Reading your typical book is like sitting on the grandstand of a racetrack. You see the race cars whizzing by, and you sort of feel the excitement of the race, albeit from quite a distance away. The book you read is like that: fun yet forgettable.
Reading a good book is like being invited to sit in the passenger-seat of the race car. The excitement of the book’s language, its story, is experienced much closer ‘to the skin’, as if sitting next to the driver. Now, your book has your attention.
However, reading an exceptional book is like being behind the race-car’s steering wheel. Now you find yourself on a wholly different and immersive level. The content of your book will stay with you forever.
My ‘exceptional’, top-of-the-list, non-fiction books? Two stand out: Wandering in Darkness and Atonement, both by Eleonore Stump.
Both works are meticulously reasoned, precisely formulated, engagingly written; academic writing at its absolute best.
Perusing Yuval Noah Harrari’s book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, however, feels like observing a car on a dirt track in the distance, kicking up dust and grit as the driver is doing nothing but doughnuts. Dull, uninspiring, and you can’t really see what’s going on.
A brief history of tomorrow. A sly subtitle surrounded by many caveats. Yuval Harari is a cautious man, and who can blame him? We are talking about the future here!
His prediction is breathtaking: “humankind is likely to aim for immortality, bliss and divinity”. However, that might be a problem, according to him:
… it is far from clear that we should be aiming at immortality, bliss and divinity. Adopting these particular projects might be a big mistake. But history is full of big mistakes. Given our past record and our current values, we are likely to reach out for bliss, divinity and immortality – even if it kills us.
Worse, his ‘prediction’ is “less of a prophecy and more a way of discussing our present choices. If the discussion makes us choose differently, so that the prediction is proven wrong, all the better. …”
So before Harari get’s his argument started, he has hedged his bets broad enough as to manoeuvre out of any tight spot he might find himself in down the road.
That being said, let’s dive into some of his writings and see what we might learn from him. And that immediately poses a problem. Although the book seems to contain answers to many a ‘big question’, Harari is only willing to share his own ‘map of reality’.
That is, Harari never deals in any profound sense with the discourses he engages with, and never tackles sturdy critiques he might encounter along the way.
Put differently, Harrari might make big claims about all sorts of things, but you, as a reader, are never given any justifications for these claims so that you might actually come to believe all that he is saying.
For that reason I will look for internal consistency in Harari’s book, or a lack thereof.
I am really curious how well he argues for some of his positions he aims to defend on his own terms. I will specifically look at some of the issues he likes to scrap as to give room to his own version of the world we live in.
Make no mistake, clearing away ‘conceptual rubbish’ in our search for truth is massively important. Let’s begin our little ‘clarification quest’ by looking at what Harari has to say about the human soul (emphasis added):
For thousands of years people believed that all our actions and decisions emanate from our souls. Yet in the absence of any supporting evidence, and given the existence of much more detailed alternative theories, the life sciences have ditched the soul. As private individuals, many biologists and doctors may go on believing in souls. Yet they never write about them in serious scientific journals.
…Scientists have subjected Homo sapiens to tens of thousands of bizarre experiments, and looked into every nook in our hearts and every cranny in our brains. But they have so far discovered no magical spark. There is zero scientific evidence that in contrast to pigs, Sapiens have souls.
If that were all, we could well argue that scientists just need to keep looking. If they haven’t found the soul yet, it is because they haven’t looked carefully enough. Yet the life sciences doubt the existence of soul not just due to lack of evidence, but rather because the very idea of soul contradicts the most fundamental principles of evolution. This contradiction is responsible for the unbridled hatred that the theory of evolution inspires among devout monotheists.
The following might seem extremely disappointing, but as a Christian I sense in myself no hatred whatsoever against the theory of evolution. None!
Nonetheless, I do weep over the stupidities Harari champions here, which any person in their right mind could spot with no effort. No need to be a monotheist, of whatever stripe.
What Harari does here is akin to defending ‘metallicism’, a term Edward Feser introduced in one of his brilliant blogposts, which subsequently he demolishes comprehensively like so (emphasis added):
1. Metal detectors have had far greater success in finding coins and other metallic objects in more places than any other method has.
