How do we know we have a spirit??

United States
January 6, 2012 3:18pm CST
I put this in religion for lack of a better place to put it. I don't believe in RELIGIOSITY so one religion is probably equal to any other religion as far as I am concerned. I have my beliefs that we are spiritual beings which happen to inhabit a body. That being said, I have no concrete proof that spirits really exist. We don't ever isolate the spirit to study it...so other than belief and religious dogma there is no concrete evidence that this spiritual being inside of us really exists. We just have religion that says so and we know that religion is a huge money making entity that people attach them to. Depending on the sect, the beliefs might be different. Let's not say the bible says this so it is true, because the bible would never hold up as evidence in court or a science lab. There is no legal entity that bears witness that the bible is fact about much of anything. So without the bible how is there going to be concrete evidence that the spirit exists? When you die the lights go out. Why do we say they have gone to a better place? Why do we say these things when we have no evidence our statements ate true?
4 people like this
14 responses
@bellis716 (4807)
• United States
8 Jan 12
Without a believe in an afterlife, there would be no reason to live a selfless life. Everything would be all about me. Most people would do whatever he or she could get away with. I believe that nearly everyone knows someone like that. That's why we have to have laws and people to enforce them.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 12
I agree with you... and I appreciate your response, but it doesn’t really address the idea if there really is a spirit. We believe in the spirit, but we don’t believe in the Easter bunny…. Or Santa Claus. To many.. the spirit is just as make believe as the Easter Bunny and the belief in Santa. Yet we believe. We believe that Christ was born of a virgin, yet we don’t believe in Superman. I personally believe we have a spirit, but if I were asked to prove that I have a spirit I would be at a loss to logically state my case. Belief in a religion isn’t a viable proof to state whether a spirit really exists. In order to prove that something exists there must be some kind of scientific proof. I’m not talking about faith… those of us who belief do so out of faith… so let’s set faith aside and look for logical proof in the real world for the presence of a spirit.
@bellis716 (4807)
• United States
8 Jan 12
There are hundreds of reports of out of body experiences, but doctors say that they are hallucinations. So that doesn't prove anything, either. There are some things that just have to be then on faith.
1 person likes this
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
7 Jan 12
Do you cry ? Do you feel sorry sometimes ? Do you have a conscience ?Is there something inside you that will not let you to sleep every time you did something bad even if no one else knows about that ? Do you dream ? Are you blushing sometimes ?That is the soul.
• United States
7 Jan 12
What you have said doesn’t describe the soul or the spirit. We think of the soul as our intellect… and the spirit is something else… from what I have always been told.. and what I have read. Crying and our emotions are part of our biochemistry. Why does crying help us to feel better? Because we lose some of the chemicals that make us feel bad in our tears! Still a good cry is not proof that I have a spirit. If I were to state a case scientifically, how would I prove that I have a spirit? The spirit has never been isolated and studied, so how do we do that? We take it on faith that we have a spirit, but apart from faith… what do we have to prove we have a spirit? I often believed my mom’s spirit would come into me. I often felt like sometimes she was looking through my eyes. If I eat a Mounds candy bar, (was my mom’s favorite) I can almost feel her tasting it instead of me. I tried to explain this to my doctor and she thought I was dissociative… in other words I guess she thought I was crazy… so I want to know… how can I prove (or how can it be proved) that the spirit exists?
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
8 Jan 12
No one can tell you why people are crying.Everything in the body is chemical reaction but no one can tell you why you have these feelings.No one can explain why you have conscience or why you dream or blush.The science is doesn`t have answers for these problems they are trying to fool you and tell you what`s going on when you cry or when you dream but they are not telling you why people are crying or dreaming. The soul means more than the intellect and that can be proven.The soul has a rational part and an irrational part. Look here this is 8th century "science" : The reasoning part, it should be understood, naturally bears rule over that which is void of reason. For the faculties of the soul are divided into that which has reason, and that which is without reason. Again, of that which is without reason there are two divisions: that which does not listen to reason, that is to say, is disobedient to reason, and that which listens and obeys reason. That which does not listen or obey reason is the vital or pulsating faculty, and the spermatic or generative faculty, and the vegetative or nutritive faculty: to this belong also the faculties of growth and bodily formation. For these are not under the dominion of reason but under that of nature. That which listens to and obeys reason, on the other hand is divided into anger and desire. And the unreasoning part of the soul is called in common the pathetic and the appetitive. Further, it is to be understood, that impulsive movement likewise belongs to the part that is obedient to reason."
