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Howard the Duck 12-16-2011 06:38 AM

God is in your mind?
 
I'll just start by stating my own position on this matter. I am a deist. However, i don't subscribe to conventional institutionalised religions and i am a Gnostic Christian, believing instead in an impartial chaotic entity, who has already set the universe in motion and has already fixed a linear space-time continuum for all of us, including aliens, if that may be the case.

I think that all life is predestined, and freewill is illusory. I do, however, believe in judgment after death, anyway, and all that Jesus can do is barter on your behalf, like a lawyer plea-bargaining. I have no idea where i'm going to end up when i die, may it be hell, purgatory, heaven or limbo, but i do have a pseudo-scientific notion that i can guide my consciousness, that remains after death, not in the form of a soul, but perhaps iota packets of thought and place such thoughts into a recepient lifeform on another planet, that may resemble such conditions that hell, heaven, purgatory or limbo is portrayed.

Lately however, i have been turning over and over in my head that God merely exists in the mind. There is this neuro-chemical called "leu-enkitalin" that gives you a sense of immense well-being. And this may be triggered by a consensual interaction between human beings, perhaps projecting their own onslaught of "leu-enkitalin" in the belief that God is watching over them, through their own speech and emotiveness, thereby ensnaring other non-believers into this thread of "deception".

And from my own personal experience, i have felt this projection myself, i was evangelised to, and felt this surge of chemical high as the pastor explained to me Christ and prayed over me. And when he talked about the end-times, even something such as heavy rain had me convinced we're nearing the end-times. I am a bit convinced that there is such a neuro-chemical as a "God" neuro-chemical. And when i started to delve into Atheist philosophy, i felt this "god" neuro-chemical leaving me.

There have also been experiments where certain parts of the brain were stimulated, and certain transmitters created a "God" effect and others created a "Devil" effect.

So let's have a healthy debate, shall we?

Above 12-16-2011 06:48 AM

To quote Albus Dumbledore: "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

I did a little research on this "Leu-enkephalin", and from what I can gather, it's an opioid peptide (a chemical which produces a reaction similar to that of opium) neurotransmitter, meaning it enables that specific chemical to travel efficiently throughout your system. Not sure how that correlates to your theory, but there you go.

Personally, I am a strong believer in free-will and consequence. I don't have any reason to believe that a deity is pulling the strings. However, I could see the sense in believing that an impartial entity runs the universe, sort of like a groundskeeper or janitor. I believe in spirit guides, although I am aware that mine exists inside my head (The Dumbledore quote is relevant here again). She just helps me project good, happy thoughts, which I really need.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...nter/EGG03.png

Howard the Duck 12-16-2011 06:58 AM

well, there are numerous factors in how the neuro-transmitters generate or spark these chemicals

the whole neuro-chemistry of something like "empathy" cannot be fully explained

what if this "leu-enkephalin" is generated through the similar neural pathway of empathy, and production of "leu-enkephalin" basically generates the "God" feeling and this opiate feeling leads people to seek an explanation for those feelings

i found this bit on the Web, just substitute "pain" with "God":-

Quote:

The majority of social neuroscience studies on empathy used the observation of pain in others as a model paradigm to evoke empathic responses (de Vignemont & Singer 2006; Decety & Lamm 2006; Singer & Leiberg 2009; see, e.g., Jabbi et al. 2007 or Wicker et al. 2003, for examples using other emotional states). One common finding of these investigations is that vicariously experiencing pain activates part of the neural network that is also activated when we are in pain ourselves. For example, Singer and colleagues (2004) recruited couples and measured hemodynamic responses triggered by painful stimulation of the female partner via an electrode attached to her right hand. In another condition the same painful stimulation was applied to the male partner who was seated next to the MRI scanner and whose hand could be seen via a mirror system by the female partner lying in the scanner. Differently colored flashes of light on a screen pointed to either the male or the female partner's hand, indicating which of them would receive painful stimulation. This procedure enabled the measurement of pain-related brain activation when pain was applied either to the scanned subject (firsthand experience of pain) or to her partner (empathy for pain). The results suggest that parts of the so-called pain matrix (Derbyshire 2000), which consists of the brain areas involved in the processing of pain, were activated when participants experienced pain themselves as well as when they saw a signal indicating that their loved one would experience pain. These areas—in particular, bilateral anterior insula (AI), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brain stem, and the cerebellum—are involved in the processing of the affective component of pain; in other words, they encode how unpleasant or aversive the subjectively felt pain is. Thus, both the firsthand experience of pain and the knowledge that a beloved partner is experiencing pain activates the same affective brain circuits—suggesting that our own neural response reflects our partner's negative affect.
and this is a link to several articles about the "God" module/chemical/neuro-transmitter in the brain:-

http://atheistempire.com/reference/brain/index.php

Paedantic Basterd 12-16-2011 08:05 AM

I have to ask, if your actions are predetermined, then what's the purpose of judgment? Surely an individual cannot be judged for that which was never in his power to control?

