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The God Part of the brain
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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I agree with much of what Shane has already said, as usual.

I was speaking to a co-worker last Friday about religion. She was raised a strict Roman Catholic and, like many Catholics, she stopped going to church after confirmation and labeled herself an atheist. And, like many Catholics, she finds herself in her mid-twenties at a crossroads, partially believing in God but still salty about all the fire and brimstone she was fed in Sunday School.

She told me that she has been reading a book by some doctor who had his own crisis of faith but then, through the empirical method, came to believe in Jesus as the messiah and returned to the Christian faith. My co-worker explained that he provided a lot of evidence which refutes the theory of evolution (none of which she provided to me; however, I have read enough from either side of the evolution argument to guess what kinds of evidence she was talking about). Feeling that the theory of evolution was thoroughly disproved, she claimed that it proves the existence of God.

"Why does that necessarily prove that God exists?" I asked.

"Because," she replied, "schools try to teach us the theory of evolution and deny creationism. If evolution is false, then creationism is the correct option."

Of course, I didn't agree. "School passes along lots of misinformation." I said, a little smugly, "Essentially, just because evolution isn't true, for argument's sake, doesn't mean that creationism is true or that God exists."

She had to admit that this had merit, but then she asked, "What about the many patterns found in nature? Surely they can't all be coincidences." Almost as an afterthought, she added, "I can't believe that all of this was created by a big explosion."

"Evolution is a pattern." I said, "The very reason it is so teachable is that it appears to have predictable outcomes. Many things are patterned in life, I don't see why this means that God exists."

Kind of reminds me of the Discordian cry: "How can you say that [God] doesn't exist when everything is chaos? Someone must have put it there!"

Anyway, this is only a little bit relevant so I'll stop.
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:54 pm
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Doctrine



Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 4626
Location: ATL, Livin' Swell
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Oh shoot...Man the spiritual battle tanks...
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:02 pm
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z-spot22



Joined: 19 Dec 2003
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Location: chicago
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i smell a screenplay in the works
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:32 pm
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A tRick with a trick



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
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In the United States, the new creationist movement has convinced many people and their political servants that scientists are being unfair in not supporting the teaching of alternatives to evolution in science classes. They say it is censorship to exclude intelligent design from those classes. The usual argument raised against teaching intelligent design is that it unconstitutionally promotes religion. Design promoters, however, insist that they have no particular designer in mind. No one believes them, but skilled lawyers arguing for the cause of impartiality on their behalf could probably prevail in court. In any case, a better argument exists: Intelligent design theory, as currently formulated by its leading proponents, should not be taught in science classes because it is provably wrong.
-- Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), ch. 4


People have a hard time imagining how the universe can possibly have come about by anything other than a miracle, a violation of natural law. The intuition being expressed here is at least twofold: First, it is widely believed that something cannot come from nothing, where that "something" refers to the substance of the universe -- its matter and energy -- and "nothing" can be interpreted in this context as a state of zero energy and mass. Second, it is also widely believed that the way in which the substance of the universe seems to be structured in an orderly fashion, rather than simply being randomly distributed, could not have happened except by design.
-- Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), ch. 6

The argument from design rests on the notion that everything, but God, must come from something. However, once you agree that it is logically possible for an entity to exist that was not itself created, namely God, then that entity can just as well be the universe itself. Indeed, this is a more economical possibility, not requiring the additional hypothesis of a supernatural power outside the universe....
... To [creationists], it is not a matter of logic anyway, but common sense. They see no way that the universe could have just happened, without intent. "How can something come from nothing?" they continue to ask, never wondering how God came from nothing.
-- Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001), ch. 3

In short, evolution is as close to being a scientific fact as is possible for any theory, given that science is open-ended and no one can predict with certainty what may change in the future. The prospect that evolution by natural selection, at least as a broad mechanism, will be overthrown in the future is about as likely as the prospect of finding out some day that the Earth is really flat. Unfortunately, those who regard these scientific facts as a threat to faith have chosen to distort and misrepresent them to the public.
-- Victor J. Stenger

And, yet again, because I can predict the line of criticism that this book will generate, I need to make it clear up-front that I am not claiming that the absence of evidence eliminates all possibilities for a god to exist in every conceivable form. And, I am not evaluating all the theological and philosophical arguments for or against God. I am simply evaluating the scientific arguments and claimed scientific evidence for a deity according to the same criteria that science applies to any extraordinary claim. I conclude that, so far, they fail to meet the test.
-- Vic Stenger

Science boosts its claim to truth by its spectacular ability to make matter and energy jump through hoops on command, and to predict what will happen and when.
-- Richard Dawkins


Rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaad?
Religion explained by Pascal Boyer
et cetera
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:30 pm
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z-spot22



Joined: 19 Dec 2003
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you think maybe it could be a combination of the two? like some supreme being took his sweet ass time making shit and putting it where he wants it? like SimCity or something.
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:13 pm
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Noisetonepause



Joined: 19 Sep 2003
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*enters rant mode*

Spirituality doesn't equal religion. Certainly not formalised religion.

