I was talking to my friend about atheism the other day. I said that theists just 'know' that God is there, they can feel him there and to them, he just is there, but I've never felt anything. I just dont feel him at all, even when I was younger and brought up religious I can tell now that he was just never there for me.
My friend's reply to this was that maybe its evolution of the human brain. The fact that we don't feel some kind of higher presence is because the brain has evolved to a point where we don't need a higher being.
Was just wondering what atheists thought about this? I thought it was quite an interesting thought.
Theists please don't reply to this telling me that it's obviously wrong ... coz DUH I expect you to think that. By all means if you have something interesting to say then please say, but don't quote scripture at me to tell me I'm wrong!
It is my humble opinion that those who actually "feel" the presence of God suffer from a self-induced psychic euphoria brought on by their strong desire to fill the empty holes in their lives. Stable, well-balanced minds don't experience these sorts of delusions.
I don't really buy that. I don't know how much the human brain has evolved in the last few hundred years, but I think it is more that society evolves.
Just look at how more likely gays are willing to "come out of the closet" in the last 10 or 15 years. It takes humans about 15 years just to reach child bearing age, so true evolution would be much slower.
Not to mention that the primary mechanism for physical evolution is natural selection, which means that the emerging characteristic would have to in some way make one more likely to have offspring which survive to breed.
I can't see how "feeling God" or "not feeling God" would alter the death/breeding rates in either group particularly.
There have been some scientific studies into the part of the brain which is involved in the "feeling God" experience, and chances are it is just individual differences which determine who is more likely or less likely to have the experience - plus of course we are aware of lifestyle and situational effects which alter the chances, whatever your biology. Fast for three days, for example, and you are much more likely to "feel God" ...
Since this is precisely what i would have said i will merely second the opinion
Note: I do not actually think this, I'm just throwing out an unlikely explanation: In the past few hundred years, the mass killings of heretics (i.e. atheists who do not feel the "presence" of God) has gone down considerably while their acceptance in society has increased and subsequently their likeliness to mate has increased. The "lack of feeling" could have originally been a mutation or simply a recessive phenotype. Regardless of the trait's uselessness as far as survival, if an organism is under no natural pressure then the trait would remain stable in the gene pool or even flourish amongst the population.
Anyway, my honest opinion is that this "feeling" of God is a matter of indoctrination at a young age, when the human mind is most malleable. Since all humans have unique thought processes and outlooks, some people are more resistant to this indoctrination than others.
i am not theist or atheist, i am telling you that you are wrong
I was talking to my friend about atheism the other day. I said that theists just 'know' that God is there, they can feel him there and to them, he just is there, but I've never felt anything. I just dont feel him at all, even when I was younger and brought up religious I can tell now that he was just never there for me. --- believe me you are craving to feel him, your ego will ignore me
The problem is that most atheist are idiots about atheist and about religion. They seem to think everything can be wrapped neatly in this little box. The simple fact is everyone is an atheist to something. If your Christian your an atheist to Hinduism and vise versa. If God makes you happy sure then spend your time thinking about what makes you happy.
Most of my Christian buddies express this feeling of God is in them and cannot be separated from them. I can understand it, but I can't sympathize with.
I don't believe in random chaos, but I don't believe that God is an almighty dictator. If there is a God, then it is an essence of life. I don't believe there is an omnipotent leader of life who longs for worship.
This god must have a severely damaged ego for being all powerful.
Yea you would think a guy like this would have seen all of his "mind changes" coming. Well I created man...now I think they have pissed me off so I'll destroy all of them...well except for this guy and his family. No wait! His son bopped him in the azz so I'm gonna send him away, but as for his father Noah...well hell, he was trashed on wine and didn't know his son was packing his fudge, so I guess I'll let him be the hero of my little play.
As for Moses...you stupid SOB...I gave you the Wisdom of the entire universe on two stone tablets, and because you didn't take your Prozac that day, you went and broke them. And why? Because your people built a giant statue out of pure gold! You dumb azz! I could have used that money, as pot is really expensive up here in heaven! So I hope you had fun chiseling for 40 days the stupid crap I gave you the second time. I just wanted to give you a few rules so that you wouldn't screw me over again like that!
