Friday, November 20, 2009

Reactions: Problems with the Soul theory

The original post can be found at: Philo-Psycho Freedom.

          This critique of a specific dualist theory by Philo-Psycho Freedom gives us insight into several fundamental problems with many peoples idea of soul. Although, this critique is too narrow in its view on dualism. It addresses the most common dualist stance found in western religious teachings: that the soul being unique to humans, it has influence over ones personality, and it has a specific role in the afterlife. To begin contemplating the nature of the soul we must first recognize the several possible ways  in which it may exist.

          First of all, we should not limit the conversation to only one soul for each individual since some cultures believe we possess several souls. Second, we must contemplate the interaction between the soul and mind. I agree with Philo-Psycho Freedom in the assertion that the soul does not affect the mind. Though, we must consider whether the soul/ mind interaction is only one way; the mind affecting the soul, but soul not affecting the mind. Third, we must ponder the question of where the soul resides. Does it reside in a specific place within, outside, or fully immersing the body? Philo-Psycho Freedom raises a very important question about whether the soul is unique to humans. I personally like the idea that a soul exists in every living organism; we are merely highly developed minds possessing the rare ability to contemplate  what has eternally existed in the essence of all things.   Lastly, we must ask the question that gets to the heart of spiritual contemplation: what is the soul after death to the body? Does it die with the body, transcend with in-tact memory, transcend with no memory, or become the essence of another living organism?  These are the questions we must ask when contemplating the soul theory.

          There are a lot of questions with no simple answers. Although Philo-Psycho Freedom targets only a fraction of this complex topic, they provide a logical and compelling critique of the dominant cultural stance of the west on the nature of the soul. 

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