The rationale behind religious services. Part two reply to a New Zealand scholar.

Dear Chris, we agree much more than you are able to discern when judging with your individualized framework filters on. When you say: “…You are right that religion brings people together….. Life IS immortal. Animals since the dawn of history have had to give their all to perpetuating their offspring, although the odds are often almost vanishing that a given offspring will survive and their own term is mortally limited. It is this will to life that has been an unbroken chain that got us all here to speculate ‘quotidian’ fantasies about reality….. exclusive reference to a gerrymandered conglomerate Judeo-Chrislamic religion, which doesn’t actually exist asa reality, is an insult to Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Jainsim, Taoism, Yazidism, Shintoism and every ethnic religion worldwide, all of which deserve as much respect as your somewhat jingoistic emphasis on monotheism, ..”  Chris, I couldn’t have said it better than that! Indeed life is immortal since the dawn of recorded history. We humans may consciously will death by holding our breath until we experience unconsciousness. But we also consistently experience genetic-driven recovery against our conscious will to the contrary. All recorded history before and after the JudeoChrIslamic experience is in agreement of this fact of life, not just human life as observed and recorded.

 

But just as true is the undeniable fact that “.. the entire evolutionary round of birth and death, of natural reproduction in forming the passage of the generations, as some sort of degraded ‘robotic’ lower survival mechanism to be rescued by religion..”, notwithstanding the superior environmental adaptability of other subhuman species. Why were our human species ‘chosen’ to keep on living as a leading survival species even we are so perceptually (ontologically) and conceptually (epistemologically) limited to the measurable realities of our living brain structural/functional realities? Why us? I am not limiting my model proposition to the known organized religions I happen to be familiar with. It applies as well to equivalent organized collectives as you suggest and I agree. To make a long story short, it has been established experimentally that collectives, such as those meeting inside a church, synagogue, mosque, civic center, etc. can communicate and reach a joint unified biopsychosocial effort and thus become more effective in the solution of a new or familiar issue affecting the collective then or anticipated. As I explained in my short essay.

 

Angell

 

 


Angel:
We humans may consciously will death by holding our breath until we experience unconsciousness. But we also consistently experience genetic-driven recovery against our conscious will to the contrary. All recorded history before and after the JudeoChrIslamic experience is in agreement of this fact of life, not just human life as observed and recorded.

Chris:
By saying “genetic driven” you are both failing to grasp how the natural universe solves the existential dilemma and at the same time trying to insert a theistic proposition without justification to fill it along traditional Christian lines.

 

It is rather OUR human interpretation of ‘how’ “the natural universe solves the existential dilemma”. My BPS model proposition is inclusive of, not just the JudeoChrIslamic organized religions but all their derivatives, even the so called materialistic ‘atheists’ because IMHO it is impossible not to believe (one’s own frame of reference about ongoing quotidian life and consciousness in our mesoscopic existential reality in our biospheric environment, including its built-in filters).

The fallacy is that “genetic driven” isn’t deterministic and gives rise to conscious sentient beings discovering their own existence and reproducing accordingly, and this means we aren’t as uniquely set apart by God as you imagine.

 

Your own proposition implying the occurrence of complexly/ordered, ‘deterministic’ and dynamic “conscious sentient beings” capable of an introspective self search IS  the natural result of spontaneous, self-sustaining evolution is, in itself, a religion of sorts because it invokes things like ‘emergence’ and is not amenable to experimental verification thus far. Chalmers has come the closest to an explanation.

 

All mammals have an insula, just as humans do. Although their brains (dolphins excepted) may not have as many folds, they still have the same complement of brain structures supporting experiential consciousness. The point about Attenborough’s tigress is that animals, as well as humans, intuitively experience the same existential dilemma you describe in a theistic justification. They have to solve the dilemma of mortal existence to care for their offspring knowing the fragility of life so that the passage of the generations is completed, even if their own personal quest is in vain.

 

As soon as there is a linguistic account/historical evidence of any subhuman species, including even Neanderthals, Bonomos or any advanced social species, we’d like to know, otherwise we have to rely on human’s incomplete version of the absolute truth, such as the Kantian ‘ding an sich’ or the Leibniz ‘Monadic’ proposition or their content equivalent. 

I have a great deal of sympathy about your loss of family members and I can well understand you turning to church communities for a sense of healing from the personal pain and angst that results from such tragedy. But we are trying to crack the cosmic egg here so let’s pursue the holy grail for a moment.

