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#1
*This is not a religious debate thread, this is how the mind works in relation with religion*

I've been going to church for the past 16 years with my parents (because of my parents) and I found something that intrigues me. Out of all those years of going, I have never felt anything but boredom. Are you supposed to feel some sort of spiritual high or anything like that? It seems like I'm missing out on something.
I'm not looking for a "cure" to this (therefore this is not asking the pit about personal health questions, etc). However psychology, along with music, is one of my interests (I just find it fascinating). So what I'm wanting to discuss with the pit is: What causes this "spiritual high"? Why do some hook on immediately to religion and others just fall away or despise it? Why can't I see why kids love the delicious taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? And any other thing you can think of in this subject.

Please discuss in a professional manner with respect of other's beliefs
#3
It's all subjective. It's impossible for one choice/opinion to suit everyone. Some people will feel this spiritual high that you speak of because the religion/church works for them but some people won't feel anything because the religion/church doesn't work.
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I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#5
You're probably bored because you view church as something you have to do as opposed to something you want to do.

A lot of people really enjoy going to church, and are more likely to feel more spiritual while there.
#7
You are possibly just too scientifically literate and logical to get sucked in.
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#8
i think its because people need something to believe in. to know theres a place to go when you kick the bucket and that they are somewhat in control of that choice (heaven or hell) and the peace of mind that follows. it also helps them explain the unexplainable and by subscribing to jesus they are following a mainstream religion which is apart of the human make up to "fit in" and to not be different. thats my theory anyway.
#9
They're just feeling Jesus' salvation all over their lips and eyes.
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#10
Most psychologists would probably put it down to some sort of predisposition to being highly suggestible to the concepts found in religion, and also the social factors involved in the participation of cultural rituals which a persons role models encouraged them to. There is also how able a person is to cope with problems in life, and some may find religion a crutch or motivational tool. As well as that, some might struggle with the concepts science have for how everything works, and find an omnipotent being a more comfortable explanation.

I could sum it up much more concisely, but it might sound a little blunt.
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#12
Cool question.

I have a psychology degree, and so I feel comfortable having a few guesses about what causes this, however my research isn't in this area, so I wouldn't class myself as an expert.

As with all euphoric feelings, it simply comes down to neurotransmitters being released in response to a stimulus. The most likely scenario, I'm guessing, is this:

When people attempt to have a 'religious experience', they prepare themselves mentally to feel something. In the same way that a person who has unknowingly taken a fake ecstasy pill might still experience a feeling of euphoria, these people experience a feeling of whatever it is that they might expect to feel. For some, it might be love and warmth. For others, it might just be giddiness. It would depend almost entirely on the context and what they have come to expect based on their interactions with others and their own private experiences.

These people then learn to associate a context (for example church) with this feeling, and the context then becomes a stimulus which triggers the expression of the experience that they had the first time. A simple comparison would be if I slapped you after ringing a bell, after a few times of ringing the bell, you would then learn to expect pain from my slap each time you hear the bell, and you would prepare yourself for that.

Neurobiologically, what happens is that the brain releases a neurotransmitter called (almost certainly) dopamine, which is responsible for much of the way that we feel. Dopamine is also the main neurotransmitter involved when a person is under the influence of heroin, so as you might expect, a person having one of these religious experiences will feel happy, more care-free, more secure in their life, and generally friendlier.

Ultimately, it comes down to a persons expectations, and a loop-hole in our biology which allows us to accidentally trick our brains into changing their chemistry.
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#13
Ts, you say you haven't felt anything but boredom at church, have you ever actually really listened in to the service? Have you really listened in to what God is telling you? I can tell you that if you listen, God will speak to you.
#14
the more you engage your mind and consider things the more 'high' you might get
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#15
I was the same way until I decided to stop going. Some people just have a passion for religion, and others don't. It's the same thing as anything else. You might find psychology fascinating but others won't


There are, of course, the morons who find something intimidating in everything. **** them.
#16
It's a complicated question. I'm an atheist, have been so since the 70s. Like many atheists, I study religion...
I have long said that if religion did not fulfill a purpose, it would no longer exist. Some people are genuinely affected in an emotional way by the ceremonies and lore and so forth. That's a basic part of human psychology.
Others have genuine, affecting psychological experiences. We know now that these "spiritual" experiences are part of the way the mind works in certain people. Temporal-lobe disturbances that cause very real, very affecting phenomena. We can duplicate these in the laboratory.

Other positives: Community. Tradition. A sense of belonging. Cheap mental-health treatment. For many hundreds of years, the local priest or rabbi or immam functioned as not only spiritual advisor but also just general confidant and sounding board.

These things are cultural to a large degree... Many folks from a Jewish background still observe the "high holy days" even though they are agnostic or atheist... they see it as a cultural tradition.

