• Daniel C
    36
    Is it true or not that the Bible claims that human beings have immortal souls?
  • Christopher
    16
    I assume you're referring to the Judeo-Christian Bible. Yes, according to their beliefs, the soul is immortal. However, all religions are derivative of one another; it's not the first claim of immortal souls.
  • Daniel C
    36
    Thank you Christopher - yes the Judeo-Christian Bible. But isn't this view another example of how bad Christian theology can be? The whole idea of a "soul" in western thought can be traced back to Plato. Origen (of Alexandria) brought this idea into the early Christian church and although it was pointed out by many others afterwards what a heretic he was (especially Augustine of Hippo) in many ways, this one idea of an "immortal soul" became embedded in the theology of many Christian churches - up to this very day. Of course this played a big role in later years in the development of the philosophical sub-discipline, "Philosophy of Mind". If you talk to many people today about the mind/body problem in philosophy, you will perhaps be surprised to find that for them the main issue is whether a person has something called a "soul/spirit" which exists as a substance, although somehow connected to the physical body, which survives the death of the physical body of a person. They say that old habits die hard, but, perhaps, old views even harder!
  • Shamshir
    743
    Immortal, yet destructible.
  • 3017amen
    166


    Are you referring to Gnosticism?
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    Is it true or not that the Bible claims that human beings have immortal souls?Daniel C

    I believe so as it talk of immortal beings.

    I see that as a lie as it speaks of a supernatural realm that no one can access.

    All that happens in scriptures are what is to happen in our own minds and when we Gnostic Christians use such terms as never die, we mean mentally on issues after Gnosis has been reached and we have suffered our apotheosis.

    It is our thinking and worthy arguments that never die. Not our physical and spiritual sides.

    As you can see, we have no supernatural beliefs and think that they are for children.

    Regards
    DL
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    Yes, according to their beliefs, the soul is immortal.Christopher

    It can be, but it can also be destroyed and that kills the notion of the immortality of souls.

    Read the lake of fire myth as that is where our souls are destroyed.

    Regards
    DL
  • Christopher
    16
    Yes, destroyed and tormented. Yet still in existence. In some variations, the soul is reborn in the process.
  • Christopher
    16
    And by no means does this implicate my beliefs in Christianity or any religious affiliation. I'm an atheist, but find religions and cults intriguing, regarding their influence on the human psyche---which many philosophers have coined the term "soul" to describe the objective reality of human consciousness.
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    Yes, destroyed and tormented. Yet still in existence. In some variations, the soul is reborn in the process.Christopher

    Get the quote that shows this lie and denies the second eath is the final one.

    Regards
    DL
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    the objective reality of human consciousness.Christopher

    If in a consciousness or a mind, reality is always subjective.

    Regards
    DL
  • Christopher
    16
    Get the quote that shows this lie and denies the second eath is the final one.Gnostic Christian Bishop

    Mojsov, Bojana (2001). "The Ancient Egyptian Underworld in the Tomb of Sety I: Sacred Books of Eternal Life". The Massachusetts Review. 42 (4): 489–506.

    The text states that the ancient Egyptian beliefs in a underworld, called Duat (analogous to hell), Osiris, god of the dead, would determine if their soul was worthy to be reborn after death and damnation.
  • Christopher
    16
    Nietzsche stated the only "real" perceptions are our drives, desires, and passions.
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    Nietzsche was obviously wrong.

    I perceive pain and it is not my drives, desires or passions that create it.

    It is my nervous system.
    death and damnationChristopher

    I talk Christianity while you talk Egyptian.

    Let me know when you want to chat on the same issue.

    Regards
    DL
  • Christopher
    16
    Pain is subjective to everyone, not an objective reality. Humanity created the semantics of linguistics to explain what happens when the nervous system is activated. Sure, pain hurts, ect. But it's an act of subjectivity relative to each person. And I spoke about Egyptian gods because they are included in the Bible. Let me know when you read it.
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    685
    Let me know when you read it.Christopher

    I am letting you know.

    You are correct on subjective gaging of the pain, but the moment a person says he has a pain, it is a objective statement.

    If you say you have a pain, we all know what you are inferring within all of our subjective views, as you say.

