Evidence about God and the supernatural

The existence of God and the existence of life in the hereafter cannot
be absolutely prov
ed or disproved
, however widespread God belief is evident.
There is no physical evidence of the continuation of existence after death. 
Also, if there is an hereafter, no one knows anything about it, including 
religious figures (and their books) --
they are only guessing.

The widespread God belief indicates that... there must be some basis for it 
-- as explained in part (3) below.  

Adding to the fact that there is no absolute proof or disproof of the 
existence of God, there is also no absolute proof or disproof of the 
existence of Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, fairies, angels, leprechauns, 
devil, evil spirit, ghosts, a soul, Holy Ghost, sprites, elves, Heaven,  Zeus, Marduk, Thoth, etc.

(1) For 150 years or so there has been intense research for the supernatural 
and related psychic phenomena.  Not a shred of reliable evidence for the 
existence of the supernatural or related things have been found.  It can be 
confidently concluded that there is no supernatural realm and that there exist 
no psychic activities such as telepathy, ESP, channeling,  and other claimed processes.  
All things and activities in existence are natural.  This does not mean that 
research to find possible evidence of the supernatural should be stopped, 
but it will likely confirm that there is none.

(2) There is no evidence of the supernatural including a supernatural God and 
other supernatural entities.  Separate from the negative research results, there are
other strong indication that there is no supernatural God or any other kind of 
Universal God.  A couple of the indications:
e.g.1 The way the universe is, indicates no personal external God.
The suffering, pain and inefficiencies of all of so called "God's Perfect Creation" 
shows there exists no external personal God.  (Two quick examples of inefficiencies - 
(a) in humans some of the DNA code is useful, a lot of it is repetitive nonsense. 
In other animals and plants the useful % is higher; (b) the chaos and violence 
in the heavens - e.g. galaxies colliding).
e.g.2 The book "Atheism, The Case Against God" by George H. Smith ISBN 0-87975-124-X
Prometheus Books, gives many more conclusive reasons why there cannot be a supernatural God.

The wonders of nature from the scientific and aesthetic views; and the wonders of 
our imaginations to think up all kinds of fictions are even more interesting and 
fascinating when you consider that the only true reality is the natural. 
The actual belief in a supernatural realm detracts from these wonders.

(3) BUT, it is obviously evident that many people, in almost all cultures believe, 
talk to, etc. a God.   Since there is no supernatural realm; this indicates the 
God of a person resides in his brain and is a product of his/her genetics and 
the culture in which the person lives and his life experiences.
The God that is part of the brain is a personal, internal entity.  The strength of the 
God part of the genetic makeup of  a person probably varies in degree and may 
even be missing in some people. So, the need for "spirituality" and religion, generally,
probably varies similarly.

This personal God most likely dies when the person dies since it is part of the brain.  
Some recent studies indicate there could be a God module as part of the hardwiring of 
the brain.
  Further brain and DNA research is needed here.

In his book "Can We Be Good Without God? Behaviour, Belonging and the Need to Believe."  Dr. Robert Buckman describes how brain research shows that the supernatural 
experiences in the brain occur in the right temporal lobe, which is more easily activated in some people.
This study (neuroscience) is still in it's infancy, but is progressing rapidly.

(4) Since a supernatural God does not exist out there,  the God that a person invokes is
not likely the creator of  anything out there, e.g. the universe, as some say.  This God is
part of the person's brain.  Anyway, the existence of the universe, the way it is, 
does not require a separate creator (even with fine tuned universal constants).

People sometimes try to convince themselves and others that their 
God is universal and not just their own personal God in their brain that will likely cease 
after their death.  They claim that theirs is the Creator of the Universe.
There are even people that try to impose their personal God on others -- a potentially 
very dangerous "to others" activity.

(5) This personal God is a part of the brain that a person is able to 
talk to (pray to), discuss, thank, glorify, praise, etc. as he practices his religion.  

Essentially the person is talking to himself.  Talking to oneself can be beneficial 
despite what people often think
The complexity of the brain allows for some amazing things.
In solving problems I find often when I have a problem in computer programming,
in Math, in every day relationships, etc. that seems insolvable I leave it, do some other activities --
after an hour, sometimes a night, sometimes even days, weeks and months, or in the 
middle of the night a solution or another productive idea seems to pop into my head. 
This is what people sometimes call a "revelation" or an insight.  
Our brain works in the background.  There are other parts of the brain working that
we are not aware of.

Revelations and Insights (also hallucinations) come when the brain works in the
background using what is available such as past experiences, knowledge, 
the picture of reality that the brain has.  In spite of what some people insist 
Revelations and insights are always private, and may be useful to the person that has them.
They are not from some divine entity beyond themselves.

