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an Essay on Vampires, their reproduction, families etc.
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LisaP
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jo wrote:
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Is the soul a conscience? If it isn't the animating spark, and it isn't the concept of 'Me', then all that's left might be that moral code, that's imprinted into the architecture of the brain from a very young age - the younger the better. But that's just learning and socialization, and will die with you.

Intellectually, that might be attractive, but emotionally it's extremely unsatisfying, because it means that there is no such thing as an eternal soul, and this is it. This is all we get. And maybe that's what Angel has figured out when he tells Kate in S2 that 'If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.' Because if there is no eternal soul, then there is no afterlife, and the Powers are a sham.

What of demons, then? Well, if the 'soul' is just a learned moral code, then demons have a moral code which has been conceived and developed in a very different social context. They have a 'soul', but it has a very different perspective to our own society, just as different societies on Earth have different perspectives. Each social unit would be different in that, and would be the code learned by the young from the adults, or quite possibly, the code developed by groups of youngsters in defiance of their elders, deriving from the ancient hard-wiring of the brain, and feedback from their peer group.

How, then, could gypsies give Angelus a soul in that context? Well, they'd have to do it by imposing magically a different set of learning. There would be nothing physical or metaphysical - just implanted memories and learning.

Eeep! That's when my own brain doesn't like the argument and goes back to a baseless belief in something else, something that might well be shared with the animal world, of which we are a part, but which has ongoing existence, and ongoing memory, derived from the experience of previous lives.


Aaaah, so are we just shying away from the concept that there is no eternal part of us that lives on after our deaths?

OK, now I have a cold towel wrapped around my head and sunglasses. (Visualise it...it'll provide some light relief!) Shocked
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ljgould
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jo wrote:
Quote:
Is the soul a conscience? If it isn't the animating spark, and it isn't the concept of 'Me', then all that's left might be that moral code, that's imprinted into the architecture of the brain from a very young age - the younger the better. But that's just learning and socialization, and will die with you.

Intellectually, that might be attractive, but emotionally it's extremely unsatisfying, because it means that there is no such thing as an eternal soul, and this is it. This is all we get. And maybe that's what Angel has figured out when he tells Kate in S2 that 'If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.' Because if there is no eternal soul, then there is no afterlife, and the Powers are a sham.

What of demons, then? Well, if the 'soul' is just a learned moral code, then demons have a moral code which has been conceived and developed in a very different social context. They have a 'soul', but it has a very different perspective to our own society, just as different societies on Earth have different perspectives. Each social unit would be different in that, and would be the code learned by the young from the adults, or quite possibly, the code developed by groups of youngsters in defiance of their elders, deriving from the ancient hard-wiring of the brain, and feedback from their peer group.

How, then, could gypsies give Angelus a soul in that context? Well, they'd have to do it by imposing magically a different set of learning. There would be nothing physical or metaphysical - just implanted memories and learning.

Eeep! That's when my own brain doesn't like the argument and goes back to a baseless belief in something else, something that might well be shared with the animal world, of which we are a part, but which has ongoing existence, and ongoing memory, derived from the experience of previous lives.


I do not believe that the soul and the conscience are the same thing. I believe that in humans (excellently adapted apes or whatever), the soul is an animating spark that allows them to be human. The fact that they have a soul allows them to have a conscience, and that conscience is what allows them to identify right and wrong according to their cultural norms and learning. Personally, I do not believe that an individual can live without a soul, but they can exist without a working conscience, and by this I mean one that uses "cultural" norms to determine right and wrong. These individuals are usually victims of personality disorders (antisocial, hystrionic, narsicissistic, etc.) where their own delusional sense of self has overwhelmed the cultural imperitives with personal ones.

As for the concept of "me", with the exception of a few individuals who are burdened with MPD (multiple personality disorder), I believe that each of us has a core composed of those ideas and beliefs that are always a part of us no matter what situation we are in. We all play a multitude of roles in this life, and sometimes they are in conflict...but at the core, when everything extraneous is stripped away, we are who we are.

Perhaps demons have their own form of the soul or animating spark. Or perhaps they exist by the sufferance of the supreme evil or even G-d.

Semantics again?

I'm sorry this is making everyone grab heads and groan. I'm finding it invigorating.
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LisaP
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do not believe that the soul and the conscience are the same thing. I believe that in humans (excellently adapted apes or whatever), the soul is an animating spark that allows them to be human. The fact that they have a soul allows them to have a conscience, and that conscience is what allows them to identify right and wrong according to their cultural norms and learning. Personally, I do not believe that an individual can live without a soul, but they can exist without a working conscience, and by this I mean one that uses "cultural" norms to determine right and wrong. These individuals are usually victims of personality disorders (antisocial, hystrionic, narsicissistic, etc.) where their own delusional sense of self has overwhelmed the cultural imperitives with personal ones.


So - does this mean that animals can have a conscience if we assume they have souls too? I have spent far too much time around horses and dogs to ever believe that they are soulless creatures. In fact, I can think of people who seem far more soulless then any animal I have come across.
And as far as delusional sense of self - surely this is a 21st century epidemic? (Thinking here about the whole cult of celebrity, and everything associated with it - sorry, wandering off topic here). Smile
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ljgould
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaP wrote:

Quote:
So - does this mean that animals can have a conscience if we assume they have souls too? I have spent far too much time around horses and dogs to ever believe that they are soulless creatures. In fact, I can think of people who seem far more soulless then any animal I have come across.


You're preaching to the choir here (Is that too much Texana for you?). I don't know if animals have the same type of souls that people have, but I can't imagine them not having some sort of soul...even cats (My two are in trouble at the moment for trying to tear the window shades down so they could watch the birds more easily).

Quote:
And as far as delusional sense of self - surely this is a 21st century epidemic? (Thinking here about the whole cult of celebrity, and everything associated with it - sorry, wandering off topic here).


While it is certainly true that many people today have an inflated sense of self-importance -- particularly the rich, powerful, and famous -- most of them do not suffer from personality disorders. Individuals who really suffer from personality disorders are often frightening beyond belief. To use a literary analogy, Hannibal Lecter is an antisocial personality because he meets more than seven of the criteria listed in the DSM-IV (I've often wondered if Clancy looked up the diagnosis and made sure that his character met the criteria.) Many people in real life meet several criteria, but they don't make that magic number that makes the diagnosis.

The problem with discussing the idea of a soul is that there's no scientific determinant. It's one of those things you just have to take on faith. Smile
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Adjovi
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK...this is a totally unrelated to the discussion but relative newbie to the world of fanfic question that is related to the very first post. What is the B/A forum? Thanks...
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Dark Star
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
OK...this is a totally unrelated to the discussion but relative newbie to the world of fanfic question that is related to the very first post. What is the B/A forum? Thanks...


Technically, this whole forum is B/A. But since a lot of our members are not specifically B/A-ers, it usually refers to the B/A discussion board. This is the very first board, right at the top of the list. Any question or discussion specifically about B/A as a couple, should go in there.
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LisaP
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow... I just re-read this entire thread, and goodness there was some hard thinking going on wasn't there. Please can we have some more of this stuff one day???? Smile
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The Librarian
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa said

Quote:
goodness there was some hard thinking going on wasn't there. Please can we have some more of this stuff one day????


There really was, wasn't there! And we really should have more.

How about starting us off again, Lisa!

Smile

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