Monday, November 18, 2013

Honestly....How Can Anyone TRULY Believe in a Soul?

There are 2 obvious things that basically discredit the idea of a soul (and, by extension, an afterlife), and I do not see how thinking people can say they honestly believe in a soul.

1) Eyes. If souls can look down on us from heaven. that means they can see. So why do we have eyes? Isn't that rather redundant? And why is it that blind people are blind? They should still be able to see, even if their eyes do not function, since our souls can see. The existence of eyes and damage to the eyes resulting in blindness or at least some degree of vision impairment is said by most people to be because the eyes are quite simply the only mechanism through which we humans can take in visual stimuli which our brains can then process. Pit that against the idea that there is a soul and things like vision and consciousness (see the next point) are received by the brain rather than generated by it and apply Occam's Razor. I think it is pretty clear which of the two ideas is wishful thinking/nonsense.

2) The brain. Our souls are supposed to be us. Who we are. Our personality, our identity.......yet, changes in brain function alter our personality. It can change "who we are." Brain damage can make someone forever unrecognisable to even their families. How could this be? Some people, in response to this query, will posit the "transistor radio" hypothesis of consciousness, which, for those who do not know, is the idea that the brain acts as a receiver of consciousness rather than the catalyst for it. So according to this conception of consciousness, brain damage would alter behaviour not because the structures and electrochemical activity of the brain is responsible for said behaviour but rather due to the fact that the brain acts as a receiver for consciousness signals, and if a radio is damages the signal reception will be altered.

The problem with this idea, other than the fact that it is clearly just a way to rationalize away the evidence that runs contrary to the idea of a soul is that it doesn't explain things like dissociative identity disorder.
You know what does, however? The idea that the brain is the origin of consciousness. Other issues that could be discussed in relation to this hypothesis are dreams and psychedelic experiences. Once again, Occam's Razor can be employed to give an idea of what the most likely of the two scenarios is. Either certain chemicals, once released, ingested or synthesized lead to hallucinogenic experiences or these are released, ingested or synthesized and then the radio transmissions sent by the soul are obfuscated. Seems pretty obvious to me which is the more likely of the two and which is supported by evidence.

Really, if the soul existed and was the origin of consciousness, by what mechanism(s) is/are environmental stimuli taken in, processed and experienced in the way that we refer to as consciousness? Would this not necessitate the existence of a......brain? Or at least a brain like structure? Unless there are examples of ethereal/non material brain like things that have the innate ability to process information and then formulate reactions to said information I would say the idea is quite unlikely. Simply put, it's wishful thinking and clear rationalization of the understanding of ourselves granted us by the discipline of science.

1 comment:

  1. Man, this is sad :( I see this a lot in the big cities (I travel for work) and it is really hard to watch.


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