TED Conversations

Bernard White


This conversation is closed.

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.
"Is God an Accident" by Paul Bloom :
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

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • May 12 2013: Hi There Obey No 1 !!!
    It's been a while since we've had a chance to chat! How are things? :D
    You've made some good points concerning data found by researchers who have observed 'natural' 'physiological' processes in subjects during subjects' involvement in 'spiritual', 'metaphysical' or 'psychic' experience or practice. I would like to expand on your observations and perspective - based on my personal, experiential perspective.

    I've added this "Hi There !" to the top of the chat because I think others could be interesting also. I think that a significant difficulty in our quandary concerning this topic is a false paradigm. I think it is interesting that Yale surgeon and researcher Bernie Segal considers 'paradigms' (in and of themselves), to be emotional addictions - used to filter out information that could lead to the discomfort/anguish over a cognitive dissonance experience.
    I believe that this false paradigm is often responsible for folks often being unable to avoid 'talking at cross purposes'. I think it has its roots in a Cartesian separation dynamic, which became a dualistic paradigm. Rene' de Carte was put in the unenviable position of trying to do serious work on epistemological dynamics and methods - while at the same time, trying not to get burned at the stake for 'heresy'!
    So, we have researchers discussing 'natural', 'physiological', 'physical' or 'real world' information/phenomenon on one hand; and 'spiritual', 'psychic', 'paranormal' or 'mystical' experience/phenomenon on the other.

    I again suggest that interested folks read the classic historical, theoretical summation book "The Holographic Universe", by Michael Talbot. It was first published in 1991 (republished in 2011), to make this research (which had begun in the 1940s and 1950s), accessible. It's that important!

    Consciousness Science has 2 roots, physics and psychology; Bohm, Davies, Targ, Penrose to Pribram, Groff and Schwartz.
    Their point is, it's ALL 'natural'!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.