@vandana7 (58981)
• India
7 Jan 12
Do you feel very happy and content on somedays and helpless, and hopeless on other days for no apparent reason? No logic ..? I believe there is something in us that tells us do this dont do this. But the voice of this casper like spirit is very feeble - almost like that of a child. So at times, we override that voice with our wishes. And we pay the price. You want to call it spirit, that is perfectly fine with me. I just dont need any proof of it because it is constantly telling me that difference between right and wrong.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
Of course we have a conscience, a psyche, so to speak. We have a mind and emotions. We get depressed or happy… which is largely due to the brain chemicals as to what our mood is. This doesn’t scientifically explain the spirit. Don’t get me wrong… I am a believer in the Spirit… but if I were to go about to scientifically make my claim to having a spirit, how would I do it?
@vandana7 (58981)
• India
8 Jan 12
I am as much keen on knowing the truth as you are sweetie.. :) So I am hardly going to get you wrong. :) As I see it..if I feel something my brain produces some chemicsls, and therefore I feel something else. The chemicals and feelings are two different things moving in a cyclic way. You stop chemicals ...your feelings may stop. You stop feelings, the chemicals may stop. So feelings have a distinct identity. Conscience on the other hand is like an arm of this feeling. It is cultivated. Feeling is there within us. It cares for us. Conscience is impartial.
@lilaclady (28270)
• Australia
6 Jan 12
I agree with a lot you have said, I am not what is call religious but I do believe we all have spiritual guides, I never believed in this once until I was made aware of a few things and opened up and I really do believe we have spirits watching over us now...The one thing that made me believe this is a spiritual artist did a sketch of my spiritual guide at that time, this was not long after my father passed away...in a ten minute sketch she sketched my spirit guide and it was definitely my father....
• United States
6 Jan 12
Wow! That is interesting. I also believe in spirit guides but have mo idea why I do. I read some of Sylvia Brown's books and truly believe her to be sincere. She is a reason I believe in a remote possibility in reincarnation. I see no need for a spirit unless it could be used again and again. This goes against Christian teachings, but remember I am not bogged down it a certain doctrine or dogma. I'm a free thinker and I guess that my beliefs are just as plausible as anyone elses. Because I am not bound by religiosity I can think about things without shame or guilt.
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28270)
• Australia
7 Jan 12
Yes I also believe that little inner voice that nudges you to do the right thing, or reminds you of something out of the blue amybe even conscience is out guides working for us...there are many things we are not open to because of years of religious teachings...
@MandaLee (3694)
• United States
11 Jan 12
Dear Pointless, There is evidence to support The Bible. Scientists have found evidence that proves The Bible is one hundred percent accurate.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jan 12
Hi Manda, I appreciate that you believe this. I have my beliefs too that there are some literal truths and some abstract truths of the bible. Can you show evidence where every word of the bible is factual truth? None of us can. We cannot prove that woman came from the rib of the first created man on earth… and there are many other things we cannot prove. Many religious books have some similar stories. We do know that Jesus was a real man and he was crucified. But there is no proof that Jesus was the end result of the immaculate conception of Mary. We believe this, but we have to take it on faith because there is no evidence that this is actually true. If there were, there would probably not be any other religion than Christianity if it was the only REAL truth. They haven't even proved that the shroud of Turin is the actual shroud that covered Christ... although many believe it. There are many different explanations given by scientists as to the image on it. I would like to believe it, but it's not old enough, for one, to be the same one. That would be some real proof if that could be proven.
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
9 Jan 12
Hi PointlessQuestions, Let me give you my thoughts about your last two questions first. (1) Most people feel a great sense of loss when a loved one passes away and often friends just don't know what to say. Words like 'they've gone to a better place' easily come to mind, and we feel that it will somehow help those left behind to feel better. (2) It is especially at such times that people feel a closeness to something beyond this life, as if the Vail is perhaps a little thinner. You ask, 'how do we know we have a spirit'? I agree with you that there is no physical evidence and the fact that the Bible and other holy books say so, means nothing. The only evidence we have comes from within and is not something that that we can use to convince another. Each person must discover it for himself/herself. I firmly believe that there is a knowing within each and everyone of us. Sometimes it may be buried so deep that it is practically impossible to find. This can come from years of denial, because brainwashing works both ways. Many others just laugh at the idea of going into the silence, and so never take the opportunity to learn for themselves. Is such a knowing proof of anything? No, not in the sense that science looks for proof, but it is enough for many. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan 12
Thanks Pose. I think you are right. Only we can judge for ourselves if we have a spirit. The essence of what makes you you and me me is what we call our spirit. It can't be found on an Xray or located with a CT scan but there has to be something more than blood, bones, nerves and a meat computer (brain). We take it for granted that we have one but it can't be located.
