Atheists, if you found out we have a soul would you believe in God?

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
pork232's picture
Atheists, if you found out we have a soul would you believe in God?

Just out of curiosity. I am not saying we do have a soul by any means, I am just saying hypothetically. If it were scientifically confirmed that humans do in fact have a soul that leaves the body after it dies, would you believe in a creator, or would you believe that we as humans evolved to have souls?

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Dave Matson's picture
Not knowing what a "soul" is,

Not knowing what a "soul" is, how would we positively detect one? How would we know that it is going to heaven or hell? Maybe it just floats off a ways and evaporates. How would we know that it has anything to do with Christianity? Would the existence of something called the "soul" make the Bible any less absurd and contradictory? I don't see Christianity as being the big beneficiary of such a "discovery."

pork232's picture
I feel that is a really good

I feel that is a really good point

algebe's picture
I would hypothetically

I would hypothetically conclude that humans evolved to have souls. The highly unlikely existence of an extra-corporeal soul doesn't imply the existence of a creator. That's just another example of how religion has presumptuously claimed ownership over certain human qualities, such as spirit and morality. I define spirit or soul as the aspect of the human mind that experiences and reacts to emotionally charged events and situations.

Let me ask you a not so hypothetical question. When scientists succeed in creating a computer-based mind or even copying the consciousness of a living human into a computer, will that entity be a soul?

Seenyab4's picture
That's a damn good question.

That's a damn good question. At that point we will have to fully define what is transferred from body to computer, and hopefully through the transference we can better understand it. I don't personally believe in a soul, but if we did have one I don't see how that is proof for God. There is no direct link between a soul and God.

Dave Matson's picture
I would guess that

I would guess that information is what could be transferred to a computer. Doesn't information define us? Our cells are replaced over periods of time, so it would be hard to argue that specific cells define us. The thing that is not replaced is information stored mostly in the brain. If our essence, our "soul", is information, then what happens if another "you" is created? Who is now the real "you?"

Suppose you are sitting on your bed and a perfect duplicate is created at the other end of your room. You see the duplicate and wonder what is going on. The duplicate sees itself, formerly sitting on the bed, as instantly transported across the room and in its place is a duplicate! So, who's the real you? It seems if our cherished concept of "I" falls apart. That clear and absolute division between you and others suddenly gets real fuzzy! If the universe is infinite, maybe copies of ourselves exist somewhere out there in great numbers! The vast distances of space would then be the only thing giving reality to the concept of "I."

algebe's picture
"The thing that is not

"The thing that is not replaced is information stored mostly in the brain."

We're defined by information, including our memories and our DNA. We're like the old axe that's had three new handles and a couple of new heads. The materials are continuously replaced, but the information that defines the system lives on until the replacement process breaks down. Then we're defined as information in the memories of people that knew us, and in the DNA of our descendants.

The OP is suggesting that some of our information can persist as a disembodied pattern of energy. I can't see any evolutionary advantage to that unless we were able to communicate with the dead to obtain advice and warnings. Every single attempt at that has ended in failure or fraud. It's hard to think that we and our loved ones simply cease. Religion has fed on this fear as the biggest spiritualist scam in human history.

Nyarlathotep's picture
pork222 - "Atheists, if you

pork222 - "Atheists, if you found out we have a soul would you believe in God?"

Well at least it would be a good start.

chimp3's picture
Science measures and

Science measures and describes natural phenomena . If something akin to a soul was detected it would have to be comprised of natural matter and energy. I do not see this happening very soon.

ThePragmatic's picture
To humor your question:

To humor your question:
Why would scientific proof of a soul imply a creator?

But your question is extremely vague. It hinges on what you mean by "soul". I could just as well use the word soul in a secular sense:

* He is an uneasy soul - Meaning that the person has a deeply rooted anxious personality.
* You need to do some soul searching - Meaning that the person needs to do some self-analysis and question his motives and purpose.

What is your definition of the word soul?

pork232's picture
When I say "soul" I mean a

When I say "soul" I mean a force of energy that leaves the body when the body dies and can maybe still continue to exist.

Deforres's picture
By that definition, you could

By that definition, you could call the metabolic energy gained from our dead bodys by micro organisms our "soul".

ThePragmatic's picture
@ pork222

@ pork222

You haven't thought the definition of "soul" through:
Is it conscious on it's own?
Does it retain memories?
What do you mean by energy? Light? Heat? Electricity? Electromagnetic waves? Chemical energy?
If it is energy, can it be transformed to other forms of energy?

