Would it be possible for a human couple with a soul to conceive a child without a soul?

Me neither. But the point remains: If someone wants to claim that if something is alive it has a soul then that person needs to define life itself. Which will then be a relatively straight forward list of criteria that comprises a soul. As they will be the same.

I didn’t think that it could be defined so simply.

There might not be a bright line but there is a bright center. I don’t think very many people will try to debate that humans, dolphins, dogs, birds, or plants are living things. Viruses show some characteristics of life but in other ways they are mechanical and use living cells to transcribe themselves.

Whether they have a soul or not doesn’t seem to be an essential question.

It’s critical if the definition of a soul matches the criteria required for life. If a virus is deemed not to have all the criteria for life and therefore does not have a soul we are confirming exactly what a soul is.

Then we have the definition of a soul. It is the criteria which we use to determine if something is alive. Saying that an organism has a soul simply means it posesses the criteria we deem necessary for life. The ability to reproduce, movement, growth etc.

Sure. The husk couldn’t perform the “soul-processes” that a person would. But the husk doesn’t need to in order to do all the “physical body processes.” God already knows what the soul processes were, he can just puppet the husk.

No it isn’t. Prove that it is obscene.

So your contention is this?

  • God is good if and only if he creates souls he knows will go to hell.

Every child born of a woman has a soul. However, if a child were by some scientific experiment fabricated in a test tube without being born by a woman, it would probably not have a soul, would just be a mass of cells and tissues, which will probably die after a couple of weeks/months.

animals do not have souls

I’m willing to make a bet with you. If these scientists are unable to create a fully synthetic cell by 2035, I will concede your point. If, on the other hand, scientists do create a fully synthetic cell, then you will admit you were just making the tired old “God of the gaps” argument, and that God was never necessary to explain any life-processes.

If you figured life out, then why dont you create life yourself out of nothing in your home, or why has someone never created life from nothing? God is the creator of all life! It has nothing to do with the ‘’ God filler of gaps’’ thing you mentioned. By the way as a reminder, alot of brilliant scientists who contributed alot in what you know now about biology, life, physics, philosophy, name it… where good christians who never ceased to believe in an Omnipresent, Almighty and Sovereign God, Who is, and who is the source of all Life.

Let me throw some names at you of some renowned catholic scientists who contributed greately to shaping the world as we know it today, and I can assure you, they were not using God to fill in the gaps of their understanding but could recognise that God is the creator of science and the spiritual and material are 2 distinct, yet interconnected realities/realms:

Galileo Galilei,[1] René Descartes,[2] Louis Pasteur,[3] Blaise Pascal, André-Marie Ampère, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, Pierre de Fermat, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Alessandro Volta,[4] Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Pierre Duhem, Jean-Baptiste Dumas, Alois Alzheimer, Georgius Agricola, and Christian Doppler.

(source from Wikipedia)

Because there is a difference between knowing how something works and being able to make it. None of us would say we need a soul to explain how a watch works, but none of us could “make one from scratch” in our houses because we don’t have the tools to smelt metal, let alone fabricate the gears (or electronics, as the case may be.) So in the case of life, we are in the process of building those tools that will let us actually create the processes we’ve observed.

I’ll make the same bet with you that I’ve offered to vz71. I will caution you that hanging your faith on the scientific impossibility of something has so far proved to be a loser for religious people.

May I ask if you are a scientist or in anyway versed with science?

I am an engineer: I understand that having a scientific understanding of something is not the same as being able to apply it.

Well, you are an engineer, I am a medical doctor, a nuclear physician actually, so I think I know a thing or 2 about life, since I understand cells and metabolic processes and manipulate energy at a subatomic level (gamma, beta, alpha radiation) inorder to diagnose and cure diseases.

You said someone cannot make a watch from scratch without the building blocks. You are right. But you assume life has not yet been created artificially because we are still assembling or finding out about the building blocks of life. I guess your presume that when we would have found all building blocks for life and the technology to assemble these building blocks, then we will create life artificially. You are wrong.

