Steven J. Gould

Stan Burton sburton at stan.dres.dnd.ca
Wed Dec 8 10:22:46 EST 1993


In article <pilora.20.755312175 at saturn.wwc.edu> pilora at saturn.wwc.edu (RAYMOND MATTHEW PILON) writes:
> I am posting this for a friend.  Feel free to reply.  Enjoy!
>
>
>
> An open letter to Steven J. Gould:
>
>
> I was suprized by your comment on Psalm 42:1 in your article on metephors
> (Natural History 12/93).  I can only guess that your teachers and/or parents
> passed on their ignorance and that you failed to conduct your own Biblical
> inquiry.
>
> I'm refering to your misunderstanding of the soul as an ethereal version of
> yourself--the old ghost in the machine or spook in the box concept.  This
> idea is completely foreign to the Bible.  Let me show you.
>
> There are two places that give the Biblical definition of a soul--Genesis 2:
> 7  "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed
> into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.";
> And , 1 Corinthiand 15:45  "The first man Adam was made a living being."
> (NIV)  Did you catch that?  God made a body, added life and the
> result was a living soul  (KJV:  living being equals living soul).

[cut]

I see what appears to be a logical flaw in your reasoning.

> Dying is the opposite of the creation of a soul.  Eccl. 12:7  "and the dust
> returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave
> it."  A body plus the "spirit" (breath of life) equals a soul.
> remove the "breath of life: and all you have left is a dead body.

I was brought up to believe that only man had a spirit.  If you believe the
same then you must explain all the spiritless animals that walk around,
breathing as we do, eating as we do, sleeping as we do, seemingly as alive
as we believe that we are.  If we have a spirit that keeps us from being
dead bodies, what is it that keeps animals from being dead bodies.

>                                                                    The soul
> no linger exists.  An analogy is light from a light bulb.  Pass electricity
> through the bulb and light exists.  Stop the electricity and the light goes
> out.
>
> A brain, full of life, functions as a mind.  Kill the life, and the mind
> ceases to exist.  The brain rots away.  The mind does not go on existing in
> some ethereal, mystical way.  No mind, no thinking, no feeling, no nothing.

I would also argue that if
 body + spirit = soul
and at some later time it is possible to separate the soul into body and
spirit again
 soul - spirit = body (dead)
then the summation did not produce a homogeneous mixture as
 2 apples + 2 apples = 4 apples
but produced a coordinated group as
 2 apples + 2 oranges = a basket of fruit

> See, the Bible comfirms what you always instinctively knew.  The dead are
> dead and gone.  You only have life when you are alive.  You do not live on
> after you die.

I cannot tell here if you are talking about you (the body), you (the spirit)
or you (the soul).  If you are stating that there is no after life, where
those that had lived on earth live again, then you are not part of any of
the Judeo-Christian churches.

--

Stan Burton (DND/CRAD/DRES/DTD/MSS/AGCG)                 sburton at dres.dnd.ca
(403) 544-4737     DRE Suffield, Box 4000, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada, T1A 8K6



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