Holy Spirit or Hormones?

Finding spirituality—a physiology solution for measuring faith in micrograms

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Finely tuned sermons are designed to produce emotion. Next time you feel the spirit, please take a moment to thank god for the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area of your brain—this is where production of the neurohormone that is released by the hypothalamus—Almighty Dopamine

Also thank god for serotonin and endorphins. These are two of the LORDs best kept secrets, bringing people into the fold by tiny micrograms of inspiration.

“Phenylethamine is the hormone that results in the feelings we get in the early stages of a relationship. Cocoa beans contain Phenylethamine too— Getting a release of this hormone with just the right manipulative timing can cement your relationship with Jesus—god-is-that-good”!

The pharmacological relationship between phenethylamine and amphetamine suggest that phenethylamine plays a prominent role in mediating mood-enhancing euphoric effects. Initially discovered in 1935, it became widely known in 1953 in US research. We’d known about it but was studied as enteramine.

Whatever you call it, it’s the good stuff that can be released by mood enhanced sermons, falling in love, or moments of emotional and physical rescue. Combine these babies with adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol in a crisis and you can literally see the image of god come to the rescue, etched in your memory forever based on your precondition response.

When people experience a traumatic event, the body releases two major stress hormones: norepinephrine and cortisol. Norepinephrine boosts heart rate and controls the fight-or-flight response, commonly rising when individuals feel threatened or experience highly emotional reactions. It is chemically similar to the hormone epinephrine — better known as adrenaline.

In the brain, norepinephrine in turn functions as a powerful neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that enhances memory.(1)

Here we see that god has done nothing that evolution didn’t do first. While in days of old these feelings were credited to god, we know now that spiritual experience is nothing more than the release of hormones—where timing is everything. An upbeat crowd or a calculating sermon or a life altering event and…Voilet!

HERE is a fantastic 5 minute video explaining more (Thanks Victoria)

If you want to activate all the receptors in your brain at once; LSD BABY! “Right now we know for sure that LSD has activity at: Dopamine receptors, adrenergic receptors, and serotonin receptors 2A, 2C, 5C, and 6. Some Glutamate receptors is also required for the effects of LSD(2)

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

120 thoughts on “Holy Spirit or Hormones?”

  1. Hi my friend ❤
    Here is the problem no matter what side we are on, changing beliefs would be changing ourselves. People do not want to change. They would rather be self-proclaimed experts with their opinions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would hope that the change through awareness of how our bodies and minds function would change, at least the intensity of “belief” that causes harm. A little doubt in ones convictions can possibly temper the tempers when we understand how things work, and why we merely believe—anything, really. Politics, religion, all of it. There is no reason but belief that our country is so divided. Belief is held in high regard as some type of gold standard, protected by law. Why? It can’t stand on its own merits.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Confirmation bias is affecting every human on the planet at some level. All the way from hiding personal crap about ourselves to big things like politics, global warming, religion et cetera. Either there is global warming, or there is not. It is not a matter of opinion. So, it is with God, either there is one or there is not. Like you say, change can only happen with the presence of a small amount of doubt. It is easier to not question oneself and hold on to comfortable opinions (AKA facts).

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        1. We all have to work out our biases and the first step is awareness. I have lees bias now that as a believer. No doubt! I am conscious of the tendency and hold no “belief” in anything with the passion of a faith, political, or religious based belief. I am as close to a third party observer as I can at this point in my life, and I strive to be fair—hormones permitting, of course.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You may be less biases than before, but one cannot be neutral on a moving train. It would have to take a neutral third party observer to really put a third-party view to the test. Everyone is less biased than everyone else in their own eyes. No offence;-) ❤

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            1. I would have to say whenever ones fall-back position is a belief, that is built on hope, leavers many many believers impervious to contradiction. Half of these apologists can’t even understand (literally) a position that doesn’t point to god. Sometimes I really have to wonder if the read my comment at all. Mel shouts “incoherent” at the most basic concepts that disagree with his. The neurons are hardwired through repetition. His problem now is a physiological one.

