A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!


(Antoine Suarez) #462

Dear Jay

I thank you warmly for these remarks, which I am studying and will answer in detail soon, when I finish a work with dead-line in three days.

In order to respond suitably I would be glad to know what would you mean by a “NON-recent Adam”.

Are you supporting an “Adam” at the beginning of the genus Homo, as @agauger seems to do?

If not, when and why?

Thanks in advance for your answer.


(Jay Johnson) #463

Well, “non-recent Adam” would not be my choice of terms. I understand Genesis 1-3 to refer to the creation of all of mankind. I don’t think Scripture, reason, or tradition support the notion that Genesis teaches an original (evolutionary) creation of humanity in general and then the creation of a man named “Adam” hundreds of millennia later.

In answer to your question, I do not support a literal individual named “Adam” at the beginning of the genus Homo, nor at any other date. I do not support any interpretation of Genesis 1-3 that posits an actual individual named Adam. The text indicates as much, since it does not use adam as a proper name until the end of chapter 4. Ha’adam, “the man,” is an archetypal symbol representing both the human race and each individual.


#464

Well, what I’m really trying to say is that they could accept the existence of something outside of space of time (God, if you will) but claim that this thing is some inanimate, non-personal principle. I’m not a physicist, so I may be wrong, but I’ve seem atheist physicists talking about the idea that space and time could be not fundamental, but emerging properties from and underlying deeper reality that is timeless and non-local, isn’t that recognizing these exact things you’re saying without invoking God, but rather a new set of fundamental principles from which space and time emerge?

I see! Now it is much more clear to me. That is actually a really interesting interpretation since God does claim that he is the being “who just is” in the bible, which is very consistent with a being which sustains reality (and personal identity as a consequence). I’ve seem one of your talks on youtube in which you arrive at a similar conclusion, and indeed, it looked to me as you were just using the name YAHWEH as a way of trying to give warrant to christian belief as a first principle, which seemed really weird. But from what you said now, you are actually basically saying that the concept of God that emerges from the conclusions of QM is totally consistent with the biblical God since he is the one who could and can always claim “I am!”, right? If I may make a constructive criticism, that point really wasn’t any clear at all for me before you answered my question, and I think it will be even less clear for people which don’t have much background in the christian faith or the science and faith debate, so maybe you could try to emphasize that aspect a little bit more when making this argument about YAWEH and QM. Thanks for the answer!


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #465

The God of the Bible, YHWH, must be not only the Conclusion of our argument, but also the Premise. YHWH is Relational, or dynamic not Being, or static. YHWH is Personal, not Being, which means that YHWH is Trinity, Power, Mind, and Spirit.


(Antoine Suarez) #466

Right!

Many thanks also to you also for your interest and these constructive and very helpful comments!

Some days ago you expressed another important point:

I fully agree. In my view most people who declare themselves atheists have sort of a cognitive barrier or prejudice in their brains.

The example of Richard Dawkins is paramount:

He argues for instance that there is no biological sharp beginning of the evolving species Homo sapiens or the evolving genus Homo. “If all the ancestors were still alive, then there will be a complete continuum between every creature and every other.” The disappearance of all intermediate species is a “fortunate accident”, “one of these apparently ordinary things that are “more magical […] than any myth or made-up mystery or miracle.”

Why “fortunate accident”?

Because, Dawkins says:
“we should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.”
“You are right when you say that aspects of what Hitler tried to do could be regarded as arising out of Darwinian natural selection. That’s exactly why I said that I despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

If after acknowledging that Humanity cannot be explained exclusively by biological means Dawkins feels the necessity of invoking a “fortunate accident” to avoid invoking God, then I can’t help thinking that in his brain some neurotransmitter is not functioning well: Any normally wired brain would conclude on God!

In fact we cannot do more than Paul in Athens (Acts 17): To argue the best we can. There will be always some who realize that it is sounder invoking God than a “fortunate accident”. Well aware, that our strength is not arguing “irrefutably” but teaching the Suffering of Love of Jesus Christ in the Cross, like Paul did.

Nonetheless I dare to finish stating that today’s science puts us in a better position than Paul in Athens: Those who mocked him because his teaching of Resurrection where worshipers of the Space-Time Idol. As said this Idol has been grounded to powder by quantum physics.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #467

We are agreed that we are not to live by “Darwinian natural selection,” even though Darwin claims “survival of the fittest” is responsible for who we are. However if survival of the fittest is evil and it is how can God use Darwinian natural selection to create humanity? Especially since John 1 says that God created everything including humanity through the Logos.

