Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby orcot » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:39 am

Afther third impact all plant life seems to be gone I would assume they have souls in the NGE universe, In real life you can make the argument that they have life but souls in more tricky. (probably not no, but perhaps we can agree on alive and fundamentaly different more simple= same same but different). To go much deeper you should start arguing the difference between life and having a soul and if the soul has layers etc.

Follow up question, would you say these souls are individual soul or a frament of lilins soul, separated by a AT field? Similar to how kyoko (Asuka's mom) soul got split up. Meaning is Shinji even a individual? Or does he just have a frament of lilin's soul third impact would indicate that no he has not and removing the barriers fuses everything to a single being. It could be said that it depends on your point of view with Shinji choosing individualisme over a collective conscience.

And from religious standpoint, every living has souls.

Not in the abrahamic religions (animals do), I don't know about shinto and others

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:24 am

Berserker: And how exactly is there proof that plants do have souls? "Soul" is already something that can't ever be proven to exist in scientific terms-it's outside the scope of science to verify. We use the word "soul", but souls don't have scientific proof of existence. I guess you can call a "soul" consciousness, if you wish, but that creates more problems, because then you have to come up with concrete terms of what consciousness exactly means. Humans have consciousness and are because of that often troubled by questions, whereas cats sure don't-they just live their life like they've always done.

If you have something that proves the idea plants have souls, please, give it to me. I admit that plants are living creatures, but whether or not they have souls is still an open question.

Talking specifically about the world of Eva, then it seems obvious that Anno himself didn't consider plant life to be something that has a soul or at least the capability of consciousness since it's already been stated that plants didn't have a place in Instrumentality. That could be because Instrumentality is strictly meant for humans (though Pen-Pen did appear in EoTV), it could be because plants aren't going to have questions about their identity/meaning/whatever and thereby quickly end up where they always were. But it doesn't seem to me that plants were ever intended as beings with souls. And since the real-world "evidence" of this is flimsy and/or on the margins both in scientific and philosophical terms, it seems only logical to assume that Anno stayed with the general consensus that there's no souls in plants. This latest paragraph is perhaps a bit off-topic, but I don't see any reason to assume that Anno thought differently.

orcot: Shinji is an individual. No two ways about this. Even Rei, despite literally being a part of Lilith in a way deeper than any other member of the cast, is still her own person and not just a split-off personality. Kyoko's case was literally a soul being split, probably quite violently, whereas humans came out of LCL in a natural way. They're Lilith's children more than anything else really.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby orcot » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:43 am

If you have something that proves the idea plants have souls, please, give it to me. I admit that plants are living creatures, but whether or not they have souls is still an open question.


They are gone afther third impact, the plants are gone what happenend with them? the ground, water and air are still present but the plants are gone.

Why is it obvious from Anno's perspective? He clearly made a plantless world shortly afther third impact.

They're Lilith's children more than anything else really.

Then what is lilin? Is it yust a group name or is it a single being.

I'm not claiming necessarily that Shinji is not a a individual but it more of a point of view that black or white he definitly got the option to be one single being so it is possible.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:43 am

We see so little of the post-3I world that there's no way to accurately know whether or not the world is really "plantless". Shinji and Asuka could have reemerged from LCL somewhere near Tokyo-3, which sure isn't going to be a friendly biosphere after all the shit that happened there in EoE. But that's just speculation.

It's obvious from Anno's perspective because there's precisely zero evidence that plants have souls in the real world and therefore there's precisely zero evidence that plants have souls in the NGE world-especially since nothing in-universe points to that either. The only proof we have that plants have souls is that plants are conscious and we see Shinji and Asuka in a plantless environment at the end of EoE. All of this is such circumstantial evidence that it doesn't give proof to anything.

If plants did have souls in the NGE world, there'd be something concrete linking to that-which there's not. If Anno ever seriously considered the problem, then he arrived at the conclusion that in the Eva world, plants didn't have souls-that's the most logical assumption to be made. And if he didn't consider it, then it wasn't considered important enough to consider.

The lilin are human beings/humanity. That's just how simple as it is. It's a fancy name used by Kaworu that both distinguishes his otherness and the fact that humans have a descendance leading up to Lilith, being in a sense Lilith's "children".