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            2. I understand the frustration of not getting across<3. I have been frustrated too. When self-observation and evaluation goes out the window, fear turned into certainty comes lurking in. Discussing with people on topics where their mind is made up is generally just a waste of time. I have a strong faith, but a healthy set of questions. That makes me lonely among believers who have a tendency of making themselves god, but unaware that they do not know it all. Rather, being a know-it-all trying and by this putting people into prisons.

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          2. When one lives with nagging questions, uncertainty and doubt then one is certainly closer to something without fallacies and biases. It is very uncomfortable and detrimental to mental health hence world-views.

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            1. Personally I don’t believe in belief. A false premise of existence based on what? More Belief?Why is belief cherished protected by law? Anyone? Well, it’s belief!! Belief is never the end game of any venture…but religion. Belief should not be as respectable as any known substance. The reason laws protect belief? It can’t stand on its own merits. ❤️™️🇳🇴

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            2. I understand your view and where you are coming from. However, I do not agree with them. Believing is so much more than religion and it is impossible to end it without merging humans with a microchip in their head and forcing change. Humans pick and choose information in order to live and function. Could the mind process an infinite quantum multiverse where all options are chosen? We are all cognitive failures with huge limitations. Only the quantum computers in the singularity cloud would have the capacity, and all of us following Elon Musk’s suggestions. However, those plans are not of good, but of evil. Just look at China’s chip implants and rating system.

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            3. So in your opinion how do the hormones play a role in belief? A preachers lie can make a believer through emotions and secretions. Heartfelt fabrications. How do you tell the difference between the cocktail of hormones and spiritual?

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            4. How do you tell your cocktail and chemistry apart from yourself? You are in your own body and skin. Your brain and senses produce your reality. So it does with all of us. None of us can be separated from the limitations of ourselves. Do we trust a goat to guard a sack of wheat? When we self-observe errors are bound to occur. Say that my husband points out some of my flaws, then my response is that self-observation proves him wrong. We are not objective rather partial to supporting ourselves in order to survive.

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            5. Certainly a cause to pause… the exercise of this piece is to bring attention to the flaws of human perception and beliefs that are formative from input, sometimes without our conscious observance of it or against our consent. Be tolerant and forgiving. We are all wrong and awareness of that fact should be eye opening and interesting. First of all, why? When anything challenges our beliefs it should be a welcome exploration, but it’s not. Beliefs are tightly held and protected by law. “Men of god” is another way to say stubborn and willfully ignorant.
              I think belief fills a void that we have created for ourselves by inventing explanations for things we didn’t understand, then religion patents it and sells it like a treasure, when it was just a feeling—A thought, a guess to appease curiosity of our diverse neurological foibles. Now it’s something to war over. Belief is the seedbed of tribalism.

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            6. Dear Jim ❤ (The questions in this comment are rhetorical.) How do you know that you are not filling a void in yourself by intensely writing God out of the equation?
              Law or no law, it becomes a matter of human rights and free will. Humans believe so many things. Who then will be god of this world and end all biases and fallacies? Would this not if managed correctly be mind control? Who would be the god of all science and sort out all of the possible errors and contradictions?

              Who would be found objective by such a god-leader? Whom among us would be found google searching to prove themselves wrong?

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            7. “Whom among us would be found google searching to prove themselves wrong?”

              Hello Isabella, I’m not going to speak for Jim, but when I started questioning, I didn’t search Google. The internet didn’t play any role in my decision to deconvert, as this was in the late 90’s. I studied the bible, extensively. I was a Christian for 40 years, and quite devout in the last 20 of those years. I doubted myself when questioning, so it was about searching for god’s help, further seeking, praying, and dying to myself to gain a better understanding.

              When my hormones waned as I learned more and more about the god of the bible, I couldn’t, in good conscience worship such a god. I’ll also add that writing about whatI learned was cathartic. I went through a grieving process. Deconversion is not for the faint at heart. Your dopamine plummets, as do the other hormones that initially deactivated neurocircuitry associated with critical assessment and seeing faults in the one you’re in love with, which, in my case was Jesus. I was blinded, neurologically, by the anti-social behavior of the very god, Yahweh, whom Jesus purportedly said we were to submit to, obey and worship.

