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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?      Home login  
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 nickg45
Joined: 12/16/2006
Msg: 9
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Did any one ever watch little children playing in a sand box?? They seem to create there own realities as they live and breath! Religion and morality hardwired,,, who cares at the end of the day it's just sand.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 11
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/13/2009 8:43:13 AM

Newberg calls religion the great equalizer and points out that similar areas of the brain are affected during prayer and meditation.
Similar areas might be affected when I'm taking a crap too, but that doesnt prove anything.

I can see why we'd evolve with morality, but I don't see why religion would be 'hard-wired' - nor does it appear to be. We aren't born religious, that's something that some of us acquire.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 12
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/13/2009 8:48:49 AM
Morality "hardwired"? Highly doubtful. We follow the morals and cutoms of our peers because we don't want to be the "yellow momnkey" in a tribe of brown ones...cause they'd kill us or worse!
Greeks had a "garden" where women went to sell themselves for the temple. Men would pay a bit of small coin for their services. Almost religious whoring. Is this "moral"? To them it certainly was...quite proper and totally moral and worshipful! Would it fit into todays society? You'd get your azz busted for running a house of ill repute!
So...morals are NOT hardwired into the brain.
(Just one example..I can think of many more!)
Religion "hardwired"? No...that is something we have to learn...and we do at a very earlt age. Never blame yourself for bad things happening to yu, always blame something or someone else.
 CerebralRomantic
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 13
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/14/2009 5:11:46 PM
Yes, it is hardwired. This is why Schizophrenics are more likely to believe in God, and Autistics are less likely.

Schizophrenics are more influenced by the sensory hallucinogenic portion of the brain which allows for the creation of such fantastic concepts such as God, spirits, etc. so much so that they are unable to discern these primal impulses from reality.

Autistics have limited to no connection with these centers, rather having all of their cognitive powers devoted to the logic portion of their brain, hence their intense frustration when confronted with issues relating to or governed by emotion.

Simply put. Religion is a mental illness.

A very common one, but a mental illness nontheless.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 14
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/14/2009 5:57:37 PM
RE Msg: 17 by CerebralRomantic:
Yes, it is hardwired. This is why Schizophrenics are more likely to believe in God, and Autistics are less likely.

Schizophrenics are more influenced by the sensory hallucinogenic portion of the brain which allows for the creation of such fantastic concepts such as God, spirits, etc. so much so that they are unable to discern these primal impulses from reality.

Autistics have limited to no connection with these centers, rather having all of their cognitive powers devoted to the logic portion of their brain, hence their intense frustration when confronted with issues relating to or governed by emotion.
Since when? I've got Aspergers, and know quite a few other people who firmly believe in G-d, who clearly have every sign of Asperger's, some possibly High Functioning Autistics.

I've also met some schizophrenics, and no, they mostly didn't believe in G-d.

I'm sorry, but either you've been misinformed, or a decent cross-section of society is the opposite to the rest of it.
 CerebralRomantic
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 15
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/15/2009 9:23:09 AM

Since when? I've got Aspergers, and know quite a few other people who firmly believe in G-d, who clearly have every sign of Asperger's, some possibly High Functioning Autistics.


For someone with aspergers, you seem to have no problem understanding the emotional concept of smiling. Also many of your prior posts have been extremely emotionaly charged.

Aspergers is often overdiagnosed.

It's the ADD of higher level phycological dissorders.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 16
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/15/2009 9:49:18 AM
RE Msg: 19 by ms fartsalot:
Hmmmm...having met quite a few schizophrenics myself, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that what CerebralRomantic is hypothesizing rings true somewhat. Schizophrenics believe in things with greater powers than seem humanly possible, although they do not always necessarily relate these powers to being of a God or like a God. The older schizophrenics seem to lean towards the God thing and can be extremely delusional about it, for they were often raised within the context of the church. On the other side of that, some believe in the greater powers of the devil and evil and concentrate their delusions around that.

With a lot of middle age and younger schizophrenics, their delusional systems can be based on things with electrical powers out of the ordinary...ie. transmitting/receiving messages through the air/ t.v. by electrical impulse. It all seems to be based on the experiences you have grown up with, what superpowers may exist in your illness.

