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Re: [existlist] Digest Number 226

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  • Patrick T. McGranaghan
    Hello, I am a lurker who finally feels like they have something to say. I do not think we are wired for religion. I think that religion has been such an
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 6 8:21 AM
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      Hello, I am a lurker who finally feels like they have
      something to say.

      I do not think we are wired for religion. I think that
      religion has been such an intregral part of society
      for so long that it seems that way when we look at it.
      We are brainwashed (I hope this doesnt sound too
      pejorative) from birth to believe in God by not only
      our parents, but society around us. I think something
      that we are wired for is joining the herd when they
      hold the majority. Most Americans are religious,
      therefore most individuals when confronted with the
      question "do you believe in God?" will go with the
      herd.

      The only way to prove that we are wired for religion
      would be to leave a child in the wilderness away from
      the affects of society and ask him if he believes in
      God when he gets older. Obviously this is impossible.
      It might be said when humans first evolved they were
      in a similar situation and, since they believed in
      some supernatural force, humans are wired for this.
      Religion (mythology, etc.) is just an attempt to
      explain the universe we live in. There was a time when
      the geocentric model of the universe was accepted, but
      we abandoned that when new data conflicted with those
      beliefs. Religion, be it the catholic church or
      mithraism, is like the geocentric model of the
      universe: it is an explanation for how the universe
      works. We are wired for want of an explanation of the
      universe and where we have not discovered that, our
      hypotheses become axioms.

      Please tell me what you think.

      P~M

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    • Cris
      Now I have been looking into Rosenzweig s exsitentialism , Star of Redemption, and the Talmud about the concept of God( I am an agnostic more or less Christian
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 6 8:40 AM
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        Now I have been looking into Rosenzweig's exsitentialism , Star of Redemption, and the Talmud about the concept of God( I am an agnostic more or less Christian liking Judaism).
        The Concept of God is very similar in Islam and Judaism,
        I would start from a hidden God...We are thrown in the world, and at first nobody cares about , except us ourselves.
        The multiple labeling of outside us, doesn't explain that which could be, maybe, otherness.
        We imagine our limits of perception, we start from our mind.
        Mind as a natural biological process, not matter in a vulgar form, but part of something being. As a result of the first living cell on earth, (could have been rust on an asteriod that brought this type of life force and organization of itself, speculation) that reproduces itself reacting with the environement,reflecting upon itself...up until our mind originating from the brain refelcts upon itself.(also Searle-2000)

        In reflecting upon ourselves we are, and expand to our limits.
        And a very unstable consciousness, sometimes awake, half asleep, automatically doing stuff, repeating, forgetting, concentrating on something, thinking and hurting in pain.
        Now God is this selfreflecting upon ouselves?
        Not the one of the physiscs, also a label of God or unknown.
        One being, (everything is matter energy, no bio principle)a primitive variant of gnostics. Math is always? ??!!

        So following the no label god, -Rosenzweig-?, G-d, or other, it is still us also.
        Yet we must rely on ourselves, to decide to go forward, and not expect something being to guide us. It might and it might not..This is freedom.  If he is all perfect, creator etc is unknown to us as knowledge. What does infintie mean? gibberisch. It means that we don't know. Also creator etc.
        Yet we are here, and we keep being here reflecting upon ourselves and everything.
        And somehow t his is also part of the other unknown, that manifest himself maybe (if it weren't maybe, certainty, we would posses an absolute knowledge ot the other, the other dimension that has no name, yet give us name and specificity, me and thou, this individual Cris who is writing.)
        So God's, if if, labels are on aproximations of ours, yet somehow
        we are and other comes and manifest itself. It might maybe, hypothetical speculation, have mercy on us, it might loves us, and help us in this struggle of reality with other human, nature and world. But the struggle is ours, we can make it the religions affirms, because the profets and christ say that somehow this other has given this message. We are not alone, yet we must act if so, thus no bad or good on itself, but only that evil or destruction or construction and fullfillment of our possibilities. The other is unexplainable, yet felt. Through everyday specific expereinced language? The name. The name of the Rose.
        Thus it is irrelevant if he knows (if other is a principle of the sort) or not, time and space. Time and space if for us.
        with the other and yet not the other.
        Rosenzweig's God is more time I think, tha matter-the world.

        Heidegger has this protestant view of the "one" of the Greeks also as Hegel ?
        The one and the not one emptiness zero void point of departure?
        Some of my refelctions.
        Th idols of the labels, like the one mathematical principle that knows all matter and therefore matter is always? This certainly not.


        The light of the Gnostics?the overflowing Nile op Plotinius, irradiating void and darkness more to less, light and dark, also in the bible but under the principle that in life you never completely see the ultimate other.If you did you would be God. No exstactic moments.....
        Just my questions and comments , not trying the aggravate, but with respect.
        An agnostic is one who doesn't believe in Gnossis, the One, yet may believe in God of the mayor religions who are far more superior in their theology.

        God could be chaotic, in the sense that the other sometimes manfest itself repeatedly, cyclical, sometime disappears for ever concerning certain things, reappers once in a while, or is irregular in time or is something totaly new. Like the river formations, like the turbulence of the clouds, like the leaves formations on the trees, like our life.
        Also Karen Armstrong, History of God. Battle for God, and Buddha.


        I am very critical of pantheism, gnosticsim in all it forms, the business of Gnostics, robbing people of their minds....
        reincarnation etc...marxism, nazis and mao.
        Therfore agnostic like Huxley. No Gnosis....Agnos
        Cris







        ----------

        > From: Patrick T. McGranaghan <ptmcgra@...>
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [existlist] Digest Number 226
        > Date: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 10:21 AM
        >
        > Hello, I am a lurker who finally feels like they have
        > something to say.
        >
        > I do not think we are wired for religion. I think that
        > religion has been such an intregral part of society
        > for so long that it seems that way when we look at it.
        > We are brainwashed (I hope this doesnt sound too
        > pejorative) from birth to believe in God by not only
        > our parents, but society around us. I think something
        > that we are wired for is joining the herd when they
        > hold the majority. Most Americans are religious,
        > therefore most individuals when confronted with the
        > question "do you believe in God?" will go with the
        > herd.
        >
        > The only way to prove that we are wired for religion
        > would be to leave a child in the wilderness away from
        > the affects of society and ask him if he believes in
        > God when he gets older. Obviously this is impossible.
        > It might be said when humans first evolved they were
        > in a similar situation and, since they believed in
        > some supernatural force, humans are wired for this.
        > Religion (mythology, etc.) is just an attempt to
        > explain the universe we live in. There was a time when
        > the geocentric model of the universe was accepted, but
        > we abandoned that when new data conflicted with those
        > beliefs. Religion, be it the catholic church or
        > mithraism, is like the geocentric model of the
        > universe: it is an explanation for how the universe
        > works. We are wired for want of an explanation of the
        > universe and where we have not discovered that, our
        > hypotheses become axioms.
        >
        > Please tell me what you think.
        >
        > P~M
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
        > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
        >
        > From The Exist List...
        > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >

