Jehovah`s Witness/Difference from Materialism
JWs and Seventh Day adventists believe man is the flesh, the dust that was enlived by God's spirit and nothing more - only this.
Strict materialists believe that flesh is the only thing that exists, no spirits and souls. Others not so strict believe that some immaterial things exist but their cause is flesh.
I understand that you believe spirits and souls exist, but you dont accept that man is more than the flesh. If that is true then whats the connection between God and man, what is there in man that resembles the qualities of God? Of course a brain is not an image of God. It is just a bunch of neurons, an organ to use.
The problem I find with your theory is that if you accept man is nothing more than flesh, then you run to some other problems
1)personality problem(you are a personality with free will)
2)youre confused with materialists, since the less strict of them believe that flesh is the reason immaterial qualities (as love) exist.
ANSWER: Hi Christaras,
Just to make things clear, I don't accept nor believe that man has an immaterial part, a separate entity called "spirit/soul" or "immortal soul".
Instead I believe what the Scripture say, that man simply IS a Soul - a Living Soul.
As such, the soul therefore is the entire person.
You and I, all of us, people therefore are living souls, created by God in His image, endowed with God's four outstanding attributes such as love, justice, power and wisdom. Attributes that separates us from animals.
The "spirit" in human on the other hand - as the Scripture say - is the force of life. The very force that's actuating each individual cell in the human body. It is the same "spirit", the same life force that is actuating in every living creature.
As such both man and animals therefore are souls - living souls, mortal creatures, subject to corruption and death.
The Scripture confirmed these facts for us when it stated:
“. . .And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.
” (Genesis 2:7)
“And God went on to say: “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls and let flying creatures fly over the earth upon the face of the expanse of the heavens.”” (Genesis 1:20)
"And to every wild beast of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it came to be so.” (Genesis 1:30)
“For there is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit
, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19)
“Everything in which the breath of the force of life
was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” (Genesis 7:22)
“If you conceal your face, they get disturbed. If you take away their spirit, they expire, And back to their dust they go.” (Psalm 104:29)
“Indeed, as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)
“Look! All the souls—to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)
“. . .The soul that is sinning—it itself will die. . . .” (Ezekiel 18:20)
“That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned—.” (Romans 5:12)
So indeed, there's no doubt about it, WE are souls - living souls.
This is NOT just a theory or made up stories but solid facts of life based on the UNCHANGING Word Of God - the Bible.
Hence, any other teaching, doctrine or belief besides what the Bible says is NOT the truth.
But since you believe otherwise, may I ask, what makes you think that man is not just flesh but a combination of both - material and immaterial parts - flesh and a spirit entity called "soul" or "immortal soul"?
Is it because, that's the way you were taught?
If so where is it based on?
Is it based on the philosophies and traditions of men or the Word of God?
If it's based on the word of man, then it's an unreliable source for it has no real foundation - other than theories and philosophical understanding.
Furthermore man can be easily persuaded and influenced by wicked spirit creatures - demons to make it appear that something is still alive when the flesh dies.
The Scripture warned:
“...because we have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
But if you think it came from the Scripture, then how do you answer the following (questions)?
1. Who put it there?
If it's God, where does it say in the Scripture that He put an immaterial immortal soul, an undying invisible entity (spirit) in man?
2. Where does this immaterial part of man (spirit/soul) go when the flesh - the person dies?
Heaven or hell-fire as taught in the churches?
If heaven - what qualified the person to be in such a place?
Is it Christ's ransom sacrifice?
If so, what then if the person is an unbeliever?
Can he still be in heaven even though he never put faith in the Christ?
If hell - what did he do to merit such punishment?
If so, is such punishment justifiable?
If yes, by whose standard?
If so, what makes you think God will do such heinous act when He Himself said:
"And they have built the high places of Tophet, which [is] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded [them] not, neither came it into my heart."--Jer 7:31 KJV
Now if God had NOT thought of such reprehensible act, who thought of it then?
In addition if God can do such a thing what would this act make Him to be? What do you call someone who punishes His creation for all eternity for a crime already declared paid for (by death)?
“For the wages sin pays is death. . .” (Romans 6:23)
Would you say a loving person or a cruel one?
But the Bible says "God is Love" and "all His ways are justice" (1 John 4:16, Deut. 32:4)
So how could he be that cruel? It can't happen. It will never happen for God says:
“For I am Jehovah; I have not changed.. . .” (Malachi 3:6)
Now if you think the "soul/spirit" is just floating around waiting to be reunited with its dead body.
For what purpose?
Is it to enjoy life for all eternity? Where? Heaven, hell, or is it to suffer through life again, over and over again?
If so, again what's the point?
Furthermore, what does such KNOWLEDGE do to the person who died - knowing that he didn't really die but just floated around or in hell or heaven?
So so you can see the nonsense of such theory, belief/thinking.
But you still insist that the soul exist as a separate entity apart from the flesh, then:
3. Is it conscious of anything at all?
IF you believe YES, who is telling the truth here then?
