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


(Albert Leo) #662

The figure of 0.005% comes from the educated guesses you provide, and is meant to show that the amount of “righteous” humans in Sumer (Noah & family) was an extremely small fraction of the total population in that area (~200,000). Perhaps the numerator in the fraction should be 4, the number of males in Noah’s family(?) Same with the total ‘image bearers’ in Sumer. Does the 200,000 you list include females? It’s not important, actually. My point is that your scenario still has nearly 100% of the accountable humankind God created as unrepentant sinners deserving annihilation.

You and I seem to be in agreement that it is likely that before God created life on earth, he anticipated that it would evolve into a form with a conscience, and would form communities ruled by rule of law. You seem to believe that, before evolution began to operate, God anticipated (1) what physical form that image bearer would take; (2) that most of those image bearers would rebel and need redemption; and (3) that he would have to send his Son to earth in that preconceived physical form. Can you actually read all of this into the Genesis story? I give the ANE people considerable credit for attempting to form a worldview compatible with the Nature that surrounded them. Some of humankind’s earliest writing, the epic of Gilgamesh, deals with a flood that destroyed many lives and appeared to be retribution for some misdeeds not fully enumerated. It seems possible to me that the writer(s) of Genesis may have adopted the basic framework of this ‘heathen’ tale, and now (after modification) Christians accept it as the inerrant Word of God. You must have considered that possibility.
Al Leo


(Antoine Suarez) #663

The question about the signs allowing us to ascertain “whether or not somebody is dead” is relevant for what we are discussing.

Indeed the generally accepted criteria for defining dead show that the basis for establishing whether or not a body has to be acknowledged as a person deserving right to life is that it 1) is a human body, and 2) shows spontaneous movements, principally breathing.

For this reason we acknowledge babies with Hydranencephaly, PVS patients, and disabled people as persons one should not kill to harvest organs.

If you dispose of these criteria you destroy the foundation of law and the assignment of rights becomes arbitrary.

Evolution produced a clear distinction between the live form God declared to be in His Image and called humankind, and all other extant forms of life. This distinction concomitant with God’s declaration is the same we observe today between humans and non-humans. This distinction provides the standard calibration we use for defining what is human and assigning rights, in accord with Genesis 9:6.

If you claim that creatures with non-human body are Image Bearers, you will end claiming that there is no difference between human beings and ants or bees (as the pagan Celsus did), or considering as “not us” people who clearly see “as us”, i.e.: are humans.

For these reasons I conclude that Aliens (if any) will either look like us humans or have no sense of law and accountability and be like apes, lions, dolphins, snakes, ants, etc.


(Stephen Matheson) #664

I don’t know where you got those “criteria,” but readers who are curious about the generally accepted criteria for death will find documents like this one:

http://www.who.int/patientsafety/montreal-forum-report.pdf

and journal articles like this one:

I hope it will come as no surprise to BL readers that the criteria are not about “spontaneous movements” or about breathing, but are about circulation and neurological function.

Would you like to share the source where you read about “generally accepted criteria”?


#665

Thanks, @sfmatheson. What’s really dead is this strange conversation. I shall take my leave.


(Antoine Suarez) #666

I shared my sources in this previous post:

I would like to add this excellent review in Nature by Steven Laureys.

Many thanks for these References that seem to strengthen my interpretation.
Some examples:

The terms “breathe” or “breathing” appear 17 times in the first document and 12 in the second one.

The second document states:
Examples of brain function such as the capacity for consciousness or ability for unassisted breathing should be distinguished from examples of brain activity such as posterior pituitary antidiuretic hormone release or residual nests of neuronal electrical activity (Table 1).

This clearly means that death does not mean complete absence of brain activity but mainly absence of capacity for consciousness and spontaneous breathing.

The first document (p. 14) presents as clinical tests for establishing death the following ones:

  • loss of consciousness absence of spontaneous movements (excluding spinal reflexes)
  • absence of motor responses in cranial distribution
  • loss of brainstem reflexes
  • absent pupillary light reflex-pupils mid-position or greater (‘fixed dilated pupils’)
  • corneal
  • gag/pharyngeal
  • cough/tracheal
  • vestibulo-ocular (‘cold caloric’)
  • oculo-cephalic (‘dolls eye’)
  • loss of capacity to breathe

The second document in Table 2 highlights particularly:

  • Loss of central drive to breathe
    NB: performance of apnoea testing should be reserved as the last test of brainstem function

All the movements referred to here are movements that we can steer at will and allow us to express to others our will, feelings, and thoughts. Such movements are appropriately called spontaneous. By contrast heart beating is not a movement we can use to exchange messages: Heart beating is not a spontaneous movement but an autonomous one.

