The Brain Creates Religion

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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:48 pm

On a minimal list I have read Crick, Cosmides and Tooby, Damasio, Changeaux, Ricoeur, Dennett, Dawkins, Wilson, Humphry, Rorty, etc., etc-- all first hand, not in splices of podcasts or googled excerpts. This is a minimal list which includes dozens of works on neuroscience, post analytic philosophy, comparative religions and genetic evolution. This extensive reading does not make me an authority on any of these matters, but it does serve to help me detect pseudoscientific fables such as those you propose.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:12 am

Ierrellus wrote:On a minimal list I have read Crick, Cosmides and Tooby, Damasio, Changeaux, Ricoeur, Dennett, Dawkins, Wilson, Humphry, Rorty, etc., etc-- all first hand, not in splices of podcasts or googled excerpts. This is a minimal list which includes dozens of works on neuroscience, post analytic philosophy, comparative religions and genetic evolution. This extensive reading does not make me an authority on any of these matters, but it does serve to help me detect pseudoscientific fables such as those you propose.

OK, noted and I will take those readings you have done into account but I think you will be quite defensive with many of the above authors.

Other than Changeaux, Humphry [which, Davy?] I have read all the above.
I agree my reading of the above do not make me an authority of their views.
I only claim a very reasonable expertise where I have spent full time 2-3 years on certain philosopher and philosophies, e.g. Buddhism, Kant, Islam and some other minor areas.

I would suggest you read Kant [to understand not necessary agree], which I believe represent the center core of Philosophy.

Besides depth, to widen to the side on neuroscience, try Oliver Sacks, V.S. Ramachandran, Ledoux, Andrew Newberg, and many others, especially note the Human Connectome Project.
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/

pseudoscientific fables such as those you propose.

What I have presented is not "pseudoscientific fables" but proper research and that paper qualified its limitations. I have provided a lead here and if we are to get more serious [I don't have the time] then we can do a literature review and try to exhaust all research that has been done in this area.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:29 pm

I've read Sacks and more. Humphrey =Nicholas Humphrey, Other than comparing each other's reading lists why not come to grips with the basic problem of the OP, that of seeing correlation as cause and effect.
I. brains create religion
2. there is a correlation between certain brain activities and belief in religions.
Do these two sentences appear the same do you? If so, you have just claimed to understand consciousness enough to know how brain/body influences affect mental content. Brain activities are among the influences that determine what kinds of thought one can have, not any specific thought content. Endorphins affect moods; they are not the underpinnings of some positive belief system. If they could do this AI would be far more advanced now than it is.
1. brains produce soothing juices that address existential angst.
2. there is a correlation between experiencing existential angst and the brains emission of endorphins., etc.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:07 am

Ierrellus wrote:I've read Sacks and more. Humphrey =Nicholas Humphrey, Other than comparing each other's reading lists why not come to grips with the basic problem of the OP, that of seeing correlation as cause and effect.
I. brains create religion
2. there is a correlation between certain brain activities and belief in religions.
Do these two sentences appear the same do you? If so, you have just claimed to understand consciousness enough to know how brain/body influences affect mental content. Brain activities are among the influences that determine what kinds of thought one can have, not any specific thought content. Endorphins affect moods; they are not the underpinnings of some positive belief system. If they could do this AI would be far more advanced now than it is.
1. brains produce soothing juices that address existential angst.
2. there is a correlation between experiencing existential angst and the brains emission of endorphins., etc.

'Consciousness' the hard problem is too grey at present to be able to lend credibility to any conclusion.

The point is brain/body influences and effect mental contents [Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion] but at the same time mental thoughts can also influence and effect the physical state of the brain/body [Beliefs, NLP, etc.].

