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Thread: Spirituality & Brain Damage

  1. #1 Spirituality & Brain Damage 
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    http://www.livescience.com/health/sp...nk-100211.html

    "Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say. " - LiveScience Staff

    What do you think about this? Any thoughts?


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  3. #2  
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    My thoughts? We evolved to feel attached to our pack... to our family... and to our environment. These attachments are strong, and useful, and so were reinforced through selection. Selection for this was so robust that parts of the brain became specialized in the sense of attachment and group association. When those brain areas are damaged, people's sense of "oneness" with the nature around them... with the universe... is greatly magnified. Interestingly, people also experience this while on certain drugs and chemicals like MDMA, which results in different levels of activity in those same brain regions. That magnified sense of attachment is generally called "spirituality."

    In short, a bunch of natural brain stuff used for very useful functions in survival can result in the by-product of spirituality, especially when those regions are damaged or under the influence of certain drugs.


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    Hmm, so spirituality is practically a form of trying to survive after death because of one knowing about death? Such as, humans have such a need for survival that they create religion in an attempt to survive the inevitable certainty of death. This seems to say that religion could be said as being an evolution in the mind for survival? Does this sound right?
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    Well, that is certainly possible, but it is not what I meant with my post. My point was that in our evolutionary past we relied on those around us to survive. We formed bonds with our parents, our siblings, other pack members... fellow hunters, fellow gatherers, fellow troop members...

    These attachments to others helped us to survive. We had people to look over our backs, and to care for us when we were sick, and to care for our children should we die... thus leading to higher chance of survival for our children. The pack mentality was such a vital part to our own survival that certain regions of the brain soon began to specialize in these attachments with others.

    We feel rewarded when we have good friendships. We feel pleasure when we mate with someone. We feel accepted when we are part of a community, and all of these things are strongly reinforced with neurochemicals... The attachments are so important that our brains have evolved to encourage them... to reward us with pleasure when those connections with those around us are strengthened.

    There are parts of the brain that specialize in this attachment to others... that specialize in making us feel connected to nature and the environment around us. These areas that provide us with the sense of connection and attachment... when damaged or under the influence of certain drugs... are the same areas responsible for a feeling of "oneness with the universe" or what others call "spirituality."

    As for the natural explanations of why religion has taken precedence, there are a few other discussions on that topic already. Check them out.


    http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=22198
    http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=21810
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  6. #5  
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    The adaptation that iNow talks of is a big part of things. Groups like to follow a similar 'cause', and this need to become one with the beliefs of the group is selected for in evolution. If you agree with the group, you are more likely to survive and reproduce. Thus, this quality evolves.

    However, there is a second quality required for religiosity. I call it gullibility, though the religious call it faith.
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  7. #6 Re: Spirituality & Brain Damage 
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    Quote Originally Posted by korben
    http://www.livescience.com/health/spirituality-brain-link-100211.html

    "Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say. " - LiveScience Staff

    What do you think about this? Any thoughts?
    Actually the article is talking about persons surviving brain tumours taking on a greater "spiritual" aspect in their lives ... which tends to indicate that the article is more about hinting the roots of the spiritual and religious attitudes of the so-called researchers more than anything else ....
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    Yeah, lol. I kind of did go off-topic in my own thread. I don't know where the idea came from, but the way "inow" worded his first post made me start thinking of why religion/spirituality originated in the mind of humans and I was just trying to relate it to survival (which to me is the only real meaning to life).
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    Well, in that case, there are two prevailing views:

    One - Religion is a byproduct of adaptations we've made which help us to survive (adaptations like being able to mentally rehearse interactions with unseen others, like having a sense of attachment to our community and family, like assigning causation to things even when their might not be any such causative agent, etc.).

    Two - Religious belief and practice itself helped communities to advance and survive since there was a common narrative tying the group/pack together more consistently... one story to unite them and move forward toward common goals.


    Both explanations have their strengths, and I personally do not find them to be mutually exclusive.
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    actually the prevailing view is that religion has a very real and purposeful meaning and use, your above two views are held by a very small minority of the world's population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    actually the prevailing view is that religion has a very real and purposeful meaning and use
    Please elaborate. What might those be?


