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Souls and religion


Incendia
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Why does every major religion, or at least most major religions, require the belief in a soul?

 

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. all speak of a soul in they religious texts etc.

 

I don't believe in a soul. There is no evidence for their existence. They have no purpose other than spiritual and as far as I know there is no way to check for their existence without dying and staying dead.

Without belief in a soul there is no punishment after death because there is nothing to ascend/descend/to be reincarnated etc.

 

Do you believe in a soul? Why?

If not, why?

 

Why do all these religious require belief in a soul/ all speak of souls in the religious texts?

 

Why is the idea of a soul so popular in religion?

 

Why is discussion about souls so little in comparison to vast amount of discussion about every other aspect of religion? (As far as I know.)

 

Are there any 'soulless' religions? (If you know what I mean...which is are there any religions that don't talk about souls are all.)

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As your post suggests, the ultimate reason why most religions posit the existence of a soul is to contrive an accounting device that guarantees that moral evil will receive its just desert, even though that retribution cannot be demonstrated to occur in our present life. At its most basic, religion is all about pretending that moral value can be supported on real things which validate it, rather than just on its own merits. Concepts like God, Heaven, Hell, Soul, miraculous communications of specially-privileged stories or rule books, etc., are all just ontological struts propping up our social values for treating other people empathetically -- as though this kind of decency had insufficient value in itself without these imaginary supports. The soul, Heaven, and the Afterlife are thus the religious version of 'your check is in the mail' -- i.e., the accounts will balance in some imaginary neverland.

 

Immanuel Kant's philosophy of religion even says as much: We have to posit the existence of an afterlife of rewards and punishments since otherwise we would be faced with the incongruity of an infinitely powerful and good God allowing bad people to get away with murder. Thus Heaven and Hell are the ontological projection of a moral value system which is also ontologically guaranteed to be effective.

 

Judaism seems to be one of the few religions not to show much if any interest in the idea of a soul or the afterlife. This is probably because it was already well-developed before it came in contact with Greek philosophy, which had a fully-articulated notion of a mind or soul potentially existing apart from the human body (psyche/nous), and when this was overlaid on the early, essentially still Jewish message of Christianity as the doctrine was spread by the intellectually Greek St. Paul through the Eastern Mediterranean, Christianity became wedded to concerns with the soul and its fate after death. Ironically, this preoccupation was essential to Ancient Egyptian religion, where the heart of the deceased is weighed in the balance against a feather to determine fate in the afterlife. But the Jews who became the first Christians would have found the idea of a soul being judged after death to be disgustingly Egyptian.

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Judaism seems to be one of the few religions not to show much if any interest in the idea of a soul or the afterlife. This is probably because it was already well-developed before it came in contact with Greek philosophy, which had a fully-articulated notion of a mind or soul potentially existing apart from the human body (psyche/nous), and when this was overlaid on the early, essentially still Jewish message of Christianity as the doctrine was spread by the intellectually Greek St. Paul through the Eastern Mediterranean, Christianity became wedded to concerns with the soul and its fate after death. Ironically, this preoccupation was essential to Ancient Egyptian religion, where the heart of the deceased is weighed in the balance against a feather to determine fate in the afterlife. But the Jews who became the first Christians would have found the idea of a soul being judged after death to be disgustingly Egyptian.

Daniel 12:2 relates. It says that the dead will come back to life. I'd call that an afterlife. http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/do-we-have-an-immortal-soul.html (I don't totally agree with this website, but it's interesting if you have time)

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Interesting...but my questions weren't answered.

I didn't answer your questions because I didn't know ie, the last one, or didn't want to sound like a "smart-aleck" ie, the first one, "because we have souls."

 

In answer to your question about whether I believe in a soul, yes, I do. Read The Case for Christ, and you'll see why I believe in Jesus being God, and since I believe that Jesus is God, then what he wrote in his word about souls, in my eyes must be true. http://www.google.com/m/products/detail?oe=UTF-8&source=search&client=safari&q=the+case+for+christ&channel=products&hl=en&cid=6348394957792048064

I think that the same author wrote, The Case for Faith, but I haven't read that yet. Maybe that would help you decide whether there is a God. Whether there was a God or not was already established in my mind for other reasons.

