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#28922 - 12/24/08 01:22 PM Are we programmed to be generous, loving ...etc?
Revlgking Offline

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Moderators, why is there so little space to give a full title? Here is what I really want to ask:
Are we programmed--perhaps even self-programmed to be generous, loving, hopeful, religious, atheist, agnostic, cynical, etc.?

Yesterday (Dec 23) The CBC broadcast the following item
Gifts and Psychology

For many, 'tis the season to be panicking, elbowing your way through the malls in one last attempt at finding the perfect gift… or any gift… or whatever gift is left… for a friend or family member. But it turns out the reason we're willing to put ourselves through this ritual, year after year, isn't entirely selfless.

Take famously grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge as a case in point. He wakes up Christmas morning with a bright new zest for life. It seems that Scrooge's giddiness as he discovers the joys of giving… well… it might be addictive. At least according to psychologists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

A couple of years ago, Dr. Jordan Grafman http://intra.ninds.nih.gov/Lab.asp?Org_ID=83
and his team had volunteers play a computer game. The game would give the volunteers gifts. And, in turn, they were given the chance to donate to a charity. As they played the game, the researchers scanned their brains using a technique called "functional MRI".

Dr. Grafman is the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the Institute. He joined Anna Maria (host of The Current--a CBC morning show) from Bethesda, Maryland to explain what they found....

The story went on to tell how scientists, using a special kind of MRI brain scan, tapped into the brains reward system located in the most human part of the brain, the pre-frontal lobe--the unique human area most recently evolved.

They are able to uncover scientific data suggesting giving makes us feel good...it gets the cuddle chemical - oxytocin - firing in our brains. This makes us feel good.

Dr. Grafman said: "We found that people's reward system was highly activated when they donated money to good causes... obviously higher than when they just received money."..." We were surprised at the magnitude of this release of oxytocin ..." The host commented: "The Bible does tell us that it is "more blessed to give than to receive." ... He agreed and added,"This a rather exciting and interesting finding for us."

The he went on to explain that this has all kinds of social implications and what it means to be moral and ethical human beings (Religious? Spiritual?).

Oxytocin activity in the frontal lobe is always involved when it comes to things like:
mother love,
the sense of bonding with children,
with other people in the community,
the warm and fuzzy feeling we have with people we like,
the helping of good causes--such as charities, movements, churches in which we believe,
doing things that make us feel good.
Rewards, having to do with things like sex and food, are connected to deeper and more primitive areas of the brain.

There is, now, biological evidence that doing good things, about which we feel good, makes us feel good. It appears that altruism and cooperation, which builds community, is better than greed. By and large, we don't feel good when we are selfish and greedy.

To check out the research centre:

Edited by Revlgking (12/24/08 05:30 PM)
Edit Reason: Always needs it.

#28923 - 12/24/08 02:27 PM Re: Are we programmed to be generous, loving ...etc? [Re: Revlgking]

I'm not sure what you are trying to suggest here. In this particular controlled experiment the effects of suggestion imply that given a choice between two ideas the personality might lean to one or the other.
If the video game had been a game of war between the nazis and the Allied forces with the players deciding which side they wanted to play on, and with the intention of killing as many as possible of the enemy, could you suggest that humans are naturally born to kill in defense of moral principles?

Or are we easily influenced by conditioning to accept the identification of who we are as determined by psychological experimentation and human cataloguing?
The Milgram Experiment

Monday, December 14, 1998 4:57 AM

A while back Dateline had a special on the power of Authority.

They started the show by showing an old clip from Candid Camera. In this clip the victim of the show entered an elevator with about six other people in it. The funny thing was that the other six (who worked with Candid Camera) were told to face different directions at different times.

Normally when you are in an elevator you face the door, but this group all faced the inside panel with their backs toward the door. Even though this was very odd, the victim did not want to be different so he turned with his back toward the door. Then they showed several clips of the people in the elevator and every time the group turned, the victim turned with them.

It seemed kind of funny and I'm sure the Candid Camera audience got a good laugh out of it, but the reality behind this is the scariest human trait we possess. That is, most of mankind will follow the leader or group even if it makes no sense or if it goes against every moral teaching they have ever been taught.

