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#18 Moontanman

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 07:07 PM

The soul is a metaphysical entity. Human mental states are transient and when integrated over time define the psychic potential. Viz the soul.


Another interesting take on this is that the "soul" originally meant breath, a baby didn't have a soul until it took it's first breath and at death as the body expelled it's last breath that was considered the soul leaving the body. Supernatural or metaphysical are confusing words, seemingly giving credence to something at worst imaginary and undetectable at best.

You have to consider that something that has no tangible effect on reality is no different from something that doesn't exist..

Edited by Moontanman, 28 February 2016 - 07:07 PM.


#19 Rade

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 02:19 PM

Is the soul a kind of psychic genetic code ?
 
Please opine.  :zip:



I will argue that 'the soul' is the information (constraint on variety) present within the genetic code, thus the soul is not material in-of-itself, but is causally responsible for life activities because as defined by Aristotle it is the first actuality of a natural body that has life potential. By this argument, life is defined as a process of self generated action mediated (constrained) by the information contained within nucleic acids (via evolution first RNA, then DNA). Because the soul is a first actuality of a natural body, it is a capacity to mediate the development of the life process. The soul is a capacity for life to exist, life would not be possible without a soul, neither is a soul possible outside a natural body that is alive. Each individual living natural body has a unique soul because each individual living thing has a unique first actuality of self generated action in the form of information encoded within genetic material. The soul can be studied scientifically via cybernetic theory within the subject matter dealing with constraint on variety.

#20 exchemist

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 02:32 PM

I will argue that 'the soul' is the information (constraint on variety) present within the genetic code, thus the soul is not material in-of-itself, but is causally responsible for life activities because as defined by Aristotle it is the first actuality of a natural body that has life potential. By this argument, life is defined as a process of self generated action mediated (constrained) by the information contained within nucleic acids (via evolution first RNA, then DNA). Because the soul is a first actuality of a natural body, it is a capacity to mediate the development of the life process. The soul is a capacity for life to exist, life would not be possible without a soul, neither is a soul possible outside a natural body that is alive. Each individual living natural body has a unique soul because each individual living thing has a unique first actuality of self generated action in the form of information encoded within genetic material. The soul can be studied scientifically via cybernetic theory within the subject matter dealing with constraint on variety.

Interesting. But I'd have thought DNA and nucleic acids were beside the point. The DNA is still there is a corpse - until it starts to decompose. To me, the concept of the soul should be bound up with brain activity. It is that which determines life.

 

I can see that if you want to asscoiate the soul with the life of a newly fertilised embryo, for example to make a concept that fits the contortions of  Catholic theology on birth control, then you might want to connect it to a unique DNA combination. But this strike me as unpersuasive. 



#21 Rade

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:21 PM

Interesting. But I'd have thought DNA and nucleic acids were beside the point. The DNA is still there is a corpse - until it starts to decompose. To me, the concept of the soul should be bound up with brain activity. It is that which determines life.
I can see that if you want to asscoiate the soul with the life of a newly fertilised embryo, for example to make a concept that fits the contortions of  Catholic theology on birth control, then you might want to connect it to a unique DNA combination. But this strike me as unpersuasive.

Sorry, but brain activity does not make a single cell bacteria species alive. Brain activity is not necessary for there to be life. You confuse life in general with human life in the specific. All forms of live have a soul, yes, even bacteria. I defined life, read it again.

Concerning nucleic acid molecules after death, at death the capacity of the molecules to code information comes to an end, the soul vanishes. There are no souls outside a living entity as I have so defined it, a conceptual realization very difficult for some people to except.

#22 exchemist

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:27 PM

Sorry, but brain activity does not make a single cell bacteria species alive. Brain activity is not necessary for there to be life. You confuse life in general with human life in the specific. All forms of live have a soul, yes, even bacteria. I defined life, read it again.

Concerning nucleic acid molecules after death, at death the capacity of the molecules to code information comes to an end, the soul vanishes. There are no souls outside a living entity as I have so defined it, a conceptual realization very difficult for some people to except.

Ah well, if you attribute a soul to even single celled organisms then clearly you need something other than brain activity, I agree.

 

In that case it would have to be associated with biochemical processes, presumably. 

 

And yes it is difficult to accept: certainly, as a scientific theory, I would say impossible. Though figuratively or poetically one might imagine what you mean. 


Edited by exchemist, 15 May 2017 - 03:30 PM.


#23 OceanBreeze

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 01:39 AM

Sorry, but brain activity does not make a single cell bacteria species alive. Brain activity is not necessary for there to be life. You confuse life in general with human life in the specific. All forms of live have a soul, yes, even bacteria. I defined life, read it again.

Concerning nucleic acid molecules after death, at death the capacity of the molecules to code information comes to an end, the soul vanishes. There are no souls outside a living entity as I have so defined it, a conceptual realization very difficult for some people to except.

