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How Religion Hijacks Neurocortical Mechanisms, and Why So Many Believe in a Deity


iNow
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iNow,

 

"Your logic is broken. However, again, this thread is not about the existence of god, but about the existence of our beliefs in god."

 

Important here to consider, is what one person's concept of God is, as compared to another person's visualization of the thought of God that that person is entertaining.

 

You sensed, by the thoughts posted, what image of God, the poster might be entertaining. And where the poster's reasoning was faulty.

 

You could not have had this understanding, without having already have conceptualized and tested against reality, some image of a creator type entity. (a test which I am projecting, failed in your mind in much the same way as it failed in mine.)

 

The point I am trying to get to, is that the attributes assigned by one mind to an entity that created everything we know, may not be the same attributes assigned in another mind.

 

And often, if not always, when such an entity is considered, it is considered in a figurative fashion. What I mean is that whatever attributes are assigned, are being assigned in your imagination. Any literal, related claims can easily be checked against reality, by peer review, by observation, by science, by logic and reason.

 

So we each are in possession of an ability, to imagine, what another human is imagining. We can realistically deal with entities that two of us, imagine in the same way. We can both imagine the same pink unicorn, and as long as we each attribute the same characteristics to it, it is real to both of us. Let's imagine that it is eating grass in our backyard. Well wait, if I look out my window and were to see it, and you look out your window and were to see it, then, since we live in different places, it couldn't be the same pink unicorn, there would have to be two, or perhaps the one has the ability to be two places at once. Let's look out the window...no unicorn of any sort...maybe there is just the one we are both imagining, but its eating grass in Indiana. Let’s check with the Indiana state police, we will put out an APB...no unicorn, hum, maybe it’s in some remote field in Canada and nobody is close enough to see it, or it lives on Planet Zork. We still both have the exact same image, of the exact same Pink Unicorn, eating grass in a field somewhere. We just don't know where the field is. Maybe it is just an image we both have in our imaginations.

 

There are very large number of concepts that humans have, that are imaginary concepts, that don't "really" exist anywhere, except by consensus, and mutual acknowledgement.

 

The border between Canada and the US exists for humans, and there are actual fences some places, but most places on the border can be crossed by fish and/or birds, which have eyes and ears, and they would see nothing there.

Even a human with no political map, and GPS, could cross with no way to sense that they actually did.

 

I envision a "common consciousness", the sum total of all the thoughts we have shared and brought into reality through technology, literature, science, religion, philosophy, buildings, roads, ships, works of art, laws, morals, cultures and nations. All the things we have established, and maintained, real to any one of us, totaled together to be imagined as one common mind.

 

But it doesn't exist. There is no "common mind" that sits in a room in Chicago, and thinks. It is just a concept. But it is a concept that another human could easily, realistically imagine.

 

Regards, TAR

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Discussed in post #8.

 

 

Also, just to discuss your question more directly, I feel with a high degree of confidence that you're about to make the argument that everything has a cause, and then tell me that god does not. Your logic is broken. However, again, this thread is not about the existence of god, but about the existence of our beliefs in god. Important difference which has allowed us to remain focused on the science and not the bickering.

 

No...I understand that God cannot be used as a termination point, or the single cause of everything, because then that leads to the "well who created him". I'm surprised you would think I would use such fallacious logic, iNow :eyebrow:

 

Hmmm...well it doesn't seem to me that the explanations posed by the speaker could hold for EVERY SINGLE human being. His reasons are not the reasons I consciously believe in a God.

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Hmmm...well it doesn't seem to me that the explanations posed by the speaker could hold for EVERY SINGLE human being. His reasons are not the reasons I consciously believe in a God.

This is an odd argument. Assuming you meant it as an argument.

 

Psychology and psychiatry depend on trending and greater-that-majority commonalities to come to conclusions, as the sort of direct experimentation that would allow isolation of the variables is clearly unethical. Because of this, there is always going to be room for statistical outliers.

 

These outliers are not sufficient to invalidate the conclusions directed by the evidence.

