Does a Soul Have Nerve Endings?

Another problem for the soul-particularly in relation to Hell-Does the soul have the ability to feel pain. Can a soul be tortured and brutalized? Pain is a particularly bodily phenomenon; it involves nerves, it involves tissue, it involves, most importantly, the brain. Please explain how a ghostly essence, separated from the body, can feel pain.


18 Responses to “Does a Soul Have Nerve Endings?”

  1. Now this is an interesting dilema. I guess if I really believed in Hell, I’d bother myself to come up with some rationalization for this. I do believe the spirit can experience a confusion that amounts to torment, yes. As for the soul . . . clueless! And very curious.
    An interesting thing here to contemplate: I have come much closer to ending my life as a result of this curiosity than I ever came from despair (and in my younger days I did spend a great deal of time contemplating the act, if not outright tempting it in what psychologists call passive suicide). Now, I figure I’ve got less than fifty years to find out. So . . . I may as well enjoy those years as much as I can and continue to search within and without for answers.

  2. In my opinion it is not so much physical pain that the soul suffers in hell, as it is a mere existence of being removed from the presence of God. Im not really too sure how to fully explain myself on this topic at the moment I’ll think it out a little bit and get back to it. !)avid

  3. as it is a mere existence of being removed from the presence of God

    Given what I have read n the bible, that would be more like heaven then hell. However the bible disagrees with you, hell is described as a place of torment.

  4. I know what the bible says about hell wolf, And you must understand that a soul being removed from God in every way would be the greatest form of torment that a soul could endure. !)avid

  5. being separated from God is not torment. We are separated from him now (cause he doesn’t exist) and its not torment.

  6. He forgives you your blasphemy.
    I pray you may be enlightened soon, that you may enjoy the full birthright of being the son of God you were born.

  7. Lone Wolf Says:

    You use the term “blasphemy” the basic consept of which is wrong and stupid. Not only that you used it wrong.
    Don’t waist your time praying for me. There is no joy in “the full birthright of being the son of God you were born” that “joy” you feel can be explained by your brain, no need for a god to feel it, you can feel it with other things.

  8. I used the term perfectly according to modern usage.
    As for the concept (not consept), I can’t really disagree with your assessment of that.
    I have free will. I can darn well pray for whom and what I want to.
    No. Brain does not encompass mind. Mind is far more than brain can encompass.
    And it’s okay, anyway. As I said, God forgives you, understanding as he does that you are victim of deterministic circumstance as you are;-)

  9. Lone Wolf Says:


    Blasphemy is disrespectful use of the name of one or more gods. It may include using sacred names as stress expletives without intention to pray or speak of sacred matters; it is also sometimes defined as language expressing disapproved beliefs, or disbelief. Sometimes blasphemy is used loosely to mean any profane language.

    “God is a prick” thats blasphemy, “I feel no torment in the absence of god” that is not.
    There is no evdence that the mind is more than the brain, and there is an abundunce of growing evedence that it all happons in the brain.
    I am not a “victim of deterministic circumstance” dterminism is not a “victim mentality and self-disempowerment” (as you put it in reply in another post) its is an explanation of actions, it explains why people make the decisions they do.

    By the way, you too are a blasphemer, hieratic and infidel, to Islam, Paganism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism and every other religion except yours, you are a blasphemer, hieratic and infidel. I just go 1 step further.

  10. “(cause he doesn’t exist)” is blasphemy. And try a real dictionary.
    What evidence do you have that: 1) I have any religion; 2) I have blasphemed in any way against those religions you toss so casually about; 3) that I care one way or another what your estimation is of me or anything pertinent?
    Webster’s states that denial of the existence of god is considered blasphemy; just so you don’t throw more stones at me for pulling that one out of thin air.
    I’ve met chimps with better rhetorical skills than yours. You are an ass. A monster ass. That is a social assessment and my personal opinion. You’d be an intellectual bully, but you haven’t the juice for it.
    You might also toss in that I am pedantic and prideful, arrogant if you like. It doesn’t make you right. Doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. Determinism doesn’t do dick for explaining why people do as they do. We have the choice to behave or misbehave. Holding a deterministic viewpoint is tantamount to hedonistic irresponsibility. If it’s determined, I ain’t responsible. BULL!
    Grow a vocabulary and learn to spell and maybe I can take you to task again. Meanwhile, how about a hot salty soak and bottle of wine.
    God still forgives you.

