That first picture in the article was really, really creapy
Careful now John, this may lead to a salvation loophole. If it can be demonstrated that spirituality/belief in God is in some way linked to the construction of our brain, then we might argue that unbelief is not someone's fault, but is a result of a differently arranged brain. Ooh what a hotbed of dispute this could turn into.
Could indeed DH, which of course is why I posted it?
That and the fact that I can post whilst most of the world is asleep still!
I particularly liked:
"In the most recent study, Johnstone studied 20 people with traumatic brain injuries affecting the right parietal lobe, the area of the brain situated a few inches above the right ear.
He surveyed participants on characteristics of spirituality, such as how close they felt to a higher power and if they felt their lives were part of a divine plan.
He found that the participants with more significant injury to their right parietal lobe showed an increased feeling of closeness to a higher power.
'Neuropsychology researchers consistently have shown that impairment on the right side of the brain decreases one’s focus on the self,' said Johnstone.
'Since our research shows that people with this impairment are more spiritual, this suggests spiritual experiences are associated with a decreased focus on the self."
Which (to me) indicated that some folk can ONLY get closer to God when you inflict a traumatic brain injury to the right side of their noggin, in other words a good clout round the head!
But of particular interest was the aspect that "spiritual experiences are associated with a decreased focus on the self" which is an obvious reason why so many are incapable of being reached by God, they are too focussed on their SELF.
Interesting article. One thing that occurred to me, after reading it, was the ancient superstition that left handedness was from the devil. (my son is left handed, so anyone reading this...don't read more into it than is written. He's a good egg). It is commonly believed that efthanded people are dominated by their right brain, and vice versa.
Could they have somehow been aware of the functions of the sides of the brain? Knowing that the left lobe was associated with caring for others? And, if so, how?
My brother Larry is left-handed. His first grade teacher in West Texas tried to beat it out of him, until my Mom found out about it. Perhaps the teacher's ears were ringing until the day of her death. Larry's a gentle, generous soul. The old superstitions have a hard time dying.
Mmm. I'm very left handed, left footed, and left eyed, which if this means I am dominated by my self right side of the brain, might explain why I am rather vain, self centred and selfish. Maybe this also explains why during all my years in church as those around me hollered and hooped about the Holy Spirit being present and "moving in this place", I felt and sensed nothing, zero, didley squat.
So you need a clump around the right side of your head with a baseball bat?
I think that could be arranged!
I know. Your church experience was the same as mine, the few times I've accepted invitations. But most of what goes on in church appears to be theatrics.
Like speaking in tongues and shaking on the floor? Absolutely agree...
I've never been present for any of that. I'm afraid I'd burst out laughing.
I've been an active participant. Not of the shaking n the floor thing, but of the speaking-in-tongues.
It's not funny when you are doing it. Actually, it never becomes funny, in the "ha-ha" sort of way. I'm glad that I experienced it, if only to understand what it feels like to be in the grips of delusion.
Wow. Did you, personally, speak in tongues? How did that happen? Did you believe you were possessed by a spirit?
Yes. I was a devout Christian of the "Born Again" variety, attending an evangelical church. I believed, then, that I was filled with the Holy Spirit.
I can "speak in tongues", though whether it is of God or just my sub conscious mind operating that part of the brain responsible for speech, causing an outpouring of gibberish because I'm not speaking with intelligence, I don't know. I rarely ever do it though as I see absolutely no practical use for it even if it was real. Its actually very easy to do, though i can't explain how. I just open my mouth and speak what sounds like a flowing language of some sort.
I was certainly never inclined to "speak in tongues" in church just to feel part of the crowd or anything and I've never sensed the presence of God in Church or when in tongues.
That's pretty wild. If I did that, I think I'd record it and have it analyzed until someone could explain what it was.
I think I am the person who would prove you wrong. I could never speak in tongues. I can speak gibberish, but I'd definitely be making it up as I went.
From my perspective, everyone who speaks in tongues is making it up as they go along.
From your perspective now, or for all time?
