It is a principle of secular thinking that humans have no spiritual component. In other words, they say humans do not have souls or spirits. Secular thinkers believe that the universe described in the laws of physics is all there is, and they are adamant that humans cease to exist at the moment of death, except for the dead body that requires safe disposal.
It is hard for a real observer of human beings to agree with the secular worldview. Dogs, cats, worms and whales are all non-spiritual beings, and whales, for example, are extremely intelligent. So are apes, which seem so similar to humans that comparisons almost make sense. Yet even in the ape family of beings, there is not one that comes vaguely close to a human being.
If human beings have no spiritual component, and if human beings are simply one step farther down the evolutionary path than a chimpanzee, why are human beings so utterly different from chimpanzees? Can anyone believe that the differences between humans and chimpanzees are simply biochemical? I have a few questions:
- Why don’t drugs fix problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder?
- Why do humans insist on going beyond the need for nutrition and prefer food with flavor, color and artful presentation?
- Why do humans need relationships beyond a partner for sexual intercourse and some association for personal safety?
- Why do humans have aspirations that transcend their need for food, clothing and shelter? In other words, why are humans never satisfied with the way things are?
- Why do humans change the space around them in so many ways when other animals hardly leave footprints?
- Why don’t all homo sapiens make identical sounds for purposes of gathering crowds, finding sex partners or warning of predators? In fact, why do humans have so many ways to express language, laws, government, art, philosophy and religion? Why does no other creature even bother with these things? (Please refrain from the temptation to tell me that an elephant or a cat has produced real art.)
- Why does every human culture include a religious element? Even the most atheistic, secularized humans on earth worship something—themselves.
Human beings obviously have facets to their existence that no other animal has, yet it is not possible to find an origin or reason for these differences that can be measured in the scientific way. The differences between humans and animals are vast and they cannot be expressed as equations or measurements. Human beings all have aspects that simply transcend the time/space world of physics and chemistry. Human beings are spiritual beings.
The Bible explains the phenomenon in many different ways, but there is one verse that sums up the real difference between humans and mere animals: “The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7 ESV). Human beings are the result of a specific act of creation by God in which God breathed his own breath into them.
Planned Parenthood, the women who go to them for abortions, and people all over the world who are trying to prevent women from “suffering” the “disease” of “unwanted pregnancy” need to pay attention to this truth. God put something of himself in every human being, and when an abortion provider is cutting the spinal cord of a living baby in order to harvest the baby’s head for research, all parties to that act are setting themselves up for a confrontation with God Almighty. This crime of murder is not the unforgivable sin, and any guilty party can come to God in repentance and obtain forgiveness, but in order to obtain forgiveness, the guilty party would need to recognize that he or she needed forgiveness.
If human beings are only biochemical machines, no forgiveness is required. Abortion simply cleanses an unwanted parasite from a woman’s uterus. It is no different from liposuction. I do have two questions:
- If abortion is not the murder of a living baby human, what good are the body parts of this organism for research in the realm of human medicine?
- If abortion is not the murder of a living baby human, why do couples post on Facebook an ultrasound of the lump of cells in a woman’s uterus and announce, “We’re pregnant! Meet Ellen!”
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
18 thoughts on “Are Human Beings Merely Biochemical Machines?”
Just because humans are capable of much more does not mean a God created us. Give it a few million more years and those chimpanzees will be inventing things too and creating false religions!
Neither you nor I will be here to compare notes on chimpanzees a million years from now. However, we can look at creatures that have survived from ancient times and ask how they have evolve and if they are evolving still. For example, the cockroach and the coelacanth. Those creatures do not seem to have evolved into chimpanzees, yet, and they have had a great deal of time. It makes me doubt that chimpanzees will be scribbling religious texts or flying rockets in a million years.
You obviously do a lot of reading. I recommend you read the gospel of John. It starts with the beginning of the universe. It ends shortly after the resurrection of Jesus. If that ending feels incomplete, you could follow by reading the book of Revelation. It goes all the way to the end of time. I would be very interested in your reaction to these two books which view time and space from a rather different perspective than your own. It is always good to see things from more than one point of view. Please let me know when you would like to talk about these books.
‘It makes me doubt that chimpanzees will be scribbling religious texts or flying rockets in a million years.’
