Knowledge vs Faith

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Eric F. Magnuson, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Halcyon Guest

    How many people here know that a part of the temporal lobe produces intense feelings of spiritual transcendance, combined with a sense of mystical presence when stimulated? Even unreligious people, having had this area stimulated, were able to experience things like being visited by God, or seeing Jesus in a strobe light.

    Now, is the slow wave seizure over the temporal lobe the cause...or the effect of such an experience? The experiments by Michael Persinger of Laurentian University shows without a doubt that the religious feeling, and related experiments, are simply a by-product of stimulation of part of the temporal lobe by electricity.

    Of course, if there is a god, wouldn't he give his creation a means by which to perceive him? No, because if this part of the brain was intended to be used to percieve him, it would be to perceive him when he presents himself; His presence was produced artificially by electrical stimulation. What other arguments can be brought for and against the meaning of this discovery?
     
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  3. Fathoms Banned Banned

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    How many people here know that a part of the temporal lobe produces intense feelings of spiritual transcendance, combined with a sense of mystical presence when stimulated? Even unreligious people, having had this area stimulated, were able to experience things like being visited by God, or seeing Jesus in a strobe light.

    There has been alot said about that aspect of neuroscience in recent years, most of which would lead one to conclude that whether you like it or not, the brain plays an important role in the experience of the transcendent. You can make of that any number of things but the core of my personal philosophy is 'wait and see'. I feel as though the treatment of consciousness and mystical experience as something "purely" physical to be rather niave. Equally so in treating it as something that is vitally seperate from the physical.

    Now, is the slow wave seizure over the temporal lobe the cause...or the effect of such an experience? The experiments by Michael Persinger of Laurentian University shows without a doubt that the religious feeling, and related experiments, are simply a by-product of stimulation of part of the temporal lobe by electricity.

    I feel that cause and effect of the experience is not as important as the experience itself in so far as to claim to have the whole matter solved. You can reduce the taste of coca cola to chemicals, nerve receptors and electrical signals but in doing so you cant be so arrogant as to say you've quantified the experience. Even in a literary sense the words of 'crisp' or 'refreshing' do little to convey the experience because they are just as arbitrary.

    Semantics aside, I think anyone calling religious feeling a by product of a stimulatated portion of the temperal lobe is missing the point entirely.

    <b>Of course, if there is a god, wouldn't he give his creation a means by which to perceive him? No, because if this part of the brain was intended to be used to percieve him, it would be to perceive him when he presents himself; His presence was produced artificially by electrical stimulation. What other arguments can be brought for and against the meaning of this discovery?</b>

    Such a conclusion strikes me as very facile. Life itself is artificial; no effect occurs without a cause and any effect can have a number of possible causes. Our brains have the capacity to feel many things without external stimulation. We can feel pain without having a hot spear jabbed into our skin but it just so happens the brain doesn't consider such an proposition to be constructive.

    Unlike most theistic or atheistic minds, I have a very different pretense about the nature of God (if he happens to exist) and it is this: He is under no obligation-much like the universe, to make any logical sense at all. If he does, that great, if he doesn't than oh well. In this case, I DO think he makes perfect sense. He's left his fingerprint in each and every one of his creations that allows them to connect in some manner to a higher state of being. Even if its artifically produced, it is still there. Even if its only an illusion, much like anything we experience, it is also still there. So I'm really not ready to give up on metaphysics just yet.
     
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  5. Gatzzu Registered Member

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    Faith is ALL in our puny brains. We are only tricking ourselves when we believe that we are special and have spirits. I'm all for knowledge, its factual and doesnt trick me.
     
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  7. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    Hello all,

    My impression is that whatever is existing (faith, logic, sprituals or science) since long should be true. There can be some language change in them like Latin>>English etc.

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  8. blackholesun Registered Senior Member

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    What does that even mean? For someone searching for the truth, you certainly have made up your mide already about what should be and why. Faith and science don't have any reason to be in the same sentence. And what's up with you and Latin vs. English and what does that have to do with anything?
     
  9. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    It is just an example. The terms those mentioned in faith(sprituals) may not be accepeted now in the their language but may be existing/accepted in other name/our language. Pls study and try to understand the topic posted by me' The Basic Science of Elements' in ' General Science & Technology' forum.

    Best wishes.
     
  10. blackholesun Registered Senior Member

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    636
    I did. And trust me, you know NOTHING about them. I, on the other hand had classes on nuclear physics. But what's the point in helping you if you already have your mind made up and you're not willing to learn? You were applying philosophy to basic nuclear structure in order to further dulusion yourself with your own homeopathy ideas. I give up on your because you definately don't have the mind of a scientist....more like a monk. And those are two very different things. Faith and science don't apply to each other.
     
