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Old 08-09-2022, 07:10 AM   #11056
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntubski View Post
But surely the cloned embryos won't have souls (as I understand it, the soul comes in at the moment of conception, and these embryos were never conceived), so it should be fine, right?
That opens a can of worms! I have never been happy with the idea of an immaterial "soul" that somehow becomes associated with the body at conception (or considerably later according to Aristotle) and separates at death. Most Christians believe this but it doesn't seem to me to be biblical at all. It infiltrated Christianity from Platonism.

In the Old Testament, the soul is the self, the animated body, and nothing else. When God breathes the breath of life into the first man, he becomes a living soul: becomes, not receives. So when a man was dead,he was dead and that was the end of it. Some whispy kind of entity might survive and end up in the underworld called sheol, but it definitely wasn't a conscious person, not what we would call a soul. Most of the OT writers take it for granted that death is simply the end of life. They are always reminding God that if He wants to do anything for them, He'd better do it now because soon they'll be dead and then it will be too late.

Similarly in the New Testament, the hope set before us is not the survival of the disembodied soul but the resurrection of the body. The pharisees believed in immortal souls that could exist independently of the body but there's nothing in the Jewish Bible to encourage such speculations. That's why their enemies often made puns on the words "pharisee" and "Persian". They claimed that the whole idea of disembodied souls came from Zoroastrianism and they were probably right. Plato certainly got his idea of souls from Persian sources.

Your post gives a nice illustration of where the traditional idea of "souls" can take us. It seems that we can do whatever we like to human beings if we can just persuade ourselves that these particular human beings don't have souls. that's why this Promethean lunatic wants to create them without heads. Bah!!
 
Old 08-09-2022, 08:13 AM   #11057
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@hazel -- "That opens a can of worms!" Poster's intent!
 
Old 08-10-2022, 10:22 AM   #11058
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
In the Old Testament, the soul is the self, the animated body, and nothing else. When God breathes the breath of life into the first man, he becomes a living soul: becomes, not receives. So when a man was dead,he was dead and that was the end of it. Some whispy kind of entity might survive and end up in the underworld called sheol, but it definitely wasn't a conscious person, not what we would call a soul. Most of the OT writers take it for granted that death is simply the end of life.
True, but the OT writers were hardly any more representative of what ordinary people thought than Bertram Russell or Richard Dawkins. The archeological evidence shows that ordinary people in pre-exilic times practiced the same domestic cult as in the rest of the Near East, and the literary evidence from other areas shows that included an ancestral cult. Indeed, an ancestral cult is normal in all cultures that I know of, save those that have adopted monotheism or (like the Indians) a belief in universal reincarnation. The best discussion of the evidence for the soul and its survival is Carl Becker's Paranormal experience and survival of death (NY State University, 1993)
 
Old 08-17-2022, 09:00 AM   #11059
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Not meaning to interrupt or join in, but I think you miss the take believers have on events recorded in scripture. Agreed, the only archaeological evidence found is of false worship. True worship used (easily dismantled) altars of uncut stones, and no idols. By and large after the Temple was built in Jerusalem, they worshipped there.

As you can see from Luke 4:5-6
Quote:
So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time.  Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
the Devil has temporary control of earth's affairs. Bible history records events in Israel, the one place where an alternative to the Devil's rule was on offer - God's Law. The Bible records what happened when people followed it, and when they didn't. Those who followed it left no archaeological evidence.

The Adam & Eve account may not be accepted historically, but it makes sense of life. The instruction to Adam was that if he broke God's Law "He would die." At the rebellion, the Devil lied "You will not die," but they did die. So it's logical enough that the follow-up would be: "Oh, but they're not really dead..." and the immortal soul doctrine was born, apparently very early on.

Hazel was right about dying = dead. We agree on that, even though she'd probably disown me fairly hastily on other matters. False worship mainly has an immortal soul, or reincarnation. But if you have an immortal soul, you need somewhere bad to put the nasty ones, and somewhere for the 'don't knows'. Then there's fear (of the nasty place) in worshipping a God of Love. Lies need companions to prop them up. But the truth usually stands alone.

True worshippers expect to be in a minority, and expect the majority opinion to be wrong. But everyone takes majority opinion. You can probably see why I don't hang about here. It's the whole picture of true worship that cements your beliefs, not any particular dot or pixel on the artwork. But I get challenged on pixels.

/Note to self: Unsubscribe hastily.

Last edited by business_kid; 08-17-2022 at 09:04 AM.
 
Old 08-17-2022, 09:13 AM   #11060
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The illusion that because I can make my body move but not yours, and vice versa, made bodies seem separated from one another, causing folks to posit that souls would be separate too: but what if there was only one soul, like the wind that moves all the grasses and trees? This could explain alot, like telepathy and thinking of someone right when they call, etc... and it also undermines the concept of soul-mate.

