[Vision2020] The Eternal Soul

Chasuk chasuk at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 17:33:41 PDT 2005

On 10/14/05, Michael <metzler at moscow.com> wrote:

> And I am actually inclined to do away with a traditional Cartesian Dualism,
> preferring the reality that in many important respects the Mind is the Body.
>  But this philosophical conclusion just makes the idea of the Resurrection
> all the more interesting. Also, if all attempts to fully reduce personhood
> and experience to physical explanation miserably fail, and many
> non-Christian philosophers conclude that doing so is in fact logically
> impossible (e.g. David Chalmers), then the Christian has yet another
> interesting argument for theism.  E.g.: Ultimate Reality is not impersonal,
> brute stuff giving rise to personhood; rather Ultimate Reality is at bottom
> communal, experiential, and personal, creating the impersonal stuff of the
> world that we study according to our derived personhood.  (This is the
> opposite direction of Daniel Dennet's Evolutionary/philosophical work).  So
> I certainly don't "need" further explanation on one level, but on another,
> the fact of the Resurrection does not give full explanation to, say, how
> psychiatric drugs inter-relate with moral responsibility.

I like David Chalmer's concept of qualia, and I almost buy his
philosophical zombie argument, but not quite.  He never really
demonstrates, for me, that a thing called qualia needs to exist in
order to have subjective experience.  Maybe Daniel Dennett has done
too thorough of a job of indoctrinating me to his position.  Still, I
am glad to have met a person (even if only on-line) who is willing to
test his faith so vigorously.  The opposite behavior has usually been
my experience.

> This is a fascinating predicament.  Of course, I'm in almost the opposite
> predicament.  Could you further explain what you mean by religion being
> 'cheating' or a 'special pleading' with yourself. I don't understand that.
> Also, why is 'Christ-centric' in a different category from the other
> religions? I'd really be interested in understanding this better.

When I say that religion as an answer, from my perspective, would be
cheating or special pleading, I mean it in the sense that I would not
really believe it, but subsume myself in so many layers that I would
finally ignore the unfavorable evidence.  Self-brainwashing, to give
it (perhaps) a more explicable name.  To the latter question, I reply
that I consider the whole mythology that is Christianity to be
distasteful and ultimately dangerous.  Note that it doesn't have to
be, but it usually is.  From Matthew 17:6 "By their fruits ye shall
know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" I
find these words from Jesus especially true, in a condemning fashion,
of most of the history of Christianity.  Further, I don't find the
idea that the best universe that an omniscient being could engineer
involved blood sacrifice to be appealing.  If I'm going to choose a
myth arbitrarily, I wouldn't be choosing such a barbaric one.

Again, thanks for the discussion, and I hope nothing that I write here offends.

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