And as for Adam? You are a complete Biotch! You let that woman feed you from a tree I specifically told you not to eat from. Granted...it was only an apple. And what do I care if you eat an apple? But I told your dumbass that you were gonna die if you ate it, and you did it anyway! It was a test, and you failed miserably! So now I'm going to curse you forever to think with your little head.
And Eve? Don't think I don't know what you're up to! You thought that you were smarter than me? Well, I gotta give you one thing, at least you had bigger balls than that faggot Adam and decided to exercise your own free will! But still I must punish you somehow. So now, not only must you suffer in child-birth, but I'm always going to ensure that all of daughters, forever and ever, have to deal with men who only think with their penises.
That's my opinion! Sorry about the rant, as I REALLY need to go to bed....
Being all powerful in and of itself doesn't make anybody ego damaged.
Being all powerful and expecting the worship of a bunch of hairless monkeys on a tiny planet in a vast Universe...
Now THAT makes an all powerful being ego damaged!
Define the experience of feeling God. This has to be determined.
I can feel presences. I have seen presences. I have had amazing sensations of feeling that are beyond what I have experienced before by someone loving or holding me. I've had experiences which felt more than the experience of a mother's love for her child. Do I say that is God? No I don't.
There is the need for a certain amount of sensitivity, but that can be taught and I'm not sure it has anything to do with the evolution of the human brain.
Maybe I need to be tested, I'd be interested to see the results.
These are the experiences to which I refer - and your point is exactly why I put "feeling God" in quote marks.
Not evreybody interprets what they feel as being God - what you think you are feeling is likely to be determined by cultural influences.
And only recently did "this is an artifact of my brain chemistry" even appear as a possible interpretation ...
I've never considered myself an atheist, perhaps because I quite like aspects of the Christian religion. Having said that, I know and understand the 'feelings' that Jewels refers to, and I've never thought of that golden rush of security and joy as being'God'. Angels perhaps, or a spiritual guide, but never specifically God.
I don't consider myself an atheist either, but I also don't like to define or confine myself to any belief, isms are just not what I want at the end of my name. There are bits and pieces of lots of teachings that are useful and I'm glad to use them but am so pleased not to be stuck within the confines of just one of them.
Experiences are the most useful tools I can use and I've never been happy to believe anything I can't see or feel or understand. Even if it's currently unfathomable, let me have the ability to try and fathom it myself. Maybe I could put that on my tombstone!
You might say that the pleasure is all in the journey. Certainly for me, the quest is not to find finite answers, but to understand my reaction to the things that happen around me.
Yes and I think that could be the whole point! Who am I to say that, for some it's the end point.
Spiritual practices would indicate I am to open more and more to these feelings and in so doing be able to hold the heightened feelings more, for longer periods. It's not easy cause the world is so heavy at times. Heavier for some, depending on the individual circumstance perhaps. Agrrrr, it's ongoing.
I definitely feel that life is about your experiences, which is why I'm so mad that I keep wasting my life away. I'm not spiritual at all. I don't 'feel God' but I don't feel anything else around me either. When I am alone, I feel just that, alone. I get piece of mind/feel complete when I'm out with my friends or doing something fun ... or failing that listening to the right music really loudly so it blocks out everything else.
At the end of the day, I think you should just do whatever makes you happy in life, and if god or religion does that then fine. But personally i am a LOT happier without it.
The "higher being" is available to all. It is called the individuated self.
The human brain is wired up to believe in things.
Naturally, some are more prone to irrational beliefs than others.
Belief in the supernatural had an evolutionary advantage in the past.
These days, irrational beliefs are becoming less useful.
I think that the real issue in "feeling God" is whether or not you are limerent.
It has almost nothing to do with what you believe or profess to believe. Many practicing Christians, Muslims, Jews or other members of conventionally accepted religions don't actually feel their god, but they follow the teachings of their religion, whether they feel anything or not. They may even believe, but not based on any internal evidence. A lot of people believe based on the authority of a sacred text.
By the same token, I think that some professed atheists have had spiritual experiences. It's not about what you believe. It's about what you feel.
This is very similar to the differing experiences that people have with romantic love. Some people believe there is such a thing as a soul mate. Many others do not.
Some people who believe in falling in love never have, even if they are happily married and in a good relationship. Some people do fall in love, and have tremendous spiritual uplift from the experience -- even if no relationship actually results from it.
Limerent people experience spiritual feelings regardless of professed belief.
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