3/22/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Are all Christians brain damaged?

By Lorena


Consider the following paragraph from the CNN article, Brain-damaged people give insights into morality.

But when asked to make decisions in emotionally wrenching scenarios like the permissibility to kill one's own child to save other people's lives, those with the brain damage were far more likely to accept this utilitarian but harsh solution.”

Or is it Bible-God who is brain damaged?

According to the Bible, God did kill his own son to give life to us the wayward ones. Narrow minded Bible-God came up with the “utilitarian but harsh solution.”

The article further explains, “Another wartime scenario involved enemy troops searching for civilians to kill. The people in the study were asked about their willingness to kill their own infant whose crying was drawing the attention of enemy soldiers who would then kill the parent, the baby and people hiding with them. Again, the people with this brain damage were far more willing to judge killing the baby as the right moral choice.”

Here is another question, is Christianity the most immoral of all institutions, since its very foundation is the highly immoral act of portraying a being as perfect and also willing to give his son's life for others’ sake?

Aren’t you scared that at one time you, too, held up such “moral” values? I am.

29 comments:

Trancelation said...

In short, yes. ALL Christians are brain-damaged. Sadly, much of it is self-inflicted, especially when it comes to liberal Christians. When not damaged through the child abuse necessary to create people like Fred Phelps, the liberal Christian creates a fantasy environment in their minds wherein the Bible is NOT literal - where one can simply cut and paste,or cherry pick if you will, what they want to believe. I feel this creates a much deeper psychosis than that found in the hardliner Christian, because the delusion of the liberal Christian is a constant subjugation of their higher senses, all because despite the fact that liberal Christians are often intelligent people, they are too much of a coward to put up with the persecution that comes with not fantasizing about Jesus' wee-wee.

RubySera said...

Trancelation said:

"the liberal Christian creates a fantasy environment in their minds wherein the Bible is NOT literal - where one can simply cut and paste,or cherry pick if you will, what they want to believe."

Trancelation, this sounds like something you picked up from the fundies. It's simply not true. Liberal Christians don't cherry-pick like this. In fact, they cherry-pick a lot less than the fundies do. The liberal Christians adhere to a solid system based on science, ethics, and logic. The fundies disagree with it so vehemently that they dub it as cherry-picking. However, just because they disagree with, or don't understand, the system behind the interpretations does not make the system void.

If you look at church history, you will see that the fundies are actually a new religious movement that started around 1870. It started as a protest to biblical criticism. Biblical criticism looks at the historical and cultural setting in which the Bible was written. Using the same scientific method applied to the study of other ancient literature such as Homer, liberal Christianity tries to determine authorship of the Bible, and the historical and cultural settings in which it was written. They base theology on these findings. They also take into consideration the findings of psychology, anthropology, science, and many other disciplines. Liberal Christians have been doing this for more than two centuries.

Right after the American Civil War, the conservative Christians suddenly became aware of what was happening in the rest of the world. What was happening was Darwinism and biblical criticism. In other words, the Creation was canceled and the Law of Moses or Pentateuch was not written by Moses. The conservative Christians (forerunners of fundamentalists) believed that by letting go of a part of the Bible they were compromising the entire faith. Liberal Christians are proving that this was an erroneous idea. The very fact that liberal Christianity exists to this very day is evidence that the fundy fears were misplaced.

Steven Bently said...

Trans: (ALL Christians are brain-damaged.)

Conviently passed down through indoctrination by other christians,
by way imprinting. The brain (in it's early stages) can only presume it has arrived in a perfect environment.

The brain imprints what it has heard and what it has been told is true. The brain has no immediate way to test this information for acuracy, except to presume the information must therefore be true by observing it's teacher(s).

Should a newly born human baby be put with a group of ducks, it would presume that it too, is a duck and the baby would soon learn to wabble around and soon begin to quack and eat corn.

The newly formed brain is like a new automobile straight out of a showroom, no dents or scratches, but once the automobile gets on to the highway, it may soon get dents and scratches (indoctrination)mostly from other automobiles.

Religion is like bumper cars, everybody wants to bump you (indoctrinate) as much as they can, this makes them feel good about themselves because they allowed themselves to foolishly become indoctrinated without investigation and it makes them feel that they have made a wise choice by allowing their brains to become indoctrinated because they presume and also been told that they have been brought into this world in a perfect, predestinated, prescribed plan, as laid out by the big sky daddy God above.

