Christian Churches of God
(Edition 1.1 19901201-20000919)
This work is directed at examining the logical basis of the Creation, Causation and the Attributes of God and the place of humans and sons of God in that Creation in harmony with the Scriptural account.
1 Causation and Singularities
1:1 Singularities and the Notion of Causation
1:2 The Development of Causal Explanation
1:2.2 Descartes and Post-Cartesian Causation
1:3 Metaphysical Aspects of Science and Matter
1:4 Testing Accounts of Causation
1:4.2 Idea/Ideatum and Existence without a Cause
1:5.1 Hume and Leibniz
1:5.2 The Humean Positon Harmony
1:6.1 Unsound Aspects of Singularist Causation
1:6.2 Supervenient and Intermediate Causation
1:7 Counter Arguments
1:7.1 The Argument from the Possibility of Indeterministic Laws
1:7.2 The Singularist Account
1:7.3 Intermediate Account
1:8 The Direction of Time
1:9 Simultaneous Transmission of Ideas
2 Creation and Absolute Creation
2:1.1 Cyclical Creation and the Attributes of God
2:1.2 Transcendence/Immanence Problems
2:2.1 Absolute Creation
2:2.2 Activism and Law as a Mechanism
2:3.1 Ontology and Illumination
3 Transcendence and the Sons of God
3:1 Transcendence and the Angel of Redemption
3:2 The Elohim, Morning Stars and the Sons of God
3:2.1 The Elohim
3:2.2 The Elohim as a Plurality
3:2.3 Morning Stars
3:3.1 The Spirit of Man and the Angelic Order
3:3.2 Original Millennial Doctrines
3:4 The Logos and Creation
3:4.1 Will and Nature
3:4.2 Faith and Wisdom
3:4.3 Men and the Divine Nature
3:5 The Elohim and Free Moral Agency
3:6 Pantheism Versus Transcendent Monotheism
3:6.1 The Sons of God and a Continuity Argument
3:6.2 The Union of the Holy Spirit
3:6.3 Satan and Pantheism
4 Material Creation
4:1 The Creation of Man
4:1.1 Pre-Adamic Humanoids
4:1.2 Explaining the Sequence
4:2 Philosophical Aspects of Evolution
4:3 The Nephilim
4:4 A Harmony of Apparently Conflicting Philosophies
4:4.1 Nicene and Post-Nicene Distortions of the Philosophy of Religion
4:4.2 An Alternative Explanation
4:5 The Soul and Life after Death
4:6 Early and Later Concepts of the Elohim and the Resurrection
4:7 The Mechanics of Human Spirituality
4:8 A Tentative Explanation of the Mind
Up until the nineteenth century the science of the day was locked into the absurd quasi-religious theory that the earth was some few thousand years old, based on erroneous and illogical reconstructions of the biblical scenario. Many of these illogical myths are extant even today. As science started to estimate, based on its knowledge at the time, various estimates were made for the age of the Earth, and therefore the sun/solar system. In 1854, Helmholtz came up with an age of 25 million years for the age of the sun and Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) came up with an estimate of 100 million years as the most likely figure. “Even Thomson, we know now, was more than ten times too modest in his assessment of the age of the solar system” (John Gribbin, In Search of the Big Bang: Quantum Physics and Cosmology, Corgi Books, 1988, p.160). These calculations were based on scientific assumptions on how much energy the sun radiates and how long such a body could sustain that energy output. The energy released is in fact about 4 x 1033 ergs per second or some 1041 ergs per year (ibid., p.161). With the discovery of radioactivity the estimates of Helmholtz and Thomson had to be multiplied by some 10 to 100 times to produce a correct model of radioactive breakdown.
As understanding increased of the mechanics of the solar system, it became possible to produce models of the structure and possible creation of the universe. Over the decades of the 20th century it became fashionable to dismiss contemptuously the concepts of Creation and Theistic Activism. It has also become fashionable to dismiss even more contemptuously the concept of demons or an Angelic Host. It became almost an accepted definition that causation was non-singularist or supervenient and that the universe was material. Whilst it is true that there are difficulties with singularist concepts of causation and also the postulation of immaterial sub-structures to the material universe, it is nevertheless becoming increasingly difficult within standard paradigms to account for the smoothness and uniformity in the distribution of the universe. In view of the current measurements of background radiation in the universe and the attendant problematic smoothness and orderliness of matter, the Big Bang Theory of the universe is now acknowledged to be in serious trouble. That does not mean that we should be dismissive of the models of physical reaction but rather we should now be able to re-examine the paradigms within which they were constructed. In the work on Creation and the Host the work of some philosophers and scientists was found to be extremely useful, especially those dealing with singularities. Any Theist account necessarily rests on premises of Singularist Causation, and from these, singularities in the physical creation.
It is considered that the work done by Michael Tooley on Singularist Causation is of significant importance to the concepts not only of causation but for theistic activism and necessarily for the concepts of human action. It is contended that the Philosophy of Religion was placed in an historical and causal straight jacket by the rewriting of the understanding of the ancients as mythological nonsense, and the actions of some Christian philosophers has arguably destroyed the spiritual direction and understanding of many generations of humans. This incoherence has also placed religion and paleoanthropology in needless conflict. It is significant that Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking have together demonstrated that the questions of general relativity in their classical form (i.e. without allowing for quantum effects) absolutely require that there was a singularity at the birth of the universe, a point at which time began (Gribbin, ibid., p. 381). Stephen Hawking has identified mathematical singularities where not only matter but also space and time can be created (or conversely crushed out of existence to the physicist). The writer does not profess to be an astrophysicist and therefore any suggestions that were to be made regarding astrophysical models would be gratuitous. It is noted in his work A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to the Black Holes, (Bantam Press, UK, 1988, p.50) that Hawking has changed his mind regarding Big Bang singularity, in that the necessity for such singularity can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account. He is however having difficulty unconvincing his colleagues. Whilst the necessity for Big Bang causal distribution of the universe is certainly in serious doubt it is held that the logical necessity of singularities cannot be overcome.
It is unfortunate that Roger Penrose’s new work came out at the completion of this work, as its importance to the understanding of human thought is highly significant. There appears to be a drift to structural immanence and a form of logical monism may become a fashionable innovation stemming from the new physics. This is alarming in its implications for Transcendent Monotheism.
From Tooley's position on Singularist Causation it is attempted to develop a singularist causal structure which is coherently theist. The attributes and nature of God require of the structure of creation an absolutist moral and ethical system based on theoretical relationships as Laws, which are not disembodied or relative. It will be shown that existence of spiritual entities and the capacity for evil are logically necessary to a perfect harmonious universe with absolute capacity, and that the existence of Angels, Demons and Evil is not only compatible with the omniscience and omnipotence of God, but is in fact logically necessary to absolute spiritual capacity. It is further argued that the substructure of the universe is necessarily, with the current concepts of Dark Matter Theory, a logical reflection of the action of the spiritual, and will prove to be immaterial spiritual and little understood. That the universe has a purpose only barely comprehended is a premise of the ancients and one being demonstrated as knowledge increases.
Similar to the position experienced by Tooley, the following assumptions are necessary.
1: Traditional empiricist views concerning what concepts can be treated as analytically basic are sound and hence, the concept of causation cannot be treated as analytically basic and thus stands in need of analysis.
2: Regardless of Wittgenstein’s work on the problematic nature of private language, a private language is held to be unproblematic for the purpose of causation.
3: Concepts that involve the ascription of secondary qualities to external objects can be analyzed in terms of concepts that involve the ascription of qualia to experiences.
4: Analysis in the opposite direction is impossible.
1:1 Singularities and the Notion of Causation
Most views of causation have been reductionist and have treated causal relations as observable. These are unsatisfactory for the reasons outlined below and any treatment of causal relations which hopes to offer a satisfactory account of causation would appear to be realist, treating causal relations as theoretical. The assumption that causal relations are observable is a materialist view that is quite ancient. Originally theories of causation were theist with assumptions that some theistic causes were not observable save in the effect. The earliest alternate explanations of the actions of matter were basically animist, which assumed that corporeal structures acted the way they did because of their inherent nature. Bodies therefore acted as they did because it was the nature of the structure of the body. This essentially was a perversion of the early theist understandings of the nature of God. It is philosophically incoherent because it allocates an essentially indeterminate and logically polytheist structure to the universe. As seen below even Galileo was reluctant to abandon this animist causal explanation in view of the potential for offence to the religious scholars of the day who had adopted the Greek corporeal atomist explanation of science within a Chaldean theological structure which allocated an eternal soul to living entities. This theology was the basis of the animist structures of earlier ages.
To be coherent a Monotheist causal structure requires singularity of causation as an exercise of the will of the central entity called God. That entity logically cannot be a plurality otherwise a polytheist division of wills is introduced which raises philosophical objections of the type David Armstrong has raised to Dualism and which cannot logically be Monotheist. All entities that exist are therefore logically subordinate to the will of the central causal structure we understand as God and as such are extensions of that singular causal will. It is contended that all structures which impute division or plurality to the godhead cannot logically be Monotheist. They are essentially Polytheist and divisive and as such their existence must be of a transitional type with limited purpose. This is dealt with later.
The following analysis of causation is preliminary to any examination of the creation which is determined by the nature of the singular causal entity termed within our understanding as God, the Father and Maker. It is because of the logical reduction to God that singularities in the origin of the universe have been resisted by science. Similarly it has been from a desire to limit the concepts of an absolutist structure that scientists and philosophers when embracing singularities have tended to logical structures which render the singularity immanent and not transcendent. Such was the system of Spinoza, and the latest works out of the U.K. by Hawking et al. appear to be attempting an explanation based on captive immanence. This approach is a form of Monism rather than Monotheism.
Any singularity which is coherently Monotheist would also require that causal relationships be theoretical, not being disembodied or relative, and that such a singularity be not indeterminate. The existence of such a singularity would require an absolutist structure of fixed theoretical relationships where those relationships were established as laws concurrent with the creation of the entities regulated. A singularity responsible for the material creation necessarily must precede the material creation being immaterial in structure and substance. It must require also the immaterial underpinning of the material creation; otherwise all laws would not be theoretical but observable material and the original structure a physical or material initiation as an immanent structure of initial density not comprehensible and necessarily limited to the physical capacities of the material structure.
Superficially, a materialist Monism attendant upon corporeal atomism has been attractive since the Greeks refined it from Chaldean and Indo-Aryan theology. However, it is seriously incoherent both in its inability to purge its schema of metaphysical elements and its increasing inability to account for the orderly and even distribution of the physical system as knowledge increases.
There have been some incorrect assumptions underlying the notion of causation and some of these have been developed to accommodate the animist and polytheist systems that are in tension with revelation. Aquinas’ and other theological analyses of first cause essentially accommodate Greek views of causation. An explanation of the development of causal explanation and an analysis of the notion of causation follow. From this the importance of singularist causation and the implications regarding the creation and human action will become clear:
1. It will be shown that rather than traditional approaches involving claims of progression from human to the divine as an anthropomorphic theology, necessitating the appropriation of an immortal soul approximating that of the spirit of God and any angels there might be; the logically coherent schema is rather one of theomorphic anthropology and that there has been a fundamental misapprehension on the part of mankind regarding the nature, regulation and purpose of creation and mankind’s role in that creation.
2. We will examine and reject Cartesianism and from an examination of the nephesh, or spirit of man, show how it is logically necessary for all spirit or beings to exist as entities within the structure of God as parts of God: or be destroyed. The concept of destruction extended to the soul doctrine is philosophically inconvenient and polytheist. Logically the soul doctrine must be rejected along with traditional Athanasian and materialist concepts.
3. Indeed it will be shown the soul doctrine is fundamentally polytheist and contrary to the nature of God and that God is a controlling singularity.
4. It will also be shown that mankind’s spirituality is what might properly be termed non-essential theomorphism, where the divine in us is conditional and supernatural rather than derived from our natures.
1:2 The Development of Causal Explanation
One of the problems in an adequate understanding of the biblical method was the concept of causation as understood by the Hebrews and that understood by the Chaldeans and from them the Greeks and Europeans. The Chaldeans were animists and hence the concepts of causation were seen in animistic terms, i.e. that physical bodies possess a spirit which regulates its action in some determinist sense. The Greeks were to inherit this and Aristotle was to give it formal expression. Jennifer Trusted gives a good and simple analysis of this in her Free Will and Determinism, (Oxford Opus, 1984, p. 29 et seq). The four kinds of causes are:
1. the material cause: the physical matter;
2. the formal cause: the plan or design for the physical matter
3. the efficient cause: the source of movement and/or activity of the matter; and
4. the final cause: the ultimate purpose or intention in bringing the event about.
Now a reduction in the forms of thought away from Parmenidean Monism or formal theism towards restricted corporeal atomism, which occurred with the Greeks and continued on into Europe (finally resulting in the establishment of Positivism and the rejection of Theism), results in concepts of causation which concentrate on efficient cause as cause in the modern sense and others as modes of explanation.
The concepts of the causes as expounded by Aristotle are only now accepted as valid for events that depend on human (and perhaps some animal) actions. This has become so because animism was rejected as a view of nature. Latent Greek animism affected thought up into the Renaissance. The concepts of the Chaldean soul doctrine were coupled with it. “Even Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) who died only a few years before Descartes was not disposed to reject the animistic view of the heavenly bodies out of hand” (Trusted p.30). The concepts here are that, “if the ultimate explanation of any event is thought to be in terms of purpose then there is no problem of free will; for the ultimate cause is the will. It becomes senseless to ask what causes the will” (idem.). Hebrew and Chaldean Thought are therefore in dispute only as to the entity who wills. Hebrews, and indeed all Theists, argue that it is the entity God who wills. Chaldeans attribute an animistic spirit which permeates matter, from which derives immanent monism, and incoherently with that accommodate a form of pantheism in the Babylonian and Indo-Aryan systems generally.
1:2.2 Descartes and Post-Cartesian Causation
René Descartes (1596-1650) introduced a new type of explanation which said that “physical events could be fully explained in terms of prior physical events operating according to fixed laws ordained by God.” (ibid. p.30) Teleological explanations of events, especially ordinary physical ones, have become rather ridiculous as thought becomes increasingly materialist non-theist. However, physical explanations of human actions are also considered “bizarre if not actually ridiculous.” (ibid., p.31) For example: “Why are you walking up the road?” Answer: “Nerve impulses in my brain are activating my muscles.” The teleological explanations, e.g. “to post a letter,” are increasingly confined to human will, and external immaterial explanations are considered seriously bizarre, e.g. “the holy spirit moved me to act.” Such explanations increasingly precipitate psychological investigations and diagnoses which in the past may have been more readily identified with demon possession. Descartes’ explanation is mechanistic rather than animistic.
From the dependence of physical events on prior physical events and from the event itself being the cause or part cause of subsequent events, all governed absolutely by the laws of nature (as ordained by God and which are immutable), Supervenient Causation was enshrined. God’s laws could be discovered but it was not for humans to know his ultimate purpose. Descartes was correct in his assertion that God’s laws were immutable; however the relegation of the concepts of Law and Causation only to observed physical explanation and the rejection of revelation as law, resulted in relativism. The concepts of nature as a self-regulating body and the rejection of Theism saw his system adopted by Positivism. Nature became a machine-making machine of absolute capacity, relative morality, and material purpose. For Descartes “the laws of nature were like human laws in that they prescribed what would happen, but unlike human laws in that they could not be violated. Hence all physical events were determined; what happened happened inevitably and necessarily. God had programmed the cosmic machine at the creation and it would behave according to the divine preordained plan.” (ibid.) This concept shows a failure of Descartes adequately to analyse the concept of God’s nature and the element of Free Will, both of which even Augustine had differentiated from Determinism and isolated to the error of the Stoics. The linking of causes exclusively to physical events results in a concept of Determinism which had earlier been addressed by Aristotle and involving the following premises and conclusions:
1. Every physical event is caused by some prior physical event or events;
2. Every cause operates according to some pre-ordained law of nature which necessarily produces its effects;
3. Every human action is nothing but a physical event or a series of physical events.
1. Every human action is produced by a prior physical event operating according to a pre-ordained law of nature which necessarily produces that action;
2. All human actions are determined and there can be no free choice. (An apparent corollary is that humans are, at least in principle, predictable.)
As this sequence forms a valid argument, acceptance of the premises involves acceptance of the conclusions. From this, human action is completely and absolutely determined. The Cartesian view of causal explanation was that cause and effect were related by logical necessity. Causation also involves assumptions of temporal precedence. So for C to cause E it is implicit that C always precedes E in temporal relationship. A central issue of causation is that between necessary connection and constant conjunction.
To assert a causal relationship between C and E is to assert that C and E are necessarily connected and could not occur apart. When C has to occur, it is necessarily the case that C is followed by E. C and E as it were are forged together by chains of necessary connection. (John Hospers, An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. London, 1959, p.223)
The Cartesian account of a machine-like cosmos was not questioned by Hume “but he did question the doctrine that events were necessarily related so that effect necessarily followed cause and the laws of nature represented logical truths.” (Trusted, loc. cit.) Hume attacked this doctrine as following from empirical observation and as giving us no justification at all for using expressions such as “C is necessarily connected with E.” He argued that there was no logical or necessary connection between cause and effect such that any given event must logically be followed by another specific event. The meaning of causal relation consists in the statement of an exceptionless repetition. The idea that the effect is forced to follow the cause is held to be “anthropomorphic in its origin and is dispensable” (Hans Rucherbach, The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1951, pp.157-158; ibid., p.225).
Premise 2 therefore would be modified as follows:
2. Every cause operates according to a causal law that we have established and which we regard as justified because past experience has shown constant conjunction of the cause with its effect.
Hume’s argument states that knowledge of causal relations between events depends entirely on past experience. It is from this development that Anscombe’s contention, that the rejection of relations would be argued individually by Hume is made. Hume’s observations were important in demonstrating that our grounds for belief that a given cause would be followed by its effect were based entirely on experience, not on logical deductive argument. It follows from this argument that the absence of active theism over time relegates the causal explanations to the record and subsequently, to the mythological. The result of this causal explanation, however, removes the logical inevitability in the succession of events, but it does not and cannot exclude the conclusion that physical events are determined. Hume therefore was more determinist than Descartes, since Descartes took steps to avoid the consequences of the determinist argument.
Descartes modified Premise 3 from every human action being nothing but a physical event, to that where
human action originated with a volition or choice made by the immaterial soul or mind. Since this was immaterial, it did not form part of the physical causal system and was not subject to the laws of nature. Therefore acts that were initiated by the mind (that is actions) were not determined.” (Trusted, op. cit., p.35)
For Descartes therefore, all events between physical non-human objects were determined. Some human actions (reflexes) called by Aquinas acts of a man (actus homini) were happenings, and bodily acts imposed by external forces were happenings also. Only voluntary movements initiated by the mind were actions not determined but could be explained teleologically. Thus Descartes developed the concept of material body and immaterial mind (or mind/body dualism) where the essence of the individual was the immaterial mind. After death it is the mind which survives as an immaterial spirit. There is thus drawn a sharp distinction between actions and happenings as voluntary acts or determined happenings. From this distinction and explanation Descartes was able to accommodate the Chaldean Soul Doctrine that he had inherited as an Athanasian Christian from the developments made by Socrates.
Descartes had fallen into the same essentially polytheist argument that arises from the assertion of entities with wills not in accord with the will of God. As will be shown below, evil must arise as divisions within the Godhead or God family otherwise there is an inevitable and unavoidable limitation on the power of God. God is no longer omnipotent. Entities must exist within the will of God with the freedom to move outside of that will, such movement constituting rebellion, or to remain within the will in unity of spirit and purpose. Descartes’ fundamental problem, and indeed it is the problem of all systems based on Chaldean Theology involving an immortal soul, is that the creation of an immortal soul by God necessarily involves the production of an imperfect being, which, from its circumstance, is external to the will of God and logically polytheist. The complicated ontology which is required for the soul’s production and destruction (or in Monism, its absorption) and explanation of its being is incoherent as a logical philosophical system. Descartes cannot avoid the problems raised within the general framework of the Problem of Evil in his assertions of Mind/Body Dualism. The later explanations of the divisions within the Godhead and of the problem of evil are applicable to Descartes’ elitist form of polytheism, as they also are in refutation of the Soul Doctrine generally.
An examination of Materialist Theories of Mind, together with Quantum Mechanical and other problems, take the formal explanation beyond the incoherences of Cartesianism, Chaldean Theology, and Positivistic Materialism generally. It should be evident from the above that concepts of causation are fundamental to our notion of the regulating mechanisms of being as laws governing the operation of the structure. Not only do our concepts determine our capacity to act as an exercise of our will but also those concepts determine whether there is a tension between any singularist structure deemed to exist, and the operation of entities within theoretical relationships under an idea of freedom to act within them (or without) in contravention of the theoretical relationships. Such views of concepts of the capacity to act must also affect any view of freedom and determinism within the will of the singularity. Judgments thus take place under the idea of freedom as Kant demonstrated, and an immaterial substructure to matter necessarily involves metaphysical explanations of causal interaction. The concept of will included in the idea of necessary connection is as an idea of the effect to be produced: but this is arrived at by observing constant conjunction. Will was defined by Kant as the power to determine oneself to action in accordance with our conception of certain laws (gr,427). (H. J. Paton drew attention to the implications of this in The Categorical Imperative, Hutchinson of London, 4th ed., 1963, p.208.) So for Kant, our judgments and not merely actions in the ordinary sense take place under the Idea of Freedom.
1:3 Metaphysical Aspects of Science and Matter
Science as a philosophical product of corporeal atomism has habitually rejected notions of metaphysics and theism largely because the claims of Chaldean theology within a pseudo-Christian structure were demonstrably incoherent by observation, and their anthropomorphic theological reconstruction was ultimately and demonstrably fallacious. However, this total rejection has arguably limited understanding ultimately of the correct theist structure. The notion of causation involves assumptions regarding observation; however the fundamental notions of atomic structure within the current scientific paradigm of quantum mechanics are incapable of scientific verification and necessarily involve metaphysical speculation.
Sir Karl Popper has examined this problem within the mechanics of quantum theory (The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Hutchinson, 1986, pp.215-221). In an attempt to examine the behaviour of electrons Heisenberg had examined the possibility of checking the path of an electron between two experiments. Of these exact calculations Heisenberg says “whether one should attribute any physical reality to the calculated past history of the electron is a pure matter of taste.” (quoted by Popper at p.220. The English Translation of Heisenberg’s Die Physikalische Prinzipen der Quantantheorie, 1930, p.15 on p.20 says “is a matter of personal belief.”) If a statement about the position of an electron in atomic dimensions is not verifiable then we cannot attribute any sense to that statement. “It becomes impossible to speak of its path between the points it has been observed.” Even so, “it is possible to calculate such a senseless or metaphysical path in terms of the new formulation.” (ibid). According to Popper, Heisenberg has failed to carry through his program. The theory allows only two positions, the first one or the subjective position where the particle has an exact position and an exact momentum (and therefore also an exact path) but it being impossible for us to measure them both simultaneously. “If so then nature is still bent on hiding certain physical magnitudes from our eyes.” (ibid). (Popper holds that both the position and the momentum (the path) are hidden). This regards the uncertainty principle as a limitation of our knowledge and therefore subjective.
The second or objective position asserts that it is inadmissable or incorrect or metaphysical to attribute to the particle anything like a sharply defined path. It possesses only either an exact position with inexact momentum, or vice versa. But according to Popper if we accept this interpretation then, again, the formulation of the theory contains metaphysical elements, as the “path” is exactly calculable during the time when it is, in principle, impossible to test by observation. (ibid., p.221) According to Popper “Heisenberg has not so far accomplished his self imposed task: he has not yet purged quantum theory of its metaphysical elements.” (ibid). It is thus that causal relations must ultimately be theoretical and some physical magnitudes remain unknown.
One of the rather trite assumptions of quantum mechanics is that a Divine observer would interfere with the operation of the system in the process of observation. Quantum mechanics has speculated on the question of observers for some time. A proposition was made by James Clerk Maxwell regarding what is now known as a Maxwell demon. The demon presides over a door between two compartments, one of which contains gas and the other of which is empty.
The demon observes the system and allows fast moving or hot molecules through the central door, thus transferring energy. Scientists were unable to prove that the demon cannot exist, but they are also unwilling to give up the laws of Thermodynamics. The proposition would violate the second law of Thermodynamics and so the two positions are mutually exclusive.
Carlton Caves of the University of Southern California attempted to use information theory to show how a demon can extract energy from a gas. Caves uses a theoretical demon called an “Unruh” demon in what is termed a “Szilard engine.” Rolf Landauer of IBM at Yorktown Heights, New York, showed in 1988 that the Szilard engine gains energy by dropping a partition in a box after determining which side a molecule is on, with the result that interference with the energy flow takes the opposite piston to the centre and the recoil force acting on the piston after removal of the partition transfers a quantifiable amount of energy. The energy gain, however, is cancelled out by the energy expended by the demon. Caves took this a step further by restricting the activity of the Unruh demon to operation on banks of boxes when and only when the molecule is on the same side of each of the ten boxes in the bank resulting in a net energy gain. (See Physical Review Letters, Vol. 64, p.2111). In Physical Review Letters, Vol. 65, p.1387, a Santa Fe seminar confined the activities of the Unruh demon within the second law of Thermodynamics by the inclusion of an additional erasure cost which even under the most efficient scheme reduces the maximum possible energy gain to zero.
The assumptions involved here are that the demon or entity is bound by the laws of corporeal atomism requiring nett energy transfers in physical reaction. This rests on a false premise and on an unexamined assumption that relates to a false premise. Firstly, any omniscient being or any entity delegated power to act by an omniscient being would of necessity know the outcome of any reaction or causal sequence set in motion since the theoretical relationships are known a priori, and the laws involved are not disembodied but determined and exist logically prior to the creation.
There is therefore no requirement to observe in any technical sense. Secondly, the assumption that the entity involves physical energy transfers is an anthropomorphic speculation based on corporeal atomism which fails to come to grips with the immaterial nature of sub-subatomic matter. There is no reason for assuming that the observing entity is logically constrained to or by the physical medium that it observes. Even if such were the case there is no logical reason to assume that two differing entities would convert energy in precisely the same or a similar way. Physics can conjure up a hypothetical demon to satisfy quantum mechanical speculation, yet it immediately rejects the postulate of such a non-physical entity in a more involved ontology.
Roger Penrose has postulated in his work The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics, Oxford, 1989, that it is the gravitational influence of the measuring apparatus and not the abstract presence of an observer which has an effect on the physical states. At the quantum level, the basic atomic structure has a number of different possible states which are somehow “superposed” on one another. The physicist in measuring those states somehow collapses the superposed states into a single state so that only one of the possibilities seems to have occurred. Quantum physics is thus not only incompatible with macroscopic events, but somehow dependent on human observation, and thus somewhat anthropomorphic. Penrose postulates that at some level intermediate between the quantum and classical realms, the differences between the superposed states become gravitationally significant, so that they collapse into the single state, such that physicists can measure. Yt is thought this Penrosian quantum gravity may also help account for what are known as non-local effects in which events in one region effect events in another simultaneously.
The occurrence of non-locality was first indicated by the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Thought experiment. We have seen elsewhere that the simultaneous transmission of ideas is widely observed, viz. the Lorentz matter. Observable non-locality can be found for example by measuring the spin of a photon emitted from a decaying particle. A photon simultaneously emitted by the particle in the opposite direction similarly has its spin “fixed” by the other measurement even though the particles may be light years apart. There may be some problems with Penrose’s propositions, but the implications for the human mind deserve further examination, particularly the concepts that the physiological processes underlying a given thought may initially involve a number of superposed quantum states, each of which performs a calculation of sorts. He supposes that when the distribution of mass and energy between the states reaches a gravitationally significant level the states collapse into a single state, causing measurable and possible non-local changes in the neural structure of the brain. This physical event correlates with a mental one, hence formulating thought as comprehension, differing from artificial intelligence. These propositions deserve further examination in view of their implications for human thought, physical interaction, and the notion of causation.
1:4 Testing Accounts of Causation
Given the foregoing we should test the accounts of causation to establish if any are sound, and if any accounts are sound to see what deductions concerning morality and regulation can be drawn.
Since the time of Hume the overwhelming body of philosophical opinion has been that for two events to be causally related the relationship must be an instance of some causal law, either basic or derived and either probabilistic or non-probabilistic. A singularist concept of causation has been rejected as incoherent because of its assertion that two events can be causally related contrary to the above. The assumption that causal relations are not theoretical relations has become endemic to the philosophy of causation. G. E. M. Anscombe (in “Causality and Determination”, Causation and Conditionals, Ed. E Sosa, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1975, pp.63-81) has identified the problem but misdiagnosed the location and she herself appears to share the assumption. Her stance would appear to stem from a misunderstanding of the Humean argument. Professor Anscombe (from “Time, Beginnings and Causes” in Rationalism, Empiricism and Idealism, Ed. Anthony Kenny, Oxford Clarendon, pp.56-103) notes that the Humean argument has come to be seen as if it were a partial definition, resulting in the argument that some objects cannot be causally related just because there is a logical necessity of the one given the other. She holds that whilst he would have rejected counter examples, he would have argued against each specifically. The problem with the Humean applications is dealt with elsewhere.
