This is something I wrote for some other site. I want to know what you think and I will post the following comments users made on that site as well, so everyone understands the arguments without me needing to answer the same questions over again.

"After consulting a little with Waldheri I decided to edit this post properly to make it more cohesive and actually present the problem at hand in a more focused light. This article will deal with the problem of Christianity’s belief that God is an omnipresent being and how it contradicts Descartes’ argument of the seperation of mind and body and that Christianity is in fact, not a monotheism but a pantheism.

Anyway, let’s start off in the beginning with Genesis and the creation of the Earth:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1
Nowhere does it say that God made “the heavens and the earth” out of any form of matter. This passage has in turn made the assumption that there was nothing in the universe before God’s Creation, as it is a “beginning”, before God’s Creation there was nothing. Obviously God, while omnipotent, cannot make something out of matter which doesn’t exist, so let’s just ignore that for a while and assume that it is possible that God can make matter out of nothing and that he popped the Earth out from his arse (we are in fact God’s diviniely poo!) and thus, the Earth is created. Without the need of overquoting Genesis, it is made clear that God made the Earth into what it is today and that we are all a part of God’s creation:
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Therefore that we can draw the conclusions that not only is the Earth immaterial but also supernatural, and that God is indeed everywhere, and in humans too:

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God,
for whom and through whom everything exists,
should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Hebrew 2:10

This idea strongly disagrees with the Cartesian dualism, formed to explain the relationship of God and humans, because in Descartes’ philosophy it is not possible that the body in this case, can have a two-way relationship with the mind. But if this is not true, then it is not possible for God to be everywhere and everything and this obviously directly questions God’s omnipotence.

Now, what defines Pantheism is that there must be a force, almighty or not, present everywhere and in everything and this force should be conscious and even preferrebly, sentient. This very much agrees with the Christian God, because we are shown that God is very well possible to make demands and have emotions on his own. For example maybe the one of the most blatant examples are the 10 Commandments where God more or less demands his followers to live after these rules or they will be cast into eternal Hellfire:

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before [a] me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything
in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children
for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6 but showing love to a thousand {generations}
of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.
On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter,
nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals,
nor the alien within your gates.

11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,
the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.
Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Exodus 20:1-17

God even states himself that he is a “jealous God”, I guess we must congratulate him in his truthfulness. Now, the hardest concept to maybe grasp would be that of the universe not being physical as Descartes claims it to be. The reason I have already mentioned before, namely that if God is a supernatural force, then God is also nonphysical, and since the universe is a part of God himself, then the universe too, is of nonphysical and supernatural matter. Therefore the only conclusion can be that Descartes made a false dichotomy based upon the assumption that our universe is made out of physical matter. But, but, isn’t it made physical as in that we can touch and feel it? Yes, indeed we can, but it doesn’t matter if we assume that the physical is actually sprung out of the nonphysical and even less so if assuming the physical and the nonphysical is the same or if there is a heavy communication between the two where we cannot discern when the physical ends and the nonphysical begins. Descartes’ argument rather means that there can be no communication between and therefore even the slightest union is thus, impossible. However, as shown, there is a great flaw in his logic as presented above which he failed to see, even though he based his entire theory upon Christianity itself and its dualism. Christianity is not a dualism, it’s a monism and even more it is a pantheism and not a monotheism as has been previously believed. While certainly the idea of monotheism is supported in Pantheism too, thanks to the Trinity, it actually matters little since the focus no longer lies on the Trinity and in the existence of Jesus being God’s son. This becomes rather self-evident if we are to understand that God is omnipresent and as such, we can go even a step further and argue that Christianity actually believes us to be our own personal gods since God is indeed inside of us, and this gives us the power and will to use the God inside of us to do as what we see fit; hopefully into making our environment a little nicer to live in for others."

Additional last note, if you are with me so far please scroll down and read the comments I added as well, they might change the comments you are yourself about to write down as some things have already been said and it's stupid to repeat it if we can start at another point entirely.

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Originally written by RageOfAnath:
Unfortunately I think you would need New Testament quotes to support this thesis. Most Christians cherry pick the Old Testament and it is hard to prove anything about Christianity using it alone. Judaism, sure, but Christianity... not so much.

There is also quite a bit more to the "create" thing. It is easy to say one thing about the phrasing in English, but in Hebrew it is quite different. The Etz Hayim says of it: "The Hebrew stem of the word translated as “create” is used in the Bible only for divine creativity. It signifies that the created object is unique, depends solely on God for its coming into existence, and is beyond the ability of humans to reproduce. The verb never means ‘to create out of nothing.’” In other words, that particular point stands up to ignorant Christians, but not to the Jews who wrote the thing, and in a sense it does mean "make".

It is an interesting idea, but I do disagree with the core premises. Christianity focuses on a 'personal relationship' with your imaginary friend, forms of pantheism do not, instead asserting a more passive role for him, generally one that does not care to intervene in human affairs...

I also find Cartesian Dualism quite dated as Descartes wrote prior to the knowledge of neuroscience. He was actually writing around the time scientists were first able to dissect the brain and preserve it to REALLY study it's functions, so by the time a more materialistic view came around, he was dead.
My answer:
Ah right, you obviously know more than me regarding Hebrew so I can't argue there :) I can obviously only use English sources, this of course does ample the meaning of "creation" indeed. Nor do I argue that God in fact did create something out of nothing; however, since we do not know if there was anything before the creation of earth we can only assume there is, a fallacious assumption I may add, but we are arguing from a point of what Christians/Jews would believe, not so much what we ourselves find logical (then the whole assertion would be rejected to begin with).

