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Neuroscientist: Consciousness is theology, not neurology

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From neurologist Robert J. Burton at Nautilus:

As a fledgling neurologist, I’d already seen a wide variety of strange mental states arising out of physical diseases. But on this particular day, I couldn’t wrap my mind around a gene mutation generating an isolated feeling of being spied on by the FBI. How could a localized excess of amino acids in a segment of DNA be transformed into paranoia?

Though I didn’t know it at the time, I had run headlong into the “hard problem of consciousness,” the enigma of how physical brain mechanisms create purely subjective mental states. In the subsequent 50 years, what was once fodder for neurologists’ late night speculations has mushroomed into the pre-eminent question in the philosophy of mind. As an intellectual challenge, there is no equal to wondering how subatomic particles, mindless cells, synapses, and neurotransmitters create the experience of red, the beauty of a sunset, the euphoria of lust, the transcendence of music, or in this case, intractable paranoia. More.

He adds, “Slowly, and with much resistance, it’s dawned on me that the pursuit of the nature of consciousness, no matter how cleverly couched in scientific language, is more like metaphysics and theology. It is driven by the same urges that made us dream up gods and demons, souls and afterlife.”

Another way of looking at the question would be, is the problem one that science can resolve? Isn’t asking about the nature of consciousness a bit like asking whether mathematics represents something real or “Did mathematics evolve?” Such questions are not necessarily misconceptions but the tools of science are not helpful for addressing them.

See also: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

62 Replies to “Neuroscientist: Consciousness is theology, not neurology

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    From the Wikipedia entry on Electrical Brain Stimulation:

    A comprehensive review of EBS research compiled a list of many different acute impacts of stimulation depending on the brain region targeted. Following are some examples of the effects documented:[6]

    Sensory: Feelings of body tingling, swaying, movement, suffocation, burning, shock, warmth, paresthesia, feeling of falling, oscillopsia, dysesthesia, levitation, sounds, phosphenes, hallucinations, micropsia, diplopia, etc.
    Motor: Eye movements, locomotion, speech arrest, automatisms, laughter, palilalia, chewing, urge to move, crying without feeling sad, etc.
    Autonomic: Blushing, mydriasis, change in blood pressure and breathing, apnea, nausea, tachycardia, sweating, etc.
    Emotional: Anxiety, mirth, feeling of unreality, fear, happiness, anger, sadness, transient acute depression, hypomania, etc.
    Cognitive: Acalculia, paraphasia, anomic aphasia, recalling memories, “going into a trance”, “out of this world”, conduction aphasia, hemispatial neglect, alexia, déjà vu, reliving past experiences, agraphia, apraxia, etc.
    EBS in face-sensitive regions of the fusiform gyrus caused a patient to report that the faces of the people in the room with him had “metamorphosed” and became distorted: “Your nose got saggy, went to the left. […] Only your face changed, everything else was the same.”[7]

    The evidence that consciousness is strongly correlated with the physical brain cannot be denied but it is also unquestionably true that constructing a materialist account of consciousness is proving to be extremely hard. But hard doesn’t necessarily mean wrong.

  2. 2

    Seversky @ 1: Thanks for sharing that information. In your opinion, what is the best naturalistic theory for how consciousness arose in life?

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev:

    “constructing a materialist account of consciousness is proving to be extremely hard”

    If by “extremely hard” you mean “impossible even in principle,” then you are correct.

  4. 4
    Charles says:

    http://nautil.us/issue/49/the-.....s-theology

    “By observing both the effects of localized and generalized brain insults such as anoxia and anesthesia, none of us seriously doubt that consciousness arises from discrete brain mechanisms.”

    There is the author’s subconscious bias/presumption in action.

    Rather than “arises”, “correlates” is the strongest claim the evidence supports, and correlation is neither cause nor effect. “arises” is pure presumptive speculation.

    They are like drunks, who having dropped their carkeys in a dark parking lot, search instead under street lights where the light is better. Until they start looking where the evidence is (rather than isn’t), they are doomed to aimless wandering in the miasma of their unsupported theories.

  5. 5
    Origenes says:

    … none of us seriously doubt that consciousness arises from discrete brain mechanisms.

    No doubt indeed, as it is impossible even in principle.

  6. 6
    LocalMinimum says:

    Charles @ 4:

    An analogy worth stealing.

  7. 7
    Charles says:

    LocalMinimum @ 6

    I stole it first. I paraphrased an old joke.

  8. 8
    J-Mac says:

    If quantum teleportation of human body is possible, as it so far appears to be, that would mean consciousness is nothing else but a specific arrangement of subparticles that form both our bodies and consciousness…

    While still in theory, this would mean that we could drop the body we posses now and take on another human body made of different particles as long as the arrangement of them would remain the same…and have the same conscious experience…

    So, if true, that would mean that our consciousness is nothing else but quantum information that governs the specific arrangement of particles…

    One question remains though: what happens to the quantum information the governs the subparticles that form our bodies and our consciousness when we die?

    According to the quantum information conservation, quantum information can’t be created or destroyed…

    However, what is the quantum information worth without the “processor of that information” as our brain appears to be?

    If our brain is disabled, we are not conscious even if quantum information is not affected…

  9. 9
    J-Mac says:

    Another thing that should be seriously considered when it comes to consciousness, and even life itself, is dark energy, as well as dark matter.

    While nobody really knows what dark energy and dark matter are, even though they have not been detected, scientists have no doubt they exist…

    If current calculations are correct, about 95% (and counting) of the observable universe is filled with stuff nobody knows what it is and yet it’s there…

    Since dark energy permeates all of space, including us, who says that it is not involved in the creation of consciousness or conscious experience?

    After all dark energy is responsible for the expansion and acceleration of the universe; due to that time and space are constantly being created…well…that is if time is not an elusion…

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @8:

    […] our consciousness is nothing else but quantum information that governs the specific arrangement of particles…
    […]
    According to the quantum information conservation, quantum information can’t be created or destroyed…

    That’s very interesting.
    Where does that quantum information come from?
    IOW, where was it and what was it doing before it started to govern the specific arrangement of particles that conform each human body?
    When does it start to govern the specific arrangement of particles that conform each human body? During development?
    How does that happen?
    What state of affairs leads to such an event?
    Can somebody explain this?
    Thanks.

  11. 11
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio,

    Where does that quantum information come from?

    IOW, where was it and what was it doing before it started to govern the specific arrangement of particles that conform each human body?

    Are you familiar with the QIC law? The universe is all QI plus dark energy and matter…

    When does it start to govern the specific arrangement of particles that conform each human body? During development?

    Good Q. At conception… I would think

    How does that happen?

    When 2 pure quantum states; mother’s and father’s begin to interact..

    Can you explain this?

    When Adam was created out of the “dust of the earth”, do you think he retained the quantum state arrangement of the particles he was formed from? Or were his particles rearranged to from an new quantum state?

    How about Eve? Did she retain Adam’s quantum state; the quantum state of his rib? Or was her quantum state rearranged?

    Remember, that according to QIC theorem, quantum information can’t be created or destroyed.

    Thanks.

    No problemo… I hope you are not satisfied with my answers… 😉

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @ 2

    Seversky @ 1: Thanks for sharing that information. In your opinion, what is the best naturalistic theory for how consciousness arose in life?

    I don’t know of one as yet. I don’t know of a good naturalistic theory of what consciousness is as yet either.

    What is the best theistic theory of the nature of consciousness and how it arose

  13. 13
    J-Mac says:

    Seversky,

    I don’t know of one as yet. I don’t know of a good naturalistic theory of what consciousness is as yet either.

    What is the best theistic theory of the nature of consciousness and how it arose

    If consciousness evolved, it sure has over-evolved beyond what’s necessary for the survival…

    To me, the very fact that we are conscious enough in order to search for the satisfying answers about the nature of consciousness , tells me that consciousness is not a product of mindless processes…

  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @13:

    “[…] it sure has over-evolved beyond what’s necessary for the survival…”

    They can’t respond the challenge presented by GP with regard to the huge jump of functional specified information in proteins, so what are they doing speculating about the origin of consciousness?
    They don’t have a clue about making a single cell just theoretically, so what are they doing speculating about the origin of consciousness?
    They write lots of nonsense about the origin of multicellular biological systems, so what are they doing speculating about the origin of consciousness?
    Genetic or epigenetic alterations in bacteria produce different bacteria. Bacteria remain bacteria. So what are they doing speculating about the origin of consciousness?
    Developmental alterations in the cranial shape/size of Darwin’s finches produce different finches. Birds remain birds. So what are they doing speculating about the origin of consciousness?

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    I like science: math, physics, biology. I enjoy biology.

    But science can’t prove or disprove this what I believe:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3 (ESV)

    BTW, consciousness is included in that ultimate reality.

  16. 16
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio @15

    Can you elaborate on this verse?

    I have to admit that I either don’t understand it or you have more insight into it probably because of your better understanding of the bible…

    For example: Are you suggesting this verse relates to consciousness in some way?

