Does the Soul or Spirit Carry Consciousness?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Andre, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Andre

    Andre
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    What is the Scriptural evidence that there exists an immaterial soul / spirit "component" to the human person that has the specific property of carrying, bearing, or otherwise containing the attribute of consciousness?

    I do not believe there is any such evidence. And it is important to not simply appeal to some vague "definition" that is not demonstrably rooted in Scripture. It is indeed conceptually possible that a soul / spirit exists that does not bear consciousness, and that consciousness is an emergent property that arises when such a soul / spirit is integrated with a body.

    So please, if you have arguments (that do not illicitly assume the very conclusion you are trying to justify), please provide them.
     
  2. webdog

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    I believe the Spirit and Soul are two words describing the same thing. The phrases are used interchangeably in Scripture.

    Even though Scripture may not say which component carries the conscious, it's definately not the physical. Since we are both material and immaterial, the conscious must lie within the immaterial.

    Case in point. When neurologists do tests on the brain, the person must be awake...conscious. The Dr. can touch parts of the brain to physically trigger the movement of limbs, but when asked by the Dr. if the patient moved their limb or not, the patient will reply "no, you did". The conscious is not linked to the mind, so it must be linked to the soul / spirit.
     
  3. Andre

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    Thanks for your response

    You appear to assume that consciousness has to be carried by "one or the other" - the body or the soul / spirit. And you also appear to assume that we are both immaterial and material.

    Let me grant the latter point (even though I would do so in a highly qualified form).

    Consider sodium and chlorine. Neither in and of itself bears the property of saltiness - "saltiness" is a property that only emerges when they are combined together.

    Consider a light bulb and electricity. Neither in and of itself bears the property of giving off light - giving off light is a property that only emerges when they are combined together.

    These examples show that one simply cannot assume that "one or the other" component - the immaterial or the material - brings consciousness into the combination of the two.

    I am not sure I understand what your point is here. I can counter that when the doctor stimulates the brain of the patient, the physiology does what it is designed to do and the limb moves. And I ask you to clarify what you mean by the term "mind" here.
     
  4. Alex Quackenbush

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    Consider what happens when a person dies. They no longer have a body but apparently the immaterial self has a consciousness. And for the unsaved the consciousness of their immaterial self must be a reality since they won't receive a resurrected or glorified body yet they will stand before God to be judged and account for their sins their has to be a consciousness present.
     
  5. DHK

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    (Luk 23:46 KJV) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

    Gill, Baptist theologian says:
    Christ's spirit did not die, nor sleep, nor lose consciousness. Neither will ours.
     
  6. webdog

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    The difference, IMO, is that neither the material nor the immaterial need each other to "survive". You can grab a dead corpse and keep the body alive well after the soul is gone with machines...and the soul / spirit obviously does not need the body to survive, either.
    Well, physiologically, the Dr. is moving the limb...but consciously the "person" is not in control. While the brain moves the body, the consciousness works alongside the brain controlling it.

    Also, if you were to lose both arms and legs, would you consider yourself only 50% you? Of course not. We...what makes us, us, is our conscious, and that is definately immaterial.
     
    #6 webdog, Sep 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2007
  7. Andre

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    I am interested in a specifically scriptural defence of this claim. We cannot simply assume it to be true, especially since it is not true by logical necessity.
     
  8. Alex Quackenbush

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    Sure but you left off the rest of my response which was SCRIPTURAL. Nevertheless here it is again:

    And for the unsaved the consciousness of their immaterial self must be a reality since they won't receive a resurrected or glorified body yet they will stand before God to be judged and account for their sins their has to be a consciousness present.

    Now I gladly can post the passage that deals with this reality if you are not familiar with the unsaved and their judgment.

    But if that doesn't do the Bible clearly states: "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". So you believe someone will be present with the Lord (a believer) and absent from the body yet without being conscious?
     
    #8 Alex Quackenbush, Sep 28, 2007
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  9. Andre

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    There is simply no content here that Scripturally justifies the claim that the spirit or soul of a person bears consciousness. This seems to be assumed by the writer. Please tell me precisely where the author of this quote makes any argument at all to the effect that the spirit or the soul bears consciousness.

    Readers, if they read carefully, will note that while the above post is indeed an argument for the separability of the soul / spirit, from the body, it nowhere makes the case that this soul / spirit is the entity that bears consciousness.
     
  10. Andre

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    Please provide the passage. I am aware of no passage that says that the unsaved dead will not be called forth and given a body, only to then be bodily cast into the lake of fire. If you can provide a text that rules this possbility out, not just a text works with your interpretation, I am all ears.

    You may not know this, but a number of responses to this text have been provided in other threads. For the present, I will assume that the text is correct as translated.