      • Edward Alf
        hi Patrick et al, looks like i have opened up a good discussion here ... think of it this way ... remember in the movie Men in Black (MIB) when that prince of
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 6 12:45 PM
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          hi Patrick et al,

          looks like i have opened up a good discussion here ...

          think of it this way ... remember in the movie Men in Black (MIB) when that
          prince of another galaxy was found to be actually a small being inside the
          head of the jeweler ... your brain is something like that ... however, the
          difference being that, in the movie the little person would have his/her own
          brain ... what im speaking of here is the action of neurons by themselves
          within the human brain ...

          if on the other hand, this little person were a neuron, then the room that
          he/she exists in would have no windows in the sense of what we think windows
          are ... all that would the person would have is a slot on the wall of the
          room which spits out something like a stock market tape with symbols that
          represent the signals that come from the retina ... keep in mind that the
          retina has only a finite number of cones and rods (the light sensing
          devices) that produce the signals ... i hate to use the analogy, but it
          would be similar to the 1's and 0's that are sent to your digital tv ... it
          is not a fully formed picture that is transmitted to the neuron ... the
          neuron has to take all those signals and put together what it thinks is the
          picture ... i use the singular of "neuron" for the purpose of this message
          ... in actuality "seeing" would involve millions of neurons ...

          in a sense this sort of mechanical/electrical process is even more
          miraculous than what is commonly thought of as "seeing" ... the brain
          manages to put together a logical semblance of what is out there in the real
          world with sufficient accuracy to enable us to survive ... in otherwords the
          interpretation is sufficient to inform the cavement and what is behind the
          tree is a sabre-tooth tiger and not a rock ...

          take another example ... you are most likely aware that some lens will
          invert the picture of the outside world ... a test was done by which a
          person was given eye glasses with these lenses ... initially, everything
          that he looked at was inverted ... but after a while, the brain was able to
          reinvert the image so that it once more was right side up ... it is as if
          the brian realised that it was reading the tape of symbols backwards and
          made the necessary correction ... of course when he took the glasses off, he
          had to wait an equal time for the brain to put things right again ...

          all of this applies to the other senses ... smell is only signals from the
          nose ... taste is signals from the tongue ... touch is signals from the body
          ... just as the 1's and 0's of your tv are the same whether this be of
          BayWatch or X-files, the signals to the brain are basically the same ... the
          brain is miraculously designed to sort all of this out ...

          it is not impossible to test the whether a child would create a religious
          outlook when isolated from society, the germans (one of the Kaisars) did
          something similar in that he conducted an experiment to find out if a child
          would learn to talk without experiencing voices .. specifically he wanted to
          find out what language would they develop on their own ... the children
          were taken care of by nurses who where ordered not to talk to them ... in
          the end, none of them learned to talk, but worse yet they all died due to
          the lack of attention ... this says: (1) that the language neurons are there
          at birth, but can deteriorate due to lack of use, and (2) love and caring is
          an inherent human requirement ...

          i say that the brain is "wired for religion" or "wired for spirituality"
          because i sense an inherent need for this type of experience ... i am not at
          the stage where i can express this in some eloquent manner, but i feel it is
          there none-the-less ... it is as if the human brain tries to interpret all
          those 1's and 0's in a universal sense ... in the same way that a child
          first tries to interpret the conventions of society ...

          the idea of a geocentric model of the universe is a good example ... if the
          brain is not inclined towards religion, then why have even this view, even
          though we know today that it is wrong? ... what makes humans want to define
          their universe in the first place? ... my point was that this quest is
          inherent and through particular brain processing (which is a scientific
          fact) this involves neurons ... it may not be that we are wired in the sense
          of something you can find, if you were to open someone's skull ... it may
          only be the desire through neurons to do an accurate interpretation of the
          universe around us ....

          regards

          eduard ...


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Patrick T. McGranaghan" <ptmcgra@...>
          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 11:21 AM
          Subject: Re: [existlist] Digest Number 226


          > Hello, I am a lurker who finally feels like they have
          > something to say.
          >
          > I do not think we are wired for religion. I think that
          > religion has been such an intregral part of society
          > for so long that it seems that way when we look at it.
          > We are brainwashed (I hope this doesnt sound too
          > pejorative) from birth to believe in God by not only
          > our parents, but society around us. I think something
          > that we are wired for is joining the herd when they
          > hold the majority. Most Americans are religious,
          > therefore most individuals when confronted with the
          > question "do you believe in God?" will go with the
          > herd.
          >
          > The only way to prove that we are wired for religion
          > would be to leave a child in the wilderness away from
          > the affects of society and ask him if he believes in
          > God when he gets older. Obviously this is impossible.
          > It might be said when humans first evolved they were
          > in a similar situation and, since they believed in
          > some supernatural force, humans are wired for this.
          > Religion (mythology, etc.) is just an attempt to
          > explain the universe we live in. There was a time when
          > the geocentric model of the universe was accepted, but
          > we abandoned that when new data conflicted with those
          > beliefs. Religion, be it the catholic church or
          > mithraism, is like the geocentric model of the
          > universe: it is an explanation for how the universe
          > works. We are wired for want of an explanation of the
          > universe and where we have not discovered that, our
          > hypotheses become axioms.
          >
          > Please tell me what you think.
          >
          > P~M
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
          > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
          >
          > From The Exist List...
          > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Patrick
          hi Eduard, et al. When I saw MIB I thought that alien in that guys head was interesting. When you think about it, we are always receiving information just like
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 6 1:45 PM
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            hi Eduard, et al.
            When I saw MIB I thought that alien in that guys head was
            interesting. When you think about it, we are always receiving
            information just like computers do. I mean, when I look at an apple
            and see it as red, its not really red, thats just how our brain
            interprets it (some people confuse this with solipsism, but its
            nothing of the sort). Just like a computer sees input as a bunch of
            ones and zeroes, we see it in a meaningful way. Now I'm not going to
            argue that colors dont exist, physics has proved their existence
            through light waves, what I am saying is that this is our way of
            interpreting those light waves. If we could see light waves beyond
            this, like Infrared or ultraviolet waves, we would probably have
            another color for that. I didnt know that a Kaiser did that
            experiment on children, however I remember some ancient king or
            emperor tried it and the child said what sounded like bread in
            Persian or Sumerian or something and they thought that language was
            the original language.
            The reason we have these models is because humans are naturally
            curious. I wouldnt say that science is a religion, I think it would
            be more correct to say that religion is a science, that is-religion
            is an attempt to make sense of the universe.

