1. Standard memberAgerg
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    08 Feb '11 01:302 edits
    What follows here is a response from Doward to me in my other "souls" thread that did not get a response from me acknowledging the care and time he put into it. I brushed it off (unfairly perhaps) because of irritation that the raison d'etre for my other thread was to demonstrate that

    - an atheist's (in particular my own) claim that one needs not invoke the notion of a soul is defensible - and a challenge to theists that they show I am wrong;

    and that the majority of responses treated the thread as

    - an inquiry into what is the nature of a soul and how best one should go about describing it, quantifying it etc...

    These are two distinct discussions with entirely different agendas. That said, the response doward gave would have been a reasonable answer had my, or someone elses question perhaps been:

    "how does one assess the function of a supernatural soul (which by definition of "supernatural" puts it's description beyond the means of humans to articulate) and quantify it's contribution to the character or 'essence' of a person given we have only natural means at our disposal?"

    Perhaps others will respond to it whilst I get round to preparing my own (given that it is an answer to a different question than the one in my other thread)

    great, we've established that there is either no need to continue this thread, or that the soul is supernatural, or "extra' natural if you prefer.

    Since we seem to be determined that the thread should continue, then lets say for argument sake that the soul is "extra" natural.

    Are there ways of measuring things that are not natural? We can measure the horsepower of a car. its torque, wheelbase and other attributes. The things we are measuring are of course physical carachteristics and physics itself. What if we were to determine the value of a car? Is that not a measurement? to be sure it is.

    So how do we measure the value of a car? generally speeking market conditions determine how much we pay for a car, but that does not give us its value. You see, after we are done with a car, we trade it, then the next person does etc until it goes to the junkyard, and even then it has value as scrap.

    So we can calculate the monetary value of a car over the life of a car, but that is not the same as value. For many people a car represents freedom, ability to work and a useful tool to generate income. Those things need to be included as well.

    Many people value their specialty cars beyond any reason. They treat the cars better than they treat their pets, and spend inordinate amounts of money tracking down "original parts".

    So we see that finding the quanitative and qualitative value for something simple like a car can be an enormous task, how much more so to find the value or measure of one's soul? Some people spend inordinate money feeding their soul, nurturing it and seeking "redemption" or reconciliation (pick your poison).

    Does the soul perform any useful tasks for us (as a car might)? Good question, but to know that we need to further define what a soul is. There is a term called Tripartite. It refers to the human being as being made of three parts: body, spirit and soul. We know what comprises the body, and the spirit would be called that aprt of us that makes us alive, the spark of life (science still doesn't know how this happens).

    Perhaps one way to look at it is this: Our souls are the essence of who we are. It is the complete history of what it means to be Doward. Yes if I am injured and brain functions go to nil, then that is part of my history of who or what it means to be me. It does not erase the numerous preofound thoughts I might have had, or the millions of dumb ideas I may have had. Think of the soul as the history of the being. Yet this does not completely define the soul, but it is a good start.


    This thread can be treated as an apology and acknowledgement I could have handled the situation better.
  2. St. Peter's
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    08 Feb '11 01:35
    Originally posted by Agerg
    What follows here is a response from Doward to me in my other "souls" thread that did not get a response from me acknowledging the care and time he put into it. I brushed it off (unfairly perhaps) because of irritation that the raison d'etre for my other thread was to demonstrate that

    [i]- an atheist's (in particular my own) claim that one needs not invoke ...[text shortened]... an apology and acknowledgement I could have handled the situation better.
    and I as well. Perhaps a day or two to regroup and we can have at it again?
  3. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    08 Feb '11 01:37
    :'(
  4. Cape Town
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    08 Feb '11 06:17
    Originally posted by Agerg
    ..... the spark of life (science still doesn't know how this happens).
    I must take issue with that: Science does know how life happens, and has done so for a fairly long time. One could say - since the discovery of DNA.
  5. St. Peter's
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    08 Feb '11 12:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I must take issue with that: Science does know how life happens, and has done so for a fairly long time. One could say - since the discovery of DNA.
    So scientists are able to create life from nothing? In other words: they can take the necessary chemical componenets and combine them to form life? I think not.

    Under a microscope one can see microbes, etc. Two microbes next to one another may appear entirely identical; each has a cell wall, a nucleus with dna and peptide chains etc all intact. They are identical in virtually every way, except one is dead and one is alive. If it was as simple as what parts go where, then scientists would be able to keep cells alive indefinitely (but they cannot).