    It is entirely plausible that Paul was speaking as to what his experience would be, rather than making a "third-party" statement about the factual state of affairs about his transition from this life to the next. What is your specific argument as to why this statement from Paul cannot be taken in a "phenomenological" manner, i.e. what things will be like for Paul as a subject of experience?

    If I say "to be in my bed at midnight is to hear the alarm clock ringing at 8 AM", I can legitimately be seen to be expressing the view that one second my head is on the pillow and the next, from my perspecitve, I am hearing the alarm clock.
     
  11. DHK

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    So God is dead?? :(
     
  12. Andre

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    You seem to think that it is common knowledge, or an otherwise obviously self-evident fact that people have this consciousness-bearing immaterial soul / spirit. I have granted that, at least in a sense, there is indeed a 'non-physical' component to the human person. But no Scripture to this effect has been provided in this thread (the closest being 2 Cor 5:8 but I hope to flesh out my argument that, in order to be consistent with texts like 1 Cor 15, Paul must be talking "phenomenologically" in 2 Cor 5:8). There are other ways in which the traditional take on 2 Cor 5:8 is vulnerable.

    Are you not assuming that human persons, by sheer logical necessity alone, have to have a consciousness bearing immaterial soul / spirit? This idea is so deeply ingrained in western thought due to a capitulation to Platonism, that it is sometimes accepted as a self-evident truth.

    It is not self-evident - consciousness can be an emergent property that only flowers into existence when God breathes a non-consciousness bearing spirit into the dust out of which man is created. This is what I believe to be the case and I am interested to see if any Scripture can rule this possibility out.
     
  13. Alex Quackenbush

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    So you are suggesting they are given their rotted bones, their 1,000 year old bodies back that have broken down into whatever basic elements? Is this the suggestion? I see believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies but I see no place unbelievers are reconstituted physically anywhere. The stark difference may not be made in the form of an elementary sentence stating, "Oh by the way, unbelievers don't get their rotted, decomposed and broken into elements of carbon and so on back and neither do they get a glorified body" but since below you find "PLAUSIBILITY" an acceptable form of reasoning and arguing, well I find such deductions more than just plausible but quite reasonable to support the view unbelievers aren't getting their decomposed bodies back.


    It can be taken "phenomenologically" but it doesn't have to and the text doesn't indicate that force in its use.

    Here is 2 Corinthians 5:

    Paul makes the context clear, it is in the context of literally either being in the body and absent from the Lord or absent from the body and present with the Lord. Interestingly Paul adds in the 10th verse the judgment seat where, when we are present with the Lord (and absent from the body) we are accounting for the things done in the body. A bit difficult to account without being conscious, eh?
     
    #13 Alex Quackenbush, Sep 28, 2007
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  14. Andre

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    My post never suggested or implied that God is dead. The reader will no doubt be aware of the existence of properties of things that are emergent - that do not inhere in any of the "parts" that are brought together to make the "thing" but only arise when the parts are actually integrated together.

    I have already mentioned some. The saltiness of salt does not inhere in either the sodium or the chlorine that make up salt. The casting of light does not inhere in either electricity or the light bulb. The light only comes into existence when the two are brought together.

    There is no conceptual or logical necessity to a conclusion that either the soul / spirit or the body must, individually carry the property of consciousness into the state when they are combined.

    Neither electricity in wall circuits nor light bulbs give off light before they are brought together. Only when they are brought together does light appear.
     
  15. Andre

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    From Daniel 12:

    Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt

    The implications of this text seem clear to me:

    1. Whatever the awaking consists in, it happens to both the redeemed and the non-redeemed.

    2. By your view that the consciousness-bearing soul / spirit of the redeemed is already awake in heaven, the Daniel 12:2 text must be talking about a physical resurrection.

    3. By item 1, we are forced to conclude that the lost dead are also raised physically.

    Obviously your position must entail an explanation of what this text from Daniel means in respect to the lost, since the text clearly talks about them.

    So what is awakening from the dust for the unredeemed, if not their bodies?
     
  16. DHK

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    I am not sure if you know how to argue from the point of logic.
    The law of biogenesis states that life only comes from life.
    That renders all of your examples useless. There is no life in NaCl. It is simply the combination of two elements together. Minerals have no life; no consciousness.

    Life is something that man cannot create. He can "make" a computer similar to a brain, but he cannot put life into the brain. He can't even do that with plant life. He cannot do that which only God can do--create life. When we come to the animal kingdom, God has put into each and every animal a soul; and furthermore into man he has put his spirit, thereby differentiating him from animals.

    When given the evidence that Christ gave up his human spirit unto the Father: "Into thy hands I commend my spirit," you denied his conscious spirit in heaven, and thereby declared Christ (God) dead! For Christ is both fully man and fully God at the same time.
     
