Soul terminology reform

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A comparison of the original version (Egypt, 2500BC) of the "soul" as human-headed bird called "Ba", which resides in the heart of a person, and the Disney version (2020AD) of the soul as a little blue human residing in the heart of a person, a concept that many modern people people believe, but one that is obsolete, as per modern science sees things, and therefore in need of concept and terminology reform.[1]

In term reforms, soul terminology reform, in the context of asoulism, aka the belief that the soul does not exist, refers to attempts at physico-chemically neutral terminology reformation for the defunct, obsolete, anthropomorphic, theology-based term "soul", which, derives, historically, in atrophied form, from the 400BC Greek theo-philosophy recension of the 2500 BCM (4455 BE) ancient "Egyptian human" model of the Ba.


The following are noted quotes wherein the "soul" is stated as being possibly equivalent to some "thing" else:

“About what am I employing my own soul? On every occasion I must ask myself this question, and inquire, what have I now in this part of me which they call the ‘ruling principle’? And who’s soul have I now? That of a child or of a young man, or of a feeble woman, or of a tyrant, or of a domestic animal, or of a wild beast?”
Marcus Aurelius (167AD), Meditations (§5.11)
“Whatever the power be that creates such an animal out of an egg, that it is either the soul, or part of the soul, or something having a soul, or something existing previous to, and more excellent than the soul, operating with intelligence and foresight.”
William Harvey (c.1630), “On the Source of the Chick Embryo”
“Thus, in consequence of man’s reasoning upon false principles, the soul, OR moving principle within him, as well as the concealed moving principle of nature, have been made mere chimeras, mere beings of imagination.”
Baron Holbach (1770), The System of Nature (§7, pg. 51) [2]
“When it is said, that man is not a free agent, it is not pretended to compare him to a body moved by a simple impulsive cause: he contains within himself causes inherent to his existence; he is moved by an interior organ, which has its own peculiar laws, and is itself necessarily determined in consequence of ideas formed from perceptions resulting from sensations which it receives from exterior objects. As the mechanism of these sensations, of these perceptions, and the manner they engrave ideas on the brain of man, are not known to him; because he is unable to unravel all these motions; because he cannot perceive the chain of operations in his soul, OR the motive principle that acts within him, he supposes himself a free agent; which, literally translated, signifies, that he moves himself by himself; that he determines himself without cause: when he rather ought to say, that he is ignorant how or for why he acts in the manner he does.”
— Baron Holbach (1770), The System of Nature (pg. 97)
“It has been recognized in all ages that the most important of studies is the study of man. In him is the ‘active principle’, ‘creative force’, or ‘generating power’ in which all social phenomena have their origin. It is of primary importance then to comprehend the nature of that passional and intellectual motor in him, called the ‘soul’.”
Charles Fourier (1808), Theory of the Four Movements: and of Destinies in General (pg. 2)
“The ‘soul’ or ‘active principle’ in man, is a whole, composed of a certain number of forces or motors, which we shall call the ‘passions’; by the metaphysicians, these ‘forces’ are variously termed: sentiments, affections, feelings, faculties, impulses, instincts.”
— Charles Fourier (1808), Theory of the Four Movements: and of Destinies in General (pg. 4)
“The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run.”
Herman Melville (1851), Moby Dick (§37: Sunset; character: Ahab)


Firstly, of note, Fourier, who in all likelihood had read Holbach, as Picavet (1891) alludes[3] to, gave an interpretation of the ‘soul’ very similar in phrasing to that of Holbach. Secondly, we note that where as Holbach's system was atheistic, Fourier's was theistic, in that he believed that the five senses, which connect the active principle (or soul) to the passive principle (material body), were given to man by god.[4] Nevertheless, in sum of these descriptions, we begin to see the use of the term OR, wherein new possible alternative secular scientific-language based alternatives are suggested as seeming replacement for what was formerly called the soul, namely: ruling principle, power, moving principle (within), motive principle (that acts within), active principle, creative force, generating power, passional and intellectual motor, as summarized below:

