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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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  • Jun 4 2013: Hi Bernard,

    Thanks for the information. Will definitely be sure to sure to check some of what you have provided out. I do know of one book that was recently written by a Harvard Neurosurgeon that said that he saw heaven upon his NDE. The book is called Proof of Heaven and has become as National Bestseller in the States. However, it's a personal account.

    We shall see where the field of cognitive science takes in the future...some have coined it neurotheology but I'll be sure to post some new information as this pioneer science is taking root.
    • Jun 4 2013: Hi Evan!
      Pleasure to meet you! I don't have a strong biology or physics background, but I have had the same concretely real experience in an OBE exploration as Dr. Alexander. I have spent many years exploring other dimensional energy systems and following the theoretical and experimental work of consciousness researchers to begin understanding how these kinds of phenomenon work.
      I can only think of a few researchers who came to this area of study because of personal experiences like mine (if you wish, you can read about my experiences at my site TrueAscensionllc.com)..Most consciousness researchers come to this area because they had begun to hear about multiple data confirmation by multiple experiments from different labs. Some good example are physicist/mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford Univ.; Dr. Stuart Hameroff, Univ. of AZ; physicist Russell Targ, SRI, Dean Radin, Phd. Princeton Univ. PEAR program and Prof.Gary Schwartz,PhD. Harvard, Yale director of physiology and psychiatry and Yale Psychophysiology Center ... as just a few examples. If you are familiar with any of these folks then you realize that this is an inter-disciplinary field of study. New eyes from outside a narrow view of study has often been useful. There are several theories in this area, just as in ... say, cosmology - between 'big bang' and 'inflationary' schools of thought. time will tell which (if either), are correct. Consciousness research as a science began back in the 1940s and 50s with scientists such as one of the fathers of quantum physics, David Bohm and psychologist, Karl Pribram, again - an inter-disciplinary beginning.
      Have fun and 'happy hunting' :) !
      Cheers!
      Jordan
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        Jun 4 2013: Hi Jordan, just a short post as I'm just called to a dining-out.
        Love the subject and also becuase my wife and a NDE
        This is my favorite link to Swedenborg's input on the subject. Dr. Kenneth Ring agrees with me :)
        http://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers14.html

        Will be back tomorrow morning
        Adri
        • Jun 6 2013: Hi Adriaan, My Friend!
          Sorry to take so long to get back to you! Hope you had a fun dinner! Thanks very much for the link - I'll check it out very soon!
          I envy my wife who had a chance to study with Dr. Ring at the University of Connecticut, before he retired. He began the first international center for the study of NDEs, located at UConn.
          I hope that your wife is doing very well and that her NDE was an affirming and encouraging experience for her!
          If you've had a chance to check out my website at TrueAscensionLLC.com. ,You will understand my work (and interest in Swedenborg), which is to teach ordinary folks to have Swedenborg-like experiences of the after-life, Divine dimensional realms for themselves. So that they can know that they know what is real, for them selves. People who work with me won't need to rely on 'blind faith' or religious belief or hopes. this easily explains why early 'believers' would volunteer to be martyred by the Romans in their arenas.
          As my friend and our distance from each other I would be glad to work with you on helping you follow Swedenborg (and my humble self), into the Divine realms for yourself - gratis. We can do this privately by Email. It is work that demands desire, discipline, patience and commitment to accomplish, but I can't think of study that could be more life and faith affirming!
          You could also consider the "Gateway" program by the Monroe Institute, in Virginia. I did a version of this program some years ago - it was very fruitful. They have an CD (home study), version that is well worth its price!
          Without these kind of experiences, it is impossible to really grasp how completely concrete and immediately real God truly is.
          Love,
          Jordan
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        Jun 6 2013: Thank you Jordan for your kind reply. What I've really appreciated were the TV shows done by the medium John Edward. So many times he could 'proof' to people that he was connected to their ancestors. He had information that no one could possibly know. Often they were people that drove someone else to the place or someone behind the camera.
        I have no need of more proof of God than just looking at the world around me. But yes, I'll visit your site this afternoon.
        One thing Swedenborg warns against regarding connecting with the spiritual world, and that is because when a spirit connects to our spirit they use our memory and feelings. So it is then that what they 'tell' us becomes truth in our mind. The thoughts are connected to the feeling making us convinced of their truth.
        More about that later, got to go
        Very best wishes to you
        Adri
        • Jun 6 2013: Hi My Friend!
          I agree with your interest in the work of legitimate mediums (my sweet wife of 25 years is a very talented medium). I've seen first hand, her ability to acquire amazing information about many folks on the other side and their work to help those still on this side. A large part of her empowerment is her deep connectedness to the Divine herself! We have no natural-born children of our own, but the Divine has (largely through her deeply loving, motherly heart), blessed us with short-term care-taking of lost and wounded energy-children, to love and help until their time to move into their loving Divine care. Our home is full of children's toys, cute stuffed animals and children's books, of their choosing. As you will read on my site, energy-children especially love to be read to! This amazing Divine blessing is open to anyone the Divine has available to nurture these precious little ones, who the Divine will never, ever neglect!
          2 books you will love! "The After-Life Experiments" - G. Schwartz, "Glimpses of Eternity" - R. Moody.
          Your reference to Swedenborg's warning is very, very important! It echoes the warnings given by the Apostle Paul about 'testing the spirits to see that they are of God'. As you will see (as you go through my site), I make this most important part of the process a top priority, using a variety of tools and skills. I will note Paul's discussion of those (who I believe included Paul, but, he wished to not boast), who were able to ascend up into the "third heaven" (Paul used a Grk. paradigm), hear and experience things that were not possible to express in words. This is what you will experience (which ever system you choose to go with). Frankly, my system is more efficient in helping folks visit our Divine Lover AND avoid possible deceptions by low level entities, who can try to do so, with unschooled folks. So, do we really trust God to love and protect us or not? "It" just loves visitors - "It" sees visits as gifts!!!
          Love,
          Jordan

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