Re: [asa] Event or process

From: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue May 08 2007 - 22:38:05 EDT

I haven't read The Language of God or Finding Darwin's
God (will have to add them to my very ever-growing
reading list...), but I'm thinking I didn't express
very well what I was meaning (or maybe words are just
inadequate to this task??) You used the word
"sensing", as in, for example, my metaphor of the
radio being designed to sense a radio wave and then
translate that into sound waves. But obviously, the
radio's "sensing" and the our "sensing" is quite
different, in that we are beings, and it is not. I
think what I meant to convey was more a sort of
"ensoulification" (is that a word?), whereby God is
bestowing upon us a portion of His divine (and
therefore, eternal) essence/attributes
(self-awareness, emotion, etc.). Thus, a soul does not
*emerge from* an increasingly complex, inanimate organ
(if that were the case, I'd agree with you--there's
nothing there that says we're talking about something
that is eternal or supernatural); rather, I'd flip the
argument on it's head to say that God's selectively
ensouls our bodies with a being appropriate to the
level of our brain's development. Thus, even if we
were able to design and construct a computer with a
"brain" capable of "sensing the divine", it would
remain just a computer unless and until God bestowed a
soul upon it, transforming the "it" into a "thou" (to
use Buber's terminology).

David--as an aside, from your previous postings I get
the impression that you don't share my belief that
animals have souls and go to heaven--maybe this is
part of our miscommunication/disagreement?

Thanks for the thought-provoking reply--keep 'um
comin' :D

Christine

--- David Buller <bullerscience@gmail.com> wrote:

> The gradual "soul coming along with the brain" view
> is pretty common.
> That's the view Kenneth Miller takes in Finding
> Darwin's God. I would still
> have to say that even though the early humans could
> evolve brains capable of
> sensing the divine, I don't think that that made
> them closer to having an *
> eternal* spiritual nature.
>
> By the way, in Mere Christianity, CS Lewis explains
> the Moral Law, and in
> The Language of God, Collins mentions how this is
> contradictory to what
> natural selection would produce. It seems to me
> that there are
> characteristics of man's soul that seem to defy a
> natural, gradual evolution
> with the soul coming along with the brain. I'll go
> reread those sections of
> those two books and see what they say about the
> origin or man's soul.
>
> -David Buller
>
>
> On 5/8/07, Christine Smith
> <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hello all,
> >
> > Okay, as this relates to one of the chief reasons
> for
> > my recent "spiritual meltdown" and I think I've
> now
> > come to a tentative reconceptualization for the
> idea
> > of a soul, I'm going to take a crack at this
> one...for
> > the sake of completeness (I'm rearticulating this
> to
> > some extent as I write), I'm going to go a bit
> beyond
> > the question here...anyway, please handle with
> care :)
> > i.e. NOBODY MISQUOTE ME (and others) AND START A
> WHOLE
> > HUGE ID VERSUS TE WAR LIKE LAST TIME!!...thank
> you. :D
> >
> >
> > In my current, very humble understanding, I see
> that
> > God has largely used process (working in, with,
> and
> > under the laws of nature, to use a Lutheran
> phrase) to
> > form the universe as it is today. He has however,
> > having a divine purpose for this universe,
> intervened
> > at certain points in this process to bring about
> > certain parts of His plan...these points might be
> > thought of as a sort of "step" (fundamental change
> in
> > substance) in the otherwise smooth curve function
> of
> > evolution, which nature itself could not have
> > accomplished...
> >
> > Mainly, first, He created the raw materials and
> the
> > functioning laws of the universe--He created
> something
> > from nothing. Second, once the appropriate
> > pre-conditions were in place, He created the
> mechanics
> > of life (i.e DNA, RNA, genes--I'm not a biologist,
> but
> > whatever was the appropriate "something" that made
> > inanimate chemicals/electrons suddenly become
> > "programmed" to self-replicate, survive, adapt,
> etc.
> > and become as it were, "life").
> >
> > Now non-sentient life (i.e. bacteria) evolved to
> the
> > point where brains began to form in animals, and
> > brains as I see it, are a sort of physical prism
> > through which the divine may be perceived (think
> of a
> > telescope, through which you can see the
> stars--I've
> > also heard the comparison made to a radio, which
> > receives the music); thus, with the advent of
> brains
> > comes the advent of a soul (thus, animals have
> souls).
> > A soul here being defined as the portion of God
> (His
> > light, if you'll follow the prism metaphor) that
> 1)
> > comes from God 2) fills our being (i.e. is the "I"
> in
> > "I") 3) is reflected by our being so that it can
> be
> > perceived by others and 4) is (physically) shaped
> by
> > our brains. As our brains physically
> evolved/matured,
> > they became more capable of perceiving and
> reflecting
> > this light--thus, as one goes up to the higher
> orders
> > of animals, one sees that they seem more and more
> > human in their characteristics. Finally, at the
> > appropriate time, to form humans "in His
> likeness", we
> > receive the capability of perceiving morality & to
> > thereby exercise free will (i.e.
> Genesis--knowledge of
> > good/evil--the fall).
> >
> > Off topic tangent--A potential implication in this
> > line of logic is that those humans whose brains
> have
> > not developed to the point of perceiving good/evil
> and
> > exercising free will (infants/young children and
> > severely mentally disabled) are incapable of
> sinning
> > (like an animal is incapable of sinning), and
> > therefore they are already saved (having never
> fallen,
> > as it were)...okay, back to the main topic...
> >
> > In other words, the development of the "soul"
> > throughout evolution is the increasing ability to
> > perceive/receive into ourselves God's
> > characteristics--consciousness/self-awareness (the
> > Great I AM), feelings/emotions (God is love),
> > logic/reason (God created natural laws),
> creativity
> > (God created, period!), and finally, morality/free
> > will (God is the author of good/evil, makes
> choices,
> > etc), which has come about both through God acting
> > in/with/under a process and through God's overt
> > actions at critical points in time.
> >
> > Throughout human history, God has continued this
> > revelation in both the traditional (natural) way
> and
> > in a relational way (parents/children) as over
> time we
> > have learned to express our spiritual gifts
> through
> > religion/faith, and God has guided/corrected our
> > understanding of His truths through miracles and
> other
> > more direct means of communication (thus, the
> > evolution of religion/faith)--finally culminating
> in
> > God Himself entering into the creation to teach us
> > (and save us!) in the form of Jesus Christ. (so we
> > have symmetry in creation--just as we came to be
> > "human" through both process and overt action, so
> God
> > is making us a new creation through both process
> and
> > overt action).
> >
> > Why the long process then? Why not an instant
> "boom"
> > and here we are? As the study Bible at my church
> posed
> > the question in Genesis Chapter 1--why, if God
> could
> > have created the universe in an instant, did He
> choose
> > to create it even in 6 days (process)? Being a
> > geologist (and again, my prism metaphor being a
> lot
> > like a mineral structure), I liken the process to
> that
> > of metamorphism. God uses the laws of nature and
> the
> > constraints/challenges of evolution (a.k.a. high
> heat
> > and pressure), to form the truly precious gems of
> His
> > creation--his souled creatures for whom He cares
> and
> > loves.
> >
> > Okay, I've literally poured out some of my soul
> > here...what do you think?
> >
> > Christine Smith
> >
> > ...."For we walk by faith, not by sight"...still!!
> >
>
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Received on Tue May 8 22:39:01 2007

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