None of this sways from the fact of how one can consider someone brilliant while at the same time they believe in things that don't exist.
Regardless how much they care for their fellow featherless bipeds.
You're right. This is what was in my mind at the time I wrote that; for instance, I'm currently in dialogue with a couple of Christians who are retired chemists for the world's largest chemical manufacturing plant. If it were not for their work, we would not be feeding the world's population to the degree we are currently. Despite having, what I consider, unreasonable presuppositions in their worldview, they are incredibly intelligent people. There are Christians on this forum that work in the STEM fields that understand things about the cosmos that I may never know. Another guy I talk with regularly is a biologist who works in an accredited lab. These people are not stupid. 7% of the world's elite scientists (those that account for most of the progress in their fields) believe in a god.
While I am slowly moving away from dualist tendencies, I will admit this should not be a reason for disbelief. It is an ancient Semitic belief to be anti-dualist (and some people have seen the Scriptures as this), and there are ancient Semitic Christian expressions of faith in Orthodoxy, like St. Ephrem the Syrian that may corroborate with your anthropological concerns. Nevertheless, I also have to say that these experiments do not necessarily prove or disprove a dualistic anthropology either. So I will disagree with how you interpret these scientific experiments in the brain. I don't disagree with your metaphysics though, and I don't think the internal proof of religious experiences necessarily disprove the internal and external deity who "in Him we live and move and have our being."
May the Lord strengthen you and enlighten you in His grace.
Thank you for your explanation. I certainly did not intend to insult.
Your interpretation of the mind / body distinction is the same that I had before giving up my faith. I was a palamite panentheist, and I believe the teachings of the Church express this. The problem of the mind / body distinction is not the cause of my loss of faith, but I'm afraid I may have made it sound as though that were the case in light of your reply. There are loads of reasons why I gave up trying to believe. I would offer them here, but I am not interested in reading through the same old apologetics that I would, no doubt, get as a reply from folks on this forum. When people hear my reasons for no longer believing, they think they have something to offer that I've not already considered. I didn't stop "listening" for God; I'm still very much open to the idea of a god, but this is not the best format for discussions like that. I now have these conversations face to face or over Skype or Google Hangout.
Thanks for the reply, and I appreciate your kind words.
Question to Michael SN, and other atheists or agnostics: Do you think that you have such things as a soul and free will?
I say 'no' on both accounts. We may have some freedom of choice, but the current definition of free will does not fit with what we know is occurring inside the brain. There are some very simple thought exercises that demonstrate this. Making known that you hold this position almost always requires a discussion about how people, who cause harm to themselves or others, ought to be treated or punished for their acts if they do not have a free will. I can also hear the gears turning in some people's heads, "your worldview cannot account for what is wrong / right!"
These are great discussions to have, but I won't have them here. I am more than willing to discuss these things in person, on Google Hangouts, or Skype if someone is actually interested in an atheist's perspective on these issues. Suffice it to say that I can account for objective morality and why people should be punished for harming others despite their lack of free will. I'm not accusing anyone here of this, but a lot of times it is assumed that I've not considered these things.
I'll probably check back with the forum once more to get more people's email addresses, but I won't be checking back here in the thread.
Thanks again, gals/guys. Best of luck to you folks!