  11. Kumar Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    Hello blackholesun,

    Sorry, I made you bit annoyed. Whatever mentioned by me in other topic is based on which other known persons mentioned there. Should we just reject all those things which our ancesstor have given to us. They were not fools. The current science is nothing but just a name change of old science. Compare qualities of old sprituals with current atomic theory, everything will be just matched like I matched., ONENESS OF 'HIM' in my that topic. There is nothing which is wrong in the sprituals but we looks them at 'MACRO LEVEL' whereas they are actually at 'MICRO LEVELS'. Eg; Human body in place of Human cells. I myself is taking homeopathic medicines since last 3 years and getting 100% desired results, then how can I disagree with them. My ten year old diabetes is getting cured(and found some major problem in current system which is well under consideration) than how can I disbelive it. We have been hypnotised do not means we should ignore other aspects. We should keep our eyes open till anything is still unclear.

    OK, as I said that homeopathic medicines do effects. Tell me the logic & science by your available means. If you say that you can't prove than it, may be your weakness that you can not test & prove the already proven therapy on millions.

    I am trying to prove a faith with knowledge which is also not encouraged. So who has made up in his mind as final. If I just have to follow CS principal than I/we can not prove any thing. The principals of CS can also be wrong who can know the future?/

    Sorry to bother you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2003
  12. Quasi Registered Senior Member

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    50
    I had to quote this here in particular:
    "Good and evil have no reality except in terms of each other. One can be measured or defined only in terms of the other."
    Can anyone say circular argument! Hee hee. In other words the two do not exist and have no real value. We already know that whoever transfers the most of their genetic material in their lifetimes is the most successful, and drives evolution. Period. So in strict natural terms, rape, murder, and any other behavior is perfectly acceptable under "Universal law" as the author states it. Most of this religious dogma is so vague I can't even follow it.
    "4. Because the human mind can exult emotionally in what is good, while appraising objectively what is evil for the purpose of future avoidance strategies, living, for good people with enough wisdom to control the mind, is frequently more than merely endurable."
    Apparently the author has never been to Africa, or seen war.
     
  13. Kumar Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    Both are balancing factors to nature. Like sweat & bitter. When evil is in excess it can be balanced by goods & vice versa. These are two things in one weighing balance & so can be measured or defined only in terms of each other. It is mentioned in Hindu ancient books that both were created by GOD from his body to balance the nature.
     
  14. blackholesun Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    636
    There is something called the "Placebo effect". I'm sure you've heard of it. If people think something is really working, the body can have a strong immunal reaction. It's been well documented and the mechanics are pretty well understood (some of the neural system isn't as understood though). But I fail to see how you pull religion into science. Once again, who cares of past sciences and their religious undertones. If a theory holds, so be it. But little has held up past 150 years. Nuclear and atomic sciences as well as quantum mechanics do a good job in modeling what is around us. If it didn't you wouldn't be using that computer right now. The technology based of these theories shows the continuing fruitation of those theories. If today's technology, where atomic diameters are measured out to the 9th decimal point, can't detect the results of some sort of homeophathic effect, I fail to see how you can show how it works. I base what I see off of modern theory because it's gotten us to where we are today, and not in some Middle Ages God-fearing hellhole that's attitude almost killed science altogether.
     
  15. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    Even if there is what you say is "Placebo effect", then also effect is there which even serves the real purpose i.e.healing. But I don't feel fake effects can survive so long.

    I,therefore, trying to find some contaminatig silica molecule's effect, and/or PE effects due to molecular rearrangements, possible chemical reactions or otherwise. I do not find any other possibility. Modren theories have only made us to think like this otherwise it was going on. All that which the MS have given/told us can be wrong also which is evident in some cases. We don't know whether we are gaining or loosing in actual sense from it.

    However, I am finding that much work is not done on PE in comparisn to KE as not getting sufficient detais on internet.

    Thanks & good wishes.
     
  16. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Well yes. For the same reason when you press your hands over your eyes and then release them you see stars. This does not prove that astronomy is a load of rubbish.

    Almost every sensation you can imagine having can be artificailly created by stimulating the brain appropriately. What does this prove beyond the fact that idealism might be true?

    The point is that people sometimes have transcendental experiences in the mercifully complete absence of neuroscientists. It is those that need explaining, not the laboratory reproductions.