Note this syllogism;

    Psychological angst causes brain pains. -Fact

    1. The brain/body produces feel good juices to relieve brain pains. -Fact
    2. The feel good juices to relieve brain pains are triggered by religious beliefs and practices. -Fact - see below
    3. The Brain creates religion -OP

The Neurological Origins of Religious Belief
http://bigthink.com/going-mental/the-ne ... ous-belief

Rutgers University evolutionary biologist Lionel Tiger thinks we can: “Religion is really made by the brain. It is a secretion of the brain,” says Tiger, who thinks the root of religious belief is an evolutionary drive to seek this "secretion"—namely serotonin—which provides the believer with feelings of well-being. A neurotransmitter that regulates mood and appetite, serotonin is linked to feelings of well-being when it floods the central nervous system


A scientist’s new theory: Religion was key to humans’ social evolution
Religion includes numerous elements of Dunbar’s earlier studies on endorphin-producing activities. Lots of singing, to start. Repetitive motion triggers endorphins, he said, noting that traditions from Catholicism to Islam to Buddhism to Hinduism make use of prayer beads.

Religion is the remaining key to explaining humans’ remarkable social networks, Dunbar thinks. “These three things are very good at triggering endorphins, making us feel bonded,” he said last week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting, where he presented his team’s research on laughter and singing and introduced the forthcoming research on religion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act ... 3fc93346c0


Note I have read lots of articles supporting my point but due to time constraints, I am doing a quickie job to pick a few references.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:37 pm

How the syllogism fails to produce the OP you have concluded from its parts is that each is not a special case, excluding other possibilities. Each could express a simple correlation between two activities. They seem derived from the OP, not the OP derived from them.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:16 pm

Brain/body produces endorphins to offset chemicals that indicate malfunction thus prompting stability of mood.
Stability of mood does not indicate that it has anything to do with religion.
Endorphin activities maintain stability of body/brain functions.
Understanding the mechanics behind brain functioning does not reveal the presence therein of some homunculus or ghost in the machine or subconscious preference for any known theological system.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:27 am

Ierrellus wrote:How the syllogism fails to produce the OP you have concluded from its parts is that
1. each is not a special case, excluding other possibilities.
2. Each could express a simple correlation between two activities.
They seem derived from the OP, not the OP derived from them.
I can't make any sense of your points 1 and 2 in the above.

Note my syllogism;

    Psychological angst causes brain pains. -Fact

    1. The brain/body produces feel good juices to relieve brain pains. -Fact
    2. The feel good juices to relieve brain pains are triggered by religious beliefs and practices. -Fact - see below
    3. The Brain creates religion -OP

The syllogism is deductive, therefore the conclusion is true.
All the premises are based on facts [supported], therefore the conclusion is logically & factually true.

As such you need to be more precise with your critique for each premise.
If you cannot produce any of the above premise is false and non-factual, then my conclusion is true.

You can even work backward and it is true i.e.

Re Conclusion: Why do the brain creates Religion? -3
Asnwer: Because The feel good juices to relieve brain pains - 2
Why 2?
Answer: Because to relieve brain pains (1) from an existential crisis.

Show me where any of the above is wrong?
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:36 am

Ierrellus wrote:Brain/body produces endorphins to offset chemicals that indicate malfunction thus prompting stability of mood.
Stability of mood does not indicate that it has anything to do with religion.
Endorphin activities maintain stability of body/brain functions.
Understanding the mechanics behind brain functioning does not reveal the presence therein of some homunculus or ghost in the machine or subconscious preference for any known theological system.


I can fit the above into my syllogism;

    Psychological angst causes brain pains. -Fact

    1. The brain/body produces feel good juices to relieve brain pains, i.e. stability of mood [one purpose]. -Fact
    2. The feel good juices to relieve brain pains, i.e. stability of mood [one purpose] are triggered by religious beliefs and practices. -Fact - see below
    3. The Brain creates religion -OP

Note endorphins are mere one of the feel good juices produced from the body that reaches and penetrate into the brain to effect stability of mood to counter brain pains, i.e. angst, despairs, anxieties, hopelessness, depression and the likes.

The other feel good juices are serotonin & dopamine which are triggered by religion [various ways] which work in various neural interactions to counter the existential brain pains.

I did imply any homunculus or ghost at all, besides these are straw man, falsehoods and thus off topic.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Fanman » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi guys, I'm a new poster, but have been following the discussions for a while. I've had an interest in philosophy for a few years now. I used to be a theist, but I'm now agnostic. I may not be as well read as the rest of you so please bear with me :) . These are my thoughts on this topic.

