I have three reasons for believing Jesus is alive in a new life with God or will be at the end of time: 1) historical Jesus, 2) arguments for God’s existence, and 3) the character defects of people who teach their children life ends in the grave. This book is filled with facts, explanations, and arguments in support of # 3. The book is very readable and interesting.
I was happy to learn, for example, that Jean-Paul Sartre, who is supposed to be an atheist, admired the mass-murderer Joseph Stalin. As the book explains, Sartre acknowledges that Jesus saved mankind for meaning. I happen to know that Sartre did not say God does not exist. He only said that the concept of God is contradictory. The concept of a human being is also contradictory because we comprehend all that we do and all that happens to us, but we can’t define what a human being is. In other words, a human being is an embodied spirit or spirited body. While there are only arguments for God’s existence, we can prove that the human soul is spiritual with the metaphysical categories of form and matter.
It is not clear to me that the author understands this because he criticized Darwin for “rejecting the existence of the human soul” (location 1020). He also says that the soul is the “the locus of sentience, reason, and will” (location 1652). More serious, in my opinion, is that he continually refers to the “materialist worldview” of “secularists.” If someone thinks they are Napoleon, it means they are crazy. It does not mean their worldview is that they are Napoleon.
In my opinion, people who don’t admit that the human soul is spiritual are liars and should be confronted with their dishonesty. To continue a discussion with such a person about God and revelation violates Matthew 7:6 (“neither cast ye your pearls before swine”). I got into an email exchange with a retired professor of philosophy at a university in the United States about Thomas Nagel’s book that I quote below.
The professor wrote a piece that sought to refute Nagel and I tried to explain why Nagel understood the “mind-body problem,” as it is called. I feel comfortable saying Nagel a dishonest person because he called “dualism” a traditional point of view:
Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)
My understanding is that dualism is just a bright idea from Descartes. The view of Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic Church is “some form of neutral monism.” In my email exchanges with the professor, I tried to nail down exactly what our disagreement was. He dropped out of the conversation. This was my last email:
I am very sorry that you both have lost interest in discussing religion with me. I take this as evidence that people who don't believe in God are suffering from cognitive dissonance. We agreed to the following: 1 There is no evidence for life after death. 2 The metaphysical argument for God's existence is contradictory and lacks content. 3 Human beings do not have souls. 4 The material world is not an illusion.Where we disagree is whether a human being is a collection of molecules or an unsolvable mystery (embodied spirit). In my judgment, there is zero chance that a human being is a collection of molecules and it is 100 percent certain that we are embodied spirits. What do you think?