on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 29, 2022 5:06 pm

“God is dead”: What Nietzsche really meant
The death of God didn’t strike Nietzsche as an entirely good thing. Without a God, the basic belief system of Western Europe was in jeopardy.
Scotty Hendricks at Big Think website

The Übermensch

Of course, as Nietzsche saw this coming, he offered us a way out: The creation of our own values as individuals; the creation of a meaning of life by those who live it. The archetype of the individual who can do this has a name that has also reached our popular consciousness: the Übermensch.


Truly, what I wouldn't give to have Nietzsche around today, able to respond to the arguments I make here:
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296

In particular, how would he differentiate his Übermensch narrative from objectivism?

Okay, we create our own values rather than sheepishly following the flock to one or another Scripture. We choose so-called superior values that transcend the celestial plots of the meek...the sheep in their herds. But with nothing more than our own existential assumptions regarding which values are in fact superior, we just become our own herd.

Think Satyr and his clique/claque over at KT.

Nietzsche however, saw this as a distant goal for man and one that most would not be able to reach.


We come upon this all the time. A new superior man is "thought up" but the time isn't quite right to see him flourish. So he is brought into existence in philosophy tomes [the philosopher-king in Plato's Republic] or in literature [the philosopher-king Galt in Rand's novel]. In a world of words.

The Übermensch, which he felt had yet to exist on Earth, would create meaning in life by their will alone, while understanding that they are, in the end, responsible for their selection. As he put it in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred yes is needed: the spirit now wills his own will.” Such a bold individual will not be able to point to dogma or popular opinion as to why they value what they do.


The will. In fact, the sacred will. Sound familiar?

Anyway, for those here who consider themselves to be among the Übermensch, by all means, beyond "dogma and popular opinion" explain to us why you value what you do.

Given a particular context of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:28 pm

“God is dead”: What Nietzsche really meant
The death of God didn’t strike Nietzsche as an entirely good thing. Without a God, the basic belief system of Western Europe was in jeopardy.
Scotty Hendricks at Big Think website

Having suggested the rarity and difficulty in creating the Übermensch, Nietzsche suggested an alternative response to Nihilism, and one that he saw as the more likely to be selected: The Last Man. This kind of person is a “most contemptible thing” who lives a quiet life of comfort, without thought for individuality or personal growth because: “‘We have discovered happiness,'” say the Last Men, and they blink.” Much to the disappointment of Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s mouthpiece, the people whom he preaches to beg him for the lifestyle of The Last Man, suggesting his pessimism on our ability to handle God’s death.


Yet another philosophical contraption hell-bent on turning the sheer complexity of our human-all-too-human world into one of competing archetypes. The Last Man eschewing every risk in order to sustain "comfort and security" all the way to the grave.

Any contemptible Last Men here? Last Women?

On the other hand, isn't the world we live in today, a world that increasingly revolves around a social media pop culture, mindless consumption and the worship of all things celebrity at least in the genral vicinity of this Godless dystopia?

Too close to call?

But you might ask, if God has been dead for so long and we are supposed to be suffering for knowing it, where are all the atheists? Nietzsche himself provided an answer: “God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown.” Perhaps we are only now seeing the effects of Nietzsche’s declaration.


Atheists? Here's their problem: where's the beef?

With God you get a Scripture. What should I do? Well, what would Jesus do? With God you get immortality and salvation. With God you get that crucial ontological and teleological foundation. That's the beef.

Next to this, what on Earth do atheists provide in the way of an alternative? Of course: One of endlessly competing secular fonts...ideology, deontology, objectivism.

What do you believe in religiously?

In Trump?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:28 pm

From PN:

Immanuel Can wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
1] demonstrable evidence that this God is the Christian God and not one of the other ones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... traditions
2] the sort of proof that would [again] be on par with proof that the Pope does in fact reside in the Vatican

Both have already been dealt with. You were asleep, and didn't notice, I guess.


How have they already been dealt with?

