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OfflineSampson
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Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 154
Last seen: 14 years, 8 months
the God gene?
    #362393 - 07/28/01 08:50 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

no matter what culture is studied there is always a god or a creator or many. is this a primitive story for just explaining the unexplainable or is it a gene(physical) that has lay dormant in primates till now? how was god created? most literature(European) i have read says he just was there. if this sense of god was an evolutionary(physical) change in existance, then one could conject that with the evolution of conscienceness comes physical changes and vise versa. but are we controlling the physical or the conscience or are we just a side effect of the two?



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your existance is chemical. altered states are your elements. ~me


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InvisiblePynchon
Slow Learner

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 578
Loc: New Zealand
Re: the God gene? [Re: Sampson]
    #362401 - 07/28/01 09:54 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

I'd be surprised if there was a gene for something as specific as religious belief. Genes might have more to do with how susceptible an individual is to religious conversion (the subtext here is brain-washing), though. Not to get too Freudian, but our religious beliefs are closely connected with how we feel about our parents. This is why tribal societies believe in many gods, while people bought up in a family "unit" usually practice a mono-theistic faith. An atheist is more likely to (subconciously) hate his/her father than to be a rigid rationalist/sceptic. Likewise, people who believe in strict discipline tend to be attracted to the "fire and brimstone" aspect of many religions. I believe religion, like magic, is a primitive form of science. It is intimately connected with our need to understand and feel at home in an apparently random universe.

Physical evolution certainly encourages the development of consciousness; once primitive man got the hang of walking upright (giving him an advantage over other animals), he didn't have to work so hard for food and could spend more time wondering, for instance, why he was hungry. Obviously, being a successful hunter also depended on being able to communicate with other hunters in the group, and so language evolved. Trusting the other hunters was necessary too, so perhaps religion was an effective way for early man to bond, and to keep one another in line.



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OfflineSampson
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Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 154
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Re: the God gene? [Re: Pynchon]
    #362797 - 07/29/01 04:04 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

i was just wondering though is it the thought processes that control how we adapt or is it what we are equipped with physically. i mean, take the horseshoe crab it has been around for eons and has not changed much, does this mean its body make-up helped it survive or was it just inferior intellect of other surrounding lifeforms? these crabs have always(since trilobites) been in great abundance and have managed to stay alive since the great extinction. has it been the animals around it that were just to lazy,stupid or too unadapted to hunt it? i guess what i really want to know is it psychology or physiology that defines natural selection? when man first started to walk upright is this how he saw himself walking or did his body just automatically stand him up? i mean maybe our bodies look like our minds portray them and this is where evolution comes from.

about the religious gene, i realize that people practice religion according to their society. but why are the similarities so close between religions around the ancient world? was it a physical formation that caused this or was it merely a way of keeping one another in check(that is a big coinsidence that this happened especially on areas such as north/south america, asia, europe, and austrailia considering there locations a couple of thousands of years ago)?



--------------------
your existance is chemical. altered states are your elements. ~me


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InvisibleCosmicJokeM
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Registered: 04/06/00
Posts: 10,183
Loc: Portland, OR
Re: the God gene? [Re: Sampson]
    #364045 - 07/31/01 09:37 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

god lying dormant, like door mat waiting for a welcome
how was He created? woodnt choo like ta know?
He's in our blue jeans!~~~ who woulda Guess(t) it?


Edited by CosmicJoke on 07/31/01 08:38 AM.



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Everything is better than it was the last time.  I'm good.

If we could look into each others hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.

It takes a lot of courage to go out there and radiate your essence.

I know you scared, you should ask us if we scared too.  If you was there, and we just knew you cared too.


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Offlinegnrm23
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Registered: 08/30/99
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Re: the God gene? [Re: Sampson]
    #364086 - 07/31/01 12:22 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

go to the library & get the copy of huston smith's _forgotten truth: the primordial tradition_ for one side of the story...
and itzak bentov's _stalking the wild pendulum_ for yet another side...
(you know there's far more than 2 sides. right?)



--------------------
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OfflineArCh_TemPlaR
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Registered: 07/15/01
Posts: 200
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Re: the God gene? [Re: Pynchon]
    #364768 - 08/01/01 03:08 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Tribal societies. Tribes use plants, herbs, and fungi to develop their religious practices.

Modern families. They do not, for the most part.

Atheists. So you're saying it's indirect passive aggression? Hmm..



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InvisiblePynchon
Slow Learner

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 578
Loc: New Zealand
Re: the God gene? [Re: ArCh_TemPlaR]
    #365304 - 08/02/01 04:24 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Tribal societies. It is drug-culture propaganda to suggest that ALL tribal societies base their religious practices around the use of psychoactive substances. The Maori people of New Zealand have a very highly-developed spiritual system, complete with "medicine men". They are not known to have ever used any psychoative plants, though its hard to imagine they didn't know about them. Ditto (probably) the Australian Aborigines.

Modern families. I guess not, unless wine counts as a sacrement...but modern families usually prefer to keep religion at arms-length, professing a faith in "God" without any clear system of beliefs...the religious equivalent of a one night stand, comforting and free of consequence?

Atheists. In many cases, yes. Not to say that there aren't atheists who have consciously and rationally chosen that path...I'd like to believe I'm one of them. Hmmm what?





