Friday, November 22, 2013

Quantifying Religious Experience Part 2

This is a continuation of comments on "The Spiritual Brian: Science and Religious Experience".  The second lecture started out with an effort to define "spiritual" or "religious".  I don't recall the exact wording, but it starts and ends with, "Subjective feelings and thoughts ...  with regard to the sacred".  The caveats around this are stated fairly well:  In forcing a definition, we are to some degree forcing a set of possible conclusions that may or may not preclude an understanding of the phenomenon.  So far so good.

The lecture then moves off into the subjective feelings and thoughts of those who have set apart themselves as "scientists" of the evolutionary variety.  Keeping in mind that "sacred" means "set apart", we must note that this really boils down to one religious viewpoint speaking out regarding all the other religions, while refusing to acknowledge its conflict of interest status.

What Andrew dares to do that is rare is to point out that - according to the subjective Darwinist metanarrative - there must have been a strong advantage to religion in order for our brains to develop with a need for religion.  My creationist viewpoint has no such requirement.  Andrew cites one of Richard Dawkins rants against religion, but fails to note the problem:  If Dawkins were true to his convictions, he would need to admit that there is some significant advantage to religion, and conversely an evolutionary disadvantage to atheism.

What I ponder in all this is where the Darwinist metarrative leads.  One possibility is an reaffirming of the atheist line that all religions are alike, or some specious effort to claim that modern atheists have superseded religion.  A different route is possible, however, given that Andrew showed a picture of a fertility type statue and claimed that it was one of the earlier evidence of religion.  Here I can see the atheists finally coming around to admitting that their belief system requires religion to be taken seriously, only to have a fertility type religion with its emphasis on sexual promiscuity, human sacrifice (abortion, etc.), debauchery and superstition being being promoted by the intellectual elites as the evolutionary ideal.  OK, that is what we are doing.  The Judaeo-Christian viewpoint is that the religious celebration of depravity is just a corruption of true worship of God.  As the Bible says:

"Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants."  - Leviticus 18:24-25

Thus, we are led in two mutually exclusive directions.  One claiming an evolutionary advantage to becoming a primitive theocracy based on the worship of Total Depravity.  The other saying that this practice will lead us to being "vomited out" by the land.  


Maria Perry Mohan said...

All institutional religions are alike to some extent. But faith - now that's a different kettle of fish all together.

Delirious said...

The most interesting study would be one which would show which religions helped people fare better. ;)

And if religions do help people survive, then there are a whole lot of liberals about to become extinct. tee hee hee

Looney said...

@Maria, now you have me very curious to learn about faith.