The Brain Creates Religion

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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:34 pm

Religions have never been "created and directed by God". They amount to human assessments of what God is and does, assessments that have evolved over the centuries. In the evolution of ideas, old ones may hang around even though outdated because they have meaning for some folks.
It is the old ideas that are presented here for refutation. New ideas, such as that the brain creates feel good juices as evidence of its stability are currently being examined in the psychiatric community, which in general would deny any feel good, God is real type connection. The feel good comes from good brain functioning regardless of the nature of ideas the mind is thinking. One can be an atheist and can get feel good juices in the brain following or during the thinking of certain ideas such as God does not exist.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:36 am

Ierrellus wrote:Religions have never been "created and directed by God". They amount to human assessments of what God is and does, assessments that have evolved over the centuries. In the evolution of ideas, old ones may hang around even though outdated because they have meaning for some folks.
What I meant is theistic religions are ultimately linked to a God via beliefs and holy texts supposedly from a God [illusory and impossible]. Theistic religions do not exist without a God.

It is the old ideas that are presented here for refutation. New ideas, such as that the brain creates feel good juices as evidence of its stability are currently being examined in the psychiatric community, which in general would deny any feel good, God is real type connection. The feel good comes from good brain functioning regardless of the nature of ideas the mind is thinking. One can be an atheist and can get feel good juices in the brain following or during the thinking of certain ideas such as God does not exist.
As I had stated humans are by default infected with psychological desperation. This is recognized by Eastern religions like Buddhism, i.e. Life is Dukkha [translated as suffering] but that is basically psychological desperation and dealt as such.

But for theists, to soothe the above psychological desperation the majority [theists] discover theistic religions do produce soothing juices in the brain which are very effective to inhibit the associated angst. Religions follow from this discovery as organized religions.

Note the brain has a modular neural 'feel good' function represented by a specific circuit connected to various other parts of the brain like a spider web. This neural circuit can be triggered from various sources [sex, food, security, love, etc.] which can be good or evil [e.g. sadism].
Theistic religion happened to be one stimulus that trigger this 'feel good' function in the brain.

"The Brain Creates Religion" but there is a complex process and processes behind it.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:27 pm

That the brain can think religion is not proof that the brain created religion. We may have evolved to think as we do, with physicality as the ground of all beliefs.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:29 am

Ierrellus wrote:That the brain can think religion is not proof that the brain created religion. We may have evolved to think as we do, with physicality as the ground of all beliefs.
One proof is this;

Since the brain creates religion, the brain can also 'uncreate' religion.
Evidently, there are many religious people who has become unreligious and this can only be done by their brain.
In addition there is an increasing trend of people being irreligious [theistic and non-theistic] since 500 years ago.

The brain creates religion to deal with psychological impulses relating to the existential crisis.
There is no pre-existing God to direct the establishment of theistic religions.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:21 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Since the brain creates religion, the brain can also 'uncreate' religion.
Evidently, there are many religious people who has become unreligious and this can only be done by their brain.
As people keep pointing out to you people create beliefs of ALL kinds and these beliefs, including one's you hold dear, can change over time. There are diseases that doctors thought were just in the minds of their patients, but later these turned out to be real diseases, and now the doctors have other beliefs. Communists become capitalists. Atheists become theists. Skeptics become believers. Believers become skeptics. And this all includes believers in objects you think are real.

The brain creates religion to deal with psychological impulses relating to the existential crisis.
There is no pre-existing God to direct the establishment of theistic religions.
You confuse listing assertions with demonstrating the truth of something.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:59 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Since the brain creates religion, the brain can also 'uncreate' religion.
Evidently, there are many religious people who has become unreligious and this can only be done by their brain.
As people keep pointing out to you people create beliefs of ALL kinds and these beliefs, including one's you hold dear, can change over time. There are diseases that doctors thought were just in the minds of their patients, but later these turned out to be real diseases, and now the doctors have other beliefs. Communists become capitalists. Atheists become theists. Skeptics become believers. Believers become skeptics. And this all includes believers in objects you think are real.
I agree beliefs can change either way.
But for beliefs to be objective knowledge it has to be justified, i.e. JTB.

Note I mentioned in the other thread, the question of God is moot and a non-starter, thus the question of justification via the empirical rational basis is out of the question.

