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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2020, 03:56:43 pm »
Well, it's questionable whether the New Testament saw God's existence as requiring the Holy Spirit in order for us to know. In Romans 1:20 seems to say that people have no excuse for denying God's existence and attributes.  Also, James 2:19 also seems to reject the HS being needed to believe.

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kurros

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2020, 12:19:02 am »
In general I am against any sort of surgery that is non-essential and I'd consider this non-essential.  If I'm not actually having a tumor removed, but just a normally functioning neuron, then I don't see why I'd go along with this lobotomy conversion.  Also, I'd want to see a lot more testing scenarios before making any decision to permanently alter my brain.  Does removing this neuron affect reasoning in other areas?  Am I now more likely to believe in ghosts and other supernatural entities?  What about polytheism, or pagan beliefs?  What does this do to my reasoning about Judaism versus Christianity versus Islam versus Hinduism?  What does it do to my reasoning about the various denominations or sects?  Would I become more gullible towards miracle claims and hoaxes?

At the end of the day, I only want to believe theism if it is true, not because it is comforting.

Yeah this. If I have no information as to whether my brain is working correctly before or after taking the pill then I will take my chances with my brain in its original state. Not really worth the risk of taking some mystery pill that could essentially be giving me brain damage.

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palewine

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 02:29:02 am »
@kurros and GR,

Since this is a hypothetical made-up scenario in the first place, we can just posit that your brain will magically go back to exactly how it was before. Don't worry about the mechanics of how, since that's not really the point of the post ;)

Under that assumption, would you take the pill?

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kurros

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2020, 04:48:25 am »
@kurros and GR,

Since this is a hypothetical made-up scenario in the first place, we can just posit that your brain will magically go back to exactly how it was before. Don't worry about the mechanics of how, since that's not really the point of the post ;)

Under that assumption, would you take the pill?

Oh I missed that it was only a temporary effect. Well, if the pill has been well tested and doesn't seem to have harmful side effects then sure, I might take it just to see what all the fuss was about.

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GRWelsh

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 05:58:30 am »
@kurros and GR,

Since this is a hypothetical made-up scenario in the first place, we can just posit that your brain will magically go back to exactly how it was before. Don't worry about the mechanics of how, since that's not really the point of the post ;)

Under that assumption, would you take the pill?

I'm not into recreational drug use.  The closest analogy to the theism pill is Psilocybin, and I've never taken that.  I know people swear by it as far as opening up your mind to new possibilities, but I've never been impressed by any of their so-called revelations.  The idea of being able to access the spirit realm with a pill seems absurd and also evidence it isn't really a spirit realm but something happening physically in your head.  So, I guess the answer is still no.
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2020, 06:47:56 am »
It would be fun to see you guys arguing against GR on why he is wrong about God. I might take a couple days off to watch those debates.

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Jabberwock

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2020, 10:30:07 am »
Sure, but I think most rational people would agree that heroin is harmful and say not to do drugs (at least don't do heroin).

You mean most of those people that are not taking the pill would advise for not taking the pill? Possibly, although, the harm of heroin is more of a side effect. So you propose that your pill is like a recreational drug, but without ill effects?
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2020, 10:49:49 am »
@kurros and GR,

Since this is a hypothetical made-up scenario in the first place, we can just posit that your brain will magically go back to exactly how it was before. Don't worry about the mechanics of how, since that's not really the point of the post ;)

Under that assumption, would you take the pill?

I'm not into recreational drug use.  The closest analogy to the theism pill is Psilocybin, and I've never taken that.  I know people swear by it as far as opening up your mind to new possibilities, but I've never been impressed by any of their so-called revelations.  The idea of being able to access the spirit realm with a pill seems absurd and also evidence it isn't really a spirit realm but something happening physically in your head.  So, I guess the answer is still no.
I'm with GR on this.

It seems that the pill results in impairing reason, so I'd fear that as a side-effect I might become a Trump supporter. 
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2020, 11:15:10 am »
You mean most of those people that are not taking the pill would advise for not taking the pill? Possibly, although, the harm of heroin is more of a side effect. So you propose that your pill is like a recreational drug, but without ill effects?

