People are physical, rational, and spiritual

Yes when the cults find that the Bible doesn’t agree with what they teach then they always come up with this kind of conspiracy accusation that the Bible rewritten to disagree with them. I have seen this same argument from the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons and is their justification for rewriting the Bible to make a version of their own which better agrees with their teachings.

As far as I am concerned Platonist = Gnostic and a totally pagan non-Christian teachings, which various people in the church like Origen brought with them into the church to distort the teachings of Jesus and Paul. I am well aware of the syncretism of this period of the early church, where along with the Gnostics and the ideas of Plato, ideas from religions farther east like the Zoastrians and Hindus also inspired other distortions. And thus the early patriarchs had battle on their hand to keep the teachings of Paul and Jesus free of such distortions.

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Look up Origen and you find that is the most influential Christian church father. It was Rome that created the cult to conform to their three pagan gods. If he were a true cult leader, they would have just destroyed all of his work instead painstakingly transcribing most of it into Latin. They just edited the parts they did not like and kept the rest.

When I think spirit is a phenomenon or a state of the known physical things, it’s easy to explain the behavior of organisms, but hard to explain emotion.

I can’t refute your idea. It sounds like you think a life is a union of two parts, the physical and the spiritual.

Please describe its properties and behavior a bit more.

There are none. That is kind of the whole point. This is the pure potentiality of being itself. It is certainly not a part of the space-time structure of the physical universe or any other form or structure. If it can be said to have any nature at all it is a readiness to take on a form and nature from something else. It exists because God who is infinite spirit exists, so you can say it comes from God. The point being that the spirit takes its form an nature from the choices of the living organism alone and nothing external to those choices can affect it in any way. Any choices and relationships must come from within by its own nature alone.

Dear Shaun,
I offer this description of spiritual substance (Od) for your consideration.

Od – the Spiritual Life Force in the Levels of Ascent. The Spiritual World 4/2016

Are you intentionally quoting me out of context to distort what I said. Plato was never a Christian obviously. He taught these ideas later adopted by the Gnostics that the world was created by the evil Demiurge trapping a divine non-material rational essence in all or some of the material bodies of human beings which needed to be liberated by the acquisition of the correct knowledge. It is Plato and his influence via Neoplatonism which equated spirituality with rationality.

Origen was a Christian patriarch who tried to adapt some of these ideas to the context of Christianity. He also favored some of the ideas universalism which is no doubt why you have latched onto him and his teachings as a replacement for the teachings of Jesus and Paul. Many later church fathers disagreed with his conclusion because they did find them compatible with the teachings of Jesus and Paul or the majority of the church any more than I do. The most you can say is whatever does not disagree with the agreement of the ecumenical council of Nicea 325 AD can be considered part of the spectrum of belief in historical Christianity, but certainly not that they have a greater authority for Christian belief than the Bible.

This is what I said. Pre-existence of the soul was not made anathema until 543 AD, so it was part of Early Christianity. Nicea did not denounce Origen’s teaching of the Apocatastasis, it was Justinian, 250 years after it became the core teaching of Christianity, not any council of church fathers. It was a purely political move so he could conquer the Arians.

Reasonable and logical mean different things to different people. While it doesn’t fit my criteria, I respect that you have yours. Looking at the evidence without a presupposition I’m not inclined to jump to the mystical just because we can’t yet fully explain the brain. The soul falls into a similar category for me. I fight against my desires influencing my reasoning.

One day, hopefully we will have all the answers. Until then, it’s a fun debate!

Cool. The important thing is to search and knock, that way you will find and the truth will open up for you.
Best Wishes, Shawn

There is a huge and important difference between angels and the Holy Spirit. Angels are spiritual beings who are messengers for God. The Holy Spirit is the Person who acts as communicator for God. When we pray we pray through the Holy Spirit, not through angels. Even Jesus communicated through the Holy Spirit with the Father, thus maintaining the unity of the Trinity.

Also the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Love, Faith, and Hope by which we are united with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit we would be without the means of communication and relationship to God.

Romans 8:11 (NIV2011)
11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit Who lives in you.
The Holy Spirit is our relationship to God Who is the Source of Eternal Life. This is the reason the Holy Spirit is One and is the Third Person of the Trinity, very different from the angels.

Dear Roger,
This is where your logic breaks down. “Angels are messengers of God and the Holy Spirit communicates for God.” Angels (OT) are holy spirits (NT). Gabriel is a holy spirit. Michael is God’s power, He is a holy spirit who executes God’s Laws.

I do not pray though an angel, who is a separate being like I am. Neither did Abraham or Moses. .
You need to think and meditate before you respond

The quickness of your response reveals the shallowness of your thinking.

Dear Roger,
I have meditated and studied the angels for 44 years. My knowledge is deep and well studied.

I do not pray to God in the name of the King, Jesus, no intermediary. And remember how Jesus taught us to pray - “May thy Kingdom come to us.” Jesus reigns over a Kingdom of Angels and Archangels, and we ask them to come to us to guide us.

Best Wishes, Shawn

In some sense you may be technically correct, but practically you are wrong. Metaphysics is about the non-physical aspects of Reality, which for the Greeks was Rationality, the Logos.

That was the basis of their dualism, Mind or Soul and Body. When Christianity came along, the Soul took more a spiritual aspect, but the dualism persisted.

