Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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tinythinker
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Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by tinythinker » Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:11 pm

I just know Meta will "love" this one...
Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Andrea Thompson
LiveScience Staff Writer
LiveScience.com
Fri Jan 25, 7:35 AM ET

People who feel lonely are more likely to believe in the supernatural, whether that is God, angels or miracles, a new study finds...

...

"We found that inducing people to feel lonely made them more religious essentially..."

full article
Now, the overly simplistic form of reductionism employed by some who discounts any form of religion or spirituality could be employed to suggest that this is somehow evidence that religion is simply a psychological coping mechanism. I have noted that for comments regarding comparable study results made by those with such a disposition, this conclusion may come with an unspoken assumption that all religious experiences are identical and that if a set of experiences correlate to one potential function or cause that is preferable (amenable to the preferred form of explanation), then other correlations suggesting cause or functionality or other ways of dividing up religious experiences are discounted (unless they also happen to be amenable to the preferred form of explanation). At times Metacrock has used the same structure of argument in reverse to counter such claims.

Do you find such arguments (whether employed by those trying to dismiss religion or folks countering such dismissals) convincing? What purpose do they really serve?
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Re: Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by Metacrock » Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:31 pm

tinythinker wrote:I just know Meta will "love" this one...
Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Andrea Thompson
LiveScience Staff Writer
LiveScience.com
Fri Jan 25, 7:35 AM ET

People who feel lonely are more likely to believe in the supernatural, whether that is God, angels or miracles, a new study finds...

...

"We found that inducing people to feel lonely made them more religious essentially..."

full article
Now, the overly simplistic form of reductionism employed by some who discounts any form of religion or spirituality could be employed to suggest that this is somehow evidence that religion is simply a psychological coping mechanism. I have noted that for comments regarding comparable study results made by those with such a disposition, this conclusion may come with an unspoken assumption that all religious experiences are identical and that if a set of experiences correlate to one potential function or cause that is preferable (amenable to the preferred form of explanation), then other correlations suggesting cause or functionality or other ways of dividing up religious experiences are discounted (unless they also happen to be amenable to the preferred form of explanation). At times Metacrock has used the same structure of argument in reverse to counter such claims.

Do you find such arguments (whether employed by those trying to dismiss religion or folks countering such dismissals) convincing? What purpose do they really serve?

that is empircally disproven by wurthnow's study who finds that mystical experiencers have no lack.they are not 'losers" or less popular or standoffish, or outcasts or low income, they actually tend to be "winners," well educated, popular, socially adroit, upper income, successful professionally, professionals, and so on.

It may be in some cases that people who don't get asked to the dance have more time to think about seroius things. I don't credit that kind of analysis with anything more than an attempt to belittle.
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runamokmonk
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Re: Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by runamokmonk » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:03 pm

wurthnow's study who finds that mystical experiencers have no lack.they are not 'losers" or less popular or standoffish, or outcasts or low income, they actually tend to be "winners," well educated, popular, socially adroit, upper income, successful professionally, professionals, and so on.

Hi metacrock, I specifically signed up to this board to respond to this statement you made above that I cut and pasted. (years ago i was previously a member but ezboard banned me and I was supposedly allowed back in, yet it never worked for me. Which was probably best anyhow.). I mean no offense and am not attacking you personally. I simply wish to express my thoughts on your comment for I find it troubling. Again, I do not mean to argue with you or over whelm you with all these scriptures my intent is only to take issue with your comment and not you personally. In fact, a lot of what you say I agree with and I hanve used your DOXA site through out the years.


In my opinion the sermon on the mount and the beatitudes turns all that upside down. It was and still is commonly thought that people's wealth and power are proof of the blessings of God. And many who're heads of state were even considered divine or a son of god. But if Jesus was truly the incarnation of God than this tells us that God subverts such thinking. For foxes had dens and birds nests but the Son of Man had no place to lay his head. He was ridiculed for drinking and eating with unclean outcasts, sinners and the Godless. He told the respected religious authorities it these who will make it into the Kingdom of God before any of them do.

The Son of God came from below and gave himself to us, he even gave us his flesh and blood (metaphorically or not). But the gods of this world come from above and eat men and demand sacrifice and not mercy. The Son of Man came lowly and washed our feet. This God was crucified by the powers that be, the respected, the wealthy, the powerful, the religiously educated, the upper classes along with the support of the masses. God in indentifying Himself with the god forsaken outcasts of society and it's religions, showed us where he stands, crucified outside the city gates and crying along with all of them, "Eloi, Eloi,[a] lama sabachthani?" And even though I take issue with God and His ways and many of His followers, I cannot help be pulled to the Truth of such a God.

This Christ said that whoever sees Him sees His Father in Heaven.

I cannot say whether these studies are accurate or not, for I do not know. They may be used to prove that God and the mystical experience is real but what matters most and is called into question is Who is this God? If seeing Jesus is seeing the Father, then the Father is of the Godless, the outcasts, the lonely, sinners, those who suffer, the poor, those without power. I believe this can only be if God is Love. If God bestows His blessings with mystical experiences mainly on the upper classes and wealthy then I cannot but help want to rebel against him, but I believe this is what the incarnation of Christ did.

