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A soul is a concept in many religions, being a divine? and immaterial part of a human. In most religions, the soul is strongly connected to the afterlife, but opinions vary wildly on what happens to the soul after death.

Christian beliefs

Most Christians believe the soul to be the immortal essence of a human, and that after death, the soul is either rewarded or punished. Whether this reward or punishment is contingent upon doing good deeds, or merely upon believing in Jesus, is a heated dispute among different Christian groups.

An at times vexed question in Christianity has been the origin of the soul; the major theories put forward are creationism, traducianism and pre-existence.

A number of christian minority beliefs:

Hindu beliefs

In Hinduism, the soul (atman) is reincarnated, its status modified by karma, until enough wisdom has been gleaned to merge with the Brahma?.

Buddhist beliefs

In opposition to the Hindu belief, Buddhists deny the existence of the soul; they call this doctrine anatman. But they do however believe in reincarnation. According to the Buddhist belief, at death the mind disintegrates, but if the disintegrating mind contains any particles of karma, in doing so it will cause the creation of a new mind. Thus Buddhists teach reincarnation without any entity to provide continuity between reincarnations.

Other beliefs

In Egyptian Mythology, a person were in posession of several souls, three of the body and three of the mind. They were called Chet, Ren, Schut, Ka, Ba and Ach.

Atheists generally deny any existence of a soul, though the issues are, strictly speaking, orthogonal.


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Last edited October 31, 2001 1:10 am by 200.255.84.xxx (diff)