So you think you have a soul
Really? Have you put any thought into this? Probably a few minutes before you got bored… Well, as an engineer, I think about things like this all the time. When something doesn’t make sense, I gotta figure that shit out. This is likely to be a lengthy and messy discussion, so stick with me…
Let’s start with some basic assumptions such as defining what a soul is. Let’s say it’s your personality, your collection of memories that make you who you are, your inner consciousness or “monologue” as some might say. This identity, as a soul, is what remains after your body dies, for whatever purpose.
I think that’s pretty clear, and yet general enough to be completely independent of religion.
So…why do you think you have one? Chances are it’s because of 1 of 2 possible reasons. The first reason is because your goofy-ass religion told you that you have a soul. Whatevs. We can roll with that I guess. The second reason is that you think you are so unique, so incredibly complex and wonderful and full of reason and love and life that there is no way that it could cease to exist after death. We were meant for more than this Earthly shithole!
Either way, you think that when you die, it will not mark the end of your identity.
(And if you haven’t thought this through, it’s because you’re a goddamn coward.)
Ok, where do souls come from? THINK. Either God or some supreme powers place a soul in every baby when they are born…or conceived? Or, souls develop over time. I will tell you why the latter makes more sense…eventually.
You think we have souls because we can love, because we can choose right from wrong, and because we are aware of ourselves. Animals are incapable of these things, which is why they don’t have souls.
Tell me. Does a baby know right from wrong? NO. Babies do not have self awareness. You can easily compare them to any animal.
SO. If you believe souls develop with time, then babies have no soul. There is no developed identity to be carried on if they die. Sad…
If, however, you believe a soul is planted in every baby like a seed then…well, then you have a few more difficulties. What happens to that soul when the baby gets lost, and then raised by a pack of wolves. I’M FUCKING SERIOUS. This happens. There are many documented instances of children being raised by wolves, or primates, or what have you.
Guess what. It’s not like Tarzan :(
These kids, once found, are unable to function like normal human beings. They are incapable of learning language and incapable of knowing right from wrong. They show signs of intelligence that are on the same level as the creatures that raised them. Tell me now, what happened to the soul that was planted in them? If they are, for all intents and purposes, like an animal, and animals do not have souls, then how can you believe they have a soul?
When these people die, there is no unique or special identity that has any reason to be perpetuated.
So, this leaves us to believe that souls develop over time, as a being develops intelligence and the ability to have morals. OK SURE.
This tells us that some point in evolution, there had to be this fine line where Homo Sapien was just like…oh, I have a soul now, because I feel bad when I kill people… Folks, this is ridiculous. Evolution has no reason to develop a soul. It could be a by-product, as are many features of lifeforms, I guess? But no. We did not evolve souls.
To accept souls is to accept supernatural phenomenon. Which is fine. Most of us believe in God and shit like that…don’t ask me.
Anyhow, souls must’ve suddenly been given to humans. Did higher powers realize that humans were special enough to be rewarded with eternal life? Doubtful. We are a bunch of fucktards, and if I had any higher power, I’d spray pest killer all over Earth first chance I had.
BUT! The bible might back this concept up. Jesus died for our sins, so that we may enter paradise. Right? The actual implications are that people went straight to hell before that, because some bitch ate an apple. Even Abraham, to whom GOD spoke directly and who would’ve sacrificed his own son for God, went to hell by this reasoning. ThAtS cRaZy! But maybe souls just didn’t exist before Jesus… I mean really, Jesus didn’t even take a soul to heaven. He took his whole fucking body. After that, voila, souls for everyone. Or rather, everyone has the ability to develop a soul.
OK! So far, we’re good. Souls still sorta make sense.
So a baby grows up, develops intelligence and a soul, but turns into an evil person. Until he rides a motorcycle without a helmet and hits a deer. Now he’s retarded. Now don’t gasp yet, I’m not saying retards don’t know right from wrong and don’t have souls. I’m just saying, this guy is retarded now, yet still lives for 30 more years. He develops in this state, finds new things and new people to love, and becomes a good person.
