New Article: Intro to Metaphysics and Tim O'Connor


(James Stump) #1

This isn’t really an article… more like a teaser, to point you to some great resources at the Closer to Truth website. These are featuring our conference speaker Tim O’Connor.


(Shawn T Murphy) #2

Dear James,
Thank you for the post. I have listened to all the suggested videos and they left me unfulfilled. Tim basically is saying that the human is biological and therefore, his consciousness, and this means that Plato (Socrates) is wrong in saying that consciousness is part of the spirit.

There are more than enough studies today that question whether human consciousness is fully contained in the biological brain. We should be looking to philosophy for the metaphysical explanation that fits observations. I will not be at your conference, but I would hope that this topic would be more thoroughly discussed.


(Steve Schaffner) #3

This is making me feel old – I knew Tim when he was in grad school at Cornell and I was a post-doc there.


(Mark D.) #4

Watched the first video and will watch the others when I have more time. As someone who attended church only for a very short time before I learned to read but spent some time as a kid thinking about God I found Tim’s formulation similar to my own, that God was what was best, especially morally.

But @Shawn_Murphy, I look forward to finding what led you to say:

For me any theory that incorporates the fact that human consciousness arises from our biology is a plus. That must be true. Whatever we may think about God, we are animals that have arrived at a remarkable state of consciousness. At least it seems that our conscious cognitive experience must be profoundly different than our mammalian brethren.


(Shawn T Murphy) #5

Dear Mark,
Please see my post in another thread.

Consciousness resides in the mind as Tim says, but he fails to account for the subconscious nor the conscience. Socrates taught that a human is a citizen of two worlds, made of both flesh and spirit. Jesus and Paul also taught this.This is missing in Tim’s worldview. God does not need to recreate you after death because the spirit has experienced everything the flesh has. Why look for a illogical explanations when simple models exist from the most credible sources?


(Mervin Bitikofer) #6

I really appreciated John Behr (of Eastern Orthodox persuasion) and his take on God revealed only in Christ. That one in particular really resonated for me from the first set.

Of the second set, the very first one, Russell Stannard, also had some fine points. He compared and contrasted “singular knockdown evidence” with the more realistic (on both sides) actualization of “growth toward compulsion” that lots of little mounting evidences provide. I thought his comparison particularly helpful.


(Mark D.) #7

I have no problem with this analysis of the self. This analysis appeals to our “intellectual self”, or capacity for focused rumination. We have a “body” image and may feel more or less at home in our bodies. The "emotions carry our inherited or conditioned reaction to stimuli, independent of our intellectual rumination. And I also think of “soul” as ones true self. I tend to shy away from the word “spiritual” because of the many connotations it carries. I’m cool with “soul”, but I see no reason to think that it is something unsupported by our biology. Our physiology supports all four parts it seems to me.


(James Stump) #8

You (and others) might find this conversation between JP Moreland and Richard Middleton on the “intermediate state” interesting:


(Shawn T Murphy) #9

Dear James,
Thank you for the link. I agree with JP Moreland in principle and like his clearly defined points that establishes the soul. My issue is with the concept of the “intermediate state”. For me there are only two states of the soul - death (seperated from God) and eternal life (at one with God). The bible clearly says that the soul remains dead until it can connect with God through Jesus. Once connected to Jesus the soul achieves eternal life.