1:4.2 Idea/Ideatum and Existence without a Cause
She makes the interesting proposition at p.91 regarding the possibility of the argument from imagination, the possibility arising from the position that “we can imagine a beginning of existence without a cause; therefore there can be a beginning of existence without a cause.” This seems to be rather like accepting one half of Parmenidean Monism to reject the necessary other half. However, the point to be introduced is essentially the supposition that a thought is considered “not a psychological event but as the content of a proposition, the common possession of many minds.” Anscombe’s notation of the arguments of Aquinas and Hume (p.92) is:
It is possible to understand existents without the relation of caused to cause;
therefore that relation does not belong to the concept of existents;
therefore they can lack that relation.
It is possible to conceive an object coming into existence without there being a cause;
therefore it is possible to imagine an object coming into existence without there being a cause;
therefore it is possible for an object to come into existence without a cause.
From Hobbes’ equality of time and space “the object can never begin to be for want of something to fix its beginning,” as Hume rendered it, but Anscombe quotes the correct passage from The English Works of Thomas Hobbes, Vol 4, p.276, where Hobbes introduces the necessity of the eternal in the absence of special cause (Anscombe in Kenny, op. cit., p.93). Anscombe states, “a beginning of existence implies the existence of something other than what begins to exist, even if the implication is satisfied merely by processes within that. If indeed, we are speaking of the beginning of existence of the universe, that is the only way the implication can be satisfied” (ibid., p.97).
From Anscombe’s outline and from Aquinas, Hobbes and Hume, theoretical relations are possible and from the external consequence of first cause a singularist concept of causation develops. There appears to be an admissability of the possibility of singularist causation in Anscombe’s later argument that overcomes the misidentification of the earlier. The argument for the potential pre-existence of an item in its coming to be allows a metaphysical precedence. The absurdity of a space-time continuum as a linear proposition merely reinforces this notion of theoretical causality. The lack of understanding of origins is not a deficiency of the object, merely of the observer.
According to Michael Tooley (The Nature of Causation: A Singularist Account, p.21, a paper in publication when this work was written), to rule out a singularist account the Humean argument requires supplementation.
It needs to be proven that causation must be reducible to observable properties and relations. Both possibilities, either dealing specifically with causation, or a general thesis that all properties and relations must either be observable or else reducible to observable properties and relations, are excluded by current capabilities as outlined by Popper above; and the non-physical or metaphysical nature of matter appears certain. The reduction of causation to the above is eliminated as a possibility, thus opening up the singularist possibility based on theoretical relationships.
Leibniz, Harmony and Corporeal Atomism Hide Ishiguro touches on this possibility when he deals with Leibniz’ work (“Pre-Established Harmony Versus Constant Conjunction: A reconsideration of the Distinction Between Rationalism and Empiricism” in Rationalism, Empiricism and Idealism, Ed. Anthony Kenny, Oxford Clarendon, 1986, pp.61-85). Leibniz denied the philosophical doctrine of causal interaction. “His disagreements with Descartes and with Newton about the laws of dynamics never concerned the question whether there exist laws stating the interconnection of material things. They related only to how the laws should be formulated.” (ibid., p.65). Lord Russell misunderstood Leibniz in this regard when he wrote that according to Leibniz “nothing really acts on anything else!” (The Philosophy of Leibniz, p.93; and ibid., p62). Ishiguro contends that Leibniz was concerned with the rejection of the then current theory of influx which he thought involved the detachment of qualities from substances (and hence the passage in the Monadology at 7 GVI p.607; L.p.643). The rejection involved the impossibility of the transfer of material substance in the body to an immaterial quality of the mind. The system was based on a concept of Leibniz’ that there were ultimate simple entities. Now it appears that this assumption has been carried on by the corporeal atomists and that this speculation is fundamentally wrong, not in the existence of ultimate simples, but from assumptions of their corporeal nature rather than a logical postulation of the existence of immaterial sub-subatomic simples. Anscombe holds that the concept of causation comes from that of derivation which can be immediately grasped by perception. This again misidentifies the nature of causal relationships.
1:5.1 Hume and Leibniz
Now both Leibniz and Hume make the point that in saying that efficient cause is that which produces, you make use only of synonyms (Leibniz, New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, II 26,S1; and Hume, Treatise, Part III, Section 4, p.157). So what do Leibniz and Hume establish? Leibniz seems to be arguing within the limited physics of his day; limited by presuppositions of corporeal atomism, for a harmonious account of causation which becomes incoherent not by its attempt at singularist causal harmony but by incorrect metaphysical apprehensions.
1:5.2 The Humean Position
Similarly Hume has claims made on his behalf about what his argument establishes but it is helpful to establish the position precisely. Firstly, it shows that causation is not directly observable in the relevant technical sense and therefore cannot be a primitive unanalysable relation between events. Secondly, in view of radical causal gaps, causation cannot be reduced to observable properties of, and relations between, individual pairs of events. Thus the possibility remains that causation is simply an observable relation between individual events. The supplementation required to the Humean argument to rule out a singularist account of causation from the above does not appear to be plausible.
The concomitance noted by Ishiguro makes nature comprehensible even though the metaphysical structure of causation is imperfectly understood. The doctrine of pre-established harmony is therefore a metaphysical concept that, as I have established below, was the original conception. The law, as understood by the biblical patriarchs, was based on a concept of metaphysical unity ruled by absolute laws and hence the inclusion of the spiritual with the physical laws in the decalogue and their interrelationship. Ishiguro correctly notes “God cannot create disembodied laws. Substances and laws are fixed simultaneously. In creating a universe governed by law-like regularity, God does not carry out two distinct acts of creation. By establishing the laws, God does not merely give us a way of describing things by the extrinsic or contingent relational properties” (Ishiguro, p.72).
Now the creation of theoretical relationships is not logically confined to material substances and so a law not related to the material is only disembodied in the sense that it is not a relation between physical bodies. Theoretical aspects of regulation emanate then from a singularist cause in a preliminary immaterial sense. The immaterial spiritual is thus logically prior to the material.
1:6.1 Unsound Aspects of Singularist Causation
In explanation of a singularist account of causation, it is necessary to note the unsound aspects of the notion.
The argument for a singularist account of causation to follow from the immediate experience of causal relations is unsound following from varying familiar possible worlds, as Tooley notes, either Berkely’s view or perception from isolated brain activity. It follows that nothing that one was aware of in perceptual experience would be a cause of anything else. The argument is therefore unsound. It would not however preclude the influence of action by alteration of perception by influence of brain activity, i.e. stimulation or conditioning. It is from the above concepts of the capacity to alter perception that the concept taken as an assumption at the beginning was made, that from empiricism an idea can be treated as analytically basic only if it serves to isolate properties or relations within one’s direct acquaintance, and it is because of this that causation stands in need of analysis, not being able to be treated as basic.
We have already dealt with the theoretical nature of causal relations and the contention that to argue from the observability of causal relations is unsound. Knowledge thus obtained is inferential and prior knowledge is of a causal generalization that applies to the observed case. If this is so then cases of ordinary perceptual knowledge of causal relationships cannot be used to demonstrate the existence of causally related events that do not fall under causal laws. The absence of prior causal knowledge can show causal relations only where the cause and effect exhibit relevant complexity, and such complexity means that the observation is one involving a number of instances of the relevant law. Such an observation makes it likely that a relevant law does exist. Observations infer causal relations only if they also infer the event to be an instance of some causal law. Hence epistemologically a singularist account fails.
1:6.2 Supervenient and Intermediate Causation
Michael Tooley has offered (in Causation) a discussion of arguments which attempt to establish a singularist concept of causation by rejecting alternatives. He begins with the dominant supervenience view which holds that events cannot be causally related unless that relation is an instance of some law, the causal relation being logically determined by the non-causal properties of the two events, and by the non-causal relations between them together with the causal laws that there are in the world. The supervenience view holds:
1. causal relations presuppose corresponding laws;
2. causal relations are logically supervenient upon causal laws plus the non-causal properties of, and relations between, events.
From this it follows that the supervenience view and the singularist view are followed by an intermediate position consequent upon the denial of the second thesis above. The position would be that causal relations presuppose corresponding causal laws, even though causal relations are not logically supervenient upon causal laws together with the non-causal properties of, and relations between, events.
1:7 Counter Arguments
Arguments for a singularist account that argue against the supervenient and intermediate views are in two parts. There are three arguments that are:
1:7.1 The Argument from the Possibility of Indeterministic Laws
which involves the assumption that indeterminate causal laws are logically possible.
Answer A: Because causal relations hold between states of affairs and whilst disjunctive expressions can be used to pick out states of affairs, states of affairs can never be disjunctive in nature.
Answer B: (See Tooley, Causation, op. cit., ch.8.) From the supervenience view, causal relations between states of affairs are logically supervenient upon causal laws plus non-causal states of affairs. The only basic causal facts that need to be postulated are those that correspond to causal laws, and such facts are to be identified with certain contingent relations between universals.
1:7.2 The singularist Account
which holds the primary nature of causal relations. Regularity accounts of the nature of laws are opposed by strong objection (e.g. Fred I. Dretske, “Laws of Nature” in Philosophy of Science, p.44, 1977; and David M. Armstrong, What is a Law of Nature, Cambridge University Press, 1983); therefore a singularist account would combine this with the view that laws are relations among universals.
Both approaches however need an account of the nature of laws and both fail: superveniently in distinguishing causal from non-causal laws; and singularistically in the explanation of causal relations in conjunction with that of a law to explain what a causal law is.
1:7.3 Intermediate Account
From Tooley, Causation, pp. 268-274, in the intermediate account, if the exclusion of anomic causation is to be comprehensible a separate account of the nature of causal laws is needed. The alternatives to a singularist concept of causation are excluded; in the supervenience view by certain logically possible cases involving indeterministic causal laws, and the intermediate view is ontologically more involved or uneconomic than the singularist. These arguments relating to the three views apply to the Argument from the Possibility of Exact Replicas of Causal Situations and also to the Argument from the Possibility of Inverted Universes. In the latter case the Argument from the Inversion of the Direction of Time will see some laws excluding inversion and others not.
1:8 The Direction of Time
If the assumption can be sustained that the direction of time is to be analyzed in terms of the direction of causation, then a counter-example to the supervenience view of causation can also be sustained. From Einstein, the postulate is made that space, matter, time, energy and gravity are all inter-related equivalent expressions of a single fundamental essence. This essence, from James Jeans, is incapable of description in any material sense. This would imply that the relationship of causation is limited by its inability to apply universally under inverted time hypotheses. Whilst we have seen that the relationship is theoretical, those relationships are in some cases fixed non-reversible indicating a notion of fixed theoretical relationships. It is noted that Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) seems to apply laws under inverted time hypotheses, making deductions from them regarding singularities that may or may not be valid.
The notation of the findings of Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang is useful (ibid., p.77 et seq.). Their findings that the symmetry of particles and antiparticles is such that of the Symmetries C, P and T, weak forces do not obey the Symmetry P, which assumes mirror image spin of particles and antiparticles. The assumption of Symmetry P is such that “if you reverse the direction of motion of all particles and antiparticles, the system should go back to what it was at earlier times; in other words, the laws are the same in the forward and backward directions of time.” (ibid.) Chien-Shung Wu allegedly proved their predictions correct in 1956 by demonstrating that electrons were given off more in one direction than another by means of lining up the nuclei of radioactive atoms in a magnetic field. It was also found that weak forces do not obey the symmetry C so that a universe composed of antiparticles would behave differently from our universe. Nevertheless, it seemed that the weak force did obey the combined symmetry CP. Cronin and Fitch discovered that “the CP symmetry was not obeyed in the decay of certain particles called K-Mesons.” (ibid.) Hawking says of this, “Cronin and Fitch showed that if one replaces particles by antiparticles and takes the mirror image, but does not reverse the direction of time, then the universe does not behave the same. The laws of physics, therefore, must change if one reverses the direction of time: they do not obey the Symmetry T” (ibid.). Expansion and contraction of the universe allegedly exempts one of these combinations.
The supposition of quantum mechanics of the material structure from a preponderance of quarks is academic and merely introduces an intermediary step in the reduction proposed here. There is thus an apparent directionality of time and thus some directionality of causation. Causation stands in need of much more detailed analysis and requires a further explanatory dissertation not offered herein.
1:9 Simultaneous Transmission of Ideas
Following on from the assumption of corporeal atomism regarding the structure of matter and the explanations of human action we are left with the assertion of physico-chemical actions on the body as the causal explanation of human thought and production of ideas. The simultaneous transmission of ideas, however, poses some serious metaphysical problems for Materialist theories of the mind and causal explanation that is physico-chemical supervenient and therefore non-singularist.
The observations of simultaneous transmission of ideas are too well documented to be denied and too recurrent to be coincidental. Materialists however are illogically internally driven to claim coincidence as the alternative, requiring an external causal explanation that involves external suggestion and the influence upon the human mind by the implantation of new ideas. Concurrent emergence of thought indicates an immaterial externality of superior knowledge and power. Differences of observation and perceptions with simultaneous ideas were evident, for example, in the Lorentz/Fitzgerald theories. The perception of relationships and causality is variable, and the Lorentz theory postulates that “observers in different frames of reference will report different results for the measurement of the length of the same object in the direction of motion.” (Stanley Goldberg, “Understanding Relativity” in Origin and Impact of a Scientific Revolution, Oxford Science Publications, Clarendon, 1984, pp.124-125). Lorentz’s explanation, that the object is squeezed up in the direction of motion as a result of electromagnetic interrelations of the object and the ether through which it moves, is incidental to the problem.
What is of significance to the question here is that Lorentz and Fitzgerald came upon the same notion at about the same time in roughly the same context. Goldberg says, “ideas are in the air, and often several people will simultaneously make the same suggestions about natural phenomena and will construct the same kind of argument” (loc. cit). This concept has importance to the notions and perceptions of causation which are directly applied to moral notions and which contribute to relativism in the moral concepts. It is a reflection of Anscombe’s statement and relates directly to the proposition that ideas as external propositions enable the influence upon the human mind. Therefore, not all thoughts are individual psychological events. Hence the immaterial influences the material. Whatever controls this emanation of thought influences human action, hence the concept that Satan as God of this world is Prince of the Power of the Air (Ephesians 2:2).
It is useful to note that even in the physical realm, variance will occur when measuring mass because of differences between the proper or rest mass and the non-proper or moving mass. The variance occurs because of disagreement about judgments of simultaneity (ibid., p.147). So in one sense rest mass is an invariant identical in behaviour to the Newtonian concept of mass. It is an unacceptable simplification to use the theory of relativity to support a view that “all things are relative” even when the phrase “all things” refers to objects in physics (ibid.).
Within relativity theory actually is as actually measures, but this does not imply a conditioned causal variability; rather from inferences about changes in velocity we infer changes in mass. It was by rectifying the theoretical relationships of mass that a concept of a law (in this case, the law of conservation of momentum) could be maintained and this in the absence of empirical evidence. From the general theory of relativity the effect of mass is to distort classical space. “The general theory of relativity does not account for the origins of the universe, nor account for the source of mass. It does not explain the nature of the universe. What has been generalized are the concepts of length and time.” (ibid., p.177)
From the simultaneous transmission of ideas, teleological determinism as a physico-chemical event of the brain is difficult to sustain, admits of a non-physical action, and requires a radical restructure of the notion of causation. Jennifer Trusted’s simplification of physical determinism to direct or supervenient physical causation (Free Will and Responsibility, Oxford Opus, 1984, p.6) shows the absurdity of resting a structure on corporeal atomism when the nature of the universe is unknown.
The structure of the universe can be determined metaphysically only by the application of logic and, from the detail of causation herein, it is contended that singularist causation is the compelling account and that the singularity is necessarily immaterial and logically prior to the material.
1:10 Essential Properties of a Definition of Singularist Causation
Michael Tooley has produced a formal statement of a singularist account of causation which possesses four formal properties:
1. it is necessarily irreflexive;
2. it is necessarily asymmetric;
3. it is necessarily transitive;
4. causal loops are impossible.
Asymmetric may be dropped as Conditions 1 and 3 must be asymmetric and such as cannot enter into loops; and Irreflexivity can be dropped on the grounds that (a) causation is a dyadic universal rather than a quasi-relation, and (b) all genuine relations are necessarily irreflexive. (David Armstrong, Universals and Scientific Realism, Vol. II, Cambridge University Press, 1978. pp. 91-93.)
Tooley has developed the approach by David Lewis based upon F. P. Ramsey’s approach to theories. (F. P. Ramsey, Theories, The Foundations of Mathematics, and is found in Causation, pp.13-25) Tooley’s definitions and handling of causation are considered sound by this author. From the foregoing, the concept of singularist causation is of specific interest to the Theist and the identification of the singularist cause as God is inevitable. The concept of God as a singular entity is found in that biblical entity called Eloah (%-!)(Allah); the God in the singular known as God the Father. We will now proceed to examine the concepts of God in the singular, Eloah and God in the plural, Elohim (.*%-!), and from these produce a coherent schema of creation and outline its logical purpose.
It should be noted from the outset that the word for God has a singular form that admits of no plurality. That form is either Eloah (above) or the Chaldean form Elahh (see Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary (SHD) 426) which corresponds to it. The Islamic form is the equivalent of both these forms. The Elohim are a plurality which are precluded logically and linguistically from inclusion within this term. The inclusion of Eloah (or Elahh) within the plurality of the Elohim is not on the other hand precluded but rather the inclusion will be shown to be logically necessary. At Daniel 3:25 the fourth entity seen in the furnace was described as “like a son of Elahh.” The identification of this particular “Son” and these “Sons of Elahh” or Elohim and the subordinate Bene Elohim will prove to be an exciting quest.
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. (Deut. 6:4)
2:1.1 Cyclical Creation and the Attributes of God
In examining the concept of creation a number of factors must be taken into account. Primarily, the matter of the type of creation that is made, the system by which it is governed, and the laws by which it is regulated, must reflect the nature of the entity that created it. It is common ground amongst philosophers and theists that the singularity called God is by nature omniscient and omnipotent. The meaning of omniscience is understood to be the knowledge of all true propositions. The knowledge of truth and falsehood, good and evil are understood to be necessary sub-matrices to the knowledge of all true propositions. The question of God’s omniscience entailing absolute foreknowledge such that it involves determinism, and the assertion that God may opt not to know all the future to enable human freedom such that omniscience is the capacity or power to know all things but not exercised to facilitate freedom, are dealt with below. Voluntary or involuntary restrictions on omniscience are considered limitations on the power of the Singular God Eloah or the Theon (accusative, or Ho Theos with the definite article, The God), such as to elevate necessarily subordinate deities such as an elohim or theos to the centrality of Eloah or the Theon and are logically polytheist.
The confusion of Divine foreknowledge with determinism is a concept correctly dismissed by Augustine as incoherent and his argument follows.
The concept of a changing or cyclical creation raises a question of the modification of a plan which in turn implies that God changes His mind or his plan, and hence that His thoughts are not omniscient and His plan is not perfect. Such a concept is incoherent in that God’s plan can be perfect and unchanging yet the creation can be progressive. This concept is termed cyclical creation. The concept of cyclical creation is dealt with by Augustine at City of God (Book XII, Ch.18, Knowles p.494). Augustine holds that God must be the same at rest or at work, and hence action as by some novel element or caprice entering His nature, which was not there before, is precluded. God is not liable to change as by external influence. God is active at rest and at rest in His activity (ibid., p.495). He can apply to a new work not a new design but an eternal plan; and it is not because He repented of His previous inactivity that He began to do something He had not done before; but in God there was no new decision which altered or cancelled a previous intention; instead, it was with one and the same eternal and unchanging design that He effected His creation (ibid., pp. 495-6).
Augustine’s concept of the unchanging nature of God and His plan are essentially coherent.
From this concept of eternal and unchanging design it follows that God could not “experiment” with prototypes such as the creation of pre-Adamic man of the Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal type, and there must therefore follow a coherent explanation of their existence. This proposition is dealt with below. God’s understanding is infinite and Augustine, at chapter 19, refers to Plato’s assertion (Timaeus, 35f) that God constructed the world by numbers and uses Wisdom 11:20: “You have set in order all things by measure number and weight”: and similarly Isaiah 40:26 (LXX): “He produced the world according to number.” Augustine’s assertions are of infinite knowledge from infinite series (as also “your hairs are all numbered”: Matthew 10:30). Augustine did not know and would not venture on whether “ages of ages” meant that the ages continued with undisturbed stability in the wisdom of God, as the efficient causes of the transient ages of temporal history. He appears to leave unaddressed the concepts of being and time as a continuum despite the clear biblical statements of transient temporality. The creation of the angels does come near this question (look at the paper How God Became a Family (No. 187) CCG, 1996,1999).
Augustine held that God is eternally sovereign, yet acknowledged the commencement of creation. The problem he then poses is “what was the eternal subject of God’s eternal sovereignty, if creation did not always exist?” (ibid., p.490). Augustine here touches on the primary question of what preceded the material. He develops the logical priority of the spirit but leaves unaddressed questions such as what is the spirit? and how could the entities which are spiritual exist and effect the material? Those questions have not been answered in sixteen hundred years and are of major import. They are developed throughout this paper.
His development of spiritual and material sequence is as follows. Augustine holds that the idea that creation as co-eternal with God is “an ideal condemned alike by faith and sound reason.” Thus it is absurd that the mortal creation existed from the beginning. The concept that the angels were not created in time, but existed before all time was for God to be sovereign over them, since “He has always been sovereign, then I shall be asked whether beings who were created could exist always: if it is true that they were made before time was.” Augustine’s understanding of the dependence of material temporality on the material creation is quite advanced. Before the creation of the stars Augustine supposes that time existed “in some changing movement, in which there was succession as before and after, in which everything could not be simultaneous”. The angelic motions gave rise to the notion of time therefore causing it to exist so that they moved in time from the moment of their creation, “even so they have existed for all time, seeing that time began when they began. Will anyone assert that what has existed for all time has not existed always?” (ibid., p.491). Augustine avoids the problem that if the above is so, then the angels “must be co-eternal with the Creator, if they, as He, have always existed” (ibid.). Times were therefore created but time existed for all time.
In answer, time, being changing and transitory cannot be co-eternal with changeless eternity. (ibid., p.492. cf. Bk. XI,6). The immortality of the angels is not transitory or temporal; it is not in the past, as if it no longer existed, nor in the future, as though it had still to come into existence; and yet their movements which condition the passages of time pass from the future into the past, and therefore they cannot be co-eternal with the Creator. For in the movement of the Creator there is no question of a past which no longer exists or a future which is yet to be. Hence, if God has always been sovereign, He has always had a creation subject to his sovereignty; not begotten from Him, but made by Him out of nothing, and not co-eternal with Him. He existed before His creation, although not in any time before it; He preceded it, not by a transitory interval of time, but in His abiding perpetuity (ibid., p.492 cf conf.11, 13-16). At Book XII, chapter 17 Augustine [quotes] the Greek in Titus 1:2 f. as “before eternal times” instead of “ages ago” to hold that the Apostles claimed that God promised eternal life before eternity. This is unsound. [God predestined eternal life to exist in the host before time began]. However, the concept he advances of absolute predestination in his eternity does follow from his logic.
Augustine’s schema achieves spiritual temporality as co-existent with the creation of the angels [the Sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7)] and therefore the spirit “fell,” in the Hegelistic sense, into spiritual temporality which is eternal and created ex nihilo. Creation ex nihilo is advanced from The Shepherd of Hermas and is thus fundamenatal to the early church). The material creation achieved temporal temporality on its creation. It would follow that an ideatum of the creator achieves being from the action of creation which cannot be directly attendant upon the idea as eternal predestined plan or else sequential creation would be precluded and a necessary being and immanence follow from the idea, given that the material is created from the unseen or spiritual (Hebrews 11:3). Essentially Augustine’s schema is only partly coherent. In his initial stages his incoherences deal with the nature of the Godhead and the sequence of human actions, and here are dealt with later. His assertion of creation ex nihilo is perhaps a contrivance to overcome neo-platonist difficulties but it was an authentic doctrine of the early church as we see from Hermas.
2:1.2 Transcendence/Immanence Problems
Creation from the spiritual within the biblical schema does not specifically state creation ex nihilo; to deny the neo-platonist monism and necessary immanence creation ex nihilo is assumed. Spinoza developed this position from Pt.11 Prop.I of The Ethics. Thought is an attribute of God or God is a thinking entity and extension is an attribute of God, or God is an extended being (Prop.II). The idea is of His own essence, as of all things that necessarily follow from it necessarily exist (Prop.III). It is in this proposition that Spinoza directly attacks the notion of the transcendent power of God, whereby He, being thought of as a man, can act as an earthly potentate given the power to destroy all things. He considers this notion futile and from Corollaries 1 and 2 to Prop.XXXII Pt.1 and also XVI Pt.1 and XXXIV Pt.1, he holds that the power of God is his essence to act and it is “even impossible for us to conceive God not acting as it is to conceive him not existing” (note to Prop III). Spinoza here assumes that because things exist necessarily from the power and nature of God, and those attributes and affections necessarily follow from the nature of God, then God is an active immanent force incapable of alteration of his nature and hence non-transcendent.
Spinoza is useful in examining the nature of God and also in rejecting Anthropomorphic notions of God. The system Spinoza proposed in rejection of Anthropomorphism and Cartesian Dualism and his solution to the mind/body problem was essentially responsible for leading him to captive immanence.
From Prop XVIII (Pt 1), God is the immanent or indwelling, not the transient or outside cause of all things and from XXXIII and XXXIV these follow only if the possibility of a creator distinct from his creation is denied. For Spinoza, God is either immanent or transcendent, and for him to be transcendent he must cease to be immanent.
Now the obvious objection to this is that the creation of material substance as a mode of the essence of God does not necessarily imbue that material substance with the entire power of the spirit from which the material substance was created. The fundamental spirit or essence as the formulation of the sub-atomic structure alters at no time, and the immaterial nature of the fundamental essence of matter is not altered. Only in the destruction of the atomic particles do we get an idea of the release of the power of the spirit and it is this confinement of the spirit which Spinoza misapprehends. He assumes that the essential spirit of God flows without alteration, let or hindrance into the material aspect of the body, and that the body and mind function as an extension of the essence of God as a mode received without limitation or alteration in some active flow which is passively captive. This is the root of his error. Augustine understood in part much earlier than Spinoza. The spirit acts on the human theomorph within the regularity of the law. As the division of the Godhead occurred then the human structure could be acted upon also by the polytheist evil divisions because of their original nature as outlined below.
Spinoza develops the concept of the inevitability of the nature of God, i.e. of ultimate Goodness and the impossibility that God, for example, could give a set of laws other than that which flows from his nature. This concept is important to the argument on absolute creation and also to the understanding of theist activism on the human being.
In dealing with human action Spinoza considered the conflict of duality of the Cartesian model, as expounded by Descartes and later Malebranche, as a logical impossibility and one that could not adequately explain human personality. Further, he held that to conceive of thought and extension as two substances is logically to preclude the possibility of strict causal interaction between them. For Spinoza, “the universe as a system of extended and spatial things and the universe as a system of ideas or thought must be interpreted as two aspects of a single inclusive reality; they must be two attributes of a single substance” (S. Hampshire, Spinoza, London, 1956, p.49). The neo-platonist thought of Spinoza is thus useful in examining the earlier pre-Cartesian neo-platonism of Augustine. Spinoza developed neo-platonism more clearly than did Augustine and attempted to overcome some of the incoherency between neo-platonist and biblical thought present in The City of God. For Spinoza, if anything exists, then God, as an infinite substance, exists necessarily and as it is absurd to assume that nothing exists, then God an infinite substance exists necessarily. Spinoza, in his Explanation to Definition 6 of the Ethics, states that God is “absolutely infinite and not infinite in his kind, for that which is infinite in its kind only might be denied infinity of attributes, but to the essence of that which is absolutely infinite belongs whatsoever expresses essence and involves no negation” (R. Willis, trans., Vol 2, Ethics, pp.415,416).
Spinoza here attempts to accommodate Parmenides’ position of infinity being denied to the One in that if it were infinite then it would stand in need of everything, whereas it stands in need of nothing. Quine (From a Logical Point of View, p.129) draws attention to this Parmenidean truth when he refers to the opposition between the conceptualists and the Platonists, between “those who admit just one degree of infinity and those who admit a Cantorean hierarchy of infinities.” It appears that Spinoza is aware of this and is attempting an approximation of the Parmenidean position. According to Nathan Rotenstreich (“The System and Its Components” in Spinoza, His Thought and Work, p.18), the centrality of the Cartesian distinction is evident even when Spinoza moves to an analytical discovery of God as cause of Himself and all that which follows causally from Him. Moreover, while descending from the existence of God to minds and bodies Spinoza transformed the visible material world of Descartes’ Principles into the affective cognitive emotive world.
In this way, the method of, or human way of, knowing the world in all its variety is commenced by distinguishing and separating the true idea from other perceptions, fictitious, false or doubtful. His emphasis on perfection of the mind raises questions on the relationship of mind and freedom, and between perfection and the free position of the mind. The structure of reality as a totality posed the question as to the presence of variety and multiplicity in the total universe (ibid.).