This is the problem that TE has not addressed properly if at all. The best answer is that God does not create using Darwinian natural selection. God does not use evil means to create good ends. God does not even use a mixture of evil and good means in terms of natural selection. God creates the evolving ecosystem using ecological natural selection or symbiosis.

In a related topic many Christians believe that God gave humans as opposed to other creatures an immortal soul which makes them unique, that is created in God’s Image. This even though OT scholars believe the text Gen 2:7 refers to the breath of life. The concept of the immortal soul comes from Socrates and Plato and does not belong in Christian theology.

The human spirit does belong in theology as a created or evolved aspect of humanity and part of the Image of God. Again we need to explain this through TE or ecological natural selection.


(Antoine Suarez) #468

Actually I fully agree with what you state here. The debate in this thread has led me to more accurate formulations and also to some novel insights. I summarize them in the following so that we can ascertain where we have common ground and progress to deeper understanding:

  1. Humans in the Image of God (Image Bearers) means humans capable of freely loving God, and therefore also free to sin and accountable toward God for their behavior.

  2. Humanity as community of Image Bearers has a sharp beginning in time, say time T, whereas the beginning of evolving biological taxa like Homo sapiens or genus Homo is fuzzy and arbitrary.

  3. Regarding the time T when God makes the human body in His Image:
    At the latest, time T can be set at the moment when Writing appears.
    This moment could be predated as far as someone provides convincing reasons in this respect. For the time being the safest solution seems to be appearance of Writing.

  4. It is obvious that before God makes the first humans in His Image no population on Earth can be said to be in God’s Image.
    By contrast all cultures today that share a human body are Image Bearers. Therefore, even if they do not have writing systems, they are NOT less image bearers or less moral.

  5. The Son of God is obviously in the likeness of God and the Image of God par excellence (Colossians 1:15). Making mankind in God’s image means determining the body God wants for the Incarnation of His Son.

  6. The act of God “to create them male and female, in the likeness of God” defines which observable anatomical features are the basis for acknowledging populations and individuals as Image Bearers and thereby defines the fundamental biological taxon or species: Humanity (in accord with Genesis 5:1-2).

  7. Humanity can be anatomically well-defined thanks the gap evolution brought about between humans and the (genetic and anatomical) nearest life-forms by eliminating intermediate varieties: “If all the ancestors were still alive, then there will be a complete continuum between every creature and every other.”

  8. Accordingly one should avoid confusing Humanity with evolving Homo sapiens: Such confusion happens mainly in two ways:

  • one tries to define the beginning of Humanity by searching for a (non-existing) sharp beginning of Homo sapiens or genus Homo.

  • one declares that Humanity has no sharp beginning because the beginning of Homo sapiens is fuzzy.

  1. One can give up the genetic or genealogical descent from a single couple without impairing the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Work of Redemption. What is more, Jesus Christ himself rather suggests that in the beginning God’s commandment was pronounced for a little population of Image Bearers.

  2. The first Image Bearers were called to complete God’s creation by work and increase the people of Image Bearers through marriage: this was the primeval vocation of mankind as God’s children.


(Jay Johnson) #469

I’m sure we have a lot of common ground, but I’m not sure this is where we’ll find it. :wink: I’ll work my way down the list, but I may not hit everything …

I’m going to stop you right there. (Surprise! haha) If we consider the image of God a vocation, then we can’t really speak of people as “Image Bearers.” That is confusing the substantialistic view, which considers the image as something inborn (part of the “stuff” that makes us human), with the functional view, which sees the image as a purpose or calling. Because of mankind’s fall into sin, we are unable to function properly as the image of God. In relational terms, no one loves God or others as we should, and in functional terms, no one truly represents God’s goodness, justice, and mercy. So, I agree with you that humanity must possess certain capabilities in order to function as God’s image, but I don’t think that possessing those capabilities makes one an Image Bearer, just as having the capability to be a doctor does not make me a doctor. See what I mean?

The distinction you’re trying to make is not applicable if the image of God is a vocation, and the requirement that humanity had a “sharp” beginning in time is entirely arbitrary. As well, the equation of “time T” with God making the human body in his image again conflates the substantialistic and the functional interpretations of the image.

Again, this confuses possessing a human body with the image.

On No. 5, the Son of God is definitely the paradigm for all mankind, but all you’re saying here is that God planned to arrive at his desired destination, which was the incarnation of the Son of God. I don’t think anyone would take issue with that.

