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New study proves someones "god" is nothing more than one's own image! Religion crumbles...

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:20 AM
Question, sorry it is early morning for me. Is it saying that the areas of the brain that light up when one's ego kicks on when describing themselves, is the same area the lights up when talking about their God?


posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:21 AM

Originally posted by reasonable
reply to post by semperfortis

People are learning how the human mind works = the end times are coming.

hot damn I love ATS!

I'm not Christian but I do believe in God. This study doesn't prove anything other than that most people are self-righteous fools. Doubly foolish because the only one they are really fooling is themselves.. If you are so sure you know how the mind works explain this one:

Probing the Enigma of Multiple Personality Disorder

WHEN Timmy drinks orange juice he has no problem. But Timmy is just one of close to a dozen personalities who alternate control over a patient with multiple personality disorder. And if those other personalities drink orange juice, the result is a case of hives.

The hives will occur even if Timmy drinks orange juice and another personality appears while the juice is still being digested. What's more, if Timmy comes back while the allergic reaction is present, the itching of the hives will cease immediately, and the water-filled blisters will begin to subside.

For more than a century clinicians have occasionally reported isolated cases of dramatic biological changes in people with multiple personalities as they switched from one to another. These include the abrupt appearance and disappearance of rashes, welts, scars and other tissue wounds; switches in handwriting and handedness; epilepsy, allergies and color blindness that strike only when a given personality is in control of the body.

[edit on 1-12-2009 by wanderingwaldo]

[edit on 1-12-2009 by wanderingwaldo]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:36 AM
That Humans see God in their own image does not suprise me in the least. Egocentric is about as close as you can get to the quality that defines us as a race. God created Humans to rule over this world! Humans are the center of the Universe! Believe and be saved!

Problem is along the way we learn that we are not the center of all things and in fact we are so far from the center of all things as to make our egocentric attitudes delusional. I guess in a nutshell we as a species are delusional. If we are to ever really attain enlightenment we better be ready to let all of our egocentric delusions go right into the dumpster of history.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:37 AM
Hopefully, this will be used not to discount faith but to acknowledge that faith is a cognitive construct. This is to say that religion, all religion including my own, is a metaphor for comprehending a Universe that is far too complex for us to understand at our current stage of development.

This kind of study is key to explaining this concept to the world. The problem, of course, is that the science worshippers think that their particular method of scratching the surface is the end all be all of comprehending Universe. Admittedly, it is not AS metaphorical as religious/spiritual perceptions but they're still just another blind guy groping the elephant.

The result is we have the continued divide between science and religion, with only the most far-out thinkers realizing that the two meet on the same threshold where mathematics meet magick.

What ultimately drives me nuts, and what is responsible for nearly all of the world's ills is the fact that millions of dogmatists believe that THEIR reality labyrinth is the only one, to the detriment of all others.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:37 AM
What if someone thinks about how a omniscient, all powerful and responsible being would be, and then tried to model their life after it? I mean I would enjoy doing what I want to do ALL the time. However, I feel that "god" would want more from me than that with this great opportunity called life. So I do more than just continuously do things for myself.

i would say that would poke some questions into this "research". sure we can say that SOME people are like that. But not all :-\

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by reasonable

It is strangely compelling to note how egocentric your own views are revealed to be within this thread and it tends to lead towards wondering what would an anti-religious zealot would do, and if that is essentially the same as what would I do? If a study were made on atheists, using a combination of surveys, psychological manipulation, and brain scans, would anti religious people mainly draw on their own experience when attempting to infer the will of nature? Was this in any way even considered by the venerable Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago?

Assuming this study is wholly scientific then it would be fair to assume that Epley relied upon the scientific method in order to obtain the findings he did. If we are to assume that Epley did rely upon the scientific method to obtain his findings then it would be prudent if we ourselves understood exactly what the scientific method is.

In its simplest terms, the scientific method is the process by which scientists over time and collectively attempt to construct an accurate or reliable and consistent representation of the universe and nature that avoids any proclivity towards arbitrary behavior. It is through the use of standard procedures and criteria that scientists hope to minimize the influences any person is subject to because of their own personal and cultural beliefs. When testing a hypothesis or theory, it is imperative that the scientist attempt to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter during the testing period.

