RE: atheism vs theism and ARE's

From: Adrian Teo (
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 17:29:09 EDT

  • Next message: George Andrews Jr.: "Re: The mind/brain and revelation"

    Hi George,
    You wrote:

    Please note I said support; not prof.

    The, "artificial religious experience " (perhaps another acronym like ARE
    is required? ... JUST KIDDING!! :-) ), is -- without question -- caused by
    the experimenter and not by God. (Assuming God isn't working through the
    experimenter!?) Hence, the conclusion that the ARE :-) is ONLY in the brain
    is extremely reasonable since it is controlled and no "God" is measurably
    present to effect the reaction. Agreeably, the logical step to "God never
    existed" does not follow form the ARE (sorry :-) ). However, as I'm sure
    you'll agree, there is a qualitative difference (i.e., in kind) between the
    ubiquitously physically present barionic chair that reflects photons to the
    retina and a stimulus "caused" by an ambiguous and unphysical being
    composed of ill-defined "spirit". The former is "there", i.e. exists in
    (space,time) = (room,now), as is easily proven with other criteria, e.g.
    pain upon it being removed when one attempts to lounge in it, where as the
    latter is not measurably "there" or anywhere.

    Thus, to your alternative, I would answer: yes, it does necessarily imply
    that it is all in your brain and that a chair is not there and hence,
    doesn't exist outside of your brain. The key word is "memory". To remember
    the chair implies a former experience which presumably involved other
    physical senses located ... well you know where. In short, a chair is
    existent outside the presence of the subject because it has been repeatedly
    observed to be so. God, however, is not repeatedly observed to exist

    Hence, I still insist that the ARE experiments ( sorry :-) ) do strongly
    support an atheistic would view. I would be willing to relax this to
    supporting the weaker agnostic position, but that opens another set of
    [My response]

    An atheist may very well believe that it is strong support, but that is only
    because of his/her presuppositions that bias the conclusion. If I do not
    allow for the existence of a realm beyond the natural, then religious
    experiences are reducible to brain activity. For the theist, however, it
    really isn't support for anything other than the fact that we can produce
    certain types of experiences in people by stimulating parts of the brain
    electrically. At this point, we cannot even predict not control what those
    experiences are going to be, because it varies with the individual. So, the
    argument of support really depends on who you are talking to.


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