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MikeB
02-01-14, 11:52 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m7zmq

Joss Whedon: "For me, the soul is a convenient way of saying, 'Is this person trying to be better. Is this person someone of substance or are they not?' [...] Eventually we stand up to be counted. We either make the world better, we make it worse, or we just sort of make it run in place (which makes it worse). And the idea that we have this thing in ourselves that we cannot define has always fascinated me and I have no problem calling it a soul. It is what makes us human beings and not excellent clocks."

So, we have our answer.

Remember that while those like Lorne and Clem aren't super evil, they aren't exactly 'good' either.

Vengeance demons (they still have their souls) are bad, obviously.

For Angel, pretty much the soul allows him the possibility to be 'good' and to want to help the world. But he's still essentially Angelus. Joss has Angel doing things he did in the flashbacks. He has Angel be AngelTwilight, etc.

Joss says that Spike even when a vampire still had part of his soul, and his first major point of 'goodness' came in "Becoming Part II" (B.22). But that was Spike essentially keeping the world in its 'status quo'.

Spike's first major point of trying to make the world a better place happens in "Chosen" (B 7.22). Spike dies knowing he'll be destroying Sunnydale and perhaps permanently closing the Hellmouth.

Next major point is courtesy of Lindsey MacDonald who gets Spike to help people simply because its the right thing to do instead of doing it in the hope of personal rewards (women, etc.).

VampireBuffy in "Nightmares" (B 1.10) is still good implying that she still has part of her soul.

Overall, Buffy kills vampires and demons because about all of them don't have the potential to try to make the world a better place. They either make it worse or want it to remain the same. While someone like Andrew is slowly becoming a good person. Even though he did the stupid and misguided Buffy-Buffybot thing, he had overall good intentions for doing that.

Edit: I saved this post into Word so that it's not lost when the transfer of hosts happens.

kana
10-03-14, 07:48 PM
Joss Whedon has given a definition for what the soul is in the Buffyverse and therefore it’s further pointless to try to define it ourselves.


I understand your position here. I realize I constantly ask for references and quotes to back up your arguments, so you would think that the above quote would be a enough.

However, I'm not convinced that Joss' reply is all that satisfying. However, I am grateful for the quote provided, so now we can analyze his words as a frame of reference for our discussion.

Personally I find it intellectually lazy to simply accept what Joss Whedon says without questioning what it means and the implications it has. Below I'll attempt to try and understand exactly what he means and what the implications are in the Buffyverse.


Joss Whedon makes the distinction between Angel’s curse and Spike going out to get his soul; thus, there is a distinction. You try to talk about them as if they are pretty much the same thing.

I don't really understand what you mean here. I've never argued that Angel voluntarily sought out a soul however that doesn't mean that the soul is the same thing ontologically speaking in both cases. Let us assume for the sake of argument we're both using laptops to type replies to each other. Now, you maybe a better typist than I am and you may have a later model than me as well (I hope, I think I'm due for an upgrade) but in either case, both devices would have to share qualities that would have us deem both of them as laptops.

Now this same logic should apply to Spike and Angel. Regardless of how they got there souls back, they are both vampires with souls. It was never stated that Angel's soul was different from Spike's soul, at least metaphysically speaking. So whether someone earns it back or is cursed with it, a soul is still a soul.



* Have you not seen the DVDs and heard the interviews and commentary on them? Apparently, you’ve not read Long Night’s Journey .

Precisely (and I mean "precisely" as in the exact quote) what reference contradicts my arguments? Also, until I find out the exact canonical status of Long Night's Journey, I'm not discussing it.


* You’
re trying to define what the soul is in the Buffyverse when only Joss Whedon can define such a thing.

What I'm trying to do is fill in the gaps and obtain some degree of precision with our investigation. You theorize all sorts of things without quotes from Joss or even references on the show. All I'm trying to do is make sense of what I see and read and interpret Joss' words to the best of my ability.



* Buffy’s demon spirit only gives her increased powers. It’s not the same as a vampire spirit.

Did I say it was? I've never implied that the demon spirit inside Slayer's was the Cartesian self for which I'm trying to make a case.


We don’t even know what the Marcus thing did. The spell could have simply switched the ‘brains’ of Angel and Marcus.

Seriously? They didn't. There was no surgery involved and what we see is the self is not dependent on the body. Ghosts (like Dennis), Faith and Buffy swapping bodies or more importantly, Buffy going to heaven, are all evidence that there is something like a human spirit, otherwise how can someone go to heaven when their physical body is still on earth?


Souls are called souls.

Yes, but spirits, human spirits are still referenced. If the spirit is something distinct from the soul (and I believe it is in the Buffyverse) then it doesn't contradict anything that Joss says.


We see a demon spirit in “Get It Done” (B 7.15). We find out that Slayers have demon spirits inside of them. And demons spirits are the reason why a vampire is a vampire instead of a corpse.

When was it stated that demon spirits were the only kind of spirits?


A person’s brain and body is the person.