            P~M

            --- In existlist@y..., "Edward Alf" <ealf@s...> wrote:
            > hi Patrick et al,
            >
            > looks like i have opened up a good discussion here ...
            >
            > think of it this way ... remember in the movie Men in Black (MIB)
            when that
            > prince of another galaxy was found to be actually a small being
            inside the
            > head of the jeweler ... your brain is something like that ...
            however, the
            > difference being that, in the movie the little person would have
            his/her own
            > brain ... what im speaking of here is the action of neurons by
            themselves
            > within the human brain ...
            >
            > if on the other hand, this little person were a neuron, then the
            room that
            > he/she exists in would have no windows in the sense of what we
            think windows
            > are ... all that would the person would have is a slot on the wall
            of the
            > room which spits out something like a stock market tape with
            symbols that
            > represent the signals that come from the retina ... keep in mind
            that the
            > retina has only a finite number of cones and rods (the light sensing
            > devices) that produce the signals ... i hate to use the analogy,
            but it
            > would be similar to the 1's and 0's that are sent to your digital
            tv ... it
            > is not a fully formed picture that is transmitted to the neuron ...
            the
            > neuron has to take all those signals and put together what it
            thinks is the
            > picture ... i use the singular of "neuron" for the purpose of this
            message
            > ... in actuality "seeing" would involve millions of neurons ...
            >
            > in a sense this sort of mechanical/electrical process is even more
            > miraculous than what is commonly thought of as "seeing" ... the
            brain
            > manages to put together a logical semblance of what is out there in
            the real
            > world with sufficient accuracy to enable us to survive ... in
            otherwords the
            > interpretation is sufficient to inform the cavement and what is
            behind the
            > tree is a sabre-tooth tiger and not a rock ...
            >
            > take another example ... you are most likely aware that some lens
            will
            > invert the picture of the outside world ... a test was done by
            which a
            > person was given eye glasses with these lenses ... initially,
            everything
            > that he looked at was inverted ... but after a while, the brain was
            able to
            > reinvert the image so that it once more was right side up ... it is
            as if
            > the brian realised that it was reading the tape of symbols
            backwards and
            > made the necessary correction ... of course when he took the
            glasses off, he
            > had to wait an equal time for the brain to put things right
            again ...
            >
            > all of this applies to the other senses ... smell is only signals
            from the
            > nose ... taste is signals from the tongue ... touch is signals from
            the body
            > ... just as the 1's and 0's of your tv are the same whether this be
            of
            > BayWatch or X-files, the signals to the brain are basically the
            same ... the
            > brain is miraculously designed to sort all of this out ...
            >
            > it is not impossible to test the whether a child would create a
            religious
            > outlook when isolated from society, the germans (one of the
            Kaisars) did
            > something similar in that he conducted an experiment to find out if
            a child
            > would learn to talk without experiencing voices .. specifically he
            wanted to
            > find out what language would they develop on their own ... the
            children
            > were taken care of by nurses who where ordered not to talk to
            them ... in
            > the end, none of them learned to talk, but worse yet they all died
            due to
            > the lack of attention ... this says: (1) that the language neurons
            are there
            > at birth, but can deteriorate due to lack of use, and (2) love and
            caring is
            > an inherent human requirement ...
            >
            > i say that the brain is "wired for religion" or "wired for
            spirituality"
            > because i sense an inherent need for this type of experience ... i
            am not at
            > the stage where i can express this in some eloquent manner, but i
            feel it is
            > there none-the-less ... it is as if the human brain tries to
            interpret all
            > those 1's and 0's in a universal sense ... in the same way that a
            child
            > first tries to interpret the conventions of society ...
            >
            > the idea of a geocentric model of the universe is a good
            example ... if the
            > brain is not inclined towards religion, then why have even this
            view, even
            > though we know today that it is wrong? ... what makes humans want
            to define
            > their universe in the first place? ... my point was that this quest
            is
            > inherent and through particular brain processing (which is a
            scientific
            > fact) this involves neurons ... it may not be that we are wired in
            the sense
            > of something you can find, if you were to open someone's skull ...
            it may
            > only be the desire through neurons to do an accurate interpretation
            of the
            > universe around us ....
            >
            > regards
            >
            > eduard ...
          • Christopher Felton
            Very well articulated, Patrick. Hello, all. My name is Chris, and I, too, have been a lurker (at least part time). Patrick, I agree with most of what you ve
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 6 2:55 PM
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              Very well articulated, Patrick.
               
              Hello, all. My name is Chris, and I, too, have been a "lurker" (at least part time).  Patrick, I agree with most of what you've written. Though not used often to describe the state of religious people today, I feel that the word 'brainwashed' is appropriate. I find it ironic, though, that the most fundamental of these religionists are also the quickest to label one of another mystical persuasion as brainwashed.' Nonetheless, the latter, as well as the former, are of the same or similar herd mentality. Interestingly enough, I've also recognized that even atheists (which I am), can also fall privy to a "herd" type of mentality. For it isn't so much religion which influences one to be of this stock, as it is irrationality. After all has been considered, the only point within the message to which I am disagreeing is the statement, "we are wired for want of an explanation of the universe..."  I don't think we're even 'wired' for that. Man, in all of his complex nature, is still simplistically carnal. I think that the rational mind is more of a subtle discovery which must be stoked by deliberate, consistent, and objective thought, rather than an automatic machination which is naturally part of us. 



              Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
            • Edward Alf
              Patrick & Folks, im a lighting engineer working for a civil aviation authority .. im involved in the design standards for the lighting that is used for
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 6 5:54 PM
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                Patrick & Folks,

                im a lighting engineer working for a civil aviation authority .. im involved
                in the design standards for the lighting that is used for guidance to pilots
                ... i started reading more on optical process in the brain, since i wanted
                to find out how fast the brain can process information ... that is, what
                should be the time duration of flashing signals like the stuff you see on
                towers .. anyway one thing led to another and, since im religiously
                inclined, i got into this neuron stuff and how we see the world ... there
                are lot of books on the subject and as in any field, there have been
                tremendous advances in the past few years ...

                i am starting to wonder about color itself ... assuming that we have the
                same quality of eyes (not color blind), if i select what i think is red, how
                come you recognize it as red also ... i can understand that red is actually
                a radiated energy having a wavelength of about 700 nanometers ... but why do
                both of us say that it is red? ... the only thing that is happening in the
                eye is that a molecule in one of the three types of cones (i.e. the red
                sensor cone) is bent (or is it unbent) to act as a kind of switch sending a
                single to the brain ... the signal itself has nothing to do with color ...
                it is just a signal ... so how come we now see the same thing? ... did we
                met in some past life and agree to call this 700 nanometer energy as "red"?
                ... interesting questions ...

                science cant be a religion ... at least the sort of science that we taught
                ... the principle of our science is based upon logic ... if you can know the
                speed and direction of an object at point A and then at point B, you can
                predict through formulas what will occur at point C ... science is based on
                rational thinking ... religion is irrational ... before you jump on that, im
                using the word "irrational" here in a specific manner and i do not mean
                something which is deficient ... irrational thinking can be just as valid as
                rational thinking ... religion is irrational because you cant get there
                through reasoning ... it primarily requires a certain leap of faith ...

                that is why i was wondering if existentialism can include a god, since
                existentialism seems to me to be a reasoned philosophy and therefore does
                not satisfy the brain's need for spirituality ....

                regards

                eduard


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Patrick" <ptmcgra@...>
                To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 4:45 PM
                Subject: [existlist] Geocentric model of the universe etc....(Was Digest...)


                > hi Eduard, et al.
                > When I saw MIB I thought that alien in that guys head was
                > interesting. When you think about it, we are always receiving
                > information just like computers do. I mean, when I look at an apple
                > and see it as red, its not really red, thats just how our brain
                > interprets it (some people confuse this with solipsism, but its
                > nothing of the sort). Just like a computer sees input as a bunch of
                > ones and zeroes, we see it in a meaningful way. Now I'm not going to
                > argue that colors dont exist, physics has proved their existence
                > through light waves, what I am saying is that this is our way of
                > interpreting those light waves. If we could see light waves beyond
                > this, like Infrared or ultraviolet waves, we would probably have
                > another color for that. I didnt know that a Kaiser did that
                > experiment on children, however I remember some ancient king or
                > emperor tried it and the child said what sounded like bread in
                > Persian or Sumerian or something and they thought that language was
                > the original language.
                > The reason we have these models is because humans are naturally
                > curious. I wouldnt say that science is a religion, I think it would
                > be more correct to say that religion is a science, that is-religion
                > is an attempt to make sense of the universe.
                >
                > P~M
              • Edward Alf
                Christopher, i can see there is a difficulty with my statement of the brain being wired for spirituality ... it tends to give the idea of a sort of
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 6 6:25 PM
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                  Christopher,
                   
                  i can see there is a difficulty with my statement of the brain being "wired for spirituality" ... it tends to give the idea of a sort of robot-like existence ... perhaps i should have said an inclination or predisposition towards spirituality ... the brain operates by means of neurons and neural transmitters ... that is basically a fact and has been known since before Dr. Penfield was doing his studies in Montreal in the late 40s ... all of this is a matter of signals and processing ...
                   
                  much of what we do is a reaction to outside stimuli ... once the stimulus is gone, we may file away the memory for later retrieval ... but this implies a process of learning ... the thought that comes to my mind is whether spirituality is something that is inherent to human beings ... do we naturally seek after it ... or is this a kind of conditioning ... im beginning to think that it is inherent .. something that we are born with .. thus my use of the word "wired", to imply something that we are born with .. in our genes so to speak ...
                   
                  have fun
                   
                  eduard
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 5:55 PM
                  Subject: Re: [existlist] Digest Number 226

                  Very well articulated, Patrick.
                   
                  Hello, all. My name is Chris, and I, too, have been a "lurker" (at least part time).  Patrick, I agree with most of what you've written. Though not used often to describe the state of religious people today, I feel that the word 'brainwashed' is appropriate. I find it ironic, though, that the most fundamental of these religionists are also the quickest to label one of another mystical persuasion as brainwashed.' Nonetheless, the latter, as well as the former, are of the same or similar herd mentality. Interestingly enough, I've also recognized that even atheists (which I am), can also fall privy to a "herd" type of mentality. For it isn't so much religion which influences one to be of this stock, as it is irrationality. After all has been considered, the only point within the message to which I am disagreeing is the statement, "we are wired for want of an explanation of the universe..."  I don't think we're even 'wired' for that. Man, in all of his complex nature, is still simplistically carnal. I think that the rational mind is more of a subtle discovery which must be stoked by deliberate, consistent, and objective thought, rather than an automatic machination which is naturally part of us. 


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                • skip2maloo2000@yahoo.com
                  ... being wired for spirituality ... it tends to give the idea of a sort of robot-like existence ... perhaps i should have said an inclination or
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 7 8:19 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In existlist@y..., "Edward Alf" <ealf@s...> wrote:
                    > Christopher,
                    >
                    > i can see there is a difficulty with my statement of the brain
                    being "wired for spirituality" ... it tends to give the idea of a
                    sort of robot-like existence ... perhaps i should have said an
                    inclination or predisposition towards spirituality ... the brain
                    operates by means of neurons and neural transmitters ... that is
                    basically a fact and has been known since before Dr. Penfield was
                    doing his studies in Montreal in the late 40s ... all of this is a
                    matter of signals and processing ...
                    >
                    > much of what we do is a reaction to outside stimuli ... once the
                    stimulus is gone, we may file away the memory for later retrieval ...
                    but this implies a process of learning ... the thought that comes to
                    my mind is whether spirituality is something that is inherent to
                    human beings ... do we naturally seek after it ... or is this a kind
                    of conditioning ... im beginning to think that it is inherent ..
                    something that we are born with .. thus my use of the word "wired",
                    to imply something that we are born with .. in our genes so to
                    speak ...
                    >
                    > have fun
                    >
                    > eduard
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: Christopher Felton
                    > To: existlist@y...
                    > Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 5:55 PM
                    > Subject: Re: [existlist] Digest Number 226
                    >
                    >
                    > Very well articulated, Patrick.
                    >
                    > Hello, all. My name is Chris, and I, too, have been a "lurker"
                    (at least part time). Patrick, I agree with most of what you've
                    written. Though not used often to describe the state of religious
                    people today, I feel that the word 'brainwashed' is appropriate. I
                    find it ironic, though, that the most fundamental of these
                    religionists are also the quickest to label one of another mystical
                    persuasion as brainwashed.' Nonetheless, the latter, as well as the
                    former, are of the same or similar herd mentality. Interestingly
                    enough, I've also recognized that even atheists (which I am), can
                    also fall privy to a "herd" type of mentality. For it isn't so much
                    religion which influences one to be of this stock, as it is
                    irrationality. After all has been considered, the only point within
                    the message to which I am disagreeing is the statement, "we are wired
                    for want of an explanation of the universe..." I don't think we're
                    even 'wired' for that. Man, in all of his complex nature, is still
                    simplistically carnal. I think that the rational mind is more of a
                    subtle discovery which must be stoked by deliberate, consistent, and
                    objective thought, rather than an automatic machination which is
                    naturally part of us.
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                    >
                    > Hello! your domain today!
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > From The Exist List...
                    > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                    Service.
                    > With all due respect, gentlemen, all this talk of neurons firing
                    misses the mark as far as I am concerned. If I'm sitting in a cozy,
                    romantic restaurant, and accross the table from me is, say, Gillian
                    Anderson, who has taken a mysterious liking to graying philosophy
                    professors in their late thirties (O.K., in their forties), I am far
                    less interested in learning exactly which facial muscles have
                    contracted when she smiles than in the good old language of motives
                    and intentions. It may be accurate to speak of the neurochemical
                    processes and/or neurons "firing" when she lifts an eyebrow or her
                    eyes sparkle, but it isn't the sort of thing that will be uppermost
                    in my mind. British philosopher, Roger Scruton, has expressed the
                    same point as follows: "When the judge asks me why I put arsenic in
                    my wife's tea, he will not be satisfied by my saying 'Because
                    electrochemical impulses from my brain caused my hand to reach for
                    the bottle and tip it into the waiting teacup'--although that may be
                    a true answer to the question 'Why?' construed as scientists construe
                    it, as request for cause. For it is an answer OF THE WRONG KIND."