Instrumentality wasn't a natural happenstance, it was created by GNR, someone who was practically a god. The fact that Shinji could have become part of a collective human consciousness doesn't mean that humanity was a single being ever, besides from having come from Lilith's LCL.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby IgRAzm » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:28 am

@Zusuchan It seems to me you take such a determined approach to this because of certain philosophical ideas you know probably a lot about. I just want to say that hundreds of millions of people see souls as the thing that makes a living creature alive. And it's more intuitive this way to them. Aristotle did separate the soul from the plants and connected conscience to it, and frankly it makes a lot of sense when you don't know anything about how the brain works. But to all the people born after these researches were started, for whom only specific vague question of how humans managed to really get the ability to imagine and to change the world around accordingly when no one else does was left to wonder about (Evangelion, Akira come to mind right away), in the time when relating to microscopic entities and even viruses became not that hard to imagine, when a lot of animals were revealed to have the ability to adapt by using their imagination, with birds and apes learning quicker during these experiments than an average person put in this position would've, things really changed. What's to say about relating to the plants.
With Eva being pretty realistic in so many details, your view just doesn't add up in my head. Either all the life evolved on Earth and everything has a soul, or only humans do, all the other life just went in the wrong direction and didn't earn the right for a soul. These are questions that didn't have to be answered in the story, but in my head I'd rather have a structure when it strengthens the messages than none.
Last edited by IgRAzm on Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Berserker » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:41 am

If plants didn't have souls, then they wouldn't do things like communicating among themselves, social distancing, reproducing, reacting to things i mentioned earlier. The only thing they would do is to find an energy source to live based on their instincts, since they won't have soul by that mean. They would be basically zombie trees. Souls have a consciousness to do things asides only surviving.
Sure, we know almost nothing about soul. But we do have the ability to differ who has soul and whom don't. That's what i'm trying to mean. Those traits are what make a living (a being with soul) different from non livings (soulless thing).
And consciousness has nothing to do with intelligence and curiousity. You're mixing these up. It's nothing but being aware of everything surrounding you. Trees follow lights because they're aware of the need of light for food. Every living thing has the ability to know what's happening to it, what environment its in. The ability to decipher and use those infos or question them is called intelligence, which differs between each living because of biological complexity. That has nothing to do with soul.
EoE's not perfect. It got a lot of flaws including this. And Anno's not a top level scientist or philosopher, though he sure got a lot of knowledge. Human instrumentality project is basically for Lilin. But since you only take human as Lilin whereas every earthly life came from the same primordial soup, it's possible that other livings got destroyed and it's rather a simple plothole.
orcot wrote:Not in the abrahamic religions (animals do), I don't know about shinto and others

You need to study more on abrahamic religion, buddy. And keep in mind that i said every living.
Christianity wrote:Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (Matthew 10:29)

The verse number is rather arguable, some say 28, some 29.
Islam wrote:Do you not see that Allah is glorified by all those in the heavens and the earth, even the birds as they soar? Each ˹instinctively˺ one (i.e all living beings) knows their manner of prayer and glorification. And Allah has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of all they do.(Quran 24:41)

I rather not talk about Hinduism, Buddhism as they just don't indicate this, but straight forward fights over it. I don't know anything about shintoism either.

For any further question, you can read Aura's post. I've shared my facts. Further posting would be just reiterating the same thing over and over again, so i won't until i think i can share or answer more.

@Bustermachine: I was replying to Zusuchan about the soul-consciousness issue. Compare both posts. What's your proof on simply justifying that brain is the vessel for soul? And we don't know a single thing on trees' intelligence. Scientist are still unable of solving that issue even by 1%, but they're trying to. For all we know, they could be intelligent than us (though that would be religiously false), but unable to use it like us cause of physical inability. The thing that we call brain can be completely different for them, we don't know that. Whatever, this part is rather off-topic.
Last edited by Berserker on Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:36 am

Berserker, I feel like you’re falsely equating a general awareness of one’s surroundings with the existence of a soul. Trees are aware of their surroundings, and can adapt to fit with them, but there’s no evidence that it’s anything more than basic primitive instinct. Plants don’t have brains, so I’m inclined to think they don’t have souls either. Since the Eva universe gives nothing to contradict it, plants probably don’t have souls there either.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby orcot » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:27 am

@beserker do we realy need to discuss reality? The mods hate that and complain to me.
But I will read that post of you. In the meantime I can only defend myself with the book of genesis.
Again NGE universe seem different.
I regret to say I don't own the NGE movie I remember seeing wooden poles but not living trees

@BusterMachine4
Your statement would indicate computers are closer to having a soul then plants, brains aren't necesairy. Plants can also be domesticated arguable the difference between domesticated crops is bigger then that between wolves and dogs. They shape us in life but not in soul. (I'm not saying computers will never get there (life) but they will be different then humans, to be human is to change kids are not adults are not the elder, computers are more static they are what they are even if they design a better version that will replace them they do not need souls (see the last question of isaac asimov). Even now you could argue that they are symbiotic parasits (they are below the lifeforms that live in your gut digesting your food)
Last edited by orcot on Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:29 am

Plants respond to their surroundings; this is not the same as being aware of them.

