The What, not the Why
Posted: 19 November 2007 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just finished reading the Scientific American article. Found it fascinating, although this research has been around for a while. It helps explain the universality of religious experience. It appears that virtually all cultures, from the most primitive, to the least primitive,share a need for establishing forces outside of themselves to explain their existence. The question remains for me why are we ‘hard-wired’. How does this experience advance us as a species? Any thoughts?

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Posted: 19 November 2007 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Haven’t seen the article.  I believe that we, like all other animals, are hard wired to condition extremely easily.  Some things happen at the same time and we quickly associate all of them with each other.  This is a great survival mechanism, but it also causes us to jump to irrational conclusions.  In addition, we have the need to avoid unanswered questions.  Whenever we see something we don’t understand, we are quick to come up with a reason (often mythological) for it.  This is just an extension of the conditioned reflex.  And, I believe that’s the basis on which religions are developed. 

Occam

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Posted: 20 November 2007 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree that we are easily conditioned, especially when cortisol triggers our fear response. I believe that ‘higher powers’ were created to help control that extreme anxiety in the face of life threatening danger. It’s ironic that so called lesser beings manage to make it through their lives without the need to assuage their fears like Humans do.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gee, I never thought of myself as a “higher power”.  When I open the patio door for my cat to go out, it sticks its nose out smells the air, and very cautiously, looking all around, moves onto the back patio.  She’s had experience running into raccoons and skunks in the evening (never sprayed), and occasional aggressive peacocks during the day. In each case I saw it, I stepped out, grabbed a leaf rake, and chased the animal away (rocks from a distance for the skunk).  If, when I open the door, I step out onto the patio, she quite confidently runs out without her normal wary behavior.  I’m happy to assuage my cat’s fears, just so long as she worships me for the moment (since cats usually seem to be inherently atheistic).

Occam

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Posted: 20 November 2007 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Point taken. My cats believe I can make it warmer out the front door than it is out the back, but when they realize my powers are limited, they stop ‘tithing’ and recognize me for the fraud that I am. cool smirk

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Posted: 20 November 2007 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you,

  ‘Look, the (Father’s) kingdom is in the sky,’

  then the birds of the sky will precede you.

  If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’

  then the fish will precede you.

  Rather, the (Father’s) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
     
  When you know yourselves, then you will be known,

  and you will understand that you are children of the living Father.

  But if you do not know yourselves,

  then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”

psik

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Posted: 20 November 2007 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’d prefer to listen to brooks babble.  Ugh, what meaningless drivel.  Sorry, but that quotation just doesn’t have any depth.

Occam

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