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Author Topic: Where did sin come from?  (Read 4326 times)
Shockwave
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« Reply #125 on: June 15, 2012, 04:54:22 AM »

You could put it that way. There's no demonstrated cause and effect between the deities of the religion (cause) and the religious experience (effect). In fact, the only (pretty well) demonstrated cause for religious experience is illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

Sorry if the other stuff I said is confusing but the point is this: the theories we adopt affect how we interpret various stimuli. So, a primitive religious person that worships the sun sees something different (interprets the visual stimuli differently) when he looks at it than does a contemporary astrophysicist. Same stimuli, different "things" seen (despite the fact that both are looking at the same big yellow ball in the sky).

That's what I think happens with religious experience: the Christians on here like Man of Steel act as if their religious experience is a theory-free proof of Christ; they ignore (or are unaware) that a supermajority of religious people around the world (Christianity was, is, and probably always will be a minority view) have the very same experiences and take them as evidence of their religion(s). Why? Because of what I described in the previous paragraph. People interpret stimuli based on their theories of the world. The Christian interprets the religious experience as encountering the holy spirit, the buddhist of becoming one with the universe, and so forth. The experience is just that: a raw experience that has to be interpreted somehow. What we believe when it happens is paramount in determining the interpretation we come up with.
illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

I think this is a terrible comparison.
Illicit drugs alter brain chemistry by a artificial chemical means - forcing the release of Dopamine and/or Serotonin. A religious experience, is not caused by an external chemical forcing the brain to release those neurotransmitters.
It may lead to an altered state of brain chemistry, but the question is WHY. We know why illicit drugs do what they do, but we have no idea why praying, or having a religious experience, can lead to a release of these neurotransmitters. We know why excersize releases them.
What is triggered in our brains, when people have a religious experience, that causes this to happen?

As for the 2nd part, IMHO, all religions are spin offs of the same idea - so its very possible that while all their experiences point to them using it as confirmation of THEIR Deity, that if you go back far enough, it may be the SAME Deity (therefore the same experiences).

Just my .02.
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« Reply #126 on: June 15, 2012, 05:31:15 AM »

I'm using the word in its everyday use for convenience' sake (and so that other people can understand what I'm saying here). You know what I think about the word from another thread, but it would be confusing if I started talking about that here.

Just like I sometimes utter the expression "Oh God!" to express my feelings despite not believing, so too can I use the word "moral" to get a point across since it's such a popular linguistic token.

So, if you want the more precise version of my original sentence, just swap in "what most people would consider moral" where "moral" currently is.

Good effort trying to catch me being logically inconsistent but it's not happening! Grin

I wasn't trying to "catch" you being logically inconsistent.    Roll Eyes

I was just surprised to see you claim to be "moral" after reading your posts about morality in the other thread.
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« Reply #127 on: June 15, 2012, 05:36:31 AM »

illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

I think this is a terrible comparison.
Illicit drugs alter brain chemistry by a artificial chemical means - forcing the release of Dopamine and/or Serotonin. A religious experience, is not caused by an external chemical forcing the brain to release those neurotransmitters.
It may lead to an altered state of brain chemistry, but the question is WHY. We know why illicit drugs do what they do, but we have no idea why praying, or having a religious experience, can lead to a release of these neurotransmitters. We know why excersize releases them.
What is triggered in our brains, when people have a religious experience, that causes this to happen?

As for the 2nd part, IMHO, all religions are spin offs of the same idea - so its very possible that while all their experiences point to them using it as confirmation of THEIR Deity, that if you go back far enough, it may be the SAME Deity (therefore the same experiences).

Just my .02.

Great post, Shockwave.

I was also wondering about the many people who have an experience using illicit drugs, but are unhappy about their drug abuse.  After trying every medical and every secular "solution", they try a religious experience.  For many of these people, a religious experience not only frees them from their addiction, but they are very happy with their new life and do not wish to "quit" it, as they desperately wished to quit their drug abuse.

My point is I agree that syntaxmachine's comparing a religious experience to abusing illicit drugs is terrible.  
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« Reply #128 on: June 15, 2012, 08:52:30 AM »


illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

I think this is a terrible comparison.
Illicit drugs alter brain chemistry by a artificial chemical means - forcing the release of Dopamine and/or Serotonin. A religious experience, is not caused by an external chemical forcing the brain to release those neurotransmitters.
It may lead to an altered state of brain chemistry, but the question is WHY.
We know why illicit drugs do what they do, but we have no idea why praying, or having a religious experience, can lead to a release of these neurotransmitters. We know why excersize releases them.
What is triggered in our brains, when people have a religious experience, that causes this to happen?