    Regards
    DL
  • Daniel C
    36
    My question to you is: based on the New Testament, how can it be dogmatically justified that it is true that there is an entity known as the "soul / spirit" of a human being which is immortal?
  • Shamshir
    743
    The opening line of John.
  • Daniel C
    36
    But of course! Why didn't you point it out earlier?
  • tim wood
    3k
    But isn't this view another example of how bad Christian theology can be?Daniel C

    Bad for what, in what way? And where in the bible does it say we have immortal souls. Read @Christopher Christopher's post more closely:
    Yes, according to their beliefs, the soul is immortal.Christopher

    You mustn't get confused about professions of belief and assertions of existence. Two different animals, and either or both conflation or confusion leads to trouble, of one kind or another. One says something about the speaker, the other something about the world.
  • Daniel C
    36
    tim wood. Yes, I agree with you - that type of confusion must be avoided. Let me make another attempt to make it clear what this is all about: how certain groups of Christians can justify their belief in the existence of an immortal soul/spirit on Biblical grounds. If they can present such a justification, the evaluation of the belief also has to occur by using the Bible as the criterium for the evaluation - no other criterium can be applicable, because this discussion is a Christion theological one. I think that you can already, at this stage see where the problem with this approach will have its origin, because this conception of a "soul" is not acceptable to all Christians, but I would first like to hear what others think about this / what their views are. We must not forget: this is not a minor issue is Christianity: more than 1,2 billion Roman Catholics accept this conception of the human soul/spirit - they even pray for the soul of the deceased at a funeral, so this is matter of "life or death" for those who accept this conception of the soul/spirit. (Shamshir thinks that he has succeeded in finding scriptural justification for this notion with his reference to the "opening line of John?)
  • tim wood
    3k
    Christians can justify their belief in the existence of an immortal soul/spirit on Biblical grounds.Daniel C
    Christians don't. They simply believe as a presupposition of their faith. If anyone's "justifying," you can challenge them on their faith - faith has no need of justification, it only needs belief. And that not for itself, but as an animating principle. It's not (so much) that you have a soul, but rather what it means to have one.
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    There doesn't seem to be much insight in this debate as to Christian doctrines of the soul. Those doctrines are by no means uniform or consistent, but they're quite deep and detailed.

    Secondly, there's a deep tension in Christian philosophical theology between Platonism and biblical religiosity. Medieval scholasticism, and especially Thomas Aquinas, sought to harmonise and reconcile the two elements. But the Reformation, particularly Luther and Calvin, distrusted the Platonist side of scholastic philosophy, so much so that Luther accused Aquinas of doing the devil's work. As a consequence, in my view, much of the philosophical underpinnings of the Christian doctrine were lost, abandoned, or forgotten, in favour of evangelical fundamentalism which is basically fideist in outlook (i.e. salvation by belief alone).

    General philosophical question: is there anything which is 'not subject to decay'? How to ask such a question? Where to look for it? Natural science has no such conception. Yet this was the central question of the Greek philosophical tradition. And it was this understanding that underlay the traditional (pre-reformation) conception of 'the rational soul' of man. IN this formulation, 'soul' was nearer in meaning to 'nous' (mind). It was understood as 'that which grasps the meaning or essence of things'. And from the Platonic tradition, the meaning, essence or form of things was not itself compound or perishable as it was nearer the source, so nearer the 'uncreated'. So there is a sense that the soul 'ascends' to (and beyond) the domain of intelligible forms through union with the divine mind (theosis) to the 'wisdom uncreate'. That is the underlying rationale of Christian philosophical theology.
  • Daniel C
    36
    Wayfarer. Thank you for thorough analysis. It just shows that there are some real philosophical minds on this forum! To me one thing is very clear from your analysis: if you don't understand the historical context of this problem it not possible to grasp anything about it - especially the fact that it can be a theological problem. You have taken us far back into the history of western thought. To the ancient Greeks where, in my view, the origin of contemporary philosophy and science is to be found. That "thing not subject to decay" goes right back to Thales who thought this thing was ordinary water. Then the further developments with Democritus / Leucippus and their theory of (physical) atomism. But somewhere along this line of the development of thought the tough problem of "mind versus matter" set in - most probably with Plato. This problem is still with us and I have strong doubts if there exists a philosophical solution for it. The "immortality of the soul" is just one facet of it.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    Is it true or not that the Bible claims that human beings have immortal souls?Daniel C

