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Evolution and Imago Dei by Sy Garte in God and Nature
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10/16/2012 at 1:33:59 PM GMT
Posts: 60
Evolution and Imago Dei by Sy Garte in God and Nature
The author thinks that the only difference between humans and animals is that humans change and animals do not. This is the only difference that atheists grasp and will admit to, however, you don’t explain why humans were created in the image of God by quoting Richard Dawkins and materialistic neuroscientists. You explain it by proving that humans are embodied spirits. 

The difference between humans and animals is that humans have minds with four levels and animals only have brains, with no levels at all. The lowest level is observation. Take, for example, knowing that the sky is blue. This means more than that light is entering our eyes and a signal is going to our brains. It means an awareness of this. What is this awareness? What are the mental images that humans can create after they observe an object?

When animals have nothing to do, they go to sleep. Humans ask questions about what they observe. Humans want to know the cause of things, the relationship between things, and the unity between things.  Extremely intelligent humans invent hypotheses or insights.  What is causality? What are concepts and other mental constructs?  

Humans don't invent hypotheses for the fun of it, but want to know whether they are true or just probable. At this level, humans marshal the evidence and decide whether a hypothesis is true. This level requires being rational. What is truth? 

The fourth level is deciding what to do with our bodies. This level requires being responsible. What is the relationship between ourselves and our bodies? 

Thus, humans are attentive, intelligent, rational, and responsible animals. None of these four adjectives can be defined or explicated. This means humans are indefinabilities that become conscious of their own existence. Two other ways of saying this is that humans are embodied spirits and the human soul is spiritual.

These unanswerable questions about the human mind lead to God's existence because we know that other humans exist. Humans are finite beings because our existence is limited to ourselves. Since finite beings need a cause, an infinite being exists. The infinite being is called God in Western religions.    



David Roemer


10/31/2012 at 9:40:13 PM GMT
Posts: 51

"The author thinks that the only difference between humans and animals is that humans change and animals do not."

Did you mean that the other way around (animals change but not humans)?

"...you don't explain why humans were created in the image of God by quoting Richard Dawkins and materialistic neuroscientists. You explain it by proving that humans are embodied spirits."

Yes. The spiritual element within mankind is the key difference, IMO. To be so genetically similar to certain monkeys and apes disallows much of a genetic argument for any real difference.

Yet, proving (objectively) any spiritual embodiment seems unlikely. What should be seen as "kind” will be argued in "degree”. Birds, with vision containing four color cones to our three, and other animals probably use the blue color of the sky to their advantage somehow, though they do not seem to have the higher level (ie degree) of problem solving skills to determine that the color comes from the Sun, and the inverse 4th power of wavelength.

"Humans don't invent hypotheses for the fun of it, but want to know whether they are true or just probable. At this level, humans marshal the evidence and decide whether a hypothesis is true. This level requires being rational. What is truth?"

Yes, but you use the word "level”, which is a measure of degree (and not kind).

"Thus, humans are attentive, intelligent, rational, and responsible animals. None of these four adjectives can be defined or explicated. This means humans are indefinabilities that become conscious of their own existence. Two other ways of saying this is that humans are embodied spirits and the human soul is spiritual."

Self awareness, however, is found in other species. Put a mirror in front of a dolphin and they, apparently, recognize themselves.

I suspect that the requirement of faith will always restrict any enumeration of objective base arguments that will allow a spiritual conclusion.   Nevertheless, there are plenty of subjective arguments that clearly can be used to at least open doors so people can consider taking the small step of faith.  Indeed, you have mentioned some.



Last edited Wednesday, October 31, 2012
11/1/2012 at 10:17:28 AM GMT
Posts: 60
Reply to G. Cooper
Animals do not change. Only, humans change. I exist now and I existed 10 years ago. I am the same being. But I am a different being now than I was 10 years ago. No animal has ever said such a thing. The author did not express it this way. The author simply noted the sense observation that, for example, humans used to live in caves and now they live in skyscrapers. 

Saying humans are embodied spirits is just another way of saying humans are indefinabilities that become conscious of their own existence. We can comprehend what a human is because we know everything that we do and everything that happens to us. But we can’t define or explicate what a human being is. 

The word "level” implies a hierarchy or cardinal system: level 1, level 2, level 3. The human mind has four such levels: observation, inquiry, reflective judgment, deciding what to do with our bodies. The human mind either observes things or asks questions. The human mind does not have a function that lies between observing and asking questions. 

The metaphysical definition of self-awareness is that it is the ability to turn in on yourself and catch yourself in the act of your own existence. Defining self-awareness as being able to recognize your self in the mirror is the scientific definition of self-awareness. 



David Roemer