Re: [asa] Event or process revisited

From: Jack <>
Date: Fri May 18 2007 - 21:19:44 EDT

Christine said:

> As noted in previous posts, I believe an eternal soul
> will manifest itself as endowing a physical entity
> with qualities that God has shown Himself to possess.

Yes, but only Man is made with the image of God.

> These qualities include, in no particular order,
> consciousness, self-awareness, reason, a sense of
> morality, free will, and feelings/emotions.

I dont know if that is what the qualities of an eternal soul are. I dont
know how the presence of an eternal soul would manifest itself. I do think
that living things, that is things that are endowed with the breath of life,
the spirit of God, are capable of all of these things. And this would
include humans and other animals. But Man is obviously unique and the only
one created in the image of God. The question is, what does that mean.

 I believe
> that since God is spirit, these qualities are also
> spirit, and do not emerge from what is traditionally
> thought of as "natural".

I think that body and "spirit", is what most consider "natural". Like I
said before, body refers to inanimate matter, body and spirit is all living
things. So all of those things that most associate with a soul, self
awareness, and other cognitive faculties, can arise from natural processes
alone. But mankind is body, spirit, and eternal soul, and is uniquely so.

Nevertheless, it is clear
> from science that how these qualities are revealed in
> us is directly *correlated* to our brains.

There is nothing at all clear about this in science.

> I would take the position that God has endowed each of
> us with a soul that is suited to the level of
> evolutionary development of our brain, and that
> animals, who have some of the qualities I mentioned
> above, are included in this.

I think you need to think very hard about this. So, those people who have
less mental capacity have a soul that is not of the level of a normal
person? Are there lesser persons than others? Remember there is
evolutionary development, and there is embryological development, how are
you distinguishing between the two?

> I would not characterize this as creating a "partial"
> or "developing" soul. Rather, I would say that each of
> us is given a "whole" soul--that is to say, God has
> given a "cat soul" to a cat, a "frog soul" to a frog,
> and a "human soul" to a human--each is "whole" in so
> far as each of those species is concerned because it
> is what they were meant to be. Likewise, it is not our
> soul which is developing, but our brains--as our
> brains become more complex, God endows us with a
> greater number and degree of His qualities. From the
> perspective of a mentally disabled person, or a fetus
> or infant, they still have full human souls, but
> they're brains may be considered "partial" in the
> sense that they are incapable of fully manifesting
> that which has been given them.

In my view, this is confusing spirit/mind with soul. I think there are
various degrees of consciousness/mind/awareness, etc, in both evolutionary,
and developmental terms. But eternal souls, are exclusively mankinds. And
this is present in all humans whether or not they can manifest these other
qualities of spirit/mind or not.

> In terms of process vs. event, I therefore see both
> playing a role--through evolution, our brains (the
> prism which is filled with the light of God and
> reflects the light of God) change through a process;
> through the grace of God, we are endowed with an
> eternal soul appropriate to our species in a single
> event (I hold that this moment is conception); through
> our growth and death (process), our brains become more
> capable, and then increasingly less capable of
> expressing that which is given to us.

Where does this idea that there are souls "appropriate to our species" come
from? It is only Man that is made in God's image. Again, I think you are
confusing, the spirit of life, living things, neural complexity,
consciousness, all things that come from LIFE, with an eternal soul, only
MAN has an eternal soul.

> For those who would argue with me that the qualities I
> attribute to an *eternal soul* are caused by (emerge)
> the physical structure of our brains (rather than
> *correlated* with), can you please explain to me,
> *mechanistically* how this is accomplished? (or is
> this something that you feel has not been discovered
> by science, but will be?) Maybe I'm not aware of (or
> don't fully understand) the research you are using to
> support this??

The eternal soul is supernatural and completely beyond the tools of science.

> --- Jack <> wrote:
>> This is exactly why I think the view that there are
>> partial souls, or developing souls, or that animals
>> have souls is very dangerous, and in my opinion,
>> unbiblical.
>> If souls emerge from neural complexity, in other
>> words from brain development. What happens to the
>> souls when the brain deteriorates from Alzheimers
>> disease, or a spongiform encephalopathy, or anoxic
>> brain injury, or any other sort of severe brain
>> damage?
>> I would like to see Don explain how his position
>> does not lead to justifying killing people in those
>> conditions.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: David Buller
>> To: Don Winterstein
>> Cc: ; Carol or John Burgeson
>> Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 8:29 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Event or process revisited
>> On 5/16/07, Don Winterstein
>> <> wrote:
>> The human fertilized egg does indeed have a
>> human soul, but it's a soul far less advanced than
>> that of any adult mammal. As the fetus grows, it
>> forms successively more advanced souls until it
>> reaches a point where it becomes the kind of person
>> that I believe God has an interest in saving
>> eternally. I don't believe God has any long-term
>> interest in fertilized human eggs or microscopic
>> embryos.
>> If God has no "long-term interest" in an embryo or
>> even a fetus (where would you draw the line? at
>> birth?), than the embryo is in essence no different
>> from any "animal." Both have souls but, not eternal
>> ones. Killing an animal is not morally wrong. As
>> soon as you come to the conclusion that God doesn't
>> have an eternal interest in embryos, than why in the
>> world would we object to abortion? As you said, an
>> embryo has less of a soul than any other "fully
>> formed mammal." I would strongly object to the last
>> sentence in Don's statement above. The Biblical
>> authors seemed to think that God had a "long-term
>> interest" for them from their conception onward:
>> "On you was I cast from my birth,and from my
>> mother's womb you have been my God"
>> "And now the LORD says,he who formed me from the
>> womb to be his servant"
>> "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and
>> before you were born I consecrated you;I appointed
>> you a prophet to the nations."
>> If you would would object to an early-term
>> abortion, I would be interested in hearing on what
>> grounds you would do so.
>> -David Buller
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Received on Fri May 18 21:19:57 2007

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