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Bernard White

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What theological implications does the "Psychology" and "Neuroscience" (and possibly biology) of religion (or "God(s)") have?

I'm very interested in people's opinions on this matter.
I would just like to say, as I have said in the past, this debate is not to make mockery of "God". It is just honesty enquiry.
Yet as I have explored with my other debates in the past, it seems we must first define (or describe to the best of our limits) what we mean by "God(s)" and "Existence". Otherwise the debate "Does God exist?" becomes slightly meaningless.
Now that's done.
I was reading much about the psychology of religion, and found that due to articles like :
“Thinking Style and Belief In God” - Art Markman
Link : http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201208/thinking-style-and-belief-in-god
"We are programmed to believe in a god" by Jesse Bering.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/04/the-god-instinct-jesse-bering
"Is God an Accident" by Paul Bloom :
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/12/is-god-an-accident/304425/?single_page=true
that had many theological implications!
And made me think :
- There is a strong correlation with a "Theory of mind" and belief in God. Animals don't really have a "theory of mind", does this mean other animals can't experience "God(s)"?
- Psychologists can now artificially create a "God experience", Doesn't this make the "Religious experience" argument rather dubious?. Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y02UlkYjSi0
And there are probably many more Tedsters could think of!
However I do think it is worth mentioning that :
As Justin L. Barret said, that the psychology and neuroscience of religion (God) doesn't (dis)prove that God isn't real. For it wouldn't make much sense if a God who wanted to be in a relationship with us, didn't give us the ability to conceive such a God.
Another great quote by him :
"Having a scientific explanation for mental phenomena does not mean we should stop believing in them. “Suppose science produces a convincing account for why I think my wife loves me — should I then stop believing that sh

Topics: Church of God
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  • May 9 2013: Hey Buddy!
    I wish you the very best in your exam preps. and your exams - knock 'em out of the park !!! :D.
    Cheers!
    Jordan
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        May 10 2013: " Bernard, maybe good; but not quite good enough for the "Church of God" "
        What do you mean by this? ;)
        Kind regards,
        Bernard.
        P.S : I'm probably undecided as to who I am with "C.S. Lewis or Freud". :P
        • May 11 2013: "Hi Bernard, this is your conscience speaking - are you having difficulty getting away from the keyboard and 'hitting the books' for your exams?" :D. Naughty boy! :D .
          Best Wishes!, Do Us Proud!
          Jordan

