Spirt, soul, body
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 16:42
I copied these from another topic that was not in the RSE forum
. . .
Of course, those quoted are not under any obligation to continue the discussion here; I merely invite them to do so.
I follow a fairly classical formulation of each human being having a material part (body) and an immmaterial part (spirit or soul), with the
immaterial part being the essential self, while the body is accidental (something non-essential, something that can be removed or changed without loss
of self). [Explanation of scholastic terms for benefit of the gallery.]
Would either of you care to explain your thinking, or to illustrate it from Scripture?
janet - 18-2-2008 at 16:46
I follow the idea that humans are composite beings
- body and soul - hence the resurrection of the body.
If the body is not an essential part of the human person, I don't see much need for the incarnation.
I'm also not interested in a long thread swapping biblical quotations, nor in trying to prove anyone else wrong.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 17:12
I would like to suggest that the Incarnation was necessary for Jesus to obey God's Law for us, "to fulfill all righteousness." Much of what He
came here to do required Him to have an ordinary human body (e.g. resisting temptation).
If one's body is an essential part of one's being, what about the conditon between death on earth and resurrection? If a person cannot be human
without a body, wouldn't that mean they would cease to exist as a human person?
It seems reasonable to me to think of the body as a non-essential, removable part, restored and changed in the Resurrection. I would compare it to a
person who has a hand cut off in earthly life--they are still the same person that they were, as they continue to live from day to day without it, but
the hand will be restored in the Resurrection.
janet - 18-2-2008 at 17:20
It would mean that they existed as an incomplete human person - which makes sense to me.
There is also the point that we have no idea how time will operate after death.
To me, the difference between a hand and a body is obvious - the hand is not essential to life, a body is. I don't think the analogy works.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 17:39
may allow there is no material difference between our understandings.
janet - 18-2-2008 at 17:48
I don't see how - I see the body as essential to the human person, you do not.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 18:08
I mean "essential" in
the scholastic sense--that which is necessary for something still to be what it is, and without which it is no longer.
If the person without his body is still a human person at all (though an "incomplete human person"), then (if I understand you), that is what I mean
by saying the soul is the essential human person, i.e. the soul continues to be a human person, even without the body.
I'm not trying to stir up an argument over terminology (and I'm not trying to paper over differences, if you should see a real difference you wish
to point out, either). If I understand you accurately, I think the way we used "essential" is slightly different.
SRD - 18-2-2008 at 18:12
I have no personal evidence of the existence of a soul so can only assume that what we see is what we have.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 18:34
You certainly have noticed there is a difference between living people and dead bodies. That which gives the body life is the
(I don't mean to be a smart-aleck by putting it in such a basic way. If you think about it, doesn't there seem to be a major difference? All the
material parts seem to be the same, but there is something added in the living.)
Dreamweaver - 18-2-2008 at 19:00
So where does the soul end and the brain(a part of the body) begin?
There lies the difference to life and death to me.
SRD - 18-2-2008 at 19:25
But many of the bodies structures are still living, and some can be reused to provide life
elsewhere, and, having seen people alive and dead I can't tell the difference between the dead and those asleep at a cursory glance. And what about
those who are 'brought back from the dead' does the soul leave then come back? No, all my experience is that the idea of 'life' leaving a body
comes from the onlookers, not the body itself.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 19:32
One or more of our members might have some experiences to share on this subject, if they are so inclined.
[If not, that's OK, too.]
janet - 18-2-2008 at 21:59
I'm aware of what the scholastics said, scholar - my second lot of training was with the Dominicans...
Since that's not what I said, it's not what I meant.
I said a human person (a much more scholastic term than human being) is a composite being, and that's what I meant.
I'm a feminist scholastic theologian - not a Platonist.
We don't agree, scholar, it's as simple as that.
