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The "God" Part of The Brain

elisur
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12/20/2012 2:26:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Brains 'are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends'

Religion is part of human nature and our brains are hard wired to believe in God, scientists believe.

The evidence includes studies of babies and children which have shown the brain is programmed to think of the mind as being separate from the body.

This distinction allows us to believe in the supernatural, to conjure up imaginary friends - and to conceive of gods, this week's New Scientist reports.

Other studies suggest our minds come with an overdeveloped sense of cause and effect, which primes us to see purpose and design everywhere, even when there is none.

Children as young as seven or eight believe that rocks, rivers and birds have been created for a specific purpose.

Taken together, the two traits mean were are perfectly programmed to believe in god.

Professor Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University in the US, said: 'There's now a lot of evidence that some of the foundations for our religious beliefs are hard-wired.

'All humans possess the brain circuitry and it never goes away.'

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk... ... iends.html
more to read:
http://www.newscientist.com... ... s-god.html
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
And do you actually think this supports theism?
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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12/20/2012 11:13:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think this is quite interesting.

What I think is also worthwhile pointing out is that this is the result of the Scientific Process and Scientific investigation.

Science is continually investigating, crosschecking and testing theories, coming up with curious information all the time, this is what Scientists do.
Dogknox
Posts: 5,042
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12/20/2012 11:15:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
elisur I hope all is well..
All men have a void in them that only God can fill. Most people try to fill the void with drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, money, power, toys etc

Until they find God they will keep searching!
The fact we have this "God part of the brain" just reinforces the fact God' hand is in the creation of Man!

The earth spins at the right speed, the right distance from the sun, with the right tilt, with the right amount of water, the earth is at the right spot in the Galaxy... etc etc etc just so many coincidences involved to NOT be the hand of God at work!

elisur Add this "God part of the brain" to the works of God!

Dogknox
iamnotwhoiam
Posts: 171
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12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
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12/20/2012 11:56:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

A statement that is begging to be disagreed with.
iamnotwhoiam
Posts: 171
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12/20/2012 12:10:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

Not all of them. True beliefs are adaptive, but false beliefs that are not deleterious are not selected against. The same way that eyes are adaptive but the shape of the bridge of your nose is probably random.
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/20/2012 1:06:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 12:10:09 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:
If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

Not all of them. True beliefs are adaptive, but false beliefs that are not deleterious are not selected against. The same way that eyes are adaptive but the shape of the bridge of your nose is probably random.

But if we acknowledge the general reliability of our belief producing cognitive faculties on the basis that evolution selects for true beliefs, shouldn't we give our natural/innate beliefs the benefit of the doubt until they've been proven false? Isn't is prima facie more reasonable to affirm what we instinctively believe rather than to deny what we instinctively believe?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
elisur
Posts: 144
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12/20/2012 10:35:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:15:28 AM, Dogknox wrote:
elisur I hope all is well..
All men have a void in them that only God can fill. Most people try to fill the void with drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, money, power, toys etc

Until they find God they will keep searching!
The fact we have this "God part of the brain" just reinforces the fact God' hand is in the creation of Man!

The earth spins at the right speed, the right distance from the sun, with the right tilt, with the right amount of water, the earth is at the right spot in the Galaxy... etc etc etc just so many coincidences involved to NOT be the hand of God at work!

wrong is not coincidences all reality appeared by work of God. You cannot say all perfect creation only coincidences the bible says all of that creted by the Power of God.
elisur Add this "God part of the brain" to the works of God!

Dogknox
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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12/20/2012 10:48:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM, phantom wrote:
And do you actually think this supports theism?

Well, whether or not God exists, one thing is certain - without God, you would not exist (assuming, like all other evolved traits, an inherent belief in God gave your evolutionary ancestors a natural advantage which advanced the species).

At the very least, Homo Sapiens would have been a very different creature without this function of the temporal lobe...better? worse? who can say? This is one of the big reasons that despite a lack of faith, I have a healthy respect for those who do, and for God, itself.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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12/20/2012 10:54:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 12:10:09 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

Not all of them. True beliefs are adaptive, but false beliefs that are not deleterious are not selected against. The same way that eyes are adaptive but the shape of the bridge of your nose is probably random.

The brain is just as apt to believe a false memory as a real one. Autobiographical memory tends to be more vividly positive for most, except those suffering from depression. Also, despite a lifetime of enforcement of a correct memory, I can change the detail of a photo with which you are familiar and emphatically state that the modified version represents the truth, and with 70% frequency (give or take), you will believe, despite a lifetime of other memories to the contrary, that my newly "truthful", false memory is the correct one.

