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August 05, 2013

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Wait, I thought as a Christian you would mention the soul as the sine qua non of being human. When does God put your immortal soul into you? That's when you become human, right?

Naturalist atheists have a harder time defining the human species, or any species, since all life is related and kind of runs together. But they'd say the soul idea is a non-answer since it's just as hard to describe what a soul is.

You say a human is the offspring of two other humans, but how do you know those two other humans? By their respective parents? This can become an infinite regression. It's just humans all the way down, huh?

This is an interesting question about the sine qua non. I enjoyed your talk this time.

I think this is a great discussion. However, I think that the biblical view is that there is no such thing as a soul. The word soul does not appear anywhere in the Bible, except in a couple of places in the New Testament. In those cases, it always translated "life" and is a word used for the Hebrew word that means living being. It does not mean what we mean by "soul" in western philosophy.

That being said, I do believe the Bible clearly points towards the idea that there is a metaphysical component to human beings, similar to the idea of the soul. However, the difference is that the sine qua non for human beings in the Bible is a body. Animals in Genesis 1 to 3 are also created by God and blown with the breath of life (this might imply even creation has a metaphysical component, wrap your mind around that!). The difference between humans and animals is that humans are created in God's image and likeness.

Anyways, I think the sine qua non for humans (and also according to Paul I believe) is that you have a body. I guess this is basically the same thing that Greg is saying, because if you are the offspring of two humans, then you have a body, right? However, if the body is the sine qua non, that also means that you automatically have a metaphysical component to your body as well. But since the sine qua non for a human being is a body, then by default, any human with some kind of body automatically has a soul/metaphysical component. It's not that at some point in development that you don't have a metaphysical component and then at some other point you do. The soul does not exist without the body, nor the body without the soul. If you are alive, it is because a metaphysical God is what is sustaining it all.

This means the idea that somehow the unborn become human beings when they get a soul, is utter nonsense. The unborn is a living being with a separate body, therefore the unborn already have a metaphysical component...upon existence. The sine qua non is a body, no matter what size or at what point of development the unborn is at. Saying that we have a soul is really just saying that we exist, but just from another perspective.

So I think I would agree with Greg's definition but would qualify the sine qua non as A)offspring of two human beings, and B)that means the unborn have a body/exist.

"This can become an infinite regression. It's just humans all the way down, huh?"

Well, if humans and lizards can reproduce together via union together, then the offspring of such will be human, on those terms.

Speciation probably means something, and not nothing.


The Genome seems to be the beginning, and end, of any regress.


Two come together and beget a third.


Future Potential is, well, all that lies atop this necessary amalgamation of the Self-Other there within the necessarily begotten singular Us that is the genome. Future Potential is a revealing approach, as discussed by others more skilled than I in previous threads, for such ties up all the loose ends relative to anesthesia, brain death, loss of life, and so on without any self-negations, without any self-contradictions, and without any circular, and thus incoherent, attempts at reasoning.

The Genome is simply yet another part of God's Image, and what is the Being called Man without it? In fact, what is the Triune God without this very same regress? By this we mean simply that there is, in Him, in the Trinity, as in Man made in His Image, that which is a "Self", and, that which is an "Other", and, that which is necessarily begotten thereof, which is the Singular "We", the E Pluribus Unum that just is the Singular Amalgamation of the Self-Other, which is the singular Us thus begotten. Inside of Love’s Triune we find our I and our You, our Bride and our Groom, and by embrace therein we find our eternally begotten Singular-Us. The Triune God by definition has His own sine qua non which just is Love’s Triune and this Triune’s eternally begotten therein. Genome is what Man is for Man is what God is. There will be a Bride for there always has been a Bride, and there will be a Groom for there always has been a Groom, and there will be a Begotten Us for there always has been the Begotten. Man will be made in Love’s Triune Image. Mankind reflects this Image in many other arenas besides the merely physical, but, it is an interesting observation that dust is thus fashioned.


Off Topic: Those “other arenas” where His Image is in like manner mirrored are topics for other threads and I won’t bother with them here, but those other regresses bring all of Mind, all of Love, all of the Epistemological experience, and, ultimately, all of ontology necessarily back to this very same cohesive, all encompassing Pan-World topography.

Seems like the question answered was more like

What Is the Sine Qua Non of a Human Being?
than
What Is the Sine Qua Non of Human Nature?

Our expressions 'just human nature', 'against human nature', 'take human nature into account', etc. refer to natural human behavior, emotion, thought, etc.

