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Religion/ belief in God is largely genetic & spiritual feelings are actually neural

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posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:37 PM
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The genetics:


The God gene hypothesis states that some human beings bear a gene which gives them a prediposition to episodes interpreted by some as religious revelation. The idea has been postulate and promoted by geneticist Dr. Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Hamer has written a book on the subject titled, The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into our Genes.

According to this hypothesis, the God gene (Vmat2), is not an encoding for the belief in God itself but a physiological arrangement that produces the sensations associated, by some, with the presence of God or other mystic experiences, or more specifically spirituality as a state of mind.

Simply put, the gene is involved in monoamines, neurotransmitters that have a lot to do with emotional sensitivity. The interpretation is that the monoamines correlates with a personality trait called self-transcendence. Composed of three sub-sets, self-trancendance is composed of "self-forgetfulness" (as in the tendency to become totally absorbed in some activity, such as reading); "transpersonal identification" (a feeling of connectedness to a larger universe); and "mysticism" (an openness to believe things not literally provable, such as ESP). Put them all together, and you come as close as science can to measuring what it feels like to be spiritual. This allows us to have the kind of experience described as religious ecstasy.

What evolutionary advantage this may convey, or what advantageous effect it is a side effect of, are questions that are yet to be fully explored. However, Dr. Hamer has theorized that self-transcendence makes people more optimistic, which makes them healthier and likely to have more children.

en.wikipedia.org...


This would help explain why even though I grew up in a religious household, I never believed in God.

It would also explain why some people can feel a personal, spiritual relationship with God while that concept is completely alien to me and others. It may be that it's almost or even literally impossible for us to experience that.

What about the neural basis?

In summary, neurotheology argues:

Neurotheology attempts to explain the actual neurological basis for those experiences, often subjective to the extreme,which have been popularly called "spiritual", "out of body" or other terms for forms of abnormal cognition such as:

The perception that time, fear or self-consciousness have dissolved
Spiritual awe
Oneness with the universe
Ecstatic trance
Sudden enlightenment
Altered states of consciousness
Increase of N, N-Dimethyltryptamine levels in the pineal gland or epiphysis.
These subjective experiences are seen as the basis for many religious beliefs and behaviors.
en.wikipedia.org...

It scientifically explains as physical the things people claim as spiritual.


Some current studies use neuroimaging to localize brain regions active, or differentially active, during experiences that subjects associate with "spiritual" feelings or images. . David Wulf, a psychologist at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, suggests that current brain imaging studies, along with the consistency of spiritual experiences across cultures, history, and religions, "suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain", echoing McKinney's primary thesis that feelings associated with religious experience are normal aspects of brain function under extreme circumstances rather than communication from God.
en.wikipedia.org...

Neuroimaging provides physical evidence that many things we percieve as spiritual, such as relationships with God and other spiritual feelings, are not spiritual at all.

Instead, they are just feelings created by certain neural networks in the brain being activated; a purely physical thing. If we had the required technology and we implanted or programmed these same neural networks into a computer, we could make the computer have what it thinks are spiritual experiences.

So, given that these things are purely physical and that the feelings that they are spiritual are just illusions created in our mind, these neural networks obviously retard the logical faculties that require some of us to have proof to believe things. Much like autism retards social development, this retards logic. Could it, like autism, be considered a mental illness or a form of retardation?




posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:48 PM
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This is shall be an intriguing discussion.

How sure are you of your resolve?



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:52 PM
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You have a good point there, but since those are from wikipedia, there will be some who will disagree with you.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
This is shall be an intriguing discussion.

How sure are you of your resolve?

That it's not a retardation of the logical faculties isn't even arguable.

Characteristics of the results of physical hallucinations percieved to be spiritual experiences:

self-trancendance is composed of "self-forgetfulness" (as in the tendency to become totally absorbed in some activity, such as reading); "transpersonal identification" (a feeling of connectedness to a larger universe); and "mysticism" (an openness to believe things not literally provable, such as ESP

Belief in things that aren't provable is obviously a retardation of logic. A predisposition to doing this and applying this form of thought to life results in lower logical intelligence.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by wildcat
You have a good point there, but since those are from wikipedia, there will be some who will disagree with you.

That's why there are credible sources cited in the footnotes big man.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 08:58 PM
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I'm saying that there will be people who will not agree with you.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by wildcat
I'm saying that there will be people who will not agree with you.

Then those people would be talking about nothing since the sources are cleary cited. Just preventing this from happening in advance.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
The genetics:

Much like autism retards social development, this retards logic. Could it, like autism, be considered a mental illness or a form of retardation?



Retards logic??? I tested for Mensa on an IQ test while completely believing in God. God controls every particle of this Universe and Infinite Universes always and forever no matter whether you are conscious of it or not.

I found the mathematics field of combinatorics (already discovered but I did not know it existed) while completely believing in God; I have discovered a few original formulas.

