1. You are reading a post from a guy who has no faith in anything that can't be scientificaly or logicaly proven. I beleive that heart is merely a mechical pump & has no function other than to distribute blood throughout the body. I don't believe this "Pump" has anything to do with our soul or morality. My evidence is that people who have recieved heart transplants have not exhibited any change in their basic humanity or morality. Am I wrong in this thinking, & if so, why?
2. My belief is that if there is such a thing as a soul, it must reside in the brain as this is the only organ mankind has been unable to transplant, & no surgical procedures involving any other organ have resluted in changes that could be construed to have effected the soul. A few serious questions about the "soul?"
1. What is your understanding as to the physical location of the soul?
2. Does everyone have one?
3. Do animals have one?
4. What happens to your soul after death?
5. Are new souls created at birth or conception?
6. If not, how does one explain population growth? (where do the new souls come from?)
Glad I found your post & hope you find the time to answer some of these. BTW, these questions are open to anyone who wants to answer them.
To understand the matter it is important to understand something about the "created order of things"; more specifically created beings. In the class of created beings we have two that we know about: angels and humans. Angels are categorised according to function and rank: angel, archangel, cherubim, seraphim. Humans are male and female. Angels are pure spirits, able to assume visible form, witness the appearances throughout the Bible, generally taking the form of young men. Humans, are "embodied spirits", essentially spirits wrapped in flesh, and subject to the afflictions that all flesh is subject to - in this way we share some things with the lower created orders of living things on earth. However, creation of a human life is NOT God's decision; it is the conscious decision of a husband and wife to undertake this solemn endeavour. The man and woman make this decision by their actions, assuming the will is actively involved in the process. Having made this decision by their actions, they take upon themselves the obligation and responsibility to nurture this life they have created. God grants this new life in response to the couple's decision and action (or not grant as the case may be) and the embryo is endowed with what I'd call the "breath of life", or a spirit that is imperishable - it will never die. This is why the Christian pro-lifers oppose abortion by the way.... Another word for spirit I suppose is "soul". Does this not place a big heavy trip on the whole contraception issue? In effect, the couple, or just the woman, is saying "No" to God's involvement in her life. Anyhow.
You ask some good questions. Again, the thing to remember is that we are embodied spirits, that our flesh is simply the expression and habitation for the real "us" living in this body. To refer to the soul as "residing" in one specific part of the body is going a bit beyond what can be proven or disproven. I like to refer to the "mind", we speak of "changing our mind" not our brain. There is a spirit within each human that animates us and drives us. It is the us that feels, thinks, reasons, argues, emotes, and rejoices. It is the us that has dreams and plans for the future, it is the us that falls in love, it is the us that bears a grudge. It is the inner us that will continue to exist forever long after our flesh decays in the grave or is incinerated. Everyone has a soul. Even legal documents, at least the ones I've seen, still speak of a certain number of "souls" residing within a given area, or some such terminology. Animals do not have souls as we do - which ought to lay on us the burden of giving them the happiest life we are capable of giving them NOW and treating them well....
What happens to the soul after death? How long have you got???
Depends... Are you wanting to know where your soul is going?
Prior to the Crucifixion of Jesus, the world existed under what we call the "Old Covenant", the most common belief was essentially what you believe - after death is nothingness - and the Sadducees still believed that right into Jesus' day. Even the Psalms hint that this was a common thought - that in the grave was only darkness and nothing...although they are not consistent in this regard as a perusal will show. The souls of those who died under the Old Covenant went to a compartmentalised "middle place" we call Sheol - the place of departed spirits. The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus illustrates this - the righteous dead in one part (Paradise) and the wicked dead in another (Hades), and communication being possible, but not transmigration. A Holding cell we might say.
At the time of the crucifixion we are told that Jesus descended to these "lower parts" and for three days proclaimed the news that He had come and fulfilled the Old Covenant - the waiting was over. The righteous dead would have rejoiced, and it is quite possible that a number of the "wicked" (I use the term loosely) dead - those who had simply perished without ever knowing anything of God had a fair chance to respond to this preaching and accept Jesus' message. Kind of like the thief on the cross "this day thou shalt be with me in paradise". At Jesus' resurrection the righteous dead were left waiting in hope with fresh assurance of future resurrection, although I believe that the Holy Spirit is also present with these souls and is even now working on each one preparing it for eternity after the last judgement and a reuniuon in a resurrected body. This preparation I refer to as Purgatory, a cleansing of the lingering selfishness and pride, the haughtiness, the carelessness of our life must be weeded out and the horror of our sins made apparent to effect in us a true and contrite spirit ready for the pure worship of heaven. The wicked dead were left waiting in misery knowing that nothing but judgement awaited them for their rejection of Jesus.
As far as I know, things are much the same now as then. The souls of the righteous dead having been baptised and embracing Jesus and His message are carried to the middle place - although the Church has taught that it is possible for some souls to suffer and become holy by grace in this life, and not need the refining or purifying of Purgatory. (Whatever you think, forget the stupid idea of actual "burning" in Purgatory - it is spiritual purgation and healing that is taking place, and the suffering is spiritual - we are not embodied in purgatory - our bodies are in the coffin in the cemetery!) These holy men and women are canonised as Saints, and deemed to be in the very presence of God. Something like Enoch and Elijah who were "caught up" and spared death in the normal way (although don't quote me on that if you're talking with the Holy Father in the near future...). The souls of the wicked dead - those who die unbaptised having rejected Jesus Christ and His message - are taken to Hades to join the rest of the suffering souls waiting for the last judgement. We know little about their state.
At the end of time, there will be a general resurrection. The souls of the righteous will be united with a "glorified" body, resembling their former one, but this time NOT subject to the afflictions that destroy the flesh now. They will remain in this glorified state forever. The souls of the wicked dead will also receive a body - quite likely similar to that of the righteous, but I'm not sure - and these will be judged "every man according to their works" Rev 20:13. This judgement is final and their destination is separation from God, without hope, endless despair, God says "have it your way, I offered you life and you chose death"...the final Hell.
So it depends.
Population growth is simple biology. What makes sex so serious is the belief that God is working with the couple and as they do their created "part" He is doing His in granting this new life a soul to be nurtured and developed. This is why the stuck up Christians oppose abortion and contraception, and insist on "one man and one woman for as long as they both shall live" - we must say "yes" to God if we truly desire a fulfilled and meaningful existence here on earth. To focus solely upon our own little selves is to miss the whole point of living...which is to give, to be creative, to be fruitful, to be artistic, to help our fellowman, to live our lives in a morally responsible way that respects both the creation and the Creator, to worship this Creator as grateful creatures capable of expressing our thankfulness for life.