On Detecting Souls: A Proposed Experiment
On Detecting Souls: A Proposed Experiment
There Was This Cat-Soul That Went Through My Chest Once---
by Jeffrey A. Corkern
What happens to people when they die?
It is the purpose of The Nine Point Five Theses to light a fire under scientists' rear ends and get them pounding away on finally answering this question. To, quite precisely, get scientists to attempt to find souls by building a soul-detector and detecting souls under rigorous laboratory conditions. I have a suggestion about how to conduct this experiment based on a personal experience of mine.
Is the question of what happens when people die an important question? Is this something critical the human race MUST absolutely, positively know the answer to one day, be the answer positive or negative?
Um, yes, it is. I will not justify that answer here. Why this is true is laid out in the various theses that follow this opening piece. I will leave that answer hanging as a hook to draw the gentle reader into reading The Nine Point Five Theses posted here.
But yes, it is in fact CRITICALLY important for the human race to know the answer to this question. The human race is rapidly approaching the point where it will be vital for us to truly know what happens when people die. To know the answer as precisely as it is possible to know it. To know it by the best tool the human race has for knowing things.
To know it by using the tool---of science.
The answer to the question of life after death, or not, must be known, and SOON----to a SCIENTIFIC certainty.
Why now, I can hear the gentle reader ask. The human race has been getting along just fine for all of its existence so far without knowing the answer to this question. Why is it suddenly so critical to the human race the answer to this question be known NOW?
Because there are certain choices technology is about to make available to human beings, and what choice will be the smartest one to make is going to depend on whether or not human beings have souls, or don't. Whether a human being is no more than his physical body, or are really, truly, immortal souls that merely occupy physical bodies from time to time.
Again, what those technological choices are I won't specify here. They are contained in The Nine Point Five Theses, and again I leave what these choices will be as a hook to draw the gentle reader into going through them. They are quite amazing things, these new gadgets. You can see them coming in the technological developments of today.
So how do we go about applying the tool of science to answering this question?
The first thing to do is to see if we can develop a consistent physical theory. A physical theory of souls. If we can develop a completely rigorous, self-consistent theory of souls, we will have gone a VERY long way towards convincing scientists to conduct experiments to detect souls.
And so are born The Nine Point Five Theses. They are that foundation theory.
Are they rigorous? Are they self-consistent? Are they so completely rigorous and self-consistent any thinking scientist is immediately going to go flying to his laboratory and start trying to build a soul-detector?
That, gentle reader, is YOUR judgment to make---NOT MINE.
Because it's all about reason and logic here, man. I am writing "2+2=4" up on the board here for all the world to see---but I am NOT insisting you believe it simply because I say so.
I insist the gentle reader use his own judgement, his own personal capacity for critical thinking, for thinking coldly, rationally, and objectively, to determine whether or not this theory is correct and rigorous---or isn't.
One thing I DEMAND here.
Critical thinking, I ABSOLUTELY demand. Toss what you think you know out the window before reading The Nine Point Five Theses. Toss all your scientifically unproven assumptions right out. Read these things with a totally open mind.
Now, about the suggested soul-detection experiment. About the cat-soul-diving-through-my-chest thing.
Once upon a time, many years ago while I was living in Lafayette, Louisiana, I had a cat.
"Shovel Puss" was her name. A bit of a play on words, you see, she was, if you'll pardon the pun, a "spayed cat."
And she was dying.
Hepatic lipidosis, the vet said, fat cells invading the liver, and there was nothing anybody could do.
I first discovered her condition one morning when I saw that her skin had turned yellow and hauled her furry tail to the vet. The vet said all we could do was "support" her, in medical terms, and hope she got better all by herself. In practical terms, this meant inserting an IV tube into her so she could at least be hydrated, and leaving her in the vet's office for several days where he could keep an eye on her.
So I left her there, and dropped by in the afternoon to check on her and see how she was doing. This went on, oh, for at least several days. It was many years ago, and I'm not clear on the details now.
One afternoon on one visit, a Thursday I think, Shovel Puss looked dead at me and hollered REAL LOUD about how she wanted to leave this vet's office and go home right NOW, dammit!
So I took her home. The vet gave me a syringe filled with some kind of drug--for pain, I think--and gave me instruction on how to give a cat a shot. (You fold up the cat's skin between your fingers, insert the syringe into the fold, and gently push the plunger down.)
The vet told me to bring her back in the morning. No problem. Shovel Puss was ecstatic to be back in her own place, despite being very weak. She had a nice visit, and the next morning I gathered up and put her in my car and carried her back to the vet's office.
This Shovel Puss did NOT like. She took one look at the vet's office and deflated like the air going out of a balloon. She had had enough of the vet's office. I didn't like doing it, but I left her there and went off to work.
About 11:30 I left work to go to a restaurant for lunch. There was no other customers in the restaurant as it was early. I ordered a baked chicken lunch, which arrived promptly.
