Atheists have no soul

Now, I don’t believe this necessarily, I bet there are Atheists who are into the Parliament Funkadelic and I wouldn’t presume to know this to be true.

What I am more interested in here is what people think the social implications of this statement are. What does it mean to say this? Obviously from an atheist point of view it is merely a statement of fact. What would it mean if a theist said it?

I think you’d have to ask the theist. There’s a whole bunch of different ways you could interpret that statement, and it’s not (so far as I know) in line with the teachings of any mainstream religions, so it would be a statement of an idiosyncratic personal belief. I don’t think it’s possible to extrapolate any deeper meaning from it, when it’s presented in a purely hypothetical, “What if someone said this…” context.

Point of clarification : Are you asking “what would it mean if a theist said ‘atheists have no soul?’”

What it means is dependent on what the individual person believes it to be. On the principle of actually debating about it, i’ll go with what I see as the general kind of view as to what a soul is by those who believe in them ( I mean no offense and of course could be quite wrong). What a soul generally seems to mean with a religious person is that which makes us us. It’s the part that turns us from very advanced computers in fleshy bodies into people. It is the part that means morality and ethical considerations matter.

Overall, generally the soul is held in reverence, a major or perhaps even the only important part of ourselves. To suggest a person doesn’t have one could mean they’re incapable of moral acts, or of gaining life after death, or even of being a true person. Thus, for me at least, to be told I do not have a soul by someone who believes in them (and of course means it offensively and not as a statement of that person’s views as in your usage) could easily be a grave insult. But i’d ask what they meant by “soul” before I got offended. :wink:

I don’t particularly get the statement.

Most mainstream religions hold that all human life is sacred, so sacred in fact, that even a human fetus possesses a soul. If this is true, where does the atheist’s soul go between being born and dying? Is it the choice to be the atheist or does the soul of the baby atheist disperse shortly after birth?

  • Honesty

You haven’t heard my James Brown impersonation.

I think theists think everyone has a soul. I don’t think the statement would ever be uttered.

In the unlikely event a theist were to say it, I’d just shoot back “I’d rather have a brain!”

Of course, a theist who would make such a remark is probably sufficiently nutty that further discourse is a waste of time.

Just another excuse for the theist to attack and excuse the unbelievers; nothing they don’t do all the time.

And by the way, atheists are perfectly capable of believing in souls, so it’s not “merely a statement of fact” from the “atheist point of view”. There is no “atheist point of view” except disbelief in gods; you can believe in souls, pixies and the Astral Plane and still be an atheist. I don’t, but I’m hardly the Overlord of Atheism.

What if this notion became, if not mainstream, well received?

No, some would say everyone is a soul. :slight_smile:

The belief that athesits have no soul ? Not much difference from the level of hate we get now.

Weel, there is a bit of a conflict between thsoe who think that out spiritual elements are eminently divorced from the physical; that our bodies are, as it were, mere tools we can drop, and those who believe that our corporeal nature is unsunderable from our identity; that it may be split but will one day be restored.

So ther is a conflict between those who believe we are wholly spiritual elements and those who believe we are both spiritual and corporeal. Chrisiantity as a whole fall sinto the latter, but I suspect most Christians fall into the former because they do not very much pay attention.

If you said “Atheists have no soul”, I would assume you’re talking metaphorically about some kind of virile, buoyant vibrancy or something.

If you said “Atheists have no souls”, I’d assume you were suggesting they lacked a metaphysical part of their being. but I’d also wonder why you said it. After all - if atheists do lack souls, then it’s obvious that would be the cause of their atheism, rather than obstinacy or anything like that - they wouldn’t be accountable for their unbelief.

You’re going to have to rephrase that, i’m afraid I don’t get you. What sentiment, and well received by who?

Why would a lack of a soul make you more or less likely to be an atheist ? If I zapped some random theist with an anti-soul gun would they become an atheist ? Would they even notice, unless God showed up and said, “Sorry, bud; you’re screwed.” ?

I think you should ask an administrator to change your title from ‘Member’ to ‘Overlord of Atheism’. :slight_smile:

That’s not what I mean - What I’m saying is that if a theist said “Atheists have no souls” - that same theist couldn’t then reasonably argue (even from within his own viewpoint) that atheists were just being obstinate in their unbelief, because he’s provided his own already completely sufficient explanation for their unbelief.

What’s a soul? What does it mean to have one? The Scriptures I’ve seen use soul to translate nous in the New Testament, and everywhere outside religious discussion, nous is taken to mean “Mind.” Tell me what it means to have one as opposed to not having one – and whether or not it makes any difference if you look at it that the nous is the seat of the ego, so that you can say that it’s not a case of you being a body which has a soul, but rather that you’re a soul which has a body.

I refuse to be consided as possessing something Der Trihs does not.

I think he’s asking “hey, what if I posted this, what are you atheist guys gonna do about it, hunh?”

Answer: Nothing.