There are four basic steps to the scientific method that include; 1.) Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena. 2.) Formulating an hypothesis that would effectively explain this phenomena. 3.) Using that hypothesis to predict other phenomena or to predict quantitatively the results of of new observations and finally, 4.) the performance of experimental tests of those predictions carried out by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

If the experiments bear out the hypothesis then it can be regarded as theory or ultimately become regarded as law. However, if the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis then the hypothesis itself must be rejected. It is the ability to get more out of a theory than what was put in that becomes the compelling factor of prediction and its power. The trick to proving theories often lie in the attempts made to disprove them. If, as the original poster has suggested, the whole attempt of this experiment was to disprove God and religious beliefs should it be assumed that this attempt to disprove God is based on an hypothesis or theory that God exists? Or has Epley fallen prey to the conundrum of attempting to prove a negative? How can one possibly prove that something doesn't exist?

Assuming, however, that Epley did indeed apply the scientific method to his experiment then there must be an hypothesis he was working with. What then, is that hypothesis? It appears by Ed Yong's article that this hypothesis is that people will draw upon their own personal beliefs when attempting to infer the "will of God". Of course, the question then becomes is it really necessary to create elaborate tests and experiments to bear out predictions made by such an hypothesis. Logic would dictate that since God by definition is a higher power not subject to the subjective view of humans, indeed by the American Christian perspective solely relied upon in this particular study God would be a figure of grand omnipotence and by definition; unknowable. How could anyone possibly hope to infer the will of a figure wholly unknowable?

There seems to all ready be a flaw in the hypothesis since clearly a bias or prejudice is inherent form the get go. The bias is that those being tested are truly faithful and wholly and unquestionably believe in God as an unknowable and omnipotent being, yet the experiment is predicated on those people inferring the will of God. There is clearly a contradiction in this as any true believer of such a God would not, indeed could not honestly comply. The only possible way to comply would be to, for the sake of argument, presume what God is willing and the only possible way to do so would be for those being tested to rely upon their own personal experiences in order to put into words what that presumed will of God would be.

It could be argued that a person could rely upon imagination and create out of nothing, much as God presumably did when creating the universe, a paradigm wholly outside of personal experience, but it could be even further argued that such an experiment could be used to simply describe the nature of nature without any belief in a god at all. How can we, humans being completely subjective in our biological perceptions hope to perceive the nature of nature without relying upon our own personal beliefs?

Take the Big Bang Theory, for example. Here is theory predicated on the belief that the universe was created from a singularity so remarkably dense and so infinitesimally small as to be next to nothing and yet in all its glorious density and infinite smallness absolutely everything. Certainly everything the universe would eventually become once singularity of infinite density and smallness agitated itself to the point of explosion or eruption or whatever it is that a singularity of infinite density and smallness does when ultimately expanding out into the ever expanding universe that those theorists presume the universe to be doing.

It is, after all, the belief that the universe is expanding outward that led to the belief in a Big Bang Theory that simply reversed the process of an infinitely expanding universe into a moment of infinitely dense and small singularity. This perception of moving forwards and backwards is a distinctly personal and egocentric view of the universe. It is we as humans in our biological form that seem to move in a linear fashion forward while we rely upon our memories to move backward in time. This human perception of time may or may not be how time, if time actually exists, works. How can we understand it in any other way than based upon our own personal beliefs?

To be continued....

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:42 AM

So, here we have an hypothesis that postulates that those who believe in God draw from their own personal beliefs when inferring the will of God, if that was indeed Epley's hypothesis and to bear out this hypothesis predictions were made that upon manipulation of beliefs the will of God itself could be manipulated as well. Never mind the fact that the mere act of manipulating beliefs is in itself a God like action created by the experimenter presumed to be unbiased in his own personal beliefs. And what are those personal beliefs of Epley's? How can Epley know whether or not the varying personal beliefs of those being tested were not at all times accurately reflecting the will of God?

