"The spirit" What is it? Do you know?

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Krumple
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 10:29 am
@Humchuckninny,
Humchuckninny;168578 wrote:
You say this, yet you don't take the impartial standpoint. In fact, you make fundamental assessments about the spirit in both of your posts. If this were really true, then we couldn't know either way. You also make fundamental assessments about further objects:


No but for every position there must be a default position. There are no such things as neutral positions as far as ideas go. It is either of existing or not. You can't have a half existence or a half not existence. So you can take a default position. If something lacks evidence of existing then by all means the default position would be to say that, "until there is more evidence it much be concluded that such a thing does not exist."

But people refuse to accept that they do this in every day life. I have used the invisible car analogy many times but as soon as I point it out people still refuse to accept that they behave this way. Here is my analogy.

You want to cross the street, however you are unsure if it is safe to cross because the cars traveling on this street are invisible. Not only are they invisible but you can't hear them either. You have absolutely no way to determine where they are yet you have to cross this street at some point. How will you determine when it is safe to cross? Are you just going to guess? Well you don't do this in the real life, you assess the situation and make a decision, safe or not safe. You don't react to something that is both safe and not safe. Sure there might be occasions when you say, this is probably deadly but I'm going to do it anyways. That is still a decision based off collected information.

When it comes to the spirit or the soul, you have absolutely no evidence or nothing to base it off of. It is a complete guess. This is like a person who says it's safe to cross the street because they don't see any invisible cars.

Humchuckninny;168578 wrote:

How can you know this? By your own standard, you cannot make this statement. Are you arguing that simply because you haven't had any experience with the post-mortal existence of the mind, there must not be any evidence to suggest it's possibility? Many people have had experiences which would contradict such a view. I don't think I need to point out how many fallacies this entails.


Just like the above. You have to had a default position. Since it lacks evidence the default position is not a neutral one. It is, "Until there is more evidence it simply does not happen."

But like I said previously, many will try to argue that the default position is one of neutrality. Since you do not have evidence for either, than the default position is neither for nor against. However; this is not accurate to how you actually live in the real world. Just like the invisible car analogy. It is either safe or not safe. It can not be both safe and unsafe at the same time. However; you can state that you do not know.

Humchuckninny;168578 wrote:

Additionally, I don't think you realize the impacts of your statement. Should we abide by your standards of what is worthy or not of fundamental assessments, then you must provide a reason why morality / ethics should be discussed - these are also completely theoretical. Is this something you want to advocate?


You do not need to have a soul for morals or ethics to still have their position. I don't need to have any sort of fear of an after life punishment to be reasonable respectful person towards others. I simply see myself in others and I understand through empathy that if I respect others lives then I can assume they can come to some terms to respect my own. This does not mean that they will, it just means I am not giving them any cause for not respecting mine, because I am respecting theirs. For some people this is still not good enough and I understand some will even put their religious beliefs far above the value of my life.

Morality does not need to come from any divine being or some subscribed to holy book. It is not necessary. I don't have to believe in any of that garbage to be a respectful person. I don't need to fear an imaginary being to do anything. In fact I say, those who do fear such things, only behave because of that fear. If that fear were lifted they would probably not care. This to me means they are not good or respectful because they empathize with others, but instead they only behave because they fear this imaginary beings wrath. That to me means those people are not good people at all. If you have to be forced into being respectful then you are truly not a respectful person. If you have to be forced not to kill other people, then you truly are not a good person (perhaps not even worthy to be a person.)

I say the lawless society will reveal who the truly good people are from those who care nothing for others. As far as I can tell, from all the hype around religion is that a huge majority of religious people lack empathy for other people. They place their religious views far above the lives of these other people and that to me is the worst moral offense you can have.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 03:32 pm
@mark gamson,
Here's an interesting way of thinking about it.