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I'm not buying anything...and I already know that if the Jewish/Christian/Muslim deity is real then they were once embodied as Jesus, unless Jesus lied, so everything he said is probably true unless the deity is intentionally lying to make us act how we should. Who said the deity doesn't lie? Could be lying for our own good. If we knew there was no punishment then we might not act how we should. Though, I don't currently believe in the J/C/M deity, that's certainly one way to think if you want to ignore the bad things promoted in the bible...like slavery...

Of-coarse that is all irrelevant as far as I can tell, hence the italics.

Edited by Incendia
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I'm not buying anything...and I already know that if the Jewish/Christian/Muslim deity is real then they were once embodied as Jesus, unless Jesus lied, so everything he said is probably true unless the deity is intentionally lying to make us act how we should. Who said the deity doesn't lie? Could be lying for our own good. If we knew there was no punishment then we might not act how we should. Though, I don't currently believe in the J/C/M deity, that's certainly one way to think if you want to ignore the bad things promoted in the bible...like slavery...

Of-coarse that is all irrelevant as far as I can tell, hence the italics.

I wasn't really intending for you to buy it. I just wanted to clarify what book it was.

 

As for the Muslim deity being Jesus, I can't think of anything that Jesus said that would lead me to believe that.

 

If he was lying for our own good, then since He knows more than us, I will have to trust His judgement.

 

Where is slavery promoted in the Bible?

 

And, what part of my post is irrelevant? I was trying to answer your question as to why I believe that we have souls.

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Yeweh is the Jewish, Christian and Muslim deity.

Muslims, like Jews, do not think Jesus was the human embodiment of Yeweh; Christians do.

In my opinion Christians are missing the point of the new testament...Jesus wanted to convert everyone to Judaism - because that was his religion - and he did not want everyone to worship him. He said that people should worship God, not himself.

 

Indeed, if he is lying...I guess you will have to trust his judgement.

 

What the bible says on slaves.

 

 

My post was irrelevant, not yours. Whether the deity lied or not is not relevant to the question of the existence of souls.

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Yeweh is the Jewish, Christian and Muslim deity.

Muslims, like Jews, do not think Jesus was the human embodiment of Yeweh; Christians do.

In my opinion Christians are missing the point of the new testament...Jesus wanted to convert everyone to Judaism - because that was his religion - and he did not want everyone to worship him. He said that people should worship God, not himself.

 

Indeed, if he is lying...I guess you will have to trust his judgement.

 

What the bible says on slaves.

 

 

My post was irrelevant, not yours. Whether the deity lied or not is not relevant to the question of the existence of souls.

I would like a verse as to where Jesus said that we should worship God and not himself.

 

Many Jews have become Christians, or, "completed Jews". They are still Jews though. It may be clearer if you say the Jewish faith, although technically Christianity is also a Jewish faith, and so is anything that the Jewish people believe in. Jesus was trying to convert people to Judaism, but the completed form, otherwise known as Christianity.

 

Jews believe that Jesus was a prophet. If he was a prophet, then what he said must be true, (or inspired by God, and God could be lying, I suppose). When questioned whether or not He was the Messiah, He said, KJV Matthew 11:5

5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

 

This was in answer to what was prophesised (is that how you spell it?) about the Messiah.

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I don't know the verse, but the 10 commandments says you should only worship Yaweh. That implies that you shouldn't also worship Jesus.

The Ten Commandments say that "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". I believe that Jesus is a part of "me". This link contains lots of verses that support that: http://carm.org/bible-verses-show-jesus-divine

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Ten Commandments say that "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". I believe that Jesus is a part of "me". This link contains lots of verses that support that: http://carm.org/bibl...ow-jesus-divine

 

Yet Jesus did not officially join the Trinity till, what, 300 odd years after his death.