Did Epley accept as a definition of God a being so infinite in singularity that when condensed in size and weight to be incomprehensibly small and dense and when expanded in size and weight to be incomprehensibly large and expansive? Did Epley accept as a definition a being profoundly omniscient, a being who is all things to all people everywhere? What exactly was Epley's own definition of God and how did this bear upon his experiment? If God was non arbitrarily accepted as being an unknowable being of infinite wisdom and omniscience then why wouldn't it be possible for God to have conflicting views of the same social issues depending upon the personal beliefs of the individuals being tested?

Was it non arbitrarily ruled out that God could not have conflicting views of particular social issues that presumably have an infinitesimal influence on God's perspective. Is it so hard to conceive that a being of infinite wisdom and omniscience would have all views at all times and in doing so could be reflected individually by the varying individuals who attempt to infer God's will? Is it a more limited and narrow version of God that is being used as a paradigm in this test of Epley's? By what possible standard and criteria did Eppley define God?

For the American Christian much of an understanding of God comes from the Bible which is a compilation of texts that comprise both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament there are many names attributed to God long before Moses encounters this God in the form of a burning bush on a mountain. However, even though many names have all ready been assigned to God at this point, when Moses is confronted with a burning bush that is for some strange reason not burning into ash nor so much consumed by fire as it is surrounded by flame, Moses asks this speaking burning bush for a name and God answers; "I Am that I Am."

Of all the possible names that God could answer with why would God answer I Am that I Am? Are we expected to refer to God by this name? Try it. That's right, I am talking to you. It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not, call out that name and say it out loud. Say I Am that I Am or simplify it and for the sake of a nick name say I Am! Did you say it? Out loud? Remarkably self referential is it not? Now, if you don't believe in God and you say out loud I Am it is what it is and it is certainly self referential. However, if you do believe in God and you say out loud that name and know it is God that you are naming then what in God's name does that mean? Say it out loud...go ahead try it. Say Oh God, I Am! Play with it a bit and try it this way, I Am God! Self referential no matter what your belief in God is and perhaps that is the will of God. Who are you or I to say any differently.

We are, in the end, distinct individuals capable of forming our own opinions and developing our own beliefs even if we are hopelessly and maybe even helplessly trapped in our biological perspectives. Why would it be so inconceivable that every word I write at this exact moment is my own personal beliefs and at the same time the will of God? Conversely, why would it be so inconceivable that every word you wrote at the exact moment you wrote it was your own personal belief and at the same time the will of God? Why is it so inconceivable that these seeming contradictory beliefs could exist together as a whole and grander truth? Only our own bias and prejudices would preclude such a notion. Is it necessary that God too is guilty of such bias and prejudice?

For any scientist attempting to produce results that would effectively bear out any predictions based on an hypothesis that people will draw upon their own personal beliefs when attempting to infer the will of God, that scientist must know himself what the will of God actually is in order to effectively demonstrate that the personal beliefs, no matter how varying and contradictory they might be, are separate from that of the will of God. How can any individual scientist possibly hope to avoid falling prey to their own bias and prejudice when reaching any determination on what exactly this experiment produced?

Then again, perhaps my assumption of what the hypothesis actually was is what is faulty and perhaps the hypothesis was something else all together. Or perhaps I correctly inferred from Ed Yong's article what Yong himself inferred the hypothesis to be but his inference was faulty? Or perhaps Epley had no discernible hypothesis and merely puttered around with surveys and psychological manipulations and brain scans in order to satisfy his peers. What was the will of Epley? In the end, all I can do is rely upon my own personal beliefs which can be easily manipulated by tricks of psychology and presumed to be monitored correctly and accurately by brain scans, when attempting to infer the will of Epley.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:44 AM

Originally posted by RobertAntonWeishaupt

What ultimately drives me nuts, and what is responsible for nearly all of the world's ills is the fact that millions of dogmatists believe that THEIR reality labyrinth is the only one, to the detriment of all others.

Actually I don't see any problem with people thinking like that if they wish, it is insisting that all others must also that drives me nuts.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:49 AM
Why couldn't god simply not exist?

Why is there such a defense in said God's name?

Why do we even need a god?

Are the red hot post here, egocentric, turning on the fight or flight system by learning something with empirical evidence?

Can it be said everyone's God/s are personal to their own experience?

Please don't get angry at me. I ask these questions as a sort of devil's advocate. I like to get people to think about why they say the things they do.