              Today, close to 2 decades later, we have plenty of evidence, both from distinguished biblical scholars and archeologists that the bible, in particular, the 1st 5 books, is historical fiction. We also have significant evidence of copying errors, embellishments, retractions, and contradictions. There are no original manuscripts.

              It simply takes faith and a attachment hormones to sustain it.

              Liked by 5 people

  2. Well DIRTY SHEETS ON THE SHITMEISTER!!!! 😟 If I had known it was just Phenylethamine, I could have saved a TON on two divorces and emotional toil & trauma as a father!

    Do they sell any Anti-Phenylethamine cream or spray? And does it come in 5-gallon cartons?

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    1. The cremes always work, no matter where you put em! I feel your pain man. Can’t imagine having anyone in my fam attending a mega-church in Texas. Applying cremes is how I would forget that. Lol

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  3. Jim, I wanted to add that the beauty of knowing about our neurochemistry is that we can use them to our advantage as well as an understanding of why we may behave the way we do. For example, let’s take oxytocin. It can cause us to become tribal and some studies have shown it can cause aggression in some people, however, it can also have many health benefits.

    1) Oxytocin reduces cravings. When scientists administered it to rodents who were addicted to cocaine, morphine, or heroin, the rats opted for less drugs, or showed fewer symptoms of withdrawal. (Kovacs, 1998) Oxytocin also reduces cravings for sweets. (Billings, 2006)

    2)Oxytocin calms. A single rat injected with oxytocin has a calming effect on a cage full of anxious rats. (Agren, 2002)

    3) Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity and counteracts impotence. (Pedersen, C.A., 2002), (Arletti, 1997)

    4) Oxytocin counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone. (Legros, 2003) Less stress means increased immunity and faster recovery.

    5) Oxytocin has been shown to be a major reason that SSRIs (like Prozac) ease depression, perhaps because high levels of cortisol are the chief culprits in depression and anxiety disorders. (Uvnas-Moberg, 1999)

    We can stimulate its release by being kind and caring to one another.
    We can stimulate it by touching and caressing.
    We can stimulate it by having pets.

    After couples have an orgasm, there can be a pulling away for a while, especially during the honeymoon period when couples are having a lot of sex. That’s because of prolactin which is released to kind of put the breaks on dopamine which is considered the most potently addictive drug. When people take hard drugs, for example, it’s the dopamine release they’re experiencing.

    This release of prolactin serves to shift attention elsewhere: work, taking care of babies, building shelters, and so forth. Without this natural, protective shutdown, we would pursue sex to the exclusion of all other activities. So, if we experience this “pulling away – needing our space, it’s not necessarily a sign that the relationship is over. Our reality depends on what our biology is up to, so to speak.

    Another point I wanted to make is that believers, say, evangelicals for example, become “born again” they are high as a kite, in the honeymoon period, and then that will eventually wane, so they continue to pursue that experience again over and over.

    One more point and I’ll shut up, haha. With this knowledge, we can overcome certain instincts, for example, the Coolidge Effect, whereby humans, and all mammals, as well as other species, will have a drop in dopamine after being with the same mate, and lose interest (don’t get the same high), even if the mate is receptive.

    But novelty (dopamine) will ignite that dopamine again with someone different. The reason is to diversify the gene pool. So, having this knowledge can help couples understand that just because we have these urges, doesn’t mean that the relationship is in trouble or over or that we’ve “sinned” for having such thoughts of being with someone different. Partners can work on creating novelty to keep the spark going.

    The scripture that states that if a man looks at a woman who isn’t his wife, and has sexual desire, he’s already committed adultery, shows that this god didn’t know squat about biology and the mechanisms at play.

    “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Matthew 5:28

    Lay guilt and shame on them instead of educating them on why this happens, and that it’s natural, not evil.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Interesting. Knowledge is self empowering. This reminds me of two things; Sam Harris on freewill states, that when we understand what make people the way they are, it actually makes forgiveness easier. Contrary to faith based forgiveness.
      Also, as I mentioned LSD toward the end to the post, laboratory animals won’t pull the lever for lsd, even though it activates nearly all the receptors. TMI, even for a rat. Lol. Non ordinary reality is just too much in high volume.

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        1. Here ya go Victoria. 🙂

          ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ … times whatever more equals 100. My finger started cramping!