Did you ever believe in tongues?
From my perspective, now.
Yes, I believed in tongues, then.
So you could be wrong again, as you admit that you believe you were wrong before?
I acknowledge that I could be wrong, yes.
I acknowledge this about _literally_ every one of my beliefs, if that belief entails a factual claim.
So, when you spoke in tongues; although you considered yourself to be filled by the Holy Spirit....you were aware of the fact that you were making it up as you went along? I don't see how you could have thought that. Don't Christians believe that those who speak in tongues require another spirit filled believer to interpret?
I didn't believe that _then_, but I believe it now.
As for the second part of your question, the answer depends on the Christian, whose belief is usually influenced by the congregation that he or she attends.
Paul discusses tongues -- and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit -- here:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se … ersion=NIV
There have been incidents where tongues has been spoken and the speaker had no idea what was said, and unbeknown to them a visitor who spoke little English reported that they had been speaking in their (rare) language.
Having it analysed though would do no good, it's 'encoded' for God alone to hear, though He will provide a translation to another present, IF the tongues are genuine.
I did and I was asked to sit outside until I could compose myself, properly.
Conversely, you can also State that it is the defect in brain that make people assume the existence of god.
In psychiatry, assuming existence of a non-existing thing is a defect called delusion.
And your proof that this is so is.... your statement relies purely upon your own assumption and belief that God is a non-existing thing, so by YOUR own rules PROVE THAT.
This is the type of arguments that make me think you are really a stupid person. I told you many times I DO NOT NEED PROOF. You tell me what this "god" thing is clearly and objectively and what this fellow can do(other than guiding your life, of course), then I will show you it does not exist.
Your god equate with a creator, and there is nothing for the creator to create. Where is god then?
OK, yes I obviously am stupid, but thank you for correcting me, I need to PROVE God exists, but you don't need to PROVE that He does not.
Both of us make a statement, only one of us has to prove they are correct.
Next you will be telling me bacteria does not exist, and offering no PROOF just like your earlier Doctor counterparts did, thereby allowing countless women to die in childbirth, because they refused to wash their hands, after doing the autopsies on their victims, WITHOUT PROOF that doing so saved lives.
But I guess I was just too stupid to see that as logical.
What is this wish-wash all about?
Read it one more and read it the last time.
I DO NOT WANT YOU TO PROVE GOD. I WANT YOU TO TELL ME WHAT THIS 'GOD' IS, WITHOUT CONTRADICTING YOURSELF OR REALITY(That is don't hook up facts which are facts only in your opinion).
Ohh, I see, YOU WANT.... yep, that explains it all!
ASK HIM YOURSELF
(sorry, shouted as you are obviously not only colour blind, but deaf)
You see, God does not do side shows for folk, but IF you could but ONCE get a genuine and sincere moment, ask Him to make Himself known to you, and you will get your answers.
Take the blinkers off, get to have an inner peace, and ask sincerely, that's all.
I don't guarantee bolts of lightening, nor that you will be struck down blind for a few days, or that the Holy Spirit will drop on you in a flash, but IF you can put aside your pride and ego, and 'intellectual' mask for a while, you will get the answers.
King James Version (KJV)
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Really, you can neither think nor comprehend. You were just hooking it up when you said you have an IQ of 142. Your IQ will never go above 42.
The way that I read this, Jomine is asking for your definition of "God," not for instructions on how to experience him.
OK Chasuk, I accept that you may be right...
Hmmm... My definition of "God" lets see what I can do!
I define God as being a spiritual force or entity that has unlimited power and knowledge, and can operate outside of any known laws or rules that we think exist.
I think that entity or power had set confines on our abilities which we declare are absolute, but are relative to 'God'.
I cannot describe God because He does not wish to be described, and in any case as a spiritual force does not have to take form unless He chooses to.
I believe the bible was written to allow us a 'glimpse' at what God is, and how He does things, it was designed to allow mankind to examine what He chose to reveal, and let them determine whether they wanted more or less of Him in their temporal lives, and eventually in their eternal existences.