Spinoza developed his system along the immanent non-transcendent neo-platonist line and consequently the same basic problem occurs in his philosophy and leaves an inner conflict between the moral and individual position and the development of the universe in which the individual is subsumed. The operation of absolute creation stemming from the hypothesis of God as cause of Himself is dealt with below. Spinoza is incoherent in any such assertion; Rotenstreich follows the error.
This above question of subjectivity is related to the ontological status of the finite things of the world and finds objection in the biblical and koranic models. These conflicts were to emerge in the German Pantheistic and the French free-thinking schools, and were extant in Spinoza’s lifetime. Spinoza’s system did not adequately account for this problem being paradigmatic on his analysis of a situation, but nevertheless, Spinoza’s system was a new point of departure for philosophy and hence of great importance. Spinoza held that, from Ethics, Pt.1, Prop.1, God is the one substance and as such He is logically prior to His nature. From the existence of God as cause of Himself, He is the derivation of infinite things in infinite modes. Spinoza’s reduction of two modes from the infinite produces difficulty, but regardless the deduction is necessary. Spinoza’s assertion rests upon the misidentification of a conceptual distinction of an instantiated attribute as an ontological distinction that is identified below. This error is widely extant today.
From Ethics, Pt.1, Prop.XXXIII, “things could have been produced in no other way or order than as they have been produced”; hence creation is a direct result of the substance and nature of God and exists necessarily from that nature. From this it follows that the laws governing the universe are fixed by the nature of God. God, therefore, could have given no other law, for example, than the decalogue as it follows from His nature. Despite Spinoza’s conceptual/ontological error of distinction he nevertheless proceeds to a correct assessment of the creation stemming from the nature of God. The difficulty in Immanence precluding Transcendence flows from the above premise. The view of God as a transcendent omnipotence, punishing breach of law, was held to preclude such a function as Spinoza’s and for this reason he was excommunicated from his synagogue to prevent persecution of the community. (See McKeon, Spinoza, His Thought and Works, for details.) The distinction between Eloah and the Angel of Redemption and the Theon/Theos distinction from John was potentially dangerous as the Arian/Athanasian controversy had shown, and the Inquisition from the Albigensian Crusades had been stifling any such discussion. Hort has examined the matter of the two Gods in John 1 in the work The Words Monogenese Theos in Scripture and Tradition (published in Two Dissertations, 1876).
2:2.1 Absolute Creation
David Werther (“Augustine and Absolute Creation”, Sophia, April 1989 pp.41-51) points out that contrary to Descartes, who following William of Ockham advocated divine voluntarism, Leibniz following in the Tradition of Augustine rejected voluntarism as well as any claim that necessary truths are distinct from the divine essence. Leibniz makes a distinction between contingent truths based on the principle of fitness, “that is the choice of the best possible, while the necessary truths depend only on his understanding, of which they are the internal object” (Leibniz, Monadology No. 46, as quoted by Werther). Leibniz rejects the proposition that since eternal truths depend upon God they are arbitrary and depend upon his will. Werther draws attention to the paper discussing the relation between necessity and God by Thomas V. Morris and Christopher Menzel which he describes as a sort of hyper-Augustinianism. He says:
Like Augustine and Leibniz, Morris and Menzel deny that the necessary truths are distinct from the divine essence. But unlike those philosophers, they affirm that, nevertheless, God creates the necessary truths and hence his essence. The divine creation is absolute. We believe there to be no real problem with their initial obvious entailment of activism that God has properties; and has some both essentially and distinctively, for whose existence his eternal activity is creatively responsible (p.359; ibid., pp.41-42).
Werther isolates the inadequate responses to the view of absolute creation they put forward and also their failure to consider an apparent ontologistic implication. Another important observation Werther makes is the notation of Morris and Menzel of some of the apparent relations between Theism and Platonism such that
if one attempts the platonic view affirming the existence of “the framework of reality” (p.353), Morris’ and Menzel’s label for the realm of necessary truths and necessarily existing objects, then one affirms states of affairs such that it is not possible that they be created by God. If one rejects such a platonic view, then claims about the universality of God’s creation seem to be more plausible. In their view God is not only responsible for the creation of contingent states of affairs but also for the creation of necessary states of affairs. (ibid., p.42).
He goes on to say that
“theistic activism” is the view that the realm of necessity/the framework of reality is the product of divine intellective activity. It should be obvious by now that the development of absolute creation and theistic activism is an attempt to combine platonism (or at least modified platonism in which states of affairs can both have necessary existence and be dependent) and theism into a coherent metaphysic and in so doing provide some rationale for the claim that the scope of God’s creation is universal. (ibid., p.43).
Augustine was the initiator of this process but he was aware of the incoherence of the potentially monist position of Plotinus’ philosophy which can be seen “as a great hierarchical structure, a great chain of being, or as an exercise in introspective understanding of self” (Louth, The Origin of the Christian Mystical Tradition, From Plato to Denys, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p.37). Plato, Philo, Plotinus, Augustine and the later writers are influenced by the Mysteries. (See Cox, Mysticism, CCG Publishing, 2000.)
From the Timaeus, (41c:cf.90A ff), immortal souls are held to be the direct creation of the demiurge, while what is mortal is made by lesser gods. The conflict with the biblical narrative is evident in Augustine’s assertions of creation out of nothing and this incoherence remained, being taken up later by Abu Yusuf Ya’qub al Kindi (d.866) who again tried to reconcile Platonism with the creation ex nihilo. The attempt, however, was abandoned and commencing from Abu Bakr ar Razi a syncretic Greco-Indian concept was developed, not only by the Brethren of Sincerity, but also by Al Farabi (d.950) and Ibn Sina (d.1037). Their influence was to affect Aquinas, who then developed the platonic forms of Augustine’s argument, further developing the incoherence.
Werther considers what he terms the boot-strapping objection as “Morris and Menzel make it clear that while they affirm a causal asymmetrical dependence relation between God and God’s essential properties, the latter being causally dependent on the former, they do not affirm the (sic) God exists temporally prior to God’s essential properties.” They reject divine simplicity and “go on to reject the inference...”that from God’s nature causally depending on God, and God logically depending on his nature, it follows that God causally depends on himself” (p.360)” (ibid., p.44).
So from Spinoza above, God is one substance and He is logically prior to His nature. But could He create that nature? In the Werther example, God is Divine Omniscience and would therefore create Himself as He is logically dependant upon omniscience and the other essential divine attributes that make up His nature. Now Russell has raised an objection to this problem, namely, the problem of the issue of natural laws (Russell, Why I am Not a Christian, p.5). He could not have issued them from His own good pleasure or else there is something that is not subject to law. If there was reason for the laws then God Himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary. You have really a law outside and anterior to the divine edicts, and God does not serve your purpose, because He is not the ultimate lawgiver. God, therefore, must be the ultimate law giver to make theism coherent, however, right and wrong must have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. Russell says here that
if you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. You could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God who made this world, or could take up the line that some of the gnostics took up: a line which I often thought was a very plausible one: that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. (ibid. p.8)
Russell’s throw-away line regarding the superior deity who gave orders to the God who made this world is in fact the correct biblical ontology, but Russell had not studied the matter seriously to ascertain if the Athanasian Theology was a correct representation of the biblical. He assumed that it was and was repelled by its illogical structure: as a philosopher committed to truth, he could not acknowledge the Athanasian system. Had he studied the biblical ontology more deeply he could have become a Christian, but logically not an Athanasian.
Russell shows the chain of reasoning that led to Augustine taking up the Trinitarian position from the Platonists with the biblical adaptations. Russell is wrong, however, in the concept that right and wrong are in their essence logically anterior to God. Whether by the central theory of truth in empiricism or the concept of the centrality of ultimate good (and here Augustine develops evil as “falling away,”) it can be shown that these attributes emanate from the very nature of God and hence God could not create contrary to His nature.
Subsequent causal laws therefore are fixed non-material, dependent upon the nature of God, which is immutable, and hence causality and law are immutable. This position introduces a notion of non-supervenient causality which is dependent upon a notion of fixed attributes and singularist causation based on theoretical relationships. The notions of supervenient causation affect all later thinkers. As Werther states, “but if God exists, if and only if God’s essential properties exist, why would one think that God’s essential properties are causally dependent upon God?” Morris and Menzel comment:
it might be wondered there could be any reason at all for the theist to think that there is some causal relation running in one direction and not the other between God and necessary abstract objects. But the answer to this is, at least prima facie, straightforward. Independently of our problem, God is thought of as causally active, indeed as the paradigmatic causal agent, whereas such abstract objects are standardly regarded as causally inert. If there can be any causal relation between them, the theist so far does seem to have some justification or rationale for the directionality he sees. (p.355).
But Werther rightly states that if “God is equivalent to the divine substance sans all properties, it can no longer be claimed that God is regarded prima facie as the paradigmatic causal agent.” (ibid., p.45). Absolute creation can not exist within the notion of supervenient causation and from the notion of singularist causation He would not exist as a supervenient entity of core plus attributes created. It is from this view that the attempt to construct a causal asymmetrical dependence relation between God and essential divine properties is necessary. As Werther says, “The property of omnipotence is either ontologically distinct from God or it isn’t. If it is, then it seems that God would be powerless to create it. How could God bereft of power eternally cause that divine property to be? If divine omnipotence isn’t eternally distinct from God, God’s creation of it would seem to be an instance of self creation.” (ibid., p.46). But this is instantiated in the divine substance and is not an independently existing abstract object. Thus the difference is conceptual not ontological.
Were there an ontological distinction then it would be necessary to isolate the causal dependence of God’s power, and from the above it cannot be discrete and distinct from the divine substance. Werther argues that divine omnipotence cannot exist uninstantiated; however, he points out that Alvin Plantinga has clearly shown divine simplicity to be vulnerable to reductio arguments (ibid., p.47). He asserts not that divine omnipotence is identical to God, but that divine omnipotence cannot exist distinct from God (ibid., p.48). From the analysis above of the inseparability of God from his essential properties, variations are developed based primarily upon the notions of causation. The implication of the above is that only as “God without essential properties” is God indeterminate and hence freely creative. He is, therefore, non-compatibilist on that account. But it is not accepted that God existed without essential properties, but rather, the universe exists from a singularist cause emanating from the nature of God and is not therefore supervenient. He is not, therefore, indeterminate. In the theoretical singularist sense His laws are determined from His nature or very essence which is immutable. The universe operates upon theoretical notions of singularist causation which are able to govern the material and the immaterial, whereas the supervenient material notions are confined. God is therefore neither dependent upon His properties nor are His properties dependent upon Him within current notions of causation.
2:2.2 Activism and Law as a Mechanism
The relationships of the law are expressed by Spinoza in Ethics Pt.1 Prop.XXXIII above, where creation is a direct result of the substance and nature of God and exists necessarily from that nature; hence the laws governing the universe are fixed by the nature of God. God could have given no other laws than were given. But this would be, however, contrary to the immanent monism of Spinoza which is the logical extension of neo-platonism. Augustine, in view of the obvious contradictions with the Bible, developed the themes of creation ex nihilo in sequence of the begotten Word, then the angelic or spiritual realm, then the temporal material universe, which accords with the biblical narrative. Only the Trinity and the Soul concept are incoherent.
2:3:1 Ontology and Illumination
Ontologists in the Augustinian tradition claim that if necessary truths are constituents of the divine nature, then to understand those truths gives one direct knowledge of the divine nature. (F. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2, Medieval Philosophy, Part 1, “Augustine to Bonaventure”, Garden City, New York, Image Books 1963 p.75-77; and Werther ibid., p.50).
This position is contrary to biblical understanding where “my thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8), except where individuals after baptism and the receipt of the Spirit can achieve or strive for perfection, but not any proximity to the divine nature save by growth of the Spirit. The union with the One here developed is Chaldean Theological Conjunction which is outlined in Cox Mysticism. Augustine’s theory of illumination is designed to block ontological objections. Illumination for Augustine does not involve a direct vision of the divine Ideas.
Thus God is the causal origin of a body of mathematical and moral truth common to the minds of many men. Does this mean that, when we know, we are seeing the divine Ideas? Augustine appears not to think so. Illumination does not involve a direct vision of the divine Ideas. If it did, the vision of God, vouchsafed the blessed souls, would also be available to the wayfarer still in the earthly state. Somehow God impresses notions on the human mind without revealing Himself directly. (Julius R Weinberg, A Short History of Medieval Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 1964, p.41; and ibid. p.50.) The impression of the spirit on the human mind is developed below.
Whilst Augustine grasped the interaction in part he misunderstood and misconstructed the schema or ontology. There seems little doubt in the Augustinian writings that Augustine’s Theism was not biblical theism but neo-platonist syncretism. From these contradictory premises absolute creation and theistic activism as attributed to Augustine and developed by Aquinas seems incoherent. The incoherence then led to the Cartesian Distinction that has been fundamental to modern understanding. It is essentially incoherent and must be rejected. Spinoza saw that, but in rejecting the centrality of the Cartesian Distinction in explanation of human action he was confined to immanent monism because of a conceptual distinction which he erroneously assumed to be ontological. His contribution to the rejection of the Cartesian explanation is important however and the models of Augustine and Spinoza contain both useful truth and serious error.
From the above the isolation of correct sequences in the creation and the nature of God are useful in examining the structure of the Godhead and purpose of creation. In rejecting Cartesianism we can proceed to a coherent Theomorphic system which correctly identifies human action and potential.
3.1 Transcendence and the Angel of Redemption
The concept of transcendence is achievable from the sequential initiation of the idea to the ideatum by a process which can be equated only with the concept of speaking the idea into existence, hence, Ho Legon (O Legon) or “The God who Speaks,” but in this case as the Logos, and for this reason the expression “The Word” has been used in English. Authentic temporality can occur only as the spirit which is “spoken” into material being, and hence falls into time as authentic temporality in the sense which Heidegger addresses in Being and Time. The concept of an unspoken truth of being, therefore, must precede temporality or material being. This prior form was seen by the Indo-Aryans as a logically immanent structure, and this conceptual error led to their monist position. The concept wherein Heidegger wants us to return to the hidden unspoken truth of Being in Greek Thought is probably developed from the earlier position of Plato in The Phaedrus (247D) which was later developed by Proclus in his Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides (Book VI, Morrow and Dillon, Princeton, 1987, p.589). Augustine in his writings seemed to be accommodating a valid biblical concept of the creation to this thought form.
This work attempts to outline the sequence of creation within the biblical narrative taking account of Augustine’s underdeveloped thought.
The gap in time as a concept from the beginning of material creation to the creation of man is only relative to man and is irrelevant in the schema of the creation. Augustine’s comments on the recent creation of man (Book XII, ch.13, ibid., p.486) are valid. The six thousand year creation scenario seems to have been a much later aberration of theology, probably arising from a confusion of the soteriological six thousand years with the creation of the earth.
Augustine, in Book XI, ch.9 (ibid., p.440), holds that evil is not a positive substance. “The loss of good has been given the name of evil.” This loss is as a falling from the one sole good “which is simple and unchangeable and this is God” (Book XI, Ch.10, ibid., p.440). “By this Good all things were created; but they are not simple, and for that reason they are changeable. They are, I say, created, that is to say, they are made, not begotten. For what is begotten by the simple Good is itself equally simple; identical in nature with its begetter: and these two, the begetter and the begotten we call the Father and the son; and these two, with their spirit are one God.” etc. Augustine here falls into incoherency induced by the trinitarian system first postulated by Tertullian and derived from Chaldean Theology as developed by the Platonists (cf. Cox, Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127), CCG, 1995, 2000).
The concept of begotten not made as replication or division, as distinct from created, implies that whilst the entity creates out of nothing a material substance, or the angelic spirit, or the spirit, from which matter is produced, the Godhead is divided. The division of the spirit into a duality and thence a trinity where the spirit then stands aside from the primary substance and then the secondary replication which it produced is incoherent. God is a spirit (Jn. 4:24) being worshipped in spirit and in truth. The spirit of truth emanates from him (Jn. 14:17, 15:26), and He is the Father of spirits (Heb. 12:9). The erroneous metaphysical premises upon which Augustine constructed his philosophical edifice are outlined below, particularly in the logic of the (so-called) Athanasian/Arian debate. The Holy Spirit (or Spirit of Truth) is an emanation of the power of God, which acts as the distinctive animating factor in the human intellect by which man achieves perfection. Without this, man is created in the spirit of man which is stated as the image of God. This concept of the image of God is not as an anthropomorphic principle but rather as an animating agency. The nephesh or breath, the spirit of man is incomplete, cut off from God and returns to the dust having no life after death in the biblical model.
The concept Augustine develops is that of the Chaldean soul doctrine and not a total dependency on the first spiritual resurrection at Christ’s return and the later physical millennial resurrection. The concept is non-biblical. One might say “so what;” however, the biblical narrative is a coherent philosophical schema, both reciprocal and developing throughout its extent. Any system purporting to derive authority from it must accord with it. Regardless of argument relating to its divine inspiration, this approach is sound. The contention that God must reveal himself is dealt with elsewhere.
Probably because of the above metaphysical considerations it is held that; as no man has seen God at any time (Jn. 1:18) Christ was He who declared Him. As the Logos or Theos, he was the Elohim and El of the Testament. This figure was held to have been the face of God, and John holds Him to be the instrument of the creation as the Logos, translated simplistically as the Word. This allows an aspect of transcendence over the otherwise immanent monism consequent to a non-intermediary creation, as developed by the Neo-Platonists and which was subsequently formalized by Spinoza. But the isolation of the spirit as a separate entity is absurd when clearly the spirit is a force which is an emanation of the power of God and is the mechanism by which God constructs his temple (Acts 7:48 ff; 17:24), and becomes all in all (1Cor. 15:28; Eph. 4:6). The spirit raised Christ from the dead and animates the bodies of the Elect (Rom. 8:11).
The assertion of the Filioque Clause of the emanation of the spirit from the Father and the Son does appear to be an Augustinian premise. Biblically, the step is that Christ is not synonymous with God, as Paul states, “Ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” (1Cor 3:23) The spirit is the mechanism by which God reveals things to man (1Cor. 2:10). This spirit is quite separate from the spirit of man (v. 11) and is quite separate from human wisdom and understanding. Thus union with the One in the Platonist sense taught by Mysticism is non-biblical.
The reconciliation mentioned by Paul at 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 stated that henceforth we know him (Christ) no more (v.16) but are reconciled to God by Christ. This comment illustrates the concept of Evil as a falling away and Christ’s role in the reconciliation to the unity of God. The Athanasian traditions commencing from the fourth and fifth centuries hence run counter to the concept of the unity and integrity of law and truth as it emanates from the very nature of God. Thus Augustine and the early Church Fathers paved the way for moral relativism, not by volition, but rather by inheritance as the Councils of the fourth century from Elvira to Nicea, Laodicea and Constantinople, had commenced to change biblical law.
The concept that the law could be changed entails a radical restructure of the notion of causality. Paul at Galatians 3:19-20 states that the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” The law was the schoolmaster to bring the elect to Christ. “But after that faith is come we are no longer under a school master. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:25-26). The concept of putting on Christ (v. 27) does not entail a spirit emanating from Christ, but rather as Christ states at John 14:10 he was in the Father and the Father in him. “I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” The notion conveyed in the later Filioque Clause from Toledo is consequently unsound. Augustine seems to have misunderstood the notion of the interaction of causality and although he placed nature as a structure acted upon by the will of the spirit both good and evil, he seems not to have understood the position fully nor explained it correctly due to the incoherence he inherited.
Augustine’s was an early attempt at establishing immaterial relationships of causality yet maintaining notions of moral variability or freedom of will. Modern philosophical theology continually refers to his writings for authority, thus picking up the incoherences. Augustine seems to resort to the law however, on an inconsistent basis. He states clearly at Book XIX, Chapter 23 in refutation of Porphyry that “the God of the Hebrews gave to his Hebrew people the Law, written in Hebrew, a Law not obscure and unknown, but by now of wide renown among all nation” (Knowles, ibid., p.889).
3:2 The Elohim, Morning Stars and the Sons of God
3:2.1 The Elohim
It is the concept of the ordination of the law as given by “The God of the Hebrews” and the comment of Paul at Galatians 3:19-20 that the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator, which shows a basic conceptual difficulty.
We have seen that God cannot create disembodied laws, so that the ordaining of law entails spiritual or material control and implies creativity. But the ordination or creation of the law was by angels, necessitating that they must have possessed a delegation of power consequent to the nature of God, which they possessed, and directly to the material creation. This delegation being logically prior to the creation, the Mediator (or Intermediary) was thus also creator. The law was therefore placed in the hand of the Mediator to enable the creation in accordance with the plan of the Eloah.
The RSV says at verse 20: “now an intermediary implies more than one; but God is one.” The plurality of the Angelic order is seen by Paul as a multiplicity united in one as God. This plurality and union has been the subject of confusion in the early Christian Church because of the complete misunderstanding of the Nature of the Godhead due to the Chaldean Triune System which limited the Godhead to three elements. It attempted to inflict its conceptual limitations on the biblical schema, and succeeded.
3:2.2 The Elohim as a Plurality
The Angel of YHVH or Yahovah is part of that plurality and this is reflected in the statement at Psalm 82:1 (RSV): “God (Elohim) has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the Gods (Elohim) he holds judgement,” and at verse 6 it is written; “I said ‘You are Gods (Elohim), sons of the Most High all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men and fall like any prince.’” Christ says at John 10:34-36 of this passage
Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, You are Gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, you are blaspheming because I said I am the Son of God.
The Elohim is thus not Father and Son, not a trinity, but a council of entities possessing the nature of God the Father and in total union with him and from which the law emanates through a mediator. The use of Greek here in the New Testament is interesting in that the word used is (2,@H) Theos or God and is here obviously plural from the Elohim of Psalm 82:1 and the usage. From John 1:18, The Only Born (Monogenese) Theos is distinctly subordinate to the (ton) Theon whom no man has seen. The Elohim of this planet is anointed by God, as God, possessing the fullness of the Godhead. Psalm 45:6-7 (RSV) states:
Your divine throne [or your throne is a throne of God [see note h] endures for ever and ever,
Your royal sceptre is a sceptre of equity,
You love righteousness and hate wickedness,
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
This entity or Elohim was identified in Hebrews 1:8-9 where fellows is translated comrades. At Hebrews 1:10 the Son is identified as founder of the earth and the (its) heavens in the beginning. From Hebrews 1:11-12 this entity will roll them up and change them as they grow old, but the entity itself is eternal and changeless. Psalm 8 and Hebrews identifies Messiah as being made for a little while less than the elohim, translated angels in the English texts in both OT and NT and also in the Septuagint (LXX).
Hebrews seems to make a conceptual distinction between the ministering spirits and the concept of the Sons of God. The comment “Thou art my son, Today I have begotten thee” from Psalm 2:7, and that of Elohim to David concerning Solomon (at 2Sam. 7:14), “I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son,” was to isolate the destiny of the elect as the Sons of God. Hebrews 1:6 says “But when he again brings the firstborn into the world, he says ‘Let all the Angels of God worship him;’” however, this is a translation error from Psalm 97:7 which says, “worship him all you Gods” where Gods is translated from Elohim. The Elohim here are referred to as Angels of the Host. The other reference to this quote is at Deuteronomy 32:43 where the word servant is used and the concept appears to have been developed in the Septuagint version. The Angels at Hebrews 1:7 are those at Psalm 104:4 referred to by the common term Malak (+!-/) which is the same as that used for the Angel of Redemption at Genesis 48:16 who is identified here as the Elohim, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. All of these words are translated as angels from the Greek word ("((,8@<) or aggelos (angelos) a messenger, hence an angel. The difficulty lies in the paucity of words in the Greek to carry a number of meanings. That there are degrees of messengers seems beyond dispute. That the Angel of Redemption, one of the Elohim, gained preeminence from the incarnation seems inescapable from the passage at Hebrews.
This, however, does not obscure or lessen the earlier structure of the order of the creation and the powers of the Host. Hebrews 1:2 states that the incarnation is appointed heir of all things and was the mediator through whom God made the worlds, although the word here should be ages not worlds. This concept is dealt with later in the discussion on Creation.
The passage is probably a reference to the Mithraic teaching of the Aion as the “sap of life” and hence a lifespan or epoch as the Greek word aion is used and in the Jewish sense means a messianic period (see Strong’s Concordance).
It appears that the concept of age is related to the periods and duration of transit of the sun. The current age involves the transit of east to west and Psalm 82:5 says, “all the foundations of the earth are unstable” (KJV). (W. F. Dankenbring, Beyond Starwars, Tindale, 1978, p.37 develops this concept.) Aion here is wrongly translated as worlds but appears more correctly at other passages. A statue of the lion-headed aion is in the Vatican museum. (A photo and notations occurs in Francis Huxley’s The dragon nature of spirit, spirit of nature, Collier, New York, 1979, pp.90-91.) Isaiah 24:1-6 shows that the earth is turned upside down (KJV) which has been rendered in later works as “its surface twisted”. This change of the age by reversing the world and hence the transit of the sun may be of great significance in the control of the planet.
This concept of the mediator as creator is sometimes confused because the illusion has been created that God the Father or Eloah was He who spoke to the prophets. The problem occurs because of the conceptual distinction of the Logos not yet made flesh in unity with the Godhead and the post-incarnation references to the Son as distinct from that facet of the Elohim called the Logos (translated as the Word). This concept of the Elohim is the biggest single problem the Christian Church has faced and it is not correctly understood even today.
3:2.3 Morning Stars
The concept of the Morning Star is found in a number of books of the Bible. From the Book of Revelation the concept of the Dawn or Morning Star from (BD@4<@H) proinos or (@D2D4<@H) orthrinos (also relating to the dawn and as an epithet of Venus) is applied specifically at Revelation 22:16 to Jesus Christ. The Morning Star is obviously a rank of rulership over the nations of the planet as at Revelation 2:26-28. Christ promises those of the Thyatiran Church who overcome that he will give them the Morning Star. They will be given power over the nations and they will rule with a rod of iron as Christ himself received power from his Father. Peter also referred to this aspect of Christ at 2 Peter 1:16-19 where the Morning Star (RSV) or Day Star (Moffatt) rises in the hearts of the elect.
The concept of the Morning Star has created some confusion, as being a rank it is applied to the spiritual and effective ruler of the planet. It has thus been held by Satan as the Morning Star or god of this planet until the coming Messianic age. Satan is referred to at Isaiah 14:12-15 (RSV) thus:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star; Son of Dawn!
How you are cut to the ground, You who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven;
Above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will make myself like the Most High!’
But you are brought down to sheol, to the depths of the pit.
The word for dawn here is schachar as early light or morning and is translated as such by NKJV, etc. The NKJV translates the light bearer, (the Day Star above) as the Lucifer or light bearer.
This section portrays the rebellion in the heavens and is referred to by Christ in this context at Luke 10:18 where he says: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” From Revelation, the rebellion involved one third of the host of heaven here mentioned as stars. From Revelation 12:7-9 we see:
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him.
It should be noted that the term Satan is derived from the Hebrew verb to accuse [or attack SHD 7853 0) or STN], hence accuser of the brethren.
The concept of the Morning Star being held in the mouth of the dragon is found in the Sanskrit, and Huxley notes that the dragon was known in its early undifferentiated state of both being and non-being as Tad Ekam or “That One”.
The sun is thus the dragon child and subsequently the dragon slayer. Symbolised as the Garuda it was the intermediary with the heavens. (ibid., p66). (These Indian concepts are dealt with in the The Problem of Evil.) Prior to this war and the fall from heaven Satan was allowed access to the throne of God. The Book of Job shows that the Bene Elohim or the Sons of God presented themselves before the Eternal and that Satan came with them (Job 1:6). From verse 7 we see that at that time he also had freedom or dominion over the earth, as he had at the time of Christ and, from Revelation still does until the return of the Messiah as the new Morning Star or planetary ruler. There were however more than two entities who carried this epithet, as from Job 38:4 we know that at the creation of the planet the Morning Stars were gathered and sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy.
Now this situation has two very serious implications by logical extension.
Firstly: being the rank of a planetary ruler and, from Isaiah 14, at that stage being allocated to Satan it is obvious that there were other Morning Stars, entailing the existence of other planetary systems and the inclusion with but distinction from the Sons of God equally implies that the extended systems were of degree and rank.
Secondly: this assertion carries with it the implication that the extension of the Spirit of God was relative. We have seen the distinction of Eloah as the singular God or God the Father and the extended God or Elohim which were a plurality as a Council of Gods. These appear to equate to the Morning Stars. The Bene Elohim or Sons of God are subordinate.
We may now raise some questions about the assertions of Monism from the very beginning, with that of Parmenides where there can not be more nor less of the one and it is as James would have it “of next to next nothingness”. Clearly the concept here embraced is of a multiplicity of spiritual entities with trans-material capacity in union by extension of the spirit as the Elohim; from the example of Christ, here a union with the Eloah as a unified body and for whom the intermediary Elohim speaks. The Elohim have a metaphysical or spiritual union and communication which to date has been improperly understood. It is from this union that God is One. Temporarily God is not “all in all”. This situation occurred because of the rebellion and will be corrected with the advent of the new Morning Star, The Messiah.
