I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
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20-09-2012, 09:12 AM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2012 04:50 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
(19-09-2012 10:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Seriously. It was weird. I was simultaneously trying to disprove myself on two different sides.

The topic was:

Questioning the concept of an eternal soul.


Participants

1) Jeremy - questioning the validity of an eternal soul
2) KC - defending the validity of an everlasting soul

If a soul is eternal - goes on forever - there are some major logical issues to deal with:

1) When does a soul become initialized?
2) If a soul is forever, have souls always existed? If so, why do we have no recollection of before life.
3) Since we have no recollection of before life, then it's not far off to say we won't have recollection after life.
4) Eternal = infinite... so, that means there couldn't have been a beginning. If there is no end, then there is no beginning, which brings us back to question 2.
5) If we go on forever, then we will be affected by time... eventually. Eternity, in the confines of time, seems to be miserable.
6) Even if you say that we will be in paradise for all eternity, we are still affected by time; which means, we will eventually be affected negatively. Time affects everything negatively.


Very good analysis, Jeremy... let me look some things up.

All right... done.

So, few things I need to address before we get started.

Our souls are not eternal. Our souls are everlasting. There is a difference. The language in the Bible describes our souls as everlasting. They have a beginning but not an end. God is eternal. This is an attribute of God and only God. Eternal is without a beginning or an end aka infinity. Think of God as a line

<------------------------->

goes on forever in each direction with no starting point or ending point.

We are rays

0-------------------->

we have a beginning but no end. We have a starting point but no ending point. We are in no way infinite.

1) That is a tough question. I really don't have a definitive answer for that. I don't know when God initializes individual's souls. I suppose this is something only for God to know.
2) No. See above. Souls are everlasting; not eternal. Only God existed before. He had to initialize us first.
3) See above.
4) Eternal does equal infinite but we are not infinite. Again, above.
5&6) We are affected by time, yes, because we are not eternal. Infinity cannot be affected by time aka God. Time is amoral. Time isn't good or bad. It's our perception of us and our world that affects how we view time. Sin affects us negatively; thus, creating a negative perception of time. If there is no sin, then there is no negativity. In our everlasting state, sin will be no more. Without sin, our perception of time will only be positive.


Hmmm. Okay, KC, I can accept what you're saying about everlasting vs eternal.

But here's another question: are we going to even be governed by time in our everlasting state?


Yes. Again, only God is eternal and isn't affect by the confines of time. God created time with a purpose and it has structure. Also, since we have a beginning (a ray), we have to be governed by time or we would be infinite. Since we know that we aren't infinite...

Wait... how do you know we aren't infinite?

Do you remember everything before and after everything?

Ummm... no?

Precisely.


Fair enough. Go on.


Anyway, we're not infinite so we are structure by time. We have a beginning but no end, so from the simple fact that we do have a beginning we must be governed by time.

Plus, when the scriptures speak of heaven it "talks" in references of time... years mainly.


Ehh, kind of a stretch.


Maybe, but there is a clear distinction between eternal and everlasting in scripture. Want me to show you?

...I was there when you looked it up.


Oh yeah.

-_-

But anyway, a good summary is if it was created, it has to be governed by time. Since a beginning can only begin within the confines of time.


A ray?

Yeah.

So, God is eternal and has no beginning or end?

Yeah, infinite.

And infinity can't be governed by time because it acts outside of time?

Exactly.

Welp. What do you want to do now?

I don't know. Post about it on TTA?

You have no life.

Swamp gas. That's it. It's the swamp gas.

It appears the gentleman from the swamps is confusing himself.
Perhaps it would be helpful, if he defined some terms, before he argues with himself.

In the spiritual realm, (if there is one, and if gods are true), there is no (space)time.

(If there were, it would mean the god was subject to a structure needed for it's own existence, and could not be it's creator.)

(Actually "timelessness" IS a structure, and a problem also, but we'll leave that for another time).

The concept of eternal, (unlimited or boundary-less) time, is often confused with "timeless", or a dimension without the property of time at all. That's not useful. They are two entirely different concepts. Christian Theology does not posit "unlimited time". It posits a dimension with NO time, thus the argument is misguided. When theologians (today anyway), say "eternal" they do not mean god exists in a dimension with a very large, (unlimited/infinite) "amount" of time, they mean god, (and souls after death), exist in a dimension that is "timeless", and has NO TIME AT ALL.

