On several occasions I've heard the human body looses a number of grams of body weight at death ( apart from bodily fluids, liquid or feces). Of course, it's said this loss of weight proves the existence of the human soul. Has anyone else heard this?
For myself, I refer to my soul as being my core, my inner self that I rarely share with anyone else. I'm interested in what other atheists think.

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I remember hearing about someone doing that experiment by having someone on a scale and noting their weight just before and after the moment of death. But that was a long time ago, before they had scales quite as precise as ours, and before they were actually able to determine brain death. And, as I recall, there was no difference.

The concept of a soul is a handy shorthand for whatever it is that comprises our self-awareness and our feelings -- as you say, our inner self. No one has traced it to a specific area in the brain so far as I know, and it might be global in our brains, but I have no doubt that it is rooted in something physical in our bodies. If viewed that way, at least the higher mammals also have this capacity -- do doggies go to heaven, dad? (from Robert Burns, I think) Chimpanzees and dolphins definitely recognize themselves in mirrors (there's an experiment that showed that, too, and I'll describe it in another post if you want me to) and no one who has observed great apes denies that they have feelings, and social interactions, and mourn for their dead, etc.

So, if we want to define soul as our inner self, our self-awareness and our feelings, of course we have them, but there is no evidence that they are anything other than a result of mammalian evolution, nor that they will survive death.

This is misinformation based on faulty, inconsistant measurements conducted by an MD around 1900, and the concept of a "soul" having weight was discredited.

Just as the belief in a god, the belief in a soul is irrational. We are who we are because of the way our brain works, which is greatly influenced by our health and our experiences, perceived with our five senses.

It's such a non-intuitive concept, monism. We "feel" like we have souls, or spirits, and minds of our own, etc. But when I really thought about it (many years ago), I just had to conclude that there's just no such thing as a soul. Most people just can't grasp that, because of what they feel. Of course, most people call me a nihilist because of this. But I can't help it if I'm right! Lol.

Oh dear, I am going into your realm without much sophistication.  Talk to me about soul and monism, please.  I do not believe the soul goes into heaven or wherever.  To me, seeing life as a manifestation of elements with a "being", upon death, all organic matter returns to the stuff of stars.  For me, the death of my beloved, being matter, returned to star stuff ... elements and being.  I look at the stars and remember.  That is all.  Nothing magic in that, or ghost, or not to be contacted such as that TV personality claims.  My beloved is gone, life ended, no afterlife, no reunion at any time or any place.  Oh dear, I've left you with a big dump!  Sorry!

I have no doubt souls exist in humans and even other animals.  Have you ever looked into the eyes of a dying person or dog or cat?  I have; There is something there beyond just rods and cones of the eye working ... there is a being one moment and then a no being.  It is kind of like a light bulb that has a shine, flipping the toggle switch cuts the electrical current and there is no shine.  I think that is what happens to humans and animals; the electrical currents work ... until they stop working.  The body without electrical current has no power, no energy, no life.  At the moment of death the heart, lungs, brain, all the organs lose the source of energy for life and death processes begin.  The moment of death is a mysterious phenomenon, life is on then off. However, it is understandable, explainable, believable.   

Saying that a souls exists because there's "something" you can't comprehend is the equivalent of saying: "We don't know how the universe originated, therefore God exists." I don't see death as a mystery. We didn't experience anything before our life.. we won't experience anything after our life. 

Dean, have you ever been present at a death?  Sure, if I don't see the person die and see them at a funeral, it is different than watching the death process. I agree we don't experience anything before or after death, and I certainly do not think the soul goes anyplace else.  The spark of life goes out and that is all that happens.  

I will soon be starting seeds inside for my next summer's garden and I am always in awe as I observe the seeds break open and send out roots and cotyledons.  A hard and dry seed opens and life emerges.   WOW!

I've seen animals die. There's a funny feeling we all get when we watch something dies, especially when it's a mammal. It's just being compassionate. 

There's no reason to believe that when an animal is born a soul exists, ex nihilo, then disappears when the body dies.

Yes, compassion fits for me too, and I wonder ... like full-of-wonder, not wonderful.

I think I may be meaning something different than "soul", probably more like "life", whatever that means.  

I hear "spirit transcending to heaven" when i think soul. That's what I'm referring to. A separate entity to the living body it inhabits.

I was in the room with my father, when the blood clot hit his brain and killed him almost instantly. I saw nothing of this evidence of a soul, of which you speak.

Does that count?




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