My friend, the point I am trying to get across is that a religious experience is altered brain chemistry -- not that it causes altered brain chemistry. Of course there is a difference between what causes the chemistry in either case, but that is not the relevant part of my analogy anyway.

I don't think my comments have anything at all to do with causation, really. What they have to do with is what the religious experience is; I'm saying here that when a religious person says "I'm experiencing X," where X is some appropriate religious experience such as, say, coming into contact with Christ, X really refers to the specific fashion their brain is functioning in at that time, and nothing else (especially not any external, magical entities from other dimensions!). This isn't incredibly unreasonable, given that when a person says "I'm experiencing depression," they are similarly referring to the specific fashion their brain is functioning in at that time (when they are actually clinically depressed, anyway).

The reason illicit drug users enter the picture is that -- with the appropriate circumstances and appropriate drugs -- they report having an experience that seems the same as the religious one. It is of course difficult to assess whether the experience of one person "is the same" (or feels the same) as another, but it's at least possible: we can pretty well tell what a person feels when they stub their tow because we've had the same feeling. And what these guys and gals are reporting sounds extremely similar to the religious experiences people describe.

If the drug users are eliciting the same experience as religious people sometimes feel, then we know that the religious experience is just altered brain chemistry, because that's all the drug user's experience is. That is the point I am making.
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« Reply #129 on: June 15, 2012, 09:07:00 AM »

Great post, Shockwave.

I was also wondering about the many people who have an experience using illicit drugs, but are unhappy about their drug abuse.  After trying every medical and every secular "solution", they try a religious experience.  For many of these people, a religious experience not only frees them from their addiction, but they are very happy with their new life and do not wish to "quit" it, as they desperately wished to quit their drug abuse.


You'll hear no protests from me on this. There is no doubt that living as a Christian is going to be a healthier and more fulfilling experience for most than is living as a drug abuser.

Some people definitely start out irreligious and then find meaning in religion, which changes them forever. There are also people who can't seem to find much meaning in it and abandon it, going on to lead fulfilling lives all the same. It might be interesting to see which practice is more common.


My point is I agree that syntaxmachine's comparing a religious experience to abusing illicit drugs is terrible.  


 Cry

The specific aspect of drug use and religious experience I was comparing is clarified in my response to Shockwave. I am not comparing "abusing illicit drugs" to religious experience; I am comparing the specific state of consciousness (experience) that is sometimes achieved when these substances are used, to the specific state of consciousness religious people sometimes report and which we call "religious experience." Abuse, or any other aspect of these people's lifestyles, does not enter the picture here.
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« Reply #130 on: June 15, 2012, 09:23:34 AM »

You could put it that way. There's no demonstrated cause and effect between the deities of the religion (cause) and the religious experience (effect). In fact, the only (pretty well) demonstrated cause for religious experience is illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

Sorry if the other stuff I said is confusing but the point is this: the theories we adopt affect how we interpret various stimuli. So, a primitive religious person that worships the sun sees something different (interprets the visual stimuli differently) when he looks at it than does a contemporary astrophysicist. Same stimuli, different "things" seen (despite the fact that both are looking at the same big yellow ball in the sky).

That's what I think happens with religious experience: the Christians on here like Man of Steel act as if their religious experience is a theory-free proof of Christ; they ignore (or are unaware) that a supermajority of religious people around the world (Christianity was, is, and probably always will be a minority view) have the very same experiences and take them as evidence of their religion(s). Why? Because of what I described in the previous paragraph. People interpret stimuli based on their theories of the world. The Christian interprets the religious experience as encountering the holy spirit, the buddhist of becoming one with the universe, and so forth. The experience is just that: a raw experience that has to be interpreted somehow. What we believe when it happens is paramount in determining the interpretation we come up with.

Please don't put words in my mouth.  If I had definitive, tangible proof of my experiences you'd have it in your possession fully available for full evaluation purposes and any associated laboratory testing.  The individual life is a portion of the proof.  I'm also fully aware of the experiences in other religions.  Christ is a personal God and hence a personal relationship exists with each of his believers.  I have no proof of my personal experiences with Christ other than what I choose to disclose.  There are no markings on my body, no artifacts left over to serve as evidence.  Would it be easier if there were?  Sure, a certificate of authenticity from Christ that's been peer-reviewed by non-religious experts would be tremendous.  I know the body of witnesses and their testimonies don't mean a thing since nothing is presented in a test tube or medical journal and because Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Horace, Zeus, etc...all have simliar followers with stories of divine revelation and enlightenment. Why is Christ and his Christians any different from other systems of belief.  We could go through the differences and all that mess, but that wouldn't make a lick of difference.  All I'm saying is that the proof is in the individual pudding.  Wanna know Christ?  Then seek him and experience your own personal relationship.  My words have been twisted a little bit.  MOS didn't suggest, "give up logic and reasoning permanently!"  I suggested putting aside your own logic and reasoning temporarily and trying on God for yourself for once....fill in that gap that hasn't been tried yet and engage in a bit of application.  I've already been without God in my life so I've experienced the other side and I continue to educate myself on the non-Christian's perspective.  I've walked away from God and lived my life how I wanted on my terms.  I questioned virtually everything in this thread and others on my own....free will, problem of evil, different religions, mystery religions, the historocity of the bible, evolution and Genesis, radiometric dating, etc....but I put my faith in God and he responded.
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« Reply #131 on: June 15, 2012, 09:27:08 AM »