    Faith and knowledge are not related in a simplistic way. Analysis shows that knowledge is impossible without faith. I posted a over-long essay on the religion forum a while ago in an attempt to defuse some of the dogmaticism about faith and knowledge that appears there (and here). It sank without trace but it's probably still there if you're interested. I think it was headed 'Faith'.

    Faith and knowledge are not opposites, they are pretty much the same thing.

    (I don't know how to link it properly but this might get there
    http://www.sciforums.com/editpost.php?s=&action=editpost&postid=450484
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2003
  17. Kumar Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    Well yes. For the same reason when you press your hands over your eyes and then release them you see stars. This does not prove that astronomy is a load of rubbish.

    canuate,

    You post something good. I found doctors who respects sprituals also along with science are considered as best doctors. Btw, can you bit expand that how we see star on keeping hands on eyes?
    Almost every sensation you can imagine having can be artificailly created by stimulating the brain appropriately. What does this prove beyond the fact that idealism might be true?

    Faith and knowledge are not related in a simplistic way. Analysis shows that knowledge is impossible without faith. ..It sank without trace but it's probably still there if you're interested. I think it was headed 'Faith'.

    Faith and knowledge are not opposites, they are pretty much the same thing.


    Faith and knowledge are very much related to each other in sense that faith creates knowledge & knowledge creates faith. Both are pursuer to each other like hen & egg. It is also seen that: good things usually sank without traces in current times, do not mean that those were not good, but just time behave accordingly!!
     
  18. Kumar Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    This subject looks bit silly to discuss in this SCIENCE FORUM. Is it not more suitable to discuss in 'Phylosophy' OR 'Subcultures' Forums. Where are modretors, are they only for some menbers??

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  19. Halcyon Guest

    I was only attempting to instigate discussion. I doubt I ever will post my personal beliefs on any of these matters, because as anyone can see from similar threads that it is pointless act. However; You feel an emotion, it registers somewhere in the limbic system. Stimulating this area brings recurrence of the emotion. This is what neuroscience tells us. It is also well known that every emotion is a survival mechanism, indeed, every base function of the brain is so. So...what makes this particular experience an evolutionary necessity? When all the rediculous human memes and ideas are taken out of the picture, before intelligent analyses of experience, what was the use of this particular aspect of our neurological make-up?
     
  20. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    1,923
    Who feels an emotion?

    Well known by whom?

    Experience is definitely not considered an evolutionary necessity. In fact the evolutionary function of experience remains a complete scientific mystery. Surprising at it may seem in neo-Darwinism experience is not considered to have ANY evolutionary function.
     
  21. Halcyon Guest

    Jesus Christ, man, bone up on your neurophysiology.

    EVERYTHING you experience, everything that makes it into your conscious realm does so by functions in your brain. You have specific areas that filter out out huge amounts of of data so that you only get what filters deem necessary for you to function properly. By function properly I mean solve problems, think ahead, perpetuate the species, survive, ad nauseum. Experience is VERY much a survival necessity, and as everyone(By everyone, I mean the educated, since you asked.) knows, survival of the fittest is the basic function of evolution. This stuff hasn't been a mystery for many, MANY years, I don't know where you pulled that from, but it isn't even close to true. If you want specific examples for what particular feeling/emotion/experience serves what purpose, read. There are textbooks, independant books by researchers in the fields, theses, and hundreds of scientific abstracts in journals like Science and Nature. For the lay person, I'd suggest reading Mapping The Mind by Rita Carter. Read something, just get a better idea of what is actually known about this particular area of scientific inquiry.

    hahahaha. Very funny.
     
  22. Canute Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,923


    Ah, such confidence. I think maybe you want to consider doing the same. You'll find that try as you might you cannot back up your wild claims with any research findings. Don't you realise that if you could prove what you said above you'd become famous overnight? It's pure conjecture of the kind that neuroscientists rather unrigorously like to indulge in, but which they cannot yet prove to be true.

    Great minds are currently working on these questions. They are doing this because as yet we do not have the answers. The neuroscientific literature can be misleadingly confident, full of complex theories based on dodgy and not very well hidden assumptions. Try reading some journals of mind and consciousness studies for a more honest view of the current state of our knowledge.
     
  23. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

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    I understand the evolutionary significance of experience. I've posted tons of crap about it.

    Basically experience as in "the ability to remember events in one's environment over time" allows "the ability to contextualize" which the brain is pretty good at.

    The ability to contextualize and reflect upon one's experience allows the prediction of future events, which allows one to plan, which greatly improves one's chances of survival.

    Somewhat oversimplified but..

    Maybe I've missed something? Irrelevant?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2003

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