Are viruses living creatures? Does each one have a soul? Does a Portuguese Man of War have one soul, or a separate soul for each of the constituent beings that make it up? Do conjoined twins have one soul or two?
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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:35 pm

I don't have anything else to say-I agree with BusterMachine4. There's a stated difference between simple instinct and more complex thoughts that could be attributed to something that could in philosophical terms be defined as a soul. Soul is the "incorporeal essence of a living being" in its most common definition. But soul also indicates the ability to feel, memorize, perceive uniquely, have character and consciousness etc. All of those things which we have no indication of plants having-they just act based on primordial instinct, but they don't seem conscious, they don't have character, they don't perceive things in an unique way. In philosophical terms, plants don't have souls. Easy. And there's nothing that points to Anno believing any different.

orcot: Computers don't have souls because they're programs. They don't follow pure instinct, but they just follow orders. They're engineered products.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby IgRAzm » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:47 pm

I feel like the latest two posts (minus Zusuchan's post that just appeared) reveal the same general idea I agree with, that there are questions we aren't capable of decisively answering IRL and this is one of them. Occam's razor is useful, but I don't see how Zusuchan uses it here a correct way to do so, the data upon which the reasoning is based is just not suffecient for such a statement. And I'm not being a sceptic, this is specific for this situation.

I don't believe that souls exist myself, most people probably do, but I rather equate them with more tangible concepts like emotions and identity, so that in their narrative they are comparable to the tangible things in real life. Maybe even more fundamentally, they represent things I should take into account on some level. That they live, they exist, I shouldn't see myself as above them in any way. This is how I qualify these things, this is an objective metric for the fiction I've formed. So, because of that, soulless living creatures just stand out to me. Why would plants stand out for no reason? It damages the narrative to me.

The boundaries of the souls in NGE weren't explained enough, we with our western mindsets generally want things to be more precise in these regards than someone with a more eastern philosophy in mind would be. While a generalization, I don't think I'm really wrong to say that it is important in making us think the way we do. So, to counter Zusuchan's point, I think that Anno didn't want to cause a reaction like my own by not explaining the nature of souls more than he did, in the series and in the comments outside of it. Why do something that could cause more harm than good? It makes more sense than Zusuchan's reason, that it's just too obvious:

It's obvious from Anno's perspective because there's precisely zero evidence that plants have souls in the real world and therefore there's precisely zero evidence that plants have souls in the NGE world-especially since nothing in-universe points to that either.


You also said that only humans count as lilin, which, I can only assume, means that animals also don't have souls. Is there anything to support all that follows from your claim, for starters that plants and animals are more simillar to dummy plug Reis and to Lilith's body, than to humans? I don't see any use of this in the narrative. Are they, despite all the qualities they all share with humans, and even though the unnecessary harm to them is morally condemned in so many of Japanese media, often at the same level as it is with humans? Why Anno, a vegetarian and someone who tells us to improve our inner self in favour of materialism, to embrace the responsibility for all our actions, would propagate such an odd message in such a serious work from a morality standpoint as EoE?

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Postby orcot » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:00 pm

@ Zusuchan I never claimed computers have souls it was stated plants could not have souls because they do not have brains, I used a absurd example to show that brains are not necesairy.

I don't believe that souls exist myself, most people probably do

But I'm sure if souls exist you would like to have one :wink:
Souls in real life can't be measered but in the NGE universe they definitly can be observed and manipulated. So it's a entire different thing.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:04 pm

I'm pretty certain that they must have been included at least in the sense of physically turning into LCL as people alone don't have enough biomass to turn the whole earth red as it does in the panorama shot during Third Impact.

Then there's a later shot as EVA 01 breaks out where you see the globe turning largely blue again, and in the last scene you see what appears to be a distance shot of a forest -
The simpler lifeforms that function on basic self-preservation probably popped back into existence the moment that Shinji decided to undo instrumentality, it's the complicated thinking things like humans that needed to think it over if they want to come out first.

Maybe borderline intelligent/self-aware creatures like Elephants and crows also needed to decide first.

As for the mental merger, the whole ritual SEELE did with the MP evas etc. was probably configured to include only humans; It's called "human instrumentality project"; Though it might be theoretically possible to do an "Elephant instrumentality project" if you wanted.