It is important to stress that our knowledge about intentions and conscious life of others is “first person knowledge” (mediate by the “mirror system”), that is:

I ascertain that the other is a conscious and accountable human person like me because I see he makes movements like the movements I perform to express my thoughts and claim for my rights.

In conclusion, the clinical tests for defining death show well that the observable and testable basis for assigning rights is the spontaneous movements of the human body.

And this conclusion is in line with my claim:
it is absurd to assume that God could allow accountable beings with non-human body (Aliens) to live together with us, since this would destroy the foundation of law and the great work done by evolution.


(Stephen Matheson) #667

I read your responses with surprise. The sources you cite, as well as the ones I provide, show that your writing about “generally accepted criteria for defining dead” is inaccurate. I can’t tell whether you don’t understand the terms you are using, or if you just prefer to pick out words and phrases that confirm your odd claims and beliefs. And at this point, it doesn’t matter.


(Antoine Suarez) #668

Thanks Albert for the clarification.

These “unrepentant sinners” had filled the earth with corruption and violence. For the sake of comparison: The “wickedness” may have been worse than that perpetrated by the Nazi and Communist regimes. The situation resulted NOT because God was “a poor designer”, but because He respected the freedom of His creatures and these deluded themselves into believing that God was obliged to maintain them on earth in spite that they had hardened their hearts and rejected to repent.

God couldn’t help correcting this situation by removing them from earth (this is not the same as “annihilation”). The Flood was sort of primeval Judgment of sinners for the sake of the happiness of humanity and salvation of sinners themselves. In fact some of them repented before dying as the Apostle Peter himself reveals.

Yes I agree with you. My perspective is the same of BioLogos (What We Believe, Point 9): evolution is “a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes.” So God created life on earth and let it evolve to the purpose of forming “communities ruled by rule of law”. With the disappearance of intermediate varieties between humans and apes, evolution lays the groundwork for assigning rights.

In my view a God “who prepared a body for His Son” (Hebrews 10:5) was certainly interested in preconceiving the kind of body He prepared: Evolution was the means to achieve this purpose.

Notice that in Genesis 5:3 the terms ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ clearly refer to a bodily resemblance between Adam and his son Seth: “He [Adam] had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.”

Accordingly the meaning of statements “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), and “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God” (Genesis 5:1) is the following:

This is the kind of body I have prepared for my Son, and so any creature sharing this body is in the Image of God.

In my view Abraham’s ancestors back to Noah and Noah’s ancestors back to Adam are all ANE people. Additionally, the Flood was a real miraculous event in history and Noah and his family the only accountable survivors.

So nothing speaks against the possibility that what these eyewitnesses of the flood reported afterward is the common source of both the epic of Gilgamesh and the writer(s) of Genesis:

On the one hand, the strong faithfulness to the “covenant” prevailing in Israel all over history could not be explained if the Flood and God’s covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:1-17) were not a real historic fact known to the writer(s) of Genesis through tradition going from Noah to Abraham, Jacob and his descendants.

On the other hand, the tradition going from Noah to the writer(s) of the epic of Gilgamesh was contaminated with polytheism and lacks the theological meaning of “primeval Judgement of sinners” highlighted by Jesus Christ and His Apostle Peter.


(Albert Leo) #669

Antoine, correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that you are accepting the OT as axiomatic; i.e., it is God’s Truth given to an ancient favored race to be passed down to later generations in a form that cannot (or will not) be misinterpreted. If, at a point >3,000 yrs. in the future, humankind discovers some phenomena in Nature that appears to contradict the OT, the new data must be in error and should be abandoned. The following are some of the examples I refer to:

[quote=“AntoineSuarez, post:668, topic:35442”]
Accordingly the meaning of statements “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), and “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God” (Genesis 5:1) is the following:

This is the kind of body I have prepared for my Son, and so any creature sharing this body is in the Image of God. [Your emphasis in bold]

Question (1): If Christian dogma holds that our Creator God is pure spirit, then no physical image is possible; so does the OT refer to a mental (spiritual image)? OR does the use of ‘OUR’ image and likeness refer to the Trinity and the physical image refers to God the Son who existed before there was any life on earth, but became actualized with the birth of Jesus?
(2) Your interpretation (above in bold, postulating that God prepared Jesus’ body) seems to indicate the he micromanaged evolution with Jesus’ specific physiology in mind. I’m no expert in this field, but this seems like a contrived excuse for the OT and not a viable postulate.

