Archive | February, 2016

Atheism, inspiration, and the ripple effect: one-year out of the closet

10 Feb

Dr Shell.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Heartfelt and informative. I am glad that you came out and have published many articles here that help me grow a a person.



It’s been a year since that day that I called in to one of the few atheist talk shows that I knew about then, called “Atheists On Air.” I still listen to it from time to time and feel nostalgic. (

I was distraught, anxious calling in to a show for fellow nonbelievers for the first time. I hadn’t told many people about my lack of belief in a god if I’d told anyone, and I had been in the closet for well over ten years, hiding behind my failsafe, fallback religious conviction, but on that day listening to openly atheist people, broadcasting, proud and free, I knew that it was my turn, my time to be out and to be honest.

I listened to the show for a while with sweaty hands, pounding heart of anticipation and anxiety, while that little voice of cultural norm said, “What if someone…

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Science, transcendence, and belief: commonalities in our neurology and psychology

5 Feb

Interesting article.

Statement form articles ~: “There are populations who spend their lives in deep meditation seeking transcendent phenomenon, a conversation with or a phone call from a god, and with these activities they are activating specialized neural pathways in their parietal lobes and interpreting it as supernatural or mystical. It’s probably pleasurable, making the activity more likely to be repeated.”


Transcendent experiences

As I’ve written about previously, belief in ideas may be innate aspect of our psychology and neurology, and this may be an evolutionary byproduct. To understand belief, understanding transcendent experiences is important, and a search on the internet will provide thousands of alleged supernatural encounters with god, Jesus, Vishnu, angels, and other related experiences. There are new research instruments and adapted old tools that allow investigation into these phenomenons, such as fMRI, nMRI, SPECT and PET scans, which allow cognitive researchers and neuroscientists to further elucidate these claims.

For example, the ancient Greeks called epilepsy the sacred disease because those afflicted frequently suffered with transcendent experiences during their auras and described their post ictal or after seizure period in mystical terms. Now of course, we understand the uncontrolled electrical spiking pattern that occurs on an EEG as resulting from epileptiform activity that gives rise to these altered states…

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