                    Is there a difficulty here concerning the distinction between
                    description and causal explanation? Is there a chicken and egg
                    problem too? For which comes first: the intention that produces a
                    neurochemical reaction?, or the neurochemical reaction which produces
                    the intention? Just a thought.
                    >
                    >
                    >
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                  • Edward Alf
                    hi, i totally agree with your point ... not necessarily with Gillian Anderson as the object of interest, but at least the point that i would not be focused
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 7 6:05 PM
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                      hi,

                      i totally agree with your point ... not necessarily with Gillian Anderson as
                      the object of interest, but at least the point that i would not be focused
                      upon how my neurons happen to be firing ... :-)

                      this all started when opened the subject of whether there could be a god
                      worship within existentialism ... im aware that some referred
                      existentialists did believe in god ... however, what i see is a rational
                      thought out philosophy and this is counter to religion and spirituality
                      which is irrational ... again, im not using the word "irrational" in the
                      sense of something which is wrong ... irrational thinking is simply another
                      (right brain, global) way of thinking ....

                      so im wondering where does the religion and spirituality come in? ... the
                      way i see it, human beings have an inherent tendency towards the spiritual
                      ... i have referred to this as being "wired for religion" in the sense of
                      your brain, which operates on the basis of neurons, has this inclination
                      from birth ...

                      as we enter into the 21st century there is a desire for some kind of
                      spiritual satisfaction ... i would suspect that that is the reason why a lot
                      of use are on this list in the first place ... but i dont see within
                      existentialism anything which would provide this satisfaction ... whether
                      this is put in terms of neurons or whatever, i would still like to find out
                      from members how they see spirituality coming into this, if at all ...

                      regards

                      eduard

                      > With all due respect, gentlemen, all this talk of neurons firing
                      > misses the mark as far as I am concerned. If I'm sitting in a cozy,
                      > romantic restaurant, and accross the table from me is, say, Gillian
                      > Anderson, who has taken a mysterious liking to graying philosophy
                      > professors in their late thirties (O.K., in their forties), I am far
                      > less interested in learning exactly which facial muscles have
                      > contracted when she smiles than in the good old language of motives
                      > and intentions. It may be accurate to speak of the neurochemical
                      > processes and/or neurons "firing" when she lifts an eyebrow or her
                      > eyes sparkle, but it isn't the sort of thing that will be uppermost
                      > in my mind. British philosopher, Roger Scruton, has expressed the
                      > same point as follows: "When the judge asks me why I put arsenic in
                      > my wife's tea, he will not be satisfied by my saying 'Because
                      > electrochemical impulses from my brain caused my hand to reach for
                      > the bottle and tip it into the waiting teacup'--although that may be
                      > a true answer to the question 'Why?' construed as scientists construe
                      > it, as request for cause. For it is an answer OF THE WRONG KIND."
                      >
                      > Is there a difficulty here concerning the distinction between
                      > description and causal explanation? Is there a chicken and egg
                      > problem too? For which comes first: the intention that produces a
                      > neurochemical reaction?, or the neurochemical reaction which produces
                      > the intention? Just a thought.
                      > >
                    • Juan Menendez
                      ... Well, what can I say to a man who fails to find Gillian Anderson attractive? I m afraid that this alone has the effect of casting doubts upon your rational
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 9 6:27 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        --- Edward Alf <ealf@...> wrote:
                        > hi,
                        >
                        > i totally agree with your point ... not necessarily
                        > with Gillian Anderson as
                        > the object of interest, but at least the point that
                        > i would not be focused
                        > upon how my neurons happen to be firing ... :-)
                        >
                        > this all started when opened the subject of whether
                        > there could be a god
                        > worship within existentialism ... im aware that some
                        > referred
                        > existentialists did believe in god ... however, what
                        > i see is a rational
                        > thought out philosophy and this is counter to
                        > religion and spirituality
                        > which is irrational ... again, im not using the word
                        > "irrational" in the
                        > sense of something which is wrong ... irrational
                        > thinking is simply another
                        > (right brain, global) way of thinking ....
                        >
                        > so im wondering where does the religion and
                        > spirituality come in? ... the
                        > way i see it, human beings have an inherent tendency
                        > towards the spiritual
                        > ... i have referred to this as being "wired for
                        > religion" in the sense of
                        > your brain, which operates on the basis of neurons,
                        > has this inclination
                        > from birth ...
                        >
                        > as we enter into the 21st century there is a desire
                        > for some kind of
                        > spiritual satisfaction ... i would suspect that that
                        > is the reason why a lot
                        > of use are on this list in the first place ... but i
                        > dont see within
                        > existentialism anything which would provide this
                        > satisfaction ... whether
                        > this is put in terms of neurons or whatever, i would
                        > still like to find out
                        > from members how they see spirituality coming into
                        > this, if at all ...
                        >
                        > regards
                        >
                        > eduard
                        >
                        > > With all due respect, gentlemen, all this talk of
                        > neurons firing
                        > > misses the mark as far as I am concerned. If I'm
                        > sitting in a cozy,
                        > > romantic restaurant, and accross the table from me
                        > is, say, Gillian
                        > > Anderson, who has taken a mysterious liking to
                        > graying philosophy
                        > > professors in their late thirties (O.K., in their
                        > forties), I am far
                        > > less interested in learning exactly which facial
                        > muscles have
                        > > contracted when she smiles than in the good old
                        > language of motives
                        > > and intentions. It may be accurate to speak of the
                        > neurochemical
                        > > processes and/or neurons "firing" when she lifts
                        > an eyebrow or her
                        > > eyes sparkle, but it isn't the sort of thing that
                        > will be uppermost
                        > > in my mind. British philosopher, Roger Scruton,
                        > has expressed the
                        > > same point as follows: "When the judge asks me why
                        > I put arsenic in
                        > > my wife's tea, he will not be satisfied by my
                        > saying 'Because
                        > > electrochemical impulses from my brain caused my
                        > hand to reach for
                        > > the bottle and tip it into the waiting
                        > teacup'--although that may be
                        > > a true answer to the question 'Why?' construed as
                        > scientists construe
                        > > it, as request for cause. For it is an answer OF
                        > THE WRONG KIND."
                        > >
                        > > Is there a difficulty here concerning the
                        > distinction between
                        > > description and causal explanation? Is there a
                        > chicken and egg
                        > > problem too? For which comes first: the intention
                        > that produces a
                        > > neurochemical reaction?, or the neurochemical
                        > reaction which produces
                        > > the intention? Just a thought.
                        > > >
                        > Hi Edward,