To me it also seems contrived to justify a belief that Noah’s Flood was God’s punishment for sinners.

Granted, the more ancient epic of Gilgamesh does support the fact that a devastating flood did occur, but none of the ANE peoples had any true conception of the earth’s hydrology, and it is to be expected that they would look for otherworldly causes and justification for the loss of life. You seem to accept that the epic of Gilgamesh was ‘contaminated with polytheism’ while the Genesis version contains “theological meaning of primeval Judgement of sinners”. This does seem to naturally follow from a belief that God made a covenant with the Jews, his Chosen People.

I guess I am enough of a maverick to believe that Paul was given an inspiration that the other apostles (even Peter) lacked: God’s covenant was given to all humankind, not exclusively to the Jews, and it was finalized with the life and death of Jesus. The New Covenant was required because the one described in the OT could mislead one into believing in a God of Reprisals rather than a God of Fatherly Love.
Al Leo


(Antoine Suarez) #670

About “the generally accepted criteria for death” you have provided two References to affirm:

In my responses to you I have demonstrated with precise quotations from the sources you provide that “the generally accepted criteria for death” are certainly about breathing: “the loss of capacity to breathe” is always considered a main clinical test for establishing death.

So you have reason to say:

By contrast “your surprise” is not enough proof for your claims regarding me:

Without reasoned arguments “your surprise” rather reveals that you don’t read carefully the References you provide let alone those I provide:

Clinical signs. […] Patients with brain death are apneic and necessarily require controlled artificial ventilation, whereas patients in a vegetative state can breath spontaneously without assistance.” (Steven Laureys, NATURE REVIEWS | NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 6 | NOVEMBER 2005 | 903)


#671

There are several physicians around here including myself who have a good bit of practical experience certifying death. We observe the patient for at least 5 minutes, assessing cardiac, respiratory and brainstem function. We might then write something like this in the patient’s chart:

No audible breath or heart sounds for > 1 min.
Pupils are fixed, dilated and unreactive to light.
Patient has expired.

That said, it seems that the discussion on this thread has “devolved.”


(Randy) #672

Hah! Well said. Good note.

I think there was some confusion on the earlier wording, is all. Thanks, Dr Suarez.


(Antoine Suarez) #673

Thanks to you too, @Randy and @jasonbourne4, for your comments!


(Randy) #674

I’m a family doc too and would pronounce folks dead as in Jason’s note when I did inpatient work (thank goodness that’s been done for 3 years now).

To go on to other subjects–what is your background, Dr Suarez? May I ask your occupation and interest in the church?

Thanks for your comments.


(Antoine Suarez) #675

Albert, my axioms are Jesus Christ (“Word of God”) and the scientific data (“words of God”).

“Christian dogma” holds also that God’s Son incarnated. Therefore a physical image is quite possible. The OT (Genesis 5:1-3) clearly refers to a bodily likeness in perfect agreement with “Christian dogma”.

Magnificent!

I dare to say that Christian theology is basically a theology of the body: the body of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man. We are Image of God and become like Him through Jesus Christ’s body.

One may claim: “Jesus is human because He took on a body like ours”, but I dare to say that in fact it is the other way around: We are human because we share a body like Jesus’ body.

What does “he micromanaged evolution” mean?

As said I keep to BioLogos (What We Believe, Point 9): Evolution is “a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes.” And a main purpose of God was surely to prepare the body His Son would take on.

God never punishes sinners; it is the sinners who punish themselves. Even hell is the result of “the divine wisdom and love” for sinners (fecemi la divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore [Dante, Divine comedy, Inferno, Canto III].

I fully agree to this. More accurately one could say that God’s covenant wit Noah was a covenant with all humankind:

  • Genesis 9:6 reveals that God is speaking to much more people than Noah and his family alone; and the reason for this is in my view that at this moment God makes creatures with human body all over the earth to accountable Image Bearers.

  • Noting speaks against interpreting the sign of the rainbow strongly highlighted in Genesis 9: 12-17 as the proclamation that humanity consists in a diversity of human peoples, and all of them together bear God’s Image.

Later God made a covenant with Abraham and chose a people to safeguard the faith in the true God.

Here I deviate from your interpretation:

The declaration that the “Salvation is for all and not exclusively for the Jews” is decided in the Council of Jerusalem by “the apostles and elders with the whole church” after decisive historic speeches by Peter and James, and through inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15).

One should avoid demonizing YAHWEH as a “God of Reprisal”. As we have discussed in previous posts such a demonization was a main ingredient of Nazi ideology. It originates from philosophers like Kant, Voltaire and Spinoza among others, who laid the groundwork to demolish the Jewish Religion.