          Oh, PS I've gotten through "A Mistake Was Made ..." . It is very good!
          In fact I have added it near the top of the bibliography section of suggested reading for my students at my site. Thanks again!
          Now ... back to your studies :D!
          Jordan
      • May 11 2013: Ha Ha, Thanks Don! :)
        Our mutual buddy Bernard is doing the best he can I believe! He does (as I know you'll agree), have a lot on his plate right now. I feel he is on the right path - though he may do a lot of kicking and screaming along the way - as we all have :) In fact, I still kick and scream at the Great Center on a fairly regular basis ;| . The real problem is the ted organizational paradigm which is (purposely I'm starting to believe), is choosing to hide from the reality of the last 50+ years of consciousness research. This is the consensus of the members of ted who were looking forward to the talks by some of the 'big guns' of consciousness research, the esteemed experts due to present their research and the press - who have been giving ted real hell over their foolishness, also. I will be chatting with Bernard privately when he has time. I know of his personal integrity, concern and support for everyone who is participating in his talks.
        Now in regard to my "conceptual self portrait" - no, I not kidding! That is what it really is. It is a drawing I did early in my career (I'm a sculptor). I'm very attached to this drawing. It is part of the personal aesthetic visual vocabulary that all artists develop in their careers.
        But, there is an other reason I have chosen to use this drawing extensively. I tend to too often offend folks with my polite but direct questions enough as it is already! Now, just imagine if they were to see me as I actually appear! I see no reason to frighten children and the sensitive folks among us by revealing my horrifying visage! If I were to be given a pointy little hat, I would surely be assumed to be a very frightening garden knome :) ! If you are worried that I may be ted (Bundy's) evil twin, you can read all the sordid details at trueascensionllc.com ;) .
        Great to hear from you buddy!
        Cheers!
        Jordan
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          Jun 1 2013: Out of interest Jordan, are you sure you are not seeing "false" patterns?
          Considering (after reading the "Believing brain") I have become even more sceptical of conspiracy theories! (I mean no offence)
          I say this due to this line "The real problem is the ted organizational paradigm which is (purposely I'm starting to believe), is choosing to hide from the reality of the last 50+ years of consciousness research." What would TED have to gain from hiding the reality?
          Isn't TED about "Idea's worth spreading"?
          Think about the amount of people which would have to be involved, and the necessary requirements.
          Yet it is worth noting that I trust you Jordan.
          So I do take you word for it...
          However I am confused (that's all) as to what's TED's motives would be doing such a thing!
          That is why I strongly recommend you the book "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths".
          To get a little bit of where I'm coming from read these three (short) articles (from Michael Shemer).
          "The Believing Brain"
          http://www.michaelshermer.com/the-believing-brain/
          "Patternicity"
          http://www.michaelshermer.com/2008/12/patternicity/
          "Agenticity"
          http://www.michaelshermer.com/2009/06/agenticity/
          Then watch his TED talk :
          "Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception"
          http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html
          Please reply once you have watched (+ read) all.
      • Jun 2 2013: Hi Don, Good Buddy !
        I'm sorry for not responding to your kind words about my inter-dimensional energy exploration site sooner :( ! My only excuse is that I was trying to catch up on our topic quickly and failed to return to respond to your kindness.
        YES, for me - having my work considered "very interesting" is probably the highest compliment I can think of! Especially from an interesting person, such as yourself!
        I do have a rather personal question for you - which you should feel no need to respond to publically here. If you should wish to respond, ask for clarification or have additional questions - please feel free to contact me through my site at Jordan@trueascensionllc.com and we can talk at leisure.
        In light of our mutual admiration for Emanuel Swedenborg - Have you taken the plunge into inter-dimensional energy system exploration yet? As has been said; 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' (or admiration).
        No, I'm not trolling for students. I'm fairly busy already. But, I (if you are open to it), suggest the "Gateway" program at the Monroe Institute, Virginia. I did a version of this program very early in my search for evidentiary experience for beginning my evidence-based model of reality. It was very, very helpful! The format for their findings is different than mine developed to be, at this point. But, their findings are vary similar to mine! (Oh, and if you are not able to participate in person, they also have a CD version of the "Gateway" program, more than worth its price!)
        (Mine turned out to resemble a more Kabbalah like framework, even though I personally deplore religions (blind faith), and am not Jewish.)
        I really hope you don't see this as being too pushy - my enthusiasm for exploration is obviously high.
        My point is this; I am not well suited for this sort of endeavor. I'm a very ordinary, sort of person. So, if I can do, it so can anyone!
        I'm very willing to work with you privately - gratis, if you like.
        Love,
        Jordan
        .
      • Jun 3 2013: Hi Don, Good Buddy!
        I did return to your profile as you invited me to do. You have an extremely impressive resume' of experience (personal and professional), as well as social and managerial skill sets !!!
        When I thanked you for your interest in my work because you were an especially interesting person - I had already looked at your profile. I really mean it - you are quite an amazingly capable person!
        The last I looked, Google had not yet picked-up my site. Glad to know Google got around to finding me - at least in Canada. They are branching off into other web ventures, as I'm sure your aware. It appears that Bing (Microsoft), has tried to move into the area of web search services.
        Thanks again for your friendship, Buddy!
        Love'
        Jordan
      • Jun 5 2013: HI Don ,Good Buddy!
        Oh I've blundered - once again. I can easily be a real dope :(
        I have another good friend here who IS interested in Swedenborg's work. But, my poor brain did a woopsi on me, once again!
        I'm sorry. You still must be scratching your head about me :| !
        I ask your forgiveness for my thick skull.
        Love,
        Jordan
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      Jun 1 2013: Anyhow.
      I look forward to your reply.
      • Jun 2 2013: Hi buddy !
        I (as you can see), have failed miserably at not being wordy :) !
        To your main concern, which I appreciate completely - an important question. Yes, I feel that Chris Anderson has a paradigm (with all of its associated filters and biases), against modern consciousness science which does permeate the organization. In any organization paradigms are enforced, top - down. In a letter to subordinates he warned them against a "fusion of science and spirituality". So what the hell is "spirituality"? Consciousness research is pointing toward natural mechanisms operating on a sub-quantum, non-local levels of energy information, organizational processes. The 'supernatural' is natural. 'Metaphysics' is physics and the 'paranormal' is just normal. There is (as in any valid science), reliable, repeatable evidence from many different labs verifying the evidence. But, these facts are to be over-looked, at all costs to protect the paradigm and its proponents.
        Here is a quote from a speaker who is apparently a close ted associate: "It may sound as if I am about to preach atheism. I want to reassure you that that's not what I am going to do. In an audience as sophisticated as this one, that would be preaching to the choir. No, what I want to urge upon you is militant atheism ..." - Richard Dawkins
        So, this certainly appears to be an example of the so open minded, impartial and reasonable ted paradigm. I can't know (the so-called ted 'science' board is kept anonymous), but it would not surprise me that Dawkins would be an example of ted's impartial, fair and unbiased 'science' board. I don't have another explanation for why important researchers such as Russell Targ would be deemed unsuitable. He certainly has the credentials and data from years of research to backup any claims he may make!
        We can continue to talk about this if you wish. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but ... Until then why not check the links I provided, to see what you missed!
        Cheers!
        Jordan

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