“God Has No Body” Part 6.2

Find Part 1 here.

In Part 6.1, I included the clarification that Latter-day Saints share this belief concerning God’s unchanging nature. I cited the Lectures on Faith and a scripture from the Book of Mormon. This also strengthened the premise that God’s unchanging nature does not include a prohibition against physical change.

The argument can be adjusted as follows:

  1. Many Biblical verses, along with LDS scriptures and LDS leaders, teach that God has always existed, and is unchangeable
  2. Jesus assumed an earthly body only after being born of Mary in the meridian of time
  3. Many Biblical verses, along with LDS scriptures and LDS leaders, clarify that God being unchangeable does not preclude him from changing physically.  Instead, “unchanging” helps define his interactions with his children.
  4. Thus, physical change is not prohibited by the scriptural meaning of God’s unchangeable nature (1) (2) (3)
  5. Thus, God could exist as spirit even though the Son took on human form

Premise 4 and 5

This section is in regards to premise 4 of the original argument, and premise 5 of this new formulation of the argument.

While the responses to anthropomorphites’ objections we’ve looked at in Part 4 and Part 5 have both been inductive, this argument is perhaps the best example (of the three) of the weaknesses born of inductive arguments.

The conclusion can only be formulated as it is in the fifth statement, i.e. conditionally (“could”). The first three premises could very well be true; in fact, most Latter-day Saints would agree with them. The issue is that they do not lead to the conclusion. Because Jesus did not always have a body does not infer that he would immediately shed that body to regain his incorporeality. In fact, he could very well have kept that resurrected body until this very day. The argument that incorporealists should be making is one regarding why the Savior would shed his resurrected body. This argument from unchangeableness is nothing more than a distraction.

Again, this is the big issue with this argument. It’s purpose, I assume, is to dispel attention from the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the Savior retains his resurrected body, then God must be corporeal. Yet being unchangeable does not have anything to do with having a physical body – that is what is being argued by the third premise, which is supported by Latter-day Saint theology (see Part 6.1).

Conclusion

Because the premises of the argument lead so weakly to the conclusion, the argument should be adjusted to at least clarify the issue described above. It can be adjusted as follows:

  1. Many Biblical verses, along with LDS scriptures and LDS leaders, teach that God has always existed, and is unchangeable
  2. Jesus assumed an earthly body only after being born of Mary in the meridian of time
  3. Many Biblical verses, along with LDS scriptures and LDS leaders, clarify that God being unchangeable does not preclude him from changing physically.  Instead, “unchanging” helps define his interactions with his children.
  4. Thus, physical change is not prohibited by the scriptural meaning of God’s unchangeable nature (1) (2) (3)
  5. Thus, as far as this argument is concerned, it is equally likely that God could exist as spirit or as an embodied deity; no determination can be made since there is no support given regarding why the Son might or might not have shed his physical body after his ascension.

Arguments considering the question raised by this revised conclusion will not be treated here, but may be covered later.

Advertisements

One thought on ““God Has No Body” Part 6.2”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s