On my part I prefer to say that Jesus revealing Himself as “Son of God” and “Son of Man” makes it clear that YAHWEH is a “God of Fatherly Love” and is the God of all humankind.


(Albert Leo) #676

Antoine, forgive me if I appear to continually ‘nit-pick’ at your posts, but almost without exception your responses give me new food for thought.

I am in total agreement with your quote above, but as you well know, it is difficult to always know how to apply each of them correctly in seeking the TRUTH. I agree with accepting Jesus, the Word, as axiomatic, but with what degree of certainty do we know that the ideas Jesus was imparting some 2000 yrs. ago come down to us ‘unvarnished’ in today’s translation of the NT? I have posted previously that, two passages from John’s gospel can be given widely different interpretations, and the more famous one (John 14:6) has led to a great deal of mischief, while the lesser known one (John 6:44) makes more sense, and may be closer to what Jesus actually said.

Of course scientific data (as “words of God”) has its own problems as being acceptable as 'axiomatic". Scientific data, as of course you well know, is sought out to support (or refute) a burgeoning Theory. It is never axiomatic in itself. The only axiom is that the data is unchanged no matter the time and place of measurement.

Significant by its absence in your quote is taking anything in the OT as axiomatic. Is it axiomatic that Noah’s family were the only survivors of those of the human race that were gifted with a conscience; i.e. Image Bearers? Are we we then to accept as unquestioned TRUTH that it was OK for Noah to get drunk and then be seen naked by his son, Ham, but the blame fall upon Ham? What about the more likely story that this is a contrived tale which was to justify the later conquest of Canaan, long after the Flood Story had been written into Genesis? Am I taking too much of an agnostic position?
Al Leo


(Antoine Suarez) #677

I am thankful for the opportunity to discuss this issue with physicians that have practical experience in certifying death.

Jason refers to the following criteria:

This holds for non-ventilated patients.

In mechanically ventilated patients, in particular heart-donors, it is obvious that you will not apply “no audible heart sounds”. In this case you apply:

  • Absence of brainstem reflexes
  • Absence of motor responses
  • Apnoea (loss of capacity to breathe)

(American Academy of Neurology , quoted by Steven Laureys, NATURE REVIEWS | NEUROSCIENCE VOLUME 6 | NOVEMBER 2005 | 902)

It is important to note that these clinical tests do NOT certify “absence of any brain activity”. So for instance “posterior pituitary antidiuretic hormone release or residual nests of neuronal electrical activity” may remain (see Table 1 in International guideline development for the determination of death).

Therefore the term “brain death” is in fact not appropriate.

By contrast these clinical tests certify absence of all those spontaneous movements that we can steer at will to express to others our will, feelings, and thoughts, that is, the movements we use in communicating with others.

Thus the clinical tests for establishing death rest on the following important

Principle: If I see a human body that makes movements like the movements I perform to express my thoughts and claim for my rights, I have to acknowledge it as a human person I am not entitled to kill.

For this reason we are not allowed to harvest organs from PVS-patients, children with hydranencephaly, disable people.

Why is this Principle important for the discussion in this thread?

I think because it shows that the basis for acknowledging personal status and assigning rights is the observable behavior of the human body. We do not access the intentions and conscious life of others directly, but through “first person knowledge” (mediate by the “mirror neurons system”): I grasp the purpose another person has because she makes movements like the movements I perform to achieve the same purpose.

From this it follows that any coherent moral and legal order precludes persons with non-human body to live together with persons with human body. Hence it would be absurd for God to permit that accountable Aliens with non-human body encounter us.

By contrast nothing speaks about the existence of Aliens with human body. But then @Kathryn_Applegate’s principle (“Adam’s sin is our sin”) would also hold for such Aliens: “Adam’s sin is their sin”.

And all this has also the following noticeable implication:

If one is not ready to claim “there are no Aliens”, one should avoid claiming that “Adam’s sin is genealogically transmitted".

Quite briefly to avoid using the thread for private messaging:
I understand myself as a Catholic faithful, Swiss physicist and philosopher working on the foundation of quantum physics, anthropology, and questions at the boundary of science and theology. I have proposed and realized experiments to investigate quantum nonlocality. Regarding the question we are discussing I have co-edited and co-authored the book Is this Cell a Human Being?, where I argue that the clinical criteria for defining death are relevant to deriving criteria allowing us to ascertain which cell entities are human beings.