 

Additionally, you will find that asking any theist "Do you believe in god because of your complex evolved system of social and survival behaviors?" will most likely be answered with an honest "no", because they themselves are the results of those same evolved complex social and survival behaviors, and we recognize ourselves as a whole, not the sum of our parts. So, the way one personally feels about the source for their belief in a god isn't much to go by as so far as actually discovering the source.

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No...I understand that God cannot be used as a termination point, or the single cause of everything, because then that leads to the "well who created him". I'm surprised you would think I would use such fallacious logic, iNow

I apologize. I've just heard from believers that same tripe about "god exists outside of time and space" rubbish far too many times, and I've become a bit hypervigilant to such arguments, to the point of sometimes landing on false positives.

 

 

Hmmm...well it doesn't seem to me that the explanations posed by the speaker could hold for EVERY SINGLE human being. His reasons are not the reasons I consciously believe in a God.

Wanna bet?

In order for your argument to be true, you would have to demonstrate that you did not follow the same evolutionary path as every other human did (as if you were put here from another planet, completely separated from the tree of life).

 

While your conscious mind doesn't necessarily recognize that your predisposition toward belief in god and proclivity to religious practice is the result of millenia of selection finding solutions to specific problems of survival, that does not negate the fact that millenia of selection has most certainly led to/helped shape your (and all humans) predisposition toward belief.

 

 

Please note also that this thread is about more than just the video in the OP. While that was the catalyst for my creating it, there has been a lot of additional information which has been submitted since the OP... information which gives a much clearer and bigger picture about the topic. Be sure to explore that, too, if you are, in fact, curious to learn more about the human mind and human beliefs. :)

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iNOW,

 

I shall seek an evolution thread to carry on my thought.

 

Thanks, TAR. I do appreciate that enormously. I'll be sure to contribute to that thread if I think I'll be able to shed any light on the topic or address any specific questions or misconceptions.

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Hmmm, ok. Evolution and its related concepts are kinda hard for me to grasp.

 

Back to the thread. Just because I'm "predispositioned" to a belief, that doesn't explain why I happen to believe that way does it? I'm genetically predispositioned to be an alcoholic, but I've never drank an alcoholic beverage in my entire life (because I choose not to). So what's the point of the video? We may be predispositioned that way, but such an indifferent thing as evolution certainly can't explain away human belief, imho. We are complex things...that apparently arose from non-complex things. :D

 

Sorry if this thread isn't about this post either.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Just because I'm "predispositioned" to a belief, that doesn't explain why I happen to believe that way does it?

Well, it's never as simple as just one thing. Your beliefs are a combination of a) your genetic predispositions and b) your upbringing. While your genetics helped you to have a mind which is inclined toward belief, and a mind which is inclined toward accepting the teachings of your parents, it is those teachings which helped to shape the "way" you believe.

 

By example, you believe the way you do, and you follow the particular religion you do simply because of chance... The chance that you were born here in the United States in your particular hometown. You just happened to be born in that area, and your beliefs were passed to you by your family/community.

 

Well, if you happened to instead be born across on the other side of the planet, you'd be just as likely to have a different "way" of believing. You'd probably be a Hindu or maybe a Muslim. Your genetics predisposing you toward belief and accepting the teachings of your parents would be the same, but the "way" you believed would be taught, and those teachings are different and depend almost entirely on where you are born.

 

 

 

I'm genetically predispositioned to be an alcoholic, but I've never dranl an alcoholic beverage in my entire life (because I choose not to).

Right, and we can all make different choices, despite our genetic predispositions. In much the same way as you suggest above, I was ALSO born with a predisposition toward belief, and toward thinking there was some deity, but through my other evolved traits (like a desire for knowledge/curiosity, critical thinking and analytical abilities, etc) I have overcome those predispositions, and I am an atheist. I choose to reject the idea of a deity.

 

However, I think you may be missing the bigger picture with this concept of "evolution shaping us and our tendencies." Through the millions and millions of years through which our ancestors existed, those adaptations which were successful in their environments got passed on, and those which were not successful were removed from the gene pool. After many successive generations, the more beneficial adaptations tend to become more common.