This factually incorrect, otherwise, how could Dennis exist? He is still who he is without his physical body and there is no evidence that Marcus and Angel, for example swapped physical brains. In fact they didn't. I'm not sure how good your Latin is but:

"Alii permutat anima kimota."

I'm not sure what "Kimota" means, but the sentence roughly translated talks about swapping or "changing" the soul to the "other". The soul in this case, means the spirit, which was what I was making a case for. This proves there is such thing as a spirit in the Buffyverse.


Joss Whedon says the soul is ‘something added’ to that.

Joss never commented on the "that".


For me, the soul is a convenient way of saying, 'Is this person trying to be better. Is this person someone of substance or are they not?'

The problem here becomes, is Joss dealing with the metaphor or the metaphysical? Saying the the soul is a 'convenient way....' suggests that it's something of a narrative device than something he's strictly defining in ontological terms. So can someone without a soul not have substance? What is this 'substance' of which he speaks? Does this contradict my possible theory about the soul being a 'conscience'? The question I'm asking is what precisely does Joss mean and what are the implications?


Eventually we stand up to be counted. We either make the world better, we make it worse, or we just sort of make it run in place (which makes it worse).

So does that mean someone with a soul can't make the world better? So can we blame Angel for not trying to be better without a soul?


And the idea that we have this thing in ourselves that we cannot define has always fascinated me and I have no problem calling it a soul

So Joss hasn't really defined it because he's just said, it cannot be defined. This is my problem! I'm made a case for not judging soulless vampires morally, which makes sense if their behaviour is different from creatures with human souls. If we don't know what they are missing, then to what conclusions can we arrive? Aside from that, we can only fill in the gaps ourselves or file their moral responsibility under 'question mark'.


It is what makes us human beings and not excellent clocks.

Simply saying "OK" to this statement equates to intellectual laziness. What aspect of the soul makes us beings with substance? What part of it makes us more the excellent clocks? Are soulless vampires "excellent clocks?" See there is more to analyze here.


Remember that while those like Lorne and Clem aren't super evil, they aren't exactly 'good' either.

They are not referenced as having souls or not having souls and there plenty of humans with aren't exactly good and Joss himself said they can do evil as well.


Essentially, souls are by their nature amorphous but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good. ...I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle." (Joss Whedon, 3/30/01 The 18th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival)


...soulless creatures can do good and souled creatures can do evil,... (Hercules, Aint' It Cool News, March 4, 2001).


Vengeance demons (they still have their souls) are bad, obviously.

Unless in their warped minds they believe they are doing "justice", but then it goes back the above quotes, doesn't it?


Joss says that Spike even when a vampire still had part of his soul, and his first major point of 'goodness' came in "Becoming Part II" (B.22). But that was Spike essentially keeping the world in its 'status quo'.

Can I have the exact quote because I don't remember Joss ever saying that? I remember him saying he was a 'soulful' character even without a soul, but not that he literally had part of his soul.

MikeB
11-03-14, 01:54 AM
kana

* First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.


Personally I find it intellectually lazy to simply accept what Joss Whedon says without questioning what it means and the implications it has. I’ve never done this.


* To my knowledge, Joss Whedon has never said that Long Night’s Journey isn’t canon. Joss wrote that. The canon has always been that Angel’s curse and Spike’s re-souling are fundamentally different.


* My quote: Have you not seen the DVDs and heard the interviews and commentary on them? Apparently, you’ve not read Long Night’s Journey .

So, it seems you haven’t read Long Night’s Journey . I don’t remember you ever giving any indication that you’ve read Tales of the Vampires . And now it seems you haven’t heard the commentaries on the DVDs and haven’t seen the interviews on the DVDs.


* Buffy’s soul went to heaven.


* We don’t know how exactly the ‘body switch’ worked. It could have swapped Buffy’s and Faith’s souls. It could have swapped both their souls and their demon spirits.


* Regarding “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04), either Marcus’s and Angel’s souls were swapped, or their ‘brain patterns’ were swapped. It seems their souls were swapped.


* The Dennis ghost was a supernatural thing.


* Human spirits aren’t referenced. They are called ghosts, vengeance spirits, etc.


* The soul is the soul. I don’t know why you keep on saying “spirit” instead of “soul”.


* The soul has always been a “narrative device” in the Buffyverse. It’s mostly there to simply separate why Angel was different from other vampires and why it would be okay for Buffy to date him. It was later useful to have Buffy’s body still be in the ground but her be in a heavenly dimension. It was later useful to say that Cecily Underwood was completely destroyed and therefore there was no way to bring her back. Something similar was done with Winifred Burkle.

For example, I don’t recall there being any evidence in Firefly or Dollhouse that the characters in those series had souls.


* Most soulless beings in the Buffyverse are killable.


* Joss Whedon doesn’t seem to believe in souls. He pretty much says he simply uses it as a narrative device in the Buffyverse.

kana
11-03-14, 05:21 PM
kana

* First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.

Is that a rule you've made up? There is no proof that Joss consciously changed his mind or if there are contradictions the arise from what he says. The good thing is that there is not too much of a contradiction as his definitions are somewhat vague.