    What’s the ultimate reality in your view?

  17. 17
    JDH says:

    J-Mac @8 said:

    If quantum teleportation of human body is possible, as it so far appears to be…

    Despite this idea for human body teleportation being also hawked by Brian Greene ( whose books I have thoroughly enjoyed ) I must consider the possibility of quantum teleportation of the human body as one of the most questionable speculations of all time.

    I fully admit I have not done a complete mathematical proof of this. Maybe I am even easily shown to be wrong. This quote from a 2012 popsci article on the subject makes me think I am correct in my speculation.

    Now all we have to do is figure out is how to build several of these in series so they can actually pass information from one to the other. To do that, we only have to somehow force these quantum states to exist for longer than the hundred microseconds or so that they last now before degrading. Sounds easy enough.

    Please remember that we live in the age of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Remember that on the quantum scale everything obeys ?x * ?p >= h-bar/2. Ok, why is that significant. Because spatial and momentum measurement are just two example of conjugate variables. Another set of conjugate variables is Energy and Time. In other words ?E * ?t >= h-bar/2. In our theoretical story of quantum teleportation, ?t must correspond to how “simultaneous” we consider the measurement of distinct particles taking. This states that if we restrict our measurement to an interval of ?t which is very short on the quantum scale we will not be able to correctly measure the energy of the particle in question.

    In the proposed quantum teleportation of the human body, no matter how the tightly coupled particles are set up, it must provide us the exact energy, of roughly 10^28 particles (http://education.jlab.org/qa/mathatom_04.html) simultaneously. It is my opinion that this is not just a technological problem. I would bet that any consideration of this would quickly run up against Heisenberg enforced limits.

    Again, I am open to being shown that this is mathematically not correct. I just doubt it.

  18. 18
    J-Mac says:

    JDH @17

    Thanks.
    I’m on my way out, so I’ll review your comment later today or tomorrow…

    In the meantime, have a look at these videos. Hopefully it is what you are looking for… 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAaHHGHuy1c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=31s

    and maybe this one as well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owPC60Ue0BE

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @16:

    Dionisio @15

    Can you elaborate on this verse?

    I have to admit that I either don’t understand it or you have more insight into it probably because of your better understanding of the bible…

    For example: Are you suggesting this verse relates to consciousness in some way?

    What’s the ultimate reality in your view?

    Basically Christ is the creator of everything that is, including you, me, prince Buddha, etc. That includes our consciousness. That’s the ultimate reality.

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    The term “Word” (Greek logos) designates God the Son with respect to His deity; “Jesus” and “Christ” refer to His incarnation and saving work. During the first three centuries, doctrines of the Person of Christ focused intensely on His position as the Logos. In Greek philosophy, the Logos was “reason” or “logic” as an abstract force that brought order and harmony to the universe. But in John’s writings such qualities of the Logos are gathered in the Person of Christ. In Neo-Platonic philosophy and the Gnostic heresy (second and third centuries a.d.), the Logos was seen as one of many intermediate powers between God and the world. Such notions are far removed from the simplicity of John’s Gospel.

    In this verse the Word is expressly affirmed to be God. The Word existed already “in the beginning” (a clear reference to the opening words of the Bible), which is a way of denoting the eternity that is unique to God. John states clearly, “the Word was God.” Some have observed that the word translated “God” here has no definite article, and argued on this basis that it means “a god” rather than “God.” This is a misunderstanding; the article is omitted because of the word order in the Greek sentence (the predicate “God” has been placed first for emphasis). The New Testament never endorses the idea of “a god,” an expression that implies polytheism and is in sharp conflict with the consistent monotheism of the Bible. In the New Testament, the Greek word for “God” occurs often without the definite article, depending on the requirements of Greek grammar.

    That “the Word was with God,” indicates a distinction of Persons within the unity of the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not successive forms of appearance of one Person, but are eternal Persons present from “the beginning” (v. 2). “With” suggests a relationship of close personal intimacy. See “One and Three: The Trinity” at Is. 44:6.

    All things were made through him.
    This verse also emphasizes the deity of the Word, since creation belongs to God alone. See also v. 10; Col. 1:16–17; “God the Creator” at Ps. 148:5.

  20. 20
    JDH says:

    Hey J-Mac – Watched all three videos. Don’t see anything in the videos that contradicts my assessment. It looked to me like people who dream of teleportation on the order of what a lifeforms is like have not dealt with the “sheer amount of quantum information that has to be simultaneously known” problem. Please point me to any original research where a person does a thorough job of analyzing how much information needs to be sent to the teleportation place, and then estimates how close the life sized object would be. I don’t think that person would find teleportation possible.

  21. 21
    JDH says:

    Hi J-Mac so 3 quick points about the possibility of quantum teleportation. In the videos you told me to watch there were two things necessary to do teleportation.

    1. At the target site, there had to be an exact copy already existing of the subject A’s fundamental building blocks, just in a superposition state that did not match the state of A.

    2. There had to be a light signal between the source site and the target site to communicate the Bell measurements.

    3. Modern neurology points to the theory that such things like memory are non-local in the brain. This implies that each brain state depends upon subtle variations in the whole. This is inherently chaotic. For example if I use Base64 encryption to send a message to you. Since it is a serial, and local encryption method, if a few bits get mess up during transmission – you still have most of the message intact, and only the part where the transmission error occurred not correct. OTOH if I use SHA1 which is a non-local encryption method, and a small amount of bits get messed up – you have no possible way to recover ANY of the encrypted message.

    From point 3 – if you want to transmit a brain you don’t get to be “close” with a few errors. You must transmit every bit perfectly.

    Pick a transmission rate. How about 17 terahertz. At this ridiculous frequency you could receive 10^28in approximately ( not worrying about factors of 2pi) 10^28/17* 10^12 s-1 = around 10^16 seconds or 3.1 *10^8 years. Not exactly teleportation.

  22. 22
    Latemarch says:

    JDH:

    Pick a transmission rate. How about 17 terahertz. At this ridiculous frequency you could receive 10^28in approximately ( not worrying about factors of 2pi) 10^28/17* 10^12 s-1 = around 10^16 seconds or 3.1 *10^8 years. Not exactly teleportation.

    The best combination of teleportation and a time machine! You get teleported into the distant future!

    To bad there’s no way back.

  23. 23
    Eric Anderson says:

    Seversky @12:

    I don’t know of one as yet. I don’t know of a good naturalistic theory of what consciousness is as yet either.

    What is the best theistic theory of the nature of consciousness and how it arose.

    Well-stated, frank admission. And good question.

    This is a deep and difficult problem and one without easy answers. In my view, that cautionary assessment also extends to theistic explanations.

    One of these days maybe I’ll have time for an OP on this, but suffice it for now, there are a couple of theistic alternatives. One is that consciousness or intelligence has always existed. One is that it was created. There are some scriptural hints at the former, as well as the latter. Most theists, at least of the Judeo-Christian variety, probably hold to the latter.

    Neither is a particularly compelling explanation, although one can certainly argue that both are much better than anything a purely-materialistic account can provide. In my estimation, this is a reasonable argument, given, among other things, our experience with things like information that are not physical-dependent and that can transcend a particular physical state.

    In any case, I would note for the theists who are quick to dismiss the idea of consciousness arising from material causes that a careful, nuanced approach is required from the theistic position.

    Specifically, if one takes the view that deity created humans, with their fundamental attributes, including a brain that gives rise to cognition, intelligence, and consciousness, then one must accept the idea that a particular state of matter can give rise to such things, including consciousness.

    One can still argue, rightly so in my estimation, that a capable and ingenious creator is a better explanation for how this specific configuration of matter came into being than a long series of mutations or other chance particle collisions. But that is a different question from whether consciousness can arise from a particular state of matter.

    The alternative is to take the position that consciousness, intelligence, awareness, our sense of “self”, exist apart from matter in an immaterial way. This would seem to be more reasonable, based on the inherent limitations we see in matter and, again, based on various experiences that could be cited (everything from an analysis of these attributes to near-death experiences and so on).

    In my view, based on the overall weight of the evidence, the dualistic nature of humans and the existence of an immaterial reality is the most reasonable scenario. However, we must acknowledge at present that this is more of an inference about the existence of an immaterial reality, than an explanation of how such an immaterial reality came into being.

  24. 24
    Eric Anderson says:

    If quantum teleportation of human body is possible, as it so far appears to be . . .

    I’m with JDH on this one. The current state of the science is definitely not that teleportation of a human is possible. Quite the contrary.

    I would love it if teleportation were possible, being a big Star Trek fan and all. It would open up very interesting possibilities. However, there is serious question about whether it is possible — never mind the technology gap, whether it is possible, even in principle. The Uncertainty Principle would seem to have much to say in this regard. Hopefully there is a way to overcome it . . .

  25. 25
    groovamos says:

    Seversky: What is the best theistic theory of the nature of consciousness and how it arose

    Sometimes a question doesn’t provide enough context.

