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Are atheists more intelligent than religious believers? Study suggests such a correlation

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posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by badmedia
 


I have literally had my entire consciousness pulled into another place, in an instant and so forth.


Yea acid will do that...

Jokes aside, I find it compelling that experiences that are radical, by which I mean things like synaesthesia (which I used to have when I was young), OBEs, visions, Deja vu etc., are triggered by a malfunctioning brain.

I have had an OBE. I was sick and rundown and I felt like I was floating separate from my body. I looked over at my friend and said what I was feeling. He asked what I thought was going on. Most plausible explanation: my stressed brain had malfunctioned and loss awareness of the body via a breakdown of Proprioception. It was simple, concise and explained everything, including why the experience lasted no more than a minute.

Another interesting thing is the split-brain and alien hand syndrome. When the hemispheres are divided, suddenly one body has two individual will's, that don't always get along. Consciousness divided. How can you explain that if the brain is only a tool of a will? The tool breaks and forces the consciousness attached to break apart? Forget logic, that doesn't make sense unless consciousness is part of the brain.


An alien hand sufferer can feel normal sensation in the hand and leg, but believes that the hand, while still being a part of their body, behaves in a manner that is totally distinct from the sufferer's normal behavior. They lose the 'sense of agency' associated with the purposeful movement of the limb while retaining a sense of 'ownership' of the limb. They feel that they have no control over the movements of the 'alien' hand, but that, instead, the hand has the capability of acting autonomously—i.e. independent of their voluntary control. The hand effectively has 'a will of its own.' Alien hands can perform complex acts such as undoing buttons, removing clothing, and manipulating tools.
[Strangelove Syndrome]

If the mind is a complex system of networking compartments each semi/sub-intelligent and the unity of all parts produces a harmonic sentience, like I suggest, then it makes sense that isolating some of that brain will make the associated part of the body posses it's own will and perhaps even identity.

You may just have to face it. The brain just is not akin to a computer and your beloved AI. Logic creating logic - that may be the difference between AI and human intelligence but why would that stop evolution producing an organ of such incredible compartmentalisation that is become a self contained hive-mind capable of being self-aware and sentient?

Perhaps viewing the mind through the analogy of machine logic is restricting your understanding?



[edit on 29-7-2009 by Welfhard]




posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:15 PM
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Some NDE and OBE experiencers see objects and provide information about them, which would not be possible unless the "I am" of consciousness was outside of the body, and therefore the brain as well.

It could very well be that the brain is a holographic quantum type phenomenon, which is more of a transmission and receiving device enmeshed with the larger reality via some sort of subjective-objective quantum entanglement, which includes traditional causation and computer like reaction response mechanisms, but, being ALSO a transcendent phenomenon, is also capable of transcending itself in a purely localized physical way. Again Bohm's holographic universe and implicate order can offer a somewhat rational explanation for this, but it still changes the whole frame of reference and paradigm from a materialist monism to a monsitic idealism.

It can still be scientific, for the mind to accur in both domains simultaneously.

In other words, what we percieve, including the material world and time based caustion, is just the SURFACE of a much much deeper implicate order, within which the mind is EMERSED and entangled.

What is interesting is Karl Pibrams experiments - you got to check out those, which confirm this, that memory and cognition is not in fact localized in the brain or even in parts of the brain - again, the holographic model explains it perfectly.


[edit on 29-7-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:16 PM
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Then there is Occam's Razor which says the explanation with the lest amount of required assumptions is the best and therefore ought be the default one until it is disproved.



I'm not a fan of Occam's Razor. It is completely subjective and opinionated. Assumptions are not good. -badmedia

-well that's what occam's razor is. it state that there will always be a number of assumptions, but the explanation with the least amount of assumptions should be default. if no assumptions be the case then that is the default. simple enough



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by the bringer of light
 

Then an evolutionary non-locality (instantenous information exchange across the entire spectrum of the implicate/explicate order, amid universal conscious creation ie: intelligent design, ought to be adopted.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Some NDE and OBE experiencers see objects and provide information about them, which would not be possible unless the "I am" of consciousness was outside of the body, and therefore the brain as well.