+2 more 
posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:54 AM
I'm hesitant to reply to this thread due to the fact the OP seems very hostile and like he's mocking everyone who replies to the thread. That tells me he's more interested in flaming than having an intellectual discussion about the topic but here goes nothing.

I guess I can't speak for those who took the study but I can offer my own thoughts. The study seems to boil down to a 'What would Jesus Do' angle and the main conclusion is that people more often associate their own will for the will of their deity.

But I disagree. Human nature and my own instinct is to do just about the opposite of everything 'Jesus would do.'

If someone pisses you off, it's natural to want to slap their face off but Jesus says turn the other cheek. If someone breaks into your home, it's natural to run for your guns but Jesus says give them what they came for and more. If a vagabond approaches you, one's first instinct would be to not want them to get too close. But Jesus says feed them. If someone hurts us, it's natural to want revenge but Jesus says to forgive them as if the incident never even occurred. Etc., etc.

Additionally, as someone progresses in the faith, they will become more Christ like and 'What would Jesus do' actually becomes what we would also want to do. For instance, maybe as a babe in Christ I wanted to slap the face off of someone who angered me but the more one matures in the faith, you actually find yourself WANTING to turn the other cheek out of love for your attacker.

Does that make any sense? As someone new to the faith, it can be very challenging and 'What would Jesus Do' would pretty much be the exact opposite of your instincts. As you mature, the lines get blurred and 'What would Jesus Do' becomes 'What would I do' because you become more Christ-like as you progress.

I would only hope that 'Doing what Jesus would want' would be very similar to my own will and that it would be hard to tell the difference. Human will generally isn't pretty and has a 'me first' mentality while Jesus had a 'you first' mentality. That's hard. But to be truly compassionate, it's beautiful when our will actually becomes His will. And that takes time because our original nature screams just the opposite sometimes.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:54 AM
To me true believers in the CHRIST already know who is the SON. Many of the non believing people always try their best to discredit the EXISTANCE of GOD so be it. All I can say is see you on JUDGMENT DAY AND GOOD LUCK.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:55 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Jean Paul -

I think that your question about the infinite vastness of "God" as being capable of simultaneously embracing differing viewpoints speaks, in part, to the importance of this study. Your tone seems to discount the work being done, but your content illustrates its relevance.

The simple fact is that most people who claim to believe in God (and these days, most people irritatingly take that to refer exclusively to the Jusaism/Christianity/Islam triumverate of scriptural relgions) see their particular God as having distinct and specific views (which this study shows to be the "believer's" own).

So a "Christian" who thinks that his omnicient, omnipotent, forgiving and loving God-figure is devastated by what two homosexuals do in the privacy of their own bedroom, is more oftten than not pathologically incapable of considering the possibility that their God's love extends to even raging sodomites.

This is why all Religions (note the capital R) that claim to know the true and absolute will of God (and most of make exactly that claim these days) are an insult and affront to Universe/God. These people utilize a narrow and restrictive metaphor that does nothing but imprint their own prejudices and insecurities on a system/being/concept that is beyond prejudice and insecurity.

It is these egotistical projections which the study here seeks to counter. Your far more accurate assessment of the nature of "God" is not threatened but rather is reenforced by this study.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:57 AM

Originally posted by Chett

Originally posted by RobertAntonWeishaupt

What ultimately drives me nuts, and what is responsible for nearly all of the world's ills is the fact that millions of dogmatists believe that THEIR reality labyrinth is the only one, to the detriment of all others.

Actually I don't see any problem with people thinking like that if they wish, it is insisting that all others must also that drives me nuts.

Touche, Chett. Sadly, those who believe their way is the only way seem to have a hard-wired need to (at the very least) condescend to those who dare think differently.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:58 AM
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13

That is the most parroted garbage ever! Did you come up with that all on your own?

Sometimes I wonder, if the people who say such radical things today, would in times past, be the evil one's torturing the innocent till they confess and conform to their belief. Disgusting, learn to think for yourself.


posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:58 AM
Debating the existence of "God" is silly. I get such a kick out of these
academia nuts who'll tell you they've "scientifically" proven that God doesn't exist.
Some of the really great scientific minds have agreed that there is an intelligent design.
Call it "God" if you like. A force that "sweetly and mightily" courses through the universe.