He could be a more advanced entity from somewhere out there, and not a 'God' at all as we perceived Him to be, but I am content to experience Him within the confines He has allocated to us in His word and in our communications.
I'm sure that if I set my mind to it, I can define Him better, but I am just about to take the family out, so that can wait!
Thanks for clarifying Jomines request.
I'll wait and see whether you can do it, the definition you gave lack clarity and has left unanswered a number of questions.
Give me the questions and I will try to define it better, time allowing, these topics have already given me two hubs to write!
I'll start with the first sentence
"I define God as being a spiritual force or entity that has unlimited power and knowledge, and can operate outside of any known laws or rules that we think exist"
What is spirit?
what is knowledge?
Now about power, power is limited and is a comparison. So what is this unlimited power. Say the classic quote 'can god create a stone that he can't lift' shows it well. So does that mean, god is more powerful than us, or is there any stand to which you compare the power? How do I know the entity that has power as god or not?
Laws/rules are descriptions of observed phenomenon. So what you mean by 'existing laws'?
Why bother? First, you post a link to an article that you believed supported your ridiculous beliefs, but instead misunderstood the article to show that your beliefs are all in your head and now you want to try and answer questions? Hilarious. Can I now refer to you as Mr. 142?
And the religions that I know of, Christianity in particular, say that the root of sin is too much focus on one's self. A lot of people have probably heard the little saying "The heart of S-I-N is 'I.'" That seems to me to fit with this research.
I believe that all experience occurs in the brain, so this is unsurprising.
Chasuk, I know how precise and exact you like to be in your communications. Do you actually mean that "all experience occurs in the brain," or rather that all experience is processed in the brain? What about my experience of giving birth? How could that actually occur in the brain? Or Hubbers' experiences of communicating here in the forums? Is that occurring in our brains?
That's a good question, and one that I'm not sure how to answer. Unfortunately, this means that I'll be developing my answer as I'm typing it, so there might be a bit of fumbling.
I believe that there is a world which exists independent of my experience of it. I believe that the apple on the tree actually exists, though not necessarily in a form which corresponds to my perception. My knowledge of the apple's existence -- and of the tree's, and of every other corporeal thing -- is only available to me via my senses.
I believe that I am a consequence of neuroanatomy. I am a process that perceives itself. I guess that I could call myself a meta-process.
This meta-process occurs only in the brain. However, I see now that my use of "occurs" made it seem that I meant, "all experience [happens] in the brain."
Yes, I should have written, ""all experience is processed in the brain."
It seems scientists are beginning to confirm what we knew all along, that spirituality, belief in a higher power, etc. are all in the mind.
It's also saying that the most profound spiritual eperiences come from a brain damaged individual. Which would make sense there are so many, insanely devout, whackos out there.
So is everything else that makes us unique as a species. What's your point?
Still trying to get me to chase you down one of your emotionally charged rat holes?
It appears you would rather continue making bizarrely imaginative accusations than backing your immature barbs with facts.
Please, don't let me rain on your fantasy parade.
I would say it is to the contrary, they seem to have established that SOME folk are hard-wired to be able to communicate with God, whilst others are hard-wired to be only concerned with SELF and worldly, and need a clout to the right side of the brain before their spiritual side can be awakened.
I am available if you need a head trauma, but you will need to provide the baseball bat.
It appears it is head injury, birth defects, strokes and genetic abnormalities and drugs that make the hard wiring!!
No, it appears that all those things can save those who are hard wired for SELF to gain a perspective of selflessness, which opens the doors to God.
Neuropsychology researchers consistently have shown that impairment on the right side of the brain decreases one’s focus on the self,' said Johnstone.
'Since our research shows that people with this impairment are more spiritual, this suggests spiritual experiences are associated with a decreased focus on the self.
It simple means non functioning of any area of brain can affect your behavior and thoughts and if it is mild you will go off as an extremely religious person and if it is severe you end up in asylum.