Simple. You claim your "proof" that 1] it's the Christian God in Heaven that exists and not all the other Gods worshipped and adored by those making the same claims about their own One True Path and 2] that you know that He resides there as clearly as it can be demonstrated that the Pope resides in the Vatican, because it's based on your own "standard of evidence".

And your videos of course.

And if anyone -- not just me -- doesn't conclude the same thing as you do about His exclusive existence, it's their own "standard of evidence" that is the problem. Heads you win, tails they lose.

Again, as with Seeds above, I speculate that it is one of two things here:

1] you are so attached [existentially] to the comfort and the consolation that Christianity provides you [on both sides of the grave], you are but one more embodiment of what I call the "psychology of objectivism" in the OP here: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296

2] it's a "condition". Your brain is "broke" [chemically, neurologically] and it compels you to believe what you must.

Or, sure, in a wholly determined universe, you and I are both posting and reading what we could never have not posted and read.

Then straight back up into the substance-less intellectual/spiritual clouds you go:

Immanuel Can wrote: I'll summarize in the briefest possible way:

The existence of ANY God or gods, regardless of their particular nature, it a complete defeater for Atheism. The particular nature of God is a secondary question, one that cannot even be coherently asked if God does not exist in the first place.

Secondly, you know the Pope is in the Vatican by two means you have identified yourself: your own belief that he is (you say you have not gone to check personally) and the report of other people (which you are accepting on faith, I guess). So if you set the same epistemic standard to the God question, it's already met: I believe in God, and other people also report His existence.


"Epistemic standard".

Perfect!

Now, sure, you have those here who will play these "intellectual/spiritual/philosophical" word-games with you. Me, I'm still more intent on bringing your Christian God around to these considerations:

1] a demonstrable proof of the existence of your God or religious/spiritual path
2] addressing the fact that down through the ages hundreds of Gods and religious/spiritual paths to immortality and salvation were/are championed...but only one of which [if any] can be the true path. So why yours?
3] addressing the profoundly problematic role that dasein plays in any particular individual's belief in Gods and religious/spiritual faiths
4] the questions that revolve around theodicy and your own particular God or religious/spiritual path


With a "standard of evidence" considerably closer to, say, the "scientific method" than to the theological "proofs" we get from religious apologists way, way up in the ecclesiastical/spiritual clouds.




Edit:

Look, here is a list of "relatively modern" religious movements...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_n ... _movements

Then there are the particularly fanatic religious cults. Just in the U.S. alone folks like these:

The Peoples Temple
The Branch Davidians
Sullivanians
Children of God
Heaven's Gate

Does anyone here argue that they too didn't believe that their own God was the one and the only Real Deal?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 16, 2022 4:20 pm

“God is dead”: What Nietzsche really meant
The death of God didn’t strike Nietzsche as an entirely good thing. Without a God, the basic belief system of Western Europe was in jeopardy.
Scotty Hendricks at Big Think website

...atheism is on the march, with near majorities in many European countries and newfound growth across the United States heralding a cultural shift. But unlike when atheism was enforced by the communist nations, there isn’t necessarily a worldview backing this new lack of God, it is only the lack.


And that makes all the difference in the world. It's one thing to champion atheism but then demanding allegiance to something analogous to a secular religion. You don't believe in God but you damn well better believe in the ideology of the state. Only the ideology of the state has nothing to offer you in the way of immortality or salvation. It's the worst of both worlds for some. Blind obedience to one or another Ism. But nothing in the way of an eternal reward. Instead, you take comfort in the fact that at least on this side of the grave you're one of the good guys.

Thus...

Indeed, British philosopher Bertrand Russell saw Bolshevism as nearly a religion unto itself; it was fully capable and willing to provide meaning and value to a population by itself. That source of meaning without belief is gone.


Well, there are still many, many men and women able to embrace then sustain a belief in one or another secular Ism. It's just that of late there has been nothing quite the equal of things like Communism or Fascism. Nothing on a truly global scale to take the place of God. Unless, perhaps, one counts the lowest common denominator "mindless consumption" mentality that sustains the global economy. That and pop culture. The "social media" phenomena.