I don't think that is indicative of anything but the mind being able to make vivid recreations of the world that are indiscriminatable from the real world. I hallucinated one of my dead friends once and I could have sworn he was real but I snapped out of it when I concluded that it was a hallucination.

Pretty much every aspect of the OBE and NDE are recreatable in the lab from visions to sensations.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
The monkey stopped moving his arm!


That WAS wild! Thanks.


It's things like this that make me glad that I'm a transhumanist. Brain-machine interfaces will be the next step in our evolution - I want to be like Doc. Oct!!!!



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 

Um no, you don't understand what I'm saying. Instances like where a lady on an operating table "dies" for a while, separates from the body, floats out a window, and sees, on the top most ledge of the hospital building, a tennis shoe, which when it's investigated, was right where she said it was in her OBE/NDE. There are numerous such instances, where the consciousness is detached from the body, goes somewhere, sees something, which the person on "reintegrating" could only have seen if they were actually "metaphysically" there at that other location.

Again, something which can only be explained with the holographic model and non-locality. It's not entirely metaphysical, just part of a deeper reality, the very depths or heights of which, we propose is a conscious first/last cause, since if we're talking about transluminal information exchange in some sort of timeless, spaceless realm, then it's not the least bit inconceivable that in the same way that consciousness as a wholistic phenomenon, is greater than the sum of all it's parts, so too is the self aware universe, and if one considers the notion of a first cause, then at the most fundamental level, this self aware consciousness, is timeless, and therefore changeless ie: God.

There's a paradox here, in so far as consciousness creates or generates consciousness, and so you need conscious beings to actualize a self conscious universe, and yet, that very universe, from a causal perspective, is also consciously creating itself, including conscious beings who can become conscious of it as the larger consciousness.

And this is where we end up in the realm of an ineffible mystery of God who alone is capable of transcending all duality and all paradox, being, well, God. By his very nature, God cannot be placed on a plate under domed glass for inspection by atheists! That's absurd. If anything, you, and your own subjective experience of BEING you relative to the whole of EVERYTHING, are the evidence.

So when you guys say "show me the proof" we say, look within, and without. I think Jesus said something like that as well.

[edit on 29-7-2009 by OmegaPoint]



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


See, I find nothing out of the ordinary with that. While I mention the limitations with casuality in reference to consciousness, what it is still possible is huge, amazing and great in itself.

AI will fool people. One day you will not be able to tell the difference. It can be simulated, I came up with logic for all that. It will drive your car, it will cook your dinner, and all kinds of things. Because we can port our own logic into it, and it will follow that logic 100%. The future of AI is something that will knock your socks off, and the same is true when it comes to tapping into the brain.

With the monkey, they are basically tapping into the pipeline. I would liken it to taking the line from your keyboard to your PC and splicing into it and getting the inputs before they hit the PC. You are reading the same signals that trigger the actions themselves, or in this case it seems they have tapped into the intent, since he could do it without moving the arm.

That kind of stuff(signals) I can do with AI. I can bring in the signals that will tell the program - hey, this is happening(senses), and also the reverse, where the AI is commanding for something to be done, like that monkey. All that stuff is logical.

It's when you get to the point of what exactly is experiencing it and stuff that the logical and philosophical problems arise. It's like you have all the parts, but something is still missing.

I also think they will one day put peoples consciousness into technology somehow. But they will have to do it without the brain itself, as the brain will become a bottleneck. I won't be taking part in it however, because i feel it's already been done.

I see the entire universe as being a program. Think if you what is possible if you were in a program, anything which is logical is possible to be experienced. That is how I see the universe.

There is a scene in back to the future II that hints towards that kind of technology with the monkey. He shows them how to play a video game, and the kids are like - thats like a baby's toy, you have to use your hands to play!