2. Therefore what metal detectors reveal to us (coins and other metallic objects) is all that is real.
Metal detectors are keyed to those aspects of the natural world susceptible of detection … But however well they perform this task – indeed, even if they succeeded on every single occasion they were deployed – it simply wouldn’t follow for a moment that there are no aspects of the natural world other than the ones they are sensitive to.
That ‘metallicism’ is sheer nonsense is easy to understand – there are far more materials around – e.g. wood, stone, plastics, biorganics – than metal detectors could ever, well, detect – ánd on par with Harari’s drivel on the absence of the soul because science-is-unable-to-find-it.
Science of the empirical kind will never (as in never) be able to find something like the soul, just as it is incapable of empirically proving that 2 + 2 = 4, or any other logical proposition for that matter.
Put differently, can we empirically (in the real world that is) observe a negative integer (e.g. -395), the square root of 2, the number pi, other irrational numbers? Of course not! Neither can empirical science ‘find the human soul’. It’s not ‘built’ for doing so.
The facts about evolution have nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of the human soul. Harari’s (mis)understanding of (the philosophy of) science all the more so.
The irony is that although Harari opts for materialism as the only ‘real’, the square root of 2, the number pi and countless other mathematical entities and propositions existed before any humans came on the scene or even discovered and understood them.
Of course, ‘metallicism’ is a metaphor for the (ludicrous and dangerous) ideology of scientism, which we ran into previously, for instance, in my blogpost Dystopian threats and the globalisation of faiths, as defined by Karl Pearson(emphasis added)
…the scientific method is the sole path by which we can attain to knowledge. The very word knowledge, indeed, only applies to the product of the scientific method in this field. Other methods, here or elsewhere, may lead to fantasy, as that of the poet or of the metaphysician, to belief or to superstition, but never to knowledge.
About our presence in the Universe, again ironically, Harari is blatantly relativistic, which is utterly antithetical to his scientistic absolutism. For instance (emphasis added):
Modern culture rejects this belief in a great cosmic plan. We are not actors in any larger-than-life drama. Life has no script, no playwright, no director, no producer – and no meaning. To the best of our scientific understanding, the universe is a blind and purposeless process, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. During our infinitesimally brief stay on our tiny speck of a planet, we fret and strut this way and that, and then are heard of no more.
So what about the stories we tell each other, the faiths we share (or not), the gods we worship (or not), or freedom and human rights we regard as ‘self-evident’ (or not)?
In his previous Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind to which Homo Deus is the sequel, his answer to these questions is unequivocal (emphasis added):
… ‘liberty’? There is no such thing in biology. Just like equality, rights and limited liability companies, liberty is something that people invented and that exists only in their imagination. From a biological viewpoint, it is meaningless to say that humans in democratic societies are free, whereas humans in dictatorships are unfree. And what about ‘happiness’? So far biological research has failed to come up with a clear definition of happiness or a way to measure it objectively. Most biological studies acknowledge only the existence of pleasure, which is more easily defined and measured. So ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ should be translated into ‘life and the pursuit of pleasure’. …
We believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society.
This is courteous parlance for saying that all these things, that is our ‘mental creatures’, are imagined, not real, thus ultimately non-existent.
According to Harari, only biology – chemistry and physics to be more precise – is real. Everything else is just fiction; myth making; an intersubjectively shared reality at its most diplomatic.
Incontrovertibly then, the most obvious of flaws comes to haunt Harari, destroying all his arguments in the process.
As his ‘fictive perspective’ must by necessity apply to áll our brainchilds, science must fall under the same category of myth-making as anything else Harari ‘condemns’ to the realm of the un-real.
Of course, Harari tries to hide this glaring reasoning offence, resulting in him axiomatically camouflaging ‘science as fiction’ with his concoction of ‘real science’.
Well, it’s actually worse than that.
If there is no “meaning” or “purpose”, then there can be no truth or correctness of any kind, including the truth and correctness he would ascribe to science, which he does so copiously albeit simplistically!
So for all his hundreds of pages of text, Harari is just woolgathering his own world he can comfortably live in, trying to tag us along as much as we let him. Well, I am not buying.
Why? Again, there is literally nothing of any substance in Harari’s world, because his “universe is blind and purposeless”.
