Author Topic: Religion Instinct?!  (Read 3108 times)

Walter

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2019, 05:40:25 PM »
Hi Robbie,

People don't understand that evidence of the kind they want, is not possible.  In this thread I have linked an article that clearly demonstrates that certain brain wiring is necessary for spiritual experiences.  It can happen both ways....the effort taken for the experience can create the necessary wiring and the existence of the wiring can create the experience.

It is clear that without the wiring (or the necessary effort) such experiences are not possible. 

The experience itself is a glimpse of another aspect of reality.....though some people who cannot have these experiences, would like to believe that the experiences are just random or hallucinatory internal experiences not connected to any objective reality. 

This battle will go on...!  :)

Cheers.

Sriram
Sriram

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Maeght

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2019, 08:35:25 PM »
Hi Robbie,

People don't understand that evidence of the kind they want, is not possible.  In this thread I have linked an article that clearly demonstrates that certain brain wiring is necessary for spiritual experiences.  It can happen both ways....the effort taken for the experience can create the necessary wiring and the existence of the wiring can create the experience.

It is clear that without the wiring (or the necessary effort) such experiences are not possible. 

The experience itself is a glimpse of another aspect of reality.....though some people who cannot have these experiences, would like to believe that the experiences are just random or hallucinatory internal experiences not connected to any objective reality. 

This battle will go on...!  :)

Cheers.

Sriram

You,of course, would like to believe they are glimpses of another aspect of reality.

jeremyp

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2019, 08:56:58 PM »
Hi everyone,

The point is that you people are not honestly agreeing to the following...

1. Certain experiences such as spiritual experiences, depend on brain wiring. If the wiring is not right, the person will not be able to experience such matters. This is fact as per the article above.
Why would I honestly agree to that since it is a deeply dishonest statement? First of all, it is not a fact, it is a hypothesis. Secondly, assuming atheists are wired differently, you characterise the difference in wiring as a deficiency when it is not necessarily any such thing. In fact, wiring that makes it easier to see through religious bulshit might bee considered to be an advantage.

Quote
Since it depends on brain wiring, the experiences need not be purely imaginary or wishful thinking. It could be our connection to a reality that some people are unable to experience. Just as brain wiring enables eyesight, hearing etc. these internal wiring could connect us to a reality that is not otherwise obvious.  Since most spiritual people agree on the many beneficial effects of the experiences, they can be taken as real.

Brain wiring does not enable eyesight, hearing etc, it determines how these things are processed. Brain wiring alone will not allow you to experience new phenomena from the world. For that you need sense organs like eyes and ears etc.

Quote
3. Evidence in objective terms cannot be provided.  Only anecdotal accounts can be provided.  So, stop asking for 'evidence...evidence'.  If you can't see it...you just can't. 

That's an admission of defeat. We ask for evidence. You tell us you haven't got any so why do we need to believe you?
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Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2019, 04:44:57 AM »
You,of course, would like to believe they are glimpses of another aspect of reality.


Of course I would!!  I have enough reasons to know that there is a reality beyond the obvious physical one that we can sense through our five senses.

Trentvoyager

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2019, 07:53:50 AM »
Quote
I have enough reasons to know believe that there is a reality beyond the obvious physical one that we can sense through our five senses.

FTFY
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Maeght

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2019, 08:05:38 AM »

Of course I would!!  I have enough reasons to know that there is a reality beyond the obvious physical one that we can sense through our five senses.

Believe, not know.

Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2019, 08:09:11 AM »
Believe, not know.


I 'know'!  You like to think that I 'believe'.....which is different....

Maeght

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2019, 08:10:40 AM »

I 'know'!  You like to think that I 'believe'.....which is different....

You believe, but like to think you know.

Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2019, 08:26:06 AM »
You believe, but like to think you know.



How do you know that?

Maeght

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 08:35:08 AM »


How do you know that?

Your view is based on personal experiences you interpret in a particular way for which there is no objective evidence. Sounds like belief to me.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2019, 08:35:39 AM »
Sriram,

Quote
I 'know'!  You like to think that I 'believe'.....which is different....

How do you "know" what you think you know when you have no evidence for it?
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

Michel de Montaigne

enki

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2019, 10:17:26 AM »

I 'know'!  You like to think that I 'believe'.....which is different....

Based on my experiences, I could quite easily say I 'know' that there is no such alternate reality. I wouldn't however because that would be ridiculously presumptuous of me.