    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    your above two views are held by a very small minority of the world's population.
    Truth and accuracy are not based on popularity. Did you have any specific criticisms which negate the validity of the views I've shared above? If so, I'd welcome learning what those are.
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    Actually, most sects of Religion are seen by a mass majority of the population as obsolete or wrong. There is no majority winner, so, truth be told, the majority says that every religion is either obsolete (Roman Gods) or wrong (Christianity).


    Proof: Islam is incompatible with the tenets of Christianity, due to a disagreement with the fundamental ideals behind the two (Jesus being the son of God, and Muhammad being the final profit of God). If all Muslims say Christians are wrong and vis versa, then we have a Minority Muslim and a Majority Christianity. Now, add in Hinduism, who disagree with both Abrahamic religions, and both disagree with Hinduism. With a total of approximately 4.4-5 billion people, there is a majority of those who disagree with the largest held religious staple, Christianity (2.1-2.2 billion adherents). Since we have a majority who disagree with the supposed majority, I think its safe to say the majority opinion is that religions are wrong.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Good point. I once read an estimate that there are 20,000 substantially different religions on planet Earth. This ignores minor differences in denomination. Now, each of those 20,000 religions claim to be sole possessors of The Truth. And everyone else is wrong.

    Obviously, this cannot be correct. The maximum number of religions that can have it correct is one. My own view is that the number that are correct is zero.
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    Suffice to say, its less than or equal to 1. I don't care which, if any, is correct. It's the fact that all but 1 are wrong that I care about
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Selection for (group attachments) was so robust that parts of the brain became specialized in the sense of attachment and group association. When those brain areas are damaged, people's sense of "oneness" with the nature around them... with the universe... is greatly magnified.
    That's not exactly what happened here though. We damaged a specific area of the brain already known responsible for "Me" definition. The result was people with a blurred sense of self, who scored highly in their sense of "universal oneness".

    So the idea now is that in some individuals excessively self-centered thoughts may be emanating from this area, which we could suppress.



    This is gonna sound wild, but I think this study corroborates a pet-theory of mine, that prehistoric surgery through the skull (which by fossil record was typically successful and freakishly common especially among early civilizations) was deliberate psychosurgery to modify social behaviour. Most of their holes access the parietal lobes.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Trephination was conducted by many cultures throughout history and prehistory. Some of the earliest known examples are with Andean cultures where the trepanned areas were coincident with prior cranial damage due to injuries. If indeed the incidence of parietal region trephinations is higher than, say, frontal or occipital, then this could correlate to the incidence of being struck in the head during conflict by club or mace. In fact, a study that I cite in a monograph I wrote on the topic of artificial cranial modification closely correlates a particular mace to the wound sizes found in reformed bone present in trepanned regions of the skull.

    While "psychosurgery" may have been a goal of some trephinations, it seems unlikely at least for many if not most. Still, there are indications that even early "surgeons" were aware that head ache and even behavior was correlated to the brain or at least in the head. But this isn't hard to intuit since there is a definite sense of "being" that comes from the region. Early archaeologists and scientists (Broca and others) thought that trephination was a method of "letting out demons" or some other supernatural response to human beliefs.

    I studied this at length and found little or no evidence to support it. Though there's no reason it cannot be so that I've found either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Selection for (group attachments) was so robust that parts of the brain became specialized in the sense of attachment and group association. When those brain areas are damaged, people's sense of "oneness" with the nature around them... with the universe... is greatly magnified.
    That's not exactly what happened here though.
    Well, actually... Yes, it was, but whatever.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    There are parts of the brain that specialize in this attachment to others... that specialize in making us feel connected to nature and the environment around us. These areas that provide us with the sense of connection and attachment... when damaged or under the influence of certain drugs... are the same areas responsible for a feeling of "oneness with the universe" or what others call "spirituality."
    In the study we destroyed tissue already believed to define "Me". That tissue had apparently acted to inhibit "connectedness", because without it people suddenly felt a loss of self-definition i.e. blurring with the larger world. Nothing in this study suggests a part of brain specialized in connectedness with society or nature - rather it suggests a targetable part specialized in defining self as separate from other people, nature, etc.