I’ve never done this.

That's exactly what you did. Even though Joss stated it was something that lacks definition, so you figuratively folded your arms and gave up.



* To my knowledge, Joss Whedon has never said that Long Night’s Journey isn’t canon. Joss wrote that. The canon has always been that Angel’s curse and Spike’s re-souling are fundamentally different.

OK, fundamentally different how? Aside from the happiness clause and the fact the Spike earned his soul, what are the metaphysical differences. By the way, psychological differences don't count as I've always stated that how Angel and Spike respectively respond to their souls is different. It doesn't mean their souls are fundamentally different. A soul is still a soul right?



* My quote: Have you not seen the DVDs and heard the interviews and commentary on them? Apparently, you’ve not read Long Night’s Journey .

So, it seems you haven’t read Long Night’s Journey . I don’t remember you ever giving any indication that you’ve read Tales of the Vampires . And now it seems you haven’t heard the commentaries on the DVDs and haven’t seen the interviews on the DVDs.

Yet you fail to say how my arguments are false based upon the commentaries. It's been a while since I've seen them, but I don't remember anyone of them contradicting what I've said. I don't understand why you don't simply provide the quotes.



* Buffy’s soul went to heaven.

Erm, so what does that mean? Buffy said she was in heaven which contradicts: "A person’s brain and body is the person", If Buffy's body clearly wasn't in heaven then without a form a dualism, how could Buffy be in heaven?



* We don’t know how exactly the ‘body switch’ worked. It could have swapped Buffy’s and Faith’s souls. It could have swapped both their souls and their demon spirits.

Unless the demon spirit contain the consciousness, which you said it didn't earlier then that's not relevant. All that's relevant is that there is a immaterial part of the individual that isn't dependent on the body. The evidence, I've provided should be more than convincing for us to think that.



* Regarding “Carpe Noctem” (A 3.04), either Marcus’s and Angel’s souls were swapped, or their ‘brain patterns’ were swapped. It seems their souls were swapped.

It seems you're darting back and forth here, Mike. We know their consciousness and memories swapped, which only proves my argument correct. Angel could still be Angel without being in his body, which means who he is, is not dependent on his body. The same with Marcus. Anyway, amina does mean soul, or for the sake of distinction, I'll use the word "spirit".


* The Dennis ghost was a supernatural thing.

Erm, what? Btvs and Ats are supernatural shows. You may as well interject any discussion about Buffy, Spike or Angel etc with "they are supernatural things". No offense but frankly, that statement is meaningless and doesn't successfully argue against what I said.


* Human spirits aren’t referenced. They are called ghosts, vengeance spirits, etc.

I'm fully aware it's a theory, but it's a theory that works within the framework of the Buffyverse.



* The soul is the soul. I don’t know why you keep on saying “spirit” instead of “soul”.

To make a distinction between the consciousness of the person and, well, something else, whether that "thing" is a conscience etc. Frankly if the soul is the same thing that is being transferred between Marcus and Angel, then it has serious implications in the Buffyverse. It would prove that Angel and Angelus are separate beings for starters, which I don't believe they are.



* The soul has always been a “narrative device” in the Buffyverse. It’s mostly there to simply separate why Angel was different from other vampires and why it would be okay for Buffy to date him. It was later useful to have Buffy’s body still be in the ground but her be in a heavenly dimension. It was later useful to say that Cecily Underwood was completely destroyed and therefore there was no way to bring her back. Something similar was done with Winifred Burkle.

This is the problem in a nutshell. If we cannot fathom a consistent definition for the soul then it renders a lot of the debates involving it, relatively meaningless.




For example, I don’t recall there being any evidence in Firefly or Dollhouse that the characters in those series had souls.

Did they take place in the same 'Verse though?


* Most soulless beings in the Buffyverse are killable.

From a narrative perspective, this is most certainly true, but it's still interesting the "whys" of such matters.



* Joss Whedon doesn’t seem to believe in souls. He pretty much says he simply uses it as a narrative device in the Buffyverse.

To be honest, that's fair enough. Like Whedon, I'm an atheist and it may or may not surprise you to know I lean towards materialism. This is why I created threads on how should we judge soulless vampires: to highlight the inconsistencies in the metaphysics and to realize people will sometimes interpret what they see in such a way that is consistent with their personal view of the metaphysics. Maybe in light of these inconsistencies, we should be less inclined to "police" others' opinion.

_Buffy_
11-03-14, 08:08 PM
Mike, I'm not sure if vengeance demons have a souls. In Buffyverse, the rule was " demons / including vampires , other demons, e.t.c.. / - they all are soulless. I can't remember in the flashbacks - does Anya have a soul, ever ?

MikeB
01-04-14, 12:37 AM
kana

* My quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.”

You argued against this. It’s completely illogical and unreasonable to argue against this.


* I’m not going to try to define for Joss Whedon what the soul exactly is in the Buffyverse. Joss Whedon is the arbiter of Buffyverse canon.