 

Constantine gave life to the Trinity by basically shoving it down Christianities throat.

 

Originally Posted by animefan48 Well, the reality is most Christians do buy into the trinity doctrine because of persecution of the early Gnostics and non-Trinitarians, and the religious councils were dissenters were forced to agree to a Trinitarian theology. Many Unitarian and Universalist theologies argue that when Jesus said he was the way, he meant that he was an example of how to live to be united/reunited with God. As for the name, God does give other names for himself including the Alpha and Omega, as well as some believe a name that should not be written (or even spoken I believe). Honestly, I think using the name I Am That I Am would just be confusing and convoluted, seriously. I seriously do not believe that it is a continuation of Gnostic/mystical/Unitarian suppression. Even the Gnostic and mystical traditions within Islam and Christianity do not tend to use that name, and among the 99 Names of Allah, I did not find that one. Also, many Rastafarians believe that the Holy Spirit lives in humans and will sometimes say I and I instead of we, yet they don't seem to use the name I Am for God/Jah either, so I really don't think it can be related to suppressing mystical and Gnostic interpretations. I think that originally oppressing those ideas and decreeing them heretical are quite enough, the early Church did such a good job that after the split many Protestant groups continued to condemn mystical and later Gnostic sects and theologies.

 

 

 

Yup, the bishops voted and it was settled for all time!!1 (Some say the preliminary votes were 150 something to 140 something in favor of the trinity)

 

But then Constantine stepped in: After a prolonged and inconclusive debate, the impatient Constantine intervened to force an end to the conflict by demanding the adoption of the creed. The vote was taken under threat of exile for any who did not support the decision favored by Constantine. (And later, they fully endorsed the trinity idea when it all happened again at the council of Constantinople in AD 381, where only Trinitarians were invited to attend. Surprise! They also managed to carry a vote in favor of the Trinity.)

 

http://home.pacific.net.au/~amaxwell/bdigest/bd12bbs.tx

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

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Yet Jesus did not officially join the Trinity till, what, 300 odd years after his death.

 

Constantine gave life to the Trinity by basically shoving it down Christianities throat.

 

Originally Posted by animefan48 Well, the reality is most Christians do buy into the trinity doctrine because of persecution of the early Gnostics and non-Trinitarians, and the religious councils were dissenters were forced to agree to a Trinitarian theology. Many Unitarian and Universalist theologies argue that when Jesus said he was the way, he meant that he was an example of how to live to be united/reunited with God. As for the name, God does give other names for himself including the Alpha and Omega, as well as some believe a name that should not be written (or even spoken I believe). Honestly, I think using the name I Am That I Am would just be confusing and convoluted, seriously. I seriously do not believe that it is a continuation of Gnostic/mystical/Unitarian suppression. Even the Gnostic and mystical traditions within Islam and Christianity do not tend to use that name, and among the 99 Names of Allah, I did not find that one. Also, many Rastafarians believe that the Holy Spirit lives in humans and will sometimes say I and I instead of we, yet they don't seem to use the name I Am for God/Jah either, so I really don't think it can be related to suppressing mystical and Gnostic interpretations. I think that originally oppressing those ideas and decreeing them heretical are quite enough, the early Church did such a good job that after the split many Protestant groups continued to condemn mystical and later Gnostic sects and theologies.

 

 

 

Yup, the bishops voted and it was settled for all time!!1 (Some say the preliminary votes were 150 something to 140 something in favor of the trinity)

 

But then Constantine stepped in: After a prolonged and inconclusive debate, the impatient Constantine intervened to force an end to the conflict by demanding the adoption of the creed. The vote was taken under threat of exile for any who did not support the decision favored by Constantine. (And later, they fully endorsed the trinity idea when it all happened again at the council of Constantinople in AD 381, where only Trinitarians were invited to attend. Surprise! They also managed to carry a vote in favor of the Trinity.)