I’m going to stop with No. 6, though, because it is a good example of why I think your treatment is flawed. Namely, you are treating the image of God as if it were an “observable anatomical feature,” which is fundamentally wrong, and you use it this way in order to distinguish “human” from H. sapiens and previous hominins, which is completely irrelevant to the biblical narrative.


(Antoine Suarez) #470

Yes, I see what you mean, and think you are not conflicting with what I state but rather adding a complementary aspect:

To be in the Image of God is both a status and an aim to achieve.

As Genesis 5:1 states, “God made them (Mankind) in His likeness and created them male and female”. Thereby Humanity is the community of those bodily creatures blessed with the capability of freely loving God. Humanity and each human are called to unfold this capability to achieve becoming like God in His Son Jesus Christ. God becomes human flesh in Jesus Christ, in order each human and Humanity can become Jesus Christ’s flesh end thereby like God. In Heaven the whole Humanity will appear as embodied in Jesus Christ.

I am not stating that the Image of God reduces to an “observable anatomical feature” but rather the following:

At the time T when God creates the first humans in His likeness, He establishes which kind of body He wants for His Son to become incarnate, and thereby He establishes also which kind of body is thereafter the observable sign to ascertain which creatures have the status of Image Bearers. And this means that:

Image Bearers have to acknowledge as Image Bearers anybody belonging to Humanity.


(Antoine Suarez) #471

In my view the coherent logical path is as follows:

Premise A:
Conservation of my personal identity and free will (foundation of Law).

Premise B:
Space-time is not continuous but quantified or “pixelated” (evidence from quantum physics).

Conclusion 1:
No material substrate can warrant the conservation of my personal Identity.

Premise C:
I am not aware of my existence during sleep:

Conclusion 2:
I am not capable of warranting my personal identity.

Conclusion 3:
There must be a non-material being that is uninterruptedly conscious and aware of his existence, i.e.: a personal being who can claim ‘I AM’ and warrants my personal identity.

Premise D:
The God of the Bible says his name is ‘I AM’ (in Hebrew YAHWEH).

Conclusion 4:
The God we are led by quantum physics to is the same God the Bible refers to.

Premise E:
Jesus Christ reveals us that YAHWEH consists in a relation of three Persons: Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus-Christ Himself declares to be the Incarnated Son of God, that is the perfect Image of God.

Premise F:
Genesis 1:27, 5:1-2 tells us that “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them.”

Conclusion 5:
Marriage as relation of persons is Image of God’s relational being.

This Conclusion 5 has been proposed both by Karl Barth and Pope John Paul II (see Section 7.2 of this article).


#472

That logic is ok as far as faith/religion goes, but in philosophical discussions that would be considered an circular argument.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #473

A circular argument is one that cannot be disproven or falsified. When we say that nan allele survives because it is fit, and is fit because it survives, that is a circular argument.

What I was saying is that there is a strong relationship between the Premise and the Conclusion. Let’s say that the promise is, God is Good, and the conclusion is God does Good. That is falsifible because people can challenge the goodness of God’s Creation, as many do. On the other hand if my premise were God is good by nature and the conclusion were therefore God is good, that is a circular argument that cannot be falsified.

The Creator is Relational, therefore we must ask the question, Is the Cr4eation Relational? I find that that answer is yes, so the universe is not Being. Philosophy needs to ask this question.

God is always the Beginning and the End of Reality. It is what is in the middle, the universe, which is in question. If the Middle is not good as Dawkins and Dennett claim, then God does not exist If the Middle or universe is good, then God does exist.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #474

I see no evidence that space-time is quantified. Space-time is not within the realm of quantum physics.

This is not my area of expertise so I am not sure about this, but I find that there are several areas where quantum physics has been misunderstood.


#475

“If the creator is relational, we should expect X” is a premise which does not lead to an circular argument, but starting with “the Creator exists” or “the Creator is relational” and ending with “the Creator exists” would.


Hugh Ross's scientific evidences for God
(Roger A. Sawtelle) #476

That reminds me of the best known philosophical state4ment. “I think, therefore I am.”

I think what is meant is To exist as a human being is to think, not that only those who think have existence.

I was trying to make a similar statement. To exist as the Creator, God must be Relational, because the Creation is relational.

Of course the traditional philosophical view is that God is not Relational, but God is Simple Being. In a real sense this is not a question as to whether God exists, but how God exists. How God exists is almost as important as whether God exists, since false information is not good.


