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December 09, 2019

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I bet I can sit longer than you. Haha.

I don't consider Atman to be the same as the Western notion of a "soul". The Buddhist philosopher Dignaga quite clearly dismantled the idea of a soul as illogical and essentially a superposition over reality that is conjured by imagination. Just as with a creator god that is absolute but cannot be because it is subject to conditions of being a creator god, a created, savable, or damnable soul is also conditioned and not absolute (which the Atman is). I think the argument can be easily enough expressed by proposing if there is a soul that includes the body, then this "soul" is conditioned and not therefore ultimately real; likewise if there is a soul apart from the body where is it? The Atman as understood in the milieu of ancient India doesn't qualify as a soul as proposed by Abrahamic traditions in my opinion. And westerners, whether conscious of it or not, even materialist/atheists, typically are referring to the Abrahamic soul when making mention of the conceptual soul. This distinction is subtle and shouldn't be confused with denial of the Atman.

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