(Antoine Suarez) #678

In Matthew 28:18-20 we read that Jesus came to his disciples and said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

According to this words it is Jesus himself who ensures that the ideas “He was imparting some 2000 yrs ago” will come down “unvarnished’ at each historical time till the end of the age. You seem to raise the question about how this assistance occurs. In my view this is an interesting question deserving further discussion.

This is the axiom I am referring to. Observation is the highest authority in science.

In my view it is axiomatic because of Jesus Christ’s statements (Matthew 24:38-39, Luke 17:26) and the teaching of St. Peter (1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 2:5-6, 3:6)

To my knowledge this pericope is not referred to in the New Testament, neither by Jesus Christ nor His Apostles. To the extent that this is true you are not an “agnostic” if you question the historicity of Noah’s blame. In any case it was certainly not OK for Noah to get trunk.


(Albert Leo) #679

[quote=“AntoineSuarez, post:678, topic:35442”]

[A. Leo] Is it axiomatic that Noah’s family were the only survivors of those of the human race that were gifted with a conscience…?

@AntoineSuarez In my view it is axiomatic because of Jesus Christ’s statements (Matthew 24:38-39, Luke 17:26) and the teaching of St. Peter (1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 2:5-6, 3:6)

That’s not quite right, Antoine. You believe the OT story of Noah is TRUE because Jesus referred to it, and you (& I) accept Jesus’ Words as axiomatic. But the point I am trying to make is that we, some 2,000 yrs after Jesus uttered those words, must depend upon frail, error-prone human beings to have recorded Jesus’ spoken words correctly and then translated them (several times) into other languages while leaving their meaning (i.e. the ideas they impart to humans several millennia later) just as Jesus intended.

I cited the two passages from John’s gospel as probable evidence that such misunderstandings actually occurred. I say probable rather than possible, because I and three other scientists witnessed an actual miracle performed to correct such a misunderstanding. Admittedly it was not an 'against the laws of physics’ miracle; rather it was an event that went against billion to one odds of occurring. (Have you read the post in which I describe this Miracle of the Panel Truck?)

I have been led to believe that John’s Gospel was retained initially in the memory of his disciples who heard him speak. Only much later were these memories gathered and put into written form, and almost certainly there was some disagreement as to the exact wording Jesus used in the quotations to be attributed to him. The following are the two citations (NIV) that illustrate what I believe may be the same quotation Jesus made but remembered slightly differently by two of his surviving disciples who were honestly trying to preserve his words for posterity:

6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

To me, the most honest interpretation of this passage is that God the Father draws all humans who have been given the gift of conscience (Homo sapiens who are Image Bearers) to the Messiah, the Universal Christ. The native in Africa, Asia, or the New World who will never hear of Jesus of Nazareth can be drawn to God the Creator of the wondrous world which surround him and gives him sustenance. Thus these ‘heathens can be saved’ by the merits of the universal Christ without ever hearing about the Son of God, Jesus.

14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

This passage seems to promote Christianity as the ‘only way to Heaven’–at least that is the way it is preached by over-zealous missionaries. The pastor in the rural Nebraska parish my mother attended went a step further, restricting salvation to only Catholics. Even as a pre-teen my mother knew this was rubbish, because her Lutheran girl friends were as good or better than she was. As related in my truck-miracle post, my colleague, Prof. Eric Lien, was mislead in this way in attending a bible study class given by over-zealous missionaries, and it led to serious problems with his marriage to a lovely Christian woman. I am still amazed at the lengths God went through to demonstrate the universality of His Love. I felt this was true beforehand, but since that bus ride, there is no other Truth–as derived from either Faith or Science-- that I can accept with such assurance.

[quote=“AntoineSuarez, post:678, topic:35442”]
In Matthew 28:18-20 we read that Jesus came to his disciples and said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
According to this words it is Jesus himself who ensures that the ideas “He was imparting some 2000 yrs ago” will come down “unvarnished’ at each historical time till the end of the age. You seem to raise the question about how this assistance occurs. In my view this is an interesting question deserving further discussion.

Antoine, I hope this means that you have not lost patience with me for bringing it up again and again. Using “The Keys of the Kingdom” as a symbol is very effective, but I cannot believe that Jesus really approves of the exclusivity it suggests.
Al Leo


(Antoine Suarez) #680

And what about possible human Extraterrestrials?
Do you definitely discard their existence?


(Antoine Suarez) #681

George,
I would be thankful to know why you think such a “descent” may be useful.

I dare to insist, possible humans living in other planets would not be “claimed” by the genealogical Adam/Eve descent you refer to.