Monday, December 31, 2007

Theodicy and Divine Nature

Mother T

The irony was not lost on me that I just finished writing the piece about the two cops (the parables of 12 views of God) which was actually an atheist allegory of the theodicy problem, and no sooner had a finished then I turn over to my aol greeting page and see that one of my favorite modern heroines, Benazire Bhutto, had been murdered. She was assassinated in a manner not unlike that of Sadat. Arab terrorists like to go out with big bangs. Another meaningless act of violence against a heroic individual who gave her life to make the world a better place. Yet I cannot agree with the atheists who would use this as another opportunity to try for the big magic King’s X God beater argument. We live in a screwed up world. Either it’s fallen or it’s just crap from the get go, but we do live in a world that more resembles The Marquis de Sade’s circus of pain, rather than the creation of a kind loving God. The problem is, this is one of the great oceanic questions. People have been writing about these questions for thousands of years. Why am I here? What is life about? Is there a God? Why do we suffer? Why is there evil in the world? The atheists want to reduce these to oversimplification: these things prove there is no God, they are just accidents and random chance, that’s it end of story. But these questions lend themselves to easy solutions. This is one of the reasons Sartre thought life was meaningless and absurd. These questions remain important even when we try to sweep them away and dismiss them as just “that’s the way it is.” They don’t disprove God; they demand that we think about God because we know instinctively that somehow God is necessary for the answers. Try to reduce them and dismiss them, their importance cries out, try to resolve them too neatly with a fundamentalist formula and they lash back and become theodicy problems.

There are three major answers to theodicy usually employed by theists:

(1) free Will

(2) mitigate the harms of pain

(3) defining God's nature in such a way as to explain pain

The first is free will. The reason free will keeps popping up in theodicy is because it is often put forward as a mitigating factor that allows God's loving nature to be circumvented in therms of allowing pain. Of course atheists are always quick to disvalues free will as though it has no meaning and they gladly do without if only they didn't have to live with the ambiguity of God's problematic existence. But, that is really a strange state of affairs for people who fancy themselves "free thinkers." Could a gaggle of rebellious libertines who hate to be told they need to accept God's laws really be happy as robots, created to obey with no alternative? I've seen atheists argue that God would have been much more kind and much more intelligent to make them unable to object to his will so that there could be no pain in the world. I have seen them go so far as to argue that free will is non existent and meaningless. What then is the value of "free thinking?"

atheist reduce this to utter simplicity by taking out the reasons for it. It is represented by no 1 in the Vuletic article (see 12 angry stereotypes:"I thought about intervening," said the first officer, "but it occurred to me that it was obviously better for the murderer to be able to exercise his free will than to have it restricted.

The second is mitigate the harms of pain. The most familiar of these is "pain builds character." This one is so idiotic even Vuletic didn't model it in his twelve officers. The closest he comes to it is no.12: "Oh, well it was just a test. Ms. K and I had been dating for some time (no offense, I didn't know she was someone else's property), and one beautiful night she finally told me she loved me." But seriously, we can dismiss this one ourselves. Pain huts. It's bad. IN a sense it builds character but only if you stop it in time. After a point it just wears you down more. So it destroys character too. I can't really blame the atheists for all of their mocking, or rejection of these answers. Some of them are pretty flimsy. I especially hate the mitigation of pain answers. I am totally against using them. But one version of harm mitigation is the "God will make it up to us" answer. This was mocked in no 9: "Moments after Ms. K. flat lined, I had her resuscitated, and flown to a tropical resort where she is now experiencing extraordinary bliss, and her ordeal is just a distant memory." Of course that would be idiotic for a cop to say. Not quite so idiotic to believe that God would take her spirit to a celestial paradise. Although I don't find that an inspiring answer because it does sound like just an excuse and it doesn't answer the problem of the injustice in this life. But I do not rely on the joys of heaven as an answer to the pain of life, however, there is a specific use to this line that atheists don't think about. That use is in answer to the question of about God having created in the first place; Why would God create anything at all knowing that a world of pain and injustice would result? My answer has been that God alone would see how the positive nature of creation, pain and all, outweighs the negative. Only God could understand how creation is worth in in spite of the torment and anguish that is felt in life. The Vuletic article reduces this to "God will make up for it in heaven."I can't really say that he's dealing with my answer in particular, on the other hand, I think this hedonistic calculus God style is a good point to make. It is not an answer to the problem of pain per se, but it is a good answer to questions about God's rational for creation.

The Vuletic parody of this answer is in no.3: Ms. K's rape and murder admittedly seems pretty horrible when taken in isolation. But when you put it into context with the rest of life, it actually adds to the overall beauty of the big picture. Ms. K.'s screams were like the discordant notes that make fine musical pieces better than they would have been had all the notes been flawless." But he's missing two crucial things here: (a) I have never said pain is beautiful; non of my answers include any sort of attempt to turn pain into a good thing. (b) It doesn't place the answer in its proper context. My view is a comparison of isolated paint to some big picture in which pain becomes some enhancement to pleasure. My view is merely a start cost benefit analysis. I am not pushing for some mystification of pain such that it turns out to be some sort of enhancing element. I mere argue that it doesn't weight the good that results from creation. And that only God can make do the math because it requires an all knowing mind. We can and should assume that if God is real then God has done the math. Now many atheists have objected that this is circular, I've assumed God before God is proven. No that is a childish understanding of logic. Of course I am assuming God, that's my belief system. I'm not using this a proof for the existence of God so it's certain circular. It's merely a rational assumption given the nature of my belief. Only if I tried to use this as an argument for God would this be a problem.

The Third option is to redefine the nature of God;to monkey around with your understanding of God's nature. Most Christians are not going to argue that God can't stop pain, or that he is helpless to control events on earth. Most Christians are not going to argue that God can't understand our pain, and the more we de claw God in one the intervention area the less God's loving fatherly nature means anything. If God can't relate to our pain he cant' really relate to our love either. If God can't understand our pain then he can't comfort us and all the reliance upon assumptions of God's love would be moot. Thus this is a moot option, except for process theology. Process theologians deny that their view of God is impersonal but it is. Their impersonal God can't act in stop pain in the world because he is only potentially God in one pole, and evolving with the world in the other. (monkey around, get it? evolution, process, never mind).

There's another way understand the nature of God and change God's recreation to the problem of pain, without reducing God to some impersonal force that can't relate to our pain. That is by understanding that God is more than our understanding includes. God is consciousness in some sense, the source of consciousness. But that doesn't mean that God's understanding is limited to ours. Now there are two problems atheists face that this point: (1) they can't believe that our understanding is limited. I've debated a lot of atheists and it's my experince that most of them have a hard time even getting this concept. Most atheists seem to believe that science knows everything. Anyone who really understands science knows how far from the truth this is. (2) atheists reduce the notion of God t a big man in the sky. The Vuletic article casted God in the role of a policeman. If the only rational view of God is that of a big cop whose job is to prevent law breaking and problems, then atheists are right. Of course there is no God of that sort. The basic formulation that atheists want to make, if pain, then no God, is obviously true if and only if this is the only sort of God there can be.