    Turn it over. But whatever...



    SkinWalker, treatment of head injury is certainly the simplest (best) explanation, and it sounds like you've got the crime weapon to prove it. Still, these injuries and operations were common enough we must have learned that mucking with the brain modifies behaviour... and learned that certain areas damaged caused certain behavioural changes.

    Surgery to modify social behaviour strikes modern sensibility as barbaric. But we're talking about cultures where such was commonplace: amputation of the clitoris, the testicles, or caste branding, slitting of the tongue, foot mutilation, etc. were all acceptable means of fitting individuals to social roles. So, yeah no doubt a warrior with crushed testicle would have it surgically removed... yet people still could learn the consequences of castration, or practice castration where no injury demanded it. I doubt the Peruvians would have had qualms about damaging a brain specifically to "fix" a person. It may have been required by law in some cases e.g. war captives.

    Perhaps the normal fate of captives was to get bonked unconscious prior to corrective surgery? So they would lose their will to resist that greater society they now belong to.

    Not so long ago we rendered servants deaf, apparently a standard practice accepted by all:

    Quote Originally Posted by Exodus 21
    5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

    6 then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    There are parts of the brain that specialize in this attachment to others... that specialize in making us feel connected to nature and the environment around us. These areas that provide us with the sense of connection and attachment... when damaged or under the influence of certain drugs... are the same areas responsible for a feeling of "oneness with the universe" or what others call "spirituality."
    In the study we destroyed tissue already believed to define "Me". That tissue had apparently acted to inhibit "connectedness", because without it people suddenly felt a loss of self-definition i.e. blurring with the larger world. Nothing in this study suggests a part of brain specialized in connectedness with society or nature - rather it suggests a targetable part specialized in defining self as separate from other people, nature, etc.

    Turn it over. But whatever...
    Okay, Pong. I'm not following you. You're gonna have to help me out here a bit, brother.

    You are implying that the part of the brain which defines "ME" is different from the part of the brain which leads people to be more attached to others and connected. Is that accurate? If so, in addition to noting that the entire left hemisphere tends to be involved with sense of self and "Me-ness," my point about a sense of attachment, spirituality, and religious experience was, in fact, talking about the same part of the brain that you seem to be referencing.

    So where exactly is your problem with my point?


    Notice in the actual journal article mention of the temporal and parietal lobes:

    http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(10)00052-8
    Combining pre- and post-neurosurgery personality assessment with advanced brain-lesion mapping techniques, we found that selective damage to left and right inferior posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase of self-transcendence. Therefore, modifications of neural activity in temporoparietal areas may induce unusually fast modulations of a stable personality trait related to transcendental self-referential awareness. These results hint at the active, crucial role of left and right parietal systems in determining self-transcendence and cast new light on the neurobiological bases of altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors in neurological and mental disorders.

    Now, you seem to be referring primarily to a study cited from 2008 when talking about the connection of spirituality with "Me-ness":

    http://www.livescience.com/health/08...in-spirit.html
    The area in question — the right parietal lobe — is responsible for defining "Me," said researcher Brick Johnstone of Missouri University. It generates self-criticism, he said, and guides us through physical and social terrains by constantly updating our self-knowledge: my hand, my cocktail, my witty conversation skills, my new love interest ...

    People with less active Me-Definers are more likely to lead spiritual lives, reports the study in the current issue of the journal Zygon.

    Now, if you again look at the actual journal article, you readily find additional mention of the temporal and parietal lobes:

    http://www.zygonjournal.org/issue2008_4.html
    The data support a neuropsychological model that proposes that spiritual experiences are related to decreased activity of the right parietal lobe, which may be associated with decreased awareness of the self (transcendence) and increased activity of the left temporal lobe, which may be associated with the experience of specific religious archetypes (religious figures and symbols).

    As you may have read, this is all well inline with other research suggesting these are the areas primarily responsible for our sense of spirituality, connection with the universe, and even sense of god. For example, see below:


    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20....full.pdf+html
    This study defines a psychological and neuroanatomical framework for the (predominately explicit) processing of religious belief. Within this framework, religious belief engages well-known brain networks performing abstract semantic processing, imagery, and intent-related and emotional ToM, processes known to occur at both implicit and explicit levels (36, 39, 50). Moreover, the process of adopting religious beliefs depends on cognitive-emotional interactions within the anterior insulae, particularly among religious subjects. The findings support the view that religiosity is integrated in cognitive processes and brain networks used in social cognition, rather than being sui generis.