Souls are not "rays", except on Earth. The more correct analogy would be a "segment which transforms". Part of existence is in limited time, the rest outside time. After death, souls pass over/out to a dimension which is "timeless", thus the "ray" analogy is no good. Theology asserts that there is no time in heaven. Theology asserts those in heaven exist in god's presence, in a dimension with no time. (Of course there is no evidence for that, and existence itself requires time, and that's also another problem, if the creatures involved are "sentient", as mentation, and life require time...a being which does not change is not alive, or meet the definition of life), but that's the belief. It's an asserted "package"/belief system, with no evidence, Either you accept that as part of the package, or you don't. Souls are creatures. That means they did not always exist, (according to the package). They came into being, and are the result of Causality, and a creative action, (both of which require linear time, but that's yet another problem).

The real problem, is not "when does a soul get initialized", as the infusion of a soul in Christian Theology is a belief, for which there is no evidence. Either you accept it as part of the belief package, or you don't. The question is the package, not the details. (However this question has not been settled, as theologians cannot tell us exactly when the soul is infused, or even if the infusion is coincident with the creation. They use the term "moment of conception". Science knows that concept is a meaningless fallacy.)

The real problem for Christianity is they want to have their cake and eat it too. While the theologians out of one side of their mouth are asserting "timelessness" and a god not subject to time, EVERYTHING about their religion requires, in place, linear time, AND a corruption of their OWN asserted standards :
a. Adam, (figuratively, or actually), sinned, and caused a CHANGE in their god, which required IN TIME a sacrifice, IN TIME. That means their god is subject to the very temporal dimension they assert he is exempt from, (which is Special Pleading, BTW).
b. any act of god, refutes god's eternal nature. It means there is no infinite amount of time before the act, or after the act, if an act occurred, and divides the infinity. There can be no divisions in infinity, of "before", or "after", if the word has any meaning. So best to find another word, or drop it. Saying a "timeless being acts" is an OXYMORON. It's a linguistic bit of nonsense.

As the gentleman has correctly noted, ALL the religious concepts, require time, even while denying it. They refute themselves, with their own statements.

(19-09-2012 10:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  You have no life

So not true. You have a really great life. Go rock the baby.

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20-09-2012, 10:02 AM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
(20-09-2012 09:12 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(19-09-2012 10:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Seriously. It was weird. I was simultaneously trying to disprove myself on two different sides.

The topic was:

Questioning the concept of an eternal soul.


Participants

1) Jeremy - questioning the validity of an eternal soul
2) KC - defending the validity of an everlasting soul

If a soul is eternal - goes on forever - there are some major logical issues to deal with:

1) When does a soul become initialized?
2) If a soul is forever, have souls always existed? If so, why do we have no recollection of before life.
3) Since we have no recollection of before life, then it's not far off to say we won't have recollection after life.
4) Eternal = infinite... so, that means there couldn't have been a beginning. If there is no end, then there is no beginning, which brings us back to question 2.
5) If we go on forever, then we will be affected by time... eventually. Eternity, in the confines of time, seems to be miserable.
6) Even if you say that we will be in paradise for all eternity, we are still affected by time; which means, we will eventually be affected negatively. Time affects everything negatively.


Very good analysis, Jeremy... let me look some things up.

All right... done.

So, few things I need to address before we get started.

Our souls are not eternal. Our souls are everlasting. There is a difference. The language in the Bible describes our souls as everlasting. They have a beginning but not an end. God is eternal. This is an attribute of God and only God. Eternal is without a beginning or an end aka infinity. Think of God as a line

<------------------------->

goes on forever in each direction with no starting point or ending point.

We are rays

0-------------------->

we have a beginning but no end. We have a starting point but no ending point. We are in no way infinite.

1) That is a tough question. I really don't have a definitive answer for that. I don't know when God initializes individual's souls. I suppose this is something only for God to know.
2) No. See above. Souls are everlasting; not eternal. Only God existed before. He had to initialize us first.
3) See above.
4) Eternal does equal infinite but we are not infinite. Again, above.
5&6) We are affected by time, yes, because we are not eternal. Infinity cannot be affected by time aka God. Time is amoral. Time isn't good or bad. It's our perception of us and our world that affects how we view time. Sin affects us negatively; thus, creating a negative perception of time. If there is no sin, then there is no negativity. In our everlasting state, sin will be no more. Without sin, our perception of time will only be positive.


Hmmm. Okay, KC, I can accept what you're saying about everlasting vs eternal.

But here's another question: are we going to even be governed by time in our everlasting state?


Yes. Again, only God is eternal and isn't affect by the confines of time. God created time with a purpose and it has structure. Also, since we have a beginning (a ray), we have to be governed by time or we would be infinite. Since we know that we aren't infinite...

Wait... how do you know we aren't infinite?

Do you remember everything before and after everything?

Ummm... no?

Precisely.


Fair enough. Go on.


Anyway, we're not infinite so we are structure by time. We have a beginning but no end, so from the simple fact that we do have a beginning we must be governed by time.

