The Case for Human Dignity

The Trinary Being



Dimensional Functionality
Inanimate Objects
Living Organisms
Spiritual Beings
Free Will
Unique Identity
Eternal Life
The Role of the Spirit
Life Expectancy

The Trinary Being:

    Humans have the characteristics of a trinary being which, of course, means that they are trinary beings. By dogma we are taught that "man consists of two essential parts--a material body and a spiritual soul." From this, it is oftened assume that humans only have two parts, body and soul. While that is true, the soul of a human is different from the soul of animal, and an animal is different from that of a plant. Humans, animals, and plants all have body and souls, but the souls are different.

    The soul of a plant has vegetative powers which mostly relate to survival and propagation such as eating and reproduction. An animal has a sensitive soul. Sensitive appetites, such as love, hatred, desire, courage, fear, and others, are called passions. So animal souls have both vegetative and sensitive powers. Human souls have vegetative, sensitive, and rational powers which we will cover in a bit, but the point is that souls vary widely in their appetites and powers.

    Since humans are created, then our souls are created. It would stand to reason that our souls are created differently than that of animals, because our souls have different powers.

    As Aquinas points out, all the animals in the Garden of Eden were made of mud, but God used mud and the breath of God to create man. This is part of the evidence that Aquinas uses to show that the sensitive soul was transmitted by semen, but the intellectual soul was not (Summa Theologica -> First Part -> Question 118 on

    Saint John of Damascus (the Damascene) describes Jesus as have flesh (body), soul, and mind (Orthdox - Book 3 - Chapter 18), and all through his writings he speaks of our spirit (e.g., Orthdox - Book 1 - Chapter 7). In addition, the Damascene also ties spirit to the rational powers of the soul (Orthdox - Book 1 - Chapter 8 and Orthdox - Book 1 - Chapter 11).

    While the Damascene often represents the two natures of human in reference to Baptism (Orthdox - Book 4 - Chapter 9 and he references Saint Gregory Nazianzen), the two natures relate to the soul and the body. The soul changes. For example, the Sacraments change the soul. Since it can change, the soul is sinful, and of course, our body has been corrupted. Our body and soul need Baptism.

    On the other hand, the spirit is indelible. It is the part of us that never changes. Our spirit is from God (not our parents). God doesn't create sin, and our spirit has no need of Baptism. That is why Baptism only relates to two natures.

    A rational soul is created when a spirit assumes a soul which is why rational souls are often called spiritual souls, and a human occurs when a rational soul assumes a human body. A human, therefore, has three parts: body, soul, and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Dimensional Functionality:

    Is it of any significance that a rational soul is created when a spirit assumes a soul? The answer is that all powers are derived from relationships. For example, a trinary being has three relationships which is much more powerful than the single relationship of a binary being. If spirits had not assumed our souls, we would only be another species of monkeys.

Inanimate Objects: When the object has only one part, the part has no chance to relate to another part within its being. Without any relationship, no life is possible. Dead plants or animals and inorganic substances fall into this area. Life only exists within a relationship.

Living Organisms: With two parts, a relationship exists between the two parts, and therefore, life exists in the being. Since life exists as a single relationship, the being has no interest in anything except that which immediately pertains to life (e.g., survival, food, reproduction). To use an example from Aquinas, dogs can smell much better than humans, but you don't see dogs stopping to smell the roses; because the sweet smell of a rose is not pertinent to the survival of a dog. On the other hand, humans will climb Mount Everest for some reason that they can't quite put their finger on. We wouldn't find a dog climbing Mount Everest, unless the dog could smell food on the summit. For if life is but a single relationship, then life only has one dimension. Living organisms are formed when a soul assumes a physical form such as a body. Plants and animals have two parts, and humans are the only three part being that we can physically experience.

Spiritual Beings: All spiritual beings have 3 parts which have 3 relationships between them. The Bible says that man is made in the image of God. Since God is a Trinity, we would assume that man is a trinity, and indeed, we do have three parts. Spiritual souls are formed when a spirit assumes a soul, and humans are formed when a spiritual soul assumes a human body. The three relationships of a spiritual being construct a number abilities and characteritics that are not found in binary beings. The following is not necessarily an exhaustive list.

Free Will: Three relationships create a three dimensional life which has many interests. For example, spiritual beings (e.g., humans) might fast from food and sex in search of understanding, or their survival might be sacrificed for a cause. On the other hand, bilateral beings perceive a single relationship and are unable to choose anything that is outside that relationship, because we can't choose something that we don't know exists. Choice requires at least two things to choose from, but bilateral beings have only one relationship to choose from; so bilateral beings do not have free will.