It is this openness of believing in things that so-called 'rational minds' do not believe in, stemming from chemical imbalances in the brain, that cause people to have auditory, visual and other hallucinations that they firmly believe are real. How far is this from the God thing? Probably not far. Everything exists on a continuum.
I think there is a huge difference. I watched a programme a while ago on BBC2 about mental illness. The professionals in the field stated that one very consistent behaviour of schizophrenics is to jump wildly to conclusions, based on no evidence at all.

They said that a standard test is to place a bag before someone, that could contain either mostly blue balls and a few red balls, or mostly red balls and a few blue balls, and to pull balls out of the bag, until they are confident that they know which type of bag it is. Most people need at least 5 or 6 balls to make a decision. The schizophrenics always decide after 2 balls at most, often making a decision only after pulling out 1 ball, and are absolutely firm in their decision.

I know someone who is schizophrenic. He has a habit of blaming everything on the banks. When I am go to talk to people where he hangs out, and one of us mentions something that the banks did, and how the banks are just corrupt, he starts saying that the banks have everything connected to control the world, and they even have devices that read our thoughts. In the past, I took him seriously and asked him what these devices were, and how he knew of them. He didn't give any reason to think that they existed, and didn't even provide any personal anecdotes. He'd just jumped hugely to conclusions, with no logic at all, and not even a semblance of evidence. He makes the Young Earth Creationist crowd seem like well-adjusted intelligent folks by comparison, and he's pretty mild as schizophrenics go. He wouldn't hurt a fly, even when he felt he was seriously wronged by people.

I have heard many times from schizophrenics that antipsychotics 'dull' the pathways to feeling and experiencing the powers of these 'greater things.'
They numb the brain from thinking. It's like trying to think, when your brain is submerged in treacle. They still feel the same things, but they can no longer articulate them quickly enough for anyone to listen to them. It slows them down to a crawl.

There must be something to the area of the brain theory...for whether it is a God thing, a radio wave thing or whatever, it is all about extraordinary powers that humans do not have.

Some pray in church. Some say they talk to God. God talks back to some. Some are God. Some are controlled by the Devil, some are controlled by t.v. and microwaves...
Some people say we're controlled by scientific forces. It doesn't hold water to suggest that anyone who thinks things that we disagree with, are automatically mad.

If you spend time with schizophrenics, bipolars, people with OCD, and other disorders, 2 things become very, very clear:
1) They seem to do all the things we do. That's why they are so often misdiagnosed.
2) The way that they do things, is not at all like the way normal people do things.
It's not WHAT they do, but the way they do it, that shows that people have a mental illness.

The problem in our society, is that we now tend to look at people from a shallow perspective, by looking only at what they do on the surface. We look at WHAT they do, not HOW they do it. Because schizophrenics do the same things that others do, it's easy to label others who are normal, but who do the same things, as being schizophrenic, or suffering from delusions, or other forms of mental illness. But if you take the time to pay attention to HOW they do things, not what they do, you suddenly see that the sufferers of each type of mental illness, all display incredibly similar patterns of behaviour. But that takes paying attention to things, looking at more than the surface, what women call listening.

either which way you look at it, there seems to be the ultimate need for humans to give up control.
Humans have a need to give up control, because we don't control nature. Nature controls us. We cannot even control tiny little things like viruses like AIDS. AIDS viruses are like the lilliputians and we are like Gulliver. We may be way bigger and way stronger, but they can easily overpower us.

Perhaps this can be tied somewhere back in our instinctive brain to the safety of herd mentality.
Of course it can. It's the herd mentality to judge things by surface detail, and never to look beyond that for answers. It's the herd mentality to go mad over celebrities, simply because they do it. It's the herd mentality to pre-judge all people who mention something you don't believe in, as schizophrenics, and to let plenty of real schizophrenics loose, because they only talk about things that you also agree with. It's the herd mentality to criticise religion, just because your friends do. It's also the herd mentality to criticise atheists, just because your friends do. It's the herd mentality to agree with invading a foreign country, just because your President says that they are "dangerous", and your friends have jumped to the erroneous conclusion that he is right. The herd mentality causes a lot of things.