* Read Long Night’s Journey . We know William Pratt got his soul back.


* If you have the DVDs and if you have forgotten the commentaries, you can simply re-listen to them. It’s unreasonable to say a poster should have to do transcripts for you.


* Buffy’s brain and body were dead. Her demon spirit probably wasn’t in Heaven either. Again, we don’t know exactly what the soul is.


* I didn’t say the Buffy-Faith “body switch” only involved their demon spirits being switched. I said it was likely either the souls being switched or the souls and the demon spirits being switched.


* I already said that Marcus and Angel’s souls possibly switched.


* We don’t know what the Dennis ghost was. It was a spirit of some kind. But it was a supernatural thing. It doesn’t mean that everyone has spirits inside of him or her that are separate from the soul.


* I don’t see how the Marcus-Angel switch could prove that Angel and Angelus are separate beings.


* The problem with your trying to define what the soul is in the Buffyverse is because you gloss over how the idea of the soul is actually used in the Buffyverse. The curse most times makes Angel act less evil than he otherwise would. Buffy’s reward was to go to Heaven. Spike became someone who wouldn’t try to rape Buffy. The soul makes people be able to be better than they otherwise would be.


* It doesn’t matter how one views metaphysics. Regarding the Buffyverse, all that matters is how Joss Whedon views that and how that relates to the Buffyverse.



_Buffy_

* Cecily Underwood’s soul was destroyed. Vengeance demons still have their souls.

kana
17-04-14, 11:03 AM
kana

* My quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.” You argued against this. It’s completely illogical and unreasonable to argue against this.

Because you say so? The root word of 'unreasonable' is 'reason'. Care to reason out your argument?


* I’m not going to try to define for Joss Whedon what the soul exactly is in the Buffyverse. Joss Whedon is the arbiter of Buffyverse canon.

Well Mike, I don't see how clarifying the implications of what having a soul in the Buffyverse, even though Joss has given his own definition of what the soul is, is any different from what we do in the forums all the time. I'm not attempting to contradict what Joss said, I'm just trying to make sense of it.


* Read Long Night’s Journey . We know William Pratt got his soul back.

I'm not disputing that am I?


* If you have the DVDs and if you have forgotten the commentaries, you can simply re-listen to them. It’s unreasonable to say a poster should have to do transcripts for you.

The problem is Mike you are so willful in refraining from explaining yourself. This is true of episodes and interviews etc. You absolutely refused to give evidence of who had formal authority in the 'Verse for example. I asked a simple question. Did Joss actually say there was something fundamentally different about Spike's soul and Angel's soul? The reason I asked, is because I'm pretty sure he didn't.


* Buffy’s brain and body were dead. Her demon spirit probably wasn’t in Heaven either. Again, we don’t know exactly what the soul is.

OK, so think about it. If Buffy was in heaven and her body was dead then what does that tell you? At the very least that there is a part of Buffy that can survive without her physical body. That at least is self-evident, otherwise Buffy being in heaven was simply a lie. This then implies the sort of Cartesian dualism for which I was making a case. Otherwise, it simply makes no sense.


* I didn’t say the Buffy-Faith “body switch” only involved their demon spirits being switched. I said it was likely either the souls being switched or the souls and the demon spirits being switched.

Well as I said, if their souls swapped then in context of the episode, their consciousness and memories swapped. Basically everything that Buffy was apart from her body was in Faith's body and vice versa. If we understand these entities to be the soul then it has huge implication for Angel and Spike...


* I already said that Marcus and Angel’s souls possibly switched.

OK so let's take this to its natural conclusion. If we accept that Angel (i.e. his consciousness) was in the old man's body if Marcus' soul was in Angel's body then logically if his soul was in muo ping like it was in Season 4 then that would mean Angel was in the muo ping. Again, I'm only following logic here. So if the spirit is not distinct from the soul, Angel and Angelus have to be seperate individuals otherwise either Carpe Noctem or Soulless don't make sense. If the same thing that is being swapped between Marcus and Angel in Carpe Noctem that was transferred to Muo Ping then how do you explain Angelus in Season 4. We know Angel's soul was in the jar in the same way it was in Marcus, so how you explain that?




* We don’t know what the Dennis ghost was.

I don't know what you're asking exactly...


It was a spirit of some kind.

Well, yes, so why would Dennis have a spirit, no other human would? It seems as though you're creating more questions than you're answering.


But it was a supernatural thing.

Btvs and Ats are supernatural shows so that's pretty redundant Mike.


It doesn’t mean that everyone has spirits inside of him or her that are separate from the soul.

It would make more sense. If heaven exists, then it would seem spirits go there. If for any reason they don't then it would seem they would be ghosts like Dennis.


* I don’t see how the Marcus-Angel switch could prove that Angel and Angelus are separate beings.

By using simple logic. Angel was essentially wearing Marcus' body. That would mean that in Season 4 for example he would be in the jar. If Angel was in the jar like he was in the old man (no jokes please lol) then who was the guy in the cage? This means that Angel and Angelus would be separate. For the record I don't believe that, that's why I'm saying the spirit is distinct from the soul.


