Link between religious fundamnetalism and brain damage found.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by MeAgain, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Speaking of making fire, many cultures used to rush burning wood from lightening strikes into caves to keep them lit, to keep the fire going, because they weren't able to generate fire by hitting rocks. :p
  2. neonspectraltoast

    neonspectraltoast Best Member

    The more you know...

    Maybe I'm being too hard on science. Because I like science. I just...I don't know. I just wish they weren't such know-it-alls.
    EloiseAtThePlaza and Irminsul like this.
  3. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Yeah I'm pretty much in the same boat. :p
  4. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    I didn't mean to offend.

    You are omitting parts of the scientific method.

    In your description;
    1. You observe a fire being started.
    2. You assume the fire was started by a spark from the rock.
    3. You test that assumption and find that it is possible to start a fire by striking two rocks together and producing a spark.
    4. You then return to your first observation, man started a fire with a rock by generating a spark.
    I don't see any theory about why the striking of two rocks together produces a spark.

    You have discovered a useful process, but have not explained or even thought about why that process occurs.

    Let's revisit your example:
    1. I observe a man striking two rocks together which produces a spark.
    2. I hypothesize, or assume, that the striking of two rocks together will always make a spark.
    3. I test my hypothesis by picking up the same two rocks, strike them together, and they do in fact produce a spark. I repeat this test a number of times, and record the results. I find that 90% of the time the rocks do produce a spark, 10% of the time they don't. Or perhaps I find some other percentage of success or I even succeed in producing a spark 100% of the time.
    4. I then theorize about why the spark is made when the rocks are struck together, not the fact that a spark is produced. I have already observed that back in step number one.
    5. I come up with some theory as to why the spark is produced, friction maybe. Anyway I publish my results for peer review.

    There is no scientific method without peer review.

    Then I sit back and wait.
    ....And reports come in. Ogg over the next hill to the north picked up two stones and stuck them together and they did in fact produce a spark, but to the south Gred to picked up two stones and struck them together and no spark, even though he tried ninety nine times, still no spark! And so it goes some agree with your findings, some end up with two broken rocks and no spark.
    My theory has been found to be in error in some way.
    As it is. You can't randomly pick up two rocks and smash them together and get a spark. Doesn't work. Why?
    Well science has found by repeated experimentation, and peer review, that only certain types of rock will work, those with a high concentration of iron. In the presence of oxygen iron will spontaneously combust below 70° F. But to do this the iron must be pure, rust free iron, with lots of surface area. By striking a high iron content rock against a hard surface (like another hard rock or preferably steel) you break of small pieces of oxide free iron with a high surface area which then combust...producing a spark.

    So you haven't gone far enough in your description of the scientific method. You never asked why the spark occurred and you allowed for no peer review and testing.
    Without peer review there is no scientific method.

    In the case of Sitchin, he did make his translation of the Sumerian texts available for peer review, and let's remember that a translation of an unknown text is not a hard science, there's lots of room for interpretation. His translation was found wanting by most other linguists so it wasn't looked upon favorably by the scientific community. That doesn't mean his theory didn't have any merit at all, it only means that in order to gain acceptance it had or has to be investigated further. For example, if physical evidence can be found of a destroyed 12th planet in our solar system, his translation will have more value.
    I haven't followed if his theories have gained more acceptance lately.

    But back to the original OP.
    Is a well functioning brain necessary for rational thought and could a damaged brain, in certain instances, affect the acceptance of certain social institutions or beliefs?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  5. neonspectraltoast

    neonspectraltoast Best Member

    Yes, I'm saying the basic approach to the method has always been around. Not that they've always been submitting their results for peer review. Though I can imagine Captain Caveman would show his banging of rocks together to other caveman and seeing if he could make a fire. I asked why the fire occurred, not why the spark occurred. Captain Caveman theorized it was because of the spark. I know his use of the method is rudimentary, but he is a caveman, give him a break.
  6. guerillabedlam

    guerillabedlam _|-|=|-|_

    I definitely think a damaged brain can affect the acceptance of certain beliefs and perhaps social institutions as well. I recommend reading Oliver Sacks, particularly a book which features case studies (IE An Anthropologist on Mars), if you want to read some examples where changes in brain neurophysiology can influence behavior and beliefs. I don't recall a particular case study in that book revolving around religious belief, but one individual gets a brain tumor and subsequently forms anterograde amnesia, often maintaining that it is still the 1960's roughly some 30 years later.