In my view this is a juvenile proposition. God as a big king on a throne is a metaphor not a reality. God as a big policeman is an extension of that metaphor. As a serious theological proposition, its the comic book version. My own view of God is mystical; and by that I mean God is beyond word, thought or image. We cannot understand God. Now when I say that, the first thing people want me to do is define God. But I'm saying we can't do that. Go is not a thing in creation. God is not alongside other things. God is off scale, we can't understand God. This means that my theology is largely apophatic, meaning, we cannot show the hole in the donut, so we show the hole by describing the donut around the hole. We can't say what God is so we say what God is not. Now my view is not entirely apophatic, because I do think there are some positive things we can know. In that snese my view is more existential. Here's what I mean by that:

Paul Tillich speaks of the ancient Dichotomy which is found thought theological history of the West, that between the essential and the existential. This is found in History of Christian Thought a compilation of lectures he gave in 1968. The dichotomy is between the essentialist (Agusutine--Platonic view) and the existentialist (Aquinas--the Aristotelian view). But he says his own existentialism is based upon the essential. This is because while the essentialist is static and non active, and the existential is al action and dynamism (the real issue between the two is not forms vs particulars but stasis vs change) the existential must play off of something, change without substance to change is nothing. Since I have based my view of God upon Tillich's notino of God as Being itself, and there we can see the essentialist basis, being, stability, always existing, stasis, there is a dynamism inherent in the nature of being as well. Being is always fomenting the beings and thus an evolutionary and developmental process is always unfolding in a dynamism out of the stability of eternal being. Heraclidus is known for his view of the world as constant flux but most people forget he saw this flux as taking place in a larger framework of stasis. Thus God is a sort of dynamic stasis or a self revealing mystery. We can get some of it, but the real understanding comes through experience which is beyond words. It cannot be communicated because that would require words. Attempts at communication always lead to botched understanding.

Thus in my view God is as analogous to a principle or the laws of physics, as to a big mind. I do not rule out consciousness on God's part. but I am prepared to understand it as a sort of Consciousness the likes of which is totally beyond our ability to understand. I try to juxtapose images of the personal God with images of the impersonal in order to remind myself that God is beyond our understanding. The Bible does this too. The Hebrew God is imaged as a whirl wind, a storm, a burning bush, but the bush talks (without a Texas Ancient). God is seen as a woman giving birth and a mother bear an mother eagle, as well as a king on a throne. All of these images suggest that God is beyond our understanding, cannot be pinned down to one consistent metaphor. For this reason I don't like to use the iea of "personality." I prefer to speak of God as conscious or "consciousness itself" rather than "personality." Personality theory in psychology is all about why we are abnormal and what's wrong with us. Personalities have quirks. God would not have personality hang ups. But consciousness can be anything. All we need for that is self awareness and the I-thou distinction. Consciousness can be beneath us, or far above us. We see a reddish discoloration in the sink, some form of mold of fungus. We assume it's not alive and doesn't think. In our sense it does not. Now I'm not saying I talk to discolorations in my sink, I'm not making new age assumptions; but from a philosophical stand point, we can't say it's not conscious. Of course it wont learn the alphabet but who can say that on the scale of molds, that it is not a fungic bard reciting the reddish tribe's version of the Iliad? We could go to the opposite extreme as well. We are the fungus compared to God.. Not that God can't understand or care for our pain, but he understands so much more than that we can't fathom his reasons for things. No this is not to say that pain is beautiful or that we can conduct a symphony while women are being rapped. It means God has reasons we don't know! Reasons we can't relate to. This is because God can see a much larger picture than we do. I shot a bird with my bb gun when I was ten. It didn't' die and I found it wounded in the back of the house. I felt ashamed and sorry and vowed never to shoot birds again. I tired to nurse it back to health in a shoe box, but it died the next day. How could I possibly explain to the bird why I shot it and how sorry I was? The fact that I could not explain doesn't mean that I did not have those feelings.

God understands the issues of life in a different way, on a different level. That is not to reduce the importance of pain or to deny the agony of suffering, but in thinking about why we have the the kind of world we do and what that really says about God, it says more, with more possibilities than just "God doesn't care." God does not manage the world. God is not a big building contractor in the sky, nor a policeman, nor a judge, nor a king. He's not watching every move to police all events.For one thing its not likely that thinks as such. All the issues of an undetermined universe could be played through as hypothetical senerios in God's mind in a single nanosecond. God has no need to deliberate or plan. There no reason to think that God uses ratiocinations. The major perimeters can be put into place in the same basic act of creation that establishes the very first existent. Whitehead's understanding was more analogous to a stage director in the performance of a play; ushering actors (actual entities in Whietheadian parlance) on and off the stage. But this would not be analogous to the kind of macro management that atheists and fundamentalists imagine. This would be at the subatomic level. God's connection with the universe can be a lot more organic, less like a child moving about his toys and writing the major action of his characters.

Of course all of these ideas are hypothetical and theoretical. My Soteriolgoical drama is theoretical. I don't know anything about God's nature or his aims. I'm only guessing but then this wold be the major thrust of answer to theodicy:

(1) soeteriological drama: God's major aim is to create free moral agents who willingly choose the good. Toward that end we must live in a real world in which one must undertake a life long search for truth, because that is the only way to internalize the values of the good. Thus the world must be neutral in terms of the obviousness of God's existence. There are enough clues to make a leap of faith but not so compelling that all must give assent.

(2) God understands values at a higher level: God understands the bigger picture in a way that we can't. Even though he cares and loves he doesn't do social engineering and doesn't base creation upon a utilitarian premise.

We can also understand God's love by understanding the human capacity for love. We should assume that the basic human capacity for decency and love is a reflection of the divine; indeed we can do no more than that. Atheists are willing to assume that human love is just an emotional state arising from chemical reactions, and a buy product of consciousness, which is in itself a side effect of having a brain. There is actually no way to leverage the proof one way or the other. But it seems unnecessary from an evolutionary view point. Now one can show utilitarian functions of love, but love in the sense of agope, charity, the willingness to according the other basic dignity and value, can also get one in trouble. Love is not a practical device for the survival of the tribe. It could easily get the tribe wiped out. Our moral value systems are ultimately a extension of our capacity to empathize with others, and this is a basic form of love in the agopic sense. That's as close to something divine as we can knowingly come and it is universal to all human culture.

Atheist assumption is that God is all knowing and can anything he wants. Thus to create at all is to pre determine a world of pain and suffering, thus God is guilty of causaing all pain and suffering. On the blog Debuncking Christianity right now Lee Randolph has a piece that argue this very thing.

first few premises:

* God is omniscient.
* God is timeless.
* God Created everything.
* God Chose how to create the world and knew how it was going to react after he made it.
* God Chose how to create people and knew how we were going to react after he made us.
* If he knew what was going to happen to us, then before we were made, our destiny was recorded.
* If he made us with free will, and he knew what was going to happen to us before he made us, then any exercise of that free will was already known by him and was really only the appearance of free will.
* In the course of our life, because we can not know the future, it appears to us that we have freewill.

God is a big man, and understandings things they way we do and purposely makes everything happen and knows exactly every little move we will make so we can blame God for everything we do.

Just because there are great oceanic questions that are not easily answered hardly means that there is no God. This is not the great God beater argument because they hang in the balance, with inferences drawn from the nature of the world on one side, and unanswered God arguments on the other. If we try to argue from the nature of the world to the nonexistence of God, open the door to design arguments. That’s the reason for rejecting the design argument (no undesigned universe to compare it to), but try to use it for theodicy and we have to accept the design things. On the other hand, if we rule out design on the grounds that we can’t reason from the nature of the world to God without pre judging the outcome by the same token we can’t make the same assumption on the other side. We cannot reason from pain and suffering to the lack of a God. That is going to require that we know something before hand about the nature and purpose of God. For this reason atheists are always trying to read in the most austere and comic book version of God; they want us to believe in a God who is a big guy in the sky because its easier to judge a big guy who is just like us, only more powerful and maybe smarter, than it would be to compare to a grate unknown

Saturday, December 29, 2007

God Argument: Fire In the Equasions


1) Naturalists assume necessity of naturalistic cause and effect (from empirical observation).