Yes humans have taken this to an extreme, having a minimally deterministic genetic endowment which allows for the emergence of culture and all the dimensions of science and religious notions as well as art and music and the intrigues of courtly love, mysticism and overwhelming experience of the mysterium tremendum, but we got here by biological evolution according to the laws of nature, not by God’s intervention to seek higher things.
Barring the occurrence of a demonstrable human genetic mutation, and considering its well establish resolution limitations (sense phenomenal ontology and conceptual epistemological) cognition, we have to rely on our species incomplete linguistic narrative of the probable truth. But one thing is clear, all things being considered (our relatively inferior adaptive potential to our vital biosphere environment  (vis a vis those of ants, roaches and other subhuman species), we remain the historical linguistic narrators of ‘life and consciousness’ of record. Ergo, intuitively, we may speculate that besides the extreme exclusivity claims of Skinnerian myopic ‘behaviorism’ or ‘Scientific Methodology’ there a metaphysical logic need to include an additional consistent, verifiable and falsifiable objects and/or events that sometimes are even ineffable but their predictions are verified and need to be integrated along with the required other two to for a new dynamic –exclusively human- unit reality we have called Epistemontological hybrid where the inherited ‘emotional’ subconscious, the environmentally acquired/learned and the theosophical influences on the dynamic living human brain become the new unit singularity. In other words, whereas the ‘biopsychosocial’ BPS satisfies the biological survival imperative common to ALL species, only the human species transcend and escapes the animal cage and becomes humanized with the resulting trans-generational  survival where all other species become history when their life cycle is completed. See “Treatise on the Neurophilosophy of Consciousness, a Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial (BPS) Model” Penguin/Trafford Publishing Inc.
Yes humans have a kind of leading edge on this because of the emergence of human culture, but it’s not “God ordained” and we certainly aren’t facing up to the quest of protecting the planet, despite the dominance of major proselytizing world religions. In fact the religions disable our capacity to take responsibility, by claiming we are flawed beings in much the same way you refer to genetic determinism. And they are desert religions which abuse the natural order and regard it as bestial to be discarded.

 

Indeed “humans have a kind of leading edge” but not because of any counterintuitive mystical ‘emergence’ as briefly explained above. The best explanation is the simplest one that is consistent, can sustain the cutting edge effects of an Occam razor and can ontologically describe the ‘seen’ and epistemologically explain the ‘unseen’ by providing many probable explanations based on measurements, observations and metaphysical logic probable explanations (Many World Interpretations) which, when their predictions are verified experimentally or mathematical logic, they need to be incorporated as evolving ‘truths’ in a changing environmental reality. Now humans can distinguish between self and others by an introspective incursion unto self and can improve on the vital environment they found according to their inherited and/or acquired resources to adopt the unimagined results of the technological information explosion allowing use to approximate a working understanding of the invisible but present micro subatomic and macro cosmological manifolds. This way we use past familiar memory experiences in the existential mesoscopic present to anticipate the probability of future threats to existence and plan accordingly as detailed/explained in the reference given above..

The key point is that the natural universe is facing this dilemma through experiential consciousness as we speak and it is this which makes the sacred web, not your habitual ideas of God. Yes life is a mortal tragedy, but short of trashing the planet’s viability, the passage of the generations is immortal.

Angel:
Why were our human species ‘chosen’ to keep on living as a leading survival species even we are so perceptually (ontologically) and conceptually (epistemologically) limited to the measurable realities of our living brain structural/functional realities?
 

Chris:
You are begging the question here again. You may be ontologically and epistemologically limited but that is your problem. Who says we are limited in this way? It’s just more Catholic original sin jargon of no scientific basis. You chant this kind of psychobabble, but it has no evidential basis.

Angel:
Why us? I am not limiting my model proposition to the known organized religions I happen to be familiar with. It
 APPLIES as well to equivalent organized collectives as you suggest and I agree. 

Chris:
I’m sure we have both read Teilhard de Chardin on the evolutionary emergence of Christ consciousness. I think we do both agree that the universe’s laws of nature have evolved interactively to a re-entry point where, at least on our planet, human consciousness has brought together the emergent properties of cosmic consciousness in biological brains in a way which enables the universe to ask the ultimate questions. I think this is a cosmological Sigma point, destined interactively in the cosmic origin, but this doesn’t mean it is, or was, an act of God, but rather that the whole thing is discovering itself-ourselves through the very process we are engaging. It is the biota that are achieving this with us caught up into the process as a climax species. Only by casting off God and setting the delusion free can we come to our full potential.

Angel:
To make a long story short, it has been established experimentally that collectives, such as those meeting inside a church, synagogue, mosque, civic center, etc. can communicate and reach a joint unified biopsychosocial effort and thus become more effective in the solution of a new or familiar issue affecting the collective then or anticipated. As I explained in my short
 ESSAY. 