RE Msg: 20 by CerebralRomantic:

Since when? I've got Aspergers, and know quite a few other people who firmly believe in G-d, who clearly have every sign of Asperger's, some possibly High Functioning Autistics.
For someone with aspergers, you seem to have no problem understanding the emotional concept of smiling. Also many of your prior posts have been extremely emotionaly charged.
It's a common misunderstanding to think that Aspies don't have emotions. Aspies have lots of emotions, often very powerful ones. But Aspies have a great trouble understanding what emotions that others are feeling, or even what emotions they are feeling. That's why Aspies are so often compared to Autistics, when Autistics are known to have fits of uncontrollable rage. The Autistic kid who gets frustrated, doesn't know that what he is feeling is frustration. He doesn't know how to tell his mother that's he's frustrated, because he doesn't know that he's frustrated. He just can feel something, and he doesn't like it. He doesn't know what to do with it, so he just acts on it, randomly, until it goes away. But because he doesn't know what caused it, he doesn't know what will ease it, so he's using trial and error, and it takes a lot of tries before it gets better. The mother is getting really upset by seeing her child so enraged. But he doesn't know what she is feeling either. So he feels that his mother might be reacting to him, but he doesn't know if that's good, or bad, or even that she's not reacting to him at all. That makes him really, really confused, and that just makes things worse, because now he doesn't know if what he's going to do will upset people, and he's got to get rid of this bad feeling somehow, so he tries to avoid the more obvious ideas in case they will upset people, and that leads him to do crazy stuff that no-one expects. It's a vicious circle.

Aspies have a similar experience too. That's why Aspies love rules. Rules tell them what they can expect by their actions. They understand what is going on. They understand what others feel. They understand what they are supposed to feel. The rules allow them to compensate for not being able to judge what others feel, or what they feel, and what they should do about it.

Aspergers is often overdiagnosed.

It's the ADD of higher level phycological dissorders.
The main problem with Aspies, is that most people aren't, and cannot imagine being one. So they make up their own ideas about what Aspies are and aren't, according to how they see things, which is completely different to how Aspies see things. It's like trying to figure out a flight plan from New York to LA, when you've driven that way many times, but have never learned to fly a plane. You're going to give the wrong directions.
 BumFluff122
Joined: 4/4/2009
Msg: 17
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/15/2009 10:30:49 AM
I completely agree that it is not hard wired. Morality is a product of living in a societal structure and is learned through interaction from birth.
 Tarnished_Knight
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 19
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/15/2009 9:09:10 PM
Jeremiah 31 says in part:


"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.


To me, then, the answer is that morality, knowledge of God, is hardwired (written in the microcode of our minds) into our brain. I've seen too much commonality in ethics across societies for me to doubt. Further, I think it is possible that the knowledge of God in our minds and written on our hearts could be foundation for our societies.

TK
{It is WRITTEN...}
 BumFluff122
Joined: 4/4/2009
Msg: 20
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 7/16/2009 1:56:25 AM
ms_fartsalot wrote:


^^^ Ah then bumfluffy, explain the deviance of sociopathy, when they have been raised in law abiding, 'moral' Christian (or other religious) households ^^^


There are more influences on a young persons life other than family. Schooling and the schooling atmosphere has a very large effect on how a child will act later in life and the morals that they will have. Granted some psychological disorders are genetically based but morals for the average person are learned.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 21
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/17/2012 2:48:08 PM

yes we believe because we are wired to believe in reality is one possibility. wired to belive need not not mean that we are wired to believe a falsehood, myth, or delusion . The brain is the most sensitive "truth" finding instrument we have, it makes sense that some of it's truth's may have been put in the hardware!


Be careful the way you word stuff. Perhaps it was unintentional. I know I can do that sometimes. We are wired to believe that reality is ONE POSSIBILITY? Remember that it is REALITY is what we are trying to figure out. Not wether reality is the answer. Reality is not an option. the understanding of reality is the goal OR distorting it to others in an attempt to convince them of something OTHER than reality. In either case, anything not in reality is, by definition, NOT REAL.

Second, and this is the most obvious one. if "The brain is the most sensitive "truth" finding instrument we have", then it should hold up to testing. Compare it to other "instruments" like a thermometer for temperature. I wonder if the brain itself would have been able to get a better amount of "truth" then those brain imaging machines when it comes to what areas of the brain are active during prayer. Perhaps yoru brain would give you a better disagram of a broken limb than an X-ray or perhaps you would be able to detect cancer more effectively than an MRI scan.

try it out! We look forward to seeing the results.

