Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9

Author Topic: Serious question about Christianity  (Read 10330 times)

GlyphGryph

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2012, 10:28:16 am »

But is the hurt "evil" any more than the "hurt" of having your character killed in a video game? That's the important question.

We as a people accept that not all "hurt" is even bad. Forget evil!

The soul in Christian mythology should explicitly not be confused with the mind or the psyche. They are different entities entirely. The soul powers and observes and motivates the psyche, but damage to the psyche is not damage to the soul. That's actually pretty basic stuff, theisticly - there aren't any religions I can think of offhand that say soul=psyche.
Logged

LordBucket

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #61 on: October 30, 2012, 10:35:22 am »

there aren't any religions I can think of offhand that say soul=psyche.

...this is touching on sufficiently subtle ground where we might need to define terms in order to be sure we're all talking about the same thing.

In any case, I don't think I've ever spoken to any Protestant who would be able to clearly distinguish these things at all. I know a number of Christians, I've done the bible study routine with them, I've gone to their churches, I've listened to their sermons...so far as I'm aware, distinguishing between various aspects of mind and things like "ego sabotage" and identity are not part of their tradition.

GlyphGryph

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #62 on: October 30, 2012, 10:38:17 am »

I think it may be more a miscommunication in definitions of the word "psyche" actually. I had assumed he meant the more modern version that means mind or potentially the whole self. In that situation -

If a person receives a brain injury, would those people say that "soul" has been damaged? I'd assume not - not in my experience anyway. Nor does an alzheimers patient have a damaged soul, though their mind is clearly suffering.

I don't think I've met anyone who would conflate the two to the extent that damage to the mind causes damage to the soul.

Sometimes psyche is used to mean soul, though, yes. In that case, I'd question what exactly there is that can harm it? (Other than, traditionally, our own actions, and even then the harm seems as if it can be quite easily repaired in most traditions)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 10:46:13 am by GlyphGryph »
Logged

Leafsnail

  • Bay Watcher
  • A single snail can make a world go extinct.
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2012, 11:33:17 am »

It is a question of self identify. In what way do you "become" this fleshy body you're wearing right now? You're not a sack of meat. You're a conscious entity temporarily inhabiting a body.

If you, as a spiritual being, as discarnate consciousness...temporarily inhabit a meatsack and personally identify yourself with it and experience trauma based on what happens to that meatsack...how is that any different from a human being temporarily playing a game or acting out a role on stage, identifying with the character, and experiencing trauma as  result?
You can wax lyrical all you like, the analogy is fundamentally busted.  An actor in a horror movie knows they are not really experiencing the events they are pretending to experience.  A person playing a game knows they are not really experiencing the events they are pretending to experience (except people who actually become delusional - in that case I would say they need immediate psychiatric help and that torturing them in the game would be extremely cruel).  Not to mention that actors are generally not actually tortured during the making of movies (I would regard movies in which they are as unethical).  There is a fundamental difference that won't go away no matter how much woooaahhh solipsism you throw in.

The only way your analogy works is if you actually wipe people's memories, then torture them, then unwipe their memories.  I would say that is unconscionable.
Logged

Darvi

  • Bay Watcher
  • <Cript> Darvi is my wifi.
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2012, 11:39:07 am »

An actor in a horror movie knows they are not really experiencing the events they are pretending to experience
Unless the director feels like being a prick. But then again Hitchcock and Kubrick  are more like the exceptions that prove the rule or something.
Logged

Leafsnail

  • Bay Watcher
  • A single snail can make a world go extinct.
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #65 on: October 30, 2012, 11:58:28 am »

I'm aware there are some scenes where the actors are "surprised", but that would be written into the contracts and they still wouldn't amount to surprise torture.
Logged

LordBucket

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #66 on: October 30, 2012, 12:05:05 pm »

An actor in a horror movie knows they are not really experiencing the events they are pretending to experience.
A person playing a game knows they are not really experiencing the events they are pretending to experience

And yet nevertheless they experience the same emotional states. Go watch a horror movie. Your heart rate and blood pressure will increase. You might experience fear, terror, horror, etc. Even though you "know" it's not "real." You can think and believe all you want that the boogieman on screen isn't real and can't hurt you...but you'll still react and "feel it" when he jumps out on the screen.

Well, some people "know" that they're spirit rather than flesh and completely believe that their consciousness will live on regardless of what happens to their physical body, but they nevertheless experience sensations and react when something happens to that body.

Quote
The only way your analogy works is if

The analogy works fine. You just don't like it. That's not the same thing.

Leafsnail

  • Bay Watcher
  • A single snail can make a world go extinct.
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2012, 12:13:29 pm »

Oh right, goalpost moving ("Like an actor in a horror movie" --> "Like watching a horror movie") followed by condescension.  That was why I resolved to never reply to you again, oops.
Logged

GlyphGryph

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2012, 12:17:40 pm »

I honestly think the only way the movie thing would work is, again, if you consider "us" the characters the actors play, while our souls are the "actors" that bring the characters to life.

So the "actors" know this isn't real - but the characters (us, our brains, our bodies) don't. And at the very least that we are very, very good character actors.

But I don't get the feeling that's what you were aiming for there.
Logged

LordBucket

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2012, 12:19:36 pm »

goalpost moving ("Like an actor in a horror movie" --> "Like watching a horror movie")

the "problem of evil" is very easy to resolve. Humans write horror stories, for example, turn them into horror movies, act in those
movies, and watch them. Some people enjoy them. And yet I don't see any actors or movie-goers accusing writers or audiences of being "evil" for allowing these stories to exist.