It will be helpful to know that stimlating appropriate areas of brain can bring out any thoughts or feelings including oneness with the universe.
Oh PUleeese... you get more desperate by the minute!
No, that's what YOU'RE saying. They are saying that your beliefs are all in your head.
Gee, here I thought my faith was in my heart!
Interestingly enough, when we attend places called "schools" we learn about something called "biology" that shows us the heart pumps blood and really doesn't show it's a container of mythical fantasies.
Sorry, I missed that class.
I was attending church all that day.
Yes, I can see how your posts would indicate that.
Its not surprising that there is increased activity in the part of the brain responsible for higher mental function.
Its also not surprising that no one is trying to debunk this part of the article.
Because they cant.
Yes, the article does state that, "aspects of spiritual functioning are related to increased activity in the frontal lobe," and, yes, the frontal lobe is indisputably involved in higher mental functions.
However, the article also states:
Further, if you google even minimally, you find this statement -- from the Kansas City Star -- concerning exactly the same research:
http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/19/35 … otion.html
Notice the same explanation twice, with the second example including a descriptive preamble, from which it can be inferred that the author of the second article was more concerned with his audience understanding what the research had actually uncovered.
Title of the article from the Daily Mail:
"The God spots revealed: Scientists find areas of the brain responsible for spirituality"
Title of the article from the Kansas City Star:
"MU researcher dispels notion of a single ‘God spot’ in brain"
Clearly, the title of the Kansas City Star article provides a much more accurate summary.
It basically says the same thing as the first article.
The research did not reveal that the awakening of the "God spot" was related specifically to increased activity in the part of the brain responsible for higher mental functioning (the frontal lobe), but rather that the notion of a single ‘God spot’ is incorrect.
The second article made this clearer than the first, which is possibly why you were under the misapprehension that there was something to debunk.
Yes. I got that multiple areas Of the brain are involved. Including the frontal lobe. I didnt say ot was specifically related to that one spot.
I'll give you the benefit of that doubt, that you aren't being disingenuous.
To which part of the article were you referring?
I am having trouble copying and pasting with my phone, but i was refering to the last three paragraphs. It didnt say the words higher mental function, but i assumed most people would get i meant the frontal lobe.
That's what I presumed you meant.
The article gave no special significance to the awakening of the "God spot" being related to increased activity in the the frontal lobe, but your wording suggested that it did.
That's what I've been responding to.
In a roundabout way i was suggesting that spiritual people are smarter.
I know the article doesnt actually suggest that
Nor do i actually believe that
It was kind of a joke.
I know these studies are in their infancy, and are far from being conclusive in any way as far as i can tell
Interesting article, but nothing in the article proved "cause" to be in the brain.
From my own experience, the brain is merely a switchboard and perhaps only part of the interface between spirit and the physical body.
Being outside of your physical body tends to discount this kind of thing. Sure, some will think people who experience such things are subject to dementia, drugs and or trauma. But my most vivid experience involved no physical trauma and no drugs, but included very vivid moments of clear, full-color vision of a point in space several meters outside of this physical body. I saw things that my body could not have, because the blinds were closed at the time in the second-story room where my body sat. In fact, while outside, I could not feel my body, though I could clearly see the grayish-blue blinds between me and my body.
The stimulus for this excursion? Spiritual counseling. Imagine that. It works! And ooooh! It was Scientology. Despite all its controversy, there is some good there. When I came back to Christianity, I felt a deep debt of gratitude for my experiences in that far younger religion.
That the true self (soul, child of God) has an effect on the brain and gets scientists studying the brain all excited, is not really anything special. This is no more special than the effect of a driver pressing their foot on the acceleration pedal in their car. The scientist are studying the pedal and its linkage to the engine, and missing the driver entirely.
Unfortunately, the article which recounts this research -- "Right Parietal Lobe-Related 'Selflessness' as the Neuropsychological Basis of Spiritual Transcendence" -- is still behind a pay firewall, costing USD 36.00.
