X-Message-Number: 20081
From: "mike99" <>
Subject: God talk
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 06:21:23 -0600

Since this subject was broached on CryoNet, I think it's time to get beyond
the usual theist vs. atheist roundabout debate and look at what science has
been discovering in recent years. More and more brain researchers have found
correlations between brain states and subjectively reported mystical/divine
union states. Dr. Michael A. Persinger pioneered this work in the 1980s.
Here's a list of his publications:

- Persinger, Michael A.  Religious and mystical Experiences As Artifacts Of
Temporal Lobe
Function: A General Hypothesis  Perceptual And Motor Skills, 1983, 57

- Persinger, Michael A. Ph.d.  Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs 
Praeger, 1987

- Persinger, Michael A. Geophysical variables and behavior: LV.  Predicting
the Details of Visitor Experiences and the Personality of Experience: the
Temporal Lobe Factor. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1989, 68, 55-65

- Persinger, Michael A. Ph.D.  The Sensed Presence As Right Hemispheric
intrusions Into The Left Hemispheric Awareness Of Self: An Illustrative Case
Study , Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1994, 78, 999-1009

If you do a Net search on the term "neurotheology" you will find several
other sources of information on this topic, including a forthcoming book
(due in Oct. 2002) of articles by many authors by that very title.

Todd Murphy, a researcher working under Dr. Persinger, has put a lot of his
material on the web (much of it in dire need of copy editing!) that reports
some fascinating research he has conducted on himself and others using
Persinger's solenoid devices for stimulating specific brain structures using
magnetic fields. You'll find Murphy's documents at

What this all comes down to, in my opinion, is that mystical experiences can
be induced technologically. While this does not disprove the independent
existence of a deity (that's a different philosophical problem), it brings
into question millennia of reports from "god-experiencers" about what they
were "told" to  reveal  to the rest of us.

As we Buddhists say,  If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. 

Michael LaTorra

Extropy Institute: www.extropy.org
World Transhumanist Association: www.transhumanism.org
Alcor Life Extension Foundation: www.alcor.org
Society for Technical Communication: www.stc.org

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