The Relationship Between Math and Physics

Philosophy
Science

(Antoine Suarez) #141

By “human” you mean clearly a quality bestowing some especial dignity and value. Such a quality cannot emerge from evolution ruled by “selfish genes”, as Richard Dawkins himself acknowledges.

Where does this especial dignity and value of humanity come from?

Well, Genesis has the merit to give a very clear answer to this question:

At a certain moment in history God declares Humanity to be in his Image (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1-3). And this means nothing other than at this moment God defines the kind of body his Son will embody to incarnate.

Since this declaration it holds that:

Each creature with a human body (no matter of being black or white, literate or non-literate, born or unborn, religious or atheist, democrat or republican) is Image of God and is protected by God’s prohibition of homicide (Genesis 9:5-6).

This said, we would like to ascertain the moment when God declared humanity in His Image. According to Genesis this moment was followed by man receiving the knowledge about good and bad (Genesis 2:16-17), that is, awareness of being responsible for his own deeds. Now writing is motivated by the will of signing contracts, keeping registers and enacting laws (actions revealing sense of moral and legal responsibility). So we can safely state:

God declared humanity in His Image at latest when writing appears, that is, at 3,200 BC according to the available data.

As said above the Incas are creatures with a human body existing after God declared humanity in his Image. Therefore, each Inca is Image of God independently of his/her ability to knot cords.

Nonetheless, if you could make available remains demonstrating that such a system or another one, was used to sign contracts or enact laws before 3,200 BC, then we should predate the moment of God’s declaration of Humanity in His Image.


(John Harshman) #142

So, in other words, you live in a hermetically sealed world all your own, in which everything, including Genesis, says or means whatever you can imagine it does, and logic follows special rules that fit whatever you want to show. Fine, but don’t expect anyone else to enter that world with you.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #143

Human empathy, compassion, tolerance are human cultural and societal traits that came about over many species of humans over 2 million years.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #144

And what about all the other species of humans: Neanderthals, Denisovans, Erectus, Florensis, Naledi, and others?


#145

You are not alone in that amazement. Lurking is rewarded by the pleasure of “what will they think of next?” smiles and head shakes.


(Neil Rickert) #146

Personally, I have never liked that “selfish gene” metaphor.

Reading Genesis, I find no evidence that Adam and Eve participated in reading and writing. Either Adam and Eve were not human, or you are mistaken about writing being an important part of what constitutes being human.

And a note to @moderators – we seem to have drifted to a new topic “What constitutes being human?” Perhaps the thread should be split.


#147

Actually, I think you can put the argument more strongly. Since Genesis is the earliest written account of the “Adam and Eve” events, then, by AntoineSuarez’s argument, “Adam and Eve” cannot have been human.


(John Harshman) #148

Note the inconsistency of claims between posts:


(Antoine Suarez) #149

This is a very good point.

If all the extinct living forms you refer to and all their extinct common ancestors were still alive, then there would be a complete continuum of “bodies” filling the gaps between humans and other mammals: Hybridization would be pervasive, and there would be no observable basis to establish clearly who is a “human being”.

The ascription of “human rights” would be a question of arbitrary decision, and all sorts of racial discrimination would become rampant.

The extinction of intermediate varieties between humans and chimpanzees appears like an upshot of evolution that is highly useful to the end of founding a coherent human moral and legal order: “Darwinian evolution” makes sense as preparation to “moral and legal evolution”.

God defines humankind as being in his image and bestows the first image bearers with knowledge of good and bad at a time when it is possible for human beings to distinguish clearly which creature is a human and which is a chimp. Before this time, it does not obviously make sense to say that a creature (not even an archaic Homo sapiens ) is Image of God and is responsible for what it does.

At this time and thereafter species are distinct. But the concept of species becomes ambiguous and tricky when it comes to evolution. The species do not originate “by means of natural selection” but “by means of natural (ecological) deletion”.

The gap between non-humans and humans existing at the time when the first human persons were created in the Image of God (about 3200 BC), is the same we observe now, and is the standard calibration we use for defining what is human: we define “human DNA” on the basis of analysis of tissues coming from individuals we acknowledge as belonging to the “human species” before we perform the analysis.

A lesson we can learn from Darwinian evolution is this:

We should not try to explain humanity starting from evolving animals but the other way around: explain evolving animals outgoing from humanity:

The primeval knowledge and basis of all knowledge is the knowledge of good and bad.


(John Harshman) #150

And now he’s back to this claim, which he had previously abandoned. Does he even notice he’s doing it?


(Antoine Suarez) #151

Thanks John for remaking this inconsistency.
I formulate my thoughts more accurately:

  1. The very beginning of humanity in time is defined at the moment when God declares that He makes humankind in his Image and likeness, and gives the first Image Bearers the knowledge of good and bad, that is, awareness of responsibility for one’s own deeds.