Here is an excerpt from the abstract:
"Objective: to replicate studies that suggest that a frontal-parietal circuit is related to spiritual-religious experiences, and specifically that a decreased focus on the self (i.e., selflessness), associated with decreased right parietal lobe (RPL) functioning, serves as the primary neuropsychological foundation for spiritual transcendence."
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 … 012.657524
Unfortunately, scientists don't agree with your personal fantasies about how the brain works, but instead, are finding evidence that your personal fantasies are indeed conjured in your brain.
Spiritual experiences aren't necessarily religious. If this part of the brain takes the focus off self, I see that more as awareness and having a sense of presence. Someone meditating could feel this awareness. Watching a sunset or being in a nature setting could activate this part of the brain.
Actually I think religion puts a lot of emphasis on self. Listen to how preachers preach, it's almost always centered around getting what you want, or don't want (burning eternally in a pit of fire ).
Religion is almost a venture into pure egotism...
Apologies that you guys had bad experiences of churches, or were then later deceived into rejecting what you had seen and presumably believed.
Speaking in tongues is when your spirit cries out to God, it is 'encoded' because you cannot actually express what is inside of you.
The Holy Spirit then gives you the 'word' to express what you are unable to express yourself.
It's encoded so that the enemy cannot know what your inner pleadings are.
Whenever I have broken out into tongues, it has cleared the blockage that the enemy has placed on me, and I have then been able to communicate directly with God through Christ.
Many cannot accept these 'utterances' and I agree that many in churches use them unwisely, however they do have a correct usage in some situations.
It is sad that the enemy has managed to distract you from your walks with God, however it is also written that some will fall on bare earth, and will die due to lack of roots.
My wish is that you will find fertile soil again and dig deeply into what God provided.
I was once watching a program and I understood everything they were saying, I found out I was watching the spanish channel and I ceased to understand the language. I can't explain it, but I don't think religion had anything to do with the experience.
I've had a similar experience with Korean television. Of course, I don't know much I understood versus how much I thought I understood. However, I don't -- and didn't -- consider it supernatural.
I've experienced a bond with a very significant other -- a soulmate, if there actually is such a relationship -- that seems to transcend the need for words. I've had other "supernatural" experiences, but that's the one that makes me wonder.
I watched a TV special on what appears to be the same thing. The experiment was to put a volunteer into a quiet room and cover their eyes. Basically a room with no other stimulus.
A magnetic field was then formed above that portion of the brain and left there for a period of time. Most volunteers reported a "feeling" of someone in the room with them, watching - the religious ones interpreted it as a feeling of spirituality, of God being with them. When the magnetic field was turned off the feeling went away.
Can we then produce God with a simple electromagnet? Or is it just a quirk of our brain formation, an "input" that we don't know how else to interpret or understand? Basically a hallucination?
Could very well be a hallucination.. When we are conditioned to tack meanings onto things, no matter how illogical or irrational, we will tack on similar meanings. It's the human condition to understand by the words of another, though most times, it's a personal opinion and that is all..
You've got it. We always try to understand what we experience, whether it is a strange light in the sky or a sudden influx of adrenaline for no apparent reason.
And when we don't have a good reference for that understanding we use what we DO have whether it be pure imagination, past experiences of something semi-similar or just a desire that something be true.
It's all ego my friend, ie; desire, fear, angst, hope, dream, virtue, title, position or attitude. The list is a long one and goes on as far as the mind can grasp. One just has to let go of it and it will come to them. That's how it is, moments come from nothing and fade into nothing. Like a bolt of lightining... Bam! another moment and it's gone.
So, you are proposing that at random times during my day, somehow an electromagnetic field spontaneously surrounds my head and I hear God speaking to me?
OK, that sounds totally rational, far more logical than the fact that God may actually be communicating with me.
Amazingly this can also happen when I am in a situation where I am ministering to someone, and they can get it to on occassion.
OK, I think we can assume that we have no comparative experience of these matters.
Maybe, maybe not, but certainly your belief that your god is speaking to you has been conjured in your head, spontaneously, or otherwise.
