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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:48 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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Catholic Cadet wrote:
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A person is an individual substance of a rational nature.

Q.E.D.

What say ye?


But the Trinity is one substance not three. Wouldn't it thus be better stated as "A person is an individual will of a substance with a rational nature"?
But God, though three persons, has only one will....

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 5:11 pm 
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I wanted to check that before I said it, but I'm pretty sure you're right.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:20 pm 
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BTW, I think the next appropriate topic is "What's a human being?", but it'd be better if we get this more or less wrapped up first.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
But what of a human who does not think rationally, because he is not sufficiently developed (an unborn child), or impeded (developmental defects), or deranged (insanity), or something else? Is he still a person?

The answer is that he is because it is in his nature to think rationally, and only his present circumstances prevent it from happening. The child as he grows will become able to do so; the developmentally handicapped person could if only his body would allow it; and the insane person will do so again if he can overcome his mental illness.


Does this mean that if a scientist were to somehow alter the brain of a rat so that it was structurally identical to a human brain, it would still be impossible to teach the rat math?

-- Christopher


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:38 pm 
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Christopher VandeLinde wrote:
Does this mean that if a scientist were to somehow alter the brain of a rat so that it was structurally identical to a human brain, it would still be impossible to teach the rat math?


Is mind an epiphemenon of sufficiently structured matter?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:49 pm 
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Mind is a composite proceeding from both the physical apparatus (mostly the brain) as well as the individual substance.

-- Christopher


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:43 pm 
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Geoff wrote:
A person is an individual substance of a rational nature.

Might it be better for pedantry's sake to say indivisble rather than individual? Or incommunicable? Conceding that that your definition is fine for the purposes of the board...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 10:05 pm 
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If it's good enough for the Blackfriars, it's good enough for me :)

St. Thomas says individua, which could translate as "indivisible". That's what an individual is, but if it helps someone get clear of the confusion over Persons in the Godhead, then I'm fine with it.

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