The Soul

Well guys, I have been asked a tough question by a good friend of mine and I was wondering if I could get some help with it. The Question was " what are your thoughts on a soul?"

My definition of a soul is the following:

The spiritual, rational, and immortal part in man; that part of man which enables him to think, and which renders him a subject of moral government; – sometimes, in distinction from the higher nature, or spirit, of man, the so-called animal soul, that is, the seat of life, the sensitive affections and phantasy, exclusive of the voluntary and rational powers; – sometimes, in distinction from the mind, the moral and emotional part of man’s nature, the seat of feeling, in distinction from intellect; – sometimes, the intellect only; the understanding; the seat of knowledge, as distinguished from feeling.

But I am not a religious man and I know that religion have their own definition of what a soul is or how one is born with one or one has to earn one. If anyone can help me out with thoughts on the soul that would help me out because I was raised with religion so I am not familiar with this area.

i find it interesting that in each of you discriptions of the soul, you are presupposing its existence in everyone – you seem to think that we are all given one at birth.

You mean things that we generally regard as good and worthy of permanence? Couldn’t it just as easily be wishful thinking?

I call this language, but I wouldn’t call language our soul.

I call this instinct, but I wouldn’t call instinct a soul.

Ah, so it can mean anything we pretty much want. Well, if it can mean anything, it can then mean nothing (In fact, it pretty much has to mean nothing in order for it to mean anything), and that’s pretty much my position on the soul. :slight_smile:

Who says you have to be given it at birth? I think that reincarnation is the most logical afterlife. And to those who ask “How does the population get bigger if we are reincarnated?” I ask this question: “Have you ever heard of somebody having an ‘old soul?’” I have heard people use the therm, and while I have no definite explanation as of yet as to where or how new souls can begin to “live,” I am working on an essay (or at least a few sentences) that will offer a possible explanation.

With that out of the way, I would like to say that I disagree with you, Brad. I don’t think our souls can be whatever we will them to because if that were possible, it would make our temporary bodies (hosts, perhaps?) stronger that our immortal souls (keep in mind that this only works if what I said in the first paragraph is true.) If that were so, wouldn’t we be able to do a whole multitude of things that we, in fact, cannot do? Things like force our souls out of our bodies. Or maybe we can, and that’s what happens when our bodies die…