Dictionary of Philosophy Anthony Flew, article on "Materialism" "...the belief that everything that exists is ethier matter or entirely dependent upon matter for its existence." Center For Theology and the Natural Sciences Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate: God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999) the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?(this source is already linked above) "...One of the fundamental assumptions of modern science is that every physical event can be sufficiently explained solely in terms of preceding physical causes.." Science and The Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead. NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p.76

"We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points. ... science which is employed in their development [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical causation is supreme, and which disjoins the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[Whitehead was an atheist] Cambridge Relativity and Quantum Gravity. 1996, University of Cambridge The physical laws that govern the universe prescribe how an initial state evolves with time. In classical physics, if the initial state of a system is specified exactly then the subsequent motion will be completely predictable.

2) Therefore, if we agree with them, it is logical to assume naturalistic cause and effect as background condition to the emergence and/or production of the universe.

Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program

Q:Which came first, matter or physical laws?

"We do not know, but matter is derivative from energy, and energy is derivative from 'field' so in some sense, the physical laws that determine the quantum dynamics of fields must have been primary, with matter as we know it coming much later."

3) Since physical laws would have to proceed matter/energy, they would have to reside in some organizing principle (such as a mind?) since they could not reside in the workings of universe that did not yet exist.

This leads to a Dilemma:

a) Either the laws of physics are general law like statements demanding a law giver (law implies a law giver)

b) Or they are mere tendencies which mark conventional frames of reference for our observations of the universe.

*If the former, than since all products of the natural world require a cause, what causes the laws of physics? It seems there must either be an infinite regress of causes for physical laws, or a single organizing principle capable of directing physical law; such as a mind?

*If the latter, than the skeptic loses the lock on scientific rationality and with it, the basis upon which to critique religious belief as �unscientific.� After all, just because we don�t notice regular tendencies toward supernatural effects does not mean that they are impossible, if physical laws are nothing but mere tendencies.

4)Major Physicists propose Unitive principle they call "God."

MetaList on Science and religion

Stephen Hawking's God

In his best-selling book "A Brief History of Time", physicist Stephen Hawking claimed that when physicists find the theory he and his colleagues are looking for - a so-called "theory of everything" - then they will have seen into "the mind of God". Hawking is by no means the only scientist who has associated God with the laws of physics. Nobel laureate Leon Lederman, for example, has made a link between God and a subatomic particle known as the Higgs boson. Lederman has suggested that when physicists find this particle in their accelerators it will be like looking into the face of God. But what kind of God are these physicists talking about? Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.

Ok These guys are not talking about the God of the Bible, but the fact that they do resort to organizing principle proves my basic point. They can't just leave the laws of physics unexplained, they have to resort to organizing principle that ties it all up in one neat package. But why assume that principle can't be the personal God of the Bible? The rest of this Website argues that it is. But the main point here is that it is very logical to assume an organizing principle such a mind which organizes and contains physical laws.But "which god" is dealt with else where. at the very least this argument gives us a Spinoza-like God.

5) Mind is best explanation for organizing principal.

This principal would not dwell in any location, since it must proceed the existence of all physical matter and objects. It cannot resides in any location, or in the actions of a energy and matter, since it must proceed them for them to come to be, or to exist. Mind is the only thing that explains:

a. non physical location--no topos

b. Organizing function; organizing information and structures. The major element of mind is organization and containment of information. Like a genetic structure has to reside in genes, where does an organizing principal for the universe reside? In a mind that creates the universe?

6) A mind that contains physical law can be said to be creator and thus God. Therefore,if we assume physical law there must be a "lawgiver," therefore, God exists QED

Corollary:Science cannot Explain Laws of Physics

A. Cause of Physical Laws Unknown

1)Physical Law Merely Assumed to Exist.

OFFICE OF DR. ROBERT C. KOONS Post-Agnostic Science:How Physics Is RevivingThe Argument From Design

Robert C. Koons

Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Texas
Austin, TX 78712

"Some have objected that the anthropic coincidences cannot be explained, since they involve the fundamental laws of nature. The laws of nature are used in explaining other things -- they themselves cannot be explained. They are rock-bottom, matters of physical necessity, immutable and uncaused. This objection is sometimes based on actual scientific practice -- scientists seek to discover the laws of nature and to use these laws in constructing explanations of phenomena. They do not try to explain the laws of nature themselves. There are several points to make in response to this."

2) Skeptics object, but Some scientits now Ask.

Paul Davies, Author of God and The New Physics, and The Mind of God, skeptic turned believer due to the new evidence on design. From First Things, Tempelton Award address:

"All the richness and diversity of matter and energy we observe today has emerged since the beginning in a long and complicated sequence of self- organizing physical processes. The laws of physics not only permit a universe to originate spontaneously, but they encourage it to organize and complexify itself to the point where conscious beings emerge who can look back on the great cosmic drama and reflect on what it all means."

"Now you may think I have written God entirely out of the picture. Who needs a God when the laws of physics can do such a splendid job? But we are bound to return to that burning question:
Where do the laws of physics come from?
And why those laws rather than some other set? Most especially: Why a set of laws that drives the searing, featureless gases coughed out of the big bang toward life and consciousness and intelligence and cultural activities such as religion, art, mathematics, and science?"

Koons, (Ibid.) "...It is no longer true that scientists never seek to explain the laws of nature. Much of recent cosmology and unified force theory has attempted to do that. ...even if scientists never did attempt to explain the fundamental laws, it would still be an open question whether they should do so. Finally, whether something can or should be explained is itself an empirical matter, to be decided on a case by case basis, and not on the basis of dogmatic, a priori pronouncements. The anthropic coincidences are themselves excellent evidence that the laws of nature can and should be explained. If the laws really were absolute rock bottom, inexplicable brute facts, then we would be faced with a set of inexplicable coincidences. If the only price we have to pay in order to explain these coincidences is to revise our beliefs about the rock-bottom status of physical laws, this is a small price to pay."

B. How do Physical Laws make a universe?

Stephen Barr

"The laws of physics are proposed by some, as brought out by Furgesson, as constituting a "final cause" in place of God. This view is actually suggestive of an inversion and can be turned around into an argument for the exist of God. Barr states "The more serious problem with this idea of laws of physics as necessary first casue is that it is based on an elementary confussion. At most the laws of physics could be said to be the 'formal cause' of the physical universe, whereas by first casue is meant efficient cause, the cause of its very existancde. Hawking himself asked percisely the right queitson when he wrote 'even if there is only one possible unified theory is it just a set of rules and equasions? What is it that breaths fire into the equassions and makes a universe for them to descirbe? The usual approach of science constutcing a methematical model cannot answer the question of why there should be a universe for the model to describe.' That is decisive--crushing...." (in First Things)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Major Human Tragedy: Bhutto Murdered


Speaking of pain and tragedy, I just leaned of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto

read about it on aol.

I really admired her and mourn her passing.I must say I expected it years ago.

scroll down to see my latest theological essay, on theodicy.

Twelve Angry Sterio Types: Answering Atheist Take on Theodicy Prolem

original tv play "Twelve Angry Men"

a Friend from CARM emailed me this article found on Internet Infidels.Its' a parable (or anti-parable) about the problem of pain. It supposedly critique twelve different views of God and the approaches taken by those who hold said views, and the inadequacy thereof. I promised this friend a critique. But I will only defend the views that I find close to my own. I may make comments on some of the views, but not all. I see no point in defending views I don't hold. Apparently this essay is a "must read" according to HRG (Hans R. Groum) the star of the atheist board on CARM.

