Christianity Through the Lens of Cognitive Science, Part 8. (Last in Series)
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.
Read the Text: https://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/christian-belief-through-the-lens-of-cognitive-science-part-8-of-8/
I am reading ” The mind in the cave ” and ” Inside the Neolithic mind ” by David Lewis-Williams, with David Pearce for the Neolithic mind. Lewis-Williams explores the neurology which is hard wired in the human brain and gives rise to the “religious” experience. Applicable to all religions. Thanks for your interesting article. Vera
Reblogged this on Reality Enthusiast.
I don’t think that it is “brain science” that is “remarkably close to offering a full naturalistic explanation of individual religious experiences.” Rather it is brain scientists who are “remarkably close.” Naturalistic philosophers of mind have had an explanation for decades – finally, the scientists are catching up. Too bad scientists often make for lousy philosophers!
The only thing that is missing now is a naturalistic explanation of “individual naturalistic experiences.” Which would include everything from “certain belief (in naturalism) to moral indignation (toward religious abuse, etc.) to mystical rapture to spiritual transformation (as promoted on this blog).”