The word for spirit in German is Geist, as in 'the zeitgeist', the spirit of the times. This is a clue to one way of interpreting the meaning of spirit. It is not some ethereal essence which is spread out like a vapour. It is, on the one hand, the spirit with which something is done - the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving, and on the other, the meaning of something.

The word 'geist' has actually come into English as 'gist' which means....meaning! So if you 'get the gist' of something, you know what it means. Furthermore, to say you get the gist usually implies that while you don't have all the detail, you know the essence.

Essence, gist, spirit, and meaning are all very closely related. It is a clue to another, and better, way to think about the meaning of the word.
 
Humchuckninny
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 04:55 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;168600 wrote:
No but for every position there must be a default position. There are no such things as neutral positions as far as ideas go. It is either of existing or not. You can't have a half existence or a half not existence. So you can take a default position. If something lacks evidence of existing then by all means the default position would be to say that, "until there is more evidence it much be concluded that such a thing does not exist."


You're missing half of the argument though - that the spirit is not completely theoretical. The argument itself is whether or not such a thing exists. You are calling into doubt whether or not such a thing as a spirit is completely theoretical, which means accepting the default position.

Quote:
When it comes to the spirit or the soul, you have absolutely no evidence or nothing to base it off of. It is a complete guess. This is like a person who says it's safe to cross the street because they don't see any invisible cars.


A pretty bold claim to make. How do you know what evidence I do or do not have? I may very well have collective information pertaining to a spirit. I ask for the support for this proposition.

I must make it clear that I do not advocate the neutral position. I am simply stating that, by your contest to the thread, you must take the neutral position or you risk invalidating your own challenge.

You claim that you cannot make fundamental assessments about that which is completely theoretical, then go on to defend that spirit is completely theoretical by making fundamental assessments.

Quote:
You do not need to have a soul for morals or ethics to still have their position. I don't need to have any sort of fear of an after life punishment to be reasonable respectful person towards others. I simply see myself in others and I understand through empathy that if I respect others lives then I can assume they can come to some terms to respect my own. This does not mean that they will, it just means I am not giving them any cause for not respecting mine, because I am respecting theirs. For some people this is still not good enough and I understand some will even put their religious beliefs far above the value of my life.

Morality does not need to come from any divine being or some subscribed to holy book. It is not necessary. I don't have to believe in any of that garbage to be a respectful person. I don't need to fear an imaginary being to do anything. In fact I say, those who do fear such things, only behave because of that fear. If that fear were lifted they would probably not care. This to me means they are not good or respectful because they empathize with others, but instead they only behave because they fear this imaginary beings wrath. That to me means those people are not good people at all. If you have to be forced into being respectful then you are truly not a respectful person. If you have to be forced not to kill other people, then you truly are not a good person (perhaps not even worthy to be a person.)

I say the lawless society will reveal who the truly good people are from those who care nothing for others. As far as I can tell, from all the hype around religion is that a huge majority of religious people lack empathy for other people. They place their religious views far above the lives of these other people and that to me is the worst moral offense you can have.


You need to reread my post, because you have completely missed the point. I in no way advocate that the soul, God, or any religious term is necessary for morality.

In fact, most of your post misreads what I am saying. I am simply calling into question your opening statement for this thread - that you cannot make fundamental assessments about concepts which are completely theoretical. Morality is completely theoretical, so by your reasoning, we cannot make fundamental assessments about reality.

It has nothing to do with God or religion. I am clarifying the position you necessarily entail by your own statements.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 06:19 pm
@mark gamson,
I think my spirit is the part of me that connects me with all that transcends me. It's the part of me that will remain when all else fades. It is that part of me which hopes against hope. That part of me which yearns for me to be more than I can be. It's the thing that connects me to God; which allows me to feel a stirring within that moves me toward the good. It's that part of me which intuitively guides me. And lastly, my spirit, like God, cannot be expressed sufficiently in words or feelings but can only be known through direct experience.
 
mark gamson
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:20 pm
@mark gamson,
The Hebrew word for spirit is Ruach, breath, ie, the inner substance of something. Its there but yet cannot see it but yet know its effects.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:04 am
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;169605 wrote:
The Hebrew word for spirit is Ruach, breath, ie, the inner substance of something. Its there but yet cannot see it but yet know its effects.


