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.)
Tag Archives: Blasphemy
How to punish disobedient children – the biblical style.
Just let them perish IN THE NAME OF GOD.
And God will feel content.
I don’t normally write much on Sundays… This is the day I spend with my son. I only pick him up around 11AM, but since I can’t sleep late in the unpleasant heat of this clammy Johannesburg climate, here goes…
Note that they missed one that I know of: Psalm 137:9 – Smash them against the rocks!
Full disclosure: I have not read the buybull for 25 years, when I was conscripted to waste a year of my life in the apartheid white South African army, and the parish priest recommended the book of James, so that was all I read. Thus I can be accused of that old doozy: Taking the verses out of context.
Question: In what context is it ever acceptable to be killing children?
So I don’t care for the context. In any case, Christians often like to accuse anyone pointing…
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A paper showing a link between belief in gods and intolerance of strangers (outside your own group). LESS belief in gods equals MORE tolerant behavior towards strangers (immigrants).
By directing magnetic force – so-called TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – towards the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) of the brain, scientists from the University of York have found a relatively strong link between religious faith and intolerance. Anyone surprised?
The targeted region of the brain is associated with detecting and solving problems that threaten the individual’s security. The threat in this study was being reminded of death and mortality. Thinking of death and mortality normally lead to stronger beliefs in divine beings and afterlife.
But after the targeted brain region – pMFC – was temporarily shut down, the subjects were instead less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas. In fact, they reported 32.8 per cent less belief in God, angels, or heaven after having their pMFC turned down! And at the same time they were also 28.5 per cent more positive in their feelings towards an immigrant who before the TMS treatment had criticised and derogated their native country.
The explanation? People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems. That is, they embrace – by trial and error learning and/or priming – a system of ideas and ideals, and this system then becomes their primary tool to reduce the fear factor (anxiety) in their lives. Individuals of the same group (community) often learn from each other how to handle what causes fear and/or anxiety (in this case initiated by worry of death/mortality).
So belief in divine beings – as well as intolerance towards strangers threatening the harmony witihin a group of people – can be seen as a spin-off effect from ordinary problem solving.
Read more about this interesting experiment here: http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/03/scan.nsv107.abstract (or here: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0kj9w0km#page-1 ).
Finally the abstract:
People cleave to ideological convictions with greater intensity in the aftermath of threat.The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) plays a key role in both detecting discrepancies between desired and current conditions and adjusting subsequent behavior to resolve such conflicts.Building on prior literature examining the role of the pMFC in shifts in relatively low-level decision processes, we demonstrate that the pMFC mediates adjustments in adherence to political and religious ideologies.
We presented participants with a reminder of death and a critique of their in-group ostensibly written by a member of an out-group, then experimentally decreased both avowed belief in God and out-group derogation by down-regulating pMFC activity via transcranial magnetic stimulation.
The results provide the first evidence that group prejudice and religious belief are susceptible to targeted neuromodulation, and point to a shared cognitive mechanism underlying concrete and abstract decision processes.
We discuss the implications of these findings for further research characterizing the cognitive and affective mechanisms at play.
Important question: When did the rebellion in Heaven take place? Original title: Incompetence or malevolence: the failure of the Christian narrative.
John Zande, the man behind the blog “The superstitious naked ape”, is one of my favorites in the blogosphere.
Not only is he clever, but he also often finds new angles to debunk and refute silly God arguments.
In this blog post he argues that Lucifer (a.k.a the Serpent in the Garden of Eden and the Devil) had defected from God and therefore been cast out from Heaven down to Earth. So Adam and Eve were not the first sinners ever among the entities created by God Almighty. In fact, God’s own divine and elaborated creation plan was already soiled by Lucifer’s pride, envy and wish to be equal to God.
The weakest link in John Zandes reasoning is the answer to this important key question is: When was the Devil cast out from Heaven?
Unfortunately the Holy Scripture is a bit vague about the exact date the rebellion in Heaven happened.
The following is known: 1) Lucifer is an angel. 2) All the angels were created before the earth (Job 38:4-7). 3) Satan must have fallen before he – disguised as a Serpent – tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-14).
Conclusion: Satan’s fall must therefore have occurred somewhere after the time the angels were created and before he tempted Adam and Eve in Paradise.
But whether Satan’s fall occurred a few minutes or millennia before he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden is unfortunately not specified in the Scripture.
But we know that many church fathers and Christian philosophers and theologians have pondered this important question.
For example, Saint Augustine relates the fall of the evil and rebellious angels to the book of Genesis: “And God saw the light that it was good, and he divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4).
We also know that Thomas Aquinas picks up this allegory from Saint Augustine, and identifies the separation of light from darkness as the day (date) the evil and rebelling angels were separated from the good, loyal and obedient ones uo in Heaven.
And who am I to question what Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas consider being the truth about when the rebellion occurred in Heaven?
So John Zande seems to be right in his conclusions. His views expressed in this blog post are -as we can see – supported by two so extremely respectable and revered persons that the Catholic Church once honored them as not only saints but also as Doctor of the Church, thereby indicating that both Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas still today are considered the Catholic Church’s greatest theologians and/or philosophers ever!
Need I say more?
Read more about Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas, and their dating of Lucifer’s fall, here: http://taylormarshall.com/2013/11/how-did-lucifer-become-satan-thomas-aquinas-answers.html .
“God’s creation was perfect; there was no sickness, pain, or death. But this perfect creation did not last long.” (Ken Ham)
The Christian narrative is erected upon the basal claim that Man corrupted Yhwh’s perfect Creation and is therefore diseased and in need of a cure. That cure is, of course, Jesus, who sacrificed himself, to himself, to save humanity from himself.
It’s a stunningly ridiculous plot, the absurd work of ferociously unimaginative men, and it is made all the more outrageously idiotic by the fact that the bible doesn’t even support the cardinal claim upon which Christianity is built: that Man corrupted Creation.
By the bibles own chronology of events, the angels were created before the earth, and the earth before man (Job 38:4-7). Evil, however, entered Creation before the earth, and therefore before man… an event witnessed in the fall of Yhwh’s most beautiful creation, Lucifer…
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