 

Everything we do is partially shaped by the successful adaptations of our ancestors. Evolution can help to explain why we are attracted to a certain body type (curvy, shapely, ratio of 0.7 in the waist to hips, for example). It can explain why we crave hamburgers and why fatty sugary foods taste so wonderful... These traits solved a problem of survival when the environment was a certain way.

 

Now... Extend that idea to the concept of god. Our predisposition toward belief is an "emergent" property. It comes from many different systems which evolved to solve different problems, but when taken together, those same systems lead to other things... like the proclivity to believe.

 

Either way, pretty much everything we do, think, or feel can be shown to be rooted in something we've evolved. Yes, we can overcome it, and yes, our teachings help shape it, but when you look merely at the trend, it's pretty interesting to see how common it is across all humans... precisely because we've all traveled along to the present along the same branch on the tree of life.

 

 

 

such an indifferent thing as evolution certainly can't explain away human belief, imho.

Oh, but it can... And it does. Some of the items shared in this thread show exactly that. :)

 

 

We are complex things...that apparently arose from non-complex things.

It's amazing what profound changes can happen incrementally over vast swaths of time. We humans, with our petty little 60-80 year life spans have no idea how long thousands of years really is. We have no idea how long millions of years really is. We have no conception of how long billions of years really takes.

 

A lot can be done through teensy tiny steps over such vast eons. In essence, your argument is that a 60 gallon bucket can never be filled by a faucet dripping a single drop per day, but you know... if you wait long enough... that bucket will begin to overflow and water will drip across the edges. Evolution is sort of the same. Every tiny little change happens, and after enough generations, the "non-complex" things are (all of a sudden) amazingly complex. It's rather profound, somewhat beautiful, and amazingly simple.

Edited by iNow
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iNow,

 

So back to the hijacking.

 

Had a thought, that hijacking was an odd term for an adaptation.

 

Seems that part of what a living organism does is adapt to the situation. That would include the environment, and the tools brought to the party, in the form of the organism itself. Now some of those problem solving tools, may have been developed for earlier reasons (successful adaptions), but we are talking about a complex organism here that continually built the next set of features and characteristics off of earlier successes. If your eyes developed because you could look for food, doesn't mean you can't use them to spot a mate, or see approaching danger, or read smoke signals, ...or a computer screen. Are we hijacking our eyes, and our optical cortex, when we read a post?

 

And just a little question on "an area of the brain lighting up." If an area lights up when thoughts of a moral, decision making nature, are had, and this is framed circuitously as an area of the brain that religion has hijacked, or vice-a-versa, doesn't that say more about the link between religion and morality, then what hijacked the others neurocortextural adaptation?

 

Regards, TAR

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Interesting thoughts, TAR, but I see it somewhat differently. Let's look at it this way.

 

Let's say you're preparing a meal for guests. You prepare an amazing appetizer... Everyone loves it, big success. You create an entree that people write home about... Super delicious. Then, your dessert... People are in ecstasy. You also have cocktails, and the party is a huge win.

 

Each dish... on it's own was solid. They were all very safe and very tasty by themselves. However, something strange happened... something you never planned for. When these dishes are combined together, they result in a chemical which is a poison. They are fine and safe when eaten independently, but when they are brought together in the way you have at your party, they poisoned everyone and people get sick. None of your dishes had problems, it was just the way they came together that caused the issue.

 

Similar thoughts here on this topic. We've adapted to solve specific problems. By themselves, these adaptations were really powerful and useful... However, when brought together, they result in a predisposition of belief and religious practice. Now, it is not my intention to suggest in this thread that belief is poisonous, I'm just using it as an example. We didn't select for the "poison" ... we didn't select for the belief itself... we selected for OTHER traits which were beneficial, but when brought together have resulted in an "emergent property."

 

That "emergent property" is our tendency toward belief.