Hi Mark,

"Yet" might want to re-read that last post?

Have a great weekend, my friend!

Mark...


He who claps with one hand - - - Waves...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 02:31 pm
@mark gamson,
This is related to Jeeprs post. Geist (and spirit) could be conceived of as mind and passion conjoined. Man can be conceived of as logos incarnate. He is a thinking being whose thoughts are one and the same with the intelligible structure of the world as he experiences it.
But because man clings to the afterlife, he tends to conceive of spirit as something somehow apart from the flesh and the mind. And yet this notion of spirit exists only within the mind, but then so does the notion of the mind.

The reason that geist and spirit are potentially good concepts, in my opinion, is that they point toward a fusion of mind, emotion, and sensation.

The bad thing about describing man as an animal is that this ignores a significant difference. Man evolves personally and socially, and not just genetically. His projects for the future change, whereas animals generally want the same old things.

Presumably, animals do not radically change their conception and therefore their experience of the world, although they do of course learn something from experience. But men exist in a community that is not only local and contemporary, but extends into the past and the projected future. Do animals bother thinking about how they will be remembered when they are gone? Not likely. Do animals contemplate the members of their species who existed centuries before? Not likely. Korzybski called man the time-binding animal. He evolves as a species culturally.

The man of today is not the man of yesterday. Today's man lives in a world wide web of information, and this information is audio and visual. He is changed by the tools he creates. Man is an historic "animal." Yes, his body remains much the same, but in some ways his skyscrapers and videocameras are part of his body. They extend his skin, his eyes, etc. They manifest his desire, and his desire (according to Spengler at least as far as "Faustian" man goes) is infinite, or a desire for infinite space, power, freedom, etc. Sounds like the word "spirit" could be applied, but perhaps without its discarnate afterlife associations...:flowers:
 
mark noble
 
Reply Sat 29 May, 2010 09:13 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;170091 wrote:
This is related to Jeeprs post. Geist (and spirit) could be conceived of as mind and passion conjoined. Man can be conceived of as logos incarnate. He is a thinking being whose thoughts are one and the same with the intelligible structure of the world as he experiences it.
But because man clings to the afterlife, he tends to conceive of spirit as something somehow apart from the flesh and the mind. And yet this notion of spirit exists only within the mind, but then so does the notion of the mind.

The reason that geist and spirit are potentially good concepts, in my opinion, is that they point toward a fusion of mind, emotion, and sensation.

The bad thing about describing man as an animal is that this ignores a significant difference. Man evolves personally and socially, and not just genetically. His projects for the future change, whereas animals generally want the same old things.

Presumably, animals do not radically change their conception and therefore their experience of the world, although they do of course learn something from experience. But men exist in a community that is not only local and contemporary, but extends into the past and the projected future. Do animals bother thinking about how they will be remembered when they are gone? Not likely. Do animals contemplate the members of their species who existed centuries before? Not likely. Korzybski called man the time-binding animal. He evolves as a species culturally.

The man of today is not the man of yesterday. Today's man lives in a world wide web of information, and this information is audio and visual. He is changed by the tools he creates. Man is an historic "animal." Yes, his body remains much the same, but in some ways his skyscrapers and videocameras are part of his body. They extend his skin, his eyes, etc. They manifest his desire, and his desire (according to Spengler at least as far as "Faustian" man goes) is infinite, or a desire for infinite space, power, freedom, etc. Sounds like the word "spirit" could be applied, but perhaps without its discarnate afterlife associations...:flowers:


Hi Reconstructo,

You,ve a good eye and a fine way with words. I agree with you entirely.

Thank you, and tide well, sir.

Mark...
 
 

 
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