Systematic Political Science

The Relationship of Virtue Theory's Fides (fMRI) Neuroscience With Panopticon and Midrash of Time in Theology and Political Medical Care

Dallas F. Bell, Jr.

Virtue theory emphasizes the character of a moral agent (a being that has the freewill to choose courses of action) in relation to Natural Laws (NL) in ethics, such as to not lie, to not steal, to not murder, etc. Any virtue must be universal for all beings. For example, all humans exhibit faith inter alia (e.g. people expect the sun to rise each morning etc.) which when acted upon (make concrete plans) in advance demonstrate the virtue of trust. Trust is a decision based on perceived truth.

Trust is a belief in the reliability of something by faith that that something is trustworthy. The infinite Creator of all things (cause and effects) would not need faith or trust in that He knows all things. Trust is from a finite intellect toward the infinite Creator or not. Since the Creator or God is immutable, He only is perfectly trustworthy. Finite beings can elicit trust from other finite beings by demonstrating a behavioral arc of coherence to NL.

Fides can mean trust in an active sense or trustworthiness. The denotative (literal) meaning of trust is to be reliable. The connotative (associative) meaning of trust is well being or eudaimonia. Mauricio Delgado is the principal investigator of the Delgado Lab for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Rutgers University. He explains that it is difficult to disentangle the types of factors of neural signals of intent to trust from general overall feelings of happiness. His interpretation of data is that it serves as a learning signal where reputation is acquired and the intent to trust is actually a learned representation of a potential reward. Is that happiness or just realization that a potentially beneficial outcome happens if interaction with this individual takes place? We can certainly postulate and hypothesize various things but Delgado doesn't believe that design can address that type of question. (The above explanation by Mauricio Delgado was made in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.) (Joseph Hornak, a professor of chemistry and imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Director of the Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, expressed similar concerns regarding specific fMRI signals in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.)

Colin F. Camerer, a professor of behavioral economics at Caltech, recommends his 2003 book titled "Behavioral Game Theory" to address the language of trust. (Colin Camerer recommended his book in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.) Camerer's book defines trust by saying a person trusts another person if they would loan money to that person who doesn't have to pay them back but might feel obligated to do so. If they pay the money back, they are trustworthy. That definition can add measurement of trust, and has been used in experiments in Bulgaria, South Africa, and Kenya.

It is imperative for researchers to be familiar with brain structures. This information can be found in a whole brain atlas. (See references) It is also crucial to have an understanding of MRI. (See references) The human body is composed of water molecules that have two hydrogen nuclei (protons). When the brain is scanned by the magnetic field, the magnetic moments of the protons align with the direction of the field. A magnetic moment is the measure of a magnitude and direction of a system's magnetism. When the radio frequency electromagnetic field is briefly turned on, the protons are caused to alter their alignment relative to the field until the field is turned off. The position of protons can be determined by applying additional magnetic fields which allow the building of an image.

Camerer et al used a multiround version of an economic exchange (trust game) to show that reciprocity expressed by one player strongly predicts future trust expressed by their partner. This behavioral finding was mirrored by neural responses in the dorsal striatum. Brain analysis revealed two signals--one encoded by response magnitude and one by response timing. Response magnitude correlated to the intention to trust on the next play and the peak of intent to trust responses shifted its time by 14 seconds as player reputation developed. That fMRI data broadened the functional view of the dorsal striatum.

The neuroscience of another economic game study showed the extent to which a player trusted another with their money depended on the recent history of the exchange. If the investor increased the contribution to a trustee immediately following a round in which the trustee had reduced payback, the trustee generally rewarded this perceived benevolence reciprocity with greater return the next round. But if an investor demonstrated malevolent reciprocity by repaying generosity with stinginess, the trustee usually returned less the next time. Scans by researchers found that the trustee's brain activity in the caudate nucleus was greatest when the investor showed benevolence and was most subdued when the investor showed malevolence. The caudate activity rose and fell with changes in the amount of money trustees returned to their investor on the subsequent round of play.