Shinotsa

  • Bay Watcher
  • Content lion is content
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2012, 12:21:38 pm »

Well then, let's shift a little from all this hostility.

I think it may be more a miscommunication in definitions of the word "psyche" actually. I had assumed he meant the more modern version that means mind or potentially the whole self. In that situation -

If a person receives a brain injury, would those people say that "soul" has been damaged? I'd assume not - not in my experience anyway. Nor does an alzheimers patient have a damaged soul, though their mind is clearly suffering.

I don't think I've met anyone who would conflate the two to the extent that damage to the mind causes damage to the soul.

Sometimes psyche is used to mean soul, though, yes. In that case, I'd question what exactly there is that can harm it? (Other than, traditionally, our own actions, and even then the harm seems as if it can be quite easily repaired in most traditions)

As this is about serious questions about Christianity this has always bothered me. How much of the "self" is preserved in the soul? Does it remember life events if it is disconnected from the mind? If it is preserved after brain damage, then when exactly is it preserved? Does it age along with the body, or is the soul of a child that of when they are an adult at their prime? And if it ages with a child, then why it is commonly said that the old become young again when their souls ascend to heaven?

I suppose it is very easy to understand where beliefs like this come from among a casually religious population - they have very favorable outcomes regardless of the circumstance - but I would like to see where religious leaders or texts draw the line, so to speak. Often there is a disconnect between the views of casual believers and that of the clergy, and I certainly hope someone can point these out.

Also, I apologize for always posing questions when people are asking for answers. That sadly seems to be the way of the most difficult arguments.
Logged
Quote from: EvilTim
"You shouldn't anthropomorphize vehicles. They hate it"

LordBucket

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2012, 12:28:02 pm »

I honestly think the only way the movie thing would work is, again, if you consider "us" the
characters the actors play, while our souls are the "actors" that bring the characters to life.

The problem is that words like "us" and "I" are a bit vague because we're discussing the nature of self and self-identity. When you use "I" in a sentence, are you referring to your physical body, your mind, your consciousness, an "immortal soul," "the observer," some combination of these things...or...what?

This isn't the analogy breaking down. This is us discussing a concept that is more subtle than the words we're using to describe it can easily convey.

As for the analogy, it might be not a 100% perfect analogy with precise, exact one-to-one correlation...but it should nevertheless be useful to convey a general idea, which was the point of it. Seeking out imperfections is likely to generate a different result than seeking to understand.

kaijyuu

  • Bay Watcher
  • Hrm...
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #72 on: October 30, 2012, 12:28:46 pm »

Back when I believed that stuff, I always thought that you'd suddenly retain all your memories from life once you reached the afterlife. The body itself is fallible, can be damaged, etc. The soul is perfect. Our memory loss and such is just damage that can be repaired.

Where stuff like brain damage affecting personality comes into play with all this, I dunno. It's one of the major criticisms against dualism.
Logged
Quote from: Chesterton
For, in order that men should resist injustice, something more is necessary than that they should think injustice unpleasant. They must think injustice absurd; above all, they must think it startling. They must retain the violence of a virgin astonishment. When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action.

GlyphGryph

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #73 on: October 30, 2012, 12:29:06 pm »

From my understanding, the soul preserves your memories and essence, but not your learned behaviors and expressions. They are eternal, granted upon birth (or conception, depending on arguments), and never age. I think souls are sort-of able to have their personalities, but our actual physical existence is merely a window into the soul, and damage can distort that window and render it imperfect, preventing our "true self" from shining through.

Souls are eternal and can't really "age" - they do not deteriorate or acquire any of the drawbacks we'd associate with being "old". They can accumulate experiences and grow in wisdom - and this is the basis of those with an "old soul", who are said to have knowledge beyond their years and what not, because they have some access to those memories.

This is my understanding of the general concept of a soul, anyway - it doesn't grow so much as it "accumulates", and it can't be damaged any more a damaged cell phone hurts the person on the other end. Brain damage can result in faulty transmission - aberrant behaviour. But the soul remains unchanged.


I honestly think the only way the movie thing would work is, again, if you consider "us" the
characters the actors play, while our souls are the "actors" that bring the characters to life.
The problem is that words like "us" and "I" are a bit vague because we're discussing the nature of self and self-identity. When you use "I" in a sentence, are you referring to your physical body, your mind, your consciousness, an "immortal soul," "the observer," some combination of these things...or...what?

This isn't the analogy breaking down. This is us discussing a concept that is more subtle than the words we're using to describe it can easily convey.
"I" is usually the totality - all of those combined. We can certainly use other definitions though, if they are more useful?

But I agree with the thrust of the analogy, that being that we don't blame the creators for stories where bad things happen, because no one "really" gets hurt - and if our souls, the part of us that is actually "important", is immortal, then the same could easily apply here.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 12:32:54 pm by GlyphGryph »
Logged

LordBucket

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Serious question about Christianity
« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2012, 12:32:56 pm »

As this is about serious questions about Christianity this has always bothered me. How much of the "self" is preserved in the soul?

So far as I'm aware, the Bible does not address this. And from my experience with Christians, it's not a question that they'd generally stop to consider. We can speculate, pastors can speculate, Christians can speculate...but I don't think there's any official Christian stance about it.

EDIT:
Wait...now that I think about it...there is a notion that marriage is only until death, and I think a mention by Jesus at some point that earthbound familial relationships won't matter in heaven. So...that much at least is probably not "retained" even if it's not explicitly stated whether the memory of those events will be retained.
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9