    To even speculate, both operative phrases here "functioning brain" and "rational thought" would need to be unpacked. I assume you're considering a functioning prefrontal cortex and frontal lobe.

    I could certainly imagine a scenario where someone has damage to a part of their occipital lobe, affecting their vision, which has minimal to no effect on their rational faculties.

    Also, let's consider someone who has learned logic and reason prior to experiencing a traumatic brain injury... They may have less rational capabilities compared to their pre-injury self, but do they have less capabilities compared to someone who has not learned such skills?
    There seems like a ton of variables to consider.
  7. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sacks believed the spiritual experience was nothing more than hallucinations caused by neurology. I think.
    I don't subscribe to that completely.

    Is rational thought, that is the ability "to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises", dependent on a certain level of brain development or "health"? I believe it is.

    Learned logic or formal it dependent on learning? And if it is, does the brain develop physical attributes that allow this development. And/or does the learning process itself lead to brain development?
  8. guerillabedlam

    guerillabedlam _|-|=|-|_

    Yes, that's a tautology.

    Some good info here... Skip to 2:30 to get to specific answers to the questions.

  9. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

  10. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Toilet paper? Training program? Transport protocol?Turning point? Trivial Pursuit? Twisted pair? TP
  11. wilsjane

    wilsjane Member

    I think that you have hit the nail right on the head.
    It is simply that people with many brain problems are easy prey
  12. unfocusedanakin

    unfocusedanakin The Archaic Revival Lifetime Supporter

    Many people think of scientists as rude. I guess that is what you mean. An arrogance that puts others down turns them off.

    The issue is that with all the anti-science nonsense going around you need to fight back. Your religious text or politicians with no credentials is not as good as peer reviewed evidence.

    A scientists will not have that attitude if you can prove why they are wrong. Few that dislike them can though since all they have is religion and party lines.

    Science is a threat to religion since it shows the nature of the universe beyond "god did it". I think that is what annoys scientists and brings out an arrogance. The religious ask for evidence not required of them. For example they say evolution is a theory where is the missing link since you can not show it then it's a lie. OK where is god how to show it exists? It's there since you said it. Double standards. For this reason it's the enemy of modern American society.
  13. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Back in the day when brain scientists and physicians were into lobotomies, people with strong (and psychotic) religious convictions could be turned non-religious by severing connections in their pre-frontal lobes. I remember reading that in Battle for the Mind by British psychiatrist Willliam Sargant, who was majorly into psycho-surgery.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  14. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Lol, what a shock. Sever brain connections and you don't think the same. Holy fucken shit balls whoda thunk that.
  15. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    This is similar to the debate over "fake news". Science is the gold standard of reliable human knowledge by engaging in rigorous testing of falsifiable hypotheses. Unfortunately, not all areas of human knowledge lend themselves to rigorous testing of falsifiable hypotheses. Also, unfortunately, scientists are human. It's depressing to see tobacco companies and oil companies trot out their scientific experts to show that second hand smoke is harmless or that climate change is a hoax. In the environmental area, scientists working for environmental interest groups, those working for corporate polluters, and those working for the government can come up with three separate sets of results (Walter A, Rosenberg, Environmental Poltics and Polcy, 10th edition, 2017, pp.138-39). See also Faneli, Costas and Ioannidis, (march, 2017"Meta-Assessemnt of Bias in Science",Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,
    Meta-assessment of bias in science There's also a lot of pseudoscience around. The truth is out there, and reputable scientists are in the best position to get it in areas amenable to scientific methods. But the lay public has to use judgment to tell the reputable professionals from the charlatans.