RedDragon, it may take some time for you to discover God. The only question is when.

Sorry about boasting about Mensa and combinatorics; boast in the Lord!!!



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 09:26 PM
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Good

I know three guys who have somehow forced themselves into a belief that everything on the internet is a lie. They also believe that everything on the news is telling the truth. If I were to show them ATS, they would automatically jump to the conclusion that everyone on here is either unintelligent or extrememly gulliable. Without ever reading anything on this site.

So please don't mind me telling you that.



[edit on 16-2-2007 by wildcat]



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech

Originally posted by RedDragon
The genetics:

Much like autism retards social development, this retards logic. Could it, like autism, be considered a mental illness or a form of retardation?



Retards logic??? I tested for Mensa on an IQ test while completely believing in God. God controls every particle of this Universe and Infinite Universes always and forever no matter whether you are conscious of it or not.

I found the mathematics field of combinatorics (already discovered but I did not know it existed) while completely believing in God; I have discovered a few original formulas.

RedDragon, it may take some time for you to discover God. The only question is when.

Sorry about boasting about Mensa and combinatorics; boast in the Lord!!!

If you want to bring IQ into this, we must look at the general trend; the rule, not exceptions to the rule.

10% of the general American population is atheist. 90% of better thinkers, people with IQs over 140, are atheist. Here's a source for this stat: kspark.kaist.ac.kr...&%20religion.htm



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
That it's not a retardation of the logical faculties isn't even arguable.


That spiritual belief is not a retardation of the logical faculties is not even arguable?

Is this an admission that you can not argue against spiritual belief being a form of "retardation"?



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher

Originally posted by RedDragon
That it's not a retardation of the logical faculties isn't even arguable.


That spiritual belief is not a retardation of the logical faculties is not even arguable?

Is this an admission that you can not argue against spiritual belief being a form of "retardation"?


Not necessarily spiritual belief, but faith.

At the moment, spiritual belief is based on faith which is a retardation of logical faculties. So, to believe in anything spiritual at the moment is definately not exercising logical intelligence.

If there were a real explanation that provided evidence for spiritual beliefs I would happily add them in to my belief system.



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 10:14 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon

If you want to bring IQ into this, we must look at the general trend; the rule, not exceptions to the rule.

10% of the general American population is atheist. 90% of better thinkers, people with IQs over 140, are atheist. Here's a source for this stat: kspark.kaist.ac.kr...&%20religion.htm


The tests and samplings you mentioned were created by humans. God has different tests and samplings for all, especially autistic and down's syndrome people. In the beginning and end, we are all equal. We were all born to recognize God, love God, and to increase this love of God for eternity.

How powerful is Eternal Life compared to a 70-years-and-out situation?



posted on Feb, 16 2007 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
Some current studies use neuroimaging to localize brain regions active, or differentially active, during experiences that subjects associate with "spiritual" feelings or images. . David Wulf, a psychologist at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, suggests that current brain imaging studies, along with the consistency of spiritual experiences across cultures, history, and religions, "suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain", echoing McKinney's primary thesis that feelings associated with religious experience are normal aspects of brain function under extreme circumstances rather than communication from God.
en.wikipedia.org...


"suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain"

I also believe that there may be a reflection which is at our core. However, I reached this conclusion through faith and spirituality. So, how has my faith deterred my logic while reaching the same common conclusion as David Wulf?

Where you sight a conflict, I see a familiarity in beliefs to a degree. My source may not be attributed by means of logic you would recognize or accept, but the end results seem to share some fundamental similarities.



Could it, like autism, be considered a mental illness or a form of retardation?


I've known many people with autism.

one could tell you in an instant what day of the week it was, if provided with a date, .... any date. So if i were to say "December 3rd, 1923", he would respond by telling me what day of the week it was, accuratley.

one of whom can recite word for word everything he has ever read, to include many volumes of encyclopedias.

both claimed to believe in a god.

of course, to some people this may not provide any proof of logic, and in fact they would view these people as suffering from mental illness, or some retardation of their faculties.

[edit on 16-2-2007 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
Belief in things that aren't provable is obviously a retardation of logic. A predisposition to doing this and applying this form of thought to life results in lower logical intelligence.


By chosing this stance you provide the means for those with faith to use the same arguement against your sources, and those who would follow their teachings as fact as well.

You have stated:
"Belief in things that aren't provable is obviously a retardation of logic"

And, yet the title of the thread reads:
"Religion/ belief in God is largely genetic & spiritual feelings are actually neural"

Logically your sources may have no arguement whatsoever.

You pretend to offer as proof (sighting sources) that it has already been proven that "religion/belief in God is largely genetic", yet you omit the fact that your sources are ignorant of what 97% of our genetic makeup actually is or consists of.

Lets discuss this logically.