It is important to realize that the insights, ideas, etc. that the background brain provides 
must still be evaluated critically by your conscious part of the brain.  Just because 
you have an insight or "revelation" does not mean it is reliable or appropriate for your situation..

The mind is a phenomenon of the brain.  The condition of the mind depends on the 
condition of the brain and the rest of the body as shown by the effects of many 
health conditions such as Alzheimer's, and by the effects of drugs, and other factors.

Talking to yourself or your personal "the inside you God" can be beneficial in order to view
various perspectives in problem solving,  to give self confidence, etc.  However,
talking to yourself (or praying to your personal god ) in public for others to hear 
indicates you are attempting to control others and seems presumptuous!  Jesus
had the right idea here.

(6) Through the Darwinian evolution of the human animal these brain processes must have 
been advantageous to survival.  Natural selection must have favored the development of
 this part of the brain.  
I would suggest that the "God" part of the brain varies substantially from one person to another.  
Do animals have this part of the brain too? 
Again topics of research.  

We tend to use all the brain, conscious and unconscious..  However, as mentioned in
section (5) above,  the unconscious part of the brain seems to be working in the background all the time.
This can easily be tested.

(7) A person's personal God: Anthropological and Sociological evidence indicates 
that attributes of this internal, personal God (or whatever you call it) can be 
very much influenced by society.  
Influenced very strongly in some cases by the group (religious congregation) or community 
in which the person lives.  Even in the same religious group (congregation) each 
person's God is different than each other person's.  In different
cultures in a society and in other societies (past and present) the God's of the people
are vastly different.  Even in people that claim to be Christian, their Gods are often 
irreconcilable with each other.  

A persons personality is also reflected in the God he believes exists.

The attributes of a personal God can change with time and experience. 
From the description of their God people often show sexual overtones in the 
person's relationship with this personal God.

You often see people use symbols, statues, rituals, and other paraphernalia 
to externalize their personal God, often to convince themselves and others that their 
God is universal and not just their own God..  A potentially very dangerous "to others" activity.

Many religions, including Christianity (or Trinitarianism), have more than one God.  In these cases 
there is one or are just a few of the Gods that are favorites and personal to the believer.

The study of man's creativity in producing religions and Gods and other "divine" entities,
 now and in the past, is fascinating.
This study is fascinating from the human evolutionary perspective, historical perspective, and the sociological/psychological perspective.

(8) "Good" ethical and moral values, are not dependent on God belief.  Studies indicate 
people that have God beliefs are no more moral or ethical in practice than atheists.  
Also see Humanist principles

(9) Controlling an individual's own God's attributes can give others immense power over that
individual.  Religious groups and societal groups are often anxious and even make it their 
duty to control this part of an individual's brain, the God part.  If someone claims 
to be conversing with a different God (that is part of his brain), he/she is sometimes said to be 
conversing with the devil or some other dark and evil force.  Again, a control technique.

The question is (if you call this part of your brain, God) do you or does someone else, 
or some book determine what your God is like or how you use it?  It seems people
naturally use this aspect of the brain without a religious connotation -- should you allow
a religious connotation be associated with it?  I would suggest it is not necessary.
Is it a companion to help you or is that part of your brain an externally imposed 
entity that is controlled by other people?  Is it to be used by you or are you letting 
someone else use it to control part of you?

The December, 1999 issue of the Scientific American was exceptional. One article written by Antonio Damasio (a Neuroscientist) was really interesting. I borrowed 2 of the books written by Mr. Damasio from the Public Library:
(1) Descartes' Error - Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain (153.43 Dam in the library) ISBN 0-399-13894-3. 1994 book - quite technical
(2) The Feeling of What Happens (153 Dam) ISBN 0-15-100369-6. 1999 book

In these books he presents brain research on emotions, feelings, reason, consciousness, mind, and the self. Neuroscience is making great strides in understanding these. Well worth reading whenever you find time.

What are the absolutes in the universe?

Pascal's Wager in reverse:

You can't lose if you do not have a belief in an external God.  You can be free to be honest in your view of the world and be your human ethical self without guilt, fear, or externally imposed religious burdens to lessen your happiness.

AND:  if there is an external God and this God is fair, then being true to yourself and honest with the evidence of your conclusions, there is nothing to fear or be guilty of.

Again, an excellent book: "Can We Be Good Without God? Behaviour, Belonging and the Need to Believe." by Dr. Robert Buckman, 2000, Penguin Books of Canada Ltd., ISBN 0-670-89222-X
Don't be fooled!  There are other books by the same title -- by other authors!

Return to Homepage