Monday, December 21, 2015

One-way mirror

Dale Tuggy:
Briefly, focus on the ignorance point. *Someone* doesn't know the day or hour. Who? Obviously Jesus. But wait, doesn't he, as divine, know all? If the natures are the sorts of things that can't know anything at all, well it can't be one of those which knows many things, but not the day or hour. Like many ancients, Steve wants to say that "natures" here are not properties, but the kinds of things that can have properties, and moreover, the kind which can know. One knows all, the other not quite so much.
Yes, this look like Nestorianism. But forget about that label and the ancient disputes. It is just a terrible reading of the NT to say that in the Son of Mary there are two selves, one who does divine sorts of things, and another who does merely human things. Jesus is in all the NT writings one character - all the relevant terms, messiah, Son of God, Son of Man, Jesus, the Nazarene, etc. refer to him, to one and the same human man. This apparent one person is never unveiled as actually being two within a single body.
The two-minds theories are quite clever, and are adopted my many recent Christian philosophers. I think in the end though, they mis-fit the ancient catholic tradition, and don't actually solve the problems they're supposed to. 

That's in response to this post: 

A few quick observations: 

i) It may well be that a two-minds Christology is a misfit for the ancient catholic tradition. Since, however, I'm a low-church Protestant, that's not my concern.

ii) The Gospels sometimes say things about Jesus that are true for humans, but false for God, and sometimes says things about Jesus that are true for God, but false for humans. That's the irreducible data. A faithful reading of the NT will take both into account, do full justice to both. 

iii) I'd point out in passing that there's nothing even prima facie contradictory about saying a person both knows and doesn't know the same thing. For instance, I may not know French when I'm 5 years old, I may know French when I'm 25 years of (if I studied French in school), and I may not know French when I'm 85 years old if I become senile. I'm not saying that's the correct explanation for the psychology of Christ. I just use it to illustrate the facile way Dale can generate a specious contradiction by simplistically framing an issue.

iv) It's very crude to suggest that according to a two-minds Christology, Jesus is "two selves within a single body." Let's sketch one version of two-minds Christology:

a) Neither mind occupies the brain. The Son is timeless, illocal, and immaterial. The soul is illocal and immaterial. The Son uses a human body, and a soul uses a body (if you prefer, the mind uses the brain). The soul is coupled with a body. The Son is coupled with a human body and soul. 

b) The relationship between the two minds is asymmetrical. These aren't two compartmentalized minds. Rather, there's a one-way interrelationship. The divine mind has complete access to the human mind, but the divine mind is inaccessible to the human mind. However, the divine mind can share information with the human mind. In addition to what the human mind can naturally know, it can acquire supernatural knowledge if the divine mind shares some information. 

c) Compare it to two rooms with a speaker and a one-way mirror. A person in room A can see into room B, but a person in room B can't see into room A. However, the person in room A can communicate with the person in room B via the speaker. 

1 comment:

  1. This is actually a really well constucted analogy.