Are there any "one soul" religons?
 
Old 08-17-2022, 09:22 AM   #11061
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slac-in-the-box View Post
Are there any "one soul" religons?
Yes, of course. Hindus (the educated ones, not the peasants) believe that our separate selves are an illusion and that there is only one true self which is also God (atman=brahman). Restoring that oneness is the purpose of Yoga.

Separate immortal souls seem to have been a Zoroastrian invention. The pharisees got it from there; there are lots of puns on pharisee/Persian in the Talmud. And Plato got it from the same source, probably via his friend Xenophon who had served as a mercenary commander in Persia. It came into Christianity in the second century from Platonism.

Last edited by hazel; 08-17-2022 at 09:28 AM.
 
Old 08-17-2022, 10:22 AM   #11062
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Hindus (the educated ones, not the peasants) believe that our separate selves are an illusion and that there is only one true self which is also God (atman=brahman). Restoring that oneness is the purpose of Yoga.
Wittgenstein wrote that it was not the job of philosophers to tell ordinary people that they'd got it all wrong. Sometimes the educated (e.g. Richard Dawkins) are the ones who've got their wits in a tangle. Actually the theory that you describe is the advaita philosophy started by Shankara, but other Hindu philosophers (e.g. Ramanuja and Madhva) rejected it. The advaita school attracted the attention of English-speaking people in the late 19th century because it was essentially the same as the absolute idealism currently fashionable in the UK (Bradley, Green) and USA {Royce).

Quote:
Separate immortal souls seem to have been a Zoroastrian invention.
As I've said before, the immortality of the soul is a universal belief — just as every society studied by anthropologists has practiced a religion, so they have all believed in an afterlife. What was undoubtedly Zoroastrian was the idea of physical resurrection — an idea so weird that many theologians, both Jewish (e.g. Maimonides) and Christian (e.g. Origen), never accepted it.
 
Old 08-17-2022, 12:07 PM   #11063
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Just FTR the Adam and Eve myth makes zero logical sense of anything we can view, measure, or account for. High on the list of problems is the HUGE problem of limited gene pool. Of course then there is the problem of Lilith and who were the mates for Cain and Abel? Even if each had 10 wives the gene pool could not have survived for more than a few generations.

As a myth it is creative poetry and interesting but certainly offends my modern sensibilities that Knowledge was the "forbidden fruit". As a man I am somewhat offended by the implied subservience for women (from Adam's rib indeed!), but that prejudice was far more common the further back in time we look. It just makes no sense unless one assumes The Creator allows He/She/It can make rules that it's OK to break when capriciousness strikes the fancy.
 
Old 08-17-2022, 04:43 PM   #11064
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"The Judaic creation myth," as captured in Genesis 1 and then again in Genesis 2, is in many ways typical of all of them: somehow, the God(s) create "First Man" and "First Woman." But no attempt is made to craft an intellectually-durable story. In this case, these chapters are poems. Although translators of the texts have done a magnificent job in a great many languages, I believe that the stories were intended to be sung.

And, it is easy to find on the Internet where they are being sung in what is thought to be very similar to the original language. It is quite haunting and beautiful. Don't try to read along: just close your eyes and listen. Take it all in.

I personally think that it is pointless to ask these stories to be more than what they are – let alone "literal truth." I believe that there is also plenty of room in religious texts for "beautiful fiction."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-17-2022 at 04:45 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2022, 06:07 AM   #11065
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
As a myth it is creative poetry and interesting but certainly offends my modern sensibilities that Knowledge was the "forbidden fruit".
"The knowledge of Good and Evil" is an ambiguous term (deliberately I suspect!). It could mean "all knowledge", where the contrasting "good and evil" simply indicates universality. Or it could mean (and was often interpreted as meaning) "the ability to decide for oneself what is good and what is not, rather than accepting God's word on it". You can make a good theological case for the latter being the original sin, as it gives each of us the ability to pat ourselves on the back for doing whatever we want to do, while calling down moral indignation on anyone whose behaviour annoys us. You only have to visit social media to see the outcome of that!
Quote:
As a man I am somewhat offended by the implied subservience for women (from Adam's rib indeed!), but that prejudice was far more common the further back in time we look.
Are you familiar with Mary Wollstonecraft's take on this?
"Eve was not taken from Adam's head to rule him nor from his feet to serve him, but from his side to be his equal, from against his heart that he might love her and from under his arm that he might protect her."

Last edited by hazel; 08-18-2022 at 06:09 AM.
 