Religion does not stand up very well to intellectual scrutiny. It's an emotional response to things in general. If you're not feeling any such emotional response, look around. Perhaps atheism is for you. Or perhaps some other religous tradition. We here in America have a long tradition of "shopping" for other religions.....
#17
TS, the reason for why you feel bored is obvious. You feel bored because you don't want to believe.

There isn't anything wrong with that, there is nothing to stop you from stopping going to church because beliefs are a decision you should make for yourself, not your parents.

Since i had become a Christian, i've had a spiritual thirst. I do need something to believe in otherwise my life would meaningless and i would off myself. Being a Christian was something i chose to be, i had a spontaneous vision of having a son and a wife under hypnotic trance, giving me a feeling of complete euphoria. It was not a feeling that i called upon, but something i just felt spontaneously.

Before all of this happened, i was an Atheist just like any other here. I used to hate Christianity, i thought it was the most bullshit thing in existence and it was for all the same reasons that everyone else is atheist. But now i understand why people believe. Was the feeling of euphoria caused by a release of Dopamine? Yes, i'm not denying that. But unlike what people are saying here, it was a spontaneous experience that i didn't expect was going to happen and i feel that is significant.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Apr 9, 2012,
#18
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Was the feeling of euphoria caused by a release of Dopamine? Yes, i'm not denying that. But unlike what people are saying here, it was a spontaneous experience that i didn't expect was going to happen and i feel that is significant.

The expectation doesn't necessarily create the experience. That was just the most probable example that I could think of.

Perhaps you enjoyed being in the presence of other people who were positive. Perhaps you were just in the right place on a good day. I don't know. There are any number of possibilities. The bottom line is that it's down to brain chemistry and not divine manipulation.
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#19
Quote by instagata0
The expectation doesn't necessarily create the experience. That was just the most probable example that I could think of.

Perhaps you enjoyed being in the presence of other people who were positive. Perhaps you were just in the right place on a good day. I don't know. There are any number of possibilities. The bottom line is that it's down to brain chemistry and not divine manipulation.

I wasn't with anybody but my therapist. It wasn't something she asked me to have and it wasn't something i wanted. It just happened.

Your post is also contradictory. You say that it could be any number of possibilities, but then you rule out divine intervention.
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#20
Quote by Jacobrivers8
Ts, you say you haven't felt anything but boredom at church, have you ever actually really listened in to the service? Have you really listened in to what God is telling you? I can tell you that if you listen, God will speak to you.


To be honest, I enjoy reading actual religious scripture more than church. Churches will leave out a lot of interesting things.

I'm a filthy faggot loving, communist, nazi, atheist though, so I might not be the best person to talk about the subject.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#21
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I wasn't with anybody but my therapist. It wasn't something she asked me to have and it wasn't something i wanted. It just happened.

Your post is also contradictory. You say that it could be any number of possibilities, but then you rule out divine intervention.

It doesn't matter where you were or who you were with. There was a trigger, and you experienced an entirely explainable biological response to that trigger.

Don't take a cheap shot like that. If you'd truly like me to restate, I will, but I urge you to be more intellectually honest with other things you write.

There are a great many possibilities of which I could imagine a few. What you experience when you believe you're having a religious experience can be fully explained when we understand the science of the brain and the way that it interacts with its environment.
Quote by Machanix
We play guitar.... we're automatically on top of the world.

Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back!

A Wasted Youth
Is Better By Far
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Good Girls Go To Heaven, But The Bad Girls Go Everywhere!
Last edited by instagata0 at Apr 9, 2012,
#22
Quote by IRISH_PUNK13
To be honest, I enjoy reading actual religious scripture more than church. Churches will leave out a lot of interesting things.

I'm a filthy faggot loving, communist, nazi, atheist though, so I might not be the best person to talk about the subject.

I don't get why a vast majority of the pit think that Christians hate fags. Its not true; it even says so in the Bible itself. It would be hypocritical of a Christian to condemn a man for something that is considered sinful. Being a Christian doesn't make a person more 'superior' to anyone else so who are we to judge?

Quote by instagata0
It doesn't matter where you were or who you were with. There was a trigger, and you experienced an entirely explainable biological response to that trigger.

Don't take a cheap shot like that. If you'd truly like me to restate, I will, but I urge you to be more intellectually honest with other things you write.

There are a great many possibilities of which I could imagine a few. What you experience when you believe you're having a religious experience can be fully explained when we understand the science of the brain and the way that it interacts with its environment.

Why are you accusing me of not being an intellectual? Just because i don't share your opinion on things? Because if it does, then that's fine. I'm not saying science is wrong, i'm just saying that what i experienced has made me more spiritually conscious of myself. That is all.

And i feel that believing is a constructive thing. Does it give my life meaning? Yes. My quality of life was utterly horrid, and believing in God gives me some sense that there is something out there that gives a shit about weather i live or i kill myself due to major depression.