    And here, where they discuss the involvement of these regions in social attachment and love:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796039/
    From the BOLD signal obtained by subtraction of the neural response that occurred while the subjects were shown pictures of their lovers and viewing their friends, we found statistically significant activations at an early stage of love. The left superior frontal gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus {Brodmann area (BA) 6}, left cingulate gyrus (BA 32), left subgyrus, right pons and right precentral gyrus, right frontal gyrus, right parietal postcentral gyrus, and anterior lobe of right cerebellum were significantly activated (p<0.05) when the participants were viewing the pictures of their lovers, compared with when they were viewing the pictures of their friends. Among these activations, those which reached the most significant level were the left superior frontal gyrus, left cingulate gyrus
    Note also there are plenty of studies out there which suggest that the social challenges faced by autistics are often a result of deficits in the temporal lobes. I could easily cite them, but feel my point has been made.


    So, I'll ask you more plainly: What exactly in my post are you suggesting was inaccurate, and why did you suggest "That's not exactly what happened here?" I'm truly curious to know. Maybe I'll get to learn something new today. :-D
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    So where exactly is your problem with my point?
    Okay, let's ensure we share terms.

    Connectedness/oneness/spirituality/self-transcendence/universality are roughly synonymous in this context. "Me"/self-definition means something else. Self-definition is antithetical to universality. "Me" vs. "We" right?

    We're examining if and how these opposing attitudes depend on functional parietal lobes... maybe just a small portion of one lobe; the data's yet insufficient. Perhaps this area is the seat of "me" or "we"?



    We found that destruction of this tissue "induced a specific increase of self-transcendence."

    Now, that above statement is a bit confusing. After subtracting A, we observed B. It sounds almost like you create something by eliminating something else. I think that's where you got turned around. In fact you indicated that A is where self-transcendence resides, illogically because
    When those brain areas are damaged, people's sense of "oneness" with the nature around them... with the universe... is greatly magnified.
    B is self-transcendence AKA "we". So obviously we did not destroy or impair whatever makes people think "we" thoughts. It seems logical to me that what was actually destroyed in A (the parietal lobes) was "We"s antithesis, namely "Me". In a normal brain this "Me" radiating from the parietal lobe(s) moderates "We" thoughts, so by impairing it we unleashed "We"-thinking. It's kinda like if you tie my right hand behind my back, my left-handedness will suddenly increase. Removal of my right hand may cause left-handedness, but that doesn't locate left-handedness in the right hand.

    Additionally an earlier study suggested self-definition (not self-transcendence) active in this area.



    Where exactly "We" is located (if anywhere) is another question. We just know it isn't in the parts destroyed. I understand your desire to pin spirituality as a bug of the brain, but you're gonna have to hang fire on this.
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    Okay. Two questions.

    1) Were you one of the investigators in the study? You keep commenting like "we found" and "we destroyed tissue." Please confirm that you were involved directly in this research, or explain your strange choice of pronoun if that's not the case.

    2) You seem to ignore the inhibatory feedback mechanisms the brain displays. Very often, such as when our emotions and amygdalal/hippocampal regions are inhibited by the prefrontal cortex, inhibition is just as important... and potentially more important... than activation alone. Are you arguing against this fact? It sure seems so based on your "Subtract B from A" comments above. They seem sophomoric, since the simple fact of the matter is that... when dealing in neurobiology and psychological experience... you VERY often get something by subtracting something else. Do you disagree with this? If so, why? Studies of seizure patients often becoming more spiritual once areas of their temporal and parietal lobes have been damaged is further evidence in support of my position... a position with which you seem to disagree.
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    1) LOL. Sorry, that's just the way I think. See above! I like to believe the self-defining part of me allocated to more fruitful function, but who knows? Maybe Pong's parietal lobes are simply shrivelled?