Before getting started I have one general observation. The argument made here uses the medium of parable, and thus uses the idea of policemen watching a murder and not intervening as the analogy. The problem is, we hired cops to do a specific job, they are regular men and they have limited understanding. They are put up to a specific task which is understood of them and they have our own limitations in understanding the nature of the task or how to carry it out. This means the analogy is limited and dubious as analogous of God and the world. God is not hired to carry out a specific task. God allows things to happen in relation to divine wisdom, which is not something we understand well. We have to allow God to use his own judgment in how he things things should go. We can say to a cop "you know your job is to keep the pace and you allowed this crime to transpire right in font of your face" but we do no know God's role. We do not know God's understanding. We do not know God's limitations (if any). Thus this means there is no analogy. Where there is no analogy there is no argument.

Secondly. This essay carries the same weakness as the design argument. It doesn't outweigh God arguments it falls to them because it argues from the state of the world to the existence of God. If that is a mistake for design arguments, it's a mistake for theodicy arguments. If it is not a mistake for theodicy it is not a mistake for design; moot point at best.

thirdly, of course, I have made my own theory of theodicy, the "Soteriological Drama." Of cosrue this essay makes no mention of it. So any argument gleaned from this parable is countered by my essay. Please read it!

now to the parable:

The Tale of the Twelve Officers (2002)

the Tale of Twelve Officers

Mark I. Vuletic

Previously "The Five Officers" (2000), and then changed to "The Nine Officers" (2001), Vuletic has now made the final update to this essay to include a total of twelve points of view.

The First officer:

It was, of course, sad to hear that Ms. K had been slowly raped and murdered by a common thug over the course of one hour and fifty-five minutes; but when I found out that the ordeal had taken place in plain sight of twelve fully-armed off-duty police officers, who ignored her terrified cries for help, and instead just watched until the act was carried to its gruesome end, I found myself facing a personal crisis. You see, the officers had all been very close friends of mine, but now I found my trust in them shaken to its core. Fortunately, I was able to talk with them afterwards, and ask them how they could have stood by and done nothing when they could so easily have saved Ms. K.
"I thought about intervening," said the first officer, "but it occurred to me that it was obviously better for the murderer to be able to exercise his free will than to have it restricted. I deeply regret the choices he made, but that's the price of having a world with free agents. Would you rather everyone in the world were a robot? The attacker's choices certainly weren't in my control, so I can't be held responsible for his actions."

I'm not correcting his spelling. If there is a misspelling in the block quote the atheist put it there.

Of course here we see the mocking of the Free will Defense. My Soteriological Drama is a free will defense. I urge the reader to read it as an answer. But notice here there is no reason for free will given. No attempt to weight the consequences of not having free will vs having it and having to suffer because of it. So no decision cam be made about the wisdom of such a course. The empty mocking of the position says it wall, "would you rather everyone be a robot?" Of course they would. atheists wish they were robots. rather they wish everyone else was a robot. So much for their disingenuous concern for humanity. They can't even understand the basic condition necessary for their own rebellion. if they were robots of God they could not be atheists. But that would suit them, they want to be absolved built and responsibly

The Second Officer:

"Well," said the second officer, "my motivation was a little bit different. I was about to pull my gun on the murderer when I thought to myself, 'But wait, wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity for some unarmed bystander to exercise selfless heroism, should he chance to walk by? If I were to intervene all the time like I was just about to, then no one would ever be able to exercise such a virtue. In fact, everyone would probably become very spoiled and self-centered if I were to prevent every act of rape and murder.' So I backed off. It's unfortunate that no one actually showed up to heroically intervene, but that's the price of having a universe where people can display virtue and maturity. Would you rather the world were nothing but love, peace, and roses?"

spoiled self centered people always mock those who lecture them on being responsible and selfless. I don't really know of any position that says God allows pain so we wont be selfish. I guess its' closest to the old "pain builds character idea" but I don't of anyone who is really willing to argue that seriously. C.S. Lewis argues something similar in the Problem of Pain But he is sophisticated enough to develop it into something more than that. Since I'm not defending Lewis I'll move on.

Third Officer:

"I didn't even consider stepping in," said the third officer. "I probably would have if I hadn't had so much experience of life as a whole, since Ms. K's rape and murder admittedly seems pretty horrible when taken in isolation. But when you put it into context with the rest of life, it actually adds to the overall beauty of the big picture. Ms. K.'s screams were like the discordant notes that make fine musical pieces better than they would have been had all the notes been flawless. In fact, I could scarcely keep from waving my hands around, imagining that I myself was conducting the delicious nuances of the orchestra."

This is really a straw man argument. I don't know of any Christian apologist who argues that pain adds to the beauty of life. I sometimes tell myself "it's all part of the rich pageantry of life," but only as a facetious commentary on how generally screwed up things are. This is really a major misunderstanding that atheists have about Christian positions. I guess they must think Christians have to think everything is huncky duncky. I don't think that. I think the world is screwed. That might go along with the Christian concept of a fallen world. I certainly Don't blame God for it. But then atheists are looking for things things to blame ;God for. Then they catch themselves and say "but I don't believe in him." but they blame him for everything.

"When I first arrived on the scene, I actually drew my gun and pointed it right at the rapist's head," confessed the fourth officer, with a very guilty look on his face. "I'm deeply ashamed I did that. Do you know how close I came to destroying all of the goodness in the world? I mean, we all know there can't be any good without evil. Fortunately, I remembered this just in time, and a wave of such strong nausea came over me when I realized what I had almost done, that it knocked me to my hands and knees. Man, was that a close one."
This is a misapplication of several arguments none of which say that if God stops evil good will be destroyed. I have argued against atheists views that try to make evil into an essence. Thus many times they will argue that some contradiction obtains because God is good and evil exits, thus God is contradicted by evil or some such idea. Sometimes they push this to the point of making evil an essential quality. I say evil is not a positive thing. It's the lac of good. But that doesn't mean that in space somewhere there's this big "lack of good" sitting around. The lack of Good is in the heart, the human heart, or the attitudes. That is not an argument that evil is in anyway necessary to good. The relationship of good to evil is like that of light to shade. Light does not depend upon shade for its existence. Shade does depend upon light.


"Look, there's really no point in my trying to explain the details to you," said the fifth officer, who we had nicknamed 'Brainiac' because he had an encyclopedic knowledge of literally everything and an IQ way off the charts. "There's an excellent reason for why I did not intervene, but it's just way too complicated for you to understand, so I'm not even going to bother trying. I mean, you admit you are nowhere near as knowledgeable as I am, so what right do you have to judge? Just so there's no misunderstanding, though, let me point out that no one could care about Ms. K. more than I did, and that I am, in fact, a very good person. That settles that."

this one is typical of the atheist not willing to allow God to be God. They can't allow that anything anywhere could know more than we do. I can't blame them entirely for this answer since I don't like mystifications either. Too often Christan will slough off an answers with this "no one knows the mind of God" sort of thing. On the other hand it is arrogant and stupid to pretend that we do know everything. We have to allow God to be all knowing and ou to be very ignorant. We ave to accept that we don't see the big picture. HOw could we? why shouldn't the big picture be beyond our scope?

There the atheists are looking for an all purpose handy dandy god defeater argument that has to be true. They use the excuse of point as a kings x. o God allowed this so there cant' be a God. It' just a big atheists Kings X.


