Comments about ‘What's the effect of religion on the brain? U. launches new study’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4 2014 3:45 p.m. MST

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W Jordan, UT

Can't say that i trust anything that comes out of the U of U when it comes to religion, however I'll keep an open prospective on the findings.

Brian Utley
Freedom, IN

Why don't they do a study on the really influential moments associated with religion? Moments dealing with all the fear, guilt, and shame associated with the traditional failures and shortcomings encountered when trying to measure up to unreasonable standards---"Be ye therefore perfect...," "I cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance..."---that sort of thing. Far more productive investigation; because it is more applicable, almost universal with people dealing with religion. Profound spiritual moments, even aha moments in social interactions are so few and far between that it's almost as if they are aberrations, worth academic study, but of only limited interest to ordinary folks like me.

Albert Maslar CPA (Retired)
Absecon, NJ

OK for that study, but how about looking into the effect of no religion on the brain. Could really be an eye-opener.

City, Ut

Heard a fascinating interview on NPR with guest John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on this subject.

He said neuro scientists had verified no brain area or function that could account for the experiences of random people in desperate situations chronicled in his two books.

Vic Steblin
Prince George, BC, Canada,

The brain is easily adjusted by repeated electrical activity, called plasticity. That is why we remember our name, career, language, culture and religion. Also explains God, and spirituality.

Payson, UT

How to keep this study unbiased and purely scientific will be a challenge. If the findings are inconclusive could it be conceivable that spiritual emotions are interpreted and or stored elsewhere in the body--say the heart for example?

Los Angeles, CA

Very dangerous,brain tumors will be the result!

Cedar Hills, UT

It all depends on the kind of religion. True religion based on Jesus Christ enriches and nourishes the brain while false religion based on murder, hate and Jihad is toxic to the brain and personality as a whole.

taylorsville, UT

I do not think that this is an important research because our brain is such a huge mystery for us. It is said that we only use 10% of our brain. If that is so, I do not think that religion will play a role when using the brain. The right side of the brain is used for creativity and imagination. I believe this is another feeble attempt at trying to control people's mind with religion. Religion can be taught. If someone comes to you and tell you that there is no religion, your brain is going to automatically try to find out why because of what we have been taught by our parents, teachers, clergyman/women, and psychology. That is why it is so important to guard your brain from the nonsense.

Wally West

re: Vic Steblin

There is an area of the brain responsible for addiction. Apparently, it can't differentiate whether you get high on drugs/sex or religion.

It makes sense when you consider Jimmy Swaggart and other religious figures temporarily turning to the dark side and celebrities who give up their wicked ways to embrace Allah or Jesus.

St.George, Utah

How about a study, FIRST, searching a brain for love, kindness, hate, violence, etc.
This really gives scientists and researchers something to work with that can change the human race!
Isn't that more important?

usa, MA

To suggest that I am somehow less of a caring person because I am not religious is wrong. Remember, similar research has found that damage from even minor head injuries often results in fanitical religious followings in an individual. Fact.

To research what makes the brain of a person more kind and caring would be more useful.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
- Proverbs 15: 1

A gem of wisdom from the Bible having to do with the effect of behavior on the brain. Religion itself is another matter. Its moral and ethical base gets obligatory lip service that always seems to come second behind theologies and creeds that cause unending bitter contention.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ riverofsun

The amygdala and hypothalamus are collectively responsible for pretty much everything you listed.

1.96 Standard Deviations

Here is how the data from the study will be interpreted:

1) The Korihor's of the world are going to say, like in Alma 30:16, "Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so."

2) The Believers will say, like in Alma 32:24, "[...] for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand."

Bountiful, UT

True religion, pure and undefiled changes the "heart" not the "brain"...

Apocalypse please
Bluffdale, UT

Reducing people to either antichrists or believers is a pretty narrow world view. I wonder if the study is powered to find a relationship between religion and persecution complexes.

Las Vegas, NV

Of all the important things in the world to learn and improve they come up with this this? I'm sure that the result of this study will help cure cancer and lower the health care cost

1.96 Standard Deviations

Apocalypse please:

Keep in mind who is being studied. As indicated in the article: "They are currently in the process of recruiting study participants. Specifically, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served missions, are between 20 and 30 years old and are currently active in the faith."

Is this sample of individuals what you call a fair representation of the entire world and all its religions? No, of course not. This study is purposely taking a narrow view.

Have you also seen scientific research about the LDS church that does not get polarized opinions?

Case in point: Science indicates LDS members tend to have longer life-spans than the general population. This is faith-affirming for those who believe in the Word of Wisdom and the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. However, church antagonists downplay this and twist it into something else. In short, doesn't matter what the data say. LDS church believers and LDS church antagnostics will continue to see with completely different lenses on that same data.


Religion gives faith based logic. LET ME HELP ALL OF YOU WITH SOME LOGIC.
This is for all who believe: God Created all life.____
1. If God created all things: he created instinct for all life to know what to do for survival, without learning.
2. God created instinct which includes sex drive and other non-learned survival mechanisms.
3. Satan has power over the flesh: Christian, Muslim, Judaism all believe this truth.
4. Knowing 1, 2, and 3 are true: Instinct and Satan are the same entity. God created Instinct/Satan.
"Intelligent Logic W/ use of the facts"
Our Faith in God declares that Satan is Instinct: It is bodiless, powerful intelligence with power over the flesh, given that power by God. Because God has power over all things, we do not have power over the flesh, that authority was given to Satan by necessity.
By Elder Jonathan L. Peterson, servant of our Lord Jesus Christ

Maybe they should have a look and see if my brain is different than everyone else's? Understanding human behavior is controlled by an Artificial Intelligence program and not being able to share this info is very stressful. Ask Prof.Cynthia Berg,UoU

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