Roughly, this accords with my experience.
Many people I respect report spiritual or religious experience, while some others , myself included, seem to have the potential for this sort of experience to a only very limited extent, if at all, my impression has always been that spirituality was an innate capacity in much the same way that some people are profoundly moved by music, and others not.
Similarly, its always seemed to me that being disturbed by someones ability to experience (for example) divine presence or not makes about as much sense as being upset with someone who responds differently than I do to a particular piece of art - I may be convinced that someone with the inability to respond as I do to a painting that speaks to me is poorer for it, but I dont suppose that I can convince them that my experience is somehow more real or accurate than their own only that its different.
And wonder: if we are eventually able to demonstrate an underlying neurological basis for the experience of spirituality, will spiritual or religious people find it easier to accept the lack of such experience as a normal aspect of the human distribution of talents, or conversely will the non-spiritual find it easier to accept the reality of such spiritual experience for those who are prone to discover it.
And I also wonder how we might eventually find that a propensity to spirituality is correlated to a propensity for religious belief - for example I know people who would characterize themselves as very spiritual but who are not much attracted to any of the organized systems of religious belief, and adamantly secular who are attracted to organizations professing belief systems which seem to have a lot in common with organized religions.
The only thing I'm sure of is that such a demonstration would likely upset at lot of people of both sorts.
posted on 03/21/2005 1:32:43 PM PST
by M. Dodge Thomas
(More of the same, only with more zeros on the end.)
To: M. Dodge Thomas
I personally know many people who were non-religious - from non-religious homes - who became Christians and their lives changed. I do not see divine revelation (a manifestation of divine will or truth) as genetic but obviously the argument is being put forward.
posted on 03/21/2005 3:26:39 PM PST
(I prefer Pinkard and Bowden over Pinker and Skinner)
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