Actually, there are even more problems than that with the
whole issue of
soul infusion, but let it pass. the biggest problem with classic concept of
an immortal soul maybe that it is not biblical, as been discussed. Our hope
is not the survival of a disembodied soul, but the resurrection of the body.
God is going to somehow reconstitute the whole person at the end of days,
and thereafter we will live with the Lord. Hallelujah!
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
Behalf Of J Burgeson
Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 11:30 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: Adam from Dust
Dick Fischer wrote (rhetorically, I do not disagree with his post):
"Which of those billions of sperm cells come with souls? Which of the
mother's eggs have souls attached? If at conception the beginning
embryo doesn't have its soul yet, when does it get one? I don't
presume to know the answer, ...."
As with many science/religious questions, perhaps science cannot answer
this, but it can provide evidence which suggests limits.
Those who claim the soul is "infused by God" at the "moment of conception
have at least three scientific facts to explain:
1. The "moment of conception" is not an event, but a process, taking (I am
told) upwards of an hour to complete.
The only response to this is "Well, there must be some point of time in
there somewhere; it is probably not scientifically measurable."
I think this would be an adaquate (metaphysical of course) answer, but for
the next two facts.
2. For about two weeks after conception completes, there is a possibility of
"twinning," where the fertilized entity splits into two separate persons,
producing "identical" twins. Was a second soul created?
A possible response to this is "Well, there were two souls there all along."
This seems to me to be stretching a bit, but I suppose one could hold this
(metaphysical) position honestly and rationally. But the third fact seems to
be a trump:
3. Following the twinning process, the two separate entities sometimes fuse
back into one. Did the second soul die?
I suppose one could claim the second soul simply died. But by this time even
a metaphysical explanation seems to wear pretty thin.
It is fair, however, for one to ask the question "When, then, DOES the soul
appear?" And it seems clear that, assuming a separate soul exists, and being
a dualist, I hold that position, that the only honest answer is "I don't
know." So I agree with Dick.
Even with this answer, however, it is OK to speculate, realizing that this
is metaphysics, not science. One speculation is that the infusion of a soul
is a PROCESS, and takes place over the many months of gestation, and,
perhaps, is not complete until sometime in childhood. I don't like this
speculation; it inplies that there are such things as either "partial souls"
or "incomplete souls."
The only alternative speculation seems to be that the soul is infused
sometime during the gestation cycle. This explanation is the most satisfying
to me, personally.
Dick, in replying to Glenn, also says:
"You and Hugh Ross have pinned the evidence of soul on certain behavior
patterns such as building altars. By your own standards of evidence animals
don't do that."
The brutal fact is that certain animals, at certain times and in certain
places exhibit behaviours that parallel much of Glenn's evidences. See the
book WHEN ELEPHANTS WEEP, for instance. They exhibit altruism (even
cross-species), enjoy art and beauty, fall in love, and much more. The two
strongest pieces of evidence Glenn has are altar building and the use of
fire for illumination in otherwise inaccessuble caves. These two are strong
enough evidence (for me) to make the judgement that the creatures of 4MY ago
were as human as I am, and therefore Glenn's models have to be taken
seriously by those holding to a factual Adam/Eve.
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