The term “Sons of God” is, from the above, an order of beings, a rank, who are adherents of the most high in some form of spiritual union. These Sons of the Most High God are all Elohim (from Psalm 82:1) in varying degrees. The Council of the Elohim is the council of judgement and the Elohim or new Morning Star of the planet Earth has taken his place among the Elohim. The council appears therefore to be the council of planet or system commanders termed Morning Stars. The Morning Stars appear to be allotted duties as cherubs. Prior to his fall, the current Morning Star, Azazel or Lucifer, was one of the covering cherubs. It appears from 2Samuel 22:11, Psalm 18:10 and Ezekiel chapters 1, 9 and 10 that the Eternal rides on four cherubs. The concept of having planetary commanders as space transporters is interesting to say the least and the concept is therefore probably allegorical, indicating vested authority: the Angel of Redemption also carried the name of the Eternal as El and Elohim, and was called YHVH or Yahovah as distinct from YHVH or Yahovah of Hosts or Eloah. This pre-Cartesian concept is most confusing to non-Hebrew thinkers (the rest of the world). By carrying the names of God, the HaShem, the entity also carried the authority. This is the primary attribute of the Messiah.
After the concept of the fall of man, where men had attained knowledge of good and evil, the Elohim said, “behold, man is become as one of us, knowing good from evil”. Here the Elohim has been translated as the Lord God, and these forms are clearly wrong. The base problem is that the texts have been translated by scholars steeped in Athanasian and Chaldean theology and they have consistently obscured the metaphysical structure by misconceptions and erroneous renderings. God as a term is from the Anglo Saxon “Good” and is singular only in the sense of the centrality of ultimate good. The Elohim placed cherubim east of the Garden from this time to prevent man from eating of the tree of life and obtaining eternal life. Man therefore does not have eternal spiritual life. Man was created in the image of the Elohim by the Elohim from matter and man is therefore not a spirit. Throughout the creation story the creation is by the Elohim speaking in the plural. Only at Genesis 6:5 is YHVH mentioned (conveying the singular) as observing the wickedness of man.
The cherubs were allotted tasks from the council around the Throne of God and we know from the biblical representation that there were at least two covering cherubim, and from Ezekiel probably four. These figures had composite symbolism and where this composite symbolism is differentiated they are noted as seraphim with 6 wings (Isa. 6:2,6). These creatures wait on the throne of God (the Eloah) or Ancient of Days who “created all things and by your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11). The Ancient of Days is the creator, and the Elohim, from this, created at the will of the Eloah (or Eternal) and in accordance with His design. No speculation will be made here on the role of the ministering seraphim, nor on the corporate nature of the symbolism of the cherubim (see the papers The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Vision (No. 108), and Commentary on Zechariah (No. 297)).
The term in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 referring to the twenty-four elders is presbuteros, which means senior or old, and according to Strong’s Concordance is used for a figure of the celestial council (see Greek Dictionary, 4245 p.60). This is the divine council of the Elohim. Christ is praised by them because he has redeemed men from the nations to God by the sacrifice of the Lamb to be made kings and priests to their God [Pantokratõr] Theos the Almighty, i.e. ton Theon, to reign on the earth. (Both here and above, the definite article and the term for God is in a distributive sense and may be singular or plural. If singular, with the additional term, the Almighty, it would mean the Most High God, i.e. The God). The term Theos is thus hierarchical as is Elohim with the Highest Elohim, or Theos as Eloah (Ho Theos or the accusative Theon) [Although the throne is a shared throne]. Because of its implications, this verse is blatantly mistranslated in some Bibles, (e.g. Knox, KJV, NKJV). It is almost as correct as English will allow in the RSV, NIV, New English, Jerusalem and Moffatt versions. The American Standard Version Committee corrected the KJV translation error in its version of 1901.
From Revelation 21 the centre of government is to move to the earth. When the cherubim appear they carry the Glory of YHVH and his brightness, and the sound of their wings is as the voice of the El and the Glory of the Elohim is above them. From Ezekiel 10:20 they support the Elohim, and it was the Elohim that he saw by the river Chebar. The Spirit speaks from them. Ezekiel states that the Spirit of YHVH spoke to him giving a message from Adonay, here used in the sense of “my Lord”. YHVH is the spokesman or mediation of the Elohim symbolically supported by the cherubim as part of the force of the Elohim. YHVH, from Ezekiel 11, appoints himself as the Elohim of Israel and at verses 7-21 curiously refers to YHVH the Eternal in the deferential form of address used by subordinates, for example, by Abraham, when referring to him, i.e. as Jehovih. The use of [Adonai and Jehovah] here as a deferential shows that we are being addressed by the Angel of YHVH, the Eternal or Eloah, by the Elohim mediator who bears his name as YHVH. This concept is most important as the metaphysics depend on it, as does an understanding of the nature of the Godhead and the sequence of the creation and an adequate explanation of its purpose.
The distinction between the entities which bear the Tetragrammaton YHVH is made explicitly by Micah 5:2-4:
But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting (or from ancient of days). Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she who travaileth hath brought forth: then the residue of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand, and shall feed his flock in the strength of [Ya]hovah [YHVH], in the majesty of the name of [Ya]hovah his God: and they shall abide; for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Here the Hebrew concept of the entity, which was held by Micah to have had pre-existence from “ancient of days” which, from above, logically was the beginning of time commencing with the creation of the Elohim. This entity carried the Tetragrammaton YHVH, yet YHVH was also his God, reiterating the concept of “therefore Elohim your Elohim has anointed you.” Conceptually the name carried the authority, hence the practice of calling magistrates “Elohim” which lingers today in the terminology “your worship”.
There is a clear conceptual distinction between the Elohim YHVH and YHVH of Hosts. Zechariah 2:5-13 makes this distinction where YHVH says he is coming to dwell in Jerusalem and that when this happens, “ye shall know that Yahovah (YHVH) of hosts hath sent me.” This entity was clearly subordinate to YHVH of Hosts, and the YHVH here is that entity at Psalm 18:28 who is “my rock.” From Psalm 18:31 he is “our Elohim,” and Eloah is the YHVH, Yehovih (SHD 3069) or YHVH of Hosts. YHVH the Elohim of Israel is a separate and distinct entity to YHVH of Hosts, the Eloah or God the Father and Maker. The incarnation was held to be YHVH and the Elohim of Israel, but subordinate to his Elohim who was Eloah. Both entities were extant only from the creation of the Elohim as separate entities: the Logos or the Divine Expression, an attribute of God, making or creating the replication of the Logos as the Elohim. The Elohim of this planet is the High Priest or Mediator.
From the Psalms, the YHVH of Israel is a great king above all Elohim (Psa. 95:3), feared above all other Elohim (Psalm 95:4), and is the Elohim of Elohim (Psa. 136:2). The Elohim therefore have degrees of rank, some being subordinate to others and all subordinate to Eloah. The Elohim of Israel was that Rock who was Christ, but he was not and could not be Eloah or YHVH of Hosts. All Elohim were once within the will of Eloah, but the rebel Elohim placed themselves outside of his will and the structure of the Elohim. They did however remain Elohim as fallen Elohim and are referred to as Elohim throughout the Old Testament. The fallen Elohim are differentiated from the graven images who “are no elohim” (2Kgs. 19:18, Jer. 2:11).
The correct pronunciation of YHVH was deliberately obscured, and we have seen above that there was a deferential form used by the Angel of YHVH when referring to the highest YHVH or YHVH of Hosts. The deferential form was obtained by changing the last vowel from a to i. The reconstruction of the correct pronunciation can be established from the forms used at the Temple at Elephantine where the form was shortened rather than altered. The translation of the Elephantine papyrus is contained in James B. Pritchard’s The Ancient Near East, vol 1, p.279, where the name is rendered YAHO and the forms are thus YAHOVAH of Hosts or YAHOVAH (pronounced YAHOWAH as a quiescent W) or when using the deferential address it is YAHOVIH [or YEHOVIH (SHD 3069)].
The Elohim were a replication of the image of Eloah as Man was made in the image of the Elohim. Christ was “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” It is thus that the creation began with the Elohim in the Angel of Redemption and his colleagues or comrades from which times began. These concepts are dealt with below and have affected the concepts and structure of causal explanation, as they were imperfectly understood.
3:3.1 The Spirit of Man and the Angelic Order
Having looked at the structure of the Godhead it is evident that it is one of a unified hierarchy of being from a central singularity within whose will the structure acts. When entities act contrary to the will of Eloah they are decreed to be in rebellion and hence polytheist. Such entities are therefore to be destroyed, having limited existence and purpose. The requirement for these entities to be spiritual is dictated by logical procedure and physical limitation. The substructure of matter appears to be immaterial, thus supporting the notion of an immaterial intelligence regulating the material structure.
To decide the nature of the human being and his relationship to the immaterial or spiritual realm, it is necessary to examine what is known of the human entity, what is held to be its structure and purpose within revelation and what agreements and tensions exist between the philosophical considerations and revelation. It is also significant to examine whether the argument for the implausibility of the soul also shows the implausibility of a spiritual God.
It is contended that the position adopted by many philosophers wanting to reject the soul doctrine not only is not in conflict with revelation but rather is logically correct and in fact in accordance with the entire sequence of revelation.
The structure and nature of the Godhead and its relationship to man and his destiny is best left to the detailed analysis of the Athanasian/Arian dispute, because within that section it can be seen just what is the relationship and relative structure of the Godhead. It can also be seen how the fundamental errors of logic and exegesis were made which have completely distorted understanding for these last sixteen hundred years.
The arguments for the implausibility of the soul are determined by the requirements of an omniscient and omnipotent God. Far from requiring the rejection of a spiritual God, rejection of the soul doctrine is required because an omnipotent and omniscient deity would not create a series of entities which were imperfect, in varying degrees of evil or rebellion against the law and will of God, and for which required a relatively more complicated ontology and destruction in the execution of the plan He had put in motion. A spiritual God would logically confine such an imperfect being to an easily disposable structure which aptly suited a transient learning process and which entailed no long-term cruelty or punishment for a weakness inherent in the system as part of the teaching process.
The basis for the actions and happenings of the human entities are explicable only within one context. We have seen the early explanations of causation and human action based on Animism, and then from Platonism to the Cartesian Distinction, and why such explanation is false.
The distinction between voluntary or determined actions or happenings is complex and we should now start by examining the biblical explanation and the concept of man as the image of God.
The biblical account limits the application of the distinction between actions and happenings as voluntary acts or determined happenings, as outlined previously, to the rational process; the spirit of man is only an image of the Elohim and not an immortal spirit. The nephesh or spirit of man dies with the body. The Elohim said: “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26). So Elohim created man in his own image in the image of Elohim created he him (Gen. 1:27). It has been imagined that anthropomorphism is the concept here; however this may be metaphoric and far more involved. The Koran explicitly denies anthropomorphism and Moore refers to this controversy at The History of Religions, Vol. 2, p. 424.
Whilst the Bible uses distinctly anthropomorphic language in its depiction of a personal transcendent God, the concept here of the image of God may refer to the mechanics of the animating process, given the prohibitions of Exodus 20:4 and the spiritual nature of God (i.e. God is a spirit and the Father of spirits). The image of the Elohim may be the concept of the animating rationality that motivates and binds the Elohim allowing the implantation of the spirit of God to attain unity and perfection as Sons of God.
The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Vol. 2, Abingdon, 1980, pp. 682 et seq.) in its article Image of God states of the old testament reference, “The primary reference is to concrete resemblance but we must credit the writer with some intention as to abstract idea”. It goes on to say that, in the New Testament, “The image of God is something which (in all but two cases) does not belong to man. It is identified with Christ the image now being the perfect prototype. Through his relation to Christ the believer is transformed into the same image, image now being the perfect reflection of the prototype.”
At Genesis 1:26 ...image [tselem SHD 6754] and ... likeness [demuwth SHD 1823] are used but at Genesis 1:27 on the execution only image is used. Genesis 5:1 uses likeness (which is sometimes regarded as a redactional gloss) and Genesis 9:6 uses image. According to the Interpreter’s Dictionary:
To complicate interpretation the use of the particles which go with the nouns is not consistent (ibid. p. 683); In (Genesis) 5:1 [demuwth] likeness has the particle which goes with [tselem] image in 1:26-27 whereas in 5:3 the particles are reversed. This occurs as well as the words regarding the resemblance between Adam and Seth being interchanged, although in some 45 MSS the reading has been harmonious with 1:26.
Given that the use of [tselem] image has a flexibility of meaning, if from the same root then the concept refers not peculiarly to physical resemblance but to the animating rational factor which activates the Elohim and the Sons of God. Xenophanes of Kolophon (Frag. 17) supposed that cattle, lions and horses, were they able, would make the gods in their own likeness. This would not be from a rational proposition but rather from the view that they would feel distinctly more comfortable with them.
A spirit entity which is unseen and can materialize as a man with his physical attributes and as a snake would not be logically limited in the forms of his materialization; particularly if given that matter is made up of ultimate immaterial simples. It is the misapplication of this logic that lies beneath Babylonian and indeed all animism. The Bible is quite specific in the contention that all of the Elohim and Sons of God were able to materialize and take absolute human form. The fallen Host appear to have possessed this capacity, and if they do not now have the capacity it can only be due to some further limitation placed upon them by Eloah and not fully explained.
Christ’s comment is that in the resurrection (the dead) neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as angels in heaven (see also Mk. 12:25). In addition to this comment at Luke 20:35, in verse 36 the resurrected accounted worthy to that world cannot die any more for they are equal to Angels. The word for Angel here is ... isaggelos which is a derivative of ... aggelos and ... isos which means similar, of the kind or equal to, hence like or equal to (as an order of) angels.
The assumption that the resurrected will be superior to the angelic is derived from the passage at 1Corinthians 6:3 where Paul says “know ye not that we shall judge angels”. However, he refers to the fallen Host here which kept not their first estate because of the rebellion. The premise appears to rest on the assumption that Christ was the firstfruits of the elect and he having been made a little lower than the angels by the incarnation was then elevated above his comrades, implying that the elect shall also be so. But this may not follow at all, as the elect will be Sons of God which, as we have seen is the general rank of the angelic order. It is more likely that the elect are the replacement of the lost Host. The ranks of the First Resurrection are of precedence in the Elohim and the elect of the First Resurrection are teachers as kings and priests for the general redemption of the world populace at the Second Resurrection.
Augustine of Hippo did not understand this point and in order to establish the Chaldean Soul Doctrine he was forced to deny the millennial reign of Christ. He placed the First Resurrection as that of the spirit on death and the Second as that of the physical body on the day of judgement. He saw the Chiliad as an error of the early church. He was absolutely incorrect in this position, and by his error seriously affected Christianity.
In the City of God, Book XXII, chapters 4 and 5, he asserts the ascension into heaven of Christ’s material body after the resurrection. The doctrine of the soul in the resurrection is outlined by him at Book XX, Chapter 6 (quotes here are from the Bettenson translation, Penguin Books, 1987, pp.903-917f). By his error he develops the concept that “any one who does not wish to be condemned in the second resurrection must rise up in the first” (p. 905). He holds that all who do not rise up in the First Resurrection will suffer the second death. The Soul doctrine led him to this error and the logical and non-biblical absurdities which he develops from it. By his reasoning the entire pre- and non-Christian (or indeed the non-Athanasian world) is condemned without knowledge. At chapter 7 (ibid. p.906) he shows a familiarity with the millennial doctrine of the early Church but does not refute it, alleging it to be too long, and instead proceeds to an absurd position based on Chaldean theology and allegorisation of the specific words of the Apostle John. The absurdity extends through chapters 7 and 8.
From chapter 9 he reduces the concept of the millennial rule to the period from Christ’s first coming (p. 914). Such manipulation of the narrative is rendered necessary because of the absurdity of the Soul doctrine and of Trinitarianism generally. It has destroyed the metaphysical coherence of the Athanasian Church for sixteen hundred years and is why to this day Trinitarians confess the doctrine to be a “mystery,” or more correctly a “strict mystery” in that it is inexplicable within any system of logic. Thus there arises from the above a tension between philosophy and so-called Orthodox Christianity. Many philosophers want to reject the Soul doctrine as incoherent, yet the Athanasian system insists on retention of the incoherence. However, when the original narrative is examined a non-soul structure is evident which is at odds with the Athanasian system. This non-soul structure meets the philosopher’s criterion of coherency and is thus in harmony with the reasonable and logical expectations of philosophy. The tension is not therefore between revelation and philosophy but rather between Athanasian Trinitarianism on the one hand and both revelation and philosophy on the other.
3:3.2 Original Millennial Doctrines
The origin of the introduction of incoherency into early church philosophy and doctrine are found at the end of the second and beginning of the third centuries.
The original millennial doctrines of the early church were given titles by later writers and Millennialism or Chiliasm (from chiliad, also a term for one thousand) came to be referred to as Premillennialism. The original doctrine of the millennial reign of Christ on earth was however more or less preserved by various early Christian writers such as Apollinarius, Commodianus, Hippolytus, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Lactantius, Methodius (who saw the Millennium as a day of judgement), Montanus, Nepos, pseudo-Barnabus, Tertullian, and Victorinus. The theory of the delayed 70th week relating Daniel 9:25 to Christ was first introduced by Hippolytus. The excesses of Lactantius’ teachings saw the term Chiliasm appropriated to them and Chiliasm regarded as aberrant. Some writings became rather carnal with borrowings from non-biblical sources.
It was left to the Athanasians, however, to develop the Soul doctrine fully and to refute the doctrine of the earthly reign from Jerusalem, teaching that millennialism was evidence of Etruscan and Persian influence on the early church. Origen and Dyonisius of Alexandria (d.265) opposed the excessive chiliastic millennialism, and as a result the book of Revelation came to be omitted from the Canon by the Council of Laodicea (c.366).
Cyril of Jerusalem (d.368) and Gregory of Nazianius (d.389) exclude the Apocalypse or Revelation from their catalogues of New Testament books; John Chrysostom (d.407) nowhere quoted it. Athanasius did include it in his enumeration; the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) declared it Canonical (see details of the history in Bishop B. F. Westcott’s A General Survey of the History of Canon of the New Testament, 1875, chapter 20).
On the re-introduction of Revelation to the Canon it became necessary to readjust its interpretation to accommodate the soul doctrine, since it is in this book at chapter 20 that the one thousand year earthly reign of Christ with two separate resurrections is explicitly and unavoidably stated. Accordingly, it was left to Augustine to juxtapose Athanasian doctrine in order to accommodate this teaching on any even remotely coherent basis. His reconstruction to this day forms the basis of most Christian teaching and is responsible for the logical incoherence.
Augustine’s theory of the spiritualisation of the Millennium is based on the recapitulation theory propounded by Tichonius, holding that Revelation repeated itself under the symbols of the seven seals, trumpets and vials, a position which is absurd. The idea of the Millennium as being the earthly reign of the Church was also introduced by Tichonius and seems to have been used by Eusebius to persuade Constantine. The entire structure appears to have been constructed to appease Roman political vanity.
Jerome argued that the Millennium was heavenly not earthly, and seems to have given Augustine the foundation he sought for the reconstruction. The concept has been carried on to the non-biblical conclusion that the eschatological rule of Christ in the Last Days is not earthly but heavenly, and that Satan will roam a desolate earth for 1,000 years. This concept has no logical basis, impugning the omnipotence of God, and introduces the Soul doctrine in another form to Christianity. A variant of this aberration is found in the rapture theory, which is contrary to biblical exposition and is logically flawed, as is evident from the development of this work. See the paper The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 95).
3:4 The Logos and Creation
3:4.1 Will and Nature
“In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word [Logos] was with God and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (Jn. 1:1-3)
He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him (Col.1:15-16, NKJV).
It should be noted that John 1:1 has a problem in the translation. There are two words for God involved and a reversal. It should read: “In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with Theon and Theos was the Logos.” To justify the reversal to “and the Logos was God” Alfred Marshall says in his RSV Interlinear (which accords with the Receptus) in the footnote, “But note that the subject has the article and the predicate has it not; hence translate ‘The Word was God’.” To do so is an Athanasian contrivance to establish the Trinitarian system. John was clearly referring to two separate entities, the Theon and Theos, because at verse 18 he says:
[Theon oudeis eõraken põpote monogenes]
God [Theon] no man has seen never; (the) only begotten [actually the only-born]
[Theos o õn eis ton kolpon tou patros, ekeinos ezhghsato].
God [Theos] the (one) being in the bosom of the Father, that one declared [?him].
To assert that the difference is only grammatical renders the structure incoherent and contrary to the Hebrew structure being explained. The addition of “him” in this passage is inappropriate as John appears to be using the concept well known to the Greeks of the “Ho Legon.” He is identifying Christ as the “God who speaks.” John is also clearly utilizing the Old Testament concepts of the One God Eloah as Theon and the subordinate as Theos or Elohim.
The Athanasians had to contrive this passage to support the Trinitarian doctrine, and ultimately the European Athanasians (disputed by Erasmus) were to insert the false text into 1John 5:7 in the Textus Receptus in order to rearrange the Christology.
John and Paul attribute the creation to the Logos. The concept here is Divine Expression. Further, 2Corinthians 4:4 identifies Christ as the Image of God. Revelation 4:11, however, states of God that “You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created”.
The concept here has led the majority Christian sects into error and precipitated the major dispute between the two factions which were named for their spokesmen at the time of the outbreak of the controversy on a large scale in 318 [CE]., through the general disruption of Nicaea in 325, the further synod of Antioch in 341, and lastly at the Council of Constantinople in 381 where the Athanasians seized control assisted by the Spanish-born Theodosius. Thereafter the dispute was settled by force of arms between nations, ending in Spain in 586 and Thuringia in 742 [CE]. with the conversions of Boniface. The two sides were the Athanasian faction, later to emerge as the Orthodox or Catholic Trinitarian faction; and the Unitarian faction, termed Arian or Eusebian faction, named also for their leading spokesmen.
Had this dispute been properly understood and correctly settled then, Christianity would have taken a markedly different course with a much more coherent philosophical structure. Human sciences and paleo-anthropology would have been better understood and probably more peaceably advanced, avoiding both the Dark Ages and the Inquisitions and perhaps a coming Third World War. Let us examine the dispute.
The protagonists were Alexander and Athanasius, bishops of Alexandria from 312-328 and 328-373, respectively for the Athanasians; and Arius (256-336), Asterius the Sophist (d. circa 341), and Eusebius of Nicomedia (d. circa 342), for the Arians or Eusebians.
Unfortunately, with the defeat of the Arians in Spain the history has been written by Athanasians, and a comprehensive, accurate and unbiased reportage is virtually impossible. However, Robert C. Gregg and Dennis E. Groh have written a useful work entitled Early Arianism: A View of Salvation (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1981). From this work we can establish some of the metaphysics, and it will become obvious that both factions were wrong.
Reconstructions of the Thalia of Arius rely on the writings of their opponents and hence have been erroneously simplistic. The argument centres, as the Athanasians saw it, around the following:
Salvation, for orthodoxy, is effected by the Son’s essential identity with the Father: that which links God and Christ to creation is the divine natures assumption of flesh; Salvation for Arianism is effected by the Son’s identity with the creatures:that which links Christ and creatures to God is conformity of will. (Gregg & Groh p.8).
The Athanasians, by accepting the biological definition of son developed an ontological link between the Son and God which enabled Christ to be God’s proper Logos and Wisdom, and which invested the Son with the divine omniscience (ibid., p.9).
The Unitarians now termed Arians located and used an extended sense of sonship in the scriptures by which God was said, “to adopt sons” from among his creatures. Son in this sense is a circumlocution for believer and the term has this meaning in Arian proof texts like Deuteronomy 14:1 and John 1:12. Consequently, whatever properties or powers can be claimed for the Son in the scriptures are read in this extended sense, according to which the son himself gains these by adoption as a believer; and this point is pressed by the Arians to include even the key realities:
And Christ is not true God, but by participation ... even he was made God .... The Son does not know the Father exactly, nor does the Logos see the Father perfectly, and neither does he perceive nor the Logos understand the Father exactly; for he is not the true and only Logos of (the) Father, but by a name alone he is called Logos and Sophia and by grace is called Son and Power. (ibid., p.9)
So here the ontological relation between the Father and Son is shattered in Arianism as the Athanasians see it, so that no natural knowledge or perception between Father and Son or indeed between any father and son can be presupposed or built on. The son is a creature. Just as with all other creatures, no direct analogia entis can exist between the sovereignly free creator whose modus operandi is by his will and the creatures who exist at his pleasure (idem.).
Thus it is held that Eusebius of Nicomedia’s argumentation denies that God’s nature can be deduced from his effects, whether from rebellious sons (Isa. 1:2), inconstant creatures (Deut. 32:18) or drops of dew (Job 38:28).
For the Athanasians, the position is simply put by Alexander as:
It must be seen that the sonship of our Saviour has no community with the sonship of the rest [of the people]. (ibid p.8).
This position derives from the comment “the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:16,18). The word here is ... monogenes, meaning “only-born,” and there is a subtle and distinct difference. This is fundamental to the metaphysical propositions alluded to above where the Arians understood the concept that “you must be born again.” The Athanasians saw that the Arians held believers to be sons. The process of begettal was by baptism and the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit after repentance. For this reason baptism was not conferred until adulthood and Augustine himself complied with this practice (see article “Augustine,” Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1907). The introduction of infant baptism was seen as absurd within this schema. The heavenly Sons of God were begotten and the elect were begotten of the spirit. Christ was the onlyborn Son of God. The mistranslation is an obfuscation.
The concept begotten is from ... gennao, born or conceived, used in Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5: “My son this day have I ‘brought thee to the birth’,” and in Philemon 10 where relating to Onesimus it is translated as “whom I begat (have begotten) while in my chains.” The term anagennao or born again/reborn is used in 1Peter 1:3 where God the father “has re-born [= begotten] us again to a living hope,” and in 1Peter 1:23 as “born again.” As first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5), Christ was the ... prõtotokos, literally the first-begotten. However, it is translated at Romans 8:29 as the “first-born among many brethren.” This concept of birth is of the extension of the Spirit, and was avoided by the Athanasians in order to establish the soul doctrine and the concept of an eternally-existing Triune Godhead, a position which is limited and clearly not the concept.
The Arians correctly assumed that if Christ did not know all things then he could not be the proper Logos of God. That he plainly did not know all is evidenced from the comment at Mark 13:32 regarding the day and the hour of his return, where “no man knows, no neither the angels nor the son.”
Christ is therefore not omniscient. The Athanasians equally had to deny the fact and attach an allegorical significance, such as where he asked a question rhetorically in full knowledge of the answer (e.g. who men say he is; Mat. 16:13; and where Lazarus lay; Jn. 11:34). However, this option is not open to Athanasius regarding the above comment on the return, for if in fact it was deceptive then equally Christ cannot be God, since as the Logos he would have willed to lie and therefore commit sin.
This relative perception was stated by Arius as follows:
Let me say clearly how the Invisible is seen by the Son; by the power by which God [ho Theos] is able to see; in his own measure the Son submits [upomenei] to see the Father as is proper.” (ibid., p.10)
The Athanasians attribute a concept of Irenaeus to Arius. God is invisible and no man has seen God at any time (John 1:18). The Son was he who declared him. The son was therefore that entity termed the Angel of Redemption or YHVH of the Old Testament. From Exodus 33:20 no one will see even this entity and live when he “proclaimed the name of the Lord before them.” (v.19) From this the incarnation involved an alteration of this aspect and entails a relative manifestation of the spirit.
From Irenaeus: To be dependent on the will of God is to have proportionate knowledge of him, to the degree that he wills; and this is exactly the position stated by Christ. It was not for Christ to allocate positions on his right or left, but they were prepared by the Father (Mat. 20:23). Christ was directly subordinate to the will of the Father. From John 4:34 and 3:68;
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me,” and
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
From Luke 22:42, Christ also had a will but subordinated it to the Father. Therefore by choice he subordinates his will exercising free moral agency.
The One and the same spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills (1Cor. 12:11). Gregg and Groh say of this concept (at p.11):
What Arius apparently has in mind runs somewhat parallel to an old Christian anthropological scheme of the creature under the Spirit of God (indeed one who participates in the spirit) who is not given knowledge of God as he is in himself (Irenaeus says “his greatness” and “his ineffable glory”) and whose ability to see depends on the Father’s willing self-revelation (Arius: “by the power of which God sees;” Irenaeus: “God gives even this to men who love him, that is, seeing God”).
That the Son had a limited or proportionate experience of the Father seems to have indicated to Arius that Christ, like all other creatures, was cast in the role of an obedient servant living by faith in his Father.
The theories of Platonic conjunction with the One were opposed to a Theophanic revelation conditional to obedience. It is for this reason the early Christian schema was abandoned, not for any dictate of biblical narrative or logic.
3:4.2 Faith and Wisdom
Athanasius has correctly demonstrated that faithful has its accepted sense (of obedient), and conversely from God to man it carries the concept of trustworthiness. Hebrews 3:2a states that Christ was “faithful to him that made him”. The word made here is ... poieo to make or do, and has a wide application. The translation “appointed” is an obvious construction to avoid the concept of the son being made. The original meaning was certainly made and is preserved in the debate as recorded by Athanasius in the second “Oration.” It is noted by Gregg and Groh that Arius used the word faithful to qualify this verb made which literally is faithful to the one making him (ibid., p.11). All Athanasians since, Catholic and Protestant, ignore the concept made, more recently translating it as appointed.