                        Well, what can I say to a man who fails to find
                        Gillian Anderson attractive? I'm afraid that this
                        alone has the effect of casting doubts upon your
                        rational faculties. Fortunately, those doubts are
                        dispersed the moment I read your posted
                        messages--which are well-written and cogent.

                        Suppose that you are right, that there is an inherent
                        yearning for religious experience, that we are all--as
                        Kierkegaard suggests--"God intoxicated men." Why seek
                        a scientific explanation as the most illuminating in
                        this context? I contend that it would be the least
                        illuminating. From the days when we might have talked
                        of similar topics in a cave after killing a bison (and
                        I am convinced that, even then, people did so), it
                        seems highly plausible that a universal human
                        experience is the sense of the numinous, that is, the
                        awareness of our smallness as beings agaisnt the
                        awesome enormity of the universe. Add to this, the
                        certainty of death (prehistoric persons had a
                        life-expectancy of 28 years, up to the nineteenth
                        century life expectancy hovered at 40 years or so),
                        and you begin to see why it is perfectly rational and
                        understandable for subjective, Freudian kinds of
                        reasons, that humans would reach for something
                        greater.

                        It follows from this that prescientific humans would
                        project those yearnings on to "spirits" representing
                        natural elements and then on to a single master spirit
                        and, eventually, on to a very abstract God, who is the
                        master principle of the universe. And yet...

                        I fear that we may discover that gods and/or God
                        are/is less a being or entity "really" existing in the
                        universe, than a human hope born in fear: What if the
                        universal human religious impulse or God, if you like,
                        is less a window from which we see out into the
                        universe, than a mirror reflecting our own
                        subconscious aspirations? If this is so, then we'd
                        still have human courage and laughter, the possibility
                        of love, and shared courage at the sense of that
                        infinite star-stuff which is us too.

                        Cheers,

                        Gilligan
                        >
                        >
                        >


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                      • Edward Alf
                        hi Gilligan et al, well what can i say ... i suppose Gillian Anderson is attractive, but it seems so shallow .. at least on the X-files ... a very attractive
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 9 7:55 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          hi Gilligan et al,

                          well what can i say ... i suppose Gillian Anderson is attractive, but it
                          seems so shallow .. at least on the X-files ... a very attractive woman to
                          my mind would be Marilyn Monroe .. and i dont mean the one who sang "happy
                          birthday" to Kennedy ... but rather the Norma Jean Baker who stared in the
                          movie "Misfits" with Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach ...
                          absolutely beautiful ... anyway im off topic ...

                          to give a scientific explanation does not deminish the idea that humans
                          reach out for the divine ... it is just the way in which we do it ... those
                          cavemen sitting around the recently bison were also using their neurons ...
                          if neurons is not the most illuminating explanation, then what would be
                          illuminating? ... im open on this ... i just think that when you get into
                          the abstract as saying that it is our inner soul or something, then it
                          detaches from reality ... i dont think that knowing our retinas are lined
                          with rods and cones lessens our appreciation for the beauty of a rose ...

                          i dont think that our worship of gods is born out of fear ... i think that
                          "fear" is the means by which religious authorities have kept "their" flock
                          under control ... if you dont follow the dogma, you will spend eternity in
                          hell, having some demon pull out your liver ... i would prefer that worship
                          is born out awe ...

                          i agree that we would still have human love, courage and laughter regardless
                          of how or what we believe ... our belief system is simply a means for focus
                          and to some extent, motivation ... whether you believe in Jehovah or Wilson
                          the basketball it amounts to the same thing ...

                          when we look out onto the world, we see chaos ... so many things are
                          happening ... it is a normal response to try to make some sense or order out
                          of it all ... a god provides some kind of focus ... lets say you are to go
                          out shopping for clothes ... i always find this a traumatic experience ...
                          but if i say that i am going to adopt a style, say of wearing only black
                          like Johnny Cash, then suddenly a path is open in the chaos .. i only look
                          at things that are black ... i have not really obtained order in the world
                          .. there are still red and blue shirts, but i have the ability to focus and
                          this is a way of survival for me ... and i suggest that this is all that we
                          want .. so that we can get on with our lives ...

                          i was wondering how others on this list might have mingled religious outlook
                          with philosophical existentialism ... or are they, like myself, still
                          searching ....