 

From this I gather a soul is whatever you define it to be. Yes, that would be difficult for some people to accept.


Edited by OceanBreeze, 16 May 2017 - 01:39 AM.


#24 Rade

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:26 PM

From this I gather a soul is whatever you define it to be. Yes, that would be difficult for some people to accept.

No, I did not define the concept soul, I used the one presented by Aristotle.  

 

I defined life, I defined what it means to be a living entity. 

 

What is difficult to accept about my definition of life, or the definition of soul presented by Aristotle ?  



#25 Rade

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:33 PM

Ah well, if you attribute a soul to even single celled organisms then clearly you need something other than brain activity, I agree.

 

In that case it would have to be associated with biochemical processes, presumably. 

 

And yes it is difficult to accept: certainly, as a scientific theory, I would say impossible. Though figuratively or poetically one might imagine what you mean. 

Yes, the argument presented does associate the soul with a biochemical process, the process of information encoded within the molecular structure of nucleic acids, RNA and DNA.   The great importance of RNA and DNA is not the matter and energy of their atomic bonding structure, but the information contained within  the nucleotide sequence (A,T,C,G,U).   The scientific theory involved includes the study of cybernetics. 



#26 exchemist

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:57 AM

Yes, the argument presented does associate the soul with a biochemical process, the process of information encoded within the molecular structure of nucleic acids, RNA and DNA.   The great importance of RNA and DNA is not the matter and energy of their atomic bonding structure, but the information contained within  the nucleotide sequence (A,T,C,G,U).   The scientific theory involved includes the study of cybernetics. 

Encoded information is not a process.

 

The information is still there in dead organisms, for example.

 

For life, you need biochemical activity.  


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#27 Rade

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:21 PM

Encoded information is not a process.

 

The information is still there in dead organisms, for example.

 

For life, you need biochemical activity.  

I agree with all the above statements.   Let me clarify.  

 

1. The processes associated with encoded information within nucleic acids are known as transcription and translation.   The encoded genetic information in the nucleotide sequence of RNA and DNA is the capacity that allows the two processes to occur.   That capacity is what Aristotle defined to be the soul.  Recall the definition of soul presented by Aristotle...."the first actuality of a natural body that has life potential".   It then follows that life is impossible for any natural body with such potential without a first actuality, without a soul.  I hold that this unique understanding of the soul 2000+ years ago by Aristotle, linked to the concept of life, is confirmed by our present understanding of genetics and biochemistry combined with information theory such as via the study of cybernetics. 

 

2. The information present in dead organisms lacks a soul (a first actuality with capacity to mediate biochemical activity).  A soul is only possible within a living entity. 

 

3. Clearly for life you need biochemical activity, but the self generated biochemical activity of a living entity must be mediated by the information encoded within nucleic acids, that is, it requires a soul to remain alive.   



#28 exchemist

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 12:55 AM

I agree with all the above statements.   Let me clarify.  

 

1. The processes associated with encoded information within nucleic acids are known as transcription and translation.   The encoded genetic information in the nucleotide sequence of RNA and DNA is the capacity that allows the two processes to occur.   That capacity is what Aristotle defined to be the soul.  Recall the definition of soul presented by Aristotle...."the first actuality of a natural body that has life potential".   It then follows that life is impossible for any natural body with such potential without a first actuality, without a soul.  I hold that this unique understanding of the soul 2000+ years ago by Aristotle, linked to the concept of life, is confirmed by our present understanding of genetics and biochemistry combined with information theory such as via the study of cybernetics. 

 

2. The information present in dead organisms lacks a soul (a first actuality with capacity to mediate biochemical activity).  A soul is only possible within a living entity. 

 

3. Clearly for life you need biochemical activity, but the self generated biochemical activity of a living entity must be mediated by the information encoded within nucleic acids, that is, it requires a soul to remain alive.   

But surely it is self-contradictory to say on the one hand that the soul consists in genetic information and on the other that a dead organism - which manifestly does contain genetic information - has no soul? When you say a dead organism has no soul, what is it that makes it physically different from a living organism? 

 

I agree that you need the genetic information to create a living organism in the first place. But actually you do not need genetic information for life biochemistry to carry on once it has started. For example cells with no nucleus can stay alive: red blood cells for example. 

 

So I see some real problems with this concept.



#29 Rade

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:59 PM

But surely it is self-contradictory to say on the one hand that the soul consists in genetic information and on the other that a dead organism - which manifestly does contain genetic information - has no soul? When you say a dead organism has no soul, what is it that makes it physically different from a living organism? 

 

I agree that you need the genetic information to create a living organism in the first place. But actually you do not need genetic information for life biochemistry to carry on once it has started. For example cells with no nucleus can stay alive: red blood cells for example. 