The brain will remain in a damaged state until it decides, that it has been lied to and has been led around like a foolish jackass by other like minded foolish jackasses long enough.

Yes the brain is damaged, but not by it own doings. The religious indoctrinator is to blame.

You reading this, Paul, Presly, Sholn, BB, Goldy?

The good news is, the brain can be healed and self-corrected, only by it's own accord, once one allows their brains to awake from religious fantasy, it stays clear of insane religious indoctrination and one becomes a regular contributor to this website in defense of sanity, with regret of having ever allowed themselves to have been so blindsighted and foolish. Regretably almost every person born in the USA will needlessly have to go though this insane process.

Anonymous said...

Most everyone experiences a very traumatic event in their lives called birth. We enter a world where there are much bigger humans than we, and they are so much smarter and already know how to speak and communicate between themselves so they must certainly be so much more the wiser than us.

Then they tell us that a God sent his son to die for our sins, huh?

What stupid nonsense is that?

chad said...

I don't think that fundamentalist Christian are brain damaged; rather, they are emotionally damaged. The emotional need to feel absolutely secure by possessing all the answers to life's most pressing existential questions is the driving force behind their faith, not any sort of brain damage insofar it implies a lack of rationale/intellectual capacity. Of course, the emotional impetus of their faith is much more complex than the above, sweeping generalization, but I think this is at least a good starting point.

freedy said...

It would be interesting to do brain scans on fundies just like thy do on crack and meth users.

In heavy drug users,parts of the brain are completely shutdown,sometimes with no chance of reversal.
I feel that parts of my brain have come back to life since leaving the faith.I am able to see things the way they really are,not through some fuzzy haze or filter.

*This could explain why so many alcoholics and drug addicts turn
to the more extreme forms of churchianity.

Spirula said...

I wouldn't say "brain damaged", rather willfully ignorant and uncritical. This is a choice, not a condition.

Think of how all of us here got to this point in our lives. We could no longer continue to accept as true the self-contradictory and unbelievable events/characters in the Bible. And, for some of us, the rampant hypocrisy of the Christians themselves drove us further away. Reason, logic, and evidence won out.

So, those parts of our intellect weren't damaged, but rather suppressed. Faith is not a virtue, it is intellectual laziness.

Lorena said...

"Faith is not a virtue, it is intellectual laziness."

Not sure about that one. I prefer intellectual blindness, because lots of mental gymnastics are required for smart people to remain believers.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Wow everyone: Stimulating discussion.

I like the way some of you have made me think.

I too believe that the brain has a blank memory card and therefore takes at face value what the senses absorb.

If I had been born among a community of Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists, I would have most likely subscribed to their brand of faith. We have no reason to disbelieve what we are told until we DO have a reason. We want to believe what trusted people tell us about the origins of the Universe, a loving and all-powerful God, and the existence of an afterlife. We are sponges.

I also believe, as was stated, that "faith" is partially emotional damage as well as "brain damage". Due to the fact that our species has advanced so far beyond our ancestors, we are now able to philosphize, contemplate our existence, search for answers and origins of the unknown, etc. We are insatiablly curious and insatiablly self-preserving. If there is a supposed answer to our longings for eternal life, a loving God that knows us and accepts us, a just god that will punish the inhumane acts of our fellow men, etc., then we will grab on to it for dear life and fight to preserve it. The alternative is to return to that scary place of not knowing, and no one really enjoys having unanswered questions.

For those of us here, however, who have escaped the bonds of religion, we could no longer compromise our intellectual integrity. That doesn't make us better than the religious. I'm not sure that it makes us anything other than more honest. Many of us struggled with and overlooked the same inconsistencies and contradictions that we see Christians now overlooking. The process of deconversion is a personal one, and takes longer for some than others. Some never come out of the fog, while some never got lost in it to begin with.

I think that some people need religion, because they are weak. I do not say that in a derogatory sense. Some people are just mentally stronger than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people need to cling to their belief, because, for them, the propect of not knowing is just to frightening of one.

The aspect that bothers me the most about religion is that it seperates people. I don't mind the eternity talk, or the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful god talk. I don't mind the creation talk, etc. If it stopped there, I don't think we'd need this site. But it doesn't stop there. The most damaging thing about religion is that it DIVIDES. It belittles and devalues and puts people into camps. It makes us see eachother differently and somehow less worthwhile than those who think the same way.