    Taking this a step further: A human being has a massive coronary, and ambulance takes him/her to the hospital where xhe is promptly pronounced DOA (dead on arrival). Now the complex organism is considered dead, yet 99.9% of it cellular structures remain intact and are alive. They harvest organs (because the cells are still alive) and give life to others. If the person is dead, then how are the cells still alive?

    Science most assuradley does not know why something is alive and why something is not. They may be able to tell the difference, but they don't know how or why life happens.
  6. Standard memberDasa
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    08 Feb '11 12:39
    Originally posted by Doward
    So scientists are able to create life from nothing? In other words: they can take the necessary chemical componenets and combine them to form life? I think not.

    Under a microscope one can see microbes, etc. Two microbes next to one another may appear entirely identical; each has a cell wall, a nucleus with dna and peptide chains etc all intact. They are id ...[text shortened]... g is not. They may be able to tell the difference, but they don't know how or why life happens.
    I enjoyed to hear truth in your comments...keep it up.
  7. Cape Town
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    08 Feb '11 13:31
    Originally posted by Doward
    So scientists are able to create life from nothing?
    No, I did not say that - though I believe it has been done.

    Just because I know how the sun generates heat (through nuclear fusion) does not mean I have been able to make a sun (or even a fusion reactor). Knowing how something works and being able to make it are not equivalent.

    Under a microscope one can see microbes, etc. Two microbes next to one another may appear entirely identical; each has a cell wall, a nucleus with dna and peptide chains etc all intact. They are identical in virtually every way, except one is dead and one is alive.
    Clearly they are not as identical as you think. Maybe you need a better microscope.

    If it was as simple as what parts go where, then scientists would be able to keep cells alive indefinitely (but they cannot).
    Again, this does not follow.
    I know how cars work and presume you do too. Can you keep your car running indefinitely? Can you make a car?

    Taking this a step further: A human being has a massive coronary, and ambulance takes him/her to the hospital where xhe is promptly pronounced DOA (dead on arrival). Now the complex organism is considered dead, yet 99.9% of it cellular structures remain intact and are alive. They harvest organs (because the cells are still alive) and give life to others. If the person is dead, then how are the cells still alive?
    Its quite obvious, and I think you know the answer. The person is dead because the system of cooperation between the cells has broken down.

    Science most assuradley does not know why something is alive and why something is not. They may be able to tell the difference, but they don't know how or why life happens.
    And I say they do. So far you haven't proven anything to the contrary, and a massive body of scientific evidence disagrees with you.
  8. St. Peter's
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    08 Feb '11 15:231 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, I did not say that - though I believe it has been done.

    Just because I know how the sun generates heat (through nuclear fusion) does not mean I have been able to make a sun (or even a fusion reactor). Knowing how something works and being able to make it are [b]not
    equivalent.

    Under a microscope one can see microbes, etc. Two microbes nex proven anything to the contrary, and a massive body of scientific evidence disagrees with you.
    Clearly they are not as identical as you think. Maybe you need a better microscope.
    That's your response? I need a better microscope?🙄

    I know how cars work and presume you do too. Can you keep your car running indefinitely? Can you make a car?
    I am not a mechanic, but I know some, and yes they can keep a car running indefinitely. It's simply a matter of economics, at some point it makes more sense to get a new car, but if money were not an issue, then parts can be fabbed for any car and any function.

    And I say they do. So far you haven't proven anything to the contrary, and a massive body of scientific evidence disagrees with you.
    you have yet to offer any evidence. I look forward to proving your assertions as completely ridiculous and/or false.
  9. gumtree
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    08 Feb '11 15:32
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I must take issue with that: Science does know how life happens, and has done so for a fairly long time. One could say - since the discovery of DNA.
    Scientists still have problems defining life let alone knowing how it happens. Ask a few astrobiologists if you don't believe me, those I know and work with have huge problems working out what might be necessary for life to "happen".
  10. Standard memberDasa
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    08 Feb '11 15:37
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    Scientists still have problems defining life let alone knowing how it happens. Ask a few astrobiologists if you don't believe me, those I know and work with have huge problems working out what might be necessary for life to "happen".
    Yes......and from that platform of not knowing, they loudly add....."and there's no spiritual factor involved either"
  11. Cape Town
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    08 Feb '11 15:39
    Originally posted by Doward
    That's your response? I need a better microscope?🙄
    Yes it is. You claimed that a live cell and a dead cell looked the same under your microscope. You then made the conclusion that they were essentially identical physically. I am asserting that there are some quite important physical differences between a dead cell and live cell, and if you cannot see those differences then you need a better microscope (or other techniques / instruments to observe the structure of the cells in question).