(Antoine Suarez) #477

Here some evidence, which may also be of interest to @Reggie_O_Donoghue and @BoltzmannBrain:

1
Space-time is the realm of visible things: to say something is within space-time means it is something we can access with our senses.

Space-time is defined by the ensemble of possible effects human experimenters can produce or observe. Experiments like Michelson-Morley tell us that we cannot produce effects at a distance (signal) faster-than-light.

If we try to explain the universe as a continuum we are led to singularities at the origin (Big Bang), and within black-holes, that is, points with infinite density. This is a physical absurdity.

Therefore we have to admit the quantization of space-time.

2
Nonlocal quantum correlations reveal that physical reality cannot be explained exclusively by material links, that is, information recorded and propagating continuously within in space-time: We have to admit influences acting from outside space-time.

A consistent unified description of the physical reality requires considering signals propagating NON-faster-than-light as emerging from outside space-time as well [for details see: arXiv:1510.01312].

And this means that space-time itself is emergent and quantified, i.e.: “pixalated”, like a laptop screen: You have the illusion your mouse-arrow moves continuously, but in fact it jumps from pixel to pixel.

3
The introduction of the space-time continuum (geometry and “real" numbers) in physics is a useful idealization, but it should not be considered a “material continuum structure” underpinning the physical world.

“As a mathematical tool the concept of a real number represented by a nonterminating decimal fraction is exceptionally important and fruitful. As the measure of a physical quantity it is nonsense.” [Max Born, Noble Price Lecture].


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #478

I am operating on the basis of Einstein’s Theory, E = mc squared, which banishes Absolutes from nature and by extension from the Creator of the universe. This would not hold up if our faith did not support this conclusion, but when John wrote, “God is Love,” 1 John 4:8, 16) and this is confirmed by Augustine’s Trinity, this conclusion is justified.

Thus I am basing my cosmology of Einstein’s Theory which has been confirmed and verified in many ways over the past 100 years of its existence, rather than quantum physics which has been in existence as long and is much more difficult to verify. Peop0le make the mistake of trying to universalize quantum physics, when it is not universal. It is limited to the quantum, subatomic world of every molecule.

Space and time are not quantum, they are purely relational as opposed to physical. They form the framework for the physical, rather than are physical per se. Space and time give nature the relational framework whereby the mind and reason which is also relational can construct an accurate scientific understanding of the universe.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #479

I’m new to the discussion. What conclusion are you drawing from this?


(Albert Leo) #480

Roger, it never ceases to amaze me that in truly accepting Teihard’s paradigm that the history of our Universe consists of three main epochs–the Cosmosphere, the Biosphere, and the most important and recent the Noosphere–it makes possible the seamless melding of the ideas you and @AntoineSuarez (and some others) have expressed on this thread.

[quote=“Relates, post:467, topic:35442”] [Antoine]
“we should not live by Darwinian principles […] one of the reasons for learning about Darwinian evolution is as an object lesson in how not to set up our values and social lives.”

“You are right when you say that aspects of what Hitler tried to do could be regarded as arising out of Darwinian natural selection. That’s exactly why I said that I despise Darwinian natural selection as a motto for how we should live.”

We are agreed that we are not to live by “Darwinian natural selection,” even though Darwin claims “survival of the fittest” is responsible for who we are. However if survival of the fittest is evil and it is how can God use Darwinian natural selection to create humanity?
[/quote]

Roger, how hard would it be for you to accept my extension of Teilhard’s paradigm: The Noosphere (the sphere of evolving Ideas) began when the Homo sapiens brain was somehow ‘programmed’ to operate as Mind and thus marked the birth of potential human Spiritual Life and true Freedom of choice. Thus human brokenness is better described as rejecting the choice to Rise above Instinct rather than a Fall from a perfect state.

As I see it, Darwinian evolution that produced the first Homo sapiens did reward cooperation and symbiosis, as well as selfishness and acquisition of power. As a mixed bag, Darwinian evolution, as a means to an end, can be considered as Good, since it produced a primate potentially capable of loving its Creator. Early Homo sapiens was NOT US. Entry into the Noosphere, by means of a brain programmed to act as Mind, produced Adam, the first of humankind. If we are to fulfill our potential to become Image Bearers, we must rise above the instincts that successfully evolved our biological nature.

Why is it so difficult to replace Adam’s Fall (through disobedience) with Adam’s failure to Rise (because it involves sacrifice to love our neighbors)?
Al Leo


(RiderOnTheClouds) #481

Something supernatural?