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Aug. 2002 - Is God in your brain? 
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Post Aug. 2002 - Is God in your brain?
This thread is for discussing Massimo Pigliucci's Rationally Speaking article entitled Is God in your brain?

Quote:
N. 27, August 2002

Is God in your brain?


Imagine you are about to have a mystical experience. You may be absorbed in prayer in the silence of your room, or perhaps you are meditating and



Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Aug. 2002 - Is God in your brain?

I don't trust Newberg's trust in this saying anything about a God out there or beyond. But what if its the other way around. God gets represented in the same way any person do.

think about the illusiveness of us as a continues self over time. Doesn't it feel like as if we are the same person over time. Ok we know that we change on views and preferences or maybe even in temperament. But we feel very much the same person. This is obvious :) every time somebody wake up not knowing who they are. A very frightening experience.

Or take the tragedy of loosing control over your right arm. some people deny that they have loosed the control, its too scary to admit. Now they are not aware of that they deny their lack of control over it. They give totally out of the blue explanations of why they fail to make use of their right arm.

Until they wake up some weeks??? later strong enough to see reality as it is.


Is this not what its all about. Those who have faith in a supernatural God are a milder form of the denying of the arm not functional due to illness, stroke or whatever.

Newberg has an inner need for there to be a real factual God and will not accept that the God within is like any personification of persons we know.

Take a newborn baby. The caretaker get bonded emotionally to it due to oxytocin released as a consequence of the visual, audio, smell and tactil relation established.

In the same way one could think of the God within being socially constructed in wetware in our brain. God being distrbuted or dispersed through the believers bonding emotionally through the narratives about the loved object of focus of attention. As a loved relative God get an inner representation in reall brain tissiue.

A factual incarnation of God within us and this has nothing to do with "spiritual incarnation. " Now this is me as a non-theist trying to get how it actually works from a functional point of view.

True believers would most likely never accept thsi kind of pragmatic view. To them all their rhetoric apologetic theology is the real stuff. God is out there beyond us they could not keep an opposing view going at the same time.
That is why conversions do take place. One is only able to be either a believer or a non-believer. Unless your agnostic about both assertions but that is something else and different.

Bernt.

PS no I have no faith in supernatural God or gods but I find it very likely that there is a distributed socially constructed God withn the believers and maybe a bleak mirroring of this representation even within us who are non-theists.




Sat Sep 20, 2003 5:05 pm


Post Re: Aug. 2002 - Is God in your brain?
Quote:
Again, what is going on? Is Persinger's helmet a machine that can potentially put everybody in direct contact with God, or does it show that many mystical experiences are in fact caused by seizures, that is by a malfunction of the normal brain circuitry?



Boy, that sentence is loaded with freighted terms. Or freighted with loaded terms, whichever way you'd like it.

"Malfunction"? By what definition? "Normal"? Whose version of normal?

Furthermore, I see other possibilities. What is to say that he hasn't got the arrow of causality completely backward? Except an assumption of philosophical naturalism that a priori excludes the external stilmuli "God" from affecting a human brain from the outset, of course?

Has anyone read Schwartz's The Mind and The Brain? I'm going to be starting that one soon.

One other question: Is God in my brain? In what sense is this meant?

Put plainly it seems to me the question is actually an assertion that God is just something that our brain makes up out of wholly irrational events.

Does it not occur to you ... that by purging all sacred images, references, and words from our public life, you are leaving us with nothing but a cold temple presided over by the Goddess of Reason




Sun May 30, 2004 7:04 pm
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