be something guiding us; maybe an omnipotent force, or some spirit from another parallel plane. What I find to be the most logical though is the monist’s viewpoint of similar existence – namely a materialists take on the whole topic. The cell that spawned in the ten seconds that sparked the evolution leading our existence is most likely what composes us at the basest foundation; nothing more than physical matter. Each and every day, science takes a step closer in discovering how our body functions, and there is never discovery of a soul or spiritual component – both only products of religion or philosophy. Despite this, I still believe in dualism; barring logic, it’s what I want to believe.
If the materialist viewpoint is unfortunately correct, then “infinite possibilities” does not exist. Whether I choose to swim farther out into the ocean or wade to shore from fear, the other possibility has never existed. That choice can never be realized. Fear or courage, in a materialist’s world, is a combination of the biological stuff – hormones among more chemistry – that emulate emotion. If fear holds me back, then there is no conceivable way that I could swim farther out because my body dictates myself in the end in a world with nothing else coexisting with myself. There is no soul to fight my body for fulfillment, so my body remains unchallenged. Even the mind is nothing but cells with chemistry and even if I choose swim out farther despite feelings of trepidation, it’s the end mental product of my body. The genes that dictate when we fear, where we exude bravery will dictate each of our choices in life, and no other choice will exist in the materialist world.
Personally, I believe that as a human we are shaped by our journey through life, that is to say the events we live through, the people we meet, and the choices we eventually make. I don’t believe in an inherent evil in us, nor do I believe in an inherent good. If you look at the world society, you notice a drastic difference in people. Some do evil, while many others do good. This naturally spurs the train of thought (and Mr. Feraco’s favorite question): ‘Why”. Some people argue for an inherent evil or inherent good, but in the beginning we are all the same. As an infant we don’t have any classification for our actions, we are just babies. You don’t look at a baby and see evil, it is just a child. Why then, do people turn out so differently?
What is it that makes it so that children in Nigeria turn to militarism at the age of 7, but at the same time teaches children in America to aspire for college and to change the world? If, as I argue, we begin morally ambiguous, then the only explanation is through the events and surroundings that are encountered throughout life’s journey. A human at birth is like a cube of granite, completely devoid of any shape, individualism or personality. Life is the sculptor, shaping the granite into a fully appreciable piece of art. At some point, the general shape of the sculpture is inalterable and can only be minutely tweaked. So when kids in Nigeria have to become violent in order to survive it becomes their personal moral sculpture, something that really can’t be salvaged. I once read a book about the vast number of child soldiers and how if they are rescued from the fronts they are practically impossible to reform, and even if they do the children are never the same as they would be without having been involved at all. This is why the US penitentiary system has such a low reform rate, and why it’s a lot harder to turn to crime if you are taught your whole life not to.
A human being is the combination of soul and matters. Because of the soul, the identity, we are the human. Without soul, people would act like robot. Without identity, people would act like animals. People would not know what to pursue and improve without the soul. The Dualism, the idea of human being is composed of spirit and matter, is closer to what I believe. The spirit is separated from the matters. However, I subscribe to a subset of interactions. The soul is different from the body, and yet, they both influence each other. I believe in the two ideas because people can behave differently from their actual thoughts. For instance, a person may praise you while cursing you in his or her mind.
It is possible for a person’s soul be injured. The injury or the pain can be altered by what we do or experience just like how it can be hurt by the environment and experience. Through the interactions with the physical world, the soul can be hurt. When a person loses his or her arm or leg in an accident, he or she is not only hurt physically but mentally. The person would not accept the fact of losing an arm and become depressed. The physical injury leads to the mental injury. Nevertheless, it can work the other way around. If the mind is in a good condition, the physical condition would be good also. People who have cancer have higher possibility of being cured if they keep themselves in a good mood. According to the research, people who laugh more live longer than people who are constantly depressed. There is an interaction between mind and body.
I believe eveyone have a soul. The soul is like the part of us that no one can see. The soul is connected to the physical almost spiritually. It is always there with us and it is what make us who we are on the inside. If I have to choose one physical property to compare soul to, it would be the heart. The heart is the part of us that kind of determine how we act. The soul is important to have and it gives us life. Without a soul everyone would be dark and grey.
I believe everyone is capable of goodness. We are not really born with it, we have to learn to be good. I think that everyone is born with a blank canvas, and as we grow and learn, the canvas gets filled with the goods and bads around us. I think that the goodness around us is what makes us good. People and the environment around us, while we are younger and more susceptible to influence, are when we began to understand what's good and what's bad.
