Skip to comments.Science and Religion: God Didn't Make Man; Man Made Gods
Posted on 07/18/2011 7:45:42 PM PDT by Steelfish
Science and Religion: God Didn't Make Man; Man Made Gods In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion's "DNA."
By J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer July 18, 2011.
Before John Lennon imagined "living life in peace," he conjured "no heaven / no hell below us / and no religion too."
No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without "divine" messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to "God's will." Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense.
In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion's "DNA." They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including "imaging" studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to "no heaven
and no religion too."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
These authors have gone over the cliff and jumped the shark.
You do not create God. You believe God.
I think using John Lennon was a horrible idea, considering it was just in the last news cycle that it turns out he rejected his radicalism later in life.
I see the God-haters are out in force to try to explain away Romans 1 again.
gawd I believe I'm drowning in a sea of really bad ideas.
Science dictates survival of the fittest and an ultimately meaningless existence, not mercy. The naturalist reaction to Katrina would be to write off the dead as unfit to live.
This type of crap has turned the once hallowed objectivity of science into a joke.
Scientific method has been substantially replaced by grant whores, who sell the outcome to the highest bidder. Peer review at the Universities is like leaving a group of bums to self-police the liquor store.
Keep going on about there being no God, LA Slimes.
When the time comes He will show you that it was your own fault.
Fault, get it?
Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.
Man has indeed made many gods. The Bible says so.
We did not however make the God of the Bible.
We would hardly make a triune God; nor a way of salvation that is by grace which we can’t claim any part in.
Buddhism and Islam and Scientology and all the rest, they are obviously man-made. They are a real system of belief that ultimately puts salvation into the hands of ourselves.
Every false religion makes mankind ultimately a God in one way or another. Christianity does not.
There’s no such thing as a dead atheist.
The author of this piece is a jerk.
In between articles by the Lamestream Press that laud or defend Islam, I wonder if they ever consider that they will be promptly beheaded for printing this kind of article if Islam wins.
"It is conceivable that St. Paul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus was, in reality, a seizure caused by temporal lobe epilepsy."
And that "temporal lobe epilepsy" then led Paul to repent of executing Christians to live a life that became "in labors more abundant, stripes above measure, prisons more frequently...five times received 39 stripes, three times beaten with rods; stoned; three times shipwrecked; a night and a day been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of water, robbers, own countrymen, Gentiles, in the city, wilderness, the sea and among false believers; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness..." (2 Corinthians 11:22-28) and then murdered.
Yeah, right. a seizure made that fundamental change in his life. Happens all the time. Countless clinical studies keep demonstrating that temporal lobe epilepsy keeps converting sadistic misotheists into brilliant, logical persuasive Christians martyrs.
If this was true, then these clods would be advocating medical procedures that would lead to this sort of conversion to all criminals in lieu of capital punishment.
The Bible is a closed book to these reprobates.
Gnoticism teaches that human spirit was God, is now trapped in the evil matierial and only through the sufficient
knowledge, can we return to be God. The process of being removed from God is called “alienation”, a theme that
should be familiar to students of Marx, even as he put a secular interpretation on it. Humanity could return to God when it achieved the perfect socialist condition. The foundational ideas of Gnosticism go back to the time of Plato.
“To understand [alienation] we have to go back behind Hegel, the immediate source of Marx’s ideas, to Hegel’s own ultimate source: viz. Gnosticism. For alienation is the central theme of Gnosticism, along with the saving knowledge of how we became alienated, and from what, and of
how we can escape from it. That theme is summarized in the Valentinian formula:
‘What liberates is the knowledge of who we were, what we became; where we were, whereinto we came; what birth is and what rebirth.’
All the Gnostic texts, though they differ in details, declare that we are strangers, aliens, sparks of Light or Spirit trapped in evil matter. They recount the cosmic process whereby the circles of the world have been created, by ignorant or evil creators and not by the Light, and whereby we have become entrapped in the midmost or deepest dungeon. Finally they impart the knowledge needed to escape back to the one Light whence we have come and which is our real home.
This is the pattern of thought that Hegel took over. But, rejecting all other-worldliness, he sought to reconcile men to this world, of nature and society, from which they had become estranged. We are the vehicles of a self-creating Geist which, in order to become and to know itself, has gone out into what is most alien to itselfthe merely physical world of Newtonian scienceand is progressively coming thence to its full self-realization and self-knowledge in and through human life and history. With this knowledge, given by Hegel’s own philosophy, man’s
alienation from the world is in principle, overcome although Geist [spirit] has not yet fully realized itself in the world.