 

 

I'm pretty poor with analogies, but I hope this helps to get the basic point across. The idea is not that we've evolved neorcortical mechanisms for religion and belief. The idea is that the way the mechanisms which DID evolve have simply come together in this interesting way which emerges as a tendency toward belief and religious practice.

 

Cheers.

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my point was very simple..

 

truth be told, at first i did feel a bit guilty for derailing this thread to evolution instead on neuromechanisms of belief, but going back to my point, i found them strongly interlocking..

 

the summery of the thread is to say that belief in a diety is a result of neurological functions humans develop. iNow, the OP starter, says he doesn't care if a deity really exists or not, for the thread is simply about how the belief works...

 

and so, i gave him his atmosphere, and played by his rules, and gave my note about the belief mechanism in my first post #35.

 

and so i repeat:

saying that the belief in a deity was made up by the human mind, that it's a natural part of the human mind to hold such belief, might have the idea(and i'm not pointing any fingers here, definitely to no atheists), that such belief is false, even though it was stated clearly that this thread has nothing to do with the validity of the statement "a deity exists". but by saying it's normal for a brain to "make it up", with my psychotic nature, i thought someone was trying to pull the mat from under holders of such belief, it's really simple really IMO, which is what drove me mad when you were all acting as if nothing has happened, and that it's me who's rude, well i might have been so, but i was so very clearly and straight forwardly, i didn't slither around and play mazes, and again i'm not pointing fingers at nobody:D.

 

but if someone really had that in mind while creating such thread, it seems he didn't consider what i asked about; practicality..

 

so the belief in a deity is the result of some nueromechanisms in our brains...

 

so what?:cool:

 

some might think that holders of such beliefs would squirm in their seats worrying that their brain has been playing games on them for all this years, while those who liberated themselves from such delusions might raise their heads and puff their chests, feeling in control of even their brains' tricks..

 

but if our brain was playing on us by making up or introducing such belief, didn't it do it for a reason?:eyebrow:

 

which brings evolution to the equation. the neuromechanisms being a product of our brain's evolution, doesn't mean that we are evolving by holding such belief?

 

(cries):HECK NO! we're DEvolving by holding such belief..you dumwit..

 

Ohh, but if our brain has been caught introducing bad things to us now, then couldn't it and other aspects of evolution or change or whatever also have introduced such bad mutations which got embedded into us unnoticed before?

 

doesn't that bring the theory of evolution down on it's head?

 

if evolution works by keeping good AND bad mutations, instead of good only, can it be reliable as an explanation to our ever so simple origin for us such ever so complex beings?

 

or do evolutionists need to add a couple more eons to the age of the world for the new busted evolution to fit the profile?

 

as a mutation, how is the belief in a deity classified?

 

it's just what i said in post #35..

 

and i apologize for any perceived rudeness.

Edited by forufes
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which brings evolution to the equation. the neuromechanisms being a product of our brain's evolution, doesn't mean that we are evolving by holding such belief?

No.

 

(cries):HECK NO! we're DEvolving by holding such belief..you dumwit..
There's no such thing as 'devolving'.
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Ohh, but if our brain has been caught introducing bad things to us now, then couldn't it and other aspects of evolution or change or whatever also have introduced such bad mutations which got embedded into us unnoticed before?

 

doesn't that bring the theory of evolution down on it's head?

The problem is not with the theory of evolution by natural selection, but your flawed understanding of it.

 

if evolution works by keeping good AND bad mutations, instead of good only, can it be reliable as an explanation to our ever so simple origin for us such ever so complex beings?
"Good" and "bad" are value judgments, and evolution doesn't make value judgments, it's just a description of a phenomenon brought about by a combination of many natural processes.

 

Phenotypes that function well in an environment give an organism better opportunity to reproduce, and in that manner are "selected" naturally. Phenotypes that function poorly in an environment work against that reproductive opportunity, and thus are "selected out". There are also phenotypes that don't make much difference. This process takes generations, especially if the given phenotype is only somewhat advantageous or disadvantageous.

 

 

 

as a mutation, how is the belief in a deity classified?