Athanasius is quoted as saying:
“‘Who is faithful to him that made him’ does not imply likeness [thnomoiothta] to other men, nor that believing, he became well pleasing.” That the divine son was a “faithful” creature, that is to say that he exercised faith (believing fidelity) in his creator, was totally abhorrent to Athanasius. (ibid.)
For the Athanasians:
If the Hebrews text was to be understood at all, it could not be taken to refer to the “essence of the word” but had to be a reference to the Word’s incarnation. Nothing could be further from the Arian picture of the Christ. (ibid., p.12)
From there the debate polarized, each group explaining the doctrine from its own presuppositions. The Arians explained salvation and the Christ by drawing the closest possible links between him and humanity. Athanasius and Alexander set Christ as far off as possible from all other creatures.
The Athanasians had adopted an incoherence of philosophical Platonism and applied it to Christian doctrine. They further did not understand that the divine essence, “the Logos,” was once centrally an attribute of God, and that the entity Jesus Christ did not exist. It was from His Omniscience that Eloah willed to create and from His Omnipotence that He spoke. He spoke as utilizing His divine essence, the Logos, and from the replication or establishment of the Logos as a separate entity He began to create as an exercise of His will, hence Revelation 4:11.
From the union of the spirit emanating from God, the communication of the plan and hence knowledge was disseminated and unfolded. The Logos therefore began creation with knowledge proportional to the will of God. From this emanation of the logos as an entity the creation of the spiritual order began. As it disseminated from the centrality of Eloah, it follows that the highest orders of spirit were logically prior to the ultimate simples from which the material creation was effected.
Now if this process were diffusive, then it follows that the Logos as the Mediator of the Elohim was their initiator as a simultaneous function, as Eloah (from Augustine’s arguments above) existed in His abiding perpetuity, and it was from the movement of the Elohim that times began.
The Athanasian position emphasized the ontological commonality between Father and Son. The essential divinity of the saviour ensured his knowing and seeing:
Nothing of the divine Logos or Sophia could be lost in the process of the Son’s becoming incarnate, because divine nature by definition admits of no gains or losses. (ibid., p.13)
When the Arians argued for a redeemer that exercised faith, Athanasius countered with an assertion of the essential unchangeability of the Son (using [analloiõtos] and its verb to interpret and control the [pistos] of Hebrews 3:2):
Therefore reasonably the apostle, discoursing concerning the bodily presence of the Word, says, an “apostle and faithful to him that made him”, pointing out that even when becoming man, “Jesus Christ”, “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) is unalterable. [analloiõtos]. (ibid., p.13)
His unchangeability, for the orthodox, removed Him ontologically from the realm of moral and ethical choice:
If the redeemer was allowed to choose between options, they divined, how could anyone be sure he chose rightly in the face of the stratagems of the devil and the limitations of human life. Therefore from the very beginning of the Arian controversy, the Alexandrian bishops took the unchangeability of the Son as a fixed plank in their platform against Arius. (ibid., p.13)
This argument is logically absurd as it necessarily entails a limitation on Omniscience which defeats their initial premises and follows into other areas such as the relativity of divine nature.
The Arians conversely emphasized the Son’s free moral choice and this is the position that follows from scriptural exegesis. Arius’ position on the Logos was written in the Thalia as follows:
The unbegun [anarcos] made [etheke] the son as a beginning of the creatures [tõn genetõn] (cf. Proverbs 8:22a). And having made this one he advanced [etheke] [him] for a son [eis uion] to himself. (ibid., p.23)
This section in proverbs relates to Wisdom where at verse 22, “The lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old”. Before the world was created, wisdom was created and was beside the Eternal “like a master workman and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always” (verse 30).
The concept refers ostensibly to Wisdom, yet Arius holds that this passage must refer to the Logos and the Unbegun. The reason is simple. Wisdom is a subsidiary attribute of God following from Omniscience. If this is to be taken as the creation of an attribute of God then here is an instance of self-creation, hence establishing absolute creation. More importantly, it asserts the creation of an attribute which must be instantiated in the Divine Essence if a series of ontological absurdities is not to follow. God would not be unchanging nor would he proceed from an eternal plan, or else it is a plan formed without wisdom.
The comment at verse 35 would obviously have been the key for Arius. “For he who finds me finds life”, and obtains favour from YHVH. From this, the Logos as the personification of wisdom was the beginning of creation. Wisdom is traditionally referred to in the female form in the ancient world. Its application in Proverbs in the female is to establish the perfect balance of Wisdom and Faith, of the male and the female, abiding in the Logos and demonstrating the asexuality of the Sons of God.
3:4.3 Men and The Divine Nature
The comment at 2Peter 1:4 of men becoming partakers of the divine nature was not understood by Athanasius in the original intention. From John 1:12, “but to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become Sons of God.”
Arius had understood that man by perfection and partaking in the divine nature would become God. The Arians/Eusebians saw from God’s words “I have begotten and raised up sons” that there were multiple sons. The Athanasians furiously retorted as Alexander points out, “and they have rebelled against me”. The rebellions have been in heaven and on earth.
The destiny of man to become Sons of God in replacement of the fallen host (or supplement, as they have not as yet been judged), had been partly understood only just over one hundred years previously by Irenaeus, who knew that believers were identified as [theoi], and this derived from Old and New testament exegesis. Irenaeus says of this:
There is none other called God by the scriptures except the Father of all and the Son, and those who possess the adoption. (ibid., p.68)
The Arians saw that John 17:11 “that they may be one as we are” meant that the unity Christ shared with God was the unity the elect shared with God. Man required the spirit of adoption to attain eternal life as no entity would be permitted eternal life save those in union with God as the Sons of God.
To Athanasians this was scandalous, as they did not understand the concept of the Sons of God. They had adopted the soul doctrine from the Mysteries and thus believed that they were eternal, living after death as spirits. They also had rigidified the Godhead into a Trinity which had an eternal existing ontological relationship of Father and Son, a relationship that Arius correctly saw as absurd.
The Divine Essence or Logos was, moreover, reduced to a person, and the early church saw it absurd to claim that he was not human. As Christ increased in wisdom and in stature (Lk. 2:52), he could not have been a complete manifestation of the divine essence. Also, if the spirit was a separate entity then Christ, from Luke 1:35, could not be the Son of God but was the Son of the Holy Spirit. If Christ was the totality of the essence then he could not be separate from the spirit as the son.
The Logos, therefore, was equally part of the divine essence emanating from Eloah. As Christ was the Logos or divine essence, it would follow that Christ was father of himself if the essence was not capable of differentiation. The ontology must therefore be that the spirit emanates from God the Father or Eloah. It created and animated the spiritual realm and is capable of creating and animating human entities. It proceeds to animate those entities in conformity to the will and nature of Eloah. It animates the elohim as sons of God. We are to become elohim (Zech. 12:8; Jn 10:34-35) and Scripture cannot be broken.
The Athanasian or orthodox soteriological structure is also fundamentally absurd in the sequence of soul-body-soul-resurrected body-destruction or soul. It logically imputes motives to God that impugn his nature. The incoherences emerge from preceding and successive arguments.
3:5 The Elohim and Free Moral Agency
If the Elohim as spiritual beings are possessed of the nature of God, and if the argument put forward by Athanasius is coherent (that divine nature admits of no gains or losses), it follows that Satan, as a Morning Star of the Elohim, could not sin. This position is absurd. Augustine attempted to overcome the problem by asserting the creation ex nihilo so that only something created out of nothing could sin by falling away from God. But this does not address the animating essence. God cannot sin because he wills not to sin as it is contrary to his nature.
The divine essence, as the Logos, is an aspect of the spirit of God and as such conveys necessarily a knowledge of Good and Evil; otherwise God would not be Omniscient and therefore would also be amoral. Creation and Law would hence be arbitrary, and this is absurd (from Russell above).
The law is not disembodied but logically prior to the creation of the entity, the concepts of which flow from the nature of God. The Logos had the free moral agency to sin, but willed not to just as Eloah wills not to sin and the Morning Stars will not to sin. Christ is thus not a begraced creature but a human and spiritual co-existent. He grew in wisdom and stature and died because he emptied himself of his spirituality at that point.
The concept of obliterating spiritual sin by sinless sacrifice was a fulfilment of prophecy, or in other words, of the plan of redemption. The soteriological view of the expulsion of evil appears below.
Originally Azazel through pride willed to sin and rebelled against the Most High, attempting to usurp his function. The Bible states that by subtlety he deceived one third of the host and commenced a war in the heavens which still persists. He is however currently confined to this planet and, from Revelation, he will cease to rule at the return of the Messiah. The traditions of an Astral battle are widespread in history. They occur in Judges 5:20; Isaiah 14:12; Daniel 8:10; in Seneca, Consolatio ad Marcium 26:6; Hercules furens 944-52; Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38.347-409; and in the Sibylline Oracles 5:212.
Why then is Azazel or Satan allowed to influence mankind? How do we account for evil? Does God allow it or is he not omnipotent? Did he not foresee this or is he not omniscient?
3:6 Pantheism versus Transcendent Monotheism
3:6.1 The Sons of God, and a Continuity Argument
Harnack in his History of Dogma (English tr. Vol. IV) at the beginning of his chapter on Arianism asked these questions of the Philosophy of this religion:
Is the Divine which appeared on the earth and has made its presence actively felt, identical with the supremely Divine that rules heaven and earth? Did the Divine which appeared on earth enter into a close and permanent union with human nature; so that it has actually transfigured it and raised it to the plane of the eternal?
Foakes-Jackson in his article on Arianism (E.R.E., Vol. 1, p.786) draws attention to these points of Harnack and states: “Arianism declared God to be unknowable and the Son completely detached from Him”. He also states:
If Jesus Christ existed from eternity, and is Head of a Kingdom which shall have no end, if indeed he is to be worshipped as God, then the Nicene doctrine is true, and he is of one substance with the Father. (ibid.)
These comments from the foregoing are misstatements which could at best be only partly true.
Comments on Arian philosophy have been made by Athanasian historians and often are simply untrue. Those of Bright (DCB i 197) quoted by Foakes-Jackson are false. He says:
The Arian Party in AD 360 “was in a position too plainly artificial to be permanent” and on the death of Constantius on 3 Nov 361, revealed its inherent weakness. Rome and the West at once returned to adherence to the Nicene faith as though the council of Ariminum had never assembled. (ibid., p.780)
The fact is that the Athanasians never had control of Rome on any permanent basis until they seized control at the Council of Constantinople in 381 [CE] with the military support of Theodosius himself the first Athanasian Emperor.
The Lombards were entirely Unitarian (termed Arian) until the close of the sixth century “and even in the days of St. Gregory the Great, Autharis, their king, forbade any of his Lombards to give their children Catholic baptism.” Only on his death did his Catholic born wife, who remained Queen of the Lombards, on her remarriage to Duke Agilulf, succeed in introducing Catholicism (ibid., p.784).
The issue whilst one of flawed logic amongst the clergy was simple in the minds of the laity: Monotheism versus Polytheism. According to Gregory of Tours (IX 15) the Visigoths were subjected to an arranged disputation between the concepts in 587 [CE]., organized by Reccared the son of Leovigild who declared himself Catholic after this dispute on his ascension. He held the Famous Third Council of Toledo in 589 [CE] “at which 67 bishops and only five nobles were present” (ibid.).
Twenty-three anathemas were pronounced against Arianism. Of interest to the argument above are: the third, which declares the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son; the seventh, against those who maintain that the son is ignorant of anything; and the ninth, against declaring that the son in his Godhead was ever visible. The sixteenth condemned the Arian Synod of Toledo of 581 [CE] (ibid.).
The seventh and ninth anathemas were necessary to counteract the flawed logic of the trinitarians.
The seventh had to counteract the declaration by Christ himself that he did not know when he would return, a matter which only Eloah (Ho Theos; or ton Theon) the Father knew. Hence Christ was not omniscient and logically could not be God, but rather was a subordinate entity carrying the name of God as the Theos and Logos, as he carried the title Elohim and YHVH as the Angel of Redemption in the Old Testament.
The ninth was necessary as the entity of the Old Testament was an Elohim who became visible and wrestled with Jacob, calling his name Israel. Jacob named the place Peniel, “for, said he, I have seen God (Elohim) face to face and my life is preserved”.
This Elohim however is plainly identified as the Angel of Redemption or the Angel of YHVH, bearing the name of YHVH or Elohim as a subordinate entity. John plainly says at chapter 1:18 that no man has ever seen God (Theon), but rather that Theos declared him. From these points the Athanasian Christology of the Trinity could not logically stand, and any academic with a knowledge of the Old and New Testaments in the Hebrew and Greek, as they were then written (as well as Latin and Gothic), would have seen the absurdity of its position.
The fact that they did indeed expose the illogic of the Athanasian position is attested to by the necessity of the anathemas. The entire structure of Athanasian Trinitarianism rests on a logical absurdity involving false premises and mistranslations.
From the Council and the above points it is obvious that Unitarianism (so-called Arianism) was a very major force. They were really converted only by the conquests of the Salien Franks who systematically stifled debate. By force they converted the Goths, Vandals, Heruli, Teutons, Burgundians and Lombards on a progressive basis. The British were converted under agreement at Whitby in 664 [CE] by threat of force from the Anglo-Saxons, after the conversion of the latter in 597 [CE]. (Stephen Neill, Anglicanism, Pelican, London, 1965) (cf. The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268), CCG, 1998,2000).
The controversy was seen in simple terms by these tribes as enunciated by one of the Arian Kings, Gundobald the Burgundian, who refused “to worship three Gods” (ibid., p.782). This essential definition was the root of the issue and the Athanasian faction were so pressed by the laity’s rejection that they were forced to modify notions of the Godhead. Foakes-Jackson admitted the error of his earlier notions (expressed in Cambridge Theological Essays, p.500) of the inferiority of the Arian Theology of the “Barbarians.” He asserted later that the “Arianism of the Visigoths, Lombards, Vandals, etc. was no more than a phase in the ecclesiastical struggle between the Teutonic and the Roman conceptions of Christianit” (ibid., p.783).
Bethune-Baker was to say of the modifications required to Athanasian notions of the Godhead:
By the 4th century it was becoming clear that the only solution of the problem was to be found in a distinction inside the divine unity; It was necessary to revise the idea of divine personality and to acknowledge not three individuals but three eternal aspects of the Divine. (Chr Docto, p.157) (This was done by making a distinction between ousia and upostasis ) (ibid., p.780)
The philosophical issues here are of significance. The concept of a duality and trinity raises some issues and distinctions between monotheism, polytheism, and monism. They may be dealt with by examining some premises of the Sorites, and rearranging them as a continuity argument. The article by M. F. Burnyeat entitled “Gods and Heaps” in Language & Logos: Studies in Ancient Greek Philosophy (Ed. by Malcolm Schofield and Martha Nussbaum, Cambridge University Press, 1983) is useful in examining the matter.
In examining a pantheon we come up against the early Stoic Sorite structure of which both the Athanasians and Arians were aware. In answering how many Gods are required to make up a pantheon we see that from Diogenes Laertius:
It is not the case that two are few and three are not also; it is not the case that these are and four are not also (and so on up to ten thousand). But two are few: therefore ten thousand are also. (D L, VII 82).
The arguments, as Burnyeat points out, are that the intermediate premises are exhibited not as a series of conditionals “which is the usual ancient practice, but as a series of negated conjunctions of the form ‘not both p and not q’ “ (Burnyeat, p.321).
The first Stoic indemonstrable (Modus Ponens) by repeated application recasts the argument into one which can be analysed by repeated application of the third indemonstrable plus double negation. Burnyeat asserts that “rather he is urging for present purposes Philo’s interpretation of the Conditional, whereby ‘if p then q’ is true if and only if it is not the case that ‘p’ is true and ‘q’false; in our terms he is telling us to take the premises as material implications.” Free of modern intuitionism the argument may be simplistic.
The Dualist and Trinitarian arguments were predicated on the premise that two Gods are few for a pantheon, which is an implicitly quantitative notion. Burnyeat asserts that the Stoic, in this context, was no further advanced than the Empiric. He does contend, however, that
The difference between the Stoic and the Empiric is that the former denies what the latter allows, that the quantitative analysis of these notions supplies a conceptual backing for the Sorite’s premises. That is the claim simplified by rejecting the Sunartesis Conditional in favour of the Philonian. Or to put it another way, the Stoic does not agree that three are few because two are few. (ibid., p.323)
[The so-called Sunartesis (connection or cohesion) reading of the conditional, whereby ‘if p then q’ is true if and only if ‘p’and ‘not q’ are incompatible, is derived from Cic.Fat. 11-16 as discussed by Burnyeat, op. cit.]
Hence, Stoic logic does not accept that there are conceptual or semantic pressures on us to accept the premises of a Sorite, refusing “for the very cases where the idea is most compelling, because of the patently quantitative nature of the predicates involved” (ibid., p.324).
From the book of Chrysippus (D. L. VII 192, 197), “On Sorites Arguments Against Words,” it appears that “at least some Sorite arguments are viewed as attacking language; in modern terms, they purport to show that certain predicates are incoherent” (ibid.). Further,
Insofar as one is to judge by the definition of F there can be no F. Consequently the extent that Chrysippus is a critic of the Sorites, to that extent he defends our language against the Sorites, to that extent he defends our language against Eublides’ intention.
To the extent he is successful, there is nothing wrong with the predicate (in this case) Pantheon, and it would be wrong to claim conceptual validity for the premises propounded above.
Cicero attacked this form of Stoic Logic, saying, “The nature of things has given us no knowledge of boundaries so that in any case we could determine how far to go; In no wise can we say how much is to be added or subtracted for us to answer definitely” (Acad. 11 92).
It follows from a continuity argument resulting from a readjustment of the Sorite premise that if the Son is allowed as absolute God identical with the Father, then there is no valid logical reason for not assuming that the Morning Stars and all the elect are also permissibly included in the term’God’ without being conceptually Pantheistic or Polytheistic. The implications of Stoic Logic were obvious to Arius and Athanasius and the controversy often revolved around refuting certain premises or adopting accusative positions. In this sense Cicero has used Logic to turn it against itself and demonstrate the incapacity of our reason to show what is true and what is false (Acad. 11 93 init; cf 95 init; following Burnyeat p.325).
The fixing of boundaries is problematic in the case of the Pantheon. Burnyeat uses the 2nd Century [BCE]. argument on the Gods, put forward by the Academic Carneades in Sorites form (Soritikos), “So Sextus Empiricus puts it (M IX 182; Sorites 190) and Sextus is drawing on Carneades’ friend and eventual successor, Clitomachus” (ibid., p.326).
The argument quoted from Sextus is as follows:
If Zeus is a God, Poseidon is also a God: Brethren, three were we; all children of Cronos and Rhea, Zeus and Myself and Hades, the third with the Shades for his kingdom. All things were parted in three, and each hath his share of the glory. So that if Zeus is a God, Poseidon also, being his brother, will be a God. And if Poseidon is a God Achelus too will be a God; and if Achelus, Neilos; and if Neilos, every river as well, and if every river the streams also will be Gods; and if the streams, the forests: but the forests are not Gods; neither then is Zeus a God. But if there had been Gods, Zeus would have been a God. Therefore there are no Gods. Further, if the sun is God, day will also be God; for day is nothing else than the sun above the earth. And if day is God, the month too will be God. And if the month is God, the year too will be God; for the year is a composite made up of months, for it is a composite made up of days.
But this is not <true>; neither then is the original supposition. And besides they say, it is absurd to declare that the day is God, but not the dawn and midday and the evening. (M ix 182-4, tr Bury from Burnyeat, op. cit.).
Burnyeat points out that the conditionals in Eubulide’s argument accumulate automatically, one after another in virtue of the general principle. Carneades seems to build his argument step by step and Cicero mixes conditionals with questions, demonstrating the probable technique, but Burnyeat holds that Sextus shows us how it all adds up. The successive conditionals do not derive from a single general principle but from justificatory grounds that Carneades had to supply, and the justification stated or suggested varies within the argument.
Why is Poseidon a god if Zeus is a god? Because we have it in the unimpeachable authority of Homer that they are brothers. Why is Achelous a god if Poseidon is? Because they are both masses of water. (Poseidon the sea; Achelous a large river in Aetolia). Why is the Nile a god if Achelous is? Because they are both rivers, and so on. General principles are stated or implied. Every river is a god; all children of Cronus and Rhea are Gods. But no one principle will take us all the way through the argument (ibid., p.228).
Burnyeat here gives his most useful analogy.
If X deserves treatment T, and Y does not differ significantly from X in features relevant to deserving T, then Y deserves T.
He does not
think it is an objection to this formulation that there may be an overlapping series of features, F1, F2, Fn such that (i) if one is asked why X deserves T (why X is a god, a person, needy) the first thing one would mention is F1 (X is a son of Cronos and Rhea), but (ii) what persuades one that Y also deserves T is a resemblance between X and Y in respect of F2 (ibid., pp.328-9).
For Burnyeat second and third count as well as and sometimes more than first thoughts. “It is an illusion to think one can say straight off exactly why X deserves T, and it may be an illusion to think that one can ever say it with finality. For it may be that what strikes one about X and again about Y, as relevant to its deserving T is itself something that gets modified when someone sets a new case beside the old” (ibid).
From this point we can now examine the nature of the biblical Godhead and the validity of Pantheism or Polytheism. From our previous analysis it is evident that the structure of the spirit is an extended Godhead of subordinate deities within the will of Eloah. The position has been reached where one must be compelled to reject the Athanasian account of the Trinity and the structure of the spirit in favour of an account where the second, third, fourth and subsequent entities are limited in power and knowledge; therefore not only is there nothing in principle against the Godhead being extended to include the Elohim and by adoption humans, but we are logically compelled by the structure and narrative to follow such a coherent approach. The Athanasian/Arian disputes are fundamental to a proper understanding of this triunal position.
3:6.2 The Union of the Holy Spirit
From Foakes-Jackson’s comments on Arianism above at the commencement of 3:6.1, it can be seen that the perceptions of the Arian and Athanasian groups were wrong. The Arians, if Foakes-Jackson is to be accepted, err in the assertion that the son was completely detached from Eloah, the Father; and the Athanasians err in their misapprehension of the ontological structure of the Godhead and its limitation to the Triune system.
We have seen that two or more entities can exist without assuming the characteristics of a quantitative structure, i.e. a Pantheon, and similarly that Multiple Deities are Pantheistic/Polytheist.
The difference lies in the structure of Burnyeat’s analysis. God is One, the existence of multiple entities is afforded the qualitative factor, nominal Gods, by being of one substance with the central entity God, i.e. being of one substance with the Father. For Christ, this was of a complexity not afforded to humans until Pentecost and then only on a relative basis, although Melchisedek was a facsimile or a copy of the Son of God (from [aphõmoiõmenos]; Hebrews 7:3). (See The New Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, entry 871, pp.89-90); (cf. Cox, Melchisedek (No. 128), CCG, 1995, 1998).
Perfection sees God as “all in all,” and the human species is progressed by virtue of the essence of God, called the Holy Spirit, into a family of the Sons of God, with the Heavenly Host, where the multiple structure exists as one structure “being in the form of God, but not attempting to seize equality with God” (See Expositor’s Greek Tesatament). The Elohim of the human originating group of the Bene Elohim is Christ as the ... kurios or controller; the leader or king (translated as Lord) or the ... despotes, the absolute ruler.
The concept of individual spirits not in unity under the will of one entity must ultimately be Polytheistic. The soul doctrine must therefore be a doctrine of polytheism as it allows for an eternal structure of spirit not in union with the core and created ex nihilo, not being in possession of the nature of God. It is thus that two or more entities possessed of wills not subordinate must be pantheistic (as illusory Monism) or polytheistic.
The original structure of the Sons of God allowed for the exercise of will. Azazel and some of the host chose to exercise this power in rising above the will of the Most High, establishing a structure which must ultimately and logically be divisive and hence Polytheistic. That they had this power was a necessary extension of the knowledge of good and evil attendant upon the divine essence. The destruction of spirits seems rather more involved than the simple death of a material structure. The human resurrection is not the reunification of a spiritual and physical essence, but rather the restoration of an ideatum from the idea within the mind of God. The soul doctrine is unnecessary, and ontologically it and Cartesian Dualism must be either Polytheistic or else illusory Monism.
As explained previously, Cartesian Dualism provides for the creation of an individual soul, which has the capacity for extremes of good and bad to the levels of unrepentant evil. The creation of an eternal entity, which is logically polytheist by being intractably external to the will of God, is philosophically inconvenient. It further impugns the nature of God by creating a more complicated structure requiring a more involved process of destruction.
If the eternal soul can be dealt with in the end spiritual state, then the intermediary state is a logical absurdity and God is again impugned. If the structure of the soul is coexistent with evil then the structure of evil is incoherent and necessarily impugns the omnipotence of God, in that divisions within the structure of the Godhead and the God Family are inbuilt, instituting division and conflict which are logically opposed to unity.
The continuing existence of the Fallen Host argues against such a soul concept in view of all that is contained herein. Azazel and the fallen host did not lose their entity of being when they chose to rebel, but they were limited in power. From Einstein’s proposition of space, time, gravity, matter and energy being equivalent expressions of a single fundamental essence, it follows that a reduction in power in any aspect of energy or area necessarily involves a reduction in time. To limit Azazel’s time necessarily limits his power.
3:6.3 Satan and Pantheism
The question which is metaphysically the most puzzling to the human species is why were Azazel and the fallen host not destroyed prior to the creation of the new replacement host? We know biblically that Azazel has been judged. At John 16:1-11 Christ says that the Comforter will come and convict the world in respect of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. “Of judgement, because the Prince of this world hath been judged” (v.11).
The Comforter does not speak from itself but relays concepts from the Godhead. The concept of “taking of mine (Christ’s) and shall declare it unto you” indicates division or channelling of control. It appears therefore that the spirit is a diffusive entity which binds the Bene Elohim to their Elohim or Morning Star and hence to Eloah or God the Father.
The Fallen Host are not judged yet, but are to be judged by the Elect as of their contemporaries, i.e. the Sons of God, but in their case those of the earthly origin. (At 1Cor. 6:2-3 the saints shall judge the world and angels, here referring to the fallen host).
If Satan has been judged and the judgement of the host reserved, then it follows that there has been no condemnation. It further follows that mercy on repentance must likewise be able to be extended to the host. The problem of evil is complex and is dealt with more completely in The Problem of Evil. The reason for allowing the existence of evil is however relatively more straightforward and could be stated as follows.
If a capacity for free moral agency exists, then the capacity to sin exists also. If an entity exercising such free moral agency does so by will and wills to sin, the entity then becomes detached from the God family or Union of the Spirit. As opposing wills therefore constitute a pantheon of polytheistic entities and entail the disruption of orderly operation inducing chaos, then the disruptive entities must be eliminated or else the execution of an eternal perfect plan by an omniscient and omnipotent God is impugned. God is thus, by Polytheism, not omnipotent or omniscient and therefore cannot allow Poly/Pantheist structures.
The allowance in the short term of a rebel and hence Poly/Pantheistic structure must be so that an example or growth process within the long-term unchanging plan of God could be effected.
The rebellion must therefore have been foreseen and allowed. The human species would necessarily have to be exposed to the effects of the rebellion, otherwise the latter would merely become a myth of the pre-Adamic host; hence the Adamic Host would be open to the same temptations, but without knowledge of consequence would probably sin.
Similarly, those who are righteous in their own eyes, as Job was, would be more prone to pride and self-elevation to the position of the Most High, not content to remain Elohim or the Sons of God. The full extent of the evils of the competitive system could not be viewed by the Host unless they saw the effect on creatures.
Interference with the creation and the results of war resulted in the earth becoming without form and void, i.e. becoming tohuw and bohuw.
But Isaiah said that the Lord did not create the earth in vain. Jeremiah says that the earth will become again without form and void, (or waste and void), ie. ... tohuw and ... bohuw (Jer. 4:23). The concept is waste and empty or desolate. Yet Jeremiah says the Lord will not make a full end this next time (4:27).
The inhabitants of the planet will almost destroy themselves under the rulership of Satan, and God will allow that destruction as a learning process. According to the biblical narrative, no flesh would be left alive if He did not intervene, but He will do so “for the elect’s sake,”in other words, to fulfill His purpose and plan as a unifying process of the God family.
After this the rebellious and unrepentant will be judged and destroyed. The biblical schema is quite different to anything understood by any single system on the planet to this date.
The ontological and philosophical structure is totally misunderstood and has been totally syncretised by mainstream Christian sects. The early religious animistic systems which stem from Chaldean religion and later Animistic Shamanism have created a sequence of Polytheist/Pantheist, Monist, and Pseudo-Monotheist structures which are also incoherent.
4:1 The Creation of Man
One of the greatest liabilities to the creation argument is that of the so‑called biblical fundamentalists who rigidly and dogmatically assert a creation in 4004 BC (on Ussher’s reconstruction of the ‘received’ chronology) or some like date in spite of all the evidence to the contrary and regardless of the words and logic of the Genesis account.
