Given the sense of security that religious faith brings to people -such as quelling the fear of death, answering many of life's important questions, and in addition, the protection of these things through community, is it likely that religion was a necessary component of the evolving human? Perhaps, the first humans who were able to ask "who am I, and why am I here?" used religious belief to protect themselves from those who lacked this cognitive ability.
If this is true, then doesn't that mean that some or most people cannot help how religious ideas overpower their sense of reason. Science and reason then becomes the scalpal for removing this sense of security.
I totally agree with your statement, Bill H. And look at the consequences of striving for control has caused: annihilation of whole civilizations, wars over land and resources, subjugation of peoples, "authorization" for untold abuses, a sense of dominionism. Nothing good that I can see. The USA has fallen into these values, to our great shame. The human species is ready to leave the Era of Contol and Domination, and ready for a new ethic. What will that be? Good question.
The evolution of humanity needs to outgrow religion in order to progress as a species. We have to take the necessary steps and choose to live a life based on a rational moral self-interest not false belief.
I can only applaud this excellent sentiment.
I have grown up knowing all kinds of things that I thought to be common knowledge so I never mentioned them. Like -We have a conscious part of our brain that we control with that little part that controls the input/output, our ego. The inner voice is just us talking to our conscious brain. We have a large part of the brain that is controlled by something else. It controls our growth, heart beat, healing etc. and this subconscious brain can communicate with all other subconscious brains. Have to be sending and other has to be receiving. This is at the subconscious level so most are not even aware of this potential. The subconscious part is controlled by what I believe is the soul that lives forever and communicates with feelings. The soul knows everything about you and represents you in the very real sense.
I suppose that I have looked at the other ideas and reasoned one of my own.
Chris, I appreciate your expressions and conclusion of the brain function as being a "soul that lives forever". You may very well be correct.
However, I respectfully share my perception of how the brain/mind/body works. I am no expert, by any means, but my life-experiences inform my conlusions and I am open to new or different ideas.
1. Yes, a conscious brain comes through our many ways of sensing: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling with our skin, feeling with our emotions.
2. Yes, an unconscious brain holds information from one's personal history and some would say there is a collective unconsciousness that is a genetic memory passed from one generation to another.
3. An "Amygdala Hijack" occurs when stress hormones reach a level that triggers a freeze, fight, or flight response of the amygdala. This primitive part of the brain comes to us from the primitive knee-jerk reaction as when a human sensed there might be danger, such as a lion, in the moving grass. This "hijack" is impulsive and a necessary quality that supports survival.
Of course there are many other functions of the brain and they are not the focus of this discussion. With new neuroscience technology we are beginning to understand these three functions better. For example, former decision making was thought to be by the conscious brain; with modern technology; the unconscious brain seems to play a much more important role in making decisions. The out of control behaviors we have been witnessing is a result of stress hormones that capture conscious and unconscious brain function and causes one to respond with what appears to be unreasonable behaviors. The pilot losing control of himself while piloting a commercial plane is an example.
As to soul, I have come to believe there is no such part of brain function, indeed there is no soul or nothing that survives. Soul can be explained by different parts of the brain's functioning.
Philosophy exists as thinking without tools to understand brain/mind/body connections;
neuroscience provides tools to understand conscious, unconscious, and emotions with the potential to make life healthier, happier and less violent without resorting to supernatural causes.
The Conscious Brain - Professor Damasio (I)
THE SIMPLIFIER A Conversation with John A. Bargh
I must quickly add, there is change of matter upon death; the change is in form and energy. The easiest examples are death is a change that returns all body functions to earth; or as Carl Sagan said, we are made of star-stuff and return; or as Neil deGrasse Tyson says, we return to star dust.
Thanks for the info Joan. Actually the subconscious brain also smells, sees, tastes, feels etc. more acutely than the conscious brain but we believe only what makes sense to some degree so we rely on the conscious brain signals. The subconscious does it under unimaginable conditions at great distances. Sounds like telepathy to me. People have almost lost this source of info from the subconscious because they live in their own ego, but the amount and quality of information provided by the subconscious is staggering. This information is communicated with feelings. It's the intuition thing. Some people can do it, most can't. Easiest to teach to children. Presently involved with proof of concept project.
The fact that religion has lead to more hatred and wars disprove your comment.
Which teachings are those?
At least in the case of the Bible, that is some serious cherry picking.
JS, you have got to be kidding. Have you heard a mother denounce her son or daughter for being homosexual? Have you observed a sophomoric kid praying in the middle of a football field and who knows for what he is praying; for the best team to win? Or compassion for those who lose, or who get hurt? Maybe! Or have you seen grown up, angry faced men and women carrying signs outside Planned Parenthood showing tragic photos and ignoring the grief that some parents experience. Do they care as they pontificate? Have you heard a woman tell a neighbor kid she was going to burn in hell because she is not born again, whatever that means? Have you seen a family refuse to go to a wedding or baby shower because a couple does not profess the right faith, or denounces their sexuality? Now lets look around at catholic and protestant battles, or jews and christians, or muslims and jews and christians, or add in buddhists and all the other faith systems. Now let's look at the pollution of water, soils, air and excuse them because of some deity or faith system that gives them the right.
Love one another? Love mankind? Resolve conflict without war? Solve problems without fighting?
Give a pass if you want to on the holiness of believers in god; those who see no evidence of god, especially in the words and actions coming from those who claim there is a god, perceive a glaring hypocrisy.
JS - This is an old religionist dodge - when bad things happen because of religion, blame the people, but don't blame the religion. The idea that only good flows from religion is utter rubbish. Some religions teach kindness and love, but the very same religions teach hatred and bigotry. Cherry picking, as Susan points out, only the bits you like and saying that is religion is like ripping out the one page that you like from a book then discarding the rest and claiming that you now have the real book. Religion is sometimes a cause for goodness, but never the cause for goodness and is in equal if not greater measure a cause for wickedness, and all too often the cause for wickedness.
It doesn't sound like you have completely shaken your faith. You still use the same arguments that theists use to defend their religion. How do you come to the conclusion that religion has done more good than bad without cherry picking the hell out of things?