When we are first born, we are simply a body with cells, blood, and hair that has no sense of morals. We did not have the ability to determine the good and the bad. Until we gradually mature and come to our senses under the influences from the society we are living in, we start to realize the concept of morals through education, experience, and enlightenment. In schools, we read books and do analysis in order to learn the goodness that education tries to teach us. Through experiences, such as the example about finding the door in darkness that Mr.Feraco has given us the other day, we seek for the flashlight or anything that can help us to find the door. Until we reach the door, we learn our lesson and absorb the moral from our experience for future utilization. Sometimes, we find enlightenment without education or experience. Using the previous example, when we are blind from the darkness in the room, we look for the flashlight with common sense. As soon as we find the flashlight, we would not know where the door actually is until we turn on the flashlight, search around, and finally exit the room. This experience teaches us that we cannot find the door without running into desks, chairs, or walls. However, this experience teaches more than that; it applies to life that we cannot achieve without sweeping those roadblocks that stop us from advancing.
Experience plays a big role in shaping us who we are. What is the definition of goodness? Frankly, it is defined based on the countless experiences that people have gathered. Through experiences, people find the meanings of them in common, analyze them, and conclude a moral. Personally, I think we are more capable of goodness because of our experiences instead of what we are born with. Imagine living in a golden cage, where no harms can ever reach you because you are consistently being secured from experiencing the real world, how can you learn the morals and become a better person? In contrast, for those that are raised in a lower status family, they are forced to mature faster because of their bigger exposure to the real world. In other words, they get to experience more. Psychologically speaking, people that live in a golden cage tend to be spoiled and arrogant because of their ideas of leaving things to chance while others stay strong so they can get through their tougher life.
The soul, I think is ever changing, and that is why identity is changing too. The soul is something deeper than identity or moral values and is always there in times of need to accept different morals or identities. The accepting and rejecting of morals lies with the soul and when all morals and identities breaks down, the soul is there to guide the person in the right path.
If our cells limit us as human beings, we are limited in some way. The molecular construction of cells limits us but there are too many possibilities for any two people to have the same outcome. There is a limit but that limit might as well be infinity minus one. These possibilities give humans what they call a soul and morals and identities are conscious effect for dealing with life.
Goodness comes from our experiences of how we want to live our lives. Good and bad do not exist in babies who are not self aware of what is around them. I do not remember being good when I was a baby nor does anyone else. Good is instilled in people rather then innately born into them because morals do not develop until children can choose for themselves. Experiences gives people a foundation to base what is good and bad. I base my good, like not littering, on what I know about plastic and what it can do to ocean animals. Good is also in perspective in everyone and everyone has variable levels of good and that is why good cannot be born into someone.
Are we more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of what we’re born with?
I believe every human being is born with goodness in their heart. It is experiences that shape and form how we show our goodness. For some it may be donating a large sum of money to an orphanage and for others it may be simply helping an elderly lady carry her groceries. Humans based on experience appreciate things that they would not otherwise appreciate. For example if someone was almost hit by a car he will appreciate his life a little more than the average person who has not experienced this. It takes an experience to awaken the true goodness in us. If someone is born into a family without morals and show no care for anything except for themselves, you can expect the child to grow into that product as well.
Everyone is capable of goodness we are born into a world where you need human interaction to survive. It is in our nature otherwise humans would be able to reproduce by themselves. Some people are more natural at doing good and showing kindness than others. There are others who are born into loving and caring families and still have a tuff time showing goodness to the world. However everyone at the end of the day shows different emotions and opens up differently. I know personally from my own family they have always supported me and at times been difficult to put up with more so than the average kid.
I know for a fact however due to the contrast of being treated good and bad I choose to treat others good regardless of social class or anything else that would block us from interacting otherwise. I know the feeling of being treated wrong and I would not want anyone else to experience that pain and due to the experience of being treated bad before I tend to show more kindness and understanding for others. In conclusion what my trying to say is everyone is born with some good, but the environments and experiences we live with is what creates the kind of people we grow up to be.
I would say that we are capable of goodness because of our experiences more than because of what we are born with. An act of goodness is something that somebody does because they feel that it is important based on their past experiences. I know that the reason I act "good" is because I know that it is beneficial to somebody else. I know that people are much happier when somebody does something good than when they do something bad through experience, not through innate knowledge.
Your soul definitely can change. Moral beliefs and actions are what make up the soul. If somebody turns from a good, helpful member of society and turns out to kill somebody, I would have to say that their soul has changed. If somebody switches religions, their soul has changed. If they swith any belief or moral, their soul has changed.