You omitted to answer my question:
Even if there were scientific proof of a soul, why would it imply a creator?

pork232's picture
@The Pragmatic

@The Pragmatic
I don't fully know what to believe. I have had experiences on multiple occasions where I dream about a person dying and then a day or two later I will find out that the person I dreamt about actually died. I know most would say it is just a coincidence, but it has happened at least 15-20 times. I don't know exactly what causes this, and I know you will probably not believe me, but if it were somehow true that I have the ability to dream someone's death, that could mean that there is a soul that leaves the body, and while I am sleeping maybe I can detect that soul, or some kind of energy omitted from the person at death.

Deforres's picture
Sure. And I practice runic

Sure. And I practice runic magic, know a man named Lord Rey who created a pocket dimension full of mythical creatures, and I hunt aberrations for a living.

ThePragmatic's picture
@ pork222

@ pork222

Thank you for your reply.

- "I don't fully know what to believe."

In my opinion, that is a good thing: To question your beliefs and especially to admit to oneself that "I don't know".

- "I have had experiences on multiple occasions..."

While I can't explain these dreams for you, I think it would be a mistake to insert supernatural causes when you don't have the answers.

If you ask me, you should write down such dreams immediately after you have had them: All the details you can remember and your interpretation of what it means.
That way, you can't subconsciously reinterpret the dream afterwards.

- "I know you will probably not believe me"

I believe you have had dreams and your interpretation of those dreams are what you say.
But you are right that I doubt the predictions of those dreams. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that I think that there are many explanations that are much more likely.

- "if it were somehow true that I have the ability to dream someone's death, that could mean that there is a soul that leaves the body, and while I am sleeping maybe I can detect that soul, or some kind of energy omitted from the person at death."

For this idea to be correct, you are assuming a lot:
* People have soul. In a sense that seems highly influenced by the religious concept of a soul.
* When a person is dying, they emit something that can be detected.
* You have a specific ability to detect what is emitted by a dying person.
* This ability only works while you are dreaming.

It's common for people to read too much into everyday life, especially if it's something that is unexplained or seems mysterious.

Sure, it could mean that there is a soul. But couldn't it just as well mean that there is something else that is not yet discovered, but is no where near the religious concept of a soul?

Perhaps you should try asking the questions with another perspective? For example:
If all of these assumptions are correct, wouldn't you be detecting thousands of dying people every night?

And again. Even if it was shown to be true that people have a soul that lives beyond the body, does that in any way prove that a god exists or that any of the religions we have today are true?

mykcob4's picture
1) You'd have to prove a soul

1) You'd have to prove a soul.
2) You have to prove a creator.

Just having a soul doesn't prove that there is a god that created that soul. So, NO, I wouldn't believe in a creator if a soul was proven.

You theist like to jump to conclusions. You can't take the necessary steps for proof.
How about this? You prove a creator first. THEN we'll worry about the rest of the "what if" stuff.

Deforres's picture
Its not nice to ask people to

Its not nice to ask people to do the impossible. Then again, its not nice for them to try and force the impossible on us. What's that line from the bible? "An eye for an eye" or something?

pork232's picture
I cannot prove there is a

I cannot prove there is a creator. I agree 100% that there is no proof for a creator. I am not a full out theist. I am an agnostic. I do not know what the answer is. Sometimes I wonder whether or not we have a soul. It is technically possible that we evolved to have one, although again, there is no actual proof.

mykcob4's picture

1) Change your status because you are not an atheist.
2) Contemplating if there is a soul (whatever that means) has no profit because it cannot be done.
The living form has energy. When death comes that energy dissipates. If you want to call that a soul sobeit, it's really not.

algebe's picture

Look at the night sky, the Grand Canyon, the aftermath of the latest terrorist atrocity. Listen to Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Mozart's Oboe Concerto, or speeches at a Klu Klux Klan rally. If these things move you, you have a soul. Soul is about really living in the here and now with a sense of empathy for other souls. Its power and value are enhanced by mortality, not immortality. That's why religion is such a poisonous lie. it teaches us to devalue the here and now.

charvakheresy's picture
Pork - If it was proved that

Pork - If it was proved that humans had souls then I would believe that humans had souls. There would be no need to postulate that God exists. It would still remain a theory.

Jainism & Buddhism - Believe that souls exist without the need of a God.

Then if a soul was proved to exist would all christians and muslims and jews convert to jainism ?

Harry33Truman's picture
The existence of a soul does

The existence of a soul does not entail the existence of G-d and the inverse is also true,

charvakheresy's picture
@ John.- You are a christian

@ John.- You are a christian correct.

Thus you believe in the trinity of the father, Son & HOLY GHOST.......


Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.