The second part of the feature had an experiment done with college students. Again they had an unsuspecting victim participating with a group of about a half dozen that knew what was going on. The group was shown a set of four lines and of the four there were two of equal length. They were then asked to pick the two lines that were equal. They showed the lines on TV and it was obvious which two were the correct match.

The next thing they did was to have the planted students all give the same wrong match. Then when it became the victim's turn you could tell he began to doubt what his eyes and reasoning were telling him. Some of the victims gave the right answer for a round or two but one by one each victim gave in and started giving the wrong answer as the right answer, even though he knew within himself that it was wrong.

The interesting thing about watching their faces on TV was that they all looked a little depressed when they started knowingly giving the wrong answers as right answers. It was almost like the poor kids were selling their souls.

Finally they showed the most alarming experiment of all authority which was conducted by Stanley Milgram way back in the sixties.

Milgram was curious about how a group of apparently normal people like the Germans could have participated in the Nazi atrocities which was against every moral teaching that they ever believed in. Their excuse was always the same: "I was just following orders."

Below is a description of the experiment:

When the "teacher" asked whether increased shocks should be given he/she was verbally encouraged to continue. Sixty-five percent of the "teachers" obeyed orders to punish the learner to the very end of the 450-volt scale! No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts!

At times, the worried "teachers" questioned the experimenter, asking who was responsible for any harmful effects resulting from shocking the learner at such a high level. Upon receiving the answer that the experimenter assumed full responsibility, teachers seemed to accept the response and continue shocking, even though some were obviously extremely uncomfortable in doing so.

What was interesting about watching this on Dateline was that when the subject hit the high voltage the pretended victim screamed like crazy and even said he had a bad heart and that the experiment was killing him.

The subject then turned to the authority as if asking what to do and the authority told him to continue. If the subject seemed to doubt the authority told him that he would take responsibility.

Then the subject continued to shock the supposed victim past 300 volts until he went silent. This indicated the victim was either unconscious or dead. Still the subject did not cease. He continued to increase the voltage clear up to 450 which would mean that if the victim was not dead yet this would surely kill him.

The interesting thing is that if this was a real happening, the subject would not only have killed another human being which was against every teaching that he believed in, but he would have also been brought up on murder charges. It is scary that even that possibility did not deter the subject from following authority.

The funny thing about these experiments is that the scientists predicted that only one out of a thousand would follow an authority to shock up to 450 volts, but 65% went that far and 100% of the subjects went up to 300 volts, which is still enough to kill.

Thus we have a great example of the willingness to follow blind authority no matter what the consequences.

The interesting thing is that very few people know themselves well enough to know whether or not they would administer the 300 or more volts to an innocent brother. Most would think that they would never do such a thing, but are they right? Remember, 100% of those in the experiment yielded to the authority.

#28925 - 12/24/08 05:44 PM Re: Are we programmed to be generous, loving ...etc? [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Check out my latest edit to my first post.
Do I believe in the power of suggestion?

Of Course I do. But I also believe that the most powerful suggestion is the one we give to ourselves, and agree to accept as true. This is what I call the pneuma factor. Pneumatism trumps hypnotism, every time!
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org

#28926 - 12/24/08 06:34 PM Re: Are we programmed to be generous, loving ...etc? [Re: Revlgking]

Do I believe in the power of suggestion?

Of Course I do. But I also believe that the most powerful suggestion is the one we give to ourselves, and agree to accept as true. This is what I call the pneuma factor. Pneumatism trumps hypnotism, every time!

The fundamental beliefs of humanity have reflected superstition, suspicion, survival, hope, emotional dependence sometimes called love, fear, separation, susceptibility to disease or physical frailty, beauty in self prescribed levels of comprehension. etc. etc.
The foundation of self hypnosis is society, and and the social mores that suggest moral structures and the humans role in the universe as it is fine tuned by belief in religion, sciences and parental influences.
Those of authority who have already decided what and who we are, influences the mind from birth to some future moment when cognitive functioning begins to open itself to the personality and its own thoughts of "Who am I and how do I fit into this world?."
What we tell ourselves and how we apply that on top of the suggestions in programing do not replace the programs but alter them to fit together with the new and improved suggestion.
If one believes the world is a dangerous unfeeling place and we choose to be different we do not change the underlying reality of the belief in the vacuous world order of chaos and fear, we only decide for ourselves what we should do in the arena created from previous suggestions.
If the previous suggestions of reality are illusions of social beliefs and superstitions created through generations of suggestion and influence who then decides which reality is real?
Each generation in its quest to improve upon the failures of the generation before can only work within the influences of the box built by previous generations.
How does one escape the boxed suggestions of generational influence to discover what underlies all suggestions of reality and behavior conducive to creating hormonal secretions that are the byproduct of behaviors attached to good feelings?
Are we destined to act like hamsters and rats who are trained in behavioral patterns to release homones within the nervous system so we feel good regardless of the infinite potential of reality and the intellectual nature of what Humans are actually capable of achieving outside of the hamster cage designed to house the rodent mentality between birth and death?
Is the road paved with good feelings really the road to liberation from the boxes created in beliefs and opinions, or is it wishful thinking created from the rodent who just recognizes the difference between feeling good and feeling bad? Is that the best we can do as humans? To design our feelings?