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      1. ” that when we understand what make people the way they are, it actually makes forgiveness easier.

        Absolutely, Jim. It was my diligent quest (after deconversion) to understand why I had experienced antisocial-type behavior from others who had come across my path. The knowledge I gained gave me much peace so that I could move on. Telling me that I must forgive (70×7), as the bible and church do does not, IMO, generate genuine forgiveness.

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  4. Superb post, Jim. I’d also like to add oxytocin and vasopressin (bonding/attachment neurohormones), whereby they deactivate neural circuitry associated with critical social assessment and negative emotions (curtailing one’s ability to see faults in someone they love deeply. This would also apply to believers “in love with their god”, not just romance and maternity/paternity. The bible is full of attachment-type symbolism (brides = the church, bridegroom = Jesus, father = Father) “milk of the word”, “bosom”, “born again”, etc, etc.

    When believers experience these two neurohormones, they believe that the overwhelming love they feel inside (Jesus in me ), they consider that confirmation of the indwelling of the holy spirit. There are also several sexual-type symbolisms in the bible, though subtle consciously.

    This helps explain the salt test experiments where people who weren’t very religious exhibited a response when shown words associated with sex, but those who were very religious showed a response when shown religious words, like god.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember having that response holding 10 kilos of gold one time! Excellent add on Victoria. I did look at oxytocin, but I’m really hamstringed by this “one minute info blog thing” I’ll have to talk to the bosses 😬. Really, totally forgot vasopressin (although used it as a medic countless times). There is so much going on up in the ol noggin really anything can happen.
      Imagine being afraid of dark basements, going down the creaky stairs, all hands (hormones) on deck, and you see a shadow person? These chemicals can not only make you feel good, but can alter your perceptions a hundred ways to Sunday. Couple that with preconceptions and retinal ghosting, and many more! aaahh! It’s a wonder anyone can function.

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      1. Haha, it happens to the best of us. I’d also like to mention that the devil = dopamine. People will say “the devil made me do it” or blame the devil on certain behaviors in people. No, dear ones, it was your/their desire for a dopamine fix. Lol

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        1. True dat! Or BASE jumping! That’s an interesting backdoor approach to criminality. People with plenty of money shoplifting for the thrill, all those emotions and energies colliding. Whew! What a rush eh?

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            1. Excellent video. Very interesting results. The anticipation of what may happen keeps us going. I never knew any of the actual data for why people felt this way. I was only taught about the supernatural reasons for it. Thank you for sharing this. You’ve put a smile on this monkey’s face. 🙂

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            2. It’s a tad ironic you mention that. My Aha moment of a few years back has me dinging the buzzer daily to find new knowledge. It is satisfying to be learning with openness.

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            3. “… the buzzer daily to find new knowledge. It is satisfying to be learning with openness.”

              Exactly the same for me, Jim. I can’t wait to wake up each day knowing I’m going to learn something new, after so many years of being preached at that the more educated you become the further away from god you get.

              Cunning isn’t it.

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            4. Oh, indeed he does. I have his latest book, “Behave: The biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.” It’s quite fascinating and educational, to say the least. If you haven’t already seen it, you can get a glimpse of what’s in the book by watching his Ted Talk.

              “How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors.”

              He’s also done a lecture on it.

              Basically, education the gods never told us.

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            5. I like tests. If this life were a test, it would be this; do you have the integrity to say no to religion against overwhelming odds and labels, walking away from the herd of belief? “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way and few there be that find it”. 2.4billion Christians is not few! Only a few have the courage to call the bluff and take the consequences head on against god (those in power) and say enough! Who will cease to excuse the atrocities? Who will say no more, we know better? If you have time this is from a little while back.
              https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/believing-we-dont-believe/

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            6. Thanks, Jim, I’ll check it out. I agree, it does take courage since there can be dire consequences, especially if one lives in a religious community, or in the most conservatively religious state, as I do.

              I don’t bang on people’s doors to share the “good news” of atheism, but I do use an online platform that affords me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned during and after deconversion. If someone reads my posts, that was their choice.

