Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

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huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

Analytics wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 2:58 pm
..... I will recommend a book on a closely related topic:

Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazzaniga

Who's in Charge is an amazing book by a superlatively qualified scientist to talk about the subject. I was surprised with how detailed and robust the science actually is about the relationships between different parts of the brain, how we think, how we feel, and, how we subjectively interact with the world. The hypothesis that there is a "ghost in the machine" is completely decimated.

With that as a background, whether spiritual feelings are "the direct perception by the brain of some supernatural realm" seems pretty obvious.
Analytics, this sounds like it could be an interesting book helpful for better understanding ourselves. Like Physics Guy I am uncertain that it precludes spiritual experience as completely or simply as you suggest. You are of course invited to expand upon why you see it as so close to conclusive.

It crossed my mind that I have never thought of spiritual experience as direct perception of a spiritual realm. I have thought of it as being the recipient of communication from God who has access to the total of our natural perceptual and conceptual processes. There need be no special supernatural part of myself. Looking again at your statement I realize people may well speculate or believe that they do have such supernatural eyes.Mormon cosmology might make that speculation more likely. Some people have understood drug experiences in those terms. Others avoid such ideas thinking of alterations in how the brain processes ideas and percepions.
drumdude
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by drumdude »

huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 5:01 pm
Analytics wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 2:58 pm
..... I will recommend a book on a closely related topic:

Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazzaniga

Who's in Charge is an amazing book by a superlatively qualified scientist to talk about the subject. I was surprised with how detailed and robust the science actually is about the relationships between different parts of the brain, how we think, how we feel, and, how we subjectively interact with the world. The hypothesis that there is a "ghost in the machine" is completely decimated.

With that as a background, whether spiritual feelings are "the direct perception by the brain of some supernatural realm" seems pretty obvious.
Analytics, this sounds like it could be an interesting book helpful for better understanding ourselves. Like Physics Guy I am uncertain that it precludes spiritual experience as completely or simply as you suggest. You are of course invited to expand upon why you see it as so close to conclusive.

It crossed my mind that I have never thought of spiritual experience as direct perception of a spiritual realm. I have thought of it as being the recipient of communication from God who has access to the total of our natural perceptual and conceptual processes. There need be no special supernatural part of myself. Looking again at your statement I realize people may well speculate or believe that they do have such supernatural eyes.Mormon cosmology might make that speculation more likely. Some people have understood drug experiences in those terms. Others avoid such ideas thinking of alterations in how the brain processes ideas and percepions.
Are you imagining something similar to Plato's Cave allegory? In such a case, the men in the cave could only see shadows and not the actual beings making the shadows.

If this were true with God, though, we should be able to detect the shadows. The supernatural has to interact with the natural at some point, just like the shadow from the people in the cave falls on the wall at some point and is able to be directly observed.

It's quite a coincidence that the stories of miracles and the supernatural events have declined drastically with the rise of a cell phone camera in every human being's pocket. We're down to LDS miracle stories of Rusty cancelling his flights preemptively in advance of COVID.
huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

drumdude wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 5:38 pm
huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 5:01 pm
Analytics, this sounds like it could be an interesting book helpful for better understanding ourselves. Like Physics Guy I am uncertain that it precludes spiritual experience as completely or simply as you suggest. You are of course invited to expand upon why you see it as so close to conclusive.

It crossed my mind that I have never thought of spiritual experience as direct perception of a spiritual realm. I have thought of it as being the recipient of communication from God who has access to the total of our natural perceptual and conceptual processes. There need be no special supernatural part of myself. Looking again at your statement I realize people may well speculate or believe that they do have such supernatural eyes.Mormon cosmology might make that speculation more likely. Some people have understood drug experiences in those terms. Others avoid such ideas thinking of alterations in how the brain processes ideas and percepions.
Are you imagining something similar to Plato's Cave allegory? In such a case, the men in the cave could only see shadows and not the actual beings making the shadows.

If this were true with God, though, we should be able to detect the shadows. The supernatural has to interact with the natural at some point, just like the shadow from the people in the cave falls on the wall at some point and is able to be directly observed.

It's quite a coincidence that the stories of miracles and the supernatural events have declined drastically with the rise of a cell phone camera in every human being's pocket. We're down to LDS miracle stories of Rusty cancelling his flights preemptively in advance of COVID.
Drumdude, I am afraid I am not understanding where my comment and your comment has any intersection.

In my understanding we do not directly perceive anything. Our brains construct experience interpreting the biological signals in our nervous system with our memories ideas and imagination. This is not special experience just everyday living.

I do not know anything about supernatural events and am generally doubtful of such. I do believe in inspiration from supernatural source. The contact point would be with in a persons brain.
huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

I suppose I could add that I do not know any reason to be sure that a supernatural realm could not at some moments touch or contact the physical realm we live in.
drumdude
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by drumdude »

huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 6:24 pm
The contact point would be with in a persons brain.
Don’t you think that’s the contact point only because it is a current gap in our understanding? It’s pretty obvious that supernatural events don’t happen anywhere we have a direct view into. And our view has been expanding wider and wider, across time and space. Once we have a direct view into the brain, isn’t it likely that we won’t find anything supernatural there either?
huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 7:34 pm
I suppose I could add that I do not know any reason to be sure that a supernatural realm could not at some moments touch or contact the physical realm we live in.
some how this reminded me of the famous problem of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. I took this short quote from Wikapedia's discussion of the problem:
Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica, written c. 1270, includes discussion of several questions regarding angels such as, "Can several angels be in the same place?"[2] However, the idea that such questions had a prominent place in medieval scholarship has been debated, and it has not been proven that this particular question was ever disputed.[6] One theory is that it is an early modern fabrication,[a] used to discredit scholastic philosophy at a time when it still played a significant role in university education. James Franklin has raised the scholarly issue, and mentions that there is a 17th-century reference in William Chillingworth's Religion of Protestants (1637),[7] where he accuses unnamed scholastics of debating "whether a Million of Angels may not fit upon a Needle's point?" This is earlier than a reference in the 1678 The True Intellectual System Of The Universe by Ralph Cudworth. Helen S. Lang, author of Aristotle's Physics and its Medieval Varieties (1992), says (p. 284):