As many atheists know, to not have a god without an additional philosophical structure providing meaning can be a cause of existential dread.


To, among other things, become "fractured and fragmented" in regard to moral and political value judgments. How feeling "drawn and quartered" when confronting those turbulent newspaper headlines can become particularly perturbing.

Are we at risk of becoming a society struggling with our own meaninglessness? Are we as a society at risk for nihilism? Are we more vulnerable now to ideologies and con-men who promise to do what God used to do for us and society? While Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future, the non-religious are less so than the religious. It seems Nietzsche may have been wrong in the long run about our ability to deal with the idea that God is dead.


Here of course each of us one by one has our own "existential narrative". I merely suggest a division between those able to acquire and those unable to acquire what I call the "psychology of objectivism". It is no less applicable, in my view, to No God agendas.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ichthus77 » Thu Jun 16, 2022 4:33 pm

iambiguous wrote:“God is dead”: What Nietzsche really meant
The death of God didn’t strike Nietzsche as an entirely good thing. Without a God, the basic belief system of Western Europe was in jeopardy.
Scotty Hendricks at Big Think website

The Übermensch

Of course, as Nietzsche saw this coming, he offered us a way out: The creation of our own values as individuals; the creation of a meaning of life by those who live it. The archetype of the individual who can do this has a name that has also reached our popular consciousness: the Übermensch.


Truly, what I wouldn't give to have Nietzsche around today, able to respond to the arguments I make here:
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=176529
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=194382
https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=185296

In particular, how would he differentiate his Übermensch narrative from objectivism?

Okay, we create our own values rather than sheepishly following the flock to one or another Scripture. We choose so-called superior values that transcend the celestial plots of the meek...the sheep in their herds. But with nothing more than our own existential assumptions regarding which values are in fact superior, we just become our own herd.

Think Satyr and his clique/claque over at KT.

Nietzsche however, saw this as a distant goal for man and one that most would not be able to reach.


We come upon this all the time. A new superior man is "thought up" but the time isn't quite right to see him flourish. So he is brought into existence in philosophy tomes [the philosopher-king in Plato's Republic] or in literature [the philosopher-king Galt in Rand's novel]. In a world of words.

The Übermensch, which he felt had yet to exist on Earth, would create meaning in life by their will alone, while understanding that they are, in the end, responsible for their selection. As he put it in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “For the game of creation, my brothers, a sacred yes is needed: the spirit now wills his own will.” Such a bold individual will not be able to point to dogma or popular opinion as to why they value what they do.


The will. In fact, the sacred will. Sound familiar?

Anyway, for those here who consider themselves to be among the Übermensch, by all means, beyond "dogma and popular opinion" explain to us why you value what you do.

Given a particular context of course.


So. What do you value and why? What motivates these posts?
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:43 pm

“God is dead”: What Nietzsche really meant
The death of God didn’t strike Nietzsche as an entirely good thing. Without a God, the basic belief system of Western Europe was in jeopardy.
Scotty Hendricks at Big Think website

As philosopher Alain de Botton suggests about our values, it seems that we have managed to deal with the death of God better than Nietzsche had thought we would; we are not all the Last Men, nor have we descended into a situation where all morality is seen as utterly relative and meaningless. It seems that we have managed to create a world where the need for God is reduced for some people without falling into collective despair or chaos.


Sure, that's always been one possibility. Not everyone is going to connect the dots [philosophically or otherwise] between No God and a "fractured and fragmented" morality. And, indeed, here I am in search of an argument that might allow me to rethink my own conclusions.

In any event, one way or another, existential leaps will be made -- must be made -- to particular sets of political prejudices. My point here being that, "for all practical purposes", democracy and the rule of law seems by far to reflect the "best of all possible worlds".

Are we as individuals up to the task of creating our own values?


More to point, what's the alternative? Might makes right? Right makes might?

