Can your soul feel physical pain?

Humans sense physical pain through the nerve system of their body. Many religious people believe that they possess a soul that can operate without the body, especially after their body has died.

Some claim that your soul might go to hell in order to be subjected to torture.

Science seems ill-equipped to explain matters of the soul in relation to physical pain, so I will direct my question to religious wisdom:

In the unfortunate event of eternal and infernal torture of the soul, how can it feel physical pain? Will it be provided with special supernatural nerves?

Answer #1

Ah.. Susila2, the old metaphorical excuse. Could you elaborate on the criteria that point out which notions in the christian doctrine should be seen as metaphorical and which literary?

Answer #2

I personally believe that physical torture for a soul is mental torture for a nervous system. So mental pain to you is like physical pAin to your soul.

Answer #3

Arachnid, indeed, the assumption that the idea of the soul is factual must be scrutinized first. Before that, the initial question in this form can not be answered.

Additionally, even the faithful, in who’s philosophical realm the concept of the tortured soul was conceived, can not answer the initial question unambiguously, let alone empirically. So far, the answers do give rise to more questions.

Answer #4

Yes, most religions conceive of the soul as being non-physical. That would mean that any torment or whatever suffered by the soul would also be non-physical.

Older descriptions of physical tortures in the Christian Hell should be taken metaphorically - that is, as illustrating the idea, not the actual reality.

Answer #5

Given that nobody’s actually been able to demonstrate the existence of a soul, it’s kind of hard to come to any conclusion about its properties. In fact, nobody can even define something concrete that would distinguish someone with a soul to someone without one.

“Science seems ill-equipped to explain matters of the soul in relation to physical pain, so I will direct my question to religious wisdom”

Science is perfectly equipped to answer any question about empirical truths. The problem is that nobody has provided an empirical definition of a soul. And the more we learn about how the brain works, the more apparrent it is that purely physical mechanisms are sufficient to explain our behaviour.

Answer #6

The idea of the soul is an evil and pernicious one. It has been used historically to justify horrifically torturing the body ‘for the sake of the soul’ . This in a religion that is supposed to preach love and forgiveness. If instead of inventing the concept of the soul you try to believe that people are just what they appear to be (people) you will end up treating them better.

Religious ideas can be judged on the basis of the effect they have on people’s behaviour, and this one is particularly bad. Within Christianity it is not even necessary, since Christians are supposed to believe in the resurrection of the body ! So forget about it and get real !

Answer #7

Imagine hell as being the absense of G-d, and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

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