Heart and Soul and some emotions!
As nobody really knows what a soul is, lets take dictionary definition.
Soul:The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.
Immaterial:l Having no material body or form
Exist: having a physical presence or having form.
If we take these definitions, it is conclusive that soul DOES NOT exist. But we can still use soul to replace “I”, that is the personality traits and memory and experiences that differentiate oneself from others. But it has no religious connotations or meanings like the vital principle.
Now let us consider heart. It is considered as the seat of emotions. But, is it? Anatomists and cardiothoracic surgeons were able to dissect heart and even replace heart. Now let us evaluate their findings.
Heart in humans is essentially similar to the heart of all mammals. Heart is a muscular tube (with an outer covering. It was formed from two arteries that fused into one, and there is a unique set of muscles. There are four chambers, two to take blood in and two to push blood out. It takes deoxygenated in one side and oxygenated in other. With synchronised action it takes blood from body and lung and let it circulate throughout the body. Heart is somewhat autonomic that it will continue to pump even without any external stimulus. But it is still depended on brain as brain can regulate heart rate with the help of neurons and circulating hormones. There is no place for any emotions in anybody’s heart!
Then why is it considered seat of emotions. When we are in pain, why are we feeling it as heart ache and not head ache? The matter is very simple; when we are emotionally stimulated our brain needs more oxygen as more neurons start working. It makes the heart pump faster through its neurons and hormones. When it pump faster we can feel it in our chest, and we erroneously conclude that, it is the seat of our emotions!
The biggest proof of it comes from heart transplantation patients. Heart transplanted patient feel the same emotions though they won’t have the same increase in heart rate as before as the nerve supply to the transplanted heart is gone. They will feel no less intense emotions but will have less heart rate. Another example is some nature’s follies or cerebrovascular accidents (commonly called stroke) that destroy specific areas of brain. If some specific ares are destroyed people will lack the ability to feel emotions, or feel out of context emotions or may not be able to express emotions and so on. Without brain nobody can feel any emotions.
So if brain is the seat of emotion what is the soul doing? Soul as such has no function in the body. Human body, anatomically considered, is just like any other mammalian body. So if no other mammals have soul, then humans too have no soul. Heart definitely is not the seat of soul, for when you transplant heart, you will also be transplanting soul.
Now is brain the soul? Can’t be. Why? Because soul is supposed to incorruptible by body except by bodily actions (sins). But again there as specific brain and genetic abnormalities that make humans behave abnormality. A genetic problem in males where there are two ‘Y’ chromosomes instead of one, make them more susceptible for criminality. It also makes them less intelligent than their fellow beings. So does the defect affect soul to? Or does the defect of the body that is more criminal, make the soul responsible for its actions? There are other specific neuronal problems to. In the problem called alien hand syndrome, the left side of brain is totally independent of right and one side may want to do something criminal (like killing someone or committing suicide) while the opposite side is not even aware of that. Which side’s action will the soul be responsible?
From all these and from the fact that there is no explanation for a soul ( except by the religions as the one to take the punishment or reward-which is ridiculous) we may conclude that there is nothing called soul.
These are mere creations of the religious minds to keep people in control by enthralling them, by telling them they are going to get the justice and enjoyment that were denied to them during this life and telling them they will get eternal punishment for any transgressions. They also cater to the people’s fantasy of living forever!
Another area of contention is morality. Religionist says religion is essential for morality, but is it?
This question is easily resolved. Suppose if everybody get incontrovertible proof that no gods exist and hence all religions are false, how many will change their character. We may shrug our shoulders and go on as usual.
So let us see religions can really solve moral problems. All religionist says all morals are based on religious books and quote some lines from the book to prove that. Whenever a Christian wants to say about good living he will quote some passages from bible to support that. But in doing so he expediently forgets about the passages that are exactly opposite (there are so many hubs and forums detailing that). Bhagavad Gita is the sacred text of Hindus that extol the virtues of war, but is the same book from which Mr. Gandhi draws his non-violent principles from. So it doesn’t matter to people what the book says, but only whether they can quote, that suit their particular beliefs.
Now technology is putting more and more moral conundrums, for which no religion has an answer,
Like who is a mother? Is it the women who donated the chromosome, or is it the one who gave egg, or the one who carried the fetus in her womb or the one who brought up the child?
Another more important one will be, if technology sufficiently advance, who is a human?
Even now who can be classified as humans?
If it is all with requisite chromosomes, then people with chromosomal anomalies will not be classified as humans. Appearances are always deceiving. There are humans with genetic abnormalities that make them indistinguishable from our primate cousins. And there are monkeys that look similar to humans. Intelligence cannot be taken as a standard, then mentally retarded and people with psychiatric illness don’t qualify. So far the only one that can be said for sure is anybody who got his chromosomes from a human and was nurtured in a human uterus. If we let technology progress like this there will be a time we will not be able to say who humans are either. Then to whom all will we apply morals?
So the only thing that can be said for sure is morals are that set of laws that improves human and societal well being. It needs no religion nor any superhuman to define that, any rational human can!