Re: [asa] Event or process

From: Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
Date: Wed May 09 2007 - 06:09:29 EDT

Let me try to answer the "1/4" soul part of this thread first. Just to be clear, a soul is a seperate entinty that is simple and non material and is capabale of living seperate from the material body that contains it.

If certain abilities that come from the brain, such as worship, or burying the dead, are going to be considered as evidence that these creatures possessed a soul, or part of one, then what are we to make of modern humans who through either disease or abnormal development lost or never had these abilities? In other words is somone in a persistent vegetative state no longer human? Is someone with Alzheimers disease no longer human? Are they only 1/2 souls?

I think the answer to this question is clearly no, they are human. So the answer to the question of are there creatures that posses 1/2 or 1/4 souls must be no.

I am using the term human in this instance to refer to those created in the image of God. Despite what was mentioned earlier I think a more conventional distinction is to use human, and hominid to refer to those creatures not created in the image of God, this is the definition that Ross uses for example.

One other quick point. I do not think that the sudden emergence of a being with a soul is inconsistent with TE, because this person could be identical to all of the other creatures around him. I do think however, that TE would require this creature to be someone that God chose out of the creatures that were already in place through evolution, and could NOT be a special new creation (given all of the evidence supportive of common descent with earlier creatures, in other words why would God have made a new creature with all of the errors in the genome other than for purposes of apparent age.) So PC and TE differ on this issue, that man must be a new creation. I think the evidence is against this. But the sudden instilling of a soul in an existing creature, i.e. that it is an event not a process, would be consistent with TE, and is in fact the Catholic Church's position on this.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Buller
  To: Carol or John Burgeson
  Cc: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 6:46 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Event or process

  Thanks for your reply.

  On 5/7/07, Carol or John Burgeson <burgytwo@juno.com > wrote:
    David Butler observed:

>>I do not at all see how a soul could be created by "a continuous function over a span of time." How could a human/man have a half of a soul? What would happen to a human/man that had a partially evolved soul when he died? If human is a "black area" and man is a "white area," I really do see any room for a "gray area." >

    I assume you left off a "not" in the last sentence.

  Yes I did; thanks for pointing that out. By the way, the last name is "Buller" -- common mistake :-)

    If an "event," then we must accept the fact that the parents had no soul and their offspring had one. Or -- the event was a wholly new creation of body & soul.

    ie. a "Progressive Creation."

  I don't see how "a wholly new creation of body & soul" would necessarily be PC. God could have miraculously created Adam even though he would be genetically identical to another human in that stage of evolution. It might at first seem a little bit strange why God would do this, but I think it makes sense. Perhaps God wanted Adam to live in the Garden of Eden away from other humans so that he could independently make his decision regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, without the influence of others in the area. In other words, Adam could have been separately created in order to isolate himself from the influences from others in the monumental decision that he would face. In this possibility, Adam would have not had biological parents.

  I would not consider this PC because God, in creating Adam, was not introducing any new biological components that were not already formed via evolution. The biological side of Adam would have still been formed by evolution, but this already evolutionarily formed nature would have been divinely instilled, along with the soul, which was supernaturally created.

    I am not at a point where I can reject a process answer.

  Going back to the way that I phrased it before, I would be interested in what you would see as a possible "gray area." By definition, I would consider a soul something that passes on after death and exists through eternity. If a human/man with a 1/4 formed "soul" dies, where will he go (if anywhere)? If he does have an afterlife, than he doesn't have a 1/4 formed soul, he has a complete soul. If he does not have an afterlife, than he doesn't have a 1/4 formed soul, he has no soul.

  I'm wondering if you would consider the "gray area" to be the religious tendencies in some early humans. Yet how can this be considered partially on the way to having a soul? Is there some point where man became "religious enough" that God decided that he would allow their "spirit" to have an afterlife. If you cannnot reject a process answer, I'd be interested in what you think the humans/men in the "process" were like. Did they have an afterlife?

  -David Buller

   

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Received on Wed May 9 06:10:04 2007

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