Monday Musings for December 11, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Let me ask, do you think that the state of being dead is the logical equivalent of the state of having never been? That question is at the crux of today’s query.

If you are an antisupernaturalist, then a congruent answer would be yes. But if you are a body/soul dualist — and certainly if you are a Christian — the answer should be no. The Bible teaches that once a person is born, they never cease to exist. That’s a delight to us who are looking forward to better things… but it’s a horror to non-believers for obvious reasons.

Thomas Jefferson (who gets no play in today’s answer) loved and revered the man Jesus Christ. But, he was an antisupernaturalist. So he created the so-called Jefferson Bible (Click here to see my treatment on this.) But a more accurate title for his book would have been The Life and Times of Jesus Christ… but with No Miracles.

This shows the damage that an antisupernatural bias can do. People who are otherwise accomplished sometimes publish harmful materials and many people will swallow those ideas based on the author’s cachet. The Bible calls this type of activity “placing stumbling blocks” … and in a future that promises a Righteous Judge, such activity will be redressed (…think little children and millstones).

We are already in an era where people can no longer discuss issues objectively without being labeled haters or bigots. So, how long will it be before our juries are filled with people who refuse to assign fault on those grounds? How long will it be before judges — bowing to materialism dogma rather than to the Ten Commandments — refuse to convict people because their reductionists’ views won’t let them? Ideas have consequences.

Today’s questioner has bought into the idea of people like Richard Dawkins who insist that the material world is all there is. This notion is variously called materialism, physicalism, naturalism… or more generically, antisupernaturalism. But the great weakness with these systems is that they have trouble explaining the soul — that undeniable sense of self-awareness that is ubiquitous in humankind.

Physicalists say that our self-awareness is just an illusion caused by brain activity… but don’t be sucked in by that. Of course, there are correlations between brain activity and how we act and feel… it’s the brain that makes everything work! But brain states are not “the mind” … and this is a notion that materialists vigorously deny.

Many agree that the mind is the immaterial agent that controls the brain, whereas the brain is just stuff. Now, it is true that my brain makes my leg move. But it is not true that my brain tells my leg to move. My mind does that. Material has no will… no volition… and, therefore, no fault. Can you see why people flock to physicalism? It’s a get-out-of-jail-free card — and not especially because there’s no jail. It’s because there is no objective morality when there is just stuff.

Today’s questioner is young, and like most people eventually do, he’s trying to explain death to himself. But not only is death not equal to never-having-existed, death itself doesn’t exist … not in the way the physicalists are hoping, anyway. They want our personalities to die when our bodies die. But Scripture teaches that the soul of every human being is eternal, and this truth cannot coexist with the idea that our souls passively cease, or that our souls are actively annihilated.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

http://mainsailministries.org/index.php/q-a-a-god-bible-theology-culture/433-why-not-physicalism.html

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Evan