That is why I will continue to fight for rationality. It is one thing to believe in Santa Claus, but it quite another to believe in a God that is sitting around waiting to fry the majority of his creation simply for reading the wrong "holy" book.

Spirula said...

Lorena,

because lots of mental gymnastics are required for smart people to remain believers


Agreed! But, what percentage of the conservative (who are the most unquestioning and reality denying of them all) would you describe as "smart"? And even so, I am considered to be fairly intelligent, but I know I avoided the intellectual problems with my belief system by never thinking about them. Indoctrinated, entrenched and taught not to question. Lazy.

And, as Nvrgoingbk said, We are sponges., which is exactly what the religious leaders count on. And also, to counter the "doubt" that might appear, constantly preach unquestioning faith and the sin of doubt.

So, the masses swallow it all and never bother to think about why it makes no sense. That is why I used the word "laziness" in general.

Now, I would agree that doesn't apply to the apologists. I think that is more a case of intellectual dishonesty.

Lorena said...

I suppose you are right. My husband, for example, is brilliant. But he has decided to accept the religious stuff by faith. That way he feels free to use his brain for other things. But I don't think he's dishonest. Lazy or naive, perhaps.

But, I am very smart, too. Or so say the I.Q. tests I've taken, and I stayed there for a long time. I was using all my brain power to justify the faith.

Maybe everybody has an explanation for the insanity.

AtheistMommy said...

"Anonymous said...
Most everyone experiences a very traumatic event in their lives called birth."

Birth is not a traumatic event for the baby because babies have no memory of the event. In fact, humans don't form memories till they are 22 months old. I think it would be a bit more like having a tooth pulled out while you were knocked out, no memory equals no trauma.

Sorry, just had to clear that one up.

I don't agree that "all" Christians are brain damaged. I do agree that many people (in general) have some sort of frontal lobe damage. It's really easy to damage that part of the brain. Which may contribute to the huge amount of believers in general. However, lets not forget that we (most of us) Atheist were once believers ourselves. The brain doesn't repair itself like that.

I also agree that most believers are weak minded and need to believe that something bigger is out there, controlling what happens. I think most of us will agree when I say, it's not easy being godless. Life is hard and it's mind boggling at times.

I'm not trying to put believers down but I know first had how hard it is to be godless and how much safer it is to just go with the flow. I think this is the main reason why believers are so threatened by us Atheists.

I usually run into the whole "If you don't believe in God, then what do you believe in?!" As if you have to believe in something, it's manditory. As if you can only believe in one thing. I'm pretty sure that most of the believers out there hold more then one belief (a belief besides God).

If only we could focus more on respect for each other and forget about who believes in what and who doesn't. Then maybe we could get somewhere.

Trancelation said...

RubySera:

Nearly every liberal Christian I have met tosses out the doctrine of Hell. Whether or not Jesus (if he ever existed) preached this idea is up for debate, but it is not up for debate in Christianity, which was, of course, founded by Paul. and one cannot be Christian without adhering to Paul's doctrines.

Most liberal Christians also toss out the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, which is again another aspect of Christianity. Instead, they will preach their wishy-washy wishes that merely being a good person will get you into Heaven, which is, of course, not adherent to Christian doctrine.

The point I'm trying to make is: yes, liberal Christians do cherry-pick, just as bad as anyone else. This line of thought does not mean I picked something up from the fundies. If you had actually taken the nanoseconds required to read the post, you would see that I compared liberal Christians to Fred Phelps. And if Fred Phelps is not fundamentalist in his beliefs, then I think that we are screwed.

This is not to say that liberal Christians are bad people. Of course not; their open-mindedness is great, but Christianity is NOT an open-minded organization. My problem with liberal Christians is simply their affiliation with Christianity.

If one is not willing to abide by all of the rules of the fan club, they should probably find another fan club. All I'm asking for is consitency.

RubySera said...

Trancelation said:

"If one is not willing to abide by all of the rules of the fan club, they should probably find another fan club. All I'm asking for is consitency."

