Do atheists believe they have souls?

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UmmHurayra's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

Human consciousness is more than just your conscious state and awareness, it is also your ability to experience feeling. Or do you not know what feelings and emotions are? So you want me to prove that your individuality exists? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? You see, no answer will ever be good enough for you. God could stand right in front of you and you would say its an illusion. There is no proof or evidence that could ever satisfy you.

Sapporo's picture
Feelings and emotions are

Feelings and emotions are physical manifestations. That does not make them any less profound.

There is no inherent reason for me to call something an illusion if it appears before me. However, if you define "god" as being supernatural, any physical manifestation could not be evidence of "god".

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@UmmHurayra

@UmmHurayra

"it is also your ability to experience feeling. Or do you not know what feelings and emotions are? "

So by that definition, dogs cats, sheep, Bonobos, Chimps, parrots and cows all have souls?It has been scientifically demonstrated that these mammals and birds as well as dolphins and whales all experience emotions, have distinct personalities and experience feelings much the same way as humans.

And yes I am aware of the couple of verses in the Qu'ran about ants and knowledge of prayer by animals.

Kataclismic's picture
UmmHarayra:

UmmHarayra:

God could stand right in front of you and you would say its an illusion.

If your god is that powerless to convince me then yes, indeed, and why do you worship it?

[EDIT] Just remember, you are the faulty equipment produced by a perfect being.

Jared Alesi's picture
Love is caused by a chemical

Love is caused by a chemical called oxytocin. We get a rush of it when we see cute animals, people we love, babies, friends, etc. And we even get a rush of it when we experience lust or happiness. Oxytocin is still a physical construct like any other, but I have to say that it feels better than any other I know.

David Killens's picture
Please temper your response

Please temper your response UmmHurayra, we are all suffering problems in communication.

In this forum, to assert from a position of authority is a huge mistake, expect your assertions to be challenged and proof requested. You are talking about human consciousness and soul, but have not proven what is what, what truly exists, and how they are connected.

So you assert that a soul, the consciousness, is a distinct function of the brain, yet it cannot be measured, studied, or even clearly identified. So why should anyone believe you?

Here is my take on this topic. Our brains are wonderful machines, but they require development from birth. At birth we posses few abilities, just the internal mechanisms that keep us alive and to suckle. Heck, we don't even see. As time passes and the body develops, so does the brain. It begins to take on more complex functions.

Eventually we begin to be aware of time, our selves, we become self aware. In my opinion it is this self awareness you are confusing with "soul" and adding magical properties. There is nothing magic, we are self aware and that is a direct function of the brain. And when my body and brain cease to function, I obviously have no sense of self awareness.

Here's a question .. is a newborn human in possession of a "soul"? If so, can you provide any proof?

Nyarlathotep's picture
UmmHurayra - Or do you not

UmmHurayra - Or do you not know what feelings and emotions are?

veiled accusation of stupidity

UmmHurayra - Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

veiled accusation of stupidity

UmmHurayra - God could stand right in front of you and you would say its an illusion

veiled accusation of dishonesty

mykcob4's picture
@UmmHurayra

@UmmHurayra
"Human consciousness is more than just your conscious state and awareness, it is also your ability to experience feeling. Or do you not know what feelings and emotions are? So you want me to prove that your individuality exists? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound? You see, no answer will ever be good enough for you. God could stand right in front of you and you would say its an illusion. There is no proof or evidence that could ever satisfy you."

The above statement that I quoted directly from you is nothing if it isn't ignorant and condescending. You can't prove a soul, or a god or even that muhammed even existed, so resort to arrogant hyperbole and insults. This is why you garner such disdain and ridicule.
You have the onus of proof, the burden to not only define what you mean by a soul but proof that a soul even exists. Feelings and emotions are in no way tied to the soul myth. They are a distinct product of evolution as proven by Darwin and confirmed by many to include the National Institute of Health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600914/

You speak from your own speculation that is based on nothing. No proof, no data, no evidence. Then you insult anyone that questions that speculation.

