TED Conversations

Michael Juan

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is there such a thing as a soul, if so how is it defined?

Do people just cease to exist after they die? What happens to a person after death or before birth.

Topics: God life soul
+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 4 2012: Theres no reason to believe one exists and no one seems to be able to provide any kind of coherent definition for one.

    When people go as far as to try and explain what a soul supposedly does, it has always been proven that the exact event has a physical and natural explanation, so most people now just give some convoluted metaphysical explanation which falls apart when questioned due to its lack of consistency and/or unsubstantiation.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2012: Trying to imagine absolute nothingness after death is impossible. We have to fill nothingness with something. It is essential fo us to do so.

      In the absence of any scientific clarification, we have to fill that void with the incoherent, the metaphysical, the mythical, with metaphors - a mere guess at what happens to us after death. And because we have lived a life, which is all we know, we (rightly or wrongly) guess that there must be an 'afterlife'. Many people cannot conceive of anything else, and such thoughts are known to be comforting both to the bereaved and those close to death.

      Similarly, where does something so powerful as consciousness actually go? Does it get re-lived as a soul?

      I agree that in the light of objective discussion, convoluted metaphysics are all too easy to dismiss, but I know that in the heat of emotional trauma involved in the death of a loved one, I would find such explanations profoundly comforting, convoluted or not.
      • thumb
        Feb 12 2012: Convoluted metaphysical explanations are, no doubt, comforting Allan.

        When a friend of mine's spouse died (at a young age) she was so distraught she visited a past-life regression therapist who helped her "remember" eight of her past lives.

        She was married to the same person in all of them.

        And, in her daily life, any unusual experience was attributed to her dead husband's presence - a package falling off a shelf, a clock stopping, whatever.

        It brought her great comfort. (And she was absolutely certain it was all "real.")

        She engaged in such explorations for about two or three years.

        Seven years on, she is happily remarried and I never hear her speak of her "past lives."

        ---

        I have altered a few details to protect my friend's anonymity.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.