You could put it that way. There's no demonstrated cause and effect between the deities of the religion (cause) and the religious experience (effect). In fact, the only (pretty well) demonstrated cause for religious experience is illicit drugs that alter brain chemistry. Why should we think anything different (anything other than altered brain chemistry) is going on when a religious person says they experience Christ, or Allah?

Sorry if the other stuff I said is confusing but the point is this: the theories we adopt affect how we interpret various stimuli. So, a primitive religious person that worships the sun sees something different (interprets the visual stimuli differently) when he looks at it than does a contemporary astrophysicist. Same stimuli, different "things" seen (despite the fact that both are looking at the same big yellow ball in the sky).

That's what I think happens with religious experience: the Christians on here like Man of Steel act as if their religious experience is a theory-free proof of Christ; they ignore (or are unaware) that a supermajority of religious people around the world (Christianity was, is, and probably always will be a minority view) have the very same experiences and take them as evidence of their religion(s). Why? Because of what I described in the previous paragraph. People interpret stimuli based on their theories of the world. The Christian interprets the religious experience as encountering the holy spirit, the buddhist of becoming one with the universe, and so forth. The experience is just that: a raw experience that has to be interpreted somehow. What we believe when it happens is paramount in determining the interpretation we come up with.

I think people have experiences similar to what is described as "religious" all the time.  I often see it in all walks of life.  When a person knowingly does things that they believe are wrong guilt builds up and when the day comes that they want to reconcile with themselves and find a vehicle to do so a sense of euphoria/enthusiasm occurs.  It happens in ALL religions and beliefs.  Its a simple formula.

The good thing about Christianity is that if they go to church it gets reinforced weekly.  Because some people can't do it without that.    

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« Reply #132 on: June 15, 2012, 09:50:45 AM »


Please don't put words in my mouth.  If I had definitive, tangible proof of my experiences you'd have it in your possession fully available for full evaluation purposes and any associated laboratory testing.  The individual life is a portion of the proof.  I'm also fully aware of the experiences in other religions.  Christ is a personal God and hence a personal relationship exists with each of his believers.  I have no proof of my personal experiences with Christ other than what I choose to disclose.  There are no markings on my body, no artifacts left over to serve as evidence.  Would it be easier if there were?  Sure, a certificate of authenticity from Christ that's been peer-reviewed by non-religious experts would be tremendous.  I know the body of witnesses and their testimonies don't mean a thing since nothing is presented in a test tube or medical journal and because Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Horace, Zeus, etc...all have simliar followers with stories of divine revelation and enlightenment. Why is Christ and his Christians any different from other systems of belief.  We could go through the differences and all that mess, but that wouldn't make a lick of difference.  All I'm saying is that the proof is in the individual pudding.  Wanna know Christ?  Then seek him and experience your own personal relationship.  My words have been twisted a little bit.  MOS didn't suggest, "give up logic and reasoning permanently!"  I suggested putting aside your own logic and reasoning temporarily and trying on God for yourself for once....fill in that gap that hasn't been tried yet and engage in a bit of application.  I've already been without God in my life so I've experienced the other side and I continue to educate myself on the non-Christian's perspective.  I've walked away from God and lived my life how I wanted on my terms.  I questioned virtually everything in this thread and others on my own....free will, problem of evil, different religions, mystery religions, the historocity of the bible, evolution and Genesis, radiometric dating, etc....but I put my faith in God and he responded.


Well, in the post you quote here, I say "MOS acts as if his experience is proof of Christ," so I'm not putting any words into your mouth, but am instead describing your behavior. I'm confident that this is right, because you are describing your experience as one of being in a personal relationship with Christ and constantly mentioning that it is Christ you are interacting with. Why would anyone say these things unless they were confident the experiences were proof of Christ?

With regard to the bit about abandoning reason, you definitely say to do as such. I never said you said to abandon reason "permanently," and thus you have now put words in my mouth in your attempt to accuse me of putting words in your mouth (lol).


Forget reasoning 



I suggested putting aside your own logic and reasoning temporarily


Finally, if at times you are misunderstood, you have to understand that it can be tough being bombarded by a bunch of different thoughts in a single large paragraph and trying to keep everything in order. I guarantee breaking the wall of text up into paragraphs based upon thoughts will prevent future, actual misunderstandings.