At the end of all his “meaningless” (really!) meanderings, we are left with “dataism” as our ‘new religion’. We are biochemical algorithms soon to be overtaken by the electronic versions thereof, according to Harari that is.
Except for one thing: we need to get rid of this pesky little thing known as free will, as Harari emphatically asserts (emphasis added):
To the best of our scientific understanding, determinism and randomness have divided the entire cake between them, leaving not even a crumb for ‘freedom’. The sacred word ‘freedom’ turns out to be, just like ‘soul’, an empty term that carries no discernible meaning. Free will exists only in the imaginary stories we humans have invented.
The last nail in freedom’s coffin is provided by the theory of evolution. Just as evolution cannot be squared with eternal souls, neither can it swallow the idea of free will. For if humans are free, how could natural selection have shaped them? According to the theory of evolution, all the choices animals make … reflect their genetic code. …
Again we are treated with the ridiculous reductionism of ‘metallicism’: ‘if science can’t find it, it isn’t there’.
Perhaps we need to look deeper to really understand the sheer silliness of rejecting free will. Let me cite from my good friend William Briggs’ book Everything You Believe is Wrong (emphasis added):
It should be obvious free will cannot be an illusion. An illusion held by whom? It takes a person equipped with free will, i.e. free choice in at least some situations, to have an illusion. That is the only way to know an illusion is an illusion. Thus we have the Illusion Of Illusion Fallacy.
This is why denying free will is a denial of self. People claiming illusion somehow suppose they ride above their bodies and minds in some unexplained way, and merely witness life unfolding before them, powerless to make real choices, but somehow there is some entity below themselves which falsely believes it is making choices.
You can’t have both things being true at once. Either a walking meat machine is a true zombie, programmed in all its actions, and therefore incapable of having illusions—it can’t know it’s a zombie—or you have to have free will, with the possibility that some choices are only apparent, but where some choices are real.
Done; nuff said. In the end I got really bored looking at the dust kicked up by Homo Deus. The book is no more than a “speck” on the bookshelf of history, and then is, hopefully, “heard of no more”, which fits Harari’s perspective quite well by the way!
Let’s pray for that to happen, although materialism is too an attractive worldview as an instrument to allegedly confront Thomas Nagel‘s “cosmic authority problem”, which in his view is “responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time”.
Yuval Noah Harari follows Nagel’s script to a tee. That, in my view, explains his success ánd his widely shared animosity against religion of specifically the monotheistic kind.
This article also appears at Hanekamp’s website.
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Categories: Book review
Darwin Darwin Darwin. He is God to many in the scientific community and shall never be questioned – even though he published “Origin of the Species” long before the periodic table had been completed, and alloy technology was virtually unknown. He and Malthus had never considered that humans would develop the ability to transmute matter into ways that could never be imagined.
Yet there are countless University departments dedicated to the religion of Darwinism.
From the excerpts you’ve highlighted, this Harambe guy will probably hold the world record for the most trite platitudes and bromides to ever be contained in a single book. Probably a reflection of the lazy mind that thinks of such nonsense. Maybe it is he who doesn’t have a soul?
Ask an ant about the existence of humans. The ant isn’t even able to understand our language, let alone the large things that sometimes pass overhead or trample them.
How can we “find” the soul when we can’t understand God? We don’t even come as close as an ant comes to us.
Harari talks about the assumed unbridled hatred of evolution. It reminds me of Twitter posts that gleefully reveal that Jesus was not a white European – therefore all us Western Christians must hate that. That lack of basic understanding of Christianity is deeply saddening more than anything else – A Christian, by nature, could not care less about Jesus’ supposed race.
Evolution does exist and is observable – it’s just that it is a small, crude subset of the entire nature of human (and biological) existence. Great excuse for the Victorians to deny the existence of God, though. That and the works of Marx and Engels.
It is funny – in a black humor sort of way- to see so many men rely upon “science” for truths to invest there beliefs in .
Now, one could cite the Psalms for proof that he earth does not move:
92:1,  The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself. For he hath established the world which shall not be moved.
95:10, Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.
103:5 Who hast founded the earth upon its own bases: it shall not be moved for ever and ever.
but most me would be loathe to advance the word of God as proof of anything- and, there is the fear that others would laugh at him.
