Re: [asa] Event or process

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 03:35:15 EDT

David Buller wrote: "If 'God saves people, not souls,' then would you say that the would of someone in hell is the same as a soul in heaven, since neither soul has been saved? Also, how could a soul ever be 'incapable of existence apart from the body?' I don't see how this could ever be construed to be 'compatible with biblical teachings.'"

I obviously didn't make my point clear: The biblical teaching is that God saves people--soul and body joined, not souls in isolation from their bodies. People experience heaven or hell in their bodies, not as disembodied spirits.

There is no indication in biblical teaching that human souls can exist independently of bodies. If the teaching is not there, I can't point out in detail that it's not there; if you think it's there, it's up to you to demonstrate it. The disciples apparently believed there was such a thing as a ghost (pneuma) (Luke 24:37-39), but the NT isn't teaching there that ghosts are real. People of every culture have believed in the existence ghosts, and the disciples were simply responding in a way that was natural for people of their culture.

Incidentally, the view that matter has intrinsic rudimentary consciousness--which I attributed to Leibnitz--is not as far-fetched as it might seem. In the Dec. 1995 issue of Scientific American, David Chalmers in "The Puzzle of Conscious Experience" essentially came to the same conclusion, that consciousness like space-time is simply a property of matter. This conclusion comes from the psychological observation that it's easy to gather data, but how to go from data to an awareness of oneself defies rational explanation. Francis Crick believed an explanation was possible and was working on one, but we're still waiting. IMO if you think you can explain consciousness, then you don't really understand the problem.

An elegant solution is just to assign the property to matter itself. All the rest, including souls, is evolution.

Don

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Buller<mailto:bullerscience@gmail.com>
  To: Carol or John Burgeson<mailto:burgytwo@juno.com>
  Cc: asa@calvin.edu<mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
  Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 2:50 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Event or process
  ....

  Don:
  "An apparent consequence of this idea is that such a soul would seem incapable of existence apart from the body that gave rise to it. Its reality would be akin to that of the aether once thought essential for electromagnetic wave propagation. (This view, incidentally, is compatible with biblical teachings: God saves people, not souls. It is incompatible with visions of ghosts.)"

  I'd be interested to hear you back this up biblically. If "God saves people, not souls," than would you say that the would of someone in hell is the same as a soul in heaven, since neither soul has been saved? Also, how could a soul ever be "incapable of existence apart from the body?" I don't see how this could ever be construed to be "compatible with biblical teachings." By the way, another view compatible with visions of ghosts is that some people have overactive imaginations :-)

  To everyone:
  In case this has caused confusion earlier, when using the word soul I have generally been referring to an eternal soul, not merely animal cognition. If you have any other questions on what I have written, please ask.

  -David Buller

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Received on Thu May 10 03:32:28 2007

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