* The problem with your trying to define what the soul is in the Buffyverse is because you gloss over how the idea of the soul is actually used in the Buffyverse.

How? What I said that directly contradicts how the soul is used in the 'Verse?


The curse most times makes Angel act less evil than he otherwise would.

Well think about it. Would you blame Angel for the things Marcus did because it was his body? Would you blame Buffy for anything Faith did in her body? I'd contend that one wouldn't, so it would make sense if the soul equates to the same thing that is being swapped between Angel and Marcus, then Angel wasn't there when Angelus was doing all those things because his soul is elsewhere.

However, the reason I don't believe this to be the case is one important point. When Marcus' 'soul' was in Angel's body, where was Angelus and why didn't Marcus have memories of what Angelus had done? Therefore that would seem to be proof the what was being transferred (which clearly contains the consciousness and memories of the individual) is something different than the soul, which is why I use the word 'spirit' to demonstrate the difference.


Buffy’s reward was to go to Heaven.

One may require a soul to go to Heaven, but it was never stated outright, but it seems reasonable.


Spike became someone who wouldn’t try to rape Buffy. The soul makes people be able to be better than they otherwise would be.

I actually agree with this, at least partially. Having a soul, seems to affect behaviour in such a way that many would consider positive.


* It doesn’t matter how one views metaphysics. Regarding the Buffyverse, all that matters is how Joss Whedon views that and how that relates to the Buffyverse.

It depends on what he says though. We can still reason things out without completely contradicting what Joss says...

MikeB
17-06-14, 09:12 AM
kana

* My quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.”

This is very simple logic and very simple common sense. There’s zero logical reason to discuss this further.


* You say that human beings have spirits inside of them. That’s not something from the Buffyverse. Joss has now given his definition of what the soul means in the Buffyverse. It mostly seems a plot device.


* Regarding the soul, you seem to want to try to “speak for Joss”. I’m saying this is fruitless because only Joss Whedon is the arbiter of canon.


* The point about Long Night’s Journey that I was making regards whose soul Angel possibly has. Even though Scott Allie doesn’t list that graphic novel as still being canon, I don’t recall Joss Whedon ever rescinding its canonical status.


The problem is Mike you are so willful in refraining from explaining yourself. This is true of episodes and interviews etc. You absolutely refused to give evidence of who had formal authority in the 'Verse for example. I’m going to dismiss such utter nonsense.


* Joss points out that Angel was cursed with a soul while Spike fought to get his back. Joss wrote a comic in which Angel’s soul was from a champion warrior. All evidence is that Spike got William Pratt’s soul. There’s no evidence that Spike has two personalities. Spike’s soul isn’t detachable. Spike isn’t listed in that one book under “Dark Soul”. Out of over 3,200 references, Angel has 4 of them with it seems only one regarding something he did when he was soulless. http://buffyworld.com/angel/transcripts/092_tran.html

I don’t know what more evidence there needs to be for someone to discern the obviousness of Angel’s soul and Spike’s soul being “fundamentally different”.


* Buffy’s soul seem to be what went to Heaven.


* Buffy and Faith are Slayers; they aren’t vampires. We don’t know exactly what the body switch did. For all we know, the magic simply made Faith look like Buffy and Buffy look like Faith.


* ‘Angel’ is ‘Angelus’ plus the curse and all the time and experiences since having the curse.


* Again, Long Night’s Journey is still possibly canon. I’m not going to speculate and discuss what is only relevant if that is not canon anymore.


* We don’t know how the Carpe Noctem spell worked. For all we know, somehow it switched Marcus’s and Angel’s minds.


* Creating more questions than answering is not necessarily a bad thing. Dennis being a ghost doesn’t mean that everyone in the Buffyverse has a “ghost” inside of him or her.


* Not everything the Buffyverse is supernatural. Most beings, animals, insects, etc. in the Buffyverse aren’t supernatural.


* The souls seem to go to Heaven. You think Buffy’s soul was underground in Sunnydale?


* The problem with your discussion of vampires with souls is that you’re using Angel as the example. Angel was cursed with a soul. The soul he has is part of a curse.

Spike and Drusilla consider their human and vampire selves to be the same person. Darla forgot her human name and she says she remembers nothing after being dusted. I don’t remember non-cursed Angel thinking that if he were dusted that he’d go somewhere else. Pre-soul, Spike believed that if he was dusted that he’d go to hell and that whenever Drusilla was dusted that she’d also go to hell. It’s possible that Spike and Drusilla retained part of their souls after becoming vampires.

With about all vampires, it seems a demon spirit ‘take over the body’, the soul leaves, and the person is simply still the same person because their brains and such are those of the human.


* Marcus in Angel’s body was clearly more evil than he was in previous bodies. But, again, we don’t know how the Carpe Noctem spell exactly worked.