Creating meaning in life by ourselves without aid from God, dogma, or popular choice? Perhaps some of us are, and if we understand the implications of the death of God we stand a better chance of doing so. The despair of the death of God may give way to new meaning in our lives; for as Jean-Paul Sartre suggested “life begins on the other side of despair.”


There are clearly those who can eschew God and religion, secular dogmas and just going along with the crowd. And from time to time I wish "I" was one of them. But my own take on the "death of God" has taken me here...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...instead.

And, for the life of me, I am now unable to imagine an antidote to the "other side of despair". Other than God Himself.

Which, these days, I am simply not able to "think myself" into believing in.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:38 pm

_
Divisiveness.. done in the name of god and religion, when one religion thinks it’s better than another.. now undone.

____
Pakistan: Government puts end to menial job ads targeting religious minorities

The Punjab Department of General Services and Administration in Pakistan stops employment advertisements for menial tasks that target candidates from religious minority groups.

Following a petition of the National Human Rights Commission (NCHR), the Punjab Department of General Services and Administration last week put a stop to the mention of the religion of candidates in public advertisements for jobs.
For years, Pakistani civil society organizations have criticized employment advertisements targeting religious minorities who are hired for sanitation and other menial jobs reserved for “non-Muslim” candidates.
The recent notice, issued with the approval of the chief minister of the Punjab province, was sent to all the administrative departments, with directives to nullify any provision that promotes such discrimination.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

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aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:28 am

Everytime I explain to people that the pleasurable exclusive access problem is a structural problem that needs to be fixed, and it’s not an envy or jealousy problem ... they walk away.

They can’t handle that. Because they know they lust to violate it every moment of every day. And they already have... in massive ways.

It’s not lost on people what I’m saying. It’s just too much.
The purpose of life is to give everyone individually what they always want at the expense of no being - forever.

The biggest problem of life is the, “hey, I don’t want this to be happening” problem for everyone.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 02, 2022 5:28 pm

Religion on the Brain
Researchers in a small but growing field search for neural correlates of religiosity and spirituality.
Emma Yasinski at TheScientist website

Michael Ferguson, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, grew up Mormon and “quite religious.” Although his beliefs have changed over the years, he “couldn’t deny that there was something happening with those [religious] experiences that was and continues to be extraordinarily meaningful to me,” he says. “As a scientist, I can’t help but wonder what it is about these types of experiences that made them feel so rich and so profound.”


And this separates many of us here. Those who have had these profound personal experiences of a spiritual nature and those who have not. Me? Well, I once thought of myself as a "devout Christian". But that was when I was still a teenager and looked upon religion as just something to provide my shitty life then with meaning and purpose. That and a very charismatic Reverend Deerdorf [sp?] who took me out of my chaotic "gang" mentality and introduced me to Jesus Christ.

So, what can I really know of those who claim to have had these epiphanic revelations? Instead, I find myself going back to the part where, in fact, it is only a very "personal experience". And thus something they are not able either to replicate or to demonstrate to me. To provide me with an understanding of God and religion that might allow me to have a similar experience.

Then, ultimately, the part where given what is at stake on both sides of the grave these personal experiences might at least bring me in closer to believing that a God, the God, their God is something to take more seriously than I am able to now.

So, sure, if anyone here has had such an experience, by all means, tell me about it.

When Brigham and Women’s Hospital first made plans to open the Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics a few years ago, Ferguson was on board to join as a junior faculty member and announced he wanted to study the neuroscience of religion. But the soon-to-be center director told him that first, he’d need to help develop and validate a new strategy for understanding cognitive networks, called lesion network mapping. The technique pinpoints how different brain regions work together to produce complex behaviors by looking at how lesions caused by injuries or surgeries in one area disrupt function in other areas.


That would be interesting of course. God and "lesion network mapping". God and cognition itself. Someone has a belief about God then as a result of an injury or a surgery that belief is either gone or changed in some significant manner.

On the other hand, this can be taken all the way back to determinism itself. The brain creates and then sustains a belief in God...but only as a manifestation of the only possible world itself.