Human memory is remarkably unreliable and prone to malleability. (we are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania...there's a reason that is plausible...)
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
elisur
Posts: 144
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12/20/2012 11:54:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 10:54:12 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 12/20/2012 12:10:09 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

Not all of them. True beliefs are adaptive, but false beliefs that are not deleterious are not selected against. The same way that eyes are adaptive but the shape of the bridge of your nose is probably random.

The brain is just as apt to believe a false memory as a real one. Autobiographical memory tends to be more vividly positive for most, except those suffering from depression. Also, despite a lifetime of enforcement of a correct memory, I can change the detail of a photo with which you are familiar and emphatically state that the modified version represents the truth, and with 70% frequency (give or take), you will believe, despite a lifetime of other memories to the contrary, that my newly "truthful", false memory is the correct one.

Human memory is remarkably unreliable and prone to malleability. (we are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania...there's a reason that is plausible...)

I have a friend atheist before he die he said LORD! LORD! forgive me.
That is tha fact that God program to our brain. God put into our brain to believe super natural being, to believe him.
The truth is: many atheist before he die he mention God.
The one reason why atheist cannot believe in God,they escape reality, they escape the commandment of God, they do everything he wants,there is no God, do not worry enjoy your life. that is the one thing mention in the bible
Romans 3:10-18
10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands, no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they do not know."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
1Devilsadvocate
Posts: 1,518
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12/21/2012 11:28:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM, phantom wrote:
And do you actually think this supports theism?

I could see how it would.

It makes more sense that god caused this than natural selection.

What is the evolutionary benefit of believing in god?
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
"Albert Einstein

http://www.twainquotes.com... , http://thewritecorner.wordpress.com... , http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com...
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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12/21/2012 11:45:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/21/2012 11:28:44 AM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM, phantom wrote:
And do you actually think this supports theism?

I could see how it would.

It makes more sense that god caused this than natural selection.

What is the evolutionary benefit of believing in god?

It's actually right there in the article

"Anthropologists and Darwinian theorists have frequently speculated that religion may have developed as a self-policing mechanism as cooperation with others became useful. With their intelligence and skills at making weapons, there was little to stop early humans from slaughtering each other like wild maniacs, until they began to fear unseen beings even bigger and badder than themselves. This sort of adaptation has always been considered a purely psychological function, but now we have the first evidence that the religious instinct may be physically hard-wired right into our noggins."
1Devilsadvocate
Posts: 1,518
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12/21/2012 1:04:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/21/2012 11:45:15 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/21/2012 11:28:44 AM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM, phantom wrote:
And do you actually think this supports theism?

I could see how it would.

It makes more sense that god caused this than natural selection.

What is the evolutionary benefit of believing in god?

It's actually right there in the article

"Anthropologists and Darwinian theorists have frequently speculated that religion may have developed as a self-policing mechanism as cooperation with others became useful. With their intelligence and skills at making weapons, there was little to stop early humans from slaughtering each other like wild maniacs, until they began to fear unseen beings even bigger and badder than themselves. This sort of adaptation has always been considered a purely psychological function, but now we have the first evidence that the religious instinct may be physically hard-wired right into our noggins."

Belief in God is not needed for that.
It would be simpler for evolution to just select those that are more cooperative, until cooperation became instinctive.

Also I think early religions were more centered around rituals, than morals.
They pleased & appeased gods with sacrifice & self inflicted pain (which is bad for survival), more than good deeds.
God(s) were used as a way of explaining the world, not as a motivation to cooperate.
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
"Albert Einstein

http://www.twainquotes.com... , http://thewritecorner.wordpress.com... , http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com...
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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12/21/2012 2:18:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't think this is in any way surprising, pretty much everything we sense, think or do has associated neural correlates in the brain, we are hard wired to see, there is an olfactory center, a language center, the processing of all sensations and thoughts have an associated physical aspect in the brain. There are specific brain areas and neurological pathways associated with mathematical abilities, logical thought, fear, anxiety, speech, reading, and every other way of thinking or doing, as neurological research gets better we get more and more specificity regarding how the brain processes information, every aspect of human nature has a corresponding specificity in terms of mapping it to it's physical and neurological aspects. You can make the case that we are "hard wired" for everything we say, think, and do, I don't necessarily think it tells us much about whether or not God exists.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Paradox_7
Posts: 1,870
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12/21/2012 2:53:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, theism is the default position?
: At 10/23/2012 8:06:03 PM, tvellalott wrote:
: Don't be. The Catholic Church is ran by Darth Sidius for fvck sake. As far as I'm concerned, you're a bona fide member of the Sith.
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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12/21/2012 4:43:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 11:54:20 PM, elisur wrote:
At 12/20/2012 10:54:12 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 12/20/2012 12:10:09 PM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:38:02 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:35:32 AM, iamnotwhoiam wrote:
At 12/20/2012 11:05:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
Maybe Alvin Plantinga was right when he argued that if naturalism and evolution are true, then the probability that our belief-producing cognitive faculties would be reliable is low or inscrutable.