              We understand the power that death anxiety has on people, but we are examples that one can overcome this, and value life to the fullest because it’s likely the only life we’ll have. This isn’t a dress rehearsal for the afterlife as the vast majority of our species has been indoctrinated to believe.

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            7. Hear, hear, NeuroNotes! EVERYBODY should check out your Sapolsky recommendations. Robert is an inspiring marriage of superior intellect and uncommon decency. Thanks and peace.

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            8. My pleasure, Frank. Speaking of peace, the first time I learned about Sapolsky was when I read his article several year back titled “Peace Among Primates.” From then on, I’ve been enthralled with his research, especially about what he learned under a subtitle of his article, Left behind</b). Btw, if you didn't already know this, during this time doing field research in the savannas, he had been taking blood samples from baboons, testing for dopamine levels.

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            9. Thank you. I do follow Frank’s blog, but as you are aware, I had been on a hiatus the past year, so I do have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for sharing his blog post. I’ll take a look.

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  5. Got it, Jim. I have never experienced a take-over by the spirit, nor have I personally seen one. It would be a rare event in the RC community anyway. Growing up with the Latin Mass was not exactly a holy roller rock concert. I have seen the quietly spiritual affect of deep belief and (at the time) envied it. Happy Friday, y’all.

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    1. Tradition is the power of tradition. Here we see hardwiring of neurons through repetition. Maybe I should feel bad for Catholics—All the rigors and none of the dopamine. Good happy Friday to you as well my friend.

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  6. I am not a big fan of neurochemical explanations of anything. The science is far too new and much too corrupted by big pharma dollars. A lot of the way modern science works tends to be reductionistic, dealing mostly in trivia. We simply don’t include the humanities any more. Cross discipline work is rare. For example, Darwin today would not be funded to do natural history. So big pharma tells us we are meatbags filled with fluids and chemicals. Yet, that kind of explanation only skirts the biggest mysteries of all — consciousness and sentience. Modern science is nowhere close to understanding these yet. Until then, I think it is reasonable to honour my emotions and experiences as genuine.

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    1. I think in your case we need to mix apples to apples. I’m not discrediting ones abilities to be intuitive to the energies that obviously surround us everywhere. This is merely an exercise to bring awareness to conversion and how easily we are manipulated. My wife has some interesting experiences and abilities as well, but it is not a god to her, merely a connection with the universe itself. In monotheism the preachers goal is to generate an emotional experience (even through lies and showmanship) then when the chemicals rise, call it god. It’s not. It’s hormones. Great comment btw, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I’m simply observing and learning.

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      1. As you have probably already intuited I am not a follower of any religion or god. I like your idea of mixing apples with apples! haha. If we want to find truth scepticism is a great starting point. I fear that too many have put their trust in a form of science that just isn’t terribly credible. That doesn’t mean I am anti-science at all. It does mean that I don’t have a lot of faith in how that system is operating at this time. There is some good work being done out there but look up the highly cited report by mathematician JPA Ioannidis. It is a bit scary to know that most published research findings in medicine are false.

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        1. Everything we learn and write today is currently false (or will be in a few weeks) but that is the slowly-grinding beauty of science. The Christian will say science is always changing its mind. Yes! It is improving. The real problem with advances is they always seem to fall into the hands of money and corruption, creating even more sophisticated evils.

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          1. That is only the tip of the problem. I do highly recommend reading his conclusions. He is a brilliant mathematician. This is well known in the field but largely ignored by the mainstream. There is a vested interest in institutions and corporations to have us believe technology, science and medicine are credible. The fact is that when he looked at the math he found the vast majority of conclusions are false. False. That is a much bigger deal than the traditional narrative of science making incremental progress.

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            1. I would find some middle ground there. Obviously it’s not all false if you look around. Satellites and human genome projects are based on working theories. Quantum computers are taking shape (all the while Heisenberg’s uncertainty is being implemented after nearly 100 years). Whether you define that as progress or not is up to you.

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            2. His analysis isn’t about about physics. He addresses medical science. My conclusion, anyone trusting medical science these days is either gullible or misinformed. The field has a lot of work ahead of them if they want to restore any credibility at all.