Jared Alesi's picture
Speaking scientifically, our

Speaking scientifically, our consciousness actually is traceable to physical objects like hormones and external chemicals. It's been speculated that violence is so prevalent in the Middle East because the native produce of the region is low in zinc, which has been shown to cool tempers. I say everybody needs some more zinc. Either way, our consciousness is very much a product of physical things, like those previously stated. I find this to be beautiful beyond imagination. Humanity, which is made of atoms, uses atoms to think about other atoms, and each collection of atoms is different enough for the human's atoms to know the difference. It's truly astounding.

Mutorc S'yriah's picture
UmmHurayra

UmmHurayra

==> I think for now the best definition I can give, would be human consciousness. It has no physical existence, do you agree on that? So physical atoms and molecules could not create it as it is entirely in a separate domain. And yet , we all possess it.
So no the soul is not the mind. The mind is more like software and the soul is your power supply. You can think of it as your individuality, how can it not exist? <==

Mutorc . . .

Consciousness is the outcome of having a functioning brain. Consciousness does not exist without the physical existence of the brain. In addition, altering the brain alters consciousness, providing support for the idea that consciousness is made by the brain. To say ==> The mind is more like software and the soul is your power supply <== is simply an assertion, and a pretty poor analogy, after all, a power supply is a physical thing.

As far as where does the energy go when a person dies? There is no reason to think it different to the where energy goes when a tree dies, or even when an old plastic bag decays and falls apart, eventually being broken down into simple chemicals. Things are held together by chemical forces, and when dead, those forces are uncontrolled, and allow the thing, (human, tree or bag for example), to fall apart, and any energy freed, to become part of the environment, either as lost heat, or locked in the chemical remnants that are left behind and dispersed over a lesser or greater range.

In living things, this process of decay and falling apart, and giving off energy goes on all the time. Evolution has supplied living things with mechanisms of physical and chemical foundations, to repair the ongoing damage caused by merely being alive

Considering ==> your individuality, how can it not exist? <==

It exists as long as you are alive. It is the sum of your physical form, your genetics, (which is a physical/chemical process itself), and your experiences, (physical, physiological and psychological). All of those are rooted in the physical, some from simple chemistry and physics, and some from inheritance, and some from happenstance.

There is no evidence that consciousness exist separate from the physical form, including the brain. Let's not forget that animals are conscious beings too, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on those same physically based features I previously mention, ie. their form, their genetics, and their experiences, (physical, physiological and "psychological").

Furthermore, I know of no evidence of a soul, nor any necessity that such a thing exist in order for the universe and the world to be just the way that we observe it to be. If we question the very existence of a soul, then it does not exist in another domain, and I'd even question that such different domains exist. The domains are mental constructs invented by some people and propagated by their adherents, to try and justify something held as a belief, without evidence, (at least no evidence of which of which I am aware).

Cheers, Mu.

mickron88's picture
"The mind is more like

"The mind is more like software and the soul is your power supply"

where did you get this??

i told you not to eat those space cake....

mykcob4's picture
There has been a lot of

There has been a lot of discussion concerning "energy" relating them to "souls".
First off, energy is real. It is tested, observed, measured, produced, used, controlled, it is a REAL thing.
"Souls" are a manmade concept and are purely imaginary. It is a mythical explanation for life force. It isn't real. It isn't measured, produced, controlled, observed, used, or tested.
The two should NEVER be confused with each other. PERIOD!

Grinseed's picture
@Jared

@Jared

Im not sure why but your post about oxytocin msde me think of a Woody Allen quote...
"Sex without love is sn empty exprtience. But as far as empty experiences go, it's the best!"
Sorry...I am at work and strung out...need the levity. As you were.

Tin-Man's picture
"I already did..."
algebe's picture
UmmHurayra: the soul is your

UmmHurayra: the soul is your power supply.

Your analogy is nonsense.