I seen another thing where they were using similar technology to allow people who were disabled/paralyzed a way to communicate and such.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Um no, you don't understand what I'm saying. Instances like where a lady on an operating table "dies" for a while, separates from the body, floats out a window, and sees, on the top most ledge of the hospital building, a tennis shoe, which when it's investigated, was right where she said it was in her OBE/NDE. There are numerous such instances, where the consciousness is detached from the body, goes somewhere, sees something, which the person on "reintegrating" could only have seen if they were actually "metaphysically" there at that other location.


I've actually heard the story that you're referring to, and a few like it, but neither I nor any scientists to speak of have seen any well documented cases (some of which can well be explained but mental recreations like people seeing their own bodies and other people walking around), anecdotal evidence is common here. What's more there are plenty of cases where what people saw were wrong but those aren't the stories that are sensationalised, are they??? No. No, they are not.



posted on Jul, 29 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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If any of this is the least bit of interest to you, however, I would recommend picking up "The Holographic Universe" by Talbot and another book, an oldie but a goodie on modern quantum physics called "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" by Gary Zukov. Just reading these two books and "grokking" their contents, are likely to produce a type of epiphany or spiritual experience.

And that you are a transhumanist reveals that you too are in search of the Godhead in your own way.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by badmedia
 


I see the entire universe as being a program.

I think therein lies your problem, in all honesty.


AI will fool people. One day you will not be able to tell the difference. It can be simulated, I came up with logic for all that. It will drive your car, it will cook your dinner, and all kinds of things. Because we can port our own logic into it, and it will follow that logic 100%.

But you think that ultimately AI could never take the next step. Perhaps the brain is the same, not a single instance of intelligence but thousands or millions working in accordance producing something that seems to experience.

Emergence could come out of this just like intelligent patterns in schools of fish and large clouds of birds. With every individual trying to get into the middle, a shared consciousness emerges, a net will that is highly reactive, almost reminiscent of a sentient being. Human traffic can behave in an emergent fashion aswell.

I'm currently writing a story - a sci-fi - that features a race of beings that individually have no self-awareness or consciousness but all their brains are connected through the aether so to speak. The shared emergent consciousness can express it's will through individual beings. A hive mind. Exciting times.

I'm one to think that consciousness is an illusion as is experience, rather we are more machine in our nature than we realise. It's clearly true that most of our brain function is not at all conscious - in fact we only seem to be conscious of one thing at a time, called the item of focus. We may be more systematic that we are willing to admit.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


And that you are a transhumanist reveals that you too are in search of the Godhead in your own way.


Not believing in a God means that life has no meaning, but I still happen to have desires and instincts. Some people find meaninglessness debilitating and they loose their will to do anything. Me, I don't enjoy doing nothing.

To sum my feelings on the matter....

"Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us.... Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become."

- Edward O. Wilson



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by Welfhard
 


Well, there are other things that I haven't mentioned that I came to realize.

For example, every single possible image that we can "see" has to be it's own unique electrical wave pattern. It's already pre-determined that a certain brain wave pattern is equal to a certain image that you see.

Same thing with "evolution". Each DNA pattern is already pre-determined to be that.

So when your little DNA code changes, it changes into something that is already pre-determined to be that. The DNA configuration for you is pre-determined to bring about your body and such.

How exactly do things evolve then? Survival of the fittest, I'd agree that is fact. Things in a way did "evolve" into what we have now, but I think there is more to it. But you know, survival of the fittest is relative in itself. If humans didn't exist, something else would be the fittest and so forth.

But the pattern was pre-determined and could only and bring what it brought. Not is random. Evolution is not "real" in this sense.

So when you say the brain evolved, I can't say I really agree. It was pre-determined already to be what it is.

As I see it, cells are simply self reproducing nanobots, and they read the DNA code in order to build the organism the code produces. DNA code is simply a configuration file. Change 1 little thing in a configuration file, and you can get huge changes in the output. Color changes and even things like height are just a matter of changing a variable. Big results from small changes.

Even the notion of junk dna. Get junk code all the time in programming. Just isn't being used in the current configuration.

And much much more. I don't see things in the same way other people do. I freely admit it.