 

http://home.pacific.net.au/~amaxwell/bdigest/bd12bbs.tx

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

Do you have verses that support no Trinity? The Roman Catholic Church can't just make something official. The Bible makes things official. IMO, the Bible supports the Trinity idea very well.

 

 

http://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-proof-texts.htm

 

I disagree with the other poster quote. Many times Christianity persisted during heavy persecution. Some will bend, but those who truly believe won't.

 

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IIncedia

 

My speculation has concluded that what the ancients called the soul was really our subconscious minds.

 

That aside, because it is likely wrong, the ancients did believe in a state of going into the spirit. Trances and such. Much of scripture was written by those who claimed to be in the spirit when revelation was given.

 

My experience of this, no proof of course, is that what they called going into the spirit was what we today would call telepathic contact with who they thought was God. i call it my apotheosis.

 

I also have no proof that telepathy is real, but to me, the word soul now just means a way to communicate with God. Again, to me, this bible God guy is not the God I believe in. The Godhead I found was more of a cosmic consciousness. It is the repository of all consciousness’ that have--uploaded --- to it.

Seems that we all upload at some point in time. No choice.

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

 

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IIncedia

 

My speculation has concluded that what the ancients called the soul was really our subconscious minds.

 

That aside, because it is likely wrong, the ancients did believe in a state of going into the spirit. Trances and such. Much of scripture was written by those who claimed to be in the spirit when revelation was given.

 

My experience of this, no proof of course, is that what they called going into the spirit was what we today would call telepathic contact with who they thought was God. i call it my apotheosis.

 

I also have no proof that telepathy is real, but to me, the word soul now just means a way to communicate with God. Again, to me, this bible God guy is not the God I believe in. The Godhead I found was more of a cosmic consciousness. It is the repository of all consciousness' that have--uploaded --- to it.

Seems that we all upload at some point in time. No choice.

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

 

That's interesting, but I think that there is more evidence for the Bible than for that.

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IIncedia

 

My speculation has concluded that what the ancients called the soul was really our subconscious minds.

 

That aside, because it is likely wrong, the ancients did believe in a state of going into the spirit. Trances and such. Much of scripture was written by those who claimed to be in the spirit when revelation was given.

 

My experience of this, no proof of course, is that what they called going into the spirit was what we today would call telepathic contact with who they thought was God. i call it my apotheosis.

 

I also have no proof that telepathy is real, but to me, the word soul now just means a way to communicate with God. Again, to me, this bible God guy is not the God I believe in. The Godhead I found was more of a cosmic consciousness. It is the repository of all consciousness' that have--uploaded --- to it.

Seems that we all upload at some point in time. No choice.

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds a bit like the film Avatar if you know what I mean...

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the trinity...I agree with Isaac Newton on that...and he didn't believe in it.

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That's interesting, but I think that there is more evidence for the Bible than for that.

 

 

Not quite sure what you mean.

 

There is evidence of Bibles yes. I have one.

 

There is no evidence of anything within the Bible though if that is what you meant.

 

If there is evidence in the Bible of anything, please show it.

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

Do you have verses that support no Trinity? The Roman Catholic Church can't just make something official. The Bible makes things official. IMO, the Bible supports the Trinity idea very well.

 

 

http://www.bible.ca/...proof-texts.htm

 

I disagree with the other poster quote. Many times Christianity persisted during heavy persecution. Some will bend, but those who truly believe won't.

 

 

 

Any true believers are conspicuous in their absence just like their absentee God is.

 

Jesus tells us how they should be able to show themselves yet none will step up to move the mountain of 6 million people that starve to death yearly.

 

So much for believers caring for their neighbors.

 

This is how a true Christian show his faith.

You might note that there is no one on earth with faith.

If there was, we would all know it. They would act.

 

 

Matthew 17:20

 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

 

Mark 16:17-18.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

Regards

DL

Edited by Greatest I am
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Not quite sure what you mean.

 

There is evidence of Bibles yes. I have one.

 

There is no evidence of anything within the Bible though if that is what you meant.

 

If there is evidence in the Bible of anything, please show it.