I really think you are underestimating how long of a length of time that is. Have you seen that some animals have decided to walk upright and use tools?
Human beings differ from mere animals by virtue of the breath of God. It doesn’t take faith in God to recognize that the differences between humans and animals are due to the fact that humans have spiritual qualities that transcend time and space. Every human has those qualities. Some use them to communicate in a relationship with God, while some use them to attempt to be gods themselves. No amount of change in DNA will create a spiritual aspect in an animal.
*humans and other animals
While humans are bodies that are like those of animals, humans are also spirits, which transcend animal bodies. Hence, humans not mere animals.
When has this been demonstrated?
“•Why don’t drugs fix problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder? ”
It is amazing when someone makes such a false statement. My husband is bipolar and the drugs *do* indeed fix the problem. Drugs have fixed my anxiety disorder. Why have you chosen to say something false? Is it ignorance about what the drugs do? Then you should do some research before making up nonsense.
“◾Why do humans change the space around them in so many ways when other animals hardly leave footprints?”
haven’t seen a termite mound, have you?
It seems that all of your questions are built on your ignorance, be it willful or not. You might want to try reading about biology, anthropology, linguistics etc.
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A termite mound does not compare favorably with even a log cabin, let alone the Trump Tower or the Statue of Liberty.
As for the medications, I am glad that they help you and your husband. We are blessed to have medications that support people with problems. However, it is not nonsense to say that the drugs do not make the problems go away; they help with management of the problems.
Thank you for the suggested reading. Everyone can learn by reading. I have, however, read a great deal in these areas.
May I suggest that you read the gospel of John in the Bible. Just read it and think about what it says.
Ah, so you want to move the goal posts. Not surprising at all. Let’s see what you said “◾Why do humans change the space around them in so many ways when other animals hardly leave footprints?”
You were the one to make the claim and your claim fails.
You also tried to lie about meds “◾Why don’t drugs fix problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder?”
It’s great to see you now backpedal from those lies, and now try to pretend that you were always for meds and know that they work. Again, no surprise that you try to change what you said into something else. The meds fix e.g. correct the problem. They are not just “management”. Again your ignorance betrays you.
You are quite correct, everyone can learn by reading. You need to do a lot, and not make up lies in order to fish for validation of your religion. There is no evidence at all that you have read a great deal in any of these areas at all. If you had, you wouldn’t be needing to move the goalposts and backpedal your nonsense.
I’ve read the entire bible and am very familiar with the gospel of John. You seem to think you and only you know what it says. Please tell me what that is. You can, correct?
If you wanted a discussion, you would say, “I have read the gospel of John and it says . . .” Then you would explain why you think it is or isn’t instructive in the matter at issue–the spiritual aspect of human beings.
There is plenty of evidence in human history, in fact in every human life, to demonstrate that humans are simultaneously temporal and spiritual beings. The gospel of John addresses that subject repeatedly and thoroughly.
John’s gospel also clearly reveals God’s love for you and your husband. I pray you will go ahead and read that gospel again. May God bless you and keep you and lead you into the light.
The gospel of john is an attempt by the author to claim that Jesus is divine and that one is only saved if one believes this. It contradicts the other gospels in some rather important parts, like the events in Gethsemane among others. The gospel of John does not address your claim that humans are somehow special either repeatedly or thoroughly, it simply repeats the baseless claims made in the bible, that humans were created from dirt by a god. You are welcome to support your claims by showing where the GoJ does what you claim.
You have tried to claim that humans aren’t merely biological creatures, and have yet to support that claim. You have asked questions that are based on ignorance of biology and other subjects.
What is this “plenty of evidence” that humans have some supernatural thing going on? It’s amusing that you baselessly claim that your god exists and that it somehow loves me and my husband. If it did, why did it make my husband’s brain defective, this god of yours that supposedly has control over the entire universe? There’s also the problem of why this god evidently hated everyone before it supposedly allowed current modern medicine to be invented by intentionally making them suffer; all of those people who didn’t have the meds to fix brain chemistry malfunctions, antibiotics to cure diseases, and modern replacements for amputations, among other things. I am curious what reasoning you’ll give to excuse this.