Marx took from Hegel two basic themes of Gnosticism, which Hegel had secularized, and re-interpreted them in his own way: viz. the cosmic drama of a fall into alienation from nature and one’s fellow men, and the saving knowledge, Marxism, which explains this and the way out of alienation back to an unalienated existence. But in one central respect Marx did not fully learn the lesson that Hegel had to teach him about modifying ancient Gnosticism.
The Gnostic texts state that we are sparks of Light or fragments of Spirit (pneuma), and imply that we are distinct from each other and from the Light or Spirit only because of our fall or seduction into the circles of the world. As we fell through each circle, we were clothed
with an outer covering. The return to the Light will be a reversal of that process, so that, as we pass back through each circle we shall strip off each coating. Consequently, but this is never stated, as far as I know, at the end of that process each spark or fragment will cease to be distinct and will merge back into the One Light or Spirit. Hence the End will be the same as the Beginning.”
From Flew, Marx and Gnosticism, by R.T. Allen, Philosophy 68, 1993
People of all races and tongues don’t go to their deaths following a fable.
365 prophecies can’t go away.
Science is, or is supposed to be, a way to try to understand truth. It reveals God, and is a way to get a small glimpse of the mind of God. To me, God is the ultimate truth, and science is in no way at odds with spirituality and the search for God. The more science I’m exposed to, the more wonderful and amazing creation is revealed to be.
Our scientific understanding is so rudimentary and small compared to all there is to know, that it is much less than a grain of sand compared to all the beaches and deserts in the world. For us to be arrogant based on that small knowledge is sad.
Excellent post! You need to make this your reply to the LA Times Letter to the Editor section: write to:
Of course you do realize that Anthony Flew became a theist after debating William Lane Craig in the late 1990's.
For those who have read Romans 1:
Gods Anger at Sin 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.
20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldnt worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.
22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each others bodies.
25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.
27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.
29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.
31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.
32 They know Gods justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
#1 The universe was created and has not been here “forever”, even scientists concede that.
#2 If man invented God (and he does all the time - just not the Biblical one), he would not invent one that would humble Himself to die for our sins. That thought is against our nature. An invented god would be a badass that would kick the crap out of everybody else because . . well because he could. The God of Abraham is a God of Love, Mercy and Grace and that is why He is so amazing and so worthy of our worship.
Primitive people had to explain thunder and lighting somehow.
Because those atheists: Hitler, Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro,ill Kim, et al.... have done such a wonderful job in promoting world peace...
Any single page of the Bible contains more wisdom than everything the LA Times has published from day 1.
I believe in God the Father, maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord . . . .
Praise, Glory and Honor to the Most High God, amen.
Nonbelievers are so . . . so . . . trite and boring. Understanding the wisdom of God revealed in his Word is so very interesting and stimulating intellectually. When one is so wrapped up in oneself, it doesn’t have the time or the mindset to seek the One having true wisdom and power. So sad.
All those poor saps down in Hell banging on the ceiling with broom handles trying to get our attention...
We are all so complexly made. Then also to reproduce. Humans,animals and plants bring forth there own kind. I guess chance also figured the reproduction aspect too. Father Chance. How really dumb is it. Chance as random designer is astonishing.
2 Corinthians 4:4
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”
How about we just get rid of all religions that believe that it’s okay to lie in order to promote their religion, that believe that anyone who will not convert to their religion can be murdered, the believe that a woman needs 4 male witnesses before she can accuse a man of rape, who believe that it is okay to strap bombs to children to kill infidels?
All Morons when compared to Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. Such high intellect!
Wow, classic Atheist idiocy here...LOL!
Christians have never asserted there are not false religions. To the contrary, Jesus, himself, warned against false religions. Isiah 18:1 says, "Come let us reason together..."
We know the essentials of the physics of Lightning and thunder. We can discuss it if you like, but that seems not to be the thrust of this article.
First Principles.....Law of Causality says...for everything which comes to be there is a cause. The Universe came to be....The Universe had a cause. This simple syllogism needs to be addresses. Liebniz asked the pertinent question. "If there is no God, why is there anything at all?" When at that point just prior to that singularity of creation, when there was no time, matter, energy, or space, what brought the universe into existence out of NOTHING?
It seems odd to profer a 'miniplemic' on Truth based upon the philosophy of John Lennon. The man was a songwriter. His song, referenced was "Imagine". What is imagination? What is the physical makeup of imagination? What is its molecular weight. Like mind, conciousness, numbers, any mental event, love, hate, joy, the sentience of pain, cold, pressure, these universal abstract entities are not made of atoms, subatomic particles, or any physical thing, yet the author, obviously a physicalist, evolutionist, naturalist, using his own consciousness asserts a truth, but offers no ontology, no epistemology....just crass opinion. This screed is not worth the ink the newspaper used to propagate nonsense. Make their case, but do so logically, reasonably, and, if they wish, scientific method....but this persons opinion is of no greater value than that of anyone else.