Plus, when the scriptures speak of heaven it "talks" in references of time... years mainly.


Ehh, kind of a stretch.


Maybe, but there is a clear distinction between eternal and everlasting in scripture. Want me to show you?

...I was there when you looked it up.


Oh yeah.

-_-

But anyway, a good summary is if it was created, it has to be governed by time. Since a beginning can only begin within the confines of time.


A ray?

Yeah.

So, God is eternal and has no beginning or end?

Yeah, infinite.

And infinity can't be governed by time because it acts outside of time?

Exactly.

Welp. What do you want to do now?

I don't know. Post about it on TTA?

You have no life.

Swamp gas. That's it. It's the swamp gas.

It appears the gentleman from the swamps is confusing himself.
Perhaps it would be helpful, if he defined some terms, before he argues with himself.

In the spiritual realm, (if there is one, and if gods are true), there is no (space)time.

(If there were, it would mean the god was subject to a structure needed for it's own existence, and could not be it's creator.)

(Actually "timelessness" IS a structure, and a problem also, but we'll leave that for another time).

The concept of eternal, (unlimited or boundary-less) time, is often confused with "timeless", or a dimension without the property of time at all. That's not useful. They are two entirely different concepts. Christian Theology does not posit "unlimited time". It posits a dimension with NO time, thus the argument is misguided. When theologians (today anyway), say "eternal" they do not mean god exists in a dimension with a very large, (unlimited/infinite) "amount" of time, they mean god, (and souls after death), exist in a dimension that is "timeless", and has NO TIME AT ALL.

Souls are not "rays", except on Earth. The more correct analogy would be a "segment which transforms". Part of existence is in limited time, the rest outside time. After death, souls pass over/out to a dimension which is "timeless", thus the "ray" analogy is no good. Theology asserts that there is no time in heaven. Theology asserts those in heaven exist in god's presence, in a dimension with no time. (Of course there is no evidence for that, and existence itself requires time, and that's also another problem, if the creatures involved are "sentient", as mentation, and life require time...a being which does not change is not alive, or meet the definition of life), but that's the belief. It's an asserted "package"/belief system, with no evidence, Either you accept that as part of the package, or you don't. Souls are creatures. That means they did not always exist, (according to the package). They came into being, and are the result of Causality, and a creative action, (both of which require linear time, but that's yet another problem).

The real problem, is not "when does a soul get initialized", as the infusion of a soul in Christian Theology is a belief, for which there is no evidence. Either you accept it as part of the belief package, or you don't. The question is the package, not the details. (However this question has not been settled, as theologians cannot tell us exactly when the soul is infused, or even if the infusion is coincident with the creation. They use the term "moment of conception. Science knows that concept is a fallacy.)

The real problem for Christianity is they want to have their cake and eat it too. While the theologians out of one side of their mouth are asserting "timelessness" and a god not subject to time, EVERYTHING about their religion requires, in place, linear time, AND a corruption of their OWN asserted standards :
a. Adam, (figuratively, or actually), sinned, and caused a CHANGE in their god, which required IN TIME a sacrifice, IN TIME. That means their god is subject to the very temporal dimension they assert he is exempt from, (which is Special Pleading, BTW).
b. any act of god, refutes god's eternal nature. It means there is no infinite amount of time before the act, or after the act, if an act occurred, and divides the infinity. There can be no divisions in infinity, of "before", or "after", if the word has any meaning. So best to find another word, or drop it. Saying a "timeless being acts" is an OXYMORON. It's a linguistic bit of nonsense.

As the gentleman has correctly noted, ALL the religious concepts, require time, even while denying it. They refute themselves, with their own statements.

(19-09-2012 10:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  You have no life

Not true. You have a really great life. Go rock the baby.

You could have just pointed out that the whole "debate" is moot because it starts with the presupposition that something exists in the human body that has no way of ever being identified or even described without accepting the validity of documents written by Bronze and Iron Age Nerfherders. Then you would have had more time for surfing. Drinking Beverage

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20-09-2012, 11:04 AM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
So, KC, did you win your debate? Did your sound logic defeat your other unsound logic?

Or did you simply refuse to use actual logical refutations of your own core beliefs?

After reading your OP, it seems to me that you "invented" your own personal sycophant, provided it with some weak questions based on your own presuppositions, then had it pretend to challenge your own intellectual superiority so that you could stroke your own ego by refuting its weak straw-man position, all the while using nothing but your own thoughts, beliefs, and fallacies for both sides of the mental masturbation - er, I mean, both sides of the "debate".

Do I have it about right?

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20-09-2012, 12:05 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
(19-09-2012 11:26 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I lay the problem out. I approach it from both sides. I try to discredit the claim and reconcile it with scripture and theology. Whichever side is more convincing, that's what I believe.