C’est la vie…
If you want to believe that trillions of inheritable birth defects, each somehow being fortuitously favorable to survival, explain the difference between a one cell creature that magically appeared a supposed billions of years ago and human beings of today, no one’s going to stop you. You’re obviously free to ride that sacred cow if you want to.
Consider how the Esquimeaux seem to have no free will to resist writing rubbish, such as this Harambe fellow. And the goyim seem to have no free will to resist wallowing in Esquimeaux hogwash. You can see how one might come to think it’s all a robot-zombie-clown poopfest.
Harari can’t find or explain the soul, I wonder where his thoughts come from…
The idea that the universe is blind and purposeless, and that when I’m gone I’ll just be gone, period, is depressing. Yet just because I don’t like it, it doesn’t logically follow that it must not be true.
Ahh, but attempts have been made to trace actions before they become ‘conscious’. None have yet succeeded but if they do, they would disprove “Free Will” . Neuroscience is the biggest enemy to believers of all stripes because it does indeed show that lots of what we think of as ourselves does have a biological explanation OR at least a component. To me, the single best current argument against the ‘soul’ is that not only drugs, but certain brain injuries can cause not just loss (or in rare cases gain) of functionality such as intelligence, but also personality changes as well. If all thoughts and feelings were somehow held by this ‘soul’ that is immaterial and blah blah, this shouldn’t be possible. In short, consciousness itself is tied to the material world at least in some ways. Similarly, if we have this “Free Will”, then they should not ever be able to show that something is decided ‘at an unconscious level’ esp they should not be able to trace a neuro signal to a predetermined conclusion before it hits conscious awareness, but that is what has been attempted to be done. Thankfully, despite some misreporting, it has not yet BEEN done, at least to that level.
As for me, personally, I’m willing to bet that A)They will NOT disprove Free Will and B) The ‘soul’ is partly materialistic and is a type of Quantum Soul. I have some use for ‘metaphysics’, and yes, scientism is a ‘thing’ that needs to be criticized. But science remains the best and only way to get testable results out of what we day to day call ‘reality’ and it has more to say about some of these ‘metaphysical’ questions than the simple materialist atheists will ever want to admit , and that religious believers generally ever know. The Universe is awesome, but its also damn STRANGE.
Interesting essay starts with immortality and ends with monotheism but how are
the two related? Immortality is the holy grail of scientism having found no evidence
of the soul; but biological immortality for who?…certainly not the masses. No it will be an
immortality much like the elite Sumerian pantheon which wasn’t at all about any theism. It
was the worship of men in ‘flying chariots’ by the black haired people of the Sumerian
pick axe & basket poem.
Monotheism was an invention of Rome that has obscured more than it’s revealed, it
replaced Rome’s legions with the belief in an eternal disembodied afterlife vs. perpetual
damnation. The early monotheistic church lightened the night sky with pyres of flaming
polytheistic pagans and has successfully ruled the world with hellfire and damnation to this
very day. It settled on the back of the world with concepts of primogeniture, prima nocta, and
the Devine right of kings to rule. Yahweh was but one El among at least a dozen that six millennia
of pagans had long known and worshiped as the Elohim, the enlightened ones.
Did the pentagon just acknowledge their existence? The good news these boys are local and
though they live for thousands of years they can die just like us. They’re also very afraid of
us ergo no contact no universal welcome with open arms, we may be just an experiment to
them. Sounds crazy doesn’t it but truth is always stranger than fiction they may even have images
of the great pyramid under construction wouldn’t that be something to see. It may be crazy
but it’s no crazier than Klaus in his little Galactic Federation outfit…very fetching.
HERR KLAUS SCHWAB DRESSED IN EMPEROR PALPATINE ROBES !!
Centuries Of Pagan Persecution
Most materialists who deny the soul do not even know what a soul is. Seriously, consider the discussion quoted from the book. No definition of “soul” is given but the author ascribes to our will (i.e. ability to make actions and decisions.) But if the definition of soul is wherever our wills reside, then there is a tremendous evidence for the soul, since there is tremendous evidence for our wills.
