A lot of the time, people feel they need to be more than what they are. Surely we must be more than simply the sum of our parts. However, a lot of the time that sum is a lot larger than any of us realize. When living organisms are involved, 1 + 1 rarely ever equals 2. Something always multiplies unexpectedly to cause something new and wonderful. To this end, for the first post of this year, we shall look at the greatest sum nature has created for humans.
"What do Atheists think about the soul?"
To be perfectly honest, a lot of us don't think about it at all. There are some that hold an Atheistic religion who believe in the soul, some who are spiritual without religion who believe in a soul of some kind, but a lot of Atheists don't believe in the soul at all. I think the idea of the soul came about from humans trying to understand consciousness and believing that it couldn't possibly have come about through natural means. This is once again humans believing they are more than the sum of their parts.
But how much truth is in that belief? While the soul cannot be proven nor disproven, the consciousness is a real thing, proven 100%. So what makes our consciousness work? We're still working on that one, but I'll give everything I know about it.
Apparently, our consciousness is possible due to the overabundant amount of memories we can hold. Most animals can't hold many memories for great periods of time. Enough to know people and places, but rarely experiences. You'd have to make a big impression on most animals to get them to remember basic situations. That's why you need to give dogs treats to teach them tricks. Receiving a treat from the one they care about most, their owner, is a big event in a dog's life.
So if our memories allow us to be conscious, would we be able to make other animals as conscious as ourselves by improving their memory? As I said earlier, we don't fully understand this ourselves, but we are still working on it. If consciousness really is just the sum of the parts used, we might be looking at some rather large figures. But maybe it's not so mysterious after all? Maybe we should be looking at the smaller, less important parts? Maybe we are missing the real picture by looking for a bigger one?
If the soul is merely our consciousness, it'll take some time to figure out exactly what that is. If not, then there is no way to figure it out at all without knowing first what we are trying to find.