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Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 04 May 2010 12:00 am

A problem with the religious mind – it shuts off

Imagine having a brain that disables its own skepticism and vigilance circuits. That is what some religious people have:

Brain shuts off in response to healer’s prayer

The basic set up is to take a group of rational people and a group of devout believers. You play recorded prayers for both groups, and tell the groups that some of the prayers are being spoken by someone “possessing divine healing powers”, while the others are being read by those less endowed. In fact, there is no difference in the people reading the prayers. The result:

Only in the devout volunteers did the brain activity monitored by the researchers change in response to the prayers. Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated when the subjects listened to a supposed healer.

Conclusion: if you have a group of devout believers, their leader can say anything and they will believe it, because they have deactivated the part of the brain that would catch lies an nonsense.

Does this same effect apply to Rush Limbaugh? That would explain a lot.

5 Responses to “A problem with the religious mind – it shuts off”

  1. on 05 May 2010 at 4:46 am 1.mental state said …

    This experiment is completely biased and filled with false allegations. The deactivation of the brain could occur in a classroom, at a museum, or practically at any learning session or facility. Not only through a group of “devout believers”.

    When a deactivation of the brain occurs its usually because the concentration of the activity is causing other sections of the brain to shut down. For example, when play a sport, you will not be worrying about Friday’s Math exam in the middle of a high school basketball game.

  2. on 05 May 2010 at 9:49 am 2.heath said …

    hi everyone, you are seeking the answer to all 10 questions? well here are my 10..

    question 1: God has the power to do so, there is the miracle of Jesus healing the man with the cripled hand in the synagoge on the sabath infront of the pharasies. the reason why you dont see this happening today is because we are not God. we dont not have the power or authority to ask or pray to God, tell him to heal an amputee and expect it to be done. lets take this into a new situation, suppose the president of the United States was accused of murder. he goes on trial, the prosecution cannot find any clear evidence to say that he commited the murder. on the other hand the defense attorny has evidence proving his innocence. and then i walk into the courtroom and demand that the judge should convict him of murder. what authority do i have? same with God, we pray and ask for healing to be done according to his will not our own. even Jesus prayed like that.

    question 2: yes God is a God of mercy and love and you would think it to be cruel to be depriving children of food. but yet are these children seeking God for help? or are they seeking man or false idols? the bible says seek first the kingdom of heaven and God will provide. also i can think of a passage in the bible where Moses prayed to God asking for the rain to stop. and it did for 7 years and drought swept through the land and people starved. then Moses prayed again for the rain to come and it rained. now am i saying that this is the reason? no, what im saying is that it is Gods will for this to happen. that in the long run somehting good will come of this. we just have to wait and see.

    question 3: first off all of these verses that you quoted are found in the old testiment, where as these were laws under the book of moses. and death was the punishment for breakin those laws in that era, just as we have the death penalty now for breakin some of our laws. those laws found in the book of moses are no longer in role today because when Jesus died on the cross and rose to heaven he created a new covenant with man, where Jesus is the mediator between heaven and earth. that is why christians no long offer up sacrifices.

    question 4: my answer to this question is simple but long. it does not say anywhere in the bible that science and technology are bad, that we should not use technology. now creationism vs. big bang theory. science today cannot prove that the big bang thoery happened or that creationism happend either. if they could prove the big bang theory… well it wouldnt be considered a theory now would it? what we do know is that if the big bang theory did happen there is a certain probability that had to take place in order for life on earth to exist. there are 10 factors or conditions that have to be perfect: 1) the angle of the earth in relation to the sun is 23 degrees. 2) the wobble up of the axis must be < 3 degrees or else the earth would be solid ice. 3) the wobble down of the axis much be 90 maunscripts of old testiment books including 5 copies of the Pentateuch, 13 copies of deuteronomy, 12 copies of Isiah, 10 copies of Psalms, 7 copes of the 12 prophets, and every other book except for Esther. and other 20th centry discoveries like John Ryland’s manuscript from 130 AD, Chester Beatty’s Papyri II from 155 AD, and Bodmer Papyri II from 200 AD all prove that the new testiment is accurate and was wirtten by a baptized jew between 40-95 AD who had the original texts in hand.

    Question 8: once again Jesus is God not me, i cannot demand him to show himself to me or give me some kind of sign. but what i do know is that i have expierenced Jesus before. it is impossible for me to put into words what i feel, and how i felt when i accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior but what i can say is that either on judgement day, the day you die, or the day you realize your need for a savior and come to Jesus, you will expierence him. you will have that encounter that you are asking for.

    question 9: when Jesus said this during the last supper they did not literally eat his flesh and dring his blood. it was a symbolism to the bread and wine. a symbolism meaning that as christians we are called to be like that of Christ. we are called to follow him, and when we choose to follow him we will follow him to death, even death on a cross. also, you can not tell me that you have never used symbolism in you own life. on your birthdays as a child did you not have a birthday cake? if so that cake was a symbolism to another year of life or a symbolism of your birth.

    question 10: this is a good question. to answer i will have to say that christians are not supposed to divorce. that is not the way God intended for it to happen, but God did not intend for sin to enter the world but it did. and the world is full of sin today, and this is yet another sin. but what i can say is that not all chirstians divorce. my parents. grandparents and aunts and uncles are all together still.

    anyways i hope this helps, and if it doesnt then im sorry. but i do know that one day you will have ur expierence with God i hope it is before you go to hell that way you wont live in torment for eternity. ill be prayin for you.

  3. on 05 May 2010 at 9:53 am 3.heath said …

    sorry for posting that here. i had no idea where i could post that under the video oth the 10 questions that every intelligent christian must anwser.

  4. on 05 May 2010 at 11:35 am 4.Curmudgeon said …

    Its obvious the experiment does work but as MS stated, a variety of situations. Some examples:

    1. When an atheist has read dawkins listen to how many time these say “delusion”

    2. The atheist who all sopport Dummycrats

    3. The atheist who swoon when BHO speaks

    4. The atheist who can continue to deny there is God with all the complexity of our existence.

  5. on 05 May 2010 at 5:50 pm 5.Observer said …

    Heath Old Boy-
    “sorry for posting that here. i had no idea where i could post that under the video oth the 10 questions that every intelligent christian must anwser.”

    You seem to be inappropriately self-referential; you would seem to be exempt.

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