When exposed to a perceived expert and an object, a recent study showed that long-lasting positive effects on memory toward the object occurred. The fMRI showed associations with distributed left-lateralized brain activity in the prefrontal and temporal cortices. Memory formation effects were enhanced in the medial temporal lobe (hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus). The caudate nucleus for trustful behavioral was also effected. Experience shows that children that have been regularly exposed to being lied to can be expected to not trust other people and to not develop the need to be truthful or trustworthy themselves.

Trust is needed for higher societal levels (from Q3 to Q1). People are not to trust their hearts (Prov. 28:26), weapons (Ps. 44:6), wealth (Ps. 49:6-7; Prov. 11:28; Luke 16:11), leaders (Ps. 146:3; Jere. 17:5), works (Jere. 48:7), self righteousness (Eze. 33:13), or wickedness (Is. 47:10-15). People are to trust the Lord (Is.26:3-4), God's name (Ps. 33:21), God's Word (Ps. 119:42), and Christ (Matt. 12:17-21). The benefits of this trust is joy (Ps. 5:11), deliverance (Ps. 22:4-5), triumph (Ps. 25:2-3), goodness (Ps. 31:19), mercy (Ps. 32:10), provision (Ps. 37:3-5), blessings (Ps. 40:4), safety (Ps. 56:4, 11; 91; Prov. 29:25; Luke 12:4), usefulness (Ps. 73:28), guidance (Prov. 3:5-6), inheritance (Is. 57:13), and happiness (Prov. 16:20). Trust among friends requires reinforcement and verification with humility (Prov. 6:1-3).

In 1861, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase directed the U.S. mint to make a motto for the U.S. money that reflected "In God We Trust." Chase wrote that "No nation can be strong except in God's strength, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on ours coins." Chase's letter was a response to the Episcopal minister M.R. Watkinson's letter he received that such a motto "...would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism." The heathen continue doing what they do by resisting trust in God. Heathens are nonbelievers which are superstitious (Deut. 18:14), ignorant of God (Rom. 1:21), without law (Rom. 2:14), are wicked (Rom. 1:23-32), idolatrous (I Cor. 12:2), are without Christ (Eph. 2:12), and are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1). They can be converted (Is. 60:1-14; Acts 28:25-29) and become heirs (Eph. 3:6).

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was a developer of the welfare state also called wealth redistribution from the rightful producers to the non-producers. He wanted the separation of church and state, critiqued the death penalty, and sought the decriminalization of homosexual acts. He proposed the concept of panopticon. This idea for prisons was that observers (-opticon) could view all prisoners (pan-) at all times. That atmosphere of omniscience would deter undesired behaviors. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is Associate Professor and director of the Information & Innovation Policy Research Center at the LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He says that Bentham saw himself as a reformer and that Michel Foucault's "Crime and Punishment" offers a nuanced view. (Viktor Mayer-Schönberger's input was extracted from an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.)

Foucault (1926-1984) was an atheist who took LSD and supported the revolutionary government of Iran in 1979 before dying of AIDS. He expanded the panopticon principle from prisons to society. He suggested that a "carceral continuum" runs through modern society. All people are connected by the supervision of some people by others. Today, Tennessee law allows and encourages citizens to report littering to law enforcement officials without proof or the ability of the accused to face their accuser(s). Tennessee policy is for government officials to immediately send an accusatory letter to the accused.

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), pen named George Orwell, wrote of the panopticon society in 1948 (published in 1949) titled "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Convicted of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and for perjury in 1950, U.S. citizen Alger Hiss (1904-1996) helped establish the United Nations. He served as the secretary-general of the UN Conference on International Organization (the UN Charter Conference) in San Francisco in 1945. It can be inferred that this expert (Hiss) and the object ( the UN Charter) are both perceived as untrustworthy in the long-term memory of informed persons.

In God's omniscient dimension, He sees all things and time simultaneously. That panopticon can be understood by space and time as being bent in shape. A thousand years is as a day with God (Ps. 90:4; II Peter 3:8). Time is a linear succession of moments but could reasonably be bent by the force from God's dimension of heaven and hell. Time would not be a construct.

Shahn Majid (b. 1960) is professor of mathematical sciences at Queen Mary University of London and author of the book "On Space and Time." He allows for the possibility that time is a kind of construct and time not exactly bending to causation but is related to what one means by causation and by what one means by geometry. (Shahn Majid's comments were taken from an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.) Majid explains that if one subscribes to quantum spaces, one will be forced to invent time. So not only is one forced to invent time, one's original space variables only obey an equation which in the limits of ordinary space (i.e. as one removes gravity effects) becomes Schröedinger's wave equation.

