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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Muscles relaxing would have no effect on the mass (weight) of the body.  The volume of air held in the lungs of the average human being when filled is about 6 litres (0.006 m³), and the density of air is about 1.2 Kg/m³ at 20C. 


Therefore we have a mass of air of 1.2 x 0.006 Kg ie about 7g.

wow - when I said that I didn't think air really weighed anything.... so if I'm reading your post right?  It could be the air that was making the body less heavy?

Well, yes.  If you have a really good set of scales like they have at your doctor's office or health centre, try standing on them and inhaling to the maximum extent you can, then exhale and watch the display.

that's a really cool idea....

 A couple of weeks ago my daughter and two grown grand daughters sat with Bear, their beloved Great Pyrenees on a veterinarian’s examining table suffering from advanced cancer.  As the vet prepared chemicals to put Bear down the girls sat on each side and my daughter held his head and looked into his eyes.  She understood Bear knew what was happening and he looked, with gratitude, into her eyes.  Of course I am anthropomorphizing this dogs behavior, but the feelings of Laura and Michelle and Laurie and Bear were all in sync.

 Do dogs have souls? Do humans?  I don’t know.  I do know love when I see it.  I do know life when it is there and when it is gone.  What word should I use for this event?  


The experimenter's name was Duncan MacDougall.  At the turn of the century he performed the experiment on dying tuberculosis patients.

According to Snopes.com,

"MacDougall's results were flawed because the methodology used to harvest them was suspect, the sample size far too small, and the ability to measure changes in weight imprecise. For this reason, credence should not be given to the idea his experiments proved something, let alone that they measured the weight of the soul as . His postulations on this topic are a curiosity, but nothing more."


He only used 6 patients in his experiments, of which 2 results were discarded.  So the experiment was unscientific as the sample was ridiculously small.

As others have said, believing in a soul is as irrational as believing in god or flying celestial teapots.

If 'a soul' has mass it would also be detectable when the subject is alive.


Attributing unprovable, unverifiable beliefs and hypotheses to tangible events is not rational.


Saying 'people have souls. People lose 21grams at death. Therefore souls weigh 21 grams'

is exactly the same as saying: 

'god creates worlds. We live on a world. Therefore god created this world'

Is exactly the same as saying:

'Santa Claus brings presents at christmas. I received presents at christmas. Therefore Santa exists and brought me the presents'


To be logically consistent, the rationale you used to realise that you are an atheist, should also be applied to other claims about the universe.

Okay, now you've gone too far, attacking Santa.

It;s nonsense, a little like the statue of Elvis on the moon.


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