KingofCretins
17-06-14, 04:56 PM
Actually, the most logical inference to make between a later and an earlier quote is that the latter makes a distiction from the former, adds a parameter or context not earlier anticipated. It qualifies, it doesn't negate, not unless they are simply, flatly incompatible. I can't remember Joss ever having said two things about 'the soul' in "Buffy" or pretty much any other canon-mythology metaphysics that have ever been baldly contradictory, so they should probably all be given as much weight as they can.

kana
18-06-14, 03:16 PM
kana
* My quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.”

This is very simple logic and very simple common sense. There’s zero logical reason to discuss this further.

This completely misses my point. Funnily enough KoC understood instantly. Now forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you, but it seems that you're trying to imply that if Joss makes a statement about a subject on one occasion and then makes a statement about the same subject on a second occasion, then we should automatically disregard the first statement regardless of whether the statements are contradictory. If this is what you are implying, there's no internal logic to that whatsoever. I'm attempting to look at all Joss quotes on the subject and see if I can make any sense of it.



* You say that human beings have spirits inside of them. That’s not something from the Buffyverse.

I'm not saying it's a fact, it's merely a theory. The way I see there are three main possibilities.

1) The Buffyverse is a Dualist universe and I've already given plenty of reasonable examples of people being able to exist without their physical bodies.

2) the Buffyverse is only a Dualist universe, sometimes, randomly, which for me raises more questions than it answers...

3) Or that the Buffyverse is a Materialistic universe, which would contradict several episodes and the examples I've given.


Joss has now given his definition of what the soul means in the Buffyverse. It mostly seems a plot device.

If we are saying it's a plot device then fine, but that renders most of the debate moot anyway. In short, the soul means whatever the story needs it to mean. If this is your position, then we may as well end the debate now.



* Regarding the soul, you seem to want to try to “speak for Joss”. I’m saying this is fruitless because only Joss Whedon is the arbiter of canon.

Once again, you're committing yourself to logical fallacies. I stated, quite clearly, that I was attempting understand and analyze what he said, which is no different from what you do. You've presented the quote and now we're discussing the implications of that quote. If it wasn't your intention for people to discuss the above quote then, why did you even post it in the first place?



* The point about Long Night’s Journey that I was making regards whose soul Angel possibly has. Even though Scott Allie doesn’t list that graphic novel as still being canon, I don’t recall Joss Whedon ever rescinding its canonical status.


The point I'm making is that it was never stated how different souls affect an individual, unless of the soul equates to a spirit. Again, I'm not putting words in your mouth, but that doesn't seem to be your position. So, unless it specifically states that different souls have different qualities, then I fail to see how your point is relevant or useful in this debate.


The problem is Mike you are so willful in refraining from explaining yourself. This is true of episodes and interviews etc. You absolutely refused to give evidence of who had formal authority in the 'Verse for example.


I’m going to dismiss such utter nonsense.

It's not nonsense if it's true, Mike. I can provide instances and quote references as examples of when you've done this if you like....



* Joss points out that Angel was cursed with a soul while Spike fought to get his back.

Again, this is somewhat pointless to mention, as I've never disputed this. My argument is that it mentioning how they got their respective souls back says nothing about what the soul actually is. This is a point, you've failed to acknowledge or deal with.


Joss wrote a comic in which Angel’s soul was from a champion warrior.

As Mogs exposed, Joss wrote a comic whereby a bitter vampire believed Angel had his soul. Wasn't it you said that we cannot take what characters say as fact?


All evidence is that Spike got William Pratt’s soul.

Ok, but what do you mean by that? What specifically makes Spike's soul so quintessentially "William Pratt"-like? I'm not arguing that he didn't get his soul back, I'm just trying to understand your argument.


There’s no evidence that Spike has two personalities.

However, it was never mentioned that specific qualities of the Angel's soul and Spike's soul are different. Two different individuals can react differently to the same stimulus. In simple terms, just because Angel and Spike react differently to their soul or lack thereof, doesn't mean there is something fundamentally different about their respective souls.


Spike’s soul isn’t detachable.

This isn't anything to do with the soul specifically though. Let me use analogy to try and explain this to you. Now say two people, Angie and Sally, lose an arm. Now Sally managed to perform a spell that reattaches her arm. Now a cruel wizard, casts a spell that reattaches Angie's arm, however there is a strange caveat that if she were to fall in love, she would lose that arm. Now, this wouldn't mean there is anything significantly different between Angie's arm and Sally arm but their circumstances are quite different. However, an arm is still an arm and must share qualities with other arms for it to be classified as an arm.


Spike isn’t listed in that one book under “Dark Soul”. Out of over 3,200 references, Angel has 4 of them with it seems only one regarding something he did when he was soulless. http://buffyworld.com/angel/transcripts/092_tran.html

I'm not sure what your point is. The name "Dark Soul" doesn't necessarily reference anything specifically regarding the metaphysics of the soul, especially if Angel was referenced when he didn't have a soul.



I don’t know what more evidence there needs to be for someone to discern the obviousness of Angel’s soul and Spike’s soul being “fundamentally different”.