I have read the gospel and unsurprisingly your prayers are ineffective in making me agree with you. Again, it’s no more than baseless claims, a myth like many others that claim that a god/gods created humanity, that humans are supposedly special and that one religion is the magical truth. It offers no evidence to support its claims, or its attacks against Judaism or other religions. Now, since you have claimed that the GoJ is somehow pertinent to your claims of human exceptionality, tell me how. I also ask you to support your claims made in the questions you have proffered and which have been shown to be wrong.
Other religions make the same claim, that humans are somehow special. Hinduism claims that humans are part of Braham/God. Greek mythology has Prometheus creating humans and making them like gods. Humans love to claim that they are special and to make up just-so stories. If humans aren’t special, it makes religion rather pointless because there is no need for a god. No need for a creation myth and then no need for a “savior” to make up for a sin that a god created in the first place.
Your last two questions are quite amusing. Hmmm, if your first question is true, then ferrets are humans since they are used for research in human medicine too. No one is saying that the cells of a fetus aren’t human, what is said is that a fetus is not a living baby human, just like an acorn is not an oak tree. They both have the same cells, but one is not equivalent to another. Your second question is completely hilarious since you want to claim that people who have no knowledge about biology should be considered experts in it when they give a clump of cells a name and naming something makes it human. I do also like how you bear false witness against the folks at Planned Parenthood by trying to claim that they say certain things.
I’ve had quite a few people claim that they are praying for me. Funny how nothing has ever happened like they wanted. There are some reasons that this could be: your god loves me as I am , your god finds your prayers incorrect, your god wants me as I am and I can’t change thanks to it, or your god simply doesn’t exist which would explain why prayers never work at all. Which reason would you like to choose?
The last shall be first. I am glad that people are praying for you. So am I. God will never force you to open your heart to him, but he will be waiting for it to happen until the day of your earthly death. That is the day that it will be proved to you that you are more than flesh. You will not go out like a light. You will still be you, and able to continue rejecting God. However, God won’t be sending you any further invitations at that point, and you will be subject to the ungentle ministrations of Satan.
God does love you. He loves you so much that he allows you freedoms that no other created entity has. You are free to reject him, unlike a bird who simply lives within the created order of things from conception to death. Only human beings, like God himself, transcend time and space.
How do I know that God loves you? I know it, because Jesus said so. In the book of John.
While you live in time and space, you are free to reject truth. When you depart time and space, you will have shed the connection with this visible universe, and all that is left for you is eternity. You may be surprised when you discover you still have a body, but it will be dead. That is the foundational truth underlying ridiculous imaginary concepts such as zombies.
Blaise Pascal doubted God, too. Finding himself unable to visualize God and see his hand in the world, Pascal imagined the consequences of choosing to believe or not believe. He concluded that if he bet on God, and there was no God, he was better off at death than if he bet on the absence of God and God did exist. That is a thought worth examining.
Hmmm for being so insistent on telling me to read the Gospel of John, you seem to have dropped the subject since your false assumptions didn’t pan out for you. Again, Katherine, where does it say that humans are special?
It is often curious to see Christians use prayer as if it were a weapon that non-Christians should be afraid of. Again, Katherine, what use is prayer if it does nothing? You may be praying and your prayers go unanswered. We see how useless prayer is in every disaster. It’s great for you to claim you pray because that means you don’t have to actually do anything. Prayer fills no stomachs, heals no wounds, saves no lives. The bible claims at one point it did. Why does it do nothing now? Why are the prayers of all theists never answered?
It’s rather curious that you claim that your god will never force himself on anyone when that clearly is not the case if one believes the stories in the bible. I know your god will never force himself on me because it doesn’t exist, no more than Allah does or Vishnu or the wiccan Goddess. The bible says that this god forces himself on people and says that no one can be saved unless it is by its whim. So your claims are false even when compared to your supposed holy book.
I am always bemused when a Christian looks forward to someone being damned. It’s so sad and sadistic. There is no evidence at all that I am more than flesh. And no evidence that your religion is true, so I think I’m pretty safe from the depredations of any gods. It’s sad that you rely on trying to scare me with your bogeyman Satan. Again, in the bible Satan is working your god, in Job and then again in Revelation where you god goes out of its way to release Satan after your god murders everyone who doesn’t agree with it and after an eon where Jesus Christ is in charge. Into this supposed paradise your god intentionally releases the snake again to damn a few more people for its jollies. I certainly wouldn’t worship a being like that.
