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Throwing Out A Hypothesis...


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Hey gang!

 

I have really been thinking about this whole deconversion thing and trying to figure out what I have experienced for so many years as a xtian. So much stuff to ponder and figure out, no wonder it takes such a long time to deconvert. But there is one thing I have been thinking and I have formed a hypothesis about and I wanted to submit to the forums for critique to see if it might hold any substantive value.

My hypothesis is this:

 

I posit that the "experiencing god" phenomenon is an emotion. Like fear and love and happiness are emotions.

 

I have researched a bit about emotions and found this wiki page to be sufficient for info regarding emotions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion)

 

Webster's dictionary defines emotion as:  "a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emotion)

but I like the medical definition even more:

1: the affective aspect of consciousness
2: a state of feeling
3: a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body—compare affect

 

If you think about it, when you live by a house that everyone says is haunted and through stories and maybe light experience, you would likely be scared if you approached that house at midnight and when it was storming. This fear you would experience as a result of your knowledge of the history of people and this particular house and your own beliefs about it.

Or if you go to a concert that has your favorite band playing songs you love, there is an expectation of fun and excitement, probably joy, etc.

In these examples, you would be going somewhere and you expect there to be specific emotions and feelings.

Enter church (or place of worship). You expect there to be certain emotional feelings while there. Ideally, joy, happiness, empathy, etc. but then there is the whole "god" thing. I know that there are mixtures of emotions gong on at service, but sometimes there is just that overwhelming feeling of "experiencing god". I'm not talking about the whole "in love" thing either. This is what I am trying to explain in my head. I may be way off base with this, but I have been thinking about it pretty often and I figured I would throw it out there to see if it maybe had any substance. Is It possible that "experiencing god" is, in fact, an emotion?

When you look at it across humanity, I think it fits. People in general experience emotions differently. Some people are very emotional and others are very flat emotionally. I think this would be reflected in the explanation that some people "feel" god more so than others. But some emotions are felt more strongly at some times and not as much in others. The more I think about it, the more it seems to work (in my mind anyway). What do you guys and gals think?

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I think you have some valid ideas there. To explain feelings of faith and what cognitive science can say about it, check out this video series.

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There have been some amazing advances in research on the brain. Among them some researchers appear to have pin-pointed the near death experience or a supernatural perception area of the brain. I use perception loosely. In some studies they were able to replicate the near death experience in a lab. One study they were trying to locate the GOD experience I forget what they call it but essentially it was a helment with magnets placed in a certain orientation on the head. When turned on in a room alone the subjects reported seeing angels and demons or visions of the afterlife. I am sure someone with a stronger science background than me can probably further elucidate what I am trying to say.

 

I think your not to far off the emotion of feeling gods presence is more than likely completely biological.

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There have been some amazing advances in research on the brain. Among them some researchers appear to have pin-pointed the near death experience or a supernatural perception area of the brain. I use perception loosely. In some studies they were able to replicate the near death experience in a lab. One study they were trying to locate the GOD experience I forget what they call it but essentially it was a helment with magnets placed in a certain orientation on the head. When turned on in a room alone the subjects reported seeing angels and demons or visions of the afterlife. I am sure someone with a stronger science background than me can probably further elucidate what I am trying to say.

 

I think your not to far off the emotion of feeling gods presence is more than likely completely biological.

 

I figured there would be stuff out there that I just had not been able to find. I know I felt something. It may have been a rush of emotion, or something else. It wasn't just a fleeting thing either. It was definitely something. But to give up god because of logic and facts, I had to try and reconcile what I know I experienced. My interpretation may have been skewed, but I know I felt something. As it looks right now, it appears I am willing to accept that it was an emotion of some sort.

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Yeah it can be hard to understand that your eyes ears even mind can be deceiving you. There was probably an evolutionary purpose to some of these things at some point that now it just creates problems with our perception of the world we live in today. That's why personal testimonies and eye witness accounts are just not useful in determining our world view. You have to objectively look at the evidence because as the old saying goes your mind can play tricks on you.

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I couldn't find the article I read years ago but I found a video that basically shows the same thing. It's Michael Persinger, probably at a stage of research further advanced than that article. THE GOD HELPMET (Koren Helmet) Michael Persinger

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y02UlkYjSi0

 
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Emotions are primarily subconscious driven, as in emotional dreams, and the brain would with repetition "expect" certain emotions to be tied to a church setting.

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