"I would have defended Ms. K," said the sixth officer, who was notoriously careful about staying out of the public eye, "but it simply was not feasible. You see, I want everyone to freely choose to believe in me. But if I were to step in every time someone was about to be raped or murdered, then the evidence would be so clear-cut that everyone would be forced to believe in me. Can you imagine a more diabolical infringement upon their free wills? Obviously, it was better for me to back off and let Ms. K be raped and murdered. Now everyone can freely choose to believe that there is this extraordinary cop out there who loves them like his own children."

Ok now we are getting someplace! Even though he doesn't say it, this is aimed at me. this is my view which is unique. This means I've had an impact such that they have to answer my own view. Yeah yip yip ypiee!!! (exuse my outburst). This is based upon my view in Soteriological Drama

If one will read the link one finds that there is much more to this view that is left out of the atheist frame work He just said "I didn't help because I want people to believe in me." what's is missing is the all the analysis about how why direct intervention would negate belief and what that means.

(1) It totally misses the point that what would be negated is not just belief or not belief at all. I state explicitly we would all believe in God if God make it plain enough. Not the point.

(2) We would believe but at the price of resentment. If we felt that we had to be good no matter what, there's no ambiguity, God is watching at all times and if we screw up we are in trouble, we would resent it. We would resent God.

(3) God wants more than just belief. He wants us to internalize the values of being good.

(4) The only way to do that is to instill these values in such a way that we want to believe them.

(5) That's the logic of the search. If we have to search for the truth we embrace the truth we find. If part of that truth is the values of the good then embrace them. we internalize them.

(6) If God stopped based stuff all the time there would be no need for a search. there would be no internalizing the values.
This involves an answer similar to no 4, but if we are not careful we might think that this is no. 4. But it is not. I am not saying Good requires evil. Nor am I saying suffering builds character. thse are answered specifically on the page linked to above.


"What are you complaining about?" exclaimed the seventh officer when I turned to him, his eyebrows shooting up in exasperated disbelief. "I just saved a woman from getting raped and murdered last week! Do I have to jump in every time I see something like that about to happen? I would say the fact that more women are not raped and murdered in this city is almost miraculous testimony to my goodness."


The eighth officer, too, looked frustrated. "Nothing I do is good enough! Do you know how much worse it could have been? The thug actually had a blowtorch with him when he started out, but I said 'No way, not on my watch,' and knocked it away from him with my nightstick. Sure, I let him keep the switchblade, the pliers, the coat hanger, and the vial of acid, but think how much worse it would have been with a blowtorch! Ms. K should have thanked her lucky stars that someone so loving was there to watch over her."

both are highly inadequate parodies of positions I've given in the past. These answers were specific to certain atheist arguments. they are not meant to be general answers to the entire problem of pain. Atheists wont allow an honest answer. They can't take anything seriously and they can't represent an argument fairly. They always leave out the crucial bits that make so much difference. See above on Six see what was left out that makes a fine response look idiotic.
Seen and eight do not represent views of God. They are taken of out context. Which is what I would expect from atheists.


"I'll let you in on a secret," said the ninth officer."Moments after Ms. K. flatlined, I had her resuscitated, and flown to a tropical resort where she is now experiencing extraordinary bliss, and her ordeal is just a distant memory. I'm sure you would agree that that's more than adequate compensation for her suffering, so the fact that I just stood there watching instead of intervening has no bearing at all on my goodness."

here he's not even trying. Just mocking the concept of after life. I could make a better parody of the "God will make it up to us in heaven" mentality.

The tenth officer gave us all quite a start when he revealed a surprising secret about Ms. K. "I genetically engineered her from scratch. I made her, therefore she's my property, and I can do whatever I want with her. I could rape and murder her myself if I were so inclined, and it would be no worse than you tearing up a piece of paper you own. So there is no question of my being a bad person for not helping her."
Of course here we have the atheist inability to argue within the guidelines of a position. I've seen them do this over an dover again. They think 'well it doesn't matter if those guys believe God created us, I don't believe th so he didn't." Then you get this sort of wired argument that doesn't quite accept the premise of it's opponent, even for the sake of argument, and yet expects one to go along with the argument anyway even though tit's not really Germain to anyone's actual belief. Why would we be surprised to find that God created humans? If a real cop said this of course it would be delusional, but not if God say sit. I can just hear the atheists missing the point and saying "but there is no God to say this."


The eleventh officer chimed in, gesturing at the tenth officer "I hired him to create Ms. K for me, because I wanted someone to love and worship me. But when I approached Ms. K about the matter, she actually turned away from me, as though she could find meaning and happiness with someone else! So I decided the loving thing to do would be to break her spirit by arranging to have her raped and murdered by a common thug, so that she might turn to me in her extraordinary suffering, thereby fulfilling the purpose for which she had been created. Well, mission accomplished, I'm happy to say! A few seconds before she died, she was so insane with terror and pain that she actually convinced herself she loved me, since she knew that only I could end her ordeal. I'll never forget the love in her eyes when she looked up at me the last time, begging for mercy, right before the thug bent over and slit her throat. It was so beautiful it still brings me to tears. Now I just have to go to that island so she can claim her prize of servitude."

I don't know of anyone who says that God allows pain so that we will have to love him. This is seems like the typical atheist misrepresentation and distortion they are constantly into. As I say they can never really gasp what an argument is about and they can never represent a Christian view point accurately.


"Well, this is quite a coincidence," chuckled the twelfth officer. "It looks like the thug got himself double pay, because I actually hired him to carry out the murder, too! Why? Oh, well it was just a test. Ms. K and I had been dating for some time (no offense, I didn't know she was someone else's property), and one beautiful night she finally told me she loved me. So, naturally, I wanted to see whether this was indeed love - that is, whether she would continue to adore me even while drowning in a pool of her own tears and blood, with me standing before her doing nothing."

I have to had it to him on this one. This is pretty much why I reject the "this is all a test" theory of spirituality. But of course their fuming hatred at people who say this marks their inability to empathize.

By now, it had become clear to me that any difficulty I might have had in reconciling the presumed goodness of the officers with their behavior that day was unfounded, and that anyone who sided against them could do so only for love of evil over good. After all, anyone who has experienced their friendship in the way I have knows that they are good. Their goodness is even manifest in my life - I was in a shambles before I met them, but now everyone remarks on what a changed person I am, so much kinder and happier, apparently possessed of an inner calm. And I have met so many others who feel exactly the same way about them - so many who, like me, know in their hearts the truth that others try to rationalize away with their cold reason and sterile logic. I am ashamed that I ever doubted the entitlement of the twelve officers to my loyalty and my love.
As I was getting ready to leave, the first officer spoke up again. "By the way, I also think you should know that when we stood there watching Ms. K. get raped and stabbed over and over, we were suffering along with her, and we experienced exactly the same pain she did, or perhaps even more." And everyone in the room, myself included, nodded his head in agreement.

Of course this is not kind of answer to the process theology position that says God suffers with humanity but can't save 100% of life. Pain and suffering are those things cannot be saved. The assumption made here by the author is that they could stop such things. Thus it fails to even speak to views such as process, or deism or a view of an impersonal God (the God principle) which assert that God cannot stop such things.

The usual atheist mentality is to mock and blaspheme such a God and to assert that he's not worth worshiping. Then they turn around and idealize Buddhism as atheist spirituality even though its essentially offering the same thing as an impersonal God principle, even though they don't' say that.
Now comes the passive aggressive bit.

Religious readers, do not take offense. I have made this parable as brazen as I could, but my purpose is not to insult or blaspheme.
I just got through distorting and insulting your view of life, but I don't mean to insult you.