Again, evidence that your god loves me? I know my husband loves me; where is this same evidence from your god? In the bible, this god allows no one freedoms. It kills people constantly, it interferes in human affairs constantly and it says that again no one does anything without its control. I’ve read the bible and know this. It does make it hard when atheists know the bible better than a Christian does. The attempts at frightening atheists and to tell them that your god is something that it is not don’t work very well. If it gives freedom, why does it murder people? That is the ultimate elimination of freedom. Why does it force its will on the pharaoh? Why does it say that no one has free will in Romans 9? Again, nothing to show that human beings transcend time and space. No evidence of your god at all.
I wonder if you understand how absurd it is to claim you know that God loves me because Jesus said so. Jesus also said that there was a magical earth covering flood and there no evidence of that either. Jesus said that his followers would be able to do miracles like him and better and funny how none of you can. Indeed, there is no evidence of Jesus himself. Nothing to show he gathered a legion’s worth of men several times outside of an occupied city. Nothing to support the claims of the massacre of the innocents or some ridiculous census. Nothing that shows anyone noticing him at all. No darkening of the sky, major earthquake and the walking dead at any time. If a Wicca told you that the Goddess loves you because it says it in a book, would you believe them? I suspect not.
You keep claiming you known some truth. Evidence for this? All theists claim this, including Christians who don’t believe as you do. How do you propose to show me that you do know some truth? Your claims are no truth, they are just baseless hopes that you are correct. There is nothing to indicate that I will have a dead body or any body at all. There aren’t any zombies, not even in the bible where the dead supposedly come out of their tombs and hang out with the residents of Jerusalem. It’s absolutely hilarious the lengths you’ll go to in order to try to scare me.
Pascal’s wager is always fun to watch a Christian use. So, Katherine, how do you know you are worshipping the right god? If you’ve made the wrong bet, you’re in no better shape than me and I have the benefit of not wasting time and resources in worshipping a false god. Indeed, as an atheist I do not believe in any god equally and honestly; there is no evidence. What would you say to a god that said “But Katherine, there’s evidence for me everywhere. You just chose to ignore it.” If there would be a god as vicious as yours, I might believe in it but I would never worship it. Love isn’t murdering those who disagree. Love is not threatening eternal torture if you aren’t obeyed. Those are the tactics of an abusive parent or spouse. All you have is an argument that might equals right.
It’s not very surprising at all that you have ignored my questions. I shall ask them again: “What is this “plenty of evidence” that humans have some supernatural thing going on? Why did your god evidently hate everyone before the modern era so much that it didn’t allow modern medicine to be discovered? Which reason would you like to choose to explain why prayers do nothing?
I do wonder, in taking Pascal’s wager, do you think your god is stupid enough to accept that I claim I believe? Can you make yourself believe in something you don’t?
God loves you. I love you to the best of my ability. I pity you. I even know how you feel. Nevertheless, God loves you. My ability to argue is not the key point here. Your willingness to believe me is irrelevant. It is God who confronts you, not me. I will always recommend the book of John to thinkers like you. The other gospels are wonderful, and if you dislike John, try Mark. He gets to the point and sticks to the point from beginning to end. The point is, “Do not doubt God. Believe and be saved.” I agree that Pascal’s wager is a questionable tactic. I brought it up for your thoughts. I do believe he makes a good point.
Mark’s message is clearer. “Do not doubt. Believe.” Kierkegaard thought the same way. Everyone arrives at the cliff’s edge eventually, and when that happens, each must choose. Believe, or don’t believe. For now, you are choosing not to believe. I think the cliff’s edge is still ahead of you. May God get through to you when that time comes. God loves you.
I see you have nothing left but baseless claims. Again, Katherine, there is no reason at all to believe your repeated claims that your god loves me. I have no evidence of this at all, and plenty of evidence that your god does not exist and that its followers are nothing special, often lying ineptly and doing their best to scare me into agreeing with them. I have just as much reason to believe a Muslim who says Allah loves me as I have to believe you, exactly no reason at all.