    I am not a mechanic, but I know some, and yes they can keep a car running indefinitely. It's simply a matter of economics, at some point it makes more sense to get a new car, but if money were not an issue, then parts can be fabbed for any car and any function.
    Yet most cars do not run indefinitely and you probably don't have the skills to make them do so. Your claim was that if someone cannot make something run indefinitely then they don't know how it works. I am claiming that that does not follow.
    There may be financial constraints as you mention, or there may be technical constraints.
    As the bearings wear out, bits of metal are eroded off. Can you put those bits of metal back where they came from? Does your failure to do so mean you don't know how the bearing works?
  12. gumtree
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    08 Feb '11 16:03
    Originally posted by vishvahetu
    Yes......and from that platform of not knowing, they loudly add....."and there's no spiritual factor involved either"
    Some do, some don't. As with all life, astrobiologists and scientists in general are very diverse creatures.
  13. Cape Town
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    08 Feb '11 16:22
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    Scientists still have problems defining life let alone knowing how it happens.
    The two problems are unrelated. You seem intent on using flawed arguments to defend your position.
    The problem if defining life is merely one of categorizing. We have similar problems with other category words such as 'species', and 'blue'. Does this mean we don't know what species are? Does it mean we don't know how species 'work'?
    What is 'blue'? Scientists would have a hard time defining exactly which range of light frequencies are 'blue'. Does that mean we don't understand light?

    Ask a few astrobiologists if you don't believe me, those I know and work with have huge problems working out what might be necessary for life to "happen".
    This time, you have changed the question. The original claim by you, implied scientists don't know how life works. That is a totally different statement from asking how life may arise in a natural environment or (as the problem for astrobiologists ) the range of possible ways in which life may arise in the range of natural environments in the universe.
    I fully admit that we do not yet have an answer to the astrobiology question, nor are we likely to have a solid answer any time soon. But this tells us nothing about magical sparks required for life, nor does it take away from our knowledge of the workings of life.
    To give an analogy: you have a grandfather clock. You can see all the gears and you know how it works in every detail. Does this mean you know where it was manufactured? Does it mean you know all possible grandfather clock factories? Does such lack of knowledge prevent you from knowing how it works?
  14. gumtree
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    08 Feb '11 16:26
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The two problems are unrelated. You seem intent on using flawed arguments to defend your position.
    The problem if defining life is merely one of categorizing. We have similar problems with other category words such as 'species', and 'blue'. Does this mean we don't know what species are? Does it mean we don't know how species 'work'?
    What is 'blue'? Sci ...[text shortened]... k factories? Does such lack of knowledge prevent you from knowing how it works?
    I see, you came here for a fight. I am not about to oblige you although I'll happily hold your coat while you indulge in fisticuffs with others.
  15. St. Peter's
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    08 Feb '11 17:502 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Yes it is. You claimed that a live cell and a dead cell looked the same under your microscope. You then made the conclusion that they were essentially identical physically. I am asserting that there are some quite important physical differences between a dead cell and live cell, and if you cannot see those differences then you need a better microscope (or where they came from? Does your failure to do so mean you don't know how the bearing works?
    Cars can run forever, again it is a question of economics not of ability, thus your anology is false, try again.


    At the point of "death" for a cell, does it look any different from a live cell? No.

    Scientists have been able to distinguish between the two by testing, not by "observing". Dye is added to the slide, dead cells will absorb the dye where live cells will not. The live cells actively reject the dye, the dead cells have ceased functioning and no longer perform that process.

    In form and composition there is no difference between a live and dead cell, the ability to differentiate between the two lies in their functions (or ability to function).

    So what then makes them dead? What makes them alive? Scientists can tell whether something is alive or dead, but not why its alive or dead (blunt force trauma etc notwithstanding). This point you cannot disprove, or you would have.
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