    What kind of consciousness? Human? Animal? Plant? Primeval? Universal?

    Sometimes I get that people don’t want to read the right books in order to formulate a good question on consciousness which is the most vast subject imaginable.

    OK so I’m going to throw one out that I just read and it is one of the most astounding books EVER on the topic. It is called “When The Impossible Happens” by Stanislav Grof Ph.D, M.D. founder with Abraham Maslow of the International Transpersonal Psychology Association.

    I’m going to put it to you right now, if you are a materialist or fundamentalist of any kind, you may be adverse to to reading about the astounding material from studies of non-ordinary states of consciousness.

    This book can loosely be described as Grof’s autobiography but like everything else Grof comes with it is not easily categorized. It has garnered the requisite condemnation by materialists at RationalWiki as has the author himself. You will be retold of collaborations and meeting with many famous people like Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Carl Sagan and many others interested in ultimate questions.

    Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/When-Impossible-Happens-Adventures-Non-Ordinary/dp/159179420X/ref=pd_sbs_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=159179420X&pd_rd_r=J8N5GB4KBX24NN9S75M2&pd_rd_w=zr7Z2&pd_rd_wg=Zr0PR&psc=1&refRID=J8N5GB4KBX24NN9S75M2

  26. 26
  27. 27
    J-Mac says:

    JDH,

    Thanks for this additional info. I’ll review it on the weekend.

    Regarding human quantum teleportation, there is more to it than just maintaining quantum states of subparticles…much more…

    What I mean by it is that mathematically QT is still possible…unless someone has come up with that recently which I doubt…That was my main point.

    I don’t think humans will ever be able to come up with the technology to teleport humans, because nobody knows what dark energy is, which is definitely part of us…but never say never…

    I have elaborated more on this here:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp.....god-do-it/

  28. 28
    J-Mac says:

    1. At the target site, there had to be an exact copy already existing of the subject A’s fundamental building blocks, just in a superposition state that did not match the state of A.

    Do you mean subarticles entangled with the sending chamber?

    2. There had to be a light signal between the source site and the target site to communicate the Bell measurements.

    I’m not sure what you mean? Are you talking about the interaction between the scanning devise and the “sending chamber”?

    3. Modern neurology points to the theory that such things like memory are non-local in the brain. This implies that each brain state depends upon subtle variations in the whole. This is inherently chaotic. For example if I use Base64 encryption to send a message to you. Since it is a serial, and local encryption method, if a few bits get mess up during transmission – you still have most of the message intact, and only the part where the transmission error occurred not correct. OTOH if I use SHA1 which is a non-local encryption method, and a small amount of bits get messed up – you have no possible way to recover ANY of the encrypted message.

    From point 3 – if you want to transmit a brain you don’t get to be “close” with a few errors. You must transmit every bit perfectly.

    Pick a transmission rate. How about 17 terahertz. At this ridiculous frequency you could receive 10^28in approximately ( not worrying about factors of 2pi) 10^28/17* 10^12 s-1 = around 10^16 seconds or 3.1 *10^8 years. Not exactly teleportation.

    Non-locality is just one of the theories…

    As I said earlier, there are many unknowns…the math still allows QT.

  29. 29
    J-Mac says:

    JDH,

    I don’t think you watch this video carefully enough…

    It talks about exactly what you were wondering about…
    Pay special attention at 12 min mark and on!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k

  30. 30
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio@19

    I’m confused about what you are trying to convey…
    I have a question for you:

    Do you think that Jesus really died? I mean really died…

    BTW: During my research on consciousness, I came across some claims that Holy Spirit is not a person or God or a god, but rather power that has no personal qualities.

    What do you make of that?

    I have to admit that I have always been confused about Holy Spirit-as God or a god or spirit like when the person dies and the spirit returns to God meaning either a soul or a energy or something else like a quantum state of a being….

  31. 31
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @30:

    “Do you think that Jesus really died? I mean really died…”

    That’s a good question.

    I don’t think so, I believe it, because it’s written in the Christian Scriptures, which I believe are truly inspired by God Himself. So far nobody has been able to prove it otherwise, though many have tried to discredit it through the years.

    There’s a difference between “thinking” and “believing”.

    According to the Christian Scriptures Jesus Christ was fully human while being fully divine. As a human being He suffered physical death after suffering physical and emotional pain from cruel torture and abandonment by His disciples, though in His divine condition He did it all in divine obedience. When someone asks if bad things can happen to good people, my response is that it only happened once in History and it was by the will of the victim because it was fulfilling a prophesy that He himself had revealed to the ancient prophets.

    He made us to be good (Imago Dei) but also gave us free will to do things our way. That’s what we chose. Jesus human death was required by God in order to pay for our salvation from the fate we had chosen ourselves. We freely chose to be away from God. God graciously offers a way for us to reconcile with Him and be in His glorious presence eternally. But it’s not imposed on anybody. It’s simply offered by grace. It’s an underserved favor. It’s up to us to take it or leave it, though there are Scriptural passages that seem to imply that God ultimately decides who will believe and who won’t. However, I believe we don’t understand well that “mechanism” hence we should not be anxious by that.
    Don’t take my word at face value. Test it, verify it, read the Scriptures yourself. Test everything and hold what is good.

  32. 32
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @30:

    BTW: During my research on consciousness, I came across some claims that Holy Spirit is not a person or God or a god, but rather power that has no personal qualities.

    What do you make of that?

    I have to admit that I have always been confused about Holy Spirit-as God or a god or spirit like when the person dies and the spirit returns to God meaning either a soul or a energy or something else like a quantum state of a being….

    This is heavy stuff. But I appreciate you have shared these questions here.
    However, since it’s so late here where I am now, I will try to comment on this tomorrow (Dios mediante).
    But I should let you know that the source of information I will use is also available to you: the Christian Scriptures.

    Sola Scriptura. Sola Fide. Solus Christus. Sola Gratia. Soli Deo Gloria.

  33. 33
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio,

    Here is my dilemma:

    If Jesus really died, then how could he be human and divine being at the same time? Especially divine?

    If he died while being human and divine being, then how could he be in divine form that is, I would think, immortal isn’t it?

    Now, if Jesus really died, as you not only think it, but so believe it, why would a divine being need to be resurrected?

    Do you see my problem? And this is only the beginning…

  34. 34
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio@32

    But this time I’m going to get some help form someone who knows the bible and the history of christian doctrine much, much better than me…So get your facts straight! 😉

  35. 35
    Eric Anderson says:

    J-Mac @33:

    Be careful you aren’t falling into a false dichotomy. The scriptures are pretty clear about Christ’s death and resurrection.

    What is the definition of death? What happens to humans when they die? Do they cease to exist in all respects? Not according to scripture or Christian tradition. The body dies, but the individual soul (or spirit or essence or intelligence or consciousness or whatever we want to call it), continues on after the death of the body.

    Is there a duality to our natures, something about us beyond just the physical and material body? Again, the answer is yes.

    As Jesus himself explained, he laid down his life that he might take it up again. In this he was referring to his mortal state, his mortal tabernacle or “temple” that he prophesied would be destroyed but that he would rebuild in three days. He was referring to death as we normally understand it, but he was not claiming that he would cease to exist in all respects. Quite the contrary. He was very clear that he would continue to exist.

    So, no, whatever eternal, non-corporeal essence Jesus had (soul, spirit, intelligence, consciousness, etc.), did not die at the death of the body. Just as yours and mine won’t. But the body, yes, died, as clearly set forth in scripture — and the body was taken up again as he promised.

    That much seems relatively straight forward.

    —–

    Now if you’re really asking a different question — about the idea of the Trinity, that is most definitely a separate matter . . .

  36. 36
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,

    Eric Anderson @35 has written an insightful comment to address your questions.

  37. 37
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,

    I’ll try to follow up to 32 and comment on 33.
    Please, give me a moment. Thanks.
    BTW, did you get your expert friend to help?
    Note that I’m far from being an expert on anything.
    The more I know, the more I have to learn.
    But definitely our kind of “off topic” discussion should continue until things get clarified as much as we can.
    Stay tuned. 🙂

    PS. Correction: the OP title refers to theology hence contrary to what I wrote above, our discussion is not “off topic”. Let’s keep it on.

  38. 38
    J-Mac says:

    Eric and Dionisio,

    Be careful you aren’t falling into a false dichotomy. The scriptures are pretty clear about Christ’s death and resurrection.

    Same applies to you but I don’t think you can see it yet…

    If Christ died as human but not as a divine being, He didn’t really die but rather his consciousness etc was just transferred from one living form to another or he didn’t even die if He was alive in both forms of life; human and divine being…

    What is the definition of death? What happens to humans when they die? Do they cease to exist in all respects?

    Good questions! Death should be the exact opposite of life, but if humans die in flesh but they continue to live on in another form like a soul, they don’t really die. They move on form one form of life (or dual soul + body) to just soul…

    Not according to scripture or Christian tradition. The body dies, but the individual soul (or spirit or essence or intelligence or consciousness or whatever we want to call it), continues on after the death of the body.

