Due Date: Friday, February 14 (Happy Valentine’s Day!).
This is (obviously) such a tough question! I was leaning toward knowing the outcome of human existence on this planet, or if what I’m doing is leading me toward my greatest potential. I’m even more interested in knowing if my existence is limited to my brain or if it’s metaphysical.
Thus, I started thinking about consciousness (this is one of my favorite topics to contemplate, anyway). So, is our identity due to having a soul or being conscious? Then I realized it shouldn’t really matter. Some people act certain ways in order to obtain some great objective (Heaven, for example). Others act certain ways because they think life is meaningless (maybe they don’t believe in an afterlife, so why heed their own actions?). Neither are good reasons to be good; regardless of having an eternal soul or if our identity dies with our brain, I think you should strive to be the best person you can be for the sole sake of doing the right thing.
This led me to an idea: We slaughter cattle because they aren’t human and therefore 1) don’t have a soul, or 2) don’t have an identity due to consciousness. What if all organisms have souls and our level of consciousness dictates how aware we are of one? Well, then it would be unethical to slaughter cattle (or any other organism with a soul) the same way it is unethical to kill and eat an unconscious person!
I was stuck on this for a while until I finally rediscovered the question I’ve really wanted answered for a long time: If I do have a soul, when do I gain one?
– Is it before conception, making masturbation and birth control unethical?
– At conception, making early abortions unethical?
– Later in development, making later abortions unethical?
– Sometime after birth? Maybe when a child finally becomes conscious of their identity? What would this mean for a newborn baby?
NOTE: A friend of mine suggested that it matters not when we gain a soul if we don’t know what happens to it after we die. If humans have souls that exist after death, then death isn’t as tragic. However, for creatures without souls — like cattle, possibly — killing them for food is tragic since they have but one existence.
Thinkies & Thoughties is inspired by The Book of Questions by Doctor Gregory Stock. Grab a cup of coffee — or something a little stronger — and sit down, open up, and share yourself every Friday.
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