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Ltryptophan's avatar

Do we inherit our soul?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) December 23rd, 2019

Many individuals bear a strong resemblance to their relatives. Seems logical enough. Genes express physical characteristics that get passed on from parents to children. I get it.

But, what about the soul? Is your ability to experience reality a copy of your parents’ and also written there in your genetics? We can’t SEE the soul, or really measure it, so to speak, like we can eye color. But, maybe your family members are the only beings that can appreciate your ability to see the world the way you do.

And, also, in much the same manner, maybe we meet people with doppelganger souls. My features, for instance, are pretty common. It’s not unheard of for me to see someone who sorta resembles me. Maybe souls are also like this.

Probably the way you were raised, and cultural matters play such a huge role in how we behave that we could never determine if two souls are almost twins despite not sharing a close familial tie.

Anyway, ready to hear your thoughts…

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24 Answers

kritiper's avatar

The “soul” is an imaginary thing that has no basis in fact.

ragingloli's avatar

They are raising you. It is quite obvious that you copy behaviours and character traits from them as you age.

And no, there are no souls.

YARNLADY's avatar

A soul is a religious concept that has nothing to do with a person ‘s corporeal existence. According to some who believe in a “soul”; any actions taken by the corporeal being might affect the final disposition of the soul, or spirit. So, it follows that to the extent ones actions are influenced by heredity or upbringing, there could be a correlation.

josie's avatar


Ltryptophan's avatar

For anyone who differs with the word soul, it’s fine with me if you substitute ‘sentience’. Hope that is a way that will allow you to answer more comprehensively.

YARNLADY's avatar

^^^What? Sentience is an entirely different concept.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Since some believe there is no soul, then please by all means, whatever term you use to describe the animating quality in human beings, the stuff that glues together consciousness, whatever that be, use that in place of soul.

Sentience is a pretty good example of such a word. But, if that does not suit you, find the word that fits. Or, don’t participate if you feel my question is so unintelligible.

kritiper's avatar

Life is something. Consciousness, feeling, awareness, ...
I wouldn’t equate that with a “soul”...

Inspired_2write's avatar

I believe that the Soul is “thought”.
Thinking is what sets mankind apart from animals.
Thought is another word for the Soul.

Websters dictionary term states:
“Soul: An entity which is regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of the person and ,though having no physical or material reality,is credited with the functions of thinking and willing,and hence determining all behavior.( the moral or emotional nature of man)”

Zaku's avatar

I’m going to avoid the word “soul” because of the Christian contexts.

My concept of what you’re getting at, I would tend to call my conscious awareness, or “consciousness” (or maybe spirit, but I’d rather avoid the objective materialist atheist reactions if I have any chance of doing so).

I think that genetics have some effects on the consciousness and its experience, but I tend to think the effect is secondary rather than primary.

My experience is that we definitely have shared traits, familiarity, affinity and various types of connections with the core consciousness of our ancestors.

Many modern cultures tend not to maintain healthy connections with their ancestors the way that many other cultures do or did, but in the distant past, most human cultures used to maintain healthy connections with their ancestors.

I happen to know modern people who are ancestral healing practitioners, and to have done some of that work on myself. I have found it one of the more rewarding practices I’ve tried.

It also seems that our consciousness (if not, usually, our thinking or memories, except when sometimes opened up) is linked to and/or shared with other people who are or were not our blood ancestors.

ucme's avatar

No, you can buy them off ebay, new or, if you prefer reincarnation, used!

elbanditoroso's avatar

I doubt it.

Most of the above are talking about food and friendly souls. But what about the evil people in the world – the killers, despots, robbers, torturers, and so on?

If souls were inheritable, there would be a significant number of truly evil people with horrible souls being passed from generation to generation, probably outnumbering and overwhelming good souls over time.

I just don’t see inheritance of a soul as even remotely possible.

kritiper's avatar

@Inspired_2write Those things are byproducts of the mind, not something separate as would be a “soul.”

kritiper's avatar

If there was anything like a “soul,” Sigmund Freud would have defined it.

luigirovatti's avatar

The soul is ourselves, so, my assumption is we divide our soul in two, and occupy 2 bodies.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Re: “If there was anything like a “soul,” Sigmund Freud would have defined it.”
One can’t find thought, perhaps that is why HE couldn’t find it, it was beyond our understanding as humans.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Or maybe he couldn’t find it, despite looking for it, because it doesn’t exist!

kritiper's avatar

@Inspired_2write “HE?” HE who? Freud?

kritiper's avatar

He nailed everything else pretty good. How could he have missed the “soul?” (Not very likely!)

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