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Thu Aug 9, 2012, 02:11 PM

Did we invent God?...

I caught the show "Through the Wormhold" hosted by Morgan Freeman last night. This particular episode is called "Did we invent God?", which breaks down the science behind why we believe. Granted we don't have all the answers (something the jeezoids love to hear...because then they can plug "god" in there) but it had some fascinating experiments and findings...some I knew about and some I did not.

- By stimulating a portion of your brain you can be "forced" to have an out-of-body experiement
- They can use virtual reality setups to make your brain "think" your body is somewhere else...this one is very mind-blowing to me.
- When believers "pray" they actually use the language area and frontal lobe of the brain...the same that we use to converse with a "real" person. (They also had an atheist "pray" but the areas were not stimulated because, most likely, the atheist doesn't believe there is someone there listening)
- They were able to give an age range of when a child might begin to allow "belief" in...which was around the 7-9 years old range. Now you know why jeezoids really want to get them young...to start the indoctrination early.
- They had some interesting experiments with chimpanzees and "real" children related to associating beings as sentient or not. Chimpanzees do not but the children get this ability very quickly. This leads researchers to believe that chimps do not have the capability to believe in a god and reference the lack of rituals and/or sentient actions outside of normal animal behavior.
- There was a great experiment regarding the draw to belief in a god related to loss of control or ability to control a situation. This leads to an opening to believe in something that might give them hope. This loss of control can also drive people to believe in conspiracies (could explain the Obama birther movement). This also might explain why belief in god is previlant with poor/disadvantaged people.

I am sure I may not have gotten all of this exact but very facinating stuff. I hope they keep up the research. I doubt it will make any difference to the believer but I for one like to understand why we do the things we do...regardless of the outcome. Of course I would love for the jeezoids to have an epiphany...but I doubt that will happen.

See the show if you get a chance!

Thanks for reading.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Did we invent God?... (Original post)
TruthBeTold65 Aug 2012 OP
rrneck Aug 2012 #1
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #2
dimbear Aug 2012 #3
Solly Mack Aug 2012 #4
FiveGoodMen Aug 2012 #5
dimbear Aug 2012 #6
onager Aug 2012 #9
libodem Aug 2012 #7
FiveGoodMen Aug 2012 #8
libodem Aug 2012 #10
Warpy Aug 2012 #11
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2012 #12

Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 02:16 PM

1. Yes. nt

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 02:31 PM

2. Let's see. Is God a male bipod that looks like us? (Except for the invisible part) Yes, we did.

 

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 06:00 PM

3. People keep claiming to have invented perpetual motion machines, etc. but never produce.

Think of the remarkable patent battle if somebody actually came up with a god.

Siri is a start, but an actual god is way off down the line really.

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 07:06 PM

4. I think so.

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 07:29 PM

5. Interesting show. Major cop-out at the end.

"God might be real even if he's only in our heads!"

No.

That wouldn't allow him to work the miracles his adherents claim he does. (Unless it's really telekinesis from our own brains)

That wouldn't explain how he's supposed to have created anything. (How'd he do that when we weren't even here?)

That would effectively prevent the arguments about whose view of god is correct. (If its all in my head and all in your head, then we might each have a preference, but there's no objective thing to measure that against)

------

We've all experienced optical illusions. The brain sees something that it doesn't understand correctly and it builds itself a false picture. Then you look from a different angle and you can see what's really going on.

Let me repeat that: What's REALLY going on.

If it's all in our heads, then mine's as real as yours (i.e. neither one is real).

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 07:38 PM

6. Once in a while that god in the head is so real it needs to be removed by surgery and

then the patient recovers. Sometimes.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 08:00 PM

9. Grrr! They ALWAYS do that.

Even the otherwise fairly good movie "Saved." IIRC, that one ended with the protagonist insisting - "There MUST be something bigger than us out there." Or words to that effect.

One great exception - the Discovery Channel show "Curiosity" with Stephen Hawking. Hawking flatly refused to sugar-coat the idea that the universe had no need of a god to start it up or keep it running:

“People who believe God made the universe are kind of like the Vikings shouting at the Sun to stop a solar eclipse.”

As a bonus, Hawking ended the show by saying he did not believe in any sort of life after death: "So enjoy it while you can!"

He did tell believers he didn't mean to offend them. By that time, most of them couldn't hear him for the steam plugging their ears.

As a further sop to the Poor Believing Babies, Discovery held a discussion panel after the show. It featured David Gregory, Paul Davies, and John Haught with one hardcore atheist, Sean Carroll. Carroll's comments are worth reading:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/08/07/live-blogging-curiosity-hawking-and-god/

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 07:45 PM

7. Versions of God

Are evolving right along with us.

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Response to libodem (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 07:56 PM

8. Absolutely

Gods are memes.

And they evolve for the same reasons that living things do.

There used to be gods you could sit down and talk with. Then people noticed that no one seemed to be seeing them. So that meme died out.

There were gods whose existence could be falsified. And they were.

We've currently got gods that can't be seen (so that's not a failure) and they can't be detected (so it doesn't matter that no one has) and they don't always do what we ask them (so no fair pointing out their uselessness; they've got their own agenda, don't ya know).

The gods that could be disproven have been and that leaves the ones that you simply have to believe in.

Like superbacteria, they've evolved an imunity to reason; it doesn't kill them anymore.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 09:15 PM

10. The illusion

Helps us reach our imagination so we can access our unconcious for help. That's what I think. Puts us in touch with our higher functions and who knows what that reaches or where.

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 10:20 PM

11. The problem with the "princess Alice" test was that it was done

by adults. The kids probably didn't buy into an invisible princess who would punish them if they disobeyed but they knew there was a real live adult there who was telling them not to disobey and they knew what adults do to them when they disobey.

That one bugged the hell out of me for that reason. It was a poorly conceived and poorly done study.

Having said that, the other thing they failed to do was connect the phenomenon of "feeling" god to the "third man factor," one of those weird hard wired things that is a survival mechanism but might be closer to the surface and more accessible to believers. Now that study would be interesting to see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Man_factor

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Response to TruthBeTold65 (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 03:45 AM

12. Sigmund Freud said that man created god.

And Ludwig Feuerbach said god created men.

I remember that from my introductory Nature and Function of Religion class.

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