  11. Lone Wolf Says:

    What I said here

  12. “Another problem for the soul-particularly in relation to Hell-Does the soul have the ability to feel pain. Can a soul be tortured and brutalized? Pain is a particularly bodily phenomenon; it involves nerves, it involves tissue, it involves, most importantly, the brain. Please explain how a ghostly essence, separated from the body, can feel pain.”
    Have you ever undergone severe mental agony? Self-doubt? Depression? Anxiety? Confusion? Guilt? Shame? Remorse?
    Science has gone a long way in establishing the nature of the correlation between physical and psychological suffering (for a really cool picture adventure in such brain science, check and the brain scan archives). But I do not believe that they have firmly established the causal chain in this correlation. As a hybrid of spirit and body, we experience pain and pleasure and such both bodily and spiritually. To the degree to which we attend to one or the other, we are, or can become, conscious of the interrelation between the two. Psychological torture, in my opinion, begins in the psyche – which is our essence and only loosely tied to our physical brains. However, since the body and soul are networked in this life, the body reacts to the soul’s pain and vice versa. Nerves are the physical networks of stimulus sensing; I think we can agree on that. The soul/psyche/spirit reacts to more ephemeral energies (in my speculation, these are also physical energies in the form of some kind of matter and energy that works as light does in an instantaneous sort of sub- or super-dimensional network that is, as yet, unclear to science and metaphysics). These energies, as with all energies that react with our networked spheres of influence, deal with that quintessence we call a soul. Whatever it is that survives the body, whether intact or mutable or frayed or whatever, will remain subject to the subtle energies it remained subject to in manifest form. As such, I would posit that it will be able to ‘sense’ whatever spiritual condition/environment it finds itself. Further, I would posit that the sensitivity it has to such subtle energies will correlate directly in proportion and intensity to that soul’s comprehension of its own condition. Which is to say that if the soul remains intact, along with the ‘rarified’ consciousness of the being who passed beyond bodily manifestation, it will have even more subtle and intense sensations of pain and pleasure than are physically possible as a human being.

  13. doubtingthomas426 Says:


    First, please see my response to your comments on my other post here –

  14. doubtingthomas426 Says:


    Thank you for your opinion on this subject. I think the idea of the suffering soul is a fascinating one and I am curious to hear what other Christian’s (or other believers in man having a ‘soul’) opinions are on this issue. As usual, you provide a very interesting concept. But just so we’re clear, it IS just an opinion. Clearly there is no evidence that a person’s ‘soul’ feels pain. But what do you think the primary purpose would be for the soul to continue to feel? You earlier stated that you don’t believe in hell as a place (so no eternal torment) and even that you think Adam and Eve are currently “in heaven fucking each other’s brains out” so I thought I’d ask. We know that a person can be ‘overwhelmed’ by pain and can actually die as a result; do you think such a consequence is possible for a soul?


  15. “But what do you think the primary purpose would be for the soul to continue to feel?” The purpose in our physical bodies is evident: to provide feedback in order to reinforce behavior. I don’t conceive a different purpose for it in heaven. Pain is a deterrent to misbehavior. Pleasure is a attractant to beneficial behavior. The difference I intuit would be that we would be free to the deceptions of this fleshly life. For instance, kittens in this corrupt world smell antifreeze leaked out of a cracked radiator and find that it is sweet to the nose and tastes sweet, but having ingested it find that it causes and excruciating and lingering death. In heaven, there would be nothing pleasant that would harm – all would be as it seems. But what kind of life would a life of no pleasure or pain be? To me, that would be no life. And so I can’t conceive of heaven as a place of enlightened beings with neither emotion nor sensation.
    And, of course, this – everything I state in this discussion and any in this blog – is merely my speculation and opinion on the matter. I realize that I tend to state myself rather sharply and authoritatively at times, but I am not claiming either to *know* these things nor to be an authority on such matters. I’m just a guy trying to think his way around and through these things.
    Peace and Blessings.

    PS, DT: There is also clearly no evidence, scientifically speaking, that such a thing as the soul exists at all.

  16. […] not sure what else happened to you on March 13th but it clearly must have been a bad day (also see ). Your personal attack on Lone Wolf was uncharacteristic, unfair and uncalled for. You may find […]

  17. Turtle Soup Says:

    Do not people with amputated limbs often report “ghost pains”? I expect that nerves allow the spirit to feel pain associated with the body, but that the spirit is able to feel pain apart from the body, despite being apt to occupy one.

    Scripture seems to support the idea that sometime after death the spirit will be reunited with a resurrected body which can be tormented until … unlimited time, without the ability to end its existence in continual torment.

  18. we are talking about eternity. Our mortal bodies can not do eternity. ICorinthians 15: 35-54 talks about how our new bodies will be. We of course do not understand exactly what type of body it will be, but Mathew 22: 24-30 gives us a glimpse. It tells us that we will have bodies such as the angels do. If we believe there is intelligent life beyond earth and hope that we are not the only ones in this vast universe beyond what we can understand, what difference would it matter if we called that intelligence “God”? We don’t understand the concept of eternity as everything about us has a begining and an end. I agree that our soul can feel emotional pain much more tortuous than any physical pain we feel.

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