While it is true that Christianity indeed focuses on a personal relationship, I guess it is possible to read it this way and we both know that OT and NT don't fare well together so it's really just a matter how important OT is a part of Christianity, however, you will not find much of Cartesian dualism in NT since NT primarily focus on the life of Jesus Christ. Is it possible for you to provide exampels from NT which could potentially be replaced with the OT quotes I got?

Indeed Cartesian dualism IS dated, I think this argument also proves it is possible that he was flat out wrong to begin with, maybe prior to some popular belief (which is of course changing now). But I guess I leave it as it is for now unless there is some proof to be taken out from NT, I could possibly change the title to show that there is no absolute proof that this also adheres to Christianity (although I admit it would be very fun to say, no, you completely misunderstood your whole religion!). Also, however assuming God has a more passive relationship does explain the Epicurean argument of god's benevolence and it also rings pretty well along with the idea of free will.
Originally written by Waldheri:
Okay, this updated version is a lot more coherent than your previous one. I still have issues with some of the things you've written though.

1. You say that "in Descartes' philosophy it is not possible that the body in this case, can have a two-way relationship with the mind.". This is false. Wikipedia tells us: "The central claim of what is often called Cartesian dualism, in honour of Descartes, is that the immaterial mind and the material body, while being ontologically distinct substances, causally interact."

2. I don't think Descartes based his theory on Christianity. He merely observed that there are important differences between the body and the mind. Therefore he viewed one as material and the other as immaterial. Furthermore, I don't think we should judge Descartes' philosophy on how well it fits with a certain religion, even though I agree he seems to have been wrong on many things. Answers are not as important in philosophy as they are in science, and even though we can now (in)validate certain claims from philosophy through science, we still count Plato, Descartes and others as important philosophers simply because their thought has been innovative.
My reply:
I will not comment on 1, but casually interacting is not the same as heavy communication though, it can be clarified.

On 2 however, I can however rephrase my statement that while it might not have explicitly based his arguments UPON Christianity, the idea of the physical vs the nonphysical is a very apparent idea Chiristianity and its siblings adhere to, more so than older religions that prefer a monostic view. What I want to say is that Descartes is in a way, a product of what the society he lived in was based on, and that is Christianity. So one can say that his thoughts and ideas are very much indirectly influenced, may it have been consciously done or not.

I am quite certain you are not familiar with Melöe, (can't do a Norwegian ö), but there is a strong argument that we can only perceive things within the frameset we were taught to perceive in; that we now for example do prefer view the world as an object matter instead of a subject, or why we prefer to view ourselves as individuals and than to view ourselves as a part of a whole. While many might not reflect on these ideas but they consider them rather given, these ideas also frame the way we view the world and perceive ourselves. I never wanted to say though that Descartes never was innovative, I do recognize him as a central figure in classical philosophy, neither did I want to say that he lacked intelligence or was wrong, but I do believe that his dualism affected the way we view Judaism and Christianity and what I wanted to do was to present an alternative concept maybe not everyone would buy, but regardless is interesting because there is also a lot of evidence backing up that it could be this way.
Originally written by jorrizza:
Dualism, in it's purest form, doesn't claim that the mind is supernatural, but merely nonphysical. If indeed we all are part of the very same pantheistic supernatural being, there could just as well be a clear distinction between physical and nonphysical entities within the supernatural realm.

My reply:
My claim is though that god is supernatural as well as nonphysical. We cannot see, touch, hear, sense or taste god

Comment from Waldheri:
Which is funny, because that means god is nonexistent for all practical purposes. If something can not be experienced through the senses, not measured nor studied because it does not play any causal role in the universe, it does not exist for all practical means. It is appropriate to quote Berkeley now, and I only agree with him in this for this severe case of a total lack of interaction with the universe - "To be is to be perceived".
My reply:
Yes, but I guess you agree that this is a valid argument for why we can't testify god's existence in science? Really, no matter what stance you take there is probably going to be some sort of error along the way because the philosophies in Christianity and Judaism aren't very thoughtout and often contradict themselves, not that I feel it should be necessary for me to rephrase this though more than for clarification purposes.

If you are interested in it I would gladly try to see if there is a possible solution without making too much mental gymnastics that in the end mean nothing and doesn't prove anything. I don't say that this thesis would be the absolute word either, I know very little of basic philosophy in general and I am still learning so naturally I am probably more prone to errors than someone who has studied it for a while. Anyway, point being, I also do agree with Anath that it is an interesting idea and I would really like to see a possibility to expand it further because I hope there is some sort of potential in this argument, mostly about god's lack of actual intervention, the questions about free will and the Epicurean argument as well as why we cannot prove god's existence in science.

If there was ANY way we could prove that god is a casual force in the universe, then how come we haven't found it out by now in modern science? If the answer is negative and that we can't but such a force exists, then the conclusion can only be that we are too stupid to notice it or understand it, but this makes the idea of a god rather useless too, especially for a Christian which indeed believes in the personal relationship to god. If you cannot understand god because of stupidity, then what is the point even believing in the first place? Ahaha, thinking a little further, yes indeed, don't they blame the lack of human understanding in "god's ways are mysterious"?
You should read my blog post on physical laws. The idea of mysterious "forces" itself needs to be thrown out. There are predictable regularities in the universe, whether they are caused by forces or not is beyond what science can tell us. American science has been slowly rotted away from the inside by treating physical laws as real agents in the universe.
Can you link to this post? Although I am not arguing at all for a mysterious force here, more whether there is any evidence at all providing that such a force exists (if you read through all the comments you would notice by now that the philosphical conclusions actually are the opposite).




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