So when it is said by the atheist that “we haven’t found any evidence of the soul” there must be some additional properties of the soul, beyond just being responsible for the will. The closest we get is that it is some “magical” thing, which gives away the game. The soul is something that does something it is historically said to to do (i.e. contain the will, act as first principle of life, etc.) but for the atheist it also must do this in an impossible way. If something matching all the properties of the soul were discovered in a lab the atheist would not say “We have discovered the soul!” He would instead say “this is not the soul, because it is not magical but instead scientific. Indeed, what we discovered actually shows that the soul is unnecessary and cannot exist.”
That is there is no set of evidence that a materialist would accept as proof for a soul, since his unspoken definition requires a soul to be impossible in order to be a soul.
On a related note I find it hilarious when people say that modern neuroscience is a challenge to classical notions of the mind or soul, especially when the claim is made that we “now know” that thought processes are affected by matter. As if no one in the ancient world had ever had trouble thinking when tired, or drunk, or after getting hit in the head in a boxing match.
I’m reading Everything You Believe Is Wrong which must be somewhere between good and exceptional – It feels like being in the driver’s seat but the brakes don’t work and all I can do is scream as I go around the corners.
In the very first comment ‘Robin’ undermines you with his illogical dismissal of ‘darwinism’. I’m not convinced he even noticed your acceptance of evolution – or, at least, your claimed lack of hatred towards it.
Existed in what sense? Actually? Potentially? You’re making claims without clarifying what you mean by them, or providing any evidence or argument in support of them. Does every mathematical object ‘exist’? What about the rules of chess – did they exist before chess was invented? What about the plot of Star Wars? Or the plot of a book which will never be written? If the human soul ‘exists’ in this sense, then I don’t care.
Feser’s argument is fatuous, and only underlines the fact that he hasn’t got any evidence. If you’ve got evidence for something, you present it; if you haven’t, you write ‘brilliant’ (which apparently means ‘stupid’) arguments. You know what other things science can’t detect? Magic invisible pixies. All hail magic invisible pixies! Let’s all sneer at science because it’s too blinkered by materialism to admit the existence of magic pixies!
There are two ways we can guarantee science will never detect something:
1. It doesn’t exist.
2. It doesn’t have any effect on reality, in which case it doesn’t make any difference if it does exist.
The fact that the universe as a whole is ‘purposeless’ has nothing to do with whether individual human beings can or cannot have meaning and purpose in life. No *universal* meaning does not mean no meaning of any kind. And in any case, meaning is inherently subjective. How would it even make sense for someone (or some entity like God) to tell you what is meaningful, if you don’t, in fact, find it meaningful?
@Clarence: The concept of human soul has existed since earliest recorded history and has been considered by some of the greatest thinkers that ever walked this earth. This is a concept that all sentient humans would be aware of; even those in the darkest jungles who are cut off from all other worldly contact.
Yes if one is lobotomised it may appear that, because the neurons are not firing, the soul is not there. But is it not there? How can one even define what is a soul? Science is ill-equipped to answer such questions. In fact, science in it’s current form is ill-equipped to even frame such a hypothesis that could demonstrate origin or causation in a measurable and/or disprovable way.
This is the realm of metaphysics for sure. I agree with you in that I too do not see that the essence ‘free-will’ or a ‘soul’ will ever be determined scientifically. No doubt there are those who will try, however.
A reminder not to feed the trolls. It does no good.
Rudolph Harrier: ”I find it hilarious when people say…”
This is the Golden Age of Hilarious.
Wow. Big topics today. Let’s take just one, free will.
It’s a strong and ancient argument: it’s preposterous on its face to say that we don’t have free will. Free will has to exist, or human life and human activity instantly becomes incoherent.
On the other hand, it’s also traditionally been hard to define free will precisely. What are we talking about here? Tell me: What is free will — exactly?
It’s been difficult to give a coherent definition of free will — if free will must be defined in terms of some unbreakable chain of Necessary Causes.
But it’s been a feature of philosophy since the Greeks to attest that there has to be an unbreakable chain of Necessary Causes, or the whole world becomes untrustworthy, incoherent, meaningless.
Hence the “problem of free will.”
For example, the early Church was troubled by the claims of astrology — our destiny is written by/in the stars (in other words, by some unbreakable chain of Necessary Causes). That seems to induce a fundamental pessimism.