It matters to me more who God is rather than if God is real. For if God is real and is not Love than God is nothing along with the mystical experiences. I am not even sure what the define a "mystical experience" to be, but I can only say that I think the Real one produces a desire for Love and union with the God who is Love. It doesn't give you wealth and power but a cross, in my opinion. (I am far from such divine love as the saints though)



Luke 6~
20And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21"Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22"Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

23"Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets."


Matt. 5:10-12

"10"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."




And Also~


John 15:18-20(ish)
18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."


Luke 10:21~
"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.


Luke 1:46-53
" 46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty."




Mark 10:23-24
"23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."


Mark 10:42-45
"42Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."



Mark 12:38-40
" 38As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, 39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."




Matt. 5:44-45
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

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Metacrock
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Re: Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by Metacrock » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:13 pm

Hey runamonk, welcome. I am glad you were able to join us here. I hope you will stick around. I like your views. I appreciate what you are saying, and I agree with you completely. I think you misunderstand my point, and what the study is saying.

Saying that people who actually have spiritual experience of a certain type (ie that known as "mystical") tend to be more successful is not at all to say that material success is the goal. Neither the study nor I were saying that. The argument that religious experince is the result of being lonely makes the assumption that spiritual people are losers who can't cope with life, can't earn a good living, have nothing better to do than take refuge in the imagination and make up a bunch of spiritual stuff that doesn't exist to compensate. the study shows that spiritual people are not lonely and not losers who can't cope. That does not mean they they are all name it claim types driving Cadillacs.
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Re: Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by QuantumTroll » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:28 pm

Metacrock wrote:Hey runamonk, welcome. I am glad you were able to join us here. I hope you will stick around. I like your views. I appreciate what you are saying, and I agree with you completely. I think you misunderstand my point, and what the study is saying.

Saying that people who actually have spiritual experience of a certain type (ie that known as "mystical") tend to be more successful is not at all to say that material success is the goal. Neither the study nor I were saying that. The argument that religious experince is the result of being lonely makes the assumption that spiritual people are losers who can't cope with life, can't earn a good living, have nothing better to do than take refuge in the imagination and make up a bunch of spiritual stuff that doesn't exist to compensate. the study shows that spiritual people are not lonely and not losers who can't cope. That does not mean they they are all name it claim types driving Cadillacs.
Did you really read the study? It wasn't at all arguing that "religious experince is the result of being lonely makes the assumption that spiritual people are losers who can't cope with life, can't earn a good living, have nothing better to do than take refuge in the imagination and make up a bunch of spiritual stuff that doesn't exist to compensate." It said that there is a clear response towards anthropomorphizing pets and belief in the supernatural when people watch "Cast Away". The assumption is that the subjects empathizing with the character in the movie would make them lonely, and it was this effect that caused the response. The study isn't about what sort of people have mystical experiences, but it's about what sort of emotions affect belief in the supernatural.

The article mentions the benefits of religion:"Owning pets and religious beliefs and practices are both known to increase a person's sense of well-being, but why exactly that is isn’t well known, Epley said." ""There are health benefits that come from being connected to other people, and those same benefits seem to come from connection with pets and with religious agents, too," Epley said."

What bothers you so about this article?

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Re: Loneliness Breeds Belief in Supernatural

Post by Metacrock » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:47 pm

QuantumTroll wrote:
Metacrock wrote:Hey runamonk, welcome. I am glad you were able to join us here. I hope you will stick around. I like your views. I appreciate what you are saying, and I agree with you completely. I think you misunderstand my point, and what the study is saying.

Saying that people who actually have spiritual experience of a certain type (ie that known as "mystical") tend to be more successful is not at all to say that material success is the goal. Neither the study nor I were saying that. The argument that religious experince is the result of being lonely makes the assumption that spiritual people are losers who can't cope with life, can't earn a good living, have nothing better to do than take refuge in the imagination and make up a bunch of spiritual stuff that doesn't exist to compensate. the study shows that spiritual people are not lonely and not losers who can't cope. That does not mean they they are all name it claim types driving Cadillacs.



Did you really read the study? It wasn't at all arguing that "religious experince is the result of being lonely makes the assumption that spiritual people are losers who can't cope with life, can't earn a good living, have nothing better to do than take refuge in the imagination and make up a bunch of spiritual stuff that doesn't exist to compensate." It said that there is a clear response towards anthropomorphizing pets and belief in the supernatural when people watch "Cast Away". The assumption is that the subjects empathizing with the character in the movie would make them lonely, and it was this effect that caused the response. The study isn't about what sort of people have mystical experiences, but it's about what sort of emotions affect belief in the supernatural.

that was the one Tiny brought up, that's why the thread has this title. I responding to Tiny's observation. I did not read it. I assume Tiny knew what he was talking about, he's an atheist you know, he's also an anthropologist. do you know tiny thinker? he used to be the best atheist on the carm board, when he used to post there.


The article mentions the benefits of religion:"Owning pets and religious beliefs and practices are both known to increase a person's sense of well-being, but why exactly that is isn’t well known, Epley said." ""There are health benefits that come from being connected to other people, and those same benefits seem to come from connection with pets and with religious agents, too," Epley said."

What bothers you so about this article?
what bothers me, the things tiny said made the think it was a critical attack on religious experience.

right now I'm involved in arguing with Diane and the Holiness posse on CARM about women. I don't know why it's like beating my head against the wall.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
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