Especially for David - Soul's & Bodies
  • SimonSimon March 2012
    David's post clipped from the "What is the root of creationists' objections" thread for being off-topic:

    Exchemist, you seem to think that humans evolved from animals. Only the bodies of humans evolved, not their souls. Humans are embodied spirits, and the human soul is spiritual. There is no point in discussing theology or the existence of God with someone who --I can't think of a nice way of saying this -- doesn't grasp this.

    Catholic doctrine is what is taught, believed, and professed by Catholics. The phrase in the Apostle's Creed, "I believe in the Catholic Church.." means believing that infants inherit original sin through sexual generation from their parents. When baptized, infants get sanctifying grace which makes them like God and gets them into heaven. I went to a Catholic college and was never taught or read that Adam and Eve possessed sanctifying grace and were not subject to death until they sinned. I think it is just theological speculation to explain the need to be baptized. Doubting original sin sounds like you don't believe in the sacrament of baptism. 
  • SimonSimon March 2012
    Hi David,

    Again - trying to engage with you positively - I really think you need to look into the "philosophy of mind" because you are absolutely committed to a dualist perspective and seem unable to grasp that other Christians have legitimate reasons to reject this. Please do some reading on this - for instance "Body, Soul and Human Life" by Joel B. Green would be a good place to start. Otherwise you just keep repeating the same thing ad nausea which only really annoys everyone else! Also your writing style is quite offensive which again does not help your cause.

    I'm not sure it's really worth continuing the discussion into the area of original sin until you get at least a small understanding of how monist theories of mind might work.

  • exchemist March 2012
    David, thanks once more for clarifying what you evidently (?!) were trying to get across earlier. I seem to have again been obtuse in divining your meaning - and have consequently trodden on another landmine. I'll have to get used to it.

    When people speak in a scientific context, being concerned (as was said earlier) about the natural rather than the supernatural, it should not be surprising that they talk of bodies rather than souls. So yes, I freely admit I have been talking about the evolution of the bodies of human beings and not their souls. After all, it seems to be the evolution of the bodies of human beings that give creationists problems. (You may recall my original question - on the original thread - was about this.) If creationists felt able to decouple the evolution of the body from the issues that bother them about meaning and purpose for humanity, redemption etc, I do not think they would be attacking evolution in the way they do. 

    But I certainly recognise the point (not sure if it is one you were making it or whether I am extrapolating) that it is the soul that makes Man uniquely (on our planet at least) in the image of God. So I suppose that unless one thinks that all conscious animals have a proto-soul of some sort, which could evolve in a kind of Teilhard de Chardin-esque manner towards the image of God as higher consciousness developed, then presumably there would have to have been a point in evolutionary history at which human beings were given a soul.   
    Re your obiter dicta on Catholic doctrine, I'm not sure where I said that I doubt original sin. I was taught that it is the universal human predisposition towards evil. This seems to me eminently reasonable. That is what I was getting at when I spoke of man not exercising his moral responsibilities as he ought, once he was aware of right and wrong. I am a bit perturbed by your phrase, "through sexual generation". I do hope you are not implying that original sin arises from the role of the sexual act during procreation. I would find such a view preposterous and very unhealthy and if, which I doubt, it were to be confirmed as Catholic orthodoxy, it would seem to me an excellent argument for married clergy.  

    There. Plenty of new tangents to launch off on............   
  • davidmihjn March 2012
    If creationists and advocates of intelligent design understood the concept of the soul and why the human soul was spiritual, they would not be so irrational about evolution.

    Body and soul are the metaphysical concepts of matter and form applied to human beings. Humans are members of the same class or category of being. Yet, each human is different. This raises the question: How can two beings be both equal and different? According to metaphysics, humans are a composition of two incomplete beings or principles: form (soul) and matter (body). The soul is what makes humans equal and the body is what makes humans different.

    Humans are attentive, intelligent, rational, and responsible animals. This is what places humans into a different category of being. But what is attention, intelligence, rationality, and responsibility?  What is the conscious knowledge of humans as opposed to the sense knowledge of animals? What is an explanation or theory? What is truth? What is the relationship between myself and my body?

    There are four possible solutions: 1) dualism, 2) materialism, 3) idealism, and 4) there is no solution. There is more evidence for materialism than dualism. There is more evidence for idealism than for materialism. The solution judged to be true by Catholic philosophers and theologians is # 4. This has the most evidence.

    In other words, we can comprehend the human mind because we can make ourselves the subject of our own knowledge. But we can't explicate or explain what a human being is.  Humans are indefinabilities that become conscious of their own existence. In other words, humans are embodied spirits, and the human soul is spiritual.

    The idea that God infuses a soul into embryos is not based on Christian doctrine. Infants inherit the stain of original sin from their parents. This is why infants suffer from concupiscence and death and don't have sanctifying grace, just like Adam and Eve before they sinned.