Is Faith in God a neurological function?

(Yes, BTW, I mean the Christian God)
As the Bible says, with even a little faith you can perfrom what Christians would call “miracles” and scientists would call “coincidences and improbable occurances which never the less are in accordance with the known laws of quantum mechanics.” (miracles is shorter, of course).

So, if that is the case, and faith is a neurological function, what does that say about the reality of the universe? The universe is because I am – once I am not it won’t be (as far as I am concerned of course).

(So that and I guess whatever you want to bring in from that last thread…)

jmullaney, I don’t understand the causal relationship you are attempting to present. If faith is founded by synaptic firings, (much like the sensation of the color red, the movement of an appendage, or a feeling of elation), why would that necessitate solipsism?

Oh, absolutely. Just as reason and intuition, perception and meditation, are all neurological functions. Because whatever else we may be, we are comprised in part of a body which functions through biochemical activity, and what we appear to think with (when we do) is comprised of neurons.

But this hardly demonstrates that that is the total answer to the question. There is no gross physical distinction between your car and a 1978 Toyota with a blown motor sitting in a junkyard somewhere – some minor differences in overall composition, a mechanical problem in the latter that is not present in yours – but I hardly think you’d trade even. Just because faith, like other mental activity, functions through neurons does not make it identical to a conditioned reflex, any more than the idea that it can be founded in emotional needs proves that they “cause” it.

Not solipsism – that implies only the self is real. Faith in God as it were adds another level. What is it in the nature of faith in God which enables the soul control over quantum mechanics?

Futhermore, if this is only a neurological process, it should be possible to build a machine (although, man is a type of machine) which can affect the normal probablity state of matter – which would be interesting.

For the record (once more), I do not view faith as a mental activity. Such “faith” is worthless. We must believe with our hearts, not our minds, just as we must urinate with our Egos and not with our Ids.

If it were technologically feasible to perform an analysis of neurophysiological functions which revealed specific orders and locations of synaptic firing pertinent to emotions, thoughts, movements, et cetera, why would a “mapping” of the faith firing be exempt from acceptance of the firing being the totality of its existence?

I wasn’t neglecting your post – it was a simulpost.

jmullaney, if faith is a neurological function, no additional level is added. What is this “control over quantum mechanics” which originates from faith?

Libertarian, given your perspective on faith, which I fail to understand (hint, hint), I assume the heart to which you refer is not a muscle. Is my assumption correct?

Um, were you sick the day they taught hearts primarily pump blood? You of course mean soul, right? But this too must be located in the brain – as you cut off your head and you die. I think Nen makes a valid point.

jmullaney -

I’m guessing you were kidding about the link between death, decapitation and the soul. I have to believe you know the actual reason a person dies when his head is separated from his body. Right? This isn’t some kind of obscure Highlander (the movie) reference, is it?

Matthew 17:14-20

Now, there’s nothing in physics which says a mountain can not just suddenly occur at a point in space it had not previously been appearing (I know the earth revolves, etc., but bear with me) – physics merely states that this is highly improbable.


No, I was there that day. I was also there the day they taught that the heart is “the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature”, “one’s innermost character, feelings, or inclinations”, and “the essential or most vital part of something”.


Yes, it is.

So Lib, are you distinguishing the heart from the soul? Can we just stick with one imaginary thing you can use to know and love god at a time, or find a term which encapsulates them both?

Heck, now I got Heart and Soul stuck in my head.

We can use whatever terms you like, J, so long as we both understand what they mean. I have always equated “soul” with “consciousness”, but I am flexible, as anybody here will tell you.

While you’re at it, please clear up what terms we should use for our imaginary moral context. Do you prefer “nature” or “the universe”?

Hmmm… You of course believe that we should love God with our consciousness. And I don’t think our hearts, as you have defined it, is part of our unconscious somehow. Right? How about the heart is the muscle of the soul – is that OK?

As for nature versus universe, this would depend on context.

But I don’t think the universe is imaginary – the universe can be thought of as a huge probability field. I am leaning towards saying we must have a “soul” and that this soul is tied in somehow to this field – thus that, exercizing that faith muscle, whatever you want to call it, somehow uplinks us into connection with the underlying physic.

(or at least that seems to be what jesus is saying)

Are you sure you’re not begging the question here?
The question of the mind-body relationship has hardly been settled. Can one truly say the subjective is ultimately a reduced materialism? And if that is so, doesn’t that mean one can account for all subjective experience in a purely objective way?

Hey… not to pick nits, but does this mean that, say, Allah is left out? Budda left in the cold? :smiley:

Nah. I can have all the Faith in the world I can fly, but I’m not going to jump off a building and try. It won’t work.

Ted…I think we’re arguing about whether “the sky is blue” or “azure is the color of the firmament” here. My point was precisely what you picked up on, that (1) whatever else might be involved, the “physical” mechanism through which faith functions in our body, as a mental process, is neurological; and (2) that allowing this fact of biophysics as a mechanism does not therefore preclude the realm of the spiritual, mental, metaphysical, supernatural, or whatever else you may want to bring in, from having an influence on the subject too.

anybody here with faith in Jesus Christ? Not much, maybe even a mustard seed’s-worth? How many mountains have you been able to move lately?