Reasons for Joy; In Gentleness, and Respect.

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Community Debates Forum / Incarnation implies mind-body dualism
« on: October 12, 2020, 01:19:39 pm »
I submit that if one accepts Jesus as the Incarnation, thus fully human and fully God, then one must accept mind-body dualism.

In regards to the mind and body, either dualism (mind and brain are different) or monism (mind and brain are one in the same) is true.
If Jesus was fully human and fully God, then he would be omniscient (all knowing), while confined to a finite, single body (and brain).
If monism is true, then a single, finite brain cannot be omniscient, thus holding an infinite amount of knowledge.
Jesus was fully human and fully God
Therefore Jesus was omniscient and confined to a finite brain. (MP 2,4
Therefore monism cannot be true. (MT  3,5)
     C.  Dualism is true (DS 1,6)

My argument hinges on agreement with the fourth premise, that Jesus was fully human AND fully God, which most Christians hold as true. From this, I focus on one of the “omnis”, namely omniscience, where Jesus, as fully God, would be all-knowing, thus essentially having an infinite amount of knowledge. For this argument, we only need to focus on the quantitative aspect of Jesus’ omniscience, and thus we can reduce omniscience to infinite knowledge. However, as fully human, Jesus would also be confined to a single, finite body and brain. If the brain and mind are one in the same as monism states, then the infinite (omniscience of Jesus) cannot be contained in the finite (single, human brain). I am no expert on how the materialist accounts for knowledge in physical terms, but I would assume they would agree that the finite cannot contain the infinite. Therefore under the acceptance of the Christian Incarnation of Jesus, monism is false, and the only way to reconcile the 100% humanity and divine aspects of Jesus is through Dualism.

I do not understand how you are incorporating free will into your argument, but I believe the general argument you are presenting is as follows:

1. If God had sufficient knowledge to create modern humans in the beginning, then he would have.
2. God did not create modern humans in the beginning.
C. Thus God lacked/lacks sufficient knowledge. (1,2 MT)

This is a very interesting argument, and the analogy of another creator may at first glance be appropriate since God as Creator is a common title which Christians cling to. It is true that in general, there would be absolutely no reason to implement a rudimentary design into a creation if the creator had the knowledge of a better or ultimately advanced version. This analogy holds true in your argument because you seem to be assuming that God values ultimately advanced beings (in science and technology as you state), where his ultimate purpose is technological advancement.

This is where I will object to the first premise, as I disagree with these assumptions. It seems clear throughout Scripture that God’s motivation for creation was not to develop the latest and greatest prototype of humanity, rather to develop creatures for the purpose of relationships, ultimately a relationship with him. Furthermore, since your argument entertains God as the creator of humans, it seems extremely unlikely that a God with the amount of power/knowledge to create humans does not have sufficient power/knowledge in any sort of capacity.

Your comment on learning also seems to provide evidence against the first premise, as the process of learning and advancement itself seems to be considered by most people, a joy in itself. Perhaps God places more value in humans learning than creating ultimately advanced beings.

Lastly, say I assume that in order for God to be a “sufficient” creator, He would have made modern technologically advanced humans. What about a slightly more technologically advanced humanity? Say almost 3 years more advanced, as I am responding to this post from 2017. Any more learned version of humanity would be the “modern” humans as you describe, and thus this argument seems to imply that for God to be a “sufficient” creator, he would have need to create beings that could no longer advance or learn.

I offer an argument that the persecution of the disciples demonstrates their sincere belief in Jesus and his teachings. Note that I am not arguing for the validity of Jesus and his teachings, however, I would like to follow up with that argument in another post.

If the disciples did not sincerely believe in Jesus and his teachings, then they wouldn’t have endured persecution.
The disciples endured persecution.
     C. Thus the disciples sincerely believed in Jesus and his teachings. (1,2 MT)

In support of premise 1, it seems to be common among humans throughout history, that we make choices in life based upon our belief that they will maximize our utility. The disciples were essentially given two choices, reject Jesus as God and live, or proclaim Jesus and endure persecution and death. The first choice is obviously the better option of the two, unless the second choice to proclaim Jesus somehow outweighs the negative repercussions of persecution and death and the opportunity cost of living.

The disciples endured incredible persecution, which led to gruesome deaths, so it follows that they must have believed that proclaiming Jesus was the option that maximized their utility. This utility would be found in fulfilling a calling greater than this life and result in eternal life with God, by obeying the teachings and believing the promises of Jesus.

I imagine two main objections to premise 1.

The disciples did not sincerely believe in Jesus and endured persecution because:
The disciples wanted fame.
The disciples were delusional.

 In response to the first objection, It is true that fame motivates individuals, but when faced with extremely painful repercussions and death, I think the vast majority of individuals would choose to live. Thus I find it highly unlikely that fame would somehow have higher utility than living and giving up a lie, as fame is useless if the individual ceases to exist.

I anticipate the second objection, but I do not believe this to be a valid objection to my argument. The disciples could have been delusional, but they still would have sincerely believed in Jesus and his teachings. I do not however believe that all of the named and unnamed disciples of Jesus were somehow delusional or tricked into believing, but I hope to expand upon this within my next post.

I would appreciate feedback and other objections.

From my understanding, the basic argument that is being presented is the following:

1. If belief in something requires faith, then there is not much certainty in that thing
2. The theist (Christian) has faith in God.
C. Thus there is not much certainty in God (4,5 MT)

Before responding to this argument,  I think it is important to agree on a definition of faith. From your proposal, I think we have at least similar definitions, which in my own words I will describe faith as: fully trusting in something without having complete proof, which prompts an action or change. If your definition differs, please provide your alternative.

I begin with a critique of the oxygen analogy, as I think we may be able to provide a more appropriate one.The oxygen analogy doesn’t seem to require any sort of belief or acknowledgment, much less faith, since it is just a natural process that our bodies require without even thinking about it. One could go their whole lives without even asking the question, why do I breath? but still do so (until they stop breathing of course :-)).

I submit the analogy of a chair, where an individual looking at the chair must first assess the chair, inspect its structural integrity, the material it is made of, etc., to eventually come to a decision to sit in the chair. Sitting in the chair in this analogy is faith, where faith is a decision that one comes to after assessing the evidence. There is still no guarantee that the chair will hold, but choosing to sit on the chair demonstrates faith in its ability to support my weight.

For myself and most Christians that I know, this is how we view faith in God. The scriptures, personal experiences, and the testimonies of others are evidence, which eventually leads to a decision to have faith in God. With this being said, I disagree with the first premise that I believe you are presenting, as there are plenty of situations in addition to sitting in a chair, which require faith, yet we wouldn’t say there isn’t much certainty.

Your secondary conclusion is that “Faith in God is actually extremely disrespectful of God”. I believe you mean to say “... extremely disrespectful to God”, and I will respond to this statement, but correct me if you stand by the original. I don’t really see how this conclusion follows even if your previous statement that there is not much certainty in God is true. Attaching this argument to other analogous situations sound strange.

“I have faith that my spouse will remain faithful in our marriage” - This certainly doesn’t seem disrespectful to the spouse, quite the opposite actually.
“I have faith that X company will perform well this quarter” - Disrespectful? It doesn’t even seem appropriate in this situation.
It seems quite clear that this argument doesn’t follow in other situations, and I agree with other comments that faith is seen as a virtue in Christianity.

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