annatar1914 wrote:The essence of what I'm saying, if I can give a critique of Cartesian Dualism again, is that everything created is in fact material and possesses corporeality. That is, all created beings both visible and invisible occupy a coordinate point in space, are extended in three dimensions, and are at least theoretically divisible. Consciousness I deal with in another manner.
Well that is indeed the question; though I would like you to explain the distinction between consciousness and the soul if they are in fact, distinct in your thought.
annatar1914 wrote:I do not believe that there exists a mind-independent substance,
Then you are not an actual materialist; which even your understanding of God makes the term somewhat troubling and I see no reason why you should cling to it as such is associated with atheism for good reason; namely, that the grounds for our perceptual reality is not God; but matter. Likewise, materialism as a position would require God to likewise be material; however, you hold to neither view.
Hence, you are still a "substance-dualist,"
and are currently only contending "which substance" the soul is, but to then call yourself a "materialist" is misleading in the same way it would be for a Christian to call themselves "atheists" because it was a common Roman slur and because such Christians do in fact reject the pantheons of the pagans. Just as it would be inappropriate for Christians to call themselves atheists on such thin grounds, so too and in equal measure is it inappropriate for you to call yourself a materialist.
annatar1914 wrote: that everything material is in fact alive and has a greater or lesser degree of consciousness.... And therefore, a degree of intellect and will. Hylomorphism.
I think you will find the term to be Hylozoism, not hylomorphism; as zoism refers to "life" and hylas refers "matter;" whereas, "morphology" is the study of change; of coure if you believe there is some sort of "consciousness" in matter; that position might be better described as panpsychism than hylozoism anyway. That aside, this position would need some sort of biblical substantiation and greater attestation in the fathers beyond a select one here and there.
annatar1914 wrote:That everything created is material? I think not, and I see nothing wrong with viewing Creation as being embedded in the Mind of God either, a kind of conceptual space. But i'm looking at things from our perspective at this moment.
Nothing is outside of God's Mind because if it were we would have to deny God's omniscience; hence, the primary conception of materialism as arguing for an extra-mental substance underlying our perceptual world is at best unnecessary, and at worst contrary to our doctrine of God.
annatar1914 wrote:United with Man in the God-Man Jesus Christ, He Is. Otherwise I don't see what the issue is exactly?
I am not speaking about the Incarnation, nor am I denying the corporeality of the body; what I am critiquing is the idea that you are not a substance dualist; unless you wish to claim that God is also corporeal; in which case we have bigger fish to fry.
Fact is, in speaking of Theology proper, not Christology, God in His Essence is not corporeal.
annatar1914 wrote:but at Western Scholasticism that engages in a form of Docetism, denying anything more than a provisional corporeality to the unseen realms and their inhabitants which in modern times has degenerated for example to a belief in Heaven and Hell as being mere 'states of being' and not actual places located somewhere, inhabited by actual persons.
Docetism is a very specific heresy which fundamentally denies the bodily reality of Christ (His Humanity) in the Incarnation. I think its a bit unfair to reduce a millennia of debate over the exact metaphysical nature of heaven and hell with a denial of Christ's body.
That being said, you said you are not speaking of Berkeley; but Berkeley solves this issue. The tangible nature of Heaven and Hell is affirmed as perceptually experienced just as the world we exist in today; however, there is no problem as with other vulgar-phyiscalists in attempting to explain the material nature of such places or where they can be found on a map; as any map is only true based on how God is disposed to reveal reality at any given time by His express will.
I use this anaology with flat-earth people all the time as a Berkeleyan; namely, that no experiment can possibly prove whether the earth is flat or round, for even if we had a means of perfectly determining a true direction, the fact that I could walk that line and come back around to where I started only proves that God causes us to start back on the other side once reaching the edge. What this illustrates is important; our perception of extension is limited to what we can fit into our sight; hence, the size and scope of broader reality is entirely unknown to us, we only know what God specifically reveals to us by decree or in His Scriptures.
Similarly, that the heaven and hell is perceptual must be confessed by all Christians; however, that it is has some location we can point to is as logically dubious (if not moreso) than our own misguided speculations regarding the nature of own world; as a Geo-centrist you should be able to appreciate this point. If people can't get the nature of world right (including many theologians, east and west); how much more so can we say that trying to determine the physical nature of the afterworld is pure vanity?
annatar1914 wrote: Even more traditional Christians are confused by this language and the intentions of the persons who employ such confusion, to the detriment of really believing in the reality of Christianity at all. People yesterday and today can believe in something non-perceptible to their senses at times, things hidden or not fully understood; what they cannot understand a Creation that is partly emptied of any physical reality at all. Of course it then becomes hard to believe in...
Thing is, the incoporeality of the soul, besides being the majority orthodox position, also makes more sense regarding its eternality; namely, that decomposition and decay are features of corporeality; that is, parts fall off, change, or morph (as we observe in corpses). By contrast, Consciousness (the soul) cannot be shown to have parts (unless you identify it with the brain, in which case we have other problems). Thus, if the soul cannot decay or decompose; then we have no basis in plain reason to affirm that it ends when the body dies; rather, its eternal estate in hell or heaven as attested in the Scriptures would be agreeable to what must be inferred about Consciousness from plain reason; namely, that it is eternal in having not corporeal basis for decay (what we experience regarding all other finitude in the physical world).