Chris:
Yes but you haven’t completed the diabolical conclusion clearly spelled out in Richard Alexander’s “Biology of Morality”.Morality is simply a social dynamic which reduces intra-social strife to increase inter-social dominance leading ultimately to violent conflict. Religions are not just spirtual portals to our transcendence, they are grotesque PARASITIC and predatory social systems – a kind of social carcinoma.

The problem isn’t individual psychopathy, which admittedly does play a major part in expedient exploitation of the worlds resources, but institutional psychopathy inflated by religious delusions of grandeur. Religions are the source of the most genocidal psychopathic event both now and throughout world history.

 

Your statement implies that you are adopting Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract (humans are created good but society corrupts them). Anyone that has handled babies can give testimony to their very primitive un-developed behavior reminiscent of subhuman subconscious behavior controlled by reflex hormonally-induced responses to environmental familiar or new changes (right hemispheric stimulation) and how this gradually evolves with early development into an increasing participation of left hemisphere loci of measurable activity as the developing escapes the BPS stage s(he) shares with lower advanced social species as Chomsky/Pinsker described and starts emphasizing less the ‘emotional’ and developing (left hemispheric) ‘rational’ mode of response via an adopted language as detailed in the references given. It should be clear that the decision-making strategies are essentially individualized responses are influenced by both inherited and environmentally learned elements (subconscious state) during development. Impoverished environments during early stages of growth may cause a naturally intelligent potential to develop into an eventual  psychopath by consciously willed choice. As emphasized in my essay, this negative valence course may be reversed when influenced by a collective gathering environment  responding to new or familiar threats to their biopsychosocial adaptive equilibrium as detailed in the essay using modern fMRI technology measurements. If it fails it can be readily picked up in the brain recordings during a collective gathering. Behind the negative valence religious delusive feelings of grandeur you will always find an oligarchic minority trying to control the psycho-social behavioral outcomes during concerted responses.  Fortunately, during most religious assemblies of record there prevails a sense of collective synchronization of good will and, if for nothing else, they should be encouraged early on, always remembering that many good people living in impoverished environments had no choice but to survive to satisfy their basic needs. During religious/civic sessions understanding and compassionate forgiving is encouraged by activating the brain areas that correspond to that altruistic feeling. This is especially important to new generations –our future leaders- to undo the negative manipulations of oligarchies on the left (communist governments) or right (monopolistic capitalism) extremes of moderate behavior. Anecdotic accounts, such as the Islamic Republic Jihadists, the Sunny, Shiites, Kurds conundrum, etc., are just that and do not necessarily invalidate the measurement of many of all ages and social backgrounds as measured and recorded in the study cited in my essay. Meanwhile the conscious, good willed quest for truth in meaning and understanding in a changing environment will continue as a journey to approximate survival in good health, happiness and psychosocial collective cooperation..  

Actually small bands of people have always had to depend on one another through social rituals of belonging enforced by altruistic punishment. San Bushman life requires small bands keeping together by fellow feeling because single nuclear families cannot survive in the harsh terrain of the Kalahari.

All that happened when the large civic religions from Zeus and Marduk to your monotheistic complex got rolling, was larger more dominant religious societies that became world threatening in terms of wholesale genocidal war, and in our generation, a COMPLETE distraction from protecting the planet into global war and rumours of apocalyptic victory, with the Middle East tellingly split between Salafist and Shi’ite camps intent on destroying one another and all of us with them.

So the answer to your quest is that it is you, Angel, and all of us, not God, that is ‘chosen’ by evolutionary fate to lead our conscious quest for meaning, just as it is the tigress who does it out on the savannah for her offspring.

You won’t do this by writing tracts subtly implying we are just genetically determined beings except for the redemption of a hidden force which turns out to be nothing more than the Catholic deity celebrated in a cannabilistic Eucharist.

Some people never have the dubious fortune of having offspring. Others have family tragedies that challenge the meaning of life itself. Yet life has to go on to reach greater heights.The mortal coil is both a tragedy and yet at the same time our golden opportunity to experience this fabulous extraordinary universe and play a part in it’s conscious evolution.

For goodness sake don’t waste your own opportunity spouting all these tracts claiming we are helpless biopsychosocial genetically determined beings caught in the rat race of meaningless reproduction.

If there is the God in you, you need to let it free and just exist, as the tigress does. Smell the air and hear the tall grass blowing in the wind. It is your own bondage that makes you think that we are rescued only by a third party pulling us from our biological doom.

 

In Deltona, Florida  11/09/2014

 

Dr. Angell O. de la Sierra, Esq.

 

About Dr.d

See CV, family & publications at: http://delaSierra-Sheffer.net/
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