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  1. #1
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    Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Which of the following do you believe to be true?

    1.) We have no "soul" only a mind. This means that every thought and action we engage in, is the result of chemical reactions in our brains that are set in motion the day we are born. From the moment we leave the womb, our brain and bodies chemical reactions begin a sequence of interactions with our environment that lead us to an ultimate, predetermined yet unknown destination. In other words, we are not responsible for anything we do or think, because it was set in motion biologically. Even the environments we enter and interactoins we have are ultimatley the result of many years of decisions that have been shaped and molded by prior chemical reactions set in motion at birth.

    2.) We have a "soul" which can be defined as a supernatual part of us that gives us the ability to make decisions apart from the chemical reactions taking place in our body and mind. This is what gives us a "freewill" and holds us accountable for our actions.

  2. #2
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by knuperup
    Which of the following do you believe to be true?

    1.) We have no "soul" only a mind. This means that every thought and action we engage in, is the result of chemical reactions in our brains that are set in motion the day we are born. From the moment we leave the womb, our brain and bodies chemical reactions begin a sequence of interactions with our environment that lead us to an ultimate, predetermined yet unknown destination. In other words, we are not responsible for anything we do or think, because it was set in motion biologically. Even the environments we enter and interactoins we have are ultimatley the result of many years of decisions that have been shaped and molded by prior chemical reactions set in motion at birth.

    2.) We have a "soul" which can be defined as a supernatual part of us that gives us the ability to make decisions apart from the chemical reactions taking place in our body and mind. This is what gives us a "freewill" and holds us accountable for our actions.

    By what authority can you say that what you've written is true?

    "Myself"

    Nope, not good enough!

    What outside source, by empherical evidence, can you say that this is true?

    Or do you believe this by faith?

  3. #3
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    My belief would fall under the second category.

    As a sidenote, I wonder whether all atheists believe number 1 in its entirety... is that the only other option? At some point, I'd think it would tend to lead out of a scientific debate and into a philosophical one. I'm speaking mainly to the brain chemicals = predestination = lack-of-responsibility part of the theory.

  4. #4
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by yossarian
    My belief would fall under the second category.

    As a sidenote, I wonder whether all atheists believe number 1 in its entirety... is that the only other option? At some point, I'd think it would tend to lead out of a scientific debate and into a philosophical one. I'm speaking mainly to the brain chemicals = predestination = lack-of-responsibility part of the theory.
    Acording to science, by the time we got here the "environments" of the world were already set in motion. As was any other outside force that would change it (i.e. the sun, moon, meteors, ect.) Adding our "minds" does not change a thing. Adding "life" only increaces the complexity of the chain of events. Your entire life is a result of where you were concieved and the order of your DNA sequence. from that point to where you are sitting now was just the result of the interaction of "nature" or the unverse and your "mind" (also technically part of nature). How then can anyone be in control of their own decisions and thoughts?

    Unless there is a 3rd ingredient that is not part of our "universe"....

    Atheism does not allow for such an ingredient

  5. #5
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by EveryKnee
    By what authority can you say that what you've written is true?

    "Myself"

    Nope, not good enough!

    What outside source, by empherical evidence, can you say that this is true?

    Or do you believe this by faith?

    I've never seen anyone degrade to attacking the question itself so quickly! lol. Not even a thought on the concept at hand? Cmon man! ha.
    ( I take it you didn't read my def. of "soul")

  6. #6
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by knuperup
    Which of the following do you believe to be true?

    1.) We have no "soul" only a mind. This means that every thought and action we engage in, is the result of chemical reactions in our brains that are set in motion the day we are born. From the moment we leave the womb, our brain and bodies chemical reactions begin a sequence of interactions with our environment that lead us to an ultimate, predetermined yet unknown destination. In other words, we are not responsible for anything we do or think, because it was set in motion biologically. Even the environments we enter and interactoins we have are ultimatley the result of many years of decisions that have been shaped and molded by prior chemical reactions set in motion at birth.

    2.) We have a "soul" which can be defined as a supernatual part of us that gives us the ability to make decisions apart from the chemical reactions taking place in our body and mind. This is what gives us a "freewill" and holds us accountable for our actions.
    I'm not sure I really agree with or believe either one or at least the limitations you have put on either one. I don't think beliefs can be categorized like your attempting to do here.

    If your attempting to say that evolution has a predetermined conclusion then you do not understand evolution and the way it works. And if you are also saying that evolution removes free will from the equation then, again, you do not understand the mechanism of evolution.

    The part about the soul equating to free will and accountability doesn't really strike me as true either but I think I understand what your trying to get at. Are you saying that the soul is the part of us that holds us accountable for our actions and if so what are we held accountable for or against? What is the yard stick used for accountability?

  7. #7
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    I'm neither, I guess. Why do you guys always only give two mutually exclusive options for everything?

  8. #8
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti_thesisofreason
    I'm not sure I really agree with or believe either one or at least the limitations you have put on either one. I don't think beliefs can be categorized like your attempting to do here.

    If your attempting to say that evolution has a predetermined conclusion then you do not understand evolution and the way it works. And if you are also saying that evolution removes free will from the equation then, again, you do not understand the mechanism of evolution.