The process of Jesus' Second Coming of seven years begins with believers rising to meet Him in the air. This could be explained by time being bent. Midrash (Hebrew; to investigate or study) is a homiletic method of Bible exegesis and is often used to refer to the whole of biblical teaching. Midrash is used to fill in the logic gaps of the biblical text regarding personalities and events, such as time conflicts. Alvin Plantinga, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, would say that not everyone has sufficient knowledge to speculate on Christian theology and time/space theory. (Alvin Plantinga's, developer of the concept that belief in God is "properly basic", sentiments were expressed in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009.)

It has been said that the collapsing wave function allows for physics to distinguish between past and future, between the realm of fact and that of possibility. However, the moment of now and the boundary between chosen facts and possibility still to be chosen remain undefined.

The midrash of time and theology can be seen by the behavior during these last days by the resistance to compliance with NL and the restriction of freedoms by government. Lord Christopher Monckton (b. 1952), Viscount of Brenchley and former policy advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, points out that Edmund Burke said about the time of the French Revolution that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. There are always people who would like to make us less free. (The statement by Lord Monckton was made in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in January, 2010.)

David Bell, Dean of the Faculty of KSAS and professor in the humanities at Johns Hopkins University, wrote that the French Revolutionary period (1789-1799) arose both out of and reaction to Christianity. The revolutionary thieves raped and used a committee to murder people they disliked and to attempt to de-Christianize France. They replaced B.C. with the revolutionary time. After their atheist's problems of not having something to worship, they adopted the goddess of wheat to replace the infinite God. When the French people were hungry, the elites used the economic troubles and aberrant weather conditions to attempt to eliminate Christianity, change social institutions and change human behavior. China and Russia had a similar series of revolutions in the last century. Advanced communication technology between average people now allow for truth to quickly refute manipulation attempts and should then be expected to have that empowering technology suppressed by elites.

Anton Chekhov's last play, "The Cherry Orchard", describes the futility of the aristocrats to hold to their wealth by slavery due to their lack of applied ingenuity and skill. Vishal Mangalwadi (b. 1949) wrote "Truth and Transformation." He recalls the scripture where Jesus tells of people that were given talents and gifts by God. Some doubled their talents and gifts and were told well done by God, as well as were given more talents and gifts. One person did not increase their talents and gifts and was called wicked and slothful and the talents and gifts were taken away and the person was cast into darkness by God (Matt. 25:14-46; Luke 19:12-27). The implication is that God has given all people talents and gifts to use to meet their needs (Prov. 6:6-11). The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise (Prov. 15:31).

If someone cannot produce their family is to care for their needs and if they have no family the church is to care for their needs (I Tim. 5:16). People that expect to receive without producing (slavery) are pernicious and are not in compliance with NL. Those self-righteous thieves are socially unjust and, ironically, are calling Jesus a liar and unjust. Whether poor or wealthy they cannot be trusted (I Tim. 5:8). Elites often communicate about non-elites emblematic of primatologists relating to another species, such as apes. World elite's globalization efforts are beyond a desire for power. They need to self-actualize.

Unfortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not yet collect distal determinates of health, such as beliefs and values, because it is harder to apply quantitative methods for estimating attributable fractions due to multicausation, confounding, and complexity of the causal web of determinates. (The preceding practices by the WHO were explained by Colin D. Mathers, coordinator of MBD, HIS, and IER at the WHO in an email exchange with Dallas f. Bell Jr. in December, 2009. Gretchen A Stevens also provided additional input during an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in December, 2009. Special thanks to Margaret Chan Fung, Director-General of the WHO, for facilitating these email exchanges during December, 2009.)

In conclusion, William Shakespeare wrote in Act 1, Scene 1 of " All's Well That Ends Well" the following. "Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed the father in manners, as in shape! Thy blood and virtue contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy rather in power than use, and keep thy friend under thy own life's key: be cheque'd for silence, but never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will, that thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down, fall on thy head!"


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