The Human Mind
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In his book, The Human Mind: A Psychological View of Theological concepts, Dr. Kolb compares and contrasts the scientific understanding of the human mind with those in the Bible.
Welcome to this edition of Newsgram!
In the previous episode we talked about Dementia but today we are going to explore a different aspect of the mind and we will be keeping with our tradition on Newsgram of introducing you to interesting people leading their lives in interesting ways.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb has lived a difficult life paved with physical disability. His childhood dream was to become a professional athlete just like his father and brothers but a form Muscular Dystrophy — I’m just going to use the abbreviation FSH changed all that.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – I had to find a new way to keep myself active, occupied and still maintain my interest in psychology and also theology.
And that is the thing we are going to focus on today. If it’s two things that normally go together like oil and water it’s science and theology but Eric found some common ground.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – One day I was reading the verse where they asked Jesus what’s the most important rule and he says love the lord your God with all your heart, body, mind and soul and it just hit me in that moment cause i had just been reading something in Psychology that the human being is made up of these four components and each of these four components work together but there are many questions on how they work together and to which degree and lots of theories so I just dove into that from the scientific or psychological perspective but also being aware of the theology behind it realize, wow, this is one thing where the bible and science really seem to fit.
So he set out to compare and contrast the scientific understanding of the human mind with the teachings of the Bible and his findings are documented in his new book The Human Mind: A Psychological View of Theological concepts. According to Eric, In some cases, the two perspectives are very similar, and I think personally that the more we investigate this the more we discover that science tends to confirm scripture rather than contradict it.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – In the bible it says guard your heart for everything you do flows through it. Guard your mind for everything you think comes to be and that’s exactly what we find in science. Here I have a glass and I’m going to pick up this glass. My hand does that but how do I pick up a glass? I just think. I don’t activate the motor cortex. I don’t judge how many electrons need to fire or how many muscle cells need to be activated; the mind just does that. So we know that it’s our mind that controls our body but we don’t know how. They say that comes from the consciousness but the consciousness is not material. The brain is material. but science tells us that something immaterial cannot activate something material, except for the brain. It happens there and we don’t know why or how. What is consciousness? Are we just atoms? A lot of people would like to think so but even the people that are strictly materialists, there is only the body. The mind, the consciousness, the soul none of that exists there is only the body and that’s all we are…but no-one lives that way. Even if they don’t believe in God or spirits or anything above that. If they’re strictly atheist they still don’t behave as if they were because there is something more we just can’t put a finger on.
I’ve said it before. There is a lot going on out there and every time we think we have the answers we are faced with more questions. The best advice I can give is to keep your mind open and question everything. The answers will present themselves and more times than not we find that we are arguing about different versions of the same result.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – Both science and the bible are agreeing on the same thing. We are born to believe. I always say faith is blind but it doesn’t have to be ignorant. I mean some people can just read the bible and that’s it. That’s the truth. That’s all I want to know and all I believe to know and stop there. o.k. good. I like to read the bible. I’ve also read the Koran. I’ve read agnostic books and the more I know the more I understand the more it strengthens my beliefs.
He say’s both Christian Theology and scientific psychology agree that our beliefs are how we perceive reality and that we choose what we want to believe. That being said, our core beliefs serve as the foundation on which our mind develops and in his book he outlines the various developmental processes of the human mind. Beginning with what he calls the blank slate.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – When we are born we’re kind of like a new iPhone out of the box. It’s got everything in there that needs to work but I haven’t programmed anything into it yet. It used to be that we would think any child can be anything at any time and as a behaviorist I work with children to mold their behavior and teach them and make them reach their potential, whatever that is. Without knowing what that is and there other people who say don’t even bother because it’s all in the DNA. I’m actually a perfect example that my father was a professional football player, American football player and I did sports like crazy. I have been training for the the olympics since I was six years old and well on my way to becoming a professional athlete but the DNA said nope, not gonna happen. You have Muscular Dystrophy. So all that training wasn’t going to make me an athlete but that’s where I learned how to work hard. That’s where I learned how to just set a goal and do it and that’s what made me be able to continue living with Muscular Dystrophy and say o.k. If I can’t work out my body I’m going to work out my brain and achieve all I can with that and make that as strong as possible.
So is our destiny preordained or is it influenced by our surroundings. I guess it depends on whether or not you believe the soul lives on outside the body or not. What is consciousness? It’s a lot to think about and in his book Eric doesn’t claim to have all the answers but he does his best to give you as many facts as he can to support the argument that we are all saying the same thing so it’s not all one thing or another it’s actually a combination of both.
Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb – I’m not writing this to bring people to God. It’s more about opening a discussion to say this is what we have in science. This is what we have in the bible. Look, people, it’s not that much different. Look at it, weigh out the facts and make your decision because belief is a choice. We choose to believe what we want to and then find the evidence to support that belief. That goes for me as well but I’m aware of that. I point it out the whole time and say, here are the studies where I get this information. look at them. Go to the data yourself and see what you think.
We’ve given you quite a lot of information in this show today but I want to leave you with this quote from his book. He says “…people have opinions about everything; some are strong and important, others are less important, but everything anyone believes about anything and in any way will influence how they perceive the world” It’s hard to argue with that.
Was it your destiny to click on this episode or just your curiosity of what was beyond the title. I don’t know but if we’ve fanned those flames of curiosity then have a look at the book The Human Mind: A Psychological View of Theological Concepts by Dr. Eric Joseph Kolb. You can download a free sample of the book from Academia.edu or just go to his website to learn all about him and his work. It’s EricJKolb.com There are links to those sites as well as many others in the show’s description. And that will do it for this edition of Newsgram from Webtalkradio.com.
I would also encourage you to check out the video with JT Crowley on the Talking Books show which you can find at Webtalkradio.com or the Books on air podcast with Suzanne Harris.