Soul Terminology Reforms
Term Clarifier Person Date
Ruling principle (of a person) Marcus Aurelius 167
Power (that turns an egg into a chicken) William Harvey 1630
Moving principle (within a person) Baron Holbach 1770
Motive principle (that acts within a person) Baron Holbach 1770
Active principle (in a person; composed of a certain number of forces or motors) Charles Fourier 1808
Creative force Charles Fourier 1808
Generating power Charles Fourier 1808
Motor (Passional / Intellectual) (in a person) Charles Fourier 1808
Engine (railway) (carrying a person to their fixed destination) Herman Melville 1851

What, accordingly, we are looking for, in his historical water-testing batch of terms, is a one nature description for the movement seen in powered CHO-based animate things, e.g. retinal (C20H28O) or AQ (C14H8O2), CHS-based animate things, e.g. DTA (C14H10S2), CHNOPS-based animate things, e.g. humans, which are powered CHNOPS+20E animate things. In other words, just as we cannot say, in modern times, that it is the “soul” that moves retinal, AQ, or DTA, so we cannot say that it is the “soul” that moves humans, but we can say, correctly, for all of these animate atomic things, that there exists a moving principle, comprised of a certain number of forces (or exchange forces), or molecular motors, connected both within and without, that yields or makes the generating power of the movements seen, e.g. art works made, or products synthesized, e.g. eggs hatched.

This said, one salient, and deeply-entrenched problem that remains, is that the term "soul" is intertwined, in the colloquial belief system, with "morality" and beliefs in the "afterlife". This, in the original scheme of things, was described as the Ba (Egyptian soul), of the heart, being weight on the "scale of truth" in the judgment hall of the afterlife, the "weight" of which being determined by the yes or no answers to the 42 negative confessions (or society-determined sins or wrongful acts); hence, the term "soul" is not only entangled with the "moving principles" of things, but also with system-based distinction of perceived "right" or "wrong" movements or acts. The chemical thermodynamic re-interpretation of right and wrong (or good and evil), however, involves free energy coupling theory, which is involved, to say the least; hence, while it is relatively easy to eject "god" from beliefs, it is more difficult to scrub, efface, or replace "soul" in such a quick and easy manner.


The following are related quotes:

Butler [Analogy of Religion, 1736] does not, as far as I remember [~4 times], use the word ‘soul’, possibly because the term was so hackneyed in his day as it had been for many generations previously. But he speaks of ‘living powers’, perceiving or ‘percipient powers’, ‘moving agents’, ourselves, in the same sense as we should employ the term soul.”
John Tyndall (1874), “Atheistic Materialism” (pg. 27) BAAS address
“There are very good reasons indeed to believe that materialism is true and that Julien La Mettrie was a visionary. If there is no positive evidence supporting dualism, if modern science renders the doctrine untenable, if it is explanatorily impotent, and if all the evidence points toward materialism instead, then it is time to acknowledge what reason is trying to tell us—there is most likely no soul.”
— Julien Musolino (2015), The Soul Fallacy [5]

End matter

See also


  1. Egyptian human – Hmolpedia 2020.
  2. Soul terminology upgrades – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. Picavet, Francois. (1891). Les idéologues: essai sur l'histoire des idées et des théories scientifiques (pg. 454). Publisher.
  4. Fourier, Charles. (1808). The Social Destiny of Man: Theory of the Four Movements (translator: Henry Clapp); with a Treatise on the Functions of the Human Passions and An Outline of Fourier’s System of Social Science (by Albert Brisbane) (god, pg. 14). DeWitt, 1857; Gordon Press, 1972.
  5. Musolino, Julien. (2015). The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain from Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs (Forward: Victor Stenger) (Ѻ) (pg. 154). Prometheus Books.

External links

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