Furthermore, if I am to be skeptical of your take on things because of your complete lack of evidence, then, to be scrupulously honest, I have to apply the same yardstick to my experiences which, similarly, have no evidence in and of themselves.
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Walter

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2019, 01:12:24 PM »
Based on my experiences, I could quite easily say I 'know' that there is no such alternate reality. I wouldn't however because that would be ridiculously presumptuous of me.

Furthermore, if I am to be skeptical of your take on things because of your complete lack of evidence, then, to be scrupulously honest, I have to apply the same yardstick to my experiences which, similarly, have no evidence in and of themselves.
good post enki

In my case it took a good few years of thought and research to reach a satisfactory explanation of the strange yet not unpleasant experience I had . Often arriving at a conclusion only later to dismiss it and then carry on looking for an acceptable answer .
Being honest with ones self is sometimes one of the most difficult things to do .

ippy

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2019, 01:45:25 PM »
Hi everyone,

The point is that you people are not honestly agreeing to the following...

1. Certain experiences such as spiritual experiences, depend on brain wiring. If the wiring is not right, the person will not be able to experience such matters. This is fact as per the article above.

2. Since it depends on brain wiring, the experiences need not be purely imaginary or wishful thinking. It could be our connection to a reality that some people are unable to experience. Just as brain wiring enables eyesight, hearing etc. these internal wiring could connect us to a reality that is not otherwise obvious.  Since most spiritual people agree on the many beneficial effects of the experiences, they can be taken as real.

3. Evidence in objective terms cannot be provided.  Only anecdotal accounts can be provided.  So, stop asking for 'evidence...evidence'.  If you can't see it...you just can't. 

Cheers.

Sriram

I couldn't help noticing this post of yours on one of my occasional browsings through this forum, you refer to some people who have brains that aren't wired in the right way, an unsupported assertion.

Now I'm not a great fan of woo in anything like the way you seem to be but having said that I was talking to an equally as non-religious as I am friend the other day about viewing a move to any new house my wife and I would be likely to move to and he doesn't share with me any of the admittedly not logical feelings I have about buildings.

My wife and I we both share these feelings about any potential home we're thinking of buying, we know more or less as we step over the threshold of any new place if it feels right, can't even consider a move unless we both have this feeling about a potential new home, it's a feeling we both have.

There's no logic or rational about this feeling we have about just bricks and mortar but we know it as soon as we enter the building, the yes we could live here feeling in spite of the fact that we're both realistic non-religious people.

I think it's partly akin to aesthetics when you like a piece of art or not, again without necessarily any supportable rational or logic to be offered.

Spititual?

Cheers Sri.


Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2019, 05:24:55 AM »
I couldn't help noticing this post of yours on one of my occasional browsings through this forum, you refer to some people who have brains that aren't wired in the right way, an unsupported assertion.

Now I'm not a great fan of woo in anything like the way you seem to be but having said that I was talking to an equally as non-religious as I am friend the other day about viewing a move to any new house my wife and I would be likely to move to and he doesn't share with me any of the admittedly not logical feelings I have about buildings.

My wife and I we both share these feelings about any potential home we're thinking of buying, we know more or less as we step over the threshold of any new place if it feels right, can't even consider a move unless we both have this feeling about a potential new home, it's a feeling we both have.

There's no logic or rational about this feeling we have about just bricks and mortar but we know it as soon as we enter the building, the yes we could live here feeling in spite of the fact that we're both realistic non-religious people.

I think it's partly akin to aesthetics when you like a piece of art or not, again without necessarily any supportable rational or logic to be offered.

Spititual?

Cheers Sri.


Yes ippy.  That 'feeling' of a house being right or not is something most people around the world have. It is quite common.  In India we attribute that to the aura or biofield that exists around us and all things. This aura is some kind of an energy field (like a magnetic field) that exists everywhere. It is not really anything to do with the spirit and hence not 'spiritual'.

The article I have referred merely says that certain brain connections are required for people to have certain 'religious' experiences. That seems quite obvious to me. But that fact highlights the point that everyone may not be able to have 'religious' experiences. 


jeremyp

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2019, 09:36:28 AM »

Yes ippy.  That 'feeling' of a house being right or not is something most people around the world have. It is quite common.  In India we attribute that to the aura or biofield that exists around us and all things. This aura is some kind of an energy field (like a magnetic field) that exists everywhere. It is not really anything to do with the spirit and hence not 'spiritual'.

