Rough notes on Hans Madueme’s plenary talk:
- Philosophers and Theologians question the usefulness of dualism – in some circles physicalism is the standard position
- According to some – physicalism makes most sense of the world, especially in light of the work of some neuroscientists – Both the OT and NT teach monism
- Substantivalist accounts of the Imago Dei – lend themselves toward physicalism
- In spite of these developments – traditional dualism has been and should continue to be the position of the global church
“Most laypeople assume our capacity to sin requires dualism – and I agree”
- Three accounts of physicalism that provide an attempt to say how moral responsibility is possible
- Look at biblical material of sin
- Argue that the biblical material requires dualism
- Respond to one objection
- The hard problem of Consciousness
- The “hard problem” on Sin
- Three accounts: Green, Murphy, and Clayton
- Does Scripture have anything to say about human composition and sin?
- Matthew 5:27-30 – The inner thought not the external act is the real location of the sin – there is an implicit anthropology here.
- Romans 2:28-29 – Being outwardly Jewish is not sufficient – a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly – circumcision of the heart. This inward outward contrast is best understood with some form of dualism
- Ezekiel 36 & Jeremiah 31 – The heart is understood metaphorically as talking about the inner person
- Demons are immaterial creatures – and they are quintessential sinners – therefore one should think a body isn’t necessary for sin
- Because we are embodied – sin has an embodied character but embodiment is not necessary for our sin
- Physcialism can’t provide moral responsibility
- Biblical data assumes doctrine of sin
- One Objection – if one things theological determinism is true and still hold to moral responsibility, why not think physical determinism is true and hold to moral responsibility
- First, theological determinism does not entail physical determinism
- For the sake of argument lets conceded Calvinism entails physical determinism, this would be a problem if physical was all there is
- Is this account too dogmatic? Is the problem that we have differing intuitions? But there are two main questions:
- Does my Anthropology fit with current scientific findings?
- Does my Anthropology fit with the dogmatic deliverances of the faith?
- Most Christian physicalists acknowledge science cannot adjudicate the debate.
- Not only is dualism more plausible given the reality of sin but also other doctrines: The intermediate state (Rev 6).
- Does our theorizing actually preach, comfort the disturbed?
- Our thoughts on this topic must also fit with our Christology