I have found that religious believers are often conditioned to accept trite solutions to the problem of suffering, and that it is all but impossible to shake that conditioning through dry analysis. The temptation to offer to an entity a moral blank check simply because it sports a nametag with "God" written on it, is overwhelming in our theistic culture. Hence, this attempt to make the point through a medium as far removed from dry analysis as possible. But again, it is all to make a point, not to cause anyone harm. I have not written anything that I would not have wanted directed at me when I myself was a believer.

yes I think you are a perfect idiot to hold your beliefs but don't' be offended.

Atheists are really stuck with the need to reduce answers to pablum because theodicy is one of the major arguments they possess. They can't prove there is no God, they can't win a God argument to save their lives. About the only thing they can do si throw up sweeping objections to the concept of God based upon the nature of the world. Of course we need to be aware of The reverse design argument. (see up top) The best they can get out of it is a moot point because it is either outweighed by God arguments, or equal tot hem; can't reason form the state of the world to God or rule out God's existence for same reason.

comparing God to a big cop in the sky is just another version of thinking of God as a big "guy in the sky." This seems to be about the only way atheists can think about god.

Oddly enough I was thinking of doing an argument along these lines. I don't think sufficient attention is given to the impersonal God option. Even though that is not my view I will do one on it, the impersonal God as an answer to theodolites. I'll put that up in a couple of days. I'll how it relates to a valid Christian position. In the mean time we should recognize that we don't need a definite answer tot he great oceanic questions to justify belief. If I' don't know why God allows pain" is the only answer, they must show why this is not good enough. Because they can't answer other oceanic questions without appealing to God. why aren't we robots? why do we have wills, why do we find meaning in belief? why is the human brain wired to respond to God talk? They can't answer that. At that level all of it has to reduce to personal decision.

The atheist fails to secure his big all purpose God beater argument.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mind Trnascends Brain

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My version of the cosmological argument steers its way around the need to defend direct causality of the universe with the idea that all existing things that we observe have ontologically prior conditions. For example, the universe itself stems from a confluence of space, time, gravitational field, energy. All of this is has an ontologically prior condition in the singularity. I say “ontologically prior” because there is no time beyond event horizon, thus there is no “before” before the big bang. But ontologically prior doesn’t mean that came “before” chronologically. Time begins in the very same increment of nano second with the things that are contingent upon, but they are no less contingent. Take the example of the eternal flute player. As long as the player plays eternally the music is eternal. But if the player were to stop the music would cease. Thus the music is both eternal and contingent. This illustrates the idea that a contingency can be contingent upon a necessity that that does not come before it in time, but the necessity is ontologically prior.

I advance the argument that we have no examples of anything that is not contingent upon an ontologically prior condition. Everything we see in this life. From swizzle sticks to pigs, form dirt to salad cream, from dollars to donuts is contingent. Thus it is the power of inductive reasoning that forces us to accept the concept of a contingent universe, We have no examples, not one, of anything to the contrary. One must fly in the face of all experience of all humans in all of life to argue that we don’t need to assume any sort of ontological priority for naturalistic phenomena. Atheists have, however, turned the tables. They advance the argument that we never observe any form of mind or consciousness apart from brain. Thus, by the same force of inductive evidence that forces us to assume ontologically prior conditions to the universe, we should also assume that minds do not occur without brains. This would mean that God must be the product of a biology, or here cannot be a God possessed of consciousness, will, or volition.

While this seems like a reasonable “turn about is fair play” sort of argument on the surface, rendering Theistic objects as special pleading, it is actually a black-is-white-slide argument on the part of the atheist. This is so because the two cases are really not analogous even though they appear to be at first glance. First, there is nothing to compare to God We can say “we never see anything that is not contingent upon something else in this life, but we cannot say “we never see anything else that is like God, because we never see God, nor can we expect anything to be like God. God is not only unique, but God is beyond any scale of understanding we could produce. There is nothing we can compare to God. Thus, it is not a fair statement “we never see anything like God.” Of course we don’t, God is off scale. That may sound like special pleading but to say otherwise is merely a category mistake. One is trying to hold the absolute necessity the standards of all contingent being. The atheist is merely denying the fact that the two cases, God and naturalistic phenomena are totally different things, they are in different logically categories and one cannot be held in comparison to the to the other.

Moreover, the ontological priority of naturalistic necessities is much more fundamental in our field of experience than is consciousness. While it is true that everything we see in this life, every single physical object and everything we know about, anything and every thing that can be observed or quantified or even theorized based upon its effects upon other physical phenomena, is contingent, we do not know if it is true that minds are only found in connection with brains. That is begging the question, because the argument is made that consciousness is not merely the product of brain chemistry but is actually a basic property of nature, and is produced by the level of complexity in a system. Thus the atheist is imposing functionalistic assumptions based upon a materialist ideology, rather than appealing to any sort of actual observation we really make in the world. We do not know if we only observe consciousness as a product of brain chemistry because if it is a property of nature then we may be seeing it at work in everything. There is a school of thought that says nature is “ground up.” If that is the case it means that rocks and trees have a certain level of consciousness, presumably very low for rocks, because consciousness is a basic property. If this view is true, consciousness is like the electromagnetic spectrum; its in everything, you can’t see it, you can’t compare it to anything. The EM spectrum includes a lot of aspect that we cannot observe directly. Radio waves, microwaves, ultra violet, infa red and others are also aspects of the EM spectrum. So there may be more to consciousness than just brains. I am not suggesting that trees have feelings and are capable of conversation, but if consciousness is a basic property then there’s got to be a lot more to it than we know. To just say no it’s only caused by brain chemistry and is only found in biological organisms is foolish. God is not a biological organism and thus there is no reason to exact that God would conform to the same principles. The real difference in the two cases, is that the prior condition argument and the consciousness argument is that prior conditions are something we can observe and understanding as necessary for the emergence of all physical phenomena, while we do not know the answer to the assumption being made about consciousness and presume we do is merely begging the question.

On the other hand,

there is evidence that mind can appear apart from brain.While this can’t be proven, there are some good indications.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Chirstmas


"Hark the Herald" by Charles Wesley. You can't find a more Orthodox statement of the doctrine of Trinity (not outside the creeds). My second favorite Christmas carol. (Silent Night is first)

please read the words and think about it.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th' angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.

Christ, by highest heaven adored
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th' Incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Come, Desire of nations come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the Woman's conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent's head.
Adam's likeness, Lord efface:
Stamp Thy image in its place;
Second Adam, from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


Merry Christmas all you atheists out there! I mean it! and Jews, and Buddhists, and Janists and Christians and everyone! Muslims and Mensa, and existentialists and process theology people and agnostics, and everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We do not have Souls We ARE Souls!

the soul is not like Casper

It seems almost a universal belief among atheists on the net (with some notable exceptions) that science has explained all of consciousness, reduced "mind" to an illusory nature, a side effect of brain chemistry. Atheists argue this fantasy from the stand point of the soul or the spirit, reducing dualistic aspects of religious thought to only the material realm, thus confirming their naturalism and eliminating what they see as privative religious thinking. The problem is, this is sheer fantasy. The atheist delusion that the whole of science accepts this conclusion as fact and as a matter of course is totally contradicted by the major physicists (Pennrose) and the Nobel Laureates who support many of the new forms of dualism or quantum versions of consciousness.

Atheists argue this issue on two grounds: (1) that there is no data of any kind whatsoever supporting any sort of soul or spirit; (2) that alterations to brain chemistry seem to alter consciousness in many ways. Thus they conclude that brain chemistry is what "mind" reduce to, and there is nothing more than that and there need be nothing more than that. To answer the first point first, what atheists have in mind on the issue of soul is something like Casper the friendly ghost. They seem to think that religious thinking has not advanced sufficiently to get past the vaper notion of a by gone era. But not all religious view points understand things in is way.