                          regards

                          eduard

                          > > Hi Edward,
                          >
                          > Well, what can I say to a man who fails to find
                          > Gillian Anderson attractive? I'm afraid that this
                          > alone has the effect of casting doubts upon your
                          > rational faculties. Fortunately, those doubts are
                          > dispersed the moment I read your posted
                          > messages--which are well-written and cogent.
                          >
                          > Suppose that you are right, that there is an inherent
                          > yearning for religious experience, that we are all--as
                          > Kierkegaard suggests--"God intoxicated men." Why seek
                          > a scientific explanation as the most illuminating in
                          > this context? I contend that it would be the least
                          > illuminating. From the days when we might have talked
                          > of similar topics in a cave after killing a bison (and
                          > I am convinced that, even then, people did so), it
                          > seems highly plausible that a universal human
                          > experience is the sense of the numinous, that is, the
                          > awareness of our smallness as beings agaisnt the
                          > awesome enormity of the universe. Add to this, the
                          > certainty of death (prehistoric persons had a
                          > life-expectancy of 28 years, up to the nineteenth
                          > century life expectancy hovered at 40 years or so),
                          > and you begin to see why it is perfectly rational and
                          > understandable for subjective, Freudian kinds of
                          > reasons, that humans would reach for something
                          > greater.
                          >
                          > It follows from this that prescientific humans would
                          > project those yearnings on to "spirits" representing
                          > natural elements and then on to a single master spirit
                          > and, eventually, on to a very abstract God, who is the
                          > master principle of the universe. And yet...
                          >
                          > I fear that we may discover that gods and/or God
                          > are/is less a being or entity "really" existing in the
                          > universe, than a human hope born in fear: What if the
                          > universal human religious impulse or God, if you like,
                          > is less a window from which we see out into the
                          > universe, than a mirror reflecting our own
                          > subconscious aspirations? If this is so, then we'd
                          > still have human courage and laughter, the possibility
                          > of love, and shared courage at the sense of that
                          > infinite star-stuff which is us too.
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          >
                          > Gilligan
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          > __________________________________________________
                          > Do You Yahoo!?
                          > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
                          > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                          >
                          > From The Exist List...
                          > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >
                        • Juan Menendez
                          ... Marilyn Monroe is definitely a very attractive woman. Yet one may find Gillian Anderson, who conveys a cooler, more intelligent (in my opinion) kind of
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 9 2:32 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- Edward Alf <ealf@...> wrote:
                            > hi Gilligan et al,
                            >
                            > well what can i say ... i suppose Gillian Anderson
                            > is attractive, but it
                            > seems so shallow .. at least on the X-files ... a
                            > very attractive woman to
                            > my mind would be Marilyn Monroe .. and i dont mean
                            > the one who sang "happy
                            > birthday" to Kennedy ... but rather the Norma Jean
                            > Baker who stared in the
                            > movie "Misfits" with Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift
                            > and Eli Wallach ...
                            > absolutely beautiful ... anyway im off topic ...
                            >
                            > to give a scientific explanation does not deminish
                            > the idea that humans
                            > reach out for the divine ... it is just the way in
                            > which we do it ... those
                            > cavemen sitting around the recently bison were also
                            > using their neurons ...
                            > if neurons is not the most illuminating explanation,
                            > then what would be
                            > illuminating? ... im open on this ... i just think
                            > that when you get into
                            > the abstract as saying that it is our inner soul or
                            > something, then it
                            > detaches from reality ... i dont think that knowing
                            > our retinas are lined
                            > with rods and cones lessens our appreciation for the
                            > beauty of a rose ...
                            >
                            > i dont think that our worship of gods is born out of
                            > fear ... i think that
                            > "fear" is the means by which religious authorities
                            > have kept "their" flock
                            > under control ... if you dont follow the dogma, you
                            > will spend eternity in
                            > hell, having some demon pull out your liver ... i
                            > would prefer that worship
                            > is born out awe ...
                            >
                            > i agree that we would still have human love, courage
                            > and laughter regardless
                            > of how or what we believe ... our belief system is
                            > simply a means for focus
                            > and to some extent, motivation ... whether you
                            > believe in Jehovah or Wilson
                            > the basketball it amounts to the same thing ...
                            >
                            > when we look out onto the world, we see chaos ... so
                            > many things are
                            > happening ... it is a normal response to try to make
                            > some sense or order out
                            > of it all ... a god provides some kind of focus ...
                            > lets say you are to go
                            > out shopping for clothes ... i always find this a
                            > traumatic experience ...
                            > but if i say that i am going to adopt a style, say
                            > of wearing only black
                            > like Johnny Cash, then suddenly a path is open in
                            > the chaos .. i only look
                            > at things that are black ... i have not really
                            > obtained order in the world
                            > .. there are still red and blue shirts, but i have
                            > the ability to focus and
                            > this is a way of survival for me ... and i suggest
                            > that this is all that we
                            > want .. so that we can get on with our lives ...
                            >
                            > i was wondering how others on this list might have
                            > mingled religious outlook
                            > with philosophical existentialism ... or are they,
                            > like myself, still
                            > searching ....
                            >
                            > regards
                            >
                            > eduard
                            >
                            > > > Hi Edward,
                            > >
                            > > Well, what can I say to a man who fails to find
                            > > Gillian Anderson attractive? I'm afraid that this
                            > > alone has the effect of casting doubts upon your
                            > > rational faculties. Fortunately, those doubts are
                            > > dispersed the moment I read your posted
                            > > messages--which are well-written and cogent.
                            > >
                            > > Suppose that you are right, that there is an
                            > inherent
                            > > yearning for religious experience, that we are
                            > all--as
                            > > Kierkegaard suggests--"God intoxicated men." Why
                            > seek
                            > > a scientific explanation as the most illuminating
                            > in
                            > > this context? I contend that it would be the least
                            > > illuminating. From the days when we might have
                            > talked
                            > > of similar topics in a cave after killing a bison
                            > (and
                            > > I am convinced that, even then, people did so), it
                            > > seems highly plausible that a universal human
                            > > experience is the sense of the numinous, that is,
                            > the
                            > > awareness of our smallness as beings agaisnt the
                            > > awesome enormity of the universe. Add to this, the
                            > > certainty of death (prehistoric persons had a
                            > > life-expectancy of 28 years, up to the nineteenth
                            > > century life expectancy hovered at 40 years or
                            > so),
                            > > and you begin to see why it is perfectly rational
                            > and
                            > > understandable for subjective, Freudian kinds of
                            > > reasons, that humans would reach for something
                            > > greater.
                            > >
                            > > It follows from this that prescientific humans
                            > would
                            > > project those yearnings on to "spirits"
                            > representing
                            > > natural elements and then on to a single master
                            > spirit
                            > > and, eventually, on to a very abstract God, who is
                            > the
                            > > master principle of the universe. And yet...
                            > >
                            > > I fear that we may discover that gods and/or God
                            > > are/is less a being or entity "really" existing in
                            > the
                            > > universe, than a human hope born in fear: What if
                            > the
                            > > universal human religious impulse or God, if you
                            > like,
                            > > is less a window from which we see out into the
                            > > universe, than a mirror reflecting our own
                            > > subconscious aspirations? If this is so, then we'd
                            > > still have human courage and laughter, the
                            > possibility
                            > > of love, and shared courage at the sense of that
                            > > infinite star-stuff which is us too.
                            > >
                            > > Cheers,
                            > >
                            > > Gilligan
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > __________________________________________________
                            > > Do You Yahoo!?
                            > > Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
                            > > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                            > >
                            > > From The Exist List...
                            > > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
                            > >
                            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            > >
                            > >
                            > Hi Edward,

                            Marilyn Monroe is definitely a very attractive woman.
                            Yet one may find Gillian Anderson, who conveys a
                            cooler, more intelligent (in my opinion) kind of aura,
                            equally attractive in a very different way. Similarly,
                            there is not much disagreement between us when it
                            comes to ultimate matters of religious impulse and our
                            place in the cosmos.