I know you REALLY NEED to think that, and believe that, but you have NO EVIDENCE to present that could confirm that.
There is plenty. Unless you can show us the majik of course? In which case - as your video posits - it is all in your head.
Having a bad week are we? I see you have been here arguing with the heathen for about 3 days straight.
Show it, prove it, obey your own rules.
Your empty rhetoric is worthless, by your own admission.
Nah, just waiting for some deals to transpire that are held up in getting the authorities to approve them, so not much to do business wise, thought I would spend some time in the forums countering you guys and getting my stats up.
Off travelling again next week, so making the most of my free time to spread the word and have tussles with some egos that need reduction.
Scientists are already beginning to confirm that, with EVIDENCE.
Wow. Your quotes remind me of how fortunate I have been in the churches I have attended and do still attend. None of this sounds like anything I have been around. I know that it exists - somewhere in this vast universe - but I haven't had to suffer through such things.
rebekahELLE, what empirical evidence do you have that preachers "almost always" preach about "getting what you want, or don't want"? "Almost always" is a rather sweeping statement. Maybe it's true in your experience, but how do you know that your own experience is actually representative of the majority?
You want to get into heaven, do you not?
Makes no difference to me. There have been times in my life, as a Christian, when I have actively wanted not to go to the "heaven" that I heard some people describe. At this time in my life, I do not have an active interest either in entering or in avoiding "heaven."
What I do desire is to live a life conscious of the presence of God; when I am close to death to be able to look back on my life knowing or believing that I did what I believed God wanted me to do with my life; and in whatever eternity offers after this life, to be able to experience God even more deeply and satisfyingly than I have here on earth.
Some people would call that "heaven." And so, if that's the name you give what I have described, then in that sense I would agree. But do I want "to get into heaven"? - no, that's not the language I use, because it means something radically different to me than what I want after this life.
A different response to what I believe you are trying to imply:
In the hundreds of sermons I have heard through the decades, a very, very few of them have related to the issue of "getting into heaven." Some of them have, I admit freely. But the majority? Not even close.
Thanks for sharing this link. It's very interesting.
I think I was dropped as a baby...
As I see it, and have seen in the past, religion itself is an answer to someone's need for something they think they can't provide on their own. Preachers preach about getting answers to prayers, having abundance without doing anything but praying, getting healed, saved from hell, forgiveness for sins, on and on. That's all centered around self. 'do this and you'll get this.'
I don't go to church but studied theology for years while in college. Cultures form their religious beliefs. It's been this way throughout history. Why do you think there are so many different beliefs?
Very interesting read, and so is this thread. I was left handed and my first grade teacher used to whack my knuckles with a ruler because being left handed was 'a sign of the devil' and she wasn't having it in her classroom. I am largely ambidextrous today because of her, but she could have been nicer.
As for the God-Spot, I'm going to have to think about his for a while. Kind of hard to wrap my brain around it this early in the day!
Sandy, I find your relationship to left-handed ness and this discussion very appropo. I myself am left-hand and have had the privilege of working in an office where 5 out of the 7 of us were left-handed, and 3 of us who had expressed atheistic inclinations. (I never knew the religious views of the other two. The connection between aquasilver's assertion that atheists, etc. are more self--involved as this article would indicate means to me that (1.) either the connection with self does not imply SELFISHNESS (All of the individuals who worked in this department were exceptionaly giving individuals in all aspects of their lives) or it indicates that (2). the use of the right side of the brain as is prevalent in left-handers is not connected with the type of brain activity (or injury) described in this study. As Spock would say "Fascinating."
I talk in my sleep. Sometimes it isn't english. I know a little german, some spanish, a little French, but not enough to hold conversations....witnesses told me I was talking. Sometimes, it is in a language which isn't identifiable. Weird.
Maybe you dream in GerSpanEnch. Bilingual people have often told me they dream in both languages, which I can't even imagine, only speaking English, myself.
They say there is a genetic causation for political philosophies. I always suspected Republicans were mutants.
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