Have Scientists Established a Link Between Brain Damage and Religious Fundamentalism?

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Raw Story reports that scientists have established a link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism, stating that in a study published in the journal Neuropsychologia,

The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

Of course, the problem with this “study” is that it comes to the table with the presupposition that “open-mindedness” is necessarily a good thing. Did they also establish a link between atheism and brain damage? Atheists tend to be some of the most closed-minded people in the world, actually, many admitting that even if there were some form of scientific proof of God, they still probably wouldn’t believe.

The study, obviously biased and clearly not based on sound scientific reasoning — something that only biblical theism can provide, by the way — paints religious fundamentalism as an erroneous expression of conservatism based on a faulty “transmittal” of supernatural events and entities.

Religious beliefs can be thought of as socially transmitted mental representations that consist of supernatural events and entities assumed to be real. Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be and are updated as new evidence accumulates or when new theories with better predictive power emerge. On the other hand, religious beliefs are not usually updated in response to new evidence or scientific explanations, and are therefore strongly associated with conservatism.


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Claiming that religious beliefs are not updated in response to new scientific evidence is asinine. While I can’t speak for all sects of all religions, especially the cults — some cults actually do this — it is clear that this is not a scientific study, this is biased hogwash. It is a historical fact that biblical Christianity opened the doors to the scientific revolution and that an innate belief in God’s revelation — something all human beings possess — lays the groundwork for logic and reasoning. Apart from God’s revelation, there can be no account for logic and reasoning, rendering this supposed “scientific study” null.

Here are the questions I would pose to the author of this study:

How can you account for logic and reason? How can you account for truth? How can you know for sure that anything is true?

You can’t. Your study is self-defeating.

If you were to die today, where would you go? Heaven? Hell? Not sure?




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