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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.



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Re: Incarnation implies mind-body dualism
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2020, 03:38:29 pm »
I don't think that's necessarily the case. If physical matter is able to generate an emergent state, then it might be the case that based on certain decisions we make we reach a point where the emergent soul reaches a "point of identity" with a non-physical soul. This non-physical soul could be similar to a mathematical object. For example, some physical objects become spherical over time, and there comes a point where an object becomes physically identical with a sphere. It's an approximate identity since a physical object is not perfectly spherical, but for all practical purposes the physical thing is a sphere. Now, in case of people our history of becoming a certain type of soul is preceded by a period where we could have been a different type of person, but the fact that we chose the choices ee did, there is in a certain sense a predestined quality of being what we shall become that exists prior to actually becoming that type of individual. In case of Jesus, there are key moments where he "becomes" God's son (e.g., upon ascending to heaven, upon his resurrection, upon dying on the cross, upon the transfiguration, upon his baptism, upon his birth, and finally at the very creation of everything). When we track backwards his identity we realize that he was always the Divine Person, but only as a limited manifestation of that divine being. He was, however, always human. He couldn't fly, he couldn't have the powers of the fullness of the Godhead, but he was always the maximum degree of godliness and divinity possible at each point he reached these points of identity. It is only in retrospect that we see him as "fully God and fully man." Certainly Jesus would probably not have seen himself as fully God, but he certainly saw that God's divinity was in him and by living that way as the Firstborn of the heavenly man it was an identity that was rightfully bestowed on him. So, if you time travelled to meet Jesus you would find a man. But, had you travelled to Heaven like Paul, then you would be meeting the Second Person of the Trinity who visited the earth not as a small wind to Elijah  but as a carpenter living in a remote ancient Near East town called Nazareth. The man called Jesus.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 03:40:14 pm by Harvey »



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Re: Incarnation implies mind-body dualism
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2020, 12:41:18 pm »

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)
Jesus is omniscient AND confined to a finite brain. The right way to think about the Incarnation is a living extension from the Invisible God, His “Face Forward,” if you will. In Hinduism they call the Incarnation “The Supreme Personality of Godhead,” and this is exactly it, the Incarnation reveals the best parts of God’s actual personality, but there is no way large portions of God’s actual knowledge or power can be brought forth in it. What you do see is very carefully chosen, and not necessarily in agreement or harmony with human purposes. If you want to test God’s infinite knowledge through the Incarnation He might not agree. He may ask why you’re lagging behind in virtue instead.

As an aside, I use the terms monism and dualism in a very different and new way. The monists live and think holistically, the dualists unholistically. Another way to say it is that monists can see only spirit has intrinsic value, whereas dualists conceive only matter has intrinsic value. The main reason to use the term “dualist” is that the mind operates by comparison, one set of sense experience against another set of sense experience, either ancient or recent. A monist by contrast has a perspective of self-awareness above the senses. Monists have many other salutary properties, making them companions of Christ.

For instance if you read the words of Jesus and think, “This can only have been uttered by a man like I have seen before,” you are a dualist. All Christians I have seen are like this, meaning they do not truly believe Jesus is Lord. If you read them and think, “This is not a man, but something else,” then you are a monist, seeing correctly that the Lord is not a creature like the others arrayed around. If you go even farther you can see that He is not an angel either; but of course the angels are able to recognize this quickly and easily.