soul chat?

Last night’s pub theo was a pretty special event. Great atmosphere, great people, a fair amount of disagreement and challenge but always laced with a massive amount of respect, care and interest in each others views. If only church could be like this!!

The opening questions was something along the lines of ‘So come on then you Christians … what is so bad about celebrating Hallowe’en?’

The conversation moved around the belief or not of ghosts, spirits, afterlife and in particular of the soul .. and what the soul is, whether it exists, whether it lives outside the body and what happens to the soul upon death. Jade sent in comment via twitter (are you impressed how multi-faceted pub theo can be!!??) saying the body loses approximately 21 grams and  asked whether this could be the soul?

The conversation, both face to face, and the via twitter/facebook comments  was fairly fascinating and engaging. I’ve cut and paste some below … fee free to join in here or on facebook:

Sorry I couldn’t be there tonight 😦 Point to maybe lob into conversation, reportedly at the moment of death the body lightens by 21 grams – the weight of a human soul perhaps?

I think it misses the point to weigh the soul. The soul as the ‘ghost in the machine’ is a Greek import into Christianity. I don’t think the Hebrew faith known by Jesus would recognise it. We have the word ‘soul’ in English translations of the Hebrew Bible but again it’s an import. Belief in the eternal soul allowed Christians to do truly dreadful things to people’s bodies. I’m a monist when it comes to anthropology. We *are* our bodies. The soul/spirit are emergent properties of our brains. I believe in the resurrection of the body not the soul’s ascent to heaven. The troubling implication of this point of view is that death is truly the end of this experiencing self. And brain injury and disease truly affect our real self. Jesus approached his end with fear and trembling unlike Socrates (a believer in the soul) who took hemlock willingly. I’d be interested to know if this view emerged at Pub Theo. I threw it in when we discussed something similar at PUB:FAITH. Profound and fascinating stuff. Enjoy.

All the energy in the body does not disappear. Energy has to go somewhere even if it dissipates to a thin layer on the earth’s surface. The energy in the body is a result of complex chemical generation lending us our personality. Even the body if one thinks of it as our ‘matter’ has a psychodynamic relationship with our energy. Is all or part of the energy in our bodies representative of the soul?

So … want to add to the discussion?

2 thoughts on “soul chat?

  1. Since you asked for others’ perspectives…I happen to see the body as the physical manifestation of our soul’s energy…so when we pass, the physical energy goes into the physical world to recycle, and our spiritual energy stays in the spirit realm…and eventually determines to create yet another body. I know that’s not a perspective shared by all – but then, the world used to be flat, right? Blessing to you as you move through your day!

    • Thanks Julianna for commenting …. it’s not a bad view to have…. although mine would be a slightly more orthodox Christian view ….but who knows …. as you say, ‘the earth used to be flat’! 🙂

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