Of course in Science the mind is required because without thinking Natural Law does not make any sense. Of course there are now some people who say that science is not about natural law and understanding how nature works, but about a superficial picture of hoe nature works, like the tidal tables as opposed to the understanding of gravity.

If metaphysics is about “what part physics plays in reality as a whole” then Reality must be about more than just physics. That is exactly what I am saying, Reality is about the physical, the rational, and the spiritual, it is about the body, mind, and spirit, it is about the sensing, the thinking, and the loving. It is about taking the infinite experience of living and giving it intellectual, scientific, and moral order and direction.

Combining properly the One and the Many, Unity and Diversity, Order and Freedom.; Where everything is One there is no Many.

No. It is about reality. And the question of whether there is a non-physical aspect of reality is a metaphysical question.

For Plato it certainly was. The Greeks included many philosophers with many different opinions. I very much liked Aristotle who coined the term “metaphysics” as the title of a book he wrote. What he wrote is compatible with Christianity. The ideas of Plato, on the other hand, is the essence of Gnosticism. And I see very little of value in anything that intellectual elitist pagan taught.

Reason is not a higher realm of existence. It is a tool and nothing more. The greater reality is spiritual not rational.

The Gnostics invaded Christianity and brought the intellectual elitism of Plato to distort the teachings of Jesus and Paul with this dualistic garbage. The Gnostics were opposed but some of the distortions persisted.

The refutation of Plato’s dualism goes back about a millennia to the nominalism of Roscellinus, Abelard, and Ockham, long before the beginning of modern science. Indeed, modern science following this foundation, has makes it crystal clear that monism is far superior to dualism in every way for the explanation of things.

That is something which I say repeatedly and thus demonstrate that there is no need whatsoever to buy into the flawed pagan intellectual philosophy of Plato in order to embrace the Christian belief in the spiritual. Indeed this attempt to equate spirituality with rationality has effectively turned many Christians of modern times into covert Gnostics and the only real difference I see is that they actually worship an evil Demiurge creator of the world.

“Modern science” has not yet reached the level of enlightenment that the scientists of the time of Plato achieved. Enlightened science was set back more than a millennium by the illogical doctrines of the Church which were contrary to the teachings of Euclid, Pythagoras, and Democritus. (See Galileo)

And of course you seem to forget that the first Christians were descendants of the Enlightened Greeks who were actually waiting for the Logos to appear, not the Jews who are still waiting. The Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians were all from these Greeks who had studied the septuagint, the most accurate OT. Dualism comes from the father of Logic, Socrates, not from Plato.

If you doubt anything I have said above, consider this. The amphitheaters built 2,500+ years ago still stand and function, that is the ones that were not turned into colosseums but the Roman’s for their bloodsport.

There is an excellent book, Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio which is appropriate to this question. Livio says that Plato is the “patron saint” of mathematicians since his thought seems to explain how math is true both in the physical world and the ideal world.

He cites Penrose’s model of the three worlds of Plato as the basis of his understanding, which is the world as humans experience it, the world as it is physically, and the world of mathematical forms. Each of these worlds is real and our understanding of Reality is based on how well we integrate them.

I would use the same three world format in this manner. First the world as it IS, which is much more than the physical world. This has to be the world as God knows it. Second is the world as humans experience it which has to be partial because humans are finite, and third is the world as humans know it through math and other forms of language which integrate what is and what we experience.

The Spiritual is important because it insists that Reality is unified, which means it has Meaning and a Purpose. The Physical is important because it says that what we experience is real and an important aspect of reality. The Rational is important because irt5 says that we can understand ourselves and our world.

You are right. Gnosticism is elitism and was related to philosophy. Philosophy is thinking about thinking which is not easy and does tend to breed elitism, but so does science. Not many people can receive their Ph.D.'s. It is in Theology and faith that we have populism, because of the Holy Spirit, but this presents problems also.

We need diversity in aspects of Reality and diversity in disciplines that we need to understand Reality so the One and the Many can be understood by us individually and collectively.

OK if there are no properties or behavior to talk about.

But one thing is critically important: how does the spirit interact with the physical form of life? To apply physical things like force, heat, volt, chemicals to the body? Because an object would change its speed or direction if you apply a force, not just think without actions, and an object would become hot if you heat, not just think without actions. When we raise our hand, from the spirit to the action, how do the spirit and the body interact to actually raise the hand?

Fun and lead to wisdom. Believe me a stupid person will become less stupid if he comes to debate, for example, myself.
Have fun!

There are no properties or behavior BEFORE it takes its form and nature from the choices of a living organism.

It has all of its form and nature from the physical form of life, which I already explained is what governs its behavior and relationships.

I have repeatedly denied that the spirit does any such thing. Explaining over and over to the other participants of the discussion here that the idea of the spirit operating the body like a puppet is unsupportable. Things which are physical like the body do what they do because of the laws of nature. Though it is a scientific fact from quantum physics that these laws of nature are not causally closed. The spiritual can affect the physical because of this, but not in a consistent manner.

But chaotic dynamics demonstrates that the outcome of events in complex nonlinear phenomenon such as a living organism requires specification of initial conditions to an infinite degree of precision which implies a measurement of quantum states which have been demonstrated to be determined by no hidden variables within the premises of the scientific worldview defining the physical universe.