Giving does create good feelings but then does it make you feel good to give to a vacuum or an empty social system that facilitates sloth and complacency? Social programs often attract those who take because they are themselves too lazy to create for themselves. A codependent social structure created to give to others so one can feel good about themselves often fails to enliven the capabilities of human potential within the vacuum of understanding and comprehension of what it is to be human.

Abraham maslow discovered that when the left and right hemispheres of the brain are coherently functioning it creates something similar to the "Peak experience" that people feel when they are filled with awe both emotionally and intellectually. Meditative practices that are effective enough to bring the mind into coherence without the hypnotic suggestions release the mind and the nervous system from suggestive programs bringing the nervous system to stillness and expanded awareness. The mind in pure stillness and cognitive awareness of itself without programs can begin to separate suggestion from the awareness to percieve awareness in its natural state. There the human intellect expands to become self aware of itself in everything and everyone. It no longer finds itself needing to feed the hand or the foot to try and make the whole body feel better. By filling the mind with pure potential all parts of the body achieve perfect health and psychological balance.

Psychology is one of the least succesful sciences when it comes to understanding the nature of humanity. It has a tendency to observe chemical reactions within the body and attempt with drugs to simulate hormonal activity to transmute moods of distress and fear.
Humanity as a whole, working collectively from beliefs based on generations of programmed thoughts or suggestions labeled, flagged, packaged with ribbons and flair by our authoritative sources have laid out for society the rules and the boundaries of who and what we are and are capable of.
Mindless suggestions, one after another from those with diplomas and doctorates designed by good intentions but without complete awareness and knowledge of reality is more like a dog teaching its puppies to be a dog than human potential releasing boundaries created by belief in the human mind so the mind can expand beyond suggestions of reality by those who haven't a clue.
Human hamsters teaching its children to be human hamsters doesn't release the human from being a hamster by programming. And the desire to rise beyond rodent consciousness is rarely achieved by anyone who doesn't have an experience of anything other than rodent consciousness. It will only have the ideas of rodent life to compare to anything that seems new or out of the box, and then decide to translate the unknown into rodent aware knowns.

#28954 - 12/27/08 04:57 PM Re: Are we programmed to be generous, loving ...et [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Check out my latest edit to my first post.
... Pneumatism--about coming to consciousness--trumps hypnotism, every time!
As, noted elsewhere, James Braid--who invented the word hypnosis (based on the Greek for sleep), in 1843--later admitted that 'hypnosis' was a misnomer. It really did not describe what he later discovered the phenomenon to be all about--our coming to consciousness. He wrote that he wanted to change the name to 'monoideism'--paying attention to one idea. He was more interested in waking people up to the power within them, not putting them to sleep (hypnos).

With the modern emphasis on the value of science, and its pursuit of provable knowledge, the ancients Gnostics would be very much at home in modern times. They put a great deal of the value of knowledge. Recent discoveries made by scholars regarding Gnosticism has given us a greater appreciation of the value of gnostic ideas. For them, knowledge--such as comes from spiritual insight--rather than faith, was the key to life's mysteries. I like to think of a sighted faith, not a blind one.

In the light of this, perhaps, instead of hypnosis, a good word for the process of reaching consciousness would be, 'autonosis'--a self-induced state of consciousness in which we are open to receive all the knowledge we need to be at-one-ment with GOD.

Edited by Revlgking (12/27/08 05:39 PM)
Edit Reason: It needed it!
G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org


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