Words Can Literally Change Your Brain & Perception Of Reality

A little while ago I wrote this post on my own blog: https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/magical-thinking-springs-up-everywhere-and-language-is-its-accomplice-how-language-can-and-does-deceive-us/ .

Now I notice that also my knowledgeable cyberfriend Victoria Neuronotes has written a post about how words literally can change the brain wirings and the way we perceive and interpret what is going on in the world (called reality) we all live in.

Not only are words able to offend or encourage, they also deceive and prime our brains. They influence our salience, that is our (mostly) unconscious need/habit to decide (also unconsciously) what is more valuable – or less valuable – to us.

Words also contribute to make us more biased. Especially religious people are very good at paraphrasing. That’s why they so easily can worship a God like the Abrahamic evil and punishing God and even claim, in a spirit of ecumenical and monotheistic understanding, that the God of the Muslims, Jews and Christians actually is the same God – a claim that is logically false. (Also consider the difference between monotheism and monolatrism/monolatry, where monolatrism is the recognition of the existence of many gods, but with the consistent worship of only one of all these deities, while monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is only one real and true God.)

Victoria NeuroNotes

In 2011, on New Year’s Eve, I started thinking about all the years I spent in church listening to preachers talk dirt about humanity. I recalled the years I had a negative self-image. I knew why.

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Filed under Blogs I follow, Brain, Christianity, Delusions, Gods, Islam, Judaism, Mind, Morality issues, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Priming processes, Psychology, Reason vs. Faith a.k.a. Sense vs. Sensibility, Religion, Science, Science vs. pseudoscience, Theological bullshit

One response to “Words Can Literally Change Your Brain & Perception Of Reality

  1. I just found this comment by Victoria Neuronotes on her own blog.

    What she writes in that comment is very important because it shows how words can be used to manipulate people. The manipulation is often so elaborated that the manipulated men and women don’t even notice it.

    In fact, priming (by using just words, no threats) is another word for brain washing. Never ever forget that!

    And now time for Victoria Neuronote’s own reflections on this issue:

    October 20, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    We are a pattern-seeking species, so it wouldn’t take long for people who were observant to see the correlations, changed behavior, and then come up with a strategy. For example, during the eighteenth century, Christian revivalism was spreading. Jonathan Edwards was a Christian preacher, philosopher, and theologian. He played a major role in the 1st Great Awakening.

    Edwards oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts. He delivered the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God“. According to sources, these revivals gave Edwards an opportunity for studying the process of conversion in all its phases and varieties, and he recorded his observations in “A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton” (1737). He writes: “Even though this change has occurred, many Christians have no imagination that they are now converted.”

    In other words, people didn’t realize that Edward’s was using strategic words and phrases to get people to submit. A year later, he published “Discourses on Various Important Subjects”, containing five sermons which had proved most effective in the revival, and of these, he said “none was so immediately effective as that on the Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners”.

    Sources further state that he accidentally discovered the techniques during a religious crusade in 1735. He noted that by inducing guilt and acute apprehension and by increasing the tension, the “sinners” attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit.

    How did he induce guilt and acute apprehension? With words. Charles J. Finney was another Christian revivalist who used the same techniques four years later in mass religious conversions in New York. The techniques are still being used in churches and revivals today.

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