The brain creates religion to deal with psychological impulses relating to the existential crisis.
There is no pre-existing God to direct the establishment of theistic religions.
You confuse listing assertions with demonstrating the truth of something.
The above are assertions but I have provided their justification in various threads to justify my assertions.
See:

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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:25 pm

Who or what determines JTB? If it is one idea held by a billion or so individuals, Christianity would fit the bill. This is not an populist fallacy. It is evidence that what works for one may work for many.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:55 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Who or what determines JTB? If it is one idea held by a billion or so individuals, Christianity would fit the bill. This is not an populist fallacy. It is evidence that what works for one may work for many.
Furthermore, the Christian nations are the most technologically and scientifically advanced and also the most politically free.

Therefore, Christianity appears "to work" on many levels.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:52 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Who or what determines JTB? If it is one idea held by a billion or so individuals, Christianity would fit the bill. This is not an populist fallacy. It is evidence that what works for one may work for many.

JTB is not appeal to popularity. If your specific justification system is based on that criterion, then OK. But generally people who talk about JTB do not use that as justification. In fact I have never encountered it. If you are saying that christianity works,then you need to justify that. Phyllo makes an attempt, though we would need to show its causal not correlation. And an athiest might thne point out that these societies are more secular than others. This might mean, for example, that Christianity is better than other religions because it comes to be ignored by so many facets of the societies it is the main religion. In any case that would be a kind of intrumentalist justification. That is one not based on truth, ie. ontology. I happen to like that kind of justification, though I think it doesnt work well in this example.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:11 am

Ierrellus wrote:Who or what determines JTB? If it is one idea held by a billion or so individuals, Christianity would fit the bill. This is not an populist fallacy. It is evidence that what works for one may work for many.
The most credible JTBs are scientific knowledge and more credible when further rationalized and reinforced with philosophy-proper.

Why are scientific knowledge the most credible?
It is because they are leveraged upon a Scientific Framework and System with its Scientific Methods, assumptions, limitations, principles, processes, peer review and other conditions.
Scientific knowledge is the most credible because it is objective, i.e. testable and repeatable and any one can test the conclusion [without personal subjective bias] to convince themselves it is true.

Whilst Scientists rely totally on their Framework and System to judge the credibility of scientific knowledge, philosophers reinforce scientific knowledge with rational and sound philosophical theories.

Christianity is not leverage on objective knowledge.
What Christianity is leveraged on is the claim that God exists who delivered his message to one person called Jesus Christs.
The idea God exists [as demonstrated] is an impossibility and there is no way for any one to test and repeat the same conclusion 'God exists as real'.

By its defaults, it is impossible for Science to prove the existence of God.

Now what other more efficient Framework and System can you think, show, produce to rely on to prove God exists? I say there is none, except;

My claim is the 'idea of God exists' arose purely out of psychological impulses within the brain of theists to deal with an inherent unavoidable existential crisis. I have given explanations and evidences to prove the above.

In addition, many Eastern philosophies has recognized this non-theistic psychological perspective and dealt with it psychologically.
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:15 am

phyllo wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Who or what determines JTB? If it is one idea held by a billion or so individuals, Christianity would fit the bill. This is not an populist fallacy. It is evidence that what works for one may work for many.
Furthermore, the Christian nations are the most technologically and scientifically advanced and also the most politically free.

Therefore, Christianity appears "to work" on many levels.
With the above views, one is throwing one's intelligence into the drain.

When and where has Christianity been the determining factor to drive objective knowledge and technology?
Note my reply to Ierrellus above.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:29 am

Christianity says that the world is ordered, that knowledge can be gained about it and that it can be changed. It's a real objective external world. That philosophical approach makes science possible.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:51 am

phyllo wrote:Christianity says that the world is ordered, that knowledge can be gained about it and that it can be changed. It's a real objective external world. That philosophical approach makes science possible.
The above is a very messy claim.
Note GIGO and it does not follow.

    1. God exists - no proof, God is an illusion and an impossibility.
    2. God created the world that is ordered.
    3. Knowledge of the God created world can be gained and changed
    4. The God created world is a real objective external world - contentious

Note premise 1 is based on an illusion, thus deductively all that follow are illusory.