You or the Creator of Life for the Scripture says:
“. . .For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten. 6 Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they have no portion anymore to time indefinite in anything that has to be done under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)
So it's your word against the Word Of God - who do you think is correct?
Now some subscribe to what you're saying because of:
4. NDE - Near Death Experience or OBE Out-of-Body Experience.
They believe that man has a soul because of people seeing themselves floating above their bodies while unconscious. Some experienced being in a "light" hearing voices while unconscious. They use these as evidence of a soul. Be that as it may, still it's not proof of an "immaterial soul" for such experiences can be scientifically and medically explained.
In addition you're basing your belief and trust on man's flawed understanding. You're basing you're thinking on unreliable sources.
Thus you're entire premise / thinking is based on untruth.
What say you?
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello. Thanks for a detailed representation of your thesis, you asked some good questions that I have to reply(for example what the Bible really says), but I wanted to know first what you think about what I pose in 1). Discard 2) which is contained in 1)
It was about the personality.
What makes up a personality, according to your view? What is this that decides, loves, thinks etc.? The world of science has revealed that matter obeys and is restricted by laws. It cant decide for itself, but works according to the various programs of the Creator. On the other hand, free will is free. So what is this that express free will? Matter? What about 2 twins that are different in character but have identical brains? What is this that makes them different?
ANSWER: Hi Christaras,
It's a fascinating question that baffled many people especially philosophers.
Plato, Greek philosopher, c. 428-348 B.C.E. said:
“The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.”
William Shakespeare, English playwright, 1564-1616 said:
“Such harmony is in immortal souls.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet and dramatist, 1749-1832 said:
“The soul is indestructible . . . its activity will continue through eternity.”
Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1847-1931 said:
“Our personality . . . survives in the next life.”
The Egyptians filled their tombs with with the comforts and luxuries of life so that the body would be well served in its reunion with the ka, or soul.
And lately the introduction of the NDE and OBE bolstered this idea of a separate entity within man - a soul. And based on their conclusions some are convinced of its existence.
With this in mind, some have concluded that death is ONLY another door to a higher realm - the Afterlife. Some have even committed suicide because of this very idea. They were convinced that in the afterlife (like the Egyptians) life will be a bliss.
But the fact is, there's NO such thing as afterlife, where the "soul" leaves the body when the flesh dies. No, this is a lie promoted by the father of lie - Satan the Devil.
It's a lie for the simple fact that God never put in man a "soul" a separate entity, for man IS the soul, a living soul capable of thoughts and endowed with different senses.
Different senses allows us to form thoughts and feelings. Although many animal experts say that animals have certain kind of feelings, humans are on the other hand different in that our feelings are based on emotions gathered from all of our senses. It's also based on our experiences and that way we're made.
Locked within our DNA is the BLUEPRINT of who we are INSIDE and OUT. Locked within the DNA is the POTENTIAL of who we can be - for better or for worse.
This is the reason why Jehovah can say to Jeremiah:
“. . .And the word of Jehovah began to occur to me, saying: 5 “Before I was forming you in the belly I knew you, and before you proceeded to come forth from the womb I sanctified you. Prophet to the nations I made you.”” (Jeremiah 1:4, 5)
David confirmed this:
“. . .Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, And in your book all its parts were down in writing, As regards the days when they were formed And there was not yet one among them.” (Psalm 139:16)
Unfortunately, the sin introduced by our first parents made things worst as it magnified our potential to do bad. Our tendency from whence we were born to the the day we die is to do what is bad. And we struggle to do good.
The apostle Paul confirmed this for us:
“For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For what I am working out I do not know. For what I wish, this I do not practice; but what I hate is what I do. 16 However, if what I do not wish is what I do, I agree that the Law is fine. 17 But now the one working it out is no longer I, but sin that resides in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for ability to wish is present with me, but ability to work out what is fine is not [present]. 19 For the good that I wish I do not do, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice. 20 If, now, what I do not wish is what I do, the one working it out is no longer I, but the sin dwelling in me. 21 I find, then, this law in my case: that when I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me. 22 I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, 23 but I behold in my members another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law that is in my members. 24 Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death? 25 Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, then, with [my] mind I myself am a slave to God’s law, but with [my] flesh to sin’s law.” (Romans 7:14-25)
But all of these as promised by the Creator of Life himself can be fixed and will be fixed in due time. Mankind with ALL the Potential to do GOOD things will finally have that opportunity.
“. . .Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
So again, it's NOT a separate entity that's making the thinking for us but WE - ourselves, our entire being - as ONE body IS responsible for our thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, actions and all the senses we come to know.
Thus when we do something bad it's US that's responsible for it NOT this immaterial entity that you believe we have. Otherwise why blame yourself or anyone else?
But all of these ceases to exist once the Life Force actuating our body, our mind, our senses - our cells - stops functioning, stop actuating.
As the scripture say:
" .For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten. 6 Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they have no portion anymore to time indefinite in anything that has to be done under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6)
Thus our hope of living again depends now on the promise made by God through Jesus Christ our lord:
“. . .“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. . .” (John 3:16)
As for twins, again, since twins share very identical DNA thus, they will exhibit certain traits that both share.
