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Aspie



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It seems to me the answer lies with what we experience. That seems to me a good validation of truth. Our brain might tell us one thing, when experience tells us different. So doesn't it make sense to go with what you personally experience, even if your experience is at odds with somebody elses, or seems contrary to what somebody's elses brain tells them?

And finally, it seems to me the absolute validation of truth is when what your brain tells you is true and what experience tells you is true meet. If that happens, how the hell can somebody tell you that you're wrong?

The conslusion I reach? My brain and my experience convince me 100% of God's existence. It's a lock, for me. I took it to the bank years ago.

Your innocent until proven guilty approach to human judgment is not borne out by the science. From The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker:

Quote from: Page. 31
One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the illusion of the unified self comes from the neuroscientists Michael Gazzaniga and Roger Sperry, who showed that when surgeons cut the corpus callosum joining the cerebral hemispheres, they literally cut the self in two, and each hemisphere can exercise free will without the other one's advice or consent. Even more disconcertingly, the left hemisphere constantly weaves a coherent but false account of the behavior chosen without its knowledge by the right. For example, if an experimenter flashes the command “WALK” to the right hemisphere (by keeping it in the part of the visual field that only the right hemisphere can see),the person will comply with the request and begin to walk out of the room. But when the person (specifically, the person's left hemisphere) is asked why he just got up, he will say, in all sincerity, “To get a Coke” rather than “I don't really know” or “The urge just came over me” or “You've been testing me for years since I had the surgery, and sometimes you get me to do things but I don't know exactly what you asked me to do.” Similarly, if the patient's left hemisphere is shown a chicken and his right hemisphere is shown a snowfall, and both hemispheres have to select apicture that goes with what they see (each using a different hand), the left hemisphere picks a claw (correctly) and the right picks a shovel (also correctly). But when the left hemisphere is asked why the whole person made those choices, it blithely says, “Oh, that's simple. The chicken claw goes with the chicken, and you need a shovel to clean out the chicken shed.

The spooky part is that we have no reason to think that the baloney-generator in the patient's left hemisphere is behaving any differently from ours as we make sense of the inclinations emanating from the rest of our brains. The conscious mind - the self or soul - is a spin doctor, not the commander in chief.

As psych research such as split brain cases, eyewitness studies, and conformity experiments demonstrate the human brain isn't an engine of pure rationality that actively works to sift fact from fiction, but a system of functioning that interprets information in a way that's most useful towards maintaining both healthy functioning and a healthy ego. Everything we absorb and experience is filtered through the lens of our own biases, and any gaps in between are painted over by our brain's craving for a consistent narrative. Just like with the examples above your brain could very well be using your interpretation of events to simply tell you a story with a teleological spin that fits neatly with your belief in God. That is how the mind works - it streamlines what the brain tells you and what experience tells you so that they will usually meet. This is why defense mechanisms such as cognitive dissonance and projection come into play in order to filter out worldview-challenging material from circulation. In summation, your brain is about as impartial as Fox News.

This is why facts and evidence are of such great importance when determining truth; with minds that function by processing information subjectively we need static elements in the world around us to appeal to in order to cultivate greater understanding. The scientific method has proven itself a most useful tool precisely because the object is to remove as much subjectivity from the equation as possible by testing everything. Yet if our minds are as capable of objectivity as you believe yours is then why should this be the case? By your logic sufficient conviction and a lack of decisive evidence to the contrary should be all that's necessary to yield fruit in the pursuit of truth.

Your approach leaves out one important aspect in matters of assessing truth - reasonable doubt. Just as controls are crucial to any scientific study, so must all factors be accounted for when considering our own judgment; our motives, our biases, our expectations. magicmiles, the fact that what your brain tells you and what your experience tells you meet is not sufficient grounds to consider your position as reasonable because there is evidence that it's what the brain does with even the most absurd of positions. Of course, reasonable doubt alone isn't enough to declare you wrong, but it's enough to warrant skepticism.
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nogodsforme Very good info. August 18, 2012, 02:24:40 PM