No. If evolution is true the brain was formed in response to the environment, and true beliefs are plainly adaptive.

If evolution selects for true beliefs, then whatever beliefs are hard-wired into our brains ought to be true, then.

Not all of them. True beliefs are adaptive, but false beliefs that are not deleterious are not selected against. The same way that eyes are adaptive but the shape of the bridge of your nose is probably random.

The brain is just as apt to believe a false memory as a real one. Autobiographical memory tends to be more vividly positive for most, except those suffering from depression. Also, despite a lifetime of enforcement of a correct memory, I can change the detail of a photo with which you are familiar and emphatically state that the modified version represents the truth, and with 70% frequency (give or take), you will believe, despite a lifetime of other memories to the contrary, that my newly "truthful", false memory is the correct one.

Human memory is remarkably unreliable and prone to malleability. (we are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania...there's a reason that is plausible...)

I have a friend atheist before he die he said LORD! LORD! forgive me.
That is tha fact that God program to our brain. God put into our brain to believe super natural being, to believe him.
The truth is: many atheist before he die he mention God.
The one reason why atheist cannot believe in God,they escape reality, they escape the commandment of God, they do everything he wants,there is no God, do not worry enjoy your life. that is the one thing mention in the bible
Romans 3:10-18
10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands, no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they do not know."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

P@ssies who are hedging their bets - lowest form of scum, if ya ask me
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
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12/21/2012 4:53:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/21/2012 1:04:12 PM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 12/21/2012 11:45:15 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 12/21/2012 11:28:44 AM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 12/20/2012 10:49:08 AM, phantom wrote:
And do you actually think this supports theism?

I could see how it would.

It makes more sense that god caused this than natural selection.

What is the evolutionary benefit of believing in god?

It's actually right there in the article

"Anthropologists and Darwinian theorists have frequently speculated that religion may have developed as a self-policing mechanism as cooperation with others became useful. With their intelligence and skills at making weapons, there was little to stop early humans from slaughtering each other like wild maniacs, until they began to fear unseen beings even bigger and badder than themselves. This sort of adaptation has always been considered a purely psychological function, but now we have the first evidence that the religious instinct may be physically hard-wired right into our noggins."

Belief in God is not needed for that.
It would be simpler for evolution to just select those that are more cooperative, until cooperation became instinctive.

Also I think early religions were more centered around rituals, than morals.
They pleased & appeased gods with sacrifice & self inflicted pain (which is bad for survival), more than good deeds.
God(s) were used as a way of explaining the world, not as a motivation to cooperate.

I was thinking about this, and was trying to come up with a big post to explain why the above is right, but I think you're right (well, about that justification, not necessarily about the God bit).

One thing will mention, though, is if you look up ancient religions, the important thing is that not very much is known, asside from patterns emerging such as intentional burial, and grave goods. http://en.wikipedia.org.... It wasn't until "relatively" recently that religions that there is really the evidence for the things you're talking about.

There are some really important things to bear in mind, though.

Firstly, there is an evolutionary benefit to humans to increase their intelligence (for improvement and problem solving), inquisitiveness (for discovery), creativity (for problem solving) and a predelicition to follow the beleifs of your compatriots (for cohesive society). These things, when you are in a Neolithic society, makes beleif in God almost inevitable, it's almost the only way to explain the world at that level of technology.

Secondly we are pre-programmed to seek actions in what we see. Have you ever looked out of the corner of your eye and "seen" something, only for it to be something inanimate? This is actually quite useful evolutionarily, primarily because false positives for seeing "actors" is better than false negatives; as false positives never ends up you getting eaten by a tiger.

Those first two points together are very relevant evolutionary benefits that can form the evolutionary precursor to religion, art, music and many others. The original post is not explicitly saying there is a bit of the brain that makes you beleive in God, but make you see the world in a particular way that makes beleiving in God easier.

Specifically, the second article, and also found here: http://en.wikipedia.org..., I find a bit harder to explain; as it is explicitly about a part of the brain that when interferred with can give you a "spiritual experience" (although ironically, experiences that also match with alien abductions!).

I don't think this says a great deal either way on the issue of God, other than it's easy to fake spiritual experiences of god.