1st of all, at a purely material level, we ALREADY HAVE the building blocks for what consists of living organisms at our disposal, we know all of them! We have studied these processes for thousands of years through dissections of corpses and through experiments (invivo and invitro). We know and have at our disposal all the nuclic acids that build up DNA, we have all the amino acids that make up enzymes and complex cellular proteins, in short mankind already has all the simple inorganic and organic molecules at its disposal to at least replicate living things…but yet…never succeeded…We have sure improved alot in our understanding of science and medicine, yet, we just cannot create a living cell despite all that! With science we cannot defeat death, we cannot bring back death organisms/animals/people back to life, despite how much money is being pumped into research involving these particular areas.

2nd of all, mankind can create inanimate things…we created the computer, we create robots, realy cool stuff. We are able to use what we observe and what we have to create stuff, that has always been the case since the beginning of our species. Everyone knows that a robot, no matter how advanced it is, is not a living thing. How is that?
Why is it so difficult for us to replicate from the basic inanimate inorganic and organic molecules we have at our disposal just a living cell with its enymes and protein synthesis and mitochondria from observing a cell which is alive, yet easier to create a complex robot although robots never existed before…
It just shows that man cannot do everything, its like asking an ant to build a computer. Ants can build complex nests for their queen, hunt for food in well organised and complex ways, but will never group somewhere and start building a computer or robot. They just cant do it.
Man was created in the image of God, so we have dominance and power over creation, however we cannot create life from nothing because we are created beings, and only the uncreated eternal Being, aka God, can create life. As simple as that!

If you’re really a medical professional you already know the answer. We design robots around our technical capabilities; life has no such compulsion. We can build robots because we have designed the robots such that we can build them. We cannot build life yet because life has requirements we do not have the tools to provide.

Re “we have the building blocks.” This is somewhat true, and I’m sure you also know that we have created synthetic versions of just about all of the building blocks. We have created synthetic DNA, enzymes, and novel proteins.

Re “we can’t bring things back to life.” That’s a whole other can of worms. If you’re a medical professional you must know about the chemical breakdown that happens after death. It’s like saying we don’t know how to convince a bunch of water molecules to “go back to where they were in an ice sculpture” after it melts. There is nothing mysterious about ice sculptures, but neither is it technically feasible to put all the molecules back exactly where they were before melting. So it is with death.

One problem with this presentation is - IF GOD WILLED IT?

That approach to understanding Actuality opens a door into an Endless What IF? Realm of Speculation

Better to stick with what God has Revealed to us.

Is it so difficult to believe I am a medical professional because I believe in God?
Yes I am a medical professional with some knowledge of physics too, I know more about medicine, cells and life than you do. So no need to be throwing me the ‘‘ifs i am … i should know…’’ crap. I Know all that. And it still stands…despite us knowing all that or creating synthetic dna, we cannot create a living cell. As for death, no need to lecture me about it. I know how it works more than you do. Just as I wont lecture you on your job as an engineer because I am not one.
I wont go with you into the medicine and science of what happens when someone dies but I will say this: Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour, resurrected a man called Lazarus, who was dead for over 3 days and was already getting rotten and stinking. I believe this gospel account (John 11:1-44) to be 100% true, although I am a medical doctor. So you see, what you think is impossible for science (e.g. what you mentioned about putrefaction after death making it impossible for resurrection) is actually possible with God. Putrefaction or not! Rot or not! Even if it is scientifically impossible, it is possible with God!! Faith in God elevates man to the divine realm, serving as a bridge of the imperfected and limitted with the perfect and unlimitted.

1 Like

Science (aka Man) cannot bring Life . .

God can…
)

No one has.
What we have, is a soul, that supports the life of an individual.
You are claiming otherwise, but offer nothing to show why this is the case.

I agree.
We are not God.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.