Also, in response to one of your original claims; pleasure and pain are experienced in Consciousness in correlation to the body;
but reason determines that there is no necessity
for the body to be present in order to experience pain, only consciousness is necessary for pain and pleasure
; hence, the idea that some sort of corporeality is necessary for the experience of hell or heaven is simply not true. Hence, there is no necessity in claiming that the soul must be corporeal in order to explain spiritual pain/pleasure.
annatar1914 wrote:I have yet to find any condemnation in Council or Synod concerning Tertullian's beliefs, and if some of his beliefs had been condemned, or overlooked due to slight error or confusion, it was not on account of the writings I have employed to lend weight to my ideas.
Montanism was condemned; however, Tertullian would not have likely been named in any condemnation as he was not a leader in the movement; furthermore, we have conflicting information but two points of notable importance.
The first is that St. Jerome specifically states that Tertullian had left the church or was excommunicated at some point after becoming a Montanist (though modern scholars now disagree with the eminent father on this); however, even St. Augustine even discusses a group of "Tertullianists" in his own area having to be "reconciled" to the church (thus implicitly acknowledging them as a dwindling remnant of schismatics).
Of course, there is the argument from silence on the opposite side; namely, that if Tertullian was such a schismatic, then why didn't his disciple (the very anti-schismatic ) St. Cyprian ever decry or condemn him in retrospect? Who knows, but what we DO HAVE from the very fathers who would have been most sympathetic to him (the North African AND Latin theologian, St. Augustine, and the latin theologian St. Jerome) are remarks that he was a schismatic.
I only say this by way of caution, for even in areas of Tertullian's thought that are completely orthodox, we must be leery of his presuppositions even on those points. I mean, i doubt you would agree with him on his view of the Trinity for instance or his view of baptism ( I would tend towards his view on the former).
That being said, on any one of his points; where does he line up with the general orthodoxy of the entire church catholic? In many areas! but his notion of the soul as corporeal is simply not one of them.
annatar1914 wrote:Fortunately though, I was able to pick clear quotes from St. Justin Martyr and St. Macarius the Great on this very issue as well attesting to the reality of the corporeality of the Unseen. Now, our Immortality is not something that comes to us from nature after the Fall, but from God Who will indeed restore all things to their proper order. So it seems that there is Something, or rather Someone, outside His Creation yet infusing and sustaining it with His almighty power and incomprehensible glory (His Energies), that supplies His Life to make that of Creation's possible.
Once again, this would establish your views as heterodox at best; after all, Justin Martyr had some serious theological issues in his time that we overlook because they had yet to be fully addressed in the Councils of the church (namely, his synergistic tendencies); however, that being said, the overarching confessional and conciliar position of the church; as well as the majority of Christian systematics (including that of Lossky, if I remember correctly on the Eastern side) seem to all be in one accord as they argue for the nature of the soul as spiritual and non-material in distinction to the physical world.
Let me also add.....
That God is the Author of our immorality is not denied, but one also has to discuss in what sense man is Imago Dei.
Man was made in the image of God in "true righteousness and holiness" (Eph 4:24); qualities that are spiritual and not physical in nature and which are not bound to corporeal decomposition; but rather are characteristics of a conscious agency. This agency was made eternal and persists eternally and what was "broken" at the fall was the bond of body and soul in all human perpetuity; namely, that the wages of sin were death
(Romans 6:23), so now the body dies as a consequence of sin and this is true FOR ALL who are born on the this earth; and all the bodies shall be raised in the last day to stand judgment at the final resurrection for deeds done in the body
(2 Corinthians 5:10); however, to be absent from this body is to be present with Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) and this no more implies that the soul is material anymore than saying God is material in His essence because in Christ did the fullness of the Godhead dwell (Colossians 2:9).
annatar1914 wrote:I know my Malebranche, and his discussions with Antoine Arnauld the Jansenist, and I admit that Occassionalism has a certain charm, but not for me. With Arnauld, I ironically am too much a Determinist for Malebranche... We don't move God, He moves us.
Arnauld was correct in his critique of Malbranche's pelagian tendencies; however, that only shows how Malbranche's soteriology was inconsistent with His theology proper as it regarded the doctrine of providence.
However, that all things are determined by God's express will, moment-to-moment, can hardly be denied by anyone that understands God's sovereignty, and that doctrine is no different from what might be called occasionalism. After all, in Him we live and move and have our being
annatar1914 wrote:Therefore as it still stands, I say without contradiction that I am a Orthodox Christian and a Materialist Christian1.
You deny the existence of a mind-independent substance. 2.
You deny that God in His essence is corporeal.
Those two points ALONE make your use of the term "materialist" an absolute misnomer
(your view of there being some "corporeal" nature of the soul notwithstanding). Hence, even if your were entirely correct on the nature of the human soul as you have claimed, it would STILL not make you a materialist.
Thus, unless you identity God's nature as having the same fundamental physicality as the creation, you cannot be a materialist by definition
; because you DO NOT believe that everything which exists is material; likewise, nothing that you claim to be material is in fact viewed by you as having any existence apart from the Mind of God and His express will; thus, even the stuff you claim to be material; has nothing in common with what any actual materialist believes in the first place (as they view matter as the fundamental extra-mental basis for human experience) and if pressed such individuals would likely force you into some type of idealism anyway (I can assure you).
Hence, you are free to call yourself whatever you wish; but it will not make it any more accurate. There is almost nothing materialist about your position; either in terms of the scope implied by the term, or how the particulars of material reality are even understood at a basic level by any actual materialist.
This all being said, I would hate for anyone observing your claims to speculate that you are doing so only in a desperate attempt to reconcile your Christianity with your communism, but I could not blame them for reaching such a conclusion either.
After all, without dialectical materialism, you become an island to yourself in the world of socialist political theory; especially if you already reject reformism and Fabianism (as you have claimed elsewhere).