RE: [asa] The soul (was: Quantum Physics and Consciousness)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Fri Nov 06 2009 - 20:00:11 EST

I said:
" They also study other things by Q&A, such as 'the meaning of life' and 'how to be happy.' I find the answers very interesting, and true!"

FYI, I heard an interesting conversation with the author of this book:

Happiness: A History

It was interesting to hear about things they discovered about happiness. And it is interesting to see the correlation with religion, and how religion feeds into it.

One interesting tidbit is they said that a part of the brain fires for pleasure when you give something to help someone. It is the same part that fires when you receive needed help or a wanted gift. Knowing this might may people more generous.

Another insight was the need for 'generativity'... which is giving to the next generation. I find this very true in my life at my age. Knowing these kinds of things helps me to have 'meaning' in my life.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 4:52 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] The soul (was: Quantum Physics and Consciousness)

"How do you detect the human mind?"

Through a series of questions, such as the one you just asked. By asking, and getting an answer, you know you have reached a mind.

Some programs now on the web have tech support where they masquerade as a human. Is that a mind? No, but it appears to be, unless you ask more sophisticated questions. But yes, at some point, artificial intelligence will get more advanced and will be a good datapoint to ask "what's the difference between an AI mind and a human mind?" Right now, it is speculation, sci-fi.

It is important to note that science isn't just by experiment or CSI type of investigation, but also thru case-study. For example, a scientific question is "How does cocaine affect the body?" It may be unethical to drug-up volunteers, but ok to use volunteers who are already using drugs. Or take a question like "What is the effect of child abuse on a child's mental development?" You don't abuse kids in a study, and make a control group; instead, you study existing kids who underwent abuse. That's one way the science of psychology is different than many other scientific fields.

They also study other things by Q&A, such as 'the meaning of life' and 'how to be happy.' I find the answers very interesting, and true!


-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad []
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 4:41 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie;
Subject: RE: [asa] The soul (was: Quantum Physics and Consciousness)

How do you detect the human mind? Can you use a physical detector?
From: [] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie []
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 2:29 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] The soul (was: Quantum Physics and Consciousness)

FYI- I will respond to all the comments on the topic "RE: [asa] A question on morals (OT and NT)" but am too busy right now.

Ryan, as for the topic of the soul, which you recently wrote about below, I went to the link mentioned below and read it ( I liked how it was intellectual, but I also found it difficult to argue with. I looked for something specific to argue with, but found it difficult to find some statement to cut/paste and respond to.

So let me say it this way.... I will state my belief, and let me know where you think the article rebuts this (with reasonable facts or evidence instead of just opinion).

My statement:

 1. There is no supernatural component called 'soul'
 2. What people refer to as 'soul' is really just the human mind.
 3. This mind is a complex thing which emerges. (Just like water is a wet substance that emerges from H and O; two gasses which are not wet. "Wetness" is aso an emergent property.) Just as we 'emerge,' we will also 'dissipate' back to where we came from (nothing).
 4. We do have a freewill as a result of this emergent mind making choices based on it's previous input (knowledge) and feelings.

Does the article rebut any of this (with any kind of data or reason)?

What I think is tremendously important is to compare humans to animals. Do humans love, etc.? Yes, but so do animals, although to a lesser degree. I think the only difference is because of our ability to communicate and share ideas, we (humans) believe in God to answer mysteries. All Christians recognize the previous myths of gods (Zeus, etc.), but not the current and latest one.

Another extremely important thing for me is Richard Dawkins ideas (I don't know if it is original with him or not) about small, medium, and large world; and how we try to interpret small and large world with our medium world outlook. In medium world, we can't comprehend the vast space between an electron and neutron in an atom in a hard rock, let alone that electrons are actually moving; yet if we were the size of a neutron we could easily see and grasp the idea of the vast space in that worldview. Since it is difficult for us to understand small and large world, we easily say "God did it."

Just my thoughts.


From: [] On Behalf Of Ryan Rasmussen, P.E.
Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 9:45 AM
Cc: George Murphy
Subject: [asa] Quantum Physics and Consciousness

I have recently stumbled on to a lot of discussions of QP and consciousness lately as I have been trying to increase my understanding of QP. In particular, on one of my all-too-frequent rabbit-trails, I was reading up on Polkinghorn's influences and was directed to Michael Polanyi and his work on transcendence-

Then with Bernie's claim of there being no real 'soul' it led me into Glenn Millers work (which I was already reading because of the OT/NT morals argument) and found this

Can I just say that this stuff is absolutely fascinating??

What have ASA members found to be some of the favorite/best references addressing the combined fields of study? Anything with particular theistic input/relevance?



CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email may contain confidential and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any review, use, distribution or disclosure by others is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by email and delete the message and any file attachments from your computer. Thank you.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Nov 6 20:00:24 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Nov 06 2009 - 20:00:24 EST