That's really hardly surprising. We don't agree on much in theology, why should this be any different?
janet - 18-2-2008 at 21:59
I think they all know that without being told.
janet - 18-2-2008 at 22:00
Nodding - I don't agree with you but I also can not prove that my beliefs are right, and yours wrong, if that makes sense... I don't think (and
have said often enough) that faith does not admit of empirical proof.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 22:09
But many of the people here have not, and so it can be useful to review terminology.
janet - 18-2-2008 at 22:21
If you're going down that route, it'd be helpful to cite sources.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 22:24
I agree with a tremendous amount of standard, traditional Roman
Catholic theology. I could draw up a list (which would include that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, that He truly died on the cross, that
He rose from the dead, that He forgives sins, that God offers benefits in Christian baptism. . and many other items) and I would hope to find that we
do agree on much in theology.
janet - 18-2-2008 at 22:26
Ok, we haven't agreed on much that has come up here.
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 22:47
I would suggest another approach.
Since this is a discussion (not a paper), let's just talk about what each of us means.
When I asked about " the conditon between death on earth and resurrection? If a person cannot be human without a body, wouldn't that mean they
would cease to exist as a human person?," you said "It would mean that they existed as an incomplete human person. . . ."
In what way would the content of those positions disagree?
janet - 18-2-2008 at 22:55
Hang on - either you mean what the scholastics meant, or you mean what you mean, or Humpty Dumpty was right.
You say that the body is not essential to the human person.
I think that it is - without the body, the human person is not complete.
I don't really think there's a great deal to be gained from this; we disagree. There is no harm in that.
This isn't the place - nor have I the desire - for a scholastic dispute. I've *done* my lectio coram, and I can't imagine anyone else is that
scholar - 18-2-2008 at 23:32
I would say that my immaterial part, soul or spirit, is essential to being human. When my body is becoming earth again, I will still be human without
it. Even when my body awaits the Resurrection, I am still me, and still a human person.
Badgergirl - 19-2-2008 at 00:02
I've been following all this thread, and aside from the Ressurection thing (It may be true, and certainly possible if not probable) I agree with the
I am still me, and my body is still breathing when I take my Astral Travels. (Away from my physical body), so I can be a whole person, with or without
My Personality is what makes me "me". And my personality is contained somewhere outside of me as well as in my biology.
In my opinion, life itself is part of God, and because God is everything, controlling everything, experiencing everything, my Body is God's vessel,
along with every living thing. My personality is controlled by many things, including my own personal Brain....BUT....
Only when I'm alive. I believe that while science can explain how different people have different personalities, because of their brains, and why
this is beneficial in nature; our souls carry on after death. I can't speak of "proof", but only from my personal encounters with ghosts.
What I'm trying to say, in a long-winded way, is that on some level, Our Personality, our SOULS control our biology, as part of the neverending cycle
of life in the Universe.
LSemmens - 19-2-2008 at 12:50
What part of the body makes up the essence of man could be a contentious issue. We've demonstrated that a person can live without many of his limbs,
and, for that fact, they can also live with another's heart and lungs, even blood transfusions seem to have no effect on our "in esse". So far,
only damage to the brain seems to affect our persona. So? Is our brain the only critical piece to who we are, or, is that also a part that, in the
future, can be transplanted to another body, and allowed to "live again". The question, then, might be, who is alive at that point.
As an aside, (and not really serious) at the resurrection, if we are physically raised up, what will happen to those who have had transplants, that
are still alive? Will they lose those organs to those who have been resurrected? What about someone who has been cremated or those who have been shot
into orbit? It could be a little disconcerting coming back to life, only to find that you are about to crash into a distant sun.confused2
janet - 19-2-2008 at 13:07
I never understand the transplant issue - nor the issues about those who were burned, etc.
The whole idea of resurrection pretty much hinges on a God who can create ex nihlio - so why a transplanted organ would be an issue, is beyond me.
LSemmens - 19-2-2008 at 13:43
Which is why it was a side issue and not serious. When looking at the resurrection of the body, often, these "arguments" are raised.