The power comes from glucose carried in the blood. The human brain consumes about 300 calories per day. That's your power supply.

Dave Matson's picture
UmmHurayra,

UmmHurayra,

It depends on what you mean by "soul." If you are talking about a supernatural, god-created thing, then it should be obvious that atheists don't imagine themselves as possessing souls.

Sky Pilot's picture
UmmHurayra,

UmmHurayra,

"Do atheists believe they have souls?"

When did you get your soul, in the 10th Century?

https://www.etymonline.com/word/soul

XyberEX's picture
I view the words "soul" and

I view the words "soul" and "consciousness" to mean the same thing, which is the intangible stuff that makes you, you. So in that sense I believe in souls existing.

LogicFTW's picture
I am an atheist, I personally

I am an atheist, I personally do not believe in "a soul" as most people tend to define it. I obviously do not speak for all atheist.

However, the same reason I am atheist, (utter lack of evidence for a god, with a mountain of evidence that man invented the god idea.) I also do not believe in "a soul," there is no evidence for a soul, but a mountain of evidence that man invented the soul idea.

Tin-Man's picture
For anybody who has ever seen

For anybody who has ever seen me try to dance, there is absolutely NO DOUBT I have absolutely ZERO soul. Really. Just ask my wife.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM
I can't erase that mental picture now...

Tin-Man's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

In the interest of enhancing the image, one word: Naked.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ TM

@ TM

AAAAaaaaaaargggggHHHHHhh! *Attempts t claw eyes out*

Jared Alesi's picture
What? You're not into

What? You're not into jiggling bolts and exposed circuitry? To each their own, I guess, but you're missing out.

LogicFTW's picture
I bet this particular part

I bet this particular part got real rusty? ;P

Tin-Man's picture
@Logic

@Logic

Nope. I use plenty of lube.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jared

@Jared

Thank you, Jared. Good to know somebody on here appreciates the little things in life. (Oh, wait.....)

Sushisnake's picture
If by "soul" you mean some

If by "soul" you mean some semblance of me - my emotions, consciousness and individuality- will survive my body's death and carry on, then no, I don't believe in souls because I don't believe in the supernatural. I don't accept the body/soul dichotomy is real: there's no evidence of it. It's a pleasant myth, though- especially the deist versions. The theist versions with their carrot/stick gods are largely frightful.

Randy the Atheist's picture
The idea of the "immortal

The idea of the "immortal soul" is that the Mind can exist completely intact in the absence of a physical brain. Thinking, remembering, and perceiving will all be completely unaffected by the disintegration of this vital organ. The study of brain trauma however, reveals startling examples that this concept is false.

Prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces including your own) is one such example of a mind-brain dependence. Alzheimer's Diesease is another dramatic example of mind-brain dependence. Not only is the brain slowly destroyed neurologically - but the personality contained within is slowly destroyed in corresponding fashion. The creation of multiple personalities in split-brain patients whose brain is severed down the corpus callosum to reduce severe epileptic seizures, is yet another dramatic example. Left brain no longer communicates with right brain and causes the emergence of two independent persons operating in the same body - each unaware that the other exists.

Thus, your mind is not immune to damage and decay. When your physical brain begins to die off, that person known as *you* dies off as well. Your memories, your experiences, your emotions - are directly caused by the dendrites in your head. Destroy some of those dendrites and those memories will be lost forever - never to return. Destroy enough dendrites and you will become imbecillic - unable to recognize family, friends and favorite places. If all of us had "souls", then the only thing that brain damage would do is incapacitate our ability to move the body. Our memories, emotions and experiences should all remain indestructible and able to survive.

This is now known to be false.

Destruction to your brain parts results in the corresponding destruction to the memories and personality it contains. When your physical brain dies, your personhood and everything that makes you *you* - dies with it.

Tin-Man's picture
It stated very clearly in the

It stated very clearly in the contract "As Is", "No Warranty", and "No Refunds". You would think Satan would know how to read. Like Momma always said, "Buyer beware."

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