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Switch to Forum Live View What is Religion and the Human Mind?
7 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2007 - 10:44PM #1
exploringinside
Posts: 1,294
Perhaps Beliefnet did us a disservice by renaming this Board; from the lack of interest/activity I can only conclude:

1. Religion isn't in the human mind,

2. Religion doesn't belong in the human mind,

3. People prefer to discuss religion and the mind, separately,

4. Atheism is sweeping the world.

But seriously, why is so much of religion intentionally designed to appeal to a human's emotions?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 7:54AM #2
AintKatie
Posts: 1,657
Perhaps Beliefnet did us a disservice by renaming this Board; from the lack of interest/activity I can only conclude:
1. Religion isn't in the human mind,
2. Religion doesn't belong in the human mind,
3. People prefer to discuss religion and the mind, separately,
4. Atheism is sweeping the world.
But seriously, why is so much of religion intentionally designed to appeal to a human's emotions?

Mornin' Santa...
I don't know what the old name was, but I haven't ventured onto this board/thread til now because (1) I figured it was too scientific for me and (2) I didn't see you here.  ;)

Why is so much of religion designed to appeal to human emotion? Because it's human emotion that "needs something" and constructs what it feels is a solution? I dunno.  I've only had one cuppa so far and the old gears aren't working well. Maybe a cultural anthropologist could help us..or maybe we can use the teachings of Joseph Campbell to light our way.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 8:53AM #3
spiritalk
Posts: 1,165
Consider the human aura as seen by those capable of the view: 

Next to the body and interpenetrating is a deep blue line of the health of the body.

Outward from there is a large and energetic layer of emotional body.

At the very outer rim a thin line of spiritual body appears.

The aura is a reflection of the inner being and shows the state of the body, mind, spirit.

With the spirit that far from the body, it must take quite an effort to bring it into alignment and take it within.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 5:48PM #4
exploringinside
Posts: 1,294
[QUOTE=AintKatie;43796]
Mornin' Santa...
I don't know what the old name was, but I haven't ventured onto this board/thread til now because (1) I figured it was too scientific for me and (2) I didn't see you here.  ;)

Why is so much of religion designed to appeal to human emotion? Because it's human emotion that "needs something" and constructs what it feels is a solution? I dunno.  I've only had one cuppa so far and the old gears aren't working well. Maybe a cultural anthropologist could help us..or maybe we can use the teachings of Joseph Campbell to light our way.
[/QUOTE]

Thank you. My daughter's name is Katie so I have an immediate possitive feeling for anyone using the name.

The old Board's name was Psychology and Religion and attracted some fairly lively discussions at times. There were a number of Psychologists that contributed and a number of devout theists that were essentially divided between "all psychological problems" are actually spiritual problems "there is a time and place for professional psychological assistance."

I had always believed that most religions focussed on an emotional appeal because it was the easiest method of reaching a person's spiritual side. Being raised in an Evangelical setting, emotionalism was strongly encouraged; if one didn't leave a service with puffy wet eyes and a horse throat it was thought there was something wrong with them. In more conservative settings, the emphasis was more on an internal experience, rather than the external demonstrations but it appeared that the central theme was to reach a person's emotions.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 5:52PM #5
exploringinside
Posts: 1,294
[QUOTE=spiritalk;43868]Consider the human aura as seen by those capable of the view: 

At the very outer rim a thin line of spiritual body appears.

The aura is a reflection of the inner being and shows the state of the body, mind, spirit.

With the spirit that far from the body, it must take quite an effort to bring it into alignment and take it within.[/QUOTE]

Thank you,

Are you implying that the emotional "layer" must somehow be manipulated to reach the spirit?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 6:18PM #6
keesiewonder
Posts: 221
I've had this forum bookmarked since "the change" so I'm glad to see some activity here. Thanks for getting us started! :cool:

Some believe that the temporal lobe of the brain is the region where spirituality is physically rooted for us. I can attest to personal experience of this after someone I knew had a mild stroke that affected primarily the frontal and temporal lobes. During recovery, this person proposed some wacko theories on the resurrection and dished out some personal attacks referencing demons.

Take a look at all the interesting google hits on a search such as "brain religion" ... One I noticed but have not yet read is Science, Psychology and Spirituality ... Maybe I better go brush up on the old forum's posts before I post more. Are there any worth continuing in our new home?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 9:05AM #7
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,638
[QUOTE=exploringinside;43376]

But seriously, why is so much of religion intentionally designed to appeal to a human's emotions?[/QUOTE]

exploring,

In a general and simplified version of how mind works - there is a natural division of reason/logic and emotion/intent.  This is like the natural division of matter and energy.  Reason, and the logical connections that reason uses, is like the study of matter with its defined structural connections that are easily sensed. Science measures these material aspects as size, mass and time related parameters.

Material science, as a catalogue of properties, was the first foundation of objective knowledge.