How can anyone deduce that religion/belief in God is largely genetic when they only comprehend what 3% of our genetics are good for, while your sources are ignorant of what 97% of our dna exists for?


"Religion/ belief in God is largely genetic & spiritual feelings are actually neural"


source/link:
www.abc.net.au...



You've probably heard of a molecule called DNA, otherwise known as "The Blueprint Of Life". Molecular biologists have been examining and mapping the DNA for a few decades now. But as they've looked more closely at the DNA, they've been getting increasingly bothered by one inconvenient little fact - the fact that 97% of the DNA is junk, and it has no known use or function! But, an usual collaboration between molecular biologists, cryptoanalysists (people who break secret codes), linguists (people who study languages) and physicists, has found strange hints of a hidden language in this so- called "junk DNA".

Only about 3% of the DNA actually codes for amino acids, which in turn make proteins, and eventually, little babies. The remaining 97% of the DNA is, according to conventional wisdom, not gems, but junk.

The molecular biologists call this junk DNA, introns. Introns are like enormous commercial breaks or advertisements that interrupt the real program - except in the DNA, they take up 97% of the broadcast time. Introns are so important, that Richard Roberts and Phillip Sharp, who did much of the early work on introns back in 1977, won a Nobel Prize for their work in 1993. But even today, we still don't know what introns are really for.

Simon Shepherd, who lectures in cryptography and computer security at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, took an approach, that was based on his line of work. He looked on the junk DNA, as just another secret code to be broken. He analysed it, and he now reckons that one probable function of introns, is that they are some sort of error correction code - to fix up the occasional mistakes that happen as the DNA replicates itself. But even if he's right, introns could have lots of other uses.


Forgive me for breaking from conventional logic, but i refuse to believe anyone who says i can not have access to 97% of my own genetic makeup.

Why am i to believe that 3% of my dna somehow keeps me from knowing or accessing 97% of my dna, and also be expected to conform to the idea that science has proven that the belief in God is some genetic disposition, supported by people who can't accuratley justify 97% of the same genetics they use as supportive evidence?

science is not flawless. Dare i say science is merely a series of corrected mistakes?

Then again, everything that is perceived as science fact was first perceived as science fiction, by human means.

Even when everything in reality used as a basis for comparison when judging what time is says time is round, humanity still believes time to be linear.

Perhaps the only retardation of our perception of what time is is our inherent will to hold in higher reverence our linear opinions, rather than learning to adopt the fact that every thing time oriented in reality, says time is circular, not linear.

perhaps part of our mind knows this already.....

perhaps we can have access to the other 97% of our "junk dna" by taking our consciousness inwards, beyond the confines of the instinct of "self preservation".

It is an illusion that we lose our individuality.

I dissagree in part with the conclusions your sources suggest. However, it would be illogical to discount their work as a whole.

Thanks,
john



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 01:33 PM
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Your parents were a little too crazy trying to get you on the god juice. You are rebelling against them.

If you really want to know, get away from everybody elses thoughts and believes on the subject and come to what you really believe. Not what p!$$es mommy and daddy off.

Don't you thing you should give yourself the opportunity to find out. I mean it's just a battle over your soul. If you are wrong you get to roast in hell for all of eternity. If i'm wrong then we go poof and it doesn't matter anyway.

PS I really like your Avatar

[edit on 17-2-2007 by Royal76]



posted on Feb, 17 2007 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by Royal76
1) Your parents were a little too crazy trying to get you on the god juice.

2) You are rebelling against them.
[edit on 17-2-2007 by Royal76]

1) They weren't religious fanatics or anything; I didn't even start going to Church until I was about 13. My mom read Bible stories every now and then but that was it; religious, yes, but not very religious at all. I'm pretty sure my dad is an atheist.

2) I'm 19 and in university. A little late for that. That would also mean I've been in the rebellion stage since I was about, maybe 5 years old.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by RedDragon
If there were a real explanation that provided evidence for spiritual beliefs I would happily add them in to my belief system.


Oh geez, here we go again with the atheist requiring physical proof of God's existence.

Step back and imagine a world where God was in the physical right in front of you, giving you proof of his existence, same with everyone else. All could see the proof.

Do you think people would denounce God, and not worship him, despite the fact that he had appeared in the physical for every man on Earth to see? I don't, save the odd lunatic.

That would be a world of Utopia, that would be a world of no free-will. No choice. No deception. No good and evil, just good. No temptation, no tests, nothing to lead you astray, for God is real and physical and you saw it and now you believe. If this were the case, God would be pointless, this world would be pointless, and surely religion would be pointless.

I think Atheists have trust issues. They refuse to give themselves to something greater because they cannot trust that it is truely real. Their free will is weak, and accordingly they cannot believe in anything unless the genetic scientific lab results are sitting on their desk, right before your eyes. Everytime an atheist describes why they dont believe, it's the equivalent of:

"If God were real he'd be like Superman and flying around in the sky saving people from falling out of the world trade center and confirming his omnipotence to all, so that all knew 100%. Then I'd believe."