    Physicist Thomas Kuhn brought to our attention how science in the real world differs from the idealized model of the scientific method, the scientific community resists changes to accepted paradigms, and how the breakthroughs that lead to paradigm shifts are forced by accumulating anomalies. Science is always tentative, which is its strength. The theory of evolution is vulnerable to a potential discovery of rabbit fossils in the Precambrian. So far, no rabbits! In the final analysis, nothing is certain, not even that. We place our bets and take our chances. But I like to place educated bets informed by the weight of the evidence, scientific and otherwise.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  16. neonspectraltoast

    neonspectraltoast Best Member

    Scientists in general are no more rude than religious people. Both have a limited understanding of what the true nature of reality is, yet both make pretense as to having a grand understanding of what it is. Maybe science is just fighting back against the worst of religion. Maybe it's even necessary. But in the end I would hope they would grasp that there may be more to life than they can directly perceive with their five senses. I know religious fundamentalists can make it seem like theism in general is a bad thing, but the concept of there being some higher order of things is not just some silly, flighty thing. On the contrary, it's a very real possibility, and my fear is that we'll just trade one dogma for another. To be truly fair minded, neither approach is infinitely right.
    Okiefreak likes this.
  17. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    For an interesting debate on religion and brain functioning between Dr. Grafman and psychiatrist Andrew Newburgh, see Religion and the Brain: A Debate
    According to Grafman,"the evolution of brain networks concerned with understanding the actions of others seems to have made possible concepts of a godlike entity’s involvement in human life. The crucial brain areas for this function are in the part of the frontal portion of the brain that also is involved in observing purposeful human action and detecting underlying intentions. These brain areas work with other regions to decode the emotional impact of the actions we observe....

    (w)e believe that religious belief emerged for the purpose of social structure. Social structure originally was based upon principles derived from small family, group and tribal social interactions and a need to explain natural phenomena that did not appear to have an obvious human or animal physical cause. Then, as societies grew larger, religious belief further developed through the establishment of greater religious infrastructure. This emergence and adaptation of religious belief depended on the sophisticated cognitive and neurobiological processes we have described. In addition, if human brain evolution gave us foresight as a weapon against stronger foes and natural phenomena, then religious beliefs that concerned an afterlife might have been an effort to extend the boundaries of life in a way that was consistent with this newly found ability."

    Newberg replies: "A religious perspective challenges all of these neuroevolutionary approaches by reversing the causal arrow’s direction: Perhaps religious belief causes the brain to change rather than the other way around...(M)ost religious individuals do not exhibit signs of a neurological or psychological disorder, and researchers have demonstrated that religion can help people cope with stress and, in many cases, reduce anxiety and depression....In much of my own work, I have suggested that a large neural network appears to be involved in religious phenomena, including experiences and a vast array of beliefs. This model includes many of the regions Kapogiannis and Grafman have identified, but their new research provides even more detail. Given the richness and diversity of religious phenomena, which Kapogiannis and Grafman appropriately point out, the brain network that “gets into the act” is probably relatively large. However, ... we may end up simply showing how the brain helps us feel and think in general rather than discovering something that is truly unique to religion."
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  18. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    See the problem is, the research is biased based on pre mediated and pre determined belief in then first place. A scientist who doesn't like religion is going to find any nook and cranny to take away its validity, so it almost become pointless to try and listen to it unless you're already under the same pre determined and mediated belief which in that case you're basically just enjoying being pissed in the ear.

    Fact: science has never been able to disprove religion or God

    Which makes every scientific argument about religion nothing short of laughable.
  19. Okiefreak

