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Sacci Singh Chauhan

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What is it which keeps the heart beating? Is it soul? What does soul mean to you?

I am looking forward to hear your views.

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    Dec 15 2011: I am just wondering... what will happen when the last biochemical pathway will be explored and there will be no questions about how our body works? When the complexity of our brain will be an open book and let's say we will be able to understand all our emotions from a biological/evolutionary point of view?

    I know that science can never be perfect and "whole", but exploring the human body in full depth could destroy the concept of soul and spirit.
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      Dec 15 2011: What will happen then? HA! you'll still have people with wacky ideas about "vital energies" and such.
      What has astronomy to do with astrology anymore?

      People who don't understand every detail about the brain don't all resolve to supernatural ideas. Only the irrational do so. And unless everyone is ensured a proper education, there will always be irrational people, no matter what explanations you come up with.
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        Dec 15 2011: QUOTE: "People who don't understand every detail about the brain don't all resolve to supernatural ideas. Only the irrational do so. And unless everyone is ensured a proper education, there will always be irrational people, no matter what explanations you come up with."

        Hi Gerald,

        Only the irrational resolve to supernatural ideas?

        With one possible exception, I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational" ... that is part of our nature (or so it would seem.)

        I think it irrational to assume we humans will ever be "rational."

        The beating of the heart, the functioning of the brain, the operations of single cells and organelles can all be explained with biochemical processes, ionic transfers of potassium and calcium molecules, the processing of glucose, and so on.

        The challenge comes when we try to explain consciousness in this manner.

        "Everything" that we use to explain "everything" about an operational body still exists in the body after death but the body no longer "functions" and consciousness is no longer present ("in the body," some would say.)

        We can explain consciousness as an emergent property. But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings.

        ----


        I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. – Max Planck (As quoted in The Observer - 25 January 1931)

        Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve. – Max Planck
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          Dec 15 2011: And to this I will add :

          A description is NOT an explanation ! Science answers "How..?" not "Why...?"

          And by this I am not implying that we need some irrational other-worldly explanation !

          It could be that the words "soul" and "spirit" are symbols, and not "facts" !
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          Dec 15 2011: QUOTE : "I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational"
          QUOTE : "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings."

          Which is it? I believe that every human is irrationnal, in fact. Our minds are set for a narrow purpose, and have no interest in objective reality. This is why many rational explanations don't make sense. I often prey for the sun to rise when I'm cold in winter mornings. I don't believe in prayer nor do I believe that the sun actually rises. But this is the way my mind automatically sees the world.
          But while some people enjoy fooling themselves, some use their brains for something it hasn't evolved to do : understand what is actually going on out there.

          This I call rational behaviour from an irrational mind. So when I mentioned irrational people, let's rephrase and say "people who don't try to think rationally."

          QUOTE "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many "
          This is not an argument. Most human who've ever lived on this planet would not have been satisfied with the earth-spinning-and-orbiting-around-the-sun explanation.
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        Dec 15 2011: QUOTE : "I have never met a single person who is not, in some, way "irrational"
        QUOTE : "But that is not a satisfactory answer for many - and many, but not all, of them are very rational beings."

        Which is it?

        Both. "Some way" and "very" are qualifiers implying degree. Some of us are very rational but are still in some way irrational. Some of us are not very rational at all.

        I agree every human has the capacity to be irrational - and most of us indulge in the capacity quite freely (as I said, I only know one person who I think might be the exception ... he is not, as one might guess, cold, "robotic," or insensitive. Quite the contrary.)

        QUOTE "'But that is not a satisfactory answer for many'
        This is not an argument."

        It is an observation. They would, no doubt, have compelling arguments of their own they would proffer if they wished.
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          Dec 16 2011: "
          It is an observation. They would, no doubt, have compelling arguments of their own they would proffer if they wished."

          Unless their argument is that "many people are not satisfied with this or that theory".

          And I stress that it often is the case.
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        Dec 16 2011: I think I agree with you Gerald. Maybe I am irrational in a way, but I do not believe in soul, spirit and energies which makes us live. I know few things about human brain, but I also know that there is an incredible amount of phenomenon yet not understood there. Yet, I don't really think that a supernatural creature keeps me alive, makes me think, love and hate.
        I think everything can (will) be understandable without the idea of God, karma, luck, fate, heaven and hell, soul and spirit. (note: I don't want to offend anybody, don't want to undermine religion as a concept, I am sure many people need it)
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        Dec 16 2011: QUOTE: "Unless their argument is that "many people are not satisfied with this or that theory".

        Whenever the topic of consciousness comes up, I usually ask if anyone knows what it is. Generally, no one even replies. It is rare that anyone will say they know.

        Some will say they do know it exists and then describe a "metaphysical" theory - maybe God, or some such thing. Some will say they know it does not exist and then provide compelling evidence that it is an illusion.

        In other words, we say it does, or does not, exist for this or that reason. But we do not, it seems, know what "it" is.

        Some equate awareness with consciousness. Some don't.

        Given we do not know, or at least do not agree on, what it is, I think it fair to say, we don't know if it exists or not.

        Do you know what consciousness is?
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          Dec 16 2011: I don't know what consciousness is. If I knew, I could build A. I. and get a nobel prize.
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          Dec 16 2011: Thomas...

          Wonderful question !

          Nor do we know what "energy" is... or "matter" is ... even though we are able to measure these.

          It seems that our "minds" want to insert some kind of substance, a constant, to "support" the apparent changes that take place in the observable.

          There are thoughts... therefore ... there must be "something" which thinks .
          There is movement... therefore ... there is "something" which is moving.

          It is as if we needed "something" ( eg. mind or matter ) to which we can attach characteristics, qualities, and properties to ... otherwise, we could not think ... I dunno !

          However, the need to think in this manner is certainly not any proof of the existence of these "phenomenona". They may simply be more thought-created illusions which we may eventually dispose of... who knows?

          I think, therefore I am ... no way!
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      Dec 15 2011: Only for those people who ever believed that souls and spirits were tangible things.
      Does this statement apply to the belief in the 'mind' as a metonym for the brain?

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