But even St. Augustine (a much smarter guy than I) did not resolve the underlying pessimism. His solution? He satisfied himself that astrology doesn’t work. If astrology really did work, Augustine would have had no satisfactory rejoinder. Since he believed that Jesus is Risen, he knew we had to have free will and the stars couldn’t be decisive, but he couldn’t show how that could be. So he settled for: astrology is not decisive, therefore, free will.
So we have a kind of ‘free will of the gaps’.
Is there a way to make a definition of free will that is one hundred percent coherent with an unbreakable chain of Necessary Causes?
I’m not sure that there is.
Here’s a hint, though: Christ broke the chains of death.
I’m not sure you can get to a coherent definition of free will when you assume that Fallenness is normative.
Which is to say, the entire ancient philosophical ‘move’ — within Catholic theology and without — to assume that there is a place called ‘Nature’ that is (for practical purposes, or for any purpose) independent of, autonomous from, Creation, the Incarnation, the death and Resurrection of the Lord, and the sacraments, may be a fool’s errand.
And may never get you to free will, no matter how hard you try.
The Greeks did not imagine that Nature is fundamentally, radically, dependent on the sacraments — how could they have?
But we can.
Micro evolution. Macro evolution. Micro evolution, obviously, exists. Macro evolution does not exist.
Read Genesis. Human beings are as they were back then. No macro evolution. Nature including animals, birds, plants, have in many places experienced micro evolution. No worries. Jesus Christ came, fully human and fully divine, to save all mankind and for the joy of nature for the revealing of the sons of God.
“18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8: 18-25.
God bless, C-Marie
Why not his mummy’s placenta?
I’ve heard it can do magical things! Remotely!
I will contend, again, that a “soul” is the metaphysical “thing” or “stuff” or “influence” that makes a live organism do what’s proper to its nature and purpose. Ole Aquinas suggests that various organisms have “animating principles” (souls) with “powers” proper to their purpose. Y’ can have vegetative souls that make vegetable do what it does, y’ can have animal souls that make animals what they are, and y’ can have rational souls that have additional powers (to the principle of Life that orders chemistry to do what it never, ever does outside of a “live” organism along with the additional powers of intellect and will that make for a very imperfect, or blurry, “image and likeness” of the absolute perfection of Life, Intellect and Will).
I will also contend, again, that the brain is just the physical organ that connects the physical world of sense and motor to the metaphysical soul, or mind. A damaged brain only means that there is a lack of communication between the physical and metaphysical components of the being. A much greater worry than damaged communication is that a functional brain can communicate all sorts of bullsh!t to the intellect and seriously pervert perceptions and actions.
Now, if all these materialistic automatons didn’t think (ho hum) that their “smarter than God” deterministic “brain secretions” couldn’t “tear this God out of His Heaven” (Karl Marx) then why the hell do they bother apparently trying to convince other (according to them) chemically (or genetically) predetermined automatons to assume their prejudices?
For us Christians it’s a no brainer. We believe that these drongoes have an intellect and will and that they’ll roast in Hell forever if they wilfully continue with their irrational perversity and that they will farkup what’s left of the minimum of social and cultural order necessary for a functional society. I don’t think it’s any accident that such moral and intellectual perverts support the “cultural Marxism” of the “Frankfurt School” that boasts of its intention to “rid the World of the blight of Christianity”.
The concept of a soul exists, but we can’t define what it is? I’m not sure how that gets us anywhere, and the fact that some people believe in something isn’t evidence that it exists, nor is the fact that the ‘greatest thinkers’ have considered the idea, as the world’s greatest thinkers have got lots of things wrong. Instead of sitting around thinking, they should have done some experiments instead, and if there are no experiments that can detect a soul, even in principle, why believe in such a thing?
Genesis isn’t a biology textbook. Human beings could have remained the same for a million years without disproving ‘macro’ evolution – crocodiles have stayed the same for 300 million years. If human beings had evolved into a different species, they wouldn’t be human beings any more, so it’s not clear what you’re even claiming.
But in any case, the evidence from DNA, fossils and comparative anatomy is that human beings evolved from an ape-like ancestor.
