Saturday, October 20, 2007

Neuro-Theology Claims to have Proven that God is an Anomaly of Consciousness

The following is in response to an atheist who has accepted the claim of "Neuro-theologists" that Neuroscience has "proven" that religious experiences are nothing but neurological anomalies.

It would seem that most learned people, including scientists, have arrived at a consensus opinion concerning science such as it is practiced today. Few take exception with the following conclusions:

We seem to agree that the standards of scientific endeavor are not as rigorous as they once were.

We seem to agree that scientists are not moral, economic or intellectual independent agents and, having to keep their jobs and vie for funding, which funding comes from private endowments, corporate and government sources - they are "proving" that which their benefactors would have them "prove".

We seem to agree that science has become a "pop phenomenon" and that they are pandering to the mass market.

We have discussed the fact that scientists are quite often not paragons of rational behavior in their personal lives or in their general comportment.

Yet, you posit that science has disproved the existence God.

Even if scientists were exquisitely careful in their methods, even if they were of sterling character all, even if they were independent agents who allowed the results of their investigations to take them where they will, still they could not prove or disprove, using their methods of investigation and technology, the existence of That which does not exist Itself, but is That which calls existence into existence. (To say that God exists is to assign an attribute and this is idol worship.)

It is unlikely that any methods of investigation could prove or disprove God because all derives from God. All are expressions of God on the level of existence. That is, they are necessarily limited. How could they detect that which is utterly Transcendent?

Certainly under the current conditions of science, which is a degradation of that which is, at any rate, in its infancy this has not been accomplished.

It is absolutely absurd to posit that our universe looks exactly like what it would look if there is no God. In comparison to how many observed universes is this statement being made? Or, is it in comparison to some primitive notion of what God is and what a world that God would create (i.e., their idea of what the good is) that this statement was made?

As an epileptic, who cannot so much as get a medicine that controls my seizures properly and without side effects and who has had numerous conversations about the limitations of neurology with her Neurologists, one of whom is a Professor of Neurology; I am amazed that you would posit that "Neuro-theology" is The Answer and has, with finality, both disproved the existence of God and demonstrated, incontrovertibly, that religious experiences are epiphenomena of consciousness.

Every mystical religion of which I am aware advises the novices who set upon The Path not to have any regard whatsoever for the "amazing experiences" of which you speak. We are advised by our Teachers that they are nothing but artifacts of the mind, culturally loaded, shot through with presumptions and ego and should be ignored, not matter how engaging they are because concentrating on them will impede our progress to the Goal, which involves going beyond the frontier of the mind. Those experiences are nothing more than tantalizing diversions and we are told to gently push them aside when they arise in our mind during meditation.

To claim that "Neuro-theology" has explained the etiology of these experiences astounds me. Last I read, the etiology of 75% of epileptic seizures was unknown. With all its experience in study and treatment of epilepsy, with the ability to autopsize the brains of epileptics, still the etiology of the vast number of epilepsies is unknown. But you would have it that Neuroscience has discovered the etiology of the "amazing experiences", which you equate with the experience of God, and which, as is stated above and commonly known, all mystic traditions warn are anything but.

Neuroscience is notorious for being one of the most poorly developed of the sciences. Who do you think you're bamboozling? To try to convince people that science, Neuro-science to boot, has proven that God does not exist is an insult to people's intelligence.

By all means, take an atheistic stance if you will, but be upstanding enough not justify it with pseudo-science.

In closing I will send you with a message to return to your pseudo-neuroscientist who are clearly working for vested interests and clearly aiming their tripe at the general public: God is not an epiphenomenon of consciousness. Consciousness is an epiphenomenon of God.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

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