    The part about the soul equating to free will and accountability doesn't really strike me as true either but I think I understand what your trying to get at. Are you saying that the soul is the part of us that holds us accountable for our actions and if so what are we held accountable for or against? What is the yard stick used for accountability?
    The non existance of a "soul" (see def. at top) implies that there are only two ingredients to our thoughts and actions: The universe (nature) and DNA (the chain of chemical reactions in our brain and body). At the very second that our minds are formed, a chain of chemical reactions begin that over time get more and more complex as we get older. These chemical reactions also interact with our environment. Our environment itself is ALSO controled by these chemical reactions when we reach the point where our parents no longer control our environment. (i.e. the places we go and the interactions we have all are a result of these interactions that were set in motion when our mind formed)

    From this you can infer that without a "soul", every action and thought you've had since your mind was formed is and will be completely out of your control. You only have yourself FOOLED into believeing you control these actions and thought because of the complexity of the chain of reactions. In essence, every "choice" you think you make is only a result of chemical reactions in your mind that have culminated into such a "choice". Thus without a "soul" there IS no "yard stick" as you called it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by knuperup
    According to science, by the time we got here the "environments" of the world were already set in motion. As was any other outside force that would change it (i.e. the sun, moon, meteors, ect.) Adding our "minds" does not change a thing. Adding "life" only increases the complexity of the chain of events. Your entire life is a result of where you were conceived and the order of your DNA sequence. from that point to where you are sitting now was just the result of the interaction of "nature" or the universe and your "mind" (also technically part of nature). How then can anyone be in control of their own decisions and thoughts?

    Unless there is a 3rd ingredient that is not part of our "universe"....

    Atheism does not allow for such an ingredient
    I guess my point is that the question sort of folds in on itself in a way.

    If we are merely the results of a never-ending chain of biochemical reactions to our environment, is there even such a thing as "we," in the general sense? Is a discussion on the actions of an individual even relevant in light of the assertion that a person is a slave to this perpetual system and, therefore, not really and individual at all?

    So here we have an “individual” inquiring as to the nature of itself, when, in point of fact, the nature of the inquiry asserts that individuality doesn't really exist in the first place. In light of this, is the statement "I am not responsible for anything I do or think" even valid? Isn’t individuality, with regard to human beings, predicated upon our ability to operate as independent units? Is there even such a thing as “I”?

    I think I understand what your saying, though. The subject matter causes inherent difficulties of phrasing.

    Anyway, at its core, it's really just a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type of question.

  10. #10
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by yossarian
    I guess my point is that the question sort of folds in on itself in a way.

    If we are merely the results of a never-ending chain of biochemical reactions to our environment, is there even such a thing as "we," in the general sense? Is a discussion on the actions of an individual even relevant in light of the assertion that a person is a slave to this perpetual system and, therefore, not really and individual at all?

    So here we have an “individual” inquiring as to the nature of itself, when, in point of fact, the nature of the inquiry asserts that individuality doesn't really exist in the first place. In light of this, is the statement "I am not responsible for anything I do or think" even valid? Isn’t individuality, with regard to human beings, predicated upon our ability to operate as independent units? Is there even such a thing as “I”?

    I think I understand what your saying, though. The subject matter causes inherent difficulties of phrasing.

    Anyway, at its core, it's really just a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type of question.
    The reality is that without the existance of the supernatural, freewill is not possible. We are only a big lump of chemical reactions and mass that are a part of a giant cycle we have no control over. We only THINK we control our thoughts and actions becuase of their complexity. The majority of athiests/agnostics dont realize this. To support athiesm and: the value of human life/the justice system/accountability/responsiblity is a contradiction since freewill can't exist.

  11. #11
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by knuperup
    The reality is that without the existance of the supernatural, freewill is not possible. We are only a big lump of chemical reactions and mass that are a part of a giant cycle we have no control over. We only THINK we control our thoughts and actions becuase of their complexity. The majority of athiests/agnostics dont realize this. To support athiesm and: the value of human life/the justice system/accountability/responsiblity is a contradiction since freewill can't exist.
    So are you saying you don't support the value of human life or the justice system because you're an atheist? Or you do support them, but only because you've been fooled by yourself into thinking people actually have control over their own lives, and, therefore, you're a bad atheist/forget what it takes to be a true atheist sometimes?

  12. #12
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Quote Originally Posted by yossarian
    So are you saying you don't support the value of human life or the justice system because you're an atheist? Or you do support them, but only because you've been fooled by yourself into thinking people actually have control over their own lives, and, therefore, you're a bad atheist/forget what it takes to be a true atheist sometimes?
    I'm saying that atheism infers some ridiculous mindsets that I believe to be very counterproductive to humanity. Many athiests don't think about this stuff because they are just like the majority of the theists. They blindly follow someone else who tells them what's real and what's not.

    I am a follower of the Way.

  13. #13
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Okay, I see.

    What's the Way?

  14. #14
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Acts 24:14 - However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

  15. #15
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    Doesn't really explain it.

    "Without the supernatural, freewill is not possible"?

    That's quite a statement. Seems crazy to me.

  16. #16
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    Re: Soul/freewill VS. Mind/predestination

    i think the 2 options are way too limited, i understand that our actions are influenced by our DNA, our enviroment and its all to do with the interactions that go inside of our brains but theres also an element of randomness or chance into it that would allow the concept of freewill therefore for example if you think of a random number youll easily be able to make up one but there might be a bias towards certain numbers(so its only partially random)

    i still dont understand how freewill=>supernatural

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