And how spooky is that?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 13, 2022 5:28 pm

Religion on the Brain
Researchers in a small but growing field search for neural correlates of religiosity and spirituality.
Emma Yasinski at The Scientist website

In some ways, lesion network mapping is a lot like one of the oldest techniques in neuroscience, in which researchers identify the functions of different brain regions based on what behaviors are disrupted when those regions are injured. For decades, researchers have observed that some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy experienced hyper-religiosity—religious beliefs so intense that they can interrupt daily functioning.


What to make of this, right? That there may actually be a component of the human brain such that, depending on things like brain stimulation, brain disruption, medical afflictions, etc., it can bring God surging forth or withering away?

And, for all we know, given God's mysterious ways, He created the human brain to make it all possible.

That part is always spooky. We think we are in control of what we think and feel [in a free will world] but any number of brain afflictions can reconfigure us into but a pale imitation of who we once were.

For example:

* Alzheimer’s Disease
* Dementias
* Brain Cancer
* Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders
* Mental Disorders
* Parkinson’s and Other Movement Disorders
* Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

God's will?

Just Google "Charles Whitman Brain Tumor": https://www.google.com/search?q=charles ... nt=gws-wiz

Technically...

Lesion network mapping takes the technique further. It relies on the connectome, a wiring diagram of neural connectivity throughout the brain, to help researchers better understand how disruption in one region may affect an entire circuit of connections. “One of the things that’s really novel about lesion network mapping is that we’re not only looking at the focused spot that was removed or that was damaged, but we’re looking at the entire circuit that that spot is attached to,” says Ferguson. It’s a bit like loosening a bulb on a string of Christmas lights and seeing that not only that light, but many other lights, go out.


Think about it...

God -- say the Christian God -- creates man and woman. They both have brains. So, do the afflictions above occur as a result of Original Sin? Did Adam and Eve bring this all upon us right from the start? And did God create the brain as He did because even He is obligated to obey the laws of matter? Is human biology God's design or is God's design necessarily in sync with nature?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jul 21, 2022 4:24 pm

Religion on the Brain
Researchers in a small but growing field search for neural correlates of religiosity and spirituality.
Emma Yasinski at The Scientist website

Sparse evidence

Studies on religion and the brain, a field dubbed neurotheology or neurospirituality, are sparse. The research is “difficult to get funded, and also difficult to get published in high-level journals because it’s not considered legitimate,” says Myrna Weissman, an epidemiologist and psychiatrist at Columbia University.


Clearly, we don't need a plethora of scholarly studies to confirm what is obvious: that human brains and religion are very, very snugly intertwined. The human brain is equipped to ask "why?". In fact, to the best of our knowledge, it is the only brain on this planet able to. At least in regard to such things as teleology and spirituality. And once you can ask "why this and not nothing?" or "why this and not something else?" it's only a hop, step and a jump to God. In other words, something to explain everything.

Well, once we assume that in asking these things we were able to freely opt not to ask them at all.

There’s also a misconception that scientists are trying to disprove religious beliefs. Ferguson emphasizes that none of these studies will confirm or refute the validity of specific religious beliefs. Instead, the research is “helping us to understand how religion and spirituality interact with brain systems,” he says.


Religion in its broadest sense, obviously. It's not for nothing that those like Einstein, in grappling with the sheer magnitude of the universe, can't help but to ponder things in the genral vicinity of a "spiritual" sense of reality.

And, of course, religion in it's narrowest sense -- denominational religion -- can always use the staggering mystery embedded in the existence of existence itself to their advantage. After all, science is clearly unable to demonstrate that their own God or their own spiritual path is not the One True Path. Leaps of faith [all of them] are never not an option for millions and millions around the globe. And, for mere mortals, with oblivion ever and always in the forecast don't expect that to change anytime soon.

This [so far] seems about as far as science can go...

Last year, one group used MRI to measure anatomical differences among individuals at three different regions of the brain—including areas in the temporal lobe implicated in hyper-religiosity after epilepsy surgeries—that they thought might process religious experiences. After questioning 211 individuals about their religiosity and spirituality and scanning their brains, the researchers found no differences in gray matter volume between those who said they were religious and those who said they weren’t. That team did not specifically look at the periaqueductal gray.