Well im sorry, but the definition of faith is believing something is true without having proof of it. That gut instinct, that 'hold out feeling'.. you hold out in hopes of something happening; you have a degree of faith in it then.

I don't know how much I can stress it, there cannot be God without free will.
There cannot be religion without free will.
There cannot be free will if God were physical and provable through 'science'.
There cannot be good or evil if you cannot choose evil because good has been scientifically proven to be real.

The blanket must be over the eyes, because then you have to choose, and if you do believe and worship God, God wants his elect to choose to worship him, to choose to have faith in God despite no tangible scientific proof.

The creator of the universe is intelligent beyond any human being's comprehension. Einstein began to touch on God's intelligence with the theory of relativity, with e=mc2, with the laws of physics. God created physics as a set of parameters to keep everything in balance. The planets, the galaxies, the orbits .. all of it, it all runs on auto-pilot with God's grace.

Where did the laws of physics come from? Where did gravity come from? Why does it exist? Why does dense matter pull you toward it instead of pushing you away? Why is the periodic table made up of the elements listed, where did their molecular composition originally come from?

What cause the big bang? What was there prior to the big bang? What is the universe "inside of"? Whats beyond it? Why is the universe expanding by itself? Why does the moon and sun orbit perfectly with the perfect amount of light and heat to harness intelligent life on Earth? Why is Earth right smack in the 'sweetspot' of the solar system, the only place humans could live around here?

God. God god god god god. It was God. God may not be a humanoid form, God is most likely a giant cloud of creation and chaos, what looks like magic fairy dust floating deep in the centre of the universe. You as a human being cannot comprehend God's form, his ability, or his existence. This is why faith is so paramount and why those who refuse it will unfortunately have less favorable conditions in the hereafter.

Otherwise known as YHWH, YHVH, JHVH, Hashem, Allah, The Lord, One, The Most High.

You know, I used to not believe, science had thrown me a curve. I figured with all the intricateness of science, all the laws, all the processes, all the rules that seemingly come from thin air. This order of the World, it puzzled me and made me think God couldnt possibly exist. It was all a giant coincidence, the odds of which greater than each of the odds of each of us as sperm making it to the egg combined, a super coincidence. I thought that when we die, we're just dead, like you feel when you are asleep except without the dreams or subconcious. You know, that you simply ceast to exist. Then I realized, on my own, as God came to me, that God was responsible for it all. That laws have to exist, science has to be, or else nothing would make sense, and we'd be back on that unrealistic, Utopian ideal of a Godly society.

But let it be known that I have existed beyond the flesh well before I was born unto this World. Let it be known that all will be judged by their works on this Earth. I guess only you can save your own soul.

Ah wait.. I keep forgetting, according to you no one has a soul.


*sheathes the sword of the lord*

[edit on 2/18/2007 by runetang]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by RedDragon

Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher

Originally posted by RedDragon
That it's not a retardation of the logical faculties isn't even arguable.


That spiritual belief is not a retardation of the logical faculties is not even arguable?

Is this an admission that you can not argue against spiritual belief being a form of "retardation"?


Not necessarily spiritual belief, but faith.

At the moment, spiritual belief is based on faith which is a retardation of logical faculties. So, to believe in anything spiritual at the moment is definately not exercising logical intelligence.


Faith in your cited sources as being credible takes some measure of faith, doesn't it?

To omit the fact that so much remains unknown, yet that it is physically or bialogically explainable takes some measure of faith as well.

Why does faith in science not result in the retardation of logic as well?

Science is nothing more than a series of corrected mistakes based upon a mere fraction of understood and explained phenomenon.



posted on Feb, 19 2007 @ 12:36 AM
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quote: Originally posted by RedDragon

Originally posted by RedDragon


Some current studies use neuroimaging to localize brain regions active, or differentially active, during experiences that subjects associate with "spiritual" feelings or images. . David Wulf, a psychologist at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, suggests that current brain imaging studies, along with the consistency of spiritual experiences across cultures, history, and religions, "suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain", echoing McKinney's primary thesis that feelings associated with religious experience are normal aspects of brain function under extreme circumstances rather than communication from God.
en.wikipedia.org...



Perhaps you are right Red Dragon:

"suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain"

Yes, perhaps there is a common core. Perhaps that common core is God.

"Likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain"

Yes, perhaps there are reflections of structures and processes ......

No Grade Dear

I hear no "e" from the silent "e" in the word "grade". i remove it.

No Grad Dear

I hear no "a" from the silent "a" in the word "Dear". i remove it.

No Grad Der = Nogradder

NOGRADDER [THE CORE's REFLECTION] REDDRAGON



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