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Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
#1
Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
William of Ockham taught that we ought "not multiply entities beyond necessity" in trying to explain the World around us.  While the Invisible Sock Monster may be real to explain the loss of one and one sock from countless dryers across our planet, much more prosaic and plausible explanations exist.  For the varieties of religious experience, we need look no farther than the following:

Wikipiedia:  Temporal lobe epilepsy -- Effects on Society Wrote:The first to record and catalog the abnormal symptoms and signs of TLE was Norman Geschwind. He found a constellation of symptoms that included hypergraphia, hyperreligiosity, collapse, and pedantism, now called Geschwind syndrome.

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran explored the neural basis of the hyperreligiosity seen in TLE using the galvanic skin response (GSR), which correlates with emotional arousal, to determine whether the hyperreligiosity seen in TLE was due to an overall heightened emotional state or was specific to religious stimuli. Ramachandran presented two subjects with neutral, sexually arousing and religious words while measuring GSR. Ramachandran was able to show that patients with TLE showed enhanced emotional responses to the religious words, diminished responses to the sexually charged words, and normal responses to the neutral words. This study was presented as an abstract at a neuroscience conference and referenced in Ramachandran's book, Phantoms in the Brain,[69] but it has never been published in the peer-reviewed scientific press.[70]

A study in 2015, reported that intrinsic religiosity and religiosity outside of organized religion were higher in patients with epilepsy than in controls.[71] Lower education level, abnormal background EEG activity, and hippocampal sclerosis have been found to be contributing factors for religiosity in TLE.[72]

TLE has been suggested as a materialistic explanation for the revelatory experiences of prominent religious figures such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Saint Paul, Joan of Arc,[73] Saint Teresa of Ávila, and Joseph Smith. These experiences are described (in possibly unreliable accounts) as complex interactions with their visions; but lack the stereotypy, amnestic periods, and automatisms or generalized motor events, which are characteristic of TLE. Psychiatric conditions with psychotic spectrum symptoms might be more plausible physical explanation of these experiences.[74] It has been suggested that Pope Pius IX's doctrine of the immaculate conception was influenced by his forensically-diagnosed[jargon] partial epilepsy.[75]

In 2016, a case history found that a male temporal lobe epileptic patient experienced a vision of God following a temporal lobe seizure, while undergoing EEG monitoring. The patient reported that God had sent him to the world to "bring redemption to the people of Israel".[76] The purported link between TLE and religiosity has inspired work by Michael Persinger and other researchers in the field of neurotheology. Others have questioned the evidence for a link between temporal lobe epilepsy and religiosity.[70][77]

Temporal lobe epilepsy -- Effects on society
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#2
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
So people who do not behave "normal" and have different beliefs than you, Jehanne, might just have a pathological medical condition. Does that sound familiar to you?
<insert profound quote here>
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#3
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
Since Abraham and Moses probably never existed in RL, I'ma give 'em a pass on having TLE. Joseph Smith was a con man, he knew exactly what he was selling. Interesting but speculative. It seems clear that MOST people who currently report religious experiences do not have TLE unless it's way more common than I thought, but an alternate brain state similar to what meditation produces does seem to be involved when they try to study it in a lab.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#4
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
(September 1, 2021 at 9:44 am)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: So people who do not behave "normal" and have different beliefs than you, Jehanne, might just have a pathological medical condition. Does that sound familiar to you?

Many religious experiences (visions, OBEs, NDEs, etc.) can be generated artificially, on demand, and under controlled conditions; others are due to neurological disorders, such as TLE.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#5
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
Which doesn't automatically make them ungenuine, if God were real and touching people's brains, it seems plausible that it would cause an altered brain state.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
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#6
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
If these experiences people report are real, then they must be the product of some uncommon something between themselves and the people who never report having even one. In a god touched world or a godless world - something is making people report this stuff.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#7
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
(September 1, 2021 at 9:58 am)Mister Agenda Wrote: Which doesn't automatically make them ungenuine, if God were real and touching people's brains, it seems plausible that it would cause an altered brain state.

Your multiplying explanations beyond that which is necessary.  I could just as well appeal to the ISM, and to his/her/its grace when my lost bootee is found.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#8
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
(September 1, 2021 at 9:58 am)Mister Agenda Wrote: Which doesn't automatically make them ungenuine, if God were real and touching people's brains, it seems plausible that it would cause an altered brain state.

Except that Occam's razor rules out superfluous causes. If God isn't needed in non-religious epileptic fits, he isn't needed in religious ones.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#9
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
Interestingly enough, the extraneous god would be in the same category as the tech in the lab - both sets of experiences being equally artificial.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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#10
RE: Temporal lobe epilepsy & religious experience.
The existence of counterfiet money isnt proof that real money doesnt exist.
<insert profound quote here>
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