I recall Carl Sagan saying if there is a God, we must venture further and ask how God came into existence?
The answer of course that elided him, was that to know the mind of God is to be God.
We should definitely continue those arguments for the sake of their souls, but in the end, it is their choice - and their end.
It gets worse. From the point of view of the atheist - and since the principal author works for the Dawkins Institute, I think it's fair to assume that this is at least in part their case - from that point of view it is atheism, and not religion, that constitutes an evolutionary dead end. That is not, one suspects, quite the conclusion the authors were looking for, but it is inescapable.
But this line of logic carries the danger of allowing the atheist to argue that eviscerating God from one’s psyche does not deprive the human condition of the need for Him and hence it is a dispensable invention of the mind.
Us and the Cosmos is so much design we just try to shutdown because of human pride. We get a little knowledge then puff ourselves up.
I remember my friend years ago was so open and mocking others for believing in God. I pointed to a truck. I said chance design or made. He agreed made. Then he says he can meet the maker of that truck. I pointed out not unless he wants to meet you. So without going fully there realizing it. It was more about not knowing God right away. We are seperated. It is called sin. We fall short. We want to know God on our terms not God's at times.
Seek and you will find. You do not seek you will not find. I know I did with supernatural results.
Psalm 9:10 And let them trust in thee who know thy name: for thou hast not forsaken them that seek thee, O Lord."
What is implied in the article is that religion is merely a survival ploy. There is no "merely" here. That a belief in God provides a benefit to the species is demonstrable if we are to believe the author's case; what is not even addressed here is whether that belief is true or not. It works either way. If there is no God, then still a belief in God benefits the species; but if there is, then it still benefits the species - the atheist loses either way.
This is, actually, a very old argument dressed up in new clothing. The upshot of the article is the claim that one doesn't need God to explain the existence of religion. This moves seamlessly to the implication that God is an unnecessary logical entity and hence may safely be disposed of by Occam's Razor. It is laughably faulty logic. Just because one can imagine a universe without God does not mean that such a universe exists, or that we're living in it if it does.
Anyway, God does exist because He told me so. My atheist friends tell me I'm only imagining it. They're welcome to their illusion.
These authors are grown-ups. They cite rock-and-roll lyrics as a source for philosophical advice, and here they are talking about critical thinking?
Of course to the Christian, we have seen the face of God in the Son of Man endowed not with a heart of stone like the pagan gods, but as Pope Benedict XVI as put it, with a human heart born of human flesh. This confronts the atheistic mind not in evolutionary terms of survival but in terms of life after death- an eternal salvation and this is choice of modern man that the rationalists are unable to comprehend.
This is exactly why I think Christianity has the answer to all kind of such mumbo-jumbo. God revealed Himself to his people in Israeli time, and He revealed Himself everyday to those who He choose. An ‘outside’ actor who act independently from human being. While our understanding of doctrines, practices, etc., are shaped by human mind and cultures, our faith come directly from Him—without whom we cannot have it in the first place. This way, we avoid the ‘trap’ of Man Man Gods story.
That is precisely what I meant by the statement that neither religion nor natural selection work like that. And better put, too, for which I thank you.
I suppose I'm a little impatient with this sort of pop science. The notion that a belief in God is somehow hard-wired into our genome is a very interesting theory but if so, why? "Because it's useful" is the author's case, but that does not eliminate "because it's true" in the least.
Personally, I think the best rock songs tell stories.
This is a Brazilian metal band’s concept album about the creation. They infuse their own cultural influences into their music, and I fully believe that if the great classical composers were to listen to this music, they would be thoroughly impressed by it.
Track listing is:
And Let The Show Begin
Here Comes The Life
Spirits of Light
Whispers And Pain of Mother Nature
Your Majesty Gaia
Mark David Chapman had become a born-again Christian in 1970, and was incensed by Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” remark, calling it blasphemy. He later stated he was further enraged by “God”, and “Imagine”even singing the latter with the altered lyric: “Imagine John Lennon dead.”
Man made God sad.
This article in other words:
Nietzsche said, “G-d is dead.”
But in the end:
G-d said, “Nietzsche is dead.”
My interest is in studying how Gnostic teachings are manifested in modern Marxism. Allen’s quotation is amongst the most succinct on the subject that I have researched.
This type of crap has turned the once hallowed objectivity of science into a joke.
Scientific method has been substantially replaced by grant whores, who sell the outcome to the highest bidder. Peer review at the Universities is like leaving a group of bums to self-police the liquor store."
It never ceases to amaze me that folks who believe this refuse to follow their own logic to its inescapable, nihilistic conclusion.