The dates from Adam to the Christian era range from the Jewish chronology of 3483 years, being the shortest, to the extended chronology constructed by direction of Alphonso of Castile at 6984 years (see ASV Bible Dictionary. p.18). A table of the period from Adam to the flood from the four ancient sources is as follows:
AGE AT BIRTH OF ELDEST SON
NOAH (to Deluge)
DELUGE (Anno Mundi)
Regardless of the correct time frame, no chronology accounts for the existence of the oldest human species demonstrated by current technology, and this is an issue which philosophical theology cannot avoid.
That there was a pre‑Adamic creation seems undeniable. The assertion, however, that this is contrary to the biblical narration does not stand up to scrutiny. One of the most fundamental errors of the theologians was that of Genesis chapter 1, verses 1‑2:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved (or was brooding) upon the face of the water. (American Standard Version).
The term, “was waste and void” does not denote a condition of creation, but rather a condition of destruction. The earth became tohuw and bohuw, or waste and void; it was not created that way (cf. Isaiah 45:18).
Creationists with no real understanding, therefore, began the earth clock from 4004 [BCE], contrary to all the evidence they possessed even then. Simply put, the earth has existed for many millions of years. The dinosaurs lived in relative stability for 135-165 million years then suddenly disappeared. Primates appeared on the planet some several million years ago and about twelve million years ago virtually disappeared with only a few surviving. Comparatively recently a whole new series of primate species appeared, apparently unconnected with the former. More recently, humanoid species have appeared and disappeared amid wholesale destruction of the planet’s species. Throughout the north in Russia and Alaska mass graves of mammoths, bison and extinct species of herbivores and carnivores are common. Catastrophists such as Velikovsky and Dankenbring assert that the world was inverted to bring about the catastrophes over successive periods. The Bible itself states that the world was turned upside down and this has been later been rendered as having its surface twisted (see above).
Regardless of the pros and cons of these arguments, we are more concerned with the explanations for such existence and such change which conform to reason or are not clearly absurd.
The Genesis story is a re‑creation story, not the total creation story. The gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is untold millions of years. The Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the waters because there had been a destruction of enormous proportions.
From the geological record we are left with a number of questions:
1. If God is unchanging and creates from an eternal unchanging plan, then he either;
a: planned the destructions on a repetitive basis; or,
b: His delegated Elohim, or Morning Star of earth, created and destroyed contrary to His plan; or
c: His anointed Morning Star of the Earth interfered with the creation forcing repetitive creation.
2. As the creations involve more than one form of humanoid, i.e. Neanderthal, Cro‑Magnon, and ourselves, the explanations must involve a creative source external to God. From the arguments on causation and creation, God creates from an eternal unchanging design and hence He cannot experiment. Were God to experiment then there is no reason to suppose that the species could not be removed as defective by accident, whim or caprice as previous species appear to have been. From His omnipotence and omniscience He would not make a defective product.
3. From His omniscience He would have known the outcome of each event and the interference with each action. He is therefore either not omniscient or not omnipotent, or He allowed the action for a further purpose of His plan.
But one hath testified saying,
What is man that thou art mindful of him?
Or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels
Thou crownest him with glory and honour
And didst set him over the works of thy hands.
The writer of Hebrews was quoting Psalm 8:4 ff. where the things put under His subjection are the creatures of land, sea and air: in other words, this planet; and from Hebrews 2:5 we see that the earth was not created so that the angels were to rule it, but rather man under the Son of Man as Sons of God. The word translated as angels at Hebrews 2:6 is the standard Greek word ("((,8@H) aggelos, or angel for messenger of God. This word however translates the Hebrew word in Psalm 8:5 for Gods, the Elohim. According to Clement of Alexandria (Eusebius, Hist.VI.14.4), Paul wrote Hebrews in Hebrew and Luke translated it into Greek. Although Origen states the ideas are Pauline, the expression and style come from somebody else. “Who really wrote the letter is known to God alone” (Eusebius, Hist. VI.25). Tertullian (De Pudicitia 20) advocates Barnabas as the author. This is mentioned by The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 2, p.572, which states that there is common agreement that Paul did not write the Epistle and that Hebrews was only accepted into the Bible after Athanasius’ listing in his 39th Easter letter and its acceptance by Augustine. Hebrews was however taken as Pauline until the Reformation when it was challenged by Erasmus. The Tridentine Council (8 April 1546) decided it was Pauline but allowed Paul may not have given it its final form.
The concept of the Elohim could not be conveyed in the Greek using the Theos without tedious explanation of the concept. If Clement is correct and Luke did translate it into the Greek he obviously chose the word for messenger rather than attempt to convey the concept of the Elohim, as the detailed distinction from Pantheistic thought would have been necessary. The concept here is that the Elohim is a plurality for which the angels is an equivalent term in their higher orders. As Elohim was the creator then it follows that the entities of that order had limited or delegated powers of creation.
4:1.1 Pre‑Adamic Humanoids
David Pilbeam, in his article “Human Origins and Evolution” in Origins, The Darwin College Lectures (Ed. by A.C. Fabian, Cambridge, 1988, p.111) says of human development, commencing from Homo Erectus, the first hominid species to achieve a wide distribution outside Africa:
H. Erectus and its industries lasted from over 1.5 my ago to less than 0.5 my ago without much change, implying a degree of behavioural stability which was surprising when it first became apparent to paleoanthropologists. Around 0.3 my ago, hominids with somewhat larger brains (1100-1300 cm3) and slightly differently shaped skulls began to appear: so‑called archaic Homo Sapiens; Overall they were still very similar to H.Erectus. To distinguish them from us, the Modern Homo Sapiens, the archaic modifier is added. The best known archaic sapiens came from Europe and West Asia: the Neanderthals.
However, despite their sapient label, despite attempts to “launder” them, I do not think they should be called Homo Sapiens because morphologically, and by inference, behaviourly they differ markedly from modern humans.
Pilbeam goes on to say (pp.112-3):
A substantial evolutionary change comes between archaic and modern Homo Sapiens. It occurred over the period between 130 ty and 30 ty ago, ending with the appearance of humans like us, with less massive skeletons, less muscular bodies, rounder heads and flatter faces. Judging from their archeological traces, their behavioural potential was also like ours by at least 35 ty ago. The cause of this last major change in human evolution is obscure, and there is considerable disagreement about its tempo and mode, when and where it happened and what micro evolutionary pattern was followed. With these modern humans we get the first evidence for recognizably modern behaviour patterns of many kinds; from cave painting and sculpture, to sophisticated tools and elaborately planned co‑operative hunting, to increased population size and density and broadened geographical and ecological range. It is here, finally, that all the truly “human” characters come together for the first time.
Pilbeam states that “many ‘human’ qualities seem to have evolved surprisingly late, which is one of the most interesting consequences of recent work” (ibid., p.114).
According to Brian M. Fagan (People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory, 5th Ed., Little Brown & Co. Boston, 1986, pp.128ff), the Neanderthals are recognised as a subspecies of Homo Sapiens who first appeared during the Eem inter glacial period, i.e. around 100,000 or less years ago.
The finds at Petralorna in Greece dates between 300 and 400 ty ago, and the Aragas cave find has yielded skulls and jaws which seem anatomically intermediate between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens. These date to around 250 ty ago and the Swanscombe skull between 200‑250 ty ago. Coupled with the finds of Steinheim in Germany it is suggested that this indicated that the transition to Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis was completed by 100,000 years ago.
There seems little doubt that Cro‑Magnon man or what are termed early modern humans and Neanderthals co‑existed on the planet. According to Sarah Bunney (writing in New Scientist, “Science,” 20 Jan 1990), “Skeletal remains provide good evidence of early modern humans in Israel (Qatzeh and Skhul Caves) between 100,000 and 90,000 years ago. By at least 43,000 years ago, populations of modern people had reached southern and central Europe.” New Scientist, “Science,” issues of 26 Nov 1987 and 25 Feb 1988, held that in the Middle East, the two forms (of Neanderthal and Cro‑Magnons) may have co‑existed for tens of thousands of years.
According to James Bischoff, from the use of new dating techniques, it appears that early modern people reached the Spanish L’Arbreda Cave in Catalonia and El Castillo Cave in Cantabria around 40,000 years ago (Journal of Archeological Science, Vol. 16, pp.563 and 577).
Both caves had previously been used by Neanderthals. Neanderthal tool technology is known as Mousterian, Cro‑Magnon is known as Aurignacian; and where skeletal evidence is absent the tool types are taken as evidence of type. Some archaeologists, including Paul Mellars of Cambridge, argue however that Neanderthals acquired, through contact with more modern humans or independently, the trademarks of the Aurignacian (Current Anthropology, Vol. 30, p.349).
Regardless of the academic debate and the absolute accuracy of the dating, there is no doubt that two humanoid species existed on the planet prior to the biblical creation of Adam some six thousand years ago. Bischoff and his colleagues hold that the Neanderthal Middle Paleolithic technology ended around 40,000 years ago. In the L’Arbreda Cave, the Aurignacian are preceded without any break by Mousterian or Middle Paleolithic tools. This position is supported by evidence from the Abric Romani rock shelter near Barcelona.
These findings revise the accepted textbook datings backward from 35,000 years. As technology improves it confirms or extends the time frame, not reduces it. The difficulty in confirming dates accurately beyond 40,000 years is the limit of carbon dating techniques to that time scale. Thermo‑luminescence and other datings go back some hundreds of thousands of years.
The site at El Castillo has a layer of sediment half a metre thick separating the Mousterian from the Aurignacian, indicating disuse over time or siltation by catastrophe. According to Bunney, “In southwestern France and along the northernmost coast of Spain, as in the Middle East, there are signs that modern people and Neanderthals lived side by side for a time. There is no abrupt transition as at L’Arbreda.” Evidence of this is also drawn from the distinctive Chatelpertonian technology which shows features of both Mousterian and Aurignacian. A good example of it was found with a Neanderthal skeleton at Saint‑CÄsaire in Charente‑Maritime. Stone‑tool technology continued over many thousands of years until those such as the Kartan disappeared some 4,000+ years ago (see Ronald Lampart, The Great Kartan Mystery, ANU, 1981).
4:1.2 Explaining the Sequence
The existence of three separate species without any evidence of intermediary mutants or changes does not argue that one evolved from the other; indeed, it argues the reverse. The absence of mutant change in Homo Erectus from 1.5 my ago to 0.5 my ago and the emergence of a distinct species 300,000 (‑) years ago in the case of the Neanderthals, and 35-40,000 or more years ago in the case of Cro‑Magnon, with no mutants either differing or deleterious being found indicates a stable genetic structure with a secondary structure imposed on the first. The Adamic origin some 6,000 years ago argues for a third. Although anthropologists do not accept that Cro‑Magnon was a separate species to modern man, rather another sub‑category. This raises some interesting philosophical questions about the creation.
We have seen that God cannot experiment, but rather creates from a constant plan. We have further seen that from his omniscience God could not create a defective product as that would be injurious or impugn His nature. From what we know of H. Erectus the species was not humanoid in any sense that we would now accept as necessarily characteristic, and it therefore seems that these species were destroyed by some event or removed to make way for the later forms.
From God’s omniscience, He would have foreseen the destructions and replacements and therefore they would have been purposeless save for a maintenance or zoological function. The gap between Erectus and the Neanderthals would have entailed no learning process or mechanism of care as a character development. The Neanderthals appear to have been cannibals, although possibly ritually. In like manner the overlapping of two species, Neanderthals and Cro‑Magnons, implies conflict (without any direct evidence) with the inevitable elimination of one.
And God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it (Genesis 1:27-28a).
The Adamic creation was as a re‑creation to replenish the earth. The word here is (!-/) mâlê’ to fill; in the broad usage it has also the sense of refill. This term is used again to Noah at Genesis 9:1:
God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them. Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Jerusalem Bible) or replenish the earth (American Standard Version).
The injunction to Noah was in the same terms as that given to Adam and does not preclude a pre‑existent host or (!"7) tsâbâ.
Moreover, the co‑existence of the Adamic group with others is implicit in the comments to Cain on his slaying of Abel. On standard accounts he and Adam plus Eve and possibly some sisters were the only ones alive on the planet. Cain is not only worried about being hidden from God’s face but rather about becoming a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth:
And it will come to pass that whosoever findeth me will slay me (Genesis 4:14).
And the Lord appointed a sign for him lest any finding him should smite him. Then he dwelt in the land of Nod (Nôwd) ($&1) (from Nôwd SHD 5110, 5112, an exile or wanderer).
It is possible that the term exile derives from this term for the land of Nod as the word is not the prime root but rather the name as it was for the land. The indications are that there were other people extant. Who were they?
4:2 Philosophical Aspects of Evolution
It is now worthwhile examining whether the process of evolution is open to God as a legitimate creative tool arising from His nature.
From previous discussion it should follow that God cannot create from other than an eternal plan. The use of an arbitrary mechanism where random fluctuations of genetic structure produce multiple variations of species, some of which are more fit than others to survive, and where adaptation occurs over a long period, is not open to an omniscient omnipotent God, the creation being perfect in accordance with an omniscient plan.
This situation, however, does not appear to be the case, as known to science at any rate. There is a general disagreement as to the sequence of development of the homo groups. The traditional view has been that it was gradual, progressive and accelerating. The other view is that it was “stepped” with a long‑lasting pre‑sapiens phase.
Pilbeam shows the contrasts in his model on p.112 reproduced below.
It could be argued that God could logically create a genetic structure that, under the appropriate conditions, would alter its code to fall into line with the planetary conditions prevailing. The arguments would then be along the lines above as either gradual genetic change within the framework of environmental and climatic variation, or an automatic alteration pursuant to that change; hence the stepped argument. The stepped argument enables the locked‑in codes to a distinct creation to be activated by determined changes enabling a rapid stepped metamorphosis such as that experienced ±50,000 years ago. Such a structure would limit the diversity of species containing like DNA. But this may necessitate retrograde alteration by reverse climatic variation. The absence of visible co‑existent climatic change is also problematic.
The philosophical difficulty occurs in the perceptions of the ontological structure of father‑to‑son as an example of the relationship to the Godhead. It is difficult to determine the specific cut‑off point, or more precisely, the cut‑in point, of the nephesh as the image of God where such beings are eligible for the resurrection and hence capable of rational deduction and receipt of the essence or spirit as an eternal entity.
The soul doctrine is rendered here meaningless as it becomes necessary to establish a cut‑in point, not only for potentiality but also and rather for the receipt of those eternally determined and created entities to superimpose on the hominid host. This concept clearly has an application to the Indo‑Aryan Monist concepts where the repetitive doctrine of reincarnation only have human capacity from 50-100 ty ago.
It would appear that the major factor showing the marked divergence of hominid development was between that of H. Erectus and H. Neanderthalis. Erectus had a narrow pelvis and reduced brain case. The reduced pelvis indicates a much reduced gestation period and hence a smaller, less developed infant and brain capacity. Despite all of the anthropological argument, there does not appear to be any reason why Erectus should be viewed as human in any sense other than tool‑making, a characteristic common to apes and other species.
The relative stability and lack of any observable development in these early species argues logically against their inclusion as human progenitors. Indeed it is now a fact that there is an embarrassment of potential evolutionary progenitors and that many must be disregarded. If many should be disregarded there is no logical reason why all should not be disregarded save on the supposition that there must be a progenitor of H. Neanderthalis or ourselves in there somewhere, or the theory of evolution is defunct as a non‑theistic system.
The jump from H. Erectus to H. Neanderthalis, however, is an enormous genetic change with the restructuring of gestation, and of sexual and hence familial groupings. Neanderthals had brain capacity equal to ourselves and a better muscled, stronger body. Because of a rounder face (for colder climates according to some anthropologists), a case has been developed for reduced frontal lobes. Hence some reduced planning capacity may have existed, but this may not follow.
Earlier arguments were for a greater brain size than ourselves, but these may be isolated to some specimens. Arguments concerning restricted vocal cords are reconstructions, and Pilbeam’s assertions regarding reduced speech and communication are disputed by anthropologists in the Australian National University with whom the writer has spoken. Neanderthals were late‑appearing humanoids separate to and unlike anything preceding them, and, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence and no logical reason, other than the requirement of evolutionary links, for accepting that they were the antecedents of the modern humans. Modern DNA testing has revealed that they are utterly unrelated to humnans having a 27-strand DNA system giving us more in common with chimpanzees.
There is no logically compelling reason why one should accept that Homo Sapiens or Homo Neanderthalis evolved from any other species, nor is there any evidence that indicated that such a construction occurred.
The premise of evolution appears to be based on the egocentric anthropomorphic principle that modern human knowledge is the highest form available, and, since earth is the centre of the universe, it must therefore have developed here from pre‑existent life forms. Because man is limited in form and mode of transport, it is not logically correct to assume that this construction is uniformly so within the universe. As written human records deny the very assertion of our uniqueness, it is therefore perfectly logical to examine the premises and reconstruct the assumptions and sequences upon which these claims are based. Dogmatic presuppositions only hamper such an exercise.
4:3 The Nephilim
The greatest cloud to be drawn over the issue of Non‑Adamic man was that drawn by Augustine of Hippo.
There are three types of giants mentioned in the bible. The first or Nephilim from (-*,1) nephîyl (SHD 5303) or (-,1) nephîl, is derived from the root to fall in the widest sense as fallen or cast down and lost from Nâphal. (SHD 5307) This usage occurs at Genesis 6:4 and also at Numbers 13:33.
The other two cases arise from the sons of Anak, also at Numbers 13:33, as (9&"#) gibbôwr (SHD 1368) or (9"#) gibbôr, also being the same as (9"#) geber (SHD 1397) as a valiant strong and mighty man stemming from the root (9"#) gâbar (SHD 1396), to be strong. The third sense is that used in Deuteronomy and Joshua from the root () râphâ’, to heal or repair. Râphâ’ or râphah can be a giant in the sense of invigorated or cured, hence Raphael as the name “God has cured.” It is applied as an Israelite and Angelic name. Raph was an Israelite giant.
The report in Numbers 13:33 uses the word nephilim as the Sons of Anak which come of the giants as gibbôr in the second sense, not of the Nephilim of Genesis. Here the report was attributing the pre‑flood Nephilim to the post‑flood sons of Anak who had the characteristics of giants. The second or third meanings of valiant men and excessive growth are quite separate to the pre‑flood concepts of the nephilim, although the concept did not lose its sense of divine healing and re‑establishment. [There is a definite sense of the post flood irruption of the Nephilim as the sons of Anak among the rabbinical literature and see also The Companion Bible]. The first concept was that of the fallen or cast‑down offspring of the sons of God. Genesis 6:1‑4 says:
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to men, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said; ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever; for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’
The term here in the American Standard Version is translated “for that he also is flesh,” and the note 4 to this verse says “or, in their going astray they are flesh.” This is in fact the real meaning.
It goes on to verse 4:
There were giants (Nephilim) on the earth in those days and also afterwards, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Mighty here is in the second sense of giant above, as gibbôwr, a warrior or tyrant.
Augustine in City of God, Book XV, chapter 23 (Bettenson, Penguin, p 639) dealing with this passage explains that the sons of God also called ‘Angels of God’ were of the progeny of Seth also representing a pure line free of sinful lusts; the men were the progeny of Cain, as lesser or sinful beings.
The passage is semantically analysed by Augustine so that there were giants born before the mating of the Sethite line with the Cainite line and after that also. The Sethite line begot giants out of its usual mating and its fallen matings with the lesser Cainite line.
The Sethite line
did not procreate children to found a family to minister to their pride but to produce citizens for the City of God, so that they as angels of God, could give their children this message: that they must put their hope in God, like the Son of Seth, the ‘Son of the resurrection’, who hoped to call on the name of the Lord God. And in virtue of this hope they; with their posterity; would be co‑heirs of eternal blessings; and brothers of their sons under God the Father.
Now those Sons of God were not angels of God in such a way that they were not also human beings as some people suppose. (ibid., pp.639-640)
Augustine goes on to analyse the section of the passage ‘because they are flesh’ ignoring the potentiality of ‘in their going astray they have become flesh!’ He refers to the Septuagint where they are certainly called Angels of God and Sons of God. He also states that:
Aquila; (who produced circa a.d. 140 a literal Greek version of the Old Testament) whose translation the Jews prefer to all the others; gives neither ‘angels of God’ nor ‘Sons of God’, his version gives ‘Sons of Gods’. (ibid.)
Augustine here goes on to convoluted explanations of the concept of the Sons of Seth being as Sons of God, brothers of their own fathers which was correct of the adoption; but this was prior to the adoption or else the adoption had ceased. Augustine’s view that the giants were thus Sethite, Cainite and of mixed lineage (and non‑prolific pre‑flood) was to prove a very persuasive explanation of the passage by use of semantics and the provision of simplistic explanation.
He did not understand Aquila’s translation of the Bene Elohim because he was an Athanasian Trinitarian. He quotes the reason for the demise of the giants as lack of wisdom, since wisdom was the ‘exclusive property of the good.’ This fact is underlined by another prophet when he says, “There were those renowned giants, who from the beginning were men of great stature, experts in war. It was not those whom the Lord chose, nor did he give them the way of knowledge. In fact they perished because they had no wisdom. They disappeared through their lack of thought.” (Bar 3, 26ff) (ibid., p.642).
Augustine holds that the flood did not occur from an attribute of God’s anger which distributed His changeless tranquillity, but rather it came by judgement for sin. He adds that:
Nevertheless none of those who, according to the scriptural account; were descended from the seed of Seth, did in fact perish in the flood. (ibid., p.642).
This is necessary to his logic, as the seed of Seth were Sons of God and the objective of the flood was to wipe off man,
whom I created, from the face of the earth, and all creatures, from man to beast, from creeping thing to birds of the air because I am angry at having created them. (Genesis 6:5ff) (ibid.)
This stems from the premise that Noah was blameless or pure in his generations and pure Sons of God could not be destroyed, hence men were sinful and destroyed. The Sethite line was not. This interpretation is open to various arguments in refutation; however, it has become the accepted explanation up to the present.
The accepted understanding prior to the third century was quite different, both inside and outside Christianity.
The Qumran documentation shows some interesting aspects of understanding in the first century BCE and CE. One aside is that the still small voice of the throne of God is uttered by the cherubim who support the throne (Ezekiel 1:10), and the Angelic liturgy which deals with the divine chariot or Merkabah shows that the still small voice of blessings from 1Kings (19:12) as the manifestation of God is uttered by the cherubim. (G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Pelican, 2nd ed., 1985, p.210)
From the Genesis Apocryphon in Vermes (op. cit., p.215ff) the concepts obviously were that the Sons of God in Genesis 6:1‑4 were angels who descended from heaven and married the ‘daughters of men’. These groups were described in the section dealing with the birth of Noah:
II. Behold, I thought then within my heart that conception was (due) to the Watchers and the Holy Ones ...and to the Giants (ibid., p.216).
This concept is expanded greatly in the Book of Enoch (see M. A. Knibb, The Ethiopic Book of Enoch, vols. 1 and 2, Oxford Clarendon, 1982).
The Watchers are the last who were given responsibility for the earth. On the return of the Eternal God they will shake; the Watchers are identified with the Fallen Angels (Vol.2, p.59 and notes). The text at Genesis 6:1-4 is amplified at chapters 5-6 of Enoch (pp.67-8) and it is held that 200 of the host under Semyaza descended on Ardis, the Summit of Mt. Hermon. The names of the leaders and their functions were given and from ch 7-8 (p.77ff), it is clear that the so‑called, ‘giants’ were offspring of these watchers, and that this was the understanding of the passage in Genesis.
From chapters 14-15 (pp.101ff), the proposition is put that the watchers were immortal and eternal without wives, as ‘the dwelling of the spiritual ones [is] in heaven’. Evil spirits were held to have come out from the flesh of the giants ‘because from above they were created: from the Holy Watchers was their origin and first foundation’. This logically is an extension of the soul doctrine and is probably a clumsy speculation on the sequence of demonic manifestation that is dealt with later.
At any rate the statements from chapters 14-15 (p.101) show that the spirits of heaven now on earth are to rise against the sons of men in the last days.
These concepts of the fallen host interbreeding with men are not contrary to reason, as the notion of the Holy Spirit or Essence of God producing a child by Mariam (or Mary) is of the same concept. So, from the above, the capacity to materialize is not logically limited if seriously entertained. The metaphysical aspects of the alteration of matter are not limited. Christ’s statements of throwing trees and mountains into the ocean can only be based on the reorganisation of matter.
Another exegetical point of Genesis is that because there are two different aspects of a creation account, it has been developed that the account is of two, i.e. the Jahwistic and Priestly accounts of the event. It has never been logically assessed that it may be an account of two events that follow from the same logic of analysis. It is possible that the Jahwistic and Priestly analysis may well be a reconstruction to accommodate an Athanasian ideological position. Continuing discovery of anthropological data renders the Athanasian understanding incoherent and ontologically inadequate.
4:4 A Harmony of Apparently Conflicting Philosophies
4:4.1 Nicene and Post‑Nicene Distortions of the Philosophy of Religion
The Philosophy of Religion as it came to be espoused by the Council of Nicaea and afterwards left the discipline totally unequipped to understand and coherently explain the Godhead, the purpose of creation, and the function and destiny of the Host together with mankind. No coherent explanation of evil was then possible, and the Philosophy was totally unable to accommodate the scientific onslaught of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Augustine, by his simplistic inward‑looking account of Genesis 6:4 ran contrary to the understanding of not only the Hebrews but of most of the ancient world as well.
Josephus writing in the 1st century lists what was the common understanding of all the Jewish sects including, as we have seen, the Sons of Zadok at Qumran and the writers of the book of Enoch. He says (A. of J., Book 1 ch.III.1, p.28 of the Whiston translation, Kregel, Michigan, 1981):
many angels of God accompanied with women, and begot sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, an account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians called giants.
Whiston says of this in his footnote, “this notion that the fallen angels were in some sense the Fathers of the old giants was the constant opinion of antiquity.”
He further states in the second footnote that it was the life of the giants which was reduced to 120 years and not of Noah and his progeny (or antecedents), due to this inbreeding which is confirmed by the fragment of Enoch (sect 10 in Authent. Rec. Part 1. p 268). As noted above, the term Nephilim derives from feller or fallen, not giant.
Augustine’s Philosophical Theology disregarded this worldwide tradition and so created the theory of the Sethite and Cainite lines, one good, the other evil, with gigantism as a natural aberration of these lines. It is ironic that such semantic manipulation had been adopted by the fundamentalist ideologues who are now its most staunch defenders. It has left them totally unprepared for the onset of the philosophy of Positivism and its evolutionary doctrines following on from paleo‑anthropology and its findings.
4:4.2 An Alternative Explanation
This is an alternative view which takes into account current paleo‑anthropological knowledge and harmonizes known earth history with biblical accounts in Genesis etc., and in so doing makes it possible to arrive at a coherent philosophical explanation of the order of creation and of the nature and problem of evil.
Vast areas of the planet show an emergence of modern Homo Sapiens without any preceding Neanderthal population in the vicinity, and a large gap between H. Erectus in adjoining continents and the emergence of H. Sapiens. Australia provides an example of this gap. It has therefore been assumed that H. Sapiens and H. Neanderthalis were descendants by independent evolution from H. Erectus even though the links are absent.
A biblical creationist account of the same evidence would be as follows. Some time prior to 100,000 years ago a decision was made to upgrade the bipedal primate H. Erectus to an intellectual status such that he could play a role in the universal system. That this decision was made by the Council of the Elohim is possible, however, it is not necessarily required. The system commanders, or the Elohim who became the Fallen Host, may have had the necessary powers of creation.
Homo Neanderthalis was established and stabilized over fifty millennia. Approximately 40,000 years ago, according to work done by Eric Trinkhaus and William Howells in 1979 (see Fagan, People of the Earth, pp.130-131), Neanderthal populations underwent a rapid change to essentially modern human anatomy over a period of 5,000 years. The Neanderthals had the same posture, manual abilities, range and characteristics of movement as modern people. They were bulky, heavy‑muscled people whose brain capacity was the same with some increase required by the heavy muscling.
There is no indication from any fossil evidence that Neanderthals evolved directly and at once into modern humans. “Some Neanderthal populations, notably those from the Mount Carmel caves of Israel (Howells, 1957, a, b) and from Czechoslovakia (Trinkhaus and Howells, 1979) show great anatomical variation, to the extent that some of them are almost identical to modern Homo Sapiens. However the true transitional forms still elude the archaeologist’s spade” (ibid., p.133).
The logical and historical answer to this would be that the Neanderthals were interfered with by the system commander or Morning Star, and the Host, termed the Watchers, in the ancient literature. The term Watcher is used at Daniel 4:13 and 17 using (SHD 5894 9*3) ‘îyr, meaning an angel as guardian, hence Watcher. (This is quite separate to the term at Jeremiah 4:16). These ‘Nephilim’ were necessarily more heavily muscled than the later Adamic progeny and differed from the later Homo prototype which was established from modern European criteria. This group took over the planet 35,000 b.p., replaced the Neanderthals and brought about “a quantum jump in the complexity of human society” (ibid).
This figure accords with Scripture in the time structure. It is a thousand generations or almost forty thousand years over the whole period until the end of the Second Resurrection after the millennial system and this is mentioned in the Bible at Deuteronomy 7:9. Thus the mercy of God is extended to those that love him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations. This mercy is extended to the host from the time they interfered with the creation and the plan of God over its entire course even though the resurrection is not extended to the beings they created (cf. Isaiah 26:14).