 

it's just what i said in post #35..

 

and i apologize for any perceived rudeness.

The question is meaningless, as "belief in a deity" isn't the result of a mutation. No child was born with the "god gene" who, in beliving in a deity, was so successful at reproduction that the next generation was mostly his children.

 

Rather the evidence points to belief in a deity as a predisposition which is an emergent property of many neurological phenotypes. Itself neutral to human survival, but the individual phenotypes the predisposition arises from each advantageous.

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By example, you believe the way you do, and you follow the particular religion you do simply because of chance... The chance that you were born here in the United States in your particular hometown. You just happened to be born in that area, and your beliefs were passed to you by your family/community.

 

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I don't believe the way I do because of my community, nor my family. I've READ parts of the Apocrypha, Koran, and, of course, the Torah. I FOUND my beliefs. Sure, I was raised a Christian, but my parents always encouraged me to seek truths in my own way. As it stands now, I'm a deist that believes in a man called Jesus.

 

Now... Extend that idea to the concept of god. Our predisposition toward belief is an "emergent" property. It comes from many different systems which evolved to solve different problems, but when taken together, those same systems lead to other things... like the proclivity to believe.

 

But proclivity can't be the thow-away explanation for all belief can it? That's my point. It doesn't seem to me that evolutionary by-products can be considered the reason for everyone that chooses to belive in a God. Take me for example. I've got a fair amount of knowledge in maths and science, much more so than the average person, but yet, I CHOOSE to believe in an irrational entity. How does a proclivity for belief factor into that at all??

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No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I don't believe the way I do because of my community, nor my family.

I understand that you think this is true. I'm suggesting it's not likely, though. I appreciate the authenticity of your feelings on this, but you seem to be consciously ignoring a very important point. The "what" of our beliefs is highly contingent on where we were raised, and by whom we were raised.

 

Your argument is essentially that, even if you were born in Iran, in a highly Muslim community, you would STILL be a Christianly-biased deist. I find that idea a bit hard to accept... the point of being somewhat naive. Don't get me wrong, I know you are being sincere, but I think you are intentionally ignoring the simplicity of my point. If you were born in Iran, you'd very likely be Muslim (or an Islamically-biased deist), and you would feel precisely as strong as you do now about your Christianity-biased belief system.

 

But hey, maybe I'm wrong. This is just food for thought, and I trust that you have thought about this enough to know what you are saying.

 

 

But proclivity can't be the thow-away explanation for all belief can it? That's my point.

It's just about tendencies, that's all. We are predisposed to many things, but there are always other factors involved. I never denied that. I'm just talking about predispositions and tendencies. There will always be outliers different from the mean, but I am primarily discussing the mean (average) behavior.

 

 

It doesn't seem to me that evolutionary by-products can be considered the reason for everyone that chooses to belive in a God.

And, you're right. It is not the only reason for peoples beliefs. It simply shows why we are predisposed toward belief. Most of the rest is better explained by indoctrination, pressure from parents and family, and social pressures toward acceptance with the larger group/community.

 

 

Take me for example. I've got a fair amount of knowledge in maths and science, much more so than the average person, but yet, I CHOOSE to believe in an irrational entity. How does a proclivity for belief factor into that at all??

I'd say that you'd much more likely be rational about ALL of your beliefs if you did NOT have this proclivity... That the predisposition itself is part of what makes it so easy for you to suspend your rationality on this issue. That's just a guess, though. I don't have all of the answers. I just enjoy exploring the topic, and I've been sharing data here which just makes good sense to me. It's okay to disagree, but the data certainly supports my points. Cheers.

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No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I don't believe the way I do because of my community, nor my family. I've READ parts of the Apocrypha, Koran, and, of course, the Torah. I FOUND my beliefs. Sure, I was raised a Christian, but my parents always encouraged me to seek truths in my own way. As it stands now, I'm a deist that believes in a man called Jesus.

I'm curious as to how you know you didn't choose this deistic/Jesus belief because of environmental influence.

