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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.
"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

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      May 19 2013: Will delete this reply once you have read it.
      It would be worth while (if your interested) in checking out my other debate at this current monent in time :
      "Does creationism indicate bad education? (If so how can we fix this, and should it be taught?) Does Creationism have any credibility to it?"
      Link : http://www.ted.com/conversations/18317/does_creationism_indicate_bad.html
      "I would no sooner trust a 'scientist' on matters of God than I would hire a lawyer to fix my plumbing."
      Just to say it is worthwhile you read the articles (the three articles in the description that is), and watch that 5 minute video. It will only take you roughly 20-30 minutes. (And a worthwhile 30 minutes at that!)
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          May 23 2013: Okay I have now found some time to properly reply.
          I do feel that due to science (specifically (evolutionary) psychology and neuroscience) being able to explain how we are even able to perceive a "God" reduces the probability of their being a God independent of our thoughts. However, like I said, I am open to reason to believe that there is genially a God (or Gods).

          I found it interesting that you thought the origins of the experience (hence artificial) made you think that the experience wasn't valid. Considering I'v always been confused why it being "artificial" would invalidate the God experience at all.

          There are two big implications of these experiments, if you accept God (or Gods) do exist. 1. Psychologists found that roughly 20% of people couldn't have this God experience you talk of. To me that suggests God doesn't want some people to know about his existence. Hence (may be wrong, yet there is data supporting this) that is why autistic people usually find it difficult to believe in a "personal God".
          2. Can animals experience "God"?

          "Through higher levels of consciousness, one raises their vibration and can willfully control their bodily functions."
          Are you basically talking about a form of introspection, or willpower. Enabling us to have the "illusion" of more control. (I personally don't believe we have free-will...)
          Also I feel the "higher levels of consciousness" seems a bit vague, and reminds me too much of certain aspects of Scientology. http://listverse.com/2007/07/28/top-8-levels-of-scientology/

          I'm very confused by the rest of this reply. When you start mentioning vague terms like "a false sense of God" and "Gates of Heaven"...
          What makes you more right about your perception of God(s), than other people. Why is there only one "God". Would help also if you define (or describe) as simply as you could what you mean by "God(s)".

          "The brain does not generate, nor does it store; it processes." Are you advocating a form of dualism?

        • May 23 2013: Bernard,
          List verse is not a reliable source as there are many flaws in it. Though I struggled to understand what you are saying as I know very little about psychology., I'do agree with what you say. However on the last line, that quote is true apart from the fact that the brain does form memory cells
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          May 27 2013: Hey Chris I haven't seen any reply from you!
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          May 27 2013: Other than working for a living and, perhaps, having fun at doing so, what do you think a scientiests agenda is?
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      May 23 2013: You were doing outstanding..... then you said this:

      "...It is only through psychological comprehension of self that ones soul can be saved, because the soul is the mind; the psyche, in all its levels. Holy doctrine exist to help us understand our human nature, specifically how being incarnate on this Earth can help us evolve, or ascend, our soul beyond this Earthly 'realm of return'...

      How do we psychologically comprehend ourselves? How does psychology, define the soul? How does it define the mind? How do you determine if a doctrine is holy or unholy?

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