In fact according to findings, since twins are genetically close to each other thus things like skin grafting can easily be performed.
Notice what Dr. Scheinfeld (authour of Twins and Supertwins) said:
“Since identical twins are completely alike in the hereditary makeup of all the tissues of their bodies and in all hereditary blood and chemical substances, it is possible to take skin or flesh from one and graft it onto or into the other twin, with complete assurance that the graft will ‘take’—just as if it were from one part to another part of the same body.”
It's on these basis that most twins will exhibit the same health problems and symptoms of diseases.
Study after study shows this to be a fact. It's even found out that most twins will share the same dietary likes and dislikes - because of genetic similarity.
Again, there's nothing amazing or extraordinary about twins (other than sharing the same or very similar genetic make up) or that it's a proof of a "soul" a separate entity within us.
It's simply not proof of a "soul".
Gut feeling is also sometimes misconstrued as a "soul" or a separate entity within us but again, no such thing. It's the same as our conscience within us given to us by the very Creator of life - Jehovah God.
I could go further but I think the point is made.
But if you insist on this notion that we have a "soul" then that's your choice.
Just be aware of the dire consequence of believing it though.
Hope this helps,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello. Thanks for your answer.
Im asking you these questions because you say you defend creationism and study science.
Your answer is summurized in
"Locked within our DNA is the BLUEPRINT of who we are INSIDE and OUT. Locked within the DNA is the POTENTIAL of who we can be - for better or for worse."
Sir, as you have learned from studying genetic biology DNA is a macromolecule that contains the CODE for our body(proteins, muscles etc.). That's it - CODE. Code is not free will and of course not a person. There is not a piece of Dna code that instructs how Im going to behave, defining my character. Its just about my building my flesh. Of course flesh has an impact on our soul. If someone has a healthy problem then this affects his behavior.
If we are DNA, then ethnic cleansing is not a bad thing, since people's character is considered determined by birth and education can not change it.
So I believe DNA is a code, on the other hand we have free will.
>>So I believe DNA is a code<<
So do I. Nothing hidden about it. In fact the Genome Institute have already mapped out much of the human genome. They even isolated the (DNA) codes or the sequences from which how specific parts of the human body is constructed. And using the "information" they are now able to reproduce human tissues /(even) parts of the human body.
Thus like I said:
"Locked within our DNA is the BLUEPRINT of who we are INSIDE and OUT.
Locked within the DNA is the POTENTIAL of who we can be - for better or for worse."
As for this statement, you said:
>>Code is not free will and of course not a person.<<
I don't know where you got this idea because I never said it nor implied - code is a free will.
But if you're confused with what I said:
"Locked within our DNA is the BLUEPRINT of who we are INSIDE and OUT.
Locked within the DNA is the POTENTIAL of who we can be - for better or for worse."
Then me please expand further:
The DNA or to be specific - the CODE - in the DNA contains the INFORMATION of WHAT a person will become. That is, whether a person will have blond hair, red hair, black hair, etc. Whether the person will have blue eyes or brown eyes, etc. It's even found out whether a person will become left handed or right handed, etc.
In short the DNA is a BLUEPRINT for life. The genetic code determines the characteristics of a person.
It has NOTHING to do with free will!
Just like a house has a BLUEPRINT a plan on how to construct it - so does dna to the human body.
As for this:
"Locked within the DNA is the POTENTIAL of who we can be - for better or for worse."
Emphasizing on the word POTENTIAL - it simply means that the OUTCOME of the person IS NOT PRE-DETERMINED. In short, ITS UP to the person what he/she will become.
The future or destiny of a person is UP to the person's CHOICES in life - a God given free will if you may to chose what he/she will become in life (even in very difficult circumstances).
In short he/she has the POTENTIAL to be a good person or a vile person.
And like what the Scriptures already revealed because of sin we tend to do what is bad.
This is why the Creator of the human body and mind gave these advice.
“. . . I do take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against YOU today, that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction; and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring, 20 by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell upon the ground that Jehovah swore to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give to them.”” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20)
“Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
“Consequently I entreat YOU by the compassions of God, brothers, to present YOUR bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with YOUR power of reason. 2 And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making YOUR mind over, that YOU may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1, 2)
““Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.” (Matthew 7:13, 14)
“. . .This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. . .” (John 17:3)
“. . .For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Otherwise why give such advice command if our destiny was already predetermined by our gene.
This also the reason why the command was given to our first parent. They have to make the decision BY THEMSELVES whether to OBEY or DISOBEY God's command. They have to show whether they will or will NOT "eat from the fruit of the tree of good and bad".
Unfortunately they made the wrong choice plunging us their offspring into a sinful imperfect state, prone to badness.
In short they exercised their free for the wrong reason - selfishness.
As for this:
>>If we are DNA, then ethnic cleansing is not a bad thing, since people's character is considered determined by birth and education can not change it.<<
Sorry to say this, but anyone who believes this crazy, nonsensical even dangerous statement is not only stupid but truly evil.
I hope that you're not a subscriber to it.