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          2. Actually, it isn’t improving. Despite the efforts of him and others. The issue isn’t exactly about trivial conclusions. Though that is a piece of it. He and others are saying the math is wrong. The designs are wrong. There is little to no replication. On top of that, corporate interests won’t release damaging data. Basically when it comes to medical research consider 90% of it to be snake oil. He has set up a society to fix the problem but they are working against powerful interests.

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    2. Do you have evidence that the field of neuroscience is corrupted by big pharma dollars? Do the findings of the role of things like dopamine in the brain contradict experiences of consciousness, or contradict what we know of it? Why are your emotions and experiences not genuine even if the current understanding of neuroscience is confirmed?

      The paper you have quote later on also has critiques that should also be taken into account. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855693/ I also don’t think it says what you think it says, and it certainly doesn’t address neuroscience in particular.

      https://www.painscience.com/articles/ioannidis.php
      https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-statistics-060116-054104

      It seems you are not free from your own bias. I suggest you do more careful research than the citing of one paper to make claims about the neuroscience research here being false. You are committing a host of logical fallacies in your statements here.

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      1. I have lost ‘faith’ in a medical research because it is a field with widespread methodological issues leading to a majority of false conclusions. You are welcome to believe what you wish of course. His work is one of the most highly cited in the field.

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        1. Appeal to popularity is also a fallacy. My point is not to say that all medical research is above board, but rather you haven’t educated yourself on the problems of the study you quoted, nor thoroughly seem to understand what it’s saying. Nor can you use it to invalidate any particular finding in the biological sciences which you seem apt to do.

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  7. You say this as if it were a bad thing! Actually all of our emotions are regulated by brain chemicals. In fact most of everything we use to describe the texture of our inner lives involves brain chemicals. Some say that understanding this removes the mystery from life … which I think is a good thing. I read a story of a woman who went out on a date reluctantly (two reasons: not interested and just getting over an illness). When she met the guy she was surprised at her bodies reaction, maybe there was something in such a relationship. The next day she realized that the medication she was taking was responsible for her reaction, so she didn’t pursue the relationship. See? Better!

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    1. Nice! Not a bad thing at all, but awareness of this, coupled with the biases of human perception and it’s a virtual shitstorm in our heads. Knowing this is a key to break from superstition and make ones own way with the best available information. As you can see, it may feel insulting to some that we are controlled by our previous inputs and a microgram of dopamine or serotonin. I’m sure Jonathan Edwards knew nothing about these things when he stumbled across the secret formulas of crowd worship. But man, everyone copied him, even to this day.

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    2. That’s an interesting story. Medications can cause emotional reactions. I just recently completed a course of antibiotics. I was feeling so tired and hopeless while using them. I ascribed that to the illness but later while reading about side effects I found out that that reaction is common. I think there is room for nuance and need for humility. Do we know more about the brain than we used to? Yes. How much of that information is credible? That is up for debate. Most people still are unaware of the fact that anti-depressants (for example) perform worse than placebo and the pharmaceutical companies knew that before they started marketing them. There is a lot of crap science out there when big dollars are involved.

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    1. Thanks boss. It’s about time you liked something🎯. It really is this simple, isn’t it? Imagine falling in love, then the lasting effects of this when the entity won’t leave you alone and keeps making promises they don’t keep, mind games and promises and abuses that we willing subject ourselves to, over a microgram of a hormone. It’s true. It’s that simple.

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    1. It only takes a tiny bit to fall in love, for instance. But repeated dispute has to hammer away on that for years to destroy it. Basically a romantic conversion process. It helps to understand the dilemma we face, staying in love with an abusive parent—god.

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  8. Your version of what happens to us when we’re feeling the spirit removes the mystery of God and the need for the supernatural. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that you feel like those things were invented by man to explain what they didn’t understand. Next you’re going to say people have seizures and they’re not actually possessed by demons. Where does it end? Are you going to say Zeus doesn’t throw lightning down on us during thunderstorms?

    Nice post Jim. Once again you’ve shown me how uneducated I am when it comes to stuff like this. But that’s why you’re here, to educate to uneducated and open the eyes of the blind. Well done. Like pumping cool air into casinos to keep people awake and gamble more, preachers pump in the right words to keep us feeling good and make us go all in on God.