That philosophical approach makes science possible.

Philosophical?? It is an illusory theory.
No proper scientist will agree with the above.

What makes Science possible is the establishment of the Scientific Framework and System to process and churn out empirical scientific knowledge.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:05 am

It makes no difference whether God exists or not.

It works either way.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:39 am

phyllo wrote:It makes no difference whether God exists or not.
It works either way.
Where is your sense of logic and rationality?
Anyone can insist on the above. Whatever ideology and the evil elements proposed by Islam [with 1.5 billion Muslims] also works.

Note the original point was Ierrellus claimed Christianity is based on JTB which he wrongly thought is based on the consensus of billions of people.
viewtopic.php?p=2692261#p2692261
I have shown Christianity has no solid grounds to be a JTB.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:40 pm

phyllo wrote:Christianity says that the world is ordered, that knowledge can be gained about it and that it can be changed. It's a real objective external world. That philosophical approach makes science possible.
Pretty much all the religions say that. You could argue that Hinduism says it is Maya, but still one can learn about Maya. It is an ordered set of phenomena one can learn about. Certainly all indigenous groups, who would not separate out relgion from other facets of life the way moderns tend to, learned via empiricism, though not only through the kinds of learning we tend to lump under (scientific) empiricism. So we still would need to show why Christianity leads to advancing some societies, if it does.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:13 pm

Certainly all indigenous groups, who would not separate out relgion from other facets of life the way moderns tend to, learned via empiricism, though not only through the kinds of learning we tend to lump under (scientific) empiricism.
Indigenous groups tend not to want to change and mold the world, favoring instead an adaptation to the world.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:33 pm

Note the original point was Ierrellus claimed Christianity is based on JTB which he wrongly thought is based on the consensus of billions of people.
He wrote that it "works". I just proposed a criteria for what "works" could mean - scientific and technological advancement. I moved away from concentrating on personal subjective "happy brain juices" to something that could be measured and compared.

Where is your sense of logic and rationality?
I'm using it. One can't know which of the events described in the New Testament really happened. One can't know if Jesus was really the son of God.

But one can know the consequences of having Christianity as a personal and/or state religion are. And one can compare those consequences to the consequences of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc.

Sure, there are lots of factors at play, besides personal/state religions, but one can see some trends. One trend is that Buddhism achieves almost nothing scientific. Why? Because it's too internally focused.

I'm bypassing the abstract debates and I'm talking about what is practical and effective.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:19 pm

phyllo wrote:
Certainly all indigenous groups, who would not separate out religion from other facets of life the way moderns tend to, learned via empiricism, though not only through the kinds of learning we tend to lump under (scientific) empiricism.
Indigenous groups tend not to want to change and mold the world, favoring instead an adaptation to the world.
I don't think that's really the case. 1492 is a nice summation of a lot of the research about indigenous groups in the Americas before Columbus' arrival and they were doing all sorts of terraforming, for example. But on a smaller scale, like say with medicinal herbs, they were doing all sorts of empirical type research, using plants, in combinations and singly, processing them, often in complicated ways, for their own use. IOW they aimed emprical research at nature, changed it, and used it. IOW their beliefs lay a groundwork for science and technology. And how do we judge the success of their choices about what to study and what to change? Christianity tells us we have dominion over nature, and that nature/the world is not that important. That facet of Christianity might lead to the radical turning everything into products we do. We'll see if that should be called successful fairly soon I would guess.
I do think the technocrats have inherited the arrogance of built into Christianity in relation to nature, for example.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:19 pm

1492 is a nice summation of a lot of the research about indigenous groups in the Americas before Columbus' arrival and they were doing all sorts of terraforming, for example.
And that's not just a politically correct rewriting of history? :-k
Christianity tells us we have dominion over nature, and that nature/the world is not that important. That facet of Christianity might lead to the radical turning everything into products we do. We'll see if that should be called successful fairly soon I would guess.
Well sure, advanced technology may kill us all ... bio weapons, nuclear weapons, genetic engineering and AI are just a few of the ways. And then there is the depletion of resources by "efficiently" manufacturing useless crap. Therefore, advanced technology may not even be considered a "good". Maybe sustainability is a critical term in the evaluation of what is "good" and worth pursuing. And indigenous populations probably value that much more than North American Christians.

