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True_Avery
05-27-2009, 08:35 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet

http://www.slate.com/id/2165004/
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/dr-persingers-god-machine-1589465.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger_pr.html
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/god-experiments

Basically, Michael Persinger's God Machine is a Helmet that stimulates the brain with magnetic fields, and has caused subjects to undergo events described as religious experiences by stimulating the temporal lobe.

It is older news, but just thought I'd get people's take on the notion that religious experiences, god, etc could be constructs of the human mind and can, seemingly, be replicated with science.

Thoughts?

EnderWiggin
05-27-2009, 09:14 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet

http://www.slate.com/id/2165004/
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/dr-persingers-god-machine-1589465.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger_pr.html
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/god-experiments

Basically, Michael Persinger's God Machine is a Helmet that stimulates the brain with magnetic fields, and has caused subjects to undergo events described as religious experiences by stimulating the temporal lobe.

It is older news, but just thought I'd get people's take on the notion that religious experiences, god, etc could be constructs of the human mind and can, seemingly, be replicated with science.

Thoughts?

Doesn't strike me one way or the other. Just a general shrug, and a "good to know" :)

_EW_

jrrtoken
05-27-2009, 09:35 PM
Sounds really great, but I can foresee a thousand Hollywood-grade apocalypse plots to come out of this.

But, if it is true, then I can only hope...

http://www.visualwalkthroughs.com/deusex/helios/25.jpg

Q
05-28-2009, 12:15 PM
How many believers claim to have actually seen God as though He's some sort of hallucination? :giveup:

I'd like to try it, but I seriously doubt that the experience would be able to top the one brought on by five drops of Family liquid on a sugar cube. :p

Not that you'd see God that way, either, but you might see something else if you're observant enough. ;)

vanir
05-28-2009, 02:29 PM
Scientifically it's an unfalsifiable hypothesis due to the fact this type of experiment would require a control body which has a brain structure which is different to ours, which could be communicated with effectively. Hence the experiment has little genuine scientific value other than to suggest possibilities with wild hypothesis and no conclusive evidence, ie. the realm of unscientific personal opinion. Even attempting a control body of medically, intellectually disabled individuals (eg. down syndrome or otherwise reduced frontal lobe capacity to compare for effects), would require the examination of their predisposed perceptions about the world at large (correlation still does not infer causation), but even this is not being attempted.
It's a bit like Dawking's book, salesmanship probably to elicit research grants for other material (in Dawking's case a new car, a nicer house, steady publishing contracts, etc.). It's a capitalist world.

In the archaeological record religion is not only undefined as an experience of modern man, it was most evolved by HS Neanderthalensis around 70K BCE (including social organisation and religious sanctuary) and only practised by us quite some time later. Musical instruments, the diatonic scale, burial practises, surgical procedures, dwelling construction and religious sanctuaries were first exampled by this hominid species.
Yet whilst the brain cavity of some 1350cc is quite a bit larger than our own at an average of 1275cc, the different shape of the skull directly suggests a poor frontal lobe development of HS Neanderthalensis compared to us.
So it would appear religion has little to do with the frontal lobe.

As a footnote it is the current most likely hypothesis that HS Neanderthalensis interbred with HS Sapiens, evidenced by an almost identical genome to our own (closer than between individual species of chimpanzee), whilst strict archaeological evidence for this has been recently discovered in Rumania, as well as the general allusion of the archaeological record of common dwelling sites and identical technologies.

The scientific body would suggest religion was introduced by Neandertals, whom evolved it from rudimentary H Erectus religion (simple altars), although such a controversial assertion is by no means formally represented by any member of the scientific community.

But just from the evidence, it looks like religion is older than us.

Darth Avlectus
05-29-2009, 03:04 AM
I had theorized in my years as an atheistic/agnostic that concepts of "god" and all the "experiences" I ever had were products of vivid and volatile mind or imagination after particularly acute/severe happenings or during particularly vulnerable/impressionable moments.

How does this machine affect anything of/relating to belief systems? None at all unless the machine is controlled via an independent automation that can act by way of thinking, feeling and making its own decisions. In other words: is it sentient or does it require external influence? I think you get the point.

While I could get off into how a device like this could be used nefariously, I'd probably get looks even from nonbelievers for it b/c it would be like that of a ridiculous conspiracy theory. Just saying.

If it is all within our minds, then how is it that we do not control such powerful ecstacy alone, at will?

While I have yet to uncover any testable evidence of the supernatural/paranormal or to find any consistency with the phenomenon of miracles, I can say that certain things like karmah may not necessarily be so mystical.

The good and evil mindset is polarized the one thing that remains true is that we do operate on a semi rational level of positive and negative. So I'd guess that the polarity in sentient mind processes are always going to be present to some extent. Not sure if could be considered constant, though.

BTW Is this related to anything in lucid dreaming?

Similarly it is like that of Tesla's technology. Tesla theorized something like that automations act upon influence of external influence. It is correct to the extent that it is the basis of remote controlling, be it by wire, RF, optical, sound, etc. however there is much that does not fit when speaking of "the human automation".

It could all be just in our minds. However as soon as I state that, somebody comes up with some odd phenomena that I can't explain. Like having a vision (and being able to describe it to a tee) of a person they never met before only to find out about that person afterwards having been deceased for some time. It could be a lie or an imagination, but I'm not in that person's head so I can't tell for sure. Unless I had some foolproof way of seeing, reading, or knowing their thoughts. I'd need equipment since I frankly have my doubts about psychic powers.

vanir
05-29-2009, 08:16 AM
Well I think the difficulty we may have there GTA:SWCity is that it is virtually impossible to quantify individual perceptions. Sapience is irrational.

Jae Onasi
05-29-2009, 02:55 PM
Sapience is irrational.
'Unmeasurable with current technology' =/= 'irrational' :)

Edit: I don't believe this explains God, but it may help in understanding what happens when mentally ill patients have delusions of divinity.