RonH

Genome and Nature:

As we regress backwards, and ever backwards some more, we realize that Genome, that entity that is the begotten us of the self-other within embrace, is able to stand without, and does stand without, or, if it helps, can stand fully actualized prior to, human “emotion” fully actualized. Whereas, the Nature nuance cannot actualize and does not stand, cannot stand, without the Genome, the whole Being called Human lying therein.

Then, if we take this line of logic and apply it necessarily on all fronts, and insist that no thing is anything but for that thing which it stands upon, we regress into the two ontologies of atheism and of theism. Into the Barrenness of Indifference on the one hand and into the Passion of Immutable Love, or, if it helps, of Self, of Other, and of Humanity’s singularly begotten E Pluribus Unum, on the other hand. The question is, as no thing is anything but for that thing which it stands upon, which of our two regresses is more symmetrical with the sine qua non of human nature, especially as we regress into the topography of volition amongst real selves, and especially as we regress into the topography of all the heat of all our loves and of all our passions, and especially as we regress into the topography of reason and thought which are something higher, greater, further beyond the enslaved automaton of the barrenness of indifference which would not be (that automaton) reason at all?

Nothing in this obviously contingent observational matrix we awake to find ourselves within is coherent within atheism’s regress which is confined to this contingent matrix. Everything, from the Genome ever backwards and outwards to the edges of the confines of this contingent universe/matrix itself finds flawless cohesiveness in theism’s unique and entirely coherent regresses which on all fronts testify to the self-evident truth that no thing is anything but for that thing which it stands upon and here theism, in particular that of a triune sort, brings all of Mind, all of Love, all of the Epistemological experience, and, ultimately, all of ontology necessarily back to this very same cohesive, all encompassing Pan-World topography.

God, the Uncreated, cannot of course yet actualize any part of His Nature, whereas, any created being, being less than God, will necessarily find this Future Potential as part of its very nature, and necessarily so. Thus here too all the business of Future Potential and the Perpetual Worth thereof regresses yet again to the End of Ad Infinitum there at Love’s Triune. Hard Stop.

"Descriptively" Man's essence is this unbroken chain.

It is, on all fronts, incoherent when rested atop barrenness enslaved to indifference.

It is, in perpetual regress proximally and in perpetual motion distally, utterly symmetrical to all we have ever tasted when rested atop the Immutably Triune topography of God.

Hi Jared, when you say:

"The soul does not exist without the body, nor the body without the soul."
unless I am misunderstanding, historic Protestant Christianity would disagree....if only for a time. I remember hearing Rod Rosenbladt, a Lutheran professor at Concordia University and also a co-host of the White Horse Inn program with Michael Horton say something to the effect that "men are souls who have a body". I believe that the biblical revelation tells us that disembodied souls are unnatural, but if only for a time, souls exist without the body. Here's the Westminster Confession of Faith:

"I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.

II.At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.

III.The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honor; and be made conformable to His own glorious body.

Since human beings are created with body and soul, I dont think Rosenbladt's view would pit soul vs body as one being more important or necessary/essential, but maybe emphasis on the eternality of the soul to persist, against the capacity of the body to decay...if only for a time.

Atheism cannot sustain Man’s Sine Qua Non:


The Genome is simply yet another part of God's Image, and what is the Being called Man without it? In fact, what is the Triune God without this very same regress, as briefly described earlier?


We find here the issue of contingency on that which brings to the fore something essential to the content of, the whole of, nature wherein should such an element be removed one finds one’s self now describing something which cannot exist in its former essence.


Contingency is quite interesting to our unbroken chain, for, if we posit that Self-Awareness, or, Reason, or, Love, or, Perceiving amidst Self-Other, and so on and so on are the Sine Qua Non of Man’s Nature, we find within those very attributes of Man the self-evident truth that if these essences change in any of their properties they will thereby cease to be our Sine Qua Non properties. Nature (self-aware, and so on) cannot change in any way, since an essential change would be a change in essential nature.


A problem arises: Man is forever contingent.


