Sunday, December 25, 2005
Scientist explains why we believe in God
Read more: http://edge.org/3rd_culture/gilbert05/gilbert05_index.html
I feel bad for professor Gilbert, that his investigations stopped short at peoples' need for a cardboard god, an explanation of good luck, or otherwise unfathomable events.
A god, if visualized at such a trivial level, is nothing more than a mental crutch,
a kind of clearasil applied to an outbreak of the irrational.
Others, Teilhard de Chardin among them, have investigated peoples' need for a god as an expression of an inner process, a desire to harmonize ones selfhood with reality, or ultimate beinghood, as a permanent admixture with the newfound source, whereby the seeker self-organizes on a higher level than had been possible sans the deity, accepting whatever growthwork the process might suggest, in hopes of increasing one's power to shape events to the good, and ultimately perhaps create permanent improvement in the human condition, as such figures as Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi obviously and irrefutably have.
Seen in this light, the desire for experience of godhood is seen as an exercise in hope,
not a bandaid applied to some misunderstanding of the hard-to-understand.
As hope, as a permanent wish to unearth the better, the greater,
the more powerful, (and the unknown also), to reach for a better self, a better world, a better history, the ultimate value of the exercise is not avoided, or suppressed, as it was in Professor Gilbert's little essay.
My view, strongly shaped by Teilhard, but hoping to go further than the banned
priest was allowed by his pre-existing beliefs, is that human nature as it exists today, transcending the scope and interiorness of other primates and precursor hominids, was historically evoked by a process one might call superstition, or worship, but which is more correctly viewed as envisioning one's future self, and moving toward it by marrying it internally, at first as an "other"-some juju, focus item, or god, in ardent desire, calling it out of nothingness, creating godhood so as to eat it, as one eats a host at mass, or soma, becoming what was previously forbidden by one's backwardness, and lack of vision.
There is much evidence that such a directed evolution is now supplanting mere
Darwinistic evolution in the fashioning of whatever splendid new creature will emerge
from such efforts, coupled with the pathetic warmaking monkey of today's human race.
We shall see.
Doesn't this at least place them close to the medical field in that they should do no harm? I have never heard of a psychologist attacking a patient for religious belief.
A professor of psychology should be teaching students human behavior & best how to help them. How does a professor's disbelief in God apply, not to understanding human behavior, but to working with people who need a psychologist in the first place.
The work this professor did is a science based opinion on God which has nothing to do with helping a disturbed person, by far most of which are religious.
What advantage could the professor possibly gain by writing this paper? Most intelligent people already realize what was written anyway.
I would ask the professor, " You have written an opinion based paper on why people believe in God. Now, just what in the hell good is it to your profession or to your students for the primary objective of helping people with behavioral problems?"