But, if you want to believe that a simple bacteria or single celled
critter evolved over a billion years, developed into a human, and
somehow was infused with consciousness, sentience, and qualia...
feel free.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:00 AM
Well I see we have a few religious people posting replies so I may as well. First off what has God done for you? I'm sure you are thinking of somethings but the answer is've done it for yourself. The bible has some good morals but that's about as far as it goes. Live a good life, help others as ofetn as you can and just be a good person. We know how to do that ourselves, not by believing in some out of date concept that corrupts the entire world...think if there was no Religion we would all be at peace with one another, not separated completely. I believe that Religion has stunted the evolution of humanities social system. We know how to be good people...just do it.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:03 AM
Once again, I find myself pointing out what seems to be common sense.

You have a person who claims to have finally found the way to show you that God does not exist. Why? Because "god" is a reflection of your inner-self.

Fine. Add it too the long list of "gotcha's". Congrats. Give them a great pat on the back they long for.

God is but an aspect of your psychology! Brilliant!

Then, conveniently, they chose a "study" to reinforce their view, which of course tells them how intelligent they are to have held such a superior view of the world, and that the billions of people, both simple and genius, through all of history, have been fooled (unlike themselves, of course). This is reinforced by the fact there are a near infinite number of religious studies to draw upon.

Pick and choose. What you believe, and thus your religion, surely does tell us what kind of person you are. What you see in yourself.

We are all creatures of religion, and because you believe you aren't, just goes to prove you are.

I am very sorry, but not you, or anyone, can prove God does or does not exist.

But very revealing, none-the-less, to those who watch you squirm.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:06 AM

Originally posted by Ophiuchus 13
To me true believers in the CHRIST already know who is the SON. Many of the non believing people always try their best to discredit the EXISTANCE of GOD so be it. All I can say is see you on JUDGMENT DAY AND GOOD LUCK.

Not trying to flame here, and I know that this will come off as condescending atheist nonsense, but I swear on my life there are honest questions to which I have NEVER gotten an honest answer:

If God did not want Adam and Eve to partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, why did he put it in so accessible a place and draw such attention to it?

If God so loved humanity that he wanted to forgive them (hundreds of generations later) for the mistakes of two (long dead and gone) people, why would a God as powerful as this one opt for absurd machinations of impregnating a virgin with a child that is both His Son and Himself so that He/His Son could walk the Earth and eventually be crucified so that humanity could experience His forgiveness so long as they completely and utterly believe in the truth of this genuinely bizarre scheme?

If God is so powerful, why is Satan (a mere angel who did nothing more than revolt against his omnipotent father figure) capable of rivaling him in the great battle for control of humanity?

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:08 AM
reply to post by deinonychus

Is this really a debate on whether god exist or not?

On one side, this could strengthen the belief that god is within us all.

On the other side, this could say that god is a farce, a subjective projection of our disillusioned minds, trying to grasp the world in which we live.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:13 AM
reply to post by reasonable

Hi reasonable.

It's unfortunate that you find it necessary to present a post like this.

It's quite funny to picture the scene. On one side the 'God squad' clutching their cruxifixes thrusting them at you, condeming you to hell for all eternity. On the other side your their jumping up and down grinning from ear to ear shouting ' i told yous, i told you's" Is this how you imagine it?

I don't think you have spent much time reflecting on any sort of spirituality for yourself. You should try it on for size. I guarantee you if you try it out you will be dumbfounded. Its very easy to write a report on something you want to disprove.

I challange you to try something. Prove to yourself you have no fear. Prove you are not afraid. All you have to do is ask. Ask to be 'shown'. Tell yourself with honesty that your opening yourself up to the truth and you want to be shown the truth. Thats all you have to do. Then put your feet up and wait.

As long as you are been honest in your request the truth will reveal itself to you. This may happen in a few days , a few weeks, I cant say, but it will reveal itself.

I have done this. No one on this planet will ever be able to explain the answers presented to me.

We all have to find our own path. Everyones is different. If you ask for help it will be a lot easier to find your path.

Please try it . I dare you .


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