Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creating God

I was surfing the net and found an interesting piece of research. A gentleman by the name of Nicholas Eply from the University of Chicago, a psychologist, has been doing research inspired by the phrase "What would Jesus do?" A combination of surveys, psychological manipulation and MRI brain scans has led to the conclusion that when religious Americans try to invoke that well worn phrase "What would Jesus do?" or God, they primarily draw from their own personal beliefs. When people consider other people mindsets they always use their own beliefs as a starting point, ie. they are always egocentric. The same is true when they try infering the divines. That is to say their opinions end of being the same ones they say are God's. And as their opinions change so does Gods. He then MRI scanned their brains. He found that the part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex is active when thinking about what God's attitude is. That is the same area of the brain that is linked to self-referential thinking or when we think about our own mindsets than those of others. His conclusions disclose that different religions have such diverse views of God's attitudes shows that the sources of inspiration, prayer, interpreting sacred texts or consulting with clerics, are inconsistent at best. We think of dieties in very human terms and the inconsistencies will make it more likely that people will increasing look to their own beliefs when inferring the will of God. This is exactly the idea of anthropomorphism. Xenophenes first described this phenomenon in the 6th centurey B.C. when he was describing the fact that different cultures tend the share their physicial characteristics. And as Mark Twain and Voltaire said: "God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favour." For more information you can google Eply and check out his website.
Peace Skeptical DoDo

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