    2) So, are you maintaining that self-transcendence is seated in parietal lobes? By destroying tissue in this area it becomes overactive? That doesn't seem the logical or simple interpretation of our evidence.

    "Inhibatory feedback" yes that's what I said above (parietal "Me" moderating "We" operating elsewhere) This contradicted your several earlier opinions.

    Are you reversing our positions now? If so, I'll gladly take the losing side, sucker. :wink:
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  23. #22  
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    Zuh?
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  24. #23 Re: Spirituality & Brain Damage 
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    Quote Originally Posted by korben
    http://www.livescience.com/health/spirituality-brain-link-100211.html

    "Scientists have identified areas of the brain that, when damaged, lead to greater spirituality. The findings hint at the roots of spiritual and religious attitudes, the researchers say. " - LiveScience Staff

    What do you think about this? Any thoughts?
    Hi.

    I had an answer for your other topic on spirituality all written before I noticed it was locked.

    I give it to you now if you do not mind.

    You cannot disassociate spirituality and religion. Religion is the expression of what we know of the spiritual.

    Anyone whose spirituality has lead them to God are duty bound to try to teach what he or she has learned and if successful, behold, a new religion.

    It is nice when the spiritual person is not of the same old Bible thumping kind who believes that he has found God in a 3000 year old book. That one is likely a fool.

    If God was that easy to find then we would all know Him.

    As far as I know, I am the only one here who has admitted an apotheosis and any believer that does not experience this will know, or should know, that his search should continue.
    Without apotheosis, believers lie when they say that God exists. They can get away with saying that they believe or have faith in a God but if they say that God definitely exists without some kind of personal revelation then they are lying.

    God is real but He is not the Bible God and has yet to be named.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For this question, I do not think that damage has much to do with stimulating spirituality. That issue is desire driven.
    If an accident creates desire to know then well and good and we can say that the accident stimulated the desire but I think that that is as far as I would take it.

    If you can believe in apotheosis or a rapprochement to God, then spirituality can be assuaged.
    If belief in this is not possible then the seekers mind is not open enough to just let things go and he will likely never find the Godhead.

    Regardss
    DL
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    I seem to remember reading that people with Parkinsons Disease tend to lose their faith.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokey
    I seem to remember reading that people with Parkinsons Disease tend to lose their faith.
    I guess that they think better in some areas then.
    They come to realize that faith without facts is for fools.

    Regards
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  27. #26 Re: Spirituality & Brain Damage 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    You cannot disassociate spirituality and religion.
    Unadulterated poopeycock.

    Whilst religion arrogantly claims a (3500+ year-old) authority over the "spiritual" realm, yet after all this time, it still fails to have a single inkling of what this term, in fact represents - in reality!!!! As such, it is every bit, a fraudulent, insidious and mendacious enterprise - indeed an enemy of every living human being, and will ultimately rot in its own hell for its self-serving monopolistic control and manipulation per a most fundamental part of all of us - when it of course, has never in the first instance; apprehended the relevant facts, nor had any right to proclaim such authority - as you still defend.

    Spirituality and religion ONLY become associated via the clouded and cancerous reasoning of those who pine for (their) good olde days of the religious overlord who, from his pulpit on high, hands down what the rest of us must think, and steadfastly refuses to recognise any questions - per reality!

    The two cannot ever be considered; as being in the least, consistently associated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    Religion is the expression of what we know of the spiritual.
    You, like your religious overlords; know absolutely NOTHING of the spiritual, apart from the entirely rancid and putrescent deceptions of religion - upon which you obviously graze.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am
    They come to realize that faith without facts is for fools
    Who's the fool?

    Do you ever consider the fact that your faith in posting reveals absolutely no concordance with understanding? Indeed, faith becomes such BECAUSE it has no facts in reality upon which to call. Faith is only necessary when you neither know, nor intend to make effort towards understanding.

    Or perhaps, I'm misreading you. As this thread is re. brain damage, perhaps you are running a demonstration on the issue - in which case, your efforts are to be applauded.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Religion is the expression of what we know of the spiritual.
    No, it is not. Religion is the expression of what some people said about the spiritual, without offering any proof.

