Humans as Body-Soul

I highly commend to you the talk by Jon Rittenhouse hosted at the Veritas Forum entitled “The Body-Soul Issue: Is being human more than just material existence?” This was offered at Johns Hopkins University, November, 2008. It is highly informative and immensely practical showing that substance dualism (humans are made up of two substances, material and immaterial) is superior to physicalism (humans are made up of only physical/material substance). If substance dualism is true, then end-of-life decisions matter, abortion matters, treatment of all human beings matter.

Special message to believers: Simply because you already believe in substance dualism (though you may not call it that; you may simply believe that humans have both a body and soul), it is vital that you understand the elements surrounding this topic of “what we are,” so you will be able to speak intelligently to the majority of non-believers who hold to some kind of physicalism. I cannot tell you how many times I see people living as if their bodies are merely “pleasure palaces” where they cater and coddle their material bodies at the expense of ignoring their immaterial souls. Please do take the time to listen to Rittenhouse give a solid defense of why souls matter most!

4 thoughts on “Humans as Body-Soul”

  1. LOVE the Vertias forum! thanks for the post. I do a lecture of the week each week and this is the kind of thing I post…so if you see this lecture up later this month know that I’m stealing from you.

  2. Thank you very much for the link to the interesting video from the Veritas forum. Quite an eloquent critique of scientific monism!
    However I’d like to add an observation: In the second part of the presentation [Q&A-section], Mr Rittenhouse refers to Romans 2, creation “ex nemo”, which I fail to find in the Vulgate text of Romans at all. I fear he got a bit mixed up there. Likewise, the notion “creatio ex nihilo” cannot be verbatim found in Romans chapter 2. Usually, Rom 1:19-20 or 4:17 are quoted as *indications* for such a belief, however, the Greek texts do not give a basis for a Latin translation “ex nihilo”. The term can be found, however, in 2 Macc 7:2 [“I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them, and consider that God made them out of nothing (=ex nihilo) …”]. Another early source, although not included in the NT, is 2 Clem 1:8 [“For He called us, when we were not, and from not being (~ex nihilo) He willed us to be.”].

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