Who do you think you are to judge who is Christian and who is not? Your criteria is very narrow, very black and white. That is fundamentalist thinking at it best. I read your post several times. Now please do me a favor and read my post again. It is based on four years of study in a liberal Christian seminary.

It is true that liberal Christians do not accept the hell doctrine, but they do not "throw it out" as you say. Using logic, ethics, and science (as I said in my other post) they conclude that the hell doctrine is unscriptural and adverse to what Jesus meant. Using history they discover that the hell doctrine developed in the Middle Ages, about a thousand years after Jesus allegedly lived. It is therefore ridiculous to fault them for rejecting it.

It is quite possible that many laypeople come across the way you describe, but they do not represent the heart and soul of what liberal Christians believe. You need to read the theologians to know what liberal Christians believe. Paul Tillich is the classical liberal theologian.

The fundies not not acknowledge him as Christian. If you reject him as a Christian then you prove that you adhere to fundy thought.

RubySera said...

Atheistmommy said:

"Birth is not a traumatic event for the baby because babies have no memory of the event. In fact, humans don't form memories till they are 22 months old. I think it would be a bit more like having a tooth pulled out while you were knocked out, no memory equals no trauma.

Sorry, just had to clear that one up."

Just let me clear this up once and for all. Your claim is absolutely wrong, atheistmommy. I don't know where you get your information but I have memories from long before I was 22 months old. Many people cannot remember when they were six years old. Apparently there is no set rule that applies to everyone.

Your analogy of the pulled tooth does not work because the pain is still there when you regain consciousness.

Trancelation said...

RubySera:

I will give your suggestions some thought and research.

RubySera said...

Trancelation said...

RubySera:

I will give your suggestions some thought and research.
*********
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

To hopefully clear things up a bit. I'm over 50 yrs. old and the traumatic event of being born is still with me, that is...life itself, the whole shabang, the whole realm of reality is traumatic for everyone... atleast it is for me.

Why do you think we still have wars and elect people we tend to believe are smarter and wiser than us to lead those wars?

Why do millions of people think that a Pope is a leader, chosen from a God?

Why do we have religions? Because we think there is something greator than us out there, and there could be, except we have no way to examine it to know what it is.

Can't you guys see all the foolishness invented by humans to rectify the reasons we are born in the first place?

Can't people see how confused the human race is?

The animals that we call lower than us, do not start wars and elect other animals to lead them.

We as a human race are trying to prove we are smarter than animals, but apparently we are not when it comes to human relations between different races of peoples.

Yes, life/birth itself, is a continual traumatic event, as long as we live, IMHO.

RubySera said...

Thanks for making the point, Anonymous. I hope that's all you were doing--making a point--because there are psychological techniques to achieve a better quality life than a terror-driven existence you describe. Life can be an enjoyable time, though the dark side can never be dispensed with altogether.

Steve said...

"My husband, for example, is brilliant. But he has decided to accept the religious stuff by faith. That way he feels free to use his brain for other things. But I don't think he's dishonest. Lazy or naive, perhaps."

Lorena,

Not to make a harsh moral judgment, but it is intellectually dishonest. And it contributes to dishonest message of religion.

Steve

math_theory said...

I'm bordering on agnostic, and christian, so I guess I'm agnostic right now. I have an important question for those who dispute the creation events of Genesis: How do we explain the creation of the first human embryo? It seems plausible that there had to already exist a male and female, kindof out of nothing, for this to happen. If someone has a scientific explanation for either the first human embryo, or the evolution of gender (this would help me figure out how the first human embryo came about), It would be appreciated.
Until I receive an explanation, its gonna be hard to convince me that a male and female didn't appear out of nowhere to create the first embryo.
Oh, and I'm not gonna necessarily limit my belief to the Bible. I just think it seems plausible that two humans of a separate gender, not necessarily by the way the Bible describes it, had to exist in order for the first embryo to be created.
Thanks.

math_theory said...

Okay, a possible rational explanation for this just came to me. I'm gonna attempt to answer my own question with a theory of my own.
Evolution of Gender, first embryo:
I think that two molecules happened to be attracted to each other, by chance. As evolution progressed, these molecules themselves became more complex, and the resulting union became more complex. A type of competition ensued to determine which molecule would be able to replicate itself the most, in the union of those molecules. The result is male, or female, or something in-between, depending on how this competition played out. In other words, either the egg molecule was able to replicate itself within the union, or the sperm molecule was. The differentiating features in male and female are the main result of this competition.