The question of how many angels can dance on the point of a needle, or the head of a pin, is often attributed to 'late medieval writers'.... In point of fact, the question has never been found in this form… "
/////////

I confess I am guilty of having once read Aquinas's discussion of Angel motion. I was a bit uncomfortable with his theory. He proposes that, perhaps in view of the uncertainties in human perception, that angels do not see at all. Instead they directly navigate from the mind of God.(I believe he thought quite a few angels could fit in a small space but that was a small detail of small concern)

My unintellectual emotional reaction is the poor angels are missing out. I could be wrong but perhaps there is a parallel between angelic awareness and inspiration received by humans that could involve human conception with out sensory input.
huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

drumdude wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 7:48 pm
huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 6:24 pm
The contact point would be with in a persons brain.
Don’t you think that’s the contact point only because it is a current gap in our understanding? It’s pretty obvious that supernatural events don’t happen anywhere we have a direct view into. And our view has been expanding wider and wider, across time and space. Once we have a direct view into the brain, isn’t it likely that we won’t find anything supernatural there either?
I thought I agreed that there is no supernatural part of our brain or the rest of our human consciousness, or functioning. We are animals, primates. somewhat smarter than dogs except for the area of understanding smells.
drumdude
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by drumdude »

huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 7:54 pm
drumdude wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 7:48 pm


Don’t you think that’s the contact point only because it is a current gap in our understanding? It’s pretty obvious that supernatural events don’t happen anywhere we have a direct view into. And our view has been expanding wider and wider, across time and space. Once we have a direct view into the brain, isn’t it likely that we won’t find anything supernatural there either?
I thought I agreed that there is no supernatural part of our brain or the rest of our human consciousness, or functioning. We are animals, primates. somewhat smarter than dogs except for the area of understanding smells.
So you don’t believe the supernatural exists in any way at all, even independent of humanity?

I think the point me and the physics professor on the forum are trying to make is that the point of intersection between any supernatural and natural forces would be observable. And therefore the supernatural really doesn’t make any sense at all unless it exists somewhere outside our universe and never interacts with any part of our universe in any way.
huckelberry
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by huckelberry »

drumdude wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 8:13 pm
huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 7:54 pm

I thought I agreed that there is no supernatural part of our brain or the rest of our human consciousness, or functioning. We are animals, primates. somewhat smarter than dogs except for the area of understanding smells.
So you don’t believe the supernatural exists in any way at all, even independent of humanity?

I think the point me and the physics professor on the forum are trying to make is that the point of intersection between any supernatural and natural forces would be observable. And therefore the supernatural really doesn’t make any sense at all unless it exists somewhere outside our universe and never interacts with any part of our universe in any way.
drumdude, I believe there is a supernatural realm. I believe God is supernatural. I believe we humans are natural physical beings.

I am not at all sure about this idea that we should be able to observe any interaction between natural and supernatural. How would this observation be made? There are a hundred billion times and places we are not looking, how do you know no miracles are happening? Careful scientific observation is limited to few isolated situations. Even there can you be sure everything is being seen?

I do not think we can know miracles. There was once a time when too young myself ,friends and associates engaged in foolish vehicular activity. A potentially deadly accident was prevented when a vehicle on a collisin course was miraculously stopped. I have no way of knowing if that was a divine or angelic hand or a strange combination of natural phsical processess. I recognize that it theoretically could have been physics alone. I will give thanks to that angel however as I remain in debt on that matter.
drumdude
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Re: Hallucinations and The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals (October 2022)

Post by drumdude »

huckelberry wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 8:37 pm
drumdude wrote:
Thu May 05, 2022 8:13 pm


So you don’t believe the supernatural exists in any way at all, even independent of humanity?

I think the point me and the physics professor on the forum are trying to make is that the point of intersection between any supernatural and natural forces would be observable. And therefore the supernatural really doesn’t make any sense at all unless it exists somewhere outside our universe and never interacts with any part of our universe in any way.
drumdude, I believe there is a supernatural realm. I believe God is supernatural. I believe we humans are natural physical beings.

I am not at all sure about this idea that we should be able to observe any interaction between natural and supernatural. How would this observation be made? There are a hundred billion times and places we are not looking, how do you know no miracles are happening? Careful scientific observation is limited to few isolated situations. Even there can you be sure everything is being seen?

I do not think we can know miracles. There was once a time when too young myself ,friends and associates engaged in foolish vehicular activity. A potentially deadly accident was prevented when a vehicle on a collisin course was miraculously stopped. I have no way of knowing if that was a divine or angelic hand or a strange combination of natural phsical processess. I recognize that it theoretically could have been physics alone. I will give thanks to that angel however as I remain in debt on that matter.

I think there are lots of ways to test the hypothesis. Your example of divine intervention is a good one. For starters, we can do a double blind experiment and see if prayer heals the sick in any measurable way. Wouldn’t it be good to know if prayer actually works? Pretty much every religion advocates it and we don’t even know if it beats placebo or not!
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