    Furthermore, if religion would stick to the spiritual, everything would be fine by me. Sparks begin to appear close to my years when religious people start pretending they know things about non-spiritual issues, closing their eyes to reality and bending facts so as to match their concepts.
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  29. #28  
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    religion has nothing to do with spirituality. Religion is an institution that incurs a set of supernatural beliefs, spirituality non-included.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  30. #29 Re: Spirituality & Brain Damage 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am

    If God was that easy to find then we would all know Him.
    Do you speak like this to everybody - you know, in real life? I mean, do the other ten year olds oooh! and ahhh! when you spray them with arrogant slogans like this in the playground??????

    We DO all know him - or our version of the myth, thanks to the entire industy of religio-purveyors, who for their own (non-spiritual) gain, have been hard-wiring us on the issue for at least 3500 years. The biggest problem has always been mindless plebs, who can't be bothered to sufficiently employ their intelligence to see around such self-indulgent deceptions, and then arrogantly proclaim self, as being the 'one' who understands/knows.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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  31. #30 Indeed 
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    I'm sure when they figure out the body/mind/spirit/soul thing out you'll understand.
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  32. #31 Re: Indeed 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilomanjaro
    I'm sure when they figure out the body/mind/spirit/soul thing out you'll understand.
    What if what gets "figure[d] out" is that it's just a body and mind (i.e. brain)? That's where the evidence points so far.
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  33. #32 Re: Indeed 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilomanjaro
    I'm sure when they figure out the body/mind/spirit/soul thing out you'll understand.
    So who's going to figure it out, then? Religion?

    They've had too long already and failed comprehensively all that time - yes even with such basics. So I guess you can continue to wait around until they start to get it right, or......................

    You can chew on the concordant simplicity below, but because we seem to expect a dietary supplementation of rigidity and complexity, you may expect at first, to suffer a little indigestion and.


    A. Body - the physical container (including brain) that carries each of us ('me') around the place for a few years.

    B. Mind - the true and vital 'me' - for all of us. This is certainly NOT part of A., and is NOT physical, so refer to 'D.'

    C. Soul - the composite of A. and B. (above)

    D. Spirit/ual - the double non-physical (essences) that constitute/underpin B., and are the core options for every decision 'I' ever make - via B.

    Welcome to the forum.
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  34. #33  
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    Since the mind is nothing more than our an concept of what's really the brain's awareness of itself, the spirit and soul are just make believe though they sometimes serve as useful metaphors for the brain's perceptions.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Since the mind is nothing more than our an concept of what's really the brain's awareness of itself, the spirit and soul are just make believe though they sometimes serve as useful metaphors for the brain's perceptions.
    I'm not exactly sure in entirety, what your post is saying, but one thing is for dead certain and self-evident; anyone who has already given up on understanding deeper realities, will surely never investigate even the possibility of those deeper realities, and therefore never have the opportunity to discover any of such, nor realise any benefits from appreciating and/or embracing; as indeed are extant.

    More essentially again; it's not particularly scientific to whitewash any investigation into what you have failed yourself to comprehend or accept, with a forlorn and vacuous statement such as "it's just make believe"!!!!!!
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  36. #35  
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    And yet we are left with your reference to "deeper realities," implying that there exist multiple "realities" but without any sort of reference to how one might perceive more than one "reality."

    Reality being that which is actual, bona fide, genuine... possessing that quality of realness over that of invented, imagined, or otherwise fake. There is reality and there is non-reality.

    So, before you can claim multiple realities, realities "deeper" than the one we are present in, you must first demonstrate that such "realities" are different than or separate from reality. Either something exists or it doesn't. Either something is real or it isn't. Things aren't simply real depending on your worldview. Christians believe their god created the Earth (some think it was quite recently); the Zuni have a very different creation belief. Together they aren't separate (or "deeper") realities. One or neither is either real or it isn't.