With a single relationship, bilateral beings that live on earth are strictly material beings which demonstrates that the materialism promulgated by the politically correct doctrine is false. In this religion, man evolved from ape and invented God for profit (e.g., Karl Marx - i.e., to hide the material reality of class struggle) or some other motive.

These claims overlook animals which are a part of the material world. Why then, don't animals invent God as a part of their stuggle for superiority over their peers?

Animals focus only on material reality. With this singular focus, they should be able to overwhelm humans who have so many immaterial interests and fantasies. In the incorrect world of Dawinism, Communism, and atheism, man with all of his impractical interests and endeavors would have been eliminated almost from the beginning.

Alas, the politically correct doctrine that the material authorities require us to remember and repeat is functionally dead (i.e., a design that doesn't work because its basic strategy defeats itself) as testified to by the overwhelming success of frivolous humans! Our success is living proof that relationships trump materialism (not that it couldn't be shown in several thousand more ways).

As Saint John of Damascus logically deducted, the intellect is the spirit, and therefore, anyone who takes an intellectual interest is by definition taking a spiritual interest. Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine, and many others have shown that all intellectual pursuits are actually spiritual. The intellectual pursuit of immaterial functionality is a spiritual quest which is only possible because of our multidimensional relationships.

Nothing is so convincing as a relationship. By their trinary nature, humans are urged to take immaterial but highly successful quests that other animals don't even consider.

Our spiritual (aka, intellectual) interest in immaterial things demonstrates an extreme differentiation from all other species. It is a differentiation that demonstrates our multidimensionality. Multidimensional animals can not evolve from material animals anymore than material animals can evolve from inanimate objects. To this day, we can only propagate life; we can not create it. Only God can add or drop dimensions.

Unique Identity: When beings have three parts, they will ponder their identity. When only a single relationship is available as with a two part being, it is impossible to perceive an identity. In bilateral relationships, each person perceives the other, so they know they are alive; but while their experience is a single dimension reality, reality is actually multidimensional. This leaves bilateral beings with no clue of how or where they fit. A trinary being has three relationships which adds the dimensionality that is needed to triangulate an identity within three dimensions (Note: that the dimensions are in relationships - not time, space, etc.).

Eternal Life: When one part of a trinary being dies, the being will continue to live with two parts. The being will, however, no longer have the attributes of a trinary being (e.g., free will, identity quests, etc.). For example, when a human dies, the soul and spirit continue to live, but they no longer have free will or other trinary attributes and abilities. Then, if a binary being attains the third part, the trinary attributes will be assumed as well. For example, in Heaven, when spiritual souls receive their glorified body at the end of the world, they will resume their trinary attributes.

Binary beings (e.g., plants and animals) can not survive the death of their body. Their souls are left without a relationship, and nothing lives without a relationship.

The Role of the Spirit:

    Spirit is a word that carried over from ancient times into modern English without much alteration of meaning, and we, therefore, know something about the spirit of a human from the English language. For example, we can see a person's spirit as it is reflected in the person's personality, tendencies, and actions.

    Our spirit is what separates us from other animals. To some extent, we can determine the role of the spirit by looking at the differences between humans and other animals. Animals have vegetative and sensitive souls. Humans have these, but they also have a rational soul. As the Saint John of Damascus and others have noted, reason is a power of the spirit. The spirit is highest intellectual power of the human.

Vocation: Each person has a genius in certain areas. The genius is often very specific. For example, a person might be a genius at math but be poor in other subjects. Other people might be exceptional at healing, writing, or agriculture, and then they don't standout in other areas. We don't find these vast differences in the sensitive appetites. In animals, passions nearly always manifest themselves over either food or sex (from Aristotle). One individual of a species is not given a unique talent in these areas. The differences in intellectual skills of humans comes from the spirit. Since intellectual skills are a component of a person's vocation, a person's vocation is defined by their spirit.

    Since God is infinitely efficient, He does not create without intent and purpose. Each human has the dignity, identity, and expectation of a specific calling. As we come closer to our calling, we are more likely to be successful and happy, but our vocation can only succeed within relationship. In a minor way, the relationship can be provided by a community, but the relationship is meant to function as a reflection of its creator. In other words, we will never know who we are, until we find ourselves in God.

    The spirit is alive and requires a relationship. On a smaller scale, we see this within our bodies which consist of trinary beings (i.e., intelligent recursion). Each part of our body has a vocation that works with other parts of the body. If any part becomes separated from the body, it dies.