"Soul," in my parlance, is a veg term which is given no consistent use in the Bible. What emerges from the Biblical text most often is the idea that "soul" is a symbolic term referring to the over all life of the individual, especially with reference to the religious sphere, the telos of the individual's life goal, the after life. This is not to say that "soul" is what lives on, except in the symbolic sense. In other words, we do not have souls, we are souls. Thus the Bible speaks of a certain number of "souls" going down into Egypt, or we speak of "lost souls" and "saving souls."

It is Spirit that I think of as the thing that lives after death. Spirit is the "life force" in a metaphorical sense. Now this doesn't mean it's a mysterious energy, for I understand "spirit" in the way that Albert Schweitzer did, as mind: Spirit = mind. Mind is an immaterial aspect of brain which produces consciousness, self awareness, and that is what lives on after death. Of course the atheist will argue that the mind is a side effect of brain chemistry, below (page 3) I present a boat load of data to show that this is simply not the case. Mind transcends brain. Of course we should be prepared to assume that mind is produced by brain function, that is "caused" by having a brain; but just being caused by the brain doesn't mean that the mind is reduced to the brain. As for living without a brain, we are talking about a state of after life. Of course we shouldn't expect minds to go running around planet earth without brains while people are still alive, but in the state of after life, where one transcends the material, why not? Some Christians might raise the issue of "resurrection body," but when Jesus was still in the flesh, after the resurrection, he told Mary he had not yet ascended to the father, and implied that his body would be transformed. Paul says he was raised a life giving spirit; he doesn't say he was a life giving spirit immediately upon raising.So perhaps in the state of after life the "resurrection body" is pure spirit? That is to say, the resurrection body is pure mind; being taken up into God's presence the mind coheres through some divine measure we know not of? That seems like the simplest solution to consider to me.

As for the issue of brain chemistry and changing brain function changes consciousness, there is a problem here between correlation and causality. There is a very strong correlation between brain damage and changes of consciousness, but there is no way to prove that this is because the mind is reduce able to the brain. If the mind is dependent upon the brain as a soft ware package is dependent upon hardware, then of course damaging the hard ware would make the soft ware inaccessible, but it would not mean that soft are is reduceable to hardware.

This idea always leaves atheists cold and usually they just ignore it on message boards. But it really does answer all the problems connected with belief in life after death and soul. It is not an entity that lives separately from the body. Its' the symbol of the over all life in relation to God. Mind is spirit, this means there is no Casper like aspect of humans that lives on after death. Mind may or may not live on after death, but as mind and we can ponder "resurrection body" another time. This makes after life something of a physical thing. If we are ideas in the mind of God this is not hard to understand. All God need to do so save our maind matrix is just think about it adhering


My concept that we don't have souls, we are souls, that it is a metaphor for the overall life, but especially in relation to God, our relationship with god (save soul/lost soul) has tons of biblical backing:

*where people themselves are referred to as souls

word for "soul" is translated "life" in many verses.

Matthew10 uses

Mt 6:25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clo thing?

Mt 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (could go either way)

how could you destroy the soul in sheol (hell) if the soul lives on? It must mean our overall life on earth.

Mt 10:39 "He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

Mt 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your soul s.

Mt 12:18 "Behold, My Servant whom I HAVE CHOSEN; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He shall proclaim JUSTICE TO THE Gentiles.

Mt 16:25 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.

Mt 16:26 "For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (in exchange for his overall life, so it could fit this passage)

Mt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Mt 22:37 And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'


Re 6:9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the soul s of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

Re 8:9 and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
Re 12:11 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.

Re 16:3 And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

Re 18:13 and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives.*

Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the soul s of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.


Ac 2:27 Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor ALLOW Thy Holy One to UNDERGO DECAY.

Ac 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand soul s.*

Ac 3:23 'And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet* shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'

Ac 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that any thing belonging to him was his own; but all thing s were common property to them.

Ac 7:14 "And Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five person s in all.

Ac 14:2 But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the mind s of the Gentiles, and embittered them against the brethren.

Ac 14:22 strengthening the soul s of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."

Ac 15:24 "Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your soul s,

Ac 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ac 20:10 But Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him."

Ac 20:24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Ac 27:10 and said to them, "Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be attended with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."

Ac 27:22 "And yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.

Ac 27:37 And all of us in the ship were two hundred and seventy-six person s.

1 Pete:

1Pe 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your soul s.

1Pe 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your soul s for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1Pe 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. (either way)

1Pe 2:25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your soul s.

1Pe 3:20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight person s, were brought safely through the water.

1Pe 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their soul s to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (either)

Hebrews most of these could go either way)

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart

Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

Heb 10:38 But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

Heb 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Heb 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your soul s, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

I'm going to expand into a second post. But note, the alternative is to see soul as either berath or mysterious life force, or emotions. But while we can be assured that ancient people probably did understand soul as life force or something mysteirous, we need not see it that way. Part fo the time its used in the way that spirit is used; as an extention of mind, emotions, feelings, understanding, seat of motivation.

MetacrockSense of the Numinous.

Posts: 2051
(11/1/05 8:49 am)
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Re: Can you prove there is such a thing as a soul...

I am not gonig to go through and mark each one. I did that. I was three passages from the end of the list, puched the wrong button by mistake and zapped the whole post! I will not tro though it again. But I'll tell you my findings and you can corroboarate if you wish.

I did find three enstances in Pslams (the word Nephish is used something like 134 times) where it is used in the sense of "my soul which is within me." It says direclty "it is within me." But don't celibrate too soon LV, that's 3 to 200. I will admit there probably was a concept of the soul as within; but not as an amorphus gohst taking up space like a kidney. It was either that of the emotions, or the seat of intellect and feeling, or the life force, or the idea of the self.

