I can answer for myself. I guess reasons for belief in soul will differ.Bundokji wrote:A belief in other realms (or literal rebirth) can influence human behavior and this as i remember has been discussed few times on this forum. However, i am asking what are the effects of believing in soul on the individual who believe in it.No_Mind wrote:Why is belief in 31 planes of existence important? Yet Buddhists believe it.Bundokji wrote: We know that "identity" or "self" are useful in our daily life when dealing with society and other people, but why believing in a soul is important/useful? what are the consequences of this belief on the individual's behavior and/or well-being?
In same way, rest of the folks, if they so wish, believe in soul. It is faith.
If a soul exists, it has to be outside the realm of experience, yet the "belief" is in the realm of experience and should have an impact on those who choose to believe in it. You as a believer in the existence of a soul might be in a good position to tell us how this belief is useful/harmful?
Please note that i am not asking if this belief is justified or not, this is not my concern.
I believe, I (or you or anyone else) am a part of Brahman who is the Param-atman (pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes). I am (or you are) a Jiv-atman. When the atman identifies itself with mind and body, it is called Jiv-atman. In the state of Moksha this identification disappears and Jiv-atman merges with Param-atman (it is not exactly merging but exposition of its own untainted nature .. but that is a different conversation altogether).
A simple analogy-- if you ask a cell in your body why do you exist .. it will reply because you exist. It is same here. My atman exists because Brahman exists. To deny my atman is to deny Brahman. I believe in Brahman, so I believe in atman.
If you ask how do you know experientially that atman exists, I would say I do not .. just like an ordinary Buddhist has not examined his five aggregates but goes by what has been told to him .. I do the same. Faith not experience guides most of us who do not devote many hours a day to meditation and discover sixteen stages of insight.
Buddhists believe if they do good Karma they will be reborn in good places (deva realms). It is faith. In same way this too is faith.
Obviously people who answer Bundokji will be non-Buddhists since they believe in soul. Please be nice to anyone who answers and not get aggressive. You have your beliefs, I have mine. In last few days I have been at receiving end of personal insults twice - oddly enough both times by people with Tamil user names (an Indian ethnic community). It is not a nice feeling to be at receiving end of personal insults. I am only participating in dying embers of this post and not elsewhere in this forum since I hung up my Buddhist hat few pages ago.