The study didn’t show that religiosity isn’t reflected somewhere in the brain, just that it isn’t associated with these specific anatomic changes, argues Ferguson, adding that it underscored the need for more complex approaches that can identify disruptions in functioning that might not be associated with an anatomical difference.


My guess: we will make of that what best serves to sustain our own God or No God, spiritual or nonspiritual prejudices.

Or maybe the answer will be found in that periaqueductal gray area: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periaqueductal_gray

In other words, in the gap between what we know about the human brain now, what we will know in a hundred years, in a thousand years, in ten thousand years.

Not to mention the gap between what we will know even then and all that there is to be known.

Which, of course, for many brings us right back around to God.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 10, 2022 8:46 pm

Religion on the Brain
Researchers in a small but growing field search for neural correlates of religiosity and spirituality.
Emma Yasinski at The Scientist website

Functional strategies

Despite the slow start to making headway into pinpointing the neuroanatomical correlates of religion, interest in the field is “changing drastically,” adds Weissman, as researchers find new ways to probe the brain.


So, for those who follow these things, it then comes down to what the brain scientists are able to discover before they themselves tumble over into the abyss. And then find out [or don't] what is really on the other side.

If you're one of those who do keep up, keep us informed on any new developments.

Rather than studying where religious beliefs seem to live in the brain, many teams are seeking to understand religion’s role in complex behaviors such as reward processing and the risk of developing depressive disorders.

“Our brain can change according to different things that we do,” notes Svob. “So why would that not extend to religious practices?”


Especially in regard to religious practices. The back and forth between the brain and behavior can become an obsession for those who who are fiercely devout. The brain doing its thing, "I" doing its own thing. How are the two intertwined existentially in a loop? Given some measure of free will.

In 1982, Weissman started a study on risk factors for depression with a cohort of 220 patients who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The researchers gave these patients and matched controls who did not have depression regular surveys about behaviors that might be protective against developing depression or experiencing relapse. Over the next several decades, the researchers recruited the cohort’s children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren into the study. One of the behaviors that correlated with lower risk of developing or relapsing into depression was placing a high importance on religion. “If you are at high risk for depression, believing in the importance of religion was protective for yourself, but it’s also protective for your children,” says Svob.


Indeed, I know that I would be considerably less depressed about living in an essentially meaningless and purposeless world that ends in oblivion if I could believe in a religious path to immortality and salvation.

But, does that demonstrate that religion -- yours and only yours? -- is in fact the real deal? Or, instead, that believing it is the real deal comforts and consoles you mentally, emotionally and psychologically?

Given what is at stake here don't be surprised at the majority conclusion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ichthus77 » Wed Aug 10, 2022 9:03 pm

I doubt that’d be the response during the apocalypse. It wasn’t for me.

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” - C.S. Lewis
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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- A marriage of Sartre & Levinas
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 19, 2022 1:58 am

Does Morality Depend on Religion?
From the purdue.edu website

1. The Presumed Connection between Morality and Religion

In 1987 Governor Mario Cuomo of New York announced that he would appoint a special panel to advise him on ethical issues. The governor pointed out that “Like it or not, we are increasingly involved in life-and-death matters.” As examples, he mentioned abortion, the problem of handicapped babies, the right to die, and assisted reproduction. The purpose of the panel would be to provide the governor with “expert assistance” in thinking about the moral dimensions of these and other matters.


In other words, our politically correct experts or their politically correct experts?

But it's always important to call them experts. That way we can be assured that the advice they give really does reflect the most rational assessment. On the other hand, of course, the rest is history.

Right?

And if there is one thing we can be reasonably sure of here it's that we have our fair share of experts. Or, as I call them, objectivists.

Only in America, more so than in any other modern industrial nation around the globe, the role that religion plays in all this is particularly...appalling?

In America, it is simply not possible for a government official of note to not profess a belief in God. And, in almost all cases, the Christian God.