Whatever Man’s Sine Qua Non is, it is, constantly, what it is only by the summation of countless streams of sentences pouring into it. Sine Qua Non is, necessarily, begotten of some other something at every point inside this thing we call Time. When that some other something is the very image of our Sine Qua Non, well, it is what it is and not illusion, that is to say, it is itself, it is always itself, and it cannot be something else. We arrive again at the self-evident truth that no thing is anything but for that thing which it stands upon. When we arrive at the Essence we call The-Individual, this regress ceases to be itself at Genome, for, prior to this, we have, not this Amalgamation of Self-Other that is this Genome, this Singular-We, half Bride, half Groom, but, instead, we have Bride and Groom. The Begotten thereof is, in God, perpetually begotten, for there is no part of His nature which is contingent, whereas, in Man, there is a moment inside of this thing we call Time in which the thing we call the singular begotten, the thing that is half Bride, half Groom, begins to exist and is non-contingent in its full amalgamation: Genome.


The problem for the atheist: Self-Awareness never does stand in mid-air. That would be an absurd move of desperation.


Self-Awareness stands atop Self-Awareness, forever in regress and perpetually in the motion we call forward. If this is not the case, then we are left with atheism’s Sine Qua Non which can never be what it is but by contingency as well (only God is non-contingent), and thus Man’s essence of Self-Awareness (and love, reason, and so on) becomes, say, this tree, that water molecule, this electron, and so on, for if any of those parts are pulled out from beneath the feet of Man’s Sine Qua Non then Man’s Sine Qua Non ceases to be what it is and we find ourselves describing something that is Non-Self-Aware for should such an element be removed one finds one’s self now describing something which cannot exist in its former essence, and thus that removed-something is, was, essential to our Sine Qua Non. The OP asks: what is essential to Man’s Sine Qua Non. What something, should it be removed, makes of Man a Non-Man. Well, it is not this tree, that water molecule, and so on, but it is Self-Awareness, Reason, Love, and so on. This leads us to two ends.


First, if no god, then we cannot destroy the genome for electrons and trees and carbon and so forth are all necessarily essential to the Sine Qua Non of Man for should any part of the chain be removed one has now changed the nature of the nature one was meaning to descriptively sum up. It is either this or Self-Awareness stands in mid-air, non-contingent, and thus we can remove this tree and that electron and this water molecule without changing the Sine Qua Non. What is essential, such that should we remove it, we no longer have “it”? Secondly, if God, the Genome is but that beginning location inside of Time wherein the Timeless Bride/Groom Image is yet mirrored for the Begotten is there found as its own distinct as Self-Awareness here embraces Self-Awareness there and these birth our singularly begotten Self-Awareness, and so on worlds without end.

Descriptively this is the Sine Qua Non of Man the individual, and, more robustly, of Mankind. Self-Awareness here becomes housed within Genome, though not contingent upon its particular hydrogen atoms and various dipole attractions and so on. All that is the individual in body, mind, spirit, and so on are inside this thing we call Time referenced to the quadrants of the particular location we call Genome, and no thing is any thing but for that thing which it stands upon, in infinite regress proximally and perpetually in the motion we call forward. The Sine Qua Non of Man is not the volition-less absurdity atheism must pass off as “reason” or “self-awareness” in its inane attempt to foist upon us some physical system that is free of other physical systems, as if Non-Contingency can exist in Atheism’s Self-Awareness. It can’t. It better hold on to every tree and every rock in regress, lest it pulls its own rug out from beneath its own feet, for should some “something” being removed result in the initial essence no longer being that initial essence, then that “something” is our Sine Qua Non. And everybody knows, no physical system stands Non-Contingent from any other physical system. Instead, the Sine Qua Non of Man is, it is self-evident, Non-Contingent Self Awareness inside of Willed Reason and Love’s Volition. All that is the individual in body, mind, spirit, and so on are inside this thing we call Time referenced to the quadrants of the particular location we call Genome, and no thing is any thing but for that thing which it stands upon, in infinite regress proximally and perpetually in the motion we call forward.

There is a previous thread which deals, if indirectly, with this descriptive geography of man’s unbroken chain of continuity laced with the created’s necessary content of future potential and how such avenues weigh in on how we value not just the fetus or the child but also the everyday adult in health and also the adult as she nears the ending stages of life. This spills over, somewhat, into a cohesive line which touches on pre-existence and post-existence as well. The landscape here and there helps us to philosophically tie up all the loose ends relative to anesthesia, brain death, loss of life, taking of life, traumatic brain injury, and so on without any self-negations, without any self-contradictions, and without any circular, and thus incoherent, attempts at reasoning. The thread is from November 2012 entitled “The Moral Pro Life Case” (post by Melinda). There may be some worthwhile overlap (of sorts) between this thread and that thread.

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