I think that the brain produces feel good juices in response to certain stimuli that accord with a person's frame of reference/point of view. For example, finding out that someone you're attracted to is also attracted to you will produce feel good juices, among many other causes of feel good juices being produced. I think that religion does create feel good juices for individuals that are of a religious mindset, but for an atheist or agnostic it doesn't have the same effect. So to say that religion causes feel good juices in all cases may be incorrect or even presumptuous. I don't think that feel good juices being produced gives us any indication of whether religion is based upon reality or fiction, it may just be how the brain reacts to a person's religious beliefs being reinforced (qua positive reinforcement). Does the brain create religion? I'm not sure. If religion was purely a creation of human-beings without being divinely influenced, then there are many reasons why it could have been created (aside from pure brain chemistry), including socio-political and psyhosocial reasons. I think that isolating a single cause for religious beliefs is problematic, because even if the evidence shows correlation, that may not imply cause. If religion is a cause of feel good juices as a fact of brain chemistry, wouldn't it cause feel good juices in everyone and not just theists?
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:31 pm

The ideas you considerer fact are part of the current psychiatric theories about the interactions of mind and matter. To claim they are fact is to claim some esoteric knowledge the theorists cannot at present know. All you have presented to me as fact is theoretical supposition. The need to make sense of pain, which brains detect, is not exhausted by a simple left brain induced syllogism. If you cannot understand how a correlation between two activities is not evidence of cause and effect, you will not understand why I criticize these "myths from the cortex". The "ghost" is that part of your brain that insists on applying logic to existential angst and mythology to mechanical functions. If you are right, all mental illnesses may be treated with a heavy dose of religion.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:09 am

Ierrellus wrote:The ideas you considered fact are part of the current psychiatric theories about the interactions of mind and matter. To claim they are fact is to claim some esoteric knowledge the theorists cannot at present know. All you have presented to me as fact is theoretical supposition. The need to make sense of pain, which brains detect, is not exhausted by a simple left brain induced syllogism. If you cannot understand how a correlation between two activities is not evidence of cause and effect, you will not understand why I criticize these "myths from the cortex".
Note Scientific theories where scientists considered as scientific facts and accepted by many as facts are merely 'polished conjecture[s]' from another perspective [Popper].

Thus what I considered as 'facts' are not absolute facts like what is claimed by theists for their dogmas [which is based on faith].
As such the credibility and confidence level for what I claimed as facts come in degrees.

In my case I would claim the confidence levels for the following are;

    1. Premise 1 - confidence level of 8/10
    2. Premise 2 - confidence level of 4/10.

Note the above are scientifically-based i.e. via empirical evidence with rationality and are not based on faith. While Premise 1 is based on well established research[s], Premise 2 is not so established.

In the above sense what I am claiming, i.e. 'The Brain Creates Religion' [deductively] has a higher credibility [qualified in degrees of confidence levels] than the theists' claim of 'God exists' which is merely based on blind faith.

Thus you cannot claim 'God exists' with absoluteness. My credible [5/10] counter would erode the credibility of your claim to 0/10 when coupled with my thesis re 'God is an Impossibility'.

What you are left for real, the only possibility why God arise within human consciousness is due to psychological reasons [confidence level 5/10].

The "ghost" is that part of your brain that insists on applying logic to existential angst and mythology to mechanical functions. If you are right, all mental illnesses may be treated with a heavy dose of religion.
Your above is bad logic. How did you arrive at such a conclusion?
The point is, existential angst is not a serious mental illness as those in the DSM-V [official manual of mental illnesses].
Thus while religions can relieve the existential angst it cannot cure whatever [all that] is in the DSM-V.

My thesis still stand;
There is no pre-existing real God waiting our there to be believed and clung to.
The idea of God arise within psychological factors within the self and this God-idea is wrapped with a theistic religion which is created by the brain.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:18 pm

I give up. Either you don't listen or you can't. I'll leave that up to others to decide.
You still don't know the difference between correlation and cause and effect, so you perpetuate your myth with unproved "facts."
Bye!
Last edited by Ierrellus on Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:13 am

Ierrellus wrote:I give up. Either you don't listen or you can't. I'll leave that up to others to decide.
You still don't know the difference between correlation and cause and effect, so you perpetuate your myth with unproved "facts."
Bye!
I will only accept if your arguments are justified rationally.