 

But proclivity can't be the thow-away explanation for all belief can it? That's my point. It doesn't seem to me that evolutionary by-products can be considered the reason for everyone that chooses to belive in a God. Take me for example. I've got a fair amount of knowledge in maths and science, much more so than the average person, but yet, I CHOOSE to believe in an irrational entity. How does a proclivity for belief factor into that at all??

How could the choice to believe in something irrational be possible without that predisposition?

 

I have an autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's Syndrome. Certain social instincts don't work for me like they do for neurotypicals. Particularly; a sense of "other" detached from a presence that functions to enhance group cohesion, and the inherent ability to think about what others are thinking and feeling.

 

This makes it effectively impossible for me to believe in god.

 

As a child in a Catholic household, this "god" fellow was someone I had not met yet. He was on par with the governor of our state or the president of the country. I drove my parents nuts when I realized that this god fellow never did interviews on TV. After a while of answering their explanations with "I don't understand.", my father said that I could "hear god in my head" if I listened.

 

That explanation meant nothing at all to me, because I was still learning to think about what others were thinking. Something neurotypicals are born with the ability to do (even if their ability to do it requires brain development to be good at it).

 

Hope this helps.

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I'm curious as to how you know you didn't choose this deistic/Jesus belief because of environmental influence.

 

Quick Reply: Because my community is full of people that actually take the Old Testament literally. And were horrible represenations of the kindness that Christ so desperately wanted humanity to show. If anything, they dod more to drive me away from Christianity than to influence me to become Christian.

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Quick Reply: Because my community is full of people that actually take the Old Testament literally. And were horrible represenations of the kindness that Christ so desperately wanted humanity to show. If anything, they dod more to drive me away from Christianity than to influence me to become Christian.

Well, that's just it: That you didn't become "one of them" doesn't suggest that you were not influenced by them. It just means you didn't duplicate their beliefs.

 

_____EDIT_____

It just hit me that my example of why I can't believe in god really doesn't apply. You've been clear it's a deistic belief, which omits personal relationship.

 

This stands as example of the complexity of it, and how it really is a discussion of trending and predisposition, not absolutes.

Edited by JillSwift
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iNow,

 

The poison meal is certainly possible, but not really likely, cause kitchen lore, was probably built up over the years, to warn people against preparing or not preparing foods in a way that would result in chemicals that would kill you if combined with the chemicals produced if another food was prepared or not prepared in a certain way. The combination you presented may have been unique, but the particular combination which formed the poison, would have been present in a great number of other unique meal combinations, and should have been run across before and been added to kitchen lore, or into law. (Though shall not eat beasts, killed by unknown cause, lying on the side of the road.) Besides, reality usually does not come up with things out of nowhere, with no other consequence or connections. Some of your guests should have found that they had a "funny" taste in their mouth between course three and four, or a few guests may had decided not to finish their tapioca after seeing Burt keel over, or people may have reason to put down their forks when the peice of strawberry, dropped accidentally into the salad dressing left on the salad plate, turned blue and started smoking.

 

No, religion has too many connections, on too many levels to be tossed off as a bad aftertaste.

 

We are talking about reality here, and reality doesn't miss a thing.

 

Religion has been a part of human society, since there was human society.

 

Guy at work brought back a bunch of posters from a printing show and I latched on to a huge poster, of a beautiful ornate library. We guessed it was in some palace in Viena. Goolged "beautiful libraries" and found it.

Library of the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria

 

http://my.opera.com/RichardCooper/albums/showpic.dml?album=467365&picture=6474208

 

Hardly the work of ignorant folks.

 

"This library is one of the most important cultural properties of our country and is one of the largest late Baroque works of art in Europe. Perhaps a little overenthusiastically but at the same quite justifiably, since the early 19th century the Admont library has been called the “eighth wonder of the world”. It represents a repository of knowledge containing examples of the artistic and historical development of books over the centuries - from the manuscripts of the medieval Admont writing school over the collection of incunabula (early printed books) to the fully developed printing process."