 

So I see some real problems with this concept.

Thank you for your comments, they force me to clarify my argument.

 

1.  My first post on this topic took the definition of a soul as presented by Aristotle, to which I added my definition of life, which lead me to argue that the concept of soul presented by Aristotle 2000+ years ago suggests an association with the modern day understanding of information encoded within RNA and DNA molecules.  As you say, it would be a contradiction for the soul of Aristotle to be limited to the information itself, that is, the nucleotide sequence, there must be something else.  A clue comes from the meaning of the words 'first actuality' used by Aristotle...e.g., the soul for my argument to hold must be the encoded information actualized.  Thus the aspect of the soul that is missing from an entity that was once living, now dead, is not the information itself, but the ability of that information to be actualized (e.g., transcribed and translated).  

 

2.  Vertebrate red blood cells fit my argument well.  Some vertebrates such as amphibians do have red blood cells with a nucleus present, but the ability of any encoded information within the DNA to be actualized to allow for transcription and translation has been lost.  Mammals have a more specialized red blood cell morphology where the nucleus also is lost, which is adaptive because this increases surface area available for more oxygen to be transported.   So, let us look at a human red blood cell, does it have a soul, and is it a living entity in of itself ?  The answer to both questions is no.  Soul does not exist within a human red blood cell because the encoded information is gone, and it is no more alive than a virus cell, for the reason that it has lost its ability of self generated reproduction.  

 

3.  I welcome continued discussion of problems with my argument.

 

----

 

Let us return to the OP of this thread.  This question was asked:

 

Is the soul a kind of psychic genetic code ?

 

My argument is that the answer to this question is yes.  I reach this conclusion by adopting the definition of a soul presented by Aristotle, merged with my definition of life.  For Aristotle the soul is a representation of the form of a living entity, and conversely, the living entity represents the matter (and energy) of the soul.  Thus the concept of soul applies to all living entities from the most complex to single celled organisms such as bacteria. 

 

The soul and the living entity are not identical.  Thus, as form is to matter (form:matter), then (soul:living entity), and I conclude (information:matter), which by information I mean the encoded genetic information present in nucleic acids (RNA, DNA).   From this I conclude that the soul of Aristotle can be thought to be associated with the modern day concept of genetic code, e.g., a concept of genetic information within a nucleotide sequence to be actualized.   One such kind of a code would be the nucleotide sequence related to development of "psychic" (mind) faculty.  But, according to Aristotle, the soul is more diverse than what is possible from  a psychic genetic code.  In addition to the mind, the soul is also a kind of nutritional, perception, and desire/emotion genetic code.   Each of these 'kinds of soul' has a unique nucleotide sequence.  Thus each living entity has a unique soul due to the uniqueness of the genetic information present within it.  



#30 exchemist

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:44 PM

Thank you for your comments, they force me to clarify my argument.

 

1.  My first post on this topic took the definition of a soul as presented by Aristotle, to which I added my definition of life, which lead me to argue that the concept of soul presented by Aristotle 2000+ years ago suggests an association with the modern day understanding of information encoded within RNA and DNA molecules.  As you say, it would be a contradiction for the soul of Aristotle to be limited to the information itself, that is, the nucleotide sequence, there must be something else.  A clue comes from the meaning of the words 'first actuality' used by Aristotle...e.g., the soul for my argument to hold must be the encoded information actualized.  Thus the aspect of the soul that is missing from an entity that was once living, now dead, is not the information itself, but the ability of that information to be actualized (e.g., transcribed and translated).  

 

2.  Vertebrate red blood cells fit my argument well.  Some vertebrates such as amphibians do have red blood cells with a nucleus present, but the ability of any encoded information within the DNA to be actualized to allow for transcription and translation has been lost.  Mammals have a more specialized red blood cell morphology where the nucleus also is lost, which is adaptive because this increases surface area available for more oxygen to be transported.   So, let us look at a human red blood cell, does it have a soul, and is it a living entity in of itself ?  The answer to both questions is no.  Soul does not exist within a human red blood cell because the encoded information is gone, and it is no more alive than a virus cell, for the reason that it has lost its ability of self generated reproduction.  

 

3.  I welcome continued discussion of problems with my argument.

 

----

 

Let us return to the OP of this thread.  This question was asked:

 

Is the soul a kind of psychic genetic code ?

 

My argument is that the answer to this question is yes.  I reach this conclusion by adopting the definition of a soul presented by Aristotle, merged with my definition of life.  For Aristotle the soul is a representation of the form of a living entity, and conversely, the living entity represents the matter (and energy) of the soul.  Thus the concept of soul applies to all living entities from the most complex to single celled organisms such as bacteria. 