    These claims are very sketchy…there are too many holes and contradictions, if you want to hold on to this belief… If anything, the quantum information is the only thing I can reconcile with some kind of existence after death. Does it support the dogma of an eternal soul as you see it? I doubt that very much for now.

    Is there a duality to our natures, something about us beyond just the physical and material body? Again, the answer is yes.

    When Adam and then Eve were created, did they receive that something beyond the material body? Or are you confusing the spirit as energy that makes the body animated or alive with the soul as living thing that animals also are?

    Jesus himself explained, he laid down his life that he might take it up again. In this he was referring to his mortal state, his mortal tabernacle or “temple” that he prophesied would be destroyed but that he would rebuild in three days. He was referring to death as we normally understand it, but he was not claiming that he would cease to exist in all respects. Quite the contrary. He was very clear that he would continue to exist.

    Aren’t you falling into false dichotomy here?

    So, no, whatever eternal, non-corporeal essence Jesus had (soul, spirit, intelligence, consciousness, etc.), did not die at the death of the body. Just as yours and mine won’t. But the body, yes, died, as clearly set forth in scripture — and the body was taken up again as he promised.

    So only one being of his died the human one and the divine one survived or wasn’t really touched…didn’t die at all…

    That much seems relatively straight forward.

    I don’t believe so…

    —–

    Now if you’re really asking a different question — about the idea of the Trinity, that is most definitely a separate matter . . .
    You bet

  39. 39
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,
    Please, note that I haven’t forgotten about commenting on your questions here.
    I’ll try to follow up to 32 and comment on 33.
    I’m trying to find more than a few minutes so I can focus in on what we’re discussing.
    Yours are serious questions about very important issues.
    I’m away from home now.

  40. 40
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio,

    No worries…

    I’ll most likely go to bed in an hour anyways…

    Thanks

  41. 41
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,
    Before we continue our interesting discussion, let me tell you I’m not a big fan of debating beliefs.
    Perhaps sometimes beliefs are not up for discussion.

  42. 42
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio

    J-Mac,
    Before we continue our interesting discussion, let me tell you I’m not a big fan of debating beliefs.
    Perhaps sometimes beliefs are not up for discussion

    While I respect people’s personal views, I have to strenuously disagree. If it wasn’t for many, many discussions about beliefs, I would probably still be stuck on some doctrines based on Greek mythology and wouldn’t be able to defend my beliefs in creation…

    However, some people don’t feel comfortable discussing beliefs because the are afraid that that could lead to doubt…

  43. 43
    Dionisio says:

    Follow-up to 31:

    The Death of Jesus

    And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

    There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

    Jesus Is Buried

    And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

  44. 44
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac,

    “…some people don’t feel comfortable discussing beliefs because the are afraid that that could lead to doubt…”

    One reason I don’t like to debate almost anything is that I prefer to discuss everything in a very relaxed environment that is conducive to thinking deep and understanding each other’s positions.

    Most debates I see look like people talking past each other. I don’t like that.

    I’m not concerned about anybody shaking my faith, because it’s anchored on Truth. I’m more concerned about throwing pearls onto swines or squandering precious time.

  45. 45
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio @43

    Is this supposed to be the answer to all the issues I have raised and Eric Anderson tried to answer but you didn’t?

    Or is @44 the final answer?

    Well, if that is the case, I’ll leave you with 2 scriptures that have stuck in my mind for a long time and even today…

    Ecl 9:5-6, 9

    “5 For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.

    6 Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.

    9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun ; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (grave) where you are going.”

    Ezk 18:4

    “4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, s,also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.

    If a soul or any kind of existence or consciousness survives death, these verses surely don’t support that notion…

    BTW: 1. I’m a big fan of quantum information conservation, which in principle says that quantum information can’t be created or destroyed… so it is possible that our consciousness, memories etc. don’t get destroyed at death, but need some kind of a processing device, like our brain, for the consciousness and memories to be restored and feel like you again.

    Quantum information or consciousness means nothing when the part of the brain that processes that information stops functioning, just like during anesthesia. But once anesthetic stops working, the person is conscious again.
    If consciousness was a soul beyond the physical body, it wouldn’t be affected by anesthetic…

    2.The scholar friend told me that you wouldn’t be able to logically answer the above scriptures because you are stuck on the eternal soul dogma as was I…

    I have to admit that I couldn’t wrap my head around then and even today, that death is all there is…

  46. 46
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @45:

    No, that’s not the final answer. It’s not even an answer. That’s just the warming-up start. The subject you brought up is huge and most controversial. It has always been and will remain that way till the end of this Age of Grace.
    Other comments I may have written regarding unrelated topics in this or other threads –after you and I started this important “chat” here– did not require the amount of attention to details that our topic demands. This topic is much more serious than the others I have commented on the last couple of days. I appreciate you brought it up and would have liked to have more time to focus in on it without distractions. I’ve been away from home and also taking care of issues –both personal and related to the projects I’m working on– that have kept me busy, but I have not forgotten the important questions you have asked. But again, I have not had time to address them as seriously as I would like to do it. I appreciate your patience in bearing with me on this. Also was glad to see that Eric Anderson wrote an insightful commentary related to our discussion. I look forward to reading more comments on this from Eric Anderson and maybe other writers in this website. Maybe even some anonymous visitors will be encouraged to login and write their own comments too.

  47. 47
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @45:

    Quantum physics and all its associated paraphernalia seem too difficult for me to understand, but it definitely seems very interesting.

    I prefer to read Biology research papers, because it’s a clear WYSIWYG deal. Little room left for guessing or speculation. The ongoing technological advances shall allow scientists see deeper into the biological systems.
    They ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The most fascinating discoveries are still ahead.

    Perhaps biology research could have gone faster had it been based on open-minded top-down analysis rather than the current reductionist bottom-up reverse engineering which seems like looking for a black cat in a completely dark room not knowing if the cat is in the room. However, even those papers shed lights on the elaborate cellular and molecular choreographies marvelously orchestrated within the biological systems.

  48. 48
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @45:

    Maybe the below commentaries shed some light on the issues you have brought up @45?

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

    Ecclesiastes
    Chapter 9

    Solomon, in this chapter, for a further proof of the vanity of this world, gives us four observations which he had made upon a survey of the state of the children of men in it:—I. He observed that commonly as to outward things, good and bad men fare much alike, Eccl. 9:1-3. II. That death puts a final period to all our employments and enjoyments in this world (Eccl. 9:4-6), whence he infers that it is our wisdom to enjoy the comforts of life and mind the business of life, while it lasts, Eccl. 9:7-10. III. That God’s providence often crosses the fairest and most hopeful probabilities of men’s endeavour, and great calamities often surprise men ere they are aware, Eccl. 9:11, 12. IV. That wisdom often makes men very useful, and yet gains them little respect, for that persons of great merit are slighted, Eccl. 9:13-18. And what is there then in this world that should make us fond of it?

    Verses 1-3

    It has been observed concerning those who have pretended to search for the philosophers’ stone that, though they could never find what they sought for, yet in the search they have hit upon many other useful discoveries and experiments. Thus Solomon, when, in the close of the foregoing chapter, he applied his heart to know the work of God, and took a great deal of pains to search into it, though he despaired of finding it out, yet he found out that which abundantly recompensed him for the search, and gave him some satisfaction, which he here gives us; for therefore he considered all this in his heart, and weighed it deliberately, that he might declare it for the good of others. Note, What we are to declare we should first consider; think twice before we speak once; and what we have considered we should then declare. I believed, therefore have I spoken.

    The great difficulty which Solomon met with in studying the book of providence was the little difference that is made between good men and bad in the distribution of comforts and crosses, and the disposal of events. This has perplexed the minds of many wise and contemplative men. Solomon discourses of it in Eccl. 9:1-3, and, though he does not undertake to find out this work of God, yet he says that which may prevent its being a stumbling-block to us.

    I. Before he describes the temptation in its strength he lays down a great and unquestionable truth, which he resolves to adhere to, and which, if firmly believed, will be sufficient to break the force of the temptation. This has been the way of God’s people in grappling with this difficulty. Job, before he discourses of this matter, lays down the doctrine of God’s omniscience (Job 24:1), Jeremiah the doctrine of his righteousness (Jer. 12:1), another prophet that of his holiness (Hab. 1:13), the psalmist that of his goodness and peculiar favour to his own people (Ps. 73:1), and that is it which Solomon here fastens upon and resolves to abide by, that, though good and evil seem to be dispensed promiscuously, yet God has a particular care of and concern for his own people: The righteous and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God, under his special protection and guidance; all their affairs are managed by him for their good; all their wise and righteous actions are in his hand, to be recompensed in the other world, though not in this. They seem as if they were given up into the hand of their enemies, but it is not so. Men have no power against them but what is given them from above. The events that affect them do not come to pass by chance, but all according to the will and counsel of God, which will turn that to be for them which seemed to be most against them. Let this make us easy, whatever happens, that all God’s saints are in his hand, Deut. 33:3; John 10:29; Ps. 31:15.