My bullshit detection aura is pinging quite strongly right now.
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2019, 01:37:05 PM »
Sriram,

Quote
Yes ippy.  That 'feeling' of a house being right or not is something most people around the world have. It is quite common.

Probably is – some people find certain environments more comfortable than others. It’s down to taste, culture, upbringing etc – no need to invoke woo to explain it though   

Quote
In India we attribute that to the aura or biofield that exists around us and all things. This aura is some kind of an energy field (like a magnetic field) that exists everywhere. It is not really anything to do with the spirit and hence not 'spiritual'.

And in my house we attribute it to the vaporised tears of unicorns, spread to the winds by the mystical power of Hertz van Rental, the Dutch god of transport.

See that’s the thing when you just make stuff up to explain an experience – any shit is as valid as any other, “aura or biofield” and vaporised unicorn tears alike.     

Quote
The article I have referred merely says that certain brain connections are required for people to have certain 'religious' experiences. That seems quite obvious to me. But that fact highlights the point that everyone may not be able to have 'religious' experiences.

“Certain brain connections” is meaningless woo. If you’re trying to say that some people are more gullible or credulous than others, then just say it. 
"To understand via the heart is not to understand."

Michel de Montaigne

ekim

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2019, 04:52:15 PM »
Sriram,

“Certain brain connections” is meaningless woo. If you’re trying to say that some people are more gullible or credulous than others, then just say it.

I think Sriram is just repeating what the neuroscientist Andrew Newberg has found in his studies of the neural functioning of the brain as a result of religious practices like prayer, contemplation, meditation "New dendrites are formed, new synaptic connections are made, and the brain becomes more sensitive to subtle realms of experience."  I don't think it has anything to do with gullibility or credulousness but more to do with conditioning. and perhaps a desire for an inner experience like bliss, ananda, heaven etc. which transcends the sensational and psychological. 

Swami Sivananda, a  Hindu authority on meditation, who died in 1963, put it this way  "You can distinctly feel the shift of consciousness as it leaves its seat in the brain, attempting to return to its original seat.   You realise that it has left its former channels to enter into new ones.   Its psychology is transformed.   You now have a wholly new mind, new heart and noble sensations and feelings." Whether there is an 'original seat' or the situation is as Newberg suggests "Religious experiences satisfy two basic functions of the brain: self-maintenance (“How do we survive as individuals and as a species?”) and self-transcendence (“How do we continue to evolve and change ourselves as people?”), I don't know, and if the experience is the goal does it really matter.

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2019, 05:04:50 PM »
ekim,
Quote
I think Sriram is just repeating what the neuroscientist Andrew Newberg has found in his studies of the neural functioning of the brain as a result of religious practices like prayer, contemplation, meditation "New dendrites are formed, new synaptic connections are made, and the brain becomes more sensitive to subtle realms of experience."  I don't think it has anything to do with gullibility or credulousness but more to do with conditioning. and perhaps a desire for an inner experience like bliss, ananda, heaven etc. which transcends the sensational and psychological.

You have it backwards I think. Sriram was claiming that you need special brain wiring to have religious experiences in the first place (“The article I have referred merely says that certain brain connections are required for people to have certain 'religious' experiences.”). What Newberg (apparently) was saying was that religious practices caused a degree of neural re-wiring. Presumably moreover it doesn’t matter much which religion is involved, not for that matter whether similar practices (meditation, yoga etc) have the same effect so the religion bit is irrelevant.

None of this of course tells you anything at all about whether the various claims of fact of the religious – gods etc – are real.     

As for gullibility, clearly some people are more suggestible than others. These are the ones that Derren Brown and similar look for, and there's no reason to think them to be less suggestible about religious beliefs than they are about anything else.   

Quote
Swami Sivananda, a  Hindu authority on meditation, who died in 1963, put it this way  "You can distinctly feel the shift of consciousness as it leaves its seat in the brain, attempting to return to its original seat.   You realise that it has left its former channels to enter into new ones.   Its psychology is transformed.   You now have a wholly new mind, new heart and noble sensations and feelings." Whether there is an 'original seat' or the situation is as Newberg suggests "Religious experiences satisfy two basic functions of the brain: self-maintenance (“How do we survive as individuals and as a species?”) and self-transcendence (“How do we continue to evolve and change ourselves as people?”), I don't know, and if the experience is the goal does it really matter.