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    1. Thanks Ben. I was having a friendly convo several months back trying to understand the persons experience, and it sort of dawned on me—when I asked about hormones, he had never considered that. We all know what 1mg of epinephrine can do, but that’s just for starters. They are powerful enough to be the god we seek.

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    1. Thank you. I couldn’t agree with you less except on one point. My goal here is to treat all religions equally, for they are all equally valid. I’m not trashing Christianity. I am bringing forth awareness of our human condition and where spiritual feelings emerge. I hope you understand. I also hope you understand the role hormones take when you are angry as well.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Sometimes language is the only way we have to wake the stupor. Seriously. I do think modern religion has the all-time toughest test of faith—ignoring fact. Then fact supplants faith, bit by bit. Chipping away at the misunderstandings of the old ignorant religious traditions.

          Liked by 4 people

            1. We’ve had this charade going on for thousands of years. None of the promised bliss and a life of ostriching reality. “Belief” should in fact, be the least respected process/discipline out there. Why do you think it is hedged and protected by law? It can’t stand on its own merits. Belief is never intended to be a solution, but a means. Religion has turned mere belief into the gold standard. It’s crazy, really.

              Liked by 4 people

            2. Ones beliefs need to remain that way

              Really? How can you possibly believe this? If parents through their religious beliefs don’t think they should treat their child with medicine and that prayer can cure them, we don’t have a right to falsify that belief? If someone believes the bible justifies the segregation and oppression of another race or sexual orientation we don’t have a right to falsify that belief? If someone believes through their religion that women should be subservient to their men and not have equal rights, we shouldn’t falsify it?

              Well sorry, but we absolutely do have the right to falsify harmful ideas wherever they may lie, whether religious, political or some other ideology. Bad ideas are bad ideas, and they should always be challenged.

              Liked by 9 people

            3. As should my observations. If my thesis can’t stand on its claims, I welcome any correction at all. This, in my opinion is an obvious explanation to the feel-good of faith and groupthink (There are many others as well) The rush isn’t a the spiritual world contacting you, but a manipulation of molecules that were evolved for other purposes, then used by the men of words labeling it as something it is not.

              Liked by 4 people

        1. It does feel a bit insulting to realize the things you’ve believed, and why you believe them is just a tiny little chemical reaction. That awareness though is the key to understanding who and why we are. If you are truly a psych major, you would understand there is no easy way out. Sometimes you just have to laugh (and I at myself) how easily we are manipulated …often by our own physiology. The selfish gene!

          Liked by 4 people

        2. I guess we had different perceptions of it. Jim’s posts are usually like this. I think he was just trying to make the point that the Holy Spirit experience is brought about through hormones.

          If he was really trying to mock Christians, he could have done much worse.

          I think criticism of any kind has the potential to be insulting, but if it means helping people to see the truth, it’s worth it.

          But I get what you’re saying.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Hi WildOliveGentile,

            It is very kind of you to be very considerate and understanding towards the owner of psychmajorblog. It seems that his objection to, or disappointment in, Jim’s post is more or less due to his believing that it is insulting, reductionistic or demeaning to reduce religious experience, or any experience for that matter, to neurochemical activities in the brain. Perhaps the message in your previous comment might calm him down a little bit to give him the added space and coolheadedness to reconsider. In any case, I did mention to Jim earlier that to be more holistic and consilient, the matter regarding anyone believing in religion is not “just a tiny little chemical reaction” (to use Jim’s own words in his comment addressed to psychmajorblog), but also has sociocultural, genetic and epigenetic components.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You are very welcome, WildOliveGentile. It is one of the main reasons for considering publishing much longer posts to do certain subject matters sufficient justice, and to ascend to the clear vantage point of having both the detail and the big picture, as well as obtaining a solid grasp of their interconnections from multiple perspectives through multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity.

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    1. Hmmm…. Now I can see that Cupids are not that innocent after all as their arrows have been laced with neurotransmitters and whatever other secret compounds that humans have yet to discover and even enhanced with biotechnology and nanotechnology to keep us love-struck and awe-struck by lovers (human or otherwise) and gods (supernatural or artificial).

      Liked by 1 person

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