    II. He lays this down for a rule, that the love and hatred of God are not to be measured and judged of by men’s outward condition. If prosperity were a certain sign of God’s love, and affliction of his hatred, then it might justly be an offence to us to see the wicked and godly fare alike. But the matter is not so: No man knows either love or hatred by all that is before him in this world, by those things that are the objects of sense. These we may know by that which is within us; if we love God with all our heart, thereby we may know that he loves us, as we may know likewise that we are under his wrath if we be governed by that carnal mind which is enmity to him. These will be known by that which shall be hereafter, by men’s everlasting state; it is certain that men are happy or miserable according as they are under the love or hatred of God, but not according as they are under the smiles or frowns of the world; and therefore if God loves a righteous man (as certainly he does) he is happy, though the world frown upon him; and if he hates a wicked man (as certainly he does) he is miserable, though the world smile upon him. Then the offence of this promiscuous distribution of events has ceased.

    III. Having laid down these principles, he acknowledges that all things come alike to all; so it has been formerly, and therefore we are not to think it strange if it be so now, if it be so with us and our families. Some make this, and all that follows to Eccl. 9:13; to be the perverse reasoning of the atheists against the doctrine of God’s providence; but I rather take it to be Solomon’s concession, which he might the more freely make when he had fixed those truths which are sufficient to guard against any ill use that may be made of what he grants. Observe here (Eccl. 9:2),

    1. The great difference that there is between the characters of the righteous and the wicked, which, in several instances, are set the one over-against the other, to show that, though all things come alike to all, yet that does not in the least confound the eternal distinction between moral good and evil, but that remains immutable. (1.) The righteous are clean, have clean hands and pure hearts; the wicked are unclean, under the dominion of unclean lusts, pure perhaps in their own eyes, but not cleansed from their filthiness, God will certainly put a difference between the clean and the unclean, the precious and the vile, in the other world, though he does not seem to do so in this. (2.) The righteous sacrifice, that is, they make conscience of worshipping God according to his will, both with inward and outward worship; the wicked sacrifice not, that is, they live in the neglect of God’s worship and grudge to part with any thing for his honour. What is the Almighty, that they should serve him? (3.) The righteous are good, good in God’s sight, they do good in the world; the wicked are sinners, violating the laws of God and man, and provoking to both. (4.) The wicked man swears, has no veneration for the name of God, but profanes it by swearing rashly and falsely; but the righteous man fears an oath, swears not, but is sworn, and then with great reverence; he fears to take an oath, because it is a solemn appeal to God as a witness and judge; he fears, when he has taken a oath, to break it, because God is righteous who takes vengeance.

    2. The little difference there is between the conditions of the righteous and the wicked in this world: There is one event to both. Isa. David rich? So is Nabal. Isa. Joseph favoured by his prince? So is Haman. Isa. Ahab killed in a battle? So is Josiah. Are the bad figs carried to Babylon? So are the good, Jer. 24:1. There is a vast difference between the original, the design, and the nature, of the same event to the one and to the other; the effects and issues of it are likewise vastly different; the same providence to the one is a savour of life unto life, to the other of death unto death, though, to outward appearance, it is the same.

    IV. He owns this to be a very great grievance to those that are wise and good: “This is an evil, the greatest perplexity, among all things that are done under the sun (Eccl. 9:3); nothing has given me more disturbance than this, that there is one event unto all.” It hardens atheists, and strengthens the hands of evil-doers; for therefore it is that the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and fully set in them to do evil, Eccl. 8:11. When they see that there is one event to the righteous and the wicked they wickedly infer thence that it is all one to God whether they are righteous or wicked, and therefore they stick at nothing to gratify their lusts.

    V. For the further clearing of this great difficulty, as he began this discourse with the doctrine of the happiness of the righteous (whatever they may suffer, they and their works are in the hands of God, and therefore in good hands, they could not be in better), so he concludes with the doctrine of the misery of the wicked; however they may prosper, madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Envy not the prosperity of evil-doers, for, 1. They are now madmen, and all the delights they seem to be blessed with are but like the pleasant dreams and fancies of a distracted man. They are mad upon their idols (Jer. 50:38), are mad against God’s people, Acts 26:11. When the prodigal repented, it is said, He came to himself (Luke 15:17), which intimates that he had been beside himself before. 2. They will shortly be dead men. They make a mighty noise and bustle while they live, but after awhile, they go to the dead, and there is an end of all their pomp and power; they will then be reckoned with for all their madness and outrage in sin. Though, on this side death, the righteous and the wicked seem alike, on the other side death there will be a vast difference between them.

    Verses 4-10

    Solomon, in a fret, had praised the dead more than the living (Eccl. 4:2); but here, considering the advantages of life to prepare for death and make sure the hope of a better life, he seems to be of another mind.

    I. He shows the advantages which the living have above those that are dead, Eccl. 9:4-6. 1. While there is life there is hope. Dum spiro, spero—While I breathe, I hope. It is the privilege of the living that they are joined to the living, in relation, commerce, and conversation, and, while they are so, there is hope. If a man’s condition be, upon any account, bad, there is hope it will be amended. If the heart be full of evil, and madness be in it, yet while there is life there is hope that by the grace of God there may be a blessed change wrought; but after men go to the dead (Eccl. 9:3) it is too late then; he that is then filthy will be filthy still, for ever filthy. If men be thrown aside as useless, yet, while they are joined to the living, there is hope that they may yet again take root and bear fruit; he that is alive is, or may be, good for something, but he that is dead, as to this world, is not capable of being any further serviceable. Therefore a living dog is better than a dead lion; the meanest beggar alive has that comfort of this world and does that service to it which the greatest prince, when he is dead, is utterly incapable of. 2. While there is life there is an opportunity of preparing for death: The living know that which the dead have no knowledge of, particularly they know that they shall die, and are, or may be, thereby influenced to prepare for that great change which will come certainly, and may come suddenly. Note, The living cannot but know that they shall die, that they must needs die. They know they are under a sentence of death; they are already taken into custody by its messengers, and feel themselves declining. This is a needful useful knowledge; for what is our business, while we live, but to get ready to die: The living know they shall die; it is a thing yet to come, and therefore provision may be made for it. The dead know they are dead, and it is too late; they are on the other side the great gulf fixed. 3. When life is gone all this world is gone with it, as to us. (1.) There is an end of all our acquaintance with this world and the things of it: The dead know not any thing of that which, while they lived, they were intimately conversant with. It does not appear that they know any thing of what is done by those they leave behind. Abraham is ignorant of us; they are removed into darkness, Job 10:22. (2.) There is an end of all our enjoyments in this world: They have no more a reward for their toils about the world, but all they got must be left to others; they have a reward for their holy actions, but not for their worldly ones. The meats and the belly will be destroyed together, John 6:27; 1 Cor. 6:13. It is explained Eccl. 9:6. Neither have they any more a portion for ever, none of that which they imagined would be a portion for ever, of that which is done and got under the sun. The things of this world will not be a portion for the soul because they will not be a portion for ever; those that choose them, and have them for their good things, have only a portion in this life, Ps. 17:14. The world can only be an annuity for life, not a portion for ever. (3.) There is an end of their name. There are but few whose names survive them long; the grave is a land of forgetfulness, for the memory of those that are laid there is soon forgotten; their place knows them no more, nor the lands they called by their own names. (4.) There is an end of their affections, their friendships and enmities: Their love, and their hatred, and their envy have now perished; the good things they loved, the evil things they hated, the prosperity of others, which they envied, are now all at an end with them. Death parts those that loved one another, and puts an end to their friendship, and those that hated one another too, and puts an end to their quarrels. Actio moritur cum personâ—The person and his actions die together. There we shall be never the better for our friends (their love can do us no kindness), nor ever the worse for our enemies—their hatred and envy can do us no damage. There the wicked cease from troubling. Those things which now so affect us and fill us, which we are so concerned about and so jealous of, will there be at an end.

    II. Hence he infers that it is our wisdom to make the best use of life that we can while it does last, and manage wisely what remains of it.

