August 22, 2010

Giving ideas guns

I was watching a show about the scientific research into the areas of the brain that trigger transcendent/"beyond self" experiences. The researchers are able to generate vision-like experiences, sensations of the presence of others, and many other things usually associated with spiritual experiences. The part that was so interesting to me wasn't necessarily the content of what they were talking about, but the immediate conclusions drawn when allowing a single thread of logic to its conclusion. The tendency was for the researcher to immediately say that, since they are able to replicate these experiences systematically by directing a weak magnetic field at a small portion of the right temporal cortex, God is likely to be purely a phenomenon of the mind.

Suddenly, a cognitive conflict happens. I have lots of experience that allows me to conclude that God is not simply a phenomenon of the mind, although my ability to make an independent judgment on that is suspect due to the inherent mechanisms of the brain... But the conflict is mine and mine alone. By trying to enforce my view on findings presented out of pure research, I closed myself initially.

More later.

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