The mind/brain and revelation

Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 11:15:00 EDT

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    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
    world view.

    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
    "interesting" scientists.

    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,

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