    1. Let us relish the comforts of life while we live, and cheerfully take our share of the enjoyments of it. Solomon, having been himself ensnared by the abuse of sensitive delights, warns others of the danger, not by a total prohibition of them, but by directing to the sober and moderate use of them; we may use the world, but must not abuse it, take what is to be had out of it, and expect no more. Here we have,

    (1.) The particular instances of this cheerfulness prescribed: “Thou art drooping and melancholy, go thy way, like a fool as thou art, and get into a better temper of mind.” [1.] “Let thy spirit be easy and pleasant; then let there be joy and a merry heart within,” a good heart (so the word is), which distinguishes this from carnal mirth and sensual pleasure, which are the evil of the heart, both a symptom and a cause of much evil there. We must enjoy ourselves, enjoy our friends, enjoy our God, and be careful to keep a good conscience, that nothing may disturb us in these enjoyments. We must serve God with gladness, in the use of what he gives us, and be liberal in communicating it to others, and not suffer ourselves to be oppressed with inordinate care and grief about the world. We must eat our bread as Israelites, not in our mourning (Deut. 26:14), as Christians, with gladness and liberality of heart, Acts 2:46. See Deut. 28:47. [2.] “Make use of the comforts and enjoyments which God has given thee: Eat thy bread, drink thy wine, thine, not another’s, not the bread of deceit, nor the wine of violence, but that which is honestly got, else thou canst not eat it with any comfort nor expect a blessing upon it—thy bread and thy wine, such as are agreeable to thy place and station, not extravagantly above it nor sordidly below it; lay out what God has given thee for the ends for which thou art entrusted with it, as being but a steward.” [3.] “Evidence thy cheerfulness (Eccl. 9:8): Let thy garments be always white. Observe a proportion in thy expenses; reduce not thy food in order to gratify thy pride, nor thy clothing in order to gratify thy voluptuousness. Be neat, wear clean linen, and be not slovenly.” Or, “Let thy garments be white in token of joy and cheerfulness,” which were expressed by white raiment (Rev. 3:4); “and as a further token of joy, let thy head lack no ointment that is fit for it.” Our Saviour admitted this piece of pleasure at a feast (Matt. 26:7), and David observes it among the gifts of God’s bounty to him. Ps. 23:5; Thou anointest my head with oil. Not that we must place our happiness in any of the delights of sense, or set our hearts upon them, but what God has given us we must make as comfortable a use of as we can afford, under the limitations of sobriety and wisdom, and not forgetting the poor. [4.] “Make thyself agreeable to thy relations: Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest. Do not engross thy delights, making much of thyself only, and not caring what becomes of those about thee, but let them share with thee and make them easy too. Have a wife; for even in paradise it was not good for man to be alone. Keep to thy wife, to one, and do not multiply wives” (Solomon had found the mischief of that); “keep to her only, and have nothing to do with any other.” How can a man live joyfully with one with whom he does not live honestly? “Love thy wife; and the wife whom thou lovest thou wilt be likely to live joyfully with.” When we do the duty of relations we may expect the comfort of them. See Prov. 5:19. “Live with thy wife, and delight in her society. Live joyfully with her, and be most cheerful when thou art with her. Take pleasure in thy family, thy vine and thy olive plants.”

    (2.) The qualifications necessary to this cheerfulness: “Rejoice and have a merry heart, if God now accepts thy works. If thou art reconciled to God, and recommended to him, then thou has reason to be cheerful, otherwise not.” Rejoice not, O Israel! for joy, as other people, for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, Hos. 9:1. Our first care must be to make our peace with God, and obtain his favour, to do that which he will accept of, and then, Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy. Note, Those whose works God has accepted have reason to be cheerful and ought to be so. ‘Now that thou eatest the bread of thy sacrifices with joy, and partakest of the wine of thy drink-offerings with a merry heart, now God accepts thy works. Thy religious services, when performed with holy joy, are pleasing to God; he loves to have his servants sing at their work, it proclaims him a good Master.

    (3.) The reasons for it. “Live joyfully, for,” [1.] “It is all little enough to make thy passage through this world easy and comfortable: The days of thy life are the days of thy vanity; there is nothing here but trouble, and disappointment. Thou wilt have time enough for sorrow and grief when thou canst not help it, and therefore live joyfully while thou canst, and perplex not thyself with thoughts and cares about to-morrow; sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. Let a gracious serenity of mind be a powerful antidote against the vanity of the world.” [2.] “It is all thou canst get from this world: That is thy portion in the things of this life. In God, and another life, thou shalt have a better portion, and a better recompence for thy labours in religion; but for thy pains which thou takest about the things under the sun this is all thou canst expect, and therefore do not deny this to thyself.”

    2. Let us apply ourselves to the business of life while life lasts, and so use the enjoyments of it as by them to be fitted for the employments: “Therefore eat with joy and a merry heart, not that thy soul may take its ease (as Luke 12:19), but that thy soul may take the more pains and the joy of the Lord may be its strength and oil to its wheels,” Eccl. 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand finds to do do it with thy might. Observe here, (1.) There is not only something to be had, but something to be done, in this life, and the chief good we are to enquire after is the good we should do, Eccl. 2:3. This is the world of service; that to come is the world of recompence. This is the world of probation and preparation for eternity; we are here upon business, and upon our good behaviour. (2.) Opportunity is to direct and quicken duty. That is to be done which our hand finds to do, which occasion calls for; and an active hand will always find something to do that will turn to a good account. What must be done, of necessity, our hand will here find a price in it for the doing of, Prov. 17:16. (3.) What good we have an opportunity of doing we must do while we have the opportunity, and do it with our might, with care, vigour, and resolution, whatever difficulties and discouragements we may meet with in it. Harvest-days are busy days; and we must make hay while the sun shines. Serving God and working out our salvation must be done with all that is within us, and all little enough. (4.) There is good reason why we should work the works of him that sent us while it is day, because the night comes, wherein no man can work, John 9:4. We must up and be doing now with all possible diligence, because our doing-time will be done shortly and we know not how soon. But this we know that, if the work of life be not done when our time is done, we are undone for ever: “There is no work to be done, nor device to do it, no knowledge for speculation, nor wisdom for practice, in the grave whither thou goest.” We are all going towards the grave; every day brings us a step nearer to it; when we are in the grave it will be too late to mend the errors of life, too late to repent and make our peace with God, too late to lay up any thing in store for eternal life; it must be done now or never. The grave is a land of darkness and silence, and therefore there is no doing any thing for our souls there; it must be done now or never, John 12:35.

  49. 49
    J-Mac says:

    Thanks Dionisio.

    No worries…Don’t feel pressured to answer my questions.
    As you said, they are quite deep and life-changing…well…at least for me they were and still are…

    Unlike biology, quantum mechanics is new to me but more fascinating than evolutionary biology where Darwinists can’t offer anything new but evolution first assumptions and no evidence… I get tired of blogging with them coz all the evidence they have is evolution is a fact, so if something contradicts it, then that contradiction is wrong because evolution has to be true…

  50. 50
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @42:

    “…some people don’t feel comfortable discussing beliefs because they are afraid that that could lead to doubt…”

    One reason I don’t like to debate almost anything is that I prefer to discuss everything in a very relaxed environment that is conducive to thinking deep and understanding each other’s positions.

    Most debates I see look like people talking past each other. I don’t like that.

    I’m not concerned about anybody shaking my faith, because it’s anchored in Truth. I’m more concerned about “throwing pearls before pigs” or squandering precious time on senseless arguments that seem to lead nowhere.

    Matthew 7:6 (ESV)

    Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

    Commentary from the Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    what is holy.
    A reference to the evidences of the kingdom, such as the healings and the exorcisms, which may explain why Jesus did no miracles for unbelievers. But “what is holy” would also include the preaching of the kingdom; believers should not continue to preach to people who have rejected the gospel with contempt and scorn (10:14; 15:14). The Book of Acts illustrates the principle in practice (Acts 13:44–51; 18:5, 6; 28:17–28).

    Matthew 10:14 (ESV)

    And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.

    Commentary from the Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    shake off the dust from your feet.
    That is, the dust on one’s garment kicked up by the feet. Jews sometimes shook the dust off their clothing when returning from Gentile lands as a sign of contempt; Jesus uses it here as a sign of judgment. A town that did not receive the disciples did not receive Jesus, and became spiritually “pagan” and as subject to judgment as Sodom and Gomorrah (Acts 13:51).

    Matthew 15:14 (ESV)

    Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.

    Commentary from the MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV)

    Let them alone.
    This severe judgment is a form of God’s wrath. It signifies abandonment by God and is described as “giving them over” in Rom. 1:18–32 (see there). Cf. Hos. 4:17.

  51. 51
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @49:

    Unlike biology, quantum mechanics is new to me but more fascinating than evolutionary biology where Darwinists can’t offer anything new but evolution first assumptions and no evidence… I get tired of blogging with them coz all the evidence they have is evolution is a fact, so if something contradicts it, then that contradiction is wrong because evolution has to be true…

    Interesting comment. Thanks.

    I’d like to comment on this later. Now I have to step away from my computer.

