The Soul and Conscience

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
This is a theory my friend has, he believs that we all have a soul and that the soul is "the goodness within a man and therefore God within a man that can never be corrupted but can be disregarded." He also believes that the mind is "the thing with which he chooses." Between these two (the soul and the mind) their is the conscience which is "the connection between the soul and the mind, but essentially it's the voice of the soul speaking to the mind."

Something about this just doesn't feel right to me like for example if the soul is God then how can God rot in hell? I really don't know. Any ideas would be much appreciated, thanks very much. +


  • And what exactly is the basis of this ridiculous presumption that our soul is God?

  • I have no idea, but it would be much appreciated if one of you guys would give me the truth. What is our soul, our conscience, our mind, how do we make decisions... through what? Thanks+
  • From Bishop Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Way:
  • Hey Iqbal, is this book available online?
  • Iqbal, it is my theory that Luke90 mentioned previously. As I read your scan's from the Bishop's books I realized that I am most likely wrong.

    I realized, in fact, that my theory lack the correct wording and consequently the wrong ideas because of the wording. My 'mind' seems to be exactly what the Bishop noted as the Soul, and my 'soul' would be akin to the true Spirit.

    The soul, because it is subject to incorrect ideas and conditions, i.e. choosing to do evil, can consequently rot in hell because of its imperfections. It is the soul that is cleansed by confession.

    The Spirit is God's breath within us, what I originally believed to be the soul. It is God within us. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Spirit in incorruptible, for God is always within us and God himself cannot do what is ungodlike, i.e. be corrupted.

    Thanks for the illuminating post and please reply regarding the changes in my "theory."
  • The soul is not a "thing-in-itself" (like some sort of ghostly "substance"). That belief is known as Cartesian Dualism and it has been debunked numerous times in the fields of philosophy, physics, and neuro-science. The "soul" (or "mind") is rather an abstract way of describing the functionality of the brain. The "soul" could be described as the "software" aspect of the brain, whereas the "brain" could be described as its "hardware" aspect.

    When we say the "soul" goes to heaven or goes "through the air-realm", blah di blah di blah, what we mean is that the "software" is implemented in a new substrate. Or perhaps it is possible that it is relegated to some sort of Platonic world of ideas (the idea of "Mind" [nous] might include "this mind" or "that mind") where causal relations are possible (insofar as "Causality" itself is a Platonic Idea, maybe "this causal relation" or "that causal relation" exist within this Platonic realm....what we call "heaven").

    Okay....enough of my "doctrines of demons" now..... :-X
  • 1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.- Luke 5:1-11.

    I believe everything comes down to faith, love, and God's will. What would cause Simon Peter, James, and John to "forsake all and follow him." With my understanding of logic, this does not seem logical so why then did they follow Christ? Is it logical to love or to have faith. To me, emotions and logic are like oil and water, they don't mix. Their is a spiritual aspect to life that too many of us just ignore. "Too much knowledge makes it harder to see the heart of things"

    39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." -Luke 23:39-43.
    I don't believe that logic (in my understanding) played a part in the above. That man was moved by God to say what he did in love and faith, not logic. +
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