Thinkage

“… once we scrub away all the theological bric-a-brac and pluck the exotic cross-cultural plumage of religious beliefs from all over the world, once we get under God's skin, isn't He really just another mind—one with emotions, beliefs, knowledge, understanding, and, perhaps above all else, intentions?  Aren't theologians really just playing the role of God's translators, and isn't every holy book ever written a detailed psychoanalysis of God?  That strangely sticky sense that God 'willfully' created us as individuals, 'wants' us to behave in particular ways, 'observes' and 'knows' about our otherwise private actions, 'communicates' messages to us in code through natural events, and 'intends' to meet us after we die would have also been felt, in some form, by our Pleistocene ancestors. “Consider, briefly, the implications of seeing God this way, as a sort of scratch on our psychological lenses rather than the enigmatic figure out there in the heavenly world that most people believe Him to be.  Subjectively, God would still be present in our lives.  (For some people, rather annoyingly so.)  He would continue to suffuse our experiences with an elusive meaning and give the sense that the universe is communicating with us in various ways.  But this notion of God as an illusion is a radical and, some would say, even dangerous idea because it raises important questions about whether God is an autonomous, independent agent that lives outside human brain cells, or instead a phantom cast out upon the world by our species' own peculiarly evolved theory of mind.  Since the human brain, like any physical organ, is a product of evolution, and since natural selection works without recourse to intelligent forethought, this mental apparatus of ours evolved to think about God quite without need of the latter's consultation, let alone His being real.

“Then again, one can never rule out the possibility that God microengineered the evolution of the human brain so that we've come to see Him more clearly, a sort of divine LASIK procedure, or scraping off the bestial glare that clouds the minds of other animals.” -- Jesse Bering, The Belief Instinct

Sense And Non-Sense On Digital Media [re-post]

Porn To Christian Media: “We Are Not So Different, You & I…”