Minds and Bodies: Human and Divine

Zygon 32 (2):189-206 (1997)
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Does God have a mind? Western theism has traditionally construed God as an intentional agent who acts on creation and in relation to humankind. God loves, punishes, and redeems. God's intentionality has traditionally been construed in analogy to human intentionality, which in turn has often presumed a supernatural dualism. Developments in cognitive science, however, render supernatural dualism suspect for explaining the human mind. How, then, can we speak of the mind of God? Borrowing from Daniel Dennett's intentional stance, I suggest that analogical reasoning regarding the mind of God be abandoned in favor of an ontologically agnostic approach that treats God as an intentional system. In this approach, God's purposive action is an explanatory feature of the believer's universe, a real pattern that informs our values and beliefs about the world and our place in it.



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