Sounds lovely. See above though.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 05:54:43 PM by bluehillside Retd. »
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ippy

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2019, 05:53:59 PM »
Sriram,

Probably is – some people find certain environments more comfortable than others. It’s down to taste, culture, upbringing etc – no need to invoke woo to explain it though   

And in my house we attribute it to the vaporised tears of unicorns, spread to the winds by the mystical power of Hertz van Rental, the Dutch god of transport.

See that’s the thing when you just make stuff up to explain an experience – any shit is as valid as any other, “aura or biofield” and vaporised unicorn tears alike.     

“Certain brain connections” is meaningless woo. If you’re trying to say that some people are more gullible or credulous than others, then just say it.

'vaporised unicorn tears', mmm, some people have a way with words and so deep too, after all of these years I've spent on this planet I hadn't realised, I can only offer you a humble fank you Blue, and there's me here finkin It's gotta be a bit of the old affetics that's affected us innit?

Reggs ippy

torridon

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2019, 07:13:28 PM »

Yes ippy.  That 'feeling' of a house being right or not is something most people around the world have. It is quite common.  In India we attribute that to the aura or biofield that exists around us and all things. This aura is some kind of an energy field (like a magnetic field) that exists everywhere. It is not really anything to do with the spirit and hence not 'spiritual'.


'Aura' and 'biofield' are probably just woo.  It can be quite valid to have a 'gut' feeling about something without invoking unevidenced energy fields as the explanation.  It's simply your subconscious, doing what it does.  Same thing when you fall in love, we might call it 'chemistry'.  It's not that your loved one is emitting an energy field, it is that your subconscious mind has done complex work subliminally and found the pieces fit together.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 07:20:31 PM by torridon »

jeremyp

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2019, 07:18:30 PM »
'vaporised unicorn tears', mmm, some people have a way with words and so deep too, after all of these years I've spent on this planet I hadn't realised, I can only offer you a humble fank you Blue, and there's me here finkin It's gotta be a bit of the old affetics that's affected us innit?

Reggs ippy

Yes, it is very poetic but I thought my bullshit aura more to the point.
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torridon

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2019, 07:19:47 PM »

The article I have referred merely says that certain brain connections are required for people to have certain 'religious' experiences. That seems quite obvious to me. But that fact highlights the point that everyone may not be able to have 'religious' experiences.

There is nothing new or remarkable in the notion of neural plasticity.  If you practice a faith, that will tend to induce religious experience.  If I practice piano, I'll get a better ear for music, develop perfect pitch.  Coaches who train world class athletes for the Olympics invest time in psychology, on the understanding that belief is half way to winning; if you really believe you can be the best in the world, you just might be. These are all ways of leveraging the plasticity of human mind.

Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #73 on: July 23, 2019, 06:23:54 AM »
'Aura' and 'biofield' are probably just woo.  It can be quite valid to have a 'gut' feeling about something without invoking unevidenced energy fields as the explanation.  It's simply your subconscious, doing what it does.  Same thing when you fall in love, we might call it 'chemistry'.  It's not that your loved one is emitting an energy field, it is that your subconscious mind has done complex work subliminally and found the pieces fit together.


Aura and biofield are as much 'woo' as Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Parallel Universes. Maybe much less so ...because the Aura can actually be felt and worked with for healing purposes. Most of our feelings and emotional states can also be explained by the Aura and chakras. On the other hand, Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Parallel Universes are all based on remote measurements and models that could be proved wrong sometime in the future. 

You guys are typically programmed to react in an almost robotic fashion to such matters with no attempt at thinking out of the box at all. Pity!  And this is something much more pronounced in the UK, I think. People from the US, Germany, Japan etc. seem much more receptive. They also seem much more capable of integrating diverse aspects of reality.




« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 07:03:08 AM by Sriram »

Sriram

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Re: Religion Instinct?!
« Reply #74 on: July 23, 2019, 06:27:55 AM »
There is nothing new or remarkable in the notion of neural plasticity.  If you practice a faith, that will tend to induce religious experience.  If I practice piano, I'll get a better ear for music, develop perfect pitch.  Coaches who train world class athletes for the Olympics invest time in psychology, on the understanding that belief is half way to winning; if you really believe you can be the best in the world, you just might be. These are all ways of leveraging the plasticity of human mind.


The point is that....without suitable neural connectivity the relevant experiences cannot be had. So, some people just miss out on the experiences. Not that the experiences are not real but that suitable circuits are not present in some people to enable them to have the experiences.

By the way ....you guys should thank me for resurrecting the board every now and then from its near death state. The vigor and energy with which you guys collectively react  to my posts is palpable!   :D






« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 07:03:30 AM by Sriram »