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any true believers are conspicuous in their absence just like their absentee God is.

 

Jesus tells us how they should be able to show themselves yet none will step up to move the mountain of 6 million people that starve to death yearly.

 

So much for believers caring for their neighbors.

 

This is how a true Christian show his faith.

You might note that there is no one on earth with faith.

If there was, we would all know it. They would act.

 

 

Matthew 17:20

 

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

 

Mark 16:17-18.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

Regards

DL

What I meant: that there is at least some outside evidence for some sections of the Bible being historically accurate, and, IMO, more evidence for than against it.

 

Show it?

 

Alright.

 

First, there are surprisingly few self contradictions for an historical book that has been translated and copied and was written by more than one author. Although that isn't outside evidence, that's internal evidence.

 

Secondly, http://www.allabouttruth.org/bible-prophecy.htm

http://www.truthortradition.com//modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1163

 

Those were external proofs/evidence.

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It seems almost a disproof of the message of the Bible and of Christ's message that so many indirect and imperfect demonstrations of God's existence are given ('Hey look, I can pull a rabbit out of my hat, that must prove that what I just said is true!' -- blind being healed, dead raised, insanity cast out of a person and into animals, burning bushes as signs, stone tablets from the sky, etc.), but the simple and obvious step of just plain exhibiting God to our inspection is never taken. Why hint rather than prove if the proof is really available? Is there some serious ethical point to making salvation turn on guessing the right answer in a Cosmic Quiz Show where the contestants have a little information but still not enough to make the right guess (the last curtain turned out to have a car behind it; does that mean the next will just have a donkey?)?

 

As for the Bible being at least internally consistent, the old book 'Self-Contradictions of the Bible' written by William Henry Burr (New York: A. J. Davis, 1860) lists 144 pairs of contradictory statements over 96 pages of text.

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It seems almost a disproof of the message of the Bible and of Christ's message that so many indirect and imperfect demonstrations of God's existence are given ('Hey look, I can pull a rabbit out of my hat, that must prove that what I just said is true!' -- blind being healed, dead raised, insanity cast out of a person and into animals, burning bushes as signs, stone tablets from the sky, etc.), but the simple and obvious step of just plain exhibiting God to our inspection is never taken. Why hint rather than prove if the proof is really available? Is there some serious ethical point to making salvation turn on guessing the right answer in a Cosmic Quiz Show where the contestants have a little information but still not enough to make the right guess (the last curtain turned out to have a car behind it; does that mean the next will just have a donkey?)?

 

As for the Bible being at least internally consistent, the old book 'Self-Contradictions of the Bible' written by William Henry Burr (New York: A. J. Davis, 1860) lists 144 pairs of contradictory statements over 96 pages of text.

All of those "contradictions" can be explained, most dealing with translation difficulties.

 

Imperfect demonstrations?

 

To me, it isn't a guessing game. I think that we have plenty of evidence to come to a conclusion for God.

 

Here is some text translated on google translate to greek and back.

Before: thou shalt not text, kill, or commit suicide.

After:

thou shalt not text, to kill or commit suicide.

 

In one sentence, a word has already been added and grammar changed. Thus "contradictions" occur.

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What I meant: that there is at least some outside evidence for some sections of the Bible being historically accurate, and, IMO, more evidence for than against it.

 

Show it?

 

Alright.

 

First, there are surprisingly few self contradictions for an historical book that has been translated and copied and was written by more than one author. Although that isn't outside evidence, that's internal evidence.

 

Secondly, http://www.allaboutt...le-prophecy.htm

http://www.truthortr...rticle&sid=1163

 

Those were external proofs/evidence.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61295LAfQmo

 

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2569440864215926514#

 

 

 

As to prophesy.

 

If God is forced to follow prophesy, then he has no free will.

 

 

IMO, any that read scriptures as the words of a God are fools.

 

God would not create talking snakes and donkeys.

 

If he did, where are they.

 

After all, the bible prophesizes that the taliking snake would be with us forever.

 

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

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