 

 

 

And check out

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article6142691.ece

 

"Stanley Jaki, a Benedictine priest and a physicist, was best known for his scholarly contributions to the philosophy of science and theology. In 1987 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for his work on analysing “the importance of differences as well as similarities between science and religion, adding significant, balanced enlightenment to the field"

 

As believers in Anthropomorfic Gods, and people who take the Bible as literal truth, should not ignore the evidence, so to, the truth, of our inextricable connection to the universe, should not be ignored by the rest of us. The evidence that we are of and in reality is clear.

 

Our proclivity, neurocortically based, to notice the universe, forces us to...um... notice the universe.

 

Now, none of us have the only brain.

And, none of us are blocked from noticing reality by someone else's worldview.

So, the "truth" is automatically accessable to any of us, access does not depend on our religious beliefs.

 

Belief, is not a requirement to be a part of reality. It's automatic. If you are human, you are real.

 

Belief, is not a requirement to notice reality. It's automatic. If you are human, you notice reality.

 

Points being;

if you think that your worldview is the only way to access truth, you are mistaken,

and if you think someone else can't see the truth, you are mistaken.

 

Whoops, that was a long way to go, just to get to an insight we already had when we heard the "blindmen and the elephant" story. Sorry.

 

Regards, TAR

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I think you missed the point of my analogy. The point is, the systems evolved independently. When they come together in one organism, the result is the emergent property of belief. Let's not stretch the analogy too far. No matter how many philosophers you quote in an attempt to demonstrate otherwise, we still evolved specific solutions to specific problems, and when taken together, those solutions result in things like a predisposition toward belief.

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Well, that's just it: That you didn't become "one of them" doesn't suggest that you were not influenced by them. It just means you didn't duplicate their beliefs.

 

_____EDIT_____

It just hit me that my example of why I can't believe in god really doesn't apply. You've been clear it's a deistic belief, which omits personal relationship.

 

This stands as example of the complexity of it, and how it really is a discussion of trending and predisposition, not absolutes.

 

Well, then you could say the entire world influenced my decision. I don't really think that's a fair claim to make. Do you? I like to believe I made my own decision, predisposition be damned! :D

 

And thank you for acknowledging your minor error JillSwift ;) I sincerely appreciate it.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
Why?

 

 

 

Seriously, I'm curious as to how you decided among the variety of religions, and why you felt the need to have a faith.

 

 

Long story short --> Christianity has the most historicity attached to it. The New Testament has some of the most pure sentiments of love in it.

 

For all the equations I've learned...all the psycholohy, sociology, science, math, astronomy, chemistry, statics...everything I've learned, nothing can explain what I know to be true with all my heart. I believe in souls...I don't see personalities arising simply from chemical interactions within our brain (I know they do, that just doesn't seem like it explains love to me).

 

It's basically because I need it to be true. While agnosticism certainly makes sense to me (atheism seems pretentious to me, no offence), I just don't believe that this is all there is to life. There has to be more, and I find it arrogant that we humans think that we can percieve and understand all in the universe. I think everything has a purpose, and that there is a single cause.

There's a lot of emotional reasons I believe too, but I won't get into that :D

 

 

 

Sorry about the off-topic-ness iNow, I was just answering his question.


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...those solutions result in things like a predisposition toward belief.

 

And that is a 100% fact? There is no disputing that?

Edited by A Tripolation
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And that is a 100% fact? There is no disputing that?

Challenge or dispute anything you want, but let's please use facts and established lines of evidence. I don't find this "I believe in my heart" and "this is how I feel" crap to be all too compelling, especially in the face of the robust evidence I've shared in support of my own position. ;)

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Challenge or dispute anything you want, but let's please use facts and established lines of evidence. I don't find this "I believe in my heart" and "this is how I feel" crap to be all too compelling, especially in the face of the robust evidence I've shared in support of my own position. ;)

 

:D

Of course not, O' Lord of Darkness.

 

Lemme try and think of something to dispute.

BTW, I never used the Appeal to Emotion fallacy in arguments against you, just to answer that question.

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