Biological Components of religion.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by supernova_smash, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. supernova_smash Registered Senior Member

    Reader's Digest recently (Feburary maybe) had an interesting article about the biological aspect of religion called "Quest for the Divine". It talked about a neurotheologist who has been monitoring areas of brain activity in relation to spiritual stimuli/experience. The scientist studied Tibeten Monks in meditation and nuns deep in prayer and used SCAT imaging to show neurological activity in the lobes of the brain.

    During these times of deep spiritual reflection, it was noticed that sensory information practically stopped flowing into an area of the parietal lobe whose function is to separate the physical self from the surroudning environment. Sensory information is what allows the brain to make this separation; when sensory information isn't being relayed to this part of the brain, the individual experiences, in a sense, a separation from worldly reality. This is the feeling that most religions see as the "connection" to the divine.

    At least that's what I got from the article.

    Anyway, the article poses made me start to think: why does this happen? There are two possobilities as far as I can tell.

    One is that when God was creating us he purposely wired our brains so that we could have that connected feeling. Seriously consider this for a minute. Maybe it shows that there is some higher being that is trying to give hope or a "taste" of heaven...

    The other is that religion is nothing more than a by-product of the human brain. Maybe, as humans were evolving, evolution decided that humans had a better chance at survival if we were equipped with a device that enabled us for one moment to allow us to feel separated from the world (and our troubles) simply to relieve stress. We know that stress can end up shortening your life (heart etc.), so is this the most probable answer?

    Personally, I have to agree with the second idea. What do you all think?

    If argued forcibly, I think this idea could be in favor of the believer's argument OR non-believers. Be careful with it

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    Oh, and I just had some Mountain Dew and it tasted really good even though I usually hate pop. On a side note, what does everyone think of the band Incubus? Personally I love them. Cya.

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