@dawnald (84155)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Jan 12
I know people who claim to have seen people's spirits. Other than that, I don't know how we could actually know.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
Hi Dawnald, I don’t think any of us know. I don’t think we will know until we reach the other side, as they call it.
@bird123 (10447)
• United States
7 Jan 12
OK, let's see if I can help you discover the answers for yourself. In the evening, find a quiet dark place where you won't be bothered. You can have a candle for light. First, close your eyes, focus inward and relax. Now think back. Was there ever a time in your life where you could tell the difference between your spirit which is who you really are, and your physical body. Work on this and see what you discover. There is so much sensory information coming in through our senses that we are seduced at an early age into believing the physical is all there is. The longer we are in these physical bodies; the more we think that is who we are. Think back on your life, even during your childhood. Are you sure you do not already have your proof???
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
I've never been able to isolate my spirit. I have tried meditating. I do believe in the spirit but believing isn't evidence.
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
7 Jan 12
I think there is more to life than just the physical, and that our thoughts and feelings are more than electrical current, synapses or chemical compounds.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
Of course we feel this way but how do we know? We are biochemical beings. Our mind works in ways that isn't entirely understood. We want to believe there is something more but where is the evidence of that? Where is the spirit, if it exists?
@stephcjh (32385)
• United States
7 Jan 12
You are exactly right about this. None of us will truly know until the end. I have so many thoughts about this just like you do.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
Thanks Steph. I have lots of thoughts about what most people take for granted.
@aerous (13475)
• Philippines
7 Jan 12
As far as I know human body consists soul, spirit and the flesh or the body. The absence of the spirit in our body..we feel very isolated in our self. We even alive because the soul is still in our body but we feel nothing at all. Just alive that open our eyes but no nothing in this world... We don't need proof to believe that the spirit really has in our body because we feel that the spirit reside in our body due to what I said earlier... It is a kind of ridiculous question also to find witness and he proves that there is a spirit because no one will see the spirit. There are many evidence that the spirit really existed. Just go to your surroundings and ask the wind. The skies and all the matters that you see in this world are evidence... It is a ridiculous question also if you say no legal entity to bear witness in court to attest the spirit is true... Your question is far beyond in this life...because there is no history in the court that human being bring a spirit to testify and say we are here believe on us. This upon your mind and feelings to believe that their is a spirit. If you find yourself isolated enough meaning your spirit is absent and only the soul will retain you for not being on the grave...
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 12
Can you make a case to prove whether or not a spirit exists? How do you ask the wind? Why is it ridiculous to question this? You would question other things and demand proof of them? Why not examine your faith to ask why you believe what you do? I think God is a big enough God to be questioned. I’ve noticed that we tend to give God the credit for things we don’t understand. I do it too… my question is why? It used to be thought that the sun traveled around the earth, but science proved that wrong. It used to be thought that the earth had 4 corners, but we know the earth is round and has no corners. My real question is why do we believe things that in any other realm of understanding would put us in the loony bin. If Jesus walked on earth today, no one would believe him. I wonder why we believe things that are illogical and unbelievable? There are some who believe in a young earth... they believe the earth is just 6,000 years old. That is illogical and untrue. There are people who believe there were people in the time of the dinosaurs, but we know that isn't true either. Yet these things are taught from the pulpit.
@BarBaraPrz (18489)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
6 Jan 12
I don't know, but currently I'm reading Yan Martel's The Life of Pi, about a boy who wants to be Christian, Hindu and Moslem... all at once. If I find an answer when I finish it, I'll let you know. (Funny, how there always seems to be a discussion that pertains to a book I've just read or am in the process of reading.)
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jan 12
Thought this is an interesting topic because we all believe what we believe but what is the factual basis for our beliefs. I've noticed a lot of preachers don't actually live what they teach so I really wonder why we believe what we believe.
• India
2 Jun 12
We can know when we go into total silence, although it is very dificult.
@MsTickle (25006)
• Australia
16 Jan 12
People say and believe things when there is no evidence because they need to believe it. Many people have their parent's beliefs drilled into them when they are very young and when they grow up, they choose to carry on with those beliefs, or they choose a different path because it suits them.