The Body

Modern scientific materialists are inclined, we might even say predisposed, to ask, “What is this thing you call ‘the soul,’ and why do you believe that you still need this notion, or for that matter that you have any right to assume it?” But we might just as easily turn these questions around on the moderns, and ask what they mean by “the body,” why they believe they still need this notion, or most importantly why they feel they have any right to assume there is such a thing. For if they are right about the soul, then they have no justification for retaining the body either, at least in so far as they mean — or are implicitly presuming — the body of something which is identifiable as this rather than that, and which can ask questions such as “What is this thing you call ‘the soul’?” At most, it seems to me that they may be granted only body — matter as such, the indefinable flux — and not the body, a body, “my body.”

An honest, consistent modern scientific materialist would never dare to claim, or even allow himself to be caught presupposing, that he exists, which is to say that he “has a body,” or that there is only “the body,” in the sense of his body. One cannot deny the soul without going all the way, much as one cannot deny the existence of “day” without thereby, necessarily, denying the existence of “night.” Of course, there are no “honest modern scientific materialists,” for that logical construct itself assumes more than modern scientific materialism has any right to say about either itself or “the outside world,” i.e., a “world” which cannot in any meaningful way be honestly distinguished from an “inside world,” on purely materialist terms.

In short, on a purely and consistently modern materialist hypothesis, nobody can be making any such claims (or rejecting them, for that matter), since on this hypothesis there is literally nobody to make (or reject) them.

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