Friday, May 02, 2014

Substance Dualism is True Only if Classical Theism is False

(Draft. Revised in light of Chris' and Jeffery's comments. Further revisions and developments -- esp. fleshing out support for the premises -- to come.)

So here's a sketch of another argument in the same vein as several others I've blogged about recently:

The basic idea is that classical theism entails that if there are any created minds, then at least one such mind was created without prior materials. Now if substance dualism is true, then minds are concrete objects. But no concrete object can be created without prior things or stuff(s). Therefore, if substance dualism is true, then classical theism is false. 

To make the reasoning more concrete, let's just focus on one mind -- one from the actual world. In particular, let 'Adam's mind' denote the first finite, human mind to come into existence.  Then we can put the reasoning in standard form as follows:



1. If substance dualism is true, then all finite minds are finite concrete objects.
2. Adam's mind is a finite mind.
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3. Therefore, if substance dualism is true, then Adam's mind is a finite concrete object.
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5. Therefore, if substance dualism is true, then Adam's mind was ultimately created 
from prior things or stuff.
6. Classical theism is true only if Adam's finite mind was not ultimately created 
from prior things or stuff.
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7. Therefore, substance dualism is true only if classical theism is false.[1]


[1] Proof: Let: ‘D’=”substance dualism is true”; ‘Mx’ = ‘x is a finite mind; ‘Ox’ = ‘x is a finite concrete object’; ‘Cx’ = ‘x is ultimately created from prior things or stuff’; ‘T’ = ‘classical theism is true’; and let ‘a’ denote Adam’s mind – the first finite human mind. Then we have:

1. D -> (x)(Mx -> Ox)  Premise
2. Ma    Premise
3. (x)(Ox -> Cx)   Premise
4. T -> ~Ca   Premise
5.              D     Assumption
6.              (x)(Mx -> Ox)   1,5 MP
7.              Ma -> Oa   6 UQE
8.              Oa -> Ca    3 UQE
9.              Ma -> Ca    7,8 HS
10.            Ca    2,9 MP
11.            ~T v ~Ca  4 IMPL
12.            ~~Ca   10 DN
13.            ~T      , 12 DS
14. D -> ~T      5-13 CP

4 comments:

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Hi Ex-Apologist--

I don't understand why you write this:

The basic idea is that classical theism entails that if there are any created minds, then at least one such mind was created without prior materials.

Could you please spell out how you derived that entailment>?

Chris King said...

Quick question: why, on classical theism, must at least one finite mind be created without prior things or stuff? It's not initially clear to me why that has to be the case.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

I see you expanded your post. I don't know if the logical form was provided in order to my question and Chris King's question. If it was, I now have a revised version of my question. What is the justification for (4)?

It seems to me that, with respect to minds, all that theism entails is the existence of one unembodied mind (God). I don't understand why you think theism also entails the creation of at least one finite mind.

For example, why is (4) true rather than (4')?

4'. IF there is at least one finite mind, then classical theism is true only if that finite mind was created from prior things or stuff.

exapologist said...

Whoops -- sorry for the sloppy construction, Jeffery and Chris! By "at least one finite mind", I meant to denote "at least one of the actual finite minds. I was thus holding fixed the actual world. I'll fix the argument in a bit. I'll also elaborate on the premises when I get a chance.

Best,
EA

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