Searching for God in the Brain, from Scientific American
As one who is fascinated with religious experience, I was intrigued by the finding that mystical experiences, speaking in tongues, and the like can be positively correlated with activity in specific regions of the brain.
Here's my bias: I think that any religion worth its salt should be able to provide its adherents with profound experiences. In that light, do you think Laestadianism measures up? Does it provide an experience of divine union? if so, which practices or beliefs facilitate this?
Although atheists might argue that finding spirituality in the brain implies that religion is nothing more than divine delusion, the nuns were thrilled by their brain scans for precisely the opposite reason: they seemed to provide confirmation of God’s interactions with them. After all, finding a cerebral source for spiritual experiences could serve equally well to identify the medium through which God reaches out to humanity. Thus, the nuns’ forays into the tubular brain scanner did not undermine their faith. On the contrary, the science gave them an even greater reason to believe.
What do you think? Do these kind of findings have a positive, negative, or no effect on your faith?
I'm with the nuns. I think it's exciting that there might actually be a part of the brain that allows us to experience the Divine.