All we know is that a small percentage of the population has this one neuron responsible for that one belief. If those same people become like everyone else (and feeling optimistic about the future) when the neuron is disabled, then we're justified in believing that the small minority perhaps had a harmful neuron. At least we have no reason to believe that it is more beneficial than not having this neuron.

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Jabberwock

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2020, 01:26:49 pm »
All we know is that a small percentage of the population has this one neuron responsible for that one belief. If those same people become like everyone else (and feeling optimistic about the future) when the neuron is disabled, then we're justified in believing that the small minority perhaps had a harmful neuron. At least we have no reason to believe that it is more beneficial than not having this neuron.

The problem is that once you know that the religiosity has been caused by lack of neuronal development, you cannot put the cat back into the bag again, can you? You know have neurons knowing that religious beliefs are caused by that missing neuron. Sure, religion has been quite useful from the evolutionary point of view, but once you know that, it is no longer so. It is just as with colors: once you know that they are not objective, you cannot go back to 'knowing' they are, even if you have the whole evolutionary apparatus that tells you that they are. All is left is to hope that the benefits of having true beliefs with time outweigh the loss of evolutionary benefits of religious beliefs.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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kurros

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2020, 03:13:46 pm »
@kurros and GR,

Since this is a hypothetical made-up scenario in the first place, we can just posit that your brain will magically go back to exactly how it was before. Don't worry about the mechanics of how, since that's not really the point of the post ;)

Under that assumption, would you take the pill?

I'm not into recreational drug use.  The closest analogy to the theism pill is Psilocybin, and I've never taken that.  I know people swear by it as far as opening up your mind to new possibilities, but I've never been impressed by any of their so-called revelations.  The idea of being able to access the spirit realm with a pill seems absurd and also evidence it isn't really a spirit realm but something happening physically in your head.  So, I guess the answer is still no.
I'm with GR on this.

It seems that the pill results in impairing reason, so I'd fear that as a side-effect I might become a Trump supporter.

Haha ok yeah the risk is that you might decide to keep taking the pill whilst under the influence of the pill. I'd want to do this in a controlled, supervised, experiment, where e.g. I make sure that I can't get any more pills until the effects of the first pill wear off. It's like if I ever wanted to try acid I'd want to do it with competent supervision in a controlled environment to make sure I didn't jump out any windows thinking that I could fly.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 08:44:20 pm by kurros »

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2020, 04:26:06 pm »
Sure, religion has been quite useful from the evolutionary point of view, but once you know that, it is no longer so. It is just as with colors: once you know that they are not objective, you cannot go back to 'knowing' they are

But, there is still something called red which exists even if it is subjective. The same thing for the taste of an apple. That taste exists. So, a neuron that prevents us from "seeing" that argument should be disabled. Why would we want a neuron that prevents us from seeing truth?

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2020, 01:03:17 pm »
So, a neuron that prevents us from "seeing" that argument should be disabled. Why would we want a neuron that prevents us from seeing truth?
You should rephrase your OP to include the premises: God exists; and 2)atheists fail to see this because of a brain defect.
Fred

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Harvey

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2020, 01:24:12 pm »
So, a neuron that prevents us from "seeing" that argument should be disabled. Why would we want a neuron that prevents us from seeing truth?
You should rephrase your OP to include the premises: God exists; and 2)atheists fail to see this because of a brain defect.

Oh c'mon. I wasn't implying it was a brain defect. However, one ought to consider the possibility that one's views are dependent on the variety of biological structural diversity of the neocortex and thus not immediately assume their wiring is correct.

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Fred

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Re: If atheism came down to one neuron...
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2020, 03:34:10 pm »
Oh c'mon. I wasn't implying it was a brain defect. However, one ought to consider the possibility that one's views are dependent on the variety of biological structural diversity of the neocortex and thus not immediately assume their wiring is correct.
Do you consider the possibility your views might be due to incorrect wiring?
Fred