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OfflineSampson
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Registered: 12/18/00
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Re: the God gene? [Re: gnrm23]
    #365353 - 08/02/01 07:43 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

thanks gnrm23, i was looking for some literature on this but i did not know where to start.



--------------------
your existance is chemical. altered states are your elements. ~me


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OfflineJez
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Registered: 02/11/99
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Last seen: 15 years, 3 months
Re: the God gene? [Re: Sampson]
    #365415 - 08/02/01 10:27 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

I agree that you can't really pinpoint something so terribly abstract as our idea of God to a single gene. It is most likely the product of many many many genes working together. You might as well have asked whether someone's personality can be isolated in a single gene.

I think our idea of God is intrinsically related to our idea of the infinite, and that our idea of the infinite is intrinsically related to self consciousness. God is by definition the infinite. Most philosophical definitions of God depend on some understanding of infinity; all knowing, all seeing, all being, creator of all, etc...

Where do we get our notion of infinity? I think it comes along with self consciousness. Think about it:

A non-self-conscious being is only aware of external stimuli. It may have inner thoughts and feelings, but, because it is not yet self-conscious, it cannot associate those ideas and feelings with an 'I' or a 'self'. So, all it has access to is external stimuli. Now this might be a big step, but maybe we can assume that all external stimuli is finite. Experience seems to confirm this: we see, hear, touch, taste and smell things. They're all bounded by quantity. You can't see an inifite amount of things, or see something infinitely long. Anything you see hear touch smell or taste will be finite. Someone might say that the night sky is infinite in expanse, but that's not true. What we see is a heck of a lot of sky, but not so much of it that we can say its inifinite.

So, external stimulus can only offer us finite experience. Without self consciousness we can only experience external stimuli (see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or whatever senses the non-self conscious being has), which is intrinsically FINITE.

now, what happens when we become self conscious? Self consciousness is more or less thought thinking itself. Not only can we now receive external stimuli, but the fact that we have any stimulus at all gives us another dimension of experience. We can think not just about the external stimulus, but about the fact that we are having the external stimulus, the fact that it is affecting 'me', the 'I' or the 'self'. Experience then becomes reflexive (thought thinking itself). Now (again this might be a big step...), maybe we can think of thought thinking itself as a beam of light caught between two mirrors, or a video camera pugged into a TV pointed at the TV it is plugged into. We get a bunch of smaller and smaller tv screens, smaller untill infinity. Granted the smaller and smaller TV screens example is not really infinite because it is part of external stimulus (sight), but if we take the analogy and apply it to our psychology, we can maybe see how somehow our concept of infinity comes alongside our becoming self aware. We can experience external stimuli, think about external stimuli, think about thinking about external stimuli, and so on until infinity. Because this type of infinity is not part of the actual external stimuli, it isn't bounded to finitude.

So, God being a version of our concept of infinity (infinity with respect to being, with respect to knowledge, etc...), our concept of God came along when we became self aware.

So, in a sense, was created along with our sense of self. What created them is a mystery to me.

I think psychology is dependant on physiology. The human didn't think 'oh I should walk erect, it'll be easier to catch prey'. The way natural selection works is like this:

A population of creatures undergo random changes. Say 1000 bugs; each has 6 legs and comes in different colors. Random genetic mutations make some of the bugs blue others red others other colors. Say the red ones are prone to being eaten by a predator and the blue ones are prone to reproduction, then natural selection is the effect we see when these bugs are left alone to face nature: the red ones will die off and the blue ones will thrive. We say the red ones were killed off by natural selection while the blue ones were favored by natural selection.

Natural selection dosen't work at only the genetic level... Today, with our fast paced world of commercials and popular music we see trends and ideas as the product of natural selection. Ideas like can openers or toasters make life easier and are useful for people. You could maybe say that because these things are favorable for people's survival in today's world, the fact that they've been around for a while makes them a product of natural selection. Things like fatty fattty foods, beanie babies, the spice girls, things that are not helpful for the survival of the species at all (either in a negative way or in a neutral way) will either die off or be replaced by other fads (eaters of fatty fatty foods will become unhealthy and die off naturally until few people remain that eat fatty fatty foods).

Hmm. I've said enough. Hopefully this will help spurt some more discussion on an interesting thread!

Thanks for the inspiration folks!



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Offlinegnrm23
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Registered: 08/30/99
Posts: 6,481
Loc: n. e. OH, USSA
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Re: the God gene? [Re: Sampson]
    #366270 - 08/03/01 02:03 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

erowid, csp, lycaeum, the fane, spiritplants, theforbiddenfruit --- they all have links & some have online texts & webrings to surf...
and hardcopy at library & bookseller...
shucks, the reading lists at the back of BE HERE NOW would be enough to keep most folks busy for a decade or two...
& for fictional approaches to the nature of the mind of god... hehheh... heinlein, dick, sturgeon, stapledon, bach, wilson & so many more... and from science, psychology, philosophy... well --- huxley, watts, sagan, wolf, grof, hofmann, lilly, leary, ram dass, jastrow, watson, margulis, hawking, jung, capra, plenty more i am sure...

again: keep on asking the big questions... but try to avoid the easy answers...
~~~
"seek, and ye shall find
knock, and the door will be opened
ask, and ye shall recieve
when the love comes a'tumblin' down"
(old folky song by pete seeger)



--------------------
old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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