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Atheism vs. Agnostisism a discussion

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Mr. P

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Re: Atheism vs. Agnostisism a discussion

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No I have not, but I am interested!Please expound!Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of PainHEY! Is that a ball in your court? - Mr. P
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"The new field of neurotheology is examining what specifically happens within the brain when a person has a "religious" or "spiritual" experience. Early research is showing that not only does a person's brain activity change in particular areas while that person is experiencing a religious epiphany, but such epiphanies can be occasioned, for some people, by stimulating various parts of the brain by various means. These findings underscore the importance of permitting individuals unfettered access to the full-spectrum of consciousness, and the freedom to achieve various states of mind by various means."The brain activity change is in the area of the brain that gives people the perception of individuality. Once that area of the brain has less activity, they get a feeling of transcendentalism... they feel like they are more spiritual / in touch with god / enlightened. I mentioned this in a thread a while back. To me, it's a supplementary trait to the void theory in people's belief of God.
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I'd like to see the methodology on this. I'd be interested to see how the "neurotheologists" managed to predict religious epiphany with enough precision that they were able to observe, record and test the phenomenon. Beyond that, I've always been suspicious of the claim that any branch of neurology or psychology could "produce" a naturally occuring phenomenon, like religious epiphany. I'm perfectly willing to accept the premise that stimuli in certain areas of the brain could simulate the physical responses associated with a given phenomenon, but I see no reason to identify the associated feelings with the phenomenon itself.
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Re: Atheism vs. Agnostisism a discussion

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"...but I see no reason to identify the associated feelings with the phenomenon itself."I do believe the 'feelings' identified were identified by the test subjects. Some were meditating, others were praying, etc. The times that the prayers claimed they could feel god the most coincided with very localized brain activity.Do you think a religious scientists would chose to partake in an experiment like that?
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I do believe the 'feelings' identified were identified by the test subjects.My concern, then, would be the part that the subject's interpretation of the event played in its identification.Do you think a religious scientists would chose to partake in an experiment like that?No less readily than a secular scientist, I would imagine. But both should demonstrate a certain amount of conservativism in terms of stating the findings produced by such an experiment. If nothing else, their use of the term "religious epiphany" must be rather loose, else it departs rather widely from the more traditional use of the word. "Feeling close to God" during prayer doesn't really strike me as epiphany. Nor does it seem likely to me that any rigorously scientific study could "underscore the importance of permitting individuals unfettered access to the full-spectrum of consciousness, and the freedom to achieve various states of mind by various means."
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MA: "My concern, then, would be the part that the subject's interpretation of the event played in its identification."If it's a matter of words, I couldn't tell you. As long as the subjects interpret the event in a similar fashion as all the other subjects, then their identification of the event would have merit.MA: "Feeling close to God" during prayer doesn't really strike me as epiphany."Feeling close to God is what they have claimed to observe, not an epiphany. Though an epiphany may simply be a state of 'feeling close to God' while having a startling realization. A combination of the two, so to speak.MA: "underscore the importance of permitting individuals unfettered access to the full-spectrum of consciousness, and the freedom to achieve various states of mind by various means." Yes, I think the understanding of the event is an abstraction and does nothing to diminish it's impact.Or, wait... are you talking about marijuana? 8P
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Re: Atheism vs. Agnostisism a discussion

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Feeling close to God is what they have claimed to observe, not an epiphany.The quote you provided uses the word "epiphany." At any rate, do you have a link or something? I'd like to take a closer look.
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www.geocities.com/marcusral/delusion.htmNeurotheology it's called. Maybe the understanding of "religious epiphany" is the issue. Then again, maybe epiphanies have been attributed to the wrong cause, their altered interpretation resulting from their worldview. Anyway, it's worth the read.EDIT - Would neurotheology be metaphysical? Edited by: Interbane at: 11/26/04 11:10 am
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Thanks for the URL. I'll try to read through the article later on tonight. Night run a search on the term "neurotheology", as well.Whether or not it classifies as metaphysics depends, I think, on where the people involved push its conclusions. If they determine, for instance, that God is a concept produced by certain neurochemical reactions, then metaphysics doesn't really play a part in it -- it's psychology, in the tradition of Freud's "The Future of an Illusion" and "Civilization and its Discontents". If, on the other hand, the studies attempt to posit a means by which humans can "know" God, then it's ranging further into the realm of metaphysics, while simultaneously leaving the realm of hard science.
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I assumed you're understanding of Science and Metaphysics implied that there was no overlap whatsoever on any concept. Any concept imaginable either applies exclusively to one or the other. This seems incorrect to me, though I'm not educated on the matter. I this post, you hint at their being overlap. I don't remember the thread where we discussed this, yet I'm sure we both remember the issue. Sorry for picking at words, but could you clarify your stance?
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