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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: Hey Bernard and ALL!
    Oh, my fingers are beginning to get a little sore now! But I wanted to make an observation that may be helpful (and a bit of naughty fun, too), :) Newer sciences often come out of amalgamations of existing ones. For example, 'socio-biology', 'astro-biology', 'astro-physics', 'social-psychology', etc. ... etc. ... etc. :P
    In a lot of cases (human nature being what it is), this is a call for outrage over a new turf war to be fought! :D Scientists (being all too human), feel THEIR 'turf' is being invaded, over-taken, misused or stolen by interlopers. To be human is to be political. Period. These political fights can be fun to watch, but are not very productive for any one! The scientists who accidently (or deliberately), fuse different disciplines together to further research that the individual, separate disciplines have missed usually get lots and lots of rocks thrown at them - by both or all sides :D Having to play 'dodge rock' is probably not fun, but is inevitable.
    But, it is those brave souls like David Bohm, Karl Pribram, Sir Roger Penrose, Charles Tart, Fred Allen Wolfe, Dean Radin, Russell Targ, Gary Schwartz, Rupert Sheldrake ... and the list goes on and on ... that have actually been the kinds of intrepid souls that have spawned our subject of discussion at hand!
    This reminds me of an expression that I offered to a friend earlier today about gathering data to consider. To not be afraid to 'cast a broad net' - to look for a large haul of evidence to consider. The more the better ... and then to weed out the less than useful. Inductive as well as deductive reasoning are both useful tools to apply to lots of gathered potential gems of data for potential personal discovery.
    Cheers To All!
    Jordan
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      • Jun 6 2013: Hi Don, Good Buddy!
        Thanks for the interesting link! And your kind encouragement - very, very much!!
        Sounds as if you have accepted my apology for me being such a dumb block head - I very much appreciate your understanding!!
        In relation to my contribution above, I have long thought that there is a strong relationship between paradigm 'train wrecks' (which I am very acquainted with personally :( ), corresponding cognitive dissonance, the inevitable emotional distresses which results from this process - and the 5 stages of grief recovery described by the pioneer psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's work. She describes in her land mark book "On Death and Dying". Some folks manage to get through these stages o:k and immerge stronger and wiser. For some folks, it takes longer than others, depending I think, on how many life tools they have in their emotional coping skills tool boxes. And some poor souls get stuck in one or another of these stages - sometimes for years or forever!
        I think this is noted well by Nobel Prize winning quantum physicist Max Plank's observation (from his personal experience with academic politics), about how science progresses; "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
        Anyway, food for thought.
        Again, Thank you for your kindness and patience.
        Love,
        Jordan
      • Jun 6 2013: Hi Don, Good Buddy!
        Thanks again! I think our observation concerning the rough and tumble reality of academic politics (and money), - experienced first hand by Max Plank, Russell Targ, Rupert Sheldrake and many more (whether they are ultimately proven right or wrong), illustrates two common expressions very nicely; "the bleeding edge" and "OUCH!!!" :D
        Love,
        Jordan
      • Jun 8 2013: Hi Don, Good Buddy!
        Thanks for the link - will check it out soon!
        Here is a very interesting talk related to our discussion about interdisciplinary turf wars.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WXTX0IUaOg&feature=player_detailpage
        Love,
        Jordan

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