    Okiefreak Senior Member

    Science does have its biases and assumptions, some built into its basic fabric. Naturalism is one of them. Many scientists would define the enterprise of science as a search for naturalistic explanations of phenomena. I think that's reasonable. I don't see how it could make much headway if scientists thought the phenomena were caused by spirits, elves, gods, etc. Science also tends to reject miracles. Hume taught us that extraordinary claims need to be supported by extraordinary evidence, and that if somebody claims to have seen UFOs, Bigfoot, etc., you should believe that only if the it seems more likely than alternative explanations, like the witness is lying, drunk, nuts, or hallucinating on mushrooms. Occam's Razor--the law of parsimony or a preference for simpler explanations is another. Reality might be complex as all get out, but scientists will prefer explanations that aren't. Scientists also prefer explanations that fit in with pre-existing scientific findings and theories. And scientists reject explanations involving purpose or teleology, having been burned by such explanations in the past. Thus, notions like progress, Intelligent Design, etc., tend to be dismissed. So the deck is stacked against God as far as science is concerned. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould was willing to concede "non-overlapping magesteria", where science and religion could go their own ways, but Dawkins maintains that since religion won't stay on its own side of the line and keeps making claims about natural events, scientists should be able to do the same about supernatural ones. It's important to keep in mind that science hasn't "proven" any of these assumptions. They're just accepted as postulates as a basis for doing science. I suspect that these assumptions contributed to the remarkable progress of modern science in medicine, particle physics, astronomy, genetics, the theory of evolution, etc.

    Another assumption which some scientists and many non-scientists share is scientism--defined as "an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of the methods of natural science applied to all areas of investigation (as in philosophy, the social sciences, and the humanities). Definition of SCIENTISM When folks tell us what wonderful things science is sure to discover soon or in the future, they're proclaiming their faith in this ideology. Real scientists wait until the findings are published in a refereed scientific journal before crowing about their discoveries. As for God, that's a subject which is outside the scope of science, since it's not really falsifiable. How would a scientist go about getting God into a laboratory without His consent, or set up tests God couldn't evade if (S)he wanted to? Karen Armstrong distinguishes between logos and mythos as ways of knowing. Logos "is science or reason, something that helps us to function practically and effectively in the world, and it must therefore be closely in tune and reflect accurately the realities of the world around us." Mythos, on the other hand, has to do with the more personal, "difficult aspects of our humanity, about for which there were no easy answers". Why are we here? Why are we living? What do we get? What are we giving? Science can answer those questions, but in a way that really doesn't get to what we're looking for: ultimate meaning and value. Mythos plumbs the collective Jungian unconscious to provide symbols, metaphors and archetypes to address our existential anxieties. And that's a function of religion.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  20. Irminsul

    Irminsul Valkyrie

    Think of Galileo, who was forced to retract his scientific finds about our solar system, placed under house arrest and tortured until he apologised and retracted his statements only to find out 100 years later, he was right. Cast your mind back to the Wright Brothers who most likely flew their craft much earlier than we are taught but only because scientists declared that humans could not fly a machine heavier than air. Consider the fantastic discoveries my Nikola Tesla and his free energy. Raymond Rife who found the cure to all disease with sound frequency I mentioned earlier, in 1931 publically demonstrated how this can be done.

    In 1888, John Keely built the first anti gravity machine and machines that used sound to perfectly drill holes into the hardest stone on earth with pin point accuracy and at will, Destroy these stones in a matter of seconds. These discoveries have been hidden up so well from the broader knowledge pool and continue to remain being covered up.

    If taken seriously, these people alone would have shifted the history of planet and yet they fade mysteriously away into obscurity. During the course of exploration, we are often presented with evidence and information outside of our scope of comprehension, information that goes against everything we've been taught. This is, after all, what true science and discovery is all about. It has no limits and it is forever changing. The only constant in science is "change". Our immediate arrogant response is to often reject new information on the basis that we have never heard about it before. That is not a scientific argument and never will be.

    Tesla had already harnessed the "made up" earth energy, he knew how it worked, but what happened when the electrical companies realised they were about to be put out of business? They cut all funding, tore down his creations and sent in the FBI to destroy and confiscate all of his documentation. To this day nobody knows how Tesla managed to do this, scientists remain baffled and since they don't believe in the methods used, because they go against everything they've been taught, they never will realise the potential of what Tesla was trying to do because they're too arrogant to change their minds or tinkle with the idea that the earth is alive and full of energy, just like our ancient history says, and if they one day figure it out, they'll have to rewrite human history plain and simple because then all the mythology actually becomes a reality, a reality modern day science is either too stubborn to acknowledge, or, one that they're purposely keeping from us.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019

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