But we know humans aren't the only things that can be popped by an anti AT field as its stated repeatedly that the agels winning would wipe out all non-angel life, and how after second impact everything was "wiped out down to microorganisms"



As for the soul discussion above if by soul you mean general aliveness or self-awareness. If you mean the former plants may qualify, (Aristoteles had ideas like that, certainly also a lot of the eastern pantheist stuff) if you mean the latter they certainly don't, but Elephants probably do since they mourn their dead and all.
But for the in-universe events it's really more relevant as to what Anno believes; the show itself seems to single people out a bit (see ep 11), people are obviously different from other creatures n some ways, but it may well be that we only became so during the neolithic.

At least in the in-universe cosmology, humans do seem to occupy a special place & be the end goal the precursors had in mind when they yeeted Lillith into the planet. (connected somehow to the ability to do science) That was ovsly not the case in real life, where you could've probably had a civilization looking like crows, have the same basic abilities humans just happened to develop them somewhat more and if circumstances had been slightly different we'd have crow people building advanced machines etc and us being just a particularly smart kind of chimpanzee that the crow people like to share cute videos of.
But even within the EVA verse we don't in fact know if the planets seeded by the FAR are even the only life around;
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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Zusuchan » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:42 am

orcot: Oh, good. Misunderstood a bit.

Kendrix: I agree with what you said. I do think that "soul" should also mean a certain amount of self-awareness and as plants don't have that, I don't consider them as entities with souls.

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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:33 am

View Original Postorcot wrote:Afther third impact all plant life seems to be gone
I'm going to repost my favourite picture here
Image
where we see nicely tree-covered hills in the aftermath of Shinji saying "Shut it down!" We also see a much more mechanical explanation for the barren landscape in the epilogue, in the form of that giant tsunami in the background overtopping all the terrain.

View Original Postorcot wrote:it was stated plants could not have souls because they do not have brains, I used a absurd example to show that brains are not necesairy.
Or you could simply refer to Aristotle's notion of the vegetative soul (to which animals added the sensitive soul and humans also the rational soul).
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Postby Berserker » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:55 am

I also wanna add and highlight to kendrix's post that all livings were turned to LCL by the anti A.T field. Anti A.T field simply nullifies every living's A.T field. And by definition, A.T is field is a barrier generated by souls, whether or not it's physical like angels or evangelion or mental like other livings. Soulless thing can't generate A.T field.
The human instrumentality project was intended for humans for all we know. Other livings got included in the LCL-fication, but weren't active participants as the project was configured like that. Other livings don't questions life like humans, so they started to come back almost instantly before any humans.
As for the consciousness matter, we don't know if trees do have or not. It's still a question. There's almost no proof on this issue from both sides, although the communication between themselves certainly stops the issue to be completely negative.
And since everyone's indicating to Aristotle's notion, i would also like to point out to Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose's lifework on plant physiology. He had a lot of ideas like these. It's your decision whether to ignore it or not, but i wanna say Einstein himself praised Bose's work.
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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby thewayneiac » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:17 pm

Kendrix wrote:The simpler lifeforms that function on basic self-preservation probably popped back into existence the moment that Shinji decided to undo instrumentality, it's the complicated thinking things like humans that needed to think it over if they want to come out first.


This. Or as I put it in this threadhttps://forum.evageeks.org/post/231849/Reis-_______-LARGE-SPOILER/#231849 many years ago:

thewayneiac wrote:I think the idea of showing the trees as Rei's head tumbles towards the Earth is that they came back first. To a non-thinking life form, the will to survive would be its genetic programming to grow and propagate. In other words, plants and trees wouldn't have an actual decision to make, so they would come back all at once the instant that the anti at-field ceased. The more the life form relies upon instinct rather than reasoning, the sooner it will be reembodied, so the lower animals would come next, and then the more intelligent ones. Humans, the only ones who would have a RATIONAL decision to make would come dead last. (And not all at once.)
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Re: Animals and vegetables in Instrumentality?

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Postby dzzthink » Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:51 pm

Instrumentality could be a reference to death and heaven. We see the bad people like Gendo getting punished for their sins, by getting eaten by an Eva, whilst others ascending into another plane of existence, which could be the 'holy city' or the Kingdom of God. The clearest reference of a soul would be in Genesis 2:7: 'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul'. From a spiritual perspective, references in the Bible tend to associate the soul with aspects of 'self' and an inner-consciousness that guides one's actions, as in Matthew 22:37: 'Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’


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