I'm not a scientist, or biologist or anything, so my theory is a theory from an extremely amateurish perspective. I think the reasoning is okay, but my science may be incorrect, and a biological scientist would be better at describing what I'm trying to describe.

Danny said...

Religion creates guilt, then you have to go to church. Then you have to go and confess, " I am a sinner". Then you are forgiven in the name of God. First in the name of God they created guilt, then in the name of God they forgave it. bagwan

Religion is one of the forms of the spiritual yoke which always and everywhere has been laid on the masses of the people crushed by poverty. The weakness of the exploited classes,

in their struggles with their oppressors, inevitably produced a faith in a better life in the next world, just as the weakness of the savage in the struggle with nature led to faith in gods, devils and miracles. Religion teaches such men, who work and endure poverty all their lives,

humility and patience and holding out the consolation of a heavenly reward. But the exploiters are urged by faith to do good on earth, because in this way they think to win justification fo their existence and a sort of ticket of admission to heavenly bliss.

Religion is an opiate for the people, a sort of spiritual vodka, a burdensome yoke around his neck, meant to make the slaves of capitalism tread in the dust their human form and their aspirations to a semi-decent existence...But the slave who becomes conscious of his slavery has already half ceased to be a slave.

The modern worker, who is taught by his work in the factory and enlightened by urban life, contemptuously casts off religious prejudices, and leaves heaven to the parsons and devout bourgeois, while he himself tries to win a better life here on earth."

Lorena said...

"Until I receive an explanation, its gonna be hard to convince me that a male and female didn't appear out of nowhere to create the first embryo."

I appreciate your desire to know, and I am sure there are many here who could come up with plausible explanations. I am not sure, though, if you really want an explanation, or if you are a Christian trying to ask questions to make us, non-Christians, "think." I hope you are honestly asking the question, but it is hard to believe you, given the many "preachers" we get on this board.

Personally, I don't need an explanation. All I know is that the silly story of Eve coming from Adam's rib is less believable than many children bed-time stories.

For all I know, a cell could have divided to produce male and female. Or two beings from another dimension may have been given earthly bodies to start the human race. But I really don't need an explanation. I and others are here alive today, and we must make the best of the life we have.

But then, that's just my view. Everybody has their own opinion.

tigg13 said...

Math-theory, are you asking about the first embryo or the first human embryo?

math_theory said...

first human embryo

tigg13 said...

Ok, the first human embryo developed in a creature that wasn't completely human. It was close - real close - but not exactly.

This probably isn't a very satisfying answer. One of the difficulties in this case is the question, how do you define what a human being is?

Let me give you an example. Suppose you had a half gallon of red paint and you carefully added a single, tiny drop of white paint to it and stirred it up. You wouldn't notice any real difference, would you.

Now add another drop and stir it again, and then another, and another. If you continued to do this over and over again, eventually you will wind up with pink paint.

But how do you determine which drop of paint was responsible for changing the paint's color? The 200th? The 250th? the 251st?

Evolution is a slow, gradual process which affects an entire population.

Our ancestors technically weren't human and their ancestors were even less so. But as they evolved they became more and more human, just as the paint becomes lighter and lighter in shade.

Now, if you were to set up a specific definition for what exactly qualifies a creature as human, and you could trace human ancestry all the way back to the very first person that fit that definition you would find, obviously, that its parents were the products of embryos that weren't human by your initial definition.

Unfortunately, any exact definition of 'human' would be as arbitrary as the definition of 'pink'.

Spirula said...

To add to what tigg13 wrote, it is populations that evolve, not individuals per se. That is, there is a point in time at which a population of primates would be considered Homo sapien sapiens. This is the case for Cro-Magnon, but not the case for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (a.k.a. Neanderthal). Both shared a common ancestor, but diverged enough to have distinct morophological and molecular characteristics. (I should add, that amongst anthropologists Neanderthal classification is hotly debated due to mitochondrial DNA studies).

For a contemporary example, you can look a chimpanzees vs. bonobos. Geographical isolation has lead to allopatric speciation, such that they are extremely similar in molecular sequencing, but their social structure, morphology, and behavior indicate they should be considered separate species with a recent common ancestor.

Spirula said...

That should have read "...isolation has led to..."