    for it to be worth it
    you need to know a bit

    Immortality
    only with hospitality

    what's the use
    if to relive an abuse

    be happy you'll go
    let rejoice your foe

    you have one, right?
    you must've had a fight

    forget kin and friend
    with time they mend

    don't forget
    you're not that great

    men desire to forget you
    please help them do

    quietly die
    no hue and cry

    that's the way
    you go away

    if friend and kin
    are awatin'

    you may wish
    rebirth, relish

    how do you know
    they may glow?

    were you fair?
    were you that rare?

    so sleep
    so so deep

    never again to rise
    I think that's wise

    :rofl: :lol:
  • Relativist
    829
    I did a search fit "soul" on biblegateway.com
    There are references to "soul" in the Old Testament, and none in the New Testament. None refer to a soul being immortal.

    In the 1Cor:15,42-56 Paul refers to a resurrection of a pneumatic "body" - often translated as "spititual" body. But this doesn't seem consistent with soul.
  • Shamshir
    743
    There are references to "soul" in the Old Testament, and none in the New Testament. None refer to a soul being immortal.Relativist
    How would you interpret the resurrection of Lazarus then?
  • Relativist
    829
    There are references to "soul" in the Old Testament, and none in the New Testament. None refer to a soul being immortal. — Relativist

    How would you interpret the resurrection of Lazarus then?
    Shamshir
    Lazarus was dead, then Jesus "woke" him up to life. Paul also speaks of dead people as "asleep". Resurrection in the New Testament is about BODILY resurrection.

    Maybe I'm missing something, so please point me to somewhere in the New Testament where there's mention of an eternal soul, and an afterlife this is clearly not a BODILY afterlife.
  • Daniel C
    36
    After having had a look at the RC dogma on this topic it has become clearer to me how this concept of an "immortal soul" came into existence and hoe its existence is justified. There are a number of verses in the NT where the author (usually Paul) makes it clear that physical human death implies an immediate continued existence with Christ. Let me quote one example: Philippians 1: 23: "My yearning desire is to depart and be with Christ....." Verses like these implies that although the physical body is no longer alive, the deceased is in some way existing with Christ - with the exception of those who have to through "purgatory" before they can be with them. In other words, there is continued existence for the dead, although they have to die physically. This continued existence is not dependant on the resurrection of the body of the person which will occur some time in future with Christ's second coming. The only way for the RC church to make sense of this "continued existence" after physical death is to view it as something "spiritual". It was for this special purpose that created the concept of a "soul" as a philosophical tool for explaining the continued existence of the dead after death, either with Christ or in purgatory. Therefore, according to RC reasoning, although the existence of an "immortal soul" is nowhere mentioned explicitly in the Bible it is indicated implicitly by arguing in the way I've attempted to argue to make this issue clearer. Does this make sense to you as a theological argument based on the Bible?
  • Shamshir
    743
    Specifically the resurrection of Lazarus falls outside of those terms, due to the timeframe.

    A bodily resurrection would be within three days, past this period the soul departs for Sheol where it loses all personification.

    That Lazarus' soul would be called back despite this, is a demonstration of the perseverance of soul.

    Jesus' own raising repeats this, and calls to mind that the man crucified next to him would share in this.

    The chronology is a bit messed up if you read it straight, but the motif of the immortal soul and clay vessel is quite apparent.
  • Relativist
    829
    I asked you to "point me to somewhere in the New Testament where there's mention of an eternal soul, and an afterlife that is clearly not a BODILY afterlife", and you haven't done that. Instead, you made some inferences based on your own flawed understanding of 1st century Judaism. Their beliefs were not homogeneous. There were a variety of views about the afterlife. The apocalypticists believed an afterlife was of a body, and this is exactly what Paul describes this in 1Cor15.

    You can believe whatever you want, but the question pertains to what the Bible actually says, not what you believe.
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