My point? These scans show that we ARE in fact hardwired to favour a belief in something that stimulates our pleasure centers over something that doesnt or dont dont fully understand and that's perfectly normal. Thats why we didn't progress effectively with knowledge or technology until the scientific method. the brain is easily deceived and can make non truths FEEL very believable. Science disregrads the emotion and the tools science has provided us has helped us find truths, testable and reliable truths that made these articles and studies possible in the first place.
 s8lmonface
Joined: 3/9/2012
Msg: 22
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/17/2012 3:18:35 PM
Specific Religions are cultural(learned) ,but spirituality is hardwired for sure , this is why religions flourish by exploiting our natural spirituality. Morality is a feeling we have it's cultural (learned )and linked to disgust (hardwired) which is linked to our feelings of community.

So a combination of hardwired spirituality and disgust leads peopled to the false belief that their chosen or inherited Religion is the source of morality.
 Kohavah
Joined: 3/14/2012
Msg: 23
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/17/2012 4:23:13 PM
It is my opinion that the only thing that is hardwired in our brain, is the survival instinct. This enables us to feel emotionally and physically, in order that our brains electrically system may be enabled to tell us if something is good for us or bad for us. Does it cause us physical or emotional pain? Does it make us feel empty, or fullfilled? Do we feel accepted or rejected. Our survival instinct will help us to overcome any form of wrongly programmed religious ideals or wrongly accepted ideas on morality.

For example: A retired man in his sixties who was quite prepared for his retirement, was asked what advice he would give the younger crowd to help them better prepare for their future. His comment was quite interesting. He replied quite sadly, " I wish I had paid more attention to my marriage vows. Now I am alone, and I miss her."

Because he did not have a certain religion or morality hardwired in the brain, he now feels the pain of being alone. Take note, this man did not speak of adultery as one might assume. There are other vows that we take in our relationships that are part of the ethical contract that we enter into. One's religion is the way they choose to lead their lives. It can be changed for better or for worse. I think we want to hard wire, only the best.
 cat8_16_75
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 24
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/18/2012 9:00:34 AM
Morality is definitely hardwired in the brain. Religion... not at all.

Morality in the sense that you feel something is fair or unfair, not religious morality. It is a function of how you interact. Children use it to understand the decisions they make and how to interpret the world around them.
 Kohavah
Joined: 3/14/2012
Msg: 25
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/19/2012 8:53:19 AM
Nothing is so hard wired in any type or form of circuitry... that it can not be cut...repositioned or merely redirected. Just remember to be extremely careful when working with live wires.

The more live wires, the more care that must be taken, otherwise you may end up with a whole congregation or mob of overloaded and out of control power hungry grids....determined to electrocute you because you are touching on important topics, which the circuits know will cause a serious restructuring...therefore turning off their source of wrongly acquired energy...disenabling their climax. Which will shut down each and everyone of their unjustified and out of control power plants, by the overload and burning process.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 26
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/19/2012 9:57:18 AM

the term 'hard wired' worries me a bit and i think we mean that the brain is programmed to be receptive to suggestions of a certain kind and to treat them with more veracity than might otherwise be the case.

as social apes, we have thus far survived the darwinian odds because we are co-operative and altruistic, a trait 'designed' (creationists - don't even think about it) to operate at troop level - possibly to the closest 30 or 100 apes in our group.

identical but unknown apes were our greatest threat as we fought for resources - far more dangerous to our tribe than tigers because they are after exactly the same stuff we are guarding - so as well as our altruism (morality?), we are predisposed to murder and mayhem.

so i think we are born and develop with the capacity to grasp the rule of our society, whichever rules those rules are, and to grasp them quickly and in that respect they become hardwired by puberty. it is them very hard to overturn that which has been implanted.

religion plays to this. as does criminality and any number of addictions.


This quote is from "fredforties" and I just wanted to say that I agree 100%, thought it was well worded, appropriately non specific as none of us REALLY are in the position to make certain speific statements anyway. Thus, the humility and insightfulness of this statement says it all. All should take notice.

See? I discovered that giving my support to a comment I agree with can be equally effective as critisizing one that I DON'T agree with. Dont get me wrong. I'll still continue with the fun of disagreeing too.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 27
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/19/2012 10:10:33 PM
(creationists - don't even think about it)

:ROFL:

I have no problem with the idea that we are built to naturally believe in a higher power. Kind of makes sense and explains a whole lot of history. I don't see why it would be surprising.