                            I guess my take on this is to suggest, if you'll
                            forgive the expression, that we should render on to
                            Caesar what is his, and on to God what is His. By that
                            I mean, that you don't really need science to explain
                            the religious impulse in people, just common sense.
                            There is simply too much pretentious scientific
                            explanation of what is basically expressive of our
                            nature as humans. People feel small and insignificant,
                            so they invent or discover something greater than
                            themselves that can help them cope with the pain of
                            being human. Some of us need that (for me) "crutch"
                            and some of us don't. I don't. I am not a believer. I
                            do not really accept the concept of God.

                            I fear that as traditional concepts of God become less
                            and less intellectually respectable, more and more
                            people tend to deify science--which is very
                            unscientific, but it is "scientism." Science
                            talk--often having no real meaning--is the jargon of
                            our times. I suggest we take a step back and consider
                            whether we need an elaborate scientific way of stating
                            the obvious.
                            >
                            >


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                          • Edward Alf
                            i dont believe in common sense ... it seems to imply that the verification of truth is dependent some kind of democratic vote ... if 3 people versus 2 say that
                            Message 13 of 13 , Mar 9 6:24 PM
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                              i dont believe in common sense ... it seems to imply that the verification
                              of truth is dependent some kind of democratic vote ... if 3 people versus 2
                              say that the sun comes up in the west, then it must be so ... or to put it
                              another way, the problem of common sense is that it is all so very uncommon
                              ...

                              anyway ... i think you are speaking about two different things in reference
                              to science giving explanation and people wanting to invent something greater
                              than themselves ... if science gives an explanation it isnt to the detriment
                              of anyone (well perhaps to some) ... but it does provide a better grasp on
                              reality ... if religion is just neurons firing away, then some groups would
                              have to find some other reason for persecuting their fellow humans ... and
                              the church just might come to the realisation that we are here on earth for
                              more than just creating more "souls" ... that is if there is indeed such a
                              thing as a "soul" ...

                              with respect to finding something greater, i think that this is a basic
                              tendency for everyone .. a human sort of thing ... i dont think it is a
                              "crutch" ... it is more in the way of providing a focus ... that does not
                              mean that people who do not have a specific religion do not need a focus ...
                              i would bet that these people find focus in other ways ...

                              i accept the concept of god ... not that i believe in a god right now, but i
                              accept the concept and am going in that direction ... i intend to invent one
                              if i cant find suitable candidate ... afterall that is what the present
                              religions did ... they invented their god and wrote the books and everyone
                              went along with it, not because it was logical, but because it was
                              successful ... that is the proof of the pudding ...

                              but you may object that this is not the same thing ... one does not simply
                              go around inventing gods upon whim ... well lets look at an example ...
                              perhaps a poor one, but i will detail it anyway ... say you have been
                              advised by your doctor to go on an ocean cruise ... but you cant afford the
                              cost ... so you come to me and i tell you i would charge you only $50 ...
                              astonished, you ask how i would do it for so little ... i explain that an
                              ocean cruise is reducible down to only one sensation ... that of the rolling
                              deck beneath your feet ... thus, i will paint over your windows and get my
                              cousin to use his forklift to rock your house back and forth ... voila, an
                              ocean cruise ... but you object ... to you a cruise is more than a rolling
                              deck, there has to be the smell of the salt laden air and the sound of gulls
                              flying overhead ... ok ... for an extra $25 i can blow salt air through your
                              ventilation system ... and i think i can trap a few gulls that have been
                              scavenging around the town dump ... you can see how this goes ... it is not
                              the thing in itself (the cruise) which is of importance but the sensations
                              that come to your brain (sense of rolling, smell of salt air, sound of
                              gulls) ... so too it is not religion or god of themselves that are of
                              importance, but what you get out of it ... it was once said that god created
                              man, because he needed an audience ... i suppose you could turn that around
                              to say that man created god because man preferred to be an audience ...

                              my point is that all of this is a matter of function ... what role does god
                              perform and what are the derived benefits ...

                              i suppose that that is a rational way of looking at an irrational activity
                              ... but one can follow a certain logic and come to the conclusion that it is
                              time to make the jump to the irrational (leap of faith, so to speak) ...

                              the bottom line is that in order to make that leap, we have to have a solid
                              foundation and therefore, we may need an elaborate scientific way of stating
                              the obvious ....

                              have fun ...

                              eduard



                              > > Hi Edward,
                              >
                              > Marilyn Monroe is definitely a very attractive woman.
                              > Yet one may find Gillian Anderson, who conveys a
                              > cooler, more intelligent (in my opinion) kind of aura,
                              > equally attractive in a very different way. Similarly,
                              > there is not much disagreement between us when it
                              > comes to ultimate matters of religious impulse and our
                              > place in the cosmos.
                              >
                              > I guess my take on this is to suggest, if you'll
                              > forgive the expression, that we should render on to
                              > Caesar what is his, and on to God what is His. By that
                              > I mean, that you don't really need science to explain
                              > the religious impulse in people, just common sense.
                              > There is simply too much pretentious scientific
                              > explanation of what is basically expressive of our
                              > nature as humans. People feel small and insignificant,
                              > so they invent or discover something greater than
                              > themselves that can help them cope with the pain of
                              > being human. Some of us need that (for me) "crutch"
                              > and some of us don't. I don't. I am not a believer. I
                              > do not really accept the concept of God.
                              >
                              > I fear that as traditional concepts of God become less
                              > and less intellectually respectable, more and more
                              > people tend to deify science--which is very
                              > unscientific, but it is "scientism." Science
                              > talk--often having no real meaning--is the jargon of
                              > our times. I suggest we take a step back and consider
                              > whether we need an elaborate scientific way of stating
                              > the obvious.
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
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