  2. Writing is motivated by the will to provide public evidence of deliberation and informed consent in actions like enacting contracts, laws, registers. In this sense writing reveals awareness of moral and legal responsibility.

  3. Accordingly, I consider the first cuneiform writings at about 3,200 BC as sign that at this time God had already created the first Image Bearers. Thus, on the basis of the available data we can safely conclude that God defines Humanity at latest on 3,200 BC.

  4. If new discoveries demonstrate that contracts and laws were enacted before 3,200 BC, then one should predate the moment of God’s declaration of Humanity in His Image. In any case, the gap existing between human and non-human at this moment is the standard calibration for defining what is human, and should correspond to the gap we observe today. Therefore, for drawing theological conclusions it is safe to assume 3,200 BC as the date when God defines Humanity.

  5. God’s universal prohibition of homicide (Genesis 9:5-6) implies:
    Each creature with a human body (no matter of being black or white, literate or non-literate, born or unborn, religious or atheist, democrat or republican) is Image of God, has the right to be respected in his/her life, and is responsible for murdering another Image Bearer.

Thanks in advance for further remarks.


(John Harshman) #152

I will just add that none of this is supported by anything. Not by the bible, not by science, not by reasoning from evidence. You just made it all up, and the links in your chain are lying, separately on the ground. Your definition of humanity is yours alone. The moment God declares anything is yours alone. The notion of the motivation for writing is yours alone. The moment of the creation of “Image Bearers” is yours alone. Your notion of what evidence would change that moment is yours alone. The interpretation of Genesis 9:5-6 is yours alone. None of it hangs together and none of it makes sense.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #153

Humanity goes back at least a million years. What was tribal, culturally, and socially good and bad a million years ago is not really well defined.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #154

On what basis do you attribute the invention of writing to be divine intervention?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #155

This is absurd. Saying that humanity originated in the Middle East 5200 years ago because of the invention of writing. There is a 2 million year history of humanity, culture, language, migrations, interbreeding, across the entire world that you are just writing off (pun intended).

Do you think murder was okay among tribesmen say 50,000 years ago?


(John Harshman) #156

Not by Suarez’s definition.

Who says he did?

He didn’t say that, or at least he retracted it later. I wish you would be more careful in your criticisms of Suarez’s nonsense.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #157

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


(John Harshman) #158

How is it possible you’re still allowed to post here?


(Antoine Suarez) #159

According to Genesis “Adam and Eve” are endowed by God with knowledge about what is good and what is bad, and called by Him “to account for one’s actions".

So to ascertain the moment when God creates the first humans in His image and accountable for one’s actions, I search for signs demonstrating “ account-giving relationship”.

A such unquestionable sign are the cuneiform tablet-writings with contracts between individuals and property distribution in a community, which are found in Sumer around 3,200BC.

For this reason, and as basis for further theological reflection, I take this date as marking God’s creation of the first accountable Image Bearers.

If you can provide better signs demonstrating accountability before, I will be glad to predate this event.

In this sense writing is “an important part” for determining the moment in history when humanity is defined by God as being in His Image.

After this moment “the important part of what constitutes being human” is belonging to the species of anatomical modern humans.

Notice that (to my best knowledge) in Genesis you neither find evidence that Abraham participated in reading and writing. However, on the basis of his supposed origin from Mesopotamia at his dwelling in Egypt it is fitting to conclude he had such capabilities. Similarly, the Genesis 1-5 narrative corresponds to a population living at a period when the earliest cities and writing appear in the Ancient Near East.

This said, I would like to point out another important biblical evidence supporting my interpretation: The teaching of Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 19:3-6 and Mark 10:2-9:

In these pericopes Jesus makes clear that the sanctity of marriage and prohibition of divorce was a main content of God’s primeval commandment to Humanity. This implies that the target audience of this commandment was a community, and involved the necessity of registering who is married with whom. On this basis I think that the first transgression was rebellion against the Sanctity of Marriage, so that “Adam and Eve” can also be considered names referring to a primeval population of Image Bearers. In this rebellion one man (“Adam”) could very well have been the main responsible. Suppose for instance “Adam” was commanded by God to keep a register of marriages, and charmed by “Eve” he refused to do this and allow divorce: Both sinned but “Adam” was more responsible than “Eve” for the transgression.


(John Harshman) #160

Not true. According to Genesis, Adam and Eve gained knowledge about what is “good and bad” by explicitly defying God’s orders. The “in his image” part is completely separate; there is no linkage, either in Genesis or logically, between the two events.

It implies nothing of the sort. You are constantly drawing inferences from nothing.

Then why does Genesis say that it was eating the wrong fruit?

Why should anyone suppose that? You are making all this up.