When I had the experience, I thought exactly what you did at first. I must be going crazy. But what followed it was what I couldn't deny. My entire perspective on the world changed, I still "see" with my senses in the same way, but the way in which I understand things just isn't even the same.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:33 AM
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There is a difference between believing in God with your own true self as an integral and most intimate part of that one universal BEING, and believing in "a God".

Most atheists just don't fathom or stop to think for a MOMENT, why or what believers believe. They ASS U ME everything about it.

It's as annoying as us believers attempting to foist our views onto you.

It's extremely insulting to our intelligence, all this nonsense about irrational fear of death and control and all that - sure religion has been misused and abused, but some of us are interesting in the ancient mysteries that we recognize buried there, beneath the exoteric literalism.

You want to be accepted as you are, that's fine, and the righ thing for me to do, as a so-called loving Christian believer, but for God's sake!
give us believers the benefit of the doubt and please DO NOT ASSUME what you think you know about why and what we actually believe, or that we cannot believe and be scientifically minded, that's just nonsense.

Have a little more respect and I will likewise. We can always agree to disagree, but there is nothing really separate in the universe, it's all one, all interconnected and interdependant, here there everywhere and for all time.

I would simply encourage some people to take a bit more of an open minded approach, and to consider the label agnostic, instead of atheist.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by Welfhard
I think therein lies your problem, in all honesty.


The laws of physics are just logic. When I create a program, I create the laws of the program with logic. I'm not sure what the big deal is, what do you think virtual worlds are?




But you think that ultimately AI could never take the next step. Perhaps the brain is the same, not a single instance of intelligence but thousands or millions working in accordance producing something that seems to experience.


AI can do many great things because we are able to put our logic into it. It is our logic that is "intelligent", and because the programs can follow our logic, they will do intelligent things.

I can simulate and give the illusion of many things. But in the end I always know it is just an illusion and artificial. Only a matter of time before someone creates that illusion. Glorified search engines is all they really are, unable to reason or understand/create it's own logic separately. It will "think" as it processes the data with the logic given to it. It will "learn" as it gathers more information that it processes. But in the end, it won't be able to break free of the bonds the logic given to it by the programmer gave it, without it's own consciousness/free will.

Do the tracks free the train, or enslave it?



Emergence could come out of this just like intelligent patterns in schools of fish and large clouds of birds. With every individual trying to get into the middle, a shared consciousness emerges, a net will that is highly reactive, almost reminiscent of a sentient being. Human traffic can behave in an emergent fashion aswell.


What is time without anything to perceive it?




I'm one to think that consciousness is an illusion as is experience, rather we are more machine in our nature than we realise. It's clearly true that most of our brain function is not at all conscious - in fact we only seem to be conscious of one thing at a time, called the item of focus. We may be more systematic that we are willing to admit.


In order for it to be an illusion, there must be something first in which you can provide the illusion too, or manipulate/fool into believe it is real. To what is the illusion presented too otherwise?

Think of all the things your PC is doing that you don't consciously tell it to do. Just following the patterns/gears like any other machine.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:07 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Most atheists just don't fathom or stop to think for a MOMENT, why or what believers believe. They ASS U ME everything about it.

Some maybe, but an adult atheist who has not at some point been religious is rare*. However, I ought inform you that I used to be a christian. I deconverted last summer (southern hemisphere) and haven't looked back since.


It's extremely insulting to our intelligence, all this nonsense about irrational fear of death and control and all that

I never said any of that, though it is true of some.


You want to be accepted as you are, that's fine, and the righ thing for me to do, as a so-called loving Christian believer, but for God's sake! give us believers the benefit of the doubt

No.


Have a little more respect and I will likewise.

I have certain codes that I live by, philosophies and ethics. One of them is "Do not do unto others as I would not have them do unto me - unless they wanted it or they deserved it." I believe Sun Tsu coined something similar. But my point is that I will find it difficult to have any respect for you when you say and do things like this:

It's as annoying as us believers attempting to foist our views onto you.
So make sure it doesn't happen.


