Brain science is remarkably close to offering a full naturalistic explanation of individual religious experiences, everything from certain belief to moral indignation to mystical rapture to spiritual transformation. More and more, we can explain Christian belief with the same set of principles that explain supernaturalism generally: childhood credulity, hyperactive agency detection, theory of mind, group hypnotic processes, misattributed transcendence hallucination, viral transmission, and more.
If you like this, watch the whole series, Christian Belief through the Lens of Cognitive Science at AwayPoint–Life After Christianity. And subscribe!
Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of www.WisdomCommons.org. Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.