I am well aware of the intricate relation between correlation and 'cause and effect'.
Correlation can imply causation but such causation need to be justified and verified with various means.

Show me where I have insisted 'correlation' IS 'causation' [unqualified].

Note lots of scientific [& other] theories started with correlation between an independent variable and a dependent variable, then justified and are confirmed by peers.

Bye!

It is your discretion.
Note I advised you to take it easy earlier but you felt offended.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:01 am

Prismatic567 wrote:

Believing in God generates soothing "juices" in the brain that make us feel good.
by
Lionel Tiger
Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Tiger

Lionel Tiger stated humans suffer from "brain pains" and religion generates soothing "juices" in the brain that make us feel good.

Agree?

Yes, but so does eating good food or playing sports, or thinking up scientific solutions or making your way out of a difficult situation.
We could say that the brain uses religion to justify its own existence. Pascal would say that only by believing itself to be a righteous creation can it have pure thoughts.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:19 pm

Fanman wrote:Hi guys, I'm a new poster, but have been following the discussions for a while. I've had an interest in philosophy for a few years now. I used to be a theist, but I'm now agnostic. I may not be as well read as the rest of you so please bear with me :) . These are my thoughts on this topic.

I think that the brain produces feel good juices in response to certain stimuli that accord with a person's frame of reference/point of view. For example, finding out that someone you're attracted to is also attracted to you will produce feel good juices, among many other causes of feel good juices being produced. I think that religion does create feel good juices for individuals that are of a religious mindset, but for an atheist or agnostic it doesn't have the same effect. So to say that religion causes feel good juices in all cases may be incorrect or even presumptuous. I don't think that feel good juices being produced gives us any indication of whether religion is based upon reality or fiction, it may just be how the brain reacts to a person's religious beliefs being reinforced (qua positive reinforcement). Does the brain create religion? I'm not sure. If religion was purely a creation of human-beings without being divinely influenced, then there are many reasons why it could have been created (aside from pure brain chemistry), including socio-political and psyhosocial reasons. I think that isolating a single cause for religious beliefs is problematic, because even if the evidence shows correlation, that may not imply cause. If religion is a cause of feel good juices as a fact of brain chemistry, wouldn't it cause feel good juices in everyone and not just theists?

Welcome. You make sense!
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:02 pm

There is a simpler explanation perhaps, that implies a trend or exposed essentially the way the mind works, its function, as indicative of its structure, its evolutionary goal, as being what it essentially is.

The way science has developed , as an interloper, by insistent verification of causes, of hypotheticals, , is , by developing paradigm examples of Ideas, which can be demonstrative of the reductive effort to find caused causes.

And these causes are reductive by lessening the number of these choices of developmental factors, which are lessening because they leave out more and more particulars, in order to retain hegemony which can adhere to the paradigm.So, the paradigm idea becomes more reified and in a sense , idealized , by virtue of repeated cyclical re-association with IT's Self.

So far so good. All knowledge, in addition to scientific knowledge works in this manner, and that is why such knowledge can not let go, in fact, mankind can not let it go.

There develops an interminable relationship between the Idea and its application..

So it can be safely assumed that this developing sense of Self becomes the essential developing relation between the source. and its developing and yet to be defined outcome.

The relationship between this self and and the source is results in the shift of the paradigm to the right, replacing its manifested individual self being replaced. This logicality, is an expression of at first, of the totality of the center.Man was placed in, and after the so called great change of the failure of the Cogito ( Descartes) to travel to the left of the center, where central beliefs were protested against, and broke up the paradigm.

After that, the dissamblence increased to total denial of a central causative origin, and faith became just another liberal visage.

That said it brought us to post modern despair of the greatest doubting, the inability of the new God-science to become a substitute, instead if that, it. divided the self into two realms, by the razor of the peaceful uses of science being able to uphold mastery into its destructive potential, by creating a super intelligence-super man, who is posited with incredible power, and is able to save man; or its dreadful opposite.

The superman, the Messiah, the man god, the cybernetic hero will save us, so the argument goes.

This is no near fantasy of fake news, it is a structural reality, which is a very real paradigm , in the works, where the invention of god, will need to be renewed to sustain the greatest test of creation of faith in the difference between animal, man and machine.
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