Feedback and Notes

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

I hope you do, if you claim you can think!

I sure do have voices in my head. I have this constant internal conversation between ideas when I'm actively thinking, like when solving a problem, or planning a meal or a trip, or writing this. Most are in my own voice but sometimes when I think stuff my mom would have told me, I hear it in her voice, same with ideas from my dad, a teacher, or a friend. Nothing weird, very 'organic', that would be expected from an analog wetware machine like the brain. 

The problem is that some people mistake those external-sounding voices for thoughts that are not theirs. Research shows that about 5% of us are afflicted with that brain disorder. There's an interesting experiment where subjects are recorded, the pitch of their voice is lowered and played back to them. Most can identify themselves but some absolutely can't, with a very definite spike in the ratio of identification errors in people with the problem.

Now think of this in the context of religions. All those prophets, saints, mystics, preachers and gurus, the 'spiritual elite' that has plagued civilizations for ever, would have been suffering from this brain malfunction?

Jesus, convinced that it's Yahweh talking to him, Peter, convinced he's hearing Jesus' voice, Pat Robertson's claim that he knows what God's thinking... Perhaps genetics will explain the Westboro Baptist Church. 

Very interesting talk from Radiolab on the science of thinking.

(Sorry, can't embed)

From the silent words of a child forming her first thought, to the inner heckler that taunts you when the pressure's on, a look at how the voices in our heads shape us -- for better and for worse.

Views: 288

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I thought that was the case for some time and wonder if something similar causes people to believe in gods and other superstition.

Well yes of course my brain never seems to shut up, do I hear other voices well no. I think history has done a great job in altering reality for the sake of their own agenda, for instance Joan of Arc.

Obviously she was schizophrenic and we have no idea what abuse she had as a child yet her voices allowed a King to use her when necessary. Now she is a freaking Saint lol.


© 2018   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service