Take care
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« Reply #133 on: June 15, 2012, 10:21:26 AM »

Well, in the post you quote here, I say "MOS acts as if his experience is proof of Christ," so I'm not putting any words into your mouth, but am instead describing your behavior. I'm confident that this is right, because you are describing your experience as one of being in a personal relationship with Christ and constantly mentioning that it is Christ you are interacting with. Why would anyone say these things unless they were confident the experiences were proof of Christ?

With regard to the bit about abandoning reason, you definitely say to do as such. I never said you said to abandon reason "permanently," and thus you have now put words in my mouth in your attempt to accuse me of putting words in your mouth (lol).

Finally, if at times you are misunderstood, you have to understand that it can be tough being bombarded by a bunch of different thoughts in a single large paragraph and trying to keep everything in order. I guarantee breaking the wall of text up into paragraphs based upon thoughts will prevent future, actual misunderstandings.

Take care

If you want to define my words in that manner then go ahead.  You know what I'm saying though.

My apologies, I type quickly and word vomit because I'm rushed.  I know that can be difficult to read at times and I completely understand.  I'll try to format things better going forward.
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« Reply #134 on: June 15, 2012, 11:41:48 AM »

.

My apologies, I type quickly and word vomit because I'm rushed.  I know that can be difficult to read at times and I completely understand.  I'll try to format things better going forward.

 Grin



* graph2.JPG (20.59 KB, 499x380 - viewed 123 times.)
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« Reply #135 on: June 15, 2012, 11:55:11 AM »

Grin




LOL     Grin
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« Reply #136 on: June 16, 2012, 07:47:42 AM »

Lol. How about overlong posts with a bunch of paragraphs, usually about philosophical or political issues? Every post I make I'm waiting to get slapped down with a "Didn't Read LOL" gif. I feel it is only a matter of time.





Luckily, it's an awesome meme so I don't think I would mind.

lol!
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« Reply #137 on: June 19, 2012, 11:05:45 AM »

Lol. How about overlong posts with a bunch of paragraphs, usually about philosophical or political issues? Every post I make I'm waiting to get slapped down with a "Didn't Read LOL" gif. I feel it is only a matter of time.





Luckily, it's an awesome meme so I don't think I would mind.

LOL!!  Sweet!

I believe most on this board are passionate about what we believe to be true in our lives.   That said we all word vomit from time to time, with the exception of avxo.  His thoughts are usually organized pretty well so they're easy to read.
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« Reply #138 on: June 19, 2012, 08:38:42 PM »

(LOL at the "Didn't Read LOL" gifs!)

I believe most on this board are passionate about what we believe to be true in our lives.   That said we all word vomit from time to time, with the exception of avxo.  His thoughts are usually organized pretty well so they're easy to read.

Hey thanks, I appreciate that. It's practice really: the result of a numbers years of publishing mathematics and computer science research. But I can be very verbose, which can get people to post funny animated gifs Wink Plus, I'm sure that sooner or later I'll end up having a meltdown too and then:



* nuclear_meltdown.jpg (37.32 KB, 580x292 - viewed 84 times.)
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« Reply #139 on: June 20, 2012, 10:53:09 AM »

(LOL at the "Didn't Read LOL" gifs!)

Hey thanks, I appreciate that. It's practice really: the result of a numbers years of publishing mathematics and computer science research. But I can be very verbose, which can get people to post funny animated gifs Wink Plus, I'm sure that sooner or later I'll end up having a meltdown too and then:



Thread derailment reported!

What was your math/comp science research about exactly?
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« Reply #140 on: June 20, 2012, 11:12:44 AM »

What was your math/comp science research about exactly?

Most of it has been cryptography-related.
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« Reply #141 on: June 20, 2012, 12:13:38 PM »

Most of it has been cryptography-related.

Had any fun with that?
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« Reply #142 on: June 20, 2012, 12:36:09 PM »

Had any fun with that?

I find it challenging.
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« Reply #143 on: June 20, 2012, 01:21:08 PM »

I find it challenging.

Cool!  What's your grad studies on?  FYI...I'm just curious.  You do not have to answer any of these questions, especially to some stranger on the internet.    Grin
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« Reply #144 on: June 21, 2012, 02:08:13 AM »

Cool!  What's your grad studies on?  FYI...I'm just curious.  You do not have to answer any of these questions, especially to some stranger on the internet.    Grin

Computer Science and Mathematics Wink
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« Reply #145 on: June 21, 2012, 03:43:38 AM »

Computer Science and Mathematics Wink

Oh, I thought that was your undergrad studies and that you were doing something different for grad school.
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