Has spirituality become a positive dimension to my life? Hell yes. Should you respect that? I feel that you should, yes.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Apr 9, 2012,
#23
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't get why a vast majority of the pit think that Christians hate fags. Its not true; it even says so in the Bible itself. It would be hypocritical of a Christian to condemn a man for something that is considered sinful. Being a Christian doesn't make a person more 'superior' to anyone else so who are we to judge?


Twas a joke...


Also, to answer the last part, it does say in the bible that Christians should kill nonbelievers, so I think it's part of your beliefs to be judgmental.

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Edit: These two bible verses are directed at the last sentence in your post. I'm fully aware that they have nothing to do with homosexuality. I'm just using this as a way to answer the last sentence in your post.


And although it doesn't say anything in the bible about god wanting his followers to do anything negative towards gays he does make his feelings towards them quite clear.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
Last edited by IRISH_PUNK13 at Apr 9, 2012,
#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE

Why are you accusing me of not being an intellectual? Just because i don't share your opinion on things? Because if it does, then that's fine. I'm not saying science is wrong, i'm just saying that what i experienced has made me more spiritually conscious of myself. That is all.

And i feel that believing is a constructive thing. Does it give my life meaning? Yes. My quality of life was utterly horrid, and believing in God gives me some sense that there is something out there that gives a shit about weather i live or i kill myself due to major depression.

Has spirituality become a positive dimension to my life? Hell yes. Should you respect that? I feel that you should, yes.

I didn't accuse you of not being an intellectual. I accused you of not being intellectually honest. These are very different things.

The question of the reality of your beliefs is totally separate from the question of whether or not your beliefs make you feel good. I can fully accept that you feel better about things as a result of your religious experience. I am also cognisant of the fact that your experience is one that is explained biologically and has no logical transition towards your currently held conclusions.
Quote by Machanix
We play guitar.... we're automatically on top of the world.

Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back!

A Wasted Youth
Is Better By Far
Than A Wise And Productive Old Age

Good Girls Go To Heaven, But The Bad Girls Go Everywhere!
#25
Quote by IRISH_PUNK13

And although it doesn't say anything in the bible about god wanting his followers to do anything negative towards gays he does make his feelings towards them quite clear.

Quote by IRISH_PUNK13

Also, to answer the last part, it does say in the bible that Christians should kill nonbelievers, so I think it's part of your beliefs to be judgmental.


>implying

Is it an instruction to kill homosexuals or not?


My answer is a no. I don't know everything or about every church group, which do have very different interpretations of the Bible. But i believe that under all circumstances

"Condemn the sin, but not the sinner"

Now i'm probably not the best person to talk about this topic if i'm honest. I was expecting this all to happen given the large amount of dislike for religion, especially Christianity in the pit. I just wanted to voice my opinions on TS' question and leave it at that. But no, people have to question what i believe like my beliefs make a difference for those individuals, like they actually give a shit about what i think.
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#26
It's a placebo effect.

If you have a headache or an aching shoulder or something, and a priest grabs you and does the whole "By the power of Christ heal this man" song and dance, then because you believe in the priest's power to heal you, you will feel healed.

The key to this however is that you believe it in the first place. If you are a skeptic and you get a priest to do the same thing, chances are it won't work because you don't believe that it will work.
#27
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
>implying

Is it an instruction to kill homosexuals or not?


My answer is a no. I don't know everything or about every church group, which do have very different interpretations of the Bible. But i believe that under all circumstances

"Condemn the sin, but not the sinner"

Now i'm probably not the best person to talk about this topic if i'm honest. I was expecting this all to happen given the large amount of dislike for religion, especially Christianity in the pit. I just wanted to voice my opinions on TS' question and leave it at that. But no, people have to question what i believe like my beliefs make a difference for those individuals, like they actually give a shit about what i think.


No there isn't, I was just making a point that god does say that you (as a christian) should judge people.


I can respect the fact that you have your beliefs. You actually brought my last post on yourself by being super serious about a joke that I made. I thought that I made the joke obvious with the ' ' emoticon.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#28
science and psychology cannot explain how people are healed in Jesus's name, nor can they explain how we can speak in tongues by the holy spirit. You can't explain how the disciples and Jesus healed people who were lame for years of their life. Language experts have studied tongues and agree that it is in fact a dialect seperate from any world language. and God does not say we should judge people. read the story of Jesus and the prostitue, the people go to stone her to death, but Jesus says to them "he who is without sin may throw the first stone" then they all left. noone but god can judge sin brotha. God bless
Last edited by Jacobrivers8 at Apr 9, 2012,
#29
Quote by Jacobrivers8
science and psychology cannot explain how people are healed in Jesus's name, nor can they explain how we can speak in tongues by the holy spirit. You can't explain how the disciples and Jesus healed people who were lame for years of their life. Language experts have studied tongues and agree that it is in fact a dialect seperate from any world language. and God does not say we should judge people. read the story of Jesus and the prostitue, the people go to stone her to death, but Jesus says to them "he who is without sin may throw the first stone" then they all left. noone but god can judge sin brotha. God bless