  52. 52
    J-Mac says:

    Dionisio,

    Actually I enjoy chatting with you and people like you, because those ‘conversations’ usually make me come up with new ideas or issues… The idea for one of them, which I call Consciousness Processor or Quantum Awareness System, I came up with after a discussion I had with you and Eric A regarding BA77 video on quantum information…

    I’m in the process of writing an email to Stuart Hameroff and I have to admit, I’m looking for a bit of an inspiration as I have lost the train of my thought I’d thought I had… 😉 It happens to me all the time lol

  53. 53
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @49:

    Unlike biology, quantum mechanics is new to me but more fascinating than evolutionary biology where Darwinists can’t offer anything new but evolution first assumptions and no evidence… I get tired of blogging with them coz all the evidence they have is evolution is a fact, so if something contradicts it, then that contradiction is wrong because evolution has to be true…

    In my case both are relatively new to me. But biology seems more WYSIWYG kind of a deal, i.e. less guessing and less speculation. It seems more understandable and easier to explain. And with every new discovery the functional complex specified information within the biological systems turns more visible.
    We ain’t seen nothin’ in biology yet. The most fascinating discoveries are still ahead.
    Regarding evolutionary biology, I have expressed my opinion about it in this website on several occasions: gross extrapolation of the biological systems’ built-in variability framework to the archaic pseudoscientific hogwash of macroevolution. At the end of the day the Galapagos birds remain birds and the turtles remain turtles. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria remain bacteria. There’s nothing “macro” about that, except as a figment in some folks’ prolific imagination. As you may have noticed, I don’t get involved in discussions with politely dissenting interlocutors frequently.

  54. 54
    J-Mac says:

    Vatican backs Darwin, dumps creationism

    “What we mean by evolution is the world as created by God.”

    “Did I say this? No. It was reportedly said on Tuesday by none other than Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture. In effect, the Roman Catholic Church, the dominant Christian faith, is saying that Darwin’s theory of evolution is compatible with Christian faith.”

    What would you do with religion that abandoned the bible all moral sense?

    https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/02/vatican-backs-darwin-dumps-cre.html

    Someone who is Catholic told me that because of that and other things a lot of blood will be shed within the church …soon…

  55. 55
    Eric Anderson says:

    J-Mac @38:

    If Christ died as human but not as a divine being, He didn’t really die but rather his consciousness etc was just transferred from one living form to another or he didn’t even die if He was alive in both forms of life; human and divine being…
    Good questions! Death should be the exact opposite of life, but if humans die in flesh but they continue to live on in another form like a soul, they don’t really die. They move on [from] one form of life (or dual soul + body) to just soul…

    Yes, almost. Forget the “divine” attribute. There is a duality of physical body + spirit (soul, etc). When Jesus “died” the former died, the latter didn’t.
    Look, if you want to argue that death isn’t really death, and if avoiding the word “death” makes it easier to understand, fine. The point is that the scriptures and Christian doctrine are quite clear that death was not the end for Jesus and that his spirit or soul lived on. So if you want to say that he didn’t really die, fine. But then you just need to come up with some other word to describe the death of the body (which is what most people use the word “death” to describe in the first place).

    If anything, the quantum information is the only thing I can reconcile with some kind of existence after death. Does it support the dogma of an eternal soul as you see it? I doubt that very much for now.

    I don’t know what it would mean to say that “quantum information” exists after death or what could even be meant by the quantum information of an individual person, so I won’t comment on that. If you disagree that there is a soul or a spirit or a consciousness apart from physical matter, that’s certainly your prerogative. Let’s just be very clear that such a position is at opposition to scripture and the Christian tradition. Then if someone wants to have a separate discussion (I’m not sure I want to in this thread) about whether the Christian doctrine is true, that is a separate matter.

    Aren’t you falling into false dichotomy here[Jesus saying that he could lay down his life and take it up again]?

    I am certainly not. Jesus said it, not me. 🙂
    I am simply reiterating, as did he, that there was a duality to his existence, so there is no false dichotomy with the body dying and the spirit continuing.

    So only one being of his died the human one and the divine one survived or wasn’t really touched…didn’t die at all…

    If there are two parts to something and one is impacted, it doesn’t mean the other must necessarily also be. It just doesn’t follow. But, again, as I said, yes, most definitely, his non-corporeal essence (soul, spirit, intelligence, consciousness, whatever you want to call it), most certainly did not die. It has less to do with the attribute of “divine” you keep bringing up, and more to do with his dual nature of body + spirit (soul, etc.).

    —–

    Again, it isn’t clear to me in the context of scripture and the Christian doctrine what your point is, beyond a trivial dispute over what the word “death” means. We can resolve that issue by just clarifying that “death” means the death of the physical body, which is what most people think the word means anyway.

    On the other hand, if you are questioning the Christian doctrine altogether and are questioning whether Jesus had a soul or spirit beyond his purely physical body, then that is a separate question.

  56. 56
    Eric Anderson says:

    J-Mac @54:

    I hope that isn’t true, at least not in the larger sense.

    Yes, there is much that comes under the heading of “evolution” that is perfectly compatible with Christian faith. But people of faith need to be incredibly careful, because “evolution” as understood by scientists and academia is a purely purposeless process. That starts to cut against Christian doctrine. Materialists are only too happy to woo faith-based apologists for the materialist creation story. Useful fools, as they see them.

    The worst part is that the broader claims of this concept of “evolution” that so many are eager to make peace with are such utter nonsense. It is a shame to see people twist themselves into theological knots and, in some cases distancing themselves from their faith, in order to accommodate a materialist creation myth that is at once absurd and laughable. Talk about selling one’s intellectual birthright for a mess of pottage, and spoiled pottage at that.

    I hope that isn’t what is happening in the citation you provided, but something to watch out for . . .

  57. 57
    Dionisio says:

    Eric Anderson,
    Thanks for the insightful comments.

    J-Mac,
    I’ll try to comment later.

  58. 58
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @45:

    Maybe the below commentaries shed more light on the important issues you have brought up @45?

    Ezekiel 18:4 (ESV)

    Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

    MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV)

    The soul who sins shall die.
    God played no favorites, but was fair in holding each individual accountable for his own sin. The death is physical death which, for many, results in eternal death.

    Matthew Henry’s Commentary

    Behold, all souls are mine, Ezek. 18:4.

    God here claims a property in all the souls of the children of men, one as well as another.

    First, Souls are his. He that is the Maker of all things is in a particular manner the Father of spirits, for his image is stamped on the souls of men; it was so in their creation; it is so in their renovation. He forms the spirit of man within him, and is therefore called the God of the spirits of all flesh, of embodied spirits.

    Secondly, All souls are his, all created by him and for him, and accountable to him. As the soul of the father, so the soul of the son, is mine. Our earthly parents are only the fathers of our flesh; our souls are not theirs; God challenges them. Now hence it follows, for the clearing of this matter,

    1. That God may certainly do what he pleases both with fathers and children, and none may say unto him, What doest thou? He that gave us our being does us no wrong if he takes it away again, much less when he only takes away some of the supports and comforts of it; it is as absurd to quarrel with him as for the thing formed to say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

    2. That God as certainly bears a good-will both to father and son, and will put no hardship upon either. We are sure that God hates nothing that he has made, and therefore (speaking of the adult, who are capable of acting for themselves) he has such a kindness for all souls that none die but through their own default. All souls are his, and therefore he is not partial in his judgment of them. Let us subscribe to his interest in us and dominion over us. He says, All souls are mine; let us answer, “Lord, my soul is thine; I devote it to thee to be employed for thee and made happy in thee.” It is with good reason that God says, “My son, give me thy heart, for it is my own,” to which we must yield, “Father, take my heart, it is thy own.”

  59. 59
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac @45:

    Maybe these additional commentaries shed more light on the important issues you have brought up @45?

    Though God might justify himself by insisting upon his sovereignty, yet he waives that, and lays down the equitable and unexceptionable rule of judgment by which he will proceed as to particular persons; and it is this:

    —First, The sinner that persists in sin shall certainly die, his iniquity shall be his ruin: The soul that sins shall die, shall die as a soul can die, shall be excluded from the favour of God, which is the life and bliss of the soul, and shall lie for ever under his wrath, which is its death and misery. Sin is the act of the soul, the body being only the instrument of unrighteousness; it is called the sin of the soul, Mic. 6:7. And therefore the punishment of sin is the tribulation and the anguish of the soul, Rom. 2:9.

    Secondly, The righteous man that perseveres in his righteousness shall certainly live. If a man be just, have a good principle, a good spirit and disposition, and, as an evidence of that, do judgment and justice (Ezek. 18:5), he shall surely live, saith the Lord God, Ezek. 18:9. He that makes conscience of conforming in every thing to the will of God, that makes it his business to serve God and his aim to glorify God, shall without fail be happy here and for ever in the love and favour of God; and, wherein he comes short of his duty, it shall be forgiven him, through a Mediator.

    Now here is part of the character of this just man.

    1. He is careful to keep himself clean from the pollutions of sin, and at a distance from all the appearances of evil.

    (1.) From sins against the second commandment. In the matters of God’s worship he is jealous, for he knows God is so. He has not only not sacrificed in the high places to the images there set up, but he has not so much as eaten upon the mountains, that is, not had any communion with idolaters by eating things sacrificed to idols, 1 Cor. 10:20. He would not only not kneel with them at their altars, but not sit with them at their tables in their high places. He detests not only the idols of the heathen but the idols of the house of Israel, which were not only allowed of, but generally applauded and adored, by those that were accounted the professing people of God. He has not only not worshipped those idols, but he has not so much as lifted up his eyes to them; he has not given them a favourable look, has had no regard at all to them, neither desired their favour nor dreaded their frowns. He has observed so many bewitched by them that he has not dared so much as to look at them, lest he should be taken in the snare. The eyes of idolaters are said to go a whoring, Ezek. 6:9. See Deut. 4:19.