Regardless of the mechanics of the genetic engineering, there seems little doubt in the minds of the ancestors that the fallen host had materialized and that they committed fornication with the created humans to create a hybrid. Jude says, when speaking of the angels not keeping to the dominion they were given and so incurring judgement, concerning the sins of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbouring town, that “like the angels, they committed fornication and followed unnatural lusts” etc. (Jude 7) (New English Bible; the translation in the KJV is so obscure as to be almost an obfuscation).
Some 6,000 years ago a decision was made by the Elohim to crush the rebellion and intervene in the affairs of the planet. A simple elimination and recommencement would not assure that such an event did not occur again, so a complex soteriological sequence of redemption was commenced designed to last some 7,000 years.
Adam was thus the first of the creation to redemption of the planet. The line of Adam was to witness to the Nephilim and to set the standard by which they would be judged. In the days of Noah the Nephilim and the interbred and independent offspring were destroyed, and with the subsequent survivors a period of about 2,000 years was allotted from Adam to the selection of the Abrahamic priesthood.
The next period of witness occurring again over 2,000 years or 40 jubilees was to be in Judgement of the Morning Star (Azazel or Satan), and a Redemptive sacrifice was necessary following from the logical necessity of death ensuing from the pantheistic division of sin as dealt with above. The subjugation of the planet is then scheduled to occur after a further period of 40 jubilees under what is termed the “Sign of Jonah”.
At the end of the six thousand years a Millennial reign of the new Morning Star is to be set up in order to establish a criterion by which the planet should be run and a model by which the previous actions are to be judged. At the end of the Millennium the rebel leader is again to be released and allowed to subvert the nations. This step is logically necessary because of the complex attitudinal problems which would develop in a people at the end of 1,000 years of perfect rule. In short, such a group would fall into the intellectual error of self‑righteousness of the forms expounded in Job, and given eternal periods would institute division, disunity and once again a rebellion.
It is precisely for the reasons explained that the Sons of God to be formed must be equal to, and as an order of, Angels as explained by Christ. Any distinction between the preceding Bene Elohim and the newly created Bene Elohim would build in division, and therefore God would not be one or all in all. God is one, and therefore the Bene Elohim are united as one.
From above, Christ was made higher than his colleagues. From Revelation 4 it is seen that the Morning Stars or the Council of the Elohim or Elders place their crowns before the throne; the Messiah being made higher than they implies a structure of a high priest and twenty‑four divisions such as the divisions of the Priesthood. This schema may therefore be a deliberate reflective device.
That Christ was the first‑born of many brethren does not indicate that the elect will be higher than the existent angelic host, but rather they may be given differing roles in the governmental structure which appears to be centred on the earth. The structure may extend over twenty‑four systems (or more) in twelve units. Regardless of the levels of authority of each division or the relative seniority of the First Resurrection, it cannot be that there is a differentiation in the nature and essence of the host as any such division must logically be polytheist and thus prohibited, as God is one. Those of the Second Resurrection are likewise to be of the Bene Elohim or Sons of God.
The concept that a selection process of salvation is executed based on religious division on the planet occurs only as a sequence of salvation not as a process of elimination. To suggest people are condemned by division and lack of knowledge impugns God. The Second Resurrection mentioned above and lasting 100 years (see Isaiah 65) is provided so that all flesh may be taught and given the opportunity for salvation. Logically this must follow, since were Satan to preclude individuals from salvation by deception, then a logical limitation on the omnipotence of God ensues.
It is most helpful to look at the problem of evil and divergent doctrines and faiths.
4:5 The Soul and Life after Death
As discussed above, the concept of the existence of a soul as an entity after death has been a constant theme arising from Babylonian Animism, i.e. from Chaldean theology.
The Bible states quite categorically that the dead remain so until the resurrection. Nobody has been resurrected other than Christ; the others of the Elect are fallen asleep (1Thes. 4:13-18). Christ is raised (1Cor. 15:20-23), and if Christ is not raised then they (the dead) that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished (v.18). David died and was buried and “his tomb is with us to this day” (Acts 2:29). “No one has ascended into heaven but he that descended out of heaven, even the son of man who is in heaven” (Jn. 3:13).
A common deception of the Fallen Host appears to be to create the illusion that the dead can be spoken to via necromancy. It was to this end that Saul approached the witch at Endor who had a familiar spirit, an ("*!) ‘ôwb or obe (SHD 178), from the idea of prattling or mumbling as from a bottle or jar, hence a ventriloquist, or necromancy as a familiar spirit by illusion.
The concept that a spirit could be brought up from the dead is held to be a reality from the illusion that Samuel was raised from the dead by the witch at Endor. It was, however, not Samuel who was raised from the dead. Some attempt to claim that the entity was in fact a demon that the woman saw; however, the woman was frightened by what she saw:
And the King said unto her, be not afraid: for what seeest thou? and the woman said unto Saul, I see Gods coming up out of the earth. (1 Samuel 28:13).
The word she used here for Gods is Elohim, so that the entity (or entities) she saw and who spoke to Saul was an Elohim. It was an Elohim who removed Saul’s kingship and pronounced his punishment. Judging from her fear we can conclude that it was not a power she knew or was competent with.
No demons could have removed Saul’s kingship, as they did not possess the authority. An assertion that this entity was a fallen spirit or demon can rest only on the premise that where an entity acts contrary to the will of God, that being automatically comes under the authority of the fallen Elohim. This stance seems contrary to the concepts stated by Paul, who understood this question by view of his training. An Elohim with this authority logically should be one of the loyal Host. The misconception regarding this probably comes from a mistranslation in the NKJV, in the NIV, and so on, because the translators do not understand the concept of the Elohim and are locked into the soul doctrine. The entity is at any rate an Elohim, either of the Loyal Host or of the Fallen Host, and is not the spirit of Samuel.
For the reasons outlined throughout the paper above, the eternal human soul is a fiction of Chaldean Theology. The concept of redemption and election by infusion of the Spirit is the mechanism for progression to an eternal spiritual structure of being. Why would God create an ontological structure which was more complicated than need be, involving a more complicated form of destruction with an inherent sequence of being?
4:6 Early and Later Concepts of the Elohim and the Resurrection
Anders Nygren (in Agape and Eros, Tr. by Philip S. Watson, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1969) draws attention to the sharp distinction made by Justin Martyr between God and the manifestation of the Logos:
The Logos is in a way divine but not in the strictest sense of the word; The Father alone is unbegotten and incorruptible and therefore God. He is the Maker and Father of all things (Dial. lvi. 1.). He did not come to us; He remains always above the heavens and never reveals Himself to anyone and has dealings with no one. (Dial. v. 4.) In relation to Him, Christ is of lower rank, a [deuteros theos], “another God than He who created all things.” (Dial. lvi. 1).
Nygren says of this: “This subordinationist trait in the Christology of the Apologists is undoubtedly to be attributed to the Greek idea of God” (p.280).
Nygren is wrong in this matter as can be seen from an examination of the Old and New Testament Schema outlined above. Justin Martyr is closer than he is; however, the distinction and acts of creation are relative to the Logos, and this position is not understood by either. Nygren judges Loofs to be correct when he says of the Apologists:
Their Logos doctrine is not a ‘higher’ Christology than usual, but is rather on a lower level than the genuinely Christian estimate of Christ. It is not God who reveals Himself in Christ, but the Logos the reduced (depotenzierte) God, a God who as God is subordinate to the highest God. (Loofs: Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeshichte, 4 Aufl.,1906, p.129, ibid.).
Nygren and Loofs both were wrong in their estimate of what was genuinely Christian, as they were trying to reinterpret the Ante‑Nicene Christology which more closely follows the biblical within their own misconceptions. The Angel of Redemption was one of a Council of Elohim subordinate to the central Elohim who was Eloah (God the Father and Maker).
This understanding was lost from the eighth century with the dispersal of the Paulicians, and has still not been re‑understood. Today everybody thinks in an Athanasian manner in the structure of Christian Philosophy and Theology, even those in disagreement with them. This is the reason why the structure is fundamentally incoherent.
When dealing with the concept of the Old and New Morning Stars and the period of transition or redemption, it may seem to be a contradiction to leave one of the fallen host and the most powerful (a Covering Cherub) in command, and place another Elohim on the planet to isolate a priesthood and select and train it under pressures exerted by the fallen host and by those nations under their control through disobedience. However, the redemptive and teaching process is maximised in this manner. No amount of theory would reinforce the concepts of absolute degradation and destruction of this planet (now occurring daily) once the process had been set in motion. No amount of discussion with the rebel host would have demonstrated the illogical and destructive results of their system of polytheist thought or existence external to the will, nature and Agape love of God. Similarly, human systems reach points of no return beyond which they cannot be reached or called to repentance in this age, and hence are committed to destruction so that they may be redeemed under better circumstances during the Second Resurrection. This is why that resurrection must be in the flesh.
The obfuscation of the Plan of Salvation and the Resurrection is another blockage to the proper understanding of the process, as it is a blockage to view the Fallen Host as an order of grotesque beings. Satan and the Fallen Host present themselves as Angels of Light, and there is no difference in their appearance with the possible exception of intensity. They did adopt human and other forms and appear in visions.
The battle waged is for the minds and attitudes of humans, and in order to prevent their misuse or loss they are retrained in the flesh at the Resurrection. They do not have immortal life. Nygren understood this point correctly when he said:
The ancient Church differs most of all from Hellenism in its belief in the Resurrection. Christian tradition affirmed the “Resurrection of the flesh,” which the Apologists opposed to the Hellenistic doctrine of the “Immortality of the soul.” The antithesis was conscious and intentional, for at no point so much as this was their opposition to the Hellenistic spirit felt by the early Christians. The Platonic, Hellenistic doctrine of the Immortality of the soul seemed to the Apologists a godless and blasphemous doctrine, which above all they must attack and destroy. (Justin, Dial. lxxx. 3‑4) Their motto in this regard might well be Tatian’s word: “Not Immortal, O Greeks, is the soul in itself, but mortal. Yet it is possible for it not to die.” (Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos, xiii. 1)
The difference between Christian and non‑Christian in this matter was so great that belief in the “Resurrection of the flesh” could become a shibboleth. One who believes in the “Immortality of the soul” shows thereby that he is not a Christian. As Justin says: “If you have fallen in with some who are called Christians... and who say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians.” (Dial. lxxx. 4)(ibid., p.281).
These two matters above clearly mark the demarcation point between Christian and Pseudo‑Christian philosophy. Interestingly, Pseudo‑Christianity is in the overwhelming majority and has been so since at least the sixth century, possibly the fourth century.
The fundamental philosophical difference between Pseudo‑Christianity with its doctrine of the “Immortality of the Soul,” and that of ancient Christianity and its doctrine of the “Resurrection of the Flesh,” is that the Soul doctrine is egocentric and the Resurrection of the Flesh doctrine is Theocentric. There must therefore be contradictions between the stated aims of the system and its explanation, and interpretation of the biblical narrative which does not support its contentions and upon which the system is allegedly based. Detailed biblical study therefore would expose philosophical as well as substantive conflict.
The soul doctrine is to be found in Plato’s Timaeus where each soul is said to be connected with its own star, which it leaves in order to be incarnated on earth and to which it returns at death (41d ff.). David Ulansey refers to these concepts in The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries (Oxford, 1989, pp.86-87), where he says:
We find the idea fully developed in the Empedotimus of Plato’s pupil Heraclides Ponticus, in which the Milky Way is seen as the path of souls descending to and ascending from incarnation. (On Heraclides Ponticus, see Burkert, Lore and Science, pp.366ff; and Gottschalk, Heraclides of Pontus, pp.98ff.) This concept of astral immortality became more and more prevalent during the Hellenistic period until, in the judgement of Franz Cumont, by Roman times it had become the predominant picture of life after death. According to Cumont, “although memories and survivals of the old belief in the life of the dead in the grave and the shade’s descent into the infernal depths may have lingered, the doctrine which predominated henceforward was that of celestial immortality” (Franz Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism New York: Dover, 1956, p.39). Significantly in magical and Gnostic texts we find that the journey of the soul through the heavenly spheres was believed to be dangerous and that the astral powers needed to be propitiated at each stage. (See e.g. the Mithras Liturgy, in Meyer, Ancient Mysteries, pp. 211‑21.)
Of particular interest for us is that this conception of astral immortality is explicitly mentioned by the church father Origen (quoting the pagan author Celsus) as having been a Mithraic doctrine. According to Celsus, in the Mithraic Mysteries, there is a symbol of the two orbits in heaven, the one being that of the fixed stars and the other that assigned to the planets, and of the soul’s passage through these. The symbol is this. There is a ladder with seven gates and at its top an eighth gate. (Origen, Contra Celsum, p.334 (6.22)) In addition, the neo‑Platonist Porphyry attributes to Mithraism a complicated conception of the soul’s celestial descent and ascent into and out of incarnation.
This concept takes the Adamic deception of “you shall not surely die” through to the Babylonian Mysteries and their re‑establishment in the Indo‑Aryans and with the Greeks and Orientals. It is a systematically egoistic philosophy which is increasingly polytheist and increasingly differentiates the adherent from any rational Theocentric involvement. Ultimately the egocentric re‑orientation becomes destructive to the system, and the incoherences are increasingly and ultimately divisive.
Intellectually the process collapses into Psychological Egoism and Hedonism, which are seriously incoherent. Any system based on egocentric perceptions and behaviour and which pursues the maximisation of individual utility will in the long run fail to maximise utility.
These polytheist thought forms may give rise to illusory theocentricity in that a form of theocentricity can be manifested from egocentric objectives resulting in the “False Messiah” syndrome, which we have seen manifested repeatedly since the establishment of the doctrines on a large scale. These doctrines are logically opposed to the centrality of God and any Theist is logically compelled to oppose them. Simply put, you cannot believe in the immortality of the soul and logically be a Monotheist.
4:7 The Mechanics of Human Spirituality
The development of the concept of the soul has continued for many centuries and two recent works support the body of materialist philosophy that affects the Soul Doctrine. These are by Rodney Cotterill (No Ghost in the Machine, Heinemann) and Michael Lockwood (Mind, Brain and the Quantum, Blackwell).
Cotterill deals with the studies of Benjamin Libet, which appear to show that our brain takes decisions for us before we are consciously aware of having done so. Cotterill argues that this effectively demolishes free will. It is difficult to establish logically why subconscious decision‑making should preclude free will, especially when the assumptions are made that people will act responsibly even if they are not free.
The analysis by Lockwood aims at establishing the relevance of quantum mechanics and relativity to brain function. The problem is that there is no obvious reason why the brain’s complex activity should give rise to conscious experiences at all.
Materialist philosophers have great difficulty in establishing a strict explanation of these events. As biological and scientific theory advances conjointly with philosophy, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Doctrine of the Soul has no foundation in reality. Materialist Philosophy, no matter how successful in refuting the existence of the soul, cannot, by doing so, refute biblical Christianity, but rather confirms one of Christianity's basic premises, that the individual dies and that there is no soul and no life without resurrection, either the first or the second. What these authors succeed in doing is to confirm the fact that Chaldean Theology is erroneous.
D. M. Armstrong (A Materialist Theory of the Mind, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1968, pp.49-53) mentions the difficulty for any non‑Materialist Theory of Mind as canvassed by J. J. C. Smart.
The difficulty for non‑materialist theory is allegedly that it seems increasingly likely that biology is completely reducible to chemistry which in turn is completely reducible to physics, so that all chemical and biological events are explicable in principle as particular applications of the laws of physics that govern non‑chemical and non‑biological phenomena. The non‑materialist is then faced with salvaging the mind from this position as the sole exception. Armstrong’s Argument from the Supremacy of Physics for disputing a Non‑Materialist Theory of Mind rests on four points, summarised thus:‑
1. Empirical science should persuasively influence philosophical arguments when providing objections to Non‑Materialist theories;
2. Science should outweigh religious, moral, artistic or philosophical considerations, as only science has settled disputed questions;
3. Psychical research raises a real doubt whether science is supreme; and
4. Secondary qualities or senses, if irreducible to the properties of objects with which physics concerns itself, requires extra correlation laws; however, scientific evidence gives reason to suspect that these properties are not in fact irreducible.
It is evident from the concepts of causation dealt with earlier that this argument rests on the premises of supervenient causation which Hume, by specifics, and Tooley, generally, would have refuted in terms previously outlined. Penrose effectively demolishes the supremacy of physics in interpreting the operation of the universe in view of effects such as simultaneous non‑local effects (viz. Einstein‑Podolsky‑Rosen [EPR] paradox) (Penrose, op. cit., pp.361‑9,578). Penrose and science generally are logically compelled to proceed to the next jump in human understanding by metaphysical analysis.
Non‑Soul Theism argues that the human brain is an animating agency that returns to dust, i.e. is chemical in its construction. It argues that this image of the spiritual or the unseen enables the superimposition of a spiritual agency. It is thus that the Holy spirit can be superimposed, but also, since those entities of the fallen host are of the same spiritual structure, then they too can be superimposed on the human system, hence possession. Because these properties or entities are metaphysical, it follows that empirical science will not therefore observe or detect them in a physically verifiable manner, as Popper so ably demonstrated in a simple analysis above.
The metaphysical aspects of historical phenomena have not been settled by science, but rather science is occasionally and with much error demonstrating biblical assertions millennia old.
Soul Theism can be refuted by philosophical explanation as stated above, i.e. that Soul Theism and Cartesian Dualism are elitist forms of Polytheism, and hence necessarily incompatible with Monotheism. The existence of dual entities is likewise precluded from the logic espoused as long ago as Tertullian (Against Marcion, Bk 1). At chapter V, he states that:
Whatever principle refuses to admit several supreme begins [beings, sic]; the same must reject even two, for there is plurality in the very lowest number after one.
This is dealt with in the section on Sorites and the Continuity Argument above. At chapter III of Bk 1, Tertullian states that God is supreme and unique. He has no equal. “God is not, if He is not one.” Any other God introduced is unable to maintain his divinity “under any other guise, than by ascribing to him too the property of the Godhead.” At chapter VII, Tertullian shows that “other beings besides God are in scripture called God”, and that the objection of Marcion’s to this point is “a foolish objection,” because the real issue is that the essence alone is eternal and the maker of all things. Its attribute of supremacy is derived from its state and its condition. (The Ante‑Nicene Fathers, Vol III, T. & T. Clark Eerdmans, Michigan, May 1986, pp.272-276)
It is from these concepts that the biblical position is stated that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1Sam. 15:23), in that by rebelling against the unity of God the entity is separated in will and hence logically polytheist.
Tertullian’s understanding of the role of the Divine essence, however, did not save him from the errors of the soul doctrine. From his treatise on the soul he understands the soul to be extant from birth but to be “born again in Christ” (A Treatise on the Soul, Ch.XL, ibid., p.220).
The Soul doctrine is incoherent on a number of grounds:
1. It is ontologically too complicated and therefore inconvenient;
2. It places a differentiation in the immaterial realm that renders the position in relation to angels divisive and thus contrary to the unity of the Essence;
3. It allows spiritual division in irrational or immature entities.
The action of the mind is analysable in terms of some chemical functions; however, the superimposition of the Divine Essence on the Nephesh (or spirit of man) is assessible only as perceptual belief where the “exhibition of a capacity for such selective behaviour is all the evidence needed for saying that the perceiver has acquired the particular belief” (Armstrong, p.340). Armstrong holds that “non‑perceptual beliefs may be conceived as extensions of the perceptual ‘map’.” He notes that some states need not be currently causally active in the mind, and in this the concepts of causation are as stated above (ibid., pp.341 et al.).
Armstrong concedes that non‑perceptual thought is ultimately theoretical and hence the causal relationships are exposed to the arguments of singularist causation above. He further holds that trains of thought which have an object, i.e. are purposive, are “initiated and sustained by a mental cause external to them.” (ibid., p.350). He passes on however to argue that mental happenings are nothing “but physico‑chemical happenings in the central nervous system” (ibid., p.351). He also says (ch.17, p.355) that nothing he has said to that point (in Part Two) “entailed the truth of a materialist theory of mind.”
In advancing an identification of mental occurrences with physico‑chemical states of the central nervous system, Armstrong notes that:
1. the identification may be resisted on the grounds that such processes are not adequate to explain the whole range of human behaviour, and
2. it may be granted that such processes are adequate to explain human behaviour, but the identification of mind and brain may still be resisted for other reasons.
Objections of the first sort he says “seem to be intellectually serious, those of the second sort intellectually frivolous”. Armstrong classes the second class as that of ‘paranormal’ manifestations. He proceeds to question whether physico‑chemical processes are wholly responsible for behaviour.
Intellectual discovery and artistic creation he acknowledges present materialists with greatest difficulty, and from the section on causation above it has been demonstrable that ideas are simultaneous and external.
Correctly, it is seen that objections to materialist explanations can be:
a. it is empirically impossible for any physical mechanism to produce such manifestations; and
b. even if such possibility were granted the human body lacks such a mechanism.
A counter to these is that technology will reduce barriers to machine reproduction of the higher powers. Were such a machine able to duplicate the full range of human powers, it could be argued that such a mechanism did not in fact exist in the human body. The machine, however, would have to be non‑algorithmic with capacities that were detached, simultaneous, and non‑local, as isolated by Penrose.
Armstrong postulates a compromise possibility falling between pure physico‑chemical materialism and an Attribute Theory of the Mind:
It is possible to argue that the whole range of man’s behaviour springs causally from physical processes in his central nervous system, but to say that some at least of these physical processes are not the sort of thing that can be accounted for in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry (ibid., p.358).
and from these processes operating according to ‘emergent’ laws:
Behaviour occurs that could not be produced working according to purely physico‑chemical principles. Such a view would still be a Materialism, for it would not demand any emergent qualities still less an emergent substance, but it would not be a physico‑chemical Materialism. (ibid.)
The hypothesis depends upon these emergent laws being something that developed in all physical systems that reached a certain degree of complex interrelation. To isolate this aspect is to isolate what the Bible terms the nephesh, and is distinct from any spiritual component that must necessarily be non‑essential and theomorphic.
What Armstrong is in fact advocating is a physical system that cannot be accounted for within the laws of physics or chemistry, inclusive of biological structures, and operating on a system of causation using theoretical relationships. Those relationships must be as logically outlined by Tooley in his latest work on Singularist Causation. Such is the position that Penrose perhaps attempts to outline.
More importantly, the Non‑Soul Theist argues on similar lines, only that the influence of ideas to the ideatum is controlled by spiritual entities governing or reinforcing perceptions of good and evil concepts and initiative of conceptual progression.
There are thus three structures:
i) the human nephesh;
ii) the law based on theoretical relationships;
iii) the spiritual which is inclusive of:
(a) the Divine Essence; and
(b) those agencies which consisted of the Divine Essence and which are now in disunity.
Penrose says (p.538) that there “seems to be something about the way that the laws of physics work which allows natural selection to be a much more effective process than it would be with just arbitrary laws.” This regulating mechanism of what he terms “intelligent groping” may well be a regulating mechanism of theoretical relationships; however, it does not entail evolution and relativism. The Materialists can progressively isolate the physico‑chemical elements of the Nephesh and they may empirically observe the operation of aspects of the law, including the consequences of its breach, but they can not and will not isolate the spiritual elements because these latter can be discerned only spiritually, being non‑material and essentially non‑algorithmic, hence metaphysical and demonstrable only by logic. Armstrong does not isolate the objections to artificial intelligence in a complete sense, and it was left to Penrose to explain the non‑algorithmic nature of conscious thought (pp.538ff).
Richard Swinburne argues in his work The Evolution of the Soul (Oxford Clarendon, 1986, pp.174 et seq.) that “the soul may be said to function when it has conscious episodes, (viz. sensations, thought or purposings). The evidence of neuro‑physiology and psychology suggests most powerfully that the functioning of the soul depends on the operation of the brain.” From modern scientific investigation of sleep activity, it has been demonstrated that “there are periods of deep sleep in which man is not conscious at all; The electrical rhythm of the brain is that characteristic of unconsciousness; The functioning of the soul depends on the correct functioning of the brain; Given that, what physiology indicates further of course is that there is no conscious life before some point between conception and birth; The evidence suggests that consciousness originates when the foetus has a brain” (ibid., pp.175-6).
Swinburne goes on to say:
What I have argued so far is that without a functioning brain, the soul will not function (i.e. have conscious episodes); not that it will not exist. But what does it mean to suppose that the soul exists at some time without functioning?
He holds that it is clear in the case of material substance but not “at all clear in the case of the soul, an immaterial substance” (ibid).
What Swinburne is doing here is advancing an explanation that modifies traditional perceptions of the soul doctrine, limiting the function to consciousness and inactive existence in unconsciousness. Penrose demonstrates that the brain does in fact function subconsciously; however, this level of thought is automatic and non‑conceptual. The existence of the spirit after death in a non‑functioning way is a biblical assertion that subtly distinguishes the elect from humans generally.
It seems incoherent to assert that an entity exists without a function save in the span of a human conscious life, and then exists immaterially without function as a separate entity. It seems further incoherent nonsense to assert on this evidence the existence of heaven, hell, and/or purgatory as repositories for such an entity. The existence of spiritual entities elsewhere in what is termed “the heavens” is differentiated from the above concepts allocated as abodes of a soul.
What Swinburne is dealing with is the concept of the Nephesh and the necessity for the physical resurrection of the dead as an ideatum from an idea in the mind of God. The concept that the Divine Essence is the repository of the spiritual sons of the adoption, and God’s mind that of the physical sons of the Second Resurrection, who will later achieve the same status, is developed from this, the spirit of man. From the above, when the brain is dead you are not functioning. There is no on‑going soul. However, the blood is the life of the nephesh not the brain, and this has led to a further fundamental error in the categorising of life and death in areas unrelated to this topic.
From the above, there is no life after death until the resurrection, either the first at the beginning of the millennium or the second at the end of it (Revelation 20:4 et seq.). The concept of the Omniscience of God determining the life of man and the duration of his days is necessary to the concept of the resurrection. The Omniscience of God is described at Psalm 139, especially verse 16:
Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance:
And in thy book they were all written,
Even the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)
The fact that omniscience and ordaining of days does not entail eliminating free will and moral responsibility by determinism is dealt with below. The attempt to limit His omniscience by asserting that God knows only what can be known, thus attempting simplistically to allow human free will and responsibility, is intellectually frivolous. The assertion that God deliberately chooses not to know some things in order to allow free will is a much more serious contention. This assertion, however, is incoherent also, as the decision is a true proposition and is part of a known series, which God must know necessarily to be able to choose not to know. The assertion is essentially a Trinitarian position to maintain the schema and bi‑deity of Christ in the light of his own admission of non‑omniscience.
The resurrection is a demonstration of the absolute omniscience and omnipotence of God. The Soul Doctrine is an attempt to evade the discomfort of His omniscience and the obedience required of His omnipotence.
The omniscience of God here has been developed by the Neo‑Platonists as the extension of His thought and being as His copy product based on an emanationist theory of matter where matter and evil are at the lowest end of the scale. Called the (<@LH) nous, it received from the absolute the power of creation, even to the ideas of individual things. The nous tends to the transcendent contemplating God, but also leans earthward and creates the Logos (7@(@H), the world soul which flows from it as it flows from the transcendent God. This emanationist theory is held to be similar to but in fact is quite distinct from the biblical model.
Every particular body consists of matter and has its own particular logos which does not act mechanically upon matter, but through the concept (or organically) through the (7@(@4) Logoi, the Logos forms or fashions matter, matter never really being without form. However, the (7@(@4) Logoi do not act consciously and with deliberation. The activist Logoi constitute the essential elements of the seed and accounts for the differences among the various organisms. (“Pantheism” in E.R.E., Vol. 9, p.616.)
In the biblical model all animals possess the nephesh or the physico‑chemical and intuitive programming for life; however, only man is the image of the Elohim and hence capable of rational thought and spiritual animation. Although Konrad Lorenz did show (1972) that chimpanzees are capable of genuine inspiration (Penrose, op. cit., p.551), the relative degrees of rationality are significant. Later discussion deals with this issue.
The division of matter is at its base a sub‑atomic structure where it becomes incapable of description in any material sense. The material world is designed to be acted upon by the spiritual and to be temporary and transient. There is no life after death possible in the biblical model and the animism of the Chaldean systems is denied to it.
4:8 A Tentative Explanation of the Mind
To explain the action of the spirit and the mind we need to look at some concepts stated earlier.
Firstly, Einstein had developed the concept that Time, Space, Mass, Energy, Thought and Gravity were equivalent expressions of a single fundamental essence. This concept would appear to accord with a number of biblical prerequisites which can be stated as follows:‑
a. The entities claimed to be spiritual are not confined by the bounds of physics in the sense that they can act by utilizing gravity, energy, mass, space and time and by thought affect and effect those other aspects of existence termed physical.
b. Those entities have a non‑local and interrelational effect on physical entities, both human and non‑human.
c. The singularity known as God, responsible for willing the origin of the physical universe, had a degree of accuracy in the construction which required an absolute omniscience, such that an absolute accuracy of phase‑space volume selection was present, and an absolute knowledge of physical reaction such that no true proposition could not be known.