As I've demonstrated, you haven't actually provided any evidence. You've made a couple of unqualified statements and reference that doesn't actually tell us anything about the metaphysics of the soul. It's like discussing the general metaphysics of the soul and searching "Dark Soul" into Google. Many of references you'll get back won't be specific to or have anything to do with metaphysical qualities of the soul.


* Buffy’s soul seem to be what went to Heaven.

Please don't mindlessly repeat yourself. I've already covered this point.



* Buffy and Faith are Slayers; they aren’t vampires.

I know.


We don’t know exactly what the body switch did.

It swapped this consciousness and for the purpose of this debate, that's all that's important. It proves that a consciousness can exist independent of the body or at least the original body. Regardless of how the spell works, there still needs to be something that's transferable. My argument about the 'spirit' seems at least reasonable. I'm not saying you have to agree with it, but you seem to want to refuse to admit that episodes like this seem to point towards dualism.


For all we know, the magic simply made Faith look like Buffy and Buffy look like Faith.

But that's not what the episode showed and Tara seemed to support that, that's unlikely as well.



* ‘Angel’ is ‘Angelus’ plus the curse and all the time and experiences since having the curse.

Again, stop repeating yourself and make your replies to relevant to mine so I can see exactly how your argument disproves mine. This is merely a statement you make every time, but you don't demonstrate how it debunks my theories.



* Again, Long Night’s Journey is still possibly canon. I’m not going to speculate and discuss what is only relevant if that is not canon anymore.


The funny thing is, you haven't actually demonstrated how it contradicts my theories specifically. Based on what I've read, it doesn't contradict anything I've said.



* We don’t know how the Carpe Noctem spell worked. For all we know, somehow it switched Marcus’s and Angel’s minds.

Yeah, Mike, that would still imply dualism.



* Creating more questions than answering is not necessarily a bad thing.

To a degree, I agree, but not if it's needlessly complicating the issue. If you look at number 2) among the possible metaphysical options for the Buffyverse, it's one that makes little sense. Even the concept of the soul in any case implies a certain degree of dualism, even if it isn't Cartesian in it's nature and I think even Joss' quotes imply that. Now, as I've said, I don't mind going down the "plot device" route, but for me it stops the conversation a little short, even if it's likely to be true. This is one of the many reasons why I find it difficult to judge soulless vampires by human standards, because we don't know what the vampire in question has to contend with due it's demon bloodlust and lack of soul. All I ask is that we take this somewhat agnostic view, then we're fair when dealing with the certain characters. In other words, I cannot abide the whole "I'm not entirely sure if there is a consistent definition of the soul other than what makes Spike/Angel look like a jerk/hero".


Dennis being a ghost doesn’t mean that everyone in the Buffyverse has a “ghost” inside of him or her.

So why would he have a ghost and others don't? Again, I've given several examples of dualism, one of which you seem to even agree with (Carpe Noctem). My argument is that a person seems to be able to exist without their body. The examples I've shown demonstrate this.



* Not everything the Buffyverse is supernatural. Most beings, animals, insects, etc. in the Buffyverse aren’t supernatural.

But saying something is supernatural doesn't explains it's metaphysics. The metaphysics is an encompassing term that can apply both the natural and the supernatural. As it seems there appears to be a synergy between these things. For example, normal human blood can have mystical qualities (for example supernatural being like vampires require something "natural" like blood for strength and mental coherence). So in short, I stick by stating that saying it's not good enough to simply say it's a 'supernatural thing'. That's simply not an explanation for anything.



* The souls seem to go to Heaven. You think Buffy’s soul was underground in Sunnydale?

What?!!! Do you even understand what I mean by 'dualism' Mike? If you did, you wouldn't have made that statement. Here's a link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dualism_%28philosophy_of_mind%29) if you're not sure.



* The problem with your discussion of vampires with souls is that you’re using Angel as the example. Angel was cursed with a soul. The soul he has is part of a curse.


I'm not using Angel as the example, I'm using him as an example. I also used other examples. I'm also aware that Angel was cursed with a soul. That doesn't mean that his being cursed with a soul fundamentally changes the metaphysics of the soul in the Buffyverse. A soul is still a soul regardless of how he got it back.


Spike and Drusilla consider their human and vampire selves to be the same person.

Agreed.


Darla forgot her human name and she says she remembers nothing after being dusted. I don’t remember non-cursed Angel thinking that if he were dusted that he’d go somewhere else.

Ok, here is where my theory may hit a snag :). However we don't know the rules of play of a vampire's afterlife. Dr Sparrow, implied that "souls" (which in context I'm took to mean spirits) can be destroyed. It's also possible that some individuals remember these afterlives and others don't.


Pre-soul, Spike believed that if he was dusted that he’d go to hell and that whenever Drusilla was dusted that she’d also go to hell. It’s possible that Spike and Drusilla retained part of their souls after becoming vampires.

This is possibly the case in terms of where vampires will go after they die. However if neither vampire actually experienced an afterlife, it's difficult to tell.


