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Poledra
May 28th, 2009, 07:16 AM
Warning - philosophical questions/musings ahead!

So, where does the spark of life come from? I suspect that most of us believe that life is part of the most wondrous aspects of What Is, but how is it created (and I don't mean the birds and the bees). I mean, is there something else that happens beyond simple sexual reproduction that results in *life*, as opposed to life?

Reading that back, it doesn't make much sense, so lets use an analogy. Christians of different flavours believe that a soul is imparted to an individual sometime between conception and birth, meaning that there is more to *life* than the simple creation of a fetus.

What do you believe? Does the simple joining of two cells create everything that is *life* or is there more to it? Is it different for different species? What about plants? Do our cells have *life*? What about viruses?

I know that this drifts into the discussion about the definition and existence of a soul and the meaning of sentience, so feel free to let the discussion meander as it wishes!

Poledra

TygerTyger
May 28th, 2009, 08:57 AM
The whole of existence is constituted from two basic building blocks; energy and matter. When the two combine they create a life-form. How this event first occurred (on Earth at least) is the subject of Abiogenesis, a branch of science that has presented a theory if not the proof of how life occurs.

Although we can see the evidence of energy and matter combining within life-forms we have not been able to replicate artificially the first instance when this might have occurred. However, it does seem to be an occurrence of chemical reaction, as is the case with sexual reproduction, and it has continued to occur since that first instance.

As to the quality of life being different between life-forms, that might seem to be a question of self-awareness. Many life-forms act purely from a process of stimulus and response, indeed, this level of functioning is prevalent in all life-forms to a certain degree, including human beings.

Shaedema
May 28th, 2009, 09:31 AM
Warning - philosophical questions/musings ahead!

So, where does the spark of life come from? I suspect that most of us believe that life is part of the most wondrous aspects of What Is, but how is it created (and I don't mean the birds and the bees). I mean, is there something else that happens beyond simple sexual reproduction that results in *life*, as opposed to life?

Reading that back, it doesn't make much sense, so lets use an analogy. Christians of different flavours believe that a soul is imparted to an individual sometime between conception and birth, meaning that there is more to *life* than the simple creation of a fetus.

What do you believe? Does the simple joining of two cells create everything that is *life* or is there more to it? Is it different for different species? What about plants? Do our cells have *life*? What about viruses?

I know that this drifts into the discussion about the definition and existence of a soul and the meaning of sentience, so feel free to let the discussion meander as it wishes!

Poledra

I think I actually agree with the Christian thought on this in that the 'Soul of Life' is given to all forms of life. I don't believe that life is the joining of cells or that it was a process that 'happened' without design.

With that being said, I do believe that energy and matter are the primary physical building blocks. And I believe that the energy that we have now is the same that we had a birth, we're just better trained. And that all Life is basically created the same way- energy, matter, (and for lack of a better word) breath.

Now when does this 'Soul of Life' come into being?

Personally, I think it happens when energy and matter first mix. Kind of like a cell that is dormant then activated begins to split/form what it was designed to (like a plant). Which means for me the concept of existence (with thought, soul, etc) begins with the creation of life. And yes, it is the same for single celled beings all the way through to the line.

I'm not sure I said that right, but I haven't had my coffee this morning yet. :weirdsmil

*oonagh*
May 28th, 2009, 12:18 PM
The whole of existence is constituted from two basic building blocks; energy and matter. When the two combine they create a life-form.


i,very strongly believe:
it is this energy that is divine. it is this energy that is *more*. it is this energy that is in everything.

it's the matter that is the difference between everything and the energy that is the unifying force.

BearDancing
May 28th, 2009, 01:06 PM
part of what I believe....I believe that the *soul* chooses the parents that will guide them to the parameters of what they are to learn in this life....I beleive that the *soul* does this 3 months before actual conception...I do notknow why I feel so strongly about this, yet a 12 month cycle is my beleif...I know with my first child....I was not even thinking of having a baaby when all of a sudden *it was the most important thing in my life* and right now...not later....I even told my husband if he did not want to ****** that I would get pregant elsewhere....I know it sounds weird...I was 30 when I had my first baby...I can not describe the feeling....it was so intense...NOW is the Time
I beleive the spark of life *is* divine, whatever science finds I still beleive there will either be more questions or the answer that, their is a Divine Source, will be revealed through science

TygerTyger
May 29th, 2009, 03:02 AM
I have been wondering lately as to whether or not what we take to be a 'soul' is not just our own sense of identity?

