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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)

At least one aspect of Biblical psychology agrees well with our (or at least my) experience. This is its analysis of man as one who fails to live up to what he might be, and feels he ought to be. In Biblical language, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

  1. The above sets Biblical psychology apart from all optimistic religions & philosophies that state that all is fundamentally right1 with man.
  2. Christianity attributes this universal weakness in man to the Fall2 of Adam, and treats the alleged consequence of the fall, death, as an evil.
  3. Biblical psychology attributes to human beings souls3 (and / or spirits, according to the interpretation). This leads to difficulties analogous to the mind / body problem. In fact, the difficulties are worse, for it is not normally suggested that the mind can exist independently of the brain, whereas this facility (of disembodied existence) is often claimed for souls and spirits.
  4. In the age of computers, it is possible to think of living creatures, including man, as complex machines4. It may be difficult to imagine a machine being conscious, but this statement says nothing apart from describing the limits of our imagination.
  5. Animals5 are a test case for Christian psychology. They are evidently conscious (or act as though they are, and we usually act humanely towards them, as though they were). Orthodox Christianity has, however, always denied them souls or spirits, making animal into beings intermediate between men and machines.
  6. An apparent advantage of the Christian approach (or of the spiritual approach generally) is that it appears to supply a distinction between men and machines. People don't like the idea of being "merely" machines (however sophisticated) and the idea of having some vital6 element (a soul or spirit) that can never be wired or programmed into a machine may appear comforting.

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
12/08/2007 10:17:46 404 (Problems - Bible Psychology) Problems

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Problems - Bible Psychology - Animals Problems - Bible Psychology - Animism Problems - Bible Psychology - Fall Problems - Bible Psychology - Machines Problems - Bible Psychology - Sin
Problems - Bible Psychology - Souls        

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Summary of Note Links to this Page


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