I don't think so... I think of at least the big 4 religions (which are based on the soul) there could be no way of believing in god without it.
The reason why I ask is because I think it is FAR more likely that humanity will be able to PROVE that when we die NOTHING happens. Then we could ever prove that there is an invisible creator.
We are learning so much about the brain. We may even be able to transfer our consciousness to a synthetic brain within our lifetime. We may be able to simulate death entirely.
I think religion needs souls..
One thing that is known because of information theory is that it takes energy to manipulate information. Where is the power to come from for a disembodied spirit (or a soul if you will) if there is such a thing? Anyone who makes such a claim should answer this objection and show where the power is coming from. The fact is that it takes power (energy) to manipulate information. A mind existing outside of and away from the body can't exist for the same reason perpetual motion machines can't exist. Either would take a power source that can’t be explained in terms of modern physics. It isn't because we don't understand what powers a perpetual motion machine that makes its existence untenable it is the fact that it takes energy to power a machine. Just so the human mind which gets its energy from the human body. When the body stops working so does the mind. No mind, no soul, spirit or afterlife. It seems like a simple concept to me, can anyone refute this idea?
As a follow up to the my main question; If this is as obvious as the reason why a perpetual motion machine can’t work, why don’t more people understand this? I know there are still people who strive to make and explain perpetual motion machines, but they are few and far between. Is this a good argument to take to those who would believe in life after death?
Is the human mind limited to information? What exactly is imagination? A computer manipulates information but does it have primordial-fired dreams based on it's evolution from the intel 8086 or have imagination?
There are also other sources of information not pertaining to the brain at all such as DNA. That's A LOT of info in them genes. Also If you provided a brain with a proper physical environmental and nourishing inputs (chemistry) why couldn't it live and think? Just don't use the one marked Ab Normal.
And i finally, If I write a thought down and someone reads it after I die..Do I exist?
You think what I thought, therefore I Am?
The human mind may not be limited to information, but it is in essence information. Can you even think without manipulating information? Certainly the information in DNA can live on, but even that is problematic in the long run as entropy will wipe it out. Anyway, you might have a problem showing that DNA has a soul Ab Normal or not :) Your ideas certainly can live on if they are recorded but your mind, brain, soul or spirit will no longer exist. Like someone here said, dead is dead. My assertion here is that showing people that there is no afterlife should show that religion or even spirituality is unfounded.
My point about a soul was than if we don’t have and can’t have a soul that exists outside of the human body then there can be no afterlife. Information theory explains that it takes energy to manipulate information, for a person to think or have any brain activity. The energy that powers the brain dies with the body, no 15 watts or more to power the biological computer we call the brain. Just because someone is apt at expounding on bullshit doesn’t make that bullshit true. The only way we can know that something is true is if it is constant with the evidence and the laws of the natural world. Perpetual motion machines are not and neither is a disembodied spirit.
Many ancient religions did not have doctrines regarding eternal life for the common person. In the ancient Egyptian religions, for instance, only the Pharaoh had an afterlife - and perhaps obedient servants would be a part of that but not necessarily.
I think of religion as an evolving cognitive virus. The major religions we have today are here because they burrow so deeply into the psyche and propagate so easily. The major drawback to a religion not promoting a soul doctrine in today's world would be how unappealing it would seem compared to the religions that do offer that option.
Actually, Heather, even the Old Testament didn't recognize any likelihood of an afterlife until quite late in the book.