Dat ignorance.
Quote by L2112Lif
I put a ton of my capital into SW Airlines... The next day, THE NEXT DAY these nutters fly into the WTC. What the hell? Apparently no one wanted to fly anymore, and I was like "What gives? God damnit Osama, let me win a fuggin' game!"
#30
I think religion is a very cultural thing. My interest in buddhism and it's conventions and teachings come from more of a cultural embrace than anything
#32
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't get why a vast majority of the pit think that Christians hate fags. Its not true; it even says so in the Bible itself.




The Bible speaks out against homosexual sex, which makes perfect sense. I guess most people take that to mean God hates gays.


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#34
Quote by Jacobrivers8
science and psychology cannot explain how people are healed in Jesus's name,


Placebo effect

Oh, and it doesn't happen nearly as often as religious people claim.

And doctors can often cure many simple medical conditions with little more than a few sugar pills or a salt-water injection, is this proof the GPs are actually witch doctors who call on the powers of multiple Gods of nature to heal the wounded.

nor can they explain how we can speak in tongues by the holy spirit.


It's a process by which the language centres of the brain become less active but the neurons controls vocalisation stay active, meaning that you produce incoherent rubbish.

And also, Christianity isn't the only religion, and religion isn't the only practice, known to induce glossolalia. That alone proves that it's nothing to do with a God.

You can't explain how the disciples and Jesus healed people who were lame for years of their life.


The disciples and Jesus were likely either fictional or con-men. Or, see the placebo effect.

Language experts have studied tongues and agree that it is in fact a dialect seperate from any world language.


No, glossolalia is nothing more than an incoherent rubbish that has imagined meaning due to the fact that it can be induced in people who are put under massive mental stress or who are experiencing a euphoric experience (as can be induced by pentecostal worship due to the rhythmic patterns, perceived power of a preacher etc). No respected linguistic researcher has ever been able to discern a single unified language within glossolalia, and indeed neurological studies prove that it is pretty much the same as an epileptic fit, but occurring specifically in the vocal centres of the brain.

and God does not say we should judge people. read the story of Jesus and the prostitue, the people go to stone her to death, but Jesus says to them "he who is without sin may throw the first stone" then they all left. noone but god can judge sin brotha. God bless


Read the Old Testament and come back to me.

Oh, and surely the whole 'you're evil, burn for eternity, heathen' is judging people. Hell, God is surely the most judgemental being in fiction? All he ever does is judge whether his creations meet his standard.
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Last edited by Todd Hart at Apr 9, 2012,
#35
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*This is not a religious debate thread

It is now.
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#36
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE

"Condemn the sin, but not the sinner"


Wasn't going to post until I saw this great quote... in my mind Catholics are next to holocaust deniers only a level up The slavery of Jews in Egypt is looking to be more and more made up (the more I read about it the more racist it seems really) with most of the physical evidence basically shouting if Moses and the Israelites actually existed (no proof whatsoever) they were getting high on cannabis and magic mushrooms on Mt Sinai. Since the Reformation, christianity has been a joke - do you really think the madmen who wrote about Jesus etc. would agree with the Vatican's hoarding, support of pedophiles (pardoning those Irish cardinals and generally acting like raping kids is no big thang) and the closed mind of the modern christian?

OT: I reckon the psychology of the religious involves chasing the spiritual high, fear of death, fitting in and guilt.

would like to add - I have felt "the touch of god", I fainted while singing in a church.
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#37
Quote by fortysix&2
would like to add - I have felt "the touch of god", I fainted while singing in a church.


My friend fainted at a Mogwai gig, does this mean Mogwai are Gods?

The correct answer is yes.
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#38
Quote by Todd Hart
My friend fainted at a Mogwai gig, does this mean Mogwai are Gods?

The correct answer is yes.


Well I was told by people there, and my very catholic grandmother that that's what that was

Personally the time when I was sober at a Tool gig and I had what I can only describe as a psychedelic experience was far more meaningful than fainting in a church I only went to for the free food.
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i can only keep it up for about 30 seconds before my fingers cramp up =[

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Sorry, but because you listen to Tool doesn't mean you're intelligent.
#39
Quote by fortysix&2
Since the Reformation, christianity has been a joke - do you really think the madmen who wrote about Jesus etc. would agree with the Vatican's hoarding, support of pedophiles (pardoning those Irish cardinals and generally acting like raping kids is no big thang) and the closed mind of the modern christian?

You do realize that a lot of Catholics are absolutely disgusted by the church protecting those priest, right.
___

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#40
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