Energy wasn't developed as a concept until much more recently with Newton being the leader.

Same picture dealing with cognitive science, logic was there as obvious early on, as objective and definitive. but intent and emotions are harder to catalogue.   Hence we have less objective conceptual background for them.  The subjective nature of intent is like energy, as it not so easily defined without structural context as background.

The key to mind science is to measure intent and how emotion is active as a cause in behavior, in my humble opinion.  Surely pyschology has made great strides in this labor.

People change and evolve, as to their inner character in relation to controlling their emotions and intentions.   Religion is about these changes from obeying animal instinct to using the guidance of sacred texts.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 10:32AM #8
AndyF
Posts: 375

exploringinside wrote:

Perhaps Beliefnet did us a disservice by renaming this Board; from the lack of interest/activity I can only conclude:

1. Religion isn't in the human mind,

3. People prefer to discuss religion and the mind, separately,

But seriously, why is so much of religion intentionally designed to appeal to a human's emotions?



1.  Religion is a human construct, so I would have to say it is part of the mind.
3.  I think religion inherently separates itself from the mind.  In the most popular faiths, the concentration is on scripture, and thought is sometimes frowned upon.

It appeals to emotions because it comforts us when things are not going well (it's part of a high power's plan), it comforts us to think people who have wronged us will not escape punishment (hell), it comforts us to think there is a higher power watching over us, and it used to explain things people didn't understand.  Finally, it is the inspiration of art, music, storytelling, and creativity.

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 2:57PM #9
exploringinside
Posts: 1,294
[QUOTE=newchurchguy;45648]exploring,

Same picture dealing with cognitive science, logic was there as obvious early on, as objective and definitive. but intent and emotions are harder to catalogue.   Hence we have less objective conceptual background for them.  The subjective nature of intent is like energy, as it not so easily defined without structural context as background.

The key to mind science is to measure intent and how emotion is active as a cause in behavior, in my humble opinion.  Surely pyschology has made great strides in this labor.

People change and evolve, as to their inner character in relation to controlling their emotions and intentions.   Religion is about these changes from obeying animal instinct to using the guidance of sacred texts.[/QUOTE]

NCG,

These are really good observations. One model of emotions that has worked for me is a functional analogy to the sense receptors throughout the body; in this idea the emotions are considered a barometer of a person's mental life. When the body's pain receptors are unstimulated, a person is physically untroubled; contentment and joy are usually emotionally satisfying. Physical pain and distress are usually uncomfortable and unwanted; emotianal turmoil and distress are analogous; we seek to return to a desired state through some kind of response.

I hope religion is not the source of our "civilization," turning us from reactive animals to humans. The respnder that mentioned seeking emotional relef through religious practices certainly has part of the equation. I want to borrow into this subject a bit deeper:

Whereas religion has often claimed a solution for various types of emotional turmoil, it appears to me that a good deal of the teaching intentionally aggravates and actually incites emotional responses. Guilt, remorse, insecurity and fear appear to be generated as much as they are naturally occuring and self-identified. Is the goal of most religions to help one gain control of their emotions or use natural emotionalism as a catalyst or cause for adherence to a "faith?"
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 2:57PM #10
exploringinside
Posts: 1,294
[QUOTE=newchurchguy;45648]exploring,

Same picture dealing with cognitive science, logic was there as obvious early on, as objective and definitive. but intent and emotions are harder to catalogue.   Hence we have less objective conceptual background for them.  The subjective nature of intent is like energy, as it not so easily defined without structural context as background.

The key to mind science is to measure intent and how emotion is active as a cause in behavior, in my humble opinion.  Surely pyschology has made great strides in this labor.

People change and evolve, as to their inner character in relation to controlling their emotions and intentions.   Religion is about these changes from obeying animal instinct to using the guidance of sacred texts.[/QUOTE]

NCG,

These are really good observations. One model of emotions that has worked for me is a functional analogy to the sense receptors throughout the body; in this idea the emotions are considered a barometer of a person's mental life. When the body's pain receptors are unstimulated, a person is physically untroubled; contentment and joy are usually emotionally satisfying. Physical pain and distress are usually uncomfortable and unwanted; emotianal turmoil and distress are analogous; we seek to return to a desired state through some kind of response.

I hope religion is not the source of our "civilization," turning us from reactive animals to humans. The respnder that mentioned seeking emotional relef through religious practices certainly has part of the equation. I want to borrow into this subject a bit deeper:

Whereas religion has often claimed a solution for various types of emotional turmoil, it appears to me that a good deal of the teaching intentionally aggravates and actually incites emotional responses. Guilt, remorse, insecurity and fear appear to be generated as much as they are naturally occuring and self-identified. Is the goal of most religions to help one gain control of their emotions or use natural emotionalism as a catalyst or cause for adherence to a "faith?"
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