Old 08-18-2022, 08:45 AM   #11066
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Many aspects of this ancient but very well-imagined story-song were obviously intended to be symbolic and metaphorical:
  • "And GOD said ..." (Seven verses.)
  • The two trees.
  • The fact that they were growing at the center of the garden. And, entirely without protection.
  • The specific identity of the fruits which were growing on each of them.
  • The fact that these fruits, while freely available, were "forbidden, therefore irresistible." (And: "God put them there on purpose. What was He thinking and why?")
  • That the consumption of one of them led to mankind's "downfall."
  • That the Woman, in her moral frailty, seduced the otherwise-invincible Man to follow her.
  • That God then blocked access to the other tree. And drove them out, thus forever barring future access to Eden (which presumably still exists ...).
  • That God then "explained," to other aspects of Himself, that, had He not prevented this access, man would have become equal to Himself.
  • That, in apparently-specific reaction to the fact that Man very-fortuitously did not also consume "the fruit of immortality," God specifically consigned mankind to "return to the dust from whence he came."
  • That everything that is now 'wrong' with this world – such as weeds – is actually a direct consequence of this original but now conveniently-irreversible screw-up.
And then:
  • "Adam's rib," and the utter improbability that God had "male and female created them" except(!) for Man.
  • ... and so on ...
This is very-obviously not a recitation of real history nor any kind of "truth." This is a metaphorical story.

So ... don't study them too closely. Don't ask them to be what they obviously aren't. Instead, appreciate them for what they are, and be glad that they somehow survived the centuries. Among the many "creation myths" that various cultures have preserved, this is certainly one of the best.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-18-2022 at 04:23 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2022, 10:36 AM   #11067
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
"The knowledge of Good and Evil" is an ambiguous term (deliberately I suspect!). It could mean "all knowledge", where the contrasting "good and evil" simply indicates universality. Or it could mean (and was often interpreted as meaning) "the ability to decide for oneself what is good and what is not, rather than accepting God's word on it". You can make a good theological case for the latter being the original sin, as it gives each of us the ability to pat ourselves on the back for doing whatever we want to do, while calling down moral indignation on anyone whose behaviour annoys us.
Even ignoring for sake of discussion that even language and biblical scholars have very serious difficulties in sifting through early text to know what was really in print let alone meant, and then add on that the story has changed over time, I confess I don't understand this at all. It seems obviously fabricated like a Morality Play and full of simplistic contradictions to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
Are you familiar with Mary Wollstonecraft's take on this?
"Eve was not taken from Adam's head to rule him nor from his feet to serve him, but from his side to be his equal, from against his heart that he might love her and from under his arm that he might protect her."
No I'm not familiar with Ms Wollstonecraft's interpretation, but it is nevertheless exactly that, an interpretation and a prejudiced one at that... sweet and fair to be sure, but hardly definitive. Had both been created in the same way at the same time that would have avoided any need for interpretation. If the purpose of divine revelation was to give the message to humans, why allow ANY room for "lost in translation". In fact, why not just make it a priori knowledge instead of writing it down subject to translations and interpretations whether beneficent or devious?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
You only have to visit social media to see the outcome of that!
Certainly social media is a platform that makes public the wide range of human interaction, foibles, values and prejudices and one of those evidenced recently is the mistake of judging of past peoples by today's standards, a mistake since humans are not All Knowing and must evolve and progress over time, usually many generations. It was a long hard road to get even where we are today. As much as I dislike it, I understand why the Christian Bible accepts subservience of Womankind and Slavery, for example, since it was utterly widespread when muscle power was all humans had to do work.

OTOH, it is IMHO an even greater mistake to judge modern behaviour by ancient standards, unless I suppose if a person actually imagines we would all be better off with Bronze Age values. The point is utterly moot, since it is literally impossible to go back, but that just increases the importance in looking ahead instead of backwards. Time rules us all.
 
Old 08-18-2022, 04:17 PM   #11068
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@enorbet: I don't think that there is anything wrong with acknowledging that "religions are a product of the time and culture from whence they came, and modified ever since." As long as one does acknowledge it.

The place where many people get into serious trouble is when they begin to worship "God, according to me ..."

Or: "God thinks the same way that I do ... I know what 'The Truth™' is, and I've got God on my side to back me up."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-18-2022 at 04:25 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2022, 07:21 PM   #11069
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^^ sundialsvcs hitting the nail ^^ right on the head. I'd add that is far more likely when religon becomes Religion, an actual organized Institution.
 
Old 08-19-2022, 08:56 AM   #11070
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@enorbet: I've said many times before that, in many countries, "religion is the state." They are one and the same. For instance, "the Church of England." It is actually quite unusual – but also, quite deliberate – that the United States' Bill of Rights specifically separates "church" and "state," and stipulates that a "state religion" will never be created.

The only surviving remnant of the Roman Empire, "the Roman Catholic Church," is still so politically powerful that most world governments maintain embassies in Vatican City to this day. And, if any human could claim the title, "King of Kings," it would be the Pope. (And why anyone would volunteer to hold that Office is quite beyond me ...)

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-19-2022 at 08:58 AM.
 
  


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