    (2.) From sins against the seventh commandment. He is careful to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, and not in the lusts of uncleanness; and therefore he has not dared to defile his neighbour’s wife, nor said or done any thing which had the least tendency to corrupt or debauch her, no, nor will he make any undue approaches to his own wife when she is put apart for her uncleanness, for it was forbidden by the law, Lev. 18:19; 20:18. Note, It is an essential branch of wisdom and justice to keep the appetites of the body always in subjection to reason and virtue.

    (3.) From sins against the eighth commandment. He is a just man, who has not, by fraud and under colour of law and right, oppressed any, and who has not with force and arms spoiled any by violence, not spoiled them of their goods or estates, much less of their liberties and lives, Ezek. 18:7. Oppression and violence were the sins of the old world, that brought the deluge, and are sins of which still God is and will be the avenger. Nay, he is one that has not lent his money upon usury, nor taken increase (Ezek. 18:8), though, being done by contract, it may seem free from injustice (Volenti non fit injuria—What is done to a person with his own consent is no injury to him), yet, as far as it is forbidden by the law, he dares not do it. A moderate usury they were allowed to receive from strangers, but not from their brethren. A just man will not take advantage of his neighbour’s necessity to make a prey of him, nor indulge himself in ease and idleness to live upon the sweat and toil of others, and therefore will not take increase from those who cannot make increase of what he lends them, nor be rigorous in exacting what was agreed for from those who by the act of God are disabled to pay it; but he is willing to share in loss as well as profit. Qui sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus—He who enjoys the benefit should bear the burden.

    2. He makes conscience of doing the duties of his place. He has restored the pledge to the poor debtor, according to the law. Exod. 22:26. “If thou take thy neighbour’s raiment for a pledge, the raiment that is for necessary use, thou shalt deliver it to him again, that he may sleep in his own bedclothes.” Nay, he has not only restored to the poor that which was their own, but has given his bread to the hungry. Observe, It is called his bread, because it is honestly come by; that which is given to some is not unjustly taken from others; for God has said, I hate robbery for burnt-offerings.

    Worldly men insist upon it that their bread is their own, as Nabal, who therefore would not give of it to David (1 Sam. 25:11); yet let them know that it is not so their own but that they are bound to do good to others with it.

    Clothes are necessary as well as food, and therefore this just man is so charitable as to cover the naked also with a garment, Ezek. 18:7. The coats which Dorcas had made for the poor were produced as witnesses of her charity, Acts 9:39. This just man has withdrawn his hands from iniquity, Ezek. 18:8. If at any time he has been drawn in through inadvertency to that which afterwards has appeared to him to be a wrong thing, he does not persist in it because he has begun it, but withdraws his hand from that which he now perceives to be iniquity; for he executes true judgment between man and man, according as his opportunity is of doing it (as a judge, as a witness, as a juryman, as a referee), and in all commerce is concerned that justice be done, that no man be wronged, that he who is wronged be righted, and that every man have his own, and is ready to interpose himself, and do any good office, in order hereunto.

    This is his character towards his neighbours; yet it will not suffice that he be just and true to his brother, to complete his character he must be so to his God likewise (Ezek. 18:9): He has walked in my statutes, those which relate to the duties of his immediate worship; he has kept those and all his other judgments, has had respect to them all, has made it his constant care and endeavour to conform and come up to them all, to deal truly, that so he may approve himself faithful to his covenant with God, and, having joined himself to God, he does not treacherously depart from him, nor dissemble with him. This is a just man, and living he shall live; he shall certainly live, shall have life and shall have it more abundantly, shall live truly, live comfortably, live eternally. Keep the commandments, and thou shalt enter into life, Matt. 19:17.

  60. 60
    Dionisio says:

    J-Mac.

    Every time I search the Christian Scriptures for true wisdom, I should remind myself to do it humbly, remembering my limited capacity to understand many things. God will graciously reveal exactly what each of us should know according to the purpose of His will and for His glory.

    I should keep in mind this verse:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:3 (ESV)]

    Commentary from MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV):

    Blessed.
    The word lit. means “happy, fortunate, blissful.” Here it speaks of more than a surface emotion.

    Commentary from Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    Blessed. This means more than the emotional state represented by the word “happy.” It includes spiritual well-being, having the approval of God, and thus a happier destiny (Ps. 1).

    poor in spirit. Those with the greater spiritual need are more likely to perceive their need and depend on God alone and not their own goodness. Paul notes the same principle in Rom. 9:30, 31. The parallel in Luke 6:20 omits “in spirit.” This has led many to suppose Jesus primarily spoke of the materially poor. Material poverty and recognition of spiritual need often go together (Ps. 9:18 note), but the two kinds of poverty are not identical.

  61. 61
    Eric Anderson says:

    Regarding the comments @45:

    It is very important to keep in mind that a thoughtful and rational exegesis will take into account, at a minimum, the following principles:

    1. A single verse or phrase must be considered in light of other verses or phrases on the same topic. (I.e., if we have a dozen verses that teach x and two that seem to teach y, then we must not latch on to the two and assume that they accurately represent what scripture, as a whole, teaches.) Another way of saying this is that if a doctrine is demonstrated and taught over and over by multiple witnesses and sources, we should give that significant precedence over a single comment or two from someone during a speech or a personal reflection that they wrote down.

    2. It is important to understand allegorical or symbolic expression. This can be difficult, and we may not catch all instances, but we definitely need to be open to it and consider it, particularly in instances flagged by #1 above.

    3. Experiential witness is stronger than discussional statements. In other words, if someone experiences something and we have a reasonably reliable reporting of that experience, then it should be given priority over someone else’s doctrinal discourse, particularly in instances in which the doctrinal discourse includes elements of #2 above.

    These principles are iterative, meaning there might be a reported experience (#3) that is questionably reported and that is odds with many other doctrinal statements (see #1).

    However, when we have multiple experiential witnesses to a fact, coupled with numerous supporting doctrinal statements throughout scripture (such as life after death and the existence of a spirit or soul beyond the physical body), including by the more reliable sources, then we would be foolish to set those aside based on a couple of statements that seem, on the surface, to be contradictory. Particularly when those “contradictory” statements can easily be interpreted in a way that is consistent with the larger experiential and doctrinal body of work. And particularly when we are dealing with at least one source, Ecclesiastes, which is known to be highly allegorical and, at times, even whimsical.

    If one carefully follows the above principles, many doctrinal questions can be adequately resolved. Perhaps not perfectly, but certainly to the point of having a reasonable confidence in the overall doctrine being taught consistently and regularly throughout scripture.

    —–

    Added to this are of course many other important elements of rational exegesis, including analysis of original text (insofar as available), translation particulars, the overall purpose and context of the broader discourse, the audience, and on and on.

    At the risk of ruffling feathers, I would also add that an important part of a rational exegesis is understanding that not everything in the Bible is of equal value, precedence, significance, or level of confidence. Another hindrance to rational exegesis is the idea that the Bible contains everything of doctrinal importance or that the Bible, in its current English translation (take your pick of translations), represents some inviolable, perfect representation of exactly the words God spoke or wanted written down in the English language. The latter point also goes to the question of our use of language and how words can have different meanings over time, etc.

    —–

    Well, that is more than enough for now. Suffice it to say that in a work as massive as the Bible (or any massive work covering a similar scope of time, authors, and cultures) there will inevitably be many potentially contradictory statements one could latch on to.

    It is critical to see the broader picture in context, to look at the sweep of experiences and doctrines taught by many people over the course of thousands of years and across numerous generations, and not get hung up on a word here or a phrase there that seems to be at odds with the broader message.

  62. 62
    J-Mac says:

    Eric,

    I don’t know what it would mean to say that “quantum information” exists after death or what could even be meant by the quantum information of an individual person, so I won’t comment on that. If you disagree that there is a soul or a spirit or a consciousness apart from physical matter, that’s certainly your prerogative. Let’s just be very clear that such a position is at opposition to scripture and the Christian tradition. Then if someone wants to have a separate discussion (I’m not sure I want to in this thread) about whether the Christian doctrine is true, that is a separate matter.

    Quantum information seems to be a integral part of our consciousness… There is reasons to believe that this information survives death but it is useless unless there is a quantum processor to process that information which is our brain…Is there another possible quantum or other processor after death? I don’t know…

    Eternal soul doesn’t make any sense to me because of the following:

    The existence of eternal hell or punishment is unlikely.

    There is not one bible verse that says where the soul was before birth of a human or that a soul was given to a human…

    98% of clergy in Rome are gay. I don’t think even one of them believes in the eternal punishment of the soul after death and neither do I….

    http://www.beyondchron.org/98-.....s-are-gay/

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