You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. – C. S. Lewis
As a new revolution of technology in robotics is about to take the world by storm, …
as ISIS/ISIL marches all over the fertile crescent, creates their own currency & emboldens other terrorists to action, …
NOW more than ever, humanity must take the advice of the ancient Greeks to “Know Thyself (γνῶθι σαυτόν).”
The maxim, or aphorism, “know thyself” has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature. The Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia of Greek knowledge, says: “the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are”, and that “know thyself” is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude. (wikipedia)
Humans are changeable. YOU are changeable.
Do not think of yourself as static and unchanging, as if your DNA and lesser identities (sexual, gender, ethnic) are those things which must immutably determine everything else about you.
Humans are organisms, sustained by other organisms. Yet, being an organism is not the sum of what makes us human. The assertion of this article, well represented by the above quote from C. S. Lewis, is that physicality (with its many functions) is not the foundational attribute of humanity. Rather, humans are primarily an immaterial race of souls (with a common nature or essence), whose existences are temporal and expressed in mortal (human) bodies.
Unraveling the Double Helix
Firstly, the HAR-1 region of our genome proves we became human rapidly. Whenever we did become human, it was not a slow thing.
Secondly, the field of epigenetics finds heritable changes to one’s physical makeup are not restricted to DNA. Just this year, What Evolutionists Have Vigorously Denied For Decades Is Now “An Exploding Field” (Uncommon Descent). Geneticists have concluded that Epigenetic Changes–lit. changes to one’s physical make up that are beyond or besides genetics–are responsible for a great number of one’s heritable traits. Hardship, diet, climate and ecology (supply/lack), and even excercise have the ability to alter us on a biological level as well as the mental, emotional and psychological levels. In essence, epigenetic changes are veritable, quick-write data sets, equivalent to the encoding (recording) of our life experiences, which are in turn passed down to or determinative upon our biological children. And, thankfully, what has been passed on can be changed (reversal) as well. This reveals our DNA is not the almighty and determinative aspect of our being after all. Therefore, any identity which mankind chooses, based on heritable composition–a.k.a. “I was born this way,” is neither a fixed nor universal identity. You are changeable!
Lastly, there is no functional “junk DNA.”
Cells read their own DNA, copying strands as they replicate. Now, scientists have discovered the mechanism that allows them to read it in the correct direction and prevents them from copying “junk DNA,” which makes up long stretches of our genome. (ScienceWorldReport.com)
It is a wonder that cells have the innate to “read” their own DNA, from any given position, in both directions but stopping seemingly inexplicably, so as to “weed out” what is of no use to their particular RNA. While I am sure science will debate why or the extent to which the individual cell has this stunning “intelligence,” I am happy to cite the Designer–God. You are not here by random chance. Your cells prove it. If “junk DNA” is purposefully left out of all functional biology, then the theory for macro-evolution becomes even harder to prove.
The brain is not the mind (center of reason & belief, soul).
“Possession is nine-tenths of law,” so the old adage goes. Do not think that your brain (the anatomical matter with all of its chemical reactions) possesses your mind. Your mind has the desire and ability to see from the vantage point of eternity. The brain is distinct from the mind, and the latter controls (or possesses) the former.
Neuroscience (US NLMNIH) attests to anatomical brain alteration and rerouting of neuron pathways. These paths can be redirected as a result of one’s experiences, habits and foci. The brain is a changeable organ, depending on choice and concentration/focus and stimuli. While one may be born with physical (biological) predisposition, brain matter and its various combinations of “layout” and by “interaction” with various chosen stimuli is alterable.
–Negative example: drug abuse physically alters brain anatomy. (science.education.nih.gov)
–Positive Example: Neuroplasticity:: review and incremental building of concentration alters brain anatomy and performance, even in those with disability. (Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child; LearningRX)
–Positive Example: IQ is changeable, no matter one’s age. (NPR)
–Positive Example: Brain Implant Lets Paralyzed Man Move Hand with His Thoughts:: (Neurogadget.com; Mind Brain Dualism: The Mind and Brain are Distinct – “the human soul operates the brain”)
If one relies on naturalism to provide definitions of humanity, then it is rather difficult to explain the science and anecdotal evidences cited above. But, when one embraces that he or she is not a mere organism–that we are souls that have bodies–then humanity can account for itself and reality much better.
The physical is most definitely interactive with the unseen (immaterial) human soul. We are not beings who just receive biological direction from a combination of physical stimuli and biochemical reactions; we are not merely reactive beings. At the cellular level, we display intelligence, and intelligence never came from unintelligence; order never came from chaos. Rationality never came from the lack thereof. The mind (soul) controls matter — not as in the mystical “mind over matter”– but as in ‘you are a soul which has a body.’ We are primarily immaterial persons who happen to have a material (albeit mortal and temporal) existence. Our physiology can be affected by our inner psychology, beliefs, habits, mores and other environmental experiences. These changes can be reversed and improved when negative. Or, we can deteriorate.
The point is: You are changeable! …but not so changeable that you can rid yourself of the evil within. You need God, your Maker, for that.
All the Same? – a Response to Washington Post’s The Problem Isn’t Islam … It’s ALL Religious Fundamentalism