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Forums - Politics Discussion - What is a Spirit?

Spirits exist



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I always liked to think of a spirit/soul as our core, our raw entity that makes each and one of us slightly unique, so condensed in our being to the point that's out of our reach, and even we cannot even explain it to anyone, not even ourselves.

Dunno if there's an afterlife or not, but if there is cool, see you there people, maybe.



I'm now filled with determination.

Dr.Henry_Killinger said:
fucking metaphysics ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Blame the greeks.



Wright said:
Dr.Henry_Killinger said:
fucking metaphysics ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Blame the greeks.


Why us? lol.



DeusXmachina said:
Wright said:


Blame the greeks.


Why us? lol.




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Wright said:
DeusXmachina said:


Why us? lol.


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The notion of spirits, ghosts and the metaphysical is as old as the human species. Ancient Greeks were just the first that wrote down their thoughts and tried to find answers but definitely not the ones that started everything.



DeusXmachina said:

The notion of spirits, ghosts and the metaphysical is as old as the human species. Ancient Greeks were just the first that wrote down their thoughts and tried to find answers but definitely not the ones that started everything.


Definitively, but since I lack the knowledge of those prehistorical shamans, I have to point out the greeks. :3



binary solo said:
RadiantDanceMachine said:

The beauty of definitions is that they are arbitrary, but a necessary starting point in this case to begin understanding why someone may believe in the existence of the spirit/soul. While definitions may vary widely, each one can be put forth for scrutiny. 

Using the instruments of physical science to try to observe metaphysical things is like trying to see radio waves with the human eye. The capability simply does not exist.

Sure. My interest, however, is in how the spirit/soul interacts or supervenes on the physical. This seems to be a common notion put forth by those whom embrace this concept. There should be some measurable effect if there is a connection. In what way can this be quantified? It seems to me that in the past there was a now debunked study that proclaimed that the human body loses X ounces upon death failing to account for various bodily fluids which seep out upon expiring. This was said to be the soul.

I see no efforts these days to produce any semblance of support for these concepts. Lost and relegated to the legends of old, yet still very much in the mind's of the public as a necessary precondition of X religious belief. 

But what if the effect of spirit / the soul is simply consciousness? Consciousness must be manifested in the physical world through a physical mediuum even if it ultimately resides in / originates from a metaphysical entity. Therefore if spirit is the origin of consciousness it will still appear to us as if consciousness arises from biochemical neural processes, because the brain is either the seat of physical consciousness or the conduit through which spiritual consciousness manifests. The existence of spirit does not require its effect on the physical world to be identifiable and distinct from phenomenon we associate with physical mechanisms. Spirit, therefore, may be hidden in plain sight. It may be plainly manifested in all life by virtue of life existing, yet incapable of being seen because it cannot be isolated from life, which we view as being a purely physical phenomenon.

On somewhat of a flip side, my sister sees dead people, so at least from her perspective spirit is directly perceptable. Whether she's dellusional or gifted will depend on your point of view. She's a lawyer, highly intelligent, and has had a long and successful career, which tends to suggest she's not batshit insane. But then she recently moved to Australia, which somewhat puts her sanity in doubt. But having that experience of dead people does not necessarily anwer your questio of what is spirit and how does it act in the world? In particular because my sister tells all her visitors to go away, so she doesn't seek to facilitate the world of spirit having direct action in the physical world. And anyone who she didn't know in life can't break through to her, though when she was a young girl they could and she had to work hard to block unknowns out? End of the day these personal experiences only have meaning to the individuals concerned and they are believed or not believed based on the theological biases that existed with the person before they hear of such thing. If anyone tries to tell my sister that spirit and the soul don't exist and that individuality ceases at the point of physical death she will firmly but politely disagree, but she has no better idea than you or I how these realities act within people and on the world while people are alive.

With the manner in which you've described what a spirit does it seems to me to be entirely superfluous if conciousness itself can be described by purely physical phenomena. One has to presuppose that consciousness is produced by the soul/spirit in order to posit it as a source at all. This is falling into what I like to call the argumentum ex nihilo. (argument from nothing)  

P1) An invisochaun is an invisible creature which is responsible for all missing socks.

P2) Yesterday my socks went missing.

C1) An Invisochaun stole my socks.

C2) Invisochauns exist.

It's a way of presupposing a source for something in order to establish its existence ad hoc. If I presume invosochauns exist, then it would not be unreasonable to conclude that they snatched my socks, however it would be unreasonable for me to simply assume they exist at all. Until existence is established, we ought not be using them as a potential source for something like missing socks.

And I would also strongly disagree that a metaphysical-physical phenoma would not be distinct from a physical-physical phenomena.

A delusion is defined as:

an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.

Any perfectly competent human being can suffer from delusion - although in your example it seems to be the result of a hallucination. Our sensory experiences are the most powerful data we receive as human beings. It's exceedingly difficult for us to deny what we *see* regardless of how surreal it may be. 

If she wishes to hold a justified belief, she need demonstrate the veracity of her experience rather than simply "politely disagree". 

As far as individuality ceasing at death, that is rather obvious to me. The brain being responsible for thoughts, concepts of self included, when it ceases, you cease. That's why you can pull the plug on braindead patients, because *they* are dead.