There are hundreds of religions in the world, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other minor religions. Most of these religions are different. They believe in different god and different ways of living. However, one of the most common things they have is “souls”. Almost all religions believe that souls exist. When a person dies, his soul will separated from his body and live as another form, like a spirit. I believe that soul lives in a physical body when a person is alive. Soul controls the body and act physically. When a person dies, the body is gone and soul can only live by itself. I think it still has the memories, but it can not do anything to the humans.
I believe we are more capable of goodness because of our experience than we’re born with. Everyone is born the same. They are all babies who know nothing about the world. They are all blank sheet of papers. Goodness and bad personalities are from later experience in life. Through a long life time, things we have met are slowly forming our view towards the world. Experiencing the life helps us to learn.
I don’t believe there is a soul, it’s just something in your brain that gives you consciousness . Still I don’t believe that makes it less important. Souls really don’t make any sense to me, something in your brain can serve the same purpose and make more sense then some strange spiritual thing. Since it’s in your brain it’s easier to believe that your soul can be stained by your actions. After all it’s hanging out in the same thing that makes us hungry, breathe and do anything to survive, there are some mortals you throw away to survive. Sometimes there’s a saying that when you do something absolutely against your morals your soul part of it “curls up and dies” . When people say that bad actions ruin your soul they don’t usually mention that good actions would make it better. I don’t believe that souls are naturally good. If souls were naturally good and pure then that would mean everything we do would be battering the pure soul. Anyways doing good things for the sake of your soul wouldn’t really be doing good at all. In fact it would be selfish. Doing bad things to darken the soul wouldn’t work either because what kind of person would morally stab themselves in the back like that without some petty purpose (Like being cool). I don’t really understand what people think about souls. I just believe it’s just a philosophy.
I think if we have souls, they are in our body. Every each of people has souls in their body and it exits the body to live on after a person’s death. The relationship of the soul to the physical form is life, because if we didn’t have soul, then we might be living like robot. Robot is like a machine without think so someone has to tell them what to do and control them. I believe they’re everything, because the soul is eternal part of a living being and it been deemed integral or essential to consciousness and personality, and may be synonymous with spirit, mind or self.
I think we are more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of we’re born with. Everyone is born same like when we are born we are all babies who don’t know everything. About goodness and badness are come out from later our experience, because first time we are all goodness, you know or maybe some people are badness, but mostly every babies are born with goodness. However we are slowly view toward the world and learn stuff in life.
Fear can be either positive or negative depending on the perspective and personality of that person. For me, fear is a motivation for me to work harder in order to achieve the desirable results. Fear is that innate driving force that allows me to study through the night without a hint of fatigue so I can get a good grade on the test. The anxiety that it entails produces an inexplicable feeling that forces me to be on top of things for the fear of detrimental consequences that will come after. For example, after many experiences of failing a test due to lack of preparation, the fear of failing the class and have my acceptance rescinded from college has become my primary motivation to work harder. Because fear produces multiple feelings such as concern, distress, and anxiety, people would try harder in order for these feelings to dissipate and to feel relieved. There are many times when an important project is due, I feel like it is necessary to start earlier to avoid the stressful and unnerved feeling if I started the day before it is due. In some cases, fear creates such an impact on people that they are capable of accomplishing the impossible.
As strange as it sounds, I believe that after we die, we become ghosts, who are not perceived by the human eye. Just like the movies, ghosts are intangible and not perceivable. What is frightening is that I feel that everyday, there are ghosts in my room, at school, and in the classrooms and we just cannot see them. They glide on the same halls and witness the same things. The purpose of their continued existence in the real world is to accomplish their unfinished business they have left behind. Even though ghosts are unable to affect the real world no matter how hard they try, they still watch over their loved ones to make sure they are safe. After being ghosts for a few years, when the time comes, they become reincarnated and return to the real world with a different identity and all their past has disappeared along with their old identity.
I also share the same feeling of how fear makes me determined to work to overcome it. Also anxiety and pressure sometimes puts me in the right state of mind to get the job done, although I hate the sensation.
+ If we have souls, where are they? What’s the relationship of the soul to the physical form? Do you believe they’re joined, interactive, or related in some other what?
+ Are we more capable of goodness because of our experiences, or because of what we’re born with?