With about all vampires, it seems a demon spirit ‘take over the body’, the soul leaves, and the person is simply still the same person because their brains and such are those of the human.

So it seems you're adhering more or less to a materialistic view of the Verse. It's possible but it makes my examples problematic. The problem is, as always, we're probably giving it more thought than the writers did. If you're happy to embrace that certain elements of the 'Verse perhaps can be inconsistent or not necessarily make sense, then I'm right there with you. However, if you're arguing that your unifying theory is superior, I'll fight you til the bitter end :D


* Marcus in Angel’s body was clearly more evil than he was in previous bodies.

Really? How? He knew he was killing these men and apparently felt no remorse for it. I don't think being in Angel's body necessarily made him more evil, just allowed him to be more evil. He learned that vampires (usually) kill people and has no problem living that lifestyle and even criticized Angel for being a vampire who helps people.


But, again, we don’t know how the Carpe Noctem spell exactly worked.

See above. All we know that it proves that a person can exist without their body, which indicates dualism.

MikeB
17-07-14, 02:21 AM
KingofCretins

My quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.”

This wasn’t referring only to what the soul is in the Buffyverse.


Actually, the most logical inference to make between a later and an earlier quote is that the latter makes a distiction from the former, adds a parameter or context not earlier anticipated. It qualifies, it doesn't negate, not unless they are simply, flatly incompatible. This is mostly verbiage. I’m not referring to ‘added information’.



kana

My quote: “Joss has now given his definition of what the soul means in the Buffyverse. It mostly seems a plot device.

………………………………………………………………

Regarding the soul, you seem to want to try to “speak for Joss”. I’m saying this is fruitless because only Joss Whedon is the arbiter of canon.”

Nothing more needs to be said. The way you discuss the soul is something in the universe of having a perhaps years-long discussion about post-BtVS S7 exactly when and how Buffy found out Spike was alive and then using whatever you want to believe as a basis for your arguments about their relationship post-BtVS S7. And saying that humans have a soul and a spirit inside of them even though that’s not what seems to be the canon (humans have souls inside of them and don’t have a separate spirit inside of them).


* Not agreeing with you doesn’t mean I never explain myself and never give evidence for anything I say.

KingofCretins
17-07-14, 02:22 PM
Your premise that a later quote supersedes an earlier quote is just not rational, is what my point was. It supplements it, it distinguishes it, it expands it. Unless they are directly contradictory -- which none of his soul quotes are, at all -- they should be taken together.

kana
18-07-14, 10:38 AM
kana


Regarding the soul, you seem to want to try to “speak for Joss”.

I'm kind of sick of repeating myself. I'm not doing anything differently from what you've done. I'm merely attempting to analyze what he said. As long as I'm not outright contradicting him, I don't see the problem. If you didn't want to discuss Joss' quote, there was little point you posting it.


I’m saying this is fruitless because only Joss Whedon is the arbiter of canon.

Apart from you apparently ;). This is a discussion board. We can and should attempt to analyze what Joss says.


Nothing more needs to be said.

Plenty more can be said. If you simply don't wish to continue to conversation, you can simply say so.


The way you discuss the soul is something in the universe of having a perhaps years-long discussion about post-BtVS S7 exactly when and how Buffy found out Spike was alive and then using whatever you want to believe as a basis for your arguments about their relationship post-BtVS S7.

What has that got to do with anything I've said? Can you start quoting me properly please, because half the time, I have no idea how your arguments respond to mine.


And saying that humans have a soul and a spirit inside of them even though that’s not what seems to be the canon (humans have souls inside of them and don’t have a separate spirit inside of them).

You've ignored many of my points. For example what is the 'anima' that was being transferred to between Angel and Marcus. This episode is canon, so therefore one could argue that it's canon that this 'anima' exists. Maybe you should either read up on Latin or rewatch that episode. This either proves the 'spirit' exists or that Angelus and Angel are speperate. Considering the episode kind of contradicts that (considering Marcus didn't remember Angelus' memories and Angel does) I'd say that people have souls and 'animas'.

Also, you keep saying that Buffy's soul went to Heaven, but you fail to understand the implications that has for Angel. Based upon pure logic, if Buffy's soul was in heaven and we accept that Buffy herself was in Heaven, this implies the dualism I was talking about. If this kind of entity is in the same classification as the thing Angel was cursed with, it means that Angel and Angelus are seperate people. I've actually mentioned this many times Mike and you simply ignored it. I already asked you if you understand the concept of Carthesian dualism. So far I've little evidence that you have. For the record, Joss never commented on such dualism, so it's not as if I'm contradicting him.


* Not agreeing with you doesn’t mean I never explain myself and never give evidence for anything I say

You rarely explain yourself, you just repeat yourself. You seem to have no idea how to objectively qualify an argument.

MikeB
13-08-14, 12:16 AM
KingofCretins

Again, this quote: “First off, later quotes by Joss Whedon supersede earlier quotes from Joss.” doesn’t refer to added information. Joss Whedon hasn’t given much information on what the soul is in the Buffyverse. This is why this thread was made.