    There are lots of myths about "souls" and "spirits" that exist in many cultures. This common theme leads many to believe that this alone is evidence of existence. But these people ignore the other common element, which is the cognitive function of Homo sapiens. We learn and imagine in very similar ways. We experience the apparent illusion of consciousness and sense of self and refuse to believe that this is a result of electro-chemical interactions within the body. But all efforts to find a "soul" or "spirit" among H. sapiens has proved fruitless or inconclusive at best.
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  37. #36 ONLY REALITY, for goodness sake! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    And yet we are left with your reference to "deeper realities," implying that there exist multiple "realities" but without any sort of reference to how one might perceive more than one "reality."
    You can only say this, because you have not kept up with my more recent posts. If you have any questions, I am always delighted to respond, and I assure you - if I am stumped on any, I will admit it rather than resort to bluff. On this, you are more than welcome to call (anything you perceive as) my bluff.

    Even so, the remainder of this reply may go some way to answering your perceived doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Reality being that which is actual, bona fide, genuine... possessing that quality of realness over that of invented, imagined, or otherwise fake. There is reality and there is non-reality.
    Thankyou, and that has ALWAYS been precisely my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    So, before you can claim multiple realities, realities "deeper" than the one we are present in, you must first demonstrate that such "realities" are different than or separate from reality.
    It seems I have not been sufficiently clear. There is but ONE, and only ONE reality, however within such, are many separate observations of that overall reality. None of these will be in any way denying, but rather fulfilling of the overall reality.

    Consider for instance; we may be together witnessing a soccer game - the ONLY reality per this observation. Yet within it, there are two players over there in their own personal struggle to gain control of the ball - being perhaps a lesser reality within THE REALITY, and then there's that goal-keeper in his individual (lesser) reality, of waving that bee away. It is all part of the intricate tapestry that makes the REALITY so rewarding to properly understand/appreciate.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Either something exists or it doesn't. Either something is real or it isn't. Things aren't simply real depending on your worldview.
    W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L! I wish I had written it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Christians believe their god created the Earth (some think it was quite recently); the Zuni have a very different creation belief. Together they aren't separate (or "deeper") realities. One or neither is either real or it isn't.
    Although I know little about the Zuni belief, I would suspect - neither! And furthermore - I suspect neither are realities on any level, other than within the distorted imagination of an individual here or there.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There are lots of myths about "souls" and "spirits" that exist in many cultures.
    Indeed all are entirely mythical, if they fail at being underpinned by the ORIGINAL explanation. Of course, they all lay claim to such genesis, but can they truly point the way to anything worthy of being called such???? And then, can they enlighten on what it means, and how it is relevant for our mentality/life in 2010 - and beyond?

    I would have thought such to be the relevant factors, and even though they are according intangible concepts which until now seem to have avoided true scientific scrutiny; the ONLY way of proving the relative beliefs to be any part of the ONLY REALITY - or not!

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    This common theme leads many to believe that this alone is evidence of existence. But these people ignore the other common element, which is the cognitive function of Homo sapiens. We learn and imagine in very similar ways.
    I would suggest - naturally occuring identical ways - being that aspect of the overall REALITY, of which I have been recently posting. Only the particular hues of scenery, respective mix and intensity differ.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    We experience the apparent illusion of consciousness and sense of self and refuse to believe that this is a result of electro-chemical interactions within the body. But all efforts to find a "soul" or "spirit" among H. sapiens has proved fruitless or inconclusive at best.
    And it will continue to be so - until they commence to looking in the authentic place for an authentic reality - that yet belongs in, and is concordant with; the overall, and ONLY REALITY!
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
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    Studies show people with Parkinson's disease tend to lose the faith as the brain disease progresses, becoming atheist.
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  39. #38  
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    inow wrote:
    Not so long ago we rendered servants deaf, apparently a standard practice accepted by all:

    Exodus 21 wrote:
    5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

    6 then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.
    Where did you run across this vastly ignorant interpretation of these verses? The purpose of the awl (even today) was for boring a hole which was placed in the ear lobe where an earring symbolizing the contract made between the servant and the master and to signify that the servitude was the choice of the servant. It was far more difficult for the master to terminate the relationship than the servant.

    Servants were not rendered deaf for signing up to work for someone which is what servitude actually amounted to. It guaranteed the servant a job not deafness.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  40. #39  
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    Yes a servant would not be much use if he could not hear the orders of his boss!!
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Where did you run across this vastly ignorant interpretation of these verses?
    That was myself, as usual striving not to interpret. I assume people say just what they mean. If the verse had said cut off the fourth finger, wouldn't it be our own interpretation to say "finger nail"?