Regarding (so-called) ‘macro’ evolution, if something can change a tiny bit in one generation, what force is going to stop the next generation from changing a tiny bit more, and so on, and so on, until we arrive at a generation which is different enough from the first generation to be classified as a different species?
Without paying due respect to the Briggsian maxim that “Everything you believe is wrong” and without due respect for his command “don’t feed the trolls” I must take some exception and indignation at the imperious demands of the plaintive moans of the foghorn blundering around in the dark.
Somebody must be paying you to be so impervious to even simple, commonsense principles that even babies know intuitively before they go to “school” and have their perceptions scrambled and detached from the real world. If you’re not being paid in the equivalent of money perhaps you’re ideologically averse to the notion of a First Cause that done the whole shebang because He would to attract free spirits to His perfection.
I’m getting more than a bit tired of you, buster. As I read it there are only two options; either the whole shebang is created with a purpose or it doesn’t (except in the diabolical imagination that presumes to create (or know) “good and evil” to suit itself.
There are millions of examples we could use to practically demonstrate the impossibility of “spontaneous generation” of living organisms, but anyone that will not accept a God not controlled by bribery or blackmail, Who’s Kingdom is not of this World, will flock to the great and powerful “fixer” of everything. The “Lord of the World” is still trying to flog the notion that “personal “sovereignty” (You will be as gods knowing (deciding) good and evil) which is supposed to be the answer to them with money and influence that claim authority of might(or can).
Just about everyone around here knows that I’m a curmudgeon; no politic diplomacy, no “political correctness”, the sorta grumpy ole barsad that every “well adjusted” citizen will publicly avoid.
I downloaded Stump’s ‘Wandering in Darkness’ per the author’s recommendation and started to read it. I got as far as chapter 5 (page 85 out of 689), but don’t think I’ll continue, as:
1. It limits itself to trying to explain the suffering of ‘mentally fully-functioning, adult human beings’, which is in my view a giant cop-out, as it’s clearly much more difficult to explain the suffering of animals, children and the mentally ill.
2. It’s very boring.
Common sense tells us that the earth is flat, stationary, and that the sun revolves around it. Common sense is often wrong, and the more removed from everyday experience it is, the more likely it is to be wrong.
‘Created with a purpose’ and ‘created without a purpose’ is a false dichotomy. What’s wrong with ‘not created at all’? I don’t know why the universe exists, but I have no reason to think it was created. I assume you believe that God ‘just exists’ (exists necessarily), so I’m just removing God as I have ‘no need of that hypothesis’, as Laplace said.
The first living thing would have been a single self-replicating molecule. I’m not aware of any example one could use to prove that such a thing couldn’t form as the result of natural chemical processes, nor are the scientists who study such things.
I think you’re banging on about Satan? If so, I’d ask why you think a loving God would allow such a being to exist and lie to human beings? That doesn’t appeal to my common sense at all.
Ok interesting article there Jaap.
Sounds like that Homo Deus book is load of that trans-humanist claptrap. The trans-humanist idea that one day people will become physically immortal with technology and replace their bodies with hi-tech electronics and gear or “download” one’s “consciousness” into an everlasting robot or computer system – whatever that could mean if it means anything at all. Of course, I don’t see how anyone is going to achieve bodily immortality in the future even assuming that you can somehow transfer your consciousness into a robotic body since anything assembled together can be destroyed anyway.
The funny thing is, human persons are (already) immortal. That’s right. We don’t need futuristic technology to do that for us. The body may die and discontinue but the soul or self lives on in the afterlife. We even have evidence for this from near-death and out-of-body experience accounts.
And even if human consciousness doesn’t survive after bodily death, one can still make the case that human beings never technically cease to exist altogether. If the B-theory of time is true, which is supported by Einstein’s Special Relativity, then nothing really ceases to exist altogether since all past, present and future events are always existent. Livings beings may discontinue to exist at later times but the times they’ve lived at never cease to be with block time.
In other words, one can make the case that death may give us this “illusion” or appearance that a person is completely gone but in reality the individual is still existent one way or another.
Juval seems like a candidate for AC, seems quite demon- demented. I think he wants to be the sort of homo dues that only the Father of Lies can produce.