My goal here is to move away from "happy brain juices" discussion and towards something real and tangible.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:22 am

phyllo wrote:
Note the original point was Ierrellus claimed Christianity is based on JTB which he wrongly thought is based on the consensus of billions of people.
He wrote that it "works". I just proposed a criteria for what "works" could mean - scientific and technological advancement. I moved away from concentrating on personal subjective "happy brain juices" to something that could be measured and compared.
Yes, I admit it works but it works directly only for psychological benefits, i.e. theistic religions work to soothe the existential crisis in promising salvation with eternal life in Paradise.

Nope, got to be joking, there is no way one can link scientific and technological advancements directly to the holy texts of Christianity or religions. I don't want to drag into this argument. If you insist you can keep it, I don't want to waste my time on it.

Where is your sense of logic and rationality?
I'm using it. One can't know which of the events described in the New Testament really happened. One can't know if Jesus was really the son of God.

But one can know the consequences of having Christianity as a personal and/or state religion are. And one can compare those consequences to the consequences of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc.

Sure, there are lots of factors at play, besides personal/state religions, but one can see some trends. One trend is that Buddhism achieves almost nothing scientific. Why? Because it's too internally focused.

I'm bypassing the abstract debates and I'm talking about what is practical and effective.
As stated above, religions work directly for psychological benefits, i.e. soothe the existential crisis and angst.

True Buddhism achieves nothing scientific because that is not the purpose of Buddhism as a religion [Ninian Smart's definition].
True Buddhism is very focused internally [explicit in the Buddha's Story and 4 Noble Truths] because psychological and life stability require very strong internal psychological foundations and stuctures to deal with the inevitable turbulences in life.

    4 Noble Truths
    The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
    The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
    The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
    The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)

Buddhism faces reality and deal with it effectively.
The Abrahamic religions focused on an illusion [God] thus flimsy.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:47 am

As stated above, religions work directly for psychological benefits, i.e. soothe the existential crisis and angst.
If that were true then why would there be so much guilt and fear about eternal damnation. Why have any punishment for sin? Why have a doctrine of original sin? Why have Jesus say that "all have fallen short of the glory of God"?

If it's all about "soothing" then it would make much more sense to create a religion with a blissful afterlife in heaven and no hell.
True Buddhism achieves nothing scientific because that is not the purpose of Buddhism as a religion [Ninian Smart's definition].
True Buddhism is very focused internally [explicit in the Buddha's Story and 4 Noble Truths] because psychological and life stability require very strong internal psychological foundations and stuctures to deal with the inevitable turbulences in life.
As if you can just separate science from a person's religious and philosophical beliefs. Maybe like "today I'm doing science so the world is not just illusion ... today it's real and objective with permanent laws ... until 5 o'clock when I go home."
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:38 pm

4 Noble Truths
The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)


Buddhism faces reality and deal with it effectively.
The Abrahamic religions focused on an illusion [God] thus flimsy.
Buddhism makes all sort of claims about the nature of existence. Perhaps they are no more real than the claims of the other religions.

The noble truths may not be as noble or truthy as you believe.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby Ierrellus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:40 pm

Very true, Phyllo. There exists today progressive religious sects who do not believe in the corrupt nature of man as determining some afterlife of non-punitive torture. See Matthew Fox's "Original Blessing".
In any event it makes little sense to me to anthropomorphize brain chemistry by suggesting what thoughts it can or can create without considering the genetic evolution of the brain as a source of such thoughts. Existential angst may only amount to incentive to move forward, which, if not followed, could be experienced as negative. Feeling good may, as I continue to emphasize, may only be the indication that everything is working properly. The brain is the supervisory organ for all bodily processes. When body parts malfunction the brain expresses pain, depression, etc., all of the negatives which require no further explanation than that they are experienced.
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Re: The Brain Creates Religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:49 pm

When body parts malfunction the brain expresses pain, depression, etc., all of the negatives which require no further explanation than that they are experienced.
Ah, but go to a Western doctor and he/she orders some tests. If the tests show "nothing", then you are dismissed as a hypochondriac. Your pains are imaginary.
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