I also think they should add to the list and test an atheist and find out what thinking activates those same areas. Is it thinking about science? Politics? the Environment?

That is an incredibly powerful 'feature' of being human. It even has the ability to override logic and totally without the users control and activated just by belief. Nothing will be more assured than what is held here.

Also... I could not say that I have found any reason to think that morality is built in. I think it makes more sense that morality comes from groups thinking about it and as a consequence of learning in groups. There isn't much to suggest that it would be possible to learn any morality without a situation arising where a lesson could be learned. So, if a person were separated from society and grew up alone on a desert island and and no memory at all of other people... then we might be able to know what 'natural' would be. Other than that all we have is damaged brains and it’s easy to assume that sociopaths and morality don't click.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 28
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/20/2012 3:15:09 PM
I think the idea of saying we are hard wired to believe in a higher power, especially something as specific as "God", as some would love to support over say "Q" from star trek or ET or anything else that could be a higher power. I think we are "hard wired", more accurately meaning... "prone" to BELIEVE WITHOUT EVIDENCE or again, more accurately, NOT prone to think critically when we are born. And with good reason. Children need to accept lessons they are told to ba able to survive thus this quality was a valuable evolutionary one. Critical thinking is a learned skill and is often difficult and not always popular because it goes against our natural instincts... but not our logic luckily.

We are "hard wired" to appreciate humour too but that does not mean we are hard wired to find Homer Simpson funny.

As for Morality, this one is simple. We define morality in a series of rules of can and can't do, 10 commandments and so on. Very few people would be willing to put a catch all definition of what is moral and what is not. If it WAS in fact hard wired, rules of morality would be objective and the same for all cultures. they are not. We dispute them every day and try to find 2 people with the exact same moral stance on eveything.

How can you be hard wired to believe without evidence and also think we all have a hard wired moral code.

in fact, the very concept of an objective morality is the RESULT of believing without evidence.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 29
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 3/20/2012 3:23:14 PM
To elaborate on Morality, it doesn't mean we dont have hard wiring for empathy, sympathy, love, etc. favourtism, prejudices, fears, etc. THOSE are equally common in ALL cultures and ALL form the basis of their various moral codes. The specifics of which, of course, are learned.
Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/1/2013 4:02:30 PM
Hhmm...maybe the op of this (morality) thread is also conducive to a conversation developing to where I'd like to see it.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 31
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/1/2013 4:44:32 PM
Sometimes the past has relevence.

Go for it... My position hasn't changed. Morality is learned. The ability to learn is hardwired. So is the ability to accept irrational things as true.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 32
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/1/2013 6:21:49 PM
Is morality learned or inate?
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/drug-firms-bought-east-german-patients-to-use-as-human-guinea-pigs-8386847.html

Seems like it is easy enough to set aside.



Using information gleaned from East German Stasi files, the film shows how, in 1983, Communist Party Central Committee members hatched a secret deal with Western drug companies enabling them to test their unlicensed products on unwitting patients by using specially selected doctors and clinics.


I think it may be pretty challenging to find evidence that morality exists at all. Yet, kind of seems rather necessary. Brains may be hard wired to accept them but it's all meaningless and arbitrary if not specifically defined... making them less than optional is the challenge.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 33
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/1/2013 6:42:00 PM

So if your brain needed balancing between differing regions, it would form neurological structures to do so during development which don't have to include any self imposed theological dogma.

So, would you say the same thing against structure and authority? Is that falsified also? Your definitions are narrow. So, do we have to keep switching them out with other words until one is found that you would permit?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 34
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/1/2013 7:02:26 PM
Aries you made an utterly nonsensical post

Sorry you couldn't follow along.

Since I think you were trying to say that the OP and religion are nonsense. I was asking if you had an opinion on authority and structure being hardwired in the brain. Do the words make sense yet or do you need more context?

Or does this still not meet your criteria for form on an internet forum.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 35
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Religion and morality. Hardwired in the Brain ?
Posted: 4/30/2013 9:57:44 AM
Love Derren Brown. In this show he does a demonstration in a room largely made up of skeptics and they did not want to recite a satanic prayer and stab a picture of a loved one and commit their souls to satan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=51B8MzcxOX0#t=78s

Born with and an inbuilt, hardwired tendency to believe.
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