Very Concerned About the Nature of the Soul


#1

So I’ve had a thought that has shaken me pretty soundly. I wouldn’t say that my faith is in danger at the moment by any means, but that this is a very serious concern that I’m hoping someone will be able to explain away.

Okay so God creates all of us equal right? No one among us is greater than any other?

Now, in going through this life we are tested in our willingness to conform our own freely chosen will to that of God. This in essence is a testing of the quality of our soul.

Now if God is the Creator of our souls, how can the quality of any soul be lesser than the quality of any other? Since we are all created equal, the quality of every soul must then be the same. But if the quality of every soul is the same, then shouldn’t every soul either pass or fail the “test” of life in unanimity? Kind of an all or nothing deal? Either we all pass or we all fail, because the qualities of our souls are the same since birth. And if God creates any of our souls as lesser than the others, wouldn’t it be true that he is not all good? As an all good being would not create anyone with less of a chance at passing the test than any other? And if God is not all good then he is not God, for God is greater than anything which can be conceived (according to Aquinas), and because an all good God is greater than one which is not all good, the existence of a God that is less than all good would be impossible, and would therefore disprove the notion of God.

Is it possible that the quality of the soul can decrease or increase over time? If so, can it be said that we are born as equals in quality of soul, but that our experiences in life shape us to the point of shaping our very souls? If this is the case, can it be said that the soul itself is a product of experience, and that we are (in very nearly the literal meaning of the word) nothing but the culmination of our experiences?


#2

I don’t know if this is an accurate comparison, but if it helps, a group of equally intelligent schoolchildren can get varying grades on tests based on the effort they put into studying and preparing. The “quality” of each soul is not what determines whether we obey God or not. Our free choice to decide is what determines that.


#3

Wouldn’t this mean the quality is not the same though? As, if they were the same, our willingness and ability to conform to God’s will would both be the same, and nobody would conform to it any more or any less than anyone else?


#4

We’re not just souls…we also all have unique bodies, with unique DNA, families, and upbringings. God guides and tests and shepherds each of us individually because He knows what each of us need individually.

We are not all exactly the same, like little robots. We’re all equal, but have different talents and abilities. Just like the Parable of the Talents. Use wisely what God has given you.


#5

I think you are on to something with soul development and experience. We can also call it formation. But no matter what we start with and no matter what experiences we have we, will always be unique and be judged uniquely by the one who created us.


#6

I don’t know if I should be speaking on this since I’m not too educated on Catholic teaching of the soul, except that it’s immaterial and immortal.


#7

I don’t think that we were made equal.


#8

Souls are like eggs. Some get scrambled. Some get poached. Some are sunny side up or just over easy. Other merely spoil and are thrown out. These are bad eggs indeed. But the best eggs hatch, learn to fly and go to roost in heaven.


#9

I think it’s a good example. I was thinking of two children who inherit equal portions of their parents money. One squanders it and the other doesn’t.

It’s not what you are given. It’s what you do with it.


#10

The parable or the talents is applicable to this
Matthew 25:14-30.

I’m sure our souls are affected by our experiences, both good and bad otherwise why would Our Lord speak of the prospect of dwelling in heaven and salvation by taking up the cross.


#11

It is by the grace of God that souls find their home in heaven. All we need to do as individual souls is to be obedient to the commandments and allow God to bring us to perfection in him. Jesus died and continues to be an atoning sacrifice for our souls and we should put all our trust in him.

If we draw away from God l, it is us that go alone. But he is always waiting for us with open arms.


#12

I believe that we are body, soul, and spirit. Everyone’s soul is equal. The scripture says that God is a spirit. Our spirits can either be alive unto God and in fellowship with him or not. This is our choice.


#13

It would seem to me that the soul exists by itself and without any association with the mind and the body, is just a life force that keeps the mind, brain, and body functioning. Our willingness to sin is caused by our brain’s mind making bad choices. The soul has nothing to do with the mind’s decision. Seems odd to me that the soul of a dying body which has committed an unforgiven mortal sin is punished for something that the brain/mind/body did. I doubt it if the soul even has a memory of things the body did. If the soul had memory, it would surely remember the details of that two hour deep anesthetic heart surgery that the brain doesn’t remember.


#14

The human soul is immaterial but it has free will. Our goal should be union with our immaterial creator who we came from but we may choose not to. Spiritual growth is not a given but requires work. If in the beginning souls are ‘equal’ that doesn’t mean they will stay that way it depends on the choices they make.


#15

To buy that argument, you’d logically also have to believe in predestination, which essentially negates free will. And if you don’t believe in free will, than there is no such thing as “willingness” or “conforming.” In order to actually choose the good, aka: conform to God’s will, you have to be able to choose it over something. If it’s the only option, you’re not really “choosing” it in any real sense.


#16

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