>> Couldn't these "religious" experiences just be
>> something that the brain comes up with on its
> That's where I think the comparison with love
> applies. Is love something "real" or just
> something that your brain comes up with? The
> answer is that it doesn't really matter. Does a
> person cease to love his/her parents, siblings,
> spouse, children, friends, just because love is
> something the brain comes up with?
I think it does matter. If love is a chemically-based emotion which humans evolved to experience then that should lead to a completely different philosophy of life than if one assumes it's a "gift of deity". Love is important to me also, but I want to understand its evolutionary basis, not its "premortal" basis (Mormon theology).
At our last family reunion I tried to get a rational conversation going about human development by asking how language started, was it more due to men or women? One of my sister-in-laws abruptly ended the whole attempt when she claimed that different languages exist because of the Tower of Babel. I, and perhaps some of the others, felt too embarrassed for her to argue.
I can no longer accept the explanations that religion gives for why things are the way they are.
In a recent nature series it was suggested that chimpanzees have bigger testicles than human males and human males have bigger testicles than gorilla males due to the differing situation in sperm competition. Such a discussion would never have even begun if Mormonism or similar religion was accepted by scientists as the truth. If my goal is understanding why I am the way I am, I find science is the vastly superior source.
> I love music. When I listen to a Beethoven
> symphony, a Mozart opera, a Schubert song, I
> feel like I'm being transported to heaven. I
> know it's all my brain responding to auditory
> stimuli. Should I stop listening to music then?
No, don't stop listening or enjoying. However, don't suggest that you really think you were transported to heaven. I think people are way off who suggest that music is God's gift to us from the other side, to give us a little bit of what's over there.
Go ahead and enjoy music, art, science, etc., but don't attach some transcendental meaning to your affection if none is needed. It should be explainable in terms of humanity's biological response to its environment.
>> How do you know it has anything to do with a
>> transcendental reality or God
> How do you know it doesn't?
I don't. Given that neither of us know, why choose a transcendental explanation when a materialistic one is at least as good? Why give credit to God just because we don't know everything and it feels good to believe?