  17. Andre

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    I assume that you are able to substantiate your claim that "life only comes from life". If this really is a "law" that has currency in the scientific community, then all those guys who think we evolved from mud must not be aware of it. Please substantiate this claim. Evolutionists do not believe it since they believe the universe started out as a mass of elementary hydrogen atoms and we are now here. So it cannot be a "law" that has wide acceptance.

    Obviously untrue. Your entire counterargument is based on the belief that the spirit has to bear consciousness or that it has been Scripturally shown to such - where is the Scripture to support this?

    2 Cor 5:8 is all I have seen and I hope to make the case (if no one else beats me to it - NoShame did an excellent job on this in the other thread) that the overall scriptural picture requires us to take this text phenomenologically.

    Your argument here, if drawn to its logical conclusion, involves a belief that lack of consciousness means death. You have said that my denial that Jesus was conscious in Heaven thereby "declares God dead".

    When I sleep tonight (and am therefore in state of unconsciousness), am I dead?
     
  18. Alex Quackenbush

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    Please make sure you ignore the rest of the post. But for this singular response where you avoided having to deal with the more substantive portion of my response attached to the post you responded to here, my view was about the day of judgment, not that they were already in heaven facing judgment. But for you elementary introduction, "those that sleep in the ground" is synonymous for those that are dead. But in case you were anxious to deal with the rest of the earlier post I will repost it for you:

    It can be taken "phenomenologically" but it doesn't have to and the text doesn't indicate that force in its use.

    Here is 2 Corinthians 5:

    Paul makes the context clear, it is in the context of literally either being in the body and absent from the Lord or absent from the body and present with the Lord. Interestingly Paul adds in the 10th verse the judgment seat where, when we are present with the Lord (and absent from the body) we are accounting for the things done in the body. A bit difficult to account without being conscious, eh?
     
    #18 Alex Quackenbush, Sep 28, 2007
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  19. Eliyahu

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    After we finished the thread " When we die do we go directly to the Heaven?", I thought about the new thread " What are the souls doing after the death of the bodies?" But I don't want to duplicate the issues now.
    However, my stance is somehow different from Andre's.

    1. Soul and Spirit
    I believe that the souls and the spirits are different elements of human beings.
    a) 1 Thess 5:23 clearly teaches us the Trichotomy ( we should not change the Bible by the interpretation)
    b) Heb 4:12 tells us that the Words of God divide the souls and spirit asunder
    c) Mary praised by the soul ( Luke 1:46) and by the spirit ( 1:47)
    d) ca. 500 verses for soul and another 500 verses for spirit teach us a certain difference.

    Souls represent the persons, while the spirits are the parts by which Believers praise the Lord, obey God, preserving the eternal entity in the deepest heart. Souls have the emotion and the ideas even after the separation from the brain which is the part of the body. The body is supposed to be subjugated to the soul as in Col 3:5. But the souls of the carnal believers are often tempted to be subjugated to the flesh ( 1 Cor 3:3-4. Gal 5:16-, Col 3:5 ). Mature believers are walking in the Spirit filled with Holy Spirit.
    I believe the souls are attached to the spirits after the death, and therefore this cannot be an issue on this thread.

    2. Souls carry the memory of this world and therefore I believe they are conscious even after the death.
    Re 6:9-11 tells us the Souls of the Martyrs remember the persecution and death on this world and ask for the vengeance, until they enter the rest.
    Even in the story of Richman and Lazarus, the richman remembers his brothers.

    3. Though the souls still carry the consciousness and memory, they are normally sleeping after the death, except the time when God calls them, awakes them.
    a) Souls represent the human beings, the persons of the believers and unbelievers.
    Numerous Bible verses support this.
    In the previous thread, the title was " When we die, do we go directly to the Heaven?" What are " we" after the death of the body? Each person after the death means ' the soul of that person'
    This is undeniable when we search the Bible.

    b) Bible tells us that the dead person sleeps all the time. Bible would not say that the person is sleeping while he or she is singing and praising God.
    Such Bible verses are as follows:

    Lazarus fell asleep ( Jn11)

    Stephen fell asleep ( Ac 7:60)

    Sinned Believers sleep ( 1 Cor 11:30) after death

    We shall not all sleep ( 1 Cor 15:51) ( We shall sleep, otherwise, if we sing and praise God, then he wouldn’t have said so)

    But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope ( 1 Th 4:13) ( Because Paul knew that they were sleeping !)

    God will bring them who are sleeping in Jesus ( 1 Th 4:14)

    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep ( 1 Th 4:15)

    Who died for us, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. ( 1 Th 5:10) – we see sleep is used in contrast to Wake. ( Were they praising?)


    Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished ( 1 Cor 15:18)


    Are the souls praising the Lord?

    Ps 88:10
    Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.

    Ps 115:17
    The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.



     
    #19 Eliyahu, Sep 28, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  20. webdog

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    Genesis 1.
     

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