Is Our Brain Hardwired to Produce God, or is Our Brain Hardwired to Perceive God? A Systematic Review on the Role of the Brain in Mediating Religious Experience
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cognitive Processing 10 (4):293-326 (2009)
To figure out whether the main empirical question “Is our brain hardwired to believe in and produce God, or is our brain hardwired to perceive and experience God?” is answered, this paper presents systematic critical review of the positions, arguments and controversies of each side of the neuroscientific-theological debate and puts forward an integral view where the human is seen as a psycho-somatic entity consisting of the multiple levels and dimensions of human existence (physical, biological, psychological, and spiritual reality), allowing consciousness/mind/spirit and brain/body/matter to be seen as different sides of the same phenomenon, neither reducible to each other. The emergence of a form of causation distinctive from physics where mental/conscious agency (a) is neither identical with nor reducible to brain processes and (b) does exert “downward” causal influence on brain plasticity and the various levels of brain functioning is discussed. This manuscript also discusses the role of cognitive processes in religious experience and outlines what can neuroscience offer for study of religious experience and what is the significance of this study for neuroscience, clinicians, theology and philosophy. A methodological shift from “explanation” to “description” of religious experience is suggested. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion between theologians, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists.
|Keywords||Neuroscience EEG Brain Consciousness Mind Soul Spirit God Religious experience Theology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Aviva Berkovich-Ohana (forthcoming). A Case Study of a Meditation-Induced Altered State: Increased Overall Gamma Synchronization. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-16.
Niall Mccrae & Rob Whitley (2014). Exaltation in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Neuropsychiatric Symptom or Portal to the Divine? Journal of Medical Humanities 35 (3):241-255.
Similar books and articles
Benjamin W. Libet (2003). Can Conscious Experience Affect Brain Activity? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (12):24-28.
Andrew A. Fingelkurts, Alexander A. Fingelkurts & Carlos F. H. Neves (2009). Brain and Mind Operational Architectonics and Man-Made “Machine” Consciousness. Cognitive Processing 10 (2):105-111.
Andrew A. Fingelkurts & Alexander A. Fingelkurts (2004). Making Complexity Simpler: Multivariability and Metastability in the Brain. International Journal of Neuroscience 114 (7):843 - 862.
J. J. C. Smart, The Mind/Brain Identity Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Andrew A. Fingelkurts & Alexander A. Fingelkurts (2006). Timing in Cognition and EEG Brain Dynamics: Discreteness Versus Continuity. Cognitive Processing 7 (3):135-162.
John Hick (2007). The New Frontier of Religion and Science: Religious Experience, Neuroscience, and the Transcendent. Palgrave Macmillan.
Andrew A. Fingelkurts & Alexander A. Fingelkurts (2001). Operational Architectonics of the Human Brain Biopotential Field: Toward Solving the Mind-Brain Problem. [REVIEW] Brain and Mind 2 (3):261-296.
Andrew A. Fingelkurts, Alexander A. Fingelkurts & Carlos F. H. Neves (2010). Natural World Physical, Brain Operational, and Mind Phenomenal Space-Time. Physics of Life Reviews 7 (2):195-249.
Added to index2010-02-03
Total downloads146 ( #20,284 of 1,777,884 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #63,340 of 1,777,884 )
How can I increase my downloads?