I feel no need to wear my Buddhist-Taoist-Nietzschean spirituality/metaphysics like a badge, and I've certainly no urge to shove it down the throat of anybody who doesn't want to listen. These eyes and ears don't perceive what yours do - for the simple reason that we never share the same space at the same time, for instance - and the brain behind them will process what I do sense in a different way, meaning that the way I choose to cope with the world will differ from everybody else's, as the where I was, where I am, and where I'm going will be different from where you were. Perspectives differ, so how could one book hold all answers?

I don't believe in God, but I do believe in things that aren't directly perceivable by our sad selves, in part seeing as we are all more or less stuck in embitttering routines and self-destructive cycles that are impossible to break, as they're all we know; in part because, well, the universe is a lot larger than 1200 ccs of skull (thereabouts?) you have to fit it into!

The fact(?) that there is a part of our physical self that relates to 'out-of-body' and 'religious' experiences (the similarities between the brain activity patterns in a Catholic monk's head and those in a Buddhist/Hindu in deep prayer are striking) would come as no shock to me, as I do believe we are mainly physical beings.

Oh dear. I could go on all night! But I'll stop here. Need sleep.

-Paws
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:28 pm
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duke_city



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
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A tRick with a trick wrote:
"How can something come from nothing?" they continue to ask, never wondering how God came from nothing.
-- Vic Stenger, Has Science Found God? (2001), ch. 3



This would be a great topic to discuss.
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:32 pm
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Doctrine



Joined: 05 Apr 2003
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Noisetonepause wrote:
*enters rant mode*

Spirituality doesn't equal religion. Certainly not formalised religion.




Thank you for saying that....I think alot of people don't understand this truth...People will see me talk about the bible and say, "I didn't know you were religious!" And I say, "I'm not." Then they give me the blank face...With that being said...I haven't read any of this post...I'll be back...
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:38 pm
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duke_city



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
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Noisetonepause wrote:

(the similarities between the brain activity patterns in a Catholic monk's head and those in a Buddhist/Hindu in deep prayer are striking) would come as no shock to me, as I do believe we are mainly physical beings.

Oh dear. I could go on all night! But I'll stop here. Need sleep.

-Paws


Can you tell me where you got this information from? Books, websites etc.. Its fascinating to me.
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:38 pm
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Buttafly



Joined: 22 Aug 2002
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this is ALL very interesting.

A few thoughts...

It has been proven (though I can't give exact studies) that people with lower levels of education and socioeconomical (sp) status are more likely to believe in god and go to church. My old sociology teacher used to talk about it all the time, she was very persistent. She claimed that those with higher education don't believe in god as much. I think she might be right to an extent. The more knowledge you have the more you realize that 'god' can't be physically possiable. The more knowledge you have the more you have to rely on 'faith'.

For myself, I have never been baptized, and I do not believe in 'god', but....I do see a tendency in people to turn to 'god' when things are going terriably wrong for them. Myself, who doesn't believe in god have caught myself asking him for help in desperate times. Maybe this book could explain that cause I sure don't understand it.
I think people find a sence of comfort in believeing that there is something watching over us and 'protecting' us. Not to mention how much it is drilled into our culture, or any culture for that matter. It is not suprizing that so many people look to a higher power. If it is drilled into your brain form birth you are very likely to believe in it youself.
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:33 pm
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mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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Buttafly wrote:
this is ALL very interesting.


It has been proven (though I can't give exact studies) that people with lower levels of education and socioeconomical (sp) status are more likely to believe in god and go to church. My old sociology teacher used to talk about it all the time, she was very persistent. She claimed that those with higher education don't believe in god as much.




what is "knowledge" though?

is it taught from books?
Post Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:07 pm
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joedan



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
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intresting, my philosophy of neuroscience class just started discussing this...

research by neuroscientists such as michael persinger shows that temporal-lobe epilepsy can lead to the sensation of "oneness with the universe." some neuroscientists believe that temporal-lobe epileptics are more likely to have strong religious beliefs as a result.
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:26 am
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Noisetonepause



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dallasbboy wrote:
Noisetonepause wrote:

(the similarities between the brain activity patterns in a Catholic monk's head and those in a Buddhist/Hindu in deep prayer are striking) would come as no shock to me, as I do believe we are mainly physical beings.

Oh dear. I could go on all night! But I'll stop here. Need sleep.

-Paws


Can you tell me where you got this information from? Books, websites etc.. Its fascinating to me.


Errr... can't remember where, no - I'm quite sure I didn't make it up, though! :)

-Paws
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:20 am
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Buttafly



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The knowledge I think she was refering to was school taught. Well, maybe not necessarly school taught, but she was definitly refering to a 'higher education'. As in , college graduates are less likely to believe in god that high school graduates. I think she was saying all this because you grow so much as a person in college as well as to what you learn in books.
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:55 am
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sequence



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Does this explain why no matter how hard I try to get him to go away, Jesus' mug just keeps popping into my brain smiling and giving me the thumbs up?

Did someone say something about Nietzschean spirituality? Wha, wha, wha?
Post Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:58 am
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