    You know we also bound people for life to their vows & stations by mutilating feet, cutting off testicles, amputating fingers, etc? These cripplings were practical not symbolic.
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  42. #41  
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    Apologies to inow for attributing Pong's inanity to him.

    But, anyway, pong, unfortunately you do not seem to understand that any rendering of what someone else has said involves interpretation. Language necessarily involves interpretation to be understood. You cannot avoid interpretation.

    Even if you wish to read something completely literally, you must interpret whether that is the correct meaning of what was written.

    If some thousands of years in the future someone reads the phrase, "shake a leg" in a completely literal sense, they must interpret whether that literal reading is the actual meaning of the phrase.

    I cannot help but wonder if people of the future as ignorant of our culture as you seem to be ignorant of cultures ancient to us, will consider the practice of ear piercing rendered people deaf.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Mightn't you incline to generosity in your reading of the Bible, Daytonturner? As thought experiment, question your assumptions about that harmless symbolic ritual called "female circumcision". Obviously no female can be literally circumcised.

    Well, I'm not giving any group special treatment.
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  44. #43  
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    Well, now you have roused my curiosity, pong. What verse or verses are you misinterpreting as having something to do with "female circumcision?" I am unaware of anyplace where the Bible addresses this idea since the thought of it is so abhorrent. Of course, I suppose because the Bible does not ban the practice, you interpret that at tacit approval.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    the Bible addresses (female circumcision?!)
    It doesn't. And you're sure that
    it is so abhorrent
    why?

    Because though for one religion you imagine a master's gift of symbolic earrings, for another (not yours) you imagine a brutal mutilation. So concludes the thought experiment.

    Incidentally, I can also imagine female circumcision in practice abhorrent. I'm tempted to interpret what sounds like euphemism in the worst way. Should I treat the Christian books differently? Maybe better to lose the prejudice and start with all religions at face value, on their own terms as written.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  46. #45  
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    pong said:
    I'm tempted to interpret what sounds like euphemism in the worst way.
    Well, that is definitely a problem on your part. It would be more beneficial for you to understand what "euphemisms" actually mean in the society where they are employed.

    Actually, you are really talking about "euphemisms." It sounds more to me like you are talking about what may be idiomatic expressions which are prevalent in all language and social groups and insisting that they must be interpreted as they are literally expressed to the point of making them silliness.

    You would have a hard time playing bridge where the language is limited to 15 words and everything is an idiomatic expressiong which changes with the context of the usage. I would guess that when someone passes, you would think, assuming "in the worst way," that they have died.

    pong also says:
    Maybe better to lose the prejudice and start with all religions at face value, on their own terms as written.
    OK, so lets look at the practice of stoning people for sexual indiscretions. The Old Testament law prescribes this practice for such actions. Yet, the last recorded Jewish stoning for adultery was thwarted by Jesus some 2,000 years ago. However, just last Tuesday in my local newspaper was a report of Taliban in northern Afghanistan stoning to death a young couple for adultery.

    I am not aware of any such stonings ever taking place under the auspices of any Christian society.

    Rather than trying to justify current practices of one group by the abandonned practices of another group, would it not be better to look at the current actual practices of each group and judge them on that basis and take them on that face value rather than condemning them for something they do not do?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Because though for one religion you imagine a master's gift of symbolic earrings, for another (not yours) you imagine a brutal mutilation. So concludes the thought experiment.
    By definition, in order for an experiment to be conclusive, it generally requires a rigorous exploration and elimination of the alternative/s, so perhaps you can now offer your alternative/s per 'brutal mutilation'??? Or is this experiment entirely in your thought/imagination?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Incidentally, I can also imagine female circumcision in practice abhorrent. I'm tempted to interpret what sounds like euphemism in the worst way. Should I treat the Christian books differently? Maybe better to lose the prejudice and start with all religions at face value, on their own terms as written.
    So where would you direct us for such written confirmation about all religions, so we may lose the prejudice and become accustomed with this 'face value' thing, pong?
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