    Each part also has a higher call than survival, but that calling is realized only within a higher relationship. For example, our muscles will survive without refinement, but their skill grows by cooperating (relating) with a higher intelligence. When a musician practices, the muscles are refined into a skill. The spirit in the muscles remains the same, but the relationship of the muscles to the music gradually grows.

    It is easier for some to learn music than others, so the spirit has attributes and abilities.

    The vocational attributes are differentiating factors within the spirit, but through relationships, the spirit must be integrated before the differentiation has value. The higher the relationship the more valueable the differentiation becomes.

Life Expectancy: In our present condition, the appetites of our souls do not always agree with the attributes of our spirits. The conflict between the spirit and soul will weary the soul.

    We see the same thing at our level of recursion. The conflict in the human race (e.g., violence or disease) will kill many of us. When these things don't kill us, we will die because of our own weariness. In most cases, we grow weak of our own weariness and succumb to some general cause.

    The mother of all conflicts is between the identity of the spirit and the appetites of the soul. The spirit only draws satisfaction from exercising the unique attributes of the identity. A principal glory of the body was that it could accept change, but that ability allows the orientation of the appetites to move away from that which satisfies the spirit. With our sinful appetites, we then begin to long for those things which make life seem so futile and worthless to our highest intellect. Our emotions are torn between disorientated appetites and immutable intellect. We have no peace, and life is wearisome.

    We inherit our bodies and souls from our parents. Since the fall of Adam, we inherit a corrupted nature. On the other hand, the spirit is the breath from God (Genesis 2:7) which isn't corrupted and doesn't change. We see this in vocational genius that is consistent throughout the life of the person. A person who loves music, will always love music, and a natural mathematician will always like math.

    On the other hand, all appetites can change. For example, even the appetites from the vegetative soul will change. We will tend to crave those foods which we have been eating during the last year. Transvestites are made (not born). The appetites of the sensitive soul change more easily than those of the vegetative soul. For example, we are far more likely to have our anger or joy subside than our sex drive. While we are alive, we can expect our appetites to change which gives us profound opportunities and devastating liabilities.

    We can reduce the conflict between the soul and the spirit by becoming more holy which is why holy people live longer than the general population. This is also why immoral people do not live as long as the rest of us.

    The linkage between life expectancy and morality has been demonstrated in many studies. For example these 2 demonstrate the link between church and a longer life.

The BBC reports: From ( The research looked at 4,000 old people from North Carolina, and found that of the 1,177 who died during a six-year period, 22.9% were frequent church attenders, compared with 37.4 who were infrequent attenders. Similar results were produced by the University of California at Berkeley in a study of some 5,000 people aged 21 to 65. Those who attended religious services at least once a week had a 23% lower risk of dying over the 28 years on which the research was based. reports: From ( A study using data from the Women's Health Initiative found that women aged 50 and up were 20% less likely to die in any given year if they attended religious services weekly (15% reduction if they attended less than weekly) compared to those that never attend religious services. This analysis was controlled for age, ethnicity, income level and (most importantly) current health status. The data was collected through surveys and an annual review of medical records. What was interesting was that the religion effect applied to overall risk of death, but not to risk of death from heart conditions. There is no explanation for why that might be. The fact that the study controlled for overall health status makes it more possible that attending religious services has a positive impact on health (not just that healthier people go to services more often).

Another study also found benefit to attending religion services, this time expressed in added years of life. Researchers have found that weekly attendance at religious services is associated with 2 to 3 additional years of life. These findings were controlled for other factors such as amount of physical exercise and taking cholesterol medications.

Studies have also shown that the opposite behavior produces the opposite results. If we suffer from immorality we have a shorter life than the average. – A new study which analyzed tens of thousands of gay obituaries and compared them with AIDS deaths data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has shown that the life expectancy for homosexuals is about twenty years shorter than that of the general public. The study, entitled “Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS”, has been published in Psychological Reports (2005;96:693-697).

A study conducted in Vancouver British Columbia and published in 1997 in the International Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 26, 657-61: indicated that "life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men."

    The concept that the conflict between the spirit and soul is the principal influence of life expectancy is also demonstrated in the Bible. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had no conflict, and the body did not die. After sin came into the world, man died after a very long time. When man became so wicked that God had to start over (i.e., the flood), the life span of man dropped to less than 1/10th of what it was. With the advancement of science and religion, the life span of humans is growing again which indicates the beginning of the restoration.

