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Old 06-29-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

When IVF was first conceived*, there was some criticism from religious authorities. Among the criticisms was the fear that such babies - not being the product of conjugal relations but of lab work - might not have a soul. The first human born via IVF was born in 1978, so I think we can rule out the idea that IVF babies are any different than any other babies in the soul-having aspect.

But what if this wasn't true? There are now millions of these people walking around in society. What if they had no soul? What effects do you think this would have on them, apart from "non-viable" (which is boring). This naturally assumes that there are such things as souls and that they perform some function.

*I make no apology
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

I'm going to say this once and once ONLY.

Keep this discussion focused on the GURPS implications. ANY discussion of real-world political or religious matters will get the conversation locked and the person who does it will get an infraction, because you are being warned right here at the start of this thread.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

Thank you. Ahem.

I'll begin in Pyramid #3/67, where Ghostdancer details what happens if you have no soul. He suggests symptoms ranging from apathy and lack of focus to lack of empathy and memory problems. If mirrors allows you to see your soul or eyes are the windows of the soul, that suggests some Supernatural Features as well.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Thank you. Ahem.

I'll begin in Pyramid #3/67, where Ghostdancer details what happens if you have no soul. He suggests symptoms ranging from apathy and lack of focus to lack of empathy and memory problems. If mirrors allows you to see your soul or eyes are the windows of the soul, that suggests some Supernatural Features as well.
Sounds like low-ish will to me, maybe the more will you got the "stronger" your soul is?

So beings without a soul got no free will as they fail every roll to defended against being influenced by others?
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

Well, on the bright side they would be immune to demonic or divine intervention. You canīt sell or influence something thats not there...
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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Well, on the bright side they would be immune to demonic or divine intervention. You canīt sell or influence something thats not there...
Or to the opposite: they're empty vessels with no resistance to demonic possession. We have a small army of demons wandering around the world possessing the bodies of the soulless. One can only hope they're not working together...

If one goes by the spirit vs. flesh theory, these people would be all flesh, without a balancing spirit. They don't go for higher reasoning, they only want to satisfy their appetites.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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If one goes by the spirit vs. flesh theory, these people would be all flesh, without a balancing spirit. They don't go for higher reasoning, they only want to satisfy their appetites.
So "sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like."
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

I would start by deciding what a soul does for you in your setting

Is the soul what provides sentience?

Is it what allows empathy?

I think it would be perfectly valid to say that all a soul does is allow some part of you to outlive your physical form, and without it, you simply end at death.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

This is essentially the p-zombie thought experiment, yes? So it might range from a zero point feature (which presumably makes you susceptible to some supernatural effects and immune to others) to full on Automaton.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 06-29-2017 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Horror Scenario: Babies without souls

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If one goes by the spirit vs. flesh theory, these people would be all flesh, without a balancing spirit. They don't go for higher reasoning, they only want to satisfy their appetites.
The problem with that is that it would be very notable after a few years of studying IVF children. So I like the demonic possession better.

It is not known yet, but a human cannot survive without a soul. Since a soulless has no soul of its own, it needs to feed regularly on the souls of the people around him.

As a baby, it feeds on the soul of its parents. Later it feeds on his class-mates and friends. People who are fed upon don't die immediately but look less lively and more depressive. Parents of soulless look very tired (No one noticed that, because parents of babies often look tired.). Later they feed on several people at the same time so that the effect is less notable. You don't find anything wrong with a soulless itself. It's just that the people around him look tired and faded. They also often switch in their social environments and don't have long-lasting friendships or relationships.

Feeding on souls often works better when people are emotional. Causing Pain, anger, lust is a second nature to them. When you investigate their career paths you see that they always work at places where these emotions are exploited. In the end they have big conspiracies to cause more raw emotion in the world (Pick you favourite negative influence and let them be the ones behind it.)

Soulless themselves may fake emotion, but they are typically emotionless.

My Gurps-fu is not good enough to model them unfortunately. :(
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