In theistic science, this difference of numerical quantities is solved because a
mind is a small collection of mental substances (in one of the mental sub-degrees)
that is responsible for generating a large number of neurological activities
in the brain. There is no requirement in the theory of generation and selection
that one cause cannot have many effects, either simultaneously or successively.
The binding problem is only serious when identity or reductive theories of minds
are attempted, and neither of those theories is part of theistic science.
I agree that I have not really explained what consciousness is and why it is necessary.
So, in some sense, the hard problem still remains. What theistic science does, however,
is to very plausibly assert that consciousness is, in essence, the awareness of
the doing when love and wisdom act together in the spiritual or mental
degrees. Any such doing is essentially conscious, and the essence of any consciousness
is the occurrence of such doing. This is, indeed, a kind of identity theory but
not a reductive account and certainly not a mind-brain identity theory!
This question is really about how minds can ever be related to bodies,
since they seem so different. This query has been at the heart of much resistance
to mind-body interaction theories over the years, despite that interaction being
observed by everybody in every waking minute of every day. Any answer to this query
must allow that mind-body connections, as well as being observable and frequent,
are also law-like, are based on some comprehensive and rational theory of the world,
and are similar to other processes which are (ideally) already well known. This
book contains, I believe, the ingredients for formulating such an answer.
One frequent belief is that our minds and souls are necessarily involved with our
bodies. That is certainly our common experience during life on earth. Nevertheless,
theistic religions have commonly asserted that we will still have some kind of life
after the death of our body and that this non-physical life may be available in
other circumstances as well.32.2According
to theistic science, however, we have physical, mental and spiritual bodies
whenever we have physical life, mental content in our mind, and our own spiritual
awareness, respectively. This implies that the descriptions ‘embodied’ and ‘disembodied’
are not sufficient to distinguish physical from non-physical existence.
The Christian resurrection is believed to be ‘resurrection of the body’ and is
commonly taken to be resurrection of the physical body, but now, however, the nature
of the resurrection body is not entirely obvious. Paul, for example, had the idea
of resurrection as a spiritual body32.3,
and this has been the source of considerable debate over the centuries.
Another frequent belief is that our minds and souls are necessarily distinct from
our bodies. We can then possibly exist in states out of our body which may reasonably
be called ‘non-physical’, ‘supernatural’ or ‘spiritual’. Descartes took our souls
to be essentially distinct from physical things, which he defined as the extended.
This view has persisted with the belief today that our minds are entirely non-spatial.
We never see ideas in physical space. We never meet the number three on the street,
Nevertheless, the actual experience of those who have had some active life apart
from their physical body does point to this life being based on a particular person’s
point of view in some space, with the person himself or herself possessing some
apparent body. In a mental world, appearing to have a body means you do
have a body.
I therefore see life at all levels (physical, mental and spiritual) as essentially
involving a personal body, though of different kinds of substances, in different
spaces, at each level. I claim that this involves no reductive treatment or possible
denigration of those respective manners of living.