But the vast majority of verses the word is used in the pslams to mean "my overall life being saved from death." it is contrsted with Sheol quite a bit. In other words, life vs death. And in many estnaces (over eight) it is translated directly as "life" in the sense of "save my life." Pslams are poetic, and in a great many of these estances the seeming emotional aspect of the soul is, I think, the literary device of personification.
Ps 3:2 Man y are saying of my soul, "There is no deliverance for him in God." Selah.
Ps 6:3 And my soul is greatly dismayed; But Thou, O Lord-- how long?
Ps 6:4 Return, O Lord, rescue my soul; Save me because of Thy lovingkindness.
Ps 7:2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.
Ps 7:5 Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it; And let him trample my life d own to the ground, And lay my glory in the dust. Selah.
Ps 10:3 For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.
Ps 11:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. In the Lord I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain;
Ps 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Ps 13:2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Ps 16:10 For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
Ps 17:9 From the wicked who despoil me, My dead ly enemies, who surround me.
Ps 17:13 Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Thy sword,
Ps 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Ps 22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog.
Ps 22:29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go d own to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
Ps 23:3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
Ps 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, And has not sworn deceitfully.
Ps 25:1 A Psalm of David. To Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Ps 25:13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land.
Ps 25:20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in Thee.
Ps 26:9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners, Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
Ps 27:12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breath e out violence.
Ps 30:3 O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go d own to the pit.
Ps 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad in Thy lovingkindness, Because Thou hast seen my affliction; Thou hast kn own the troubles of my soul,
Ps 31:9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
Ps 31:13 For I have heard the slander of man y, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life.
Ps 33:19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
Ps 33:20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
Ps 34:2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear it and rejoice.
Ps 34:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants; And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
Ps 35:3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
Ps 35:4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
Ps 35:7 For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
Ps 35:9 And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation.
Ps 35:12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereave men t of my soul.
Ps 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.
Ps 35:17 Lord, how long wilt Thou look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions.
Ps 35:25 Do not let them say in their heart, "Aha, our desire!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up!"
Ps 38:12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me; And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, And they devise treachery all day long.
Ps 40:14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together Who seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
Ps 41:2 The Lord will protect him, and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
Ps 41:4 As for me, I said, "O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee."
Ps 42:1 For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God.
Ps 42:2 My soul thirst s for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?
Ps 42:4 These things I remember, and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
Ps 42:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
Ps 42:6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember Thee from the land of the Jordan, And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Ps 42:11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God.
Ps 43:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God.
Ps 44:25 For our soul has sunk d own into the dust; Our body cleaves to the earth.
Ps 49:8 For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever--
Ps 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; For He will receive me. Selah.
Ps 49:18 Though while he lives he congratulates himself -- And though men praise you when you do well for yourself --
Ps 54:3 For strangers have risen against me, And violent men have sought my life; They have not set God before them. Selah.
Ps 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
Ps 55:18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are man y who strive with me.
Ps 56:6 They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life.
Ps 56:13 For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.
Ps 57:1 For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in Thee; And in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge, Until destruction passes by.
Ps 57:4 My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breath e forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword.
Ps 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed d own; They dug a pit before me; They themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah.
Ps 59:3 For behold, they have set an ambush for my life; Fierce men launch an attack against me, Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord,
Ps 62:1 For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.
Ps 62:5 My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.
Ps 63:1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirst s for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Ps 63:5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
Ps 63:8 My soul clings to Thee; Thy right hand upholds me.
Ps 63:9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth.
Ps 66:9 Who keeps us in life, And does not allow our feet to slip.
Ps 66:16 Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.
Ps 69:1 For the choir director; according to Shoshannim. A Psalm of David. Save me, O God, For the waters have threatened my life.
Ps 69:10 When I wept in my soul with fasting, It became my reproach.
Ps 69:18 Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom me because of my enemies!
Ps 70:2 Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
Ps 71:10 For my enemies have spoken against me; And those who watch for my life have consulted together,
Ps 71:13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.
Ps 71:23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to Thee; And my soul, which Thou hast redeemed.
Ps 72:13 He will have com passion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save.
Ps 72:14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; And their blood will be precious in his sight;
Ps 74:19 Do not deliver the soul of Thy turtledove to the wild beast; Do not forget the life of Thine afflicted forever.
Ps 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.
Ps 78:18 And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire.
Ps 78:50 He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague,
Ps 84:2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Ps 86:2 Do preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O Thou my God, save Thy servant who trusts in Thee.
Ps 86:4 Make glad the soul of Thy servant, For to Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Ps 86:13 For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great, And Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Ps 86:14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, And a band of violent men have sought my life, And they have not set Thee before them.
Ps 88:3 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
Ps 88:14 O Lord, why dost Thou reject my soul? Why dost Thou hide Thy face from me?
Ps 89:48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.
Ps 94:17 If the Lord had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
Ps 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.
Ps 94:21 They band themselves together against the life of the righteous, And condemn the innocent to death.
Ps 97:10 Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the soul s of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Ps 103:1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Ps 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;
Ps 103:22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Ps 104:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty,
Ps 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, And let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
Ps 105:18 They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons;
Ps 105:22 To imprison his princes at will, That he might teach his elders wisdom.
Ps 106:15 So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them.
Ps 107:5 They were hungry and thirst y; Their soul fainted within them.
Ps 107:9 For He has satisfied the thirst y soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.
Ps 107:18 Their soul abhorred all kinds of food; And they drew near to the gates of death.
Ps 107:26 They rose up to the heavens, they went d own to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery.
Ps 109:20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul.
Ps 109:31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul.
Ps 116:4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!"
Ps 116:7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
Ps 116:8 For Thou hast rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling.
Ps 119:20 My soul is crushed with longing After Thine ordinances at all times.
Ps 119:25 Daleth My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Thy word.
Ps 119:28 My soul weeps because of grief; Strength en me according to Thy word.
Ps 119:81 Kaph My soul languishes for Thy salvation; I wait for Thy word.
Ps 119:109 My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Thy law.
Ps 119:129 Pe Thy testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul observes them.
Ps 119:167 My soul keeps Thy testimonies, And I love them exceedingly.
Ps 119:175 Let my soul live that it may praise Thee, And let Thine ordinances help me.
Ps 120:2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, From a deceitful tongue.
Ps 120:6 Too long has my soul had its dwelling With those who hate peace.
Ps 121:7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
Ps 123:4 Our soul is greatly filled With the scoffing of those who are at ease, And with the contempt of the proud.
Ps 124:4 Then the waters would have engulfed us, The stream would have swept over our soul;
Ps 124:5 Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul."
Ps 124:7 Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; The snare is broken and we have escaped.
Ps 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.
Ps 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord More than the watch men for the morning; Indeed, more than the watch men for the morning.
Ps 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Ps 138:3 On the day I called Thou didst answer me; Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul.
Ps 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.
Ps 141:8 For my eyes are toward Thee, O God, the Lord; In Thee I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.
Ps 142:4 Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul.
Ps 142:7 "Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Thy name; The righteous will surround me, For Thou wilt deal bountifully with me."
Ps 143:3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
Ps 143:6 I stretch out my hands to Thee; My soul longs for Thee, as a parched land. Selah.
Ps 143:8 Let me hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in Thee; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to Thee I lift up my soul.
Ps 143:11 For the sake of Thy name, O Lord, revive me. In Thy righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
Ps 143:12 And in Thy lovingkindness cut off my enemies, And destroy all those who afflict my soul; For I am Thy servant.
Ps 146:1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!


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MetacrockSense of the Numinous.

Edited by: Metacrock at: 11/1/05 8:56 am

Posts: 2052
(11/1/05 8:59 am)
Reply | Edit | Del

Re: Can you prove there is such a thing as a soul...

Verse Count: 32
Ge 1:20 Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creature s, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

Ge 1:21 And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Ge 1:24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creature s after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so.

Ge 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

Ge 2:7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breath ed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Ge 2:19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

Ge 9:4 "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Ge 9:5 "And surely I will require your life blood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man.

Ge 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.

Ge 9:12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;

Ge 9:15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Ge 9:16 "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

Ge 12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the person s which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.

Ge 12:13 "Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you."

Ge 14:21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself."

Ge 17:14 "But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."

Ge 19:17 And it came about when they had brought them outside, that one said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay any where in the valley; escape to the mountains, lest you be swept away."

Ge 19:19 "Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have sh own me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest the disaster overtake me and I die;

Ge 19:20 now behold, this t own is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved."

Ge 23:8 And he spoke with them, saying, "If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me,

Ge 27:4 and prepare a savory dish for me such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die."

Ge 27:19 And Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me."

Ge 27:25 So he said, "Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game, that I may bless you." And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank.

Ge 27:31 Then he also made savory food, and brought it to his father; and he said to his father, "Let my father arise, and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me."

Ge 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."

Ge 34:3 And he was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.

Ge 34:8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, "The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage.

Ge 35:18 And it came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

Ge 36:6 Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his lives stock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob.

Ge 37:21 But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, "Let us not take his life."

Ge 42:21 Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us."

Ge 44:30 "Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad's life,

Ge 46:15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters number ed thirty-three.

Ge 46:18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen person s.

Ge 46:22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen person s in all.

Ge 46:25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven person s in all.

Ge 46:26 All the person s be longing to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six person s in all,

Ge 46:27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the person s of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.

Ge 49:6 "Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self- will they lamed oxen.