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Does Belief In Evolution Automatically Mean There Is No Soul?


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I don't know much about evolution, but if you believe it, wouldn't you then have to believe that there's no eternal soul?

 

After all, if we just evolved from physical matter, where does the spiritual aspect come from?

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A good question discern! The idea of evolution meaning there's no such thing as a soul is probably what scares creationists so badly. It'd mean that we're the same as animals, we're just a lot smarter.(Some would argue the lot smarter part since, chimps and dolphins have demonstrated intelligence.) With no soul, Christianity crumbles because there was no need for Christ to die on the cross if there was nothing to save in the first place. Even allowing for the idea of a soul, the Adam and Eve story gets totally discredited, because the question arises of who were the first humans to have souls and be responsible to god for their actions. On the other hand, if you toss out the Abrahamic religions entirely,there's another possibility which is found in Shintoism, the indigenous religion of Japan. Shintoism believes there's a spirit or Kami in everything from humans to blades of grass to even inanimate things like mountains etc. Basically all of nature contains spirits.

 

There are some other folks on the forums who are much more knowledgeable about this kind of thing, but I hope my reply helps you as well.

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I don't know much about evolution, but if you believe it, wouldn't you then have to believe that there's no eternal soul?

 

After all, if we just evolved from physical matter, where does the spiritual aspect come from?

 

I do not believe in an immortal soul any more, but let's look at it from an evolutionary point of view:

 

What would a soul offer in your earthly survival? How would it help you pass on your DNA to other generations? What function would it serve? If we got it via selection, why not other animals? With natural selection hammering away at things over the eons, it got a lot of things right, but in a way that could have been a lot better, i.e. the mammalian eye. How would it get something as idealistic as a "soul" correct? It's unseen, untouchable and really unmeasurable (even though some say it can be measured, it was not and can not be proven). If we got it via selection, why not other animals?

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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

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We're still "physical matter" as it were, though in this context, I'd say the term "physical matter" is redundant. Anyway, before we proceed with any explanations, I'd like to ask, what exactly is the "spiritual" or spirit that you speak of? I ask because we need a solid definition to be able to determine if the concept has any merit, and generally speaking, most people have only a vague idea of what it is.

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I wish someone could do a laboratory experiment that would cause someone to die for a few days and then bring them back to life again! :scratch:

 

I think I watched a movie about this one time with Keifer Sutherland...................... 'Flatliners'! Yeah, that was it! It was a good movie! They caused people to die and then brought them back to life again.

 

http://www.zuguide.com/#Flatliners

 

 

Why can't someone do this? It is the year of 2011! Then we would know once and for all if there was a 'soul'!

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In Genesis, God formed man from the clay of the Earth and then breathed into him (breath and spirit are the same word btw) and gave him spirit and life. If a God exists, I could see how he could "breathe" spiritual life into all of Earth's inhabitants while creating them through evolution.

 

While I consider myself an atheist, I believe if there is an afterlife than we are not the only ones privileged to it. We evolved along with all other life here and we are all interconnected to it and "entitled" to it. Evolution shouldn't necessarily take man down a notch, it should raise the animal kingdom up one.

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When I was a Xtian my church's theology was that humans are made of three parts: body, soul, spirit. Soul and spirit wasn't considered the same. Spirit is the part that with that we are connected to God. Soul is our set of emotions, that animals have too - at least certain animals (usually mammals). Like when your dog is happy to see you, he is sad if you punish him for something etc. Animals do have emotions too, thus a soul.

 

I think this is why the church needed to invent spirit as a seperate entity, which is supposed to set us apart from animals.

 

Of course, it's just theology. There is no proof of a spirit (what is this actually?) that is seperate from the soul.

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In Genesis, God formed man from the clay of the Earth and then breathed into him (breath and spirit are the same word btw) and gave him spirit and life. If a God exists, I could see how he could "breathe" spiritual life into all of Earth's inhabitants while creating them through evolution.

 

While I consider myself an atheist, I believe if there is an afterlife than we are not the only ones privileged to it. We evolved along with all other life here and we are all interconnected to it and "entitled" to it. Evolution shouldn't necessarily take man down a notch, it should raise the animal kingdom up one.

 

 

Jaded, I am just being inquisitive - How can an atheist believe in an afterlife. What 'concept' would this be? :scratch:

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I don't believe in one. It's weird to explain, but if there was going to be one it would be like how I mentioned: All of the animal kingdom, not just humanity. I hope there is but I *know* there cannot be one.

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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

 

From a pure science/evolutionary approach, "how" is only studied, not the "meaning or why are we here?" of life.

 

Even if evolution was not true, I would not believe in any religion we have had or have now. They leave more questions then answers. God said it or did it just don't cut it.

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I think it was the process of evolution that fathered the concept of a soul. When the human brain reached the capacity to contemplate its own mortality, the immortal soul was born. The belief that somehow death isn't the end of life brings some comfort and allows people to function more efficiently in the real world. There is no evidence or good reason to think we can exist apart from our bodies, yet that concept seems to be built in to the psyche. It's a coping mechanism that is useful to our survival.

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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

 

:lmao: You may not be an xian anymore, but you are practically swimming in its baggage. Thing about ignorance, it's curable.