    Our antagonists would argue that the advancement of medicine has led to longer life, but we would argue that the advancement of medicine occurred only from our spirits that we reconciled to our soul through Jesus Christ. In other words, our medical ability is tied to our spirituality. Without the Christian spirit which was made possible through Christ (to state the obvious), our medical knowledge (a function of our spirit) would not significantly advance. If we are intellectually honest, we will admit that the preponderance of medical innovation came from Christian countries, and those countries never invented much before they were Christian.

    The life spans of humans testify to the saving power of Jesus. In the beginning, humans lived forever, then as they became more sinful they gradually lived a shorter and shorter time until the flood. Then they lived a much shorter time. As humans became even more sinful, the life span of a human reached its smallest length when Jesus started His Church. After the formation of Christianity, humans have progressively increased their life spans. Only one logical conclusion can be drawn from this; by participating in the Church of Christ, the appetites of our souls are brought more in line with the attributes of our spirit. Then we live longer, because we are less weary.

Eternity: The relationship between our soul and spirit determines our destiny on earth and our happiness in eternity. While we are on earth, the closer we come to path that God designed for us, the happier we will be. In death, the agreement between the soul and spirit is the key to peaceful existence in the presence of God. If the spirit and soul oppose each other, we will obviously suffer anguish in death.

    It is incumbent upon us to choose the path that leads to our calling. We can not add to what God has made, we can only become the person we are called to be. The parts of us that are not from God will not be saved. God doesn't change. He will have the same plan for us when he judges us as when He created us. When He looks at our souls, He will determine if they want the same thing that He designed into our spirit.

    While God judges us, we will still be attracted to the same things which might be good or bad. If we desire what is sinful, we will be electing our own ruin. The agony in Hell is the soul wanting things that the spirit rejects (and vice versa). On the other hand, if we have found tranquility in our identity, it will lead to our salvation. In Heaven, all things cooperate towards the interest of Life.

    Some parts of us are the same on the day that we die as they were on the day that we were born. They stand like immovable rock that the vicissitudes of life do not change. The immutablility of the spirit in this life continues as an identity after death.

    In Hell, our very spirit finds no satisfaction in our appetites. The appetites of our soul long for a false identity which does not satisfy the spirit, and the immutability of the spirit is eternally frustrated.

    With intelligent recursion, the process is repeated at different levels of recursion. At the end of the world, the good go one way, and the bad go in a different direction. We can expect the same thing to happen as we die. We wouldn't expect the souls with good appetites to go the same way as the bad.

    While we are alive, the body lives together as an interdependent system that the body requires. After the body dies, the souls are no longer dependent upon each other, so souls with different appetites drift apart. We call this process purgatory.

Rationality: When the spirit assumes a soul, the soul becomes rational. Besides enabling the human to have triune abilities, our highest powers (the powers of the intellect) come from our spirit.

    We often think of reason as a psychological experience of an individual, but our reasoning is affected by many different things. For example, the Holy Spirit inspires the thinking of the Church. In turn, the Church influences our reasoning. By participating in the Church, we often reach the same answers of the Church without knowing why. In fact, our theology will be no better than our experience as the Body of Christ. In this example, we see that we don't have much of an understanding of what reason is.

    We often hear some technical person explain that computers will have more intellectual ability than humans, but what exactly is intelligence? If we want to say that it is arithmetic, we already have computers that can do math much faster than a human. In fact, computers display no ability whatsoever without a program that is written by a human. Since computers are one hundred percent dependent upon humans, we can hardly say that they are smarter than humans.

    Our ability to reason is obviously far more than a bunch of brain cells making calculations, but even if that were the case, any parallel processing array has to have a higher intelligence than a bunch of unguided calculations.

    Our spirits are social beings. When we dislike someone we will tend to disagree with them, and when like them we tend to agree with them. The more we like someone, the more likely we are to learn from that person. When people tell us that we are smart, we will learn more easily. Studies have shown (Elkins - 1958) that children who are more accepted also learn more easily.

    Love makes a group more intelligent. Since we learn more from those that we like (last paragraph), then the more we like each other, the more intelligent we are individually and as a group.

    Intellect comes from the spirit (St. John of Damascus). We can imply that as a group gains in intelligence, it is becoming stonger in spirit. In other words, love, intelligence, and spirit all flow from the same dynamic.

    When life giving love infills are beings, the frowns on our faces are replaced with smiles which naturally draws us into relationship and intelligence, and it also creates a more joyous spirit that accelerates our ability to learn. Love make us believe in Love which opens arrays of infinite possibilities, and our imaginations are provoked with creative inspirations that are an unmistakable sign of our Faith. For the elect, being saved is the better part of life.

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