You do not love me. I am very fortunate to have someone who does love me, thus I know the difference. Someone who loves me would not try to lie to me or try to tell me that some bogeyman was going to get me if I didn’t believe what she said. You hope that I would give you the external validation you crave. You may pity me, but there is little reason to since I am lacking nothing. You can still support your claims. I am still waiting.
Your ability to support the claims you have made is indeed the point here. You have lied, Katherine. You have tried to ignore questions put to you. You keep claiming your god is so powerful but it does nothing to help you, just like it does nothing to help people when they are dying, in danger, starving, etc. Christians claim to be the special snowflakes of their god but funny how you do no better than anyone else.
My unwillingness to believe you is entirely relevant. You have tried your best to convince me you are right and still have failed. Your prayers failed, Katherine. You kept claiming that you were praying for me and nothing happened. So now you must falsely claim that suddenly my belief doesn’t matter. Always great to see those goalposts moved again and again.
Again, you claim that the Gospel of John says that humans are special. I’ve already read it and know that it doesn’t. Your recommendation failed too. I’ve read all of the bible, so your further attempts to hope that I’ll do your work for you and magically find something also fail. You were unable to show where the GoJ shows that humans were extra special. I asked and for someone who claims the GoJ is so great, you were unable to post one verse to support your claims. You claim the Gospel of Mark supports your claims. It doesn’t either. I’ve read it and it does disagree with the GoJ in quite a few ways, including how one is saved. None of them are “don’t doubt god, believe and be saved”. That what the OT says; it’s all about God. Mark says do good works and be saved; JC is the son of God but no one need know this, only that he is the messiah per the OT. Then the message changes slowly through Matthew and Luke and in John it says that one must accept Jesus *is* God and that is the only way to be saved. Then this changes again with Paul where he says it doesn’t matter what you do, the only way to be saved is by his god’s whim aka “grace”, not by works or belief, for one cannot believe unless God allows you to do so. Again, if one reads the bible and doesn’t accept what someone else tells you it says, one can come to quite a lot of interesting information. I’m still waiting for you to show that this god of yours doesn’t control people. Where in the bible does it say this? I can and have pointed out many instances where it does.
I don’t believe for a moment you just brought up Pascal’s Wager for my “thoughts”. You thought it was a good argument and now that it has failed too, you try to claim you think it is “questionable”. Of course, then you insist again that he makes a “good point”. Which is it, Katherine? Is it questionable or does he make a good point? What is this good point? What happens if you got the wrong god?
There is a difference between belief and faith and having faith and having trust. Faith, in this context, is as the bible says, believing with no evidence. Belief does not depend on this and trust is belief built on evidence. There is no reason to believe in your god since there is no evidence for it at all, not even it answering your prayers or anyone elses.
Again, you try to scare me. No, Katherine, there is no cliff ahead of me. You try to tell yourself that so you can imagine that atheists don’t exist and they really really will agree with you, honest and for true. Kierkegaard makes the same assumption; that there is a god and everyone will agree with him when this god comes “mysteriously”, though he has no evidence that there is a god at all. The mere existence of atheists shows that his philosophy is simply wrong and it is in itself a great example of how Christianity does use fear and ignorance to keep people following it. How dare we doubt but hey, if you are made to feel guilty for something you didn’t do, that’s great! Don’t question, just accept blindly (“to crucify one’s understanding”) It’s rather good that we didn’t do this, and we kept questioning and getting all of those great discoveries and inventions that have made human life better.
I hear this very common theist claim again and again from Christians like you, the same ones who lie and claim that there are no atheists in foxholes when there are plenty. You desperately hope that something horrible will make me agree with you and that’s all you have. That’s sad and shows that you don’t love me at all. I don’t love you at all and I also would not want to you suffer. That doesn’t require love, that just requires being a compassionate human being.
I shall ask my questions again, though I know you will not answer them.
What is this “plenty of evidence” that humans have some supernatural thing going on? Why did your god evidently hate everyone before the modern era so much that it didn’t allow modern medicine to be discovered? Which reason would you like to choose to explain why prayers do nothing? Why are the prayers of all theists never answered? If it gives freedom, why does it murder people? Why does it force its will on the pharaoh? Why does it say that no one has free will in Romans 9?
My computer crash prevented me from a lot of important things over the past month. I won’t belabor that issue. I simply ask you one question: Did the universe have a beginning, or is it eternal?
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