blastingas10 12-16-2011 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Il Duce (Post 1133260)
I'll just start by stating my own position on this matter. I am a deist. However, i don't subscribe to conventional institutionalised religions and i am a Gnostic Christian, believing instead in an impartial chaotic entity, who has already set the universe in motion and has already fixed a linear space-time continuum for all of us, including aliens, if that may be the case.

I think that all life is predestined, and freewill is illusory. I do, however, believe in judgment after death, anyway, and all that Jesus can do is barter on your behalf, like a lawyer plea-bargaining. I have no idea where i'm going to end up when i die, may it be hell, purgatory, heaven or limbo, but i do have a pseudo-scientific notion that i can guide my consciousness, that remains after death, not in the form of a soul, but perhaps iota packets of thought and place such thoughts into a recepient lifeform on another planet, that may resemble such conditions that hell, heaven, purgatory or limbo is portrayed.

Lately however, i have been turning over and over in my head that God merely exists in the mind. There is this neuro-chemical called "leu-enkitalin" that gives you a sense of immense well-being. And this may be triggered by a consensual interaction between human beings, perhaps projecting their own onslaught of "leu-enkitalin" in the belief that God is watching over them, through their own speech and emotiveness, thereby ensnaring other non-believers into this thread of "deception".

And from my own personal experience, i have felt this projection myself, i was evangelised to, and felt this surge of chemical high as the pastor explained to me Christ and prayed over me. And when he talked about the end-times, even something such as heavy rain had me convinced we're nearing the end-times. I am a bit convinced that there is such a neuro-chemical as a "God" neuro-chemical. And when i started to delve into Atheist philosophy, i felt this "god" neuro-chemical leaving me.

There have also been experiments where certain parts of the brain were stimulated, and certain transmitters created a "God" effect and others created a "Devil" effect.

So let's have a healthy debate, shall we?


I have some books on Gnostic Christianity - interesting stuff indeed.

Why on earth would we have such a thing as "leu-enkitalin"?

someonecompletelyrandom 12-16-2011 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 1133282)
I have to ask, if your actions are predetermined, then what's the purpose of judgment? Surely an individual cannot be judged for that which was never in his power to control?

This stood out to me as well. I don't understand it when religions teach that God has a plan for everyone, that they're pre-destined, but also belief in everlasting punishment for evil deeds after death.

blastingas10 12-16-2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Conan (Post 1133353)
This stood out to me as well. I don't understand it when religions teach that God has a plan for everyone, that they're pre-destined, but also belief in everlasting punishment for evil deeds after death.

Doesn't religion also teach that god gave us free will? Maybe we are pre-destined, but to a certain degree. And the use of our free will factors in as well.

Dharma & Greg 12-16-2011 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Conan (Post 1133353)
This stood out to me as well. I don't understand it when religions teach that God has a plan for everyone, that they're pre-destined, but also belief in everlasting punishment for evil deeds after death.

There's actually a school of thought called compatibilism that says that even in a deterministic universe, there is free will. Just not free will in the popular sense of the word. Kinda hard to explain and I'm not all that great a philosopher anyway. Of course there's also incompatibilism.

TheBig3 12-16-2011 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 1133282)
I have to ask, if your actions are predetermined, then what's the purpose of judgment? Surely an individual cannot be judged for that which was never in his power to control?

I'm with her. This sort of mindset led everyone in the Calvinist faith to do whatever the hell they pleased because they couldn't control themselves anyway.

If you're giving up your ability to do anything on your own, why bother discussing it? Unless of course you couldn't help yourself.

RVCA 12-16-2011 11:46 AM

Hey Duce, I hate to break it to you, but you're not a deist. First, you claim that you don't subscribe to "conventional" religions, but go on to explain your belief in sin, Jesus, and elements of the Christian afterlife. Second, and more importantly, it's a fundamental tenet of deism (practically the definition of deism) that everything was created by an all-powerful creator who then stepped back to watch his creation run. In that sense, deists believe in free will, so your belief in predestination is directly in conflict with this.


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