Just before I took my first bite, a "ball of energy" appeared, oh, about six feet in front of me and three feet up. It dived at me, entered my chest just to the left of my heart, went through me chest, exited just under and to the right of my left shoulder blade, continued on for a few more feet, and disappeared.
When I say "ball of energy", it's because I have no other words to describe it. There was no light, no sound, nothing in any of the normal physical senses.
This was so completely, totally, out of the realm of my experience I had no reaction beyond a certain befuddlement. Although I must confess I had a sneaking suspicion my poor kitty cat was gone.
I just ate my lunch and left.
When I got back to work I was told I had gotten a phone call while I was out. I called the number. It was my vet.
He informed me he had had to put Shovel Puss to sleep "a short while ago."
I cannot, in a rigorous, scientific sense, claim that "ball of energy" was Shovel Puss's soul, a cat-soul. I, ahem, left my soul-detector home that day.
What I can do is propose the following soul-detection experiment.
There are these little widgets called SQUIDs, Superconducting Quantum Interference Detectors, which have the ability to detect VERY small electromagnetic fields. I propose constructing a sphere of these devices, putting a cat to sleep in the middle of it, and trying to detect the cat's soul---assuming it exists---as it leaves the cat's body and passes through the SQUIDs.
Since cats are used and not human beings, a great number of ethical concerns are avoided. The experiment becomes easy.
To make it completely ethical, we will only use cats that are about to be put to sleep anyway. I point out that if cats have souls, we are doing no real harm. We are only separating the cats' souls from their bodies.
(Y'all pardon me a minute. I got to excite some scientist egos here. These scientist people are all about "credit", i.e. ego.
To all you scientists out there:
What if I am right? What if The Nine Point Five Theses really, truly are rigorous and self-consistent?
What if souls exist as real, physical entities?
What would happen to any scientist who succeeded in detecting souls? You think he/she might win so many Nobel Prizes he/she could cover the walls of his/her office with them? You think he/she would have grant money pouring out of his/her ears for the rest of his/her life? You think they'd go down in history for conducting the most significant experiment in the history of mankind? You think people walking down the street would see them, point their finger at them, scream out their name, and faint dead away?
I think it might happen EXACTLY like that. What do you scientists think?
For you scientists who take up this challenge---happy hunting.)
A closing word about The Nine Point Five Theses.
Read them in any order you want. They can be read in any order. They are independent of each other.
And there aren't actually nine point five theses, at least not yet. So far, there are only four theses. The extra two are left-over blogs from a time when this site was a daily blog. They have ideas in them the gentle reader might find interesting, so I left them in.
Each of The Nine Point Five Theses has an underlying theme. I list them below to help the reader understand them.
---"On Emotion Drugs"
Why are emotion drugs illegal? Why is the War On Drugs being fought so vigorously? They seem like such harmless things. This thesis answers that question. The answer will surprise you. Emotion drugs are an incredibly fundamental attack on the basis of society. For a non-scientist, this is probably the thesis you should read first.
On an abstract level, this thesis shows what effect immortal souls would have on a society's basic rules of behavior, specifically what an individual immortal soul may and may not do to get happy.
---"On The Sentient Constraints Of A Sentient-Containing Universe"
This is the rock-bottom of all The Nine Point Five Theses. This thesis explains why something as weird as immortal souls MUST exist in the first place. (They make a sentient-containing Universe stable, as in safe from its sentients, if you must know RIGHT NOW.) If you are a scientist, read this thesis first.
---"The Happiness Box: A Short Scene"
The intent here is to get the gentle reader to examine his own actions, and see if he, personally, all his life, has been acting like he has a soul---but just hadn't realized it.
What would YOUR choice be, gentle reader? Would YOU choose to go into a Happiness Box, or not?
This one is two parts. In the first part, I derive a single, simple rule that encompasses all of human motivation. Since this rule involves souls, in the next part I examine human action to see if we can find evidence of souls in it. I do this by deriving what would the SMART way for a person to act if he does NOT have a soul, and the SMART way for a person to act if he DOES. I close by examining the ultimate effect of having or not having a soul on society.
To those who take up the challenge of reading and analyzing The Nine Point Five Theses for yourself---happy thinking.
(And for those of you who find The Nine Point Five Theses completely rigorous and logical:
HELP ME SPARK THE SOUL-DETECTION EXPERIMENTS.
If you know a scientist who could carry out soul-detection experiments---show him/her The Nine Point Five Theses. After they get their Nobel Prize, they will thank you profusely.
If you don't know any scientists, then, if you would please, at least help me spread the word. Digg this if you can, post links, and so forth, whatever you can think of that'll help spread the word and start a debate that will end, I absolutely guarantee you, in scientists finally doing experiments to detect souls.
Little help here?)
And I'm done.
I guarantee you all an interesting read.