I would simply encourage some people to take a bit more of an open minded approach, and to consider the label agnostic, instead of atheist.
Firstly, I am open minded but I'm very critical at the same time (there was an epic thread about this premise fairly recently). And secondly I consider myself Agnostic-Atheist. I don't actually know there is no god but that skepticism will remain until I find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

* Although I expect this to change in the future, or perhaps not as the population grows the lower class grows but the upper doesnot, at least not as fast. Religion is far more common in the lowerclasses because they are born into it more often and likely do not challenge it. The upperclass tend to be more atheistic or irreligious. One only need look at places like Holland, Finland, Denmark etc. Some as high as 70% atheist.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by badmedia
 


The laws of physics are just logic.

Well ultimately you cannot prove that. You, yourself have brought up Quantum Physics to contrast determinism. What's more is that you have yet to prove that logic cannot create other logical systems just because you have dabbled with AI and have not been able to do it.


When I create a program, I create the laws of the program with logic. I'm not sure what the big deal is, what do you think virtual worlds are?

As best as I understand things, the Laws of nature are not designed at all. It's a common philosophy in science today that beyond the bubble that is our universe is a much grander and more exotic infini-verse wherein perhaps an infinite number of bubbles like our own exist where each one has different characteristics and different laws of nature. The incomprehensibility of QP is explained as our logical mind trying and failing to grasp an all together alien "logic" - a logic that we cannot recognise. In this sense each -verse inside the infini-verse are themselves an example of emergence - complexity and stability out of simple (albeit exotic in this case) interactions.


AI can do many great things because we are able to put our logic into it. It is our logic that is "intelligent", and because the programs can follow our logic, they will do intelligent things.

I can simulate and give the illusion of many things. But in the end I always know it is just an illusion and artificial.

Since you insist on looking at everything in terms of AI, has it ever dawned on you that perhaps our intelligence is also artificial, ie. not real but an allusion assumed to be actual intelligence?

To take the analogy further

Do the tracks free the train, or enslave it?
In a deterministic universe, the concepts of freedom and slavery are moot, as may our own imagined freedom and slavery be.


What is time without anything to perceive it?

You do realised that a tree does make a sound if it falls in the forest with no one around to hear it. People being absent doesn't stop the air vibrating from the collision of the tree to the ground. Time is one of the 4 spatial dimensions whether it is perceived or not. Take your solipsism and go, you are no use here.


In order for it to be an illusion, there must be something first in which you can provide the illusion too, or manipulate/fool into believe it is real.

Lack of belief does not negate illusion, it negates perception of illusion. More of this solipsism.


Think of all the things your PC is doing that you don't consciously tell it to do. Just following the patterns/gears like any other machine.

A computer does not evolve, it is not a product of emergence. This is like the watchmaker argument with creationists.

[edit on 30-7-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:33 AM
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Like me, you think you are smarter than you really are!



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Like me, you think you are smarter than you really are!

Impossible to verify. I know that my IQ is 129, and I know that smarter that most people - do I think I'm smarter than myself, seems a paradoxical supposition.



posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 10:12 AM
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Highly dogmatic religiosity and atheism are both polarized lies, in my opinion. The non-spiritual religious have gained little in the way of personal/spiritual development, so their God is the false self masquerading as the divine. The atheist perceives this, but merely becomes the so-called antithesis, and does the same thing as the religious, thinking that his or her view is the way. They both, again, in my opinion, tend to suffer from the syndrome of, "I, the false self, am the greatest of all." The atheist just calls the false self his or her "self." The religious, but blind spiritually, just call their false self "God." It is my understanding that we are conditioned to believe in a false self to maintain whatever order has been imposed, no matter the virtues of that order. The only people who can transcend myopic paradigms, in my view,are those possessing the humility and courage to look beyond the false image, with a genuine desire to see truth. This does not included the desire to be a pseudo intellectual or the desire to be seen by the world as holy. It is not about the desire to be "seen as," but the desire to "be."



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