 

The soul and the living entity are not identical.  Thus, as form is to matter (form:matter), then (soul:living entity), and I conclude (information:matter), which by information I mean the encoded genetic information present in nucleic acids (RNA, DNA).   From this I conclude that the soul of Aristotle can be thought to be associated with the modern day concept of genetic code, e.g., a concept of genetic information within a nucleotide sequence to be actualized.   One such kind of a code would be the nucleotide sequence related to development of "psychic" (mind) faculty.  But, according to Aristotle, the soul is more diverse than what is possible from  a psychic genetic code.  In addition to the mind, the soul is also a kind of nutritional, perception, and desire/emotion genetic code.   Each of these 'kinds of soul' has a unique nucleotide sequence.  Thus each living entity has a unique soul due to the uniqueness of the genetic information present within it.  

There is some interesting philosophy here, but it is too late tonight for me to think through it all. 

 

The virus, which you mention, indeed poses another problem: it assuredly does contain genetic information but it is debatable whether it can be said to be alive. 

 

In fact I had a thought-provoking discussion with my son a couple of years ago, about what the criteria are for defining life. It is in fact not a straightforward thing to define. He was given, in biology class,  a list of criteria, most but not all of which must be satisfied for something to be said to be alive. But is not possible to come up with a clean, unambiguous definition, oddly enough.  

 

So if you associate the soul with life, you are likely to run into the same definitional problem, it seems to me.  



#31 mrg

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

Check out David Hume's essay ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.   Likely the best introduction to Hume ... though it ends on an unusually sarcastic note.



#32 petrushkagoogol

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 07:41 AM

Thank you for your comments, they force me to clarify my argument.

 

1.  My first post on this topic took the definition of a soul as presented by Aristotle, to which I added my definition of life, which lead me to argue that the concept of soul presented by Aristotle 2000+ years ago suggests an association with the modern day understanding of information encoded within RNA and DNA molecules.  As you say, it would be a contradiction for the soul of Aristotle to be limited to the information itself, that is, the nucleotide sequence, there must be something else.  A clue comes from the meaning of the words 'first actuality' used by Aristotle...e.g., the soul for my argument to hold must be the encoded information actualized.  Thus the aspect of the soul that is missing from an entity that was once living, now dead, is not the information itself, but the ability of that information to be actualized (e.g., transcribed and translated).  

 

2.  Vertebrate red blood cells fit my argument well.  Some vertebrates such as amphibians do have red blood cells with a nucleus present, but the ability of any encoded information within the DNA to be actualized to allow for transcription and translation has been lost.  Mammals have a more specialized red blood cell morphology where the nucleus also is lost, which is adaptive because this increases surface area available for more oxygen to be transported.   So, let us look at a human red blood cell, does it have a soul, and is it a living entity in of itself ?  The answer to both questions is no.  Soul does not exist within a human red blood cell because the encoded information is gone, and it is no more alive than a virus cell, for the reason that it has lost its ability of self generated reproduction.  

 

3.  I welcome continued discussion of problems with my argument.

 

----

 

Let us return to the OP of this thread.  This question was asked:

 

Is the soul a kind of psychic genetic code ?

 

My argument is that the answer to this question is yes.  I reach this conclusion by adopting the definition of a soul presented by Aristotle, merged with my definition of life.  For Aristotle the soul is a representation of the form of a living entity, and conversely, the living entity represents the matter (and energy) of the soul.  Thus the concept of soul applies to all living entities from the most complex to single celled organisms such as bacteria. 

 

The soul and the living entity are not identical.  Thus, as form is to matter (form:matter), then (soul:living entity), and I conclude (information:matter), which by information I mean the encoded genetic information present in nucleic acids (RNA, DNA).   From this I conclude that the soul of Aristotle can be thought to be associated with the modern day concept of genetic code, e.g., a concept of genetic information within a nucleotide sequence to be actualized.   One such kind of a code would be the nucleotide sequence related to development of "psychic" (mind) faculty.  But, according to Aristotle, the soul is more diverse than what is possible from  a psychic genetic code.  In addition to the mind, the soul is also a kind of nutritional, perception, and desire/emotion genetic code.   Each of these 'kinds of soul' has a unique nucleotide sequence.  Thus each living entity has a unique soul due to the uniqueness of the genetic information present within it.  

 

The soul is present from conception to death. Cells age and die but the soul stays as is. It is invariant......  :vava:



#33 current

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:53 PM

There is no evidence to support the existence of a soul or anything metaphysical... before we can discus the soul in a meaningful manner some empitical evidence of the soul needs to be produced.


What have you read about the soul ?

#34 current

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:57 PM

The soul is present from conception to death. Cells age and die but the soul stays as is. It is invariant......  :vava:


From what I understand the soul is only invariant if it persists of not learning , from mistakes made in this material world .