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When I was a Xtian my church's theology was that humans are made of three parts: body, soul, spirit. Soul and spirit wasn't considered the same. Spirit is the part that with that we are connected to God. Soul is our set of emotions, that animals have too - at least certain animals (usually mammals). Like when your dog is happy to see you, he is sad if you punish him for something etc. Animals do have emotions too, thus a soul.

 

I think this is why the church needed to invent spirit as a seperate entity, which is supposed to set us apart from animals.

I never really understood the explanation. If souls are emotions, why do we need the word soul? If the spirit is where we get the emotions from, again why do we need souls? I think the church came up with it to fit the triune doctrine. Since we are made in God's image and God is made up of three things in one then we must be too.
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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

 

:lmao: You may not be an xian anymore, but you are practically swimming in its baggage. Thing about ignorance, it's curable.

Why are you such an asshole?
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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

 

:lmao: You may not be an xian anymore, but you are practically swimming in its baggage. Thing about ignorance, it's curable.

Why are you such an asshole?

 

Surely you jest? I've been on this board for over 5 years now and I doubt I've ever seen someone as full of them self as you. Ever heard you don't attract flies with vinegar? :lmao:

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I don't know much about evolution, but if you believe it, wouldn't you then have to believe that there's no eternal soul?

 

After all, if we just evolved from physical matter, where does the spiritual aspect come from?

There are many ways to understand the spiritual aspect of our being, without violating evolution at all. Terms and definitions, such as soul and spirit, are expressed in a number of ways, in symbols, such as mythology expresses, though poetry, through metaphysics, etc. Clearly these are not literal facts but symbolic 'pointers', such as imagining who has developed as 'me' in all my self-identity, is some other 'me' as such that just inhabits this body for a time and will continue on in all my conscious thoughts and personality that I view as 'me', after I die in some new 'home'. But I do believe there is a spiritual aspect to everything that exists. I would view it as the "interior", which is more exposed, revealed, and known with greater conscious awareness. It is no-thing, and all-things at the same time.

 

The problem I see lies with the literalness in which the language used to express it is taken, as though it was about the world of matter, objects, and things.

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Surely you jest? I've been on this board for over 5 years now and I doubt I've ever seen someone as full of them self as you. Ever heard you don't attract flies with vinegar? :lmao:

You'd do better with a little self introspection then.
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No. Evolution is not an explanation for how or why life exists. It can be misused as a pseudo-religion for a secular answer to everything, so the adherents believe that the universe and life are a happy accident. I don't have that level of faith but can't say that a soul exists apart from our physical selves either. I want to go wherever my doggies are going.

 

:lmao: You may not be an xian anymore, but you are practically swimming in its baggage. Thing about ignorance, it's curable.

Why are you such an asshole?

 

He might be an asshole, but he's right. One of the hardest things about letting go of religion for me was realizing that the concept of souls, spirits, and an afterlife were all man-made concepts. There is absolutely no credible evidence that there is any spiritual realm. Accepting this sucked for me. I want to be immortal. I want to spend eternity with the people I care about. Tough shit, it ain't gonna happen.

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The problem I see lies with the literalness in which the language used to express it is taken, as though it was about the world of matter, objects, and things.

I do believe that there has to be more to life than a simple material explanation. Too many coincidences and unexplained aspects of humanity that a physical world doesn't seem to answer. Like art or music, or any number of things, if one gets involved with it and becomes better it appears to come from someplace else. That's why people call it a "gift".

 

Which is why man has created religion in the first place. I don't think it would have happened if man didn't so regularly experience that something else.

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I do believe that there has to be more to life than a simple material explanation. Too many coincidences and unexplained aspects of humanity that a physical world doesn't seem to answer. Like art or music, or any number of things, if one gets involved with it and becomes better it appears to come from someplace else. That's why people call it a "gift".

 

Which is why man has created religion in the first place. I don't think it would have happened if man didn't so regularly experience that something else.

 

A lack of explanation does not mean there has to be a spiritual explanation. It just means we do not know. Many things, like music, are tied to specific areas of our brains and has nothing to do with a soul.

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The problem I see lies with the literalness in which the language used to express it is taken, as though it was about the world of matter, objects, and things.

I do believe that there has to be more to life than a simple material explanation. Too many coincidences and unexplained aspects of humanity that a physical world doesn't seem to answer. Like art or music, or any number of things, if one gets involved with it and becomes better it appears to come from someplace else. That's why people call it a "gift".

 

Which is why man has created religion in the first place. I don't think it would have happened if man didn't so regularly experience that something else.

I agree with much of this, but it will take some effort to put my thoughts to this to expand on it. Which I don't have the time at the moment.

 

On the subject of why man created religion in the first place, there's a lot to consider there as I see it as much part of social structure for the average member of society, as attempts at symbolic language for spiritual growth. You may wish to look over another topic I started here: http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/42387-what-is-religion/

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Surely you jest? I've been on this board for over 5 years now and I doubt I've ever seen someone as full of them self as you. Ever heard you don't attract flies with vinegar? :lmao:

You'd do better with a little self introspection then.

 

I have no problem owning up to it. I gave you a shot and from where I sit, you were pretty much begging to be treated like you've treated others here. I don't suffer mean-spirited ignoramuses well.

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Dennet's "Consciousness Explained" is only one of many studies of the human mind, none of which require an supernatural aspect. Soul is a type of food and music, nothing more.

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