Penrose (The Emperor’s New Mind, p.436) deals with singularity theorems (cf. Penrose 1965, Hawking and Penrose 1970). He points out that there are two singularities, both an initial type whereby space, time and matter are created, and a final type whereby space, time and matter are destroyed. Further, when the types are examined in detail, they are found not to be exact time reverses of one another; the “geometric differences are important for us to understand because they contain the key to the origin of the second law of thermo‑dynamics.”
Penrose states (at p.439) that “for some reason the universe was created in a very special low entropy state. If it were not for a constraint of this nature, it would be ‘much more probable’ to have a situation in which both the initial and final singularities were of high‑entropy WEYL type. In such a ‘probable’ universe there would, indeed, be no second law of thermo‑dynamics!”
To have created a universe with a low entropy sufficient to ensure the operation of the second law of thermodynamics, the Creator would have to have chosen a phase‑space volume which was particular to an accuracy of one part in 1010123. He says:
This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 1010123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be ‘1’ followed by 10123 successive ‘0’s. Even if we were to write a ‘0’ on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe; and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure; we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. (ibid.)
The same order of magnitude of accident for an evolutionary non‑creationist initiation applies. For Penrose:
The precision needed to set the universe on its course is seen to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton’s, Maxwell’s, Einstein’s) which govern the behaviour of things from moment to moment.
The initial space‑time singularity (i.e. the so‑called big bang) is precisely organized, i.e. where WEYL = 0, whereas the black hole or final space‑time singularities would be expected to be totally chaotic. Penrose holds that this is so because there is a constraint on initial space‑time singularities, but not at final singularities phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL tension of the space‑time curvature at space‑time singularities such that WEYL ® ¥.
Penrose holds that “this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.” He terms this the Weyl Curvature Hypothesis. “We need to understand why such a time‑asymmetric hypothesis should apply if we are to comprehend where the second law has come from.”
Penrose sees the need to understand why space‑time singularities have the structures that they appear to have, but laments the impasse, as space‑time singularities are regions where our understanding has reached its limits. He holds that just as quantum theory forestalled the singular behaviour of the electro‑magnetic collapse of atoms, so too it must yield a finite solution to the infinite problem of space‑time singularities. However, as Penrose says, “it can be no ordinary Quantum Theory” (ibid., p.446‑7).
At the risk of being trite, I shall attempt to contribute to the current position, and hope to add to the hypothesis proposed by Penrose.
It is agreed that the necessity to take gravitational effects into consideration in Quantum Mechanics is erroneously considered unnecessary by physicists, but (unlike Penrose) not from any precise knowledge of the effects of Quantum Gravity at ‘ordinary’ scales (10‑12 m) as opposed to those at Planck length (10‑35 m). Penrose considers that most physicists would argue that on a scale relevant to our brains the physical effects of any quantum gravity must be totally insignificant (ibid., p.451).
Penrose states that “Indeed, even classical (i.e. non‑quantum) gravity has almost no influence on these electrical and chemical activities. If classical gravity is of no consequence, then how on earth could any tiny ‘quantum correction’ to the classical theory make any difference at all? Moreover, since deviations from quantum theory have never been observed, it would seem to be even more unreasonable to imagine that any tiny putative deviation from standard quantum theory could have any conceivable role to play in mental phenomena!” (ibid p.451).
Penrose takes the unconventional view that Einstein’s space‑time theory has an effect on the very structure of Quantum Mechanics, and that the seemingly insurmountable difficulties in applying the rules of Quantum Theory to Einstein’s theory should not result in a modification to the latter, but the reverse, and in fact should modify Quantum Theory.
The reasons for this are problems of logic, not of mathematics or physics, and therefore ones that fall within the province of humble philosophers.
On pages 322 to 323, Penrose deals with the evolution procedures termed U and R in describing the time‑development of a wave packet. Schrödinger’s equation tells us how the wave function actually evolves in time. Earlier we dealt with Heisenberg’s failure to purge Quantum Mechanics of metaphysical elements, this latter called the Uncertainty Principle. Wave packets are attempts at localizing particles in both position and momentum in space, and are Quantum Theory’s best approximation to a classical particle. Penrose holds that in the U state (regarded as describing the ‘reality’ of the world) we have none of the indeterminism that is supposed to be a feature inherent in Quantum Theory, as the probability of finding particles at any one part is the same as another being governed by the deterministic Schrödinger evolution. He holds that when “we make a measurement, magnifying quantum effects to the classical level, we change the rules.” Procedure U is not used, but rather the completely different procedure, which Penrose refers to as R, “forming the squared module of quantum amplitudes to obtain classical probabilities! It is the procedure R, and only R, that introduces uncertainties and probabilities into quantum theory. The deterministic process U seems to be the part of quantum theory of main concern to working physicists, yet philosophers are more intrigued by the non‑deterministic state‑vector reduction R (or as it is sometimes graphically described “collapse of the wave function)” (ibid, pp.323-324).
Penrose holds that R is not simply a change in the knowledge available about a system, but rather something real. The two systems are ‘completely different mathematical ways in which the state vector of a physical system is described as changing with time. For U is totally deterministic, whereas R is a probabilistic law: U maintains quantum complex superposition, but R grossly violates it; U acts in a continuous way, but R is blatantly discontinuous (ibid., p.324).
R cannot be deduced as a complicated instance of U. It is simply a different procedure from U providing the other ‘half’ of the interpretation of quantum formalism: “all the non‑determinism of the theory comes from R and not from U. Both U and R are needed for all the marvellous agreements that quantum theory has with observational facts” (ibid).
In the case of a momentum state it will remain so provided the particle does not interact with anything. Predictability is clear‑cut as it is in classical theory level. It is only when ‘measurement’ or magnification to the classical level is attempted that probabilities abound and there is uncertainty in accord with an array of probability amplitude, whose modules we must square (ibid). It is in the attempt to obtain a measurement of position or momentum that uncertainties occur.
Penrose points to Einstein’s conviction that Quantum Theory was at best provisional. Einstein said in his reply to one of Max Born’s letters in 1926 (quoted in Pais 1982 p.443, requoted ibid. p.361), “Quantum Mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He [God] does not play dice.”
It was, even more than the physical indeterminism, an apparent lack of objectivity, which most troubled Einstein. Penrose considers that the theory is really quite an objective one, though often strange and counter‑intuitive. Bohr, on the other hand, “seems to have regarded the quantum state of a system (between measurements) as having no actual physical reality, acting merely as a summary of ‘one’s knowledge’ concerning that system” (ibid., p.362).
The wave function was therefore something essentially subjective. To preserve the physical picture of the world, the classical world, or the world at the classical level, was regarded by Bohr as indeed having an objective reality, yet there was no ‘reality’ to the quantum level states that ‘seem to underlie it all’ (ibid). Einstein thought that this was abhorrent and that there must be an objective physical world and that there was a yet deeper structure beneath quantum theory. He could not show that there were inherent contradictions in the quantum picture of things. His followers, particularly David Bohm, developed the viewpoint of hidden variables. Penrose holds that a hidden variable theory can be consistent with all the observable facts of quantum physics but only if the theory is essentially non‑local, in the sense that the hidden parameters must be able to affect parts of the system in arbitrarily distant regions instantaneously (ibid.).
We saw that the simultaneous non‑local effects were first encountered in the Einstein‑Podolsky‑Rosen (EPR) experiment, known as the EPR Paradox. Bohm’s versions of the EPR Paradox made the situation clearer, but was still only a thought experiment. It was John Bell’s paper in 1964 that produced the conceptual breakthrough which led to a practical test. The Bell test measures the spin of particles such as an electron or proton independently in three directions at right angles to one another. The apparent complication of the procedure is what in fact makes the test possible.
What Bell showed in 1964 was that measurements of the spins, i.e. the orthogonal X Y and Z directions on large numbers of real particles, could in principle distinguish between underlying clockwork and action at a distance. The experiment cannot, however, know the three components of spin for the same particle at the same time due to quantum uncertainty (from Heisenberg’s experiment above), although any one of them can be measured precisely. As in all quantum measurements we are dealing in probabilities. Bell is held to have highlighted the difference between classical and quantum reality. Bell’s Inequality says that if Einstein was right, and the particles really did have an intrinsic spin all the time, then in a Bohm‑type experiment on many pairs of particles the number of pairs of particles in which both are measured to have positive spin in both the X and Y directions (XY positive) is always less than the combined total of measurements, showing XZ and YZ measurements all to have positive spin (XZ positive + YZ positive). Bell’s argument was based on an assumption of underlying classical reality. The violation of Bell’s Inequality would logically demonstrate that Quantum Theory is correct and non‑local action is a fact.
The Aspect experiment was the definitive version of several attempts to measure the Bell Inequality. Whilst measuring the polarisation of pairs of photons rather than the spin of material particles, the principle is the same. The Aspect experiments performed in the 1980’s eliminated observer choice by using an automatic switching device. The device chooses at random which polarisation to measure after the photons have left the atom, operating within 10 nanoseconds while the photons take 20 nanoseconds to travel the 6.5 metres to the analysers. (John Gribbin refers to this experiment in “The man who proved Einstein wrong,” New Scientist, No. 1744, 24 November 1990, pp.33‑35.)
The experiment’s team established that Bell’s Inequality is violated and that action at a distance in Quantum Theory is correct. There is thus a link faster than light between separate and distant particles, and it is this interaction that constitutes the sub‑subatomic structure of the universe and which is termed ‘spirit’.
From Penrose, the measurement of particles collapses the wave function from a totally deterministic (U) to a probabilistic (R) position. The random changes in particle states could therefore be held to make any faster than light communication impossible. Further, it could be held that randomness is necessarily introduced into the choice and effects. But we have seen that there is a cohesion and order in the selection and maintenance of the physical system of such an order that randomness or chaos in the system is logically excluded. The substructure possess an absoluteness of information selection and reaction such that communication must not only be possible but also comprehensive.
The objection Bell has introduced to overcome the implications of the randomness of non‑local action is absolute determinism in the universe, which entails the complete absence of free will. The assertions require the actions of an observer to be absolutely predetermined such that everything is predetermined even the decision. The substructure with faster‑than‑light communication can thus be avoided as there is a totally determined system (which also entails absolute omniscience).
There is then a dilemma. The only alternative to Quantum Theory is held to be Absolute Determinism. However, that is not correct. The concepts of Observer were dealt with previously and are anthropomorphic. They are much more complex than may be supposed; however, they do not involve the collapse of Omniscience and Prescience or foreknowledge into Fatalism such that Absolute Determinism is required.
Referring back to Swinburne’s work on the importance of consciousness, it becomes obvious that there are some very complicated issues that are currently beyond physical demonstration. If Swinburne’s comment regarding consciousness is correct then it could be agreed that the proper receptacle of the soul is the dolphin, as the cerebra of dolphins and whales are as large or larger than our own, and the dolphins send extremely complex signals to one another! Dolphin consciousness is far in excess of our own, in that they do not go to sleep with their whole brains simultaneously, but have only one side of the brain sleeping at a time. Penrose says of this: “It would be instructive for us if we could ask them how they “feel” about the continuity of consciousness” (ibid., p.552).
Penrose goes on to the operation of the human brain in split-brain experiments. When split, the human brain appears to be separately conscious, and in some way to have bifurcated (p.498). The question is, which of the consciousnesses is the consciousness prior to the operation? Penrose holds that “there seems to be no operational way of deciding the issue. Each hemisphere would share the memories of a conscious existence before the operation and no doubt, both would claim to be that person. That may be remarkable, but it is not in itself a paradox” (ibid., p.499).
So we now have the position that in spite of the varying functions of the left and right brain hemispheres (e.g. Broca’s and Wernicke’s Areas as the language centres on the left hand side of the brain), there is a peculiar way in which they seem to be able to bifurcate, and we are left with the problem that the brain cannot be the seat of the postulated soul unless it is held able to be isolated to a single hemisphere or to bifurcate. The soul concept is therefore incoherent on this ground also.
What constitutes the seat of consciousness is also problematic. Penrose refers to Penfield’s experiments in mapping the motor and sensory regions of the human brain. Penfield regarded some regions that he referred to as the upper brain stem consisting largely of the thalmus and the midbrain (cf. Penfield and Jasper, 1947) as the ‘seat of consciousness,’ although Penrose holds he had ‘mainly in mind the reticular formation’ (ibid., p.493).
His view was that consciousness is a manifestation of activity of the upper brain stem, but since in addition there needs to be something to be conscious of, it is not just the brain stem that is involved but also some region in the cerebral cortex which is at that moment in communication with the upper brain stem and whose activity represents the subject (sense impression or memory) or object (willed action) of that consciousness (ibid., p.493‑4).
The reticular formation is responsible for the general state of alertness of the brain (Meruzzi and Magoun, 1949). If it is damaged then unconsciousness will result. When the brain is in a waking conscious state, the reticular formation is active. When the brain is inactive the reticular formation is not active.
The problem with assigning high levels of human consciousness to the reticular formation is that in evolutionist terms it is the most ancient part of the brain. The reticular function is possessed by frogs, lizards and codfish, and so consciousness held to be a reticular function is the common possession of vertebrates. This renders sequential evolution of the brain incoherent. However, biblically the schema is reflected by the contention of the nephesh as the common breath or spirit of all animals.
The viewpoint (O’Keefe 1985) that the hippocampus seems to have more to do with the conscious state is based primarily upon its function of laying down longterm memory. Dolphins and humans have a cerebrum of somewhat similar size, and the dolphin has the mental qualities most closely associated with intelligence. Penrose holds that, “if awareness is merely a feature of the complexity of an algorithm; or perhaps of its ‘depth’ or some ‘level of subtlety’, then according to the strong AI view, the complicated algorithms being carried out by the cerebral cortex would give that region the strongest claim to be that capable of manifesting consciousness”.
If consciousness is bound up with language it is associated with the left cerebral cortex and not with the right (John Eccles, 1973), although we have seen that this position seems logically incoherent. Penrose refers to the fact that the brain can infer information from surroundings (see Churchland, 1984, p.143) and also that certain cells are responsive to particular words (possibly identifying cells with objects) (Penrose, ibid., pp.500-502).
Whilst we will not go into the action of the brain in detail, it is worth noting that the brain passes signals along nerve fibres by transferring positive and negative charges as a “region of charge reversal moving along the fibres with the actual material (i.e. ions) moving very little; just in and out across the cell membrane. This curiously exotic mechanism appears to work very efficiently. It is employed universally; both by vertebrates and invertebrates” (ibid., p.506). The vertebrates have the nerve fibre surrounded by an insulating coating of myelin which is the substance colouring the ‘white matter’ of the brain. The insulation allows nerve signals to travel unabated up to some 120 metres per second (ibid.).
It is worthwhile noting that the aspect of neuron firing in the brain is by sequence of pulses which do not cease when not activated, but fire at a slow rate. The frequency of the pulses increases enormously when activated, and there is a probabilistic aspect in the firing: the same stimulus does not always produce the same result and is much slower than a computer (ibid., p.511). There appears to be a good deal of randomness and redundancy in the way the neurons are connected up.
The action of the cerebellum appears to be completely unconscious, while consciousness can be associated with the cerebrum, which has only about twice as many neurons at a much smaller density. The brain also has a changing structure of connection and relays as synapses, which affect connection with dendritic spines in changing array such that the interconnection between neurons is not fixed. This phenomenon is known as brain plasticity. The brain, unlike a computer, changes all the time. What is more important is that the function of computers is algorithmic, whereas a brain’s conscious or inspirational thought is held by Penrose to be definitely non‑algorithmic, and thus theoretically can not be duplicated by AI. Moreover, brain activity is an action of unity or oneness as opposed to many simultaneous activities.
Penrose considers that if, as there appears to be, cells with single photon sensitivity (viz. the retina) in the human body then it is not unreasonable to presume that there could be cells of this kind, that is, those that can be triggered by single quantum events in the moving part of the brain. If so, then Quantum Mechanics is significantly involved in brain activity. He looks for a one graviton criterion being initiated by the single effect creating a detectable changing electric field in its surroundings (a toroidal field) with the nerve as axis and moving along the nerve thus disturbing the surroundings sufficiently to stimulate one graviton (p.518). As the brain is too ‘hot’ to preserve quantum coherence (behaviour described by the continued action of U for any significant length of time), in Penrose’s own terms, “this would mean that the one graviton criterion would be continually being met, so that the operation R is going on all the time, interspersed with U.” Quantum directness is not obtainable solely from the actions of U so that a single particle’s wave function, initially localised in space, will spread itself over larger and larger regions as time passes (ibid., p.325 and 521).
Penrose says: “It seems to me that neither classical nor quantum mechanics “the latter without some further fundamental changes which would make R into an ‘actual’ process” can ever explain the way in which we think” (p.521).
Here he makes the case for the essential non‑algorithmic ingredient to conscious thought processes and from chapter 10, “What are Minds For?” (pp. 523ff), he opens discussion on the passive and active aspects of the Mind‑Body problem:
1. How can the material brain evoke consciousness? and
2. How can consciousness by the action of its will actually influence the (apparently physically‑determined) motion of material objects?
As outlined before, the problem is slightly more complex and the answer will now be attempted.
Firstly, it is necessary to note that algorithms cannot be created by algorithms, nor can they make any decisions as to the validity of an algorithm. The slightest mutation of an algorithm would render its mechanical process useless, and it is incoherent to assert that improvements to algorithms could arise in a random way.
The algorithmic process of the sub‑structure of the brain is not a process that it can develop by any process described as evolutionary. Penrose notes that even deliberate improvements are difficult without “meanings” being available. According to Penrose it logically follows that “We are back with the problem of what consciousness actually is, and what it can actually do that unconscious objects are incapable of, and how on earth natural selection has been clever enough to evolve that most remarkable of qualities” (ibid., p.537).
The assertions of natural selection appear to be incoherent in relation to any evolutionary function, but rather appear to be a maintenance function of the efficiency of the species. Species can protect themselves but do not appear to evolve in any explicable way.
To state the matter simply, there is an automatic or algorithmic element of the brain that controls unconscious or instinctive reactions of the brain and body. These structures are common to all vertebrates and invertebrates although vertebrates differ and are more efficient in the transmission of nerve signals than invertebrates.
Consciousness appears to act as a non‑algorithmic process capable of programming the long‑term memory and actions of the brain in humans, and decreases in any capacity deemed to be genuinely intuitive and rational, such that only one or two species have any capacities which could be said to approximate the function.
The base instinctive function common to all animals is termed the nephesh, and the intuitive rational function in man appears to be a higher order of thought which is non‑algorithmic and can grasp ideas intuitively. The problem of simultaneous transmission of ideas on a widespread basis indicates that there is a non‑local effect that is common to many brains.
The relationship of the universe is now of importance and some issues are raised.
The spacio‑temporal location of intelligent life does not appear to be coincidental. One of the issues that puzzle physicists is why some of the relations observed to hold between the physical constants (the gravitational constant, the mass of the proton, the age of the universe, etc.) appear to hold only at the present epoch in the earth’s history. “So we appear to be living at a very special time (give or take a few million years)” (Penrose ibid., p.561). Carter and Dick explain that this is because the epoch coincides with the lifetime of what are called main sequence stars (such as the sun) so that there can be intelligent life only at this time to observe the phenomenon. This proposition seems to me to be merely a fatuous reconfirmation of the initial observations.
When considering the Strong Anthropic principle, which deals with the possibility of an infinitude of possible universes, we are faced with a concept of anthropomorphism which incoherently does not address the question of the exactitude of phase‑space isolation such that random possibility is eliminated, and with its elimination the concept that such a singularity could isolate a particular universe which is logically contrary to God’s nature.
The relationships between space, time, mass, energy, thought and gravity are such that, as we have observed, they appear to be of a single fundamental essence, which we shall call spirit. A number of implications for the mind‑body problem arise from this point.
A spirit capable of selecting phase‑space and controlling energy so that forces are of an exactitude enabling a complex, controlled inter‑relationship of matter must logically be able to alter the relationship of the elements of the creation, such that by rearrangement of the sub‑structure matter can be brought into or removed from temporal existence. The essence could be multi‑locational and control the individual elements by complex interaction.
A complex material structure could be self‑regulating by an algorithmic intuitive process peculiar to species, but based on principles common to all species. From the commonality of the bases, alteration to the base programming could be effected by a non‑algorithmic process initiated through the exertion of the force as an electro‑magnetic field exerting a force equal to or in excess of one graviton, such that the determined U system is altered from its superposed state so that an R state is initiated which in turn initiates inspirational non‑algorithmic concepts into the brain structures of the target species. These then pass into the algorithmic long‑term memory substructure of the brain. Instinctive memory is programmed into the DNA such that increased energy output activates conditioned responses at varying levels.
From this it is possible to influence any species and the occupation of the species is simply effected by the adoption of an energy state acting within the material structure as a superimposed force. The continual initiation of gravitational effects from the energy made by transposition initiates action, which may be involuntary to the Host, or at the very least totally influential on it.
Where the spirit contains elements in division then the superimposed entities act according to, or divergent from, established laws. The absolute nature of theist theoretical relationships would force spirits to withdraw from any entity entertaining conflicting relationships.
Free will is thus maintained as an idea of judgement such that the rational capacity of the human species can decide which elemental structure it wants to adopt: either to act within the theoretical relationships or without them, to obey the law or to disobey. Disobedience ensures withdrawal of the spirit and an empty image such that the polytheist divisions can act upon it singly or in multiplicity, i.e., as multiple energy fields initiate R states on the single host.
Death of the host ensures the inaction of the energy fields on the material host.
The concept of being “foreordained to be called” and hence justified and glorified indicates that some, termed the elect, have an element of the spirit placed in them. This element of the spirit is such that it can initiate transformations of the universal structure by altering states and, consequent to a process of stable attitudinal positions developed in the consciousness systematically develop its strength.
In this case, when the material structure dies, then the spiritual non‑essential theomorphic element is retained as a structure of the divine essence emanating from Eloah as a subordinate to its Elohim or Theos. The selection and education of the elect is a process of foreordination arising from a process of omniscience. The immaterial inter‑relationships enable The God, Ho Theos, or Eloah through the divine essence to transpose positions of time and space. The anthropomorphic assertions of determinism, attendant upon foreknowledge and concepts of limited physics are incoherent.
Cicero made this error some two millennia ago. In order to make headway against the Stoics he had to abolish divination, and this he attempted to do by denying foreknowledge. By Platonic materialism the world was restricted to fatalism. Augustine correctly refuted the argument in the City of God and I shall not further labour the point. As Augustine says: “To acknowledge the existence of God, while denying him any prescience of events, is the most obvious madness” (City of God, p.190).
But this does not abolish free will and establish determinism collapsed into fatalism, but rather it establishes absolute prescience of our exercise of free will, because they are exercised on two planes of existence and understanding.
Scientists today make the same errors as their Platonic Pagan ancestors who worshipped the creation and attempted to create an algorithmic universe of mathematical truth of such a nature that they could conjoin with Theon by understanding the true ideas. This position is the reversal of the election, and is in fact impossible due to the confined nature of the material structure.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to explain the development of the universe in simple physical terms. The nature and distribution of the universe are imperfectly understood. Certain physical magnitudes and some aspects of nature are currently hidden from human understanding.
Philosophy has attempted to explain the nature of matter and the universe within the limited physics of its day, and most of it is based on assumptions of corporeal atomism.
The entire edifice of human action has been built upon a notion of causation that has been treated as analytically basic, and from this assumption the entire edifice of human action and of freedom and determinism has been constructed on an unsound foundation of supervenient causation. Michael Tooley, in his explanation of causation and the structure of relationships, has demonstrated that the most coherent and ontologically convenient structure must be singularist, based on theoretical relationships. An examination of Hume and later philosophers shows some interesting positions emerging as regards the metaphysical aspects of science and matter.
From Tooley’s position and on examining a number of phenomena which appear to indicate the existence of immaterial action and relationships external to the physico-chemical action of the human body, it is postulated that there is at work a series of immaterial structures and entities which have the capacity to affect human thought and hence behaviour.
From the basis of singularist causation it is logically postulated that the singularist cause is an entity which we understand to be God, and that the immaterial and material effects are the logical outcome of causation emanating from that entity with the immaterial aspects of creation logically prior to the material.
From an examination of the possible attributes and nature of God, it can be deduced that creation must follow a number of laws which necessarily emanate from the nature of the entity and that, not being disembodied, regulate the actions of the creation. Nor can it be sustained that God could create the divine attributes, but rather they must be instantiated, thereby rendering absolute creation incoherent.
The existence of spiritual entities other than God has been taken for granted, and is a facet of man’s recorded and oral history. Within the current ontological structure of the various faiths extant to date, an observable and demonstrable incoherence exists in the accounting for evil. The angelic host has been seen as fundamentally absurd within the commonly understood theological framework of modern Christianity. The demons do not appear to have any coherent reason for their existence as an evil entity, and indeed many have been at pains to deny their very existence.
When the biblical schema is analyzed a number of interesting propositions emerge which, when examined, produce a coherent logical schema of creation wherein a unified spiritual structure in harmony under the Will of God is seen to be the controlling factor of the spiritual and material creation. The demons were not created evil: they, like Christ and the entire host, were created with the capacity to know good and evil. These entities chose to place themselves outside the will of God, and they willed to sin by rebellion and logically created polytheism. The polytheist divisions commenced a war in the heavens, and which exists to this day.
Shortly, the whole rebellion will be brought to a close and the new replacement host will be drawn from the ranks of mankind in sequence.
The timeframe of the creation of mankind and the planet was erroneously ‘tidied up’ by Augustine of Hippo in the early fifth century, and consequently a closed scenario of creation was established.
It prevented the philosophy of religion from adequately explaining and providing philosophical and theological direction to science generally and to paleoanthropology as it emerged as a science. This incoherent and incomplete philosophical theology enabled the introduction of evolutionary materialism and the rejection of theistic activism on the grounds of an incoherent ontological structure of creation and one that was demonstrably unscientific.
A re-examination of the science and writings of the ancients shows that they in fact had a perfectly logical explanation for the later developments of science, and in fact had a formal, compelling and convenient ontology and soteriological structure.
On examination of these doctrines, a harmony of the structure of the creation emerges which provides an alternative explanation for the sequence of creation. Paleoanthropology will prove to be a useful tool in understanding the sequence of the pre-Adamic creation and the sequence of development. Of interest are the progression from Mousterian to Aurignacian cultures, and the destruction of these groups with the mysterious disappearance of Kartan systems over 4,000 years ago.
An examination of the problem of evil shows that from the earliest concepts and their linguistic application, the unity and harmony of the creation under a united Universal Government was the original structure, and the rebellion was the initiating cause of the breaking down of the structure and the cause of an increasingly egocentric and polytheistic structure whose logical operation is disunifying, disintegrating, and hence evil.
An examination of non-biblical systems shows that the active religious structure of the planet operates on two premises. One assumes immortality based on a soul doctrine that appears to be originally akin to Chaldean theology; the other assumes no immortal soul and therefore is theocentric being dependent upon a resurrection of the flesh. The egocentricity of the soul doctrine logically develops polytheism and exacerbates the progression of evil, which ultimately culminates in world destruction immediately attendant upon an egocentric and incoherent world-view and postulated governmental structure.
An examination of the soul doctrine and the concepts of the resurrection will show that the original Christian systems were rewritten by Athanasius and Augustine to accommodate a false theology and philosophy, so commencing the logical progression to world domination and destruction. The soul doctrine is incoherent, inconvenient, and ultimately destructive.
The attribute or absolute of the Law and the attendant theistic systems which one would logically expect to have been clearly given to the human race has occurred on a progressive basis. Humanity has been consistently diverted from the Moral Systems, and the progressive destruction of the human system from being a sound edifice for the operation of the Spirit of God is progressive and exponential. The Demons do exist and logically they can only exist as entities who were created perfect but exercised their capacity for evil as rebellion from the will of God. Any other system is incomplete, incoherent and necessarily impugns the Omniscience and Omnipotence of God.
The entire structure of the Heavenly Host can exist only within and subordinate to the will of a single entity, which is centrally singular but allows individuality of entities within that will as a harmonious structure.
For this reason the Trinity is incoherent and there can be only one God, Eloah (or Allah), and all entities extant must be subordinate as lesser beings or they must logically be destroyed.
It is thus that the entities in rebellion must logically repent and return to the will of God as part of that family or they must logically be destroyed.
The creation of man as a spiritual entity can be done only after the interregnum of teaching from rebellion is complete.
The human species and the angelic order will then become one, as God will become all in all and the universe will resume its pre-rebellion harmony, logically stronger, wiser and more powerful, numerically and spiritually.
The creation was thus illogically seen as an anthropomorphic theological structure that enabled a continual polytheist existence of being.
The development of the explanations of the human mind-body system resulted in Cartesianism, vulnerable to the polytheist arguments levelled against the spiritual or demonic host in rebellion, and is logically another elitist form of polytheism. It is incoherent and must be rejected. The non-algorithmic nature of conscious thought and the operation of the brain at a base level in all species show two levels of operation, according with the biblical schema. The soul does not exist save as an animal nephesh, which is developed in man to accommodate an element of non-essential theomorphism, allocated by foreordination on a progressive basis so that ultimately all mankind should be saved and share in its inheritance, which, according to Deuteronomy 4:19, is the whole heavens.
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