If we have souls, they are inside our bodies, under our flesh and bones, because I can’t think of any other place a soul could be. I don’t believe in afterlife – I think a person just ceases to exist when he/she dies, but I do think everyone has a soul. I once read a post on a Chinese blog saying a student suddenly passed out when running miles in PE class, everyone around him tried to wake him up – his teachers pinched his philtrum and stuck needles into his fingernails but he was like completely dead, so they called for an ambulance to send him to the hospital. This student himself could see people trying all these things on his body and hear them talking, and he tried to yell out loud, but he couldn’t make them hear him. He saw himself lying on the ground like a corpse and the ambulance coming. After resting for only one day, he was fully recovered but it took him several minutes to think of who himself and his parents were. I actually heard this type of stories many times – a person’s soul suddenly gets separated from the physical form and for some reason it goes back again. People who have experienced this all suggested that they could see and hear but not physical actions. I believe the soul and body are closely joined – a soul existing on its own will have nothing to do with the world because it is not a physical being, and since our world is physical, anything nonphysical cannot intervene in this world; a body without a soul is merely a dead being because it lacks instructions from the soul. If human beings are only constructed with body and soul, I don’t know how to explain why our bodies start to decay when we die – isn’t the death moment just the time our souls escape from the bodies? Thus, there’s probably some other way that our soul and body are related.
We are capable of goodness because of what we are born with, instead of our experiences. I believe every being is born “good”, and they are born very much the same. In our society, there are “good people” versus “bad people.” The so-called “bad people” have had the experiences corrupting their innate goodness. If they can be reeducated and turn over a new leaf, they will become part of the “good people” due to their good nature.
If you believe in the soul but no afterlife, are our souls doomed to wandering around bodiless for all eternity? Or what do you think happens to them?
The soul is not located in a secret place in our body, or the unknown parts of our DNA. Our souls are who we are. If you know someone really well and you can call that person a great human being you know they have a good soul. I think your soul is basically a mirror image of yourself, in the same place you are at the same time just ethereal. I think what constitutes a human and the soul is being able to love, and really appreciate life. After all that is what separates us from the beasts. Besides being able to reason.
The soul can be altered, but I do not think it is likely that it will completely change. It is all based off the person and his/her experiences. Some tragedy might shatter a person, thus breaking down their soul at the same time. Since the person and the soul are one and the same if someone breaks down and is miserable or hateful their soul will reflect their feelings of pain and suffering. We do not just go around realizing we have a bad soul and go about changing it. The best we can do is try to change ourselves if were going down a bad path and to make our life better. Our souls and ourselves are won, the soul is not a something that is holding us back from different possibilities.
If we human beings have souls, they would be centered around us everywhere that we go. It is intangible and not a human organ. It is the epitome of the person that we are. The relationship of the soul to the physical form is tightly related. The soul is who you are. Who you are is what you believe and what you believe has to do with the way that you do things. A soul and a human being can be separated though. I believe that after one goes, the soul lives on. It goes onto where it should belong.
No one is born into the world as a good person. As humans, we are naturally selfish and feel the need to place ourselves before another. Though often times, a person is capable of becoming someone that is willing to do good things for others through experiences. For example, when someone does something meaningful for someone, it can touch them in an emotional way. It can cause a person to feel the need to do the same for someone else.
In a religious sense of viewing life over, as well as what I view what religion judges life to be, it does feel like that there is something channeling us our ethics, morals, beliefs… with that said, I am a dualist. It does seem obvious with the religion view on it. “When we die, we go to someplace beautiful or chaotic.” How would we get to those places if we didn’t have another self guiding us? We are not going to those places physically, bodies are still on earth, our souls go there. Although there is no hard evidence, but it is something we believe, or else, there would not be any meaning in life. There would not be any reason to be good anymore. While others can argue that it is logical that we are just bags of flesh walking around, then why do we do what we do if we were just bags of flesh? There wouldn’t be a reason. Atheists in the world can say that they cannot believe in something about life, but seriously, why would you still want to live if there wasn’t a reason ?
Reason of life is the reason of the soul, there wouldn’t be science if it were not for the ability to reason. I am not saying that there is specifically a God around, but there is certainly something controlling how life goes on Planet Earth. We might be doing the things we do because we feel what is right to us, but we might be living in something similar to the Matrix. Every single person might be destined to do something unknowingly. Why would randomly go discover the random things out there, America was discovered by probably a gut feeling, electricity was invented by a slap on the head. Things just do not occur like that. How did humans live for millions and millions of years, but only the recent two thousand years or so, we have started to discover the advance technology we have today. There is something out there, we are just not looking hard enough.
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