Despite being brought up in the Anglican tradition I still cannot define with any confidence exactly what the human soul is suppsed to be. However, it seems to me that our sense of individuality is very important to us and that we have a latent desire to believe that some part of our being survives death.

In one sense this is true, energy is life and energy cannot be destroyed only changed. When we die the energy that was our life force leaves the material body but what becomes of it then I do not know. Obviously it has changed but whether or not we maintain some degree of conscious identity is the big question?

Is energy divine? I don't know, but there is something remarkable about the relationship between energy and matter. Despite our best attempts we have not yet been able to recreate the moment of when life first occurred and all we have to explain it is theory. However, we are surrounded by examples of life continuing its' existence in many different forms and, of course, we a part of that process ourselves.

Poledra
May 29th, 2009, 05:33 AM
Ooh Tyger, you have set off all sorts of thought explosions with that comment about the relationship between matter and energy! I definetly can't articulate them, but what a fascinating line of thought!

So, are you suggesting that a sense of self is inherent in the energy part of the equation that makes up our mass?

What about organisms that don't appear to have a sense of self, or organisms that have a sense of group (sperm whales, or other highly group-oriented animals). Are they fundamentally different? How can they be?

TygerTyger
May 29th, 2009, 05:56 AM
So, are you suggesting that a sense of self is inherent in the energy part of the equation that makes up our mass?

What about organisms that don't appear to have a sense of self, or organisms that have a sense of group (sperm whales, or other highly group-oriented animals). Are they fundamentally different? How can they be?

I think that a sense of self is a consequence of the energy that is life. Obviously this is linked to the development of the brain, which uses energy in order to function. The more developed the brain the greater the degree of self consciousness.

How much a particular species is capable of thinking of itself in an individual capacity is, I beleive, reflected in its' social behaviour. Some animals group together purely for safety and exhibit minimal social interaction, a herd of cows or a school of fish for example. Others appear to need the social activity of their community as part of thier emotional development, primates being a good example of this.

It all comes down to how sophisticated the functions of the brain are in any given animal.

*oonagh*
May 29th, 2009, 08:50 AM
i would state that it doesn't matter one bit if anything (living or not) has a sense of self. the fact that we, has humans, are aware of life force doesn't mean that we have soul or identity in any larger measure than a table. we are just, due to the evolved matter that is our brain, more aware of it.

Nesta
May 29th, 2009, 09:06 AM
i,very strongly believe:
it is this energy that is divine. it is this energy that is *more*. it is this energy that is in everything.

it's the matter that is the difference between everything and the energy that is the unifying force.

This sums it up really well for me. Energy is the basis of everything for me, the source of all with endless potential.

Dio
May 29th, 2009, 09:50 AM
part of what I believe....I believe that the *soul* chooses the parents that will guide them to the parameters of what they are to learn in this life....I beleive that the *soul* does this 3 months before actual conception...I do notknow why I feel so strongly about this, yet a 12 month cycle is my beleif...I know with my first child....I was not even thinking of having a baaby when all of a sudden *it was the most important thing in my life* and right now...not later....I even told my husband if he did not want to ****** that I would get pregant elsewhere....I know it sounds weird...I was 30 when I had my first baby...I can not describe the feeling....it was so intense...NOW is the Time
I beleive the spark of life *is* divine, whatever science finds I still beleive there will either be more questions or the answer that, their is a Divine Source, will be revealed through science


I've had this same feeling when I had my son. As though the divine puts the call in before any of the physical, chemical reactions take place. I also feel that my son's "soul", had hung around a bit until the physical part was ready. I remember the intense feeling I got when his soul and body connected while he was in my belly. That was my perception, anyway.

How that divine call is made, I have no idea. It'd be cool if I did. :)