ARGUMENT: The Bible never teaches that there is any such thing as a non-material substance or being.  The Roman Catholic Church and the vast majority of Christian believers hold that the soul, the real person, is a spirit, that is a being with no parts but which is a real entity all the same.

The Bible never says that God is invisible or non-physical by nature (John. 1:18, I Timothy 6:16, I John. 4:12. It only says we don’t see him. It says that God is spirit, which is the same word as the word breath. But there is no hint that God is thought to be a spirit in the sense taken by the Church. The Church plucked the idea from Greek philosophy that you have matter and you also have spirit.  Matter is stuff and spirit to all intents and purposes is not stuff at all but is there.  That is where you get the idea of minds going about with no parts or brains.  

The Bible speaks of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and others as alive after their deaths but that could mean that God somehow resurrected them after they died. Jesus hinted as much when he said that God was the God of the dead not the living.  He said that God wouldn't suffer being called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob unless they were alive.

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Rich Man suffers in torment and sees Lazarus happy with Abraham in the distance.  Both are resurrected beings for the Rich Man complains of the torment of his tongue in the flames.  And yet he has relatives on earth who are not dead yet and Abraham refuses to let him help them. He says there is no point.  But Abraham could be wrong.  If he is, it refutes the Catholic doctrine that the saints take interest in what happens on earth.

God only needs to put good thoughts in us and good feelings to help us do his will.  We do not need a soul for him to work on to make us instruments of good.  The idea that a soul is nourished and washed by Catholic sacraments seems to presuppose that you are not really your body but it is just your home.  The sacraments do not and are not intended to help the body.  Dualism like that is considered irrational and dangerous.  I do not matter if I am my body and all I care about is something I only imagine is me, my spirit.

Even if the Bible did say something with no parts could exist it would not follow that it is the same as your identity, your personhood.  If you are made of body and soul, your personality might STILL be in the body.  The soul could be some kind of component or balancing force.   

Interestingly if everybody rises from the dead when they die, then there is nothing special about Jesus rising.  All that stands out is how he was appearing.  But surely if so, he was not the only one who did that?  More importantly, if the early Church thought that then their story of how he appeared was a WHITE LIE not a LIE.  Every martyr dies for white lies.  There is a difference between putting your life under threat for making up a story from whole cloth and this.  For the early Church, that Jesus was risen was the truth whether he appeared or not and that is what they died for.  Just a reminder though that the evidence that they really died for faith in Jesus as such is controversial and legendary.


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