He dies. By our definition, he meets the criteria for having a soul. Does he enter the afterlife retarded? Why wouldn’t he? That is who he is, that is his identity, his memories. A soul constitutes an entire life. If you want to tell me that souls revert to some optimal point in life, then get fucked! This man was evil before he was retarded, is that optimal?
Here’s your only loophole: When you die, your soul takes the identity as if your brain was fully healthy.
Boom. You have all your memories, and you can develop full intelligence. Even people who were retarded their entire life now have the ability to develop beyond this. Sure, I can roll with this idea, because souls should have the ability to store information, and should not decay. There would be no end to how intelligent we could get!
Think of how special this is…how complicated and optimized the process has to be to make any sense…how privileged this would make us. And still there are other questions. Where are the lines drawn? Are all dead babies given a soul with a perfect brain? What about zygotes and embryos and late term abortions? Oh right, they are raised by angels….for fuck’s sake people, you believe in BAPTISM. Aborted babies aren’t baptized = they’re going straight to hell. *sigh* What about man before rational thought? What about children raised by wolves? What about wolves? Mice? Fleas? Amoebas? Viruses? Think about it…there is no possible logic to this.
If you don’t believe in God, you truly have no business believing in souls. If you do believe in God, you have no business believing in judgment (which means no organized religion can be right.) You’re only logical choices of belief here are:
1.) No God, No Souls. Go live it up while you can!
2.) God/higher-power who doesn’t really give a shit about how you lived your life. You’re being quite the optimist if you believe it/they would go through all the trouble of drawing all the lines and boundaries, and then granting you eternal existence.
Point is…there may be a chance. But the more you think about, the more absurd it becomes. If you must believe in life after death, then you must, MUST, accept that you have absolutely no idea what purpose it will serve, or in what matter you will exist, and that whether or not you deserve it means nothing. There are many loopholes and cases that I have missed here, and I may have made some errant statements. BUT, at least I made you think about it.
Oy, but if life developed on Earth and then humans were planted on this planet from a distant galaxy, then all bets are off. And that theory is innocent until proven guilty. What the..
whether or not we came from a distant galaxy does not affect our likelihood of having souls. if you believe in heaven, you’d better fucking believe there will be some freaky ass aliens there.
Comin from a different galaxy gots everythin to do with it. In a distant galaxy souls are an evolutionary trait required for respiration. On this planet, they just like an appendix. And go on believin you don’t have an appendix just cuz it seems unreasonable. That shit’ll blow up on ya.
Hi, my name is Buzz and I approve this message. Souls are for pussies who don’t travel into space. Until you witness mother Earth in all her majesty from millions of metres away, you haven’t seen shit.
Souls might be a possibility if you consider the theory of complication. Perhaps a soul is a product of organisms becoming more complex over time, just as music or economy wouldn’t come to be otherwise. Our innate connection of a soul with an afterlife is clearly flawed, but so was the believing the Earth was flat. Perhaps we do have souls, but haven’t yet discovered their purpose or reason for developing.
If we haven’t discovered the purpose or reason there’s a good chance that it’s because the item in question is merely a useful fiction to explain complicated issues without all that pesky critical thinking.
The concept of soul gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling of being special and all that jazz. People are extremely fluid beings, radically changing in moods and interests not just throughout their lifetimes, but also from moment to moment. In contrast, most people’s notion of a soul is a fairly static ‘optimal state,’ to use the engineer’s language.
Perhaps souls are a way to express people’s potential, and serve the purpose of having individuals strive towards living in the boundaries of society to function as a ‘good’ person.
As living beings, we are analytically ill-equipped to comprehend what happens to us after the incomprehensible act of dying. The best comparison I’ve heard is being born; a fetus can’t understand the outside world or its future form until leaving the womb. I guess the remaining question is whether or not we are still in a womb.
yes, i make no claim that i have any idea of what happens once we die and slide out of God’s great, gaping vagina and into heaven. i’m only saying that something has to be transferred from this life to the next. and someone, or something, has to clean retardation, schizophrenia or alzheimers off of each one.
wishful thinking…as Ceej says.