Thus...

But who, exactly, would sit on such a panel? The answer tells us a lot about who, in this country, is thought to speak for morality. The answer is: representatives of organized religion. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Cuomo, in an appearance at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, said he had invited Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders to join the group."


Join the group? Or, for all practical purposes, become the group?

Few people, at least in the United States, would find this remarkable. Among western democracies, the U.S. is an unusually religious country. Nine out of ten Americans say they believe in a personal God; in Denmark and Sweden, the figure is only one in five. It is not unusual for priests and ministers to be treated as moral experts. Most hospitals, for example, have ethics committees, and these committees usually include three types of members: healthcare professionals to advise about technical matters, lawyers to handle legal issues, and religious representatives to address the moral questions. When newspapers want comments about the ethical dimensions of a story, they call upon the clergy, and the clergy are happy to oblige. Priests and ministers are assumed to be wise counselors who will give sound moral advice when it is needed.


Only in America!

Or, perhaps, as Seneca suggested, "religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

Tell me that the ruling class in America has not used religion to their advantage in prompting "the masses" to toe the line. Just explore Trump, MAGA and their own evangelical flocks of sheep.

Workers of the world unite? In church maybe.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 23, 2022 7:56 pm

Bermudians to God: You spared us!
Nova Scotians to God: What the hell?!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 28, 2022 4:43 pm

Does Morality Depend on Religion?
From the purdue.edu website

Why are [priests and ministers assumed to be wise counselors who will give sound moral advice when it is needed]? The reason is not that they have proven to be better or wiser than other people—as a group, they seem to be neither better nor worse than the rest of us. There is a deeper reason why they are regarded as having special moral insight. In popular thinking, morality and religion are inseparable: People commonly believe that morality can be understood only in the context of religion. So because the clergymen are the spokesmen for religion, it is assumed that they must be spokesmen for morality as well.


And why is this of particular importance? Because God and religion [and only God and religion] then connect the dots between morality on this side of the grave and immortality and salvation on the other side of it. Sure, there are secular ideologies and philosophies [from Marxism to Objectivism] that provide us with "scientific" and "metaphysical" value judgments. But that's only for here and now. Seventy to eighty odd years down here compared to "all of eternity" up there. There's simply no comparison. And the only reason many settle for the here and now secular "isms" is because it is in the here and the now that they are living. They are simply unable to make themselves believe in all the Gods and all the religious paths "out there" to choose from.

To wit...

It is not hard to see why people think this. When viewed from a nonreligious perspective, the universe seems to be a cold, meaningless place, devoid of value and purpose.


That's me, right? And I suspect that many here respond to me as harshly as they do because they possess just enough intelligence to recognize that given enough time I might manage to yank them down into "the hole" with me. And all I have to offer on this side of the grave is the possibility that if they abandon their own rendition of "What would Jesus do?", they at least have access to so many more options in their interactions with others. And they don't necessarily have to take that all the way to becoming a sociopath.

In his essay “A Free Man’s Worship,” written in 1902, Bertrand Russell expressed what he called the “scientific” view of the world:

"That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built."


That Woman too, I suspect.

On the other hand, like most things, this too is open existentially to who knows how many individual interpretations.

Cue dasein.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 28, 2022 10:10 pm

Thanks, MagsJ!
Last edited by iambiguous on Wed Sep 28, 2022 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Wed Sep 28, 2022 10:26 pm

_
Wrong thread!
iambiguous wrote:Philosophy Tweets

“It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment." Gabriel Garcia Marquez


That ever happen to you? Me? Once or twice.

"No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing." Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Clever, maybe. But you either have money or you don't.

"A happy life consists in the tranquility of mind." Cicero

It would have yo be that, wouldn't it?

"...Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean." William Faulkner

My guess: some women do, some women don't.
Same with some men.


"I discovered to my joy, that it is life, not death, that has no limits." Gabriel García Márquez

Right, life has no limits.

"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams." Gabriel García Márquez

Right, like it can't be both.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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