George Andrews wrote:
<< Well, OK but ..... I think the recent experiments
subjecting human brains to electrical stimulation which
thereby produces "religious like" effects in the
patient is pretty strong support for the atheistic
side and needs to "keep in mind" :-)
I think the best responce is to agree that all
religious experienc is in the mind. Where else would it be?
We are very, very physical.
I think you are referring to V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee
"Phantoms in the Brain : Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind."
William Morrow & Co; 1998
Actually, Ramachandran stuck me as a very reasonable person
who is exploring the boundries of mind-brain issues. The book,
although in many ways rather speculative, views it more as
a blessing that some people have these unusual experiences.
It seems it is the athiests who feel a need to twist
Ramachandran's work into tools to support their a narrow minded
Of course, the
brain is a complex system which ultimately is reduced to electical
impulses and, if you insist on the reductio ad absurdum, that is
all Paul experienced on the road to Damascus.
However, that does not mean the Christ did
not speak to Paul. Moreover, to deny such revelatory experience
as "false" and everyday experience as "true" is a false
Paul Davies says in "The Mind of God":
"In chapter 6 I described how some
scientists and mathematicians claim to have had sudden revelatory
insights akin to such mystical experiences. Roger Penrose describes
mathematical inspirations as a sudden "breaking through" into a Platonic
realm. Rucker reports that Kurt Godel also spoke of the "other relation to
reality," by which he could directly perceive mathematical objects,
such as infinity. Godel himself was apparently able to achieve
this by adopting meditative practices, such as closing off the other
senses and lying down in a quiet place. For other scientists the
revelatory experiene happens spontaneously, in the midst of the
daily clamor." Davies mentions a number of other notable and
So, if all revelatory experience is false, it follows that any
proposition based on revelatory experience must be false.
Therefore, Godel's theorem is wrong.
Indeed, if the mere fact that the mind can store and register
experience, means that we must deny *all*
experience as all such revelatory experience is also ultimately
stored and registered as electical impulses in our brains and
revelatory experiences *must* be false.
A God who equipt a universe with everything it needs is also a
God who can speak to it. If mathematical discoveries which
have enriched our world can come about by revelation, then I
see little reason to deny the power of revelatory experience
in the theologian as well.
By Grace alone do we proceed,
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Sep 14 2000 - 11:15:16 EDT