I'm not actually having a debate with my imaginary alter ego.

...can't have any fun no more.

I just heard on the news today (NPR) of a study which provides evidence that we do just this very thing... or rather our mind does this for us. Our mind captures information and compartmentalizes it, then it brings it to the table (so to speak) within the frontal lobe, where pictures and words act upon this information to influence it. Pictures are reinforcements for emotion, whereas words are the trigger reinforcements for reason. (words include written and audio)

Our mind will process the info using either reasoning, or emotion, or a combination of those, which are reinforced by the pictures vs words we play within our head. Our brain literally fights so that we can make a decision, but it can also be highly influenced and very easily manipulated by visuals. People who are exposed to a lot of pictures can behave very irrationally about a subject. Whereas people behave rationally when only given written words or audio about the same subject.

I'm trying to find a link to today's Morning Edition article for the audio - I think all would appreciate the findings of this study.

***
It's no wonder Kingsy, that you use reason to strengthen convictions for your faith; reasoning is made of words which you then create visuals for in your mind -these add the emotional reinforcement which everyone does, but the words are your greatest reinforcement. They are rational.

The images in your mind, have been made up from words and become "correct" enough for you to decide they fit a rational world. That world is again reinforced by words. You end up with your own, self-created, visuals of words and further rationalize the images you create with words. The words you use to rationalize come from one book. Even though you know it may be totally irrational, your faith is "rationalized" in your mind.

That's why circular thinking is common among many Theists - it really lays bare what goes on in the mind. However, unless pressed, most Theists just cut out the continual rationalizing and just go straight to the blind faith. Also because they've probably not really read the words much - they've probably only looked at the pictures. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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20-09-2012, 12:58 PM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2012 04:54 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
Here's the link Kim was talking about.
http://www.npr.org/2012/09/20/161440292/...l-judgment

That was Josh Greene from Harvard.

Another guy, doing a lot of the same stuff, is David Eagleman from Texas.
(and also Andy Thompson YouTube, and Steven Pinker...)




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20-09-2012, 01:41 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
I guess I'm alone in that I sometimes still like thinking about some of this stuff, even though it's irrelevant to me. Please don't mistake me taking part in this discussion as anything more than analyzing a past set of beliefs that I still encounter in others regularly.

When I was a Christian and attending church regularly, I don't recall any important being placed on the differences between the words 'eternal' and 'everlasting'. When you looked up your supporting verses, what was the original Hebrew or Greek word? And what was the translation? Is there a distinct difference?

I understand the distinction you're making, with a line vs. a ray. I never thought of it like that, even then, but in the context of eschatology and ontology in theism I suppose it makes some sense. The casual teaching was always along the lines of the soul being "eternal".

I've always thought of eternity as a frozen state, unchanging in any way. Any change in state requires time and eternity, in my mind, is timeless rather than infinite time. But I suppose that's because I have always viewed the idea of God as existing outside of time and space, independent of time and space. It's possible to view God as existing within infinite time. How do you view your God in this respect, KC?
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20-09-2012, 01:56 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
I am afraid of death; therefore, I have a soul.

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20-09-2012, 02:54 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
(19-09-2012 11:21 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(19-09-2012 10:55 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Foolish Jeremy.

He accepted the fact that KC changed up stuff. He questioned his version of the soul, which was wrong. So, instead of questioning if there is a soul in the first place, he asks a question which was just an easy refutation.

Question on something that doesn't require a presuppostion. Like, whether or not there is a soul, or wether or not there is a heaven, or wether or not the Bible is inspired by God at all. These questions require no assumptions.

That wasn't what the debate was about. It was a theological debate about the soul. To participate, both parties had to believe in a soul.
One doesn't need to.One can skip belief and go to the attributes fairly easily.

However, you both have to agree to a definition of the soul before we can ever start assigning attributes.

One can not convince another person that red is blue, and the blue is red, unless you define the color definitions.

This is just what you did.
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20-09-2012, 05:15 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
They have medications for that.

I'm partial to Quetiapine, myself. Big Grin

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21-09-2012, 08:27 PM
RE: I had a theological debate with myself tonight.
Is Jeremy your name in real life, KC? I didn't know that.

What both you and... um, you... should have brought to the debate was evidence. Why are you assuming that the soul is either eternal or everlasting? What evidence is there for either view? You can look at a page of someone who has already done the homework of finding every biblical reference to the soul and you'll see that not a single one defines it as either everlasting or eternal, nor does the bible make any distinction between these two terms.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to get closer to the truth, you actually have to add to your understanding. Looking at things from a different point-of-view can be helpful to getting a "better" perspective, but if neither point-of-view looks at the evidence then it's still a weakly-supported argument on either side.

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