Monday, June 6, 2011

What is a soul? How do you know you have a soul?

What is a soul? How do you know you have a soul?
By Levi Price

This is an attempt to describe and identify what a human souls could be. Without using any scientific evidence other than sound logic, I will simply offer a viable explanation revealing the possible characteristics of what a soul probably is. I will further explain how we collect our knowledge and discuss how faith is mandatory for this process by everyone.

Critics of faith love to argue over this topic. They tauntingly ask, Where is the evidence that a soul even exists? What is a soul and where is it?

If a man has his heart hard and mind closed, even the clearest most obvious evidence will not convince him of any truth, so I am not really concern about the following statement: I will not claim to be able to prove with any certainty, through the conventional scientific method, what a soul is or whether we have one or not, but I can offer those who have curious hungry minds some delicious ‘food for thought.’

This is by no means scientific evidence, but rather a logical explanation that might seem reasonable. Just because something is logical doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s scientific. On the other side of the coin, just because something is a so called “science” doesn’t mean it is very logical. One thing that is certain, you can argue the differences.

I prefer to engage this topic by first logically demonstrating what I believe to be a “Soul.” If we can grasp any sensible description of what a soul might be, then I believe the other subordinate questions concerning the soul will be subsequently subdued.

First we must make the case to identify “what a soul is.”

Identifying a soul is very similar to identifying in space what is called a Black Hole. In the beginning scientists strongly denied that Black Holes even existed. Even if they do exist, they claimed, no one could ever see one because of its nature. It is perpetually black and swallows all the light around it making it impossible to see. Well, now virtually all scientist agree through new evidences brought forth from continuously patient study, and faith they exist, that Black Holes do indeed exist. Because of their presence near other objects in space, scientists have been able to measure their enormous influence on the matter around them. They can now understand and indirectly see them.

By this great example we can make a simple comparison to the questions concerning the soul, What is a Soul? Does it exist? We can not directly see a soul but I believe we can identify it by measuring it’s direct effects on the characteristics of human behavior.

If we were to answer the question, What is a human soul? We could say it is man’s unique characteristics, qualities and special abilities of the conscious mind. But what is that and what does something like this look like?

I find it interesting that I have been able to identify 6 of these unique qualities, especially since the number of man is 6 and on the 6th day, according to ancient scriptures, man was created.

Here are the 6 qualities that I have identified. I trust and believe these characteristics describe what a human soul is:

1. Man’s ability to preceive and understand, what he is experiencing through his senses, to have consciousness. For instance: I think therefore I am, If I jump off this cliff I am sure I will die. If I touch that fire it will burn me. I need to solve certain problem in order to stay alive. What is hunger? Why do I hunger? How do I solve these problem.

2. Man’s ability to ask questions, to wonder and be curious about his experience. For instance, How did I get here? Where am I from? What is my purpose? What happens after I die?

3. Man’s ability to reason logically and place values on what he experiences. For instance, How do you know 2+2=4? What is red vs. Yellow? Which way is up and down? How do you know these things? I saw a man fall from a cliff and die. How do I know that will happen to me?

4. Man’s ability to choose by free will his own preferences and values through his experience. How does one determine that he prefers chocolate ice cream over vanilla? How does one determine to not believe in the values of others?

5. Man’s ability to imagine, create, dream, set and accomplish goals. Where did man get the idea that we could fly? What is the imagination. Where does it come from?

6. Man’s ability to have faith in the things he values. Faith placed in the knowledge gained after concluding the asnwers to such questions: How did you come to even be curious about what a soul is? Why did you ask the question, what is a soul? Why did you want to ask that question? Where did your desire to understand what a soul is come from?

If we can identify what a soul is, the abilities to be aware, comprehend and learn, set and accomplish goals, ask questions then pursue and understand the answers, choose what to value or not and put our faith in it, then we might be able to logically prove that humans do indeed have souls.

Now you have a choice. You can dismiss all these special qualities and characteristics of human behavior and deny that they represent anything at all that might look like the effects of a human soul, or you can digest and process this information as logical evidence to describe what a human soul could be. I don’t really care. I am just bored today and having fun.

If we adhere to the previous line of thinking we can now answer the other question concerning the soul, How do you know you have a soul? If the previous observations of man’s unique qualities do seem reasonable in their attempt to describe what a human soul could be, then simply ask yourself the following: Do I have any of these same qualities? There is your answer.

However, to convince anyone of anything viable to be knowledge using scientific evidence in the end will be futile, because each person will ultimately have to place their investment of faith in the final conclusion.

In conclusion, keep in mind this very important, yet often overlooked fact. It is impossible to trust or believe in anything that does not require some level of faith. We all have a measure of faith. Faith comes by hearing and learning. We place our faith in what we trust and believe, the knowledge we have gained from our relationships and experiences of life.

All knowledge comes from the perception our own experiences, the testimonies of the experiences of others and the knowledge that we record in books or some other form of media. What we have learned becomes our knowledge base and we naturally place our faith in this knowledge. Faith is believing in what we have experienced, heard, learned or been taught.

This was exciting for me to share these excerpts of my personal thoughts. I am not sure how convincing I was, but I tried to make an attempt to describe and identify what a human souls could be. Using only sound reasoning and theoretical rhetoric, I explained what I thought could be the possible characteristics of a human soul. I further explained how we collect our knowledge and discussed how faith is required by every one for this process.

Unfortunately, so many naive people blindly place their faith in things that are not reputable or reliable simply because they heard someone say it. Repeated misrepresentations of false knowledge often times become the cornerstones of ones faith.

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